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Lifetime drops 'Diva'; Mike Ruiz's 'Pretty Masculine' app
Entertainment news: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2013-01-23

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Lifetime has canceled the show Drop Dead Diva, according to TheWrap.com . The show can run four seasons, the last of which ended in September. The cost of producing the series was reportedly running a bit high; Lifetime approached Sony Pictures Television, which produced the series, about coming up with creative ways to keep the series on the air—but to no avail. In combination with Army Wives, Drop Dead Diva helped push Lifetime to the number-one cable position on Sundays from 9 to 11 p.m. among women 25-54.

Celebrity photographer and reality-TV star Mike Ruiz (The A-List) has partnered with Echo Interaction Group to transform his coffee-table book, Pretty Masculine, into an interactive photographic gallery for iPads, according to a press release. The Pretty Masculine App will allow "unprecedented access to Mike Ruiz's entire creative process." In addition to offering loads of new images, the app will engage fans by allowing them to touch, scroll, explore, learn and interact with photos.

There was at least one difference between Kelly Clarkson's and Beyonce's performances at the Jan. 21 presidential inaugural ceremony—Clarkson sang live, according to TMZ.com . A spokesperson for the U.S. Marine Corp Band, which provides the music for the inauguration, claimed that Beyonce mouthed the words to a pre-recorded studio version of "The Star-Spangled Banner." However, Clarkson sang "My Country Tis of Thee" (and James Taylor crooned) without a backing track. Reuters reported that the U.S. Marine band later backtracked, saying in a statement: "Regarding Ms. Knowles-Carter's vocal performance, no one in the Marine Band is in a position to assess whether it was live or pre-recorded."

Conrad Bain—best known as wealthy widower Philip Drummond (the father of Arnold, Willis and Kimberly) on the TV show Different Strokes—has died at 89, according to TheWrap.com . Bain died in Livermore, Calif., of natural causes. Prior to taking the role of Drummond, Bain had a run as Dr. Arthur Harmon on the CBS comedy Maude.

The nominees for the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards have been announced, according to a press release. Among the 153 nominees are films such as Cloud Atlas and The Perks of Being a Wallflower; TV shows such as The New Normal, Modern Family and American Horror Story: Asylum; musicians such as Adam Lambert and Frank Ocean; and publications including the New York Times and Chicago's Windy City Times. The GLAAD Media Awards ceremonies will be held in New York on March 16, in Los Angeles April 20 and in San Francisco May 11. For a full list of nominees, visit www.glaad.org/mediaawards/nominees.

Three Las Vegas hotels are battling to host a Britney Spears headline show, according to the Huffington Post. Recently, news broke that Spears was in talks with Caesars to have her own "big, nightly show" and Vegas residency. However, two other venues have reportedly entered a bidding war to host a show featuring Spears, who stands to make as much as $100 million.

Elton John and David Furnish say they have become parents for a second time, according to the Huffington Post. The couple say they are "overwhelmed with happiness" at the birth of Elijah Joseph Daniel Furnish-John. John, 65, and Furnish, 50—who wed in a British civil partnership in 2005—are parents to 2-year-old Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John, born in California in December 2010. Both children were born through surrogate mothers.

Almost a quarter-century after TV's The Facts of Life went off the air, Lisa Whelchel (who played Blair on the show) has joined the cast of Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas, according to People.com . Since The Facts of Life ended, Whelchel (who was recently on Survivor: Philippines) has put her career on hold to raise her three children, acting in just two TV movies. (Her last role was in a Facts of Life reunion in 2001.)

Singing superstar Carrie Underwood has once again expressed her thoughts on marriage equality, the Huffington Post noted. In the February issue of Allure, she says, "I'm in favor of acceptance. And I am a Christian person, and I do love the Lord, and I feel no matter who you are, what you believe, how you live your life, it's not my place to judge." Last June, Underwood received some backlash from fans when she said she supports same-sex marriage.

