Quantico's Jake McLaughlin Welcomes Baby No. 4. And baby makes six! Quantico star Jake McLaughlin and wife Stephanie McLaughlin have welcomed their fourth child, a baby girl named Freya. The 34-year-old actor's co-star Priyanka Chopra revealed the news on her Twitter page, alongside a photo of the happy mom holding their baby while sitting in a hospital bed with the couple's other children -- daughters Rowen and Reagan and son Logan. "Congrats Jake and Stephanie Mclaughlin for the new addition to your family..Freya is beautiful. Welcome baby girl. #rowen #reagan #logan," the actress said. Jake lives an unconventional actor's life -- he and his family reside in his hometown, located near Sacramento in Northern California, about seven driving hours away from Hollywood. He made his onscreen acting debut playing a U.S. soldier in the 2007 movie In the Valley of Elah. Jake is a real-life veteran -- he served in the Army's 3rd Infantry Division, starting in 2002, and was deployed in Iraq for four years before left due to injury. He later played soldiers on the shows Leverage and The Philanthropist and in the movie The Day the Earth Stood Still. Jake is also known for his past role on the show Believe. On Quantico, which premiered in 2015, he plays retired marine-turned-FBI recruit Ryan Booth. The show just began a hiatus and will resume its second season on March 20. (Eonline)

Cheryl Cole Debuts Baby Bump in First Official Maternity Shoot Hours After Liam Payne's Surprise Brit Awards Appearance. Mum is no longer the word: Cheryl Cole has officially confirmed she's expecting a baby with Liam Payne. After months of widespread speculation and complete silence from the parents-to-be, the X-Factor U.K. judge debuted her growing baby bump in a photo shoot for L'Oreal and The Prince's Trust. In a photograph published by The Daily Mirror, Cheryl wraps her arms around her stomach in a black, long sleeve body con dress. She smiles softly for the camera, her long brunette waves swept behind her shoulders. Meanwhile, Liam made a surprise appearance during Wednesday's 2017 Brit Awards, where One Direction was honored with the award for British Artist Video. Despite Cole's latest photo campaign, the 33-year-old always shied away from addressing her bundle of joy publicly. Her recent wardrobe choices proved otherwise, as she was seen sporting a stylish selection of maternity-esque sweater dresses and coats on multiple occasions. The lovebirds stepped out hand-in-hand in late November for a carol concert in London, where they happily posed for photographs. At the time, a source confirmed to E! News what everyone already assumed, adding that Cheryl was then in her second trimester. The 23-year-old One Direction singer started dating Cole about a year ago, confirming their relationship three months later at a charity gala. Cheryl and Liam met on the set of the X Factor U.K. in 2008 after he auditioned for the competition series. Two years later, Payne reunited with Cheryl on the show, where he would ultimately become part of one of the world's most popular boy bands. Rumors that the couple was expecting sparked in September, when Cole's mother was seen purchasing pregnancy products. Congratulations, you two! (Eonline)

Mama-to-Be Lauren Conrad Says She Hasn't Been Able to Zip Her Pants in Months: Plus, Is She Expecting a Boy or Girl? Lauren Conrad is embracing her pregnancy in style. The former reality TV star-turned-fashion designer dished on all things baby when she sat down with E! News' Catt Sadler to preview her latest collection for Kohl's. Conrad, who is expecting her first child with hubby William Tell, played a maternity-inspired game of this or that, and some of her answers may surprise you. In our interview, Lauren revealed she hasn't ditched sky-high stilettos for platform shoes just yet and her go-to pants are still jeans. Don't expect The Hills alum to rock yoga pants in public, she'd rather sacrifice comfort for fashion and loop a rubber band around her button for a stretchy waistband. As for the nifty pregnancy hack, she shared, "That was like four months ago. I haven't zipped pants in months!" As for whether Lauren and William are expecting a newborn boy or girl, the blond beauty played coy, though she did reveal they know the sex. Baby prep is definitely in full swing in Conrad's household, as she's been busy shopping for "so much stuff. It's all clothes." Safe to say her little one will be the best-dressed baby on the block! But once Conrad's baby is welcomed into the world, expect the 31-year-old to do some major closet cleansing. First on her list to ditch post-baby? Lauren shared, "My bras, because they won't fit!" (Eonline)

It's been almost two months since Pink welcomed son Jameson, and the singer shared in a new Instagram post on Wednesday, February 22, that she's got 30 pounds of baby weight left to lose. "Commitment," the "Just Like Fire" singer, 37, captioned a selfie taken at the gym, "#5down30togo." As previously reported, the Grammy winner welcomed her second child with husband Carey Hart on December 26. The couple are also parents of 5-year-old daughter Willow. On February 6, Pink posted a candid pic with celebrity trainer Jeannette Jenkins on Instagram and revealed that she'd yet to drop any post-baby pounds. "Day 1!!!!!!!!" she captioned the shot. "Lets do this @msjeannettejenkins (week 6 post baby and I haven't lost ANY WEIGHT YET!!!!) yaye me!!!!! I'm normal!" Back in April 2015, Pink haters who commented on her slight weight gain after she took some time off following a grueling world tour. "I feel beautiful," the "Just Give Me a Reason" singer wrote in an Instagram post at the time. "So, my good and concerned peoples, please don't worry about me. I'm not worried about me. And I'm not worried about you either:)... I am perfectly fine, perfectly happy, and my healthy, voluptuous and crazy strong body is having some much deserved time off. Thanks for your concern. Love, cheesecake." She followed it up with a sweet pic with Hart and captioned it, "My hubby says 'it's just more to love baby' (and then I smack his hand off my booty cause we're in a supermarket)." (US Weekly)

Mariah Carey couldn't be happier for Nick Cannon on his latest addition! As we previously reported, on Wednesday, the All That alum announced the arrival of his son with ex Brittany Bell, whom they have named Golden "Sagon" Cannon. And it seems everyone is on board with the TV personality's new kiddo, as Nick's ex-wife has since congratulated the former America's Got Talent host on the new baby. On how MiMi responded to her baby daddy becoming a poppa again, a source dished to E! News: "Nick told both of his other kids about the baby and that they will have a new sibling... Mariah has been aware of the baby for a while now and she congratulated him. They are on fine terms and continue to be good parents for their children." Awwwwww. We can't say we're surprise that the We Belong Together singer is supporting her former flame, especially since they've had such a successful co-parenting relationship in the past. Not to mention, during a recent interview with Howard Stern, the Gigolo rapper revealed he will "never stop loving" Mariah. The twosome share twins, Moroccan and Monroe together. Talk about being one big happy, modern family! We wonder if Miz Carey's man, Bryan Tanaka will get to meet baby Golden. TBH, we just want a family portrait with everyone involved with this contemporary brood. Say, who do we call to make this happen?? (Perez Hilton)

