Shake up at the ‘X Factor’

Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger and Steve Jones have all been x-ed from the “X Factor.”

The first season’s host, Jones confirmed his departure on Twitter Monday afternoon. Fox confirmed Scherzinger’s exit also on Monday, and confirmation that fellow judge Adbul won’t be back is imminent, sources say.

It appears that the show’s producers were looking to make a clean sweep and are looking for new talent to replace the two axed judges and host.

The show scored very decent ratings, but hasn’t lived up to creator Simon Cowell’s expectations.

Cowell commented last summer that he hoped “X Factor” would top “American Idol” as the country’s top-rated show. How, it failed to gain viewers from the roughly 12.49 million who watched its September debut. “X Factor earned only half of Cowell’s “American Idol” ratings in its first season, which wrapped in December.

Oprah plans new show to boost her network

TV legend and talk show queen Oprah Winfrey will return to TV with a new prime-time show set to debut on January 1st. Oprah will ring in the New Year with the premier of Oprah’s Next Chapter, her first weekly primetime series on her OWN network

The show will mimic her long-running daytime hit chat show, but it will take Oprah out and about. Winfrey will take extended trips to experience her subjects’ lives and interview them on their own turf.

In the first season of Next Chapter, Oprah will explore the after-effects of the Haitian earthquake with actor-activist Sean Penn, visit the famously reclusive George Lucas at Skywalker Ranch and have a slumber party at the Georgia mansion of chef Paula Dean.

The premiere episode will be two-hours long and debuts on New Year’s Day. Featured will be a revealing interview with Steven Tyler, the Aerosmith frontman and American Idol judge.

Oprah’s OWN launched in January 2011 and has since languished. The hopes are that the new series, basically starring Oprah herself, will be the hit the network so desperately needs.

“Unacceptable” Ricky Gervais to host 2012 Golden Globes again

It looks like all you have to do is insult people, step on toes and ruffle a few feathers to get a returning gig on the Golden Globes. Ricky Gervias will return to host the 2012 Golden Globes for a third time despite the comedian’s stint in 2011 described as “totally unacceptable” by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

In his 2011 turn, the British comedian fired barbs at Charlie Sheen, Bruce Willis, Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Tom Cruise and others. The creator of the TV show “The Office” made it quite clear that he did not expect to be invited back.

After learning of his reappointment Wednesday night, Gervias tweeted that he had asked Oscars host Billy Crystal not to use all his best Holocaust and pedophilia jokes before he has a chance to deliver them. Gervais added “It’s gonna be biblical!”

Gervais may have upset some celebrities and members of the HFPA, but he also received enthusiastic backing from NBC, which screens the Golden Globe ceremony.

While Gervais’ 2011 performance was deemed controversial, it was also judged by critics to be a success.

The 69th annual Golden Globes awards will be held on Jan.15 at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles.

Pam Anderson to play Virgin Mary in Christmas comedy special

She was a Playmate of the Month for Playboy, she has a sex tape, and her romances have been well published. She has had many roles that played up her two biggest assets. And now, Baywatch’s Pamela Anderson will trade her revealing red swimsuit for a blue gown and veil.

Anderson will star as the Virgin Mary in an hour-long comedy sketch titled “A Russell Peters Christmas.” The special is set to air in December on Canada CTV network.

The broadcast is described as “an irreverent twist on the Christmas special,” and  “is unlike anything viewers have seen before.” It is already creating a lot of buzz and backlash.

The show promises to be “tastier and more dangerous than a cup of eggnog,” and it will pay “tribute to the holidays with a mix of stand-up, sketch, stop-motion animation, and musical performances,” according to producers.

Featured in the comedy will be a star-studded cast including crooner Michael Buble, SNL alumnus Jon Lovitz, Ted Lange, comedic actor Faizon Love and others.

While Anderson has often been typecast as a ditzy, buxom blonde, the producers say her comedic timing and quirkiness make her perfect for their Mary. They noticeably left out “virgin.”

‘Dallas’ star Larry Hagman diagnosed with cancer

Larry Hagman, the actor best known for his role as J.R. Ewing on the hit TV series  Dallas,”  is battling cancer.
Hagman, 80, did not divulge the type of cancer he has, but said it is a very common and treatable type.  Hagman joked in a statement released Friday, “As J.R. I could get away with anything–bribery, blackmail, adultery.  But I got caught by cancer.”

Hagman will continue working. A re-vamped “Dallas” for the TNT network begins production Monday. The new series focuses on the Ewing offspring who feud over the Ewing fortune and dynasty.

The original “Dallas” series ran from 1978 to 1991.

Hagman also starred as Maj. Tony Nelson, along with Barbara Eden, in the 1960s comedy sitcom “I Dream of Jeannie.”

The Texas-born actor began his career at the age of 25 when he made his TV debut in an episode of “Decoy.” From there, his career exploded. Hagman has appeared on such shows as “McCloud,” “Love American Style,” “Medical Center,” “Rockford Files,” the Dallas spinoff “Knots Landing,” the animated hit “The Simpsons,” and the cable drama “Nip Tuck.”

Hagman said, when revealing his cancer diagnosis, that he has no plans to sit idle. The iconic actor added, speaking of his alter ego, “As we all know, you can’t keep J.R. down.”


“Spartacus” Lead Star Andy Whitfield Dies of Cancer at 39

Andy Whitfield, lead role in the Starz period drama “Spartacus: Blood and Sand,” died Sunday of non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in Sydney, Australia. He was 39.
In a statement issued by his wife Vashti Whitfield, she said “On a beautiful sunny sydney spring morning, surrounded by his family, in the arms of his loving wife, our beautiful young warrior Andy Whitfield lost his 18 month battle with lymphoma cancer. He passed peacefully surrounded by love. Thank you to all his fans whose love and support have help carry him to this point. He will be remembered as the inspiring, courageous and gentle man, father and husband he was.”

