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HEAR THIS HOUR'S UPDATE

Friday
Mar272015

McConaughey's Camp Not 'Alright, Alright' with Revealing Speaking Fee

ABC/Rick Rowell(NEW YORK) — Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey has been booked to speak at May's commencement for the University of Houston.  How much its going to cost, however, has become something of a mystery.

Celebrity Talent International, which books stars like McConaughey for speaking engagements, insisted to the Houston Chronicle that the actor's fees should remain secret because, "a reporter or someone else" could misuse that information and, "take things out of context."

While the organization is remaining mum about an exact figure, its website shows the actor can be booked for anywhere from $150,000-$499,000 at minimum for a domestic event and, at minimum, $500,000 to a million bucks for an event overseas.

The school won't disclose the exact fee, either, citing the booking agency's confidentiality clause -- which the agency has lobbied the Texas Attorney General to enforce. Celebrity Talent International's Glenn Richardson noted celebrities have been "unfairly targeted often" over the release of sensitive information like salaries. Furthermore, Richardson noted, the speaking fee leaking would be bad for business.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Mar272015

Executive Producer Says He's Contemplated "Downton Abbey" Movie

ITV(LONDON) — While Downton Abbey will end after its sixth season, its executive producer has left the door slightly open for a feature film based on the popular period drama.

Gareth Neame hinted to The Hollywood Reporter that he and series creator Julian Fellowes would be interested in bringing the show to the big screen. He said, "It’s something that Julian and I have been contemplating and would be a wonderful extension."

But fans shouldn't get their hopes up just yet. Neame cautioned, "[I]t would be wrong to say there are any plans. There is nothing firmly in place."

Neame also said there are currently no plans for a Downton Abbey spin-off.

It was announced Thursday that Downton Abbey will conclude next season. Season six will air in the U.K. later this year and premiere in the U.S. on PBS in early 2016.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Mar272015

Emma Watson Tops List of Most Outstanding Women of 2015

ABC/Rick Rowell(NEW YORK) — This is an outstanding achievement for Emma Watson: the Harry Potter actress ranks first on AskMen.com's list of the Top 99 Most Outstanding Women of 2015.

Readers of the lifestyle website were asked to vote on females "whose achievements are shaping and defining their respective fields."

Watson landed in the top spot, with the site noting her support for the U.N.'s HeForShe campaign, a gender equality movement.

UFC star Ronda Rousey, Kim Kardashian, Taylor Swift and skier Lindsey Vonn round out the top five.

You can check out the full list on AskMen.com.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Mar272015

Movie Review: “Get Hard” (Rated R)

"Get Hard" - Warner Bros.(NEW YORK) — Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell are two of the funniest people on the planet.  So how did they end up making such an unfunny movie?
 
Ferrell plays James, a wealthy banker who lives in a wealthy Los Angeles neighborhood and is engaged to a gorgeous, spoiled woman (Community’s Alison Brie) who’s also his boss’s daughter.
 
Next thing we know, James is arrested for fraud and sentenced to ten years in prison -- hard time, at San Quentin.  That’s when he turns to Kevin Hart’s Darnell, the owner of the car wash in the building where James works, offering to pay Darnell to teach him how to survive in prison.  Darnell needs $30,000 to buy a house, move his family to a better neighborhood and send his daughter to a school without metal detectors, so he accepts James’ offer.
 
It’s a major plot point, and one of several that some are calling offensive: James assumes that because Darnell’s black, he must have been to prison.  The humor isn’t meant to be racist, but rather intended to highlight the fact James is such an idiot, he actually believes it.  It doesn’t matter -- either way, it’s not funny.
 
But the problem here isn’t offensive humor.  The problem is a premise that isn’t strong enough to carry a feature-length film. Get Hard might have been a hilarious 10-minute short.  Instead, the jokes become forced, repetitive and, in some cases, just plain stupid.
 
