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SHOWBIZ Zachary Quinto, gay fitness model, Octavia Spencer, Streisand
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times.
2018-02-06

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History is bringing back In Search Of, based on the 1970s franchise, as a 10-episode docuseries, hosted and executive-produced by Emmy-nominated Zachary Quinto ( Star Trek; Snowden; I Am Michael ), according to Deadline.com . From the mythical to the scientific, each episode will follow Quinto as he investigates a different subject within a dynamic theme—such as alien encounters, mysterious creatures, UFO sightings, time travel and artificial intelligence—and searches for the truth to some of the world's greatest mysteries. The original In Search Of series aired 1977-1982 and was hosted by Rod Serling and later by Leonard Nimoy, following Serling's death.

Gay model/fitness coach Zachary Koval stars in a PSA for PETA that proclaims, "Killer Body. Clear Conscience. Try Vegan," per a press release. "No animals were harmed in the making of this body," says Koval, who credits his physique to running, swimming, biking, mud races, rock climbing, yoga and, of course, vegan eating. "I love the feeling that I'm doing good ( for myself, for animals, and for the planet ) with every meal. I feel alive [and] healthy, and [I] rarely get sick."

Octavia Spencer has promised to buy out a movie theater in an underserved community in Mississippi to show the groundbreaking superhero adventure Black Panther to a group of kids who wouldn't otherwise get to see it on the big screen, Movieweb noted. Black Panther is the first Marvel Studios movie to feature a Black lead character with a mostly Black cast and it's one of the most anticipated movies of 2018. Spencer said her mom would not have been able to afford to take her to the movies when she was a child, so she's taking the time to give back.

Gwyneth Paltrow and Barbra Streisand are in talks to co-star in the new Netflix comedy The Politician, TheWrap reported. Tony winner Ben Platt ( Dear Evan Hanson; Pitch Perfect ) is set to star. Netflix picked up the series for two seasons, from creators Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan. Murphy will direct the pilot episode and, if Streisand and Paltrow close their deals, Streisand will likely end up directing some episodes as well. Paltrow and Streisand will also produce, along with Platt.

Chloe Grace Moretz's new film has been awarded the grand jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival, PinkNews noted. The Miseducation of Cameron Post follows Moretz's title character, who gets caught having sex with the school prom queen and is sent away to a gay conversion therapy camp by her conservative aunt and uncle. Nine states ( New Jersey, California, Oregon, Vermont, Illinois, New Mexico, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Nevada ) and Washington, D.C., ban conversion therapy.

The annual Broadway Bares benefit from Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS will play the Hammerstein Ballroom on Sunday, June 17, TheaterMania.com noted. This annual extravaganza features seductive production numbers from more than 150 of the most talented dancers on Broadway. The show was created in 1992 by Jerry Mitchell, then a Broadway dancer, as a way to raise awareness and money for those living with HIV/AIDS. The 2017 edition raised $1.568 million for the organization, bringing the 27-year grand total to more than $17.4 million.

Grey's Anatomy continues to air transgender stories, as the ABC medical drama has enlisted actress Candis Cayne ( Transparent ) for a multiple-episode arc in season 14, The Hollywood Reporter noted. Cayne will play a transgender patient who comes to Grey Sloan for what is being described as a "groundbreaking" vaginoplasty surgery. The character is inspired by a story that the writers on Grey's Anatomy read about Hayley Anthony, a trans woman who helped Jess Ting—the director of surgery at the Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery at Mount Sinai—create a groundbreaking new procedure for vaginoplasty surgeries.

A new hi-definition version of the groundbreaking 1983 movie Born in Flames will be on iTunes and Amazon VOD on Feb. 20, per a press release. The plot is as follows: When Adelaide Norris, the Black radical founder of the Woman's Army, is mysteriously killed, a diverse coalition of women—across all lines of race, class, and sexual orientation—emerges to blow the System apart. The movie was preserved by Anthology Film Archives with restoration funding from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and The Film Foundation.

Jim Parsons, Haley Joel Osment, Terry Kinney and Dylan Baker will round out the cast of the Ted Bundy thriller Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, Variety noted. Zac Efron is starring as Bundy opposite Lily Collins, who plays his longtime girlfriend. John Malkovich is portraying Judge Edward Cowart, who presided over the murder trial, and Kaya Scodelario is playing Bundy's ex-wife. Shortly before his execution in 1989, Bundy confessed to 30 homicides committed in seven states between 1974 and 1978.

