"Big Bang Theory" Celebrating "Star Wars" Day

Posted on: April 3rd, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

Sonja Flemming/CBS(LOS ANGELES) — CBS’ The Big Bang Theory will be celebrating “Star Wars Day” with a special episode timed for the week of May 4.

That holiday, observed by special screenings of the film series, events, and of course, Star Wars fans greeting each other with, “May the Fourth Be with You,” will be observed on the sitcom in a May 1 installment called “The Proton Transmogrification.”

The Hollywood Reporter notes Lucasfilm reached out to the sitcom to do something for Star Wars Day and advised producers on the construction of a replica of Dagobah, Yoda’s swampy home in exile as seen in The Empire Strikes Back.

The episode shadows Luke Skywalker’s journey there: Jim Parsons’ Sheldon will be summoned to visit by a vision of his former mentor and childhood hero Professor Proton, who will be played again by Emmy winner Bob Newhart.

Showrunner Steve Molaro said Newhart will be a Jedi master, but won’t reveal which one — though Luke’s first teacher Obi-Wan Kenobi seems the logical choice.

“Bob is going to be swinging a lightsaber around and they sent us a real one to use,” the producer told the trade. “It’s an amazing crossover for us.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Michael Strahan Says Move to "Good Morning America" Isn’t Confirmed

Posted on: April 3rd, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

ABC/Randy Holmes(NEW YORK) — Michael Strahan said on Wednesday’s Live with Kelly and Michael that he was surprised to see a report that he’s joining the cast of ABC’s Good Morning America — because nothing has been confirmed and no deal is in place.

Strahan told the audience he was “surprised” when he saw the report after leaving a screening of Captain America on Tuesday night.

“We had a meeting and talked about the possibility of doing something there,” Strahan clarified. “We’ve talked.”

With Kelly Ripa by his side, Strahan stressed what his hosting priorities are.

“I just want everyone to know, and you to know, that no matter what, this is my number one priority. You are my number one priority,” he told his co-host of over a year. “And I love what I do, so I would never do anything to jeopardize the quality of what we do here and the enjoyment of what we do here.”

“It’s one of those things that [I] would have to be smart about…,” Strahan continued. “I don’t think I could do an everyday thing. I’m already busy enough.”

Along with being an analyst on Fox NFL Sunday, Strahan is also set to host and executive produce Nickelodeon’s first-ever Kids’ Choice Sports Awards on July 17.

The former NFL star joined Live with Kelly and Michael in September 2012, replacing Regis Philbin, who stepped down in November 2011. By the time Strahan had been named official host, he had co-hosted the Emmy-winning show more than 20 times.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

"Scandal," "Breaking Bad" Among Peabody Award Winners

Posted on: April 3rd, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

ABC/Craig Sjodin(NEW YORK) — ABC’s Scandal, AMC’s Breaking Bad and Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black are the latest winners of the prestigious Peabody Award.

The University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication announced Wednesday that the shows are among a record 46 recipients of the 73rd Annual Peabody Awards, which honors excellence in electronic media.

The awards were announced on CBS This Morning by journalists Ira Glass and Charlayne Hunter-Gault.

“The quality of storytelling in electronic media continues to increase year after year, across platforms, producing organizations and nations. The unprecedented number of awards we gave this year reflects this fact,” Dr. Jeffrey P. Jones, director of the Peabody Awards, said in announcing the winners. “There simply are a larger number of stories that deserve our attention as citizens and consumers. And what a wonderfully rich and satisfying set of stories we’ve called attention to this year!”

Other winners include the FX series The Bridge, along with CNN’s Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown and HBO’s Six by Sondheim. NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw also won a personal award in honor of his journalism career.

The recipients will be presented with their Peabody Awards at a May 19 ceremony at New York City’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel. For a complete list of winners, visit the Peabody Awards website.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Future of Nickelodeon Hit "Sam & Cat" Up in the Air?

Posted on: April 3rd, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

Lester Cohen/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) — What is the future of the Nickelodeon comedy Sam & Cat? The hit show is nearing a production hiatus without a renewal for a second season, and one of its stars, Jennette McCurdy, has strongly implied she is at odds with the kid-friendly cable network.

In response to fans who asked the 21-year-old actress why she didn’t attend Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards last weekend, McCurdy posted a lengthy tweet in which she said, “I was put in an uncomfortable, compromising, unfair situation (many of you have guessed what it is) and I had to look out for me.”

McCurdy, who previously starred in the Nick series iCarly, added, “I chose to not go because sticking up for what is right and what is fair is what my mom taught me is ALWAYS the most important thing.”

McCurdy subsequently clarified that her issue is related to “how Nickelodeon treated me,” and not to the racy photos of her that leaked last month.

TMZ claims McCurdy is upset because, the website says, she makes much less money than co-star Ariana Grande, who also has a successful pop music career. When reached by TMZ, a rep for Nickelodeon said, “We have nothing but the utmost respect for Jennette and her talent.”

Nickelodeon ordered a total of 40 episodes of Sam & Cat for its first season, which continues to air on Saturday nights. The cable network tells Entertainment Weekly in a statement that the show is going on a production hiatus next week, “which will give everyone on the show a much-needed rest.”

