"Easy Rider" star Peter Fonda, brother of Jane and son of Henry, dead at 79 

Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Writer, director and actor Peter Fonda, son of legendary actor Henry Fonda and brother of Oscar-winning actress Jane Fonda, has died, ABC News has confirmed.  He was 79.


In a statement, Peter's family said that he died Friday morning at his home in Los Angeles of respiratory failure due to lung cancer.   "In one of the saddest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our hearts.  As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy," the family noted.


The statement concluded, "And, while we mourn the loss of this sweet and gracious man, we also wish for all to celebrate his indomitable spirit and love of life. In honor of Peter, please raise a glass to freedom."


Variety reports that his sister Jane said in a statement, "I am very sad. He was my sweet-hearted baby brother. The talker of the family. I have had beautiful alone time with him these last days. He went out laughing."


Fonda was just 22 when he co-wrote the Oscar-nominated screenplay for Easy Rider, the 1969 film that would define his career. Fonda starred in the movie along with Dennis Hopper -- who also co-wrote and directed the film -- and Jack Nicholson, who received an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor.  


Easy Rider and its rock 'n' roll soundtrack came to embody the counterculture, and marked a changing of the guard in Hollywood.  In 1998, the movie was added to the National Film Registry, having been deemed "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant."


While Fonda continued to work steadily through the next five decades in both TV and film, Variety notes, "The astonishing career that some predicted for [him] in the wake of Easy Rider never came to pass."


Finally, in 1997, he received an Oscar nomination, for his role as a beekeeper in the movie Ulee's Gold -- ironically, he lost to his Easy Rider co-star Nicholson.


Fonda's filmography included a wide variety of films, from The Cannonball Run and Escape from L.A., to Thomas and the Magic Railroad and Wild Hogs, to 3:10 to Yuma and Ghost Rider.  On TV, he appeared in episodes of CSI: NY, The Blacklist, ER, Californication and the reboot of Hawaii Five-O.


It appears that Fonda's final role will be in an upcoming war drama called The Last Full Measure, which is due to hit theaters in October.


Fonda is survived by his daughter, actress Bridget Fonda; his son, Justin; and his third wife, whom he married in 2011.

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Netflix announces release date for Michael B. Jordan superhero drama 'Raising Dion'

ABC/Craig Sjodin(LOS ANGELES) -- Netflix has officially set a release date for Michael B. Jordan's highly anticipated super hero drama Raising Dion.

The streamer announced on Friday that the series, which will have nine one-hour episodes, will launch on October 4.

Based on Dennis Liu's short film and comic book of the same name, the series follows a recently widowed mother who discovers her young son, Dion, has supernatural abilities.

Jordan, who will executive produce the project through his Outlier Society production company, will also appear as Dion's dead father. Meanwhile, newcomer Ja’Siah Young will play Dion Reese, "a curious, playful, and intelligent seven-year-old boy" who learns he can move things with his mind. Dion's mother, Nicole, will be played by Alisha Wainwright.

Raising Dion will also star Jason Ritter and Jazmyn Simon.

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'Preacher' star Dominic Cooper says fourth and final season is "out of control"

Lachlan Moore/AMC/Sony Pictures (LOS ANGELES) -- Based on Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon's popular 1990s comic book franchise of the same name, Preacher is currently in its fourth and final season on AMC.

The supernatural series stars Dominic Cooper as Jesse Custer, a crook-turned very imperfect Texas preacher who inherits the voice of God -- which means he can make people do whatever he wants. Together with his girlfriend and former partner in crime Tulip -- played by Ruth Negga -- and Joe Gilgun as their Irish vampire pal Cassidy, the trio are literally looking for God, who's currently MIA.

Seth Rogen and his lifelong pal and producing partner Evan Goldberg are the co-creators of the show, and Cooper gives them credit for bringing Preacher to the small screen.

"It says everything that...people were trying to make [Preacher] for 15 years and failing because...[t]hey couldn't understand how to translate it," the actor says. "It's down to [Seth and Evan] because they were huge fans of the comic and they understood who these people were."

