TV/STREAMING . . .

Grey's Anatomy Star Justin Chambers Leaving the Show After 16 Seasons. Justin Chambers is departing Grey's Anatomy. ABC confirms to E! News that after 16 seasons on the ABC series, Chambers, who portrays Dr. Alex Karev, is set to make his exit. The 49-year-old actor also confirmed the news himself in a statement on Friday. "There's no good time to say goodbye to a show and character that's defined so much of my life for the past 15 years," Chambers said in his statement, via Deadline. "For some time now, however, I have hoped to diversify my acting roles and career choices. And, as I turn 50 and am blessed with my remarkable, supportive wife and five wonderful children, now is that time." Chambers went on to say, "As I move on from Grey's Anatomy, I want to thank the ABC family, Shonda Rimes, original cast members Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson and James Pickens, and the rest of the amazing cast and crew, both past and present, and, of course, the fans for an extraordinary ride." The date of Chambers' final episode on Grey's Anatomy has yet to be announced. His character last appeared in a November episode. Chambers has been a part of the main cast of Grey's Anatomy since its premiere in 2005. So, we think it's safe to say many fans of the beloved series will be sad to read this news today. (Eonline)

Justin Chambers' Final Grey's Anatomy Episode Has Already Aired. It's too late to say goodbye. Actor Justin Chambers has played the beloved character of Dr. Alex Karev for the last 15 years, but sadly, the time has come for the actor to pack up his scrubs and say goodbye. On Friday, it was revealed that the beloved character has walked the halls of the famed Seattle hospital for the last time. While fans were looking forward to having a proper send off for the star, it turns out his last episode has already aired. ABC has confirmed to E! News that Justin's last episode was in fact episode 350 which aired on Nov. 14 of last year. The star has played the character for the last 16 seasons, and is one of the last few remaining members of the main cast of the hit medical drama, which premiered in 2005. His last episode saw him leaving to go take care of his ailing mother, and he was replaced as head of pediatric surgery by Dr. Cormac Hayes played by Shameless alum Richard Flood. "There's no good time to say goodbye to a show and character that's defined so much of my life for the past 15 years," Justin said in his statement to E! News. "For some time now, however, I have hoped to diversify my acting roles and career choices. And, as I turn 50 and am blessed with my remarkable, supportive wife and five wonderful children, now is that time." Justin went on to say, "As I move on from Grey's Anatomy, I want to thank the ABC family, Shonda Rimes, original cast members Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson and James Pickens, and the rest of the amazing cast and crew, both past and present, and, of course, the fans for an extraordinary ride." It's always hard to say goodbye to a member of the Grey's Anatomy family, but this one's going to leave a scar. (Eonline)

Ellen Pompeo Breaks Silence on Justin Chamber's Grey's Anatomy Exit Veteran Grey's Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo is just as heartbroken as many of you are that her co-star Justin Chambers is leaving the show. The 49-year-old actor and ABC announced the shocking news on Friday. Chambers played Dr. Alex Karev on Grey's Anatomy since it debuted in 2005. The 16th and final season began airing in September and the network revealed that his last episode was broadcast in November, which means there was no official send-off for his character. "#GreysAnatomy is about to feel one of its biggest losses yet," read a tweet by Vanity Fair, to which Pompeo responded on Saturday, "Truer words have never been spoken @VanityFair [broken heart emoji]." The actress has played Dr. Meredith Grey on Grey's Anatomy for all 16 seasons. She is one of three original cast members who remain on the medical drama. The other two are Chandra Wilson and James Pickens Jr. Pompeo said last year that "there were many moments" where she wanted to quit Grey's Anatomy. "It's funny: I never wanted off the bus in the year that I could get off," she told Taraji P. Henson in an interview for Variety. "The first 10 years we had serious culture issues, very bad behavior, really toxic work environment. But once I started having kids, it became no longer about me. I need to provide for my family." Last year, Forbes named Pompeo the 10th highest-paid actress in Hollywood, with estimated annual earnings of $22 million. "At 40 years old, where am I ever going to get this kind of money?" the star, a married mother of three, told Henson. "I need to take care of my kids. But after season 10, we had some big shifts in front of the camera, behind the camera. It became my goal to have an experience there that I could be happy and proud about, because we had so much turmoil for 10 years. My mission became, this can't be fantastic to the public and a disaster behind the scenes." "Shonda Rhimes and I decided to rewrite the ending of this story," she continued. "That's what's kept me. Patrick Dempsey left the show in season 11, and the studio and network believed the show could not go on without the male lead. So, I had a mission to prove that it could. I was on a double mission." (Eonline)

