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[12/09/08 - 09:19 AM]
An Extra-Special Announcement for the Host of the 2009 Miss America Pageant Live on TLC
Mario Lopez, who previously hosted in 2007, will resume said duties in 2009.

[via press release from TLC]

An EXTRA-Special Announcement for the Host of the 2009 Miss America Pageant Live on TLC

EXTRA star Mario Lopez will return as the host of the Miss America Pageant Live from Planet Hollywood on Saturday, January 24, 2009

Los Angeles, CA � As announced during the December 8 broadcast of EXTRA, TLC and The Miss America Organization have named Mario Lopez as the host of the 2009 Miss America Pageant. Lopez, who previously hosted the 2007 Miss America Pageant, is sure to be a wonderful addition to this year's event � combining his charisma and on-stage experience of working with 52 of America's most unique and talented young women.

The 2009 Miss America Pageant airs live from Las Vegas on Saturday, January 24, 2009 at 8 PM on TLC.

"I'm thrilled to return as host of Miss America Pageant on TLC and look forward to joining the contestants this January in Las Vegas," said Mario.

"We're pleased to have Mario as this year's host; he has shown that he's a fantastic choice to emcee the show," said Art McMaster, President/CEO of the Miss America Organization. "As a star in all trades, Mario brings excitement and class to the pageant, not to mention the added thrill our contestants will have sharing the stage with him."

From actor to host, producer to writer; Lopez has already made his mark on Hollywood and he has no plans to stop. Most recently, Extra named him the single host of the daily nationally syndicated show. Concurrently, Lopez will continue his hosting duties on MTV's highest rated program, America's Best Dance Crew. Lopez is no stranger to rigorous dance routines; in the third season of ABC's hit Dancing with the Stars, he danced his way to the final round and earned the runner-up title.

"Mario is an excellent choice to host, bringing a charm and energy level that will only elevate the excitement of TLC's live broadcast. We look forward to having him in Vegas this year," said Brent Zacky, Vice President of Development at TLC. "In addition to Mario and the return of Clinton Kelly as special correspondent, this year's pageant promises to be the biggest ever, with America voting four contestants from Countdown to the Crown directly into the pageant finals."

Not only does Lopez have a penchant for the entertainment industry, he is also an avid sports fan. Lopez has taken his love for sports, specifically boxing, to the next level as a recurring commentator on HBO Boxing, broadcasted internationally.

In the summer of 2008, Lopez successfully completed his first run on Broadway. He starred in the hit musical, "A Chorus Line," as the much loved character Zach. In 2009, Lopez will be returning to the role of Dr. Mike Hamoui on the hit series Nip/Tuck.

Recently, Lopez successfully wrote his own book. Mario Lopez's Knockout Fitness is a bestselling fitness guide that offers readers a look into Lopez's workout regime. Though his regime is intense, his book caters to every man and woman with the desire to improve themselves physically. Lopez's second writing endeavor will be a children's book entitled Mud Tacos, which he co-wrote with his sister Marissa.

The 2009 Miss America Pageant is also the culmination of the four-part reality series COUNTDOWN TO THE CROWN, which follows the 52 Miss America contestants as they live together and face off in challenges that help them better prepare for the iconic pageant. Each one-hour episode finds the contestants navigating through a series of team and individual competitions to help them prepare for the pageant and prove they have what it takes to be a modern-day Miss America. This year, the stakes are higher than ever � viewers at home will have the power to vote four contestants directly into the pageant's Top 15. COUNTDOWN TO THE CROWN premieres on TLC Friday, January 2, 2009 at 10 PM ET, and features an appearance by Miss America 2008 Kirsten Haglund. Visit tlc.com/missamerica for more information.

About TLC

TLC's innovative docu-series and reality-based programming include favorites Jon & Kate Plus 8, Little People, Big World, What Not to Wear, and LA Ink. The channel introduced Miss America Reality Check in 2008, which helped drive the Miss America Pageant to its highest rating in years. TLC defined home design with Trading Spaces and continues to renovate the genre. TLC's daytime lineup includes the Emmy Award-winning A Baby Story. The channel is available in more than 96 million homes in the US, nearly 8 million homes in Canada and through the website at www.tlc.com. TLC is part of Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the world's number one nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in over 170 countries.

About Miss America

The Miss America Pageant - and the scholarship program itself - is among the most enduring endeavors in modern American history. From its humble beginnings as a "bathing beauty'" contest in the 1920s, the Miss America Organization today is one of the nation's leading achievement programs and the world's largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women. Last year, the Miss America Organization and its state and local organizations made available more than $45 million in cash and scholarship assistance, helping young women all across the country to reach their dreams and goals. For more information, go to www.missamerica.org.





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