In Sam & Cat, McCurdy and Grande play two best friends who run a babysitting business.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Channing Tatum to Receive MTV Trailblazer Award

Posted on: April 3rd, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

Stuart Wilson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Channing Tatum will receive the MTV Trailblazer Award at the 2014 MTV Movie Awards on April 13.

The Magic Mike and 21 Jump Street actor will be recognized for “boldly paving the way with his unique and diverse path in the film industry.” Mila Kunis, his co-star in the upcoming movie Jupiter Ascending, will present the award to him.

Tatum will be the third star to receive the prize, following Emma Watson and Emma Stone.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Danica Patrick Reveals What It’s Like to Race Against Boyfriend

Posted on: April 2nd, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

Isaac Brekken/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Not many people get to compete professionally against their significant other — especially in an elite sport like race car driving.

But Danica Patrick knows what it’s like, for better or worse.

Patrick told ABC News she races against boyfriend and fellow driver Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. “every weekend.”

“We competed against each other before we were together,” she said. “Part of it is just kind of normal, but I suppose, I’m a little bit more careful now.”

Patrick added, “You don’t want to go home to the ‘Why’d you crash me’ thing, which we both have done, unfortunately. Not on purpose, but cutting it too close.”

One thing the couple is allowed to do is “talk trash” even though she said it’s not something they do often.

“Dishing it out on the track, that’s the problem,” she said.

Patrick spoke to ABC to promote the new Can-Am Spyder, something new for the racing star, since she admitted that she “never rode a motorcycle” before.

“From the first time I got on one, it was fun,” she said. “It’s one of those things you jump on and you smile … more exciting that jumping in a regular car.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Rob Kardashian Posts Cryptic Tweet on ‘How Much It Hurts’

Posted on: April 2nd, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

JB Lacroix/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) — Rob Kardashian is acting strange — on social media, anyway.

The reality star, 27, posted a cryptic tweet Tuesday, saying: “no one will ever understand how much it hurts.”

There was no further explanation.

He did post another disturbing message on Instagram, saying, “april fools prank: replace all the sugar in your house with cocaine.” In addition, he deleted all his Instagram posts besides this one.

He also deleted a lot of his Twitter photos, leaving just one of his sock collection from Monday. Fans have been reaching out to Kardashian, offering their support.

Possibly unrelated, but as has been publicized in magazines and on his show, Kardashian has been struggling with his weight and his health.

On Kardashian’s 27th birthday on March 17, his big sister Khloe posted an Instagram collage of pictures when Rob was skinnier, with the caption, “This year I want to give you the ability to see yourself through my eyes! I want you to own how incredible you are and shine the way you are meant to shine. I love you!!!”

In addition to telling his very public battle with weight on Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Rob has also been posting pictures while at the gym.

Kardashian’s father Robert died in 2003, and his mother Kris Jenner is in Thailand right now with most of the family.

“Gorgeous Thailand @sprandoni @leah_jenner @brodyjenner @khloekardashian @kimkardashian @kendalljenner @kyliejenner #brucejenner #family #love #memories,” she posted early Wednesday morning.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

"Top Gun 2" Will Have High-Tech Twist, Jerry Bruckheimer Says

Posted on: April 2nd, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

Alberto E. Rodriguez/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) — Producer Jerry Bruckheimer says he and Tom Cruise are still trying to get Top Gun 2 off the ground.

In an interview with The Huffington Post, Bruckheimer teased the new film will have a high-tech twist befitting the nearly 30 year gap since Cruise’s Maverick flew into theaters.

“The concept is, basically, are the pilots obsolete because of drones. Cruise is going to show them that they’re not obsolete,” he explained. “They’re here to stay.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Meryl Streep Ready to Rock In Next Movie Role

Posted on: April 2nd, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) — Meryl Streep is ready to rock out for a new film.

She will star in the dramedy Ricki and the Flash, about a woman who’s a grocery store employee during the day and a rock musician at night, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The Silence of the Lambs director Jonathan Demme will helm the project, which is based on a script by Juno writer Diablo Cody.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

"Lion King" Cast Delivers Impromptu Performance on Plane

Posted on: April 2nd, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The Australian cast of the Lion King musical served some patrons on a plane from Brisbane to Sydney an awesome rendition of the song “Circle of Life” to go with their peanuts and soda.

The bewildered passengers were captured on video as cast members belted out the musical’s perhaps best-known song.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Rosie O’Donnell to Receive Honorary Tony Award

Posted on: April 2nd, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Rosie O’Donnell is set to receive an honorary Tony Award for her work in fostering arts education in children and her support of Broadway at large.

The former daytime talk show host will receive the Isabelle Stevenson Award, which is given annually to a benevolent member of the theater community.

O’Donnell is being honored for her work to encourage arts education in New York City public school children along with creating Rosie’s Theater Kids, originally known as Rosie’s Broadway Kids, which is an arts education nonprofit that exposes students to the professional theater and offers classes in dance, drama and music.

“Rosie exemplifies the spirit and the generosity of the Broadway community through her ‘pay it forward’ mentality within the arts community and beyond,” Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of The Broadway League, and Heather Hitchens, executive director of the American Theatre Wing, said jointly in a statement.

