Tuesday, November 21, 2017

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

Shaun T and husband welcome twin boys. Get ready for Twinsanity! Fitness guru Shaun T and his longtime husband, Scott Blokker, welcomed twin boys on November 17. "Our baby boys have arrived!" Shaun, 39, shared on Instagram Monday morning with photos of the babies resting on their chests. "We are so thrilled that our precious little preemie angels took us by surprise and arrived early at 32 weeks 5 days on 11/17/17," he wrote. "Thanks for your love and support as they continue to grow and get stronger. And a huge thank you to our amazing surrogate for being so selfless and going on this journey with us." He did not share their names. Shaun and Scott, who've been married for five years, announced they were expecting in mid-October and opted to share the news with a poem. Last week, Shaun told Page Six he's nervous about fatherhood. "I'm not nervous about sleeping... I'm not nervous about changing diapers. I think the thing that I'm nervous about... I never experienced what it was like to have my own father. I never had a dad. I never met my biological father," he said. "I never had that dad that really kind of shapes what a dad is." "I just want to make sure that I'm everything they need in a father," he added. Despite the twins' early arrival, the nursery is ready. "This house is done!" he quipped. "The nursery is ready. The bottles are already cleaned. The diapers are already set up. Everything is right in its place." (PageSix)

Jeffrey Tambor is quitting the show "Transparent" -- which he starred in as the lead role for years -- after sexual harassment allegations were made against him. Tambor released a statement to Deadline Sunday saying playing the transgender character, Maura Pfefferman, had been an honor ... but that the show clearly isn't what he signed up for four years ago. He added ... "I've already made clear my deep regret if any action of mine was ever misinterpreted by anyone as being aggressive, but the idea that I would deliberately harass anyone is simply and utterly untrue. Given the politicized atmosphere that seems to have afflicted our set, I don't see how I can return to Transparent." As we reported ... Tambor faced at least 2 allegations of sexual harassment that we know of. He was recently accused by a transgender co-star of making lewd, sexually suggestive remarks ... and even allegedly pressing up against her in a suggestive manner. Tambor denied those allegations, as well as the ones made against him by a former assistant on the show. Still, Amazon launched an investigation into the matter ... even though they were considering writing him out the show before all this. Looks like he beat 'em to it. (TMZ)

Sylvester Stallone's ex-wife, Brigitte Nielsen, says there is no way Stallone could have sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl in Las Vegas because she was with him the entire time. The Daily Mail posted a story that the 16-year-old met Stallone in 1986 during the filming of "Over the Top" and he invited the girl to his hotel room at the Vegas Hilton where he allegedly forced her to have oral sex with him as his bodyguard raped her. Nielsen tells TMZ, "During the summer of 1986 we were newlyweds. I was inseparable with Sylvester when 'Over the Top' was being shot in Las Vegas. The story claims that at approximately 8:30 in the evening during the shoot of the movie the person claims she was in our suite at the Hilton Hotel." Nielsen goes on to say, "This incident did not occur. Most of the day, I would watch him film, then we'd have dinner and go to our room. No other person was in the room with him, but me." The Daily Mail post says the girl was introduced to Stallone by his "Over the Top" co-star, David Mendenhall. Mendenhall tells TMZ, "I was shocked when I read the Daily Mail article. It's completely false that I introduced a 16-year-old female stranger to Mr. Stallone near an elevator in the Hilton, or anywhere else for that matter." He goes on ... "The only people I introduced to Mr. Stallone were my relatives who visited me on the set." As for Nielsen, we're told she and Stallone haven't spoken in nearly 30 years. Nevertheless, she says, "I can say for certain that it is impossible for this incident to have occurred," adding, "It's unbelievable that Sylvester and his family have to suffer through this over something that never happened." The Daily Mail post includes what looks like a police report filed by the 16-year-old. Vegas police have no record of the report. According to the story, the girl decided she did not want the case prosecuted so Vegas police dropped it. (TMZ)

The British singer Morrissey defended both Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein in an interview this weekend, claiming their alleged victims knew "exactly" what was going on -- and chose to "play along." "Afterward, they feel embarrassed, or they do not like it," Morrissey said while speaking to the German news outlet Der Spiegel. "And then they turn it around and say: I was attacked, I was surprised, I was dragged into the room." Spacey and Weinstein have each been accused of sexual harassment by more than a dozen men and women. The Hollywood heavyweights are scrambling to find supporters as more and more people come to the defense of their alleged victims. Morrissey, however, is apparently in both men's corner -- calling the claims against Spacey "ridiculous" and blasting the countless women who've come forward and publicly named Weinstein as their abuser. "People know exactly what's going on," Morrissey reportedly said after being asked about the movie producer. "And they play along... But if everything went well, and if it had given them a great career, they would not talk about it." The former Smiths frontman added, "I hate rape. I hate attacks. I hate sexual situations that are forced on someone. But in many cases one looks at the circumstances and thinks that the person who is considered a victim is merely disappointed." The translation for Morrissey's interview was reportedly posted on a fan page and then cited by the entertainment site, AV Club. The 58-year-old appeared to do most of his victim blaming while discussing the allegations against Spacey. "As far as I know, he was in a bedroom with a 14-year-old. Kevin Spacey was 26, boy 14. One wonders where the boy's parents were," he said. "One wonders if the boy did not know what would happen. I do not know about you, but in my youth I have never been in situations like this. Never. I was always aware of what could happen. When you are in somebody's bedroom, you have to be aware of where that can lead to. That's why it does not sound very credible to me. It seems to me that Spacey has been attacked unnecessarily." Morrissey, nicknamed Moz, has not responded to media requests for comment. He was getting eviscerated by social media users over the weekend as word spread about his comments. "I don't understand how so much of what Morrissey sings is so beautiful yet so much of what he says is so ugly," actor Chris Gethard wrote on Twitter. "A Morrissey fan for 26 years, I've stood by him through bad records, frivolously canceled shows, ignored his dalliances w/ fascism... but sex abuse victim blaming? Defending a pedophile like Kevin Spacey? No. Just no," another person said. "I'm going to eat a f–king cheeseburger. F–k you @officialmoz." (Page Six)

Lil Peep took a nap before his Tucson show and never woke up ... according to the police report. Peep's manager says she saw the rapper early Wednesday on his tour bus and he appeared to be fine. She says Peep took a nap around 5:45 PM and when she checked on him a short time later he was snoring and breathing fine. After being unable to wake him, she decided to let him sleep longer. The report says when Peep's other manager checked on him later in the night, he was completely unresponsive, and his team began CPR. Cops say when they arrived, they discovered several Xanax pills, loose marijuana and an unknown tan powder on the rapper's tour bus. Lil Peep was just 21. (TMZ)

