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Friday
Jun222018

Roseanne spinoff "The Conners" will premiere this fall -- without Roseanne Barr

ABC/Adam Rose(LOS ANGELES) -- The Conner family will return to ABC following Roseanne's cancellation -- but without the show's embattled star.

On Thursday, the network announced that much of the cast of Roseanne, including John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Lecy Goranson and Michael Fishman, will reprise their roles in the new show, currently going by the working title The Conners.

Roseanne Barr will have no financial or creative involvement in the new series, according to the network.

“The Conners stories demonstrate that families can always find common ground through conversation, laughter and love," ABC said in a statement announcing the series. "The spinoff will continue to portray contemporary issues that are as relevant today as they were 30 years ago."

“We have received a tremendous amount of support from fans of our show, and it’s clear that these characters not only have a place in our hearts, but in the hearts and homes of our audience,” the announced cast members said in a joint statement of their own.  “We all came back last season because we wanted to tell stories about the challenges facing a working-class family today. We are so happy to have the opportunity to return with the cast and crew to continue to share those stories through love and laughter.”

Last month, Roseanne was canceled after Barr tweeted remarks about former Obama adviser Valarie Jarrett -- who is African-America -- comparing her to a character in Planet of the Apes, remarks widely regarded as racist.

The Connners will debut with ten episodes and air on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. Additional cast members and a premiere date will be announced later.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jun222018

Your eyes can deceive you, don't trust them: "Multiple films" still reportedly in the "Star Wars" pipeline

Lucasfilm(NEW YORK) -- Hold up, Star Wars fans.  Reports of the death of future stand-alone films from that galaxy far, far away -- like Solo, Rogue One, and a rumored Obi-Wan Kenobi project -- appear to be premature.

Lucasfilm sources on Thursday characterized as “inaccurate” a widely quoted Collider report that future Star Wars movies falling outside of the regular trilogy storyline -- the Episodes I to IX chapters -- have been put on hold in the wake of the box office under-performance of Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Solo is expected to top out at $400 million globally.  That's a blockbuster for any other movie, but the first Star Wars stand-alone film, 2016's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, earned more than a billion bucks. The divisive Star Wars: The Last Jedi grossed more than $1.3 billion while its predecessor, The Force Awakens, made nearly double that.

Even so, Lucasfilm tells ABC News there are still "multiple" Star Wars films currently in development that haven't been officially announced. Those projects are moving forward separate from an already-announced Star Wars trilogy being overseen by The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson, as well as another series of movies from Game of Thrones producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.

Star Wars: Episode IX, starring Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac, is set to hit theaters in December 2019.  The film is being directed by J.J. Abrams, who also helmed The Force Awakens in 2015.

Lucasfilm is not yet talking publicly about the subject of any unannounced Star Wars films or their expected release dates.  Fans will just have to wait and see.

As Yoda says: "Difficult to predict, the future is."

Lucasfilm is owned by Disney, parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jun222018

'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' roars into theaters this weekend

Universal(NEW YORK) -- Opening nationwide Friday:

* Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom -- The sequel to 2015's Jurassic World takes place three years after the events of the first film, with Owen and Claire -- played by Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, respectively, reprising their Jurassic World roles -- scrambling to save the dinosaurs from extinction when the island's previously dormant volcano erupts. B. D. Wong and Jeff Goldblum also reprise their roles from previous films in the series. Rated PG-13.

Opening in limited release Friday:

* Boundaries -- A mother, along with her teenage son -- played by Vera Farmiga and Lewis MacDougall, respectively -- is forced to drive her estranged, pot-dealing, father -- portrayed by Christopher Plummer -- from Texas to her sister's house in California after dad's kicked out of a nursing home. Bobby Cannavale, Kristen Schaal, Christopher Lloyd and Peter Fonda co-star. Rated R.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jun212018

"The Gray Area with Charlamagne Tha God" headed to HBO later this year 

Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for MTV(NEW YORK) -- Media personality Charlamagne Tha God has inked a deal with HBO for a series of four interview specials, called The Gray Area with Charlamagne Tha God, it was announced on Wednesday.

The series, "will provide a safe space for ‘unsafe’ people to curate their stories and control their own narratives,” says Charlamagne. “The reality is, when it comes to people's stories, it's not black or white, it's always an area that's a shade of gray and that's usually where the lies end and the truth begins, and this show will give those people an opportunity to share their truth.”

“Charlamagne brings a provocative, thoughtful and always honest voice to all of his interviews,” says Nina Rosenstein, executive vice president, HBO Programming. “We think these specials will be surprising and enlightening and we look forward to seeing who he brings to the table.”

