Veteran comedian and "My Life on the D-List" star Kathy Griffin will replace Joan Rivers on "Fashion Police," per E!  And yes ... this was expected.

 The statement: 

“Not only was Joan a trailblazer, she was also a dear friend and mentor to Kathy, who will no doubt continue her legacy and do the series justice by bringing her own unique comedic style and tell-it-like-it-is personality to the host chair,” said Jeff Olde, executive vice president for programming and development at E!

Brad Goreski ("It's a Brad Brad World") will also join the Kelly Osbourne, Giuliana Rancic panel.. Melissa Rivers? She'll remain with the show in a production capacity only, as exec producer... The show returns Jan. 12 with the Golden Globes.

(Griffin has been considered a front-runner ever since Rivers' death in early September, and -- if one is to believe some prominent gossip reports -- even before then, Griffin was said to have sought a role while Rivers was in a coma. Griffin's representatives branded the reports a lie...)

Griffin had a quote, too, slightly redacted here for publication, but the spirit remains intact: 

"I get it! These are some big shoes I'm going to fill. Joan was truly one of a kind. Now I hope you will accept me for me. I'm just Kathy. Did I say I'm just Kathy? I meant I'm Kathy [expletive] Griffin and you celebrities better strap yourself in, as I am taking no prisoners. I am not holding back so DAMMIT let's have some fun!"