Brian Williams May Not Return To The Desk At NBC

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bwNBC is reportedly trying to keep Brian Williams, even if that means a new role outside of the “Nightly News” desk.
According to a new report from CNN Money, NBC execs are looking for a new place for Williams at the network. Negotiations are not yet complete, but Williams could also end up walking away from the Peacock following a financial statement.

NBC News chairman Andy Lack has apparently backed the idea of keeping Williams, and sources told CNN that one meeting asked employees to “think creatively” in terms for a place for the former “Nightly News” anchor.
Reps for NBC News declined to comment on Sunday.

NBC suspended Williams for six months without pay in February in the wake of a scandal over misleading statements he made about his time covering the Iraq War in 2003. Williams was previously the most-watched evening news anchor in the U.S.

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Yoko Ono: “I Had An Affair With Hillary Clinton

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yoko-onoYoko Ono shocked reporters yesterday when she responded to a question concerning the presidential run of Hillary Clinton and the possibility that she could become the first woman President of the United States in American history.
The artist and widow of John Lennon, who is in Los Angeles to present a collection of cups and saucers she is exhibiting at the Museum of Modern Art, totally took reporters by surprise by admitting she had not only met the former First Lady at various times during a series of protests against the Vietnam War in New York in the 1970s but also knew her “intimately”.

The celebrity admitted laughingly to having “a fling” with her at the time and acknowledged her election “would be a great advancement for LGBT and Women rights in America” she added.

Yoko Ono when asked about her thoughts about Hillary’s run for the presidency completely took reporters by surprise.
“We met many times during the New York Vietnam War protests in the 1970s, and became very intimate. We shared many of the same values about sexual equality, fighting against the authoritarian, patriarchal, male-dominated society we were raised in” she explained.

“We had a brief romantic fling when I lived with John in Manhattan and Hillary was studying at Yale, but eventually we lost touch. I am amazed how things are going well for her and wish her the best for her campaign” she told reporters during the press conference.

Experts believe the statement could affect the presidential candidates bid for the presidency but previous allegations of Hillary Clinton’s lesbian past have not seemed to play against the front runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential race yet.

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Chris Farley Documentary Will Debut This Summer On Spike

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cfA documentary about the late Chris Farley will debut on Spike this summer. As first reported by Variety, Virgil Films acquired distribution rights to I am Chris Farley, a doc from directors Brent Hodge and Derik Murray which focuses on Farley’s life.

The film includes interviews with Farley’s fellow Saturday Night Live stars Adam Sandler, Mike Myers and David Spade, as well as members of Farley’s family and other celebrities. Back in March, Tom Arnold tweeted about his involvement.

‘Just did interview for Chris Farley doc that comes out this summer. Feel such a weird mix of joy and sadness but that’s life I guess.’

I Am Chris Farley will air Aug. 10 on Spike before an on-demand release. Farley died in 1997 after a drug overdose.

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Bette Midler Proves She’s Still Divine At 69

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bette-midlerBette. You just keeping getting better.

43 years after the release of her 1972 debut album, “The Divine Miss M,” co-produced by Barry Manilow, her piano accompanist during her formative Bathhouse Betty days at New York City’s now-defunct Ansonia Hotel, Bette Midler still knows how to make grown men and women cry.

In a good way.

The Staples Center Thursday night was filled with weepy, swooning fans of the Grammy and Golden Globe-winning songstress-actress-comedian, whose L.A. stop on her 24-city “Divine Intervention” tour — her first road show in a decade — was a spectacular theatrical mash-up of variety-hour-meets-vaudeville-act-meets-Broadway-one-woman-show. The concert featured a set list of wartime radio tunes (“I’ve Still Got My Health,” “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”), sultry deep cuts (“Do You Want to Dance,” “Stay with Me”), sexy supper-club renditions of rock and roll classics (the Rolling Stones’ “Beast of Burden”) and femme-centric ditties like TLC’s 1995 hip-hop ballad “Waterfalls,” a track off Midler’s “It’s the Girls!” tribute anthology performed with so much soul and sadness, half the women in section 101 went clambering for pretzel napkins to dab the smudged mascara off their tear-stained faces.
At 69 years-old, with legs like a Rockette and a voice as rich and smooth as velvet, Midler is such a charismatic wonder it’s a shame she doesn’t run for president. The legendary star has lost nothing of the bawdy wit and madcap antics — “I’m going to lift your spirits like a boob job,” she teased the crowd — with which she started out in the late-1960’s, a ginger-haired, Hawaiian-born Jewess who cut her teeth on the great white way, where for three years she played Tzeitel in the original Broadway production of “Fiddler on the Roof,” sweeping the stage with a broom, pining for a more glamorous life that would surely come.

