Billy Bush Breaks His Silence 

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Seven months after the infamous “grab them by the pussy” recording got Bush fired (and nearly toppled Trump’s White House run), the former ‘Today’ host goes public with what happened on that bus, the people who knew about the tape, how he broke the “awful” news to his daughters and now his bold comeback move: “I plan to return to the job that I love.”

Billy Bush was on the tarmac at New York’s JFK International Airport waiting to take off for Los Angeles when his world imploded. It was Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, and an 11-year-old tape of a lewd conversation with Donald Trump — in which the then-Apprentice star could be heard bragging about sexually assaulting women with a chortling Bush egging him on — was leaked to The Washington Post. The tape was supposed to end Trump’s improbable presidential run. Instead, it torpedoed Bush’s job at NBC’s Today, turning the former Access Hollywood host into a late-night punch line and media pariah. “I could not put two thoughts together,” Bush, 45, tells The Hollywood Reporter in an extended interview, his first since the scandal erupted more than seven months ago. “Things were happening way too fast.”

Captive on that airplane for nearly six Wi-Fi-enabled hours, Bush read news reports in disbelief as a real-time train wreck engulfed his career. By the time he arrived in Los Angeles, a horde of paparazzi had materialized at LAX and, later, at his L.A. home, where they remained for more than a week. Ducking out only through a back path, Bush spent the remainder of that October weekend desperately trying to save his job, then just a few months old and already off to a shaky start after a much-criticized interview with embattled Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte. Though Today long had been among Bush’s ambitions, his hiring as the co-host of the 9 a.m. hour was somewhat controversial given his lack of hard-news experience and a snarky red carpet presence. Initially, NBC News signaled Bush would return that Monday to apologize on-air. “I would have welcomed addressing the audience,” he says pointedly.

That opportunity never came. Though Bush issued an apology statement, and Trump dismissed his own remarks about grabbing women “by the pussy” as merely “locker room banter,” many enraged viewers vowed never to watch Today again. That rancor could be felt internally, too, with several NBC News staffers, many of them women, incredulous that Bush would be allowed to return so soon — or at all. By Monday, Bush was suspended. Seven days later, on Oct. 17, he was out with a multimillion-dollar severance package and a nondisclosure agreement that prevents him from going into detail about his exit from NBC News. He still has no idea who leaked the tape.

Where has Bush been since then? Engaged in a lot of soul searching, a process that included time walking on fiery coals with spiritual guru Tony Robbins and a stint at a Napa Valley healing retreat. He took up yoga and meditation, he developed a boxing routine and he read books like 10% Happier, written by ABC News anchor and buddy Dan Harris. Bush, the nephew of President George H.W. Bush, also spent more time than he had in years with his family, including daughters Lillie, 12, Mary, 16, and Josie, 18. “It was fun to have his undivided attention,” says his older brother, Jonathan. “There was no rushing off to do this or that.” He’s also stayed in contact with his former Today colleagues; he recently saw Hoda Kotb and her baby and was invited to lunch with Matt Lauer.

What Bush refrained from doing is watching the infamous three-minute tape from 2005. While he long has been aware of its existence and says “plenty of people” at NBC knew about it, too, he claims he has seen it only three times: once, three days before the rest of the world did, and then twice more in preparation for this interview. Each time it left him “totally and completely gutted,” he says, his voice shaky and eyes watery. “Looking back upon what was said on that bus, I wish I had changed the topic. [Trump] liked TV and competition. I could’ve said, ‘Can you believe the ratings on whatever?’ But I didn’t have the strength of character to do it.”

On the morning of May 17, Bush is in New York, sitting in the living room of his parents’ Upper East Side apartment, which he called home during his brief tenure at Today, when his family had not yet relocated from Los Angeles. Lining a built-in bookcase are family photos: his daughters, a picture from his 1998 wedding to wife Sydney, and one of Bush and his brother as children at a cousin’s wedding (he won’t say which cousin, which leaves a visitor to guess whether it was a former president or a former presidential contender).

Over the next hour and a half, Bush will recount his descent from successful TV host to the bizarre casualty of a presidential campaign scandal. His lawyer and publicist are present, but he is relaxed and open about his failings and fears. He becomes emotional as he talks about disappointing his family, his friends and himself, and animated when he recounts the spiritual awakening that led him to become “a better man,” he says. “I was kind of bopping along, and I don’t know if it was God or what that said, ‘OK, you’ve developed. You’re a pretty good guy. Let’s see how you handle this.’ And ka-boom!” He puts his hands to his face. “It all comes apart.”

His friends and family are quick to suggest Bush got a raw deal. After all, the other guy on the tape is now in the White House. “He got lumped up with Donald Trump, and his last name is Bush, and all of a sudden he got bushwhacked,” says pal Howard Owens, a TV producer and co-CEO of Propagate Content. “And not to say that he didn’t think what came out was terrible and certainly would have been something he would have had to deal with to regain the respect of his audience, but to never get that chance and to go down in a tidal wave of political anger is a tough thing.”

