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‘Grey’s Anatomy’ star Ellen Pompeo will reduce role to star in upcoming Hulu series

Actress Ellen Pompeo will be reducing her starring role on the ABC medical drama Grey’s Anatomy in order to star in an upcoming limited series for Hulu. Pompeo, who stars as Dr. Meredith Grey, will only appear in eight episodes of Season 19 of Grey’s Anatomy, which recently began production. Pompeo will still provide the narration in every episode, and continue to serve as executive producer.

Pompeo will be taking on an undisclosed streaming role, joining an as-of-yet untitled limited series for Hulu. According to Variety, the eight-episode series will follow the true story of Natalia Grace, a Ukrainian scam artist with dwarfism who was adopted by an Indiana couple after pretending to be an eight-year-old girl. The battle between the girl and her adoptive parents will venture across tabloids and courtrooms, and eventually affect their entire marriage. Pompeo will star in the show in addition to executive producing.

Pompeo has portrayed Meredith Grey on Grey’s Anatomy since the series’ premiere in 2005, making her one of the highest-earning television actresses – she earned an estimated $19 million in 2020.

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Anne Heche in coma in ‘extreme critical condition’ following car crash

Anne Heche is in a coma following her car crash in Los Angeles over the weekend. The actress’ rep said “At this time Anne is in extreme critical condition. She has a significant pulmonary injury requiring mechanical ventilation and burns that require surgical intervention. She is in a coma and has not regained consciousness since shortly after the accident.”

Heche crashed her blue Mini Cooper car into a home, with video footage showing the vehicle speeding down the street before crashing. According to the LAPD, the vehicle became engulfed in flames, and Heche was transported to a local hospital for medical treatment by an ambulance. The Los Angeles Fire Department said that the vehicle struck and came to rest within the 738-square foot two-story home, causing structural damage and igniting a massive fire.

The incident remains under investigation, and reports say that the Los Angeles Police Department had received a warrant to test Heche’ blood to determine whether she was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs at the time of the accident. Officers believe Heche may have been intoxicated when she plowed her vehicle into the home: “The info we received this morning was a warrant that was obtained the same day as the traffic collision, which was August 5. The warrant was to draw blood, and an investigation is ongoing pending the blood test results. If found intoxicated, [Heche] could be charged with misdemeanor DUI hit and run. No arrests have been made so far.”

Heche’s ex James Tupper, who shares 12-year-old son Atlas with Heche, shared a throwback photo of his ex and their son on Instagram, which he captioned, “Thoughts and prayers for this lovely woman, actress and mother tonight anneheche 💔 we love you.”

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‘Bullet Train’ tops the box office earning $32.4M over 3-day opening

Sony’s Bullet Train starring Bradd Pitt has topped the domestic box office with a $32.4 million debut in its opening weekend   However the David Leitch-directed film, which cost $90 million to make and also earned over $60 million globally, fell short of industry expectations.

Coming in at No. 2 is DC League of Super-Pets, followed by Nope at No. 3 with $8.5 million, Thor: Love and Thunder at No. 4 with $7.6 million, Minions: The Rise of Gru at No. 5 with $7.1 million.

Elsewhere in the box office, Top Gun: Maverick continued to break records, with the sequel officially overtaking Titanic to become the 7th highest grossing movie ever at the domestic box office, with a total of $662 million.

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Olivia Newton-John dies at age 73

Singer, songwriter, actress and activist Olivia Newton-John died Monday morning at age 73. Her family wrote in a statement shared on social media: “Dame Olivia Newton-John (73) passed away peacefully at her Ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends. We ask that everyone please respect the family’s privacy during this very difficult time. Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer. Her healing inspiration and pioneering experience with plant medicine continues with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, dedicated to researching plant medicine and cancer. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any donations be made in her memory to the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund (ONJFoundationFund.org).” Newton-John was originally diagnosed with breast cancer in the ’90s; and was in remission for more than 20 years before it returned in 2013. In 2018, she revealed that the disease returned and metastasized to her spine.

Newton-John’s musical breakthrough came in 1973 with the country  hit “Let Me Be There.” The next year, the singer released one of her signature songs. “I Honestly Love You,” which won Grammys for record of the year and best female pop vocal performance in 1974. Newton-John rose to international fame in 1978, playing Sandy alongside John Travolta’s Danny Zuko in the big-screen adaptation of the musical “Grease.” The two became one of the most beloved couples on film, performing the duets “You’re the One That I Want” and “Summer Nights” together.  Travolta posted a tribute to her on Instagram, writing: “My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better. Your impact was incredible. I love you so much. We will see you down the road and we will all be together again. Yours from the first moment I saw you and forever!  Your Danny, your John!”

