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Desert Radio AZ LIVE!

Friday, March 30, 2018

ADOT’s commercial truck training saves drivers time, money Next cross-border training scheduled for April 3-4

NOGALES – More than 1,300 truck drivers from Mexico have now completed training from Arizona Department of Transportation safety inspectors through an innovative program that is making Arizona’s inspection process more efficient and Arizona roads safer. 

That number includes drivers trained at Arizona border ports of entry in Douglas, Nogales and San Luis, as well as about 320 drivers trained in a unique two-day training program at locations in Mexico. More than 30 additional drivers are expected to attend a training session in Nogales, Sonora, in the first week of April.

“The large numbers of drivers from Mexico who continue to ask for safety training from our officers is a testimony about how important and how effective this program has become in less than two years,” said Tim Lane, director of ADOT’s Enforcement and Compliance Division.

ADOT’s Border Liaison Unit began conducting classes in fall 2016 to educate truck drivers and company leaders from Mexico about safety inspection requirements for drivers who cross the international border. These half-day classes, held in Arizona, address such things as acceptable tire wear and securing loads.

On July 31, 2017, inspectors began taking the classes to convenient locations in Mexico to reach even more drivers. International Border Inspection Qualification classes in Mexico take two days and require drivers to pass written and field exams to become qualified.

Qualified drivers earn the right to contact inspectors using a smartphone application, WhatsApp. Drivers can send photos and ask questions before approaching the border so they can make any needed repairs more conveniently and more affordably on their own property. So far, 83 drivers have communicated with inspectors using WhatsApp, and 75 have used the information to prevent their trucks from being removed for service for repairs.

The classes are popular with the Mexican trucking industry. In February drivers from Mexicali, Baja California, travelled about 100 miles to take part in the IBIQ program in San Luis. Other classes have been held as far south as the Sonoran capital of Hermosillo.

The impact of the program has been dramatic. Historically, about 5 percent of drivers who enter Arizona from Mexico have their trucks stopped at the border for needed safety repairs. But among IBIQ qualified drivers, trucks have been stopped just eight times in about 2,400 border crossings – about one-third of 1 percent.

In addition, Arizona inspectors can focus their efforts on higher risk trucks, such as those with a history of violations and those with non-IBIQ drivers. That resulted in more safety violations discovered despite fewer intensive 37-point inspections.

“We are stopping unsafe trucks from driving on Arizona roads, but at the same time we are encouraging international commerce by not unnecessarily delaying trucks by qualified drivers,” Lane said.

ADOT Director John Halikowski praised the program as an example of binational collaboration that benefits both Arizona and Sonora. That collaboration also led to the creation of Mexico’s first safety corridor on the road from Arizona to Rocky Point, Sonora. Mexico implemented the safety corridor March 5 after getting traffic incident management training from ADOT leaders.

The International Border Inspection Qualification program stems from ADOT’s use of the Arizona Management System championed by Governor Doug Ducey. This approach to continuous improvement empowers employees at state agencies to come up with innovative ways to better serve customers.

Sections of Loop 202 (Santan Freeway) in the East Valley closed for part of the weekend

Sections of the Loop 202 (Santan Freeway) in east Mesa and Gilbert will be closed for part of this weekend while construction crews install traffic technology, including cameras and traffic-flow sensors along the freeway. Drivers should allow extra travel time and use available detours while the following restrictions are in place:

Eastbound Loop 202 will be closed between Williams Field and Higley roads from 10 p.m. Friday, March 30, to 9 a.m. Saturday, March 31. Drivers should consider using alternate routes, including eastbound Williams Field Road to northbound Higley Road to access Loop 202 beyond the closure.

Northbound Loop 202 will be closed between Guadalupe and Broadway roads from 10 p.m. Saturday, March 31, to 9 a.m. Sunday, April 1. Both US 60 (Superstition Freeway) ramps to northbound Loop 202 will remain open. Alternate routes include northbound Ellsworth Road to westbound Broadway Road to access Loop 202 beyond the closure.

The westbound Loop 202 on-ramp at Higley Road will be closed from 10 p.m. Saturday, March 31, to 9 a.m. Sunday, April 1. Alternate routes include southbound Higley Road or southbound Val Vista Drive to Williams Field Road to access the Loop 202 on-ramp.

Schedules are subject to change based on weather and other unforeseen factors. For more information, please call the ADOT Project Information Line at 855.712.8530 or email For real-time highway conditions statewide, visit ADOT's Traveler Information Site at, follow ADOT on Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) or call 511, except when driving.

Weekend Travel Advisory March 30 - April 2, 2018

Drivers should be aware of the following restrictions this weekend:
Eastbound Loop 202 (Santan Freeway) closed between Williams Field and Higley roads from 10 p.m. Friday to 9 a.m. Saturday
Northbound Loop 202 (Santan/Red Mountain freeways) closed between Guadalupe and Broadway and roads from 10 p.m. Saturday to 9 a.m. Sunday 

Lane closures on Interstate 10 at Wilmot Road in Tucson

The Arizona Department of Transportation advises drivers to plan for the following restrictions on I-10 at Wilmot Road in Tucson:

Westbound I-10 at Wilmot Road will be reduced to one lane daily (alternating lane closures) from 8 p.m. Monday, April 2 to 5 a.m. Wednesday, April 4.
Eastbound I-10 at Wilmot Road will be reduced to one lane daily (alternating lane closures) from 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 3 to 5 a.m. Thursday, April 5.
There will be a 14-foot width restriction in place. Oversize vehicles must use frontage road between Craycroft and Valencia roads.

Drivers should proceed through the work zone with caution, slow down and watch for construction personnel and equipment.

For more information please visit the project website.

Schedules are subject to change based on weather and other unforeseen factors. For more information, please call the ADOT Project Information Line at 855.712.8530 or email For real-time highway conditions statewide, visit ADOT’s Traveler Information Site at, follow ADOT on Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) or call 511, except while driving.

Lane restrictions continue on Interstate 10 between Dragoon and Johnson roads east of Benson at Texas Canyon Rest Areas

The Arizona Department of Transportation advises drivers to plan for the following restrictions on I-10 between Dragoon  and Johnson roads east of Benson at the Texas Canyon Rest Areas:

Westbound I-10 will be reduced to one lane (right lane will be closed) at milepost 319 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, April 2.
Westbound I-10 will be reduced to one lane (right lane will be closed) at milepost 319 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 4.
Eastbound I-10 will be reduced to one lane (right lane will be closed) at milepost 321 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 4.
Vehicles are restricted to 16-foot width limit.

Drivers should proceed through the work zone with caution, slow down and watch for construction personnel and equipment.

For more information please visit the project website.

Schedules are subject to change based on weather and other unforeseen factors. For more information, please call the ADOT Project Information Line at 855.712.8530 or email For real-time highway conditions statewide, visit ADOT’s Traveler Information Site at, follow ADOT on Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) or call 511, except while driving.

Interstate 10 narrowed near Queen Creek Road south of Chandler beginning the week of Monday, April 2

The Arizona Department of Transportation is scheduled to complete freeway lighting work on Interstate 10 near Queen Creek Road during overnight hours beginning the week of Monday, April 2. Drivers should allow extra travel time and use alternate routes if necessary while the following restrictions are in place:

Eastbound I-10 will be narrowed to one lane near Queen Creek Road, south of Chandler, from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. beginning Monday, April 2, through Wednesday, April 4.
The eastbound I-10 off-ramp at Queen Creek Road will be closed from 9 p.m. Monday, April 2, to 5 a.m. Tuesday, April 3.
The eastbound I-10 on-ramp at Queen Creek Road will be closed from 9 p.m. Tuesday, April 3, to 5 a.m. Wednesday, April 4.
Westbound I-10 will be narrowed to one lane near Queen Creek Road from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m.beginning Wednesday, April 4, to Friday, April 6.
The westbound I-10 off-ramp at Queen Creek Road will be closed from 9 p.m. Wednesday, April 4, to 5 a.m. Thursday, April 5.
The westbound I-10 on-ramp at Queen Creek Road will be closed from 9 p.m. Thursday, April 5, to 5 a.m. Friday, April 6.

Schedules are subject to change based on weather and other unforeseen factors. For more information, please call the ADOT Project Information Line at 855.712.8530 or email For real-time highway conditions statewide, visit ADOT's Traveler Information Site at, follow ADOT on Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) or call 511, except when driving.

Ripping up the internet!!!

Desert Radio AZ's Movie Critic...


Epic OOPS!
After about four hours of deliberating, the jurors decided Marco Antonio Parilla, Jr. would be sentenced to life in prison for killing Tarpon Springs officer Charles Kondek. But when the court clerk read the verdict in court, he announced Parilla had been sentenced to death! Of course the Kondek family was elated and the courtroom erupted in cheers. But realizing the mistake, the jurors were horrified. After noticing the error, Pinellas Circuit judge Joseph Bulone instructed the jurors to fill out a new form. This time, it read life in prison. It's unclear what exactly led to the error. Most jurors did not return a reporter's calls or declined to comment. For Chief Assistant State Attorney Bruce Bartlett and defense attorney Bjorn Brunvand, this is the first time they've seen a wrong sentence announced in a capital case. The jury's decision wasn't what the Kondek family hoped for. Shortly after the verdict, Kondek's widow, Teresa, said the mishap "devastated" her family. Parilla shot and killed Kondek, a 17-year veteran, while he was responding to a noise complaint on Dec. 21, 2014. (

You Won't Believe Who's Getting Fan Mail
This will turn your stomach. Nikolas Cruz - the Parkland shooter - is getting stacks of fan mail, including love letters and lewd photos, mostly from women. In one sent from Texas, the writer identifies herself as an 18-year-old high school senior before sharing her breast size. "Your eyes are beautiful and the freckles on your face make you so handsome," she writes. A letter sent by a woman in Chicago was accompanied by nine photos. One showed cleavage, another showed a bikini-clad woman eating a Popsicle. Other letters provide words of encouragement, offers of friendship, or money to be added to Cruz's commissary account, hovering around $800. Howard Finkelstein, Broward County's public defender said, "I've never seen this many letters to a defendant." As Cruz remains on suicide watch, he has yet to receive any mail, which is screened by jail officials. Finkelstein says, "We read a few religious ones to him that extended wishes for his soul and to come to God, but we have not and will not read him the fan letters or share the photos of scantily clad teenage girls." It's that "perverted" mail that "scares" Finkelstein, and a case out of central Florida might explain why: According to the Polk County Sheriff's Office, a 13-year-old boy who idolized and collected photos of Cruz admitted Saturday that he wanted to be "the next school shooter" and "kill a lot of kids," per the New York Post. The teen was arrested on suspicion of felony aggravated stalking. (South Florida Sun Sentinel)

In Florida, Pregnancy and Bad Chinese Food Are Apparently the Same
In Pensacola, Florida, 29-year-old Crystal Gail Amerson woke up around 4 a.m. Sunday with stomach pains that had her running back and forth between the bathroom and bedroom for more than an hour. She thought it was bad Chinese food she had the night before. Nope. Turns out she was actually 37 weeks pregnant and was on the verge of giving birth to her second son. Oliver James was born at 6:59 a.m. and Amerson says, "The stomach pains were just excruciating and I could hardly move. I think it was about 6:30 (a.m.) when (the ambulance) got there. ... It escalated so quickly that I was having contractions and we figured out kind of what was going on because at first we really didn't know what was going on." So how is this possible? Amerson had already been through one pregnancy but said she was never the type to feel a lot of the symptoms typically aligned with pregnancy, such as morning sickness. She also said she didn't notice much weight gain. Dr. Julie DeCesare, an obstetrician-gynecologist with Sacred Heart Hospital, said it is possible for a woman to learn of her pregnancy just hours before going into labor, but in her 20 years of practice, she's only witnessed it three times. Amerson said the EMT who helped deliver Oliver had never delivered a baby solo before, so there were a lot of firsts that morning. As for the Chinese food, Great China on West Nine Mile Road won't be receiving a negative Yelp review. It was a false alarm, Great China, you're good. (Pensacola News Journal)

