Alex Rodriguez likes Jennifer Lopez for her mind
Alex Rodriguez didn’t come out and say Jennifer Lopez’s name Friday on “The View,” but he didn’t really have to.
“It’s obvious,” he told the panel after they began quizzing him about his love life. “We’ve been having a great time.”
The retired Major League Baseball great, who played for the New York Yankees from 2004 to 2016, rattled off some things he likes about Lopez, whom he’s reportedly been dating for a month or so: She’s a New Yorker. From the Bronx. A great athlete. An incredible mother, sister and daughter. And -- this never hurts -- a big Yankees fan.
“She’s an amazing, amazing girl,” Rodriguez told the panelists. “One of the smartest human beings I’ve ever met.”
J. Lo also likes chocolate chip ice cream and chocolate chip cookies, he said. Now we’re falling in love with her, too.
Beyoncé as Nala in ‘The Lion King’? It could happen
Beyoncé may say yes to voicing the role of Nala in John Favreau’s remake of “The Lion King,” according to a report Friday.
The “Crazy in Love” singer is the director’s top choice to voice Nala, Simba’s lifelong companion/love interest, in the live-action reboot of the 1994 animated Disney classic, sources told Variety.
Donald Glover is already on board to voice Simba and James Earl Jones will reprise his turn as Mufasa.
Beyoncé and Jay Z announced in February that she’s pregnant with twins. The production would be willing to accommodate any scheduling needs she might have, Variety said, but its insiders emphasized that Blue Ivy’s mom hadn’t made a decision yet.
The pregnancy changed Beyoncé’s mind about headlining the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival this year, as was planned. Lady Gaga will take the reins, with Queen Bey back on top at the festival in 2018.
Amazon’s ‘All or Nothing’ will return for a second season, with the Los Angeles Rams in the spotlight
It’s the Rams’ time to shine, as Amazon announced Friday the renewal of the serialized sports documentary series “All or Nothing.”
After the first season of the Emmy-nominated program followed the 2015 season of the Arizona Cardinals, Season 2 will focus on the Rams’ 2016 season and their move back to Los Angeles from St. Louis.
The Rams went 4-12 in their first season back on the West Coast and have now scored nearly as many reality television seasons as they have wins. In 2016, both E!’s “Hollywood & Football” and HBO’s “Hard Knocks: Training Camp With the Los Angeles Rams” detailed the team’s struggle to acclimate to its new old home.
“‘All or Nothing’ brings Amazon Prime members a deep dive into the lives of professional athletes,” Conrad Riggs, Amazon’s head of unscripted original programming, said in a statement released Friday. “We are excited to highlight the L.A. Rams in Season 2, a team with a compelling story of relocation, rebuilding and reuniting with the city they once again call home.”
Ross Ketover (“Hard Knocks,” “Inside the NFL”) and Pat Kelleher (“Hard Knocks,” “30 for 30 -- Four Falls of Buffalo”) are executive producers of the project with Keith Cossrow (“A Football Life”) serving as show runner.
“Since bringing pro football back to the Los Angeles region last year after a 21-year absence, we have been committed to giving NFL fans an up-close view of our journey,” Kevin Demoff, the Rams’ executive vice president of football operations and chief operating officer, said in Friday’s statement. “We are pleased that NFL Films captured this important chapter in the NFL’s history and are looking forward to working with Amazon to bring this behind-the-scenes look at our team to their customers.”
No release date for the second season of “All or Nothing” has been announced. The 2017 NFL season kicks off on Sept. 7.
Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs calls for diversity upon receiving Pioneer Award
Cheryl Boone Isaacs, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, was honored with the Pioneer of the Year award Wednesday night at CinemaCon’s Will Rogers Motion Picture Foundation Dinner.
After Steven Spielberg’s pre-taped message touting Boone Isaacs’ accomplishments, and an onstage tribute from “Selma” actor David Oyelowo, Boone Isaacs accepted her award by stressing the importance of ongoing diversity and inclusion within Hollywood.
“We’re all stronger, our art is more alive, our industry more innovative when we are awakened to fresh perspective,” Boone Isaacs said. “I believe we all have a responsibility to open our industry to reflect the complete mosaic and diversity of our country and the world.”
That mission of diversity has been a calling card for the head of the Academy, particularly after the #OscarsSoWhite controversy.
In response to the second consecutive year where only white actors and actresses were nominated in the Oscars’ acting categories, Boone Isaacs spearheaded a movement committed to doubling the number of women and minorities in the academy by 2020.
Though Boone Isaacs did not address the most recent Oscars kerfuffle in her remarks -- the PwC accounting mix-up that initially announced the wrong winner for best picture (it went to “Moonlight,” not “La La Land”) -- she did send a letter to Academy members on Wednesday announcing revised protocols to the backstage process.
Boone Isaacs is serving her fourth and final term, which concludes this summer.
Ken Burns to tackle ‘The Greatest’ Muhammad Ali in new documentary
Ken Burns announced Tuesday that he has a new documentary underway on late sports legend Muhammad Ali.
The creator of landmark documentaries including “Baseball” and “The Civil War,” Burns will serve as director and producer on the project, along with daughter Sarah Burns and her husband, David McMahon.
Production on the project began in early 2016, months before Ali’s death in June.
Robin Thicke, Paula Patton near custody agreement, report says
Robin Thicke and Paula Patton might finally be close to a custody settlement, according to a report Thursday.
Patton has agreed to give Thicke significant time with their 6-year-old son, Julian, TMZ said, citing sources “familiar with the situation.” The deal is expected to be inked in about a week, the website said.
The family’s post-split relationships blew up in January, weeks after the death of Alan Thicke, Robin’s father. It was reported that Julian accused his dad of spanking him excessively, and the L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services opened an investigation.
Near the end of that month, Patton was granted a restraining order, keeping the “Blurred Lines” singer away from her and granting him only supervised visits with Julian. Thicke ultimately was cleared of “wrongdoing” by DCFS, “Entertainment Tonight” reported, but according to TMZ the investigation remains active.
TMZ said that Julian is now “comfortable” with his dad after spending more time with him while Patton has been out of town working on a movie.
“The Perfect Match” actress filed for divorce in October 2014.
Reps for Patton and Thicke did not respond immediately to requests for comment.
Vin Diesel goes electric over Charlize Theron in ‘Fate of the Furious,’ but where’s the Rock?
Two years ago, Vin Diesel took to the stage in front of thousands of movie theater owners and made a vow: “‘The Fate of the Furious’ will be the best movie you have ever seen.”
The actor set out to make good on that promise Wednesday at CinemaCon, surprising the crowd by debuting the eighth installment in the Universal Pictures franchise.
We’re not sure you’ll agree with Diesel’s assessment about the film’s place in cinematic history, but the movie does deliver on what you’d expect from a “Fast” movie: Fast cars, globetrotting and plenty of “family” mentions.
The movie -- which brings the crew to Havana, Berlin, New York City and the icy tundra in Russia -- will have fans questioning where the loyalty of Diesel’s Dominic Toretto truly lies. While on his honeymoon in Cuba with Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), Dom is confronted by the franchise’s new villain: Cipher, played by Charlize Theron, who is sporting some, uh, interesting blond dreadlocks.
Diesel was particularly amped on Theron’s performance, telling the audience before the screening that his “whole career was leading up to working with this incredibly brilliant talent.” Their scenes together in Cuba were so electric, he said, that “it changed weather,” apparently causing storms, lightning and thunder.
