Nancy O'Dell to Replace Mary Hart on 'Entertainment Tonight'
It's been a busy week for Nancy O'Dell. Yesterday we heard that she'll be hosting Fox's New Year's Eve programming, and today it's been reported that she'll be taking over from Mary Hart on 'Entertainment Tonight' when Hart steps down next year.
O'Dell told People magazine: "I remember watching 'Entertainment Tonight' when it first premiered and dreaming about working for the show some day. ... I am honored to be the one chosen to fill a TV legend's seat and I hope I can do her proud!"
Over the summer, veteran reporter Hart announced her plans to leave 'Entertainment Tonight' in 2011 after nearly 30 years on the show. Yesterday, she said that "Leaving this job was not an easy decision, but knowing I will pass the baton to Nancy O'Dell makes that decision much easier. ... Nancy is a talented and respected entertainment correspondent. We have spent many years working on opposite sides of the celebrity battlefield and I know the show will flourish with Nancy as co-anchor."
O'Dell will join the CBS syndicated entertainment news magazine in January as a special correspondent. After Hart finishes her final season on the show, she will step into the role of co-host alongside Mark Steines.
A former Miss South Carolina, O'Dell previously hosted rival NBC show 'Access Hollywood' for 13 years before quitting unexpectedly last December. At the time it was announced that she'd walked away from the last two years of her contract in order to "take her career to the next level." However, rumors quickly swirled that her swift exit was due to a rift with fellow co-host Billy Bush.