Entertainment News

ABC/Todd Wawrychuk(LOS ANGELES) -- Despite a hat, face covering and sunglasses, a sharp-eyed paparazzo spotted Ellen Degeneres' wife Portia de Rossi on a dog walk in Santa Barbara, and asked her how Ellen was holding up in the wake of the toxic work environment controversy surrounding her show. 

"She's doing great," de Rossi insisted, according to PageSix, with the Arrested Development co-star adding that reports DeGeneres was considering walking away from the show have been exaggerated.

When pressed if Ellen planned to go on with the program, de Rossi said plainly, "Yes, she is." 

Buzzfeed article back in July saw former and current show staffers blast a "toxic" work environment on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, touching off an investigation from Warner Bros. Television and prompting an apology from Ellen herself, who vowed the bullying and racial tensions some say they suffered on set would not be tolerated.

"I'm committed to ensuring this does not happen again," DeGeneres said in part in an email to staffers.

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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ABC/Lara Solanki(LOS ANGELES) -- A never-before-seen episode of the ABC series black-ish made nearly three years ago is now available to watch on Hulu.

"In November 2017, we made an episode of black-ish entitled 'Please, Baby, Please.' We were one year post-election and coming to the end of a year that left us, like many Americans, grappling with the state of our country and anxious about its future," series creator Kenya Barris wrote in a statement posted Monday on Instagram and Twitter accounts.

He continued, "Those feelings poured onto the page, becoming 22 minutes of television that I was, and still am, incredibly proud of. 'Please, Baby, Please' didn't make it to air that season and, while much has been speculated about its contents, the episode has never been seen publicly… until now."

The episode's description on the streaming site simply reads, "Dre reads a crying Devante a bedtime story."

Barris said he asked Walt Disney Television to make the episode available in the wake of renewed interest in the Black Lives Matter movement after George Floyd's death on Memorial Day.

"Recognizing the importance of this moment, they listened and agreed," he added.

"I cannot wait for everyone to finally see the episode for themselves and, as was the case nearly three years ago, we hope it inspires some much-needed conversation -- not only about what we were grappling with then or how it led to where we are now, but conversations about where we want our country to go moving forward and, most importantly, how we get there together," Barris explained.

Barris concluded by thanking ABC Entertainment "for allowing this moment to happen," and thanking the entire black-ish family "for never shying away from tough conversations, making telling stories like this possible."

By George Costantino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Disney (LOS ANGELES) -- Leslie Odom Jr. shocked Hamilton fans last week when he revealed he almost didn't appear in the filmed adaptation of the musical.

Odom, who originated the role of Aaron Burr that won him a Tony Award, recently told Dax Shepard on his podcast Armchair Expert why he nearly bowed out of the opportunity.

The 39-year-old explained when executives approached him about filming, he remained adamant that he would not "sell it away for magic beans" nor "give it away" because "This is my area of expertise. This is all I have. This is my life's work on the stage."

Odom understood that he was a major part of the production and wanted to ensure he would be compensated fairly. So, he did his homework and asked around to find out what Aaron Tveit, a white actor, made when performing Grease Live! on TV.

"So when I found out what he made, I didn't ask for a penny more. I didn't ask for one penny more, but I said, 'You must pay me exactly what that white boy got to do Grease Live!' That's the bottom line," Odom recounted.

Apparently, those behind the filmed adaptation didn't budge, which resulted in the Grammy Award-winner to make one final stand.

"The day before we shot that movie I called out. I was not kidding...I was not coming to work the next day to do the movie," Odom attested. "It was a principle for me."

While it is unknown what executives paid the Broadway star in the end, Odom did go on to appear in the movie, which was originally slated to hit theaters in October 2021.

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was released early on Disney last July, much to the delight of fans everywhere.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

By George Costantino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Donato Sardella/Getty Images for LACMA(LOS ANGELES) -- Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli may be headed to the big house but not before they settle into their new one. 

The former Full House star and her fashion designer husband recently purchased a $9.5 million dollar home located in Hidden Hills, California, according to People

The six-bedroom, nine-bathroom contemporary farmhouse home is nuzzled within a gated community and boasts almost 12,000 square feet of living space. Aside from the "sweeping views" and "picturesque hills" outside, their new residence has a backyard complete with a pool, spa, fire pit and BBQ station. And the inside is just as luxurious with a walk-in wine cellar, gym, & movie theatre. 

The couple's purchase comes after they sold their Bel Air home for just under $18.75 million to Tinder co-founder Justin Mateen. 

