Ryan Seacrest will continue to host ‘American Idol’


Ryan Seacrest (KEVORK DJANSEZIAN/ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Fox announced late Monday that it had signed Seacrest to continue hosting its singing competition series for an unspecified number of years.

“Ryan is one of a kind,” Mike Darnell, Fox Broadcasting Company’s president of alternative entertainment, said in a statement. “His ability to engage the viewers, keep the contestants at ease during intense moments and adapt to any situation, especially during the live shows, solidifies him as the absolute best in the business.”

Seacrest has been signed for two more seasons, and will make $15 million a year to host a two-night-a-week show for five months a year, trade paper Variety reported. To put that report in perspective, that’s a little more than half of the salary NBC’s “Today” show star Matt Lauer is being paid to anchor the morning show.

The latest Seacrest development comes days after Seacrest informed Matt that he was joining the “NBC family” and that his first assignment would be to help Matt cover the summer Olympics in London. That, on the heels of months of speculation that Seacrest would be groomed to eventually co-anchor the “Today” show.

But, for the next two years at least, Seacrest is committed to hosting “American Idol,” which remains the country’s most-watched program — and is broadcast live from Los Angeles. Unlike “Today,” which broadcast live from Rockefeller Center in Manhattan.

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