In 1980, Newton-John teamed with the legendary Gene Kelly for the roller-skating fantasy “Xanadu,” and became a music-video pioneer with her single “Physical” which spent 10 weeks at the top of the charts and won the 1982 Grammy for video of the year. Newton-John sold more than 100 million albums and continued to work until the recurrence of her cancer forced her postpone her 2017 tour.

Newton-John and her ex-husband, actor Matt Lattanzi, welcomed their daughter Chloe in 1986 She later helped establish the “Healthy Child, Healthy World” organization after the daughter of Newton-John’s friend died of a rare form of cancer. During her battle with breast cancer, Newton-John worked to raise awareness for the disease and established the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Center in her hometown of Melbourne in 2012. In 2020, she launched the Olivia Newton-John Foundation to fund research for treatments and therapies to cure cancer.

Newton-John is survived by her husband John Easterling, daughter Chloe Lattanzi, sister Sarah Newton-John, brother Toby Newton-John and her many nieces and nephews.

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‘Days of Our Lives’ moving to Peacock after nearly six decades on NBC

NBC announced its long-running soap opera Days of Our Lives will be moving to its digital-owned platform Peackock after airing the show for nearly six decades. Currently, Peacock already streams past episodes from the Emmy-winning drama series and previously aired its spinoffs, including Days of Our Lives: Beyond Salem and Days of Our Lives: A Very Salem Christmas film.

Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming said in a statement: “This programming shift benefits both Peacock and NBC and is reflective of our broader strategy to utilize our portfolio to maximize reach and strengthen engagement with viewers. With a large percentage of the ‘Days of Our Lives’ audience already watching digitally, this move enables us to build the show’s loyal fanbase on streaming while simultaneously bolstering the network daytime offering with an urgent, live programming opportunity for partners and consumers.”

Starting Sept. 12, Days of our Lives time slot will be filled with the launch of ‘NBC News Daily’. The new hour-long show will be anchored by NBC’s Kate Snow, Aaron Gilchrist, Vicky Nguyen, and Morgan Radford, providing the viewers with “signature world-class reporting and breaking news coverage in a first-of-its kind.” The program will also be streamed simultaneously on NBC News NOW and Peacock.

Days of Our Lives first launched on NBC in 1965; the series celebrated its 55th anniversary in 2020 and was renewed for seasons 57 and 58 on NBC in 2021. The move leaves only three soap operas to remain on broadcast TV, including The Bold and the Beautiful and The Young and the Restless on CBS, and General Hospital on ABC.

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HBO Max’s Selena Gomez cooking show ‘Selena + Chef’ to return for Season 4 premiering Aug. 18

Selena Gomez’s cooking show Selena + Chef has been renewed for a fourth season on HBO Max. The 10 episode season of the unscripted series will premiere on August 18th with three episodes, followed by three more on August 25th – and the final four on September 1st, exclusively on HBO Max. Selena + Chef premiered in August 2020, inspired by Gomez spending more time in the kitchen during the pandemic.

In season four, Gomez heads to the beach with her friends and family, where Selena will continue to learn the joys of cooking with all-star chefs in a beautiful Malibu beach house. Season 4 featured chefs include Adrienne Cheatham, Devonn Francis, Gordon Ramsay, Kristen Kish, Ludo Lefebvre, Matty Matheson, Nick DiGiovanni, Paola Velez, Priya Krishna and Rachael Ray.   As in the first three seasons, each chef will highlight a different charity. To date, the series has raised $400,000 for 26 nonprofit organizations.

You can view the Season 4 trailer –  here.

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ABC’s “The View” names Ana Navarro and Alyssa Farah Griffin as new co-hosts

ABC has named Alyssa Farah Griffin as the new conservative co-host on The View.  The network has also signed Republican commentator Ana Navarro, who has appeared on the program regularly for the past 4 years, as a recurring co-host. Navarro, who has been a vocal critic of former President Donald Trump, also appears regularly on CNN and is not expected to appear on the The View every day. Both Farah Griffin and Navarro made their debuts on Thursday’s show.

