Review Category : Entertainment

“Scandal” Creator Shonda Rhimes Says It’s ‘About Time’ TV Becomes More Diverse

ABC/Todd Wawrychuk(NEW YORK) — In a time when Deadline pens an article that argues perhaps TV is now too diverse, Shonda Rhimes is also sounding off about diversity on the small screen.

“Literally everybody’s starring in a pilot. I think that’s wonderful. Part of me thinks, ‘Well that’s wildly racist of all the networks to suddenly decide that the best way to get a show on the air is to just throw a black woman on it.’ Yet part of me feels like, ‘For God’s sake, it’s about time! If they’re going to be stupid, let’s use their stupidity,'” she says in the May issue of Essence magazine.

On the cover, Rhimes is joined by Debbie Allen, Selma director Ava DuVernay, Being Mary Jane creator Mara Brock Akil and Issa Rae.

Rhimes continues that she doesn’t think more diversity on TV is a “trend.”

“It’s an economic fact,” she clarifies in the issue, which hits newsstands on Friday. “There are more people of color in this country than there ever have been before. We’re going to reach a tipping point, and I think it’s 2018, in which the number of young people in this country becomes more than the number of young people not of color in this country.”

Rhimes continues, “You can’t ignore what’s happening economically, when you put a show like Empire on television and it’s doing bigger numbers than a show like The Big Bang Theory. It’s just clear that there is an economic force and the corporations can’t deny that. When the shows start doing bigger numbers than what they think are going to be their big ten shows, it becomes really hard to suggest that it’s a trend.”

Rhimes currently owns Thursday nights on ABC with her shows Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal. Previously, How to Get Away with Murder — which she produces — also aired on Thursdays before ending its first-season run earlier this year. It’s been picked up for a second season.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

“Avengers: Age of Ultron” Most Anticipated Summer Blockbuster, According to Fandango Movie Fans

The Walt Disney Company/Marvel Comics(NEW YORK) — Avengers: Age of Ultron is the summer’s most anticipated summer blockbuster, according to thousands of moviegoers responding to Fandango’s Most Anticipated Summer Movie Survey.

The action flick, opening nationwide May 1, is currently outselling the first Avengers movie, as well as all other Marvel films, at the same point in the sales cycle on Fandango.

Minions came in as the most anticipated family film, with Disney’s Inside Out and Tomorrowland coming in at second and third.

Pitch Perfect 2 was ranked as the most anticipated summer comedy.

The complete results of Fandango’s Summer Movie Survey are as follows:

Most Anticipated Summer Blockbuster:

1. Avengers: Age of Ultron, 54%
2. Jurassic World, 14%
3. Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation, 10%
4. Terminator: Genisys, 6%
5. Mad Max: Fury Road, 5%

Most Anticipated Family Film for the Summer:

1. Minions, 33%
2. Inside Out, 23%
3. Tomorrowland, 22%
4. Pan, 8%
5. Max, 7%

Most Anticipated Summer Comedy:

1. Pitch Perfect 2, 34%
2. Ted 2, 22%
3. Entourage, 16%
4. Magic Mike XXL, 11%
5. Spy, 7%

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

“Empire”’s Jussie Smollett Says He’s Working on ‘Personal Music’

Michael Lavine/FOX(NEW YORK) — Jussie Smollett has everyone’s attention thanks to his role as the talented Jamal Lyon on Fox’s mega-hit drama, Empire. Not only has Smollett impressed as an actor, but he’s also proven he’s a No. 1 singer, as the soundtrack for the show debuted in the top spot.

Smollett told ABC Radio at the Summer Sizzle BVI 2015 launch party in New York City that now he’s got something else in the works.

“I’m working on personal music; just writing and recording here and there,” he revealed, “but the priority still is the soundtrack for season one.”

“I’m starting to write [music] for season two and stuff like that. It’s a collaborative thing but I’m starting to write my own stuff and then, you know, if it seeps into Empire then great,” Smollett said.

Smollett added that he’s been in touch with Jim Beanz, the musical director for Empire, for early conversations about music for the upcoming season.

For now, however, Smollett is enjoying a bit of downtime, as the musical TV show just wrapped up its first season earlier this year. Smollett said he doesn’t miss his TV family just yet.

“No, because we are still around each other,” he said. Smollett added that he talks to the entire cast “all the time,” and considers Taraji P. Henson a “good friend” along with Gabourey Sidibe, who he said “is one of my best friends now.”

“I’m excited right now and I’m happy right now because I’ll get some time to spend with my family,” he added. “I love my Empire family so much, [but] I really, really miss my family when I’m away.”

