There has been a lot of confusion over Access Hollywood‘s future this week, as NBC has reportedly decided to dismiss the current host of the show, Natalie Morales.
The news came at an odd time and took many by surprise, and there has been a lot of speculation over the possible reason behind the scenes.
The host was supposedly dismissed together with Rob Silverstein, who served as the show’s producer for a long time.
Maureen Fitzpatrick has been reported to replace Silverstein in a new deal, while reports indicate that Mario Lopez is being brought in to work as the new host of the show.
According to additional reports, the dismissal of the two has been mainly motivated by the perception that the show had gotten stale and uninteresting to watch during their time, although with two million viewers, ratings are still decent.
Many have been displeased with not only the sudden dismissal but also the announcement of the new replacement.
Lopez, in particular, has seen some criticism, including from inner circles on the show’s set.
An insider told the Daily Mail: “We are planning on blowing up the current format of the show and making Mario the star.”
The source added: “Everyone is pissed as he is a giant cheese ball who is allergic to hard work. He’s not the face of the show we want…We’ve watched Mario kissing the asses of certain NBC execs for the past year to convince them to make him a huge deal at NBC. It’s clearly paid off. But boy, he must have chapped lips.”
It looks like Access Hollywood is in for a difficult next few months if the current status quo remains.
The network’s executives have not been very open about the situation, and they have preferred to keep their own opinions under wraps for now. They are refusing to announce the official reason for the dismissals.
Moreover, they are very dismissive of the reports about Morales’ departure.
An insider shared: “This is not true. Natalie has not been fired. She is and will continue to be a huge part of the NBC family. Our new EP will start next week.”
The statement leaves the door wide open for her exit, especially with Lopez’s Extra show being moved to Fox in the fall.
Some of the show’s fans have also voiced their concerns. It looks like the firings have generated much controversy, and some are speculating that this might affect the performance of the show itself in the long run.