TVLine Items: John Legend In, Lionel Richie Out on ABC's Duets, Hot Newsroom Promo and More

John Legend has replaced Lionel Richie on ABC’s new competition series Duets.

The Grammy-winning recording artist will serve as a mentor and singing partner to aspiring musicians alongside fellow stars Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Nettles and Robin Thicke.

Duets finds the four pros (which now include Legend) traveling the country to recruit two proteges each. Once chosen, the superstars will duet with their mentees in front of a live studio audience each week, until only one contestant is named by both viewers and the mentors as the winner.

Richie reportedly bowed out due to scheduling conflicts.

Ready for more of today’s TV dish? Well…

• Take a peek below at a new promo for HBO’s upcoming Aaron Sorkin-produced drama, The Newsroom (premiering June 24).

• Amy Sedaris will guest-star in the second season of Necessary Roughness, reports, playing a successful therapist who faces off with Callie Thorne’s Dr. Dani.

RELATED | HBO Announces Summer Premieres, Including True Blood

• E! has given the green light to three new reality series. The first, Opening Act, is a music competition series in which American Idol exec producer Nigel Lythgoe, R&B star Mary J. Blige and Rock Mafia producer Antonina Armato scour the web to find talented amateurs to open for big-names acts, including Nicki Minaj, Rod Stewart and Jason Mraz. The cabler has also ordered Married To Jonas, a docu-series starring Jo-Bro Kevin Jonas and his wife, and Love You, Mean It With Whitney Cummings, a weekly, half-hour talk show to be paired with The Soup on Wednesday nights.

E! has also unveiled its first scripted development slate, which includes modern-day takes on the story of Anne Boleyn (from Shameless EP John Wells), Wizard of Oz and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. (Head here for a full rundown.)

• Elsewhere at E!, Khloe & Lamar is said to be on its way out. Per TMZ, the Keeping Up With The Kardashians spinoff will end after its second and current season so that star Lamar Odom can focus on reviving his NBA career. However, a spokesperson for the pair tells that the show has not been cancelled, but rather, “It will depend on their schedules as Lamar’s basketball schedule is a priority.”

Which TVLine Items have you talking today?

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  1. Rolfe says:

    The Newsroom is by far the summer series I’m most excited about. Can not wait!

  2. Maggie says:

    john gallagher jr!!! i’m excited for the newsroom, it looks great.

  3. dan says:

    Interesting about the cast change for Duets. Last night during Desperate Housewives there was a pretty long promo for Duets and Lionel Richie was prominently featured (along with the other coaches). Either ABC’s promo dept didn’t know this change was coming or they just decided to run the ad less than 24 hours before a major casting change was announced. Seems like poor planning for a major network. They could’ve easily substituted a promo for a different ABC show and redone the Duets ad for later this week).

  4. TV Gord says:

    Scheduling conflicts never mean scheduling conflicts. I’d love to know the REAL story why Richie couldn’t do the show.

  5. jimmy says:

    John Legend over Lionel Ritchie just made me 10x more interested in the show. Good call.

  6. Carmichael says:

    Why is there so little of Olivia Munn seen in Newsroom previews?

  7. Julio says:

    I guess Whitney Cummings’ new show means “Whitney” is dead. Shame, it got much better as it went on.