Speaking of which: Ferrell unquestionably deserves the many accolades he’s received for what’s been a terrific career, but it’s becoming clear he’s gotten a little too comfortable with the formula his films follow.  First, he plays an idiot who says ridiculous things with a straight face.  Then there’s the predictable slapstick, in which his character sustains a grotesque or unimaginably painful injury, the best being the tranquilizer dart in 2003’s Old School.  Here, it’s a shiv to the forehead -- amusing, but again, we’ve seen it before.  Yawn.
 
Sure, you’ll get a few laughs because you can’t stop Hart and Ferrell from being funny, no matter how bad the script is.  But Get Hard is an example of two very funny people coming together to make a movie that in the end is only mildly amusing, at best.
 
Two out of five stars.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar262015

Josh Peck Recommends John Stamos to Replace Zayn Malik in One Direction

ABC/Randy Holmes(NEW YORK) --  When it comes to music, John Stamos is no slouch.

Not only did the 51-year-old play a musician in Full House, he's toured with the legendary Beach Boys.

So, when Zayn Malik, 22, quit One Direction Wednesday, actor Josh Peck, who plays Stamos' son in an upcoming show, took to Vine to recommend a replacement.

".@onedirection FANS. Don't worry guys, I found ZAYN's replacement!! @JohnStamos," Peck wrote on Twitter, coupled with a Vine video.



The video is amazing and features Stamos singing One Direction's song "You Don't Know You're Beautiful."

Stamos also posted his own message about the audition.

"The day I've been waiting for!#Zaynmalik #OneDirection #Stamostime @shuapeck," he wrote.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar262015

Kerry Washington Reveals She Live Tweeted "Scandal" While in Labor

ABC/Adam Taylor(NEW YORK) -- Kerry Washington is super dedicated to her role as the star of Scandal and live tweets every episode of the hit ABC series.

In fact, the Emmy Award-nominated actress live tweeted while she was in labor last year.

"Every Thursday within three weeks of my [daughter’s] due date, I loaded up pre-tweets based on the episodes and what I would want to say. I tweeted in the very early stages of my labor," she told Net-A-Porter's The Edit magazine. "I figured that if I went completely silent on social media, then people would know I was in the hospital!"

Washington and her husband, former NFL player Nnamdi Asomugha, welcomed their first child, Isabelle Amarachi, in April 2014.

It almost sounds like something her character Olivia Pope might do as a political fixer. Still, Washington said the two have one big difference.

"A lot of therapy!" she quipped.

"In some ways, she's so aspirational -- you want to walk like her, dress like her, command attention like her and control a situation like her. In other ways, she's a warning of what not to be," Washington continued. "Not to say that I have it all together, but I think I have a little bit more awareness about my behavior patterns and I do the work it takes to get out of them."

Scandal airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

ABC and ABCNews.com are owned by The Walt Disney Co.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar262015

"Furious 7" Features Touching Tribute to Paul Walker

Photo by William Volcov/BrazilPhotoPress/LatinContent/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Fast & Furious fans should prepare to break out the Kleenex when the latest installment in the franchise, Furious 7, opens next Friday.

Tyrese Gibson, one of the film's stars, said the film will end with a touching tribute to the late Paul Walker, who died off the set in a single-car accident in 2013 in the middle of filming.

"The tribute at the end is the most beautiful thing you’ll ever see," the actor told HuffPost Live Wednesday. "All the things you love about Fast & Furious are in there, but this tribute is so touching, and necessary. The fans are really going to appreciate it."

Star Vin Diesel, speaking to Variety earlier this week, said fans will be surprised by just how "emotionally powerful" the film is.

"We were successful in one-upping the action sequences, and adding an interesting dynamic to the world," Diesel said. "But what the world won’t anticipate is how emotionally powerful the movie is."

Diesel even went so far as to make a prediction: "Universal is going to have the biggest movie in history with this movie. It will probably win best picture at the Oscars, unless the Oscars don’t want to be relevant ever."

Repeating his prediction, he added, "There is nothing that will ever come close to the power of this thing."

After Walker's tragic death, production halted for four months and resumed with Walker's look-alike brothers Cody and Caleb helping to complete some of his scenes.

