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AMC/Gene Page(NEW YORK) -- While The Walking Dead is based on a successful comic series, creator Robert Kirkman keeps the show deliberately different than the books, to preserve the suspense.  But with the comics' "All Out War" storyline currently unfolding on the small screen, fans are wondering what will become of Negan.

The mid-season finale airs on Sunday and Jeffrey Dean Morgan's bat-wielding baddie Negan has vowed to get even with Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes, whose militia rose up against Negan and his Saviors.

Morgan's Negan has been a highlight for fans since he emerged during the cliffhanger ending of season 6 and started season 7 with a bang -- literally -- when it was revealed he killed Glenn and Abraham. 

"He's great on set, and he's just a genuinely good dude...You would expect him to be an aloof maniac, but he's really not," Kirkman jokes of Morgan. "His portrayal of Negan is just absolutely amazing -- it's better than I ever could have imagined." 

For Morgan, Negan's dialogue is double-edged sword: as fun as it is to deliver, he often has to learn two versions of many of his scenes: one fit for air, and the other for the uncensored Blu-rays.

"Especially if it's a scene ripped straight from the comic book, and most of Negan's stuff is...we take out all the F-bombs," he explains. "I know I can says seven "sh**s," you know...but you can't say the F-bomb...And then we do a [Blu-ray]...it's all there!" 

After the extended finale, which starts at 9 p.m., fans will be able to decompress with an episode of Talking Dead. "It's a good therapy session," jokes Kirkman, who also produces the after-show.

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Charles Sykes/Bravo(NEW YORK) -- Season two of the Netflix series The Crown -- about the life of Queen Elizabeth II -- debuts today.  But if the series goes on for years and years, eventually, they'll have to get around to casting the parts of Prince Harry and is fiancee Meghan Markle.  And one of the show's stars says one of today's biggest music artists is the perfect person to embody the future princess.

Appearing on Bravo's Watch What Happens LiveThe Crown stars Claire Foy, who plays Elizabeth, and Matt Smith, who plays her husband Prince Phillip, were asked by a viewer who they'd like to see play Harry and Meghan on the show.

"Who's that singer?" Smith replied. "Ed Sheeran?" replied host Andy Cohen, assuming that Smith meant that Ed should play Harry.

"No, the one who goes out with Justin Timberlake...no, not Justin Timberlake, Justin Bieber...young."

"Oh, Selena Gomez!" said Cohen.

"Yes, Selena Gomez!" said Smith. "You love Selena Gomez," teased Foy.  "She's playing Meghan Markle," laughed Smith.

"No, she's not!" chided Foy.  "O.K., no," Smith said sadly. "No. She's not," Foy replied firmly.

Of course, having Selena play Meghan doesn't make much sense, considering Meghan is an actress who's capable of playing herself.  Also, casting a Latina to play a biracial woman would probably raise a few eyebrows.

 

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NEON(NEW YORK) -- Opening in limited release this weekend is I, Tonya, a dark comedy that tracks the rise and fall of disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding.

Margot Robbie is earning raves for her performance as the champion athlete, whose promising career was famously cut short when her ex-husband, Jeff Gilloolly, and her bodyguard hatched a plot to try to eliminate her rival, Nancy Kerrigan, with a blow to her knee with a metal pipe.

The attacks took place weeks before the 1994 Olympic Winter Games, in Harding and Kerrigan both competed. Kerrigan took the silver while Harding placed eighth, tearfully blaming an untied shoelace for her poor showing.

Harding was implicated in but never convicted for the attack. However, she was fined and banned from pro skating for life after pleading guilty to hindering prosecution in the case.

The story "took the media by storm," says Sebastian Stan, who plays Gillooly in I, Tonya. "And then right after that, you had O.J.!. From 1990 to 1995, you had, I think Waco, L.A., the riots in 1992, then you had the Menendez brothers -- it was just hit after hit after hit of crazy stuff!"

Of I, Tonya, Stan raves, "Margot's phenomenal," adding Alison Janney, who plays Tonya's cold, chain-smoking mom, "was inspiring every day she was on she set."

Stan had one gripe: living with Gilloolly's 90's-era look: "[The] mustache was a tough one. Mustache and no sideburns. Don't forget that, like, high, high like, side cut above the ear...like Supercuts line," he laughs. "Try ordering a coffee with that -- you'll get a good response!"

Kidding aside, Stan is proud of the early reaction to the I, Tonya. "We're just excited that people...want to see it. That's what we want."

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Marvel(NEW YORK) --  Marvel announced Thursday that it plans to launch a new animated series next year, focused on the young, diverse talent it has in its universe like Ms. Marvel, Squirrel Girl and others.