New Mom Hoda Kotb Trades in Her Morning Wine Glass for a Coffee Mug. No more Winesdays for Hoda Kotb -- at least not right now. While we know the NBC co-anchor enjoys sipping from a stemmed glass during her hour on Today alongside Kathie Lee Gifford, the new mom has started a new chapter in her life with a new kind of cup. "Let's hear it for caffeine!!!!" the journalist quipped on Instagram while holding every new parent's favorite accessory -- a coffee mug! -- in her hand. "Love the new mugs mom." It was just days ago that the 52-year-old television star revealed she had adopted her first child, a newborn baby girl named Haley Joy Kotb. She proudly shared the happy news with her colleagues live on air on Tuesday. "She's a Valentine's baby," the elated mama said while phoning into Today. "She is the love of my life." In regard to the baby's name, Kotb revealed her celestial inspiration for the moniker -- Halley's comet. "It was one of those things. I just picture her sailing through the sky," Hoda gushed during a phone call to Gifford on Tuesday." The reason for the baby's middle name was equally special. "She brings us joy," she added. "She's got a beautiful way about her." In the midst of all that joy, she and partner Joel Schiffman appear to be experiencing the early hours and late nights connected to a brand new baby. As Carson Daly joked to Kotb upon hearing the news, "You thought you drank a lot of wine before? Just wait!" So far, it just looks like plenty of coffee! (Eonline)

Kate Upton Explains Why There Is No Sex Before -- or After -- Fiance Justin Verlander's Baseball Games. Justin Verlander may play baseball, but he doesn't like to play around after his games. While spilling the tea to Andy Cohen Wednesday night, the athlete's fiancee and this year's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover girl Kate Upton suddenly was talking sex thanks to a curious caller. A fan rang the show to ask when the Detroit Tigers pitcher prefers to get between the sheets -- before or after his games. Spoiler alert: neither. 'There's no sex before a game -- absolutely none," Upton began. "What I've just found out is, if he plays too well, there's no sex after, either." Of course, fans can't help but wonder: WHY!? "He's exhausted," she said. "It's kind of a buzzkill for me." Ricky Martin, who was also on the show with Upton, offered up some advice. "Just kill him a little bit further," he joked. While the couple's sexy time doesn't revolve around games, Upton has her future husband's back through and through. In November, the 24-year-old didn't bite her tongue as she took to Twitter to defend her man after he lost the 2016 American League Cy Young Award. "Hey @MLB I thought I was the only person allowed to f--k @JustinVerlander?!" she wrote to her millions of Twitter followers. "What 2 writers didn't have him on their ballot?" "He had the majority of 1st place votes and 2 writers didn't have him on their ballots?!!" she continued. "Can you pick more out of touch people to vote? @MLB. Sorry Rick but you didn't get any 1st place votes? You didn't win. #ByeFelicia @MLB Keep up with the times and fire those writers." As the story goes, Boston Red Sox pitcher Rick Porcello was granted the accolade by the Baseball Writers Association of America, which honors the best pitchers in Major League Baseball. However, Upton was fired up because Justin received more first-place votes than Porcello, but the Red Sox player received more second-place votes. "How many 2nd place votes? huh? He lost to Justin in 1st place votes," Kate shared while responding to a fan. "If Tampa bay writers weren't paid off..." Fortunately, Verlander wasn't bothered by the social media drama. "I had to write it so fast because he wasn't even off TV yet. I was like, 'Oh I have to write it before he edits me,'" she recalled to Cohen. "I think his first reaction was a little bit surprised that I had already sent [the tweets], but overall he loved it. I just think that the MLB should really plan ahead -- maybe prepare their writers." (Eonline)

Here's Why Milo Ventimiglia Is Wearing a Cast. Everyone's favorite new TV dad is dealing with a real-life injury. "This Is Us" star Milo Ventimiglia stopped by "The Tonight Show" on Tuesday donning a cast and sling on his right arm. "He had a minor surgery on his wrist," his rep told Page Six on Wednesday, adding that it "had nothing to do with production." The actor joked with Fallon that he was in a fight, but then revealed he had "some torn tendons." He did not reveal how he hurt his wrist though. In December, a New York fight shop called Superare tweeted at Ventimiglia offering to send him a pair of gloves. The 39-year-old responded, "Appreciate that bud @ECMMAFightShop, got a busted up wrist at the moment, not throwing anything but shadow combos." (TMZ)

Sinead O'Connor is issuing a full mea culpa for accusing Arsenio Hall of providing drugs to Prince, and saving her ass from a $5 million lawsuit in the process ... TMZ has learned. Arsenio and Sinead tell TMZ, in a joint statement, "Sinead has retracted and apologized for statements she made about Arsenio last year, which prompted his defamation lawsuit against her." TMZ broke the story ... Arsenio sued the crap out of the singer after she went on a rant -- weeks after Prince's death -- and accused him of fueling Prince's drug habit. Sinead tells us, "I apologize for my Facebook posts about Arsenio to the extent that anyone thought I was accusing him of acting as Prince's drug dealer and supplying him with illegal hard drugs, or insinuating that Arsenio had something to do with Prince's death. I sincerely apologize because those statements would be false, and I retract them unequivocally." Arsenio isn't spiking the football in victory -- his reps say he'll file to dismiss the lawsuit, now that Sinead's admitting she was wrong. (TMZ)

Johnny Depp's ex-managers have a collective brass pair for suing him ... according to Johnny who says he has massive tax receipts to prove how much they screwed him. Depp and his old management firm, TMG, are locked in a huge legal battle -- first, Johnny said they defrauded him out of $25 million and then TMG filed a countersuit against him. But in new docs, Johnny says it's laughable they'd try to sue him. According to the docs, Johnny says TMG cost him more than $6 million in fines and penalties to the IRS from 2000 to 2015. He says the firm also dropped a seven-figure screw job on him for his California state taxes. To be clear, Depp's already paid the penalties, but he ain't happy about it. Depp says his new management discovered TMG's "negligence and misconduct" in 2016 -- it's one of the reasons he originally filed his fraud lawsuit last month. He's submitting the proof of bad performance to convince a judge to toss TMG's suit against him. (TMZ)

