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George Kraychyk(LOS ANGELES) -- Emmys reigning Best Drama, The Handmaid's Tale, had its season two debut party in Hollywood on Thursday night, and on the red carpet, a couple of its stars -- Ann Dowd and Elisabeth Moss -- said the show is back with a timely message.

Dowd, who took home an Emmy for her role as Aunt Lydia, told ABC Radio that the new season of the dystopian drama, set in New England in the not-so-distant future, echoes some of the takeaways from the #MeToo movement.

"Just the notion of staying alert, staying awake, not letting the small things go by," she says. "Reminding yourself we have a voice, and we have an obligation."

Moss, who also bagged an Emmy for her role as June Osborne, told ABC Radio the themes of season two revolve around freedom and motherhood.

"What does freedom look like? You might think that you have it, but you may not," she explains. "And motherhood, as well."

Season two of The Handmaid's Tale debuts next Wednesday on Hulu.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) -- Jimmy Kimmel's entire show on Thursday night was dedicated to the series finale of the ABC television series Scandal, which preceded his late-night program.

The show's creator, Shonda Rhimes, and its entire cast was on hand for the event.

Rhimes and her leading lady Kerry Washington were the first to sit down with Jimmy, and Rhimes explained she knew the moment she met Washington that she was going to be Olivia Pope.

The problem for Washington, is she didn't know it yet.

"My producing partner Betsy Beers always says I have one of those faces where when I get excited I start writing inside my head," Rhimes explained. "So my face goes blank -- so people think I don't like them as opposed to: 'She's really excited.'"

"Oh!" Washington said, bemoaning "sleepless nights" spent waiting to find out if she'd got the part. "I did not at all think that I was the one."

Washington said, "It was so beautifully and brilliantly written. And also, black girls -- I mean we weren't getting material like that in this town...But at the time, it was like the diamond in the rough that is Hollywood. So, I really really wanted this opportunity, but I had no idea that the first meeting went so well!"

One of the revelations on the show was that a Stevie Wonder song heard during the series' closing moments was custom made by the famous Scandal fan. "What if you'd hated it?" Jimmy asked Rhimes, before mock-singing, "'Scandal!/I light a candle!'"

The cast of the show appeared and explained amid the series' drama, they were ruthlessly pranked by co-star Josh Malina. Knowing this, Kimmel rigged an elaborate prank starring the actor, that made it seem a visit with an elderly fan took a terrible turn.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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ABC/Bob D’Amico(LOS ANGELES) -- In the final episode ever of Scandal, titled "Over a Cliff," the gladiators are ready to come clean about B6-13 so they can expose Cyrus and Jake and protect President Mellie from being impeached.

Scandal begins with Olivia entering a dark warehouse where she meets with special prosecutor Lonnie Mencken, who agrees to order a Senate hearing to investigate B6-13. The only problem is, Liv has to promise to have Mellie work on gun control in return. Liv agrees -- but shockingly, Lonnie kills himself as a way to guarantee Liv’s senate hearing.

At Quinn and Associates, David Rosen explains to the gladiators that talking about B6-13 to the committee will expose Jake and Cyrus, but also will likely incriminate them.

As the gladiators think of how badly this could end, Liv asks her father to help save her team from being indicted. Eli refuses, and tells Liv she's not doing the right thing.

At the hearing, the gladiators and everyone who has knowledge of the agency talk about their involvement. They all confess about their knowledge and for some, who they killed. While the senate deliberates, Quinn and the gladiators visit Charlie in jail. There, Quinn marries Charlie with Huck performing the ceremony. 

As Rosen learns of the wedding via Abby, he encounters Jake in a parking lot. Jake threatens to kill him, but Rosen stands up for himself and dares Jake to shoot him.

Later, Cyrus asks Jake if he killed Rosen. When he says no, Cyrus is dumbfounded, calling Jake weak. Jake defends his actions. Out of options, Cyrus calls Rosen to confess to his crimes -- but instead poisons him with a drink and kills him by suffocating him. 

The next day, Abby goes to the morgue to see David's body. They agree they need to act against Cyrus, but  Liv says they need to be the good guys and stay the "white hats." 

Meanwhile, Quinn begs Eli to help her and her baby get away. Eli refuses, once again saying it's not smart to talk about command. 

