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Mary J. Blige, Queen Latifah Join NBC’s ‘The Wiz’

1 hour ago

Mary J. Blige and Queen Latifah have been cast in NBC’s live version of the musical “The Wiz,” the network announced Tuesday. Latifah will star as the Wiz, the mysterious and powerful wizard who holds the keys to the Emerald City, but whose metamorphosis from ordinary to extraordinary is itself a hoax. She rose to her lofty position after being transported by accident to Oz in a hot air balloon during a snowstorm. Mary J. Blige will play Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West, who holds sway over the Winkies and the Winged Monkeys that do her bidding. »


- Joe Otterson

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Chris Pine Closes Deal to Star Opposite Gal Gadot in ‘Wonder Woman’ (Exclusive)

1 hour ago

Chris Pine has closed a deal to play Steve Trevor opposite Gal Gadot in “Wonder Woman,” TheWrap has learned. Pine joins the DC Movie Universe in a multi-picture deal that includes sequel options, according to insiders. A representative for Warner Bros. did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Steve Trevor will be no mere love interest for Gadot’s Diana Prince, as there will be plenty of action to keep him busy, though plot details remain under wraps. Also Read: First Look at 'Wonder Woman' Gal Gadot's Sizzling Interview Magazine Spread (Exclusive Photo) There had »


- Jeff Sneider

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Donald Trump Would Love ‘Special Person’ Sarah Palin in His Cabinet

2 hours ago

Does Donald Trump like Sarah Palin? You betcha. The Republican frontrunner for president said he would definitely consider the former VP candidate for a cabinet position on Monday, telling a radio host that Palin is a “special person” who “knows what’s happening.” Trump added that “everybody loves” Palin and that voters recognize her strength, which “you just don’t see very much of it anymore.” Also Read: Ivana Trump Says Daily Beast Rape Story Is 'Totally Without Merit' (Video) He said he admires the former Alaska Governor because she “took so much nonsense — lies and disgusting lies,” adding she handled the incoming criticism well. »


- Jordan Chariton

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Relativity Is Shopping ‘Jane Got a Gun,’ ‘The Bronze,’ ‘Collide’ as Bankruptcy Looms (Exclusive)

2 hours ago

As bankruptcy looms for the troubled studio, Ryan Kavanaugh’s Relativity Media is putting three of its most high-profile titles on the block, including the Natalie Portman Western “Jane Got a Gun,” the raunchy Sundance comedy “The Bronze” and the Nicholas Hoult-Felicity Jones action-thriller “Collide,” an individual with knowledge of the situation has told TheWrap. Relativity has invited a handful of buyers to upcoming screenings of those three movies, for which the company has struggled to meet its contractual obligations. A representative for Relativity declined to comment for this story. Last week, Sony sent Relativity a cure letter »


- Jeff Sneider

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‘Parks and Rec’ Co-ep Harris Wittels Died From ‘Acute Heroin Intoxication,’ Coroner Says

2 hours ago

A coroner’s report released to TheWrap Tuesday says “Parks and Recreation” co-executive producer Harris Wittels died from an accidental heroin overdose. The report from the Los Angeles County coroner’s office lists the cause of death as “acute heroin intoxication,” noting Wittels had a “probable needle puncture” on his right arm. Wittels was found dead in his Los Angeles home on Feb. 19, 2015. The 30-year-old comedian had struggled with addiction in the past,  and spoke openly about having attended drug rehabilitation twice before. The coroner’s report noted that “drug paraphernalia including a spoon, syringe cap and remnants of latex balloons, »


- Reid Nakamura

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NBC Cancels Amy Poehler’s ‘Welcome to Sweden’

2 hours ago

NBC has canceled comedy series “Welcome to Sweden,” according to creator Greg Poehler. NBC has confirmed that the show has been pulled from the schedule. Produced by Amy Poehler with her brother Greg, who stars in the show, “Welcome to Sweden” is an international acquisition produced by Entertainment One TV4, Flx and Syskon. Also Read: Ratings: Amy Poehler-Produced 'Welcome to Sweden' Posts Ice-Cold Premiere Greg Poehler announced the show’s cancellation Tuesday on Instagram, citing “craptastically low ratings.” For Sunday’s back-to-back episodes, “Sweden” drew a 0.3 and 0.2 Nielsen live-plus-same-day rating among adults 18-49. “Welcome to Sweden” will be replaced Aug. »


- Daniel Holloway

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‘American Crime Story’ Casts Rio Hackford as Investigator Pat McKenna (Exclusive)

