Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton cast surprise 9-year-old on John Krasinski's YouTube show

ABC/Paula Lobo(LOS ANGELES) -- What's better than going to a Broadway show? Having the Broadway show come to you.

That's exactly what happened when John Krasinski reunited the original Hamilton cast on Some Good News, his new YouTube series, much to the delight of a 9-year-old girl named Aubrey.

The Quiet Place director brought Aubrey on his show after she was unable to see the Broadway show -- her favorite -- on tour due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As the trio joked about how Aubrey watched Krasinski's wife, Emily Blunt, in Mary Poppins Returns in lieu of the Tony-winning musical, Krasinski revealed that they were sending Aubrey and her mom to New York City to see Hamilton on Broadway when the COVID-19 quarantine is lifted. Though she was thrilled, the surprises didn't end there.

That's when Lin-Manuel Miranda himself joined the Zoom video chat. Miranda -- who starred alongside Blunt in the Mary Poppins sequel -- joked that he could "top that right now."

After this, the original Hamilton cast began popping up as they sang "Alexander Hamilton," the hit musical's opening number. Joining the show's creator were Daveed Diggs, Jonathan Groff, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Christopher Jackson, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Javier Muñoz, Leslie Odom Jr., Okieriete Onaodowan, Anthony Ramos, and Phillipa Soo.

Star power aside, Krasinksi's homebrew news show also delivered some good news regarding people providing life-saving gear for first responders, and other cheerful tidbits.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

From bongos to bingo: Matthew McConaughey and family play games with senior center residents

ABC/Nicole Wilder(TEXAS) -- Alright, alright, alright! The residents of The Enclave at Round Rock Senior Living center in Round Rock, Texas got quite a surprise when their Sunday game of bingo was called by none other than Matthew McConaughey. 

According to local ABC affiliate KVUE-TV, the Oscar winner was asked by the facility to participate back in its Sunday bingo game back in September, and now that the native Texan is at home with his family during the COVID-19 lockdown, he used the video conferencing app Zoom to make it happen. 

Video of the star, along with his mother, Mary, and his wife Camila, and their kids, calling the game -- to the delight of the residents -- was posted to Facebook. 

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Starz gives the green light to 50 Cent's 'Black Mafia Family'

ABC/Paula Lobo(LOS ANGELES) -- 50 Cent is making more "power" moves at Starz. On Monday, the premium cabler announced they had given a series order to the drug trafficking drama Black Mafia Family.

The series, which has been in the works at Starz since 2016, is inspired by the Black Mafia Family -- also known as the B.M.F. -- a powerful drug trafficking organization that was broken up by the DEA in 2005. The organization had strong ties to hip-hop, and even had its own music and promotion company, BMF Entertainment, which promoted artists such as Young Jeezy.

According to Starz, the upcoming series will follow the real-life story of brothers Demetrius 'Big Meech' Flenory and Terry 'Southwest T' Flenory, who "rose from the decaying streets of southwest Detroit in the late 1980s and gave birth to one of the most influential crime families in the country." Black Mafia Family is said to focus on "love, family and capitalism in the pursuit of the American dream."

"I told you Black Mafia Family was coming and it’s going to be the biggest show on television," said 50 in a statement. "Meech and Terry are legends and I am excited to bring their story to Starz." 

Black Mafia Family falls under 50's overall deal at Starz. A premiere date for the series has yet to be announced.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Sofia Vergara cites "Cuarentena times" as reason why she cut her niece's hair

ABC TV(LOS ANGELES) -- With most businesses deemed non-essential shutting down to prevent the spread of COVID-19, that also means barbershops and hair salons are currently closed for business until the pandemic relaxes its grip on the nation.

Modern Family star Sofia Vergara revealed on Sunday that she felt her niece's hair was getting too unruly and, without being able to seek professional intervention, took the matter into her own hands.

"Cuarentena times," joked Vergara against a slideshow of her taking a pair of scissors to niece Claudia Vergara's long blonde hair. 

Turns out, the 47-year-old actress was not a fan of the split ends, as indicated in the "before" picture.

