"The Price Is Right" tapings postponed after Drew Carey's former fiancée is killed by an ex-boyfriend, game show host tweets petition to reform domestic violence laws
CBS canceled the Feb. 18 and Feb. 19 tapings of "The Price is Right" following the Feb. 15 death of host Drew Carey's former fiancée, family and sex therapist Dr. Amie Harwick, who police say was killed during an altercation with her ex-boyfriend, Gareth Pursehouse, at her apartment in the Hollywood Hills. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the game show will tape new episodes the week of Feb. 24 or March 2. Because episodes tape months in advance, "The Price is Right" will continue airing as usual. On Feb. 18, Carey took to Twitter to bring attention to a Change.org petition aimed at reforming domestic violence legislation. "Please sign this petition and chip in if you can," he tweeted, adding a hashtag reading "Justice For Amie." Harwick reportedly accused Pursehouse of physical abuse during their relationship nearly a decade ago and filed two restraining orders against him, but the most recent restraining order reportedly lapsed just weeks before her death. A friend told Page Six that Harwick "went to the police" after she ran into Pursehouse, a photographer, at an industry event in Los Angeles in January during which "his behavior was abusive and threatening," but according to the pal, authorities "did not take it seriously."
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"Good Times" star Ja'net Dubois dies at 74
"Good Times" star Ja'net Dubois died of natural causes at her home in Glendale, California, on Feb. 17. She was said to be 74, though, according to the Los Angeles Times, the singer-actress never revealed her real age.
Bethenny Frankel business competition series from Mark Burnett gets green light at HBO Max
On Feb. 19, HBO Max announced that Bethenny Frankel will headline "The Big Shot with Bethenny," a new eight-episode business competition series to be produced by "The Apprentice" creator Mark Burnett. According to the show's official logline, "In each half-hour episode, the next generation of business moguls will compete for a chance to be second-in-command to business tycoon and Skinnygirl founder Frankel, and win a coveted position working on her executive team. In business and in life, Frankel never settles and only accepts excellence. Through a series of real-life tasks and challenges, each aspiring mogul will be tested to see how far they can push their creativity and determination to rise to the top."
"Saved by the Bell" star Lark Voorhies is "hurt" she wasn't invited to revival
On the Feb. 19 episode of "The Dr. Oz Show," Lark Voorhies admitted that she felt "a bit slighted and hurt" when she found out she wasn't invited to participate in the upcoming "Saved by the Bell" reboot, which will feature her former co-stars Elizabeth Berkley, Mario Lopez and Mark-Paul Gosselaar. (There have been reports that Tiffani Thiessen is also in talks to join the new Peacock series.) "I was not invited to be part of the 'Saved by the Bell' reunion, as well as other cast members events. Yet, of course, I also realized that having this puzzling disorder may have played a major part in that factual decision," continued the Lisa Turtle actress, referencing her struggle with schizoaffective thought disorder, a chronic mental health condition. "With that in mind, I am truly thankful for having had the chance to work on a show that has been so successful," she continued, adding that her former castmates "have the right" to get together socially without her. "They're happy in their element, and they can have it, certainly," she said. When Dr. Oz asked if she would like to be included in future reunions, she replied, "Yes, what family isn't kept complete without its lead." As for the new series, Lark said she "would be elated and happy" and "would have a lovely time" if she were invited to appear on the show.
Lance Bass says everyone keeps guessing he's on "The Masked Singer"
During an interview with Entertainment Weekly that hit the Internet on Feb. 19, Lance Bass made it clear that despite what many viewers seem to think, he's not a contestant on the third season of "The Masked Singer." Said the former boy band member, "I do get a lot of tweets about 'Lance is definitely the Turtle.' I get lots of weird tweets and everyone guessing it's me, but unfortunately, it's not." Continued the multi-hyphenate, "It seems like it'd be so much fun, but I don't know if I would ever do the show. … It's a lot of time, and I just don't have that right now."
White House Correspondents Dinner returns to comedy with Kenan Thompson, Hasan Minaj
On Feb. 18, the White House Correspondents Association announced that Kenan Thompson will host the organization's annual dinner, which is scheduled for April 25. Comedian Hasan Minhaj, meanwhile, will serve as the evening's featured entertainer. Last year, the dinner featured historian Ron Chernow, who discussed the history of journalism and the First Amendment — a major departure from the annual event's tradition of using comedy to spotlight current events. Another break from tradition? Donald Trump hasn't attended since he took office, as is customary for the president. It's unclear whether or not he'll be on hand this year.
Tiffany Boone addresses her decision to quit "The Chi"
Tiffany Boone took to Instagram on Feb. 17 to explain why she left "The Chi" in November 2018 after wrapping the second season of the Showtime drama … and after making harassment allegations against the show's lead, Jason Mitchell, to "HR and high-level producers" during the first season. "A day came when I had to be brutally honest with myself about what I was willing to sacrifice just to have a job," she wrote. "Was I able to compromise my values, integrity, and happiness just to be employed? You don't carelessly leave a 'hit show' that is praised by your community. … The weight of what I was leaving behind felt like a ton, but the weight of my responsibility to speak up was even heavier. There were people who questioned my decision. How could I be sure I would work again, especially on a project of that magnitude? I wasn't sure." After she left "The Chi," however, she felt like "there was a hand beneath me lifting me higher." Explained the actress, "Professionally, I have been able to not only work on projects that I am proud of but with people who are making concrete steps to change the nature of this business." After praising the teams behind her new shows "Hunters" and "Little Fires Everywhere" for "creating an environment of safety, respect and collaboration … where each and every person feels safe and inspired to create their best work," she recalled "crying on [her] couch in Chicago" once she realized that although she'd addressed her concerns during season 1 of "The Chi" and felt "assured that HR training would set the show on the right track … not everyone was interested in creating a work environment that was conducive to each person feeling safe, seen, and heard." Continued Tiffany, "I felt that if I didn't speak up, other voices that were trying to be heard would be silenced. After additional conversation with HR, I asked to be released from my contract. It was one of the most difficult decisions I've ever made but there is a freedom you are granted when you stand in your truth." Concluded the actress, "I left the show, hoping changes would be made to create a better workplace for everyone involved. … I dishonored myself by staying in a situation that I knew wasn't aligned with who I am or who I want to become. … The entire experience had inspired me to continue to be a part of a changing tide in this industry — to show up to sets knowing the power of my own voice, to use that voice to speak up for myself and others, and to only place trust in leaders who encourage the same."
"Love Island" host Caroline Flack dies at 40, "Recess" voice actor Jason Davis dies at 35 and "Sex and the City" actress Lynn Cohen dies at 86
British "Love Island" host Caroline Flack took her own life at her home in London on Feb. 15. She was 40… Hollywood scion Jason Davis, who voiced Mikey Blumberg on the Disney Channel cartoon "Recess," died at his home in Los Angeles on Feb. 16. According to TMZ, authorities are treating his death as a possible overdose. The actor — who appeared on "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew" while battling a heroin addiction in 2010 — was 35… Actress Lynn Cohen — who memorably portrayed Miranda's Ukrainian housekeeper, Magda, on "Sex and the City" — died in New York City on Feb. 14. She was 86.