ABC - Entertainment News

L-R - Shelley Hack, Jaclyn Smith and Cheryl Ladd -- Walt Disney Television via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- With the constantly scary headlines that are coming from the COVID-19 pandemic, it's no surprise people are using their time at home to seek comfort in old television favorites.

As previously reported, Hallmark Channel is running its popular Christmas movies now, while retro cable channel COZI TV tells ABC Audio that it's seen a spike in viewership.

In fact, COZI viewing has grown 24% over the past three weeks compared to the same period last year, according Meredith McGinn, the network's senior vice president.

"COZI TV's broadcast lineup has become comfort TV during these uncertain times," McGinn said. "As more and more viewers tune in, we look forward to welcoming them with feel-good family fun, filled with our iconic catalog of sitcoms, dramas and action series that will give families a much-needed reprieve."

One of those feel-good shows? The '70s classic Charlie's Angels, which airs weekday mornings at 9 AM Eastern time, and in a three-hour block on Saturdays.  The show, which inspired several films, follows three young women who work for a private detective firm run by Charles "Charlie" Townsend.

Cheryl Ladd played Kris Munroe on the show; her character was the little sister of Farrah Fawcett-Majors' character Jill Munroe.  In a recent chat with ABC Audio, Ladd explained the Angels' ongoing appeal. 

She expliained, "I just think people connect with the characters...I mean, we were grown-up Girl Scouts really in the show. There wasn't anything too racy about it. The wonderful thing about that show is the whole family could watch it."

Ladd explains, "I've run into so many women who are now police sergeants and firefighters...all of these women that were inspired by those characters, which is always so rewarding to hear." 

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Christos Kalohoridis/Netflix(NEW YORK) -- Good news for fans of the Netflix series Locke & Key: The show has been renewed for season two.

The series, based on the comics by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez, follows three siblings who move into a supernatural estate following their father’s murder.

"We are thrilled to be continuing the journey of Locke & Key alongside all of our amazing collaborators," co-showrunners Carlton Cuse and Meredith Averill said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter Monday. "We are grateful to Netflix for all their support, especially at this difficult time, and look forward to bringing you the exciting next chapter of our story."

The two had already been working on scripts for a second season before the official renewal. With production mostly shutdown in Hollywood due to the COVID-19 coronavirus, it’s unclear when season two will begin filming.

Griffin Gluck, whose character Gabe takes a villainous turn at the end of season one, says he can’t wait for more "mischief" in season two.

"I couldn't expect a thing because whatever I think is going to happen is going to get twisted and turned 700 ways to the point where I'm going to be confused myself and that's what I love about the show, is you never know what's going to happen," Gluck tells ABC Audio.

He adds, "I'm just more looking forward to finding out what's going on…I just hope my character gets into a lot of mischief."

Season one of Locke & Key is streaming on Netflix now.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


ABC/Fred Lee(NEW YORK) -- Spike Lee is giving fans plenty to do during their #quarantineandchill down time. In a new Instagram post, the Oscar winner announced he's released the script for his unmade Jackie Robinson film, which dates back to 1996, the year he wrote it.

“Afternoon From Da Corona Epicenter Of The USA-NYC,” Lee wrote, sharing a video of himself sitting on his couch. “I Dug Deep Into Da 40 Acres Vault And Pulled Out This Script From One Of My EPIC Dream (Never Got Made) Projects-JACKIE ROBINSON."

"You Do Not Have To Be A Baseball Fan To Enjoy," he continued. "This Script Is A Great American Story. Be Safe. Peace, Light And Love. And Dat’s Da “Brooklyn Dodger” Truth, Ruth. YA-DIG? SHO-NUFF.”

In his video, Lee reveals that his script -- which was his fifth draft of the screenplay -- centered around one special actor: Oscar-winner Denzel Washington.

Lee said he hoped to re-team with his Malcolm X star, but Denzel says he felt "too old" to play the baseball legend, who helped to shatter MLB’s color barrier.

