Michael Phelps' Wife Nicole Johnson Is Pregnant With Baby No. 2. There must be something in the water! In the midst of Hollywood's baby boom, 32-year-old swimmer Michael Phelps has announced that his wife Nicole Johnson is pregnant again. "Number 2 on the way!!!! So excited!!" the decorated Olympian wrote in an Instagram caption Tuesday. "Wonder if it's a boy or a girl??" Nicole held her 15-month-old son, Boomer Phelps, in the photo. "Lil mans going to be a Big Brother!!!" she wrote. The tot, who has his own Instagram, clapped his hands in another photo. "So excited to see what mama is having!!" he wrote. "Do I get to have a brother or a sister?!?" Michael and Nicole secretly married on June 13, 2016, just one month after their firstborn son was born. Though Michael was breaking records during the 2016 Rio Olympics (the swimmer has a whopping 23 gold medals to his name), it was Boomer who became a social media sensation at the Games. "One of the coolest things about being a father going into Rio is that our firstborn has the chance to see my last race ever," Michael told Us Weekly before the completion began. Admitting that it was going to be "really special," he said, "I'm excited to have a lot of photos and to share the moments and memories with him growing up as a kid." (Eonline)

The Bachelorette's Emily Maynard Johnson Is Pregnant With Baby No. 4. Emily Maynard's happily ever after continues. The former Bachelorette is pregnant with her fourth child, according to People. Followers of the reality star speculated that the family was growing this weekend when Emily's husband documented her family outing in Charlotte, North Carolina. "@emilygmaynard," Tyler Johnson shared on Instagram with video of his wife who appeared to be hiding a bump in a blue and white checkered tunic. Fans of the I Said Yes author know that Emily shares two children with Tyler. In addition she has a 12-year-old with her late fiance. "It is crazy at our house all the time," Emily previously shared with Good Morning America. "But it's a lot of fun." She added, "I just think God knew I could not handle a lot so he gave me three super easy babies and three super easy kids." For those who may not be proud members of Bachelor Nation, Emily first appeared on The Bachelor where Brad Womack picked her on the season finale. When they decided to call it quits on their romance, Emily made the decision to give love another chance by appearing on season 8 of The Bachelorette where Jef Holm received the final rose. As Emily and her family eagerly wait for the upcoming arrival, the proud mom is simply enjoying life with those closest to her. One look at the reality star's Instagram and you'll instantly discover that family time is the best time for Emily. Congratulations! (Eonline)

Michael Buble and his wife Luisana Lopilato treated their oldest son Noah to a Spider-Man themed birthday party -- nine months after he was diagnosed with cancer. Lopilato, 30, took to Instagram Monday to share a photo of the Spider-Man decorations including a cake, cupcakes and cookies all decorated after the webbed superhero. "Total genius!!" Lopilato wrote in Spanish. "I want more, can I? Haha #superproduction #candybar." This isn't the first time the little boy has celebrated with Spider-Man. For his third birthday, Noah and his 1-year-old brother Elias, enjoyed another red-and-blue web-slinger party, with their whole family getting treated to face painting to fit the theme. Lopilato opened up about Noah's cancer battle in June, explaining to Argentinian TV host Susana Gimenez how her family overcame their hurdles. "We did all the tests, and finally, we found out that it was what it was," she said. "These things, when they happen to you in life, they make you realize that the most important thing isn't what you thought it was -- it's to have faith, to be strong." Michael Buble Says Son Noah's Cancer Treatment Is 'Progressing Well' Michael Buble's son Noah's cancer treatment is "progressing well," a rep for the singer told PEOPLE in a statement on Friday "There were nights I couldn't sleep, that I prayed to God," Lopilato shared. "Because it is a long process -- but thank God the worst is over." She added, "We had to stay positive and leave it in God's hands. There wasn't a single week where I didn't go to church. Every night I prayed for strength to go on." In February, Buble said in a statement to PEOPLE that their son's cancer treatment was "progressing well." "We are so grateful to report that our son Noah has been progressing well during his treatment and the doctors are very optimistic about the future for our little boy," the statement -- which Buble also shared on Facebook -- continued. "He has been brave throughout and we continue to be inspired by his courage. We thank God for the strength he has given all of us." (People)

Ben Affleck Brought GF Lindsay Shookus As His Plus One For Bestie Matt Damon's Fight Night Bash! Things are clearly getting more serious for Ben Affleck and Lindsay Shookus! Over the weekend, the Live By Night director brought the Saturday Night Live producer as his date for bestie Matt Damon's Mayweather–McGregor fight party in El Lay. Ooh la la!! And it sounds like the Oscar winner has zero qualms about integrating Miz Shookus into his famous circle, as one source dished to People: "Ben likes introducing Lindsay to friends,. They mingled together, but also separately. Lindsay seemed very comfortable around Ben's friends." That's good news for Lindsay!! Oh, and in case you were wondering, Lindsay has already met Ben's famous brother Casey Affleck. The twosome are certainly enjoying their time together as, prior to Damon's viewing party, they grabbed some breakfast at Snug Harbor in Santa Monica, CA. Not to mention, Jennifer Garner's ex and the 37-year-old have been practically inseparable ever since news of their relationship broke in July. We mean, just last week, the pair was spotted out and about in NYC where they grabbed dinner at the Greenwich Village restaurant Mas Farmhouse. It's said Ben "had a fun weekend with Lindsay." Hey, at the end of the day, if Ben's happy -- we're happy!! (Perez Hilton)

Selena Gomez's Instagram was swiftly taken down on Monday after several nude photos of Justin Bieber were posted on her account. Gomez was hacked, Variety has confirmed, but she has since re-secured her account. Variety has reached out to her rep for comment. Gomez's Instagram was back online minutes after it was taken down, with the nude photos deleted. The singer is the most-followed person on the social media platform, with 125 million followers. The Bieber images were the same ones that were published after the pop star's Bora Bora vacation in 2015. Gomez and Bieber used to be a couple, but are no longer together. Bieber has said that the publication of the images, originally in the New York Daily News censored (though the uncensored versions later made the rounds online), made him feel "super violated." "Like, I feel like I can't step outside and feel like I can go outside naked," he told Access Hollywood in 2015. "Like, you should feel comfortable in your own space... especially that far away." Gomez and Bieber have a long history together, dating back to when rumors first circulated of their romance in 2010. They confirmed their relationship in 2011, when they appeared at the Vanity Fair Oscars party together, but subsequently broke up. Their relationship had been on-again off-again ever since, though they haven't publicly dated for at least the past year. (Page Six)

