Tuesday, December 5, 2017

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

Hamilton's Lin-Manuel Miranda and Wife Vanessa Nadal Are Expecting Baby No. 2. Congrats to the growing family! Hamilton creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda confirmed on Sunday that wife Vanessa Nadal is pregnant with the couple's second child. The pair made it pretty clear that Nadal was expecting No. 2 when they walked the red carpet at the London Evening Standard Theatre Awards on Sunday night. At the event, Nadal, who is an attorney and scientist, donned a floral frock and appeared to be pregnant. Soon after taking to the carpet, Miranda's Twitter fans noticed his wife's baby bump and flat out asked the song and dance man if she had a bun in the oven. The Tony winner replied to the question, "Oh hell yeah." During his acceptance speech at the 2016 Tonys, the doting husband read aloud a sonnet he wrote to his accomplished wife. The couple married in 2010 and welcomed son Sebastian in 2014. (Eonline)

Vampire Diaries' Claire Holt Engaged to Andrew Joblon. Congrats to the happy couple! The Originals star Claire Holt took to Instagram on Sunday to announce her engagement to Andrew Joblon. The big news comes just a little over seven months after her ex-husband, TV producer Matthew Kaplan, filed for divorce from the actress on April 27, 2017, one day before the couple's one-year wedding anniversary. Despite the split (both cited irreconcilable differences), it appears as if the actress has moved on with the real estate executive, posting a photo of the two kissing and showing off the ring. The 29-year-old actress captioned the image, "My heart is so full ??." Claire played Rebekah Mikaelson on The Vampire Diaries from 2011-2014 and has reprised the same role on The Originals since 2013. The Australian actress revealed that she'd found love again when she shared Instagram photos of the new couple in July while the pair was vacationing in Italy. Posting a coupled-up image of the duo, Claire wrote, "Finally homeward bound after the best month of my life. Thanks for the memories!" Here's to many more memories! (Eonline)

Gloria Estefan Becomes First Cuban-American Star to Receive Kennedy Center Honors. Gloria Estefan just made history! The 60-year-old star became the first Cuban American to receive Kennedy Center Honors. But the "Mi Tierra" singer wasn't the only one that was one of the firsts, LL Cool J became the first rapper to earn the prestigious award. Along with the two musicians, singer-songwriter Lionel Richie, dancer-actress Carmen de Lavallade and TV creator Norman Lear were all honored with the coveted award at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Estefan received her award by her role model and friend, superstar Rita Moreno. "This, ladies and gentlemen, is the stuff of the American dream, and Gloria and I are living every, single minute of it," we heard the triple-threat star say in a video shared by Estefan. During her touching acceptance speech, Estefan said, "Every one of the honorees in this room, in their own beautiful way and by putting their lives as examples, and as beautiful ways of expressing through music, through art, through the film, through dance, showed who we are in this country. And we are that amazing tapestry of so many colors and vibrant backgrounds, and that's what makes this country great because when you weave those things together, it's just such a strong force. And we need to keep that alive." Estefan was also surprised with a performance form her daughter Emily Estefan, who wrote a heartfelt post for her mother on Instagram. "Congratulations to the little girl on the hood of that car, who worked like an animal to be able to for one night... sit back, relax, and truly feel the hue of what it means to be honored... and truly deserve it," the "Reigns" singer wrote along with a black and white photo of her mother as a toddler along with her grandparents. Cheers to Gloria and the rest of the honorees for this great honor! (Eonline)

Real Housewives' Shannon Beador Officially Files for Divorce From David Beador. Shannon Beador is moving forward with her split from David Beador. The Real Housewives of Orange County star has officially filed for divorce from her husband. E! News learned back in October that the couple was separating after 17 years of marriage. An insider shared with E! News at the time, "This has been a miserable marriage for Shannon for a very long time. David wanted out. Shannon couldn't take it any longer and has decided that this is best for the kids and her health." The source continued, "Shannon is very distraught and is trying to every possible way to keep it together for the sake of her kids." In mid-November, Shannon appeared on an episode of Watch What Happens Live where she talked about the split. "Like last week, I saw he took his wedding ring off and that's inevitable but it's just making the adjustment and I have good days and bad days," she shared. "No more downer tonight. It's all good. It's all good. This had to happen and good times are ahead." Shannon and David have three children together. (Eonline)

Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher Walk Their First Red Carpet Together Since That '70s Show. In their first joint red carpet appearance since That '70's Show, Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher attended the Sixth Annual Breakthrough Prize Ceremony. The Bad Moms actress wore a Dolce & Gabbana dress featuring a full, floral skirt and a sheer black top. Her hubby donned a classic black tuxedo and bowtie. While posing for pictures on the red carpet, Kutcher lovingly put his arm around his wife and told her something that made her chuckle. The stars have been married for two years and share two children: Dimitri, 1, and Wyatt Isabelle, 3. Known as the "Oscars of Science," the 2018 Breakthrough Prizes celebrated the top achievements in physics, life sciences and mathematics. The event was held at the NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley and welcomed stars and scientists, alike. Morgan Freeman served as the ceremony's host and Wiz Khalifa gave a live performance. (Eonline)

