O.J. Simpson Released From Prison

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O.J. Simpson walked free from the Lovelock Correctional Center in northern Nevada on Sunday after spending nine years in prison.

In July, Simpson was granted parole on the remaining counts for which he was convicted, stemming from a 2007 Las Vegas robbery. Simpson was convicted on all 12 counts with which he was charged — three counts of conspiracy, one count of burglary in possession of a deadly weapon, and two counts each of kidnapping, robbery, assault, and coercion, all with a deadly weapon — on Oct. 3, 2008, 13 years to the day after he was acquitted for the murders of Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman.

Nevada District Court Judge Jackie Glass sentenced him to a minimum of nine years in prison and a maximum of 33 years. Simpson would have been released from jail in September 2022 had parole been denied.

The former football player was granted parole on five counts in a 2013 hearing by the same Nevada parole board that he faced on Thursday. The remaining seven counts, however, could not be revisited until he served four more years in prison.

During the robbery for which he was convicted, he and several accomplices broke into a Las Vegas hotel room to steal pieces of memorabilia from two men. Simpson ordered that no one leave the room during the robbery, and one of his accomplices brandished a gun (Simpson has denied having any knowledge of the group having a weapon).

Presented by E.Cowan

Written by variety.com

Monty Hall Passes Away At 96

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Monty Hall, one of the most popular game show hosts in American television history as he presided over a throng of outrageously costumed and nearly delirious contestants on “Let’s Make a Deal” for almost three decades, died on Saturday at age 96, his son said.

Richard Hall said his father died at home in Beverly Hills, California, likely of heart failure.

Members of his audiences, dressed as clowns, playing cards or giant tomatoes, would shriek “Monty, Monty, Monty!” as they tried to convince Hall to give them a chance to win a washing machine or a new Cadillac. Sometimes the prizes were a “zonk” – a gag gift such as a live donkey or a wrecked car.

Monty Hall, who hosted “Let’s Make a Deal” for almost three decades, died on Saturday at 96.

Hall was the co-creator of “Let’s Make a Deal” and hosted more than 4,000 episodes from 1963 to 1986 (with occasional hiatuses) and then again in 1990 and 1991. The show drew good ratings even as it jumped from network to network and into syndication.

“Let’s Make a Deal” became a part of American pop culture, with Hall one of the most recognizable stars on TV.

Hall also produced other game shows, hosted variety shows and appeared as a guest star on television series. He was known for charity work for organizations including Variety Clubs International, which raised money for disadvantaged children.

“Many people know my father as an icon on TV but he was also a tireless supporter of charities that meant as much to him as his TV work,” Richard Hall said by telephone from California.

He was born Monte Halperin on Aug. 25, 1921, in Winnipeg, the son of a slaughterhouse owner father and an actress mother. After working in radio in Canada, he came to the United States in 1955.

In the early 1960s, he was developing game shows and joined forces with TV veteran Stefan Hatos. They devised “Let’s Make a Deal” in which Hall picked people from the audience to become contestants in sort of a trading game. Initially, audience members wore normal clothing but started wearing costumes and carrying funny signs to get Hall’s attention.

Hall would offer contestants a modest prize, then give them a chance to trade it for a mystery prize hidden by a curtain, stashed in a big box or concealed behind door No. 1, door No. 2 or door No. 3. That prize might be worth thousands of dollars or might be a “zonk” like a farm animal. Audience members jumped up and down, shouted, cried and kissed Hall when they won, and sometimes even when they lost.

“In 4,700 shows, I got kissed 50,000 times,” Hall said in an interview with a classic TV website. “Even when they lost, they were very nice about it. But you know the law in game shows – if you go on a show and you win a donkey, that’s your prize. You’re entitled to it.”

The show’s producers showed mercy on the “zonk” winners, however. After the taping of the show, they would be offered a substitute prize, such as a television, and most would take it.

“In 1 percent of the cases, they didn’t,” Hall said. “There was a time when a farmer won five calves and he wanted the calves. That cost me a fortune because when you rent them from the animal place, they’re expensive.”

Other members of the show’s team were studio announcer Jay Stewart and model Carol Merrill, who displayed the prizes.

Hall made appearances on revivals of the show, including the version hosted by comedian Wayne Brady starting in 2009.

In 1991, the New York Times published an article about what became known as “the Monty Hall problem” – a probability puzzle hotly debated by mathematicians centering on the advisability of switching choices when given options like those on his show. The conundrum was featured in the 2008 film “21″ with Kevin Spacey.

Hall was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1973.

In 1947, Hall married his wife, Marilyn, who became an Emmy Award-winning producer. Their three children include Tony Award-winning actress Joanna Gleason.

Presented by E.Cowan

Written by huffingtonpost.com

Julia Louis-Dreyfus Reveals Breast Cancer Diagnosis

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Julia Louis-Dreyfus revealed on Thursday that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

The “Veep” star and executive producer made the announcement on Twitter, writing, “1 in 8 women get breast cancer. Today, I’m the one.”

“The good news is that I have the most glorious group of supportive and caring family and friends,” she added. “The bad news is that not all women are so lucky, so let’s fight all cancers and make universal health care a reality.”

Louis-Dreyfus received the diagnosis the day after she won her record sixth consecutive Emmy for her role as former VP-turned-president Selina Meyer on the hit HBO comedy. She now has the distinction of most Emmys won by a single performer for one role.

While it was announced earlier this month that the seventh season of “Veep” would be its final, that was independent of Louis-Dreyfus’ diagnosis. “Veep’s” writers room is still up and running, and the show will adjust production scheduling for her treatments, if needed.

In a statement sent to Variety, HBO said, “Our love and support go out to Julia and her family at this time. We have every confidence she will get through this with her usual tenacity and undaunted spirit, and look forward to her return to health and to HBO for the final season of ‘Veep.’”

After Louis-Dreyfus made the announcement on Twitter, Christina Applegate responded to her by tweeting, “Mama, find me. Let’s talk if you want.” Applegate had a double mastectomy almost a decade ago after receiving her own diagnosis.

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Written by variety.com

Hugh Hefner Passes Away At 91

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Both lauded and criticized by feminists of the era, the media icon convinced Hollywood starlets to reveal more of themselves on his pages than perhaps anywhere else. The interviews were great, too.