Darius McCrary's Wife Gets Restraining Order Amid Claims the Actor Abused Her and Their 1-Year-Old Daughter. Darius McCrary is facing domestic abuse allegations once again. E! News can confirm Tammy Brawner, the former Family Matters star's wife, was granted a restraining order against her husband after claiming that he has been abusing both her and their 1-year-old daughter, Zoey. In the documents, Brawner recalled one particularly jarring incident in which she claims McCrary held the baby girl over a boiling pot of water, saying he wished he never had her. The mother also accused him of frequently spanking their daughter and sometimes even strapping her arms during meals. Brawner -- a former Harlem Globetrotter -- also detailed the incident that sparked her desire to get a restraining order. On February 10, she said McCrary began hurling picture frames and other objects around the house, coming dangerously close to hitting the baby. She also accused him of hitting her in the head with his forearm. She claims he regularly drinks and uses drugs, and when he comes home wasted, he gets violent. A judge ruled in favor or Brawner and her daughter, ordering McCrary to move out of their home and stay at least 100 yards away from his wife and baby at all times. He's also banned from any type of visitation until after a court hearing in March. In the documents, Tammy said she plans to file for divorce. This is the second time McCrary has been accused of domestic violence in a marriage. In 2010, his ex-wife Karrine Steffans claimed McCrary hit her on two separate occasions, which the actor vehemently denied. "While it is unfortunate that Miss Steffans has resorted to such public attacks and allegations against Mr. McCrary, he wants his family, friends and fans to know that in no way does he condone anyone resorting to violence against another human being to solve a problem," his rep told E! News at the time. "It is apparent that Miss Steffans didn't take the finality of the divorce well and has resorted to her old tricks of public defamation of one's character." E! News has reached out to McCrary's rep for comment regarding the new claims. (Eonline)

Chris Brown's neighbor, singer Kay Cola, claims the police were called several times and "didn't do s?-?-?t" about him beating up ex-girlfriend Karrueche Tran. "She left him! It wasn't my place to speak on her issues, however now that she is speaking on it I can't sit by and watch people say she's lying .?.?. The police didn't do s?-?-?t they have been called out several times, do your research North Hollywood Police station. I spoke to her about it and I sent people upstairs and even went upstairs myself. I did what I could and that's that," she tweeted. Cola fired off a series of tweets after court documents revealed Brown allegedly threatened to shoot and kill Tran. A judge ordered Brown to stay away from Tran. "He said if no one else can have me that he's gonna 'take me out,'?" Tran wrote. Cola said she couldn't take Internet trolls calling Tran a liar. "Some of y'all make me sick to my stomach talking about. Karrecuhes [sic] lying. I've heard him beating her myself. I even called the police .?.?. I used to cry over that situation hearing her screaming at the top of her lungs," she tweeted. "I never spoke up, cause I didn't feel it was my place but hearing y'all say she's lying I can't just sit by and watch this .?.?. I even got into it with Chris because his loud ass used 2 wake up my daughter. He was rude as f?-?-?k & I had known him since he was a kid," she said. Brown's attorney Mark Geragos and Tran's rep did not comment. (Page Six)

Rapper Fetty Wap was sued by a famed plastic surgeon after his crew trashed the doctor's house, leaving blunts and "stripper underwear" strewn around. Dr. Michael Jones, celebrity plastic surgeon and star of "We Are the Joneses," rented his $2.1?million Puerto Rico mansion to the rapper and his crew last July. But when they left, Jones found holes in the walls, blunts scattered through the house, bed linen missing and "stripper lingerie" strewn about the place. There was also damage to the property's golf carts. Fetty's crew was estimated to have caused $50,000 in damage. We're told the chaos set production on the show -- the new season of which will premiere on BET and Centric on April 22 -- back weeks while repairs were carried out. Insiders say the rapper's insurance paid for most of the approximately $40,000 in costs but Jones -- who owns the Lexington Plastic Surgeons clinics -- sued him for the remaining $5,000 needed to finish the repairs that were over and above what the insurance company would cough up. We're told Fetty Wap "took care" of the costs. Reps for the rapper declined to comment. (Page Six)

Daveigh Chase got busted after rushing a dying man to the hospital -- but her arrest has nothing to do with his death ... well, almost nothing. Daveigh, the voice of Lilo in "Lilo & Stitch," dumped the guy outside an L.A. hospital in the wee hours of Feb. 15, and immediately bounced ... according to our law enforcement sources. He was pronounced dead after hospital staffers found him. We're told someone told police Daveigh had been hanging out with the guy in the hours before his death. When cops ran her name, they found an outstanding warrant, and arrested her early Wednesday. Our sources say Daveigh -- who was also the creepy chick in "The Ring" -- is NOT a suspect in the man's death. We're told cops are treating it as a possible overdose, and Daveigh says she was merely trying to get him help at the hospital. (TMZ)

Fox News contributor and commentator Alan Colmes has died after a brief illness. He was 66. America's Newsroom co-anchor Bill Hemmer announced the news during Thursday's broadcast of the Fox program. "We have, yet again, some sad news to report here at the Fox News Channel," said Hemmer. "Fox News contributor and frequent guest here in America's Newsroom, Alan Colmes, has passed away." Colmes is survived by his wife, Jocelyn Crowley, who issued the following statement to the network: "Alan Colmes passed away this morning after a brief illness. He was 66-years-old. He leaves his adoring and devoted wife, Jocelyn Elise Crowley. He was a great guy, brilliant, hysterical, and moral. He was fiercely loyal, and the only thing he loved more than his work was his life with Jocelyn. He will be missed. The family has asked for privacy during this very difficult time." The segment then aired a tribute package from Fox News host Sean Hannity, Colmes' former co-host on Hannity & Colmes, a nightly political debate show that ran on the Fox News Channel from 1996 to 2009. In a statement to Fox News, Hannity, 55, called Colmes "one of life's most decent, kind and wonderful people you'd ever want to meet." "When Alan and I started Hannity & Colmes, there wasn't a day that went by where we didn't say we were the two most fortunate men in all of television," he said, noting that despite their political differences, the two "forged a deep friendship" over the years. "Alan, in the midst of great sickness and illness, showed the single greatest amount of courage I've ever seen," continued Hannity. Colmes, a liberal political commentator, had appeared on Fox News since the channel's launch in 1996 and was known for his often fierce debates. He also hosted the nationally-syndicated Alan Colmes Show on Fox News Radio. Several journalists at the network have taken to social media to share tributes to their late colleague, including former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, who tweeted that Colmes "lit up the FNC halls" with his kindness and humor. "I can tell you tears [are] flowing @FoxBusiness @FoxNews right now," tweeted Countdown to the Closing Bell anchor Liz Claman. "We are all devastated by the loss of kind soul @AlanColmes may god bless RIP." (People)


Rihanna Named Harvard University's Humanitarian of the Year. Is there any award Rihanna hasn't received? The star was named Harvard University's 2017 Humanitarian of the Year Wednesday. She will pick up the Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award at the Sanders Theatre on Feb. 28 at 4 p.m. ET. The 29-year-old "Needed Me" singer founded the Clara Lionel Foundation in 2012, which aids disadvantaged communities around the world. In January, on behalf of her foundation and the Global Citizen organization, she also traveled to Malawi to meet with a number of government officials, mentors, students and teachers to discuss education efforts in the East African nation. Neuroscience professor S. Allen Counter, director of the Harvard Foundation, praised Rihanna's ongoing philanthropic efforts. "Rihanna has charitably built a state-of-the-art center for oncology and nuclear medicine to diagnose and treat breast cancer at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown, Barbados," he said Wednesday. "She has also created the Clara Lionel Foundation Scholarship for students attending college in the U.S. from Caribbean countries, and supports the Global Partnership for Education and Global Citizen Project, a multiyear campaign that will provide children with access to education in over 60 developing countries, giving priority to girls and those affected by lack of access to education in the world today." Harvard's Humanitarian of the Year award is handed out in honor of the late Rev. Professor Peter J. Gomez and recognizes "prominent public-spirited leaders" around the world, "whose works and deeds have served to improve the quality of our lives and have inspired us to greater heights." Past recipients include Kofi Annan, Arthur Ashe, Ruby Dee, James Earl Jones, Tommy Hilfiger, Lionel Richie, Sharon Stone, Desmond Tutu and Malala Yousafzai, among many more. (Eonline)

