AP NEWS

What’s the 411?

February 24, 2017 GMT

Bill Cosby has returned to social media and is checking his old friends. Cosby, who is facing numerous sexual misconduct accusations, several lawsuits, problems with his health and a criminal trial on sexual assault in Pennsylvania, has decided to go on the offensive. Beginning with the 2017 Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, Cosby’s Twitter feed began to post trailblazing African-American figures in history. This happened almost a month after the African-American-owned digital channel Bounce TV put his 1980s hit sitcom, “The Cosby Show,” back on the air for an hour. Now, Bounce has doubled its Cosby airings, and the comedian’s Twitter feed and lawyers’ statements are back in full effect. A Cosby accuser, actress and self-described former Sammy Davis Jr. girlfriend Katherine McKee, had her defamation lawsuit tossed by a judge over the past week. McKee claimed she was defamed and branded a liar when Cosby’s lawyers denied her rape charges. The judge found McKee didn’t prove she was legally damaged by libel and Cosby has some right to declare himself innocent. Cosby posted the judge’s decision on his social media pages. Then he and his lawyers shamed his longtime TV network home. NBC’s 90th anniversary special saw no mention of Cosby’s 1960s drama “I Spy,” his 50 years of “Tonight Show” appearances or is award-winning prime-time comedy specials. The only scene from “The Cosby Show” featured cast members Phylicia Rashad and Geoffrey Owens speaking. Cosby’s lawyers then checked NBC and Cosby’s social media used the hashtags #NoBillCosby (NBC), #LegacyCantBeAbolished and #TheWorldSeesTheTruth. Cosby’s criminal trial in Montgomery County begins this summer.

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The Oprah Winfrey Network has cancelled the two Tyler Perry sitcoms: “Love Thy Neighbor” and “For Better Or For Worse” (with Camden’s own Tasha Smith). Saturday, March 4 will be the farewell season premiere for “Love Thy Neighbor” at 9 p.m. with a special back-to-back episode presentation. “For Better Or For Worse” will debut with a special back-to-back episode presentation, but on Saturday, June 10 at 9pm. OWN has given Perry another commitment to a second spinoff from “The House Of Payne” series that starred LaVan Davis, Cassie Davis and Allen Payne. I’m hearing LaVan and Cassie may join up with Jackee Harry from “227” for the new “Payne” spinoff, which is scheduled to debut in 2018.

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Nick Cannon is a dad again, but is he all right? Cannon’s girlfriend, Brittany Bell, welcomed their first child together, and his third, son Golden “Sagon” Cannon. The 36-year-old host/actor/comedian took to social media to show off his little bundle of joy. This happy time is a much-needed distraction for Cannon. The TV host is facing a $1.7 million lawsuit involving his app N’credible, which is a talent search app. Also, Cannon’s recent Showtime standup comedy special found Nick using the N word to describe how NBC treats him as host of the NBC summer show “America’s Got Talent.” Cannon hinted that he was going to step down before the network removed him. No official word yet. Now, Cannon is fighting another tabloid story that reports he had a nervous breakdown, and that Mariah Carey will seek custody of the couple’s twins Monroe and Moroccan. What is going on with Cannon? He has been seen in public wearing different styles of turbans? Yes, Cannon rocks turbans. But, he’s also claiming to be a minister, too! What’s going on here?

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Croatian police filed charges against two men who were harassing Jamie Foxx. Foxx is filming a new movie that retells the story of Robin Hood. Foxx plays Little John. “Robin Hood: Origins” is shooting on location in the European country. Foxx went into a restaurant during some down time, and that’s when a couple of locals used verbal attacks against the actor/comedian. After the police were called and disorderly conduct charges were leveled at the men, Foxx took to his social media to call out the men and shine a light on racism.