Hugh Hefner, who parlayed $8,000 in borrowed money in 1953 to create Playboy, the hot-button media empire renowned for a magazine enriched with naked women and intelligent interviews just as revealing, died of natural causes Wednesday at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles. He was 91.

“My father lived an exceptional and impactful life as a media and cultural pioneer and a leading voice behind some of the most significant social and cultural movements of our time in advocating free speech, civil rights and sexual freedom,” read a statement from Hefner’s son, Cooper Hefner, chief creative officer of Playboy Enterprises.

While most famous for Playboy, the businessman dabbled in all forms of media, including hosting his own TV shows, beginning with Playboy’s Penthouse in the late 1950s and early ’60s. Shot in his hometown of Chicago and syndicated, the show featured Hefner in a tuxedo and smoking a pipe surrounded by “playmates” and interviewing such celebrities as Bob Newhart, Don Adams and Sammy Davis Jr.

The show boosted his personal and professional reputation and promoted what eventually became known as the “Playboy Philosophy,” a lifestyle that included politically liberal sensibilities, nonconformity and, of course, sophisticated parties with expensive accouterments and the ever-present possibility for recreational sex — though Hefner maintained he was a relative late bloomer in that department, remaining a virgin until he was 21.

Hefner followed that show with Playboy After Dark, which had a similar format but with more rock ‘n’ roll, including appearances by The Grateful Dead, Three Dog Night, Harry Nilsson and Linda Ronstadt. The syndicated Screen Gems show was taped at CBS in Los Angeles and ran for 52 episodes in 1969-70.

Hefner also co-produced hundreds of Playboy-branded videos and a few feature films, such as Roman Polanski’s Macbeth and Monty Python’s first film, And Now for Something Completely Different, both released in 1971. He had been a sought-after guest on TV shows as far back as 1969 when he played a Control agent on an episode of Get Smart, and more recently he appeared on Curb Your Enthusiasm, Entourage and Sex and the City, as well as in animated shows like The Simpsons and Family Guy.

Hefner also made cameos in several movies, most recently 2008’s The House Bunny, which told the fictional story of a Playboy “bunny,” played by Anna Faris, who has been kicked out of the Playboy Mansion, the famous real-life, 22,000-square-foot house in Los Angeles where Hefner lived for more than four decades and where he hosted famously decadent parties that attracted celebrities A-list through D.

The house sold for $100 million in August with the provision that Hefner be allowed to live there the rest of his life.

Hefner became the unofficial spokesman for the sexual revolution that permeated the 1960s and ’70s, and he was both lauded and criticized by feminists of the era, with some accusing him of objectifying women while others said he liberated and empowered them. During a conversation with Gloria Steinem in 1970, Hefner dismissed feminism as “foolishness,” and Steinem told him: “What Playboy doesn’t know about women could fill a book. … There are times when a woman reading a Playboy feels a little like a Jew reading a Nazi manual.”

Hefner was a staunch supporter of abortion — including helping to finance the landmark Rowe v. Wade decision in 1973 — and more recently was an outspoken advocate of same-sex marriage, and his dedication to such issues (along with his distribution of pornography) made him a pariah in some religious circles. “By associating sex with sin, we have produced a society so guilt-ridden that it is almost impossible to view the subject objectively,” he wrote in 1963 in one of his many broadsides aimed at Christian leaders.

Hefner also launched the Playboy Channel in 1982, a premium cable outlet that has since been sold and rebranded Playboy TV and is more explicitly sexual than when it was under his purview. He created The Playboy Club nightclub chain that still exists as a novelty, but in its heyday in the 1960s, the era’s biggest stars – including Rat Packers Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin — could be spotted holding court while food and drink were served by the barely dressed bunnies. All this was loosely reflected on the NBC series The Playboy Club, which was set in 1961 and canceled in 2011 after just three episodes aired.

Playboy magazine, though, was Hefner’s bread and butter and his first love. He created it as a young man three years removed from earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a few years after quitting a job as a promotional copywriter at Esquire. He borrowed $1,000 from his mom and $7,000 from more than 40 other investors for a publication he was set to call Stag Party until he discovered a magazine called Stagalready existed. He purchased a picture of a naked Marilyn Monroe that was taken before she was famous and put it on the cover of his magazine, which he renamed Playboy. The first issue hit newsstands in December 1953.

Hefner didn’t bother putting a date on it because he was doubtful there’d be future issues, but it sold 54,000 copies — 80 percent of the total he had printed — and his largely male audience thirsted for more. The iconic mascot, a silhouette of a bunny in a bow tie, made its debut in the second issue, chosen because Hefner thought rabbits carried “sexual meaning” and were “shy, vivacious, jumping” animals.

Through the years, Hefner convinced many Hollywood starlets to reveal more of themselves on his pages than perhaps anywhere else, with Barbra Streisand, Madonna, Mariah Carey, Lindsay Lohan, Kate Moss, Dolly Parton, Sally Field, Joan Collins and Drew Barrymore among the many who warranted in-depth cover stories or Q&As accompanied by sexy pictorials. The “Playboy Interview” launched in 1962 when the magazine hired Alex Haley to interview jazz legend Miles Davis, and subsequent subjects included filmmakers Stanley Kubrick and Woody Allen, actresses Mae West and Bette Davis, civil rights luminaries Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, writer-philosopher Ayn Rand and, in 1965, The Beatles.

In a 1971 interview, John Wayne complained about “perverted films” coming from Hollywood and in 1976, presidential candidate Jimmy Carter famously uttered, “I’ve committed adultery in my heart many times.” Through the years, a running joke among men became that they buy Playboynot for the pictures but for the articles, though it rang true because some of the most notable writers in modern history appeared in the magazine, including John Steinbeck, Ray Bradbury, Ian Fleming, Kurt Vonnegut, Norman Mailer and Jack Kerouac.

Playboy Enterprises, the umbrella company Hefner founded in 1953, has fallen on hard times on a few occasions. Long gone is the Big Bunny, the private jet Hefner used decades earlier, and layoffs have plagued the enterprise, which went private in 2011 after years of a declining stock prices. In 2008, it was reported that Hefner had resorted to selling tickets to his famous parties at the Playboy Mansion with the proceeds going to Playboy Enterprises. Hefner’s daughter, Christie, ran the company for more than 20 years but left in 2009.

