Bob's Entertainment News

Photo Cr: Matt Kennedy/CBS ©2019 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved(LOS ANGELES) -- Patrick Stewart's return to the Star Trek universe has beamed up strong numbers for CBS' streaming service, CBS All Access.

Driven by interest in the series, CBS claims January was a record month for subscriber sign-ups, and also saw a new record for total streams -- as well as the highest volume of subscribers streaming a CBS All Access original series to date. Picard also ranked as the biggest debut in the streaming service's history.

And it wasn't even close: Star Trek: Picard's streaming numbers warped 180% over the previous record holder, Star Trek: Discovery, according to the network.

A new episode of Star Trek: Picard drops every Thursday on CBS All Access in the U.S.  A second season was already ordered before the first season debuted.

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Hyundai(LOS ANGELES) -- Boston natives Chris Evans and John Krasinski join SNL vet and Lexington, Massachusetts' own Rachel Dratch in a new Super Bowl ad poking fun at their hometown accents. 

So to demonstrate Hyundai Sonata's new 'smart park' feature -- which literally lets the car drive itself into an out of a parking spot with the push of a button, they tapped the celebs for a play on the familiar 'pahk the cah' meme.

"Look who's got smaht pahk!" Krasinski says, showing off the remote. "Press the clickah, cah pahks itself." 

"It's smaht!" Evans marvels. "It's wicked smaht," Krasisnki adds, before his curious pals rattle off a series of Massachusetts locations at which he may have pahked, and 'unpahked', the new Sonata.

The tech even surprises Boston Red Sox champ David "Big Papi" Ortiz, who's wowed from an overhead window.

"This is a ghost cahh," an impressed Dratch says at the commercial's end.

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Hulu(LOS ANGELES) -- Marvel has nixed the development of two of its four animated comedies for Hulu, Howard the Duck and Tigra & Dazzler, the latter of which was paused in December as part of a "creative overhaul," according to The Hollywood Reporter

MODOK and Hit Monkey are still slated to move forward.  

 Tigra and Howard are the latest Marvel TV series to get cut after being ordered straight to series. They join New Warriors and Ghost Rider.

Kevin Smith was co-wroting and co-producing Howard The Duck, about a talking alien duck. Howard, the subject of a famously bad 1986 live-action movie, was briefly glimpsed in Guardians of the Galaxy.  
From writers and executive producers Erica Rivinoja and Chelsea Handler, Marvel’s Tigra & Dazzler, was to be about, "two woke Super Heroes and best friends...fight[ing] for recognition."

As one might imagine, Hit-Monkey is about an assassin monkey; Blades of Glory writers Josh Gordon and Will Speck are behind that one. Incidentally, writer-director James Gunn once pitched Marvel Studios on the idea of making a film based on the character before he got the Guardians of the Galaxy job.

M.O.D.O.K. will center on the work/life balance of the giant-headed villain whose name means "Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing." Comedian and certified geek Patton Oswalt is co-writing and producing the project, and voicing the character.

Marvel is owned by ABC News' parent company Disney.

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Starz(NEW YORK) -- While Power fans are going bananas over the final season of the crime drama, one star is having difficulty tuning in.

Omari Hardwick, who plays drug kingpin James "Ghost" St. Patrick on Power, tells ABC News he hasn't been able to bring himself to watch the final season.

"I lived it," Hardwick said. "The mid-season finale...that, to me, was the finale."

Some of Hardwick's hesitation may come from the fact that he had a feeling what would happen to Ghost early on.  During season one, he emailed show creator Courtney Kemp to share what he thought the ultimate fate of his character should be.

"I said, 'I see this guy taking a bullet at the end.' I saw the fate of the show," Hardwick said. "That's five years ago. I saw him taking a bullet, but it was almost like Denzel [Washington] in Man on Fire."

He added, "Whether it was eight seasons or whether it was 20 seasons, Ghost had to give his life to save his brother and his best friend. So I did perceive an end, not dissimilar, but it wasn't necessarily this end."

Hardwick credits Kemp with writing a character who viewers saw as flawed, but struggling to be better..

"We literally added mirrors to the show," Hardwick said. "You'd see shattered mirrors, or broken mirrors, weird interesting looks of Ghost at himself within the mirror."

