ABC Entertainment News

John Mulaney reportedly out of rehab and

John Mulaney reportedly out of rehab and "doing well"

Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Saturday Night Live alum John Mulaney is out of rehab and "doing well" in outpatient sober care, a source tells the New York Post.

The newspaper reported back in December that Mulaney had checked himself into rehab for 60 days due to struggles with alcohol and drug abuse, including cocaine.

"John has completed 60 days in rehab and now he’s in outpatient sober care," says the insider. "He is doing well, although he is still not ready to return to work.”

The 38-year-old comedian, who had been open about his struggle with addiction, "has struggled again during the pandemic," a source told the Post back in December.

By George Costantino
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
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Marvel villain struggles with work-life balance in preview of Hulu's animated 'M.O.D.O.K.'

Marvel villain struggles with work-life balance in preview of Hulu's animated 'M.O.D.O.K.'

Hulu(LOS ANGELES) -- The first trailer to one of the only remaining Hulu-based Marvel projects, M.O.D.O.K., has just dropped online

Comedian and comic fan Patton Oswalt produces the animated show, and voices the titular villain, who's little more than a giant head in a floating cannister -- and whose name stands for "Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing."

In the snippet, he reminds a foe of just that, using a laser on his head to shoot down a fighter jet, and then its parachuting pilot, to prove his point. 

The series promises to delve into the work-life balance of the absurd-looking baddie. An all-star voice cast including Saturday Night Live's Beck Bennett, and The Goldbergs' matriarch Wendi McLendon-Covey, will be heard when the show debuts on Hulu on May 21.

M.O.D.O.K. is one of two survivors of what was to be a quartet of animated superhero shows for the streaming network, which at one time included the Chelsea Handler-produced Tigra & Dazzler, and the Kevin Smith-backed Howard the Duck. 

The only other project moving forward from that slate is another animated show, Hit Monkey, about a simian assassin. Blades of Glory writers Josh Gordon and Will Speck are producing that one. Incidentally, before he was offered the job directing Guardians of the Galaxy, writer-director James Gunn once pitched Marvel Studios a Hit Monkey film.

Marvel is owned by Disney, parent company of ABC Audio.

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Milli Vanilli biopic dropped by film company, controversial director Brett Ratner may be the reason why

Milli Vanilli biopic dropped by film company, controversial director Brett Ratner may be the reason why

BG027/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images(LOS ANGELES) -- A biopic on controversial lip-syncing '90s duo Milli Vanilli is still moving ahead, but the film company involved in its production has removed itself from the project -- possibly due to its controversial director.

Variety reports that Millennium Media, the independent film company that brought you The Expendables, Olympus Has Fallen and The Hitman's Bodyguard, has pulled out of the project, which is set to be directed by Brett Ratner. 

A statement from Ratner's company said, "Millennium will not be selling the film...or be involved in the production," adding that instead, "a group of private equity investors" will be "fully financing the movie."

The announcement of the film on February 19 was followed by an outcry because of Ratner's involvement. In 2017, seven women, including Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge, accused Ratner of sexual harassment and misconduct, reports Variety

On February 20, Variety reports, Time's Up issued a statement saying that Ratner had never expressed regret, and instead, filed lawsuits against his accusers.  Time's Up added that Ratner shouldn't be allowed to just "go away for a couple of years and then resurface and act like nothing's happened."

The statement continued, "We have not – and will not – forget. And Millennium Media shouldn’t either. There should be no comeback."

News that Millenium pulled out was met with a "thumbs up" emoji from Time's Up on Twitter.

Ratner, best known for directing the Rush Hour franchise and X-Men: The Last Stand, is excited about the Milli Vanilli project, promoting it on his Instagram as "The Incredible True Story of the World's Greatest Lie."

As you might recall, the duo Milli Vanilli scored four smash singles in 1988 and 1989 and won the Grammy for Best New Artist, only to have it revoked when it was revealed that the duo -- Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus -- were models who didn't actually sing on any of their records.

By Andrea Dresdale
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Teyonah Parris says becoming Marvel's Monica Rambeau has been her

Teyonah Parris says becoming Marvel's Monica Rambeau has been her "most physical role to date"

Marvel Studios(LOS ANGELES) -- Fans recently got their first glimpse of a superpowered Teyonah Parris in the latest episode of WandaVision, where her character Monica Rambeau showed her "Photon" potential when she returns to Westview.