Loughlin and Giannulli are currently awaiting sentencing for their involvement in the college admissions scandal. In May, they both agreed to plead guilty and serve time for paying bribes to get their daughters, Olivia Jade Giannulli and Isabella Rose Giannulli, into the University of Southern California as rowing recruits. Neither of them row. 

If their plea agreement is approved by a judge, Loughlin will serve two months in prison, complete 100 hours of community service and pay a fine of $150,000. Giannulli will serve five months, perform 250 hours of community service and pay a $250,000 fine.

The couple’s next court date is set for August 21.

By Danielle Long
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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ABC PHOTO ARCHIVES(LOS ANGELES) -- For Robin Williams' daughter, Zelda Williams, remembering the comedian on the anniversary of his death is a private affair.

Williams shared in a statement Monday that on "regular, good days," it's difficult for her to "graciously accept the world's need to share their memories of [her father] and express their condolences for his loss."

On the anniversary of the actor's death, which occurred on Aug. 11, 2014, it's "simply too much," she added.

"While I am constantly touched by all of your boundless continued love for him, some days it can feel a bit like being seen as a roadside memorial — a place, not a person — where people drive past and leave their sentiments to then go about their days comforted their love for him was witnessed," she wrote. "But sometimes, that leaves me emotionally buried under a pile of other's memories instead of my own. After all, even roses by the truckload still weigh a ton."

Robin Williams was 63 when he died by suicide. In subsequent tweets Monday, Zelda Williams, 31, listed contact information for organizations including the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, the Veterans Crisis Line, and the Trevor Project to help those in need.

"Whoever out there needs to hear it, please use this as your signpost in the desert," she added. "Reach out. Seek help. Keep fighting."

If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, or worried about a friend or loved one, help is available. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 [TALK] for free confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Even if it feels like it, you are not alone.

By Megan Stone
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Disney Channel/Image Group LA(LOS ANGELES) -- As Simon Cowell nurses a broken back, he can rest easy knowing that the empty chair he leaves behind on America's Got Talent is in great hands.  

Kelly Clarkson announced Monday that she will step in for Cowell while he recuperates by serving as a guest judge this Tuesday and Wednesday.  

"URGENT MEMO.... from yours truly," Clarkson alerted her 12.2 million followers on Twitter and posted the official announcement that she entitled "Some Changes..."

"My friend, Simon Cowell, is doing better now but was in an accident and won't be able to make Tuesday and Wednesday's live shows for AGT," her statement reads. "But no worries America, someone far wiser, cooler, and hotter is taking his seat!  The unbelievably amazing Kelly Clarkson."

"You're welcome in advance," Clarkson snarkily concluded.

This isn't Clarkson's first rodeo in the judge's chair as she's been discovering musical talent since 2018 on NBC's sister reality competition series The Voice

In addition, she has several years of hosting duty experience under her belt thanks to her Emmy Award-winning daytime talk show The Kelly Clarkson Show -- in addition to hosting the Billboard Music Awards for the past three consecutive years.

You can catch Clarkson, alongside fellow judges Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Sofia Vergara -- plus host Terry Crews -- on America's Got Talent airing live this Tuesday and Wednesday starting at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

As previously reported, Cowell broke his back in several places after crashing his e-bike on Sunday.  The media mogul remained in good humor over his injury, as he tweeted shortly after coming out of surgery, "Some good advice... If you buy an electric trail bike, read the manual before you ride it for the first time."

It has not been announced when Cowell will return to the show.

By Megan Stone
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

URGENT MEMO.... from yours truly! 😜 @AGT @SimonCowell #AGT pic.twitter.com/msAjXqxBB1

— Kelly Clarkson (@kellyclarkson) August 10, 2020

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Disney (NEW YORK) -- The original cast of the Broadway hit Hamilton are virtually reuniting for an important cause. 

Hamilton creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr., Daveed Diggs, Anthony Ramos, Okieriete Onaodowan, Jasmine Cephas Jones and Renee Elise Goldsberry are among the original cast members who are coming together for the final HAM4CHANGE virtual livestream in benefit of a series of organizations combating systemic racism. 

The two-hour livestream will be hosted by Andrew Chappelle and feature a variety of interactive games, behind-the-scenes facts about the Broadway smash and share previously unrevealed content. 

Fans can also purchase the ultimate fan VIP experience where Lin-Manuel will create a personalized freestyle on the spot during a one-on-one call. Virtual meet-and-greets with individual cast members are also available for purchase. 

