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  • Birthdays
(Anacleto Rapping)

I'm driven to get things done. I feel like I'm in my prime, and I'm not always going to be able to be, so I'd like to make an abundance of films now. I'm hoping if I keep doing it, one of them's going to be really great.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: His Truth Is Out There

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Alex Wagner is joining Showtime's "The Circus," a move already in the works prior to Mark Halperin's departure, according to Showtime boss David Nevins.
Alex Wagner is joining Showtime's "The Circus," a move already in the works prior to Mark Halperin's departure, according to Showtime boss David Nevins. (Rob Kim/Getty Images)

“CBS This Morning Saturday” co-anchor Alex Wagner is replacing political reporter and analysts Mark Halperin on the Showtime reality show “The Circus,” but it’s not a #MeToo-driven casting move.

Showtime chief David Nevins said Wagner was already in the running to join the program before  Halperin’s career immolated following allegations that he sexually harassed women while working at ABC News 10 years ago.
 
“The Circus,” a documentary-style series that followed Halperin, journalist John Heilemann and political advisor and producer Mark McKinnon as they covered events during the 2016 presidential campaign, was picked up for a second season. But for Halperin it became one of several jobs that quickly went away after CNN first reported the allegations against him in late October.

Nevins said he had already decided the show needed some diversity if it was to continue.

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While cable news buzzes over “Fire and Fury,” Michael Wolff’s fly-on-the-wall look at the Trump White House, there is nothing in the tome that has surprised Stephen Colbert.

Even without the unfettered access Wolff had, Colbert’s new, 10-part animated series for Showtime,  “Our Cartoon President,” portrays a commander-in-chief with a short attention span and an obsession with cable news.

“I think Michael Wolff stole all 10 of our episodes,” the CBS “Late Show” host said Saturday at the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Pasadena. “There is nothing in that book that’s not in our show and we just guessed.”

Edgar Ramirez is Gianni Versace in "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story"
Edgar Ramirez is Gianni Versace in "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story" (Jeff Daly)

With shows like “Glee,” “Nip/Tuck” and “American Horror Story,” Ryan Murphy has arguably done more to increase representation of LGBTQ characters on the small screen than just about anyone in Hollywood. 

In the year ahead, he’s broadening the scope even more with two different stories about the history of the LGBTQ community for FX. Premiering this month, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” is a true-crime tale about the 1997 murder of the famed fashion designer examining how homophobia may have contributed to a preventable tragedy.

Meanwhile “Pose,” slated to debut this summer, is a dance musical set in the ballroom scene of 1980s New York that will feature more than 50 LGBTQ characters — a record for scripted television, according to FX — as well as the largest number of transgender series regulars in TV history. What was once seen as a major creative risk has, for Murphy, become a badge of honor. 

  • Movies
  • Celebrity

Four women have accused Oscar-winning director and screenwriter Paul Haggis of sexual misconduct, including two allegations of rape.

The allegations follow dueling lawsuits filed Dec 15 in New York in which publicist Haleigh Breest accused Haggis of rape and Haggis responded by denying the charge and accusing Breest of infliction of emotional distress, alleging that she was attempting to extort him.

After the suits were filed, three additional women contacted Breest’s attorneys with allegations against Haggis, 64, best known for the films “Million Dollar Baby” and “Crash,” the Associated Press reported Friday. One of the women said she was a 28-year-old publicist when Haggis forced her to perform oral sex and raped her in 1996.

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John Landgraf, CEO of FX Networks and FX Productions, speaks during the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Pasadena.
John Landgraf, CEO of FX Networks and FX Productions, speaks during the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Pasadena. (Frederick M. Brown)

When reports surfaced last fall of allegations of sexual misconduct by Louis C.K., it prompted FX to cut ties with one of its key producers of content and forced the network to try decide what happens next.

On Friday morning at the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Pasadena, FX Chief Executive John Landgraf, made some of his first public comments on the matter. Addressing the elephant in the room, Landgraf noted the results of FX’s investigation into the disgraced comic in his opening remarks.

“Our other statement at the time said that we would conduct further investigations to determine if there was any misconduct on any of the five shows that Louis produces for FX,” Landgraf said. “Having recently completed that investigation, we did not find any issues placing instances of misconduct of any kind during the eight years we’ve worked together.”

  • TV

The wait is (almost) over.

Netflix has revealed the premiere date of “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman,” the late-night legend’s official return to the spotlight after retiring from his CBS show in 2015.

The six-episode, 60-minute talk show series is set to debut Jan. 12, with a new episode released each subsequent month. 

  • TV
(Warner Bros. Entertainment)

Yakko, Wakko and Dot are ready to break out of the Warner Bros. Studios’ water tower once again. 

Hulu announced Thursday that it is rebooting “Animaniacs,” along with Amblin Television and Warner Bros. Animation, with a two-season straight-to-series order. 

The original “Animaniacs” aired from 1993 to 1998 and followed the adventures of the wildly energetic and wacky (not to mention musical) Warner brothers and their Warner sister. Each show generally comprised multiple mini-episodes featuring select fan-favorite characters, including Pinky and the Brain, Slappy Squirrel and the Goodfeathers. 

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I’ll take deadly medical conditions for $200, Alex.

Longtime “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek is on leave after undergoing surgery over the holiday break to remove a subdural hematoma from his brain. 

So what is a subdural hematoma? It’s a type of blood clot on the brain that requires treatment as soon as signs and symptoms appear so that permanent brain damage can be prevented, according to the Mayo Clinic.

  • TV
  • Late-night

Late-night hosts are still shook from the allegations about the current administration in Michael Wolff’s new book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.”

There were a lot of juicy tidbits for Stephen Colbert and Trevor Noah to mine, from alleged treason to tears, but both hosts seemed equally horrified by a particular food anecdote. Specifically, bed burgers.

“Let me get this straight,” Noah said on Thursday night’s episode of “The Daily Show.” “Trump only trusts food if the people who made it had no idea it was for him. That’s why he goes to McDonald’s.”