Celine Dion Gives Beyonce Advice for Raising Twins: ''It's Going to Be Hectic.'' Motherhood (times two!) has its ups and downs, but if anyone's up for the challenge, it's Beyonce. Just ask fellow superstar mama to twins Celine Dion, who had nothing but positive things to say about the pregnant singer when E! News caught up with her in Las Vegas for the launch of her first lifestyle collection with The Bugatti Group. "I think it's a double blessing," Dion shared, adding, "I have twins. I think she's covered. She's been in the business for so long, she's got her own people... When she does something, she knows what she's doing." In addition to 16-year-old Rene-Charles Angelil, Celine raises Eddy and Nelson Angelil, ages 6. With three kids under one roof, Celine knows better than anyone how to find calm within the chaos. Dion had one piece of sound advice for the expectant mother. "It's going to be hectic in the house," she admitted, adding, "But she's fortunate enough that she can have all the people that she wants to help her, but no one will ever replace a mom and she's a great mom. I'm pretty sure of that." And like most Bey fans, Celine couldn't help but gush over her maternity glow. "She looks amazing, she makes women dream, she's so beautiful, she's on top of things," Dion told us. As for her show-stopping performance at the 2017 Grammys, Dion also revealed she could hardly contain her excitement over it. "She looked gorgeous!" Celine shared. "I was watching and when her mother [Tina Knowles] presented her, I thought it was just so amazing." She then addressed her friend, saying, "I love you Beyonce, of course you know that. I wish her the best." Yesterday, E! News had an exclusive update on the Knowles-Carter fam and the anticipation surrounding their newest additions. "Jay and B have always wanted a big family," an insider told us. "So when they got that huge news and surprise that they were having twins, they were both so happy. They have been trying for a while now so these babies are a true gift from God to them." (Eonline)

Gwyneth Paltrow Is Expanding Her Restaurant Business: Frosting Shots All Around! This is GOOP-tastic news! A year and a half ago, Gwyneth Paltrow announced she and Tracy Anderson and the celebrity trainer's company's CEO Maria Baum had created a healthy and organic food and juice take-out company 3 Green Hearts. On-the-go meals and other items were available for purchase at Anderson's two studios in Long Island, New York and the one in the TriBeCa neighborhood of Manhattan. They plan to launch the biggest cafe in one in her new and largest studio in midtown on March 1. The eatery will feature coffee, smoothies and prepared meals, each "designed as a healthy, fresh and organic option with weight loss and weight management plans available," Anderson's company said in a statement Wednesday. Customers will also be able to order deliveries. "I'm a major foodie so there's also going to be frosting shots, but the frosting is made without all the processed things that really hurt us," Anderson told Hamptons magazine in 2015. "I've figured out how to make the best cookies that have no gluten, no soy, no dairy, no nuts, no eggs -- all the main common allergens." The menu has so far included delicacies such as smoothies and juices made from fruit, vegetable, help milk, vanilla or protein powder ($12.75 to $13.75), the "Chopper Power Salad" (made with kale, arugula, romaine lettuce, carrots, spinach, heirloom tomatoes, mizuna -- or mustard greens, cucumbers with an optional addition of poached chicken breast or salmon), the "Fresco Burrito" (a vegan version made with a gluten-free tortilla, organic quinoa, avocado, zucchini, kale and spicy salsa) and the "Verde Paradiso" or "raw green noodle heaven" dish (made of spiralized zucchini, basil, mint pesto, pine nuts and grape tomatoes), all of which are sold for $11.50. Discounts on the items are available to members of the Tracy Anderson Studios. Memberships start at $900 per month. (Eonline)

In 2008, at age 16, Demi Lovato became a rising star, landing the lead role in Disney Channel's hit original movie "Camp Rock" alongside the Jonas Brothers, rapidly becoming a teen icon. That same year, she signed a recording deal with Hollywood Records, releasing her debut album "Don't Forget," which bowed at No. 2 on the Billboard Top 100. Before the release of the album, Lovato began her own tour, and appeared on the Jonas Brothers' Burnin' Up Tour. Though Lovato's success was apparent, her internal struggles were largely shielded. In 2011, with a history of drug abuse and self-harm, she entered rehab, where she was diagnosed with bipolar depression. Since her diagnosis, Lovato has been vocal about living with a mental illness and her journey through recovery. She is the spokesperson for Be Vocal, an initiative focused on helping individuals and communities with mental illness advocate for themselves and for others. Inspired by her own journey with mental health, Lovato recently executive-produced a documentary called "Beyond Silence," which follows three individuals -- Jeff Fink, Lauren Burke, and Lloyd Hale -- and their experiences with mental illnesses including bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety. Though each of them suffer from very different disorders, they have a common ground of dealing with the setbacks of mental illness, Lovato said. "You can hear in the documentary how different they are, but also how alike they are," Lovato told Variety. "It's important that we get that message out there because mental health is so important -- it's just important as physical health." Lovato worked on the film with photographer and filmmaker Shaul Schwarz, and collaborated with Sunovion Pharmaceuticals and five leading mental health organizations, who nominated Fink, Burke, and Hale to be in the film. For Lovato, she hopes that the documentary not only educates, but also inspires people to raise awareness and spark conversation about mental health. She aspires to bring to the fore the idea that asking for help and being expressive about one's mental health is vital for both the process of recovery and thriving while co-existing with mental illness. "I hope that this film will show people that there is nothing wrong with having a mental health condition," Lovato says. "If you do have one, you are able to live well and thrive with a mental health condition, if you are able to speak up and be vocal about the things you are going through." When asked about her own recovery process, Lovato shared her realization that being vocal about her own struggles resonates deeply with those who suffer from the same or similar conditions, which has inspired her to be so open about her journey. "There's something about when you speak out and are vocal about your story, it's very inviting to others who are dealing with the same thing. And if you can make that impact on somebody's life, it does something for you spiritually that makes you want to tell the story again and again and again," Lovato said. For individuals that don't have the financial means to enter a facility for recovery, Lovato says that Bevocalspeakup.com provides several pathways for people to obtain the help that they need, whether it's a hotline, or a list of methods that guide people on how to approach speaking with the people around them. "It's very important we create conversations, we take away the stigma, and that we stand up for ourselves if we're dealing with the symptoms of a mental illness," Lovato said. "It is possible to live well and thrive with a mental illness." (Page Six)