Theron’s character is out to steal some Russian nukes, but she needs Dom’s help to get them. In order to persuade him to turn on his old crew -- and his new wife -- Theron tells Dom that she’s got something on him. We won’t reveal what -- or who -- forces Dom to turn to the dark side, but let’s just say family has something to do with it.
Theron isn’t the only newcomer to the franchise. There’s Helen Mirren, playing the British mum of Jason Statham’s baddie; she’s enlisted by Dom to help with his mission. There’s also Scott Eastwood, who serves as a government agent but ends up as the “Fast” gang’s punching bag as he tries to keep them on-task.
As for Dwayne Johnson, who over the summer had a beef with Diesel in the last days of filming “Fate of the Furious,” he has a hilarious scene in the beginning of the movie coaching his daughter’s soccer team. A shadow operative turns up at the game to try to pull Johnson back into the fray, but he’s more focused on coaching the team. If they lose, he says, he’s going to have to take the team to a “TayTay concert” -- a.k.a Taylor Swift. It got the biggest laugh of the film.
But Johnson didn’t hear the reaction; after being at CinemaCon Monday and Tuesday for the Sony and Paramount presentations, he was conspicuously absent from the “Furious” panel; Rodriguez wasn’t onstage either.
Most significant, this is the first “Fast” film without Paul Walker, who died in a car accident shortly before production on the seventh movie was complete. As you might expect, though, Walker’s legacy lives on within the franchise -- and there’s a nice reference to his character, Brian O’Conner, at the end of the movie.
Diesel got emotional when talking about his late friend’s influence on the film, saying he was constantly “reminded of this angel that was so integral to this concept of brotherhood” while filming.
“The irony is when I thought about going into this eighth chapter, it was Paul Walker who promised eight,” said the actor. “I just play it over and over in my brain, him saying, ‘Eight is guaranteed.’ I always feel like he’s looking down on us, so never want to let him down.”
The first image of an updated Black Lightning debuts as the CW pilot begins production
The first image from The CW’s new superhero pilot “Black Lightning” has been released, and it shows a super slick version of the updated ‘70s vigilante.
Played by “Hart of Dixie” actor Cress Williams, Jefferson Pierce or Black Lightning was the first African American DC superhero to have his own stand-alone comic title. The character was created by Tony Isabella with Trevor Von Eeden in 1977.
But here’s the update: Jefferson Pierce stopped being that hero years ago. Now two daughters in danger have pulled him back into the crime-fighting life, and into an new suit harnessing his electrical powers.
The updated costume was designed by Laura Jean Shannon, who is no stranger to comic book looks with credits on “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” “Blade: Trinity” and “Iron Man.”
The show is being shot in Atlanta, and is being directed by executive producer/writer Salim Akil.
“Comics were a great way for me to escape. I was about 13 when ‘Black Lightning’ was created, and finally there was a black superhero that gave a damn about our neighborhood and our lives,” Akil said in a statement.
Film academy will continue using accounting firm that mixed up Oscar best picture envelopes
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has officially spoken.
In a letter sent to members on Wednesday, President Cheryl Boone Isaacs announced that the organization will continue to work with PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accounting firm responsible for the now-infamous envelope mishap at this year’s Oscars, which resulted in “La La Land” being incorrectly named as best picture, an honor that went to “Moonlight.”
“After a thorough review, including an extensive presentation of revised protocols and ambitious controls, the Board has decided to continue working with PwC,” the letter reads.
The Board of Governors, the body that oversees the academy, met Tuesday night for the first time since the Feb. 26 ceremony. In addition to discussing the debacle for which PwC has already accepted full responsibility, the letter outlined a number of protocols being established to ensure that the mix-up doesn’t happen again.
Also mentioned in Boone Isaacs’ letter was the status of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, set to open in 2019.
Read the full letter below:
Last night the Board of Governors met for the first time following what was, in so many ways, the most extraordinary and memorable Oscars ceremony in decades. As you may know, the Board meets approximately six times a year to discuss the business of the Academy.
One of the items on our agenda was to discuss PwC’s Oscar night mistake and review options moving forward that are in the best interest of our organization.
Heading into our 84th year working with PwC, a partnership that is important to the Academy, we’ve been unsparing in our assessment that the mistake made by representatives of the firm was unacceptable.
Throughout the last month, the Academy team has worked hand-in-hand with PwC to review our wide-ranging relationship – everything from Oscars voting, auditing, and taxes – during which we asked them to lay out for us a path and a process towards ensuring that everything will continue to the high standards the Academy expects and you deserve. From the night of the ceremony through today, PwC has taken full responsibility for the mistake. After a thorough review, including an extensive presentation of revised protocols and ambitious controls, the Board has decided to continue working with PwC.
New protocols include:
- A greater oversight role for PwC US Chairman and Senior Partner, Tim Ryan.
- PwC partner Rick Rosas will return to the Academy account as co-balloting leader, a function Rick performed flawlessly for more than 12 years. We will add additional key balloting partners in the coming months.
- The PwC on-site team at the Oscars will now include a third balloting leader with knowledge of award winners who will sit in the control room with the show’s director throughout the ceremony.
- We’ve developed Oscar night protocols including implementation of partner rehearsals for possible onstage issues, removal of electronic devices from backstage and improvements to onstage envelope category verification.
- Ongoing evaluation of backstage protocols and procedures.
On another note, I also have terrific news to report about progress on a project that excites all of us: the development of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, which will open its doors in 2019. The first phase of construction is now complete, which included renovating the historic Wilshire May Company building, and excavating and creating new underground spaces that will house exhibits that will bring our industry to life. During this next and final phase of the project, we will continue the work on the May Company building, and begin building the breathtaking Renzo Piano-designed sphere that will include our 1000-seat David Geffen Theater and the Dolby Terrace. Stay tuned for updates and thank you for your support of this endeavor.
Last night Tom Hanks, who co-chairs the museum’s capital campaign, brought the future Academy Museum to life by presenting a spoken tour of the space. We look forward to sharing these plans as they continue to evolve.
Last of all, just a reminder about one of the very best ways you can keep contributing to the Academy each day of the year: in April, you’ll receive information about running for a seat on the Academy’s Board of Governors and your Branch Executive Committee. Please think about seizing this opportunity to write the Academy’s next great chapter. The more you get involved, the stronger we can be together. Membership has its privileges, but it also has its responsibilities. We need you.
Lamar Odom regrets multiple affairs, says cocaine was his drug of choice
Lamar Odom wishes he had kept it in his pants.
With a new docuseries reportedly on the horizon and rehab recently in his rear-view, the former Mr. Khloé Kardashian is getting honest about what happened when “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” and “Khloe & Lamar” put him on the radar with women who didn’t follow basketball.
“When I became Khloé Kardashian’s man and on TV, it made me look more enticing,” the 37-year-old told Us Weekly. The ladies (or something like that) came out of the woodwork in droves, and he didn’t say no.
“If there is one thing I regret when I was married, it was having multiple affairs with different women,” Odom said. “That wasn’t the stand-up thing to do. I wish I could have kept [it] in my pants.”
Huh, ya think?
The cocaine use wasn’t a winning choice either.
“I was hiding it [from Kardashian] for a while, but then I got frustrated ... ,” the former Los Angeles Laker and Clipper said. Then in 2011, about two years before they split, he said, “I was in the man cave she had made for me and she caught me. She was disappointed. So was I.”
READ MORE: Lamar Odom: A Shakespearean tale for the TMZ era
“The sad thing about it is, I don’t know if I was disappointed because I was actually doing the drug or because she caught me.”
After that, Kardashian “tolerated” his use of what he called his drug of choice.
