Thursday Apr 24, 2014

'HIMYM' spin-off picks up Meg Ryan

The actress has agreed to be the narrator of "How I Met Your Dad," the spin-off on CBS's hit show "How I Met Your Mother," Deadline.com reports.Meg Ryan will provide the off-screen narration in one of the most anticipated pilots of the coming season. This means that the Hollywood actress will...
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TV

'HIMYM' spin-off picks up Meg Ryan
Thursday Apr 24, 2014
'HIMYM' spin-off picks up Meg Ryan

The actress has agreed to be the narrator of "How I Met Your Dad," the spin-off on CBS's hit show "How I Met Your Mother," Deadline.com reports.Meg Ryan will provide the off-screen narration in one of the most anticipated pilots of the coming season. This means that the Hollywood actress will voice an older version of Sally, the central character of the spin-off, played by Greta Gerwig. Like Bob Saget, who provided the voice of the future version of Ted in the original series, Ryan will not appear on screen. Though still best known for her film roles ("Sleepless in Seattle," "You've Got Mail"), Meg Ryan has been absent from the silver screen since the release of "Serious Moonlight" in 2009. She has had only a handful of TV appearances in recent years, turning up on "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "Web Therapy." 2014 is expected to mark Ryan's big comeback, as she is headlining a series in development at NBC for this fall. The actress will play a cheerful and devoted single mother who decides to return to the New York publishing house where she used to work. Once a successful editor, she now reports to the neurotic 30-year-old who used to be her intern. To find out whether "How I Met Your Dad" will join the CBS line-up for the 2014-2015 season, fans will have to wait until the network's press conference on May 14. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

James Franco apologies for Instagram flirtation
Thursday Apr 24, 2014
James Franco apologies for Instagram flirtation

NEW YORK (AP) — James Franco has apologized for his Instagram flirtation with a 17-year-old. On the morning talk show "Live With Kelly and Michael," Franco said Friday that he used "bad judgment" and "learned my lesson." The 35-year-old actor and filmmaker was caught trying to pick up a Scottish teenage girl named Lucy Clode on the photo-sharing app. Franco said Friday that he was embarrassed and that he's "a model of how social media is tricky." He said the awkward process of meeting someone was made "doubly" embarrassing since it was in the public spotlight because of his celebrity. Franco is currently starring in a revival of "Of Mice and Men" on Broadway. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

The 'social photo frame' that helps generations connect
Thursday Apr 24, 2014
The 'social photo frame' that helps generations connect

Social media is great for sharing photos with loved ones, but what about friends and family members who don't have online profiles? A new ‘social photo frame' could be the answer.Famatic is a touchscreen digital photo frame which connects to Facebook, Instagram and email accounts and streams uploaded photos and videos automatically. People can then ‘like' or comment on the images in the frame without needing their own personal online profiles. Designed to include the older generation in the online digital sharing trend, Famatic can be coded to only display images from certain albums or which include certain hashtags. "We strongly believe that technology should bring us together instead of breaking us apart," reads the Famatic website. "All generations should benefit from the possibilities of modern day technology." Famatic Co-founder Thijs Suijten was inspired to create the product when he wanted to share pictures of his children with his parents. "I take a lot of photos of my daughters and share them on Facebook," he explains. "But the ones who'd love to see them the most, their grandparents, are unable to see them because they're not familiar with social media." Famatic is currently listed on crowdfunding website Kickstarter, with the initial orders expected to ship by October of this year. Online pledgers can pre-order a frame from $169. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Olivia Wilde, Jason Sudeikis welcome baby boy
Thursday Apr 24, 2014
Olivia Wilde, Jason Sudeikis welcome baby boy

LOS ANGELES (AP) — It's a boy for Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis. A spokeswoman for the "Tron: Legacy" actress confirms the couple welcomed son Otis Alexander on Sunday. Wilde posted a message on Twitter Wednesday with a photo of her cuddling the newborn. It says, "Ladies and gentlemen, Otis Alexander Sudeikis has LEFT the building!" and then notes in parentheses that she's the building. The 30-year-old "Rush" and "House" actress is engaged to the 38-year-old "We're the Millers" actor and former star of "Saturday Night Live." It's the couple's first child. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Sarah Chalke and Selma Blair to team up for Amazon Studios
Thursday Apr 24, 2014
Sarah Chalke and Selma Blair to team up for Amazon Studios

