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Showbiz News, Monday, Sept 14 – Ronald Bell of Kool and the Gang Dead at 68; Plus Fall TV Schedule, Movie News

Monday, September 14, 2020

Monday Night TV:

SERIES PREMIERE: THE DREW BARRYMORE SHOW (Check local listings) — Drew Barrymore’s new talk show will kick off with a reunion of Charlie’s Angels with guests Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu. The premiere will also feature Barrymore’s frequent co-star Adam Sandler (The Wedding Singer, 50 First Dates). Additional premiere-week guests include Reese Witherspoon, Billy Eichner, Jane Fonda, Gabrielle Union, Charlize Theron, Tyra Banks, fashion designer Christian Siriano and Billy Porter.

SEASON PREMIERE: WHEEL OF FORTUNE (Check local listings) — This long-running game show returns for its 38th season.

SEASON PREMIERE: JEOPARDY (Check local listings) — The 37th season will feature enhanced social distancing guidelines between host Alex Trebek and the show’s contestants, and Jeopardy! champ Ken Jennings as a consulting producer. Jennings will present his own special video categories, as well as other things.

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL (7p ET, ESPN) — In the first game of the Monday night double-header, the Pittsburgh Steelers take on the New York Giants. Game 2 is the Tennessee Titans at Denver Broncos.

SEASON PREMIERE: DANCING WITH THE STARS (8p ET, ABC) — Tyra Banks takes over as host this season, and Derek Hough replaces Len Goodman on the judging panel. The celebs competing are: former Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe, Backstreet Boys’ AJ McLean, Carole Baskin (Tiger King), Chrishell Stause (Selling Sunset), former NFL player Vernon Davis, Jesse Metcalfe, Monica Aldama (head coach from Netflix’s Cheer), Anne Heche, Skai Jackson, Justina Machado (One Day at a Time), The Real host Jeannie Mai, rapper Nelly, Catfish host Nev Schulman, Charles Oakley, and Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir.

AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR (8p ET, NBC) — New.

THE NEIGHBORHOOD (8p ET, CBS) — Repeat. A repeat of Young Sheldon follows.

LOVE ISLAND (9p ET, CBS) — New.

PREMIERE: THE THIRD DAY (9p ET, HBO) — Starring Jude Law and Naomie Harris, this new limited series is told in two parts, Summer and Winter, and chronicles the lives of a man and a woman who arrive on a mysterious island at different times. The series first follows Sam (Law), a man who is drawn to the island where he encounters a group who want to preserve their traditions. Then, the show follows live events in London after the events in the first part. Then it follows Helen (Harris), an outsider who goes to the island seeking answers.

BULL (10p ET, CBS) — Repeat

VOMO: VOTE OR MISS OUT (10p ET, ABC) — Hosted by Kevin Hart, this nonpartisan comedy special event aims to encourage people to vote in the 2020 election. Celebs set to appear include Cristela Alonzo, Tim Allen, Whitney Cummings, Will Ferrell, Charlamagne Tha God, Tiffany Haddish, Jon Hamm, Scarlett Johansson, Jay Leno, Jaden Smith and Willow Smith. The special will also feature Michelle Obama, former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor Larry Hogan (R-MD), Ann Romney and Cindy McCain, among others.

DATELINE (10p ET, NBC) — New

SERIES PREMIERE: WE ARE WHO WE ARE (10p ET, HBO) — Set in 2016, this coming-of-age drama series follows two American teenagers as they explore their true identities while living on a military base in the seaside town of Chioggia, Italy.

SERIES PREMIERE: ENSLAVED (10p ET, Epix) — This new six-episode docuseries explores 400 years of human trafficking from Africa to the New World by following the efforts of Diving with a Purpose, as they search for and locate six slave ships that went down with their human cargo. Executive produced and featuring Samuel L. Jackson, the series tracks the efforts of divers as they utilize new methods of underwater archaeology to identify and locate these sunken slave ships for the first time in history.

THIS IS PARIS (YouTube) — This new documentary gets up close and personal with socialite turned reality TV star Paris Hilton.


