Today in Entertainment: Olivia de Havilland scores court victory; ‘Sex and the City 3’ gets scrapped

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Here’s what’s new and interesting in entertainment and the arts:

President Trump to appear on Fox News in sit-down interview with Sean Hannity

Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity, seen here in 2015, will interview President Trump on his show next week.
(Jennifer S. Altman / For The Times)

President Trump will make an appearance on Fox News Channel, his favorite source of news, in a sit-down interview with Sean Hannity next week.

The “Hannity” interview, which will air Oct. 4, will take place in front of a group of Republicans, Democrats and Independents at West Virginia’s Morgantown Theatre. The interview will be pre-taped.

According to a statement from Fox, Hannity and Trump will discuss tax reform, the economy and news of the day. Judging from the news cycle as of late, topics could include the controversial federal government response to the devastation in Puerto Rico or the recent resignation of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price The news release also notes that audience members will have an opportunity to ask Trump questions.

The prime-time interview marks a return for Trump to Hannity’s evening show. He previously appeared during the Republican primaries and also after his inauguration in January.

The event will probably add some more firepower to Hannity’s hold over rival Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show. In its first week since moving into its new time slot at 9 p.m. (from 10 p.m.), “Hannity” has beat “The Rachel Maddow Show” in the ratings, aided by buzz-worthy guests such as Stephen K. Bannon, Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and House Speaker Paul Ryan.

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Lin-Manuel Miranda and other celebrities slam Trump for Twitter rant about San Juan mayor

Tony and Pulitzer Prize winner Lin-Manuel Miranda takes aim at Donald Trump.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

“Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and other celebrities slammed President Trump on Saturday morning following Trump’s Twitter tirade targeting San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, who had criticized what she called the federal government’s unhurried response to the destruction caused by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

Miranda, Lady Gaga and John Legend were among the stars that lashed out at Trump’s string of tweets Saturday that took aim at Cruz, suggesting she was being “nasty” and displayed “poor leadership.”

Miranda responded with his own series of pointed messages expressing his frustration with the commander in chief — telling Trump he was “going straight to hell.”

The Tony and Pulitzer Prize winner, who has family is Puerto Rico, has been among the most vocal celebrities encouraging people to donate to relief efforts to help rebuild the island ravaged by the hurricane more than a week ago. Miranda is also assembling an all-star lineup to record a charity single that will be available for purchase Oct. 6, according to CNN.

Other celebrities, including Gaga and Legend, joined the chorus against Trump’s remarks. Legend used an expletive in calling Trump the leader in the worst president “competition.”



4:40 p.m.: An earlier version of this post stated that actor-director Jon Favreau described Trump as a “garbage human being” for Trump’s remarks. The tweet was from Jon Favreau, a former Obama speechwriter and host of the podcast, “Pod Save America.”


Actress Amber Tamblyn urged folks to take note of Trump’s actions from Saturday morning when they hit the polls in 2020. And Alec Baldwin, Trump’s most notable impersonator, wrote: “When Trump is convicted, I hope he serves his time in a prison in Puerto Rico.”

Others in Hollywood, such as Ellen DeGeneres, offered their support to Cruz.


1:45 p.m.: This article was updated with additional Tweets from celebrities.

This article was originally published at 11:29 a.m.

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A Star Is Born: Johnny Mathis turns 82 today

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

I care about what I sing as opposed to how many records it’s going to sell. I want the people who really like me -- who like my singing and like what I stand for -- to hear it and be proud of it, but I don’t consciously think about how to make a record that sells.

— Johnny Mathis, 1989

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Johnny Mathis Gets Misty Over Influence on Singers

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Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan officially join ‘American Idol’

Luke Bryan, left, and Lionel Richie will join the "American Idol" judges panel.
(Al Wagner, left, and Joel Ryan / Invision/Associated Press)

Pop legend Lionel Richie and country music star Luke Bryan are taking a seat at the judges table for ABC’s revival of “American Idol” next year.

The pair will join Katy Perry for the return of the singing competition series, which originated on Fox. Ryan Seacrest, as previously announced, will be reprising his role as host.

“As a singer, songwriter and producer, I feel I can bring a great deal of experience to the table,” Richie said in a statement Friday. “It’s going to be so much fun!”

Bryan promised viewers the relaunch of the series is “gonna be a blast.”

