Roseanne Barr says the way ABC is dealing with her "The Conners" onscreen alter ego is "cruelly" insulting
During a weekend appearance on Brandon Straka's YouTube show "Walk Away," Roseanne Barr revealed how ABC is dealing with her onscreen alter ego on "The Conners," the upcoming "Roseanne" spinoff. "They killed her. … They have her die of an opioid overdose," said the controversial comedian, whom the network fired from the revived sitcom after she tweeted a racist comment about former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett. She went on to say that she's upset ABC had to "so cruelly insult the people who loved that family in that show" by killing off the Conner family matriarch in such a way — even though the character's addiction to prescription painkillers was set up on Season 10 of the series. "There's nothing I can do about it. It's done. It's over," she said. "The Conners" debuts on ABC on Oct. 16.
Julie Chen officially leaves "The Talk" with tearful video message amid husband's sexual misconduct scandal
Julie Chen officially said goodbye to "The Talk" on Sept. 18, a little more than a week after CBS fired her husband, CEO Les Moonves, in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations leveled against him by several women. "I have been at 'The Talk' since the day it started nine years ago and the cast, crew and staff have become family to me over the years. But right now, I need to spend more time at home with my husband and our young son, so I've decided to leave 'The Talk,'" she said in an emotional pre-recorded message. She went on to thank the viewers, everyone behind the scenes and her fellow co-hosts (Eve, Sheryl Underwood, Sara Gilbert and Sharon Osbourne), struggling at one point for composure. As for the other CBS show Julie hosts, "Big Brother," TMZ reported on Sept. 19 that the network won't ask her to step down because they don't want to punish her for her husband's alleged mistakes. The webloid adds that it was the hostess' decision to leave "The Talk," on which panelists are expected to discuss their personal lives and share their opinions on topical issues (like sexual harassment). She reportedly wants to finish the current season of the reality show, which has a less-demanding shooting schedule than "The Talk," and hopes to return next season if "BB" is renewed, which seems likely.
Emmy ratings fall double digits to new low despite move to Monday by NBC
According to Deadline, the 2018 Emmys, which Colin Jost and Michael Che hosted on Sept. 17, hit an all-time low in spite of the fact that with its move to Monday, the award show wasn't competing directly with Sunday Night Football this year. CBS scored 11.8 million viewers when Stephen Colbert hosted the Emmys in 2017, but early metrics show that this year's telecast was down 10 percent. It was also 32 percent down in metered market ratings from the last time the Emmys aired on NBC in 2014.
"America's Got Talent" crowns Season 13 winner following backlash over frontrunner Courtney Hadwin
Close-up magician Shin Lim won the 13th season of "America's Got Talent" on Sept. 19, besting acrobatic dance group Zurcaroh, which came in second, and electric violinist Brian King Joseph, who came in third. He also claimed the title from 14-year-old frontrunner Courtney Hadwin, who faced backlash in the days leading up to the finale due to the fact that she's British and not American. The singer — who also courted controversy over her previous appearance on the UK's "The Voice Kids" in 2017 — is in the United States on a short-term performer visa to appear on "AGT." The judges, who are all foreign-born, didn't seem to mind the fact that she's not American though. (Heidi Klum is German, Howie Mandel is Canadian and Mel B and Simon Cowell — like Courtney — are both British.)
Former "Sesame Street" writer says Bert and Ernie are gay as show insists they're just "best friends"
During an interview with the LGBTQ lifestyle website Queerty that hit the Internet on Sept. 16, former "Sesame Street" writer Mark Saltzman said that as far as he's concerned, Bert and Ernie are a couple. He also compared the Muppets' relationship to his own with film editor Arnold Glassman, whom he's called the love of his life. "I always felt that without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert and Ernie, they were [lovers]," he said. "I didn't have any other way to contextualize them. The other thing was, more than one person referred to Arnie and I as 'Bert and Ernie.'" Two days later, the official Twitter account for "Sesame Street" released a since-deleted statement denying Mark's claims. "As we have always said, Bert and Ernie are best friends. They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves," read the tweet. "Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics (as most Sesame Street Muppets do), they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation." Not long after that, the show released an updated statement: "Sesame Street has always stood for inclusion and acceptance. It's a place where people of all cultures and backgrounds are welcome. Bert and Ernie were created to be best friends, and to teach young children that people can get along with those who are very different from themselves."
