• 10 movies and series you didn't realize you could watch on Disney+
    Entertainment
    Yahoo Canada Style

    10 movies and series you didn't realize you could watch on Disney+

    Get the popcorn ready.

  • ‘Trials of Gabriel Fernandez': 9 Most Shocking Details About the Murder at Heart of Netflix Documentary
    U.S.
    The Wrap

    ‘Trials of Gabriel Fernandez': 9 Most Shocking Details About the Murder at Heart of Netflix Documentary

    Gabriel Fernandez was only 8 years old when he was brutally murdered by his mother Pearl and her boyfriend, Isauro Aguirre.And as detailed in Netflix’s documentary “The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez,” he was consistently let down by the system when he most needed help.Based on in-depth reporting by L.A. Times journalist Garrett Therolf, “The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez” chronicles how over 8 months Gabriel was subjected to horrific torture, which included regular beatings, being shot in the face with a BB gun, forced to eat cat litter, locked in a cupboard for hours, and pepper sprayed. The cruel nightmare ultimately ended when his mother and her boyfriend beat him to death.But even worse, the Department of Child and Family Services and law enforcement were called to the scene multiple times before Gabriel’s death — and no action was taken. At one point social workers even ordered Gabriel to stop lying, allowing his abusers to continue the torture until the horrific end.Also Read: Finished 'The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez'? Here Are 14 Other True-Crime Docs You Should Watch (Photos)Brian Knappenberger directs the docu-series, which launched Wednesday on Netflix.See the 9 most shocking details about the case below.1\. Incompetent Law EnforcementAs depicted during the series, sheriffs were called to the house by other family members days before the murder — but took no action. In fact, law enforcement often (there were multiple house calls) took Pearl Fernandez’s word that everything was fine, and never even asked to see Gabriel. And when they did, according to family members, they threatened Gabriel, and told him that if he kept lying about his bruises, that he’d be the one to go to jail. They consistently believed the parent over the child with the burn marks and black eye.2\. The Abusers’ Homophobic MotivesAccording to family members, Pearl and her boyfriend, Isauro Aguirre, would call Gabriel “gay.” In fact, the first thing he told law enforcement when they responded to the 911 call was that Gabriel Fernandez was gay, which confused officers.Investigators found all of Gabriel’s clothing disposed of, except for two dresses that he was made to wear.Because of this, there were talks about charging the couple with a hate crime. However, prosecutors decided that it was more of a motive, and could get a bigger sentence charging the couple with child abuse.Also Read: Journalist Behind Netflix's 'The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez' on 'Trauma' of Reporting on Child's Murder3\. The Horrifying EvidenceAt the crime scene, the investigator came in with red stickers to mark blood spatter around the apartment. However, there was so much blood, that she soon ran out of the color and had to switch to yellow stickers. Inexplicably, there was blood in the sink.The abuse was substantial — they fed him cat litter, put a bandanna and sock in his mouth, knocked out his teeth with a bat, shot him in the face with a BB gun, and pepper sprayed him for fun while he laid in the bath tub. He would show up to school with bruises all over his face, as well as fresh cigarette burns and shaved hair. Gabriel’s brother testified that Aguirre would hold him up by the neck, while his sister said Aguirre knocked the air out of Fernandez on several occasions.During the trial, jurors were told the autopsy took an unusual two days because the injuries were so substantive. The thymus gland was barely there — a normal boy’s gland weighs about 100 grams, while Fernandez’s was about 10 grams. The coroner said this was due to stress atrophy, due to all the abuse inflicted on the boy.4\. Gabriel’s Suicide Note and Pleas for Mother’s LoveGabriel Fernandez often wrote notes to his mother, saying he would kill himself and that he just wants to be a good boy. Days before he was murdered, he wrote a card to his mom