Blake Jenner to Star in “Paradise City”

Blake Jenner is heading to Paradise City

The 28-year-old half-Cuban American actor has joined the cast of the Hawaiian production of Paradise Citywhich represents John Travolta and Bruce Willis’ first reteaming in a film since 1994’s Pulp Fiction

Blake Jenner

Jenner is joined by Stephen Dorff as new additions to the cast.

Willis plays renegade bounty hunter, Ryan Swan, who must carve his way through the Hawaiian crime world to wreak vengeance on the kingpin, played by Travolta, who murdered his father. I’m told the project is billed as being similar to Miami Vice but with bounty hunters instead of cops. Thai actress and model Praya Lundberg also stars.

Paradise City is produced by Corey Large, who also stars in the movie and co-wrote with Ed John DrakeBondIt Media Capital is financing with Large’s 308 Enterprises producing. Saban is handling domestic distribution with The Exchange overseeing foreign sales.

Jenner’s previous credits include What/If, Glee and The Edge of Seventeen.

Martin Sheen to Take Part in The People Concern’s Homelessness-Themed Virtual Fundraiser

Martin Sheen is shining a spotlight on homelessness…

The People Concern, one of Los Angeles’s largest housing and social services agencies, will hold a virtual fundraiser this Friday, June 4, featuring the 80-year-old half-Spanish American actor, to help benefit homeless Angelenos and other local human right causes.

Martin Sheen

The live, online charity event will be hosted by Emmy-winning actress Jane Lynch.

In addition to Sheen, the program will feature special guest appearances by  Ben Vereen, Marianne Jean-Baptiste and James Beard Award-winning chef Roy Choi.

The People Concern CEO John Maceri expressed the urgency of combatting homelessness in this critical time.

“We’re deeply grateful to our friends and supporters in the entertainment community who are shining a spotlight on the urgent need for all of us to step up and help the 66,000 experiencing homelessness here in LA, the largest unsheltered group in the country. The power of your voice has global impact and we urge more of you reach out and work with us, together we can make sure LA is the blueprint for the rest of the country solving homelessness with permanent, supportive housing. This is your Dunkirk moment,” Maceri said.

Maceri believes with eviction moratoriums coming up in June, Los Angeles is facing a “tsunami of homelessness,” with as many as 370,000 in LA alone at risk.

Tonight! With The People Concern & LA Chefs For Human Rights is scheduled this Friday, June 4, at 7 PM.

For those interested, visit https://tonight.funraise.org/.

“Glee” Cast to Reunite for Special Tribute to Naya Rivera’s Character Santana Lopez at GLAAD Media Awards

Naya Rivera will be the focus of a special tribute at this year’s GLAAD Media Awards

Glee cast members Jacob ArtistChris ColferDarren Criss, Vanessa LengiesJane LynchKevin McHale, Heather MorrisMatthew Morrison, Alex NewellAmber Riley, Harry Shum Jr., Becca Tobin, and Jenna Ushkowitz will reunite at the virtual edition of the awards show on April 8 for a special tribute to the legacy of the Santana Lopez, the character portrayed by the late half-Puerto Rican actress/singer and Glee star, who drowned last July while on an outing with her son on California’s Lake Piru.

Glee's Naya Rivera

The tribute will honor the 10-year anniversary of Santana’s coming out as lesbian in the musical comedy. Glee is a GLAAD Media Award winning series and the reunion will spotlight Santana’s impact on LGBTQ teens and Latinx LGBTQ representation on television. Demi Lovato, who played Santana’s girlfriend on Glee, will introduce the special tribute.

The GLAAD Media Awards will be hosted by Niecy Nash and stream on YouTube on April 8 at 8:00 pm ET. The event will also stream on Hulu on April 8 starting at 10:00 pm ET, and will be available to stream on-demand on the streamer until the end of June.

Demi Lovato to Star in the NBC Scripted Food Issues Comedy “Hungry”

Demi Lovato is hungry for new projects…

The 28-year-old part-Mexican American singer/actress will return to scripted television in a food issues comedy in the works at NBC.

Demi Lovato

Lovato, who got her break in the Disney Channel’s Camp Rock franchise and starred in Sonny with a Chance, is to star in and executive produce Hungry, which has received a put pilot commitment from NBC.

The single-camera comedy is being written and exec produced by Will & Grace writer and Hot In Cleveland creator Suzanne Martin. It comes from Hazy Mills and SB Projects in association with Universal Television.

Hungry follows a group of friends who belong to a food issues group help each other as they look for love, success and the perfect thing in the fridge that’s going to make it all better.

Lovato, herself, appeared in a guest role in the final season of Will & Grace, her first role since guest starring on Glee in 2013. The singer, who has battled bipolar disorder and addiction, is the subject of a YouTube Originals doc series Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil, which will premiere at SXSW.

