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Mario Batali Fired from 'The Chew'

12/14/2017 3:37 PM PST
Breaking News

Mario Batali is officially cut from "The Chew" ... for good.

ABC completed its review into multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against the celeb chef -- and says, "While we remain unaware of any type of inappropriate behavior involving him and anyone affiliated with our show, ABC takes matters like this very seriously as we are committed to a safe work environment and his past behavior violates our standards of conduct."

As we reported ... 4 women claimed Batali had inappropriately touched them in the past, 3 of whom used to work for him. Batali said some of the accusations matched up with ways he'd acted.

Ronan Farrow Keep It Up, Accusers ... America Needs This Wake-Up Call

12/14/2017 1:59 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Ronan Farrow's whistleblowing article on Harvey Weinstein opened the floodgates of sexual harassment allegations in and out of Hollywood -- and he says it's exactly what America needed.

We got Ronan catching a flight out of LAX Thursday and asked him about alleged sexual abusers starting to fight back. As we reported, PBS host Tavis Smiley believes he was railroaded by a "sloppy" investigation.

Ronan says even if some of the accused are pissed off, it's worth it because victims have had to be silent for decades -- and conversations about sexual misconduct are long overdue.

He's hopeful the convos are gonna create boundaries for men in power, including his own estranged dad, Woody Allen and Morgan Spurlock, who confessed to sexual assault. 

50 Cent Inks 8-Figure Deal with Starz

12/13/2017 4:58 PM PST
Exclusive Details

50 Cent's got a lot more money -- 8 figures worth -- to bring a lot more than just "Power" to the screen with Starz ... TMZ has learned.

Sources close to the deal tell us ... it includes 3 projects the rapper-turned actor/producer already has in development -- "Black Mafia Family," "Tomorrow, Today" and a third to be announced soon.

As you may know ... Fiddy currently boasts the hugely successful show "Power" on Starz, the most-watched series on the network. He also produces "50 Central" on BET and releases exclusive new music through his shows.

Mr. Jackson's new deal with Starz extends their business relationship to September 2019.

Justin Bieber Bonin' Up On His Acting Skills

12/13/2017 3:20 PM PST
Exclusive Details

Justin Bieber's going hard into the acting world, working with a professional who's helped some of the biggest names in Hollywood -- but don't count on seeing his skills on a screen anytime soon.

Sources close to the Biebs tell TMZ ... he's taking acting lessons for the fun of it. We're told he's NOT working on any kind of project, he simply wanted to try acting lessons. Up til now, his resume consists of getting gunned down on 'CSI' and playing himself in "Zoolander 2."

Even though he says he's just goofing around, Justin's learning at Nancy Banks' studio in L.A. -- the same place celebs like Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, Channing Tatum, Zac Efron, Forest Whitaker and many more hone their craft.

First a Grammy ... Emmy, Oscar and Tony next?

Anna Faris Leader of the Pack But Jack's Got A Better View

12/11/2017 8:48 AM PST

Anna Faris' posse is back to a party of 3.

Anna was out Sunday in L.A. taking a stroll with her boyfriend, Michael Barrett, and her son, Jack

Jack looks pretty chill up on Barrett's shoulders and it shouldn't come as a surprise since Anna and Michael have been spending plenty of time together. The two were spotted just a couple weeks ago when they went house hunting together.

As for things with estranged hubby Chris Pratt, the two filed for divorce simultaneously Dec. 1 ... and they're asking for joint custody of Jack.

'Life In Pieces' Toddler Star Could Buy a Benz!

12/11/2017 12:20 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

 "Life in Pieces" actress Ana Sophia Heger's stashing $70k in the bank and co-starring with James Brolin and Colin Hanks ... while most kids her age are just trying to color within the lines. 

We got ahold of 4-year-old Ana's contract for the hit series -- filed in court because she's a minor -- and it's clear she's already a seasoned pro. She was guaranteed $10k an episode for 2 guest appearances playing Lark.

Kid must've killed it 'cause now she has 5 more episodes to her credit ... at that same rate. That's a whole lotta animal crackers!

Sophia also gets her own trailer complete with TV, DVD player, sofa, bathroom, microwave and more. Beats building a fort with pillows and blankets.

Ellen DeGeneres New Carpinteria Home Under Threat of Wildfires

12/10/2017 2:23 PM PST

4:50 PM PT -- Rob Lowe has evacuated his home due to the Thomas Fire. Ellen DeGeneres' new beach side house is now under threat of being scorched by SoCal wildfires ... and it sounds like she's starting to evacuate. 

Ellen tweeted Sunday that she just had to evacuate her pets from her recently purchased beach house in Carpinteria, for which she plunked down $18.6 million in October.

It's unclear if Ellen herself is being ordered to leave, or if she's already left, but it sure seems like the flames near her -- now dubbed the Thomas Fire -- are starting to get too close for comfort. So far, it's reportedly burned at least 200,000 acres in the area.

The fire has also spread to Montecito, which is home to tons of celebs who could potentially end up being affected, such as Oprah, Jeff Bridges, Drew Barrymore, Rob Lowe, and Patrick Stewart ... just to name a few.

