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Neil Patrick Harris to Host Variety Series on NBC

Monday, October 27th, 2014 by

Posted in Entertainment News

ABC/Mark Ashman(NEW YORK) — Neil Patrick Harris will host a new variety series on NBC, the network announced Monday.

The show will air in primetime and will be based on the British show Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway. That show, created by ITV Studios, Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, won two BAFTA awards in 2014.

NBC says the show will feature “comedy sketches, musical numbers, mini game shows, hidden camera pranks on celebrities and appearances by A-list stars.” The network ordered 10 episodes from ITV Studios America.

The show will be filmed in front of a live audience.

“Nothing like this has been done before,” Harris, who will host the 2015 Oscars, said, “and its unique structure fits right into my random skill set.”

Harris won four Emmy Awards for his role as Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother and a Tony Award for his time as the lead in Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway. He stars in the recently released feature film Gone Girl.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Song of The Day

How a Coyote and Real-Life News Stringer Helped Jake Gyllenhaal Prepare for “Nightcrawler” Role

Monday, October 27th, 2014 by

Posted in Entertainment News

Open Road Films(NEW YORK) — Hollywood’s latest movie inspiration has been drawn from horrific, high-speed, heartstopping, caught-on-tape moments.

In Nightcrawler, which is in theaters nationwide on Friday, Jake Gyllenhaal plays the man behind the camera, a hungry freelancer named Lou Bloom who hopes to make it big by capturing the exclusive on film and peddling it to a local TV station.

“He’s part of a generation of people who are looking for jobs in a world where jobs are redefining themselves,” Gyllenhall said. “He’s a thief, a sort of petty thief at the beginning at the movie. He runs across this accident scene and he sees these stringers, these guys who film accidents and crimes and stuff for the local news, and he finds his calling in an instant.”

To become Lou Bloom, Gyllenhaal drew inspiration from one of Southern California’s nocturnal creatures.

“I wanted him to look like a coyote,” he said. “And in order to do that, I had to look hungry and be hungry.”

Gyllenhaal meant that literally. He lost nearly 30 pounds for the role by eating a diet of kale salads and running regularly.

“I would do this loop, this 10-mile loop…and I would picture myself as sort of a coyote, like I was running with my brethren,” Gyllenhaal said, laughing. “The sort of transformation that I went through to play this character is very different from many of the roles that I played in the past. It was a physical one, it was a mental one.”

Gyllenhaal’s pre-production research included heading out after dark with a man named Howard Raishbrook, a real-life Los Angeles “nightcrawler” who has spent the past 15 years roaming the streets and selling his video.

Gyllenhaal and Nightcrawler director Dan Gilroy found Raisbrook after the Lou Bloom character was written, but he still gave them a heavy dose of reality when he allowed them to come along with him.

“The first thing he said was, ‘Do you guys want the bullet…proof vests or not, because you get shot at a lot,’” Gilroy said. “We were racing at 100 miles an hour and we arrived at a car accident in which three young women has been ejected from a car, and it was very horrible, bloody, violent scene…and Howard, very professionally, got out his camera and filmed it and cut it together.”

In his downtime, Raishbrook hangs out in a parking lot with easy access to the highway to wait for breaking news. He works with his younger brother Marc too so that they can fan out over more territory.

“Gold is getting something like a crash on tape,” Howard Raishbrook told Nightline. “Say you get a huge pile-up on the freeway. We will go to minor crashes on the freeway and sometimes we’re there before the CHP manages to block the freeway and we get cars piling into everything. And that’s worth a bit of money.”

Raishbrook served as the technical advisor on the Nightcrawler film, helping to translate the complicated language of emergency scanners, among other things. He also said he is somewhat misunderstood. He doesn’t consider himself a “nightcrawler” or “paparazzi” but rather a “news stringer.”

In Nightcrawler‘s fictionalized, over-the-top plotline, Gyllenhaal’s character Lou Bloom stops at nothing to get the money shot, and doesn’t hesitate to violate all sorts of professional and legal codes, such as drag a body to a different spot.

In reality, Raishbrook said he doesn’t cross those lines, saying, “There are a few laws we would break. We have to get to the scene of things quite fast. We do go over the speed limit sometimes. We are very, very safe though.”

As filming progressed, Gyllenhaal said he found himself identifying more and more with all of the different shades of his character.

