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"The Game" Creator on Why Show Has to End After Season Nine

Quantrell D. Colbert/BET(NEW YORK) -- The Game was almost like the TV show that couldn't die. After fans resurrected it on BET, after it was abruptly canceled on The CW in 2009, the series is finally coming to an end.

The Game creator Mara Brock Akil tells ABC Radio why the show, which is centered around a fictional San Diego football team, is finally ending for good after its ninth season, and why they let fans know way in advance.

"We always talked, and very candidly so, that...we can't do the same thing on BET. You can't just snatch it off the air and say, 'That's it people!' I don't think that would work," she says. "I know what everybody wants but there's a business side to things -- there's contracts, there's money. And not everything can align and so you have to make artistic decisions, based on business decisions."

"For a show to make it to 147 episodes, that's a lot," Akil adds.

Akil says that compared to her other hit TV show, Girlfriends, which ended without a proper finale, fans will be happy to watch a series finale.

"It's a blessing to be able to say goodbye. You create shows knowing that they're not gonna last forever. It's always bittersweet to say goodbye, but compared to my experience on Girlfriends, to know that you're going to end it so you can enjoy the rest of [it]," she explains, adding, "and sometimes you're gonna cry through the process."

Although there were some tears when the cast wrapped filming the series, Akil tells ABC Radio that after each cast member did their last scene, they got a champagne toast. "We took the time to honor each other and say thank you, and remember the moment."

Akil wouldn't spill on what happens when The Game hangs up its cleats. But one question she did answer was will beloved characters Melanie and Derwin, played by Tia Mowry-Hardrict and Pooch Hall, respectively, return? Fans and cast members alike were outraged when the two were written out of the series in 2013.

"For the record, I personally have wanted it to happen and so has Tia and Pooch...and so has BET. But it doesn't always work out," she explains. "And that's the part of the business that nobody likes. But yeah, they're family. They're Melanie and Derwin." 

Akil also shared that P.J. Byrne, who portrays the cut throat yet zany football agent Irv, will return along with Rick Fox. Fox's return could mean that Tasha Mack, played by Wendy Raquel Robinson, may finally find love with one of her exes in the end.

The season eight finale of The Game airs on BET Wednesday at 10 p.m. Eastern time.

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"Cinderella" Star Lily James Sets Record Straight on Photoshopped Waist Rumors

Disney(NEW YORK) -- When the first images from the revamped Cinderella movie were released, they set off a firestorm of speculation that Disney used special effects to make actress Lily James appear slimmer.

But James, who plays the lead character Ella, set the record straight in an interview with ABC’s Nightline, saying the rumors that her waist was Photoshopped were not true.

“I have naturally a quite small waist,” James told Nightline. “And on top of that I have a corset that was pulled me into the inch of my life."

James said the corset part of the gown slimmed her down to a 17-inch waist.

"And then the skirt is so big that the perspective and the proportions make it look smaller than it is,” she added.

There was also speculation that Richard Madden, who plays Prince Charming in Cinderella, was wearing contact lenses to make his eyes appear bluer in the film, but director Kenneth Branagh said that also wasn’t true.

“He was not wearing blue contact lenses,” Branagh said. “He has very, very striking blue eyes and when beautifully lit by Haris Zambarloukos, these make for a very strong impact. We did not Photoshop Lily's waist... everything you see is what was there.”

Re-imagining Cinderella’s iconic ball gown for the first-ever live-action remake of the Disney classic was the brainchild of Oscar-winning costume designer Susan Powell. It took 270 yards of fabric, over three miles of hemming, and "glass" slippers made of Swarovski crystal.

The Walt Disney Co. is the parent company of ABC News. The movie opens in theaters March 13.

But James said she has gotten used to wearing a corset from her role as Lady Rose MacClare on the acclaimed period drama Downton Abbey.

“I'm so used to corsets now that feel like I could sleep in them, even though it'd be horrible,” the 25-year-old actress said.

And what’s worse than wearing a corset? “A boob flattener,” James said, something she had to wear for her costume to match the 1920s setting of Downton Abbey.

“It's much more painful and much more distressing than a corset.”

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Justin Timberlake Posts Sweet Message on Wife Jessica Biel's Birthday

Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Justin Timberlake, 34, usually keeps his private life private. But the singer decided to gush a little Tuesday for his wife Jessica Biel's 33rd birthday.