Proceeds raised through the livestream will be donated to African American Policy Forum, which works to dismantle systemic racism by connecting activists and policy-makers; Know Your Rights Camp, fighting for liberation of the Black community through education and shape leaders for the future; and the Black AIDS Institute that works to end the HIV epidemic among the Black community and provide critical resources. 

The special livestream will take place on August 15 through video app Looped at 7 p.m. ET.

By Cillea Houghton
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Phillip Caruso/Hulu(LOS ANGELES) -- Zoë Kravitz has a major bone to pick with Hulu after it cancelled her critically-acclaimed series High Fidelity after one season.

In her most recent Instagram post, which showed a behind-the-scenes image of her with the cast, Zoë thanked her High Fidelity co-stars and fans for their love and support during the series, adding that "#breakupssuck."

But soon after her post, Kravitz apparently had more thoughts on the cancellation, telling fellow actress Tessa Thompson, in the now-deleted comments section, that Hulu is definitely lacking in diverse shows.

“It’s cool," Kravitz responded to Thompson, who initially commented "I will miss you alllllllllllll so much."

"At least Hulu has a ton of other shows starring women of color we can watch," Zoe continued, before writing, "Oh wait.”

The series, which is a modern reimagining of the 2000 film starring John Cusack, starred Kravitz as Rob, a "pop culture-obsessed" owner of a record store. It also starred Jake Lacy, Da’Vine Joy Randolph and David H. Holmes.

In an interview with Variety's Big Ticket podcast, Kravitz had shared her excitement about the role and the opportunity to shine light on an underrepresented group of people.

"The amount of comments, DMs, things on Twitter, articles written about Brown women who love music, were afraid of commitment, who’ve never seen a person like them on television — they feel seen for the first time,” she said.

“Just breaking away from the stereotypes, I feel like people need that. So I feel very lucky to have been able to deliver that, because one of the most important things for me was authenticity and bringing a real world to life."

By Candice Williams
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Former High School Musical star Zac Efron is returning to Disney, in a remake of the 1987 hit Three Men and a Baby

The Hollywood Reporter reveals the search is on for a director for the project, which was originally a French movie. In the 1987 version, Leonard Nimoy directed Ted Danson, Steve Guttenberg and Tom Selleck as three bachelors whose lives are turned upside down when a baby appears on their doorstep. 

The film was a hit, and The Hollywood Reporter points out it was the first live-action Disney movie to cross the $100 million mark at the box office. It led to a sequel that reunited the stars, without Nimoy, for 1990's Three Men and a Little Baby

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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FX(LOS ANGELES) -- FX has announced its Emmy-winning drama series Fargo will return for a fourth season with a two-episode premiere on Sunday, September 27 at 10 p.m. Eastern time. 

This season is set in 1950 Kansas City, MO. Cast against type, comedian Chris Rock takes a dramatic turn as a criminal kingpin whose uneasy truce with his Italian mafia counterpart is tested with deadly results. 

Based very loosely on the Oscar-winning Coen Brothers film of the same name, Noah Hawley's series has always been a magnet for big-name acting talent. Billy Bob Thornton, Kirsten Dunst, Ted Danson, Patrick Wilson, and Ewan McGregor have starred in previous seasons.

The cast joining Rock for this 11-episode season includes Timothy Olyphant, Jason Schwartzman, Salvatore Esposito, and Ben Whishaw.

The series can also be found at FX on Hulu, a day after its FX air-date.

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Photo by Bob D'Amico/Disney Channel via Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Following some social media posts that fans hoped were pointing toward a Wizards of Waverly Place reboot, the show's two stars, Selena Gomez and David Henrie, have revealed what they're really up to.

The two are teaming up for the first-ever interactive virtual movie premiere.  It'll take place  on August 28 for a movie called This Is the Year, directed by David and executive-produced by Selena.  The premiere is a ticketed event that includes a pre-show featuring music from the movie's soundtrack, behind-the-scenes footage, and a special introduction from David and Selena. 

After you watch the movie along with them, TikTok stars Charli and Dixie D'Amelio will host a live Q&A with the cast.  The evening ends with a performance by lovelytheband, who figure heavily into the movie's plot.

Selena has earmarked a portion of the premiere's proceeds for the PLUS1 COVID-19 Relief Fund.

As for the actual movie, it's a feel-good film inspired by those classic '80s high school flicks but focuses on issues that teens are facing today.  It follows a nerdy senior who tries to win over his dream girl by hitting the road with his buddies to see lovelytheband at a music festival.  The cast includes Wizards of Waverly Place alums Gregg Sulkin and Jeff Garlin.

