Would the Dowager Countess approve?
By Michelle Strub
So many questions! Sean "Diddy" Combs tweeted Wednesday afternoon that he's joining the cast of "Downton Abbey." Right now it's unclear if this is real, a publicity stunt, he's having a public meltdown, or if the rapper-turned-sometimes-actor has been hacked.
"Downton" producers previously announced that they're adding the show's first black character in Season 4, but named Gary Carr as the actor to play the part.
We're sure we'll know soon whether this is actually happening -- thank you, Internet sleuths (and/or hopefully a statement from PBS)! Until then, we'll just sit here pondering all the ways this could go wrong ... or right?
UPDATE [3:08 p.m. PT]: According to the Sun-Times, a spokeswoman for WGBH, the Boston public TV station that brings the British series to America, has said this is untrue -- Diddy is NOT joining the cast.
UPDATE [3:32 p.m. PT]: Diddy continues to tweet as if it's true and has Instagrammed a photo from the set as "proof."
Update [5:18 p.m. PT]: Diddy posted yet another photo supposedly from the set of "Downton." That facial hair doesn't really seem to match the era in which the show takes place, right? Looks like we'll be anxiously awaiting midnight to see what it is he's pulling. That Diddy!
UPDATE [12 a.m. PT]: Well, Diddy wasn't kidding after all. Downton Diddy he is.
Barbara Walters, Shaquille O'Neal, Katie Couric, Selena Gomez, Honey Boo Boo and more
Daytime hosts, notable athletes, sports newsman and reality TV stars turned out to help "Maury" celebrate its 2500th episode, airing Friday, May 17. The landmark episode also caught up with memorable first guests and featured a few surprises for Maury Povich, including his wife Connie Chung jumping out of a cake!
The guest list for the big "Maury" episode featured Barbara Walters, Shaquille O'Neal, Katie Couric, the ladies of "The Talk," Donald Trump, Joan Rivers, Kathy Griffin, NeNe Leakes, Steve Harvey, Wendy Williams, Jack Hanna, Billy Bush and Kit Hoover, Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, former Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann, "Pardon the Interruption" hosts Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon and fellow NBC Universal talk show hosts Jerry Springer, Steve Wilkos and Trisha Goddard.
Selena Gomez and Honey Boo Boo also got involved in the celebration via video messages. Gomez had a surprise for a returning guest, while Honey Boo Boo let Povich know that he's not the father. Phew!
"Maury" will also catch up with the guests who started it all, including the guests who took the very first paternity and lie detector tests and the show's first out of control teen.
Povich has more than 2500 reasons to celebrate. "Maury" goes into its landmark episode with 100 consecutive weeks as the #1 syndicated talk show among Women 18-34, Adults 18-34 and Adults 18-49.
"Maury" airs weekdays in syndication.
Jacqueline MacInnes Wood is exiting, but not for good
"The Bold and the Beautiful" beauty Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Steffy) is taking a break from the drama this summer, but the Daytime Emmy nominee is not leaving for good.
"Jacqueline MacInnes Wood is taking a short break, as she has done in the past, from 'B&B,'" a show rep told MSN TV. "She remains as the character of 'Steffy Forrester'; and is continuing to tape, currently, with episodes airing through July of 2013 and then beyond."
During Wood's past breaks from the soap, she shot the blockbuster "Final Destination 5," the pilot for "Arrow" and the upcoming Lifetime thriller "Her Husband's Betrayal." A DJ and singer, Wood also released her debut single "After Hours" in January 2012.
As "The Bold and the Beautiful" fans know, Wood's character Steffy been caught in a love triangle that aims to rival the show's epic Taylor/Ridge/Brooke triangle. As the scheming vixen of the younger set, Ridge and Taylor's daughter stooped pretty low in her battle to win Bill's son Liam away from Brooke's daughter Hope. Though Steffy seemed to have no limits, she's shown a softer side of late. That and a bun in the oven helped her finally marry Liam, but as news of Wood's short-term exit broke, Steffy was mowed down in a motorcycle accident on the show.
With Woods set to tape scenes Friday, May 17, and air into August, one can expect Steffy will wake up before exiting the canvas this summer. The fate of her unborn baby is another matter.
"The Bold and the Beautiful" airs weekdays on CBS.
Soap opera and children's TV veteran Ron Weaver dead at 75
"The Bold and the Beautiful" and the daytime television community lost another member of its family on May 11 when Ronald L Weaver passed away. Soap opera fans may not recognize Weaver's face, but his work is another story. The producer helped launch "The Bold and the Beautiful" and worked with the drama until April of this year, earning three Daytime Emmys along the way. Weaver also had a hand in launching beloved daytime children's show like "Sesame Street" and "The Electric Company."
