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Showbiz news: 'Riverdale,' Ryan Murphy, 'Thor,' Sheryl Crow
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2017-10-31

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The TV show Riverdale depicts a dark and foreboding place ( as opposed to the town that's portrayed in Archie Comics )—but none of the residents seems to be flirting with danger as much as gay student Kevin Keller ( played by Casey Cott ), TVGuide.com noted. In the Oct. 25 episode "The Watcher in the Woods," Keller developed a rather dangerous habit of trying to pick up guys during his "night jogs" through the woods ( while a masked serial killer is loose ). Cott said, "Kevin is just sick of feeling lonely and sick of hearing about everyone else's drama. He wants to kind of feel something outside of all of his friends' issues that he's been dealing with."

Ryan Murphy and FX are making TV history with Pose, the 1980s-set drama pilot produced by the Feud and American Horror Story showrunner, The Hollywood Reporter noted. Following a six-month nationwide casting search, the project has cast five transgender actors ( MJ Rodriguez, Indya Moore, Dominque Jackson, Hailie Sahar and Angelica Ross ) in series regular roles. With the casting, Pose is making history with the largest number of transgender actors in series regular roles for a scripted series. The drama looks at the juxtaposition of several segments of life and society in 1980s New York: the rise of the luxury Trump-era universe, the downtown social and literary scene and the ball-culture world.

Thor: Ragnarok star Tessa Thompson revealed that her character, Valkyrie, is bisexual—which would make her the first confirmed LGBT character to appear in a Marvel Studios movie, ComicBook.com noted. And Thompson corrected a fan who mistakenly referred to Valkyrie as lesbian. "She's bi," Thompson tweeted. "And yes, she cares very little about what men think of her. What a joy to play!"

Sheryl Crow performed a sold-out show at the Fonda Theater in Los Angeles to benefit KCSN-FM and STOMP Out Bullying, a national anti-bullying organization in the country for kids and teens, a press release noted. To celebrate diversity and individuality with her fans, Crow is asking fans to share what "Be Myself" ( the name of her new album ) means to them by posting photos with "#BeMyself" on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. The images are on SherylCrow.com .

Madam Secretary has added Grey's Anatomy alum Sara Ramirez as a series regular in season four, and viewers will start seeing her Nov. 19, TVLine.com reported. Ramirez will play Kat Sandoval, "a brilliant political strategist, legendary in D.C. for her talent and for abruptly dropping out of politics until Elizabeth manages to coax her back into the State Department," according to the official character description. Ramirez ( who came out as bisexual last year, per multiple media outlets ) began playing Grey's Dr. Callie Torres in 2006 and left the ABC medical drama for good in 2016.

Out actor Colton Haynes ( Arrow; Teen Wolf ), 29, married Four Seasons artistic director Jeff Leatham, 46, in an evening ceremony in Palm Springs, California, according to a Huffington Post item that cites People. The nuptials took place in front of 120 guests and Kris Jenner, a longtime friend of the couple, officiating. The Oct. 27 wedding was reportedly attended guests such as Sofia Vergara, Joe Manganiello and Chelsea Clinton, along with Haynes' American Horror Story: Cult co-stars Billie Lourd, Leslie Grossman and Cheyenne Jackson.

Sean Hayes was hospitalized recently after his small intestine burst, Page Six reported. "I went to bed at night and, all of a sudden, I felt this excruciating pain in my stomach," he explained on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. "So I went to the ER and … thank God I did. I had a very rare thing where my small intestine burst open and it was poisoning my body."

Speaking of DeGeneres, she recently surprised gay audience member Trent Bauer, a senior at Shippensburg University, LGBTQ Nation noted. Bauer's friend wrote Ellen before he came to the taping to sing his praises, saying, "He spent his entire college career fighting for gay rights and was even nominated for Homecoming King because of all the good that he does. Trent has a heart of gold. He's the definition of a true angel." DeGeneres ( who's partnering with Cheerios with "One Million Acts of Good" ) then presented Bauer with a $10,000 check to pay for college.

Wilson Cruz has shut down those who complained about Star Trek: Discovery featuring gay characters, according to MetroWeekly.com . Responding to someone who said Discovery's creators should balance Cruz and Rapp's characters with an "ex-gay" character who had renounced their sexuality, Cruz said on Facebook that he was "not here for your comfort" and that "LGBTQ people aren't going to just disappear because you put your head in the sand." Cruz currently stars in the latest Trek show as medical officer Dr. Hugh Culber, who is dating Science Officer Paul Stamets, portrayed by Anthony Rapp.

Openly gay artist Trey Pearson, formerly the frontman of the band Everyday Sunday, will release his debut solo pop album Love Is Love on Nov. 17, a press release noted. The seven-song album is Pearson's first major work since departing the Christian-music scene. Pearson was nominated for a 2017 GLAAD Award for his appearance on the The View, and has been performing at Pride Festivals all around the country, with Kesha and Betty Who. He released his debut solo single, "Silver Horizon," earlier this year.