“I’m excited at the chance to help some deserving artists reach their dreams,” Bryan said in a statement. “To be in a position in my career to help facilitate this along with the other judges is just a complete honor.”

For Bryan and Richie, a turn on “American Idol” adds another layer to their entwined history. Bryan often performs Richie’s songs during his concerts. And Richie, who has deepened his roots in country music (even releasing an album of his best-known songs rerecorded as duets with country artists), shared the stage with Bryan during the CMT Artists of the Year ceremony in 2013. And just last year, Bryan was part of the Grammy Awards tribute to Richie.

“In their respective genres of music, both Luke and Lionel possess insurmountable popularity and award-winning talent that are undeniable, and we are lucky that they will help in paving the way for hopefuls pursuing their dreams on our stage,” Channing Dungey, president of ABC Entertainment, said in a statement.

The judges panel will make its debut appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Oct. 4. “American Idol” is slated to premiere in March 2018 on ABC.

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Awwk-ward! Celebs share embarrassing puberty photos for Stephen Colbert and Nick Kroll fundraiser

There is little room for levity as Puerto Rico recovers from the devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Maria, but Stephen Colbert and Nick Kroll are looking to change that with a new fundraising endeavor.

During his Wednesday night appearance on “The Late Show” to promote “Big Mouth,” his new Netflix comedy about puberty, Kroll brought a deeply unflattering photo of himself as a teenager.

Colbert then shared a photo of himself as a teen.

They then decided to raise funds for Puerto Rico’s hurricane relief by inviting other celebrities to tweet their awkward puberty photos with the hashtag #PuberMe and #PuertoRicoRelief. The pair promised to donate funds for each celebrity participating.

On Thursday night, Colbert announced that the funds will come from the AmeriCone Dream Fund and that for each celebrity – he reserved the right to determine who is and isn’t a celebrity – the fund will donate $1,000.

Stars have already jumped aboard the embarrassment train, with Sarah Silverman, Michael Bloomberg and Lin-Manuel Miranda, who has already written a song to raise funds for Puerto Rico, among many others sharing photos from their youth.

It’s Friday, so sit back, relax and enjoy a few of the delightfully awkward photos your favorite celebrities have shared.

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Olivia de Havilland scores court victory; trial will begin Nov. 27

Olivia de Havilland in June 2016.
(Thibault Camus / Associated Press)

The drama that began on screen and spilled over into reality continues to unfold as famed actress Olivia de Havilland scored a significant court victory Friday. Her lawsuit against FX Networks and Ryan Murphy Productions is headed to trial in November.

FX and Murphy had filed a motion to dismiss the 101-year-old legend’s lawsuit over her depiction in the Emmy-nominated series “Feud: Bette and Joan,” citing the U.S. and California constitutions’ rights to free speech in connection with a public issue.

They claimed that de Havilland’s consent was not needed to include her in the show, nor did her inclusion violate her right of publicity, citing the state’s statutes protecting petition and free-speech rights.

At Friday’s hearing, L.A. Superior Court Judge Holly Kendig ruled that de Havilland’s complaint will stand, unless the defendants successfully appeal the decision.

In order to strike a complaint using California’s anti-SLAPP statute, a case must meet two criteria. First, the defense must prove that the originating suit is based on protected rights. If established, the plaintiff must then present admissible evidence that suggests that they – in this case, de Havilland – would prevail if the case proceeded to trial.

FX was successful in proving that de Havilland’s case was based on protected rights Friday, but de Havilland was successful in presenting sufficient evidence that she would be victorious at trial.

Two of de Havilland’s lawyers, Don Howarth and Suzelle M. Smith, spoke to The Times after Friday’s hearing.

Howarth praised Kendig’s decision and said they are looking toward the future. “We’ve won,” he said. “As far as we’re concerned, the next thing is the trial.”

The November trial is not a sure thing, however, as FX still has an opportunity to appeal Friday’s decision.

“If they file for appeal, that automatically stays activity in the case,” explained Smith. “We would file a motion asking the appellate court to expedite the appeal and they can do that pretty fast.”

Her lawyers had not yet spoken with de Havilland about Friday’s decision but reported that the actress texted them that morning saying, “all her prayers and love were with [them].”

De Havilland filed suit in June over the “unauthorized use of her identity” in the FX series created by Murphy. The show centered on the rivalry between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford and featured Catherine Zeta-Jones as de Havilland.

