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“Power” showrunner Courtney Kemp and 50 Cent explain why fans get no say in their popular crime series

Starz(LOS ANGELES) — With the highly anticipated return of Power this Sunday night, fans understandably have a lot to say when it comes to what should happen this season.

After the shocking death of Raina in season four, fans have already started to weigh in on who should live and who should die. However, for those behind the scenes, like Power showrunner and co-creator Courtney Kemp, having a successful show means ignoring the noise and focusing on the original story.

“The first season of the show we were making the first season of Power, we had no fan input at all because the show wasn’t out yet. And we made a good show,” Kemp tells ABC Radio. “So, I have to ignore the fans, because I have to stay true to what the vision of the show is. The minute I…let the fans bat me around about what they want, then I’m not making a television show — I’m making fan fiction.”

Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, who will reprise his role as the gritty street hustler Kanan, agrees with his co-creator and adds that the show shouldn’t be influenced by fan demands because it could easily lose its authenticity as a real street drama.

“What we were trying to do with the show is create — like the lifestyle,” he explains. “Create an environment where anyone can actually get hurt.

The fifth season of Power, also starring Omari HardwickJoseph SikoraNaturi Naughton, and Lela Loren, debuts Sunday, July 1 at 9 p.m. ET on Starz.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sydelle Noel recalls her first “training day” on “GLOW” and the “respect” she received from the pros

Netflix/Erica Parise(NEW YORK) — Sydelle Noel is a natural born competitor — so it wasn’t much of a stretch for the former track star to jump into the ring as professional wrestler Cherry “Junkchain” Bang in Netflix’s GLOW, which officially returns for season two today.

The series is based on 1980s syndicated women’s professional wrestling circuit, the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling.  Noel tells ABC Radio she was excited to be a part of it because it gave her the opportunity to really live the experience of being a wrestler.

“Because we’re actually wrestling, we’re doing our own thing,” Noel reveals. “So I, being an athlete, I’m always the one when I see something on television,  like, somebody doing hurdles or somebody throwing a punch, I’m like, ‘That person ain’t even really doing that,’ or ‘they don’t even know. They probably never even threw a punch in their life.'”

Noel says it’s even more satisfying knowing the real professionals “respect” her work.

“But I want, like, the wrestlers to really look at our show and be like, ‘Oh my gosh these girls are actors and they’re really wrestling,'” she says. “And to get respect from them — and we are. They are actually loving the show.”

Looking back, Noel admits her athleticism gave her a major advantage.

“Literally our first day of meeting each other, the GLOW girls, was the training day,” Noel recalls. “We didn’t do a little read together or anything. It was really like, ‘There you go. Hi, I’m Ally. Nice to meet you. All right, let’s slam each other.'” 

She continues, “It was training day and as I soon as I saw that ring I was ready. I was so ready to just jump in. And everybody was like a kid in a playground.”

GLOW is now available on Netflix.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Kelly Ripa fires back at social media troll criticizing vacation post: “Anything else?”

ABC/Randy Holmes(GREECE) — Kelly Ripa on Thursday fired back at a social media troll who did not approve of an Instagram post she shared about her summer vacation.

The Live with Kelly & Ryan host, 47, posted a photo of herself with her husband Mark Consuelos, captioned, “Something about these Grecian sunsets.”

While most of the comments were positive, one person said Ripa took too many vacations as an “anchor,” and complained about Live reruns that air when she’s away.

Ripa replied, “I’m not an anchor, i don’t have the whole summer off, and i work extremely hard. Anything else?”

Some fans jumped to Ripa’s defense — one wrote, “Give Kelly a break people! Kelly has been working since [All My Children]!”  Another commented, “So she’s supposed to work 52 weeks a year so you don’t have to see a rerun!?”

This isn’t the first time Ripa or her husband have had to clap back at Internet trolls.   In March, Consuelos, 47, slammed people who criticized his wife’s weight.

“I wanted to take a couple days to weigh in. Probably should’ve earlier arguably. But I wanted to be above it. Well, now I’m not,” Consuelos wrote. “I posted this pic of the [woman] I most admire. As a playful tribute to my wife who I’m proud of in endless ways.”

“She works extremely hard in her professional life and her commitment to exercise, healthy diet is admirable and the benefits show,” he continued.”Yes she’s wearing a bikini at age 47 and will no doubt wear one for many years to come.”