Calling the source material "brilliant," Cooper says of the supernaturally absurd show, "It's such a wonderful piece of work in terms of the opportunities that we have as actors to do every single genre in a space of a episode. You're doing comedy one moment...and then you're doing a huge fire sequence that would take weeks on a film, and then you're doing a very dramatic emotional scene at the end of the day." 

Cooper and company were grateful they got to go all out for the show's final season.

"Credit to everyone...[who said] 'You can take this further. Keep going,'"  says Cooper. "This is out of control, what we get up to...I always turn up to set going, 'Are we really gonna to do this?' -- as I'm...wading through the innards of a very large man."

One example of this season leaving nothing on the table is a marathon fight scene in last Sunday's episode -- a one-take wonder in which Jesse takes on a hallway full of dozens and dozens of clients of a perverted sex club: "I learned that entire sequence, and we made sure that we were shot in one take -- which was genius! I've never seen a fight like that," Cooper enthuses. 

The next episode of Preacher airs Sunday at 10:10 p.m. Eastern on AMC.

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Seeing a nice guy like Kevin Bacon go bad is part of the fun for his 'City on a Hill' co-star Jill Hennessy

Francisco Roman/Showtime(NEW YORK) -- Kevin Bacon and Jill Hennessy star in the Showtime drama City on a Hill, the '90s-set cop drama wraps up its first season Sunday night. The 10-part series, which premiered in June, centers on the FBI investigating a series of armored car robberies in Boston.

Law & Order vet Hennessy plays Jenny Rohr, the TV wife of Bacon's sleazy FBI agent Jackie. ABC Radio asked her what it was like seeing Bacon play against type.

"It actually makes it so much more enjoyable, because he’s so likeable," she explains. "You feel like you can do anything."

Hennessy adds, "This show really doesn't shy away from the ugliness of life, of the human condition, of corruption so it's nice when you are working with nice people like Kevin where you can go on with a scene that is completely messed up...and you can play and know you're safe and have a good time."

In fact, Bacon told us back in June that the "messed up" aspects of the show are what made this character so fun for him.

"Pretty much every scene I have [I'm] either saying or doing something inappropriate or offensive," he said.
"So it's been a lot of fun in that way."

On the other hand, his onscreen wife has more in common with the woman playing her.

"I don’t want to ruffle feathers, I don't want to cause conflict," Hennessy admits, while noting that her character, "sort of wants to stay in the background, but is desperately trying to express herself."

The series, which has been just renewed for a second season, airs Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime.

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If Netflix docu-series "Diagnosis" is a “mystery story,” Dr. Lisa Sanders is Sherlock Holmes

Courtesy of Netflix(NEW YORK) -- Her popular New York Times Magazine column, “Diagnosis,” inspired the global hit TV show House. Now, Dr. Lisa Sanders is bringing her own show to the small screen.

Diagnosis, a docu-series debuting today on Netflix, takes patients straight out of Sanders’ column and opens them up to the power of crowdsourcing in order to determine the elusive causes of their mysterious illnesses.

“Some of the time, it's not like a math problem. It's Sherlock Holmes,” Sanders says about certain medical cases. “It's a mystery story…Clues have to be followed up and you have to have suspects and red herrings and all that kind of stuff, and I loved that.”

The first episodeof Diagnosis features a young woman with unexplained debilitating muscle pain.  Other patients include a six-year-old girl with localized seizures and a man who experiences deja vu before passing out.

Sanders says the show shines a light on "the emotional uncertainty, the physical uncertainty, the economic uncertainty" these patients go through.

Diagnosis isn’t the only show out right now that’s using a crowdsourcing method to try to get people well. Ann Curry hosts Chasing the Cure, a live medical mystery show airing on TNT and TBS. Does this mean crowdsourcing could be the future of medicine?

"I hope not," Sanders laughs. "That would put me out of a job! But I think for patients, it already is. I mean, that future is already now."

