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Entertainment Tonight is a daily tabloid-like television entertainment news show that is syndicated by CBS Television Distribution throughout the United Statesmarker, Canadamarker and in many countries around the world. Kaylee Stacey is the producer. The show makes the claim that it is "the most watched entertainment newsmagazine in the world" (though by what measures this claim is verified is unknown). 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. It was announced on January 30, 2006, that Entertainment Tonight has been renewed through the 2011–2012 season, which will be the show's 31st season. On September 8, 2008, Entertainment Tonight began to air in high definition with the move of the program from their longtime home at Stage 28 on the Paramount Studios lot to Stage 4 of the CBS Studio Centermarker, one of the final steps involving the insulation of the former Paramount Domestic Television entity of Paramount Pictures into the new CBS Television Distribution division of CBS created in the wake of the CBS-Viacom breakup of January 2006.



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 are 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. Recently, only the "standalone" version is aired, even on stations that air ET and The Insider back-to-back (or vice-versa).

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 now have some sort of special theme. ET Radio Minute, a daily radio feature, is syndicated by Westwood One.


Veteran television producer Al Masini, coming off his success with the 1970s television hit Solid Gold, was the program's creator. John E. Goldhammer, Executive VP Programing for Paramount Television hired managers and producers from local news stations such as original managing editor Jim Bellows, formerly of the Los Angeles Herald Examiner. Early on, many discussions were held with producers, creators, and directors about what kind of program ET should be. Andy Friendly was the show's original producer. He left the show after 6 weeks and Goldhammer took it over establishing the program's unique look, sound, pace and reporting style. He 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 the early years, Entertainment Tonight, following a Local News 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.

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. In a letter he sent to Paramount announcing plans to boycott the program, Clooney wrote that he would encourage his friends to do the same. 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.


As of November 2009, Entertainment Tonight is hosted by Mary Hart and Mark Steines with several correspondents, including Kevin Frazier and Samantha Harris who host the weekend edition. Leonard Maltin is the film correspondent and reviewer for the show, while Steven Cojocaru covers the Hollywood fashion industry and red carpet events.

Special correspondents

Entertainment Tonight also 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), and fifth season (Donny Osmond). Marcia Clark is a special correspondent for high profile trials and for the red carpet at awards shows. Diane Diamond is a special corrspondent pertaining to the investigation following Michael Jackson's death in June 2009.

Lead hosts

  1. Ron Hendren, Marjorie Wallace and Tom Hallick 1981
  2. Ron Hendren and Dixie Whatley from 1981 to 1982
  3. Mary Hart and Ron Hendren from 1982 to 1984
  4. Mary Hart and Robb Weller from 1984 to 1986
  5. Mary Hart and John Tesh from 1986 to 1996
  6. Mary Hart and Bob Goen from 1996 to 2004
  7. Mary Hart and Mark Steines from 2004 to present

Previous co-hosts and correspondents

Entertainment Tonight in other countries

  • Entertainment Tonight UK, hosted by Irish celebrity Amanda Byram, launched in January 2005 on satellite/cable pay TV channel Sky One (which additionally airs each US episode a day or two after its American showing).

  • An Australian version was produced by Australia's Nine Network during the 1990s, presented by Richard Wilkins and Marie Patane, with journalist Terry Willesee as guest host. The show was essentially a mix of locally produced stories and those imported from the American program. It ended in 2000 and was replaced by the American version. The American show is now shown at 10 am on GO!, also airing on the cable channel Arena with its sister program The Insider.

  • Entertainment Tonight was aired in 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). There were several correspondents like Ness, Stéphanie Pillonca, Génie Godula and Jonathan Lambert.


Despite stiff competition from Access Hollywood, Extra, and newcomer TMZ (and Showbiz Tonight and E! News on cable), Entertainment Tonight remains one of the Top 10 highest-rated syndicated programs. As of Fall 2007, its daytime TV rankings are fluctuating between fourth and fifth place, due to competition from fellow CBS-syndicated program Judge Judy.


  1. 'ET' Ponies Up for Letourneau Wedding, Zap 2 It, April 28, 2005
  2. Howard K. Stern Lived Off Anna Nicole Smith, Wild Starz, February 21, 2007
  4. On the Heels of Anna Nicole's Death, Tragedy at The Insider, Jossip, February 8, 2007
  5. Stardom is double-edged sword for private Clooney, CNN Showbiz, December 13, 1996
  6. CLOONEY TUNE:THE 'ER' STAR TAKES ON TABLOID TV, Entertainment Weekly, November 8, 1996
  7. Media Life Magazine - Making Whoopi: 'View' ratings are up
  8. Syndication Ratings: Syndies Brighten as Days Darken - 10/24/2007 3:17:00 PM - Broadcasting & Cable

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