The two actresses will co-star in "Really," a new comedy pilot in development at the online retailer's content development division. The series will follow a group of thirty-something friends living in Chicago.At the center of "Really" will be Lori, a lawyer played by Sarah Chalke ("Scrubs," "How I Met Your Mother") and her husband Jed, a neurologist played by Jay Chandrasekhar. Their friends include three other couples: Joanna and Fred, Margaret and Mike and Hayes and Alison. When Jed finds out that Mike and Joanna are having an affair, the dynamics within the group are thrown off balance. Selma Blair, who has been honing her comedy skills recently in the series "Anger Management" alongside Charlie Sheen, will appear in the role of Joanna, who is cheating on her husband with Mike, played by Travis Schuldt ("Scrubs"). Luka Jones ("Her"), Lindsay Sloane ("Weeds"), Hayes Macarthur ("Go On") and Collette Wolfe ("Cougar Town") will round out the cast. "Really" joins the ranks of several other pilots in development at Amazon Studios, including "The Cosmopolitans" with Adam Brody and Chloë Sevigny, "Red Oaks" produced by Steven Soderbergh, "Hand of God" directed by Marc Forster ("World War Z"), "Hysteria" with Mena Suvari ("American Beauty") and "Cocked" from "Lie to Me" creator Samuel Baum. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Movies

'X-Men' director calls sex-abuse suit a shakedown
Thursday Apr 24, 2014
'X-Men' director calls sex-abuse suit a shakedown

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The director of the upcoming "X-Men" film has denied allegations contained in a lawsuit that he raped an aspiring actor and model in 1999 and called the claims a shakedown. Bryan Singer wrote in a statement released Thursday that he was avoiding promotional events for his upcoming film "X-Men: Days of Future Past" to avoid distracting from the movie and the work of its actors and crew. "The allegations against me are outrageous, vicious and completely false," Singer wrote. "I do not want these fictitious claims to divert any attention from 'X-Men: Days of Future Past.' " The statement was released a week after Singer was sued in Hawaii by Michael Egan III, a former aspiring model and actor, who claims the director sexually abused him during a trip in Hawaii in 1999. Egan has said Singer abused him when he was as young as 15 years old at a home in Los Angeles, but his case only focused on the alleged abuse in Hawaii. Singer's attorney Marty Singer has said the director wasn't in Hawaii when Egan claims he was abused. "I promise when this situation is over, the facts will show this to be the sick twisted shakedown it is," Bryan Singer wrote in his statement. Egan's attorney Jeff Herman said Singer's denials would not affect his pursuit of the case. "We have a good-faith belief in the allegations, and we will litigate this," Herman said. Egan has also sued three other entertainment industry figures — two former television executives and a theater producer — for substantially similar claims. "None of the defendants in Michael Egan's cases have admitted to abusing him," Herman said. "I've gotten other threats from the other lawyers, which I find interesting. I'm not deterred from bringing these cases forward." The lawsuits were filed in Hawaii under a law that temporarily suspends the statute of limitations in civil sex-abuse cases. None of the men has been criminally charged, and the statute of limitations for any such charges has passed. In order to file the cases, Egan had to be evaluated by a psychologist who signed a notarized "Certificate of Merit" that includes facts and opinions supporting an opinion that he was sexually abused and had a psychological or physical injury. The certificate detailing Egan's allegations against Singer has been filed under seal. Egan claims he was lured into a sex ring run by a former digital entertainment company executive with promises of auditions for acting, modeling and commercial jobs. He was put on the company's payroll as an actor and forced to have sex with adult men at parties within Hollywood's entertainment industry, he says. The Associated Press does not typically name victims of sex abuse, but it is naming Egan because he is speaking publicly about his allegations. ___ Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Lawyer: Director not in Hawaii during alleged acts
Thursday Apr 24, 2014
Lawyer: Director not in Hawaii during alleged acts

