American Idol host Ryan Seacrest and the Comcast Entertainment Group have forged a new multiyear agreement that significantly expands Seacrest's TV and new-media production business across the company's networks , officials said Wednesday.
Under terms of the agreement, Seacrest continues to serve as managing editor and anchor of E! News, along with Giuliana Rancic, and as executive producer and host of E!'s "Live From the Red Carpet" specials, according to the announcement from Ted Harbert, president and CEO of Comcast Entertainment Group.
As part of the new pact, Comcast retains "first look" rights to all Ryan Seacrest Productions projects through August of 2011, and significantly expands his present agreement to provide programming to Comcast networks.
The full service, independent production company will develop programming for Comcast's family of networks, including E!, The Style Network and G4, as well as Versus, Golf Channel, Exercise TV, FEARnet, Comcast Sportsnet and PBS Kids Sprout, whereas Seacrest's previous production agreement spoke to projects for E! and Style only. Seacrest's key roles with E! News and Live from the Red Carpet are extended through early 2012.
The agreement also includes a new advertising relationship between E! and Seacrest's radio properties, including the world's most popular radio countdown show, American Top 40, as well as his Los Angeles based radio show, On-Air with Ryan Seacrest.
Currently, Ryan Seacrest Productions has two series airing on Comcast networks. The second season of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, which aired this spring on E!, ranked as the top original series among women 18 to 34 in its premiere Sunday night timeslot against all other ad-supported cable networks. The series scored its most-watched telecast ever May 4, averaging more than 1.7 million viewers.
The production company's newest series, Denise Richards: It's Complicated, premiered May 26 as the third most-watched series debut in the network's history and averaged more than 1 million viewers during each premiere episode.
The company is currently in production on two new series as well: Bromance will air on MTV, while Momma's Boys is slated to premiere on NBC.
"Comcast Entertainment Group is the perfect engine to help drive Ryan Seacrest Productions to the next level in its evolution," Seacrest said in a statement. "My experience with E! has been a perfect fit from the very start, and I am thrilled to continue working with them on the air, as well as developing and producing programming across all Comcast networks."