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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,

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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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Groundbreaking Star of ‘Dynasty’ and ‘Julia’, Diahann Carroll Dies At 84

One of the beautiful and beloved actresses in the world, Diahann Carroll, has passed away in heartbreaking news on Friday.  Carroll died at her home in Los Angeles after a long bout with cancer, according to her daughter,  producer-journalist Suzanne Kay.

Carroll, who was first-known for her amazing singing voice, and then as an actress, received a Tony Award and an Oscar nomination in her legendary career. She also make television history for her turns on Julia and Dynasty.

In her role as Julia, Carroll, became the first African American female to star in a non-stereotypical role in her own primetime network series . Julia, premiered in September 1968, finished No. 7 in the ratings in the first of its three seasons, and Carroll received an Emmy nomination and a Golden Globe for her work.

Photo ABC

And later in her career, after loving ABC’s primetime soap, Dynasty, Carroll got the attention of producer Aaron Spelling to create a role on the show for her. And thus she became the one and only Dominique Deveraux … the half-sister of Blake Carrington (John Forstyhe).

That part broke ground as well, for Diahann in 1984, became the first featured African American character on a prime time soap.  Carroll later appeared on the Dynasty spinoff, The Colbys,  In films, Carroll earned her Oscar nomination for her work in Claudine (1974),

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Diahann was married four times.  In addition to her daughter, she is survived by her grandchildren, August and Sydney.

For more on the passing of Diahann Carroll check out the Hollywood Reporter.

Share your remembrances and condolences on the passing of Diahann Carroll via the comment section below.

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As The World Turns

Emmy Winner and Noted Soap Opera Head Writer; Hogan Sheffer Passes Away At 61

Over the last several hours, reports have broke that one of daytime’s most notable scribes has died.  Hogan Sheffer, who was head writer at As the World Turns, Days of our Lives and The Young and the Restless has passed away at the age of 61.

Soap Hub, first reported the news via multiple sources, however, many writers who worked with Hogan during his tenure on the soaps have taken to social media to share their condolences and their grief and remembrances.

Sheffer’s appearance on the soap scene was unexpected, especially in a genre where it is often rare for new blood to take the reins at the head writer position.  Proctor & Gamble had decided to bring in Hogan after his work as the Director of Screenplay Development for DreamWorks, not because of his writing credits for a previous network soap.  He was given trial deal as a breakdown writer for the CBS soap and 10-weeks in became the beloved town of Oakdale’s new head writer.

Hogan and his then writing team were able to turn the classic, As the World Turns around.  The show went up in the ratings and during his time with the series ‘World Turn’s’ won two Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Drama Series, and he and the writing team picked up four Emmy victories all through 2000-2004.

Photo: JPI

Next, Sheffer landed in Salem as head writer of Days of our Lives along with Meg Kelly from 2006 through to the beginning of 2008.   He would later join The Young and the Restless and team up with then head writers: Maria Arena Bell and Scott Hamner, and eventually stay with the show till 2012.  During Sheffer’s time in Genoa City, Y&R also won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Writing in 2011.

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On Sunday, former WWE and daytime writer Tom Casiello, who was extremely close with Sheffer…  and who shared how Hogan gave him his start at writing in daytime, took to his Facebook page to pay tribute to a man who had such an impact on his life and many others.  It is worth the read here. 

Y&R writer, Sara Bibel tweeted: “Hogan Sheffer was a gamechanger for ATWT and daytime. Everyone I know who worked with him adored him. RIP”

And, iconic ATWT star, Martha Byrne (Ex-Lily) tweeted on Sheffer’s passing: “To say he was one of a kind would be a tremendous understatement. Our years at ATWT with Hogan at the helm were a rebirth for our beautiful show. Loved his writers, actors,crew. Blessed to have him on the first floor in Brooklyn ready to listen. Talented. Funny. Generous. RIP”

Colleen Zenk (Ex-Barbara, ATWT) also took to Twitter upon learning of the passing of Sheffer sharing: “I loved him, loved him, loved him… he was so good to me. Thank you for everything, Hogan. You were so loved. Especially, by me… Rest in peace…”

Michael Fairman TV will continue to bring you updates as the soap world mourns the loss of a creative force in our genre.  Share your condolences and thoughts on the death of Hogan Sheffer via the comment section below.

 

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Breaking News

B&B’s Darin Brooks and Y&R’s Kelly Kruger Welcome Their Daughter Into The World

This past Sunday was one of the happiest days for real-life duo Darin Brooks (Wyatt, B&B) and Kelly Kruger (Mackenzie, Y&R) when their daughter Everleigh Jolie Brooks made her entrance into the family.  Everleigh was born in Los Angeles at 4:13am and weighed in at 9 lbs and 1 oz and 21.5 inches long.

Kelly told PEOPLE.com about the birth of her new little bundle of joy:  “We keep looking at her in disbelief that we made her/  We look at her and try to figure out who she looks more like. She has my hair because I also was born with a ton, and she definitely has Darin’s height.” Darin commented: “Long lean and with great hair — she’s already a supermodel!”

Today on Thursday, Kruger tweeted: “She’s here! Everleigh Jolie Brooks 9/22/19 We are so in love!!!”

While hubby, Brooks tweeted: “She’s heeeeerrrreeeee!!!  Welcome Everleigh Jolie Brooks! Born on 09/22/2019 These two little munchkins changed my life @KrugerKelly”

Send your congratulations and well-wishes to Darin, Kelly and their baby girl Everleigh via the comment section below!

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