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Clock has likely run out on HBO's 'Watchmen'

Mark Hill/HBO(NEW YORK) -- Despite acclaim and a cliffhanger ending to its freshman season, it's likely that HBO's Watchmen won't get another. According to USA Today, Damon Lindelof, who adapted the Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons graphic novel-turned movie to the small screen, has stepped away from the show. 

The series was set in an alternate version of 2019; Emmy winner Regina King stars as a Tusla detective and secret vigilante in an America torn apart by racial strife.

Although he tells the paper he's "given his blessing" his blessing for HBO to continue without him, HBO programming chief Casey Bloys tells USA Today that the network reportedly won't. "It would be hard to imagine doing it without Damon involved in some way," noted Bloys.

Watchmen's ninth and final episode aired December 15.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Wendy Williams apologizes, donates to cleft lip charities after poking fun at Joaquin Phoenix's scar

Niko Tavernise/© 2019 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved(NEW YORK) -- Wendy Williams has put her money where her mouth is as an apology to Joaquin Phoenix and others who have had cleft lips.

Williams got flamed online when she appeared to make fun of the Oscar-nominated Joker actor's lip scar, while simultaneously praising his acting and his looks. She even went so far as to stick her finger in her lip and expose her teeth, to imitate the common but easily fixable birth defect. 

"He's got one of those -- what do you call it? -- cleft lip, cleft palate. He’s got this," she said while holding her lip. "I find it to be very attractive."

Adam Bighill, a Canadian football player whose son, Beau, had his lip repaired this week, flamed the talk show host online, and asked her to apologize.

The outcry led Williams to say sorry -- and open her wallet as well as her heart. She posted to the athlete, "We’re thinking about Beau today as he is in surgery. I want to apologize to the cleft community and in Beau’s honor, our show is donating to @operationsmile and @AmerCleftPalate and encourage our Wendy Watchers to learn more and help support the cleft community."

In response, Bighill noted, "Thank you @WendyWilliams for your apology, your donation, and for thinking of Beau today for his surgery. I forgive you, and I encourage others to as well. I wish you all the best."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'Bad Boys for Life' and 'Dolittle' head to theaters this weekend

Ben Rothstein(NEW YORK) -- Opening nationwide on Friday:

Bad Boys for Life -- Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are back for a third ride in the action comedy franchise, following 1995's Bad Boys and 2003's Bad Boys II.  The latest installment finds the two detectives Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett reuniting once again when someone starts murdering people involved in an old case.  Also starring Vanessa Hudgens, and returning cast member Joe Pantoliano.  Rated R.

Dolittle -- The latest reboot of the Doctor Dolittle films stars Robert Downey Jr. as the titular character -- a Victorian-era physician who discovers he can talk to animals.  A recluse since the death of his wife seven years earlier, he -- along with his animal friends -- reluctantly sets sail on an epic adventure to a mythical island in search of a cure for a gravely ill Queen Victoria, played by Jessie Buckley.  The voice cast includes Emma Thompson, Rami Malek, John Cena, Kumail Nanjiani, Octavia Spencer, Tom Holland, Craig Robinson, Ralph Fiennes, Selena Gomez, and Marion Cotillard.  Rated PG.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'Hopelessly in Love's' Larry Birkhead explains the difficulty of raising Anna Nicole Smith's daughter

Lifetime(LOS ANGELES) -- The latest episode of the Lifetime docu-series Hopelessly in Love, premiering on Friday, tells the love story of the late model and TV personality Anna Nicole Smith and her partner Larry Birkhead, the father of Anna Nicole's now-13-year-old daughter Dannielynn.

Birkhead told ABC Audio what it's like raising the teen, who's had to deal with the media attention surrounding her mother's tragic death in in a Hollywood, Florida hotel room in 2007, as a result of an overdose of prescription drugs.

"I don't make it heavy on her because, you know, it's such a big responsibility raising a teenager already and trying to be positive in a world that's crazy and social media and how people can be," he explains. "She's done a good job of kind of guiding herself a little bit. And then I'm there for support and to answer anything that she might need."

