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Tuesday
Oct152019

Felicity Huffman reports to prison to serve 14-day sentence in "Varsity Blues" college entrance scam

ABC/Image Group LA(LOS ANGELES) -- Oscar-nominated actress Felicity Huffman, who pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the massive "Varsity Blues" college entrance scandal that ensnared her and dozens of parents, reported to a Northern California prison on Tuesday to begin serving a 14-day sentence, according to her representative.

Huffman, 56, reported to the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, California, about 25 miles southeast of Oakland, according to a statement released to ABC News by her spokesman.

Huffman was sentenced in September by Boston federal court Judge Indira Talwani after the actress pleaded guilty earlier this year to a charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.

"Ms. Huffman is prepared to serve the term of imprisonment Judge Talwani ordered as one part of the punishment she imposed for Ms. Huffman's actions," reads the statement from her representative.

"She will begin serving the remainder of the sentence Judge Talwani imposed -- one year of supervised release, with conditions including 250 hours of community service -- when she is released."

The former Desperate Housewives star was also ordered to pay a fine of $20,000.

She had been given until Oct. 25 to report to prison. Her representative did not explain why Huffman decided to begin serving her sentence now.

Huffman -- who was nominated for an Academy Award for her role in the 2005 film Transamerica -- pleaded guilty on May 13 and acknowledged she paid $15,000 to arrange for a college entrance exam proctor to correct her daughter Sophia's SAT answers and for her daughter to be allowed more time to take the test.

On March 13, a federal indictment was unsealed with charges for 50 people, including Huffman and more than 30 other wealthy parents, in the largest college cheating scam ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Oct152019

Michelle Pfieffer has this 'number one' piece of advice for new Catwoman, Zoe Kravitz

Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney(NEW YORK) -- Zoe Kravitz has signed on to play Catwoman in Matt Reeves’ upcoming film The Batman, and Michelle Pfieffer, who famously played the character in 1992's Batman Returns, tells Good Morning America that she's "so excited" for the actress. 

The Maleficent sequel star also imparted a key piece of advice for her successor. 

"Make sure whilst designing the costume they consider how you'll go to the bathroom," Pfieffer said to laughs. "Minor detail, but an important one."

The Big Little Lies star Kravitz will star opposite Robert Pattinson as Batman.  She reportedly beat out Deadpool 2 veteran Zazie Beetz, Tomb Raider's Alicia Vikander and Baby Driver's Eiza Gonzalez for the role of the anti-heroine and occasional love interest of the Caped Crusader. 

Incidentally, The Batman won't be Kravitz's first role in a superhero franchise -- she played the baddie Angel in 2011's X-Men: First Class.

Zoe will next be seen in the upcoming Hulu series High Fidelity, launching later this year.  The Batman is scheduled to hit theaters June 25, 2021.

Pfieffer will be seen opposite Angelina Jolie in Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, opening Friday from Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Oct152019

Kevin Smith credits (sort of) his heart attack for the all-star cast of 'Jay & Silent Bob Reboot'

ABC/Lou Rocco(NEW YORK) -- Even those who aren't familiar with all of Kevin Smith's films might be familiar with his near death experience last year.

In February of 2018, the then-48-year-old filmmaker suffered a massive, near-fatal heart attack. After being treated for a completely blocked artery, he went vegan and lost more than 50 pounds, some of them as a Weight Watchers ambassador.

Now healthy, Smith tells ABC Audio the health scare inspired him to work on his latest film, Jay & Silent Bob Reboot, which centers on the titular characters played by Jason Mewes and Smith, respectively, trying to stop a reboot of their 2001 movie Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back.

Once again, Smith's famous friends have cameos, including his Dogma stars Ben Affleck and Matt Damon.

For Reboot, which opens Tuesday, Smith tells us he wasn't shy about courting the sympathy vote to get what he wanted: "Oh my God, I play the heart attack like a fiddle, man...It gets casting credit. 'Casting credit by the heart attack.'"

He jokes that casting Reboot came down to, "Me texting a bunch of people going like...'You do remember I almost died last year don't you?' And they're like, 'All right, I'm coming I'm coming.'"