Katy Perry and Taylor Swift didn't make up at VMAs on Sunday night as some had hoped -- but Perry did party with Swift ex, Calvin Harris, after the MTV awards show. Perry and Harris, who themselves recently buried the hatchet after various Twitter spats and recorded "Feels" together, hung out at the Highlight Room at the Dream Hotel, where the superstar DJ was hosting the TidalXSpirit afterparty. Also there were best new artist winner, Khalid, as well as Jared Leto, Hailey Baldwin, and Alex Pall and Andrew Taggart of The Chainsmokers. Meanwhile, Mel B and her fellow "America's Got Talent" judge Heidi Klum were having something of a girls' night amid the former Spice Girl's fraught divorce. A source at the Republic Records VMA afterparty told us that -- while Hailee Steinfeld, Vanessa Hudgens, Millie Bobby Brown and Nina Dobrev all attended the bash -- the pair "especially had a great time dancing the night away during Nick Cannon's performance." Meanwhile, Steinfeld and Brown were also spotted singing together in a special "Carpool Karaoke" booth at the event at TAO, which was sponsored by FIJI Water. Perry and Leto did a little party hopping and were also spotted partying among guests including Paris Jackson, Lil Yachty and G-Eazy at party hosted by designed Jeremy Scott for UGG. (Page Six)

"Pretty Little Liars" star Brandon Jones will be doing some jail time after all in his gun case, but it won't be for nearly as long as it could've been ... TMZ has learned. The L.A. County DA tells TMZ Brandon pled no contest Monday to one count of misdemeanor assault with a firearm in his gun case from last year and was sentenced to 180 days in jail. We broke the story ... Brandon was originally facing 5 and a half years in prison for allegedly pulling a gun on a neighbor during an argument he got into with the guy. Brandon was also sentenced to 3 years' probation, 30 days of community labor and 26 anger management classes in the plea deal. Not even Andrew got it this bad on the show. (TMZ)

Katy Perry is in a toe jam, after a woman claims she lost one of hers while working on the singer's tour. Christina Fish claims in a lawsuit she was hired as a stagehand for Katy's Prismatic World Tour in 2014. On the night of Katy's Raleigh, NC concert she was asked to help move a wall ... when it got stuck and then rolled across her foot. She says she felt her shoe fill with blood. She says she was offered ice but no one called for an ambulance, so she had to call a friend to pick her up and take her to the ER. Christina says her right toe became gangrenous, and eventually needed to be amputated. She says she wasn't able to use her foot for months. She also says she suffered great emotional distress, because orthopedic doctors instructed her to keep her "dead toe" on as long as possible before the eventual amputation. Christina says she had a passion for yoga and that's now a distant memory without a toe. She's suing Katy, Live Nation and a bunch of stage production companies for a whole lot of money. (TMZ)

Justin Bieber went to the ER back in May fearing a soccer injury had caused one of his testicles to twist, and that triggered a nasty legal claim between the hospital and a fired employee. Justin made an emergency run to Northwell Health in Long Island New York, and a staffer named Kelly Lombardo found out about it. The hospital claims Lombardo illegally accessed Justin's medical file in one of the computers ... this after hearing rumors Justin had been admitted for an STD. According to the lawsuit, the hospital fired Lombardo for being "an immoral employee" who violated Bieber's privacy rights. Lombardo has just filed a wrongful termination lawsuit, claiming she never accessed Justin's file and simply heard from others he was there for treatment of an STD. Sources connected to Justin tell TMZ, he did NOT go to the hospital for an STD. They say he had been playing soccer and suffered a painful injury. Justin "WebMD'd himself" into a tizzy and believed he had testicular torsion, a serious condition caused when a spermatic cord becomes twisted cutting off the flow of blood to the attached testicle. It almost always requires surgery. We're told the doctor examined Justin and quickly realized all that was wrong was a swollen testicle. A relieved Justin then left the ER and went about his life. As for Lombardo, she's filed a claim with the New York Division of Human Rights, claiming she was singled out and fired because she's a woman. New York employment attorney David H. Rosenberg tells TMZ that "my client never accessed Mr. Bieber's medical file and yet she was fired for doing so." For Justin there's a happy ending. (TMZ)


Kardashians Donate $500,000 to Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts. Not even Kevin Hart could have predicted this kind of response. With a tropical storm continuing to devastate residents of Houston, Texas, the 38-year-old comedian launched the Hurricane Harvey Relief Challenge Monday to support relief efforts in the area. He donated $25,000 and asked Beyonce, Dave Chappelle, Jay-Z, Dwayne Johnson, Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld and Justin Timberlake to match his donation. "Keep your head up Houston and keep your faith," Hart wrote Tuesday. "I love you all and my prayers are with you!" Proceeds will benefit the American Red Cross. Due in part to Hart, other celebrities began to share their support publicly. Kim Kardashian announced her family's generous pledge Tuesday. "Stay strong Houston and hold onto faith. Me and my family know what you're going thru," Johnson told his 92.9 Instagram followers. "We survived the eye of Andrew and became stronger -- so will you. All my love and strength." Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez pledged $25,000 each Tuesday, and the pop star asked her followers to donate "whatever you can afford. Do as much as you can. We're gonna do as much as we can through this whole process." "We've been watching everything that's been going on in Houston and our hearts are breaking for all the families that are displaced, all the victims. Seeing these pictures of children and all the footage, it's just devastating," she said on Instagram. "We just want to do our part to help." As Rodriguez explained, donating is everyone's "opportunity to come together as one to help all the great families in distress down in Houston. We are praying for you and God bless all of you." "At the end of the day, we're all one. We're all in this together," Lopez told her followers. "We have to pull together when others are in need in this country and everywhere in this world." In 18 hours, Hart's CrowdRise page has received $291,274 in donations from 2,154 people. (Eonline)

Chris Paul is putting his money where his mouth is -- writing $75,000 in checks to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey. The NBA star -- who was just traded to the Houston Rockets -- heeded charity calls from both J.J. Watt and Kevin Hart. Watt confirmed CP3 donated $50k to the Houston Flood Relief Fund -- putting the NFL star over his initial fundraising goal of $500,000. Kevin Hart had also challenged celebs to donate to the American Red Cross -- and Paul stepped up with a $25,000 donation. Together, J.J. and Kev have raised more than $850k toward flood relief. Good work, fellas. (TMZ)

