"Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek gives health update as 35th season wraps
Alex Trebek marked the conclusion of Season 35 of "Jeopardy!" by releasing a video updating fans on his health as he deals with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. "Some of you may recall that at the beginning of this season, I promised you that we had some surprises in store for you," he said in a clip tweeted by the official "Jeopardy!" Twitter account on April 17. "Well, of course, I had no idea at that time that there were some surprises in store for me as well. So here, on the last day of taping for our 35th anniversary season, I wanted once again to thank you for your continuing messages of encouragement and support. Particularly, the many cards I have received from young people. I am touched beyond words. I've always tried to be straight with you, and I'm not going to stop now, so despite what you may have heard, I'm feeling good. I'm continuing with my therapy, and [we're] already working on our next season, the 36th year of 'Jeopardy!' So I look forward to seeing you once again in September with all kinds of good stuff."
"Game of Thrones" Season 8 premiere released hours early on DirecTV Now, shatters ratings record
Four hours before the eighth and final season of "Game of Thrones" debuted on HBO at 9 p.m. on April 14, the latest episode of the fantasy-drama popped up on DirecTV Now — sending fans into a frenzy. According to Entertainment Weekly, at least 17.4 million viewers tuned in that night to catch the show's big return — crushing the records for most-watched telecast in HBO history and most-watched scripted entertainment program of the year. ("The Big Bang Theory" previously held the record with 14.1 million viewers for the Feb. 7 episode of the CBS sitcom.)
"Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "Everybody Loves Raymond" actress Georgia Engel dies at 70
TV and Broadway star Georgia Engel — who earned two Emmy nominations for her work as Georgette Baxter on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and three Emmy nominations for her work as Pat MacDougall on "Everybody Loves Raymond" — died at 70 in Princeton, New Jersey, on April 12 . Her friend and executor, John Quilty, told The New York Times that her cause of death is unknown because the actress was a Christian Scientist and did not consult doctors when her health took a turn.
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"When Calls the Heart" renewed for Season 7 following Lori Loughlin firing
"When Calls the Heart" star Erin Krakow (left) announced on April 13 that the Hallmark Channel renewed the series for a seventh season to debut in 2020. The drama has been on "a creative hiatus to do some retooling" on the current sixth season since mid-March, when the network cut ties with Lori Loughlin after she was formally charged for her involvement in a college admissions cheating scandal.
HBO confirms 2020 returns for "Westworld," "Insecure" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm"
Variety reported on April 15 that HBO execs have confirmed that three shows from the premium cable channel's current roster will return in 2020: "Westworld," which will enter its third season; "Insecure," which is heading into its fourth season; and "Curb Your Enthusiasm," which will return for Season 10.
British child star Mya-Lecia Naylor dies at 16
British child star Mya-Lecia Naylor — who starred on U.K. comedies "Millie Inbetween" and "Almost Never" — died at 16 on April 7, the BBC confirmed in an April 17 statement. Her cause of death is currently unknown. The singer-actress also appeared in 2012's "Cloud Atlas."
CBS employees reportedly fear network doesn't have money to keep Gayle King as contract negotiations drag on
Page Six reported on April 13 that because it's taken CBS so long to negotiate Gayle King's contract to stay on "CBS This Morning" for several years to come — a huge priority for the network — employees are now concerned that CBS doesn't have the funds to keep the star journalist. The New York Post's gossip column previously reported that Gayle is hoping to nearly triply her current yearly salary of $5.5 million. But as an insider told Page Six, "It's not like CBS News can all of a sudden find ABC or NBC money — it has to come from somewhere." The source added that despite buzz that the new president of CBS News has been given extra money for talent salaries, "there's not that much."
Kevin Hunter out as executive producer of "The Wendy Williams Show"
Variety reported on April 18 that, according to a spokesperson for "The Wendy Williams Show," the hostess's estranged husband, Kevin Hunter, is no longer executive producing the daytime talk show in the wake of their split. The spokesperson added that the show's production company "wishes him well in his future endeavors." Kevin had served as an EP since the show debuted in 2008. Wendy filed for divorce on April 11 after 22 years of marriage.