Ryan Seacrest is officially joining the "Today" show, NBC News announced Friday.
Seacrest will become a "special correspondent" for the show, part of a new two-year deal with NBC Universal that will see Seacrest expand his duties for the network, while cutting back slightly at E!
An NBC statement laid out the parameters of Seacrest's new role:
He contributes to NBC primetime news and produces and contributes to NBC entertainment programming. Seacrest also contributes to NBC’s primetime coverage of the Olympics, beginning with the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Seacrest hinted at the deal when he appeared on "Today" in early April. Then, he joked with Matt Lauer about rampant rumors that he could take over as a co-host of the show. (With Lauer himself signed to a new contract at "Today," those rumors have firmly been put to bed.)
"The idea is for me to join the NBC family while still having a role at E!" Seacrest said at the time.
When he turned up, "Today" rolled out the red carpet for him, with multiple segments, an appearance on the plaza, and even a joking shot of him at the main news desk. It was a signal of both the deepening relationship between the two sides, and of the clear importance NBC places in having Seacrest become a prominent face on its network. Having Seacrest at the ready won't hurt as "Today" battles a newly resurgent "Good Morning America" for ratings.