Pharrell Williams, Shania Twain and More Stars Head to the 2017 U.S. Open. Summer may be winding down, but the tennis matches are just getting started. The 2017 U.S. Open is officially upon us meaning the best players in tennis are heading to New York to compete in the world famous tournament. With matches well underway, Hollywood's biggest stars are also hoping for a ticket into the annual event to catch Venus Williams, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and other athletes face-off. On Monday night, however, the hottest ticket in town was entry into the 17th Annual USTA foundation Opening Night Gala at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. It's such a special night that Shania Twain decided to celebrate her birthday at the event. "It's @usopen day, I can't wait to perform," she wrote on Twitter. "What a way to spend my birthday! Tune into ESPN 2 from 7:15pm for the opening ceremony!" From Luke Bryan and Alec Baldwin to Katie Couric and Megyn Kelly, you just never know who will show up. (Eonline)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle End Their Africa Vacation with a Romantic Visit to Victoria Falls. Do go chasing waterfalls! Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ended their three-week vacation to Africa with a visit to one of the most romantic places on the continent. The couple left Livingstone, Zambia, on Monday after several days in a safari lodge close to the spectacular Victoria Falls, known as the "smoke that thunders." Like their trip to neighboring Botswana, their stay was intensely private, with officials and local hotel and safari staff sworn to secrecy. The couple headed to Botswana shortly after Markle's 36th birthday on August 4. Locals believe the couple stayed at an exclusive lodge on the Zambezi river. The couple were taken directly to their plane at Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport in a shuttle bus, and no pictures were allowed to be taken, a source tells PEOPLE. "It was a very, very private visit," the source adds. "They stayed at a beautiful lodge in Livingstone." The source couldn't confirm local reports that the couple took a helicopter ride over Victoria Falls, which are said to be among the seven wonders of the world and a must-see for any visitor to the area. Harry is due back in the U.K. this week in time to help mark the 20th anniversary of the death of his mother Princess Diana. On Wednesday, he will join brother Prince William and sister-in-law Princess Kate to tour the public garden at Kensington Palace that has been planted with special white blooms to commemorate the princess and meet with representatives from the charities that Diana was closely associated with at the time of her death. (People)

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show Is Heading to Shanghai: Which Models Made the Cut? The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show is going global. Supermodels Lily Aldridge, Alessandra Ambrosio, Taylor Hill, Elsa Hosk, Martha Hunt, Adriana Lima, Stella Maxwell, Behati Prinsloo, Lais Ribeiro, Sara Sampaio, Josephine Skriver, Romee Strijd, Candice Swanepoel and Jasmine Tookes will each be strutting their stuff on the catwalk. Gigi Hadid announced Monday that she's been cast in the annual runway show. "Forever and ever and ever a dream come true to be asked back to the VS Show!!!" she wrote on Instagram, adding, "Thank you my friends @ed_razek @10magazine @johndavidpfeiffer @monica.mitro for another unforgettable opportunity; every aspect makes me feel like a dreaming kid again." "New faces" will also be joining the Angels, according to a press release. The annual event will be broadcast Tuesday, Nov. 28, at 10 p.m. on CBS. "Merging fashion, fantasy and entertainment, the lingerie runway show will include pink carpet interviews, model profiles, a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the show," the network said in a statement. Musical performers will be announced at a later date. Previous cities to host the show include London, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and Paris. Victoria's Secret has yet to announce which Angel will wear the Fantasy Bra in this year's show. (Eonline)

Olivia Wilde's ex spent 4 years studying relationships after split. Being married to actress Olivia Wilde and then losing her caused such heartbreak to Roman aristocrat Tao Ruspoli that he spent four years studying why people marry and how they are able to stay together. Ruspoli -- who has made documentaries about flamenco and the philosophy of Martin Heidegger -- directed "Monogamish" after interviewing his relatives, as well as advice columnists, scientists, sex workers and ordinary couples. "My goal with this film isn't to tell people whether or not to be monogamous. There isn't one answer to these complex questions," Ruspoli said. "Instead, it represents a four-year journey traveling the world and unpacking the unspoken assumptions that inform all of our relationships." The couple was married eight years before they divorced in 2011. Since then, Wilde has been with "Saturday Night Live" alum Jason Sudeikis. They have two kids. Wilde, who is on Broadway starring in "1984," declined to comment. (PageSix)

Luann de Lesseps and her estranged husband, Tom D'Agostino Jr., were out and about in the Hamptons this weekend -- just not with each other. The countess, as she is known to fans of "The Real Housewives of NYC," was at Le Bilboquet in Sag Harbor, where she met up with her ex-boyfriend Jacques Azoulay. "They seemed very cozy," one source said. "It really does look like Luann and Jacques are back together." But a Luann source told me, "She was there with girlfriends and Jacques stopped by their table to say hello. They are friends. He came to her wedding." Meanwhile, D'Agostino was at a house party in East Hampton thrown by Harry Dubin and his girlfriend Pamela Mitchell. The crowd also included Michael J. Fox and wife Tracy Pollan, Laurie Durning (the former Mrs. Roger Waters) and Missy Tool, an ex-girlfriend of D'Agostino who supposedly helped hasten the end of his seven-month marriage to Luann. "Tom didn't come with [Missy], or leave with her. They aren't dating," said a D'Agostino pal. D'Agostino wouldn't tell me if it was true that when he learned that Luann had thrilled a party crowd by belting out "Hit the Road Jack," his response was the title of one of Luann's songs, "Money Can't Buy You Class." He just smiled. (Page Six)

Baby Bash and Paul Wall say Houston has fallen victim to chaos and destruction in the wake of Hurricane Harvey ... but they're leading by example on how folks can help. We spoke with the Houston rap stars, and both of them describe what many people are already seeing in the news ... flooded streets, homes destroyed and displaced residents. Baby Bash -- who's stuck in his own home -- tells us there's creative ways people can help from afar, even if you're short on dough. He also explains how anarchy has started to run amok in the city ... which includes a story about his dad, a truck and a CVS ATM. As for Paul ... he's got some ideas of his own on how people can chip in -- which he's also promoting on his IG. Still, he can't help but acknowledge the power of cold, hard cash. (TMZ)

Frankie Delgado isn't quite the famous face he used to be, and cops had to step in when the former reality star tried to get through VIP at the Mayweather/McGregor fight. The incident went down when the ex-'Hills' star tried breezing past security Saturday night outside the VIP entrance to T-Mobile Arena. Our law enforcement sources tell us Frankie tried to walk in without showing credentials, and ignored security's objections. Witnesses tell us he never used the words, but his attitude reeked of "You know who I am." A Las Vegas PD Sergeant stepped in to stop Frankie while security sorted out the matter. The tense moment was captured in this photo, and despite how it looks ... everything worked out for Frankie. Someone eventually confirmed he was on the list, and he watched the fight from VIP. Fun fact: Frankie's still A-list at huge events! We underestimated "The Hills." (TMZ)

