Ryan Seacrest will join NBC’s primetime coverage of the Summer Olympics in London, the TV industry hot-shot announced on that NBC morning infotainment show Wednesday morning.
He will not – repeat, not –replace Matt Lauer on “Today” show, he told Matt, who asked him directly, “What kind of conversations have you had with NBC about joining ‘Today’ show?”
“Oh – didn’t they tell you?” Seacrest replied.
Seacrest explained, for viewers – Matt already knows this stuff – that he’s worked for E! for years, and NBC and E! have for a little while now been part of the same company. “So the plan is for me to join the NBC family and continue to have a role at E!”
His first assignment, he added, will be to join the primetime team for the Olympics at NBC.
“You didn’t answer the question,” Matt chastised, adding, “I want names and dates.”
Seacrest told Matt, in re working at ‘Today” that he’s had conversations “with the four people to your right (off camera) but mostly about filling in to do the weather.”
“So, Al Roker should be doing this interview,” Matt said.
Anybody buying that? Ryan Seacrest: Weatherman?
Matt then made a few more comments about Seacrest maybe replacing him: his own name has been in the news too, contract coming up, blah, blah, blah.
“I see you doing this for as long as you want to,” Seacrest said, effectively taking over the interview. Smooth.
“Maybe the question is, ‘How long will you be on the ‘Today’ show?’,” Seacrest added.
“Funny you mention it,” Matt simpered.
“I think you’d be great at this job,” Matt, the man who anchors a show that averages around 5 million viewers, told Seacrest, the man who plays ringmaster on a show that averages around 20 million, patronizingly.
Then, addressing America, Matt said: “Ryan and I are friendly, we have talked about this. There is no tension here.”
“When the story came out…you and I had dinner,” Seacrest reminded Matt. Not really -- he too was speaking to America.
Matt mentioned that he’d picked up the check at that dinner, “which I thought was completely inappropriate.”
Matt also chatted a while with Seacrest about all those reality series he produces — all those Kardashian shows for E, “Shahs of Sunset” for NBC Universal’s Bravo network, etc. Seacrest told him reality docu-soaps are here to stay, because they’re popular with the sisterhood.
So Seacrest is not replacing Matt — for now. But he will be doing yet to be identified things for NBC going forward, starting with primetime coverage of the upcoming Summer Games.
Matt had kicked off the “interview” by asking Seacrest That Job Interview Question: “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
“Same height,” Seacrest shot back, then added, “balancing everything I’ve been able to build and doing a good job at it.”
His particular talent, as he sees it, is being a “good conduit to pop culture.”
Ryan declined Matt’s request that he break news of his “American Idol” contract renewal on “Today.”
“I plan to stay there…it’s a circus to run and I enjoy it,” Seacrest said accommodatingly, while adding, “We’re not quite there.”
Viewers had to wait for the Seacrest news. First, Seacrest’s much hyped appearance on the show to make a “big NBC announcement” was delayed a day due to elbow surgery, they were told Tuesday. Then, Wednesday morning, they were kept waiting for the first hour of the show while Seacrest played hide and seek in the studio: See Ryan shaking hands in the “Today” plaza! See Ryan in Matt’s chair at the anchor desk! See Ryan steal Matt’s briefcase out of his dressing room!