May 13, 2021
Report: Ellen DeGeneres to end her TV talk show next year
By MARK KENNEDY
Ellen DeGeneres is calling time on her longtime-running talk show, according to reports.
The daytime host, who has seen a ratings hit after allegations of running a toxic workplace, has decided that her upcoming season will be the last, ending in 2022. It coincides with the end of her contract.
"When you're a creative person, you constantly need to be challenged - and as great as this show is, and as fun as it is, it's just not a challenge anymore," DeGeneres told The Hollywood Reporter, which first broke the news.
"The Ellen DeGeneres Show," which started airing in 2003 and is distributed by Warner Bros., has a mix of dancing, games and giveaways along with A-list celebrities. But the host, who built her brand on the motto "Be Kind," opened season 18 in September with a lengthy apology.
Three of the show's producers exited over the summer amid allegations of a dysfunctional workplace that harbored misbehavior, including sexual misconduct and racially insensitive remarks.
Nielsen data shows "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" viewership dropped by 1.1 million people this season, from 2.6 million viewers to 1.5 million viewers.
DeGeneres was the recipient of the Kennedy Center's Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2015 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom under Barack Obama in 2016. In addition to her talk show, she has had a hand in Fox's "The Masked Dancer," NBC's "Ellen's Game of Games" and HBO Max's "Ellen's Next Great Designer."
Phylicia Rashad to lead Howard College of Fine Arts
By ASHRAF KHALIL
Famed actor Phylicia Rashad is returning to her alma mater as the new dean of the Howard University College of Fine Arts.
The longtime performer and Tony Award winner, who role to cultural prominence as Clair Huxtable on "The Cosby Show," graduated magna cum laude from Howard with a bachelor's degree in fine arts in 1970.
Provost Anthony K. Wutoh called the appointment a "full circle moment" and said in a statement that Rashad's "passion for the arts and student success makes her a perfect fit for this role."
Rashad's return to campus represents a reemergence of the fine arts college; the College of Fine Arts was merged into the College of Arts and Sciences in the late 90s. Rashad, in a statement, said it was a "privilege" to play a role in "reestablishing the College of Fine Arts."
Howard University President Wayne Frederick said that Rashad "will play an instrumental role in ensuring an auspicious beginning for this reestablished institution."
Howard Fine Arts alumni include actors Taraji P. Henson and the late Chadwick Bozeman, as well as Bradford Young, the first Black cinematographer to be nominated for an Oscar for 2017's "Arrival."
Rashad won the 2004 Tony award for best actress in a play for her role in "A Raisin in the Sun." Her sister, actor, dancer and choreographer Debbie Allen, is also a Howard alum.
Maren Morris, Miranda Lambert lead CMT Music Awards noms
By KRISTIN M. HALL
Former tourmates Miranda Lambert and Maren Morris are the leading nominees for the 2021 CMT Music Awards, celebrating the best in country music videos.
CMT on Thursday announced the nominees for their June 9 fan-voted awards show, where Morris and Lambert both have two nominations in the top category of video of the year, which has 14 contenders.
They are also nominated for female video of the year and collaborative video of the year. Morris shares two nominations with her husband and fellow singer Ryan Hurd, a first-time CMT nominee, on their duet "Chasing After You."
Lambert shares two of her nominations with another former tourmate, rocker Elle King, on their rowdy drinking song "Drunk (And I Don't Wanna Go Home.)" Lambert, Morris and King all toured together in 2019 as a part of Lambert's all-female lineup on the Pink Guitars and Roadside Bars tour.
Other leading nominees include this year's show hosts Kane Brown and Kelsea Ballerini, with three nominations each, including bids for video of the year. Also nominated for three awards are Little Big Town and Mickey Guyton.
One of the genre's top stars, Morgan Wallen, didn't pick up any nominations. The chart-topping singer was caught on camera using a racial slur earlier this year and as a result, CMT removed his videos from its programming.
"After removing Morgan Wallen from our platforms earlier this year, his videos were deemed ineligible for the 2021 CMT Music Awards," CMT said in a statement.
Though his videos were removed and he wasn't allowed to compete at last month's Academy of Country Music Awards, Wallen has still had major success on both the pop and country charts, even earning six nominations for the 2021 Billboard Music Awards, airing later this month.
In a normal year he would have been a shoo-in nominee for CMT's video of the year prize. The finalists for that category will be determined in two rounds with the top five nominees announced on June 1 and the top three nominees on June 8, the day before the show airs. Other nominees for video of the year include Kenny Chesney, Sam Hunt, Keith Urban, Ingrid Andress and Carrie Underwood, the most decorated winner in the history of the CMT Music Awards with 22 wins. She's nominated twice this year thanks to "Hallelujah," her duet with John Legend.
As usual, the show's nominees are heavy with genre-blending collaborations. Urban and Pink are nominated twice for "One Too Many" and Jimmie Allen and Noah Cyrus are nominated for "This Is Us." In the CMT performance of the year category, Nathaniel Rateliff and Margo Price are nominated for "Twinkle, Twinkle," while Ballerini is nominated for "The Other Girl," her duet with pop singer Halsey.
This is Brown's second consecutive year hosting the CMT Music Awards, while this is Ballerini's first. The show's producers haven't announced performers yet, but said in a news release that the night will include "outdoor performances, cross-genre collaborations and a few surprises."
The show will also air on MTV, MTV2, Logo, Paramount Network and TV Land, and fans can vote for their favorite music videos at vote.cmt.com.