Ewan McGregor to star in 'Simply Halston' TV series. Ewan McGregor is about to become a fashion darling. The actor, 47, is set to star in and executive produce "Simply Halston," a limited series on Legendary Television about the meteoric rise and fall of the first American celebrity fashion designer. Written by Sharr White ("The Affair") and to be directed by Dan Minahan ("American Crime Story"), the show will track Halston (born Roy Halston Frowick) as he leverages his single, invented name into a worldwide fashion empire that's synonymous with luxury, sex, status and fame, literally defining the era he lives in, 1970s and '80s New York -- until a hostile takeover forces him to battle for control of his most precious asset: the name Halston itself. McGregor, White and Minahan executive produce. Killer Films is producing. Halston started off as a milliner and rose to fame after designing the pillbox hat Jacqueline Kennedy wore to her husband's presidential inauguration in 1961. He then segued to womenswear with designs that were deemed minimalist but sophisticated, glamorous but comfortable. He had a slew of celebrity clients including Anjelica Huston, Lauren Bacall, Margaux Hemingway, Elizabeth Taylor, Bianca Jagger and Liza Minnelli. He also designed uniforms for the US Olympic team, Girl Scouts, NYPD and Braniff Airways. Halston's company went through various owners and was eventually acquired by Revlon, with Halston gradually losing control. He died in 1990 at the age of 57 from AIDS-related complications. "Star Wars" alum McGregor recently played the title role in "Christopher Robin" and is set to play Black Mask in "Birds of Prey." In TV, he won a Golden Globe and earned an Emmy nomination for the FX limited series "Fargo." Writer-playwright Sharr has served as co-executive producer on "The Affair" and "Sweetbitter." His praised play "The True" starring Edie Falco, Michael McKean and Peter Scolari just finished its sold-out off-Broadway run. Minahan shared a best limited series Emmy award this year for another project about a famous designer, FX's "Versace: American Crime Story." His directing credits also include "Game of Thrones" and "House of Cards." (PageSix)

Norah O'Donnell, Jimmy Kimmel congratulate Bret Baier on 10 years of 'Special Report'. Norah O'Donnell and Jimmy Kimmel both recorded special video messages to congratulate Fox's Bret Baier on 10 years of anchoring the news network's "Special Report" this week. "You have been successful because you are the hardest working journalist I know," O'Donnell said. "'Special Report' is fair; it is must-see television in our household." The pair met while covering the Pentagon, she said. We hear that Baier's hosting a party at Cafe Milano in DC to celebrate. (PageSix)

'StarTalk' season on hold amid sexual misconduct claims against Neil deGrasse Tyson. The current season of Neil deGrasse Tyson's "StarTalk" series is on hold amid sexual misconduct claims against the prominent astrophysicist. The National Geographic channel said Thursday new episodes of the science-based talk show won't air until an investigation involving Tyson is completed, which could be within the next few weeks. Late last November, National Geographic Networks and Fox said they would examine claims that Tyson behaved in a sexually inappropriate manner toward two women. Tyson was host of "Cosmos: Possible Worlds" on Fox in 2014. A new edition of the series was set to air in March on the network and on National Geographic. He has denied an accusation that he groped a woman and denied making sexual advances toward a production assistant at his home. Tyson apologized for making the assistant feel uncomfortable. He has said he will cooperate fully with an "impartial investigation." "StarTalk" began its fifth season Nov. 12, with a handful of episodes aired before the show was put on hold. Guests for the previously announced 20 episodes include former Vice President Al Gore, writer George R.R. Martin and actors Jack Black and Jeff Goldblum. A representative for Tyson did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday regarding the "StarTalk" hiatus. (PageSix)

Wendy Williams is ready for a fresh start in 2019. The Wendy Williams Show will return live on Monday, January 7, following a scheduled two-week hiatus, Us Weekly can confirm. Monday's show will mark the 54-year-old's first episode since she apologized for slurring her words on December 20 episode. "I sincerely apologize if you feel that today's show was less than stellar. I'm on your TV screens every day wanting to spread laughter, entertainment and cheer. As I reported earlier in the week, I have a hairline fracture on my upper arm, which hurts like hell. I've never broken a bone or experienced a fracture in my life," Williams penned. "In the key place where the fracture is, and trying to scurry around and do too much, I am now paying the price. I've never taken a pain medication in my life (except when I got snatched over 20 years ago) until this week." The Ask Wendy author added that she took the pain medication, which she usually avoids, to "power through and try to deliver a great show" against "the better judgement" of the people around her. "I really do ride or die for my craft and give 200%. Not to mention everyone is aware at this point about my thyroid condition (don't cry for me Argentina)," she continued. "For all my fellow thyroid sufferers, you know what the deal is. And for those that don't: I encourage you to please read up. Needless to say, whatever today's performance was with the legendary The Lox, who said such nice things, I have no regrets and I appreciate everyone's genuine concern for my wellness and care." volume 9. Williams concluded: "I promise you a better Wendy in 2019. I will get some much-needed rest and healing over these next couple of weeks. (Yes, I am definitely juicing over the next couple of weeks). Sorry again. I love you all. Happy Holidays!" The talk show host last took a three-week leave from the show in February 2018 to cope with health issues, including her hyperthyroidism and Graves' disease. (US Weekly)

Staten Islanders petitioning against reality show produced by 'Mob Wives' star. Don't mess with Staten Island. A petition has been started on by outraged residents of the borough over MTV's upcoming reality show "Made in Staten Island," which is being produced by "Mob Wives" star Karen Gravano, daughter of the former Gambino crime family's Sammy "The Bull" Gravano. "The portrayal of Staten Island as a cesspool of gangsters, meatheads and low lives appears to be the main focus of MTV show development in recent years," writes the petitioner, who has garnered almost 6,000 signatures. "A show like this demeans what it is to be from Staten Island .?.?. [It] has one of the highest per capita incomes out of the five boroughs, and we also have several higher education institutions with very good graduation rates and excellent public schools serviced by caring teachers." But Gravano, whose daughter Karina stars on the show, tells us, "The outrage is for no reason. They haven't even watched the show. It's not glorifying criminal activity." Gravano insists, "It's about kids making it through the struggle .?.?. This is a good opportunity to highlight kids at a young age striving to do better." (PageSix)


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