Entertainment

"He meant everything to us": 'Black Bird' cast remembers Ray Liotta at L.A. premiere

Apple TV+

At the Apple TV+ show's premiere in Los Angeles Wednesday night, the cast and other creatives behind the forthcoming series Black Bird paid tribute to their fallen co-star Ray Liotta.

The acclaimed actor passed away unexpectedly May 26 at the age of 67.

"He's a magnificent actor and a magnificent person. He was a great guy," Greg Kinnear tells Variety.

He continued, "Listen, I would say he was great no matter what -- I mean, he could've read the phone book in this thing and I would say he's great -- but I genuinely think he's extraordinary in this in a way that is going to knock people out."

Dennis Lehane, the writer and executive producer of Black Bird, noted, "He meant everything to us."

He adds, "I wrote the part for him, it was my dream to work with him. He was as good as advertised. He raised all boats, and he never gave the same take twice."

Calling Liotta the "complete, consummate professional," Lehane noted, "And then when he died, it was tough because our last conversation three weeks earlier had been about what we were gonna do next."

He tells the trade, "We just hope that at least the legacy lives on through this performance."

Variety noted that Paul Walter Hauser, who plays suspected serial killer Larry Hall in the fact-based series, wore a T-shirt emblazoned with a picture of Liotta's Field of Dreams character "Shoeless" Joe Jackson on it.

In the film, Liotta plays the cop dad of Kingsman series lead Taron Egerton's clean-cut Jimmy Keene, who is facing a 10-year stint in prison.

Liotta's daughter Karsen and fiancée Jacy Nittolo also walked the red carpet to commemorate one of his last roles.

Black Bird premieres July 8 on Apple TV+.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


'The Best Man: Final Chapters' coming to Peacock this winter

D Dipasupil/BET/Getty Images for BET

The TV series inspired by The Best Man franchise will premiere just in time for Christmas.

The Best Man: Final Chapters will premiere December 22 on Peacock, Entertainment Tonight reports.

All the of the two movies, The Best Man in 1999 and The Best Man Holiday in 2013, have returned. Morris Chestnut, Terrence Howard, Taye Diggs, Harold Perrineau, Nia Long, Sanaa Lathan, Regina Hall and Melissa De Sousa have been shooting in several locations, including the Dominican Republic. Nicole Ari Parker, from Empire, has also joined the all-star cast.

The director of the films, Malcolm D. Lee, is also back and has added another famed director for the series, Robert Townsend, whose credits include The Five Heartbeats and Hollywood Shuffle.

On Wednesday, Lee posted an Instagram video from Rockefeller Center in New York City as his crew prepared to shoot a scene.

According to Peacock, The Best Man: Final Chapters "will catch up with the leading characters Harper, Robyn, Jordan, Lance, Quentin, Shelby, Candace, and Murch as relationships evolve and past grievances resurface in the unpredictable stages of midlife crisis meets midlife renaissance."

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Netflix responds as 'Stranger Things' fans rally to "Protect Steve!"

Netflix

With Volume 2 of Stranger Things' fourth season dropping on Netflix Friday, some fans are trying to save their favorite character.

In a move reminiscent of Walking Dead fans declaring, "If Daryl dies, we riot," #Protect Steve! has been popping up in an effort to try to spare Joe Keery's character from a possibly horrible fate.

It seems Netflix has heard their cries, supporting the hashtag with outdoor billboards touting the same plea; the streaming service added in a social media caption "AT ALL COSTS!!!"

One fan replied, "If Steve dies, that’s it, I’m canceling my Netflix subscription," adding the caveat, "Until the last season comes out."

If indeed the five stages of potential grief include bargaining, some fans are apparently already there, with some offering alternatives for Vecna and his minions: "pls sacrifice dustin instead," one commenter replied, referencing Gaten Matarazzo's character.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Selena Gomez says her 'Only Murders' and 'Wizards of Waverly Place' characters have a lot in common

Craig Blankenhorn/Hulu

Selena Gomez agrees her Wizards of Waverly Place character, Alex Russo, has a lot in common with Mabel, whom she plays on her new show, Only Murders in the Building.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, the "Lose You to Love Me" singer joked how both series center on a trio of eccentric people. But, while one show deals with magical powers, and the other deals with, well, murder, Selena says her characters could be one and the same.

"I feel like Mabel is an older version of Alex in a way," the Grammy nominee disclosed, adding she "a thousand percent" channeled what she learned on her Disney Channel show on her newest series.

