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Entertainment news: Alan Cumming, Carrie Fisher, 'Queer Eye'
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2017-02-01

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CBS has given pilot orders to two projects featuring key auspices from the network's legal drama The Good Wife: crime drama Killer Instinct, starring and executive produced by The Good Wife cast member Alan Cumming; and Perfect Citizen, a legal drama written and executive produced by former Good Wife executive producer Craig Turk, Deadline reported. Killer Instinct centers on a former CIA operative ( Cumming ) who has since built a "normal" life as a professor/writer—but is pulled back into his old life when the NYPD needs his help to stop a serial killer.

A joint public memorial for Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds will be held Saturday, March 25, at the Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, according to Variety. "We will be celebrating their lives with friends, family members, and the people who loved them, you. The service will begin at 1:00 p.m. and immediately afterwards, those who want to walk to their final resting place are welcome to do so," a post on Todd Fisher's website read. The announcement was made exactly one month after Fisher died. Reynolds passed away the next day.

Netflix has been touting a huge ramp-up of reality series in 2017—and one of the first shows announced as part of that is a new version of Bravo's 2003 makeover series Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Deadline noted. Netflix said it has ordered eight episodes of the reboot, to begin production in the spring. There is no casting information, but the "reimagining" will feature five new stylists.

On her show, Ellen DeGeneres talked with Nayyef and Btoo, former Iraqi soldiers who met in 2004 during the Iraq War and are now a married couple in Seattle, Out.com reported. ( For four years, they could only Skype each other every day, as they were physically separated. ) "It's too difficult to be gay in Iraq," said Nayyef, who applied for asylum in the United States. Btoo added, "Believe me, after that, love wins." DeGeneres surprised the couple with a check for $25,000.

Sir John Hurt—the acclaimed actor who starred in Alien, and played everyone from Quentin Crisp and John Merrick to The Doctor in Doctor Who—has passed away at age 77, OutInPerth.com noted. Among his many parts was his portrayal of Quentin Crisp in the 1975 TV play The Naked Civil Servant. Hurt's role in the biographical film won him the Best Actor BAFTA. He played the gay author and raconteur for a second time in 2009 in An Englishman in New York, with the second film covering the later years of Crisp's life. Hurt also appeared in A Man for All Seasons, Midnight Express, Nineteen Eighty-Four, The Elephant Man, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom the Chrystal Skull, Scandal, Contact, V for Vendetta and the new film Jackie, among others.

Luca Guadagnino has adapted Andre Acimen's Call Me By Your Name for the big screen—and has kept a controversial same-sex scene involving a peach, NewNowNext.com noted. In the scene, 17-year-old Elio lies on his bed masturbating with a cut-open peach before 24-year-old tutor Oliver visits his room, tastes the peach and has sex with his young friend. Timothee Chalamet, who plays Elio, told Variety he wasn't concerned about the film's sexual content; Armie Hammer plays Oliver.

Lily Tomlin's only showbiz regret in a 45-plus year career is not having worn the infamous 1980s dress Cher wore to the Oscars to the Academy Awards herself, according to Page Six. "I was going to wear it to the Academy Awards the next year. I had it all arranged. I was playing at the Kennedy Center in D.C. … Everybody got on me about the dress. ... I got so much flak from everyone that I wound up not doing it."

Speaking of Tomlin, the SAG-AFTRA Foundation's children's literacy program Storyline Online ( storylineonline.net ), sponsored by the Entertainment Industry Foundation, has released its newest video featuring the five-time Emmy Award-winning actress, producer, and singer reading Hey, That's My Monster ( youtu.be/Hh-ju18EoG0 ), written by Amanda Noll and illustrated by Howard McWilliam, a press release stated. Storyline Online streams free videos featuring actors such as Kevin Costner, Allison Janney, Christian Slater, Ed O'Neill and Mary Steenburgen reading children's books alongside inventively animated, original illustrations.

David Bowie's being celebrated in an auction by Paddle8 that includes the rocker's handwritten lyrics to his 1972 hit, "The Jean Genie," according to Page Six. "Backstage Pass: David Bowie," kicked off Jan. 30, and includes 60 lots ranging from $500 to $50,000. Also in the online sale is a 1971 acetate disc with songs from Bowie's "Hunky Dory" album with a label that was hand-printed by Bowie, as well as lithographs of the artwork for "Ziggy Stardust" and a print from a series of "Tarot Card" paintings created by Bowie in 1975 and given as a gifts to friends.

Mary Tyler Moore's cause of death has been revealed days after her passing, Page Six noted. According to her death certificate, obtained by TMZ, the famed actress died from cardiopulmonary arrest that was brought on by three prior conditions. Aspiration pneumonia, diabetes and hypoxia—which is a deficiency in the amount of oxygen reaching the tissue—all contributed to Moore's death. Moore was 80 when she passed away on Jan. 25 in a Connecticut hospital.

Original cast members of the Tony-winning Broadway hit Hamilton: An American Musical will sing "America the Beautiful" during pregame festivities at Super Bowl 51, USA Today noted. The performance by Renee Elise Goldsberry, Jasmine Cephas Jones and Phillipa Soo—who starred as the Schuyler Sisters—will be televised live by Fox prior to kickoff Feb. 5, when the Atlanta Falcons face the New England Patriots. The "Hamilton" cast joins Luke Bryan, who will perform the national anthem, and Lady Gaga, who will headline the halftime show.

X-Men feature director Bryan Singer is set to direct Fox's X-Men-themed Marvel action-adventure drama pilot from Burn Notice creator Matt Nix, 20th Century Fox Television and Marvel Television, Deadline reported. Singer already executive-produces the pilot and had been expected to helm it, although the directing deal took some time to close. Singer helmed X-Men, X2: X-Men United, X-Men: Days of Future Past and, most recently, X-Men: Apocalypse.