The magazine underwent a redesign in March 2016 that eliminated nude photos from its pages, but that practice did not last long.

Hugh Marston Hefner was born April 9, 1926, in Chicago to parents Glenn and Grace Hefner; a brother, Keith, came three years later. He has described his upbringing as “puritan” and “repressive” and said, “In many ways, it was my parents who, unintentionally, developed the iconoclastic rebellion in me.” However, in the book Mr. Playboy: Hugh Hefner and the American Dream, author Steven Watts suggests that Hefner’s formative years weren’t too much different than others of the era, except that his bedtime was a little earlier than that of his friends and his Sundays were reserved for church and family activities.

Also, there wasn’t a lot of outward affection from his parents. “There was much calmness and kindness among the Hefners, but little passion,” wrote Watts. Hefner, though, “chafed at even the mild restraints put in place by his parents.” His mother later confessed her parenting style came from advice she read in Parents magazine, which at the time recommended skimpy displays of affection and strict bedtimes and noted that kisses on the mouth should be avoided because that could spread germs.

Hefner was non-athletic and introverted but incredibly imaginative, and he immersed himself in movies, music, radio, cartoons and a love for animals. At about age 6, he allowed his dog to sleep on his beloved “bunny blanket” — which was replete with images of rabbits — and when the pet died, the parents burned the blanket, an experience Watts says may have influenced Hefner’s choice of a bunny for the logo of his empire years later.

When he was 9, Hefner published his first newspaper, which he sold to neighbors, and he created a couple more publications for his grammar school. When a fourth-grade teacher complained to his parents that he spent far too much class time drawing cartoons, he apologized for his transgression via a poem: “I will not make my teacher mad; Because that would make me sad; I will not draw at all in school; And I won’t brake [sic] a single rule.”

As a teenager, Hefner read Edgar Allan Poe, H.G. Wells and Arthur Conan Doyle, according to Watts. He created a secret organization he called “The Shudder Club” for those who shared his passion for horror and science fiction, and he published five issues of Shudder magazine. “The boys were delighted when Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff and Peter Lorre replied to their solicitation and accepted honorary positions in the club,” Watts wrote. He also started a newspaper in high school and took an interest in theater, starring is several plays.

A “dramatic change” in Hefner’s life occurred in the summer before his junior year when he crushed hard on a girl. The two took up dancing, but when she invited someone else to a hayride, it prompted him to make “a personal overhaul,” according to Watts. He transformed himself into a “Sinatra-like guy” with loud shirts and hip language, and he honed his dancing skills and began referring to himself as “Hef.” Soon, he and his friend Jim Brophy were the most popular kids at Steinmetz High School, and it was around this time that Hefner’s attraction to the opposite sex “veered close to obsession.”

He joined the U.S. Army in 1944 and was assigned a desk job at various places stateside. Hefner drew cartoons for Army newspapers and attended dances and movies regularly. He was honorably discharged as a corporal in 1946 and returned to Chicago and enrolled at the University of Illinois, where his cartoons took on sexual themes. In 1947, he earned a pilot’s license.

When Hefner became managing editor of the college’s humor magazine, Shaft, he introduced a feature called “Coed of the Month,” an obvious precursor to the “Playboy Playmate of the Month.” He read Alfred Kinsey’s Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, published in 1948, and it “electrified” him, Watts wrote. Years later, Hefner’s college friends would recall marveling at how openly he spoke about matters pertaining to sex.

Despite complaints later in life that his dad wasn’t affectionate and his mom was overly Victorian, Hefner wrote in college: “Had I the ability to choose two perfect people for my parents, I don’t think I could have found a pair better for me than God did.”

After graduating, he failed to sell comic strips for newspaper syndication, then enrolled at Northwestern with the plan of becoming a college professor. Hefner quit after a year and had a series of unfulfilling jobs at various magazines, including Esquire for $60 a week, which he quit when he didn’t get the $5 raise he sought. In 1952, he joined Publisher’s Development Corp., which put out small magazines with nude photography, and a year later he was making $120 a week at a children’s magazine. He found success on a local level in 1951 with the publication of his book of cartoons called That Toddlin’ Town: A Rowdy Burlesque of Chicago Manners and Morals. The front cover was the sketch of a stripper.

Hefner married a classmate, Millie Williams, in 1949, but “the troubled marriage faced growing pressure from Hugh’s increasingly active sexual imagination,” Watts wrote. The couple hosted risque parties that included stag films. Hefner began suggesting wife swapping, and he eventually slept with his brother’s wife, though Millie backed out of sex with Keith. They had a daughter, Christie, in 1952 and a son, David, in 1955, before divorcing in 1959.

Hefner set out to create his media empire at a particularly low point in his life in 1953 when he was despondent over a marriage he knew wasn’t working and a career that had stalled. He recalled in 2004 that he stood on a bridge in Chicago in the dead of winter thinking, “I’ve gotta do something.” That year, the first issue of Playboy was published.

In 1989, Hefner married Kimberly Conrad, a former Playmate of the Year, and the couple had sons Marston and Cooper. They divorced in 2010, and Hefner married Crystal Harris two years later.

In 2011, Hefner told The New York Times that he had already chosen and paid for his final resting place — a crypt next to Monroe’s in Westwood.

Presented by E.Cowan

Written by hollywoodreporter.com

 

‘Big Bang Theory’ Boss Explains That Season 11 Premiere Double Shocker

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New showrunner Steve Holland talks with THR about what’s next for the CBS nerdy comedy (and how it will fit in with prequel ‘Young Sheldon’).

Wedding bells are going to be ringing (again!) on CBS’ The Big Bang Theory.

CBS’ nerdy comedy opened its 11th season Monday with Amy’s (Mayim Bialik) almost immediate response to Sheldon’s (Jim Parsons) marriage proposal, a resounding “yes” — setting the stage for the fan-favorite couple to officially tie the knot.

And while the gang celebrated their friends’ engagement, there was another reason to rejoice: Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) stunned husband Howard (Simon Helberg) with the news that she’s expecting their second child. The storyline comes after star Rauch revealed her own pregnancy (in an emotional essay) earlier this year. To hear new showrunner Steve Holland tell it, the producers then decided to write Rauch’s pregnancy into the show, as it set up a nice storyline for the on-screen couple.

