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WINDYCITYMEDIAGROUP

SHOWBIZ: Awards, 'Bebop,' Andy Cohen, Mariah Carey, Revry
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times...
2020-11-23


The American Music Awards aired live Nov. 22 and some of the biggest names in music took home awards; Taraji P. Henson hosted. According to CNN.com, Doja Cat won new artist of the year and Becky G won favorite female Latin artist—a new category at the AMAs. Taylor Swift was named Artist of the Year. Swift—who also won music video of the year and favorite female pop artist—said she was unable to accept the award in person because she was busy rerecording her early music catalog, which was recently sold. (Swift is also now the all-time AMA winner, with 32 awards.) Some of the other winners included Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj, The Weeknd and Lady Gaga; performers included Bieber, Jennifer Lopez and Maluma, Megan Thee Stallion, Dua Lipa, and Katy Perry with Darius Rucker, among others.

Naomi Campbell honored Edward Enninful at the Native Son Awards for Black, gay and queer men; in turn, the British Vogue editor honored Black women in his acceptance speech, according to Page Six. "Through this hard year, working from home, the social justice movement that started in America and swept the world, I'm really proud of Black women … who have led the charge," he said. Former NFL player Wade Davis thanked founder Emil Wilbekin for a platform that "allows us to learn the whole truth and then stand in that truth."

Netflix's live-action adaption of the groundbreaking anime Cowboy Bebop just announced six new cast members—and one of the classic characters, Gren, will be non-binary and played by non-binary actor Mason Alexander Park, according to out.com. Gren, who in the original anime was an androgynous war veteran who took an experimental drug that caused them to grow breasts, will be updated in the new series to be running the front of house for the hottest underground jazz club on Mars. Park is known for playing the title role in the national Broadway tour of Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

Bravo multi-hyphenate Andy Cohen will host and executive-produce a docuseries for E! that is set to air early 2021, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The seven-part series is titled For Real: The Story of Reality TV, and will have Cohen revisiting some of the most iconic moments from the genre as well as interviewing the stars behind those moments for the inside scoop. Cohen helped launch the juggernaut Real Housewives franchise, which he exec-produces, in the early 2000s; he also hosts the reunion specials for Bravo's unscripted series.

Apple TV+ and Mariah Carey announced the debut of Mariah Carey's Magical Christmas Special, set to take place on Apple TV+, Friday, Dec. 4, a press release noted. Tiffany Haddish, Billy Eichner, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, Snoop Dogg, Jermaine Dupri, Misty Copeland and Mykal-Michelle Harris are slated to make guest appearances. The soundtrack single and new music video for "Oh Santa!," co-written by and featuring Carey performing with Grande and Hudson, will be distributed by Sony Music and released on Apple Music and other streaming platforms on Dec. 4 as well.

Revry, the first global LGBTQ+ TV network, will celebrate the holiday season with the release of the first-ever queer game show, Versus, which will be out Dec. 4, according to a press release. Described as "a verbal version of Wipeout mixed with a gentler Billy on the Street," the show is developed and hosted by RuPaul's Drag Race alum Deven Green. Contestants for this inaugural season include: iconic drag queen, Varla Jean Merman (aka Jeffrey Roberson), TV talk show The Q Agenda hosts Enrique Sapene and Lianna Carrera, reality TV star On Mekahel, actor Matt Baume and more.

Also, Revry debuted its newest original, Them, a docuseries focusing on the "T" in LGBTQIA+ in observance of today's Trans Day of Remembrance 2020, according to a press release. Them provides inspirational and uplifting stories from people within the TGNC community. Irish-Italian queer pop musician Flavia orchestrated the docuseries on set for her latest music video, "Them."

People Magazine selected actor/producer Michael B. Jordan as this year's Sexiest Man Alive. In 2013, a then-26-year-old actor Jordan was featured in the magazine's first Ones to Watch portfolio for his critically acclaimed performance in that year's film Fruitvale Station. In 10 years, Jordan—who will next star as a former Navy SEAL-turned-CIA operative in Tom Clancy's Without Remorse—hopes "to be maybe directing a little more, acting less, producing a lot more," he told People.

Speaking of Jordan, Paramount Pictures has removed his spy thriller, Tom Clancy's Without Remorse, from the theatrical release schedule in an expected move, Variety noted. The publication reported July 23 that Amazon Studios was near a deal for the worldwide rights to Without Remorse, but Paramount and Amazon did not confirm the report.

