ITV(NEW YORK) -- It appears the rumors are true. Popular PBS drama Downton Abbey will end after its sixth season.
Series executive producer Gareth Neame announced the news Thursday. In a statement, he says: "Millions of people around the world have followed the journey of the Crawley family and those who serve them for the last five years. Inevitably there comes a time when all shows should end andDownton is no exception."
"We wanted to close the doors of Downton Abbey when it felt right and natural for the story lines to come together and when the show was still being enjoyed so much by its fans," the statement continues. "We can promise a final season full of all the usual drama and intrigue, but with the added excitement of discovering how and where they all end up."
"We, like the fans, simply cannot wait to see what will happen to the Crawley family and their beloved staff as this incredible series culminates in Season 6," PBS president and CEO Paula Kerger said in a staement. "The series has enjoyed such success over the past five seasons and we’ll certainly be working alongside Carnival, Masterpiece and PBS member stations to make Season 6 the biggest yet. Until then, Sunday nights on PBS continue to offer fans a full slate of ‘must view’ British and, soon, American historical drama."
Season five of Downton Abbey just ended in the U.S. on PBS. The cast is currently filming the show's sixth season.
Eric McCandless / ABC(NEW YORK) — One Direction bandmates Harry Styles and Liam Payne posted emotional messages to Twitter hours after Zayn Malik announced he would be leaving the band.
"My life with One Direction has been more than I could ever have imagined," Malik, 22, said in a statement posted to the group's official Facebook page on Wednesday. "But, after five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band."
Fans quickly responded on social media with heartbroken messages. Numerous hashtags -- like #ByeZayn -- were quickly trending.
Harry Styles and Liam Payne posted on their personal Twitter accounts just hours after the Malik's departure -- but did not refer to the departure directly.
As part of the statement posted to the group's official Facebook page, the band said, "We're really sad to see Zayn go, but we totally respect his decision and send him all our love for the future. The past five years have been beyond amazing, we've gone through so much together, so we will always be friends. The four of us will now continue. We're looking forward to recording the new album and seeing all the fans on the next stage of the world tour."
Malik said he was leaving the band because he wants to be "a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight."
Carin Baer/AMC(NEW YORK) — Following the revelation earlier this week that he recently completed treatment for alcohol addiction, Jon Hamm says he feels fortunate to have the support of his family and friends.
In an interview with the Australian magazine TV Week, the Mad Men star said the 24-hour period after the news broke was tough on him. He's quoted as saying, "Life throws a lot at you sometimes and you have to deal with it as much as you can."
"That’s why you have family and friends and co-workers to help you with that," he added.
Hamm chose not to draw a comparison between his personal woes and those of his Mad Men character, the troubled ad exec Don Draper. He said, "Obviously there can be a lot of discussion about how much of this is related to that and honestly I don’t have much to say about that either. I’ve said in varying ways that acting can be a difficult endeavour, certainly not as difficult as the recent example I used of being a baby heart surgeon. But, it does present its own challenges and so does life."
On Tuesday, Hamm's rep released a statement that read, "With the support of his longtime partner Jennifer Westfeldt, Jon Hamm recently completed treatment for his struggle with alcohol addiction. They have asked for privacy and sensitivity going forward."
AMC will begin airing the final episodes of Mad Men on April 5.
Helen Sloan/HBO(NEW YORK) — Can you imagine Game of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke as the naive college student Anastasia Steele in the movie adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey? It almost happened.
The starlet met twice with the film's director, Sam Taylor-Johnson, but decided to turn the role down.
As for why she said no, Clarke tells The Hollywood Reporter, "I'd done nudity before and was concerned with being labeled for doing it again." Clarke says she has "no regrets."
Clarke still has nude scenes on Game of Thrones, which returns to HBO April 12, but not as many as in past seasons. "There are other women who remove items of clothing on our show, so they've kind of got my nipple count down now," she quips.
The hit film's sequel, Fifty Shades Darker, with Dakota Johnson starring as Steele, is reportedly slated to hit theaters in late 2016 or early 2017.
Meanwhile, Game of Thrones has become the most successful show in HBO's history. "Never in a million years did I think Game of Thrones was going to take off like it did," says Clarke. "It's taken me five years to catch up with it. I'm still not sure I'm there."
"Fifty Shades of Grey" - Focus Features(NEW YORK) — Fifty Shades of Grey director Sam Taylor-Johnson will not return for the sequel. She made the announcement via a statement released to Deadline on Wednesday.