Parris tells ABC Audio that becoming the butt-kicking S.W.O.R.D. captain has actually been her "most physical role to date."

"I've had roles that were physical, but in a very different way. Not like action physical, just stamina, physical," she explains.

Parris admits that she didn't appropriately train for her role of Monica because "no one told [her] it was going to be physical."

"I did not prepare," she reveals. "[But,] since I've gotten the role, I just try to work out, run, jog, just to have that sort of stamina."

Now, with Parris' character possibly going toe-to-toe with not only Wanda, but Westview's real villain Agatha Harkness -- and others in the Marvel Cinematic Universe -- the actress says she's going to have to step up her workout game.

"I didn't do any combat training or anything like that," Parris says. "But I will be moving forward because it's very important. It's a whole other skill set and I'm a work on that."

New episodes of WandaVision launch Fridays on Disney+.

Disney is the parent company of ABC Audio.

By Candice Williams
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Walton Goggins on playing against type as a grieving dad, in CBS' hit 'The Unicorn'

Walton Goggins on playing against type as a grieving dad, in CBS' hit 'The Unicorn'

Sonja Flemming/CBS В©2020 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.(NEW YORK) -- Actor and Oscar winner Walton Goggins has appeared in dozens and dozens of films and TV shows over his lengthy career, and in many, he plays the heavy. 

He's been seen as a corrupt cop in The Shield, the villain in Tomb Raider, and an arms dealer in Ant-Man and The Wasp, among other memorable roles.

However, all that changed when he was cast against type as a grieving dad in CBS' hit series The Unicorn.

Created by Bill Martin and Mike Schiff, and produced by Goggins' pal and Ant-Man director Peyton Reed, Goggins says the show's pitch struck a chord with him: "The story is based on one of their best friends who lost his wife to cancer and is raising two daughters...and I thought, 'I can tell this story and we could tell this story in a way, if you let me do my thing.' You know, I'm only going to do it one way: where we can make people laugh for sure. But but we can also touch their touch, their heart -- and not gratuitously, but because. Because the story's about life. 

He adds, "Here we are two years into it...and people appreciate the laughter and people...can relate to the small victories and the small setbacks...And I think that's what I'm most proud of."

Goggins, however, explained while laughing heartily, that there was an adjustment period. "There's this whole scene in the pilot where I have to get this food out of the freezer and I'm using an ice pick. And then the director says, 'OK, cut, cut. Walt, do you think you could do that in a way that it doesn't look like you're the one who killed your wife?'"

Walton laughs, "Oh, my God, really? My resting face looks like I'm killing people?!"

Two seasons in, he's proven he can play the nice guy. 

Goggins adds of the show, "I just love it. I really do." 

The Unicorn airs tonight at 9:30 p.m. Eastern on CBS.

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Michael Cudlitz on getting to know his character, and escaping COVID, with 'Clarice'

Michael Cudlitz on getting to know his character, and escaping COVID, with 'Clarice'

Brooke Palmer ©2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved(NEW YORK) -- The Walking Dead and Southland vet Michael Cudlitz stars as straitlaced FBI Agent Paul Krendler in CBS' new Silence of the Lambs spin-off, Clarice. And while fans may be pulling for Rebecca Breeds' newbie agent Clarice Starling right off the bat, Krendler doesn't trust her.

"And why should he at this point?" Cudlitz asks ABC Audio rhetorically.

The show takes place in 1993, a year after the events of Lambs, in which the young trainee Starling ended up finding and killing the serial killer dubbed Buffalo Bill, with the help of Hannibal Lecter, the brilliant incarcerated psychiatrist with a taste for human liver.  

"She's just had one lucky thing, she's been foisted on him and his group, his hand-picked group," Cudlitz says of his character's relationship with Clarice. "He doesn't want her there...And he's the guy in charge." 

Fans of the show have playfully taken the actor to task for it on Twitter, Cudlitz laughs, adding, "Some of 'em ask, 'Are you going become less of an a-hole?' And I was like, 'Watch the show!'" 