Earlier this month, de Havilland was granted an expedited trial due to her advanced age, and a judge set the date for Nov. 27.

A representative for FX told The Times that the network had no additional comment Friday morning.


12:50 p.m.: This article was updated with comments from Olivia de Havilland’s lawyers.

This article was originally published at 12 p.m.

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‘Sex and the City 3’? Nope, not happening, says Sarah Jessica Parker

Sarah Jessica Parker says there won't be another "Sex and the City" film.
(Evan Agostini / Invision/Associated Press)

Nostalgia is all the rage these days, with “Full House,” “One Day at a Time” and countless other series being revisited all over film and television.

But “Sex and the City” will not join them.

Dreams of a “Sex and the City 3” film were dashed Thursday night when Sarah Jessica Parker told “Extra” that “it’s over.”

“I’m disappointed,” Parker said at the New York City Ballet Gala. “We had this beautiful, funny, heartbreaking, joyful, very relatable script and story. It’s not just disappointing that we don’t get to tell the story and have that experience, but more so for that audience that has been so vocal in wanting another movie.”

On Thursday, the Daily Mail reported that “Sex and the City 3” was scrapped because actress Kim Cattrall refused to sign on.

Cattrall, who played the character Samantha, refuted the claims on Twitter early Friday. Sort of.

“The only ‘DEMAND’ I ever made was that I didn’t want to do a 3rd film,” Cattrall tweeted, “& that was back in 2016.”

But one former co-star doesn’t necessarily agree.

Willie Garson, who played Stanford Blatch in the original series, confirmed the film’s demise in a significantly shady way Friday morning.

“And that, is that,” Garson tweeted. “And sadly, the reasons are true. Period.....”

“Sex and the City 2” was released in 2010 to abysmal critical response and a running time of nearly two and a half hours. Still, the film made almost $300 million at the box office.

Cattrall’s rep did not immediately respond to the Los Angeles Times’ request for comment.

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Beyoncé goes bilingual on new remix of ‘Mi Gente’ for disaster relief

Beyoncé upends "Mi Gente" on a new remix whose proceeds will go to charity.
(Patrick Smith / Getty Images)

In the midst of natural disasters across the Caribbean and Mexico, pop superstar Beyoncé has teamed with Colombian reggaetón singer J Balvin for a new remix of “Mi Gente,” his hit with producer Willy William.

The song was released to streaming services Thursday night, and the team will donate all proceeds to earthquake and hurricane relief charities working in Mexico, Puerto Rico and other affected Caribbean islands.

In a statement posted on her website, Beyoncé wrote, “We’re heartbroken by the hurricanes and earthquakes that have devastated families around the world. There are many ways to help. We’ve listed a few organizations that are on the ground from Mexico to the Caribbean, lending a hand to those who need it most.”

To say Beyoncé lends a hand in the remix is an understatement. Unlike guests who limit their contributions to a single late-track verse or hook, Beyoncé upends “Mi Gente” from the first verse and proceeds to bilingually maneuver through the rhythmic, up-tempo jam like the queen she is.

The just-issued lyric video is an accompanying exclamation point, and features people from across the globe dancing hard as French-Afro-Jamaican producer Williams’ track drives Balvin and Beyoncé. As they do so, tiny icons of their heads serve as the bouncing balls tracing the song’s lyrics.

Evidence that Beyoncé’s work is still piping hot from the studio arrives when she implores her fans to “Lift up your people/ From Texas, Puerto Rico/ Dem islands to Mexico.”

Beyoncé’s best set of couplets are sung in English and reference the recent birth of her twins with husband Jay-Z, her Coco Chanel handbag, her breasts and her husband’s recent Beyoncé-themed album, “4:44”:

I been giving birth on these haters ‘cause I’m fertile
See these double Cs on this bag, murda
Want my double Ds in his bed, Serta
If you really love me, make an album about me, word up

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Lynda Carter calls out James Cameron for his ‘Wonder Woman’ jabs

Lynda Carter at the "Wonder Woman" premiere earlier this year.
(Jordan Strauss / Invision/Associated Press)

Wonder Woman has had it with James Cameron.

Actress Lynda Carter, who starred as the Amazonian warrior goddess in the ‘70s TV series, took to social media to respond to Cameron’s repeated smearing of “Wonder Woman” in recent months.

“Stop dissing Wonder Woman,” wrote Carter in a Facebook post that called out Cameron for just not understanding the character.

