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"Have you ever taken your helmet off?" Golden Globes tweaked rules because of 'The Mandalorian'

Disney (LOS ANGELES) -- While The Mandalorian is responsible for cutting-edge technological advances in TV production, the Disney hit is also responsible for a change in how Golden Globes are awarded to actors. 

According to Variety, the issue was star Pedro Pascal's portrayal of the title character.  Specifically, the mysterious bounty hunter is bound by a creed not to remove his helmet -- and so his face remains covered until the final episode of the first season. 

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the organization behind the Golden Globes, had a rule stating, "voice-only performances are not eligible in any acting category," a mandate primarily intended to address animated films, making Pascal ineligible last year for an acting award nomination.  However, the HFPA has now declared that because Pascal's face was ultimately revealed, albeit briefly, he isn't considered a voiceover-only performer, and so would have been eligible for nomination last year.

While Pascal voices the Mandalorian -- the character's name is Din Djarin, by the way -- the actor's not always the man in the armored suit.  Brendan Wayne, incidentally the grandson of John Wayne, also performs the character while helmeted, as does martial artist Lateef Crowder for some of the fight scenes. 

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

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


Just in time for launch day, HBO Max has conjured up every 'Harry Potter' movie

HBO Max(LOS ANGELES) -- HBO's new streaming service HBO Max launches today, and a last-minute edition to the line-up of thousands of movies and TV shows will have Harry Potter fans swooning. 

ABC Audio has confirmed that all eight films in the Potter series, including the two spin-offs from J.K. Rowling's wizarding world -- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald -- are available for viewing on the service. 

As previously reported, the $14.99/month service boasts some 10,000 hours of programming, including six new original series, plus HBO's slate of hit shows, like Veep and Curb Your Enthusiasm.  It'll also feature a library of 2,000 films, from Casablanca to The Matrix to the LEGO movies.  

Subscribers also have access to the full runs of shows including Friends, The Big Bang Theorythe new Doctor Who, Rick and MortyThe BoondocksThe BachelorSesame StreetThe Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, CW shows such as Batwoman, and -- eventually -- South ParkAdventure Time, Gossip Girl, and The West Wing.

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


Yes, director Christopher Nolan really blew up an actual 747 for 'Tenet'

Melinda Sue Gordon/©2020 Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.(LOS ANGELES) -- The trailer to director Christopher Nolan's mind-and-time-bending thriller Tenet shows glimpses of a huge action scene that centers on the detonation of a 747 passenger plane in a hangar. 

But in this day and age of computer wizardry, Nolan went old school: he actually blew up the real thing. It was more "efficient" that way, he explains to Total Film

"I planned to do it using miniatures and set-piece builds and a combination of visual effects and all the rest," the filmmaker says. But then while scouting locations in Victorville, California, his team came upon an aviation 'boneyard' -- that is, a collection of mothballed aircraft.

Says Nolan, "We started to run the numbers [and] it became apparent that it would actually be more efficient to buy a real plane of the real size, and perform this sequence for real in-camera, rather than build miniatures or go the CG route."

He adds with a laugh, "It's a strange thing to talk about -- a kind of impulse buying, I suppose." 

The scene's massive scale left an impression on co-star Robert Pattinson, whose character, for reasons as yet unknown in the super-secret film, plots the plane's demise with John David Washington's character.

"You wouldn't have thought there was any reality where you would be doing a scene where they just have an actual 747 to blow up! It’s so bold to the point of ridiculousness," Pattinson recalls. "I remember, as we were shooting it, I was thinking, 'How many more times is this even going to be happening in a film at all?'"

Tenet is slated for a July 17 theatrical debut.

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


John Krasinski tells 'Office' co-star Rainn Wilson why he sold his quarantine online hit, 'Some Good News'

ABC/Paula Lobo(LOS ANGELES) -- It's well known that John Krasinski put his time in lockdown to good use, with the uplifting YouTube series Some Good News.  Now sharing the reason behind his surprise recent decision to sell it to CBS News. 

On his Office co-star Rainn Wilson's Instagram series Hey There, Human, Krasinski explained, "...I was only planning on doing eight of them during quarantine, because I have these other things that I'm going to be having to do very soon, like Jack Ryan and all this other stuff. But more than that, it was something that writing, directing, and producing with a couple of my friends was so much [that] I knew it wouldn't be sustainable with my prior commitments."

The Quiet Place director adds, "[I]t's funny, in the first episode I said, 'Why isn't there a news show dedicated entirely to good news?' and now we have one of the biggest news programs in America, CBS News, saying that they want to make it part of their permanent news cycle, which is insane."