O’Donnell, who has hosted the Tony Awards three times and has appeared in several Broadway musicals, will join other past Isabelle Stevenson Award recipients, including actor David Hyde Pierce.

The nominations for the Tony Awards’ competitive categories will be announced on April 29. The awards will be handed out June 8 in a ceremony, broadcast live on CBS from New York City’s Radio City Music Hall. Hugh Jackman will host.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Trailer for James Gandolfini’s Final Film Debuts

Posted on: April 2nd, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — A trailer for James Gandolfini’s final film has been released.

In The Drop, the late Sopranos star plays the employer and cousin of Tom Hardy’s Bob, a bartender entangled in a robbery gone awry.

The Drop also stars Prometheus actress Noomi Rapace. The script was written by Mystic River, Shutter Island and Gone, Baby, Gone author Dennis Lehane.

The Drop opens Sept. 19.

Gandolfini died last June of a heart attack in Italy, at the age of 51. His film Enough Said, co-starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, was released to critical acclaim a few months later.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

"How I Met Your Mother" Co-Creator Defends Finale

Posted on: April 2nd, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

Ron P. Jaffe/Fox(LOS ANGELES) — Craig Thomas, the co-creator of How I Met Your Mother, defended how his hit show ended Monday night after some viewers cried foul and spewed outrage.

The CBS comedy concluded its ninth and final season with Josh Radnor’s character, Ted, finally meeting Cristin Milioti’s Tracy, his wife and mother to their two children. Still, the twist was that Tracy died, and Ted’s children soon realize that the real reason their father told them the story is to get their approval for him to renew his one-time relationship with “Aunt” Robin, played by Cobie Smulders.

In a series of tweets, Thomas stood by his plot twist and thanked viewers for their mixed reactions.

“Thank you all. I mean it: Every possible reaction to the last 44 minutes…thank you all…#HIMYM,” he wrote, adding, “The fact that we have been a tv sitcom that has received this much passion from fans, for 9 years (not just tonight) — thank you.”

“We wrote a comedy with dramatic elements till the very end. Thanks for taking that ride with us. #HIMYM,” Thomas continued, adding, “We did a finale about life’s twists and turns and that is not always what happens…but THANKS!”

Thomas ended his stream of tweets by saying, “Seriously – no matter what you thought of tonight, THANK YOU…you were with us. We love you.” He concluded, “Thanks for this ride. #HIMYM.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

U2, Linda Ronstadt Recordings Added to National Recording Registry

Posted on: April 2nd, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — U2’s 1987 album The Joshua Tree, Creedence Clearwater Revival’s antiwar anthem “Fortunate Son” and Linda Ronstadt’s 1974 Heart Like a Wheel album are the newest additions to the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry.

The 1960 Everly Brothers hit “Cathy’s Clown” and Isaac Hayes’ Theme From Shaft album have also been inducted.

Each year, the Library of Congress selects for the Registry a handful of songs and albums that have been judged to be “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” recordings. A total of 25 recordings have been selected for induction in 2014.

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington says in a statement, “These recordings represent an important part of America’s culture and history. As technology continually changes and formats become obsolete, we must ensure that our nation’s aural legacy is protected. The National Recording Registry is at the core of this effort.”

The list of inductees also includes the 1979 Sweeney Todd Original Broadway Cast Recording album; two versions of the 1932 Depression-era hit “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime” by Bing Crosby and Rudy Vallee; and the 1966 Buck Owens’ album Carnegie Hall Concert With Buck Owens and His Buckaroos.

Also being inducted this year is the 1962 comedy album The First Family. The album featured impressionist Vaughn Meader and a small cast of voiceover talent doing a series of comedy skits about President John F. Kennedy and his family. 

Meader’s career came to a halt the following year when JFK was assassinated. All copies of the album were pulled from shelves after the killing. It was re-released on CD in 1999.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Kim Kardashian and Family Visit Orphanage in Thailand

Posted on: April 2nd, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

Brian Bowen Smith/E!(LOS ANGELES) — Kim Kardashian and her family traveled to Thailand for a vacation, but took time out to visit a local orphanage in the town of Phuket.

An insider tells E! Online that Kim, her sister Khloé, and step-siblings Kendall, Kylie and Brody Jenner spent several hours playing with the children and donated “loads of toys and soccer balls and board games” to the facility. Kris Jenner and her estranged husband Bruce Jenner were also part of the outing.

The source tells E!, “The kids loved it, they probably didn’t have a clue who Kim Kardashian and her family are, but they loved the presents,” adding, “The girls were great with the kids. They were very motherly and attentive. Khloé played ball with some of them, too.”

Kim and Khloé were also spotted holding hands with several kids during a tour of the premises and a nearby village. Afterwards, the reality TV stars posed for photos with the kids and hugged them as they said goodbye.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

How Scarlett Johansson Really Felt About Filming Nude Scenes

Posted on: April 1st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

Relativity Media, LLC(LOS ANGELES) –  Scarlett Johansson is one of the most stunning women in the world.

But she’s still human and has her natural insecurities like anyone else, especially when being filmed in the buff.