Kelly Ripa's Son Brings a Book About a Stripper Pole to Class: "This Is Still the Greatest School Memory We Have." Stephen Colbert is bringing precious school memories to families one stripper pole book at a time. During an appearance on The Late Show, Kelly Ripa recalled one particular instance when the comedian wreaked a touch of havoc on her son's school life thanks to his 2012 book, I Am A Pole (And So Can You!). "I have a bone to pick with you about a book you sold on our show," she told him Wednesday night. As the mother of three explained, Colbert appeared on her morning show once to promote his children's book. The night before, she had the book at home and her son Joaquin asked if he could bring it to school. Without asking why, Ripa agreed. "He goes to school where the primary focus of the education is really learning how to read," she said of her son, who has dyslexia. "If you master so many books, you can bring in a book of your choice and the teacher will read the book out loud to the class." "He sends it back to me and says, 'The teacher wouldn't finish reading the book,'" she remembered. "I think I know why," Colbert retorted. The book is about the story of a pole trying to find its purpose. At one point, the pole heads to a strip club. As the author wrote of his main character, "I interned as a stripper pole but I couldn't stand the grind." Her son's teacher sent the book home with a note explaining to Ripa that, while the book was funny, it quickly became inappropriate for 9-year-olds. Fortunately, she saw the silver lining of the entire experience. "This is still the greatest school memory we have," she assured Colbert. "Nowadays, parents are so careful and they're so good at parenting and I became that mom." While Ripa manages her wildly entertaining family life, at work, she's still on the hunt for a co-host since Michael Strahan started working for Good Morning America full-time in May. "When are you gonna put a ring on it, girl?" Colbert asked. Ripa, always quick to the punch, quipped back, "Are you proposing?" And the mystery continues... (Eonline)

Kanye West wants to go head-to-head with his famous sister-in-law ... diving head first into the cosmetic biz dominated by Kylie Jenner. Kanye's filed legal docs declaring his intention to produce DONDA brand makeup, perfumes, lotions and other cosmetics. Donda, of course, is Kanye's beloved mom who passed away in 2007. He'll be up against some stiff family competition. Kylie's cosmetics sell out within minutes ... some resell on eBay for 10 times the retail value. Kanye's application to snag the DONDA cosmetics line is currently being processed. He's made it clear ... Kanye wants to be the new Martha Stewart, creating a lifestyle brand that includes credit cards, cars, wallpaper screens, furnishings, video games, amusement parks, hotels, fitness centers and healthy fast food. So which one's gonna give Kim lip? (TMZ)

Fabolous has put his money where his mouth is by dropping $40k to fix his teeth, and the before and after pics show it was worth every penny. Loso has rapped about the chip in his front tooth on 2001's "Right Now & Later On," and hinted he'd get it fixed, and that's just part of his dental woes. He went full dental just before New York Fashion week and left with a set of 10 new veneers on his top grill. NY dentist Mojgan Fajiram usually charges around $4k per veneer, so it definitely adds up. As for the timing... we're told Fab wanted to treat himself to a belated 39th birthday gift. (TMZ)

Pamela Anderson says she has been inspired by her friendship with Julian Assange to campaign for men who have been falsely accused of rape. In an interview on Russia's RT network, Anderson said that Sweden -- where WikiLeaks founder Assange is accused of sex crimes -- "has these very progressive laws against sexual crimes, whatever you want to call it. It's almost too progressive, it's almost paralyzing," she added on its "Going Underground" show. "I'm going to actually start campaigning for men who have been victims of being accused of rape when they haven't actually done anything." As The Post reported earlier this month, the former "Baywatch" bombshell has visited Assange four times in the past three months at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he's been holed up for four years while dodging prosecution for the Swedish allegations. He's alleged to have assaulted two women in 2010, a claim that Assange vehemently denies. "We all, of course, gravitate to volatile people and we consider that to be women and children first and foremost, which is important, of course, but there are also a lot of men who have a vulnerable situation and [are] politically bullied," Anderson said. The actress said in 2014 that she has been raped several times and has campaigned on behalf of victims of rape. (Page Six)

Jeopardy! Contestant Flips the Bird in Front of Alex Trebek and Viewers: "Damn Right I Did." We'll take "obscene gestures" for 1,000, Alex. Stanford University math and computer science major and Texas native Viraj Mehta got away with flipping off host Alex Trebek -- and the viewers -- while competing on Jeopardy!'s annual College Championship competition, in an episode that aired Wednesday. He did it for about seven seconds while talking about...pizza. Trebek had asked Mehta about a formula he created in his math classes. "You took a class in differential geometry, which helped you analyze another food product," he said. "Yeah, there's a theorem in differential geometry that explains really, well, why, if you fold a slice of pizza, the tip stays in the air so you can eat it easily, and that was really cool to work out in class," Mehta explained. "So you came up with a formula that explains that," Trebek said. "Yeah," the contestant replied. Mehta ended up winning the game and moving on as a College Championship finalist. It is unclear whether he intended to flip the bird. Viewers certainly took notice of his gesture. He later took to Twitter to answer some queries about it. "This kid on Jeopardy just finessed his way into flipping off the camera for a good 3 seconds #jeopardy," one person wrote, to which he responded, "Damn right I did." "Yo viraj, what did America do to make you flip us all the bird #jeopardy," another person asked. "America did 2016," he replied. (Eonline)


Adele sang "Fastlove" as a tribute to George Michael at the Grammys, but on Wednesday it was his band Wham!'s turn to pay tribute to the late pop star at the BRIT Awards in London. Chris Martin also took the stage to perform "A Different Corner." The performance follows on the heels of last year's ceremony, where Lorde sang a moving tribute to David Bowie -- who, coincidentally, was expected to win big this year for his much-acclaimed final masterpiece Blackstar. Wham! members Andrew Ridgeley, Pepsi, and Shirlie began the tribute with a moving speech about their former bandmate. "On Christmas Day 2016, the greatest singer-songwriter of his generation, an icon of his era, and my beloved friend, George Michael was lost," Ridgeley said. "A supernova in a firmament of shining stars had been extinguished and it felt like the sky had fallen in. It started out ordinarily enough. In 1975 we were two boys who happened to share a mutual sense of humor, a love of life-affirming music, the artists and record it gave birth to, and a shared sense that we understood it." "We always knew George was destined to become a star in his own right," Pepsi said. "His voice was stunning, pitch-perfect, and his performances spell-binding. George, Andrew, and Shirlie changed my life by choosing me to join Wham!" Shirlie also spoke about his charitable givings. "Anyone who asked for George's help eventually got it." She continued through tears, "George was like a brother to me and I will always be so proud of his incredible achievements. His beautiful voice will live on forever as a gift to us all." "Music has magical power. And George knew that," said Pepsi. "He understood love, loss, happiness and grief... he lives on his music and in our hearts and I will never forget my wonderful friend." Ridgeley ended the tribute by introducing Coldplay's Martin, who sang "A Different Corner," from 1986's Music from the Edge of Heaven. Halfway through the song, he was joined by a video of Michael singing the track as well. A montage of Michael throughout his life played behind Martin. (People)

