"Tiger King" star Joe Exotic signs on to another show
"Tiger King" star Joseph Maldonado-Passage is gearing up to participate in another TV show — even though he's in prison serving time for his role in a murder-for-hire plot. On April 6, Page Six reported that the controversial star better known as Joe Exotic inked a deal to contribute to an upcoming Investigation Discovery series that will "take a deeper dive" into the disappearance of Carole Baskin's first husband, Jack "Don" Lewis. Entertainment Weekly, reported that the show — "Investigating the Strange World of Joe Exotic" — will focus on his nemesis and her late husband, showing "the investigation you didn't get to see, revealing the secrets only Joe knows and the exclusive footage that has never been shown." As seen on the smash hit Netflix series "Tiger King," Joe openly accused rival Carole of being involved in Don's death.
Brad Pitt impersonates — and thanks — Dr. Anthony Fauci on "Saturday Night Live"
Brad Pitt delighted TV audiences on April 25 when he opened "Saturday Night Live" with his best impression of Dr. Anthony Fauci. The doctor, one of the leaders of the White House's Coronavirus Task Force, two weeks earlier had joked that he wanted Brad to play him on "SNL" — and the NBC sketch-comedy show made it happen. Brad appeared in a gray wig and glasses in the cold open for the second at-home episode since lockdown started and addressed the audience as the good doctor, explaining that he wanted to respond to President Donald Trump's recent comments about COVID-19. He then proceeded to comically correct all the president's errors. "There has been a lot of misinformation out there about the virus," he said, adding that he wanted to clarify "what the president was trying to say." At the end of the bit, Brad removed his wig, wig cap and glasses and got serious. "And to the real Dr. Fauci, thank you for your calm and your clarity in this unnerving time," Brad said. "And thank you to the medical workers, first responders and their families for being on the frontline. And now live, kinda, from all across America, it's Saturday night."
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"American Idol" and "Survivor" are returning remotely
The shows must go on! On April 14, ABC announced that starting April 26, season 18 of "American Idol" would shift to a remote format, with the top 20 contestants, host Ryan Seacrest, mentor Bobby Bones and judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie all appearing from home. And it's not the only show coming back remotely — The Hollywood Reporter reported on April 13 that in lieu of a proper in-person reunion, the May 13 finale of "Survivor: Winners at War" will feature video-chat appearances from all 20 players discussing highlights from the season with host Jeff Probst. And one other fan-favorite series is working on a pandemic taping plan…
"The Bachelorette" might start shooting with restrictions in July
On April 9, TV blogger Reality Steve reported that the producers of "The Bachelorette" are eyeing a new format for the show so that they can still launch production on season 16 amid the coronavirus pandemic. Star Clare Crawley's season might potentially shoot for five weeks in July and August at a single location — ideally a resort booked exclusively for the cast and crew. All dates, parties and rose ceremonies would take place at this location — meaning the season, which would start airing in September, would not feature international travel or hometown dates. Additionally, all cast and crew members would be tested for the coronavirus prior to their arrival at the resort, which would be on "complete lockdown" for the duration of the shoot "with no one leaving the premises," Steve reported.
"Too Hot to Handle" debuts on Netflix
Is this the next "Love is Blind"? Netflix continued to offer up must-see quarantine entertainment with its latest reality romance series, "Too Hot to Handle." The new addictive program hit the streaming service on April 17 with eight episodes of hot singles forced to stay at a retreat and avoid all romantic contact in order to win the $100,000 prize.
"Ozark" season 3 enjoys a major viewership boost
Another Netflix win? The third season of "Ozark" debuted on the streaming service on March 27 and averaged 8.7 million viewers over the 10 days following its premiere, according to The Hollywood Reporter. That marks a 74% increase from its second season, likely due to viewers devouring the dramatic series while staying safe at home during the global health crisis.