Kelly Clarkson heads to daytime with new talk show
On Sept. 19, NBC announced that Kelly Clarkson will headline an eponymous one-hour talk show to serve as a lead-in to "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" on NBC-owned stations in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, the Dallas-Fort Worth area, San Francisco, Washington, DC, Miami, San Diego, Hartford and Boston — making it available for viewing in almost 30 percent of American households. "The Kelly Clarkson Show" will debut in the fall of 2019.
Abby Huntsman on why she left Fox News for "The View"
Abby Huntsman explained why she left "Fox & Friends Weekend" for "The View" during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that hit the Internet on Sept. 17, saying that although she "never felt restrained" or like she couldn't speak her mind at the conservative news channel, she's happy to be in a situation where she won't be, as THR puts it, "boxed into one ideological corner or another." Said Abby, "I feel really free in that I go in every morning and no one on ['The View'] tells me what to say, no one tells me what to think. … I feel so lucky to have a job where I don't feel limited." The hostess explained that she got "hit by [Fox] viewers" for being critical of President Trump, for example. She went on to call Fox News "a wonderful place to work," expressing gratitude for the friends she made there and sharing praise for the "many great women" who work at the cable station. "It was hard [to leave] because I loved the job I did and I loved the people I did it with. I left because ABC was where I started, and it was always my dream to get back there. And 'The View' was a show I watched since it began," continued Abby, who said ABC's pitch to her was, "Come be yourself. We think you'd be great on the show." Said the new panelist, "I feel lucky in that sense." She also feels lucky to be on a show where people can have healthy debates about controversial topics. "You don't see that on cable news very much," she said. "Because it is that, 'Here's my talking point. Here's your talking point. Let's not try to understand each other. Let's just double-down on where we are.' And people live in their cul-de-sacs."
AMC reportedly planning more "The Walking Dead" spin-offs and movies
Bloomberg reported on Sept. 19 that AMC has met with "several large media companies" to discuss developing various movies and TV shows based within the universe of "The Walking Dead." The films — at least one of which would be set in another country — would reportedly air on a TV network or streaming service. If they successfully land with fans, AMC could potentially spin-off the movies into TV shows. AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan dished on larger plans for the franchise during the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference on Sept. 12: "We have a plan to manage over the next decade, plus," he said, calling it "a careful plan to respect the world [and] the fans of that world." Though "The Walking Dead" is still one of the top-rated shows on television, it's seen a decline in viewership in recent seasons. Its future is uncertain now that star Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes) is entering his final season of the zombie drama.
"Game of Thrones" author George R.R. Martin didn't want the show to end just yet
During the Emmys on Sept. 17, "Game of Thrones" author George R.R. Martin told Variety that it wasn't his decision to end the HBO series based on his books at the conclusion of the upcoming eighth season. "We could've gone 11, 12, 13 seasons," he said, adding that showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss chose to end the fantasy drama. "David and Dan have been saying for like five seasons that seven seasons is all they would go," he continued. "We got them to go to eight but not any more than that. There was a period like five years ago when they were saying seven seasons and I was saying 10 seasons and they won, they're the ones actually working on it." He went on to say that it's unlikely any "GoT" spinoffs will center around characters currently featured on the show as their stories have come to an end and the actors are ready to move on. "I know all of the actors, as great as they are, all the actors are anxious to get on and play other roles," said Martin. "They don't want to spend their entire lives playing one role and that's fine, that's great, we had such an amazing cast." The writer is currently developing five prequel series, which are set between 100 years and 5,000 years before the events of "Game of Thrones."