When asked what it was like to rewatch that infamous 2005 Access Hollywood tape, Bush says, “Terrible. Awful. It’s deeply embarrassing, and I remember that person.”

Though Bush never utters a disparaging word about his former bosses, Jonathan allows that his brother was perplexed by the way his exit was handled by NBC News executives. “NBC News and [their] crocodile outrage: ‘We are so disappointed with Billy,’ “says Jonathan. “I think Billy was angry, notwithstanding his own devils to reckon with. You build an identity and reputation over 15 years, and you lose it over 15 hours. And you don’t get to be part of it. You don’t get to say, ‘Hey, wait a minute.’ ”

Bush seems to have come to a place of acceptance, however. “I am not grateful for the moment,” he says. “But I’m grateful for what I’ve gotten out of it. I’m grateful that it hit me all the way to my core.” And now, the Manhattan-born broadcaster is ready to get back to work. With Propagate’s Owens and co-CEO Ben Silverman, Bush has been developing a series designed to show audiences a deeper and more empathetic side to him. The trio is light on details but says that pop culture, sports and interviews likely will play a role. And though the project won’t be the right fit for A+E Networks CEO Nancy Dubuc’s portfolio of channels, she suggests she’d have no hesitation about putting Bush back on the air.

“I don’t think anyone deserves to be sidelined in a way that’s vengeful, especially if they’re truly remorseful,” says Dubuc, one of the industry’s highest-ranking female executives and a personal friend of Bush’s. “That action, while not right and a deep-seated reflection of some of the things that are not only wrong in our industry but in our country, doesn’t mean that he’s a bad person and doesn’t mean that he doesn’t deserve to be forgiven.”

An edited transcript of Bush’s conversation with THR follows:

  • ••

You have three daughters. How did you explain all of this to them?

My [then] 15-year-old, Mary, called me from boarding school, and she was in tears: “Dad, Dad, Dad,” and I said, “Everything is going to be fine, Mary. Everything’s going to be OK.” It’s just instinctively what you say to your daughter. And she said, “No, why were you laughing at the things that he was saying on that bus, Dad? They weren’t funny.” It hit really hard, and I stopped for a second, and I said, “I have no answer for that that’s any good. I am really sorry. That was Dad in a bad moment a long time ago. You know me. I am really sorry that you had to hear and see that. I love you.” She needed to hear that, and I certainly needed to tell her that.

Did you have that conversation with the other two as well?

Yes. The little one is 12, and she has made the decision not to ever watch [the Trump tape]. And my 18-year-old is more of a fighter. She was like, “All right, who do I need to take out?” And my wife, Sydney, knows the environment and the atmosphere I was in at the time, and she knows very well the person she married. She has been very supportive from the very beginning.

How would you describe the past seven and a half months? What have you been doing?

It’s been a roller coaster. If you start from the day everything happened, Friday, Oct. 7, it was just instant shock. Things were happening way too fast, and a media circus developed. I’ve never been the type that the paparazzi would be interested in. So that early part was just chaos. But then things progressed, and when you have a big, traumatic event, you go through stages, and it led to acceptance and understanding. And then I found myself in a place of soul searching. And I developed a commitment to become a better, fuller man.

When that tape was first leaked, how did you think the situation was going to play out?

I thought that we would work through it and we would address people. I put together an apology right away, the one you saw; I told people that I was ashamed and embarrassed. And I was. So in the beginning, I thought, “OK, we’ll go and own up to this moment.” Then I got home, and it started to become apparent that [I] would not be returning [to Today]. It hurt a lot, and I fell apart. But I had to put aside those feelings and get through legal things. I never had a legal team; I had never had a publicist before.

What would you have said if NBC had given you the opportunity to appear on Todaythat Monday?

I would have said, “I am deeply embarrassed. I sit before you every morning, and I have on a different show [Access Hollywood Live] many mornings, and I hope you know the person you’re looking at and have developed an opinion about is [the real me]. You aren’t wrong about that. I am ashamed. Going forward, you can be sure that I will not participate in anything like that. And I will keep my eyes out and do what I can to stop it from happening.”

How frustrating was it for you to not be able to tell your own story when so many other people were?

I’d like to say I didn’t read any of the items, but that’s not the case. I did. Many of them were very hurtful. To be the butt of monologue jokes — that’s all hurtful. Having been in the job as long as I have, I developed a fairly thick skin. My skin is definitely thicker now, and my heart is a little softer underneath it. But I will say I think everybody should have the opportunity to apologize.

“I’ve tried really hard to responsibly address, accept and apologize for a really horrible moment and to work on myself,” says Bush.

You got fired, and the other guy on that tape became president. How does that make you feel?

I will admit the irony is glaring. [Trump] has his process for his participation [in the tape], and I have mine. I had to turn this into a positive. Robin Roberts’ mother has this quote, “Make your mess your message.” And so I have that opportunity. I’ve come out of this with a deeper understanding of how women can connect to the feeling of having to fight extra hard for an even playing field. The ground isn’t even. Maybe it’s improving, but still it isn’t even. When a woman watches that tape — and this is what really hit me — they may be asking themselves, “Is that what happens when I walk out of a room? When I walk out of a meeting, is that what they’re saying about me? Are they sizing me up?” I can’t live with that. If a moment like that arose again, I would shut it down quickly. I am in the women-raising business, exclusively. I have three daughters — Mary, Lillie, Josie — and I care very much about the world and the people they encounter.