“The movie was spot on,” Carter continued. “Gal Gadot was great.”

In August, the “Avatar” director proclaimed that the new “Wonder Woman” was a “step backwards” for women for being an “objectified” “beauty icon.” “Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins rebuked his remarks by pointing out that “there is no right and wrong kind of powerful woman.”

Cameron has stood by his comments, recently explaining to the Hollywood Reporter that his “Terminator” hero, Sarah Connor (played by Linda Hamilton, who will reprise the role), was ahead of her time because she “wasn’t treated as a sex object.”

It seems that Wonder Woman being “absolutely drop-dead gorgeous” and wearing “a kind of bustier costume that was very form-fitting” somehow precludes her from being a strong, complex character in Cameron’s eyes.

Read Carter’s full statement below.

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Julia Louis-Dreyfus gets support from Joe Biden after her cancer diagnosis

Fans were dismayed when actress and 11-time Emmy winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus announced Thursday that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Since her social media announcement, celebrity support for the “Veep” actress has come from all corners, but one missive stood out.

Just five hours after Louis-Dreyfus made her cancer public, Joe Biden sent a message of solidarity to his fellow former vice president in crime.

“We Veeps stick together,” Biden shared on Twitter, adding, “Jill and I, and all of the Bidens, are with you, Julia.”

Accompanying the tweet was a photo of Biden and Louis-Dreyfus’ stint at the 2014 White House Correspondents’’ Assn. Dinner, where the two vice presidents got up to some wacky D.C.-based adventures. (Watch the clip above.)

Minutes later, the actress responded to her friend: “Yes we do,” she tweeted. “Love back to all of you.”

According to a statement HBO released on Thursday, Louis-Dreyfus was diagnosed the day after her historic night at the Emmys earlier this month.

“Our love and support go out to Julia and her family at this time,” HBO said. “We have every confidence she will get through this with her usual tenacity and undaunted spirit, and look forward to her return to health and to HBO for the final season of ‘Veep.’”

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Did you hear the one about Harrison Ford swapping jokes with Jimmy Fallon?

When it comes to delightfully cantankerous talk-show guests, no one gets as much mileage out of awkwardness as Harrison Ford.

Thursday was no exception as Ford stopped by “The Tonight Show” to sip Scotch and swap jokes with host Jimmy Fallon.

Ford garnered plenty of laughs playing Gallant to Fallon’s Goofus, perhaps best exemplified in an exchange about the alcohol the men indulged in.

The “Blade Runner 2049” actor was explaining how to pronounce Bruichladdich, the brand name of the whiskey, to which Fallon earnestly replied, “That sounds very Scottish.”

“Of course,” Ford deadpanned, “It’s Scotch whiskey.”

As Fallon poured the drinks, Ford looked into the studio audience and wondered aloud, “Is this OK?”

“I think we’re allowed to do it,” Fallon said. “I mean, you’re Harrison Ford. We’re allowed to do whatever we want to do.”

Then, as if speaking to a very simple child, Ford replied, “Not OK with you – OK with my wife.

The laughs kept coming as the men then exchanged jokes, one of which involved both vomit and feces and another one about ice fishing. We’ll let you guess who told which.

Watch the segment above.

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A Star Is Born: Chrissy Metz turns 37 today

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

I find myself meeting people from every walk of life and they are emotional and we’re crying in the bathrooms together. I didn’t imagine that happening.

— Chrissy Metz, 2017

READ MORE: The intense emotional connection ‘This Is Us’ has with its viewers overwhelms the team behind it

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Trick or treat? Tom Hanks will reprise David S. Pumpkins for animated Halloween special

David S. Pumpkins is headed back to TV for an animated Halloween special. Any questions?

NBC has announced that Tom Hanks will reprise his role as David S. Pumpkins, who was introduced last year in the “Saturday Night Live” sketch “Haunted Elevator.” This time he’ll come back for “The David S. Pumpkins Halloween Special.”

Dressed in a jack-o’-lantern print suit, Pumpkins made his debut as part of a thrill ride flanked by two dancing skeletons declaring his intention to “scare the hell out of you.”

There were many questions, none of which were answered, but the sketch definitely left an impression. Hanks hinted that he was reviving the character with a tweet earlier this month.