The Film Society of Lincoln Center has announced that Barbra Streisand will receive the annual Chaplin Award at a ceremony April 22, according to the New York Times. Among Streisand's many accomplishments on screen and stage, the society singled out in particular the 1983 film Yentl, which was the first film to credit a woman as writer, director, producer and star. Among the award's past recipients are Meryl Streep, Elizabeth Taylor, Sidney Poiter, Alfred Hitchcock and Catherine Deneuve.

Although U2 lead singer Bono had a rough run with his Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, but his life has taken a different turn with the arachnid. According to USA Today, biologist Jason Bond has named a new species of trapdoor spider after the singer. Bond has named other spider species after Angelina Jolie, Cesar Chavez and Stephen Colbert.

Pro football player and marriage-equality ally Chris Kluwe is writing a book, according to Gay Star News. "I believe we're looking at a June 25th release date, and it's a collection of uncensored essays and stories about whatever I feel like," Kluwe announced to his more than 150,000 Twitter followers. Last year, Kluwe sent a letter blasting Maryland Assembly Delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr. after the politician complained about football player Brendon Ayanbadejo made public statements in support of same-sex marriage.

Madonna is reportedly continuing to wage war against former personal trainer Tracy Anderson, according to the New York Post. The pair, who worked together for three years, had a contentious split in 2009; now the singer's new trainer, Nicole Winhoffer, is getting in on the fight. Madonna and Winhoffer are releasing their new workout DVDs, Hard Candy Fitness: Addicted to Sweat. Although some speculate the DVD releases are to get back at Anderson, Madonna's rep said it's just "timing. [Madonna] could not care less."

Singer Justin Bieber shared a photo of his bare derriere on Instagram before deleting it, according to USA Today. In the image the "Boyfriend" singer is wearing a black tank top, sunglasses and a hat, and is looking over his shoulder with a grin as he pulls his pants down to show his backside. Bieber's Believe Acoustic album is slated to be released Jan. 29.

Speaking of Bieber, he is reportedly "uncomfortable" with his mother, Pattie Mallette, producing a pro-life film, according to AceShowbiz.com . The singer is allegedly not happy with the short film Crescendo because it contains political issues, "especially ones like abortion that are very divisive." Crescendo will screen globally Feb. 28; the filmmakers aim to raise $10 million for pregnancy centers from the film.

Charlotte Rae—best known for playing Edna Garrett on the TV shows Diff'rent Strokes and The Facts of Life—is shopping a memoir called The Facts of My Life, the New York Post noted. Among other things, the book describes how she discovered her husband of 25 years, composer John Strauss (who won a Grammy for the soundtrack to the film Amadeus), was gay. Rae also discusses her time on Diff'rent Strokes and The Facts of Life as well as what she calls the "strange experience" of "working in a job where all her peers are teenagers."

Actor Daniel Radcliffe—best known for his Harry Potter movies—garnered lots of attention at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival for his new film, Kill Your Darlings, in which he has a gay sex scene, according to AceShowbiz.com . Radcliffe, who stars as Beat Generation poet Allen Ginsberg, told E! News of the sex scene, "It was something new. But you know what? We shot that whole scene in maybe an hour and a half so it was incredibly fast-paced. I didn't really have to stop to think and worry about it."

Is bad-boy fashion designer John Galliano back? Some are wondering after Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour reportedly brokered a deal to bring Galliano to work at Oscar de la Renta, according to the New York Post. Galliano was fired by Dior in 2011 for making anti-Semitic remarks in a Paris cafe.

Now that he's done filming The Dallas Buyers Club, in which he plays a man with AIDS, Matthew McConaughey is not pigging out to gain the nearly 50 pounds he dropped for the role, Entertainmentwise.com stated. He has been on a cautious reverse diet, eating items such as fish. Last year, he said, "I'm doing cardio but I'll tell you what, the more I've learned is—and I think it comes with age too—is it's 90 percent diet. It's a matter of how much I eat or how little I eat.''

Barbara Walters was unable to cover the recent inauguration festivities because of an accident. According to People.com, Walters, 83, fell Jan. 19 on a step at the residence of the British Ambassador to the United States, and was hospitalized. Walters, who cut her forehead, was taken to a Washington, D.C., hospital for treatment and was alert after the fall.