Damn Trumpet Players
A viola player in Britain has won an unusual legal case against the Royal Opera House - one seen as groundbreaking in the music industry. Chris Goldscheider says he got blasted so loudly by the brass section during a 2012 rehearsal that it permanently wrecked his hearing and ended his music career. Well this week, Britain's High Court of Justice agreed the 45-year-old suffered "acoustic shock" during the rehearsal of Wagner's Die Walkure and is entitled to damages. Goldscheider is asking for about $1 million in lost wages; the court will decide the amount later. "This is the first time that the court has explored the music industry's legal obligations towards the hearing of musicians, and the first time that acoustic shock has been recognized as a compensatable condition by the court," says Goldscheider's attorney. That particular piece by Wagner is notoriously loud, and Goldscheider had the misfortune of sitting directly in front of the brass section. At one point, the volume reached more than 130 decibels, the equivalent of a jet engine a mere 100 feet away. Goldscheider had been wearing orchestra-supplied ear plugs, but he says they weren't enough to protect him from the booming trumpets, horns, and trombones, with the principal trumpet singled out as the main villain. He quit the music business for good in 2014 and says he had to move his family to the country to avoid city noises. (BBC)

Stupidity Reaches New High... in Florida - Of Course!
In Defuniak Springs, Florida, 24-year-old Aaron Keith Clark learned real quick that taunting deputies while on your four-wheeler with a beer in your hand is a really bad idea. Deputies had attempted a traffic stop on three four wheelers for driving on a county maintained road. Two of the four wheelers stopped while a third fled from the scene. That was Mr. Clark who later returned to the traffic stop and began taunting the deputy and driving in circles in the middle of the road shouting "Come and get me!" The four-wheeler accelerated rapidly toward the front of a patrol car and swerved around it. Clark was also seen holding a beer can in his left hand and yelling as he went by. Ultimately, deputies arrested Clark at his residence and he was taken into custody. He told deputies he did not remember the incident due to being intoxicated. He also apologized. He's charged with fleeing and attempting to elude and reckless driving. (Walton County Sheriff's Office)

For the First Time Since Fisher
For the first time in almost 50 years, an American could be crowned world chess champion. Not since Bobby Fischer nabbed the title in 1972 has a US-born player even made it to the final table of the world tournament. But Fabiano Caruana just secured his seat. After three weeks of play in Berlin, the US grandmaster, ranked third in the world, rose above seven top players to win the Candidates Tournament, meaning he'll face Norway's Magnus Carlsen in London in November. Caruana's victory looked shaky after a loss to Russia's Sergey Karjakin, who beat him in the 2016 tournament and went on to lose to Carlsen. But the 25-year-old rallied in a final, six-hour match to take home $118,000 in winnings. The Miami-born Caruana says, "I am absolutely thrilled." He started playing chess at an after-school program at age five after his family moved to Brooklyn. For a time the youngest grandmaster in US history, Caruana went on to join the US chess team, which he rejoined in 2015 after a move to Italy. predicts Caruana's chance of stealing Carlsen's title is about 30%. Still, "Fabiano is the single most dangerous challenger that Magnus could face," said four-time US chess champion Yasser Seirawan. "It will be a tough fight but I'll come well-prepared," said Caruana. (Guardian)

What the What?
In Pulaski County, Kentucky, deputies say 36-year-old Kenneth Gill went to a home on Holiness Church Road in the Tateville community and stood in the road spinning nunchucks. According to an arrest citation, Gill tried to get a 15-year-old boy to "come down into the road and fight him." Gill then stepped onto the property, saying he was the owner and had a right to because he was a Kentucky State Trooper, before leaving the area. After a lengthy search, deputies say a neighbor found Gill under a porch. While being arrested, Gill told deputies that he was an FBI agent, and had to be forced into a patrol car. He's been charged with impersonating a peace officer, resisting arrest, carrying a concealed weapon, disorderly conduct (2nd degree), wanton endangerment (2nd degree), terroristic threatening (3rd degree) and criminal trespassing (3rd degree). Da-yum! (WKYT News)


  • Everyday in the U.S., five bicycle riders are injured riding into an open car door. 
  • Close to 90% of people surveyed said if their babysitter asked for a raise, they'd give it to them. 
  • Around 4% of us would rather give up showering for a month than lose their Wi-Fi. 
  • Almost 50% of Americans lie when they go to the doctor. 
  • 28% of people will attend a garage sale in the next month. 
  • Tailgating is the most common trigger for road rage.


  • Rapper DMX has been sentenced to one year in prison for tax fraud. 
  • Sarah Jessica Parker has endorsed Cynthia Nixon for governor of New York. 
  • The percentage of individuals receiving tax audits declined for the sixth consecutive year in 2017 to reach the lowest level since 2002. 
  • John McCain's memoir, "The Restless Wave," comes out May 22nd and is said to hold nothing back. Which makes you wonder what he will say about President Trump. 
  • Quinton Peron and Napoleon Jinnies have both been named to the Los Angeles Rams squad. Yes, the NFL's first two male cheerleaders. 
  • A waiter fired from a restaurant in Canada claims he's not rude and aggressive like his former managers and co-workers say, he's simply French. 
  • Tickets for this year's Burning Man celebration sold out in 30 minutes on Wednesday. Within a half hour of the noon opening bell, 26,000 tickets were sold at $425 each. 
  • Kendra Wilkinson is filing for divorce from husband Hank Baskett. 
  • Gwyneth Paltrow shared a nice family photo of her, her ex, Chris Martin and their kids. 
  • Saudi Arabia and a bank are teaming up to build the world's largest solar power plant.


On this date in 1822, Florida became a U.S. property. The 11-member council voted 23-1 to approve it. Yeah, they've always had trouble counting down there.

In 1842, Dr. Crawford W. Long of Jefferson, Georgia, first used ether as an anesthetic during a minor operation. It worked great, but it worked even better the second time when he gave it to the patient instead.

On this date in 1853, a patent was granted for the invention of a pencil with an attached eraser on the end.
  • Nobody's perfect... which is, of course, why he invented it. 
  • Of course, for those of us who don't need erasers... they're useless. 
  • You know, you always hear about #2 pencils. Whatever happened to #1? 
  • It was actually written down as the date from the day before, but of course, he fixed it. 
  • For a while, he erased everything he had written. Then he moved the erase to the other end of the pencil. 
  • Of course, they had to work out the bugs. At first, it was at the same end as the lead point... and as soon as you wrote something, it was erased. 

Truth be told, Irving Glickmount of Topanka, Minnesota, originally had the idea of attaching the eraser. Unfortunately, he attached it to the end of his gun. Needless to say, his first mistake was his last.

On this date in 1867, the U.S. agreed to buy Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million. The deal was handled by Century 19 Real Estate.

In 1870, the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, giving men the right to vote regardless of race. Yep, just men. Wow. Progressive.

On this date in 1950, the photo-transistor was invented. Finally, photos were able to listen to the radio!

In 1987, "Platoon" won four Academy Awards. Yep, the ceremony ran really long that year, too.


Former Seahawk now 49-er Richard Sherman turns the big 3-0. He plans a quiet evening at home until it comes time to yell out his candles. Not enough birthday cake in the world to fill that mouth.

Geetali Norah Shankar is celebrating her 39th birthday today. You know her by her stage name, Nora Jones. She is the daughter of Ravi Shankar, who was a collaborator with the Beatles many years ago.

Mark Consuelos -- that's Mr. Kelly Rippen -- turns 47 today. Kelly likes to call him "Regis 2" around the house.

Celine Dion is still going on -- she's turns the big 5-0 today.

British talk show guy, Piers Morgan is only 53. I had him way older.

Tracy Chapman turns 54 today. She's got a fast car, you know.

M.C. Hammer is 56 today. Hammer-time!
  • Actually, he's settled down over the years. In fact, these days, you can touch this. 
  • These days, he's wearing control-top balloon pants. 
  • He sang, "You Can't Touch This" years before the version by Elin Woods. 

Eric Clapton hits 73 today. Slowhand is getting even slower. He's the last person in the world that you want to play "Rock-Paper-Scissors" with.

Warren Beatty turns 81 today. I believe he's taking wife Annette Bening to that same dance. (A biographer claims Beatty has slept with over 12,000 women.)

Take a Walk in the Park Day -- Back in the day, you would have picked up a book, taken a walk in the park, played with your kids, hit the couch for a nap or just stared out your window watching the sun set. Now you check your e-mail and the status messages. BTW, a walk in the park is one of the top ten first date ideas.

National Doctors Day -- A time for people to show appreciation to the doctors who care for them or their loved ones. We plan to celebrate by having all our guests wait in the reception area for a really long time, with plenty of 10-year-old Sports Illustrated's to enjoy.

Time to play "Know Your Doctor!"
  • Dr. Alan Quartermain was on what ABC soap opera? ("General Hospital") 
  • Robert Young played the doctor on this 1971 hit show for ABC? ("Marcus Welby MD") 
  • DeForest Kelley played Dr. McCoy in this 60's sci-fi series? ("Star Trek") 
  • George Clooney played Dr. Ross on this NBC Hit show? ("ER") 
  • Jack Klugman played this crime solving medical examiner? ("Quincy") 
  • "Hawkeye" was a doctor during the Korean War on this hit show? ("M*A*S*H") 
  • This show was a spin-off of "M*A*S*H" with Gregory Harrison as Gonzo Gates? ("Trapper John MD") 
  • Dr. Gregory House is the title character of the American medical drama? ("House") 
  • In the 1960's Richard Chamberlain was a TV heartthrob as this Doctor? ("Dr. Kildare") 
  • Dick Van Dyke played a crime-solving doctor on this CBS show? ("Diagnosis Murder") 
  • Doogie Howser is a fictional character in the 1989 TV series. ("Doogie Howser M.D.") 
  • Isobel Katherine "Izzie" Stevens, M.D. is from this ABC medical drama. ("Grey's Anatomy") 
  • Jane Seymour played the doctor on this old west show? ("Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman") 

Today In History...

In 1822 Florida becomes a U.S. territory.

In 1842 Dr. Crawford W. Long of Jefferson, Georgia, first uses ether as an anesthetic during a minor operation.

In 1853 A patent is granted to Hyman Lipman for a pencil with an eraser.

In 1867 U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward reaches an agreement with Russia to purchase the territory of Alaska for $7.2 million.

In 1870 The 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, giving men the right to vote regardless of race, is declared in effect.

In 1870 Texas is re-admitted into the Union after the civil war.

In 1909 The Queensboro Bridge opens, linking the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and Queens.

In 1945 The USSR invades Austria during World War II.

In 1948 Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi is assassinated in New Delhi.

In 1950 The photo-transistor is invented.

In 1964 John Glenn withdraws from the Ohio race for the U.S. Senate because of injuries suffered in a fall.

In 1973 Ellsworth Bunker resigns as U.S. ambassador to South Vietnam, and is succeeded by Graham A. Martin.

In 1979 Airey Neave, a leading member of the British parliament, is killed by a bomb planted by the Irish National Liberation Army.

In 1981 President Reagan is seriously wounded in an attempt on his life outside a Washington, DC, hotel by John W. Hinckley Jr., who also shot and wounded press secratary James Brady, a secret service agent and a District of Columbia police officer.

In 1982 The space shuttle Columbia ends its third test flight with a smooth landing at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

In 1983 A jury in Santa Monica, CA, decides that Groucho Marx's companion, Erin Fleming, had defrauded the late comedian, and awarded nearly a half a million dollars to the executor of Marx's estate.

In 1984 President Reagan formally ends the U.S. role in the multi-national peacekeeping force in Lebanon.

In 1986 James Cagney dies at his farm in Stanfordville, NY, at age 86.

