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Friday, February 17, 2017


Gwen Stefani Takes Blake Shelton to Disneyland and Discovers a Dating Deal Breaker. Gwen Stefani took Blake Shelton's virginity -- his Disneyland virginity, that is. The couple visited the Happiest Place on Earth in October ahead of their one-year anniversary. "He'd never been to Disneyland!" Stefani said on NBC's The Tonight Show Wednesday. "I was like, 'Your life is not even complete yet. Like, what are you doing?' I was nervous -- because for me, obviously, I go anywhere. Like, I know I'm going to get hounded for pictures or whatever, but I don't mind. For him, he's not used to that. Like I said, he's in the woods most of the time." "But we went and it was crazy," Stefani, 47, continued. "It was like a billion people there." The couple visited both Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure, where they enjoyed several attractions including Alice in Wonderland, It's a Small World and Matterhorn Bobsleds. "Did he do Space Mountain?" Jimmy Fallon asked. "He won't do the roller coasters," Stefani replied. "That was almost a deal breaker for me." Blame Shelton's 6-foot-5 frame. "He doesn't fit in anything. We did go on Matterhorn," she recalled. "He did that one, but he barely fit inside the little thing his knees were up like this." Fallon then revealed that his preferred attraction is It's a Small World. "That's my jam. I love that one. That's my favorite. I bring the babies there, but clearly it's for me. 'Let's do it one more time! The babies want to go!' I'm so excited, like, 'Let's do it!'" the host, 42, admitted. "I'm crying. They're singing in different languages. I'm like, 'Oh, my God!'" Fallon also teased the 40-year-old country music superstar for wearing a "1st Visit" pin on his flannel shirt, but Stefani came to her man's defense. According to the singer, "That's so cute!" But the pop star didn't come on The Tonight Show just to embarrass her boyfriend. Stefani also explained why she was excited to return for Season 12 of The Voice with Alicia Keys, Adam Levine and Shelton. "It is so inspiring. It's just music. The whole thing is just music. Either you're looking for a song to give to your team, or you're watching someone perform or you're hearing a voice. It's just full of music the whole time and it's just so inspiring. I love being there," she said. "This year, they lowered the age, so now it's really young kids. Just incredible, the talent!" (Eonline)

There's no bad blood between Nicole Kidman and former fiance Lenny Kravitz. Speaking with Net-A-Porter's The Edit, Kidman, 49, who dated the 52-year-old rocker between 2003 and 2005, revealed for the first time they were engaged to be married. "I love Lenny. He's a great guy," Kidman said. Kidman also spoke about working alongside Kravitz's daughter, Zoë, 28, in the HBO's upcoming miniseries "Big Little Lies." "Well, I knew Zoë because I was engaged to her father," Kidman said. "It's all in the family!" While it's long been rumored Kravitz penned the song "Lady" about the Australian beauty, Kidman has since found her happily ever after with country singer and fellow Aussie Keith Urban, 49. The couple married in June 2006 and have two children, daughters Faith Margaret, 6, and Sunday Rose, 8. Despite nearly 11 years of wedded bliss, Kidman's romance with Urban got off to a shaky start. "I had such a crush on him and he wasn't interested in me," she recalled on "Ellen" earlier this month. "He didn't call me for four months." Urban responded to his wife's claims during Sunday's Grammy Awards, telling CBS (via People), and "Have you ever met anyone who you thought was just completely out of your league?" He added, "I'm just saying, imagine that you've never met anybody like that, that's where I was at. It's true, it's true -- that's why I didn't call." (Page Six)

Blake Lively wants her daughters to know it takes a village to make their mom look that beautiful! The actress recently spoke to Refinery29 about unrealistic beauty standards set by the media, and she wanted to make clear that it's all an illusion. She said: "We have really unrealistic beauty standards and beauty norms. What you're seeing on red carpets and in magazines takes a lot of effort and a lot of people. People don't understand that it's all very constructed. What little girls are seeing isn't what [these celebrities] look like when they wake up in the morning -- even though it's no less beautiful." Blake also wants her two daughters (James, 2, and Ines, 4 months) to grow up loving themselves for who they are, and not succumbing to the pressure to look a certain way. Furthermore, she wants them to understand exactly what goes on behind the scenes when the glam team is hard at work: "There's this awareness of what [my daughters] are going to be exposed to and what they grow up seeing. For me, it's important for my daughters to know that it's not real life. They're seeing me dressed up in all this hair and makeup, but they also see me without that. I want them to see both sides, because there is never just one side." True! It's commendable that the 29-year-old wants her children to see the world as it really is. Although, we have to say, Blake pretty much always looks like a knockout to us -- even when fighting a shark! Ha! (Perez Hilton)

As Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit issue director, MJ Day spends her days around models in teeny-tiny swimsuits (or nothing at all) -- but the mom says she's never felt confident in her own body. That's precisely why Day donned a bikini encouraging women to love their bodies as part of a partnership with the @WomenIRL Instagram account and "Deep. Breath. If I'm going to talk the talk I am going to walk the walk," she captioned the video. "Funny how I have spent my life on a beach since childhood and I have never truly felt comfortable in a swimsuit. Even at my thinnest. We need to love ourselves in the present. No matter what." Day says in the video that she decided to talk about her insecurities because the 2017 Swimsuit issue is celebrating women of all sizes. "I've been producing the annual Swimsuit issue for 19 years, but today I'm the one in a bathing suit, and here's why," she says. "This year's issue will showcase the widest diversity of women in SI history. Women of all ages, and shapes, and from many different backgrounds." With the partnership, Day and @WomenIRL are encouraging women to post their own bikini videos. "We want to celebrate strength, beauty, and more, so we want to know: What do you model? So I'll kick us off. I model determination. I'm determined to get out the message that there is not a singular definition of beauty." After SI featured model Ashley Graham in the 2016 issue, they've added more size diversity to their roster this year, including model Hunter McGrady, their curviest ever. "I want to thank @MJ_Day for an opportunity like this and for being a force in this industry and everyone at @si_swimsuit for promoting that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes," McGrady, 23, wrote on Instagram. Beauty is not a number. It has no limits." (People)

Regis Philbin: Kelly Ripa Was "Very Offended" When I Left Live With Regis and Kelly. It's been six years since Regis Philbin said farewell to his longstanding daytime hosting duties and the 85-year-old is now reflecting on the transitional time. In a new interview with Larry King Now, Philbin opened up about his relationship (or lack thereof) with Kelly Ripa. And while the two are notoriously not on speaking terms, Philbin explained his own perspective as to why things are so strained between them. "She got very offended when I left. She thought I was leaving because of her. I was leaving because I was getting older and it wasn't right for me anymore," he told Larry King. Ripa and Philbin co-hosted the popular daytime talk show for a decade before Philbin announced that he was taking a step back from the cameras. "Never once did they ask me to go back," he shared before noting that he and Ripa don't talk to this very day. "She took it personal?" King asked. "Yeah, I think so." Philbin had been hosting the talk show for nearly three decades and is still stunned that he hasn't been asked to join as a guest co-host. However, when asked if he would consider being the face of another talk show, he seemed more measured in his response. "I don't know. How often would it be? Would it be every night? Every day? I do miss it, there are times when I really miss it and wish I'd never stopped. But, you know, I just figured it was time to let go." Ripa is currently hosting the show with a rotating group of famous faces while the network ultimately decides upon her next permanent co-host. Michael Strahan, who had been co-hosting alongside Ripa, exited the show in May of last year amid a flurry of behind-the-scenes drama surrounding his departure. (Eonline)

Marc Anthony's outdone himself again and wasted NO time doing so -- he scored a model barely old enough to order Jägerbombs, even before his divorce was final. We're told the 48-year-old singer's been dating Wilhelmina Miami model Mariana Downing for a couple months now after meeting her at a dinner party. Witnesses say Marc was immediately smitten -- because he has eyes -- and they exchanged numbers that night. We're told he called Mariana the next day and they've been together ever since. She's traveled with him to one of his shows, and they've vacationed together in the Caribbean. Marc's divorce from Shannon De Lima was just finalized on Monday, but he's been on the market since they separated in November. (TMZ)

Nick Cannon's done with "America's Got Talent," but their advertising department did not get the memo. The 'AGT' Auditions Twitter account just plugged audience tickets for the live auditions -- during which Nick typically mingles with performers -- and the promo still features Cannon with the caption, "Returning for Season 12." Nick's made it clear he's not coming back because he's pissed at how he's been treated ... so it's probably time to crank out a new image. Maybe something with Ryan Seacrest instead?

