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Terry Crews says a ‘White Chicks 2’ is "going to happen"

Posted on: March 18th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

ABC/Lou Rocco(LOS ANGELES) — Terry Crews is not giving up hope on a sequel to his 2004 hit comedy White Chicks.

In an interview with US Weekly, the America’s Got Talent host said he’s staying on top of his game just in case a sequel happens.

“I would love [a sequel]!” Crews said. “I’m staying in shape for White Chicks 2! I will never get out of shape — you know that, right?”

In the film, which starred Shawn and Marlon Wayans as undercover FBI agents posing as women, Crews played the ultra-buff basketball star Latrell Spencer, who fell deeply in love with Marlon’s alter-ego, Tiffany.

Although nothing is set in stone, Crews says he plans to stay optimistic.

“I will be 75 and say, ‘Here we go, I’m ready to go!,'” he continued. “I will never, ever get out of shape because that movie’s going to happen one day.”

Earlier this month, Marlon Wayans teased the possibility of White Chicks 2 happens in the near future.

“I don’t know, but there’s been some rumblings happening, and a lot of people want us to do it, so me and my brothers have been talking,” he told MTV’s TRL. “So if things go right, we hope to do a White Chicks 2.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

‘American Idol’ sets dates for live shows and finale

Posted on: March 18th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

ABC/Craig Sjodin(LOS ANGELES) — Monday night on ABC, the final audition episode of this season of American Idol will air, starting at 8 p.m. ET.  Now ABC has announced when the competition’s live shows — which will allow America to vote — will begin.

Sunday, April 14 will feature a live-to-tape episode.  Then, the first all-live performance show will air Monday, April 15. The schedule will then continue with live shows on Sundays only, for five straight weeks.

Starting April 21, coast-to-coast simultaneous voting will begin, as the show will once again be simulcast in all time zones across the country for three weeks. The show’s finale will air May 19, and the coast-to-coast voting will also be open for that show.

Next week, the Hollywood Rounds begin, from the Orpheum Theater in L.A.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

‘Sesame Street’ stars get the stamp(s) of approval from the U.S. Postal Service

Posted on: March 18th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

USPS(NEW YORK) — Sunny days, sweeping the clouds away, on their way to…the United States Postal Service!

The federal agency revealed this week that 16 iconic Sesame Street Muppets will be joining the ranks of new stamps being released in 2019.

In a press release, USPS said the show is, “one of the most influential and beloved children’s television shows.”

“For the last 50 years, it has provided educational programming and entertainment for generations of children throughout the country and around the world,” it continued.

If you’d like to count out loud, the stamp art will feature photographs of 16 Muppets from Sesame Street: Big Bird, Ernie, Bert, Cookie Monster, Rosita, The Count, Oscar the Grouch, Abby Cadabby, Herry Monster, Julia, Guy Smiley, Snuffleupagus, Elmo, Telly, Grover and Zoe.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

"Mama June" Shannon reportedly arrested for possession of crack cocaine

Posted on: March 18th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

ABC/Eric McCandless(ALABAMA) — “Mama June” Shannon, star of the reality TV series Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and Mama June: From Not to Hot, was arrested for felony possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia last Wednesday after police found her with crack cocaine, along with a needle and a pipe, according to TMZ.

Shannon and her boyfriend, Geno Doak, were arrested at an Alabama gas station after the two reportedly got into a “domestic incident,” according to the gossip website, which further reports that Doak was also arrested for felony possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia, in addition to domestic violence/harassment.

According to the police report, obtained by TMZ, cops attempted to frisk Doak when he told them not to reach inside his pocket saying, “I don’t want you to get sticked or nothing.” A search reportedly turned up a needle.

Police then questioned June, who said she was the “owner of the vehicle and claimed ownership of everything inside.” Cops found a needle on the driver’s floorboard. Cops searched June and found a glass pipe with white residue inside the pocket of her jogging suit, and a green pill bottle containing a white controlled substance in the glove compartment, which June told them was crack cocaine, according to the police report.

TMZ also obtained audio of a “manic” June describing what happened to a tow truck driver as she tried to get her car out of impound. 

Mama June: From Not to Hot had its season three premiere on Friday.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Following investigation into alleged misconduct, ‘Cosmos’ and ‘StarTalk’ will return with host Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Posted on: March 18th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Photo credit: National Geographic Channel(LOS ANGELES) — The National Geographic Channel says Cosmos and StarTalk will return with host Neil DeGrasse Tyson, following the conclusion of its investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against the astrophysicist.

“StarTalk will return to the air with the remaining 13 episodes in April on National Geographic, and both Fox and National Geographic are committed to finding an air date for Cosmos,” the network said in a statement obtained by Variety, adding, “There will be no further comment.”

Bucknell University’s Dr. Katelyn N. Allers claimed Tyson groped her at an event in 2009, while a former assistant, Ashley Watson, alleged Tyson made repeated inappropriate sexual advances toward her, according to Patheos. He’d previously been accused of sexual misconduct by musician Tchiya Amet, who claims Tyson raped her when they were both graduate students in the 1980s. 