How The Biggest Loser Has Changed for 2020. The Biggest Loser is back, but it has made some changes ahead of its return. The reality show, which rewards the contestant who has lost the most weight by the end of it, has faced some controversy in the past as its methods have been criticized, especially as some have struggled after the show to maintain their weight loss. Host Bob Harper and trainers Erica Lugo and Steve Cook joined USA Network SVP of Alternative Series Heather Olander at NBCU's TV Critics Association Winter Press Tour appearance to talk about the new iteration of the show, which has made a few changes to address some of the criticisms of the old version of the show, which originally aired on NBC from 2004 to 2016. Olander said the network took a look at the format of the show to make sure it was "reflective of health and fitness today," since the original show was conceived 15 years ago, and 2020 is a very different time. First of all, the elimination process has changed. Instead of a series of votes, the person who loses the smallest amount of weight will be eliminated. Olander said they did look at the competition element of the show, and decided that it was "only part of the storytelling of the show." "It's a motivating factor for the contestants, but also it's part of their story and their transformation as well, sort of the failures and the successes both that we saw this season impacted you know who they were from the start of the show to the end." Another major change, which is a response to the issue of contestants struggling after the show, is that there's now a focus on an enhanced "aftercare package," which will give even the contestants eliminated early the tools to continue a "healthy lifestyle." That aftercare package includes a gym membership, a nutritionist, and guidance towards a support group. Bob Harper acknowledged that the easiest part of the process is the weight loss itself, and the hardest part is keeping the weight off because "you have to divorce yourself from everything that you ever did in your past that got you to that place," so the new version of the show is trying to approach the weight loss from every level. "We want to give them everything that they can use to succeed. We want you to succeed, because it's very difficult," he said. Lugo herself lost 160 pounds and is now a trainer on the show. "It's something that we have to make that choice day in and day out, and I really feel like we teach them the tools to keep it off long term," she said. The hope is to focus more on weight loss and health rather than just weight loss on its own. "For these contestants on the show, they primarily came to the show because they wanted to live a longer life," Olander said. "They unanimously talked about the health issues that they're having because of the weight and just beyond that, the message in the show is yes, being thin is great and fitting into skinny jeans, if that's what you want, that's fabulous, but that's not the end all be all. It's not about getting fit at all costs." The Biggest Loser premiere January 28 on USA Network. (Eonline)

