Tag Archives: ABC
Alex Karras, a hulking giant with a puckish personality who starred on the football field for the Detroit Lions and later in the television sitcom “Webster,” died on Wednesday at the age of 77, his attorney said.
Karras had been suffering from kidney failure, dementia, heart disease and cancer in recent years, his family said.
Earlier this year, Karras joined a class-action lawsuit by former National Football League players who said the NFL did not do enough to protect them from head injuries. The suit said he had sustained repeated head trauma.
Karras’ lawyer, Craig Mitnick, said Karras was surrounded by family when died at his home in Los Angeles.
“He suffered from dementia for the last decade of his life,” Mitnick said. “He had lost his zest for life. He had suffered though dementia, he had suffered through cancer, his body just eventually gave way.
“He was such a strong, charismatic man. The dementia took that energy away.”
While he made hundreds of tackles on the football field, Karras’ most memorable take-down occurred on a movie screen when he played Mongo, a dull-witted brute who punched out a horse in Mel Brooks’ 1974 comic Western film, “Blazing Saddles.”
After an All-American career at the University of Iowa, Karras joined the Lions in 1958 and became one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL. He was an All-Pro selection four times but his irreverent nature often led to conflicts with his coaches. He missed the 1963 season when he was suspended for gambling on NFL games.
After returning to football, Karras represented the Lions at the pre-game coin flip to determine which team would kick off. When the referee told him to call heads or tails, Karras responded, “I’m sorry, sir, I’m not permitted to gamble.”
Karras was known to teammates as “The Godfather” – a glib, wise-cracking figure who enjoyed big cigars, even in the shower.
He was a key figure in “Paper Lion,” a look at the 1963 Detroit team by writer George Plimpton, who tried out for the team to see what it would be like for an average person.
“While his legacy reached far beyond the gridiron, we always will fondly remember Alex as one of our own and also as one of the best to ever wear the Honolulu blue and silver,” said Lions President Tom Lewand.
After 12 seasons the Lions cut Karras in 1971 and he became a commentator on ABC’s “Monday Night Football” broadcast for three years.
His family said Karras was always interested in acting and he played himself in a movie version of “Paper Lion.” His biggest acting success came as a star of the 1980s sitcom “Webster,” joining his real-life wife, Susan Clark, in playing a white couple who adopt a black child played by Emmanuel Lewis.
His movie roles included a sheriff in “Porky’s,” a gay bodyguard in “Victor/Victoria” and the husband of golf star Babe Zaharias, who was portrayed by Clark, in “Babe.”
His wit made Karras a popular guest on Johnny Carson’s “Tonight” show.
Before his NFL career and during his suspension, Karras was also a professional wrestler.
Karras, who had six children, wrote about his life in “Even Big Guys Cry” and “Alex Karras: My Life in Football, Television & Movies.”
What happened to American Idol? The once great media darling that trounced all competition and raked huge commercial success for it’s producers is “now” becoming a laughing stock. Just days after rocker Steven Tyler announced he would forgo his post as panel judge for the upcoming 12th season, word just broke that Jennifer ‘from the block” Lopez is also stepping down.
Lopez broke the news to American Idol host Ryan Seacrest on his morning radio show.
“I really was dreading this phone call with you,” she told him. “I honestly feel like the time has come that I have to get back to doing the other things that I do that I’ve put kind of on hold because I love ‘Idol’ so much.”
With Tyler and Lopez out, the only dawg left standing is Randy Jackson. Along with Seacrest, Jackson is by far the bouie that keeps this sinking ship afloat. Can “Idol” go into it’s 12th season with only one host? Or maybe no host at all?
When Tyler broke the news on Thursday, he sited his passion for all things Rock n Roll as the reason behind his departure.
“I strayed from my first love, Aerosmith, and I’m back — but instead of begging on my hands and knees, I got two fists in the air and I’m kicking the door open with my band,” Tyler said in a statement. Aerosmith are on a nationwide tour with Tyler and have an album due out in the fall. In a phone interview Thursday with The Associated Press as the news about Tyler broke, Lopez had said she was saddened to hear that Tyler was leaving and that his departure would play a role in her decision.