Birkhead described how it felt to see footage of the first time he met Anna Nicole

"I was excited to share that, only not just with the viewers, but also with my daughter and to have her see that," he says.

However, Dannielynn didn't share in Larry's excitement.

"I will tell you she wasn't as excited to see her mom and dad kissing as I thought she would be, you know, she said, 'Oh, ew, that's yucky, Dad,' he jokes. "But then, you know, she knows all the work that I went through, so she, I caught her peaking from time to time of me doing the editing process and things like that." 

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Stunt director weighs in on why the "Bullitt" Mustang is worth over three million

Mecum Auctions(NEW YORK) -- Last week, an otherwise-unassuming 1968 Ford Mustang GT Fastback sold for $3.4 million at auction - making it the most expensive Mustang to ever go up for sale. That's a far cry from the $29,500 figure that Mustangs from that era normally go for according to insurance company Hagerty, and an even further cry from the $2,712 the car originally retailed for in 1968.

Why did this Mustang go for nearly a hundred times more than usual? The answer involves the king of cool himself: Steve McQueen.

Bullitt is a 1968 crime thriller that stars McQueen as Frank Bullitt, a grizzled San Francisco police lieutenant charged with protecting a witness in a high-profile mob case. His ride of choice: a beat-up Mustang. The filmmakers chose the car to reflect the life of an undercover police officer, with a dark green paint job and a selection of dents, scratches, and rust spots for good measure. But it wasn't just the car's looks that captured the attention of moviegoers - it was also the chase it was featured in.

Jack Gill was the stunt director on the last four Fast and Furious movies, as well as the chase scenes in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Death Race. He got his start doing some of the stunt driving for The Dukes of Hazzard and Knight Rider, where the influence of Bullitt loomed large.

"The reason that film holds up over all this time is because every time you see it," Gill said. "You feel like you're in the chase with them."

He says the filmmakers were able to pull that off by mounting cameras inside the cars with the actors, which was a new technique at the time.

"All of these camera angles nobody had ever seen before, they used on Bullitt" says Gill, "no one had ever seen a camera in the backseat over an actor, or a camera in the passenger seat looking over at the driver. "

Gill says those techniques were so influential, in fact, that he continues to incorporate them into the movies he works on today.

"We still do mounts all over the cars, all over the bumpers, all inside the cars. The only difference we have now is that our mounts move." He adds, "we take the entire roof off of cars, and move the camera around the inside of the car as if you feel like you're inside the car but can't understand how the camera got there. But Bullitt set the stage for all of that."

And it wasn't just the visuals that made the Bullitt chase a classic. Gill says the sound design played a role as well.

"To hear the tires screeching and the shifting and the engine revving up - those kind of things are what's really needed in a car chase today, and we still do it. We still use those little techniques in today's world."

The chase isn't perfect, however. Eight hubcaps fly off the same car at various points throughout the sequence, and the same Volkswagen Beetle shows up in the background of several different shots. But Gill says that's all part of the charm.

"There's no doubt that this chase holds up in today's world."


Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

After two seasons, Netflix's acclaimed 'Mindhunter' might be done

L-R: McAllany, Groff -- Patrick Harbron/Netflix(LOS ANGELES) -- Netflix has reportedly released the cast of its acclaimed serial killer drama Mindhunter, which could portend an end of the David Fincher-produced series, according to Deadline

The trade reports that the network's options for Holt McCallany, Jonathan Groff and their co-star, Anna Torv, were allowed to expire.  Actors' options are Hollywood-speak for contracts that exclusively hold them to a particular project for a set time.

At issue, the streaming giant tells the trade, is Fincher's schedule. "David is focused on directing his first Netflix film Mank and on producing the second season of Love, Death and Robots."

The statement continued, "He may revisit Mindhunter again in the future, but in the meantime felt it wasn't fair to the actors to hold them from seeking other work while he was exploring new work of his own."

Fincher has been nominated for an Academy Award twice, for calling the shots on The Social Network and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, the latter of which starred his Fight Club star, Brad Pitt.

