Entertainment Headlines

Get ready to see whales like you’ve never seen them before, as NatGeo's Secrets of the Whales, premieres on Disney+ today -- just in time for Earth Day.

The series, which combines beautiful photography with moving storytelling, is narrated by Sigourney Weaver and executive-produced by her Aliens and Avatar producer James Cameron.  So what moved him to make a documentary about whales?

"For me, it's the intelligence. It's the manifestation of intelligence, and in the case of what we show in our films here, their culture, their their social interaction," the acclaimed director tells ABC Audio.

"They approach the world in a very different way," he adds.  "They don't try to manipulate it and shape it.  They just live peacefully within it and with each other.  And I think there's a great deal of wisdom that we can learn from the whales.  I just find them to be majestic, awe inspiring, and fascinating, and kind of enigmatic."

Secrets of the Whales also gives us a good look at the man-made dangers these majestic creature face, Weaver tells ABC.

"You see this big orca male trapped in a fishing line and he can't get to the surface to breathe... Not to mention all the garbage and the plastics and all of that, the hunting still," she says.

The Ghostbusters actress says she the four-episode series also gave her a chance to get a whale's-eye view of the world.

"These experiences almost in each of the four between mother and baby and their special calls for each other, their special language, what they experienced together, going from one side of the earth to the other, she explains. 

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


"Spider-Man: Far from Home" - Sony Pictures

Marvel movie fans who've been missing Tom Holland's Spider-Man films with the rest of the MCU movies on Disney+ can rejoice, thanks to a new streaming deal between Disney and Sony Pictures.

The agreement will not only eventually bring the Marvel Studios co-production Spider-Man: Homecoming and its follow-up Far From Home onto Disney's streaming platform, but all of Sony's theatrical releases from 2022-2026 like Uncharted with Holland and Bullet Train with Brad Pitt; Sony's library of superhero films like Venom and the previous Spider-Man iterations that were solely produced by Sony; and blockbuster films like the Jumanji and Hotel Transylvania films.

The deal also makes those films available to Hulu, and FX, ABC, and other Disney-owned broadcast networks.

Earlier this month, Sony signed a deal that gave Netflix first crack -- what's known in the industry as a "pay-one window" -- for these titles. Typically, that window of streaming exclusivity lasts 18 months.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Courtesy of Netflix; Rod Millington © 2021 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. / Courtesy of OWN

Antoine Fuqua is bringing an iconic Broadway production to the big screen.

Deadline has learned that Fuqua will direct and produce an adaptation of the Tennessee Williams play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, based on the 2008 Broadway production.

That production, which made history as the first production of the Broadway classic to feature an all-Black cast, was directed by Debbie Allen and starred Terrence Howard in his Broadway debut, as well as Tony Award winners Anika Noni Rose, Phylicia Rashad and James Earl Jones. It also was the highest-grossing play of the 2008 season and sold out its 19-week run. Deadline reports the film version will combine elements of the classic play with new story lines. 

In other news, Netflix has announced they've picked up Ava DuVernay's animated adaptation of author Tui T. Sutherland's fantasy book series Wings of Fire. The ten-episode TV series will center on the ongoing war between the dragon tribes who inhabit the epic world of Pyrrhia. It will follow five young dragons -- Clay, Tsunami, Glory, Starflight, and Sunnywill -- who "rise to end the bloodshed and bring peace back to the land."

Finally, OWN has released the first-look trailer for season two of David Makes Man. The new season, which is slated to premiere on Tuesday, June 22 at 9 p.m. ET, will find David, now played by  Kwame Patterson, as a rising businessman in his 30s. According to OWN, David will face "an opportunity that will change him and his community forever."

David Makes Man also stars Arlen Escarpeta, Akili McDowell, Alana Arenas, Travis Coles and Cayden K. Williams. 