At the Movies

BOX OFFICE _ Tenet is the No. 1 movie in North America for a second weekend, earning $6.7 million Friday-Sunday. Coming in at No. 2 is The New Mutants with $2.1 million, followed by Unhinged at No. 3 with $1.5 million, The Broken Hearts Gallery at No. 4 with $1.1 million and Bill & Ted Face the Music at No. 5 with $260,000.

… One year ago this week the number one movie was It: Chapter Two (second week in a row)
… Five years ago this week: The Perfect Guy
… Ten years ago this week: Resident Evil: Afterlife
… Twenty years ago this week: The Watcher

Showbiz News…

Ronald Bell of Kool and the Gang

Ronald “Khalis” Bell, co-founder and singer, songwriter and saxophonist whose group Kool & the Gang became one of the most celebrated and musically eclectic funk bands in the 1970s and beyond, died last week according to his family, at his U.S. Virgin Islands home at the age of 68. A cause of death was not disclosed.

Over the course of 23 albums starting in 1969, the band morphed from upstart jazz unit to chart-topping funk-soul ensemble to smooth pop group with the addition of vocalist James “J.T.” Taylor in 1979.

Bell, who adapted the name Khalis Bayyan later in life, co-wrote many of the group’s perpetual life-event earworms – including “Ladies’ Night,” “Jungle Boogie” and “Celebration” – that have become embedded into the national consciousness.

In 1964, Bell and his teenage brother Robert “Kool” Bell, unable to afford drums, would collect old paint cans in their Youngstown, Ohio neighborhood and use them as makeshift percussion instruments. It was a crude way to learn music — the brothers would figure out different tones depending on how much paint was in each can — but it launched a musical career that lasted more than 50 years.

Kool and the Gang had a ton of hits over the years. The band dominated much of the 1970s with funk-pop classics Light of the Worlds (1974), Spirit of the Boogie (1975) and Open Sesame (1976). With 1979’s Ladies’ Night, the group added vocalist James “J.T.” Taylor and incorporated a smoother pop sound with hits like “Too Hot” and the title track.   As many of their funk contemporaries found difficulty adjusting from the Seventies funk peak to the 1980s, Bell’s songs for Kool & the Gang would go on to become some of the band’s biggest hits. 1980’s Celebrate! featured the band’s standout “Celebration,” which remains a perennial wedding staple 40 years later.

The hits, all co-written by Bell, continued: 1981’s “Get Down On It” emphasized the group’s stronghold on horn-driven funk, 1983’s “Joanna” channeled the group’s love of doo-wop into a romantic ode to the titular character, and 1984’s Emergency became the group’s biggest-selling album on the back of hits “Fresh,” “Misled” and “Cherish.”

Again, Ronald Bell, found of Kool and the Gang, dead at 68.

GAME OF THRONES AND JAMES BOND STAR DIANA RIGG DIES AT 82 
Legendary British actress Diana Rigg has passed away at the age of 82. Rigg received her breakout role in 1965 when she landed the part of Emma Peel in hit spy TV series The Avengers. The role of the smart, capable action heroine made her a feminist icon and Peel’s popularity helped cement the show as a success overseas. She received two Emmys during her time on the series before she left in 1968.

… In 1969, Rigg starred opposite George Lazenby in James Bond movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

… Most recently she played Lady Olenna, matriarch of the House of Tyrell, in 18 episodes of Game of Thrones, from season 3 to season 7.

ABC SETS SOME PREMIERE DATES 
ABC will begin adding a handful scripted shows to its wonky coronavirus-compromised fall rollout next month. The network has announced that its entire Wednesday night sitcom block — which will now consist of The Goldbergs, American Housewife, The Conners and black-ish — will be back in late October.

SURVIVOR MAY NOT RETURN UNTIL FALL 2021 
The CBS reality show Survivor had originally hoped to return this fall. But a report from Inside Survivor says the show won’t be able to film Season 41 until at least spring 2021 because the country of Fiji, where the show films, has shut down its borders to non-citizens. CBS already has the infrastructure in place in Fiji for filming of Season 41.

