Billy Bush is reportedly close to making a television comeback on Extra, two years after he was pushed out of NBC's TODAY Show for his role in the infamous 2005 Access Hollywood video with reality star turned president, Donald Trump.
Sources close to the situation told The Blast Friday night that Bush recently met with several Extra executives about joining the syndicated entertainment newsmagazine, which just happens to be leaving NBC for local Fox stations. According to The Blast, Extra producers believe Bush "deserves a second chance."
However, The Blast also reports that Bush is meeting with other entertainment shows and executives about other opportunities, so the deal with Extra might not be final.
The news comes after Fox TV Stations announced it acquired Extra in seven major markets. The show will leave the NBC-owned-and-operated stations in those markets and re-launch on Fox stations in fall 2019, reports Deadline. Those markets are New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Orlando and Charlotte. The show also airs on Fox-owned-and-operated stations in Chicago, Detroit and Washington, D.C.
In October 2016, the 47-year-old Bush lost his job as a co-anchor on the third hour of the TODAY Show after the Washington Post published leaked video of Trump telling Bush he was so famous he could grab women "by the p–" as they filmed an episode of Access Hollywood.
In November 2017, the New York Times reported that Trump privately told people he did not think it was his voice on the tape. Bush later wrote an op-ed for the Times, insisting it really was Trump.
"Of course he said it. And we laughed along, without a single doubt that this was hypothetical hot air from America’s highest-rated bloviator," Bush wrote on Dec. 3, 2017. "Along with Donald Trump and me, there were seven other guys present on the bus at the time, and every single one of us assumed we were listening to a crass standup act. He was performing. Surely, we thought, none of this was real. We now know better."
After the op-ed was published, Bush appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
On the two-year anniversary of the tape leaking, Bush took to Instagram to reflect on how his life had changed.
"Two years ago today, my life went from order to chaos in a dramatic instant," Bush wrote. "I accounted for my small part, while the President and my employer walked away and still haven’t accounted for their actions. These past couple years have been character building to say the least - anxiety attacks, fits of rage, feelings of betrayal and abandonment - and I have concluded that I am NOT extraordinary. Terrible things can happen at any moment to ANYONE. On the positive side, I feel grateful to know adversity as intimately as I do, and to have developed more empathy, humility and resilience. And to know you can laugh even in the darkest hour is a blessing. Especially at yourself."
He continued, "I am grateful to God and my family for true love and support, and to all of you for your kindness. I have an idea. Let’s stop tolerating this escalating war on flaws and the obliteration of people for things we all do. It’s fueled by an activist media and (anti) social media and it’s barbaric. We are humans and thus fallible. Let’s take better care of each other."0comments
Bush, 47, began his national television career at Access Hollywood, where he worked from 2001 until 2016. His uncle was the late President George H.W. Bush and is a cousin of President George W. Bush and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
Photo credit: Craig Barritt/Getty Images for SiriusXM