Della Reese, Touched by an Angel Star and Legendary Singer, Dead at 86. Della Reese did it all: She sang, she acted, she traded barbs with Redd Foxx and she showed Roma Downey the way as her angelic mentor. The multi-faceted veteran star, who charmed with her wise ways on Touched by An Angel, has died. She was 86. "On behalf of her husband, Franklin Lett, and all her friends and family, I share with you the news that our beloved Della Reese has passed away peacefully at her California home last evening surrounded by love. She was an incredible wife, mother, grandmother, friend, and pastor, as well as an award-winning actress and singer. Through her life and work she touched and inspired the lives of millions of people," Downey told E! News Monday. "She was a mother to me and I had the privilege of working with her side by side for so many years on Touched By an Angel. I know heaven has a brand-new angel this day. Della Reese will be forever in our hearts. Rest In Peace, sweet angel. We love you." Previously, Downey had posted a photo of her and Reese together, captioned with Psalm 23, the Lord's Prayer. The friends and co-stars had bonded over faith and family when they starred together on their hit CBS drama, which ran from 1994 until 2003 and earned both of them Emmy nominations. In fact, as Downey recalled, she counted Della Reese coming into her life two decades ago as a prayer being answered. "My mother had died when I was 10 years of age," Downey told CBS News in 2015, "and you know, my whole life, I was looking for that mother figure, that nurturing figure, and I can see a lot of my own behavior, particularly through adolescence that was almost like a cry out for that...and I had a prayer as a young girl that somehow someone would come into my life and fill that roll. Well it's a prayer that took almost 20 years to be answered." She continued, "When I showed up on the set of Touched by an Angel that very first day and I met my co-star, Della Reese, I put out my hand to shake her hand, as you would do when you meet a new person -- she didn't want to take my hand, she wasn't interested...She was only interested in pulling me into her arms and holding me. And it was like a big, nurturing, loving hug. It was the answer to a prayer, and I cried, like a baby in her arms. I was like, 'finally,' I got the mother love restored in my life." Reese played Tess, the wry but tender supervisor of Downey's Monica, an angel investigator on Earth dedicated to both solving mysteries and aiding in the repair of the spiritual wounds caused by tragedy and heartache. In real life, Reese was the godmother of Downey's daughter Reilly Marie. And when Downey married Mark Burnett in 2007, Reese -- also an ordained minister -- officiated the ceremony and stood in for the bride's late mother. The angel role suited Reese, who won over multiple generations of fans as Tess and couldn't help but end up a little typecast, going on to star in holiday and faith-themed fare such as A Very Mary Christmas and the TV movies Hallelujah, Christmas Angel, Dear Secret Santa and Miracle at Gate 123. Asked what attracted her to 2012's Christmas Angel, in which she plays a neighbor who's secretly been granting wishes made by some local kids who ends up befriending the 10-year-old daughter of a single mom and together they team up to make it a very merry Christmas for everybody on the block, Reese said simply, "Well, it's my life." "I didn't have to research anything," she told Belief Net. "It's the life that I've lived. I understand this lady, I understand what she's been through, I understand how she feels, where she is now, coming down from where she was. So, it was something I was consciously aware of and I didn't have to wonder how do I do this or how do I do that? I knew the naturalness of it." And yet the life that she's lived can hardly be summed up in so many words. While she slipped seamlessly into the role of the endlessly empathetic and giving mother figure, Reese first made a name for herself as a sultry chanteuse and knew how to time a joke more than most. Born in Detroit on July 6, 1931, Delloreese Patricia Early grew up with gospel music and her love of singing was further sparked by jazz artists such as Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holliday. She signed her first recording contract in 1953 and went on to make six albums for New York-based Jubilee Records. Her 1957 single "And That Reminds Me" became a radio hit and sold a million copies; two years later, her first single for RCA, "Don't You Know," hit No. 2 on the pop chart. A born entertainer who appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show at least 20 times, Reese had her own talk show, Della, that lasted for three years -- more time than most celebrities are given these days to try to make that work -- and in 1970 she became the first black woman to fill in as guest host of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Her first acting role came on a 1968 episode of The Mod Squad, and she became a familiar face on the soap-drama-cop-show circuit until she landed a regular role on Chico and the Man, starring Freddie Prinze, in 1975. In the 1970s, '80s and '90s she appeared on everything from Welcome Back, Kotter and The Love Boat to MacGyver, Picket Fences and Designing Women. A younger audience may also know her from That's So Raven and the 2005 comedy Beauty Shop, not to mention her Christmas repertoire. Reese was dear friends with legendary comedian Redd Foxx and in 1991 they were starring as husband and wife in the sitcom The Royal Family (a 4-year-old Naya Rivera played one of the couple's grandkids) when Foxx suffered a fatal heart attack on the set. When the show came up during a 2010 interview, a huge smile took over Reese's face with the memory. "He was my friend for at least 40 years," she recalled. "We were hungry together. We were out of work together. We shared sandwiches together. We were friends." She acknowledged that Foxx was funny, "but he was more than anybody ever gave him credit for. The reason Redd Foxx was broke [when he died] was because if you came and you ask him, and he could see your need, he would run his hand in his pocket and give you something. "I didn't have a job, and I went to see him...He called the man who he was working for and he said, 'my back is out...I don't think I'm gonna be able to go on, but Dee is here. And she's good, she can do this show for me. I'll be alright tomorrow night.'" Foxx even fake-hobbled on stage, she said, to tell the audience he couldn't perform, but his friend Della Reese would give them a great show. Reese was hired the next night. Reese also commanded audiences as senior minister of the church she founded in Los Angeles, Understanding Principals for Better Living, or UP Church. In 1994 she was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and when Roma Downey got her own star in 2014, Reese was there to support her. When John Dye, who starred with the ladies as so-called "Angel of Death" Andrew on Touched by an Angel, passed away suddenly of a heart attack in 2011 at the age of 47, Reese told The Hollywood Reporter, "Roma, John and I were a family unit. We worked together every day for seven years. We acted like a family. We lived like a family. I felt what he felt. He was my Angel Boy, that's what I called him." Reese's adopted daughter, Deloreese Daniels Owens, died in 2002 at 42. "You're not supposed to bury your children, your children are supposed to bury you," she told THR, saying she had reached out to Dye's parents. "My daughter made her transition. I told them you don't get over it, you adjust to live with it. This is not a time when anyone can help you." Reese was open about her battle with Type 2 diabetes, which was diagnosed in 2000 after she collapsed on the set of Touched by an Angel. She became an advocate for education and awareness about how to prevent and manager the disease, and her team put together a website and hotline for people seeking information. "I learned to do what was necessary because I am fighting for the quality of my life," Reese told USA Today in 2003. "I don't want my husband to push me around in a wheelchair. I don't want someone to lead me around because I'm blind. You don't have to let your life be destroyed by diabetes. You can reclaim your life." After she was spotted in a wheelchair in 2013, her rep clarified that the actress sometimes used one to make getting around easier but she was not wheelchair-bound. In 2015, a swarm of fans -- as well as Downey and actress Diane Ladd -- was there to greet Reese when she was presented with a star on Palm Spring's North Palm Canyon Drive in honor of her nearly 70-year career. "It means people love me and enjoy my work," she said, according to the Desert Sun. "My mother scrubbed floors, cooked in places...to make enough food for us to eat," Reese continued. "My father poured steel in a place that he shouldn't have poured water because it was so dangerous. My mother kept saying to me, 'Don't let this bother you...Just keep on trusting God and knowing that he will never leave you; he will never forsake you. I've already been what I wanted to be. I hope I've been what He wanted me to be, too. I think I have. I feel like I have... "I will always honor the love that you give me. I will always be available to you. If you need talk; if you need prayer or understanding and you see me on the street, stop me." Reese is survived by her third husband, Franklin Lett, whom she marred in 1983, and their three children. (Eonline)

Earle Hyman, the man who played Bill Cosby's father on "The Cosby Show," has died. Hyman passed away Friday at the Lillian Booth Actors Home in New Jersey, according to a rep for The Actors Fund. The actor was a veteran theatre performer, having made his Broadway debut in "Run, Little Chillun" in 1943 and starring in multiple plays over the course of his career. He has more than 40 acting credits attributed to his name from movies and TV roles. Hyman was perhaps most famous for playing Cosby's TV dad, Russell Huxtable -- he even got nominated for a guest performer Emmy in 1986 for his portrayal. Hyman was also well known as a voice actor on the '80s cartoon show "ThunderCats." He was 91. (TMZ)

THE OTHER STUFF . . .

Karen Duffy pens inspiring new book about chronic pain. Model/actress Karen Duffy has an inspiring new book. She has suffered from the rare and painful disease sarcoidosis, which impacts her central nervous system, for 20 years. On Thursday at the Society of Illustrators, Duffy said of "Backbone: Living with Chronic Pain Without Turning into One," "I wanted to write a book about the subject of pain that was not a painful read." She spoke warmly of pals who have supported her, including George Clooney, who couldn't be there but sent a Casamigos tequila fountain. Clooney also wrote a blurb for the book: "My friend Karen Duffy, who lives with unimaginable pain, has taught me so much; that my complaints are the most ridiculous in the world." Duffy also said, "[Bill Murray] is one of my dearest friends, and laughter really does heal pain." Others toasting Duffy included Carole Radziwill, Fern Mallis, Michael Mailer, Aida Turturro, Andrew Saffir, Griffin Dunne, David Pressman, Nicole Miller, Amy Sacco, Holly Peterson and supermodel Emme. There were speeches from Duffy's husband, John Lambros and her 14-year-old son, Jack, who spoke about how inspiring she is as a pain patient advocate, and then said how "she is like a mother to me," to laughs. (PageSix)

