Things have heated up in the entertainment world with the start of the Sundance Film Festival and much of Hollywood focused on the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump. Just around the corner is the announcement, coming Tuesday, of the Academy Award nominations. Here's what's new and interesting in entertainment and the arts:
- See Stephen Colbert and 'Stephen Colbert' bid Barack Obama farewell
- Solange Knowles and Esperanza Spalding perform for hope and resistance at Peace Ball
- George Clooney comments on the death of his cousin, actor Miguel Ferrer
- X-23 and Wolverine go into in action in new 'Logan' trailer
- Full coverage of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival
Keenly coupled with the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States on Friday, Netflix released a teaser trailer for the fifth season of "House of Cards."
The series, which features a ruthless couple, Frank and Claire Underwood (Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright), manipulating their way to the top of the American political hierarchy, ended its fourth season in disarray, just two weeks before Underwood was up for re-election.
By the looks of things in the teaser, featuring the American flag flying upside down -- a symbol of distress and/or disrespect that the show has used since its inception -- Season 5 will see the Underwoods struggling with greater obstacles than ever before.
Also, the disembodied children's voices reciting the Pledge of Allegiance are a nice touch.
The next season of "House of Cards" debuts on May 30 on Netflix.
With the sound of helicopters hovering overhead, the country singer Lee Greenwood took a phone call on Thursday while standing backstage at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Greenwood, who is best known for his patriotic anthem “God Bless the U.S.A.,” was waiting in the wings for his afternoon gig an hour later as part of President-elect Donald Trump’s inaugural concert.
If Greenwood didn’t sound nervous, it’s because he’d done this a few times before. The veteran hitmaker, who was born in Los Angeles and raised in Sacramento, has now performed during the inaugurations of every Republican president since Ronald Reagan.
“It never gets old,” he said of playing his flagship song during historic occasions.
“Since I wrote it in 1983, there have been so many moments when the song has assisted not just me, but the country,” he said, estimating it took him a half hour to write. “The first Gulf War, the disaster with Katrina, the Sept. 11 attack on America, and each time ‘God Bless the U.S.A.’ has served a role."
As Greenwood spoke, a bugle playing “Taps” echoed in the background.
Greenwood added that on Wednesday he met Trump backstage at the National Portrait Gallery during a fundraising dinner in honor of Vice President-elect Mike Pence. The singer and the soon-to-be president chatted for a second.
“He said he was thankful that we were there,” Greenwood recalled, “and told me that he likes my music.”
Greenwood and his wife took a photo with Trump, who, Greenwood added, “was also taking pictures with a lot of the military who were there, and I commended him for that. I think it’s just terrific that the president would immediately embrace the military for their sacrifices.”
Stephen Colbert said goodbye to the Obama administration the only way he knew how: by bringing back "Stephen Colbert."
Colbert's conservative blowhard persona, created on "The Daily Show," and host of "The Colbert Report" returned Thursday night — though for rights issues, "The Late Show" version is actually the identical cousin of "Stephen Colbert" — to bid a surprisingly fond farewell to President Obama.
During the segment, Colbert spoke about how Obama's administration gave conservatives a purpose.
"That's why I want to say, 'Thanks, Obama,' " Colbert said. "You reminded guys like me what we truly stand for: the opposite of whatever you say."
Colbert went on to talk about all of the obstructionist tactics used to block many of Obama's initiatives before turning serious and dropping his facade a bit.
"I know the Constitution says you have to go, but I will miss you. You were a worthy adversary. You were a leader of vision, patience, dignity, passion and humanity," Colbert said. "And it really felt good fighting for the opposite of all those things."
Finally, the mask slipped entirely, and the real Colbert took over.
"For the last time, from me, the real Stephen Colbert, I just want to say, 'Thanks, Obama.' "
As a tidy bookend, here's how Stephen Colbert and "The Colbert Report" covered the president's inauguration in 2009.
Peace Ball: Voices of Hope and Resistance, an alternative to the ongoing inauguration festivities, brought around 3,000 people to the National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington., D.C., on Thursday.
The guests, including New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, Ashley Judd, DeRay McKesson and Melissa Harris-Perry, showed up to reflect on recent successes in healthcare, climate change and marriage equality.
Actor Danny Glover, the event organizer, activist Andy Shallal and others also used the platform to discuss the next steps after the election.
“We can't just sit and lick our wounds,” Glover said. “Our work is cut out for us. We have to make some hard choices.”
But attendees let loose with some music that was a far cry from the performances at Thursday's inaugural celebration concerts.
R&B; firebrand Solange Knowles took the stage around midnight, introduced by iconic activist Angela Davis, who called her songs "anthems of our resistance." Knowles performed hits from her black-power album, "A Seat at the Table."