"...What we find attractive about human beings is...not just the fall, but when there's the fall, a lot of us are rooting for the person who is falling," he continued.

"We're almost figuratively extending our own hand, saying, 'Hey, I can help you up.' So Ghost was always getting up and falling. "

Power airs Sunday nights at 8 p.m. ET on Starz.

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Ben Rothstein/© 2019 CTMG, Inc. (NEW YORK) -- It wasn't much of a contest between Bad Boys for Life and newcomer The Gentlemen in the weekend box office.  

Bad Boys for Life, the third movie in the Martin Lawrence Bad Boys franchise, easily took the top spot with a $34 million haul in its second week.  Overall, the R-rated comedy starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence grossed $120.6 domestically.

Rising to second place thanks to its Oscar momentum was World War I drama 1917. The Sam Mendes-directed film, which stars George MacKayDean-Charles Chapman, Colin Firth and Benedict Cumberbatch added an impressive $15.8 million domestically in its fifth weekend. Worldwide, its earnings have topped $200.5 million.

Falling to third place this week is the Robert Downey Jr. led Dolittle with $12.5 million.

Opening below-expectations was Guy Ritchie's star-studded ensemble movie The Gentlemen.  The gangster flick stars Matthew McConaugheyHugh GrantHenry Golding, and Charlie Hunnam opened to positive reviews but lukewarm sales of $11 million.  

The weekend's only other newcomer, horror flick The Turning scraped up a meager $7.3 million sixth-place finish.

Rounding out the top five was Jumanji: The Next Level with an additional $7.9 million.

Here are the top 10 movies Friday through Sunday, with estimated domestic box office earnings:

1. Bad Boy for Life, $34 million
2. 1917, $15.8 million
3. Dolittle, $12.5 million
4. The Gentlemen, $11 million
5. Jumanji: The Next Level, $7.9 million
6. The Turning, $7.3 million
7. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, $5.2 million
8. Little Women, $4.7 million
9. Just Mercy, $4.1 million
10. Knives Out, $3.7 million

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Will Heath/NBC(NEW YORK) -- Saturday Night Live alum Jon Lovitz returned to his old stomping ground this weekend for a cold open sketch that reunited President Donald Trump's attorney Alan Dershowitz with former client Jeffrey Epstein in hell.

The sketch began with Lovitz, portraying Dershowitz, running his defense strategy for the president's impeachment trial by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Susan Collins, played respectively by SNL's Beck Bennett and Cecily Strong.

Lovitz's Dershowitz shocks the two Senators by referring to his former clients O.J. Simpson, Claus von Bulow, and Epstein.  As they warn him not to bring them up, he suffers a heart attack and lands in hell.

There, he comes face-to-face with Satan -- played by Kate McKinnon -- who is a "huge fan" of the attorney.  It's only temporary though.

“I’m gonna send you back upstairs in a minute. Honestly, I just really wanted to meet you,” McKinnon’s horn-headed Satan gushed.

“I never say this...I’m a huge fan. No seriously, you’re the GOAT,” Satan told him, referring to the greatest of all time before excitedly declaring she was “about to fangirl out so hard.”

Dershowitz is then greeted by Epstein, played by guest host Adam Driver, who says he's "just hangin'" -- a reference to the fact that the multimillionaire and alleged pedophile was found hanging in his Manhattan federal lockup in August.

Driver's Epstein then insists he was murdered, to which Lovitz answers, “I know. Trust me, I know,” suggesting that the widely-circulated conspiracy theory claiming Epstein didn't die by suicide is true.

Dershowitz also runs into several other celebrities while in hell, including the guy who wrote "Baby Shark," along with Mr. Peanut, Flo from the Progressive TV commercials and the devil’s “IT guy,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

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ABC/Image Group LA(LOS ANGELES) -- Celebrity sports fans from around the world are paying homage to NBA legend Kobe Bryant after he died in a helicopter crash in California on Sunday.

Fellow former NBA stars Scottie Pippen, Shaquille O'Neal, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar were among the high-profile players who reacted to news of the beloved basketball player's death.

Bryant was one of nine people on a private helicopter that went down in Calabasas, California on Sunday, killing everyone on board. He was 41.

Bryant's 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, was also killed in the crash, according to the NBA. The other seven victims in the crash have not been identified.