Singer Lorde has received RIAA diamond certification for the song "Royals"—meaning the 2013 tune has surpassed 10 million sales, according to a Republic Records release. The Grammy-winning songstress is one of only five females in RIAA Gold & Platinum Program history to earn a diamond song. "Royals" ( released March 19, 2013 ) is one of only six diamond songs released and certified in the last five years.

House of Cards has included Oscar-nominated actors Diane Lane and Greg Kinnear in major roles opposite Robin Wright in the political drama series' revamped eight-episode sixth and final season, which has started filming, Deadline noted. Their additions are part of the major changes made to the show in light of the abrupt dismissal of star Kevin Spacey over multiple sexual-misconduct allegations. Details about Lane and Kinnear's characters are not revealed, except that they will play siblings.

Ellen DeGeneres spent last week celebrating her 60th birthday, and her latest surprise was partnering with Cheerios to give her studio audience $1 million to split among themselves, according to Page Six. That day, her audience was filled with people who participated in the "One Million Acts of Good" campaign. While DeGeneres was doling out money to her audience, her wife, Portia de Rossi, surprised her with a gorilla conservation center for her milestone birthday.

Showtime has renewed its drama series The Chi for a second season, a press release announced. Created and executive-produced by Emmy Award winner Lena Waithe ( Master of None ) and executive-produced by Academy Award, Emmy and Golden Globe winner Common ( Selma ), The Chi explores the humanity behind the headlines sensationalizing the South Side of Chicago. Produced by Fox 21 Television Studios, the series will go back into production in Chicago later this year.

CNN reported that future printings of Oprah Winfrey's spiritual self-help book The Wisdom of Sunday will not include contributions from former hip-hop music executive Russell Simmons, according to the book's publisher. The decision comes as Simmons faces multiple accusations of sexual misconduct, including rape. Simmons has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

The documentary feature TransMilitary will premiere at the 2018 South by Southwest ( SXSW ) Film Festival in Austin, Texas, this March, according to a GLAAD press release. TransMilitary is the first feature-length film project to receive funding from the GLAAD Media Institute, announced in late 2017. Director Gabriel Silverman, co-director Fiona Dawson and producer Jamie Coughlin previously created the Emmy-nominated 2015 New York Times opdoc Transgender, at War and in Love.

The late gossip queen Liz Smith was remembered at a public memorial at Broadway's Majestic Theatre, the New York Daily News noted. Barry Diller, Lesley Stahl and agent Joni Evans shared stories of Smith, who died Nov. 12. Deadline noted that some of the others at the event included Renee Zellweger, Cynthia McFadden, Holland Taylor and New York Times drama critic Ben Brantley.

Law & Order: SVU actress Diane Neal, who portrayed ADA Casey Novak on the hit NBC series, announced on social media that she'll be running for Congress in New York as an independent, Page Six noted. Neal—a registered Democrat and a resident of Hurley, New York—will need 3,500 signatures to secure a place on the November ballot for the state's 19th Congressional District. She recently said to The Daily Freeman, "I'm a little Libertarian, I'm a lot liberal, mostly progressive, but I have this amazing ability to be able to take really complicated policy and break it down into edible sound bites, which is something most progressive liberals cannot do."

The 12th Annual Los Angeles Ballet ( LAB ) Gala 2018 will honor Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Derek Hough and Adam Shankman on Saturday, Feb. 24, according to PR Newswire. The celebration will be helmed by Master of Ceremony Mark L. Walberg, host of PBS's Antique Road Show, and there will be a featured excerpt of LAB's anticipated production of Swan Lake. The evening's proceeds support Los Angeles Ballet's mission to serve communities throughout Los Angeles County through world-class performance and arts education outreach programs.

Pride Fort Lauderdale will celebrate the nation's only "Love Pride" on Sunday, Feb. 11, 12-8 p.m., on the Fort Lauderdale Beach, per a press release. Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Estelle and internationally known actress, singer and flamenco guitarist Charo will headline the festival.

Nancy and Beth—the self-described punk-showbiz band featuring Megan Mullally and Stephanie Hunt—will tour the country this spring and summer, according to a press release. A few of the stops will include Los Angeles ( April 15 ), Chicago ( April 20, at the Old Town School of Folk ), Indianapolis ( April 24 ) and New York City ( May 1-5, at the Cafe Carlyle ).

