- - Wednesday, November 28, 2012

ABC is turning its first New Year’s Eve without Dick Clark in four decades partly into a celebration of the showbiz impresario’s life.

Clark, who did the first “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” special on ABC in 1972, died at age 82 in April. Fergie and Jenny McCarthy will be hosts of a two-hour tribute to Clark that will air at 8 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, The Associated Press reports.

ABC said Wednesday that Ryan Seacrest will host the countdown show from Times Square, with Taylor Swift, Carly Rae Jepsen, Neon Trees, Flo Rida and Pitbull among the musical guests. Mr. Seacrest hosted the past few years with Clark making short appearances. A stroke Clark suffered in 2004 had diminished his communications skills.

Al Green, Helen Reddy and Three Dog Night performed at Clark’s first New Year’s special.

Melissa Rycroft wins ‘Dancing With the Stars’

She was dissed on “The Bachelor” and came in third place during her first stint on “Dancing With the Stars,” but Melissa Rycroft is now a winner.

The reality TV star and her professional dance partner, Tony Dovolani, were named the champions Tuesday on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars,” The Associated Press reports.

The pair beat out fellow finalists (and former champs) actress Kelly Monaco and Olympian Shawn Johnson to claim the sparkly mirror-ball trophy.

Fellow contestants on the show’s first “All-Star” season hoisted the new winners into the air as confetti rained down inside the “Dancing With the Stars” ballroom.

On the eve of the final competition, Miss Rycroft said she felt confident and excited.

“I want to feel like a champion,” she said.

Tuesday’s two-hour season finale featured performances by the three finalists and each of the returning cast members: actors Pamela Anderson, Sabrina Bryan, Kirstie Alley and Gilles Marini; singers Joey Fatone and Drew Lachey; race car driver Helio Castroneves; reality TV star Bristol Palin; Olympic skater Apolo Anton Ohno; and football star Emmitt Smith.

Six of those contestants — Miss Johnson, Miss Monaco, Mr. Lachey, Mr. Ohno, Mr. Smith and Mr. Castroneves — were previous “Dancing” winners.

Miss Rycroft and Mr. Dovolani came into the final contest with a pair of perfect scores. Those points were combined with viewer votes and a last set of judges’ scores for an “instant dance” for which they had less than an hour to prepare.

Miss Rycroft was a contestant on “The Bachelor” in 2009 and first appeared on “Dancing With the Stars” that same year. The 29-year-old also starred in a reality series earlier this year, “Melissa & Tye,” about her marriage to Tye Strickland and their move to Hollywood so she could pursue an entertainment career.

Disney sets series premiere for ‘Sofia the First’

Disney said its animated children’s series “Sofia the First” will premiere Jan. 11 on the Disney Channel and Disney Junior networks.

Created for children ages 2 to 7, “Sofia the First” is about a young girl who becomes a princess and learns that honesty, loyalty and compassion are what makes a person royal.

Sofia is voiced by “Modern Family” actress Ariel Winter, and her mother is played by “Grey’s Anatomy” star Sara Ramirez.

Last week’s premiere of the “Sofia the First” animated movie drew a total audience of more than 5 million viewers, according to The Associated Press. It was the year’s top-rated cable TV telecast among children ages 2 to 5.

In the series’ debut episode, Sofia strives to become the first princess to earn a spot on her school’s flying derby team.

Originally reported to be Disney’s first Hispanic princess, Disney backed away from that description after Hispanic advocacy groups questioned whether the fair-skinned, blue-eyed princess was an accurate representation of the Hispanic population. On Princess Sofia’s Facebook page, Disney later said Sofia “is a fairytale girl who lives in a fairytale world.”

Rob Lowe to star in Casey Anthony TV movie

“Prosecuting Casey Anthony” starring Rob Lowe is set to debut early next year on the Lifetime cable network.

Based on prosecutor Jeff Ashton’s book, “Imperfect Justice,” the movie will air at 8 p.m. Jan. 19, The Associated Press reports.

Mr. Lowe plays Mr. Ashton and the story is told through his point of view, with Miss Anthony herself as a relatively minor character.

Miss Anthony was arrested in 2008 and charged in the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee. She was acquitted of murder in summer 2010.

Mr. Ashton left the state attorney’s office after the case but then unseated his former boss in an election this past summer. Mr. Ashton will take office Jan. 8.

Elizabeth Mitchell, of “Lost” and “Revolution,” plays prosecutor Linda Drane Burdick. Oscar Nunez, of “The Office,” plays defense attorney Jose Baez.

Police called to Cowell home in break-in hoax

“The X Factor’s” Simon Cowell is the latest victim of a string of so-called swatting hoaxes in Los Angeles, in which police are called to celebrities’ homes by false reports of crimes.

Officers rushed to his home Sunday following a telephone report of “unknown trouble,” said Lincoln Hoshino of the Beverly Hills Police Department, according to Agence France-Presse. Police added that when they got there, Mr. Cowell was present but reported no disturbance.

“The caller reported that someone within the house had been tied up with duct tape and needed assistance,” he said.

Other victims of the swatting wave — in which hoax callers report crimes in progress at stars’ homes, triggering the dispatch of officers including SWAT teams — have included Ashton Kutcher, Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber.

The police spokesman added that Sunday’s incident was rather amateurish.

“The call was so ridiculously done it had no credibility with the dispatcher. The dispatcher immediately suspected it was a fake,” he said, although officers were sent to check out the report, just in case.

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