Ruby Rose Slams Reports About Her Acne and Weight: "This Is the Problem With Believing Tabloids." Ruby Rose is stealing a page from gal pal Taylor Swift 's lyric book. In a long message to her social media fans -- and really anyone reading -- the Pitch Perfect 3 star took aim at recent reports about her appearance, particularly after she hit the red carpet at the film's Australia premiere on Wednesday. To begin, the 31-year-old addressed her acne flare-up, sharing closeup pictures of her cheek and explaining she recently broke out because of hotel pillow cases and consistent phone interviews for the upcoming sequel. "This acne belongs to me, not them, and you are welcome to it," she wrote on one black-and-white shot. "I never thought I'd see the day I'd leave my beautiful country balling my eyes out...when I was so excited to come home." As the candid star continued, "I mean it sucks...for me, I don't see how it's bothering so many others? but I'm a human. It happens...one side of my face is clear and the other is a mess." After addressing the breakout, Rose criticized recent reports, which she claimed chose particular photos of her to fit a narrative about her health and weight. Rose honed in on photos of her back, noting, "This is always my back. I have a tilted posterior (it's why I have abs but no butt) and spinal curvature from a bad car accident." The actress denounced The Daily Mail for a story about fan speculation over her weight, writing, "It is very important to know what an eating disorder is, to know how to speak about it properly when you have such a platform such as a national newspaper." The actress went on to apologize to anyone such a story possibly affected. "From the bottom of my heart I am sorry if those stories triggered anything in anyone. This is the problem with believing tabloids or any news without research... " To prevent future stories based on people's comments to her social media pages, Rose has decided to stop comments altogether. "It's time to take that away from them to protect everyone. I can only do what I can to make this a safe place and I will," she explained. "THIS IS WHY WE CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS LIKE INSTAGRAM COMMENTS," the star continued, quoting Swift's new track, "This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things." "BECAUSE YOU BREAK THEM I HAVE TO TAKE THEM, AWAY... ay ay ay." (Eonline)

Julia Stiles has a few choice words for moms scrutinizing her every move. The actress, who in November welcomed her first child with husband on Preston J. Cook, posted a photo of her carrying baby Strummer Newcomb Cook in a Tula baby carrier. As it turns out, the baby wasn't correctly placed and moms sure did let the actress know in the nastiest way. "No offense to the negative comments... but I'm quite sure the feet being inside and little Strummer's face not being visible were deliberate," one person said in Stile's defense. "Miss Julia is being gracious enough to give us a small peak at her beautiful baby boy and in all honesty doesn't even have to do that. She covered him up as much as possible for the picture to promote the baby carrier... not to show off her son... Geez people, give the woman some credit." "It was brought to my attention that in the previous photo I am not holding my baby correctly," Stiles, 36, started her response in a separate post on Saturday. "Wow, I didn't expect that. What was supposed to be a shout out of products I like, suddenly becomes an invitation to comment on my baby, and my ability as a mother. That's the internet for you... " She says mothers always read the safety instructions, but warned trolls need better things to do with their time. "But also, Instagrammers: instead of writing snarky comments about a 5-week-old, try dancing around your living room to a Clash record. It's way more fun," she snapped. (PageSix)

Nick Carter's partner on "Dancing with the Stars" says him being accused of rape doesn't sound like the guy she knew ... 'cause he was a class act on the show. Pro dancer Sharna Burgess posted a couple videos Saturday defending Nick after Melissa Schuman recently said he raped her in 2002, a claim he's denied. Sharna says Nick was one of the most respectful partners she's had -- going so far as to say he never lashed out at anyone, even during the tensest times in their season ... which is apparently worthy of praise. She prefaced her clips by saying she isn't victim shaming. While she might not be doing that per se, Sharna's definitely giving Nick a ringing endorsement here. That second-place win in 2015 seems to have gone a long way. (TMZ)

Meek Mill just lost some momentum in his bid for freedom, because the judge has denied his request for bail. According to docs, obtained by TMZ, Judge Genece Brinkley says Meek is a "flight risk" and "a danger to the community." In denying him bail, she questioned the validity of his clean drug tests ... suggesting he might have used something called "Fast Flush" to cleanse his system. Brinkley also said Meek might have lied to police and his probation officer about his address. His legal team tells us that's BS, and says the address he's provided is the same one on his driver's license. Meek's lawyer went to court and asked for bail pending an appeal on his 2 to 4 year prison sentence for a probation violation. The violation is tied to Meek's 2008 conviction on drugs and weapons charges. There's a big move to free Meek on grounds the judge was prejudiced ... biased against Meek when he would not change managers or give Judge Brinkley a shout-out in a Boyz II Men song. One of Meek's attorneys, Joe Tacopina, says Brinkley's decision "continues her long pattern of unfair treatment" of Meek ... and vows they will appeal. (TMZ)

