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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

TV/STREAMING . . .

Lele Pons & Nick Cannon to Co-Host 2018 Teen Choice Awards. The Teen Choice Awards are less than a month away, and Fox announced Monday (July 16) that Lele Pons will join Nick Cannon in hosting the event. Pons, who broke into the entertainment scene from her hilarious vines and recently won YouTube's Diamond Creator Award for reaching 10 million subscribers, is nominated for three TCAs this year: choice female web star, choice comedy web star and choice YouTuber. Cannon is no stranger to the award show himself, having been nominated five times in the past. Lucy Hale, Hudson Yang, Maddie Ziegler, Nina Dobrev, Chloe Grace Moretz, Auli'i Cravalho, Noah Cyrus, U.S. Olympians Red Gerard and Chloe Kim, and social media star Jojo Siwa are all scheduled to appear at the star-studded event. The 2018 Teen Choice Awards will take place on August 12 at the Forum in Los Angeles. The show will air at 8 p.m. EST/PST on Fox. (Billboard)

Rugrats Returning to Nickelodeon With New Episodes, Live-Action Film Heading to Big Screen. A baby's got to do what a baby's got to do, including relaunch with new episodes. That's right, Rugrats is coming back to Nickelodeon. The series return was announced with a 26-episode greenlight from Nick and a live-action movie (featuring CGI characters). Both the TV series and movie will include new adventures of Tommy, Chuckie, Phil, Lil, Susie and of course Angelica. Expect some new characters too. "Rugrats is hands-down one of the most celebrated cartoons in TV history, and we are thrilled for a whole new audience to meet these iconic characters in brand-new adventures," Sarah Levy, COO of Viacom Media Networks and interim president of Nickelodeon, said in a statement. "What was true in 1991 when the original show premiered is still true today: kids are fascinated with the world of babies. We can't wait for today's kids to meet Tommy, Chuckie and pals." Original series creators Arlene Klasky, Gbor Csup and Paul Germain are set to return to the TV series as executive producers. Production is underway with additional news, including an airdate and casting, announced in the coming months. The movie written by David Goodman is being released November 13, 2020. "Now feels like the ideal time to reintroduce this iconic cast of characters to a whole new generation of young fans," Brian Robbins, president of Paramount Players, the division of Paramount Pictures that develops and produces co-branded movies with Viacom's media networks. "Kids who grew up with Tommy Pickles and the Rugrats crew will now be able to share that experience with their own children." The original Rugrats premiered in 1991 and was in production for nine seasons over 13 years. Rugrats is just the latest Nickelodeon property to make a comeback. Double Dare is currently airing new episodes; Invader Zim has a revival TV movie, Hey Arnold! returned in a movie, Blue's Clues is being rebooted and Rocko's Modern Life will return in a new movie in 2018. (Eonline)

First Female Doctor Who: Girls Should No Longer Just Think "I Could Be a Companion. Jodie Whittaker says she's hugely honored to be able to show children that their TV heroes don't always look the same. Incoming Doctor Who Jodie Whittaker has said she hopes the BBC's decision to cast a woman as the iconic Time Lord for the first time in the show's 55-year history offers inspiration to young girls. "There's the chiseled superhero that we're used to seeing and we've all grown up with," she said in an interview with the Radio Times. "But Doctor Who has never been that, which is wonderful. It's attainable in so many ways. And now it isn't just attainable for half of the population. The other half can be the Doctor as well." She added: "Girls will no longer just think, 'Oh, I could be a companion.' Being the first female Doctor and showing children that their heroes in shows don't always look the same is a huge honor for me." Whittaker, best known as the star of Broadchurch alongside films including Attack the Block, also claimed there was some element of "liberation" in the new direction taken with her in the lead role. "The pressure is less for me, because I can only do this my way," she said. "All the rules are out the window! That's what makes it so fun." Whittaker's comments came just two days after the first teaser landed of the 13th Doctor and her new companions  or "friends" as they're now being termed by the production team Graham, Ryan and Yasmin, played by Bradley Walsh (Law & Order U.K.), Tosin Cole (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Mandip Gill, respectively. Season 11 of Doctor Who will open with a feature-length episode, followed by nine 50-minute instalments, in the fall on BBC America. (Hollywood Reporter)