2 hours ago

Rio Hackford has been cast as Pat McKenna in the upcoming FX anthology series “”American Crime Story: The People V Oj Simpson,” TheWrap has learned exclusively. McKenna was an investigator for Robert Shapiro, a member of Simpson’s defense team during the former NFL’s star murder trial. Hackford previously appeared in the hit 1996 film “Swingers,” the 2006 Denzel Washington film “Deja Vu,” and in an episode of the first season of HBO’s hit “True Detective” among his many credits. Hackford joins an already star-studded cast. John Travolta will portray Shapiro; “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” alum Courtney B. Vance is Johnnie Cochran; David. »


- Joe Otterson

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Relativity Media Prepared to File for Bankruptcy Wednesday, Plans 90 Layoffs (Updated)

2 hours ago

Relativity Media is expected to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Wednesday, two individuals with knowledge of the studio plans told TheWrap. CEO Ryan Kavanaugh is weighing the benefits of a bankruptcy filing as he struggles to work out deals with its lenders over $320 million in debt obligations. He is expected to make a final decision on Tuesday night, one of the individuals said. The other individual said the filing was expected by Wednesday morning. The company has also begun a major round of layoffs, targeting about 90 people out of a staff of 350, according to one knowledgeable insider. The »


- Matt Donnelly and Sharon Waxman

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‘Friends’ Co-Creator Marta Kauffman Calls Stars’ $1 Million Per Episode Payday ‘Ridiculous’

2 hours ago

Even “Friends” co-creator Marta Kauffman found her ex-cast’s $1 million payday per episode demands “kinda ridiculous.” The now “Grace and Frankie” showrunner made the comment on Tuesday during a Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour panel that highlighted several top Netflix series helmers. “A million dollars an episode is kinda ridiculous,” Kaufmann told reporters, while speaking about the differences between her old network TV job and the current role. “Let’s be honest, that’s a lot of money.” Also Read: Chelsea Handler Says Netflix Series Will Not Be a Nightly Talk Show “I think it’s inflated,” she continued. »


- Tony Maglio

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Animal Planet Promotes Andy Weissberg to Svp of Programming, Erin Wanner to VP, Production

2 hours ago

Animal Planet has promoted Andy Weissberg and Erin Wanner, the network announced Tuesday. Weissberg has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Programming, and Wanner has been promoted to Vice President of Production. Both will continue to report to Rick Holzman, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Animal Planet. “Animal Planet is hugely fortunate to have two of the industry’s brightest creative and strategic talents leading its programming and production departments, and I couldn’t be more pleased to have them on my senior management team,” Holzman said in a statement. Also read: Animal Planet's 'The Last Alaskans' Grows for Fourth Straight. »


- Reid Nakamura

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Bill Cosby’s Gaydar Is Way Off, Accuser’s Court Filing Suggests

3 hours ago

Shocking as it may seem, apparently Bill Cosby doesn’t understand women as well as he thinks. At least, that’s the takeaway from court papers filed Tuesday by the scandal-plagued comedian’s accuser Andrea Constand. Constand, a former Temple University employee who sued Cosby for sexual assault in 2005 but settled with the comedian the following year, has filed new papers blasting Cosby’s “narcissistic view of the world.” The papers, obtained by TheWrap, say despite the comedian’s claims that he could read women, he didn’t realize that Constand prefers the companionship of her own sex. Also Read: »


- Tim Kenneally

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Seth Rogen Does Shrooms in Church in ‘The Night Before’ Red Band Trailer (Video)

4 hours ago

In the red band trailer for Sony’s “The Night Before,” Seth Rogen’s Christmas Eve debauchery results in a church freak-out after he eats some magic mushrooms. “I’ve been having a pretty crazy night. I’m not going to lie to you, I’m a little fucked up right now,” Rogen tells a nativity scene wise man. The film follows three friends (Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackey) during for their annual tradition of Christmas Eve debauchery. With their yearly ritual coming to an end, they set out to find the ultimate holiday party. Also Read: Zac Efron, »


- Joe Otterson

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Chelsea Handler Says Netflix Series Will Not Be a Nightly Talk Show

4 hours ago

Chelsea Handler’s upcoming Netflix series will not mirror the format of her former E! show “Chelsea Lately,” the comic revealed Tuesday at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Beverly Hills. “I’m not looking to do a nightly talk show again,” Handler said. “That was never my intent. I want to do another show that will be on several times a week or a few times a week.” Handler said that work on the new series will begin in 2016, after post-production finishes on her upcoming documentaries “Chelsea Does Marriage,” “Chelsea Does Racism,” “Chelsea Does Silicon Valley” and “Chelsea Does. »


- Daniel Holloway

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HBO Now Becomes Available to Verizon Customers

