LESLIE JONES EXITING ‘SNL,’ KATE MCKINNON BACK NEXT SEASON
LOS ANGELES (AP) – “Saturday Night Live” cast member Leslie Jones is leaving the NBC show after five seasons, while Kate McKinnon is sticking around.
Jones’ departure was confirmed by a person familiar with the change who spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss Jones’ status with the long-running sketch series.
The departure comes as Jones is branching out into other projects.
The person also said McKinnon will return for her eighth season with the show. McKinnon’s portrayals of political figures including Hillary Clinton and Jeff Sessions have become a “SNL” staple.
Earlier this month, Jones announced she’s doing a Netflix stand-up special. Appearing on Jimmy Kimmel’s late-night show, Jones said it’s great to be an actress but that she’s really a “hardcore” stand-up comedian.
TV VIEWERSHIP DOWN, SOCIAL MEDIA UP FOR VMAS
NEW YORK (AP) – If Taylor Swift, Missy Elliott and a 1990s rap reunion couldn’t halt the shrinkage of MTV’s television audience for its Video Music Awards, perhaps nothing can.
Monday’s show was seen by 4.9 million viewers across 12 different Viacom-owned networks. The Nielsen company says that’s down from last year’s audience of 5.2 million. The annual event has been slipping steadily in television viewers since reaching 10.3 million people in 2014.
But MTV says more people are following the show through social media, and is encouraged by the growth in those numbers.
For example, MTV aggressively pushes out clips of the show on social media platforms, and said those views were up 85 percent over last year.
JUDGE SAYS LOUGHLIN, HUSBAND CAN STICK WITH THEIR LAW FIRM
BOSTON (AP) – A judge says actress Lori Loughlin (LAWK’-lin) and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, can continue using a law firm that recently represented the University of Southern California.
The couple appeared in Boston federal court Tuesday to settle a dispute over their choice of lawyers in a sweeping college admissions bribery case.
Prosecutors had said their lawyers pose a potential conflict of interest. Loughlin and Giannulli say the firm’s work for USC was unrelated to the admissions case and was handled by different lawyers.
The judge is expected to rule later on a potential conflict with another firm representing the couple that also represents other defendants in the case.
The couple is accused of paying $500,000 to have their two daughters labeled as recruits to the USC crew team, even though neither participated in the sport. They have pleaded not guilty.
KIM FOXX: WORK OF SMOLLETT SPECIAL PROSECUTOR UNDERWAY
CHICAGO (AP) – Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx says the work has begun of a special prosecutor investigating why her office dropped charges against Jussie Smollett (smoh-LET’) accusing the actor of staging an attack on himself.
Her remarks to reporters Tuesday were her first extensive comments since a judge Friday appointed former U.S. Attorney Dan Webb as special prosecutor.
Foxx said Webb “reached out” and the “process is already underway.” She added she’d be “fully cooperative” and looked forward to “lessons” her office “can learn.”
Foxx faced criticism for scant, contradictory explanations for why charges were dropped. Smollett still insists he was the victim of a racist, anti-gay attack.
Foxx expressed some frustration at how Smollett’s case has consumed her office’s time. And she said it’s “unfortunate” that “the integrity of the office is being judged by one case.”