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ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) -- The new streaming service Apple TV Plus has scooped up another very funny woman: Julia Louis-Dreyfus. 

The company, which launched with the Golden Globe-nominated The Morning Show, starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, has signed a deal with Louis-Dreyfus to develop new projects as both a producer and a star.

Saturday Night Live vet Louis-Dreyfus starred on three successful comedies, Seinfeld, The New Adventures of Old Christine, and Veep, and won Emmys for each show.  She has 11 Emmys in all, winning her sixth consecutive lead actress trophy for Veep in 2017 -- a record for any performer for the same role in the same show -- and has eight Emmys for acting, tying a record set by Cloris Leachman.

Louis-Dreyfus showed her comedy chops even in her reply about the good news. "I am thrilled about this new partnership with my friends at Apple," she said in a statement. "Also, many thanks and kudos to my representatives for structuring the deal in such a way that I am paid in AirPods."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Barbara Kinney(LOS ANGELES) -- Hillary Clinton is gearing up for the release of her upcoming Hulu documentary, Hillary. The former secretary of state and Democratic presidential candidate was on hand at the Television Critics Association winter press tour Friday to discuss the four-part documentary, which covers, among other things, the contentious 2016 election.

Being that 2020 is an election year, Clinton had some choice words for the Trump administration, as well as some advice for Democratic voters.

“We're in a real struggle with a form of politics that is incredibly negative, exclusive, mean-spirited, and it's going to be up to every voter, not only people who vote in Democratic primaries, to recognize that, you know, this is no ordinary time,” Clinton told reporters. “This is an election that will have such profound impact. So take your vote seriously.”

She advised Democratic voters to “try to vote for the person you think is most likely to win,” saying that, ultimately, that’s what will matter.

“And not just the popular vote, but the Electoral College as we’ve learned,” she added. In 2016, Clinton won the popular vote, but lost to Donald Trump in the electoral count.

“So I want people to take their vote really, really seriously because Lord knows what will happen if we don't retire the current incumbent and his henchmen, as [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi so well described them yesterday,” Clinton said.

Hillary will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 25, and debut on Hulu March 6.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



L-R Dwayne Johnson, Lauren Hashian, Ata Johnson, Rocky Johnson/Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has broken his silence over the apparently unexpected death of his father, former wrestler Rocky Johnson. The 75-year-old WWE Hall of Famer's death was announced on Wednesday.

Under a video of his father in the ring, with a much younger Rock watching from the stands, Dwayne Johnson noted on his Instagram, "You broke color barriers, became a ring legend and trail blazed your way thru this world.  I was the boy sitting in the seats, watching and adoring you, my hero from afar."

The Rock hints that all wasn't smooth sailing, calling himself, "The boy you raised with the toughest of love. The intense work. The hard hand. The adoring boy who...grew to become a man realizing you had other deeply complicated sides that needed to be held and understood."

Johnson continues, "Dad, I wish I had one more shot to tell you, I love you, before you crossed over to the other side. But you were ripped away from me so fast without warning. Gone in an instant and no coming back. Im in pain. But we both know it’s just pain and it’ll pass..."

The lengthy post ends with, "I love you dad and I’ll always be your proud and grateful son. Go rest high."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for PCA(LOS ANGELES) -- Friday is Betty White's 98th birthday, and her co-stars in the 2009 romantic comedy The Proposal, Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock, really wanted to celebrate.

In a video posted on Reynolds' Twitter, the pair take turns serenading Betty with "Happy Birthday to You," but it's soon clear that they're competing for her affection.

While Bullock gets the song rolling, Reynolds cuts into her verses, and the pair quickly try to out-do the other.

"From Sandy, who loves you more than Ryan..." Bullock sings, to which Reynolds jabs, "From Ryan, who loves you way more than Sandy..."

He adds, "What does Sandy do for you every year? Does she like, show up and hand-deliver flowers to you wearing nothing but black socks and a dozen gold bracelets, just like you requested? Doubt it."

"I love you," Bullock signs off, air-kissing the camera. Reynolds then breaks down in tears before, of course, the Golden Girls theme, "Thank You For Being a Friend," closes out the birthday greeting.