With Big Bang Theory renewed through season 12 (presumably its last), Holland talked with THR about whether Amy and Sheldon’s wedding is fodder for a potential series finale — or if it could happen this season — as well as what’s next for Howard, Bernadette, Leonard (Johnny Galecki), Penny (Kaley Cuoco) and Raj (Kunal Nayyar).

Amy said yes — obviously! Have you plotted out how quickly the engagement and wedding build-up will happen?

That’s one of the things we’ve talked about. It’s not going to be super quick; there are certainly fun stories to play with this couple planning their wedding. Specifically, Sheldon, who has ideas about everything, is going to have ideas about their wedding. One of the episodes is Sheldon, who is so excited, wants to make the wedding so perfect that he starts to drive himself crazy trying to pick a wedding date. Because he can’t just pick a date — he has to analyze every date; he’s sure that there’s a best one out there. And he can be like that with every decision for this wedding.

He’s bridezilla!

Exactly! But in a sweet way, where he wants it to be perfect. So Amy has to love that he’s doing that but also be frustrated by it.

You presumably have about 40 episodes left in the remainder of the series. Is this wedding the endgame, or could it happen this season?

Nothing is set in stone. It’s possible to see it this season. Like a lot of things we do, we’ll mine it for as many stories as we can. But we don’t want it to drag on past its end date. I wouldn’t be surprised if you saw it this season, although there’s no promises to that.

Wow. If the wedding were to happen this year, what kind of stories does that open you up to explore in season 12?

One of the things that’s been interesting going into season 11 is what stories are left to tell. Coming into this season, it feels like we’ve had lots of stories to tell, and that’s because these characters have taken some big steps and have changed. I don’t know what it means for next season, but part of the fear of that is also that things have changed. And that’s going to open up different stories to tell as well.

What are some of the larger subjects that their engagement allows you to explore?

In episode two, there’s this thing we were reading about in the science world and talking to our science consultant about: physics hasn’t had the big, exciting breakthrough that they thought it was going to have. And neuroscience is a super-exciting field right now that’s getting a lot of funding thrown at it. There’s a little mini-arc to play through the season that Amy’s career is going much better than Sheldon’s. And Sheldon loves her and is proud of her, but that’s a hard thing for his ego to deal with — not just as a scientist, but to him, physics is by far the better field. As they’re negotiating this engagement, that’s a thing that plays in the background, too — it’s another thing that Sheldon is going to have to figure out: how to come to terms with that in a relationship. We talk a little about that in the season 11 premiere when he’s talking to Dr. Hawking.

Sheldon mentions that he spoke with Amy’s father. But viewers haven’t met much of Amy’s family yet. How much more will we get to know her family as their engagement continues — especially as Young Sheldon is exploring so much of his?

Moving forward on a wedding and finding a real way to do it, there’s a good possibility that will include her family. We haven’t gotten that far in the writing, so I can’t say concretely, but it’s certainly a thing that we’re talking about: How to do that and who they are. We’ve seen her mom, very briefly, and have never seen her dad. It was interesting when we did Leonard and Penny’s wedding last season; we brought in her whole family, which was fun. But it’s a lot of other characters you have to write for and figure out how to squeeze into the show.

Do you have dream casting for Amy’s father?

We always have a wish list of people that we would love to have come in, and that’s the kind of role that would be really exciting if you could get somebody great. There’s no one we’ve gone out to yet, because we don’t have a story yet.

Was there any doubt or even discussion that Amy would say no?

There was discussion, just because we like to talk about every possibility and just see what’s interesting. In the back of our minds, it was hard to believe that she would say no. Does she hear about the kiss and that gives her pause? As we were talking about the story, all those reasons felt like we were manufacturing them as writers to tease the audience and not a believable thing that the character would do. We decided pretty early on that she was going to say yes. Then it was how long can we put off the yes — until the middle or end of the episode? — and even as we were talking about those versions, it felt like we were forcing that to happen just to tease. I’m really proud of what we settled on. You get a little bit of a tease — you think you’re getting an answer and then the phone rings — but ultimately you get that answer pretty early on.

Surprise! Bernadette is pregnant! How much did Melissa’s pregnancy impact this storyline? Or was that always the plan?

It was like their pregnancy, it was never the plan. But when Melissa told us that she and her husband were expecting, we started talking about what we wanted to do in the show. Our first thought was that Howard and Bernadette just had a baby, and we can do the regular sitcom thing of having her sitting down a lot and putting things in her lap to hide her belly. Then we started talking about it and realized that it’s really interesting that they wouldn’t be expecting to get pregnant again so quickly, and nobody in the audience would be expecting them to do so, either. It seemed like a really interesting story to tell. One of my favorite scenes in the premiere is when Bernadette tells Howard and shows him the pregnancy test — their scene saying yes and no back and forth feels super real. They’re shell-shocked; they’ll come around to the idea of it, but in that moment — when you have a nine-month-old at home — the last thing you’re thinking about is being pregnant again.

Will they continue to have doubts throughout her pregnancy, or was that just played for comedic value in the premiere?

They’re still going to be processing. They’re not unhappy about having a second baby, but it definitely changes things. Bernadette, who is very driven at work and just got back to her job, is now going to have to step away again. There’s certain things about it that they’re still going to struggle with.

How will this pregnancy differ from their first child, Halley?

Without getting into specifics, one of the things we talked about is if we’re going to do it, we have to figure out a way to make it different from the first pregnancy. We have some extra little things in there that separate it. Examples would be a spoiler. But we’re really conscious of not repeating ourselves. Halley was such a great nod to Carol Ann Susi and Mrs. Wolowitz, who is always heard loudly but never seen. We’re really happy about Halley being a nice nod to that, but I don’t think we can do that again with a second baby, so we’re going to have to find something new and fun about the birth.

Will Pamela Adlon voice the second baby, too?

She’ll definitely be back voicing Halley as she moves into starting to say words instead of just screaming. But I don’t know if she’ll voice the second baby or not; we’re not that far along yet. But we love her, and I love her show Better Things, too.

Howard and Bernadette mention having children to Leonard and Penny. Is that on the table for them? What will you be exploring with them this season?

