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Forget 'Sopranos' and 'Game of Thrones': HBO Max's top hits are for kids

The HBO network earned a reputation for adult dramas filled with sex and violence, including "The Sopranos," "Game of Thrones" and "Sex and the City." But when its new streaming offshoot launched last week, the buzziest shows were aimed at children.

"Looney Tunes Cartoons," a new take on classic characters Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, was the ...Read more

'The Avengers of musical theater': The talent behind 'Central Park' sings for itself

"Central Park" is as ambitious as the 840-acre park it portrays. Each episode of the animated series includes a whopping four original musical numbers, all of which will become available to stream on Apple Music as the series progresses.

"We told ourselves that if we were going to make this show, the songs have to be as diverse and dynamic as ...Read more

My worst moment: 'Snowpiercer' star Alison Wright and the disastrous 'Mr. Robot' audition

Emmy-nominated for her role on "The Americans" as Martha -- or as fans dubbed her, "poor Martha," who became the unwitting loved-up pawn of Matthew Rhys's Soviet spy -- British actor Alison Wright now stars in TNT's "Snowpiercer" playing a character who is the polar opposite, personality-wise, of poor Martha.

"That's the ideal thing, right? ...Read more

From Charlie Parker to Eddie Johnson, remembering jazz centenarians during a pandemic

This was going to be a year of great jazz centennials.

For 1920 marked the birth of several jazz musicians who either changed the course of the music or deeply enriched it. Festivals, themed concerts and other events around the world would have celebrated their centenaries and honored their vast legacies.

But all that has been canceled or ...Read more

'Law & Order: SVU' spinoff writer fired for threatening to 'light up' looters

LOS ANGELES -- Dick Wolf has fired writer-producer Craig Gore from the upcoming "Law & Order: SVU" spinoff for threatening in a Facebook post to "light up" people breaking curfew near his West Hollywood home.

"I will not tolerate this conduct, especially during our hour of national grief. I am terminating Craig Gore immediately," said Wolf in a...Read more

Lil Nas X and Lizzo question the merits of the music industry's Blackout Tuesday

Rihanna, Katy Perry, Oprah Winfrey, Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Chance the Rapper and more stars have gone dark on social media for the music industry's Blackout Tuesday initiative in solidarity with the black community.

The initiative, originally called #TheShowMustBePaused, is a response to the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud ...Read more

Kendrick Lamar producer Terrace Martin drops fiery protest song, 'Pig Feet'

"This video is happening right now outside your window," reads the opening caption in the video for "Pig Feet," the new track from Terrace Martin, the longtime Kendrick Lamar producer and multi-instrumentalist. An incendiary clip and track (listen and watch here) built over the last week by Martin and collaborators Kamasi Washington, G Perico, ...Read more

Lea Michele's 'Glee' costars claim she made working on the TV show 'a living hell'

"Glee" actress Samantha Marie Ware blasted her former costar Lea Michele on Monday for allegedly making her time on the show "a living hell" and subjecting her to "traumatic microaggressions" on set.

After Michele tweeted a tribute to George Floyd with the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, Ware called Michele out in all caps, garnering support from ...Read more

LL Cool J raps for George Floyd: 'For 400 years, you had your knees on our necks'

Rapper LL Cool J has paid emotional tribute to George Floyd and several other victims of racism and police violence.

Posted Sunday, his Instagram video sees the "Doin' It" hitmaker staring intensely into the camera while rapping about Floyd's death and wearing a sweatshirt that reads "Black Lives Matter."