“Hope you enjoy it,” Spike said. “If not, that’s alright too. It’s never getting made, but I wanted to share this script with you. Be safe! Be safe! Social distancing! Peace.”

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved. 


ABC/Rick Rowell(LOS ANGELES) -- Sunday, March 29 is a significant date in Rita Wilson's life, one on which she commemorated being a "COVID-19 Survivor" and "Five Years Cancer Free." 

The actress, who is home in Los Angeles after undergoing two weeks of quarantine in Australia with her husband, Tom Hanks, when the pair was diagnosed with the disease, looked back on her Instagram in a lengthy, grateful post. 

"This date, March 29, represents a time of great happiness," Wilson begins her post, which features a throwback photo of her and Larry David. "I was on Broadway starring with Larry David in his play Fish In The Dark before finding out I had been diagnosed with breast cancer. March 29 also marks five years of being cancer free after having had a bilateral mastectomy."

She thanked her doctors and other health care workers who got her through that, as well as her fans and some divine intervention. "You, online friends, also need to be thanked because your prayers and optimism were felt deeply. And, so thankful for the blessings God has bestowed on me, then and now."

Of her most recent March 29 observance, Wilson writes, "I am celebrating the beauty of this life, the blessings God has given, and my continued good health, even now as a COVID 19 survivor. Please take a moment today to acknowledge the amazing creation your bodies are and to thank it for doing so much."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


ABC/Paula Lobo(LOS ANGELES) -- Like the rest of us, John Kransinki is desperately in need of some good news, so he brought us just that in the form of a homemade "news" show on YouTube dubbed, well, Some Good News.

Featuring a colorful SGN logo -- made by his daughters, the Quiet Place director explained -- Krasinski sat at a desk like an anchorman and delivered some uplifting headlines about people being awesome to each other amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Krasinski explained he farmed out his fans to help him look for uplifting stories -- from an interview with a 15-year-old girl named Coco who'd just undergone her last chemo treatment, to a headline about someone leaving hand sanitizer and toilet paper for their mail carrier. 

"Without question, we are all going through an incredibly trying time, but through all the anxiety, all the confusion, all the isolation and all the Tiger King, somehow the human spirit found a way to break through and blow us all away," the actor and director said. 

Even for a low-budget news show -- Krasinski showed he was only dressed in a suit from the waist up -- there was no shortage of star power as he also reminisced with Steve Carell, via video chat, about their time starring together on The Office

Both men cited Carell's handling of a tiny plasma TV in the infamous episode "The Dinner Party" as an all-time favorite. They also mentioned they'd all like to reunite, not as their characters from The Office but "just as people" when this crisis is over. 

Krasinski ended the first edition of Some Good News by hinting more may be to come.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


ABC/Heidi Gutman(LONDON) -- X-Men movie series star James McAvoy has donated over $340,000 to "Masks for NHS Heroes," a crowdfunding campaign set up to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) for doctors and hospital staff in London, England, according to The Guardian.

The Scottish Split veteran also posted a video message to his Instagram account, saying in part, "Money donated today will save lives…Help us to help the government to help the NHS.” He also included a link to "Masks for NHS Heroes."

As of Sunday night, the campaign, whose goal was to raise nearly 250,000 U.S. dollars, has already shattered the $1 million mark.

One of the medics behind the project, Dr. Salaj Masand, tells the newspaper, "We are overwhelmed and speechless at the trust and faith people have put into us to deliver this. The number of very generous donations from everyone doubled our target within three days."

Masand says McAvoy's "mindblowing" donation means an order for 75,000 masks and 75,000 visors can be placed immediately, rather than having to wait for enough donations to filter through.

There are currently more than 19,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 In the U.K., and at least 1,228 people, who have tested positive for the virus, have died.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Ian Gavan/Getty Images for Harlequins(LOS ANGELES) -- As America grapples with the rising COVID-19 pandemic, Elton John teamed up with an array of artists on Sunday night to "lift your spirits" for the first ever iHeart Living Room Concert for America that aired on Fox.

