Entertainment Headlines

ABC/Eric McCandless(LOS ANGELES) -- Another show is getting back to work, with newly designed safety rules to keep its cast and crew safe from COVID-19.

Deadline reports that Card Sharks, the ABC show reboot that Joel McHale hosts, has gotten back underway after the industry-wide shutdown; its producers, Freemantle Media is taking safety seriously. 

The show, which shoots at CBS Studios Radford in Studio City, California started shooting again today without an audience, the trade notes.

Part of ABC's Summer Fun & Games line-up, Card Sharks follows the first reality TV show to continue following the lockdowns: NBC's America's Got Talent began shooting last week using a unique, movie screen-style set up that encouraged social distancing.

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

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Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for SBIFF--Paula Lobo/ABC(LOS ANGELES) -- While Hollywood productions were on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Zendaya and John David Washington managed to secretly film their new feature Malcolm & Marie.

According to Deadline, production on the film took place between June 17 and July 2 at the Caterpillar House, an environmentally conscious ranch in California. All filming was reportedly done with various acting and directing guilds' guidelines and COVID-19 safety protocols in place.

Deadline reports that the film, which has already finished production, came about after Zendaya reached out to Euphoria creator Sam Levinson to see if he could write and direct the film during the shutdown. In less than a week, Levinson and his wife Ashley, who is also his production partner, agreed to the project, had the initial plan down and signed up to help finance the film.

Although the film's storyline is currently being kept under wraps, Deadline reports that the feature has "some echoes of Netflix’s Marriage Story, while resonating a number of social themes that the world is experiencing right now."

Zendaya shared a first look at the project on Instagram, posting a steamy image which showed her leaning over to kiss Washington.

"Malcolm & Marie," she captioned the photo.

There is no word yet on when this film will be released.

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

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Hulu(NEW YORK) -- The time loop premise of Hulu’s summer comedy Palm Springs feels timelier than ever as the world deals with the monotony of repeating days in quarantine.

Camila Mendes and Meredith Hagner, who play best friends Tala and Misty, say they can see the similarities between being stuck in a Groundhog Day-like situation to being stuck in COVID-19 lockdown.

“I think something about reliving the same day definitely brings up a lot of existential questions,” Mendes tells ABC Audio. “It makes you kind of think about the meaning of life and your purpose in life and blah, blah, blah. And I think that's the closest thing to quarantine, I think that's the biggest similarity is the constant reflection and kind of like search for meaning.”

“Our characters didn't know they were in a time loop which was really fun to play, and yet all of us in quarantine are very aware of what's happening,” Hagner adds. “So as a viewer now, I really can't wait to watch the movie again because it's so timely at this moment. I think that a lot of us will be able to relate to this movie very specifically.”

Palm Springs, starring Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti, debuts on Hulu Friday. It’ll also screen in select drive-in theater locations across the country today as part of the Tribeca Drive-In series, so you can see it on a big screen while social distancing.

“I think it suits the movie really well,” Mendes says. “I mean, it feels like a perfect movie to watch in a drive-in theater so I'm really excited to see how people react to it.”

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


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Netflix(NEW YORK) -- While parts of the country are starting to get back to normal following months of COVID-19 lockdown, a new survey reveals just how important streaming services were in quarantine. 

In fact, one in five say their relationship with their significant other would have suffered under lockdown without Netflix.

A quarter say their mental health would have suffered while stuck at home if they didn't have the streaming service.

The non-scientific poll of 1,200 Americans commissioned by the online security company ExpressVPN revealed that streaming is the most important thing to them while in quarantine, with 33% admitting that -- this bests social media by a mile at 21%. Seventeen percent said online shopping was the main thing getting them through these times. Online games and fitness apps ranked as the least important.

No wonder you put on that COVID-15.

The poll noted that 1 in 5 Netflix subscribers love it so much, they'd rather give up ALL outside communication than give up their Netflix. 

That being said, 40% of all Netflix users have signed up to a new streaming service as the lockdown rolled on: 44% have subscribed to Hulu; 35% Disney ; Amazon Prime Video 31%; YouTube 27%; and Apple TV  at 21%.

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

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Netflix/Des Willie(NEW YORK) -- In an unexpected move, Netflix has reversed course and announced that its award-winning drama The Crown won't end with season five after all.  There's one more on the way.

"As we started to discuss the storylines for series five, it soon became clear that in order to do justice to the richness and complexity of the story we should go back to the original plan and do six seasons," said show creator Peter Morgan in a statement.

The series famously features a series of actors portraying the British Royals as they age. The fourth season, which will launch later this year, takes them into the '80s -- with Oscar-winner Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II, X-Files veteran Gillian Anderson playing Margaret Thatcher, and Emma Corrin as Princess Diana.

Season five -- and now six -- will take viewers into the 2000s, with, as reported, Imelda Staunton succeeding Colman as Her Majesty.

Morgan cautions, "To be clear, season six will not bring us any closer to present day -- it will simply enable us to cover the same period in greater detail."

Cindy Holland, Netflix VP of Original Content, added, "The Crown keeps raising the bar with each new season. We can't wait for audiences to see the upcoming fourth season, and we’re proud to support Peter's vision and the phenomenal cast and crew for a sixth and final season."

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

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Aimee Spinks/Netflix(NEW YORK) -- KiKi Layne and Charlize Theron are delving into the painful side of immortality in their new Netflix action-thriller, The Old Guard.

For Layne, taking on the role of Nile Freeman -- a former Marine-turned immortal mercenary -- wasn't easy, considering it was also her first major action star role. 

"It was very different for me," Layne tells ABC Audio. "Because this is the first time I played [a] character that there was such physicality. And the action is an extension of Nile."

Layne says becoming Nile required real dedication: "[J]ust doing the proper work and being committed to really prepping my body for that," she explains. "So that I could get on set and still take care of myself, but still do what I needed to do. 

"It definitely meant hours of training that I wasn't used to," she continues. "But it was a fun challenge and it had to be done because otherwise the story wasn't going to be told in the way that it needed to be told."

Theron agrees, adding that although The Old Guard certainly isn't her first action film, she still felt the intense demands of getting her character right.

"You've got to show up and you have to be consistent in that," Theron tells ABC Audio. "And on the days where it hurts everywhere, you still have to show up."

Thankfully, Charlize says, KiKi was the perfect motivator.

"I was very lucky that this time around I got to share some of that experience with Kiki," she says. "I've never really had that before. And that was truly inspiring. In those days where you're just like, 'Uh, should I just cancel?' I always knew Kiki was going to show up. So I showed up." 

The Old Guard arrives Friday on Netflix.

 

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

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Credit: Shannon Laurine(NEW YORK) -- Flying to L.A. to dine with Paris Hilton? That's hot.

The businesswoman, DJ and reality TV star has teamed with Prizeo.com for a sweepstakes that will raise money for the Sasha Project LA, a charity started by 12-year-old Sasha Bogosian. Sasha, who has cerebral palsy, hand-paints denim clothing, sells it and gives 100% of the proceeds to the art therapy program at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. 

Paris tells ABC Audio, "We're going to fly you and a guest out [to L.A.], put you in a beautiful hotel, and we're going to spend the day together and have lunch."  You'll also get some of Paris' signature beauty and fashion products.

The cause is dear to Paris' heart, not just just because she's worked a lot with patients at the hospital, but because she considers Sasha to be "my little sister."

"I'm so proud of her. I think it's incredible that at such a young age...she's been doing this for years now, and to use her passion for fashion and for art and creativity to raise funds for this cause, I think is just so admirable," Paris says.

Paris' other quarantine charity activities have included staging fundraising deejay sets in her living room.

"It's definitely different than playing in front of a huge audience," she laughs. "I'm used to playing at music festivals [for] sometimes hundreds of thousands of people...but I think it's incredible...that we're able to do this virtually."

And during her downtime, Paris has been binge-watching...herself.

"I've actually been watching a lot of The Simple Life," she admits.

"My boyfriend and I are quarantined together and that's one show that we really enjoy watching. It's so much fun just to reminisce and watch it and laugh....that show is just so hilarious. He loves it!"

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

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Universal Studios(LOS ANGELES) -- On-screen terrors Candyman and Michael Myers may be scary, but coronavirus is worse: more movie openings have been delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Variety reports Universal Pictures has pushed back the premiere date for Jordan Peele’s Candyman, originally set to open September 25, will now debut three weeks later on October 15. 

The openings for the studios two Halloween sequels have been delayed as well, each being pushed back a year.  Halloween Kills, originally set to bow on October 16, 2020, will now open October 15, 2021. Halloween Ends will move from October 15, 2021 to October 14, 2022.

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

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Guy D'Alema/CBS ©2017 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved(LOS ANGELES) -- Javicia Leslie, formerly of the CBS show God Friended Me, will take over the title role in the CW series Batwoman when it returns for season two, replacing Ruby Rose, who left after the show's first season.

Leslie will become the first Black actress to play Batwoman in a live-action TV or film production.

"I am extremely proud to be the first Black actress to play the iconic role of Batwoman on television, and as a bisexual woman, I am honored to join this groundbreaking show which has been such a trailblazer for the LGBTQ community," said Leslie in statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.

Leslie's character, Ryan Wilder, is described by the network as "likable, messy, a little goofy and untamed. She’s also nothing like Kate Kane, the woman who wore the Batsuit before her. With no one in her life to keep her on track, Ryan spent years as a drug-runner, dodging the GCPD and masking her pain with bad habits."

“Today Ryan lives in her van with her plant.  A girl who would steal milk for an alley cat and could also kill you with her bare hands, Ryan is the most dangerous type of fighter: highly skilled and wildly undisciplined. An out lesbian.  Athletic. Raw.  Passionate.  Fallible.  And very much not your stereotypical All-American hero."

Rose, who broke ground by playing television's first on screen lesbian superhero, shocked people back in May with her announcement that she was leaving the series after just one season.

Soon after the announcement on Wednesday, Rose took to Instagram to praise the casting, writing in part, "This is amazing!! I'm so glad Batwoman will be played by an amazing Black woman."

Batwoman is scheduled to return in early 2021.

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

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Universal Pictures/Frank Masi(LOS ANGELES) -- Even though movie theaters have shuttered in the wake of COVID-19, lockdown hasn't stopped people from enjoying the movies.  For example, Jumanji: The Next Level has officially made over $800 million worldwide since opening in theaters last December.

The movie's star Dwayne Johnson celebrated the remarkable news on Wednesday and sent a heartfelt congratulations to everyone who worked on the hit sequel.

"This was a nice surprising call to get this morning. JUMANJI’s still going strong," the 48-year-old wrote.  "First of all, THANK YOU.  Secondly, I’m always grateful to see our JUMANJI having that unique, fun magic and mana for families around the [world] to enjoy."

That was when Johnson confirmed that the franchise will be turned into a trilogy, revealing, "Our entire team will work even harder to make the next JUMANJI the best one yet."

It is unknown when the third installment will start production.

Deadline confirms the latest milestone, which it hit on Tuesday.  The movie made $319.2 million domestically while, overseas, it earned an additional $480.9 million.

That follows the film notching a historic opening weekend, drawing in $59.3 million -- the biggest opening ever for a December comedy.  It also hit no. 1 in 44 markets worldwide.

Jumanji: The Next Level starred Johnson, Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Awkwafina and Nick Jonas.

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

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NBC(LOS ANGELES) -- Amy Schumer opened up about her pregnancy -- including a moment she would describe as "every mother's worst nightmare."

The 39-year-old actress and comedian, who welcomed her healthy boy Gene with husband Chris Fischer in May 2019, is giving fans an inside look at her life in her new HBO Max three-part docuseries, Expecting Amy. 

Ahead of the July 9 premiere, she opened up to Entertainment Tonight why she felt it was important to share such personal moments with the masses.

"I feel like people relate to me and I wanna be as open as possible so that I can help women feel better about themselves," Schumer explained. "Because we all go through [so much]. [We] get our periods, we all [go through] all this stuff that we're not supposed to talk about. And with a pregnancy, we're supposed to make it look easy and I just really reject that, so I wanted people to hopefully feel better and educate other women about what might happen if they get pregnant."

During her pregnancy, the new mom not only had to deal with hyperemesis gravidarum -- which causes severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and possible dehydration -- she faced "every mother's worst nightmare" when doctors though something was wrong with her son's kidneys. 

"One of the hardest moments, I think, of my whole pregnancy, was when the doctor asked us to turn the camera off -- and that's every mother and parent's worst nightmare, is finding out that something's wrong," Schumer shared.

"The whole time they thought something was wrong with his kidneys. But there's that scene in the hospital after they do an ultrasound they go, 'His kidneys are fine,' and we were like, 'What?!' Like, that didn't even seem like a possibility…But he's totally healthy and we're so grateful."

