September 19, 2005

‘ET’ marks 25 years of breathless showbiz gossip

By Kimberly Speight

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - The way TV shows come
and go -- especially in syndication -- it's hard to believe
that "Entertainment Tonight" is celebrating 25 years on the air
this season.

Since its launch on September 14, 1981, "ET" has paved the
way for such similarly themed shows as "Access Hollywood" and
"Extra" and even magazines like Entertainment Weekly. MTV and
VH1 now air their own versions of the show -- dubbed "ET on
MTV" and "ET on VH1" -- and one of its segments even inspired
distributor Paramount Domestic Television to launch a spinoff
show -- newsmagazine "The Insider" -- last season.

This year, "ET" is missing no opportunity to celebrate its
25th anniversary -- from Sunday night's Emmy party at the
Mondrian in West Hollywood to new graphics and special logos
noting the gossip show's milestone to cross promotions on
"Insider" to big features tied into its anniversary
celebration, says Linda Bell Blue, who executive produces both

First up is a countdown of the top 25 stories in "ET's"
history, to air over several consecutive weeks on the weekend
version of the show. Bell Blue wants to keep the rankings a
surprise but did say the stories will include such events as
the Milli Vanilli lip-synching scandal, Karen Carpenter's
struggles with anorexia, the evolution of Madonna and the death
of Rock Hudson, along with updates of each story.

"We spent hours trying to determine what the top 25 stories
are and what the impact of these was," Bell Blue says. "We're
really going back to the vault and putting new tops on stories
we have covered for so many years."

Also coming later in the fall is a weeklong feature on the
top 25 celebrities who are 25 years old.

"To us, 25 never looked so good," Bell Blue says, adding
that correspondent and current Maxim covergirl Vanessa Minnillo
-- who also turns 25 this year -- will be the one counting down
the list.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter