NEWS: Genie Francis, Kate del Castillo, Hayden Panettiere, Nancy Lee Grahn, Laura Dern, Jonathan Wrather, Paul Lee

General Hospital's Genie Francis: On Losing Weight and Loving Life
In a new Mind Your Body with Stephanie Stephens video, Francis dishes weight loss secrets and more. She is open about her own insecurities and has taken smart steps to educate herself about eating. The GH star is "a shining example" of the benefits of “knowing thyself” and how food really can be your friend if you take time to get to know it better. As a spokesperson for Nutrisystem, she’s a "walking encyclopedia" of smart eating, so she provided some weight-loss secrets. Watch the segment below.

Sean Penn secretly interviewed ‘El Chapo,’ Mexican drug lord, thanks to telenovela star Kate del Castillo
The interviews, originally for a proposed film but later written up by Penn in a Rolling Stone article, were held in a jungle clearing atop a mountain at an undisclosed location in Mexico. Surrounded by more than 100 cartel troops, and wearing a silk shirt and pressed black jeans, Mr. Guzmán sat down to dinner with Mr. Penn and Kate del Castillo, a Mexican actress who once played a drug kingpin in the soap opera La Reina del Sur.

In the end, the Mexican authorities said Friday night that Guzmán had been caught partly because he had been planning a movie about his life, and had contacted actors and producers, which had helped the authorities to track him down. Penn’s story says Guzmán, inundated with Hollywood offers while in prison, had indeed elected to make his own movie. del Castillo, whom he contacted through his lawyer after she posted supportive messages on Twitter, was the only person he trusted to shepherd the project, the story says. Penn heard about the connection with del Castillo through a mutual acquaintance, and asked if he might do an interview.

Hayden Panettiere
Hayden Panettiere returns to Nashville following medical leave
Panettiere — who in October took a leave of absence from the ABC drama to undergo treatment for postpartum depression — has returned to work on the series. An ABC rep declined to comment, but TVLine sources confirm that the actress reported back to the set on Friday to begin work on Season 4’s 14th episode, which is slated to air in April. (Nashville returns from its midseason break on March 16).

ABC boss says Nashville's future will be decided in May, but he wants to keep it going
ABC Entertainment Group president Paul Lee spoke to reporters Saturday at the Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour, and said he remained supportive of the country music soap. A decision on the drama’s fate won’t be made until May. “We don’t have any plans to finish Nashville,” he said. “We have an incredibly passionate audience. There are no plans for Nashville other than to keep it going.”

Once Upon a Time has a “long, bright future”
Per Paul Lee at the Winter TCAs, ABC isn’t giving up on Once Upon a Time anytime soon, despite recent ratings struggles.

On Saturday, Nancy Lee Grahn attended “The Race
Factor & Rights vs. Responsibilities,” a community
talk at The King Center in Atlanta. Photo via
Eldredge ATL.
After her infamous Primetime Emmys tweets, General Hospital actress Nancy Grahn heads to Atlanta’s King Center to discuss lessons learned
Explains Grahn (who plays Alexis on GH): “Here’s what I learned. When Viola Davis was talking about race that night, I didn’t get it. It’s because I have white privilege. I grew up not seeing race and I grew up mistakenly believing that not seeing the color of someone’s skin was sign of respect. That’s probably true of a lot of white people. When Viola Davis was up there, I didn’t see a black actress. I just saw a great actress. And that’s the problem. People of color don’t have that privilege. It wasn’t something I had investigated. I never thought about white privilege because I didn’t have to. After all, the Band-Aids are manufactured to match my skin color, aren’t they? Now I’m digging into all of this. I’m learning and I have more to learn.”

Laura Dern joins the Twin Peaks revival
The casting reunites Dern with David Lynch, who directed her in Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart and Inland Empire. According to TVLine, Dern could also reunite with her Blue Velvet co-star Kyle MacLachlan, playing Agent Cooper’s secretary.

ABC’s Of Kings and Prophets may put racy censored scenes on the web
The midseason Biblical drama currently contains a provocative sex scene that may not cut it for broadcast TV.

ABC Family boss defends the Freeform name-change
ABC Family president Tom Ascheim said his cable network needed to move away from its “hallowed” brand names of Disney and ABC. Freeform, he added, sounds more fresh and hip.

Former Coronation Street actor Jonathan Wrather has joined the cast of Emmerdale as Pierce Harris
Wrather, who some viewers may recognise as con-man Joe Carter who tried to fleece Mike Baldwin in Corrie between 2002 and 2003, will join 'The Dales' in mid-February under dramatic circumstances.



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