"I am saddened to learn of the passing of Ron Weaver," said "The Bold and the Beautiful" showrunner Bradley Bell. "Ron was talented, a good friend to all of us, and a 26 year producer of 'The Bold and the Beautiful.' He will be missed, will always be remembered and will forever remain in our hearts."
Weaver joined "The Bold and the Beautiful" back in 1986, helping creators William J. Bell and Lee Phillip Bell launch their CBS soap opera. When he retired almost three decades later, he was the series' number two behind the scenes player. In addition to serving as the show's senior producer, he was vice president of BBL Distribution, Inc., the distribution arm of Bell-Phillip Television Productions. Weaver oversaw the day-to-day management of the series, as well as its international sales, operations and promotion.
With "The Bold and the Beautiful" earning a Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Drama Series, Weaver is in the running for a fourth trophy, along with his former production team. Those interested in the history of the series might enjoy Weaver's blog post about the team that helped create the show.
Before moving into the soap biz, Weaver spent 13 years with Children's Television Workshop, climbing to Director of Operations and Production Services. During his tenure with CTW, Weaver helped launch "Sesame Street," "The Electric Company," "3-2-1 Contact," "Feeling Good" and "The Best of Families," as well as the international co-productions of "Sesame Street" in Latin America.
Born on June 9, 1937, Weaver was drawn to entertainment from childhood. After a two-year stint in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, he moved to New York City to build an acting career. He spent 20 year as a performer and photographer, studying under Lee Strasberg, before transitioning into production. One of his early gigs behind the camera was writing and producing for the documentary series "Eye on New York."
In 2010, Weaver also released his first novel, "Soul Mates." "The Bold and the Beautiful" castmembers supported his book launch with readings at local bookstores. (Click to watch video of Ronn Moss, Lesli Kay and Lesley-Anne Down sharing Weaver's work.)
Weaver passed away in his Los Angeles home on May 11 and is survived by his partner of 29 years, Franko E. Weaver; daughter Jen Finkle-Weaver; son Kevin Weaver, an Atlantic Records Group exec; and grandchildren Ella, Taji, Kyle and Davis.
A private funeral service will be held in Encino. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Three Rivers Lions Club (P.O. Box 134, Three Rivers, MI 49093) or AIDS Project Los Angeles.
"The Bold and the Beautiful" airs weekdays on CBS.
Mark Burnett courting former Alaskan governor for syndicated talk show
Reality TV guru Mark Burnett apparently sees Sarah Palin as the next Oprah. Now, he just has to convince the conservative firebrand, politician and best-selling author to sign on. Palin allegedly turned down Burnett's offer to host a major syndicated talk show, but isn't ruling out the idea of bringing her brand to the "lamestream media."
"Todd and I have always loved working with Mark Burnett, and our family is always up for adventure, so never say never," Palin told Newsmax.
While the specifics of Burnett's offer weren't released, the story offers a few theories on why Palin hasn't signed on yet. One source pointed to the show location, which would be either New York or Los Angeles. That would cause a clear logistical issue for the Alaskan native, but another insider points to Palin's "distaste for cultural elites in the Big Apple and LA."
A third insider suggests location isn't the sticking issue: Money is.
While Burnett didn't comment on the story, Palin's quote indicates the talk show could still come to fruition.
Former Vice Presidential candidate Palin teamed up with Burnett's production company to host TLC's "Sarah Palin's Alaska" in 2010-11. This venture would be Burnett's first daytime talk show, though he's certainly no newcomer to TV. The King of Reality TV changed the face of primetime when he launched "Survivor" in 2000. Current shows include "The Apprentice," "The Voice" and "Shark Tank." Burnett and wife Roma Downy also produced the History channel's hit miniseries "The Bible."
Season 8 ends with Ted's future wife, and who it is may surprise you
ICYMI: This post includes details from the "How I Met Your Mother" Season 8 finale.
After eight seasons, fans of the hit CBS comedy "How I Met Your Mother," finally know who the mother is. It's actress Cristin Milioti, who appeared at the tail end of the show's Season 8 finale Monday night.
Identified only as "The Girl With the Yellow Umbrella," Milioti will play a major part in the final season of "How I Met Your Mother," when the sitcom returns next fall, CBS confirmed. For weeks, fans have been speculating about who the mother would be, drawing from a long list of guest stars who have appeared on the show, including pop star Britney Spears.
Milioti is best known for her Tony-nominated performance in the stage production of "Once," and her turn as "sexy baby" writer Abby Flynn on the "30 Rock" episode, "TGS Hates Women." Best of all, fans can't have any preconceived notions about what kind of woman she is because Ted (Josh Radnor) hasn't met her yet. A closing montage showed everyone en route to Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) and Robin's (Cobie Smulders) wedding, but Milioti's character wasn't introduced to anyone other than the audience.
