Archive for April, 2012

Donald Glover: From Coachella to 30 Rock’s Live Episode

Donald Glover  (Mitchell Haasetth / NBC)Donald Glover will return to 30 Rock for the show’s live broadcast on Thursday, April 26th at 8:30 pm.  Glover worked as a writer on the show from 2006 through 2009.  He, along with other 30 Rock writers, won the 2008 Writers Guild of America Award for Best Comedy.  Although he would make occasional cameo appearances while writing for the show, he is scheduled to appear this week as a younger Tracy Jordan, the character portrayed by Tracy Morgan.

This marks the second live episode of 30 Rock.  The first, directed by Beth McCarthy-Miller (who will also be behind the camera this Thursday), aired on October 14th, 2010.  The first live episode featured surprise appearances by Matt Damon, Mad Men’s Jon Hamm, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, currently starring on HBO’s Veep, as Tina Fey’s character Liz Lemon during the shows trademark swoosh back segues.  Fey, who is also the creator of the show, has already promised that there will be more surprise cameos this week.

Instead of merely rebroadcasting the show for the West Coast, the cast are planning to film two separate episodes for the East and West Coasts, with those in the Central time zone viewing the East Coast broadcast.  The first live episode was filmed twice for each coast as well.

Glover recently appeared both weekends on the main stage at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival performing under the name Childish Gambino:


Before flying to New York for the 30 Rock taping, he also performed a secret show in Los Angeles on Monday, April 23rd.  He can also be seen earlier in NBC’s Thursday line-up as Troy Barnes on the cult favorite Community at 8:00 pm:


 

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Glee’s Tribute to Whitney Houston to Air April 24th

by Jade Robledo

Although co-creator Ryan Murphy once proclaimed that there would no longer be episodes of Glee dedicated to one artist, next Tuesday, April 24th, brings an hour tribute to Whitney Houston.  The show’s Amber Riley (Mercedes) covered Houston’s biggest hit “I Will Always Love You” on their Valentine’s Day episode earlier this year.  As the show was scheduled to air three days after Houston’s death from accidental drowning on February 11th, they were able to add a title card to the end credits reading:

Whitney Houston
1963 – 2012
We Will Always Love You

However, it was decided that this was not enough of a tribute to the singer / actress.  Thus, soon after her death it was announced that they would be filming an episode as tribute to her contributions to music.

The episode, titled “Dance With Somebody” will include the cast performing Houston’s hits “Saving All My Love For You,” “So Emotional,” “I Have Nothing,” “My Love Is Your Love” and the track that inspired the title of the episode, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me).”  A video of Amber Riley, accompanied by Lea Michele (Rachel), Chris Colfer (Kurt) and Naya Rivera (Santana) performing an a cappella version of “How Will I Know” has been released:

Whitney Houston’s own a cappella version of the song can be heard here:

Glee airs Tuesdays on Fox, check your local listings for the time.

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Dick Clark, “America’s Oldest Teenager,” Dies at Age 82

Dick Clark, Craig Sjodin / ABC

Dick Clark, known primarily as the longtime host of “American Bandstand” as well as his “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” programs has died at the age of 82 following a massive heart attack.

Born in New York in 1929, Clark began his long career in the entertainment industry by working in the mailroom of a radio station WRUN in New York while still in high school.  He soon moved up to the microphone, filling in for people when needed.  He continued to work in radio as a disc jockey in the student run radio station while enrolled at Syracuse University.  Upon graduation he went back to WRUN, but soon left for a spot in Philadelphia at WFIL.

It was while he lived in Philadelphia that he began hosting the then local afternoon “Bandstand” dance show for teenagers.  Within five years, the local program became renamed by ABC as “American Bandstand” when it became a national show.  The program consisted of teenagers dancing to the big hits of the day, as well as appearances by people as varied as Elvis Presley to ABBA, from the Bee Gees to Aerosmith.  The popularity of the show and its host cannot be overlooked when observing popular culture in America.

In 1963 Clark moved the show to Hollywood, and began his own production company, Dick Clark Productions.  This company went on to produce shows such as Pyramid (the game show that he also hosted), So You Think You Can Dance and TV Bloopers & Practical Jokes.  Dick Clark Productions is also the company behind such annual shows as the American Music Awards, the Academy of Country Music Awards, and the Golden Globes.