"I adored being on that show so much. I felt like I did learn a lot," Selena explained. "We actually had great writers -- we had two writers that were on Friends -- and we had an incredible director that we used for most of our seasons. We got really lucky. I still look back at that and laugh at certain things just because I thought it was so fun, and we tried."

Selena turned her attention to Only Murders and said the show helped revive her love of acting. The "Wolves" singer admitted she placed her music career over acting gigs for several years, which is why she decided to "take some time for my true love, which is film and TV."

"I'm not sure I was looking for a series, I was just looking for something in general," she continued. "This was just honestly a wonderful surprise. [My team and I] got the material and responded right away, and I thought it was so cool. I definitely didn't think it would do this well but I'm definitely happy."

Only Murders is streaming its second season now on Hulu.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Apple TV+ announces cast for 'Godzilla and the Titans' live-action show

Emma McIntyre/WireImage

Apple TV+ has added one of the stars of its acclaimed series Pachinko to the streaming service's upcoming live-action show Godzilla and the Titans.

Anna Sawai will join newcomer Ren Watabe, The Young Wife's Kiersey Clemons, Mare of Easttown's Joe Tippett and Versailles' Elisa Lasowski for the show, which is set in the so-called Monsterverse of the titular, nuclear-powered lizard and his kaiju friends and foes.

Sawai will play a former schoolteacher and "G-Day survivor" who returns to her familial home of Japan and "uncovers a family secret."

As reported in January, the show was created by Star Trek: Enterprise's Chris Black and Matt Fraction, whose Marvel Comics' Hawkeye run inspired the Disney+ series of the same name.

Emmy-nominated WandaVision director Matthew Shakman will direct the first two episodes of Godzilla and the Titans and also act as executive producer on the show.

The recent Monsterverse movies began with the stand-alone 2014 film Godzilla. That hit was followed up by 2017's Kong: Skull Island, which hinted at an expanded universe of other Titans.

2019's Godzilla: King of the Monsters was next, followed by 2021's blockbuster Godzilla vs. Kong. The films, released by Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures, earned more than $2 billion worldwide -- and will be followed on the big screen by another, just-announced Godzilla vs. Kong movie, set for release in theaters in 2024.

Legendary Television is producing the Apple TV+ Original series.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Sherri Shepherd reveals she’s been celibate for over four years

ABC/Lou Rocco

As Sherri Shepherd prepares to launch her TV talk show later this year, she’s opening up about her personal life and revealed she’s been celibate for 4 1/2 years.

The 55-year-old comedian made the revelation this week during an appearance on The View on location in The Bahamas.

Sherri humorously blamed her 17-year-old son, Jeffrey, for her empty sex life, joking, “I don’t have a man ‘cause you running them away.”

Shepherd, who has been married twice, spilled some NSFW details about how she spends her sexy time now that she's single. 

Sherri added she has been on all the dating sites and has been ghosted three times, asking, “Why do men ghost me?” The Emmy winner was excited to meet a doctor, but complained he did not have any free time “cause he was always delivering babies.” However, she joked he does provide some benefits.

“It didn’t work out, but I get free pap smears and free breast exams,” she said with a laugh.

Her self-titled talk show, simply named Sherri, debuts September 12, and she promises a good time for all the viewers. “I want you to escape for that 50 minutes it’s on,” Shepherd says. “It’s just gonna be crazy and fun.”

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


'Toy Story' vet Tim Allen says he wishes 'Lightyear' had a "better connection" to his Buzz

ABC

Tim Allen calls the new Disney/Pixar movie Lightyear a "wonderful story," but he admitted to Extra some disappointment in the project.

In the animated movie, Chris Evans portrays the "real life" hero of the Toy Story toy famously voiced by Allen on the big screen.

The swap was discerning to some fans of the original franchise, including Allen's pal Patricia Heaton, who made headlines when she cried foul on Twitter.

To Extra, Allen admitted, "The short answer is I've stayed out of this 'cause [Lightyear] has nothing to do [with my character]."

The actor added that he'd discussed the idea of Buzz's origins while working on the Toy Story movies, but when he heard about Lightyear years later, he thought they were making a live-action film out of the idea.

"There is now Toy Story Buzz without Woody," Allen said, allowing of Lightyear, "It's a wonderful story."

Allen explained, "It just doesn't seem to have any connection to the toy, and it's a little… I don't know. It just has no relationship to Buzz. It's just no connection. I wish there was a better connection to this."

