Review Category : Entertainment

“Gong Show” creator & TV pioneer Chuck Barris dead at 87

Ron Tom/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Chuck Barris, the TV producer responsible for The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game and most famously, The Gong Show, which he hosted, has died, a family rep confirmed to ABC News. He was 87.

Barris was born in Philadelphia and got his start in TV working for American Bandstand. He formed his own production company in 1965 launching The Dating Game that year, and The Newlywed Game the following year.

While his shows became fixtures of American pop culture, Barris himself became a star in the 1970s with the launch of The Gong Show, a talent show he hosted with his own inscrutable, wacky style. It featured the schlockiest acts imaginable whose task was to stay on stage long enough not to be gonged off by panelists.

In 1984 Barris published a purported autobiography, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, in which, among other things, he claimed to have been an assassin for the CIA in the 1960s and 1970s. The book was adapted into a film in 2002 that was George Clooney’s directorial debut.

Barris also was a songwriter, composer of Freddy Cannon’s #3 1962 hit “Palisades Park.”

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“Mean Girls” musical, “Hamilton” coming to Washington D.C.’s National Theatre

Getty Images/Noam Galai(WASHINGTON D.C.) — The Broadway adaptation of a Mean Girls musical took a big step forward, with an announcement it will be coming to Washington’s National Theatre on October 31 of next year.

The Tina Fey-written production, which will act as a trial run for a Great White Way bow, is set to run until December 3.

What’s more, The National also announced that the Broadway phenomenon Hamilton will be coming to the Kennedy Center starting in June of next year, part of its “Broadway at The National 2017-18 subscription package.” Tickets for Hamilton will run $210, on top of the membership fee.

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Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” is now an animated film

ABC/Lou Rocco(LOS ANGELES) — It’s been a hit single, a ringtone and a children’s book, and now Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” is a movie.

Production has started on the film, an animated tale based on Mariah’s 2015 children’s book, which was inspired by the song. It’s a straight-to-DVD production that’ll also be available on Digital HD and On Demand this holiday season. Mariah narrates the movie — in a statement, she says, “I am thrilled to be able to bring the story of the song to new generations of families.”

The movie features the voices of Henry Winkler, Lacey Chabert, Phil Morris, Breanna Yde, Lana Hayes and others. It’s about a young girl named Mariah — obviously — who wants a puppy named Princess for Christmas. But before she’s trusted to take care of the puppy, she has to prove she can pet-sit a badly-behaved dog named Jack. As Mariah and her family prepare for Christmas, Jack turns their world upside down.

Mariah fans know that Jack was the name of the singer’s dearly departed Jack Russell terrier. She currently has eight other Jack Russells, according to reports.

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Anne Frank Center demands apology from Tim Allen over “Kimmel” comments regarding 1930s Germany

ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) — It didn’t take long for the backlash against Tim Allen regarding comments he made on Jimmy Kimmel Live! comparing the oppression conservatives in Hollywood feel to the oppression in “’30s Germany.”

In speaking about attending the inauguration of President Trump, Allen laughed, “in this town — I’m not kidding. You gotta be real careful. You’ll get beat up if you don’t believe what everybody believes. It’s like 1930s Germany, I don’t know what happened,” the comic said.

“Tim, have you lost your mind?” said Steven Goldstein, the executive director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect said in a statement quoted by Entertainment Weekly. “No one in Hollywood today is subjecting you or anyone else to what the Nazis imposed on Jews in the 1930s — the world’s most evil program of dehumanization, imprisonment and mass brutality, implemented by an entire national government, as the prelude for the genocide of nearly an entire people.”

Taking it a step further, the center’s Twitter feed claims Allen “fomented” Antisemitism with his statement. The Twitter feed claims fans of Allen’s have targeted them with “emails filled with Antisemitic stereotype and attacks…that evoke the deep-seated hate we Jews have faced for decades.”

“Apologize & join us vs. #Antisemitism,” the post continues.

As of Tuesday morning, there was no public response from Allen.

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Puff-Puff? Pass, former pot smoker Woody Harrelson now says

Getty Images/Noam Galai(NEW YORK) — Woody Harrelson once seemed like the poster child for marijuana. But the actor, who serves on the advisory board of the marijuana law reform advocacy group NORML, says he hasn’t had a puff of weed in nearly a year.

“I am a party animal,” Harrelson tells Vulture. “But on the other hand, I haven’t … I’m now extremely moderate and … I actually stopped smoking pot almost a year ago.”

Harrleson hasn’t turned anti-weed. “I think it’s a great drug, in terms of … Even cops say that the side effect is euphoria,” he says. But he says that after “30 solid years of just partying too f****** hard,” it was time for a change.

“I feel like it was keeping me from being emotionally available,” he explained. “I still drink. Bu I try to be moderate with the drinking, too.”

Harrelson is starring in the new movie Wilson, out this week — an adaptation of a Daniel Clowes’ graphic novel about a middle-aged man who reunites with his estranged wife and a daughter he never knew.