Daymond John denies claim he tried selling N95 masks to state of Florida at inflated price
On April 22, The Miami Herald reported that officials in Florida accused businessman and "Shark Tank" star Daymond John of attempting to price gouge them in a deal that would have secured a million coveted N95 masks for the state's frontline healthcare workers. The star reportedly offered to sell the masks for $7 apiece — even though they typically go for less than $2 each. The director of Florida's Department of Emergency Management alleged that Daymond approached him about using his "connections with factories in China" to obtain the masks. Ultimately, the deal fell through. Daymond released a statement slamming the newspaper report, branding it "false" and "inaccurate." He said that he "did not set any prices" but rather "worked with the state of Florida" to "help vet the overwhelming amount of incoming [personal protective equipment] offerings" based on his "manufacturing expertise." His efforts, he said, played "a pivotal role" in stopping price gouging, "successfully [identifying] potential fraud and theft of PPE to protect taxpayer funds." He also maintained that his company "was serving as an intermediary" to vet distributors for the state.
"Grey's Anatomy" season ends sooner than expected
Season 16 of "Grey's Anatomy" came to an early end on April 9. ABC shut down production of the medical drama in mid-March as the coronavirus pandemic began to take hold in America, and though the current season was originally slated to include 25 episodes, only 21 episodes were finished before the forced break began.
"One World: Together at Home" raises over $100 million
Global Citizen and the World Health Organization's"One World: Together at Home" concert that aired on April 18 brought out some of the biggest names in music and raised more than $100 million to support frontline healthcare workers during the pandemic. It was curated by Lady Gaga and hosted by Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel. Superstars like Jennifer Lopez, Elton John, Celine Dion, Chris Martin, Paul McCartney and the Rolling Stones performed from their homes (or, in Elton's case, his driveway!). It also drew an impressive 20.74 million viewers in the States.
Ellen DeGeneres criticized for jail joke
Ellen DeGeneres hasn't been faring well during the quarantine: She sparked swift backlash after saying on the April 6 episode of her eponymous talk show that quarantining in her multimillion-dollar mansion amid the coronavirus pandemic is like "being in jail." Said the comedian, "One thing that I've learned from being in quarantine is that people — this is like being in jail, is what it is. It's mostly because I've been wearing the same clothes for 10 days and everyone in here is gay." Twitter didn't take kindly to the joke, with one user writing: "Except that people in jail can't practice social distancing, don't have enough water or toilet paper and are going to die at exceptional rates from Covid-19. Except for that, Ellen, your quarantine experience is just like being in jail." Prisons and jails across the country have faced horrific outbreaks of COVID-19.
Joanna and Chip Gaines's Magnolia Network debut postponed
Sorry, Chip and Joanna Gaines fans. The launch of their Magnolia Network has been delayed. Though the new network, a joint venture with Discovery Communications, was supposed to hit the air in October, COVID-19 production delays on all its shows have caused the debut to be pushed back to a yet-to-be-determined date.
"America's Got Talent" starts holding remote auditions
Good news for "America's Got Talent" hopefuls — the show re-opened its online audition process on April 1 as the coronavirus health crisis raged on. In-person auditions originally kicked off on March 2 and were supposed to go through March 20, but now talented individuals will have to pivot and show their stuff online.
"Modern Family" airs its series finale
"Modern Family" is over! The 11th and final season of "Modern Family" came to an end on April 8 with an hour-long episode that gave fans closure on the future of all of the family members. Claire and Phil's three adult children finally moved out of their overcrowded family home (Alex got a job in Switzerland with her new love interest, Luke was accepted into the University of Oregon and Haley moved into Mitch and Cam's old apartment with Dylan and their twin babies). Cam and Mitchell introduced their newborn son, Rexford, and moved to rural Missouri so that Cam could take his dream job as the head football coach at the University of North Central Missouri. Manny prepared for a yearlong adventure abroad, and Jay supported Gloria in her burgeoning real-estate career, assuring her that her family will always need her — even as he takes over responsibilities at home. He also decided to learn Spanish and committed to joining her when she visited her family in Colombia.
Anderson Cooper announces on CNN coronavirus town hall that he's now a dad
CNN's Anderson Cooper shared some very happy personal news at the end of his network's coronavirus town hall on April 30: Three days earlier, he welcomed a son, Wyatt, via surrogate. The baby's first name honors Anderson's father, who died when the journalist was 10. "My son's middle name is Morgan, which is a family name on my mom [Gloria Vanderbilt]'s side," Anderson explained. "I know my mom and dad liked the name Morgan because when I was going through her things recently [following her 2019 death] I found a list they made 52 years ago when they were trying think of names for me." As photos of the newborn flashed on the screen, Anderson said, "That's Wyatt Morgan Cooper, my son. He was 7.2 pounds at birth, and he is sweet and soft and healthy, and I am beyond happy. As a gay kid, I never thought it would be possible to have a child and I'm so grateful for those who paved the way." Anderson also posted several photos of his beautiful boy on Instagram.
