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‘A Million Little Things’ returns tonight with a promise of a “Chernobyl-style fallout”

ABC Studios(LOS ANGELES) –At long last, fans left hanging at the jaw dropping mid-season finale of ABC’s A Million Little Things will finally get their answers when the show returns tonight.  

In case you don’t remember where things ended when the show went on hiatus a few of months ago, star David Giuntoli gave ABC Audio a little recap. 

“We left off my character, who belongs to one family, and Stephanie [Szostak]’s character, Delilah, belongs to another family,” Begins Giuntoli.  “I have kids over here. She has kids over here. We secretly have a kid together, but we have just told our own children about that.”

With tonight’s premiere picking up during the aftermath, fans can look forward to the show’s signature intense drama thanks to Giuntoli’s promise of a “major like Chernobyl style fallout” between his character Eddie and 16-year-old Sophie, played by Lizzy Greene.

Teases Giuntoli, “And boy, she lets me have it. And I deserve it.”

Beyond the drama, the show is also famous for taking on heavy issues like suicide and addiction.  Giuntoli says that there’s a special reason why A Million Little Things handles such delicate story lines with care and it’s because of the letters from fans.

“Usually with people who’ve either lost a loved one to suicide or dealing with surviving, maybe not surviving cancer,” reveals Giuntoli. “That’s why we take it seriously.”

So, while the show can make the tears flow for the audience, do fans know which cast member is the biggest crybaby?

Giuntoli shamelessly answered, “On the way to work?  Me. And onset? Stephanie.”  He also implicates Grace Park, who plays Katherine on the show, because “[The showrunners] make these ladies suffer.” 

A Million Little Things returns tonight at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved

Channing Tatum and Jessie J reportedly back together again

Elena Brovko/iStock(LOS ANGELES) — After splitting about two months ago, Channing Tatum and singer Jessie J have rekindled the flame and are giving love another shot.

E! News spoke with an insider who claims the couple is “fully back together” after taking a break from their relationship.

The source continues, “They took a few weeks apart but ultimately decided they really care about each other” and that they “seem very happy to be spending time together again.”

The two were first romantically linked in October 2018, shortly after the Magic Mike actor separated with ex-wife Jenna Dewan

In mid-December 2019, reports surfaced that Jessie J and Tatum were on the outs.

Sources told Us Weekly on December 19 that the breakup was amicable, with one source saying “Channing Tatum and Jessie J broke up about a month ago.  They are still really close and still good friends.”

Looks like time heals all wounds, though, at least for these two lovebirds!

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved

Robert Downey Jr. claims “90 percent” of his black friends thought he was “great” in blackface in ‘Tropic Thunder’

ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) — During an interview on Joe Rogan’s podcast, Robert Downey, Jr. claimed that his controversial blackface role in Tropic Thunder was apparently a fan favorite among his “black friends.”

In the 2008 film, Downey Jr. dresses up in blackface to portray Kirk Lazarus, an Australian method actor who undergoes a pigmentation procedure that allows him to play a black character in a war movie. Directed by Ben Stiller, Downey’s portrayal was ultimately praised by critics and earned him multiple nominations, including Best Supporting Actor at the Oscars.

The Iron Man actor admits he was at first hesitant to take on the role, which he reveals “horrified” his mother.  But after careful thought, he decided to look at the positive.

“I get to be black for a summer in my mind, so there’s something in it for me,” Downey said. “The other thing is, I get to hold up to nature the insane self-involved hypocrisy of artists and what they think they’re allowed to do on occasion, just my opinion.”

If that wasn’t enough, Downey said he felt even better after he got some additional feedback.

“Ninety percent of my black friends were like, ‘Dude, that was great,'” he said. “I can’t disagree with [the other 10 percent], but I know where my heart lies. I think that it’s never an excuse to do something that’s out of place and out of its time, but to me, it blasted the cap on [the issue]. I think having a moral psychology is job one.”

Now, looking back, Downey does acknowledge the major issues with his role.

“Sometimes, you just gotta go, ‘Yeah I effed up,’ he said. “In my defense, Tropic Thunder is about how wrong [blackface] is, so I take exception.”