telling her all the things he loved about her.Also Read: 'Trials of Gabriel Fernandez' Director Says Production Had Therapist on Call5\. Gabriel’s Murderers Punished, but Social Workers Let OffUnsurprisingly, prosecutors sought the death penalty for Gabriel’s mother and her boyfriend. But they also brought charges against four social workers, something that had never happened before. Accused of minimizing “the significance of the physical, mental and emotional injuries that Gabriel suffered,” and of allowing “a vulnerable boy to remain at home and continue to be abused,” they were each charged with one felony count of child abuse and one felony count of falsifying public records.But in the end, while Aguirre was sentenced to death, and Fernandez received life in prison without the possibility of parole, the social workers escaped punishment. Just last month, by a 2-1 decision California’s second appeals court threw out the case on the grounds that prosecutors did not prove the social workers “had the requisite duty to control the abusers,” and further concluded they “did not have care or custody of Gabriel.”Prosecutors have asked the court for a re-hearing of the case against the social workers,6\. Gabriel’s Mother Likely Instigated the AbuseAguirre delivered the physical blows, but prosecutors believe it was under the instruction of Pearl Fernandez. The documentary explained that she never wanted Gabriel, and actually left the child at the hospital, when family members took him in.Family members were privy to the abuse — Pearl Fernandez’s sister often slept over to shield Gabriel and the two other kids from the abuse.According to family members, she was uneducated, started using drugs at an early age which stopped brain development, was diagnosed with depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, suffered from eating disorders, and had abnormalities on her scans. She was also a victim of gang rape and rape by an uncle at an early age.7\. The Jury Wasn’t UnanimousDuring Aguirre’s trial, the jury wasn’t unanimous. 11 found him guilty, while one man didn’t believe he should be convicted of first-degree murder. His reasoning? If he had wanted to kill Gabriel, he would’ve done it a long time ago.When the jury was seeking the death penalty for Aguirre, it was the same juror who voted against it, because he felt they needed to “hear Aguirre out.”8\. Judge Angrily Denounces Gabriel’s Mother During SentencingAt the sentencing hearing, Pearl Fernandez apologized, saying she wishes Gabriel was still alive and that she hopes her kids can forgive her one day.The judge, who had been on the bench for 20 years, said he never personally commented on a case he presided over, but had to for this one. He said that the pain Gabriel Fernandez suffered was unimaginable to the point where he would call it animalistic, but even “animals know how to take care of their young.” He wished that both perpetrators would suffer mental torture in prison about what they had done.9\. DCFS Also Failed in Other Similar CasesUnfortunately, five years later, another boy died under the same circumstances. 10-year-old Anthony Avalos was denied access to food and a bathroom, and was abused in the same way as Gabriel was. Calls were made by teachers and relatives, but DCFS never helped the boy who had come out as gay just weeks prior to his death. A spokesperson for DCFS said that they did indeed provide services to the family from May 2014 to December 2014 and their last referral was in 2016. However, they did not receive enough information but provided the family with further resources. And, this all happened in Antelope Valley — where Gabriel Fernandez had died as well.When prosecutors went to medical hub in Lancaster, Calif. (part of the Antelope Valley), they found it had been closed due to insufficient funding, the docu-series says. Investigators believe that there have been more than 150 cases where children have been abused even after it was brought to DCFS attention.Most recently, a four year old boy was being abused. A court order was placed to have him removed from his home. DCFS never followed through, and the boy died under “suspicious circumstances.”DCFS declined to take part in the series in its entirety.Read original story ‘Trials of Gabriel Fernandez': 9 Most Shocking Details About the Murder at Heart of Netflix Documentary At TheWrap