HONOLULU (AP) — Credit card receipts, telephone records and production schedules show that "X-Men" franchise director Bryan Singer was not in Hawaii when a lawsuit claims he sexually abused a 17-year-old on the islands, a defense attorney said Friday. Singer was mainly in Toronto working on the first "X-Men" movie from August through October 1999, defense attorney Marty Singer told The Associated Press. A lawsuit filed by a former child model, Michael Egan III, says Bryan Singer abused him several times over those three months as well as earlier in California as part of a Hollywood sex ring led by another man convicted of luring minors across state lines for sex. "This was Bryan's first studio film," Marty Singer said. "Clearly, he's not going to take a break in the middle of this movie while you're shooting and prepping it to go to Hawaii." Egan's lawyer, Jeff Herman, did not immediately respond to phone calls seeking comment. Egan said Thursday that he was abused by Bryan Singer and others starting when he was 15. He said he was given drugs and promises of a Hollywood career while being threatened and sexually abused in Los Angeles and Hawaii. The AP does not typically name victims of sex abuse but is naming Egan because he is speaking publicly about his allegations. Marty Singer, who said previously that he and the director are not related, declined to provide any of the personal records, saying they were private. He said the filming records were available publicly but 20th Century Fox did not immediately return a phone call and email seeking comment. "X-Men" was released in July 2000. Singer has directed three films in the blockbuster franchise, including the fifth installment, "X-Men: Days of Future Past," to be released next month, as well as other films including "The Usual Suspects." His lawyer said the director was never interviewed by any authorities about the claims by Egan, who said Thursday he reported the Los Angeles acts and doesn't know why charges were not pursued. The lawsuit was filed under a Hawaii law that temporarily suspends the statute of limitations in sex abuse cases. The law has led to several lawsuits against clergy members and others. A judge in Hawaii set a July 21 scheduling hearing in Honolulu for the lawsuit, which was filed Wednesday. ___ AP Entertainment Writer Anthony McCartney contributed to this report from Los Angeles. Oskar Garcia can be reached on Twitter at http://twitter.com/oskargarcia Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

'HIMYM' spin-off picks up Meg Ryan
Thursday Apr 24, 2014
'HIMYM' spin-off picks up Meg Ryan

The actress has agreed to be the narrator of "How I Met Your Dad," the spin-off on CBS's hit show "How I Met Your Mother," Deadline.com reports.Meg Ryan will provide the off-screen narration in one of the most anticipated pilots of the coming season. This means that the Hollywood actress will voice an older version of Sally, the central character of the spin-off, played by Greta Gerwig. Like Bob Saget, who provided the voice of the future version of Ted in the original series, Ryan will not appear on screen. Though still best known for her film roles ("Sleepless in Seattle," "You've Got Mail"), Meg Ryan has been absent from the silver screen since the release of "Serious Moonlight" in 2009. She has had only a handful of TV appearances in recent years, turning up on "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "Web Therapy." 2014 is expected to mark Ryan's big comeback, as she is headlining a series in development at NBC for this fall. The actress will play a cheerful and devoted single mother who decides to return to the New York publishing house where she used to work. Once a successful editor, she now reports to the neurotic 30-year-old who used to be her intern. To find out whether "How I Met Your Dad" will join the CBS line-up for the 2014-2015 season, fans will have to wait until the network's press conference on May 14. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Lupita Nyong'o and Scarlett Johansson in talks for 'Jungle Book'
Thursday Apr 24, 2014
Lupita Nyong'o and Scarlett Johansson in talks for 'Jungle Book'

