ABC - Entertainment News

Universal Pictures(LOS ANGELES) -- Universal Studios, among the first to move its newer films to streaming in the wake of coronavirus-related closures, has announced the pandemic has caused the delay of three more of its projects. 

The Hollywood Reporter notes that Minions: The Rise of Gru will now be moved a year from its original release date, and ill now hit theaters July 2, 2021.

In turn, that release date's former occupant, the animated sequel Sing 2, will now debut in theaters December 22, 2021. 

That date had been reserved for Wicked, Universal's big-budget take on the Broadway musical. The uncertainty surrounding Hollywood's fate amid the COVID-19 crisis led Universal to postpone re-scheduling that film's release at this time.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


John P. Johnson/courtesy of HBO(LOS ANGELES) -- If you're familiar with Larry David from Seinfeld or Curb Your Enthusiasm, you'll know he's been advocating social distancing even before it became potentially lifesaving defense against the COVID-19 pandemic. 

With that in mind, he took to social media from an easy chair to admonish "idiots" who were violating the rules that can keep everyone safe. 

"Obviously, somebody put me up to this because it's generally not the kind of thing I do," David said in a video posted on the Office of the California Governor's official twitter feed. 

"I basically want to address the idiots out there, and you know who you are...You're going out, I don't know what you're doing, you're socializing too close," David griped.  "You’re hurting old people like me. Well, not me, I have nothing to do with you, I’ll never see you. But other, let’s say, other old people who might be your relatives, who the hell knows?"

David said those who aren't social distancing are missing out on "a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stay in the house, sit on the couch, and watch TV. I don't know how you're passing that up. I guess you’re not that bright."

Larry says, "Go home and watch TV, that's my advice to you. If you've seen my show, nothing good ever happens going out of the house, you know that. It's just trouble out there. It's not a good place to be. Stay home and don’t see anyone."

David adds the caveat, "Unless maybe if you have a plumbing emergency. You can let the plumber in, and then, you know, wipe everything down when he leaves."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


ABC/Rick Rowell(LOS ANGELES) -- As America endures another strongly-recommended week of self-quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some married couples are discovering that being around their significant other 24/7 is not all it's cracked up to be.

Frozen II star Kristen Bell admitted on Monday that isolating with husband Dax Shepard is becoming somewhat of a challenge.

During an Instagram Live interview with Katie Couric, the married couple spoke about the downside of having little to no personal time due to the family of four sheltering under the same roof.

Dax first opened up about his family's new normal, saying he and Bell are "getting along good with the kids" but the situation "has been stressful for mom and dad."

Bell, 39, nodded as she candidly revealed, "We've been at each other's throats real bad, real bad over the last couple of -- oh yeah."  

"It just ended, like, eight minutes ago," Shepard, 45, deadpanned. "America's sweetheart has a character defect."

As for how long the two have been grappling with the stress, Bell playfully gestured to the fact she's sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with Dax and cracked, "This is as physically close as we've been in a couple days 'cause we just found each other... revolting."

When Couric suggested the two should find separate spaces in the house to take some time apart, Bell sighed, "It's impossible. He's too big, Katie.  He's too loud and too big.  He's everywhere."

Despite the trying time, the couple, who tied the knot in 2013, were adamant that they will rise from the pandemic stronger than ever.

Bell also adorably revealed that her five-year-old daughter Delta has taken a shining to science during the quarantine and invented a "vaccine" for the virus, which consists of "just green food coloring and water."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) -- Schools across America had to make the difficult decision to cancel important school dances and graduations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  As expected, teenagers took to social media and lamented that they were robbed of experiencing some of high school's most memorable moments.

While most understood why such a call had to be made, they still found it a bitter pill to swallow.

With many cancelled proms supposed to take place this weekend, Ellen DeGeneres reached out to high schoolers and encouraged them to get dressed up and celebrate the milestone moment with her.

Posting a throwback photo of her own prom on Tuesday, the talk show host proposed in the caption, "If your prom was supposed to be this weekend, I wanna see your gorgeous prom outfits.  This was mine, so the bar is low."

Ellen's high school prom look was certainly eye catching.  She wore to her big dance a red, yellow and navy button down plaid dress with an oversized white lapel and belt.