Kim Kardashian dumps longtime assistant and hires new publicist. Kim Kardashian appears to be ready for a fresh start in 2018. Page Six has learned that the reality superstar dropped Stephanie Shepherd, the COO of her company Kardashian West Brands within the past month. Shepherd -- who once said she would "truly take a bullet for her [Kim] -- was jettisoned after their relationship turned sour. One source close to Kardashian tells us that the pair "grew apart." But another source said that relations between the two never recovered after Shepherd did an interview in May with Refinery29, which rankled Kardashian. In the day-in-the-life-style piece, Shepherd revealed intimate details about the reality star and her husband's life, including that Shepherd "did all [Kardashian's] laundry" and discussed the horrific Paris gunpoint robbery that Kardashian endured in October 2016 with the site, saying that Shepherd bought pepper spray after the attack. Shepherd became Kardashian's executive assistant in 2013 and her role grew to include managing Kim Kardashian-branded products, including her emoji collection, Kimoji, and associated merchandise. Shepherd also appeared in E!'s "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" in a characteristically unmemorable episode in which Kardashian worries that Shepherd has become too socially close to her sister Kourtney Kardashian. (Spoiler alert: She had.) Meanwhile, there have been rumors buzzing online that Kim had also fired her longtime publicist Ina Treciokas -- who has been tirelessly repping the drama magnet since 2013 -- in favor of a "more political" flack (Kim/Kanye 2020, anyone?). Treciokas told us, "That is false. I still work with Kim and other members of the family. There are no changes -- only an addition. A publicity firm has been added to the team to handle KKW (Kim Kardashian West's) beauty and fragrance lines." (PageSix)

Nearly four months after Hollywood starlet Sharon Tate was brutally murdered along with four others at her Los Angeles home, her sister Debra would hear the name Charles Manson for the first time. Manson, who died Sunday of natural causes, was serving a life sentence for the deaths of seven people, which occurred during a two-day murder spree in August 1969. He is responsible for the deaths of: Tate, who was 81/2 months pregnant; Jay Sebring; Wojciech Frykowski; Abigail Folger; Steven Parent; Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. "I said a prayer for his soul," Sharon Tate's sister Debra tells PEOPLE of the moment after she received a call from a prison official informing her of Manson's death Sunday evening. For nearly 48 years, Debra says Manson has been a part of her life. "Each one of these people and myself now have are spirits or our wills are slightly entangled," she says about Manson and his followers (Tex Watson, Patricia Krenwinkel, Leslie Van Houten and now deceased Susan Atkins) who were also convicted. She says she never wished ill of any of the convicted killers. When Atkins died from cancer in 2009 Debra prayed for her soul -- and vowed at the time she would do the same for Manson. "My cross in my bedroom still has the flowers that I slipped into Jesus's feet when Susan died," she says. "I cried a tear and I asked for forgiveness on her soul. I'll do the same thing when Charlie dies." Debra believes God will take care of Manson and his followers' souls after they die, but while alive in prison, she was determined to make sure they never got out. "These are sociopaths," she says. "They're no less violent today than they were then." In September, Van Houten was found suitable for parole by a panel of the board of parole hearing commissioners in Corona, California, PEOPLE confirmed. The two-member parole panel's recommendation is required to go the Board of Parole hearings for review, which can take up to 120 days, before being sent to California Gov. Jerry Brown, which could take up to 30 days. Van Houten was granted parole last year but Brown rejected her release, saying at the time that she posed "an unreasonable danger to society if released from prison." Manson's cause of death was released late Sunday evening by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. (People)

Charles Manson's body is sitting in Corcoran State Prison, where it will be for the next 10 days ... and if no one claims it he'll be cremated. TMZ broke the story ... Manson died in a Bakersfield hospital and the body was immediately taken back to the prison. Our sources say Manson did not designate a person to take possession of his body. Under California law, if the body is unclaimed for 10 days the prison will have him cremated. The prison has the option to bury Manson, but we're told cremation will be Manson's fate. The state will also take possession of any property Manson left behind, and any funds he left will be used to cover cremation costs. (TMZ)

Music

Bruno Mars Performs From the Top of the Apollo Theater in First Trailer for 24K Magic Live at the Apollo TV Special. This is about to be a 24 karat magic television special! Bruno Mars is bringing the stage to the small screen thanks to 24K Magic Live at the Apollo, a primetime television special set to air on Nov. 29 starring the beloved hitmaker. An acclaimed showman, the crooner will kick off his special at the legendary Apollo Theater in New York City atop the iconic spot's marquee. Mars and his band, the Hooligans, will also hit the streets to entertain locals and viewers alike. While there is still much to stay tuned for until next week, the program looks like it will make you get up from your couch and bust a move. "For me, Bruno Mars is the greatest performer in the world," executive producer Ben Winston said in a statement. "To be producing his first television special is a true honor. This will be a special show and a special night." Ahead of the debut, Mars is already the name on music lovers' lips as he recently took home seven 2017 American Music Awards, including the night's top honors, "Artist of the Year" and "Video of the Year." "OH SHIT!!! 7 AMAs??? LETS GOOOOO! THIS SHITS INCREDIBLE!" the star, who couldn't be there for the show, tweeted after learning the news on Sunday night. Not to fret, Hooligans! Fans will be able to see his face on their television screens in just over a week. In the words of the star himself, "It's showtime...guess who's back again!" Bruno Mars: 24K Magic Live at the Apollo airs Wednesday, Nov. 29 at 10 p.m. on CBS. (Eonline)

Billy Eichner Gets to Sing With Beyonce in the New Lion King Movie. Billy Eichner might want to start practicing his scales because the Billy on the Street star just revealed he's going to sing with Beyonce in the 2019 remake of The Lion King. E! News' Jason Kennedy caught up with Eichner at the 2017 American Music Awards and asked him about being cast in the live-action film. "I was freaking out," Eichner told the E! News host. "I mean, the cast is amazing. Me and Seth Rogen are Timon and Pumbaa, so we do 'Hakuna Matata' and then we also sing 'Can You Feel the Love Tonight' with Simba and Nala, who are going to be voiced by Donald Glover and someone who is named Beyonce." Even though the comedian and the Lemonade singer will both be featured in the Elton John hit, Eichner wondered if he'll even get to meet the Grammy-winning artist in-person. "Why would she want to be in the studio with me?" he said. In addition to Eichner, Beyonce, Rogen and Glover, the live-action remake will feature James Earl Jones as Mufasa, John Oliver as Zazu and Keegan-Michael Key as Kamari. The film will be directed by Jon Favreau, who also worked on the 2016 remake of The Jungle Book. (Eonline)

Diana Ross and Her Dancing Grandkids Are the Biggest Winners at 2017 American Music Awards. Diana Ross reigns supreme at the 2017 American Music Awards. During Sunday night's telecast at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, the woman behind huge hits like "Endless Love" and "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" received the Lifetime Achievement Award. As an added bonus, her very own family including daughter Tracee Ellis Ross was able to present the special trophy live. "What do you get when you cross a chart-topping singer, breathtaking beauty, captivating actress, trailblazing style icon, record-breaking pioneer, legendary megastar, international superstar, and an all-around boss? Everybody, you get my mom. Miss Diana Ross," son Evan Ross shared on stage. Before accepting her trophy, Diana performed a medley of hits including "Ease on Down the Road" and "I'm Coming Out." In fact, her collection of songs got the entire audience on its feet and dancing including Jamie Foxx, Ashlee Simpson Ross and Diana's grandchildren. "People from the age of 8 to 80, know every word of Diana's songs and her artistry resonates with folks every race, background and walk of life," former First Lady Michelle Obama shared in a taped message. "Today her voice is still as pure, her beauty is undeniable, and her showmanship is on point as back when she was a Supreme." Former President Barack Obama added, "When we heard Diana Ross was getting the Lifetime Achievement Award, our first reaction was, 'She doesn't have it yet?'" Perhaps the best moment was when Diana's extended family came on stage and bestowed the special award. "With no apology and all of your power, with integrity, grace and generosity, you blazed a way," daughter Rhonda Ross Kendrick shared. "Not just for us your children, not just for women, not just for black folk or singers or performers or entrepreneurs, but for all of us!" Diana added, "This is all about love. This is my family and I'm sending love to all of you. I really, really love being here and I feel so humbled by this. I love you so very much." Congratulations to the queen! (Eonline)

