UPDATE: At today’s American Idol panel, Ryan Seacrest said, “”I love this television show… and I can’t imagine life without American Idol,”. Reality chief, Mike Darnell says, “I think everyone has come to realize the value of Ryan Seacrest. It’s very hard to imagine [American Idol] without Ryan. We certainly want to keep him,” (Via THR)
The subject of Ryan Seacrest’s negotiation to return to American Idol as host came up today at the TCA FOX Executive session. FOX Entertainment President, Kevin Reilly, says the network wants to keep Ryan, but the negotiations will be tough. However, he doesn’t expect talks to drag out. (Via The Hollywood Reporter)
“As we know it is a much harder job than meets the eye,” said Reilly as the network’s TCA session on Sunday. “I thnk everyone has come to realize the value of Ryan Seacrest. It’s very hard to imagine [American Idol] without Ryan. We certainly want to keep him.”
And Reilly noted that the Seacrest deal will be “a tough negotiation,” but one he expects to “come to a conclusion pretty quickly.”
Ryan’s annual 15 million dollar contract is up this year. Reports say FOX wants Ryan to take a pay cut, But with Jennifer Lopez reportedly making 20 million a year, that doesn’t seem likely. In the meantime, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Ryan’s camp have become frustrated:
Insiders say that Seacrest’s representatives have become frustrated with the lack of Idol negotiations. “Fox has been doing nothing, they’ve been sitting there. Until [Thursday] they hadn’t called Ryan,” says one source.
Ryan’s deal with Comcast’s NBC Universal is also up for renewal. He produces/stars on E News and produces reality fare for the company, including the Kardashian franchise. Keeping Ryan in the NBC family is a high priority. He met with NBC News in December about opportunities on the Today Show. Ryan is already set to make occasional appearances in the 9 am. hour. NBC denies that Ryan is being sought to take co-host, Matt Lauer’s position if he leaves.
I think American Idol needs Ryan Seascrest more than the busy media mogul needs them. FOX would be crazy not to pony up the dough.