A Porsche employee gleefully shared news with fellow employees of a slew of crashes of the Porsche Carrera GT -- the model in which Paul Walker died -- saying it would boost the value of the remaining cars. In new legal docs obtained by TMZ, lawyers in Meadow Walker's wrongful death lawsuit against the car company revealed Porsche concealed emails from them ... emails about the Carrera. One of the lawyers for Paul's daughter was reviewing company emails on his office computer that were heavily redacted. The lawyer was shocked when he reviewed the same emails on his iMac home computer and found he could see the portions that were not visible on the office computer. Among the emails from 2006, an employee wrote as many as 200 of the 1280 Carrera GTs which Porsche had produced had been "totaled" in the first 2 years they were sold ... 2004 - 2006. The Porsche employee who wrote the email goes on to say, "This would be great news to the remaining owners as the GT becomes more rare." The employee also told this story ... "Another Carrera bites the dust as a bodyshop mechanic who claimed he was going less than 30 MPH smashed into a telephone poll. Looks like he was going more than 30 to me!" There's another email from another employee who is reacting to the number of wrecks, saying, "This is in the back of my head every time I get behind the wheel of one of these. It's just hidden behind the shit-eating grin!" Paul died in 2013 when he was a passenger in a Carrera GT that swerved out of control, hit a lamp post and tree and then burst into flames. We reached out to Meadow's lawyer, Jeffrey Milam, who told us, "Any ethical company would have withdrawn the car from the market -- or, at the very least, warned the public about its dangers." The lawyers are asking the judge to impose sanctions on Porsche for allegedly deliberately hiding the emails from them. We called Porsche ... so far, no response.

Taylor Swift's Ex-Boyfriend Conor Kennedy Pleads Guilty to Misdemeanor in Aspen Bar Fight, Gets No Jail Time. Who knew John Conor Kennedy was trouble, trouble, trouble? E! News confirms that Taylor Swift 's ex-boyfriend and the grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, who prefers to go by Conor, was arrested in Aspen following a fight outside a nightclub. Authorities tell us the 22-year-old was arrested on local charges of disorderly conduct related to a fight. "At about 1:40 a.m. Aspen PD officers were dispatched to Bootsy Bellows... for a report of a person who was refusing to leave the premises," Aspen Assistant Chief Bill Linn said in a press release. "While officers were on scene dealing with that situation, they witnessed a fight occurring on the street in front of the bar. Officers tried to separate the two men, who were 'rolling around on the ground.'" The press release continues to state that Kennedy "fell into a snowbank" as the officer tried to break up the fight. A bystander assisted the officer in restraining Kennedy as he continued to struggle. Witnesses told officers that they saw "Kennedy throwing approximately four or five punches to the head of the other party. Kennedy was charged with disorderly conduct and was issued a court summons for Feb. 22, 2017, at 9 a.m. He was released without bond." Kennedy apologized to the officer after he was arrested, the report states (according to local reports). "Kennedy then said, 'He called my friend the f-word.'" A municipal charge of disorderly conduct carries a possible penalty of up to a year in jail and up to $2,650 fine. Kennedy's attorneys, Matt Ferguson and Ryan Kalamaya, released a statement to E! News Friday, saying, "Multiple witnesses to the incident have reported that two men assaulted Conor Kennedy after he rebuked them for directing a homophobic slur and threats to his close friend. They also report that Mr. Kennedy was cooperative, compliant and respectful towards the police from the moment they arrived on the scene. Mr. Kennedy looks forward to a full airing of the incident." UPDATE: E! News has confirmed that on Wednesday, Conor Kennedy pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor stemming from a December bar fight in Aspen, Colo. Per a stipulation, if the 22-year-old political scion completes a deferment, Kennedy's case will be dismissed with prejudice. (Eonline)

Roman Polanski will make a move next week to return to the U.S. and end his child rape case for good, without serving additional jail time. Polanski's famed lawyer, Harland Braun, has asked an L.A. County Superior Court judge to unseal a long-secret transcript of the testimony of the prosecutor in the Polanski case. Braun believes the secret testimony supports Polanski's claim that he cut a deal to serve only 48 days behind bars for raping a 13-year-old girl in 1977, and the judge signed off. Polanski actually spent 42 days in Chino State Prison and was released. But Judge Laurence Rittenband allegedly reneged on the deal and told prosecutors he decided Polanski should spend up to 50 years in prison. That's when Polanski fled the U.S. for Europe. Polanski spent another 334 days in custody in Switzerland, while authorities tried to extradite him back to the U.S. A Polish court ruled Polanski has served his time under the plea deal, and now Braun wants the L.A. judge to honor that ruling. We're told Braun wants to clear the way for the 83-year-old famed director and husband of Manson murder victim, Sharon Tate, to come to L.A. and resolve the matter, so he will no longer be a fugitive. He wants to freely travel in Europe and visit Tate's gravesite at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City. He has not been able to visit his daughter in London, either. As for the victim ... she's now in her 50s and has asked the courts to close the case without imposing more jail time. (TMZ)


Harry Potter Actress Scarlett Byrne Strips Naked for Playboy. Did someone yell "diffindo"?! Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince actress Scarlett Byrne appears in the first issue of Playboy to feature nudes since the magazine banned them a year ago, and it appears someone has torn off her clothes. Though no magic was used in this photo shoot (we assume), it's safe to say the actress certainly didn't mind letting fans know that #NakedIsNormal. In one black-and-white photo Byrne, who played Pansy Parkinson in the wizarding world, stands on staircase in front of a gorgeous window wearing but a black top. She stares seductively into the camera, leaving little to the imagination as she puts her bare butt on display. In another black-and-white photo shared on Byrne's Instagram, the actress appears on a balcony posing in a silky sheet. "I'm very proud to be a part of the March/April issue of Playboy. I penned a short essay along with my pictorial titled, 'The Feminist Mystique'," Byrne wrote in the caption. "A big thank you to @Playboy, the creative team, and @cooperbhefner for such a unique opportunity. #NakedIsNormal" Playboy's Chief Creative Officer Cooper Hefner, son of Hugh Hefner, announced earlier this week that the magazine would be bringing back nudity, starting with its March/April 2017 issue. "I'll be the first to admit that the way in which the magazine portrayed nudity was dated, but removing it entirely was a mistake," Cooper explained. "Nudity was never the problem because nudity isn't a problem. Today we're taking out identity back and reclaiming who we are." He added, "This is a remarkably special moment personally and professionally that I get to share this issue of Playboy magazine with my Dad, as well as with readers. It is a reflection of how the brand can best connect with my generation and generations to come." When CEO Scott Flanders announced the ban in March 2016, Cooper voiced his disagreement with the decision, calling it a "massive step back." (Eonline)

Hilary Duff Can't Stop Smiling While Enjoying PDA-Filled Getaway in Costa Rica With Matthew Koma. Hilary Duff is turning this year's Valentine's Day into a week-long getaway. E! News has obtained exclusive pictures of the Younger star soaking up the sun in Costa Rica. And as it turns out, she isn't alone during her trip to paradise. Boyfriend Matthew Koma joined in on the fun as the couple celebrated the romantic holiday by the beach. Wearing a two-piece white bikini, Hilary couldn't help but flash a smile as she cooled down in the ocean blue water with the music producer. In fact, the singer was spotted exchanging a few kisses with Matthew as he helped carry her in the water. Later in the day, the pair chatted away as they soaked up the sun and perfected their spring tans on beach chairs. Hilary even took to Snapchat to share a couple's shot as they enjoyed a delicious drink from a coconut. The relaxing vacation comes after Los Angeles police confirmed to E! News that Hilary's ex-husband Mike Comrie is involved in an open sexual battery investigation. Police did not say that Mike is a suspect and he has not commented. Mike and Hilary were married in 2010 and share a son together. They called it quits in 2015 with their divorce being finalized in February of 2016. They have remained friendly for co-parenting's sake and share joint legal and physical custody of their son. Despite any drama going on at home, Hilary appears to be enjoying time with Matthew. Just last month, the pair made their first red carpet appearance together at Entertainment Weekly's pre-SAG Awards party. The couple posed for pictures on the red carpet together, but once inside the soiree, they also snapped a few pictures while sipping on celebratory cocktails. Recently, Hilary confessed to Cosmopolitan that she's "never been a good dater." At the same time, she's not in too big of a rush to find the one. "I meet, like, one person a year that I'm maybe attracted to," she told the publication. "I never want to be that girl who's desperate to find a mate." (Eonline)

Kate Hudson and Matt Bellamy Reunite to Bring Son Bingham to the Concert of His Dreams. These friendly exes just gave their son a night he'll never forget. Kate Hudson and Matt Bellamy, who were once engaged and later split, surprised their son Bingham Hawn Bellamy Wednesday night when they connected the 5-year-old with his favorite band. "Surprised the boys tonight with their favorite band @twentyonepilots," the actress wrote on Instagram. It was clear the clan had a memorable night thanks to photos snapped of Bingham with the Twenty One Pilots duo, Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun. "Bing really is this cool," the proud dad and Muse frontman quipped online with a photo of the youngster hanging out backstage. In a video shared digitally, Bellamy documented his son focused intently on the concert while perched on his shoulders. "Bing on my shoulders watching his (2nd???) favourite band!!" he joked. Meanwhile, the proud mom chronicled the family's night out on Snapchat, including video of her older son, 13-year-old Ryder Russell Robinson, singing along to the show, and Bing being gifted a pair of drumsticks from his "idol," Dun. "Thank you guys and the whole TOP family for making it so special," she added on social media. "We had a blast." It seems mom and dad had equally as much fun. Despite getting engaged in 2011 and welcoming Bingham a few months later, the stars called off their wedding, but remained committed to co-parenting their kid. In fact, the exes are so comfortable with each other, Bellamy brought his girlfriend Elle Evans along for the concert and the trio has even vacationed together before. "If Matt and I had a great relationship, we would still be together, but we chose to move on because we had different visions of how we wanted to live our lives," the actress said in Allure in 2015. "That doesn't mean, though, that we can't rebuild something that would be the best thing for the kids." "We said, 'We need to try to create something for the kids where they feel like they're gaining something rather than losing something,'" she continued. "It's been a seamless transition. Kids just want to see their parents be cool. Everybody's cool; everybody's good." After all, nothing says "cool" quite like a family outing to a Twenty One Pilots concert. (Eonline)

Why Kendall Jenner Wasn't at Kanye West's Yeezy Season 5 Show. When duty calls... Kendall Jenner did not attend brother-in-law Kanye West's Yeezy Season 5 collection debut on Wednesday afternoon, but not because she wasn't interested in the rapper's latest design venture. Instead, the supermodel was walking down another New York Fashion Week runway, this time for Anna Sui. Joining Kendall was model sister act Bella Hadid and Gigi Hadid, who all stunned in dramatic ensembles and matching top knots. Momager Kris Jenner tweeted support for her second youngest daughter's successful show: "You are breathtaking @kendalljenner!! Walking for @annasui today in NYC. #AnnaSui #ProudMama #NYC #NYFW #mybeauty" Meanwhile, Kanye did receive support from wife Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner, who sat front row alongside a bevy of celebs. Other stars in attendance included Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, Tyga, Hailey Baldwin, La La Anthony, Zoë Kravitz, Teyana Taylor and rappers Pusha T and A$AP Ferg. Reviews have since poured in for Yeezy Season 5, most of which praise West's drama-free runway show and athleisure pieces. As for Kourtney Kardashian, the E! reality star was photographed on a Valentine's Day shopping expedition in Los Angeles with Kris, her kids Penelope Disick and Reign Disick and Kimye's daughter North West. Khloe Kardashian celebrated the holiday in Cleveland with her NBA star boyfriend, Tristan Thompson. In addition to Anna Sui, Kendall has brought her beauty to the La Perla, Alexander Wang and Michael Kors' fashion shows across the past week. (Eonline)

Whoopi Goldberg is not having the mean girls of NYFW. Tiffany Trump got the "You can't sit with us"-treatment by the fashion elite this week while attending the Philipp Plein show, where guests were actively trying to avoid sitting next to the president's daughter. But Wednesday's episode of "The View," Goldberg stood up for the First Daughter, a surprising move from someone who has been extremely outspoken against both Donald and Ivanka Trump. "Tiffany, I'm coming to sit with you, because nobody's talking politics. You're looking at fashion," Goldberg proclaimed. "She doesn't want to talk about her dad." "Tiffany's left out of everything," Joy Behar joked, "Trump leaves her out of the North Korea talks and everything!" "I just thought it was mean," added Whoopi. "I don't want to talk about your dad, but girl, I will sit next to you because I've been there, where people say we're not going to sit next to you. I'll find your ass and sit next to you!" And while she showed support to Tiffany, Goldberg continued to pile onto The Donald earlier in the show. The panel chimed in on reports Trump's team had ongoing contact with Russian officials, reports Trump dismissed as "fake news." "It pissed me off," said Whoopi, "it's like, really, fake news?" "I put it on you Republicans," she continued, "you named some guys who are saying, 'listen, there's a problem.' And if they're standing up, the rest of you, Paul Ryan, the rest of you should get up and stand for America. As you say, America first, when is that going to kick in with you all?!" (Too Fab)

If Kim Kardashian West was a fashion critic, she would definitely give Kanye West's Yeezy season 5 an outstanding review -- and not just because she's his wife. "So proud of my baby for his amazing show today! It was so good! I'm so SO proud of him!!! #yeezyseason5," the Keeping Up with the Kardashians reality star tweeted. And Kanye's BFF Virgil Abloh couldn't agree more as he said the show was "FLAWLESS." Off-White collaborator Tremaine Emory, who works with Abloh on the fashion line, also applauded West's choice of models, specifically Halima Aden, the 19-year-old hijab-wearing beauty. "God bless Kanye for having her in the show... YOU KNOW WHO THIS WAS A SHOT AT... we love muslims and any other culture on this side," he wrote on Instagram. West kept things simple for season 5 with major denim, fur and sportswear moments throughout the "Calabasas-theme" collection, in addition to new runner sneakers. Kardashian showed up in the most Yeezy outfit possible -- purple sweatpants and a turtleneck tank top -- and sat front row next to Vogue's Anna Wintour and was joined by sister Kylie Jenner as well as Hailey Baldwin and La La Anthony, who summarized the show using a plethora of flame emojis. Following his NYFW show, Kim and 'Ye were spotted heading to an after party where they were mobbed by fans and followers wanting autographs and/or selfies. (People)

Another miss. Vogue's March 2017 "Modern American Woman" issue is facing even more backlash for a Geisha-themed photo shoot starring Karlie Kloss. After fans on Twitter pointed out that the spread -- which features the model, 24, dressed in traditional Japanese Geisha garb and posing with a sumo wrestler -- could be cultural appropriation, Kloss apologized for her involvement. "These images appropriate a culture that is not my own," Kloss posted in a Tweet on Wednesday, February 15. "I am truly sorry for participating in a shoot that was not culturally sensitive. My goal is, and always will be, to empower and inspire women. I will ensure my future shoots and projects reflect that mission." When Vogue's diversity themed cover launched on Wednesday, February 8, the Twitterverse was quick to point out that the seven cover girls -- Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Ashley Graham, Vittoria Ceretti, Imaan Hammam, Adwoa Aboah and Liu Wen -- might not be as inclusive as the magazine intended. Aside from plus-sized beauty Graham, the other six models are all tall and thin. Social media users pointed out that Graham's hand was covering part of her thigh, and it looked as though Hadid's arm was photoshopped to cover part of her torso. And all seven stunners have light to medium skin tones, which had some readers wondering why models with darker skin tones were excluded. Still, Graham, 28, defended the glossy from its critics. "I chose to pose like that," she wrote in an Instagram comment, after some users speculated that she was directed to put her hand on her thigh to make herself appear smaller next to her fellow models, on Wednesday, February 8. "No one told me to do anything." (US Weekly)


Selena Gomez and Kygo Release New Single "It Ain't Me." It's here! After some teases, Selena Gomez and Kygo finally dropped their highly anticipated new collaboration "It Ain't Me". The track is definitely a more mature-sounding work for Selena, whose most recent songs have combined a sultry-sexy tune. The Norwegian DJ perfectly balances Selena's soft vocals with increasing intensity of guitar strums and piano notes. Despite the upbeat nature of the beat, Selena's lyrics narrate a sad story about a relationship that falls apart because of alcoholism. "We were sipping whisky neat / Highest floor, the Bowery / And I was high enough / 'Somewhere along the lines / We stopped seeing eye to eye / You were staying out all night / And I had enough," she sings. "Who's gonna walk you through the dark side of the morning? / Who's gonna rock you when the sun won't let you sleep? / Who's waking up to drive you home when you're drunk and all alone? / Who's gonna walk you through the dark side of the morning? / It ain't me." This is Selena's first song in about a year, serving as a follow-up to her collaboration with Charlie Puth "We Don't Talk Anymore". "It Ain't Me" also comes shortly after her boyfriend, The Weeknd, dropped a verse on a Nav's song "Some Way." Fans wondered if The Weeknd's verse was a dig at Justin Bieber's bedroom skills: "I think your girl, think your girl, fell in love with me. She say my f--k and my tongue game a remedy." Fans also will probably wonder if Selena's lyrics are also talking about her ex-boyfriend. Regardless, the song sounds like it's guaranteed to be a hit. (Eonline)

Mariah Carey Sings "I Don't" in First Televised Performance Since New Year's Eve. Mariah Carey has returned to the mic. Nearly two months after she fumbled through her set during the annual Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve program in Times Square, the Grammy winner shook off the criticism and gave live television another try. Donning a plunging red gown, the reality star joined a band and trio of backup singers to belt out her latest single, "I Don't," featuring rapper YG, on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Wednesday night. The live rendition went off without a hitch, helping to end the late-night show on a high note and put the drama of last year's snafu to rest. As America prepared to ring in 2017, Carey stumbled through "Emotions" and "We Belong Together," claiming she could not hear the background track. The singer's camp later blamed technical issues with her ear monitors for the rocky routine and alleged Dick Clark Productions ignored their requests to have the problems fixed before the star set foot on stage. DCP has since refuted such claims while Carey was publicly criticized, including by fellow stars Jenny McCarthy and her husband, Donnie Wahlberg. Carey had the last word, issuing a lengthy statement online before taking a hiatus from social media. "It's not practical for a singer to sing live and be able to hear themselves properly in the middle of Times Square with all the noise, the freezing cold, the smoke from the smoke machines, thousands of people celebrating -- specially when their ear monitors were not working at all," she said. "Listen, guys -- they foiled me. Thus, it turned into an opportunity to humiliate me and all those who were excited to ring in the New Year with me." "I'm going to take a break from media moments, social media moments," she continued. "Although I am going to fulfill my professional obligations, this is an important time for me to finally take a moment for myself and to be with my loved ones and prepare for my upcoming tour in March." (Eonline)

The Roots to Deliver NBA-Themed Musical With Special Guests at All-Star Game. 'The Evolution of Greatness' will also feature 'Hamilton' actor Daveed Diggs, DJ Jazzy Jeff, actor Michael B. Jordan, Jidenna and Darryl "DMC" McDaniels. Beyond the talent on the court, NBA will deliver star-studded musical performances for Sunday's 2017 NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans. The Roots have composed an original NBA-themed musical called The Evolution of Greatness, which they will perform -- along with Hamilton actor Daveed Diggs, DJ and producer DJ Jazzy Jeff, actor Michael B. Jordan, artist/producer Jidenna, and Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Darryl "DMC" McDaniels -- prior to the game. The Evolution of Greatness will follow the historical path of the league from the 1950s to present day. Singing the U.S. and Canadian national anthems, the NBA has also enlisted Jon Batiste -- music director and bandleader of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert -- and jazz-pop singer Nikki Yanofsky to start the game. DNCE will kick off the fun-filled weekend with a "Cake by the Ocean" and "Body Moves" medley for All-Star Saturday Night followed by a performance from DJ Khaled before the three-point shootout contest. Coverage of All-Star Saturday Night (Feb. 18) starts at 8 p.m. EST on TNT while the NBA All-Star Game begins at 8 p.m. EST on Sunday, Feb. 19 on TNT. (Billboard)

Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' Extends Reign as Highest Certified Album in U.S. History. The seminal 1982 album passes the 33-times platinum mark. Michael Jackson's blockbuster album Thriller just keeps on getting bigger. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has certified the set at 33-times platinum in the U.S., extending Thriller's record as the highest certified album in history. That means Thriller -- released in 1982 -- has earned 33 million equivalent album units in the U.S. That sum blends traditional album sales (one album sale equals one unit), tracks sold from an album (10 tracks sold equals one unit) and on-demand audio and/or video streams (1,500 streams equals one unit). A plaque commemorating the milestone was presented at the home of Epic Records chairman Antonio "L.A." Reid over Grammy weekend, where Sony Music CEO Doug Morris, Columbia Records chairman and incoming Sony Music CEO Rob Stringer, Sony president, commercial group Richard Storey, attorneys Karen Langford and John Branca toasted the certification. The RIAA revamped its Gold & Platinum Awards Program on Feb. 1, 2016, growing from a pure album sales certification process to one that includes tracks and streams. That same day, Thriller's certification was raised from 30 million to 32 million. Thriller continues to maintain its place as the highest-certified album ever, ahead of Eagles' Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975, with 29 million. (It was last certified on Jan. 30, 2006.) Thriller was released through Sony Music Entertainment's Epic Records and spent 37 nonconsecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. The mega-successful set was the first to generate a record seven top 10 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, including two No. 1s: "Billie Jean" (No. 1 for seven weeks) and "Beat It" (No. 1 for three weeks). In 2015, Thriller was named the biggest album of all time by a male artist on the Billboard 200 chart, and the No. 3 title overall. Simultaneous with Thriller's raised certification, its follow-up, Bad, climbs to 10-times platinum (the RIAA's Diamond award). Jackson is one of just 22 acts with more than one Diamond-certified album. Representatives for Sony and Jackson's estate say that Thriller has sold 105 million copies globally. (Billboard)

