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Friday
Feb242017

Tracy Morgan bringing new stand-up comedy to Netflix

ABC/Lou Rocco(NEW YORK) -- Netflix has added comedian-actor Tracy Morgan to its growing roster of comedians with stand-up specials.

The streaming service announced Friday that Morgan has signed on for a new stand-up special, entitled Staying Alive. The special, which was shot at New Jersey's Count Basie Theatre, will debut globally on Tuesday, May 16.

According to Netflix, the show will find the comedian "exploring his fresh take on life, career and mortality" after his near-fatal traffic accident in 2014. This includes Morgan's recovery from a traumatic brain injury, learning how to walk again and tackling new challenges in life.

Morgan has made a strong comeback since his accident. The actor has landed roles in the Ice Cube comedy Fist Fight and the upcoming comedies The ClapperTAG and the biopic Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said? Morgan also is set to lead a new TBS comedy series executive produced by Jordan Peele.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Feb242017

Mahershala Ali welcomes baby daughter ahead of Oscar ceremony

ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) -- Actor Mahershala Ali and wife Amatus Sami-Karim became the proud parents of their first child, daughter Bari (pronounced Bar-ee) Najma Ali on Friday. 

Mahershala first shared the news about the couple's new bundle of joy on Instagram, showing a picture of Amatus holding Bari in her arms.  

The 43-year-old star is nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his critically acclaimed role in the coming-of-age drama, Moonlight. He has already won a slew of trophies for his role in the film, including a Screen Actors Guild Award, an African-American Film Critics Association Award and a Critics' Choice Movie Award.  

The 89th Oscars, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, airs Sunday on ABC.

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Friday
Feb242017

Jordan Peele thought his directorial debut "Get Out" would "never get made"

ABC/Randy Holmes(NEW YORK) -- Jordan Peele has taken a step behind the camera in his directorial debut, Get Out. But sketch-comic-turned-director says he wasn't sure that the racial horror movie, which has been years in the making, would see the light of day.

"This is a movie I thought would never get made," Peele tells ABC Radio. "There's a reason we haven't seen a horror movie that tackles the real-life horror of race in a long time, since The-Night-of-the-Living-Dead long. Fifty years ago long," he added, referring to the 1968 cult zombie classic. "That's one of the reasons why I thought no one would ever make it. It's too messed up, it's too edgy."

The movie, which hits theaters on Friday, centers around Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams as Chris and Rose, a young interracial couple who head to Rose's parents' estate so that Chris can meet the parents for the first time. While there, mysterious things begin to happen to Chris after Rose's parents learn that he's black.

Jordan says that despite the chance of the movie's racial themes proving contentious, the effort was supported early on by "producers and Universal" who did not want Peele to, "shy away from the controversy." 

Peele also explains that he wanted to "cover an entire spectrum of conversation with this movie," which according to the director was possible since the timing was right.

"The timing of it is kind of uncanny," Peele says. "And it feels like we're now at a time where you can't get away from the discussion of race and racism anymore. And people are intrigued and willing to have this conversation."

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Feb242017

Oprah Winfrey explains why she didn't want kids: "I am a mother to the world's children"

Getty Images/Gallo Images(LONDON) -- Media mogul Oprah Winfrey has been very open in the past on why she didn't have any children, and in a new interview with Good Housekeeping UK, she explains that the young women she mentors are like her kids.

Oprah currently mentors 172 girls at the school she supports.  She says they use "my home as their home base" and that, she says, is more than enough for the icon.

"It is more rewarding than I would ever have imagined. I was doing this to help them, but it has brought a light to my life that I can’t explain," she said of the Leadership Academy she champions.

"For me it was perfect, because I didn’t want babies," she added. "I wouldn’t have been a good mom for babies. I don’t have the patience. I have the patience for puppies, but that’s a quick stage! But this is so rewarding."

She continued, "When people were pressuring me to get married and have children, I knew I was not going to be a person that ever regretted not having them, because I feel like I am a mother to the world’s children. Love knows no boundaries."