Bill O'Reilly is being sued by a woman he settled up with in a harassment case, claiming he violated a clause in their agreement that prohibited him from talking trash about her. Rachel Bernstein, who was a junior producer at FOX News, claims she settled a lawsuit in 2002 for an undisclosed amount. She claimed O'Reilly was extremely abusive toward her. O'Reilly made a statement to The New York Times last April, which triggered Bernstein's lawsuit. O'Reilly said, "In my more than 20 years at Fox News Channel, no one has ever filed a complaint about me with the Human Resources Department, even on the anonymous hotline." Bernstein says O'Reilly's statement is false, claiming she repeatedly complained to HR and various Fox execs. She says O'Reilly insinuated she extorted him which she says is a lie, calling the former FNC host a "serial abuser." (TMZ)

Elton John's Mother Dies at Age 92: "I Am in Shock." Elton John shared some heartbreaking news with fans Monday. "So sad to say that my mother passed away this morning. I only saw her last Monday and I am in shock. Travel safe Mum. Thank you for everything," John tweeted. "I will miss you so much." John, 70, did not reveal the circumstances surrounding 92-year-old Sheila Farebrother's death. The news no doubt comes as a blow to John, who ended their eight-year estrangement last year. Their troubles allegedly began after John told his mother to cut off contact with two of their friends, Bob Halley and John Reid, after a falling out. "I told him, 'I'm not about to do that and drop them. Bob is like a son to me. He has always been marvelous to me and he lives nearby and keeps an eye on me.' Then to my utter amazement, he told me he hated me," she told The Daily Telegraph two years ago. "He then banged the phone down. Imagine! To me, his mother!" Farebrother blamed her son-in-law, David Furnish, for inspiring John to sever ties with Halley and Reid. "I had no intention of dropping John and Bob and I told Elton so. He told me I thought more of Bob Halley than I did of my own son," Farebrother said. "And to that I said to him, 'And you think more of that f--king thing you married than your own mother.'" Farebrother also held a grudge against John for not visiting his stepfather before his death in 2010. "Clearly Elton wasn't worried about him," she told The Daily Telegraph. "He wasn't worried about me, either." In 2016, the music legend spoke about their rift in a Rolling Stone interview. "It upsets me, but to be honest with you, I don't miss her. When she says things in the press, like last year, 'I haven't spoken to Elton since he married that f--king a--hole David Furnish...' That was pretty hard to take," he said. "I don't hate my mother. I look after her, but I don't want her in my life.'" But, John announced in February 2016 they had settled their differences. "Out of respect for my mother's privacy, I have always shied away from speaking publicly about our relationship," the "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" singer told The Daily Mirror. "However, I can say that we are now back in touch and have been so since my mother's 90th birthday." He also wished her a "Happy mother's Day" in 2017, tweeting, "So happy we are back in touch. Love, Elton, xo." By his own admission, John had a difficult relationship with his parents as a child. "They wouldn't hold you," he told Rolling Stone. "They wouldn't say they loved you." John admitted he was "afraid" of his father, who died in 1991 without ever seeing him perform live. "I was walking on eggshells the whole time trying to get his approval. He's been dead for a long time, and I'm still trying to prove things to him. I still do things and say, 'Dad, you would've loved this.'" The eight-time Grammy Award winner said he is still scarred from being beaten by his father as a child. "My mum always says, 'That's just the way we did it in those days, and it didn't affect you,'" he said. "And I'd say, 'What are you talking about? It affects me every day.'" (Eonline)

THE OTHER STUFF . . .

The Sweet Reason Why Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Want a Banana Wedding Cake. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are going bananas over wedding planning! The couple, who announced their engagement last week, are said to want a wedding cake made from bananas, a source told The Telegraph. And the reason why has a romantic twist. In addition to Harry reportedly loving "anything with banana," the fruit has also played a cheeky role in their relationship. Just hours after their budding romance was confirmed in late October of last year, the former Suits actress posted a cryptic image of two cuddling bananas on her Instagram. Alongside the quirky romantic photo, she added the caption, "Sleep tight xx." The unexpected banana post sent royal watchers into a frenzy over the new couple's relationship. And now, just one year later, they're planning to celebrate their big day with a banana cake -- which would be a first for a royal wedding. Harry and Meghan's decision to go with a banana cake is a departure from the norm. Traditionally, the top tier of British wedding cake is a fruit cake, because it lasts long enough to be served at the christening of the couple's first child. But they're not the first royal couple to go their own way when it comes to their wedding day menu. Prince William's groom's cake was made of chocolate biscuits. He and Kate Middleton also served a traditional eight-tiered cake served at their reception at Buckingham Palace. Harry and Meghan's wedding will be in May at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. The couple's Kensington Palace spokesman said the soon-to-be newlyweds are "extremely grateful following the warm public response" to their engagement. "Windsor is a very special place for Prince Harry, and he and Ms. Markle have regularly spent time there during the last year," said the spokesman. "They are delighted that the beautiful grounds of Windsor Castle will be where they begin their lives as a married couple." (People)

