Crazy-Ex Girlfriend recap: 'I Need Some Balance'. Turns out, your humble recapper has one more thing in common with Rebecca Bunch, the intrepid heroine of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: I ALSO hate the musical Cats! There is no plot! It should have just been a dance revue! Finally, the universe has answered my Andrew Lloyd Webber-resenting pleas with an epic episode of Crazy Ex that brings experimentally dancing humans in cat-costumes to their natural conclusion: being a metaphor for vaginas. Over the course of "I Need Some Balance" (it's about a vagina! Get it?), Rebecca meets a hungry cat, an itchy cat, a funky (smelling) cat, an elated cat, and of course, a cat who sings mournfully of feeling nostalgia, all played by an all-star spread of guest stars including Fred Armisen and Megan Amram. Horny, lonely, and tired of circling back through the same three guys over and over, Rebecca is determined to finally sleep with Jason-not-a-murderer, but her plans are repeatedly thwarted by her misbehaving lady-parts. First, there's the yeast infection, caused by wearing cheap polyester leggings to repeated spin classes, and then there's the smell from a messed-up PH, thanks to Rebecca's attempt to go scorched earth on previously mentioned yeast infection. These little date misadventures get running commentary from Valencia, in this episode in the rom-com best friend role. The B-plots are similarly low-stakes: Nathaniel, repeatedly declaring that he's now a nice person, befriends New Greg (or as he shall henceforth be known: Greg), at the gym, completely unaware that they're both Rebecca's exes. Darryl feels threatened and upstaged at work by the new boss and falls into the trap of a divorced parent trying to buy affection from his work-family. Josh is living at Rebecca's still and has a penchant for wearing nothing but his underwear, all the better for showing off his fit, hot-guy physique. It all culminates in a mini-confrontation outside Rebecca's house where none of the boys say what they came to say, and once again, Rebecca fails to get laid. It's a testament to how innovative and experimental the entire series of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has been that an episode like this -- strange, almost sit-com like in its low stakes and minor plot -- not only fits in a show that also tackles suicide, betrayal, and heartbreak but thrives. It's sort of a miracle that the plot of this episode could be a Ross storyline on Friends (obviously minus the vagina troubles and Cats interstitials but trying and failing to get laid thanks to a series of comical misadventures is a Ross mainstay -- see: leather pants, teeth whitening). Rebecca's vagina might be on the fritz, but her mental health has never been better. This is an episode where she didn't do anything wrong! There was no stalking or self-sabotage, just trying to seal the deal, failing, and then chatting about it over a glass of wine with her friend. Rebecca's struggle to win Josh always felt urgent and terrifying, as if Rebecca's entire life hinged on that one beautiful Filipino man, which it sort of did. Now, three years later, it's amazing how far she's come. She could end up with Josh, or Greg, or Nathaniel, (or Marco, as Amram's cat would have it), or she could end up with no one and it would be... okay! Sometimes on a hike, you don't realize how high you've walked until you look back and down. This episode is that look, a reminder just how different Rebecca is than who she used to be. Someone cue up a full Spotify version of "Nostalgia," stat. (Entertainment Weekly)

Gayle King may be sticking with CBS thanks to new management. Morale has been boosted at CBS News, we're told, because staffers now believe that Gayle King may stay at the network after the hiring of Susan Zirinsky as the division's president. Sources tell us that in her newsroom speech on Monday following the announcement that she'll replace David Rhodes, -- Zirinsky implored the staff, "Come with me, and help make CBS the greatest it's ever been." That's when King was heard "screaming, 'I'll come with you!'" We're told that's big news for staff, who were preparing to see one of the most recognizable faces on the network walk out the door. "Last week, 99 percent of the staff would have told you that Gayle is leaving," we're told. Page Six has reported that King -- co-anchor of "CBS This Morning" alongside Norah O'Donnell and John Dickerson -- was ready to walk. She felt she had gracefully handled the exits of former "CBS This Morning" -- co-anchor Charlie Rose and CBS president Les Moonves, both of whom were ousted over sexual-misconduct allegations, which they both deny. But she was furious about the firing of the morning show's producer, Ryan Kadro. (PageSix)

Billy Bush 'close to locking down deal' to join 'Extra'. Former "Today" host Billy Bush is ready for his comeback. TV insiders are buzzing that the once-golden boy of entertainment news has been in meetings to join "Extra." Bush is "close to locking down a deal," according to the Blast. Fox announced that it acquired the entertainment newsmagazine show from Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, which will move "Extra" from NBC stations. Bush hosted NBC's "Access Hollywood" before joining the "Today" show in 2016. He was fired later that year after the leak of the infamous 2005 tape in which he chuckles as Donald Trump discusses grabbing women "by the p?-?-?-?y." "Extra" is currently hosted by '90s teen star Mario Lopez. A rep for Bush did not respond. (PageSix)

