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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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Eric Kim Named Exec VP of Current Programs CBS Entertainment & CBS Studios; Will Oversee Daytime Programming

As the executive shuffle continues at CBS, and through many entertainment conglomerates in Hollywood, Eric Kim has been named executive vice president of current programs. In his new role, Eric will oversee current primetime and daytime programming for the CBS network and for the studio.

Kim replaces Amy Reisenbach, who was recently promoted to president of CBS Entertainment.  In a statement on Kim’s new position, Reisenbach shared: “I’ve worked closely with Eric for over a decade and have always been impressed with his incredible programming instincts, skill in working with showrunners on our biggest hit shows and strong relationships throughout the creative community. I’m very excited for him to take on this significant role. He is a proven, smart executive whose leadership and input will be vital to the success of our series.”

David Stapf, president of CBS Studios who Kim will also report to expressed: “Eric’s creative instincts and his ability to champion new writers and producers complement his strong relationships with established showrunners, making him an exceptional executive. His leadership has earned the trust and respect of both the industry and his colleagues at the Studio and Network. As Eric steps into this new role, I’m looking forward to seeing the impact he makes both within the creative community and on our series that are enjoyed by global audiences.”

Eric has been with CBS over the last 11 years, and has overseen all phases of production on both comedy and drama series including; Blue Bloods and CSI.

Prior to joining the network, Kim worked in live action series for Nickelodeon and Teen Nick from 2009-2011. He was also vice president of current programming at the CW from 2006-2009, and was part of the creative team that launched the new network when The WB and UPN networks merged and was also an executive at UPN from 2004-2006.

Soap fans, of course, are hoping that Eric will be a huge supporter of the soaps, The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful as well as the entire CBS daytime line-up.

So, what do you think of the latest executive change at CBS? Hopeful that Eric Kim will continue to support in-full Y&R and B&B’s efforts? Comment below.

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Breaking News

GMA Hosts T.J. Holmes and Amy Robach’s Romantic Relationship Comes To Light

Over the last 24 hours, photos surfaced that showed that Good Morning America anchors, T.J. Holmes and Amy Robach are more than just friends or co-workers.

The Daily Mall published images of Holmes and Robach holding hands during a trip to upstate New York, and later being cozy in a bar in the Big Apple. The outlet reported that Holmes and Robach had their relationship-turn-romantic back in June and had allegedly left their spouses in August.

Just hours after their relationship went public, both T.J. and Amy deactivated their Instagram accounts.  On Thursday, Robach’s husband, former Melrose Place star, Andrew Shue deleted all photos of Robach from his Instagram account.

Page Six earlier reported that Holmes, who had been married to Marilee Fiebig since 2010, had been having an alleged affair. They report that Robach and Holmes started to get close back in March when they were training together for the New York City Half Marathon.

When Holmes was going to join GMA back in 2014, the producers asked Robach what she thought of having him on the show.  Amy shared with PEOPLE : “Hey, we want to bring on a co-anchor. What do you think of T.J. Holmes?’ And I almost fell out of my chair. You couldn’t have picked a better person to ask me what I thought of, because we’ve been trying to figure out a way to work together for literally the last five years.”

As fate would have it, the two were also anchoring today’s GMA 3 where they made no mention of what was going on behind the scenes and in their personal lives.

So, what do you think about T.J and Amy’s relationship being revealed, and how it was made public? Comment below.

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Breaking News

Laurence Fishburne to Present Levar Burton with Lifetime Achievement Honors at ‘Children’s & Family Emmy Awards’

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) announced today that Laurence Fishburne (ex-Josh Hall, One Life to Live 1973-1976 ) will present Levar Burton with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the upcoming Children’s & Family Emmys on December 11th from the Wilshire Ebell theatre in Los Angeles.

Fishburne, who collectively had won a Tony, NAACAP and Emmy Awards, will honor his longtime friend for the body of his work. Most notable among their many collaborations was when Burton served as executive producer for the 2016 remake of Roots, which starred Fishburne.

As many know, Levar Burton is an actor, director and educator who has taught generations of children about the joys of reading through his show Reading Rainbow. Throughout his career, Levar has been honored with 13 Emmy Awards, 3 NAACP Awards, a Grammy Award for Spoken Word Album, a Peabody Award, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, among other accolades.

Burton is the award-winning author of The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm, A Kids Book About Imagination, and his Grammy Nominated book, Aftermath. His podcast, LeVar Burton Reads, has been downloaded more than 25 million times. Recently, he launched the LeVar Burton Book Club via the Fable app.

The Children’s & Family Emmy ceremony will be hosted by former 30 Rock star, Jack McBrayer, and will be streamed live on NATAS’ dedicated viewing platform powered by Vimeo, available on the web at Watch.TheEmmys.TV and via The Emmys apps for iOS, tvOS, Android, FireTV, and Roku.

What do you think about Levar Burton receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award at the upcoming ‘Children’s & Family Emmy Awards’ and from Laurence Fishburne, no less? Comment below. 

 

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