In 1987 The Vincent Van Gogh painting "Sunflowers" is auctioned off for a record price of $39.9 million.

In 1987 The movie "Platoon" wins four Oscars including Best Picture. Paul Newman is named Best Actor for "The Color of Money," and Marlee Matlin Best Actress for "Children of a Lesser God."

In 1988 An attorney for Rev. Jimmy Swaggart said the televangelist would return to the pulpit; defying the National Assemblies of God who had suspended him for at least a year for "moral failure."

In 1989 "The Heidi Chronicles" by Wendy Wasserstein wins the Pulitzer Prize for drama.

In 1991 Patricia Bowman, a resident of Jupiter, FL, tells authorities she had been raped hours earlier by William Kennedy Smith, the nephewof Senator Edward Kennedy, at the family's Palm Beach estate.

In 1992 "The Silence of the Lambs" sweeps the 64th Academy Awards with Best Picture, Best Actor (Anthony Hopkins), Best Actress (Jodie Foster), and Best Director (Jonathan Demme).

In 1993 Israeli authorities bar the West Bank's one million Palestinians from entering Israel after two traffic police officers were shot to death while sitting in a squad car.

In 1994 Serbs and Croats signed a cease-fire to end their war in Croatia while Bosnian Muslims and Serbs continued to battle each other.

In 1996 The space shuttle Atlantis narrowly avoided having to make an emergency landing when its cargo-bay doors wouldn't open at first to release built-up heat.

In 1998 Electronic stamps are approved for tests that would allow PCs and Internet links to print postage.

In 1998 Rolls-Royce is purchased by German automaker BMW for $570 million.

In 2002 The Queen Mother Elizabeth of England dies in her sleep at age 101.

Music Calendar...

In 1940 "When You Wish Upon A Star" by Glenn Miller is #1 on the charts.

In 1957 Bobby Helms' "Fraulein" begins a 52-week stay on the U.S. Country singles chart.

In 1957 "Party Doll" by Buddy Knox is #1 on the U.S. top 40 chart.

In 1959 "I Need Your Love Tonight" by Elvis Presley enters the U.S. top 40 chart.

In 1960 Massachusetts congressman Tip O'Neill calls rock and roll "a type of sensuous music unfit for impressionable minds."

In 1963 Lesley Gore makes her first appearance on "American Bandstand."

In 1963 "Two Faces Have I" by Lou Christie and "If You Wanna Be Happy" by Jimmy Soul both enter the U.S. top 40 chart.

In 1963 "He's So Fine" by the Chiffons hits #1 on the U.S. top 40 chart and stayed there for 4 weeks.

In 1966 Barbra Striesand stars in "Color Me Barbra," a TV special for CBS.

In 1966 85 audience members are arrested at a Rolling Stones' concert at the Olympia in Paris, after the crowd's heated reaction to the Stones gets out of hand.

In 1967 The Beatles arrive at photographer Michael Cooper's Flood Street studio in London to shoot the cover for the "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album. The actual cover was a painting of Cooper's staged photograph.

In 1968 The Yardbirds perform and record what will become "Live Yardbirds" at the Anderson Theater.

In 1970 Miles Davis releases "The Bitches Brew" album.

In 1971 "Lonely Days" by the Bee Gees is certified gold.

In 1972 Alice Cooper appears on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.

In 1973 Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin appear on NBC-TV's "Midnight Special."

In 1973 Deep Purple's album "Made In Japan" is released.

In 1974 "Sunshine On My Shoulders" by John Denver is #1 on the U.S. top 40 chart.

In 1978 2 members of the Clash are arrested for shooting pigeons on top of a rehearsal hall.

In 1984 Greg Lake leaves Asia and is replaced by John Wetton, the same person Lake had replaced.

In 1985 "Axel F" by Harold Faltermeyer enters the U.S. top 40 chart.

In 1985 "One More Night" by Phil Collins hits #1 on the U.S. top 40 chart and stayed there for 2 weeks.

In 1987 Duane Allen of the Oak Ridge Boys said William Lee Golden had been kicked out of the group because he disliked the other members.

In 1987 Berlin wins the Best Original Song Oscar for "Take My Breath Way" from the film "Top Gun," starring Tom Cruise.

In 1987 Carly Simon's album "Coming Around Again" is released.

In 1989 Gladys Knight performs for the first time without the Pips at Bally's In Las Vegas.

In 1990 Madonna's single "Vogue" is released.

In 1991 "Coming Out Of The Dark" by Gloria Estefan hits #1 on the U.S. top 40 chart and stayed there for 2 weeks.

In 1993 Bon Jovi's video "Keep The Faith" is released.

In 1994 Pink Floyd's album "Division Bell" is released.

In 1998 "Romeo & Juliet" by Sylk-e Fyne is certified gold.

In 1999 Kiss cancels three concert dates in Russia because of anti-American feelings spurred by the bombing of Yugoslavia.

In 2000 Mick Jagger returns to his boyhood school in Britain to open the Mick Jagger Performing Arts Centre at Dartford Grammar School.

In 2000 Patsy Cline's album "Heartaches" is certified platinum.

In 2001 Kenny Rogers appears at Philadelphia's First Union Center to pay tribute to former Philadelphia 76ers star Charles Barkley, who retired the previous season.

In 2002 Celine Dion appears on the cover of TV Guide.

Born On This Day...

In 1719 Writer, Sir John Hawkins (wrote first history of music)

In 1746 Spanish painter, Francisco Jose de Goya

In 1674 British scientist, Jethro Tull

In 1820 Children's author, Anna Sewell (Black Beauty)

In 1844 French poet, Paul Verlaine

In 1853 Dutch painter, Vincent Van Gogh (powerful use of color)

In 1858 Actor/comedian, DeWolf Hopper (Casey at the Bat)

In 1879 Inventor, Bernhard Schmidt (designed telescopes)

In 1880 Irish playwright, Sean O'Casey

In 1894 Engineer, Sergei Vladimirovich Ilyushin (designed Russian aircraft)

In 1913 Former CIA head, Richard Helms [d: 10-22-02]

In 1913 Actor/singer, Frankie Laine (Rawhide, Blazing Saddles) [d: 2-6-07]

In 1914 Blues singer, John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson [d: 6-1-48]

In 1917 Actor, Herbert Anderson (Henry-Dennis the Menace) [d: 6-11-94]

In 1918 Restaurant executive, Bob Evans [d: 6-21-07]

In 1919 Statesman/educator, McGeorge Bundy [d: 9-16-97]

In 1926 Game show host, Peter Marshall (Hollywood Squares) (92)

In 1929 Actor, Richard Dysart (Leland MacKenzie-L.A. Law) [d: 4-5-15]

In 1929 Actress, Shirley Stoler (Gert-One Life to Live) [d: 2-17-99]

In 1930 Actor, John Astin (Gomez-TV's Adamms Family, Night Court) (88)

In 1930 Novelty singer, Rolf Harris (Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport) (88)

In 1937 Actor, Warren Beatty (Heaven Can Wait, Dick Tracy, Bugsy) (81)

In 1937 Actress, Jay W. Macintosh (Sons & Daughters) (81)

In 1940 Basketball player, Jerry Lucas (Lakers) (78)

In 1941 Drummer/songwriter, Graeme Edge (Moody Blues) (77)

In 1945 Singer/songwriter, Eric Clapton (Layla, Tears In Heaven) (73)

In 1948 Singer/songwrter, Jim 'Dandy' Mangrum (Black Oak Arkansas) (70)

In 1948 Actor, Justin Deas (Frank "Buzz" Cooper-The Guiding Light) (70)

In 1950 Guitarist, Dave Ball (Procol Harum) [d: 4-1-15]

In 1950 Actor, Joseph Cali (Saturday Night Fever, Suicide Kings) (68)

In 1950 Actor, Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid-Harry Potter series) (68)

In 1952 Singer, Samuel McFadden (Flash Cadillac) [d: 8-31-01]

In 1955 Singer, Randy VanWarmer (Just When I Needed You Most) [d: 1-12-04]

In 1957 Actor, Paul Reiser (My Two Dads, Aliens, Mad About You) (61)

In 1962 Rap singer, Hammer (M.C. Hammer) (You Can't Touch This) (56)

In 1964 Singer/songwriter, Tracy Chapman (Fast Car) (54)

In 1964 Actor, Ian Ziering (Guiding Light, Steve-Beverly Hills 90210) (54)

In 1965 British talk host, Piers Morgan (Celebrity Apprentice, CNN) (53)

In 1968 Actress, Donna D'Errico (Donna-Baywatch) (50)

In 1968 Singer, Celine Dion (Power of Love, My Heart Will Go On) (50)

In 1970 Actress, Leleti Khumalo (Sarafina!, Hotel Rwanda) (48)

In 1971 Actor, Mark Consuelos (Mateo Santos-All My Children) (47)

In 1979 Singer, Norah Jones (39)

In 1981 Actress, Katy Mixon (Mike and Molly, American Housewife) (37)

In 1983 Guitarist, Scott Moffatt (The Moffatts) (35)

In 1984 Country singer, Justin Moore ("If Heaven Wasn't So Far Away") (34)

In 1988 Football player, Richard Sherman (Seahawks) (30)

In 1990 Country singer, Thomas Rhett ("It Goes Like This") (28)

In 1990 Actress, Cassie Scerbo (Make It or Break It) (28)


Maryse Gives Birth! Total Divas Star and The Miz Welcome Baby Girl Monroe. Maryse and The Miz are finally parents! The Total Divas stars welcomed their first child together, a baby girl, named Monroe Sky Mizanin on Tuesday, March 27. The Miz and Maryse announced their daughter's arrival on Twitter Wednesday. "Of course our little girl arrived early. Welcome to the world Monroe Sky Mizanin 3/27/18 11:40pm," the couple both tweeted along with a photo of Monroe and Maryse's hands. Maryse, 35, and The Miz, 37, married in February 2014. Last month, Maryse and The Miz used Valentine's Day 2018 as a reason to celebrate their pink-themed baby show. The couple was surrounded by family, friends and a few celebs with Avril Lavigne and Ryan Cabrera in attendance. Former Total Divas star Rosa Mendes was also at the celebration along with Dolph Zigler and a few other WWE wrestlers. "Such a blast last night!!!! Thank you to all my friends and family for making it soooo special!!!" Maryse posted on Instagram following the party. The new parents documented their road to baby on last season of Total Divas with Maryse breaking the news to her hubby on a January 2018 episode of the hit E! series. "I wanted to talk to you about something before you go to bed," Maryse told The Miz. "Actually, I've been trying to talk to you for 48 hours now but I wanted to see you in person." Cut to Maryse whipping out her pregnancy test and telling Mike, "Congratulations, dad!" "You're kidding?" Mike asked in disbelief. "Are you sure?" "I'm one hundred percent pregnant," she tells him before handing over more positive pregnancy tests. On a later episode, Maryse spilled the pregnancy news to the WWE and they gave Maryse and Mike a brand new storyline. "I'm the first pregnant woman to be in the WWE ring and announce my pregnancy on television," the WWE star exclaimed. (Eonline)