Incidentally, although the show is produced under strict COVID-19 protocols, it's a period piece, so viewers won't be seeing any masks on its leads.

"Somebody actually tweeted about that and they say, 'Oh, my gosh, it's so nice to be in a world where they don't even address the COVID,' and I understood it," Cudlitz says.

"...You live your whole life in reality every day with the masks in and out...But you don't necessarily want to come home and see it on your entertainment...And so we are an escape from that."

However, he adds with a laugh, "I don't know if it's the laugh riot you're looking for tonally!"  

Clarice airs tonight at 10 p.m. ET on CBS.

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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'Queer Eye' star Karamo Brown is ready to start dating again:

'Queer Eye' star Karamo Brown is ready to start dating again: "I want to be married"

Courtesy of Karamo(LOS ANGELES) -- After breaking up with longtime love Ian Jordan, Queer Eye star Karamo Brown revealed how he's getting back into the dating game a year after the heartbreak.

Previously, the Dancing with the Stars alum joked he was willing to jump onto another ABC show, The Bachelor, but tells Just the Sip podcast, "That will not be happening."

"For me, being 40 now, dating is such an intimate thing," Karamo said Tuesday, explaining that he wants something that is built to last.

"I was in a place where I was ready to get married and I'm still in that place," the TV personality confessed. "I just broke up the man I was with, but I wake up every day and I literally yearn. I'm that guy who wants marriage."

As it turns out, he wants to be married sooner rather than later.

"I need to know that whoever I'm dating, we're on the same page because truth be told—and you'll hear this first—by 2023, I gotta be married," Brown laughed. "I want to be married... I don't have time to play.  I know what I want."

Still, he is not looking forward to dating again, noting the landscape has drastically changed over the past decade.

Beyond marriage, Karamo revealed that he wants to have more children so that his sons Jason and Chris can have siblings.

"You know, I didn't get the opportunity to have my son when he was a baby; I got him when he was 10," he said. "I want a little baby, and now I have the financial resources, I have security in my life, I could do it."

If he could pick, the Emmy nominee wants to add twin girls to his family, gushing, " think they'd be so cute... I'd spoil them."

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

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Zendaya corrects gendered question about her love life

Zendaya corrects gendered question about her love life

ABC(NEW YORK) -- Zendaya made it known during a recent interview with Vanity Fair that she didn't appreciate how a certain question was worded.  Before answering, the 24-year-old Euphoria star then offered her own correction before sharing her thoughts.

Sitting down for 35 questions for the publication's "Hollywood Issue," Zendaya put on the brakes when asked "What is the quality you like most in a man?"

The Euphoria star instead amended, "What I most like in a person, how about that" before charging straight into her thoughtful response.

Zendaya says the trait she values most is "kindness" before continuing, "Some people are just good people and you can just feel it."

While Emmy Award-winning actress admitted to having a hard time explaining what she meant, she described, "There's this little spark they have, or this little special thing that they have, that just you feel safe and happy around them."

"I don't know what that is, but some people have it and it's special," she concluded.

Of course, the next question then asked, "What is the quality you most like in a woman?"

"Well, I guess that's the same answer," Zendaya replied with a smile.

The publication also tried to gain a little insight into the young actress' love life by asking, "What or who is the greatest love of your life" -- to which she diplomatically responded with, "My work, my job."

"I'm so grateful that I get to do what I love to do," she continued. "But it doesn't even feel like a job."

By Megan Stone
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Mariska Hargitay says it was

Mariska Hargitay says it was "life-changing" when she met 'SVU' co star Chris Meloni for the first time

Jim Spellman/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Even though Mariska Hargitay and Chris Meloni hadn't worked together in a decade -- until recenly, that is -- the two continued to enjoy a long-lasting friendship.

Speaking jointly with People on Wednesday, the Law & Order: SVU stars reminisced about working together and their first impressions of each other.

Mariska, who won an Emmy for her portrayal of Olivia Benson on the long-running drama, says her connection with Meloni was immediate.

"It happened at the screen test... I walked in, saw him, and I went, 'That guy. That’s the guy.' It went deep, very fast," she recalled. "We both knew that it was something big.  I won’t say that I fully understood it, but I knew that meeting him was important and life-changing."