At her apartment, Liv shares what she believes are her last moments with Fitz before she goes to jail. After an emotional back and forth, they decide to have sex.

The next day, the committee ends up postponing the results, because now Eli wants to come clean about B6-13. At the hearing, Eli tells the committee to call him Ronan. He explains to the committee that he has been making America great by his actions.

Eli's passionate speech ends up taking down Jake Ballard, and he's soon arrested.

Liv visits Jake in jail. She apologizes to him for making him "step out of the sun," and for her part in his demise.

The next day, Mellie is exonerated in the court of public opinion. When Cyrus comes to look for her, Liv is in her office and ask Cyrus for his resignation. He reluctantly signs.

After that, Mellie asks Liv to come back so they can work together to restore the public's trust. Liv says no and tells Mellie that she can do it fine without her.

Everyone seems to have a happy ending for the most part. Liv is back having dinners with her dad. Marcus is by Mellie's side, Mellie is still president, and Quinn and Charlie are now a happy family.

Abby and Huck, however, seem sad as they visit Rosen's grave.

After the unveiling of the President Fitz painting at the portrait gallery, it is later revealed that Liv also has a portrait in the gallery. It's of herself, and alludes to the fact that Liv may not have been a first lady, but certainly was an important woman in the White House.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Photo by Jon Pack. © 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation(LOS ANGELES) -- Here are the films opening in wide releaase on Friday:

* Super Troopers 2 -- The sequel to 2001's Super Troopers finds the comedy troupe Broken Lizard -- comprised of Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter and Erik Stolhanske -- reprising their roles as five gung-ho Vermont state troopers, now tasked with transitioning a Canadian highway patrol station to U.S. sovereignty. Rated R.

* I Feel Pretty -- Amy Schumer stars in this comedy about an insecure woman who wakes up from a fall thinking she's the most beautiful woman on the planet. Michelle Williams, Emily Ratajkowski and Aidy Bryant also star. Rated PG-13.

* Traffik -- This thriller stars Paula Patton and Omar Epps as a couple off for a romantic getaway in the mountains. Instead, they find themselves being terrorized by a gang of bikers. Also starring Laz Alonso, Roselyn Sanchez, Luke Goss, William Fichtner and Missi Pyle. Rated R.

 

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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ABC/Eric McCandless(LOS ANGELES) -- Tiffany Haddish knows how to make the best of a sticky sartorial situation.

The comedian told W magazine that last summer, she agreed to buy some designer clothing to help her career, but she didn't realize exactly how expensive her new wardrobe would be.

When a stylist brought her several options for the Girls Trip premiere in July, the only dress that fit well was a white number by Alexander McQueen. After Haddish wore it, she realized it cost over $4,000.

“I should’ve known -- wasn’t no price tag on that dress. So I wear it for Girls Trip, and then they give me the receipt. When I saw the receipt, I cried," she said.

"So I’m wearing it multiple f***in' times. I don’t care what nobody say -- that’s a down payment on a car, that’s a medical bill. So, even though everyone says I shouldn’t wear the dress in public again, I’m wearing it.”

True to her word, Haddish gone on to wear the dress to host Saturday Night Live in November and to the Oscars in March.

Haddish also told W that when she was shooting Girls Trip, she was carrying a knockoff Michael Kors bag that her co-star, Jada Pinkett-Smith, chastised her for buying.

“I told [Jada] that my philosophy is, 'Whatever the bag costs, I should be able to keep that amount of cash in the bag. If it’s a $300 purse, I have to put $300 in cash in that purse,'" she said.

Haddish continued, "When you’re somebody like me, who’s been homeless, clothes are not that important. Clothes are not a roof over my head, food in my stomach, my family’s health -- that’s what money is for. But fashion helps get more money. So, we ride.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Courtesy of Tyne Daly(LOS ANGELES) -- Tyne Daly has joined the cast of CBS' Murphy Brown revival.

Daly, best known for her role in Cagney & Lacey, will play Phyllis, the sister of late bar owner Phil from the original series.  

Like her brother, Phyllis will be a bartender who'll act as a "sounding board" for the rest of the cast, which includes original series regulars Candice Bergen, Grant Shaud, Faith Ford and Joe Regalbuto.