"Happy Bday to the sweetest, most GORGEOUS, goofiest, most BAD-ASS chick I know," he wrote.

He added, "You make me smile 'til it hurts. I love you like crazy! --Your Huz."

He posted a picture of the two hugging.

 

 

It was on his birthday back in January that Timberlake let everyone know that his wife was expecting.

"Thank you EVERYONE for the Bday wishes! This year, I'm getting the GREATEST GIFT EVER. CAN'T WAIT. #BoyOrGirl #YouNeverKnow #WeDontEvenKnow #WeAreTakingBets," he posted on Instagram.

Timberlake and Biel, who have been together since 2007, were married on October 19, 2012 in Italy.

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“Sharknado 3”: See Who the President and Vice-President Will Be

Syfy/NBC Universal(NEW YORK) -- The oddly popular TV movie franchise Sharknado is about to get political.

Syfy has announced that the third installment of the satirical disaster film, which is scheduled to premiere in July, will cause “mass destruction in Washington, D.C., before roaring down the Eastern Seaboard and into Florida.”

It will star Mark Cuban, of the Dallas Mavericks and Shark Tank fame, as the President of the United States. Conservative political commentator Ann Coulter will assume the position of Vice President.

The movie will be set in Washington D.C. and for those who work on the Hill there may a chance for members of Congress to fight against a shark-battered hurricane that will soon take a bite out of our nation’s capital.

According to Politico, representatives from the Syfy network are seeking to cast “recognizable Senators and Congressmen, and a few others like Colin Powell and Oliver North.”

Along with a sundry list of stars who have made previous cameos, including Tara Reid, Jerry Springer and Chris Jericho, newcomers like Ryan Newman and Jack Griffo will be joining the team for the newest Sharknado movie.

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Sarah Michelle Gellar to Star in “Star Wars Rebels” Season 2

Vince Bucci/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Sarah Michelle Gellar and her husband Freddie Prinze Jr. are now working together.

Gellar will join the cast of Star Wars Rebels on Disney XD for season two, executive producer/supervising director Dave Filoni revealed Tuesday.

"We’re thrilled to have Sarah Michelle Gellar on board for season two," he said in a statement. "She is a true Star Wars Rebels fan and her passion undoubtedly comes through in the voice recording sessions."

In addition to Gellar and Prize Jr., the voice cast also includes David Oyelowo, Vanessa Marshall, Steve Blum, Tiya Sircar and Taylor Gray.

Star Wars Rebels, an animated show, focuses on the events between Star Wars Episodes III and IV.

No details about Gellar's character have been revealed yet.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

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Kelly Clarkson to Go on Summer Tour

ABC/ Ida Mae Astute(NEW YORK) -- Kelly Clarkson has a new baby, a new album and now she is taking both of them out on the road.

Clarkson, 32, announced Tuesday on ABC’s Good Morning America that she will be going out on tour this summer for her new album, “Piece by Piece.”

“I’m so excited,” Clarkson said. "I’ve been at home with a baby.”

The former American Idol winner gave birth to daughter River Rose in June 2014. She says the now 8-month-old River will make a great traveling companion during her tour, which Clarkson said will kick off in July.

“I have a magical baby. She loves traveling so far,” Clarkson said, adding that River especially loves her newest single, “Heartbreak Song.”

“This song, she loves the whole album but she loves this song. It’s crazy,” Clarkson said.

The three-time Grammy winner did not reveal any further details about the tour, such as who will open or whether any fellow singers will make guest appearances.

One thing Clarkson did clarify, however, is that if she asked fellow singers, they would show up.

“I was being funny,” Clarkson said, referring to the firestorm that erupted when she jokingly said in an interview last month on BBC Radio 1 that no major artists want to collaborate with her on a song.

"I also said I had the Black Plague. I don’t have that,” Clarkson said on GMA. "I was just being funny because people were kind of making it to where, because John Legend and I sang on this record, they were like, ‘Why didn’t you sing with anybody before?,’ like almost making me a snob.”

“I was like, ‘I’ve asked people to sing. I would sing with a lot of people but it just doesn’t always work out with the timing,’” Clarkson said. "People will work with me.”

Oscar winner Legend joins Clarkson for "Run Run Run," on "Piece by Piece," which was released on Tuesday.

Clarkson has previously collaborated with country greats like Vince Gill and Reba McEntire, her stepmother-in-law, and says a return to country could be in her future too.