Take us back to your days at Access Hollywood when this happened. How important was Trump to the show?

It was 2005, the second season of The Apprentice. The first season ended with 44 million viewers watching. It was a bona fide television phenomenon. So he was the biggest star, not just on the network with which Access Hollywood is affiliated but on TV, period. And so I spent a lot of time with Trump. He was my main assignment. He was the core of my job for a period of time there, because if we could get him three times a week in exclusive-type situations, he was always going to say something that was headline-worthy. And Access Hollywood was certainly interested in that. So that was my job, and I did it well. I got access to Trump. And in my job, there’s a lot of downtime, and there are off-camera moments where you have a short period of time to, in a chameleonlike way, connect with people. If it’s Martha Stewart, I would tell her about the new organic garden that I just started growing in my backyard.

And with Trump?

With Donald, there wasn’t much interaction. He sort of talks and performs, and everybody reacts. And the topics were usually golf, gossip or women. And boy do I wish this was a golf day. But I always had a nervous energy through these situations because he also decided a lot of times from day to day, moment to moment, who he liked, who was in and who was out, and my job was to remain in. I needed to be in, or maybe I’d be out. So that was the Trump environment. Looking back on what was said on that bus, I wish I had changed the topic. I wish I had said: “Does anyone want water?” or “It looks like it’s gonna rain.” He liked TV and competition. I could’ve said, “Can you believe the ratings on whatever?” I didn’t have the strength of character to do it.

“Judgment day arrived, and it is my own personal hell that judgment day was based solely upon a bad moment 12 years ago,” says Bush.

Had you heard him speak like that about women before?

I don’t recall anything to that degree. But he’s a provocateur. Shocking statements flow like wine from him. And he likes to captivate an audience.

Did Trump know he was being recorded?

I would assume not. I’ve done many interviews with him, and he always knew when the camera was on and when the camera was off because [he] changed. He was very aware of the camera.

Trump chalked it up to “locker room banter.” Is that a fair characterization?

No. I’m in a lot of locker rooms, I am an athlete, and no, that is not the type of conversation that goes on or that I’ve participated in.

So is that seriously how Trump approaches women?

I felt that, in that moment, he was being typically Donald, which is performing and shocking. Almost like Andrew Dice Clay, the stand-up comedian: Does he really do the things that he’s saying or is that his act? And in Donald’s case, I equated it that way. When he said what he said, I’d like to think if I had thought for a minute that there was a grown man detailing his sexual assault strategy to me, I’d have called the FBI.

Much like you, Trump released a statement in which he said, “Anyone who knows me knows that those words don’t reflect who I am.” Is that true?

I don’t know who he is. We don’t have a personal relationship and never have.

Did you hear from Trump during or after this all went down?

I did not. I haven’t spoken to Donald since before he announced he was running for president.

How was the tape brought to your attention? There were some reports that you were discussing it in August when you were in Rio de Janeiro covering the Olympics.

I never shared knowledge of the tape with anyone who didn’t already know of its existence. And that was plenty of people.

When did you first watch it?

I heard it for the first time seven and a half months ago, three days before the rest of the world heard it. I was shocked and alarmed and totally and completely gutted. It was awful. And my participation was awful, too. I remember that guy, he was almost sycophantic. It was my first year as co-host of Access Hollywood, and I was an insecure person, a bit of a pleaser, wanting celebrities to like me and fit in. There is an expression, “Meet them where they are for each person.” For Ben Affleck, it’s Boston sports. But I went way too far in my desire to keep this number one star happy.

Did you know it was going out to the world?

I did not know. I just knew of the existence of the tape. I mean, I’d known about the existence of the tape for 11 years. I remember the day.

Did you think that the tape should come out?

I [thought] it would certainly be interesting for people to know because I think a lot of people were making up their minds about [Trump]. So, yes, I understand that people would want to know about it. You never thought to go to your NBC bosses and say, “Hey, there’s a tape you should listen to here”? They did that on their own. I didn’t need to. Enough people knew.

You clearly are remorseful. Do you think Trump regrets it?

I don’t know. I don’t know.

How is the man we see in the White House the same or different from the man you knew?

I don’t know what stark revelations that he’s had. I have to imagine he’s come across some pretty jarring information and realities about the job. I would assume, but I don’t know. He has confidence in abundance, that’s for sure.

Did you vote for him?

You’re asking a journalist the way he voted? I’ve never made politics and prior votes public knowledge. I’m a registered independent, I’ll tell you that.

Would the recovery from the scandal have been easier for you if Trump had lost?

I don’t know. I mean, the tape would have worked. But I’m out of the coulda-shoulda-woulda game; beyond that I wish I had changed the topic on the bus.

Who reached out to you after all of this? Anyone from Today?

