Showbiz News 8/20/2021
• Former news anchor Connie Chung is 75
• Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) is 73
• Peter Horton (thirtysomething) is 68
• Weatherman Al Roker is 67
• Amy Adams (Arrival, Superman movies) is 47
• Singer-actor Demi Lovato is 29
SATURDAY, AUGUST 21 BIRTHDAYS
Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix) is 51. Alicia Witt (Law and Order: Criminal Intent) is 46. Track star Usain Bolt is 35. Brooks Wheelan (Saturday Night Live) is 35. Hayden Panettiere (Nashville, Heroes) is 32. RJ Mitte (Breaking Bad) is 29.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 22 BIRTHDAYS
Cindy Williams (Laverne and Shirley) is 74. Ty Burrell (Modern Family) is 54. Giada DeLaurentiis is 51. Kristen Wiig is 48. James Corden is 43.
FRIDAY NIGHT TV:
SECRET CELEBRITY RENOVATION (8p ET, CBS) — New. Paula Abdul gifts her childhood dance teacher with a state-of-the-art dance studio.
WWE FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN (8p ET, FOX) — New.
BURDEN OF TRUTH (8p ET, CW) — New.
SEASON PREMIERE: THE GREATEST #AT HOME VIDEOS (9p ET, CBS) — Cedric the Entertainer hosts season 2.
DYNASTY (9p ET, CW) — New.
DATELINE (10p ET, NBC) — New.
SERIES PREMIERE: THE CHAIR (Netflix) — Sandra Oh stars in this new dramedy, from creator Amada Peet, and executive produced by Game of Thrones creators D.B. Weiss and David Benioff. Oh plays the newest (and first woman) Chair of a prestigious but struggling English department at a prestigious university. Jay Duplass and Holland Taylor also star.
ANNETTE (Amazon Prime) — Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard star in this 2021 musical fantasy that features songs by sibling art-rock duo Ron and Russell Mael. Driver plays a stand-up comedian who falls in love with an opera singer. Their relationship declines after the birth of their mysteriously prodigious daughter Annette.
THE LOUD HOUSE MOVIE (Netflix) — This Netflix original film finds the Nickelodeon family on vacation in Scotland.
PAW PATROL: THE MOVIE (Paramount+) — The super popular animated series gets a feature film.
REMINISCENCE (HBO Max) — Hugh Jackman stars in this post-apocalyptic 2021 thriller as a man who regularly uses technology that allows him to relive his past in order to search for his long lost love, played by Rebecca Ferguson.
SWEET GIRL (Netflix) — Jason Momoa stars in this 2021 action thriller as a widower whose quest for vengeance against a pharmaceutical company puts him and his daughter (Isabela Merced) in harm’s way.
SEASON PREMIERE: TRUTH BE TOLD (Apple TV+) — Octavia Spencer and Kate Hudson return for season 2 of the mystery drama.
CHILDREN OF THE CULT (Discovery+) — This new docuseries investigates a scandal-plagued religious organization founded in Long Beach in the late 1960s.
WE LOVE NYC: THE HOMECOMING CONCERT (5p ET, CNN) — Live from Central Park is this all-star concert, featuring Bruce Springsteen, Jennifer Hudson, Andrea Bocelli, Journey, Kane Brown, Elvis Costello, Earth, Wind & Fire, Cynthia Erivo, The Killers, Barry Manilow, Paul Simon,, Rob Thomas and many more celebrating the resilience of the nation after the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
STAND UP TO CANCER (8p ET, CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX and more) — Anthony Anderson, Sofia Vergara, Ken Jeong and his wife, Dr. Tran Ho (a physician and a cancer survivor), co-host the seventh edition of this cancer research fund-raiser. The broadcast includes appearances by Jennifer Garner, Matthew McConaughey and Ed Helms, and performances by Common, Stevie Wonder and Brittany Howard.
CELEBRITY FAMILY FEUD (8p ET, ABC) — New. Celebs playing are Vivica A. Fox and actor Bill Bellamy.Plus, Major League Baseball alums go head-to-head against their wives.
BIG BROTHER (8p ET, CBS) — New.
DC’S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW (8p ET, CW) — New.
GOSSIP (8p ET, Showtime) — This new 4-part documentary looks at the life of the longtime New York gossip columnist Cindy Adams. The series uses Adams’s career as a way to look at the history of American tabloids over the past several decades — she started writing a column for The New York Post in the late 1970s, soon after it was purchased by Rupert Murdoch.
