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HUNNAM OUT OF '50 SHADES'

Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam announced over the weekend he wouldn't play Christian Grey in the movie version of Fifty Shades of Grey. Depending whether you thought that was good casting or not, that may be good or bad news. The reason is still elusive, though. "Charlie Hunnam was never going to do Fifty Shades of Grey," a source told Us Weekly. "He told his agents from the beginning he didn't want to do it and was going to pull out." But another person insists him ditching the movie is "truly due to scheduling. The role of Christian Grey requires a massive time commitment. ... Charlie is the lead in a massive TV series and his loyalty will always be to Sons of Anarchy, the SOA family and fans." Besides, a lot of Grey fans didn't like the 33-year-old taking the title role alongside Dakota Johnson. That second person said the move "is not due to cold feet" and that "the project wasn't appearing to shape up as expected."

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'Dead' gets huge ratings, is adding a character

Fresh off a fourth season premiere that notched the show's highest ratings ever, The Walking Dead already has another surprise in store.Southland's Michael Cudlitz is going to join the show later this year as Sgt. Abraham Ford, according to TVLine.com. In the comic, the Army veteran becomes one of Rick Grimes' most trusted associates, pretty much taking on the role that Norman Reedus seems to now have in the TV incarnation. TVLine says Cudlitz has been shooting in Georgia for weeks now, and has been in hiding to avoid spoiling the very spoiler we just spoiled. Since Southland was shut down, Cudlitz is hoping this ends up being a recurring role, but the timing and duration of Ford's appearance is still a secret. Dead returned Sunday night to 16.1 million viewers, easily its highest-rated episode ever ahead of its previous record for the season three finale, which was watched by 12.4 million people. It also got a whopping 10.4 million viewers in the coveted 18-49 demographic.

- jgillin@tampabay.com

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