Lesbian-owned movie-production company tello films is marking a decade in the business, a press release noted. The company, founded in 2007 by Christin Baker, focuses on content geared towards a lesbian audience and features women in all of the leading roles. In August, tello received its first Emmy nomination for the original web series secs & EXECS; actress Mindy Sterling received the nomination for her role.

Media outlets reported that the Netflix original series House of Cards was set to conclude with its upcoming sixth and final season—but it turns out the streaming service isn't quite ready to move on, People noted. Multiple ideas are in the early stages of development, Entertainment Weekly has confirmed, for a possible spinoff of the Emmy-nominated series, including one centering around Emmy nominee Michael Kelly's Doug Stamper. News that House of Cards is ending surfaced following allegations from Star Trek actor Anthony Rapp that a then-26-year-old Kevin Spacey ( who stars on "Cards" as Francis Underwood ) made sexual advances toward Rapp when he was 14.

In a first for Disney Channel, a key character on its popular tween series Andi Mack will realize he's gay and come out to his friends, Deadline noted. The story arc will mark the channel's first depiction of a coming-out journey. The character—13-year-old Cyrus Goodman, played by 15-year-old Joshua Rush—began his self-discovery in the Oct. 27 second season one-hour premiere episode. Andi Mack follows Andi ( played by Peyton Elizabeth Lee ), her family and her two best friends: Cyrus Goodman and Buffy Driscoll ( Sofia Wylie ).

When Ross Mathews started his career as "Ross the Intern" on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, there were only a small number of LGBTQ people on TV and gay men, Mathews told The Huffington Post—and they reportedly weren't happy with him representing them. However, he added, "I just never gave a flying f—k what people thought or think. I think that me embracing what I am, which is this plus size, unapologetically, openly gay person, woke some people up."

Jess Cagle's name is being bandied about as a possible candidate to take over Graydon Carter's role as editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair, Page Six noted. Cagle's currently the editorial director of People and Entertainment Weekly. He was formerly EW's managing editor and launched its SiriusXM channel. Other potential candidates eternally in the ether include Adam Moss, Jim Nelson and Dylan Jones; however, Vogue editor and Condé Nast artistic director Anna Wintour might pluck her own fashion bible's Sally Singer for the position.

CBS has dropped writer/producer Rick Najera following an investigation into allegations that he made inappropriate comments to performers while serving as director of the network's annual Diversity Sketch Comedy showcase, Variety reported. Among the complaints was a 2009 incident in which he allegedly said he and his wife were in an open relationship, implying to the performer that he was interested in pursuing a relationship. His writing credits include the TV series East Los High, MADtv and In Living Color as well as the feature film Nothing Like the Holidays.

Actresses Selma Blair and Rachel McAdams are speaking out about their alleged encounters with director James Toback, who has reportedly been accused of sexual assault by 38 women, People.com noted. ( Actress Julianne Moore and Access Hollywood's Natalie Morales have also accused Toback of harassment, The Daily Mail reported. ) The accusations began when the Los Angeles Times cited 38 women who alleged that the one-time Oscar-nominee had sexually harassed them over the years. More than 200 women have since come forward to the Times with similar stories. Toback denied the allegations to the L.A. Times, claiming it would be "biologically impossible" for him to do what he was accused of because he has had diabetes and a heart condition for 22 years.

The Producers Guild of America ( PGA ) has kicked Harvey Weinstein out of the organization for life, Deadline reported. The disgraced producer quit the PGA late last week following the Oct. 16 decision of the guild's national board to begin procedures to expel him. He'd been given 15 days to appeal the ruling but, following his resignation, the guild decided to ban him for life.

Marilyn Manson tweeted that he decided to "part ways" with bandmate Jeordie White, also known as Twiggy Ramirez, according to Variety.com . While Manson did not overtly attribute the severance to the rape allegations against White, the decision comes on the heels of Jessicka Addams' accusations of sexual assault against the bassist. In another Manson-related matter, Scott Putesky—Manson's former guitarist who was better known as Daisy Berkowitz—recently died after a battle with colon cancer; he was 49, according to RollingStone.com .

E! News senior correspondent Ken Baker has been accused of sexual harassment after speaking at length about the allegations surrounding Harvey Weinstein on the network, The Huffington Post noted, citing TheWrap. Two former E! employees, who've chosen to remain anonymous, detailed interactions ranging from lewd text messages to unwanted physical interaction. "I am very disturbed by these anonymous allegations, which make my heart ache. I take them very seriously," Baker told The Wrap. "I care deeply for people's feelings and sincerely live in a way that treats people with dignity and respect."