BenDeLaCreme's "The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Special" will premiere worldwide on Dec. 1 at jinkxanddela.com, a press release announced. Also, the digital soundtrack will be released Dec. 11. Filmed safely under CDC guidelines in September on a Seattle soundstage, this marks the first film project directed, co-written and executive-produced by BenDeLaCreme under her production company, BenDeLaCreme Presents.

Gretchen Mol (Boardwalk Empire) has been tapped as the female lead opposite Jon Bernthal in Showtime's pilot American Gigolo, an update of the 1980 film-noir classic that starred Richard Gere and Lauren Hutton, Deadline noted. Bernthal will play Julian Kaye, who is introduced 18 years after he's been arrested for murder and struggling to find his footing in the Los Angeles sex industry, while seeking the truth about the setup that sent him to prison all those years ago and also hoping to reconnect with Michelle (Mol), his one true love.

Orion Pictures has set its first feature film project since its relaunch, securing Emmy-winning Pose star Billy Porter to direct What If?, a high school coming-of-age drama penned by Alvaro Garcia Lecuona, Deadline reported. The film—called a cross between coming-of-age features Booksmart and Love Simon—follows high school senior KHAL, who posts about his crush on Kelsa, a trans girl at his school.

Rapper Cardi B will be named Woman of the Year at Billboard's Women in Music event on Dec. 10, the publication announced. Also, Jennifer Lopez will be honored with this year's Icon Award while Dolly Parton is 2020's Hitmaker Award recipient; also, Dua Lipa is set to receive the Powerhouse Award, Chloe x Halle will receive the Rising Star Award Presented by Honda, and Jessie Reyez will be honored with the American Express Impact Award. The 15th annual event will go virtual this year due to the coronavirus pandemic and will stream live at https://billboardwomeninmusic.com starting at 8 p.m. ET; Teyana Taylor will host.

Warner Bros. Pictures announced that its highly anticipated superhero film Wonder Woman 1984 will be released simultaneously in theaters and on the HBO Max streaming platform in the U.S. on Dec. 25, while debuting theatrically in international markets Dec. 16, a press release noted. The film will be available for a month on HBO Max in the U.S. at no additional cost to subscribers. In this movie, Wonder Woman's next big screen adventure finds her facing two all-new foes: Max Lord and The Cheetah.

Steppenwolf's Broadway production of Tracy Letts' The Minutes is exiting the Cort Theatre, its pre-COVID home, with plans to reopen in 2022 at another Broadway venue, according to Deadline. The Minutes—a political comedy directed by Anna D. Shapiro and starring Ian Barford, Blair Brown, Cliff Chamberlain, K. Todd Freeman, Armie Hammer and Letts, among others—began previews at the Shubert Organization's Cort Theatre on Feb. 25, 2020. Its planned opening date of March 15 was scuttled when all of Broadway went dark just three days prior due to COVID-19.

Oscar-winning actress/director Regina King will be the Spotlight Conversation at WrapWomen's 2020 Power Women Summit, the largest annual gathering of women in media and entertainment. With the theme "Inclusion 360," the event will take place virtually Dec. 8-10. Coming off her 2019 Academy Award-winning performance in If Beale Street Could Talk, King followed that with an Emmy-winning performance in HBO's Watchman earlier this year. King continues her run this year with One Night in Miami, her directorial debut.

Following its release on Nov. 13, Paris Jackson's debut album, wilted (on Republic Records), reached #1 on the iTunes US Alternative Album Chart, a press release noted. Jackson—a singer, songwriter, actress, model and activist—will make her television performance debut on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Dec. 3.

Nominations have been announced for the first-ever Critics Choice Super Awards—a special event honoring the most popular, fan-obsessed genres across both television and movies, including superhero, science fiction/fantasy, horror, action and animation, a press release noted. Among the nominees are movies Extraction, Tenet, Superman: Man of Tomorrow and Mulan; actors/actresses Margot Robbie, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Angela Bassett; and TV shows Archer, Evil, Star Trek: Picard and The Mandalorian. (Hulu's Palm Springs leads this year's film nominees, with five; HBO's Lovecraft Country has six nods to lead TV productions.) The ceremony—with Kevin Smith and Dani Hernandez hosting—will air on The CW Network on Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021 (8-10 p.m. ET/PT), and will stream the next day for free on The CW App and cwtv.com.

