Entertainment Tonight

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For the Canadian version, see Entertainment Tonight Canada.
Entertainment Tonight
Entertainment Tonight 2014 logo.png
Created by Al Masini
Presented by Weekday edition:
Nancy O'Dell (2011–present)
Kevin Frazier (2014-present)
Weekend edition:
Rocsi Diaz (2013–present)
Brooke Anderson (2012–present)
Theme music composer Michael Mark (original)
will.i.am (2012 recomposition)
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 33
No. of episodes 10,211 (as of April 25, 2014 - 8510 weekdays, 1701 weekend)
Production
Executive producer(s) Brad Bessey, Linda Fuller
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 22 minutes (weekdays)
44 minutes (weekend)
Production company(s) Paramount Domestic Television (1981–2006)
in association with:
Cox Broadcasting (1981–1997)
Taft Entertainment Television (1981–1987)
Great American Broadcasting (1987–1991)
TeleRep (1981–1991)
CBS Paramount Domestic Television (2006–2007)
CBS Television Distribution (2007–present)
Distributor Paramount Domestic Television (1981–2006)
CBS Paramount Domestic Television (2006–2007)
CBS Television Distribution (2007–present)
Broadcast
Original channel Syndicated
Picture format 1981–2008:
NTSC (480i)
2008–present:
HDTV 1080i
Audio format Stereophonic
Original run September 14, 1981 – present
External links
Website

Entertainment Tonight, (stylized as ET), is a daily tabloid entertainment television news show that is syndicated by CBS Television Distribution throughout the United States, in Canada on Global, and in many countries around the world. Until the start of the 2013-14 television season, the program made the claim that it is "the most watched entertainment news magazine in the world" (though by what measures this claim was verified was never revealed). It is the longest-running entertainment news program, with its first broadcast on September 14, 1981, and was the first syndicated program distributed via satellite. Mary Hart served as the show's primary anchor from 1982 until her departure on May 20, 2011. Mark Steines and Nancy O'Dell took on the roles of primary hosts of the show once Hart left. O'Dell then became the sole host of the show after Steines left the show on July 27, 2012. Rob Marciano became Nancy O'Dell's permanent co-host on January 7, 2013.

It was announced on January 30, 2006, that Entertainment Tonight was renewed through the 2011–2012 season, which was the show's 30th season. On September 8, 2008, Entertainment Tonight began to air in high definition with the move of the program from its longtime home at Stage 28 on the Paramount Pictures studio lot to Stage 4 at CBS Studio Center, one of the final steps involving the incorporation of Paramount's former syndication arm, Paramount Domestic Television, into CBS' distribution arms and the adoption of the then-new CBS Television Distribution name, which all took place following the breakup of the original Viacom in 2005.[1] As of the 2014 awards season, the staff and hosts of ET handle all red carpet event coverage for CBS's sister cable network TVGN (which CBS acquired a half-interest of in mid-2013), and air said programming on that network leading into award and movie premiere events as an extension of ET, usually under the title of ET at the (event name).

In its early years, ET was co-produced with TeleRep (who left after 1991), Cox Broadcasting (who left after 1997), and Taft/Great American Broadcasting (who left after 1991). Paramount Domestic Television would later absorb syndication companies that the latter two had once owned: Rysher Entertainment (formerly owned by Cox) and Worldvision Enterprises (formerly owned by Taft/Great American).

Overview[edit]

Logo used until 2014

Format[edit]

In its current form, Entertainment Tonight airs as half of a one-hour entertainment news block that also includes a spin-off, The Insider. Three versions of the show were previously compiled and made available to broadcasters: a "standalone" version, a version for stations that air The Insider just beforehand, and one for those that air The Insider immediately after. Since 2009, the only version produced and distributed is the standalone version as carriage of The Insider outside of primary markets has been reduced to lower-tier stations and timeslots, making complimentary coverage between the two shows impossible.

ET Weekend (formerly known as Entertainment This Week), a one-hour weekend edition, is also produced. Originally a recap of the week's news, most or all episodes later transitioned to have some sort of special theme; though the weekend edition has begun to use either format, most commonly editions showing replays of stories that were shown during the previous week's editions, depending on the episode. ET Radio Minute, a daily radio feature, is syndicated by Westwood One. The show also provides individualized teasers to some of their airing stations to be carried during newscasts leading into the show.