… Additionally, Survivor has a large international crew, many of whom live in Australia, which won’t allow its residents to leave the country mid-December. It’s possible that Survivor could film Seasons 41 and 42 back to back in April and July 2021. But that would mean a two-year gap in filming between seasons since Season 40 was filmed in summer 2019. That would also mean a 16-month gap between the end of Season 40 and the beginning of Season 41 — if Survivor is able to begin filming next spring.

KALEY CUOCO CRITICIZED FOR WEARING A MASK WHILE WORKING OUT 
The Big Bang Theory star Kaley Cuoco recently shared a video of her “newest obsession during COVID/quarantine”: “20 mins, a jump rope, and good music.” But instead of applauding her fancy footwork and rope skills, some people took to the comments to criticize her for wearing a mask during her workout. The comments got so out of hand that Kaley had to reply and defend herself: “For everyone and their mask comments, I wear a mask when I’m in an enclosed space around others, which I was. “I also wear a mask when I’m outside around others. I’m protecting myself and everyone around me. That’s why I choose choose to wear a mask. Thanks for playing.”

… In case you’ve been living under a rock the last few months, the CDC does recommend you wear a mask if you’re in a gym or near others. And it’s even safe while working out as the World Health Organization notes that “the prolonged use of medical masks…does not lead to CO2 intoxication nor oxygen deficiency,” as some users claimed in Kaley’s comments.

… Others came to Kaley’s defense, thanking her for being a solid role model by wearing the mask indoors around others. Some commenters pointed out that in cold weather, they’ve run many miles wearing a mask and never had an issue.

SONY SAYS SPIDER-MAN 3, VENOM 2 WON’T COME UNTIL PANDEMIC IS OVER 
While some movies are appearing in theaters now, there’s still a lot of caution among studios over putting their productions into wide release. Sony isn’t taking any chances and says Spider-Man 3 and Venom 2 won’t hit multiplexes until the pandemic is over. As one Sony executive put it: “What we won’t do is make the mistake of putting a very, very expensive $200 million movie out in the market unless we’re sure that theaters are open and operating at significant capacity.”

NEW POLL CROWNS CHRISTIAN BALE AS THE GREATEST EVER BATMAN 
Naming the best Batman ever is never going to generate a unanimous response, but a new poll has nonetheless crowned Christian Bale as the greatest Caped Crusader to grace our screens. The star of the Dark Knight Trilogy took the top spot with a massive 42 percent of the vote, miles ahead of his closest competitor Adam West, who surprisingly came in second with 14 percent, just one percent ahead of Michael Keaton.

… The rest of the rankings were rounded out by Ben Affleck, voice-only duo Kevin Conroy and Will Arnett, and Val Kilmer and George Clooney taking the bottom two spots.

CLIP OF TEENAGE KEANU REEVES REPORTING NEWS GOES VIRAL 
One thing that all corners of the internet seem to have in common, it’s a unified appreciation for Keanu Reeves. The actor has always had a reputation for being a kind and generous soul, and despite having been in the industry for over 35 years, he’s never been as popular or beloved as he is today. It turns out that Reeves has been a wholesome hero for much longer than you’d think, as a video of the Toy Story 4 star as a teenager reporting the news from a 1984 teddy bear convention has resurfaced and gone viral. • VIDEO

… Keanu was a correspondent for the youth-orientated Canadian news show Going Great back in 1984, and the clip shows that he’s never been lacking in charisma, even back then at the age of just 19. The series aired two years before he made his feature film debut in 1986 drama Youngblood.

NETFLIX SPENDS BIG ON THREE MOVIES 
Netflix is spending like crazy at the film festivals, buying the rights to star-studded movies. Netflix just plunked down $30 million for a movie titled Malcolm and Marie starring John David Washington and Zendaya.

… Netflix also spent $20 million on Halle Berry’s Bruised, starring and directed by the Oscar winning actress as a mixed martial arts fighter.

… And the streaming giant also shelled out some dough on Pieces of a Woman starring Shia LaBeouf and Vanessa Kirby as a couple that undergoes a terrible tragedy.

TWO MILLION PEOPLE STILL GETTING NETFLIX DVDs BY MAIL 
Remember when you used to get your Netflix movies in the mail? Crazy, right? Not for two million U.S. subscribers. Yep, two million households in the U.S. still get Netflix DVDs in their mailboxes.