Tyson responded to the allegations in a lengthy Facebook post last December, detailing each interaction from his perspective, and adding he welcomed the investigation by the network.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

‘Captain Marvel’ soars to second #1 week with $69.3 million weekend

Posted on: March 18th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Marvel Studios/Disney(NEW YORK) — Captain Marvel delivered an estimated $69.3 million to easily hold on to the top spot at the box office for the second week in a row.

The the 21st film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has now earned more than $266 million domestically and added added an estimated $119.7 million overseas, bringing its worldwide tally to upward of $760 million.  That pushes its gross earnings past ten of the MCU’s previous releases as it closes in on surpassing 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy‘s $773.3 million global total.

Two of this weekend’s new releases, Wonder Park and Five Feet Apart, finished in second and third place, respectively, both beating expectations. Wonder Park, the 3D animated adventure featuring the voices of Matthew Broderick, Kenan Thompson, Ken Jeong, Mila Kunis, John Oliver, David Cross and newcomer Brianna Denski, earned an estimated $16 million. Five Feet Apart, the teen drama starring Haley Lu Richardson and Cole Sprouse, took in an estimated $13.1 million.

How to Train Your Dragon 2: The Hidden World placed fourth, collecting an estimated $9.3 million for a domestic total gross of $135.6 million. Rounding out the top five is Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral, delivering and estimated $8 million.

Finishing just outside the top five was the debut of the Spanish-language comedy No Manches Frida 2, banking an impressive $3.89 million from just 472 theaters. It beat out the weekend’s other major release, the John Goodman-led Captive State, which failed to capture the attention of theatergoers, earning an estimated $3.1 million for a disappointing seventh place finish.

Here are the top 10 movies from Friday through Sunday, with estimated domestic box office earnings:

1. Captain Marvel, $69.3 million
2. Wonder Park, $16 million
3. Five Feet Apart, $13.1 million
4. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, $9.3 million
5. Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral, $8 million
6. No Manches Frida 2, $3.89 million
7. Captive State, $3.2 million
8. Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, $2.1 million
9. Alita: Battle Angel, $1.9 million
10. Green Book, $1.3 million

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

‘Empire’ takes a ratings dive with its first episode since Jussie Smollett arrest

Posted on: March 15th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

FOX(CHICAGO) — The first original episode of Empire since Jussie Smollet’s arrest and indictment on charges of filing a false police report have come in…and it’s not looking good. 

According to the The Wrap, the episode, which aired earlier this week, brought in a 1.3 rating among adults 18-49 and a total of 4.4 million viewers.  That’s a steep dive from the show’s fall finale, as well as from last year’s mid-season return.

Empire‘s previous episode, which aired on Dec. 5, had a 1.5 rating and five million total viewers. Last year’s mid-season return had even better numbers: a 2.0 rating and a total of 6.2 million viewers.

The Wrap reports that Wednesday’s episode drew the second-smallest audience ever for Empire. The lowest-rated Empire episode aired on Halloween night 2018.

Ahead of the mid-season return of Empire, the show’s executive producer Brett Mahoney told Entertainment Weekly that he was confident there would be a season six renewal of the show.

“I know that the network and studio is really happy with what we’ve done creatively this season… And we do have so many of these stories to tell, so I can’t imagine we won’t be able to tell them,” he said.

As previously reported, Smollett has been indicted on 16 felony counts related to his claim that he was the victim of a racially-motivated attack in Chicago in January. After a thorough investigation, police declared the attack to be a hoax, and said that Smollett hired two brothers to carry out the plan. 

Smollett has denies the police’s version of events and continues to maintain his innocence.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

"The One Where Everyone’s Disappointed": Forget about a ‘Friends’ reboot, co-creator says

Posted on: March 15th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Photo by: Chris Haston/NBCNBCU Photo Bank(HOLLYWOOD) — So far, in the past year, we’ve gotten reboots of Queer Eye, Murphy Brown and Roseanne, a Mad About You revival is coming soon, and the cast of Frasier is mulling bringing their show back.  But you can stop asking for a reboot of Friends, co-creator Marta Kaufman tells Rolling Stone. It’s not happening.

“There are several reasons” why the show won’t return, she explains. “One, the show is about a time in your life when your friends are your family. It’s not that time anymore. All we’d be doing is putting those six actors back together, but the heart of the show would be gone. Two, I don’t know what good it does us. The show is doing just fine — people love it.” 

Kaufman is referring to the fact that millennials and Generation-Z’ers — including her teenage daughters — are now bingeing the show thanks to its run on Netflix.

That’s why she says a reboot “could only disappoint,” and refers to the show’s famous episode naming convention — “The One Where…” — by joking a reboot would be called “The One Where Everyone’s Disappointed.”

Of course, Kaufman understands the appeal of the sitcom that made us all pals with Ross, Monica, Chandler, Phoebe and Rachel, and made their unrealistically huge New York City apartments fans’ home away from home. 