In The Proposal, Bullock played Reynolds' highly-strung boss, who needs him to marry her so she can get a green card. White played Reynolds' grandmother.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) --  In an apparent effort to avoid confusion, and conflation, with entities that it doesn't own, notably the controversial Fox News Channel, Disney has dropped the Fox name from the movie studios that it does. 

20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are no more, according to Variety.

20th Century Fox, famous for its drum and trumpet-heavy fanfare ahead of movies, has been rebranded, with its iconic logo updated to read 20th Century Studios.

Fox Searchlight, the affiliated imprint behind modestly-budgeted hits like Napoleon Dynamite and Oscar winners like Black Swan and The Shape of Water -- and current Oscar nominee JoJo Rabbit -- will now be called Searchlight Studios.

The trade notes both companies' logos will retain the familiar 'spotlight' design features.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) -- After being touted as the final chapter to the Bad Boys franchise, it appears that Will Smith and Martin Lawrence's upcoming sequel, Bad Boys for Life, may not be the official end.

In an interview with E! News, Smith says that he and Lawrence are open to continuing their action-packed films.

"We're going to wait for the audience," Smith said. "When the movie comes out this weekend-- and we absolutely love working together-- we would certainly be willing to do it again if the audience loves the chemistry."

As previously reported, Bad Boys for Life centers on a new, "highly specialized police unit" that butts heads with Smith and Lawrence's old-school ways when "a new threat emerges in Miami."

The new installment, directed by Moroccan-born directing duo Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, reunites Smith and Lawrence after the last Bad Boys film, 2003's Bad Boys II. In that movie, the two played Miami narcotics detectives on the trail of a Cuban drug smuggler.

The original Bad Boys movie came out in 1995.

Bad Boys for Life is now in theaters.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved



Mark Hill/HBO(NEW YORK) -- Despite acclaim and a cliffhanger ending to its freshman season, it's likely that HBO's Watchmen won't get another. According to USA Today, Damon Lindelof, who adapted the Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons graphic novel-turned movie to the small screen, has stepped away from the show. 

The series was set in an alternate version of 2019; Emmy winner Regina King stars as a Tusla detective and secret vigilante in an America torn apart by racial strife.

Although he tells the paper he's "given his blessing" his blessing for HBO to continue without him, HBO programming chief Casey Bloys tells USA Today that the network reportedly won't. "It would be hard to imagine doing it without Damon involved in some way," noted Bloys.

Watchmen's ninth and final episode aired December 15.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Niko Tavernise/© 2019 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved(NEW YORK) -- Wendy Williams has put her money where her mouth is as an apology to Joaquin Phoenix and others who have had cleft lips.

Williams got flamed online when she appeared to make fun of the Oscar-nominated Joker actor's lip scar, while simultaneously praising his acting and his looks. She even went so far as to stick her finger in her lip and expose her teeth, to imitate the common but easily fixable birth defect. 

"He's got one of those -- what do you call it? -- cleft lip, cleft palate. He’s got this," she said while holding her lip. "I find it to be very attractive."

Adam Bighill, a Canadian football player whose son, Beau, had his lip repaired this week, flamed the talk show host online, and asked her to apologize.

The outcry led Williams to say sorry -- and open her wallet as well as her heart. She posted to the athlete, "We’re thinking about Beau today as he is in surgery. I want to apologize to the cleft community and in Beau’s honor, our show is donating to @operationsmile and @AmerCleftPalate and encourage our Wendy Watchers to learn more and help support the cleft community."

In response, Bighill noted, "Thank you @WendyWilliams for your apology, your donation, and for thinking of Beau today for his surgery. I forgive you, and I encourage others to as well. I wish you all the best."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Ben Rothstein(NEW YORK) -- Opening nationwide on Friday:

Bad Boys for Life -- Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are back for a third ride in the action comedy franchise, following 1995's Bad Boys and 2003's Bad Boys II.  The latest installment finds the two detectives Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett reuniting once again when someone starts murdering people involved in an old case.  Also starring Vanessa Hudgens, and returning cast member Joe Pantoliano.  Rated R.