In addition to the Netflix series, Sanders’ new book, a collection of some of her best columns, Diagnosis: Solving the Most Baffling Medical Mysteries, is out now.

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"Hello there!" Ewan McGregor reportedly in talks to play Obi-Wan Kenobi in Disney+ series

ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) -- That sound you may have heard last night, "as if millions of voices suddenly cried out," was the collective squee of old school Star Wars fans. That's because Ewan McGregor, who played Obi-Wan Kenobi in three Star Wars movies, is in talks to play the Jedi master once again, this time in a series for Disney+.

The Hollywood Reporter gave weight to what began as a rumor swirling throughout the geekosphere yesterday.

The trade explains that no timeline has been announced for the series. However, at one point, Lucasfilm was developing a feature film spin-off centering around Kenobi's adventures between Star Wars: Episode III and 1977's Episode IV: A New Hope; that project was ultimately scrapped, but it's logically fertile creative ground.

The Kenobi series will be the third Star Wars title being made for Disney's upcoming streaming platform, set to launch in the fall. Co-produced by Star Wars: The Clone Wars Emmy winner Dave Filoni and Iron Man and the live-action Lion King director Jon Favreau, The Mandalorian stars Pedro Pascal as the titular bounty hunter. Also in the works is an as yet-to-be-titled prequel to 2016's Rogue One, centering on one of its doomed heroes, Cassian Andor. Diego Luna has signed on to reprise his role as the cunning Rebel spy.

McGregor will next be seen in The Shining sequel, Doctor Sleep, hitting theaters November 8. He will also play the baddie Black Mask in the DC Comics-based movie Birds of Prey, starring and co-produced by Margot Robbie, who reprises her Suicide Squad role as Harley Quinn. That film opens February 7, 2020.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

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'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' fined $395,000 for sketch using emergency alert tones

ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) -- Jimmy Kimmel has had a lot of fun at President Donald Trump's expense, but a sketch from his ABC late-night talk show, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, that included the use of a simulated Federal Communications Commission emergency alert tone, will cost the show $395,000.

The sketch in question aired back in October and poked fun at a presidential alert test from FEMA to millions of cell phones that would warn people of of national emergencies, such as dangerous weather. Kimmel introduced the bit by saying, "The idea of letting President Trump send a text message alert to every American may sound like a bad idea...But what do we do here in Hollywood when we have a bad idea? We make a movie out of it!"

Kimmel then ran a trailer for a fake movie called The Textening, in which chaos erupts as residents take drastic measures to stop the president's endless flurry of texts.  It included use of the emergency alert tone, which is against FCC regulations since it's only supposed to be used in the event of an emergency.

According to the FCC filing, ABC says there was a "misunderstanding that the use of the tone was permissible."

The network agreed to pay the $395,000 fine, telling The Hollywood Reporter, "ABC takes regulatory compliance seriously and we are pleased to have resolved this issue."

In addition to Kimmel, AMC has agreed to pay $104,000 in connection with a tone used in a February episode of The Walking Dead, and Discovery will fork over $68,000 for an episode of Lone Star Law on Animal Planet that captured a real emergency alert while filming.

Each of the companies has agreed to implement a compliance plan to avoid future misuse.

Jimmy Kimmel Live! airs weeknights at 11:35 ET on ABC.

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'Good Boys,' 'The Angry Birds Movie 2' and '47 Meters Down: Uncaged' top a crowded box office weekend

L-R: Keith L. Williams, Jacob Tremblay and Brady Noon in "Good Boys"; Ed Araquel/Universal Pictures(NEW YORK) -- Opened nationwide on Tuesday:

* The Angry Birds Movie 2 -- This sequel to 2016's The Angry Birds Movie centers on Red, Chuck and Bomb -- voiced respectively by Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad and Danny McBride, reprising their roles from the original film -- who must team up with Bill Hader's Leonard and the rest of the green pigs when an advanced weapon threatens both Bird and Piggy Island. Maya Rudolph, and Peter Dinklage also reprise their respective roles as Matilda and Mighty Eagle from the first film, along with newcomers Leslie Jones, Rachel Bloom, Awkwafina and Sterling K. Brown. Rated PG.