“It’s a comfort-food show,” Kaufman admits. “These are trying times, and certain people want the comfort food rather than the difficult, mean-spirited kind of show. It’s warm, it’s cozy, [the characters] love each other. What’s not to love about that?”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

James Gunn is back at the helm of "Guardians of the Galaxy 3"

Posted on: March 15th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

L-R – James Gunn and Michael Rooker as Yondu/Marvel Studios(LOS ANGELES) — Following his termination from the project last July after some of his years-old offensive tweets were unearthed, writer-director James Gunn has been reinstated as the director of the third Guardians of the Galaxy film, ABC News has confirmed.

Deadline reported that Alan Horn, the president of ABC News’ parent company Disney, personally reinstated the filmmaker, following Gunn’s public apology, and a series of conversations.

The filmmaker, who is currently writing the sequel to Suicide Squad for Warner Bros. was the subject of a viral fan campaign whose goal was to convince Marvel Studios’ parent company Disney to re-hire him. Likewise, the cast of the Guardians films, including Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista and Bradley Cooper, rallied to Gunn’s defense.

Both efforts seemed to have fallen on deaf ears at the time, which makes this reversal of fortune the real-life equivalent of a killer movie twist.

While the Guardians cast went on to appear in the hit Avengers: Infinity War, production on Guardians 3 was halted while Disney and Marvel tried to find a replacement for Gunn, who’d been hailed for turning a bunch of obscure Marvel Comics characters — including a talking raccoon and an alien tree man — into box office gold.

Disney is the parent company of Marvel and ABC News.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Get ready for an unseasonably long "winter"…those final ‘Game of Thrones’ episodes are Mountain-sized

Posted on: March 15th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

HBO/Helen Sloane(LOS ANGELES) — To make sure Game of Thrones fanatics will realize exactly how much time they’re expected to devote to the show’s eighth and final season, HBO has helpfully released a list of each episode’s debut date and its running time.

There are only six episodes, and a lot of story to cram in — not to mention all the deaths, we assume —  so several episodes will run well over an hour.  The third episode, airing April 28, is the longest, at one hour and 22 minutes long.  The finale, airing May 19, runs an hour and 20 minutes.

Kit Harington, who plays Jon Snow on the wildly popular series, will host Saturday Night Live on April 6.

Here’s a list of each episode and its respective length:

Season 8, episode 1 Debut date: SUNDAY, APRIL 14 at 9:00 p.m. (ET/PT)
Estimated running time: 0:54

Season 8, episode 2 Debut date: SUNDAY, APRIL 21 at 9:00 p.m. (ET/PT)
Estimated running time: 0:58

Season 8, episode 3 Debut date: SUNDAY, APRIL 28 at 9:00 p.m. (ET/PT)
Estimated running time: 1:22

Season 8, episode 4 Debut date: SUNDAY, MAY 5 at 9:00 p.m. (ET/PT)
Estimated running time: 1:18

Season 8, episode 5 Debut date: SUNDAY, MAY 12 at 9:00 p.m. (ET/PT)
Estimated running time: 1:20

Season 8, episode 6 Debut date: SUNDAY, MAY 19 at 9:00 p.m. (ET/PT)
Estimated running time: 1:20

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Aml Ameen shares his deep connection to his ‘Yardie’ character, and the message behind Idris Elba’s film

Posted on: March 15th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Photo by Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage(NEW YORK) — Aml Ameen can confidently say it was kismet how he landed the lead role of Dennis in Idris Elba’s directorial debut, Yardie. After Ameen connected with Elba on a plane — and eventually secured his role as the Jamaican gangster, D —  the actor tells ABC Radio he discovered a deep connection to his character.

“I mean my family is Jamaican, so I’ve always got an attachment,” Ameen says. “And that’s part of the reason why I wanted to be in the film so much.”

However, becoming D wasn’t easy. Ameen had to learn the Jamaican patois, as well as connect to a dark and traumatic past. Yet the actor admits it was a worthwhile experience.

“I enjoyed being D,” he says. “We as westerners, like American and British, we’re a bit more apologetic.  But Jamaicans are in your face. They’re honest, they don’t break a stare. They just call it like it is. And I loved that. It taught me not to give as much of a crap about things.”

Ameen also reveals that Elba let him cultivate his character during filming.  But when it came time for his character to become a [DJ] selector, Elba — himself a DJ — was happy to be his guide.

“I followed him around for a bit, actually,” Ameen reveals. “Around some of his tour dates in the UK and that music life is not a joke. Idris is a machine.”

Looking back, Ameen says Yardie offers some major takeaways, including learning to face trauma and “look it in the eye.”

“And that’s one of the things I took away from it, he says. “Just to look at my own life and go, “OK, what am I doing right? What Am I doing wrong?… How do I grow?”