Odom said that after she filed for divorce in 2013 and he got his own place, his life “was all about drugs.” He wasn’t trying to fix his marriage and was in a dark place.
Drug abuse “probably helped the end of my career come along a little faster,” he said, “because drugs killed my drive to want to train and be in shape. It killed that and my sex drive.”
By the time Kardashian was staying by his side as he recovered after nearly dying in 2015, Odom said, the couple hadn’t “been intimate in years.”
The couple’s divorce became final in December 2016. He went to rehab at the same time.
READ MORE: Lamar Odom, post-rehab: ‘I committed suicide enough already’
‘The Mindy Project’ is renewed for its sixth and final season
Every love story has its ending: “The Mindy Project” has been renewed for a sixth and final season on Hulu.
The last season of the Mindy Kaling-created comedy, which centered on a rom-com-loving, pop-culture-obsessed OB-GYN, will premiere in September. But that’ll be the end of the road.
The announcement comes on the heels of this week’s Season 5 finale, which saw Kaling’s character, Dr. Mindy Lahiri, marrying boyfriend Ben (Bryan Greenberg).
“It has been an honor and a joy to work with Mindy and the entire creative team behind ‘The Mindy Project,’” Craig Erwich, Hulu’s head of content, said in a statement. “This series has been part of Hulu since we launched the service and, thanks to Mindy’s incredibly unique voice and vision, has remained one of our most popular and beloved series over the past five years.
“While we can’t wait to see what Mindy has in store for what will undoubtedly be a fantastic sixth and final season, we know ‘The Mindy Project’ will live on as fans will continue to watch, discover and relive all of the best moments from the complete series,” he added.
The series launched in 2013, with its first three seasons airing on Fox. When the network canceled the comedy in 2015, “The Mindy Project” quickly found a home at Hulu, securing a robust 26-episode order for Season 4.
“I feel the glow,” Kaling told The Times in 2015 about the move to Hulu. “You know, like that glow when you’re in this great new relationship? That’s the only way I can describe it ... to use the analogy of being in a healthy relationship.”
With its recently wrapped fifth season, the comedy hit the 100-episode milestone. Viewers can also catch reruns of the comedy on Freeform and VH1.
Perhaps the end was inevitable. Kaling’s load has certainly ramped up. She recently finished production on Ava DuVernay’s “A Wrinkle in Time” and is also part of the female-fronted “Ocean’s 8.”
The “The Office” alum is executive producer of a comedy pilot for NBC that she will appear in if it’s picked up. And she sold a film script about a late-night talk show host that she would also appear in.
Maxine Waters has some news for Bill O’Reilly: ‘I cannot be intimidated. I cannot be undermined’
U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) has no time for Bill O’Reilly’s foolishness.
Waters appeared on MSNBC’s “All In With Chris Hayes” Tuesday night, and Hayes asked the California congresswoman if she had a response to O’Reilly’s remarks that morning about her hair (or, as O’Reilly put it, her “James Brown wig.”)
While Waters didn’t have a direct response to O’Reilly, per se, she definitely had a message to convey.
“No, I’m not responding to him,” Waters began, before thanking Hillary Clinton for always standing up for women in general and black women in particular.
Then Waters neatly pivoted to what was really on her mind.
“Let me just say this: I’m a strong black woman and I cannot be intimidated. I cannot be undermined. I cannot be thought to be afraid of Bill O’Reilly or anybody,” Waters said.
Then she dug in deeper.
“And I’d like to say to women out there everywhere: Don’t allow these right-wing talking heads, these dishonorable people, to intimidate you or scare you. Be who you are, do what you do, and let us get on with discussing the real issues of this country,” she said.
And in case she wasn’t already clear:
“I am not going anywhere. I am going to stay on message. I am going to fight for the people of this country. I’m going to fight for comprehensive healthcare, and I don’t care about Bill O’Reilly or [Roger] Ailes or Trump or any of them,” Waters emphasized. “We have a responsibility as elected officials to do good public policy in the best interests of all the people. That’s what I’m going to do. I’m not going to stop.”
Despite releasing a public statement Tuesday apologizing for his jokes about Waters’ hair, O’Reilly doubled-down on his criticisms of the congresswoman in a segment on “The O’Reilly Factor.”
After acknowledging the inappropriateness of his comments, O’Reilly went on to state that Waters would never appear on his show because he would challenge her and she doesn’t want to be challenged.
O’Reilly then dismissed Waters as just “spouting the left-wing company line” and bemoaned her idea of patriotism as ideological nonsense.
“But in order to succeed in this country, you must be self-reliant, not dependent on the entitlement system that Maxine Waters loves so much,” O’Reilly said.
The Internet to Bill O’Reilly: Leave Congresswoman Maxine Waters’ hair out of this
‘Daily Show’ at work on the Trump Presidential Twitter Library: ‘It will be so tremendous’
Round 2 of Sean Hannity versus Ted Koppel, with a cameo by Bill O’Reilly
As a Trump protest, theaters worldwide will screen the film version of Orwell’s ‘1984’
‘Daily Show’ at work on the Trump Presidential Twitter Library: ‘It will be so tremendous’
“The Daily Show With Trevor Noah” has so much material on President Trump, it apparently can’t be contained to late-night TV alone.
“The Daily Show Presents: The Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library” will open in June in New York City, the show and Comedy Central announced Tuesday. Unlike other presidential libraries, this one will highlight “our commander in chief’s preferred vessel for communicating with the public, his Twitter feed.”
Naturally, the library itself has a Twitter account, written in the style of the 45th president of the United States.
“[I]t will be tremendous. It will be so tremendous that you’ll get tired of the tremendousness, so it will then close only a few days later. Sad!,” the release (and the Twitter feed) said.
The “library” exhibit, which will be free to the public, will feature “a fully interactive and hands-on experience for hands of all sizes” and will offer people an opportunity to “celebrate the many ‘unpresidented’ moments of President Trump’s Twitter history.”
And no, it’s not an early April Fool’s prank. A Comedy Central rep told the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday that it’s “a real event,” with more details forthcoming at a later date.
Japanese American National Museum names Amnesty International board chair as its president
The Japanese American National Museum has a new president and chief executive -- officially.
Ann Burroughs, who has served as interim president and CEO since June 2016 and also chairs the board of Amnesty International USA, has stepped into the role of museum chief permanently, the board of trustees announced.
Board chairman Norman Y. Mineta said Burroughs had earned the “respect and admiration” of the staff and supporters of the museum, located in Little Tokyo. “She has helped articulate a vision for the museum that has resonated deeply with me, my fellow trustees and our governors,” he said.
Burroughs, who has more than 25 years of nonprofit leadership experience, said she was “committed to reinvigorating and finding new ways to advance the museum’s key values, emphasizing the importance of being vigilant about democracy and stressing the value of diversity in our world today.”
NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt joins Center Theatre Group board
Center Theatre Group just got a little more Hollywood sparkle. The company announced Tuesday that NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt has joined its board of directors.
Greenblatt is a Tony Award-winning Broadway producer (“A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder”) and has been a big advocate of theater-related projects at NBC, including “The Sound of Music Live!” and “Hairspray Live!”
The addition of Greenblatt (also a Golden Globe-winning producer on “Six Feet Under”) to the board made sense as Center Theatre Group tries to highlight connections between the film and TV industries and live theater, artistic director Michael Ritchie said.
“I’ve worked with Bob on and off for more than a decade, and he is one of theater’s great advocates,” Ritchie said. “As we continue to strengthen our already wonderful board, there is no question that we want the guy who used his role as a top TV executive to broadcast musical theater into the homes of millions of Americans.”