Maren Morris seemed to be addressing her critics in a series of tweets on Wednesday night. The country music star wrote, "In a world where girls are a lot of times pit against each other, I have to say, 'HELL no.' Good music is coming back, girls AND boys." She continued with a series of tweets addressing the continuing rise of strong female influencers in the industry, as well as artists she knows and works with, including Kacey Musgraves and Buddy Miller. Morris, who won a Grammy Award for best country solo performance for her hit "My Church," said she was proud to be making music during "a historic time when women are bringing music back to our point of view, which turns out isn't that different." The singer, 26, also took on her haters who have criticized her for her music style, writing, "Sometimes I read mean comments about how I'm not country, or I'm not this or that enough. I want to listen to music & thought without walls." Morris thanked her fans for standing by her and supporting her music, adding, "You make me want to be a better artist." She shot to fame with "My Church," her breakout single, last January, leading to a banner year, multiple Grammy nominations -- and a win. "They say it can all change with one song, and in my case that rings very true," Morris told PEOPLE in January. "I've been doing this since I was 12." Morris also tried out (unsuccessfully) for both The Voice and American Idol, and she moved to Nashville in 2013 where she worked as a songwriter for some of country's biggest names, including Tim McGraw and Kelly Clarkson. But she soon got the itch to record her own music. "I missed being onstage behind the microphone," Morris told PEOPLE. "After a while, it was hard to hear another voice singing my lyrics." (People)

It's a good thing that Zayn Malik didn't attend the BRIT Awards on Wednesday night, because it would have been awkward to a scale of 100. The Pillowtalk singer was pipped to the post by both his major exes-his former bandmates One Direction took Best Music Video for a fourth year in a row for their hit History, and most embarrassingly of all, Little Mix won Best Song for Shout Out To My Ex, which was in part written about Perrie Edwards' ex-boyfriend of four years...Zayn. Zayn's fans were livid that he wasn't recognized by the Awards. And Zayn posted a series of tweets suggesting that he wasn't that thrilled either. To compound matters, the Little Mix girls gave another shout out to their exes...in their acceptance speech. "We'd like to thank our label Sony, Syco, Simon (Cowell), our amazing A&R, our management, and us girls- because if it wasn't for our friendship, we wouldn't still be going. And lastly cheers to our exes for helping us to do an amazing song, this one's for you lads." There is always next year. (British Glamour)

The BRIT Awards 2017 may have only wrapped Wednesday night but already there are rumors swirling that Michael Buble could host 2018. The 41-year-old had to pull out of hosting this year in order to care for his son Noah who was diagnosed with cancer last year. He was replaced by Emma Willis and Dermot O'Leary who pay tribute to him. Talking, Dermot said: "While Emma and I are so happy to be your hosts, we would much rather be down there in the audience, watching Michael Buble up here." Emma added: "We so wish he could have been with us this evening and everyone here at the BRITs send our love and fingers crossed he will be here next year." Our fingers are definitely crossed for Buble too. (British Glamour)

'American Idol' Alum Haley Reinhart's 'Can't Help Falling in Love' Certified Gold. American Idol season 10 alum Haley Reinhart's cover of Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling in Love" has been certified Gold by the RIAA after selling over 500,000 copies, she announced on her Facebook page. The song was prominently featured in a viral commercial--"The Story of Sarah and Juan" -- for Extra gum in 2015, and featured fellow Season 10 alum Casey Abrams on piano. "This is truly a milestone for me and my career," she wrote on her Facebook page. "I appreciate all of ya for supporting me along the way and specifically with this record." Reinhart has been in the studio recording music for a forthcoming record, and is hitting the road this spring for a European tour. (Billboard)

Bebe Rexha Pay Tribute to Destiny's Child on 'The Late Late Show'. Bebe Rexha threw in a little something extra during her performance on The Late Late Show on Wednesday night (Feb. 22), when she added a taste of Destiny's Child's 1999 hit "Say My Name" during a sultry run through her song "I Got You." Promoting her recently released EP, All Your Fault: Pt. 1, the Brooklyn native came dressed to impress, wearing glittery black pants, giant golden doorknocker earrings, and Flashdance-style t-shirt that read "Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go backstage." The set opened pretty chill, with Rexha seated center stage as her band and two backup singers swung through the jazzy "na, na, na"-filled "Got You," before things dipped down suddenly, shifting into a loungey, reverent cover of the hook from the DC smash, then back into Rexha's song. (Billboard)

Calvin Harris Reveals Title of Frank Ocean, Migos Collabo. Calvin Harris is definitely playing the long game with the reveal of his new single. After easing out a few little tastes of a song that sounded like it featured Frank and Migos, Harris confirmed the superstar collabo in a tweet, revealing that it is called "Slide." Harris posted the artwork for the track, which he wrote with Ocean and Migos' Quavo and Offset. The cover image of the single -- which does not yet have a release date -- features a picture of an idyllic California day, with three palm trees and a white puffy cloud. In a nod to Ocean's label-free status, Harris pointed out in a follow tweet that the small print on the single art notes that "Frank Ocean appears courtesy of Frank Ocean." Oh, and one more thing: all his songs for this year are specifically designed to make you feel "f---ing incredible." Consider yourself warned. (Billboard)


'The Dark Valley' Director to Helm 'Das Boot' Sequel. Austrian filmmaker Andreas Prochaska will begin production on the eight-part TV series, set after the events of the 1981 anti-war classic, in March. Andreas Prochaska, the director of Bavarian Western The Dark Valley, is taking the helm of new TV series Das Boot, a sequel to the groundbreaking anti-war drama from 1981. Austria-born Prochaska is a rising star on the German scene. His TV movie A Day for a Miracle won the International Emmy in 2013, and The Dark Valley, a Western set in the Alps starring Sam Riley, was the big winner of the 2014 German film awards, taking eight trophies. The Das Boot sequel is set after the events of Wolfgang Petersen's film (and miniseries) about a German U-Boot crew in World War II. The original was based on Lothar Gunther Buchheim's 1973 novel of the same name. The film version of Das Boot was nominated for six Oscars and was an international box office hit. "Das Boot is a milestone in the history of the anti-war film, it stands for authenticity, suspense, drama, emotion and action," said Prochaska "The series goes a step further, combining the claustrophobic atmosphere of the submarine with a plotline set within the orbit of the (anti-Nazi) resistance, introducing strong female figures and gives me, as the director, the opportunity to transfer this inheritance to a modern form of storytelling." Das Boot will be shot as an eight-part TV series, with production on the $26 million (€25 million) series set to begin in March this year for delivery in 2018. Sky will have exclusive rights to the series in Germany, Austria, the U.K. and Ireland. Pay TV group Sky Deutschland is producing Das Boot together with Bavaria Fernsehproduktion in Germany and Sonar Entertainment (Taboo, The Shannara Chronicles). Tony Saint (Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk to Finchley) and German writer Johannes W. Betz (The Tunnel) are head writers on the Das Boot series. Bavaria's Moritz Polter and Oliver Vogel are executive producing together with Marcus Ammon and Frank Jastfelder of Sky and Sonar's Jenna Santoianni. (Hollywood Reporter)