CBS has given the revival -- which places the characters in today's world of cable news, social media and fake news -- a 13-episode commitment.

Murphy Brown originally aired from 1988-1998.  During its run, it won 18 Emmys and three Golden Globes.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Will Heath/NBC(NEW YORK) -- The winners in the Entertainment category of the 77th Annual George Foster Peabody Awards -- the Peabody Awards, for short -- have been announced.  The prestigious awards honor "the most compelling and empowering stories released in electronic media during 2017."

The winners are:

AMC's Better Call Saul
Netflix's American Vandal and Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King
HBO's Insecure and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Amazon's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
NBC's Saturday Night Live
Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale.

In the Children & Youth category, the winner is A Series of Unfortunate Events, from Netflix.

Winners in all categories -- which also include Documentary and News/Radio/Public Service programming -- will be celebrated May 19 at a gala in New York City. Daily Show correspondent and newly-minted Peabody winner Hasan Minhaj will host the event.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Kristian Dowling/Getty Images for Lotusflow3r.com(CARVER COUNTY, Minn.) -- No criminal charges will be filed in Prince's overdose death and the investigation has been closed, officials revealed during a press conference Thursday.

Speaking at the Carver County, Minnesota Justice Center in Chaska, county attorney Mark Metz said the late musician thought he was taking the painkiller Vicodin, for which he did not have a prescription, and was unaware he was actually taking counterfeit pills that had been illegally laced with the prescription painkiller fentanyl, which is some 50 times more powerful than heroin. 

Despite an "intensive investigation," Metz said officials were unable to determine who provided Prince with the drugs that killed him, and so were ending their investigation. 

The announcement comes just two days before the two-year anniversary of Prince's death on April 21. 2016.  His body was discovered at his Paisley Park residence and studios in Chanhassen, located in Carver County, about a half-hour southwest of Minneapolis.  Six weeks later, his cause of death was ruled to be a fentanyl overdose.

Earlier Thursday, Dr. Michael T. Schulenberg agreed to pay a $30,000 civil fine and submit to two years' monitoring by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.  Investigative records unsealed in April of 2017 revealed Schulenberg allegedly prescribed oxycodone for Prince but put the prescription in the name of the artist's longtime friend and bodyguard, Kirk Johnson, “for Prince’s privacy.”  He was consequently facing alleged violations of the Controlled Substances Act.

Both officials and Schulenberg noted that the settlement isn't an admission of liability.  Federal officials also noted they "did not make any concessions regarding the legitimacy of the claims."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

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20th Century Fox(NEW YORK) -- The latest profanity-laden trailer for Deadpool 2 has been released, revealing even more action and irreverent wisecracks.

We see Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool assembling a team to fight Josh Brolin's time-traveling cyborg Cable, including Zazie Beetz's Domino and Rob Delaney as an average dude named Peter who apparently doesn’t have any powers.

There’s also a glimpse of a showdown between Deadpool and Cable, where Cable slings a particularly stinging insult.

“You’re no f***ing hero,” he tells Deadpool. “You’re just a clown dressed up as a sex toy.”

To which Deadpool responds, “So dark. You sure you’re not from the DC Universe?”

Deadpool 2, the sequel to 2016's smash hit, opens May 18.

And in other sequel trailer news, a new trailer's just been released for The Equalizer 2.  Denzel Washington returns in the sequel to the 2014 original as former CIA operative Robert McCall, this time seeking vengeance for the murder of his friend and colleague Susan Plummer, again played played by Melissa Leo.

The Equalizer 2 comes out July 20.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Peter Hapak for TIME(NEW YORK) -- Nicole Kidman, Tiffany Haddish and Jennifer Lopez are among TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2018. They're three of the stars who grace the six individual covers the magazine is issuing to coincide with the list.

Nicole is among 18 people in the Artists category -- the other categories are Pioneers, Leaders, Titans and Icons. She’s joined in that category by Wonder Woman's Gal Gadot, Stranger Things’ Millie Bobby Brown, This Is Us star Sterling K. Brown, Hugh Jackman, Black Panther director Ryan Coogler, Lady Bird’s Greta Gerwig, Roseanne Barr, Jimmy Kimmel and John Krasinski.

Tiffany made the Pioneers category, along with Insecure’s Issa Rae, rapper Cardi B, Trevor Noah and Silcon Valley’s Kumail Nanjiani.