Sugarland's Kristian Bush Premieres 'Sing Along' Lyric Video, Talks 'Accidentally' Writing a Musical. Billboard is excited to bring you an exclusive first look at the new lyric video for Kristian Bush's new single, "Sing Along." Filmed in downtown Music City, the Georgia native is excited about his debut single for BBR Music Group/Wheelhouse Records. "The song itself is along the same tracks of what I usually try to do, which is A) tell the truth, B) have something that is very sing-able, and C) make it about my life. Also it helps to stay fresh in the genre as far as radio goes because I love making things that get played on the radio -- that's one of my passions. So, staying aware of how that makes you feel, and not really the science of it, but the heart of it." Bush also says that "Sing Along" is quite personal to him. "Not only does it do what it is asking you to do in singing along with the song," he says, "but it also reaches out to somebody that I was in a relationship with that I made a terrible mistake with. It's not as much of an apology as it is a 'Please Remember' message that what we had was great. I hope the song gets stuck in her head, and makes her remember how good we were." Admittedly, Bush wasn't to release a new single until later in the year, but early exposure on The Bobby Bones Show netted an early release. Bush is grateful that the influential programmer is a fan of his work. "That man is a true supporter of music. He reminds me of what it was like in high school and one of my friends from high school would play me songs and say 'You should hear this new band.' The only difference is he's doing it on a syndicated radio show heard across the country. That all has its own unbelievable set of consequences. He heard it, and loved it, and started playing it for his audience. It wasn't really supposed to go to the radio stations yet. But suddenly people were asking about it, and the record label had to release it. That's a great problem to have -- when demand outpaces your timing." Between working on his second solo album since Sugarland took a break, Bush has also been quite busy with the success of the musical Troubadour. The play wrapped up its opening run last weekend in Atlanta, and it was something that took him totally by surprise. "Troubadour has been quite an experience. It is a musical about country music in the year 1951. It's a story that was written by a famous Atlanta playwright named Janece Shaffer. She approached me to write one song for her play about a couple of years ago. I thought 'This can't be much different than writing one song for a movie, and I can do that.' So I did it, but I did it at the breakfast table as she was telling me the story, which was kind of odd. I sent it to her that night, and she loved it. A couple of weeks later, she asked me for a second song. I thought that maybe I got lucky on the first one, so I would give her some choices on the second one, so I sent her three. She picked all of them, and very quickly, the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, which is our very largest regional theater in southeast, picked it up and said they would like to do a table read of it. I went there and listened to these amazing actors sing my songs and read her dialogue, and it just came to life." As it turned out, his initial contribution to Troubadour turned out to be much more. "Suddenly, the director at the Alliance asked 'How many songs can we get?' I told them I could give them as many as they wanted, so I kept writing them. So I accidentally wrote a musical. It was such a joy to watch it come to life. I have never been a part of anything like this. It's a Tony Award-winning theater, and the sets, wardrobe, casting, and direction have all been unreal -- even beyond anything Jennifer and I did with Sugarland, and we did a lot. This kind of production has been very humbling to be around, and it's exciting to see the story in this kind of way, and that it's connecting with audiences. It's taken on a life of its own. I had no idea that this was something that I had dreamed of doing. But once I had done it, I couldn't believe I hadn't thought of it earlier." Could this success lead to more production work behind the scenes? Bush hopes so. "During the run of it, I had so much support from the Atlanta community and the Broadway community, that I'm already starting to field some offers to do some more, and Troubadour may have a pretty big future-knock on wood," he says cautiously. Besides working on his follow-up to 2015's Southern Gravity, Bush has been sitting in the producer's chair working on a new EP from the talented Lindsay Ell. "She is really exciting to work with. She and Benny Brown approached me in the middle of last year about working with her. I said 'Sure, let's sit down and talk first, because producing records for me is a different kind of attitude than a lot of producers I've worked with in Nashville. I'm a bit more of an immersive producer. "I sat with her, and we spoke for a while about who she is and who she wants to be. Because I come from the perspective of being an artist, I'm most interested in making a beginning of a conversation in her story that is going to last for twenty or thirty more years. You take a little more care with that than you would if we slapped together five songs. What songs you pick is important, how you record them, and how you feel about them is important, because you need to fall in love with making music. I take the producer's job very seriously, and it's my job to help you fall in love with what you're doing. She's an amazing talent." Speaking of amazing talents, what does the future hold for Sugarland? Bush says simply "I can't wait to get back out and do something - whenever it's time to do it. A lot of it rides on Jennifer. By the interesting nature of how it works, her voice is the voice of the band. We probably can't have a single on the radio at the same time with her and the band. I'm always ready, and waiting for the right timing from her. I think that's right. What we do when we create together is something that is really special. I know we have two records left with Universal, and the time will be right for the label, as well as for Jennifer. It's always going to be right for me." (Billboard)

Grammy Producer Apologizes to Metallica Over Mic Mishap. The longtime producer of the Grammy Awards is offering apologies to Metallica and Shirley Caesar after a technical glitch and a misprint marred their inclusion on the show. The mic for Metallica's James Hetfield wasn't initially working when the band took the stage to perform with Lady Gaga, and Caesar, a lifetime achievement award honoree, was misidentified during the televised ceremony when a photo of another gospel star, CeCe Winans, was shown instead of her during a montage clip. "These kinds of things are horrible when they happen," Ken Ehrlich said in an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday. "That's one of the risks of live television." The Metallica glitch, for which the band has blamed a dead microphone, resulted in Hetfield making a decision to improvise and use Lady Gaga's mic. Ehrlich has heard a different story from his crew about the problem. "My guys say that the mic cable was connected," he said. "My guys' theory was that ... one of the extras (on stage) accidentally kicked out the cable that went to the mic." Still, the end result was Hetfield's singing couldn't be heard for the first part of the performance. "Obviously, we apologize to the band," Ehrlich said, calling the mishap "awful." He added that he's worked with Metallica for years, so to see that happen was personally upsetting to him: "You hurt." In the case of Caesar, the gospel legend, Ehrlich had a better understanding of what happened. When preparing for a clip to run of her for the show, footage of a classic Caesar, Winans and Whitney Houston performance was used, and Winans was mistakenly shown. Ehrlich said he usually checks such footage but didn't get a chance to this year, since he was busy with the show and the Recording Academy's tribute to the Bee Gees, which taped in Los Angeles on Tuesday and will air at a later date. "We obviously want to apologize to Shirley Caesar," he said. "It's unfortunate that happened." Ehrlich was also frustrated that the mistakes have overshadowed some of the great performances that occurred on the show, including Beyonce, Bruno Mars and Adele, who had her own hiccup when she restarted her tribute to George Michael. "When you do a three-and-a-half hour live show, it's fraught with danger," he said. "It was an adventurous show in many ways." Ehrlich has produced the Grammys for years and has also produced other events, including the Emmy Awards. (PageSix)

Did The Weeknd just diss Justin Bieber in his new track? He sings about his bedroom skills...The Weeknd released a new diss track with rapper Nav Wednesday, and it seems he might have taken a swipe at Biebs. The 27-year-old has kept quiet about his new girlfriend Selena Gomez- who had a very public on/off relationship with Justin Bieber for almost six years - until now. The track 'Some Way' includes the lyrics, 'I think your girl, think your girl, fell in love with me. She say my f*** and my tongue game a remedy,' and 'I just took that chick, and I know you feelin' some way / She just want a ni*** like me, you feelin' some way'. This could be in response to Justin, who last month said, "Hell no, I can't listen to a Weeknd song, that sh*t is whack." The claws are out. (British Glamour)


Emma Stone, Dwayne Johnson and Charlize Theron to Present at the 2017 Oscars. In less than two weeks, the 2017 Oscars will bring out the brightest stars in Hollywood. The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences announced the third slate of presenters Thursday morning, with Amy Adams, Riz Ahmed, Javier Bardem, John Cho, Dwayne Johnson, Felicity Jones, Leslie Mann, Janelle Monáe, David Oyelowo, Emma Stone and Charlize Theron joining fellow actors Halle Berry, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Dornan, Chris Evans, Gael García Bernal, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Dakota Johnson, Brie Larson, Shirley MacLaine, Kate McKinnon, Mark Rylance, Hailee Steinfeld and Alicia Vikander onstage. "No matter who you are or where you live, movies bring us together. Through indelible, fearless performances these extraordinary actors help make it happen," producers Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd said in a statement. "We are thrilled to welcome them to the 89th Oscars stage." The 89th Oscars will be held on Sunday, Feb. 26, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood. Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the ceremony will be broadcast live on ABC at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT; it'll also be televised in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide. Performers will include Auli'i Cravalho and Lin-Manuel Miranda (singing "How Far I'll Go" from Moana), John Legend (singing "Audition [The Fools Who Dream]" and "City of Stars" from La La Land), Sting (singing "The Empty Chair" from Jim: The James Foley Story) and Justin Timberlake (singing "Can't Stop the Feeling!" from Trolls). Harold Wheeler will again conduct the orchestra. Glenn Weiss is also returning to direct the ceremony after having a "wonderful" time doing it last year. "This particular show is under a magnifying glass like no other," Weiss tells Medium. "Everything is very much a topic of water cooler talk, not just the next day but for a long time to come. The size and scale of the Oscars make it what it is, which is the granddaddy of them all." "The Oscars are a television show for millions of people to see, but it's also dependent on the thousands in the theater to give it the right energy. In my mind, it's not an either/or. I have to do something that's going to entertain the millions who watch at home, but by the same token, I don't want to lose the people in the house who can make it feel emotionally great or not," Weiss explains. It's a sentiment shared by Molly McNearney, co-head writer for ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live!. "When you write for late night, you're writing mostly for the home audience. When you write for an awards show, you really want to connect with the people in the room," McNearney reiterates. "If you can make them laugh, hopefully the people at home will follow." Kimmel hired his late-night staff to work on jokes for the Oscars. "There are 13 of us. We are juggling a daily late night show and preparing jokes and bits for the Oscars simultaneously," McNearney, who married Kimmel in July 2013, tells Medium. "I really don't know how Jimmy is doing it all. Many hosts before him have had the luxury of focusing all their energy on just this one big show for months leading up. We have to get our show on air every night. And then breathe for a minute, minute and a half, and then work on the Oscars." "To say that Jimmy is 'involved' would be a dramatic understatement. He is constantly writing material and punching up our jokes. He is invested in every part of the show. He really wants the whole show to be favorable, not just his hosting," McNearney adds, estimating that 80 percent will be scripted and 20 percent will be improvised. "He wrote a lot of jokes on the fly at the Emmys and I anticipate he will again at the Oscars. We will be backstage, writing as we go." (Eonline)

