American Idol host Ryan Seacrest will have an on-camera television job after the Fox show comes to an end: NBC announced today that he’ll host NBC’s late-night Olympic coverage from Rio.
His work as a correspondent during the London Olympics went very well, starting with NBC’s decision to interrupt the opening ceremony with his pre-taped boring things, and continuing on to his interviews that Los Angeles Times critic Mary McNamara pointed out highlighted “his lack of sports knowledge but also the mystifyingly successful Seacrest brand of blandocity.”
Those who didn’t like his ability to turn exciting into insipid may just have been a vocal minority: A poll by THR found that 78 percent of viewers approved of his coverage, though Bob Costas scored a 92 percent.
Possibly a better Olympics job for Seacrest
Seacrest is taking over the Olympics job previously held by veteran broadcasters Bob Costas (during the 2014 winter Olympics in Sochi) and Mary Carillo (during the 2012 London summer Olympics).
Yes, he is a talented host, and does extremely well with everything American Idol requires of him. (Just look at the parade of failed live, shiny-floor competition show hosts who tried to follow him.) His Olympics show will be live from Rio, so perhaps it’ll fit his talents better than what NBC had him do in London.
As to Mary Carillo, I hope being freed from evening hosting duty means more time for other coverage, because she is amazing and one of the best parts of the Olympics.