I don’t think babies are on table for them in the near future. Babies are always tricky on sitcoms, and we already have a couple babies and a Sheldon, so that might be enough for us! But that brings up the discussion and the fact that their friends are all taking these big relationship leaps, and Leonard and Penny are comfortable and happy. When you see your friends going through this sort of stuff, you start to think — “Should we be doing that? Do we want to do that? What’s next for us?” — and those are going to be interesting stories to play out for Leonard and Penny.

Raj is struggling with being single amid all his friends moving forward. What’s his journey this season, and how is it different from what we’ve seen in the past for him?

At the end of last season, Raj gave up his family’s money and struck out on his own — which wasn’t always easy for him. This season, that decision is going to start to give him a little more confidence. The reason to do a journey like that is to have it affect and change the character a bit, and that change is going to affect his dating life as well.

Young Sheldon is being paired with Big Bang Theory. Have you discussed how the two shows will coexist? Will events that happen on Young Sheldon correlate to Big Bang, and vice versa?

Chuck and Steve are still involved in Big Bang Theory, and I’m aware of what they’re doing on Young Sheldon.Right now, for the first part of this season, their goal is getting Young Sheldon up and making it great and its own unique thing. Early on, there will be some things that can happen on Young Sheldon that you might hear referenced in our show as a sort of throw-away joke if you pick it up. And maybe down the road there might be more of a crossover, where someone from Sheldon’s past can come back. But that will be in the future.

Chuck has said that you could “presume” season 12 the end of the show. For a show that doesn’t plan things out too far along, have you thought about what the end looks like?

We’re certainly closer to the end than we are to the beginning. We’ve always — not just this season — had causal discussions about where we would like to leave these characters at the end and what might make a good [series] finale. Stepping in as showrunner for season 11, truthfully the only thing I can focus on is getting through this season and trying to make it great. Luckily, it’s not up to me if there’s a season beyond season 12; that decision lies with other people.

You’ve been there pretty much from the start. Do you feel pressure taking over?

Absolutely! Luckily, it’s a room I feel very comfortable with because I’ve worked with these people for the last 10 years. But I certainly feel pressure; it’s a big responsibility to take over from Steve Molaro, who has done such an amazing job running the show. The bar is really high. And coming back from the cliffhanger we ended last season with, there was a lot of pressure to deliver a great episode. I absolutely felt pressure; you’d be crazy not to.

Would you say there are big differences to your approach versus Steve’s?

I hope not. Going into season 11, these characters have almost taken on a life of their own. The thing I was least interested in was coming in and putting any sort of stamp on the show — “It’s going to feel like my show now!” I don’t think it should. If I was a fan, I wouldn’t want it to. Hopefully what I can do is honor and protect these characters. The one piece of advice Chuck Lorre gave me when we were talking at the beginning was, “Don’t be afraid to try new things.” Going into a show in season 11, the most dangerous thing you can probably do is fall back on old habits or things that worked in the past. But he said to not be afraid of pushing these characters forward and letting them grow.

Is there something you’ve already done as part of that advice?

I don’t know that there’s a big story thing. In the writing, and we’ve tried to do this in the past when we’re approaching a scene, sometimes it’s easy to go to, “Well, Sheldon is going to be a pain in the ass about this,” and it’s always good to stop and think, “Maybe there’s a different way to handle it.” Sheldon being a pain is a lovable part of his character, so it’s not going to stop entirely, but you want to be careful about not just going to that all the time. You have to find new ways to attack those scenes.

Big Bang has a history of not plotting out entire seasons — which Molaro would always say is not an ideal way to produce a television show. Are you still taking things week by week and following where the characters take you? Or has that changed?

It’s still the case. We really don’t have a plan for where this season is going to land. There’s things that are in the air, and the way it’s always worked is we tend to not go into it having no idea. We’ll have some ideas, but we’re always open to things changing. That’s been a Chuck thing from early on, too. He always said that you have to let these characters go where they want to go. If you write to an ending, you sometimes force these characters to do things they wouldn’t do. Sometimes if you feel like you’re forcing it, you have to step back and think, “Maybe there’s a different way to go.” It’s true in each episode, and it’s true this season. There are certainly some things in play and some thoughts about where we could land this season, but nothing is set in stone.

Presented by E.Cowan

Written by hollywoodreporter.com

‘Full House’ Cast Is Still A Family 30 Years Later

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Ahead of “Fuller House” Season 3, the actors look back with humor over three decades.

Time and time again, we hear casts of TV and film describe themselves as family. Not everyone in Hollywood can get along, but we nod and smile at the claims anyway because, well, they’re easier to accept than calling b.s. on every red carpet or awards show stage.

And yet when the cast of “Fuller House” says they’re family, we know they really mean it. Nobody films eight seasons of a hugely popular sitcom only to return decades later for a revival if they don’t genuinely enjoy being with one another. That sentiment is more than evident in the third season of the sequel series, which hits Netflix exactly 30 years after the pilot premiered. Yes, three decades have passed since we welcomed the Tanner family into our homes and hearts and, have mercy, we’re getting nostalgic.

“It’s like getting all of your crazy family together,” Jodi Sweetin told HuffPost during a Build Series interview. “We speak in this language that we’ve known for 30 years of ridiculous inside jokes, silliness, laughter and love.”

“There’s something that stands the test of time,” she continued. “To be able to do this 30 years later and have ‘Fuller House’ be such a success and do it with people we love. And to really have so much fun with it and create a whole new generation of fans has really been a huge compliment and a huge testament to the show.”

The revival hasn’t exactly been a critical darling ― the original series was never well-received, either ― but the franchise continues to have an undeniable resonance with audiences around the world. Netflix is famously secretive when it comes to viewership, but it’s rumored that “Fuller House” is one of the most watched programs on streaming services and traditional TV networks.

Fan service alone cannot sustain a series for more than a season, so “Fuller House” has taken a cue from its Netflix brothers and sisters and committed to more serialized storytelling, setting it apart from the original series. Whereas “Full House” centered around Danny, Joey and Jesse, the revival showcases the female-perspective on stories of love, family and raising kids, which cast members Candice Cameron Bure, Jodi Sweetin and Andrea Barber agreed was “refreshing.” The third season picks up where the finale left off, after D.J. (Bure) witnessed her childhood sweetheart Steve propose to another woman (unfortunately named C.J.), while she recommitted to boyfriend Matt.

