Fox settles "Bones" lawsuit, ending profits case that stunned Hollywood
Fox has finally settled a longstanding lawsuit with the cast and creators of "Bones" over profit sharing for the hit procedural, which came to an end in early 2017. According to The Hollywood Reporter, both parties filed dismissal papers in Los Angeles on Sept. 11. (The terms have yet to be revealed.) In February, an arbitrator handed down a decision concluding that 21st Century Fox executives "lied, cheated and committed fraud" at the expense of the cast (including stars David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel) and creators of "Bones" by selling broadcasting and streaming rights to the show to partners — including FOX and Hulu, in which Fox has a stake — at a price that's below the series' fair market value. The arbitrator awarded $179 million in damages — including $128 million in punitive damages — to the "Bones" creatives, but in May, a Los Angeles judge determined that they were not entitled to punitive damages, bringing the total down to $51 million
"Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" actor John Wesley dies at 72
Actor John Wesley — who memorably portrayed Dr. Hoover on an episode of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" and had stints on "Martin" and the "Dirty Dancing" TV series — died at Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Sept. 8 after suffering complications from a long battle with multiple myeloma, a type of cancer that forms in plasma cells. He was 72.
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"Friends" star Lisa Kudrow reveals why she struggled playing Phoebe during Season 3
On the Sept. 12 episode of Kevin Nealon's "Hiking With Kevin" YouTube series, Lisa Kudrow revealed that it wasn't always easy portraying her dimwitted "Friends" alter ego, Phoebe Buffay. "I had played dumb girls [before], but it wasn't really me," she said. "I feel like … I tricked them at the audition. I was the only one who could cope with the audition process, and that's how I got it, I think. So I had to work hard at being Phoebe. And then, like, third season in, I was struggling so much. … 'I don't think I have it. I don't know what I'm doing.'" Ultimately, co-star Matt LeBlanc was able to give her a much-needed confidence boost: "He went, 'You're her. Relax. You got it. You've been doing this … character for three years. You're working too hard. That's your problem: You don't need to work as hard. Relax.' And he was right!" she recalled.
Tamron Hall talks new daytime talk show, says she had "suspicions" leading up to "Today" exit
Tamron Hall opened up about her new eponymous daytime talk show during a wide-ranging interview with USA Today that hit the Internet on Sept. 9. She dished on everything from the set's purple-and-orange color scheme ("feminine and strong" to reflect "that part of me that's girly but still a grown woman") and the studio audience (she wants them "to be as close as humanly possible" because physical interaction is "a part of my authentic journey as a journalist [and] also who I am as a person") to how the show will use audience participation to address current events (she wants to "foster this environment where it's OK to ask a question and you don't have to feel under siege") and what will be expected of her celebrity guests ("they're not just coming to plug their projects, but really share their stories"). The veteran hostess also addressed her 2017 exit from the "Today" show after NBC hired Megyn Kelly to take over the 9 a.m. hour: "I was heartbroken," she said. "[Imagine] you've been putting in the work, and suddenly your employer says they're phasing you out. I had some suspicions, because I'm a reporter and I'm pretty intuitive, but no one wants to lose their job. It wasn't about who I was losing it to — it was like a relationship where you're putting in 100 percent and the person who's putting in less has the nerve to break up with you." As for why she decided to immediately walk away after Megyn joined the show, "I wasn't going to wait for someone else not to work out when I could be figuring out a way for me to work out — I didn't want Megyn Kelly to see me lurking in the hallway," she said. "I didn't want to watch as my profile was being shrunk down to nothing when I know that I have a unique perspective and voice in this business that is appreciated by people who watch TV. I'm grateful for that."
Former "American Idol" star Antonella Barba facing arrest after warrant issued
The Blast reported on Sept. 9 that a judge has issued a warrant for former "American Idol" contestant Antonella Barba's arrest after she allegedly violated a court order mandating that she must live with her father, Vincenzo Barba, in Point Pleasant, New Jersey, while out on bond following an October 2018 arrest for fentanyl distribution. (It's unclear where exactly the aspiring singer — who competed on Season 6 of "AI" in 2007 — has been living.) In August, Antonella pleaded guilty to the charges against her and was released on bond to await sentencing in November. She faces 10 years in prison.
"Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" voice actor Robert Axelrod dies at 70
Character actor Robert Axelrod — who voiced Lord Zedd and Finster on "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" in the '90s — died in Los Angeles on Sept. 7, his agent announced on Twitter. (No cause of death has been revealed.) He was 70.
Meredith Vieira talks learning of sexual misconduct allegations against Matt Lauer
During an interview with People magazine that hit the Internet on Sept. 11, Meredith Vieira said it felt "like a gut punch" when she learned that NBC fired her former "Today" show colleague Matt Lauer following allegations of rampant sexual misconduct on his part. "I was [in Los Angeles] and my phone started going off at 4 a.m. I didn't know what to make of all of it. It was a shock," she said, adding that she and her former co-anchor were "very close" and "like brother and sister." Said the veteran newswoman, "He was very kind to me. We both have similar senses of humor. We're both sarcastic." She went on to say that she never felt unsafe in Lauer's presence, adding that "there was totally joking around" but that she "never took it as anything." Said Vieira, "If somebody were a fly on the wall in any newsroom, they'd be shocked by the language, and by the gallows humor. You made a joke because otherwise you'd implode when you're covering something. … [Looking back], you could … go, 'Look, now can't you see what you were dealing with?' But I didn't feel that at all." She then described her feelings about the situation as "so complicated." Concluded the journalist, "The whole thing is just sad. And it's been rough in a lot of places with a lot of people."
Billy Bush says "Access Hollywood" Trump tape was "weaponized"
During a sit-down interview with "CBS This Morning" that aired in part on Sept. 9, Billy Bush opened up about the infamous 2005 "Access Hollywood" tape in which Donald Trump can be heard telling him that he grabs women by the genitals. (NBC fired Bush from the "Today" show after the tape leaked in 2016 during Trump's presidential campaign.) According to the TV host, "everyone" at NBC was aware of the tape before it leaked. "I was comfortable that it wasn't going to be weaponized," he said, before adding that, ultimately, that's exactly how the tape was used. "I got taken out, but I wasn't the target," he said. At first, he thought he'd be just fine after the tape went viral: "I was told, 'You're good. Don't worry about it. It's not you. You didn't say anything,'" he recalled, adding that the tape leaked on a Friday and that by Sunday, he'd been let go. Bush went on to say that at the time of his 2005 interview with Trump, he was "anxious" and didn't feel comfortable standing up to the reality star over his misogynistic remarks.
"Hawkeye" Disney+ series eyes Hailee Steinfeld for lead role
Variety reported on Sept. 9 that Hailee Steinfeld has been offered the lead role of Kate Bishop in the upcoming Disney+ series "Hawkeye," which will center around Jeremy Renner's titular Marvel Cinematic Universe alter ego. (Kate is a member of the Young Avengers who later takes up the Hawkeye mantle.)