Center Theatre Group stages plays and musicals at the Ahmanson Theatre and Mark Taper Forum in downtown L.A. and at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. The company, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, already has a Hollywood presence on its board, including “Everybody Loves Raymond” actress Monica Horan Rosenthal, producer Gail Berman-Masters, YouTube global content head Susanne Daniels, producer Vin Di Bona and Chernin Entertainment executive Dante Di Loreto.
“I’ve always been a theater lover – from ‘Guys and Dolls’ back in high school to ‘Hairspray Live!’ on NBC, and I’m so pleased to be part of a world-class organization like Center Theatre Group,” Greenblatt said in the announcement. “I had great experiences working with Michael Ritchie and Center Theatre Group on the world premiere of ‘9 to 5: The Musical’ as well as ‘Drowsy Chaperone,’ and I look forward to doing everything I can to bring great theater to more and more people in Los Angeles.”
Follow me on Twitter: @debvankin
Discovery Communications announces return of ‘Trading Spaces’ and ‘Cash Cab’
Discovery Communications held its annual advertising upfront in New York on Tuesday and announced the return of several beloved series.
“Trading Spaces,” the TLC home-improvement reality series that ran from 2000 to 2008, is scheduled to return, as is Discovery’s “Cash Cab,” which aired from 2005 to 2012.
”TLC is back into home and property with ‘Nate & Jeremiah by Design,’ our new show helping distressed homeowners turn disasters into dream homes,” Nancy Daniels, TLC president and general manager, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to expand in this space, and what better way to do that than to bring back ‘Trading Spaces,’ the series that put property on the map.”
Though predated by “This Old House,” “Trading Spaces” was on the forefront of the home-improvement reality-show boom, finding entertainment in other people’s housing situations long before modern counterparts such as “Love It or List It” and “Flip or Flop.”
As for whether mainstay host Paige Davis will be returning with the series, Davis was evasive when asked for comment by E! News.
“All I know is fans are constantly bringing up to me how much they miss the show...so with TLC bringing it back, there will for sure be a lot of happy viewers out there,” Davis said.
Discovery Communications announced a host of new programming, too, including Animal Planet’s “My Fat Pet” and Science Channel’s prank show “Scijinks” hosted by “The Big Bang Theory” star Johnny Galecki.
Maks Chmerkovskiy needs ‘a surgery,’ will be off ‘DWTS’ for weeks
Maks Chmerkovskiy’s calf muscle injury is serious enough that it will sideline the “Dancing With the Stars” pro for weeks, his fiancée, Peta Murgatroyd, confirmed Monday night.
Chmerkovskiy, who is partnered this season with “Glee” alum Heather Morris, felt something go pop during a rehearsal last week, and it turned out to be serious. Pro Alan Bersten had to take over for him on Monday night’s show and apparently will stay with Morris until Maks is back.
“It’s going to take weeks to get better,” Murgatroyd told “Access Hollywood” after the show. “He’s having a surgery done ... then rehab starts after that.”
It’s not just “an ice bag type of situation,” said the new mom, whose child with Chmerkovskiy, Shai Aleksander, was born in early January.
Morris said the injury, which was shown on the show, didn’t seem like a big deal at first.
“My reaction obviously wasn’t huge because it was like, ‘Oh, you know, what happened? It just felt like something popped?’ ” she told E! News after the show. But then her partner couldn’t even walk.
That said, Murgatroyd was upbeat about her man’s future. “He’s a quick healer,” the dancer said. “It’s going to be fine.”
Looks like Maks is going to get a little of the paternity leave he said he wanted.
The Internet to Bill O’Reilly: Leave Congresswoman Maxine Waters’ hair out of this
Bill O’Reilly found a new enemy Tuesday morning in the form of California Rep. Maxine Waters’ hair.
After spending extended time on Monday’s episode of “The O’Reilly Factor” defending colleague Sean Hannity from Ted Koppel, O’Reilly stopped by “Fox & Friends,” where he was asked about Waters’ recent criticisms about President Trump.
O’Reilly was then shown a clip from Waters’ speech on the House floor and responded, saying, “I didn’t hear a word [Waters] said. I was looking at the James Brown wig. If we have a picture of James, it’s the same wig.”
Beyond the inappropriateness of insulting people on their appearance, O’Reilly also overstepped right into a minefield when he targeted the hair of a black woman.
The 2009 documentary “Good Hair” delved into the history and evolution of matters of hair among African American women. It’s an issue that continues to be so culturally relevant that comedian Phoebe Robinson titled her 2016 memoir “You Can’t Touch My Hair,” and Solange Knowles included a track on her 2016 album, “A Seat at the Table,” called “Don’t Touch My Hair.”
Beyond the cultural issues, O’Reilly is dismissing the statements of the most senior black woman in the United States Congress — there are 12 total — because of what her hair looks like.
Since O’Reilly was so distracted, here’s the message that Waters was delivering:
African Americans “fight against this president, and we point out how dangerous he is for this society and for this country. We’re fighting for the democracy.
“We’re saying to those who say they’re patriotic but they’ve turned a blind eye to the destruction that he’s about to cause this country, ‘You’re not nearly as patriotic as we are.’”
Waters has served in the House of Representatives for more than 25 years, originally elected to represent California’s 29th Congressional District in 1991.
That same year, O’Reilly was hosting “Inside Edition.”
Things devolved on “Fox & Friends” after O’Reilly’s statement, with co-host Brian Kilmeade quickly agreeing with O’Reilly, saying, “It’s the same one” and referencing the fact that Brown is dead.
Co-host Ainsley Earhardt tried to improve the situation with (arguably a misguided) understanding of feminism, stating, “You can’t go after a woman’s looks. I think she’s very attractive.”
When the men agreed on Waters’ looks, O’Reilly stands by the hair comparison, which leads Earhardt to state that Brown “had girl hair.”
No surprise, the Internet was incensed over the exchange.
O’Reilly released a statement several hours after the segment aired and apologized for his comments.
“As I have said many times, I respect Congresswoman Maxine Waters for being sincere in her beliefs. I said that again today on ‘Fox & Friends,’ calling her old school. Unfortunately, I also made a jest about her hair, which was dumb. I apologize,” O’Reilly said.
Shortly thereafter, O’Reilly tweeted about tonight’s episode of “The O’Reilly Factor” tackling political correctness.
Timing is everything.
Huntington Library president steps down
The president of the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino has stepped down after a tenure of less than two years, the museum’s board of trustees announced Tuesday.
Laura Skandera Trombley became the eighth president of the Huntington and the first woman to hold that position on July 1, 2015, following the retirement of Steven S. Koblik, who served as president since 2001.
The Huntington announcement said Trombley is leaving to work on a book-length study of Mark Twain. She is the most recent recipient of the Louis J. Budd Award for Twain scholarship, the Huntington said.
During the search for a new president, the Huntington’s director of research, Steve Hindle, will serve as acting president. Trombley will be an advisor to the board of trustees.
Round 2 of Sean Hannity versus Ted Koppel, with a cameo by Bill O’Reilly
Sean Hannity provided a chaser to his Twitter rant against Ted Koppel on Monday night with a seven-minute segment on his Fox News show “Hannity,” raging against what he deems “edited fake news.”
The war of the words began after a “CBS News Sunday Morning” piece where Koppel hypothesized that the political divide in America is rooted in the extreme punditry now prevalent in the 24-hour news cycle.
Koppel interviewed Hannity for the segment, and when Hannity asked if he was bad for America, Koppel said, “Yeah.”
