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Thursday
Sep292016

Vice President Joe Biden Guest Stars on "Law & Order: SVU"

Mariska Hargitay and Vice President Joe Biden on "Law & Order: SVU"; Michael Parmelee/NBC(NEW YORK) -- Wednesday night's episode of the NBC drama Law & Order: SVU included a special guest appearance by Vice President Joe Biden.

Biden was featured in a scene in which he praised Mariska Hargitay's Lt. Olivia Benson and others at a press conference for addressing the national rape kit backlog.

"My dad used to have an expression. He said, 'The greatest sin any person can commit is the abuse of power.' And the great abuse of power was rape," he began.

"It takes women a long time to heal. When the victim isn't believed, when she goes through the invasive process of having a rape kit put together, and then it's stuck on a shelf somewhere, and then the rape kit is never, ever tested, we fail. We fail her. We fail so many women."

In real life, Biden has been an advocate for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, and was honored by Hargitay's Joyful Heart Foundation in May for his commitment to the issue.

Biden taped his appearance on Law & Order: SVU in July.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Sep292016

"NCIS" Executive Producer Gary Glasberg Dead at 50 

Monty Brinton/CBS(LOS ANGELES) -- Gary Glasberg, an executive producer of NCIS and the creator of the spin-off NCIS: New Orleans, died in his sleep Wednesday in Los Angeles, CBS has announced. He was 50.

Glasberg joined NCIS as a co-executive producer and writer in 2009, and became showrunner of the hit drama in 2011. He created NCIS: New Orleans in 2014.

A statement from the NCIS cast and crew reads, "Gary was our rock, our cheerleader, our team captain. He inspired us with his leadership, his creative instincts and keen insight. NCIS will not be the same without him, and each of us will miss his smiling face and unwavering humor, which lifted us every day."

Glasberg's other credits included the TV series The Mentalist and Bones.

He is survived by his wife, TV producer and screenwriter Mimi Schmir, their two sons, his father, and his sister.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Sep292016

Alec Baldwin Set to Play Donald Trump on "Saturday Night Live"

ABC/Justin Jay(NEW YORK) -- Saturday Night Live has elected Alec Baldwin to play Donald Trump.

The show returns for its 42nd season this weekend, and on Wednesday it released a teaser promoting a face-off between Baldwin as the Republican presidential nominee and cast member Kate McKinnon as Trump's Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

We see both Baldwin and McKinnon in costume in the brief clip, but neither of them speak.

In the past, Trump has been portrayed on the show by SNL announcer Darrell Hammond and former cast member Taran Killam, who left the show this summer.

Baldwin is no stranger to SNL, having hosted the NBC sketch-comedy series more than any other celebrity -- 16 times.

The season premiere of SNL this Saturday will be hosted by Suicide Squad star Margot Robbie, with musical guest The Weeknd.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Sep282016

"Hamilton" Star Lin-Manuel Miranda to Host "SNL"

Larry Busacca/Getty Images Portrait for Tony Awards Productions(NEW YORK) -- Lin-Manuel Miranda, the Tony-winning creator of Hamilton, will be the guest on the second installment of Saturday Night Live's 42nd season. The musical guest, it was also announced Wednesday, will beTwenty One Pilots.

As soon as it was announced, Miranda -- who nerded out with Weird Al Yankovic last Saturday evening at a concert at Radio City Music Hall -- had an equally geeky reaction to the SNL news. "My favorite SNL episode: @thefredsavage, musical guest Technotronic. Couldn't believe a kid my age was on SNL. And SO GOOD. 1990."

Saturday's season debut will star Suicide Squad's Margot Robbie and The Weeknd will be the musical guest.

 Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Sep282016

Get Ready for "Luke Cage"

Myles Aronowitz/Netflix(NEW YORK) -- Friday, Netflix releases Luke Cage, the third in its acclaimed Marvel superhero series. 

Mike Colter reprises his Jessica Jones role as Cage, a wrongly-accused fugitive left super-strong and unbreakable after a sabotaged experiment.