THE CHASE (9p ET, ABC) — New.
SEASON PREMIERE: THE WALKING DEAD (9p ET, AMC) — In the season 11 premiere, Daryl leads a mission team to scavenge the military base he discovered. Plus Maggie tells her story, prompting a new mission for survival that only Negan can lead.
TO TELL THE TRUTH (10p ET, ABC) — New. The celebrity panelists are Caroline Rhea, Deon Cole and Adam Pally.
SEASON PREMIERE: TALKING DEAD (10p ET, AMC) — New. Chris Hardwick hosts, as Angela Kang, Emily Kinney, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Paola Lázaro discuss the premiere.
Showbiz News & Gossip
SCARLETT JOHANSSON GIVES BIRTH, WELCOMES FIRST BABY WITH COLIN JOST
Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost are parents. The actress’ rep confirmed on Wednesday that the couple recently welcomed their first baby together. In a Hollywood surprise, the couple was able to keep the pregnancy private almost to the end. While Colin is a first-time dad, Scarlett co-parents her 6-year-old daughter, Rose Dorothy Dauriac, with ex-husband Romain Dauriac.
… Jost shared on social media: “Ok ok we had a baby. His name is Cosmo. We love him very much.”
IN THEATERS AND STREAMING
New movies in (select) theaters, streaming, and video on demand.
• Paw Patrol: The Movie (Theaters) watch the trailer!
• The Protégé (Theaters)
• Reminiscence (Theaters + HBO Max)
• Annette (Amazon)
• Cryptozoo (Theaters)
• Demonic (Theaters)
• Flag Day (Theaters)
• Last Man Standing (Theaters + VOD)
• The Night House (Theaters)
• Sweet Girl (Netflix)
• Wildland (Theaters)
MOVIE THEATERS IN SOME CITIES NOW CHECK FOR VACCINE PROOF _ If you don’t want to get vaccinated then you might miss Top Gun: Maverick, Spider-Man: No Way Home, The Matrix 4, or the latest James Bond flick. Movie theaters in a handful of cities around the country will soon be checking for proof of vaccination — creating one more obstacle to the full return of moviegoing.
COMING TO THEATERS
Slowly, Americans are going back to theaters. Here’s an updated list of what’s coming in 2021.
• PAW Patrol: The Movie (Aug. 20, 2021)
• Candyman (Aug. 27, 2021) – Horror remake written by Jordan Peele.
• The Beatles: Get Back (Aug. 27, 2021) – Peter Jackson charts the making of the Beatles’ 1970 album Let It Be in a documentary.
• Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings (Sept. 3, 2021) – Marvel’s martial arts action movie.
• The Many Saints of Newark (Sept. 24, 2021) – Michael Gandolfini plays a young Tony Soprano in The Many Saints of Newark.
• No Time to Die (Oct. 8, 2021) – Bond is back, eventually. It’s Daniel Craig’s last time as 007.
• Venom: Let There Be Carnage (Oct. 15, 2021) – The sequel to the 2018 supervillain caper.
• Halloween Kills (Oct. 15, 2021)
• Dune (Oct. 21, 2021) – Star-studded. It’ll also stream on HBO Max.
• Antlers (Oct. 29, 2021) – A small-town horror chiller produced by Guillermo del Toro.
• Eternals (Nov. 5, 2021) – Marvel’s otherworldly ensemble.
• Finch (Nov. 5, 2021) – Tom Hanks is the last man on Earth, hanging out with his faithful robot in this post-apocalyptic drama.
• Ghostbusters: Afterlife (Nov. 11, 2021) – Paul Rudd breathes new (after) life into the Ghostbusters series.
• Top Gun: Maverick (Nov. 19, 2021) – We’ve waited over 30 years for a sequel to the original 1986 Top Gun.
• Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (Nov. 24, 2021) – A new movie version of the chilling survival horror game.
• West Side Story (Dec. 10, 2021) – Steven Spielberg’s remake of the legendary musical.
• Spider-Man: No Way Home (Dec. 17, 2021)
• The Matrix 4 (Dec. 22, 2021) – Keanu Reeves returns. The film will stream on HBO Max too.