 Whitfield was the gladiator hero in the first season of the cable series, but had to step down before the second season because of his illness. Whitfield’s performance was so strong and iconic, showing a mixture of furious aggression and intense vulnerability, that production on season two was halted for about a year in an attempt to give Whitfield time to recover from the disease.

 Starz released a statement Sunday reacting to the tragic news.

 “We are deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend and colleague, Andy Whitfield,” said Starz president and CEO Chris Albrecht. “We were fortunate to have worked with Andy in Spartacus and came to know that the man who played a champion on-screen was also a champion in his own life. Andy was an inspiration to all of us as he faced this very personal battle with courage, strength and grace. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time. He will live on in the hearts of his family, friends and fans.”

 Spartacus creator Steven DeKnight on his Twitter said, ““No words to express the depth of such a loss. You will be deeply missed, my brother.”


NBC’s Fashion Star Adds Nicole Richie and John Varvatos as Mentors

The two designers will serve as mentors on the show.  NBC’s new show “Fashion Star” previously announced that Jessica Simpson and Elle Macpherson will part of the show as mentor and judge respectively. And now the station has announced that designer John Varvatos and Nicole Ritchie will be joining the show.
Richie is no stranger to design, as she is the House of Harlow and Winter Kate designer. She and Varvatos will mentor alongside Simpson. Contestants on the show are hoping to win a contract with major department stores.

 Paul Telegdy, NBC’s EVP of alternative programming is thrilled with the additions. He says, “NBC could not have asked for better additions to the celebrity mentors than John Varvatos, one of the most well-known menswear designers in the nation and international style icon and creative director, Nicole Richie.”

 The show has a unique spin as it will allow viewers to purchase items from the show online after watching episodes.

“Harry Potter” star Emma Watson admits to being drunk once in her life

While “Harry Potter” star Daniel Radcliffe has claimed he no longer drinks, his co-star Emma Watson says she’s only been “very, very drunk” once in her life.

The 22-year-old British actress, who appeared on “The Late Show with David Letterman” on Monday in New York City, said she got drunk in England after she turned 18.

“Yes I have tried spirits, we drink at 18 in the U.K. but I’m actually legal to drink here now, it’s worth mentioning. I’m 21,” she said. “Yes, yes I have. I got very, very drunk once in my life as everyone does. Fine, I got drunk, I have been drunk – and I’ll bow to that!”

When Letterman asked if she had ever peed on the subway, Watson replied that it has never gotten to that point.

“Thankfully it’s never been that bad,” she said.

But when the late show host asked if she knew about Radcliffe’s drinking on the set of the “Harry Potter” films, Watson replied: “To be honest, it’s rarely not something that I genially know much about. He ‘s the one to talk about it. But as far as I know, he never took a sick day. He was like the most professional, amazing guy.”

Earlier this month, Radcliffe revealed to GQ magazine that his drinking became an issue on the set of 2009’s “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.” Lucky for him, he said the paparazzi were not around.

“I really got away with that because there were many instances when a paparazzi shot like that could have been taken,” he said. “I became so reliant on alcohol to enjoy stuff.”

The actor, who stars in Broadway’s “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” said drinking was an attempt to cope with his early success.

“There were a few years there when I was just so enamored with the idea of living some sort of famous person’s lifestyle that really isn’t suited to me.”

Radcliffe said he’s been sober for almost a year and prefers to be home than attending movie premieres and parties.

“As much as I would love to be a person that goes to parties and has a couple of drinks and has a nice time, that doesn’t work for me,” he said. “I’d just rather sit at home and read, or go out to dinner with someone, or talk to someone I love, or talk to somebody that makes me laugh.”

Radcliffe and Watson star in the final installment of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” which opens in theatres on July 15.

Maria Shriver buys $10 million home after filing for divorce

Maria Shriver

Maria Shriver

Nine days after Maria Shriver filed for divorce from Arnold Schwarzenegger, the former television journalist has bought a $10 million mansion in an exclusive neighborhood in Brentwood, California, reports TMZ.

The 11,000 square feet home, which is not too far from where O.J. Simpson lived, is undergoing a complete makeover.

According to pictures obtained by TMZ from inside the vacant mansion, the palatial pad has eight bedrooms, seven bathrooms, a three-car garage, gym, theater and wine room

But the pictures of dust-filled rooms, and empty pool and unfinished carpentry leave a lot to be desired.

The complete renovation is expected to be done in three months.

According to the divorce petition, Shriver cited “irreconcilable differences” as her reason for ending the 25-year marriage.

She is asking for joint custody of their minor children, Patrick, 17, and 13-year-old Christopher.

The filing comes months after the former California governor and one-time action star revealed he had fathered a child out of wedlock with a member of his household staff years ago.

Cheryl Cole Must Finish Filming for X Factor

On the heels of her dismissal from X Factor, Fox has asked Cheryl Cole to come back to the US to complete more filming for the show. Reports, however, say that Cole is not interested.

Cole was fired from the show in June, but had already participated in four audition shows. The show, which is set to air in September, will still air these episodes.

Part of Cole’s deal with Fox includes returning to the show to complete filming before scenes involving her replacement, Nicole Scherzinger.

A source says, “She made no secret of the fact that she does not want to go- and agreed only because TV channel Fox bosses gave her no option.”

Cole was recently seen as the American Embassy to get her visa. Another source says that Cole “left it until the last possible day to collect her visa because she didn’t want to spotted.”

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