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Taking a closer look at ABC's new 'Genetic Detective', CeCe Moore

ABC(NEW YORK) -- Tonight on ABC, the true crime show The Genetic Detective debuts at 10 p.m. ET. In the program, investigative genealogist CeCe Moore uses her DNA research skills to bring criminals to justice. 

"It really started for me just as a hobby," Moore explains. "Actually, there was no such thing as a professional genetic genealogist....And so I just jumped in with both feet and learned by doing so."

"I don't have a science degree," she notes. "I'm self-taught in all of this, but I was really fortunate that it was very early in the field when I became interested and I had the ability to commit a lot of time to learning."

Moore's work helping people track down their birth parents led to her work with law enforcement, but she says she didn't take that step until she was confident that ethical issues of dealing with people's most sensitive information were satisfied.

"Who wouldn't want to help stop a serial killer? Bring answers to these families and victims that have waited for years and decades?" Moore asked rhetorically.

"So almost exactly two years ago, I finally felt that I could responsibly move forward. And I've been able to help solve a case a week on average -- so hundred and ten cases across the country now."  

Tonight's installment shows Moore working with Seattle's Snohomish County Sheriff's Office on the double homicide of a young couple who disappeared in 1987.

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'Seinfeld''s Mr. Wilhelm, actor Richard Herd, dead at 87

Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Veteran character actor Richard Herd, best known for portraying George's doddering New York Yankees boss Mr. Wilhelm on Seinfeld, has died at age 87.

Herd's stepdaughter confirmed the news via email, writing "Richard did pass away this morning from cancer at his home in Los Angeles with his family present."

Herd's career spanned decades.  In addition to eleven appearances on Seinfeld, he also had roles in films including All the President's MenThe China Syndrome and Planes, Trains and Automobiles. and, most recently, Clint Eastwood's The Mule.  His long list of TV credits includes the 1980s sci-fi miniseries VT.J. Hooker, and three different Star Trek series roles, as well as guest-starring roles on dozens of other shows.

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

With new trailer, AMC announces 'NOS4A2' season 2 is debuting June 21

AMC(LOS ANGELES) -- After a successful first season, an a near immediate pick-up for a second, AMC has announced its adaptation of author Joe Hill's book NOS4A2 [Nosferatu] is returning June 21. 

Zachary Quinto plays Charlie Manx in the show, a supernatural baddie who abducts kids and drains their souls.  At odds with him is Ashley Cummings' Vic McQueen, a tough, motorcycle-riding heroine with powers of her own.

In the creepy new trailer, Vic learns that Charlie is far from dead -- and now has his eyes on her son.

Hill explained to ABC Audio that AMC was the perfect home for the series, which he also co-produced, saying, "When you get a chance to be in with ...the team at AMC, which has done such great work with stuff like, you know, The Terror and The Walking Dead, you feel that you're working with people who have a good grounded sense of how to scare people, how to move people, how to delineate character in interesting and effective ways....And so I'm in with the right people, that's for sure."

The author, the son of legendary horror writer Stephen King, also welcomed his book being turned into a series, rather than a film.

"...[Y]ou can make great suspenseful movies, too, but with with a movie, you have about 10 minutes to fall in love with a character before they're in trouble," says Hill.  "You don't feel for them. So you don't live with them the same way you live with, you know, a character like Walter White in Breaking Bad where, you know, after four seasons, every up and down, you feel that in your gut!"

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Fred Armisen debuts his "optimistic" travel show, in which he doesn't leave his home

NBC(LOS ANGELES) -- Saturday Night Live and Portlandia veteran Fred Armisen is in lockdown, like millions of other Americans, but that didn't stop him from creating a new travel show. 

As part of Peacock's Seth Macfarlane-hosted At-Home Variety Show, Armisen's offering, titled Fred Hopes to Travel to the Cool Part of Town, has him video-chatting with people all over the world, looking for unique places in countries.

The first installment sees him checking off-beat travel sites with a drag performer in Tel Aviv, Israel; a resident of Reykjavík, Iceland; and a journalist/band member from Mexico City.

Armisen explains, "This is an optimistic project. Things may be the way they are right now, but..I found some really great resources." He ends by crediting Monty Python member -- and famed travel show host -- Michael Palin with inspiring the project. 

The programming on the Peacock At-Home Variety show benefits Americares, Feeding America, and United Way.

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Yvette Nicole Brown having a "great ride" on 'The Big Fib' on Disney+

Disney (NEW YORK) -- If you have Disney , you're going to know Community veteran Yvette Nicole Brown. Not only was she in Lady and the Tramp and had a cameo in Avengers: Endgame, she's also been working on a dramedy with John Stamos called Big Shot for the streaming service, and now hosts the new Disney kid game show The Big Fib

Her involvement with these projects were no accident, she tells ABC Audio.

