HOLLYWOOD — Insiders at ABC say Elisabeth Hasselbeck was informed last March that the network was not renewing her contract at “The View.” Although ABC gave her time to land another job (she’s going to Fox News), it cut her two weeks before the season ended. Sources say ABC didn’t want her departure to cut into Joy Behar’s, who decided to leave. For Hasselbeck’s last day, they had to rebook Debbie Matenopoulos, who was the first lady axed from “The View.”
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Clint Eastwood will definitely direct the film version of “Jersey Boys.” Clint has chosen the four lead actors/singers from various productions of the world-wide hit show. John Lloyd Young, who originally played Frankie Valli, won a Tony Award and a Grammy, as well as awards from “The Drama Desk,” “Outer Critics Circle” and “The Drama League.” He left the show in 2007, did a guest shot on “Glee,” returned to “Boys” in 2012 for three months and then again this year.
The other three “Boys” will be played by Michael Lomenda, who played Nick Massi in the Toronto production for 830 performances; Vincent Piazza, who played Tommy DeVito (and acted on “Boardwalk Empire”); and Erich Bergen, who played Bob Gaudio for four years in road companies.
Eastwood has cast Christopher Walken to play Angelo “Gyp” DeCarlo, the Jersey mobster who, in the show, served as unofficial adviser to the group as they tried to build their careers without falling into the grip of the mob. Walken will sing and dance, as he did in “Hairspray.” Shooting starts in September.
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Online booksellers were overwhelmed with orders for “The Cockoo’s Calling” by Robert Galbraith when it was announced that it was actually written by J.K. Rowling, author of the “Harry Potter” books. In 2007, author Ian Rankin revealed that his wife saw Rowling “scribbling away” at a detective novel in a cafe. After being pressured, he claimed it was a joke. Rowling wrote the outline for the Potter books on a train, so why not a detective novel in a cafe? A second printing was run to meet demands, and Rowling says she’ll write the sequel under her pseudonym.
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Chris Evans — who scored with “Captain America: The First Avenger,” which grossed $368 million, and “The Avengers,” which grossed $1.5 billion — is at work on “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” due out April 2014. He will soon start “Avengers 2,” which shoots next year, for a May 2015 release. … Forbes Magazine named Robert Downey Jr. as last year’s top grossing star because he earned $75 million. Captain America only weighs in with a shield, while Iron Man boasts rare metals from head to toe!
© 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.