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Tuesday
Aug152017

"Bachelor in Paradise" host Chris Harrison addresses production shutdown amid misconduct allegations

ABC/Lou Rocco(LOS ANGELES) -- After a temporary halt in production last June for this season of Bachelor in Paradise amid allegations of sexual misconduct that were ultimately disproven, the show's new season debuted on ABC Monday night.

Host Chris Harrison addressed the incident -- which involved then-contestants Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson -- in an interview that aired on Good Morning America Tuesday.

"You will see that Corinne and DeMario had very little to do with the entire incident as far as filing a complaint or allegations against one another," Harrison said. "And that's what created this frustrating situation. It was someone who really wasn't there and didn't see or hear anything that kind of got this ball rolling, and so it was kind of this domino effect that I guess led to us having to finally say, 'Look, we need to take everybody's safety and that is the utmost importance.'"

Shooting on the season resumed after production company Warner Bros. completed an investigation, noting the accusations weren't supported by evidence.

Bachelor in Paradise aired the arrival of Olympios and Jackson in Mexico, along with the rest of the cast, and showed the pair spending time together in the first episode. But producers confirmed to ABC News the show will not air the controversial footage that led to the shutdown, and that neither Olympos nor Jackson will return to the show. 

However, Harrison said both Olympios and Jackson will get a chance on the show to clear the air concerning the alleged incident and its aftermath.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Aug152017

Tune in: "Greenleaf" season two resumes tonight

Courtesy of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network

(NEW YORK) -- After a short hiatus, the much-anticipated second season return of Greenleaf has finally arrived. The Memphis megachurch drama returns to OWN with a two-night premiere starting at 10 p.m. ET.

The show, which centers on the Greenleaf family and their estranged daughter, Grace Greenleaf, is set to pick up right where the midseason finale left off in May. Grace, played by Merle Dandridge, finds herself intrigued by a journalist, played by Rick Fox, who's been covering the threats plaguing the Greenleaf family. In the season's second half, we'll find out how the pair's relationship has evolved. 

"People really identify with Grace," Dandridge told ABC Radio last May.  "I didn't expect it -- I don't know why I didn't expect it as much as it does happen. People walk up to me regularly to tell me very personal stories. And for that, that's everything you want as an artist and really as a human being that people share their humanity with you."

After tonight's premiere, Greenleaf will air in its regular night, Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Aug152017

"Walking Dead" co-creator & producers sue AMC over profits

AMC/Jordin Althaus(LOS ANGELES) -- The Walking Dead co-creator, Robert Kirkman, who wrote the comics on which the show is based, and three of the show's producers have sued AMC for breach of contract, among other claims, accusing the network of failing to make good on payments Kirkman and the producers say they are owed.

The suit, filed Monday in Superior Court in Los Angeles, alleges that AMC used corporate accounting and deals among its various related companies to avoid payouts on profit sharing and licensing agreements.

The parties are seeking damages to be determined at trial, but The Hollywood Reporter says potential damages could reach a billion dollars.

An earlier suit, brought by co-creator Frank Darabont, who was fired as an executive producer during The Walking Dead's second season seeks $280 million in payments, according to The Hollywood Reporter. That suit is already in the early stages of litigation.

In a statement to the industry trade publication, an AMC rep said, "These kinds of lawsuits are fairly common in entertainment and they all have one thing in common – they follow success. Virtually every studio that has had a successful show has been the target of litigation like this, and The Walking Deadhas been the #1 show on television for five years in a row, so this is no surprise. We have enormous respect and appreciation for these plaintiffs, and we will continue to work with them as partners, even as we vigorously defend against this baseless and predictably opportunistic lawsuit."

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Aug152017

Taylor Swift & team triumphant; jury sides with her against deejay

iStock/ThinkStock

(DENVER) -- It's over, and Taylor Swift has come out the winner.

A jury in Colorado has unanimously rejected former deejay David Mueller's claim that Taylor's mother Andrea Swift and her manager Frank Bell were responsible for him losing his job, after Taylor said he groped her backstage during a 2013 meet-and-greet.

In addition, the jury has found for Taylor in her counter claim of sexual assault and battery against Mueller. They have agreed to award her $1 in nominal damages.

After the verdict was announced, Taylor released a statement saying, "I want to thank Judge William J. Martinez and the jury for their careful consideration, my attorneys Doug Baldridge, Danielle Foley, Jay Schaudies and Katie Wright for fighting for me and anyone who feels silenced by a sexual assault, and especially anyone who offered their support throughout this four-year ordeal and two-year long trial process." 

She added, "I acknowledge the privilege that I benefit from in life, in society and in my ability to shoulder the enormous cost of defending myself in a trial like this. My hope is to help those whose voices should also be heard. Therefore, I will be making donations in the near future to multiple organizations that help sexual assault victims defend themselves."

