[07/28/08 - 12:11 PM]
Mario Lopez Named Host of Telepictures Productions' Syndicated Entertainment News Magazine "Extra"
He'll replace Mark McGrath, who will be "leaving the show at his request in order to refocus on his musical career."

[via press release from Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution]


Longtime Co-Host Dayna Devon Named Correspondent;

Co-Host Mark McGrath Returning to Music Career

Series Distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution and Renewed Through 2011�2012

BURBANK, Calif. (July 28, 2008) � Mario Lopez has been named the new host of the long-running, daily syndicated entertainment magazine program "Extra," it was announced today by Hilary Estey McLoughlin, President, Telepictures Productions, and "Extra" Senior Executive Producer Lisa Gregorisch-Dempsey. Lopez, who has served as a co-host of the hit show's weekend edition as well as a correspondent for the daily program since joining "Extra" in January 2007, will take over the anchor chair on September 15 as the show begins its 15th season. Concurrently, longtime "Extra" co-host Dayna Devon will transition into a special correspondent role for the program, focusing on major celebrity interviews and celebrity lifestyle reporting. She will also serve as backup host for Lopez.

Devon's current on-air partner, co-host Mark McGrath, will be leaving the show at his request in order to refocus on his musical career. While at "Extra," McGrath continued touring and recording with his multiplatinum-selling band Sugar Ray. They are currently recording a new album, which will be documented comprehensively by "Extra" with exclusive behind-the-scenes reports in the coming months. The album will be released in early 2009 by Pulse Recording, and distributed by Fontana/Universal.

Distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, "Extra" airs in more than 95% of the country, with the stations of the NBC Local Media Division � including New York (WNBC-TV), Los Angeles (KNBC-TV) and Chicago (WMAQ-TV) � serving as its primary station group. "Extra" is renewed through the 2011�2012 season, which will mark its 18th on the air, making it the second-longest-running entertainment magazine on television, behind only "Entertainment Tonight."

"We are excited to name Mario Lopez as the new host of 'Extra's' weekday show. Mario has done a great job as the host of our weekend show and has established himself as a highly engaging, likeable and sought-after host and personality. He will be a fresh and dynamic presence for the show, and we can't wait for him to assume his new role and get to work with Senior Executive Producer Lisa Gregorisch-Dempsey, who has made 'Extra' one of the most highly regarded programs of its kind on television," said Estey McLoughlin. "I also want to thank Mark and Dayna for their tremendous contributions to our enduring success, and we look forward to Dayna's continued involvement in the show."

"As I said when Mario joined us last year, I think he is a rising star with a winning personality both on- and off-camera. We couldn't be more thrilled to have him as our new host, which will allow Dayna to return to her roots as a correspondent. She joined the show as weekend co-host but really made a name for herself with her interviews and reporting as a correspondent for the daily program before she became host, and we look forward to her renewed contributions in this area," said Gregorisch-Dempsey. "When Mark came to us and asked to be let out of his contract in order to return to his first love � making music � we were, of course, thrilled for him, but sad not to be working with him on a daily basis in the future. Mark will always be a part of the 'Extra' family."

"'Extra' has been a leader in providing our station partners with first-rate entertainment journalism featuring stories that have yielded impressive ratings for 14 years," said Ken Werner, President, Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution. "It is a testament to the planning and stability of the production team and everyone involved with 'Extra' that a first-rate talent like Mario Lopez was already part of the show's family. We look forward to his seamless transition to the hosting chair as we continue to deliver stations the high quality program they have come to expect."

Recently named Hottest Bachelor of 2008 by People magazine, Lopez danced his way into America's heart on the hit program "Dancing with the Stars" and is one of the most popular performers in the history of that show. He also serves as the host of Warner Horizon Television's hit reality-competition series "Randy Jackson Presents America's Best Dance Crew," now in its second season on MTV, and he is also currently starring on Broadway in the part of musical theatre director Zach in the revival of "A Chorus Line." His television credits include starring roles in the telefilms "Holidays in Handcuffs" and "Husband for Hire," hosting the 2007 Miss America Pageant, and guest-starring appearances on "Nip/Tuck" and "George Lopez."

Born in San Diego, Lopez began his career on the television series "A.K.A. Pablo." He became well known to television audiences through his roles on "Saved by the Bell" and "Pacific Blue," as well as a host of "The Other Half." He portrayed Olympic diving champion Greg Louganis in the telefilm "Breaking the Surface: The Greg Louganis Story," and his film credits include "Colors," "Depraved" and "Eastside." He additionally co-produced and starred in the 2002 independent film, "Outta Time."

Devon joined "Extra" in July 1999 as weekend co-anchor and primary weekday correspondent. She then served as the show's substitute anchor before being named permanent anchor in September 2003. Throughout her tenure, Devon has quickly earned the reputation as one of Hollywood's leading journalists and has gone one-on-one with many of entertainment's most prominent people.

Born in Hartford, Conn. and raised in Southern California, McGrath joined "Extra" three seasons ago as the show's co-host. Additionally, he hosted two seasons of the "Pussycat Dolls Present" franchise on The CW, and was a guest judge on the television phenomenon "American Idol." He has also hosted and been featured on a number of specials for MTV and VH1.

Originating from Glendale, Calif. and boasting a fully staffed bureau in New York, "Extra" offers a half-hour edition every weekday and an original, hour-long weekend installment. The series is helmed by senior executive producer Lisa Gregorisch-Dempsey. Theresa Coffino is executive producer, and Jeremy Spiegel is co-executive producer.

The series is produced by Time Telepictures Productions and distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution.

  [july 2008]  


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