Ryan Seacrest is the first American Idol holdout to sign on the dotted line
His journey…will not end…for at least three more seasons. Ryan Seacrest signed a $45 million deal with 19 Entertainment earlier this week that will keep him on board as host of American Idol and find him developing other projects with Idol creator Simon Fuller through 2012. Seacrest’s payday breaks down to $30 million for hosting seasons 9, 10, and 11, and $15 million for selling his Idol-related merchandising and promotional rights to 19, according to an SEC filing by 19’s parent company, CKX, Inc. Also under the terms of the contract: Seacrest cannot appear on any prime-time network program without 19’s consent. Reps for Idol judges Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell, Kara DioGuardi, and Randy Jackson — all of whom are reportedly in the midst of contract negotiations — did not respond to requests for comments for this story.
— Michael Slezak, with additional reporting by Adam B. Vary
The serial-killer drama Harper’s Island won’t get a second chance at life on CBS
The second killer’s identity in the finale of Harper’s Island may have been unpredictable, but the drama’s fate was not. Insiders tell EW that CBS is not expected to continue the low-rated series, which was originally conceived as an anthology that could come back yearly with new players. The drama was never a hit: It averaged only 4.8 million viewers over its 13-episode run, and was relegated to Saturdays after briefly airing on Thursdays in the spring. A spokesman for CBS declined to comment.
— Lynette Rice
Original Melrose Place star Daphne Zuniga will guest on the reboot
EW has learned that Daphne Zuniga closed a deal this week to reprise her role as photographer Jo Reynolds for two episodes of The CW’s Melrose Place update. Zuniga is the fourth actor from the original series who’s set to appear, along with Laura Leighton, Thomas Calabro, and Josie Bissett.
Jane Austen and sea monsters in a new mash-up
Jane Austen faced the living dead in Seth Grahame-Smith’s best-seller Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but she’ll soon have to fend off another supernatural foe: sea monsters. Quirk, the house that published Zombies, commissioned Ben H. Winters to write Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, another Austen mash-up, set for release on Sept. 15. ”[Quirk] gave me the title, a copy of Sense and Sensibility, and told me to go to town,” Winters tells EW. ”I loved the idea of sea monsters. It was fun to do something different.” Among the figures that will play a part in Monsters: mutant lobsters, sparkly octopuses, and pirates. ”I couldn’t resist pirates,” says Winters.
— Kate Ward, with additional reporting by Tina Jordan