A lot of people. From the Today show, Tamron [Hall, his then-co-host on the 9 a.m. hour], Hoda [Kotb] and Kathie Lee [Gifford], Matt [Lauer], Savannah [Guthrie], Al Roker. Everyone from Access Hollywood. I got a wonderful handwritten letter from Suzanne Somers. I got a great letter from Cindy Crawford. Kate Walsh and Julie Bowen reached out. They were all supportive — “We know the real you.”

Did anyone reach out to express their displeasure?

No … but I did have some frank conversations with people who said, “You have to understand the moment and that it was terrible and why people reacted.” My wife said that to me. She said: “It’s not a good moment. You know that?” I said, “I know.” And I’d only listened to [the tape] once at that time. I’ve listened to it three times total in my life.

Have you reached out to Nancy O’Dell, your co-host on Access at the time and about whom the lewd comments were focused?

I recently sent her a communication, yeah. I need to keep that between me and Nancy. [Bush declined to say whether O’Dell responded.]

What did your soul-searching process entail? Your friends mentioned a retreat.

This was my most powerful thing I did. Over the holidays, I said, “I’m just depressed, bloated and miserable. I need to get up and get better.” So it was my brother’s recommendation to go through The Hoffman Process in Napa, California. It’s not glamorous. It was seven days — no phones, no communication. And it’s so overpowering and so draining that you have to sign an agreement that you’ll take two days on your own by yourself before you go back to family or friends. For 13 hours a day, it’s a study on your life and your negative patterns. At one point, you’re on your knees with a baseball bat and a pillow in front of you, and you are literally bashing these negative patterns that you’ve identified in your life. For me, one was judginess. I look back three years ago, doing Access Hollywood Live, and some story would come up, and I’d be like, “Oh, these people, these celebrities, how can they not ba-ba-ba-ba whatever.” So that became the moment of real awakening, and it went on from there. I’ve done everything.

What else?

I spent time with Tony Robbins. I attended his seminar. There was a powerful moment with Tony in front of 9,000 people at the Galen Center [in L.A.]. He walked to the end of the stage, and he pointed at me in the middle of his thing, and he said, “One moment in your life does not define who you are.” And the camera hit me, and these people started applauding — it was a little overwhelming but really empowering. Later that night, we walked on fire together: 12 feet over 2,200-degree coals. And I’ve done a lot of reading. I’m reading a book now called The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle. I’ve gotten into a lot of meditation and yoga. Mindfulness meditation is a powerful thing.

You’ve spent the past seven and a half months on the sidelines. Are you ready to come back?

In the beginning, your instinct is, “Hey, I need to get back, the train is leaving. I need to …” But that would not have been a good idea. There’s a process that needs to take place because you just can’t come back; it has to have changed you in some way. But I plan to return to the job that I love, which is television, communicating, interviewing people. I have changed in a way that I think will make me better at my job. I believe there will be more people like me in crisis. And with social media, a flame becomes a bonfire quickly. So I will be picking up my pen and writing them and calling them on the phone, and I will pursue these interviews and these moments with these people. And through what I’ve learned and where I’ve been, I will tell them, “You have empathetic ears in me.”

Are those celebrities?

Not just celebrities. One thing I learned at The Hoffman Process is that I’ve always relied on my charm and my quick wit and all that, but I’ve kept my depth in the shadows. And I was heading in that direction in my latest phase of my career [at Today], and I’m going to return to that place because there’s a lot of wisdom to learn from a lot of people. There are a lot of interviews I’d like to conduct, and I’m committed to that. I’m not just going to ride around in a rickshaw through the streets of New York picking up strangers and having funny moments with them. There must be more depth to what I do. I have something in development with Howard and Ben that takes what people know of me to a smarter level and, with the perspective gained in the last seven months, a drive to pursue deeper, more pivotal interviews.

You’re a big sports fan. Is that a world that’s appealing?

Well, [they say] go with what you know. … I always thought I would love to be a golf announcer, but I’m too excitable. I don’t whisper well.

Let’s say Trump sees this interview and he calls you. What would you say to him?

I don’t know. I guess if the president of the United States calls, you take the call. I would listen and say thank you.

Bush on the Access Hollywood tape: “Looking back, I wish I had changed the topic. But I didn’t have the strength of character.”

Would you ask if he was remorseful about the situation?

Conduct a little private interview? No. I’d just say thanks and move on. There is nothing I need from him.

You realize that you interviewing him would probably be the highest-rated interview he’s ever done?

I don’t think I’d interview Trump. It would be a spectacle. In television, we love a spectacle, but I’ve come too far and learned too much. There are others that I’d rather interview, like Emmanuel Macron of France. What a fascinating story he is: a third-party dark-horse candidate who comes in — and might that be a foreshadowing of what happens in America? There’s more wisdom to extract from Oprah, too. It would be fascinating to talk about picking yourself up [after trauma] because there are two types of people in the world: those who have faced something traumatic and those who will. It is inevitable. So I’d talk about getting up, and who knows where that goes? Someday I might address groups and other people about it. Important to it all is owning and accepting your part of it. And I completely have owned and accepted my part in all of this. But I’m not a victim. There are people who are going through things far worse than me.

