Last summer Mary Hart, the long running co-host of the television magazine “Entertainment Tonight” announced her plans for retirement. After 30 years, Hart and her legs are hitting the open road and leaving life at ET behind. Through months of negotiations and auditions, the producers of the show have finally found a worthy replacement to fill her shoes — Nancy O’Dell.

According to THR, O’Dell will join “Entertainment Tonight” as a special correspondent in January before moving on to co-host after Hart’s departure. This way, the audience will have the opportunity to get accustomed to O’Dell being a part of the ET family. She was a staple on the show’s rival “Access Hollywood” for 13 years before she left in December of 2009.

O’Dell released an official statement to People Magazine regarding her reaction to the news, “I am honored to be the one chosen to fill a TV legend’s seat and I hope I can do her proud!” As for Hart, she had nothing but good things to say about her successor.

“Leaving this job was not an easy decision, but knowing I will pass the baton to Nancy O’Dell makes that decision much easier,” Hart said Monday. “Nancy is a talented and respected entertainment correspondent. We have spent many years working on opposite sides of the celebrity battlefield and I know the show will flourish with Nancy as co-anchor.”

Hart officially announced her plans of departure in August, and will complete one last season before leaving for good.

What do you think of O’Dell replacing Mary Hart on ET?