"It was a pretty big umbrella to fill, casting the title role in a series that's been on the air for eight years," said Carter Bays, the co-creator and executive producer behind "HIMYM," in a statement. "And yet Cristin Milioti is, against all odds, exactly what we were looking for. She made us laugh on '30 Rock,' she made us swoon in 'Once,' and her ukulele skills are no joke. We're thrilled to welcome her to the 'How I Met Your Mother' family, and look forward to getting to know her -- and the character she plays -- much better in the coming final season."
Rumors have been swirling that the whole season will play out in real time. Bays didn't confirm or deny this but said Season 9 will, "tell the epic story of the longest wedding weekend ever" and that he and co-creator and executive producer, Craig Thomas will, "take some risks with time."
"How I Met Your Mother" returns for its ninth and final season this fall on CBS.
Soap opera plans tribute episode for diva and will lay her character to rest in July
"The Young and the Restless" will break the fourth wall for a special tribute episode honoring the late Jeanne Cooper on Tuesday, May 28. Cast, friends and family will gather on the Chancellor mansion set for a celebration of her life. The death of Cooper's beloved character Katherine will not hit Genoa City until this summer.
Cooper's May 8 passing left the daytime community reeling. The 84-year-old, Emmy-winning powerhouse had ruled "The Young and the Restless" canvas as Katherine Chancellor for nearly 40 years and was the show’s longest-running cast member. This week, her co-stars will leave their characters behind for a day to shoot a special one-hour memorial episode.
"We'll serve tea and let everyone talk and cry and laughs and share, and we'll find the best photos and clips we can get our hands on and edit it all together into a beautiful celebration episode," explained "The Young and the Restless" executive producer Jill Farren Phelps. "This is all for Jeanne."
Scheduled participants include Jess Walton (Jill), Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki), Eric Braeden (Victor), Peter Bergman (Jack), Doug Davidson (Paul), Christian LeBlanc (Michael), Michelle Stafford (Phyllis), Tracey Bregman (Lauren), Kristoff St. John (Neil), Greg Rikaart (Kevin), Billy Miller (Billy), Daniel Goddard (Cane), Kate Linder (Esther), Bryton James (Devon), Tricia Cast (Nina), Lauralee Bell (Christine), Beth Maitland (Traci), Michael Fairman (Murphy) and Jerry Douglas (John); along with former costars John McCook (Eric, "The Bold and the Beautiful") and Heather Tom (Katie, "The Bold and the Beautiful"). George Guzman and Patti Denney, from "The Young and the Restless" hair and makeup department, will also share their memories, according to a TV Guide report.
Cooper's real-life son, Corbin Bersen ("Psyche," "L.A. Law"), who kept fans updated through her final health battle, will also take part in the tribute. When Katherine passes away this summer, he will return to the show as his character, Father Todd.
As previously reported, Cooper's final scene has already aired. As seen in the May 3 clip above, Katherine returned to Chancellor manse after having a tumor removed and ascended the stair one last time. When Jill offered to help her, she said her final words as Katherine: "I think I can manage ... Goodnight."
Katherine will be written out of story and sent on vacation with her husband for a few months, so the show can properly address the character's passing. Genoa City will be hit by her death sometime in July.
"The greatest way to honor Jeanne is to make Kay's exit as dramatic and meaningful as possible," Phelps said. "We have not yet decided how Kay's life will actually end, but we are talking a bit already about what she will leave in her wake. It will be something that will leave the memory of Kay Chancellor deeply imbedded in everyone in Genoa City. What happens to Chancellor Industries? What decisions did Kay make in the event of her death? The ramifications need to be big."
"The Young and the Restless" airs weekdays on CBS.
May sweeps, blockbuster movies and rockin' performances
Daytime is hopping with movie stars, TV favorites and big performers the week of May 13. A-listers are talking "The Hangover: Part III," "Star Trek Into Darkness," "Peeples," "After Earth," "Frances Ha" and "Before Midnight." Also, cast members dish "Behind the Candelabra," "Arrested Development," "NCIS," "NCIS: Los Angeles," "Elementary," "Scandal," "Grey's Anatomy," "Hannibal," "Arrow," "Nashville," "The Big C," "Hawaii Five-0," "Modern Family," "The Big Bang Theory," "How I Met Your Mother," "The Voice," "All-Star Celebrity Apprentice," "Duck Dynasty" and "Swamp People."
Performers on the docket include Demi Lovato, Brad Paisley, Jewel, Trace Adkins, Kenny Chesney, Avril Lavigne, Eve, Robin Thicke and Pharrell, Natalie Maines, Huey Lewis and the News, Tom Jones, Backstreet Boys, 98 Degrees, Pistol Annies and Jessica Sanchez. Other notables coming to daytime include Regis Phibin, Arsenio Hall, Roger Daltrey, Alison Sweeny, Judy Sheindlin, W. Kamau Bell, Colin Quinn and Bill O'Reilly. Plus, "The Talk" takes the show to New York.