Kristin Cavallari Reveals Cheating Rumors Played a Part in Fall Out With Ex-BFF Kelly Henderson. What happened between Kristin Cavallari and BFF Kelly Henderson? That was the question on everyone's mind while tuning into the Thursday season three premiere of Very Cavallari. Thankfully, throughout the episode, the Uncommon James mogul opened up about the specifics surrounding her fall out with Henderson. "The biggest change in my personal life is that my best friend Kelly and I haven't talked in two months," Cavallari admitted in a confessional. "We've had a major falling out and it's just been breaking my heart." Jay Cutler's wife still has some good friends in her corner as hair colorist Justin Anderson moved to Nashville and corporate consultant Stephanie "Biegs" Biegel joined the Uncommon James team. Despite this happy update, we were still left wondering about the Kristin/Kelly situation -- and we weren't the only ones. During a night out, Cavallari shared with Anderson and Biegel the reason behind her friend breakup with Henderson. According to The Hills alum, Henderson only reached out to her to talk about the show's production schedule and poorly handled cheating rumors on social media. "When season two was airing, there was a lot of talk on social media about Jay and Kelly having an affair. Not for one second have I ever thought that it was true," the True Roots author shared with the Very Cavallari camera. "It wasn't the actual accusations of them having an affair that made me upset, it was how Kelly went about it." Amid this drama, Cavallari said the Velvet's Edge founder tried to post something about the gossip and kept bringing up Cutler on Twitter. As this added "fuel to the fire," Cavallari felt her friend "was using Jay for her own personal gain." "Why do you want to post about that? To get more attention about it," a frustrated Kristin lamented to Biegs and Justin. "If I was accused of having an affair with your husband, I wouldn't say his f--king name on social media. Like, come on." Of course, Cavallari attempted to talk to the celebrity hair stylist about the situation, but was met with defensive responses and push back. "Instead of her just owning her side of it and being like, 'I'm sorry! Oh my god, that was never my intention' or whatever, she kept giving me push back and would get really defensive," Cavallari added later on. "And then, she literally just stopped responding to me." Understandably, Henderson's silence felt like "a slap in the face" to Cavallari. "The point is, I feel very used. I care way too much about her to just be like, 'Oh f--k her' or whatever," the mother of three relayed. "But, I'm not willing to just let it go. And I don't know if I'm ready to just move on." Cavallari shared a similar sentiment with her husband when she revealed she was "emotionally drained" from the drama. "Like, my best friend could care less about me, unless it has to do with what she can gain from me and you," the former MTV personality informed Cutler. While Cavallari knew reality shows "totally messes up friendships," she thought it wouldn't affect her bond with Henderson. In fact, Cavallari said she believed Henderson was "the last person on the planet that would ever be affected by any of this." "I've completely lost my friend," the lifestyle expert stated. After hearing all of this, Cutler encouraged Cavallari to take "a little bit of time and space." We have a feeling that viewers will get to hear Kelly's side of things as her Very Cavallari return was teased in the final moments of the episode. Will the former friends be able to resolve their issues? For that answer, be sure to tune in to the rest of season three. (Eonline)

Demi Lovato makes Her Will & Grace Debut. Demi Lovato has officially made her Will & Grace debut. As sort of assumed by the baby bump pictures the singer had posted from her time on the show, Lovato is playing Jenny, the surrogate hired by Will (Eric McCormack), who has decided to have a baby on his own. He went to meet her in tonight's episode, thrilled because he had heard she had a really great uterus. First, he was totally freaked out by the way she greeted his knock on the door ("Before I open this door you should know I have a knife, and a dog, and the dog has a knife too."), and then he was totally freaked out by how messy her apartment was, and then he was totally freaked out by all the jokes she made, and then he was extremely freaked out when he discovered that she makes money as a cam girl when she's not being paid as a surrogate. Because he's Will, he got weird and judgey pretty much immediately, and told Jenny he had to think about it. He then went home and decided well, maybe his paying her to be his surrogate could help lift her out of the cam girl lifestyle, and so maybe he could save her! It was Karen (Megan Mullally) of all people who, when Jenny texted to say she wasn't feeling it, told Will he was being a big ol' jerk. He went to apologize, explaining that he never imagined she would have to choose him while he was choosing her, and all was well. Elsewhere, Karen slept with Jenny's disabled war vet brother after a session of flirting that only Karen Walker could pull off, while Jack accompanied Grace to an Annie convention, where she pretended to be a Broadway star. The final season of Will & Grace continues Thursdays at 9 p.m. on NBC. (Eonline)

