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When did ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT become less about entertainment and more about celebrity gossip?

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by MatthewA, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    In the 1980s and 1990s, celebrities used to go on ET to talk about their latest work. They'd even have segments about classic movies with Leonard Maltin. Now it's just another "who's sleeping with who" show. At what point did it get to that point?
     
  2. Hollywoodaholic

    Hollywoodaholic Edge of Glory?

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    September 23, 2015
     
  3. Kevin Hewell

    Kevin Hewell Cinematographer

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    They probably went that way to compete with TMZ.
     
  4. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    That sounds about right.
     
  5. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Can't tell you exactly, but I stopped watching years ago for that very reason.

    That, and it seemed like much of the airtime was used as filler promoting what was "coming up next," rather than actual stories. It seemed like a 22 minute show with about 12 minutes of actual content.
     
  6. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    I just received my "LAST ISSUE!" of Entertainment Weekly last week after subscribing for many, many years.

    Why?

    Because while it still contained some information on the entertainment industry it had drifted away from its mission in a dramatic fashion and had pretty much adopted the stance that the only things worth spotlighting were programs produced by Shonda Rhimes. It had also dropped its standards by letting go its better writers and reviewers and replacing them with sub-standard internet writers.

    I suspect something similar happened to ET. But I had given up on it many a year ago.
     
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  7. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Yes, I'll probably think about whether or not I need to renew EW on the next expiration.

    I'm also peeved that a "weekly" magazine publishes so many "special double issues". They're not really that special when those comprise the majority of your issues.
     
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  8. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    What exactly happened on ET that day, or was it something that posting here would violate HTF rules?

    CHEERS! :)
     
  9. Hollywoodaholic

    Hollywoodaholic Edge of Glory?

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    Sorry, just being a goofball. But you're right, the show took a total turn for the tabloid a while back, and maybe actually around that time. I think Kevin's comment about TMZ as competitor perhaps gaining popularity is definitely a factor.

    My other problem with the show is the hosts are so jacked up over-caffeinated on Monster Energy, I keep asking, "Seriously? Is this report that exciting? Are you really that invested?" If they smiled any harder their faces would break.

    And don't get me started about EW magazine. The every other issue double issue thing is annoying. Three weeks go by in between. Then, they stopped actually doing any reviews except one or two books or records. Then they went gayer than the Advocate. Not that there's anything wrong with that, I emphasize in my loudest Seinfeld voice, but man, you have absolutely abandoned the viewing tastes of the rest of us. The only masculine item left in that magazine are the staples. I'm not saying you have to become Rugged Outdoor Adventure today, but the rainbow of stories left out a few colors that the rest of us like. Where are you, Jeff Jensen? Sci-fi. Etc.
     
  10. Dave Lawrence

    Dave Lawrence Supporting Actor

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    In my opinion, I think it went full tabloid once Mary Hart left in 2011, but it was heading in that direction for years even before she left. As with many things, it can probably be traced back to OJ Simpson. Like everyone else at the time, ET focused the majority of its attention on anything and everything connected to the case and trial. These days, in the era of TMZ, Kardashians, and celebrities making fools of themselves on an almost hourly basis on social media, simply focusing on the productions would be too mundane in their eyes.

    For awhile, Leonard Maltin - who now only gets brought onto ET for a couple minutes per year to discuss Oscar nominations - found a new home doing shows for Reelz. But in the past few years, that cable channel stopped covering movies and mostly just runs marathons of celebrity autopsy documentaries and shows focused on celebrity scandals.
     
  11. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    I have a few of their first 1981 shows on tape, which are quite different than it was even a few years later. I should put them on YouTube as I can now do that at the proper frame rate, and the rightsholders don't seem to be mad about other stuff from their show that's been posted there.
     
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  12. Rick Thompson

    Rick Thompson Screenwriter

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    Basically, they decided the show's audience could no longer handle the intellectual depth and incisive serious reporting featured in the previous format.
     
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  13. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Cinematographer

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    That'd be great to see-- ET has gone way off its roots lately!
     
  14. Message #14 of 15 Jul 27, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2018
    MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    I wasn't going to, but I can understand where you're coming from. I banned them from my house when it became the de facto newsletter of the Friends fan club, especially considering they were both under the Time Warner (and later AOL Time Warner) corporate umbrella. Can you say "conflict of interest," boys and girls? MAD Magazine's late 1990s parody Entertain Me Weakly totally read them to filth and even pointed this out out.

    That solidified it. Before O.J., the stakes for that media circus were already as good as planted with the Rodney King trial/riots, and the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan* Winter Olympics dust-up was the tent. Shows like Hard Copy, A Current Affair, and Inside Edition, which were and are true tabloid TV in the strictest sense (though only one is still running today) became their competition in a lot of markets and started dragging it down to their level. The premiere of Extra in 1994 also gave them some competition in the field of entertainment news, such as it was, but it was always a mix of the two from the get-go.**

    *Disneyland wanted Nancy for a parade, but I would have liked to have seen Sesame Street have her teach the alphabet.
    **I still stay Mario Lopez's best work was as a Golden Girls guest star.
     
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  15. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Cinematographer

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    Totally-- the name of the mag is "Entertainment" Weekly, not "Friends" Weekly; how shameful!
     

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