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SHOWBIZ Queer As Folk, Kerry Washington, Mariah Carey, Hugh Jackman
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2018-12-24

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Bravo is developing a new version of Queer As Folk, Variety reported. Russell T. Davies, the creator of the original British series, is onboard the new project as an executive producer; and Stephen Dunn is attached to write, direct and executive-produce. The original Queer as Folk ran for 10 episodes between 1999 and 2000 in the United Kingdom; a North American version launched in 2000 and ran for five seasons. The new version of the show will feature entirely new characters in a new setting. It is described as a modern take on the original British series that centers on a group of club-going friends who find support in the gay community following a tragedy.

Actress-producer Kerry Washington and leaders behind Time's Up joined a $75-million funding round in The Wing, a startup that runs a network of work and community spaces designed for women, according to Variety. Members of Time's Up leadership who invested in The Wing include producer Katie McGrath of Bad Robot Prods. ( who is co-CEO with J.J. Abrams ), former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, and two co-founders of Time's Up Legal Defense: lawyer Robbie Kaplan and political consultant Hilary Rosen. Four U.S. Women's national soccer team players—Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Meghan Klingenberg and Becky Sauerbrunn—also joined the round.

Mariah Carey's 1994 Christmas classic "All I Want for Christmas Is You" is the most-viewed holiday song in the United States and globally throughout December, according to a Variety item that cites YouTube. It received increased views in the past few months, with the tune spiking Nov. 1, the day following Thanksgiving, and Dec. 1. Daily views of the song this year have passed 4.5 million. Recently, it was reported that Carey's song is the highest-charting holiday hit in 50 years on the Billboard Hot 100, as it rises to number six.

Hugh Jackson talked with Extra about his upcoming world tour, even commenting that Ryan Reynolds ( who told Ellen DeGeneres he is dead set on making a Deadpool-and-Wolverine movie ) has even offered to make a guest appearance on his tour, adding, "He's like, 'I've been working on my dancing.' I'm like, 'Dude!'" Jackman, who has had an impressive career in theater, is promising a good time, sharing, "They're going to get stuff from Les Miz, they're going to get stuff from Greatest Showman, Boy From Oz … maybe even Beauty and the Beast—I'm not sure yet."

During the Dec. 20 episode of Watch What Happens Live, Bravo talk show host Andy Cohen, 50, announced that he is going to be a father, ETOnline.com reported. "Tonight, I want you to be the first to know that after many years of careful deliberation, a fair amount of prayers, and the benefit of science, if all goes according to plan, in about six weeks' time I am going to become a father," Cohen revealed. "Thanks to a wonderful surrogate who is carrying my future. Family means everything to me, and having one of my own that I have wanted in my heart my entire life.

Comedian Rosie O'Donnell is a grandmother for the first time, ExtraTV.com noted. O'Donnell's daughter Chelsea welcomed a baby girl, Skylar Rose, with boyfriend Jacob Bourassa. Along with a pic of the baby with her parents, O'Donnell tweeted, "my daughter chels — jake — and skylar rose my first grandchild !!! #love #life #NANA."

The Producers Guild of America announced that film/TV icon Jane Fonda will receive the 2019 Stanley Kramer Award, Deadline.com reported. The two-time Oscar winner will be honored at the 30th Annual Producers Guild Awards presented by Cadillac on Jan. 19, 2019, at The Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles. The Stanley Kramer Award honors a production, producer or other individuals whose achievement or contribution illuminates and raises public awareness of important social issues.

The Transportation Security Administration is responding to claims of racially profiling and humiliating Queer Eye star Tan France, EDGE Media Network reported. France, who is Pakistani, took to Twitter to call out the TSA on Dec. 12. "We're sorry to hear this. DHS TRIP can provide resolution to travelers with difficulties getting through security and inspection at airport checkpoints," the agency tweeted to France.

An online petition is calling on Disney to relinquish its trademark of the Swahili phrase "hakuna matata," WGNTV.com noted. The phrase—which roughly translates to "no problems" or "no worries" and is a common expression in parts of eastern and southern Africa—is perhaps best known as a song in Disney's 1994 hit movie The Lion King.

Two-time Olympian and NBC correspondent Johnny Weir has joined the cast of Netflix's upcoming ice-skating drama Spinning Out as the main competition for protagonist skating duo Kat ( Kaya Scodelario ) and Justin ( Evan Roderick ), TheWrap reported. The 10-episode series centers around Kat Baker—an up-and-coming, high-level single skater who's about to turn in her skates after a disastrous fall took her off the competition track. Scodelario replaces Emma Roberts, who left because she booked another series.

Five male models filed a lawsuit accusing photographer Bruce Weber of sex trafficking and molesting them under the guise of helping their careers, TheWrap.com reported. Attorney Lisa Bloom—who filed a sexual harassment case against Weber a year ago on behalf of model Jason Boyce—is also representing the plaintiffs in the new lawsuit. Jayne Weintraub, an attorney for Weber, called the accusations "outrageous."

OWN has canceled Love Is__, the relationship drama from husband-and-wife team Salim Akil and Mara Brock Akil, Variety reported. The move comes just weeks after Salim was sued by a woman claiming that the producer abused her during an extramarital affair. Sources told Variety that Warner Bros. Television, which produces Love Is ___, completed an inquiry triggered by the lawsuit and found no allegations of misconduct on the OWN series or Black Lightning, the CW superhero drama that Salim Akil also executive-produces.