"As a...kid that grew up loving all things Disney, I pinch myself daily that I'm able to be a part of the family," says Brown.  "I'm a PG-13 kind of gal. So...the Disney brand fits right in line with who I am. As long as I'm not talking politics, that's when it gets a little rough. But if we're just talking about life in general, I'm 100% Disney."

The Big Fib has Brown hosting a panel of kids, who have to determine which grown-ups are fibbing about their jobs, in true To Tell The Truth style.  Brown jokes she's never believed the old Hollywood adage, "Never work with children or animals." 

"I actually believe the opposite," she explains.  "I have a dog. They're amazing. And working with children, I started on Drake & Josh...I don't know any other way."

Brown says of The Big Fib, "We had the most intelligent, funny, interesting, weird -- in the best way -- kids on the show. The best thing about The Big Fib is that the kids are in control. I don't even have a chair...So this is their show. These are their questions and these are their brilliant minds discovering which one of these two adults is the big fibber. It's been a great ride."  

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

As COVID-19 restrictions ease, mayor insists September's Venice Film Festival is still a go

The Golden Lion Award -- TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Images(ITALY) -- As many parts of the world recover from the COVID-19 crisis, the mayor of hard-hit Venice, Italy insists the city's famed film festival is still happening this September. 

Variety reports Luca Zaia, governor of Veneto, has given the green light to the annual event, which is scheduled to start September 2 and run through September 12. 

The festival, which showcases offerings from Hollywood and around the world, usually dovetails with the international exhibition Biennale of Architecture, but this year, the latter event was postponed until 2021 for logistical reasons. 

While the Venice Film Festival is still on the schedule, its organizers will likely see a problem shared by awards shows on this side of the world: fewer films in the running, thanks to shooting delays caused by the pandemic. 

Incidentally, Tom Cruise and the rest of the cast and crew of the next Mission: Impossible film left Venice for Rome a few months ago as the virus began spreading.  Ultimately, they left Rome as well, and shooting on the film was suspended. 

Italy, which once claimed more reported COVID-19 infections than nearly any other nation, has recently seen is infections decline.  It now has a reported 230,158 infections, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University -- the sixth-highest reported per-nation infection total.

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Rebel Wilson reveals her goal weight while undergoing "Year of Health" mission

ABC/Rick Rowell(LOS ANGELES) -- Actress Rebel Wilson is proving that once she sets a goal for herself, she sticks to it no matter how ambitious it is.

The Pitch Perfect star on Monday posted a snap of her wearing gym clothes and shared an inspirational message to fans about never giving up.

"Even if you have to crawl towards your goals, keep going x it will be worth it," Wilson encouraged. "Try and give a little bit of effort each day...I know some days are frustrating as hell, you feel like giving up, you get annoyed at the lack of progress...but good things are coming your way."

The 40-year-old then revealed that she is determined to achieve the bold weight loss goal she set for herself at the start of the year.

She admitted, "I’ll be honest with you guys - with my “Year of Health” mission I’m trying to get to 75kg’s," which is about 165 pounds.

Rebel's New Year's ambitions didn't stop at fitness goals, she laid out several objectives for her to accomplish by 2021. "Career wise am trying to get one of my movies into production before the end of the year," she added.

The Australian actress admits, however, that she was well aware of how demanding her journey would be.  "Both of these things are requiring a daily effort and there’s constant set backs," she maintained, concluding on a positive note that she will accomplish both because she is "working hard."

Wilson also challenged fans to tell her their 2020 resolutions, with many commenting that her post motivated them to work on accomplishing their goals.

In addition, fellow Pitch Perfect alum Skylar Astin humorously noted, "I'm buying whatever you're selling.  Beautiful Rebs!"

By Megan Stone
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Matthew McConaughey and his wife deliver over 110,000 masks to Texas hospitals

ABC/Nicole Wilder(TEXAS) -- Matthew McConaughey is making sure that Texas' smaller hospitals are well prepared to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Friday, the Dallas Buyers Club Oscar-winner and his wife, Camila Alves McConaughey, delivered over 110,000 masks to hospitals across the state.  "Thanks to @lincoln for donating 110 thousand masks," the 50-year-old captioned a photo of him and his wife driving a large white truck that's hauling a sizable load of brown boxes filled with the critical personal protective equipment.  

The two were also wearing face masks in the shot, which they wore during their trek across the state.  The actor was sure to share to  fans on where he intends to bring the much-needed PPE.

"Me and @camilamcconaughey hitting the road to get em to rural hospitals in need across Texas," McConaughey shared.  

This isn't the first time the two stepped up during the public health emergency. Back in April, the McConaugheys teamed up with Bethenny Frankel to donate over 80,000 protective masks to health care workers on the front lines in Texas and Louisiana.

