Mary Hart to exit


“Entertainment Tonight” host Mary Hart announced Thursday that next season will be her last as the show marks its 30th year in syndication. Hart joined ET in 1982, its second year of existence.

“I’ve had the privilege of spending 29 years doing something I love – how often does that happen? I’ve had the support of a stupendous group of people starting with Linda Bell Blue, John Nogawski and many others who are so talented on our staff at ET. I only meant to be at ET for three years, suddenly it’s almost 30! I’ve reached a point when I clearly realize it’s time for a change. There are many things I want to do in my life and I’d better get on with them,” Hart said in a statement.

“It will certainly be with mixed sentiments that I say ‘goodbye’ at the end of the season, but it will definitely be with a sense of celebration … 30 years of Entertainment Tonight, are you kidding me? That’s an accomplishment and something I’m very proud of!” she added.

“Mary is one of my closest friends and although I respect her decision I will miss her tremendously,” said Executive Producer Linda Bell Blue, who has helmed the show since 1995.

“ET and Mary Hart have created the genre of entertainment news. Not only has she defined ET for almost three decades but she’s defined entertainment journalism. Revered by both the entertainment community and viewers, Mary has been a fixture in our lives and we’ll miss her dearly. We look forward to celebrating Mary’s career in this exciting season to come,” said John Nogawski, President of CBS Television Distribution.

No decision has been made on who will fill the host position when season 31 begins in September 2011.

“Right now we are focused on making this next season the very best in her long history with ET. She will remain first on the red carpet for the biggest award shows and will continue to interview Hollywood’s top stars. We’re going to have a lot of fun this year!” said Blue.