Meghan Markle's a Jill of all trades ... at least according to an old acting resume that lists a VERY wide range of talents. The British Royal-to-be's resume, obtained by TMZ, seems to be from before her days on "Suits" ... listing her TV credits on "Fringe" and "Cuts" from years before. It also lists her role as Hot Girl in the 2005 film, "A Lot Like Love." But the real interesting stuff about Prince Harry's new fiancee is in the Skills section ... where Markle boasts she's proficient in just about every sport, including baseball, golf, swimming, horseback riding, snowboarding and even baton twirling. Meghan also claims she's well-versed in more than a dozen forms of dance, speaks 3 languages, sings pop and country and plays guitar, drums ... and finger cymbals. She's also got some circus skills (juggling) and has a few miscellaneous titles ... DJ, masseuse and stripper. No wonder Harry put a ring on it. (TMZ)

Scarlett Johansson and Romain Dauriac shelved whatever differences they have and took their 3-year-old daughter, Rose, on an XMAS shopping spree. The trio hit the stores in New York City Sunday and then took Rose to see the Disney flick "Coco." It didn't stop there ... they went to dinner at Via Quadronno ... a cool Italian restaurant on the Upper East Side. Scarlett and Romain's divorce was final in September and she's currently dating Colin Jost, but clearly co-parenting is a priority for both of them. (TMZ)

Tori Spelling's 9-month-old son Beau Dean is pulling double duty. Not only is the infant the youngest of Spelling and husband Dean McDermott's five kids, he's become a "symbol" for a new phase of the couple's marriage. "I feel like Beau is really the pillar of the rebirth of our relationship because our relationship had to crumble for it to be rebuilt and it was really important that we just start it over," Spelling told PEOPLE a the 7th annual Santa's Secret Workshop event in Los Angeles on Saturday. She continued, "I think Beau is a symbol of that because he's the first baby out of all five that we're raising in a communicative way." Spelling and McDermott -- who wed in May 2006 -- are also parents to Finn Davey, Hattie Margaret, Stella Doreen and Liam Aaron. And while the mom of five once raved about her effortless relationship with McDermott, she admitted that things have certainly changed over the years. "I look back and I remember doing interviews probably seven years ago ... I was like, 'It's easy, we don't have to work at it. We have this great marriage,' " she recalled. "Eleven years later, I'm like, 'It's a lot of work.' It takes work and I took that for granted -- I think we both did. We thought, 'Oh, our relationship just works,' and the truth is, no relationship just works." In spite of their troubled past, Spelling said there has been a silver lining to it all. "I really feel like I found my voice in the relationship," she explained. "It was really empowering for me because my whole life I grew up and I never talked about my feelings ... so I carried that into my relationship." The former 90210 actress jokingly added, "Now I talk too much about my feelings, but it's so much better to talk about stuff." Another thing the parents are working on? Sleep training son Beau. "He has sleep regression, where he was sleeping through the night and now he's not. He's up like three times a night," Spelling said, adding of her and McDermott's tag-team approach, "We're both so sleep deprived, he sleeps in the middle of us and Dean's like, 'Oh my gosh, I think we would not have had this many kids if they had all slept in the bed.'" Although McDermott has never been a fan of co-sleeping with the kids -- "He's like, 'I feel like there has got to be husband and wife time,'" said Spelling -- the couple can't help but spoil their last baby a bit. "He was always adamant so with this last one I was like, he's coming in bed!" she said. "He is the last one so he's getting the baby treatment." (People)

Ed Sheeran Says Beyonce Changes Her Email Address Every Week. It's good to be the Queen. Ed Sheeran revealed in a new interview that his "Perfect" duet partner, Beyonce, is a hard woman to get hold of. "I have an email address that I email that actually changes every week," the British singer, 26, told Entertainment Tonight of how the collaboration happened. "It's kind of like what I aspire to be I think," he said on the Grammy winner's elusiveness in a story posted on Saturday, December 2. "So I emailed that and we got on the phone." The "Shape of You" singer revealed that the collaboration had "been in the works since May." "Obviously she had twins [in June], and we finished it in September, so I've been holding onto it since then," he said of the track, which was released on Thursday, November 30. Sheeran said that the original version of the song was just an acoustic guitar, but after he changed it to a more orchestral sound, Queen Bey had other ideas. "She rung me up and was like, 'I don't know how you feel about this but I've taken all the instruments off it and it's just gonna be acoustic guitar,' and I was like, 'Ah, that's great, because it used to be that!'" Sheeran told ET. He found it easy to collaborate with Beyonce, 36, on the new mix of the song that was originally featured on Sheeran's latest album, ÷ (Divide). "When we got in together, it wasn't so much notes, it was very much like a back and forth thing, like, 'What'd you think of this?' Or 'What do you think of this?' and we were probably in the studio for four hours," he revealed. Asked what he learned from working with the former Destiny's Child singer, Sheeran said, "one-take vocals." "She was just like, 'Right!' Went in, one take, came out, like, 'Yeah, that sounds all right!'" he said. As previously reported, Sheeran, who has performed with Beyonce twice before, also spoke about working with the powerhouse vocalist during an interview with Ellen DeGeneres on Friday, December 1. "The [original] song came out so long ago in the scheme of music ... and I was like, I want to do it as a single, and then I thought of a way of relaunching it," he said. "I was like, 'I love Beyonce. Should I ask Beyonce?' And then in my head, I was like, 'She's going to say no,' but then I was like, 'Well, you might as well ask.' And she said yeah, so here we are." (US Weekly)

