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Entertainment: 'Drag Race,' Whitney Houston, Timberlake, 'Moonlight'
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email revealed that the Emmy-winning reality competition series RuPaul's Drag Race's ninth season will debut to a broader audience Friday, March 24, on VH1. The network is set to broadcast each of the series' subsequent episodes for the remainder of the season, marking the first time Drag Race has shifted networks across its eight-year history, having previously aired more than 100 episodes on Logo since 2009. Following the VH1 premiere, encore presentations of season-nine episodes will be shown on Logo.

Showtime Documentary Films will premiere Whitney. Can I Be Me—a film exploring the career and complicated life of the late singer—at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City on April 26 at the SVA Theater, according to a press release. The film will air on Showtime later this year. The documentary is directed by acclaimed BAFTA Award winner Nick Broomfield ( Kurt & Courtney; Tales of the Grim Sleeper ).

Riverdale Avenue Books is publishing an updated edition of Boze Hadleigh's Hollywood Lesbians: From Garbo to Foster, which is the companion volume to the classic Hollywood Gays, a press release noted. The book features exclusive interviews with Hollywood icons from the Golden Age of movies and TV, including Dame Judith Anderson, Barbara Stanwyck, Capucine, Ann B. Davis, Nancy Kulp, Sandy Dennis, Agnes Moorehead, Edith Head, Patsy Kelly and more. Downloads of the books are available on Amazon, Barnes & Nobles Nook, iTunes, Kobo and wherever e-books are downloaded.

Tony and Grammy winner Billy Porter's new studio album, Billy Porter Presents the Soul of Richard Rodgers, will be released April 14 and is available for pre-order, a press release noted. The album—which features new, soulful takes on classic Richard Rodgers songs—includes solos and duets from artists such as Tony and Grammy winners Cynthia Erivo ( The Color Purple ), Renee Elise Goldsberry ( Hamilton ) and Leslie Odom Jr. ( Hamilton ); YouTube star Todrick Hall; and Grammy winners Pentatonix and India.Arie; and singers Deborah Cos and Ledisi, among others.

Justin Timberlake was among the many winners at the iHeartRadio Music Awards on March 5—but his very inclusive acceptance speech was unique, Variety noted. "If you are Black or you are brown or you are gay or you are lesbian or you are trans, or maybe you're just a sissy singing boy from Tennessee [referring to himself]," Timberlake said to the crowd at The Forum in Inglewood, California. "Anyone that is treating you unkindly, it's only because they are afraid, or they have been taught to be afraid of how important you are because being different means you make the difference. So f— 'em."

Last week, A24 nearly tripled the domestic run of Moonlight following its best picture Academy Award, with the coming-of-age drama going into at least 1,500 theaters, Variety reported. The movie stars best supporting actor winner Mahershala Ali along with Naomie Harris, Janelle Monae, Trevante Rhodes, Ashton Sanders and Alex R. Hibbert. Moonlight is also available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Ellen DeDeneres is taking a popular element of her daytime talk show to prime time, Deadline noted. NBC has given a six-episode order to Ellen's Game of Games, a game show hosted and executive produced by DeGeneres via Warner Bros. where her company A Very Good Production is based. The hour-long Ellen's Game of Games will feature supersized versions of the most popular fun games from The Ellen DeGeneres Show with contestants pulled from the audience.

Jaden Smith and Cara Delevingne are set to star in Overbrook Entertainment's upcoming romantic drama Year in a Life, with European director Mitja Okorn attached to helm, Deadline noted. The pic follows a 17-year-old boy who, after learning his girlfriend is dying, sets out to give her their entire life together, in the year she has left. Delevingne will next be seen in Luc Besson's sci-fi adventure pic Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, which will debut in theaters July 21.

Fox's veteran reality series So You Think You Can Dance continues the return to its roots, bringing back original judge Mary Murphy for the upcoming 14th season this summer, Deadline reported. She will be reunited with returning host Cat Deeley and judge Nigel Lythgoe. ( Fox said that another judge will be announced soon, with no mention of Jason Derulo, who had been behind the table for the past couple of seasons. ) Paula Abdul announced at the recent renewal that she would not be coming back after two seasons because of touring, and Murphy is now getting her chair back.

The Real O'Neals creators and showrunners Casey Johnson and David Windsor shared their responses to the criticism of biphobia, and addressed the possibility of introducing a bisexual character in the future, noted. The family comedy's Jan. 17 episode had Kenny—an openly gay teenager played by Noah Galvin—liken being bisexual to having "webbed toes" or "money problems." Grey's Anatomy alumna Sara Ramirez ( who identifies as bi ) recently criticized ABC and The Real O'Neals for the episode.