Added Meloni, who played Elliot Stabler, insists "we stayed connected" even after he walked away from the series in 2011 after contract negotiations fell apart.

Which is why, he says, he came running when show execs floated a potential on-screen reunion between their characters.

"It was Pavlovian: Ring that bell, and you get right into Stabler and Benson," Meloni laughed. "It's simple... We have each other's back."

Stabler will reunite with his old partner on a special Law and Order: SVU episode to help launch another series spinoff, Law and Order: Organized Crime, of which Meloni stars.  It premieres April 1 on NBC.

The two reflected on starring on the long-running drama for 12 seasons, with Hargitay calling her co-star "solid as a rock."

"I got to lean on it when I needed to. It was like family," she smiled. "He's always made me feel like I could just jump off the ledge, the cliff, the bridge, and he would catch me, in so many ways, whether it was comedy or acting or friendship."

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

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Eddie Murphy shares the hilarious

Eddie Murphy shares the hilarious "original script" ideas for 'Coming 2 America'

Courtesy of Amazon Studios(NEW YORK) -- It's no secret that a sequel to Eddie Murphy's 1988 comedy Coming to America has been a long time coming. In fact, Murphy tells ABC Audio that even after they decided to finally make the film, there were multiple ideas on how the story should play out.

"In the original script for this picture, Tracy Morgan is my son," Murphy laughs. "And then...that all changed."

If the 52-year-old Morgan playing the long lost son of Murphy's Prince Akeem wasn't enough -- Eddie says the writers even thought about having him also play the villain in the film, which actor Wesley Snipesagreed to take on.

"In the original script, I'm General Izzi," Murphy shares. "And I'm [Arsenio Hall's] character, Baba, the witch doctor."

Like the script, which ended up evolving, Murphy explains how the potentially raunchy sequel ended up with a "clean" PG-13 rating.

"There was a scene where there was some farmers that wound up getting cut, because it was too long and it was kind of like a dirty joke at the end of it with this goat," he says. "It was like, if we take that out of the movie, then the movie is like clean."

"The original Coming to America is R rated and it has like maybe one or two scenes [where] the penis is cleaned and I go, "F you, F you, F you," he says. "But this movie has none of that stuff and we took that thing out for [our PG-13 rating]."

Coming 2 America launches on Amazon Prime March 5.

By Candice Williams
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston "vocal tic" on 'Friends' goes viral on TikTok

Warner Bros. Television(LOS ANGELES) -- Friends fans, brace yourselves. The following information could potentially ruin the popular sitcom. 

In a TikTok video that has recently gone viral, a user points out a habit that Jennifer Aniston's character, Rachel Green, does in almost every scene. 

"Jennifer Aniston has this sort of vocal tic that she does at the beginning of every single sentence that she starts," the TikTok user explains. "It’s very specific and very hard to unsee once you notice it."

The video then cuts to a compilation of scenes from Friends which show Aniston's character clearing her throat before speaking. 

However, while the user in the clip claims the actress does this in every show, others have taken to social media to say otherwise. 

"I'm not even a 'Friends' fan and I can tell that it's not a Jennifer Aniston Vocal Tic it's a Rachel tic," one Twitter user wrote. "Watch Jennifer in interviews and she doesn't do it. People are silly, for real."

Another added, "More fake news. That 'verbal tic' that Jennifer Aniston has in Friends? Yeah, no, that's called acting. She clears her throat when her character is uncomfortable with what she is saying (because it's a lie, or awkward, etc). This is what acting is about."

By Danielle Long
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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'Frasier' reboot and more coming to Paramount+

'Frasier' reboot and more coming to Paramount+

Gale Adler/Paramount(NEW YORK) -- Paramount+, currently CBS All Access before rebranding early next month, is expanding its catalogue to include a swath of original material as it aims to take on streaming giants like Netflix and Hulu.

During Wednesday's Investor Day presentation, ViacomCBS officials unveiled a slate of new series and movies heading to the streaming service in the near future.

Here's a list of the shows and movies heading to the streamer:


New takes on the classic Paramount films:

Paramount+ announced it intends to reimagine several classics, including Fatal AttractionThe Italian JobFlashdanceLove Story and The Parallax View.  Production has already started on the new lineup, which all have script to series commitments.