Hannity took to Twitter on Sunday to decry CBS for using only a portion of his interview and came out guns blazing on his Monday episode over the perceived injustice.
“I guess people like Ted Koppel feel that you, the American people, can’t distinguish between opinion and news,” Hannity stated before running through a five-minute laundry list of accusations against former President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Dan Rather and CBS News.
Hannity argued that he provides a valuable service to viewers by telling them things they won’t hear on mainstream news sites.
He then implored CBS to release the full 45-minute interview so people could judge for themselves.
Bill O’Reilly also weighed in on Koppel versus Hannity, bringing in fellow Fox News analyst and former ABC journalist Brit Hume to discuss the matter in detail.
By the end of their five-minute conversation, O’Reilly had come to the conclusion that what was really bothering Koppel -- who appeared on O’Reilly’s show just last year -- was that the old guard of broadcast television journalists are jealous of how successful Fox News is.
Hume then added that he assumed that Koppel and his ilk were also similarly disheartened by partisan displays by MSNBC and the like, an observation supported by anyone viewing the original “CBS News Sunday Morning” clip.
In new ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ trailer, our little Spidey’s growing up -- or trying to
The second “Spider-Man: Homecoming” trailer is out, and Peter Parker’s saga has evolved a bit from the first one -- but only a little bit.
It’s less about high school and more about Spider-Man (Tom Holland) aspiring to move past his friendly, neighborhood Spider-Man roots and toward Avengers status.
Michael Keaton’s “Birdman,” err, Vulture character spreads his wings, sharing his animosity toward Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man and his ilk and showing off his aptitude for menacing in general.
“Forget the flying monster guy, Peter. There are people who handle this sort of thing,” says mentor-bro Tony Stark, who winds up doing the disappointed-dad thing after Peter has an oops with a very large ferry.
Surprise, “flying monster guy” appears likely to stay on Spidey’s agenda. Loved ones have been threatened, you see.
“Spider-Man: Homecoming” premieres July 7.
READ MORE: First ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ trailer reunites Iron Man and Peter Parker
New ‘Justice League’ trailer brings Batman a bit of self-awareness
What to expect from Disney’s new ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ ride
Dan Stevens channels his beastly side in ‘Beauty and the Beast’ prologue dance
Carrie Fisher’s ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ scenes will not be changed, plus new details about the Han Solo film
Thanks, United Airlines, for making us look at Captain Kirk in leggings
Thanks, United Airlines. You just made us look at William Shatner in leggings.
Some folks on social media were up in arms over leggings on Sunday and Monday after activist and airline traveler Shannon Watts live-tweeted early Sunday morning that a United Airlines gate attendant wasn’t allowing some tween-age girls to board a flight out of Denver because of their form-fitting attire.
After Patricia Arquette piped up against the decision, saying that it was discriminatory because not a lot of men wear leggings, Shatner offered himself up as a bright red exception to that rule.
It seems the girls were traveling on employee-perk companion or “buddy” passes, and the gate attendant was enforcing a dress code that comes with that privilege. Even though she retweeted United’s explanation, Arquette called the dress code outdated.
Sarah Silverman threatened to take her travel business elsewhere, while Chrissy Teigen threatened to keep her business with United, but to keep her clothing to a minimum when she did.
Then there was Jim Norton, cracking wise about the situation. Always a comedian, that guy. (You know, literally.)
Todd Fisher on how the Debbie Reynolds-Carrie Fisher public memorial became a musical revue
In the weeks following the death of “his girls” — his mother, Debbie Reynolds, 84, died just a day after her 60-year-old daughter, Carrie Fisher, passed away in December — Todd Fisher devoted most of his time to organizing a public memorial for the Hollywood icons.
A private ceremony, held in January, was attended by dozens of celebrities, including Meryl Streep, Gwyneth Paltrow, George Lucas and Jamie Lee Curtis.
The public memorial on Saturday at Forest Lawn Memorial Park-Hollywood Hills was decidedly less star-studded, and those celebrities who did attend largely bypassed camera crews.
Emotion flowed openly once the memorial got underway, particularly when the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles rose from seats in the audience and began singing Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors.”
Troupes of dancers from the Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio in North Hollywood, which she founded in 1979, performed with umbrellas and yellow raincoats to honor the “Singin’ in the Rain” star.
And a new song from James Blunt, who composed his hit “You’re Beautiful” in Fisher’s bathroom, was played for the crowd.
Fisher told the crowd of roughly 1,200 he was hopeful the event would have an intimate feel, as if the audience were sitting in the family’s living room, leafing through old photos and watching home videos.
Full Coverage: Debbie Reynolds: Actress had a remarkable life on screen and off
Full Coverage: Carrie Fisher: Author, actress and ‘Star Wars’ heroine
Ted Koppel tells Sean Hannity he’s bad for America; Hannity fires back
In a decidedly unsurprising turn of events, veteran newsman Ted Koppel and Fox News personality Sean Hannity have polarizing reactions to Koppel’s “CBS News Sunday Morning” segment on the political polarization of America.
The 10-minute analysis attributed the growing rise in political discord to the Federal Communications Commission’s 1987 revocation of the Fairness Doctrine, which required broadcasters to present contrasting views for matters of public interest.
In the wake of the revocation, highly politicized personalities and networks were given room to thrive, leading to an environment where individuals on either side of the aisle are unable to agree on what are the facts.
Enter Sean Hannity. During an interview with Koppel, Hannity said: “We have to give some credit to the American people that they’re somewhat intelligent and they know the difference between an opinion show and a news show.”
“You think we’re bad for America?” Hannity asked, to which Koppel immediately responded, “Yeah.”
“You think I’m bad for America?” Hannity clarified. Again, Koppel answered in the affirmative.
It wasn’t the only notable exchange between the two in the segment, which featured Hannity calling for the defeat of liberalism and asserting that the press is out to destroy the president.
Hannity went on a Twitter tear after the telecast Sunday morning. He questioned why CBS only aired two minutes of his 45-minute interview in the 10-minute segment before demanding the network release the full interview so people could see the truth.
This is not the first time that Koppel has found himself at odds with outspoken political pundits.
In 2010, Koppel wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post bemoaning the rise of Fox News and MSNBC and their politically partisan personalities, including Keith Olbermann and Bill O’Reilly. (Appearing on O’Reilly’s show last year, Koppel told the host: “You have changed the television landscape over the past 20 years. You took it from being objective and dull to subjective and entertaining.”)
Koppel was the host of ABC’s “Nightline” for 25 years and now serves as a special contributor for “CBS News Sunday Morning.”
Kim Kardashian wants baby No. 3 with Kanye West, despite rough pregnancies
Kim Kardashian West, whose two pregnancies have been far less than comfortable for the reality star, says she’s going to try to have another baby.
“I want my kids to have siblings, but the doctors don’t think it’s safe for me,” she says in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it promo for the next episode of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.”
If the editing of the reactions from Khloe Kardashian, Kris Jenner and Kourtney Kardashian is to be believed, the family was shocked by Kim’s smiling announcement. Simply shocked. And concerned.
Some background for those not keeping up with the next generation of Kardashian Wests: Daughter North arrived a month ahead of time after mom dealt with early-onset preeclampsia and then, post-delivery, the placenta did not detach from Kim’s uterine wall; son Saint West was breech, and the placenta issue recurred.
Adele’s ‘Hello’ may mean goodbye to touring
Adele has been quite chatty as she closes out the third leg of her world tour in Australia and New Zealand.
