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July 22, 2021

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Bette Midler, Berry Gordy set for 44th Kennedy Center Honors

Entertainer Bette Midler, Motown titan Berry Gordy and Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels were named 44th Kennedy Center Honor recipients Wednesday.

Also slated to be recognized for their career achievements are opera great Justino Diaz and singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell.

"The Kennedy Center Honors celebrates luminaries whose art and creativity have enriched us beyond measure," Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein said in a statement.

"With his distinguished, deeply resonant voice and storied operatic career, Justino Díaz, stood on the stages of the world's great opera houses and today stands as one of the greatest bass-baritones of our time; visionary music producer and songwriter Berry Gordy brought the quintessential soulfulness of Detroit into every home in America, elevating the Motown sound to become a national treasure; Lorne Michaels created the most enduring 'must-see television' with Saturday Night Live, a show that is both mirror and muse for life in America; an artistic tour de force and America's Divine Miss M, Bette Midler has enjoyed an unrivaled and prolific career, entertaining millions with her wondrous voice and trademark comedic wit; and songstress Joni Mitchell, blends raw, deeply personal lyrics with her stunningly ethereal voice in 19 albums, becoming one of the most influential singer-songwriters and cultural figures in 20th-century popular music."

The artists will be the focus of a celebration in December that will be filmed and will air as a 2-hour special on CBS and Paramount+.

Weinstein moved to Los Angeles to face new indictments

4 Below 2021Disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein has been extradited to California to face 11 charges of sexual assault in Los Angeles County involving five women.

Weinstein, formerly once one of the most powerful movie producers in Hollywood, was moved from a prison in New York and will be arraigned on indictments Wednesday, his attorney Norman Effman told CNN.

In 2020, a New York jury found Weinstein guilty of first-degree criminal sexual act and third-degree rape. He had been serving a 23-year prison sentence at a maximum-security prison near Buffalo before his transfer.

Last month, Erie County, N.Y., Judge Kenneth Case denied a motion by Weinstein's attorney to delay his extradition citing health concerns.

"I am disappointed that the [district attorney] didn't wait for the judge to rule on our habeas petition before transporting Harvey here, but we will continue to fight to assure that Harvey gets the crucial medical care he needs," Mark Werksman, another attorney for Weinstein, told the New York Daily News.

In Los Angeles, Weinstein faces four counts of forcible rape, four counts of forcible oral copulation, two counts of sexual battery by restraint and one count of sexual penetration by use of force.

Weinstein said he plans to fight the charges.

"Harvey Weinstein has always maintained that every one of his physical encounters throughout his entire life have been consensual," Juda Engelmayer, Weinstein's spokesman, told CNN. "That hasn't changed."

Paramount+ renews 'The Good Fight' for a sixth season

Paramount+ has renewed The Good Fight starring Christine Baranski for a sixth season.

The renewal comes as nearly half of Season 5 has been released. New episodes of The Good Fight come to Paramount+ every Thursday.

The Good Fight is a spinoff and sequel to CBS' The Good Wife starring Julianne Margulies, which ran for seven seasons on the network.

Baranski's Diane Lockhart has had to question her role as partner at the Black law firm she runs with star Audra McDonald's Liz Lawrence in Season 5.

Co-stars include Sarah Steele, Michael Boatman, Nyambi Nyambi, Zach Grenier, Charmaine Bingwa and Mandy Patinkin.

Robert and Michelle King serve as showrunners and executive producers of The Good Fight, which they co-created with Phil Alden Robinson.

"The Good Fight's provocative, whip smart and no-holds barred world remains as relevant as ever, continuing to entice new audiences as one of Paramount+'s top performing original series and acquisition drivers. We are thrilled to continue The Good Fight's enduring legacy with a sixth season and can't wait to see what the brilliant minds behind the series, Robert and Michelle King, tackle next," Nicole Clemens, president, Paramount+ original scripted series said in a statement.

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Kelly Ripa to release book of personal essays in 2022

Kelly Ripa will release her first book in 2022.

ET Canada reported Tuesday that Ripa, 50, will publish Live Wire, a book of personal essays.

In Live Wire, Ripa will explore "childhood, motherhood, marriage, her career, and the intersection of all the above -- putting her thoughtfulness, assertiveness and deep understanding of the dynamics of gender and power on full display."

People confirmed the news and said the book will be a "sharp, funny, and honest collection of real-life stories" from Ripa.

Ripa will share how she met her husband, Mark Consuelos, her experiences with chauvinism on set, and "many, many moments of utter mortification."

Ripa hinted at the book in an interview with Parade in October, saying she hoped to work on more off-camera projects.

"I've been writing a lot, so my goal ultimately would be to eventually get off camera and start working behind the camera more in that creative aspect because I really do enjoy the writing process so much," she said.

Ripa hosts Live with Kelly and Ryan with Ryan Seacrest.