Dolittle -- The latest reboot of the Doctor Dolittle films stars Robert Downey Jr. as the titular character -- a Victorian-era physician who discovers he can talk to animals.  A recluse since the death of his wife seven years earlier, he -- along with his animal friends -- reluctantly sets sail on an epic adventure to a mythical island in search of a cure for a gravely ill Queen Victoria, played by Jessie Buckley.  The voice cast includes Emma Thompson, Rami Malek, John Cena, Kumail Nanjiani, Octavia Spencer, Tom Holland, Craig Robinson, Ralph Fiennes, Selena Gomez, and Marion Cotillard.  Rated PG.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Lifetime(LOS ANGELES) -- The latest episode of the Lifetime docu-series Hopelessly in Love, premiering on Friday, tells the love story of the late model and TV personality Anna Nicole Smith and her partner Larry Birkhead, the father of Anna Nicole's now-13-year-old daughter Dannielynn.

Birkhead told ABC Audio what it's like raising the teen, who's had to deal with the media attention surrounding her mother's tragic death in in a Hollywood, Florida hotel room in 2007, as a result of an overdose of prescription drugs.

"I don't make it heavy on her because, you know, it's such a big responsibility raising a teenager already and trying to be positive in a world that's crazy and social media and how people can be," he explains. "She's done a good job of kind of guiding herself a little bit. And then I'm there for support and to answer anything that she might need."

Birkhead described how it felt to see footage of the first time he met Anna Nicole

"I was excited to share that, only not just with the viewers, but also with my daughter and to have her see that," he says.

However, Dannielynn didn't share in Larry's excitement.

"I will tell you she wasn't as excited to see her mom and dad kissing as I thought she would be, you know, she said, 'Oh, ew, that's yucky, Dad,' he jokes. "But then, you know, she knows all the work that I went through, so she, I caught her peaking from time to time of me doing the editing process and things like that." 

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Mecum Auctions(NEW YORK) -- Last week, an otherwise-unassuming 1968 Ford Mustang GT Fastback sold for $3.4 million at auction - making it the most expensive Mustang to ever go up for sale. That's a far cry from the $29,600 figure that Mustangs from that era normally go for according to insurance company Hagerty, and an even further cry from the $2,712 the car originally retailed for in 1968.

Why did this Mustang go for more than one hundred times more than usual? The answer involves the king of cool himself: Steve McQueen.

Bullitt is a 1968 crime thriller that stars McQueen as Frank Bullitt, a grizzled San Francisco police lieutenant charged with protecting a witness in a high-profile mob case. His ride of choice: a beat-up Mustang. The filmmakers chose the car to reflect the life of an undercover police officer, with a dark green paint job and a selection of dents, scratches, and rust spots for good measure. But it wasn't just the car's looks that captured the attention of moviegoers - it was also the chase it was featured in.

Jack Gill was the stunt director on the last four Fast and Furious movies, as well as the chase scenes in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Death Race. He got his start doing some of the stunt driving for The Dukes of Hazzard and Knight Rider, where the influence of Bullitt loomed large.

"The reason that film holds up over all this time is because every time you see it," Gill said. "You feel like you're in the chase with them."

He says the filmmakers were able to pull that off by mounting cameras inside the cars with the actors, which was a new technique at the time.

"All of these camera angles nobody had ever seen before, they used on Bullitt" says Gill, "no one had ever seen a camera in the backseat over an actor, or a camera in the passenger seat looking over at the driver. "

Gill says those techniques were so influential, in fact, that he continues to incorporate them into the movies he works on today.

"We still do mounts all over the cars, all over the bumpers, all inside the cars. The only difference we have now is that our mounts move." He adds, "we take the entire roof off of cars, and move the camera around the inside of the car as if you feel like you're inside the car but can't understand how the camera got there. But Bullitt set the stage for all of that."

And it wasn't just the visuals that made the Bullitt chase a classic. Gill says the sound design played a role as well.

"To hear the tires screeching and the shifting and the engine revving up - those kind of things are what's really needed in a car chase today, and we still do it. We still use those little techniques in today's world."

The chase isn't perfect, however. Eight hubcaps fly off the same car at various points throughout the sequence, and the same Volkswagen Beetle shows up in the background of several different shots. But Gill says that's all part of the charm.

"There's no doubt that this chase holds up in today's world."

