The Baltimore Sun

It takes two women to replace one Amy Poehler on 'Saturday Night Live'

Saturday Night Live has two new faces - Abby Elliott and Michaela Watkins - to replace Amy Poehler, who has left the show, NBC announced Thursday.

Elliott was part of the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre - the improv/sketch company co-founded by Poehler - where she trained and performed in New York and Los Angeles. Her father, Chris Elliott, was an SNL cast member in the 1994-1995 season. (Her grandfather Bob Elliott worked four decades with Ray Goulding as Bob & Ray.)

Watkins is an alumna of the Los Angeles-based Groundlings theater, where past SNL players including Will Ferrell, Phil Hartman, Laraine Newman and current cast member Kristen Wiig got their start.

Poehler, a longtime SNL regular, gave birth to a son, Archie Arnett, just hours before she was to appear on the Oct. 25 broadcast.

Fireside videos

Taking a leaf from President Franklin D. Roosevelt's fireside chats - while updating the concept - President-elect Barack Obama will begin posting weekly addresses on YouTube, the HuffingtonPost reports.

The first will appear on today, after it airs in audio. A representative for Obama said this is the beginning of the digital, transparent presidency.

Applause, applause

* Environmental activists Al Gore and Wangari Muta Maathai will receive the chairman's award as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People holds its 40th Image Awards on Feb. 12.

* The Producers Guild of America has selected David Chase (The Sopranos, Northern Exposure, I'll Fly Away, The Rockford Files) as the recipient of its Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television at the 20th annual PGA Awards Jan. 24.

Also on NBC ...

Hilary Duff has signed a talent and development deal with NBC.

The network said yesterday it will come up with a new series for Duff to star in and announced that she will guest star in several other NBC series over the next year - but had no details on any of this.

West arrested

Rapper Kanye West was arrested after a fracas involving a photographer outside a nightclub in Newcastle in northern England but was released without charges, British media reported yesterday.

The Press Association and others reported that the 31-year-old rapper was detained outside the Tup Tup Palace.

A spokeswoman for West did not return a call seeking comment.

West is playing dates around Britain as part of his Glow in the Dark tour.

Quick clicks

* NBC is pulling the plug on My Own Worst Enemy and Lipstick Jungle, two of its more high-profile young series, according to two network executives who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak publicly about the decision. Enemy, a psychological thriller starring Christian Slater, was given a big promotional pitch by NBC. Brooke Shields was one of three hard-driving Manhattan career women in Lipstick Jungle, one of last year's series modeled after HBO's Sex and the City.

From Sun news sources

today's birthdays

Actor Ed Asner, 79.

Singer Petula Clark, 76.

Actor Sam Waterston, 68.

Tonight Show bandleader Kevin Eubanks, 51.

Actress Sydney Tamiia Poitier, 35.

Golfer Lorena Ochoa, 27.

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