Fashion Police was the last public forum for legendary comedian Joan Rivers’ brand of brash, no-holds-barred humor. After her untimely and unexpected passing last fall, producers of Fashion Police — including her daughter Melissa Rivers — had big shoes to fill. They looked to Kathy Griffin, who recently announced she’s done with the show after only a few episodes.
Griffin told Howard Stern that it was Melissa’s intervention that made her say yes, but now, in retrospect, she should have refused the offer.
“I probably shouldn’t have taken the gig. [Joan] just passed away six months ago.”
“[Melissa] is the one who called me and said, ‘You’re the only person that I feel my mom would have truly given her blessing to.’ So that was kind of the decider.”
Joan Rivers was host of Fashion Police from its inception in 2002 until her death in 2014. Melissa Rivers came on as executive producer in 2010.
In light of Griffin’s exit and that of Kelly Osbourne, who said goodbye last month after controversial remarks made on-air by Giuliana Rancic — comments that Griffin later claimed were written for Rancic and not made off-the-cuff — E! has announced the show will be shelved until September. The network expressed support for Rancic and the other remaining host, Brad Goreski, who also just started on the show this year.
“E!’s comedy series ‘Fashion Police’ is going on hiatus and will return in September. We look forward to taking this opportunity to refresh the show before the next awards season. Our talented co-hosts Giuliana Rancic and Brad Goreski, along with executive producer Melissa Rivers, will continue their roles as we evolve the show into its next chapter for the legions of ‘Fashion Police’ fans around the world.”
The Hollywood Reporter revealed that E! executives were not necessarily surprised by Griffin’s exit, but her interviews afterwards, during which she criticized the show, “caught them off guard.”
The paper also said Osbourne’s departure might have not have been as directly linked to the Rancic/Zendaya Coleman controversy as many assumed. The scion of Ozzy and Sharon was apparently looking for a way to be rid of Fashion Police in favor of a reboot of The Osbournes, her family’s old reality series.
NBC Universal Executive Frances Berwick agreed with Griffin on one point, as she told THR.
“With the benefit of hindsight, we definitely brought [‘Fashion Police’] back too soon.”
Griffin took the opportunity to clear up another rumor while on Howard Stern’s show. She denied there was any conflict between herself and Osbourne.
“I knew Kelly and we’ve been friends. Any sort of quote shade thrown between us was all false and made-up.”
[Kelly Osbourne and Kathy Griffin image courtesy of Getty]