Here's everything that's been happening in the world of Pop Culture this past week... in case you missed it! Feel free to comment on any of the stories and info shared here, add any news bits that you caught going on that may have been missed, or at least show us some love if you read the post but have nothing to comment on by clicking on that little heart icon at the bottom of the post...
GENERAL POP CULTURE NEWS:
- India became the first country in the world to record 400,000 new Covid-19 cases in a single day.
- US President JOE BIDEN announced a new goal to have at least 70% of American adults at least partially vaccinated by July 4th.
- A former reporter for the New York Post alleged they were forced by the publication to write a false story about Vice President KAMALA HARRIS’ children’s books being a part of “welcome kits” for migrant children. LAURA ITALIANO announced her resignation at the same time she accused the paper of forcing her to publish the piece, which spawned several Fox News outrage segments before the story was retracted after other news outlets- including The Washington Post - fact-checked the piece. The New York Post has contested Italiano’s claims and stated the story was amended “as soon as it came to the editors’ attention that it was inaccurate”.
- Former “19 Kids and Counting” star JOSH DUGGAR was arrested on charges of receiving and possessing child pornography. Duggar, the eldest son of the reality show family, has pled not guilty. Duggar faces up to 20 years imprisonment and fines up to $250,000 for each count. ANNA DUGGAR, Josh’s wife, just announced last month that she is pregnant with the couple’s seventh child. Duggar was previously accused of molesting five underage girls - including four of his sisters - when he was a teenager but was never charged in connection to those allegations. Duggar has been granted bail but under strict conditions including that he must stay with family friends (who have agreed to be his third-party custodians) because he is not permitted to live with minor children, be monitored with a GPS anklet, is unable to access the internet, and can only see his children while his wife supervises.
- Actor TIMOTHEE CHALAMET, singer BILLIE EILISH, and young poet laureate AMANDA GROMAN will co-chair the 2021 Met Gala, which due to Covid-19 has been pushed back from its usual May scheduling to September.
- A man who has accused embattled actor KEVIN SPACEY of sexual battery has been told by a British court that he must reveal his identity to the public to proceed with his $40 million civil lawsuit against the actor.
- “Outlander” actor SAM HEUGHAN has asked fans of the Starz fantasy drama series to respect the historic sites in Scotland where the show has filmed after learning that fans have reportedly been taking stones from the Culloden battlefield as souvenirs.
- NAMES, HASHTAGS, MEMES, AND TRENDS FROM THIS PAST WEEK -
STEVE KORNACKI and the MSNBC ‘Big Board’ at the Kentucky Derby
- THIS WEEK IN SPORTS -
- Horse Racing: Three year-old race horse MEDINA SPIRIT won the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby. Coming into the race odds makers had the horse at 12-1 odds behind 7 other horses including ESSENTIAL QUIALITY, the favorite to win who came in fourth. Medina Spirit was trained by BOB BAFFERT, who now owns the record for the most Derby wins as a trainer with 7. MANDALOUN came in second place while HOT ROD CHARLIE came in third. Trainers for horses Essential Quality and Mandaloun have already stated that they will not run the next leg of the Triple Crown, The Preakness Stakes, coming up next week.
- NFL: Amazon’s “Thursday Night Football” exclusivity deal, which had originally been announced to begin at the start of the 2022-2023 season, will now begin at the start of the 2021-2022 season.
- AWARDS UPDATE -
- Billboard Music Awards: Singer/“The Voice” coach NICK JONAS will host the 2021 Billboard Music Awards, which will air on NBC on Sunday, May 23rd.
- The Grammy Awards: The Recording Academy announced changes to their nomination process in the wake of criticism by multiple artists earlier this year. Among the changes include the decision to do away with the anonymous small nominating panel - which had been made anonymous to shield them from undue influence but has since been criticized for lacking transparency.
- MTV Movie & TV Awards: Comedienne NIKKI GLASER will host the inaugural MTV Movie & TV Awards: Unscripted, an awards show devoted primarily to reality tv. The awards show will air on MTV on May 17th, the night after the traditional MTV Movie & TV Awards, which will be hosted by LESLIE JONES.
- ON BROADWAY/ THE WEST END -
- Broadway theaters will reopen at full capacity in September.
- “The Phantom of the Opera”, the longest-running show in Broadway history, announced it will resume performances on Friday, October 22nd. Tickets will go on sale Friday, May 7th.
- THE BOOK NOOK -
- Former British royal MEGHAN MARKLE will publish a children’s book based on her husband Prince HARRY and their son ARCHIE’s relationship.
- TECH TALK -
- Former US President DONALD TRUMP has launched a new online platform called “From the Desk of Donald J, Trump” to give himself a “place to speak freely and openly”. The platform is only for Trump to share his musings on various subjects; the site does not allow for followers or critics to also offer their comments. The debut of the site came just a day before a Facebook oversight board ruled that Trump should remain banned from Facebook-owned social media sites due to his part in the attempted overthrow of the government in January in order to keep him in power. The board stated that Facebook will make a permanent decision on Trump in 6 months.