Nate Berkus and Husband Jeremiah Brent Welcome a Son. Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent have some exciting news to share -- they're the proud parents of two! The Nate & Jeremiah by Design co-stars (and couple) welcomed a son together via surrogate on Tuesday. The happy addition gives their 3-year-old daughter Poppy a baby brother, named -- drum roll please -- Oskar Brent-Berkus! On Wednesday, Jeremiah posted the exciting news to his social media writing on Instagram, "Yesterday, life cracked open in a way I didn't think it could again with the birth of our son Oskar Brent-Berkus. Love multiplied." The proud papa continued in the touching post, which featured a black-and-white photo of their daughter touching a little foot, along with the caption, "How can love continue to expand like this. Hand in hand our family is basking in the phenomenon of it all. We love you little Oskar. How thankful we are. How beautiful it all is." Similarly, Nate posted the same image on Instagram with the caption, "It is with so much love that we welcome Oskar Brent-Berkus to our family. We have waited for you, we already love you, and we as a family stand on the shoulders of so many people who have made it possible for families like ours to continue to grow." In February, the couple announced the news that they were having a boy when they shared a cute little video on their social media platforms with some help from their toddler. "We're having a baby brother!" Poppy yelled as she ran on-camera with a slew of blue balloons. Meanwhile, Nate and Jeremiah tied the knot in May 2014 and welcomed their daughter in September of that year. (Eonline)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle recently dropped 600 wedding invites in the mail -- but there wasn't an envelope for Elton John among them. "We haven't had an invitation yet," John who turned 71 on Sunday -- told BBC Radio 2 on Thursday morning. However, even if John (and husband David Furnish) aren't invited to the actual ceremony, they'll still be able to take in the festivities. "I live on a hill, so I could just roll down there," the star added, referencing his Windsor, England home, which is just a short drive away from St. George's Chapel, where Harry and Markle will tie the knot on May 19. "It's rolling distance." John was a good friend of Harry's mother, Princess Diana, and famously sang at her funeral in 1997. He attended Prince William and Kate Middleton's 2011 wedding, and spoke to Harry about his relationship with Meghan when the two crossed paths in Sicily in 2017. When asked if he would be singing at Harry and Meghan's wedding reception -- which will be attended by 200 of the couple's closest friends and family at the nearby Frogmore House -- during the interview, John didn't miss the chance to throw some shade at Spice Girls singer Mel Brown (a.k.a. Mel B). In February, she said that she and bandmates Victoria Beckham, Emma Bunton, Geri Halliwell and Mel C would be attending and performing at the nuptials during an appearance on The Real. "Oh probably, yes, along with Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar," John joked in response to Mel B's claim. "I mean the Spice Girls, no one's going to beat them off the stage are they? I mean they're just huge." Before Harry and Meghan get married in May, they have a few more working days in the pipeline. On April 6, they're due to make an appearance at the University of Bath Sports Training Village. There, they'll where they watch the UK Team Trials for the 2018 Invictus Games, which begin in Sydney, Australia on October 18. It's a fitting engagement for the couple, who made their first public debut during the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto. (People)

Ben Affleck Reacts to New Yorker Fat-Shaming Controversy. Sometimes the celeb is the story, but sometimes the story is the story... Ben Affleck is speaking out after The New Yorker published an article entitled "The Great Sadness of Ben Affleck" last week. Soon after the piece went live, the Internet erupted into a frenzy, alleging that the writer was fat-shaming the superstar. In the seemingly light-hearted piece, Naomi Fry writes about the now-infamous photos that recently emerged of a shirtless Affleck on the beach in Hawaii, showcasing his phoenix rising back tatt while filming his upcoming movie, Triple Frontier. In the article, which falls under the website's "Annals of Appearances" section, the writer penned, "His gut is pooching outward in a way that, in a more enlightened country like, say, France, would perhaps be considered virile, not unlike the lusty Gerard Depardieu in his prime but, in fitness-fascist America, tends to read as Homer Simpsonesque." People did not take kindly to the writer's "gut is pooching outward" comment nor her comparison to the donut-loving glutton Simpson. The piece continued, "A blue-gray towel is wrapped protectively around his midsectionrecalling a shy teen at the local pool. Staring at the water before him, his gaze obscure and empty, Affleck is a defeated Roman senator." The article has been slammed online, calling out the piece for body-shaming, cruelty and targeting a person who has publicly and privately struggled with alcoholism. @Lefty__Knox wrote, "This is like the fifth time you've posted this disgusting, body shaming, cruel hack job of an article. The New Yorker lost a subscriber today. When did TNY become worse than tabloids? @BatGal87, "I don't care for Ben Affleck, but there was still no need for this article." @deancollins wrote, "This is a really mean spirited article. Poking fun of someone who is clearly depressed and dealing with substance abuse for your own personal gain is pathetic. Can't believe the @NewYorker published this garbage... 'Never look down on someone unless you are helping them up.' The New Yorker's story ends with a judgement and a query, "The image suggests not just the fall of Affleck but the coming fall of man. There is something about this exhausted father that reflexively induces panic. We've been living in a world run by Afflecks for so long, will we even know ourselves when they're gone?" Affleck responded Thursday, tweeting, "I'm doing just fine. Thick skin bolstered by garish tattoos." (Eonline)

Chrissy Metz Talks Abuse, Self-Love and Forgiveness in New Memoir. This is Chrissy Metz... The This Is Us star caught up with E! News while on her book tour for her new memoir, aptly titled This Is Me. During the conversation, the star talked about what it has been like opening up about her childhood abuse, learning to love herself and forgive the ones who hurt her, namely stepfather Trigger whom she claims hit her and was critical of her weight when she was younger. But during the chat, Metz, who plays Kate Pearson on the hit show, said that in addition to her stepfather, there's one important person that she found that she had to forgive: herself. When asked what it feels like being so open about her struggles and her past, Metz says it's "very scary" to reveal the truth. "I think any time we have to verbalize the truth and or rehash it and be that vulnerable about what happened and then wonder what the reaction is going to be is very scary." The NBC star says the recent media attention surrounding the book has been "uncomfortable" at times, but adds, "I have to get used to being comfortable with being uncomfortable." The 37-year-old actress also talked to E! News about what her relationship with her body is currently. The candid performer said, "I definitely have great days and I have days that are I am like, 'Oh! Womp, womp' but I think that's when I get in my own head and I get in my own way." "I try to set myself up for success, so I will eat things that will make me feel good and I will get enough rest and not get in my own head so that I won't start self-sabotaging," adds the actress. "I am not perfect and I am not screaming that from the mountain tops at all," said the star. "It's more about being work in progress and being gentle and kind with yourself." Another topic of conversation was one of the book's main themes -- forgiveness, which Metz says is "really hard." When asked about forgiving her stepfather, who has denied the claims of physical and verbal abuse, Metz says, "I don't think he is necessarily denying it. I think it's really difficult to accept responsibility for your actions." Metz says she has learned to forgive her stepfather, whom she says was there for her more than her biological father, and that she told the story in her book not to cause a media circus, but to let people know that even the most fractured of relationships can be mended. She adds, I hope that when he does read, should he be open enough to read it, that he will understand that [the book] wasn't about throwing him under the bus, but just showing people that there is room for forgiveness." Hopefully her book will cause others to heal their wounds, however great or small. This Is Me: Loving the Person You Are Today hit bookstores on March 27. (Eonline)

Hulk Hogan and the WWE might be in talks, but Hulk tells TMZ Sports Hulkamania will NOT be running wild at WrestleMania 34, brother!!! We got the Hulkster touching down at LAX ... and he immediately shut down the rumors of his 24-inch pythons popping up at the grandest stage of them all next weekend. "No sir ... no WrestleMania," Hogan said. As for whether he's ever coming back, all Hulk could tell us was, "Maybe someday, brotha." Now, we feel like we should mention that Ronda Rousey gave us a solid "no" when we asked if she'd be at the Royal Rumble ... and we all know how that turned out. Plus, we shot Nick and Brooke Hogan at LAX the other day, and they both made it clear they're 100% behind their dad crashing the party in New Orleans! (TMZ)

Rosa Salazar haunted the crap outta people on "American Horror Story," but her ex-bf claims she's way scarier in real life. Sam Setzer filed for a restraining order against Rosa, and in the docs he says she's been terrorizing him ever since their March 19 breakup. Sam says Rosa -- who played murdered nurse Maria on season 1 of 'AHS' -- showed up at his house around midnight, rang his doorbell and screamed loudly enough to wake his neighbors. He's pretty confident she was intoxicated. In the docs, obtained by TMZ, he says Rosa threatened to call cops and lie about him hitting her. Sam says he decided to call cops first, and that's when Rosa bolted. Besides that horror show, he says Rosa's flooded him with calls and texts ... including one that said, "If pushed I can be a stressful/stressed person." Mind you, Sam says they only dated for a month. He was granted the restraining order which requires her to stay 100 yards away from him. Ya might also recognize Rosa from the "Parenthood" TV series. She was far less scary on that than 'AHS' ... though Sam probably doesn't think so. She's also slated to star in the Robert Rodriguez/James Cameron blockbuster, "Alita: Battle Angel" ... coming out in December. We reached out to Rosa's rep for comment ... so far, no word back. (TMZ)

Fabolous was arrested Wednesday night after allegedly assaulting his baby mama, "Love and Hip Hop" star, Emily B ... TMZ has learned. Sources connected to the couple tell us Fabolous turned himself in to cops in Englewood, NJ -- where he and Emily live. We're told Emily first contacted police, telling them Fabolous had hit her. The rapper was accompanied by his attorney when he went to the police precinct. We're told he did not spend time in jail ... instead, he was cited for the alleged incident and given a ticket for his court appearance. We have a call in to his attorney. Emily and Fab have 2 children together, ages 2 and 10. (TMZ)

Corey Feldman has a detailed story about a group of men that were following his car Tuesday night before yanking his door open and stabbing him with a sharp object, and Corey thinks this might be an intimidation tactic over his recent claims that he was victim of pedophilia. Corey tells TMZ he was driving home from dinner with his security guard when he noticed a car on the freeway driving so erratically it caused a crash. Corey says he got off the freeway and soon noticed a car was following him -- a car that looked like the one with the erratic driver on the freeway. He says his security guard had words with someone in the other car and, when Corey was stopped at a red light, the passengers in the other car made their move. Corey says one of the guys pulled his door open and jabbed him one time with a sharp object -- either the tip of a knife or a syringe. Corey says the puncture was small and drew a tiny bit of blood, but he was concerned enough to go to the hospital, where police came and debriefed him and his security guard. As for motive ... Corey says he's not sure what these guys were up to -- possibly road rage, but another possibility is retaliation for his pedophilia accusations. (TMZ)

"Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta" star Tommie Lee must really love the feeling of being wanted ... especially by cops. Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... Tommie failed to appear for a hearing Wednesday in Fulton County, Atlanta over her arrest in 2016 on charges that included DUI and driving without a license. Her no-show triggered a warrant for her arrest. And get this ... just one day before she failed to appear in court, prosecutors filed a motion to revoke Tommie's bond for the 2016 case after allegedly attacking a mall employee last month. TMZ broke the story ... Tommie was booked for misdemeanor battery for the alleged mall beatdown, but didn't appear all that worried. Tommie's tune might soon change. (TMZ)

XXXTentacion says the girl he smacked in an old video that recently resurfaced is now trying to pull a money grab. Sources close the 20-year-old rapper tell TMZ ... X and the girl were in touch right after the video made the rounds online. We're told they jokingly made the video in 2013 when they were both 15 and she agreed to go on the record with X's lawyer to make it clear -- the video was made as a joke. But our sources say things went south when the girl's grandparents called the rapper's team asking what they'd be willing to do to "make everything good" ... leading X to think they were after money. The girl also posted this statement on her Instagram. XXX's attorney, Jaclyn Broudy, tells TMZ ... "This 'terrified' woman decides to post this video now, conveniently, when [XXX] becomes famous. Draw your own conclusions." X -- who currently has the No. 1 album on Billboard -- is fighting this on the heels of another domestic violence case for which he's been let out of house arrest to go on tour. (TMZ)

Janice Dickinson will be among the 5 women who will testify against Bill Cosby in his upcoming rape trial ... TMZ has learned. The judge in the case has allowed prosecutors to call 5 women to show an M.O. on the part of Cosby. Janice claims in 1982 Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her in Lake Tahoe. She says when she woke up her pajamas were off and there was semen between her legs. The alleged victim in the case, Andrea Constand, also claims she was drugged and sexually assaulted in 2004. We're told Dickinson will be accompanied by her lawyer, Lisa Bloom. (TMZ)


