Reality TV: THR's 50 Most Powerful List
Ask Seacrest what he does to relax, and the response you’ll inevitably receive is laughter.
“Relax? What does that mean?” he says of a workday that begins at 4:30 a.m. “In my head, I have built in a cutoff period at the end of the day to, in theory, go to dinner, cook, have a glass of wine … but I feel guilty not working any hour of the day.” He later admits the social drawing app Draw Something is his new “obsession,” which he turns to on breaks.
The multihyphenate, who rakes in well north of $50 million annually, has been getting increasingly public about his relationship with his girlfriend, dancer-actress Julianne Hough (Rock of Ages), whom he mock-proposed to on the May 10 episode of American Idol. But all diversions aside, 2012 certainly won’t be the year The Man With a Million Jobs puts his feet up for too long. In recent weeks, Seacrest, 37, has inked a $15 million-a-year deal to remain with Idol for at least two more seasons -- “It’s been a major part of my life for a long time, and I didn’t want to give it up,” he says of the long-running Fox juggernaut -- and an even bigger pact with NBCUniversal. The latter will have him contributing to Today, primetime specials, the Olympics and election coverage.
In addition to his on-air responsibilities, his Ryan Seacrest Productions oversees E!’s Kardashian franchise, Bravo’s recently renewed Shahs of Sunset and an upcoming Jonas Brothers reality show, which will take viewers behind the scenes with the oldest Jonas, Kevin, and his wife, Danielle. He has plans to add both scripted TV and film projects to the RSP development slate, which includes a lengthy list of unscripted projects.
Seacrest’s tentacles reach 19 million weekly listeners with his On-Air With Ryan Seacrest radio show, an audience of 20 million with his American Top 40 countdown and more than 6.5 million followers on Twitter, where he ranks among the more active celebrities. And in addition to all this, the Georgia native, who counts Dick Clark and Merv Griffin among his idols, is an investor with billionaire Mark Cuban, CAA and AEG in a new lifestyle cable channel, AXS Live.