ABC - Entertainment News

Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Sarah Michelle Gellar, who came to fame playing the fearless titular heroine on Buffy The Vampire Slayer for seven seasons hasn't forgotten Buffy Summers. 

In fact, the 43-year-old actress wished the character a happy 40th birthday on Tuesday.

"I just realized that today is Buffy Summers 40 bday," Gellar said on Instagram. "I can't even believe that."

The actress, who is married and has two children with Freddie Prinze Jr. added of her alter-ego, "She taught that the hardest thing in the world is to live in it. So in her honor let's all be brave. Live."

Referencing the COVID-19 lockdowns, Gellar said, "This may not be the way we are used to living our lives, but let's find the beauty. So we can all live long and safely. For good measure, she added the hashtags "#happybirthdaybuffy"" and "#buffy40."

Incidentally, the lockdown is what got her two kids -- daughter Charlotte, 11, and son Rocky, 8 -- "like so into" the show, which ran from 1997 to 2003.

Gellar admitted on the Kelly Clarkson Show this past fall, "I had never thought to show it to them," noting they kept requesting to watch her earlier exploits.

She also joked that "my son finally thinks I'm cool."

Incidentally, ABC Audio asked Gellar last year what she'd think of a reboot of the series. She said, "We left it open that any girl in the world 'who had the power, should have the power, can have the power, will have the power.' And I think that does leave it open to continue a story because that's how it works right?"

However, she added, "Don't *reboot* Buffy -- if you want to continue the story of Buffy's legacy, of The Slayers, of all of those – we’ve left that open for you."  

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Jeopardy! Productions/Sony Pictures Television(LOS ANGELES) -- Alex Trebek may have died in November, but he still ranked number one in the ratings in January.

The beloved game show host's last Jeopardy! episodes to run, which wrapped up the week of January 10, were the No. 1-rated shows in all of syndication, according to Nielsen numbers quoted by The Wrap

Trebek had many episodes "in the can" before he lost his battle with pancreatic cancer.

Trebek's final episode, which aired on January 8, drew 14 million viewers -- making it the most-watched installment of the long-running quiz show in 419 days -- when James Holzhauer's winning streak finally came to an end.

All-time Jeopardy! champ Ken Jennings is currently hosting the show in Trebek's stead. When his six week stint is up, the player-turned consulting producer for the show will be followed by the show's longtime executive producer, Mike Richards, who will step in front of the camera as host for two weeks' worth of the pre-recorded shows.

Following Richards will be four celebrity guest hosts, including journalist Katie Couric, Big Bang Theory vet and real-life neuroscientist Mayim Bialik, NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and 60 Minutes mainstay Bill Whitaker. 

A permanent successor for Trebek has yet to be announced.

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Photo by BG004/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images(LOS ANGELES) -- In an attempt to terminate his chances of getting the respiratory virus, Arnold Schwarzenegger received the COVID-19 vaccine today.

The former Governor of California tweeted a video of himself getting the jab through the passenger side window of a black SUV, at Dodger Stadium in L.A., the parking lot of which has been converted to a vaccine distribution center. 

"Put that needle down!" a masked, Kindergarten Cop-quoting Schwarzenegger joked to the nurse who injected him.

"I just got my vaccine," he then says after thanking the health care worker.

"I recommend it to anyone and everyone," he said, before quoting himself from Terminator 2: "Come with me if you want to live."

"Today was a good day. I have never been happier to wait in a line," Arnold tweeted.

At 73, Arnold is in the high risk group for the virus; the vaccine is currently only available to Los Angelinos who are 65 and older.

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Masterson in court today - Lucy Nicholson - Pool/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Danny Masterson, former star of That '70s Show and The Ranch, pleaded not guilty to multiple rape charges today, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

Masterson was arrested and charged in June with three counts of "rape by force or fear." The three incidents allegedly took place between 2001 and 2003, Los Angeles authorities maintain.

