Television: Shallow like a Fox

Ryan Seacrest of American Idol and On-Air hopes to turn pop fluff into an empire. Go ahead and laugh

Ryan Seacrest knows what you think of him. Knows it, because he pretty much thinks the same thing. Lightweight? "Let's face it," he says of his TV-hosting career. "It's not brain surgery." Superficial pretty boy? When The Simple Life co-star Nicole Richie told him, on his new syndicated daytime show On-Air with Ryan Seacrest, that her most important possession was her flatiron, he replied, "Oh, sister, trust me, I know. It's the only thing I have in my bathroom. That and Cosmo."

Seacrest, 29, delivers all this with his signature grin--bright, square-jawed, as wide as the grille on a '65 Cadillac--because...

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