Seacrest was born on December 24, 1974, in Piedmont Hospital, Atlanta, Georgia, and raised in the suburb of Dunwoody, the son of Constance Marie (née Zullinger), a homemaker, and Gary Lee Seacrest, a real estate lawyer. His mother told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Instead of playing with G.I. Joes or Cowboys and Indians, [Ryan] would always have a little microphone and do shows in the house.”
At age 14, he attended Dunwoody High School. At age 16, while still attending high school, Seacrest won an internship at WSTR (FM), in Atlanta, with Tom Sullivan, who trained him in the many aspects of radio. When the regular DJ called in sick, Sullivan put him on the air for the very first show of his broadcasting career. Seacrest was given the weekend overnight shift at WSTR.
Seacrest continued to work on air at WSTR until graduating from Dunwoody High School in 1992. Seacrest went on to study journalism at the University of Georgia in fall 1992. He continued his radio show at a local Athens station. Seacrest left the university at age 19 and moved to Hollywood to pursue his broadcasting career.
In 1993, Seacrest hosted the first season of ESPN’s Radical Outdoor Challenge. He also hosted three kids’ game shows, Gladiators 2000 from 1994-96 (a spinoff of the television show, American Gladiators), Wild Animal Games in 1995, and Click in 1997. Seacrest appeared as the host of the fictional game show Lover’s Lane on Beverly Hills, 90210 in “The Final Proof”. In the fall and winter of 2000, Seacrest was the host of The NBC Saturday Night Movie. During commercial breaks, he offered trivia on the film and a chance to win prizes by answering online on NBCi. In 2001, he hosted a reality television program, Ultimate Revenge, where elaborate practical jokes were played on family and friends instigated by their own relatives and friends. It was shown on TNN from 2001 to 2003.
- American Idol
In 2002, Seacrest accepted the position as co-host of a new Fox reality television series American Idol with comedian Brian Dunkleman. American Idol went on to success, putting Seacrest in the national spotlight. The following year, he became the sole host. When the show increased in popularity, seen by some 26 million viewers weekly, Seacrest became recognizable around the world. In 2003, Seacrest hosted the spin-off show, American Juniors. In July 2009, Seacrest inked a deal with CKX for $45 million to continue to host American Idol, making him the highest paid reality television host to date. In April 2012, Seacrest signed a two-year, $30 million deal to stay on as host of American Idol. In May 2014, Deadline.com reported that he had signed a one-year deal with the option of another year.
- New Year’s Rockin’ Eve
In August 2005, it was announced that Seacrest would become executive producer and co-host of ABC’s Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. On December 31, 2005, Seacrest performed much of the show’s hosting duties. Dick Clark’s role was limited by speech and mobility issues due to his recovery from a stroke. Seacrest also occasionally served as a substitute host on the CNN television program Larry King Live, and co-emceed Larry King’s final show with Bill Maher on December 16, 2010. In 2009, ABC renamed the program Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest, to reflect Seacrest’s role. The 40th Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, co-hosted by Ryan Seacrest, delivered ABC’s biggest New Years’ numbers in twelve years, with 22.6 million viewers.
When Dick Clark died, Seacrest publicly remembered his mentor’s impact on his life in a special tribute in The Hollywood Reporter. After Clark’s death, Seacrest hosted the 2013 edition of Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with co-hosts Jenny McCarthy and Fergie paying tribute to Dick Clark in the pre-show. In October 2013, Seacrest signed a multi-year contract extension with Dick Clark Productions to continue as host and executive producer of Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.
- Knock Knock Live
Seacrest is the host of Knock Knock Live, premiering on Fox on Tuesday, July 21, 2015, live at 9pm ET, tape delayed at 9pm PT. Knock Knock Live is a show where celebrities arrive at the door of ordinary people who’ve done something special and give them a prize. Seacrest is in an L.A. studio while a team of helpers including Kellie Pickler and Ross Mathews will arrive at the front door of people across the United States. “Everyone from David Beckham to Justin Bieber is helping us out on this show,” says Seacrest. “When they answer the door, they’re given a challenge. They can win prizes, meet celebrities or have a dream come true.”