“Don’t I look fabulous? I’m a triumph of science and fiction,” said Midler, primping her now-flaxen coif and parading around stage in a slinky pink shift before launching into a rousing version of “I Look Good.”
“I’m in better shape than this year’s Lakers,” she joked.

Midler’s feisty passion for girl groups, female empowerment and “rescuing old songs” — the Harlettes, her singing-dancing backup trio, were as coy and flamboyant as ever during a deliciously campy “Bird in the Hand” bit — proved fortuitous for fans at the May 28 show, who were treated to a high-energy cover of The Exciters’ 1962 single “Tell Him,” the song that, as Midler regaled, made Dusty Springfield want to become a pop singer. Midler’s nostalgic nod to all the yiddishe mamas in the house, “Bei Mir Bistu Schoen,” a love song made famous by the Andrews Sisters, was not only the most Jewish moment of the night (in a show that was uniformly Jew-ish) but a poignant one, for it’s the song Midler’s parents, whom she “lost long ago,” would sing to her as a little girl.

Midler’s show was expectedly chock full of signature shtick, from an uproarious parody of the Oscars, “The Oysters,” complete with a mock “in memoriam (1980-2014)” montage honoring Delores DeLago, the fictional wheelchair-bound mermaid, and a satirical slideshow of Midler canoodling with such famous men as Vladimir Putin and Bruce Jenner. “I could kick myself for not monetizing my sex life,” she quipped of the booming Kardashian Empire.
But it was Midler’s biting commentary on the condition of the human race that best underscored her unflappable genius, not only as an entertainer, but as an acutely astute social pundit.

“I miss handwritten notes and bookstores and LPs,” lamented Midler, driven by a wistful longing for a simpler past that didn’t include the bewildering maelstrom of computer apps and social media sites. “Remember when people were afraid of being followed?”

There was comfort in what Midler assured the crowd: “Everything you need to know you already do.” A point made ever more melodic in her cover of Leonard Cohen’s moody dirge “Everybody Knows.”

After an emotional, arena-wide sing-along of “The Rose,” duly punctuated by swaying hands and twinkling iPhone lights, Midler’s encore included the smash hits “From a Distance” and “Beaches” theme song, “Wind Beneath My Wings,” which won a Grammy for record of the year in 1990 and has appeared on the set list of almost every bar mitzvah and wedding band since.

“What a weird and wonderful town,” Midler told audience members, thanking them profusely for their unwavering support as her eyes welled up with tears of gratitude and joy.

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Dustin Diamond Convicted Of Misdemeanors In Stabbing

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ddTV actor Dustin Diamond was convicted Friday of two misdemeanors stemming from a barroom fight, but a Wisconsin jury cleared the former “Saved by the Bell” actor of the most serious felony charge.

The jury’s verdict came just hours after the 38-year-old actor testified that he never intended to stab anyone in the fight last Christmas Day. He had pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of recklessly endangering public safety, plus two misdemeanors carrying a concealed weapon and disorderly conduct.

Diamond, who played the character Screech on the popular 1990s show, said some people had wanted to shake his hand and pose for photos at the bar, but that others were badgering him and his girlfriend, Amanda Schutz. He said he was trying to scare bar patrons in Port Washington after his girlfriend was punched in the face.

“I felt like we were being set up for antagonistic purposes,” he said.

Witnesses testified that Schutz pushed one woman at the bar and grabbed another woman’s hand, initiating the incident. Schutz also faces a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge.

Diamond said he tried to help Schutz and took out his pocketknife to deter the group from hurting her more.

The man who was stabbed, 25-year-old Casey Smet, testified Thursday that he didn’t know he had been stabbed until he had left the bar and was talking to police.

After maintaining a serious facade during most of the trial, Diamond grinned Friday when a defense attorney asked if he liked being compared to the character Screech. Diamond said he, like his character, enjoyed nerdy things. And Diamond said he liked being identified in public as the goofy television character.

“That means they love you,” Diamond said. “That means you’re doing your job.”

No apparent “Saved by the Bell” fans sat in the galleries during the three-day trial. But another apparent fan, Diamond’s defense attorney Thomas Alberti, wrote “Good Luck to Dustin & Amanda” on his car window Wednesday ahead of the trial. Circuit Court Judge Paul Malloy scolded Alberti and told him to remove it because it was “inappropriate.”

