ABC - Entertainment News
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Regina King is grieving the death of her only child.

The Oscar-winning actress’ son ​​Ian Alexander Jr., who had celebrated his 26th birthday on Wednesday, has died by suicide.

"Our family is devastated at the deepest level by the loss of Ian,” King said in a statement obtained by ABC News over the weekend. “He is such a bright light who cared so deeply about the happiness of others. Our family asks for respectful consideration during this private time. Thank you."

King shared Alexander Jr. with her ex-husband, record producer Ian Alexander.

King’s son frequently attended red carpet events with his mom, telling E! News on the 2019 Golden Globes red carpet, "She's just a super mom. She doesn't really let bad workdays or anything come back and ruin the time that we have. It's really awesome to have a mother who I can enjoy spending time with."

King's co-stars and friends offered their condolences on social media over the weekend, including Octavia SpencerJanet Jackson, DL Hughley, Bernice King and more.

If you are in crisis or know someone in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741. You can reach Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860 (U.S.) or 877-330-6366 (Canada) and The Trevor Project at 866-488-7386.

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Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Regina Hall, Sterling Brown and Keke Palmer are among the stars featured this weekend in virtual Sundance Film Festival events. They are participating in the fifth annual Macro Lounge focusing on diversity, inclusion and people of color.

On Sunday, January 23, at 1 p.m. PT, Palmer will be featured in a conversation about her film Alice, which opens in theaters March 18. Keke co-stars with Common in the movie about a slave in the antebellum South who escapes from her plantation.

On Sunday at 6 p.m. PT, Hall and Brown will participate in a panel about their film Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul. The comedy tells the story of a preacher and his wife attempting to rebuild their congregation following a scandal. Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul will premiere Sunday at 1:45 p.m PT online on the festival website, with a second screening on Tuesday, January 25, at 10 a.m. ET.

In other news, Mack Wilds will host Profiled: The Blackman, a four-part docuseries premiering February 12 on Discovery+. Beyoncé's mother, Tina Knowles-Lawson, is one of the executive producers of the series, which examines the widespread stereotypes Black men face on a daily basis in America.

Finally, AllHipHop.com reports that Dame Dash is preparing to shoot the sequel to the 2002 crime drama Paid In Full, which starred Mekhi Phifer, Wood Harris and Cam'ron.The film was inspired by the true story of 1980s Harlem drug dealers Azie Faison, Rich Porter and Alpo Martinez. Dash, who co-founded Roc-A-Fella Records with Jay-Z, co-produced the original film with Hova.

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Paramount Pictures

Release dates for the next Mission: Impossible movies are proving to be as elusive as Tom Cruise's spy Ethan Hunt. 

Paramount Pictures has announced that the already COVID-delayed Mission: Impossible 7 has been bumped from its September 30, 2022, debut to July 14, 2023. In turn, the release of an eighth M:I film, reportedly being shot back-to-back with 7, has been moved from July 7, 2023, to June 28, 2024.

Cruise made headlines early last year for very vocally enforcing COVID safety protocols on Mission: Impossible's U.K. set, but with Omicron now on the rise, Paramount and co-producer Skydance Productions decided to move the films "after careful consideration."

The seventh film in Cruise's $3.5 billion-grossing franchise was initially set to open in July of 2020, and was moved a few times throughout the pandemic.

Cruise's other project as producer and star, Top Gun: Maverick, had also been moved because of COVID-19, but as of yet, its new release date hasn't changed: May 27.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



ABC and AMPAS

While the search goes on for who will fill the role of host of the upcoming 94th Annual Academy Awards, Variety reports producers are looking for more than one set of shoes to fill. 

The first hosted telecast since Jimmy Kimmel left the podium in 2018 "likely" will have multiple hosts, according to the trade, which says producers have reached out to "multiple celebrities" for "possible pairings" of emcees throughout show business' biggest night. 

The trade cautions, however, it's early on in the process. Variety also notes the 1983 telecast, which had four hosts -- Liza MinnelliWalter Matthau, Dudley Moore and Richard Pryor -- was one of the most-watched in Oscars history. 

By contrast, last year's host-free ceremony -- which ended with an unexpected posthumous snub of Chadwick Boseman in the Lead Actor category -- drew an all-time low audience of fewer than 10 million people.

