'Idol' Has Something to Sing About

02/11/2004 AT 12:00 PM EST

Regardless of how the rest of the telecast plays out, there is already one clear winner on this season of "American Idol": the FOX network.

The "Idol" juggernaut continues as the show enters its third season, and it may just prove to be the series' most successful yet. The Feb. 3 episode drew a record-number 30 million viewers, and in recent weeks even formidable business mogul Donald Trump has been forced to stand down from leather-tongued judge Simon Cowell, Reuters reports.

NBC moved Trump's hot new reality series "The Apprentice" out of the way of "American Idol" at the end of January. And as America's "Idol" fascination continues, the show's stars are increasingly coming into their own. Cowell's take-no-prisoners approach made him a fan favorite from the show's outset, but now even judges Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson are making waves.

So far, Ryan Seacrest appears to be the greatest beneficiary of the "Idol" success. After originally sharing the spotlight during the first season with cohost Brian Dunkleman (remember him?), Seacrest, 29, has gone solo for two seasons and parlayed his popularity into plenty of new gigs. He has replaced longtime disc jockey Casey Kasem on the syndicated radio show "American Top 40," and he's hosting his own syndicated show, "On Air with Ryan Seacrest," which debuted last month.

And now, he may have just scored his fourth job: The increasingly busy Seacrest is reportedly in talks to take over morning deejay duties for Rick Dees, who has departed from his long-running gig at Los Angeles pop station KIIS-FM.

From Our Partners