That's Entertainment
CBS Watch! Magazine|September/October 2021
Happy 40th anniversary, Entertainment Tonight! The history-making news magazine didn’t just talk about the stars … they were right there with them.
NATE MILLADO
EVERYONE’S GOT AN ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT origin story. Nischelle Turner grew up on a farm in the Midwest watching Mary Hart and John Tesh and thinking, “How many worlds away that was from my experience and my existence,” she recalls. Kevin Frazier was an in-demand sportscaster who’d tune in to ET while getting ready for SportsCenter. And journalism student Erin Johnson would tell her professors her goal was to someday work at ET. Today Turner and Frazier are co-anchors of TV’s top entertainment news magazine, while Johnson serves as executive producer. This past year, ET celebrated its 40th anniversary—in the middle of a global pandemic, no less. But ET is No. 1 for a reason, and the coronavirus “wasn’t an excuse to back off that,” Johnson says. “It was simply a new challenge to navigate. We have the best team. We don’t get complacent.” (ET recently won its sixth Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Entertainment News Program.) To commemorate this decades-spanning milestone, Watch caught up with Turner and Frazier, whom Johnson calls “the definition of a dynamic duo.”

Why do you think ET has resonated with so many viewers over four decades?

KF: It was the first. People thought it would be ridiculous to have a show every day and talk about entertainment like that. But then you’ve seen so many iconic stars and iconic moments on ET. And so I think that it’s one of those legacy programs where you grew up watching with your grandmother or your mom and you watch now with your kids. We continue to deliver the gold standard of entertainment.

The ET theme song … how many times a day does someone come up to you and hum those iconic six notes?

NT: Well, I just had Joey McIntyre and Debbie Gibson sing it to me [on the show]! Usually [it happens] when I’m in the airport. And once I get on the plane, one of the flight attendants would.

Be honest … have you ever made the ETtheme your ringtone?

KF: My family would literally smash my phone if I did that!

NT: Maybe I’ll make it mine!

Kevin, you posted a throwback on social, a montage video of your first year there. Asa newbie, you interviewed everyone with one name: Angelina, Whitney, Kobe, Oprah. What do you remember from your first season?

KF: I’m used to the sports guys, going into the locker room and talking to Shaq and Kobe. But all of a sudden, Angelina is different. Brad Pitt is real different. Denzel [Washington] is very different. So that part was weirdly intimidating, but it was fun. And what I found is that people are people, so you have to always remember that. But yes, there have been a lot of awestruck moments for me.

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