She said, "Directing Fifty Shades of Grey has been an intense and incredible journey for which I am hugely grateful. I have Universal to thank for that."
Referring to her Fifty Shades stars, Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, she continued, "I forged close and lasting relationships with the cast, producers and crew and most especially, with Dakota and Jamie."
Taylor-Johnson concluded her statement by wishing success to "whosoever takes on the exciting challenges of films two and three."
It's been reported in the past that Taylor-Johnson and Fifty Shades author E.L. James had creative differences, but it's unclear how much that played a role in her decision.
Johnson and Dornan are under contract for the sequels, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed.
Fifty Shades of Grey has made $164 million at the domestic box office and $558 million worldwide since its release in February.
Frank Ockenfels/AMC(LOS ANGELES) — The Mad Men cast gathered in Los Angeles Wednesday night for a premiere of their show's final episodes.
Jon Hamm was on the red carpet just 24 hours after his rep revealed that the actor recently completed a stint in rehab for alcohol addiction.
Hamm, who plays Don Draper on the AMC drama, recalled the final day of shooting during a conversation with ABC Radio. He said, "It was the end of an emotional week, and it was the end of an emotional day, and it was the end of an emotional nine-year ride, eight-year ride. It was a lot."
Series creator Matthew Weiner said he didn't let himself become overwhelmed with emotion as he directed the final two episodes. He explained to ABC Radio, "I held my stuff together because somebody had to."
The final season of Mad Men, which was split in half, resumes on AMC on April 5.
"Get Hard" - Warner Bros.(LOS ANGELES) — Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart hit the red carpet in Los Angeles Wednesday night for the premiere of their new comedy Get Hard.
Ferrell plays a millionaire convicted of fraud who is given 30 days to get his affairs in order before he heads to prison. He hires a guy he wrongly assumes is an ex-convict to prepare him for life behind bars. Hart plays the guy given the task of toughening up Ferrell's character.
“You're not going to find this type of funny anywhere else. This is Will Ferrell times Kevin Hart. This is a dream, a match made in heaven,” Hart said.
Ferrell admits the comedy is outlandish and they pushed the limits. “We used every stitch of the R-Rating in this movie. So if you’re looking for a comedy, you know, that doesn’t hold back, this is the one for you,” Ferrell said.
"Home" - Fox(NEW YORK) — Dreamworks’ newest animated feature, Home, isn’t exactly a world-beater, but it is does revolve around a world invasion. Our world, to be exact.
The Boov are intergalactic nomads, who look like the Scrubbing Bubbles and Despicable Me’s Minions procreated. They speak English but the way in which they arrange their sentences is ridiculous. The silly Boov leader, Captain Smek, voiced by Steve Martin, is great at one thing: running away! When we first meet him, the Boov are running away from their mortal enemy -- to Earth, a planet they’ll take over by moving all humans to Australia.
One Boov in particular is excited about the their new beginning. That’s Oh, voiced by Jim Parsons, whose voice is perfect for any animated character. Oh’s issue is the rest of the Boov don’t like him, but since he’s blissfully unaware of how he’s perceived, he continues to try to ingratiate himself the rest of the Boov. Then he makes a major mistake that could put every Boov in peril, and finds himself on the run.
That’s when he meets a young girl named Tip, who has a lovely singing voice. OK, we don’t really hear her sing, but since her voice is supplied by Rihanna, let’s just assume she sings like Rihanna. Tip agrees to help hide Oh, and Oh agrees to help Tip find her mother.
On the heels of Disney’s Frozen, Tip is another strong, young, intelligent female character. Making her even more compelling and important is she’s black. I don’t think I need to tell you about the lack of young, black female characters in animated movies, because there pretty much are none.
Your kids will likely enjoy Home from beginning to end. For adults, however, Home feels like two different movies. The first 45 minutes are almost intolerable: the writing isn’t particularly strong, and the story isn’t particularly compelling -- it’s annoying, and the chemistry between Tip and Oh is awful. You stick with it, though, because there’s something inherently good about both characters.
Thankfully, your patience is rewarded. The second half of Home works with a solid and emotionally-satisfying ending. If only the whole movie was that way.
Harper Collins(NEW YORK) -- Publisher HarperCollins revealed the cover art for author Harper Lee's upcoming novel Go Set a Watchman, the follow-up to her beloved book To Kill a Mockingbird.
The cover, visible on the HarperCollins website, features an oak tree in the foreground with a set of train tracks and on oncoming locomotive in the background. Go Set a Watchman was originally written in the 1950s, the publisher says, and though it was submitted to publishers before To Kill a Mockingbird, it was later presumed lost and manuscripts were only discovered in 2014.
