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Nate Berkus' new job; Streisand to sing at Oscars
Entertainment news: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2013-02-06

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Out former talk-show host Nate Berkus has landed a job in prime time, according to the New York Post. Berkus, a designer with several best-selling books and who hosted a daytime talk show for two years, will host a new NBC series tentatively called Home Transformers." Home Transformers is billed as a competition-reality show; however, unlike most shows of that type, it will feature professionals instead of amateurs. Berkus also had a two-part interview with Oprah Winfrey set for Feb. 10 and 17.

Barbra Streisand is set to perform on this year's Oscars telecast Feb. 24, according to the New York Daily News. It will be the legendary actress' second time ever singing at the Oscars. (The previous time was in 1977, where she sang the love theme from A Star Is Born.) Adele and Norah Jones are also slated to sing at the event.

Jim Nabors, the actor best known for playing Gomer Pyle on TV in the 1960s, has married his longtime male partner, according to SeattlePI.com . Nabors, 82, and Stan Cadwallader, 64, traveled from their Honolulu home to Seattle to be married Jan. 15. The couple met in 1975 when Cadwallader was a Honolulu firefighter. Nabors said he's been open about his homosexuality to co-workers and friends but never acknowledged it to the media before.

The board of directors of Chicago's About Face Theatre Company has announced that Executive Director Jason Held stepped down at the end January to pursue a position with Playworks Chicago, according to a press release. Held, who has served since 2010, will remain with the company on the board of directors. The board has named Jonathan (Jonny) Stacks interim executive director as it launches a search for a new executive director. This follows news that Artistic Director Bonnie Metzgar is leaving the company at the end of the 2012-13 season.

Patty Andrews, the last surviving member of The Andrews Sisters, has died at 94, according to the L.A. Times. The trio were hitmakers during the 1940s with songs such as "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" and "I'll Be With You in Apple Blossom Time." Maxene, the middle Andrews sister, died in 1995 and LaVerne, the eldest, in 1967.

How I Met Your Mother will be back for a ninth and final season that will finally reveal who the mother is, according to TheWrap.com . CBS and 20th Century Fox Television announced that the series would be back for one final go-round with series regulars Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris and Alyson Hannigan.

Dolce & Gabbana is selling a baby cologne for $44, according to ABCActionNews.com . The alcohol-free fragrance—intended for baby boys, girls and mothers, and which has notes of citrus, honey and melon—is meant to "enhance and accentuate baby's natural smell. Perfume designer Fredereick Bouchardy told a fashion blog that scents for babies aren't new, citing baby powder and lotion as examples.

Oprah Winfrey personally replied on Twitter to someone who said she looked "old as hell," according to the New York Post. The tweeter, who goes by "kp1lady," was shocked that Winfrey—who has just turned 59—has responded, "Old as hell? Really?" The exchange took place right after Winfrey's heavily promoted interview with Cissy Houston, the mother of Whitney Houston. Winfrey has more than 6 million Twitter followers.

Two Tony Award-winning actresses will return to Carnegie Hall during the New York venue's 2013-14 season, according to Playbill.com . Two-time Tony winner Patti LuPone will perform a special one-night-only concert, Far Away Places, on Nov. 7; meanwhile, Emmy and Tony winner Kristin Chenoweth will offer an evening entitled Evolution of a Soprano May 3, 2014. In related news, singer-songwriter Michael Feinstein will also return to Carnegie Hall for a one-night-only performance in the Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage Oct. 23, 2013.

The series House of Cards—which stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright—is being shown on Netflix, CNET.com reported. Based on a BBC miniseries, House of Cards is a drama that takes place in the political underbelly of Washington, D.C.—and showing lots of sex, greed and corruption. Spacey is a Washington Congressman and Wright is his wife; they will "stop at nothing to conquer everything," according to the show's description.

Flipping a deal Netflix said it had with the show, Amazon claims it has signed a deal to become the sole subscription video-streaming service to carry the PBS hit Downton Abbey, according to Wired.com . Starting in mid-June, Prime Instant Video will be the only place to stream season three of Downton Abbey—which is currently airing in the United States—as well as seasons four and five, if the show goes that long. Presently, only season one is can be streamed on Netflix; seasons one and two are still available on Hulu (with ads).

Fox's 2004 extreme makeover reality series The Swan is coming back with a celebrity twist, according to Deadline.com . The network has greenlighted Celebrity Swan, a two-hour special to air later this year. Casting is currently underway; former White House intern Monica Lewinsky and Happy Days alumna Erin Moran are possibilities.

Lavonne "Pepper" Paire-Davis, a star of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League in the 1940s and an inspiration for the movie "A League of Their Own," has died, according to the Huffington Post. She was 88. Paire-Davis was a model for the character played by Geena Davis, and served as a consultant on the 1992 film.

NBC has signed Roseanne Barr to an overall deal that calls for her to develop a show she will star in and produce for the network, according to TheWrap.com . She will executive-produce the series with Steven Greener, with whom she collaborated on Roseanne's Nuts for Lifetime. As part of the deal, Barr also will guest star in a three-episode arc on NBC's The Office as talent agent Carla Fern.

