Ms. Pope goes to Washington
Kerry Washington will be Anita Hill in the HBO movie "The Confirmation." Who will play a young Clarence Thomas — and a young Joe Biden? … Cheyenne Jackson and Matt Bomer check into "American Horror Story: Hotel," the first in the franchise without Jessica Lange. … The juggernaut that is "Empire": Its most-watched episode drew more African-American viewers under 50 than the Super Bowl. Fox announced that Oprah Winfrey and Common will appear on the megahit next season. … Bill Murray will team with his "Lost in Translation" director Sofia Coppola for a Christmas variety show. He'll be joined by George Clooney, Amy Poehler and Miley Cyrus.
Because every generation needs its own, Sony is producing a new version of "Little Women." Winona Ryder as Marmee? … Emma Thompson will be Mrs. Potts and Kevin Kline plays Belle's father, Maurice, in "Beauty and the Beast," which now has a release date: March 17, 2017. … Oscar winner Alexandre Desplat will be the first composer other than John Williams to score a "Star Wars" film: He'll write the music for the spinoff "Rogue One." Williams does return for "Stars Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens."
Walking it back
Comedy Central says it will edit jokes that referenced the late Paul Walker out of the March 30 broadcast of the Justin Bieber roast. Unfortunately for the Biebs, most of the jokes at his expense will survive. Comedian Kevin Hart, the event's roastmaster, later told audiences at SXSW, "There were some moments where I was like, 'Justin's gonna cry in the car.' It got a little rough."
Out of fashion
Kathy Griffin, short-lived replacement for Joan Rivers on E's "Fashion Police," says producers had assured her the show would embrace her style, but forced her instead into a "very strict lane" of comedy. "My style is improvisational and off-the-cuff," Griffin said on "The View." She said she felt "anti-feminist" and "disingenuous" making fun of celebrities. Apparently she'd never watched the show, and she won't get another chance until at least the fall — it's been placed on hiatus.