As previously reported, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) recently asked fans on Twitter who they'd like to see host, and preliminary discussions have already reportedly happened with Spider-Man series star Tom Holland, and with reps for Pete Davidson.

The 94th Annual Academy Awards will air live on March 27 on ABC.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Producer Mace Neufeld, who had a long a varied career in Hollywood, has died. The Hollywood Reporter notes the producer passed away in his sleep at his Beverly Hills home at 93.

When Neufeld was still in high school, he became a finalist for a Pulitzer, with a photo he snapped of an injured G.I. returning to the arms of his family in New York City after World War II. 

In Hollywood, he not only represented musical acts including Neil Diamond and Lou Rawls, but also actors like James Caan and acclaimed writer Buck Henry

Neufeld's first job as an executive producer was the 1976 horror classic The Omen, and his credits went on to include the Cold War thriller No Way Out starring Kevin Costner and 2003's Gods and Generals among others.

Neufeld also made a household name of thriller writer Tom Clancy, by optioning the then-relatively unknown novelist's The Hunt for Red October for the big screen. The hit 1990 film starring Sean Connery as a rogue Soviet submariner and Alec Baldwin as CIA analyst Jack Ryan led to more Clancy-based films, including 1992's Patriot Games and 1994's Clear and Present Danger with Harrison Ford playing Ryan. 

Neufeld was also credited with Amazon Prime's ongoing Jack Ryan series starring John Krasinski.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/WireImage

Like millions of his fans, Louie Anderson's famous friends are remembering the Emmy-winning comic and Baskets actor on social media. 

Anderson passed away this morning at a Las Vegas hospital, from complications of cancer. He was 68. It didn't take long for his Hollywood colleagues to take to social media to mourn him. Here are some of their posts so far: 

Henry Winkler: "Your generosity of spirit will cover the world from above .. we are so lucky you were on earth for a moment , spreading your humor all over like bars of living gold .. Good Bye"

Jeff Ross: "When Meatloaf died Louie Anderson was like, 'What’s the point of living?' I loved them both."

Gilbert Gottfried posted a photo of himself with Bob Saget, who died earlier this month, and Louie Anderson. "This photo is very sad now. RIP Bob Saget and RIP Louie Anderson. Both good friends that will be missed."

George Wallace: "Heaven has a hell of an open mic night goin' right about now. Everybody gets the light. You'll be missed. Louie. What an awesome friend. One in a million. Also pictured, the very much alive @kathleenmadigan, who has promised not to die this year."

Kathleen Madigan posted a photo of she and Anderson, explaining, "Grateful I got to say goodbye. Loved him like a brother. My midwest king. Broken heartBroken heartBroken heart #RIPLouieAnderson."

Comic Ron White: "RIP to one of the true greats. Thinking of all of the nights laughing in Vegas with Louie and @kathleenmadigan. We’ll all miss his sweet soul."

Cobra Kai producer Jon Hurwitz: "RIP to one of our favorite comics since childhood. The guys and I were lucky enough to meet Louie Anderson in Vegas after one of his shows and he couldn’t have been cooler. We were delighted when he won an Emmy a few years later. Sending love to his family."

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Lia Toby/BFC/Getty Images for BFC

Congratulations are in order for Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra, who made the surprise announcement Friday that they are the proud parents of their first child.

The couple issued the joint statement on their respective Instagram accounts, which read, "We are overjoyed to confirm that we have welcomed a baby via surrogate.  We respectfully ask for privacy during this special time as we focus on our family."

The couple thanked their fans for their support, but declined to share further information at this time about their newborn.  Friends and family were quick to send in their well wishes, including Nick's brothers, Joe and Kevin Jonas as well as Ryan Tedder and Vanessa Bryant.

Nick and Priyanka, who celebrated their third anniversary in December, have previously spoken to the media about their future family plans.  Last February, the "Jealous" singer told E! News that he wants "many" children.

"It's obviously something we hope happens, and God willing, it comes together," he said at the time. "It's going to be a beautiful journey, and I hope for many, or whatever that is.  We'll go figure that out when they get there."

His words echoed what Priyanka told The Sunday Times the month prior, where she remarked, "I do want children, as many as I can have."