Mon: (repeat) Co-host Kyle Richards; Mary Hamer, Krysten Ritter
Tues: (repeat) Co-host Lisa Rinna; Pills Make Me a Better Mom, Marlee Matlin
Wed: (repeat) Co-host Lisa Rinna; Ricky Schroder, Sandra Vergara, "My Strange Addiction" featured guests
Thurs: (repeat) Co-host Nicole 'Snooki' Polizzi; The Pregnant Man; Bow Wow
Fri: Judge Marilyn Milian; Grumpy Cat
Mon: Kerry Washington, Demi Lovato
Tues: Kaley Cuoco, "Cousins on Call" reveal; Natalie Maines talks and performs
Wed: Will and Jaden Smith
Thurs: Chris Pine, Sophia Grace & Rosie; Robin Thicke and Pharrell perform
Fri: Rob Lowe, Alex O'Loughlin
"Good Morning America"
Mon: 8 a.m. co-host Jimmy Kimmel, Portia de Rossi; Huey Lewis and the News performs
Tues: 8 a.m. co-host Jesse Tyler Ferguson; "Scandal" cast, Bill O'Reilly; Eve performs
Wed: 8 a.m. co-host Eric Stonestreet; ousted "Dancing with the Stars" couple; Backstreet Boys perform
Thurs: Jerry Weintraub; Greta Gerwig, Emily Matchar; Jewel performs
Fri: Ethan Hawke, Rob Lowe, Jonathan Alder
Mon: Kenny Chesney talks and performs; Boston heroes honored
Tues: Body image and unhealthy food relationship, Mika Brzezinski
Wed: Judy Sheindlin, Chris Powell, W. Kamau Bell
Thurs: casts of "Duck Dynasty" and "Swamp People"
"Live! With Kelly and Michael"
* Kelly and Michael's Fitness Challenge week
Mon: Jimmy Kimmel, Alyson Hannigan; the Animal Flow workout
Tues: Mark Harmon; Huey Lewis and the News performs; Baby Bootie Camp
Wed: Jesse Tyler Ferguson, CrossFit
Thurs: Zoe Saldana, Michael takes an AKT class
Fri: Connie Britton, Acro Yoga
Mon: Ian Ziering, John Barrowman, Dr. Gary Motykie
Tues: Kuk Harrell; Keshia Knight Pulliam
Wed: Susan Olsen, Jennifer Jolly, Susan Constantine
Thurs: La Toya Jackson, Aaron Abrams
"Rachael Ray Show"
Mon: Co-host Emeril Lagasse; Liza Minnelli
Tues: Shopping tips from Steve Jenkins, Brad Goreski, Chef Marc Murphy and Dr. Ian
Wed: Warrior Dash Challenge; 98 Degrees performs
Thurs: Lucy Liu; "Storage Wars" stars
Fri: Co-host Regis Phibin; Deborah Norville, Christine Ha
* On location in NYC
Mon: Sigourney Weaver
Tues: Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly, Cote de Pablo, Pauley Perrette and Brian Dietzen
Wed: Lucy Liu; Gayle King and Norah O'Donnell
Thurs: LL Cool J; Andy Cohen
Fri: Vanessa Williams and Cuba Gooding, Jr.; chef Guy Fieri
Mon: Bradley Cooper, JJ Abrams, Gillian Anderson
Tues: Donald Rumsfeld, Ken Jeong, Dan Brown, Alison Sweeny, Lisa Rinna; Jessica Sanchez performs
Wed: The Professionals, Ed Helms, Candace Cameron; Trace Adkins talks and performs
Thurs: Zoe Saldana, latest "The Voice" castoff; Avril Lavigne performs; Pistol Annies performs
Fri: Jane Pauley; Piano Guys perform
* Weight-loss success stories week
Mon: LL Cool J
Tues: Co-host Judy Smith (aka the real Olivia Pope); Kerry Washington, Tony Goldwyn, Guillermo Diaz, Katie Lowes, Joshua Malina, Jeff Perry, Columbus Short, Darby Stanchfield and Bellamy Young; Tom Jones performs
Weds: Co-host Eden Sher; Brad Paisley performs
Thurs: Co-host Jewel performs, Jessica Capshaw; former U.S. States Senator Olympia Snowe
Fri: Co-host Wayne Brady; Arsenio Hall, Roger Daltrey, Jackie Hance
"The Wendy Williams Show"
Mon: Gabourey Sidibe, Colin Quinn
Tues: Kerry Washington and David Alan Grier; chance to win a trip to Jamaica
Wed: Alison Sweeney, latest fired "All-Star Celebrity Apprentice" contestant
Thurs: Eve performs; chance to win a trip to Jamaica
Fri: Donald Trump
Schedules are subject to change.