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Kathy Griffin Replaces Joan Rivers on ‘Fashion Police’: Beat Out NeNe Leakes

> on July 26, 2009 in Studio City, California.Comedian Kathy Griffin will replace Joan Rivers on “Fashion Police.”

Griffin beat out former supermodel Tyra Banks and “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star NeNe Leakes for the gig.

Kathy will join Joan’s daughter Melissa Rivers, Kelly Osbourne and Giuliana Rancic for the fashion critique show, TMZ reported. It’s unclear if George Kotsiopoulos will return to Fashion Police.

Insiders said the show is also changing its format: it will no longer be a weekly show, but will air seasonally during awards and special events.

Sources said Joan would have been happy that Griffin is replacing her, as the two were close friends. Kathy previously said she considered Rivers a mentor.

The brash, outspoken Kathy recently released a compilation of her hilarious stand-up routines in The Kathy Griffin Collection: Red, White & Raw. 

Meanwhile, sales of Joan’s memoir, Diary of a Mad Diva, have skyrocketed since her tragic death.

Rivers’ daughter, Melissa Rivers, who inherited $110 million from Joan, is moving forward with a multi-million-dollar wrongful death lawsuit, Examiner reported.

A New York Dept. of Health report concluded that Joan suffered irreversible brain damage after being given a massive overdose of the powerful anesthesia drug Propofol.

A veteran litigator, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told me exclusively Melissa could be awarded tens of millions of dollars in her wrongful death lawsuit because Joan was earning a robust income at the time of her death.

Related: Melissa McCarthy shows off 45 pound low-carb weight loss: From 265 to 220 lbs