- Apple + has acquired the rights to stream a live filmed production of Tony-winning musical “Come From Away”.
- Netflix announced it will release director ZACK SNYDER’s zombie thriller “Army of the Dead” exclusively to cinemas starting on May 14th, one week before the film will premiere on the streaming site. Cinemark, one of the largest theater chains in the US, has agreed to screen the film, making “Army of the Dead” the first Netflix film to score a wide release at a major theater chain. The film is expected to play at roughly 600 theaters across the US.
- Actress GABOUREY SIDIBE will make her feature directorial debut with the psychological thriller “Pale Horse” for Gamechanger Films.
- Sony’s “Cinderella” remake with singer turned actress CAMILA CABELLO will now skip a theatrical debut and head straight to streaming site Amazon Prime for release.
- MOVIE CASTING UPDATE -
- Actress BLAKE LIVELY is set to star in and produce the Netflix original film “Lady Killer” based on the comic book series of the same name.
- Actor HENRY GOLDING has joined the cast of the film adaptation of JANE AUSTEN’s “Persuasion” for Netflix.
- Opening night of the 2021 NFL Draft, while slipping in the ratings from last year, still managed to out-draw the Oscars for the first time since the draft began airing on tv. Thursday’s first round of coverage, which was televised on ABC, ESPN, and the NFL Network, drew 12.5 million viewers overall while Sunday night’s telecast of the 93rd annual Academy Awards (which also aired on ABC) drew only 10.4 million viewers, a record low for the awards show which often is the second-largest viewed program in any given year (generally only bested by the Super Bowl).
- The CW has removed the British crime drama series “Bulletproof” from its streaming platforms after series star NOEL CLARKE was recently accused of sexual harassment by 20 women. Clarke has also been suspended from BAFTA and British broadcaster ITV pulled the finale of the Clarke-starring drama series “Viewpoint” from its schedule in the wake of the allegations, which he has denied.
- HBO Max announced a reboot of the Nickelodeon series “The Brothers Garcia”. HBO Max has given a 10-episode order to “The Garcias”, seen as a sequel to the family comedy that originally aired from 2000 to 2004.
- CONAN O’BRIEN, the longest tenured host currently in late night, has set the finale date for his 11 year-old TBS late night series “Conan” for June 24th. O’Brien’s career in late night hosting dates back to 1993 when he first took over NBC’s “Late Night” series from DAVID LETTERMAN. O’Brien signed a deal last year with HBO Max to host and produce a weekly variety series for the streaming service which will likely debut later this year. The final episode of “Conan” on TBS will be an hour long and will feature numerous special guests.
- NBC has given a pilot order to a sequel/spinoff of the former NBC comedy series “Night Court”, which originally aired from 1984-1992. The new series will reportedly star actress MELSSA RAUCH as Judge Abby Stone, the daughter of Judge Harry Stone (played in the original series by late actor HARRY ANDERSON), following in her father’s footsteps as she presides over the night shift at a Manhattan arraignment court and will see actor JOHN LARROQUETTE reprise his original series role as former night court prosecutor Dan Fielding.
- Discovery + announced plans to venture into scripted shows, acquiring the tv rights to the TRACY DOBMEIER and WENDY KATZMAN book “Girls with Bright Futures”. The series is reportedly in the very early stages of development.
- NBC has picked up a new “Law & Order” spinoff called “Law & Order: For the Defense” and ordered it to go straight to series, meaning the show will air sometime during the 2021-2022 season.
- Syndicated game show “Jeopardy!” will reportedly make an official decision on who will be the successor to late host ALEX TREBEK before the show’s 38th season begins filming in late July or early August. Executive producer MIKE RICHARDS, who was among the many guest hosts employed by the series to finish out season 37 since Trebek’s passing last November revealed that the heads at Sony, who produces the long-running series, are in charge of making the decision and will do so using “real analytics” and “real testing” to insure their decision is an informed one.
- Following fan outcry, PBS announced it has renewed British import “Sanditon” for seasons 2 and 3. The series, based on Jane Austen’s unfinished final novel, was cancelled by British channel ITV after season 1, which aired on PBS in the US in early 2020. Streaming service BritBox UK has partnered with PBS to co-produce the two new seasons. Actress ROSE WILLIAMS is confirmed to return as heroine Charlotte Heywood; further casting will be announced at a later date.
- TV CASTING UPDATE -
- Actor ALEXANDER SKARSGARD will join the season 3 cast of HBO drama series “Succession” in a recurring role as a tech CEO. Actor ADRIEN BRODY is also set to guest star on the series as a billionaire activist investor.
