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Windy City Times 2016-06-08
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Entertainment news: 'Project Runway,' Boy George, Deborah Cox, 'Transparent'
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2016-05-31

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In a big, multi-show deal between Lifetime and The Weinstein Company valued at about $50 million, including a TWC movie package, the network has renewed the mothership series Project Runway for three more seasons ( seasons 16-18 ), and its spinoffs Project Runway All Stars for two ( six and seven ) and Project Runway: Junior for one ( three ), Deadline reported. Additionally, Lifetime has picked up to series the latest fashion reality project from TWC, Fashion Inc.

Focus Features will release Tom Ford's sophomore feature directorial, Nocturnal Animals, in an exclusive engagement on Nov. 18, according to Deadline. The film—based on Austin Wright's novel Tony and Susan—focuses on an art-gallery owner who is haunted by her ex-husband's novel, a violent thriller she interprets as a veiled threat and a symbolic revenge tale. The pic stars Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Isla Fisher, Armie Hammer, Ellie Bamber and Laura Linney.

Mariah Carey appears to be seriously slamming Wendy Williams after the daytime talk-show host claimed that Mariah was too "fragile" for reality TV ahead of the debut of her new docuseries, Mariah's World, later this year, The Inquisitr reported. According to That Grape Juice, Mariah took to Instagram May 26 to fire back at Williams over her recent remarks. Employing her friend Lee Daniels, Carey posted, "He's the b**** that's fragile! Don't come for us unless we call for you @wendyshow."

While on The Wendy Williams Show, Boy George clarified a statement he made that he slept with Prince, Instinct Magazine noted. George had the music world talking when he dropped the bombshell during the The Voice UK that he'd slept with the late singer. On Williams' show, the Culture Club lead singer said, "Of course that's not true. It was a joke. I'm a massive Prince fan. I met him once in Italy and he was suitably eccentric. He was exactly what you'd expect him to be. He was Prince!"

Discovery Channel is planning a summer series with Ellie Goulding, Christina Aguilera, Usher, Joan Jett, Dave Matthews and Steven Tyler to bring stories of the animal kingdom to television viewers, Music Times noted. The family-geared series is entitled Hello World! and is being produced by RadicalMedia, who will also be working closely with the World Wildlife Fund. The series is set to kick off July 9 and will run in six parts, which each recording artist acting as the voice of an episode over three weeks.

Amazon has greenlit a fourth season of the multi-Golden Globe- and Emmy-winning series Transparent for premiere exclusively on Prime Video in 2017, Deadline reported. The renewal comes ahead of the third season scheduled to premiere this fall on Prime Video in the United States, United Kingdom, Austria, Germany and Japan. The returning cast includes Jeffrey Tambor as Maura Pfefferman, Judith Light as Shelly Pfefferman, Gaby Hoffmann as Ali Pfefferman, Amy Landecker ( Louie ) as Sarah Pfefferman and Jay Duplass ( Togetherness ) as Josh Pfefferman.

It Got Better—a webseries Dan Savage executive-produces along with Lisa Kudrow, Dan Bucatinsky, L/Studio and Hypomania Content—has premiered its third season, according to a press release. The new season features interviews with Raven-Symone, Ian McKellen, Wanda Sykes, Adam Lambert, EJ Johnson and Candis Cayne. The show, inspired by the It Gets Better Project, debuted in 2014 with six episodes featuring celebs including Laverne Cox, Jane Lynch, George Takei and more talking about coming of age, coming out and how it got better for them.

Oni Press is presenting the book Merry Men, a modern exploration of the Robin Hood legend that finds our heroes seeking refuge in Sherwood Forest to escape Prince John's persecution of homosexuality, a press release noted. Robert Rodi was the writer and Jackie Lewis was the colorist for the 32-page comic book, available June 1.

Singer/actor Deborah Cox will be the main attraction at this year's Philly Pride, Philadelphia Gay News noted. The Canadian-born performer is best known for her platinum-selling, award-winning R&B/dance albums with songs like "Nobody's Supposed to Be Here." However, she's also an experienced film and Broadway actress. Cox has long been a vocal LGBT ally and has headlined a number of LGBT Pride celebrations, including in Chicago and Atlanta.

Actress Helen Hunt has been mistaken at least twice for Jodie Foster lately, NewNowNext stated. In the most recent situation, Hunt said she asked her Starbucks barista if she needed her name for her order, and the employee replied with a wink and said, "We gotcha." As it turns out, they didn't have her, since Hunt then received her order with the name "Jody" on it—a misspelling of Foster's name. In apologizing, Starbucks tweeted, "@HelenHunt Sorry about that! We hope the drink was still as good as it gets"—a reference to Hunt's movie with Jack Nicholson.

Lady Gaga was at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 100th running of the Indy 500 on May 29, Page Six noted. Gaga and 1969 Indy 500 winner Andretti rolled onto the track with the field of 33 drivers before Sunday's race in a custom-built, two-seat Indy car. Gaga was a late substitute for country star Keith Urban, who was unable to participate after injuring his back.