He ended by saying, “To all the males that had something negative to say.. I suggest you bring it up with me if ever I’m lucky enough to run into you.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Petition calls for Starz to cut ties with 50 Cent after he mocks Terry Crews’ sexual assault testimony

ABC/Paula LoboA new petition is calling on Starz to sever ties with Power co-creator 50 Cent after the rap mogul mocked Terry Crews on Instagram following the actor’s sexual assault testimony in front of the U.S. Senate on Wednesday.

In the now-deleted meme, captured by TMZ, 50 posted an image of Crews flexing with the words “I got raped” and “My wife just watched,” above a picture of Crews holding a rose in his mouth with the words “Gym time.” 

50 later addressed the meme on Twitter, posting a photo of himself napping on a couch.

“This is me recovering from having my sense of humor removed this morning,” he captioned his photo. “People are so sensitive, my doctor said l will be fine in six weeks, but my publicist said if you see any journalist play DEAD. get the strap.”

In the Care2 petition, author calls out the rap mogul, saying “his words were not only disappointing but also indicative of what the #MeToo movement is fighting against.”

“50 Cent is, in fact, a very powerful man in Hollywood,” the petition reads. “The rapper-turned-actor stars in and produces Starz’s most-watched show, Power, and last year the cable network announced that he had signed on to produce three more shows for the premium channel.”

It continues, “Starz should send a message to the rapper and to all other potential producers and filmmakers that they will not tolerate this type of ignorance.” 

As of press time, the petition had garnered more than 8,000 signatures and is seeking 10,000 total.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

“Moonlighting” co-star Cybill Shepherd, Lil Rel Howery join Comedy Central Roast of Bruce Willis

Comedy Central(LOS ANGELES) — Comedy Central has released more details on its upcoming roast of Bruce Willis, according to The Hollywood Reporter.  

Looper co-star Joseph Gordon-Levitt, previously announced as roast master, will be joined by Get Out and Uncle Drew‘s Lil Rel Howery, comedians Nikki Glaser, Dom Irrera, Jeff Ross and Kevin Pollak, actor Edward Norton, and Wills’ Moonlighting co-star Cybill Shepherd.

The Comedy Central Roast of Bruce Willis premieres July 29.


Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

First look: “Simpsons” creator Matt Groening’s new animated Netflix series “Disenchantment”

Netflix(LOS ANGELES) — Netflix has unveiled a sneak peek of Disenchantment, the latest project from the Emmy-winning creator of Simpsons and Futurama, Matt Groening. 

Set in the crumbling fairy tale world of Dreamland, Disenchantment stars the voice of Broad City‘s Abby Jacobsen as a hard-drinking princess named Bean.  Nat Faxon, actor and Oscar-winning screenwriter of The Descendants, lends his pipes to the character of Elfo, Bean’s Elvish sidekick.  Eric Andre, who most recently appeared on FXX’s Man Seeking Woman, voices Bean’s “personal demon,” Luci.

All of those are seen in the snippet, which also shows a king, voiced by John DiMaggio — Bender in Futurama — about to judge a hooded prisoner.  After evaluating the “pile of scum,” who the king derides as having a “weak chin [and] buck teeth,” he removes her hood, to reveal a familiar face — his daughter, Bean.

“Hi, dad,” Bean says.

An earlier release about the project noted that the “oddball trio” of Luci, Elfo, and Bean, “will encounter ogres, sprites, harpies, imps, trolls, walruses, and lots of human fools.”

The series premieres on Netflix on August 17.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Uncle Drew cast laughs at their past NBA blunders while finding the deeper message in new comedy

Photo Credit : Quantrell D.Colbert; Courtesy of Lionsgate(NEW YORK) — Kyrie Irving is turning the game of basketball on its head in the new underdog comedy Uncle Drew. Inspired by the famous 2012 Pepsi commercial, the Boston Celtics point guard dresses up as an elderly street baller and plays alongside NBA legends like Shaquille O’Neal, Reggie Miller, Chris Webber and Lisa Leslie.

The film — which centers on a Foot Locker employee named Dax, played by Lil Rel, who reunites Drew’s former team for a street ball tournament — pokes fun at the seriousness of the sport.

“It’s about time that people just laughed at some of the historical things that have happened [in basketball],” Irving tells ABC Radio. “Mistakes in our careers that have just been part of history. We’ve all been laughed at.”

He continues, “It’s good to kind of relapse on it…just address those things as a joking way.”

Miller, who plays the blind baller, Lights, agrees and adds life is about finding the humor in difficult situations — both on and off the court.

“You got to be able to laugh at yourself,” he says. “We’ve all had blunders in life… And at times you got to sit back and you’ve kind of got to enjoy that.”