It was possible at the time that her look was very in vogue, but the comic was quick to deflect the attention back to her fans by encouraging everyone to post their prom looks using the #ellenprom hashtag. 

"I promise you’ll wear them to prom soon," DeGeneres sweetly assured.

While some younger followers eagerly showed off the dresses, older fans were just as thrilled to have a reason to share their throwback prom photos.  

So, if you want to share your prom look, take this as your official invitation to the Ellen prom.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Photo by Wil R/Star Max/GC Images(NEW YORK) -- Christopher Meloni is reprising his popular Law & Order: SVU role as Elliot Stabler for a new crime drama from the series creator Dick Wolf, according to Deadline.

The as-yet-untitled series, which has already gotten a 13-episode order, will center on the NYPD organized crime unit led by Stabler.

This will mark the first time Meloni has played Stabler since leaving Law & Order: SVU back in 2011.

Meloni, together with his SVU co-star Mariska Hargitay, who played Detective Olivia Benson, were one of television’s most popular duos during their 12 seasons together on the show, which ended with his character abruptly retiring from the police force.

Since then, Meloni guest-starred in a number of shows, including Pose and Surviving Jack, as well as playing the lead in the SyFy series Happy!

In February, Law & Order: SVU was renewed through its 24th season. Its current record-breaking 21st season pushed it past Gunsmoke and the first Law & Order series as the longest-running live-action primetime television show.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Witherspoon in "Little Fires Everywhere"/Hulu(LOS ANGELES) -- Reese Witherspoon is hoping to bring a little light into the world with her new series "Shine On with Reese At Home".

In a video posted to the 44-year-old's Instagram on Tuesday, the Little Fires Everywhere and The Morning Show actress announced the new series which she hopes will "guide" and "inspire" its viewers amid the current COVID-19 pandemic. 

"Trying to make sense of how to work from home, eat right, not stress, run two businesses, and care for three kids has been a full time job the last few weeks," the caption reads. "Luckily, I called some awesome friends who are experts in lots of areas for advice."

"We discussed parenting, marriage counseling, pre-natal needs, financial advice, and so much more," she continued. "I found them so helpful and I wanted to share a few of my chats with you all. I hope that these conversations can help guide you or inspire you or just make you laugh."

The first episode features Eve Rodsky, author of Fair Play, and is available on Witherspoon's account now. 

"I’ve learned so much from Eve about how to have conversations with your partner about dividing household duties, how to adjust to homeschooling (three kids at home and two working parents is NO JOKE!) and what the “Dirty Dozen” bare minimum needs of every household are," she wrote. "I hope y’all find this helpful!" 

Witherspoon and her media company, Hello Sunshine, are partnering with the World Central Kitchen to raise awareness of their new #ChefsfForAmerica program that feeds medical workers and delivers fresh meals to underserved communities across the country. 

 Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagicAmy Schumer is doing her part to keep her loved ones safe from the COVID-19 coronavirus, even if it means spending time physically apart.  However, she found a creative way to still have that cherished one-on-one time with her dad, Gordon.

The 39-year-old brought smiles to her Instagram followers' faces on Tuesday when she showed off how she and her 10-month-old son Gene said hello to her dad from afar.

The video shows a beaming Amy waving around an adorable handwritten sign that reads "Hi Grandpa! We love you!" outside her father's New York City building.  The mother-son duo are dressed snugly in their sweat suits and heavy winter jackets, with Gene even sporting a white cap.

The camera then pans over to Gordon, who's fondly watching his daughter and grandson safely from his window.

That wasn't the only heartwarming video the comedian posted to her Instagram on Tuesday.  A few hours later, she proudly showed off how enthusiastically her neighborhood cheers the doctors and nurses leaving their 7 p.m. hospital shift.

Despite Amy being many stories up, the noise of the thunderous celebration -- complete with applause, ringing bells and whistling -- is clearly heard.   The video also shows that some people climb onto their roofs to get better glimpses of the heroes that are braving the front lines against COVID-19.

Schumer also shows her gratitude for the healthcare workers by shouting atop of her lungs and clapping.

The fervent cheering still continues even as the video ends.