Jazz musician Esperanza Spalding began one song with hand-drumming on her signature upright bass, with her background singers playing hand games in the background to keep the beat.
Check out clips from the performances:
Less than 12 hours before Donald Trump was scheduled to be sworn into office in Washington, about three dozen actors, writers, directors, crew members and others affiliated with the Actors' Gang theater in Culver City gathered in the plaza outside their building to turn on a light.
The sky was turning cobalt and the wind had picked up a chilly edge as actor Brian Finney read from a short statement.
"When our theaters go dark at the end of the night, we turn on a 'ghostlight' — offering visibility and safety for all who might enter," he stated. "Like a ghostlight, the light we create tonight will represent our commitment to safeguard — it will symbolize safe harbor for our values and for any among us who find ourselves targeted because of race, class, religion, country of origin, immigration status, (dis)ability, gender identity, sexual identity or dissident actions in the coming years."
The light switched on, and the group's members turned on their cellphone flashlights and held them overhead.
The Actors' Gang was one of dozens of theaters across the country to participate in the Ghostlight Project on the eve of Trump's inauguration — a way for members of the theater community to "create 'light' for dark times ahead" by proclaiming a commitment to tolerance.
Miguel Ferrer, an actor with a long list of credits that included “Twin Peaks” and a recent role on CBS’ “NCIS: Los Angeles,” died of cancer Thursday . The actor's cousin, George Clooney, sent out a statement on his passing:
Today history will mark giant changes in our world, and lost to most will be that on the same day Miguel Ferrer lost his battle to throat cancer. But not lost to his family. Miguel made the world brighter and funnier, and his passing is felt so deeply in our family that events of the day (monumental events) pale in comparison. We love you, Miguel. We always will.
Toby Keith, 3 Doors Down and other performers not protesting President-elect Donald Trump performed in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., at his inaugural concert -- "Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration."
As Trump and his wife, Melania, looked on, Jon Voight, Lee Greenwood, the American Tap Company and more welcomed the newest first family with performances and fireworks.
The long saga over the rights to the Beatles catalog entered a new phase on Wednesday when Paul McCartney sued music publisher Sony/ATV over the rights to 267 songs that he penned for the band with co-writer John Lennon.
The suit, filed in the Southern District of New York in Manhattan, is the latest turn for the legendary, and lucrative, bank of songs, which includes all of the Beatles’ hits – “Yesterday,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “Hey Jude” and dozens more.
The Sundance Film Festival is always exciting — ski slopes, film nerds and movie stars! This year, the festival is being held during a presidential inauguration, a women’s protest march and the announcement of Oscar nominations.
Join the Los Angeles Times’ team of intrepid critics and reporters as they navigate art, politics and parties. Hang out with filmmakers, march with Chelsea Handler, watch next year’s big films (and festival flops) emerge. Our team will show you what’s happening and why it matters.
The final trailer for "Logan" has been released, and it puts mini-Wolverine Laura Kinney in the spotlight. But Hugh Jackman fans need not worry — there's plenty of action to go around.
Played by Dafne Keen, the young mutant Kinney, a.k.a. X-23, is a clone of Wolverine, and as the trailer shows, she is just as dangerous. In addition to her retractable adamantium claws, X-23 has inherited Wolverine's healing factor, super strength and heightened senses. She even inherited his title in the comic book series "All-New Wolverine."
Speaking of comics, looks like Kinney is at least familiar with the Marvel comic book series.
"We got ourselves an 'X-Men' fan," says Logan while holding up Kinney's comic book. Though he is quick to clarify "Maybe a quarter of it happened, and not like this."
The latest trailer is less somber than the first trailer that introduced fans to the scarred and aged Logan . But it does still feature the much more wary Logan, an ailing Professor X (Patrick Stewart) and mysterious villains who seem to be after the young X-23.
Directed by James Mangold, "Logan" is scheduled for a March 3 release.
Janelle Monáe, Maxwell and Angelique Kidjo will be among the performers taking the stage Saturday as part of the Women's March on Washington, D.C., event organizers announced Wednesday.
Also set to perform at the National Mall on the first day of the Trump administration: Toshi Reagon, Samantha Ronson, Emily Wells, DJ Rekha, MC Lyte, St. Beauty, Beverly Bond, Alia Sharief, DJ Rimarkable, Amber Coffman, the Indigo Girls, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Climbing PoeTree.
“Music has always been a powerful tool for galvanizing unity and I believe that singing and standing together, our voices will be stronger than any force that tries to repress us," Monáe said in a statement, calling the march a "critical movement to bring justice and equality to all."