- Actress ANYA TAYLOR-JOY will host the final episode of season 46 of NBC sketch comedy series “Saturday Night Live”.
- Actors TOM CAVANAGH and CARLOS VALDES are both leaving The CW drama series “The Flash” after the show’s current 7th season. Cavanagh, who has played multiple versions of Harrison Wells as well as the villainous Eobard Thawne aka Reverse Flash since the show’s inception, was a series regular for the show’s first six seasons before moving to a recurring guest star role this season; Valdes has played The Flash’s right hand man Cisco Ramon aka Vibe throughout the show’s run.
- Journalist YAMICHE ALCINDOR has been named the new moderator of PBS political series “Washington Week”.
- Actress KIMBERLY J. BROWN will join the cast of ABD daytime drama series “General Hospital” in a mystery role beginning next week.
- Actor JESSE WILLIAMS is departing ABC drama series “Grey’s Anatomy” after 11 seasons on the series as a series regular. Williams’ final episode as Dr. Jackson Avery will air on May 20th.
- TV RENEWALS* AND PICKUPS/EXTENSIONS** -
* “Big Sky”, ABC, renewed for season 2
* “The Good Doctor”, ABC, renewed for season 5
* “Mayans MC”, FX, renewed for season 4
* “Kenan”, NBC, renewed for season 2
* “Young Rock”, NBC, renewed for season 2
* “Kung Fu”, The CW, renewed for season 2
* “Stargirl”, The CW, renewed for season 3 ahead of season 2 premiere
- TV CANCELLATIONS* AND TRIMMED/NOT-EXTENDED SEASONS** -
* “A Little Late with Lilly Singh”, NBC, ending after two seasons
* “The Irregulars”, Netflix, cancelled after one season
* “The Last Kingdom”, Netflix, will end with season 5
- Welsh singer TOM JONES and his new album, “Surrounded By Time”, set a new chart record in the UK at the age of 80 years and 10 months, becoming the oldest male to claim a #1 album on the Official Albums Chart and the oldest artist to ever do so with an album of new material, besting singer/songwriter BOB DYLAN (Dylan was 79 when he topped the UK charts last year with his album “Rough and Rowdy Ways”; late singer VERA LYNN holds to overall record with her greatest hits collection “We’ll Meet Again - The Very Best Od” reaching #1 in 2009 when she was 92). The album is Jones’ fourth #1 album of his career and his first since 1999’s “Reload”. He is also the first Welsh soloist to top the UK charts since MARINA & THE DIAMONDS did so in 2012.
- Rock band the RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS are selling their back catalog to MERCK MERCURIADIS’ Hipgnosis Songs Fund for $150 million. Earlier this year, Hipgnosis won the deal for a 50% share of singer/songwriter NEIL YOUNG’s songwriting catalog and they also control (in full or in part) the rights to catalogs by songwriters including Latin pop singer /songwriter SHAKIRA, singer/guitarist/songwriter LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM (formerly of the rock band FLEETWOOD MAC), rapper/songwriter RZA (of the hip hop group WU-TANG CLAN), music producer/songwriter MARK RONSON, guitarist/songwriter JACK ANTONOFF (of the rock band FUN.) and singer/songwriter DEBBIE HARRY (of the rock band BLONDIE). Hipgnosis has spent $1.7 billion on acquisitions since 2018.
- LAST WEEK’S NEW #1 SINGLES AND ALBUMS AROUND THE WORLD –
Australia (ARIA): Album - “Justice” by JUSTIN BIEBER
Canada (Billboard): Song – “Save Your Tears” by THE WEEKND; Album - “Phoenix” by CHARLOTTE CARDIN
Euro (Digital Song Sales): Song – “Save Your Tears” by THE WEEKND
Germany: Song – “Best Friend” by SAWEETIE ft. DOJA CAT; Album - “Puro Amor” by BROILERS
Ireland (IRMA): Album - “Without Fear” by DERMOT KENNEDY
Italy: Song – “Buongiorno Vita” by ULTIMO; Album - “Multisala” by FRANCO126
Japan (Hot 100): Song – “Born to be Wild” by JOI
Mexico (Airplay): Song – “Save Your Tears” by THE WEEKND;
South Korea (Billboard K-Pop 100): Song – “Rollin’” by BRAVE GIRLS
US (Billboard): Song – “Save Your Tears” by THE WEEKND; Album - “A Gangsta’s Pain” by MONEYBAGG YO
UK (UK Official): Album - “Surrounded By Time” by TOM JONES
These are 50 of the greatest movie quotes of all time… can you finish them correctly? (FYI: these are all multiple choice questions and I guarantee that even if you never saw these films you have heard many if not all of these quotes.) https://www.buzzfeed.com/spenceralthouse/best-movie-quotes-of-all-time-quiz?origin=tuh