The puzzle that is this year's Kardashian Christmas card is slowly but surely coming together. Kim Kardashian West is revealing the family's annual photo piece by piece -- just like a holiday advent calendar -- and Dec. 3 belongs to 2-year-old nephew Reign, the youngest child of Kourtney Kardashian and her former boyfriend Scott Disick. The 37-year-old reality star shared the image of Reign, who stood shirtless against a white background, on Social media. She simply captioned the post, "DAY 3." Kardsahian West appears to be revealing the kids in the family photo first. She kicked off the 25-day countdown on her website, app and social media on Friday with a sneak peek of a panorama that featured son Saint, who turns 2 on Dec. 5. The second day belonged to 4-year-old daughter North, when photographer Eli Linnetz shared a teaser shot of her gazing up at her mama. This year's long-awaited holiday card will be Saint's first, as he was only a few weeks old when sister North and cousins Penelope, Mason and Reign Disick starred in the 2015 photo wearing coordinating, chic black outfits. The family opted to not release a card in 2016. The Kardashian-Jenner family Christmas card has become highly-anticipated over the years. The reality stars have done everything from posing in glamorous gowns on the stairs in 2010 to testing out a 3D version in 2011 and even a chaotic carnival in 2013. But in 2015, after a tumultuous year, the Kardashian-Jenners decided to go back to basics and settled on a sweet, simple photo of the youngest family members set against a plain white backdrop. This year, the KKW Beauty entrepreneur took on the role of organizing the Christmas card shoot. "This year's Christmas card is shot really casually. We're kind of doing jeans and T-shirts vibe. Really cute. All the kids are so hard to put together," Kardashian West said in November during her appearance on The Late Late Show. "It's women and children this year." The family has already been spotted getting into the holiday spirit. The sisters went shopping together for Christmas trees in October and the whole family was spotted shooting a Christmas special the same month. (People)

Samuel L. Jackson's name was invoked during a crazy arrest at LAX this weekend, where cops say weapons were found on a guy claiming SLJ's his uncle. An unidentified man got busted at the airport Sunday for carrying what police say were multiple weapons, including knives, a long piece of rebar and a handful of tools. During the arrest, you can hear him say, "My uncle's Samuel Jackson. Samuel L. Jackson!" It's unclear what, if any, relation the actor might have been to him. Law enforcement sources tell us police were alerted to a suspicious man hanging around the airport with a bow and arrow. When cops approached, we're told he booked it which set off a brief chase ... which ended when cops tazed him and took him down. The man was taken to a hospital by ambulance, apparently having suffered injuries during the arrest. He was booked for possession of a dagger and resisting arrest. As for Samuel ... he's probably tired of these motherf****** mentions. (TMZ)

The NFL tried buying their players off with nearly $100 million so they'd stop kneeling and protesting at games ... but apparently it didn't work. The NFL recently proposed a deal in which they'd contribute $89 million over seven years to 2 organizations focused on African-American causes, as well as to the Players Coalition so they could use the money for whatever causes they wanted. In exchange, the NFL wanted the National Anthem protests to end -- but the deal seems to have failed. Many players continued to kneel and demonstrate during this week's games. The L.A. Chargers' left tackle Russel Okung raised his fist during the National Anthem Sunday, and the Oakland Raiders' Marshawn Lynch remained seated for the song. L.A. Rams player Robert Quinn raised his fist as well, and other players linked arms in solidarity. At least 6 other players between Miami, New Orleans and San Francisco all took a knee after some of them publicly raised issues with the proposed deal from their bosses. Back to the drawing board. (TMZ)

Music

Sam Smith Visits Jordanian Refugee Camp as Warchild Global Ambassador. "Please, please, please" help the singer urges followers. Sam Smith has seen first-hand the devastating effect that war can have on families and children and in a touching new video he's encouraging his fans to lend a hand during this holiday season of giving. "To my wonderful fans, I am so excited to announce that I have become a global ambassador for the incredible humanitarian group @WarChildUK," Smith wrote in an early morning tweet on Monday (Dec. 4) featuring pictures of him with two of the children he's met during his trips this year with the charitable group to Iraq and Jordan. Smith said he was honored to be part of the incredible WarChild team and is "truly excited" to help them raise as much money and awareness as possible, urging his fans to donate to the group's winter appeal. "I'm here in Amman as an ambassador of WarChild," Smith says in a video chronicling his journey. "If what had happened to these kids had happened to me as a kid I know for a fact I would be angry," he says. Despite the grim conditions, Smith says that when he visited the Jordanian camp what he found was something "really positive" going on with the WarChild team spreading love and compassion. "It was just amazing to me," he says. "The things that I have seen ignites a fire in me... Please, please, please help." (Billboard)