Composed of breaking news stories, exclusive set visits, first looks at upcoming film and television projects, and one-on-one interviews with Hollywood talents and celebrities, ET's regular segments include "The Latest News," a quick round up of the day's biggest stories; "Story from Studio 4," a lengthier analysis of Hollywood's hottest topics; "Real or Rumor," where rumors circulating Hollywood are confirmed or denied.

Since the mid-1980s, ET mentioned a few birthdays each day (American Greetings sponsored this segment from 1993 to 2000, then Hallmark Cards sponsored this segment for a short time; Old Navy, Procter & Gamble and 1-800-Flowers.com were also short-lived sponsors, but since 2009, no sponsor). However, since mid-2014, it appears that this segment is semi-retired (the birthdays are mentioned on weekends only), and it is possible that this segment will soon be permanently retired in the not-too-distant future.

Background[edit]

Veteran television producer Alfred Masini, coming off his success with the 1980 debut of Solid Gold, was the program's creator. Richard Frank, president of Paramount Television, his vice president of programming, John E. Goldhammer, and his vice president of development, Mel Harris, hired managers and producers from local news stations such as original managing editor Jim Bellows, formerly of the Los Angeles Herald Examiner. Early on, Frank, Goldhammer, and Harris held many discussions with producers, writers, and directors about what kind of program ET should be. Although the pilot was executive produced by Jack Haley Jr., Andy Friendly was hired as the show's first producer. (Haley still remained on as executive consultant.) He left the show after 6 weeks and Goldhammer took it over. Goldhammer established the program's unique look, sound, pace and reporting style. Friendly put together a diverse staff ranging from former rock roadies to veteran television reporters of the Vietnam War era—some of whom continued to work on the show for more than twenty years. In 1982, Goldhammer hired Mary Hart and Leeza Gibbons to host the daily and weekend shows. In 2013, after 19 years, Executive Producer Linda Bell Blue decided to retire from the show.[2]

Controversy[edit]

In the early years, Entertainment Tonight, following a local newscast format, consisted primarily of coverage of the latest movies, music, and television. During Bellows' years the series also developed a series of investigative reports about Hollywood's drug use and hiring practices; but during the 1996–97 season ET began to include more sensational fare, featuring paid exclusive interviews with controversial and infamous newsmakers of the day, including disgraced Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding, who became notorious for her role in the conspiracy to physically attack rival Nancy Kerrigan at a 1994 U.S. Figure Skating Championships practice session; Amy Fisher, who appeared with Joey and Mary Jo Buttafuoco, reunited after Fisher's infamous assault on Mrs. Buttafuoco; convicted child molester Mary Kay Letourneau, who married Vili Fualaau;[3] and attorney Howard K. Stern, from the Anna Nicole Smith paternity controversy.[4][5] ET has also aired exclusive stories related to Anna Nicole Smith, including coverage of her funeral, and her surviving daughter.[6]

In 1996, actor George Clooney decided to boycott Entertainment Tonight to protest the presence of intrusive paparazzi after Hard Copy did an exposé about his love life, violating an agreement he had with Paramount, which produced both shows.[7] In a letter he sent to Paramount, Clooney stated that he would encourage his friends to do the same.[8] Although Clooney has since ended his boycott, Entertainment Tonight has continued to broadcast video and photography taken by celebrity-stalking paparazzi, with some of the staff of Hard Copy absorbed into the staff of Entertainment Tonight after that program's 1999 cancellation, though the program's stance softened after its shift to high-definition broadcasting due to many agencies having not made the conversion when it did so, along with more aggressive selling techniques by agencies and photos making acquisition of images impossible due to program budget constraints.

Behind-the-scenes staffing changes throughout 2014 and technology have also played a role in reducing the show's paparazzi footage considerably. Notably, the rise of celebrity-friendly social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and WhoSay which are now instituted within many entertainment shows has replaced much of the show's time which used to be devoted to analyzing celebrity footage. After pressure via a social media campaign by Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell, ET and its sister show The Insider announced in February 2014 it would no longer accept footage or pictures of the children of celebrities from paparazzi photographers.[9]

Special correspondents[edit]

Entertainment Tonight has many special correspondents who report on particular features for the show, usually having had a role in the program they work on. Paula Abdul was a special correspondent for ET's coverage of American Idol, and Dancing with the Stars had correspondents for the second season (Tatum O'Neal), third season (Lisa Rinna), fifth season (Donny Osmond), ninth season (Marie Osmond) and eleventh season (Niecy Nash). Diane Diamond is a special correspondent for high-profile trials; she featured coverage of the investigation following Michael Jackson's death in June 2009. Adam Lambert was the fashion correspondent at the 2010 Grammys. Melissa Rycroft was a special correspondent covering parties, award shows, and premieres.