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

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Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- Actress Naya Rivera, known for playing Santana Lopez on Glee, is missing.  Authorities believe the 33-year-old may have drowned after finding her young son floating alone in a boat on Lake Piru in California.

The actress was seen swimming and boating with her son earlier Wednesday.

The Ventura County Sheriff confirms that authorities searched the lake for Rivera after discovering her son, four-year-old Josey Dorsey, alone in a boat she had rented earlier in the day.  Staff noted the watercraft had not been returned when it was due back, which prompted the search-and-rescue effort. 

The sheriff's office announced the search for Rivera was been suspended for the night and will resume "at first light."

The missing person at Lake Puru has been identified as Naya Rivera, 33, of Los Angeles. SAR operation will continue at first light. @VCAirUnit @fillmoresheriff @Cal_OES pic.twitter.com/bC3qaZS3Ra

— Ventura Co. Sheriff (@VENTURASHERIFF) July 9, 2020

Rivera is best known for her work on Glee, but has appeared in various TV shows since she was little; such as The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Even Stevens.

This story is developing and will be updated.

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

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Obscured Pictures(LOS ANGELES) -- Character actor Steven Ogg is well known for playing not-so-nice guys in TV shows like The Walking Dead, in which he played Negan's one-time right hand man, Simon, or in the blockbuster video game Grand Theft Auto V, where he voices the gangster Trevor Philips.

In the new independent film The Short History of the Long Road, however, Ogg gets to switch gears, playing Clint, a sympathetic dad to a teen girl, played by Sabrina Carpenter.

In their trusty camper van, the pair live off the grid, criss-crossing America's open road, and relishing the independence their lifestyle grants them.

Ogg told ABC Audio about his character in the film, which was awarded the Special Jury Mention for Best Screenplay at last year's 2019 Tribeca Film Festival.

"He's at that point in his relationship to his daughter, where it is, you know, they've been living the van life for her entire life and she's now entering the next phase of life," says Ogg.  "And he's struggling with that...with this idea of, 'Wow, How do I let the bird go out of the nest?'"

For Ogg, his character got to show off the actor's softer side for a change. "I love to get to play the characters I get to play and I like to try all the different things, but man --  it's sometimes really nice, just to have that moment with someone," he adds with a laugh, "a nice moment."

He says of the film, "It's about seeking, it's about searching...I love the message of it. And yes, nowadays, obviously hope, you know...seems like a big thing that we all need a little bit of..."  

The Short History of the Long Road is streaming now.

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

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Taylor Hill/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- ABC has committed to the pilot production for The Wonder Years, with award-winning filmmaker Lee Daniels as executive producer. 

The new half-hour comedy series will explore the perspective of a Black middle-class family in Montgomery, Alabama in the turbulent late 1960s, the same era as the original series, set between 1968 and 1973. 

The Last O.G. executive producer Saladin Patterson will also write for the pilot, and ABC will assemble a mini writer’s room triggered upon pilot script approval. The star of the original series, Fred Savage, will direct the pilot and executive produce the show. 

Wonder Years aired on ABC in the late 1980s-early 1990s for six seasons, ultimately winning a variety of awards including four Emmy Awards and a Gloden Globe for Best Television series — musical or comedy in 1989. 

Daniels is no stranger to accolades himself, having received two Oscar nominations for Precious, and awards for his hit TV dramas Empire and Star. His other credits include The Butler, Monster's Ball, The Woodsman, Shadowboxer and Tennessee, starring Mariah Carey, to name a few.

Lee Daniels is currently working on his latest film, The United States V.S. Billie Holiday, inspired by the federal court case of legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday, played by Andra Day.  

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

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Amazon Prime(LOS ANGELES) -- Amazon has released the trailer to the second season of its acclaimed comic adaptation The Boys, and if the R-rated sneak peek is any indication, the show's going for broke this time around.

Then again, season one did feature a baby that could shoot decapitating lasers from his eyes, so that might be no surprise for fans. 

The second-season trailer picks up with a massive manhunt for Karl Urban's Billy Butcher, Jack Quaid's Hughie, and the rest of their superhero-busting team, with the action set to Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire."  The trailer also reveals that Antony Starr's ruthless Homelander is leaving no stone unturned in catching the hero-hunting antiheroes.

Season 2 of The Boys takes off September 4.

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

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