The movie Argo continued its awards roll as Ben Affleck won top film honors from the Directors Guild of America Feb. 2 for his CIA thriller about the Iran hostage crisis, according to USA Today. The film has won virtually every major film award since Affleck was snubbed for a best-director nomination when the Oscars nominees were announced Jan. 10. Only three films have won best picture at the Oscars without being nominated for best director in 84 years—most recently, 1989 winner Driving Miss Daisy. The Oscars will air Feb. 24.

On the heels of her Super Bowl halftime show, Beyonce has announced dates for her "Mrs. Carter Show World Tour" in support of her fifth studio album (which is, so far, untitled), according to MTV.com . Things kick off April 15 with a show at the Kombank Arena in Belgrade, Serbia. The North America leg of her tour will start June 28 in Los Angeles with dates in other cities such as Dallas (July 6), Chicago (July 17), Montreal (July 22) and Brooklyn, N.Y. (Aug. 3).

Talk-show host Wendy Williams and manager/husband Kevin Hunter have formed the non-fiction programming company Wendy Williams Productions (WWP), naming veteran producer Lisa Knapp as senior vice president of development, according to Deadline.com . WWP will focus on the development and production of reality, game and talk shows for the cable and broadcast markets. Williams will serve as executive producer of the projects and may also have an on-camera role in some.

Twentieth Television announced that The Ricki Lake Show will not be renewed for the 2013-2014 season, Deadline.com reported. Original episodes will continue to air through the end of the season. Lake said in a statement, "I am so proud of the shows we completed this season, sparking important conversations about everything from raising children to mental illness to suicide prevention to coming out." She plans on returning to her documentary-filmmaking work.

Rubin Singer was thrust into the limelight Feb. 3: He's the designer behind Beyonce's Super Bowl halftime show, according to the New York Post. Singer, 34, designed the singer's outfit— a python, iguana and Chantilly lace black leotard; leather-cropped motorcycle jacket; and "liquid nylon" miniskirt. "She was losing so much weight every day [rehearsing] that we kept taking it in and taking it in," Singer said.

Channing Tatum was play-fighting with a good friend, UFC champ Cung Le, at Tatum's New Orleans bar, Saints and Sinners—but some people thought it was the real thing, the New York Post reported. About 50 people were partying in a VIP area when "heads swiveled" to see the two muscle-bound men locked in a "wrestling match." Tatum and Le are close pals from the 2009 street-mayhem film Fighting.

Whitney Houston's daughter, Bobbi-Kristina, has slammed grandmother Cissy Houston's new book, according to Vibe.com . "Anything concerning my grandmother's book, I and @nickgordon of course personally have nothing to do with," Bobbi wrote on Twitter. "I haven't read [it] and won'...I find it to be disrespectful to my mother and me being her daughter won't tolerate it [sic]." The book is entitled Remembering Whitney: My Story Of Love, Loss, And The Night The Music Stopped.

Rapper Lord Jamar has criticized musician Kanye West in a song some are described as anti-gay, Vibe.com noted. Taking a swipe at West's fashion sense—which has included wearing a skirt at a Dec. 12, 2012, benefit concert—Jamar says, "Pioneer of this queer shit is Kanye West/ He introduced the skinny jeans to the rap scene/Then he wore a fucking skirt on the video screen ... Your music's good but your ego is horrible."

In another beef, R&B singer Keyshia Cole slammed the Destiny's Child reunion at the Super Bowl, People.com noted. Beyonce, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams performed "Bootylicious," "Independent Women Part 1" and "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)." Cole loved Beyonce, tweeting "Bad bitch central"—but then criticized Williams in particular, posting "Michelle sung and woke my ass up from my daze! She always f-cking the groove up." Destiny's Child fans then maligned Cole.

Adult film star Arpad Miklos, born Peter Kozma, was found dead in his apartment Feb. 4 due to an apparent suicide, according to Queerty.com . Miklos, known for his work in more than 50 film titles, was 45 years old and resided in New York, where he also worked as an escort. Before working as a porn actor, he worked as a chemical engineer. Randal Lynch said on YouTube's The Howard Bragman Show that, regarding why Miklos committed suicide, "Haters can hate, people can speculate, but he's not going to give a specific reason and give that satisfaction to anyone."

Britney Spears is headed to Vegas, according to ExtraTV.com . Spears' manager, Larry Rudolph, said that the Sin City show is set, with a choice between two casinos, one of which is part of Caesars Entertainment Group. The deal will be finalized once the singer's team decides on the casino.

On the heels of his team winning the Super Bowl, Baltimore Ravens' Brendon Ayanbadejo talked with out CNN anchor Don Lemon about gay rights, according to Gay.net . "I don't consider it gay rights. I just call it rights. Everyone deserves to be treated equally," Ayanbadejo told CNN. "People are born gay. So why treat them any differently? It's time that we treat everybody fairly."

Out actor Sir Ian McKellen received an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland, according to the L.A. Times. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey actor was given the Doctor of Letters degree by the university's chancellor, Dr. James Nesbitt, who appeared in the film as Bofur alongside McKellan's wizard, Gandalf. "Thanks to every gay person in public and non-public life who has come out," McKellen said in his speech, which addressed religious and homophobic prejudice.


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