Tracee Ellis Ross Conquered the 2017 American Music Awards With Unbeatable Style. She got it from her mama! If there was one icon 2017 American Music Awards host Tracee Ellis Ross was channeling this evening, it was the one and only Diana Ross. Of course, fans should've expected the Black-ish star to pay homage to the world-famous singer in one way or another, given that Diana received this year's Lifetime Achievement Award. Tracee told E! News she felt the "planets [had] aligned" upon finding out she'd be hosting the same event granting top honors to her mom, adding, "It's extra special. It just feels like sort of a perfect mish-mosh of the right things, you know?" So from her glitzy opening look to every sophisticated ensemble in between, Tracee totally aced emceeing a massive Hollywood event in style. And how did Diana influence Tracee's personal fashion sense and seemingly endless outfit changes from Sunday night? The actress explained, "I grew up thinking a sparkly dress is the way to go. Big hair -- the way to go. Good smile -- the way to go. I think I learned by example and also by -- like most young girls -- going into my mom's closet and stealing sh-t." (Eonline)

BTS Brings Down the House With History Making 2017 American Music Awards Performance. The boys of BTS made history Sunday night as the first Korean boy band to perform at American Music Awards. The seven-member boy band, who are international superstars, hit the stage and brought down the house at the 2017 American Music Awards held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday night. The group made the crowd erupt with their massive Love Yourself: Her hit, "DNA." They made not be household names to everyone, but the audience in Hollywood wildly applauded during the group's rousing performance. Baby Driver's Ansel Elgort couldn't help dancing it out during the high-octane song. The group is composed of Jin, J-Hope, Jimin, Jungkook, RM (formerly known as Rap Monster), Suga and V: The Series. After the performance, Jared Leto came on stage to announce Artist of the Year (which went to Bruno Mars), but even the Oscar winner and rocker couldn't help but be impressed with the show-stopping number that went before him. Earlier in the year, the group nabbed the award for Top Social Artist at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards. (Eonline)

Linkin Park Dedicates 2017 American Music Awards Win to Chester Bennington: ''Make Him Proud.'' The show must go on, but Linkin Park took a moment to honor Chester Bennington at Sunday night's 2017 American Music Awards. The alternative-rock group's lead singer passed away in mid-July, shocking band members and their millions of fans who followed Bennington's decades in the spotlight. Linkin Park canceled their tour in the wake of him committing suicide, and a surprise appearance at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles Sunday evening marked their first in months. Upon accepting the honor for Favorite Alternative Rock Artist, Mike Shinoda, Rob Bourdon and Brad Delson shared a heartwarming message remembering Chester's legacy. "We want to dedicate this award to him, to his memory, to his talent, to his sense of humor, to his joy," they shared. "And remember, you guys, all of you tonight, whether you're a fan or an artist -- I want you guys to take a moment to appreciate what you've got. And make Chester proud." Two moths after his tragic passing, fans organized public memorials all around the world. Linkin Park shared an emotional montage video of the many candlelight vigils, tributes and balloon send offs that took place in places like Peru, Greece, Indonesia, Russia, Kazakhstan and beyond. They've also championed mental health awareness like never before, and in late October, held a concert at the Hollywood Bowl in Bennington's memory. Linkin Park launched the Give to the One More Light Fund to support Bennington's favorite Music for Relief program, Solar Suitcases, as well as individuals and families coping with mental and emotional struggles. Gone, but certainly never forgotten. (Eonline)

We're Flipping Out Over Pink's American Music Awards Performance on the Side of a Hotel. Anything you can do Pink can do better. As if her opening performance with Kelly Clarkson wasn't special enough, the "What About Us" singer decided to take her show outside with a second performance on the side of the JW Marriott hotel. "16 years ago, this singer stole our hearts with songs like 'Don't Let Me Get Me' and 'Get the Party Started,'" host Tracee Ellis Ross shared before introducing the singer. "Not only is she a powerhouse vocalist, but she's known for performances that take us to literally new heights." She would later point to a small little dot that turned out to be Pink strapped in a harness ready to sing her way across the tall building. "This tops anything she's ever done," Tracee shared. "With a beautiful performance, an artist that refuses to stay on the ground. Ladies and gentlemen, Pink." And just like that, Pink flipped, sang and wowed millions of viewers as she belted out her new song "Beautiful Trauma" from her latest album. Earlier in the night, Pink's wishes to collaborate with Kelly came true when they opened the show with a powerful rendition of R.E.M.'s hit song "Everybody Hurts." "This woman has a direct line to outer space with that voice," Pink shared on Twitter before showtime. "I feel lucky to stand next to her when she sings. Tonight will be an honor for me @kelly_clarkson #AMAs2017." The performance came after the award show paid tribute to all the first responders who have helped Americans in times of need. (Eonline)

Pink and Kelly Clarkson's Opening Performance at the 2017 American Music Awards Will Leave You in Tears. What a powerful way to start an award show... It's no surprise that the 2017 American Music Awards have brought some of the biggest names in music together for a night filled with musical performances. But as the soon as the show kicked off, Pink and Kelly Clarkson set the bar extra high with their big-voiced collaboration of R.E.M.'s hit song "Everybody Hurts." Instead of getting the party started, as some thought the A-list singers may do, the two hit a somber note with their moody cover of the '92 classic. This evening's event marks their first joint performance. And as it turns out, these two have been wanting to work together for a very long time. "I love Kelly Clarkson," Pink shared just last month on Watch What Happens Live. "If I did a song with Kelly Clarkson I would get outsung." Kelly proved the feeling was mutual when she appeared on Andy Cohen's SIRIUS XM radio show. "I will sing anytime, anywhere with Pink, first of all, because she's amazing," the original American Idol winner shared. Wait, maybe Andy deserves some credit for making this happen? "I'm gonna go ahead and say thank you for helping make it happen as well," Kelly wrote on Andy's Twitter. "#Ioweyoubig." (Eonline)

Pink Slams ''Negative Nancys'' Who Claim She Cringed During Christina Aguilera's 2017 AMAs Performance. When she wasn't making people cry with "Everybody Hurts" or defying gravity at the 2017 American Music Awards, Pink kept busy slamming claims she had "grimaced" during Christina Aguilera's tribute to Whitney Houston and The Bodyguard. On Sunday night, an image of the singer went viral with many outlets and Internet users claiming that the Pink wasn't feeling the "Your Body" singer's medley to the late Houston. However, Pink was quick to shut down that nonsense. Between her two performances, the singer reposted a tweet by Mark Sundstrum, which said, "@Pink and @Xtina deaded their beef last year and have been FRIENDS since, respecting each other's amazing talent as grown women. stop creating something out of nothing @TheShadyFacts." Along with the retweet, the mother of two wrote, "Yes. THIS. Christina f--king killed it tonight for one of our favorite singers ever. This about Whitney, and I am in awe of Christina's talent. Show the clip where I'm in tears, you negative Nancy's [sic]." Christina and Pink have famously feuded in the past, but earlier this year Pink took to Twitter to explain that the popstars had made amends and moved on. During Sunday night's American Music Awards, Christina, who was introduced by Academy Award winner Viola Davis, hit the stage to sing a medley of Houston's hit songs from the 1992 film The Bodyguard. The songstress wowed the crowd with covers of "I Will Always Love You," I Have Nothing" "Run to You" and "I'm Every Woman." Despite the "grimace" photo of Pink, the performance brought the audience to its feet with many singing along to the chart-topping tunes sung by the late singer, who died on Feb. 11, 2012. By all accounts (including Pink's), Xtina crushed it. (Eonline)

Selena Gomez Criticized for Allegedly Lip Syncing at 2017 American Music Awards. Did Selena Gomez's 2017 American Music Awards performance fall flat? According to some, it unfortunately might have. Despite how impressive it was for the pop star to return to the stage only months after receiving a kidney transplant, viewers at home called out Gomez for allegedly lip syncing through the entirety of "Wolves." E! News has reached out Selena's rep for possible comment, and she's yet to address her haters publicly. Debuting a platinum blond hairstyle and wearing slinky lingerie, the 25-year-old was joined by DJ Marshmello and a group of dancers for the performance, which was set at the scene of a car crash. While some SelGo fans defended the artist, applauding her show of such strength after privately struggling for months, others felt otherwise. "Selena Gomez can't sing to save her life," one Twitter user wrote, and another added, "No hate but Selena Gomez is clearly lip syncing." "I love Selena Gomez but she made it so obvious that she lip sync through that whole performance hence why she had her head down & hair covering her face for 99% of the performance," a Twitter user shared online. "The girl can't sing live so I don't know why she just can't admit it instead of lip syncing." Meanwhile, a fan shared, "Can people not trash Selena Gomez about her performance because she was apparently lip synching? I'd like to see you go through what she has in the past year and perform in front of millions." Yet another supporter questioned the criticism, writing, "Why is lip syncing such a horrible thing? Like I'm genuinely curious. It makes no sense to me." What's your take on the Selena scandal? (Eonline)