The Daily Mail revealed the amounts some people have been paid to speak at commencement ceremonies. The University of Houston shelled out $166,000 last year for Matthew McConaughey, and the University of Oklahoma spent $110,000 for Katie Couric. ( The cost includes not just the monetary sum that is paid to the commencement speakers, but also the amount spent on their travel and accommodations while they are in town. ) However, President Obama and Sheryl Sandberg spoke at Rutgers and the University of California-Berkley, respectively, for no fee.

"Tinder is the house, and the house always wins," Sex and the City Candace Bushnell wrote in a new essay for Cosmopolitan, Page Six noted. Having not been on a date since 2002, the 57-year-old wrote about deciding to dip her toes back into the singles pool following an email from an editor at the magazine. However, Bushnell ran into problems with Tinder—including the app itself. "Apparently Tinder had automatically assumed that a middle-age woman would want to date 'age-appropriate' men and set my range to 55 and older," she wrote.

Former Glee actor Mark Salling was indicted on federal child-pornography charges, TheWrap reported. Salling, known for playing Noah "Puck" Puckerman on the popular Fox musical series, was arrested in December by the LAPD Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. A search warrant issued for the actor's residence reportedly uncovered as many as 1,000 images featuring minors. Salling was charged with both receiving and possessing child pornography, with each charge carrying a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Rapper Belly and R&B singer The Weeknd, who were set to perform on an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live, cancelled their appearance after knowing that they will be on the show with Presidential candidate Donald Trump because they did not agree with his political views, Music Times reported. The two musicians received an Oscar nomination for their single, "Earned It" which is the soundtrack of Fifty Shades of Grey. Belly added that he is there to "campaign positivity and love" and to contribute to the music industry.

Shonda Rhimes, creator and writer of such hit shows as Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder, is this year's MIPCOM personality of the year, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Rhimes will be honored at a gala dinner for international TV executives at the Carlton Hotel in Cannes on Oct. 19. She will also be featured at a "Media Mastermind Session" at the Palais des Festivals during MIPCOM. MIPCOM is an annual trade show held in the French town of Cannes, usually during October.

Actress Melissa Gilbert ( Little House on the Prairie ) is ending her campaign for Congress in Michigan's 8th district due to a spinal injury that will require surgery, Yahoo! News reported. She said she's "devastated" that her doctors advised her to withdraw from the race. Gilbert said she is facing two herniated discs in her spine as the result of two head and neck injuries she sustained in 2012.

Deaf model Nyle DiMarco prevailed over UFC fighter Paige VanZant and Good Morning America meteorologist Ginger Zee in the finale of Dancing with the Star's 22nd season, according to TheWrap. ( DiMarco also won the final season of America's Next Top Model. ) Pitbull, Fifth Harmony and Aloe Blacc were among the acts who performed during the finale.

Singer-actress Alisan Porter won the 10th season of NBC's singing contest The Voice, TheWrap noted. Porter—who was on team of Christina Aguilera, making her the first female coach to secure a victory—won in a final face-off with country singer Adam Wakefield, the runner-up. The live two-hour finale included musical performances from Ariana Grande, Little Big Town, Sia and Zayn, as well as from judge Blake Shelton.

During the week of May 30-June 3, guest co-hosts on Live with Kelly ( formerly Live with Kelly and Michael ) include( d ) Empire star Jussie Smollett, Common, Anderson Cooper and Kelly Ripa's husband, Mark Consuelos, a press release stated. Among other slated to make appearances were/are Mariah Carey, Maya Rudolph, Beth Behrs ( 2 Broke Girls ) and Paula Abdul.

In legal papers filed with a court, Johnny Depp's attorney says that the actor's wife, Amber Heard—who obtained a domestic-violence restraining order May 27—is claiming abuse in order to line up a quick payday, TheWrap reported. The memo also suggests that Heard's request for a restraining order could be a reaction to the negative press she's received for filing divorce papers just days after the death of Depp's mother. Heard filed for divorce May 23, citing irreconcilable differences.

Sources said there may be video of fired The Real host Tamar Braxton lashing out at producers—and she should fear it being leaked, Page Six noted. "I love u all but I have been stabbed in the back by someone I stupidly trusted ( not my man or my sisters )," she recently posted. Her co-hosts, including Loni Love, were accused of backstabbing the star. However, Love fired back on Facebook: "None of us knew about Tamar until she texted us."

Ghostlight Records will release the cast album of the critically acclaimed Broadway revival of She Loves Me from Roundabout Theatre Company in digital formats on Friday, June 10, with physical copies online and in stores on Friday, July 8, a press release stated. The original cast stars Tony Award winner Laura Benanti, Tony Award nominee Zachary Levi, Tony Award nominee Gavin Creel, Byron Jennings, Tony Award winner Michael McGrath and Tony Award winner Jane Krakowski.

The Fast and the Furious—the first film in the franchise—will receive a limited release in approximately 1,500 theaters to celebrate the pic's 15th anniversary on Wed., June 22, Deadline noted. The Fast and the Furious was a surprise hit back in the summer 2001, starring largely a cast of unknowns, including Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez and the late Paul Walker.


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