LISTEN TO THE FULL STORY HERE

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



L-R: McAllany, Groff -- Patrick Harbron/Netflix(LOS ANGELES) -- Netflix has reportedly released the cast of its acclaimed serial killer drama Mindhunter, which could portend an end of the David Fincher-produced series, according to Deadline

The trade reports that the network's options for Holt McCallany, Jonathan Groff and their co-star, Anna Torv, were allowed to expire.  Actors' options are Hollywood-speak for contracts that exclusively hold them to a particular project for a set time.

At issue, the streaming giant tells the trade, is Fincher's schedule. "David is focused on directing his first Netflix film Mank and on producing the second season of Love, Death and Robots."

The statement continued, "He may revisit Mindhunter again in the future, but in the meantime felt it wasn't fair to the actors to hold them from seeking other work while he was exploring new work of his own."

Fincher has been nominated for an Academy Award twice, for calling the shots on The Social Network and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, the latter of which starred his Fight Club star, Brad Pitt.

Mank, for the record, is a drama about screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz, who fought with director Orson Welles over credit for the screenplay for Welles' legendary film Citizen Kane.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



© 2019 DANJAQ, LLC AND MGM. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED/Nicola Dove(NEW YORK) -- Producer Barbara Broccoli is one of the guardians of the James Bond franchise, and she's spoken when it comes to the super-spy: "He can be of any color, but he's male." 

Broccoli, who's produced the Bond films along with her half brother, Michael G. Wilson, for decades, made the statement in a new interview with Variety.

Wilson says of James Bond, "You think of him as being from Britain or the Commonwealth, but Britain is a very diverse place," Wilson says.

While this news is certainly good for the many who have been pushing for Idris Elba to one day don the tuxedo of Ian Fleming's legendary character, it won't satisfy those who wished for a female Bond.

On that, Broccoli explains, "I believe we should be creating new characters for women -- strong female characters. I'm not particularly interested in taking a male character and having a woman play it. I think women are far more interesting than that."

With less than three months to go before the debut of No Time to Die, the 25th James Bond adventure, Broccoli is trying to come to terms with a major change: this will be Daniel Craig's fifth and final turn as 007. "I'm in total denial," she admits to the trade. "I've accepted what Daniel has said, but I'm still in denial. It's too traumatic for me."

Still, the self-described "custodians" of the character's legacy call the final film of Craig's run, "an emotionally satisfying conclusion." 

No Time to Die, also starring Oscar winner Rami Malek, with Lea Seydoux and Lashana Lynch, hits theaters April 8.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Photo by JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Supermodel Gigi Hadid won't be one of the jurors who will decide Harvey Weinstein's fate in a New York City courtroom. 

Hadid was dismissed as a potential juror in Weinstein's sex assault case Thursday morning.

While Hadid admitted she had met the disgraced producer and potential witnesses against him, actresses Cara Delevigne and Salma Hayek, she insisted to the judge in the case on Monday that she could remain impartial. 

Both prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed that Hadid's participation among the jury pool could prove a distraction. 

Weinstein, the former co-head of the now-defunct Miramax Films, has been accused by dozens of women of sexual misconduct. The disgraced movie mogul, 67, is facing five felony sexual assault charges in New York stemming from alleged attacks against two women, one in 2006 and one in 2013.

If convicted on the top charges, Weinstein could go to prison for life.  Earlier this month, he was charged with rape in Los Angeles as well.

Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to all charges and has denied ever engaging in non-consensual sex with anyone.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Ben & Jerry's(VERMONT) -- While ice cream is the traditional balm for when a relationship goes wrong, Ben & Jerry's has collaborated with Netflix for a flavor that references that night-in when a modern coupling goes right: it's called Netflix and Chill'd.

The Vermont-based company describes the new flavor as, "an indulgent production starring peanut butter ice cream, sweet & salty pretzel swirls & fudge brownies."

Their website adds, "Whether you’re streaming a laugh-out-loud comedy, an edge-of-your-seat drama, or a hey-I-didn't-know-that documentary, it’s not complete without a tasty treat and a few of your favorite friends."

Netflix & Chilll’d is now available in pints around the globe, as is the streaming giant.

Oh, and to make sure that night-in goes... to plan -- even if you're lactose intolerant -- it will be available in the U.S. as a non-dairy flavor.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



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