  • 8 of the best TVs to buy at every budget
    Entertainment
    Yahoo Canada Style

    8 of the best TVs to buy at every budget

    If you're looking to upgrade your TV, now's a great time.

  • Mark-Paul Gosselaar transforms back into Zack Morris for ‘Saved by the Bell’ reboot
    Celebrity
    Yahoo Celebrity UK

    Mark-Paul Gosselaar transforms back into Zack Morris for ‘Saved by the Bell’ reboot

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  • Amazon's bestselling $160 sale TV may be cheap, but is it worth it?
    Technology
    Yahoo Canada Style

    Amazon's bestselling $160 sale TV may be cheap, but is it worth it?

    The TCL Smart TV is one budget buy to watch.

  • Caroline Flack's death was unbelievably tragic, says ITV boss
    World
    Yahoo Celebrity UK

    Caroline Flack's death was unbelievably tragic, says ITV boss

    The 'Love Island' presenter took her own life in February.

  • 'Spitting Image' to mock Sussexes, Adele and Greta Thunberg in BritBox comeback
    Entertainment
    Yahoo Celebrity UK

    'Spitting Image' to mock Sussexes, Adele and Greta Thunberg in BritBox comeback

    The satirical show is returning to ridicule a new crop of famous faces as it makes a comeback on BritBox UK.

  • Here’s Why It Makes Sense That ABC Chose Clare Crawley, Oldest Bachelorette in History
    Entertainment
    The Wrap

    Here’s Why It Makes Sense That ABC Chose Clare Crawley, Oldest Bachelorette in History

    At the age of 38, Clare Crawley is about to be ABC’s oldest Bachelorette in history when she takes her place in May as the leading lady of Season 16.It makes sense that ABC is skewing older this season, given the emotional turmoil on current Bachelor Peter Weber’s season that many fans have attributed to the young age of his contestants. Historically, “The Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” generally cast women in their twenties and early thirties. Last season’s star, Hannah Brown of Season 15, was a whopping 14 years younger than Crawley, having been 24 at the time her season was filmed. The oldest “Bachelorette” before Crawley was Rachel Lindsay, who was 32 during her time starring on Season 13.Also Read: 'The Bachelor': Chris Harrison Explains Reason for 'Awkward' Fantasy Suite Living Situation Between Final Three WomenHowever, those age guidelines have not historically applied to the men of the franchise, with past Bachelors having been as old as 40 — such was the case for Byron Velvick on Season 6. Brad Womack was 38 during his second stint as the Bachelor on Season 15, and Nick Viall was 35 when he starred as the Bachelor on Season 21.And, of course, it’s worth mentioning that ABC just added another “Bachelor” spinoff to its growing repertoire — this time, for senior citizens over the age of 65.The current season of “The Bachelor,” which stars 28-year-old Weber, has faced much criticism over how young the contestants are, with only a single person out of the whopping 30 women chosen to compete for Pilot Pete’s love topping the age of 30. Natasha Parker, who was 31 at the time of filming compared to Weber’s 28 years, made it to the top 6 before being sent home.Crawley is no stranger to the “Bachelor” franchise, having first come in as runner-up on Juan Pablo’s controversial tenure as the 18th Bachelor in 2014. She later went on to appear in the first two seasons of “Bachelor in Paradise,” and eventually got engaged to Frenchman Benoît Beauséjour-Savard on “Bachelor: Winter Games,” though the pair later split before tying the knot.Also Read: 'The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart': Watch the First Guitar-Smashing, Tear-Filled Promo (Video)The unprecedented choice to cast Crawley, an older woman in “Bachelorette” years, got mixed responses from fans on Twitter Monday, with some protesting that the Sacramento native and professional hairstylist is too old for the dating series and other defending ABC’s bold choice.“Thank you, [executive producer Mike Fleiss], for listening to [Bachelor] nation!! No more 23 year olds with zero real life experience! @Clare_Crawley better have some great guys who are in their 30s!” wrote one Twitter user.It’s a sentiment that has been echoed by “Bachelor” fans this season, with many complaining that Weber’s final three contestants– Hannah Ann, 23, Madison P., 23 and Victoria F., 26–might be too young to make a lifetime commitment like marriage. Weber’s season has also been filled with excessive drama and angst, which some also attribute to the age of the contestants.Also Read: ABC Spins Off 'The Bachelor' Again - This Time for Senior CitizensRobert Mills, head of alternative programming at ABC, addressed the ages of this season’s contestants in an interview with Entertainment Tonight that foreshadows Monday’s new “Bachelorette” decision.“I think it’s that we need to look at things going forward. You see a lot of people talking about the age of contestants, I think that’s something we’d probably look at and say, ‘Does it need to be aged up? Are these girls ready?'” Mills said. “This is a show about hopefully finding a life mate, and that has happened on this show. I think just making sure everybody’s ready, and you can’t ignore the fact that, not even for the right reasons anymore, but are you there to be an influencer? Are you there for Peter? Looking at all that. They all, I think, are very sincere; I think the girls are actually great, but you look at everything and take that into account moving forward as we think about who the next Bachelorette is going to be.”Here’s wishing the best to Crawley on her search for love.Read original story Here’s Why It Makes Sense That ABC Chose Clare Crawley, Oldest Bachelorette in History At TheWrap