'Chucky' TV Series a Go at Syfy. The cabler is also readying a 'Peter Pan' follow-up called 'The League of Pan.' Syfy has a flashy new reboot of its own. The NBCUniversal-owned cable network has handed out a straight-to-series order for a new take on horror franchise Chucky. An episode count and premiere date have yet to be determined. The news was announced Saturday at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour, where Syfy was attending alongside corporate siblings from NBCU. In other news from Syfy, the cabler also announced it is developing The League of Pan, a limited series extending the adventures of Peter Pan but focused on the group of misfit children who refused to grow up. First put in development a year ago, the new Chucky take hails from original franchise creator Don Mancini, who will pen the script, exec produce, serve as showrunner and direct the pilot. Chucky brings him back to the Syfy fold following his work on anthology Channel Zero. The new Chucky will explore the horror that unfolds in a small idyllic American town after a vintage Chucky doll turns up at a suburban yard sale and the chaos the ensues when as a series of murders exposes the town's hypocrisies and secrets. Meanwhile, the arrival of enemies and allies from Chucky's past threatens to expose the truth behind the slayings as well as the doll's untold origins. David Kirschner (Hocus Pocus) and Nick Antosca (Channel Zero) will exec produce via the latter's Eat the Cat banner. Universal Content Productions, where Antosca is based under an overall deal, is the studio. Harley Peyton (Channel Zero) will also executive-produce. "The character Don and David created has terrified audiences for over 30 years. The longevity and legacy of Chucky speaks to the creative storytelling and the loyal fans the film series has collected over the years," USA and Syfy president Chris McCumber. "We are excited to once again partner with Nick and UCP on this new Syfy series, and are incredibly proud to bring Chucky to television for the first time with the original creators." The franchise, which launched in 1988 with Child's Play, consists of seven films, all written by Mancini and produced by Kirschner. The pics have grossed nearly $200 million worldwide and also led to a massive wave of merchandising that includes video games, comics and other paraphernalia. The TV project arrives six months after news broke that MGM is remaking Child's Play for the big screen. Chucky arrives as Syfy's roster of scripted originals had dwindled following the cancellations of such shows as Krypton, Deadly Class, Happy and the conclusion of Killjoys. Syfy parent company NBCUniversal has largely been focusing on the launch of streaming service Peacock, which will feature a collection of library and original titles from across the company's portfolio. To that end, a new take on former Syfy favorite Battlestar Galactica -- from Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail -- was picked up straight to series not on the linear network but for Peacock. Syfy's slate consists of the fifth season of The Magicians, acquisitions Van Helsing and Wynonna Earp and the upcoming Resident Alien and Vagrant Queen. As for League of Pan, Brian McCauley Johnson (Syfy's Dominion) will pen the script that picks up 10 years after the events of Peter Pan and follows a grown up Wendy Darling and the Lost Boys, who are all forced to return to Neverland and face a new threat. Thematically, the drama -- should it move to series -- would follow the truths of growing up and the fact that going home is never as easy as you think. UCP is the studio. "The stories of Peter Pan, The Lost Boys and the Darlings have provided us with epic tales of gallantries and escapism for generations," said Bill McGoldrick, president of originals at NBCU Entertainment Networks and its direct to consumer unit. "Now, Syfy is developing an original take on the classic, setting the limited series in uncharted lands, making for new adventures and showcasing these characters like you've never see them before." (Hollywood Reporter)

Meghan McCain ditched "The View" on Thursday morning after Page Six reported she's hated by her co-hosts. "Meghan's out today. She'll be back on Monday," Whoopi Goldberg told the audience as she opened the show. She didn't provide any further explanation. McCain did somewhat confusingly appear in a pre-taped interview with Michael B. Jordan in the middle of the live show. Sources told us McCain planned a personal day on Friday, but was unexpectedly absent from the table on Thursday. "She stayed home for a personal matter," a source close to McCain told Page Six. Multiple sources told us her relationship with the other hosts -- including with her one-time TV bestie Abby Huntsman -- has soured. Huntsman described their friendship as "salt and pepper" to People magazine in November, and McCain has called Huntsman her "ride or die." But sources told us this week that the duo had a nasty falling out about a month ago. "They aren't speaking to one another. It's been about a month ... It's bad," an insider said. Another source added, "They're not as close as they once were, but there's no hatred between them." ABC reps did not comment. (Page Six)

Zack is back. Sources tell Deadline that Mark-Paul Gosselaar will be a producer on the reboot of "Saved By The Bell" and will appear in at least three episodes. The original "Saved By the Bell" ran four seasons on NBC from 1989-1992. The show starred Gosselaar as Zack Morris, the leader of a group that included A.C. Slater (Mario Lopez), Jessie Spano (Elizabeth Berkley), Kelly Kapowski (Tiffani Thiessen), "Screech" Powers (Dustin Diamond), and Lisa Turtle (Lark Voorhies). There was also a spinoff, "Saved By the Bell: The College Years," which lasted one season from 1993-94. The reboot will have John Michael Higgins ("Great News") as Bayside High's new principal, while Josie Totah ("Champions") will break new ground as Lexi. The comedy will bow on NBCUniversal's forthcoming streaming service, set to launch in April. (Page Six)