“I can’t even imagine anyone else there right now because I’ve just spent two years sitting next to him,” she said. “I love Steven, and we became close during that time. We were a great support for each other, on an adventure that neither one of us knew what it was going to be. So it’s hard to hear that he won’t be doing it.”
Fox Executives were left scrambling to pick up the pieces.
“We are very sad that Steven has chosen to focus more on his music, but we always knew when we hired a rock ‘n’ roll legend, he would go back to his music,” said Mike Darnell, the network’s president of alternative entertainment.
Speculation about new panelists has swirled around Mariah Carey to former “Idol” runner up Adam Lambert. There’s even rumors that Mr. Tiger Blood himself, Charlie Sheen might take a crack at Judging.
“Idol” still rules among the most-watched talent shows, topping ABC’s ” Dancing With The Stars” and NBC’s “The Voice.” But the show is fighting hard to keep it’s young viewers, with “The Voice” nearly equaling its audience among adults 18 to 49.
FOX, which from the start has protected “Idol” by programming it just once a year, has now diluted its uniqueness with a family competitor, Cowell’s “The X Factor,” which debuted last fall. After a disappointing start, the show underwent its own judging shake-up to add Demi Lovato and Britney Spears.
“American Idol” hasn’t been helped by a run of horrible champions who have failed to achieve commercial success ala Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson or Carrie Underwood.
One things for sure, the show may not have the same appeal but the Judges are using the panel as a catapult to shill their own brands and make out like bandits.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Ellen DeGeneres, who broke ground in 1997 as the first lead character on prime-time TV to reveal she was gay, is winning the nation’s top humor prize.
The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced Tuesday that DeGeneres will receive the 15th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. She will be honored Oct. 22 with a lineup of star performers in a tribute show that will be recorded for broadcast at a later date.
In a written statement, DeGeneres said receiving the same award as past honorees Bill Cosby, Tina Fey and Will Ferrell makes her wonder, “Why didn’t I get this sooner?”
It was 15 years ago — just before the humor prize was created — when DeGeneres came out on Time magazine’s cover and as her character on the sitcom “Ellen,” to a record 46 million viewers. The popular show began losing viewers, though, and was canceled a year later. DeGeneres said at the time that ABC caved in to fear and abandoned the show. She faced tough questions over whether the sitcom was “too gay” and if she had torpedoed her career by pushing a “gay agenda.”
“When I’m accused of becoming political, I’m showing love,” DeGeneres told ABC’s Diane Sawyer in a 1998 interview. “How is that political to teach love and acceptance?”
The rejection was enough to send DeGeneres into a deep depression.
“Ellen” paved the way, though, for future shows to also break the taboo of showing gay characters. “Will and Grace” would follow, along with “Glee,” “Modern Family” and others.
DeGeneres bounced back with movie roles, including as the voice of a lead character in the animated film “Finding Nemo.” She also has a hit talk show now in its ninth season, best-selling books and had a stint as the fourth judge on “American Idol.”
Cappy McGarr, an executive producer for the Mark Twain Prize show and a Kennedy Center board member, said DeGeneres has a special style of observational humor in the tradition of Twain. She also makes people laugh across political lines.
“She’s not just a comedian,” he said. “She’s really a miracle worker. She got the president to dance, the first lady to do push-ups and (Republican) Tom Delay to laugh.”
The New Orleans native got her start as an emcee at a local comedy club in her hometown. In 1982, a videotape of her club performance won DeGeneres Showtime’s “Funniest Person in America.” By 1986, she appeared on “The Tonight Show” and became the first female comedian summoned to Johnny Carson’s desk to chat about her performance.
Whitney Houston, who ruled as pop music’s queen until her majestic voice and regal image were ravaged by drug use, erratic behavior and a tumultuous marriage to singer Bobby Brown, has died. She was 48.
Houston’s publicist, Kristen Foster, said Saturday that the singer had died, but the cause and the location of her death were unknown.
News of Houston’s death came on the eve of music’s biggest night — the Grammy Awards. It’s a showcase where she once reigned, and her death was sure to case a heavy pall on Sunday’s ceremony. Houston’s longtime mentor Clive Davis was to hold his annual concert and dinner Saturday; it was unclear if it was going to go forward.