Do you watch the Today show now?

I’ve been watching very little TV in the morning because I get up and meditate, and then I do yoga. And I’ve been doing some boxing now, too, and it’s interesting; it’s 75 percent women in the gym. But I love it. I’m active and moving.

Some of your friends suggest your last name has made all of this more complicated. Do you agree with that?

I don’t think so. This situation happened because I participated in a terrible moment and it became public. It doesn’t matter what your name is. Anyone who is participating in that moment is going to get it. In that way, I deserved it. Judgment day arrived all of a sudden and very quickly, and it is my own personal hell that judgment day was solely based upon a bad moment 12 years ago and not the complete evolution of the man. But that’s my own private cross to bear and my own issue to work through. It does not in any way excuse the moment on that tape and the way people reacted because I completely understand it.

And it all was exposed while you were on a plane. That must have felt like the longest flight you’ve ever been on.

I kind of wanted it to be longer. (Laughter.)

How Bush used group therapy to stop feeling “bloated and miserable” after his NBC firing.

Bush spent a week in a modest hut on the Northern California campus.

Billy Bush first heard about The Hoffman Process from his older brother, Jonathan, who had participated in a retreat about 10 years ago when he was splitting with his wife. “It’s standard protocol for insecure, divorced men,” laughs Jonathan. But Billy went for a different reason in January, when he admits to feeling “depressed, bloated and miserable” after his NBC firing.

So, what is The Hoffman Process? The self-help regimen was launched in 1967 by Bob Hoffman, a tailor from Oakland, California, who had no formal medical training but became a spiritual guru of sorts after he developed a theory dubbed “Negative Love Syndrome.” It posits that many people are unable to form healthy and lasting relationships due to negative behaviors learned in childhood and through trauma. Today, the nonprofit Hoffman Institute holds weeklong residential retreats on modest grounds in St. Helena, California, and Chester, Connecticut (participants pay about $5,000 for the week and are anonymous; Bush says his group was asked to use only childhood nicknames, though he was recognized). Group therapy is a large component of the retreats, which aid participants in becoming “conscious of and disconnected from negative patterns of thought and behaviors on an emotional, intellectual, physical and spiritual level,” according to the institute’s website. The Process has a handful of celebrity fans, including Moonlight’s Naomie Harris and Toms founder Blake Mycoskie. “The Hoffman Process was the beginning of real enlightenment,” says Bush. “I wondered, ‘Were my negative patterns what led to [the Trump tape]?’ Then I think, ‘Maybe not, but do I have them? And while we’re here, let’s get into that because you get [those patterns] from one or both of your parents, and I don’t want to pass it on to my girls.’ ”

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Written by hollywoodreporter.com

Meryl Streep Is Doing A ‘Mamma Mia’ Sequel 

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Ten years after we never really found out who fathered Sophie, “Mamma Mia! The Movie” is getting a sequel.

Original cast members Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan, Stellan Skarsgård, Julie Walters and Christine Baranski will return for “Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!,” according to Deadline.

We can also get ready for some ABBA deep cuts: Variety reports the sequel will include songs that weren’t used in the first movie, along with a few reprised favorites.

The 2008 film followed Sophie (Seyfried) as she attempted to find her father before her wedding on the sparkling Greek island where she lived with her mother, Donna (Streep). The plot of the sequel is not yet known, but there is a release date: July 20, 2018.

Universal nabbed “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” screenwriter Ol Parker to handle the script and direct. Producers and lyricists from the original ― a box office hit that earned $144 million domestically ― are also set to return.

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Written by huffingtonpost.com

Glenn Frey’s Son Is Going To Replace His Dad On Eagles Tour

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“I think it’s the only appropriate way to carry on. I don’t think I’d do it otherwise,” Don Henley said.

The Eagles have officially found their replacement for the late Glenn Frey, and it’s Frey’s son Deacon.

On Monday, The Eagles’ Don Henley announced on Dallas sports radio station KTCK that Deacon had signed on to play a number of shows with the band in July.

“There’s going to be an official announcement in a few days, but let’s just do it here,” Henley said. “Glenn’s son Deacon is a very talented young man, and he seems to be up for the task. He’s enthusiastic about it and he’s been working real hard on it, and he’s gonna do it with us. and I think that’s appropriate.”

Henley said that after Frey died in January 2016, he wasn’t sure he wanted to continue touring with the moniker. But playing with Deacon just felt right. “There’s an old system both in Eastern and Western culture called the guild system, where the father is the master and the son is the apprentice. The trade, the craft, the business is handed down from father to son,” Henley said.

“I think it’s the only appropriate way to carry on. I don’t think I’d do it otherwise. Since it’s Glenn’s blood, it’s his son, I think that’s appropriate. There’ll be one more musician along for the ride too, but I’m not gonna say who that is.”

The shows will take place at Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium in July and later that month at Citi Field in New York City. Other bands including Steely Dan and Fleetwood Mac will take the stage as well.

Henley said as long as people want to hear the band’s songs, he’ll do what he can to keep them satisfied.

