Fans lost their minds when Saturday Night Live announced this week that both Game of Thrones Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and K-Pop supergroup BTS would appear in upcoming episodes. It was almost enough to overshadow the “Operation Varsity Blues” scandal that hit this week — but not quite.
In what federal investigators dubbed “Operation Varsity Blues,” actresses Lori Loughlin, who played Aunt Becky in Full House and its sequel series Fuller House, and Felicity Huffman, who won an Emmy for her role as Lynette Scavo in Desperate Housewives, are among 50 people who face federal charges for their parts in a college admissions bribery scandal, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
“Dozens of individuals involved in a nationwide conspiracy that facilitated cheating on college entrance exams and the admission of students to elite universities as purported athletic recruits were arrested by federal agents in multiple states and charged in documents unsealed on March 12, 2019, in federal court in Boston,” the DOJ said. “Athletic coaches from Yale, Stanford, USC, Wake Forest and Georgetown, among others, are implicated, as well as parents and exam administrators.”
The lead defendant, William Rick Singer, pled guilty on March 12 in the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts to counts of racketeering, money laundering, conspiracy to defraud the U.S., and obstruction of justice and will be sentenced on June 19.
The government charged Huffman, Loughlin, and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Loughlin surrendered to federal authorities and posted a $1 million bond on Wednesday, CNN reported.
“The Giannullis agreed to a pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew—thereby facilitating their admission to USC,” according to the complaint.
Huffman, who was arrested at her home, posted a $250,000 bond and surrendered her passport to the FBI. She and her husband, Shameless star William H. Macy, to fake charity Key Worldwide Foundation allegedly to get her daughter a higher score on the SATs. The criminal complaint also includes transcriptions of phone calls between Singer, Huffman, and her “spouse” setting up the SAT cheating. Macy is not named in the complaint and has not been charged.
Loughlin, Giannulli, and Huffman will next appear in court on March 29 in Boston. Loughlin also reportedly has lost her job on Netflix’s Fuller House, this after Hallmark Channel cut ties with her, Deadline reported.
The scandal set off a firestorm of criticism on social media, with many observers complaining about money, class, and privilege.
Given the scandal emerging today, this graph deserves to be seen again.
— Ryan Burge 📊 (@ryanburge) March 12, 2019
Game of Thrones star Kit Harington and Korean pop band BTS will appear in upcoming episodes of Saturday Night Live, NBC Entertainment announced via social media this week. The sketch-comedy series line-up is as follows:
March 30: host Sandra Oh with musical guest Tame Impala
April 6: host Kit Harington with musical guest Sara Bareilles
April 13: host Emma Stone with musical guest BTS
And the internet got hyped…
QUEEN EMMA STONE AND KINGS BTS ON THE SAME NIGHT ON SNL YES
— sabrina (@_btssyoongi) March 13, 2019
(Rotten Tomatoes is owned by NBCUniversal.)
Revivals of classic ’90s sitcoms are in vogue (see: Will & Grace, Murphy Brown, Mad About You), but there’s one reboot we won’t be seeing on the small screen any time soon: Friends. Creator Marta Kauffman told Rolling Stone that there are several reasons why that just isn’t gonna happen.
“One, the show is about a time in your life when your friends are your family. It’s not that time anymore. All we’d be doing is putting those six actors back together, but the heart of the show would be gone,” she said. “Two, I don’t know what good it does us. The show is doing just fine, people love it. [A reunion] could only disappoint. ‘The One Where Everyone’s Disappointed.’”
Another comic book is headed to the small screen: An animated TV anthology adaptation of What If? is currently in the works for Disney’s upcoming streaming service, Disney+. According to Slashfilm, Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige are set to produce the series, which, like the comics, will focus on what the Marvel universe would look like if certain key moments had happened differently. Per Slashfilm, one episode is in the works involving What If? Vol. 1 #47, which posited what could have happened if Loki had found the hammer of Thor — and could potentially mean actors from the Marvel Cinematic Universe would reprise their roles in the series.
