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Taraji P. Henson Developing Cookie Lyon ‘Empire’ Spinoff With New First-Look Deal Via 20th Century Fox

Photo: JPI

Looks like more ‘Cookie’ is on the way, if this long bantered about Empire spinoff takes place.  But, news today via Deadline makes the whole thing look more promising! Series star, Taraji P. Henson has signed a new first-look deal with 20th Century Fox where she would star and be one of the EP’s of the new show.

The show would be written by Empire EP Danny Strong with Stacy A. Littlejohn and Yolonda Lawrence, and Empire director Sanaa Hamri to take those reins again behind the camera.

Henson said in a statement on the deal: “I believe that normalizing stories around stigmatizing matters will make them more palatable for audiences to embrace.  Art can change perception and I plan to develop projects that can help further the conversation.  I also aim to help cultivate and establish new young talent and their stories because they are our future and deserve a voice and a platform to be heard. I’m so excited to have 20th, led by the talented Carolyn Cassidy, support me in this new endeavor!”

20th Century Fox TV president Carolyn Cassidy shared on Thursday: “We were lucky to have a front row seat to Taraji’s meteoric rise as a fixture on television through Empire.  Through that relationship everyone at the company grew to appreciate her passion for storytelling and her strong creative gut instinct. With Empire finished we look forward to helping her explore stories that need to be told through her talent and advocacy.”

Empire ended its sixth and final season a bit shorter than expected due to COVID-19 shutting down production, but now Henson has a way forward to tell us more of Cookie’s story.  This would just be one of the projects Henson would have under this deal with 20th Century Fox.

So, would you like to see more Cookie Lyon in a spinoff of Empire? Comment below.

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I’d really rather NOT see a “Cookie” spin-off! Please create a NEW character for Taraji!
I enjoyed the first 2 seasons of Empire, but lost interest after that. I can’t imagine watching a spin-off of that show! Much as I like TPH, I would not watch her as “Cookie” on another show.
She deserves something new and unique.

I loved Taraji P. Henson in “Person of Interest” The whole “Empire” concept is just too tainted by the whole Jussie incident. I agree, give her a starring role in a whole new project and I will watch.

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‘Santa Barbara’ Episodes May See Light of Day Yet; Will the Beloved Soap Opera Come to Streaming?

For decades, soap opera fans around the world have wanted a chance to see Santa Barbara episodes again. The soap, which first aired on NBC back on July 30, 1984 aired for only 9 seasons until the network pulled the plug after diminishing ratings and multiple changes in writing and producing regimes. The show last aired on January 15th, 1993.

Santa Barbara was co-created and initially produced and co-written by the legendary team of Bridget and Jerome Dobson. At the recent 51st annual Daytime Emmys, Jerome was honored with the Gold Circle medal for his over 50 years of work and accomplishments within the medium. Sadly his wife, Bridget passed away earlier this year in January at the age of 85.

The show featured an all-star soap cast throughout its run which included, at times: Marcy Walker, A Martinez, Dame Judith Anderson, Robin Wright, Justin Deas, Eileen Davidson, Lane Davies, Nancy Lee Grahn, Kim Zimmer, Jack Wagner, Jed Allan, Louise Sorel. Judith McConnell, Roscoe Born, Sydney Penny, Todd McKee, Terry Lester, Justin Gocke, Nicolas Coster and many more.

Photo: NBC

During a livestream conversation on Friday, June 21st, Jerome Dobson and A Martinez visited the Michael Fairman Channel to reminisce about the success and ups and downs of Santa Barbara and much more.

Many people in the live chat and many around the world (Santa Barbara was very popular internationally) have wanted to know with the legal issues it appears had plagued the show for years, if there would be a chance that fans could ever see Santa Barbara episodes again, and if they could become available or streamed?

Photo: JPI

Dobson shared exclusively, “Well, there’s some legal footwork being done right now about that kind of possibility. There’s been so much demand to see Santa Barbara, and so it’s not totally out of the question.” Martinez (ex-Cruz Castillo) reaction to that possibility was that of “Wow!” That was also the same reaction by several viewers watching the live conversation in the chat, because that would be a soap dream come true for many.

Photo: NBC

So, do you hope that the legalities can finally be worked out and you could relive the seasons of ‘Santa Barbara’ all over again? Let us know in the comment section below. You can check out the live chat with A and Jerome below, the moment happens around the 56:18 mark.

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Trevor St. John Announces His Departure from The Young and the Restless

In a shocker, Trevor St. John revealed on Tuesday that he is leaving the cast of The Young and the Restless and his role as Tucker McCall.

The popular actor took to his account on X and in a series of posts said his “thank you’s” and bid farewell to the top-rated soap opera.

St. John shared, “As you well know, Tuckers come and Tuckers go, and so the cycle continues… this Tucker is in his go phase… I thank each and every member of the wonderful cast, the crew, the directors, the producers and production staff, and CBS/Sony for the great experience from day one to the last. I feel so fortunate to have played such a terrific role.”

Photo: JPI

 

Trevor continued: “Most importantly, I want to offer my heartfelt gratitude to you the (Y&R) fans. THANK YOU!” Tucker might be gone for the time being, but I’m not going anywhere. I’ve got projects in the works, and if you haven’t seen my film, A Good Enough Day, it’s now available to stream for free on Tubi!”

The news of his exit comes just two years shy of his time on The Young and the Restless.  St. John made his Genoa City debut in September of 2022 as the new Tucker, last played by Days of our Lives, Stephen Nichols (Steve). The role was first played by actor William Russ.

No word from St. John or Y&R as to when his last episode will air on the top-rated soap opera.  In story, Tucker is losing his company to a takeover by Audra and Victor, while Ashley is finally getting help she needs after her personality split.

So, what do you think about Trevor’s departure from Y&R? Comment below.

Photo: TStJohnX

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The Bold and the Beautiful Casts Joshua Morrow’s Son, Crew, as the New Will Spencer

In casting news, Crew Morrow, the son of  Joshua Morrow (Nick Newman, The Young and the Restless) and his wife, Tobe, is joining The Bold and the Beautiful as a a recast in the contract role of Will Spencer.

That means that Crew will be the biological son of Katie (Heather Tom), who formerly played Joshua Morrow’s on-screen sister, Victoria Newman over at Y&R) and Bill (Don Diamont).

According to Deadline, Crew has already begun taping episodes of B&B starting last Friday on June 14th. Look for the new Will to debut on the July 1st episode of the CBS daytime drama series. Clearly, B&B is ramping up their summer teen storylines and now Will supposedly has a half-sister in Luna (Lisa Yamada).

Photo: IMDb

The role of Will Spencer will mark Crew’s third acting credit according to his IMDb, where previously he appeared in Continental Split and Healing Towers. The previous Will’s included Heather Tom’s real-life son Zane Anchor, who played the role on occasions from 2013-2018, and Finnegan George who took over the part and was last seen in 2020.

Photo: JBelushiIG

In addition, more casting was revealed. Jamison Belushi, the daughter of comedian and actor, Jim Belushi, is making a one-day guest appearance in the role of April, a lab technician on today’s Monday, June 17th episode. The outlet also mentioned that Li (Naomi Matsuda) and Finn (Tanner Novlan), with whom April works for, are about to embark on a summer mystery story that kicks off on July 1.

So, what do you think about Crew Morrow becoming the new Will Spencer on B&B? What do you think will be the new summer mystery story? Share your thoughts via the comment below.

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