“It’s my responsibility to carry on this legacy and to keep these songs alive,” Henley said. “Apparently people still want to hear them. I thought we were done when Glenn passed away and I said as much, but I was in a state of shock at the time. But we have gotten a lot of messages from people all over the world from people who would like to see things continue.”

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It’s Official: ‘Arrested Development’ Is Coming Back

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Everyone’s favorite dysfunctional mess of a family is returning to Netflix.

The streaming company made it official on Wednesday when it announced that the entire “Arrested Development” gang is getting back together for a fifth season.

That’s right: Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter, Will Arnett, Tony Hale, Portia de Rossi, David Cross and Alia Shawkat are all signed on, and the season is expected to drop next year.

The announcement made official what had felt increasingly inevitable in recent months. In January, executive producer Brian Grazer confirmed that “all of the actors have agreed to do it.” The primary holdup had been everyone’s ever-conflicting schedules ― which had reportedly had an effect on Season 4.

But, Grazer said, “We found a way to create the compensation structure for all the actors and create a work matrix so they can still make movies and do other things and it will all integrate.”

Last week, Bateman all but confirmed Season 5 was happening when he tweeted that he had “officially signed on to more ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT.”

“In talks with Netflix we all felt that stories about a narcissistic, erratically behaving family in the building business ― and their desperate abuses of power ― are really underrepresented on TV these days,” series creator Mitchell Hurwitz said in a statement.

“I am so grateful to them and to 20th TV for making this dream of mine come true in bringing  the Bluths, George Sr., Lucille and the kids;  Michael, Ivanka, Don Jr., Eric, George-Michael, and who am I forgetting, oh Tiffany.  Did I say Tiffany? — back to the glorious stream of life.”

Ron Howard, an executive producer on the show and its narrator, expressed his excitement as well after having to remain mum for so long.

“Whew! I can finally answer the question… Hell yes! Warming up my uncredited narrator vocal chords. Now the only thing I will have to be coy about is all the craziness the Bluths are going to face this season,” Howard said.

Presented by E.Cowan

Written by huffingtonpost.com

‘Roseanne’ Revival Officially A Midseason-Go

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ABC officially confirmed today what has been speculated for months. A revival of the hit blue-collar family sitcom Roseanne has been greenlighted at ABC. The eight-episode reboot, which Deadline first reported exclusively, will feature the original cast – Roseanne Barr (Roseanne), John Goodman (Dan), Sara Gilbert (Darlene), Laurie Metcalf (Jackie), Michael Fishman (D.J.) and Lecy Goranson (Becky). It’s slated to premiere in 2018. Sarah Chalke, who played the character Becky in later seasons, will also appear in another role.

There’s been a question of whether Goranson or Chalke would play the Becky character. Goranson originated the role before exiting in Season 5 to attend college. That’s when Chalke was cast and the two split the role in Season 8 before Chalke handled the part solely for the final ninth season.

Another thing that’s clear — Dan (Goodman) is alive. In the series’ finale, it was revealed that the character had previously died of a heart attack and his appearance throughout the final season was actually a manifestation of Roseanne’s character’s writing. Barr, however, came up with a workaround in a 2009 blog post if a reunion series ever were to happen. In it, she imagines “Dan shows up alive after faking his own death.” Stay tuned for that one.

“The Conners’ joys and struggles are as relevant – and hilarious – today as they were then, and there’s really no one better to comment on our modern America than Roseanne,” said ABC Entertainment chief Channing Dungey.

When it premiered on ABC, the series broke new ground for its realistic portrayal of a working-class family, the Conners, barely scraping by in the fictional town of Lanford, Illinois. It also dominated the ratings as one of the highest-rated television series on the air for its near-decade run. A comedy about ordinary people who faced day-to-day survival with a sense of the absurdity of it all, the inimitable Roseanne was its epicenter. The Conner family will continue to deal with the economic challenges of living pay check to pay check in 2018.

In its nine-season run, the series won a Peabody Award and a Golden Globe Award for best television series (comedy or musical). Barr and Goodman each won Golden Globes for best performance by an actress and actor. Barr went on to win an Emmy as lead actress, and Metcalf won two supporting actress Emmys for her work on the series.

Barr will executive produce, along with Sara Gilbert, Tom Werner, Bruce Helford, Whitney Cummings and Tony Hernandez. The series hails from Carsey-Werner Television.

Presented by E.Cowan

Written by deadline.com

Oscars: Jimmy Kimmel To Return As Host For 2018 Honors

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Producers Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd, who also oversaw the last show, will also be reteaming with him for the 90th Academy Awards.

Jimmy Kimmel will be back as host of the Oscars when the next Academy Awards, the 90th edition of the awards ceremony, is held March 4.

The Academy and ABC announced on Tuesday that the late night host will reunite with producers Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd for the 2018 show.

The trio teamed up for the first time for the most recent Oscar show on Feb. 26, and while all three generally got good reviews, their contributions were overshadowed by the last-minute envelope gaffe that resulted in La La Land, and not the actual winner Moonlight, being announced as the best picture victor. As part of the official announcement, Kimmel joked, “If you think we screwed up the ending this year, wait until you see what we have planned for the 90th anniversary show.”

