David Blaine Breaks YouTube Original Live Event Record with Helium Balloon ‘Ascension’ Stunt

David Blaine has entered the YouTube record books…

The 47-year-old part-Puerto Rican illusionist, endurance artist and extreme performer’s live stunt Ascension, in which he flew over the Arizona desert using helium balloons, has shattered a YouTube record.

David Blaine, Ascension

This week’s stunt, which took place on Wednesday, was the most-watched YouTube Original Live Event to date, according to the video streaming platform, with over 770,000 peak concurrent viewers, besting Dear Class of 2020 (665k peak concurrents), The Creator Games Presented by MrBeast (662k peak concurrent), Will Smith: The Jump(more than 300k peak concurrents) and Taylor Swift: Lover’s Lounge (Live) (more than 185k peak concurrents).

“David Blaine exceeded expectations once again!” said Susanne Daniels, Global Head of Original Content, YouTube, “What an inspirational moment for viewers all around the world and we’re so thrilled with what he accomplished today live on YouTube.”

The event streamed live exclusively on YouTube, which funded and produced the project.

Blaine lifted off shortly before 8:00 am PT and within 40 minutes had risen to a height of over 19,000 feet. He eventually reached a height of 24,900 feet and then parachuted to the ground. He completed the entire event within an hour.

The livestream event was hosted by YouTube creator and tech expert Marques Brownlee and featured appearances from Casey Neistat, Will Smith, Jaden Smith, Olivia Wilde, Jason Sudeikis, professional surfer Jamie O’Brien, among others, with a special appearance from David Blaine’s daughter, Dessa.

Blaine’s original plan was to fly over New York, but he decided to shift to Arizona because of weather concerns and logistical issues.

Jared Leto to Star in the Next Installment of Disney’s “Tron”

Jared Leto’s latest project is revving up…

The 48-year-old part-Spanish Oscar-winning actor and Thirty Seconds to Mars frontman will star in the next installment of Disney’s sci-fi franchise Tron.

Jared Leto

The film will be directed by Garth Davis, who directed the critically acclaimed 2016 drama Lion, which received six Oscar nominations including one for Best Picture

Jesse Wigutow wrote the most recent draft of the script. Leto is producing along with Justin Springer and Emma Ludbrook.

The original 1982 film starring Jeff Bridges was set inside the computer program called the Grid, where a computer hacker is abducted and forced to participate in gladiatorial games. The film wasn’t a hit and received mixed reviews, even though its special effects were seen as game-changing at the time. The cult following that swelled around the film in years to come as it played on cable only helped grow its popularity, to the point where Disney decided to move forward with a sequel, Tron: Legacy, in 2010, with Bridges reprising his role and Garret Hedlund and Olivia Wilde joining the franchise.

That film did go on to have box office success, bringing in $400 million globally, but even so plans for a sequel were pushed while Disney figured out how to move the story forward. 

The studio eventually scrapped plans for a direct sequel to Tron: Legacyand has been taking time to figure out next steps for this project.

Leto, who earned an Academy Award for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club, will next be seen in Morbius and The Little Things. His previous credits include Suicide SquadBlade Runner 2049Phone Booth and Panic Room.

Bad Bunny to Take Part in LeBron James’ “Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020” Special

Bad Bunnyis celebrating the Class of 2020

The LeBron James Family Foundation announced that it’s paying tribute to the class of 2020 with a one-hour multimedia event called Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020, with the 26-year-old Puerto Rican reggaeton and Latin trap singer joining the roster of participating artists.

Bad Bunny

James’ virtual graduation party for this year’s graduation class, who’s seen their school year cancelled because of the coronavirus, will take place on Saturday, May 16 at 8:00 pm ET simultaneously on NBCABCCBS, and Fox— as well as on the streaming platforms Complex NetworksFacebook app, InstagramPeople TVSnapchatTikTok and YouTube.

In addition to Bad Bunny, the lineup includes Kane BrownLana CondorDavid DobrikDolan TwinsKarol GLiza KoshyMaren Morris, National Teacher of the Year Rodney RobinsonOlivia WildeZendaya, Charli D’AmelioDixie D’AmelioChika, YBN Cordae, Loren GrayH.E.R., the Jonas BrothersBrandan Bmike Odums, Ben PlattHenry PlattJonah Platt, Megan RapinoeYara ShahidiLena Waithe, Pharrell WilliamsMalala Yousafzaiand many more.