"I love country music. I love R&B. I love a lot of styles. I just don’t want to stop changing and growing," Clarkson said of her future.

"I love Broadway. I grew up in musical theater," she added, hinting at another possible career move.

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Oprah Winfrey to Shut Down Harpo Studios in Chicago

Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- Chicago is "everything" to Oprah Winfrey. It's where the media mogul became a superstar and where she first planted her showbiz roots.

But in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter posted Tuesday, Winfrey revealed Harpo Studios in Chicago will be shut down by year's end in favor of a transition to OWN headquarters in Los Angeles. This move ends Harpo's 26-year run in the Windy City.

OWN just moved into its new space at West Hollywood's The Lot.

"I've spent more hours in this building than I have any other building on Earth. ...We were here when there was nothing but hoes and rats on the street, and now it's one of the hottest neighborhoods [in Chicago]," she told the magazine.

The talk-show host and actress, 61, added: "The time had come to downsize this part of the business and to move forward. It will be sad to say goodbye, but I look ahead with such a knowing that what the future holds is even more than I can see."

Winfrey noted that top OWN execs had been going back and forth between Chicago and Los Angeles and that she wanted all her operations in one place. OWN has been around for the past four years and plans to expand further.

Around 200 employees will be impacted by the closing of the Chicago offices. The report adds that a "small group" of Chicago employees will join OWN.

The interview also notes that Winfrey will soon see how much time she has to get back in front of the camera on the big screen, including an upcoming Richard Pryor biopic. As for Broadway rumors, Winfrey told the magazine she decided to stay away due to the morbid nature of the play night, Mother. She will head to New York City soon to look at other projects and shows.

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Carrie Underwood Has Baby Boy, Isaiah Michael Fisher

ABC/Image Group LA(NEW YORK) -- Carrie Underwood is a mom!

The American Idol winner turned country superstar and her hockey-star husband, Mike Fisher, welcomed son Isaiah Michael Fisher Feb. 27, Underwood announced Tuesday on Instagram.

"Tiny hands and tiny feet...God has blessed us with an amazing gift! Isaiah Michael Fisher - born on February 27. Welcome to the world, sweet angel!" she wrote.

 

 

Underwood, 31, announced her pregnancy on Labor Day by posting a sweet picture with her dogs.

"In honor of "Labor" Day...Ace & Penny would like to make an announcement. Their parents couldn't be happier!" Underwood wrote.

The picture featured her two dogs wearing shirts that said they were going to be a big brother and big sister to a new baby.

A couple months later, Underwood's co-host at the Country Music Awards, Brad Paisley, let slip that she was having a baby boy.

Underwood later told ABC Radio that she'd planned to announce the baby's sex during the show all along, but she didn't let Paisley in on the secret until the very last minute.

"Brad's got loose lips. He's a blabbermouth!" Underwood said with a laugh. "So, I was like, 'I'm not gonna tell you until we're ready for the rest of the world to know, 'cause I know you'll tell people.'"

She and her husband both had a feeling they were having a baby boy, but had the doctor write down the baby's gender for them to look at when they were ready. They took the envelope containing the news of the baby's sex with them to a nice restaurant.

"[It was] just the two of us in a nicer setting, but we both knew," she said. "So, that was just confirming our suspicions. We didn't really speak of it before, 'cause we were both just like, 'Whatever. It's all good.' But we knew it was a boy."

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Faith Hill Recovering from Neck Surgery

ABC/Rick Rowell(LOS ANGELES) -- When country music star Faith Hill hit the red carpet at the Academy Awards with a sleek, new pixie cut last month, fans were concerned when they spotted a scar on her neck.

“Faith Hill has quite the neck scar! Hope she's OK,” one supporter wrote, while another added: "Just saw Faith Hill on the Red Carpet. Anybody know what that big scar on her neck is from?”

Citing a source, People magazine has reported that the 47-year-old, five-time Grammy Award winner is recovering from neck surgery. The source told People that Hill, the wife of fellow country music star, Tim McGraw, had surgery in January to correct damage caused by an old injury.

Representatives for Hill confirmed the report to ABC News.

Patrick Gomez, a staff writer for People, said Hill has been dealing with this issue for some time. He also said the “This Kiss” singer first underwent surgery in 2011 to help alleviate issues related to an injury sustained years before.

Doctors say the procedure Hill underwent is called anterior cervical discectomy and fusion, and that it’s very common.

