By MICHAEL GLYNN
American Idol host Ryan Seacrest has given the show’s producers and Fox executives an ultimatum — he wants a raise or he’ll quit.
In addition to a better deal, sources say Ryan also wants a writing and production credit on the show next season.
An insider said: “Ryan feels like he’s become the Rodney Dangerfield of TV — he never gets any respect. He’s fed up with being laughed at and ridiculed. He hates that people don’t take him seriously.
“First, his syndicated talk show On-Air With Ryan Seacrest was cancelled due to low ratings. Then, to add insult to injury, Ryan was recently passed over in favor of Bob Costas as Larry King‘s permanent replacement on Larry King Live on CNN.
“That really hurt Ryan because he was convinced he had a lock on the job as the regular substitute for Larry. Ryan was absolutely devastated.”
According to the insider, Ryan feels that if he can’t get recognition on another show, he should at least be getting it on American Idol. The show has become more popular than ever since country crooner Carrie Underwood beat long-haired rocker Bo Bice — the predicted winner — on the show’s fourth season finale in May.
“Ryan feels he’s just as much the soul of the singing contest show as judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson,” the insider revealed. “He straight out told show producers and the suits over at Fox: ‘If Jeff Probst can get both writing and producing credits on Survivor then I deserve them on Idol.’
“Ryan whined that if he didn’t get what he wanted, he would leave the show. But everyone believes that he’s just bluffing. Idol is the best thing that ever happened to him. It would be career suicide for Ryan to leave. Everyone’s laughing that it’s just an ‘Idol’ threat on his part.”