The series will see Luke relocating uptown from Jones' and Daredevil's home turf of Hell's Kitchen to Harlem, where the reluctant street-level hero will take on criminal kingpin Cottonmouth Stokes, played by Mahershala Ali, who's terrorizing Harlem.

Colter says when we catch up with Cage, he's trying to find himself. "Luke Cage really hasn't figured out what he's doing. And for good reason: he's a fugitive, we know that he has skeletons in his closets and he's trying to basically stay off the radar." That's not easy, though -- says Colter, "the people he hangs around [with] sometimes, they're in need. He'd rather be left alone, but...because he's equipped to deal with certain things, he does step up."

"Sometimes we just... sit on our hands...and say, 'Hey, it's not my problem.' Well, you can't say that when you're a superhero," says Colter.

The Luke Cage cast also includes Rosario Dawson, reprising her Daredevil and Jessica Jones role as nurse Claire Temple, and acclaimed actress Alfre Woodard, who plays a local politician related to Stokes.

Marvel is owned by Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Sep282016

"One Life to Live," "All My Children" Creator Agnes Nixon Dead at 93

Photo by Isaac Brekken/via WireImage/ABC via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Agnes Nixon, a legend in the TV soap opera world who created One Life to Live and All My Children, has passed away.

Nixon's daughter, Cathy Chicos, has confirmed to ABC Radio that the writer and producer died Wednesday morning as a result of her battle with Parkinson’s disease and a recent stroke. She was 93.

One Life to Live and All My Children, both set in fictional Pennsylvania suburbs, enjoyed lengthy runs on ABC. One Life to Live, which revolved in part around the Lord family, aired from 1968-2012. All My Children, which famously starred Susan Lucci as Erica Kane, aired from 1970-2011. Both were later revived as online series.

Nixon's daytime writing credits also included CBS' Guiding Light and NBC's Another World. She received a Daytime Emmy for lifetime achievement in 2010.

Nixon had just finished writing a memoir, My Life to Live, which is scheduled to be released in January.

Lucci posted a photo of herself with Nixon on Instagram Wednesday, writing, "I am devastated to learn that we have lost Agnes. I adored her and admired her -- and I am forever grateful to her! May this liveliest and loveliest of women rest in peace."

Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, which owns ABC, said in a statement, “It is with a heavy heart I mourn the passing of television pioneer Agnes Nixon, someone I was proud to call a friend. Agnes’ impact on daytime television and pop culture is undeniable. She was the first to champion socially relevant topics, and the towns and characters Agnes brought to life leave an indelible imprint on television that will be remembered forever.  On behalf of Walt Disney and ABC, I want to extend our deepest condolences to her family.”

 Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 

 

Wednesday
Sep282016

Disney Sets "Reimagining" of "The Lion King" with "Jungle Book" Director Favreau

© 2016 - The Walt Disney Company(LOS ANGELES) -- Continuing with what it hopes will be a successful live-action "re-imagining" of its properties, a la Maleficent, Cinderella, and The Jungle Book, Walt Disney Pictures has given the go-ahead to a new version of its animated classic The Lion King.

The project is in good hands: director Jon Favreau, who not only called the shots with the Jungle Book, which made more than $960 million worldwide, but also the blockbusters Iron Man and Iron Man 2. 

The filmmaker tweeted his feelings earlier Wednesday morning, with a simple: "Excited about my next project," followed with a lion and a crown emoji. Minutes later, however, the actor-director-writer deleted the post, perhaps having realizing he'd jumped the gun with the official press release on the film.

He later re-posted it.

There's no release date yet for The Lion King, but Disney's next live-action adaptation, Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson as Belle, hits theaters March 17, 2017.  Favreau is also working on a sequel to The Jungle Book

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Sep282016

Funny Money: Kevin Hart Unseats Seinfeld as the World's Highest-Paid Comic

ABC/Ida Mae Astute(NEW JERSEY) -- Comedy has a new king: Kevin Hart. 