After he pleaded, the actor was released on $3.3 million bail, and will be seen in court again on March 24, according to The Hollywood Reporter.  

As previously reported, the That ‘70s Show actor is accused of raping a 23-year-old woman between January and December 2001. He is also accused of raping a 28-year-old woman in April 2003 and a 23-year-old woman sometime between October and December of that year.

If convicted, Masterson faces a possible maximum sentence of 45 years to life in state prison.

Following the charges last June, Masterson's attorney Tom Mesereau released a statement, saying, "Mr. Masterson is innocent, and we’re confident that he will be exonerated when all the evidence finally comes to light and witnesses have the opportunity to testify."

The statement continued, "Obviously, Mr. Masterson and his wife [actress Bijou Phillips] are in complete shock considering that these nearly 20-year old allegations are suddenly resulting in charges being filed, but they and their family are comforted knowing that ultimately the truth will come out. The people who know Mr. Masterson know his character and know the allegations to be false.”

Masterson was fired from the Netflix comedy The Ranch after the allegations were made against him in 2017.

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Liam Daniel/Netflix (NEW YORK) -- Just as its hit The Queen's Gambit spiked sales for chess boards, Netflix's latest success, Bridgerton, is boosting searches for "embroidery," "corsets," and other period items.

The steamy show, set in the 1800s, is even spiking fans' searches for the flower wisteria -- seen onscreen in and around the show's sumptuous titular estate -- by some 300%.

According to the Mirror, the website Hobbycraft reports a spike of more than 1,000% in embroidery kits, evidence that already bored, locked-down fans are taking up a new hobby to emulate the show's delicate period frock.

It's becoming such a common search topic it's being dubbed "The Bridgerton Effect."

According to the paper, searches for corsets like those seen on star Phoebe Dynevor and the show's other leading ladies, have jumped 39%; searches for lace tops rose by 37%, and even period-appropriate headbands jumped 25%.

Fans are also leading searches for antique chairs, tea sets, and other Bridgerton-esque bric-a-brac.

The show from TV hit-maker Shonda Rhimes launched in December, and quickly became one of the most-watched original series to debut on the streaming service.

Based on Julia Quinn's beloved book series, the Shondaland-produced show is set in London in the 1800s, and centers on Dynevor's character, Daphne Bridgerton, and her arranged marriage to the Duke of Hastings, played by heartthrob Regé-Jean Page. 

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- Lucie Arnaz has a message for fans who weren't exactly thrilled about the idea of Nicole Kidman portraying her mother, Lucille Ball, in the upcoming biopic Being the Ricardos: "It's a done deal."

In a recent video shared to Facebook, Arnaz addressed the debate surrounding the choice to cast Kidman in the role of the late actress, when others felt that Debra Messing or Carole Cook would be better suited. 

"It's a done deal, but the contracts aren't actually signed, which is why I haven't said anything publicly about it. But I felt I should just at least try to calm the waters here," she revealed. 

Arnaz, who is also set to executive produce the film, added, "Here's the deal. You should understand we are not doing a remake of I Love Lucy. No one has to impersonate Lucy Ricardo nor do the Vitameatavegamin routine or the chocolate factory routine or any of the silly things... It's the story of Lucille Ball, my actual mother, not Lucy Ricardo, and her husband, Dezi Arnaz, my dad, not Ricky Ricardo."

"So I hope I can set the record straight here, and just say stop arguing about who should play it, she doesn't look like her, her nose isn't the same, she isn't as funny," she continued. "Just trust us, it's going to be a nice film, and P.S. the voting is over. I love all of you."

In addition to Kidman, E! News reports the movie, which is being written and directed by The Trial of the Chicago 7's Aaron Sorkin, is also in negotiations with Javier Bardem to star as Ball's husband, Dezi Arnaz. 

By Danielle Long
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Marvel Studios(LOS ANGELES) -- As part of Variety's ongoing "Actors on Actors" series, Oscar-nominated Get Out star Daniel Kaluuya sat down -- virtually -- with his fellow Marvel movie star Tom Holland and discussed the cultural impact Black Panther had. 

