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Jussie Smollett Cut From Rest Of Season Of EMPIRE; Tells Cast He’s Innocent Of Charges

Photo Credit: JPI

Following the turn of events for Jussie Smollett (Jamal Lyon, Empire) where he was arrested and charged on multiple felony counts and then posted bail, the producers of Fox’s sudsy primetime drama have decided to pull him from the remaining two episodes of the season.

“The events of the past few weeks have been incredibly emotional for all of us,” executive producers Lee Daniels, Danny Strong, Brett Mahoney, Brian Grazer, Sanaa Hamri, Francie Calfo, and Dennis Hammer said in a statement this morning following the legal fallout for Jussie Smollett and his arrest stemming from an alleged hate crime reported on January 29th that he staged on himself.

The producers went on to say: “Jussie has been an important member of our Empire family for the past five years and we care about him deeply. While these allegations are very disturbing, we are placing our trust in the legal system as the process plays out. We are also aware of the effects of this process on the cast and crew members who work on our show and to avoid further disruption on set, we have decided to remove the role of ‘Jamal’ from the final two episodes of the season.”

This happened even after Smollett returned to work on Thursday, and even after the actor/singer reportedly apologized to the cast and crew of Empire for any embarrassment the recent allegations may have caused, but at the same time, sources reported, that he maintained that he was innocent,

According to CNN: “The person at the meeting said they were shocked and dismayed that Smollett stuck to his story of innocence. For the most part, the source said, Smollett paraphrased what was in the statement that his attorney put out that afternoon, blaming the legal system and the media for his woes.”

So, what do you think of the Empire producers decision to cut Smollett from the last two shows of the season? What do you think of Jussie still maintaining his innocence to the cast? Comment below.

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I’m so angry every time I see his face now that no News outlet should report any further on this till its all said and done in the courts. Real talk.

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Ellen Pompeo Rips Into ‘The Bachelor’ Creator And Defends Kelly Ripa For Her Comments

Things just got juicy from daytime to primetime after Kelly Ripa let her thoughts be known about the current ‘Bachelorette’ Hannah Brown and the ‘Bachelor’ franchise during her morning show with Ryan Seacrest this week,

During a moment on the syndicated Live with Kelly and Ryan on Tuesday, Seacrest informed Ripa that the new ‘Bachelorette’ would be appearing on Thursday’s episode to which Ripa said: “You know how I feel about this show? It disgusts me. And I thought that I was disgusted because I couldn’t stand the idea of 25 exceptional women fighting over one ordinary fella, in my opinion. You know how we feel ladies! We are too special to be arguing over a guy.”  She also called the audience out for watching this “gross, gross, show.”

Following her sentiments, The Bachelor creator Mike Fleiss took to his Twitter account as did host and EP, Chris Harrison.  Fleiss said, “Easy, Kelly Ripa.  The Bachelor franchise pays for your salary.”  While Harrison tweeted: “Look out @KellyRipa⁩ is coming after you and your ‘disgusting’ Monday night habit.”

Next, none other than Grey’s Anatomy franchise star, Ellen Pompeo joined the fray.  She tweeted in defense of Ripa.  Pompeo wrote: “Okay @fleissmeister… that’s some handle bro! Your show does NOT pay @KellyRipa salary. Also we don’t attack successful women on our network and men certainly cannot take credit for their success. Don’t get me started on your show cuz I’m a savage….

And in the end on Thursday’s installment of the entertainment talk show, Hannah Brown made her guest appearance and she weighed-in on the situation expressing that she didn’t follow the franchise at first, but being on the show has changed her mind. Ripa maintained her disgust for the series.

Brown went on to say to Ripa: “Like you, I didn’t really follow the show, wasn’t a big fan, but being part of the show, it’s not women fighting against each other.  Some of my best friends came from the show and were really supportive.”

So what do you think about what Ripa, Pompeo, Brown, Harrison and Fleiss had to share with each other on their Twitter war? Comment below.

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Eva LaRue Joins The Cast of The Young and the Restless

Say what? Mario Santos Grey of All My Children is coming to Genoa City?   Well, not exactly, but longtime fan favorite Eva LaRue,who played Pine Valley’s Maria (from 1993-2011) is headed to The Young and the Restless in exciting casting news today.

On Y&R, Eva will play the mother of Rey (Jordi Vilasuso) and Lola (Sasha Calle) named Celeste Rosales.

According to EW.com who broke the casting news: Celeste “shares a complex relationship with her children”, Rey Rosales and Lola Rosales.”

LaRue will begin filming next week and will debut on the June 26th episode of the top-rated CBS Daytime drama series.

Currently, Eva is the host of CW’s Chicken Soup for the Soul’s Animal Tales.  LaRue is very familiar with being part of the CBS network family having played Natalia Boa Vista on primetime’s CSI: Miami. 

So, what do you think of Eva LaRue joining Y&R? Comment below.

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GH’s Daytime Emmy Winner, Vernee Watson In Cast Of New CBS Comedy ‘BOB ♥ ABISHOLA’

Today at the CBS Upfronts the network unveiled a new comedy series for its fall line-up from Chuck Lorre entitled Bob ♥ Abishola.

The series stars Folake Olowofoyeku as the love interest of Billy Gardell’s Bob, a middle-aged compression sock businessman from Detroit who unexpectedly falls for his cardiac nurse, a Nigerian immigrant.

Also in the cast is two-time Daytime Emmy winner, Vernee Watson (Stella, General Hospital) who will play Gloria.

The series will air in the fall on Monday night’s in the 8:30-9pm slot.

No word yet if this means less screen time for Stella on the Port Charles canvas … or Watson’s status with the series.

So, what do you think of Vernee’s new role? Let us know in the comment section below.

And check out our backstage interview with Vernee following her Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series victory during this year’s 46th annual Daytime Emmys just over a week ago.

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