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Michael Strahan to join 'Good Morning America' team

Michael Strahan will soon be pulling double-duty at ABC.

The former footballer and current co-host of Live! With Kelly and Michael is about to close a deal to join the Good Morning America team, insiders confirm to EW. Strahan will continue his duties alongside Kelly Ripa and contribute to GMA‘s coverage prior to reporting for duty at Live!, where he has co-hosted since 2012.

Strahan’s addition, however, will have no effect on the anchor lineup, which will remain intact. Strahan is expected to appear in GMA’s top hour without affecting the current roles of  Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos, Lara Spencer, Ginger Zee, and Amy Robach, who this week replaced the exiting Josh Elliott.

ABC News has been in negotiations for months with Strahan, whose addition has been a boon to Live! One insider insists the talks pre-date the current salary negotiations that resulted in a major pay boost for Roberts (who is reportedly making in the $14 million a year range) and Spencer (whose around $8 million). Stephanopoulos’ deal doesn’t expire until year’s end.

Changes on GMA began with the surprise departure of Sam Champion to The Weather Channel in December. Elliott, meanwhile, closed a new with NBC Sports Sunday that led to GMA announcing on Monday that Robach will replace him as the newsreader.

'Nashville' sneak peek: Ladies of 'The View' weigh in on Rayna's family drama -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Those daytime gabbers on The View love a good family crisis, and on this week’s Nashville, Rayna (new tweeter Connie Britton) finds her family among the talk show’s Hot Topics.

In this exclusive sneak peek from the episode, airing Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET on ABC, Maddie causes a media frenzy after making a viral video that airs some of the family’s dirty laundry — and mom doesn’t seem too happy about it. READ FULL STORY

'Fifty Shades of Grey' star joins Kevin Williamson's CBS drama pilot

Fifty Shades of Grey star Victor Rasuk has been cast as a series regular in the untitled Kevin Williamson stalker/crime drama pilot for CBS.

Rasuk will play Ben, described as a loyal but not entirely trustworthy detective with the Threat Assessment Unit, who “tries too hard with the ladies — but not hard enough with everyone else.” The one-hour untitled project is dubbed a psychological thriller centered on detectives in the Threat Assessment Unit of the LAPD, a.k.a. the Stalkers Unit.

Rasuk joins previously announced castmembers Maggie Q (Nikita),  Dylan McDermott (Hostages), and Mariana Klaveno (Devious Maids).

He will next be seen in the upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey movie as Christian Grey’s romantic rival José Rodriguez, as well as in Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla out May 16. Other credits include a role on How to Make It in America and the independent film Raising Victor Vargas.

The addition of Rasuk completes series regular casting on the project.

'Brooklyn Nine-Nine': Holt puts Rosa through apology boot camp -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

We learned this weekend that Fox’s Golden Globe-winning comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been renewed for a second season, but that doesn’t mean surly Detective Rosa Diaz is any more chipper than usual.

In an exclusive clip from Tuesday’s episode, Rosa (Stephanie Beatriz) has to make amends after publicly shaming a colleague. When her mea culpa is predictably prickly, Captain Holt (Andre Braugher) takes her aside to coach her on the proper apologizing technique.

Watch the consequent, ridiculously monotone “I’m sorry”-off below. READ FULL STORY

'The Simpsons': Exec producer Al Jean on Marcia Wallace's final scene as Mrs. Krabappel, plans for Bart's next teacher

Last night’s episode of The Simpsons said goodbye to Marcia Wallace by including its final scene with Edna Krabappel, who was mourned by a black-armband-wearing Ned Flanders as he poignantly recalled a tango dance with his spouse. The tribute to the actress, who died last fall after a lengthy battle with breast cancer, was touching and short — out of necessity. “Unfortunately those were the only two lines that we had left that Marcia had recorded,” executive producer Al Jean tells EW. “People had conjectured that we might have an episode where we said farewell to her but we didn’t have the material from her. So we thought that the best way to say goodbye would be to use what we had in a brief scene that said how much we missed her.” READ FULL STORY

Conan O'Brien to host 2014 MTV Movie Awards

Your Oscar hangover may not have dissipated yet, but more awards show news just arrived: Conan O’Brien has been tapped to host the 2014 MTV Movie Awards. The ceremony airs live on April 13 from Nokia Theater L.A. Live at 9 p.m. Nominations are set to be on announced on Thursday. READ FULL STORY

Jim Parsons will host 'Saturday Night Live'

Get ready for a Big Bang Theory parody.

Jim Parsons will host Saturday Night Live on March 1, the show announced Thursday. The first-time host will be joined by Beck — returning for his seventh time! — as musical guest. His upcoming album, Morning Phase, hits stores Feb. 25.

Perhaps fans will get Parsons’ thoughts on Jimmy Fallon’s impression?

'Scrubs' Broadway musical: Everything you want to know, and why there won't be a movie -- EXCLUSIVE

First, NBC canceled Scrubs after seven seasons, then ABC picked it up before scrapping it again after season 9. By the time the ax finally fell on the hospital sitcom in 2010, creator Bill Lawrence had to agree that the show had come to a fair end. “We filmed so many episodes that I feel like it had played its full course,” says Lawrence, who tells EW that he currently has no plans to pursue a movie continuation of the series, despite the wishes of some fans. “You could argue Veronica Mars got cut short in its lifespan, but for us, I never really saw any life moving past nine years. It’s not really the type of show for a movie.”