Ellie Goulding Honored as UN Environment Global Goodwill Ambassador. Ellie Goulding, the chart-topping, award-winning British artist, has been appointed a UN Environment Global Goodwill Ambassador. Just weeks after collecting a Global Leadership Award from the UN, the singer and songwriter now joins the ongoing battle to clean up the environment, tackle climate change and protect endangered species. It's no small task, and she knows it. "It's a huge honor to become a UN Environment Global Goodwill Ambassador," Ellie said in a statement, 'Yes, we face huge global challenges, but we are also taking game-changing steps forward and that should inspire us." In her new UN role, Goulding will focus "on amplifying the activism of young people committed to creating a bright future. I want as many people as possible to become advocates for the planet." The 30-year-old pop star shared the news in Kenya, surrounded by giraffes at the Giraffe Manor in the suburbs of the capital Nairobi, where UN Environment has its HQ. UN Goodwill Ambassadors often use their fame to deliver their urgent and universal message. Goulding, with a streak of star power and a hunger for hard work, fits the bill. In 2010, Goulding doubled up by collecting the BBC's annual Sound of... poll and taking out the Critics' Choice Award at the Brit Awards. The following year, she won the Brit Award for best female solo artist. Her debut album Lights hit No. 1 in the U.K. on its release in 2010, as did its successor, Halcyon in 2012. Her third and most recent set, 2015's Delirium, peaked at No. 3 in the U.S. and U.K. Goulding also has two U.K. No. 1 singles to her name and a pair of U.S. top 5 hits, including 2012's "Lights," which reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. In October, the United Nations Foundation honored Goulding with the New Voices Award in recognition of her environmental and social justice activism. (Billboard)

Garth Brooks Achieves First Country Airplay No. 1 in 10 Years With 'Ask Me How I Know'. Brooks earns his 19th No. 1 & first since "More Than a Memory" in 2007. He also adds his 17th leader on Top Country Albums. Superstar Garth Brooks tops Billboard's Country Airplay chart for the first time since 2007, as "Ask Me How I Know" ascends 2-1 on the chart dated Dec. 16, increasing 8 percent to 43.3 million audience impressions in the week ending Dec. 3, according to Nielsen Music. "I'm so proud of the Pearl Records team for working so hard for this No. 1," Brooks says. "Congrats to [writer] Mitch Rossell on his first cut-so happy for you, pal! And, to country radio: four decades later, thanks for still believing. I'm humbled and very grateful." The coronation is Brooks' 19th and first since Sept. 15, 2007, when "More Than a Memory" became the only song to debut atop the chart, ending a 10-year, three-month gap between No. 1s, the second-longest for an act in a lead role on each track; Tracy Lawrence waited 11 years (and one day) between "Texas Tornado" in 1996 and "Find Out Who Your Friends Are" in 2007. "Memory" itself ended what's now the third-longest break between leaders (by acts in lead roles), as it became Brooks' first No. 1 since "To Make You Feel My Love" on Aug. 1, 1998. (In 2000, Brooks went on hiatus to help raise his three daughters.) Brooks, who won his record sixth entertainer of the year award at the Country Music Association Awards (Nov. 8) and reigns as the top-selling album artist (72 million) since Nielsen Music began tracking U.S. sales in 1991, is one of eight artists with Country Airplay leaders in the 1990s, 2000s and 10s, joining Trace Adkins, Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith, Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw and Brad Paisley. Brooks first led Country Airplay with "The Dance" on July 14, 1990 (after the list launched that January; he first topped Hot Country Songs with "If Tomorrow Never Comes" on Dec. 9, 1989). As for Rossell, "Ask" is the second straight Country Airplay leader penned by just one author, following LANCO's "Greatest Love Story," written by frontman Brandon Lancaster. Meanwhile, Brooks simultaneously rules Billboard's Top Country Albums chart as The Anthology: Part 1, The First Five Years strides 2-1, earning 57,000 equivalent album units (up 7 percent), all in traditional album sales. The box set, which chronicles his 1989 to 1993 rise and is available only on CD, rises following sale-pricing timed to the Black Friday shopping holiday on Nov. 24. Brooks banks his 17th Top Country Albums No. 1, tying Willie Nelson for the second-most leaders. Brooks' musical idol George Strait reigns with 26 No. 1s. Brooks simultaneously paces Country Airplay and Top Country Albums for the first time since Jan. 3, 1998, when "Longneck Bottle" led the former and Sevens dominated the latter. (Billboard)