Joel Osteen Responds to Accusations of Closing Megachurch Doors to Texas Flood Victims. Texas pastor Joel Osteen is facing backlash as critics accuse the megachurch leader of closing the doors of his massive Lakewood Church to flood victims in the wake of the deadly Hurricane Harvey. It all began on Saturday, when church officials issued a Facebook statement, announcing that the Houston church -- which can hold more than 16,000 -- is "inaccessible due to severe flooding." The post raised eyebrows, especially after photos surfaced showing the outside of the church unaffected by the rising flood waters. However, Osteen insisted in a statement to ABC News that he is not closing the doors to those in need, but is waiting until "shelters reach capacity" to welcome evacuees. "We have never closed our doors. We will continue to be a distribution center for those in need," he added. "Lakewood will be a value to the community in the aftermath of this storm in helping our fellow citizens to rebuild our lives." The massive storm touched down as a Category 4 hurricane on Friday, dumping several inches of rain on the Texas Coastal Bend. The storm left homes flooded, many without power and several buildings destroyed. At least 10 people have died as a result of the storm and several others have been injured, The New York Times reports. Countless Houston residents were trapped in flooding homes and the Coast Guard has rescued dozens, according to the Times. Thousands of people have been rescued in the wake of the storm, but strained resources have prompted locals to take to the waters in boats and makeshift floating devices to save those stranded. Now, several Texas towns are bracing for the second impact of the already-catastrophic storm, according to ABC. Evacuations are even underway for Louisiana residents as the storm closes in on the state, Good Morning America reports. As the destructive storm has consumed headlines, many criticized Osteen on social media, calling the man a "con artist" and referring to the church as a "bank." However, some have come to the pastor's defense, sharing Twitter photos that appeared to show the church's flooded basement. "Seriously quite sickening when people spread negative news without knowing the situation," one person tweeted. "This is the situation of our church." Meanwhile, John Gray, an associate pastor with the church, condemned the criticism in an emotional Instagram post, noting that while he does not make such decisions, he and his wife will do all they can to help those affected by the storm. Amid the chaos, Donald Trump is planning to travel to Texas on Tuesday with First Lady Melania, according to ABC. (People)


The Voice Coaches Stage Their Own '70s Action TV Show and It's Totally Groovy. Step aside, Starsky and Hutch. Outta the way, A-Team. There's a new fierce foursome on the scene, kicking butt and taking names on their hunt for America's next singing superstar, and they go by the name Levine, Shelton, Cyrus and Hudson! In this hilarious new promo for season 13 of The Voice, exclusive to E! News, mainstay coaches Adam Levine and Blake Shelton are joined by returning fan-fave Miley Cyrus and newbie Jennifer Hudson to patrol the streets in a spoof on the sort of opening credits sequences that made '70s TV procedurals so iconic. Trust us when we say, you don't want to get between an Oscar-winning diva and her pair of nunchucks. (Also trust us when we say you do not want to miss host Carson Daly's cameo as the requisite comic relief "Lug Nut.") When the foursome return to NBC next month to kick off their latest quest for vocal chops worth spinning their big red chair for, they'll do so with the help of some A-list talent by their side as advisers. As previously announced, Team Miley will be joined by none other than the coach's dad Billy Ray Cyrus, while Team Adam will team up with Joe Jonas for a little help. Team Blake will get an assist from Rascal Flatts, while Team Jennifer will seek out the advice of Destiny's Child alum Kelly Rowland. Be sure to check out the very funny promo above and let us know whose '70s look you like most! The Voice returns for season 13 on Monday, Sept. 25 at 8 p.m. The new season continues on Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 8 p.m. before the return of This Is Us. (Eonline)

Jessie James Decker Teases Christmas Music, New Album & Song "Use Your Words" About "Quiet" Husband Eric. Speak up, Eric Decker! Jessie James Decker is spilling scoop on new music and how her hunky hubby inspires her to write songs. "I've written a lot of songs about Eric," the Eric & Jessie star tells E! News exclusively. "The first one I ever wrote was called 'I Do,' which I sang for him at our wedding. I wrote one a couple days ago called 'Use Your Words.'" Eric laughed, "I'm very mild mannered, quiet I guess. I need to speak up." "He doesn't talk a lot but he's very touchy feely," Jessie smiled. "I was like, 'Use Your Words!'" "Use Your Words" isn't the only new song fans can get excited about. "I have a really cool Christmas thing coming out. I can't really talk about it yet but I have a really cool Christmas opportunity that's coming out obviously around Christmas time," Jessie dished. "And I'm finishing my, I'm actually doing an entire record that will be coming out at the end of this year. So I'm in the studio. I'm also working on an amazing duet with another country singer in town. So some great things going on." (Eonline)

Coldplay are dreamin' of Houston in tribute song to Hurricane Harvey victims. Coldplay performed a concert in Miami on Monday night, but their thoughts were with those in Houston. In tribute to those suffering from the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, the band wrote and performed a new country song that frontman Chris Martin promised would never be performed again. "This is because we all grew up loving country music, and of course that's kind of what we think of when we go to Texas," Martin said at the Hard Rock Stadium. "So, if you'll bear with us, this is a new song and we'll never play this again. It's a one-off and this is called 'Houston.' We're gonna sing it in Miami for everybody here, and we're gonna send it over there to everyone who missed the show." The crowd clapped along as Martin strummed on his guitar and sang the chorus of, "From Miami, we are sending love to Houston / We are praying that you make it through the rain / I know nothing's gonna break the will of Houston / Oh, how we can't wait to go down there again." Coldplay postponed their concert stop in Houston due to the hurricane. "We really wanted to play tonight, but sitting here all together watching the news about the storm we feel that we can't ask anyone to put their safety at risk. So, sadly, we will have to postpone," a statement on Facebook read. The band noted they'll announce more information about rescheduling and refunding soon, so maybe there's a chance Coldplay will perform "Houston" one more time in the city it's for. (Entertainment Weekly)

The Real Reason Fifth Harmony Opened Their 2017 MTV VMA Performance With That Fifth Member Jumping Off Stage. Fifth Harmony shocked the world when they opened their performance at the 2017 MTV VMAs with five girls on stage...only to watch the fifth member go flying off the stage backwards before they actually started singing. 5H fans and viewers alike figured it was a statement to bid farewell to Camila Cabello -- the original fifth member who left the group in December -- and, not surprisingly, it had the internet freaking TF out. However, Ally Brooke, Normani Kordei, Dinah Jane and Lauren Jauregui all joined Good Morning America Tuesday and admitted it was more of an artistic statement than a jab at Cabello. Brooke first clarified that there was no "pushing" anyone off stage, before she explained, "We get asked all the time if we're getting a fifth member, and we wanted to show the world in an artistic way that, hey, the four of us are Fifth Harmony." She continued, "We're stronger and better than we've ever been. Honestly, it was such a monumental moment for us. We were at the VMAs. We had rain. We had the splits. We had a mic drop!" Not to mention, the girls took home the award for Best Pop Video for their song "Down" with Gucci Mane, marking their second VMA following their 2016 Best Collaboration win for "Work From Home." Meanwhile, Cabello left 5H in December of last year in order to work on her own music and solo career. Despite statements asserting that the girls in 5H wished Cabello well (and she, of course, returning those sentiments) the "Havana" singer admitted she's reached out and hasn't heard back from them. "I don't want to get into the details of that, because it was really intense and it's hard for me to talk about," she told Billboard earlier this year. "It makes me sad...I hoped that it would be a peaceful turning of the page, and we would root for each other. But I only got love for them." (Eonline)

