August 04, 2011 7:49am PT by Lindsay Powers
Maria Menounos Joins 'Extra,' Signs Production Deal with Telepictures
Maria Menounos has signed a development deal with Telepictures and will co-host Extra with Mario Lopez beginning Sept. 12. She'll also have on-air duties with the CW's Dr. Drew's Lifechangers, which premieres on Sept. 19, Telepictures president Hilary Estey McLoughlin, and Lisa Gregorisch-Dempsey, senior EP of Extra and Dr. Drew's Lifechangers, announced Thursday.
"We are thrilled to have Maria in the Telepictures family. She is a great talent with diverse experience and appeal and her versatility will enable her to contribute to our slate in myriad ways," McLoughlin says in a statement of Menounos, who has also been an on-air correspondent for competitors Access Hollywood and Entertainment Tonight.
"Maria is the perfect complement to Mario. He's the 'it' guy and she is the modern day 'that girl.' They're both trusted, respected and connected. I can't think of a better dream team in entertainment news," adda Gregorisch-Dempsey.
"I'm so excited to join Mario on Extra and be a part of Dr. Drew's Lifechangers. Joining Telepictures is a great next step in my career. I loved working at NBC and thank the network for a great six-year run," says Menounos.
There had been reports that NBC, for which she also served as a contributor to the Today show, Dateline and Nightly News With Brian Williams, did not want to pay to re-up her contract. She had been there since 2005.
Menounos' most recent book, The EveryGirl's Guide to Life, recently hit the New York Times' bestseller list.