Ryan Seacrest Nears Deal to Host NBC's 'Million Second Quiz'
Between Fox's "American Idol," ABC's "New Year's Rockin' Eve" and NBC's "Quiz," Seacrest will now emcee shows on three of the four major broadcast networks.
Hollywood's busiest man is about to get even busier.
Ryan Seacrest is nearing a deal to host another broadcast reality show, this time for NBC. The show, Million Second Quiz, is billed as a 24-hour live competition series, for which Seacrest also will serve as an executive producer. In signing on, Seacrest, who also emcees Fox's American Idol and ABC's New Year's Rockin' Eve special, will become the face of major unscripted franchises at three of the four big broadcast networks.
Taking place over 12 days and nights, Quiz will see contestants battling one another as they test the limits of their knowledge, endurance and will to win. Catering to Seacrest's strengths as a live broadcaster, NBC will broadcast the show in primetime live from an hourglass-shaped structure in the heart of Manhattan -- which also will serve as the living quarters for the players -- instead of the typical studio setting. And unlike other competition shows, players have to play Million Second Quiz 24 hours a day in order to avoid getting eliminated. As the 1 million seconds run out, champions will then duke it out, and an eventual winner will take home as much as $10 million. The game show will join NBC's fall schedule, with its premiere set for Sept. 9.
According to sources, the complicating factor has been Seacrest's many jobs, to say nothing of his packed schedule. In addition to his daily Clear Channel radio show, which he tapes out of Los Angeles, he typically travels for Idol auditions in the fall. (The latter is somewhat in flux given that Idol has yet to hire a new judges' panel.) That Quiz's production schedule is only 12 days has eased some of the various parties' concerns, and Seacrest has proved particularly adept at navigating his many relationships in the past.
For Seacrest, the gig will deepen the relationship he has with the Comcast-owned company, which has been looking for a primetime platform for him for some time. He inked an expansive two-year deal with the latter in the spring of 2012, which entailed such additional duties as a special correspondent for Today as well as a contributor to NBC's primetime news, entertainment programming and Olympics coverage. In doing so, Seacrest scaled back his on-air role with E! News, where he still serves as managing editor and continues to appear on camera for major award shows.
Seacrest will be one of few familiar faces when Idol returns next spring, with judges Randy Jackson, Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey announcing that they would not be returning to the singing competition. Seacrest, who has one one year left on his current contract, has long been described as "the glue" that holds the live show together and is thus far the only returning fixture to the ratings-challenged competition as it faces another major reboot. He has described the job as one of a traffic cop. That skill set will likely come in handy on Quiz.
Additionally, Seacrest serves a producer on a growing collection of series, including E!'s Kardashian franchise, Bravo's Shahs of Sunset and E!'s The Wanted Life. Come midseason, Seacrest will add his first scripted series for broadcast with ABC's high-concept comedy Mixology. In the case of Quiz, All3 Media America, Studio Lambert and Universal TV will produce, with Stephen Lambert, Eli Holzman and David A. Hurwitz joining Seacrest as exec producers.
Seacrest is repped by CAA and Hansen Jacobson.