Lopez Dances to Miss America Gig
'Stars' runner-up will host 2007 pageant
Lopez has been tapped to host the 2007 Miss America pageant on CMT. The former "Saved by the Bell" star takes over the gig from James Denton ("Desperate Housewives"), who hosted CMT's first broadcast of the competition last year.
"Mario Lopez is a fantastic choice to host the 2007 Miss America pageant," executive producer Sarah Brock says. "With his soaring popularity, his former hosting experience and his undeniable charm, he will certainly excel as this year's host."
Miss America moved to CMT last year after its long-time broadcast home, ABC, decided not to renew its contract in the face of steadily declining ratings. The move to cable predictably brought an even smaller audience; however, the 3.1 million people who watched last year's initial broadcast were the most ever for CMT.
This year's pageant will air live (or tape-delayed, if you live out West) from Las Vegas on Monday, Jan. 29. It will be preceded by "Pageant School," a two-hour special airing Friday, Jan. 26 that will follow the contestants through a series of contests designed to help them home their pageant-specific skills.
In addition to his run on "Dancing," where he finished second to Emmitt Smith, Lopez has hosted "Weekend Extra" and was one of several hosts of the syndicated show "The Other Half." His credits also include a guest spot on "Nip/Tuck" earlier this season, USA's "Pacific Blue" and the "SBTB" follow-up subtitled "The College Years."