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Watch new trailer now: Final season of ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ debuts February 21 on Disney+

Lucasfilm(LOS ANGELES) — For Star Wars fans, the announcement that Star Wars: The Clone Wars would be resurrected on Disney+ rocked last summer’s San Diego Comic Con. 

Now, Disney+ has dropped a brand-new trailer, revealing the seventh season of the Emmy-winning animated series will debut on the streaming service February 21.  ABC Audio has learned there will be twelve episodes in all, one premiering each week.

Created by George Lucas and The Mandalorian co-creator Dave Filoni, the series is set before the events of 2005’s Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. It originally aired on Cartoon Network, until the Disney acquisition of Lucasfilm led to its cancellation in 2013.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

 

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Ellie Kemper on witnessing her first ‘Manhattanhenge,’ and what fans can expect of the ‘Kimmy Schmidt’ special

Photo courtesy MullenLowe(NEW YORK) — Actress Ellie Kemper is best known as the the eternally sunny Erin on The Office and the title character of the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, so she seems like the perfect person to take in a very famous sunrise. 

That’s exactly what she did Wednesday morning in New York City, watching a ‘Manhattanhenge’ sunrise. The phenomenon happens, generally, only four times a year — two sunrises and two sunsets — in which the sun rises or sets while being framed perfectly between NYC’s skyscrapers. 

Kemper was on hand as part of Tropicana’s new “Sip Your Sunshine,” ad campaign, but she tells ABC Audio she was wowed.

“I was so thrilled when Tropicana came to me with this idea because I have lived in New York for years. I’ve never actually witnessed Manhattanhenge and it’s the perfect way to celebrate a moment of brightness,” Kemper said.

She added, “Seeing the sunrise, it was really powerful, it’s really magical. And it was just such a special way, I think, to celebrate a moment of brightness and and hope and feeling positive about everything.”

Speaking of feeling positive, Kemper dropped a few hints about the upcoming Kimmy Schmidt Interactive Special, set to run on Netflix later this year. “I haven’t seen it yet, so I’m excited to see it myself, and for fans to see it,” she admits.

“Basically, it’s a Choose Your Own Adventure. So every few moments are given a chance to choose what you want the characters to do, and the viewer has all the control. So I think it was a lot of fun to film.”  

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Henry Winkler says his relationship with Tom Hanks is Ayyyyyyyy-OK

ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) — No, Henry Winkler hasn’t held a grudge against Tom Hanks since the first Bush Administration. That’s he word from the former Happy Days star-turned Barry Emmy winner to TMZ

At issue with this long-running Hollywood myth about the bad blood between Fonzie and Woody is apparently Winkler’s firing as the director of Hanks’ cop-meets-dog comedy, Turner & Hooch

Winkler didn’t exactly throw cold water on the rumor when he appeared on Watch What’s Happening Live! last year, commenting, only “I got along great…with that dog.”

To TMZ, however, he just said, “I don’t have a feud with Tom Hanks,” adding, “What everybody says and what is true is two different things.” He goes on to say he saw Hanks at SAG Awards last week, and they even snapped a picture with each other at a Bruno Mars concert.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Jessica Simpson reveals childhood sex abuse, says she was “killing myself with drinking and pills”

Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images(LOS ANGELES) — While Jessica Simpson has generally enjoyed a squeaky-clean image, she admits in a new memoir that her real life was anything but. 

She tells People she’d been approached to write a “living your best life” type of book, but said she couldn’t bring herself to do it. “I’m a horrible liar,” Simpson said.

Instead, her new memoir, Open Book, details for the first time that she’d been sexually abused by the daughter of a family friend when the singer, actress and entrepreneur-to-be was just six years old.

Jessica didn’t tell her parents what happened until she was 12. Even then, she explained, “Dad…said nothing. We never stayed at my parents’ friends house again but we also didn’t talk about what I had said.”

As she grew up, Simpson says she self-medicated to dull the pain of the abuse, as well as the stress of fame. 

“I was killing myself with all the drinking and pills,” she admitted, explaining she got clean and sober in 2017 and never looked back. 