Ruby Rose pulled out all the stops in an lip-sync of Pink's "Raise Your Glass," Out noted. Rose followed her Resident Evil co-star Milla Jovovich on the Lip Sync Battle stage after Jovovich wowed the crowd with her "White Wedding" in spot-on Billy Idol drag. Rose raised the bar by entering the stage dangling from a red sash, which she used in later choreography that reminded us of Pink's show-stopping "Glitter in the Air" performance from the 2010 Grammys.

Teen Wolf actor Charlie Carver shared his thoughts about his new threesome scene with James Franco and Zachary Quinto, calling the racy tryst "hot as hell" in a new interview with the Huffington Post, NewNowNext noted. Although the 26-year-old twin said stripping down and making out with the boys while filming I Am Michael was not nerve-wracking, everyone in the room was quite literally uncomfortable. I Am Michael tells the the story of controversial ex-gay magazine editor Michael Glatze, played by Franco.

Madonna has reportedly been approached to re-record "No More Tears ( Enough is Enough )," according to an Idolator item that cites TMZ. The original, recorded by Donna Summer and Barbra Streisand, is a disco kiss-off that topped the Billboard Hot 100 when it was released in 1979. But its songwriter, Bruce Roberts, reportedly wants Madonna to rewrite and sing an update that addresses the Trump administration. His goal is not to make it "a personal attack on Trump, but rather a statement that he's taking the country in the wrong direction," according to TMZ.

Adam Shankman has been set to direct Kate Beckinsale in an adaptation of mother-daughter drama The Chocolate Money, based on Ashley Prentice Norton's popular novel, Deadline reported. Cornerstone Films is handling international sales and will launch the title to buyers next month at the European Film Market in Berlin. Set in 1980s New York, the story follows the relationship between Babs Ballentyne, an impossibly rich chocolate heiress, and her precocious young daughter, Bettina.

Fox has renewed the veteran reality competition series So You Can Think You Can Dance for a 14th season, to air this summer, Deadline reported. Following the kids-themed 13th installment, branded SYTYCD: The Next Generation and featuring contestants ages 8-13, which was not embraced by the core fan base, the show is returning to its original setup of showcasing skilled dancers ages of 18-30. The Top 10 contestants once again will be paired up with All-Stars.

Canadian writer Ian Halperin is planning to make a documentary about former star couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's marriage, News18.com reported, citing TheWrap. One of the main focuses of the filmmaker's documentary will be that the two had been estranged for more than a year before they announced their divorce in September 2016. Halperin has confirmed that the report that he is working on the documentary, is accurate. The Canadian investigative journalist and filmmaker has written several exposes about celebrities, including Unmasked: The Final Years of Michael Jackson and Celine Dion: Behind the Fairytale.

Oprah Winfrey will become a special contributor to 60 Minutes, CBS News noted. Winfrey will make her first appearance on CBS News' Sunday-night broadcast this fall. Winfrey has established during her storied career an enduring connection with the American people. For 25 years, Winfrey was host of her award-winning talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show, which was the highest-rated television program of its kind in history.

Rod Stewart and Cyndi Lauper announced plans for a joint U.S. tour, Rolling Stone reported. Their summer jaunt starts in Hollywood, Florida, on July 6 and wraps up a little more than a month later in Houston. Stewart wrote or co-wrote nearly every song on Another Country, which he released in 2015, while Lauper put out Detour, which she recorded in Nashville with contributions from Willie Nelson and Alison Krauss, last year. Stewart and Lauper will, of course, also draw from their respective large catalogs of classic hits during their live sets. However, before she hits the road with Stewart, she'll play dates in New Zealand with Blondie in April.

Miles Teller and Emma Watson were originally tapped as leads in the movie La La Land, but Hollywood insiders said both lost the roles ( to Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone ) for being too demanding, Page Six noted. One movie insider said, "Miles was offered $4 million to star in 'La La Land,' but he said he wanted $6 million. Watson was offered the lead female role, but she initially wouldn't commit." In 2015, Teller told GQ that his agent said director Damien Chazelle dropped him from the movie. Chazelle later confirmed that "there was a moment where [Watson and Teller] were doing it. And neither of those casting things wound up lasting or working out."

Late singer, actress and activist Eartha Kitt was celebrated by her hometown Jan. 14, The Times & Democrat noted. Kitt was born Jan. 17, 1927, in the town of North, South Carolina, and went on to sing and star in as Catwoman in the third and final season of the TV series Batman, among many other film and TV projects. More than 250 people attended the Eartha Kitt Gala, including Kitt's daughter, Kitt Shapiro, and her husband, Allan Rothschild. Proceeds from the gala were donated to North Cooperative Ministries, a non-profit 501( c )( 3 ) public charity that ministers to people in need in the North community.

Actress Kerry Washington spoke to a group of women at the Sundance Film Festival's annual Women in Film Brunch, telling guests that progress is going to take "courage on all of our parts," Page Six noted. "Sometimes the people who are in charge of those rooms, they want us to feel lucky to be in the room," she said. "Being alone in the room is exhausting. ... You feel like you have to stand up for the entire gender or race." Speaking with Manchester by the Sea producer Kimberly Steward, both women agreed that in order for the system to change, women have to support other women.

Heather Dubrow is leaving The Real Housewives of Orange County after five seasons, Page Six noted. "After a lot of careful thought and deliberation, I have decided not to return to RHOC this season," Dubrow said Jan. 27 in a statement to BravoTV.com . Dubrow, 48, joined the cast as a full-time housewife in season seven.


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