Brit actor Kaluuya played W’Kabi, the friend who betrays the peaceful ideals of the late Chadwick Boseman's T’Challa, after Michael B. Jordan's Killmonger appears to take the Wakandan throne.

Spider-Man star Holland asks, "You must have been aware that you guys were sitting on one of the biggest, most cultural enriching blockbuster movies of all time." 

Kaluyya didn't disagree. "I think it’s something that we were aware that was bubbling," the actor replied. "There was one day, we did the waterfall scene, and obviously in between takes, everyone just stays on set, and there were hundreds of people on set," Kaluuya recalled.

"And we had actual drummers in between the takes. They would play the beat for Snoop Dogg's 'Drop It Like It's Hot.' And then everyone would go 'Snoooooop!'" Kaluuya sings, imitating one of the hooks.

"Like, hundreds of people would literally do that, and when I saw that, I was like, 'Yeah, this isn't going to be quiet.' There was just an energy. Everyone was so privileged to be part of this moment."

He added, "It felt like a moment,” Kaluuya adds. "We're able to show this world in a way that we see us, and [because it's] a Marvel film -- you're bringing something into the world that doesn't exist, and that's just really difficult because...there's no template. And there's some pain in that. But when people...take it as their own, and kids and families are going dressed to the cinemas, it makes everything worth it."

Marvel Studios is owned by Disney, parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Peacock(LOS ANGELES) -- Peacock's Saved by the Bell sequel has graduated to a second season, the streamer has announced. 

In Peacock's reimagining of the classic ‘90s high school sitcom, Zack Morris -- played by Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who returns in a recurring role -- is now the governor of California, who, after getting into hot water for shutting down too many low-income high schools, proposes sending students from the affected schools to the highest performing schools in the state, including his alma mater, Bayside High. 

The cast includes Haskiri Velazquez, Josie Totah, Alycia Pascual-Peña, Mitchell Hoog, Belmont Cameli, Dexter Darden and John Michael Higgins.  Original cast members Elizabeth Berkley Lauren and Mario Lopez are also regulars.

By George Costantino
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Marvel Studios(LOS ANGELES) -- With gyms closed because of COVID-19, Marvel star Jeremy Renner admits he had to get creative in order to prepare for his upcoming role in the Disney series Hawkeye.

Renner, 50, plays Clint Barton a.k.a. Hawkeye in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, who hung up the bow and arrow and retired from the hero life following the events of Avengers: Endgame.

The archer's story will continue, however, in a brand new series set to premiere later this year.  The story is believed to center around Kate Bishop, Clint's protege in the comics, who eventually takes on the Hawkeye mantle.

With production underway, the Oscar nominee revealed how he's keeping his archery skills sharp while abiding by all health and safety measures in light of the pandemic.

As it turns out, Renner has been running around his household while firing off a toy bow and arrow.

"Quarantine training at home ... like an 8 year old," the actor joked while sharing a video of him striking several heroic poses while letting the little suction-cup arrows fly.

While little is known about the Hawkeye series, a major casting decision was unofficially announced in December.

Hailee Steinfeld confirmed that she will be playing Kate Bishop in the upcoming series.  When asked by ABC Audio about her new gig, she expressed that she is "honored to be part of the MCU."  

The announcement was still under wraps at the time, said Steinfeld, but photos of her dressed in costume on the Subway leaked online and forced her hand.

"We were just trying to get somewhere and a couple of pictures were taken and now here we are," she laughed at the time. 

Hawkeye is slated to premiere on Disney in the fall.

Marvel is owned by Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

By Megan Stone and Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- (NOTE LANGUAGE) Donnie Darko celebrated its 20th anniversary Tuesday and star Jake Gyllenhaal voiced his appreciation for the cult hit that launched his career.

