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Daytime Emmy nominations: 'Young and the Restless' leads CBS

The Young and the Restless tallied 23 nominations as honors were announced this morning for the 40th annual Daytime Emmy Awards. Restless‘ impressive take helped CBS lead all networks with 50 overall nominations. PBS and ABC followed, with 44 and 38 nods, respectively.

General Hospital, which earned 19 nominations, joined Restless in the race for Outstanding Drama Series, and Sesame Street received 17 nods, including three for Kevin Clash, the voice of Elmo who faces allegations of sexual misconduct.

Good Morning America and Today will bring their ratings rivalry to the Emmys, where they’ll be joined by CBS Sunday Morning in the Outstanding Morning Program category.

This year’s ceremony will be hosted by the Beverly Hilton Hotel and be telecast on HLN on Sunday, June 16, 2013.

Click below for complete nominations: READ FULL STORY

Kevin Clash's Elmo makes an appearance during Michael Buble's Christmas special

The Elmo show must go on in the wake of a fourth sexual abuse accusation against Kevin Clash, the longtime puppeteer for Sesame Street who recently resigned.

During Michael Bublé’s pre-taped Christmas special last night on NBC, Michael Bublé: Home for the Holidays, Bublé sang a duet with Clash-as-Elmo.

“There was never a discussion to lose him,” Bublé told Xfinity. [Bublé and NBC did not respond to EW's request for comment]. “The truth is, Elmo didn’t do anything. He’s a three-year-old monster. He’s innocent, sweet, and funny — and very polite, too….the deal is that Elmo is featured on my special and that’s kind of how I really felt about it. [The performance is] so warm and sweet. It really is a beautiful moment. I think people will enjoy it.”

This won’t be the last we see of Clash’s Elmo. In addition to the current season of Sesame Street (which airs through the spring), much of next season is already taped, and will still air as planned.

A rep for Clash did not respond to EW’s request for comment.

Read more:
Fourth accuser steps forward against Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash
Third man comes forward, accuses Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash of sexual abuse
Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash resigns from ‘Sesame Street’

Third man comes forward, accuses Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash of sexual abuse

A third accuser has come forward against Kevin Clash, the Elmo puppeteer who resigned from Sesame Street last week after a second accusation of having a sexual relationship with a minor.

This new accuser, known currently as “John,” 28, filed a lawsuit in Manhattan today, per TMZ. John accuses Clash of having a sexual relationship with him when he was still 16. John is represented by Jeff Herman, the same lawyer who represents Cecil Singleton, who last week also accused Clash of an underage sexual relationship.

EW reached out to a rep for Clash, who said, “Mr. Clash believes this lawsuit has no merit.”

UPDATE: Michael Berger, Clash’s attorney, told EW: “The federal cases filed against Kevin Clash are without merit. The cases and Mr. Clash’s reputation will be defended vigorously.”

Read more:
Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash resigns from ‘Sesame Street’
Elmo accuser recants statement against puppeteer
Elmo puppeteer accused of underage relationship

Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash resigns from 'Sesame Street'

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Kevin Clash, the puppeteer behind Elmo, has resigned from Sesame Street in the aftermath of the allegations he had a sexual relationship with a minor.

In a statement to EW, Sesame Workshop said:

“Sesame Workshop’s mission is to harness the educational power of media to help all children the world over reach their highest potential. Kevin Clash has helped us achieve that mission for 28 years, and none of us, especially Kevin, want anything to divert our attention from our focus on serving as a leading educational organization. Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding Kevin’s personal life has become a distraction that none of us want, and he has concluded that he can no longer be effective in his job and has resigned from Sesame Street. This is a sad day for Sesame Street.”

In addition to his work as Elmo, Clash was the subject of the documentary Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey, released in 2011.

Clash was accused last week, and a day later, the accuser recanted. According to TMZ, a second accuser has now come forward.

UPDATE: Kevin Clash has released a statement:

“I am resigning from Sesame Workshop with a very heavy heart. I have loved every day of my 28 years working for this exceptional organization. Personal matters have diverted attention away from the important work Sesame Street is doing and I cannot allow it to go on any longer. I am deeply sorry to be leaving and am looking forward to resolving these personal matters privately.”

Read more:
Elmo accuser recants statement against puppeteer
Elmo puppeteer accused of underage relationship

'Sesame Street' to air hurricane special Friday

Poor Big Bird can’t catch a break. In October, presidential candidate Mitt Romney threatened to effectively fire the Muppet by defunding PBS. Later that month, Mr. Snuffleupagus’s BFF had to contend with costume retailers selling unlicensed “Sexy Big Bird” outfits. And on Friday, the yellow guy will face his biggest challenge yet: A devastating hurricane that rips through Sesame Street, destroying Big Bird’s nest and leaving his entire neighborhood in chaos.

Strictly speaking, this isn’t the first time Big Bird has faced a superstorm. The disaster-themed Sesame Street episode that will play later this week is actually a condensed, edited version of a five-part Sesame series that first aired in 2001. “[It] played out over five days and told the story of everybody on the street getting ready for a hurricane, and then ultimately recovering from a hurricane,” Sesame Street supervising producer Nadine Zylstra explained to EW over the phone today. Originally, the hurricane series wasn’t inspired by any specific event — “It was designed to stand alone as a piece,” says Zylstra.

In 2005, Sesame Street re-aired the series in its entirety weeks after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast. And last week, the show’s producers decided to trot it out once more in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, albeit with a few twists. READ FULL STORY

Don't mess with that bird! PBS defends Big Bird against Mitt Romney's debate comments

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The Public Broadcasting Service responded fast and furious on Thursday to comments Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney made in the first presidential debate Wednesday night about the feathered Sesame Street icon. Romney claimed “I love Big Bird,” but said that he would still slash public broadcasting, prompting the topic of Big Bird to run as rampant as a vat of bird seed on Twitter and other social media.

“We are very disappointed that PBS became a political target in the Presidential debate last night. Governor Romney does not understand the value the American people place on public broadcasting and the outstanding return on investment the system delivers to our nation,” said PBS in a statement on its website. “For more than 40 years, Big Bird has embodied the public broadcasting mission – harnessing the power of media for the good of every citizen, regardless of where they live or their ability to pay. Our system serves as a universally accessible resource for education, history, science, arts and civil discourse.”

PBS even bought ad space on Twitter, proclaiming in a promoted tweet: “PBS is trusted, valued and essential. See why at http://www.valuepbs.org. (please retweet!)”

As the presidential race between Romney and President Barack Obama surges on, we wonder if any other Sesame Street favorites will sound off or be targeted. Grover? Elmo? Ernie? Oscar the Grouch? He could probably hurl some trash talk Romney’s way. Pun intended!

For more film news

Read more:
Big Bird winner of the debate — on social media, anyway
It’s a bird! It’s a meme! It’s another Big Bird meme!

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