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Fall premiere dates for 'Quantum Leap' reboot, 'Sunday Night Football', 'The Voice' and more announced

Raymond Lee in "Quantum Leap" -- NBC/Serguei Bachlakov

NBC has dropped its schedule for the upcoming 2022-2023 season, and it kicks off on Thursday, September 8 with Sunday Night Football featuring the Buffalo Bills vs. Los Angeles Rams. The next night will see the new season debut of the Capital One College Bowl, hosted by Peyton Manning.

On September 19, The Voice returns, as does the premiere of the reimagined Quantum Leap starring Raymond Lee playing Dr. Ben Song, following in the footsteps of Scott Bakula's time-skipping Dr. Sam Beckett.

The medical drama New Amsterdam returns at 10 p.m. ET on Tuesday, September 20 after another installment of The Voice.

Wednesday, Sept. 21 sees the return of the Dick Wolf-produced "Chicago" dramas, including Chicago Med at 8 p.m. ET followed by Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D.

The next night belongs to Wolf's Law & Order, with the returns of the flagship show at 8 p.m. ET followed by Law & Order: SVU at 9 and Law & Order: Organized Crime at 10.

The supernatural drama La Brea returns on September 27 at 9 p.m ET.

November 4 will see the debut of Lopez vs. Lopez, the sitcom starring George Lopez, followed by the third season premiere of Young Rock, produced by and about the early life of Dwayne Johnson.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Where one man has gone before: William Shatner documentary to preview at San Diego Comic-Con

ABC Audio

A documentary about the long life of 91-year-old Star Trek star William Shatner is underway, and attendees at San Diego Comic-Con will get a preview.

The as-yet-untitled feature, being crafted by the production companies Exhibit A and Legion M, the latter of which bills itself as the world's first fan-funded movie studio, will be a deep dive into the life of the actor, recording artist and author.

Shatner joined Legion M's advisory board in 2021.

The company teases, "From make-believe starship captain to a real-life rocketman, William Shatner has led one of the most unique and best-lived lives on the planet. And while the actor William Shatner may be recognizable around the globe, the man behind the masks is even more interesting than the iconic roles he's played."

For his part, Shatner explained people had wanted to make a documentary about him for years, but the nature of Agent M's crowdfunding thrust made it a good fit: "Fans have been responsible for my career. It only seems right that they should own this doc," he explained.

The iconic actor will take part in a Q&A with moderator Kevin Smith at Comic-Con next month, where footage of the forthcoming release will be teased.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Tom Hiddleston and fiancée Zawe Ashton expecting first child

David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images

Vogue has revealed that Loki star Tom Hiddleston and his fiancée, Zawe Ashton, are expecting.

The fashion mag was featuring Ashton getting ready for the New York City premiere of her film Mr. Malcolm's List, noting "the British actor’s growing baby bump...draped in a beige bead-embellished tulle gown by Sabina Bilenko Couture."

Hiddleston and Ashton first met when they starred in the play Betrayal back in 2019, which opened on London's West End before heading to Broadway. They made their relationship "red carpet official" at the 2021 Tony Awards.

Tom popped the question in March of this year, according to a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times; he said then of the relationship only that he was "very happy."

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


JoJo Siwa, Jesse Tyler Ferguson join 'High School Musical: The Musical: The Series' season 3

Disney+

JoJo Siwa and Jesse Tyler Ferguson are joining High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.

The pair will appear in guest roles, joining previously announced guest star Corbin Bleu from the High School Musical film franchise, when the show premieres July 27.

Season 3 has the Wildcats at Camp Shallow Lake, a sleep-away camp in California, as they work on staging a production of Frozen. Music from Camp Rock and the High School Musical movies will also be featured.

Siwa, who recently was runner-up on Dancing with the Stars season 30 and is a judge on season 17 of So You Think You Can Dance, will play Madison, an alum of Camp Shallow Lake. Ferguson, who starred on Modern Family and just won a Tony for Take Me Out on Broadway, will play Marvin, who is described as an old family friend of Olivia Rodrigo's character, Nini.

Disney+ also dropped the official trailer for season 3, giving fans an extensive look at all the fun to expect as the Wildcats set out to put on yet another show-stopping production.