A behind-the-scenes video of the impromptu haircut in her Instagram Stories shows Vergara kneeling to make sure she gives her niece the a nice and even trim.

Turns out, Sofia does have a steady hand when it comes to wielding a pair of scissors, to which she proudly showed off in the "after" photo showing Claudia's neat and uniform ends. 

Turns out Auntie Sofia was so proud of her professional trim, she bragged about it in a subsequent post that featured the caption "Wow, perfect hair."

The Vergaras aren't the only celebrities to have experimented with their hair during quarantine.  Artists like Pink and Blake Shelton have also opted to give themselves a makeover -- albeit more radical than Claudia's.

Pink admittedly buzzed her hair after a couple of drinks while Shelton allowed girlfriend Gwen Stefani to give him a striped "quarantine mullet."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Jameela Jamil hilariously reveals she hasn't been wearing pants to any of her Zoom meetings

ABC Image Group/LA(LOS ANGELES) -- Leave it to Jameela Jamil to say it's okay to not put any pants on now that the world is staying safely at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  The Good Place actress cheekily showed off how quarantine life has affected her wardrobe -- even when it comes to conducting important interviews and meetings.

"If you think I’m dressing from the waist down for zoom meetings then you must be drunk," Jamil cracked on her Instagram Sunday while uploading a video as evidence.

The video starts with the comedian being pressed on what she's up to, to which she calmly explains, "I'm about to talk to Harvard.  Live.  On Livestream."

When her wardrobe is praised, Jameela, who is wearing an "I [love] New York" tee shirt with a red and black blazer, hops up on her seat to show off that's all she's has on -- opting to skip the pants and shoes entirely. 

What's even funnier, besides the fact that the 34-year-old is perfectly made up from the waist up for her very important meeting, the video shows that she also touched up the area that would also be featured in the frame.

However, the space that wouldn't be seen on camera -- such as the front of her laptop -- is a disaster, as is the area off to her left.  

As most of the world is asked to work from home, most meetings and classes have been moved to online platforms like Zoom, which hosts multiple people and allows video and audio chat features. 

Thanks to Jameel, however, it just shows that just because a person may look put together and has a clean house on camera, what lies just out of frame might be a completely different story. 

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Ellen DeGeneres wants to "lift you up" from COVID-19 with new home-shot shows

ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) -- Ellen DeGeneres, whose daytime talker The Ellen DeGeneres Show has been shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is returning today. 

DeGeneres shared the news via Twitter on Sunday, saying in a video recorded at her home, “I’ve always wanted to have this show as a distraction, as a break from whatever is going on. So if you’re feeling down, I want to lift you up. If you’re feeling trapped, I want to set you free. If you feel like you’re going in the wrong direction, I want to back the thing up.”

Ellen will be taping the show remotely from her home, following in the footsteps of other show hosts including Trevor Noah from The Daily Show, Jimmy Fallon, and Jimmy Kimmel.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Tyler Perry leaves $21,000 tip for COVID-unemployed restaurant workers

Steve Iervolino/ABC News(ATLANTA) -- Tyler Perry can’t seem to do enough to lift spirits amid growing concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, and the latest example was on Sunday.

TMZ reports Perry stopped by a Houston’s restaurant in Atlanta and left a $500 tip for each of its 42 out-of-work servers -- a total of $21,000!

Perry is reportedly a fan the restaurant chain and pays frequent visits to that particular location.

Last month, Perry attempted to raise spirits with his "'Whole World In His Hands' Challenge," a musical collaboration with some of his talented friends.  After kicking off the gospel classic, he was joined by Jennifer Hudson, Yolanda Adams, Johnny Gill and Fantasia, among others, who each took a verse.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Amy Schumer shares the heartwarming scene that greeted her friend starting her hospital shift A

Photo by Jeff Hahne/Getty Images for Oprah(NEW YORK) -- Every night at 7 p.m., the streets of New York City light up with thunderous applause, cheers and other noisemakers like bells and drums.  The daily sound off is a new tradition created by the city's residents to show their heartfelt support of the doctors, nurses and other staff leaving or just starting their 7 p.m. hospital shift.