"I’m stunned. Words can’t even come close to describing it. Just an incredibly sad and tragic day," Pippen, an NBA Hall of Famer, tweeted.

Shaquille O'Neal, who played with Kobe on the Lakers, shared an emotional post.

"There’s no words to express the pain Im going through with this tragedy of loosing my neice Gigi & my brother @kobebryant I love u and u will be missed," O'Neal wrote. "My condolences goes out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board. IM SICK RIGHT NOW."

Meanwhile, retired NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, posted a video of himself reacting to the news.

"Most people will remember Kobe as the magnificent athlete who inspired a whole generation of basketball players," he wrote in part. "But I will always remember him as a man who was much more than an athlete."

Twitter temporarily crashed at around 3 p.m. ET as news of the player's death flooded the platform. The term "Kobe" quickly became the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter, followed by "Mamba" and "BlackMamba."

Music stars also reacted to the news of Bryant's passing, with Drake posting a mural of Bryant on Instagram and R&B singer John Legend reminding fans to hold their loved ones close.

"I'm so sad and stunned right now. In Staples Arena, where Kobe created so many memories for all of us, preparing to pay tribute to another brilliant man we lost too soon, Nipsey Hussle," Legend, who was preparing for the Grammy Awards, tweeted. "Life can be so brutal and senseless sometimes. Hold on to your loved ones. We miss you, Kobe."

Other notable reactions throughout the day have included former President Barack Obama, Mariah Carey, Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato and Kevin Hart.

"Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act. To lose Gianna is even more heartbreaking to us as parents," Obama wrote. "Michelle and I send love and prayers to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family on an unthinkable day."

"This makes me so sad. Kobe you were always so sweet to me. Known you over 10 years.. not super well but we always joked about you coming over and playing that game of horse!" Lavato wrote, sharing a photo of herself with Kobe and Gianna. "You will he so missed by so many. You’re a legend with wings now. RIP Kobe."

"This honestly doesn’t make sense....I just saw you man," Hart wrote, sharing a image of Bryant on Instagram. "This hurts my heart. God please place your hands on his family and help guide them thru this unbearable time. We love you forever man...Legends never die!!!! #MambaMentality #RIP.... RIP to the other passengers as well as sending prayers to their families."

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Kevin Winter/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- NBA icon and Oscar-winner Kobe Bryant was killed Sunday morning in a helicopter crash in Los Angeles, ABC News has confirmed. He was 41.

Bryant's 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, died alongside her father, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement.

There were nine people on board the helicopter and no survivors in the crash around 10 a.m. local time Sunday, fire officials said in a press conference. The other victims have not been publicly identified.

The Sikorsky S-76 helicopter crashed under unknown circumstances, a spokesperson from the National Transportation Safety Board told ABC News. Firefighters worked to contain the fire that resulted.

Bryant was drafted to the NBA out of high school in 1996 and spent his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, winning five NBA championships. He was awarded NBA MVP in 2008 and NBA Finals MVP in 2009 and 2010.

He won gold medals as a member of the U.S. men's basketball team in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

LeBron James surpassed Bryant's all-time scoring record on Saturday during the Lakers' game against the Philadelphia 76ers. Bryant tweeted at James congratulating him on beating his record.

In 2018, Bryant won an Academy award for his animated short Dear Basketball, based on a poem he wrote in 2015 when he announced his retirement.

(Story developing...)

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NBC/Trae Patton(NEW YORK) -- America's Got Talent host Terry Crews apparently had a very different experience on the set of NBC's variety series.

Amid the network's investigation into Gabrielle Union's departure from the show following claims of a toxic culture, Crews tells NBC's Today that he begs to differ.

“First of all, I can't speak for sexism because I’m not a woman, but I can speak on behalf of any racism comments. That was never my experience," he said. "In fact, it was the most diverse place I have ever been in my 20 years of entertainment."

"The Top 10 acts were Asian, women, older, younger, black, white, it was everything in the gamut,” he continued, defending the shows' diversity.

Crews went on to say that he even sought out the advice of his wife, actress Rebecca King-Crews, and her thoughts on what she should do in the wake of Union's claims.

"She was like, 'first of all, if it's coming from an unnamed source – because Gabrielle Union has not made any statement to this day about any of these allegations publicly …if she hasn't made a statement, why would you?'"