Movies

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Teaser Has Chris Pratt Running for His Life. The new teaser for the sequel to Jurassic World is here and once again, "Life finds a way..." The high-octane teaser, which is just 15 seconds, is packed with drama and comes out five days before the first full trailer for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom debuts on Dec. 7. The teaser shows Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard who will reprise their roles as raptor trainer Owen Grady and park operations manager Claire Dearing, and Justice Smith on the run from a menacing foe. Ted Levine, Rafe Spall, Toby Jones, Geraldine Chaplin, and Daniella Pineda will also be in the film. In June, Universal Pictures revealed on Twitter the first poster for the sequel. The image bears some fiery debris and the tag line, "Life Finds a Way" -- a call-back to a line Jeff Goldblum's omininous line in Jurassic Park, the movie that started it all, when he talks about how living species will find a way to survive even in seemingly impossible circumstances. The actor, who starred in the first two films in the '90s, is set to reprise his role as Ian Malcolm in the new film. Howard talked to E! News last year about her character's transformation in Jurassic World, and noted that her super impractical white high heels will not be making a comeback. In Jurassic World, Owen and Claire work to stop a terrifying hybrid dinosaur, Indominus rex, who was freed from its cage and wreaks havoc upon the park and its dino-loving guests. Jurassic World made more than $1.67 billion worldwide -- more than all three of the original Jurassic Park movies made individually. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom bites its way into theaters on June 22, 2018. (Eonline)

Master P is going back to slangin' cell phones for the big screen -- but this time he wants a bunch of nobodys to join him. P tells us he's working on the sequel to his 1998 movie, "I Got the Hook-Up" ... only now, he'll be looking to cast some unknown talent to star in it. We're told P plans to reprise his role, except with all the technology updates since '98. It's also gonna star some big names, including his son, Romeo, who's co-producing the flick with his pops. Here's the catch ... P's hosting an open casting call on social media to find an unknown actor to fill a big role, plus smaller ones too. P says he believes there's a lot of potential in social media standouts, and wants to give these folks their big break. And, of course, he wants any followers they can bring along. One last thing -- the first 'Hook-Up' was distributed by Dimension, which is owned by Bob Weinstein. P says he hasn't decided on a distributor yet, but Dimension won't be 1 of 'em. (TMZ)

TV

House of Cards' Final Season Will Happen Without Kevin Spacey. It seems the House has weathered the storm. Netflix's content chief Ted Sarandos announced House of Cards will indeed carry on with Robin Wright as the focal point. "We are excited to bring closure to fans," Sarandos said at a USB conference. E! News has learned the final season will be eight episodes and likely resume production in early 2018. Production on the final season of House of Cards was put on hold after allegations of sexual misconduct leveled at Kevin Spacey by Star Trek: Discovery actor Anthony Rapp, extended to allow the writers to reshape the final season of the Emmy-winning drama. After numerous other allegations were leveled, Netflix announced it would not move forward with more House of Cards with Spacey. "Netflix will not be involved with any further production of House of Cards that includes Kevin Spacey. We will continue to work with MRC during this hiatus time to evaluate out path forward as it relates to the show," Netflix said in a statement in early November. "We have also decided we will not be moving forward with the release of the film Gore, which was in post-production, starring and produced by Kevin Spacey." "While we continue the ongoing investigation into the serious allegations concerning Kevin Spacey's behavior on the set of House of Cards, he has been suspended, effective immediately. MRC, in partnership with Netflix, will continue to evaluate a creative path forward for the program during the hiatus," MRC said November 3. That left the show with a problem: Rewrite a show that already had been written and already completed production on two episodes. "These last two months have tested and tried all of us in ways none of us could have foreseen. The one thing we have learned throughout this process is that this production is bigger than just one person and we could not be more proud to be associated with one of the most loyal and talented production cast and crews in this business," MRC's senior vice president of television business and legal affairs, Pauline Micelli, said in a letter explaining the longer hiatus to the House of Cards cast and crew. So what will become of Spacey's Frank Underwood? That remains to be seen. The series ended season five with Wright's Claire Underwood as president and unwilling to pardon her husband, as originally planned. In a twist, Claire turned to the camera and spoke directly to the audience for the first time. "My turn," she said. (Eonline)