Selena Gomez wasn't lip-syncing during her American Music Awards performance Sunday ... she did what other performers Christina Aguilera, Nick Jonas and Hailee Steinfeld did and used a backing track. Twitter went off on Selena's first public performance since getting a kidney transplant earlier this summer. Fans called her a "fraud" and accused her of lip-syncing her new single, "Wolves," since she kept her head down and covered her face for most of it. But sources close to Bieber's gal tell us that's not true and she only used a backing track on the chorus, which is common during live performances. She also didn't dance because she wanted to sing live. It's also possible the live feed wasn't mixed properly for TV. As for looking miserable during the performance ... we're told it was all part of the act and that she wasn't sad at all. (TMZ)

Christina Aguilera's Whitney Houston Tribute Brings the Crowd to Its Feet at the 2017 AMAs. She's the queen of the night! A whopping 25 years after Whitney Houston gave us "I Will Always Love You" and showed fans her acting chops in The Bodyguard, Christina Aguilera took to the stage to honor the late singer and her beloved movie at the 2017 AMAs. Introduced by Academy Award winner Viola Davis, Christina sang a medley of Houston's hit songs, "I Will Always Love You," I Have Nothing" "Run to You" "I'm Every Woman." The rousing performance brought the audience to its feet with many singing along to the chart-topping tunes sung by the late singer, who died on Feb. 11, 2012. ABC and Dick Clark productions announced on Oct. 30 that Aguilera would sing a 25th anniversary tribute to Houston and The Bodyguard at the 2017 American Music Awards. The performance will include songs from the soundtrack, released in 1992. Aguilera, who has often cited Houston as one of her childhood heroes, memorably performed one of Houston's hits at the 2001 BET Awards. "Whitney herself stated in 2001 that Christina Aguilera sang the best version of her song 'Run to You,'" the Estate of Whitney E. Houston said in a statement. "It is with great appreciation and honor that she is returning to participate on the American Music Awards for a special tribute honoring the 25th anniversary of The Bodyguard. Whitney said that Christina is without a doubt one of the best voices she enjoyed in this generation of music. From the Estate of Whitney E. Houston, we thank you with great joy!" Houston won 22 American Music Awards before her untimely death in 2012. Aguilera, who received her sole nomination in 2001, joins a performance lineup that includes Selena Gomez. "I am honored and humbled to be asked to participate in such a special tribute of a timeless soundtrack that has been a huge inspiration not only in my own personal life and career, but to countless aspiring singers -- touching music lovers worldwide and influencing the history of music itself," Aguilera previously said in a statement. "To be honoring the one and only Whitney Houston is a blessing and I am grateful to celebrate the spirit of her songs and legend that lives on." "I feel eternally fortunate to have personally met her on and off the stage," the "Dirrty" singer told E! News. "My deep appreciation for her kindness to me while coming up in the business -- her graciousness, generosity, humanity and beauty -- lived up to everything I could have hoped for in meeting my idol and will forever be cherished in my memory of her." Originally released on Nov. 17, 1992, The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album has sold more than 45 million copies worldwide and is the top-selling soundtrack album of all-time. Houston, who produced it with Clive Davis, provided vocals on six songs: "I Will Always Love You," "I Have Nothing," "I'm Every Woman," "Run to You," "Queen of the Night" and "Jesus Loves Me." (Eonline)

Selena Gomez Rises From the Ashes With Emotional 2017 American Music Awards Performance. She's back! Performing live for the first time in over a year and for the first time since her kidney transplant over the summer, Selena Gomez came and got it during her performance of "Wolves" with Marshmello at the 2017 American Music Awards on Sunday night -- and the number certainly left us all howling for more Selena. The singer, who recently split with her boyfriend of 10 months The Weeknd, wowed the crowd with her new tune at the award show, hosted by Tracee Ellis Ross. Marshmello joined the pop star for the performance, which featured a newly platinum blond Selena performing around the scene of a car accident with a group of all-female dancers. Switching it up from her edgy, black leather mini-dress on the red carpet, Gomez kept it simple in a satin nightie and white tennis shoes. Last month, E! News confirmed Gomez would be performing her new single at the 2017 AMAs. The live telecast, held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, brings together the biggest names in a variety of musical genres. Sunday night's appearance comes after the pop superstar stepped away from the spotlight to focus on her physical recovery after getting a kidney transplant from best friend Francia Raisa. "I'm very aware some of my fans had noticed I was laying low for part of the summer and questioning why I wasn't promoting my new music, which I was extremely proud of," she shared on Instagram at the time. "So I found out I needed to get a kidney transplant due to my Lupus and was recovering. It was what I needed to do for my overall health. I honestly look forward to sharing with you, soon my journey through these past several months as I have always wanted to do with you." From a professional standpoint, Selena has released huge hit songs including "Bad Liar," "Fetish" and "It's Aint Me" with Kygo across the past year. Her major health setbacks certainly haven't hindered her star power, and Sunday night's performance proved SelGo is back and better than ever. What did you think of Selena's performance? (Eonline)

Taylor Swift Makes Surprise Appearance at 2017 AMAs to Honor Diana Ross. Taylor Swift is so sneaky! The singer delighted fans during the 2017 American Music Awards when she made a surprise appearance in a video tribute to Diana Ross, who is being honored with this year's American Music Award for Lifetime Achievement. The former Supremes singer has made a lot of fans during her lengthy career in the music industry, so it's no surprise that Tay's one of them. During the video, the "Look What You Made Me Do" singer said, "Hey Diana, it's Taylor. I just want to say congratulations on your lifetime achievement award I want to say congratulations. I don't know anyone who hasn't been inspired by you. You're elegant, fierce, strong, and brave, and you have paved the way for everyone who does what we do now. Including me. So, thank you." Sunday night, the 73-year-old superstar is taking the stage as the lady of the hour and being given a send up by many A-listers, including the show's host and her daughter Tracee Ellis Ross. "It's extra special. It just feels like sort of a perfect mish mosh of the right things, you know?" Tracee gushed to E! News' Will Marfuggi. "Like the planets aligned, I couldn't have planned that." (People)

Taylor Swift may have ruined her shot at winning more Grammys. Taylor Swift's new album is called "Reputation" -- and she has certainly earned -- herself one. She takes aim at enemies Katy Perry and Kanye West plus ex-boyfriends Calvin Harris and Tom Hiddleston on the album -- but it isn't just them she has annoyed. Her disrespect to fellow artists has infuriated key figures in the industry including members of the Grammys jury, which could ruin her chances at the 2018 awards in January. An industry insider revealed: "A lot of people on the voting committee are not liking 'Reputation' at all. Taylor wants to win as many awards as possible but has rubbed so many people up the wrong way in the last couple of years. A lot of the jury members have worked with Katy, Calvin and Kanye so when Taylor has tried to humiliate them, it has left a bad taste. Ultimately she may pay for that when it comes to winning awards." Swift also did not help herself in June by putting her back catalog back on -- Spotify on the same day Perry released her album "Witness." Swift had previously snubbed the streaming service in protest over how much stars get paid for streams. My source added: "Taylor has to understand that the industry is small, and moves like -- sabotaging Katy's album hurt people behind the scenes who work hard to make an album happen. How Taylor thinks the industry is going to give its full support to her after she's tried to damage so many people is mad." She failed to win a single prize at the MTV EMAs last weekend despite being the most nominated act with six nods, including for Best Video for her August No. 1 hit "Look What You Made Me Do." Over the past ten years she has won ten Grammys, including three in 2016 for her album "1989" and video for her single "Bad Blood." Nominations for the 2018 ceremony are out on Tuesday next week, with Ed Sheeran and The Weeknd set to star. Swift is also expected to figure although her latest album is not eligible due to its release date this month. It will however be in the running for the 2019 Grammys. In the words of Swift herself: "Baby, let the games begin." (PageSix)