On-air staff[edit]

Current[edit]

Anchors[edit]

  • Nancy O'Dell - co-anchor (2011–present)
  • Kevin Frazier – weekday/weekend co-anchor (since September 9, 2014; was previously on ET from 2004 to 2011)

Correspondents[edit]

  • Brooke Anderson - correspondent/fill-in co-anchor (2012–present)
  • Rocsi Diaz - correspondent/weekend co-anchor (2013–present)
  • Joe Zee - fashion (industry/red carpet) correspondent (2013–present)

Former[edit]

International versions[edit]

Currently there are no localized versions of the program airing outside of North America. The only ET currently licensed by CBS Television Distribution is Canada's Entertainment Tonight Canada, which has aired on Global since September 12, 2005, with host Cheryl Hickey and lead correspondent Rick Campanelli. It airs back-to-back with the American version on most of Global's stations, and also contributes to Global's Canadian content requirements.

Defunct[edit]

An Australian version was produced by Nine Network during the 1990s which was presented by Richard Wilkins and Marie Patane, with journalist Terry Willesee as guest host. The show was a mix of locally produced stories and those imported from the American program. Due to cost considerations in 2000 only the original American series was aired. In 2012 Nine decided not renew the contract for the show with CBS Television Distribution which Nine (and beginning from 2009, their second digital channel GO!) had been airing for 30 years from 1982; the last episode aired was the 30 June 2012 edition. Telepictures's competing Extra replaced it on 2 July 2012 as part of their existing contract with Warner Bros. Television Distribution.

Entertainment Tonight UK a weekly omnibus of local and American-originated content hosted by Irish celebrity Amanda Byram, launched in January 2005 on Sky One, which additionally aired each US episode a day or two the American broadcast.

The two non-English versions were the French version for France under the name Exclusif, hosted by Thierry Clopeau (1998), Emmanuelle Gaume (1998–2000), Flavie Flament (2000–2001), Valérie Bénaïm (2001–2002) and Frédéric Joly (1998–2002) with correspondents such as Ness, Stéphanie Pillonca, Génie Godula and Jonathan Lambert. In Brazil, the program was titled TV Fama (TV Fame) and hosted by Nelson Rubens and Flávia Noronha.

International carriage[edit]

Asia[edit]

Indonesia's JakTV aired the show for only a year during 2005.

India's Big CBS Prime began airing the show with a special broadcast from November 29, 2010.

The show also currently airs on the Philippines' 2nd Avenue and on the Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC), based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Oceania[edit]

New Zealand's TV3 originally only broadcast the weekday center-cut edition until November 6, 2012 with a separately sourced SD 16:9 widescreen version for the weekend edition. SD 16:9 widescreen versions are now used for both the weekend and weekday editions. The weekday show currently airs the same day as the US on TV3 from 4:30PM NZST with the weekend edition from 1PM NZST Sundays on TV3 (re-run late night on FOUR).

Australia's Network Ten from July 30, 2012, announced they had acquired the free to air rights as part of their existing contract with CBS Television Distribution who part owns Eleven to begin airing the previous days episode on Ten from August 6, 2012 at 3.30pm weekdays. A re-run of that episode airs after midnight on Eleven. Foxtel's Arena channel airs the weekend edition on Sundays at 5:30PM as well as the weekday edition after 10PM.

Competition[edit]

Despite stiff competition from Access Hollywood, Extra, TMZ, its own "sister" program The Insider, Inside Edition (which is also produced by CBS Television Distribution) and E! News, Entertainment Tonight remains one of the top 10 highest-rated syndicated programs. Back in the fall of 2007, its daytime TV rankings were fluctuating between fourth and fifth place due to competition from fellow CBS-syndicated program Judge Judy.[11][12]

Footnotes[edit]

External links[edit]