Jada Pinkett Smith, along with her daughter Willow and mother Adrienne Banfield-Jones, had a heart-to-heart with one of R. Kelly's alleged victims ... and things got very emotional. Jada had Lisa Van Allen on the latest addition of her Facebook series, "Red Table Talk," to talk about her history with the singer ... who, as you know, is surrounded by controversy and allegations of sexual abuse and child pornography in the wake of Lifetime's docuseries, "Surviving R. Kelly." Lisa says she feels like a weight's been lifted from her now that she's able to open up, and she shed some light on how her life became intertwined with Kelly's. Her claims are disturbing. She explains that her rough childhood and other difficulties led her to connect with Kelly and view him as her "knight in shining armor," which is why she overlooked his abuse and other suspicions for years. The ladies described it as his way of luring her in, and Van Allen also gives a troubling account of how controlling he was. Earlier in the show, both Jada and Willow also opened up about how they had heard the rumors about Kelly and had their own suspicions. Jada even said she feels complicit for ignoring the allegations against Kelly, and brought up how as recently as September, she and Will used Kelly's famous track, "I Believe I Can Fly," for a video of Will bungee jumping. Jada and the women in her family are clearly making up for it now, though, and have vowed to continue to help out R. Kelly's alleged victims. Part two of this episode with Van Allen is expected to air soon. (TMZ)

Mahershala Ali Couldn't Wait To Be Part of True Detective's Comeback Energy. After a long hiatus, True Detective is about to finally return. When last we saw the HBO drama, it was August 2015, and we were all a little bit baffled. How did the first season -- a philosophical and much-loved ride through the occult with Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson -- become the second season -- a nonsensical death in the desert with Vince Vaughn, Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams, and Taylor Kitsch? Three and a half years after season two's mixed-to-bad reviews, season three is here with a whole new cast, concept, and energy that star Mahershala Ali says he was excited to be a part of. "If anything, I think it gave me more confidence about signing onto this show, because I was looking forward to being a part of the energy that was looking to not resurrect the show, because the show wasn't dead, but just to put it back on the right track and make an attempt to take it further than maybe they did even in the first year," he told E!'s Erin Lim at the show's premiere. Creator Nic Pizzolatto, who wrote or co-wrote every episode of the season, said that while he doesn't know how to assure audiences that the show is, as Lim says, "bigger, better, and just totally different," he can say that he did his best. "I just try to get better at what I do and try to tell the best story possible, and just get better," he says. Ali stars alongside Carmen Ejogo and Stephen Dorff in a story that spans three different time periods, all centered around the disappearance of a young boy and girl in Arkansas. Ali plays Detective Wayne Hays, Dorff plays his partner Roland West, and Ejogo plays schoolteacher Amelia Reardon. Ejogo says Pizzolatto went "above and beyond" this season, especially when it came to the female characters. "I feel like women are something that he's really worked hard on making three-dimensional in this season, and my character is certainly no exception," she says, explaining in the video that her character almost becomes a third detective. Pizzolatto says this season's ambitions are different, telling a story across 35 years that involves Ali's character at three different "very significant points in his life." "It's kind of his life story as well as a mystery, so I think those ambitions are a bit different," he says. "But at the same time, it has some structural callbacks to some of the things we've done, and the sort of Southern Gothic setting might feel familiar but different, I hope." True Detective premiered Sunday (Jan 13) at 9 p.m. on HBO. (Eonline)

Criminal Minds to End With Season 15. Criminal Minds is coming to an end after 15 seasons. The long-running CBS crime drama has been renewed for its last season, E! News has learned. The final season will consist of 10 episodes. Criminal Minds is currently shooting its 15-episode 14th season and will stay in production to complete the remaining episodes. In the fall of 2018, the wildly popular procedural series celebrated its 300th episode. At the time, executive producer Erica Messer told E! News she could "see this show going another 300 episodes." "It is a world that has endless stories because it's based on the psychology of human behavior -- that's endless," Messer reflected. "As long as we have heroes who want to keep chasing the bad guys I feel like we could keep going, and going, and going." Criminal Minds' conclusion will certainly be bittersweet for cast members, who have grown exceptionally close over the years. "We genuinely hang out on weekends and we have giant text chains and email chains," Paget Brewster shared with us at Criminal Minds' 300th episode celebration. "We genuinely enjoy each other." The season 14 finale of Criminal Minds will air Wednesday, Feb. 6. (Eonline)