Yardie is in theaters now.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sonequa Martin-Green shares her hope for the next generation as the first black female lead in ‘Star Trek’

Posted on: March 15th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

CBS All Access(LOS ANGELES) — Star Trek: Discovery‘s Sonequa Martin-Green has voyaged to where no other black woman has gone before: she’s the first black woman to lead the iconic sci-fi series in its nearly 53-year history.

As Martin-Green relishes in her history-making role as Commander Michael Burnham, the actress tells Essence she’s also thinking about its impact and what that means for the next generation.

“I certainly see more doors opening for black women and people of color…And of course, I celebrate it,” she says. “But I also have a healthy yearning for more. The way to continue opening these doors is by continuing to do what we’re doing: telling these varied, interesting, compelling, ugly, beautiful, human stories.”

Martin-Green continues, “We need for people who look like us to tell them, because otherwise we[’ll] continue to see ourselves through other people who are different from us. So I appreciate our writers and producers for standing by this vision to have a black woman at the helm. I’m so very humbled by it and innovated by it. I just hope that this keeps spreading. I think it will.”

Of course, making history at work also hits close to home. Martin-Green says she’s also considering what this means to her son, Kenric II, whom she shares with her husband, actor Kenric Green.

“There’s misogyny and racism everywhere. My husband and I can’t help what our son comes across. But we present him with images and messaging that will at least negate what he sees,” Martin-Green explains.  “That’s why I thank God for this role because it is something I can point to and say, ‘Hey, look at this. It’s Mommy, but it’s also a black woman saving the world and being a genius.”

Star Trek: Discovery airs on CBS All Access.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

‘Wonder Park,’ ‘Five Feet Apart,’ ‘Captive State’ among today’s new movie releases

Posted on: March 15th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Movies(NEW YORK) — Opening nationwide in theaters Friday:

* Wonder Park — This 3D computer animated adventure centers on a creative young girl — voiced by newcomer Brianna Denski — who dreams up a whimsical amusement park, called Wonderland, inhabited by animals. She loses her sense of imagination when her mother, played by Jennifer Garner, falls ill, but rediscovers it after finding a real-life Wonderland in the woods, and teams up with the animals to save it from Chimpanzombies and bring it back to life. The voice cast also includes Matthew Broderick, Kenan Thompson, Ken Jeong, Mila Kunis, John Oliver, and David Cross. Rated PG.

* Five Feet ApartSplit‘s Haley Lu Richardson and Riverdale‘s Cole Sprouse star as two young cystic fibrosis patients who try to carry on a relationship, despite being forced to maintain physical distance from one another to safeguard their health. Rated PG-13.

* Captive State — Set in Chicago nearly a decade after an occupation by an extraterrestrial force, this sci-fi thriller follows a Chicago police officer — played by John Goodman — tasked with uniting the world against the extraterrestrial enemy. Ashton Sanders, Jonathan Majors, Machine Gun Kelly and Vera Farmiga also star. Rated PG-13.

Opening in limited release Friday:

* No Manches Frida 2 — The original cast of the hit 2016 Spanish-language comedy No Manches Frida — Omar Chaparro and Martha Higareda — return, along with new faces of Itati Cantoral and Aaron Diaz, in the sequel about high school teachers leading their students off campus to hit the beach — but there’s be trouble in paradise. Rated R.

* The Aftermath — Keira Knightley and Jason Clarke star as a British colonel and his wife assigned to live in Hamburg, Germany during the post World War II reconstruction, but tensions arise with the German, played by Alexander Skarsgård, who previously owned the house in which they live. Rated R.

* Yardie — Idris Elba directed this film adaptation of Victor Headley’s novel of the same name. The word is a slang term that refers to occupants of housing projects. Like the novel, the film is set in 1970s Kingston, Jamaica and 1980s London and follows the rise of a young Jamaican, played by Aml Ameen, in London’s drug-dealing underworld. Also starring Shantol Jackson, Stephen Graham, Sheldon Shepherd and Naomie Ackie. Unrated.

 Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Lori Loughlin dropped by Hallmark Channel; daughter Olivia Jade dropped by Sephora

Posted on: March 14th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

ABC/Eric McCandless(LOS ANGELES) — Facing charges in the wake of the massive college admissions bribery investigation known as Operation Varsity Blues, actress Lori Loughlin has now been dropped by the Hallmark Channel.

In a statement, Hallmark’s parent company Crown Media says, “We are saddened by the recent news surrounding the college admissions allegations. We are no longer working with Lori Loughlin and have stopped development of all productions that air on the Crown Media Family Network channels involving Lori Loughlin, including Garage Sale Mysteries, an independent third party production.”

Loughlin had starred on the network’s show When Calls the Heart, as well as in several holiday movies.

Loughlin’s daughter Olivia Jade is also feeling the effects of the scandal. The popular YouTube star and beauty influencer had a line of makeup with Sephora, but the cosmetics retailer is now ending that partnership.

“After careful review of recent developments, we have made the decision to end the Sephora Collection partnership with Olivia Jade, effective immediately,” Sephora says in a statement.