Although Clark stopped hosting American Bandstand in 1989, he was still welcomed into homes on December 31st as he hosted his “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” specials from Time Square in New York beginning.  He began hosting the show in 1974, and continued until December 31st, 2004.  On December 6th of that year he was reportedly hospitalized following a minor stroke.  Regis Philbin stepped in since Clark’s health prevented him from hosting as he had planned.  In 2005 Clark was again hosting, however he was joined by a co-host, television personality Ryan Seacrest.  Although Seacrest handled most of the hosting duties, Clark still conducted the traditional New Year’s Eve countdown.  In 2009 the broadcast was renamed Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Even with Ryan Seacrest to reflect Seacrest’s increased hosting responsibilities.

Seacrest released a statement today stating:  “I am deeply saddened by the loss of my dear friend Dick Clark.  He has truly been one of the greatest influences in my life.  I idolized him from the start, and I was graced early on in my career with his generous advice and counsel.  When I joined his show in 2006, it as a dream come true to work with him every New Year’s Eve for the last 6 years.  He was smart, charming, funny and always a true gentleman.  I learned a great deal from him, and I’ll always be indebted to him for his faith and support of me.  He was a remarkable host and businessman and left a rich legacy to television audiences around the world.  We will all miss him.”

Clark is survived by his third wife, and three children from his previous marriages.

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Soundgarden Fans Rejoice

by Jade Robledo

Soundgarden fans rejoice!

The first recording from the rock band in 15 years has now been made available as a free download on iTunes.  “Live to Rise” is the first single to be released from the upcoming soundtrack to MARVEL’s the Avengers, which will be titled Avengers Assemble and scheduled to be released on May 1st via Hollywood Records.  Also available as part of the free download of the single is an exclusive clip from the film due May 4th.

The band is known for being a seminal band of the Seattle / “grunge” era of rock in the early 90s.  Their greatest success came with the release of their album Superunknown, which debuted at number 1 on the Billboard charts in 1994.  The release featured “Black Hole Sun” and “Spoonman,” both of which won Grammys for Best Hard Rock Performance and Best Metal Performance in 1995 respectively.

In 1997 Soundgarden broke up due to creative differences.  Lead singer Chris Cornell recorded three solo albums, Euphoria Morning, Carry On, and Scream.  Cornell also recorded three albums with Audioslave, which also featured then-former Rage Against the Machine band members Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk.  Known for the singles “Cochise,” “Like a Stone” and “Show Me How to Live,” Audioslave also cited creative differences when they broke up in 2007.

Guitarist Kim Thayil played on tracks for Steve Fisk and Dave Grohl’s side-project Probot.  Ben Shepherd played bass on releases by Tony Iommi and Mark Lanegan.

Matt Cameron continued to drum in his side-project Wellwater Conspiracy that he began in 1993, a project that included a 1997 release featuring lead vocals by Ben Shepherd.  He also contributed drums on “For Martha” on the Smashing Pumpkins’ 1998 album Adore before accepting the invitation from Pearl Jam to fill in for Jack Irons on their US tour.  He has since joined the band as an official member.

In 2010 the band announced via Twitter that they were reuniting for live shows.  In 2011 Cornell confirmed that they would be heading into the studio to record a new album.  “Live to Rise” marks the first release since the reformation.

Soundgarden will hit the road in late May to join the European summer festival circuit including Donington’s Download Festival in June. Additional tour dates and more information can be found on Soundgarden’s web site.

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Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Hemsworth launch the Avengers in Hollywood

by Cindy Robinson

Actors Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Hemsworth launched MARVEL’s the Avengers in Hollywood Wednesday night. This May, Marvel Studios brings to life the super hero team up of a lifetime featuring iconic Marvel super heroes with Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Chris Evans as Captain America, Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.

When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins to assemble the ultimate super hero team.

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The star-studded premiere brought out the cast of the Avengers along with Clark Gregg and Jennifer Grey, director Joss Whedon, producer Kevin Feige, Jon Favreau, Dancing With the Stars cast members Karina Smirnoff and Chelsie Hightower, LOST and Lord of the Rings star Dominic Monaghan, Alexander Skarsgård, Harry Dean Stanton, Aisha Tyler, Seth Green,  Chris Cornell and Soundgarden who wrote the original song for the movie “Live to Rise”.

Directed by Joss Whedon, “Marvel’s The Avengers” is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series “The Avengers,” first published in 1963. Look for this blockbuster by Marvel Studios in association with Paramount Pictures and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures to break box office records on May 4th.

For more information on the Avengers please visit Marvel’s the Avengers to view trailers, grab exclusive downloads and buy your movie tickets.

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