Krasinski enthused, "The fact that we were able to accomplish that -- in eight weeks it went from not existing to now being on one of these huge news networks -- is honestly one of the most amazing honors I've ever been able to pull off. And again, it was all due to the community and to the people."

He also explained he'll return to host occasionally, and also tapped Wilson to take a shift or two. "We have a lot of fun stuff planned and I can't wait to dig in," John says.

For his part, Wilson called Some Good News "profound," adding, "It was just what this country needed." 

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


Betty White doing "very well" in quarantine; here's what she's been up to

Freeform(LOS ANGELES) -- As COVID-19 spread, there was a collective concern for beloved icon Betty White and her safety. Her rep first gave an update that she was doing well in March, and now two months later, fans can rest assured knowing she's still doing just fine. 

In an email to Today, White's rep revealed that the 98-year-old actress is doing "very well" and is taking all the precautions to keep herself as safe as possible. 

"No one permitted in except those who must," the rep said. 

The Golden Girls actress has been quarantined in her home during the COVID-19 pandemic but in no way has she gotten bored. 

"She owns literally thousands of crossword puzzle books and is constantly doing them to keep her mind jumping. This is really serious with her," the rep shared.

White isn't just cooped up in the house, though. Her rep explained, "Betty has beautiful backyard with a number of wild animals visiting. Two ducks always come by to say hello. They waddle up to her glass door and look in."

The comedian's publicist also chimed in playfully adding, "the animal community is watching over her" and that "the virus is afraid of Betty!"

So there you have it, long live Betty White. 

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


'Always Sunny' signed for a record 15th season

L-R - Rob McElhenney, Glenn Howerton -- Patrick McElhenney/FXX(LOS ANGELES) -- FX has renewed It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia for a record-breaking 15th season, according to Deadline. The series, which wrapped up its 14th season in November, had already tied the very different  The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet for longest-running live-action comedy series by seasons. 

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia creators Rob McElhenney, Glenn Howerton and Charlie Day star in the comedy, along with Kaitlin Olson and Danny DeVito.

McElhenney told ABC Audio about the longevity of the series. "We always believed in the show. We always loved making the show. And I think that's the key. I think when people ask about the success of Sunny, I think that the most important thing, as I think about it over the 14 years, is that we all love each other, truly, and that we're having fun making the show."

He adds, "People talk about this in terms of TV shows and movies all the time. 'You were family.' But we are literally a family. We're all married to one another." McElhenney's married to his co-star, Kaitlin Olson,  Day is married to featured Sunny player Mary Elizabeth Ellis, and Howerton met his wife, Jill Latiano, after she appeared on an episode.

Co-producer Megan Ganz adds with a laugh, "Someday the kids will be on the show. Season 25, guys." McElhenney adds, "That'll be spin off, as our children become the stars of the show."

Rob says, "When you make a show about people who are such sociopaths, essentially, and almost cartoonishly evil, in terms of comedy, the only way it works is that it's clear the human behinds behind it are not, right?" said McElhenney, addressing the secret of show's staying power. "It's clear that we're having fun..."

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


Tom Cruise's space-shot movie gets 'Edge of Tomorrow' director Doug Liman

2018 - Paramount PicturesTom Cruise’s American Made and Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman has signed on to helm Cruise’s forthcoming as-yet-untitled action adventure film, to be shot in outer space, according to Deadline. 

Cruise, with the help of Elon Musk’s Space X and NASA, plans to actually travel to space to shoot the film -- a historical first.

The project will require Cruise to undergo intense training in order to be able to withstand an outer space flight, which should be nothing for the daring actor, who’s known for performing his own stunts, including one in 2018's Mission Impossible: Fallout in which he broke his ankle while leaping from one rooftop to the other.

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


Jimmy Fallon calls blackface 'SNL' sketch a “terrible decision”

NBC(NEW YORK) -- Jimmy Fallon apologized on Tuesday after drawing criticism for appearing in blackface during a Saturday Night Live sketch 20 years ago, calling it a “terrible decision.”

The sketch from 2000 featured Fallon portraying comedian and fellow SNL allum Chris Rock during interview with Darrel Hammond as TV host Regis Philbin.  NBC had previously removed the video from its website, but the clip resurfaced on Twitter and YouTube.

“In 2000, while on SNL, I made a terrible decision to do an impersonation of Chris Rock while in blackface. There is no excuse for this,” Fallon wrote on Twitter. “I am very sorry for making this unquestionably offensive decision and thank all of you for holding me accountable.”