Other stars like Webber add that the experience was simply “a lot of fun,” while Nick Kroll, who plays Dax’s rival, Mookie, says the film actually made him “emotional watching it.”

According to Erica Ash, who stars as Maya, the film also offers a much deeper message.

“The first thing is really to never give up,” she explains. “Because as we say in the movie, ‘You miss 100 percent of the shots that you don’t take.’ And then, the second theme is: family is what you create it to be.” 

Uncle Drew is now in theaters.

“Sicario: Day of the Soldado” and “Uncle Drew” among this weekend’s new movie releases

Photo Credit: “Richard Foreman, Jr. SMPSP”(LOS ANGELES) — The following films open nationwide Friday:

Sicario: Day of the Soldado — Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro reprise their roles as CIA operatives Matt Graver and Alejandro Gillick in the sequel to 2015’s Sicario. This time, they re-team to fight Mexican drug cartels that have escalated the drug war by trafficking terrorists across the U.S.-Mexico border. Jeffrey Donovan also reprises his role from the first film, with newcomers Isabela Moner, Catherine Keener and Manuel Garcia-Rulfo. Rated R.

Uncle Drew — Pro basketball player Kyrie Irving stars as the titular character — a basketball legend who rounds up his old basketball squad, played by former NBA players Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Webber, Reggie Miller, Nate Robinson and Lisa Leslie — to come to the rescue of Dax, played by Get Out‘s Lil Rel Howery — a down-on-his-luck baller in need of a team to enter into street basketball tournament. Tiffany Haddish, Erica Ash, J. B. Smoove, Mike Epps and Nick Kroll also star. Rated PG-13.

Opening in limited release on Friday:

Leave No Trace — Ben Foster and Thomasin McKenzie star as a father and his thirteen-year-old daughter living an isolated existence in a nature reserve near Portland, Oregon, when a small mistake has them searching for a place they to call their own. Rated PG.


Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Getting the “Bad” back together: “Breaking Bad” cast to reunite at San Diego Comic-Con

AMC/Ursula Coyote(LOS ANGELES) — At San Diego Comic-Con in July, Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Bob Odenkirk, Anna Gunn, Giancarlo Esposito, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, Jonathan Banks, and RJ Mitte — otherwise known as the main cast of AMC’s award-winning show Breaking Bad — will reunite for a Q&A panel with the show’s creator Vince Gilligan.

The gang also got back together for a cover feature for Entertainment Weekly, which broke the Comic-Con news.

The event will commemorate the 10th anniversary of the show, which starred Cranston as milquetoast high school science teacher Walter White. After being diagnosed with cancer, White starts making and selling crystal meth to provide for his family, and eventually becomes a murderous, immoral drug kingpin.

The series, which wrapped up with a bullet-ridden finale in 2013, has been called one of the best TV shows ever made.  It earned two Outstanding Drama Series Emmys, and four best actor trophies for Cranston. Aaron Paul won three supporting actor Emmys for playing White’s former student and partner-in-crime Jessie Pinkman, and Gunn, who played White’s wife Skyler, won two best supporting actress Emmys. 

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

“Match Game” returns with celebrity panelists Ellie Kemper, James Van Der Beek & Anthony Anderson

ABC/Heidi Gutman(NEW YORK) — The third season of ABC’s Match Game continues tonight with a celebrity panel featuring Ellie Kemper, James Van Der Beek and Anthony Anderson.

A reboot of the game show that first premiered in 1962, Match Game each week features four contestants who are asked to fill in the blanks of humorous sentences in the hopes of winning a $25,000 prize. They score points if their answers match those of the celebrity panelists.

“I’m weirdly not good at it,” Kemper tells ABC Radio. “I’m like, ‘Oh I thought I’d be better at the show.’ But I actually make very few matches, but I try! I give it my all. I think the best solution to that is to make fun of it.”

Van Der Beek’s tactic is simple. “My strategy is to not say the stupidest thing possible,” he says. “I just start there.”

Mostly he’s trying to avoid the wrath of host Alec Baldwin, who’s known to embarrass those who give ridiculous answers.

“I found that yes, Alec — nobody’s precious on the set, least of all him,” Van Der Beek laughs. “So yeah, he’ll definitely come at you or the contestant if you give a really stupid answer.”

Anthony Anderson adds that it’s tough to get inside contestants’ heads and predict their answers.

“What’s crazy, you don’t know these contestants,” he says. “So you’re trying to get into their head, you’re trying to think how they think and, uh, to be honest I don’t think half of ’em are thinking.”

Match Game airs tonight at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.