'American Idol' isn't sending Ryan Seacrest home
"American Idol's" ratings may be going down, but Ryan Seacrest's paycheck is going up.
The ultra-tan MC will continue serving as host of "American Idol" for the time being, Fox announced Monday. Although terms of his deal were not disclosed, the deal will carry him for two years and will see him taking home $15 million a year, sources confirmed.
That's a $5-million jump from his current annual salary, which expires after this season and had him making $10 million per season. And in that contract, he also received a bonus of $15 million for merchandising rights.
The deal keeps his TV presence in full force. The in-demand TV personality, who moonlights as a radio DJ and an entertainment news anchor on E! network," was recently courted by NBCUniversal (E!'s parent company), signing a separate pact with it which will have him covering the Olympics for "Today. " He is also part of a Mark Cuban-backed venture to launch an entertainment cable channel.
Seacrest, who also produces a number of reality shows ("Shahs of Sunset," "Keeping Up with the Kardashians"), has been a constant on "American Idol" since it launched in 2002 — at which time, he co-hosted with Brian Dunkleman before taking all the hosting glory for himself.
“For the last 11 seasons, I've had the privilege to be a part of one of television's most iconic shows. It's been a wild ride, and I'm excited for my journey with 'American Idol' to continue,” Seacrest said in a statement.
Interestingly, this time around Fox and "Idol" producer Fremantle Media will be paying all of Seacrest's salary. In previous years, "American Idol" producer 19 Entertainment was on the hook for Seacrest's contract with the show — although the network did cover a portion of it.
Ratings for "American Idol" have dropped more than 20% in total viewers compared with the previous year.
Photo: Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet at the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards show at The Beverly Hilton on Sunday, January 15, 2012. Credit. Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times