Orphan Black could live on: According to Variety, a new series set in the same world as the original show, about a woman who discovers she is a clone created in an international scientific conspiracy, is being developed at AMC. While there will be ties to Orphan Black, it will “not be a spinoff or reboot of the original series, but rather a completely new story set in the same world.” Producers are currently recruiting a writer.
Breaking Baby News: A Christmas Prince 3 will be delivered this year!
Netflix holiday movie A Christmas Prince, starring iZombie’s Rose McIver as a reporter who goes undercover and accidentally falls in love with a European prince, is getting another sequel. Following 2018’s update A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding (which is pretty self-explanatory, as far as plot goes), the streaming service is releasing A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby during 2019’s holiday season.
Jerry O’Connell’s Bravo talk show Play By Play might’ve been swiftly canceled, but the actor and frequent daytime host fill-in (Live! With Kelly, The Wendy Williams Show, Today, The Talk, The View, and more) will get another shot at the medium in a new series called Jerry O. The entertainment and comedy talk show, which is produced by Funny or Die, will get a three-week trial run over the summer on Fox-owned stations. O’Connell will host, and the series will include a mix of celebrity interviews and Funny or Die-produced comedy segments.
Amy Adams has signed a deal with HBO that will give the premium cable network first crack at projects created by the actress/producer at her new production company, Bond Group Entertainment. The first one: an adaptation of Barbara Kingsolver’s novel Poisonwood Bible, which is being developed as a limited series. Adams previously helped bring the adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects to the network. Ethan Hawke, meanwhile, is producing and starring in a new Showtime adaptation of James McBride’s 2013 The Good Lord Bird. The eight-part limited series of the same name will star Hawke as real-life 19th-century abolitionist John Brown, but will be told through the eyes of an enslaved teenager named Onion who Brown takes under his wing and eventually participates in the Harpers Ferry rebellion that helped instigate the start of the Civil War. Hawke is also co-writing with producer Mark Richard, and Anthony Hemingway will direct and executive produce. McBride is also an executive producer on the project.
Daredevil showrunner Erik Oleson is switching teams — he’s signed a new deal (around seven figures, according to The Hollywood Reporter) that will see him move from Netflix to Amazon for a two-year deal to create new series. Silicon Valley creator Mike Judge has signed a new deal with HBO that will keep the creator at the network for two more years, plus produce two pilots he is developing. According to The Hollywood Reporter, that deal is in the eight-figure range.
The Flash is getting a new boss: Showrunner Todd Helbing is stepping down at the end of the series’ current fifth season to focus on development, and Eric Wallace is set to take his place for season 6. Wallace has worked on the show as a co-executive producer since its fourth season.
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@lucyhale has been cast in the title role of "Katy Keene", the #Riverdale spin-off pilot in development at The CW. “Katy Keene” follows the lives of four young people following their dreams in New York City and features Ashleigh Murray reprising her “Riverdale” role of Josie McCoy, along with Jonny Beauchamp (Penny Dreadful) as Ginger Lopez, Julia Chan (Saving Hope) as Pepper Smith, and Camille Hyde (American Vandal) and Lucien Laviscount (Snatch) as Alexandra and Alexander Cabot. Bold, big-hearted and independent, Katy Keene is a twenty-something New Yorker who aspires to be a fashion designer. When she’s not working as a personal shopper at a luxury department store, she’s navigating friendship and dating in the big city. 📸 credit: Mike Rosenthal
The CW’s Riverdale spin-off, Katy Keene, has found its lead: Lucy Hale will play the titular character, a twentysomething aspiring fashion designer. Per the official character description, “when she’s not working as a personal shopper at a luxury department store, she’s navigating friendship and dating in the big city.” The series will follow four up-and-coming twentysomethings and iconic Archie Comics characters (including Riverdale’s Josie, played by Ashleigh Murray) as they chase their dreams in New York City.
Broadway stars Megan Hilty (Smash) and Jessie Mueller will star as iconic singers and friends Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn in a new Lifetime movie called Patsy & Loretta. The movie will follow the country music legends’ friendship and struggles in the male-dominated country music business, and will film on location in Nashville. ABC’s Nashville creator Callie Khouri will direct the film, according to TVLine.