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By United Press International   |   Feb. 17, 2012 at 8:49 AM

The latest news on today's hottest celebrities ...

STEPHEN COLBERT: Two tapings of Comedy Central's mock news program "The Colbert Report" in New York have been canceled without explanation.

"Due to unforeseen circumstances, the show will air repeat episodes on Wednesday, Feb. 15 and Thursday, Feb.16," Comedy Central said.

Steve Albani, a spokesman for the cable network, told Fox News, "Unfortunately, we're not providing any details beyond the only official statement."

The Wall Street Journal said production has been suspended because of an unspecified emergency in Colbert's family.

Fox News quoted an unnamed show source as saying "The Colbert Report," now in its seventh season, is expected to resume tapings soon.

Colbert has not posted a message to his Twitter account since Tuesday.


OPRAH WINFREY: Television icon Oprah Winfrey is to appear on "Jimmy Kimmel Live: After the Academy Awards" in Los Angeles, ABC said Thursday.

The Oscars for excellence in film for 2011 are to be handed out Feb. 26.

Winfrey, who will also appear at the 84th Academy Awards show, is the recipient of the academy's Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for her inspiring philanthropic efforts that have brought credit to the industry.

This year marks Kimmel's seventh consecutive Oscar special. The 2012 edition is expected to include appearances by Meryl Streep, George Clooney, Tom Hanks, Martin Scorsese, Helen Mirren, Charlize Theron, Don Cheadle, John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Samuel L. Jackson and Cameron Diaz.

Academy Awards host Billy Crystal also will join Kimmel to kick off his post-Oscar show, while British rock band Coldplay will end the night with a Hollywood block-party performance on "JKL's" outdoor stage, ABC said.


MICHELE BACHMANN: U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., says she has no plans to compete on Season 14 of the TV competition series "Dancing with the Stars."

Rumors have been circulating the one-time Republican presidential candidate would follow in the footsteps of Bristol Palin and former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, past "DWTS" contenders with ties to the GOP.

"In full disclosure, I did win a polka-dancing competition when I was in the 10th grade at my alma mater, Anoka High School in Anoka, Minn.," Bachmann said in a statement issued to the St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press. "But, despite my 10th-grade polka success and my lifelong love of ballroom dancing, the recent rumors are false. I will not be joining 'Dancing with the Stars.'"

Next season's "DWTS" cast is to be announced Feb. 28 on ABC's "Good Morning America."


'GHOST HUNTERS:' Grant Wilson, co-lead investigator of "Ghost Hunters," is leaving the reality TV series, U.S. cable network Syfy confirmed Thursday.

Wilson announced his departure on Wednesday night's episode.

His last appearance is set to air May 16. He will wrap production at some point next month.

"It is with mixed emotion that I am announcing my departure from the cast of 'Ghost Hunters,'" Wilson said in a statement. "While paranormal investigating has always been and will remain a passion for me, after enjoying nearly eight successful seasons on television, I have made the decision to leave the series in order to focus on other aspects of my personal life."

"When Grant and I founded TAPS nearly 20 years ago, we never imagined that we would be able to make such an impact just by doing what we enjoy every day," said Jason Hawes, The Atlantic Paranormal Society co-founder and co-lead investigator on "Ghost Hunters."

"I will miss working with Grant on a daily basis, and am indebted to the level of dedication and expertise he has brought to our field. I can't imagine having a better partner through it all -- both on the show and off. Grant and I, along with our spouses and children, are all like one big family.

"While I fully support his decision to move on from the series, this longtime friendship -- as well as our business partnership -- will continue off-camera for years to come."

"Grant has been an integral part of a show that has become the standard-bearer for paranormal investigation," said Mark Stern, president of Syfy original content and co-head of Universal Cable Productions.

"The fact that 'Ghost Hunters' is still going strong in its eighth season is a testament to Grant's amazing partnership with Jason and their clear connection to the audience. We respect and support this difficult decision that Grant has made, and wish him all the best in his new endeavors. The hard work, integrity, and compassion that he has consistently brought to his work won't be easily replaced, but this successful series will find a way to reshape itself as it moves forward."

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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