Lady Gaga is going to replace Beyonce as the Saturday-night headliner ( April 15 and 22 ) for the 2017 Coachella Music Festival, Just Jared noted. The 30-year-old entertainer is filling in for Beyonce, who had to drop out of the festival due to her pregnancy. This year, Gaga already headlined the Super Bowl Halftime Show and performed at the Grammys alongside Metallica; she also is embarking on a global tour.

Reality-TV star/HIV activist Andrew Shayde ( The Amazing Race ) has released his first graphic novel, Monsters Among Us, a press release noted. TidalWave Productions, which HIV-positive publisher Darren G. Davis owns, is releasing Monsters Among Us. The series, based on the treatment of minorities, features urban legends that are real. Shayde started in HIV at Equitas Health in Dayton, Ohio but currently works in Oregon for Cascade AIDS Project.

Out celebrity fitness trainer Jackie Warner, a former Bravo star, was "sleep-driving" when she crashed her car into a pole, and when cops arrived she backed into a police vehicle, according to a Page Six item that cites TMZ. She was not wearing pants when she was arrested. Warner, 48, is reportedly blaming the incident on having one drink at lunch and then taking an Ambien when she got home. She is said to have taken an Uber to and from lunch.

USA Network has opted not to order a second season of crime thriller anthology Eyewitness, Deadline noted. In season one, Eyewitness followed two small-town teenage boys ( played by Tyler Young and James Paxton ) who, while hooking up in a cabin, witness a murder. Catherine Hardwicke directed the first two hours of the series, produced by Universal Cable Prods.

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow has nearly doubled her viewership in the past few months—because she said she covers President Donald Trump's White House in a very old-fashioned Hollywood way. "We developed sort of an informal, internal mantra … which is that we basically cover them as if they are a silent movie," Maddow told TheWrap. "I stopped covering the Twitter feed and we started covering only what they do rather than what they say."

Robert Osborne—who was beloved by movie fans for his work as the primary host on the Turner Classic Movies cable channel—has died at age 84, reported. Osborne had been in a relationship for the past 20 years with David Staller, a New York City theater producer and director. Staller was the one who confirmed Osborne's death to the Los Angeles Times. Osborne died of natural causes in his sleep at his New York home.

Arnold Schwarzenegger said he will not be returning for another season of Celebrity Apprentice—and he blamed President Trump for the show's dwindling ratings, The Washington Post noted. "I loved every second of working with NBC and Mark Burnett," Schwarzenegger said, referring to the creator of The Apprentice. "Everyone—from the celebrities to the crew to the marketing department—was a straight 10, and I would absolutely work with all of them again on a show that doesn't have this baggage." That "baggage," he clarified in an interview with Empire magazine, referred to the show's continued association with Trump. Trump has claimed that Schwarzenegger was fired, Deadline noted.

FX's latest series from Ryan Murphy just premiered, but round two of Feud already is set, Deadline noted. The cable net said that it has ordered a 10-episode second season of the anthology project, this time focusing on England's sweethearts Prince Charles and Princess Diana. Set to air next year, Feud: Charles and Diana will be written by Ryan and Jon Rabin Baitz ( The Slap ), who executive-produce the series with Dede Gardner, Plan B Entertainment and Alexis Martin Woodall. announced that it has started airing Dropping the Soap, a 10-part series starring Jane Lynch and Paul Witten, a press release noted. The show goes behind-the-scenes of the long-running soap opera Collided Lives. While the cast and crew desperately try to hold things together, Julian Draker ( the soap's leading man of "questionable talent and moral compass' ), played by co-creator Witten, struggles to keep his personal life private and his cast members employed.

Disney did a first for the LGBTQ representation on its network, reported. A recent episode of Disney XD's animated show Star vs. The Forces of Evil features not one, but two gay couples sharing a kiss. The landmark scene in the episode titled "Just Friends" is a montage of couples kissing at a concert set to a song. Fans largely responded positively.

DreamWorks Pictures just picked up the spec screenplay Bad Cop, Bad Cop, written by Fortune Feimster, Brian Jarvis and Jim Freeman, Deadline reported. Feimster is attached to star. Feimster, an out lesbian who has a Netflix stand-up special on its way, also is a series regular on The Mindy Project.