Smith further explains: "[O]n Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back...we had, like, 22 cameos...This time we got, like, 44. So we got everybody back from Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and then we got new people. So Ben and Matt return. Shannon Elizabeth is back. And then on the new front we've got Chris Hemsworth, [rappers] Method [Man] and Red[man], Val Kilmer, Melissa Benoist.  Everybody I've ever met or remotely spoken to in the last 25 years I reached out to and dragged them in."

Jay & Silent Bob Reboot opens today.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Oct152019

Viewers to test their sleuthing skills with new Craig Ferguson-hosted game show 'The Hustler' 

(NEW YORK) -- Craig Ferguson will make his grand return to TV soon.  The Emmy Award-winning comedian has been tapped to host a brand new game show, The Hustler, which will put the audience's detective skills to the test.

ABC announced the new show on Monday, saying the mind-bending series will forever break the game show-mold.  The series employs five players who must collaborate with each other to answer a series of trivia questions to build the cash jackpot -- however -- there's a catch.  One player will secretly know all the answers ahead of time but must keep that fact hidden from the rest of the players... and the audience.

The show pits the players and audience against "the Hustler," who must figure out their identity in order to win the prize pot.  If the players choose right, they split the prize cash among themselves.  Choose wrong, the Hustler goes home with the cash prize.

To up the stakes, the Hustler will also anonymously eliminate two players midway through each show, forcing the remaining players to choose wisely and ignite their suspicion.

The mystery-based game show will also force the audience to tap into their sleuthing skills to see if they can crack the case before the big reveal.  

The Hustler is set to begin production later this fall.  It's premiere date remains to be annouced.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Oct152019

Disney unveils official 'Lady and the Tramp' trailer 

(c) 2019 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.(NEW YORK) -- During Monday night's Dancing with the Stars, Disney released the official trailer for its streaming-exclusive movie, Lady and the Tramp.

The movie is a modern retelling of the 1955 animated classic with live animals and a new all-star cast.  Lady and the Tramp features the vocal talents of Tessa Thompson, Justin Theroux, Janelle Monáe, Sam Elliot, and more.  The movie premieres on the Disney+ streaming service on November 12.

Lady and the Tramp follows the story of a pampered Cocker Spaniel, named Lady, who has her life upended when her masters welcome a baby -- along with their Aunt Sarah and her nasty Siamese cats.  Out on the street, Lady goes on an unexpected adventure with a dashing stray named Tramp who tries to teach her the ways of the world -- ending with the two sharing a romantic spaghetti and meatball dinner before deciding if a life free of leashes or one besides the fire with a loving family is right for them.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Oct152019

'The Voice' recap: The battle rounds begin with John Legend and Kelly Clarkson both fighting off attempts to steal their artists

Justin Lubin/NBC(NEW YORK) -- On Monday's episode of The Voice, coaches Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson, John Legend and Gwen Stefani rounded out their teams, before heading straight into the battle rounds.

Each coach enlisted the help of a guest adviser during rehearsals: Darius Rucker for Team Blake; Normani for Team Kelly; Usher for Team Legend; and Will.i.am for Team Gwen.

The coaches also got one chance each to either steal an artist from someone else's team, or save a team member from being stolen.

Here's are Tuesdays highlights:

The blind auditions:

Nashville R&B, pop and soul singer Zoe Upkins, sang Monica's 1998 hit, "Angel of Mine," drawing chair turns from Kelly, John and Blake. Kelly, who reminded Zoe that she won a couple of times with young singers, was in the market for one this season.  John noted how much power she had in her voice for someone her age, adding there was also "room to grow."  Blake admitted they'd make a great team, even though the combination "didn't seem right on paper."  John then resorted to a tactic that worked for him earlier in the competition, launching into an A cappella version of Monica's "The Boy Is Mine," reworked to say, "Zoe Is Mine."  It worked again, and Team Legend reached capacity.