The concert not only served as means to comfort those worried about the outbreak, but it also helped raise money for two critical charities: First Responders Children Foundation and Feeding America.  It was later revealed by comedian Ken Jeong that Fox was matching donations.

"We hope this bit of entertainment can feed and fuel your soul," said Sir Elton, who also comedically revealed that he was quarantined in his only house that doesn't have a piano.

Thankfully, no piano was required for his hosting duties: The performances fell to the artists who lent their vocal talents to entertain America from their homes.  However, at the end of the concert, he did manage to get his hands on a keyboard so he could close with a special performance of "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me."

First up was Alicia Keys, who opened with an encouraging, "my hope is that we remember how resident we are and how we defy the odds" as she delicately played her piano.  She then dedicated her performance of "Underdog" to the "first responders and medical professionals that are risking their lives to keep us safe."

Following Alicia, the Backstreet Boys took the living room stage with Brian Littrell greeting fans from the comfort and safety of his house. He joked that he and his band was "bringing our living room to yours" before shouting out frontline responders who are "putting themselves in harm's way" to keep the globe safe. 

The gang sang "I Want It That Way" and even broke out some lighthearted dance moves to elicit some much-needed smiles.  Kevin Richardson and Nick Carter even got their kids involved, from playing instruments to dancing around the backyard.

Up next was Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters who dedicated his performance of "My Hero" to all those on the  front lines.

Billie Eilish and Finneas followed Grohl with an acoustic rendition of "bad guy" from their couch.  Billie revealed she wanted "to be some sort of comfort in this crazy time" before urging "Let's stay strong together."  

Up next was Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello who flirted a bit before introducing the song "My Oh My"  with Camila on vocals and Shawn on guitar.  More adorable than the lovebirds was their dog in the background who excitedly tried to steal the spotlight in the beginning.

Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day, who took over for Cabello and Mendes, also showed off his canine companion as he sang "Boulevard of Broken Dreams."  

While Lady Gaga didn't perform, she reached out to fans with an empathetic, "I know what's going on in the world is terrifying" and that "my heart goes out to people who lost loved ones."  She used her time to touch upon mental health, encouraging those to communicate with friends and family to combat the feeling of isolation and anxiety.  She concluded, "Be kind to yourselves." 

Lizzo and Elton also discussed mental health and the negative emotions COVID-19 is stoking.  As the friends live chatted on Zoom, Lizzo brought up that "it's important to remember that music brings people together" and praised everyone involved for coming together during such an uncertain time.  "We cannot let this tear us apart," she said in closing. "We can't let the fear spread faster than the virus."  

Following such a serious discussion, Tim McGraw took the stage next to perform a lighthearted "Something like That" while sitting on his diving board as his band played live from their respective houses.  His spot ended with him thanking his daughter Maggie for holding the camera and sweetly blew her a kiss.

Demi Lovato took the majority of her slot to urge those viewing to donate and "do what you can to lift [people] up."  She closed with a brief piano rendition of "Skyscraper."

Last up was Mariah Carey who put her heart into "Always Be My Baby" and made sure to prove she is the queen of the whistle register by spending the last moments of the song hitting a series of high notes.  She concluded with an adorable anecdote that after she leaves the studio, she's going to put her gloves back on "even in my own home."

Other performers helping to spread positivity were H.E.R. and Sam Smith.

Thanking first responders was a unifying theme during Sunday night's concert.   The show offered numerous first-hand accounts from EMTs, doctors and nurses about how they're battling against the pandemic.  One nurse, named Melissa, who is working at a COVID-19 ICU at her hospital tearfully revealed that she feels like she's "working in a war zone."

Talk show host Ellen Degeneres also shouted out essential workers, namely those who work at grocery stores, making sure people are still able to eat by keeping the shelves stocked. 