Earlier in the month, the superstar singer and songwriter confirmed to a Brisbane, Australia, audience that she had tied the knot with longtime partner Simon Konecki, and at a Sunday concert in Auckland, New Zealand, Adele may have dropped the biggest bomb of all.
The New Zealand Herald reported Monday that Adele remarked at the close of her concert her doubts about continuing to tour.
“Touring isn’t something I’m good at,” the 28-year-old from London remarked. “Applause makes me feel a bit vulnerable.”
Adele continued, saying: “I don’t know if I will ever tour again. The only reason I’ve toured is you. I’m not sure if touring is my bag.”
Her latest tour began in February 2016, and when it concludes in July, it will have encompassed more than 120 shows on three continents.
The artist’s skittishness regarding live performances could well be attributed to several high-profile flubs at consecutive Grammy Awards ceremonies.
At the 2016 Grammys, Adele struggled with audio issues during a performance of “All I Ask.” And when she stopped her George Michael memorial performance of “Fastlove” at the 2017 ceremony and asked to start again, she explained, “I can’t do it again like last year.”
Her current tour concludes with four concerts at Wembley Stadium in London in late June and early July, dramatically dubbed “The Finale.”
Is this really the end of Adele’s touring career?
Representatives for the singer did not immediately respond request for comment.
Samira Wiley marries ‘Orange Is the New Black’ writer Lauren Morelli
Samira Wiley of “Orange Is the New Black” and Lauren Morelli, a writer for that show, are married.
Wiley -- who’s now appearing in Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” -- and Morelli exchanged vows Saturday in a ceremony in Palm Springs, according to Martha Stewart Weddings. The women had gotten engaged at the same location in October. Wiley’s parents officiated at the ceremony, where the brides both wore white designed by Christian Siriano.
The ceremony wrapped up with Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It,” while the colorful, confetti-themed reception kicked off with Justin Bieber’s “Baby,” MSW said.
The couple started dating in early 2014 and walked the Emmy Awards red carpet together that August.
Morelli filed for divorce from her TV-writer husband Steve Basilone the next month. They had gotten married just months before Morelli joined the “OINTB” writing staff in 2012; the split was reportedly amicable.
While writing for the show, her first professional writing gig, Morelli “found a mouthpiece for my own desires and a glimmer of what my future could look like,” she said in a May 2014 essay for Identities.mic. The essay was written about six months after she and Basilone, who’d dated for six years before tying the knot, decided to split.
“I went through it all on set,” Morelli wrote. “I fell in love with a woman, and I watched my life play out on screen.”
And now it’s playing out on Instagram -- and in the pages of Martha Stewart Weddings, which will have a full spread of wedding photos in its summer issue.
Kendrick Lamar targets Donald Trump on new song ‘The Heart Part 4’
Kendrick Lamar’s warning is clear on the new single “The Heart Part 4.”
“Y’all got till April 7 to get y’all [stuff] together,” he raps.
What happens then? A new record? An anti-Trumpist insurrection? Whatever it is, after Lamar released the scalding single on Thursday night, the big takeaway is this: More fire is coming, and just in time for his Coachella headlining sets.
Jake Gyllenhaal begs Ryan Reynolds to pick up the stupid phone already, man
Men. They never pick up the phone when you want them to.
Jake Gyllenhaal bravely -- foolishly? -- attempted to prove that he and Ryan Reynolds are friends in real life by connecting with his “Life” co-star via FaceTime during the taping of “Late Night With Seth Meyers” on Thursday. By the time the bit was over, the score was Calls, 2, Gyllenhaal, zero.
“C’mon, man, you’re eating up precious TV time!,” Gyllenhaal pleaded with the ringing, ringing, ringing phone.
“You don’t know Ryan Reynolds,” Meyers teased him.
But wait! During the commercial break, a magical thing happened: Reynolds called back.
With Meyers offstage to get his microphone adjusted, Gyllenhaal commandeered the host’s desk for a chat with Reynolds.
“Here’s what I’m doing,” Reynolds said, redirecting the phone’s camera to show the action. “Pushing baby strollers.”
Gyllenhaal’s giddy peek into their friendship was a far cry from the oh-so-private version of the actor who went into a repeat cycle of replying, simply and coolly, “I would love to not talk about my personal life” and “I would love to talk about the movie” after an interviewer for the Guardian made the mistake of asking him about dating Taylor Swift.
(In his defense, that did happen way back in 2010. Can we all move on now?)
The bromance between the two actors might have been at its best, or at least its most amusing, in the “autocomplete interview” the two did recently for Wired magazine. First, guess which one of them said which of the following things:
- “Canada had sex with America.”
- “It’s mostly done exclusively with politicians’ spit.”
- “You know how scary that would be if you just woke up and someone was taking your hair? That’d be terrible. Terrifying!”
- “There are, like, 400 more cards. Let’s waste more life.”
- “I didn’t even know I was kissing him until I found out when I got home that night. There should be a map just to get out of his eyes.”
- “Twigs, rocks, sticks and a tiny bit of green tea.”
- “Fake ones.”
Now click play, and enjoy.
Nick Viall accepts a rose (and peace offering) from William Shatner
Forget the olive branch — William Shatner extended a rose on Thursday to Nick Viall as a sign of peace after an intense campaign earlier in the week to get “The Bachelor” transported off “Dancing With the Stars” as early as possible.
“My goal for #DWTS is to knock Bachelor Nick out ASAP. Who is with me?” Shatner tweeted Monday right before the show aired on the East Coast. “He lives up to the homonym of his last name,” he said later.
After some tweeps tried to convince him that Nick wasn’t such a bad guy, or at least he wasn’t on “Bachelor in Paradise” last summer, Shatner stood firm, tweeting: “Leopards don’t change their spots. Don’t be surprised if he shows up again on paradise. I won’t be.”
Nick, of course, is engaged to Vanessa Grimaldi, and theoretically should not be available for another season on a “Bachelor” franchise show. Then again, he has shown up four times already.
Shatner pushed for Charo that night. He pushed for Mr. T. He pushed for everyone but Nick. Seems Bill doesn’t like the way Nick treats the ladies.
And Nick? Well, Nick was just sad about the whole thing.
However, on Thursday, the “Star Trek” legend changed some spots of his own, tweeting a peace symbol and rose emoji to the “Bachelor” veteran with a vague explanation for the “Anyone But Nick” campaign. “As a Dad w/ daughters I’m not happy w/ what you’ve done in the past,” Shatner said. “Maybe you’ve matured now?”
The peace offering was accepted, with Nick wishing Shatner a belated happy 86th birthday.
Once a charmer, always a charmer.
“Saw Nick Viall dance,” Shatner said 45 minutes after extending his peace offering as he retweeted word from “DWTS” host Tom Bergeron predicting the end of the kerfuffle was near. “He can really dance. I hope he’s as good a lover.”
Director Zack Snyder reveals ‘Justice League’ posters featuring Batman and Aquaman
Director Zack Snyder has unveiled the latest sneak peeks at the upcoming Warner Bros. superhero smorgasbord “Justice League.”
The first, a simple poster bearing the group’s logo and the one-word call to arms, “Unite,” was followed by two character posters.
Ben Affleck (Batman) and Jason Momoa (Aquaman) both star in their own posters, seen below.
The film’s other stars, namely Ezra Miller (The Flash), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Henry Cavill (Superman) and Ray Fisher (Cyborg), will no doubt appear on their own forthcoming posters.
Fans will have even more to see when the exclusive new trailer drops Saturday. Watch a teaser for the trailer, featuring Batman, below:
“Justice League” will be in theaters Nov. 17.