At her peak, Houston the golden girl of the music industry. From the middle 1980s to the late 1990s, she was one of the world’s best-selling artists. She wowed audiences with effortless, powerful, and peerless vocals that were rooted in the black church but made palatable to the masses with a pop sheen.
Her success carried her beyond music to movies, where she starred in hits like “The Bodyguard” and “Waiting to Exhale.”
She had the he perfect voice, and the perfect image: a gorgeous singer who had sex appeal but was never overtly sexual, who maintained perfect poise.
She influenced a generation of younger singers, from Christina Aguilera to Mariah Carey, who when she first came out sounded so much like Houston that many thought it was Houston.
But by the end of her career, Houston became a stunning cautionary tale of the toll of drug use. Her album sales plummeted and the hits stopped coming; her once serene image was shattered by a wild demeanor and bizarre public appearances. She confessed to abusing cocaine, marijuana and pills, and her once pristine voice became raspy and hoarse, unable to hit the high notes as she had during her prime.
“The biggest devil is me. I’m either my best friend or my worst enemy,” Houston told ABC’s Diane Sawyer in an infamous 2002 interview with then-husband Brown by her side.
It was a tragic fall for a superstar who was one of the top-selling artists in pop music history, with more than 55 million records sold in the United States alone.
She seemed to be born into greatness. She was the daughter of gospel singer Cissy Houston, the cousin of 1960s pop diva Dionne Warwick and the goddaughter of Aretha Franklin.
Houston first started singing in the church as a child. In her teens, she sang backup for Chaka Khan, Jermaine Jackson and others, in addition to modeling. It was around that time when music mogul Clive Davis first heard Houston perform.
“The time that I first saw her singing in her mother’s act in a club … it was such a stunning impact,” Davis told “Good Morning America.”
“To hear this young girl breathe such fire into this song. I mean, it really sent the proverbial tingles up my spine,” he added.
Before long, the rest of the country would feel it, too. Houston made her album debut in 1985 with “Whitney Houston,” which sold millions and spawned hit after hit. “Saving All My Love for You” brought her her first Grammy, for best female pop vocal. “How Will I Know,” ”You Give Good Love” and “The Greatest Love of All” also became hit singles.
Another multiplatinum album, “Whitney,” came out in 1987 and included hits like “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” and “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.”
The rocker was taken to the emergency room in Asuncion on Tuesday after slipping in the shower and cutting his face. He also received dental implants for two teeth lost in the accident.
Tyler spent three hours under the care of doctors before returning to his hotel to recover, according to an ABC report.
An Aerosmith concert planned for Tuesday was postponed by one day.
The news has left fans more than a little concerned because Tyler underwent a rehab stint in late 2009 for pain management.
The last time he took a tumble — from a stage in South Dakota — the band was forced to scrap a 2009 summer tour. He later quit the band to pursue a solo career.
ABC announced its first cancellation of the fall season, pulling the plug on a high-profile drama, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“Charlie’s Angels” had been on the brink pretty much from the beginning, with rapidly eroding ratings in the key 18-49 demo, as previously reported. ABC made the official announcement late last week, with the news already widely expected.
Critical response to the show was less than enthusiastic, with viewers generally in agreement, the story notes. Two problem areas, THR notes, were acting and writing.
When Nancy Grace steps out onto the “Dancing With the Stars” ballroom for the first time, she’ll be sporting a look that’s a far cry from the paint suits of her courtroom days. Think lots of sequins, lots of exposed skin.
“I will give you one operative word: sequins. Tons and tons of sequins. Let me say that these outfits are very revealing,” Grace said today on “Good Morning America.”
Grace and her professional partner Tristan MacManus, who are readying to dance the cha cha on Monday night’s season premiere, kept their song choice secret, but dished on her dancing skills.
“I think we get too conflicting stories. According to me, it’s going great, but I’ve got this Irish dance partner and I hear this ringing in my ears every night, ‘No, no!’” Grace joked.
“For me as well it’s going great. I think Nancy just needs to have an argument now and again to keep herself sane,” MacManus said, teasing the HLN host who’s known for her though talk. “Everything’s going great. I’m really happy with how we’re going.”
