Cissy Houston, Whitney Houston’s mother, is speaking out against Lifetime’s upcoming biopic about her late daughter. In a statement to Entertainment Tonight, she said her family is “exhausted by the continuing misinformation” and pleaded to “let [Whitney] rest.”
Category: Music (1-10 of 290)
How can Fox improve American Idol? According to the network’s top executive, it’s the contestants that could use some upgrading.
Fox Networks Group chairman Peter Rice told reporters at the Television Critics Association’s press tour in Beverly Hills on Sunday that Idol is “aging gracefully,” and that increased competition from shows like NBC’s The Voice are a factor in the former ratings kingpin’s declining popularity. Yet the executive had one specific note for improving the show itself, which is carrying over last season’s judges panel of Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. into next year’s 14th season. READ FULL STORY
Lifetime has found its replacement for Zendaya Coleman.
Alexandra Shipp will play late R&B singer Aaliyah in Lifetime’s upcoming biopic Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B (working title), EW has confirmed. The planned film is set to premiere this fall and will be executive produced by Debra Martin Chase and talk show host Wendy Williams.
Willams broke the news earlier today when she tweeted:
Shipp’s previous film credits include Nicklelodeon’s House of Anubis, and guest appearances on Awkward, Switched At Birth, and Victorious. Zendaya Coleman (Shake It Up) was originally cast in the lead role, but the 17-year-old actress dropped out of the project in June. Coleman, whose “Replay” spent 21 weeks on Billboard Hot 100, was originally set to sing in the film as well. No word yet on whether or not Shipp will also sing in the film.
Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B is based on Wall Street Journal editor Christopher John Farley’s biography on the late singer Aaliyah: More than a Woman.
Lifetime has confirmed that Zendaya Coleman, the 17-year-old best known as the star of Disney Channel’s Shake It Up! and as a breakout on Dancing With the Stars, will no longer be starring in the cable channel’s upcoming Aaliyah biopic, Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B (working title).
“We are sad Zendaya will no longer portray Aaliyah. Production is currently on hold,” the network’s PR team confirmed Sunday on its Twitter feed. The casting of Coleman, whose own 2013 single “Replay” spent 21 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, was announced June 16. READ FULL STORY
Ever since Angela Bassett announced she would direct a Lifetime film on beloved singer Whitney Houston, diehard fans—and most of the Internet—have speculated on nearly every aspect of the film. Who would play Houston, with her prodigious voice and winning smile? Would her daughter Bobbi Kristina appear in the movie? Would her family be involved? How would her ex-husband, singer-songwriter Bobby Brown, be depicted? And what of Houston’s death in 2012—would that make it to the small screen? READ FULL STORY
When it comes to albums, Bruce Springsteen can be ruthless. Ruthless in the sense that if a great song doesn’t fit with the tone, message, or general vibe of the rest of the album he’s building, he’ll throw it out. Maybe the song gets a little oxygen on stage during a tour, maybe it finds its way onto another project years later, or maybe it’s still sitting in Bruce’s attic. As Springsteen told Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello in High Hopes, the HBO documentary about the making of his most recent album, “I got a million of ‘em, man.” READ FULL STORY
It started with Elmo. A little over a year ago, web entrepreneur Ilya Pozin was working on his computer with his two-year-old daughter perched in his lap. To keep her entertained, he was searching for online Sesame Street videos. He’d put one on, but after each one ended, his daughter would yell out, “More Elmo, Daddy!” — and Pozin would have to go on the hunt for another video. “I’m sitting there thinking, ‘Why am I having to DJ for her every three minutes?’” Pozin says, laughing. “I should be able to just throw on a channel for my daughter that plays videos she loves constantly.”