Mariah Carey's Daughter Monroe Totally Nailed "Always Be My Baby" While Onstage With Mom. Ooh darling, Mariah Carey concerts have never been so sweet! As the music superstar continues the "All The Hits" tour with Lionel Richie, guests at this weekend's show were treated to a special surprise. While belting out "Always Be My Baby," Mariah received some extra help from her daughter Monroe. In video posted onto Instagrams, fans were able to catch a glimpse of the mother-daughter moment that received plenty of applause from the crowd. "#AlwaysBeMyBaby," Mariah captioned the special moment from the United Center in Chicago. "#RoeRoe." Perhaps it's just a fun spur-of-the-moment concert experience. Maybe it's just a girl who wanted to be close to mom onstage. Whatever the case may be, those close to Monroe and Moroccan think "dem kids" are destined for Hollywood. Even dad Nick Cannon thinks the duo has contracted the entertainment "bug." "My kids, especially Moroccan and Monroe, they're hams," Nick laughed in an interview with E! News' Erin Lim. "They love attention. They love performing. My son is fascinated with cameras and directing and making little movies. They definitely have the bug." He continued, "I'd rather them be nuclear physicists or brain surgeons. But I can't control that. So if they want to be entertainers, I'll support it." Ever since the "All the Hits" tour kicked off, both Moroccan and Monroe have had plenty of fun adventures across the country. Whether visiting the Disneyland Resort or hanging out backstage with Serena Williams, these kids have experienced a summer they may never forget. Find out if Mariah is coming to your hometown by visiting her website here. (Eonline)

The Weeknd was a no-show at the VMAs this weekend, and the reason isn't all that complicated ... he just didn't feel like it. Abel left a lot of people high and dry ... the MTV folks announced he'd perform. He was also nominated for 4 awards. Here's how it was put to us ... The Weeknd's been on the road for a prolonged period of time and just didn't feel up to his VMAs gig. In his mind, he booked the gig a while ago, before concert fatigue set in, and he just felt differently in the days before the show. It's the second Weeknd event that got torpedoed in as many days. The rubber is about to meet the road, because he's about to hit the road again and there won't be a break until December ... at least a scheduled break. (TMZ)

Pink, Gang Of Youths Rule Australia's Charts. Pink retains Australia's singles chart crown with "What About Us" (RCA/Sony) while Gang Of Youths come of age with their first No. 1 on the national albums survey with Go Farther In Lightness (Mosy Recordings/Verge via Sony Music). Gang Of Youths, the Sydney-based alternative rock outfit, blasts to the top of the ARIA Albums Chart with their second album, which eclipses the No. 5 peak for their 2015 debut The Positions and goes one better than their 2016 EP Let Me Be Clear, which reached No. 2. After scoring his first-ever chart-topper in a decorated, 40-year career, homegrown songsmith Paul Kelly's Life Is Fine (EMI) dips to No. 2 while Ed Sheeran's global hit Divide (Warner) slips 2-3. A pair of new releases round out a top 5 loaded with homegrown music. Dropping in at No. 4 is King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard's Sketches Of Brunswick East (Flightless Records/Inertia), the Melbourne psychedelic rock outfit's third of five planned studio albums of the year, followed by Thy Art Is Murder's Dear Desolation (CVA/Universal), the Sydney deathcore act's fourth studio album, and highest-charting to date (besting the No. 7 peak for 2015's Holy War). New sets by Brand New and Neck Deep crack the top ten as Superjesus singer Sarah McLeod's latest solo album Rocky's Diner (Inertia) bows at No. 20. On the ARIA Singles Chart, Pink's "What About Us" holds off a fast-starting Justin Bieber track to log a second week with what is the U.S. singer's ninth No. 1. Bieber's "Friends" (Def Jam/Universal), a collaboration with producer BloodPop, opens at No. 2 for the Canadian pop star's eighth top 10 single as a lead artist. The only other new releases to impact the top 50 are Khalid's "Young Dumb & Broke" at No. 44 (RCA/Sony) and Miley Cyrus' "Younger Now" (RCA/Sony), which starts all the way down at No. 49. (Billboard)


Ed Skrein Gives Up Role in Hellboy Reboot After Whitewashing Backlash. Ed Skrein is saying goodbye to the new Hellboy before it ever began... Days after it was announced that the Deadpool actor would be starring in Lionsgate and Millennium's Hellboy reboot, the Brit revealed that he's dropping out of the film after a whitewashing backlash broke out on the Internet following his casting news. Skrein, who also is known for his role in Game of Thrones, was set to play Major Ben Daimio, a member of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense who can turn into a jaguar when angered or in pain. In the original Dark Horse comic, Major Daimio was Asian, a fact that Skrein says he did not know. In the days since the announcement, a huge outcry erupted online over the casting news, many claiming that Hollywood was once again whitewashing a character. Skrein quickly addressed the public's ire and revealed in a lengthy Twitter post that he was stepping away from the film in hopes of his role going to an actor that better fit the character who is of mixed Asian heritage. "It is clear that representing this character in a culturally accurate way holds significance for people, and that to neglect this responsibility would continue a worrying tendency to obscure ethnic minority stories and voice in the arts. I feel it is important to honor and respect that. Therefore I have decided to step down so the role can be cast appropriately," the actor wrote in a statement that he posted earlier Monday. He added, "Representation of ethnic diversity is important, especially to me as I have a mixed heritage family. It is our responsibility to make moral decisions in difficult times and to give voice to inclusivity. It is my hope that one day these discussions will become less necessary and that we can help make equal representation in the arts a reality." The 34-year-old also wrote, "I am sad to leave Hellboy but if this decision brings us closer to that day, it is all worth it. I hope it makes a difference." The film, which is based on Mike Mignola's demonic comic book character, will star Stranger Things' David Harbour. Additionally, Harbour took to Twitter to thank fans for their words and Skrein for his actions. He tweeted, "Hey internet. Thank you for your voices. An injustice was done and will be corrected. Many thanks to @edskrein for doing what is right." Producers Larry Gordon, Lloyd Levin, Millennium and Lionsgate also released the following statement after the actor's announcement: "Ed came to us and felt very strongly about this. We fully support his unselfish decision. It was not our intent to be insensitive to issues of authenticity and ethnicity, and we will look to recast the part with an actor more consistent with the character in the source material." Deadwood actor Ian McShane will be playing Hellboy's adoptive father, Professor Bloom. The Fifth Element's Milla Jovovich is playing Nimue the Blood Queen, a medieval sorceress set on destroying humanity. The movie will be directed by Game of Thrones director Neil Marshall. (Eonline)