Rapper Lupe Fiasco was booted off an inaugural party stage Jan. 20 in Washington after dedicating his half-hour set to the song "Words I Never Said," according to RollingStone.com . Fiasco repeated the lyrics "Limbaugh is a racist, Glenn Beck is a racist/ Gaza Strip was getting bombed, Obama didn't say shit/ That's why I ain't vote for him, next one either" for an unusually long time. When he refused to move on to the next song, he was escorted off the stage. In 2011, Fiasco called President Obama "the biggest terrorist ... in the United States of America."

HBO Documentary Films acquired U.S. TV rights to the political documentary Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer, which received its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival Jan. 18, according to Billboard.com . The documentary covered the three women in the Russian feminist art collective who were arrested and prosecuted on charges of religious hatred after they performed a "punk prayer" inside a cathedral.

It turns out that the film Bully was the top-grossing documentary of last year, according to Indiewire.com . The movie—which overcame an initial "R" rating—grossed $4.1 million, making it the 30th-highest grossing documentary of all time. The Queen of Versailles also did well, grossing $2.4 million.

The Grammys—which had been a bitter rival of the late Dick Clark—will honor him during its Feb. 10 telecast, according to the New York Post. Clark, who died of a heart attack in April 2012, will receive a special tribute. Because he created the American Music Awards, Clark had a long-standing rivalry with the Grammys; in 2001, he filed a $10-million lawsuit against the academy, claiming producers "blacklisted" performers who appeared on his show.

The conservative group Florida Family Association greeted Lady Gaga at her Tacoma, Wash., stop by paying a small airplane to fly an anti-gay ad, according to the Huffington Post. The banner, which read "Not Born This Way," was flown over thousands of fans attending a pre-concert tailgate Gaga hosted outside the Tacoma Dome. Warning visitors that Gaga was part of a "campaign to persuade kids to accept the homosexual lifestyle," the association said it cost $1,900 to fly the banner for four hours.

Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld showed his support for the legalization of marriage equality in France by sending two models down a catwalk wearing couture bridal gowns, according to the Huffington Post. French President Francois Hollande plans to legalize same-sex marriage and, thus, allow same-sex couples to adopt and conceive children. However, Lagerfeld also said he opposes allowing same-sex couples to father children born through artificial insemination.

New Kids on the Block, 98 Degrees and Boys II Men will perform jointly on "The Package Tour," according to a press release. The tour kicks off May 31 in Uncasville, Conn., and will take place over the summer, with stops at such cities as Boston (June 2), Cleveland (June 9), Nashville (June 18), Dallas (June 28) and Rosemont, Ill. (July 12—tickets on sale Feb. 2). New Kids also announced plans for new music; the group will release the album 10 on April 2, with the first single "Remix (I Like The)" dropping on iTunes Jan. 28.

Bisexual actress Amber Heard has dumped actor Johnny Depp—and is reportedly with female French model Marie de Villepin, the New York Post reported. The two blondes, both 26, have been spotted together frequently in recent months. Before dating Depp, Heard with with female L.A. artist Tasya van Ree—and they may still be seeing each other.

Lindsay Lohan has reportedly rejected an offer to compete on the TV show Dancing with the Stars, the L.A. Times noted. The actress reportedly was made several offers to join the "Dancing" cast this upcoming season, and the offer allegedly topped at $550,000. Ann Romney also turned down a chance to be on the show.

Singer-songwriter Barry Manilow, struggling with bronchitis, cancelled the 7 p.m. Jan. 22 performance of "Manilow on Broadway," according to Playbill.com . Previews began Jan. 18 at Broadway's St. James Theatre toward an official opening night of Jan. 24. A makeup performance for the Jan. 22 show was announced to play Feb. 26, three days after the announced closing date of the limited engagement. On the morning of Jan. 22, in bitter cold, Manilow was present for an outdoor unveiling of the ceremonial street sign for Barry Manilow Way on West 44th Street, where the St. James is located.


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