Madonna to wed Elvis ghost
OK, we made that up. But at least it got you to start reading this item. MGM is looking to revive more of the spirit of the original tabloid with an overhaul of its fledgling magazine strip, National Enquirer TV. The makeover includes re-titling it National Enquirer's Uncovered, hiring new Executive Producer M.J. Witt and new host Jack Maxwell.
Launching its second season Sept. 11, the show is looking for the breakthrough it failed to make in its rookie year, scoring a 1.7 season-to-date rating (through Aug. 20, according to Nielsen Media Research), good for a distant last among magazine shows behind next-to-last Access Hollywood's 2.3. The leaders are Entertainment Tonight (6.0) and Extra (3.4).
In adding Uncovered to the title and recruiting a more eclectic mix of on-air correspondents (including former MTV veejay John Mattes and stand-up comic Randy Kagan), MGM hopes to pay homage to the show's original inspiration-the popular supermarket tabloid by the same name. The show will also add National Enquirer gossip columnist Mike Walker.
"We didn't have a point of view last year," concedes MGM Television Entertainment President Hank Cohen. "People have fun reading the National Enquirer magazine, and our show wasn't fun."
To combat that, the show will focus more on entertainment-related stories, aiming to be a cross between Entertainment Weekly and Comedy Central's The Daily Show.
"This will be smarter, fresher and edgier," promised Cohen. "It's just a whole new show."
New Executive Producer Witt was a founding member of the Extra production team. She has also served as producer on Inside Edition and American Journal. Witt will work closely with Sandy Messick, formerly National Enquirer supervising producer, who is now the show's co-executive producer.
New host Maxwell most recently had guest shots on Beverly Hills 90210, Charmed and Pacific Blue.