Johansson spoke to reporters in New York in March for her new film Under the Skin, in which she plays a seductive alien luring men back to her home to harvest them. One of her tricks in the movie is her sexuality and showing all of her “skin.”

About filming those nude scenes, she told reporters, “You look at the nudity and you assume it’s going to be a screenshot for someone.”

She continued, “You kind of have to weigh the value of the risk you are taking, is this gratuitous? Is this a vanity project, or is this an important part of this character’s journey to self-discovery…I’m not a provocative person. It’s not like I live to be photographed in the buff or anything like that.”

And not being provocative led to some apprehension when being asked to strip.

“It really made me aware of when I was doing it, all the kinds of judgments and all of these things we place on ourselves,” she said. “How self-conscious you can be about the way you look, your own vanity … It was really challenging but it was interesting, like, ‘I really am self-conscious about this or I’m holding on to this idea I should look like that’ … We all have it. I guess as a woman, we have it more, I don’t know.”

Johansson, who got engaged to French journalist Romain Dauriac last year, was also asked about chivalry, and her response was that of a woman obviously in love.

“You’re asking is chivalry lost. No, not in my experience,” she said. “I don’t know any other way.”

Under the Skin opens on April 4.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Why Emma Watson Became a Certified Yoga Instructor

Posted on: April 1st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

ABC/Rick Rowell(NEW YORK) –  From the ages of 9 to 21, Emma Watson played Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series. She also just finished school at Brown University and stars in a new movie, Noah, opposite Russell Crowe.

With all of this going on, the 23-year-old former child star still has no idea what the future holds.

“People are like: ‘Where are you living? What are you doing?’ I don’t know,” she told Elle Australia for its May cover story. “I’m too young to decide right now if I want to live here or in New York or in L.A. or wherever else. And I really struggled for the answers the past three years. I should really know! I should really commit!’”

With the future unclear, Watson admitted, “I was like ‘I need to find a way to always feel safe and at home within myself’. Because I can never rely on a physical place.”

So, she got certified last year to teach yoga and meditation, something that anchors her crazy life, Watson said.

That fact is something fans might not have known about the star. Over the years, they’ve learned pretty much everything else.

“Everyone has seen me with my terrible haircuts and my awful teeth and all the terrible things I wore and said,” she told Elle.

With her famous character still fresh in people’s minds, she said that “sometimes I have a hard time convincing directors that I can play more adult roles.”

She added, “I was being offered roles that I didn’t feel were very complicated. Women that were one-dimensional. Roles that required me to be one thing, but real women never are.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Halle Berry Gushes Over Husband Olivier Martinez

Posted on: April 1st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

Dominique Charriau/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) — The rumor mill has been working overtime this past month with buzz that Halle Berry and husband Olivier Martinez’s marriage is on the rocks.

They certainly didn’t come from Berry, who couldn’t stop gushing about her man when she spoke to Extra TV in a promotion of her new movie, Frankie and Alice.

The actress, 47, said she watched her husband’s premiere on Revenge last week and was excited to follow his arc on the show. “I’m very proud of him,” she added.

She also added, “I think he’s delicious.”

Berry also gushed about her new baby, Maceo, whom she had five months ago.

“I just feel great because I have another baby,” she said. “I never thought that at my stage in life, that another baby, a baby boy was coming to me.”

Even big sister Nahla, 5, is loving the little guy. “She’s very serious about her big sister role,” she added. “There’s no jealousy, It’s like one of her doll babies came alive and she gets to take care of him: feed him, change his diapers, play with him, dress him up in different clothes like five times a day.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Why Queen Latifah Is ‘Exploring’ Adoption

Posted on: April 1st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

Bryan Steffy/WireImage(NEW YORK) — Queen Latifah is notoriously quiet about her love life, but she’s not afraid to say that she wants to start her own family.

The daytime talk show host revealed in the April issue of Jet magazine that she’s thinking of expanding her family through adoption.

“It’s something I’m exploring,” Latifah said. “I’ve wanted to adopt since I was 18 because I grew up with friends who could’ve used good parents. Maybe it’s my romanticism of after-school specials where someone would adopt a child and life would be great afterward. I have a lot of love to give.”

The 44-year-old actress says her mother, Rita, provided the perfect example of how to raise children.

“Thank God I was blessed to have the kind of mother she is. She taught me about how to be a lady, but also how to be independent,” Latifah explained. “She taught me things I should never allow a man to do, like put his hands on me. She gave me everything a girl needs to inspire confidence.”

Confident is a good word to describe the actress, who is currently focusing on her self-titled syndicated daytime talk show, which she’s determined to make successful. She’s also working on music and looking into another possible stint on Broadway. And, like most people, she’s looking forward to a much-needed vacation — at some point.

“During my hiatus, if I need to relax, decompress or just live life then that’s exactly what I’ll do,” she added.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

"Dancing with the Stars" Recap: Billy Dee Williams Bows Out

Posted on: April 1st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

ABC/Adam Taylor(LOS ANGELES) — Citing a chronic back problem, actor Billy Dee Williams withdrew from season 18 of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars Monday night.

The Star Wars actor thanked his pro partner, Emma Slater, and said he’d always remember his time on the show. He also thanked the audience for their support.