Taking to Instagram to celebrate the movie's milestone, the 40-year-old Oscar-nominee reflected, "Pulled out my script and some artifacts from Donnie Darko... It was released 20 years ago today."

"It’s a film that changed my life and my career and it’s been unreal to watch this story find afterlives with new audiences and new generations, and yet, what Donnie said to Roberta Sparrow is still true: 'there is so much to look forward to,'" continued Gyllenhaal, adding the movie still brings him joy.

He laughed, "Thank you to all the fans who’ve come up to me over the years with that confused look on their faces and asked me: 'what the f*** is Donnie Darko about??'"

"Happy 20th Donnie! Let’s keep confusing people. Here’s to 20 more," the Spider-Man: Far From Home star concluded.

Gyllenhaal shared a snap of the movie's original script that has some of his notes scribbled across the title page. Several pieces of papers, including envelopes and tags, are shoved into the binder's pocket.

Donnie Darko, released January 19, 2001 at the Sundance Film Festival, was not a box office hit.  When it was slated to hit theaters in October, commercials for Donnie Darko were limited in light of the 9/11 attacks because they featured a crashing jet.

Donnie Darko went onto earn $7.5 million in the global box office despite touting an impressive cast, like Patrick Swayze and Drew Barrymore.  It also starred Jake's sister Maggie Gyllenhaal.

The film went onto achieve critical acclaim and has since developed a major cult following.

Empire also lists the movie as the 2nd greatest independent film of all time.

By Megan Stone
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



ABC/Craig Sjodin(LOS ANGELES) -- After driving away and into the sunset midway through her season of The Bachelorette, Clare Crawley's engagement to Dale Moss has come to an end.

The former NFL star confirmed Tuesday that their fairytale romance is over.

Taking to Instagram, Dale explained, "I wanted to share with you all that Clare and I have decided to go our separate ways. We appreciate the love and support we’ve received from so many people, but this is the healthiest decision for both of us at this time."

"We strongly believe in leading with love and always remaining true to oneself - something our families have taught and instilled in us throughout our lives. We only hope the best things for one another," he concluded.

The announcement comes after Clare, 39, and Dale, 32, began sharing cryptic messages on social media that alluded to a possible heartbreak.

For Clare, she shared a photo of her holding her mother's hand last week and wrote in the caption, "She has good days and bad, Just like we all do. Well today I couldn’t hide my hard day. A mother always knows. Without saying a word, she reached in her pocket and pulled out this tissue and just squeezed my hand."

Sparks flew for Clare and Dale the second they locked eyes on the first episode of The Bachelorette, with Clare gushing to the cameras after their initial meeting, "I think I may have just met my husband."

Their whirlwind romance eventually "blew up" season 16, as stated by host Chris Harrison when the two decided to leave the show halfway through and start their new lives together -- ushering in new Bachelorette Tayshia Adams.

Dale has requested fans to respect his and Clare's privacy "as we work through this together."  Clare has not yet addressed the breakup.

By Megan Stone
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Walt Disney Television via Getty Images/Lorenzo Bevilaqua(LOS ANGELES) -- It's official -- Arie Luyendyk Jr. and Lauren Burnham-Luyendyk are having a boy and a girl!

The former Bachelor stars, who announced they were pregnant with twins back in December, revealed the sex of their unborn babies in adorable social media posts on Tuesday. 

Alongside a series of photos which both blue and pink cotton candy sticks, Lauren, 29, shared, "Alessi is getting a baby BROTHER & a baby SISTER we couldn’t be more excited!"

Arie, 39, made a similar post and wrote, "BOY! & GIRL! How did we get so lucky @laurenluyendyk?! So excited to meet the @luyendyktwins."

The duo, who are already parents to 19-month-old daughter Alessi, also shared a YouTube video showing behind the scenes of their gender reveal photo shoot, as well as, their candid reactions to finding out what they will be welcoming. 

Arie and Lauren met on season 22 of the ABC reality TV series and wed last year. The twins are due in July. 

