Emmy Award-winning journalist Nischelle Turner has become the first Black woman to anchor ‘Entertainment Tonight.’
“It means everything. It really does. I’m humbled. I’m overwhelmed. I’m grateful. I’m excited,” Turner said, before explaining why this moment is bigger than her.
“Being the first woman of color to anchor this show and follow in the footsteps of Mary Hart and Nancy O’Dell, those are big shoes to fill,” she said of previous ET co-hosts. “They’re even bigger shoes to fill when I look at the legacy of Black women in this business who have paved the way for me.”
“I am just trying to put my head down, move forward, make everybody proud, and work my butt off,” Turner added. “That’s the only way to show my gratitude, is just really to get to work and be the best version of me for this show. And I’m ready to do it.”
As co-host, Turner said she’s ready to “have more of a voice” and to “show everybody who I am as a journalist even more.”
“I just want people to know that I care. I’m their neighbor. I’m here always,” she said. “… I am the girl next door. I grew up like most other people. I grew up in rural Missouri, in the country, on a farm. I love the things everybody loves. Faith, family and football, that’s how I grew up. I just want people to feel like they’re having a conversation with their friend at the end of the day.”
One way Turner hopes to bring that energy is through her friendship with Frazier, whom she’s known for years.
“Our chemistry is natural, it’s real. It’s nothing forced or manufactured. I think our viewers see that and they respond to it,” she said. “For him and I, it’s nothing really different. It’s just the conversations we have every day in our offices are what we’re bringing now to television. We’re just really, really excited about that.”
Executive Producer Erin Johnson is likewise excited, noting that “Nischelle can do it all.”
“She can go from a heartfelt conversation with Oscar winner Viola Davis about the impact of Cicely Tyson to singing karaoke on a balcony with Jimmy Fallon. She is warm, thoughtful, and full of energy,” Johnson said. “Celebrities respect her skills as a seasoned journalist, and our audience has taken notice of her fun chemistry with Kevin [Frazier]. There is no one more deserving to lead ET in our history-making 40th season and beyond.”
Turner, who counts the best part of the job as “getting to live out so many people’s dreams,” said she’s most excited about having “the opportunity to connect more with viewers and to have a bigger platform to do good.”
“I’m from a family who has built themselves on service, that’s what we believe,” she said. “So now to have a bigger platform to give back more, that really means everything to me.”
Turner joined ET as a correspondent in 2014. While at ET, she has served as the weekend co-host, and covered everything from awards shows, to movie premieres, to breaking news.
A graduate of the University of Missouri, Turner began her journalism career in 1998 when she joined WEHT as a reporter and fill-in anchor in Evansville, Indiana.
From there, Turner worked at Good Day LA and Fox Sports. She also served as an entertainment news expert on Michaela, The Dr. Drew Show and The Daily Share, and was featured on The Young and the Restless.
Turner came to ET from CNN, where she worked on entertainment segments for CNN Newsroom, New Day and CNN Tonight.