"Our first instinct was to quit and let it go," Gibson told HuffPost Live, "but when his family said they were in support of us finishing the movie, we made everything about [Paul]. We finished it for our brother, and now it's about celebrating his life."

Furious 7 hits theaters April 3.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar262015

"Downton Abbey" Will End After Next Season

ITV(NEW YORK) -- It appears the rumors are true. Popular PBS drama Downton Abbey will end after its sixth season.

Series executive producer Gareth Neame announced the news Thursday. In a statement, he says: "Millions of people around the world have followed the journey of the Crawley family and those who serve them for the last five years. Inevitably there comes a time when all shows should end andDownton is no exception."

"We wanted to close the doors of Downton Abbey when it felt right and natural for the story lines to come together and when the show was still being enjoyed so much by its fans," the statement continues. "We can promise a final season full of all the usual drama and intrigue, but with the added excitement of discovering how and where they all end up."

"We, like the fans, simply cannot wait to see what will happen to the Crawley family and their beloved staff as this incredible series culminates in Season 6," PBS president and CEO Paula Kerger said in a staement. "The series has enjoyed such success over the past five seasons and we’ll certainly be working alongside Carnival, Masterpiece and PBS member stations to make Season 6 the biggest yet. Until then, Sunday nights on PBS continue to offer fans a full slate of ‘must view’ British and, soon, American historical drama."

Season five of Downton Abbey just ended in the U.S. on PBS. The cast is currently filming the show's sixth season.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar262015

One Direction Bandmates Post Emotional Messages Following Zayn Malik's Departure

Eric McCandless / ABC(NEW YORK) — One Direction bandmates Harry Styles and Liam Payne posted emotional messages to Twitter hours after Zayn Malik announced he would be leaving the band.

"My life with One Direction has been more than I could ever have imagined," Malik, 22, said in a statement posted to the group's official Facebook page on Wednesday. "But, after five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band."

Fans quickly responded on social media with heartbroken messages. Numerous hashtags -- like #ByeZayn -- were quickly trending.

Harry Styles and Liam Payne posted on their personal Twitter accounts just hours after the Malik's departure -- but did not refer to the departure directly.

"All the love always. H," said Harry Styles, 21. 

"So glad to be in bed after a long and strange 24 hours," bandmate Liam Payne said. 

A few hours after his other bandmates, Louis Tomlison tweeted about One Direction's future.

"Been a crazy couple of days but know that we are going to work harder than ever to deliver the best album we've ever made for you guys," he tweeted. 

As part of the statement posted to the group's official Facebook page, the band said, "We're really sad to see Zayn go, but we totally respect his decision and send him all our love for the future. The past five years have been beyond amazing, we've gone through so much together, so we will always be friends. The four of us will now continue. We're looking forward to recording the new album and seeing all the fans on the next stage of the world tour."

Malik said he was leaving the band because he wants to be "a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight."



Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar262015

Jon Hamm Addresses His Treatment for Alcohol Addiction

Carin Baer/AMC(NEW YORK) — Following the revelation earlier this week that he recently completed treatment for alcohol addiction, Jon Hamm says he feels fortunate to have the support of his family and friends.

In an interview with the Australian magazine TV Week, the Mad Men star said the 24-hour period after the news broke was tough on him. He's quoted as saying, "Life throws a lot at you sometimes and you have to deal with it as much as you can."

"That’s why you have family and friends and co-workers to help you with that," he added.

Hamm chose not to draw a comparison between his personal woes and those of his Mad Men character, the troubled ad exec Don Draper. He said, "Obviously there can be a lot of discussion about how much of this is related to that and honestly I don’t have much to say about that either. I’ve said in varying ways that acting can be a difficult endeavour, certainly not as difficult as the recent example I used of being a baby heart surgeon. But, it does present its own challenges and so does life."

On Tuesday, Hamm's rep released a statement that read, "With the support of his longtime partner Jennifer Westfeldt, Jon Hamm recently completed treatment for his struggle with alcohol addiction. They have asked for privacy and sensitivity going forward."

AMC will begin airing the final episodes of Mad Men on April 5.


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