While speaking with Shawn Mendes as he covers VMAN magazine, pop icon Elton John told him to be cautious of fame and letting the idea of celebrity get to his head, according to people.com. Detailing that he believes people will "live in a bubble" once they become famous, John told the young pop star, "I've always tried to live out on stage, and I've never come back to my home and pretended to be Elton."

Grammy-nominated and Dove-winning recording artist Ty Herndon recently released a duet with Emmy- and Tony-winning actress/singer Kristin Chenoweth titled,"Orphans of God," and subsequently has released a lyric video for the song, a press release noted. Created by Paul Cardall, the video has been uploaded on Herndon's YouTube page. The single will be featured on Herndon's upcoming Christmas album, Regifted, set for release Friday, Nov. 27.

Zelle has partnered with celebrity TV host and Queer Eye star Karamo to give away a total of $75,000 this holiday season through the Zelle "Send Cheer" contest, a press release noted. The contest will culminate with Karamo's Holiday Spectacular presented by Zelle, a live event (slated for Thursday, Dec. 17, at 6 p.m. CT, on his Instagram page) meant to celebrate and spread cheer through this holiday season. To enter the Zelle® "Send Cheer"' contest, consumers must post a video (maximum: 1 minute) on Instagram detailing how they—or someone they know—have been paying it forward and sending cheer within their community throughout the pandemic; see ZelleContest.com.

Grammy-winning disco artist Thelma Houston ("Don't Leave Me This Way") announced that her hit online concert Virtually Yours will stream on demand on wale.rocks/shows through Jan. 31, 2021, according to a press release. Admission is $10 each, with a portion of the proceeds to benefit LA-based Project Angel Food, a nonprofit organization that feeds people with HIV and older people who are homebound.

Months after teasing her interest in the opportunity, Dolly Parton just might be gracing the cover of Playboy magazine once again, Movieweb noted. Earlier this year, Parton had teased a potential return to the publication in honor of her 75th birthday, although she wasn't sure if the people at Playboy would be interested. Now, according to TMZ, word is that Playboy staffers would "love to shoot Dolly again," putting the ball in her court.

Toni Rivera—an activist and human-trafficking survivor who has single-handedly rescued more than 1,500 trafficked individuals—is the inspiration for a new unscripted series, Deadline noted. Actress Tisha Campbell and producer Andrew Jameson have teamed with ITV America production company Good Caper Content to develop the series.

Angelina Jolie will direct Unreasonable Behaviour—a biopic of legendary British war photographer Don McCullin, based on his autobiography of the same title, Deadline reported. Best known for his intense black-and-white images taken in Vietnam and Cambodia while working for The Observer and The Sunday Times newspapers, McCullin risked his life to capture the images of war that continue to resonate to this day. Casting has not been announced.

Glenn Close is the latest to join the growing ensemble of Swan Song, an upcoming Apple Original film starring Oscar winner Mahershala Ali and Academy Award, Golden Globe Winner Awkwafina and SAG nominee Naomie Harris, Deadline reported. The movie is described as a genre-bending drama set in the near future that explores how far someone will go, and how much they'll sacrifice to make a happier life for the people that person loves. Close will play the head scientist at the facility.

Some 17 months after Scooter Braun's Ithaca Holdings LLC acquired Big Machine Label Group and all of its recorded music assets, sources tell Variety the veteran manager/entrepreneur has sold the master rights to Taylor Swift's first six albums, Variety reported. The buyer, an investment fund, is as yet unknown but the deal is believed to be north of $300 million and closed in the last two weeks. Some insiders speculate the value could be as high as $450 million once certain earn-backs are included. Swift is currently free to re-record songs from her first five BMLG-issued albums.

Nina West is channeling the holiday spirit with a tribute to John Waters and his iconic films Female Trouble, Serial Mom and Hairspray in the new video for her song "Cha Cha Heels," featured on her holiday EP The West Christmas Ever, a press release noted. "Dawn Davenport is the hero we need this holiday season, and thanks to John Waters, I am excited to bring that energy to life and have a very Baltimore-y Christmas!" said West. "Everyone deserves a pair of black Cha Cha heels!" Nina's Christmas EP the West Christmas Ever! is available now and can be found at all streaming platforms.

Amazon Studios acquired worldwide rights to Coming 2 America from Paramount Pictures, a press release noted. This long-awaited sequel to the iconic comedy Coming to America will launch worldwide in more than 240 countries and territories on Prime Video on March 5, 2021. Set in the (fictional) country of Zamunda, newly crowned King Akeem (Eddie Murphy) and his trusted confidante Semmi (Arsenio Hall) embark on an all-new adventure that has them traversing the globe from their African nation to the borough of Queens, New York—where it all began.