When asked if he's spoken to Union, beyond his tweet in December where he told Union she "will be missed," Crews replied, “I haven’t reached out, but I haven’t heard anything,” he said.

As previously reported, Union was fired from America's Got Talent following her reported complaints about the allegedly racially insensitive work environment on set. Following the immense backlash about her firing, Union confirmed that she met with NBC to discuss her complaints and "express [her] unfiltered truth."

Crews, Simon Cowell and Howie Mandel are all expected to return to AGT for its next season.

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ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) -- Around the holidays, if you recall, actor Kumail Nanjiani found himself an unlikely viral star, when he posted a snap of his ripped body, which he whipped into shape for Marvel's The Eternals.

He talked about the situation with Jimmy Kimmel Thursday night, explaining he loved the attention -- particularly from Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who gave him a thumbs-up online. 

The visit to Kimmel was just two days after Nanjiani's final day on the set, adding that his strict diet continued.

"I have not had pizza or a donut in over a year!" he declared. "I have had no refined sugar in a year. I've had almost no carbs at all."

For his part, Kimmel, who's a foodie, surprised the actor with a mobile full of desserts, which descended from the ceiling to come to rest around Nanjiani's head.  Kimmel also offered Nanjiani a pizza, courtesy of Jimmy's sidekick, Guillermo.

The 41-year-old Silicon Valley alum freaked out, exclaiming, "I'm literally gonna cry right now. I'm not joking." He took a bite of pizza and his ecstasy was evident: "Oh my God. I'm shaking. Hey, pizza's really good!"

After breaking for a commercial, the actor was still working over various desserts while trying to promote his Apple TV Plus show, Little America. "What were we talking about again?" he asked, mouth full.

Marvel's The Eternals is set for release on November 6 from Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

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L-R Phoenix, Phillips/Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures(LOS ANGELES) -- Oscar-nominated Hollywood filmmaker Todd Phillips has worked on a range of movie genres, but his latest hit, Joker, broke a box office record and set a high bar for awards season.

Phillips, who directed, co-wrote and produced the Batman villain origin story, told Good Morning America that despite early criticisms, fans flocked to the film that now leads the Academy Awards with 11 nominations, including best picture.

Joaquin Phoenix, who stars as the disturbed comedian Arthur Fleck in the film, is an "intense" actor, but "kind of light" on set, Phillips found. 

"To inhabit the character of Arthur slash Joker in the movie, he had to go to some dark places...[But] we would say 'Cut!' and we'd be off to the side joking around or laughing about something and then we'd get back into it."

Joker set the record as the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time with over $1 billion at the box office.

"This movie has been a wild ride for sure," said Phillips.  "Ultimately, when I look back at it I'm not surprised that a movie called Joker made so many people crazy.  It got painted very early with a brush that the violence in it was irresponsible and we felt differently. We thought we could show real-world implications on violence and that seems responsible to me, as opposed to celebrating violence in movies."

Phillips added that, "ultimately it was the audience [who] turned up and it became their movie."

The 92nd Oscars air Sunday Feb. 9 on ABC.

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Photo by Michael Tran/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- As we learned recently, Brad Pitt is on Tinder, but he already might have locked in a date for the Oscars: Dax Shepard.

Once Upon a Time...In Hollywood nominee Pitt received the Maltin Modern Masters Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival Wednesday night, when he joked to E! that Shepard could walk the red carpet with him. 

Truth be told, Dax started this back-and-forth, when he revealed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that he had a crush on Pitt. Pitt returned the compliment at one point last year, and Shepard flipped.

Dax and Brad told Ellen that they recently went riding their motorcycles together, during a day that also included a helicopter ride. "I went on a date with him," Dax joked.

Shepard, who's married to Frozen and The Good Place star Kristen Bell, said, "I felt like Pretty Woman." 

To this, Pitt laughed to E!, "He's a funny fella." When asked if he'd consider Dax as his Oscars date, Pitt responded, "Yeah, yeah that's a great idea."

Pitt was still in a joking mood when he accepted his award, from his Se7en and Fight Club director David Fincher. Now 56, Pitt said, "I can't do night shoots anymore," and added at his age, "I no longer remember the first rule of Fight Club."

For the record, it's the same as the second rule: You do not talk about Fight Club.