Avengers Fan, 11, Dies After Chris Evans and More Fulfill His Last Wish. Avengers super fan, Emilio Pachon, passed away this Wednesday, Fox News journalist Shannon Bream confirmed. In his last days, Bream tweeted that the 11-year-old's dying wish was to hear from one of the Avengers before he died, resulting in an outpouring of love and support from the superheroes he admired. Among the many Marvel actors that reached out were Chris Evans, Ryan Reynolds and Jeremy Renner, who offered to speak to the child who suffered from Neurofibromatosis type I. The journalist reported that the well-wishes the boy received from the superheroes "lit up his hospital room and blessed his family." Prior to Emilio's death, Chloe Bennet, who plays Daisy Johnson on the ABC show Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. also reached out and asked for the little boy's name. In addition, Zachary Levi, who played the DC Comics hero Shazam, as well as Marvel's Frandral in several of the Thor films -- offered to help, too. Paul Bettany, who played Vision in Captain America: Civil War and in Avengers: Age of Ultron, reached out, as well. Since his passing, Levi and CNN anchor Jake Tapper have expressed their condolences to the family. Bream told her followers, "Though Emilio has passed, any Avengers/Heroes who wanted to send messages can now direct them to his twin little brothers who are big fans of yours too." (Eonline)

Prince Philip Pulls Out of Annual Pre-Easter Church Service. Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II's 96-year-old husband, pulled out of an annual pre-Easter church service on Thursday because of a hip problem, Reuters reported. Philip, aka the Duke of Edinburgh, was due to make a rare public appearance at the Royal Maundy Service, which took place at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, and then attend a reception and lunch. His 91-year-old wife attended the event without him. "The duke was keen to attend but made this decision because he has been experiencing some trouble with his hip," the royal source told Reuters. "The Order of Service was printed some weeks ago when it was hoped the Duke would be able to take part," a Buckingham Palace spokesperson told E! News. "His Royal Highness has since decided not to attend." Philip retired from public life last summer. At the time, Buckingham Palace said that "the Duke will not be accepting new invitations for visits and engagements, although he may still choose to attend certain public events from time to time." Last week, it was reported that Philip had canceled an appearance at a Windsor Castle ceremony, in which he would formally hand over his role as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards to his son Prince Andrew, because he was feeling under the weather. His illness was not thought to be serious. Buckingham Palace did not comment. Last June, Philip was hospitalized "as a precautionary measure" to treat an infection "arising from a pre-existing condition." Maundy Thursday commemorates the last supper of Jesus Christ and marks the beginning of the three-day Easter holiday celebration. During the traditional Maundy service, the queen hands out money to 91 male and 91 female pensioners in the local community. St George's Chapel is where the wedding ceremony ofPrince Harry and Meghan Markle will take place on May 19. (Eonline)

Sarah Jessica Parker Endorses Cynthia Nixon for New York Governor: "You Have My Love, Support and Vote." Sarah Jessica Parker is raising a cosmo to New York gubernatorial candidate -- and her former co-star -- Cynthia Nixon. Following mounting speculation, Nixon, an award-winning actress and Sex and the City alum, launched her bid for New York governor on March 19 against current democratic governor Andrew Cuomo. While fellow co-stars were quicker to react to the news -- Cattrall said she supports and respects "any former colleague's right to make their own career choices" and Davis immediately expressed her pride in and support of Nixon's run -- Parker was noticeably publicly mum on the subject. Then, on Wednesday, Parker released a statement to Page Six via a representative, stating, "Cynthia has been my friend and colleague since we were little girls...I look forward to talking to her about her New York state gubernatorial bid." Well, it seems the two discussed all they needed to because Parker has since issued a glowing public endorsement of her "sister on and off screen." Acknowledging the star as a "mother," "activist," "advocate," "fighter," "NY'er," and "dear friend," Parker said, "you have my love, support and vote" and pointed followers to Nixon's campaign website. Parker's support is coveted considering she's a longtime vocal and proud New York resident and is synonymous with the Big Apple. Meanwhile, Nixon has hit the ground running in her path toward the office without any prior government experience. "We talk a lot about outsiders, but sometimes a little navete is exactly what is needed," she recently told Glamour. "With a jaded system, everybody says, 'Yeah, well, that's the way it is.' You need somebody to come and say, 'Why? Why is that the way it is? Don't try to tell me that I don't have a right to stand here and say, 'I want to be governor, because I think you're doing a lousy job. Nobody is talking about the things that you're not doing, so I am going to do it.'" And she's going to do it with Sarah Jessica Parker's full support. (Eonline)

Mary Jo Kopechne had been dead for several months when her parents began to have serious questions about what had really happened the night of July 18, 1969. At first, Gwen and Joe Kopechne had believed Senator Ted Kennedy's account of that evening after his car had plunged off the narrow wooden bridge on Chappaquiddick Island, just off of Martha's Vineyard, landing upside down in a tidal pond with their daughter trapped inside. "They trusted him," says Mary Jo's aunt, Georgetta Potoski, 75. "They loved the Kennedys. Everyone did. But later on, they started to question what happened." Kennedy escaped from the car and later testified that he had tried to save Mary Jo, an idealistic 28-year-old who had worked for his brother Bobby and was in Chappaquiddick for a reunion party of her fellow campaign workers. But Ted could never escape the unanswered questions about his 10-hour delay in reporting the accident to Edgartown police. "The longer it went on, more and more inconsistencies were discovered and he wasn't telling Gwen and Joe anything," says Potoski, the sister of Gwen Kopechne. "Gwen and Joe never had the last hours of their daughter's life explained to them." Now, 49 years after Mary Jo's death, a new movie Chappaquiddick, opening April 6, starring Jason Clarke as the senator, explores what happened that night and in the week that followed, when Kennedy pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident. Potoski and her son William Nelson, 46, hope the film may prompt someone to come forward with new information -- and give them the answers they never got from Senator Kennedy. "The truth has never really come out," says Nelson. "The story has never been put to rest." The film has not been well-received by the Kennedy camp. In an emailed statement, Kennedy legislative aide Bob Shrum writes: "As Senator Kennedy wrote in his memoir True Compass, he was at the wheel and responsible for the accident that resulted in the death of Mary Jo Kopechne, and he carried the burden of that tragic accident every day of his life. He also understood that his pain was nothing compared to that of an innocent young woman who lost her life and her family. There have been more than 20 books and countless articles written about the accident at Chappaquiddick, some attempting to find the truth and others trafficking in conspiracy theories. This movie pretends to do the former; in reality, it does the latter, which does a disservice both to the victim and the truth." In addition, literary agent Esther Newberg, who worked with Mary Jo Kopechne as one of RFK's "Boiler Room Girls" (nicknamed for the office in which they worked) and was at the Chappaquiddick reunion that night, says, "It was frustrating to read the screenplay and see one thing made up after another, and in no way can they attest to any of it because they weren't there and they didn't speak to anybody who was." As for why she and the others who attended the party that night have rarely spoken, Newberg says bluntly: "Because it's tasteless and in America, everyone thinks that anything is fair game for conversation and I didn't feel that way and neither did my friends." Still, Potoski and her family hope that Mary Jo's story being told on screen will result in more people learning that she was much more than just a "blonde secretary," as she was often referred to at the time. Potoski and Nelson have written a book, Our Mary Jo, about her life and have also launched a scholarship in her name at Potoski's alma mater, Misericordia College (now Misericordia University), to be given out for the first time this year. "For 49 years people have wanted to know what happened," says Potoski. "Maybe now, Mary Jo will be brought to the forefront and remembered not just for how she died but for who she was." (People)

Roses are red, violets are blue, and now Sean Penn has pissed off #MeToo. The actor-turned-novelist wrote a poem as the epilogue to his new book, "Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff," in which he muses, "Once crucial conversations/Kept us on our toes;/Was it really in our interest/To trample Charlie Rose?" and "Where did all the laughs go?/Are you out there Louis C.K. Both Rose and C.K. have been accused of serious sexual misconduct, which Rose has denied. Penn perilously ponders, "And what's with this 'Me Too'?/This infantilizing term of the day/Is this a toddler's crusade?/Reducing rape, slut-shaming, and suffrage to reckless child's play?" The poem has horrified members of the #MeToo movement (and, presumably, poets). A representative tweet -- this one by @carlyjennifer -- reads, "Here's a poem for Sean Penn: Shut/the/f?-?-?k/up." The book has been met with a somewhat baffled reception. While it has shot to the top of the "absurdist fiction" list on Amazon and Salman Rushdie said of it, "It seems wrong to say that so dystopian a novel is great fun to read, but it's true. I suspect that Thomas Pynchon and Hunter S. Thompson would love this book," the New York Times review puzzled, "What have you done this time, Sean Penn? What is this book-shaped thing that lies before us?" (Page Six)

Roseanne Barr skillfully husband-shaded Wendy Williams on the host's own show. The comedian appeared on "The Wendy Williams Show" Wednesday to discuss the revival of her sitcom "Roseanne," and was surprised when Williams mentioned Barr's ex Tom Arnold was hired by the Hollywood Reporter to review the reboot. Barr clapped back with, "I don't like talking about husbands .?.?. Right, Wendy?" Barr was seemingly referring to reports Williams' husband, Kevin Hunter, was unfaithful. After gasps from the audience, Williams -- who insists all is fine at home -- replied, "I don't mind talking about husbands; he's fabulous." (Page Six)

Laura Ingraham's show is taking a hit for her going after Parkland leader David Hogg ... TMZ has learned. The FOX News host has lost the backing of TripAdvisor, a key advertiser on her show. The move comes on the heels of what some feel was Ingraham cyberbullying 17-year-old Hogg. A TridAdvisor rep tells us ... it doesn't condone her inappropriate comments, adding, "In our view, these statements focused on a high school student, cross the line of decency." In the more bad news department, for Ingraham ... the pet food line Nutrish, owned by Rachael Ray, also announced Thursday it's pulling ads from her show. As we reported ... Hogg called for a boycott of Ingraham on the heels of the anchor tweeting Hogg whined about getting rejected by 4 colleges, and called out specific companies like TripAdvisor, AT&T and Hulu asking why they support cyberbullying. For the record -- Hogg was not whining. UPDATE: Laura's now apologizing for "any upset or hurt my tweet caused [David] or any of the brave victims of Parkland." (TMZ)

Chris Brown was horseplaying in Miami a few days ago and, even though some of the pics look ominous, Chris and the woman say it was all in good fun. Chris and a bunch of people were partying at a home he was renting during the Ultra Festival. The photos were taken at 9 AM Monday. In a few photos ... Chris has his right hand around a woman's throat. Although the woman looks like she's in distress in a few pics, she and Chris insist it's horseplay. In other photos you see the woman smiling as Chris touches her neck. Chris' lawyer, Mark Geragos, tells TMZ, "She's a friend. It's obviously playful as she confirmed. Whoever invaded their privacy will be held accountable." In looking at the photos, it's hard not to recall the brutal Rihanna attack ... an attack that ended in a felony conviction and a rocky 5-year probation. (TMZ)

Hot felon Jeremy Meeks and his billionaire heiress gf, Chloe Green, were already shopping for baby gear in mid-February and the signs point to them having a boy. Sources tell us Jeremy and Chloe hit up Bev Hills baby boutique, Petit Tresor, a month and a half ago and rang up a $6k tab. Chloe's mother was with them during the spree, and they scooped up several items -- most of which were gender neutral. Among the mom, dad and grandma's baby bonanza haul -- those ever-popular giant stuffed giraffes, a car seat, and several blue items ... including swaddles and onesies. Loading up on the blue sure points toward a baby boy on the way. As for who paid, that could also be telling ... our source says Jeremy picked up the tab. (TMZ)

