'Idol' host already well-ensconced at NBCU via two-year deal
Another day, another job for Ryan Seacrest.
The “American Idol” emcee is in advanced negotiations with NBC to host new unscripted format “Million Second Quiz.” Pact would also see him sign on as an executive producer. Reps for the network and Seacrest declined comment.
While sources close to the talks say the deal isn’t final yet, the “American Idol” host will likely see himself in a primetime berth come fall; the skein is scheduled to be stripped across 12 days beginning September 9th (with one night off for “Sunday Night Football”).
Negotiations have been complicated by the logistical challenge of freeing up Seacrest for that 12-day period as he juggles his day job manning the airwaves for Clear Channel’s syndicated radio program “On Air with Ryan Seacrest” while leaving enough time to rejoin “American Idol,” where he’ll be needed to tape auditions before the series returns to Fox in January.
Sources suggest there isn’t any contractual hang-up for Seacrest to have two different primetime gigs considering “Million” isn’t a music-related program like “Idol.” “Million” would give him three different hosting assignments across three different broadcast networks given Seacrest also hosts the New Year’s Eve telecast on ABC.
Bringing Seacrest in could give an extra level of visibility to a series NBC is looking to energize its fall sked. “Million” is already garnering buzz for its innovative format, which pits contestants against each other 24/7 across TV and online.
Seacrest is already cozy with NBC through a two-year deal he struck with parent company NBCUniversal last April that has put him on air from “Today” to its Olympics coverage. He also does brisk business with the conglom through shingle Ryan Seacrest Prods., which has multiple series on cable channels including E! (“Keeping Up with the Kardashians”) and Bravo (“Shahs of Sunset”). Seacrest continues to man the mic on the red carpet for E! as well.