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Tyra Banks returns to 'America's Next Top Model' as host

Published: Thursday, March 16, 2017 @ 6:24 PM
By: Kelcie Willis, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Tyra Banks is heading back to her roots and returning to host her long-running reality TV show, “America’s Next Top Model.”

The retired supermodel, mother and business woman announced on Twitter that she missed the show and will be back for the 24th season, referred to as a cycle.

Variety reported that production on the new cycle begins this summer.

After running on CW Network for decades -- initially on UPN before The CW was formed --  the show was canceled. VH1 picked up the show, retooled and restyled it and singer and actress Rita Ora was on board as host, with celebrity stylist Law Roach, model Ashley Graham and Paper magazine chief creative officer Drew Elliot as judges. Banks remained on as executive producer and appeared on the first and last episode of the cycle. Executive producer Ken Mok also remained on board since the series’ move to VH1.

Despite a rumor reported by tabloid site OK Magazine that Banks wanted Ora out, the supermodel thanked the singer for her work on the 23rd cycle.

“I’m overwhelmed and humbled by the intensity of the ‘ANTM’ fan base whose deep affection for the show led me to have a change of heart. After giving it a lot of thought, I realized that remaining behind the camera wasn’t enough because ‘ANTM’ is woven into my DNA,” said Banks in a statement.

“Tyra has always been the heart and soul of the franchise and her absence was deeply felt by our fiercely loyal fans who missed their Queen of the Smize,” Mok said. “We’d like to thank Rita Ora for being a great partner and total pro. She infused this new iteration of ‘ANTM’ with passion and creativity and we wish her nothing but the best in her future endeavors.”

There has been no word on whether the judges will be replaced.

Banks will be on more than one network this year. In addition to VH1, Banks is the new host of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” Former host Nick Cannon congratulated her on the gig with a bouquet of flowers.