Today featuring Tom Brady, Wendy Williams, & R. Kelly. Here are the 8 topics you told us ranked as most conversational over the past day per your engagement with the social media account from The Conversation Project.
‘SNL’ CAST MEMBER BECK BENNETT EXITS; KENAN THOMSON GETS CLOSER TO 20
Long-running cast member Beck Bennett, known for outlandish portrayals of U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and featured player Lauren Holt, one of three newcomers last season, will not be returning to “SNL” this fall, NBC announced Monday. The rest of the cast – including Aidy Bryant, Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon and Cecily Strong, all of whom were rumored to be weighing an exit from the sketch comedy show – will be back. Bowen Yang and Chloe Fineman, previously featured players, are promoted to the regular cast. Yang received an Emmy nomination this year for his performances on “SNL.” This season will be the 18th for cast member Kenan Thomson. Earlier this year, the comedian told USA TODAY he doesn’t know when he’ll leave the show, but would “love to get to 20” seasons.
[SOURCE: usatoday.com / ENGAGEMENT 31.41%]
BUCS QB TOM BRADY’S WEBSITE IS SELLING ‘RETURN TO FOXBORO’ T-SHIRTS
Ever since the 2021 NFL regular-season schedule was revealed, Week 4 was circled. Tom Brady will return to Gillette Stadium for the first time as an opponent of the New England Patriots next Sunday, for a nationally televised reunion with the team for which he played two legendary decades. After Sunday’s disappointing loss to the Los Angeles Rams, the now-Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback wasn’t in the mood to discuss his emotions heading into Sunday’s matchup against his old team, but his website is already making the most of the iconic showdown. And yes, you can already get your “Return to Foxboro” T-shirt at Brady’s “TB12 Sports” site.
[SOURCE: usatoday.com / ENGAGEMENT: 13.14%]
UTAH FOOTBALL PLAYER KILLED AFTER ADOPTING JERSEY NUMBER OF TEAMMATE KILLED LAST YEAR
A football player was fatally shot at a Utah house party early on Sunday – less than a year after his teammate was killed in an accidental shooting. Aaron Lowe and Ty Jordan were high school teammates in Mesquite, Texas, and many credited Lowe, 21, for persuading Jordan, 19, to join the Utes team after he de-committed from the school. The death of Lowe – who switched jersey numbers from No. 2 to No. 20 in honor of his friend – was confirmed by Utah coach Kyle Whittingham in a statement. According to Salt Lake Police, Lowe was shot at a house party in the city’s Sugar House neighborhood. An unidentified woman was also in critical condition at a local hospital.
[ENGAGEMENT: the-sun.com / ENGAGEMENT: 9.94%]
WENDY WILLIAMS IN PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL AND “IN NEED OF SERIOUS HELP”
Daytime show host Wendy Williams was recently checked into a psychiatric hospital in New York after reportedly “drinking every day” and is “in need of serious help.” According to what a source told The Sun, The Wendy Williams Show has been moved back by two weeks after the talk show host reportedly “was drinking every day, even while filming the show.” Williams had previously publicly opened up about her struggles with sobriety after having checked into a sober living house in 2019 following her divorce from ex-husband Kevin Hunter.
[SOURCE: sis2sis.com / ENGAGEMENT: 5.77%]
R. KELLY FOUND GUILTY ON ALL COUNTS IN SEX-TRAFFICKING TRIAL
R. Kelly, the R&B superstar who has long been trailed by accusations of sexual misconduct and abuse, was found guilty in New York on Monday on all counts in a high profile sex-trafficking case, capping a trial that featured hours of graphic testimony from his accusers. Kelly, who has been in custody for much of the time since he was formally charged in 2019, was convicted on one count of racketeering and eight counts of violating the Mann Act, the law that bars transporting people across state lines “for any immoral purpose.” Kelly, 54, who faces decades in prison when he is sentenced May 4, wore a mask and appeared stoic as the verdict was read aloud in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn. Kelly “didn’t say much of anything” after the verdict was announced, his attorney Deveraux Cannick told reporters. “He was shocked.”
[SOURCE: nbcnews.com / ENGAGEMENT 5.29%]
HURRICANE SAM “HAS PEAKED IN INTENSITY,” NO LANDFALL EXPECTED
Hurricane Sam was a powerful Category 4 storm in the Atlantic Ocean, but forecasters said late Sunday that it had “peaked in intensity.” Sam was centered well offshore from land, located about 850 miles east-southeast of the northern Leeward Islands, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in an advisory. It was traveling northwest at 7 mph. Sam had maximum sustained winds of 145 mph, making it a Category 4 hurricane. Forecasters said there would be some fluctuations in its strength over the next day or so, followed by a slow weakening. The Miami-based hurricane center said Sam was a small tropical cyclone, with hurricane-force winds extending outward just 30 miles from its center. No coastal watches or warnings were in effect, however swells from Hurricane Sam could cause dangerous rip current conditions off the coast of the Lesser Antilles early this week, officials said.
[SOURCE: cbsnews.com / ENGAGEMENT: 5.13%]
GEORGIA SOUTHERN FIRES HEAD COACH CHAD LUNSFORD
Georgia Southern is parting ways with head coach Chad Lunsford, sources told Yahoo Sports. The Eagles fell to 1-3 after losing to Louisiana on Saturday, the school’s third consecutive loss. Lunsford exits the school amid his fourth full-time season with a record of 28-21. He took over as the interim coach at Georgia Southern in 2017 and held onto the job. Georgia Southern got blown out at FAU and at Arkansas before falling at home to Louisiana in the school’s Sun Belt opener. Georgia Southern officials made the move in a quest to help the Eagles gain a clearer identity. The school won six FCS national titles, the last of which came in 2000.
[SOURCE: msn.com / ENGAGEMENT: 4.97%]
BABYLON 5 REBOOT FROM ORIGINAL CREATOR IN THE WORKS AT THE CW
One of the most important and influential sci-fi series of all time is primed for a return. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski is writing a reboot of the classic 1990s space drama for a potential new run on The CW, setting the stage for a new generation of fans to come aboard the title space station and meet the many human and alien beings who walk its corridors. The planned new series is what THR calls a “from the ground up” re-imagining of the original series, which ran for five seasons from 1993 to 1998 and spawned a still-growing series of spinoffs and tie-in stories. This time around, the series will reportedly begin with the arrival of Earthforce officer John Sheridan (played by Bruce Boxleitner in the original series) on Babylon 5, and the resulting chain reaction of events that will eventually launch an unimaginable conflict with an advanced alien civilization, and lead to a destiny Sheridan never imagined.
[SOURCE: syfy.com / ENGAGEMENT: 1.76%]
Eight Things To Talk About uses the raw engagement data from the social media engagement from The Conversation Project to generate the top-ranking headlines over the course of the past day.
A full weeks’ data (from Friday to Friday) is compiled, weighed, and sorted to produce the content for the Weekly Wrap-Up with J Cleveland Payne, published every Saturday as a podcast available at ThisIsTheConversation.com or wherever your favorite podcasts are found.
To ‘participate’ in the rankings of the headlines for this newsletter or the podcast, follow the Conversation Project on social media and engage with the posts to give them more ‘votes.’ The Conversation Project can be found onFacebook, Twitter, and Instagram.