The comic giant posted a video announcement on Marvel HQ's YouTube channel. "There is a character for every kind of Marvel fan out there," said Sana Amanat, director of content & character development at the company.

This series, titled "Marvel Rising," will be rolled out in six, four-minute digital shorts, and a film, Marvel Rising: Secret Warrior is set for a release later in 2018.

Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan -- co-created by Amanat and other scribes including G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona -- is a teenage Pakistani-American raised in New Jersey and part of the modern stable of diverse talent for the next generation. In the series, she will be portrayed by actress Kathreen Khavari.

The video also showed the likes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. star Chloe Bennet putting in some voice-over work for the series as Quake, the same character she plays on the ABC show, along with Kamil McFadden from Grown Ups 2 as Patriot, and Tyler Posey as Inferno.

Other stars include Cierra Ramirez as America Chavez; Booboo Stewart as Exile; Dee Bradley Baker as Lockjaw and Tippy Toe, another S.H.I.E.L.D. vet, Ming-Na Wen as Hala; Milana Vayntrub as Squirrel Girl; and Dove Cameron as Spider-Gwen. Cameron's character will be referred to as Ghost-Spider in the series.

Captain Marvel also will make an appearance, played by Kim Raver. In the books, Marvel is an inspiration and role model for younger heroes like Ms. Marvel.

"It's all stuff you can connect with and feel like, these heroes are a lot like me," says Cort Lane, executive producer on the project.

Marvel is owned by Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

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Universal Pictures(LOS ANGELES) -- The first official trailer for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom debuted during NBC's Thursday Night Football, and this time, returning stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard reunite to save the dinosaurs from Mother Nature.

The Jurassic World theme park has been abandoned after the catastrophe that unfolded in that blockbuster titular 2015 franchise reboot, and the dinos have been left behind on the fictional Central American island of Isla Nublar. However, a volcano threatens to wipe the dinosaurs from the planet -- again -- which leads the characters played by Pratt and Howard to mount a risky rescue effort.

Jeff Goldblum -- who reprises his role as math genius Ian Malcom from the original film -- also is back with an ominous warning: “These creatures were here before us, and if we’re not careful, they’re gonna be here after us.”

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom -- also starring Justice Smith, James Cromwell and Toby Jones -- is due out in June.

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Broad Green Pictures/Lewis Jacobs(LOS ANGELES) -- Opening in wide release on Friday:

Just Getting Started -- An ex-F.B.I. agent and an ex-mob lawyer in the Witness Protection Program -- played by Tommy Lee Jones and Morgan Freeman, respectively -- must put aside their petty rivalry to avoid a mob hit. Renee Russo and Glenne Headly -- in her final movie roll -- also star. Rated PG-13.

The Disaster Artist -- This dramedy -- based on a true story and expanding to wide release -- features Dave Franco as an aspiring actor who signs on to star in a project written, directed and financed by his buddy -- played by brother James Franco. Initially a critical flop, the film becomes a cult classic. Also starring Seth Rogen, Alison Brie, and Zac Efron. Rated R.

Opening in limited release on Friday:

I, Tonya -- Margot Robbie stars as the titular character in this dark comedy based on the true story of disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding, whose promising career was cut short when her husband, played here by Marvel movie vet Sebastian Stan, tried to eliminate her rival. Also starring Allison Janney. Rated R.

 

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ABC/Randy Holmes(LONDON) -- Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has issued a statement defending the casting of Johnny Depp in the upcoming film Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, a sequel to the 2016 film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Depp will play the titular villain Gellert Grindelwald in the upcoming film -- he made a cameo as the character in the first Fantastic Beasts movie. His casting has been a source of controversy due to the allegations of domestic violence against the actor from his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard.

"When Johnny Depp was cast as Grindelwald, I thought he'd be wonderful in the role," Rowling's statement reads. "However, around the time of filming his cameo in the first movie, stories had appeared in the press that deeply concerned me and everyone most closely involved in the franchise."

As such, Rowling says she and director David Yates, "considered the possibility of recasting," but ultimately decided to keep Depp on the film.

"For me personally, the inability to speak openly to fans about this issue has been difficult, frustrating and at times painful," Rowling writes. "However, the agreements that have been put in place to protect the privacy of two people, both of whom have expressed a desire to get on with their lives, must be respected." 

"Based on our understanding of the circumstances, the filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies," she continues.

While Rowling adds that she knows that some people "are not satisfied" with the casting, she concludes, "Conscience isn’t governable by committee. Within the fictional world and outside it, we all have to do what we believe to be the right thing."

The Crimes of Grindelwald hits theaters November 16, 2018.