“The David S. Pumpkins Halloween Special” will be set in a small suburban town on All Hallow’s Eve. The story will follow Pumpkins and his skeleton sidekicks as they show a young boy and their sister the true meaning of Halloween. There will likely be many questions, but NBC’s official description promises Pumpkins and his pals will be answering none along the way.

“It’s scary how quickly the original ‘SNL’ sketch caught on, and we’re thrilled that Tom Hanks is back to keep the fun going,” George Cheeks, NBC’s president of business operations and late-night programming, said in a statement.

Joining Hanks as part of the Halloween special’s voice cast is “Game of Thrones” actor Peter Dinklage as well as the original sketch’s creators: Mikey Day, Bobby Moynihan and Streeter Seidell.

The half-hour “David S. Pumpkins Halloween Special” will air on NBC on Oct. 28.

To prepare, watch the original “Haunted Elevator” sketch below.

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Kim Kardashian -- sort of -- confirms she and Kanye West are having a third child

(Lionel Cironneau / Associated Press)

Those Kar-Jenners have a unique way of confirming long-gestating rumors about themselves as they gear up for each season of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.” And, not to be upstaged by her potentially pregnant siblings, Kim Kardashian West confirmed that she and husband Kanye West are expecting their third child.

It’s long been rumored that the reality star, who’s faced a slew of health scares during her pregnancies with daughter North and son Saint, hired a surrogate for her next one. Her fertility struggles and surrogacy exploration are story lines that have been played up during the long-running E! series, so Thursday’s revelation gave the surrogacy aspect credence when Kardashian West tweeted a teaser for the upcoming season.

“What happens every time I say, ‘Guess what?’” Kardashian West asks sister Khloe Kardashian during a video-chat session in the promo.

“Pregnant, or the person’s pregnant,” her sister says.

Then Kardashian West chimes in with: “We’re having a baby!”

The social media and beauty mogul’s family has birthed some major baby-making headlines since last week when reports surfaced that her half sister Kylie Jenner is having her first child with rapper Travis Scott. Earlier this week, reports that her younger sister Khloe Kardashian was expecting her first child with NBA star and beau Tristan Thompson also made a splash online.

Neither Jenner nor Khloe Kardashian have officially confirmed the rumored pregnancies. However, the “KUWTK” promo explores Kardashian and Thompson’s budding romance, as well as Kourtney Kardashian’s new relationship and Rob Kardashian’s increasing tension with estranged ex-fiancee Blac Chyna. (He and Jenner filed a lawsuit against Chyna this week, alleging assault, battery and vandalism.)

Season 14 of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” kicks off on Sunday.

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Julia Louis-Dreyfus has breast cancer: ‘Today, I’m the one’

Just when we thought she was invincible, Julia Louis-Dreyfus dropped a bombshell on Thursday. The “Veep” star has breast cancer.

“1 in 8 women get breast cancer. Today, I’m the one,” the actress shared in a post on Instagram and Twitter.

The iconic “Seinfeld” alum spun the announcement into a political statement on healthcare, which has remained a hot-button national issue.

“The good news is that I have the most glorious group of supportive and caring family and friends, and fantastic insurance through my union,” she added. “The bad news is that not all women are so lucky, so let’s fight all cancers and make universal health care a reality.”

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women and the most common cause of death from cancer among Hispanic women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2014, 236,968 women and 2,141 men in the United States were diagnosed with breast cancer, and 41,211 women and 465 men in the United States died from the disease.

The 56-year-old did not share additional details about her diagnosis, nor did she share much about her prognosis. However, her publicist told the Associated Press that she “is incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support and well wishes.”

“Our love and support go out to Julia and her family at this time,” HBO said in a statement to The Times on Thursday. “We have every confidence she will get through this with her usual tenacity and undaunted spirit, and look forward to her return to health and to HBO for the final season of ‘Veep.’”

The news comes after Louis-Dreyfus made Emmy Award history earlier this month with another win for her HBO comedy. She won her sixth consecutive acting prize for her turn as career politician Selina Meyer on “Veep,” earning the most Emmys for playing the same character. (She previously shared the record with Mary Tyler Moore and Candice Bergen.) She also won the best comedy prize for a second time as a producer on the show.

“Veep” will come to an end in 2018. Louis-Dreyfus was diagnosed the day after the Emmy Awards, but the diagnosis played no part in the decision to end “Veep” after Season 7, HBO said. The writers will continue writing, and the series will adjust production as needed.