Jamie Foxx is honoring his late sister, DeOndra Dixon, with a new fund created in her honor, according to Movieweb. In October, Foxx revealed to his followers on Instagram that his younger sister had passed away. Dixon, who had been living with Down syndrome and served as the ambassador for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, was just 36 years old.

A terminally ill fan got a final wish fulfilled, courtesy of Jamie Lee Curtis and Rough House Productions, Deadline noted. Anthony Woodle, a horror superfan and aspiring director, married longtime girlfriend Emilee in a ceremony officiated by ordained minister Curtis. Before he died, Woodle and Emilee were the first outsiders to watch the upcoming thriller Halloween Kills.

Alana Mayo is divorcing wife Lena Waithe, one year after announcing they had secretly tied the knot, Page Six noted, citing The Blast. In January—two months after Waithe had confirmed the nuptials—the pair revealed they had separated. In November 2019, Waithe said on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that she and Mayo got married at the courthouse in San Francisco, where they wed in front of a bust of the late Harvey Milk, one of the first openly gay elected officials in the country.

Chris Pratt is getting some support from his brother-in-law Patrick Schwarzenegger after Pratt was deemed the "worst Hollywood Chris" from fans weeks ago, Page Six noted. (On the list was Katherine Schwarzenegger's husband, as well as Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pine and Chris Evans.) "It's crazy," Schwarzenegger told Variety. "Twitter is a junkyard, right? I mean, every day there's something. People are calling out this person or that person, or let's get mad at this person."

The CW confirmed that the superhero drama Black Lightning will end with the upcoming fourth season, which is set to premiere early next year, Deadline noted. The move follows the network's announcement that it is planning a planted spinoff of the show titled Painkiller, with Jordan Calloway reprising his role as the titular character. The network is adding Superman & Lois to the schedule this season and has Wonder Girl in the works, along with Painkiller.

This year's Pornhub Awards will take place virtually Tuesday, Dec. 15, out.com noted. Guest presenters and performers will include legendary filmmaker John Waters, Violet Chachki, Jordan Firstman, TOMMY CASH, Real Housewives of New York's Leah McSweeney, City Girls, Dee Nasty and Ozuna. Nominees are listed at https:// Article Link Here .

Former Grey's Anatomy actor Isaiah Washington has re-ignited his feud with ex-co-star Katherine Heigl, Us Magazine noted. "This woman once proclaimed that I should 'never' be allowed to speak publicly again. The world agreed with her proclamation back then and protested for my job and my head in 65 languages. I wish I was on Twitter in 2007, because I will NEVER stop exercising my free speech," the actor tweeted alongside a picture of the actress. In October 2006, reports surfaced that Washington used a homophobic slur during a fight with then co-star Patrick Dempsey on set. T.R. Knight (who played George O'Malley) later revealed in January 2007 that Washington's use of the word "f—-t" encouraged him to come out as gay.

Tony-nominated actor Chad Kimball, among Broadway's first wave of performers to contract the coronavirus last spring, is finding little support among his Broadway colleagues after he pledged to "respectfully disobey" Washington State COVID-19 guidelines limiting religious services and participation, Deadline reported. Kimball tweeted, "Respectfully, I will never allow a Governor, or anyone, to stop me from SINGING, let alone sing in worship to my God. Folks, absolute POWER corrupts ABSOLUTELY. This is not about safety. It's about POWER. I will respectfully disobey these unlawful orders." Kimball's Come From Away co-star Sharon Wheatley was among the many in the Broadway community who called out Kimball—some more politely than others.

Bobby Brown Jr., the son of the R&B artist/producer, was found dead at a home in Los Angeles, NBC News noted. Brown Jr. was the son of Bobby Brown and Kim Ward. The elder Bobby Brown lost daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown (his daughter with Whitney Houston) in 2015, when she was 22.

Tiger King star Dillon Passage was arrested in Texas and charged with driving while intoxicated, people.com noted. Passage—who is married to disgraced former zookeeper Joe Exotic (a.k.a. Joseph Maldonado-Passage)—was booked in the Travis County Jail after being arrested, according to online jail records. In April, Passage told Entertainment Tonight that he was battling depression and drug addiction when he met his husband during the filming of Tiger King.


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