Meet The Other Two: What Happens When Your Brother Becomes Super Famous And You're...Not. Looking for a new comedy to obsessively quote and devote your life to? Look no further than The Other Two, Comedy Central's new series from Saturday Night Live veterans Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider. In the sneak peek, meet ChaseDreams (Case Walker), a 13-year-old who becomes an overnight pop music sensation with his hit "Marry U at Recess." He's on Today with his mom Pat (Molly Shannon), who might be into the fame more than the pint-sized singer. And then there are Pat's other two kids (hence the show's name), Cary (Drew Tarver) and Brooke (Helene Yorke). They're... not famous. But Cary's trying! "I'm reading for the role of 'Man at party who smells fart,'" Cary says at an audition in the clip, making quite the subtle face of a man who smells a fart at a party. As for Brooke, who was a dancer as a teenager, well, she's squatting in an apartment she's supposed to be trying to sell. Just how did Chase get his name, ChaseDreams? Thank a decorative rock. The Other Two also stars Ken Marino as Chase's new manager and features guest appearances by many famous faces including, Beck Bennett, Kate Berlant, Michael Che, Andy Cohen, Heidi Gardner, Jackie Hoffman, Daniel K. Isaac, Brandon Scott Jones, Richard Kind, Greta Lee, Tinsley Mortimer, Andy Ridings, Josh Segarra, Wanda Sykes, Julio Torres, JJ Totah and Patrick Wilson. The Other Two premieres Thursday, Jan. 24 at 10:30 p.m. after the final season premiere of Broad City. (Eonline)

Netflix Orders Fantasy Series from 'Bird Box,' 'Arrival' Writer. The eight-episode 'Shadow and Bone' is based on two sets of novels by author Leigh Bardugo. Netflix's heavy push into genre programming has netted another series order, this time for fantasy series Shadow and Bone. Based on the "Grishaverse" novels by author Leigh Bardugo, Shadow and Bone will be adapted by Bird Box and Arrival writer Eric Heisserer. The eight-episode series is set in a world divided in two by a massive barrier of perpetual darkness that hides monsters who feast on human flesh. The lead character is a young soldier who discovers she has a power that could unite her country, but dangerous forces plot against her. The series will incorporate elements from Bardugo's Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows novels, which are set in a shared world populated by Grisha, people with supernatural abilities. Bardugo's books have sold more than 2.5 million copies and have been translated into 38 languages, giving them an international reach fitting for Netflix's global business. Heisserer, whose Bird Box script helped make the film a huge draw for Netflix audiences, will be the showrunner. He will executive produce with Bardugo, Pouya Shahbazian of New Leaf Literary & Media and Shawn Levy, Dan Levine, Dan Cohen and Josh Barry of 21 Laps. Heisserer previously worked with 21 Laps on Arrival, which earned eight Oscar nominations, including one for Heisserer's screenplay. The streaming service has made a concerted effort to expand its genre programming of late. Netflix has made a big commitment to Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and has numerous sci-fi, fantasy and horror shows in the pipeline, including The One, The Witcher and a Dark Crystal prequel. (Hollywood Reporter)

Legal Dramas from 'CSI,' 'The Brave' Creators Score NBC Pilot Orders. 'Prism' comes from Carol Mendelsohn and writer Daniel Barnz; 'Bluff City Law' is from Dean Georgaris. NBC is adding to its pilot roster with a pair of legal dramas from industry veterans. The network has given pilot orders to Prism, a Rashomon-inspired courtroom drama from former CSI showrunner (and the co-creator of the franchise's spinoffs) Carol Mendelsohn, and Bluff City Law from The Brave creator Dean Georgaris. Written by Daniel Barnz (Cake), Prism follows a murder trial in which every episode will be told from the perspective of a different person involved in the case. Each new version of the facts ratchets up the mystery and the suspense, calling into question everything we have seen so far and asking, Is the right person on trial? The show will let the audience ask whether the truth is more important than who can tell the most compelling story. Mendelsohn executive produces through her eponymous production company along with Daniel Barnz and husband Ben Barnz, via their We're Not Brothers, and Julie Weitz. Universal Television is producing. Bluff City Law (a working title) centers on a father and daughter who work together at an elite Memphis law firm specializing in controversial, landmark civil-rights cases. They take on the toughest David-and-Goliath cases while navigating their complicated relationship. Georgaris (The Meg, The Manchurian Candidate) is executive producing the Universal TV project with David Janollari, who recently re-upped with the studio, and Michael Aguilar. Georgaris also has The Baker and the Beauty in development at ABC. (Hollywood Reporter)

