11:00am PT by Kate Stanhope
Miss Universe, Miss USA Pageants Move to Fox
The Miss Universe Organization has found a new home.
The Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants are moving to Fox, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The Miss Universe pageant will air live on Fox on Dec. 20 from the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, with the Miss USA pageant slated for sometime next year. Both telecasts had aired on NBC for the past 11 years, but over the summer the network cut ties with organization owner Donald Trump and backed out of broadcasting Miss USA just weeks before it was scheduled to air.
Reelz Channel stepped in at the last minute as a replacement broadcaster, and WME-IMG acquired the Miss Universe organization from Trump in September.
“Miss Universe is a unique, global media property and this partnership with Fox marks a new era for the Miss Universe Organization as a whole,” said Michael Antinoro, IMG's senior vp original content, in a statement. “As the broadcast leader in innovative and groundbreaking live events, Fox is the perfect partner as we look to implement new and exciting changes to this show and the franchise.”
Added Fox Broadcasting entertainment president David Madden: “The Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants are iconic television events loved by generations of viewers around the world. We are very excited to partner with IMG and the Miss Universe Organization to infuse a fresh new energy into these perennial broadcast favorites.”
NBC's decision to sever ties with Trump and, subsequently, the Miss Universe Organization followed Trump's widely criticized June 16 speech announcing his presidential campaign, in which he referred to Mexican immigrants as "rapists" who are "bringing drugs" and "crime" into the United States.
Days before NBC backed away from its relationship with Trump — which also include Trump's longtime stint as host of Celebrity Apprentice — Univision announced it would not air the Miss USA pageant based on what it called "insulting remarks about Mexican immigrants." Trump later sued Univision for $500 million for breach of contract. In recent weeks, Univision has tried to get Trump's lawsuit dismissed.
The Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants were solid ratings performers for NBC. Airing in January 2015, the Miss Universe pageant notched a 1.8 rating among adults 18-49 and led the network to a demo win for the evening. The last time Miss USA aired on NBC in 2014, the pageant grabbed a 1.4 rating. However, ratings plummeted to a 0.2 when the telecast moved to Reelz at the last minute.
Miss Teen USA, the third pageant under the Miss Universe Organization umbrella, has not been broadcast since 2007.
Miss Universe will air live on Fox on Sunday, Dec. 20, at 7 p.m.