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E! Entertainment Television is an American basic cable and satellite television network, owned by NBCUniversal. It features entertainment-related programming, reality television, feature films and occasionally series and specials unrelated to the entertainment industry.

E! has an audience reach of 88 million cable and satellite viewers in the U.S. and 600 million homes internationally.


  • History
  • Programming
    • News
    • Original series
    • Acquired series
  • E! HD
  • E! Online
  • See also
  • References
  • External links


E! Entertainment Television was founded by Larry Namer and Alan Mruvka.[1][2]

The network launched on July 31, 1987 as Movietime, a service that aired movie trailers, entertainment news, event and awards coverage, and interviews as an early example of a national barker channel.[3] Early Movietime hosts included Greg Kinnear, Paula Abdul, Katie Wagner, Julie Moran, Suzanne Kay (daughter of Diahann Carroll), Mark DeCarlo, Sam Rubin and Richard Blade. Three years later, in June 1990, Movietime was renamed E! Entertainment Television[4] to emphasize its widening coverage of the celebrity-industrial complex, contemporary film, television and music, daily Hollywood gossip, and fashion.

Controlling ownership was originally held by a consortium of five cable companies (Comcast, Continental Cablevision, Cox Cable, TCI, and Warner Cable), HBO/Warner Bros., and various founding shareholders, with HBO directly programming and managing the network. In 1989, after Time-Life bought Warner Brothers to fend off a takeover bid by Paramount, the new Time Warner company held four of the eight major ownership positions and took over management control of Movietime and renamed the network E! Entertainment Television. In 1997, Comcast, one of the minority partners, teamed up with The Walt Disney Company to buy the channel after Time-Warner had exercised their put agreement.[5] In November 2006, Comcast (which eventually had the largest ownership stake in most of the network through mergers of forerunners of TCI and Continental under various circumstances) acquired Disney's 39.5% share of E! for $1.23 billion to gain full ownership of the network as part of a broader programming carriage agreement between Disney/ABC and Comcast.[6]

Comcast Entertainment Group, the company's television unit, became a division of NBCUniversal Television Group, after Comcast acquired a 51% majority stake in NBCUniversal in January 2011.[7] E!'s only sister networks prior to the NBC Universal merger were Style Network and G4, along with Comcast's sports networks: Versus, Comcast SportsNet and Golf Channel. In the case of Versus, E! staff produced that network's Sports Soup, while the Orlando-based Golf Channel featured no crossovers with E! at all due to incompatible audiences and operations. Versus and Golf Channel were taken under the direct control of the NBC Sports division, with the former being renamed NBC Sports Network in January 2012, and are no longer connected to their former sister networks beyond advertising and in-house operations.



E! is one of the only U.S. general-entertainment cable channels that broadcasts a daily news program; its flagship entertainment news program is E! News, which debuted on September 1, 1991. The weekday program (which also has an hour-long weekend edition) features stories and gossip about celebrities, and the film, music and television industry, and has been broadcast under various formats since its launch, even being aired live for a time in the mid-2000s. First hosted by Dagny Hultgreen, it has been hosted by Ryan Seacrest and Giuliana Rancic since 2006.

E! News was the only entertainment news show on the channel for much of its history, until 2006 when the channel launched The Daily 10, hosted by Sal Masekela and Catt Sadler (Debbie Matenopoulos also co-hosted from the show's inception until 2008); the series was cancelled in September 2010 after E! announced that the weekday editions of E! News would be expanded to one hour starting on October 25, 2010,[8] and in the midst of controversy over a joke by Loveline co-host Mike Catherwood, who filled in for Masekela on the show frequently during 2010, that openly gay singer and ex-American Idol contestant Adam Lambert would enjoy being in jail with all men, during a story on the September 17, 2010 edition of The Daily 10 on an altercation Lambert allegedly had with a paparazzi.

Outside of E! News telecasts, the channel runs an E! News-branded ticker displaying entertainment news headlines each half-hour during regular programming (except during airings of E! News and The Soup, and the channel's early morning infomercial block), which is updated daily; fast-breaking entertainment headlines (e.g., celebrity arrest or death) may also be displayed on a ticker, during any program when warranted.

