Entertainment Briefs

Talk show host Williams taking time off for health reasons

NEW YORK (AP) — Daytime talk show host Wendy Williams says she's taking three weeks off on doctor's orders. Williams says that her doctor told her to take the break to deal with her Graves' Disease and hyperthyroidism. Reruns will air in her absence. Williams told her audience Wednesday that she's been feeling like there are birds flying around her head, like a cartoon, and discussed other symptoms. She urged women in her audience not to neglect their health and to get regular check-ups. The talk show host is 53 and recently lost 50 pounds.

Enough already: Songwriter Diane Warren wants her Oscar

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Songwriter Diane Warren is overdue for an Oscar, and she has no reservations about saying she wants to win. Warren jokes she was the Susan Lucci of songwriters as she has had eight previous Oscar nominations and never won. But Warren said she's never been more excited for a nomination than she is for "Stand Up for Something," which she wrote for the Thurgood Marshall biopic "Marshall." The song, nominated for best original song, features singer Andra Day and was co-written with rapper Common. The Grammy-winning, Hall of Fame songwriter said the song is a timely call to action in a year of turmoil. The 90th annual Academy Awards will air live on ABC on March 4.

Chef Jose Andres writing book on Hurricane Maria relief work

NEW YORK (AP) — Award-winning chef Jose Andres is working on a book about his efforts to help Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Ecco told The Associated Press on Wednesday that it has acquired "We Fed An Island: The True Story of Rebuilding Puerto Rico, One Meal at a Time." The book is scheduled for Sept. 11 and is co-written by Richard Wolffe. A portion of proceeds will be given to the Chef Relief Network of Andres' nonprofit World Central Kitchen. "We Fed an Island" will be released through Anthony Bourdain's imprint at Ecco. Andres says he wanted to provide the "inside story" of the relief work by himself and World Central Kitchen last fall.

New book by Sen. Bernie Sanders coming in November

NEW YORK (AP) — Sen. Bernie Sanders is planning his next move. At least on paper. The Vermont independent and 2016 presidential contender is working on a new book. The publisher tells The Associated Press in a Wednesday statement that "Where We Go From Here" will be released Nov. 13 by Thomas Dunne Books. Sanders will focus on how to oppose to President Trump and how to "strengthen the progressive movement." Sanders' previous book, "Our Revolution," told of his 2016 campaign. His surprisingly strong run against Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Democratic primaries made him a national figure and favorite among progressives. He is often mentioned as a possible candidate for 2020.

FoxNews personality Jeanine Pirro admits driving 95 mph

NICHOLS, N.Y. (AP) — Fox News personality and former New York prosecutor Jeanine Pirro has pleaded guilty to driving 95 mph in a 65 mph zone. Authorities previously said that a state trooper clocked Pirro's Cadillac going 119 mph on Route 17 in Nichols, New York, on Nov. 19. The Journal News says Pirro — who negotiated a plea deal with the Tioga County district attorney's office — has been fined $300 plus fees and has to take a defensive driving course. Pirro said in November that she'd been driving for hours to visit her ailing mother and didn't realize how fast she was going. She was a Westchester County judge before serving as district attorney from 1994 to 2005.

Wonder Woman and Luke Skywalker expected at the Oscars

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Wonder Woman and Luke Skywalker will be at the Academy Awards — or at least the actors who play them onscreen. Oscar producers announced Wednesday that Gal Gadot and Mark Hamill will appear on the show, along with fellow "Star Wars" actors Oscar Isaac and Kelly Marie Tran. Producers say Lin-Manuel Miranda, Gina Rodriguez, Armie Hammer and Zendaya also have been booked as presenters. Previously announced stars appearing on the March 4 telecast include "Black Panther" Chadwick Boseman, comedian Tiffany Haddish, "Spider Man" Tom Holland and Margot Robbie. Jimmy Kimmel is hosting the show, which will be broadcast at 8 p.m. Eastern on ABC.

Mitch Albom plans sequel to 'Five People You Meet in Heaven'

NEW YORK (AP) — Mitch Albom is giving heaven a sequel. Publisher Harper tells The Associated Press that Albom's "The Next Person You Meet in Heaven" is coming out Oct. 16. The novel is a follow-up to Albom's best-selling "The Five People You Meet in Heaven," which came out in 2003. The new book continues the stories of Eddie the maintenance man and of Annie, the young girl whose life he saves while losing his own. Albom says in a statement Wednesday that readers often asked him what happened to Eddie and Annie. He says the "The Next Person You Meet in Heaven" was a "natural" for him to write. "The Five People You Meet in Heaven" was adapted into a 2004 TV movie starring Jon Voight and Ellen Burstyn.