TLC to Air Miss America Pageant for Next Three Years

Barely five months after she was jilted, Miss America is hooking up with a new cable TV outlet.

TLC, best known for reality shows such as "Trading Spaces" and "What Not to Wear," has agreed to air the pageant for the next three years.

As part of the deal, TLC, which is owned by Discovery Communications, announced a reality show about Miss America, culminating with the finals on Jan. 26 in Las Vegas.

Miss America, once a staple of life in Atlantic City and prime-time network television every September, has struggled to stay relevant in a world where reality shows dominate television and where there are plenty of places to see young women in bathing suits — or less.

Two years ago, the pageant lost its broadcast deal with ABC and ran off to Las Vegas. In 2006 and this year, the pageant was telecast on Country Music Television. But in March, the Nashville-based cable channel dumped the competition even though it had broadcast rights until 2011.

As women won state pageants this summer, it was unclear when or where — and perhaps whether — they would vie to become Miss America.

The deal announced Monday ends that uncertainty. The terms of the deal were not announced.

"Miss America's move to TLC will give it the proper promotion and attention it deserves," said Sam Haskell III, the chairman of the board for the Miss America Organization, which also has moved its offices out of Atlantic City, but only to nearby Linwood.