What does it take to be a good TV host? If you're Ryan Seacrest -- who's hosted "American Idol" and "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve," among other programs -- it's about putting people at ease and keeping things moving. It's not as easy as it looks. Here are others who have been great at a sometimes underrated job.
Dick Clark, seen here in 1957, was the model of a good TV host. He readily gave up the stage and dance floor to "American Bandstand" visitors, oversaw "The $10,000 Pyramid" and its relations, and appeared on countless music and entertainment specials before he died in 2012. Seacrest co-hosted "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve" with him and considered him a mentor.
Drew Carey, left, made his name as a stand-up comic, but he's proven to be a capable host. Among his gigs: "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" and "The Price Is Right," where he followed the great Bob Barker.
Chris Harrison hit it big with "The Bachelor" and its spinoffs, where his role has been to sustain the fantasies of contestants while walking the audience through the action. He recently became host of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire," the long-running game show.
For decades, Alistair Cooke was America's favorite British TV host, welcoming PBS viewers to "Masterpiece Theatre" from 1971 to 1992. He also hosted a 1950s CBS arts series, "Omnibus."
Wayne Brady can sing, dance, do comedy -- and host. He had his own talk show, "The Wayne Brady Show," and has handled "Let's Make a Deal" since 2009.
Over more than six decades, Regis Philbin has done more hosting than almost anybody. In fact, he's in the Guinness Book of World Records as the person who has spent the most time in front of a TV camera. He's hosted local TV shows, morning talk shows (such as "Live with Regis and Kelly," here with Kelly Ripa), late-night shows and game shows, notably the prime-time run of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire."
In the '90s, Ellen DeGeneres was probably best known as a comedian and sitcom star, but these days she's most closely associated with her talk show, "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," which has run since 2003. Oh, she's also hosted the Oscars, Emmys and Grammys.
Phil Donahue's groundbreaking daytime talk show, "Donahue," was known for venturing where other shows (especially daytime talk shows) feared to tread, by addressing subjects such as religion, sexuality and politics. Yet Donahue was respectful of other opinions and brought the audience along, even if they had to call in. ("Is the caller there?" became a Donahue catchphrase.) He later had a show on MSNBC.
Oprah Winfrey took Donahue's lead and made it both personal and universal, creating a powerhouse program that led to a broadcasting empire. She remains one of the most powerful (and wealthy) women in the world, but has always been able to relate to the average viewer.
In his long career on radio and TV, Larry King has attracted millions of viewers to his talk shows simply by being curious. His CNN show, "Larry King Live," helped establish the news network. Today, King is active in podcasting and social media.
Neil Patrick Harris is another performing threat, but he's proven he can handle hosting duties. He's done the Emmys, the Oscars and his own show, "Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris."
Arsenio Hall broke ground with his late '80s/early '90s talk show, "The Arsenio Hall Show," bringing African-American culture to late-night TV. He attracted a presidential candidate named Bill Clinton, who went on to greater success.
Britain's Graham Norton brought offbeat comedy and forthright questions to guests with such shows as "So Graham Norton" and "The Graham Norton Show." But his eagerness is endearing, not abrasive, and he's attracted a loyal following.
As a model, Heidi Klum may have seemed as intimidating to the average guy as Tyra Banks, but as a host she's an encouraging friend on such programs as "Project Runway" and "Germany's Next Top Model."
Nick Cannon has plenty of encouraging words for the contestants on "America's Got Talent" -- a talent he's had for years, thanks to his previous experience on shows such as "The Nick Cannon Show" and "Wild 'N Out."
Before RuPaul hosted "RuPaul's Drag Race," he was a singer in Atlanta clubs and then on such hits as "Supermodel (You Better Work)." Now he guides the action on his Logo show, which has spawned two spin-offs.
Tom Bergeron doesn't have to put on the glitz for "Dancing With the Stars," but his experience on such shows as "Hollywood Squares" and Boston-area TV has proven indispensable to his role as the host of the hit ABC series.
Performer Cat Deeley has her own dancers to worry about on Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance." She's also hosted a BBC show, "Fame Academy," and a British children's show.
Mario Lopez has been a cheerful presence on "America's Best Dance Crew" and "The X Factor." Here he dances with Michelle Obama as part of the first lady's Let's Move initiative.