ABC - Entertainment News

Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Like the casts of other classic TV shows and movies, the cast of 1993's beloved coming-of-age baseball movie The Sandlot has gotten back together via Zoom for a good cause. 

For the film's 25th anniversary, co-star Patrick Renna has re-assembled the cast, along with host and Los Angeles Dodger Justin Turner, as well as other MLB stars including former Dodgers Enrique Hernandez and Andre Ethier. Together, they talk about the making of the movie, and its impact.

And in true Sandlot fashion, there's no little trash talk, to boot.

Renna, who played lovable loudmouth Ham Porter, tells ABC Audio, "[T]here's no way that we knew it would become what it's meant to so many people...[K]ind of at when the 20th anniversary hit and then the 25th, kind of took on a life of its own. It just went even more crazy, you know?"

Unlike many of his then-kid co-stars, Renna is still recognizable as his Sandlot character, and he's fine with that. "I think it's because I can't grow a beard. That's my my big problem," he jokes. "I think it's great...it's a icebreaker because there's not many people who don't like the movie. And if they don't like the movie, then I know I am. So it's perfect."

The reunion, which goes live today on Renna's YouTube channel, You're Killing Me, is raising money for the Justin Turner Foundation, which has pivoted to feeding families in the COVID-19 crisis.

Renna adds, "It's just a great way to get the guys together, have fun with MLB and also do it for a good cause. Because anything you can do these days to help people, you know?"


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



ABC/Tyler Golden(LOS ANGELES) -- Chrissy Teigen has had enough of internet trolls, so much so that she deleted 60,000 tweets and is concerned for the safety of her family. 

The 34-year-old model recently came under fire after internet sleuths accused her of being involved in the Jeffrey Epstein scandal. One Twitter user even provided a screenshot of Twitter stats which showed the steep decline in how many tweets Teigen has.

The user wrote, "Some celebrities have been VERY busy since [Ghislaine Maxwell] was arrested. @chrissyteigen why did you delete over 28,000 tweets yesterday??!! #chrissyteigen was ON the #EpsteinFlightLogs."  

Fed up with the accusations the mother of two clapped back, "I actually deleted 60,000 tweets because I cannot f**king STAND you idiots anymore and I’m worried for my family."

She continued, "Finding me talking about toddlers and tiaras in 2013 and thinking you’re some sort of f**king operative."

Teigen's response seemingly did nothing except fuel the fire because social media users kept at it and claimed that her defending herself was even more reason to believe she was guilty, which baffled the Cravings author. 

"This I don’t get. everyone thinking I’m guilty because I’m defensive," she tweeted. "You understand you are calling me a pedophile, correct?"

"If twitter doesn't do something about this *actually scary* harassment, I am gonna have to go," she threatened in a following tweet

By Danielle Long
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images(BOSTON) -- Lori Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli are hoping a judge reconsiders their $1 million bond.  The two, who pleaded guilty for their role in the Varsity Blues college admissions cheating scheme, are requesting a reduction.

Us Weekly, who obtained the court documents filed Monday, says the married couple petitioned federal judge Nathaniel Gorton to consider "releasing their $1,000,000 bonds secured by their property, reducing their bail from $1,000,000 to $100,000, and removing the requirement that the $100,000 bonds be secured by money or property."

The couple argues that they sold their Bel Air home for $18 million and that the lien placed on their property could complicate the sale to Tinder cofounder Justin Mateen.

Loughlin and Giannulli's attorney also told the judge "there is no indication that Defendants will flee rather than face sentencing" should bond be reduced.

The legal team also claims Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Rosen has sided with the couple over the proposal of reducing their bond from a million to $100,000.

As previously reported, both Loughlin, 55, and Giannulli, 57, were named in an ongoing admissions scandal dubbed "Operation Varsity Blues," and pleaded guilty to paying $500,000 to a sham charity enacted by William "Rick" Singer to get their two daughters into the University of Southern California as rowing team recruits despite them never participating in the sport. 

The couple argued the money was a charitable donation, but have since accepted a plea deal.

Loughlin faces two months and her husband five months in jail.  Judge Gorton will either accept or reject the plea deal at their separate sentencing hearings in Boston, both set for Friday, August 21.

Giannulli will be sentenced first at 11 a.m. ET while Loughlin will stand before Judge Gorton at 2:30 p.m. ET.

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



Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- Actress Naya Rivera, best known for playing Santana Lopez on the hit musical comedy Glee, accidentally drowned while swimming in Lake Piru in Southern California on July 8, the Ventura County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed Tuesday.

"The circumstances and visual characteristics all indicated that the body was that of Naya Rivera and the identity has been confirmed by dental records," the medical examiner said in a statement Tuesday. "There is no indication from the investigation or examination that drugs or alcohol played a role in the decedent's death, but specimens will be submitted for toxicology testing."