Rosie O'Donnell's estranged daughter, Chelsea, 19, recently spoke out for the first time since she secretly got married to Nicholas Alliegro, who is 12 years her senior. Talking with Inside Edition, Chelsea said that Rosie was not happy when she learned of the secret wedding. "She was upset for us getting married without telling her, which I totally understand," Alliegro said. Chelsea added, "I think she was shocked." Rosie and Chelsea briefly reconciled last summer, and Chelsea said she was on good terms with her mother when Rosie's nemesis Donald Trump was elected president.

The season-24 line-up for Dancing with the Stars has been revealed, E! Online noted. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Erika Jayne, Olympians Simone Biles and Nancy Kerrigan, Glee star Heather Morris, Chicago Cubs' David Ross, entertainer Mr. T., singer Charo, The Bachelor's Nick Viall and actor Chris Kattan are some of the competitors. Dancing with the Stars premieres Monday, March 20, at 8 p.m. on ABC.

The San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus ( SFGMC ) announced a lineup of honorees and VIP guests for the 11th annual Crescendo Gala presented by Foresters Financial.Taking place March 12, this year's star-studded event will honor Emmy- and Grammy-winning comedian Kathy Griffin with the Vanguard Award for her achievements in LGBTQ equality and for using her voice as an agent of change in the movement. Other special guests include actor and activist Wilson Cruz, The Fosters' Hayden Byerly and the California's Prop 8 case plaintiffs and activists Jeff Zarrillo and Paul Katami; RuPaul's Drag Race Season 5 winner Jinkx Monsoon and country-music star Chely Wright will provide the entertainment.

Because of Rihanna's work in her native island of Barbados and the charities she has founded over the years, the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations honored her with the 2017 Harvard Humanitarian of the Year award, Billboard noted. In a ceremony held Feb. 28, Rihanna thanked the university for the honor and delivered a speech. "So I made it to Harvard," Rihanna began as she jokingly flipped her hair. "Never thought I'd be able to say that in my life, but it feels good."

Speaking of Harvard, actress Viola Davis was named the school's artist of the year, noted. She was awarded the Harvard Foundation's arts medal at a ceremony on March 4 during the 32nd annual Cultural Rhythms Festival in Memorial Hall's Sanders Theatre. Previous Harvard Foundation awards have been presented to distinguished artists including Shakira, LL Cool J, Quincy Jones, Queen Latifa, Sharon Stone, Andy Garcia, Will Smith, Matt Damon and Halle Berry, among others.

Coldplay revealed the June 2 release of its five-track Kaleidoscope EP, together with a brand-new song from the EP Hypnotised, a press release noted. Hypnotised's surprise release coincided with frontman Chris Martin's birthday. The EP is the sister release to the band's acclaimed A Head Full Of Dreams album, which has sold more than 5 million copies around the world since its December 2015 release.

Nancy and Beth—the self-described punk-vaudeville band led by Megan Mullally ( of Will & Grace fame ) and Stephanie Hunt—have shared the new album art ( which shows them nude ) and first video for their self-titled debut album, out April 7, a press release noted. the music video for their first single "Please, Mr. Jailer" is at

Michael Jackson's daughter Paris, 18, recently signed with IMG Models, joining big names like Gigi and Bella Hadid as well as Kaia Gerber, Page Six noted. The president of IMG Models, Ivan Bart, shared the news on his Instagram with the caption, "One singular sensation!! Welcome Ms Jackson! @parisjackson #imgstar @imgmodels @carineroitfeld @mario_sorrenti @crfashionbook #CR10Paris."

Multi-platinum-selling singer, songwriter and musician Sheryl Crow will release a new album, entitled Be Myself, on April 21 via Warner Bros. Records, according to a press release. Be Myself—her ninth studio album and the first album for the label—is available for pre-order. Fans who pre-order the digital format of the album from iTunes or Amazon or any format from the Sheryl Crow's official website will receive an instant download of the first single, "Halfway There," featuring Gary Clark Jr. on guitar.

Caroline Manzo confirmed she and her family will not be returning for a fourth season of their Bravo reality series, Manzo'd with Children, Page Six noted. "After three Seasons of Manzo'd we out — Markie drops [mic] — we are forever grateful to our viewers, we love you all! #threefingersup #manzod #manzodwithmorechildren," the Real Housewives of New Jersey alum posted on Instagram, alongside a photo of her new granddaughter, Marchesa. The show—which also starred Caroline's sons, Albie and Chris—aired from 2014 to 2016.

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