New York City is one of the hardest-hit areas in the U.S. with 41,771 confirmed cases and 1,096 deaths.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


CBS via Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Fran Drescher surprised fans of The Nanny by revealing that she and the rest of the cast of the beloved '90s sitcom would be reuniting for a table read...and it'll be available via the video app Zoom. 

"NANNY FANS ALERT," she wrote on her socials, and linked to an article in Variety that shows a photo of the cast, shown boxed into the Zoom video views that are now familiar to those riding out the COVID-19 pandemic from home.

"It's happening!!!! MONDAY 4/6 the original cast of The Nanny together AGAIN in a virtual read of the pilot episode!!!" she wrote.

"Laughter is the best medicine!" Drescher told Variety in a statement. "So, in these challenging times, Peter and I thought, wouldn’t it be great if we pulled together the original cast of The Nanny for a virtual read of the pilot?"

"Peter" is the show’s co-creator and Drescher's ex-husband, Peter Marc Jacobson.

According to Variety, the table read will be posted on the Sony Pictures YouTube page the morning of Monday, April 6.

"It’s a once in a lifetime Pandemic Performance for our fans around the world who are currently stressing in isolation and could use a real upper!" she added. "It sure has given each of us a lift and we hope it does for you as well."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


iStock/simpson33(LOS ANGELES) -- In what will come as a shock to no one, new Neilsen numbers show that Americans who are sheltering from the coronavirus pandemic are streaming like never before. 

In fact, the data quoted by Variety show an 85% jump in Americans streaming TV programming over the first three weeks of March compared to last year -- some 400 billion estimated minutes. 

During the week of March 16 alone, viewers watched about 156.1 billion minutes of streaming content on TV, Variety said, up 22% from the week prior and more than two times as much as they watched last year in that same period. 

While the Nielsen numbers are jaw-dropping -- or perhaps butt-numbing -- they're just a fraction of how much content people are really streaming. The numbers refer only to people streaming to their TVs, and don't count people watching video content on mobile devices, PCs and game consoles. 

Out of all the streaming vehicles, Netflix enjoys 23% of streaming to TVs for the week of March 16, Variety notes.  YouTube follows at 20%, Hulu with 10% of TV streaming, and Amazon Prime Video, 9%. 

However, the Neilsen numbers also rank an "other" category at 31%.  In that space, Disney seems to have boomed, no doubt helped by homebound kids and decisions to move Frozen 2 and other films to the service sooner than initially anticipated.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Sony Pictures(LOS ANGELES) -- Sony Pictures has done some last-minute shuffling with a few of its films in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Deadline

Ghostbusters: Afterlife has been pushed to March 5, 2021 from its original July 10 release date, while Sony/Marvel’s Morbius, starring Jared Leto, will hit theaters March 19, 2021, instead of July 31. 

Greyhound, Tom Hanks’ World War II drama slated for a June 12 release, has been postponed until a yet-to-be-determined date, while the Kevin Hart comedy Fatherhood will now hit theaters on October 23, 2021, instead of January 15.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


(NEW YORK) -- With millions of people stuck at home with COVID-19 social distancing, it's no secret we're streaming moves more than ever. The video-on-demand service FandangoNOW has charted its most popular titles from last week through the weekend, and the horror flick The Invisible Man, starring Elisabeth Moss, topped their list for the second week in a row. 

Pixar's animated film Onward, Vin Diesel's Bloodshot, and Margot Robbie's Birds of Prey -- three additional movies that were bumped to streaming earlier than plan due to coronovirus theater closings -- took the second, third, and fourth slots, respectively.  The blockbuster sequel Jumanji: The Next Level took the fifth slot. 

Here are FandangoNOW’s top ten films, based on sales and rentals:

 1. The Invisible Man
 2. Onward
 3. Bloodshot
 4. Birds of Prey
 5. Jumanji: The Next Level
 6. 1917
 7. I Still Believe
 8. The Way Back
 9. Dolittle
10. The Hunt

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


ABC - ABC/Lou Rocco(NEW YORK) -- As New York grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic and area hospitals struggle to safely treat patients due to dwindling supplies of personal protective equipment, Ryan Reynolds and wife Blake Lively extended a much-needed hand on Monday.