Steve Harvey is uncertain about the fate of his popular daytime talk show. The longtime TV host revealed during a sit-down interview at Variety's Entertainment Summit at CES on Wednesday that he doesn't know if he and his program, Steve, will stay with NBCUniversal when his current season ends. "I thought I was until they made an announcement a couple weeks ago that they wanted to give Kelly Clarkson the owned and operated NBC Networks, and that's my slot. I don't know if it sold -- it's not selling like they thought," he said. PEOPLE is out to NBC and Harvey and Clarkson's reps for comment. In September, original American Idol champion Kelly Clarkson first revealed that she would be returning to the small screen in the fall of 2019 with her very own daytime talk show. Clarkson, 36, told Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon that her new syndicated show, The Kelly Clarkson Show, will air just before Ellen DeGeneres' daytime talk program on NBC. Harvey, 61, admitted that he would have liked for the network to reveal the news to him personally instead of finding out in the press. "I thought it would've been nice of them to come to me -- as being the only dude that's survived [in daytime TV] for them for seven years -- and say, 'Steve, we're thinking about doing this.' But no, they just made an announcement. So, when you do that, I gotta make announcements, too," he said. "You can't make announcements and don't expect to have to hear one yourself," Harvey said. "And so, I'm working. It'll be something real cute." He continued: "I'm an honorable guy and I'm just an old school guy and I just thought that you're supposed to talk to people and go, 'Look, you've been good business for us. This is what we're thinking of doing. Are you okay with that?' No, you don't just put something in the paper and say, 'I'm gonna make this move right here' because it's crazy. You look at the numbers on my show and its No. 4 in daytime television -- it's holding right there. I got a hit, so somebody's gonna recognize that." Earlier in the conversation, Harvey said that "daytime television is dying." "My show, Steve, is the only show over the past seven years that's came into syndication and stuck," he said. "Nothing else has stuck. There has been no syndicated TV shows launched in seven years that have stuck." (People)

Megyn Kelly and NBC Reach Exit Agreement 3 Months After Blackface Controversy. Megyn Kelly and NBC have reached an exit agreement, nearly three months after the television host made controversial comments about blackface on television. The Hollywood Reporter reports that per the agreement, Megyn will be paid the remaining $69 million dollars, as formerly promised in her three-year contract, and she will no longer be held to a non-compete clause. This means the news anchor is able to begin working immediately. "The parties have resolved their differences, and Megyn Kelly is no longer an employee of NBC," NBC said in a statement. Kelly is now able to close the chapter on this part of her life, which began in October, when the TV host seemingly defended the practice of blackface. During the third hour of the Today show, Megyn told her fellow commentators, "What is racist? You get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on black face on Halloween, or a black person that puts on white face for Halloween. That was okay when I was a kid as long as you were dressing like a character." She added further insult to injury when she commented, "I can't keep up with the number of people we're offending just by being normal people these days." The mother-of-three was swiftly rebuked by her guests, fellow Today hosts and people across the country. "The fact is, while she apologized to the staff, she owes a bigger apology to folks of color round the country," Al Roker declared in a heated and emotional discussion shortly after the saga began. Kelly herself quickly apologized in an e-mail that was sent internally to her Today show colleagues, before she eventually issued a public statement on the show. "Good morning everyone and welcome to the show. I'm Megyn Kelly and I want to begin with two words -- I'm sorry," she said. "You may have heard that yesterday, we had a discussion here about political correctness and Halloween costumes and that conversation turned to whether it is ever OK for a person of one race to dress up as another -- a black person making their face whiter or a white person making theirs darker, to make their costume complete. I defended the idea, saying as long as it was respectful and part of a Halloween costume, it seemed OK. Well, I was wrong and I am sorry." However, Megyn's apology was not enough to save her show from cancellation. Three days after the discussion about blackface, NBC announced they were cancelling the former Fox News anchor's show. "Megyn Kelly Today is not returning," an NBC News spokesperson confirmed in a statement to E! News. "Next week, the 9 a.m. hour will be hosted by other Today co-anchors." For the past few months, the nine o'clock hour has been hosted by various Today anchors, but fans of the show got a preview of what to expect in the future when Dylan Dreyer shared an Twitter post hinting she and fellow hosts Al Roker, Sheinelle Jones and Craig Melvin will take over the slot. "Hope you don't mind these faces! You'll be seeing a lot of them at 9am," she shared with her Twitter followers. "Please join us! #3rdhourtoday #youvegotafriendinus #letthegoodtimesroll @TODAYshow @SheinelleJones @craigmelvin @alroker." E! News has reached out to E! News for comment. (Eonline)