  • Marie Osmond says, 'I'm not leaving any money to my children' after death, sparking debate on 'The Talk'
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    Yahoo Celebrity

    Marie Osmond says, 'I'm not leaving any money to my children' after death, sparking debate on 'The Talk'

    Marie Osmond of "The Talk" sparked a friendly debate on the television show Friday.

  • Pussycat Dolls suffer 'awkward' One Show blunder during live studio performance
    Entertainment
    Yahoo Celebrity UK

    Pussycat Dolls suffer 'awkward' One Show blunder during live studio performance

    Nicole Scherzinger, Ashley Roberts and co appeared on the BBC broadcast to perform their new single 'React'.

  • Best Buy Canada's sale will save you up to $500 on the hottest new TVs
    Lifestyle
    Yahoo Canada Style

    Best Buy Canada's sale will save you up to $500 on the hottest new TVs

    With picks starting at just $220, these deals won't last long.

  • Country star Luke Bryan refuses to let 'American Idol' co-hosts try to 'Hollywood' him up
    Entertainment
    Yahoo Celebrity

    Country star Luke Bryan refuses to let 'American Idol' co-hosts try to 'Hollywood' him up

    Luke Bryan is staying true to his country roots, despite Hollywood influences from his fellow "American Idol" judges.

  • Katy Perry falls to the ground after gas leak at 'American Idol' auditions
    Entertainment
    Yahoo Celebrity UK

    Katy Perry falls to the ground after gas leak at 'American Idol' auditions

    The singer said she had a headache and was 'not feeling good' before apparently collapsing.

  • Watch 'Bachelor' alum Demi Burnett tie a cherry stem with her tongue in under 10 seconds
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    Yahoo Entertainment

    Watch 'Bachelor' alum Demi Burnett tie a cherry stem with her tongue in under 10 seconds

    Demi Burnett of "Bachelor" and "Bachelor in Paradise" fame plays a rapid fire round of Shot Clock in the latest episode of Reality Star Showdown.

  • Sunday’s episode of Love Island pulled after Caroline Flack’s death
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    PA Media: Entertainment

    Sunday’s episode of Love Island pulled after Caroline Flack’s death

    The former Love Island presenter took her own life.

  • Lynn Cohen, ‘Sex and the City’ Actress and Veteran Broadway Performer, Dies at 86
    Entertainment
    The Wrap

    Lynn Cohen, ‘Sex and the City’ Actress and Veteran Broadway Performer, Dies at 86

    Lynn Cohen, the veteran Broadway actress also known to millions for her role as Magda on the HBO series “Sex and the City” and its subsequent movies, died Friday, her representative told TheWrap. She was 86.Born in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1933, Cohen had a wide-ranging career with dozens of credits in film and television and the stage. Among her most well known roles, she portrayed Golda Meir in Steven Spielberg’s “Munich,” Mags in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” and also appeared in the films “Across the Universe,” “Eagle Eye,” the 2014 comedy “They Came Together,” and Charlie Kauffman’s “Synecdoche, New York,” among many others.Her numerous television credits include appearances on “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Nurse Jackie,” “God Friended Me,” “Master of None,” Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “The Affair” and “Chicago Med.”Also Read: Kevin Conway, 'Gettysburg' and 'Thirteen Days' Actor, Dies at 77On Broadway, she appeared in a 1989 revival of “Orpheus Descending” and 1997’s”Ivanov,” and was an integral part of New York’s theater community. During her career she was honored with Lucille Lortel and Drama League Award nominations, and received the New Dramatists’ Bowden Award, Fox Fellow, Lilly Award and the Richard Seff Award from Actor’s Equity Association.She also performed as a voice actor, most notably in the hit video game “Red Dead Redemption.”Read original story Lynn Cohen, ‘Sex and the City’ Actress and Veteran Broadway Performer, Dies at 86 At TheWrap

