NASSAU, Bahamas -- Entertainment Tonight, the celebrated public affairs program, has acquired exclusive rights to cover the funeral of author, lecturer and public health authority Anna Nicole Smith, outbidding The Carbolic Smoke Ball in the intense competition to bring closure to a grief-stricken nation.

ET, as it is known in the trade, was given exclusive access to Mount Horeb Baptist Church in Nassau,Bahamas, where today’s funeral services will be held, to the graveside committal at which select mourners will place red and pink roses on the casket, and is the only news outlet with rights to have a correspondent buried with the body for exclusive post-funeral coverage.

“This is, of course, a great honor that Anna Nicole’s family and legal counsel for her family have put the kind of faith in Entertainment Tonight to allow me to accompany Anna Nicole into the afterlife,” said ET correspondent Mark Steines.

The exclusive arrangement – which only ET viewers will get to see – includes Steines inside the casket with a camera crew, and exclusive interviews with Anna Nicole’s soul as it travels into the next world for final judgment.

“Obviously, we know that ET viewers are going to want to know what happens to Anna Nicole when she is judged in the next world,” Mr. Steines said. “She was a very spiritual person and we’re hoping to cover the happy reunion with her son, Daniel, and get her reaction when she finds out from God whether she’s going to Heaven or Hell.”

Teams of other ET correspondents will also be on hand to give saturation coverage to the next round in the long series of legal battles that have followed Anna Nicole’s passing. On Friday morning, her mother,Virgie Arthur, filed suit seeking custody of Anna Nicole’s soul, while her lawyer and boyfriend, Howard K. Stern, asked the Vatican to retroactively declare her a Catholic and have her sent to limbo until higher courts can intervene.

At the same time, the husband of Hollywood fossil Zsa Zsa Gabor said he is both the father of Anna Nicole’s baby and her spiritual advisor and has demanded that, in his unique religious tradition, she be reincarnated as an Afghan Hound. He did not explain his position.

“Clearly, this continuing drama – and Anna Nicole’s afterlife reaction to it – is going to provide gripping coverage that only ET viewers will see because of our extraordinary level of access,” said Steines. “And I plan to be there, bringing it to ET viewers as long as my oxygen pack holds out.”