Inside Megyn Kelly's troubled exit from NBC. Megyn Kelly finalized her exit from NBC News on Friday night -- after months of difficult negotiations over whether she could ever talk about the backstabbing behavior from network brass and staffers. Kelly finally resolved her exit three months after she was axed as host of the 9 a.m. hour of "Today," landing her a $30 million payout to take her salary to the agreed amount in her contract -- a total of $69 million. The former Fox News host lasted just 18 months at NBC News, but Page Six learned during the course of her negotiations that the sticking point over her exit deal was not her astronomical salary -- but her non-disclosure agreement to keep quiet about the network and its staff, which she eventually signed. One NBC insider said, "In many ways, Megyn was set up by Andy Lack [NBC News honcho who signed her to the network] to fail. A warm and fuzzy show was never right for her. Once Megyn's salary was made public, the knives were out. Other network talent went in demanding a raise equivalent to Megyn and were not happy to be told 'no'." The insider said the hostility towards Kelly continued, with her never being invited to substitute for the "Today" hosts between the 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. hours, and handovers becoming increasingly tense. She was not invited to join the NBC team for the Olympics, substitute on the "Nightly News" or take part in events like the Christmas Tree Lighting. A second insider added that relations between Kelly and NBC brass went further south in September when she called for an independent legal investigation of the network over its decision to not run Ronan Farrow's Harvey Weinstein investigation. Farrow took the story to the New Yorker, winning a Pulitzer Prize. Then in October Kelly further ruffled feathers at NBC by saying in an interview that she didn't believe former network golden boy Matt Lauer could make a TV comeback because, "I know too much that others don't know." So in Kelly's exit negotiations, NBC was "super sensitive" about getting her to agree to stay silent. "Look at what she was able to say when she was in the building, imagine what she might want to say when let loose," the second insider added. An NBC insider added: "Seems like post-breakup euphoria at 30 Rock. There's a great team in place, ratings jumped double digits and the audience is responding enthusiastically. Everyone is happy to have turned a page in the new year." Kelly has said that she plans to return to TV news in time for the 2020 election, if not sooner. A rep for Kelly referred all questions to NBC, who did not comment. (PageSix)

Netflix Won't Film TV Show in North Carolina Due to State's Anti-LGBTQ Law. The streamer's upcoming North Carolina-set drama 'OBX' will shoot in South Carolina instead. North Carolina's controversial legislation is impacting Hollywood's decision to film in the state. Netflix has opted to film its upcoming North Carolina-set series OBX, a coming-of-age drama set in a fictional town in the state's Outer Banks, in South Carolina instead due to remnants of North Carolina's anti-LGBTQ House Bill 2. Best known as "the bathroom bill," the law requires transgender people use the public restrooms that correspond to the sex on their birth certificate. The legislation first drew criticism when it was enacted in 2016, with some studios even pulling their projects out of the state. Despite the fact that North Carolina repealed a section of the law in 2017 following a year of backlash, it didn't completely overturn HB2. One problematic piece of the replacement bill, per insiders, is a clause that forbids municipalities from enacting nondiscrimination ordinances for any group not included in state law -- including LGBTQ people -- until 2020. Sources suggest the law wasn't the only reason the streamer opted to not film in North Carolina, though it was a key factor. "This is an economic development project and therefore we don't discuss pending projects," Guy Gaster, director of North Carolina's film office, told The Hollywood Reporter. Show creator Jonas Pate, who grew up in North Carolina and moved back to Wilmington last year, had been pushing Netflix to shoot in his home state. "This tiny law is costing this town 70 good, clean, pension-paying jobs and also sending a message to those people who can bring these jobs and more that North Carolina still doesn't get it," Pate told local newspaper The Fayetteville Observer, which broke the news. According to the site, Netflix is projected to spend roughly $60 million on the 10-episode series, which follows a group of four teenagers as a hurricane cuts all power and communication to the Outer Banks islands. OBX is expected to start filming this spring. Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin praised Netflix for their decision. "Good on @netflix for taking seriously the impact of this disgraceful law on their LGBTQ talent & employees," he tweeted. "It's been nearly 3 years since NC passed #HB2, and it's long past time for this hateful bill to be fully repealed." Of course, it's hardly the first time a controversial law has threatened a state's film business. Nearly a year ago, Georgia risked alienating Hollywood when its Senate passed a bill that would have made it legal for adoption agencies to not work with same-sex couples. The Peach State, home to major blockbusters (Marvel Studios' Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War) and hit TV series (AMC's The Walking Dead, Netflix's Stranger Things), dodged a bullet when an amended version of the bill that killed the restrictions against same-sex couple adoptions was signed into law in March. (Hollywood Reporter)


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