JIM HARTZ DIES AT 82: According to Deadline, Jim Hartz, who co-hosted the Today show with Barbara Walters in the 1970s, passed away on April 17th at the age of 82. His wife, Alexandra Dickson Hartz, said his cause of death was chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Hartz was a reporter for WNBC before joining Today for two years. Following this, he was a news anchor for WRC and worked with PBS. He is survived by his wife, Alexandra Dickson Hartz, his two daughters, Jana Hartz Maher and Nancy Hartz Cole, his six grandchildren, and his six great-grandchildren.
SHOWTIME AND PARAMOUNT CUT TIES WITH SHOWRUNNER DAVID HOLLANDER: Deadline reports that Showtime and Paramount Television will no longer be working with showrunner David Hollander, who was the “developer, director, executive producer and showrunner” of the upcoming Showtime series American Gigilo, based on the 1980 movie. Sources close to production cite misconduct allegations, though the exact nature of Holland’s misconduct is unclear.
JOE MANGANIELLO JOINS THE CAST OF THE KILL ROOM: The A.V. Club reports that Joe Manganiello will join Samuel L. Jackson and Uma Thurman in the dark comedy The Kill Room. Manganiello is set to play “a hitman that gets drawn into the middle of a money laundering operation run by his boss (Jackson) and an art dealer (Thurman).”
JASMINE DAVIS LEAVES THE CHI: According to Deadline, Jasmine Davis recently revealed that she will not be returning for the fifth season of The Chi, which is set to premiere in June. Davis tweeted, “Due to the many inquiries I’m officially announcing. I will not be in season 5 of @SHOTheChi and I will no longer be part of #thechi/#disneyproduction. Sending a BIG THANKS to all of my family and supporters/fans who have embraced me with along this journey. #selfworth.” When a fan asked why she was leaving the show, Davis replied, “the reasons will be discussed at a later time.” On Sunday (April 24th), Davis reiterated this sentiment while going live on Instagram, asking media outlets to not make assumptions about her departure.