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Gotham/GC Images

Hugh Jackman has responded to Scott Rudin, the embattled producer of Jackman's upcoming Broadway production The Music Man, stepping away from the production as he weathers mounting accusations he physically and psychologically bullied his staff.

The accusations of abusive behavior were called an "open secret" in the entertainment industry in a Hollywood Reporter exposé about the producer earlier this month.

In a statement to the New York Times, Hugh Jackman said Tuesday he wanted to show how, "how much I respect and applaud" Rudin's alleged victims. 

"It takes an enormous amount of courage and strength to stand up and state your truth," the stage and screen actor said, adding, "This has started a conversation that is long overdue, not just on Broadway, and the entertainment industry, but across all workforce [sic]."

Jackman acknowledged Rudin has, "spoken up and stepped away from The Music Man," adding, "I hope and pray this is a journey of healing for all the victims and the community," adding, "We are currently rebuilding the Music Man team and are aspiring to create an environment that is not only safe but ensures that everyone is seen, heard, and valued."

Rudin was labeled an "absolute monster" in the Hollywood Reporter story and accused of yelling, and physically and psychologically assaulting underlings; one account in the article claimed Rudin sent an assistant to the ER after smashing a computer monitor on his hand.

The producer recently said he was "stepping back" from his career, to "work on personal issues I should have long ago."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Photo: Ashley Barrett

The creators of the Emmy-winning sitcom How I Met Your Mother have tapped Hilary Duff to star in a 10-episode spin-off series for Hulu called, you guessed it: How I Met Your Father

Carter Bays and Craig Thomas will produce the show with Younger star Duff, along with This Is Us and Love, Victor veterans Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger.

According to the streaming service, the show will center on Duff's character, Sophie, who is telling her son the tale of how she met his dad: "a story that catapults us back to the year 2021 where Sophie and her close-knit group of friends are in the midst of figuring out who they are, what they want out of life, and how to fall in love in the age of dating apps and limitless options."

How I Met Your Mother ran on CBS from 2005 to 2014. It followed Josh Radnor's Ted and his pals as Ted searched for the woman he eventually marries. It co-starred Neil Patrick Harris, who was nominated for an Emmy for playing ladies' man Barney, Cobie Smulders as Robyn, Alyson Hannigan as Lily and Jason Segel as her eventual husband, Marshall. The show plays out essentially in a flashback, with Bob Saget voicing an older Ted, talking to his teen kids about their late mom.

In the announcement, Duff said, "As a huge fan of How I Met Your Mother, I’m honored and even a little nervous that Carter and Craig would trust me with the sequel of their baby...Just fangirling over here getting to join the Hulu Originals and 20th [Television] families."

She added, "I realize these are big shoes to fill and I’m excited to slip my 6 ½’s in there!"

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(NOTE SPOILERS) Turns out fans comparing the highly decorated Featherington family, protected by their fierce momma bear Portia, to the Kardashians have been correct all along.

Star Nicola Coughlan, who shined on the series as Penelope Featherington, spilled the beans Tuesday after learning that a prominent member of the Kardashian clan was a fan of the Netflix show.

Tweeting out to Kim Kardashian, the 34-year-old Irish actress declared, "As the world’s number one @bridgerton Stan does @KimKardashian know that the Kardashians were a massive inspiration for the Featheringtons and we talked about them all the time during our fittings? Because I feel like she should know this."

As it turns out, Kim pounced upon the open invitation to gush about her new obsession -- but, in the process, spoiled one of the biggest twists of the show. 

"WHAT?!?! I am freaking out," the beauty mogul replied via a series of exclamation points, "Can I please come to a fitting?!?! It would make my whole life!!!!!! I love you Lady W!!!"

Lady W -- aka Lady Whistledown, London's biggest gossip monger who moves the series along with her astute observations about the budding romances popping up around London -- is revealed in the last episode to be none other than the often-overlooked Penelope.

Characters, including the Queen of England, spent the first season trying to unmask the Julie Andrews-voiced Whistledown, but constantly failed.