  • The best time to buy a new TV in Canada
    Technology
    Yahoo Canada Style

    The best time to buy a new TV in Canada

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  • There Are "No Immediate Plans" for Other Game of Thrones Prequels Right Now
    Entertainment
    Harper's Bazaar

    There Are "No Immediate Plans" for Other Game of Thrones Prequels Right Now

    HBO is focused on 'House of the Dragon.'

  • 'Jeopardy! GOAT': James Holzhauer and Ken Jennings battle it out down to the final clue
    Entertainment
    Yahoo TV

    'Jeopardy! GOAT': James Holzhauer and Ken Jennings battle it out down to the final clue

    Tuesday’s game ended up being close, with James Holzhauer and Ken Jennings passing the lead back and forth in the latter half of the show.

  • Gillian Anderson and 'The Crown's' Peter Morgan: It would end our relationship if we lived together
    Entertainment
    Yahoo Celebrity UK

    Gillian Anderson and 'The Crown's' Peter Morgan: It would end our relationship if we lived together

    The 'Sex Education' star says she likes being able to miss her partner.

  • ‘The Biggest Loser’ Host Bob Harper Weighs in on Jillian Michaels’ Comments About Lizzo
    Entertainment
    The Wrap

    ‘The Biggest Loser’ Host Bob Harper Weighs in on Jillian Michaels’ Comments About Lizzo

    “The Biggest Loser” host Bob Harper has weighed in on his former colleague Jillian Michaels’ recent comments about musician Lizzo’s body.“The bottomline is this: It’s none of my business to make an observation of her or anyone unless [they’re] asking for my advice or opinion,” Harper told TheWrap on Saturday at the Television Critics Association press tour. “All I know about Lizzo is I never met the woman, I love her music, and I know she can play a mean flute.”“If you come up to me at the airport or the grocery store, which people do all the time, and go like this, ‘Bob, what do I need to eat today?’ — I’m gonna tell you all day long,” he added. “But if you’re, like, minding your own business at the grocery store with your little buggy and you’ve got, I dunno, frozen pizzas — it is none of my business what you’re doing.”Also Read: Jillian Michaels Doubles Down on Lizzo Comments: 'I Would Hope We Prioritize Our Health'Michaels came under fire Wednesday on social media after appearing on Buzzfeed’s “AM to DM” show, where she suggested that Lizzo’s body positivity wasn’t a thing to be celebrated.“Why are we celebrating her body? Why does it matter? Why aren’t we celebrating her music? ‘Cause it isn’t going to be awesome if she gets diabetes,” Michaels said at the time. “I’m just being honest. I love her music, my kid loves her music, but there’s never a moment when I’m like, ‘I’m so glad she’s overweight.’ Why do I even care? Why is it my job to care about her weight?”Michaels’ critics accused her of body-shaming the pop star and weighing in on her health without facts to back up the assertion that Lizzo could be at risk for diabetes.Also Read: 'SNL' Cut for Time: Lizzo Inspires Aidy Bryant to Work Her 'Earth-Shatteringly Gorgeous A-' (Video)“As I’ve stated repeatedly, we are all beautiful, worthy, and equally deserving,” Michaels tweeted out later the same day. “I also feels strongly that we love ourselves enough to acknowledge there are serious health consequences that come with obesity – heart disease, diabetes, cancer to name only a few. I would never wish these for ANYONE and I would hope we prioritize our health because we LOVE ourselves and our bodes.”In addition to her work on the original “Biggest Loser,” Michaels hosted a short-lived spinoff series “Losing It With Jillian” in 2010.Harper graduated from being a coach on NBC’s old version of “The Biggest Loser” to hosting USA’s reboot, which premieres later this year. The trainers are newcomers Erica Lugo and Steve Cook.Read original story ‘The Biggest Loser’ Host Bob Harper Weighs in on Jillian Michaels’ Comments About Lizzo At TheWrap