Next, Matthew McQueen, no relation to the actor Steve McQueen -- and yes, he even searched his family tree, was next.  Matthew's rendition of Lewis Capaldi's "Someone You Loved," got Blake to turn around, along with Kelly.  Clarkson loved Matthew's rasp, comparing his voice to Shawn Mendez. Blake pointed to his track record on the show, bragging that he coached six winners and only a handful were country.  Explaining that his sister and grandmother both had a dream that Blake would turn around for him, McQueen went with Shelton, whose team was now complete.

Country singer Gracee Shriver from Owasso, Oklahoma is a 16-year-old who made her high school's varsity tennis team at 13.  When she's not doing that, she's hitting the books and pursuing her real passion: music. Here take on "Rainbow," by Kacey Musgraves, convinced Kelly and Gwen to turn their chairs.  Kelly called the youngster "super-talented," while Gwen noted that she too was from Oklahoma.  Stefani also got help from her boyfriend Blake, who, after explaining that his team was full and he was unable to fight for her, urging Gracee to "keep it in the family."  Kelly countered that by saying her husband, Brandon Blackstock, manages Blake. Gracee picked Kelly, closing out her team.

That left Gwen as the last available coach, and she was being extra picky.  After passing on R&B singer Ty Mauro, whose rendition of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" didn't cut it for her, she scooped up 16-year-old Caroline Reilly, who belted out the Jefferson Airplane classic, "Somebody to Love."

The battle rounds:

The first battle of the night pitted youth against experience, as Team Legend's Upkins, the teen who auditioned with a Monica song earlier in the show went head-to head against the older and more seasoned Khalia Lynee. The two battled on on Monica's "The Boy Is Mine."  Legend and team adviser, former Voice coach Usher, who led Josh Kaufman to victory in season six, had the same advice for both singers: just cut loose.  After the battle, Gwen said she was impressed with Zoe's stage presence and gave her the edge while Blake favored Khalia. Kelly thought it was a toss-up, and announced that she would try and steal whoever was the loser.  Legend chose Lynee.

It didn't end there for Zoe though, as Legend saved his 16-year-old powerhouse, while Kelly, as well as Gwen, tried to steal her.  Upkins stuck with John, who argued that the others' interest in her was probably due to great coaching.

Next up, representing Team Blake, was Kat Hammock mixing it up with Josie Jones. The two "rootsy" country singers offered a dreamy take on John Denver's "Take Me Home Country Roads."  Blake and adviser Darius Rucker agreed Kat needed to "project" more, while Josie needed to work on her control. Both, according to Blake, needed to "shake off the nerves." When it was over, John thought Josie gave the better "technical" performance, while Kat had the more "unique" voice. Kelly agreed. Blake called the battle a tie, but gave the round to Kat.  Josie was sent packing.

The night ended with Team Kelly's Melinda Rodriguez battling Shane Q on Sam Smith's "Too Good at Goodbyes."  The advice from Kelly and her adviser Normani was for Melinda to "get out of her head," while Kelly pulled Shane out of his comfort zone by getting him to use his falsetto more.  Afterwards, Blake thought the winner of the contest was a tough call, but gave the edge to Shane. Legend agreed, but Kelly settled on Shane, citing his "unexpected" voice.

Melinda got a second chance though, as Legend tried to swipe the artist from Kelly, who used her save to try and keep Rodriguez on her team.  Despite of John's argument that a steal on his part would be an "upgrade," Melinda stayed with Kelly, who touted her experience at winning another music competition: American Idol.

The battle rounds continue on Tuesday, when The Voice returns with a one-hour episode at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Oct152019

'Dancing with the Stars' season 28 "Disney Night" recap: No one goes home, Ally Brooke finishes in first

ABC/Eric McCandless(New York) -- Magic permeated the air on Dancing with the Stars Monday night because it was Disney Night of all nights.  The top nine kicked the difficulty up a notch and even sent out a last-minute emotional plea to the audience not to send them home.  Their message was heard loud and clear as no one was eliminated Monday.  The night's scores will carry over into next week's episode. 

Former Fifth Harmony singer Ally Brooke nabbed the top score of the night -- 27/30 -- and also the first nines of the season.  Meanwhile, former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer sunk to the bottom of the pack with the lowest score, 24/30.