"Louisiana and Texas are in their hearts and prayers as they show support for those police officers, fire fighters and healthcare workers who so desperately need this aid," Frankel wrote at the time while profusely thanking the two for their assistance.

As of Tuesday, Texas has over 56,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 1,500 deaths according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

By Megan Stone
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Jon Stewart's political comedy 'Irresistible' skipping theaters for On Demand

Credit: Daniel McFadden / Focus Features(LOS ANGELES) -- Focus Features and Universal Pictures have announced that Jon Stewart's political comedy Irresistible, slated for a theatrical release this coming Friday, will premiere at home on demand June 26th instead.

The film, written and directed by the former Daily Show host, stars Steve Carell as the Democrats' top strategist, who believes the key to winning back America's heartland lies with a retired Marine colonel, played by Chris Cooper. However, the strategy backfires when Carell's Republican counterpart, played by Rose Byrne, enters the picture.  

Topher GraceNatasha LyonneMackenzie DavisCJ Wilson, and Will Sasso also star.

By George Costantino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Grimes confirms she and Elon Musk changed son's name

Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Huffington Post(NEW YORK) -- New name, who's this? It hasn't even been a month since Elon Musk and Grimes welcomed their baby boy and they've already had to alter his name.

The couple originally named their newborn X Æ A-12, however, that violated California state law which states that only the 26 letters from the alphabet are allowed to be used, prompting the duo to change the name to X Æ A-Xii.

Grimes, born Claire Elise Boucher, confirmed the news and explained the change in a series of Instagram comments on Sunday.

After a curious fan asked if she renamed her son, the 32-year-old responded with the new spelling which simply changed the number 12 into the Roman version of the number before adding, "Roman numerals. Looks better TBH."

Although California law only mentions letters from the alphabet being used, she confirmed that "One dash is allowed."

Although the spelling of the moniker has changed, the pronunciation remains the same. During his time as a guest on Joe Rogan's podcast, The Joe Rogan ExperienceMusk walked through how to say his son's name. 

He explained that the X is pronounced like the letter and "the AE is like pronounced 'ash,'" then A-12. 

By Danielle Long
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved. 

Georgia issues "Best Practices" safety list for film and TV shoots post COVID-19

iStock/brightstarsBy: STEPHEN IERVOLINO, ABC News

(GEORGIA) -- With Georgia successfully becoming one of the first states to open for business following the COVID-19 lockdowns, Gov. Brian P. Kemp issued a "best practices" guide for film and TV crews working in the Peach State. 

Georgia has become a massive hub for Hollywood productions, with everything from the Marvel movies to MacGyver and The Walking Dead shooting there -- some 391 productions in all in 2019, Deadline reports

Governor Kemp's guide seeks to cut down on possible means of transmission of coronavirus -- or any easily communicable disease -- on sets, which are usually notorious for their close quarters and shared equipment. 

To that end, the guide includes rules that mandate cast and crew members getting temperature checks, wearing masks, utilizing social distancing, and the reduction of background extras in scenes. 

Location scouting and casting should be done using video conference technology as much as possible, the guide stipulates; also, the sharing of costumes, mics, and camera equipment would be discouraged, and plastic barriers would be used between performers during rehearsals.

In addition, cast and crew members are encouraged to take their own transportation to and from set; multi-person vans are usually the norm.

Plus, mealtimes should be staggered, and instead of the usual buffet-style craft services trucks seen on sets, take-out food is recommended.

Overseeing these rules will be a designated Occupational Risk Prevention specialist on set.

In a statement, Kemp noted, in part, "The Georgia Film Office has maintained their close work with industry executives to develop these outlines for how productions can help protect cast and crew members."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'Back to the Future Part II' writer asks Universal to "destroy" censored version of the sequel that ran on Netflix


(NEW YORK) -- Sharp-eyed fans' attention to detail while watching Back to the Future Part II on Netflix has gotten major attention from the streaming service. 

Apparently, Netflix had been running a censored version of the film without realizing it. The cut, which the fan noticed, included a sloppy deletion of Michael J. Fox's Marty McFly discovering family nemesis Biff had smuggled a French girly magazine inside the cover of that troublesome Gray's Sports Almanac

Now the movie's screenwriter, Bob Gale, is sounding off, telling The Hollywood Reporter, "Apparently, this was a foreign version which neither director Robert Zemeckis nor I even knew existed, for some country that had a problem with the Oh La La magazine cover.  I asked that the studio destroy this version."

Gale added, "FYI, Netflix does not edit films -- they only run the versions that are supplied to them.  So they're blameless. You can direct your ire at Universal, but I think they will be a lot more careful in the future -- and with 'the future.'"

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Mary J. Blige breaks down her new crime thriller 'Body Cam'


Mary J. Blige is sharing her thoughts on the deeper meaning behind her new crime thriller Body Cam.