Mank, for the record, is a drama about screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz, who fought with director Orson Welles over credit for the screenplay for Welles' legendary film Citizen Kane.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

007 producer: Women are too "interesting" to play James Bond

© 2019 DANJAQ, LLC AND MGM. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED/Nicola Dove(NEW YORK) -- Producer Barbara Broccoli is one of the guardians of the James Bond franchise, and she's spoken when it comes to the super-spy: "He can be of any color, but he's male." 

Broccoli, who's produced the Bond films along with her half brother, Michael G. Wilson, for decades, made the statement in a new interview with Variety.

Wilson says of James Bond, "You think of him as being from Britain or the Commonwealth, but Britain is a very diverse place," Wilson says.

While this news is certainly good for the many who have been pushing for Idris Elba to one day don the tuxedo of Ian Fleming's legendary character, it won't satisfy those who wished for a female Bond.

On that, Broccoli explains, "I believe we should be creating new characters for women -- strong female characters. I'm not particularly interested in taking a male character and having a woman play it. I think women are far more interesting than that."

With less than three months to go before the debut of No Time to Die, the 25th James Bond adventure, Broccoli is trying to come to terms with a major change: this will be Daniel Craig's fifth and final turn as 007. "I'm in total denial," she admits to the trade. "I've accepted what Daniel has said, but I'm still in denial. It's too traumatic for me."

Still, the self-described "custodians" of the character's legacy call the final film of Craig's run, "an emotionally satisfying conclusion." 

No Time to Die, also starring Oscar winner Rami Malek, with Lea Seydoux and Lashana Lynch, hits theaters April 8.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Gigi Hadid dismissed as potential juror in Harvey Weinstein sex assault case

Photo by JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Supermodel Gigi Hadid won't be one of the jurors who will decide Harvey Weinstein's fate in a New York City courtroom. 

Hadid was dismissed as a potential juror in Weinstein's sex assault case Thursday morning.

While Hadid admitted she had met the disgraced producer and potential witnesses against him, actresses Cara Delevigne and Salma Hayek, she insisted to the judge in the case on Monday that she could remain impartial. 

Both prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed that Hadid's participation among the jury pool could prove a distraction. 

Weinstein, the former co-head of the now-defunct Miramax Films, has been accused by dozens of women of sexual misconduct. The disgraced movie mogul, 67, is facing five felony sexual assault charges in New York stemming from alleged attacks against two women, one in 2006 and one in 2013.

If convicted on the top charges, Weinstein could go to prison for life.  Earlier this month, he was charged with rape in Los Angeles as well.

Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to all charges and has denied ever engaging in non-consensual sex with anyone.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

We all stream for ice cream: Ben & Jerry's announces new flavor: "Netflix and Chill'd"

Ben & Jerry's(VERMONT) -- While ice cream is the traditional balm for when a relationship goes wrong, Ben & Jerry's has collaborated with Netflix for a flavor that references that night-in when a modern coupling goes right: it's called Netflix and Chill'd.

The Vermont-based company describes the new flavor as, "an indulgent production starring peanut butter ice cream, sweet & salty pretzel swirls & fudge brownies."

Their website adds, "Whether you’re streaming a laugh-out-loud comedy, an edge-of-your-seat drama, or a hey-I-didn't-know-that documentary, it’s not complete without a tasty treat and a few of your favorite friends."

Netflix & Chilll’d is now available in pints around the globe, as is the streaming giant.

Oh, and to make sure that night-in goes... to plan -- even if you're lactose intolerant -- it will be available in the U.S. as a non-dairy flavor.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

HBO: 'Night of Too Many Stars: America Unites for Autism' to air April 18

Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- This year's Night of Too Many Stars: America Unites for Autism Programs is set for April 18, HBO announced on Wednesday.

Night of Too Many Stars was created by former Saturday Night Live writer and Triumph the Comic insult Dog puppeteer Robert Smigel to support autism schools, programs and services.  Smigel's oldest son has autism. 

Since 2006, the benefit, hosted by Jon Stewart, has raised more than $30 million. 

In the past, the charity event has attracted dozens of stars including Robert De Niro, Ben Stiler, Chris Rock, and Adam Sandler, though no line-up has yet been announced for this year's show.