  • ‘Jeopardy! GOAT': Here’s Why Brad Rutter’s All-Time Winnings Record Is Not in Jeopardy
    Sports
    The Wrap

    ‘Jeopardy! GOAT': Here’s Why Brad Rutter’s All-Time Winnings Record Is Not in Jeopardy

    Ken Jennings could win it all on next Tuesday’s game of “Jeopardy! Greatest Of All Time,” but he won’t be able to beat Brad Rutter’s all-time winnings record. Here’s why.Rutter currently holds the record for most money won on “Jeopardy!” with a collective $4,688,436. Now, keep in mind, that includes special tournaments, where the stakes are much higher and players can win millions at a time. In regular-season play, average winnings are under a hundred thousand — unless you’re James Holzhauer, who holds the record for most single-game winnings with $131,127.Jennings has the next highest number of all-time earnings counting tournaments, stacking up with about $1.3 million behind Rutter — with his total earnings since 2004 coming to $3,370,700. Behind him is Holzhauer, who has won $2,712,216 total since April of 2019.Also Read: 'Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time': Here's Where the 3 Competitors StandIt’s important to note that in this special “Greatest of All Time” tournament, the players will not keep their individual-game earnings. Instead, the first of the three men to win three games will take home a set prize of $1,000,000 and no more. The other two will each walk away with $250,000 as a consolation prize.That means that the most Jennings’ total winnings could possibly reach is $4,370,700, leaving him about $300,000 shy of overtaking Rutter’s record — even if he does win the “GOAT” title.Regardless, Jennings still holds the title for highest earnings in regular-season play, with $2,520,700 from the 74-game winnings streak he went on in 2004. Behind him is Holzhauer with $2,462,216, who came agonizingly close to beating Jennings’ record this summer with his 32-game winnings streak, only to see it all blown to bits by Emma Boettcher in the final hour. For more info on Rutter’s background, click here.Tune in to Game 4 of “Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time” Tuesday at 8/7c on ABC. Read original story ‘Jeopardy! GOAT': Here’s Why Brad Rutter’s All-Time Winnings Record Is Not in Jeopardy At TheWrap

  • Jillian Michaels Doubles Down on Lizzo Comments: ‘I Would Hope We Prioritize Our Health’
    Entertainment
    The Wrap

    Jillian Michaels Doubles Down on Lizzo Comments: ‘I Would Hope We Prioritize Our Health’

    Jillian Michaels is doubling down on her comments about Lizzo’s weight, writing in a tweet that she “would hope we prioritize our health.”The former “Biggest Loser” coach came under fire on social media Wednesday after appearing on Buzzfeed’s “AM to DM” show and suggested that Lizzo’s body positivity wasn’t a thing to be celebrated.“Why are we celebrating her body? Why does it matter? Why aren’t we celebrating her music? ‘Cause it isn’t going to be awesome if she gets diabetes,” Michaels shared. “I’m just being honest. I love her music, my kid loves her music, but there’s never a moment when I’m like, ‘I’m so glad she’s overweight.’ Why do I even care? Why is it my job to care about her weight?”Also Read: Bob Harper Set to Host USA Network's 'Biggest Loser' RebootMichaels’ critics accused her of body-shaming the pop star and weighing in on her health without facts to back up the assertion that Lizzo could be at risk for diabetes.“As I’ve stated repeatedly, we are all beautiful, worthy, and equally deserving,” Michaels wrote in her tweet. “I also feels strongly that we love ourselves enough to acknowledge there are serious health consequences that come with obesity – heart disease, diabetes, cancer to name only a few. I would never wish these for ANYONE and I would hope we prioritize our health because we LOVE ourselves and our bodes.”Michaels, along with Bob Harper, was one of the original trainers on the NBC weight-loss competition “The Biggest Loser,” appearing on multiple seasons throughout the show’s run. She also hosted a short-lived spinoff series “Losing It With Jillian” in 2010.USA announced last spring that it had tapped Harper to host a reboot of “The Biggest Loser,” which is set to premiere later this year. Michaels is not involved.pic.twitter.com/tQQletU1fO— Jillian Michaels (@JillianMichaels) January 9, 2020Read original story Jillian Michaels Doubles Down on Lizzo Comments: ‘I Would Hope We Prioritize Our Health’ At TheWrap