In the film, Blige plays Renee, a bereaved police officer who learns of police corruption in her department when she begins to hunt down a supernatural killer. Blige tells ABC Audio that even though she's a big horror movie fan, she was more impressed by the film's gritty storyline.

"The corruption of the cop system and how they cover up the murders of our people being slain and killed every single day," she says. "That's a real topic. And that's one of the things that drew me."

"And the fact that there's so many corrupt cops that the good cops like Renee don't get a chance," Blige adds. 

Although having her character uncover police corruption was a stand out moment for the actress-singer, Blige says it was just as important for the film to be relatable.

"Of course, the grieving mother and the mothers that suffer when their children are gunned down, just taking a jog," she says, referring to the death of Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed black man who was shot and killed in February by a white former police officer while jogging. "Or, just for just walking home."

Still, if the film's storyline isn't enough, Blige has something else to offer: her new single "Can't Be Life" in the end credits.

"And I was like, 'Wow, what a perfect song to end this with, because it can't be life," she says. "This can't be life [when] our people being just killed and murdered... and we don't have a police system that can help us."

"So it's time to move to a higher vibration and try to do something different," she says.

Body Cam is now available for digital purchase from Paramount Pictures.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'Mythic Quest' COVID-19 episode is now live: raising money for charity and tweaking celebrities in quarantine


(LOS ANGELES) -- A special episode of the Apple TV workplace comedy series Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet, is now live -- and has so far raised $600,000 for COVID-19-related charities.

The cast donated half of that money, and show co-creator and star Rob McElhenney and his wife, Always Sunny in Philadelphia co-star Kaitlin Olsen, matched the sum.

The remotely shot episode was quite the effort for its stars, McElhenney tells ABC Audio. "There was only one camera angle in every scene. So once...we were all set, we would get 15 takes because it was so easy. ...[B]ut everything leading up to it and then everything after that point was an absolute nightmare."

Mac adds, "So to me, just this figuring out a new way in which we could do something was just as exciting as making the episode itself. It was both really fun and really awful. And I and I would love to do it again."

The episode also gave McElhenney a chance to tweak certain celebs in quarantine, via his at-times egomanical Mythic Quest character, Ian.

"That's born out of me, looking at Twitter and at Instagram ...and seeing rich people complaining about the fact that they had to clean a toilet. And I'm like, 'Guys, you got to shut up...Everybody cleans their own toilet. Oh, boo hoo.' You know, you don't have your maid coming over to make you a PB&J sandwich? OK. Make your own PB&J sandwich, and certainly don't complain about it! So we thought, well, we got to satirize that."  

Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet also stars F. Murray Abraham, Charlotte Nicdao, Danny Pudi, David Hornsby, Jo Ennis, and Ashly Burch.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Lori Loughlin, husband Mossimo Giannulli plead guilty in Varsity Blues college cheating case

Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty ImagesBy: KATE HODGSON, AARON KATERSKY, and IVAN PEREIRA, ABC News

(BOSTON) -- Full House actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, appeared via video conference before a federal judge in Boston today to plead guilty to conspiracy charges that stem from the so-called Varsity Blues college admissions cheating scheme.

Loughlin, in a black high-collar long-sleeve shirt, appeared on screen with her attorney from what appeared to be a living room with an armoire in the background. Giannulli, in a black jacket and tie and white shirt, appeared with his attorney on a separate screen.

“Guilty,” Loughlin answered, when the court clerk asked how she pleaded.

Assistant US Attorney Eric Rosen noted Loughlin faced a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.  The government agreed she should serve two months and her husband five months. The judge did not make an immediate decision whether to accept or reject the terms of the plea deal. 

Judge Nathaniel Gorton scheduled a sentencing hearing Friday, August 21 at 11 a.m. ET for Giannulli, 2:30 p.m. ET for Loughlin. 

Loughlin and Giannulli paid scheme mastermind Rick Singer $500,000 to get their daughters into the University of Southern California as rowing crew recruits.  Neither girl had ever rowed competitively.  They both initially pleaded not guilty to related fraud charges, claiming in part that their payments were charitable.

Had the case gone to trial, Rosen said prosecutors would have used recorded telephone calls, documents, emails and witness testimony to prove the couple’s guilt.  “They conspired with Rick Singer and others to commit wire fraud,” Rosen said.

Giannulli emailed Singer a doctored photo of daughter Olivia Jade on a rowing machine to cast her as an experienced coxswain and made purported charitable payments “To facilitate his daughter’s fraudulent admission to USC,” Rosen said, also noting that in 2017, the couple repeated the scam to falsely present their other daughter as an experienced coxswain.

Asked whether she disagreed with anything Rosen said the government would be able to prove, Loughlin answered, “No, your honor.”

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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