The Gray Area with Charlamagne Tha God is set to debut later this year.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jun212018

Producer Cheo Hodari Coker says "Luke Cage" season 2 gives fans the Iron Fist/Cage collabo they've always wanted

David Lee/Netflix(NEW YORK) -- Netflix unveils the second season of Luke Cage Friday, and with it, says showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker, will come a collaboration that fans first saw in the pages of Marvel Comics in 1972: Luke Cage teaming up with the mystical martial artist Iron Fist.

While 2016's debut season of Luke Cage, and Mike Colter's portrayal of the Harlem hero, found favor with fans, reaction was less than enthusiastic about Finn Jones' portrayal of Danny Rand/Iron Fist in his standalone series last year.  While the two heroes fought side by side in the better-received 2017 The Defenders team-up series on Netflix, Coker tells ABC Radio that fans are in for a real treat in Luke Cage season two, especially in a fight in episode 10.

"It's just it's really one of my favorite moments in the entire season," admits Coker.  "You really finally get to see the Danny Rand/Luke Cage relationship that people have always wanted to see."

Coker continues, "I think it's going to surprise people, because the thing is, is that people had very mixed feelings -- some very positive some negative -- about Iron Fist, and so there were questions as to in showing these characters together, even despite the positive pairing of both of them in Defenders. But I guess it's my arrogance of saying like, 'Yo, well it doesn't really matter because how we're going to flip Iron Fist is going to be dope on our show.' And he was."   

Luke Cage season two also features returning stars Alfre Woodard, Rosario Dawson, Simone Missick and Jessica Henwick.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jun212018

Peter Fonda apologizes for threatening Baron Trump with kidnapping

Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Actor Peter Fonda has apologized for a series of what he now calls "vulgar" tweets, one of which said, "…We should rip Barron Trump from his mother's arms and put him in a cage with pedophiles."  Barron Trump is the 12-year-old son of President Trump and wife Melania.

The tweets were in reference to a years-old immigration policy that has seen children separated from their families in the event they crossed the border illegally.

First lady Melania Trump's office notified the Secret Service of the threat, calling the comment "sick and irresponsible." 

"I tweeted something highly inappropriate and vulgar about the president and his family in response to the devastating images I was seeing on television," Fonda said through his representative.  "Like many Americans, I am very impassioned and distraught over the situation with children separated from their families at the border, but I went way too far. It was wrong and I should not have done it. I immediately regretted it and sincerely apologize to the family for what I said and any hurt my words have caused.”

Fonda also posted another tweet that called Homeland Security secretary Kristjen Nielsen a vulgar slang term for the female anatomy -- clarifying that the word he used was deliberately much more offensive than the "c-word" that recently got Samantha Bee in hot water when she aimed it at first daughter Ivanka Trump.

Fonda suggested Nielsen be, "put in a cage...in Lafayette Square naked and whipped...while being filmed for posterity."  He also called Sarah Huckabee Sanders the same vulgar term, and called for her children to be taken from her, as well.  Fonda's tweets were eventually deleted.

Deadline notes that Sony Pictures Classics called Fonda's tweets "abhorrent," but noted he only has a "minor" part in their upcoming movie Boundaries, so it won't pull the film -- something Donald Trump Jr. predicted.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jun212018

Fran Drescher talks "Hotel Transylvania 3", teases possible "The Nanny" reboot

ABC(NEW YORK) -- Fran Drescher, "The Nanny" herself, stopped by Good Morning America Thursday to dish on the new animated movie, Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation.

Drescher, who voices Eunice Stein -- the wife of Kevin James' Frank Stein -- in the film, said she is "delighted" to be part of the franchise.

"I don't think that there's an animated film besides ours that has put together such a great collection of comic actors that Adam Sandler assembled," she said. "[I]t's genuinely funny. It appeals to the whole family, or if you don't have kids like me but you like animated films like me, this is the one for you."

In this day and age with reboots of Will & Grace, Murphy Brown, and other beloved shows, can fans expect to see a reboot of Drescher's hit The Nanny, which first aired 25 years ago? . 

"I'm not going to say no," Drescher said, "but it's not on my immediate radar because Peter [producer Peter Marc Jacobson] and I are working on something very exciting that I think the fans would be thrilled about, but I'm not at liberty to announce it."

In 2000, Drescher learned she was diagnosed with uterine cancer. She happily recognized that Thursday was her 18-year anniversary of wellness as she sat before GMA's live studio audience.

