Billy Bush is returning to television after a nearly three-year exile following the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape that seemed to derail his career.
The ousted entertainment journalist will anchor Warner Bros. Television’s “ExtraExtra,” a rebranded version of the long-running, syndicated magazine show “Extra.” Season 26 will premiere on Sept. 9 and air nationwide on various broadcast stations.
Bush, 47, was unceremoniously fired as co-anchor on NBC’s “Today” show in 2016 after the 2005 “Access Hollywood” recordings resurfaced, and captured him laughing at Donald Trump’s self-described “locker room talk” about female genitalia.
“We all have to be able to evolve as we grow,” Bush, 47, told People on Wednesday. “The guy that left the scene in 2016 was already a changed person [since 2005], but I had the opportunity to grow up a little bit. Facing adversity in some way is good. And I feel I’ll be better at my job than I ever was. This is my next step.”
The former “Access Hollywood” host plans “a major facelift” for the syndicated program. The current iteration of “Extra,” which is hosted by Mario Lopez, will continue to run through its 25th season before Bush takes the helm. (Lopez has reportedly signed on to host “Access Hollywood.”)
“ExtraExtra” will move its broadcast center and newsroom to the Burbank Studios in Burbank, and will feature a new, modernized setting at the studio. The show’s reporting from bureaus in Los Angeles and New York will also continue, but will expand with new outposts in Nashville and Las Vegas.
“Billy is the consummate journalist with extensive celebrity industry contacts and reach,” senior executive producer Lisa Gregorisch-Dempsey said in a statement to The Times. “No one does more illuminating interviews and in-depth stories than him. He’s the perfect host as we reinvent ‘Extra’ for a new generation. I’m thrilled to welcome him back to television.”