Other movies getting the reboot or reimagined series treatment are Grease, of which the series Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies is currently in the works -- as well as The Godfather, which is being expanded in the new pickup The Offer.

TV spinoffs and continuations:

It was announced Wednesday that Kelsey Grammer will be reprising his role as Dr. Frasier Crane for a Frasier revival -- where the tagline is: "Frasier’s back – and he’s more exactly the same than ever."

Criminal Minds, which went off air last year after 15 seasons, is being revived for the steamer for a 10-episode run.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds will serve as the spinoff to the current exclusive series Star Trek: Discover -- which will chronicle Captain Christopher Pike's run manning the U.S.S. Enterprise before James T. Kirk took over.

Based on the Walter Tevis novel, The Man Who Fell To Earth is being reimagined for the small screen which follows an alien who arrives on earth as the human race is at a turning point.  The series stars Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Guilty Party, starring  Kate Beckinsale, is a dark comedy following a journalist jailed for the murder of her husband -- a crime she insists she's innocent.

The streamer also announced its first adult animated comedy called The Harper House, which follows a woman who loses her job and has to move from the wealthy neighborhood she formerly lived in to the bad side of the neighborhood.

Younger, the critically acclaimed Darren Star-helmed series that stars Sutton Foster, will premiere its seventh and final season on the streamer.  The series' final 12 episodes will bow later this year before airing on TV Land at a later date.

The Game, a BET classic, is also heading to the streamer with a mix of old and new faces.

The streamer also has the rights to several upcoming Taylor Sheridan shows, with Yellowstone is getting two spinoffs, the previously announced Y: 1883 and the current working title 6666.  Mayor of Kingstown starring Jeremy Renner is heading to the streamer as well as Land Man.

Inside Amy Schumer, starring Amy Schumer, is coming back after a five-year hiatus and will include five specials.  The series previously ran for four seasons on Comedy Central before going off air in 2013.

Reno 911! The Hunt for QAnon, another Comedy Central offering, is a "supersized event" spinoff of the beloved Reno 911 series.

Paramount+ is also working on a Workaholics movie with original stars Blake Anderson, Adam Devine, Anders Holm and Kyle Newacheck all expected to reprise their roles.

The streamer will also feature a The Daily Show With Trevor Noah spinoff called The Weekly Show With Trevor Noah, which is greenlit for six episodes to highlight the biggest stories of the past week.

Beavis & Butt-head is also heading to Paramount+ with creator Mike Judge again taking over the reins to executive produce and voice the show's titular heroes in the new revival. 

Cartoon Network isn't the only new partnership established by the CBSViacom family, MTV is also partnering with the streamer for some new offerings to add to the service's music slate.  The shows include Behind the Music, new MTV Unplugged events, a Yo! MTV Raps revival and a new series from Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl called From Cradle to Stage: Stories from the Mothers Who Rocked and Raised Rock Stars.

Paramount+ will also feature a swath of original reality shows, including a series called Dating Naked -- which is exactly what it sounds like -- as well as drag queen singing competition Queen of the Universe.  

Reality series being dusted off for new life on the streamer will be Big Brother Life FeedsInk Masters RuPaul's Drag Race All StarsThe Challenge: All StarsThe Real World: Homecoming: New York and Road Rules.

Rugrats, the beloved Nickelodeon cartoon that dominated the 90s, is getting new life on Paramount+ as a 3-D animated series that will feature the show's original voice cast.  A teaser has already been uploaded to YouTube.

Other Nickelodeon offerings include “original content spanning animated series and movies" based off Avatar: The Last Airbender with series creators Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko back in the hot seat.

Also being developed for the streamer is the SpongeBob Squarepants spinoff Kamp Koral: SpongeBob's Under Years. Unlike the original Nickelodeon series, Kamp Koral will be CG animated.

A live-action Dora the Explorer and The Fairly OddParents is also heading to the streamer, along with a continuation of iCarly.  

Paramount+ is also bringing the popular first person shooter game Halo into the fold by developing a series that is slated to arrive in the first quarter of 2022.

Paramount+ debuts March 4.