JAMES BOND PRODUCERS HAVE MADE UP THEIR MIND ON AMAZON TV SERIES IDEA _ Despite ever-growing calls to release it on streaming, James Bond producers decided to sit out the pandemic. The team, which reportedly can no longer afford another delay, have stuck to their plans to debut No Time To Die exclusively in theaters, with Daniel Craig’s final outing as 007 due to launch this October in the U.S. And yet, in the time fans have been waiting for the new film to arrive, the franchise has undergone a major change, as Amazon now owns the rights — thanks to their $8.45 billion buyout of MGM.
… This has led to much speculation that the studio will be looking to expand the brand, likely with some spinoff TV series, in much the same way that they are working on multiple Lord of the Rings concepts. However, it looks like Amazon may not be able to press ahead with any plans like this as Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson maintain that they are only interested in producing big-screen projects.
… Broccoli and Wilson were asked if they are against the idea of doing a 007 TV series. Broccoli confirmed that was the case, with an answer that didn’t leave room for any doubt: “You got it. We make films. We make films for the cinema. That’s what we do.”
SPIDER-MAN 3: NO WAY HOME PRODUCER KNOWS FANS WANT A TRAILER _ Spider Man: No Way Home is coming to theaters in just four months and fans want just one thing: a trailer. And producer Kevin Feige acknowledges this. The producer said: “Honestly, I’ve seen the fervor online.” So what’s the hold-up with a trailer — or any new news — about Spider-Man 3? Says Feige: “I think all of our projects… we want to preserve surprises. That’s all the secrecy is for.”
… Spider-Man 3: No Way Home will be in theaters on December 17.
FOX RENEWS MASTERCHEF FOR 12th SEASON _ Gordon Ramsay is headed back to the kitchens of MasterChef for its 12th season. The report notes that Ramsay, along with fellow judges Aarón Sánchez and Joe Bastianich, are all set to return for the new season of the hit series.
… For those unfamiliar with MasterChef, the series follows a handful of amateur chefs as they compete in a variety of challenges and tests to prove who the best of the bunch is. The winner of each season receives $250,000, a MasterChef trophy, and the title of MasterChef, although past seasons have also included prizes such as a cookbook deal and other rewards.
MARIO LOPEZ SAYS A FAMILY REALITY SHOW ‘MIGHT BE IN THE WORKS’ _ Access Hollywood host Mario Lopez says that his family is weighing their options in the reality TV arena. Lopez thinks it would be “kind of fun to do something with the kids, where maybe they’re more of the focus.” So is something like Access Lopez happening? The TV host says, “We can’t really [say] because we don’t really know what’s going on, but we’ll tell you as soon as we can.”
… Sports and pop culture website The Ringer found old episodes of The Randumb Show, a podcast Richards hosted from 2013 to 2014 and taped in his office as executive producer of The Price Is Right.
ROSIE HUNTINGTON-WHITELEY IS PREGNANT _ Congratulations are in order for Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. The Mad Max: Fury Road star revealed that she is pregnant with baby No. 2. Huntington-Whiteley is already a proud mom to her first-born son, Jack, whom she shares with her husband, Jason Statham. They welcomed him in 2017.
BLOOD RED SKY SEQUEL REPORTEDLY IN THE WORKS AT NETFLIX _ Vampires-on-a-plane thriller Blood Red Sky has been a major hit for Netflix, consistently doing well in the rankings for the most-watched content on the streaming platform. And it now appears that Netflix is developing Blood Red Sky 2.
EMPLOYEE FILES REPORT AGAINST SPEARS _ Sheriff’s officials in California have opened a misdemeanor battery investigation after an employee reported being struck by Britney Spears. Ventura County Sheriff’s deputies were called to Spears’ house on Monday night after being called by a staff member. The sheriff’s department said the housekeeper reported that Spears knocked a cellphone out of her hand during an argument after the employee had taken one of Spears’ dogs to the vet.
… Spears’ attorney called the allegation overblown, saying there was “no striking and obviously no injury whatsoever.”
KALEY CUOCO OFFERS TO BUY OLYMPIC HORSE SAINT BOY THAT WAS PUNCHED BY COACH _ Kaley Cuoco recently spoke out about an incident that occurred during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. A horse named Saint Boy was punched by its coach during the modern pentathlon event. The Big Bang Theory actor, an avid horse lover, was disgusted by the coach’s actions. She publicly voiced her opinions, even offering to buy Saint Boy and give the animal a new home with her.
… Cuoco isn’t bluffing about her seriousness in giving Saint Boy a new home. Her husband, Karl Cook, is an equestrian and an avid animal lover too. No word on whether Saint Boy will become a part of the Cuoco stable any time soon.