India Blocks Theatrical Release of Feminist Drama 'Lipstick Under My Burkha'. Alankrita Shrivastava's film, which won honors at Tokyo and Mumbai last year, features "abusive words, audio pornography" and more, says the country's censor board. After winning accolades on the film festival circuit, Indian female empowerment drama Lipstick Under My Burkha has hit a hurdle at home with India's censor board denying the film a theatrical release certificate. Directed by Alankrita Shrivastava, Lipstick Under My Burkha won the Spirit of Asia Award at last year's Tokyo Film Festival, followed by the Oxfam Award for gender equality at the Mumbai Film Festival. The film will see its U.K. premiere Friday at the Glasgow Film Festival. Lipstick revolves around four Indian women, from ages 18 to 55, living in a small town who assert their personal and sexual rights. The cast includes Konkona Sen Sharma (whose directorial debut A Death in the Gunj screened at Toronto last year), Ratna Pathak Shah and Sonal Jha, among others. In an official letter, peppered with grammatical and spelling errors, to the film's producer Prakash Jha, India's Censor Board for Film Certification said that the film's "story is lady oriented, their fantasy above life. There are continuous sexual scenes, abusive words, audio pornography and a bit sensitive touch about one particular section of society, hence film refused under guidelines... ." The letter was posted on the film's official Twitter handle Thursday and quickly went viral. "Ironic. Film wins gender equality award, gets NO certificate," Shrivastava posted on her Twitter account. Shrivastava also told online news outlet The Quint that she and her producer had "full faith and conviction" that they will be able to bring the film to Indian audiences adding that the CBFC's decision "is an anachronism really. We are living in 2017, with full access to everything on the internet. Why should a film that tells a story of female desire be stifled? Don't women have dreams? Don't they want things? Aren't our voices important? Don't our stories need to be told?" As in various cases in the past, the CBFC's denial of a certificate can be challenged by the producers by filing an appeal with the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal. Last year, Jha's directorial venture Gangaajal, starring Priyanka Chopra (Quantico), was denied a CBFC certificate, but was later cleared by the FCAT. In its Tokyo review, THR hailed Lipstick as "an euphoric tale of veiled desire" and questioned how the film would be received at home: "In India, Bollywood vulgarity is OK but onscreen kissing is an issue and nudity is limited to art films aimed at foreign audiences. In this context, Lipstick is audaciously outspoken about women's sexual desires and fantasies, both visually and verbally. All this is pretty tame stuff in the West, but one wonders how the Hindi-language film will be received locally and whether its frankness will be cause for scandal." (Hollywood Reporter)

'Beauty and the Beast' Could Waltz to Massive $120M U.S. Debut. The live-action update of Disney's classic animated film -- starring Emma Watson as the princess Belle -- arrived on tracking Thursday. Expect a monster of an opening when Disney's Beauty and the Beast hits theaters on March 17. Early tracking suggests the movie could reach $120 million in its North American debut, according to those with access to pre-release surveys. Disney insiders are being more cautious and saying $100 million-plus, considering tracking hasn't been entirely reliable as of late. Anything above $100 million would mark one of the top showings for the month of March. The current record-holder is last year's Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice with $166.1 million, followed by The Hunger Games with $152.5 million in 2012 and fellow Disney live-action film Alice in Wonderland with $116.1 million in 2010. After that, the next closest is Oz the Great and Powerful with $79 million in 2013. Directed by Bill Condon, Beauty and the Beast is a live-action update of the classic 1991 animated musical of the same name. It follows a princess named Belle who is taken prisoner by a fearsome Beast in his enchanted castle while trying to avoid a narcissistic suitor, Gaston. The 1991 film was in turn an adaptation of Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont's fairy tale. Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson also star in the live-action remake. (Hollywood Reporter)


Grey's Anatomy's Ellen Pompeo & Justin Chambers Tell Us How They Really Feel About a Possible Meredith-Alex Romance. Ever since Grey's Anatomy made Meredith a widow, a sentiment has begun to grow among the long-running ABC soap's fan base that maybe it's time to test the romantic waters between the good doc and her oldest friend Alex. Over the course of the last two seasons, there have been moments where the show seemed to toying with the idea itself. We've even advocated for the plot development on this very site. Finally, the stars themselves, Ellen Pompeo and Justin Chambers, are revealing their thoughts on the prospect of their characters getting together. Spoiler alert: They aren't feeling the love. "Justin is one of my favorite people on the planet," Pompeo told E! News direct from the Grey's Anatomy set. "We're really close, and it does feel weird. To potentially maybe have him as a love interest would be like kissing my brother. I used to say that about Patrick [Dempsey] all the time too because just we'd been together for so long." From the sound of things, the actress just might be perfectly fine with Meredith not finding romance with anyone else ever again. "The love interest part is not my favorite piece of this, I'll be honest," she added. "Kissing guys that aren't your husband is, you know, a little weird. I guess it wouldn't be if you didn't like your husband, but I happen to be very, very fond of mine." Chambers echoed his old friend's thoughts on a possible MerLex union, but admitted that, with Shonda Rhimes as his boss, he never rules anything out. "I think anything is possible, but personally I find it to be weird," he told us. "I think that they're very much like siblings. They've been through so much together. Personally, I don't see it. But, hey, this is Grey's Anatomy. Anything is possible." Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on ABC. (Eonline)

Damon Wayans Jr. to Star in FX AI Comedy From Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg. The 'Happy Endings' alum has been the most sought-after actor this pilot season. Damon Wayans Jr. has lined up his next TV role. The actor, who has been fielding multiple broadcast pilot offers, has been tapped to star in FX comedy Singularity, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Picked up to pilot in August after landing at FX following a multiple-network bidding war, the comedy is set in a future when artificial intelligence greatly surpasses human intelligence, resulting in profound changes to our society. Wayans will star as Doug, a guy who loves to be in the moment and is often dressed in Yezzy streetwear. Contrary to some, Doug is happily reliant on AI and seeks out all the pleasures technology has to offer. Based on an original idea from Silicon Valley's Sonny Lee, he will pen the script for the comedy and exec produce alongside Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg via their Point Grey banner. Because of its similar tone to Rogen and Goldberg's feature This Is The End, Lee reached out to the duo to come on board to produce via their Point Grey banner. Should Singularity go to series, it would mark Rogen and Goldberg's latest project following AMC comic book drama Preacher as well as Hulu series Future Man. Wayans Jr., the role marks his latest TV role following his breakout gig in ABC's critical favorite Happy Endings. The always-in-demand actor counts New Girl and episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine among his credits. He previously was set to star in a Fox comedy called Henchman -- exec produced by New Girl's Jake Johnson -- but the project did not move forward. On the feature side, his credits include How to be Single, Big Hero 6andLet's Be Cops. He's repped by WME and Rise Management. (Hollywood Reporter)