Lovato and Martin will exec produce with Hazy Mills’ Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner and SB Projects’ Scooter Braun, James Shin and Scott Manson.

Shakira Tops Google’s List of Most Searched Musicians/Bands in 2020

Shakira is this year’s web search siren…

Google has unveiled the top trending searches of 2020, continuing its annual reflection on some of the year’s most searchable moments, with the 43-year-old Colombian superstar topping the artists’ chart.

Shakira x Girl Like Me

Shakira, who earned a lot of online attention for co-headlining this year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show with Jennifer Lopez, comes in at No. 1 on the Musicians and Bands list.

On the overall People chart, the “Hips Don’t Lie” singer comes in at No. 7, behind the likes of Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and Tom Hanks, among others.

Shakira is the only Latinx artist on the People chart, as well as the Musicians and Bands list.

Meanwhile, the late Naya Rivera comes in at No. 2 on the Loss chart.

The former Glee star drowned in California’s Lake Piru while on an excursion with her son in July.

Here’s a look at Google’s list toppers:

News
Election results
Coronavirus
Stimulus checks
Unemployment
Iran
Hurricane Laura
Super Tuesday
Stock market
Murder hornet
Australia fires

People
Joe Biden
Kim Jong Un
Kamala Harris
Jacob Blake
Ryan Newman
Tom Hanks
Shakira
Tom Brady
Kanye West
Vanessa Bryant 

Loss
Kobe Bryant
Naya Rivera
Chadwick Boseman
George Floyd
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Eddie Van Halen
King Von
Kelly Preston
Pop Smoke
Ahmaud Arbery 

Actors
Tom Hanks
Chris D’Elia
Jada Pinkett Smith
Timothée Chalamet
Ricky Gervais
Amber Heard
Joaquin Phoenix
Danny Masterson
Ryan Dorsey
Lea Michele 

Movies
Parasite
1917
Black Panther
Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey
Little Women
Just Mercy
Bad Boys 3
Sonic the Hedgehog
Contagion
Fantasy Island 

Movies: Action
1917
Black Panther
Birds of  Prey
Bad Boys 3
Sonic the Hedgehog
Mulan
The Old Guard
Artemis Fowl
Bloodshot
Extraction 

Movies: Drama
Little Women
Just Mercy
Tenet
365 Days
Jojo Rabbit
The Photograph
Enola Holmes
The Gentlemen
The Hunt
After we Collided 

Movies: Thriller
Contagion
Fantasy Island
Underwater
The Grudge
The Invisible Man
The Turning
The Devil All The Time
Antebellum
Gretel & Hansel
Knock Knock 

Movies: Comedy
Hubie Halloween
Like a Boss
Onward
Trolls World Tour
Borat 2
Spies in Disguise
The Wrong Missy
Dolittle
King of Staten Island
Downhill 

Musicians and Bands
Shakira
August Alsina
Adele
Doja Cat
Grimes
Van Halen
Lizzo
Tamar Braxton
Quando Rondo
Tory Lanez

TV Shows
Tiger King
Cobra Kai
Ozark
The Umbrella Academy
The Queen’s Gambit
Little Fires Everywhere
Outer Banks
Ratched
All American
The Last Dance

Naya Rivera Among The Celebrities Featured in Chris Barker’s Annual Beatles-Style Tribute to 2020’s Biggest Losses

Naya Rivera is getting a special tribute…

British artist Chris Barker‘s annual Beatles-style tribute to lost celebrities features some of 2020’s biggest losses, including the late half-Puerto Rican actress/singer and Glee star, who drowned in July while on an outing with her son on California’s Lake Piru, as well as soccer legend Diego Maradona, Little Richard, Chadwick Boseman and Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen.

Naya Rivera

Barker, who has been meticulously crafting his homage to the infamous cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band since 2016 as a tribute to dearly departed pop culture icons and newsmakers — said his initial idea was to start with a blank slate in January and just add faces as the year went on.

The approach would’ve simply meant swapping out some images for more prominent ones as the year went on for a more “interactive” art project. But as this year just kept getting worse, he was glad he didn’t switch up his style.

Chris Barker's 2020 Sgt. Peppers Tribute

“Early spring I thought the devastating wildfires in Australia would be the defining moment of the year but, goodness me, 2020 just kept piling it on,” he tells Billboard. “So I had a couple of options of how to show this year was a year like no other. My immediate thought was social distancing; to have the characters all really spread out. But that would have proved really impractical.”

