While certain brands and personalities have been dumping Donald Trump left and right in the wake of his derogatory statements regarding Mexicans during his presidential campaign announcement — including NBC and Univision opting to no longer air this year’s Miss USA Pageant, a Trump event (NBC has in fact severed all ties with Trump, and The Celebrity Apprentice will continue without him) — at least one outlet is cozying up to The Donald. REELZ announced today that it has acquired the rights to exclusively telecast the 2015 Miss USA Pageant on Sunday, July 12, at 8pm ET.
According to Stan E. Hubbard, CEO of REELZ: “The decision on the part of REELZ to acquire the rights to the MISS USA Pageant was based on our belief that this special event, and the women who compete in it, are an integral part of American tradition. As one of only a few independent networks, we decided to exercise our own voice and committed ourselves to bringing this pageant to American viewers everywhere. For us, this decision is about the dreams of the contestants who come from all walks of life across the United States, the city of Baton Rouge that has proudly come together to host this pageant and the viewers who will be watching and celebrating its 54th year on television. The MISS USA Pageant is a perfect fit on REELZ where movies, entertainment and celebrity come together every day of the year.”
No word yet on hosts for this year’s event on REELZ. Previously set hosts Cheryl Burke and MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts have both bowed out. [UPDATE 7/10/15: REELZ announced that the judges will all be former titleholders of the Miss Universe Organization, and will include: Nana Meriwether, Leila Umenyiora, Rima Fakih, Crystle Stewart, Danielle Doty, Tara Conner, Kimberly Pressler, Brook Lee and Michelle McLean-Bailey. The network also said that Adley Stump will perform as a guest vocalist, and Master P and his daughter Cymphonique, stars of an upcoming REELZ reality series, will make special backstage guest appearances.]
While REELZ certainly does not reach the number of homes that NBC and Univision would, Trump can at least be assured that his baby will be seen by some people, and perhaps REELZ will get the exposure it likely needs.
The 2015 Miss USA Pageant airs July 12 live at 8pm ET on REELZ.