UPDATE: Starz has decided to recast the lead role.
Andy Whitfield’s long-anticipated return to Spartacus: Blood and Sand has been canceled altogether.
The actor, who was diagnosed back in March with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, had already been training for Season 2 of the Starz series. Although he was given a clean bill of health back in June, a recurrence of cancer will now require “aggressive treatment.”
“It’s with a deep sense of disappointment that I must step aside from such an exceptional project as Spartacus‚ and all the wonderful people involved,” Whitfield, who played the title character, said in a statement. “It seems that it is time for myself and my family to embark on another extraordinary journey. Thank you sincerely for the support so far.”
Read More | TV by the Numbers
-People love sifting through old crap. Monday’s episodes of American Pickers and Pawn Stars broke audience records for the History Channel. Pawn‘s 5.9 million viewers was the network’s largest ever.
-Meanwhile, True Blood sucked up more viewers for its third season premiere. Sunday’s debut attracted 5.1 million viewers, up 38% from Season 2’s open. (That doesn’t count the additional 1.3 million who watched the 11:00 replay.)
-A cancer-free Andy Whitfield will begin preparations for Spartacus’ second season. Production on the show had been put on hold when Andy was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
-Former ER star Maura Tierney is scheduled to star in ABC’s The Whole Truth. She was originally supposed to be part of NBC’s Parenthood, but had to drop out due to breast cancer treatments.
-Celebs are lining up to talk with Oprah before she leaves daytime. Next Tuesday, Sarah Ferguson (a.k.a. the Duchess of York) will try to explain why she tried to make money off ex-husband Prince Andrew.
-Speaking of daytime, James Franco will soon be returning there. He’ll reprise his role as Franco on General Hospital beginning June 30.
-Soap lovers might not like hearing this news: the SOAPnet channel will be gone in 2012. In other words, get your weekend fixes of 90210 now.
-Could we be seeing more drama play out on The Real Housewives of Orange County? Tamra Barney’s son, Ryan Vieth, was recently arrested for an outstanding warrant. Bail was set at $15,000.
-On an inspiring note, a list of channels are planning to Stand Up To Cancer again this year. The commercial-free fundraising event will be simulcast on September 10.
She’s a Golden Globe winner, an Emmy winner and a three-time Oscar nominee. Now, Laura Linney is facing her biggest title yet: cancer patient.
In the new Showtime series The Big C, Linney is joined by Oscar nominee Gabourey Sidibe and Golden Globe nominee Oliver Platt in this story about a woman who is diagnosed with the disease. Laura also served as executive producer on the dark comedy which will air back-to-back with Season 6 of Weeds.
The Big C will debut Monday, August 16 @ 10:30.
Read More | Just Jared
Although his widely-read reviews are still accessible online and in print, there is one thing longtime fans of Roger Ebert have had to do without. Now, thanks to the aid of Scottish technology, movie lovers will once again be able to hear the famous critic speak again - with his own voice.
On tomorrow’s episode of Oprah, Roger will sit down with his old friend Oprah Winfrey for his first interview since leaving the air in 2006. Ebert, who was first diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer in 2002, has been unable to speak since the illness took part of his jawbone and forced him to go silent.
Read More | Roger Ebert
Jennifer Lyon, a contestant on the 10th season of Survivor, passed away Tuesday after a long battle with breast cancer. She was only 37.
Although Survivor: Palau‘s fourth place-finisher noticed a lump in her breast prior to filming in 2004, Lyon and a doctor both wrote it off as possible scar tissue from her breast implants. It wasn’t until after the show’s finale in May 2005, that she went in for further diagnosis. It was then she discovered that the disease was already in Stage 3.
Read More | TV Guide
Alaina Reed Hall, best remembered by grown-ups as Olivia Robinson on Sesame Street, died last Thursday in Los Angeles. She was 63 years old.
Hall, who worked on the PBS program between 1976-1988, passed away after a long battle with breast cancer.
Prior to her role as Gordon’s younger sister, Alaina starred in Broadway productions of Hair and Chicago. She later moved into primetime television during her years on the comedy 227.
No memorial information has yet been announced for the actress.
Read More | E! Online
The decision to eliminate Jackie, Kelly Taylor and Erin Silver’s mother, is one that resounds strongly with many fans of the original Beverly Hills, 90210. In recent 90210 episodes, Jackie revealed she’s suffering from inoperable cancer. The character seems to be on a collision course with death, not the first to be featured on the current season of the show.
And that’s not even the only thing happening in the Hills. Naomi is being played by her own sister, conned and re-conned out of money, boyfriend, even self-respect. Adrianna has climbed back on the wagon, again abusing drugs. And Annie has committed vehicular homicide (unbeknownst to anyone but her) and hooked up with Ade’s drug dealer - who seems to be a few cards short of a full deck, if you take my meaning.
Read More | LA Times
A temporary leave of absence has turned into a complete exit for Maura Tierney.
The ER star had originally been scheduled to appear this fall in a new NBC show titled Parenthood. But when a tumor was discovered in one of her breasts, the series was pushed to the mid-season calendar to accommodate Tierney’s medical evaluations. Unfortunately, it appears Maura will need further treatment.
Read More | Hollywood Reporter
Farrah Fawcett, the iconic blonde star with the never-to-be-forgotten poster, died today in a California hospital. She was 62.
The actress’ death comes after a nearly three-year long health battle. Despite being declared free of anal cancer in early 2007, the disease quickly returned. A recent NBC special documented the star’s quest for alternative treatments.
Although she will most likely be remembered as Jill Munroe, one of the original Charlie’s Angels, Fawcett actually chose to move on from that series after only 22 episodes. (A few more guest appearances followed.) After a few disappointing stabs at a film career, Farrah earned critical praise when she returned to the small screen. Memorable turns in several television projects - including The Burning Bed and Small Sacrifices - eventually earned Farrah a number of Golden Globe and Emmy nominations.
Read More | USA Today
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