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This just in! ABC says it has renewed Dancing with the Stars for a 25th season and it's also ordered a spinoff to go with it.

"A fresh new take on an established favorite, Dancing with the Stars Junior will pair celebrity kids and kids of celebrities with professional, junior ballroom dancers to perform choreographed routines, which will be judged by a panel of renowned ballroom experts, to be announced at a later date," a network press release explained.

DWTS is to kick off its next season in the fall, while its sister show is to debut the following spring.

That's all well and good, but I'm holding out for Dancing with the Stars: Seniors Edition. Bring back the Charleston!

Be Well,
Steve


Comments? Questions? Nooz? Email Steve



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'Bachelor' couple Ben Higgins, Lauren Bushnell split
Bachelor couple Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell have called it quits.

The reality stars confirmed as much Monday in a statement to People after getting engaged on the Season 20 finale in March 2016.

"It is with heavy hearts that we announce our decision to go our separate ways," the pair told the magazine.

"We feel fortunate for the time we had together, and will remain friends with much love and respect for one another. We wish nothing but the best for each other, and ask for your support and understanding at this time," they added.

E! News reported the split was mutual "for the most part."

"They just wanted different things," a source said. "They had been struggling for a while. I think Ben would have kept wanting to make it work, though. It's really sad."

Higgins and Bushnell were the subject of breakup rumors for months, despite Higgins denying such reports in February. Bushnell hinted at their ups and downs in a post March 23 for Higgins' 28th birthday.

"Happy birthday babe!!!!! I'm so thankful for this life together. Although sometimes rocky you always hold my hand and support me through it, always with a smile on your face. You deserve the world, especially today," she wrote.

Higgins competed on The Bachelorette Season 11 before meeting Bushnell on The Bachelor Season 20. The pair went on to star on the Freeform series Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After?, which ended in November.


'Scandal' confirmed to end after Season 7
Popular political drama Scandal will officially end after Season 7.

ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey explained Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes' decision to end the Kerry Washington series in a conference call with reporters Tuesday.

"She has had, for a while, a sense of how she wanted the story to end," Dungey said, according to Entertainment Weekly. "She said, 'Look, I really feel like Season 7 is where I want to wrap up this story, because I always prefer to end a show where you're feeling on top as opposed to letting things fizzle out.'"

The Hollywood Reporter reported Scandal has yet to set an episode count for Season 7, although the season is expected to again feature "a short number of episodes." Season 6, which consists of 16 episodes, will come to a close Thursday.

"I do think that audiences, especially fans and Gladiators, who are as loyal to Scandal as they've been, are going to want the story to end in the way that Shonda intended to," Dungey said. "That was a decision she felt really good about and we support wholeheartedly."

TVLine had reported last week that Rhimes "made the call" to end Scandal after Season 7. The producer told Entertainment Weekly at the show's 100th episode party in April that she had an end point in sight.

"I know how long the show is going to run, and I know how it's going to end, and I'm excited about it," she said.

Scandal stars Washington as crisis manager Olivia Pope, with Scott Foley as NSA Director Jake Ballard, Tony Goldwyn as President Fitzgerald Grant and Bellamy Young as Senator Melody Grant.


LOOSE LIPS:
"Love, gratitude, compassion, because sometimes every man or every woman will drive their partner crazy. Family. Fun. Laughs. Sex. If you don't nurture that, and remember, you're done."
--Goldie Hawn, on how she and longtime partner Kurt Russell make their relationship work, in this week's issue of PEOPLE



??? Guess Who ???

Which 'Baywatch' star will portray Ted Bundy in an upcoming film?


Jimmy Kimmel to host the Oscars for a second year in a row
Comedian Jimmy Kimmel is set to return as host of the Oscars telecast for a second, consecutive year.

Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd will produce the gala honoring excellence in film, Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs announced Tuesday. The 90th Academy Awards ceremony is scheduled to air live on ABC on March 4.

"Jimmy, Mike and Jennifer are truly an Oscar Dream Team," said Boone Isaacs in a statement. "Mike and Jennifer produced a beautiful show that was visually stunning. And Jimmy proved, from his opening monologue all the way through a finale we could never have imagined, that he is one our finest hosts in Oscar history."

"Hosting the Oscars was a highlight of my career and I am grateful to Cheryl, Dawn and the academy for asking me to return to work with two of my favorite people, Mike De Luca and Jennifer Todd," added Kimmel. "If you think we screwed up the ending this year, wait until you see what we have planned for the 90th anniversary show!"

Kimmel was the host of the show when Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty mistakenly presented the Best Picture prize to La La Land instead of Moonlight.


Brad Grey, former Paramount CEO, dead at 59
Former chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures Brad Grey has died at the age of 59.

The film executive died Sunday from cancer in Holmby Hills, Calif. surrounded by his friends and family, Deadline reported.

Grey was in charge at Paramount for 12 years starting in 2005 after he co-founded with Bernie Brillstein, Brillstein-Grey Entertainment, a production and management studio where Grey executive produced shows such as The Sopranos, The Larry Sanders Show, Real Time With Bill Maher and It's Garry Shandling's Show.

At Paramount, Grey oversaw the revival of the Mission: Impossible franchise, the launching of Iron Man in a deal with Marvel and the release of hit films in the Transformers and Paranormal Activity franchises alongside critical and award-winning favorites such as An Inconvenient Truth, There Will Be Blood, No Country for Old Men, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Babel, Shutter Island, The Fighter, True Grit and more.

Grey was forced out at Paramount in February following a string of box-office disappointments and $450 million in annual losses at the studio.

Grey is survived by his wife Cassandra Grey, their son Jules, his children Sam, Max and Emily from a previous marriage, his mother Barbara Schumsky, his brother Michael Grey and his sister Robin Grey.


??? Guess Who ???

Which 'Baywatch' star will portray Ted Bundy in an upcoming film?

Zac Efron has signed on to play serial killer Ted Bundy in a new independent drama titled Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile.

The film, from Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Joe Berlinger will be told from the perspective of Bundy's longtime girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer who turned him in to police, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The screenplay by Michael Werwie won the Nicholl Fellowship first prize. Producers include Nicolas Chartier, Ara Keshishian and Michael Costigan. Efron's Ninjas Runnin' Wild banner will also produce alongside Michael Simkin and Jason Barrett.

"I have been trying to work with Zac Efron for a long time," Chartier said while speaking with Variety. "From his dramatic turn in 'Paperboy' to his hilarious performance in Neighbors, he continues to impress audiences and critics alike with his extraordinary versatility and range. We couldn't be more excited to see him in this amazing role."

Production is set to begin on October 9. Bundy, who raped and murdered over 30 young girls and women, was executed in Florida in 1989.

Efron can next be seen in Baywatch alongside Dwayne Johnson when it hits theaters on May 25.

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