“We find it in elderly patients very frequently, but it can also occur in younger patients who have experienced some kind of trauma," said Dr. Joshua Bederson, chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery for Mount Sinai Health System, who did not treat Hill. "It does occur spontaneously from time to time.”

"Since the neck is so mobile any kind of minor injury can lead to a herniated disc or compression of the nerves," Bederson said.

Hill, who has three children, isn’t speaking publicly about her recovery, but the surgery isn’t slowing her down. She attended several parties following her husband’s Oscar tribute to country music singer Glen Campbell.

"Faith has been going to physical therapy and the source says her recovery is going well and Faith is getting better and better," Gomez said.

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"The Bachelor" Recap: The Women Tell All

ABC/Craig Sjodin(LOS ANGELES) -- The Bachelor: The Women Tell All special had it all on Monday night: heartfelt conversations, tears, and an onion.

The eliminated ladies from the current season of The Bachelor gathered to reflect on their romances with Chris Soules, and to revisit old feuds. The two finalists, Whitney and Becca, were not present.

Let's start with the bachelorette who was eliminated on last week's episode: Kaitlyn. She told host Chris Harrison she was confident heading into the rose ceremony in Bali, which is why she was so confused by her dismissal.

Later, Soules explained to her that he faced a difficult decision between the final three, comparing it to throwing darts at a dartboard. Kaitlyn wondered why he didn't give her the opportunity to chat privately before the ceremony, as he had with Becca. Soules agreed that in hindsight he should have done that, but he did the best he could at the time.

Jade, who was sent home during the hometown visits episode after revealing her Playboy past, also had the opportunity to speak directly with Soules. She was upset that Soules said it was awkward for him to look at her Playboy photos and video. He said he was being honest with her, and that her experience with Playboy was not the reason he let her go.  

The Women Tell All was also highlighted by the return of the most polarizing contestants of the season, Kelsey and Britt.

Kelsey insisted that she was not trying to manipulate Soules or curry empathy from him when she referred to the loss of her husband as an "amazing" story, as she had been accused of doing by some of the other women. Kelsey also said she did not believe she was better than the other bachelorettes, despite how she was depicted on the show.

Kelsey mended fences somewhat with Ashley I., with whom she went on the two-on-one date in South Dakota that ended with both being eliminated. She conceded that she felt "raw anger" when she mocked Ashley during the date, and she apologized.

Britt cried early and often during Monday's special, mostly because of her interactions with Carly. She said Carly was friendly to her face during the season but was critical of her to Soules and to the cameras. Britt believed that if Carly had not meddled in her relationship with Soules, she would have remained in the competition.  

In the strangest moment of the night, Harrison had a brief conversation with Ashley S., the bachelorette who mistook a pomegranate for an onion. She presented him with what she called a "hosting gift": an onion, naturally.

When asked if she had put on an act for the cameras during the season, she claimed she hadn't. An excited Harrison invited her to appear on the next season of Bachelor in Paradise, but he didn't get a straight answer from Ashley; instead, she stated, "It's so weird that we're on TV."

The Bachelor season ends next Monday night with Soules proposing to either Whitney or Becca...or perhaps neither of them.

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Jon Stewart Confronts WWE Nemesis in the Ring

Martin Crook(NEW YORK) -- After two weeks of back and forth with WWE villain Seth Rollins, Jon Stewart confronted his nemesis in the ring on Monday night -- and kicked him where it hurts.

Stewart called out Rollins in a YouTube video on Feb. 19, days after Rollins declared on the WWE program Monday Night Raw, "I could take over as host of The Daily Show for Jon Stewart and make that thing actually watchable."

Rollins then surprised Stewart on The Daily Show last week, inviting him to appear on Monday Night Raw. Stewart did just that last night, and he continued to needle Rollins.

Stewart angered Rollins by making fun of the blond streak in the wrestler's otherwise dark hair. The crowd at Newark, New Jersey's Prudential Center laughed when Stewart joked, "How could I make a fool out of a man dressed like a SWAT team stripper with Lady Gaga's hair?

Rollins responded by grabbing Stewart by his suit jacket and shaking him. However, when another wrestler caused a distraction, Stewart took the opportunity to kick Rollins in the groin and slip out of the ring.

Stewart announced last month he is stepping down from The Daily Show later this year.