He’ll also be playing Garris Shrike in the upcoming young Han Solo Star Wars spinoff.

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“Get Out” director Jordan Peele to receive CinemaCon director of the year award

ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) — Get Out director Jordan Peele is set to receive the CinemaCon Director of the Year Award.

CinemaCon, the official convention of the National Association of Theater Owners, announced the news today that the sketch comedian-director will be presented with the honor at the CinemaCon Big Screen Achievement Awards ceremony on March 30 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

“With the phenomenon known as Get Out, Jordan Peele has instantaneously become a force to reckon with as a gifted and enormously talented director and filmmaker,” said CinemaCon Managing Director Mitch Neuhauser. “He has audiences and critics around the globe enamored and spellbound, dare I say hypnotized, with his wildly inventive directorial debut, and we are ecstatic to be honoring him as this year’s ‘Director of the Year.’”

The movie, which centers on a young African-American man visiting his white girlfriend’s family estate and the sinister plot to enslave him, has grossed more than $133 million domestically since its release. Get Out also helped Peele to make history by becoming the first African-American writer-director to cross over $100 million with his debut film.

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Penelope Cruz to play Donatella Versace in “American Crime Story”

Getty Images/David M. Benett(LOS ANGELES) — We learned in January that Lady Gaga would not be playing Donatella Versace in the third season of American Crime Story. Now we know who will.

Penelope Cruz has been cast in the role of the Italian fashion designer, reports Variety.

It will be the first major U.S. TV role for Cruz, who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 2011 for her role in Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

Versace: American Crime Story
will explore the murder of Donatella’s brother, the designer Gianni Versaci, who was murdered by serial killer Andrew Cunanan in 1997.

Edgar Ramirez has been cast as Gianni while Glee alum Darren Criss will play Cunanan. The series will be the third season of the true-crime anthology series from Ryan Murphy, who is also the creator of Glee, Scream Queens and the other anthology series American Horror Story and Feud.

Production on the third season of American Crime Story begins next month, but the show will not air until 2018, the same year that the second season of the series, revolving around the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, will air.

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“Dancing with the Stars” Season 24 Premieres, Simone Biles Takes an Early Lead

ABC/Eric McCandless(LOS ANGELES) — Twelve new celebrities made their debut on Dancing with the Stars Monday night, as the hit reality competition kicked off its twenty-fourth season and 400th episode in high style.

Hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews returned, along with judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Julianne Hough, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli. Goodman was out for part of last season, with commitments to the show in the U.K., but assured Tom Bergeron that he would be with the show all season.

The new cast includes Fifth Harmony singer Normani Kordei paired with Valentin Chmerkovskiy; Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan with Artem Chigvintsev; comic actor Chris Kattan with Witney Carson; rodeo professional Bonner Bolton with Sharna Burgess; the iconic Charo with Keo Motsepe; The Bachelor’s Nick Viall with Peta Murgatroyd; Glee actress and singer Heather Morris with Maksim Chmerkovskiy; World Series baseball player David Ross with Lindsay Arnold; Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Erika Jayne with Gleb Savchenko; NFL star Rashad Jennings with Emma Slater; A Team star Mr. T with Kym Herjavec and Gold Medal Olympic gymnast Simone Biles with Sasha Farber.

Monday night was an opportunity for the cast to introduce themselves and have some fun with strutting their stuff as the competition does not begin in earnest until next Monday. Normani Kordei kicked off the night with a dazzling quickstep number and scored 27 out of 40. She was followed by Kerrigan who wowed with a Viennese Waltz and nabbed 28 out of 40.

Things took an unusual downturn when former SNL performer Chris Kattan appeared as his character from A Night at The Roxbury and reprised his signature moves to Haddaway’s “What Is Love.” This was not well-received by the judges, in spite of the gushing and awkward enthusiasm of Carrie Ann Inaba. Kattan pulled the lowest score of the night, with a 17.

Bonner Bolton did a country-themed number with Sharna and pulled 22 points. He was followed to the dance floor by the tireless Charo. She seems to possess the stamina of a caffeinated squirrel and was unstoppable in her salsa with Keo, but in spite of her seemingly boundless enthusiasm, got a surprisingly low score of 21 from the judges, which drew boos from the studio audience and caused her to ask, “Porque?”

The former Bachelor Nick Viall earned a very respectable 24 points for his cha cha, while Heather Morris’ waltz pulled a high score of 28. She was equaled in points by retired Cubs catcher David Ross who surprised everyone with his quickstep.

Housewives star Erika Jayne turned in a sexy salsa which caused Len Goodman to note that it was, “too raunchy.” In spite of this, she earned a respectable 24 points. Rashad Jennings showed his prowess on the field is equaled on the dance floor as his cha cha racked up 31 points.

Mr. T brought a lot of heart to his cha cha to the A Team television theme but only got 20 points.