"Ironically, [the anniversary is] always on the longest day of sunlight -- isn't that poetic?" she asked to applause. I'm so pleased to be sitting next to a fellow thriver," Drescher said to co-anchor Robin Roberts, who's also a cancer survivor.

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, which also stars the voice talents of Sandler, Kevin James, David Spade, Molly Shannon, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, and more, hits theaters July 13.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jun212018

From "Supergirl" to super songwriter: Melissa Benoist stars as Carole King in Broadway's "Beautiful" 

Joan Marcus(NEW YORK) -- Supergirl star Melissa Benoist is making her Broadway debut in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, playing Carole King, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer behind hits like "So Far Away," "It's Too Late" and "You've Got a Friend."  While she's done musical theater in the past and sang every week as one of the stars of Glee, Benoist didn't expect to be on Broadway at this point in her career.

"It sort of just fell together," she tells ABC Radio. "I had a break from Supergirl and I wasn't planning on doing anything...I kinda wanted to relax...and this came about. I had always been a big fan of Carole, so it sorta just felt like I wouldn't forgive myself if I hadn't take the opportunity."

Though just 29, Benoist is a fan of King's music. "It was played around my house," she says. "Both my parents were fans...it always reminds me of my mom.  And the emotion, too, is something I've always connected to."

Benoist continues: "What I think is the most surprising about [King] is this sort of duality she holds.  She is a 'square,' and very reserved, and not your typical rock and roll writer...[but] she has this inner strength and confidence -- she can command a room of 20 musicians, and she did it when she was 16!"

Melissa also hopes her Broadway stint will inspire Supergirl fans. 

"So far, I've seen a few little girls in Supergirl capes [at the show] and it's really nice, because theater was so important to me growing up," she says. "I hope if there are some Supergirl fans who haven't seen live theater or Broadway, maybe they['ll] fall in love with it now."

Benoist will star in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical through August 4.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jun212018

Jerry Seinfeld, Matthew Broderick rev up fans for another serving of "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee"

Netflix(NEW YORK) -- Netflix has just debuted a trailer for the upcoming season of Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

The clip starts of with Seinfeld and Matthew Broderick introducing the teaser with a black and white scene modeled after an early car commercial. Jerry pokes fun at other "too complicated" streaming shows, boasting each episode of CCGC runs an average of 14 minutes. "Unlike our competitors, we're not trying to take you away from all you have to do."

It's followed by a 93-second montage featuring quick glimpses of Seinfeld chatting with the late Jerry Lewis, Kate McKinnon, Ellen DeGeneres, Hasan Minhaj, Dana Carvey, Neil Brennan, Tracy Morgan, Brian Regan, Alec Baldwin, Zach Galifinakis, John Mulaney, and Dave Chappelle. 

"Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee," Jerry closes. "No royalty, no robots, no costumes."

The new season launches July 6.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jun212018

Scott Baio and Nicole Eggert react to LA County District Attorney decision to decline sexual assault charges

Photo by Hollywood To You/Star Max/GC Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Scott Baio and his former Charles in Charge co-star Nicole Eggert have both weighed in after the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office rejected her sexual molestation claims against him.

The L.A. County D.A. ruled on Tuesday that the statute of limitations had expired on any allegations made that may have been actionable.

Eggert, now 46, filed a police report in February, alleging that Baio "sexually assaulted her in various ways between the ages of 14 and 17," while she was working with him on the 1980s sitcom.

In a statement released via his spokesperson on Wednesday, Baio, 57, claims Eggert “dedicated herself to destroying my reputation and harming my family, and she has failed.”

Baio further insists that Eggert’s “false” charges “were conceived in advance for personal gain,” adding, “We also presented multiple witness statements who knew Eggert well at the time the show was made, and presented an entirely different portrait of her behavior and motivations for her false charges against me."

“Unlike Nicole Eggert, most claims of sexual assault and harassment are honest, and my heart goes out to those who have been harmed,” he continues. “As bad as Nicole Eggert’s actions against me were, she has hurt them even more if they are doubted for even one moment because of her untrue allegations...I will do my best to support them.”

Earlier, Eggert’s attorney, Lisa Bloom, issued a statement in response to the L.A. County D.A.’s decision stating, “I am proud to represent Nicole Eggert as she has spoken out and inspired others. We have been told that while the DA found Nicole and her witnesses to be credible, they could not prosecute due to the statute of limitations.”

Bloom also suggested the statute of limitations be abolished for child sexual abuse.

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