The night also treated audience with a stunning opening performance at Disney Land, which featured the night's top nine competitors.  ABC also aired the trailer for the upcoming Disney+ streaming exclusive Lady & the Tramp.  In addition, The audience enjoyed music from Disney's highly anticipated Frozen II -- arriving in theaters November 22.  DWTS tasked their newest pro Daniella to dance along to Queen Elsa's ballad "Into the Unknown."  The song, along with the complete Frozen II soundtrack, will be available for purchase on November 15.

Judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli were seemingly intoxicated by the cheerful Disney magic as the two couldn't seem to stop smiling and laughing-- even when Inaba accidentally fell out of her chair during her review of Kate Flannery's performance.  However, the ever-cantankerous Len Goodman remained unfazed by the pixie dust and bah-humbug'd through the night, earning strong boos from the audience at times.

Brooke, the night's first place finisher, dazzled the judges with her dreamy and romantic contemporary dance to the titular song from Beauty and the Beast -- a movie and song that's near and dear to the singer's heart.  Brooke, who was ecstatic to meet Princess Belle and the Beast at Disneyland before her emotional number with partner Sasha Farber, revealed that "Beauty and the Beast" will be her wedding song.

However, the night's most impressive performance came from James Van Der Beek with his powerful and dramatic Paso Doble with partner Emma Slater to the Pirates of the Caribbean theme.  However, he failed to tie in first with Brooke by just a point.  While Inaba and Tonioli enthusiastically held up nines, judge Goodman criticized the Dawson's Creek star for not making his hand movements sharper and awarded him an eight -- granting an overall score of 26/30.

Goodman also broke from the others when judging Bachelorette star Hannah Brown, who danced a breezy and beautiful foxtrot with partner Alan Bersten to Aladdin's "A Whole New World." While Inaba and Tonioli ecstatically awarded her a pair of nines, Goodman handed her a disappointing seven -- giving her the final score 25/30.  However, with the foxtrot being one of the easier ballroom dances to master, perhaps Goodman felt Brown's choice was too safe and a step down from last week's first-place worthy Paso Doble. 

The Office star Kate Flannery enjoyed a comeback on Monday night with an intense and creative jazz number  to "A Spoonful of Sugarfrom Mary Poppins.  The judges lauded the variety of her routine, which borrowed elements from the Charleston, Polka, quickstep, and Can-can -- securing her a final score of 24/30.  

The night's most memorable moment came immediately after Flannery's performance when host Tom Bergeron tried removing a wayward umbrella prop from the dance floor and subsequently sent judge Carrie Ann tumbling out of her chair.  "We got a judge down!"  Tonioli shouted excitedly while Flannery and partner Pasha Pashkov rushed in to upright the fallen Inaba, who happily promised them bonus points.

Sean Spicer, despite giving his best on the dance floor with his quickstep to Toy Story 4's "You Got a Friend in Me" with partner Lindsay Arnold, he earned the lowest score of the night -- 19/30.  Spicer also became emotional before his performance by dedicating his dance to his late father, who died from pancreatic cancer in 2016, and to all fathers currently struggling with cancer.

Dancing with the Stars returns next Monday, October 21 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.  Scores from the night will carry over into next week's live show.

Here are the current standings:

First place:
Ally Brooke, former Fifth Harmony singer, with Sasha Farber -- 27/30

James Van Der Beek, Dawson's Creek actor, with Emma Slater -- 26/30
Kel Mitchell, actor and stand-up comedian, with Whitney Carson  --  26/30
Hannah Brown, The Bachelorette star, with Alan Bersten -- 25/30
Sailor Brinkley-Cook, model, with Val Chmerkovskiy --  24/30
Kate Flannery, actress from The Office, with Pasha Pashkov --  24/30
Lauren Alaina, country singer, with Gleb Savchenko --  23/30
Karamo, Queer Eye reality TV personality, with Jenna Johnson --  21/30

Lowest score:
Sean Spicer, former White House press secretary, with Lindsay Arnold  -- 19/30

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Oct142019

From 'Snow White' to 'The Mandalorian', Disney teases opening its vault for Disney+

Disney+(NEW YORK) -- In a brief, but information-packed social media post, Disney has teased just a sampling of the content that will be available on its soon-to-launch Disney+.