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"Marvel's: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." Returns with an Inhuman Twist

ABC/Bob D'Amico(NEW YORK) -- With ABC's well-received limited-run series Marvel's Agent Carter all wrapped up, Marvel's: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns to the network Tuesday night.

Series star Ming Na Wen, who plays butt-kicking secret agent Melinda May, tells ABC Radio that fans should brace for an "incredibly intense" start to the second half of the show's sophomore season.

The show ended with a cliffhanger. The agent fans knew as Skye had just been revealed as an Inhuman -- a person with the potential to receive superheroic abilities; in fact, she was revealed as the Marvel comics character Daisy Johnson AKA Quake. As her name suggests, Quake has seismic powers, which lead to the death of one of her teammates.

Wen hints the season delves into how Chloe Bennet's character comes to terms with her literally earth-shaking gifts -- and how her former teammates deal with her.

"With the introduction of the Inhumans and having one of our own becoming that," Wen says, "it brings a lot of the unknown into the S.H.I.E.L.D. world. Where at one point we knew about...the Thors of the world, or the aliens...But to have the Inhumans, and not quite understanding if their powers are for good or evil...we enter a much more dangerous field."

For fans of the show -- and for Wen herself -- there's always speculation about whether some of the series' characters will eventually end up on the big screen. "No one's told me anything yet," she insists.

One thing is apparent: Agent May won't appear in the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron. "I was still hoping for that phone call like, 'Hey, come on out to New Zealand for a quick scene,'" Wen laughed, adding, "I can't wait to see it to see how it all connects with our show."

Marvel's: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
airs at 9 p.m. Eastern time.

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Suzanne Somers Weighs In on Patricia Arquette's Oscar Speech

ABC/Craig Sjodin(NEW YORK) -- Patricia Arquette's Oscar speech, in which she called for wage equality, resonates with Suzanne Somers.

For years the actress has claimed she was fired from the hit sitcom Three's Company in 1981 because she wanted to be paid equal to the male TV stars of the day.

Somers said in an interview with ABC Radio, "I still don't think they should have fired me for asking to be paid commensurate with the men."

Somers agrees with what Arquette had to say at the Oscars a little over a week ago, when Arquette accepted her best supporting actress award for Boyhood.

Somers declares, "If you are selling more tickets than the man in the movie or the TV series, and you've got the talent, then you deserve to be paid commensurately. Because it's show business."

Somers will compete on the upcoming season of ABC's Dancing with the Stars, premiering March 16.

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Why Cameron Diaz Quit Social Media Last Year

ABC/Randy Holmes(NEW YORK) -- Cameron Diaz hasn't tweeted since September, 16, 2014. Why? Because she quit social media altogether.

"I think social media is a crazy-a** experiment on society," she tells Cosmopolitan U.K. "The way people use it to get validation from a bunch of strangers is dangerous. What's the point?"

Besides, Diaz is busy being a newlywed with rocker Benji Madden. The two tied the knot in January. It may be safe to assume the two rarely leave the bed. Diaz told the magazine that sex is "something healthy that we need to be doing for many different reasons."

Still, it's not the only form of exercise Diaz does regularly. In fact, the Annie star encourages everyone to work out.

"You have to just do it. Once you commit and really put in the effort, your body goes, 'Oh, it's not OK to be without this.' People say, 'My body rejects exercise.' No, it doesn't.  Your mind rejects exercise," she explained.

But that doesn't mean Diaz doesn't occasionally indulge in sweets. "Well being is an equation. Remember, you don't have to have the whole cake, you can have a piece. Don't deprive yourself. Have fun. Just be self-aware," she said. "If your equation is 80 percent good, 20 percent bad most of the time, then a little movement toward the center isn't going to affect you much."

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Jared Leto Cuts Hair and Shaves Beard for Joker Role

ABC/Craig Sjodin(NEW YORK) -- Jared Leto has undergone quite the transformation to prepare for his role as The Joker in an upcoming DC Comics film.

The Oscar winner has cut his hair short and shaved his beard for Suicide Squad. He documented his new look on Instagram Monday, first by posting a photo of someone holding a pair of scissors to his ponytail. He wrote, "I miss my beard already."

Leto later shared a picture of himself with his new hairdo and a clean-shaven face. He wrote, "...#gone!"

Suicide Squad, which will also star Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Viola Davis, will see a number of DC's signature supervillains come together for a secret government operation. The movie is scheduled to open Aug. 5, 2016.

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