The cast of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series also includes Joshua Bassett, Sofia Wylie and Julia Lester.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


In Brief: George Clooney and Julia Roberts reunite for 'Paradise', and more

George Clooney and his pal -- and Ocean's Eleven co-star -- Julia Roberts reunite in the trailer to the new romantic comedy Ticket to Paradise. The pair play a former couple who married impulsively, and then divorced bitterly, who travel to Bali to prevent their daughter from making the same mistake. The film debuts in October...

Emmy and Oscar winner Kate Winslet is following her Mare of Easttown role with another HBO limited series. Deadline reports the actress will produce and star in Trust, an adaptation of a bestselling book from Hernan Diaz. Set in New York City in the Roaring '20s, the book centers on a rich financier who has his secretary ghostwrite a memoir that bends the truth about his wife and his life ...

HBO Max has released the raunchy trailer for the third season of its animated series Harley Quinn. Kaley Cuoco reprises her voice role as the titular anti-hero, who in the teaser reunites with GFF Poison Ivy, voiced by Lake Bell. Also along for the ride is Ron Funches as King Shark, J.B. Smoove voicing Frank the Plant, Alan Tudyk as both Clayface and The Joker, Christopher Meloni as Commissioner Gordon, and Diedrich Bader as Batman/Bruce Wayne. The "mayhem and madness" kicks off with three episodes on July 28... (Trailer contains uncensored profanity.)



Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Brothers onscreen and off: 'Rise' stars talk humble beginnings of Greek basketball stars

(L-R): Ral Agada as Thanasis and Uche Agada as Giannis in Disney's live-action RISE, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Disney Enterprises, Inc. © 2022 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

In the new film Rise, streaming exclusively on Disney+, brothers and newcomers Uche and Ral Agada play Giannis and Thanasis Antetokounmpo in the true story about the inspirational family that changed the world of professional basketball.

Uche knew the basics – that the Antetokounmpos immigrated from Nigeria to Greece and that Giannis eventually found success in the NBA draft – but there was still a lot he had to learn about the family.

“I knew that they had humble beginnings. I didn’t understand the extent of how hard it was, how difficult it was to survive,” Uche told ABC Audio.

Ral echoed his brother’s sentiment. “We went where they grew up and I saw that they lived in a one-bedroom apartment with four 6-foot-plus boys,” he said. “It just made me extremely grateful for what I have.”

There was much for them to be grateful for, especially the opportunity for the brothers to act alongside each other, telling a story about brotherhood and family.

“These guys, they all root for each other, they are happy for each other and all push each other. And I think it’s the same for Ral and I,” Uche said.

He added, “We both want to see each other improve and get better. I definitely think that’s something that we all have in common.”

Rise had its Greek premiere this week, which was held at the Sepolia Basketball Court in Athens. The Antetokounmpo family and the Agada brothers were all in attendance.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Jamie Foxx, Tom Brady get Cameron Diaz to "unretire" for Netflix film 'Back In Action'

Toni Anne Barson/FilmMagic; NBC/Mary Ellen Matthews

After reportedly retiring from Hollywood, Cameron Diaz is Back In Action, literally.

Jamie Foxx tapped an expert on "unretiring," NFL legend Tom Brady, to help him convince the actress to co-star in a Netflix action comedy called Back In Action.

"Had to call in the GOAT to bring back another GOAT," Foxx captioned the audio conversation posted on Instagram.

Asking his Annie co-star if he could add another caller to the phone call who can "help her through" her nerves about jumping back into the movie game, Diaz agreed.

"I was talking to Jamie, and he said you needed a few tips on how to unretire, and I am relatively successful at unretiring," said Brady, who recently decided to rejoin the Tampa Bay Buccaneers following an announcement he was hanging up his jersey.

"Honestly, exactly what I need," Diaz giggled.

Back In Action gets underway next year, Oscar winner Foxx explained to his Instagram followers.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick try 'Footloose' dance challenge

John Lamparski/Getty Images for Tribeca Festival

Kevin Bacon has officially joined in on the TikTok Footloose challenge.

The actor, who played Ren McCormack in the 1984 classic, shared a video of himself trying the viral dance challenge with his wife, actress Kyra Sedgwick, on Tuesday.

"I don’t remember this being part of the original #Footloose choreography but figured we’d give it a spin," he captioned the clip.

The challenge is set to the film's theme song of the same name by Kenny Loggins.

It's unclear when the dance sequence became a popular trend on the platform but fans loved Bacon's attempt at it.

"Just like that, I’m back in high school in 1984," one user commented. Bacon himself liked the comment.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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