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September 18, 2023

Here's the Scoop...

The Nun II is the No. 1 movie in North America for a second weekend, earning an additional $14.7 million in receipts, announced Sunday.

Coming in at No. 2 is A Haunting in Venice with $14.5 million, followed by The Equalizer 3 at No. 3 with $7.2 million, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 at No. 4 with $4.7 million and Barbie at No. 5 with $4 million.

Rounding out the top tier are Jawan at No. 6 with $2.49 million, Blue Beetle at No. 7 with $2.48 million, Gran Turismo at No. 8 with $2.4 million, Oppenheimer at No. 9 with $2.1 million and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem at No. 10 with $2 million.

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'The Talk,' 'Jennifer Hudson Show' won't tape new episodes until writers' strike ends

The daytime chat programs The Talk and The Jennifer Hudson Show will not tape new episodes until after the Writers Guild of America strike ends.

The stars of the shows -- along with Drew Barrymore -- announced last week that they would be going back to work with no end to the labor action in sight.

After Barrymore reversed course this weekend due to public backlash for crossing picket lines, the other shows followed suit.

"The Talk is pausing its season premiere scheduled for September 18, CBS said in a statement Sunday. "We will continue to evaluate plans for a new launch date."

Hosted by Akbar Gbajabiamila, Amanda Kloots, Natalie Morales, Jerry O'Connell and Sheryl Underwood, the show has been out of production since the WGA strike started in May.

The new season of The Jennifer Hudson Show was also slated to premiere Monday, but is now postponing until a later date.

Russell Brand accused of rape, sexual assaults over 7-year span

Comedian and actor Russell Brand is facing multiple allegations of rape and sexual assault Saturday following an in-depth investigation by a team of British media outlets.

The explosive and lengthy piece published by The Times, The Sunday Times and Channel 4 Dispatches includes allegations of rape as well physical and mental abuse from multiple women in both Britain and the United States between 2006 and 2013, during the height of Brand's fame.

The 48-year-old celebrity has denied the claims in a video posted on his YouTube channel.

The Times investigators said they gave Brand's representatives eight days to respond to the accusations before publishing the story. Lawyers eventually replied that they were unable to give a response because of the "large litany of questions" posed to them.

Reporters also laid out in detail how they conducted their multi-pronged investigation, collecting evidence including phone, text and email records and interviewing witnesses over several months.

Some of the allegations date back to a time when Brand worked at BBC Radio 2 and Channel 4, as well as during the time he lived in Los Angeles as a Hollywood actor.

It was at that point in his life, a woman who admitted she previously had consensual sex with Brand, contends she arrived at his Los Angeles home where she was raped. She details being held against her will in the home while Brand pinned her against a wall and assaulted her after she refused to join him with another woman in the bedroom.

The woman sought treatment at a rape crisis center later the same day, The Times reported it confirmed her account by viewing medical records. It also verified an apology text sent from Brand's U.S. phone number to the woman, along with her reply.

Another woman in Los Angeles, who was working with Brand at the time, said the actor assaulted her in his home, causing her to try to escape. He later yelled at her, firing her and threatening legal recourse if she told anyone about the episode, according to The Times story. It also says reporters spoke to witnesses outside the home who heard screaming during the incident.

Brand had a short-lived 14-month marriage to pop star Katy Perry from 2010 to 2011. Perry, who is 10 years younger, said in a 2013 interview with Vogue that Brand "was really hurtful, and it (relationship) was very controlling."

The story also alleges Brand had a short relationship in Britain with a 16-year-old girl after first meeting her while shopping. The girl's mother is quoted in the story as saying she believed Brand, who was 30 at the time, was grooming her daughter. The mother said she was unable to do anything other than express her concerns because her daughter had passed the legal age of consent in that country.

Now 30, the alleged victim in that case told the newspaper Brand also physically assaulted her, forcing her at one point into a non-consensual sexual act, which led to the end of the brief relationship.

The story uses pseudonyms to protect the identities of all the accusers.

Brand's literary agency issued a statement saying it eventually dropped him as a client.

"Russell Brand categorically and vehemently denied the allegation made in 2020, but we now believe we were horribly misled by him," the Tavistock Wood agency said, adding it has "terminated all professional ties to Brand."

Reporters also interviewed dozens of comedians for the story, many of whom said they became aware of Brand's dark side on the standup circuit.

"I know for many, many years that women have been warning each other about Russell," Scottish comedian Daniel Sloss told The Times. Sloss was the only comedian who allowed the publication to use his real name.

Brand was a client of John Noel Management from 2002 until 2017, and the agency told The Sunday Times it was not in a position to answer questions because of legal reasons.

Britain's Channel 4, meanwhile, said it is "appalled to learn of these deeply troubling allegations, including behavior alleged to have taken place on programs made for Channel 4 between 2004 and 2007," a spokesman told the Sunday Times in a statement.

"We are determined to understand the full nature of what went on. We have carried out extensive document searches and have found no evidence to suggest the alleged incidents were brought to the attention of Channel 4," the broadcaster said.

No Season 3 for 'Winning Time'

Series creator Max Borenstein posted on X (formerly Twitter) that there will not be a third season of his LA Lakers drama, Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty, on HBO.

"Not the ending that we had in mind.But nothing but gratitude and love. #winningtime," Borenstein said on Sunday evening.

The screen adaptation of Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s starred Quincy Isaiah, Adrien Brody, John C. Reilly, Hadley Robinson, Solomon Hughes and Jason Segel.