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Darrell Hammond Keeps The Spirit Of Don Pardo Alive As ‘SNL’ Announcer

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dhDarrell Hammond’s new gig playing Colonel Sanders in ads for Kentucky Fried Chicken is just one thing keeping him busy these days. The “Saturday Night Live” alum returned to the iconic sketch show this past season as the series’ new announcer after the 2014 death of 96-year-old Don Pardo, who occupied the position for nearly 40 years.
During a conversation with HuffPost Live’s Ricky Camilleri, Hammond said he was initially hesitant about taking the job.

“First of all, I’ve never been an announcer, and I wouldn’t know how to do anything like that. And [the ‘SNL’ team] said, ‘Well, we’re going to create a sound,'” Hammond said. “And I was like, ‘How? What kind of sound do you want to create?’ And they said — and this sounds weird — ‘It’s going to be Pardo but not Pardo.’ I was like, ‘I’m down. I’ll try it.'”

Hammond and the producers spent a week working in a sound booth to arrive at the voice viewers hear at the start of each show, which is a mix of the new and the old.

“What we ended up doing was decided to put Pardo in four or five different vowels. So when you hear the montage, there are four or five vowels that I’m clearly doing Don Pardo. But it’s just the vowels,” he said.
Ultimately, Hammond is pleased that he gets to pay tribute each Saturday to Pardo, who he called “one of the classiest dudes I ever knew.”

“So basically, he’s not forgotten. We know that he’s gone, but he’s not forgotten. That’s how we designed it,” Hammond said.

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‘Big Bang Theory’ Stars And Execs Fund Program

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big-bangProving a good education is no laughing matter. CBS comedy “The Big Bang Theory” and series co-creator and exec producer Chuck Lorre’s family foundation have announced the establishment of the “The Big Bang Theory” Scholarship Endowment at UCLA.

The fund — the first-ever UCLA scholarship created by, and named for, a television series — will support undergraduate students in need of financial aid who are pursuing their higher education in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at UCLA. It has raised over $4 million to date, thanks to an initial donation from the Chuck Lorre Family Foundation as well as gifts from the likes of series stars Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch, executive producers Bill Prady and Steven Molaro, and partners such as Warner Bros. Television and CBS.

“We have all been given a gift with ‘The Big Bang Theory,’ a show that’s not only based in the scientific community, but also enthusiastically supported by that same community — this is our opportunity to give back,” said Lorre. “In that spirit, our ‘Big Bang’ family has made a meaningful contribution, and together, we’ll share in the support of these future scholars, scientists and leaders.”

“The Big Bang Theory” Scholarships will be awarded based on financial need to low-income students who have earned admission to UCLA based on academic merit but need additional support to bridge the gap between typical levels of financial aid and the cost of attendance. The inaugural group of 20 scholars will be announced in fall 2015 on the set of “The Big Bang Theory.” An additional five scholars will be added in each future academic year in perpetuity.

“At UCLA, we pride ourselves on providing opportunities for students from all economic backgrounds,” said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block. “UCLA attracts the very best students from around the world, and admission is very competitive. We are grateful for ‘The Big Bang Theory’ Scholarship Endowment, whose contributors agree with us that economic standing should not hinder a deserving student’s shot at a degree from a university of UCLA’s caliber.”

UCLA and “The Big Bang Theory” share connections beyond the scholarship fund: Bialik earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the university, while UCLA professor of physics and astronomy David Saltzberg serves as the show’s science consultant.

Studio Warner Bros. TV recently partnered on a cinematography jobtraining program in memory of Sarah Jones, the “Vampire Diaries” crew member who died while filming another project.

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Bob Saget Signs On for ‘Fuller House’

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boboFuller House just got fuller.

John Stamos confirmed on Twitter Thursday night that the patriarch of the Full House family — Bob Saget — will return for Netflix’s Fuller House.
“Last but not least-best piece of casting yet. The great @bobsaget will be joining our show on @netflix – – this completes the perfect reunon!” he posted on Twitter.
The news comes the same day Lori Loughlin, who played aunt Becky, announced on Good Morning America, that she would return for the Netflix reboot.
“Officially I’m going to be part of the reboot — or spinoff — of Fuller House,” she said on the morning program

Full House original castmembers Candace Cameron Bure (D.J. Tanner), Jodie Sweetin (Stephanie) and Andrea Barber (Kimmy Gibbler) will return for the reboot alongside Stamos and Dave Coulier. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen will not return to reprise the role of Michelle Tanner.