She expressed a similar sentiment to The Hollywood Reporter in 2013, saying "If I had kids, my kids would hate me. They would have ended up on the equivalent of the Oprah show talking about me because something [in my life] would have had to suffer and it would've probably been them."

In the new interview, Winfrey, who earlier this year revealed she lost 42 pounds on Weight Watchers, also spoke about her lifelong battle with weight and food.

"[My weight] has been the go-to comfort for me. You use it as your coat and your shield, and it keeps you from doing things…But the wonderful thing for me is that I reached a point where I no longer wanted to hide," she said.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Feb242017

"Logan" star Hugh Jackman says he hopes Wolverine "will never leave me"

ABC/Ida Mae Astute(LOS ANGELES) -- Hugh Jackman rose to stardom playing the iconic Logan/Wolverine character in 2000's X-Men. At the time, Jackman was a substitute for actor Dougray Scott, who had been cast but then dropped out.  Seventeen years later, Jackman is now virtually synonymous with Wolverine, though he says his new movie, simply called Logan, will mark his last appearance as the razor-clawed mutant. Still, he says he'll miss the comic book hero he's played in nine movies.

"It's kind of like leaving the best part of your life," Jackman told Michael Strahan. "There's a point where you should go, and this is just that time and I hope it will never leave me. The fans come up to me every day of my life and I love them...this character, I love."

The idea for a stark film featuring a beaten-down version of Wolverine awoke him from sleep nearly "two years to the day," the actor explained. "We tried to make something that didn't feel like a comic book movie...a movie that people [who] never, ever seen a comic book movie who would go to."

Directed by Oscar-winner James Mangold, who called the shots on The Wolverine, Jackman's Logan hits theaters March 3, but has already received rave reviews.

With the Oscars two days away, Jackman, a veteran song and dance man who hosted the awards show in 2009, said this year's host, Jimmy Kimmel, is probably "quite relaxed."

"Now you go into this thing of camera rehearsals, and today's Friday so he will be at the stage today," Jackman explained. "[T]hat guy is a pro. I love Jimmy and I think he's going to be so excited. It's his moment...my goal was to have the time of my life whether it worked or not."

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Feb242017

Emma Watson the "Belle" of the ball at UK "Beauty and the Beast" premiere

Getty Images/Dave J. Hogan(LONDON) -- Last night, Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, and their co-stars in the live-action retelling of Disney's Beauty and the Beast attended the movie's world premiere at the Odeon Leicester Square cinema in London, following a reception at the historic Spencer House. 

A short sneak peek of the film that premiered online late last year broke viewership records, and the full trailer also went immediately viral. 

On Watson's new Instagram account dedicated to the sustainable fashions she's wearing during the Beauty press tour, she noted she wore a "bespoke" creation from designer Emilia Wickstead.

It was a, "structural, off-the-shoulder gown with inverted pleat train...made from end-of-line fabric sourced from a family-run, London business specialising in couture fabrics, and produced in Italy." Watson added, "These unwanted fabric pieces have been given a new lease of life; often irregular quantities of surplus or end-of-line fabrics cannot be sold and are destroyed. This piece was created in Emilia Wickstead's London atelier, by an all-female team."

Beauty and the Beast, which also stars Josh Gad, and the voices of Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, and Emma Thompson, opens March 17.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Feb242017

'And the winner is...!' The Oscars air on ABC Sunday night

ABC/Jeff Lipsky(LOS ANGELES) -- The 89th Academy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, will air live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday night, beginning 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC. The network's red carpet coverage gets under way at 7 p.m. ET.

If last month's Golden Globe Awards are any indication, politics will take center stage at Sunday's Oscars show, and for his part Kimmel tells ABC News you can can expect to hear President Donald Trump's name several times.

"I'm sure it will come up repeatedly throughout the show, and I'm guessing that the President won't be the most popular guy," he says. "I'd really love to just bring him on stage, that would be the best surprise for everyone."  

There are nine nominees for best picture this year, with the modern-day musical La La Land being the odds-on favorite. It's the leading nominee with a record-tying 14 nods. Director Damien Chazelle is favored to walk off with best director and its stars, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, are also a frontrunners for best actor and actress. However, Gosling faces stiff competition from Denzel Washington, who stars in another best picture contender, Fences.  