As for whether or not Kim will be able to crash a future Bridgerton fitting, Coughlan told the reality star in a follow up tweet, "We would love to have you!"

She also revealed that Kim has always been a part of the series, adding that the corset she wore on set was designed by acclaimed corsetmaker Mr. Pearl, who designed Kim's Met Gala look before working on Bridgerton.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


ABC/Heidi Gutman

Ahead of the Academy Awards on Sunday, Whoopi Goldberg is taking a moment to reflect on her historic Best Supporting Actress Oscar win for her portrayal of Oda Mae Brown in Ghost.

In an interview for Variety's Hollywood Royalty issue, Goldberg -- whose 1991 win made her the first Black woman to receive that award in over 50 years and helped make the first Black female EGOT winner -- shares some of her takeaways from that momentous night.

“I didn’t want to jinx it,” she recalls of her chances to win the Oscar after previously taking home a Golden Globe. “I just thought, ‘You’ve got to go in this without any expectations, and whatever happens, happens.’”

When her name was announced as the winner, Goldberg says her only concern at that time was: “Will I make any sense? Can I do it before they play me off? Will I remember to thank the people I need to thank?”

Looking back at her illustrious career, Goldberg is thankful to those who shared advice, including mentor and friend Elizabeth Taylor.

“You and I know you can do anything, but you are Black, so it’s going to be harder for folks to believe,” she recalls Taylor telling her. “It’s going to be up and down. If you have a way to see where you were, it will allow you to not give up in tough times.”

Now, Goldberg says she's excited about the next chapter in her life, which includes creating her own projects. One of those projects is a forthcoming superhero film centered on an older Black woman.

"Since I was a little kid, I’ve been obsessed with superheroes,” Goldberg says. “They’re all saving the earth all the time. But do you know who’s really going to save the earth? Old Black women."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



While celebrities now must protect their digital likenesses against those who may use them to plug a product or make it seem they've done something untoward, a U.K. company now has the power to insert products into classic movies and TV shows. 

Mirriad says their "computer vision and AI-powered platform company" can subtly change, or even add, product signage to virtually any scene, making billboards appear as if they've always been there, or, say, switching a TV family's allegiance from Pepsi to Coke.

So in theory, not only could they make Humphrey Bogart's character Rick sip Dom Perignon in the 1942 classic Casablanca, but unfamiliar viewers would be hard-pressed to realize the product wasn't there in the first place.

According to a BBC interview with Mirriad's chief executive, Stephan Beringer, the makers of ABC's hit Modern Family even "tried out" the tech. He explains it's just another application of digital special effects.

"We started out working in movies. Our chief scientist Philip McLauchlan, with his team, came up with the technology that won an Academy Award for the film Black Swan," Beringer notes. "The technology can 'read' an image, it understands the depth, the motion, the fabric, anything. So you can introduce new images that basically the human eye does not realize has been done after the fact, after the production."

The applications could also help music acts pull new advertising dollars from older performances -- something very appealing since COVID-19 has stalled live concerts.

Beringer says the next step is algorithm-based targeted ads based on viewer preferences, the way Facebook and other social media does. So your favorite action hero could suddenly seem to favor your brand of beer or like your favorite sports team, based on elements added after the fact.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Photo by Josh Ethan Johnson, Courtesy of A24

Minari, one of this year's Best Picture Oscar nominees, is inspired by the life of writer and director Lee Isaac Chung.

It follows Jacob and Monica Yi, immigrants from South Korea who move from California to Arkansas with their children to grow Korean produce. Monica's mother joins them from South Korea, and after a bumpy start, she forms a bond with her grandson, David.

The film details the personal and financial hardships the family endures as they chase the American Dream.

Former Walking Dead actor Steve Yeun, who plays Jacob in the film, made history when he became the first Asian American to receive a Best Actor Oscar nomination.

Minari was controversially shut out of a Best Picture nomination at the Golden Globes, having been classified as a "foreign language film" despite being American-made. It won the Globe for Best Foreign Language Film.