“There are pieces of me that are in Lou,” he said. “[We’re] a generation…that’s been raised with, which is sort of ‘success at any cost.’ That ambition is admired. But — at the same time, I think it can be very easily misused.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Kids Kare PC

Garcelle Beauvais on How She Co-Parents Twins With Her Ex

Monday, October 27th, 2014 by

Posted in Entertainment News

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — As a child of divorce, actress Garcelle Beauvais grew up very differently than the way she’s trying to raise her twin boys.

The 47-year-old actress, best known for her roles in The Jamie Foxx Show, NYPD Blue and TNT’s Franklin & Bash, was 3 when her parents split up. Living with her mom, Beauvais didn’t see her dad again until she was 14 and never had much of a relationship with him.

So when she split from her husband of a decade, Mike Nilon, in 2012 after she said he was unfaithful, she vowed to make sure their 6-year-old twin sons, Jax and Jaid, spend as much time with their father as with her.

“I’m not gonna lie. It breaks my heart when I hear them say to their friends, ‘I’m at Mommy’s house this week.’ Even when they’re not with me, they are constantly on my mind,” she wrote in a new blog for People magazine.

“Luckily, co-parenting with Mike has been a blessing because we let each other see the boys even when it’s not his or my week. That’s because we put them first,” she said. “It’s better for them to see us both at their sporting events and school activities.”

Beauvais said the exes do what they can to make sure the boys feel at home at both houses.

“They have clothing at both places, but they bring special stuffed animals, toys or books with them when they travel between their homes,” she said. “Sometimes, they’ll call me from their dad’s house, and we’ll pray together on the phone before they go to bed. Plus, technology helps. We have Facetime calls, so we do get to see each other when we’re not together.”

She also tries to normalize whatever the kids are feeling.

“Sometimes my sons tell me, ‘When I’m with you, I miss Dad, and when I’m with Dad, I miss you.’ I tell them that these feelings are normal,” she wrote. “I let them know that both of us love both of them very much.”

The actress addresses children of divorce in her series of children’s books. I Am Living in 2 Homes, the second book in the series, continues to follow the adventures of siblings Jay and Nia as they live their daily lives, splitting their time between their mom and dad’s houses.

Young readers can fill out a questionnaire in the back of the book to start a dialogue with their parents about their own living arrangements.

“The message of our book is whether you’re raised in one home or two, Love is Love, Family is Family,” Beauvais said.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nugget of Knowldege

Monday Night’s “Dancing with the Stars” Gets Spooky

Monday, October 27th, 2014 by

Posted in Entertainment News

ABC/Adam Taylor(LOS ANGELES) — The producers have promised Monday night’s Dancing with the Stars will be a “spooktacular” event in which the eight remaining couples will perform an individual Halloween-themed routine in addition to a competitive team dance.

The eight remaining stars and their respective pro partners will be split into two teams, Team Creepy and Team Itsy Bitsy. Appropriately, performances of spooky-sounding singles from Ella Henderson — “Ghost” — and Nikki Yanofsky — “Necessary Evil” — will also color the evening, which will end with one couple facing elimination.

Teams will be broken up as follows:


  • Alfonso Ribeiro (Team Captain)/pro partner Witney Carson
  • Tommy Chong/Peta Murgatroyd
  • Sadie Robertson/Mark Ballas
  • Antonio Sabato Jr./Cheryl Burke


  • Bethany Mota (Team Captain)/Derek Hough
  • Janel Parrish/Valentin Chmerkovskiy  
  • Lea Thompson/Artem Chigvintsev
  • Michael Waltrip/Emma Slater

Janel Parrish and Val Chmerkovskiy sounded off about the event, enthusing, “We have a Viennese waltz and…it’s going to be a fun little surprise for fans of my show,” she said, referring to Pretty Little Liars.

Dancing with the Stars airs Monday nights at 8 p.m. Eastern time.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Robin Williams’ Children Throw Out First Pitch at Game 5 of World Series

Monday, October 27th, 2014 by

Posted in Entertainment News

Rob Carr/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) — The children of late actor Robin Williams took part in throwing out the first pitch at Game 5 of the World Series Sunday.

Williams, who passed away in August, was an avid San Francisco Giants fan, and the team planned a tribute to him before their game against the Kansas City Royals at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

Following a series of video clips featuring Williams, the comedian’s children — Zelda, Zak and Cody — walked to the mound together. Billy Crystal, one of Williams’ close friends, was also on hand for the tribute. Zak threw the first pitch to Crystal, who held the ball high and waved to the crowd.