"Fistful of Tears" singer Maxwell added, “We are here because women are every bit as capable if not more able to pursue any goal they set forth for themselves. Were it not for the limitless depths of their love we would not be the men that we are."
Kidjo, who was born in West Africa, said she wanted to remind people of the importance of cultural diversity.
The rally, which will include speeches as well as performances, begins at 10 a.m. EST. A special version of “Ella’s Song" will cap the rally, with marchers invited to sing along. The march will begin at 1:15 p.m.
Thousands of Angelenos who can't make it to Washington on Saturday are expected to gather that day in downtown L.A. for Women's March Los Angeles. The event will start at 9 a.m. PST with speeches and sign-making at Pershing Square. At 10 a.m., participants will march to City Hall, where a rally will be held.
NBC is looking for a little of that must-see-TV magic, announcing Wednesday the return of "Will & Grace" for a 10-episode limited run.
A Thursday night staple, the multi-cam sitcom debuted in 1998, chronicling the adventures of best friends Will (Eric McCormack) and Grace (Debra Messing) and their eccentric friends Jack (Sean Hayes) and Karen (Megan Mullally).
All four actors will be returning for the reprise, as will series creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan, who will act as showrunners and executive producers.
The revamp will also see the return of television legend James Burrows, who directed every episode of the series' original eight-season run, to direct and executive produce.
"We’re thrilled that one of the smartest, funniest, and most defining comedies in NBC history is coming back," the network's entertainment chairman, Robert Greenblatt, said in a statement. "This groundbreaking series for everything from gay rights to social and political commentary — all disguised as a high-speed train of witty pop culture — is coming back where it belongs."
According to Jennifer Salke, president of NBC Entertainment, talks with Mutchnick and Kohan about producing new episodes of the show began in September after the cast and crew reunited to film a message to get out the vote .
"Dave and I are absolutely thrilled about the opportunity to write what Will, Grace, Jack and Karen are thinking about in 2017," Mutchnick said in a statement.
"It was heaven," Messing told The Times in October after the cast reunited originally. "I mean, it had been ten and a half years since the four of us had been in the same room together. To come together – literally the original costume designer, the original director, camera operator, it was a true reunion."
During its original run, "Will & Grace" garnered 83 Emmy Award nominations, winning 16, including accolades for all four stars.
Look for "Will & Grace" to return to NBC during the 2017-18 season.
Read more about NBC's TCA announcement here .
11:15 a.m.: Updated with comment from Debra Messing.
This article was originally published at 10:16 a.m.
If the whole basketball thing doesn't work out for him, NBA superstar LeBron James has another lucrative career to fall back on: television producing.
NBC announced Wednesday that it was ordering an additional 20 episodes of the game show "The Wall," which is produced by James and his business manager, Maverick Carter.
"When we started ‘The Wall,' we wanted to create something that would get families excited and change people's lives. Maverick and I couldn’t be more proud of the show’s early success and we want to keep building on that," James said in a statement. "I want to thank NBC for their partnership, Andrew Glassman for his vision, and all the fans for their support."
Hosted by professional television host Chris Hardwick, "The Wall" features teammates answering trivia questions while balls drop down a Plinko-esque wall determining their fortune or failure.
"We’re thrilled that viewers have become as captivated by ‘The Wall’ as we are," said Meredith Ahr, president of Universal Television Alternative Studio, NBC Entertainment. "We have been in pursuit of a brand new high-stakes game show for a while and are so happy to have developed it with LeBron James."
After settling into its regular Tuesday time slot, "The Wall" has averaged a 1.7 rating among adults 18-49, averaging 6.9 million viewers overall, according to "live plus same day" Nielsen ratings.
"The Wall" airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. Pacific.
Lamar Odom is back -- but he's not the same man he was at the end of 2016.
"I was defeated. I had my white flag up," Odom said Tuesday on " The Doctors ," the show he'd talked to in December, right before he checked into a San Diego rehab and right before his divorce from Khloe Kardashian became final .
"The only place to go from where I was at was being dead. And I committed suicide enough already," he told Dr. Travis Stork.
The former Clipper and Laker said his ex-wife -- he kept calling her "my wife" -- is still very important to him.
When he woke up in the hospital, he said, he had no idea how he'd gotten there. He remembers being at the brothel and "thinking I was just going to rest a little bit." He also said he didn't do cocaine the night he overdosed and nearly died.
"I didn't know, until Khloe had told me, that I was in a coma," he said. "I couldn't even speak at the time. I couldn't talk, so I was scared."
Kardashian stood by his side the whole time and went through the bad times with him, he said.
