D.J. Petroro, who is Linda Bell Blue‘s No. 2, and Linda Fuller will be taking the reins of the show, CBS Television Distribution made official today. Bell Blue will remain in her job through the end of the current season, with the new team taking over for the show’s 33rd season in the fall. Her pending departure from Entertainment Tonight was first reported in September. Bell Blue, who has spent 19 years as executive producer of the iconic syndicated Hollywood-centric show, has signed a multi-year deal to transition into a new role as president of the newly created Entertainment Tonight Studios. In her new gig, she will oversee the creation of Entertainment Tonight-branded series and specials for cable, broadcast and digital platforms. This is not a stretch — during her nearly two decades on the show, she executive produced loads of CBS primetime specials: the ABC reunion special Entertainment Tonight Presents: Laverne & Shirley Together Again; the recently produced Entertainment Tonight Presents: The Katy Perry Experience for TVGN; and four ET-branded specials on weight, plastic surgery, unsolved mysteries, and scandals and drug use in Hollywood.
Lotsa Internet sites are claiming just now that The Insider‘s Lara Spencer already has been chosen to replace Mary Hart as host of Entertainment Tonight. I, too, heard the rumor that Spencer was contractually guaranteed the gig during her last negotiation. But not so fast… “It hasn’t been promised to …
August 5, 2010, Hollywood, CA– Mary Hart, the host of Entertainment Tonight, announced today that her final year on the show will be ET’s upcoming 30th season, which launches September 13, 2010. Hart joined ET in 1982.
Hart says, “I’ve had the privilege of spending 29 years doing something I love – how often does that happen? I’ve had the support of a stupendous group of people starting with Linda Bell Blue, John Nogawski and many others who are so talented on our staff at ET. I only meant to be at ET for three years, suddenly it’s almost 30! I’ve reached a point when I clearly realize it’s time for a change. There are many things I want to do in my life and I’d better get on with them. It will certainly be with mixed sentiments that I say ‘goodbye’ at the end of the season, but it will definitely be with a sense of celebration…30 years of Entertainment Tonight, are you kidding me? That’s an accomplishment and something I’m very proud of!”