The Academy announced the Oscar nominees yesterday, and “Joker” led the way with 11 nominations, followed by “The Irishman”, “1917”, and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”, which all got 10. All four were nominated for Best Picture, along with “Ford v Ferrari”, “Jojo Rabbit”, “Little Women”, “Marriage Story”, and “Parasite”. Renée Zellweger got a Best Actress nomination for “Judy”. She’s up against Scarlett Johansson (“Marriage Story”) – Charlize Theron (“Bombshell”) – Cynthia Erivo (“Harriet”) – and Saoirse Ronan (“Little Women”). Joaquin Phoenix got a Best Actor nomination for “Joker”. He’s up against Adam Driver (“Marriage Story”) – Leonardo DiCaprio (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”) -Antonio Banderas (“Pain and Glory”) – and Jonathan Pryce (“The Two Popes”).Two of the biggest “snubs” aren’t exactly your typical Oscar-caliber actors: Jennifer Lopez and Adam Sandler. Beyoncé didn’t get a nomination for writing the song “Spirit” for “The Lion King”. Robert De Niro wasn’t nominated for “The Irishman” – Joe Pesci and Al Pacino were. “The 92nd Academy Awards” will air February 9th on ABC. For the second straight year, there won’t be a host.
Major League Baseball concluded that the Houston Astros DID steal signs in 2017 and 2018 . . . and suspended Manager AJ HINCH and General Manager JEFF LUHNOW for all of next season. But the Astros took it a step further by FIRING both guys. Owner JIM CRANE said, quote, “Neither one of them started this, but neither one of them did anything about it. We need to move forward with a clean slate.” He also said he didn’t think the Astros’ 2017 World Series title was tainted by the scandal. But I mean, obviously he HAS TO say that. The Astros also lost first- and second-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021, and they were fined a record $5 million. The Boston Red Sox are also being investigated for stealing signs, and their manager ALEX CORA gonna get clipped, too. He’s a former Astros bench coach who allegedly masterminded ALL the cheating. So yeah, he’s MEGA-screwed.
QUEEN ELIZABETH held a 2 ½ hour meeting with PRINCE HARRY yesterday to discuss MEGXIT. PRINCE CHARLES and PRINCE HARRY were there – MEGHAN MARKLE phoned in from Canada. They’re going to make this work. Queen Elizabeth released her very own statement, “Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family. My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family. Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family.” She added that there will be a, “period of transition in which the Sussexes will spend time in Canada and the UK. These are complex matters for my family to resolve, and there is some more work to be done, but I have asked for final decisions to be reached in the coming days.” William and Harry also issued a statement denying a tabloid report that Megxit was caused by William BULLYING his younger brother. They said, “For brothers who care so deeply about the issues surrounding mental health, the use of inflammatory language in this way is offensive and potentially harmful.”
ESPN is reportedly trying to lure TONY ROMO from CBS by offering him $10 million to $14 million . . . which would make him the highest-paid sportscaster in history. He currently makes around $4 million.
WILL SMITH was jealous of TUPAC, because of his relationship with JADA PINKETT SMITH. Tupac and Jada were childhood friends and when Will started dating Jada, he was JEALOUS of their relationship. He regrets it now. He adds, “She just loved him, like he was the image of perfection, but she was with the Fresh Prince, you know? So, I never could, we were in the room together a couple of times, I couldn’t speak to him, and he wasn’t going to speak to me if I wasn’t going to speak to him . . . That was a huge regret of mine, I couldn’t handle it.
STEVE HARVEY’s NBC daytime talk show was replaced last year by one hosted by KELLY CLARKSON. He says, “I’m happy for people. You know, I’m a person of faith, so when a door closes for me, I just walk up the hall. It’s more doors. I like Kelly Clarkson, I’m happy for her.” He added, “One of my friends said, ‘Man, that’s really big of you to be happy for somebody who replaced your show.’ “I said, ‘I’m happy for her.’ He said, ‘So you watch [her show]?’ I said, ‘I ain’t that happy!'”
People hated TIM MCGRAW and SHY CARTER’s performance of “Way Down” at last night’s College Championship game. They’re saying things like, “the worst song I’ve ever heard” . . . and “so bad you can’t look away.” In other Tim news: He’s taking MIDLAND and INGRID ANDRESS on his Here on Earth Tour, which kicks off in July.
THE CHARLIE DANIELS BAND and THE MARSHALL TUCKER BAND are going on the road together. They’re calling it the Fire on the Mountain Tour, which is ALSO the title of a Marshall Tucker song and a Charlie Daniels album. There are 3 shows in April and 8 in May. They’ll take a summer break, and then do shows in August, September, and November. Aug 28 – Lancaster American Music Theatre (w/ Scooter Brown Band)
Burt Ward played Batman’s sidekick, Robin, on the 1960s TV show Batman. He revealed to Page Six that the bulge in the tight-fitting costumes caught the attention of the League of Decency. Ward said, “They thought that Robin had a very large bulge for television.” He said that he took drugs to shrink the bulge: “I took them for three days and then I decided they can probably keep me from having children. I stopped doing that and I just used my cape to cover it.”
January Jones is opening up on the rumors that she dated former Bachelor star Nick Viall! The 42-year-old actress confirmed she is a big fan of the show, but was blasting Nick while appearing on talk shows. “Nick slid into my DMs, and he’s like, ‘I’m so sorry that your perception of me is so negative, I’d love to take you out to coffee and see if I could change your mind,’” she said. “And I squealed. I was like, ‘I hate that guy!’ but my sister was like, ‘If you don’t go you will forever regret it,’ So I agreed to go on a date with him — or to drinks, or whatever. January says the date was “good,” but all she did “was grill him about the show.” They went on a couple of dates got a lot of juicy inside stuff.
While many fans are disappointed the hit TV show Friends was dropped from Netflix earlier this year, you can get your fill of classic lines in the form of a slow cooker. The 6.5 quart slow cooker is wrapped in references from the show’s 10 seasons including “Pivot!” and “How you doin’?” There is also an illustration of the Central Perk couch.
RILEY GREEN did three songs on a Billboard Live Performance yesterday. He started out with a previously unreleased track called “They Don’t Make ‘Em Like That No More” . . . and then followed it up with “There Was This Girl” and “I Wish Grandpas Never Died”.
ASHLEY MCBRYDE released the video to her song “Martha Divine”. She plays a motel clerk who sticks her nose in somebody else’s business . . . and that leads to some pretty rough stuff. You also see her singing and playing guitar. It’s one of the tracks on her upcoming second album.
The fourth night of “Jeopardy: The Greatest of All Time” at 8:00 on ABC. Ken Jennings leads with 2 wins, James Holzhauer has 1 win, and Brad Rutter has basically no shot at the $1 million prize.
“Ellen’s Game of Games” at 8:00 p.m. on NBC.
“This Is Us” returns at 9:00 p.m. on NBC.
Jason Bateman is 51.
Faye Dunaway is 79.
Jack Jones is 82.