Farah Griffin succeeds Meghan McCain, who had been the show’s primary conservative voice before leaving the series last summer (and was also a frequent critic of  Trump).  Farah Griffin, despite working for the former president, has become critical of his actions since Jan. 6, 2021. The View has been ‘auditioning’ for a co-host since McCain’s departure and had a number of prominent conservative co-hosts filling in, with Farah Griffin among them, and appearing frequently on the program.

Navarro, who has been a guest go-host for the past four years, will step in to replace the other hosts during their absences.  Navarro explained on Thursday’s show she “wasn’t ready to make a full-time commitment” to the show, citing her life in Miami and how frequently she flies back and forth.

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Lady Gaga confirms she will co-star in ‘Joker’ sequel with Joaquin Phoenix set for release Fall 2024

Lady Gaga confirmed on Twitter that she will co-star with Joaquin Phoenix in the sequel to the film  ‘Joker’, titled  Joker: Folie à Deux. The tweet showed a black-and-red video of Phoenix and Gaga’s shadows joining together, along with the caption announcing the sequel’s title and release date: ‘Joker: Folie à Deux 10.04.24’

Joker is the origin story of was Batman’s arch nemesis, Arthur Fleck, and follows as he goes from comedian to villain. The film grossed an estimated $1 billion at the box office and earned Phoenix an Academy Award for Best Actor.

It’s unclear who Lady Gaga will portray, but it was long rumored she has been in talks to play Harley Quinn – — the Joker’s psychiatrist at the asylum who becomes his partner in crime. Variety reports the film will be a musical, although plot details are unknown at this time. Director Todd Phillips, and co-writer Scott Silver are returning for the sequel to the 2019 film that grossed more than $1 billion worldwide.

Joker: Folie à Deux opens in theaters on October 4, 2024.

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HBO Max’s $90 Million DC Film ‘Batgirl’ starring Leslie Grace has been shelved

The DC film Batgirl, which was scheduled to be released on HBO Max later this year, has been shelved. Warner Bros. Discovery announced they will no longer be releasing the film, starring Leslie Grace in the title role.  Batgirl was directed by ‘Bad Boys for Life’ filmmakers Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah.

The announcement comes after the project, which costs nearly $90 million to make due to COVID-19 protocols, had already completed shooting. Grace, 27, was set to make her return to the big screen as Batgirl after her breakthrough role in the movie adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning musical In The Heights. Michael Keaton was also set to return to his Batman role, and the Batgirl cast also included Brendan Fraser as villain Firefly, and J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon.

Insiders say that Warner Bros. CEO David Zaslav believed Batgirl “simply did not work,” adding that the decision had nothing to do with the cast or directors.  It is also rumored that Warner Bros. made the decision on Batgirl due to its desire to refocus on theatrical releases rather than creating movies for HBO Max.

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Chrissy Teigen and John Legend expecting ‘rainbow baby’ after suffering pregnancy loss

Chrissy Teigen and husband John Legend are expecting a rainbow baby after suffering a pregnancy loss nearly two years ago. Teigen and Legend also share 6-year-old Luna Simone, and 4-year-old Miles Theodore.

The 36-year-old Teigen announced the happy news on Instagram, sharing her IVF journey to get pregnant with the couple’s fourth child, alongside photos of her baby bump. Teigen’s post read: “​​The last few years have been a blur of emotions to say the least, but joy has filled our home and hearts again. 1 billion shots later (in the leg lately, as u can see!) we have another on the way. Every appointment I’ve said to myself, ‘ok if it’s healthy today I’ll announce’ but then I breathe a sigh of relief to hear a heartbeat and decide I’m just too nervous still. I don’t think I’ll ever walk out of an appointment with more excitement than nerves but so far, everything is perfect and beautiful and I’m feeling hopeful and amazing. Ok phew it’s been very hard keeping this in for so long!”

Nearly two years ago, Teigen announced that she and Legend had experienced the loss of their third child, Jack, in September 2020 during her pregnancy.  Teigen announced at the time on Instagram: “We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we’ve never felt before. We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions. It just wasn’t enough. Jack worked so hard to be a part of our little family, and he will be, forever. To our Jack – I’m so sorry that the first few moments of your life were met with so many complications, that we couldn’t give you the home you needed to survive. We will always love you.”

Teigen shared on Instagram in February 2022 that she and Legend, 43, were undergoing in vitro fertilization to try and conceive again after the loss of Jack: I wanted to let you guys know I’m balls deep in another IVF cycle to save as many eggos as I possibly can and hopefully make some strong, healthy embryos.”

Pregnant! Chrissy Teigen and John Legend Are Expecting Their Rainbow Baby

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