So he and co-founders Nick Grouf and Tom Ryan built a new web platform, Pluto.TV, to do just that. The platform, which launched today, March 31, essentially sifts through the millions of online videos available on Youtube and elsewhere, finds the best ones, and then put them into channels, and shows on those channels, that run 24/7. It’s like a cable menu for online video. So, for instance, if you’re really, really into cute cat videos (and let’s face it, who isn’t), you can click on Pluto’s Cats channel, and watch a curated list of the best of those — everything from shows on “Big Cats” to “Kitten Zone” — all.day.long., for free. You can also DVR stuff and invite friends via Facebook to watch videos with you (and chat about them) live.
Contestants on The Voice are getting double the coaching this season as Coldplay’s Chris Martin joins the show to help Shakira, Usher, Blake Shelton, and Adam Levine coach their teams.
News of Martin’s involvement was first announced yesterday through Snapchat. At around 8 p.m. Tuesday night, The Voice’s Twitter sent out a post instructing followers to add “nbcthevoice” to their Snapchat contacts.
For singer-songwriter Chris Arena, everything changed the night that he heard Alexi Murdoch’s “Orange Sky” on The O.C. In that moment, he decided to walk away from a life filled with touring and paying bars to perform so that he could get a chance to really be heard. Realizing what great television music moments could be, he decided to focus on cinematic music.
“[The O.C.] broke so many good acts,” Arena said. “It almost set the tone for, I feel like, the Grey’s Anatomys and the Dawson’s Creeks; those shows really paved the way for this whole movement of new artists focusing on cinematic music. I just picked a point and focused.”
More specifically, he picked ABC Family’s hit show Pretty Little Liars. “My brother [and] his girlfriend – they’re a little younger than I am – he and his girlfriend and all her friends, they’re obsessed with the show. They would talk about it and geek out on it. I just thought that was a good target. I wasn’t really familiar with the show that much, and I started watching it, and I kind of secretly developed a really strong liking for the show, and I thought it was interesting. It worked out really nicely because they needed a lot of music that dealt with heartbreak and singer-songwriter acoustics. It was a nice match.”
So with that idea in mind, Arena started writing. “I started to write songs based on some of the scenes I’d been watching, and to put it in a polite way, I kind of harassed this one editor at Pretty Little Liars and sent him maybe 10 or 15 fully produced songs,” Arena said. “The first eight or nine didn’t get a response, and then he finally picked up on one, and he said, ‘We’re gonna try it out.’ And they used a 17-second clip of a song called “Babyfish.” They had a lot of people that got on board with the music, and they invited me to the editing bay, and one thing led to another. It worked out pretty well, actually. It was a very organic, natural process in that sense.”
Now, Arena has had six songs featured on Pretty Little Liars, as well as another on the now-canceled spinoff Ravenswood. So how does the process work? Well for starters, Arena is given months to brainstorm, write, and produce his music. For example, he was brought to the studio back in August to watch the Caleb and Hanna breakup scene, which would later air in the show’s Jan. 7 winter premiere. READ FULL STORY
That embarrassing “walk of shame” can now be seen by everyone. VH1 has greenlit the unscripted series Walk of Shame Shuttle, which follows a young entrepreneur and her popular service for college students who overindulged the previous night. It will premiere in summer 2014.
The series order was part of the cable net’s announcement of its new slate of originals, which also included its next scripted endeavor Hindsight, a drama about a woman who is transported back to her life in the ’90s to try and make things right, premiering in early 2015.
The new unscripted series announced include: READ FULL STORY
Well, the first cut is the deepest.
That’s probably what Kristen O’Connor is telling herself this morning after being the first contestant eliminated on the 13th season of American Idol. The young beauty sang a Kelly Clarkson song on Wednesday night, but her time on the Idol stage won’t get the same happy ending.
Here’s a reunion that you may want to see: Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo of Vacation fame have a booked a single-camera comedy pilot for ABC.
There’s no writer, but the pilot is based on an idea by producer Aaron Kaplan (The Neighbors) about a pair of 60-something grandparents who are forced to raise their grandchildren. Since its in the early stages, the project is being considered for the 2015-16 season.
This will give Chase a chance to jump back into primetime after his memorable run on Community. D’Angelo’s last major role on TV was as agent Barbara Miller on Entourage.
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