"To my family and to Khloe, I just want to tell them I'm sorry for all that wasted time and wasted energy. In my addiction I didn't know who I was," Odom said. "I couldn't take care of myself -- I damn sure couldn't take care of myself."
The former "Khloe & Lamar" star said he got a lot off his shoulders in rehab and reconnected with his kids "just in time" during the process, when he was mentally and physically exhausted. And now it's about moving forward.
"Honestly," Odom said, "I want my wife back. Other than that, I just want to live a happy, healthy life."
Katherine Heigl and her musician husband Josh Kelley have a third child as of late December, and he's named after his daddy.
The "27 Dresses" actress and her musician husband, already parents to Naleigh, 8, and Adalaide, 4, confirmed the news of Joshua Bishop's Dec. 20 birth to People on Monday.
Heigl announced in June that their first bio-baby was on the way, posting a sonogram on Instagram and announcing on her blog that it was a boy.
“Naleigh and Adalaide are over the moon and cannot wait to spoil their new sibling rotten,” she blogged at the time. “Josh and I are full of high hopes and bubbling anticipation. The whole pregnancy thing is new to me, but the thrill of having a baby is not.”
The couple -- who met in 2006 and got married in 2008 -- adopted Naleigh in 2009 and welcomed Adalaide to the family, also via adoption, in 2012.
Turns out there's more than one new baby in their life too -- on Sunday, Kelley posted a picture of the "beautiful baby bobcat" that was hanging out outside their window in snowy Utah, where they have a home.
Here's hoping little Joshua is a bit less wild than this guy:
Dozens of museums in Southern California have teamed up to offer free admission during the 12th annual Museums Free-for-All day.
The event, on Jan. 29, raises awareness about the wealth of museums in the area, including those that highlight art, science, natural history and cultural heritage.
Participating institutions that normally charge admission, such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art, will join those that don’t, such as the Getty, the Broad and the Hammer Museum.
If the prospect of a 15-album box set of nothing but novelty records sounds a little weird, that’s exactly the idea. Actually, it’s designed to be a lot weird — “Weird Al” Yankovic , that is.
The all-time king of pop music parody is preparing the monumental release later this year to mark his 40-year anniversary, sending up most of pop culture’s most influential forces, including Bob Dylan, Michael Jackson, Nirvana, Madonna, Lady Gaga and “Star Wars.”
The Times is premiering a teaser video for the project, “Squeeze Box: The Complete Recordings of ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic.” The teaser finds Yankovic’s longtime friend and drummer, Jon “Bermuda” Schwartz, guiding viewers through his trove of “Weird Al” memorabilia.
From old favorites (HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” Universal’s “The Fate of the Furious”) to shiny new confections (Jordan Peele’s “Get Out,” the CW’s “Riverdale”), here are the movies and television shows that the L.A. Times’ Calendar staff are most excited to see in 2017. We don’t know if any of them will be any good, but we can’t wait to find out.
You can’t keep a good villain down, particularly when he was both the head of a fast-food chicken chain and a drug kingpin.
Gus Fring, the soft-spoken but vicious criminal who met an explosive end in “Breaking Bad,” is returning to life in AMC’s “Better Call Saul,” the prequel to the landmark drama that revolved around the rise and fall of drug king Walter White.
The resurrection of Fring, played by Giancarlo Esposito, was unveiled Sunday during a panel promoting the upcoming third season of “Better Call Saul” at the Television Critics Assn. press tour when a faux commercial showing Fring at his Los Pollos Hermanos restaurant was shown. Esposito then entered the room of TV writers and helped hand out boxes of Los Pollos Hermanos chicken.
In what’s shaping up to be a highly competitive holiday weekend at the box office, 20th Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment’s “Hidden Figures” has the No. 1 spot just three days in. If it holds, it will be the reigning film for the second week in a row.
The film, based on a true story about black women at NASA who were integral to the Space Race, brought in an estimated $20.5 million in the U.S. and Canada during the traditional three-day weekend. The studio is projecting that the film, starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae, will end the four-day Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend with $25.3 million. “Hidden Figures” is set to hit $60 million domestically by Monday.
Lionsgate’s musical “La La Land” took second, expanding to more than 1,800 screens (including almost 148 Imax screens) in its sixth week in release. The Emma Stone-Ryan Gosling love story and ode to Los Angeles pulled in $14.5 million in three days. On the heels of the movie's sweep of all seven of the Golden Globes it was nominated for last week, the studio is projecting a four-day gross of $17.5 million. If this holds, the estimated domestic gross for the film will be $77.1 million.
Landing in third was Universal’s “Sing,” in its fourth week. The animated musical garnered $13.8 million through Sunday. The studio is projecting $18.5 million through Monday. To date, the film has pulled $237.7 million domestically.