The body of the 33-year-old actress was recovered in the Southern California lake Monday following a five-day search.  Rivera went missing last Wednesday after swimming in Lake Piru and never resurfacing.  She was accompanied by her 4-year-old son, who was found asleep in their rented pontoon boat.

By George Costantino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Amy Sussman/Getty Images for ABA(LOS ANGELES) -- A major shakeup is happening on Dancing with the Stars with a brand new host taking the reins from Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews, who exited the series on Monday.  

Tyra Banks will now take over their hosting duties when the series embarks on its 29th season later this year. 

The former America's Next Top Model host will help usher in a new era for DWTS by also serving as the show's executive producer in tandem with her hosting duties.

The 46-year-old says she is definitely up for the challenge and is honored to be a part of the reality dancing competition's next phase.

"I’ve been a fan of DWTS since its beginning," Banks gushed. "The fun mixed with raw emotion, seeing celebrities push past their comfort zones, the sizzling dance performances ... it’s always transported me to my days of turning it up 10 notches on the catwalk."

The supermodel credited Bergeron for helping DWTS become a juggernaut reality series and is looking forward to kicking things up a notch.

"Tom has set a powerful stage," Banks continued. "I’m excited to continue the legacy and put on my executive producer and hosting hats."

Bergeron hosted DWTS since its start in 2005 and shared cohosting duties with Andrews when she joined in 2010.

When it was announced the two would be leaving the show, ABC and BBC Studios issued a joint statement that read, "Tom Bergeron will forever be part of the Dancing with the Stars family. As we embark on a new creative direction, he departs the show with our sincerest thanks and gratitude for his trademark wit and charm that helped make this show a success."

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


Amanda Edwards/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Nick Cannon has been canned by ViacomCBS. 

The media company announced that they have cut ties with the 39-year-old on Tuesday after the June 30 episode of the actor's YouTube series featuring Public Enemy rapper Richard "Professor Griff" Griffin raised a few eyebrows.

A statement to Deadline reads, "ViacomCBS condemns bigotry of any kind and we categorically denounce all forms of anti-Semitism. We have spoken with Nick Cannon about an episode of his podcast "Cannon’s Class" on YouTube, which promoted hateful speech and spread anti-Semitic conspiracy theories."

The statement continued, "While we support ongoing education and dialogue in the fight against bigotry, we are deeply troubled that Nick has failed to acknowledge or apologize for perpetuating anti-Semitism, and we are terminating our relationship with him. We are committed to doing better in our response to incidents of anti-Semitism, racism, and bigotry. ViacomCBS will have further announcements on our efforts to combat hate of all kinds."

In the YouTube video, Cannon and Griffin discussed conspiracy theories including those about Jewish people and "the Rothschilds, centralized banking, the 13 families, the bloodlines that control everything even outside of America." He also said that Blacks are the "true Jews" and claims that Black people cannot be anti-Semitic because Black people are the Semitic people. Cannon also claimed white people were genetically inferior to Blacks because they lack melanin in their skin.

Before the firing, the father of two issued a statement taking accountability for his comments and urged others to not shy away from "uncomfortable conversations."

"Anyone who knows me knows that I have no hate in my heart nor malice intentions. I do not condone hate speech nor the spread of hateful rhetoric," Monday's statement read. "I hold myself accountable for this moment and take full responsibility because My intentions are... to show that... we have way more commonalities than differences."

By Danielle Long
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


L-R - Knighton, Cuthbert, Coupe, Wayans, Pally, Wilson -- Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly(LOS ANGELES) -- Fans of the beloved but ratings-challenged show Happy Endings, take heart.  Variety reports that cast members Eliza Coupe, Elisha Cuthbert, Adam Pally, Zachary Knighton, Damon Wayans, Jr. and Casey Wilson will be slipping back into their characters for a special charity event. 

The gang, along with a "surprise special guest," wil  perform an episode via Zoom titled "And the Pandemmy Goes To…" and then do a Q&A with fans who can submit their questions using #AskHappyEndings and tag @HappyEndings.

The event will benefit celebrity chef José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen supporting Black Lives Matter and COVID-19 relief efforts, as well as Color of Change. Andres' charity also reunited the cast of Community during the pandemic.

Happy Endings creator David Caspe noted dryly, "For years, the people -- and multiple networks -- have spoken: They do not want this show to continue. Undeterred, we were finally able to convince them to at least let us do just one weird Zoom thing, as long as we did it ourselves and it was for charity."

His statement continued, "So if you want to watch, please donate to Color of Change and World Central Kitchen, two incredible organizations fighting to make the world a safer, more equitable, just place for all."

The trade notes that the event will take place Monday, July 20 at 7 p.m. ET on Sony Pictures Television's YouTube page.