The Netflix program is set to stream in 2016 and follows D.J. Tanner-Fuller as a recently-widowed veterinarian who is pregnant and living in San Francisco. Aspiring singer Stephanie and single mom Kimmy, along with her teenage daughter Ramona, move in to help care for D.J. and her two sons.

The multicamera comedy hails from Warner Horizon Television, Miller-Boyett Productions and Jeff Franklin Productions. Full House creator Jeff Franklin will return to oversee Fuller House alongside exec producers Robert L. Boyett and Thomas L. Miller. The series originally aired on ABC from 1987 to 1995.

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Daltrey & Springsteen Honor Pete Townshend

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pete-townshendIt was a night of power speeches and power chords. On Thursday, The Recording Academy’s charity division, The MusicCares Foundation, hosted the 11th Annual Map Fund Concert honoring Pete Townshend and its manager, Bill Curbishley at New York’s Best Buy Theatre.
Host Colin Quinn kept the packed audience of nearly 2,000 laughing, in between pre-taped video accolades from Roger Waters, Elton John, Mick Jagger, and a slew of other notable rockers. But, in the end, it was the music that made the evening so special.

With an all star line-up that included Bruce Springsteen, Joan Jett, Billy Idol, Willie Nile, and Who lead vocalist Roger Daltrey, many of Townshend’s Who classics were re-interpreted with unique energy. The current Who touring band backed all the performers.
“His songs touch people so much,” Daltrey told the audience of his longtime band-mate Townshend. “They mean as much today as they did when he wrote them all those years ago. Well done, Pete.” Breaking into the Live At Leeds classic, “Young Man Blues,” Daltrey proved his vocal chops are still very much intact for the band’s current Who Hits 50 world tour.
From Joan Jett’s edgy arrangement of “I Can’t Explain,” to Willie Nile’s dark and angst-driven version of “Substitute,” it was clear everyone on stage was having a good time, including punk-rocker Billy Idol who turned in a snarly, no-holds barred interpretation of “Who Are You,” delivering the line, “Tell me, who the fuck are you?,” like he really meant it.

The music kicked into high gear when both Daltrey and Townshend took the stage together with the band, making it a full-fledged The Who appearance.
They were joined by Bruce Springsteen for a rollicking take of the band anthem of rebellion, “My Generation.”
Between all the great music came a number of heartfelt comments from both celebrities and music industry execs, praising both Townshend and Curbishley for all they have done to help others with addiction problems.
“When Keith Moon died, that’s when I got into trouble,” Townshend said before the show, about his own struggle with addiction. During his acceptance speech, Townshend said it was not drugs but alcohol that caused his downward spiral in the 1980s. “For about 15 years I just drank a lot. At one point I was drinking about three bottles of brandy a day. I just lived on cognac.”

Prior to launching into “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” with the entire ensemble of guest artists, Townshend pointed out one uplifting fact: “The reason I am able to get up on stage and do this tour with The Who and still put on a fairly good show is because of the thirty years I have been clean and sober.”
Proceeds from the event go to the The MAP Fund, which provides members of the music community access to addiction recovery.

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Is Affleck And Garner’s Marriage Over?

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affleck-garnerBen Affleck and Jennifer Garner’s marriage has been hanging on by a thread for months, and it looks like he is ready to throw in the towel. has exclusively learned that Affleck is secretly consulting divorce attorneys about ending the marriage — and doing it soon.

“Ben and his team have definitely been engaging divorce attorneys,” an insider told Radar. “He’s positioning for a divorce.”

“Right now, it’s just coming up with a strategy and whether or not it makes sense for Ben to do it quietly and jointly so there is no battle, or to do it on his own,” the source said.

Meanwhile, as Radar has reported, the couple are leading separate lives. Garner, 43, is spending time in Montreal filming her new movie, Nine Lives, while Affleck, 42, made gambling trips to Vegas on May 3 and May 14, and was also spotted solo in Canada on her birthday back in April.

He also skipped out on spending Mother’s Day with his wife, according to an insider.

The couple went more than a month without being spotted together, in fact, before heading out for a seemingly tense trip to a local ice cream parlor in L.A. on May 28.

But the insider said that despite attempts to put on a united front in public, this time there could be no turning back.

“No one is surprised [he is talking to attorneys],” the source said. “They are more surprised they lasted this long.”
Just a few years ago, “those closest to them thought …they were done,” the source continued. “Then they both got busy with work and she got pregnant” with son Samuel, 3. They also have two daughters: Violet, 9, and Seraphina, 6.
But as Radar reported, another insider insists that Affleck has asked Garner to release a joint statement of their separation before their June 29 wedding anniversary.

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