The two never shared plans on when they intended to start a family and, instead, would say they were content being a family of two.  Now, they're a family of three.

 

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Photo by Bob Riha, Jr./Getty Images

new post on her official Facebook page is giving fans a final message from Emmy-winning icon Betty White, who died December 31, just shy of her 100th birthday.

Her voice hoarse, a smiling Betty says, "I just wanted to thank you all for your love and support over the years. Thank you so much." 

She added, "Stick around."

The message, the post explained, was meant to run on her social media to celebrate the animal loving Golden Girls legend's 100th birthday, which would have been on January 17.

"She was using the occasion of her 100th birthday to celebrate YOU - her fans," the post explained, "She knew how lucky she was; she felt the love, and she never took it for granted."

The post also thanked fans for donating in her honor as part of what became known as the #BettyWhiteChallenge. "As we continue to see number [sic] coming in from all over the world — it’s just absolutely amazing how much money all of you raised for the animals through #thebettywhitechallenge. She could never have imagined such an outpouring of love and would have been so grateful to everyone."

The video was posted, "as a thank from Betty and the animals."

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Dan MacMedan/Getty Images

Comedian and Emmy-winning Baskets star Louie Anderson has died, his rep confirmed to ABC Audio. He was 68.

"...Anderson passed away peacefully Friday morning," his agent Glenn Schwartz said, citing, "complications from cancer" as the cause of death.

It was revealed in January that Anderson was undergoing treatment at a Las Vegas hospital after he was diagnosed with B-cell lymphoma, which is a common version of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Named by Comedy Central as "One of 100 Greatest Stand­-Up Comedians of All Time," Anderson's career spanned more than 30 years. The legendary comic was a mainstay of the '80s stand-up scene, making his Tonight Show debut with comedy career kingmaker Johnny Carson in 1984.

The second youngest of 11 children, who described his father as an abusive alcoholic, the St. Paul, Minnesota native used comedy as a defense against teasing over his weight as a child. Decades later, he mined his formative early years into Emmy gold, with the Saturday morning cartoon Life with Louie, which debuted on Fox in 1995 and ran for three seasons. He won two Daytime Emmys in the Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program category for his efforts.

A veteran of numerous comedy specials, Anderson's self-deprecating humor was a staple of his act, in which he often riffed about his weight. His stand-up career led him to Hollywood, first being cast in 1995 -- but ultimately replaced by Mark-Linn Baker -- in a series that became the ABC hit Perfect Strangers.

Anderson appeared in big screen roles as well, appearing in a small role in 1986's Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and later in a large supporting role as an ambitious burger flipper opposite Eddie Murphy in the blockbuster Coming To America.

Anderson later became the host of a reboot of Family Feud from 1999 to 2002, before being replaced by Home Improvement's Richard Karn, a reportedly bitter pill for Anderson.

From 2003 to 2012, Anderson starred in his own Las Vegas show, Louie Anderson: Larger Than Life, which played at various venues.

In 2016, he was cast as Christine Baskets, the mother to Zach Galifianakis' dual role as twin brothers in FX's comedy Baskets. He won an Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Emmy for his role. On his website, Anderson recalled, "It felt like it was divine intervention when I got the call to be on the show, that somehow my mom, from the great beyond, was finally getting herself into show business where she truly belonged in the first place."

Anderson's career was also touched by scandal: In 1997, he was blackmailed by a man named Richard John Gordon, who threatened to expose to the tabloids that the comic sexually propositioned him in 1993.

After reportedly paying Gordon hundreds of thousands of dollars in hush money, Anderson eventually contacted the authorities in 2000, and Gordon was arrested by the FBI following a high speed chase in Santa Monica, California and charged with extortion

Anderson was also a bestselling author of four books, including Dear Dad – Letters From An Adult Child; the comedic self-help books, Good­bye Jumbo…Hello Cruel World and The F WordHow To Survive Your Family, as well as his most recent book, Hey Mom, in which he caught his late mother up on his successes she didn't live to see.

He is survived by his two sisters, Lisa and Shanna Anderson.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Todd Williamson/Getty Images

Girls Trip is officially getting a sequel.

Will Packer, who produced the 2017 film with the movie's director, Malcolm D. Lee, announced the news Friday on Good Morning America.