And speaking of his family, Smollett said his younger sister, Jurnee, who has starred in many TV shows, including True Blood, couldn’t be more proud of his success. In fact, there’s no sibling rivalry. “There is none at all,” he emphasized. “Never has been and never will be. That’s my baby. That’s my heart.”

Smollett has some good news for Empire fans waiting for season two. “The writers go back into the writers’ room [this] week. We’re getting it in,” he revealed.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

“Empire”’s Jussie Smollett Says He’s Working on ‘Personal Music’

Michael Lavine/FOX(NEW YORK) — Jussie Smollett has everyone’s attention thanks to his role as the talented Jamal Lyon on Fox’s mega-hit drama, Empire. Not only has Smollett impressed as an actor, but he’s also proven he’s a No. 1 singer, as the soundtrack for the show debuted in the top spot.

Smollett told ABC Radio at the Summer Sizzle BVI 2015 launch party in New York City that now he’s got something else in the works.

“I’m working on personal music; just writing and recording here and there,” he revealed, “but the priority still is the soundtrack for season one.”

“I’m starting to write [music] for season two and stuff like that. It’s a collaborative thing but I’m starting to write my own stuff and then, you know, if it seeps into Empire then great,” Smollett said.

Smollett added that he’s been in touch with Jim Beanz, the musical director for Empire, for early conversations about music for the upcoming season.

For now, however, Smollett is enjoying a bit of downtime, as the musical TV show just wrapped up its first season earlier this year. Smollett said he doesn’t miss his TV family just yet.

“No, because we are still around each other,” he said. Smollett added that he talks to the entire cast “all the time,” and considers Taraji P. Henson a “good friend” along with Gabourey Sidibe, who he said “is one of my best friends now.”

“I’m excited right now and I’m happy right now because I’ll get some time to spend with my family,” he added. “I love my Empire family so much, [but] I really, really miss my family when I’m away.”

And speaking of his family, Smollett said his younger sister, Jurnee, who has starred in many TV shows, including True Blood, couldn’t be more proud of his success. In fact, there’s no sibling rivalry. “There is none at all,” he emphasized. “Never has been and never will be. That’s my baby. That’s my heart.”

Smollett has some good news for Empire fans waiting for season two. “The writers go back into the writers’ room [this] week. We’re getting it in,” he revealed.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

Billy Crystal Performs Funny Musical Tribute to David Letterman on “Late Show”

Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS(NEW YORK) — Billy Crystal stopped by the Late Show with David Letterman on Tuesday night to plug his new comedy series, The Comedians, and also performed a funny, touching musical number in honor of Letterman, who’s retiring as host of the CBS late-night program next month after a 22-year run.

The 67-year-old comedian, who has made many appearances on Late Show and Letterman’s old NBC show, Late Night, over the past three decades, noted that Letterman is his “best friend on television,” adding, “and what I can’t put into words, I’d like to put into a song.”

Crystal, backed by a chorus, proceeded to launch into a musical number to the tune of “Sunrise, Sunset” from the musical Fiddler on the Roof.

In the song, Crystal chronicles some memorable moments from the 68-year-old host’s late-night run, including his “Stupid Pet Tricks” segment; being passed over as host of The Tonight Show in favor of Jay Leno; and medical setbacks like a shingles attack and heart bypass surgery.

In one of the choruses, Crystal notes, “Three decades as the king of late night, soon you’ll be wandering around a mall.”

The Comedians airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. Eastern on FX.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

Billy Crystal Performs Funny Musical Tribute to David Letterman on “Late Show”

Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS(NEW YORK) — Billy Crystal stopped by the Late Show with David Letterman on Tuesday night to plug his new comedy series, The Comedians, and also performed a funny, touching musical number in honor of Letterman, who’s retiring as host of the CBS late-night program next month after a 22-year run.

The 67-year-old comedian, who has made many appearances on Late Show and Letterman’s old NBC show, Late Night, over the past three decades, noted that Letterman is his “best friend on television,” adding, “and what I can’t put into words, I’d like to put into a song.”

Crystal, backed by a chorus, proceeded to launch into a musical number to the tune of “Sunrise, Sunset” from the musical Fiddler on the Roof.

In the song, Crystal chronicles some memorable moments from the 68-year-old host’s late-night run, including his “Stupid Pet Tricks” segment; being passed over as host of The Tonight Show in favor of Jay Leno; and medical setbacks like a shingles attack and heart bypass surgery.

In one of the choruses, Crystal notes, “Three decades as the king of late night, soon you’ll be wandering around a mall.”