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ABC/Mark Bourdillion(NEW YORK) -- Ayesha Curry and Anthony "Spice" Adams have teamed up to host the third season of ABC's The Great American Baking Show, airing tonight. The two, who consider themselves food enthusiasts, are dishing on the flavorful season and why they were so excited to join the show, which is based on the popular Great British Bake-Off.

"I wanted to do this show so badly is because baking and cooking are totally two different worlds, " Curry tells ABC Radio. "And I have a cooking background -- not so much baking. So I wanted to join...so I could learn a little bit about that world."

Curry, wife of NBA star Stephen Curry, is an accomplished cook who hosts her own show on the Food Network and wrote a cookbook called The Season Life.

Adams says he also has a strong connection with food.

"Well, you know I'm a big guy," Adams says laughing. "So I like to eat, first off. I'm not a baker, I'm more of a griller. So you know, Fourth of Julys and stuff like that...I can only bake like four or five different things that my mom taught me how to make. So being on a show, I learned so much about these different methods people use."

As far as what fans can expect to see this season, Curry says the show is "very family-friendly," and she and Adams add "a little bit of humor."

"It's Christmas-themed, so a lot of kids can watch it," Adams explains. "They can join in and get some of the recipes and stuff like that. And help the parents out -- because all the just kids want to do is eat up all your food all the time."

The Great American Baking Show airs tonight at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.

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WireImage/Shannon Finney(LOS ANGELES) -- Jimmy Kimmel's wife broke her silence on her son's health battle and her husband's powerful monologue calling for health care reform, saying she hopes to be the one to tell her son "what his dad did for him."

"I don't necessarily like that everyone knows what's going on with the health of my child," Molly McNearney, who is also the co-head writer for her husband's show, Jimmy Kimmel Live! said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

"It's scary to make yourself vulnerable the way we have, but the encouragement that we're helping other people far outweighs my fears about our lack of privacy," McNearney added.

Kimmel and McNearney's 7-month-old son, Billy, made headlines this May when Kimmel spoke candidly on his show about Billy's heart defect and emergency lifesaving surgery.

Kimmel's passionate monologue also called on all politicians to make sure Americans, especially those with pre-existing conditions, have access to medical care.

McNearney also told The Hollywood Reporter that her family is touched by how people ask about Billy everywhere they go.

"We haven't gone to a coffee shop, filled up the gas tank, done anything without someone asking us how Billy is doing, and, thank God, we get to say something positive," she said.

"If we were to do this all over again and someone said, 'You would have an opportunity to have a perfectly healthy baby boy,'" McNearney added. "I would take the one we got because I think it helped a lot of families."

She said that she cannot wait to tell Billy about the impact that he has had on others and how he has received letters from former presidents wishing him well.

"I'm looking forward to the day that I get to tell him about all of this. I want to be the one to tell Billy what his dad did for him," she said.

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WireImage/Gary Gershoff(LOS ANGELES) -- Ryan Reynolds has been tapped to star in the upcoming live-action Pokemon movie, Detective Pikachu, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Reynolds will start as the titular detective, and though the movie is described as "live-action," The Hollywood Reporter describes Reynolds' part as "motion-capture in nature."

The Deadpool star joins The Get Down's Justice Smith and Big Little Lies actress Kathryn Newton in the film.

The plot revolves around Reynolds' Detective Pikachu, who helps out a teen whose father -- portrayed by Smith -- has been kidnapped.

Shooting is set to begin in London in January. Reynolds' Deadpool sequel is set to open next June.

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HBO/Macall B. Polay(NEW YORK) -- Maybe this will be good news for Game of Thrones fans who don't want the series to end, but bad news for fans anxiously awaiting the show's eighth and final season: star Sophie Turner says it isn't coming until 2019.

HBO hasn't announced an official air date, just promising the show sometime in 2018 or 2019, but Turner, who plays Sansa Stark, tells Variety in a new interview, "Game of Thrones comes out in 2019."

The final season is already two months into shooting and Turner says that on the job the cast and crew is very conscious of the impending end of the series.

"When we all had the read-through for the final season, it was very, very emotional," she says. "For the first time in Thrones history, we had everyone there. All of the Americans wanted to come over. Every single cast member was pretty much there. We’re all kind of feeling the end of it coming. We’re all staying in town a little longer, going out for more meals, trying to get together more. We’re all trying not to take it for granted any more."

Of course the end of GoT won't be the end of fans' chances to see Turner work.  She also stars as Jean Grey in the latest films in the X-Men franchise and will be the central character in the next installment, Dark Phoenix, which arrives a little before 2019 -- in November 2018.

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Freddie Mercury in 1980 (Neal Preston © Queen Productions Ltd.)(LONDON) -- The Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, has a new director.

