‘Entertainment Tonight’ Executive Producer Brad Bessey Departs Before Season 36 (EXCLUSIVE)

Entertainment Tonight” executive producer Brad Bessey is departing the show ahead of its 36th season, Variety has learned exclusively.

Bessey joined “Entertainment Tonight” in April 2014, succeeding longtime “ET” exec producer Linda Bell Blue. Bessey was also exec producer of “ET’s” companion show, “The Insider.”

While the search is on for Bessey’s replacement, Rick Joyce will take the position of executive producer. Joyce was brought on to “ET” in April of this year as co-exec producer, working alongside Bessey.

Sources say Bessey’s contract was not renewed for the upcoming season, which kicks off in September. Insiders say the split was amicable, and Bessey is pursuing other opportunities.

“Entertainment Tonight,” produced and distributed by CBS Television Distribution, remains syndication’s top-rated newsmagazine strip with an average of 4.6 million viewers for the season to date. But ratings in key categories are  down for the season overall, which prompted CTD to make the change at the top.

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