Photo Credit: Peter Kramer/NBC via Getty Images
When NBC began teasing that Ryan Seacrest would make a big announcement during his Wednesday morning appearance on Today, the public was left wondering whether the rumors that the American Idol host might soon replace co-anchor Matt Lauer were true. And so, Lauer got straight to the point in their interview, asking Seacrest: Are you taking my job?
"Oh, they didn't tell you?" Seacrest, 37, cracked in response, jokingly adding adding that his conversations with NBC brass "were mostly about filling in to do weather."
But although Seacrest was cagey about his Today show future, he did make that big announcement: He'll be joining the NBC family, which, like the E! channel falls under the umbrella of NBC Universal. And he'll have a pretty great first gig for the network.
"The plan is for me to join the NBC family and continue to have a role with the E! Network," he said, adding that his first assignment will be to join NBC's primetime team covering the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
When Lauer asked Seacrest where he pictures himself in five years, Seacrest continued to play coy about the Today show rumors.
"Same height, but hopefully balancing everything I've been able to build and doing a good job at it," Seacrest said. He then turned the tables on Lauer, saying: "I see you doing this for as long as you want to, so maybe the question is, how long will you be on the Today show?"
To set the record straight, Lauer admitted that he and Seacrest have had dinner together and talked about the rumors off the air. "I think you would be great at this job, and secondly, we have discussed this, Ryan and I are friendly," Lauer said. "We have talked about this and joked about this. There is no tension here. I bought dinner, which I think was completely inappropriate."
With Seacrest's big plans to head to primetime NBC, there is still the question of whether Seacrest will continue to host FOX's American Idol.
"I plan to stay there," he said. "I expect to be on that show... We're almost there (in negotiations)."
As Seacrest has been trumpeted as the king of reality television, Lauer asked Seacrest where he sees the genre going in the future.
"It's all about great stories and great storylines. These families, as you've seen, are very interesting. There's never a dull moment with the shows that we produce. I don't see that going away," Seacrest said. "We're still looking for the next thing."