Toronto: Christopher Nolan to Screen 'Dunkirk' in Imax Birthplace. The popcorn movie's epic battle scenes will play in pristine Imax 70mm on a six-story screen in Toronto's Ontario Place Cinesphere. Christopher Nolan is set to show his World War II epic Dunkirk in the birthplace of Imax, Toronto's Ontario Place Cinesphere, during the Toronto Film Festival. As the Hollywood director looks to generate Oscar buzz for Dunkirk and its various craftsmen, including cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema, Nolan will screen the movie in the pristine 70mm Imax format at the Cinesphere, the giant screen exhibitor's first permanent theater on the city's waterfront, which opened in 1971. Dunkirk, which was shot almost entirely with Imax cameras, will be introduced by TIFF director and CEO Piers Handling, and Nolan will stick around after the screening to do a Q&A led by festival artistic director Cameron Bailey. "This is a story for the times -- one of resilience against all odds, ordinary people surviving amidst chaos. Christopher Nolan captures this seminal moment in history with an artist's eye," Handling said Tuesday in a statement. Nolan has long campaigned for a revival of 70mm film exhibition, whose wide, high-resolution format was used to display Hollywood classics like Ben Hur, The Sound of Music and Lawrence of Arabia. The format has had limited use since the launch of the digital cinema era, which began in the early 2000s. Dunkirk stars Fionn Whitehead, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance and Tom Hardy and is based on Nolan's own screenplay. The film is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures. The Toronto Film Festival is set to run Sept. 7-17. (Hollywood Reporter)

Jane Campion to Receive Cologne Film Prize. The Oscar-winning director of 'The Piano' and TV series 'Top of the Lake' will be honored in Cologne on Oct. 6. New Zealand director Jane Campion will be honored this year with the Cologne Film Prize. The Oscar- and Palme d'Or-winning director of The Piano will receive her award, and its accompanying $30,000 (€25,000) cash bursary, at a gala ceremony in Cologne Oct. 6. Campion first caught the film world's attention in 1986 with her second short movie, An Exercise in Discipline: Peel, which won the Palme d'Or in Cannes for best short. Her sophomore feature, An Angel at My Table, showed Campion to be a master of the period melodrama, with a focus on strong female leads. The biopic on New Zealand novelist Jane Frame won seven awards at the Venice Film Festival, including the grand jury prize. But it was 1993's The Piano that made Campion a household name. Premiering in competition in Cannes, the romantic drama, set in 1850s New Zealand and starring Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel and an 11-year-old Anne Paquin, won the Palme d'Or (Campion is still the only female director to win Cannes' top honor), and followed up with three Oscars and an impressive $40 million domestic box-office take. Her follow-up, an adaptation of Henry James' Portrait of a Lady, took best film in Venice and nabbed two Oscar nominations. After three more features -- Holy Smoke, In the Cut and Bright Star -- Campion turned to the small screen, creating the crime drama Top of the Lake, which won a Golden Globe for star Elisabeth Moss. The second season of the series debuted at the Cannes film festival this year. The Cologne Film Prize, started in 2007, is presented annually by the City of Cologne and the NRW film and media board. Previous winners include Claire Denis, Lars von Trier, Harmony Korine, David Lynch and Roman Polanski. (Hollywood Reporter)

Zurich: Andrew Garfield to Receive Golden Eye Award. The Oscar-nominated actor will attend the festival for a gala premiere of 'Breathe.' Oscar-nominated British actor Andrew Garfield will be honored this year with Zurich's Golden Eye Award, a lifetime achievement honor. Garfield, whose career spans from the gritty Brit noir of the Red Riding Hood trilogy to acclaimed performances in Mel Gibson's Hacksaw Ridge, David Fincher's Social Network and Martin Scorsese's Silence to donning the tights for Marc Webb in The Amazing Spider-Man, will attend Zurich to receive his award. Garfield will present his latest film, Breathe, at the festival, together with actor Andy Serkis, who makes his directorial debut with the real-life drama based on the life of Robin Cavendish, who was paralyzed by polio but, together with his wife, finds a way back to life. Claire Foy, Hugh Bonneville and Diana Rigg co-star. "Following on from his masterful performances in Hacksaw Ridge and Silence, Andrew Garfield's powerful and enthralling turn in Breathe reinforces him as one of the true stars of his generation," said Zurich Film Festival co-directors Nadja Schildknecht and Karl Spoerri. "We are delighted to welcome him to Zurich and present him with our Golden Eye award at this year's Festival." Garfield will next be seen on screen in David Robert Mitchell's noir Under the Silver Lake, which A24 will bow in the U.S. Also being honored in Zurich this year is six-time Oscar nominee Glenn Close. The 2017 Zurich Film Festival runs Sept. 28-Oct.8. (Hollywood Reporter)


Actors Are Calling Reese Witherspoon About Joining Big Little Lies Season 2. Is casting already underway for Big Little Lies season two?! OK, we're sorry to get your hopes up, as HBO has yet to officially announce the miniseries that everyone was obsessed with from February through April will return for a second season, but Reese Witherspoon did offer up an update that if making us excited. "We're talking about it, but it's sort of up to the writer Liane Moriarty," Witherspoon, who executive-produced and starred in the hit series, told E! News' Will Marfuggi while promoting her new film, Home Again. And if season two does end up happening, it seems like some of Witherspoon's famous friends want in on the action in Monterey. "I have gotten two really interesting calls, but we'll see happens," Witherspoon teased, thought she wasn't about to give up the names of the actors hitting up her cell just yet. "No, I can't say!" Earlier this month, HBO programming president Casey Bloys discussed the network's thoughts on another season, echoing Witherspoon's sentiment that it's ultimately up to Moriarty. "Liane taking her crack at it and I think that it's interesting," he said. "I don't think [there's been] a time when we've gone to the writer of the novel, the source material, to come up with like, 'Do you see ongoing stories?' I'll be very curious to see what she comes up with that. Normally you go to a TV writer, and say, 'What do you see?'" Hopefully, Moriarty sees enough plotlines for a second season. Big Little Lies received a ton of Emmy nominations, with Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman both nominated in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie category. Their co-stars Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern and Alexander SkarsgÄrd were also nominated, with the show also earning a slot in the Outstanding Limited Series category. While we wait for official news about BLL season two, Witherspoon is teaming up with Jennifer Aniston for a new TV show. Home Again hits theaters on Friday, Sept. 8. (Eonline)