Minari is up for six Oscars this year and is available to rent on demand.

Tune in to the 93rd Oscars Sunday, April 25, live on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Andrew Toth/Getty Images for MACRO

Tia Mowry and Cory Hardrict celebrated their 13th wedding anniversary Tuesday with a special dinner celebration and gifts from their two children. 

On Wednesday, Mowry shared a series of photos from her special day, along with a list of gifts she received, including giant balloon ensembles, a butterfly necklace, 13 dozen roses from her husband, and dinner at the high-end Los Angeles restaurant Nobu, where she drank her "favorite cocktail."

"Last night was magical. Thank you my love @coryhardrict for making our anniversary so amazingly beautiful," Mowry wrote on Instagram. "Thank you for all the lovely wishes. We truly feel loved." 

On Tuesday, the Family Reunion star shared a throwback photo from her wedding day, along with a tribute post to her husband, whom she called her "biggest supporter."

"#happyanniversary my @coryhardrict I can’t believe it’s been 13 years of marriage, 21 years together and this union produced 2 beautiful children @creehardrict and #cairo," Mowry wrote on Instagram. "I am so blessed to call you my #husband. I am so #blessed to go through this thing called life with you. You are my biggest supporter and often believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. I am forever grateful....I love you Mr. Hardrict."

Tia Mowry and Cory Hardrict began dating as young actors in the late 90s. The couple made it official in 2000 and tied the knot eight years later in a lavish ceremony at the Biltmore Hotel in Santa Barbara. They share nine-year-old son, Cree, and daughter Cairo, who turns three in May. 


A post shared by TiaMowry (@tiamowry)

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Courtesy of Amazon Studios

Sound of Metal is up for Best Picture at the Oscars this Sunday. Here's what you need to know:

It stars Riz Ahmed as Ruben Stone, the drummer in a heavy metal duo called Blackgammon. When Ruben starts to lose his hearing, he must face the fact that he may never be able to perform again.

The film follows Ruben as he grapples with making the choice between accepting his situation, and trying everything possible to restore his hearing so he can return to his old way of life.

Ahmed prepared for the role by spending hours almost every day for seven months learning American Sign Language and taking drum lessons. With his Oscar nomination for Best Actor, Ahmed is the first Muslim actor to be nominated for a leading role.

Paul Raci, the actor who plays Ruben's mentor Joe in the film, is a hearing person but grew up with deaf parents and is fluent in ASL. Raci, a first-time Oscar nominee this year, is up for Best Supporting Actor.

Sound of Metal is up for six Oscars total. The film is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Tune in to the 93rd Oscars Sunday, April 25, live on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(NOTE CONTENT) In a conversation as part of the magazine's pre-Oscar special, Vanity Fair Cocktail Hour, Live!Paris Hilton revealed that the leak of her sex tape with ex Rick Salomon gave her PTSD.

"It was even more hurtful to me to have these people think that I [released it] on purpose -- that killed me," Paris said. "It still gives me post-traumatic stress disorder to talk about it."

Hilton, who's back in the headlines recently thanks to the Oscar nominated film Promising Young Woman resurrecting her 2006 single "Stars Are Blind" in a key scene, reveals how devastating that 2004 "betrayal" was to her. 

The 2001 videotaped tryst with Salomon, a professional poker player who was later briefly married to Pamela Anderson, was reportedly sold by him and released in 2004 as One Night in Paris.

"That will always be something that will hurt me for the rest of my life," the former reality show star admitted. "When it happened, people were so mean about it to me. The way that I was spoken about on nightly talk shows and the media, to see things with my family was just heartbreaking. I would be in tears every single day, I didn’t want to leave my house, I felt like my life was over."

Hilton, now 40, added of the infamous recording, "It was a private experience between two people. You love someone, you trust someone and to have your trust betrayed like that and for the whole world to be watching and laughing..."