Grace, 51, has already shed 10 pounds in their hard-core rehearsals. Juggling her daily HLN show, her twins and now rehearsing and appearing on “DWTS” has been challenging for Grace.
“I’m practicing all day long,” Grace said. “For me it’s been very, very difficult. …the hardest part for me to be away from [my twins].”
Grace spent the summer in the spotlight covering the months-long trial of Casey Anthony, who was found not guilty in July of murdering her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee. While millions of TV viewers know Grace’s name and strong opinions, her partner, who’s from Ireland, didn’t know who Grace was before they were paired up.
“I wasn’t aware of Nancy at all to be honest,” McManus said.
“That’s not true,” Grace interrupted. “I looked at his computer. There were tons of Google, Yahoo searches of Nancy Grace, Nancy Grace. So sad. Obsessed.”
“That was afterwards,” he said. “I’m not too familiar with many people on television here. …but now we’ve gotten to know each other a little bit now and we’re getting along. When I can get a word in.”
Besides Grace, the star-studded celebrity line-up for the show’s 13th season includes Chaz Bono, the son of famed entertainers Sonny and Cher, fashion guru Carson Kressley, NBA champ Ron Artest, model Elisabetta Canalis, reality-TV stars Kristin Cavallari and Rob Kardashian, talk show icon Ricki Lake, war veteran and actor J.R. Martinez, entertainer Chynna Phillips, World Cup soccer star Hope Solo, and actor David Arquette.
Learn more about the full cast of the new season of “Dancing with the Stars.”
“I had a really bad experience with [Arquette]. I ran into him yesterday and he was soaking wet with sweat, which means he’s been practicing like mad and I did not like that. I like the other contestants to be lounging around,” Grace joked.
She hit the stage on “Good Morning America” as part of its Summer Concert Series and performed a handful of her most popular hits.
But she suffered an embarrassing nip slip when her cropped green sports bra slid down, revealing her left boob to the world as she jumped up and down singing her latest single “Where Dem Girls At.”
Minaj noticed the wardrobe malfunction and covered up.
She brushed off the incident and continued her set, entertaining fans with renditions of “Super Bass’ and “Moment 4 Life.”
“I felt the love,” the hip-hop star tweeted after the mini-concert ended. “You guys just gave me life…Thank you ‘Good Morning America.’”
After the incident, ABC, which broadcasts “GMA,” apologized.
“Although we had a five-second delay in place for the Nicki Minaj concert on ‘GMA,’ the live East Coast feed of the concert regrettably included certain fleeting images of the performer that were taken out of later feeds of the broadcast in other time zones,” ABC said in a statement. “We are sorry that this occurred.”
The Bachelorette’s Ashley Hebert and her final pick, JP Rosenbaum, can’t wait to say “I do!”
After Hebert extended her last rose to 34-year-old Rosenbaum on Monday’s finale, the couple appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” to dish on their future together and update fans on their wedding plans.
Engaged since mid-May, Rosenbaum told Kimmel he had a tough time keeping the show’s result under wraps. In fact, he once sent secret text messages meant for Hebert to his pals, but couldn’t fess up as to the intended recipient.
Having chaperoned dates behind closed doors every two weeks since production wrapped, Rosenbaum says he became dependent on technology to keep in touch with his bride-to-be. “We live on Skype,” he told Kimmel. “I don’t watch any TV any more. It’s work, gym, three hours of Skype, sleep.”
Now that the couple can be affectionate out in the open, Hebert, 27, has plans to move to be with her man in his home state of New York after she finishes dental school in September. And yes, Bachelorette fans, they’ve already set a wedding date!
“We really want to focus on our engagement, but I’m thinking fall of next year!” she gushed. While the couple kept mum on additional specifics, it appears that Hebert’s sister, Chrystie, will likely be invited. Although she bashed Rosenbaum on the finale and disapproved of their engagement, Rosenbaum says their relationship is on the mend. “She’s been nothing but sweet and supportive since we got back,” he told Kimmel. “It’s as is if I didn’t even know who that person was back in Fiji.”
As her sister and fiance mend fences, Hebert is just excited to settle into domestic life with Rosenbaum.
“I’m so emotionally drained that the only thing I want to do is be in New York with him, go for coffee in the morning and get back to a normal life,” she told Kimmel.