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EW's 2011 Christmas Eve TV marathons guide: We promise yule enjoy them!

Christmas is about traditions, and TBS once again has scheduled 24 hours of A Christmas Story (starting at 8 p.m. on Dec. 24)* from Ralphie and Randy to Scut Farkus and those turkey-gobbling Bumpus mutts. Joining them on the holiday vigil, TLC offers up a four-hour block of Christmas lights spectaculars from 4-8 p.m., and a certain lady network wraps up their annual multiweek affair known as Falalala Lifetime. For everyone else who has had enough of the holiday spirit, there are plenty of alternatives. Read on for a schedule of Christmas Eve marathons. READ FULL STORY

'Glee': 'Real Housewives' NeNe Leakes to guest as Sue's rival

Sue Sylvester will meet her match in an upcoming episode of Glee — and if the casting is any indication, it’s going to be a fierce battle for domination.

NeNe Leakes, from The Real Housewives of Atlanta, is set to play Roz Washington, the school’s synchronized-swim team coach and Sue’s latest rival, EW has confirmed. As Gleeks saw in the preview for January episodes, the just-returned Sam (Chord Overstreet) will join the synchronized-swim team in the second half of the season.

Leakes has already filmed her first episode and there is no word on what episode she is set to appear in next, according to Fox. Although, Leakes tweeted earlier that she would return to the Glee set after the holidays.

Cast members Chris Colfer and Lea Michele also talked excitedly about Leakes’s role during their appearance Bravo’s Watch What Happens: Live! “We literally raided her trailer,” Michele told host Andy Cohen.

Read more:
‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ recap: Is This Wall Could Talk
Shereé calls NeNe an ‘irate, crazy bitch’ — VIDEO

Bravo to air Andy Cohen's 'Watch What Happens Live' five nights a week

Andy Cohen has been bringing “the 411″ on all things Bravo from his boozy late night talk show, Watch What Happens Live, since 2009. But as many a dedicated Housewives fan will tell you, two nights a week of NeNe Lekes is simply never enough. Bravo announced on Monday that beginning Jan. 8, 2012, Watch What Happens will air five original episodes a week, making it the only daily live show on late night television. Fun fact: It is also the only daily live show on late night television that prominently features a turtle named after a perpetually drunk New York socialite.  READ FULL STORY

'Real Housewives of Atlanta' preview: Shereé calls NeNe an 'irate, crazy bitch' -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Prepare yourself for the return of southern drama: The fourth season of Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Atlanta premieres this Sunday, Nov. 6, and EW has an exclusive clip from the deliciously bitchy hour, titled “Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained.”

The clip comes from the first 15 minutes of the premiere, which Bravo will unveil two days before the premiere (tomorrow at 9 p.m.) on what they’re dubbing “First Look Friday.” (And! In case you need more Atlanta action, there’s a season 1 marathon all day today, until 7 p.m. Starting tomorrow at 7 a.m., it’s a best-of marathon.)

In the exclusive clip below, we find Shereé talk-talk-talking with gay bestie Lawrence about her sometimes-nemesis NeNe. The subject? Whether NeNe tried to go behind Shereé’s back after she invited her to help out with an event. Oh no you didn’t, NeNe! Mostly, they discuss how her appearance on Celebrity Apprentice went to her head. After a little talk, Shereé rather unceremoniously calls NeNe an “irate, crazy bitch.” And there it is — yes!

The rest of the premiere episode will find Kandi branching out from her music career to start an adult toy line; Phaedra, rather ominously, according to press materials, beginning “her own strange undertakings”; Cynthia garnering buzz for her modeling school with some help from Top Model‘s Miss J; a very pregnant Kim preparing to move into her luxe new home with baby-daddy, NFL star Kroy Biermann; and, as you’ll see below, Shereé and NeNe going at it. Watch and enjoy:


'The Real Housewives of O.C.': Peggy Tanous quits! At least, that's what she's saying!

offer to return to the show” for season 7, adding that she didn’t want to be a part of the “negative energy of certain cast members” and didn’t want to be forced to “have ‘dramatic’ confrontations” any longer.