MORE: Superhero movies news
Oops! Kristi Yamaguchi wishes Nancy Kerrigan luck in the worst way possible
Word choice is important, particularly online where one slip-up can banish you to Internet infamy over a matter of keystrokes.
That’s the lesson gold-medal Olympic figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi learned Monday night when she sent a well-meaning tweet wishing former competitor Nancy Kerrigan luck on her “Dancing With the Stars” debut.
“So excited for you,” Yamaguchi wrote. “Can’t wait to see you grace that ballroom floor, break a leg!”
Never has the theater idiom “break a leg” been more inappropriately applied, given that Kerrigan’s skating career was nearly sabotaged when rival skater Tonya Harding’s then-husband hired someone to club her in the knee with a baton.
A representative for Yamaguchi dispelled any notion that there’s bad blood between the skaters, telling E! News, “Kristi loves Nancy and has nothing but respect for her. No ill will was intended with the tweet, and Nancy herself has received and commented on the well wishes that were sent.
“Kristi is finding the reactions on social media humorous, but unfortunately for those who want it to have been shady, that’s not the case,” Yamaguchi’s representative concluded.
Or maybe that’s just what they want you to think.
Kerrigan, for her part, danced well on Monday’s episode, earning high marks for her Viennese waltz.
CBS renews 18 series, including ‘The Big Bang Theory,’ ‘Bull’ and ‘MacGyver’
CBS put its ratings prowess on display Thursday, renewing 18 series for the 2017-18 television season.
The shows include five first-year shows, including “Bull,” “Kevin Can Wait,” “MacGyver,” “Man With a Plan” and “Superior Donuts.”
Though renewals for “The Big Bang Theory” and “NCIS,” the top-rated comedy and drama on television, were announced earlier, they join “NCIS: Los Angeles” and “Survivor” among long-running pick-ups for the network.
Missing among the early renewals are several stalwarts on the CBS schedule, including “Two Broke Girls,” “The Amazing Race,” “Elementary” and “Criminal Minds.”
That doesn’t mean that they’ll be canceled, but it does suggest the series won’t know their fate until the announcement of the full schedule at the CBS upfront on May 17.
Here’s the full list of 2017-18 CBS renewals:
- “The Big Bang Theory”
- “Blue Bloods”
- “Hawaii Five-0”
- “Kevin Can Wait”
- “Life in Pieces”
- “Madam Secretary”
- “Man With a Plan”
- “NCIS: Los Angeles”
- “NCIS: New Orleans”
- “Superior Donuts”
- “48 Hours”
- “60 Minutes”
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride gets 4K-HD upgrade at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
The Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios just got a little more immersive.
The ride, located within Hogwarts castle, combines a robotics ride system with filmed action sequences and visceral effects to create a full-sensory experience for guests.
Originally using 3-D film with the ride, Universal Studios has upgraded Forbidden Journey to 4K-HD, allowing fans to experience J.K. Rowling’s imagined world at a hyper-realistic 120 frames per second.
Forbidden Journey opened at Universal Studios Hollywood with the debut of Wizarding World in April 2016 and lets fans experience some of Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley’s greatest film adventures alongside them, including playing Quidditch, escaping the Whomping Willow and a run-in with Dementors.
The updated ride is the latest upgrade at Universal Studios and the adjacent Universal CityWalk, which recently introduced a multimillion dollar remodel of its AMC theater.
‘The Walking Dead’ alum Steven Yeun is a new dad, report says
Steven Yeun, known to “The Walking Dead” fans as Glenn Rhee, has reportedly welcomed a baby boy with wife Joana Pak.
The couple’s first child arrived on St. Patrick’s Day, E! News said Tuesday. The actor, 33, married Pak, a photographer, in early December.
On the AMC show’s seventh season, which has two episodes left, Glenn’s baby with Maggie Greene has yet to be born. On Instagram in February, Yeun teased to his real-world son’s impending arrival with photo-booth snapshots of himself and a very pregnant Pak.
Todd Fisher reveals mom Debbie Reynolds’ state of mind after Carrie Fisher’s death
Todd Fisher, son of Debbie Reynolds and brother of Carrie Fisher, had some intense conversations with his mother in late December immediately following the “Star Wars” actress’ death.
“My mother said to me, the night that Carrie died -- I didn’t know what was happening but she was setting me up for her leaving the planet,” Fisher told “Entertainment Tonight” on Wednesday, just a few days before a memorial service for both women. “She literally looked at me and said, ‘I want to be with Carrie,’ and closed her eyes and went to sleep.”
Reynolds discussed with her son her own end-of-life plans, he said, which shifted at the last minute from a low-key cremation for herself to the purchase of a tomb where she and her daughter could be buried together.
“She changed her mind that night,” he said. They talked about how hard it was dealing with Carrie’s death and Reynolds warned him it might get harder, because she didn’t know when she was going to die too. Fisher told her that they didn’t have to worry about that right away, but said he realized, “she was, like, asking my permission” to go.
FULL COVERAGE: The death of Carrie Fisher
Reynolds wasn’t overly dramatic after her daughter’s death, Fisher said. While he was the one crying after they left the hospital on Dec. 26, his mother “truly understood” what had happened, he said.
“[T]he next morning, we had a little further dialogue and she chose to leave the planet in front of my face two feet away. If you had told me this story and I wasn’t there, I would have a very hard time believing what I saw.” Reynolds died Dec. 28.
Added Fisher, “I’m really OK with Debbie’s exit, not so OK with Carrie’s exit, ‘cause Carrie was in the middle of what was, I thought, her finest hours. Her creativity was peaking, the ‘Star Wars’ thing was obviously back in spades. Everything that she was doing was turning to gold.”
A joint memorial for mother and daughter will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles and livestreamed worldwide on DebbieReynolds.com. Spots in the 1,200-seat theater will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis.
READ MORE: Carrie Fisher’s ‘Wishful Drinking,’ created at the Geffen, was a feat of ‘incredible strength’ >>
As ‘Missing Richard Simmons’ podcast wraps, its creator has a theory about what happened to the fitness guru
With the “Missing Richard Simmons” podcast coming to an end, his brother and longtime manager have stepped up to join the chorus of those saying the fitness guru, who hasn’t been seen in public for three years, is fine, fine, fine.
Meanwhile, podcaster Dan Taberski wound up with a conclusion he hadn’t anticipated when he wrapped up his six-part series Monday, a couple of days earlier than scheduled.
“After 40-some-odd years, he just decided he wanted to rest,” older bro Lenny Simmons told People. “He’s 68 years old now and he’s in good health, but he just wants time for himself.”
Lenny was repeating something he had shared with Taberski in the fifth episode of “Missing Richard Simmons”: Lenny and his wife had visited Richard for five days around Christmas, and his brother was fine except for suffering from a cold. He didn’t understand what his brother was doing, Lenny told Taberski, but he had to respect it.
“These things about him transitioning to a woman are ridiculous,” the elder Simmons told People — as he had previously told Taberski — alluding to one of the big where-is-Richard rumors that has circulated in the past three years.
READ MORE: Richard Simmons ‘just fine’ according to LAPD wellness check >>
As for whether Simmons was being held hostage by longtime housekeeper Teresa Reveles, which was explored in the podcast? Taberski had a few things to say about that in his final episode, in a portion tinged with a just a splash of legalese.
(Spoiler alert: If you haven’t listened to the full six-part series and want to experience all of its twists and turns, you should stop reading this article now.)
People in a position to know came forward after the podcast went viral earlier this month, Taberski told his listeners. They included the LAPD detective who had done a wellness check at Simmons’ Hollywood Hills home March 10, he said.
