She made the announcement on Friday night’s broadcast: “Tonight, I’m excited to tell you about the start of a new chapter in my life...a new chapter for this small-town, grateful girl from Myrtle Beach, SC, who used to watch fellow Carolinian Leeza Gibbons and Mary Hart on Entertainment Tonight thinking, 'Wow, what beautiful, powerful women and what a cool job they have!' ... to now having that job for 9 years and being a veteran host on the red carpet for almost 25 years.
“As I take on that list of things still to come, it means leaving this position, but it does not mean I am leaving the genre,” she said, although she didn’t reveal what she plans to do next.
She also thanked her co-host, Kevin Frazier, and her manager and agent, John Ferriter, who passed away in July at the age of 59.
“For almost nine years, Nancy has welcomed viewers to ET every night with her signature southern charm. From anchoring both royal weddings, gracing every major award show red carpet and interviewing the likes of Garth Brooks, JLo and Oprah, her expertise behind the microphone is undeniable. We can’t thank Nancy enough for her dedication to keeping ET the gold standard in entertainment news and we have no doubt she will continue to succeed in all future endeavors,” said ET Executive Producer Erin Johnson in a statement.
O’Dell joined ET in 2010 after having served as co-host of NBCUniversal’s Access Hollywood from 1996 to 2009. She co-hosted with Billy Bush, who is about to launch a new version of Warner Bros.’ renamed Extra Extra, from 2004-2009.
Meanwhile, Mario Lopez, who had hosted Extra since 2008, is moving over to Access Hollywood starting this fall. Lopez has been fending off controversy after remarks he made on parenting transgender children on the Candace Owens podcast in June came to light, upsetting many in the LGBTQ community.