“This is and continues to be the role of a lifetime and an adventure of utter, utter joy,” Louis-Dreyfus said in her Emmys acceptance speech.


1:15 p.m.: This article was updated to include statements from HBO.

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Disney is remaking ‘Hocus Pocus’ without the original cast

In 1993, Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy introduced the world to the singing, broom-flying and children-murdering Sanderson sisters in “Hocus Pocus.” Despite bad reviews — Gene Siskel called it “dreadful,” and our own Kenneth Turan was barely bewitched — the evil trio quickly became a cherished Halloween staple.

And now, because we live in a world where everything treasured is rebooted or reimagined, “Hocus Pocus” is getting a remake.

The L.A. Times can confirm that the Disney Channel is producing a remake of the film as a TV movie. Originally reported by Deadline, the new iteration will be penned by Scarlett Lacey (“The Royals”) and star an entirely new cast. (Good luck finding someone to fill in Midler’s stripy socks.) David Kirschner, who produced the original, is attached to executive produce the new version.

Set in Salem, the original movie told the story of three evil witches from 1693 who tried to live forever by sucking the souls out of little children. The sisters were eventually caught and executed by the town.

But before they died, the witches cursed the village, warning the citizens that one day they’d be back. Cut to 1993, a couple of kids light the wrong candle, and presto! The witches are back and there’s hell to pay.

Naturally the internet is taking this news about as well as to be expected.

However, some folks seem jazzed.

There’s no reported release date for the remake, but purists will be happy to know that Disney’s Freeform will be running an all-day marathon of the original on Oct. 31.

If you need us, we’ll be watching this YouTube video of Bette Midler singing “I Put a Spell on You” for the rest of the day.

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Former Fox News host Meghan McCain to join ABC’s ‘The View’

Meghan McCain is reportedly set to join "The View."
(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Former Fox News personality Meghan McCain is joining the ladies of “The View.”

The “Blond Republican” -- her words, not ours -- and daughter of U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is said to have signed on as a regular co-host of the ABC daytime talker, according to Variety. She’ll replace conservative voice Jedediah Bila, who announced her exit last week.

ABC declined to confirm or comment Thursday on McCain’s casting.

The new gig comes on the heels of McCain signing off of Fox News’ “Outnumbered” in the wake of her father’s brain cancer diagnosis. Before joining Fox News, she co-hosted the Pivot Network’s “TakePart Live” and has contributed to publications such as the Daily Beast, Newsweek and Time. Like her father, she often deviates from the GOP line on issues, including same-sex marriage and climate change.

McCain is expected to start in early October, Variety said, and will be joining panelists Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Sara Haines, Paula Faris and Sunny Hostin.

“The View” has had its fair share of lineup changes over the years. Executive producer and former panelist Barbara Walters retired in 2014, and the show has included Rosie O’Donnell, Nicolle Wallace, Rosie Perez, Raven-Symoné, Michelle Collins and Candace Cameron Bure among its panelists.

McCain will be be the latest in the revolving door of conservative voices the show has introduced since the departure of Elisabeth Hasselbeck in 2013.

“The View” has seen improved ratings this month with big-name guests joining the panelists. On Sept. 13, former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton appeared on the program and helped “The View” notch its best ratings in a six-month period. Last Friday, the program scored its second-best telecast in five months with guest co-host Anthony Scaramucci’s appearance.

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Hugh Hefner spoke with the L.A. Times often — and always had something memorable to say

(Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times)

Understanding Playboy-in-Chief Hugh Hefner’s revered — and reviled — lifestyle was often just a question or two away.

The iconoclastic publishing mogul, who died Wednesday at 91, was an open book when it came to his views on swinging ways and sexuality, particularly how his puritanical upbringing shaped his career and gave rise to the revolutionary Playboy empire.

Over the years, the perennially pajama-clad Hef was interviewed often by the Los Angeles Times. Here’s a sampling of some of his memorable quotes.

On sexuality’s problematic origins in America:

“Our society is fragmented,” he asserted in 1994. “Messages regarding human sexuality have always been mixed in America. We are a schizophrenic nation. We were founded initially by Puritans, who escaped repression only to establish their own. Then the founding fathers gave us the Constitution to separate church and state. But the one thing that got left out of all those laws was human sexuality.”