Forbes magazine's list of the highest paid comedians in the world shows the diminutive funnyman is a giant when it comes to earning power, dethroning comedy's long-time king of the hill, Jerry Seinfeld, with a haul between June 2015 and June 2016 of $87.5 million. Hart's huge haul is mainly due to his heavy touring schedule.

Seinfeld, whose yearly take includes extremely lucrative syndication and other deals for his eponymous sitcom, was bumped to a distant second place, with $43.5 million in that same time period. 

Amy Schumer is the only woman on the list, with an impressive $17 million, 4th-place finish. In fact, she's the first woman ever to make the list, if you can believe it.

Here's the Forbes list of highest-paid comics, and their estimated earnings for the survey period:

1. Kevin Hart ($87.5 million)
2. Jerry Seinfeld ($43.5 million)
3. Terry Fator ($21 million)
4. Amy Schumer ($17 million) 
5. Jeff Dunham ($13.5 million) 
6. Dave Chappelle ($13 million)
7. Jim Gaffigan ($12.5 million)
8. Gabriel Iglesias ($9.5 million)
9. Russell Peters ($9 million)
10. John Bishop ($7 million)

Speaking of touring, Hart's new concert movie, Kevin Hart: What Now?, opens October 14.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Sep282016

Sean Penn Shares His (Lewd) Thoughts on the Presidential Race 

Scott Kowalchyk/CBS(NEW YORK) -- Sean Penn offered some, shall we say, interesting comments on the presidential race during his appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Tuesday night.

The outspoken Oscar winner was asked by host Stephen Colbert for his take on the presidential debate, held the previous night. Penn indicated that he didn’t watch, adding it was more of a social debate than a presidential debate.

The actor then offered his take on the two candidates.

“You can go out and vote in a very big way for someone like Hillary Clinton, who then you can challenge and support, which is the only way that any kind of president can have any success, and you stick it out for four years,” he said.

Then, presumably referring to Clinton’s opponent, Donald Trump, he said, “Or we can just masturbate our way into hell with a guy who...looks like the only blond magician.”

Colbert joked, “If you’re referring to Trump, I don’t think he could actually masturbate his way to hell because his hands are too small.” Penn replied, “Proportional match.”

Penn is no stranger to controversial figures, having spent time with the likes of the late former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Cuba's Raul Castro, and Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. Penn said of meeting leaders like Chavez, “I’m just interested.”

Penn was on The Late Show to promote the Pappy Pariah audiobook on Audible that he narrates, Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Sep282016

Brad Pitt Is Skipping His Movie Premiere Because of His "Family Situation" 

Han Myung-Gu/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- Brad Pitt will not be walking the red carpet today, his camp has confirmed to ABC Radio.

The actor, who narrates Terrence Malick's documentary, Voyage of Time, is skipping the film's premiere as a result of recent events that have taken place in his personal life.

Last week, news broke that Pitt's relationship with his partner of more than a decade, actress Angelina Jolie, had ended.

"Terrence’s Voyage of Time is an incredibly beautiful and unique experiential IMAX film for children and families chronicling the birth of time," Pitt said in a statement. "I'm very grateful to be part of such a fascinating and educational project, but I’m currently focused on my family situation and don’t want to distract attention away from this extraordinary film, which I encourage everyone to see."

On September 19, Jolie, who had been married to Pitt for two years, filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. She also indicated that she wants physical custody of the couple's six children, Maddox, 15, Pax, 12, Zahara, 11, Shiloh, 10, and twins Knox and Vivienne, 8.

"I am very saddened by this, but what matters most now is the well-being of our kids," Pitt said in a statement the next day.

Then, ABC News confirmed through sources that the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services and the FBI were investigating a claim of child abuse made against the 52-year-old actor. Sources close to Pitt said that he is not guilty of child abuse, though he did have a verbal argument while aboard a plane. It was not clear with which child or children he fought.

However, there "was no inappropriate physical contact," the sources said.

A representative for Pitt did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment about the premiere.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.







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