Actor Tyler Cornell filed a report on Friday with the LAPD accusing former APA agent Tyler Grasham of sodomizing him earlier this year, Deadline reported. Cornell, 20, is the fifth young man to come forward accusing Grasham of sexual harassment or assault. Grasham was fired from the Hollywood agency on Oct. 20 after two other young men accused the agent of sexually assaulting them.

Two days after Michael Moore's Broadway show The Terms of My Surrender took its final bow, Moore said he isn't done yet, as he plans to take it on the road in 2018, Page Six noted. The one-man show with the polarizing filmmaker used satirical humor to make commentary about the country and its politics. Guests at Moore's shows included Bryan Cranston, Gloria Steinem, Maxine Waters, Stephen Colbert and Morgan Spurlock, among others.

The "Queen of Burlesque," Dita Von Teese, was banned by the Bishop of New York from performing at Bette Midler's famed Hulaween Gala, Page Six noted. Midler had invited Von Teese to perform at this year's Halloween costume event, which took place Oct. 30 at The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, in support of the New York Restoration Project. However, The Right Rev. Andrew M L Dietsche, the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New York, said no to Von Teese performing, saying the church is a "house of prayer for all people and a unifying center of intellectual light and leadership."

Pitbull was honored at the 2017 Latin American Music Awards with the first-ever Latin AMA Dick Clark Achievement Award by the rapper's friend Enrique Iglesias, E! News noted. The award recognizes a Latin artist that inspires all of the humanity with his or her dedication to music and because he or she uses his or her fame and influence to help those in need.

LFO singer Devin Lima has been diagnosed with stage four adrenal cancer a week after doctors removed a tumor from his adrenal gland, People.com reported. Bandmate Brad Fischetti broke the news to fans in a YouTube post in which he discusses how Lima, 40, is doing and his next plan of action. Lima will undergo chemotherapy and radiation and will have to take long-term medication as doctors are concerned "there might be cancer cells present in his body."

Simon Cowell was rushed to hospital after suffering an accident at his London home, E! News reported. The 58-year-old America's Got Talent and The X Factor U.K. judge and former American Idol judge was seen being loaded into an ambulance on a stretcher on Oct. 27, while wearing a neck brace, his rep confirmed to People.

A film producer locked in a legal dispute with Amber Heard has asked a California federal court to hit her with $70,000 in sanctions for allegedly evading deposition in the case, Page Six reported. Heard's 2015 film London Fields, based on a Martin Amis book, has still not been released after being mired in legal trouble. Producers previously accused the star of breaching her contract and sabotaging the project: They say she refused to film scenes in the script and wouldn't promote the film.

A book makes the case that the Minneapolis sound started before Prince, TwinCities.com noted. Andrea Swensson argues that the "1999" singer/musician actually continued a legacy started by dozens of Twin Cities musicians before him in her new book Got to Be Something Here: The Rise of the Minneapolis Sound. "Got to Be Something Here" opens in 1958—the year Prince was born—and traces the evolution of R&B and funk music in both Minneapolis and St. Paul. A launch event at St. Paul's Fitzgerald Theater featured some of the folks profiled in the book, including Wee Willie Walker, Wanda Davis, the Valdons, the Original Family Band and Andre Cymone.

Following the success of NBC's new dance-competition series World of Dance, executive produced and headlined by Jennifer Lopez, she and the network are working on a scripted dance-themed project, Deadline noted. NBC in developing A Step Away, a dance troupe comedy from Lopez and Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas' Nuyorican Productions, David Holden and Universal Television. Written by Holden, A Step Away centers on a ragtag group of misfits who find their own empowerment by joining a dance troupe.

This Is Us star Milo Ventimiglia and his longtime producing partner Russ Cundiff have sold three projects to Fox via their DiVide Pictures—drama Cordelia, a Latino take on King Lear from Ice co-creator Robert Munic; The End, a multi-camera comedy from Boy Meets World and Girl Meets World co-creator Michael Jacobs; and Committed, a reality series project about couples from David Leepson ( Rich Kids of Beverly Hills ), Deadline noted. Probably the most intriguing is Cordelia, a modern retelling of the King Lear story set to the backdrop of a Cuban family and the three sisters running the scene in Miami.

To celebrate the Oct. 20 release of horror film auteur John Carpenter's anthology of newly recorded themes from his films, Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross released a new version of the theme from Carpenter's iconic 1978 film Halloween, Variety.com reported. The remainder of the tracks on the album were recorded by Carpenter, who directed and wrote the music for films including The Fog, Escape From New York and Assault on Precinct 17.

Meadow Walker settled her wrongful-death lawsuit with Porsche after claiming defects in the car contributed to the death of her father, Fast and the Fourious actor Paul Walker, Page Six noted. Meadow, 18, settled Oct. 16, but the terms of the settlement are confidential. Paul, who was a passenger alongside Roger Rodas in his Carrera GT, died in 2013 in a fiery car crash; Rodas also did not survive.


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