In 2000, while on SNL, I made a terrible decision to do an impersonation of Chris Rock while in blackface. There is no excuse for this.

I am very sorry for making this unquestionably offensive decision and thank all of you for holding me accountable.

— jimmy fallon (@jimmyfallon) May 26, 2020

The clip, seems to have resurfaced on the account @chefboyohdear, who drew a comparison between Megyn Kelly, who was fired from NBC in 2018 for appearing to defend blackface Halloween costumes, with Fallon, who “performed on NBC in blackface.”

On Tuesday, the hashtag #JimmyFallonIsOverParty began trending on Twitter, with social media users calling to “cancel” Fallon for his impersonation.

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

Taking a closer look at ABC's new 'Genetic Detective', CeCe Moore

ABC(NEW YORK) -- Tonight on ABC, the true crime show The Genetic Detective debuts at 10 p.m. ET. In the program, investigative genealogist CeCe Moore uses her DNA research skills to bring criminals to justice. 

"It really started for me just as a hobby," Moore explains. "Actually, there was no such thing as a professional genetic genealogist....And so I just jumped in with both feet and learned by doing so."

"I don't have a science degree," she notes. "I'm self-taught in all of this, but I was really fortunate that it was very early in the field when I became interested and I had the ability to commit a lot of time to learning."

Moore's work helping people track down their birth parents led to her work with law enforcement, but she says she didn't take that step until she was confident that ethical issues of dealing with people's most sensitive information were satisfied.

"Who wouldn't want to help stop a serial killer? Bring answers to these families and victims that have waited for years and decades?" Moore asked rhetorically.

"So almost exactly two years ago, I finally felt that I could responsibly move forward. And I've been able to help solve a case a week on average -- so hundred and ten cases across the country now."  

Tonight's installment shows Moore working with Seattle's Snohomish County Sheriff's Office on the double homicide of a young couple who disappeared in 1987.

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


'Seinfeld''s Mr. Wilhelm, actor Richard Herd, dead at 87

Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Veteran character actor Richard Herd, best known for portraying George's doddering New York Yankees boss Mr. Wilhelm on Seinfeld, has died at age 87.

Herd's stepdaughter confirmed the news via email, writing "Richard did pass away this morning from cancer at his home in Los Angeles with his family present."

Herd's career spanned decades.  In addition to eleven appearances on Seinfeld, he also had roles in films including All the President's MenThe China Syndrome and Planes, Trains and Automobiles. and, most recently, Clint Eastwood's The Mule.  His long list of TV credits includes the 1980s sci-fi miniseries VT.J. Hooker, and three different Star Trek series roles, as well as guest-starring roles on dozens of other shows.

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


With new trailer, AMC announces 'NOS4A2' season 2 is debuting June 21

AMC(LOS ANGELES) -- After a successful first season, an a near immediate pick-up for a second, AMC has announced its adaptation of author Joe Hill's book NOS4A2 [Nosferatu] is returning June 21. 

Zachary Quinto plays Charlie Manx in the show, a supernatural baddie who abducts kids and drains their souls.  At odds with him is Ashley Cummings' Vic McQueen, a tough, motorcycle-riding heroine with powers of her own.

In the creepy new trailer, Vic learns that Charlie is far from dead -- and now has his eyes on her son.

Hill explained to ABC Audio that AMC was the perfect home for the series, which he also co-produced, saying, "When you get a chance to be in with ...the team at AMC, which has done such great work with stuff like, you know, The Terror and The Walking Dead, you feel that you're working with people who have a good grounded sense of how to scare people, how to move people, how to delineate character in interesting and effective ways....And so I'm in with the right people, that's for sure."

The author, the son of legendary horror writer Stephen King, also welcomed his book being turned into a series, rather than a film.

"...[Y]ou can make great suspenseful movies, too, but with with a movie, you have about 10 minutes to fall in love with a character before they're in trouble," says Hill.  "You don't feel for them. So you don't live with them the same way you live with, you know, a character like Walter White in Breaking Bad where, you know, after four seasons, every up and down, you feel that in your gut!"

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


Fred Armisen debuts his "optimistic" travel show, in which he doesn't leave his home

NBC(LOS ANGELES) -- Saturday Night Live and Portlandia veteran Fred Armisen is in lockdown, like millions of other Americans, but that didn't stop him from creating a new travel show. 

As part of Peacock's Seth Macfarlane-hosted At-Home Variety Show, Armisen's offering, titled Fred Hopes to Travel to the Cool Part of Town, has him video-chatting with people all over the world, looking for unique places in countries.