"Good Morning America" loses camera operator to COVID-19
On April 8, Robin Roberts announced that beloved "Good Morning America" studio camera operator Tony Greer had died due to the coronavirus. "He was such a bright light working in our studio for more than six years," the host said. "You could just feel Tony's beautiful spirit — you could feel it from a mile away. … We loved every single moment we were blessed to spend and share with Tony. … [He] was a good man. He was kind, he was thoughtful, he was always a gentleman." Co-hosts George Stephanopoulos, Michael Strahan and Ginger Zee also paid tribute to the late cameraman on "GMA."
CBS tweaks its Sunday night schedule in May
Need something to watch while staying safe at home? Here's some good news — TVLine reported on April 7 that throughout the month of May, CBS will air iconic films from the Paramount Pictures Library on Sunday nights to fill the void left by the network's regularly scheduled lineup. Those Sunday shows were dramatically affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with many forced to cut seasons short when productions were shut down. CBS will broadcast "Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark" (May 3), "Forrest Gump" (May 10), "Mission: Impossible" (May 17), "Titanic" (May 24) and "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" (May 31).
Chris Soules and Victoria Fuller are a new Bachelor Nation couple
A new Bachelor Nation couple has popped up, despite a worldwide pandemic — and it's a surprising one! On April 15, Bachelor Nation blogger Reality Steve tweeted that former "The Bachelor" star Chris Soules is dating Victoria Fuller, who competed for Peter Weber's heart on season 24 of "The Bachelor" and previously romanced country music star Chase Rice. The blogger reported the controversial pair (Victoria's been accused of breaking up marriages, while in 2017, Chris was infamously arrested and charged with leaving the scene of an accident causing a death after his vehicle hit a tractor, leading to its driver's death) spent the week together in Iowa, where the farmer lives. Steve called the pairing "one of the more random" Bachelor Nation couplings and said that it's unclear "how long this has been going on or how serious it is." Us Weekly claimed that Chris and Victoria recently connected when he slid into her DMs. On April 21, the duo seemed to confirm their rumored romance, sharing very similar posts in a field on their Instagram stories. Us later reported that social media evidence seems to reveal the pair are quarantining together too.
Michael Che pays rents at late grandmother's apartment buliding
After losing his grandmother to COVID-19, "Saturday Night Live" star Michael Che announced on Instagram on April 6 that in her "spirit and memory," he's committing to "paying one month's rent for all 160" units in the New York City Housing Authority apartment building in which she lived. "It's crazy to me that residents of public housing are still expected to pay their rent when so many New Yorkers can't even work," he wrote, adding that he "can't offer much help" by himself and that his contribution is "just a drop in the bucket."
WWE loses an announcer and resumes filming
The WWE had mixed news in April. On April 16, it published an obituary for ring announcer Howard Finkel, as the Hall of Famer had recently died at 69. This came three days after the wrestling company resumed live televised shows — without in-person audiences — on April 13 after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis designated "professional sports and media production with a national audience" as "essential services" critical to the state's economy during the COVID-19 health crisis. "We believe it is now more important than ever to provide people with a diversion from these hard times," the WWE said in a statement to CNN. "We are producing content on a closed set with only essential personnel in attendance following appropriate guidelines while taking additional precautions to ensure the health and wellness of our performers and staff."
Carson Daly's new daughter makes TV debut
"Today" featured some good news on April 7 when Carson Daly's newborn baby girl, Goldie Patricia, joined her famous father and her mom, Siri Pinter, on the show. "She is doing great. Mom is doing awesome," said the father of four. "She is the little pot of gold at the end of our family rainbow, and she came, obviously, at a much needed time with what's happening in the country. So she's been a wonderful distraction." Goldie was born on March 26.