J.Lo was named in the Icons category, which also includes Chadwick Boseman, pop stars Rihanna and Kesha, #MeToo founder Tarana Burke and Olympic skater Adam Rippon.

Per tradition, each honoree has a few lines written about them by an equally famous peer.  For example, Naomi Watts wrote about Kidman; Adele wrote about Rihanna, while Cher wrote about Rippon.

Other big names that made the list include Oprah Winfrey, President Donald Trump, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and Kim Jong Un.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Courtesy Chippendales(LAS VEGAS) -- Veteran Dancing with the Stars pro Tony Dovolani will be doing a different kind of dancing starting tonight in Las Vegas, as he joins the cast of Chippendales as the male revue's guest host.  But surprisingly, Dovolani  says he won't let his daughters watch Dancing with the Stars because it's "too sexy."

"They lost the one audience that they shouldn't have lost, which is parents with kids," says the DWTS vet, who spent 21 seasons on the show.  "I'll still watch it...however, there's certain things that I will not let my girls watch and that's one of 'em."

 "They're 9 and 12...their curiosity's already through the roof," he explains. "I don't wanna explain why certain girls are dressing up [in] next to nothing with guys that are going shirtless."

So why isn't Dovolani a hypocrite?  He tells ABC Radio, "This is the biggest difference that I can easily justify: In Chippendales, the crowd is coming in knowing what they're about to watch."  He adds it's "a flirty show, not a dirty show. So it's not about baring it all, it's more about entertaining people."

As guest host, Tony will be shirtless, but nothing more.  He's also choreographed a few numbers and will  interact with the audience.

"[W]hat I was really excited about was the fact that I can take part of my salary and donate it to my [charity] foundation," he adds. "That just gives me another opportunity to raise good money for good people."

But what does Tony's wife think?

He laughs, "[On] Dancing with the Stars, I've danced with 21 different girls for 21 seasons! Here, I'm sharing the stage with a whole bunch of hot guys -- if they even notice that I'm onstage, I'm happy!"  

Dovolani's Chippendales run ends May 27.

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NBC/Trae Patton(LOS ANGELES) -- The live playoffs concluded on Wednesday night’s one-hour episode of The Voice, with the announcement of the top twelve artists:

Team Blake Shelton: America sent Pryor Baird to the next round, joining Kyla Jade, who advanced on Monday. Spensha Baker, who was saved by Blake, also advanced.

Team Kelly Clarkson: America sent Caleb Lee, to the next round, joining Brynn Cartelli, who advanced on Monday. D.R. King, who was saved by Kelly, also advanced.

Team Alicia Keys: America sent Jackie Foster to the next round, joining Britton Buchanan, who advanced on Monday. Christiana Danielle, who was saved by Alicia, also advanced.

Team Adam Levine: America sent Rayshun LaMarr to the next round, joining Sharane Calister, who advanced on Monday. Jackie Verna, who was saved by Adam, also advanced.

Earlier, artists from Kelly and Adam’s teams performed for a spot in the top 12. Blake and Alicia’s teams performed on Tuesday.

First up were the five members of Team Kelly:

Country singer Caleb Lee kicked things off with his version of Thomas Rhett’s "Die a Happy Man." He was followed by 18-year-old Alexa Cappelli covering OneRepublic’s "Stop and Stare"; D.R. King with Anderson East’s "All on My Mind"; and Dylan Hartigan with his take on "Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. Tish Haynes Keys closed things out for Team Kelly, tackling Etta James’ “At Last.”

Team Adam’s five artists followed:

Reid Umstattd led off with The Hollies’ “Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress.” He was followed by Jackie Verna, with her rendition of Maren Morris’ “Once”; Drew Cole, putting his stamp on The Rolling Stones classic, “Wild Horses”; and Mia Boostrom, tackling Chris Stapleton’s “Either Way.” Rayshun LaMarr wrapped up Team Adam’s performances with an energetic performance of Mary J. Blige’s “I’m Going Down.”

The Voice returns Monday night with the Top 12 performing at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

 

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ABC/Richard Cartwright(LOS ANGELES) -- Ahead of Scandal's season finale, Darby Stanchfield, who plays DC fixer Abby Whelan, is teasing some of the must-see and OMG moments of the final episode.

