Ryan Seacrest recently signed a huge deal with NBC. As a result, he's reporting from the Olympics -- proving himself as useful as cufflinks on pants. Let’s go back and eavesdrop on the NBC negotiations.
INT. RESTAURANT – DAY
An NBC VP of Business Affairs is sitting with Ryan Seacrest’s agent.
NBC: I’ve gotten a directive from upstairs to make a deal for Ryan Seacrest but I must admit, I don’t watch AMERICAN IDOL. I’m familiar with the name but not so much his work. So with all due respect, what does he do?
AGENT: He hosts.
NBC: That’s it? You’re asking for hundreds of millions.
AGENT: He also interviews… sometimes. We can negotiate that separately.
NBC: We have hosts.
AGENT: Yes, but you don’t have Ryan.
NBC: What does he do that’s so special?
AGENT: Ask Fox, and Clear Channel, and E! TELEVISION. They’re paying him a combined $300 million.
NBC: For what?
AGENT: For being Ryan.
NBC: What does that mean?
AGENT: People love him.
AGENT: He has that… thing.
NBC: What thing?
AGENT: I don’t have to sit here and be insulted by you! He's a personality! A celebrity! A pop icon!
NBC: Okay. Fine. We’ll move on. I’ll just assume he’s very talented… at something.
AGENT: Whatever that something is, he's the best at it!
NBC: The trouble is – we don’t need another host. We have lots of hosts.
AGENT: Oh, Ryan doesn’t want to host.
NBC: He doesn’t?
AGENT: No. He already does that.
NBC: So I’m confused. What are we buying?
AGENT: A versatile entertainer who can do it all.
NBC: Is he funny?
NBC: Can he act?
NBC: Can he sing?
NBC: Then tell me again what “he can do it all” means?
AGENT: He can be a special correspondent for news and sports.
NBC: Has he ever done news or sports?
AGENT: Again with the insults?
NBC: Okay. Sorry. Where has he done news and sports?
NBC: So why does he want to do news and sports?
AGENT: Because he doesn’t do them already. But I'm sure he'll give the same flair to them as he does to the... other things he does -- all of them well.
NBC: Does he even like news and sports?
AGENT: Well, he likes showbiz news. And he goes to Superbowl parties. So I’d have to say yeah.
NBC: What can he contribute?
AGENT: I can’t believe you’re asking me these questions. This is Ryan Seacrest. Ryan! Seacrest!
NBC: Okay. Fine. Can we put him on THE TODAY SHOW?
AGENT: You’d have to tape it.
AGENT: He has a morning radio show.
NBC: You mean he wouldn’t be exclusive to us?
AGENT: Well… semi-exclusive.
NBC: What does that mean?
AGENT: He’s not on CBS. And if you have the Dish Satellite and don’t get certain networks, you won’t see him on those either.
NBC: But he’s on everything else.
AGENT: A talent that big can’t be contained to one network.
NBC: Okay. Let me ask you. This talent – do all these other networks and radio conglomerates know what it is?
AGENT: They don’t have to know. That’s the beauty of it. I get them in a bidding war and the more they offer the more they assume the other guy knows.
NBC: So nobody knows what Ryan Seacrest does.
AGENT: All the more reason why everyone wants to be in business with him.
NBC: My head is spinning. Give me a few days. I’ll get back to you.
AGENT: Okay. Fine. Listen, now that I’ve got you. I think we should talk about re-negotiating my other client’s deal.
NBC: Who’s your other client?
AGENT: Carson Daly.