As for ratings, their maiden effort resulted in a 4 percent drop in viewership from the prior year as the show attracted 32.9 million viewers.

Still, ABC, which was granted a larger advisory capacity about key elements of the show when the Academy renewed its contract with the network through 2028 last summer, was eager to see the host of their Jimmy Kimmel Live! invited back.

“Jimmy, Mike and Jennifer are truly an Oscar Dream Team,” Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs said in announcing their selection. “Mike and Jennifer produced a beautiful show that was visually stunning. And Jimmy proved, from his opening monologue all the way through a finale we could never have imagined, that he is one our finest hosts in Oscar history.”

Added Kimmel, “Hosting the Oscars was a highlight of my career and I am grateful to Cheryl, [Academy CEO] Dawn [Hudson] and the Academy for asking me to return to work with two of my favorite people, Mike De Luca and Jennifer Todd.”

“It’s not often you get two chances to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience and even more rare to be handed the keys to a party 90 years in the making,” De Luca and Todd offered in a joint statement. “We always thought the idea that anything can happen on the Oscars was a cliché until we lived it.”

“Our Oscars team this year delivered a show that hit every high note,” Hudson said.  “Jimmy brought back the essence and light touch of the greatest hosts of Oscars’ past. Mike and Jennifer’s love of movies is infectious and touched every aspect of the show. This is the perfect team to lead us into the ninth decade.”

And ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey said, “After just one year, we can’t imagine anyone else hosting The Oscars. Jimmy’s skillful command of the stage is invaluable on a night when anything can happen – and does. With Mike and Jennifer at the helm, we’re ready for another unforgettable show that will dazzle, delight and, most importantly, honor 90 years of Hollywood’s most prestigious award.”

The early announcement represents something of a break with Academy tradition which in the past has first seen the Academy president select the show’s producers and the producers then pick a host — a process that has sometimes resulted in a protracted search. Boone Isaacs, having completed four successive, one-year terms as president, will be stepping down in July, as the Academy’s board of governors elects a new president. But rather than wait for a new president to take over, the Academy is moving forward with plans for next year’s show.

The early announcement is not unprecedented, though. In both 2013 and 2014, the Academy announced in mid-April that producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who first produced the 2013 show, would be returning to produce both the 2014 and 2015 shows. Both the Academy and ABC prefer to have producers who’ve already cut their teeth on one broadcast returning to handle the next year’s show because it eliminates the learning curve facing new producers and provides for continuity of staffing.

And by extending an early call-back to Kimmel, De Luca and Todd, all three will have plenty of time to prepare for next year’s show, which doesn’t take place until the first Sunday of March, so as not to conflict with the closing ceremonies of the winter Olympics, which will be taking place the last weekend of February. Last year, Todd and De Luca were not named to produce the 89th Oscars until early November, and Kimmel wasn’t given the hosting assignment until early December.

Presented by E.Cowan

Written by hollywoodreporter.com

Todd Rundgren Has A Trigger Warning For Trump Supporters

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Todd Rundgren has a warning for supporters of President Donald Trump: Keep away.

“Don’t come to my show,” Rundgren told Variety. “Because you won’t have a good time.”

Rundgren’s latest album features the anti-Trump song “Tin Foil Hat,” which he recorded with Donald Fagen of Steely Dan.

Variety’s Chris Willman said the new tune reminded him of seeing a couple walk out of a show last year after Rundgren criticized Trump from the stage. But the man behind hits such as “Hello It’s Me,” “I Saw The Light” and “Bang The Drum All Day,” said such a response doesn’t bother him.

Addressing Trump supporters, he said:

“I don’t understand your frickin’ values. Because I’m not singing about that. If you don’t understand that basic thing, you’re just fooling yourself. I guarantee that in this show, if you’re a Trump supporter, you will likely be offended. Let the buyer beware! I mean, if you can’t take a joke, or you can’t admit that you’ve made a mistake, you don’t belong with the rest of us.”

Rundgren laughed at the end of his comments, Willman noted.

Along with his own career as a successful singer, songwriter and performer, Rundgren is an accomplished producer and engineer who has worked with Meat Loaf, Cheap Trick and The Band as well as Daryl Hall and John Oates.

Presented by E.Cowan

Written by huffingtonpost.com

Kelly Ripa And Ryan Seacrest Plan To Spend On Air Time Apart!

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She schedules days off just two weeks after their TV pairing.

Live star Kelly Ripa and her new co-host Ryan Seacrest have been on the air together for only two weeks and are already making plans to spend time away from each other on air, a source exclusively told Radar.

According to the source, “Come this summer, Kelly is only going to be doing four shows a week on LIVE — not even pre-taping Friday’s show.

“Ryan will be getting guest co-hosts and will have to be there on Fridays live instead of doing a pre-tape on Thursdays of Friday shows.

“He also will be doing a whole week of shows without Kelly,” the source said.