Jenelle Evans and Barbara's Custody Battle Hits a Dramatic New Low on Teen Mom 2. Jenelle Evans and mom Barbara Evans are taking their feud to the parking lot. Teen Mom 2 fans know that the mother-daughter duo hasn't been getting along especially during a public custody battle. On Monday night's all-new episode, however, viewers got a whole new glimpse into some of the disagreements these two share when the kids are close by. It all started when Jenelle and her fiance David Eason tried to track down Barbara when she wouldn't let the duo see Jace. "She had Jace and I was concerned because she was drinking wine," Jenelle explained. "The cameras weren't there so David recorded everything on his phone." Let's just say Barbara didn't really like that idea. "I'm not drinking, I'm having dinner with my friends. It's two different things," Barbara began to yell into the camera. "David, get this f--king camera off of me! Do you hear me? I'm done." She added, "I am not drinking, I had one sip of wine! One sip of wine! How many times has David been drinking and driving? David, how many times? Many times. Jace tells me all the time." Once David suggested that Barbara allow Jace to spend time with himself and Jenelle, things only got worse. "You know what? This is bulls--t. Why are you doing this? You want to do this in court? You'll see," she shared. "Jace will never come with you. You especially. He tells me what you do. He will never go or live in your house ever." For better or for worse, this isn't the last time we've seen this family feud explode right in front of our eyes. "She knows that she's probably gonna lose Jace and she's gonna try to get all the time with him that she can, you know, for the next couple of weeks," David explained after the argument. Jenelle added, "Yah, I think she's scared." Teen Mom 2 airs Monday nights at 9 p.m. only on MTV. (Eonline)

Why the Wait for Game of Thrones' Final Season Just Got a Whole Lot Longer. Cancel all of your plans for 2019. Why? Because that's when the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones is likely to air. Yep, that means we have over a year-long wait for new episodes. The Hollywood Reporter reports that production on the new season is set to begin in October and could likely run as late as August 2018. So that means the shortened six-episode season would likely return in 2019. (HBO had no official comment on the air-date for the final season.) GAHHH. Want something to blame? How about those pesky (but totally incredible) special effects. "Our production people are trying to figure out a timeline for the shoot and how much time the special effects take," HBO programming president Casey Bloys told THR. "The shooting is complicated -- different continents, with all the technical aspects -- and the special effects are a whole other production period that we're trying to figure out. That is a big factor in all of this." The takeaway here: Mo' dragons, mo' delays, people. Fans are used to waiting for their fix, however, as season seven was also delayed, with the push being partially caused by weather conditions. "Now that winter has arrived on Game of Thrones, executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss felt that the storylines of the next season would be better served by starting production a little later than usual, when the weather is changing," Bloys, said in a statement at the time. "Instead of the show's traditional spring debut, we're moving the debut to summer to accommodate the shooting schedule." Sunday night's season seven finale delivered the series' highest same-day ratings ever (despite that pesky hack and some episodes being leaked). "The Dragon and the Wolf" attracted 12.1 million live-plus-same-day viewers, and when you add in the first repeat and immediate streaming numbers, the viewership climbs to 16.5 million viewers. (Eonline)

Bobbi Kristina Brown Biopic: the Emotional First Trailer That Focuses on Her Relationships With Whitney Houston and Nick Gordon. Bobbi Kristina Brown's story is about to be told on the small screen. E! News can exclusively reveal that the made-for-TV biopic centering around Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston's only child will officially premiere Sunday, Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. on TV One. And E! News also has your exclusive first look at the emotional TV movie in the exclusive trailer, which is set to air on the network during the premiere of When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story. Stuck in the Middle's Joy Rovaris takes on the role of Bobbi, while Grown Up's Nadji Jeter will portray her boyfriend Nick Gordon, and their complicated relationship is one of the trailer's main focuses, in addition to Bobbi's struggle with growing up in the shadow of the spotlight of her mother, with Demetria McKinney portraying the late music legend. "You heard the news," the trailer reads. "You never heard her story. Until now." Bobbi Kristina died in July 2015, following six months spent in a medically-induced coma after being found unresponsive in a bathtub in her Atlanta home. Gordon was found legally responsible for her death and was ordered to pay more than $36 million to her family last November. Nick has denied any wrongdoing in the incident and was never charged criminally in connection to her death. (In June 2017, Gordon was arrested on suspicion of domestic battery against girlfriend Laura Leal in Sanford, Fla.) In the emotional trailer, Bobbi cries, "He's the single best things that's happened to me after my mom," after she is told Gordon is "a troubled young man." "Bobbi Kristina's high-profile life -- and untimely death -- may have been shrouded in mystery, but this film will reveal her humor, quirks, deepest fears and longings," the network said in a statement when the movie was announced. "This film explores her fight to be seen, heard, loved and to survive." The TV movie also stars Vivica A. Fox as Pat Houston, Hassam Johnson as Bobby Brown, and Le'Azionna Braden as a young Bobbi Kristina. Bobbi Kristina will premiere Sunday, Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. ET on TV One. (Eonline)

Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke's Reactions to That Love Scene: 'It's Just Weird'. Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke needed a minute before filming their love scene for Game of Thrones'season finale on Sunday. In a special behind-the-scenes commentary for HBO, the duo opened up about their characters' incestuous relationship, and what it was like shooting together. "I think it's an inevitability from about halfway through the season that Jon and Daenerys will fall into bed together," Harington, 30, said. Clarke, 30, had a much different reaction to Harington's, admitting that "as actor's, it's just weird." "The reality of what they are to each other, I don't know how that's going to... I think [gags] might be the reaction." "I think they both know it's wrong," Harington added, also gagging. "I think they both know it's going to cause problems. But it's that thing, when you suddenly feel that deeply about someone and you go through these events together, it's like a runaway train." "You can't stop it from happening," he continued. Isaac Hempstead Wright, 18, whose character, Bran, revealed the blood relations between the two Thrones protagonists, noted that the latest revelation on the HBO hit show might have concerning repercussions in the future. "This whole thing that started off Game of Thrones, the King's Rebellion, was a total lie," he said. "It's kind of like, mad, and what's going to be interesting is for Bran, it's like, 'What am I going to do with this?' because just as everything was coming together, everyone is coming together to fight, inevitably Game of Thrones will tear us apart." (People)