Emma Watson Addresses Beauty and the Beast's "Stockholm Syndrome" Accusations. Emma Watson thought long and hard about whether or not to star in Beauty and the Beast. An ardent feminist, the 26-year-old actress wrestled with the idea that she'd be portraying a victim in Disney's live-action musical (in theaters March 17). "It's something I really grappled with at the beginning: the Stockholm-syndrome question. That's where a prisoner will take on the characteristics of and fall in love with the captor," Watson confesses in Entertainment Weekly's Feb. 24/March 3 issue. Belle actively argues and disagrees with [Beast] constantly." "She has none of the characteristics of someone with Stockholm syndrome because she keeps her independence; she keeps that freedom of thought," Watson adds. "I also think there is a very intentional switch where, in my mind, Belle decides to stay. She's giving him hell. There is no sense of 'I need to kill this guy with kindness.' Or any sense that she deserves this. In fact, she gives as good as she gets. He bangs on the door, she bangs back. There's this defiance that 'You think I'm going to come and eat dinner with you and I'm your prisoner -- absolutely not.'" Watson -- who made several changes to her character with director Bill Condon in the pre-production phase -- hopes fans will respond to her take on the beloved princess. "The other beautiful thing about the love story is that they form a friendship first. There is this genuine sharing, and the love builds out of that, which in many ways is more meaningful than a lot of love stories, where it was love at first sight. They are having no illusions about who the other one is," she says. "They have seen the worst of one another, and they also bring out the best." It's that kind of careful consideration that made Watson a shoo-in for the titular role. "With actors who get to choose their roles, you look at their resumes and you start to see a kind of autobiography emerge," Condon tells the magazine. "From what I'd seen of Emma, she seemed to be the person, both on screen and off, who best reflected the qualities that Belle embodied." The director -- who cast Dan Stevens as Beast -- saw a lot of Belle in Watson, and Watson in Belle. As the actress herself explains, "What's so beautiful about this story as a whole is this idea that Belle is able to see past these extraneous, external, superficial qualities of Beast. She is able to see deeper, and that's one of her special powers. It is her superpower: empathy." While Belle can see past Beast's flaws, it's not as easy to do with Gaston (Luke Evans). "I think she can see in Beast that there's someone who has been fundamentally good who has been damaged and who just needs rehabilitating. He is just in need of love, whereas Gaston is someone who has had nothing but love and admiration and easiness, and because he's never suffered, he doesn't have any empathy. He's essentially a narcissist, and it's very difficult to intervene in that. He's about building himself up while pushing others down," the actress says of Evans' character. "With Beast, you can tell he's being unkind because he's unkind to himself." (Eonline)

La La Anthony Working on Film Adaptation of Best-Selling Book. La La Anthony sat front row at Naeem Khan runway show but she has a movie to think about. With her best seller "The Love Playbook: Rules of Love, Sex and Happiness" set to be made into a film produced by Queen Latifah's Flavor Unit Entertainment, Anthony is thinking about casting some of her famous friends. "We are still working on the script so once the script is done then we will look into casting roles," she told Page Six. "I have not received any calls about it yet, but once it's announced that the script is done and we are ready to audition my phone is sure to ring off the hook. It is nothing better than working with friends and people you trust. But I will give new faces a chance. Heck, somebody gave me a chance when I first started." (TMZ)

Berlin: 'Young Pope' Producer Joins Forces With Argentine Director Daniel Burman. Spanish TV giant Mediapro will take a stake in his Buenos Aires-based production company and together they will co-develop and co-produce high-end drama series. Spanish television giant Mediapro, a producer on HBO's The Young Pope, has taken a "substantial" stake in Oficina Burman, the Argentine production company headed by prolific writer/director/producer Daniel Burman. Financial terms weren't disclosed. Burman, who is behind Edha, a fashion-centered drama that will be the first-ever Netflix original produced in Argentina, announced the deal, together with Mediapro boss Jaume Roures in Berlin on Thursday. The agreement will see the two companies co-develop and co-produce high-end television series out of the Latin American market. "We are trying to break the model in Latin America, where the creatives sit on one side, with no connection to the market, and the producers on the other side, with no connection to the story-telling," said Burman. "We want to bring the best creatives in the region together with the greatest production capabilities to produce the best possible productions." Burman and Mediapro say they currently have 20 series projects in various stages of development. Two series are set to go into production next year: Stroke, a dark comedy written by Burman, about an Argentine patriarch whose sudden stroke sends his family into disarray; and IOSI. The Reformed Spy, an adaptation of the non-fiction book by Miriam Lewin and Horacio Lutzky about the Argentine cop who infiltrated the country's Jewish community and ended up giving vital information to the perpetrators of an attack on the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association. The first season of Stroke will be 13, 1-hour episodes, IOSI will be 10, 1-hours. The deal with Burman follows Mediapro's hires last year of Emmy-winning producer Ran Telem (Homeland) to run the company's international content development division, and Stephen Johnstone, a former director at ad media giant WPP's Group M Entertainment, to run its newly-launched U.K. production arm. Roures said Mediapro's goal was to create a true Spanish-language studio for film and high-end TV. While the focus will be on Hispanic productions, Mediapro said it was also open to making English-language series such as The Young Pope, which the group co-produced with HBO, Sky and France's Canal Plus. On the film side, Mediapro was a producer on Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Midnight in Paris and A Perfect Day starring Benicio Del Toro Tim Robbins and Olga Kurylenko. "The greatest opportunity to be creative at the moment is in television," said Burman. "These days it is not the marketing that gets people to watch, it's the story-telling." But Burman admitted he wouldn't be saying goodbye to cinema anytime soon. His latest feature, The Tenth Man, about life in the Jewish quarter of Buenos Aires, screened in the Panorama section of the Berlin Film Festival this year. "When you love making movies, it's impossible to stop," he said. (Hollywood Reporter)

ITV Deepens Ties With China's Huace. Following the recent ratings success of their Chinese figure skating show 'Star on Ice,' directed by Zhang Yimou, the two networks inked an agreement to further their co-production ties. U.K. TV giant ITV is deepening its relationship with leading Chinese film and television production house Huace Film & TV. The two companies signed a "long-term cooperation agreement" at ITV's headquarters in London this week, promising to work together to co-produce content for the Chinese market and other international territories. The tie-up is an extension of a cooperative agreement inked last year between Huace and ITV Studios Global Entertainment, when the two partners agreed to collaborate on the figure skating show Star on Ice, which was produced in China as part of the lead-up to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games. Directed by acclaimed Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou, the first season of the celebrity ice skating competition show began airing in January and has been a commercial and critical success. The show features well known Chinese celebrity contestants training with veteran Olympic athletes. "Based on the popularity of Star on Ice, Huace and ITV have agreed to put in place a long-term strategy cooperation," Du Fang, vp of Huace Group told the Chinese media. "Together with ITV's expertise, [Huace] hopes to achieve an even brighter future." The signing event, held in London, was targeted at the Chinese media. Listed on the Shenzhen stock exchange and based in Hangzhou, Huace is one of China's larger TV and film production companies, specializing in TV dramas. In December, Huace and ITV also signed a deal to produce a Chinese version of an unnamed ITV Studios scripted format, with Huace handling the show's distribution in China and across Asia, and ITV Studios overseeing sales for the rest of the world. Mike Beale, executive vice-president of global development and formats for ITV Studios, said the new collaboration pact is "very significant, especially with the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television here pushing this relationship forward." "There is an understanding that we need to work together and get shows made, and it is not just about bringing Western content into China, but co-creating new content that will work in China and potentially leave China and work for the rest of the world as well," Beale said. "I am pretty sure that this is going to be a good start, setting a good example for all the stakeholders and practitioner in the TV production area, " said Xiang Xiaowei, minister counselor for Culture of Chinese Embassy in The United Kingdom, calling the collaboration a "win-win." Star on Ice is the first U.K.-China TV production to air since the two countries signed the China-UK TV Co-Production Treaty in December. The U.K. is the second country to secure a television treaty with China, after New Zealand. Compared to the gold rush atmosphere surrounding the Chinese film business, the approach of most Western TV companies to China has been slow and steady. With regulators limiting the number of foreign formats allowed into the market, many international TV companies have turned to co-producing Chinese-language shows with local partners. STX Entertainment recently scored a ratings hit with the celebrity-driven variety show, Number One Surprise, co-produced with China's XG Entertainment. HBO Asia, meanwhile, recently produced two Chinese-language martial arts movies with state broadcaster CCTV. The kung fu flicks, Master Of The Shadowless Kick and Master Of The Drunken Fist, aired on the two networks in December. (Hollywood Reporter)