But Jess had to hit bottom first — and that came after a Halloween party at her house that year, when she realized, “I need to stop. Something’s got to stop. And if it’s the alcohol that’s doing this, and making things worse, then I quit.”

She added, “Giving up the alcohol was easy,” she says. “I was mad at that bottle. At how it allowed me to stay complacent and numb.”

Simpson also talks about her three-year marriage to Nick Lachey, and her life now with her “soul mate,” Eric Johnson, whom she married in 2014. The pair have three kids: 7-year-old daughter Maxwell, a six-year-old son Ace, 6, and baby girl Birdie, who’s 10 months old.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

After ratings change, Netflix claims ‘The Witcher’ scored its best numbers for a new original show

Netflix/Katalin Vermes(NEW YORK) — Netflix unveiled a new ratings method on Tuesday, and claimed that by using the new approach, its original series The Witcher scored its best numbers for a first-season original TV series, according to Variety

Instead of its murky previous method, “reporting households viewing a title based on 70 percent of a single episode of a series or of an entire film,” the streamer is, “now reporting on households (accounts) that chose to watch a given title,” the trade reports.  

Based on the new system, 76 million member households viewed The Witcher over its first four weeks of release.

Additionally, 54 member households watched the psychological thriller You, and over 21 million households tuned into season three of The Crown

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Oscar winners Mahershala Ali, Olivia Colman, Regina King, Rami Malek announced as Academy Awards presenters

Rami Malek — ABC/Eric McCandless(LOS ANGELES) — Oscar winners Mahershala Ali, Olivia Colman, Regina King and Rami Malek were announced as presenters at the 92nd Oscars, show producers Lynette Howell Taylor and Stephanie Allain announced on Tuesday. 

Ali, Coleman, King and Malek were Oscar winners in their respective acting categories last year: Ali won his second Academy Award, this one for his supporting work in the Best Picture winner Green Book; King snagged the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for If Beale Street Could Talk; Coleman won the Best Actress trophy for The Favourite, and Malek the Best Actor prize for Bohemian Rhapsody.

The Oscars will air live February 9, on ABC. More presenters will be revealed as the show draws closer, but once again, the telecast will go host-free.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Terry Jones, Monty Python’s Flying Circus co-founder, dead at 77

Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival(LONDON) Terry Jones, who as a founding member of the British comedy troupe Monty Python’s Flying Circus left an indelible mark on film and TV comedy, has died at 77.

The BBC quotes Jones’ agent as saying the entertainer “passed away on the evening of 21 January 2020 at the age of 77 with his wife Anna Söderström by his side after a long, extremely brave but always good humoured battle with a rare form of dementia, FTD [frontotemporal dementia].”

Jones revealed in late September 2016 that he’d been diagnosed with Primary Progressive Aphasia, a form of dementia that by then had already affected his ability to speak to the extent he was no longer giving interviews. 

Born in Wales, Jones had already worked in TV comedy in the U.K. with fellow Pythons Eric Idle and Michael Palin before they joined Graham Chapman, John Cleese and American-born Terry Gilliam in 1969 to form the comedy troupe Monty Python’s Flying Circus.  Their TV series of the same name aired on the BBC through 1974, an inspired combination of surrealist silliness and bawdy British dance hall humor so unique, the adjective Pythonesque was coined to describe it.

In addition to co-writing and performing in Monty Python, Jones also co-directed the 1975 movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail with Terry Gilliam, and directed the subsequent Python films Life of Brian and Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life, in which he also memorably played the grossly obese Mr. Creosote.  He remained a member of Monty Python’s Flying Circus until his death, joining his fellow members in their many appearances and endeavors.

Outside of Python, Jones was a prolific writer of comedy, screenplays and even children’s books, and was also an expert on British medieval history, publishing several books and hosting television documentaries on the topic.  His last screenplay was for the 2015 Simon Pegg film comedy Absolutely Anything, which also featured Robin Williams’ final film performance.

Jones is survived by his wife, Anna Söderström, and their daughter, as well as two adult children from his first marriage.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.