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Tuning in to TV: Bruce Jenner to join E! Olympics coverage

- - Monday, July 16, 2012

The E! Entertainment network didn't have to look hard to find a Kardashian connection for its upcoming Olympics coverage.

"Keeping Up With the Kardashians" family patriarch Bruce Jenner, the 1976 decathlon gold medalist, will head to London to be part of the E! team later this month. E! became one of NBC Universal's stable of networks a year and a half ago, so this is the first time it will take advantage of NBC's status as Olympic television rights holder.

The company is building a studio for E! so celebrities and athletes can stop by for interviews. Its coverage, anchored by Giuliana Rancic, will be featured on the network's entertainment newscasts, which run weeknights at 7 and 11:30. The idea is to showcase the lighter side of the games, the parties or athletes whose personalities have broken through.

Mr. Jenner will attend with reporters Catt Sadler, Ross Mathews and Robbie Laughlin. News correspondent Melanie Bromley, a former London resident, will be on the party circuit and give E! viewers a taste of London nightlife.

An older generation may think Olympic champion first when Mr. Jenner's name comes up. That's not the case for fans of the Kardashians, E!'s First Family, the bulk of whom are women not even born when Mr. Jenner ran, jumped and shot-putted his way to fame in Montreal.

"They just know you as Kim, Kourtney and Khloe's dad, and Kendall and Kylie's dad," he said. "To me, I think that's great. I have a lot of fun. They don't know what your past is. And that's fine."

The gold medalist turned reality TV star even seemed a little ambivalent about his assignment.

"They asked if I would go over and obviously E! has been good to my family, so it looks like I've got to go," he said.

J.Lo eager to return to movies after leaving 'American Idol'

Jennifer Lopez was part of the all-star cast that helped lead "Ice Age: Continental Drift" to the top of the box office over the weekend, and the entertainer is eager to focus even more attention on her once white-hot movie career.

"I do miss doing films. I feel like the last two years with '[American] Idol,' I've really, really focused on, you know, my music. ... It was all kind of very synergistic, it worked really well together," said Miss Lopez, whose movie hits include "Maid in Manhattan" and "Selena," and who was in "What to Expect When You're Expecting" earlier this year. "But [film] is something that I really loved, it's how I kind of started in this business, and it doesn't leave you. I am an actress, I need to do that, too."

She'll certainly have more time now that she's not going to be a judge on "American Idol." She announced on Friday that she will not be coming back to the Fox talent competition, following in the footsteps of fellow judge Steven Tyler, who announced a day earlier that he would leave the show to devote more time to his band, Aerosmith.

But before Miss Lopez concentrates more on film, she has a lot on her music plate. She's releasing a greatest hits album, and this summer, she embarked on a world tour with Enrique Iglesias.

'Fringe' stars get emotional as show's final season nears

There were no doppelgangers at the final panel for "Fringe" at Comic-Con, but there were plenty of tears.

"Fringe" stars Jasika Nicole, Anna Torv and Lance Reddick cried while reminiscing about their favorite scenes at the pop-culture convention Sunday.

"You can't go out and tell anybody this happened," joked a weepy Mr. Reddick after recalling a few heartfelt scenes with Miss Nicole's character, Astrid, and her double.

"Fringe" actors Joshua Jackson and John Noble also were on hand for the panel, which kicked off with a trailer for the final installment that was filmed last season and served as a sales pitch to garner the ratings-challenged series a final bow.

"This was a testament to how much everybody loves the show," said executive producer J.H. Wyman.

The new season will jump ahead to the year 2036 when the mysterious, pale Observers have taken over the world.

After a group of female fans asked why there were no lady Observers, Mr. Wyman told the crowd that the reason would "become apparent this year." He also said he let the actors in on how the show would wrap up, a departure from past seasons when the cast was left in the dark.

"Just as much as you want the show to end well, we want the show to end well," Mr. Jackson said.

The fifth and final season of "Fringe" debuts Sept. 28.

HBO's 'Game of Thrones' adds to series' cast

Diana Rigg was crowned a queen at Comic-Con — and she wasn't even there.

The 73-year-old actress and several others were revealed Friday as joining the cast of HBO's "Game of Thrones" for the fantasy series' upcoming third season. The former star of "The Avengers" will play Olenna Tyrell, also known as the Queen of Thorns.

Other additions include Mackenzie Crook as wildling raider Orell, Clive Russell as Bryndon "Blackfish" Tully, Nathalie Emannuel as slave translator Missandei, Paul Kaye as Thoros of Myr, Kerry Ingram as Shireen Baratheon and Tara Fitzgerald as her mother, Selyse.

The new cast members were not on hand at the show's presentation at the pop-culture convention. Instead, a video of interviews with the new cast members was shown and fans asked questions of actors Richard Madden, Michelle Fairley, Alfie Allen, Emilia Clarke, Rose Leslie, producer Carolyn Straus and George R.R. Martin, the author of the book series that "Game of Thrones" is based on.

Other than revealing the new cast members, no information about the next season was spilled, except that it was filming in Ireland, Croatia, Iceland and Morocco.

The next season of "Game of Thrones" will premiere March 31.

• Compiled from Web and wire reports