… FYI: In 2007 Netflix delivered its billionth DVD — a copy of Babel, sent to a customer in Texas.

KEVIN JAMES DROPS ANOTHER SOUND GUY VIDEO 
Kevin James’ YouTube channel has been one of the bright spots of this quarantine mess we’re in. The King Of Queens actor has been making some short films and even editing himself into a ton of classic movie scenes. He’s done his Sound Guy routine in scenes from The Notebook, A Star Is Born, and the “coin toss scene” in No Country For Old Men, but his latest could be his best. It’s an iconic scene from Good Will Hunting. • VIDEO

WARNER BROS. REPORTEDLY PLANNING 2 MORE JOKER MOVIES 
After grossing just over $1 billion worldwide, it’s no surprise that The Joker will likely have a sequel. In fact, a source says Warner Bros. is planning on two more Joker movies.

DISNEY+ ANNOUNCES DOOGIE HOWSER REBOOT WITH A MAJOR TWIST 
Disney+ has announced Doogie Kameāloha, M.D., the working title for a reboot of the popular ABC series Doogie Howser, which aired for four seasons between 1989 and 1993 and starred a fresh-faced Neil Patrick Harris as the young teen doctor.

… The show will take place in Hawaii and it’ll find Lahela Kameāloha learning from and growing with her Irish mother, her supervisor at work, and her father, a Hawaiian local.

NETFLIX DELIVERS FIRST TRAILER FOR ADAM SANDLER’S NEW HALLOWEEN MOVIE 
After signing a deal in 2014 to produce six movies for Netflix, Adam Sandler has been plugging away with releases that haven’t gone down too well with critics. His next film for the streaming giant is Hubie Halloween, which will land on October 7. • TRAILER

… The plot: Despite his devotion to his hometown of Salem (and its Halloween celebration), Hubie Dubois is a figure of mockery for kids and adults alike. But this year, something is going bump in the night, and it’s up to Hubie to save Halloween.

… The movie costars Julie Bowen, Michael Chiklis, Steve Buscemi, Rob Schneider, Ray Liotta, Kevin James, and Maya Rudolph.

… For an up-to-date list of theatrical release and streaming films click here.

NEVE CAMPBELL RETURNING AS SIDNEY PRESCOTT IN SCREAM 5 
The news that all horror fans have been waiting for has finally been announced. Neve Campbell has signed up to return as Sidney Prescott once more for Scream 5. Campbell revealed back in May that she was in talks to board the project but on Thursday it became official.

… Campbell joins longtime co-stars David Arquette and Courteney Cox, who are reprising their own fan favorite roles as Dewey Riley and Gale Weathers.

HILARIA BALDWIN REVEALS NEWBORN SON’S NAME 
Eduardo Pau Lucas Baldwin is the newest celebrity offspring. Alec Baldwin’s wife Hilaria shared a photo of their newborn son swaddled in a blanket and revealed his name in the caption, writing, “We would love to introduce you to Eduardo Pau Lucas Baldwin. Born Sept 8, 2020 at 7:46pm he weighed 7lbs 8oz.” She also explained that his name means “wealthy guardian of peace and light.”

… This is the 36-year-old’s fifth child with husband Alec. The former 30 Rock star, 62, also shares 24-year-old daughter Ireland Baldwin with ex Kim Basinger.

MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY TO STAR IN NEW CHILDREN’S PODCAST SERIES 
Matthew McConaughey is stepping into a brand new role. The Texas actor is starring in a new podcast series based on John R. Erickson’s children’s book series Hank the Cowdog. McConaughey, who’ll play the title character, will star alongside Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, Cynthia Erivo, Scoot McNairy, Michael Shannon, Leslie Jordan, and others.

… The podcast’s official synopsis: “Hank the Cowdog, the self-declared ‘Head of Ranch Security,’ finds himself smack dab in the middle of a host of tangled mysteries and capers that span the universe of the Texas Panhandle cattle ranch Hank calls home. Hank is joined on these tail-wagging, tongue-slobbering adventures by a motley assemblage of characters.”

… The podcast will debut on Monday (September 14).

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