"For 400 years, you had your knees on ...Read more

New on DVD: 'The Hunt' not worth pursuit

"The Hunt": Director Craig Zobel's horror thriller following a group of "elites" hunting down "deplorables" has been cursed with bad timing. It was originally slated for theatrical release in September 2019, but Universal pulled it after mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. It didn't see the light of day until March 13, just ...Read more

Review: Witchy, wordy 'Shirley' thrillingly follows famed horror writer

The first exchange in the brilliant, brutal "Shirley" is telling about what's to come. A young woman, Rose (Odessa Young), finishes reading a short story ("The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson) and recounts the tale to her husband, Fred (Logan Lerman). "That's creepy," he observes. "It's terrific," she sighs. And so begins this creepy and terrific ...Read more

A cable alternative to CNN? WGN America prepares for national newscast in a crowded market

Many viewers across the country won't be familiar with Joe Donlon, Marni Hughes and Rob Nelson, the lead anchor team of cable network WGN America's new national newscast "News Nation" set to debut Sept. 1.

But WGN America Executive Vice President Sean Compton says that the trio's lack of a national profile is part of the strategy for the three-...Read more

What to stream: It's time for white Americans to learn more about systemic racism

It has been a terrible, traumatic and terrifying week for America. An outcry, and an uprising, has erupted across the country in response to the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers, and police forces across the country have reacted with violence and excessive force. After a long weekend of protests, tear gas and looting, the ...Read more

Diane Bell: Paramount to release 'Mighty Oak,' featuring young Calif. musician

SAN DIEGO -- Oh, to have a feature film released in the middle of a pandemic when only about 6% of movie theaters in North America are open -- mostly drive-ins. That is the scenario for "Mighty Oak," a musical movie drama with strong San Diego ties that features top Hollywood talent.

And backers of the movie couldn't be more delighted.

That's ...Read more

Trump blocked comedian Sarah Cooper on Twitter. Now she calls him her 'head writer'

President Donald Trump and comedian Sarah Cooper really don't care for each other. But these days, they are in perfect sync.

Cooper has become one of the hottest comics of the coronavirus era with her social media videos, in which she lip-syncs some of Trump's most controversial pandemic-related pronouncements. With a mix of deadpan flair and ...Read more

Ivanka tweets Bible verse to 'heal' protester pain, but Trump policies only add to it

Stumbling upon a tweet from Ivanka Trump that quoted a Bible verse on Sunday -- the day when politicians and their enablers get their holiness on -- I was moved to respond with a line from Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice": "The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose."

Representing an administration that has worked relentlessly to ...Read more

Meet the TV writer reconsidering modern Britain's 'beautifully ludicrous' history

James Graham vividly recalls sitting down with his college housemates to watch "Millionaire: A Major Fraud," a 2003 documentary about a tabloid scandal that had captivated all of the United Kingdom. In the special, provocateur Martin Bashir built the case against Charles and Diana Ingram, a seemingly mild-mannered, middle-class married couple ...Read more

List of DVD release dates for June 2 and beyond

Following is a partial schedule of coming movies on DVD. Release dates are subject to change:

JUNE

2: 1BR

2: Abe

2: Clickbait

2: Creepshow Season 1

2: Debt Collectors

2: Extra Ordinary

2: Harley Quinn: The Complete First Season

2: Robert The Bruce

2: Rogue Warfare: The Hunt

2: Watchmen: An HBO Limited Series

2: Witches in the Woods

...Read more

'Laurel Canyon' docuseries a deep dive into Joni Mitchell, the Eagles and more in '60s and '70s L.A. scene

What was so special about Laurel Canyon, which nurtured the fabled California Sound in the 1960s and was home to such budding future music legends as former San Diegan Frank Zappa, Joni Mitchell, The Doors and Crosby, Stills & Nash?

What led to the community's second wave in the early 1970s, when Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Little Feat and ...Read more

Philly's David Corenswet is making it in Netflix's 'Hollywood'

PHILADELPHIA -- David Corenswet's first review in his hometown paper was a single line.

Corenswet, The Inquirer reported in April 2004, "is fine as the oddly named Great" in "The Forgiving Harvest," a family drama at People's Light & Theatre Company in which the then-12-year-old played a boy whose stepfather wanted to buy part of a family's ...Read more