2007-2008 season logo for Entertainment Tonight
|Created by||Al Masini|
|Presented by||Mary Hart (1982–present)
Mark Steines (2004–present)
|Country of origin||United States|
|Executive producer(s)||Linda Bell Blue|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Paramount Television
Taft Entertainment Television
Great American Broadcasting
CBS Paramount Television
|Distributor||Paramount Television (1981-2006)
CBS Paramount Television (2006-2009)
CBS Television Distribution (2009-present)
|Original run||September 15, 1981 – present|
|[ET Online.com Official website]|
Entertainment Tonight is a daily tabloid-style television entertainment news show that is syndicated by CBS Television Distribution throughout the United States, Canada 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". 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 Center, one of the final steps involving the incorporation 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.
Comprised 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.
Veteran television producer Al Masini, coming off his success with the 1980 debut of 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 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,whi 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; and attorney Howard K. Stern, from the Anna Nicole Smith paternity controversy. ET has also aired exclusive stories related to Anna Nicole Smith, including coverage of her funeral, and her surviving daughter.
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, Clooney stated 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.
Entertainment Tonight is currently 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. Melissa Rycroft a special correspondent covering parties, award shows, and premieres.
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), and ninth season (Marie Osmond). 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.
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.