Comedian Amy Schumer couldn't help but share the heartwarming scene that greeted her friend, a hospital worker named Jen, who arrived to work on Sunday.

"My friend Jen walking in for her shift at the NY hospital she works at tonight sent us this picture," captioned Schumer, who also enclosed her friend's stunned text, "Walking into work- all surrounding fire dept and ems cheering."

The picture shows a crowd of firefighters and EMS employees standing before a lit up firetruck and ambulance as they raise their hands in applause to all employees entering and leaving the hospital. 

The firefighters and paramedics are standing shoulder to shoulder in solidarity to honor those also tirelessly working the front line against the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We love you Jen," Encourages the I Feel Pretty actress, "All nurses. Thinking about you all the time."

New York City continues to be the nation's epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, with 64,955 confirmed COVID-19 cases, an increase of over 4,000 in 24 hours.

The city has also recorded 2,472 deaths and 14,205 hospitalizations. 

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Netflix readying a new episode of 'Tiger King' next week.

Netflix(LOS ANGELES) -- If you're clamoring for more of the Netflix hit docuseries, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, -- and let's face it, who isn't -- your prayers may have been answered. 

The streamer is releasing an additional episode next week, according to zoo owner Jeff Lowe from the show. 

"Netflix is adding one more episode. It will be on next week. They’re filming here tomorrow," Lowe said in a video posted on Twitter by Justin Turner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

It’s unclear whether the new episode will be a follow-up to the show’s seven-episode run or more of a reunion.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

"American Idol" recap: Meet the Top 21!

ABC/Karen Neal(KAPOLEI, Hawaii) -- Sunday night's episode of American idol took viewers back to the tropical island of Hawaii to find out who will round out the Top 20. Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan finished making their tough decisions before handing over the baton to viewers. 

Picking up right where they left off last week -- with the fate of Dylan James hanging in the balance -- fans were finally given the answer they've been waiting for... he's into the next round. 

Here's who else performed and whether or not their journey on American Idol has survived another round. 

Genevieve Linkowski: This returning lady, who has been open about the struggle of losing her sister, sang "You Say" by Lauren Daigle but unfortunately it wasn't enough to push her through to the Top 20. 

Franklin Boone: The music teacher told the heartwarming story of how he performed "Daughters" by John Mayer the night before he found out he would become a father. This must be his lucky song because it landed him a slot in the Top 20, where Lionel felt he could be an inspiration to his students. 

Julia Gargano: Katy previously called her Top 5 material and her performance in Hawaii proved just why. Gargano sang Pink's "Glitter In The Air" and earned the praises of all the judges but especially Luke Bryan who felt like he could see her performing on the Grammys someday. With a comment like that, it's easy to see why she made it through to the next round. 

Aliana Jester: Singing "This Is Me" from The Greatest Showman soundtrack broke out of her shell and, because of that, is into the Top 20.  

Sophia Wackerman: Where to start? Sophia stunned with her cover of Nick Jonas' "Levels" but it wasn't solely because of her vocals. It was the overall performance that made her look like a pro she as she played air guitar with the band, interacted with fans and straight-up had a good time on stage. After Katy, Lionel, and Luke lead her on to believe she's going home, they shock her with the news she gets to stay n the competition a little longer. 

Robert Taylor: There's no denying Robert has the vocal range to be a stay but his tendency to overdo it with hitting too many notes and performing too many runs stuck the unfortunate nail in his coffin when he took on Elton John's "Take Me To The Pilot." So upset by the news he was unable to do an interview but Bobby Bones came to the rescue, on his day off, to come and support the American Idol contestant he has come to know after all these weeks. 

Kimmy Gabriela: Taking on Demi Lovato's "You Don't Do It For Me Anymore" she brought her father to tears and while her performance was amazing, Katy had a bone to pick with her. After explaining that it's not enough to "just be a good singer," and some advice to step up her game, Kimmy made the Top 20.