Working with the XQ Instituteand The Entertainment Industry Foundation, the show will allow the companies to honor the more than three million high school seniors who’ll miss out on the annual rite of passage due to the national shutdown caused by the COVID-19pandemic.

“We learned early on in our work with students and families in Akron that education is so much more than academics,” said James in a statement.

“It’s about a shared experience, a journey we’re all on together—students, parents, educators, community members, and everyone around them. With that not being possible right now, we’ve been working to find ways to help families get through this really difficult time. These students have worked incredibly hard for this and there’s no way we can let that go unrecognized. While this won’t be the graduation experience they were supposed to get, we hope we can still give them something special because they deserve it.”

The commercial-free show will be curated by high school students and educators from across the country, with support from the American Federation of Teachers, highlighted by a collection of commencement addresses, celebrity performances and inspirational vignettes.

Students, educators, and families are encouraged to submit their videos and photos online for consideration to be included in the telecast using #GraduateTogether. Artist JR is also inviting seniors to share their portraits for a national virtual yearbook celebrating the entire Class of 2020

Local TV stations will feature custom breakaways to celebrate the achievements of high school students in their communities.

Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020will be broadcast commercial-free on May 16 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC.

Lin-Manuel Miranda to Perform at This Year’s Tony Awards

Lin-Manuel Miranda is making his triumphant return to the Tony Awards

The 37-year-old Puerto Rican composer, playwright, actor and singer will perform on Sunday’s Tonycast, almost one year after his hit Broadway musical Hamilton swept the awards.

Lin-Manuel Miranda

The casts of Bandstand, Come From Away, Dear Evan Hansen, Falsettos, Groundhog Day The Musical, Hello, Dolly!, Miss Saigon, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 and War Paint will perform during 71st Annual Tony Awards, which CBS will broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall from 8:00 to 11:00 PM.

There’s still no word on what Miranda will perform.

There will be additional performances by The Radio City Rockettes and Tony Award winners Cynthia Erivo (The Color Purple) and Leslie Odom Jr. (Hamilton).

There will be additional appearances by Scott Bakula, Sara Bareilles, Orlando Bloom, Rachel Bloom, Glenn Close, Stephen Colbert, Brian d’Arcy James, Cynthia Erivo, Tina Fey, Sutton Foster, Josh Gad, Whoopi Goldberg, Jonathan Groff, Mark Hamill, Taraji P. Henson, Christopher Jackson, Allison Janney, Scarlett Johansson, Anna Kendrick, Keegan-Michael Key, Nick Kroll, John Legend, John Lithgow, Patina Miller, John Mulaney, David Oyelowo, Chazz Palminteri, Sarah Paulson, Lea Salonga, Tom Sturridge, Tommy Tune, Olivia Wilde, and 2017 Tony nominees Sally Field, Josh Groban, Bette Midler and Ben Platt.

Although Midler will appear as a presenter in one of the acting categories, she is not scheduled to participate in the Hello, Dolly! segment, which will be led by co-star Hyde Pierce. The blockbuster production’s offer to present the title song, or another of Dolly’s show-stoppers, live via remote from the Shubert Theatre was declined by the Tony producers.

The ceremony will be hosted by Tony and Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Spacey.

The Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.

HBO Releases Teaser Video of Cannavale’s Upcoming 1970s Rock ‘n’ Roll Drama “Vinyl”

Bobby Cannavale is ready to “drop the needle, and crank the volume.”

HBO has released the first footage of its upcoming drama Vinyl, starring the 44-year-old half-Cuban American actor.

Bobby Cannavale

The minute-long teaser released Thursday, a far cry from the extended trailer shown to critics at a recent Television Critics Association session, offers a detailed look at what to expect from the 1970s rock ‘n’ roll drama.

Cannavale, who won an Emmy for his performance on Boardwalk Empire, stars as Richie, the founder and president of American Century Records, who has a great ear for discovering talent and who undergoes a crisis of character when confronted with a life-altering decision.

Olivia Wilde stars as Richie’s wife, with Parenthood‘s Ray Romano set as one of Richie’s partners.

The cast also includes Juno TempleAndrew Dice ClayAto EssandohMax CasellaJames Jagger,Jack QuaidBirgitte Hjort SorensenP.J. ByrneJ.C. MacKenzieBo DietlArmen GaroRobert Funaro and Joe Caniano.