Steve’s wedding eventually takes the family to Japan in the back half of the season, premiering in December, but expect plenty of love triangle-related hijinks before then. Stephanie (Sweetin) is still trying to get her life together, now with a broken leg from a real-life accident, while growing closer to boyfriend Jimmy, who happens to be the brother to everyone’s favorite Gibbler, Kimmy (Barber).

Other exciting tidbits from the season include an inventive opening musical number we can’t stop humming along to and, of course, guest appearances by “Full House” favorites Bob Saget, Dave Coulier and John Stamos, who show up for a handful of episodes each season.

The real draw of a series like “Fuller House” is what exists between the lines. Whenever original cast members share a scene together there’s an unspoken connection that the audience is also privy to ― the three leads wear matching friendship rings on and off camera ― and that “true love,” as Saget puts it, is why people keep coming back for more.

“It was just like they were our kids. We were very protective and we were together for a long time and we went through a lot together,” Dave Coulier said during the same Build Series interview. “When you do 192 episodes of any show, you’re together with the people you work with a lot more than your own family … I still feel that way.”

“The show mirrored [my life],” Saget added. “I have three daughters. My oldest was one when the show started and I didn’t know I was going to have three.”

The same kind of mentorship has been passed down to a new generation of “Fuller House” child actors, who now populate the famous Tanner household, including Michael Campion, Elias Harger and twins Dashiell and Fox Messitt, taking the baton from Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen.

“We give them more advice as moms than actors,” Bure said of her TV children. “They don’t need that many acting tips from us, but there’s a lot of value in the fact that we experienced that. We have probably more compassion and understanding than people on set or people that haven’t worked with kids because we went through that. Juggling school full time and then your work schedule full time … it’s a lot.”

Like most families, not every member of the clan is keen on coming to the reunions or showing up for the holiday card. Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, who both played the third Tanner daughter, Michelle, have famously abstained from appearing on the revival series. Don’t expect them to change their minds anytime soon.

“They have their life. They don’t want to act.” Saget explained. “They have love for everybody and it is what is. People go on and do what they want with their lives.”

With or without the Olsen twins, something special still happens when the cast convenes in the same room, be it on set or the times they’ve spent supporting one another after the cameras stopped rolling all those years ago.

“We’ve been friends for 30 years. When we started ‘Fuller House,’ it wasn’t like we all saw each other for the first time after 20 years,” Bure said. “We’ve remained friends and the spark has always been there, because when you love someone in real life, you always want to be with them, feel joyful and hang out with them. And that’s how we’ve always felt.”

Presented by E.Cowan

Written by huffingtonpost.com

 

Tom Cruise Blamed In Part For Plane Crash

Categories: Uncategorized

A 2015 plane crash in Colombia claimed the lives of two pilots during filming of the upcoming Tom Cruise vehicle “American Made.” According to new court documents obtained by People, the action movie’s star is partially to blame.

Three men were involved in the accident: cinematographer Jimmy Lee Garland, who was left without feeling in half of his body, longtime Hollywood stunt pilot Alan Purwin and co-pilot Carlos Berl, who both died. The crash left the twin-engine plane smoldering in a mountainous region as locals scrambled to help.

The families of Purwin and Berl are suing producers of the film ― Imagine Entertainment, Vendian Entertainment and Cross Creek Pictures ― alleging in the new documents that Cruise and director Doug Liman contributed to the tragedy with excessive flight demands.

“The demands of filming in Colombia, together with Cruise’s and director Doug Liman’s enthusiasm for multiple takes of lavish flying sequences, added hours to every filming day and added days to the schedule,” the documents read, according to People. The news was first reported by gossip site The Blast.

Cruise and Liman aren’t named in the suit, but it still deems them “negligent,” per People.

“American Made,” set for release Sept. 29, stars Cruise as a CIA hire and drug smuggler during the ’80s.

In their joint suit, the families of Purwin and Berl claim Purwin once called the movie “the most dangerous project I’ve ever encountered.” They also assert that a formal complaint against Cruise and Liman was brought to the production’s insurance company. “DL [Director Liman] and TC [Cruise] [are] adding entire scenes and aerial shots on the fly,” an executive producer allegedly wrote.

The entire incident has resulted in a legal tangle. Purwin’s and Garland’s families are also suing each other, while producers filed a suit earlier this month against the aviation company involved in the film. Its insurance company has also filed its own suit.

Presented by E.Cowan

Written by huffingtonpost.com

Howard Stern Bans Staff From Helping Jackie Martling

Categories: Uncategorized

DJ’s underlings told ‘stay away’ from former show writer’s revealing new tell-all.

RadarOnline.com can exclusively reveal Howard Stern has gotten so power-mad, he has forbid anyone on his show to write the forward to Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling’s upcoming memoir, The Joke Man: Bow To Stern.

When Martling, 69, was writing the book, which details his beginnings as a working comic and climb to the top on The Howard Stern Show, he initially reached out to Robin Quivers.

She politely declined the honor before Fred Norris and Gary Dell’Abate followed suit.

“Howard made it known, let’s put it that way,” a source told Radar of the shock jock insisting his subordinates “stay way from [the book].”

“He didn’t want anybody even remotely associated with the show doing Jackie any favors, especially when the book doesn’t always portray Howard in a good light.”

Martling, who was Stern’s head writer from 1983 to 2001, eventually settled on Artie Lange to do the honors.

However, Lange didn’t exactly write the book’s introduction, since the forward, claimed the source, is just a bunch of gracious compliments that Lange paid Martling on his podcast in 2016.

Martling, continued the insider, eventually wrote the forward, which snubs Stern, but attributed the finished product to Lange.

The Joke Man: Bow To Stern hits bookstores on Oct. 24.

Presented by E.Cowan

Written by radaronline.com

Craig Ferguson’s New TV Series Is Also A Modern-Day Commercial

Categories: Top Stories

Craig Ferguson is taking over the helm of a new talk show that has an intriguing feature – no commercial breaks. That’s because the series is a commercial itself.

U.S. TV viewers will likely recall Ferguson from his tenure on CBS’ “Late Late Show,” where he set himself apart from the pack with a distinctly cerebral monologue. Now he and his wife, Megan Ferguson, will work their brains by seeking out thought leaders such as astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and molecular scientist Daisy Robinton to ask them questions about topics that often spur them into debate – including sustainability, success, and other high-minded matters.