Loughlin was released on one million dollars bond Wednesday after appearing in a Los Angeles court on charges that she and her husband paid half a million dollars to get their two daughters, Olivia and Isabella, into the University of Southern California under false pretenses.

Her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, appeared in court Tuesday and was also ordered to pay a separate $1 million bond.

They, along with Felicity Huffman, are among 33 parents charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in the nationwide scam to get their children into elite colleges.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Danai will not be denied! After fan outcry, Marvel adds Danai Gurira’s name to ‘Avengers: Endgame’ poster

Posted on: March 14th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Marvel Studios(LOS ANGELES) — “She should have been up there all this time.” That was the response from Marvel Studios, after it sent out a revised poster for Avengers: Endgame on Thursday afternoon.

The mea culpa tweet is a paraphrase of a line from Avengers: Infinity War, uttered by none other than Danai Gurira’s character Okoye — fitting, seeing as the disclusion of Gurira’s name from the top of the original poster caused static among fans earlier in the day.

A new Marvel Avengers: Endgame trailer and poster were released early this morning to much fanfare, but for many fans, Marvel’s new imaging of the forthcoming film missed one major and important detail. Although Okoye was featured prominently on the new poster, her name was noticeably missing from a list of the other stars’ names on the top of it.

Instead, the Dora Milaje general got a minor mention at the bottom of the poster, along with the film’s credits.

Not surprisingly, fans were quick to notice and blast the shade on the name of the baddest woman in the MCU.

“HOLD the friggin’ phone here … WHY is Danai Gurira name NOT on this poster???,” one fan wrote. “She’s pictured, put her name up there w/ the rest of them! And don’t give me that crap that there wasn’t enough room! CHANGE THE FONT SIZE…or list them all BELOW the movie title.”

Another reminded Marvel of the Walking Dead star, “She is the only black woman on that poster, the highest profile post-snappening wakandan, a firm fan favorite, and freaking actual DANAI GURIRA to boot. put some respect on her name, damn.”

Another pointed out that a talking raccoon even got more Marvel love.

“I mean, they’ve got Bradley Cooper’s name in there and he’s just the VOICE of Rocket,” the fan wrote. “Danai Gurira is the ONLY person on the poster not to be listed by name.”

Another fan demanded an immediate correction. “@MarvelStudios, this isn’t difficult. Fix this.”

Marvel Studios did.

Marvel Studios, like ABC News, is owned by Disney.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

‘For the People’ star Hope Davis talks immigration-themed new episode: "This is something that’s happening…as we speak"

Posted on: March 14th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

ABC/Mitch Haaseth(NEW YORK) — For the People kicked off its second season last week on ABC and it’s already tackling some heavy real-world issues. In tonight’s episode, the legal drama is taking on immigration and family separation.

An undocumented immigrant is asked to testify in a federal case and when he’s done testifying, ICE agents are waiting to take him away and deport him.

Hope Davis, who plays public defender Jill Carlan in the series, explains to ABC Radio, “In this case, a man has come to testify and the ICE agents are unaware that around the corner his young son is sitting on a bench outside the courtroom and he’s waiting and waiting for his father to come and get him — and his father doesn’t come.”

The lawyers must then band together in an attempt to reunite father and son.

As for what else is coming up this season, Davis teases that it’ll be a mix of ripped-from-the-headlines drama, original court cases and the characters’ personal lives.

“Yeah, I think you’re gonna see a little bit more of everybody’s personal lives,” she says. “You’ll see Jill, uh, ends up in a compromising situation.”

This being a Shonda Rhimes show, you can expect it to be juicy. But Davis says Shondaland shows aren’t just fun to watch, they’re fun to work on as well.

“[Shondaland] is a place where everybody is respected and taken care of and heard and you’re safe there and it’s like, every workplace should be like that,” Davis says. 

For the People airs tonight at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved

Jussie Smollett pleads not guilty to charges he lied to Chicago police about "hate crime"

Posted on: March 14th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Chicago Police Department(CHICAGO) — Empire actor Jussie Smollett pleaded not guilty in a Chicago courtroom Thursday to charges that he lied to police about being the victim of an alleged hate crime in January.

Smollett’s lawyer Tina Glandian entered the plea on Smollett’s behalf to Judge Steven Watkins, who was assigned to oversee the case and trial.

During the proceedings, the judge grated Smollett’s request to be allowed to meet with lawyers in New York and California, but said the actor must give the court prior notice. Smollett’s next court date is scheduled for April 17.

As previously noted, Smollett has been charged with 16 felony counts related to his claim that he was the victim of a brutal hate crime in Chicago on January 29. After a thorough investigation, police declared the attack to be a hoax, and said that Smollett hired two brothers of Nigerian descent, Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, to carry out the plan. 

After Smollett’s initial arraignment, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson told reporters that the “phony attack” was “orchestrated” by the actor “to boost his profile” amid “a salary dispute.” 

Smollett, who still maintains his innocence, has denied all claims.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Whoopi Goldberg surprises ‘The View’ co-hosts after pneumonia scare

Posted on: March 14th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Goldberg returned to the show after over a month.