How The Good Fight Will Honor The Good Wife's Legacy, Right Down to the Brooches. The Good Fight is bringing Diane Lockhart back to TV with a starring vehicle for Christine Baranski, and the brooches aren't far behind. "Of course. That's why they brought the show back. It's the only reason -- really, it's the main reason -- was more brooches," Baranski joked with E! News about her character having more fashion statement pieces in the spinoff. In all seriousness, the fashion and writing you'd come to expect from the team that brought you The Good Wife is still on display in The Good Fight, the spinoff series that picks up one year after the events of The Good Wife series finale and finds Diane Lockhart on the verge of retirement. Except that retirement never happens. A financial scam wipes her out and ostracizes her, and her goddaughter Maia Rindell (Rose Leslie), in the process. But just like one of Baranski's favorite brooches, the phoenix, Diane finds new life in the ashes. There's a story to tell, with Good Wife creators Robert and Michelle King at the helm, which is what brought veteran Baranski and Cush Jumbo back into the fold. "What gives me great faith, hope and trust is that they're the same writers. I would've been much more nervous if the Kings kind of passed on the show and said, 'OK, here's the brand, now try to continue,' but they are in fact now the creators and continuing writers of the new show. That's what people loved, the writing above all," Baranski said of The Good Fight continuing The Good Wife's legacy of great TV. When The Good Wife was ending, Baranski told E! News in many ways it was like mourning a death. At the time the show ended, she had played Diane Lockhart for seven years. During that period, The Good Wife was a stabilizing force for her as her real-life changed. But once she knew the show was coming back, Baranski wasted no time thinking about Diane's continued journey. "It was remarkably easy to just slip back in," she said. "I can't tell you what a gift it's been to play an intelligent, accomplished, well-educated woman who can exist comfortably in a man's world, go toe-to-toe... She had a remarkable capacity for endurance, for getting back on her feet. That's what I valued in playing the character, the character's integrity and strength." Jumbo, who was a new addition to The Good Wife for its final season and a huge fan of the series before joining it, said she and Baranski felt from the very beginning that The Good Fight could not be a diluted version of The Good Wife. "You cannot do a better Good Wife, you can only develop the world in a new direction and show us some things that we as fans have not seen before," Jumbo said. The Good Fight breaks new ground for these actors as well -- they'll be able to curse when it would make sense. The f-bombs fly in the first episode just enough to highlight the stress and drama that comes along with the situation these characters find themselves in. The show will formally live on CBS All Access, so there are no network restrictions making it a new day for Diane Lockhart and Lucca Quinn. "Everybody agreed that all the new directions that we wanted to explore, we wanted to take the legacy of what we had, but really challenge ourselves to make something worth making. Otherwise you're just peeing on a legacy, and I certainly don't want to do that," Jumbo said. "I think they will deliver something that the audience knows and is comfortable with, which is that level of intelligent writing," Baranski told us. "As I said, we're going on a new journey and I think they're going to be very brave. Why not? Why shouldn't we be brave with it?" The Good Fight premieres Sunday, Feb. 19 at 8 p.m. on CBS, new episodes will premiere every Sunday on CBS All Access. (Eonline)

The Royals Renewed for Season 4 on E!: Get the Scoop. It's official: The Royals is coming back for season four! Alexandra Park, who plays Princess Eleanor on the hit E! series, just dished about the renewal of The Royals on Thursday morning while co-hosting the Today show. The fourth season will consist of 10 hour-long episodes that will be followed each week by The Royal Hangover on Facebook Live! "The third season of The Royals has proven to be an entertaining mix of secrets, deceit and desire that our fans can't get enough of," Adam Stotsky, President, E! Entertainment and Esquire Network said in a statement. "We are excited to see what new scandals await our royal family, and how their dynamic evolves in season four." Lionsgate Television Group Chairman Kevin Beggs echoed Stotsky's excitement saying, "We're proud to extend our partnership with our friends at E! and Universal Cable Productions, and we're pleased that the dedicated fans-the 'Loyals'-are getting another season of their favorite show. The Royals is the kind of original and provocative series that has become a Lionsgate trademark, and we look forward to an all-new season of saucy palace intrigue and badly behaved sovereigns." And Jeff Wachtel, President, Chief Content Officer, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment gave a shout-out to the creator of the hit E! series, Mark Schwahn, "Mark Schwahn has created a sensational and opulent world filled with high stakes, scandalous drama and fairytale love stories. We're excited to continue working with the talented cast and crew along with Lionsgate and E! to deliver more of The Royals to loyal fans." Schwahn too is excited to return for season four, "E!, Lionsgate, and Universal Cable productions are wise and benevolent rulers and the Loyals are the true aristocracy. The writers, cast and crew love making this show, and I'm thrilled to once again play the role of court jester and humbly entertain our dedicated fan base with many more scandalous, sexy, heartfelt and addictive tales from the House of Henstridge." The season three finale of The Royals, which also stars Elizabeth Hurley, William Moseley, Max Brown and Jake Maskall, is set to air this Sunday. And in a sneak peek, we see Jasper (Tom Austen) confessing his love for Eleanor. So will the two get back together? We'll have to wait until Sunday to find out! And you can bet they'll be a major cliffhanger at the end of the episode that will leave you wanting season four ASAP. (Eonline)

American Horror Story Season 7 Scoop: "Anyone Who Voted in the Election Will Enjoy It." Very little is known about American Horror Story's seventh season, and this latest tidbit from Ryan Murphy has us even more intrigued. "It's very scary and very fun and very... topical," Murphy said during an exclusive sit-down interview with E! News earlier this week. "Anybody who voted in the last election will very much enjoy what it's about." Murphy also talked about this angle on Watch What Happens Live, saying that the season is going to be "about the election that we just went through, so I think that will be interesting for a lot of people." When asked if there will be a Trump in it, Murphy said, "Maybe." Murphy isn't yet ready to reveal any further details, and that should come as no surprise to anyone who followed the run up to season six, a k a the mystery season, in which nothing was known before the show premiered. "Evan Peters and Sarah Paulson are the leads [of season seven]," Murphy tells E! News. "But they don't know who they're playing... It's a modern story is all I'll say. We just started back in the writers' room for that." Murphy also confirmed an earlier start again in 2017. "It's going to debut earlier than it did before -- debut around Labor Day, because I like having it done, sort of by Halloween." No word yet on whether Lady Gaga or any of the remaining cast will be on board, but it's expected that most of the usual's will be popping in and out. AHS' sixth season, Roanoke, ended in November on FX and the show account tweeted out an image which may or may not have something to with season 7 premise: Ocean waters with flashes of the stick figures from Roanoke and the words "SWEET DREAMS." Last year, Murphy told EW that season 7 would focus on some of the characters from Freak Show in season 4, but no word on whether that concept still holds true. He's also planning a crossover season for later on down the road. "We do know what we're going to do," Murphy said at EW's PopFest. "It's not going to be next season, but we are going to do a season that's a crossover between Murder House and Coven together, which is very bizarre." Murphy also teased season eight months ago, and said he's working with a writer. "It's my secret season," he told EW. "I've been working with a writer on a season that only he and I know." Murphy noted he doesn't know when it will air and he's been working on it on the sly. "It's one person writing all episodes. The whole show has been a great joy to me because it's an experiment." The American Horror Story franchise has won 15 Emmys and has been renewed for seasons 8 and 9. (Eonline)