They are doing it on behalf of Gant, the Swedish clothes retailer, and how the pair are going to inspire viewers to run out and pick up dress shirts or a sacker-ribbed polo sweater remains to be seen. According to the company’s chief marketing officer, however, Gant won’t achieve its goal by running traditional TV commercials.

“We want to do content that people think is interesting, instead of a commercial that is interrupting what is interesting,” said Eleonore Säll, the company’s global marketing officer, in an interview. “We think our audience will thank us.”

The series, “Couple Thinkers,” will appear in 70 countries via YouTube and other digital venues, with the first episode debuting Monday, October 9.  The six-episode cycle is meant to burnish Gant’s brand credo, “Never Stop Learning.”

Gant’s efforts emulate those of other advertisers, many of who are fast discovering the need for new kinds of promotional programming in an era when viewers are more accustomed to seeing fewer ads accompanying their content.  Nike produced a documentary for National Geographic set to air this week that touts its footwear as it depicts runners trying to finish a marathon in under two hours. Other companies like Apple and AT&T are crafting longer commercials with greater flair and A-list celebrities and then distributing the vignettes online.

The opportunity proved interesting for Ferguson because it offered “the unique opportunity to go straight to the experts in any particular topic we were curious, or, let’s be honest, arguing about,” he said in a statement. “Something I would imagine most couples would be grateful for.”

Gant considered trying to get the series on a traditional TV network, said Säll, but felt it would have to give up control over timing and how the content itself. Talks are already underway, she said, for a second season.

Presented by E.Cowan

Written by variety.com

Randy Newman: My Life In 15 Songs

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Here’s how a comic genius built one of American music’s greatest catalogs

“It’s almost always something I play on the piano,” singer-songwriter Randy Newman tells Rolling Stone of the genesis moment in his craft, the first step he takes into a new tune and story. “It inspires a code of some kind – maybe dummy lyrics, something I can get rid of. But after a couple of lines, it will become what it’s going to become.

“It’s always been a job,” says Newman, 73, one of American pop’s greatest and most acclaimed songwriters for more than a half-century and an Academy Award-winning composer for animated films. “I go to the piano, and I’m supposed to think of something. It’s always been that way – maybe because of the way I grew up.”

Born in Los Angeles and raised for a time in New Orleans, Newman – who has just released Dark Matter, his first studio album in nine years – was fated to go into his family’s business. His uncles Alfred, Lionel and Emil Newman were famous Hollywood composers with ten Oscars and more than 50 nominations between them. Randy’s father was a doctor. But “as a kid, studying music,” Newman says, “that’s where I hoped I was headed.”

He took the long road, starting in the early Sixties as a songwriter for other singers. Many of his early, classic songs were first recorded by or successes for artists such as Gene Pitney, Dusty Springfield and Three Dog Night. Newman’s only major hit under his own name was the jaunty 1977 satire “Short People.” But his six Grammys and 2013 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame reflect the greater, enduring impact of Newman’s slippery storytelling, pointed, social observation and rapturous melodies, delivered in a singular, deadpan-Everyman voice.

Newman’s only problem as he looked back through this list: He couldn’t always remember when he wrote what, if it was “1967 rather than ’65 or ’66. Lenny [Waronker, Newman’s longtime producer] would know. I should have asked him before I did this.”

“I Love L.A.”

Trouble in Paradise, 1983

I wrote “I Love L.A.” because Don Henley said to me, “Everybody’s writing L.A. songs, people not from here. You’re from here. Why don’t you write one?” There is an aggressive ignorance to the song – ignorant and proud of it. There’s nothing wrong with the Beach Boys and open-top cars. But the guy talks about the bum [“Look at that bum over there, man/He’s down on his knees”] and is still shouting “We love it”. My cousin, Tim Newman, did the video [a tour of L.A. beaches and hot spots with Newman driving a Buick convertible]. He did the ones for … what the hell’s the name of those blues guys with the long beards? [Long pause] ZZ Top! This was a cheerful shoot. Those people [singing the chorus] are pretty happy.

“I Think It’s Going to Rain Today”

Randy Newman, 1968

This might have been 1964 or ’63. I may have had the first two chords of the tune, where the voice starts. I have always loved those vanilla-kind of chords, straight-ahead Stephen Foster. And once I had a style, I crystallized it: The music is emotional – even beautiful – and the lyrics are not. The honest truth is the song bothered me because of the darkness – it felt sophomoric, too maudlin. But Judy Collins did a great version [in 1966]. UB40’s [1980 cover] was interesting. And I played piano for Barbara Streisand when she recorded it [in 1970]. Boy, it’s real good. She has a hell of a voice.

It’s sung by a con man who is telling these parents that he is going to take care of their son, who is a freak – in the carnival sense of the word. There might be something to do with my own self worth, but I didn’t think there was when I wrote it. The narrator – it’s hard to have any sympathy for him. Most of my narrators have more to like about ’em. But not this one – he is not a good guy. I made mistakes with the orchestra, arranging it too slow. Then I had to record the vocals, and it was like building a mountain you can’t climb. It was brutal.

“Have You Seen My Baby”

12 Songs, 1970

I arranged the horns for Fats Domino when he recorded this in 1969. I wrote it for me. But when he did it, it was like him imitating me imitating him. He’s one of my Top Five artists of all time. Maybe the reason I love Fats so much is because I heard people talk that way in New Orleans. And it’s easy music to like. My natural mode of expression is the shuffle. Dr. John can play my stuff great.

I arranged the horns for Fats Domino when he recorded this in 1969. I wrote it for me. But when he did it, it was like him imitating me imitating him. He’s one of my Top Five artists of all time. Maybe the reason I love Fats so much is because I heard people talk that way in New Orleans. And it’s easy music to like. My natural mode of expression is the shuffle. Dr. John can play my stuff great.

