News Nuggets: Red carpet and comedy pioneer Joan Rivers dies at age 81

Comedian Joan Rivers dies in New York at age 81. She was known as a comedy pioneer among female comics, especially with her stage act and many appearances on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. Starting in 1994, the E! Network hired her to host their celebrity red carpet arrivals shows before the Oscars, Emmys, Golden Globes and other events, launching her into a new career and revolutionizing that type of intense coverage. After over two decades of those live shows, she began hosting “Fashion Police” for E! from 2010 through the Emmy Awards last week. That program featured her rave reviews or pointed barbs about celebrity fashion. Entertainment Weekly

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 Gary Baum reports on potential problems for the new Oscar museum: “The Los Angeles City Planning Department has released a draft environmental impact report that bluntly raises concerns over methane and hydrogen sulfide gas at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences’ proposed site of a $300-million museum dedicated to Oscar and film history. The risk, it declares, could potentially harm construction workers and, eventually, visitors.” Hollywood Reporter

Former “Mork and Mindy” co-star Pam Dawber will help lead a tribute to the late Robin Williams. The PBS special “Robin Williams Remembered – A Pioneers of Television Special” will air on September 9. It will feature clips from his television career as well as previously-unseen moments from his final interview for the PBS documentary team. TV Guide

HBO acquires a new documentary about legendary singer James Brown. The film “Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown” is directed by Oscar winner Alex Gibney and produced by Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger. The team said that they had “full access to amazing never-before-seen photos and video” from the Brown estate. It will air on the premium channel on October 27. Variety

ABC’s long-running morning show “The View” is still undergoing major changes after the departures of every co-host except Whoopi Goldberg. Incoming hosts now include Oscar-nominated actress Rosie Perez, conservative author Nicolle Wallace, and the previously-announced Rosie O’Donnell. New executive producer Bill Wolff (“The Rachel Maddow Show”) is replacing original showrunner Bill Geddie. The 18th season of the show begins on September 15. The Wrap

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ABC announces the new cast of reality series “Dancing With the Stars.” Celebrities for the new season kicking off September 15 are: Jonathan Bennett, Tommy Chong, Randy Couture, Betsey Johnson, Lolo Jones, Bethany Mota, Janel Parrish, Alfonso Ribeiro, Sadie Robertson, Antonio Sabato, Jr., Tavis Smiley, Lea Thompson and Michael Waltrip. ABC

The Big Bang Theory” returns to CBS for an eighth season on September 22. In advance of that, take a look at this photo gallery that raises questions about many of the main characters, beginning with why is Sheldon (played by four-time Emmy champ Jim Parsons) not wearing any pants? TV Line

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