3:06pm PT by Michael O'Connell
Tyra Banks Returning as 'America's Next Top Model' Host
Tyra Banks, slow down.
Just a few days after locking in her very high-profile gig as the new host of America's Got Talent, the TV personality on Thursday announced another gig. She will reprise her hosting duties on the new VH1 iteration of America's Next Top Model, the show she left (though stayed on as executive producer) when its CW run wrapped in 2015.
“I’m overwhelmed and humbled by the intensity of the ANTM fan base whose deep affection for the show led me to have a change of heart," Banks said in a statement. "After giving it a lot of thought, I realized that remaining behind the camera wasn’t enough because ANTM is woven into my DNA.”
Banks replaces Rita Ora, who hosted the show's first season on VH1. The cable network had quickly scooped up the series when Banks announced its end after 12 years and 22 seasons. (It originally aired on the now-defunct UPN.)
“Tyra has always been the heart and soul of the franchise and her absence was deeply felt by our fiercely loyal fans who missed their Queen of the Smize," said executive producer Ken Mok. "We'd like to thank Rita Ora for being a great partner and total pro. She infused this new iteration of ANTM with passion and creativity and we wish her nothing but the best in her future endeavors."
It's safe to say that the price was right for Banks, who certainly has a full plate with her new America's Got Talent gig. She is set to topline NBC's summer standby after the sudden departure of Nick Cannon. VH1 could certainly use Banks' buzz. It is one of the few thriving networks in Viacom's embattled (and ever-rebranding) cable portfolio, and her return should only help the venerable competition series.
Additional panelists will be announced at a later date.