Country Singer Neal McCoy Under Fire For 'Take A Knee... My Ass' Song. Neal McCoy, best known for tracks like "Wink," decided to join those who seem to remain dismissive of what taking a knee during the national anthem actually symbolizes. According to UPROXX, the country music singer released a track titled "Take A Knee... My A**" where he belts out his support for American troops and freedom. "When I see somebody on TV take their stand on bended knee/ Whether it's on astroturf or grass/ I think of those whose freedom was not free/ And I say, 'Take a knee, my a**.'" A year ago, former NFL player Colin Kaepernick decided to fight for equality and social justice off the field, but used his platform on the turf to spread his message. By taking a knee during the national anthem, other pro-athletes joined his movement, which is still going strong today, and brought awareness to racial inequality in the U.S. For his strides, Kaepernick was named GQ's "Citizen of the Year," which McCoy said he didn't read. "... I understand they're probably going to say he's done a lot for civil right and everything, and maybe he has," McCoy said during a Facebook Live video. "Maybe whatever he was trying to do, with civil unrest, maybe African Americans being treated wrong, or not equally, and some of that's right. Maybe that's what he was trying to do. But, taking a knee during the National Anthem at a professional NFL game is not the way to do it." Twitter users reacted to McCoy's track by telling him the true reason for the protests, which is beyond the actual national anthem. (Billboard)

Cardi B Says She's Taking Her Time Making Debut Album to Make Sure 'It's Right'. Cardi B has notched herself as a chart triple-threat by becoming the first woman to ever have her first three songs simultaneously listed in the top 10 of Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart: "Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)" (No. 2), "Motorsport" with Migos and Nicki Minaj (No. 5) and "No Limit" with G-Eazy and A$AP Rocky (No. 10). All before releasing an album. On Sunday (Nov. 19), Cardi provided an update as to why she hasn't felt the need to rush out her debut album after receiving so much acclaim for the singles she's released so far. One day earlier, though, Cardi tweeted a video of her re-discovering a song of hers that might prove worthy of the album. (Billboard)

The Foo Fighters Cover AC/DC's 'Let There Be Rock' in Honor of Malcolm Young. For a moment, you were tricked into believing it was Malcolm Young shredding. Young's image loomed, the only thing visible for a few seconds, before Foo Fighters singer/guitarist Dave Grohl appeared jogging across the stage in Mexico City on Saturday night (Nov. 18). "Do you love rock and roll?" Grohl screamed into the microphone. "Tonight, we're gonna play some rock and roll for you! We're gonna play some rock and roll for Malcolm Young." The band then launched into a full-fledged cover of AC/DC's "Let There Be Rock" in honor of the guitar icon who died on Saturday at age 64 following a three-year battle with dementia. This was Grohl and the Foos making good on their promise posted to Instagram earlier in the day following Young's passing. "37 years ago my friend Larry Hinkle and I went to see a midnight movie on a Friday night at the Uptown Theater in Washington D.C.," Grohl wrote. "It was 1980. We were 11 years old. The movie was 'Let There Be Rock' and it changed my life." The post went on to say that after watching the live 1979 AC/DC performance from Paris, "I didn't want to play my guitar anymore, I wanted to smash it." "Thank you, Malcolm[,] for the songs, and the feel, and the cool, and the years of losing control to your rock and roll. I will do just that tonight, for you." Grohl absolutely lost himself to rock and roll. His long hair whipping as fast as his fingers were strumming his guitar and almost as frantic as the music itself. (Billboard)

Taylor Swift's 'Reputation' Rules Australia's Albums Chart. It's the best-selling album of the year in the United States, and the week's No. 1 in the U.K., and now Taylor Swift's Reputation (Big Machine/Universal) is crowned champion of Australia's chart. Reputation, the U.S. pop singer-songwriter's sixth studio album, becomes Swift's fourth No. 1 on the ARIA Albums Chart, following 1989 (November 2014), Red (October 2012) and Speak Now (November 2010). Swift's latest unseats Pink's triple-platinum LP Beautiful Trauma (RCA/Sony), which dips 2-1, while Ed Sheeran's six-times platinum Divide (Warner) holds at No. 3, Sam Smith's sophomore set The Thrill of It All (Capitol/EMI) falls 2-4 and Sydney rapper Kerser lands a fifth top ten album with Engraved In The Game (ABK/Warner), new at No. 5. Just missing a spot in the top 5 this week is Evanescence's Synthesis (Sony), the alternative rock outfit's first album in six years. Synthesis opens at No. 6. And just days after Michael Buble announced his return to the stage, the Canadian crooner's perennial holiday favorite Christmas (Reprise/Warner) climbs 24-7 in its 54th week. The album has been certified double diamond in Australia, in recognition of sales in excess of one million units and, according to Warner Music, has been No. 1 on the Australian iTunes album chart every Christmas Day since 2011. It took three, long months, but Camila Cabello's "Havana" (Epic/Sony) has finally shimmied its way to No. 1 on Australia's singles chart. The Cuba-born, U.S.-raised pop singer's international hit finally deposes Post Malone's "Rockstar" (Republic/Universal) featuring 21 Savage from the summit of the ARIA Singles Chart. "'Havana," featuring Young Thug, recently crossed the 300 million plays milestone on Spotify and is certified platinum in Canada, Sweden, Ireland and Australia, where it's clocked up double-platinum certification in its 12 weeks on the national singles survey. It's the ex-Fifth Harmony member's first No. 1 in Australia (the track is also the leader on the Official U.K. Singles Chart). While "Rockstar" loses its crown, it's not such a bad week for Post Malone whose "I Fall Apart" is up 6-4 for the track's first stint in the top 5. The highest new entry belongs to Eminem, whose "Walk On Water" (Interscope/Universal) featuring Beyonce is new at No. 10. The track, lifted from Em's forthcoming ninth studio album, Revival, is the Detroit rapper's 13th top ten single as a lead artist on the ARIA Singles Chart and his first top 10 release since "The Monster" led the survey in November 2013. (Billboard)

Movies

A Wrinkle In Time Trailer Drops: Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, and Mindy Kaling Fight Darkness With Magic. Disney just dropped the official trailer for A Wrinkle In Time during Sunday night's 2017 American Music Awards and it looks out of this world! Ava DuVernay's adaptation is based on the Madeleine L'Engle book from 1962 and deals with the consequences of inter-space travel, specifically from Earth to a planet that possesses all the evil and darkness in the world. As seen in the center of the poster, Dr. Alex Murry, played by Chris Pine, discovers a way to travel to a new planet he discovers. Unfortunately, this move opens the floodgates of travel and the planet's darkness begins to spread freely throughout the universe. Dr. Murry's kids, Meg (Storm Reed) and Charles (Deric McCabe) enlist their classmate, Calvin O'Keefe (Levi Miller), to help track down their father and put a stop to this evil threat. Of course it wouldn't be an intergalactic adventure without space guides, or astral travelers in this case, known as Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling), and Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey). This fantastical and scientific film is much different than DuVernay's previous directorial work, which all centered on realistic stories about racial tensions like 2014's Selma or 2013's 13th. But she leads the female centric story for a powerhouse classic filled with top-billing ladies. The cast got so close shooting in New Zealand that Kaling even shared her pregnancy news with them before the rest of the world, and Oprah was even the one to accidentally let the news slip. Those close bonds are sure to make for an emotional but action-packed experience! A Wrinkle In Time premieres March 9, 2018. (Eonline)

