Television

'American Idol' host Seacrest sets up shop at E!

MUMBAI: US broadcaster E! Entertainment Television has reached an agreement with the host of American Idol Ryan Seacrest for a multi-year deal.

This calls for Seacrest to appear both on-air as well as develop and produce multiple series projects for the network via his Ryan Seacrest Productions (RSP) banner.

The E! deal turns Seacrest into a quadruple threat with roles in the worlds of broadcast television, nationally syndicated radio, local radio and now cable.

Under terms of the pact, Seacrest will become managing editor and lead anchor of "E! News" in March, along with current anchor Giuliana DePandi. Additionally, he will serve as executive producer and tower host of E!'s Live From the Red Carpet beginning with the Golden Globe Awards on 16 January 2006 and moving on to produce and host a series of celebrity interview specials.

At the same time, RSP is poised to become a key supplier of series programming to E! Networks, with the option to sell to other networks should a concept not fit E!'s current needs.

Seacrest says, "I am looking forward to being part of the E! team. This unique opportunity allows my company to take the next step in providing multimedia content."

Besides American Idol Seacrest hosts the radio countdown show American Top 40 as well as his Los Angeles morning drivetime radio show for Clear Channel's 102.7 KIIS-FM. Seacrest will now broadcast the KIIS program from his new studio at E! Networks headquarters in Los Angeles.

E! Networks president and CEO Ted Harbert says, "This is a huge coup for E! and demonstrates how committed we are about being the dominant entertainment authority. Not only will we benefit immensely from Ryan's extraordinary ability as a broadcaster, his crystal clear vision of our brand will make him an extremely valuable supplier of original programming. His talent, popularity and easygoing on-screen charm have earned him millions of fans who will follow him to E! He is the very best at what he does."

Seacrest will continue to host American Idol as well as a fill-in host for CNN's Larry King Live.The latest development under RSP is Seacrest's new position as co-host, while being groomed to be sole host of Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve.This year will mark the first in a multi-year deal that finds him presiding over and executive producing the New Year's Eve special under his production banner.

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