Looks like Ellen is already taking precautions. Our advice to everyone else ... get out.

SNL Hey Santa ... Can I Have a Matt Lauer Toy?!!?

12/10/2017 7:13 AM PST

SNL hit a home run with an hilarious skit featuring some highly evolved kids who are more interested in sexual harassment, Trump's recognition of Jerusalem, the tax plan, and the opioid crisis than an Xbox.

Kenan Thompson nailed it as Santa and Kate McKinnon was one of the best elfs ever as kid by kid by kid put St. Nick on the spot.

The best line ... when one of the kids wanted a Matt Lauer sex toy.  

Exasperated Santa is the best! 

'Pokemon' Cartoon Star Ryan Reynolds is a Catch for Pikachu

12/8/2017 12:30 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Ryan Reynolds playing Pikachu gets a big ole stamp of approval from one of the biggest stars in the Pokemon universe.

Veronica Taylor voiced Pokemon trainer, Ash, for 8 seasons of the animated show, and has a hard time wrapping her brain around a live-action Pikachu -- but she told us Ryan has the skills to pull it off.

Bonus for Ryan: She says taking on the "Detective Pikachu" role means more than a fat paycheck -- it's gonna pay off for his kids on the playground.

As for which will reign supreme -- cartoon or the movie? Veronica tried to play it down the middle, but you can tell where her heart is.

Steve Harvey Sued for Alleged Fraud Involving Charity Blames Oprah, Tyler Perry for Bad Financial Advice

12/7/2017 5:04 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Steve Harvey is being sued by a guy who claims he was hired by the TV mogul to raise $20 million for the Steve and Marjorie Foundation as well as other ventures and got royally stiffed.

Vincent Dimmock claims he struck a deal with Harvey in April to raise the $20 mil, and in return he says he was promised 12.5% of everything he brought in. Dimmock says in the lawsuit he had access to high-level execs, A-list entertainers and political figures including a former President, and he got pledges for $20 mil.

According to the suit, Dimmock delivered on the first million but Harvey refused to pay him his commission.

Dimmock claims Harvey never intended to pay him and then goes on to make various allegations. 

Dimmock says he introduced Harvey to an investor in May, and during their meeting he allegedly disparaged women, blamed Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry for giving him bad financial advice and also blamed Barack Obama for Harvey's "disastrous meeting with Donald Trump." 

He says Harvey and his foundation were in bad financial shape because of a series of P.R. gaffes, including mocking Asian men and meeting with Trump.

We reached out to Harvey's agent, Todd Frank, who tells TMZ, "It sounds fake. Steve is the most loyal guy in the world. I've never been stiffed on a commission from Steve Harvey in 21 years."

Adult Swim's 'Black Jesus' Holy Tossed Lawsuits!!! No One Owns Black JC Idea

12/7/2017 4:51 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Adult Swim's prayers have been answered ... the "Black Jesus" lawsuit is no more. Amen. 

A judge dismissed the suit a writer named Saint Solomon filed against AS. He claimed their show ripped off his short story, "Thank You, Jesus" -- which also features an African-American Messiah.

In the docs -- obtained by TMZ -- the judge spells it out pretty clearly -- the tales of 2 Christs aren't similar at all ... other than the lead characters being black.

Yes, both works had the idea of making Jesus black, but as the judge said, "Ideas are not protected by copyright." 

As we reported ... Solomon wanted $75 million from Adult Swim. No dice.

Can the network get a hallelujah? 

50 Cent Wins Big in Court 'Power' Was Not a Ripoff

12/7/2017 1:20 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

50 Cent just won a huge legal victory when a judge threw out a lawsuit where he was accused of ripping off someone else's work to create his hit show, "Power."

Two guys wrote a play called "Dangerous" which they claimed was eerily like "Power." The story line involved a drug dealer who engaged in violence, launders money and attempts to stave off prosecution.

The court said these are common elements that are in the public domain and "One need only look to such shows and movies as The Wire, Empire, Breaking Bad, Narcos, Weeds, Carlito's Way, American Gangster, New Jack City, Scarface and Paid in Full."

So, 2 things we know ... 50 Cent won big, and the judge sure knows his TV shows and movies.

L.A. Wildfires Trigger Major Production Halt

12/7/2017 10:44 AM PST
Exclusive Details

The raging L.A. wildfires have brought several Hollywood productions to a screeching halt ... and there's no end in sight.

We're told fires across Southern California -- from Bel-Air and Malibu to Ventura and the San Fernando Valley -- have shut down FOX's 'Last Man on Earth' in Chatsworth, Bravo's "Flipping Out" in Encino and Amazon's "Goliath" in Griffith Park ... just to name a few.

Several commercials and marketing campaigns have also been affected -- from a Chevy commercial set to shoot in the Angeles National Forest to photo shoots for Subaru and luxury retailer Lord & Taylor.

The halt comes on the heels of "S.W.A.T." and "Westworld" shutting down.

Sources at Film L.A. tell us none of the sets have been damaged and production halt is out of precaution. It's unclear when filming resumes because it'll depend on the fire's intensity, containment and aftermath. This, of course, pales in comparison to homes lost and hundreds of thousands forced to evacuate.

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