"Can't we all use a post-pandemic trip, my friend? I think that the time is actually right, and this is something that I will tell you and break right now at GMA: the Girls Trip 2 sequel, we are underway," Packer, who is producing the 2022 Academy Awards, told Michael Strahan. "We are absolutely in the stages, the ladies are in, I just talked to the director."

"We are underway with Girls Trip 2, and now it's just about what kind of trip do we take, right?" he continued. "Post-pandemic with all our favorite crazy ladies, what do we do with them? That's what we got to figure out."

Girls Trip, which starred Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Tiffany Haddish and Jada Pinkett Smith, told the story of four best friends who travel to the Essence Festival in New Orleans and rekindle their sisterhood after having drifted apart because of life.

The movie, which turns five this summer, was written by Black-ish creator Kenya Barris and Tracy Oliver based on a story from the pair and Erica Rivinoja.

Girls Trip was a critical success, sitting at 92% on Rotten Tomatoes, as well as a financial success, earning more than $140 million worldwide on a $19 million budget.

The film received numerous accolades as well, including two Black Reel Awards, two NAACP Image Awards and an MTV Movie & TV Award.

 

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Ready, set, binge! Here are some of the new titles available to stream this weekend:


Netflix
Ozark (Season 4): Ozark is back for season 4 and will further explore the Byrde family’s descent into crime.

Too Hot to HandleFind out if the cast of Too Hot to Handle can stick to the rules in the third season of the reality dating show.

The Royal TreatmentFall head over heels for The Royal Treatment, a new romantic comedy about a hairdresser, played by Laura Marano, who meets a dashing prince, portrayed by Mena Massoud.


Hulu
How I Met Your Father: Watch Hilary Duff star in this new take on the popular show How I Met Your MotherFrancia RaisaKim CattrallTom AinsleyChristopher Lowell, Suraj Sharma, and Tien Tran also star. 


Apple TV+
ServantExperience the third season of M. Night Shyamalan’s chilling drama series.

Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock: Jim Henson’s fun-loving friends are back for epic adventures.



Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Shore, Anderson, with producer Michael Rotenberg in 1992 -- Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc

It appears comedian Louie Anderson's cancer battle may have taken a turn for the worse. Comedian and actor Pauly Shore took to Twitter to call for prayers for his friend, after visiting the 68-year-old comic and Emmy-winning Baskets actor. 

"I say this with a heavy heart," Shore wrote. "[J]ust left the hospital in Las Vegas where Louie Anderson his sisters and close friend were kind enough to let me say my goodbyes."

Shore added, "he's still with us but keep him in your prayers." 

A rep for Anderson told ABC Audio earlier this week that the Coming to America star is battling diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, and had been "resting comfortably" in the hospital. 

Shore addressed his comments to "comedians and @TheComedyStore alumni" -- Shore's mother Mitsi owned the iconic Los Angeles venue where Anderson and many famous stand-ups got their start.

Comedienne Kathy Griffin, who recently battled lung cancer herself, replied to Shore's post, noting, "Pauly. So sorry. Thinkin about nights with Louis and Judy Toll. Cant laugh harder than that."

Fans also responded, including one who urged Shore, "Please let him know that we love him," to which the Encino Man star replied, "I did." 

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Dr. Death star Joshua Jackson has been cast opposite Lizzy Caplan in the Paramount+ original series, Fatal Attraction, a reimagining of the classic 1980s psychosexual thriller film starring by Michael Douglas and Glenn Close. Jackson will star in Douglas' former role of Dan Gallagher, the object of her lover's obsession following a brief affair. Caplan will take on Close's former role of his lover, Alex. The new series, per the streamer, "will explore fatal attraction and the timeless themes of marriage and infidelity through the lens of modern attitudes towards strong women, personality disorders and coercive control"...

Don't Look Up filmmaker Adam McKay and The Comey Rule creator Billy Ray are teaming up for a feature film about the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, according to Deadline. The film, which was originally envisioned as a limited series, will take a "journalistic approach" to chronicling the deadly assault on the citadel of American democracy," according to the outlet, which adds that the project will be shopped to studios and streamers soon. "The goal was to do a ground-level view of a momentous day," Ray tells Deadline. "It's about protesters who became rioters and cops who became defenders of democracy. Someone else can tell the story of the chaos at the White House on that day. I wanted to stay in the trenches"...