This year's nominees are certainly more diverse than last year's #OscarsSoWhite ceremony: six black actors have received nominations, while three Best Picture nominees focus on the struggles of black men and women: Moonlight, Fences and Hidden Figures.

The rest of the best picture nominees are ArrivalHacksaw RidgeHell or High WaterLion and Manchester by the Sea.

Washington's Fences co-star, Viola Davis, took home a Golden Globe for supporting actress for her role as his wife in the movie, and is the favorite to win the Oscar as well. Mahershala Ali, who also won a Golden Globe for his supporting role in Moonlight, has a good shot at wining Sunday.

Elsewhere, Arrival and Moonlight both have eight nominations; Hacksaw RidgeLion and Manchester by the Sea each have six. 

Here are the nominees in the major categories:

Best Actor
Casey Affleck -- Manchester by the Sea
Andrew Garfield -- Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling -- La La Land
Viggo Morgenson -- Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington -- Fences

Best Actress
Isabelle Huppert -- Elle
Ruth Negga  -- Loving
Emma Stone -- La La Land
Natalie Portman -- Jackie
Meryl Streep -- Florence Foster Jenkins

Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali -- Moonlight
Jeff Bridges -- Hell or High Water
Lucas Hedges -- Manchester by the Sea
Dev Patel -- Lion
Michael Shannon -- Nocturnal Animals

Best Supporting Actress
Viola Davis -- Fences
Naomie Harris -- Moonlight 
Nicole Kidman -- Lion 
Octavia Spencer -- Hidden Figures 
Michelle Williams -- Manchester by the Sea 

Best Picture
Arrival
Fences
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land
Lion
Manchester By the Sea
Moonlight

Best Director
Arrival -- Denis Villeneuve
Hacksaw Ridge -- Mel Gibson
La La Land -- Damien Chazelle
Manchester by the Sea -- Kenneth Lonergan
Moonlight -- Barry Jenkins

Best Cinematography
Arrival - Bradford Young
La La Land - Linus Sandgren
Lion - Grieg Fraser
Moonlight - James Laxton
Silence - Rodrigo Prieto

Best Documentary Feature
Fire at Sea
I Am Not Your Negro
Life, Animated
O.J.: Made in America
13th

Best Foreign Language Film
Land of Mine, Denmark, dir: Martin Zandvliet 
A Man Called Ove, Sweden,  dir: Hannes Holm  
The Salesman, Iran, Asghar Farhadi, director
Tanna, Australia, dir: Bentley Dean, Martin Butler 
Toni Erdmann, Germany,  dir: Maren Ade  

Best Costume Design
Allied -- Joanna Johnston
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them -- Colleen Atwood
Florence Foster Jenkins -- Consolata Boyle
Jackie -- Madeline Fontaine
La La Land -- Mary Zophres

Best Original Score
Jackie -- Micachu
La La Land -- Justin Hurwitz
Lion -- Dustin O'Halloran, Hauschka
Moonlight -- Nicholas Britell
Passengers -- Thomas Newman

Best Original Song
"Audition" -- La La Land
""Can’t Stop the Feeling!" -- Trolls
"City of Stars" -- La La Land
"The Empty Chair" -- Jim: The James Foley Story
"How Far I'll Go" -- Moana

Best Sound Editing
Arrival
Deepwater Horizon
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Sully

Best Sound Mixing
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
13 Hours

Best Production Design
Arrival -- Patrice Vermette
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them -- Stuart Craig
Hail Caesar
La La Land -- Sandy Reynolds-Wasco, David Wasco
Passengers -- Guy Hendrix Dyas

Best Animated Feature
Kubo and the Two Strings -- Focus Features
Moana -- Disney
My Life As a Zucchini -- GKIDS
The Red Turtle -- Sony Classics
Zootopia -- Disney