Actress Eliza Dushku has slammed CBS and her former Bull co-star Michael Weatherly in a scathing story for the Boston Globe that details the allegations of harassment that led to her $9.5-million settlement with the network earlier this year, Page Six detailed. "I took a job and, because I did not want to be harassed, I was fired," Dushku stated. Dushku said the settlement included a non-disclosure agreement, but that she decided to come forward after reading what she described as "deflection, denial, and spin" from the network.

For the second time in 2018, the LA County district attorney's office has declined to file a sexual assault charge against actor Steven Seagal, Page Six reported. A woman came forward to the LAPD to allege that Seagal had sexually assaulted her in the summer of 2002—but it was determined that the statute of limitations had expired. In September, a woman alleged that Seagal ( now a Russian citizen ) had sexually assaulted her in 1993.

Mahershala Ali has apologized to the family of his Green Book character, Page Six reported. The actor—nominated for a Golden Globe for his role in the film—reached out to the family of his character, the late pianist Don Shirley, to apologize after they called the film a "symphony of lies," Shadow and Act noted. Green Book tells the story of the unlikely bond formed between Shirley and his white driver, Tony "Lip" Vallelonga ( played by Viggo Mortensen ), during the pianist's tour of the Jim Crow South in the early 1960s.

Supermodel Naomi Campbell has been named the new face of Nars Cosmetics for its spring 2019 campaign—and, incredibly, it's her first beauty campaign ever, Allure.com noted. "Very excited to be the new face of NARS Cosmetics," Campbell wrote announcing the news to her 6.1 million Instagram followers. In 1988, Campbell was the first Black woman to appear on the cover of French Vogue, and in 1989, she was the first Black model to grace American Vogue's coveted September issue.

Darren Criss is done playing gay characters—because he wants to ensure gay actors get the chance to perform they deserve, according to a TV Guide item that cites Bustle. "There are certain [queer] roles that I'll see that are just wonderful," Criss told the site, fresh off an overseas tour with his former Glee co-star Lea Michele. "But I want to make sure I won't be another straight boy taking a gay man's role." Criss won an Emmy for portraying gay killer Andrew Cunanan in The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.

Netflix has angered fans by changing the gender of a queer character in its remake of classic anime Saint Seiya ( which focused on the adventures of five Earth-defending Bronze Saints ), PinkNews noted. Andromeda Shun, who presented in femme ways, has been held up as a gay icon. Now, the character will be known as a woman called Shaun when Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac comes to Netflix in 2019.

Britney Spears' boyfriend, bodybuilder Sam Asghari, recently showed his support of the LGBTQ community on social media, Instinct Magazine noted. When a fan thanked him on Instagram for supporting the community, Asghari responded, "LGBTQ will always have my support."

Colton Haynes and Jeff Leatham's divorce is moving ahead, despite reconcilation rumors, ExtraTV.com noted. The Blast reported Leatham filed papers with the court indicating he has served Haynes with a preliminary declaration of disclosure. The two wed in an October 2017 ceremony, with Kris Jenner officiating.

Ahead of Ray Donovan's season-six finale, Showtime has ordered a seventh season of the hit drama series starring Liev Schreiber and Jon Voight, Deadline.com reported. Created by Ann Biderman, Ray Donovan also stars Eddie Marsan, Dash Mihok, Katherine Moennig, Pooch Hall, Kerris Dorsey, Devon Bagby and Graham Rogers.

Some of the original Beverly Hills, 90210 team may be reuniting soon, as CBS Television Studios is shopping another reboot of the 1990s teen soap franchise, Variety noted, citing Deadline. Actors Jennie Garth, Tori Spelling, Jason Priestley, Ian Ziering, Brian Austin Green and Gabrielle Carteris are said to be on board for the new edition, which will be steered by the showrunners of the previous iteration of the series, CW's 90210.

Kristen Stewart's relationship with model Stella Maxwell seems to be over, Extra reported. Stewart was photographed holding hands with a woman who appeared to be stylist/fashion blogger Sara Dinkin. Stewart was last seen with Maxwell in October in Amsterdam, where the former Twilight star was shooting her film Charlie's Angels.

Weeks after Dancing with the Stars crowned country radio DJ Bobby Bones as its controversial winner, pro dancer Cheryl Burke and partner Juan Pablo Di Pace reunited for the first time, PopCulture.com noted. The partners were eliminated during the semifinals in week eight, along with pro Jenna Johnson and Bachelor in Paradise star Joe Amabile. Di Pace and Burke's elimination, after having scored a perfect 60/60 on the night over the course of two dances, shocked many longtime fans.

A year after supermodel Kendall Jenner decided to shut down her paid app, sisters Kim Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian and Kylie Jenner announced they are shutting down their apps and websites, which cost $2.99 per month, in the upcoming year, according to Page Six. Although there aren't specific figures as to how much the sisters have earned from their respective apps, Forbes reported that Kim earned $45.5 million from her website, app, Kimoji emojis and product endorsements in 2016.

Hey Qween! and its spin-off, Look At Huh, a press rel are now available for streaming on Netflix, a press release noted. In Hey Qween! ( in its seventh season ), comedian Jonny McGovern takes viewers inside the lives of celebrity guests and stars of the LGBT community. Visit heyqween.tv .

NYC actor/comedian Lauren LoGiudice has a new series entitled Mary Poppins TAKES ON U.S. Education, a press release noted. The series follows Mary Poppins as she encounters the problems of our education system. It was born out of LoGiudice's experience working as a high school science teacher in Oakland, California. The series is on LoGiudice's Instagram channel, @laurenlogi.


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