The 77-year-old, who has had hip surgery, has been at the bottom of the leaderboard during the competition. The judges acknowledged his struggles on the dance floor but praised his spirit.

As a result of his departure for medical reasons, no one was voted off the show Monday.

ABC’s Good Morning America co-host Robin Roberts was a guest judge Monday, alongside Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli.

Roberts said she was a longtime fan of the show and thrilled to be on the panel.

The dance routines on Monday’s show were dedicated to the most memorable year of each contestant’s life.

Here’s a rundown of the performances:

James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd: The singer/actor’s jive was dedicated to the year that he overcame bullying in high school. The judges loved it. “What’s going on? Was that an earthquake, an aftershock, or did you just rock this place?” exclaimed Goodman. Inaba called the routine “vibrant” and “kinetic,” and Tonioli said the performance had “all the explosive energy of a lightning strike,” adding, “I cannot believe what you’ve achieved in three weeks.” Roberts said she appreciated the way Maslow attacked every dance, and said his example would touch a lot of young people who were bullied. Maslow earned four nines from the judges for a total of 36 out of a possible 40 points.

NeNe Leakes and Tony Dovolani: The reality TV star’s tender rumba with her shirtless partner evoked 2013, the year she remarried her husband after previously divorcing him. Leakes earned a standing ovation from the audience, which included her cheering husband. Roberts told Leakes she had an enormous personality but had allowed people to see a different side of her in the routine. “It was so sensual and beautiful,” she said. Tonioli said Leakes maintained the flow of movement well “for a non-dancer,” but said she needed to improve her basic rumba step. Inaba said Leakes did a “beautiful job.” Goodman said he enjoyed watching it. “The minute I saw the bed, Tony half naked, NeNe with no shoes on, I was expecting the worst, but I was pleasantly surprised,” he said, speaking of the set design and Leakes’ and Dovolani’s costumes. Leakes earned three eights and one seven, for a total of 31 points.

Cody Simpson and Witney Carson: Simpson dedicated his jazz routine — set to his own song, “Surfboard” — to his family, who supported his dream and moved from Australia to Hollywood so he could further pursue his career. He won high praise from the judges. Roberts commended him for being respectful of the dance but making it his own, and Tonioli said the freshness he injected into the routine was typical of the evolving essence of jazz. Goodman said it was “well done,” while Inaba said it was “fantastic.” She praised his “vocabulary of movement,” adding: “I was, like, eating it up.” Simpson earned three nines and one eight for a total of 35 points.

Danica McKellar and Valentin Chmerkovskiy: The former Wonder Years star’s poignant contemporary routine recalled the year that her son was born and her grandmother died. “That was just the most beautiful, sincere, delicate performance that I’ve ever seen,” a visibly moved Inaba said. Goodman said McKellar’s movement was “so fluid, it was like butter on a hot muffin.” Tonioli said: “It was enchanting motion driven by emotion. It was spellbinding,” while Roberts told McKellar she was “indeed a wonder and a sheer delight.” McKellar earned four nines for a total of 36 points.

Drew Carey and Cheryl Burke: The TV game show host’s waltz recalled 2005, the year his son was born and he was motivated to lose weight and improve his health. Goodman thought the dance was “charming” but became “muddled,” and Inaba said she could tell how much the routine meant to Carey but said that his face seemed stressed because of his intensity. Roberts called Carey a “pleasant, marvelous, beautiful surprise this season,” and Tonioli said there was plenty of waltz content. Carey earned two sevens and two eights for a total of 30 points.

Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: The Olympic gold medalist’s ethereal foxtrot drew high praise, not just for Davis but for her pro partner’s choreography. Roberts called it “beautiful to watch,” and Tonioli said the routine was “irresistibly romantic.” Bruno told Chmerkovskiy the choreography “was extraordinary.” Inaba said Davis and Chmerkovskiy had a good partnership, and Goodman finished: “I tell you, Meryl and Maks, M and M, sweet and delicious. Well done.” Davis earned three 10s and a nine, for a total of 39 out of 40 points.

Amy Purdy and Derek Hough:
The paralympian snowboarder’s touching contemporary dance recalled the first time she danced on prosthetics after losing both her lower legs to bacterial meningitis. The routine was her way to express thanks to her father for donating a kidney to her, and Tonioli called it “heart wrenching” yet “inspirational and life-affirming.” Inaba said Purdy reminded people about what it truly means to be human. “You are just so inspiring,” she said. Roberts said there weren’t enough superlatives to describe Purdy, but said she hoped that Purdy knew how much she was inspiring others. Goodman added: “It touched my brain with the level of difficulty and it touched my heart with the level of artistry. It was truly beautiful. Well done.” Purdy earned four nines for a total of 36 points.

Charlie White and Sharna Burgess:
The Olympian’s bubbly jive — set to Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” — won rave reviews from the judges. “That was fantastic. I love the way you worked the room,” Inaba said, although she said she faulted him for being ahead of the music twice. Roberts called the routine “a celebration.” “You make us so happy. You have from day one,” she said. Goodman quipped: “You were steaming, I was beaming; it’s happy hour…we’re all happy.” Tonioli said the routine was cheerful, uplifting and delightful. White earned four nines for a total of 36 points.

Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas: The former Full House star’s jive recalled the year her hit sitcom ended and she got married. Goodman said he thought the routine was sharp and clean and precise, and Roberts added: “You were snazzy, you were hitting it, it was wonderful to watch.” Tonioli said it needed to be a bit cleaner in the footwork but said she “let it loose.” Inaba called Bure’s performance “a great jive,” but advised her to be aware of how she was holding her shoulders. Bure earned four eights for a total of 32 points.

The Judges’ Scores:

  • Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 39/40
  • Charlie White and Sharna Burgess: 36/40
  • Amy Purdy and Derek Hough: 36/40
  • James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd: 36/40
  • Danica McKellar and Valentin Chmerkovskiy: 36/40
  • Cody Simpson and Witney Carson: 35/40
  • Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas: 32/40
  • NeNe Leakes and Tony Dovolani: 31/40
  • Drew Carey and Cheryl Burke: 30/40

Dancing with the Stars returns next Monday at 8 p.m. Eastern time on ABC.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

"How I Met Your Mother" Series Finale Recap

Posted on: April 1st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

Ron P. Jaffe/Fox(NEW YORK) — CBS’ How I Met Your Mother concluded its ninth and final season Monday night with Josh Radnor’s character, Ted, finally meeting Cristin Milioti’s Tracy, his wife and mother to their two children.  They met on a train platform after the wedding of best friends Barney, played by Neil Patrick Harris, and Robin, played by Cobie Smulders.

Throughout the series, the older Ted — voiced by Bob Saget — has been explaining to his teenage son and daughter how he actually met Tracy. Viewers learned she died six years prior to him beginning the story, which also involves married best friends Marshall, played by Jason Segal and Lilly, portrayed by Alyson Hannigan.

As it happens, Barney and Robin wind up getting divorced in three years and Ted’s kids figure out the real reason their father told them the story is to get their approval for him to renew his one-time relationship with “Aunt” Robin. The show ends with Ted showing up at Robin’s window carrying the blue French horn that he used to court her many years earlier.

FYI: the last part of the show featuring the kids, played by Lyndsy Fonseca and David Henrie, telling Ted to date Robin was shot nine years ago when HIMYM began.

Now both adults, Fonseca tells People, “It was so long ago, I don’t really remember what I said.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nick Cannon Wants to Start Trouble with "White People Party Music"

Posted on: April 1st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

Virginia Sherwood/NBC(NEW YORK) — Nick Cannon is pulling out all the stops to grab your attention. Along with dressing up in whiteface last week, the America’s Got Talent host dyed his hair in a cheetah print, bragging about his work Monday on Instagram.

“It’s my animalistic…I don’t know! I just had to get my cheetah on,” he tells ABC News Radio of his new hairdo.

It’s the latest in a string of publicity stunts to promote his first album in 11 years, White People Party Music. Cannon says the name for his album came to him while deejaying.

“As a deejay, I would name all my different crates…,” the 33-year-old explains. “And you have like bar mitzvah music, dirty south, like ratchet crunk, and then there was this crate called white people party music and it had like all my favorite songs in there. So I was like, ‘You know what? I’m going to name my album that’ and I just stuck with it. And I always tell people, I could’ve named this album Purple People Party Music. It would’ve been the same album, but…it, you know, sparks a little controversy. So, why not?”

Cannon sparked more than a little controversy last week when he dressed up in whiteface, complete with a grey beanie hat, flannel shirt and acid-washed jeans. He dubbed the look: Connor Smallnut.

Mariah Carey’s husband says he didn’t expect the amount of backlash he received on social media. Adding, “I’ve been doing characters like this since Nickelodeon. I mean, I was doing the same stuff when I was 19. You know? And everybody is so ultra sensitive today, but I embrace it.”

“It doesn’t concern me at all,” he continues. “I’m excited it got people talking. There were a lot of interesting conversations that were going on. So it felt like it was needed. I’m glad it did what it did. I’m glad it made the noise that it made.”

Cannon was also accused of being a racist, a label he’s dismissing. “I laugh at people who call me a racist because you really have to truly look at the definition of what a racist is. And anyone who actually can accuse someone of being a racist, actually has to check within them self on how they feel about stereotypes and labeling people,” he explains.

White People Party Music is what Cannon describes as a “smorgasbord” of genres, from electronic dance music to soul to trap music. Still, his favorite song on the 18-track album is called “Unbelievable” because it’s inspired by someone very close to him.

“It’s a song that I wrote about my wife, and it actually has like a cool pop-rock vibe to it and we had a lot of fun with it,” Cannon says. “It’s my wife’s favorite so it’s the one that gets played around the house the most.”

Fans may have noticed that the album drops on April Fool’s Day, and the star of BET’s Real Husbands of Hollywood, who says he was inspired by famed comedian/prankster Andy Kaufman, says that’s no coincidence.

“It’s a huge joke,” he explains. “I actually planned this over a year ago. I was like, ‘Yo, I’m going to drop my album on April Fool’s Day. I could care less how it does. You know what I mean? I’m just putting it out for fun. I’m going to name it something ridiculous and just see where it is.’ So this is my elaborate April Fool’s Joke. But it’s a real album, but it’s still a good joke.”