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



L-R - Murphy, Falchuk, Brennan -- Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Less than a day after she was confirmed dead following the discovery of her remains in California's Lake Piru, Naya Rivera is being remembered by the creators of Glee, the show that made her famous. 

Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan have issued a statement praising the 33-year-old, explaining that it was Rivera's talent that made her Santana Lopez a fan favorite.

"Naya wasn’t a series regular when we cast her," the statement reads. "She didn't have more than a few lines in the pilot. But it didn't take more than an episode or two for us to realize that we had lucked into finding one of the most talented, special stars we would ever have the pleasure of working with."

The "heartbroken" creators continued, "Naya could act, she could dance, and she could sing (could she ever sing!) She could nail a joke as well as she could crush you with an emotional scene....She was a joy to write for, a joy to direct and a joy to be around."

The statement concluded, "Our hearts go out to her family, especially her mom, Yolanda, who was a big part of the Glee family and her son Josey. The three of us are currently in the process of creating a college fund for the beautiful son Naya loved most of all."

Josey, 4, was found alone on the pontoon boat Rivera had rented with him, prompting the investigation into her disappearance. Officials say she lifted the boy to safety from the water, but was unable to pull herself back onto the drifting boat.

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



RLJE Films(LOS ANGELES) -- Talk about commitment to a role.  To play the part of a ruthless gang enforcer in The Tax Collector, Shia LaBeouf reportedly got a massive tattoo that covers his torso from his collarbones to his navel. 

Tattoo artist Bryan Ramirez just revealed the ink on his Instagram feed, noting people were asking him if the body art was real. "Yes it’s pretty real," he noted. "[W]e started this back when we where filming the movie." He adds the main portion is a "meaningful tattoo" representing LaBeouf's parents. 

Under a field of black and white flowers, there's a beautifully rendered tattoo of a woman, tenderly nuzzling the face of someone wearing clown makeup.

The ink also features a pair of Mickey Mouse-gloved hands pointing towards each other, and "Creeper," Shia's character's name in the movie. 

Director David Ayer, who worked with Shia on the WWII tank thriller Fury, also confirmed to Slashfilm that the tats are real. "He's one of the best actors I've worked with, and he's the most committed to body and soul...So he kind of goes all in, and I've never known anyone that committed," said Ayer.

For Fury, LaBeouf reportedly cut his own face to simulate a war wound, and had one of his bottom front teeth pulled out for the role.  He said at the time, "WHEN YOU GET A ROLE TO SINK YOUR TEETH INTO DO IT."

The Tax Collector comes to streaming and video on demand August 7.

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



SHOWTIME/Parrish Lewis(NEW YORK) -- Kandi Burruss made her acting debut on the Showtime series The Chi on Sunday, as Rosalyn the estranged wife of street hustler and mayoral candidate Otis "Douda" Perry, played by Curtiss Cook.

She says this scripted role is significantly different than her past few seasons on the reality series The Real Housewives of Atlanta.

"Oh, it's a major difference," Kandi tells ABC Audio. "I mean well, first of all, I was so excited to be a part of The Chi. This is a really huge opportunity for me to be a part of the show. I loved the show before I even auditioned for it. So to get the role I was super excited."

Kandi said the difference between doing scripted shows and reality television is the long hours and "lots of sit and wait" time between scenes and adjusting to various roles, opposed to Housewives, which documents her real life with her husband Todd Tucker and their family and friends. 

She tells ABC Audio, "It's a totally different feeling when the world is coming at you about the stuff that you've been through."

Surprisingly, Kandi said the most challenging part of this role was filming an upcoming sex scene during her first week of taping. 

"You know, I've never been in close contact...with any man other than my husband in years," she says. "So even though he knows its acting is, I don't want people to think it's real. So I had to put myself in a totally different mind frame."

Kandi praised the show's cast and crew for being "so cool" and "so supportive." "They're all just very like a family, and it was a great experience the entire time," she says.

The Chi airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on Showtime. 

By Rachel George
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



ABC/Eric Liebowitz(LONDON) -- Emmy-winning actor and animal rights activist Ricky Gervais didn't take to Twitter Sunday night to raise money for animal charities, but that's just what he did by poking fun at the Kardashians.

Beer in hand -- and with seemingly a few under his belt -- Gervais spoke with fans in a livestream, during which he took issue with the Kardashians raking it in with lucrative sponsored tweets: Kim, Kylie, and the rest rake in money just by posting pics on social media while wearing a certain item or using a beauty treatment. 

Gervais admits, "I get these offers to do endorsed tweets...proper mental money," he says, meaning, well, a lot.

"I know the Kardashians get something like 20 grand for sitting on a bench, and going, 'Oh, I love this new chocolate bar.'"

"I've been offered that sort of thing," Ricky said, "and I've always said no."

Gervais adds, "I think that's sort of embarrassing. I want myself to be real...I don't mind doing an advert when everyone knows I got paid to do an advert."

