He hasn't nabbed that Primetime Emmy yet, but Ryan Seacrest has landed himself one hell of a consolation prize: The biggest pay raise in reality-TV history.
The American Idol emcee has signed a whopping $45 million contract extension with the show's coproducer CKX's 19 Entertainment, and he'll continue lording over the top-rated talent competition for another three years.
So how much of a pay hike is it?
Seacrest's new deal—which evens out to $15 million-a-season—dwarfs the $5 million-a-season salary the 34-year-old currently earns. It also keeps him on Idol through 2012 and makes him the highest-paid reality host—ever.
In addition, he'll have more freedom to develop new projects with 19 and Idol mastermind Simon Fuller under his Ryan Seacrest Productions banner.
"I'm truly appreciative of being part of a show that has had such an enormous impact on popular culture across all ages," said Seacrest. "I look forward to expanding the relationship with Simon Fuller and [CKX chairman] Bob Sillerman, who share the same visionary approach to entertainment media that I strive for with every project."
Added Fuller: "Ryan is an essential ingredient to American Idol's success, and I am so happy that we will continue our relationship beyond 'Idol' into the future. Ryan is without doubt one of American television's most talented stars."
Seacrest, who, of course, also anchors E! News, hosts a daily radio show and American Top 40 and helps shepherd Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, leaked the big news this morning to fans online.
"Very excited about locking in a deal to host Idol for this season and the following 2," he twittered.
Seacrest also predicted all of the American Idol judges will be back next year as well. Paula Abdul and Kara DioGuardi's contracts expired at the end of last season and both are currently in negotiations for renewals. Cowell and Randy Jackson are signed for one more season.
Think the foursome will use Seacrest's hefty salary increase as leverage for their own contract demands?