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‘Fashion Police’ Returns for VMA Special with New Panel After Casting Shakeup

Following a slew of casting shakeups, E!’s “Fashion Police” returns Monday night with a fresh, revamped panel for a special episode, covering this past weekend’s MTV Video Music Awards.

Joan Rivers’ daughter Melissa Rivers takes her late mother’s place, as the newest co-host of the show, along with returning panelists Giuliana Rancic and Brad Goreski.

“Melissa is a natural fit and did an incredible job of moderating the show and also bringing the funny,” Rancic tells Variety. “You can instantly see she’s her mother’s daughter. I am so impressed by Melissa’s performance and am confident Joan is smiling down on her and so proud of how terrific she is as the new co-host.”

The all-new “Fashion Police” format features celebrity guests on each episode. This week, “Real Housewives of Atlanta” alum NeNe Leakes and comedian Margaret Cho stop by.

“I didn’t realize how explosively hilarious they would be,” Rancic says of the guest duo. “I was watching my Twitter feed and chatting as the show aired on the east coast, and people were loving them and the show. It couldn’t have gone better and I’m so happy we’re back.”

As for her own return, Rancic — who recently departed “E! News” after 14 years with the network, but will remain on E!’s “Live From the Red Carpet” award show specials, in addition on “Fashion Police” — says the viewers were a large part of why she decided to stay on the panel show, which will run for six episodes before the end of the year.

“‘Fashion Police’ has incredibly loyal viewers from all around the world who want the show to go on, and love that we can have fun with fashion and not take ourselves, or Hollywood, too seriously,” she explains.

The “Police” went on a lengthy hiatus, after panelist Kelly Osbourne abruptly quit the series, followed by the swift exit of Kathy Griffin, who had taken the seat of Rivers, after her sudden death. Since, there has been a flurry of tabloid attention surrounding the talents’ behind-the-scenes relationships, but Rancic says the current trio is the A-team.

“I honestly didn’t know what to expect before premiere day, but the three of us — Brad, Melissa and myself — have a genuine friendship and rapport and I could feel that ease of our chemistry from the second we started shooting episode one,” said said.

“The only loss we feel is Joan’s presence,” Rancic added. “But Melissa truly embodies so much of her mother’s energy that I felt so confident and happy on set with her and Brad by my side.”

Here’s a look at the “Fashion Police” return with tonight’s VMA special episode:

Pictured: Goreski, Rivers and Rancic.

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