Vinyl will debut on HBO sometime next year.

IFC Renews Armisen’s “Portlandia” for Two More Seasons

Fred Armisen will spend two more years in the Pacific Northwest…

IFC has picked up the 48-year-old half-Venezuelan actor’s short-based comedy series Portlandia.

Fred Armisen Portlandia

The an absurdist series that gently pokes fun at the laid-back city of Portland, Oregon, has been picked up for Seasons 6 and 7, with IFC ordering 10 half-hour episodes for each.

Armisen, a Saturday Night Live alum, and Carrie Brownstein, the show’s creators and stars, will remain at the helm for both seasons. Portlandia is executive produced by Lorne Michaels and produced by Broadway Video.

Season 5 of Portlandia airs Thursdays at 10 PM.

Vanessa Bayer, Ed Begley Jr., Steve Buscemi, Jeff Goldblum, Kyle MacLachlan, Kumail Nanjiani, Jason Sudeikis, Gus Van Sant and Olivia Wilde are among the recurring guest stars who’ve guest-starred on the show over the years.

HBO Gives Formal Series Pickup to Cannavale’s Untitled Rock ‘n’ Roll Project

Bobby Cannavale is ready to rock ‘n’ HBO

HBO has given a formal series pickup to the untitled rock ‘n’ roll project from Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger and Terence Winter starring the 44-year-old half-Cuban American actor.

Bobby Cannavale

The long-gestating drama, created by Winter, had been in the works at HBO since 2010. But the project gained momentum last year when Boardwalk Empire standout Cannavale was cast as the lead.

The untitled hourlong drama is set in 1970s New York and explores the drug- and sex-fueled music business as punk and disco were breaking out, all through the eyes of a record executive (Cannavale) trying to resurrect his label and find the next new sound.

Olivia Wilde, Ray Romano and Juno Temple co-star, and the cast includes Andrew Dice Clay, Ato Essandoh, Max Casella, James Jagger, Jack Quaid, Birgitte Sorenson, P.J. Byrne, J.C. MacKenzie, Bo Dietl, Robert Funaro and Joe Caniano.

Scorsese, who directed the pilot, had worked with Jagger, directing the 2008 Rolling Stones documentary Shine A Light, which led to their collaboration on the rock ‘n’ roll drama.

Kid Cudi to Appear in the Psychological Thriller “Meadowland”

Kid Cudi is heading to the Meadowlands

The 30-year-old part-Mexican American hip-hop artist-turned-actor, whose real name is Scott Mescudi, has been cast in the psychological drama Meadowland.

Kid Cudi

Directed by award-winning cinematographer Reed Morano in her directing debut, the film centers on Sarah (Olivia Wilde) and David (Luke Wilson), a New York couple dealing with the unthinkable after their son disappears.

No word yet on who Kid Cudi will portray in the psychological thriller.

In addition to Kid Cudi, Wilson and Wilde, the film also stars Giovanni Ribisi, Mark Feuerstein, Kevin Corrigan and Juno Temple.

Meadowland is currently in production.

Kid Cudi, who is starring in the film version of HBO’s series Entourage, previously starred in the premium cable network’s series How to Make It in America. He also appeared opposite Aaron Paul in the DreamWorks video game film adaptation Need For Speed.

Additionally, Kid Cudi wrapped the films James White and Two Night Stand.

Saldaña to Announce Golden Globe Nominations This Week

It’ll be an early start for Zoë Saldaña

The 35-year-old Puerto Rican and Dominican American actress will announce the nominations for the 71st annual Golden Globes on Thursday morning, December 12, 2013 at approximately 5:38 am PST/8:38 am (EST).

Zoe Saldana

Taking place at Los Angeles’ Beverly Hilton, the announcement will air live on NBC’s The Today Show.

Zoë Saldaña will be joined by Aziz Ansari, Olivia Wilde and Miss Golden Globe Sosie Bacon, as well as Hollywood Foreign Press Association president Theo Kingma.

In all, nominations will be announced in 25 categories in television and film.

The Golden Globes, hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler for the second year in a row, will air on Sunday, January 13, 2014, live coast-to-coast on NBC with the pre-show from 4:00-5:00 pm (PST)/7:00-8:00 pm (EST), and main telecast from 5:00-8:00 pm (PST)/8:00-11:00 pm (EST) from the Beverly Hilton.

The awards show will be seen in more than 160 countries and is produced by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.