KATIE COURIC HONORED AT GALA HOSTED BY NAOMI WATTS: The Worldwide Orphans Foundation honored Katie Couric at its 14th annual gala this week, hosted by Naomi Watts. She recognized the 130,000 children whose lives have been transformed by the organization: "As a mother of two young children, I know all the thought and worries we have — their health and their safety and their emotional wellbeing — so I can say that I only admire the vision of the organization who uses creative play though toy libraries to heal the pain and suffering of children. So tonight’s gala is just a reminder that when we all work together as one there is no problem we cannot solve." Katie Couric was honored for her work in bringing attention to the children suffering because of Haiti’s devastating earthquake in 2010.
CATS CASTS ROYAL BALLET DANCER: Steven McRae, a Principal Dancer of The Royal Ballet, has joined Universal Pictures’ Cats in the role of Skimbleshanks. In Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, Skimbleshanks played an older ginger tabby who considered himself a leader of his feline tribe. He joins fellow Royal Ballet dancer Francesca Hayward in the film, which is being directed by Oscar-winner Tom Hooper. (She will play the white kitten named Victoria.) They are in good company, joining a star-studded cast that includes Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, James Corden, Ian McKellan, Idris Elba, Judi Dench, Laurie Davidson and Mette Towley. Cats is set for release on December 20th, 2019.
SANDRA LEE TO BE HONORED WITH MADE IN NY AWARD: The Daytime Emmy-winning TV host, bestselling author and first lady of New York State Sandra Lee is set to receive a Made in NY Award at the Gotham Independent Film Awards on November 26th, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Lee’s food series Semi-Homemade ran for 15 season on the Food Network, and her recent HBO short documentary Rx: Early Detection, A Cancer Journey with Sandra Lee, has received considerable acclaim. Previous Made in NY Award honorees include Spike Lee, Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep.
KATHERINE RYAN SET FOR TWO NEW NETFLIX PROJECTS: The British comedian Katherine Ryan is set to write, exec produce and star in two series for Netflix. One, a debut scripted series called The Duchess, and the other, a second stand-up special for the streaming giant titled Glitter Room. The Duchess follows a fashionable, disruptive single mom in London. No word yet on when they will land.