The doors of the vaunted "Disney Vaults" will swing wide, the post notes.

"It. Is. Time. From Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to The Mandalorian, check out basically everything coming to #DisneyPlus in the U.S. on November 12," reads the post, while a dizzying slideshow of titles spins by.

Glimpsed are everything from the aforementioned animated classic to Jon Favreau's anticipated Star Wars spin-off to Disney Channel mainstays like Lizzie McGuire, the original Duck Tales, High School Musical, and Boy Meets World.  Also there are Marvel movies like Ant-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain Marvel, as well as other Disney animated films like Aladdin, Moana and The Emperor's New Groove.

Meanwhile on YouTube, there's a much, much longer preview of what's coming to Disney+ -- as in three hours, 17 minutes and 52 seconds long, titled Basically Everything Coming to Disney+ in the U.S.

You can pre-order the streaming service at DisneyPlus.com.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

 

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Oct142019

'black-ish' cast opens up about six seasons growing up together 

ABC/Craig Sjodin(NEW YORK) -- The stars of black-ish opened up about what the last six seasons has meant to them as the happy on-screen family in an appearance Monday on ABC's Good Morning America.

Anthony Anderson, Laurence Fishburne, Tracee Ellis Ross, Miles Brown, Marcus Scribner and Marsai Martin all spoke about their real chemistry, both on and off screen.

"[It's the] most rewarding job I've ever had," Anderson said. "Best cast I've ever worked with. It gets no better than what we've all been doing for the last six years -- that's all I can say about everybody."

Fishburne, who guest stars as the paternal head of the family, said he's treasured watching the young cast grow up.

"One of the greatest things for us, I can say I think, is watching these young people grow up in front of us," he said. "They were wonderful kids to start with, but now they're young adults and they've become really wonderful young adults and we're very proud of them."

Ellis Ross, who was known for Girlfriends long before the hit ABC family comedy sitcom, was pleasantly surprised to hear their three younger co-stars knew of her role on the former TV series.

"I remember going into the audition and I was like, 'Oh, Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross from Girlfriends, so that was one of the driving factors," said Scribner, who was born the year the show premiered.

Brown, whose character Jack gets cut from the basketball team on the show, revealed it's actually his favorite sport adding, "I should say I'm decent."

"It was just different cause I had to get in the mood that I was sad that I got cut from the basketball team, when normally that's not the case," he boasted.

black-ish airs Tuesday night at 9:30 p.m. ET on ABC.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Oct142019

Midge hits the road in 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' season three trailer

Amazon Studios/Nicole Rivelli(NEW YORK) -- In the new season three trailer for Amazon's Emmy-winning comedy The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Midge hits the road -- and the big leagues -- on her first tour.

We see Rachel Brosnahan's Midge and her manager Suzie, played by Alex Borstein, traveling the country -- including a visit to at least one military base -- as the opening act for fictional singer Shy Baldwin.  There are hotel rooms, photographers, autograph seekers, all the glamorous trappings of life on tour.

But Midge is still trying justify leaving to her ex-husband, Joel, why she left their kids to go on tour, and still trying to explain her career to her parents. 

"I am not a prostitute, I'm a comic!" she insists.

"Is there a difference?" asks her mom. 

"Yes, prostitutes get paid more," snaps Midge.

"Hilarious," her father responds sarcastically.  "You should go into comedy."

To which Midge replies: "I did."

There's a glimpse of Jane Lynch's Sophie Lennon, the rival comic whom Suzie got an offer to manage at the end of last season.  We also get our first glimpse at a new character, played by Sterling K. Brown, as well as another new character played by Gilmore Girls alum Liza Weil. The Palladinos -- creators of Mrs. Maisel -- also created that show.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel returns to Amazon on December 6.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.







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