EXCLUSIVE: It’s official. Entertainment veteran Mario Lopez (Extra) is the new host of NBCUniversal’s Access Hollywood. Beginning September 9, Lopez will join Kit Hoover and Scott Evans as host of both Access Hollywood and its daytime counterpart, Access Daily (formerly Access Live). Additionally, Lopez has signed an overall development and producing deal for both scripted and alternative programming with Universal Television and Universal Television Alternative Studio.
It was widely expected that Lopez would take over the spot left by Natalie Morales who exited the nationally syndicated daytime celeb-news program in April.
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“Mario is a multi-talented television personality. Drawing from his experience as an entertainment TV and radio host, actor, author, and, of course, a father and husband, Mario brings a fresh voice and perspective with creative ideas to our business,” said Tracie Wilson, Executive Vice President, Creative Affairs, NBCUniversal Domestic TV Distribution. “Our viewers know him and love him, and we are so excited to have him as a part of the NBCUniversal family.”
“We are thrilled to have someone of Mario’s caliber join our ‘Access’ team,” said Maureen FitzPatrick, senior executive producer of both Access Hollywood and Access Live. “Mario has grown up in the business and is able to offer our viewers a unique insight on the latest Hollywood headlines. Additionally, as a husband and father of three young children, he has a respect for the daytime audience who are looking for a break in their hectic lives with uplifting stories of everyday people transforming their lives and making a difference in their communities.”
Two-time Emmy winner Lopez currently hosts the national iHeartMedia radio shows On with Mario Lopez and iHeartRadio Countdown with Mario Lopez, the boxing podcast The 3 Knockdown Rule, the travel food show Food Quest on A&E, and is the host and producer of the HGTV series Supersize My Pool. Additionally, Lopez co-created and serves as executive producer of the upcoming Netflix scripted series The Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia. As an actor, Lopez most recently appeared on the NBC hit drama This Is Us and the CW’s Jane the Virgin.
“I have long admired the team at NBCUniversal and all the shows being produced,” Lopez said. “I’m thrilled to have an opportunity to join in that success and develop scripted and alternative projects on their many creative platforms.”