In January 2006, US cable channel E! announced a three-year, $21 million deal for Seacrest to host and produce various programs, including E! News and its red carpet awards show coverages (E!’s signature piece of original programming). That same year, Seacrest launched Ryan Seacrest Productions (RSP); in August 2008, Seacrest named his longtime William Morris Agent, Adam Sher, as CEO. Comcast had first-look rights for all RSP shows through January 2012. Clear Channel acquired a minority stake in RSP in early 2012, but the company no longer has a first look deal with any network.
Seacrest remains managing editor of E! News and produces its red carpet awards show coverage but no longer hosts (since January 2012) E! News on a daily basis.
In April 2012, Seacrest signed a deal with NBCUniversal expanding his on-air role beyond E! to NBC. He contributed to the Today Show, Olympics coverage, entertainment programming, as well as news and other special events. Seacrest will remain managing editor of E! News and host and produce its red carpet awards show coverage.
An Associated Press profile portrayed Seacrest as using both the deal with E! and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve as springboards to a long-lasting career in television production and ownership.
Seacrest produces the hit series Keeping Up with the Kardashians, the highest-rated show on the E! network, and the spin-offs Khloe and Lamar, Kourtney and Kim Take New York and Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami. RSP also produced the Emmy Award-winning ABC reality series Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. RSP also produced two new reality series in 2012 including Melissa and Tye, which aired on CMT and Shahs of Sunset for Bravo. Bravo announced a second season of Shahs of Sunset on April 18, 2012. RSP’s new show Married to Jonas premiered on August 19, 2012 on E! and was renewed for a second season.
On January 31, 2012, Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital announced they would invest up to $300M in Ryan Seacrest Media. A consortium headed by Seacrest (with partners AEG and CAA) agreed to rebrand Mark Cuban’s HDNet television network as AXS TV.
In 2010, Seacrest launched the nonprofit Ryan Seacrest Foundation. The foundation has nine centers at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Children’s Hospital of Orange County, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Children’s National Medical Center, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Children’s Medical Center Dallas, Boston Children’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital Colorado In April 2012, Seacrest named Selena Gomez as Ambassador to the Foundation.
- On Air with Ryan Seacrest: Host, executive producer of this syndicated daily show airing on over 150 stations in North America alone, with affiliates worldwide
- American Top 40: Host of this syndicated weekly countdown show since 2004
- 2003 Radio Music Awards: Co-host
- 102.7 KIIS-FM Los Angeles: Since 2004, Morning Drive Personality with co-host Ellen K.
- Former On-Air Personality at KYSR, WSTR
- 98.7 FM, 1pm to 4pm
- Knocked Up as a parody of himself
- Get Smart as himself (hosting American Top 40)
- Shrek Forever After as voice of the father of “Butter Pants”
- New Year’s Eve as himself (hosting Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve)
- American Idol: Co-Host (season 1); Host (season 2 – season 15)
- American Juniors: Host (2003)
- Bank of Hollywood: Producer (2009-present)
- Channel 1 News: News Anchor/Reporter: Co-anchor with Maria Menounos
- Click: Host
- CNET Central: Co-Host
- Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve: Host (2005-present), executive producer
- E! News: co-host
- Super Bowl XLII (2008): Host for pregame and halftime shows
- Gladiators 2000: Co-Host
- Wild Animal Games: Host
- The New Edge: Host
- Ultimate Revenge: Host
- Fear Factor: Contestant
- Reality Check: Jack Craft
- The NBC Saturday Night Movie: Host
- Hey Arnold!: Fighting Families Host
- Larry King Live: Guest host, substitute host
- Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade: (2005-present): Host
- America’s Party: Live from Las Vegas: Host
- Good Day Live: Guest host
- Disneyland 2000: 45 Years of Magic: Host
- Robot Chicken: (2005) Himself
- 59th Primetime Emmy Awards: Host
- Mind of Mencia: (2005) Himself
- Blind Date: Himself
- Punk’d: Himself
- Keeping Up with the Kardashians: Executive Producer
- Denise Richards: It’s Complicated: Executive Producer
- 2009 Academy Awards Host on E!
- Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution: Executive Producer
- Shahs of Sunset: Executive Producer
- Melissa & Tye: Executive Producer
- Married to Jonas Executive Producer
- The Million Second Quiz: Host