By Megan Stone
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Don't ask Tom Holland if Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire will cameo in 'Spider-Man 3'

Don't ask Tom Holland if Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire will cameo in 'Spider-Man 3'

NBC(NEW YORK) -- It looks like Tom Holland is still paying the price for revealing several precious Marvel Cinematic Universe secrets back in the day. The 24-year-old actor, who stars in the recently announced Spider-Man: No Way Home, admits he is still in the dark when it comes to the movie's biggest spoilers -- or so he says.

Appearing recently on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Holland was grilled on the third Spider-Man installment and whether or not the audience can expect to see a few familiar faces.

Most notably, rumors have been swirling for months that past webslingers Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield will be making a cameo.

When pressed by host Jimmy Fallon, the British actor confessed, "It would be amazing if they were, because they haven't told me that yet."

"And I am Spider-Man, and I've read the script from the beginning to the end. So, it would be a miracle if they could have kept that from me," he cracked before assessing, "But at the moment there is no cameo from the two boys."

Fallon further pried over the possibility that the two actors could be featured in the film, questioning, "But they do keep things from you, though, don't they?"

"Actually, it's getting to the point where it's really frustrating," Holland confessed, who feels like he's proven himself to become a trusted member of the MCU's inner circle again. "Because I feel like now I've progressed. I'm a trustworthy member of The Avengers. And I haven't really ever spoiled anything."

When Fallon let off an unimpressed "Mm," Holland quickly remedied, "Well, there's a few things, but no big things!"

That, too, was a lie -- as the young actor has previously spoiled movie titles and major plot points.

The third Spider-Man film starring Holland, a co-production from Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios, opens this Christmas.

Marvel is owned by Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

By Megan Stone
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Viola Davis talks Chadwick Boseman, playing Michelle Obama

Viola Davis talks Chadwick Boseman, playing Michelle Obama

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Turner(LOS ANGELES) -- Viola Davis recently sat down with Entertainment Tonight to discuss her recent turn in the Netflix film, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and her upcoming role as former first lady Michelle Obama in Showtime's anthology series The First Lady, including words of praise for her Ma Rainey's co-star, the late Chadwick Boseman.

"A lot of times when Black actors are nominated for any award or get any accolades or get a spotlight, it is always with a caveat that it is only happening because we're Black, or it is only happening because such and such and such and such. It's never deserved," she says.

However, that's not true of Boseman, who has racked up a number of posthumous award nominations this season.

"Chadwick Boseman deserves it," Davis insists.  "This is someone who did the work, who learned the trumpet.  I mean, those long three, four-page monologues, are you kidding me?  He did the work, and he did an extraordinary job."

Boseman died last August at age 43.

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, based on the August Wilson play of the same name, centers on an afternoon recording session for titular blues singer in 1920s Chicago.

Meanwhile, the 55-year-old actress will next star as Michelle Obama in the Showtime series, The First Lady.  Davis, a friend of the former first lady, says preparing for the role was a humbling experience.

"Now I am in the place of...I'm not going to lie, a lot of fear," she tells ET. "Let me tell you something, she's dope.  She's everything. She's a hero.  She is just one of those women and people that lives a life bigger than herself, and I hope to honor that."

By George Costantino
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
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"I didn't have a problem with the way we were doing it" -- 'Simpsons' creator Matt Groening responds to racial casting flap

Amy Sussman/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- During a chat about his latest animated hit, Netflix's Disenchantment,Simpsonscreator Matt Groening addressed the controversy over the long-running show's white actors voicing characters of other races. 

The comments came on the heels of Harry Shearer's announcement that he'd no longer voice Dr. Julius Hibbert, or any other Black characters -- and Hank Azaria's hanging up playing Indian-American Apu Nahasapeemapetilon on the show in 2017. 

"Times change, but I actually didn’t have a problem with the way we were doing it," Groening tells the BBC. "All of our actors play dozens of characters each; it was never designed to exclude anyone."

He seems to insist he was in a lose-lose position, something Trekker character Comic Book Guy might call a Kobayashi Maru quandary.

"At a certain point it doesn’t matter what you say," Groening says. "You're going to be attacked by whoever, you know?"

He added, "We're not going out of our way to comfort bigots. On the other hand, if you do any kind of gesture and people perceive a weakness, you'll be criticized." 

