"NCIS" names replacement for Pauley Perrette's Abby Sciuto
Diona Reasonover, who made her debut as Kasie Hines on Season 15 of "NCIS" in March, has been promoted to a series regular for the upcoming 16th season of the CBS procedural. Her character, who was introduced as a graduate assistant to David McCallum's Ducky, will be taking over as the new full-time forensic scientist following the departure of Pauley Perrette's Abby Sciuto at the end of last season. CBS TV Studios announced the news on Twitter on July 18.
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"Brady Bunch" house for sale — might be demolished
The Los Angeles-area house that served as the exterior of the Brady family's home on "The Brady Bunch" is for sale, but according to Deadline, among those eyeing the property are developers who may tear it down. The two-bedroom, three-bathroom home in Studio City has been listed for $1.85 million on the Multiple Listing Service. A listing describes the 2,477-square-foot property as "the second-most photographed home in the United States," after the White House. The lot, which is a third of an acre, was purchased by its current owners in 1973. "I have several buyers already interested," said a realtor. "They're developers for the lot size. They might tear down, but the listing agent said the family was hoping to get someone to preserve the house, and at $1.85 [million], I don't know if a developer would pay that much."
"Jeopardy!" contestant getting second shot at competition following technical glitch
"Jeopardy!" contestant Vincent Valenzuela is getting a second shot at the competition due to a glitch during a round of "Final Jeopardy." A rep for the show told the Chicago Tribune that the text of the clue given to Valenzuela and his competitors was different from what host Alex Trebek said while reading the clue. "This slang term for an environmentalist is literally true of groups that used passive resistance vs. deforestation, as in India in 1973," said Trebek. All three contestants wrote the correct answer, "tree hugger," but at the last second, Valenzuela crossed out "tree hugger" and changed his answer to "Carl Sagan." Valenzuela, who ultimately came in third, said that the text of the clue posted on his screen read, "His slang term for an environmentalist …" Explained Valenzuela, who will be back on "Jeopardy!" on July 23, "That completely changes it when you re-read it. It sounds like they're looking for a person's name and so I just grabbed a person who was big in the environment and who would have been a contemporary in the '70s, and so I came up with Carl Sagan. … It was very devastating, but they realized that a mistake had been made."
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Robert Wolders, star of "Laredo" and former companion of Audrey Hepburn, dead at 81
"Loredo" star Robert Wolders, who romanced Audrey Hepburn from 1980 until her death in 1993, died at 81 on July 12. The official Twitter account for the Audrey Hepburn Children's Fund announced the news, writing, "With the heaviest heart we salute our Board Member, mentor and friend Robert Wolders. May your beautiful soul rest in peace. Your shining example lives on."
NBC launched internal investigation into whether or not "The Biggest Loser" contestants were given drugs
NBC launched an internal investigation to determine whether or not "The Biggest Loser" contestants were given drugs to help them lose weight, court documents reveal. The legal docs surfaced as part of Dr. Robert Huizenga's defamation lawsuit against the New York Post over a series of articles about how the NBC reality show, which hasn't aired new episodes since February 2016, allegedly rigged results. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Post interviewed former contestants who claimed that Huizenga, a sports doctor who worked with contestants on all 17 seasons of "The Biggest Loser," submitted them to "questionable medical exams." Some contestants alleged that they were given Adderall and pills containing Ephedra, which has been banned by the FDA, to help them lose weight. According to one contestant, Huizenga "knew exactly what we were doing and never tried to stop it." THR reports that some legal docs show that NBC execs emailed about "legal advice regarding investigation of allegations of the provision and/or use of Drugs on 'The Biggest Loser' and actions considered in response to such allegations" as far back as 2008, eight years before the allegations surfaced in the press.
"Deadliest Catch" co-star admits to sexually abusing 16-year-old girl
On July 13, "Deadliest Catch" star Edgar Hansen admitted to sexually abusing a 16-year-old girl at a home in Snohomish County, Washington, on Sept. 30, 2017. In a handwritten statement, the 47-year-old deck boss confessed to "touching [the victim's] private areas … for the purpose of my own sexual gratification." (In late October, the victim told a therapist that Sig Hansen's younger brother "kissed her on the lips," touched her genitals and then had her touch his genitals.) According to People magazine, Hansen pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation and was given a suspended sentence of 364 days in jail, which means he will not spend time behind bars. He'll also spend two years under probation and will pay various fees and fines totaling up to $1,653, with an additional $4,800 fine suspended. Hansen will reportedly undergo a sexual deviancy evaluation and treatment and provide a DNA sample to law enforcement.
Paula Faris is leaving "The View" and "GMA Weekend" for new role at ABC News
ABC News announced in a July 18 memo to staff that Paula Faris is leaving "The View" and "Good Morning America Weekend" to focus on covering in-depth news stories for the network. According to Variety, the journalist — who spent four years on the weekend edition of "GMA" and three seasons on "The View" — recently signed a new contact. She reportedly made the decision to scale back her involvement on both shows so that she'd have more time to work on "stories of greater consequence." She's expected to continue contributing to "GMA" and various ABC News programs and will also launch a podcast on faith that will "explore what unites people of all backgrounds even in these divisive times," according to ABC News.
Showtime and Sacha Baron Cohen push back against Sarah Palin over "Who Is America?" interview
On July 16, Showtime released a statement denying Sarah Palin's claims that Sacha Baron Cohen presented himself as a disabled veteran to dupe the former Republican vice presidential candidate into sitting for an interview with him for his new docuseries, "Who Is America?" The network also denied that the controversial comedian donned military apparel while meeting with Palin and Senator Bernie Sanders. Last week, Palin alleged on Facebook that the "Borat" star "heavily disguised himself" as a disabled U.S. veteran in a wheelchair when he interviewed her. She's challenged Baron Cohen and Showtime to donate proceeds from "Who Is America?" to a veterans' charity.
Jessica Simpson says she was "shocked" Ashlee Simpson decided to return to reality TV
Jessica Simpson told "Entertainment Tonight" on July 14 that she was "shocked" little sister Ashlee Simpson decided to return to reality TV with the upcoming E! series "Ashlee + Evan," on which she'll star alongside husband Evan Ross. "She did a reality show [before], so I was shocked that she said yes to it, because it's like you're mic'ed for everything," said Jessica. "[I asked her], 'Wait, are you sure you want everything to be out there?' And she's like, 'Yeah, I'm really confident,'" continued the singer-actress. "That's what you have to have when you're doing reality, you know? You have to be confident in who you are and what you're standing for, and I think she is." As for herself, Jessica has no intention of returning to reality TV: "Oh, gosh no," she said. "I am confident, but I also know how people can take your words and make them whatever they want to make them." That said, the "Irresistible" singer will appear on some episodes of Ashlee's show "toward the end." Jessica also said that "Ashlee + Evan" will center around the titular couple's "journey together, and discovering music together, which is awesome." As for Ashlee, "She's out there singing again, which I couldn't be more proud of," gushed Jess.
Bristol Palin reportedly joining the cast of "Teen Mom"
TMZ reported on July 19 that Bristol Palin is joining the cast of MTV's "Teen Mom OG." The mother of three will be a series regular on the next season of the reality show, which debuts this fall. The "Dancing With the Stars" alum — and daughter of Republican politician Sarah Palin — was 18 when she welcomed her first child, son Tripp, with then-fiancé Levi Johnston. According to TMZ, she'll essentially replace fired former cast member Farrah Abraham as one of the stars of the show.