The Comedians airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. Eastern on FX.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

Billy Joel Expecting a Baby with Girlfriend Alexis Roderick

Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage(NEW YORK) — Billy Joel is going to be a father again.

The singer is expecting a baby with his girlfriend, Alexis Roderick.

“Billy Joel and his girlfriend, Alexis Roderick, are expecting their first child this summer,” his representative said in a statement to ABC News. “The couple…opted to keep any further details of her pregnancy under wraps until their new addition makes an official debut.”

Joel, 65, has a daughter, singer/songwriter Alexa Ray Joel, from his previous marriage to model Christie Brinkley.

According to his rep, the “Piano Man” singer has been dating Roderick since 2009.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

Percy Sledge Dies at 73

Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images(BATON ROUGE, La.) — Famed R&B singer Percy Sledge died Tuesday morning in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, his agent Steve Green confirmed to ABC News. He was 73.

The Alabama native, most known for his classic 1966 hit “When a Man Loves a Woman,” which reached No. 1 on the charts, died after a long battle with cancer, his agent of 35 years added.

Sledge had been singing for the past 50 years and music was released under his name all the way till 2013 with The Gospel of Percy Sledge.

According to Sledge’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame bio, his hit “‘When a Man Loves a Woman’ topped the R&B and pop charts for multiple weeks and raised the bar for soul balladeering for all time. Yet Sledge’s career didn’t end with that momentous first single. Over the years he racked up a dozen hits at Atlantic, including ‘Warm and Tender Love,’ ‘It Tears Me Up,’ ‘Out of Left Field’ and ‘Take Time to Know Her.'”

His most-famous song was inspired by real life events. “When a Man Loves a Woman” was about “a girl who left Sledge for another guy,” his bio reads.

Sledge “was working as a hospital orderly when he began playing clubs and frat parties,” shortly before his big break.

In 1989, Sledge earned the Rhythm and Blues Foundation’s Career Achievement Award and in 2005, he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

Ireland Baldwin Checks into Rehab

Desiree Navarro/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) — After Ireland Baldwin noticed some rumors that she went to rehab for “intensive partying,” the model and daughter of actor Alec Baldwin took to Twitter on Monday to set the record straight.

“Apparently I’m in rehab for intensive partying soooo I’m just going to lay pretty low for a bit and maybe get some frozen yogurt,” she joked.

She continued, “I checked myself into Soba for two weeks to just get away for a little bit. I’m not much a party cat but I am here deal with… some emotional trauma and getting the intensive therapy I needed in order to recover. Someday I’ll feel ready to share my story.”

Baldwin, 19, said, “Right now I just needed a breather. I needed a chance to work on myself and gather all the tools. …I need to overcome everything that I had been through and rid myself of all the pain I locked away in unreachable places.”

Her last tweet read, “Everyday is a blessing. You don’t even know the half.”

Baldwin is the daughter of Alec and his ex Kim Basinger. She signed with IMG models in early 2013, but was in the news years earlier after her father left the infamous voice mail that leaked, calling her a “thoughtless little pig.”

She said in 2013 that she had moved on.

“More importantly, my dad has moved on,” she posted on social media. “He recognized that he needed to change, so he made changes. He is now healthy, happily married with a baby on the way. He moved on, so why can’t you?”

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →

Rita Wilson Has Breast Cancer, Underwent Double Mastectomy

Charles Sykes/Bravo(LOS ANGELES) — Actress Rita Wilson revealed on Tuesday that she was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and has undergone a double mastectomy.

Wilson, 58, who is married to Oscar winner Tom Hanks, told People magazine, “I have taken a leave from the play Fish in the Dark to deal with a personal health issue. Last week, with my husband by my side, and with the love and support of family and friends, I underwent a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction for breast cancer after a diagnosis of invasive lobular carcinoma.”

She added that she expects to make a full recovery because she caught the cancer early.

“I have had an underlying condition of LCIS, (lobular carcinoma in situ) which has been vigilantly monitored through yearly mammograms and breast MRIs. Recently, after two surgical breast biopsies, PLCIS (pleomorphic carcinoma in situ) was discovered,” she continued.

After a pathology showed no cancer, Wilson opted for a second opinion.

“My gut told me that was the thing to do. A different pathologist found invasive lobular carcinoma. His diagnosis of cancer was confirmed by, yet, another pathologist. I share this to educate others that a second opinion is critical to your health,” she said. “You have nothing to lose if both opinions match up for the good, and everything to gain if something that was missed is found, which does happen.”

The Girls actress said she is getting better every day and feels “blessed to have a loving, supportive husband, family, friends and doctors.”

Wilson married Hanks in 1988 and the couple have two children.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather Read More →