Instead, he stuck to the template of cramming as many singers, actors, athletes, public figures and news events as possible into the image, which this year includes everyone from police violence victim George Floyd to actors Kirk Douglas, Dave Prowse (Star WarsDarth Vader), Sean Connery, Diana Rigg, Monty Python‘s Terry Jones, Fred Willard and Jerry Stiller, as well as musical icons Florian Schneider (Kraftwerk), Peter Green (Fleetwood Mac), Kenny Rogers, Adam Schlesinger (Fountains of Wayne), reggae great Toots Hibbert, Neil Peart (Rush), Ronald Bell (Kool & the Gang), DJ José Padilla, Bonnie Pointer (Pointer Sisters) and Afrobeat star Tony Allen, among many others.

Barker’s next idea was to include a nod to how important masks were this year during the pandemic, but that would have made the concept way too complicated to pull off. After starting work a month earlier than usual (in September), he realized masking the figures would make many of them unrecognizable, and posting it around the American election as he usually does would likely leave too many important figures off in a year when the devastating hits just kept on coming.

“Who knew what else could be just around the corner? It has been such an awful, bleak year,” he said, revealing that his original background was a red sky with burning forests in a nod to the devastating Australian and American wildfires. But with Joe Biden‘s victory over one-term President Donald Trump last month and talk of a COVID-19 vaccine right around the corner, suddenly there was a glimmer of hope. And instead of sticking the Biden/Harris logo “in the middle of a burning hellscape,” the Trump campaign gave him an unexpected gift with lawyer Rudy Giuliani‘s legendarily disastrous presser at Four Seasons Total Landscaping.

“The surreal backdrop perfectly encapsulates the final nail in the coffin of the nightmarish Trump administration that inspired this whole project,” Barker said. “When I first did the 2016 montage, the loss of such an overwhelming number of iconic heroes was undoubtedly one of the defining stories of the year — even overshadowing Brexit and Trump. But this year, obviously the huge number of deaths from coronavirus is far more significant.”

With the real human cost of losses from COVID-19 piling up every day, Barker decided that the chalky floor of the Four Seasons parking lot was the perfect backdrop for an homage that also includes the losses of nearly 1.5 million worldwide to COVID, Trump’s presidency, Spencer Davis, Jeopardy host Alex Trebek, drag queen Chi Chi DeVayne, directors Alan Parker and Joel Schumacher, magician Roy Horn, Glee‘s Rivera, Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, Vera Lynn, Kelly Preston, and Gone With the Wind star Olivia de Havilland.

“Every line a reminder of a life taken, a family ripped apart. Every time I do this montage it is an emotional journey, however detached I may get from the subject matter while I’m in the thick of the Photoshop, when I put the list together for the key at the end and look at it, it is a quite sobering moment,” he said. “I know a lot of people who have lost family members this year and I always try to remember that all the people I am including have left people behind too. I have to try to be respectful to everyone and to pay tribute to them and the way they lived their lives.”

There are always a few losses that hit Barker the hardest, and this year for him it was Kraftwerk’s Schneider, Game of Thrones star Rigg and Python’s Jones.

All he asks is that if you are moved by his work, donate to the UK’s NHS charities this year.

Naya Rivera Makes One of Her Final Appearances on New Season of Netflix’s “Sugar Rush,” Out Now

It’s a sweet rush for the late Naya Rivera.

In what’s believed to be her final television appearance, the late half-Puerto Rican actress/singer and Glee star will be featured in an episode of Season 3 of Netflix’s baking competition reality series Sugar Rush, released this Friday.

Naya Rivera

Back in February, Rivera filmed a guest-judge appearance on Sugar Rush in Los Angeles, sitting alongside the show’s host Hunter March and professional chef judges Candace Nelson and Adriano Zumbo.

It was the last thing she filmed before the coronavirus-related Hollywood production shutdown, which is now in its fifth month.

Netflix on June 24 announced a July 31 premiere date for the new season of Sugar Rush, branded Extra Sweet.

Sugar Rush: Naya Rivera

A couple of weeks later, Rivera disappeared while swimming with her son in Lake Piru, north of Los Angeles. Her body was recovered July 13 and laid to rest July 24. She was 33.

Following Rivera’s death, Netflix was faced with the dilemma of what to do with the footage of her. After careful consideration in consultation with Rivera’s manager Gladys Gonzalez, who has been working closely with the actress’ family following Rivera’s death, a decision was made to move forward and release the episode as planned.

The episode is dedicated to Rivera, with an on-screen note honoring the actress appearing before the opening credits.

Sugar Rush is produced by Magical Elves.

Naya Rivera’s Final Heroic Act Revealed

Naya Rivera is being hailed as a hero…

The late part-Puerto Rican actress and Glee star used the last of her strength to save her 4-year-old son before she died, Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub said Monday.

Naya Rivera

“She mustered enough energy to get her son back onto the boat, but not enough to save herself,” he said.

A body discovered Monday morning at Lake Piru has been identified as the Rivera, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said during a news conference.