As the concert wrapped up, Sir Elton urged the audience to continue giving to First Responders Children Foundation and Feeding America before thanking everyone for coming together to promote positivity.

 Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


ABC/Karen Neal(KAPOLEI, Hawaii) -- Aloha Hawaii!

American Idol changed up the scenery and headed to beautiful Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa on Sunday to narrow down the Top 40. The contestants and judges -- Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan -- got a chance to soak up some fun in the sun before it's back to business. 

Each American Idol hopeful performed in front of a live audience and the judges in one last performance that ultimately determined if they would make to the Top 20 where America will take over and decide their fate. 

Nick Merico was first up on the chopping block. This soon-to-be heartthrob serenaded the ladies in the audience with his performance of "If I Was Your Man" by Bruno Mars. Afterward, Nick was reminded that Lionel wasn't a fan of his in the beginning but oh how things have changed. Lionel delivered the great news that he's moving on into the Top 20. 

Next up, Makayla Brownlee. After a health scare almost took her out of the competition last week, she's back more determined than ever. Taking a risk, she puts her spin on Ingrid Andress’ "More Hearts Than Mine." Unfortunately, this wasn't a risk that would pay off in the end and she's the first to be eliminated.

Dewayne Crocker Jr. brought the party to Hawaii with his reggae twist of "Old Town Road" by Lil Nas X, a performance that ended up being one of Katy, Lionel, and Luke's favorites of the night -- they were even up on their feet dancing. His country-rap performance earned him a trip back to Hollywood for a chance to win over America. 

The next three contestants -- Devon Alexander, Jordan Jones, Geena -- were grouped together in a little montage of singers who were good, but not quite good enough and were sent home.  

Louis Knight's performance of "Castle On The Hill" by Ed Sheeran was almost categorized under that same umbrella but his past performances and his potential were enough to push him through. 

It was a different story for Francisco Martin, who had previously choked during a duet performance with Louis. He shined the brightest that he's ever with a performance that exuded confidence, a huge improvement from prior auditions which was noticed by Luke who jumped for joy in his seat (think Tom Cruise on Oprah's couch-style). His next challenge is to see if he can get America to have the same reaction when he heads back to Hollywood. 

Taking the stage next were Jovin Webb & Faith Becnel. They were partners during the duets round and they have stayed consistent for the most part throughout their time on American Idol so far, which is why it was easy for them to slide right into the Top 20. 

That wasn't quite the case when it came to Amber Fiedler, who showed up to her initial audition pregnant but had given birth by the time Hollywood week rolled around. She delivered a fun rendition of Lake Street Dive's "Good Kisser" but it wasn't Top 20 worthy. 

One contestant who has repeatedly shown she is Top 20 worthy was Just Sam. Taking on a more "feminine" and "beautiful" look, Katy described the performance as a metamorphosis. Just Sam stunned everyone with her song choice of "Como La Flor" by Selena, a song which is completely in Spanish, a language she doesn't fluently know. 

Jonny West took the Hawaiian stage next for his first performance without his girlfriend Margie Mays in the competition with him. She was there to show her support though as he performed "You Found Me" by The Fray. She was also there to hear the good news that he made it to the next step of the competition -- one step past where Margie made it during a previous season.

Rounding out the night was Dillon James but fans will have to wait until Monday to find out his fate and if he fills on of the last 12 open slots where plenty more American Idol hopefuls remaining to battle it out for their futures. 

Eliminated: Makayla Brownlee, Devon Alexander, Jordan Jones, Geena, Camryn Leigh Smith, and Amber Fiedler

Top 20 bound: Nick Merico, Dewayne Crocker, Jr., Louis Knight, Francisco Martin, Jovin Webb, Faith Becnel, Just Sam, and Jonny West

American Idol returns Sunday, April 5 at 8 p.m. ET.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Photo by Dominique Charriau/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- Life has unfortunately imitated art for cast of the 2011 film Contagion, which has seen an uptick in streaming since the real-life COVID-19 coronavirus began spreading.