However, as he sipped his beer, an IPA from a company called Brew Dog, an idea seemed to come to him: "Maybe I should just say to companies, 'why don't we be just honest?' I like Brew Dog. I love Brew Dog, now give some money to charity. Don't give it to me, just give it straight to charity."

"I've got enough money," Gervais declared.  "I like [the beer]. So I can endorse things -- I would have said it anyway, and they're just giving money to charity. It's perfect, isn't it?"

In response, the Scotland-based brewery retweeted Gervais, noting, "We didn't have to pay for this publicity so we donated money to these charities instead: @Nowzad @AllDogsMatter @AnimalsAsia @Paws2RescueUK. Cheers, Ricky Gervais!"

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



©Jessica Hromas/CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.(LOS ANGELES) -- CBS announced on Monday that The Bold and the Beautiful, which resumed production over two weeks ago, will start airing new episodes on July 20. 

The daytime drama on June 16 became the first U.S. broadcast series to resume production on stage, following strict COVID-19 safety protocols, but shut down after one day to “modify [its] testing protocol to better accommodate the large volume of testing needed.” 

The soap, which films at Television City in Los Angeles, resumed production on June 24 and has been taping ever since. 

By George Costantino 
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



FOX/Chuck Hodes(ARIZONA) -- Actor Bryshere Gray, who played Hakeem Lyon on Empire, was arrested Sunday after allegedly assaulting his wife at their Goodyear, Arizona home.

Goodyear PD announced on their Facebook Monday that officers responded to a 9-1-1 call by a citizen who was flagged down by a woman at a nearby gas station.  The woman claimed she had been assaulted "for several hours" by her husband,” who she identified as Gray.

The victim was treated and released for non life-threatening injuries, according to Goodyear PD.  "Goodyear Detectives and Victim’s Advocate continued to assist her after her discharge from the hospital," the department said.

When officers arrived at the actor’s home, he refused to come out and speak with them, according to police.  "Goodyear SWAT and Crisis Negotiations were called out to assist," the department says.

Police say Gray surrendered and was taken into custody "without incident" just after 7 a.m. local time on Monday. He will be booked on domestic violence charges.

By George Costantino 
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)(LOS ANGELES) -- In a recently resurfaced video, Will Smith seemingly references the time that he and Jada Pinkett Smith decided to separate. 

In the self-shot video, obtained by British publication Daily Mail, the Bad Boys star shared, "You can make a person smile, you can make a person feel good, you can make a person laugh, but whether a person is happy is deeply utterly and completely out of your control." 

He continued, "I remember the day I said to Jada, 'I retire. I retire from trying to make you happy. I need you to go make yourself happy and just prove to me it’s even possible.'"

Will explained that he and Jada had a "false romantic concept" in which they believed they could be the source of each other's happiness before realizing they "were two completely separate people on two completely separate individual journeys" who were "choosing to walk our separate journeys together."

He added, "Her happiness was her responsibility and my happiness was my responsibility."

The video is believed to be from 2018 and comes after Will and Jada's record-breaking Red Table Talk episode in which Jada admitted she had become involved in an "entanglement" with singer August Alsina during a a time when the couple was separated. 

By Danielle Long
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



ABC/Eric McCandless(LOS ANGELES) -- A major shakeup has come to Dancing with the Stars, as series original host Tom Bergeron announced he's exiting the show after a 15-year run that spanned an impressive 28 seasons.

What's more, his co-host Erin Andrews will not be returning to the long-running series, either, ABC announced.

Bergeron, who's been a stalwart of the show since 2005, made the shocking announcement Monday in a tweet.

"Just informed @DancingABC will be continuing without me. It's been an incredible 15 year run and the most unexpected gift of my career," The 65-year-old revealed on Twitter.  "I'm grateful for that and for the lifelong friendships made."

Bergeron remained in good spirits about stepping down, offering a small joke regarding all the outfits he donned during his expansive hosting career. "That said, now what am I supposed to do with all of these glitter masks?," he concluded.

During his time serving as host, Bergeron was nominated for 11 Emmy Awards, winning one in 2012 for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program.

Shortly after Bergeron's announcement, ABC and BBC Studios confirmed his departure, offering a joint statement that read, "Tom Bergeron will forever be part of the Dancing with the Stars family. As we embark on a new creative direction, he departs the show with our sincerest thanks and gratitude for his trademark wit and charm that helped make this show a success."

The statement also revealed that Andrews, who co-hosted the show for nearly a decade, will not be be back for the show's 29th season.

"Erin will also not be returning, and we appreciate all that she brought to the ballroom," The statement furthered. "Fans have been rooting for her since she originally competed as a contestant back in 2010, and her signature sense of humor has become a hallmark of the show."

DWTS returns for season 29 later this year.

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