Variety reports that Dexter Fletcher has been hired to finish the film after Bryan Singer was fired as director earlier this week.  Fletcher's directorial credits including Eddie the Eagle, a 2016 film biopic about British ski jumper Eddie Edwards, and Sunshine on Leith, an adaptation of the jukebox musical built around the songs of the Scottish band The Proclaimers.

Singer was fired Monday for what a source close to 20th Century Fox told ABC News was a pattern of unreliable behavior on the set. 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio's decision to oust Singer came after a growing conflict between Mr. Robot star Rami Malek, who's playing Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, and the director, apparently over Singer's frequent absences from the set.

After his firing, Singer said he was let go after the studio declined to give him time off to deal with an ailing parent.

Principal photography, which has been taking place in London, began this past September and expect to continue for a few more weeks.  Bohemian Rhapsody is scheduled for release in December 2018.

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HBO/Hilary Bronwyn Gayle(LOS ANGELES) -- Reese Witherspoon, whose HBO show Big Little Lies took home 5 Emmys earlier this year, is reportedly being sued for another of her producing efforts: the hit 2012 psychological thriller Gone Girl.

According to documents obtained by TMZ, Lesley Weller claims that she sent a copy of her screenplay -- called Out of the Blue -- to a script consultant in 2005, and that the book Gone Girl, which came out nearly a decade later, was copped from her screenplay.

Weller claims both focus on a married couple who are drifting apart, and contain a twist in which the wife is revealed as a psychopath who sets up her husband.

Weller further alleges that her screenplay and the novel are even structured the same way, and both "feature a scene with a hammer that leads you to believe the husband might hurt the wife," according to the gossip website.

The book's author, Gillian Flynn, and the movie's director, David Fincher, also are named in the lawsuit, which contends the movie lifts from the book, which in turn lifts from her screenplay.

Witherspoon stars opposite Chris Pine, Oprah Winfrey and Zack Galifanakis in Disney's A Wrinkle in Time, opening nationwide in March. ABC is owned by Disney.

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ABC/Heidi Gutman(LOS ANGELES) -- Alec Baldwin isn't happy with the state of late night TV, singling out Last Week Tonight's John Oliver and The Late Show's Stephen Colbert on Wednesday.

Talk shows were once promotional pit stops for some blithe chit chat about movies, etc,” Baldwin tweeted, adding, “Now the likes of @iamjohnoliver and @StephenAtHome have flipped that and they are beginning to resemble grand juries.”

That post led to a series of follow-up tweets where the 59-year-old actor, facing a backlash from followers, clarified his comments, insisting that he didn't express a “preference” in his initial comments before calling someone who criticized his “obtuse” language an “angry” and “harsh” person.

Baldwin’s comments came a day after the Washington Post revealed a video in which Oliver -- on a panel,

not on his show -- grilled Dustin Hoffman repeatedly about Anna Graham Hunter's accusations last month that Hoffman was personally intrusive, including allegedly touching her inappropriately, more than three decades ago on the set of TV film Death of a Salesman. Hunter was 17 at the time.

Colbert, meanwhile, had an awkward confrontation with Ben Affleck last month over harassment claims made against the Justice League star, leading him to ask, “This is a comedy show, correct?”

Baldwin later addressed the “tidal wave” of sexual misconduct allegations, warning, “Thus far, we’ve had a tidal wave of accusations,” he tweeted. Adding, in reference to disgraces movie producer Harvey Weinstein,  “But what’s next? H.W. is the low-hanging fruit here. And if you don’t get some form of conviction w him, that will hurt the cause."

He cautioned people that there would be "ultimate’ consequences.”

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Disney(LOS ANGELES) -- IFC has acquired the distribution rights to air Furlough, a new comedy staring Tessa Thompson and Whoopi Goldberg.

According to Variety, the story will follow Thompson's character, a woman working part-time at a jail who also must take care of her aging mother, played by Goldberg. While at work, Thompson is ordered to accompany an, "unruly prisoner on an emergency furlough to visit her dying mother." During the trip, things begin to fall apart.

Oscar winner Melissa Leo will play the unruly prisoner, while fellow Oscar winner Anna Paquin -- as well as Edgar Ramirez and La La Anthony -- round out the supporting cast.

Thompson is on a hot streak, after stealing scenes as Valkyrie in the blockbuster Thor: Ragnorok. She is rumored to continue her superheroic ways in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2018's Avengers: Infinity War.

Marvel Studios is owned by Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

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LOCAL NEWS

News Headlines for Sat., Dec. 9, 2017

BPU Water crews continue work to repair major water main break in downtown Jamestown... Water division crews with the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities are still working at the location of a ...

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