Ryan Seacrest Reveals Move Into Scripted Series, Films, Music Publishing Company (Exclusive)
Ryan Seacrest's media empire is expanding again, this time with scripted TV series, film development and greater responsibilities in the wake of the Comcast-NBC Universal merger.
The American Idol host and powerhouse reality TV producers revealed his plans in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in conjunction with his selection as No. 1 on THR's fourth annual Reality Power List. PHOTOS: Ryan Seacrest's eclectic career
-- In addition to a robust unscripted slate, which ranges from docu-series to game shows, Seacrest is now dipping his toe in the scripted pool with two series in development and another project with Harvey Weinstein. "We're anticipating that there will be more interest in scripted at E! [under NBC Universal Cable Entertainment chairwoman Bonnie Hammer] and from the other networks now that they are in the family," he says, "so we have put some focus on scripted."
-- Seacrest has plans to dabble in film as well, telling THR that he has sold a film project and has another in development (though he declined to reveal the buyer). He is quick to admit that this is one genre he's no expert in, which is why he will partner with film production shingles on what he labels "commercial movies."
-- Through his three-year deal with Clear Channel, which he signed in November, he's in the process of setting up a music publishing business where he will be able to own the music that appears in his shows. As he sees it, finding original music (vocal or otherwise) and signing talent will free up his budget to put more money on screen.
-- And though details have been tightly guarded, he says plans for launching a cable network with partners CAA and live entertainment giant AEG are "still very active." While he intends to contribute content (likely from his production company, Ryan Seacrest Productions), he is adamant that it will not be branded the Ryan Seacrest channel.
At 36, his rise from radio DJ to reality host to entertainment mogul is nothing short of extraordinary. Particularly when you consider he lacks the traditional Hollywood skill set -- he doesn't act, sing or dance. Ask him what the title next to his name should read, and all he can come up with is "busy." Or "tired."
Both are accurate. As are diversified and wealthy. Seacrest will earn more than $55 million this year, thanks to a radio contract with Clear Channel (valued at roughly $20 million per year), a television pact with American Idol-parent CKX (another $15 million a year) and a mega-deal with what is now NBC Universal, which is responsible for such TV projects as the red-hot Kardashian franchise. Also included are his many specials (including Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve) and partnerships with brands, including Coca-Cola, Microsoft and Proctor & Gamble.
"I'm kind of going into this merger saying, 'Hey, what do you got? What can we do? Yes. Lets go," says Seacrest, who will play a pivotal role in the late April coverage of the Royal Wedding for the company's combined assets, from E! News to Today.