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Ryan Seacrest to return as host of 'American Idol' revival

It’s official: Ryan Seacrest will return to “American Idol” to serve as host for ABC’s reboot of the singing competition.

>> Read more trending news

Kelly Ripa made the announcement on Thursday morning’s episode of “Live with Kelly and Ryan.”

“We’ve been talking about it for a little while but I am happy to confirm … with absolute confirmation that Ryan Seacrest is returning (as) the host of ‘American Idol,’” Ripa said.

“(I’m) very, very excited,” Seacrest said. “First of all, I don't know if you've ever been in a 15-year relationship and then, for a reason that you really don't know, you break up … I thought, 'Gosh, it'd be great to get back together at some point.’"

The announcement followed three months of negotiations, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Seacrest will join pop star Katy Perry, who was confirmed in May as a judge for the series, on the reboot.

ABC announced in May that it planned to bring back “American Idol” for the 2017-2018 season. The show aired 15 seasons on Fox before the network announced in 2015 that 15th season would be its last.

>> Related: 'American Idol' set to return to television

“‘American Idol’ is a pop-culture staple that left the air too soon,” Channing Dungey, president of ABC Entertainment, said in a news release.

The show launched the careers of artists including Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, Carrie Underwood and Adam Lambert. Contestants on the show have sold more than 60 million albums and made more than 450 Billboard No. 1 hits, according to ABC.

Where to watch O.J. Simpson's parole hearing

Television networks will interrupt this presidency on Thursday to revisit an old obsession.

ABC, NBC, CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, HLN and ESPN will show O.J. Simpson's parole hearing at a Nevada prison, as he seeks freedom after spending more than eight years locked up for armed robbery and assault. CBS said it will air part of the hearing on television and livestream all of it on its CBSN digital news affiliate.

Simpson's trial in California for the 1994 murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman, was a television obsession more than two decades ago. The former football star was acquitted, but has been imprisoned for trying to steal sports collectibles.

Interest in Simpson was revived last year with ESPN's documentary "O.J.: Made in America," and the FX miniseries, "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story"

Former Los Angeles police detective Mark Fuhrman, who testified in Simpson's original trial, will provide analysis for Fox News Channel.

Ryan Seacrest back as host of 'Idol' when it returns on ABC

Seacrest in!

Ryan Seacrest will be back hosting "American Idol" when it returns for its first season on ABC. Kelly Ripa made the announcement on Thursday's "Live with Kelly and Ryan," which she has co-hosted with Seacrest since he joined her in May.

Seacrest has a long history with "Idol" during its smash-hit run on Fox from 2002 through 2016. Reclaiming that job gives him an additional role in the Disney family, which owns ABC and produces the syndicated "Live."

Seacrest's potential return to "Idol" had sparked much speculation since ABC said it would revive the talent competition, even though the program airs from Los Angeles and "Live" airs weekday mornings from New York.

The busy Seacrest will also continue his syndicated Los Angeles morning drive-time radio show, as well as a nationally syndicated Top 40 radio show, from his iHeartMedia studio in the same Manhattan complex where "Live" is telecast. He also hosts and executive produces ABC's annual "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest."

"It's genuinely hard to put into words what 'American Idol' means to me," Seacrest said in a statement. "To be asked to return this year, at my new home at Disney/ABC, is an honor, if not a bit surreal."

ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey called Seacrest's talent "limitless, and I can't think of a more appropriate person to honor the 'Idol' legacy as it takes on new life than the man who has been there through it all."

The nationwide search for the first ABC-aired superstar begins next month. The show will return to the air in 2018.

Former intelligence director James Clapper is writing a book

James Clapper, the former director of National Intelligence who has clashed with President Donald Trump, has a book deal.

Viking told The Associated Press on Thursday that Clapper, 76, will write about his 6 1/2 years as head of National Intelligence during President Barack Obama's administration and his long career in military and government service. The book is currently untitled and scheduled for 2018.

Clapper, who stepped down at the end of Obama's second term, will cover everything from the killing of Osama bin Laden to the intelligence documents leaked by Edward Snowden. According to Viking, Clapper also will give "the truth" about alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election. Trump has disputed such stories and said that Clapper agrees with his assertion that the Trump campaign did not collude with the Russians. Clapper has said he was not in a position to know about collusion, but believes the Russians did attempt to influence the campaign, a view widely held in the intelligence community.

He has also criticized the president for firing FBI Director James Comey and said that democratic institutions were "under assault" by Trump. Clapper said in a statement Thursday that he will offer a "warts and all" account of his experiences and that friends had urged him to tell his story. Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House, said in its announcement that Clapper will address such issues as transparency in government and the ethics of intelligence gathering and will "counter the narrative about surveillance of American citizens."

Clapper was strongly criticized after Snowden's leaks contradicted his Congressional testimony in 2013 that the National Security Agency was not "wittingly" involved in gathering data on millions of Americans. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., later said that Clapper had engaged in "a deliberate decision to lie to the American people about what their government was doing." Clapper has called his comments "clearly erroneous," while also saying he did not think the question could be answered with a simple "yes" or "no."