The Dodgers are going for a clean sweep -- not of their Opening Day opponents, the Giants -- but of the waste water that seeped onto the Dodgers Stadium field. Sources inside the L.A. County Dept. of Health tell TMZ Sports ... inspectors were roaming the third baseline area next to the dugout Wednesday ... checking out the disgusting mud patch left behind after Tuesday night's sewage spill. If ya missed it, Big Blue's exhibition game against the Angels was cut short when a waste water pipeline burst, sending up a stench worse than Yu Darvish's World Series outings. We're told that section of the field had to be vacuumed, and the material shipped off to a waste disposal facility. Then the area was doused with chlorine, lye and other antibacterial chemicals. The Dept. of Health will make another inspection on Thursday morning ... ahead of the Opening Day festivities. If you're going to the game, that's bleach you're smelling. And maybe a little left over from Yu. #LetsNotPlay2. (TMZ)


Halsey Can't Believe G-Eazy Used His Magazine Cover to Get Through Airport Security. Can I see your ID or magazine cover? Earlier this week, Halsey and G-Eazy found themselves at another airport ready to travel to another far away destination. There was just one little problem before it was time to take off. Somebody didn't have proper identification. "Gerald lost his ID and he's trying to use the cover of @XXL as part of his additional identification to get through airport security," Halsey shared on Twitter. "I'm so annoyed." So was it a success? G-Eazy quoted his leading lady's tweet with a short but pretty sweet reply. "It worked," he revealed. And away they go! While we're not sure as to where they were going, it's about to be a travel-filled summer for both performers. Starting May 2, G-Eazy will be hitting the road for his Endless Summer tour with Ty Dolla $ign & Lil Uzi Vert. His first show in the United States will be July 20 in Washington. As for Halsey, she's also traveling around the world for the Hopeless Fountain Kingdom tour. Travels aside, there's a whole lot of love between this pair who recently celebrated their collaboration called "Him & I" hitting No. 1 on Top 40 radio. In fact, the duo turned heads for all the right reasons when they stepped out for the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards. "She's a queen. I think the world of her for real," G-Eazy shared with E! News' Sibley Scoles. "And to get to share a song like this with the person I'm actually in love with and actually dating is dope." (Eonline)

Questlove is landing more high-profile DJ gigs but still doesn't seem to be enjoying the attention. He recently played a three-hour set to a packed crowd at the NoMad Hotel Rooftop at a launch event for new app Romio hosted by the tech company's CEO Tarik Sansal. But some guests were surprised that "Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon" regular and Roots drummer Questlove manned the decks surrounded by security and signs that read in bold letters "NO PHOTOS." A source said the signs were there because camera flashes distract Questlove, and he has always insisted on no photos when he spins. Romio is a new app that allows users to book services such as nannies, dog walkers, handymen and even stylists endorsed by an expert in each field. (Page Six)

Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda to Release Debut Solo Album 'Post Traumatic'. Linkin Park co-founder, vocalist and guitarist Mike Shinoda announced his forthcoming debut album Post Traumatic Thursday (March 29), slated for release June 15. He also dropped two new singles that will be included on the album, "Crossing a Line" and "Nothing Makes Sense Anymore," as well as an accompanying -- and relatively uplifting -- video for "Crossing a Line." Earlier this year, Shinoda released his debut Post Traumatic EP, which he wrote while reflecting on Chester Bennington's death last summer. Shinoda's first solo performance since his bandmate's death will be at Identity LA Festival in May, and he will also be performing at Reading & Leeds Festival later this summer. More show announcements are expected to follow soon. While Shinoda's solo work features the rock/hip-hop blend that makes Linkin Park unique, his personal sound also includes more pop and electronic elements that were heard in the band's more recent material. (Billboard)

PRhyme Debuts at No. 2 on Emerging Artists Chart. Plus, Bad Wolves hold at No. 1 & Anne-Marie hits the top 10. PRhyme, the hip-hop duo of Detroit-based rapper Royce da 5'9" and New York-based producer DJ Premier, debuts at No. 2 on Billboard's Emerging Artists chart (dated March 31). The launch is powered by the duo's sophomore project PRhyme 2, which debuts at No. 40 on the Billboard 200 and No. 23 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums with 13,000 equivalent album units, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 10,000 were in traditional album sales, helping the album open at No. 7 on Top Album Sales. The set marks the act's first entry in tandem on an albums chart and features guest appearances by 2 Chainz, CeeLo Green, Big K.R.I.T. and Yelawolf, among others. Royce da 5'9" has charted five solo albums on Top R&B/Hop-Hop Albums, including Layers, which debuted at No. 1 in 2016. DJ Premier has charted one set outside of PRhyme: his collaborative Kolexxxion with Bumpy Knuckles reached No. 31 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums in 2012. The Emerging Artists chart uses the same formula as the all-encompassing Billboard Artist 100, which measures artist activity across multiple Billboard charts, including the Billboard Hot 100, Billboard 200 and the Social 50. However, the Emerging Artists chart excludes acts that have notched a top 25 entry on either the Hot 100 or Billboard 200, as well as artists that have achieved two or more top 10s on Billboard's "Hot" song genre charts and/or consumption-based "Top" album genre rankings. Bad Wolves lead the Emerging Artists chart for a second week, as their cover of The Cranberries' "Zombie" becomes their first top 10, rising 11-9, on the Mainstream Rock Songs airplay chart. The single holds at its No. 5 high on Hot Rock Songs. Rounding out the Emerging Artists top five, Jordan Davis dips 2-3, Devin Dawson drops 3-4 and Trippie Redd holds at No. 5. Among other moves, Anne-Marie hits the Emerging Artists top 10 for the first time, rising 11-10 on the strength of "Friends," with Marshmello, which enters the top 40 of the Hot 100, where it ascends 41-28 in its sixth week on the chart. (Billboard)

Bruno Mars Gets Coy With a Koala in Instagram Video: This method of flirting is "koala-ty." For those who happen to be fans of both Bruno Mars and marsupials, prepare for your hearts to melt. The singer posted a video on his Instagram Thursday (March 28) of himself posing with a very relaxed koala, naturally delivering a few punny pick-up lines. To really set the mood, the unmistakable sax hook to the George Michael-sung Wham! classic "Careless Whisper" plays in the background. "Hey girl, if I could get your number so I could koala you up sometime," Mars says directly to the camera, suppressing laughter. "Take you on vacation, sip on some pina koalas...Because I don't believe in quantity, I believe in koala-ty." "When it comes to spittin that hot fire I'm over koalafied! Thank you Australia for everything!!" reads the video caption. The adorable clip comes in conjunction with Mars' final Australia date on his 24K Magic World Tour. The "That's What I Like" singer will be sweeping through Asia and Europe this summer, before heading back to the U.S. in August to headline Lollapalooza. (Billboard)

Taylor Swift Announces Second Video for 'Delicate' Will Premiere Tonight on Spotify. The pop stars first video debuted on March 13. Taylor Swift announced on Twitter Thursday (Mar. 29) that a new video for her single "Delicate" will premiere only on Spotify at midnight. The original music video, which premiered on Mar. 11, followed a dramatized day in the life of the Reputation superstar being swarmed by paparazzi and fans. When Swift suddenly becomes invisible, what transpires is a fantastic dance routine by the pop star who relishes in the idea of not being everyone's focus. "Hey guys, I'm at rehearsals for the Reputation Stadium Tour," Swift says in the announcement, via selfie video. "And I just wanted to let you know there's a brand-new video for "Delicate" coming out only on Spotify tonight." It's unclear which direction the new music video will take, but if its anything like its predecessor, it's sure to make T. Swift fans swoon. In other news, Swift recently announced more dates for her upcoming Reputation Stadium Tour, which is set to kick off on May 8 in Glendale Arizona. The first video for "Delicate" currently has over 77 million views on YouTube. (Billboard)

Travis Scott bailed on a concert in Minnesota the night before the Super Bowl but held onto the cash he was paid in advance for it ... according to a new lawsuit. An entertainment events company called PJAM claims it paid the rapper $150k upfront -- plus $10k to his booking agent -- to perform at Myth Nightclub near Minneapolis on February 3. According to the docs, PJAM also arranged for a private jet for Travis, and spent a lot of dough promoting the show, but he backed out hours before. Sources close to Travis told us at the time it was due to weather and logistics, but according to the docs ... PJAM says Scott "refused to show up to the event." As we reported ... Travis DID make his other scheduled performance later that night in Vegas, and then -- on Super Bowl Sunday -- Kylie Jenner revealed they'd had Stormi a couple days before on February 1. It's unclear if PJAM thinks Travis bailed due to fatherhood, but it insists the rapper has not paid back the $150k advance. The company also wants damages for the shot to its reputation. We reached out to Travis ... no word back so far. (TMZ)


Incredibles 2 Trailer Shows Bob and Ellen Trading Parental and Superhero Jobs. "Where's mom?" The Incredibles 2 trailer looks -- for lack of a better word -- incredible. Written and directed by Brad Bird, the animated film features the talents of Jonathan Banks, Sophia Bush, Samuel L. Jackson, Catherine Keener, Holly Hunter, Huck Milner, Craig T. Nelson, Bob Odenkirk, John Ratzenberger, Isabella Rossellini and Sarah Vowell. In the sequel, Helen (Hunter) is asked to lead a campaign to bring Supers back, leaving her husband Bob (Nelson) to manage the day-to-day activities of their children: Violet (Vowell), Dash (Milner) and baby Jack-Jack. But their mission is derailed when a villain hatches a dangerous plot to destroy everything. Incredibles 2, in theaters June 15, picks up immediately after 2004's The Incredibles. Pixar Animation Studios released a 53-second teaser trailer in November, generating 113 million views in 24 hours. A second preview debuted during the Winter Olympics in February. A new trailer, released Thursday on social media, shows Jack-Jack's latent powers revealing themselves as Mr. Incredible gains a better appreciation for how his wife kept the kids in line. Violet is annoyed by Bob's efforts to be the primary parent, which Dash blames on adolescence. (Eonline)

Drew Barrymore Plots Her Next Movie With Adam Sandler -- and It's Not What You'd Expect. Drew Barrymore hasn't ruled out doing another movie with Adam Sandler. The 43-year-old actress weighed in on what she would like their next project to be on Wednesday's episode of Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen. "Adam and I text all the time about our next thing, and we're like, 'We're so fat. We're so old. What the f--k?" the Never Been Kissed star said. "Like, literally, the last thing I suggested to him was like 'On Golden Pond question mark.'" Both host Andy Cohen and fellow guest star Timothy Olyphant were all for the stars recreating the classic Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda film -- as long as they used the original script. However, Barrymore seemed more excited about a different '80s film. "I'm into Planes, Trains and Automobiles with me and Adam on Netflix," she said, "except I'm like Del Griffith." Whatever film they choose, it will uphold the stars' long-running tradition. "Adam and I have done a movie every 10 years, three decades in a row," Barrymore said. "You cannot mess with that." Fans will recall Barrymore and Sandler starred in the 1998 film The Wedding Singer, as well as the 2004 film 50 First Dates. They also appeared in the 2014 film Blended. "We will do our 10-year at 40," she said. "We just haven't figured out what it is yet." Barrymore and Sandler are currently both on Netflix. The actress stars in the Santa Clarita Diet while Sandler signed a multi-year deal with the streaming service. While a Sandler-Barrymore reunion is possible, the actress doesn't expect to revive her role in E.T. Barrymore suggested Steven Spielberg squashed the idea of a sequel a long time ago. "He never wanted to make them because he felt like what he did was just as it should be," she said. "I remember being 7 and staying at his house for the weekend -- he was a 'godfather' to me -- and he said, 'No, we're never going to make a sequel. It's just as it is.' And that was his philosophy, so who was I to ever question it?" (Eonline)