Ava DuVernay's Heartfelt Tribute to Ryan Coogler: "I'm Happy to Be on This Journey With You". The 'Black Panther' and 'Wrinkle in Time' directors shared a conversation at Vulture Fest on Sunday. Neither Ryan Coogler nor Ava DuVernay could have predicted that they'd be making two of 2018's biggest movies -- not when they were 10 years old, and not even four years ago, when they met for the first time at Sundance in 2013. Coogler's feature debut, Fruitvale Station, was making its world premiere at the festival, where DuVernay's breakout, Middle of Nowhere, had opened the year before. They knew each other only from their work but introduced themselves with a long hug "as if we had known each other [personally]," DuVernay said Sunday, in a joint conversation with Coogler for Vulture Fest L.A. "There were so few like us, doing what we do. We were like kindred spirits." Now they're neighbors, sharing editing suites across from one another on the Disney lot, where Coogler is putting the finishing touches on Black Panther, out Feb. 16, and DuVernay is in postproduction on A Wrinkle in Time, which will be released exactly three weeks later, on Mar. 9. Both directors recognize the import of being handed the keys to the Magic Kingdom to create worlds that feature people of color in heroic roles. It's a duty that Coogler said helped him to connect to his superpowered title character. "You find him at a time when Wakanda [the fictional African nation where Black Panther, aka T'Challa, is king] is struggling with its identity," he said. "He's aware of the responsibility and what he's trying to do -- like Ava and I." For DuVernay, Wrinkle presented the opportunity to re-imagine Madeleine L'Engle's 1962 fantasy classic with a biracial protagonist (Storm Reid as Meg Murry). "The opportunity to explore some real black girl magic on screen? I'm not mad at that," said the filmmaker, who noted that Meg's brother is played by young actor Deric McCabe, who is Filipino American, and the story's immortal trio of Mrs. are multicultural thanks to Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling. "We took liberties to be true to the spirit [of the source material] but freed our imagination to bring these fairytales and fantasies into the current time, which is one that should be much more inclusive." DuVernay added that Meg is modeled after her niece Molly, down to the topknot and glasses, for whom, in part, the movie was made. "I want her to see all that's possible for her and not have to wait until she's 32 years old to figure it out," said the Oscar nominee (The 13th), who famously didn't pick up a film camera until the age of 32. Coogler said he couldn't have imagined the existence of Black Panther on the big screen when he was a kid growing up in Oakland, Calif., and even now, actually making the movie himself has resulted in plenty of pinch-me moments. "I have to play mind tricks on myself so that I don't break down and lose time," Coogler said, citing one memorable early rehearsal for a scene in which star Chadwick Boseman and veteran South African actor John Kani, who plays his father, spoke to one another in Xhosa. "Realizing that we have a father and a son having a conversation in a South African language in a Marvel movie, I was like, 'I can't fall to pieces right here.'" Working on their respective films in close quarters has provided ample opportunity for mutual admiration, from the professional ("She's like, 'I just came from Queen Sugar, now I'm going to work on Wrinkle,'" Coogler said. "Meanwhile, I was here all day stressing about my one movie") to the edible (Coogler's editing suite has the best snacks, according to DuVernay). But most significantly, having a peer who can relate to the rare background and responsibility that both directors possess has been invaluable. "I just want to thank you publicly," DuVernay said to Coogler as the designated hour drew to a close. "To be able to look in your eyes and know that we're doing the same thing in the same space has been so nourishing and bolstering in good times and bad. There hasn't been a lot of bad times -- you make all the times good, and I'm happy to be on this journey with you." (Hollywood Reporter)

Has 'Justice League' Killed the Superhero Origin Story? It could be the final nail in the coffin after 'Captain America: Civil War' successfully introduced Spider-Man and Black Panther ahead of their solo movies. [Warning: This story contains spoilers for Justice League] Justice League is no Avengers. Yes, And yes, that is a comment on the quality and its box-office success. The film underwhelmed with a $96 million opening weekend, compared to Avengers' then-record $207 million bow in 2017. But it is also a comment on the structure. The Avengers gets the band together, but all the band members had already been introduced in previous movies. Justice League moves things along by introducing half the band members in addition to bringing them together. Perhaps despite the disappointing box office and critical response, Justice League will pave the way to make superhero movies more streamlined, as more or less, the introductions of the new characters were successful. At first glance, this may appear like the Warner Bros.' DC universe taking shortcuts in order to try to catch up with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but there is something else important to be considered. Namely, that the MCU's Phase One strategy to build up to The Avengers is no longer an option. It's too reliant on solo origin stories. Even within Phase One, audiences were getting a little restless with the formula by the time Captain America: The First Avenger rolled around only two months after Thor. There's nothing wrong with origin stories, and even just this year we got a great one with Wonder Woman. But the cinematic reboot craze jumpstarted by 2005' Batman Begins lead to such an explosion of origin stories that the market has grown saturated. There is still a niche or two left available here and there. "Quality female superhero origin story" was still wide open for Wonder Woman, and can probably fit a few more entries before things start getting too crowded. But origin stories revolving around one Great Big Hero are naturally going to end up hitting the same narrative beats and plot points. Switching up various elements can keep things interesting for a while, there are limits that the superhero genre is inching very close to surpassing -- a boundary where pleasantly or at least tolerably familiar crosses into the territory of boringly repetitive. Which brings us to Justice League. For all of its issues, one thing you can't say about the film is that the newcomers -- The Flash (Ezra Miller), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) -- play second fiddle. The most entertaining moments in the film involve either Flash or Aquaman, while Cyborg holds Justice League's semblance of a plot together and in several regards represents the most intriguing potential. The whole human-AI flesh-machine hybrid is something that comic book movies have tried but thus far not managed to hit out of the park, especially on the heroic side, meaning there's a definite opportunity there (let's be honest here, we all preferred Vision when he was still JARVIS). Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) is still great, though it would be even better to see her back in a film where the camera isn't so dead set on lingering on her derriere. Meanwhile, watching Batman (Ben Affleck) traverse a snowy mountain is a painful reminder of how far we've fallen since the days when the main point of contention was whether Christian Bale's Batman grumble-voice sounded dumb. Finally, no matter how much Justice League tries to convince otherwise, everyone would have been better off if the dry toast known as Superman (Henry Cavill) stayed dead. And that's not even getting into what attempts to digitally remove Henry Cavill's mustache in post-production does to his face. That is to say, while Justice League has many problems, it further proves what the spectacular introductions of Black Panther and Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War suggested: solo superhero origin stories are dying, and for a good reason. Introductions and at least some exposition can be woven into larger narratives that, as a bonus, have other components at their disposal to help balance out dull but necessary information-dumping. We've seen it done now in a great film (Civil War) and a not-so-great one (Justice League), and in neither case do these introductions weigh the film down, nor are the newcomers hopelessly overshadowed by established characters. To top it all off, weaving introductions into ensemble adventures frees up solo films to jump straight to the good stuff instead of having to sacrifice half the first installment to exposition, as evidenced by the supremely enjoyable Spider-Man: Homecoming. Sure, perhaps there's a mind-blowing superhero origin film out there still waiting to be made (Brie Larson's Captain Marvel?), but we've been walking that path so frequently since the early 2000s that some heroes have already walked it twice. The MCU and DCEU now have a viable alternative, and they are ready to explore it. (Hollywood Reporter)

Phil Lord and Chris Miller on Han Solo Ousting: "We're Better Filmmakers for It". The directing duo publicly addressed their firing from the project for the first time Sunday night. Phil Lord and Chris Miller publicly addressed their Han Solo movie firing for the first time Sunday night. The directing duo were ousted from the Star Wars spinoff movie in June due to a creative clash with screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jon Kasdan. Lord and Miller (21 Jump Street, The Lego Movie) have a comedic sensibility and improvisational style while Kasdan favors a strict adherence to the written word -- what is on the page is what must be shot. Ron Howard stepped in to direct Solo: A Star Wars Story, starring Alden Ehrenreich as a younger version of Harrison Ford's iconic character. Donald Glover, Emilia Clarke, Woody Harrelson and Thandie Newton are also among the cast. Of the situation, Lord said, "The experience of shooting the movie was wonderful," during a Vulture Festival panel for their MTV animated series Clone High. "We had the most incredible cast and crew and collaborators. "I think in terms of us leaving the project, I think everybody went in with really good intentions and our approach to making the movie was different than theirs. That was a really big gap to bridge, and it proved to be too big," he continued. "Sometimes people break up, and it's really sad, and it's really disappointing, but it happens and we learned a lot from our collaborators and we're better filmmakers for it." After cheers from the audience, Lord added, "We're really proud of the work we did on the movie and we wish everybody the best." Miller echoed his helming partner's comments. "We're super well-adjusted, obviously we're doing great. We're super drunk right now," he joked. "As Phil said, we had such a great relationship with cast and crew, we were really rooting for them. After we took a much-needed vacation, we got back into it and now we're writing and producing a sequel to The Lego Movie and producing a Miles Morales animated Spider-Man." Yet Clone High writer and collaborator Bill Lawrence joked of Solo, "I hope that movie shits the bed." Solo is set for release May 25, 2018. (Hollywood Reporter)