Ashlee Simpson-Ross is getting back to the small screen -- and her sister Jessica Simpson did not see it coming. E!'s upcoming docuseries Ashlee and Evan will track Simpson-Ross and her husband Evan Ross, Diana Ross' son, as the couple records an album together and raises daughter Jagger Snow, almost 3, and Bronx Mowgli, the singer's 9-year-old son with ex-husband Pete Wentz. At Beautycon in Los Angeles, Simpson shared her surprise with Entertainment Tonight, saying, "I was shocked that she said yes to it because you're mic-ed for everything."" 'Wait, are you sure you want everything to be out there?' She's like, 'Yeah, I'm really confident.'" continued Simpson to the outlet of her sister. "I was like, 'Well, that's what you have to have when you're doing reality.' You have to be confident in who you are and what you're standing for, and I think that she is." So would Simpson ever consider reviving her own reality television career? "Oh gosh no," she told ET. "I am confident, but I also know how people can take your words and make them whatever they want to make them... I'm a loose cannon. I somehow always make for a one-liner here or there." Simpson starred on her own reality show with ex-husband Nick Lachey, Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica, from 2003 to 2005. Simpson-Ross followed up with a spin-off, The Ashlee Simpson Show, from 2004 to 2005. Simpson told ET that she will appear toward the end of Ashlee and Evan. "It's definitely their journey together and discovering their music together, which is awesome. She's out there singing again, which I couldn't be prouder of," Simpson told the outlet. Earlier this year, Simpson-Ross told PEOPLE she was excited for the reality series, explaining, "It's been 10 years for me where I've just been 'mommy.' It's been an amazing 10 years but now we're getting back into music." She added, "You get to see me diving back into that and the balance as a mom, getting back into my career and what I love to do." (People)

Taylor Hicks doubled down saying "American Idol" contestants knew who was getting eliminated because, as he put it, everybody talked ... never mind what Nigel Lythgoe says. We got Taylor at LAX on Monday night and told him what Nigel, the 'AI' executive producer, said ... denying he gave Taylor -- or any contestant -- the heads-up on results at any time. Taylor just ain't buying it ... saying everybody kept tabs on each other -- at least during his 2006 run -- because they were all in a bubble. (TMZ)

Showtime defends Sacha Baron Cohen against 'stolen valor' claim. Showtime has issued a statement slamming critics of Sacha Baron Cohen as spreading fake -- um, "widespread misinformation." In an unusual statement from the network, Showtime pushed back on claims that one of the comedian's latest characters is a disabled veteran. "There has been widespread misinformation over the past week about the character of Billy Wayne Ruddick Jr., Ph.D., performed by Sacha Baron Cohen on the Showtime comedy series Who Is America," read the statement. "Baron Cohen did not present himself as a disabled veteran, and viewers nationwide who watched the premiere on Sunday can now attest to that. In Sunday's episode, during an interview with Senator Bernie Sanders, Baron Cohen in character as Dr. Ruddick was asked by the Senator if he is disabled, and he stated that he is not and uses a mobility scooter to conserve his energy. In addition, Baron Cohen never presented himself as a veteran of the U.S. military to former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin during the booking process or during the filming of her interview, and contrary to her claims he did not appear in a wheelchair. In both the interview with Governor Palin and the interview with Senator Sanders, he did not wear military apparel of any kind." Palin led the charge against the Billy Wayne Ruddick Jr. character after outing herself as being duped by Baron Cohen last Tuesday and was the first to say he was posing as a disabled veteran -- or, at least, that's how his costume appeared to her. Conservatives have blasted Showtime and Baron Cohen for apparent "stolen valor." On Monday, a billboard in Hollywood for Showtime parent company CBS Corp.'s Young Sheldon was papered over by a street artist with a mock Who Is America? ad also alleging the military impersonation claim. Showtime's statement is rather odd given its timing, however. The network was contacted repeatedly by news outlets about Palin and other "duped" claims and replied to all requests with "no comment." The network could have cleared up such "misinformation" before it became "widespread" by noting that "Dr. Ruddick" was not a military veteran character a week ago. The premiere episode reviews were a bit all over the map, with EW's Darren Franich delivering a C+ verdict. Who Is America? airs Sunday nights on Showtime. (Entertainment Weekly)

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