JENNIFER ANISTON AND DAVID SCHWIMMER ARE GETTING SERIOUS? _ Are Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer dating? One tabloid insists the Friends co-stars have taken their romance off-screen and are getting serious. This week, New Idea reports Aniston and Schwimmer are taking their famous romance as Ross and Rachel off-screen. The magazine claims the former co-stars are “smitten with each other” and have been spending tons of time together since the Friends HBO reunion special. During the special, Aniston and Schwimmer both revealed that they had crushes on each other at different times during their stint as Ross and Rachel. Both actors insist they never acted on their feelings since they were each in their own relationships at the time.
… The tabloid pulls an “insider” quote from a recent Closer article that explains, “Just last month, David flew from his home in New York to see Jen in L.A.” The magazine admits that representatives for Schwimmer have denied the rumors, but the tabloid insists they’re trying to “downplay” his bond with Aniston.
WHAT SECRETS WILL NETFLIX REVEAL ABOUT BOB ROSS? _ In a 35-second teaser released this week, Netflix promises to reveal more about the elusive painter Bob Ross, who is the subject of the upcoming documentary Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed. • VIDEO
… In the teaser, ominous music plays over a black-and-white image of the painter, with the title, “We want to show you the trailer… But we can’t.” Then, an unidentified man’s voice says the words, “I’ve been wanting to get this story out for all these years.” And that’s it. That’s the extent of the 35 second teaser to the film, which premieres August 25.
… A description of the film reads: “Bob Ross brought joy to millions as the world’s most famous art instructor. But a battle for his business empire cast a shadow over his happy trees.”
… According to a May article in The Daily Beast, Annette and Walt Kowalski, who are the business partners of Bob Ross Inc., went to court this year after Bob Ross’ oldest son, Steve, and other friends of the painter accused them of illegally licensing his image to promote products that went beyond the artistic realm.
LAURA PREPON SAYS SHE DITCHED SCIENTOLOGY 5 YEARS AGO _ Laura Prepon, known for Orange Is the New Black and That ’70s Show, says she’s no longer practicing Scientology. The move came nearly five years ago. Prepon told People: “I’ve always been very open-minded, even since I was a child. I was raised Catholic and Jewish. I’ve prayed in churches, meditated in temples. I’ve studied Chinese meridian theory. I haven’t practiced Scientology in close to five years and it’s no longer part of my life.”
HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE TRAILER _ In a new trailer, the reboot of a classic children’s cartoon aims to capture a new generation of fans in 3D. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is on its way to Netflix. The original He-Man and the Masters of the Universe aired from 1983-1985 and was followed by sequels, spinoffs, and toy lines. Netflix’s upcoming 3D series features returning characters and new additions to fill out the cast. It comes to the streamer on September 16. • VIDEO
YELLOWSTONE ANNOUNCES SEASON 4 PREMIERE DATE _ Yellowstone has confirmed the premiere of Season 4. On Sunday, November 7, Yellowstone returns to Paramount Network with two back to back episodes.
HALLE BERRY SUED BY MMA FIGHTER OVER BRUISED ROLE _ Halle Berry’s taking a hit from a seasoned MMA fighter — but it’s a lawsuit. Cat Zingano, a 39-year-old MMA star, filed a lawsuit against the actress after she was cut from Berry’s film Bruised. Zingano claims in the suit that she missed a vital UFC fight in order to star in Bruised, Berry’s directorial debut, only to be cut from the film and UFC entirely.
… In the lawsuit, the UFC fighter claims Berry asked her to star in the film in 2019 because of the apparent parallels between the Bruised script and the fighter’s life. A week later, Zingano claims she declined an offer for a UFC fight the same year in order to star in the film. The fight would have been key for Zingano’s career, which would have put her in contention for a title fight. After telling UFC she wouldn’t be able to fight because of the movie, UFC let her go. Berry then allegedly retracted the offer to have the fighter star in her film, Variety reported, saying “only UFC fighters could participate.”
BILLIE EILISH PARTNERS WITH FENDER TO GIVE UKULELES TO 2,500 CHILDREN _ Billie Eilish is giving back to the neighborhood where she grew up and fell in love with music. The Grammy Award-winning artist has joined Fender Play Foundation in a project to provide schoolchildren in Highland Park, Los Angeles, with ukuleles. Eilish’s musical journey began when she was a young child. She learned ukulele at 6 years old and the first song she practiced on the instrument was I Will by the Beatles.