“Mama Told Me Not to Come”

12 Songs, 1970

Eric Burdon [of the Animals] recorded this in 1966. It’s a guy going to a party, and he’s a little scared. The first line [“Will you have whiskey with your water/Or sugar with your tea”] was a vague connection to acid. I don’t remember being thrown off by that stuff then. If I was that unsophisticated – which is possible – I wouldn’t admit it. The piano lick is what kicked it off. Three Dog Night made the song a hit [in 1971], but I didn’t make a lot of money. Maybe I was behind [on publishing advances]. I remember getting a check for $6000. I said, “Where’s the rest?” They said, “Well, you know…”

“Sail Away”

Sail Away, 1972

There was a producer, the husband of [actress] Leslie Caron. He wanted to make a movie where he would give ten minutes to these artists – people like Van Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, me – to do anything we wanted. It never got made. But I had this idea of a slave ship and a sea shanty – this guy standing in a clearing, singing to a crowd of natives. These people in my songs don’t know they’re bad. They think they’re fine. I didn’t just want to say, “Slavery is awful.” It’s too easy. I wasn’t doing Roots. I knew Bobby Darin pretty well. He covered this [in 1972], but he was such a musical guy that he missed the point. He was like, “Little one, come to America.” Etta James did it, and I guarantee she knew what it was about, absolutely.

“Lonely at the Top”

Sail Away, 1972

I wrote it for Frank Sinatra. There was a massive drive at Warner Bros. Records to get Frank a hit. I thought – maybe stupidly – that he would be ready to make fun of that leaning-against-the-lamp-post shit: “Oh, I’m so lonely and miserable and the biggest singer in the world.” I never bought that part of him. I thought he’d appreciate that. I played it for him, at his office on the Warner Bros. lot. His reaction? Nothing. He said, “Next.” I also played “I Think It’s Going to Rain Today.” He said, “I like that one.” But he couldn’t hide his bitterness at young people’s music.

“Louisiana 1927”

Good Old Boys, 1974

I remember my aunt talking about that flood [the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927]. She worked for [Governor] Huey Long at some point, in New Orleans. Good Old Boys was meant to be a concept record. I wrote “Rednecks,” then felt I had to do more for the guy, explain why he was that way with “Birmingham,” “Whirlwind,” and “Louisiana 1927.” The chorus [“They’re tryin’ to wash us away”] – That’s the North. It’s the feeling that the rest of the country would like them to disappear. It’s much more relevant now. The whole country feels as if it’s a swamp.

“Short People”

Little Criminals, 1977

I needed an “up” song for that record, and that just popped out: “Short people got no reason…” I was bouncing off that [hums the piano line]. I was surprised by the reaction. Because it was a hit [peaking at Number Two], the song reached people who aren’t looking for irony. For them, the words mean exactly what they say. I can imagine being a short kid in junior high school. I thought about it before I let the record get out. But I thought, “What the hell?” I know what I meant – the guy in that song is crazy. He was not to be believed.

“One More Hour”

Ragtime soundtrack, 1981

I came into movies the back way, from songwriting instead of doing film first. In scoring, everything is for the picture. If it isn’t up there on the screen, you don’t do it. You do your best for the picture on any and every occasion. With this song [the first of Newman’s 20 Academy Award nominations], I already had the theme for the film. I added a counter-line so it would be a tune of some kind. It’s over the credits [sung by Jennifer Warnes], but it has to be of a piece with the rest of the picture. I wouldn’t have written that song for myself. But the songs for movies are a chance for me to walk right down the middle of the road with lyrics. I get to write things that are simpler.

“Feels Like Home”

Randy Newman’s Faust, 1995

I read the original, Goethe’s Faust Part One. It’s like bumping into a great mind, someone who wants to learn everything in the world. Something in me wanted to take the exaltation out. I made it about a freshman at Notre Dame who doesn’t know what he wants. I had a script and showed it to [film director] Mike Nichols. He said, “The kid doesn’t have any arc. Nothing happens to him.” But I liked that. It makes for a gruesome evening of theater [laughs]. I had Henley, Elton John and Linda Ronstadt sing the songs. I wrote this one for Bonnie Raitt to sing to the Devil, to trick him. Bonnie’s great in it. But something is wrong with me – that’s how convoluted it has to be for me to write a fucking love song.

“You’ve Got a Friend in Me”

Toy Story soundtrack, 1995

Toy Story was my first big, animated movie. It’s different from doing a regular feature. When Tom Hanks falls down in a movie, you don’t necessarily go [mimics the rhythm of someone tumbling down a flight of stairs]. But when [the toy cowboy] Woody falls down, it doesn’t look right if you don’t have that sound. The song [Newman’s first Oscar winner] is about the friendship of Woody and the boy, Andy. I asked for adjectives; they gave me “friendly,” “comforting.” I took them seriously. Cartoon figures have adult emotions, just like a character in Dunkirk. I have definitely found a place in animation. But I got typecast. I don’t get offered things like Out of Africa. I’d do them. They’re easier. You never stop in animated pictures. In a drama, they’re not skipping around all the time.

“A Few Words in Defense of Our Country”

Harps and Angels, 2008

This was in the New York Times [the lyrics were published as an editorial in 2007]. I wrote it because I thought the [second] Bush adminstration would be one of the worst of my lifetime, maybe the worst we’d ever have. Little did I know [Donald Trump] would make him look like Winston Churchill. The comparisons in the song are ridiculous, saying Bush is not as bad as the Caesars. He’s not as bad as [the Roman emperor] Tiberius, because he didn’t kill little boys. He’s not Hitler or Stalin. But I do that song now, and it gets a bigger reaction. Who could have prepared for this?

“Putin”

Dark Matter, 2017

I started it two and a half years ago. It was seeing [Russian leader] Vladimir Putin in those pictures with his shirt off. Like what the hell does he want? He’s the most powerful man in the world – and he wants to be Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt. The song is less critical than I thought it would be, although the tone gets menacing at the end. If it’s just a joke, it’s worth something to me. It’s worth less unless there’s something else. But I can’t tell people what to get from a song. When I’m doing “Rednecks” for a crowd and they’re like “We’re rednecks, yeah!”, that bothers me. It’s closer to home.

“She Chose Me”

Dark Matter, 2017

I wrote it a long time ago for a TV show, Cop Rock [a bizarre 1990 hybrid of police drama and musical numbers], about a guy who was relatively ugly and had a beautiful wife. One of the best things I do is assignments. I do it easily, and I do it well. People say, “Isn’t it a sellout?” No, it’s who I am. If you want me to write a song about an Albanian gardener who moves to Bulgaria, I’ll do it. I’m a professional songwriter. And that’s fine with me.

Presented by E.Cowan

Written by rollingstone.com

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