Original series

E! is known for its live red carpet pre-shows for the industry's three prominent award shows, the Primetime Emmy Awards, the Golden Globe Awards and the Academy Awards, famous for its fashion critiques by Joan Rivers; Rivers has also hosted post-awards specials titled Fashion Police, which became a regular weekly series in September 2010. The network also produces a decent amount of documentary and biographical series, most notably E! True Hollywood Story; many of E!'s original specials are entertainment-related ranging from light fare such as 25 Cutest Child Stars All Grown Up to serious fare such as 15 Most Unforgettable Hollwood Tragedies. It also produces specials centering on investigative and crime stories including E! Investigates, which features topical investigative reports on subjects ranging from child prostitution to teenage pregnancy.

In recent years, the network has become popular for its reality television programs. Its most popular series as of 2011 is Keeping Up with the Kardashians, which has spawned three spinoffs (Kourtney and Khlo Take Miami, Kourtney and Kim Take New York, and Khloe and Lamar). Other reality programs that have aired on E! include The Anna Nicole Show, Sunset Tan, Gastineau Girls, The Girls Next Door (which itself has spawned two spinoffs Holly's World and Kendra), The Spin Crowd, Married to Rock, and most recently, Ice Loves Coco, and Dirty Soap.

E! airs three comedy programs: the late night talk show Chelsea Lately, hosted by comedienne Chelsea Handler, its spinoff After Lately, and The Soup (based on the popular 1991-2002 E! series Talk Soup), featuring clips of the previous week's TV shows with humorous commentary delivered by the host, actor/comedian Joel McHale.

Uncharacteristic for any television network, E! airs the full credits of the current program at the show's beginning rather than the end; some programs, most prominently E! News, air their copyright tags in a similar fashion, and many series often feature production company credits at the start of the final segment of a program. However, feature films airing on the channel display the credits at the traditional end of program placement.

Acquired series

Over the years, E! has occasionally run acquired programming including reruns of Alice, Absolutely Fabulous, several 20/20 news programs from ABC, and edited 60-minute versions of Saturday Night Live, though fewer of these programs currently air. The only programming currently airing on E! that they do not produce are reruns of the former HBO series Sex and the City and films under the banner "Movies We Love"; the latter was part of a since-abandoned initiative by the network to use films to increase their ratings. The network has also begun to air second runs of NBC series such as The Voice, Fashion Star, Whitney, and Are You There, Chelsea?, and in the past has aired previews of G4 programming to give that network an extended promotional platform due to their lower carriage due to being removed from DirecTV in November 2010.


The network launched a high definition simulcast on December 8, 2008, like the rest of E!'s sister lifestyle and sports networks owned by former parent Comcast Entertainment Group and subsequently the NBC cable networks, airing in the 1080i format. Currently filmed content and all of the network's post-2010 content, along with limited pre-2010 content are carried in the format, with HD programming airing in a letterbox format on the SD channel (films remain in 480i due to contractual or technical reasons).

During E!'s run as a broadcast service in Canada, the E! Ontario version of the service until the December 2008 discontinuation of the E! broadcast television system was available in HD over Hamilton, Ontario-based CHCH-TV (channel 11) on their channel 18 digital signal.

E! Online

E! Online is the online arm of E!, featuring live updates on entertainment news stories; the website includes a online-only entertainment news bulletin titled E! News Now, which is updated each weekday. The website also provides live streaming video of major red carpet events including movie premieres and award shows such as the Academy Awards and the Emmys, along with some blogs involving shows such as The Soup. Columnists featured on the website include Kristin dos Santos (the "Watch with Kristin" television blog), Ted Casablanca ("The Awful Truth" gossip blog) and Marc Malkin (writer of a eponymous gossip blog and host of a daily videoblog on the site).

See also

  • E! (Canadian TV channel), the current-day sister network in Canada, the former Star! network, a division of Bell Media which is owned by BCE Inc.
  • E!, a defunct Canadian broadcast television system owned by Canwest previously called CH.
  • ReelzChannel (has same concept as original Movie Time)


External links

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