Opening nationwide on Friday:

* Good Boys -- This R-rated comedy, co-produced by Seth Rogen, stars Room's Jacob Tremblay, Boardwalk Empire's Brady Noon, and The Last Man on Earth's Keith L. Williams as three sixth-graders who try to impress girls and upperclassmen by skipping school and attending parties. Rated R.

* 47 Meters Down: Uncaged -- The sequel to the 2017 shark thriller 47 Meters Down follows a group of young women as they look for "adventure in the coastal metropolis of Recife" and discover a hidden underwater city that isn't "completely uninhabited." Nia Long and John Corbett star, along with Corrine Foxx, daughter of Jamie Foxx, in her feature film debut. Rated PG-13.

* Blinded by the Light -- This comedy-drama is based on a true story about a U.K. teenager of Pakistani descent, played by Viveik Kalra, who grows up near London in 1987, a time of racial and economic upheaval in the country. His life is changed after he becomes a Bruce Springsteen fan. Avengers: Endgame's Hayley Atwell co-stars. Rated PG-13.

* Where'd You Go, Bernadette -- Cate Blanchett plays the titular character in this comedy-drama about a loving mom whose compulsion to reignite her creative passions after years of sacrificing herself for her family leads her on an epic adventure. Also starring Billy Crudup, Kristen Wiig, Megan Mullally and Laurence Fishburne. Rated PG-13.

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'Aladdin' producer says live-action sequel is currently in the "early stages of development"

Disney(LOS ANGELES) -- Aladdin producer Dan Lin is apparently ready to make Disney magic once again. After Aladdin passed the $1 billion dollar mark worldwide in July, Lin says he's already thinking about the film's sequel.

"We'd love to," he said to SyFy Wire, regarding making another film. "People clearly loved the movie and watched it multiple times and we get lots of fan letters and people asking us to make Return [of] Jafar, and I can just tell you that we're in the early stages right now, but we're certainly talking about another movie."

But as Lin makes clear, any sequel will definitely have its own unique flair.

"It will not be a straight remake of any movie that's been made before," he said addressing the expectation that he'd simply re-do Return of Jafar. "[S]o we're looking at 'where's the best way to go with these characters?'"

Aladdin, which opened May 24, stars Will Smith as Genie, Mena Massoud as Aladdin, Naomi Scott as Jasmine, and Marwan Kenzari as Jafar.

As previously reported, the film also became Smith's highest-grossing film worldwide, surpassing his 1996 blockbuster Independence Day.

Aladdin releases digitally on August 27 and on Blu-ray September 10.

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From the High Table to Dog Fu: Special features revealed for 'John Wick: Chapter 3' home video releases

Lionsgate(LOS ANGELES) -- The hit third installment in the John Wick franchise, John Wick: Chapter 3: Parabellum, is coming home soon, and for the first time Lionsgate has revealed the special features it has in store for fans.

The movie will be available on digital download on August 23, and on Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD, and DVD on September 10. The extras include a series of featurettes on subjects ranging from the Wick universe's mysterious "High Table," to Keanu Reeves' firearms training for the film, to the movie's bone-crunching stunts, and an in-depth look at "Dog Fu," the fighting style Halle Berry's Sofia employs in tandem with her two fearsome canines. 

The basic DVD has only a few of these extra features.

Matrix stuntman-turned director Chad Stahelski's movie -- in which Keanu Reeves' titular assassin goes on the run internationally -- earned more than $320 million in its theatrical run, making it the highest-grossing entry in the series.

In addition to Halle Berry, another Oscar-winner, Anjelica Huston, join Reeves for the third go-round, which also stars returning Wick series players Laurence Fishburne and Ian McShane.

A fourth John Wick film has already been green-lighted, as well as a spin-off TV prequel series on STARZ called The Continental.

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