Kathy Griffin is likely off the list of possible replacements for Joan Rivers on E! Entertainment’s “Fashion Police” and Tyra Banks is being considered by the cable network, multiple individuals with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap.
While Griffin confirmed that she had been approached by E! for the job, she said she was unsure about the opportunity. But, the decision may not be up to the comedienne.
“They did some focus group testing on Kathy Griffin,” an individual within E! told TheWrap. “The problem viewers mentioned is she’d always be compared to Joan, but never actually as good as her.”
At this point, Griffin’s chances of replacing Joan are “dead,” the insider added. “She was tested and tested poorly because she was too close to Joan’s comedic sensibility.”
A representative for Griffin told TheWrap he’s unaware of her status for the job. An E! representative denies that they did any focus group testing on Griffin.
One thing insiders and an E! spokeswoman can agree on is that the candidates for Rivers’ replacement “is still a wide open field” for the panel show, which will return in January.
TheWrap has confirmed reports that Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star NeNe Leakes has been considered for the job, but now individuals with knowledge of the search says reports that a former model and well known TV personality has joined the list of candidates are true.
“Tyra Banks was talked about for ‘Fashion Police,’” one insider confirmed.
Banks already produces and hosts modeling competition, “America’s Next Top Model” on The CW and recently signed on for Disney-ABC’s syndicated daytime panel talk show, “THE F•A•B.” A rep for Banks told TheWrap she had no comment.
The prolonged search for Rivers’ replacement has certainly gotten under the skin of those who actually work on the show. Recently, co-host Kelly Osbourne said she was reaching her “angry phase” while describing how often she’s asked about her mentor’s replacement.
Another individual who works on the show told TheWrap, “They should admit that no one can replace Joan and just have a revolving cast of guest co-hosts like Ross Mathews, Tyra, so on.”
Rivers, who created “Fashion Police” in 2010, died on Sept. 4 at 81, after a throat procedure stopped oxygen from going to her brain. Her daughter Melissa Rivers, who executive produces “Fashion Police,” announced later that month that the show would go on without her mother.