"Judge Judy" ending after 25 seasons as Judy Sheindlin preps new show amidst behind-the-scenes feud with CBS
On the March 2 episode of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," Judge Judy Sheindlin announced that her long-running syndicated courtroom series, "Judge Judy," which is distributed by CBS, will end after its upcoming 25th season finishes airing next year. She then plans to launch a new show, "Judy Justice," with a different network, she said. According to TMZ, the famed TV judge's ongoing feud with CBS brass contributed to her decision to end "Judge Judy." She and the new regime that took over after Les Moonves left the network in 2018 "haven't been seeing eye-to-eye on a lot of things she and Les were square on," writes TMZ, noting that the network has been shutting down Judy's attempts to develop possible new shows — which she's allowed under the terms of the 2017 contract she signed with CBS when Les was still at the helm. There have been no developments with any of the projects she was working on since he left the company.
ABC announces new "The Bachelorette" star
On the March 2 episode of "Good Morning America," ABC announced that Clare Crawley will headline the upcoming 16th season of "The Bachelorette." The 38-year-old hairstylist — who will be the oldest Bachelorette in the show's history — previously romanced Juan Pablo Galavis on season 18 of "The Bachelor" in 2014. She then appeared on the first two seasons of "Bachelor in Paradise" before competing on 2018's "The Bachelor Winter Games," which ended with her accepting a proposal from Benoit Beausejour-Savard. (They called it quits less than two months after the finale aired.)
Questions abound following Chris Matthews' sudden departure from MSNBC
On March 3, The Hollywood Reporter reported that although Chris Matthews' sudden decision to leave MSNBC after more than 20 years seemed shocking to most, insiders "knew this day was coming" for months following a series of recent controversies. There were also other clues his exit was imminent — such as his exclusion from MSNBC's Feb. 29 South Carolina Democratic primary coverage. As for his successor, the network "will lean on a rotating group of hosts" before landing on a permanent replacement, THR reports. Among the candidates are "data wiz" Steve Kornacki, a national political correspondent for NBC News/MSNBC, weekend host Joy Reid, who's filled in for Matthews before, 4 p.m. host Nicolle Wallace and Shepard Smith, who abruptly left Fox News last October. And finally, as for what Matthews will do next, he told MSNBC viewers while announcing his resignation that he's working on a book and "will continue to write." NBC News/MSNBC contributor Howard Fineman tweeted on March 2 that in the wake of his big news, Matthews is "upbeat, not bitter" and "eager for more writing, speaking out, after a record run in a cold business hosting an era-defining show."
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Officers who shot and killed "ER" actress Vanessa Marquez cleared by DA
The Hollywood Reporter reported on March 3 that the two South Pasadena police officers who fatally shot former "ER" actress Vanessa Marquez in August 2018 will not be charged with her death because they acted in self-defense when she pointed a handgun at them during a welfare check at her home. On March 2, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office released body-cam footage from one of the officers that shows them asking Marquez to drop her weapon — which was later determined to be a replica — several times before she pointed it at them. Her family reportedly filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of South Pasadena.
"Melrose Place" actress Claudette Nevins dies at 82
People magazine reported on March 1 that, according to a statement from her family, former "Melrose Place" actress Claudette Nevins died in hospice care at her home in Los Angeles on Feb. 20. She was 82.
Sofia Vergara calls "America's Got Talent" the "perfect opportunity to do something different" after "Modern Family"
During a Feb. 28 interview with "Extra," Sofia Vergara said she's "super excited" about joining "America's Got Talent" because it's "something completely different" than what she thought she would do after "Modern Family," which recently wrapped shooting its 11th and final season. "I thought it was the perfect opportunity to do something different after 10 years of such a fantastic TV show. I didn't think I was going to get something like that, but I think it's better to mix it up for a while," said the actress. "I think I am going to have a lot of fun. I've been watching the show for a long time, and it looks like the judges have so much fun — like the contestants." The four-time Emmy nominee added that she's "very excited" to become the first Latina to sit on the panel of judges. And she's not worried at all about going toe-to-toe with Simon Cowell, she said, calling the famously cantankerous TV star "super nice."
CBS suspends "The Amazing Race" production over coronavirus fears
Variety reported on Feb. 28 that CBS temporarily suspended production on season 33 of "The Amazing Race" amid concerns over the worldwide outbreak of coronavirus. A CBS spokesperson said in a statement that the network took the "precautionary measure … out of an abundance of caution" and noted that the virus has not impacted anyone directly involved with the show, which entered production on season 33 "a couple of weeks ago." Three episodes had reportedly been shot and contestants had visited England and Scotland before the suspension. They're now "in the process of returning home" and "will continue to be monitored when they return home," according to the statement. Season 32 of "The Amazing Race" has yet to air.
Rachel Lindsay says "The Bachelor" franchise "doesn't reflect the real world," claims it won't survive
During an interview with the Associated Press that hit the Internet on March 2, former "The Bachelorette" star Rachel Lindsay called out Bachelor Nation's lack of diversity. "If I could change one thing, it's the show doesn't reflect the real world," said the attorney, adding that because she's the franchise's "only lead of color," she feels like it's her responsibility to address the issue. "You're just now having in 'Bachelor in Paradise' your [first] same-sex relationship — and they had to bring [in] somebody who wasn't even a cast member on the show to make that happen," she said, referring to former "The Bachelor" contestant Demi Burnett and her then-girlfriend, Kristian Haggerty, who got engaged on "BiP" but split a few months after the finale aired. "The girls all look the same way," Rachel continued, noting that she initially blew off appearing on "The Bachelor" because "black people don't go far" on the show. "My biggest complaint is that the show does not reflect what the real world looks like," she said. "I would have women [and men] of all ages — I mean, there has to be a cut-off point. But I'd have women [and men] of different shapes, sizes, backgrounds, ethnicities. I would change it completely." She then called herself "probably the only lead that's bold enough to speak out and say something" on the subject. She also expressed doubts that the franchise can survive much longer due to social media, which "spoils so many things" and has affected the pool of contestants. "So many people come on [with] no job, no career, never worked a day in their life because they're gonna build [a career] off of being Instagram famous," she said. "I think it's gonna be harder for them to find relationships that work." She then pointed out the fact that the last Bachelorette, Hannah Brown, didn't get engaged because her finalist, Jed Wyatt, "wanted to establish a music career," while the last Bachelor, Colton Underwood, ended up with Cassie Randolph, who "didn't want to be engaged." Concluded Rachel, who married her finalist, Bryan Abasolo, in August, "The show is either going to have to change or it's gonna end."