Having actors voice characters of the same race didn't just shake up The Simpsons. Last year, Kristen Bell pulled out before she played Molly -- a biracial character -- in the Apple TV plus animated comedy Central Park, and Jenny Slate, who is also white, was initially cast as the biracial character Missy in Netflix's animated series Big Mouth

Slate also left the part behind, and was replaced by writer and comedian Ayo Edebiri, who is biracial.

"We're trying to make it better," Groening insisted about The Simpsons. "Bigotry and racism are still an incredible problem and it’s good to finally go for more equality and representation."

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Katharine McPhee welcomes first child with husband David Foster

Katharine McPhee welcomes first child with husband David Foster

Toni Anne Barson/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- Katharine McPhee: American Idol finalist, actress, singer, Broadway star and now, mother. A rep for the star has confirmed to People that Katharine and her husband, hitmaking pop producer David Foster, have welcomed their first child.

 

"Katharine McPhee and David Foster have welcomed a healthy baby boy," the rep told People. "Mom, Dad and son are all doing wonderfully."

The news came not long after McPhee, 36, was heard on the podcast Women on Top, revealing that she'd be having a son.  She said, "Now that I am having a boy, there are different things I need to worry about to teach him versus the things I would be thinking about with a girl."

She added, "But it's kind of refreshing, because I feel like I don't need to think about those societal 'this is the way you look' [issues]. I think men have...different things to worry about."

The former star of Smash and Scorpion married Foster, 71, in 2019 after first meeting him on American Idol in 2006. This is his sixth child and his first son: He has five daughters from previous relationships, the oldest of whom is 50.

McPhee will next be seen in the Netflix show Country Comfort, debuting March 19.  In it, she plays an aspiring country singer who becomes a nanny to a cowboy -- played by LeAnn Rimes' husband Eddie Cibrian -- and his five kids, all of whom are musically talented.

By Andrea Dresdale
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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More 'WandaVision'? R-Rated Marvel Movies? Unpacking Marvel Studios' future plans from Disney's Winter TCA

More 'WandaVision'? R-Rated Marvel Movies? Unpacking Marvel Studios' future plans from Disney's Winter TCA

"WandaVision" - Disney+/Marvel Studios(LOS ANGELES) -- Today, Disney had its Winter Television Critics Association gathering -- virtually -- and when it comes to Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige's presentation, there was a lot to unpack. 

Aside from the June 11 release date for Loki, however, Feige remained typically tight-lipped.

But he did leave just enough crumbs to keep fans guessing.

When asked about his MCU small-screen spin-offs, like the successful WandaVision and the upcoming Falcon and The Winter Soldier, Feige told journalists, "The fun of the MCU is obviously all of the crossover that we can do between series, between films...Sometimes they'll go into a season two, sometimes it will go into a feature and then back into a series."

Some examples include WandaVision star Elizabeth Olsen's upcoming appearance as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch in the forthcoming big-screen bow of Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. Feige also noted, "We've announced that [the character] Ms. Marvel, after her debut [as a titular show] on Disney+, will be going into the second Captain Marvel film."

Feige also hinted at the fates of the Marvel TV heroes that were formerly on Netflix, which included Charlie Cox's, Matt Murdoch/Daredevil -- rumored to be appearing in the next Spider-Man film -- as well as Krysten Ritter's Jessica Jones, and Mike Colter's Luke Cage.

When asked if they could finally be brought into the MCU fold, Feige noted, ""I think we probably could. I'm not exactly sure of the exact contracts, but perhaps someday." 

And while we've previously reported Disney Chairman Bob Iger insisted Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool would keep his "R"-rating for future adventures after Disney acquired that property from 20th Century Fox, Feige insists so far, there hasn't been a reason to stray from the PG-13 rating in the MCU for other projects.

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By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Disney+ announces release dates for 'Star Wars: The Bad Batch', 'Loki', and more

Disney+ announces release dates for 'Star Wars: The Bad Batch', 'Loki', and more

Lucasfilm/Disney+(LOS ANGELES) -- At today's Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour, Disney+ revealed the release dates of some of its anticipated upcoming titles, not only from its hot Star Wars and Marvel properties, but also original series including The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers, and Big Shot, the latter of which stars Jon Stamos and Yvette Nicole Brown.

