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Laverne Cox is the new host of E!’s signature red carpet coverage.
The Orange Is the New Black Emmy winner will take over the role in January and also headline a series of celebrity interview specials to air throughout the next year.
Cox replaces Giuliana Rancic in the role as host of the NBCUniversal cable brand’s Live From E! franchise. Rancic on Friday announced that she was stepping down from the role after a nearly two-decade run as she segues to a producing deal with the media conglomerate.
“Laverne Cox is a risk-taker, groundbreaking pioneer and a fashion tour de force,” said Jen Neal, exec vp entertainment live events, specials and E! News at NBCUniversal Television & Streaming. “As we continue to evolve the way we cover Hollywood’s biggest nights, Laverne’s passion for, and extensive knowledge of, the fashion community resonates with our audience and we look forward to seeing her shine on the other side of the velvet rope.”
Rancic started with E! in 2005 as a correspondent and would become the co-host of the cabler’s red carpet alongside Ryan Seacrest. Seacrest exited the role in February following a 14-year run.
Cox is a four-time Emmy nominee who became the first openly transgender actress to be nominated for TV’s biggest award. She currently hosts Shondaland-produced podcast The Laverne Cox Show for iHeart and recently wrapped production on Netflix’s Shonda Rimes-produced limited series Inventing Anna. Cox also exec produces Netflix documentary Disclosure, which recently earned a Peabody Award nomination.
“I’m so excited and deeply humbled to be hosting E!’s iconic red carpet coverage. For many years I would wake up early on awards show days, get my snacks in place and watch E!’s coverage all day long,” said Cox. “I dreamed of walking red carpets. Now, not only have I had several fun and amazing personal red carpet moments, I also get to be a red carpet guide for E!’s discerning audience and chat with my colleagues and folks I deeply admire for these very special events in their lives. I can’t wait to get started while hopefully serving up fashion fantasies for the ages, honey.”
The change from Rancic to Cox comes as E! is now part of a content group that is overseen by Frances Berwick and Susan Rovner. Rovner, who handles creative, tapped Neal to drive specials and live events as part of her content team last year. So far, Rovner and Berwick oversee streamer Peacock, NBC and a cable portfolio that includes E!, Bravo, USA, Syfy, Oxygen and more. Rovner and Berwick have also shaken up NBC’s approach to the 1:30 a.m. slot, announcing last week that Lilly Singh’s show would wrap up as it segues out of original talk programming in the slot that formerly belonged to Carson Daly.
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