'Great British Bake Off' Returns to U.K. TV Following Controversial Broadcaster Switch. A year after 'Bakexit,' Channel 4 relaunches the BBC's once ratings-smashing cookery competition. The Great British Bake Off (screened on PBS as The Great British Baking Show) returns to U.K. TV screens Tuesday night, almost a year after it switched broadcasters in arguably 2016's biggest talking point (in U.K. papers, at least) after Donald Trump and Brexit. The three-year, £75 million ($93 million) deal with producers Love Productions-dubbed 'Bakexit'-saw the much-loved reality cooking competition move from the BBC after seven hugely successful seasons (which peaked at a record 15.05 million consolidated viewers for the season 5 finale) to rival network Channel 4. In the immediate aftermath, Bake Off's presenters, Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins-a long-lasting TV double act commonly known as Mel & Sue-along with judge Mary Berry quit the show out of loyalty to the BBC, with only Berry's fellow judge Paul Hollywood signing up for more. Amid huge speculation, Channel 4 soon wheeled out the replacements. Comic Sandi Toksvig and The Mighty Boosh star Noel Fielding would co-host, while TV chef and cookbook author Prue Leith would judge. And now, following a press screening of the first episode at Channel 4 HQ last week, the new-look show is finally ready for digestion. But it hasn't been smooth sailing. Not content to give up the kitchen crown so easily, the BBC is prepping another show with Mary Berry called Britain's Best Cook, due for 2018, and has already launched team cooking competition The Big Family Cooking Showdown on BBC 2, hosted by Bake Off season 6 winner Nadiya Hussain and given a more shabby-chic barn feel over Bake Off's big country tent. The show debuted on Tuesday, Aug. 15, and soon afterwards Channel 4 announced that its revamped Bake Off would also air on a Tuesday (previous seasons had aired on Wednesdays). Despite not being averse to its own bit of competitive scheduling, the BBC labeled the decision a "cynical move" and moved The Big Family Cooking Showdown to Thursdays "in the best interest of viewers." "There is room for both and we don't, in this instance, see any public value in two public service broadcasters going head-to-head in this way," it added. Channel 4 denied that the Tuesday slot was deliberate, saying the decision had been made a "few months" after acquiring the show, pointing to the first few seasons of Bake Off being on that day. There will be a number of eager eyes on Bake Off's ratings come Wednesday morning. With Channel 4 having a far smaller reach than the BBC, few expect the show to come close to its previous record-busting figures, or even double figures. But there's a lot riding on its success. Unlike the BBC, Channel 4 is funded via commercials, and it has signed Bake Off sponsorship deals worth $5.2 million, also extending the show to 75 minutes to fit in more than 15 minutes of breaks. Outgoing creative chief Jay Hunt told the Edinburgh TV Festival-where Bake Off was being given a major push last week-that the show "breaks even at around three million, so anything north of that would be fantastic," adding that "if it gets fix, six, seven [million], I would be absolutely delighted." As for the critical reception to the first episode, Channel 4's re-jigged The Great British Bake Off received almost unanimous applause for largely sticking to an already winning formula. As The Guardian's critic put it: "On the evidence of the first episode, Channel 4 and Love Productions have achieved the most difficult of all bakery-related metaphors-having their cake and eating it." (Hollywood Reporter)

CBS Corp.'s Deal for Australian Network Is Company's "First Meaningful" Int'l Acquisition, Analyst Says. Wall Street observers chime in on what the planned takeover means for the company led by Leslie Moonves. CBS Corp. surprised many on Wall Street when it unveiled a deal late Sunday U.S. time to acquire troubled Australian free-to-air broadcaster Network Ten. The transaction, for which financial terms weren't disclosed, will give it control over Ten's main network, its two digital terrestrial channels Eleven and One and catch-up TV streaming service Tenplay. RBC Capital Markets analyst Steven Cahall in a report said the deal made sense, as CBS is already very familiar with Ten's business. "CBS supplies content to Ten and is its largest unsecured creditor," he wrote. "CBS also owns a 33 percent stake in Ten's digital channel, Eleven." Explaining the benefits of the acquisition, he wrote: "The deal is expected to boost CBS' international distribution footprint while also giving it a platform to roll out All Access in Australia." Moody's analyst Neil Begley, in a report about CBS Corp.'s continued development of new revenue streams, highlighted that it has become less dependent on advertising revenue in recent years, but the Ten deal will slightly boost the percentage of revenue it gets from advertising. "During the last 17 years, CBS hit its peak exposure in 2006, when 72 percent of its revenues came from advertising. To put that number into perspective, over the 12 months ended June 30, only 44 percent of total revenue came from hyper-cyclical advertising sales, pro forma for the recent proposed acquisition of Network Ten." Analysts estimated the deal would boost advertising to 45 percent of CBS Corp.'s total revenue. FBR & Co. analyst Barton Crockett wrote that "CBS surprised us this weekend by announcing a deal to buy one of Australia's three main broadcast networks in a transaction that represents CBS' first meaningful international acquisition that we can recall." He concluded: "Our checks suggest a deal that is modest in size but interesting." He said that checks with finance and industry sources suggest an Australian report that CBS is buying Ten by repaying $123 million of debt "is about right." Ten's loss before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for the last 12 months amounted to about $11 million on revenue of $516 million, the analyst said. "CBS believes EBITDA can be improved to an attractive acquisition multiple by more efficient spending on programming," Crockett argued. "We give CBS the benefit of the doubt on this given its skill at programming in the U.S. and the fact that this is an English-speaking market where CBS already sells a lot of its content." How big an opportunity is CBS' planned launch of CBS All Access in Australia? "Ten could be a big help for CBS All Access in Australia as a source of local promotion for All Access, local content and ad sales staff," Crockett said. "But Australia, with a population of 24 million, is a fraction of the market opportunity in the U.S., which has a population of 323 million." Concluded the analyst: "So, if CBS All Access in the U.S. can top 4 million subs by 2020 (CBS' readily attainable goal), then Australia probably has an opportunity that is maybe 5 percent of that, or about 200,000 subs, or $20 million or so in annualized revenues." (Hollywood Reporter)

Game of Thrones finale is the most-watched episode ever. Game of Thrones did it again, one last time, for its penultimate season: Sunday's super-sized finale broke HBO's ratings records and stands as the show's most-watched episode ever in the overnight Nielsens. A total of 12.1 million viewers tuned in for the 9 p.m. ET airing -- up 13 percent from the previous record high two weeks earlier and 36 percent higher than the season 6 finale. If you add HBO's replays and streaming, that number climbs to 16.5 million. The super-sized 80-minute episode, titled "The Dragon and the Wolf," caps a season that shattered HBO's viewership records across the board, plus broke records on other networks internationally. When all forms of catch-up viewing are counted, the penultimate season's episodes are averaging just under 31 million viewers -- up nearly 8 million from the same point in time last season. The finale, by the way, also did not leak -- which felt like an accomplishment after a season where HBO's computer system was compromised by a hacker and, separately, two GoT episodes leaked online in advance from HBO's partners. The much-publicized hacker leaked episodes of other upcoming HBO shows -- from the return of Curb Your Enthusiasm to new drama The Deuce -- but not any GoT video (HBO removed Thrones from its internal screening system last year as a precaution against something like this happening). Either way, one of HBO's record breakers this season was an episode that leaked, "The Spoils of War," suggesting it didn't have a meaningful impact on ratings. With season 7 now complete, GoT producers plan to commence production on an eighth and final season in October. The season is expected to consist of six episodes and will debut either in the latter half of 2018 or, some say more likely, early 2019. In the wake of GoT, HBO comedies Ballers (2.9 million viewers) and Insecure (1.3 million viewers) also hit series highs. (Entertainment Weekly)


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