… Eilish and Fender Play Foundation will give Fender California Coast Series Seaside Ukuleles to about 2,500 kids in local elementary schools.
SMARTLESS DOCUSERIES WITH JASON BATEMAN, WILL ARNETT AND SEAN HAYES _ Discovery+ has ordered a docuseries that will follow Jason Bateman, Will Arnett and Sean Hayes on the live tour of their popular podcast SmartLess. The two-part series will debut in 2022 and feature highlights from their celebrity interviews during the tour, as well as exclusive, behind-the-scenes access throughout the six-city tour that takes place in February. The tour will stop in Toronto, Boston, Brooklyn, Chicago, Madison, Wisconsin, and Los Angeles.
… SmartLess podcast guests have included Vice President Kamala Harris, George Clooney, Jennifer Aniston, Adam Sandler, Ricky Gervais, Bryan Cranston, Paul McCartney, Tina Fey, Awkwafina, W. Kamau Bell, Stacey Abrams, Billie Eilish and Megan Rapinoe.
JOHNNY DEPP SCORES BIG WIN OVER AMBER HEARD _ Johnny Depp’s two-year-old defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard will not be dismissed, meaning the case is set to proceed to a trial next year. A Virginia judge rejected Heard’s motion to dismiss the case — Heard’s third such motion since Depp filed his lawsuit in March 2019 — on various grounds spelled out in an opinion obtained by USA TODAY.
… Heard tried to get the Virginia lawsuit thrown out citing the ruling of a London judge last year in a libel lawsuit Depp filed against the publisher of The Sun tabloid and subsequently lost following a contentious legal showdown in an English courtroom. The London judge concluded that the 2018 article branding Depp a “wife beater” was not libelous and that “the great majority” of Heard’s claims of domestic abuse “could be proved to the civil standard.”
… But the Virginia judge concluded that the two cases were not the same — Heard was not a party in the London lawsuit, although she was a witness for The Sun.
ADAM SANDLER AND JENNIFER ANISTON EXPECTED TO RETURN FOR THIS NETFLIX SEQUEL _ Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston had a hit Netflix film with 2019’s Murder Mystery. The Rotten Tomatoes score sits at just 44 percent, but when it was released it quickly became Netflix’s biggest opening. Now a source says production has begun on Murder Mystery 2.
PRODUCTION ON TED LASSO SEASON 3 WON’T START UNTIL NEXT YEAR _ Ted Lasso was one of the most-talked-about shows in 2020 and 2021 — and by now fans know Season 3 is a go. Sadly, however, the show is not filming just yet. And writing for the show isn’t happening just yet. Sources close to the show say writing on Season 3 of Ted Lasso will begin in September with filming to begin in January, 2022.
AUBREY PLAZA TO START IN EMILY THE CRIMINAL _ More Aubrey Plaza movies are never a bad thing, so let’s all get excited about Emily the Criminal, a film Plaza will produce and star in. Emily the Criminal will have Plaza playing a woman with heavy debts who gets involved in a credit card scam. The scam goes sideways and there are “deadly consequences.”
BIGGEST MOVIE STARS’ SALARIES _ A decade ago, Hollywood stars knew their place on the A-list was secure when their film topped the box office. Today, success can be measured by views on Netflix or a vague press release touting a movie’s popularity on HBO Max. A $20 million-per-picture paycheck has been industry standard for top talent since 1996, when Jim Carrey stunned Hollywood by earning that sum for his dark comedy The Cable Guy. That number still stands for headliners of movies made for theatrical release, including upcoming projects starring Sandra Bullock (The Lost City of D), Brad Pitt (Bullet Train) and Chris Hemsworth (Thor: Love and Thunder). And it’s a sliding scale. Chris Pine will earn close to $11.5 million for Dungeons and Dragons, and Robert Pattinson picked up $3 million for his role in The Batman.
… But many of these paydays are dwarfed by the riches offered by Netflix, Amazon and other streamers. Daniel Craig, for instance, is walking off with north of $100 million for two sequels to Knives Out, which will show up on Netflix.
Variety reports Dwayne Johnson is getting $50 million for Red One for Amazon. Will Smith is getting $40 million for King Richard (about the father of Venus and Serena Williams). And Denzel Washington picked up a $40 million paycheck for The Little Things, which hit theaters in January.