 

By Danielle Long
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Walt Disney Television/Yolanda Perez(NEW YORK) -- Alec Baldwin has put the breaks on Twitter, permanently.

The 30 Rock star has repeatedly vented his frustration over how the internet has reacted to the cultural appropriation controversy surrounding his wife, Hilaria Baldwin.  The lifestyle influencer was accused by a Twitter user in December of a "decades long grift in which she impersonates a Spanish person."

The accuser, LeniBriscoe, backed up the claims by including interviews where Hilaria speaks in a Spanish accent and opens up about her parents, who are natives of Massachusetts.

The fallout was immediate and Alec has threatened to quit Twitter multiple times because his wife is continuously harassed, he says.

On Monday, the 63-year-old actor said he is closing up shop on Twitter, saying the website "is like a party where everyone is screaming. Not much of a party."

"Goodbye for now," he added.

Hilaria has repeatedly tried to clear the air since the scandal broke in December.  She first took to Instagram to share her side of the story, confessing that she was born in Boston "and grew up spending time with my family between Massachusetts and Spain."

Hilaria added that she's "really lucky I grew up speaking two languages" and is also raising her children to be bilingual.

The fitness model also confessed that she is a "white girl" born "Hillary," not Hilaria, which she said is what her Spanish relatives called her and which she eventually adopted professionally. 

Mrs. Baldwin continued to ward off accusations of cultural appropriation and opened up about her contested heritage in a lengthy piece in The New York Times

It is unknown when or if Alec intends to return to social media.

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



NBC(LOS ANGELES) -- It's been a rough fifth season for NBC's This Is Us, which has been forced back into hiatus due to "COVID-related production delays."

The family drama, which was forced to scrap Tuesday night's episode, won't return until February 2, according the NBC website.

"No new episode of #ThisIsUs tonight - Covid-related production delays in LA have forced us to delay a few weeks," series creator Dan Fogelman also tweeted on Tuesday.

"But the next few are big ones, and we are close, so we hope you'll hang in there with us. Sorry!" he continued.

Like most TV series, This Is Us saw its season five premiere delayed until October 27 due to the virus, and aired four episodes before going on a seven-week hiatus.  The show returned with new episodes on January 5 and January 12.

This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET.

By George Costantino
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Steven Ogg in "Snowpiercer" - Courtesy TNT(NEW YORK) -- Snowpiercer, TNT's adaptation of the 2013 Bong Joon-ho sci-fi film, will stay on the tracks into season 3.

The network announced that the post-apocalyptic show, starring Oscar winner Jennifer Connelly, Hamilton Tony winner Daveed Diggs, Sean Bean, and Steven Ogg, has been renewed before the show's second season debuts on January 25. 

The series is set onboard a 1,001-car train that can never stop, which houses the only human survivors of a climate catastrophe that left the earth an arctic wasteland. The train is divided by class -- because, well, people -- and there's a rebellion from the regulars who eke out a living in the back against the elite living high on the hog in the front cars.

Steven Ogg, a veteran of The Walking Dead, and known to a generation of gamers as Trevor from Grand Theft Auto V, plays survivalist Pike in Snowpiercer. He tells ABC Audio he wasn't expecting the show's train sets to be so realistic. "The train's moving -- it shakes. It's awesome," he laughs.

"It was funny: at first we were told there was going to be movement on the train, but that first time when you have your first words to say, and 'Action' is called, and all of the sudden the train starts going back and forth a bit -- I forgot all my lines."

Ogg adds, "You sort of have sea legs. I certainly found myself always holding on to either side. You remember in the old days when we used to fly in planes?" the actor asks sarcastically, "when you walk down the aisles, you sort of hold on to each side? That's how it feels in the train -- you sort of feel at the end of the day like you're still on a ship, that movement...It's pretty amazing, that world, truly."

Snowpiercer returns Monday, January 25 at 9 p.m. ET on TNT

By Stephen Iervolino 
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.