To get more information and to purchase tickets, visit ThisIstheYear.film.

By Andrea Dresdale
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney(LOS ANGELES) -- Katherine Schwarzenegger and Chris Pratt have welcomed their first child together.

The Guardians of the Galaxy actor, 41, and the Gift of Forgiveness author, 30, announced the birth of their newborn daughter on Monday. They named their bundle of joy Lyla Maria Schwarzenegger Pratt.

"We are beyond thrilled to announce the birth of our daughter, Lyla Maria Schwarzenegger Pratt," Pratt wrote on Instagram, including a photo of their baby's hands alongside his and Schwarzenegger's. "We couldn’t be happier. Both mom and baby are doing great. We are extremely blessed. Love Katherine and Chris."

The Jurassic World actor also shared two Bible verses showing what Lyla's arrival means to him and Schwarzenegger, including "The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy."

While this is Schwarzenegger's first time as a mother, Pratt is already father to son Jack, who will be 8 later this month, whom he shares with ex-wife Anna Faris.

News first broke in April that the couple, who started dating in June 2018 and married a year later, had a baby on the way.

Though the pair kept relatively quiet throughout the pregnancy, Pratt took to Instagram on Aug. 1 to share a photo of Schwarzenegger. With her baby bump on display on a hike, he wrote that she was "ready to pop."

For her part, Schwarzenegger told Good Morning America in July her parents, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver, had been "amazing" during her pregnancy.

"I am always lucky to be able to have what I feel are the world's most supportive parents and also best parents," she said at the time.

By Carson Blackwelder and Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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ABC/Rick Rowell(LOS ANGELES) -- Antonio Banderas didn't get the best gift for his 60th birthday: he revealed online that he tested positive for COVID-19.

"I want to make public that today, Aug. 10, I am obligated to celebrate my 60th birthday following quarantine, having tested positive for the COVID disease, caused by the coronavirus," the Pain and Glory star said Monday, in a statement written in Spanish.

Banderas added that he's doing "relatively well" and is "only a little more tired than usual." He added that he's "confident" he will recover soon by following the advice of medical professionals.

"I will take advantage of this isolation by reading, writing, resting and continuing to make plans to start giving meaning to my 60 years, which I arrive at full of illusion and joy," he concluded. "A big hug to all."

The Oscar-nominated actor shared the statement alongside a black-and-white photo of a baby, presumably him. 

By Carson Blackwelder 
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Melinda Sue Gordon; ©2020 Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved(IRELAND) -- By now it's no surprise that Robert Pattinson was selected as the new Batman, however, how he got in shape for that role might be.

In an interview with The Irish Times, the 34-year-old actor dished that his Tenet costar, John David Washington, inadvertently helped prep him for his role as the fictional superhero.

Pattinson told the publication, "When I’m running on screen I’m generally paired with John David who is an ex-NFL player so it was the most unfair thing in the world. The maximum workout I do most of the time is a casual stroll."

Washington wasn't only a former professional football player, the Times notes that he was also a high-school track star.

"John David can run all day long,"  Pattinson continued. "It was good that I ended up being pretty fit. But definitely, at the beginning, there were days I just could not walk afterwards."

Directed by Matt Reeves, The Batman is scheduled to be released October 1, 2021. 

By Danielle Long
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.(NEW YORK) -- The long-awaited Friends reunion special for HBO Max was delayed once again due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Jennifer Aniston has found a silver lining in this latest snag.

Aniston, who starred in the series, alongside Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry, tells Deadline, "This has also given us more time to make it even more exciting and more fun than it would have been.  So I choose to see it as the glass is half-full that it got postponed."

"Look, we’re not going anywhere," she insists.  "You’re never going to get rid of Friends, sorry.  You’re stuck with us for life, guys.”

The special was initially supposed to shoot back in March with a live audience, with the plan it would be a main attraction for the new streaming service that launched in May.  However, the pandemic shut down production, which was just starting to ramp up in Los Angeles and elsewhere.  That in turn nixed plans the Friends special's completion by the summer's end.

As of now, there's no date set to start production.

“Unfortunately it’s very sad that we had to move it again,” says Aniston, but insists safety is their major concern.  “It was, ‘How do we do this with live audiences?’  This is not a safe time.  Period.  That’s the bottom line.  It’s not a safe time to do it.”

As for 2020, Aniston says it can't end soon enough.  “I’m supposed to renew my drivers license and I don’t want it to say 2020 on it,” she jokes.  “I just want to get 2020 out and behind us.”

By George Costantino and Stephen Iervolino

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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