News Nuggets: Emmy champs Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman return for ‘Sherlock’ Christmas special

Emmy champs Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman will return to their winning roles as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson. The BBC releases a first-look image with the two men in Victorian costumes for an upcoming Christmas special of “Sherlock.” Rumors have it that the duo will be in a time travel mode, harkening back to the original time frame of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle‘s classic novels. The image is part of this year’s Comic-Con appearance by executive producers Steven Moffatt and Sue Vertue, plus co-star Rupert Graves. Deadline

Country superstar Willie Nelson is the next recipient of the Gershwin Prize for Popular Music from the Library of Congress. He will receive the prize in November with a series of events in Washington, D.C. and a PBS special. His six-decade career has included hit songs written for himself and other artists in the country and pop music fields. Past honorees have been Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Carole King, and Billy Joel. Variety

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Fans of “Twin Peaks” expecting a return in 2016 will have to wait a little longer. Co-creator Mark Frost announces that the Showtime limited series will not arrive until 2017. He and director David Lynch have written all of the scripts, and production will begin in September. He adds, “The challenge for us is to try and come back and raise the bar above what we did the last time.” Returning cast members include Kyle MacLachlan, Sheryl Lee, Sherilynn Fenn, and Dana Ashbrook. Vulture

Aaron Tveit is the one that Fox wants as Danny Zuko in their upcoming “Grease” live musical. The star of “Graceland‘ and “Les Miserables” will have the lead role opposite Julianne Hough as Sandy. Others in the three-hour event slated for January 31 include Vanessa Hudgens (Rizzo), Keke Palmer (Marty), and Carlos PenaVega (Kenickie). TV Line

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Rebecca Strassberg reveals nine famous actors who surprisingly do not have stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The tradition began in the 1960s and requires that any living person receiving the honor must attend the unveiling. The list of shocking omissions includes Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio, Judi Dench, Tina Fey, Diane Keaton, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Jerry Seinfeld, and Denzel Washington. Backstage

Regis Philbin is reuniting with former co-host Kathie Lee Gifford. He will join the fourth hour of NBC’s “Today” show as a special contributor at least once each month. The two hosted “Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee” for 15 years. He is a five-time Daytime Emmy winner and member of the Television Academy’s Hall of Fame. USA Today

Giuliana Rancic is departing her daily anchor role on “E! News” beginning with the August 10 show. She will remain with the E! Network on “Fashion Police” and “Live From the Red Carpet.” She has been a co-host on the show for over a decade but wants to focus on her other responsibilities and new show “Rich in Faith” for Oxygen. E! Online

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