Enter another idea for Lawrence: Rather than let the series (which still boasts around 13 million Facebook fans) completely fizzle out, Lawrence has set his sights on a different type of future for Scrubs. He announced back in September 2012 that he was developing a musical for Broadway, and just in time for EW’s cover story on the rebirth of Veronica Mars, we caught up with Lawrence to find out where his musical resurrection project stands. As it turns out, the sitcom might be scrubbing in to a Broadway theater near you by, oh, 2017 or so. READ FULL STORY

Lucas Black joins cast of NCIS spin-off

Lucas Black is the newest actor to join the cast of the latest NCIS spin-off. Black, who starred in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift and Friday Night Lights, will play Special Agent Lasalle, a federal agent who is both a party boy and a hard worker. The new series takes place in New Orleans and is set to premiere this spring.

It was announced last week that TV vet Scott Bakula (Quantum Leap, Men of a Certain Age) will lead the NCIS: New Orleans cast.

Which 'Simpsons' character WON'T die this year? Hank Azaria drops a major clue

Fans of The Simpsons are on edge this year, as executive producer Al Jean teased back in October that the axe will fall on a character in the season 26 premiere. The only clues? The character has appeared more than twice on the show and is voiced by an actor who won an Emmy for playing the role (or roles).

While everyone scrambles to place their bets on the identity of the unlucky victim (the latest in a long line of offed characters including Maude Flanders, Fat Tony, and Bleeding Gums Murphy), Hank Azaria dropped a major clue about the Springfield resident who will kick the bucket in next fall’s season premiere.
READ FULL STORY

Julia Roberts originally turned down role in HBO's 'The Normal Heart'

Ryan Murphy may have scored a star-studded cast for his HBO adaptation of the Tony-winning play The Normal Heart, but he almost had to do it without Julia Roberts.

Roberts, who took the stage today with the rest of the cast at the Television Critics Association press tour, said her initial hesitations to play Dr. Emma Booker, a doctor with polio who does HIV research, stemmed from what she felt was a lack of understanding about the character. That changed after she saw a documentary on polio. “It unlocked the door to who this woman is to me and where her ferocious pursuit of correctness comes from,” said Roberts. “That’s when Ryan received what he always gets, which is the answer he wants.”

When casting the male characters in the film — many of whom are gay — Murphy said that process involved simply going “after people who we thought would be wonderful and committed in the roles, and that’s what we got.” No thought went to sexuality of the actors themselves. “I don’t think of actors as gay or straight. I think of them as great actors, and I never went after anybody because of their sexuality. I went after what I considered to be the best actors for the part — the one who added the most nuance to it.” Above all, said Murphy, “Really this movie is about love and fighting for love and wanting to be treated equally, and I think that’s an incredibly modern idea. We read about it every day.”
READ FULL STORY

'Breaking Bad' creator Vince Gilligan on the finale, 'Better Call Saul' and his acting debut on 'Community'

2013 was the breakout year for Breaking Bad. The critically adored meth drama, which had enthralled a fervent yet modest-sized fanbase, went next level with its final eight episodes, rocketing to record ratings while dominating talk on Twitter and around watercoolers. Before the New Mexico dust had settled, the show also scored its first Outstanding Drama Series Emmy. For those reasons and more, Breaking Bad was named as one of EW’s Entertainers of the Year and EW critic Melissa Maerz’s No. 1 TV show of 2013, while season 5′s “Ozymandias” topped our Best Episodes of 2013 list. Series creator Vince Gilligan talked with EW about his year to remember, Breaking Bad‘s finale, the plans for spin-off prequel Better Call Saul, his upcoming guest spot on Community and the person he’s dying to work with.
READ FULL STORY

'Duck Dynasty' ignites culture war as boycott looms

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For a moment, things were getting better. Republicans and Democrats awkwardly joined hands, grumbling, to pass the first divided-Congress budget deal in nearly three decades this week. Partisans howled, yet rival factions took care of business despite enormous differences with minimal drama. The grand canyon of America’s political divide seemed to narrow, at least by a few inches, for a few days.

Then this happened.

Phil Robertson’s homophobic and weirdly genital-fixated comments in GQ. His non-apology defense suggesting he’s not bigoted because he loves people. A&E’s suspenseful pregnant pause as the hours ticked by on Wednesday. And then a network response that went beyond what anybody expected: Booting Robertson from the show “indefinitely.”

The decision shocked and impressed progressives accustomed to networks moving slow and hesitant when faced with such nerve-wracking and profit-endangering controversies. There was no waffling amid water-testing statements like with Food Network and Paula Dean, or MSNBC with Martin Bashir or Alec Baldwin. Just boom – you’re gone.

And then … holy duck … did all hell break loose. A&E’s decision infuriated certain Duck supporters: How dare A&E punish Phil for merely quoting scripture and speaking his mind? A Fox News reporter accused “anti-straight groups” of attacking Robertson. Sarah Palin slammed A&E for being against free speech. A “Boycott A&E” Facebook page has racked up 500,000 Likes. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal threw in his support, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz chimed in.

The seeds of this have been buried for years. Rural work-based reality shows skew extremely right-wing. It was probably only a matter of time before the star of one these titles publicly collided with the more progressive attitudes of the show’s network. That this happened with Duck Dynasty, a series regularly setting cable TV rating records, makes the conflict all the more ground-shaking. READ FULL STORY

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