Crystal then introduced another video of Williams throwing out the first pitch during a playoff game in 2010. The final image of Williams showed him yelling “Let’s Go Giants,” and hugging the team’s mascot.

The Giants beat the Kansas City Royals 5-0. They lead the series 3 games to 2.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Pet of the Week

Mama June’s Eldest Daughter ‘Confused’ by Mother’s Status with Sex Offender

Monday, October 27th, 2014 by

Posted in Entertainment News

TLC(NEW YORK) — Following TLC’s cancellation of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo last week, Mama June’s eldest daughter is speaking out about the sex offender her mother is allegedly dating.

Anna Marie Cardwell, who went by “Chickadee” on the show, said she was molested as a child by Mark McDaniel. In an interview with People, the 20-year-old said that McDaniel “would try and touch me and all that stuff” when she was 8 years old and he was in a relationship with her mother.

TLC nixed the reality show Friday after allegations surfaced that June “Mama June” Shannon was once again dating McDaniel. She denied these claims, saying she hasn’t seen McDaniel since he was released from prison in March after serving a 10-year sentence for aggravated child molestation.

But Cardwell said she doesn’t know what to believe. “I’m just confused,” she said. “I’m hearing one story from Mama and another one from someone else.”

Cardwell also said that after McDaniel was arrested, Shannon was skeptical of her story about being molested. Cardwell went to live with her grandmother after the alleged incident and only moved back in with her mother in 2012, shortly before Here Comes Honey Boo Boo premiered, according to People.

If it does turn out to be true that Shannon is once again in a relationship with McDaniel, Cardwell said she “would feel hurt.” She also said she would not bring her 2-year-old daughter Kaitlyn around Shannon if McDaniel is in the picture.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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“Interstellar” Stars Contemplate Space Travel

Monday, October 27th, 2014 by

Posted in Entertainment News

Paramount Pictures(LOS ANGELES) — In the Christopher Nolan-directed space drama Interstellar, Matthew McConaughey plays a man who journeys into space so that his family will be able to survive in the future. But would McConaughey ever consider boarding a space shuttle in real life?

“Oh, that’s not that easy of a question to answer,” he said Sunday night at the Hollywood premiere. “I got family and I don’t want to be the guinea pig, and I’d have to see how long I’d be gone, and could I take them with me…”

His young co-star, Mackenzie Foy, who plays his daughter, had mixed feelings about an otherworldly endeavor. “I mean, it would be really fun to do it, like I definitely would have like anxiety or something like that,” she said. “[I'd] probably go crazy.”

Jonathan Nolan, who co-wrote the film with his brother Christopher, is convinced there is life beyond Earth. “The universe is so big there’s almost certainly life somewhere or somewhere out there,” he said. “But the idea that it would be close enough to us or in the same time period, a 14-billion-year-old universe, that we’d interact with each other seems very, very unlikely. So it’s a big universe with a lot of life out there but a little lonely, because we’re too far away from it all.”

also stars Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain. It officially opens nationwide Nov. 7.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Crusin In Cruces

VH1 Brings Back Cult Classic “Drumline” with ‘Some New Flavors’

Monday, October 27th, 2014 by

Posted in Entertainment News

Piotr Sikora for VH1(NEW YORK) — Drumline is back thanks to VH1, but the stars of Drumline: A New Beat tell ABC News Radio don’t expect a sequel — it’s a brand-new film centered on the same fictional marching band at Atlanta A&T University.

Filmed on the campuses of Howard University in Washington, D.C. and Spelman College in Atlanta, star Alexandra Shipp portrays Danielle “Dani” Raymond, a freshman trying to become the first female section leader in the school’s marching band. Shipp tells ABC News Radio that fans can expect the same high-voltage scenes on the football field as in the 2002 film.

“You can definitely expect performances, and when I’m saying performances I mean like, you know how in the first Drumline they had those really great drum cadences and really great battles? Well, expect that but this time it’s got a modern twist,” she explains. “You know, it’s been 12 years and so what we really try to do in this movie is take that old-school Drumline vibe, but still hit you with some new flavors.”

Shipps says it wasn’t easy turning herself into an expert drummer in a matter of weeks. “It was really hard,” she adds. “For us, we only had two weeks to prepare for this role, which was a lot different than the first movie, where they had four or five months. So we really just went though an intense, an insanely intense boot camp. [I] learned a lot of stick tricks [and] learned a lot of drum cadences. But all of the super, super-fast drumming that you see isn’t 100-percent me. I wish it could’ve been though. I’m the type of person who wants to do that and who would put the time and energy into it.”