E! News reports that the couple personally reached out to the state's four hardest-hit hospitals: Elmhurst, Mount Sinai, Northern Westchester and NYU Hospital and gifted each with $100,000.  

In New York City alone, dubbed the U.S. epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, cases have swelled to 38,087 and 914 individuals have died.  

In the state of New York as a whole, Governor Andrew Cuomo said the virus claimed 1,218 lives and infected 66,000 people.  

"We've lost over 1,000 New Yorkers. To me we're beyond staggering already.  The only point now is do everything you can to save every life possible," announced Cuomo on Monday.

Sending $400,000 to New York hospitals is just the latest in a series of donations made by Blake and Ryan.  The two have fiercely advocated for the community to step up and assist those in need during the pandemic.

Two weeks ago, the couple donated $1 million to Feeding America and Food Banks Canada and, just last week, Reynolds announced that he'll be donating 30% of his Aviation Gin proceeds to bartenders that lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

In addition, Reynolds personally called shocked subscribers of Mint Mobile to let them know their provider was giving them free unlimited high speed data through mid-April.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


ABC/Paula Lobo(LOS ANGELES) -- Tiffany Haddish is giving Girls Trip fans a much-needed update on the status of the film's long-awaited sequel.

As you may recall, Haddish's Girls Trip co-star, Queen Latifah, had previously said that "everybody’s down" for the new film and they were simply "waiting for a script.”  But now, in an interview with HuffPost, Haddish says it's a little bit more complicated than that.

During a recent two-hour Zoom call Haddish had with Latifah, Regina Hall and Jada Pinkett Smith to check in amid the COVID-19 pandemic, she said they also spoke about the sequel. According to Haddish, the studio was waiting for a script, though Tracy Oliver, who co-wrote the first film, had already done a treatment.

"Then it was like, ‘Oh, you guys want too much money,’" Haddish said, adding that she had only made $80,000 for the 2017 comedy, which followed four best friends as they reconnected for their "last hurrah” in New Orleans.

According to Haddish, that's when she and her co-stars decided it might be best to take matters into their own hands and get together on their own to come up with a script.

"We might decide not to even make it Girls Trip," Haddish said. "Maybe we’ll do a different story just in case no one wants to make Girls Trip 2."

There's no word yet on what the plot might be or when this "different" sequel would launch.

 Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


ABC/Nicole Wilder(LOS ANGELES) -- We’ve all heard it a million times already, but Matthew McConaughey took to Instagram on Monday to urge all Americans to stay home.

In the new PSA, in which he co-created, called "At War with the Virus," McConaughey is heard speaking under a montage of medical professionals treating patients as ordinary people are seen working from home.

"We are at war with a virus," he begins.  "And healthcare workers and first responders are on the frontline fighting it every day."

"Let’s join the fight by staying home," he encourages. "Staying home is not a retreat.  It’s the most brave and aggressive weapon we have against this enemy.  'Cause when we do stay at home, we help prevent overwhelming our hospitals, while buying time for our scientists to find a vaccine."

"And that is how we beat it," he concludes in a serious tone.

As of Monday, the U.S. has reported 160,020 cases and the COVID-19 virus has spread to all 50 states.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



FOX(LOS ANGELES) -- Elton John, Mariah Carey, Billie Eilish and other major music stars gathered together for the Fox Presents the iHeart Living Room Concert for America on Sunday, and raised nearly $8 million to help fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and salute the strength and resilience of the U.S. people during the health crisis.

Highlights included Demi Lovato performing her hit "Skyscaper"; Eilish and her brother Finneas teaming up for an acoustic rendition of "bad guy"; Camilla Cabello and Shawn Mendes joining forces for her song "My Oh My"; and Mariah belting out her hit, "Always Be My Baby.”

Elton, who hostedthe event from his home, closed out the evening with a special performance of "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me."

Other performers included Backstreet Boys, Dave Grohl, Green Day’s Billie Jo Armstrong, Alicia Keys and Tim McGraw.

The hour-long special drew more than 8.7 million viewers across multiple networks, who were encouraged to donate to two of the many charitable organizations that are helping COVID-19 victims and front line workers, such as health care professionals: Feeding America and First Responders Children's Foundation.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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