The trial, which began last week, pitted Taylor's claims that Mueller lifted her skirt and grabbed her bare butt, against his claims that he'd been falsely accused, and was owed the remainder of the money left on his contract when he was terminated from his job at a Denver radio station.

Initially, Mueller sued Taylor, her mom and her manager, but the judge threw out the suit against Taylor last week, saying there was no evidence to show she was involved in his termination.  Taylor counter-sued, claiming assault and battery for "offensive and harmful physical contact."

During her testimony, a defiant Taylor told Mueller's attorney, "I’m not going to allow you or your client to make me feel like this was my fault, because it isn’t. I’m being blamed for the unfortunate events of his life that are a product of his decisions. Not mine.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Aug142017

You've got a (super) friend: Netflix releases hard-hitting final "Defenders" trailer

Netflix/Sarah Shatz(NEW YORK) -- Charlie Cox's "blind ninja" Daredevil, Mike Colter's unbreakable Luke Cage, Krysten Ritter's hard-hitting, hard-drinking Jessica Jones, and Finn Jones' indestructible Iron Fist go to work in the final trailer to Neflix's Marvel team-up series, The Defenders.

The show centers on the four heroes from the streaming service, and early word is the eight-episode project keeps things tight and gets things right, especially after the lukewarm reception earned by the most recent Netflix superhero series, Iron Fist.

The new trailer offers a better sense of the Marvel Comics' take on the unlikely quartet: when they're not beating up baddies, they're busting each others' chops. "I'm not looking for superfriends," Cage says at one point, teasing a DC Comics-based series of the same name. 

Sigourney Weaver stars this time around as a mysterious, powerful villain looking to take down the heroes -- and the rest of their Big Apple stomping grounds -- along with returning cast member Elodie Yung, who plays the reincarnated swordswoman Electra -- Matt Murdoch/Daredevil's former flame-turned frenemy. Also returning is Scott Glenn as Stick, Daredevil and Elektra's former mentor.

The full series is available for streaming August 18.

Marvel's owned by Disney, parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Aug142017

Stunt performer killed on "Deadpool 2" set 

20th Century Fox(LOS ANGELES) -- The Vancouver Police Department has confirmed that a stunt performer was killed on the set of the Ryan Reynolds-starring sequel, Deadpool 2

TMZ reports the as-yet-unidentified female stunt driver crashed a motorcycle into a glass window of a downtown Vancouver building called Shaw Tower. 

She was taken from the scene to the hospital, the gossip site noted. 

A spokesman for 20th Century Fox, Deadpool 2's distributor, released the following statement to ABC News: “We are deeply saddened by the accident that occurred on the set of Deadpool 2 this morning. Our hearts and prayers are with the family, friends and colleagues of our crew member during this difficult time."

Deadpool 2 star Ryan Reynolds himself also tweeted a statement, saying in part he and others were "heartbroken, shocked and devastated…but recognize nothing can come close to the grief and inexplicable pain her family and loves ones must feel in this moment.  My heart pours out to them – along with each and every person she touched in this world.”

The accident comes a day after a video revealed Tom Cruise slammed against a building and was apparently injured in a stunt mishap on the set of Mission: Impossible 6, and a little more than a month after accomplished stuntman John Bernecker died after a falling gag went wrong on the Senoia, Georgia set of The Walking Dead.

Deadpool 2, which also stars Josh Brolin, is slated for a 2018 release.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Aug142017

"Yes, he is": Taylor Swift defiant as Mueller's attorney presents closing arguments

iStock/ThinkStock

(DENVER) -- In a Denver court Monday, former deejay David Mueller's attorney insisted there's no way he could've groped Taylor Swift, while the singer silently insisted he did just that.

Mueller is suing Taylor Swift's mother, Andrea Swift, and Taylor's manager for allegedly getting him fired after Taylor accused him of grabbing her butt during a 2013 backstage meet-and-greet, which he denies he did. He was suing Taylor for the same reason, but the judge threw out that part of the case Friday. Taylor's counter-suing for assault and battery.

During attorney Gabe McFarland's closing arguments, he insisted Mueller wouldn't have jeopardized his "dream job" at a Denver station by touching the butt of someone as famous as Taylor, noting "That's not the kind of guy who grabs a superstar out of the blue."

McFarland also said that in the photo of Taylor, Mueller and Mueller's then-girlfriend that shows the alleged groping, there's no way Mueller is reaching under Taylor's skirt.  But in the courtroom, Taylor silently mouthed, "Yes, he is."  Taylor also repeatedly rolled her eyes and sighed during McFarland's statements.

McFarland referenced Taylor's face in the photo, saying, "Look at Ms. Swift's face. Is that the face of someone who just had a strange man grab their butt?"   He also said that the photographer who took the picture couldn't have seen anything, but is saying she did because she worked for Taylor. 