HBO will carry the show live from the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'Survivor: Winners at War' cast announced

Timothy Kuratek/CBS Entertainment(LOS ANGELES) -- Survivor host Jeff Probst on Tuesday announced the 20 legendary Survivor winners who will go head-to-head against each other on the show's season, Survivor: Winners at War.

Winners at War, according to CBS, "unites the most memorable, heroic and celebrated champions from the past two decades in the biggest battle in the show’s history, as the series’ best strategists of all time fight to earn the title of Sole Survivor again."

Survivor: Winners at War premieres February 12 at 8 p.m., ET on CBS.

As previously announced, a one-hour retrospective special, Survivor 40: Greatest Moments and Players, will air a week earlier on February 5 at 8 p.m. ET

Here are the 20 returning winners competing in Winners at War:

Adam Klein, 28
Winner of Millennials vs. Gen-X (2016)

Amber Mariano, 40
Winner of All-Stars (2004)

Ben Driebergen, 36
Winner of Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers (2017)

Danni Boatwright, 43
Winner of Guatemala (2005)

Denise Stapley, 48
Winner of Philippines (2012)

Ethan Zohn, 45
Winner of Africa (2001)

Jeremy Collins, 41
Winner of Second Chance (2015)

Kim Spradlin-Wolfe, 36
Winner of One World (2012)

Michele Fitzgerald, 29
Winner of Kaôh R?ng (2016)

Natalie Anderson, 33
Winner of San Juan del Sur (2014)

Nick Wilson, 28
Winner of David vs. Goliath (2018)

Parvati Shallow, 36
Winner of Fans vs. Favorites (2008)

Rob Mariano, 43
Winner of Redemption Island (2011)

Sandra Diaz-Twine, 44
Winner of Pearl Islands (2003) & Heroes vs. Villains (2010)

Sarah Lacina, 34
Winner of Game Changers (2017)

Sophie Georgina Clarke, 29
Winner of South Pacific (2011)

Anthony “Tony” Vlachos, 45
Winner of Cagayan (2014)

Tyson Apostol, 39
Winner of Blood vs. Water (2013)

Wendell Holland, 35
Winner of Ghost Island (2018)

Yul Kwon, 44
Winner of Cook Islands (2006)

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Nicole Polizzi comically blames "Giving birth problems" for losing control of bladder during Peloton workout

D Dipasupil/Getty Images for Advertising Week New York(LOS ANGELES) -- The holiday shopping period brought Peloton into the limelight for its infamous commercial that left viewers scratching their heads.  Regardless, the fitness bike made a popular gift during the holidays and even convinced Jersey Shore star Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi to grab one.

Unfortunately, her intense workout triggered a less than savory side effect.

On her Instagram stories on Wednesday, Snooki excitedly vlogs about her ride by proudly showing off that she joined a live class.  That excitement soon turned into some soul searching as the reality TV star discovered that she accidentally peed herself.

Seeking affirmation, Snooki turned to new moms who may be watching her Peloton journey and asked, "Do any other moms pee on the Peloton?"

"I mean it's not on purpose," She pants while bravely continuing her workout before nearly losing her balance, "You're just like...'Whoa!'" 

She then blamed the culprit of her unintended accident on "Giving birth problems," which she wrote in all caps.

Polizzi gave birth to a son, Angelo, in May of last year.

Losing control of one's bladder is a possible side effect of giving birth, as it's called postpartum urinary incontinence.  At least seven million new moms experience it whenever partaking in a strenuous activity, from biking to even sneezing, as explained by Parents.com.

Snooki promptly steers the conversation away from her little accident by calling out a "Drew," presumably her bike instructor, for not believing that really was her on the Peloton.  She does that by doing a series of walking handstands.

The reality star finally surmises her first Peloton experience by stating "That was the most amazing thing I've ever done."

As if her next workout will trigger another bout of postpartum urinary incontinence?  That all depends on the type of class Snooki takes next.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Jennifer Garner is either the best or worst person to take on a roller coaster

Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for MAKERS(LOS ANGELES) -- While some people absolutely relish riding roller coasters... others can't stand them.  Case in point: Jennifer Garner.