Rose McGowan, appearing on The View for her new memoir Brave, recounted again her alleged encounter with her accused rapist Harvey Weinstein, noting that after the incident at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival, the former Miramax honcho phoned her to brag about his so-called affairs with other leading actresses, according to Deadline. She also doubled down on what she has called the "Hollywood fakery" of some in the MeToo movement, mentioning four ( unidentified ) CAA agents involved who just needed the good publicity and also calling out, again, Justin Timberlake.

Charlie Walk will not appear in the Feb. 8 finale of Fox's musical-competition show The Four, Deadline noted. His attorney, Patricia Glaser, released a statement on Walk's behalf confirming the news. Earlier, the record company exec was suspended by his Universal Music Group label Republic Records as Deadline reported a second woman has came forward with claims of inappropriate conduct by Walk.

Supermodel Kate Upton has accused the man behind fashion giant Guess of harassing women, People.com reported. Once the face of Guess, the model called out the label's co-founder and chief creative officer, Paul Marciano, 65, on social media. While Upton, 25, did not detail a specific incident, she shared her concerns about Marciano referring to the #MeToo movement. Marciano spoke to TMZ about Upton's claims, denying that he ever touched her and saying, "If she has a claim, there's one place to tell the truth and that's in court or to the police."

Halle Berry has spoken out amid allegations against her former manager, Vincent Cirrincione, who was accused of sexual misconduct by nine women, Us Magazine noted. The Washington Post reported that the women—eight of whom are African-American and one who is Asian-American—alleged that Cirrincione had made unwanted sexual advances toward them over the last 20 years. The women said they wanted the manager to represent them because of his reputation of "boosting the careers of Black actresses," including Berry and Empire star Taraji P. Henson. In part, Berry posted, "I'm livid that he used me, and the role model he helped me become, to lure and manipulate innocent, vulnerable women of color for his predatory actions."

However, in a related development, Cirrincione is closing his company, Vincent Cirrincione Associates, following a Washington Post story, according to Deadline. Cirrincione has worked in the business for about 40 years. The move comes after some of his biggest clients, including Taraji P. Henson and Julie Benz, dropped him as a manager over the weekend.

Noting that talent agents can be "first responders" in matters involving the sexual harassment of their clients, the Association of Talent Agents sent a notice to its members on the group's continuing efforts to "eliminate sexual harassment and discrimination in our industry," Deadline noted. The notice, from ATA executive director Karen Stuart, says that "the ATA board believes we can play a unique and important role by offering a blended educational/training program designed to meet our members' day-to-day needs."

James Franco's former high school has taken down a mural he painted, and plans to remove other art donated by the celebrity alumnus who is facing allegations of sexual misconduct in Hollywood, Page Six noted. Removing the artwork from Palo Alto High School is "in the best interests of our students in light of our educational mission," Superintendent Karen Hendricks said in a statement.

Allegations that Ryan Seacrest behaved inappropriately toward a wardrobe stylist a decade ago could not be substantiated by E!, Deadline reported. The allegation was made public by Seacrest himself last November. "Recently, someone that worked as a wardrobe stylist for me nearly a decade ago at E! News, came forward with a complaint suggesting I behaved inappropriately toward her," the host of the upcoming ABC version of American Idol said then. "If I made her feel anything but respected, I am truly sorry."

Nick and Drew Lachey are closing their eponymously named bar Lachey's in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Feb. 11, per an Instagram post on the joint's page, Page Six noted. The brothers opened the bar three years ago after 41-year-old Drew's Dancing with the Stars stint, but before 44-year-old Nick's appearance on the show. The 98 Degrees members are shutting down the bar just two months after its manager, Ellie Richardson, was shot on Thanksgiving morning. Richardson underwent a successful surgery to repair the left side of her face on Dec. 15.

A Florida man with tickets to see Lana Del Rey and a knife was arrested outside the Amway Center, where she performed, on stalking charges, according to WFTV.com . Michael Hunt, 43 of Riverview, is facing an aggravated stalking and attempted kidnapping charge. Police received a tip that Hunt posed a credible threat to Del Rey after finding multiple "cryptic and threatening" posts on social media, an arrest report noted.

After a couple months of being kept in the dark, Fox has finally told fans just when Gotham is making its return to TV, ComicBook.com noted. The Batman prequel series will debut its spring premiere on Thursday, March 1, at 7 p.m. CT. Co-star David Mazouz ( who plays young Bruce Wayne ) recently said, "Essentially all of the villains on the show—all the terrifying ones, at least—will team up. It will basically be the Justice League of Gotham villains. They're gonna basically terrorize the city over the next 11 episodes."


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