"I responded in what I thought was the most truthful, or least untruthful manner by saying 'No,'" he told MSNBC after the Snowden documents came out.

Financial terms for his book were not disclosed. As is standard for former intelligence officials, his manuscript will be vetted by the government before publication to check for classified material.

Former intelligence director James Clapper is writing a book

James Clapper, a former top intelligence official who has clashed with President Donald Trump, has a book deal.

Viking told The Associated Press on Thursday that Clapper will write about his years as director of National Intelligence during President Barack Obama's administration and his long career in military and government service. The book, scheduled for next year, is currently untitled.

Clapper, who stepped down at the end of Obama's second term, said in a statement that he will offer a "warts and all" account of his experiences. According to Viking, Clapper will give "the truth" about alleged Russian interference in the 2016 campaign. Trump has disputed such stories and said that Clapper agrees with his assertion that the Trump campaign didn't collude with the Russians. Clapper has said he wasn't in a position to know.

UK royals make pretzels, visit German cancer research center

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined a rowing regatta, visited a cancer research center and made pretzels in the university city of Heidelberg on the second day of their visit to Germany.

Prince William and his wife, Kate, took to the waters of the Neckar river on Thursday afternoon, coxing two opposing boats in a race of rowers from Heidelberg and its twin city Cambridge.

With German onlookers cheering the royal couple everywhere they showed up, they also practiced shaping pretzels at a British-German market in downtown Heidelberg, tried a local vintner's wine and made sugar canes, the German news agency dpa reported.

"This visit is an enormous honor for us," Mayor Eckart Wuerzner said.

Earlier Thursday, William and Kate also toured the German Cancer Research Center, peering through a microscope for a glimpse of the facility's work. British researcher Michael Milsom, an expert in the development of blood stem cells, said he could never have dreamed of presenting his research to his future king.

The Baden-Wuerttemberg state governor, Winfried Kretschmann, gave the couple a specially made cuckoo clock with a British flag. Prince George and Princess Charlotte were given teddy bears with their names embroidered on them.

In the evening, the Duke and Duchess were returning to Berlin to attend a reception at the city's famed Claerchens Ballhaus, one of the last remaining Berlin ballrooms, which opened in 1913.

UK government to take more time to consider Fox-Sky deal

Britain's culture secretary needs more time to consider Twenty-First Century Fox's takeover bid for the Sky pay television and broadband network.

Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said Thursday in an update before Parliament breaks for recess that she is not yet in a position to make a final decision on whether or not to refer the matter to the Competition and Markets Authority for further review.

Britain's government had stalled the takeover after regulators said it could give Rupert Murdoch and his family too much influence over the country's media.

Bradley said last month the deal "potentially raises public interest concerns" and that she is "minded to" send it to the competition authority.

Murdoch's New York-based media group is trying to buy the 61 percent of Sky it doesn't already own.

London Zoo welcomes a new kind of visitor: Robotic dinosaurs

London Zoo is welcoming a new star attraction this summer: robotic dinosaurs.

Visitors will see robotic replicas of Mesozoic-era dinosaurs, including T. Rex and Triceratops, which lived approximately 65 million years ago, at a "time travel safari" exhibit named Zoorassic Park. The robots make sounds and motions that mimic the real-life dinosaurs. Some even drip water out of their mouths or spray it at passers-by.

Information about the dinosaurs' massive extinction is dispersed throughout the display at the zoo in north London. At the end, visitors are "transported" back to modern times with a video on endangered species, recent extinctions and conservation efforts.

The exhibition opens Saturday and runs until Sept. 3.

Princess Charlotte said goodbye to Poland with an adorable curtsy, but everyone missed it

Princess Charlotte is a serious pro at the art of a curtsy.

>> Princess Charlotte appears to wear Prince Harry's hand-me-down shoes from 1986

The 2-year-old was spotted on Wednesday morning giving a polite little curtsy to the Polish dignitaries as the royal family left the country for the second part of their tour in Germany. None of the officials seemed to see Charlotte; maybe in a few years she’ll be big enough to grab the spotlight.

>> See the clip here

The tiny princess has taken a cue from her mother, who has also been spotted giving a perfect curtsy while out and about.

>> Read more trending news

Charlotte and her big brother, Prince George, are sitting out many of the family’s official events, but by the looks of it, she is absolutely ready for her royal duty.

Canada governor touches queen's elbow for safety on stairs

Canada's governor general says he decided to breach royal protocol and touch Queen Elizabeth II to ensure she didn't stumble down slippery steps during an official engagement in London.

David Johnston, who met with the 91-year-old monarch on Wednesday to mark Canada's 150th birthday, was seen gently touching her elbow as she ascended steps at London's Canada House. He did the same as she left the building.

It is generally accepted that members of the public do not touch the queen.

Johnston told CBC News: "It's a little bit awkward, that descent from Canada House to Trafalgar Square, and there was a carpet that was a little slippy, and so I thought perhaps it was appropriate to breach protocol just to be sure that there was no stumble."

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