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Days Of Our Lives (1965current; see more on p25) troublemaker Nicole Walker (Arianne Zucker) is done – actress Arianne is leaving for good (again) after being an on-again-off-again cast member since 1998. She quit the first time in 2006 but returned in 2008 to win three Daytime Emmy Awards. She released a statement on her website to say that “there are a thousand girls who would love this role, but for me the time has come to say goodbye”. Arianne added that “although nothing is ever permanent and I never like to say never, it is bye for now. I will see you all in other places, as other characters and I am excited for my journey”.
Jane Lynch hasn’t had much to sing about since musical dramedy Glee (2009-2015) ended. Her last scripted series – dark comedy Angel From Hell (2016) – was pulled from the air after five episodes but things seem to be looking up. Jane’s been cast in the pilot for comedy show Relatively Happy (due later in 2017) about two adult siblings who move in together after one of them experiences a loss. Jane will play divorce attorney Bobbi, which the writers originally wanted as a male character but felt that “Jane would be perfect to” after meeting her. Music fans will need to keep their eyes peeled when epic fantasy series Game Of Thrones (2011-current) returns for season 7 in July this year – Castle On The Hill singer Ed Sheeran has been given a cameo “as a surprise to Maisie [Williams, who plays Arya Stark and is a fan of Ed’s],” says show creator David Benioff. Ed is rumoured to be playing one of the zombified wildlings.
As reported in the 1 March tvplus, Nick Cannon has confirmed that he has left reality talent show America’s Got Talent (2006- current) as their host and presenter. And his replacement has been found – AGT judge Howie Mandel tweeted “Please welcome Tara Banks to the NBCAGT family! She’s our new host!” Luckily Tyra will feel right at home – she was the host and one of the judges on reality show America’s Next Top Model (2003-current) for 22 of the 23 seasons.
This is no “bazinga!” moment – nerdy comedy show The Big Bang Theory’s (2007-current) spin-off has been picked up by CBS network and comes with a creative title: Young Sheldon. It’s the prequel to the awardwining show created by Chuck Lorre and will follow Sheldon Cooper as a nine-year-old in East Texas. Big Bang’s Sheldon – Jim Parsons – will be executive producing and narrating, while playing young Sheldon will be Iain Armitage (Ziggy in thriller drama series Big Little Lies, 2017). Country drama show Nashville (2012-current) has confirmed that Rachel Bilson (Summer in drama show The OC, 2003-2007) and Kaitlin Doubleday (Rhonda in music drama Empire, 2015- current) will be joining midway through season 5. Rachel Instagrammed a photo of herself with Chris Carmack ( Will Lexington in the show), captioned, “Welcome to Nashville B******… This is how it’s done in Tennessee!” [a reference to one of Chris’s lines as Luke on The OC, where they were also co-stars]
Dark comedy Better Call Saul (2015-current) is bringing in the big guns as the prequel to drama series Breaking Bad (2008-2013) rumbles on. Fans can now look forward to drug kingpin chicken-restaurant owner Gus Frings (Giancarlo Esposito) popping up in 2017’s season 3 and rumour is that Breaking Bad lead star Bryan Cranston could be lined up to reprise his role as Walter White, although that may be kept for season 4 if renewed.
Days’ Arianne Zucker.
Rachel Bilson and Chris Carmack from Nashville.