Jordan Calloway portrays Shipp’s love interest, Jayven, in the film. Jayven also has to compete with Dani to stay on the drumline, and in one memorable scene, he gets bumped off by his new flame.

“When I first read that in the scene I was like, ‘Oh snap! I like that! That’s where it’s at!’ Especially when you go through the journey that Dani has gone through, you can’t help but root for her,” Calloway says. “I was very happy in the fact that she did rise up to that challenge because as a woman, especially in this generation, it’s sad to say, but it’s refreshing to see a woman who will take that responsibility, that will take her dignity, that will take her worth and show that.”

Off the field, LeToya Luckett stars as Dr. Nia Phillips, the dean at Atlanta A&T. And although she’s caught in a love triangle, Luckett says her main focus is on the students.

“I can relate to her in so many ways. One, because she wants to help others. Being the dean, you have to look out for the students [and] make sure that everything is running smooth for them. For some of them it’s a new experience so you want to make sure that they’re comfortable and at the same time you’re juggling budgets, and this, and looking after [the] university,” she explains. “It’s a big deal!”

Although it may be hard, Luckett tells ABC News Radio that viewers shouldn’t compare A New Beat to the original film, which opened in theaters.

“It’s two different movies,” she says. “I know it feels like a Drumline II moment and I’ve been a huge fan of the first one. It’s hard to compare because it’s just two different experiences — a whole new cast, I mean it’s a different story line, it’s fresh, it’s new. This time it’s a woman trying to get on that line. And I think people will love it.” 

Drumline: A New Beat, which also features a cameo from Nick Cannon, premieres Monday at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Tiny Says New VH1 Spin-Off “Tiny & Shekinah’s Weave Trip” Is ‘Lots of Laughs’

Monday, October 27th, 2014 by

Posted in Entertainment News

(NEW YORK) — Tameka “Tiny” Harris met her co-star Shekinah Jo through a mutual friend. Now the two are inseparable and traveling across the country in VH1′s new spin-off, Tiny & Shekinah’s Weave Trip. The two have renovated a bus into a mobile hair salon and are trekking to Los Angeles to open up shop. 

“People compare it to The Simple Life with Paris [Hilton] and Nicole [Richie] and it’s pretty much like that. It’s us going up the road and we’re doing things that we’ve never done,” Tiny explains to ABC News Radio.  “In the meantime, we came up with this great creation for the weave trip. We’re…going to take this bus on the road as we’re going and take it to L.A. and try to land it somewhere where we can really make some money and make it…a real business.”

Still, getting to the West Coast is half the battle. Tiny says viewers should expect “lots of laughs and sometimes lots and lots and lots of fussing. And you know, it’s an adventure every time.”

Tiny adds disagreements do pop up when working with a best friend of six years. “A lot of times we agree to disagree, you know? And it’s cool because we’re able to agree or not agree and still be cool afterwards. Every now and then we may have a slight ‘tude afterward, but it goes away quickly,” she continues.

As much as Tiny loves Shekinah, there’s one person who doesn’t necessarily like her — Tiny’s husband, rapper T.I. She likens their relationship to another famous TV pairing.

“It is kinda like Pam and Martin, you know? It’s one of those things, you know? Hey, I don’t know. I just try to keep it separated as much as possible,” she explains. 

Martin and Pam are from the hit 1990s show Martin. Martin famously didn’t get along with his wife’s best friend, Pam, on the series.

Tiny & Shekinah’s Weave Trip airs on VH1 Mondays at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Double Your Dollars

“Welcome Back, Kotter” Actress Marcia Strassman Dead at 66

Monday, October 27th, 2014 by

Posted in Entertainment News

ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — Welcome Back, Kotter actress Marcia Strassman has died at the age of 66. According to Deadline.com, she passed away at her Sherman Oaks, California, home after a seven-year battle with breast cancer.

Strassman acted in a wide variety of TV and film projects, but her breakout role was playing Julie Kotter, the wife of Gabe Kotter, on the 1970s series Welcome Back, Kotter. She also played the wife and mother in Disney’s 1989 film Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, as well as the successful sequel Honey, I Blew Up the Kid.

“She was the funniest, smartest person I ever met,” said her sister, Julie Strassman. “And talented. She knew everything. Now I won’t be able to call her and ask her questions.”

Cher also paid her respects on Twitter, calling Strassman a “funny, talented friend.”

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