On the eve of her 90th birthday, ABC has inked a deal with the aging beauty and scholarship pageant, giving Miss America a place to rest her crown and sash until at least 2013.
After posting its best ratings on cable in January when current Miss America, Caressa Cameron, was crowned, the pageant found itself temporarily homeless, unable to reach a new pact with previous host, TLC.
The new, three-year deal with ABC was announced today by the Miss America Organization. Pageant officials say the agreement signals a new era for Miss America, which had been adrift since being dropped by ABC in 2004.
The revamped pageant will be broadcast live on Jan. 15.
"Miss America is one of this country's great enduring institutions, and creatively we are introducing new ways to honor the pageant's rich tradition, while also producing a spectacular show that will offer true entertainment appeal to ABC's viewers," Art McMaster, president and chief executive officer of the Miss America Organization said in a statement.
Does this mean the same racy lingerie poses that mogul Donald Trump recently employed to distance his Miss USA contestants from their pageant girl images?
Don't bet your evening gown, swimsuit or talent segments on it.
The president of Miss America's board, Sam Haskell III, told the AP the scholarship pageant will make an effort to distance itself from (sniff!) Miss USA. (Our translation: no pole dancing winners or sexy swimsuit photo shoots for wholesome America!)
Instead, pageant officials say they are thinking of having a reunion of some 60 living former Miss Americas.
"No little girl walks around saying 'I want to be Miss USA when I grow up.' She says, 'I want to be Miss America,'" Haskell said. Meow!
That said, StyleList thinks Miss America should take advantage of some of the shameless self-promotion that Trump has mastered at the helm of Miss USA.
We noticed newly crowned Miss USA, Rima Fakih, sporting her sash and crown at last night's live finale of Trumps' "The Celebrity Apprentice."
Maybe the new Miss America can compete on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" or take her turn as "The Bachelorette" when her reign is done. Just sayin'.