Riveraand her son rented a pontoon boat at Lake Piru Wednesday. The child told rescuers he and his mother had gone into the water to swim, but she didn’t get back on the boat. He told investigators he then looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water, Ayub said.

Her son was found asleep on the rental pontoon boat after it was overdue for return. One life jacket was found on the boat and the boy was wearing another.

Rivera, who was 33 at the time of her passing, was presumed dead after she went missing Wednesday.

Her body was found floating in the northeast area of the lake where the water is between 35 and 60 feet deep Monday, after a six-day search. Ayub said investigators are “confident” the body found was Rivera, but the body is still being taken to Ventura County Coroner’s Office, where it will be identified through dental records.

Ayub said the sheriff’s department has been “in direct contact” with Rivera’s family.

“Her family has been at the lake everyday holding out hope and communicating with our investigators,” Ayub said.

The actress is best known for her role as Santana Lopez on Fox’s musical dramedy Glee. She appeared in nearly every episode of the beloved musical-comedy-drama, which ended in 2015.

Members of the show’s cast took to social media to mourn their costar, sharing their condolences to Rivera’s family.

“How can you convey all your love and respect for someone in one post?” Chris Colfer, who played Kurt on Glee, wrote on his Instagramin a lengthy, emotional caption of a picture of him and Rivera. “How can you summarize a decade of friendship and laughter with words alone? If you were friends with Naya Rivera, you simply can’t.”

“Rest sweet, Naya,” Jane Lynch, who played Coach Sue Sylvester on the show, tweeted. “What a force you were. Love and peace to your family.

Rivera was also on the CBS sitcom The Royal Family and in the comedy film The Master of Disguise. More recently, she starred in the Step Up television series, based on the movie franchise.

Lea Michele to Star in ABC’s Holiday Movie “Same Time, Next Christmas”

Lea Micheleis getting into the Christmasspirit…

The 32-year-old part-Spanish actress is set to star in ABC’s special holiday movie Same Time, Next Christmasfrom Freeform Studios, which is slated to air in December 2019.

Lea Michele

In the movie, the Glee alum will play the lead role of Olivia Henderson, a young woman who met her childhood sweetheart during her family’s annual Christmas visit to Hawaii. After being separated by distance and years, the two reunite at the same Hawaii resort years later and the old chemistry between them flares up anew – but circumstances conspire to keep them apart.

“This holiday season holds special importance to me as I get to celebrate both my role in this film and my first-ever holiday album,” said Michele. “I’m honored to return to ABC with this movie event, and I am excited to share the holidays with everyone.”

Same Time, Next Christmas adds to Michele’s Yuletide repertoire as she’ll be releasing her first Christmas album this coming holiday.

Stephen Herekis set to direct and Karen Bloch Morseis writing.

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa Signs New Multi-Year Deal with Warner Bros. Television

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasahas landed a major deal…

The 44-year-old Nicaraguan-American playwright, screenwriter, and comic book writer who is currently the Chief Creative Officer of Archie Comics and the key creative force behind Warner Bros. Television’s growing Archie comics-based TV universe, has signed a massive new multi-year overall deal with the studio. 

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

No details are being disclosed but the pact is said to be for five years, and it’s in the high eight figures. 

Under the agreement, Aguirre-Sacasa will develop, write, and produce new series through his banner, Muckle Man Productions, while also continuing as executive producer/showrunner on WBTV series Riverdale and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,as well as pilot Katy Keene, co-developed with Michael Grassi.

Shortly after he was named Chief Creative Officer of Archie Comics in 2014, Aguirre-Sacasa teamed with WBTV-based Berlanti Prods. to bring the Archie characters to television. He is the developer/executive producer behind Riverdale, which has been a major hit for the CWand Netflix, and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, which quickly established itself as a breakout for Netflix, and the co-developer/executive producer on the Riverdale spinoff pilot Katy Keene, which has been garnering solid early buzz at the CW.

Before becoming Archie Comics COO, Aguirre-Sacasa wrote two of the company’s best-selling horror series: Afterlife With Archie and Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina. He previously worked for Marvel Comics, scripting the adventures of Spider-Man, Nightcrawler, and the Fantastic Four.

Aguirre-Sacasa’s TV series writing-producing credits include Fox’s GleeHBO’s Looking and Big Love, as well as a stint on WBTV/Berlanti Prods.’ Supergirl.

Aguirre-Sacasa is an accomplished screenwriter and playwright. He penned the feature remakes of Carrie and The Town That Dreaded Sundown, as well as the musical adaptation of American Psycho, which had runs in London and on Broadway

Aguirre-Sacasa was part of the team that was brought in to overhaul Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark. This summer, Pasadena Playhouse will produce his prep school thriller, Good Boys and True, and he wrote the book to the Broadway-bound Magic Mike the musical, with Brian Yorkey (lyrics) and Tom Kitt(music).