Entertainment Tonight is a daily television entertainment news show that is syndicated by CBS Television Distribution throughout the United States, Canada and in many countries around the world. 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), and is 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 31th season. On September 8, 2008, the program 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 the CBS Studio Center.
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
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. Masini initially 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, establishing the program's unique look
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 the early years, Entertainment Tonight, following a PM Magazine format, consisted primarily of behind-the-scenes coverage of the latest movies, music, and television; 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:
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 June 2008, Entertainment Tonight
is hosted by Mary Hart
and Mark Steines
with several correspondents, including Jann Carl
(who co-hosts the weekend edition with Kevin Frazier
), Leonard Maltin
, Steven Cojocaru
, and Thea Andrews
also has many special correspondents who report on particular features for the show. Paula Abdul
is 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. (All information is correct as of June 2008.)
- Ron Hendren, Marjorie Wallace and Tom Hallick 1981
- Ron Hendren and Dixie Whatley from 1981 to 1982
- Ron Hendren and Mary Hart from 1982 to 1984
- Mary Hart and Robb Weller from 1984 to 1986
- Mary Hart and John Tesh from 1986 to 1996
- Mary Hart and Bob Goen from 1996 to 2004
- 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).
- Entertainment Tonight Canada was launched on the Global Television Network on September 12, 2005, with host Cheryl Hickey and lead correspondent Rick Campanelli. It airs back-to-back with the American version in most Canadian markets.
- 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 3 pm, 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.
- In Brazil, there is a version of Entertainment Tonight called TV Fama (TV Fame).
Despite stiff competition from Access Hollywood
, 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 the popular Judge Judy court show