Some of those involved with the projects, including Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige, were on hand for the virtual event.

Feige confirmed not only that WandaVision's Elizabeth Olsen would appear in theaters in Doctor Strange's sequel The Multiverse of Madness, but also that WandaVision co-star Teyonah Parris would be also crossing over to the big screen for the sequel to Captain Marvel

The animated Clone Wars spin-off The Bad Batch will debut on Star Wars Day -- aka May the 4th -- before settling into its normal Friday slot on May 7. 

While it was already known that the MCU spin-off The Falcon and The Winter Soldier would debut on March 19, Feige revealed that another, Loki, starring Tom Hiddleston's God of Mischief, will debut on June 11.

Here are the spring and summer premiere dates for Disney+ programming: 

MARCH

March 19 – The Falcon and The Winter Soldier

March 26 – The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers

APRIL

April 16 – Big Shot


MAY

May 4 – Star Wars: The Bad Batch

May 14 – High School Musical: The Musical: The Series Season 2

JUNE

June 11 – Loki

June 11 – Zenimation Season 2

June 25 – The Mysterious Benedict Society

JULY

July 2 – Monsters at Work

July 16 – Turner & Hooch

July 23 – Chip ‘N’ Dale: Park Life

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By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Marvel movie baddie Frank Grillo on his work ethic, and his

Marvel movie baddie Frank Grillo on his work ethic, and his "crazy, real" movie 'Body Brokers'

Vertical Entertainment(NEW YORK) -- Even you don't recognize actor Frank Grillo's name, you certainly know his face. Since 2014, he's appeared in more than 30 films, including a memorable turn as one of Marvel's baddest baddies, Brock Rumlow/Crossbones. 

Grillo gave Chris Evans' Captain America a run for his money in an elevator in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and appeared in Captain America: Civil War as well as the biggest movie of all time, Avengers: Endgame

The Bronx, New York-born actor will appear in eight movies in 2021 alone, including the new drama Body Brokers, and he'll reprise his comic book villain role in the upcoming Disney+ Marvel What If... animated series. 

"You know, I got that 'poor kid I came to the table late' mentality..." the 55-year-old tells ABC Audio with a laugh. "My buddy Liam Neeson is 68 years old and he just finished a flick in Australia, another action movie -- that guy keeps me going." 

 

Grillo adds of his producing partner Joe Carnahan, "Carnahan and I have become friends with Stallone, this guy 75 years old, man. I mean...I realize how old I am when these guys are...in their 70s . They call me 'the kid'!" the actor says, exploding with laughter.

 

Grillo's latest, Body Brokers, is based on a real scam: one of the provisions in the Affordable Care Act allows rehab centers to collect millions from insurance companies -- and because of it, some centers make a mint by actively hunting recidivist addicts with no intention of getting clean.

Grillo plays Vin, the head of one of these sham centers, sort of a dark-side Tony Robbins. He says director John Swab's vision hooked him. "[He] had experiences with addiction and really understood the world," the actor explains. "And when you start to see the scam of it all...I [was] just like is this real? Like I think I want to get into that business!" he laughs.  

Body Brokers, which also stars Val Kilmer's actor son Jack, Boardwalk Empire's Michael K. Williams, and Oscar winner Melissa Leo, is now available on Video On Demand.

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Finally: Third 'Spider-Man' movie's title is 'Spider-Man: No Way Home'

Finally: Third 'Spider-Man' movie's title is 'Spider-Man: No Way Home'

Marvel Studios(NEW YORK) -- After trolling fans with fake titles all day yesterday, Tom Holland, Zendaya, and Jacob Batalon finally posted to Instagram the true title of their next Spider-Man movie.

It's Spider-Man: No Way Home.

The Instagram post showed the trio leaving director Jon Watts' office, disappointed that he wouldn't tell them the title, thanks to Holland's propensity to accidentally spoiling such details.

However, as the stars walk by a whiteboard, on which a host of phony names are scrawled -- including Spider-Man: Home Alone, and Spider-Man: Homeschooled -- they somehow miss the real McCoy, dead center: Spider-Man: No Way Home

Holland's still hush-hush third stand-alone Spidey film, a co-production of Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios, apparently opens "This Christmas" according to the post. 

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By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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