Late Late Show host leaving
Craig Ferguson says he is stepping down as host of CBS’ “The Late Late Show” this year.
CBS says Ferguson made the announcement to his studio audience Monday.
It’s the second late-night retirement for CBS, with David Letterman’s decision to leave “Late Show” in 2015. Letterman will be succeeded by Stephen Colbert.
Ferguson says he will retire this December. CBS did not announce who will replace him.
New Star Wars cast unveiled
“Star Wars: Episode VII” finally has its stars. May the Force be with them.
After months of carefully guarded secrecy and endless Internet speculation, the cast of the latest incarnation of the space epic was unveiled Tuesday on the official “Star Wars” website by Lucasfilm and the Walt Disney Co.
Starring in J.J. Abrams’ new “Star Wars” are: John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Max von Sydow, Andy Serkis and Domhnall Gleeson.
The companies declined to name the characters each will play, though Driver, the breakout star of HBO’s “Girls,” is widely expected to be playing the film’s feature villain.
They join returning “Star Wars” veterans Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher. Peter Mayhew is also back as Chewbacca and Kenny Baker will reprise RD-D2.
“It is both thrilling and surreal to watch the beloved original cast and these brilliant new performers come together to bring this world to life, once again,” director and co-writer Abrams said in a statement. “We start shooting in a couple of weeks, and everyone is doing their best to make the fans proud.”
Disney will release “Star Wars: Episode VII,” which will be set 30 years after 1983’s “Return of the Jedi,” in December 2015.
Glover to sing at reopening
“American Idol” winner Candice Glover will help reopen the Washington Monument, which has been closed since a 2011 earthquake.
Organizers say the R&B singer will join with the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, the U.S. Navy Band and the boy and girl choristers of the Washington National Cathedral Choir for the May 12 re-opening ceremony. The “Today” show’s Al Roker will host the event.
Fox doing ‘Grease Live’ musical
Fox is joining NBC in the live musical event business with its own production of “Grease,” expected to air sometime in 2015.
The network is calling it “Grease Live” as a working title, but the three-hour production will take the 1971 Broadway musical (and the 1978 movie) and recast it with a brand-new ensemble cast. The musical is set at the fictional Rydell High School in the 1950s and follows working-class teenagers as they fall in and out of love. The film version is notable for the pairing of John Travolta as the greaser Danny and Olivia Newton-John as the new girl in school, Sandy.
NBC took a gamble last year with its live production of “The Sound of Music” that turned into a ratings smash, with 18.6 million people tuning into the live event.