The 13 Going on 30 actress uploaded a sidesplitting video to Instagram Wednesday proving that she is not cut out for the roller coaster life.  Unfortunately for her, she had to ride a coaster dubbed "Twisted Colossus" at Six Flags Magic Mountain because she was filming a scene for her new film Yes Day.

For the record, Twisted Colossus stands at 121 feet tall, throws passengers down a 128 foot drop and reaches max speeds of 57 mph. 

Garner managed to get her hands on the hysterical footage, narrating the sequence of events that starts with her praying as she overlooks the first drop.  She's also gripping her co-star Jenna Ortega's hand for dear life as they dive down the first 80 degree plunge.  

"As you can see," Explains Garner with a laugh, "I am having a great time."  She also sarcastically claims Ortega is the "nervous wreck" and she's the one providing comfort.

The most comical part of the shoot is that Garner is constantly calling her costar by her real name, Jenna, instead of "Katie," her character in the film.

"I don't really believe in being in character," snickers Garner, "I like to live in the moment."

The 47-year-old provides a series of priceless reactions, from panicking as she hurtles toward a complete inversion to shrieking uncontrollably.  She also assures that she's "not taking the Lord's name in vain.  I am beseeching the lord."

The video abruptly ends as Garner's expression rapidly dissolves from fear, to confusion, to downright incredulity upon the moment she realizes "that the second hill's bigger than the first."

Yes Day, which is currently in production, will be available on Netflix in the future.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' tops $1 billion globally

Lucasfilm(NEW YORK) -- Disney/Lucasfilm's Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the ninth and final film in the Star Wars Skywalker saga, has officially topped topped the $1 billion mark on Tuesday, joining its predecessors, 2015’s The Force Awakens and 2017’s The Last Jedi.

The movie has made $481 million at the domestic box office and $519 internationally for a worldwide total of $1.001 billion.

However, it took the film significantly longer to reach that incredible milestone than its predecessors.  Rise of Skywalker, from J.J. Abrams achieved it in 28 days, while it took Abrams’ The Force Awakens 12 days and director Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi took 19 days.

Rise of Skywalker becomes Disney's record seventh 2019 release to top $1 billion worldwide, joining Frozen 2Avengers: EndgameAladdinToy Story 4The Lion King and Captain Marvel.

Lucasfilm is owned by Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Beyoncé lavishes Reese Witherspoon with the entire Ivy Park collection

Theo Wargo/WireImage/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- If Reese Witherspoon wasn't a part of the Beyhive before, she most certainly is a card carrying member now. 

On Wednesday, The Morning Show star gushed on Instagram about an amazing gift she received from Beyoncé. 

"You guys, somebody told me that a big package is arriving," Narrates a confused Witherspoon as she walks down her driveway.  "I don't know what it is... let's go see!"

The Legally Blonde actress is then seen shoving comically large bright orange cart toward her house while huffing "oh my gosh!"  

The Witherspoon matriarch, Betty Reese walks into frame to ponder what's in the "big orange box," and helps her daughter unsnap the buttons to find out, which they initially guess that there's art, balloons, or some type of vehicle inside.

Once Witherspoon unsnaps an entrance, she creeps inside just as Beyoncé's "Formation" begins playing in the background.   

The 43-year-old then emerges, triumphant, wearing authentic and extremely comfy looking Ivy Park gear, a beanie, a creme-colored oversized sweater, and matching cranberry leggings and sneakers.  Of course, that's not all that's inside the orange box, as Witherspoon proceeds to model a rack-full of clothes.

The montage is made all the more comical as the Big Little Lies star dances excitedly and poses dramatically as she adorns different outfits, ranging from workout attire to a sultry form-fitting dress.

Witherspoon then postulates, "Does this officially make me the newest member of the #Beyhive?"  

Fans and friends were quick to agree, even stating that she's practically been invited to join the club.

"Omg What!!!" Actress Brie Larson shrieked in two separate comments, "I'm coming over."  Kate Hudson and Natalie Portman also praised Witherspoon's new wardrobe.

However, with daughter Ava Phillippe living under the same roof, that Ivy Park collection could disappear very quickly.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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