Seacrest's appeal is expected to be a "magnet" that pulls viewers, especially younger ones, to the awards show on Fox, Dick Askin, chairman and chief executive officer of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, said Monday.
The 59th Primetime Emmy Awards will air Sept. 16.
Last year's Emmys, hosted on NBC by Conan O'Brien, drew about 16.1 million viewers, the second least-watched Emmy telecast since 1991. It aired unusually early, in August, to make way for NBC's National Football League telecast.
The awards ceremony rotates among the four major broadcast networks.
HBO's recently departed "The Sopranos" is the most-nominated series with 15 bids, while the made-for-TV movie "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" has the most nominations, 17, for all programs.
Cutting-edge shows such as "30 Rock" dominated the comedy series category, with "Ugly Betty" leading the charge with 11 nominations. Fox may also be hoping that another hot new show, NBC's "Heroes," proves an Emmy draw for advertiser-favored young adult viewers.
By Lynn Elber