Key moments in the case against actor Jussie Smollett

Posted on: March 14th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Key moments in the case against actor Jussie Smollett

"This was really bad!" Whoopi surprises her ‘View’ co-stars after brush with death

Posted on: March 14th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

ABC(NEW YORK) — Whoopi Goldberg shocked her co-stars — and the studio audience — on The View on Thursday, by making a surprise appearance on the set for the first time since she nearly died from complications of pneumonia. 

“Hurry back, Whoopi,” Joy Behar was just telling the camera, when Goldberg emerged from backstage, to cheers.

“This was death, and here was me,” the EGOT-winning entertainer said, indicating a very small distance with her hand.

She went on to explain that after suffering from a cough since November, she’d finally reached a point where she felt bad enough to go to the hospital. Once there, she learned she was spiking a fever, and one of her lungs was nearly filled “with stuff.”

Goldberg said she was eventually diagnosed with double pneumonia and sepsis,  each of which on their own could easily be fatal.

Goldberg went onto explain how she “wasn’t supposed to be here,” but got permission from her doctor.  However, she still has a cough, and will be “easing back into” her old schedule, potentially returning to her View chair on Monday.

There were moments of levity during her hospital stay as well, Whoopi recalled — like when her co-hosts Sunny Hostin and Ana Navarro were recognized by another patient.

“‘You look like that lady from The View,'” Goldberg said, quoting the patient. “‘Oh, I hate that show!'” Navarro, who was trying to remain incognito, reportedly. Whoopi was recognized, too — but claimed she was just “Whoopi’s cousin.”

Before she left, Goldberg also claimed to have found a new cause.  After being tied up in red tape during her time in the hospital, she now wants to advocate for the improvement of the health insurance system.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

"Whatever it takes" – The surviving Avengers gear up for a final battle in second trailer to ‘Endgame’

Posted on: March 14th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Marvel Studios(LOS ANGELES) — On Thursday, Marvel Studios released the second trailer to Avengers: Endgame, the conclusion of the heroes’ last stand against Thanos, who — spoiler alert — wiped out half of all living things in the closing moments of Avengers: Infinity War.

The coming attraction intersperses flashbacks from the 10 years’ worth of Marvel movies leading up to this final chapter — even Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark admits in the trailer, “It seems like a thousand years” since he became Iron Man — with the heroes’ current predicament.

In the present, Stark and Nebula are stranded in space with dwindling life support following their defeat at the hands of Thanos, and the deaths of Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, and the Guardians of the Galaxy members Star-Lord, Mantis, and Drax on the planet Titan. 

On earth, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Bruce Banner, Hawkeye, Ant-Man, War Machine, and Rocket Racoon are mourning witnessing the deaths of Black Panther, Falcon, and others, who were also turned to ash — along with half of all living things in the universe — thanks to Thanos’ finger snap with the Infinity Gauntlet. Determined, they rally for one last stand. Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow tells Chris Evans’ Cap: “Even if there’s a small chance, we owe this to everyone who’s not in this room to try.”

“We will,” Cap says. “Whatever it takes.”

“Whatever it takes,” is echoed by Widow, Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye, and finally, Stark.

The trailer ends with a stinger featuring the heroes’ newest ally. A grim-looking Thor stares down Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel, raising his hand. His fearsome axe Stormbreaker flies past her close enough to ruffle her hair, and into his hand. She smirks. “I like this one,” Thor says.

Avengers: Endgame hits theaters April 26 from Marvel Studios, which like ABC News, is owned by Disney.

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‘The Bachelor’s’ Colton Underwood and Cassie Randolph happy to be "a normal dating couple"

Posted on: March 14th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

ABC/John Fleenor(NEW YORK) — Colton Underwood’s wild journey on The Bachelor ended with him landing the girl of his dreams, Cassie Randolph.  While the new couple tells ABC Radio that an engagement is definitely in the cards, after the craziness that was The Bachelor they’re happy to finally be a normal couple for now.

“We are very excited about our future and of course like any couple we talk about it and, I mean, we’re just a normal dating couple right now excited for things to come,” explains Cassie.

Adds Colton, “We’re excited to go out on a few dates out in public, I’m excited to hang out with her friends, I’m excited for our families to get to hang out again…the little steps that people normally take in relationships, because we’ve already taken so many big ones and we’ve been through so much together.”

The Bachelor typically finishes taping in November, meaning Cassie and Colton had to keep the relationship hush-hush for nearly four months. That proved to be difficult, especially for Colton.

“That was, like, our biggest fights is like, I would just be like, ‘Hey, I’m coming over!’ She’s like, ‘You can’t just do that!’ I’m like, ‘I wanted to see you,'” Colton confesses.

“I know, I was so scared of getting caught. I didn’t want anyone to be mad at us for spoiling anything,” adds Cassie.

While fans were happy to see the couple reunite after Cassie left the competition, many felt disappointed they never got to find out if Colton is still a virgin.  Don’t expect an answer anytime soon.