She added, "I had always looked up to these amazing women like Princess Diana and I just felt like when he did that to me, [he] took that all away from me and people would never look at me the same."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Focus Features

Acclaimed character actor Clancy Brown plays the father of Oscar nominee Carey Mulligan's lead character in the Academy Award-nominated film Promising Young Woman

Brown has starred in classic films like Highlander and The Shawshank Redemption, beloved animated properties like SpongeBob SquarePants, and huge properties like The Mandalorian and the superhero blockbuster Thor: Ragnarok, but he tells ABC Audio that too many great films often went unseen -- until the pandemic brought streaming into the forefront.

"[T]hey [can see] some of the Oscar nominees that they wouldn't have seen otherwise, I mean, you know, Minari, who was going to see Minari [in theaters]? Nobody was going to see Minari," says Brown. "But now, because it's on streaming...everybody can see it and see how good it is."

He adds, "You can make the same argument about Mank, and Promising Young Woman, you know, all of them. You know, Ma Rainey's and, I know One Night in Miami isn't nominated for Best Picture. But, boy, what a great movie!"

Incidentally, Brown can also be seen on the specialty streaming service Shudder, starring in The Mortuary Collection, a creepy anthology series. He says Shudder similarly gives people access to lesser-known movie gems.

"It's not just, you know, horror-slasher movies, it's...thrillers and some real great art house movies," says Brown. "Now I think right now they have Ken Russell's The Devils, which I haven't seen since, gosh, I was in college...So it's been a real revelation."

He adds, "I'm all for films coming back and being in theaters again, but, you know, maybe we can we can have more of those [niche streamers]."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Courtesy of Focus Features

Promising Young Woman is among the eight films vying for the Best Picture Oscar this year.

It stars Carey Mulligan as Cassie, a 30-year-old medical school dropout who's obsessed with avenging her best friend Nina, who took her own life after she was sexually assaulted in college. But when Cassie reconnects with a former classmate, her plans for revenge suddenly take a much darker turn.

Promising Young Woman was written and directed by Emerald Fennell, a showrunner for the series Killing Eve, and a star of the shows The Crown and Call the Midwife.

The film sparked a renewed love for Paris Hilton’s 2006 single, “Stars Are Blind,” after it was featured in a scene where Mulligan and Bo Burnham dance through the aisles of a drug store.

If that wasn’t enough mid-2000s nostalgia for you, the film also features Adam Brody of The O.C. fame, and Max Greenfield and Chris Lowell, who both appeared as love interests for Kristen Bell's titular character in Veronica Mars.

Promising Young Woman is nominated for five Academy Awards total. It's available to rent on demand.

Tune in to see which film picks up the Best Picture trophy when the 93rd Oscars airs Sunday, April 25, live on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



David Alan Grier has high hopes for the future of Black sitcoms, especially if they're led by Black female creatives.

Grier -- who has a notable track record in the comedy space, including his current role on Jamie Foxx's Dad Stop Embarrassing Me! -- tells ABC Audio that he'd love to see more sitcoms led by "Black female voices."

"Who are being given more and more opportunities and just running with it," he explains. "Issa Rae, Robin Thede, just to name a few... Young Black female creators -- Lena Waithe -- [who've] always had their voice, but using this time and these opportunities to really run with it."

"Those are the voices we need and I want to hear from," Grier continues. "I've been enjoying all their work so much -- I'm their biggest fan."

While Grier can easily share his admiration and support of these important storytellers, he's not so good at being a spectator on the sidelines when it comes to this art.

"Most of them... I try to hit them up on social media like, 'Girl, work with me... Give me one of them old granddaddy roles,'" he reveals, laughing. "You know, I'm a big fan and I feel real hopeful."

"I think we have a great future in front of us," Grier adds.

Until that opportunity comes around, fans can catch the comedian-actor on Netflix's new series Dad Stop Embarrassing Me! which is now available to stream.

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