The two actresses could join the cast of Disney's new live-action/CG adaptation of the classic tale, according to the Hollywood Reporter.Lupita Nyong'o, who just topped People Magazine's Most Beautiful 2014 list, is in negotiations to voice Rachka, the wolf mother who adopts Mowgli. Scarlett Johansson, meanwhile, is in talks to voice Kaa, the python who hypnotizes her prey. Shere Khan, the man-eating tiger and the film's other villain, will be voiced by Idris Elba. Jon Favreau will direct this adaptation of "The Jungle Book" from a screenplay by Justin Marks. The feature will have to compete with Warner Bros' adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's famous collection of stories, which will be directed by Andy Serkis. Disney's version is scheduled for release on October 9, 2015. Currently on the set of "The Avengers: Age of Ultron," Scarlett Johansson will return to theaters from August 8 in Luc Besson's action film "Lucy." Lupita Nyong'o has been in the limelight since winning the Oscar for best supporting actress thanks to her performance in "12 Years a Slave." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Catherine Hardwicke to direct Rachel Weisz in 'Miss You Already'
Thursday Apr 24, 2014
Catherine Hardwicke to direct Rachel Weisz in 'Miss You Already'

The director will helm this dramatic comedy co-starring Toni Collette and Rachel Weisz.The screenplay for "Miss You Already," authored by Morwenna Banks, tells the story of two longtime friends living in London. When one of them finds out she is pregnant and the other falls ill, their friendship begins to deteriorate. The feature is slated to begin shooting in the UK this September, according to Deadline.com, with Christopher Simon and Felix Vossen of the UK's Embargo Films producing. Morwenna Banks's script, based on her own life experience, resonated with Hardwicke. "This is something she lived through," said the director. "She managed to take real life and turn it into a powerful, laugh- and cry-out-loud screenplay." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Events

Bronze statue of Roger Ebert unveiled at Ebertfest
Thursday Apr 24, 2014
Bronze statue of Roger Ebert unveiled at Ebertfest

CHICAGO (AP) — Roger Ebert's final blog posting last April ended with his hopeful sign-off: "I'll see you at the movies." The award-winning film critic died two days later. Visitors to the central Illinois theater that hosts the annual "Ebertfest" film festival he started now may feel like they saw him at the movies. A life-sized bronze statue of the longtime Chicago Sun-Times critic was unveiled Thursday outside the Virginia Theatre in Champaign, which is next to Urbana where Ebert grew up. His wife, Chaz Ebert, described the statue as "interactive art," because it shows her late husband giving his famous "thumbs up" sign and sitting between two empty theater seats where visitors can sit. "Roger, he would feel honored that someone wanted to do this for him, but he almost would feel embarrassed because he was so modest," Chaz Ebert said. "But he would be very grateful that they thought enough of him to do it." Ebert died at age 70 after a long battle with cancer. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 1975, becoming the first film critic to do so, and he became a household name through his nationally syndicated column and the television show he co-hosted with Gene Siskel, a Chicago Tribune film critic who died in 1999. The statue will remain outside the Virginia Theatre during this week's festival, which ends Sunday. Organizers hope to have it permanently installed outside the theater over the summer. "It will instantly become an icon in Champaign," Virginia Theatre director Steven Bentz said. "It will be positioned in a way that you will have the marquee of the theater behind it." The statue was made by Normal artist Rick Harney and is called "C-U at the Movies." Festival organizer Donna Anderson said she got the idea when she saw a similar sculpture Harney made of former Illinois governor Adlai Stevenson. "That's how so many of us remember him, sitting in the theater seat with his thumb up," she said. Anderson's husband, Scott Anderson, said a $112,500 fundraising campaign to pay for the statue is about $18,000 short, but they're confident they'll raise the money. Spike Lee and Oliver Stone are among those slated to attend this year's Ebertfest, which celebrates films that may not have received the recognition they deserved when they first ran. Before his death, Ebert made a long list of movies that he would want played at his festival, and Chaz Ebert said she and festival director Nate Kohn would pick films from that list and others they think her husband would have liked when choosing the lineup each year. "We probably have enough movies for the next ten years," she said. ___ Online: http://www.ebertfest.com and http://www.ebertsculpture.org ___ Follow Caryn Rousseau on Twitter at http://twitter.com/carynrousseau Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

'Modern Family' star opens beer bar in Utah
Thursday Apr 24, 2014
'Modern Family' star opens beer bar in Utah

