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Uncomfortable Matt Lauer interview with Ryan Seacrest a collision of brands and offscreen talks



tdy_lauer_seacrest_120404.vembedlarge.jpgOne of the Today show's other hyped-up interviews to counteract Katie Couric guest hosting Good Morning America fizzled this morning, as American Idol host Ryan Seacrest traveled all the way to New York from Los Angeles to reveal -- what TV writers had been reporting for days.

Specifically, he's signed a new deal with NBC/Universal, where he hosts a show on the E! cable channel and also executive produces unscripted shows, such as the suite of programs featuring the Kardashian family.

Seacrest revealed this morning he expects to participate in NBC's Olympics coverage in London, which has also been reported, but offered no details on how that might unfold.

Pressed by Today co-host Matt Lauer to reveal whether he talked to NBC about taking his job, Seacrest was cagey, turning the question back on Lauer to ask how long he expected to remain on Today.

ryan-seacrest-matt-lauer-today.jpgMedia watchers have long assumed that Seacrest's talks with NBC were exposed, in part, to reveal the network had a Plan B in case Lauer decided not to continue on Today. But Lauer is now expected to renew his deal with NBC, remaining one of the highest-paid men in television news.

Seacrest said he expected to renew his deal with American Idol as well, continuing his amazing streak as host of a top reality show, host of a syndicated radio show, host of a Hollywood news show on cable Tv and executive producer of a growing number of unscripted shows.

Though Lauer tried to end the interview on a light note, saying he and Seacrest are friends who talked not long after news reports of the Idol host's negotiations with NBC surfaced, viewers still saw an uncomfortable collision of business interests, off screen negotiations and onscreen brands.

Even as Lauer tried to get Seacrest to divulge what his discussions have been with NBC, Seacrest turned the tables by pushing Lauer to divulge his negotiations with NBC. In the end, viewers unaware of all the backstory likely had little idea what was going on behind the dazzling smiles and gladhanding of both men.

Gotta love the world of high-powered network TV.

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[Last modified: Wednesday, April 4, 2012 9:22am]


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