"It's going to be a water cooler episode," Stanfield tells ABC Radio. "They're going to stand around and talk about like, 'What did that mean? What do you think about that? I like this.' And, 'That was my favorite moment.' And, 'OMG.'"

Without giving too much away, Stanchfield says the episode will also have plenty of surprises that will leave dedicated Gladiators satisfied.

"I mean it's a lot of things that's like shocking and it's like wonderful-- and it's also like completely heartbreaking," she explains. "Some parts are in the the end, but it's not disappointing."

Of course, for those who follow the series, Stanchfield's character Abby has had a tumultuous final season with her longtime friend and former boss, Olivia Pope, played by Kerry Washington. Now that the series is over and the drama set to officially end, Stanfield admits it's difficult to simply just walk away.

"There had been lots of crying that day, up until -- little moments, you know," she says. "I do remember a few tears at 4 in the morning. Maybe it was 3:30. Um, I did my share of crying in the last episode."

Washington can agree, and adds that the only person expected to have a "happy ending" will be the show creator -- Shonda Rhimes.

However, like most of Rhimes' work, expect the series to end with a bang. As far as what that might be, Stanchfield says her lips are sealed.

"There's a couple big shocking things that I can't even... I can't even begin," she quips. "I can't spoil it for you!" 

Scandal's series finale airs tonight at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Image courtesy of the Tribeca Film Festival(NEW YORK) -- It started back in 2002, now the 17th annual Tribeca Film Festival is underway, with 96 films being showcased over 12 days in New York City.

One of its founders, Robert De Niro, was on hand to launch the festivities in New York City Wednesday night.

"[P]eople like to come to it and we're ... still standing -- so that speaks for itself right there," the legendary actor told ABC Radio. He added, "I'm beyond very happy that people and filmmakers want to be part of it..."

This year's fest kicked off with a tribute to one of late-night comedy's greats. Love, Gilda is a new documentary that focuses on the life of Gilda Radner, who made her mark during the heyday of Saturday Night Live, and who passed away from ovarian cancer back in 1989. 

Laraine Newman, Radner's SNL castmate, told ABC Radio, "She was a very warm, loving, generous person...I love that she is acknowledged."

Radner's legacy and impact lives on for modern day entertainers like Keegan Michael Key. "Her and Belushi were the ones I noticed the most as a child watching SNL because of their physical comedy," said Key. "That is the the thing that speaks to anybody..." 

Among the other highlights of the 12-day festival will be a special screening of Scarface tonight, which will precede a Q&A panel with stars Al Pacino, Michelle Pheiffer, Steven Bauer and director Brian De Palma.

The festival will hold a special screening of Schindler's List on April 26 that will be followed by a conversation with director Steven Spielberg and stars Liam Neeson and Ben Kingsley.

On Saturday, De Niro will interview Bradley Cooper as part of the festival's Storytellers series.

The Tribeca Film Festival runs through April 29. More information is available at TribecaFilm.com.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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BG015/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Just weeks after leaving prison and entering a halfway house, Dance Moms star Abby Lee Miller reportedly has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a type of cancer that starts in the body's white blood cells.

Miller underwent surgery for what was believed to be a spinal infection on Tuesday, but Dr. Hooman M. Melamed revealed Wednesday evening to People magazine that it turned out that Miller is actually battling cancer.

"It was not an infection, it was a type of a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma -- it's a type of a cancer," Dr. Melamed, an orthopedic spine surgeon at Cedar Sinai Marina Del Rey Hospital, revealed to People. "We're getting an oncologist involved and we have to figure out what the next steps are as far as chemotherapy or radiation or more spine surgery. Depending on the tumor type, depending on the sensitivity of the tumor -- it just depends the type but I feel more than yes, she will undergo chemotherapy or radiation."

As for Miller's outlook, Dr. Melamed adds, "There's a chance this can spread to any part of the body… this is probably coming from somewhere else. We don’t know where the source is. Any tumor that spreads anywhere is automatically Stage 4, but we have not determined the stage yet."

Miller, who starred on the reality show Dance Moms for seven seasons, started serving a one-year prison sentence in July 2017 after pleading guilty to bankruptcy fraud. On March 27 of this year, she was released to a halfway house to complete her sentence.

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