In addition, McFarland claimed Taylor's bodyguard took no action during the alleged incident because he didn't see anything amiss.  Taylor shook her head "no" at that assertion.

McFarland said the jury should award Mueller $250,000 in damages, even though the judge ruled last week that he cannot receive damages for future earnings, only for the remainder of his contract at the time he was fired.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Aug142017

Oprah Winfrey on her battle with depression: "I was behind a veil"

Vogue/Annie Leibovitz

(LOS ANGELES) -- It's hard to imagine that a woman like Oprah Winfrey has ever had a "down" moment, but the TV titan reveals that even she has battled depression.

She said she first experienced depression after her film adaptation of Toni Morrison's Beloved hit theaters in 1998.  "I got a call from someone at the studio, and they said, 'It’s over. You got beat by 'Chucky,'" she tells Vogue in a new interview.

"And I said, 'Who’s "Chucky?' What do you mean it’s over? It’s just Saturday morning!'" she recalled. "...[A]nd so began my long plunge into food and depression and suppressing all my feelings."

Winfrey, 63, said her depression lasted for six weeks.

"I actually started to think, 'maybe I really am depressed.' Because it’s more than 'I feel bad about this.' I felt like I was behind a veil. I felt like what many people had described over the years on my show, and I could never imagine it."

"That’s when the gratitude practice became really strong for me, because it’s hard to remain sad if you’re focused on what you have instead of what you don’t have," she explained.

"It taught me to never again...put all of your hopes, expectations, eggs in the basket of box office," Winfrey said. "Do the work as an offering, and then whatever happens, happens."

Winfrey will be seen in theaters next year as Mrs. Which in the adaptation of the beloved book A Wrinkle in Time.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Aug142017

Shonda Rhimes bringing Shondaland to Netflix 

ABC/Todd Wawrychuk

(LOS ANGELES) -- Shonda Rhimes has inked a multi-year deal to bring her Shondaland production company to Netflix.

Rhimes, creator of the ABC Thursday night staples Grey’s AnatomyScandal and How to Get Away with Murder, along with her partner Betsy Beers, will produce new series, along with other projects, Netflix announced on Sunday.

"Shondaland’s move to Netflix is the result of a shared plan [Netflix Chief Content Officer] Ted Sarandosand I built based on my vision for myself as a storyteller and for the evolution of my company,” says Rhimes.

“Ted provides a clear, fearless space for creators at Netflix," she explains. "He understood what I was looking for -- the opportunity to build a vibrant new storytelling home for writers with the unique creative freedom and instantaneous global reach provided by Netflix’s singular sense of innovation. The future of Shondaland at Netflix has limitless possibilities."

"Our current shows will continue to thrive on ABC and Shondaland will be there every step of the way," she continues. "I could not have asked for a better home to begin my career. I continue to be grateful to work with so many talented people – especially our studio gladiator Patrick Moran and our most powerful and brilliant champion Channing Dungey.

Adds Sarandos, “Shonda Rhimes is one of the greatest storytellers in the history of television, Her work is gripping, inventive, pulse-pounding, heart-stopping, taboo-breaking television at its best...she loves TV and films, she cares passionately about her work, and she delivers for her audience. We’re so excited to welcome her to Netflix.”

Grey's Anatomy and How to Get Away with Murder return for their 13th and third seasons, respectively, September 22, along with the series premiere of NotoriousScandal season six moves to midseason.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Aug142017

Jessica Williams loves her "unapologetic" character in "The Incredible Jessica James"

Netflix(NEW YORK) -- Former Daily Show correspondent Jessica Williams is dishing on her original Netflix film, The Incredible Jessica James, and her "unapologetic" character which she says doesn't subscribe to black women stereotypes.

Williams stars as Jessica James, an up-and-coming Brooklyn playwright who's navigating life after a difficult breakup. According to the actress-comedian, her focus in creating this film was to offer an alternative storyline for black women.

"It reads as interesting and different because she is a black woman," Williams tells ABC Radio about the narrative of Jessica James. "And I think that a lot of times in our industry, black women have been pigeonholed into not fully formed characters, or, how we are pigeonholed into being a supporting character into somebody else's narrative."

Williams, who in addition to acting co-hosts the comedy podcast 2 Dope Queens with longtime friend Phoebe Robinson, believes James will be a breath of fresh air for anyone looking for something "dynamic."

"We wanted to tell a story about a woman who's unapologetic, complicated, ambitious, smart funny and not defined with the idea that she needs to get a man," Williams says. "So, we just wanted to present this fully dynamic, fully formed character." 

The Incredible Jessica James, also starring Get Out’s Lakeith Stanfield and Master of None's Noël Wells, is now available on Netflix.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.







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