The actor who plays a bumbling but lovable TV dad on the US comedy series "Modern Family" has opened the doors to a new beer hall in Utah.Ty Burrell, best known for his role as Phil Dunphy on the award-winning TV show, has teamed up with local food celebrity and Salt Lake City chef Viet Pham to open Beer Bar, Burrell’s second bar in the city he’s called home since 2008. Beer Bar has opened next door to Bar-X, a speakeasy the actor restored with his wife and other members of the family. The historic bar opened in 1933, the year Prohibition was repealed, and serves artisanal cocktail recipes from the same era. According to Food & Wine magazine, the idea for Beer Bar was born after Burrell dined at Pham’s restaurant Forage in Salt Lake City and became enamored with his cooking. Turns out Pham was also a fan of Burrell’s Bar-X, paving the way for their future collaboration. Punters at Beer Bar, meanwhile, will be able to wash down artisanal sausages and bratwursts, breads and Belgian-style fries with 150 different craft beers. Burrell is the latest celebrity to parlay his fame into the beer business. The Hanson brothers released their Mmmhops brand out of Tulsa, Oklahoma, while folk band Mumford & Sons also helped an independent brewery in Sussex, England create a craft beer that was sold at a two-day music festival last summer. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Boy says he sang gospel song, abductor freed him
Wednesday Apr 23, 2014
Boy says he sang gospel song, abductor freed him

ATLANTA (AP) — A 9-year-old Atlanta boy who police say was abducted for a short time from his driveway is being praised by community leaders for his calm as he sang the gospel song "Every Praise" until the man released him. Willie Myrick recounted the story at a recent gathering in his honor. He says as he sang, the man drove around and was cursing before eventually letting him go unharmed last month. WXIA-TV reports (http://on.11alive.com/1h9tLnb) that Grammy Award-winning gospel singer Hezekiah Walker, who performed the song, traveled to Atlanta to meet the boy. Walker says he believes God spoke through him to save the boy's life. Police have a sketch of the suspect and are searching for him. More details on what the boy told police about what happened on March 31 weren't available. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Mel Brooks putting on a 1-man show in Los Angeles
Wednesday Apr 23, 2014
Mel Brooks putting on a 1-man show in Los Angeles

NEW YORK (AP) — Mel Brooks has seemingly done it all in his illustrious show biz career. But there's one thing he's tackled only recently — a one-man show. Brooks will star in his first solo show Monday at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. It's being billed as an "an introspective retrospective." The sold-out show will have only one performance. The 87-year-old writer and director of comedy classics including "The Producers," ''Blazing Saddles," ''Young Frankenstein" and "History of the World: Part I" has won Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards. ___ Online: http://geffenplayhouse.com Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Jodie Foster weds artist Alexandra Hedison
Wednesday Apr 23, 2014
Jodie Foster weds artist Alexandra Hedison

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jodie Foster is a married woman. The 51-year-old Oscar winner wed girlfriend Alexandra Hedison over the weekend, Foster's publicist confirmed Wednesday. Jennifer Allen offered no other details. E! was the first to report that Foster tied the knot with Hedison, a 44-year-old photographer based in Los Angeles. It's the first marriage for Foster, who came out publicly in a rambling, heartfelt speech at the 2013 Golden Globe Awards, where she accepted lifetime achievement honors. After saying she planned to make a big announcement that would make her publicist nervous, Foster jokingly revealed that she was single. "I hope that you're not disappointed that there won't be a big coming-out speech tonight," she said, "because I already did my coming-out about a thousand years ago back in the Stone Age." She said celebrities are now expected to reveal they're gay "with a press conference, a fragrance and a prime-time reality show," but her approach had been more personal. Foster acknowledged longtime partner Cydney Bernard, with whom she has two sons. The couple ended their 20-year relationship in 2008. While Foster never hid the relationship, she kept her sexuality private until the Globes speech. E! says Foster and Hedison have been dating since last summer. Hedison, who was previously linked to Ellen DeGeneres, is also an actress with TV credits including "Nash Bridges" and "The L Word." Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.