Since its 2003 debut, America’s Next Top Model has launched entertainment starlets (Warm Bodies star Analeigh Tipton, Chicago Med‘s Yaya DaCosta), infectious catchphrases (“This is not America’s Next Top Best Friend“), and transformed the way the world poses for selfies (you better smize). But after 24 cycles on the air, creator-host Tyra Banks has admitted she never thought the show would push beyond two editions.
“I knew it would be successful, meaning I thought there would be two seasons in America and then it would be over, but I didn’t understand TV and I thought that would be great,” Banks said during a recent appearance on PeopleTV’s Couch Surfing, which saw the 45-year-old supermodel revisiting an iconic clip in which she pretended to faint in front of the cycle 6 cast. “But now we’ve got 24 seasons, and the American version is in 150 countries or something? It’s crazy!”
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Banks said in a 2017 interview with EW that she initially considered walking away from the series after cycle 8 in 2007. She even had a successor in mind, bringing an unnamed heir apparent (she won’t say who) to The CW for a series of interviews, though her lawyer ultimately talked her into staying. “It’s something that’s been on the tip of my fingers for so long, so it wasn’t necessarily difficult [to let go],” she remembered. “It was actually exciting. I wanted the show to continue; I wanted to keep it new. With me creating and owning a significant portion of the show, it’s in my best interests to keep it going and to keep it fresh.”
“We’ll see! We’re trying to figure that out right now. I would probably like to close it out,” she said of the show’s future, going on to discuss which contestants — including Shandi, Jade, and Eva — she’d love to bring back if cycle 25 ends up being an All-Stars edition. “I’d like to do it on a nice even number and do something really creative and interesting and then peace out.”
Watch the full ANTM portion of Banks’ Couch Surfing appearance above.
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