Javier Bardem Explains Why Filming 'Thy Kingdom Come' Was One of His "Hardest Experiences". The star, who produces the film, also tells THR why, when it comes to producing, he's only drawn to projects "that speak about things that matter." The story of Thy Kingdom Come's journey to the screen is unique, to say the least. The project, which recently debuted at the SXSW Film Festival, is just over 40 minutes long and consists of cut footage from Terrence Malick's 2012 film To the Wonder. Malick commissioned Eugene Richards, along with actor Javier Bardem (in-character as fictional priest Father Quintana), to travel to Bartlesville, Oklahoma for a month to speak with the locals and get their stories. When none of the footage made it into the final product, Richards and Bardem implored Malick to grant them access to the footage, which he did, and thus Thy Kingdom Come was born with Richards as director and Bardem as star and producer. The finished product, unscripted and both fiction and documentary-of-sorts, features the real struggles and triumphs of people, some of whom did not know who the Oscar-winning actor was. Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Bardem says, "Some of them didn't have an idea who I was, that I was a fake priest listening to them. But every time I got into a room with any of them, something magical happened." He explains that the people would transform when talking to him. "They would really become a human being sharing, explaining, and opening themselves up to a priest. We could go hours recording without stopping because every one of them, what they needed, was to be listened to. I was shocked." Bardem recalls his initial reaction to the footage not being in To the Wonder. "I went to Terry [Malick] and I said, 'Where is that footage?' Because that was so strong and we owe those people, those amazing people that gave us their time and intimacy, we owe them... It was a big important thing, beyond movies, beyond fiction, it was a big responsibility," he says. Richards and Bardem spoke with people of all ages, from a prison inmate to a KKK member seeking forgiveness to a cancer patient. For his part, Bardem says the experience was by far one of the hardest of his life. "I was not an actor in there. I was there for them and I had to be empty to be filled with their statements, with their words, with their dreams, with their nightmares," he explains. As producer, Bardem says he's "super proud of" the film. The actor, who's produced a handful of films (including Sanctuary, the forthcoming Eva Longoria-helmed doc about underwater life in the Arctic that he also narrates), explains that, when it comes to producing, he's mostly drawn to projects "that speak about things that matter." "Every time I produce, it's about things that are really real, because I really have my fiction covered with my job," he says, adding, "I only do it when I have the time and the privilege of being present in every process." Thy Kingdom Come will play next at the Atlanta Film Festival in April and is currently seeking distribution. (Hollywood Reporter)

Reporter's Notebook: Inside the Premiere of Tommy Wiseau's Next Movie. The Q&A was held before 'Best F(r)iends' even started. Why? "We are rebels of Hollywood." The hardest person to find at a Tommy Wiseau movie premiere is Tommy Wiseau -- not because the unique cult star doesn't stand out with his long, jet black hair and waist accessories, but because there are so many fans dressed just like him. On Wednesday night, Wiseau and Greg Sestero held the premiere of their latest film, Best F(r)iends at the iconic Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. The film (written by Sestero and directed by Justin MacGregor) is a follow up to the 2003 cult phenomenon, The Room, which gained mainstream attention last year thanks to James Franco's award-winning The Disaster Artist. Not really having any clue what the film was about, I, in no way, was shocked to see a pimped-out hearse featured prominently near the theater doors. Is this in the movie? Is this Tommy's? Does this have anything to do with anything? All answers made sense knowing Wiseau is quite the character. And yes, it is in the movie, driven by Wiseau's character Harvey Lewis, a lonely mortician who befriends Sestero's Jon Kortina, a drifter in L.A. Before guests at the packed premiere could make it to the concession stand, they first had to pass by a long table of merchandise, all bearing the name: Tommy Wiseau. The most prominently displayed items were the self-branded underwear, but there was plenty of other merch and a long line of guests trying to snap some up. Inside the theater, as strangers found their seats, they yelled lines from The Room at one another as we all waited for the film to begin. But, this was a Tommy Wiseau premiere, so it was not going to be typical. Wiseau insisted the question-and-answer portion of the evening -- traditionally held after a screening to better digest the film -- take place beforehand. His reasoning: "We are rebels of Hollywood." Not knowing specifics to ask about Best F(r)iends, the audience asked about The Room (we found out Carolyn survived) and also Wiseau's favorite genre of film ("Comedy and tragedy because they are the same thing"). The best moment during the Q&A came when someone asked the movie panel -- made up of Wiseau, Sestero and Paul Sheer -- their favorite Burt Reynolds' film. Sestero said Deliverance, Sheer went with Gator. And then there was Wiseau: "I take my Fifth [Amendment]." He went on to explain why choices are important and his choice was the Fifth. Before Best F(r)iends started, the music video for "Scary Love" by The Neighbourhood was shown. Wiseau stars in the video with a ray gun in a futuristic diner. Following the movie, the first person in the lobby was Wiseau. Somehow I got to him before the thong of guests. Shaking hands, he told me that he hoped I enjoyed the film. "I hope this shows I am a serious actor," he said, earnestly. Best F(r)iends is a two-parter. The conclusion will be released in June. Part one is only playing in 600 theaters as a special screening Friday and Monday. For more information, visit (Hollywood Reporter)

'Ready Player One' Might Qualify for Best Animated Feature Oscar Consideration. The Spielberg film's CG VR world was created using virtual production techniques. Steven Spielberg's virtual reality-themed Ready Player One combines live action with extensive CG environments and both live action and CG characters. As such, the Warner Brothers release might quality for consideration -- should the studio choose to submit it -- in next season's Oscar competition for best animated feature. Underscoring the fact that an increasing amount of live action motion pictures are now created in a computer, in recent years it had been argued that titles such as Avatar and The Jungle Book could have been submitted for animated feature Oscar consideration. But the studios didn't enter these films in the category. James Cameron and Jon Landau have asserted that Avatar is not an animated film, and they are among other filmmakers that share the same view. Most recently, the topic was raised surrounding Disney and Jon Favreau's upcoming remake of The Lion King, which is slated to open July 19, 2019. In the 90th Academy Awards rules, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences defined an animated film as "a motion picture in which movement and characters' performances are created using a frame-by-frame technique, and usually falls into one of the two general fields of animation: narrative or abstract. Some of the techniques for animating films include but are not limited to hand-drawn animation, computer animation, stop-motion, clay animation, pixilation, cutout animation, pinscreen, camera multiple pass imagery, kaleidoscopic effects created frame-by-frame and drawing on the film frame itself." Motion capture and real-time puppetry are not by themselves animation techniques. "Animation must figure in no less than 75 percent of the picture's running time. In addition, a narrative animated film must have a significant number of the major characters animated," the rules state. The branch is very much aware of the blurring of the lines between disciplines. In fact, the animated feature rules even state: "If the picture is created in a cinematic style that could be mistaken for live action, the filmmaker(s) must also submit information supporting how and why the picture is substantially a work of animation rather than live action." Under these guidelines, arguments could be made that Ready Player One might qualify. These days, the term "virtual production" is commonly being used to describe films such as Avatar, The Jungle Book or Ready Player One, where a large amount of the final film is CG, but still involved live action production techniques. For instance, three-time Oscar-winning VFX supervisor Rob Legato -- whose credits include Favreau's The Jungle Book and The Lion King -- has often said that the "virtual production" of The Jungle Book felt like a traditionally shot live-action movie, though it was filmed entirely on a bluescreen stage and only live-action element in the movie is Mowgli and whatever small piece of set actor Neel Sethi stood or climbed on. The rest is a photo-real CG jungle, and in the action sequences, the viewer is running or swinging alongside Mowgli thanks to cinematographer Bill Pope's camera. Ready Player One -- whose cinematographer is Spielberg's longtime collaborator, two-time Oscar winner Janusz Kaminski -- takes places in a "real world" shot on film and augmented with VFX, and a virtual world, "the Oasis," where the lead characters appear as avatars in a VR experience. All scenes in the Oasis -- which makes up an estimated 90 minutes of the movie's two hours and 20 minutes run time -- are CG and were created with virtual production techniques. The avatars of the lead actors involved motion capture performances. Industrial Light + Magic was the lead VFX house, with ILM's Roger Guyett (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) as VFX supervisor. Digital Domain and previs house The Third Floor were among the additional VFX suppliers. (Hollywood Reporter)

Far East Film Fest to Premiere Documentary About David Bowie's Photographer. 'Sukita The Shoot Must Go On' chronicles the work of Sukita Masayoshi, the Japanese photographer who captured 40 years of Bowie's life and career through images. A colorful, inside look at the life and career of David Bowie will make its world premiere at the upcoming 20th edition of the Far East Film Festival in Udine, Italy. Sukita The Shoot Must Go On chronicles the work of Sukita Masayoshi, the Japanese photographer who captured 40 years of Bowie's life and career through images -- including the iconic shot that adorns the cover of Bowie's 1977 album Heroes. The 115-minute doc, directed by Aihara Hiro, is said to present a treasure trove of anecdotes and photos from Sukita and Bowie's decade-spanning creative partnership, along with other moments in rock, glam and punk history, such as Sukita's work with Iggy Pop and Marc Bolan's T.Rex. The project also offers a glimpse of Bowie's lifelong devotion to his closest creative collaborators. The Shoot Must Go On features appearances and appraisals from Japanese composers and musicians Ryuichi Sakamoto and Hotei (who wrote the Kill Bill theme song) and filmmakers such as Jim Jarmush and Kore-eda Hirokazu (Like Father, Like Son; After the Storm). The film is produced by Aihara Hiromi and Sukita Aki. Following its premiere in Udine, Sukita The Shoot Must Go On will receive a limited theatrical release in Japan. Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, the Far East Film Festival is Europe's only film event dedicated exclusively to East Asian popular cinema. Set in the picturesque city of Udine in northeastern Italy, the event balances its program with both popular commercial cinema and festival favorites from across the East Asian region, along with retrospectives, educational initiatives and an emerging film market. Despite its small size, the event is known to pull big names from the Asian industry, thanks to longstanding relationships with talent. This year's Far East Film Festival runs April 20-April 28. (Hollywood Reporter)


The reboot bug has bitten FOX hard, and the biggest beneficiary is Tim Allen's recently-canceled show, "Last Man Standing." Our FOX sources tell us Allen's show -- which was controversially canceled last year -- is now under serious consideration for a reboot. There were rumors the show was canceled because of Allen's personal conservative affiliations -- he compared being a conservative in Hollywood to 1930's Nazi Germany, as well as the conservative character he portrayed on the show. The irony ... we're told the success of "Roseanne" has intrigued FOX because there appears to be a big Trump-supporting audience out there. FOX produced the show when it aired on ABC, and we're told the talk now is to possibly reboot and put it on FOX. Our sources say the other show most likely to come back -- in derivative form -- is "How I Met Your Dad" ... which is currently in development. We're told at the top of the wish list is "Married with Children" ... but it's impossible to reboot because Ed O'Neill and Katey Sagal aren't available. The other 2 shows FOX is considering ... "That 70's Show" and "Malcolm in the Middle." (TMZ)

Scandal Cast Says Goodbye in Emotional Retrospective. Whether you're ready or not, it's time to say goodbye to Scandal. The Emmy-winning ABC drama is coming to an end after seven seasons on Thursday, April 19 with "Over the Cliff," an episode written by series creator Shonda Rhimes and directed by longtime Shondaland helmer Tom Verica. To commemorate the ground-breaking show, ABC assembled its stars (both in front of and behind the camera) to look back. "There isn't a single feeling I haven't had about the show ending," Kerry Washington, Olivia Pope on the series, said in the video. The 18-episode season let the cast and crew have closure, Darby Stanchfield said. "We have gotten the chance to look at each other and say, 'I love you, I'm going to miss you," Guillermo Diaz said. The cast recorded their interviews before they wrapped filming on March 18, but Scott Foley saw a vision of the future. "I know exactly how it's going to be: Tough," he said about their final day. ABC's featurette features behind-the-scenes footage, including lots of laughs and smiles. But will there be any of those on-screen for the characters? "I think everybody deserves a happy ending," Washington said. "Happy endings in the Scandal universe? We'll see," Joshua Malina said. Gladiators, fans of the show, get their dues in the special video as well. "There's a family you're born into and there are families you find, and this is a family that found me," Washington said. "And I'm really grateful." Scandal airs Thursdays, 10 p.m. on ABC. (Eonline)