The cancellation news came as the Writers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild remain on strike, shutting down most TV and film productions in North America.

The cast also is forbidden by SAG from publicly discussing their work on the show during the strike.

Several writers and filmmakers took to social to mourn its loss.

"WINNING TIME was the best show on TV this year. By far. Not even close. Hardest cancellation in recent years," said Robert Kirkman. "Throwing tomatoes in @HBO's direction."

Jason Blum said: "I'm so sad no more winning time. It was a great series. I don't even watch basketball and I loved it."

"WINNING TIME was one of the best series out there with a raw, tactile visual style, stellar acting, and gripping storytelling," added Gennefer Gross. "This show was art.Not content.Not a line item on a spreadsheet. A living, breathing piece of history that hit on every level. It deserved better."

Drew Barrymore backpedals, won't bring talk show back until strikes ends

Actress, author and TV personality Drew Barrymore announced Sunday that she has changed her mind about taping new episodes of her daytime talk show before the Writers Guild of America strike ends.

"I have listened to everyone, and I am making the decision to pause the show's premiere until the strike is over," Barrymore posted on Instagram.

"I have no words to express my deepest apologies to anyone I have hurt and, of course, to our incredible team who works on the show and has made it what it is today. We really tried to find our way forward. And I truly hope for a resolution for the entire industry very soon."

Barrymore announced a week ago that she supports the four-month-old strike, but would resume taping so other people who work on the show could get back to work.

The WGA denounced the decision, but Bill Maher, Jennifer Hudson and Sherri Shepherd all followed her lead and said they, too, would resume taping their chat programs.

The WGA strike and its sister Screen Actors Guild work stoppage have shut down most TV and film productions in North America for months.

'Loki' featurette gives behind-the-scenes look at Season 2

Disney+ is giving a behind-the-scenes look at Loki Season 2.

The streaming service shared a featurette for the season Monday featuring cast members Tom Hiddleston, Sophia Di Martino and executive producer Kevin R. Wright.

Loki is based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. The series takes place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and follows an alternate version of Loki (Hiddleston), the god of mischief.

The featurette, titled "Amazing Loki," shows Di Martino tease "huge" stakes in Season 2. The actress plays Sylvie on the show.

"Everything is stepped up a gear," she says.

In addition, new cast member Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere All at Once) is shown as his character OB, a TVA tech expert and repair guy.

Season 2 is "about Loki understanding himself," according to Hiddleston.

"Loki has always been a villain," Wright says. "What we want to explore is also Loki finding what heroicism really looks like."

"He's found a new family," Hiddleston adds. "There's a new capacity to make connections. He realizes that those connections are all that matter in the end."

Owen Wilson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Wunmi Mosaku, Eugene Cordero and Jonathan Majors also star.

Loki Season 2 premieres Oct. 5 at 9 p.m. EDT on Disney+.

The season "picks up in the aftermath of the Season 1 finale when Loki finds himself in a battle for the soul of the Time Variance Authority."

"Along with Mobius, Hunter B-15 and a team of new and returning characters, Loki navigates an ever-expanding and increasingly dangerous multiverse in search of Sylvie, Judge Renslayer, Miss Minutes and the truth of what it means to possess free will and glorious purpose," an official synopsis reads.

Disney+ released a trailer for Season 2 in July that shows Loki struggle with "timeslipping."

WATCH IT NOW: Marvel Studios' Loki Season 2

'General Hospital,' 'Y&R,' 'Suits' actor Billy Miller dead at 43

The Young & the Restless, All My Children and General Hospital alum Billy Miller has died at the age of 43.

The Daytime Emmy-winning actor's manager confirmed the news to Variety in a statement on Sunday, Miller's 44th birthday.

"The actor was struggling with manic depression when he died," the statement said, without offering more details about the Texas native's Friday death.

Soap opera journalist Michael Fairman broke the sad news Saturday, citing an unnamed source close to Miller, as well as a representative for the actor's Los Angeles restaurant, The Belmont.

Miller played Richie Novak on All My Children, Billy Abbott on The Young and the Restless and Jason Morgan/Drew Cain on General Hospital.

His other credits include Ringer, Justified, Suits, CSI: NY, Ray Donovan and Truth Be Told.

A message on the Y&R X (formerly Twitter) feed said: "Billy Miller was a talented man with a heart of gold and always lit up the scene with amazing performances. He will be sorely missed. Our deepest sympathies to his family and all who loved him."

'Good Burger' sequel to premiere on Paramount+ in November

The Good Burger sequel is coming to Paramount+ in November.

Paramount+ shared a poster and premiere date, Nov. 22, for the upcoming film Monday.

Good Burger 2 is a sequel to the 1997 movie Good Burger, which was based on a comedy sketch featured on the Nickelodeon series All That. Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell reprise their roles as Dexter Reed and Ed, workers at the fictional fast food restaurant Good Burger.

The new movie will see Dexter (Thompson) and Ed (Mitchell) reunite in the present day at Good Burger with a hilarious new group of employees.

Lil Rel Howery, Jillian Bell, Kamaia Fairburn, Alex R. Hibbert, Fabrizio Guido, Elizabeth Hinkler and Emily Hinkler also star, with Josh Server, Lori Beth Denberg and Carmen Electra to make appearances.

Good Burger 2 is written by Kevin Kopelow and Heath Seifert and directed by Phil Traill. Thompson and Mitchell serve as producers.

The original Good Burger sketch first aired on All That in 1994.

Thompson and Mitchell announced Good Burger 2 in March. Paramount+ shared a teaser for the film in August.