For the network’s part, a Bravo spokesperson had simply this to say when contacted by EW about Tanous’ statement about her future on the show: “We have not yet made any casting announcements regarding season 7 of The Real Housewives of Orange County.”

Tanous’ full post on Facebook is as follows: READ FULL STORY

Official from Bravo: No one fired from 'Real Housewives of New Jersey'...yet

Despite new rumors nearly daily that certain stars from Bravo’s Real Housewives of New Jersey are being fired from the series — including one from earlier today that had Jacqueline Laurita and sister-in-law Caroline Manzo getting the boot for season five — the network has officially decided to speak out on the issue.

“Bravo is not firing anyone from The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” a Bravo spokesperson said in a statement issued to EW. “This is completely inaccurate information from sources who are unreliable and making up rumors. All five cast members will be featured on season 4. No decisions have been made about season 5 at this time. We are looking forward to the season 3 finale this Sunday at 10 p.m.”

Granted, this statement — which insists no one has been “fired” — doesn’t really hold up if one of the cast members quits, as Jacqueline threatened to do on Twitter over the weekend.

Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky

Read more:
‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’ star Jacqueline Laurita insults Teresa, says she’s quitting. This time is the ‘drama’ real?

Official from Bravo: Four ladies make 'friendly departures' as 'Real Housewives of NYC' regulars

The reports last week that there will be major casting changes on the next season of Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New York City are indeed true: In a statement, Bravo confirmed to EW that Jill Zarin, Kelly Bensimon, Alex McCord, and Cindy Barshop are not currently signed to be regulars on the upcoming season 5 of the hit reality series. The network, however, claims to “continue to have on-going discussions” with the four ousted housewives.

“Ramona Singer, Sonja Morgan, and LuAnn DeLesseps will be returning for season 5 of The Real Housewives of New York City,” a Bravo spokesperson told EW via email. “We’ve had a fabulous run with all the ladies and appreciate them sharing their lives with our viewers. It is a friendly departure among the other ladies and we continue to have on-going discussions with them.”

Zarin and McCord were original housewives in the first season of the series; Bensimon was added at the beginning of season 2; and Barshop officially became a housewife at the beginning of season 4, the last to air. Of those returning for season 5, Singer and DeLesseps are the only two members of the original cast remaining; Morgan joined partway through season 3.

This is not the first big defection for the series: Original cast member Bethenny Frankel completed three seasons of the show before leaving for her own show, Bethenny Ever After, which was a runaway ratings smash and was renewed for a third season back in March.

Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky

Read more:
‘The Real Housewives of New York': Now auditioning brunettes

'Housewives of Beverly Hills' premiere ratings rise

After a barrage of headlines in recent weeks, Bravo’s Real Housewives of Beverly Hills returned Monday night to strong ratings.

The second season premiere delivered 2.2 million viewers, up a steep 42 percent from the first season premiere last year. This news is tempered by the fact that Housewives of Beverly Hills grew during its first season run and concluded with a finale of 2.8 million viewers, so one might have expected — given the controversy — the second season premiere audience to be higher than this. BUT, then again, the show did return on a holiday weekend, which can often result in lower ratings, and Bravo pulled its premiere advertising for the show in the wake of Russell Armstrong’s suicide (not that the network, you know, needed the ads anymore anyway). So all these things considered: Strong numbers for the show’s return.

Bravo to air 'Housewives' suicide special

Bravo will air a special that addresses the suicide of Russell Armstrong, sources tell EW.

The network has shot a special that included several cast members of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills — Lisa Vanderpump, Camille Grammer, Kyle and Kim Richards, and Adrienne Maloof. Taylor Armstrong apparently was not included in the filming.

The special has yet to be formally announced by the network, and its unclear when the special will air. The second season premiere of Beverly Hills is still on track for Sept. 5, with the show re-edited in wake of Armstrong’s death.

UPDATE: The footage will be use for an introduction for the season premiere rather than a stand-alone program. More details here.

Anderson Cooper reveals what's on his Must List: Does it include Gerard Depardieu?

