E! Network September 2010 to present
Controversy: “Fashion Police” was a solid hit until the show’s matriarch, Joan Rivers, died in September, leaving E! without the fiery comedian to lead commentary about celebrities and their fashion choices. Comedian Kathy Griffin was tapped as a new co-host, and other co-hosts, including Rivers’ daughter Melissa, returned. But co-host Giuliana Rancic came under fire in February after the annual Oscars broadcast, when she said Disney Channel star Zendaya’s dreadlocks looked as though she smelled of “patchouli oil and weed.” Some Zendaya fans interpreted the remark as racist, leading Rancic to apologize. Griffin and co-host Kelly Osbourne quit the series.
The business stakes: E!, mostly known as a destination for celebrityfueled reality shows and pop culture, has moved toward a broader array of programs in the last year. “Fashion Police” was already losing viewers after Rivers’ death, and the debacle caused by Rancic made it even more expendable.
Aftermath: The network decided to put the show on hold until September. Rancic, Melissa Rivers and stylist Brad Goreski are expected to continue when the show returns in the fall.