The 92nd Academy Awards telecast airs Sunday, Feb. 9 at 8p.m. Eastern on ABC.

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iStock/jarun011(LOS ANGELES) -- The potentially deadly coronavirus has led Chinese health officials to quarantine people and cancel many public activities -- and some of those will hurt Hollywood's bottom line.

Deadline reports amid the outbreak, all local film releases scheduled for the highly lucrative Chinese New Year period have been canceled, and theaters closed.  And that could spell a one-billion-dollar blow to global box office, or more.

The Chinese New Year period -- the New Year itself begins Saturday -- is huge for movies in China, which is the globe's second-biggest moviegoing market.

What's at stake is not only the box office receipts for Chinese-made films, but for Hollywood movies for which the Middle Kingdom's audience normally has a healthy appetite.

Indeed, many films that were considered bombs in the U.S. became hits thanks to audiences in China and throughout Asia.

As for the coronavirus' impact, an industry insider tells Deadline, "Moviegoing is so concentrated during this period, even with later releases, it will be impossible to overcome the massive loss."

How concentrated? Chinese box office receipts tallied $1.6 billion bucks by February's end in 2019.

China has also extended its severe travel ban to additional cities, cutting off travel for 20 million people during a time when millions are expected to be traveling for the holiday.

The quarantine began Thursday in Wuhan, the city at the center of the coronavirus outbreak. Authorities shut down transportation in the 11 million person city, prohibiting people from using buses, trains or ferries, and canceling flights and trains leaving Wuhan.

Those travel restrictions have since been extended to the nearby cities of Huanggang and Ezhou, both in China's Hubei province.

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Animal Planet(NEW YORK) -- Some people watch the Super Bowl for the game, Others watch it for the commercials or halftime show, and some choose to forgo the entire event to watch Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl instead.

Well, for fans of the latter, the entire starting lineup is out and its chock-full of adoptable puppies from all over the country who will wag their way across the end zone on February 2.

This year, Animal Planet will feature a variety of rescue puppies of all sizes and breeds, from the massive Great Dane to the tiniest chihuahua.

The 42 adoptable pups have already been divided into their respective teams, Team Ruff and Team Fluff.

Here are some of the adorably named pups who are repping Team Ruff: Aspen (Australian cattle dog), Cafecito (crested Yorkshire terrier), Crumpet (American Staffordshire terrier), Filbert (Sheltie/border collie mix), Linus (Pomeranian), Rhubarb (mini schnauzer/Shih Tzu mix), and Starla (cocker spaniel/Siberian husky mix.)

As for some of Team Fluff's 2020 lineup: Bert (Great Pyrenees/Weimaraner mix), Duncan (rough collie), Granny Smith (Catahoula/pit bull mix), Killian (Great Dane), Papaya (Lab/border collie mix), Rocky Road (German Shepherd/Samoyed mix), and Strudel (miniature pinscher/toy poodle mix). 

To see the complete lineup and to read each individual player's incredibly adorable bio, including where they are available for adoption, head on over to Animal Planet's website

The Puppy Bowl and the kitten halftime show, which has been entertaining dog and cat lovers alike since 2005, airs Sunday, February 2, at 3 p.m. ET on Animal Planet.

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ABC/Randy Holmes(NEW YORK) -- (NOTE LANGUAGE) "Ah, 'The Negotiator!'" Ewan McGregor is living up to his character Obi-Wan Kenobi's flair for diplomacy, putting a positive spin on a much-hyped pause in production of his Disney Kenobi series.

An online firestorm erupted after news broke Thursday that script issues forced a halt in production on the series, which takes place before the events of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope.

However, at a Los Angeles press event promoting his upcoming film Birds of Prey Thursday evening, McGregor told The Wrap that the hype was overblown. "We just pushed the shoot to the beginning of next year," he explained. "The scripts are really good. I saw 90% of the writing and I really liked it." 

McGregor added, "All this bulls*** about creative differences and all that stuff is, none of it true."

Instead, website insists, McGregor seemed to suggest that the replacing of the series' writer Hossein Amini could have something to do with fan reaction to the last Star Wars film, The Rise of Skywalker. "...Episode IX came out, everyone had more time to read the stuff that had been written, and they felt that they wanted to do more work on [Kenobi]," the actor noted. "So they slid the shoot. It's not nearly as dramatic as it sounds online."

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