Mama June Shannon may just need to change her name to Hot Mama June. After undergoing weight loss surgery, the matriarch of the Here Comes Honey Boo Boo family will reveal her new body on the reality TV screen in WE tv's new docu-dramedy Mama June: From Not to Hot. But first, her daughters Alana (known better to fans as "Honey Boo Boo") and Lauryn (AKA "Pumpkin") stopped by Entertainment Tonight to explain how their mother went from 460 lbs. to a size 4. "She had gastric sleeve back in May of 2015, and then she slowly started losing weight, and the reason she got the gastric sleeve was because she hit a plateau -- she couldn't lose any weight," Pumpkin explained of her mom's surgery to make her stomach smaller. "And then it came to a point where [the trainer] had to step in because she hit another plateau with the gastric sleeve, and wasn't losing any more weight." After losing the pounds, Shannon, 37, underwent further surgeries to remove excess skin and lift her breasts. "She got her boobies done," Pumpkin shared. "She got them from a 44 long to 36 up." Of course, Shannon is ready to flaunt her new look, but she has to stay hidden until the new show premieres. "It is very hard because mama, she is a very stubborn person, and she wants to do everything," Pumpkin said. "She's like, 'Alright, I've got to go to the store,' and we're like, 'Mama, no, you need to stay in the house because if somebody gets a picture with you... '" She adds, "Even if she does go out, she has to be, like, suited up." Honey Boo Boo, 11, and Pumpkin, 17, hung out in New York City while promoting their mom's new show, in which Shannon adjusts to her new body and hits the dating scene after saying goodbye to her "old life" -- specifically her ex, Sugar Bear, who cheated on her. Mama June: From Not to Hot premieres Feb. 24 at 10 p.m. ET on WEtv. (People)

AMC Networks Quarterly Earnings Beat Estimates, CEO Touts "Growing Portfolio of Shows That We Own". The cable networks company, led by CEO Josh Sapan, reported higher programming expenses and a $5 million programming write-off. AMC Networks on Thursday reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings amid higher distribution and advertising revenue, but also higher expenses in the period that saw the launch of season 7 of The Walking Dead. The cable networks company, led by CEO Josh Sapan, posted a profit of $14 million for the latest quarter, or earnings per share of 20 cents, compared with $90 million in the year-ago period, or $1.23. The company in the latest quarter took non-cash impairment charges of $68 million related to AMC Networks International-DMC, its Amsterdam-based media logistics facility. Adjusted for charges, earnings reached $92 million, or $1.30 per share, compared with $102 million, or $1.39 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2015. The decrease in adjusted earnings per share was "primarily related to the increase in adjusted operating income more than offset by an increase in miscellaneous expense." Wall Street analysts had on average expected earnings of $1.27 per share. Estimates had come down a bit after Sapan had in December said that advertising was looking softer than anticipated. A 9.2 percent increase in quarterly operating income and 9.2 percent adjusted operating income at the company's U.S. networks, which include AMC, IFC and SundanceTV, reflected higher revenue, offset by an increase in operating expenses. "The increase in operating expenses was primarily attributable to higher programming expenses, partially offset by a decrease in marketing expenses," the company said. "Programming expenses included charges of $5 million in the current-year period related to the write-off of programming assets, as compared to charges of $16 million in the prior year period." The company didn't immediately say which show or shows the write-off was for. U.S. advertising revenue rose 3.1 percent despite lower ratings in the quarter for the first half of season 7 of The Walking Dead. U.S. distribution revenue jumped 15.6 percent. Sapan said: "2016 was a successful year for our company both financially and operationally, driven by our disciplined and focused strategy of investing in high-quality content and creating brands that have strong, growing, passionate and engaged audiences." He added: "The Walking Dead remains the number 1 show on television by a wide margin and is a powerful example of programming that we own and distribute that commands a loyal audience, attracts advertising revenue, and has significant ancillary revenues that will benefit our business for years to come. With a rapidly expanding studio business, we now have a growing portfolio of shows that we own that provide this kind of opportunity for our business. In addition, we are embracing changing viewing habits by making strategic investments in streaming services that fit well with our programming and the audiences at our network brands. As we look ahead in 2017, we see a number of attractive growth opportunities for our businesses and remain committed to delivering meaningful value to our shareholders." Michael Morris, an analyst with Guggenheim Partners, said in a note previewing the results: "Season 7 of The Walking Dead premiered in late October, and though the show started strong, by the mid-season finale ratings were declining in excess of 20 percent on a year-over-year basis, worse than the 15 percent decline built into our estimates." He lowered his fourth-quarter U.S. networks advertising growth estimate for the fourth quarter to 0.5 percent from 6.0 percent "given The Walking Dead's recent ratings trends." He said: "This is consistent with management commentary provided in December. We expect the show to remain in production -- and popular with consumers -- for the next several years, and as such we anticipate related ancillary revenue (from digital and international partners) to remain intact." But Morris warned: "Investor concern around the company's key Walking Dead franchise continues to weigh on shares. We continue to believe that market value under-appreciates the company's ability to develop and monetize compelling programming. However, we do not see a clear path to investor realization and thus remain cautious in our target valuation multiple." (Hollywood Reporter)

Japan's Biggest Anime Channels to Combine Operations. Owned by Sony and trading house Mitsui, Kids Station and Animax will come under a joint venture as online platforms challenge the pay TV business model. Sony Pictures Entertainment Japan (SPEJ) and trading house Mitsui are forming a joint venture to operate the two anime cable stations they own in Japan, the two companies announced Thursday. Sony's Kids Station, which broadcasts Pokemon, and Mitsui's Animax, the two most-watched dedicated anime channels in Japan, with nearly 17 million viewers between them, will be managed by AK Holdings Corporation. The company, in which Sony will hold the majority stake, will also produce and distribute anime, stage related events around the world and operate themed restaurants. "In addition to a treasured form of Japanese art and culture, anime has grown to become a major cultural export with massive commercial appeal around the world. Combining the strengths of Sony's Animax with Mitsui's Kids Station will allow us to increase our production capacity and reach fans of all ages in Japan and around the world," said Masao Takiyama, managing director of SPEJ Television Network, who will head the joint venture. The growth in online streaming platforms, combined with an anime boom that has pushed up prices for content, has piled pressure on cable and satellite channels. The merger of the two channels' operations will strengthen their capabilities in original content production and promotion in the increasingly competitive market. The new joint venture will begin operations on Mar. 31. (Hollywood Reporter)


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