Joan and Melissa Rivers will be fawning over celebrities' fashion choices on the red carpet, then dissing them behind their backs, for at least three more years, but from a slightly different perch. Variety reports that the awards-show fixtures are leaving E! for a deal at the TV Guide Channel. The contract is for three years and will pay the mother-daughter pair a reported $8 million to stand post at the Oscars, the Grammys, the Emmys, and the Golden Globes. They'll also do a lifestyle show for the channel and various holiday specials.
The TV Guide Channel is better known for airing listings than for its original programming, but that may change with its acquisition of the services of 71-year-old Joan and 36-year-old Melissa. They'd been at E! for nine years but had been without a contract since December. TV Guide Channel was apparently willing to outbid both E! and rival suitor A&E for the Rivers' services. Joan, whose displeasure with E! had been apparent for a long time (in 2001, on the Academy Awards red carpet, she said, ''E! stands for excitement as well as enema''), did not comment on reports of the new contract, hinting that the ink was not yet dry. ''It's a little premature,'' her publicist told the New York Daily News. ''Joan does not talk about deals until they are a deal.''