Says Colton, “We want to step a back and keep some things private, and there’s two people in this relationship and we just wanna go about our business sort of behind closed doors now.”

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Lori Loughlin released on $1 million bond in college admissions bribery scandal

Posted on: March 14th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

ABC/Eric McCandless(LOS ANGELES) — Actress Lori Loughlin was released on one million dollars bond Wednesday after appearing in a Los Angeles court on charges she and her husband are part of a $25 million college admissions scam, described as the largest ever prosecuted by the U.S. Justice Department.

According to the indictment, revealed Tuesday, Loughlin, 54, and her 55-year-old husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, “agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the [University of Southern California] crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew — thereby facilitating their admission to USC.”

Loughlin, who flew to Los Angeles Tuesday night from Canada, where she had been working on a film, was taken into custody by the FBI just before noon.  Following a subsequent court appearance with her attorneys, the former Full House star was released on $1 million bond. 

Loughlin’s husband and co-defendant, Giannulli, appeared Tuesday and was also ordered to pay a separate $1 million bond and surrender his passport.  Unlike her husband, the judge allowed Loughlin to retain her passport until the end of the year so she could travel to Vancouver, BC for scheduled work.

Loughlin and Giannulli are due back in court March 29. 

Loughlin and former Desperate Housewives star fellow actress Felicity Huffman are among 33 parents charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in the nationwide scam to get their children into elite colleges, including Yale, Stanford, Georgetown and the University of Southern California. Huffman is alleged to have  “made a purported charitable contribution of $15,000 … to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme on behalf of her eldest daughter,” according to the indictment. 

Huffman appeared court Tuesday and was released on $250,000 bond after surrendering her passport.  Her next court date is March 29.

Announcing the indictments Tuesday — the result of an investigation dubbed Operation Varsity Blues — Andrew Lelling, U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts, said the parents charged represent “a catalog of wealth and privilege.”

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‘The View’ co-host Sunny Hostin is ‘sickened’ by college admissions cheating scam

Posted on: March 13th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

“How mediocre must you be if you have to game a system that disproportionately advantages you anyway?” Sunny Hostin said on the college admissions cheating scandal.

‘Empire’ exec explains current state of the show, and the "difficult decision" to sideline Jussie Smollett

Posted on: March 13th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Chicago Police Department(CHICAGO) — Ahead of the midseason return of Empire tonight, the show’s executive producer Brett Mahoney is opening up for the the first time on what the shocking allegations against Jussie Smollett means for his character and the show.

Smollett was charged with 16 felony counts related to his claim that he was the victim of a brutal hate crime at the hands of “racist” supporters of President Trump in Chicago early in the morning of January 29.

After a thorough investigation, police declared it a hoax, and that Smollett hired two brothers of Nigerian descent, Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, to carry out the fake attack. 

Smollett denied the claims.

Mahoney tells Entertainment Weekly that the last two months have been “an emotional rollercoaster.

“You have someone in your family who’s going through this, while at the same time, we’re shooting the final episodes of the season…” he said. “So it was a lot to deal with and a lot to go through, but we’re really just focused on finishing strong.”

In regards to Smollett being written out of the final two episodes of the series, Mahoney says it was a “difficult decision,” but one they were able to make work because of the “strong ensemble” and available stories to tell.

“Allowing Jussie the time to really deal with what he’s been confronted with and allow him the time to focus and prepare his case, this seems like the logical decision to make,” he added.

Mahoney says it’s still “too early” for anyone to think about the show without Smollett, so for now, he’s “trusting the process and allowing the legal process to play out.”

However, in response to the rumors that Empire will be cancelled because of the controversy, the Emprie exec says he’s “confident” there will be another season.

Empire returns Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.

Mommy money moves: Gabrielle Union and Dwayne Wade trademark daughter’s name for future success

Posted on: March 13th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Photo by Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) — Gabrielle Union and Dwayne Wade’s “shady baby” is reportedly getting trademarked.

According to docs obtained by The Blast, the couple is in the process of trademarking their four-month-old daughter’s name, Kaavia James, in preparation for the launch of new merchandise such as clothing, hair care products and jewelry. 

The Blast reports that the focus will primarily be on baby products with Kaavia’s name to be stamped on diaper bags and baby bibs. Trademark applications have already been filed under “Kaavia James” and “Shady Baby” with a loan-out company also started in their baby’s name. Union is labeled as CEO of Kaavia James Inc., while her hubby Dwayne is CFO. 

For those who haven’t been able to keep up with little Kaavia, the baby currently has an Instagram account with over a half a million followers. She’s known as the “Shady Baby” thanks to her candid photos where she appears to be constantly throwing shade at her parents and family, who constantly love on her.

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Actress Lori Loughlin taken into custody in "Operation Varsity Blues" college admissions scam

Posted on: March 13th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

ABC/Eric McCandless(LOS ANGELES) — Actres Lori Loughlin was taken into custody by the FBI Wednesday in Los Angeles after she, fellow actress Felicity Huffman and 48 others were charged in a $25 million college admissions scam that will have repercussions from Hollywood to the boardrooms of major companies.