Next up, wrapped together in a neat little bow were powerhouses, Cyniah Elise who performed "Lady Marmalade," Makayla Phillips with "Sorry Not Sorry" by Demi Lovato, and Lauren Spencer-Smith who sang Aretha Franklin's "Respect". They all impressed with their Hawaii performances earning them each a spot in the Top 20. 

Shannon Gibbins: While she certainly had a good time on stage covering "Send My Love (To Your New Lover) by Adele, Shannon didn't quite make the cut and was sent home. 

Olivia Ximines: Taking on Tina Turner's "Proud Mary" she surely made her family and friends proud. This high schooler gave quite the performance, complete with a costume reveal and all, and got the judges out of their seats. Needless to say, she's moving forward. 

Arthur Gunn: He made the crowd sway as he sang Bob Marley & The Wailers' "Is This Love" and had Katy gushing over how "pure" he is. While he kept it simple and classic, strumming his guitar as he sang, he stayed true to himself which was good enough to make it to the top 20.

Demi Rae: She had the vocals to compete with the powerhouses but faced with the tough decision to narrow down the competition, her performance of "Lonely" by Noah Cyrus, while great, was not great enough, and she was sent packing. 

With one spot left in the Top 20 and two singers left, Katy, Lionel, and Luke switched things up a little bit and had Grace Leer sing Aretha Franklin's "You Make Me Feel (Like A Natural Woman)" and Lauren Mascitti sing Emmy Lou Harris' "Two More Bottles Of Wine" -- and both found out their fates together.

Both country singers are from Nashville and made their home city proud, however, the decision was just too hard for the judges. So, in a shocking twist of events, they decided to hand the decision over to America one week early.

What would come next for American Idol is the live performances, but due to the current global pandemic production has been put on hold. Still, the show will return next week with a special episode titled American Idol: This is Me, which will delve deeper into the lives of the Top 20 contestants, with unseen footage and performance highlights.

ELIMINATED: Genavieve Linkowski, Robert Taylor, Shannon Gibbons, Demi Rae, 3 others who were not named. 

TOP 20:Dylan James, Franklin Boone, Aliana Jester, Sophia Wackerman, Kimmy Gabriela, McKayla Phillips, Lauren Spencer-Smith, Cyniah Elise, Olivia Ximines, Arthur Gunn, Grace Leer, and Lauren Mascitti. 

They join Nick Merico, Dewayne Crocker, Jr., Louis Knight, Francisco Martin, Jovin Webb, Faith Becnel, Just Sam, and Jonny West.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Jordan Peele's 'Candyman' postponed until the fall due to COVID-19

Universal Pictures

(LOS ANGELES) -- Jordan Peele's remake of the 1992 horror classic Candyman has joined the long list of films whose releases are being postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic shuttering theaters.

Variety reports the release was pushed back from June 12th to September 25th. 

Directed by Nia DaCosta, the film stars Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris, and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett from Misfits.

The new film has been described as a "spiritual sequel" to the original, which followed the son of a slave who became an artist. He was later mutilated and killed by a lynch mob hired by his lover's father, prompting his spirit to seek revenge. 

Other major movies that have been postponed or delayed include Disney’s Black Widow and Mulan, Fatherhood starring Kevin Hart, The Lovebirds with Issa Rae, Universal's Fast & Furious 9 and more.

 Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Need an at-home workout? Get your heart racing with Sunday's episode of Homeland

Showtime(NEW YORK) -- Now in its eighth and final season, Showtime's Homeland is as intense as ever: There's growing tension between Pakistan and the U.S. as Claire Danes' CIA operative Carrie Mathison tries to find the real culprit behind the deaths of two world leaders.

True Blood star Sam Trammell stars on Homeland this season as the hawkish, inexperienced President Benjamin Hayes.  He checked in from home to tell us why we should watch such a stressful show when we're all trying to stay calm while quarantined.

"Maybe that's your exercise!" he laughs. "You know, it's just exercise for your inside metabolism. You know, get your heart racing!"

