Wendy Williams pushes back return to daytime talk show
Wendy Williams won't tape new episodes of her eponymous daytime talk show until Jan. 21, producers confirmed to Variety on Jan. 9. She was initially expected to return on Jan. 14 after taking off time to deal with a mysterious shoulder injury she claims to have suffered in late December. Instead, a panel of "Hot Talkers" will appear on the show the week of Jan. 14 to keep things running in her absence. The controversial hostess skipped the Dec. 17 taping of her show but returned for new episodes on the 18th through the 21st. She made headlines due to her bizarre behavior on the Dec. 20 episode, which she attributed to side effects from painkillers she took to deal with the pain from "a hairline fracture" on her "upper arm." On Dec. 24, the show kicked off a planned hiatus, which was extended a week past Wendy's original Jan. 7 return date.
Hulu cancels Sarah Silverman's talk show "I Love You, America"
On Jan. 9, Hulu announced its decision to cancel Sarah Silverman's talk show, "I Love You, America," after just one season. The weekly series, which debuted in October 2017 and concluded in November 2018, earned an Emmy nomination for outstanding variety sketch series.
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"Star Trek" and "Doctor Who" actor William Morgan Sheppard dead at 86
"Star Trek" and "Doctor Who" actor William Morgan Sheppard died at age 86 in Los Angeles on Jan. 6. His son, actor Mark Sheppard, confirmed the news on Instagram in the caption of a photo of the English actor resting in a hospital bed while surrounded by family, including Mark's wife and daughter. "We went to spend some time with my father today. Though he couldn't speak, we held hands, he laughed and was so happy to see us. We left and came home. A good day," wrote the "Supernatural" star. "He was rushed to hospital and passed at 6:30pm, my mother by his side. I am so grateful that he didn't have to suffer any longer. Thank you for all your kind thoughts, love and prayers."
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"Days of our Lives" renewed for record-breaking 55th season
NBC has renewed "Days of our Lives" for a 55th season, Variety reported on Jan. 8. The soap opera, which debuted in 1965, will become the network's longest running program. The series aired its 13,500th episode in 2018.
"Today" reveals co-hosts for post-Megyn Kelly third hour
Al Roker, meteorologist Dylan Dreyer and journalists Craig Melvin and Sheinelle Jones are taking over the third hour of the "Today" show in the wake of Megyn Kelly's abrupt departure in October. "Hope you don't mind these faces! You'll be seeing a lot of them at 9am. Please join us! #3rdhourtoday #youvegotafriendinus #letthegoodtimesroll," Dreyer captioned a selfie with her new co-hosts on Twitter on Jan. 7. Melvin, Roker and "Today" show co-lead anchor Hoda Kotb have been temporarily co-hosting the 9 a.m. hour with regular appearances by Dreyer and Jones since NBC fired Kelly amidst poor ratings and a racism controversy. Initial reports indicated NBC was grooming "Today" correspondent Jenna Bush Hager to take over the hour.
Gordon Ramsay touches Sofia Vergara, makes inappropriate comments in resurfaced clip
Gordon Ramsay is in hot water for the way he treated Sofia Vergara when they both appeared on the same episode of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" back in 2010. On Jan. 5, a Twitter user named Jason Bolaños shared a video featuring the most offensive moments, which he captioned, "Sofia Vergara didn't deserve to be treated like this. This is very very uncomfortable." Here are some highlights: Following a sketch with Jay in which she screamed, Sofia apologized, saying, "I never scream like that in real life." Gordon responded, "Only in the bedroom," while stroking her arm, prompting a grimace from the actress, who shifted in her seat to get out of his reach. Later, Jay showed a photo of Sofia eating a slice of pizza. "You seem like you're enjoying that — you have the whole wedge in your mouth at one time," Gordon said as Sofia raised her arms in frustration at the innuendo. After that, Gordon insulted a Colombian dessert that the "Modern Family" star brought on the show. When she reacted by yelling in Spanish, "This guy does not respect me," and pretending to smack his arm, he bent over to offer his behind for a spanking. He also used an expletive to describe her home country, lightly slapped her upper thigh — "No, no touching!" she said while swatting him off — and crammed into her chair next to her after she chided him for interrupting her interview for the umpteenth time.
Al Roker defends local meteorologist fired for using racial slur: He "made an unfortunate flub"
Al Roker took to Twitter on Jan. 9 to defend Jeremy Kappell, the chief meteorologist at NBC affiliate WHEC in Rochester, New York, who lost his job for saying a word that has been used as a racial slur against black people while he was reporting on the weather conditions at a park named after Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 4. (During a Jan. 8 "Today" show interview, Jeremy said he accidentally combined the words "King" and "Junior" while speaking quickly: "Two words mashed together incorrectly. What I said wasn't even a word, it was a sound — people, I believe, read into that," he said.) "I think @JeremyKappell made an unfortunate flub and should be given the chance to apologize on @news10nbc Anyone who has done live tv and screwed up (google any number of ones I've done) understands," tweeted Al. WHEC, meanwhile, released a statement to "Today" defending their decision to fire the weatherman.
Susan Boyle brought to tears after getting Golden Buzzer on "America's Got Talent: The Champions" premiere
Nearly a decade after she made her television debut on Season 3 of "Britain's Got Talent" in 2009, Susan Boyle returned to reality TV with the season premiere of "America's Got Talent: The Champions" on Jan. 7. The Scottish singer, who came in second on "Britain's Got Talent" and then went on to sell millions of albums, wowed with a rendition of The Rolling Stones' "Wild Horses." She earned wild applause from the crowd and raves from the judges, including Mel B, who gushed, "I just want to say what an absolute honor and a pleasure it is to be sitting here and listening to you, your angelic voice, and I want to be the woman that gives you something that you deserve." Mel then slammed the Golden Buzzer to send Susan, who couldn't contain her tears, directly to the finals. "You should've got that the first time," Mel told Susan as they hugged. Said the singer of winning the Golden Buzzer, "I'm very happy and very humbled. Thank you all very much."
"This Is Us" casts a sitcom legend as Beth's mother
"The Cosby Show" legend Phylicia Rashad will star on an upcoming episode of "This Is Us" as Beth's mother Carol. The episode, which will focus on Beth's backstory, will appear in the second half of the NBC drama's third season, which kicks off on Jan. 15, Entertainment Weekly reported on Jan. 8.