Why The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel's Duo Is Just So Damn Dynamic. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel hails from Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino, and while it's set in New York City in the 1950s, there are more than a few delightful similarities between the shows. There's the signature rapid dialogue, the sweeping camera shots, the complicated familial dynamics and of course the interesting, three-dimensional relationship between the two lead female characters: Midge Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) and Susie Myerson (Alex Borstein). This isn't Lorelai and Rory Gilmore for a new generation, it's something different. "I always say it's like Mary and Rhoda. They're very, very different. You can't imagine they'd be friends, and yet they need each other. It's similar to Getting On," Borstein told E! News, citing her critically-acclaimed HBO comedy about a nurses and doctors in a beleaguered medical facility. "It's really cool, these women that absolutely have to lean on each other are better people because of their relationship together." On The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, there's a respect and admiration each woman has for one another, Midge the aspiring stand-up comic and Susie, Midge's manager and comedy guru. That's not to say Lorelai and Rory didn't respect each other, but there was still the mother-daughter relationship. On Mrs. Maisel, these two characters, from wildly different worlds, are united over the love of comedy and the dream of success. "They're very rich and they're very complicated," Sherman-Palladino told E! News about the allure of female friendships. "Look, all relationships are complicated, but I think women relationships are especially fraught with peril, especially two women like this who are so completely different. One who sort of revels in her femininity and is proud of it and while not defined by it, it is a giant portion of who she is. And another one who just feels like, 'How the f--k did I get -- why am I woman?'... Especially in 1958 when women's roles are very clearly defined -- someone like Susie is like, 'What the hell am I doing here?' I think just that journey between two people whose frame of reference for what their lives should be and what will make them happy are so completely different." "And so far it's a completely professional relationship," executive producer Daniel Palladino said. "They take no interest in each other's personal life whatsoever." "At all. Because they have nothing to talk about," Sherman-Palladino added. That's not without trying. Midge does inquire about Susie's personal life and family in an episode, but is quickly shot down and learns things on Susie's terms. "Just a little tiny bit, but generally they pass the Bechdel test in every episode for sure. It's a really fun dynamic," Palladino said. "The two actresses read together at some point and it just sort of was like, how they mesh together like this so naturally -- " "It's so weird," Sherman-Palladino added. "Was really, really kind of surprising, I think to all of us, but they just truly meshed personally and peacefully on screen," Palladino said. "You can't cast chemistry. You see these movies where they put these wonderful actors together, and you can't wait to see them together, and then you see them together and you're like, 'Huh?...' But for some reason from the first moment when Alex and Rachel stood in a room together we were like, 'Oh, that's going to work. That s--t's going to work,'" Sherman-Palladino added. In the season one finale, Midge shares she slept with her estranged husband and later in the episode, Susie comes face-to-face with a distraught Joel (Michael Zegen) and reads him the riot act -- Midge is going to be a success without him. "These are two women who, under normal circumstances, may never have met, let alone become friends and let alone become the kind of friends who need each other, who kind of complete each other in some way," Brosnahan said. "This really deep female friendship is something that I love and don't see enough of on screen, and I'm really excited to see where it goes. I love working with Alex so much." The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season one is now streaming on Amazon. Season two has already been announced, but no premiere date given. (Eonline)

Could Gayle King be counting down the days until she leaves television? "I don't see myself on TV at 70, but never say never," the "CBS This Morning" anchor quipped in a lengthy and insightful piece about life and love with Refinery 29. She has been with CBS since 2012. At 62, King appears to be happy with her life and where it's going. She, however, would like one of her two kids, Kirby and Will, to give her grandchildren soon. "I don't think I'll be the stay-at-home, babysitting kind of grandma," she said. "I'm thinking I would want to kick back. Maybe I'll be in California with another radio show and some outdoor space! But right now, I have no intentions of slowing down." Elsewhere, King reveals the biggest misconception of her. "I guess that I'm just Oprah [Winfrey]'s best friend," she quipped. "But I don't get hung up on that. Because even when people say she's just Oprah's best friend... well, that ain't a bad thing! I never felt like I had to justify my existence, because the truth of the matter is, that's how most people did get to know me, as Oprah's best friend." (Page Six)

HBO Europe Lands Kit Harington's 'Gunpowder'. The 17th century thriller miniseries, produced by Endemol Shine Group's Kudos banner, has already aired on the BBC. HBO Europe has struck a deal with Endemol Shine Group to bring miniseries Gunpowder to the Nordics, Central and Eastern Europe and Spain later this year. Produced by Endemol Shine's Kudos banner (Broadchurch, Spooks) in association with Kit Harington's Thriker Films and commissioned by BBC One, the 17th century thriller about the failed attempt by Guy Fawkes and his team to blow up London's Houses of Parliament has already sold to HBO in North America and premiered on the BBC in October. Gunpowder stars Harington (Game of Thrones), Peter Mullan (Top of the Lake), Mark Gatiss (Sherlock) and Liv Tyler (Lord of the Rings), and was written by Ronan Bennett (Top Boy, Hidden), with J. Blakeson (The Disappearance of Alice Creed) directing. "It is a pleasure to offer our many subscribers across Europe an early Christmas gift in the form of this new and exciting miniseries," said Ragnhild Thorbech, HBO Europe's senior vp acquisitions and programming. "Not only fans of Kit Harington, but also thriller fans can look forward to this historical, explosive miniseries event." The program was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, BBC director of content, and Piers Wenger, BBC controller drama commissioning. Executive producers are Ollie Madden for Kudos, Matthew Read for the BBC, and Ronan Bennett. Harington and Daniel West are co-executive producers for Thriker Films, and Laurie Borg is producing. Endemol Shine International holds global distribution rights. (Hollywood Reporter)

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