NEWS: Finola Hughes, Kesha, Martha Byrne, Hulu, Apple, Dark Matter, Killjoys, Empire

Finola Hughes
Finola Hughes return to General Hospital today as Anna Devane
"I’ve got some great stuff to do," Hughes reveals to Soap Opera Digest. I’ve only just started to get back into Anna’s skin a little bit, but I’ve missed telling stories. I can’t wait to be back, I really can’t. I’m really looking forward to it.” She said she didn't know the long-term plan for the character, reporting, "Frank [Valentini, executive poducer] gave me a call and said, ‘This is what’s happening initially,’ and that’s all I know. Literally, I just jump back on the bike and I don’t know what’s around the corner, to use two metaphors [laughs]. I need a job, I need somewhere to live and I need a relationship, in that order.”

Redoubling its challenge to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, Hulu is finally offering an ad-free version of its Internet movie and television streaming service
On Wednesday, the big-studio-backed Hulu announced that users can now watch movies and shows without commercials for $11.99 a month.

Pop star Kesha to guest on Jane the Virgin
Kesha makes her debut in Episode 2 as Annabelle, a rocker who moves next door to Jane and isn’t exactly a “baby person,” the network announced on Monday.

Apple eyes move into original programming
The scale of Apple’s ambitions vary depending on whom is asked, but one high-level executive said the goal is to create development and production divisions that would churn out long-form content to stream in a bid to compete with Netflix. Apple is hoping to put a headhunting firm on those hires in the coming months, according to source, with the goal of being in operation next year. Unknown is whether the focus is on TV series, movies — or both. Other sources described the company’s exploration as more of a flirtation.

As the World Turns star Martha Byrne to appear at Miama
Byrne, who stars in and produces the web series Anacostia and Weight, will be the special celebrity guest at Miami Web Fest presenting the Best in Festival at the Awards show on Sunday October 4, as well as receiving a special award from the festival.

Syfy gives second seasons to Dark Matter, Killjoys
Both dramas premiered earlier this summer and aired on Fridays, faring decently in same-day numbers by the night’s low-bar standards.

Empire Season 1 marathon airing on Labor Day
Fox announced Tuesday that the entire first season of Empire will air Monday starting at noon ET/PT. It will run through 11 p.m. ET/PT.

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