TV

Salt-N-Pepa are shaking things up for the holidays and their careers by landing a sweet acting gig opposite Taraji P. Henson. The ladies are playing Sugar N Spice in a skit for Taraji's "White Hot Holidays" TV special. The script has them sharing the camera with Taraji, as Mrs. Claus -- and Method Man as the tooth fairy! Fergie, Ying Yang Twins, Ciara and Faith Evans are also on the special, but only to rap and sing. We're told S-N-P took the gig -- which taped last weekend -- to sharpen their acting skills, 'cause they plan to do a lot more of it. In fact, they'll bump into Taraji again when they guest star next season on "Empire." Ultimately, the duo's plan is to be recognized as much as Cheryl James and Sandra Denton, as Salt-N-Pepa. Think Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson ... just prettier, with less muscle. (TMZ)

LeBron James' SpringHill Entertainment Sets Basketball Docuseries at YouTube. Starring former NBA player Jay Williams, 'Best Shot' follows a group of high school basketball players. YouTube is going into business with LeBron James. The Google-owned streamer has ordered basketball-centric docuseries Last Shot from James' SpringHill Entertainment, Boardwalk Pictures and Blue Ribbon Content, the digital arm of Warner Bros. Television Group. The eight-episode series, which will debut on YouTube's Red subscription service in 2018, will follow a group of high school basketball players. Former NBA player and ESPN analyst Jay Williams will work with the team to reach its goals. Best Shot will be directed by Michael John Warren, who is known for his work on Netflix series Fearless and documentary Jay-Z Fade to Black. James and business partner Maverick Carter will executive produce through SpringHill, and Andrew Fried, Dane Lillegard and Jordan Wynn will executive produce from Boarwalk Pictures, the production company behind Chef's Table and Last Chance U. Warren will also serve as executive producer. "We are thrilled to partner with LeBron James and Maverick Carter to create this inspiring docuseries about a group of high school basketball players who learn about the game of life through basketball," said Susanne Daniels, global head of original content for YouTube. "With Jay Williams as their mentor, Best Shot will take an unfiltered look at the complex decisions these teens face every day. We are excited to partner with Boardwalk Pictures and Blue Ribbon Content, as well as director Michael John Warren, whose powerful storytelling will guide us through this journey as we root for the students to win -- on and off the court." Carter, who serves as CEO of SpringHill, added, "We're passionate about this story because it's about real high school students encountering real-life challenges. All they need is that little push in the right direction, and with a relatable mentor like Jay Williams guiding them, they've got a very real opportunity to change their lives forever." Best Shot will join a growing slate of unscripted series on YouTube Red, including Fight of the Living Dead and Lace Up: The Ultimate Sneaker Challenge. Red is currently available for $10-per-month in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and Korea. In addition to NBC game show The Wall, SpringHill is in development on several projects, including an HBO documentary on Muhammad Ali, Netflix drama Top Boy and Starz docuseries Warriors of Liberty City. (Hollywood Reporter)

TV Ratings: 'Sunday Night Football' Surges, AMAs Hold With 2016. The American Music Awards stay put in the demo but do see a notable improvement among total viewers. Sunday Night Football returned to form with Philadelphia Eagles' punishing win over the Dallas Cowboys Sunday night. Ahead of a week of Thanksgiving games, the matchup surged to the primetime franchise's best showing since week one of the season -- climbing 13 percent from the comparable 2016 game and a much more impressive 17 percent from last week. The game averaged a 13.5 overnight rating, trouncing the American Music Awards in the process by more than double. Though even with stiffer NFL competition this year, the ABC telecast of the music kudos held in the demo with 2016. It averaged another 2.4 rating among adults 18-49. And, on the brighter side, the show was up among total viewers. It improved by 12 percent to an average 9.1 million viewers. Nipping at ABC's heels, thanks to some substantial NFL overrun, CBS scored No. 3 status of the night. After adjustments, 60 Minutes will emerge as the most-watched non-football telecast on Sunday. Right now, it's averaging 11.5 million viewers. Dramas Wisdom of the Crowd (0.8 adults), NCIS: Los Angeles (0.7 adults) and Madam Secretary (0.7 adults) are subject to some changes when final numbers arrive. Without late-running football this week, and facing daunting competition on both the sporting and entertainment fronts, the Fox block -- Bob's Burgers (1.1 adults), The Simpsons (1.1 adults), Ghosted (0.8 adults), Family Guy (0.9 adults), The Last Man on Earth (0.7 adults) -- saw dips from the most recent originals. (Hollywood Reporter)

If there was a Top 10 list of reasons to scrub a celebrity's appearance from an upcoming TV special, a sexual harassment scandal would surely come in at number one. Minnesota Sen. Al Franken has been edited out of PBS' "David Letterman: The Mark Twain Prize special" (airing Monday, 8/7c), TVLine has confirmed. The decision to cut him from the broadcast comes just days after the "Saturday Night Live" alum became the latest politician to be accused of sexual harassment. The network on Sunday released the following statement to TVLine: PBS will air "David Letterman: The Mark Twain Prize" on Monday evening. Senator Al Franken participated in the event, but will not appear substantially in the PBS program... PBS and WETA, the producing station, felt that the inclusion of Senator Franken in the broadcast at this time would distract from the show's purpose as a celebration of American humor. A PBS rep tells TVLine that Franken will still be briefly visible "in the finale shot when all the cast" join Letterman on stage. On Nov. 16, Leeann Tweeden, a model and sports commentator, came forward and alleged that Franken forcibly kissed her during a USO tour back in 2006. She also released a photo that appeared to show him groping her while she was sleeping. He has since issued an apology, which she accepted. He has also called on Congress to conduct a proper ethics investigation into his behavior. Letterman is the 20th recipient of the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Recent honorees include Tina Fey, Will Ferrell, Ellen DeGeneres, Carol Burnett, Jay Leno, Eddie Murphy and Bill Murray. Letterman's Mark Twain Prize special, filmed in Washington D.C. on Oct. 23, features appearances by Murray, Steve Martin, Martin Short, Eddie Vedder, Jimmy Kimmel, John Mulaney, Amy Schumer, Jimmie Walker and Chris Elliott, as well as former "Late Show" bandleader Paul Shaffer, announcer Alan Kalter and stage manager Biff Henderson. This isn't the first time that a sexual harassment scandal has forced a network to tweak a previously recorded special. CBS recently announced that it would not feature a Kevin Spacey performance filmed as part of a "Carol Burnett Show" anniversary special, which is set to air on Dec. 3. Spacey, of course, was fired from his Netflix series "House of Cards" after being accused of multiple incidents of sexual misconduct and assault. (Page Six)

U.K. Camera Operator Dies Filming Stunt Scene for BBC, Netflix Drama. "Mark Milsome was hugely talented and a much respected colleague," the U.K. public broadcaster said. British camera operator Mark Milsome has died filming a stunt scene for upcoming BBC and Netflix drama The Forgiving Earth. The BBC confirmed the 54-year-old's death Monday. "We are deeply shocked and saddened to hear this terrible news," it said in a statement. "Mark Milsome was hugely talented and a much respected colleague. Our thoughts are with Mark's family and friends at this incredibly difficult time." The Guild of British Camera Technicians (GBCT) said: "The GBCT board and its membership are absolutely devastated by this tragic news. Mark Milsome was not only an incredibly talented camera operator, he was also one of the kindest and sweetest of human beings. Thoughts and prayers are with Mark's family at this awful time." Milsome is understood to have died during a night shoot for a car stunt scene in Ghana. The Forgiving Earth, previously called Black Earth Rising, is a crime thriller that BBC Two plans to air in the U.K. in 2018, with Netflix having global rights outside of Britain. The show, which focuses on the prosecution of international war crimes, is written and directed by Hugo Blick (The Honourable Woman), with Drama Republic (The Honourable Woman) producing. Blick and Drama Republic said: "It is with huge sadness that we confirm the death of Mark Milsome, a camera operator who was working with us on the BBC/Netflix production The Forgiving Earth. We are all completely devastated. Mark was such a wonderful, kind and generous person. All our thoughts and condolences are with Mark's family and his close friends at this tragic time. Giving them our support and focus is our number one priority." (Hollywood Reporter)

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