Anderson Cooper is a huge pop culture junkie. The CNN anchor and talk show host (his daytime chat series Anderson premieres on Sept. 12 in syndication) loves to talk entertainment, especially if it involves the Real Housewives franchise. Naturally, EW asked Cooper to give us his Must List for right now which, sadly, did not include Gerard Depardieu, the source of his recent giggle fit. Read below for Cooper’s current pop culture obsessions…


Sleep No More — “It’s an interactive play that is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. It’s like being in a David Lynch movie set in a 1940’s hotel. The audience moves around freely, in silence, wearing masks. I try to describe it, and end up sounding crazy. I end up saying simply, ‘Go see it.'” READ FULL STORY

Bravo to re-edit 'Housewives of Beverly Hills' due to Russell Armstrong's suicide

Bravo has figured out how it’s going to handle The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills in the wake of Russell Armstrong’s suicide. The network has decided to air the upcoming second season despite critics calling for the show to be canceled — but will re-edit the content.

EW has confirmed that producers are in the process of re-shaping season 2. The network is also making an effort to meet the show’s original Sept. 5 premiere date. “Contrary to what is being reported, we have not made a decision to change our original premiere date but we are in the process of re-editing the show,” Bravo president Frances Berwick said to Variety.

Russell Armstrong told his mother before his death that he expected to be “crucified this season” on the show. And indeed, it seems his battles with the show’s star, Taylor Armstrong, were expected to be a prominent storyline. READ FULL STORY

Russell Armstrong to mother before suicide: 'They're just going to crucify me this season'

UPDATED BELOW: Russell Armstrong was more than $1.5 million in debt at the time of his suicide Monday, according to his attorney, and his mother told Headline News that he was dreading the way he would be portrayed in the upcoming season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. “Before the new season even started, before he took his life, he said, ‘Mom, they’re just going to crucify me this season,'” John Ann Hotchkiss told HLN’s Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell. “He said, ‘I don’t know what to do. I’ll never survive it.'”

Armstrong’s attorney Ronald Richards told ABC News that the show’s celebration of outrageous excess plunged Armstrong into debt “as a result of trying to keep up with expectations for the lavish lifestyle portrayed on the show.

“These couples join these shows, and then they keep trying to outdo each other and they end up spending all their money trying to sustain a lifestyle that’s unrealistic and wasn’t there prior to the show,” continued Richards. “The weekly social events, the dinners and all the BS, trying to pretend you have unlimited resources in Beverly Hills is tough. When every night is a potential sound bite or posting on a website, you end up getting addicted to it, you go out all the time.”

Bravo declined to comment on these remarks. The network currently has Housewives scheduled for a Sept. 5 premiere, but recent events have brought into question whether the network will still air the show as planned.

UPDATE: Bravo to re-edit ‘Housewives of Beverly Hills’ due to Russell Armstrong’s suicide

Read more:
Russell Armstrong commits suicide
Bravo pondering postponement of ‘Real Housewives’

Bravo pondering postponement after 'Real Housewives' death

With the apparent suicide of Russell Armstrong on Monday, the date for the second-season premier of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, currently scheduled for Sept. 5, is now in doubt. A network source confirms to Entertainment Weekly that Bravo is contemplating a postponement, in light of the death of Taylor Armstrong’s estranged husband, who played a significant role in season 1. Though the Hollywood Reporter published that Bravo was waiting at least 24 hours to make a decision about the fate of the show, the network source insists, “No decisions have been made and there is no time frame on when they might.”

UPDATE: Andy Cohen also weighed in about the network’s indecision on his blog, writing: “We’re all still trying to process yesterday’s very sad news, and looking at how to proceed with the series, which has finished primary production and was set to premiere on Labor Day. We’ll let you know what we decide when we do. In the meantime, we’re sending our thoughts and prayers to Taylor and the rest of Russell’s family.”

Read more:
‘Real Housewives’ husband Russell Armstrong commits suicide
Taylor Armstrong in ‘Real Housewives’ season premiere: ‘I’m trying to keep my family together’
‘Real Housewives': 17 Outrageous Moments


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