Loughlin, 54, is expected to appear in federal court in Los Angeles later Wednesday to face fraud charges stemming from the nationwide investigation.  She flew to Los Angeles overnight from Canada, where she was filming a Hallmark movie, sources told ABC News.

A former cast member on the ABC sitcom Full House, Loughlin and Oscar-nominated actress Huffman, 56, are among 33 parents charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in the nationwide scam to get their children into elite colleges, including Yale, Stanford, Georgetown and the University of Southern California.

The feds dubbed the investigation “Operation Varsity Blues” and said it was triggered by an unrelated investigation by FBI agents in Boston.

Loughlin’s husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, 55, was arrested Tuesday on charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and appeared in Los Angeles federal court.

Loughlin and Giannulli “agreed to pay bribes totaling $500,000 in exchange for having their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew — thereby facilitating their admission to USC,” according to the indictment.

More than 300 FBI agents fanned out across the country on Tuesday morning with arrest warrants for 46 people.

Andrew Lelling, U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts, announced the stunning indictment Tuesday and said the parents charged in the scam represent “a catalog of wealth and privilege.”

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‘Aladdin’ star Will Smith pays tribute to the late Robin Williams’ Genie

Posted on: March 13th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Luigi Lucarelli – 2019(LOS ANGELES) — Thanks to a talented artist’s cartoon rendering of them both in blue, Will Smith has shared a touching post in honor of the late Robin Williams.

Smith plays the Genie role in Disney’s upcoming live-action adaptation of Aladdin.  The magical character, of course, was played to perfection by Williams in the original 1992 animated classic.

“I know Genies don’t have Feet… But you left some Big Shoes to fill,” Smith captioned his post, which shows both actors converted into that unmistakable Disney hand-drawn animation style.

“R.I.P., Robin!” Smith continued, and then shouted out Luigi Lucarelli, who drew the cartoon of them together.

“And Thank You, @helloluigi Love the art work!” he added.

Williams took his own life in August 2014.

Directed by Guy Ritchie, and co-starring Mena Massoud as Aladdin, Naomi Scott as Jasmine, and Rogue One‘s Alan Tudyk as the voice of Iago the parrot, opens May 24. 

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

Spike Lee rounds out cast for his upcoming veteran Netflix drama ‘Da 5 Bloods’

Posted on: March 13th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

ABC/Eric McCandless(LOS ANGELES) — Spike Lee is steadily rounding out the cast of his upcoming Vietnam vet drama Da 5 Bloods.

According to Deadline, The Wire alums Clarke Peters and Isiah Whitlock Jr. have joined the cast of Lee’s film, along with Norm LewisMélanie Thierry and BlacKkKlansman actor Jasper Pääkkönen.

They join previously announced cast members Chadwick Boseman, Jean Reno, Delroy Lindo, Jonathan Majors, and Paul Walter Hauser.

As previously noted, the film, co-written and directed by Lee, centers on a group of Vietnam vets who, “go back to the jungle to find their lost innocence and put their broken selves back together.”

This project marks the Lee’s first directing job for Netflix. The director and newly-minted Oscar-winning screenwriter currently executive-produces the Netflix TV series adaptation of his 1986 film, She’s Gotta Have It, and will also produce the time-travel tale See You Yesterday.

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Polish those 76 trombones: Hugh Jackman returning to Broadway in ‘The Music Man’

Posted on: March 13th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

ABC(NEW YORK) — With his Wolverine claws evidently hung up for good, Hugh Jackman is returning to the Broadway stage — in the revival of Meredith Willson’s beloved classic, The Music Man.

Jackman will star as con man “Professor” Harold Hill in the play, produced by fellow Tony-winner Scott Rudin. This will be Jackman’s first role in a Broadway musical since his debut more than 16 years ago, when he played Peter Allen in the 2003 musical The Boy From Oz.  That role that won Jackman his Tony.

The actor — who recently starred in one of the highest-grossing musical movies of all time, The Greatest Showman — is quite familiar with his next project.

“The first musical I was ever a part of was the phenomenal The Music Man,” Jackman said in a statement. “The year was 1983, and I was at Knox Grammar School in Sydney, Australia. I was one of the traveling salesmen, and I think I can actually (almost) remember that unforgettable opening number! That was probably the moment when the magic of theater was born in me.”

Jackman, who is also an Emmy and Grammy-winner, as well as an Oscar nominee for the movie adaptation of the musical Les Miserables, added, “The idea of bringing The Music Man back to Broadway has been lurking in the back of my brain for a long time, maybe even for 35 years…To finally be doing this is a huge thrill.”

The production will begin performances on Wednesday, September 9, 2020, and officially open on Thursday, October 22, 2020, at a theater to be announced.

The actor is still touring the world with his acclaimed song-and-dance production Hugh Jackman: The Man. The Music. The Show.

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