Let the battle begin...again! Netflix has ordered Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend, a reboot of the classic Japanese import-turned Food Network series. According to the streaming service, "Five new trailblazing Iron Chefs will welcome brave Challenger Chefs to the reimagined Kitchen Stadium, where they'll face off and be pushed to the limits of endurance and creativity, as they cook up extraordinary culinary creations." The competition’s most successful Challenger will return to battle in a grand finale for the chance to be named the first ever "Iron Legend." A previous American reboot saw Bobby FlayMario BataliWolfgang Puck and Michael Symon holding the Iron Chef title...

Variety reports that season two of Mike White's The White Lotus will take place in Italy -- Sicily, to be exact. Once again a Four Seasons Hotel will stand in for White’s fictional luxury chain of White Lotus hotels, specifically the Four Seasons San Domenico Palace in the exclusive Sicilian resort town of Taormina. A source close to the show tells Variety. Season two will star F. Murray AbrahamAdam DiMarcoTom HollanderHaley Lu RichardsonAubrey Plaza and Michael ImperioliJennifer Coolidge will also return for season 2...

Hardy Krüger, the German actor best known for starring alongside Laurence Olivier in Richard Attenborough’s A Bridge Too Far, died “suddenly and unexpectedly” at his home in Palm Springs on Wednesday, his German agency in Hamburg said in a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. He was 93. Krüger's other credits include Howard Hawks’ Hatari!, alongside John Wayne, and Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon, opposite Ryan O’Neal...

A live-action adaptation of the animated classic, The Aristocats, is in early development at Disney, according to Variety. The original 1970 film follows a family of aristocratic cats who live a luxurious life in Paris until their owner’s butler finds out the cats are set to receive a massive fortune, and kidnaps them and abandons them in the country. To recover their fortune, they must befriend an alley cat named Thomas O’Malley. Phil HarrisEva GaborHermione BaddeleyDean ClarkSterling HollowayScatman Crothers and Roddy Maude-Roxby led the voice cast of the original film, which grossed $191 million worldwide. Disney is the parent company of ABC News... 

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Amazon Studios

The new show As We See It, debuting today on Amazon Prime Video, is very personal for creator Jason Katims, the guy behind Parenthood and Friday Night Lights.

The series is about three adults with Autism, and the various challenges they face trying to navigate work and love and life -- a situation, Katims tells ABC Audio, that his own son experienced not too long ago.

"I have a son on the spectrum, and a few years ago, he was just getting to that age of being a young adult," he explains. "And I realized, well, you know, there's a lot that you see about and hear and read about children on the spectrum, less so about what the experience is really like for an adult on the spectrum. So it was a subject matter that was very personal to me that I was learning about. And that's always a good thing to write about."

Likewise, Katims, made sure the actors -- Rick GlassmanAlbert Rutecki and Sue Ann Pien -- had a personal connection with the subject matter, which he accomplished by "casting the three leads who all identified themselves as being on the spectrum" so they could "make it feel as real and authentic as possible."

"By making those choices," he says, "not only is it real and authentic, but it's also incredibly delightful to watch."

And just like his other shows, As We See It will make you laugh and make you cry, a track record that Katims sometimes finds a little "weird."

"I don't know what I feel about it. I think that, though, the thing that nobody ever talks about is in order to have your emotions available to cry, you have to first laugh."

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Jo Hale/Redferns

Meat Loaf has passed away at age 74.

The news was confirmed in a statement on the rocker and actor's Facebook page.

"Our hearts are broken to announce that the incomparable Meat Loaf passed away tonight with his wife Deborah by his side," the statement reads. "Daughters Pearl and Amanda and close friends have been with him throughout the last 24 hours."

The post notes Meat Loaf's "amazing career," which spanned six decades. Meat Loaf, birth name Marvin Lee Aday, sold 100 million albums worldwide and starred in over 65 movies, including Fight Club, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Wayne's World. His 1977 album Bat Out of Hell is one of the top-selling albums of all time and he scored a number-one hit with 1993's "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)."

The statement continues, "We know how much he meant to so many of you and we truly appreciate all of the love and support as we move through this time of grief in losing such an inspiring artist and beautiful man…From his heart to your souls…don’t ever stop rocking!"

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



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