On the life he made for himself:

“Much of my life has been like an adolescent dream of an adult life,” he told The Times in 1992. “If you were still a boy, in almost a Peter Pan kind of way, and could have just the perfect life that you wanted to have, that’s the life I invented for myself.”

OBITUARY: Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, who shook up American morality with an ideal of swinging singlehood, dies at 91

On why he was so happy:

“You will find in my bedroom images from long ago, little photographs and things from when I was a kid. I’m a very happy guy, and part of that has to do with my connection to my childhood,” he said in 2009.

On how he became “Hef”:

“Through a lifetime, you reinvent who you are,” he explained in 2009. “I actually reinvented myself the first time when I was 16, when a girl rejected me. I started referring to myself as Hef, started changing my wardrobe — the same thing I did in 1959-1960 with the magazine, when I came out from behind the desk and started living the life and got the first Playboy mansion, started to drive a Mercedes 300SL.”

On how the 1942 film “Casablanca” led to the Playboy Club:

“I think I opened the first Playboy Club because of ‘Casablanca.’ I wanted to have a place where people came to hang out as they did at Rick’s,” he said in 2010. “It has everything — not only Bogie’s charismatic character, but lost love, redemption, patriotism, humor — it had a great musical score.”

On traditional attitudes toward marriage and sex:

“If you don’t commit,” he told The Times in 1994, “you don’t get hurt. I was always unwilling to commit to marriage because I was afraid to lose the romance.”

On the Playboy brand’s global status:

“It has been said that the two most famous trademarks in the world are Coca-Cola and the Playboy bunny rabbit,” he said in 1994. “There is certainly no one else in our area that represents the American dream in this particular kind of way. That rabbit means economic freedom, personal freedom and political freedom. That potential is unlimited.”

On the Playboy Jazz Festival:

“I’ve never found anything that I’ve cared more about than the music from my youth. I loved the Beatles, sure, but I never became — except for dancing purposes — a hard rocker. To me, there is something incredibly celebratory, and so wonderful about really good big-band swing and Dixieland,” he said in 2002.

“When I started, I just wanted to put out a men’s magazine. But by the end of the ‘50s, it was so successful that I seized it as a vehicle for changing the direction of my life,” he added. “And that crucial change in my life was also associated with jazz, because it all began within a space of about six months after the first Playboy Jazz Festival in August of 1959.”

Hugh Hefner, founder of the Playboy empire, relaxes during a visit to England in 1966.
(John Downing / Getty Images)

On his personal legacy:

“One of the reasons that I have such tremendous satisfaction at this point in my life is because I know I’ve made a difference,” he said in 1994. “I’ve made a difference in a way that really matters to me.”

On publishing’s shift to digital:

“I don’t sit around thinking about, ‘Gee, what happened to the new generation and they don’t read enough and why is the internet replacing books?’” he said in 2009.

On his fame and sex appeal:

“I think that just as [Henry] Kissinger said, power is the ultimate aphrodisiac. Celebrity is the ultimate aphrodisiac in today’s world. And I’m lucky enough to have fallen into a unique kind of celebrity,” he said in 2009. “So against all logic, nothing else matters — age doesn’t matter. When [my last long-term] relationship ended, last year, they were climbing over the gate. ... young women. Endless numbers of young women.”


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Samantha Bee says Trump and Fox News are taking us backward with NFL criticisms

Samantha Bee blasted Donald Trump for what she considers his lack of response to the crisis in Puerto Rico, claiming the president instead has been busy “stoking a culture war” over the NFL.

On Wednesday’s episode of “Full Frontal,” Bee took aim at Trump’s continued focus on NFL players who have been peacefully protesting racism and police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem at football games.

“Last week on ‘Sport Roundup’ we were trying to figure out if the president is a white nationalist,” Bee said. “Which he clarified this week when he demanded that black people be fired for insufficient nationalism.”

Trump, of course, has equated the conversation about the NFL protests to respecting the flag itself, arguing that kneeling disrespects soldiers and first responders.

But “if anyone knows about treating soldiers and first responders with respect, it’s the guy that decided to fire transgender troops and deport paramedics who happen to be ‘Dreamers,’” Bee countered.

While Bee wants to believe Americans are smart enough to realize Trump is trying to distract from what the NFL protests are actually about, Fox News hosts and various conservative pundits have also been criticizing the players.

The segment included clips of these personalities commenting on how NFL players should feel grateful that they live in a country that pays them millions to play a game.

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