Ryan Seacrest’s long-in-works new deal with NBCUniversal appears finally done. “Tuesday morning live on the Today show in Studio 1A, Ryan Seacrest will make a big NBC announcement,” Today‘s executive producer Jim Bell tweeted last night. The announcement is likely tied to Seacrest’s new deal with NBC’s new sibling, Comcast’s E!, where he has been since 2006. The pact is expected to have a major NBC component, including some duties on Today, though not full-time (at least not for now), and a role in the network’s coverage of the upcoming London Olympics. Since the Comcast-NBC Universal merger, Seacrest has been courted about a bigger role in the larger company, which included a meeting with Bell in December. NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt hinted in January that Seacrest wanted to produce scripted shows for the broadcast network (E! too is venturing into scripted programming), and noted that he personally liked the idea of having Seacrest do interview specials for the network in the mold of Barbara Walters. With so many new responsibilities, what is going to give for Seacrest? It is unclear if he would keep his anchoring duties on E! News. In addition to his E! business, Seacrest has his radio deal with Clear Channel for a daily morning show and his hosting gig on Fox’s American Idol. The latter deal is up after the end of this season and Idol producers are trying hard keep Seacrest. And if that’s not enough, Seacrest is launching a new TV network, AXS, with Mark Cuban and AEG.
As for Today, Seacrest’s represents the latest in the series of stunt star appearances lined up by the NBC morning show for the week, in which it faces former co-anchor Katie Couric on ABC’s Good Morning America. The over-hyped “return of Today legend” this morning turned out to be Couric’s successor Meredith Vieira who appeared to announce that she will join NBC’s Olympic coverage, including reuniting with Matt Lauer and Bob Costas to host the opening ceremony broadcast. Along with Seacrest, Today will feature Sarah Palin co-hosting the 8 AM hour tomorrow.
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