As Radar has previously reported, Ripa, 46, and Seacrest, 42, are already in a feud because she fears the prospect of the former American Idol host starring on the new ABC reboot of the reality show will steal LIVE‘s thunder, an insider said.

Ripa is known for not liking being crossed and cut all ties with her previous LIVE co-host Michael Strahan. Ripa reportedly felt blindsided when Strahan jumped to the other ABC morning show, Good Morning America, without anyone informing her beforehand.

And, Radar sources said, Ripa has been worried that Seacrest will treat LIVE like a part-time job and eventually leave the morning show to host American Idol again, now that the singing show is coming to ABC.

Meanwhile, Radar has learned Seacrest is so concerned about his image, he’s had some of his own staffers sign confidentiality forms.

Now, the source revealed, Ripa has big summer plans that don’t include spending time alongside Seacrest at LIVE! “Kelly will be spending most of August out in the Hamptons and will not be doing any shows — they will all be repeats.

“The plan is to gear up with all new LIVE shows in September after Labor Day — complete with a whole new look for the show as well,” the source revealed to Radar.

Presented by The Griper – E.Cowan

I think ABC should be thinking about the ‘new’ 9:-00am program which will be taking this train wreck’s place….enough already.

Written by radaronline.com

Johnny Depp Regrets Ever Becoming An Actor

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Johnny Depp reportedly regrets ever becoming an actor.

According to the U.K.’s Express, The Pirates Of The Caribbean star said, “I would have told my younger self to get out of this business immediately. I would have said, ‘It’s gonna get weird.’ ”

As Radar readers know, Depp, 53, has been dragged down by legal woes for months. He is currently at war with his former managers and his nasty divorce from actress wife Amber Heard, which was finalized in January, got him tons of bad publicity. Heard, 31, accused him of domestic abuse.

In January, the star sued his former management company, The Management Group (TMG), alleging fraud and negligence and demanding $25 million in damages.

But his ex-advisers at TMG countersued, claiming that Depp has “compulsive spending disorder” and needs a mental exam, as Radar reported.

Among the more extravagant expenses alleged in the counter suit against Depp were $75 million to maintain and furnish 14 homes, including a chain of islands in the Bahamas and a horse farm in Kentucky, $5 million on a cannon to shoot the ashes of his friend, journalist Hunter S. Thompson, into the sky, and $30,000 per month on wines from around the world.

Depp’s former management company contended in the lawsuit that he spent an astonishing $2 million a month, but he has denied being extravagant.

Depp alleges that TMG mishandled his fortune, failing to pay his taxes on time, collecting improper fees and loaning out his money without authorization.

Depp also had conflict with Disney over Pirates of the Caribbean 5, as Radar has reported. Sources said the studio was losing patience with their star’s pirate comeback over various issues, including the moment Depp had to fly back to the United States for emergency surgery on his finger while filming the blockbuster. It blew the movie’s budget, claimed a source.

The insider said Depp might be too much trouble going forward: “His box office draw has all but disappeared and he’s a mess.”

Now, the actor has said he wishes he never even launched his famous career!

Presented by The Griper – E.Cowan

Poor baby…we feel for you.

Written by radaronline.com

Simon Cowell Slams ‘American Idol’ Reboot

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Simon Cowell lived up to his reputation while slamming the ‘American Idol’ reboot on May 11. Even though he was asked to be a judge, Simon revealed exactly why he’d never return to the hit show!

It’s a “no” from Simon Cowell. The 57-year-old America’s Got Talent judge is one of many reasons American Idol became a household name, but he won’t be returning to his stomping grounds for the ABC reboot. “I was asked to do it,” he told Extra on May 11. “I have no interest. My memories are when we first started. It was a different time with Randy [Jackson], Ryan [Seacrest] and Paula [Abdul]. You can’t recreate that. Last time I watched, it was not the same show, just the same name. I left for a reason and I never regretted that,” he explained.

After running for 15 seasons on Fox, the popular singing competition will return in 2018 on ABC. The host and judges are yet to be revealed, but fans are hoping they’ll recruit notable A-list stars for the highly anticipated reboot. “American Idol on ABC…that has a nice ring to it,” Disney/ABC Television Group president and Disney Media Networks co-chairman Ben Sherwood said in a statement. “Idol is an entertainment icon, and now it will air where it belongs, in ABC’s lineup of addictive fan favorites alongside Dancing with the Stars and The Bachelor.”

The original host of 15 years, Ryan Seacrest, 42, recently announced his new gig on Live! with Kelly Ripa, 46, however there are rumors that he will return to American Idol in the future. Meanwhile, the first winner of the iconic singing competition, also announced her own big news on May 11. Kelly Clarkson, 35, accepted a judging gig on The Voice for the Spring 2018 cycle.

As we previously reported, there were plenty of reasons for the songstress to accept the offer. “The Voice has been a second home for Kelly and they have treated her like a queen there when she has done the show,” a source tells HollywoodLife.com EXCLUSIVELY. “NBC also wants to work with her on some of the upcoming musicals and the money was too good to pass up.”

Presented by The Griper – E.Cowan

A complete money grab…waste of time

Written by hollywoodlife.com

 

 

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