Finally, Olympic gymnast Simone Biles may be following in the dance steps of last season’s winner, her fellow gold medalist Laurie Hernandez. Biles floated across the dance floor during her tango and pulled down 32 points, the top score of the night. Len Goodman noted that her dance with Sasha Farber was “the dance of the night.”

Dancing with the Stars returns next Monday on ABC.

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George Clooney thrills elderly fan with nursing home visit

Francois Durand/Getty ImagesGeorge Clooney paid an unannounced visit to a U.K. nursing home to visit a fan for her 87th birthday.

According to a Facebook post from Linda Jones, a staffer at the Sunrise Sonning Retirement and Assisted Living Facility, “The lady in the picture loves George Clooney and mentions every day how she would love him to meet him, especially as he lives so near to where I work.”

Jones explained that letters were sent to the star in hopes he’d stop by, since his U.K. home is close to the Reading [redding], England facility.

The wish of Pat Adams, the birthday girl, came true Sunday, when the father-to-be arrived, bearing gifts.

“He brought a card and a lovely bunch of flowers,” says Jones. He also posed for pictures with the lucky lady.

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Kim Kardashian West reveals new details of Paris robbery on KUwtK

E!/Timothy White(LOS ANGELES) — Kim Kardashian West revealed new details about when she was robbed of nearly $10 million worth of jewelry last October in Paris.

On Sunday night’s episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Kardashian West, 36, said, “Paris meant a lot to me. This is where I had so many memories.”

Here’s how each family member detailed the harrowing incident, which occurred around 3 a.m.:

Kardashian West recalled that she heard footsteps, and thinking it was her sisters, she yelled out, “Hello! Hello! Hello,” but no one replied. That’s when she knew something was wrong. “My heart started to get really tense,” she said. “I knew something wasn’t quite right.”

The mother of two then said she “slid” off the bed to call her stylist because she had no idea how to call the police in another country.

With her hotel room door ajar, Kardashian said, “I saw two guys holding another guy down…the concierge [was] handcuffed. He ended up being the interpreter” — since the robbers didn’t speak English and she didn’t speak French.

The concierge would later tell her that the robbers asked him, “Where’s the rapper’s wife?”

“They threw me on the bed and I’m like ‘This is it,'” Kardashian West continued, adding they asked for her ring. She told them it was on the table.

“Are they gonna kill us? … tell them I have babies,” she said she told the concierge.

Kardashian West explained how one of the robbers “duct tapes my face…[and] grabs my legs. He pulled me towards him [and I’m like,] ‘OK, this is the moment they’re going to rape me. I fully mentally prepped myself and he didn’t. He duct-taped my legs together.” She said they then threw her in the bathtub.

Kanye West
West’s husband, rapper Kanye West, was actually performing onstage in New York when he learned about the robbery. Halfway through the show, when his 2008 hit “Heartless” began to play, a member of his entourage came to the edge of the stage to tell him. West looked visibly shaken.

He then told the crowd, “I’m sorry…there’s been a family emergency. I have to stop the show.”

Later in the episode, the Wests are back in New York, discussing the robbery with his manager. He tells his wife, “If anything like really happened to you, I wouldn’t have stopped until they [were] dead.”

The parents of North, 3, and Saint, 1, then made a game plan of how they’d act in front of their children.

Kardashian West said, “I just like don’t want to cry in front of the kids…or like let them think anything’s wrong.”

West agreed, replying: “OK, yeah so we won’t talk about it in front of the kids.”

Kris Jenner
In an interview during the episode, Jenner, 61, recalled getting the phone call in which she was told of the robbery.

“Being woken up in the middle of the night was probably one of the worst nights of my life,” she said, adding that she was “frantically upset and in shock.”

“The thought of losing Kim is emotionally scarring and hard to overcome. That’s it, I can’t talk about it anymore,” Jenner concluded.

Kourtney Kardashian
Kourtney Kardashian was sharing a room with sister Kim while in Paris. “At three in the morning I was the nightclub,” Kourtney said. “I have a text from [their stylist] Simone [asking,] ‘Who’s with Kim? I just heard her say, ‘Take whatever you want!'”

The eldest sister of the Kardashian clan added that “Kim called me from [the stylist’s] phone later screaming at the top of her lungs.”

Both sisters later said in the episode that it was eerie because they had just been discussing what they’d do if they were ever robbed. Kardashian had told her sister that she’d tell them, “Take whatever you want.” And that’s exactly what happened.

Kendall Jenner
Kendall Jenner, 21, was the only sister who was in Paris to work, modeling in several fashion shows during Fashion Week. Still, she made time to party with her sister that night of the robbery.

“I was in the club with Kourtney,” she recalled. “[Celebrity hair stylist] Jen Atkin ran up to me [to tell me and] I literally immediately started crying. I remember pushing people to the side and running [out of the nightclub.]”

Kendall said she and Kourtney Kardashian returned to the hotel and had to convince Paris police to let them inside.

“Kim was in the corner sobbing, crying,” she said. “You could see it in her eyes. When I went to hug her she was like uncomfortable with me hugging her,” Kendall recalled.

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