  • Fox’s Michael Thorn Says Jussie Smollett ‘Will Not Be Coming Back’ for ‘Empire’ Series Finale
    Entertainment
    The Wrap

    Fox’s Michael Thorn Says Jussie Smollett ‘Will Not Be Coming Back’ for ‘Empire’ Series Finale

    As “Empire” heads into its final stretch, speculation is sure to heat up that Jussie Smollett might make one final return to the series that he exited nearly a year ago. But according to Fox entertainment boss Michael Thorn, that’s not going to happen.“He will not be coming back,” Thorn said. “As you would expect when you’re finishing an iconic series like ‘Empire,’ that Brett, as the showrunner, along with his producing partners, would certainly have discussions about what’s the best way to finish the show. In this case, Jussie will not be coming back for the finale.”Smollett left the show toward the end of last season, shortly after Chicago law enforcement accused Smollett of staging a high-profile hate crime against himself. The producers, responding to intense public pressure, wrote Smollett out of the final episodes of Season 5 despite protests from Smollett’s supporters on the cast.Also Read: 'Empire' Showrunner Tells Us It Would Be 'Weird' to End the Series Without Jussie SmollettThe show’s producers have never given serious indication that Smollett or his character, Jamal, would return — Fox said prior to the start of the current season that there were “no plans” for him to reappear — but showrunner Brett Mahoney recently told TheWrap that given the show’s nature as a family drama, it would be “weird and particularly challenging to do [the finale] without him.”“Our hope at Fox — and I know the producers feel the same way — is that the show, to us, is much bigger than some of the personal stuff that’s unfortunately happened for Jussie, where we just want the ending to be as epic as the beginning,” Thorn said.“Empire” is currently midway through its final season, with the last run of episodes set to air later in the spring. Smollett’s absence throughout the season has been explained away by his character’s move to Paris.Also Read: Jussie Smollett Files Counterclaim Against Chicago for Malicious ProsecutionWhen it first debuted in 2015, “Empire” was a phenomenon, putting up impressive viewership numbers throughout its first season. However, ratings have declined sharply over the course of the show’s run, and a surprise return for Jamal would surely boost viewership for the final stretch of episodes.“I will tell you on all of our shows we always talk about how do you boost ratings and in this marketplace it’s very challenging,” Thorn said. “When you’re a pop-culture phenomenon, like ‘Empire’ was, you burn bright for as long as you can. Unfortunately, when you’re doing 18 episodes a year … some viewer attrition is just unfortunately inevitable. But we think this season has been fantastic. Have we talked about how to goose ratings? Of course. Did we talk about exploiting Jussie’s situation to do so? No.”“What I will tell you is what Brett and Danny and Lee and Imagine [Entertainment] have planned is awesome,” he continued. “And I’m really excited. It’s bittersweet, obviously, for the show to end, but I’m really excited, ’cause I think they have an incredible creative plan for the finale and I hope people come in droves.”The sixth and final season of “Empire” returns this spring on Fox.Read original story Fox’s Michael Thorn Says Jussie Smollett ‘Will Not Be Coming Back’ for ‘Empire’ Series Finale At TheWrap

  • 'Friends' Actress Who Played Rachel's Daughter Emma Responds to Chandler's 2020 Joke
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    Entertainment Tonight

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