HarperCollins also notes that the novel will feature many of the characters from Lee's most famous novel, and will involve Scout Finch returning to Alabama 20 years after the events of Mockingbird.
"Jeremiah & I are thrilled to announce the arrival of our daughter, Poppy Brent-Berkus, born via surrogate on March 23, 2015," he wrote. "We are so excited to finally be a family of 3!"
The interior designer, 43, and Brent, a designer and TV personality, announced last September that they were expecting a baby. Four months before that, they were married in New York City.
"As anyone with a newborn knows, we have our work cut out for us but couldn't be happier to be embarking on this life changing journey that is parenthood," the couple added. "Thank you all for your well wishes and support."
Eric McCandless / ABC(NEW YORK) -- Zayn Malik is leaving One Direction.
The singer said on Facebook that the decision was a personal one, and apologized to fans who may be disappointed by his choice.
"My life with One Direction has been more than I could ever have imagined. But, after five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band," he wrote. "I have to do what feels right in my heart. I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight."
"I know I have four friends for life in Louis [Tomlinson], Liam [Payne], Harry [Styles] and Niall [Horan]," he continued. "I know they will continue to be the best band in the world."
Malik announced last week that he was leaving the group's tour to "recuperate" at home in the U.K. At the time, there were reports that his relationship with his fiancée, Little Mix's Perrie Edwards, was strained.
"We're really sad to see Zayn go, but we totally respect his decision and send him all our love for the future. The past five years have been beyond amazing, we've gone through so much together, so we will always be friends," Malik's bandmates said in a statement. "The four of us will now continue. We're looking forward to recording the new album and seeing all the fans on the next stage of the world tour."
Added Simon Cowell, who assembled the band: "I would like to say thank you to Zayn for everything he has done for One Direction. Since I first met Zayn in 2010, I have grown very, very fond -- and immensely proud -- of him. I have seen him grow in confidence and I am truly sorry to see him leave. As for One Direction, fans can rest assured that Niall, Liam, Harry and Louis are hugely excited about the future of the band."
The movie, featuring Ben Affleck as Batman, along with other legendary superheros like Aquaman and Wonder Woman, is set to come out next March.
“He’s not any of the Lexes that you’ve seen, that’s for sure,” director Zack Snyder told the magazine, “other than him being a captain of industry and one person to the world and another person to himself. And bald, of course.”
ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) — After Angelina Jolie revealed earlier this week that she has had her ovaries removed to prevent a future cancer diagnosis, Kelly Osbourne revealed she also plans one day to have the same surgery.
"I agree with this 100 percent," Osbourne, 30, said Tuesday on The Talk.
She added, "I know that one day I will eventually have to do it, too."
Osbourne said that if she has children down the road, "I want to be there to bring them up. I want to be there to support them in every way I can."
Osbourne's mother, Sharon, is actually a survivor of colon cancer, back in 2002, so Kelly has seen the disease firsthand.
"I'm so lucky to have the mother I have, the brave mother I have that has taught me so much. ... I actually do have the cancer gene," Kelly added on Tuesday's show. “My mom made all of us get tested after she found out that she had it and got her double mastectomy.”
Osbourne didn't say when she would have the surgery. Jolie wrote in an op-ed article for the New York Times that after having her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed, she is now "in menopause," and, “I will not be able to have any more children."
Jolie and husband, Brad Pitt, have three biological children and three adopted children together.
Andreas Rentz/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Albums from Steve Martin and Sesame Street are among the latest recordings to be added to the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry.
Martin's second stand-up comedy album, 1978's A Wild and Crazy Guy, is being included, as is 1995's Sesame Street: All-Time Platinum Favorites.
Twenty-five recordings in all are being added to the registry. They range from one of the earliest wax cylinder recordings from over 100 years ago, to 1945 radio coverage of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's funeral, to Great American Songbook classics like "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive" by Johnny Mercer, and the 1953 recording of "My Funny Valentine" by The Gerry Mulligan Quartet featuring Chet Baker.
More contemporary artists and recordings include debut albums by folk great Joan Baez and rock legends The Doors; "Sixteen Tons," the 1955 hit by country singer Tennessee Ernie Ford; "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'," by the Righteous Brothers; and albums by Sly and the Family Stone, R&B singer Lauryn Hill, and British rock innovators Radiohead.
Each year, the National Recording Registry selects songs they determine are "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" for inclusion in the Registry.
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