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O'Dell Inherits 'ET' Mantle

Nancy O'Dell will
replace Mary Hart as co-anchor of CBS Television Distribution's Entertainment Tonight.

O'Dell, who formerly
co-anchored NBC Universal's Access
, joins ET in January as
a special correspondent and substitute co-anchor. She will join Mark Steines as
co-anchor next fall after Hart wraps her run.

"Nancy is known not
only as a great interviewer, but also as one of the nicest and classiest
individuals in the business. Those qualities are important to us, and they
translate on-screen," said Linda Bell Blue, ET's executive producer.

Hart announced in August
that she would retire this spring, after nearly 30 years on the show.  

"Leaving this job
was not an easy decision, but knowing I will pass the baton to Nancy O'Dell
makes that decision much easier," Hart said in a statement. "Nancy is a talented and respected
entertainment correspondent. We have spent many years working on opposite sides
of the celebrity battlefield; I look forward to now working together, and I
know the show will flourish with Nancy as co-anchor."

Early reports suggested
that Lara Spencer, host of ET sister
show, The Insider, would inherit
Hart's job but those reports proved unfounded. Spencer will continue to
co-anchor The Insider with Chris
Jacobs, said John Nogawski, CTD's president, in a statement.

O'Dell co-anchored Access Hollywood for 13 years, and left
the show in December. This winter, she will host a show on the Oprah Winfrey
Network (OWN) called Your OWN Show:
Oprah's Search for the Next TV Star
. She's also contributed to CBS' Early Show and NBC's Today and Dateline. She's also hosted many awards shows, including the Golden
Globes and Emmys, as well as live specials.

"CBS and Linda Bell
Blue have made ET the best -- both in
its classiness and the sheer number of viewers it attracts year after year
after year. I know the show is only 30 years young, so I'm glad I'm joining it
at this stage in its life as I plan to make ET
my home for many years to come," said O'Dell in a statement.

O'Dell is also a
published author, having written "Full of Life: Mom to Mom Tips I Wish
Someone Told Me When I Was Pregnant" and "Full of Love."