Darren Criss Has Joined Versace: American Crime Story As a Serial Killer. The cast of American Crime Story's third season is starting to take shape, and so far, it's good. According to multiple reports, Darren Criss will be taking on the role of serial killer Andrew Cunanan, who was responsible for murdering fashion designer Gianni Versace outside his home in 1997. Edgar Ramirez (The Girl on the Train, Point Break, The Bourne Ultimatum), meanwhile, will be playing Versace himself. The murder will be the subject of American Crime Story's third season, which will begin shooting next month and will alternate filming with the second season, focusing on the legal issues surrounding Hurricane Katrina. Both seasons will air next year. Versace will be based on the book Vulgar Favors, by Maureen Orth. No other castings have been announced for Versace, though Ryan Murphy has said that Lady Gaga will definitely not be playing Donatella Versace despite rumors. So far, only Annette Bening has been cast in Katrina as Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco, but Murphy has said that Courtney B. Vance, Sarah Paulson, and Cuba Gooding Jr.. will be back. Murphy is also working on a role for Sterling K. Brown. American Crime Story will also eventually be taking on the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Sarah Paulson is attached to star in it, though Murphy says she will not be taking on the role of Hillary Clinton. Criss wrapped filming on the Supergirl/Flash musical crossover episode, in which he also plays the bad guy, called the Music Meister. That episode of The Flash will air March 21 at 8 p.m. on the CW. American Crime Story will return to FX in 2018. (Eonline)

Gwyneth Paltrow Is Coming To TV! What do you get when you combine The Voice with Shark Tank?? Apple Music's new show Planet Of The Apps, that's what! Earlier this week, Apple dropped the trailer for their new reality show slated to debut this Spring. The concept? Well, app developers are given 60 seconds on an escalator to pitch to the show's judges (coaches?) -- including Jessica Alba of The Honest Company, Gwyneth Paltrow of Goop, of, and Gary Vaynerchuk of VaynerMedia. Now, like on The Voice, if two coaches select a developer the techie is then allowed to pick which influencer they'd like to work with. Eventually, the selected coach and app developer meet in front of a venture capital firm, named Lightspeed Venture, and try to score an investment deal. LOVES it! We're honestly just floored that Miz Paltrow has decided to do TV after her lengthy film career. But, regardless, we're so about it! (Perez Hilton)

They're back! In an exclusive preview at the return of Chrisley Knows Best, Todd Chrisley and his family are up to their hilarious shenanigans yet again -- they've even welcomed two new members to the family. "Chase got a new dog," Todd says in the clip while cameras pan to an adorable grey French bulldog. Then there's Grayson, who also got a new pet, sort of. "You volunteered to babysit a rat?" his dad asks. "Look at it climbing!" Aside from all the fun and quirkiness of the Chrisleys, this season will also feature Savannah's terrifying car accident just last month. The 19-year-old crashed her car into a guardrail after a floor mat became caught behind her pedals. She was rushed to the hospital and suffered a broken vertebrae. Cameras were rolling just days after the accident and show the family going to look at Savannah's damaged car. "You are my child, and I'm not going to bury you, because God did not send me here equipped to do that," Todd tearfully tells his daughter. "My life has just gone to hell in a hand basket," he tells his wife in another scene. "I need to get this zoo under control, I feel like Dr. Dolittle." Chrisley Knows Best returns Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET on USA. (People)

The 2016 presidential election affected everyone, even Ryan Murphy. The American Horror Show creator discussed the details of an upcoming season of the hit show on Watch What Happens Live on Wednesday night, saying it'll center around the defeat of Hillary Clinton by Donald Trump in the election. "I think it'll be interesting for a lot of people," Murphy told host Andy Cohen while promoting his new FX anthology series Feud. While the new cycle does not have a title, Murphy said it'll begin shooting in June. When pressed for more details by Cohen, such as if the series will feature a Trump character, Murphy remained tight-lipped, responding, "Maybe." Murphy, 51, revealed more details about other upcoming shows he's working on, such as the adapting the Monica Lewinsky scandal for American Crime Story. "I think we're going to cast an unknown as Monica," Murphy said. "I'm very interested and have talked to my good bartender friend, Sarah Paulson, about playing Linda Tripp. We'll see if she'll agree to do that because I always think about Sarah for everything." "I think our take on it is interesting. I don't even think the Clintons need to be a huge part of that story. It's about the birth of a specific movement in our country -- that's what we're interested in," he continued. Murphy's other project for American Crime Story includes the story of famous fashion designer Gianni Versace and Andrew Cunanan, the man who killed him. Darren Criss, a Glee alum, will play Cunanan, Murphy said, and Edgar Ramirez (Hands of Stone, Gold) will play Versace, while "a really great Oscar-winner" is in talks to play Donatella Versace, the designer's sister. American Horror Story was renewed for two more cycles on top of its upcoming seventh season. The series should continue on through 2019, making it FX's longest-running dramatic series. (People)

Charter Loses Pay TV Subscribers in Fourth Quarter, Earnings Beat Estimates. Recent reports have said that telecom powerhouse Verizon was exploring a possible combination with the cable giant, led by chairman, president and CEO Tom Rutledge. Cable operator Charter Communications, in which John Malone's Liberty Broadband owns a big stake, on Thursday reported fourth-quarter financials that exceeds Wall Street estimates, but said it lost video subscribers in the period. It was Charter's third earnings report since closing two mega-deals, namely the $55 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable and the $10.4 billion purchase of Bright House. The deals made Charter the second-biggest U.S. cable company behind Comcast. Recent reports have said that telecom giant Verizon was exploring a possible combination with Charter, led by chairman, president and CEO Tom Rutledge. The talk comes following a big year of deals in the broader industry. Beyond the Charter acquisitions, telecom giant AT&T agreed to acquire Time Warner for $85.4 billion. Wall Street has been wondering whether Verizon would look to buy a cable operator, satellite TV firm Dish Network or a content company. Charter reported fourth-quarter earnings of $454 million, compared with $130 million on a pro-forma basis in the year-ago period driven by higher income from operations and a $366 million pension revaluation gain. The pro forma figure assumes that Bright House and Time Warner Cable had been part of Charter in the year-ago period as well. Revenue rose 7.2 percent. The cable firm lost 51,000 residential video subscribers in the latest period, compared with a gain of 118,000 in the year-ago period on a pro forma basis, ending December with 16.8 million residential video subscribers, down 1.3 percent. It added 12,000 video subs in its small and medium business operation, up from 7,000 in the year-ago period. During the fourth quarter, Charter's residential customer relationships grew by 250,000, versus 359,000 in the prior year period. As the key reason for the year-over-year decline, it cited "elevated churn from Legacy Time Warner Cable historical pricing and packaging." Said Rutledge: "Our integration is going well. We also continued to grow in 2016, with pro forma customer growth of nearly 5 percent ... In 2017, we remain focused on applying our growth-oriented operating strategy across our new footprints, driving more customer satisfaction, growth and shareholder value." (Hollywood Reporter)

Sony Pictures Television Networks Acquires truTV in U.K. truTV, which launched in the U.K. in August 2014 and brought Conan O'Brien across the Atlantic, reached on average 3.9 million viewers each month in 2016. Sony Corp.'s Sony Pictures Television Networks on Thursday unveiled the acquisition of truTV from Time Warner's Turner unit in the U.K. Financial terms weren't disclosed. The deal includes SPTN taking a selection of the existing truTV content library with acquired series such as Snapped, Paranormal Survivor and Ink Master. Turner will continue to represent ad sales for the channel while Sky Media will continue to sell advertising on behalf of all other Sony channels. Since its launch in the UK TV market in 2011, Sony Pictures Television Networks has grown to become one of the top multichannel players in the country, owning 18 channels in the UK, and reaching a combined viewership of more than 25 million people per month. truTV launched in the UK in August 2014 and reached on average 3.9 million viewers each month in 2016. "The acquisition of truTV increases Sony's already broad reach in the UK TV market and the channel's strong mix of unscripted and original programming will be a great complement to our portfolio." said Kate Marsh, executive vp Western Europe, international networks at Sony Pictures Television. Ian McDonough, senior vp and md of northern Europe at Turner added: "Since launch, truTV has delivered solid ratings and ad sales and built a loyal fan base. As such, we are delighted that U.K. viewers can continue to enjoy truTV's unique blend of entertainment as part of Sony's portfolio." (Hollywood Reporter)

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