Robert Verdi may not be a name that strikes terror into the hearts of garishly dressed celebrities, but give him time. E! has named him as the channel's new top cop for fashion, replacing Joan and Melissa Rivers, and he'll make his debut manning Joan's old post on the red carpet at the Emmys on Sept. 19. He'll also take Joan's old job as the host of the postmortem Fashion Police (debuting Sept. 20), which will now be a weekly series instead of an occasional special.
Verdi is best known as the cohost of the Discovery Channel's makeover show Surprise by Design. He fills the gap left by the Rivers gals, who left E! earlier this summer to cover fashion and awards-show celebrity arrivals for the TV Guide Channel, only to learn that E! retained exclusive cable rights to cover the red carpet for the Emmys for the next two years.
''The opportunity to examine the wacky, wild and wonderful world of celebu-fashion on a weekly basis is terminally exciting -- the fusion between Hollywood, high fashion and all aspects of stylish living is what has defined my career,'' Verdi said in a statement. ''E! is the perfect place for an insiders guide to what's hip and happening.'' Sounds like he's already mastered the first prerequisite of the fashion pundit: alliteration.