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'American Idol' to be simulcast nationwide for live voting
ABC's American Idol will be simulcast live across the United States in order for viewers to cast their votes for their favorite singers at the same time.

The singing competition series will air in all time zones for a three-week span starting at 8 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. PT on Sunday. Viewers can cast their votes by using the American Idol website, the American Idol app or through text messaging with results unveiled in real time at the end of each episode.

American Idol is the first competition series to offer live coast-to-coast viewing. The show, which was revived at ABC in March after originating on Fox, features returning host Ryan Seacrest with new judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan.

"We set out on a journey to find the best talent this nation has to offer," ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey said in a statement. "As we head into the next phase of the American Idol competition, it only makes sense to let every viewer from coast to coast experience the magic of live television and have the ability to vote for America's next superstar."

American Idol's final performance episode on May 20 will allow viewers to vote overnight for the show's winner with the results announced on the May 21 season finale.


'Fantastic Beasts 2': Jessica Williams to play Professor Hicks
The Fantastic Beasts sequel will feature Jessica Williams as Professor Hicks.

The 28-year-old actress said in a video Sunday with Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling that she will portray Professor Eulalie "Lally" Hicks in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

Williams and Rowling announced the news while attending the Broadway premiere of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The pair enjoyed dinner together during intermission.

"We've decided to tell you the name of my character for Fantastic Beasts," Williams said in the clip.

"Professor Lally Hicks," Rowling told fans.

Rowling confirmed the news on Twitter, adding Hicks hails from Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardy. The fictional school is located in Massachusetts.

"Professor Eulalie (Lally) Hicks of Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardy with some random woman during the interval of #CursedChildNYC," the author wrote.

Rowling also said Hicks will feature more heavily in the third Fantastic Beasts movie.

"You only see a HINT of Lally in Fantastic Beasts 2. Her true glory is revealed in FB3," she tweeted.

The Fantastic Beasts films are based on Rowling's book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which takes place in the Harry Potter universe. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindewald opens in theaters Nov. 16.

Williams came to fame as a correspondent on The Daily Show. She co-hosts the podcast 2 Dope Queens, which was adapted as a four-part HBO special this year.


LOOSE LIPS:
"I think I'm awesome, I think I'm doing all right and I love myself for me, and that's a really hard thing to teach this next generation because of social media."
--Kelly Clarkson, on finding validation outside of social media and the difficulties of teaching that to her kids, to PEOPLE



??? Guess Who ???

Which former Good Morning America anchor will debut as '20/20' co-anchor in May?


Mike Myers on Verne Troyer's death: 'I hope he is in a better place'
Mike Myers is mourning the weekend death of his Austin Powers co-star Verne Troyer.

Troyer, who played Mini-Me to Myers' Dr. Evil in two blockbuster comedies, died Saturday at the age of 49. The cause of his death has not been disclosed to the public, but Troyer had spoken candidly about his alcohol abuse issues for years.

"Verne was the consummate professional and a beacon of positivity for those of us who had the honor of working with him," Myers said in a statement to EW.com. "It is a sad day, but I hope he is in a better place. He will be greatly missed."

Rob Lowe, who co-starred with Troyer in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, took to Twitter to share his reaction to the actor's death.

"Sad news. Loved working with Vern on Austin Powers 2. Great guy, so funny and infectious positive energy," Lowe tweeted.


'Grey's Anatomy' officially renewed for Season 15
ABC has announced it ordered more episodes of its medical drama Grey's Anatomy to air in the 2018-19 television season.

"Grey's Anatomy is officially coming back for Season 15!" the show's Twitter account said Saturday.

The series follows staffers at the fictional Seattle Grace Hospital. It stars Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey, Justin Chambers as Alex Karev, Chandra Wilson as Miranda Bailey, James Pickens Jr. as Richard Webber, Kevin McKidd as Owen Hunt, Jessica Capshaw as Arizona Robbins, Jesse Williams as Jackson Avery, Sarah Drew as April Kepner, Caterina Scorsone as Amelia Shepherd, Camilla Luddington as Jo Wilson, Kelly McCreary as Maggie Pierce and Giacomo Gianniotti as Andrew DeLuca.

Longtime cast-members Capshaw and Drew announced last month they would leave the show during the current, 14th season.


??? Guess Who ???

Which former Good Morning America anchor will debut as '20/20' co-anchor in May?

Amy Robach will serve as the new co-anchor of 20/20.

ABC News confirmed Monday that the 45-year-old television personality will join David Muir on the news magazine program in May. Robach presently serves as an anchor on Good Morning America.

James Goldston, president of ABC News, announced Robach's new role in a note to the news division that appeared on the ABC News official Tumblr.

"In addition to her new duties she'll continue to report frequently for Good Morning America and across ABC News when major news breaks," Goldston wrote. "Amy, as we know so well, is a brilliant journalist and a skilled interviewer."

Robach confirmed the news in a tweet Monday.

"The royal family isn't the only one with an announcement today," she wrote, referring to British royal Kate Middleton giving birth to her third child.

Robach will replace Elizabeth Vargas, who announced plans in December to leave 20/20 in May. A+E Networks said last week Vargas will serve as the face of its new journalistic banner, A&E Investigates.

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