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
How do you know when Barbara Walters is “fully recovered”? When she starts name dropping.
During her first appearance on The View since having heart valve surgery, the daytime co-host took time out to thank those - including Hillary Clinton, Woody Allen and Queen Rania of Jordan - who offered words of support during her absence.
“I have to say thank you to my friends and the fans because it helped me get better; it meant so much,” Barbara sincerely stated.
Read More | The View
-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.
UPDATE: You can read Betty White’s statement on her friend’s death here.
Rue McClanahan, the Emmy-award winning actress from The Golden Girls, passed away early this morning after suffering a massive stroke. She was 76.
This was the second stroke this year for McClanahan. She also suffered a minor one back in January while recovering from a November bypass surgery. According to Rue’s manager, her family was with her when she died. Barbara Lawrence added: “She went in peace.”
Although McClanahan will be best known for playing the sex-crazed Blanche Devereaux, she also made television audiences laugh playing characters like Vivian Cavender Harmon on Maude and Aunt Fran Crowley Mama’s Family. She was nominated for four Emmys overall and won her only statue in 1987.
Read More | People
Gary Coleman, the former child star best known for playing Arnold Jackson Diff’rent Strokes, died today in a Utah hospital. He was 42.
The actor’s passing comes only two days after falling and hitting his head at home. He was eventually transferred to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center for bleeding in his brain. Despite initially being conscious and lucid, he quickly slipped into a coma was listed in critical condition.
TMZ reports that Coleman’s wife, Shannon Price, made the decision this morning to take Gary off life support.
Read More | People
-Could The Office survive without Steve Carell? The comedian recently told the BBC that the upcoming season will “probably be” his last year.
-Dexter fans can breathe a sigh of relief. A “fully recovered” Michael C. Hall is expected to return to work this summer after battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
-HBO has new date for you to mark on your calendar. Entourage and Hung will both premiere on June 27, two weeks after True Blood‘s debut.
-Could Matt LeBlanc use some Friends? Both Thomas Haden Church and Claire Forlani have dropped out of Episodes, LeBlanc’s new Showtime comedy. Church blames scheduling conflicts; Forlani’s reason is unknown.
-Love is in the air on CNN. Anchors John Roberts and Kyra Phillips were recently engaged. Roberts proposed last weekend during a game of golf.
On 24, Jack Bauer can take a beating yet still complete his mission on time. In real life, Kiefer Sutherland needs a bit more recovery time.
Due to a ruptured cyst near the actor’s kidneys, filming on his series has been briefly shut down while Sutherland undergoes minor surgery. The incident, which occurred early last week, should have minor impact on the show’s production schedule.
“We are temporarily suspending production of 24 while our friend and colleague Kiefer Sutherland undergoes a medical procedure,” FOX execs said in a statement. “We hope to resume production shortly and do not anticipate any disruption in the broadcast of this season’s episodes.”
“While Kiefer Sutherland is frustrated to miss even one day of work, he and FOX decided together that it would be best to complete this minor elective procedure now as a precaution as opposed to six weeks from now when production wraps,” the 43-year-old’s rep added. “He looks forward to returning to work (this) week.”
Read More | E! Online
Deadliest Catch‘s Phil Harris, the captain of the Seattle-based F/V Cornelia Marie, died today over a week after suffering a massive stroke.
The Discovery Channel star - who had been hospitalized in Anchorage since January 29 - was initially put into a medically-induced coma to reduce brain swelling. News of his passing comes just days after Harris started showing signs of improvement.
The announcement of his death was confirmed tonight through a statement by his sons. “It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to our dad - Captain Phil Harris. Dad has always been a fighter and continued to be until the end. For us and the crew, he was someone who never backed down. We will remember and celebrate that strength. Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and prayers,” Jake and Josh Harris said on the show’s website.
Read More | The Live Feed
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
Another week calls for another substitution.
Although Season 8 of Dancing with the Stars was riddled with celebrity injuries, Season 9 has been hit on the professional side. Two weeks ago, Derek Hough was temporarily replaced by Maksim Chmerkovskiy when he was hit with the flu. Now, Lacey Schwimmer is using up one of her sick days.
On tonight’s broadcast, Anna Trebunskaya will play the part of Mark Dacascos’ partner. Anna originally stepped in this weekend to help the Iron Chef America star rehearse, but her role later increased when Schwimmer’s condition worsened. Unfortunately, this last-minute shuffling only gave the pair two days to learn two dances (the samba and a group paso doble.)
So how is Lacey feeling right now? Well - according to a tweet from earlier today, not great. “Guys I’m super sad to be sick today. Ugh,” she wrote.
(FYI - You can also follow TV Envy on Twitter.)
Read More | People
© Gear Live Media, LLC. 2007 – User-posted content, unless source is quoted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Public Domain License. Gear Live graphics, logos, designs, page headers, button icons, videos, articles, blogs, forums, scripts and other service names are the trademarks of Gear Live Inc.