4 hours ago

HBO’s over-the-top streaming service HBO Now is now available to more than 100 million Verizon customers, the companies announced Tuesday. The service is immediately available to all Verizon standalone broadband customers, including FiOS and high-speed Internet customers, for a 30-day free trial. HBO content will also be coming soon to Verizon’s pending mobile video platform. HBO Now provides users with instant access to all of the network’s programming, including classic shows like “The Sopranos,” “Deadwood” and “Six Feet Under.” Also Read: Diane Keaton Joins Jude Law in HBO Series 'The Young Pope' “This agreement with Verizon represents the »


- Joe Otterson

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Twitter Q2 Earnings Beat Estimates on $502 Million Revenue

4 hours ago

Twitter reported Q2 2015 earnings 7 cents per share beating analysts expectations of 4 cents per share. The company reported $502 in revenue, an increase of 61 percent year over year, on Tuesday after the U.S. stock markets closed. Twtr opened on Tuesday at $34.70, rising more than 5 percent ahead of the release to $36.54. Wall Street analysts had forecast Eps of 4 cents per share on $481.28 million revenue, according to Yahoo Finance. Also Read: Twitter's Exiting CEO Dick Costolo Warns Successor: Don't Forget to Woo Wall Street “Our Q2 results show good progress in monetization, but we are not satisfied with our growth in »

- Deborah Day

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Olsen Twins ‘Teetering’ on ‘Fuller House’ Return, Netflix Head Says

4 hours ago

Could Michelle Tanner make an appearance on Netflix’s “Full House” sequel series “Fuller House,” after all? Maybe, according to Ted Sarandos. “The Olsen twins are teetering whether or not they’ll be around,” the streaming service head said during his panel at the annual Television Critics’ Association’s summer press tour Tuesday. Sarandos walked that comment back a bit after the session, saying, “There’s a bunch of stunt opportunities with them for the future if they want to.” The revival’s producer, Robert L. Boyett, had announced in May that the Olsens would not appear on the new show. »


- Linda Ge

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50 Cent Shrugs Off Tabloid Headlines Over Bankruptcy Filing (Video)

4 hours ago

50 Cent has responded to the media scrutiny and backlash he’s received surrounding his legal troubles. In an appearance on the Season 4 premiere of Ora TV’s “Larry King Now” on Monday, the rapper, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, said his bankruptcy filing was a “strategic” move, and that the criticism he’s received for it doesn’t bother him. “I’ve seen so many things said about me on social networking at points and when you don’t anticipate it, it lands a little harder on you… I can see what’s gonna come from people,” the “Power” star and executive producer said. »


- Reid Nakamura

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CBS Approves 15-Cent Quarterly Dividend

4 hours ago

The CBS Corporation’s board of directors has approved a $0.15 quarterly dividend on the company’s stock, the company announced Tuesday. The dividend is payable on Oct. 1, 2015 to shareholders of record as of Sept. 10, 2015. CBS will report results for the second quarter of 2015 after the market closes on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015. CBS will present its new and returning programming to entertainment journalists on Aug. 10 at the Television Critics Association’s Summer Press Tour. Also Read: PBS, CBS Top Nominees for 36th Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards In May, the Les Moonves-run broadcast network and its parent corporation topped earnings expectations »


- Tony Maglio

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‘Breaking Bad’ House Belonging to Jesse Pinkman Can Be Yours for $1.6 Million

5 hours ago

For sale: Four-bedroom, two-story home in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Fully renovated. Original wood floors. Meth lab not included. The house that “Breaking Bad” character Jesse Pinkman (played by Aaron Paul) bought in the AMC meth drama is now up for sale, with a $1.6 million price tag, according to the realtors. Also Read: 'Breaking Bad' Actor Announces Political Campaign in New Mexico The 3,500-square-foot residence, located off Historic Route 66, boasts hollow clay tile construction, stonework-framed fireplace, a “luxurious master suite” and “a gourmet kitchen,” while maintaining the authenticity of its design, the realtors said of the dwelling. »


- Tim Kenneally

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‘Sense8’ Star Jamie Clayton on Playing a Trans Character Well Past Transition: ‘Nomi Is the First’

5 hours ago

Trans actress Jamie Clayton couldn’t hold back her enthusiasm about her role as transgender character Nomi on Netflix’s “Sense8.” “Playing a trans-character on a show being shepherded by Lana Wachowski, I knew I would be protected and represented in a way that trans people have never been represented before on TV,” she said on stage during the show’s panel at the Television Critics’ Association’s summer press tour in Beverly Hills. “I love Nomi, I love the character. She really represents something we’ve never seen before. It’s empathy. People come together to help each other, »


- Linda Ge

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