Jennifer Morrison Says Goodbye to Once Upon a Time (Again): "Emma Swan Will Live in My Heart Forever." Jennifer Morrison returned to Once Upon a Time for one more swan song. Hey, let us have this pun one last time. Morrison returned to the fantasy drama for its series finale and documented her time on set on Instagram. Morrison played Emma Swan on Once Upon a Time for seasons one through six and appeared in an episode of the currently-airing season seven. "That's a wrap! Wow! What a journey," Morrison posted after finishing her last day (for real, unless there's a TV movie or revival down the line) on Once Upon a Time. "Thank you to everyone in the cast and on the crew for making my last day so special. #emmaswan will live in my heart forever. And I will be forever changed by #onceuponatime thank you to #StevePearlman for the very, very kind words at wrap today. It really meant a lot to me. Cheers to spreading the magic!" Morrison isn't the only returning familiar face. Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas and Emilie De Ravin will also return. Once Upon a Time previously announced Jared Gilmore, Sean Maguire, Rebecca Mader, Beverley Elliot, Lee Arenberg, Keegan Tracy, Tony Amendola, Victoria Smurfit, JoAnna Garcia Swisher and Robbie Kay would also reprise their roles in the series finale, "Leaving Storybrooke." Series star Lana Parrilla posted with Smurfit, Cruella de Vil on the series. "Seven years after we set off on this magical journey, we prepare to say goodbye to the cast, crew and writers that made the 'happily ever after' that is Once Upon a Time possible," co-creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz said in a statement. "We couldn't think of a more fitting way to say farewell than by reuniting so many of the characters that our fiercely loyal fans spent years with on their adventures. We hope everyone joins our Once family, old and new, for what we hope will be the sendoff of a lifetime befitting this stellar cast and its incomparable fans." Once Upon a Time airs Fridays, 8 p.m. on ABC. (Eonline)

Westworld Season 2 Trailer Has Everything, Including a Nirvana Song, Tessa Thompson and Rebellion. "That reckoning is here." It's time to return to Westworld. The official season two trailer is here, and boy does it look 1. stunning and 2. like we're in for a treat. "Dreams don't mean anything, Dolores. That answer doesn't seem to satisfy you," Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) says. "Because it's not completely honest," Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) says. Deep stuff, y'all. The second season picks up right where the first one ended. Maeve (Thandie Newton) is on the hunt for her daughter, the robot uprising continues and those sweeping shots you've come to know and love are back. And you can sure expect lots of mystery. It's Westworld, after all. "Here we are, a kind that will never know death and yet we're fighting to live. There is beauty in what we are," Dolores says. And she has an ominous warning: "It's us or them." The trailer features a cover of Nirvana's "Heart-Shaped Box" by series composer Ramin Djawdi. Westworld featured a large ensemble cast in season one, including Ed Harris, James Marsden, Luke Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Ben Barnes and Angela Sarafyan, among others. After watching that trailer, we have more questions than answers. What do you think of the trailer? Westworld season two premieres Sunday, April 22 at 9p.m. on HBO. (Eonline)

The Arrangement's Kyle West Has Four Words for All the Haters Bashing His New Movie: "Let Them Eat Cake." It's safe to say one of the best parts of wedding planning is the cake tasting, right? Well, if you're Kyle West (Josh Henderson), even that can get a bit sticky. In a clip from Sunday's all-new The Arrangement, Megan Morrison (Christine Evangelista) and Kyle's wedding cake tasting gets interrupted when Xavier Hughes (Ruffin Prentiss) shows the couple a less than flattering viral video. "Kyle, you gotta see this," Xavier tells Kyle. The Internet took an interview for Kyle's movie, The Kill Plan, and remixed it and the comments were a bit harsh. Try "The Kill Plan is TANKING @ the Box Office. HA!!!" Ouch. "Congrats man. You've got your own Ben Affleck "Hello Darkness" video. It's half a million views already," Xavier says to Kyle in an effort to cheer him up. "Hey, I've finally arrived. Let them eat cake," Kyle jokes. Brand new episode of The Arrangement Sunday at 9 p.m., on E! (Eonline)

The Crown Casts Outlander's Tobias Menzies As New Prince Philip. Frank Randall may be dead, but Tobias Menzies will basically never be out of a job. E! News has confirmed that Menzies, who starred as both Frank and Black Jack Randall on Starz's Outlander for two and a half seasons, has been cast as the new Prince Philip on Netflix's The Crown for seasons three and four. Fellow prestigious British actor Matt Smith played the role for two years alongside Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II, who will now be played by Olivia Colman as the show jumps ahead a few years. Helena Bonham Carter will also join the show as Princess Margaret, replacing Vanessa Kirby. Aside from his often controversial and definitely polarizing role(s) on Outlander, Menzies is known for Game of Thrones, Catastrophe, The Terror, and The Night Manager, just to name a few recent projects. To get the scoop on everything else we know about season three (and four!) of The Crown, head to our gallery: Everything We Know About The Crown Season 3. The Crown streams on Netflix. (Eonline)

Amazon Takes ABC's 'The Crossing,' Freeform's 'Cloak & Dagger' for European Markets. "This marks another step forward in bringing best-in-class TV shows to Prime Video customers in Europe," says Jay Marine, vp, Prime Video EU. Amazon has struck a deal to stream two Disney TV dramas, Marvel's Cloak & Dagger and The Crossing, exclusively on Prime Video in European markets under a deal with the conglomerate. Cloak & Dagger tells the story of two teenagers from very different backgrounds who find themselves burdened and awakened by their new powers. The show, which in the U.S. will air on Freeform, will be available on Prime Video in the U.K., Ireland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France and Italy in June, a day after the U.S. premiere. Sci-fi mystery The Crossing, which debuts in the U.S. on ABC on Monday, will become available on Prime Video in the U.K. and Ireland on Tuesday and in Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Austria on April 27. The show focuses on a group of refugees from a war-torn country 250 years in the future who seek asylum in an American town. "This marks another step forward in bringing best-in-class TV shows to Prime Video customers in Europe," says Jay Marine, vp, Prime Video EU. "We are thrilled to be bringing Marvel's next hugely anticipated TV series exclusively to Prime Video, and we look forward to hearing the reaction from Marvel fans and newcomers to the iconic entertainment series alike as they discover the universe of Cloak & Dagger. The Crossing is a timely addition to Prime Video, and we're expecting customers to find much to love about this enigmatic show." Cloak & Dagger stars Olivia Holt (Ultimate Spider-Man) and Aubrey Joseph (The Night Of). The series is co-produced by Marvel Television and ABC Signature Studios. The Crossing stars Steve Zahn (War for the Planet of the Apes), Natalie Martinez (Death Race), Sandrine Holt (House of Cards, The Returned), Rick Gomez (Band of Brothers), Jay Karnes (The Shield), Marcuis Harris (Grey's Anatomy), Simone Kessel (Of Kings and Prophets), Kelley Missal (Sleepy Hollow), Rob Campbell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch), Grant Harvey (The Secret Life of the American Teenager), Bailey Skodje (If There Be Thorns), John D'Leo (The Family), Luc Roderique (Godzilla) and Tommy Bastow (Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging). The series is produced by ABC Studios. (Hollywood Reporter)

How 'Santa Clarita Diet's' Nazi Storyline Connects to Charlottesville. "I think because of our president, they are not as marginalized, unfortunately, as you wish they were or as they once were," showrunner Victor Fresco says of white supremacists like the Nazis shown in the second season of Netflix's zombie comedy. [This story contains spoilers from Santa Clarita Diet's second season.] When Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant's Sheila and Joel Hammond were first looking for people to kill after Sheila became undead in Santa Clarita Diet's first season, they reasoned that their ideal victim would be someone evil without any family members. Or as Joel put it, "a young, single Hitler." In the second season of Netflix's zombie sitcom, which is now streaming, Joel and Sheila find their "young, single Hitler" in a Nazi enthusiast by the name of Boone, who, the Hammonds discover, is part of an entire softball team of like-minded individuals. Sheila sees them as a perfect source of food and ultimately attacks Boone and his cohorts. In between the two seasons of the show, though, neo-Nazis and other white supremacists have become more prominent, participating in the deadly Charlottesville "Unite the Right" rally in August, after which President Trump famously claimed there were "very fine people on both sides" of the conflict between white nationalists and counter-protestors. In fact, Santa Clarita Diet showrunner Victor Fresco claims he and his team actually filmed the episode in which Sheila attacks two Nazis either the day of or day after Charlottesville. Still, he maintains that the storyline, written five months earlier, which seems particularly timely given recent developments, was merely meant to be a callback to the "young, single Hitler" line from season one and not a reflection of the rise of white supremacists in American society. "We wanted her to target people that she would feel OK about killing; she has to kill somebody," Fresco says. "We didn't know at the time that Nazis would become more mainstream, which was just kind of interesting, because we were doing it at a time where Nazis were still, I think, a fringe and then I think after Charlottesville and after the president's comments, I think there was an active attempt to more mainstream them, which was interesting to me, but it was more that we felt those could be people that we would understand why she would target." Fresco said shooting that scene felt odd given the news at the time, but the real-life events didn't inspire them to alter the script. "I didn't know how to react to it at the time," he tells The Hollywood Reporter. "I mean, I knew how to react to Charlottesville, but I didn't know how to react to the fact that we were targeting Nazis on the show and Nazis were now in ascension in America. I just kind of put it all under the craziness that's been happening in America in the last year." And he indicates that the show isn't trying to make a provocative political point in its anti-Nazi message. "We are targeting Nazis in the show, and we're not conflating them with any other alt-right [group] or any other political movement in the country, and I think our feeling was it shouldn't be controversial," Fresco says. "Obviously we're not advocating killing anybody, but it shouldn't be controversial that the Hammonds don't like Nazis. My only takeaway now, months later is, as I said, I think because of our president, they are not as marginalized, unfortunately, as you wish they were or as they once were. So I think that's sad for our culture and sad for America, but it doesn't influence, I don't think, our show one way or another." (Hollywood Reporter)

TV Ratings: 'Empire' Wins in Return, 'Alex, Inc.' Gives OK Debut. Fox's 'Star' out-rates ABC's 'Modern Family' for the first time -- and the CW's 'Life Sentence' goes very low. Empire's ratings were a little goosed in the series' Wednesday return. The Fox drama, off the air for nearly four months, came back to the schedule with its strongest showing in the key demo since the first three weeks of the TV season. Fox led the night, starting at 8 o'clock, with Empire earning a 2.0 rating among adults 18-49. That was up two-tenths of a point in the key demo from its fall finale. Sister series Star, also off the air since December, improved by the same measure to pull a 1.5 rating in the key demo. Interestingly, Wednesday marked the first time that Star out-rated ABC's Modern Family, which trailed as the No. 3 scripted series of the night. It earned a 1.4 rating in the key demo, following a new episode of The Goldbergs (1.4 adults) and the premiere of Alex, Inc. The freshman comedy earned a 1.1 rating among adults 18-49 and just shy of 4.5 million viewers. It's a decent enough start for a new sitcom, pulling the kind of numbers Speechless typically does in the same time slot. Designated Survivor wrapped ABC's night with a 0.7 rating among adults 18-49. CBS saw a steady Survivor lead its lineup, fetching a strong 1.7 rating among adults 18-49 and the night's biggest audience -- 8.1 million viewers. Recently renewed SEAL Team (1.0 adults) and Criminal Minds (1.1 adults), both steady, followed. After a repeat of The Voice, NBC offered up its Andrew Lloyd Webber tribute (0.6 adults). On the CW, Riverdale logged a series low 0.3 rating among adults 18-49 before freshman Life Sentence pulled an abysmal 0.1 rating in the key demo and a scant 420,000 viewers. (Hollywood Reporter)