The first installment sees him checking off-beat travel sites with a drag performer in Tel Aviv, Israel; a resident of Reykjavík, Iceland; and a journalist/band member from Mexico City.

Armisen explains, "This is an optimistic project. Things may be the way they are right now, but..I found some really great resources." He ends by crediting Monty Python member -- and famed travel show host -- Michael Palin with inspiring the project. 

The programming on the Peacock At-Home Variety show benefits Americares, Feeding America, and United Way.

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


Yvette Nicole Brown having a "great ride" on 'The Big Fib' on Disney+

Disney (NEW YORK) -- If you have Disney , you're going to know Community veteran Yvette Nicole Brown. Not only was she in Lady and the Tramp and had a cameo in Avengers: Endgame, she's also been working on a dramedy with John Stamos called Big Shot for the streaming service, and now hosts the new Disney kid game show The Big Fib

Her involvement with these projects were no accident, she tells ABC Audio.

"As a...kid that grew up loving all things Disney, I pinch myself daily that I'm able to be a part of the family," says Brown.  "I'm a PG-13 kind of gal. So...the Disney brand fits right in line with who I am. As long as I'm not talking politics, that's when it gets a little rough. But if we're just talking about life in general, I'm 100% Disney."

The Big Fib has Brown hosting a panel of kids, who have to determine which grown-ups are fibbing about their jobs, in true To Tell The Truth style.  Brown jokes she's never believed the old Hollywood adage, "Never work with children or animals." 

"I actually believe the opposite," she explains.  "I have a dog. They're amazing. And working with children, I started on Drake & Josh...I don't know any other way."

Brown says of The Big Fib, "We had the most intelligent, funny, interesting, weird -- in the best way -- kids on the show. The best thing about The Big Fib is that the kids are in control. I don't even have a chair...So this is their show. These are their questions and these are their brilliant minds discovering which one of these two adults is the big fibber. It's been a great ride."  

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

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


As COVID-19 restrictions ease, mayor insists September's Venice Film Festival is still a go

The Golden Lion Award -- TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Images(ITALY) -- As many parts of the world recover from the COVID-19 crisis, the mayor of hard-hit Venice, Italy insists the city's famed film festival is still happening this September. 

Variety reports Luca Zaia, governor of Veneto, has given the green light to the annual event, which is scheduled to start September 2 and run through September 12. 

The festival, which showcases offerings from Hollywood and around the world, usually dovetails with the international exhibition Biennale of Architecture, but this year, the latter event was postponed until 2021 for logistical reasons. 

While the Venice Film Festival is still on the schedule, its organizers will likely see a problem shared by awards shows on this side of the world: fewer films in the running, thanks to shooting delays caused by the pandemic. 

Incidentally, Tom Cruise and the rest of the cast and crew of the next Mission: Impossible film left Venice for Rome a few months ago as the virus began spreading.  Ultimately, they left Rome as well, and shooting on the film was suspended. 

Italy, which once claimed more reported COVID-19 infections than nearly any other nation, has recently seen is infections decline.  It now has a reported 230,158 infections, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University -- the sixth-highest reported per-nation infection total.

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


Rebel Wilson reveals her goal weight while undergoing "Year of Health" mission

ABC/Rick Rowell(LOS ANGELES) -- Actress Rebel Wilson is proving that once she sets a goal for herself, she sticks to it no matter how ambitious it is.

The Pitch Perfect star on Monday posted a snap of her wearing gym clothes and shared an inspirational message to fans about never giving up.

"Even if you have to crawl towards your goals, keep going x it will be worth it," Wilson encouraged. "Try and give a little bit of effort each day...I know some days are frustrating as hell, you feel like giving up, you get annoyed at the lack of progress...but good things are coming your way."

The 40-year-old then revealed that she is determined to achieve the bold weight loss goal she set for herself at the start of the year.

She admitted, "I’ll be honest with you guys - with my “Year of Health” mission I’m trying to get to 75kg’s," which is about 165 pounds.

Rebel's New Year's ambitions didn't stop at fitness goals, she laid out several objectives for her to accomplish by 2021. "Career wise am trying to get one of my movies into production before the end of the year," she added.

The Australian actress admits, however, that she was well aware of how demanding her journey would be.  "Both of these things are requiring a daily effort and there’s constant set backs," she maintained, concluding on a positive note that she will accomplish both because she is "working hard."

Wilson also challenged fans to tell her their 2020 resolutions, with many commenting that her post motivated them to work on accomplishing their goals.

In addition, fellow Pitch Perfect alum Skylar Astin humorously noted, "I'm buying whatever you're selling.  Beautiful Rebs!"

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


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