Best Animated Short
Blind Vaysha -- National Film Board of Canada
Borrowed Time -- Quorum Films
Pear Cider and Cigarettes -- Massive Swerve Studios and Passion Pictures Animation
Pearl -- Google Spotlight Stories/Evil Eye Pictures
Piper -- Pixar

Best Film Editing
Arrival -- Joe Walker
Hacksaw Ridge -- John Gilbert
Hell or High Water -- Jake Roberts
La La Land -- Tom Cross
Moonlight -- Joi McMillon, Nat Sanders 

Best Visual Effects
Deepwater Horizon
Doctor Strange
The Jungle Book
Kubo and the Two Strings
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
A Man Called Ove
Star Trek Beyond
Suicide Squad

Friday
Feb242017

'Shark Tank' to cross $100-million milestone tonight

ABC/Patrick Ecclesine(NEW YORK) -- On Friday's episode of ABC's Shark Tank, the hit show's investors -- Mark Cuban, Daymon John, Kevin "Mr. Wonderful" O'Leary, Barbara Corcoran, and Robert Herjavek -- cross a major milestone: the 100 millionth dollar invested in entrepreneurs' ideas since the show began.

Following the episode, a special installment of 20/20 will highlight the show's success, and also feature exclusive interviews with the sharks, and follow-ups about the reality show's biggest deals.

Daymon John, who fronts the multi-million dollar lifestyle brand FUBU, explained to ABC Radio that the $100 million mark is a "landmark," adding that Shark Tank has created "probably 10,000 jobs, I don't know how many millionaires."

"More importantly, it showed people that the American Dream of believing in entrepreneurs and supporting each other it's alive and we love it," John explained. "[W]e're just happy to be a part of it, and hopefully we'll get to a billion!"

For his part, O'Leary was surprised by both the show's eight-season-long success, but also its global reach: the formula has been spun off to other countries.

"Shark Tank's not just a phenomenal, you know, explosion in America," O'Leary notes. "It's in Canada, it's in Finland, it's in Portugal, it's in England!  I mean, when I travel internationally, people say to me, "You're the guy from Shark Tank!" And I go, "How do you know Shark Tank?" Oh, we have it on here in Finland! So it's become a global phenomenon." 

Shark Tank airs at 9 p.m. Eastern time. 20/20's "Shark Tank: The Road to $100 Million," airs directly after. 

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

Friday
Feb242017

'Get Out,' 'Collide' and 'Rock Dog' among this week's new movie releases

Universal(NEW YORK) -- Here's a look at the new movies opening nationwide today:

* Get Out -- British actor Daniel Kaluuya and Girls star Allison Williams play an interracial couple who visit her mysterious family estate in this horror film written and directed by Key & Peele's Jordan Peele. Also starring Bad Grandpa's Catherine Keener and The West Wing's Bradley Whitford. Rated R.

* Collide -- X-Men's Nicholas Hoult attempts to pull off a drug heist for an eccentric gangster -- played by Anthony Hopkins -- in an attempt to help his girlfriend, played by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story's Felicity Jones, pay for a medical emergency while abroad. Ben Kingsley also stars. Rated PG-13.

* Rock Dog -- When a radio falls from the sky, a wide-eyed Tibetan Mastiff -- voiced by Luke Wilson -- heads to the big city to follow his dream of becoming a musician in this CGI animated adventure. Also starring Eddie Izzard, J.K. Simmons, Mae Whitman and Hawaii Five-0's  Jorge Garcia. Rated PG.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

Thursday
Feb232017

"You get a degree! You get a degree!" Oprah to speak at Skidmore Graduation

OWN(NEW YORK) -- Oprah Winfrey will be a speaker at the graduation ceremony for a New York state college that some graduates of her South African school attended.

The Skidmore College website says the author, actress and former talk show host will be a speaker at the May 20 commencement.  She'll also receive an honorary Doctorate of Letters in the Arts from the private liberal arts college, located in Saratoga Springs, 165 miles north of New York City.

The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy, a boarding school for underprivileged South African girls, opened outside Johannesburg in 2007. Several graduates of the school have attended Skidmore.

Winfrey was at Skidmore in October of 2013 to visit two of the graduates.

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