- - Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Charlie Sheen roast set for Comedy Central

There should be no shortage of material.

According to the Associated Press, Comedy Central said Tuesday that Charlie Sheen has agreed to be the subject of its next celebrity roast. It will be taped in Los Angeles and air on Sept. 19.

That also happens to be the same night Ashton Kutcher debuts as Mr. Sheen’s replacement in the CBS comedy “Two and a Half Men.” Mr. Sheen was thrown off the show after his hard partying forced a production shutdown.

The two programs won’t compete directly. The Comedy Central roast is scheduled for 10 p.m., an hour after “Two and a Half Men” airs.

Mr. Sheen said: “You could say I’ve been providing kindling for this roast for a while. It’s time to light it up. It’s going to be epic.”

Mariah Carey may have larger role on ‘X Factor’

We’ve already heard word that Mariah Carey is expected to participate in the U.S. premiere season of Simon Cowell’s “The X Factor” in some capacity. Now, sources are saying that Miss Carey might stay on to mentor the contestants throughout the season, according to Entertainment Weekly.

A show insider told EW, “Mariah and Simon are great friends, and now [that] she has had her babies, it’s very possible that she will be involved [in] some way in the later stages of the show. She has always said she wanted to work with the show, so it’s something they will certainly be discussing ideas for soon.”

Mr. Cowell continues to express his desire for Miss Carey to join the show, telling press, “I think Mariah will have a role on the TV live shows. I met her recently and she was in great form. And her idea was to be the judge of the judges, which only Mariah could come up with.”

He added, “She’ll be involved in some form. I literally adore her. I love her to bits.”

Already on board to judge the talent competition is Pussycat Dolls front-woman Nicole Scherzinger, music mogul L.A. Reid, and Mr. Cowell’s former “American Idol” cohort Paula Abdul.

The show premieres Sept. 21 on Fox.

Chelsea Handler sitcom axes three cast members

“Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me Chelsea,” the much buzzed about NBC sitcom inspired by E!’s late-night talk show host, comedian Chelsea Handler, is undergoing a cast shakeup.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, sources have confirmed that the series has let go of three of its cast members, as first reported by TVLine. Natalie Morales (“White Collar,” “Parks and Recreation”), Angela Laketa Moore (“ER”), and comedian Jo Koy (a “Chelsea Lately” contributor) have been let go for creative reasons. Apparently, the show is taking their characters in a different direction.

Miss Morales was set to play Miss Handler’s best friend, while Miss Moore and Miss Koy were to play her co-workers at a sports bar.

“That 70s Show” alum Laura Prepon is still on as the series’ lead. It also currently stars Mark Povinelli (“Water for Elephants”), Lauren Lapkus (“The Middle”) and Lenny Clarke (“Rescue Me”). Miss Handler, who also executive produces, will make guest appearances as her own sister.

The show is based on the comedian’s 2008 memoir of the same name and portrays a semi-autobiographical Miss Handler and her friends’ experiences in their early 20s in Los Angeles.

‘Glee’ creator Murphy shakes up show’s cast

It’s a case of good news/bad news for “Glee” fans, courtesy of show creator Ryan Murphy as reported on Deadline.com.

First the good: Darren Criss (Blaine) and Harry Shum Jr. (Mike) officially have been upgraded to full-time series regulars, effective this fall with the start of season three. And now, the bad: The series regular option for Chord Overstreet has not been picked up.

A source close to the show, however, said the actor - who joined the Fox hit last fall in the recurring role of McKinley transfer student Sam Evans - could return as an occasional guest star.

Late Friday, Mr. Overstreet tweeted, “It’s been a good year. Too bad it’s over. Time for summer and starting fresh.”

Another new member of New Directions, Ashley Fink, who plays Lauren Zizes, was billed as a recurring guest star this past season despite appearing in almost every episode. She will remain a guest star and her presence on the show may be scaled back.

The news comes as the cast of “Glee” is wrapping up a concert tour. It also comes two weeks after Mr. Murphy raised eyebrows when he told Ryan Seacrest that most of the show’s primary characters would graduate by the end of next season.

Coaches for ‘The Voice’ will return for season 2

NBC says the four musician-coaches who have helped make “The Voice” a summer hit will be back for the next round of the vocal competition, according to the Associated Press.

NBC said last week that Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton all will return when “The Voice” resumes in midseason next year.

The series features the musician-coaches - don’t call them judges - working with the vocalists throughout the competition.

A major success for NBC, “The Voice” ranked in third and fifth place in viewers last week.

FX acquires right to air latest ‘Transformers’ film

FX has acquired commercial TV rights to Michael Bay’s “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Released on June 29, the franchise’s third film took the weekend’s No. 1 box office spot and was the highest-grossing movie ever for the Fourth of July weekend.

“Dark of the Moon” is set to earn $181.1 million through Monday from North American box offices, but globally, the total more than doubles to $398.1 million in the film’s six-day debut.

Though the film, starring Shia LaBeouf, performed behind “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” domestically, “Dark of the Moon” was well ahead of the previous iteration internationally.

FX expects to air the film in late 2013 or early 2014.

The latest move follows in FX’s recent acquisitions of top box-office performers, including “Super 8,” “Bad Teacher,” “Green Lantern,” “The Hangover Part II,” “X-Men: First Class” and “Thor.”

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