"It is extraordinarily stressful," he allows, but notes, "The production value this year is off the charts. I mean, it's like you're watching these movies...they really threw everything at it this year...there's so much going on: The stakes are so high and there's so many different players involved in international politics....it's a blast!"

As for Sunday's episode, Trammell tells ABC Audio, "I don't want to give away too much, but it's leading toward a standoff with Pakistan, massive geopolitical ramifications, and two different countries potentially coming up against each other."

Trammell says he's been "honored" to join the acclaimed show for its final season, calling Homeland "the A-Team of TV." But for him, the best part is getting to play the Leader of the Free World.

"Oh, it's such a power trip!" he laughs. "I love it. Everybody should get to do it at some point...people open doors for you. You get this sort of unconscious added respect in the room."

"Sitting in the Oval Office behind the desk is incredible," he adds. "I mean, it was just a set...But you walk in there...and you feel the power of that office."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'Reading Rainbow''s LeVar Burton will read adult and children's stories aloud on Twitter Livestream

ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) -- LeVar Burton will stream his LeVar Burton Reads podcast on Twitter, reading adult and children’s stories for families self-quarantining at home.  The first book he'll read is Neil Gaiman's 1989 short story We Can Get Them for You Wholesale, which Burton describes as Gaiman's "best" [work]. 

Burton, who starred in The Roots and Star Trek: The Next Generation, will host three weekly livestreams, doing what he loves most: reading. For a week, he contemplated ways to contribute during COVID-19 pandemic, searching for accessible stories to read aloud. 

"I figured that during this difficult time I could contribute by reading aloud to folks who could use some diversion for themselves and their families," Burton tweeted

When he expressed concern about copyright issues, several authors, including Gaiman, granted him permission via Twitter to read their short stories and books.

Children’s fiction will be read on Mondays at 9 am PT/12 pm ET, followed by young adult stories on Wednesdays at 3 pm PT/6 pm ET. Fridays are for adults.

"I would like to believe that this is a short-lived effort,” Burton tells Forbes. "In the sense that there wouldn’t be such a need once life gets back to normal or more resembling normal than it does now."

For more than 20 years, Burton hosted PBS' The Reading Rainbow, encouraging children's literacy. The show won over 200 awards, including Emmys for Outstanding Children's Series. The show was canceled in 2006 but revamped by Burton as an app years later. 

The first live-stream of LeVar Burton Reads begins today at 6 pm PT/9 pm ET. 

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Will Smith launches 'Will from Home' on Snapchat

Photo by Jun Sato/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- Continuing his newfound dominance of social media, and hoping to inspire and entertain his followers during the COVID-19 lockdown, Will Smith has launched Will from Home on Snapchat.

The 12-episode series will feature him, his family, and friends -- famous and not so -- discussing what they're doing while in isolation. 

Snap head of original content Sean Mills tells The Hollywood Reporter of the partnership: "Will was feeling a lot of pent-up creative energy and was excited to do something with it in a new and different way."

The Bad Boys and Aladdin series star and his company, Westbrook Media, felt the lockdown could inspire "new forms of creativity and new ways to tell stories," says Mills.

Will from Home debuted on Snapshat Friday morning.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Jennifer Aniston & Kimmel surprise COVID-19 positive nurse with $10K from PostMates

ABC(LOS ANGELES) -- On another installment of his ABC show-from-home Thursday night, Jimmy Kimmel -- along with his famous friend Jennifer Aniston -- surprised a young nurse who is quarantined after contracting COVID-19. 

Kimmel got to know Kimball Fairbanks, a cardiovascular nurse from St. George, Utah, and has been following her condition since she's tested positive. While she's furloughed from work and away from her two kids, she explained, she's been taking care of herself and ordering food. 

That's where Aniston came in. She surprised Fairbanks via video, and the pair informed her that they're going to be gifting her with $10,000 worth of food delivery from PostMates. 

"But you have to use it all in one shot," Kimmel quipped. "One huge meal." 

"On top of that, PostMates has generously donated gift cards to all the nurses on your floor," Kimmel added. 

Fairbanks said she should be able to get back to work -- and see her kids -- on April 8. 

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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