“Based on all this information, I believe Teresa Reveles is just doing her job,” Taberski said after an I-want-to-make-this-very-clear setup. “Moreover, from what I hear now, she seems to be doing it well.”
Taberski — who explained in the podcast that he and others had been very concerned since Simmons didn’t show up at the Slimmons studio that day in February 2014 — has his own theory about what’s up with someone he considers a friend: Basically, it has to do with how much of himself Simmons, whom Taberski had labeled an “empathist,” had given to others over the years. Like, way too much.
Also, longtime manager Michael Catalano told the podcaster, it turns out that many people who came into contact with Simmons — the one Taberski called that “short-shorts character” — may have overestimated the depth and significance of their relationships with him.
Ouch. That would mean that some or all of the people interviewed for the podcast, who were so worried about their “friend” because he left without saying goodbye, didn’t know he just wasn’t that into them in the first place.
“I think you’ve really created more worry and speculation,” Catalano said, implying that the podcast, which Taberski said was intended as a “grand gesture” to Simmons, had made the fitness icon’s life more difficult.
“Where is he?” the podcaster reflected as he wrapped up his final episode. “He’s home. Why has he done this? Because he just doesn’t want to be that guy anymore.
“And who was that guy?” Taberski asked. “He was Richard Simmons. And he was amazing.”
The first trailer for Netflix’s ‘Mystery Science Theater 3000’ revival introduces the new Mads
Fans counting down to the April 14 premiere of the “Mystery Science Theater 3000” revival are in luck. Netflix has released the first trailer for the upcoming series.
Full of the camp that charmed viewers of the original series, the new trailer for “MST3K” introduces fans to Kinga Forrester, played by Felicia Day, daughter of mad scientist Dr. Clayton Forrester. Kinga has decided to revive her family’s “most legendary experiment”: Mystery Science Theater 3000.
The original “MST3K” experiments, of course, were designed to see how much bad movie-watching it takes to drive a person crazy.
Working alongside the new Mads is next-generation henchman TV’s Son of TV’s Frank (yes, that’s the character’s name), played by Patton Oswalt.
The human subject of these new “MST3K” experiments is Jonah Heston (Jonah Ray), who along with his robot pals Tom Servo (Baron Vaughn) and Crow T. Robot (Hampton Yount), is forced to watch B-movies.
The trailer gives fans a glimpse into what movies Jonah will be forced to endure during the new show’s 14-episode run, including the 1961 Danish American monster film “Reptilicus.”
Created and co-directed by Joel Hodgson, “MST3K” is back thanks to one of the most-funded Kickstarter campaigns of all time, which raised $5.7 million in 2015.
Five ‘Gong Show’ moments that captured Chuck Barris’ gonzo magic
Whether you saw “The Gong Show” when it was on the air, through reruns, or simply remember it as a cultural artifact of the 1970s, it was clear that what made the show special was the ringleader of the circus, Chuck Barris.
Barris died Monday at his home in Palisades, N.Y., at the age of 87.
“The Gong Show” was a product of its time, the late ‘70s, and featured contestants showcasing their talent (or, in some cases, lack of). In front of a panel of judges, they competed to win the grand prize of $516.32 (rumored to be the Screen Actors Guild’s minimum daily wage for the time) and to avoid being gonged off the stage.
Steering the ship was Barris, who understood the show’s gonzo, kinetic aesthetic enough to know whether it was better to nudge a contestant into deeper waters or let them run themselves aground.
It was in 1965 that Barris launched “The Dating Game”
Here are five moments that perfectly exemplify the wacky weirdness of “The Gong Show” and its maestro.
1. Gene Gene the Dancing Machine
Gene Gene the Dancing Machine was a “Gong Show” staple. An NBC stagehand whose backstage dancing caught Barris’ eye, Gene Patton was a recurring sensation, whose dancing to an arrangement of Count Basie’s “Jumpin’ at the Woodside” never failed to bring the audience, judges and Barris joy.
Like Gene, the Unknown Comic (Murray Langston) made several appearances on “The Gong Show,” telling crummy jokes while wearing a paper bag over his head. The man under the mask (or bag) would find his set inevitably brought to an end by Barris throwing him off the stage.
3. The Worms
Perhaps the most absurdist of all the “talent” that found a home on “The Gong Show” was a group called the Worms. The three men performed before throwing themselves on the floor to wriggle like their namesake. Barris always seemed tickled by the bit, coming out for each performance to yell, “One more time!”
4. Oingo Boingo
In 1976, the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo, the band that would eventually become Oingo Boingo and which featured future Oscar-nominated composer Danny Elfman, won its episode of “The Gong Show.” It proved that while most of the show was ridiculous, true talent did lurk in the hearts of some contestants. That said, their performance also included a dragon costume.
But the best moments on the show always came when true talent met off-the-wall personalities, as it did with Hillary Carlip’s juggling and singing. Carlip, like “The Gong Show” and like Barris himself, showcased the wonderful weirdness of America.
Wyclef Jean recounts being detained in Los Angeles: ‘How can citizens trust the police?’
Wyclef Jean appeared Wednesday on “Good Morning America” to relay his account of being mistakenly detained by law enforcement officers in West Hollywood.
The Grammy-winning musician and former Fugees frontman elaborated on the incident, describing his brief detention as a case of racial profiling.
“I feel like I was targeted as a black man,” he said during a sit-down with Robin Roberts.
The 47-year-old posted a video of himself being handcuffed next to a patrol car on Twitter shortly after Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies pulled him over while they were investigating a nearby robbery. The suspect’s car, dark hoodie and bandanna were similar to that of Jean’s, officials later said.
“Another case of mistaken identity. Black man with red bandana robbed a gas station as I was in the studio working but im in handcuffs?” Jean wrote on Twitter. (He initially accused the Los Angeles Police Department, rather than the sheriff’s department, in a series of tweets, but the LAPD set the record straight with its own tweet.)
He also issued a statement calling on L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti to conduct “a formal investigation into racial profiling.”
While Jean believed he was being subjected to police brutality, racial profiling and police bias, he explained that he saw the incident from both perspectives because he also has family in law enforcement. He said he remained civil so that he could set an example for his own children.
“I have family on both sides of the lens, but I got a chance to see what happens with a citizen versus a police first-hand. And I have to tell you, I was scared for my life to the point where I could have acted different. And if I acted different, something else would have happened to me,” he said in the “GMA” interview.
“Basically, I’m alive to tell my story and my story is not a citizen versus police or police versus a citizen. It’s the idea of how can citizens trust the police.”
During his “GMA” interview, the Haitian artist said he was coming from the recording studio when authorities pulled him over without communicating with him.
“I feel that I was targeted as a black man. It’s clear and it was obvious because when I was getting out of the car and the way that the cops rushed me, the conversation that I was having with them, it was a silent and a deaf conversation,” he said.
“For me, this is bigger than a black-and-white issue,” he continued. “The part of the issue and the long conversation that we have to have is how do we establish real relationships with the police and the citizen.”
Sheriff’s officials said that Jean was handcuffed “due to the violent nature of the call,” because of the similarity of their cars, the time of day the incident was unfolding and “Mr. Jean’s furtive movements and demeanor.” The suspects, who were later apprehended four blocks away, were driving an Acura while Jean was in a Toyota, officials said.
“It is unfortunate that Mr. Jean was detained for six minutes during this investigation, as he had no involvement whatsoever in this violent crime,” the department said in a statement. “The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is apologetic for any inconvenience this process caused Mr. Jean. We are grateful we were able to apprehend the robbery suspects and that no one was seriously injured.”