That's why scientists from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health tapped the stars of the film --  Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, and Kate Winslet -- to dispense some real-life advice on how to fight the disease.

"In the movie, I played a guy who was immune to the hypothetical virus that was spreading around the world," Damon says.  "That was a movie. This is real life."

"I have no reason to believe I’m immune to COVID-19 and neither do you, no matter how young you are," he adds. "This is a new virus. It’s gonna take some time for our bodies and our doctors to understand it and understand new ways to protect us."

Damon was joined by fellow Oscar-winner Kate Winslet, who played an epidemiologist in the film.

"To prepare for the role, I spent time with some of the best public health professionals in the world," she says.  "And what was one of the most important things they taught me? Wash your hands like your life depends on it because right now, in particular, it just might."

Touting the importance of social distancing, Damon also said, "We can all do this together just by staying apart. Please do your part."

Similarly, Fishburne talked about the danger of the traditional handshake, noting it was based on showing someone you weren't carrying a weapon.

"Now we may be carrying one, and not even know it," he intoned.

Dr. Ian Lipkin, the director of Columbia University’s Center for Infection and Immunity -- who was a consultant on the film -- revealed this week that he had tested positive for COVID-19.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


AMC Studios/BBC America(LOS ANGELES) -- While most shows have been delayed by the COVID-19 situation, AMC and BBC America have just given you some new binging to look forward to: they're launching Season 3 of their Emmy winning Killing Eve 2 weeks ahead of schedule. 

Season 3 kicks off Sunday, April 12 at 9 p.m. Eastern on both AMC and BBC America. 

The announcement also came with a new trailer for the brand new season. 

"We know how adored this series is and we know how keen people are for great content right now," noted Sarah Barnett, president of AMC Networks Entertainment Group and AMC Studios in a statement.

"This season of Killing Eve digs deep psychologically, and with actors like Sandra Oh, Jodie Comer, and Fiona Shaw, the results are nothing short of astonishing." 

Barnett added. "We literally couldn’t wait for fans to see it."

The trailer hints that a death threat is putting Oh's spy Eve and Comer's assassin Villanelle on a collision course yet again -- once Villanelle learns that Eve is still alive, that is.

And since you've got time, if you've never seen the first and second seasons, now's the perfect time to catch up.

Killing Eve season two is available now on, and the BBC America and AMC apps. The first two seasons are also available on Hulu, digital download and Blu-ray/DVD.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Courtesy of Aries Spears(NEW YORK) -- Like other comedians around the world, Aries Spears is doing his best to make people laugh even during these trying times.

That's why it's not surprising that the MADtv alum and master impersonator, who recently posted some hilarious impersonations on his Instagram, told ABC Audio that when it comes to comedy, "Nothing's off limits." 

"No, but timing is everything in comedy," Spears clarifies. "If it's some tragic that just happened, you might want to hold up. But at some point, time heals."

"So, you've got to move forward," he continues. "And, you know, that's why the whole thing about laughter is pain and pain is laughter: The two go together."

Spears' thoughts on the importance of laughter definitely ring true for today. Since the news broke of the COVID-19 pandemic, the comedian-actor has been consistently posting funny videos and impersonations to help fans get through the difficult time.

"You know, no matter what goes on in your life, you've got to at some point figure out how to laugh at it to move on," he says. "Or, to take the sting off of it. So, yeah, no, nothing's off limits."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) -- Some more late night talk shows are getting back on their feet, but like millions of Americans, under COVID-19 quarantine, they're working from home.

