News Column

TV News: Cause of 'Glee' actor's death unknown as toxicology results awaited

July 16, 2013

YellowBrix

July 16--Officials are fast-tracking results of an autopsy performed on Cory Monteith, star of Fox's "Glee," to determine his cause of death. The actor was found dead in his Vancouver, British Columbia, hotel room by a staffer Saturday after he missed his checkout time. Results of toxicology reports should be available in several days.

The cause of death was not immediately apparent, and there is no suspicion of foul play, officials said in a press conference over the weekend. They also reported he was apparently alone in his room when he died and had been deceased for several hours when found.

The 31-year-old Monteith, who shot to fame as popular high school quarterback Finn Hudson on the teen drama, reportedly spent time with friends Friday night and returned to his hotel room alone in the early Saturday.

Representatives of his girlfriend, Lea Michele, who starred with the Canadian native in "Glee," is asking "that everyone kindly respect Lea's privacy during this devastating time," cnn.com reported.

She and Monteith had played an on-again off-again couple on the show since 2009 and started dating in 2012. In April, the actor admitted himself to a 30-day rehab program for substance abuse with her full support.

"I love and support Cory and will stand by him through this," she told People magazine. "I am grateful and proud that he made this decision."

Monteith told "Glee" producer Adam Shankman in a phone conversation Friday that he was "feeling fantastic again."

Production for the new season of his series was scheduled to begin in two weeks with the show returning for its fifth season on Sept. 19.

Verdict draws viewers

More than 11 million television viewers watched cable TV as the verdict was read in the George Zimmerman murder trial Saturday.

He was found not guilty in the shooting death of unarmed, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

According to deadline.com, Fox News Channel had the highest number of viewers at 3.682 million when the verdict was announced at 9 p.m. Saturday.

Welcome aboard, Jenny

Barbara Walters announced Monday that actress Jenny McCarthy is officially co-hosting "The View" starting Sept. 9.

McCarthy

McCarthy, who is also a comedian, host, blogger and best-selling author, has made 17 appearances on the show, eight as a guest co-host.

"We are delighted that Jenny will be joining us as a permanent co-host on 'The View' starting in September," Walters said in a press release.

"Jenny brings us intelligence as well as warmth and humor. She can be serious and outrageous. She has connected with our audience and offers a fresh point of view."

McCarthy said, "I look forward to helping make hot topics a little bit hotter and showing my mom that my interrupting skills have finally paid off."

Co-hosts Joy Behar, whose contract is up in August, and Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who is headed to Fox News Channel, won't be on the show, and Walters plans to retire at the end of the year.

Low 'Sharknado' ratings

Syfy's "Sharknado" may have been all the buzz on social media, but the so-bad-it-was-good TV movie pulled in relatively low ratings numbers for the cable channel.

"Sharknado," which starred Ian Ziering and Tara Reid in a made-for-TV film about a superstorm that sucked sharks from the seas and dropped them into the streets of Los Angeles, drew 1.4 million viewers in its Thursday airing on cable, EW.com reported.

In contrast, talk about the campy film and its trailer drew more tweets than the "Game of Thrones" Red Wedding episode.

In comparison, Syfy's similarly themed films "Sharktopus" (2010) was watched by 2.5 million viewers, and "Mega Python vs. Gatoroid," (2011) was seen by 2.4 million viewers in its initial showing, the website reported.

"Sharknado" did, however, draw many more viewers in the coveted to 18-49 age bracket, up 29 percent from the cable channel's movie average this year.

For those who missed it, Syfy will re-air the film at 6 p.m. Thursday on cable 45.

The "success" of the film caused EW.com to update its list "Syfy's 17 most awesomely bad horror movie titles," and "Sharknado" moved to the top of the list.

The list includes, in order: "Sharktopus," "Piranhaconda," "Mansquito," "Never Cry Werewolf," "Mongolian Death Worm," "Kaw," "Jersey Shore Shark Attack," "Monster Ark," and "Ice Spiders."

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