NBC News to Shutter Peacock Productions. The in-house unit produced 'American Swamp' for MSNBC, and also programming for other channels, like 'Skywire Live with Nik Wallenda' for Discovery Channel and special 'Surviving R. Kelly: The Impact' for Lifetime. NBC News is shutting down Peacock Productions, the in-house production unit that produced documentary fare and some live programming. "NBC News is shuttering Peacock Productions, effective March 2," an NBC News spokesperson said in a statement. "NBC News is shifting its documentary strategy to an entirely new model, consistent with industry trends, and unfortunately the existing operation is no longer viable. We are working with affected employees to help find positions around NBC Universal." Employees of the production unit were notified of the decision this morning. Peacock Productions, which was founded in 2007, produced programming for NBCUniversal's suite of channels, including American Swamp for MSNBC, as well as programming for other channels, like Skywire Live with Nik Wallenda for Discovery Channel and special Surviving R. Kelly: The Impact for Lifetime. While the demand for documentary and live content remains strong, the formats have shifted somewhat in response to streaming services like Netflix. NBC News appears poised to shift its own documentary strategy accordingly. (Hollywood Reporter)

NBC Boss on 'America's Got Talent' Investigation: "We Will Put New Practices in Place, If That's What's Necessary." A month and a half after his biggest reality franchise became embroiled in a very public debate over workplace culture and racial sensitivity, NBC boss Paul Telegdy faced questions about America's Got Talent on Saturday morning. The NBC Entertainment chairman, speaking publicly for the first time since complaints from fired panelist Gabrielle Union prompted an investigation into the show, told the assembled press that his network is taking the allegations seriously and said results of the investigation would be revealed by the end of January. "I'm confident if we learn from this investigation, we'll put new practices in place, if that's what's necessary," Telegdy told reporters Saturday during NBC's time at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour. "We take the investigation very seriously." In December, after meeting with Union, NBC launched an investigation into her complaints of racial insensitivity and toxic culture during her brief tenure on the series. As for an end the investigation, one that spans the network, producers, production company Fremantle and creator-judge Simon Cowell's Syco Media, Telegdy said the results would be coming in a few weeks and likely delivered by the end of the month. The executive, who repeatedly stressed that he was "transparent and candid" multiple times during his nearly 40 minutes before the press, noted he couldn't say more given the ongoing investigation. "We also embrace the notion we can always be a better workplace," he said during his somewhat scattered Q&A with press. "We want to always go after the truth. That's our culture here. ... I promise you this is being taken very seriously." America's Got Talent is a show close to Telegdy. Before inheriting the broadcast network, he spent years as NBC's reality czar -- overseeing AGT, The Voice and the rest of the broadcast network's robust unscripted slate. Union was not the only panelist departure from AGT. The series also parted ways with Julianne Hough after the most recent season, leaving two vacant slots alongside Cowell and Howie Mandel. Sofia Vergara is among those to have met with the network about taking the job, but no decisions have been made. Telegdy would not speak about casting on Saturday morning, but stressed the show is really about the contestants. The current season of AGT, spinoff Champions, was banked before the scandal broke. Still, it returned on Jan. 6 to middling ratings -- at least by franchise standards -- a 1.3 among adults 18-49 and 8.1 million viewers. As for the upcoming 15th cycle of the original, there is still some breathing room on casting. Production isn't set to begin until March. Telegdy, who came armed with a slew of news announcements -- Tina Fey and Amy Poehler returning to host the Golden Globes, a new comedy starring Dwayne Johnson, a nature show called The New World to air after the 2024 Paris Olympics and renewals for New Amsterdam and Making It among them -- also addressed the Saturday Night Live debacle that saw comedian Shane Gillis hired and fired in less than a week after homophobic slurs in a podcast. "We acted fast, Lorne [Michaels] did the right thing," Telegdy said, calling the flap a "learning issue" and noting that the variety show's producers will better vet future cast members. Here are other highlights from Telegdy's remarks Saturday: (Hollywood Reporter)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Born On This Day...

Live Show 2-5pm Today Arizona Time - Music To Grill By

Music Beat - with your host Keith Anderson Monday, and Friday at 12 noon & 10pm Arizona Timezone