ABC announced on Thursday that Jimmy Kimmel’s ABC late night talk show, Jimmy Kimmel Live! will return to TV with new episodes, taped at his house, on Monday and throughout next week.  Jimmy’s guests will include, Samuel L Jackson, Jennifer Aniston, Jeff Tweedy, Grouplove and more.  Jimmy Kimmel Live! airs weeknights at 11:35 ET on ABC…

Also, Showtime announced on Thursday that the late-night series Desus & Mero, will return to air with all-new episodes taped at the hosts’ own homes, starting on Monday at 11 p.m. ET.  The show will continue to air new episodes on Monday and Thursday nights.  The show, features the duo -- Desus Nice, a.k.a. Daniel Baker, and The Kid Mero, a.k.a. Joel Martinez -- chatting with guests about pop culture, sports, music, politics and more

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Photo by Bennett Raglin/WireImage(LONDON) -- Daniel Craig and his wife, actress Rachel Weisz, think health care workers deserve a round of applause, so they took to social media on Thursday to do just that and want others to join them.

In a video clip posted to the James Bond Twitter account, the couple, joined by his No Time to Die co-stars -- Ben Whishaw, Naomi Harris and Rory Kinnear, are seen clapping, along with a message that reads, "Thank you to everyone, everywhere, who is working to keep us safe."

The message is followed by the hashtags, "#ClapForOurCarers #ClapForCarers #ClapForNHS."

No Time To Die’s release date was postponed until November 25 due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.

The royal family also joined in on the applause.  Kate Middleton and Prince William shared a cute video on Thursday of their three children, George, Charlotte and Louis, joyfully clapping on the couple’s social media accounts.

The video was captioned, "To all the doctors, nurses, carers, GPs, pharmacists, volunteers and other NHS staff working tirelessly to help those affected by #COVID19: thank you," the video was captioned.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry also contributed to the #ClapForOurCarers movement, posting a message to their Instagram Stories that read, "Thank you for all that you continue to do! Applauding you from across the pond," followed by 19 clapping hands emojis.

The royal family also posted a video of applause from Windsor Castle, where Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip are currently staying.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


NBC/Virginia Sherwood(NEW YORK) -- There are less smiles and laughs on the set of Law & Order: SVU as it was announced on Wednesday that a beloved crew member succumbed to COVID-19.

Show star Mariska Hargitay penned a beautiful tribute to Josh Wallwork, a 45-year-old who worked as one of the series' costumers.

"Heartbroken we are. I don’t think I ever saw him without a smile on his face," reminisced Hargitay.  "He brought love and kindness everywhere he went."

The actress revealed just how profound the loss is for those working on the show, writing that Wallwork was "Always ready with the joke. The SVU [sic] Corredor will never be the same."

SVU showrunner Warren Leight was one of the first to announce the crew member's unexpected passing, calling Josh "a beautiful man" and that those working on the show are "heartbroken."

Wallwork previously lent his costuming talents to the productions Madam SecretaryBull and The Get Down.

Those who worked with the beloved costumer, such as Bull's Christopher Jackson, flooded Twitter to grieve Wallwork.  Commemorated Jackson, "He was my friend" who had a "Beautiful Soul."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Bruce Glikas/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Ethan Hawke showed off his family's musical gifts on Wednesday as they stay indoors to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

In a video uploaded by his daughter Maya, whom he shares with ex-wife Uma Thurman, the 21-year old Stranger Things breakout star captioned the four minute video, "To Live is to fly" -- the name of the song by Townes Van Zandt that the family decided to perform together.

Ethan strums his guitar as he sings along with Maya, who is the lead vocalist, as well as his three other children -- 18-year-old Levon, 12-year-old Clementine, and nine-year-old Indiana.   Levon, whom he also shares with Thurman, shows off his guitar skills as he plays across from his dad.

Maya starts off the song going solo, but soon encourages her younger sisters to adorably harmonize along as she affectionately plays with their hair.

After the song ends, the 21-year-old actress admits to her dad "I messed with the arrangements a little because I forgot some of my words, but I feel like it worked."

For those craving to hear more of Maya's singing, her debut album Blush drops June 19.

 Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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