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Oprah Winfrey herself is joining her BFF Gayle King at CBS. King just signed a lucrative renewal with the network to continue to co-anchor “The CBS Morning News” and to stay with CBS News. Her pal, Winfrey, is joining “60 Minutes” as a special correspondent. Winfrey says she was motivated by the prestige of the legendary news magazine show and by the opportunity to present viewers with a little insight in this atmosphere of the very divided political times. The Mighty O will make her “60 Minutes” debut this fall.

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Queen Latifah and Benjamin Bratt‘s hit drama will return for a second season on Fox. Philly’s own Lee Daniels produces the drama “Star,” which airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m., and the Fox Network is very pleased and released a statement confirming renewing the show. “Star’s” season finale will air March 15, and the countdown is on with guest stars including Rickey Smiley, Big Boi, Missy Elliot, Paris Jackson and Naomi Campbell.

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Speaking of Lee Daniels’ productions, Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson will return to their top-rated Fox drama “Empire” on Wednesday, March 22 at 9 p.m. They’ll have plenty of company as actress Demi Moore makes her debut on the series. Moore will play a nurse with a mysterious past at the end of this season and will return in season four as well. Moore’s daughter, with ex-husband Bruce Willis, Rumer Willis, had already been cast as well as Eva Longoria, Taye Diggs, Nia Long and Phylicia Rashad.

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Congrats to the “Today” show’s Hoda Kotb. At age 52, she’s become a first-time mom by adopting her infant daughter Haley Jo Kotb. Hoda called into the “Today” show with the news, and her shocked colleagues congratulated her. Kotb joins Savannah Guthrie and Dylan Dreyer, who also have new babies. Kotb was previously married to tennis coach Burzis Kanga before divorcing him two years later. Kotb just moved in with her new man, financier Joel Schiffman, and baby Haley Jo makes the picture complete.

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Singer/actor and former teen heartthrob David Cassidy is suffering from dementia. The former “Partridge Family” TV star revealed his condition and that it’s been in his family for several generations. After his massive success as a recording artist, TV star and concert attraction, Cassidy faced drug addiction, arrests and a DUI conviction. The 66-year-old singer is also $200,000 in debt and has been touring to erase it. When he announced his dementia diagnosis to his audience, he also said he would soon retire and focus on his health. Cassidy still must go through his creditors and possibly the courts. He still owes money and retiring before he has an approved plan to pay off those debts will be a legal problem for him.

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Get well wishes go out to Philly’s own singer/songwriter/producer Bunny Sigler. Sigler hit the charts when he was signed to Cameo-Parkway Records in the 1960s with “Let The Good Times Roll,” “There’s No Love Left” and “For Crying Out Loud.” In the ’70s he signed onto Gamble & Huff’s Philadelphia International Records and recorded “Picture Us,” “Love Train” and “That’s How Long I’ll Be Loving You.” Plus, Sigler wrote and produced for other Sound Of Philadelphia artists like Patti LaBelle (“Somebody Loves You Baby,” “Love, Need & Want You”); The O’Jays (“Let Me Make Love To You,” “Sunshine,” “You Got Your Hooks In Me,” “Your Body’s Here With Me”), Lou Rawls (“From Now On”), Shirley Jones (“Do You Get Enough Love”) and Instant Funk (“Got My Mind Made Up”). Wishing a speedy recovery for Bunny!

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Get well wishes go out to James Ingram, as well. Ingram is best known as a singer/songwriter. Ingram has stepped out of the spotlight for the moment and we wish him a speedy recovery and return to performing.

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Philly’s own Kevin Hart has turned author. The hometown comedian/actor is the king of the hill at the box office, and now he’s penning his book called “I Can’t Make This Up.” This is an inspirational and funny memoir of the journey Hart has taken in life and his career. Meanwhile, Hart is filming the new movie “Untouchables” in Philly with actor Bryan Cranston. Both men have been seen out and about in the city of brotherly love for Sixers’ games, working out at the local gym and, of course, on location filming. “Untouchables” is scheduled for a 2018 release. Meanwhile, “I Can’t Make This Up” will be available on line and in bookstores everywhere beginning June 6.