White People Party Music hits shelves today.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Report: "Scandal" Star’s Alleged Bar Fight Victim Refuses to Press Charges

Posted on: April 1st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

ABC/Craig Sjodin(LOS ANGELES) — The man allegedly beaten up by Scandal actor Columbus Short in a bar confrontation last month has refused to press charges against the star, TMZ.com reports.

An attorney for the alleged victim tells the gossip website he’s been in touch with Short’s management in an effort to reach a private settlement. TMZ says the victim has informed law enforcement investigators he doesn’t want to pursue criminal charges against the actor.

TMZ reported last month that Short allegedly attacked the man at Gabe’s Bar and Grill in Los Angeles on March 15 for making a rude comment about his wife. Authorities say Short allegedly struck the man and knocked him out.

The 31-year-old actor, who plays Harrison Wright on the ABC series, was arrested a week later and released on $50,000 bail. He faces one count of felony battery with serious bodily injury.

The lawyer tells TMZ the alleged victim wants to resolve the matter as amicably as possible because the incident occurred at a family engagement party and both men have close ties with the same people.

The victim reportedly suffered a concussion, a facial fracture and neck and back injuries.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

"How I Met Your Mother" Co-Creator Carter Bays Discusses Series Finale

Posted on: March 31st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

Ron P. Jaffe/Fox(NEW YORK) — After nine seasons, How I Met Your Mother is coming to an end with a one-hour series finale tonight.

The show’s co-creator, Carter Bays, spoke with Zap2it about the sitcom’s ending and how he found inspiration for the show from his personal life.

The mystery of who exactly the mother is in the show has been one of TV’s greatest unknowns, but Bays has known from the start. Not all shows have a clear vision of how they are supposed to end, but How I Met Your Mother is a different story and the ending is about to be revealed.

“This is the ending we conceived when we conceived the show 10 years ago,” Bays says. “It’s what we’ve been steadfastly writing towards ever since.”

The show’s co-creator revealed in the interview that part of the show is based on his life and his experiences. When the sitcom first started, Bays related to the character Ted the most because both of them were single. Later on, Bays married and started to relate to his characters differently.

“Now, I feel much more like Marshall and Lily, although there is a lot of Ted and the Mother in my wife and I,” Bays says. “There are a few details that are taken directly from life.”

Marriage is a large aspect of the show, from Ted wanting it so badly, Lily and Marshall having it and making it work and Robin and Barney overcoming their fears of marriage together. In the end, though, Bays still doesn’t think the idea of marriage has fully come across.

“We’ve spent nine years writing about it, and I still don’t feel like we’ve come close to distilling it down,” he says. “Marriage is a series of lots of little stories.”

Bays continues: “I guess a marriage is kind of like a sitcom. You have to keep it interesting, you have to keep it fun, and there’ll be twists and turns in the plot. You have to stick with it, just keep the central cast together.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

"How I Met Your Mother" Co-Creator Carter Bays Discusses Series Finale

Posted on: March 31st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

Ron P. Jaffe/Fox(NEW YORK) — After nine seasons, How I Met Your Mother is coming to an end with a one-hour series finale tonight.

The show’s co-creator, Carter Bays, spoke with Zap2it about the sitcom’s ending and how he found inspiration for the show from his personal life.

The mystery of who exactly the mother is in the show has been one of TV’s greatest unknowns, but Bays has known from the start. Not all shows have a clear vision of how they are supposed to end, but How I Met Your Mother is a different story and the ending is about to be revealed.

“This is the ending we conceived when we conceived the show 10 years ago,” Bays says. “It’s what we’ve been steadfastly writing towards ever since.”

The show’s co-creator revealed in the interview that part of the show is based on his life and his experiences. When the sitcom first started, Bays related to the character Ted the most because both of them were single. Later on, Bays married and started to relate to his characters differently.

“Now, I feel much more like Marshall and Lily, although there is a lot of Ted and the Mother in my wife and I,” Bays says. “There are a few details that are taken directly from life.”

Marriage is a large aspect of the show, from Ted wanting it so badly, Lily and Marshall having it and making it work and Robin and Barney overcoming their fears of marriage together. In the end, though, Bays still doesn’t think the idea of marriage has fully come across.

“We’ve spent nine years writing about it, and I still don’t feel like we’ve come close to distilling it down,” he says. “Marriage is a series of lots of little stories.”

Bays continues: “I guess a marriage is kind of like a sitcom. You have to keep it interesting, you have to keep it fun, and there’ll be twists and turns in the plot. You have to stick with it, just keep the central cast together.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Emma Watson Calls Fashion Industry ‘Dangerously Unhealthy’

Posted on: March 31st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

ABC/Rick Rowell(NEW YORK) — Emma Watson isn’t always as cool and collected as she seems.

Watson, 23, currently stars in the new film Noah and recently talked about the pressure she feels in the entertainment and fashion industry to look perfect.

“With airbrushing and digital manipulation, fashion can project an unobtainable image that’s dangerously unhealthy,” the Noah star told the Sunday Times.

Watson speaks from her own experience with the burden of wanting to look a certain way. She grew up filming the Harry Potter films and had to navigate the entertainment and fashion industry from a young age.

“As a younger woman, that pressure got me down, but I’ve made my peace with it,” the former Brown University student added.

Now that Watson is in her 20s, she’s realized that she’s “more interested in women who aren’t perfect” and because of that, she is fine with aging and is looking forward to it.

Watson said she’s finally content in the direction she is heading — but it took her a little bit of time to come to this conclusion and to have that sort of confidence in herself. When she decided to attend Brown University it was a whole new scenario that she had to deal with.

“I walked into the canteen and everyone went completely silent and turned around to look at me,” Watson said of her first day at Brown. “I had to say to myself ‘It’s OK, you can do this.’ You just have to take a deep breath and gather your courage.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Emma Watson Calls Fashion Industry ‘Dangerously Unhealthy’

Posted on: March 31st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

ABC/Rick Rowell(NEW YORK) — Emma Watson isn’t always as cool and collected as she seems.

Watson, 23, currently stars in the new film Noah and recently talked about the pressure she feels in the entertainment and fashion industry to look perfect.

“With airbrushing and digital manipulation, fashion can project an unobtainable image that’s dangerously unhealthy,” the Noah star told the Sunday Times.

Watson speaks from her own experience with the burden of wanting to look a certain way. She grew up filming the Harry Potter films and had to navigate the entertainment and fashion industry from a young age.

“As a younger woman, that pressure got me down, but I’ve made my peace with it,” the former Brown University student added.

Now that Watson is in her 20s, she’s realized that she’s “more interested in women who aren’t perfect” and because of that, she is fine with aging and is looking forward to it.

Watson said she’s finally content in the direction she is heading — but it took her a little bit of time to come to this conclusion and to have that sort of confidence in herself. When she decided to attend Brown University it was a whole new scenario that she had to deal with.

“I walked into the canteen and everyone went completely silent and turned around to look at me,” Watson said of her first day at Brown. “I had to say to myself ‘It’s OK, you can do this.’ You just have to take a deep breath and gather your courage.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Chelsea Handler to Leave E! at End of Year

Posted on: March 31st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

NBC Universal(NEW YORK) — After eight years of hilarious interviews and an attitude that screams “I don’t care,” Chelsea Handler is calling it quits with regards to E!’s Chelsea Lately, ABC News Radio confirms.

The Hollywood Reporter revealed Sunday that the comedian, 39, plans to leave E! after her contract expires at the end of the year.

“Chelsea intends to leave when her contract expires. She hired me to figure out her life after E! We have at least seven suitors and many ideas,” Handler’s manager Irving Azoff told THR.

Her next career move? Radio and/or a nightly or weekly late-night show are some of the possibilities.

Handler is currently making around $9 million a year and bringing in more than 500,000 viewers a night, according to THR.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Pharrell Joining "The Voice" as a Coach Next Season

Posted on: March 31st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

ABC/A.M.P.A.S.(LOS ANGELES) — The Voice will be a little happier next season. “Happy” singer Pharrell Williams is joining The Voice as a coach for its seventh season, which is expected to air in the fall.

His addition to the lineup comes in the wake of Cee Lo Green’s announcement in February that he’s departing the NBC singing competition.

The Voice executive producer Mark Burnett says in a statement, “I am thrilled to have Pharrell come back to The Voice family, and this time…as a coach. Continuing in The Voice tradition of having the biggest and most current music stars as coaches, Pharrell fits perfectly.”

As Burnett mentioned, Pharrell has some experience with The Voice, having served as an adviser for Usher’s team during the fourth season, which aired last spring.

After NBC announced the news, Pharrell tweeted, “This is going to be so fun.” Coach Adam Levine wrote to him, “Welcome to the circus dude!”

NBC says the rest of the coaches’ lineup for season seven will be confirmed at a later date. The coaches on the ongoing sixth season of The Voice are Usher, Adam, Blake Shelton and Shakira. Christina Aguilera is again on hiatus from the show after rejoining the lineup last fall.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Elton John, David Furnish Set Wedding Date

Posted on: March 31st, 2014 by ABC News No Comments

David Becker/WireImage(NEW YORK) — Wedding bells will be ringing for Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish as they’re set to wed in May.

They announced their plans to marry last Friday, a day before same-sex marriage became legal in the U.K., while celebrating John’s 67th birthday in Las Vegas, where the singer is performing at Caesars Palace.

But unlike the $2 million reception they threw to celebrate their civil partnership in 2005, their wedding will be a much smaller affair.

“We’ll go to the registry again and we’ll take the boys with us,” Furnish, 51, told People, referring to the couple’s sons, Zachary, 3, and Elijah, 16 months. “Take along the one or two witnesses that we need and make it very small and intimate.”

In an interview on Today, John echoed Furnish. “We’ll do it very quietly,” the music legend said about the upcoming nuptials. “But we will do it and it will be a joyous occasion and we will have our children.”

John and Furnish have been teaching their sons about how families come in many forms.

“Our oldest is just starting to get his head around daddy and a papa, and not a mommy and a daddy, because he just started to go to pre-nursery school with other kids,” Furnish told People.

“He’s learning about the mixture of different families. We read books to him that really celebrate the diversity of families in society today. We want to make sure that our boys realize that there are all different kinds of families and all families are great,” he said.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio