‘The Muppets’ Short-Form Series Coming to Disney Plus

Kermit, Miss Piggy and co. are coming to Disney Plus.

A short-form unscripted series starring the goofy puppets is set to premiere on the forthcoming Disney streaming service in 2020. The news was announced at the Disney Plus D23 Expo event.

The announcement came with a brief teaser of Kermit and Joe the Legal Weasel arguing over how many details about the series they were allowed to divulge.

“You are not authorized to offer a peak, sneak or otherwise,” said the stubborn weasel in the brief clip. “I know how you frogs are, you’re always looking to leap into the next big thing.”


“I’d love to tell you more, but Joe The Legal Weasel is right behind me. Gulp,” wrote Kermit on his Twitter page.

The series will feature plenty of everyone’s favorite Muppets alongside celebrity guests. “Muppets Now” represents the latest entry to the “Muppets” franchise, which was started by Jim Henson. The most recent previous entry was “The Muppets” movie in 2012 and its sequel  “Muppets Most Wanted.” The furry characters’ previous foray into the Disney-owned TV world didn’t last long, after their ABC series “The Muppets” was canceled after only one season back in 2016.

“Muppets Now” will be produced by Muppets Studios.

Popular on Variety

Source: Read Full Article

Original ‘Mulan’ Star Ming-Na Wen Weighs in on Remake’s Controversy

Ming-Na Wen, who played the leading voice role in the original 1998 version of “Mulan,” has spoken out about the recent controversy surrounding Disney’s forthcoming live-action remake, which has been co-opted by China’s authoritarian regime to attack Hong Kong protestors.

“We are living in a world right now where there’s so much change and confusion and lot of stress,” she told Variety during the D23 Expo in Anaheim, Calif. on Friday. “And I really, for me, I hope that there is good resolution and peace and people will find a way. I think always, ultimately, the truth and the goodness of people win out and history proves that time and time again. So, we’ll see.”

Protestors in Hong Kong began taking the streets in June in light of a controversial extradition bill, and anti-government protests have remained strong in the city-state in the months since. “Mulan” became embroiled in the state-wide demonstrations when Crystal Yifei Liu, who stars in the re-make, voiced her support for Hong Kong police, after which China’s government-controlled media began praising the film and publicly backed a #SupportMulan campaign. When calls for a boycott against the remake broke out in light of Liu’s controversial comments, Chinese authorities backed up the Disney film, putting the ubiquitous studio in an awkward political position.

Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube were forced to shut down pages, accounts and channels after Chinese nationalist trolls took to the social media sites to herald Liu as their communist mascot, and scores of state-backed accounts began spamming pages with the hashtag #SupportMulan. Variety previously reported that Twitter shuttered 200,000 Chinese accounts, Facebook removed seven pages, three groups, and five accounts, and YouTube yanked 210 channels.

Aside from the controversy, however, Wen added that she was excited about the live-action re-make, saying, “Disney did it right the first time and I think they’ll do it right again.” When asked if she expected the wild success the “Mulan” franchise has seen since she first starred in the original, she said, “No, no not all. Who could forsee this? It’s insane, I still don’t believe it.”

Source: Read Full Article

Good Morning America presenter Lara Spencer mocks Prince George

British stars attack Good Morning America presenter Lara Spencer after she mocked Prince George for taking ballet lessons

  • Good Morning America host Lara Spencer appeared to mock Prince George 
  • She joked about the royal, six, taking ballet lessons at St Thomas’s Battersea
  • Stifled laughter as she said: ‘Prince William says George absolutely loves ballet, I have news for you Prince William we’ll see how long that lasts’
  • British stars have spoken out to defend Prince George and criticise Lara Spencer 

British stars have criticised an American TV host after she appeared to mock Prince George on a morning show.  

Good Morning America presenter Lara Spencer stifled laughter today as she discussed Prince George, six, taking ballet lessons during his upcoming second year at £18,000-a-year St Thomas’s School in Battersea. 

This came after the youngster’s curriculum was revealed, which will include French, poetry and ballet lessons.  

Speaking on the show, Lara said: ‘The future king of England will be putting down the Playdoh to take on Religious Studies, computer programming poetry and ballet among other things.’

Good Morning America presenter Lara Spencer, pictured, stifled laughter today as she discussed Prince George, six, taking ballet lessons at St Thomas’s School in Battersea

Outraged Good Morning Britain viewers jumped to Prince George’s defence after presenter Lara Spencer appeared to poke fun at his love for ballet. He is seen visiting the Lindo Wing to meet Prince Louis last year

After the audience erupted with laughter, Laura held back her own giggles as she added: ‘Prince William says George absolutely loves ballet, I have news for you Prince William we’ll see how long that lasts.’

The comments have been attacked by British celebrities including Strictly Come Dancing’s Arlene Philips.

Writing on Instagram, the star said: ‘What a shameful, outdated, harmful attitude being broadcast to the masses. Dance has countless scientifically proven benefits for physical and mental health.

‘There should be nothing but encouragement for any male who chooses to try dance whether it’s as a fun hobby or for a future as a professional.’

This came following the latest news that George’s curriculum at his £18k-a-year St Thomas’s School in Battersea will include French, poetry and ballet. George is pictured at The Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes to sail in The Kings Cup Sailing Race this month

Taking to Instagram, choreographer Brian Friedman slammed the presenter, writing: ‘See this cute face, the future King of England? This adorable boy is being shamed by a grown woman on National Television in America for taking ballet!

‘Lara, you should be ashamed of yourself as well as George Stephanopoulos for laughing along & Good Morning America  for letting public shaming of young boys happen! 

‘It infuriates me and I would appreciate everyone sharing this and forcing a public apology to Prince George, The Royal Family, all male dancers and all dancers in general for being so insensitive.’ 

Taking to Instagram, choreographer Brian Friedman, seen in October 2016, slammed the presenter

Choreographer Arlene Phillips agreed, writing under the post: ‘What a shameful, outdated, harmful attitude being broadcast to the masses. Dance has countless scientifically proven benefits for physical and mental health. There are sportsmen who train in dance for the edge it gives them, I believe champion boxer Vasyl Lomachenko is just one of them.

‘There should be nothing but encouragement for any male who chooses to try dance whether it’s as a fun hobby or for a future as a professional. In my career I have worked with more extremely talented, incredibly hardworking, unbelievably strong male dancers than you could believe’.

This follows the news that George’s new curriculum will include French, poetry and ballet. 

Head of the lower school, Helen Haslem, wrote on the website this week: ‘The curriculum presented in Year 2 reflects the increased ability of the children, both academically and socially.

‘It sees the completion of the basic skills in literacy and numeracy in Key Stage 1.

‘Individual strengths and talents begin to emerge, which you will undoubtedly begin to see.’ 

Brian wrote: ‘Lara, you should be ashamed of yourself as well as George Stephanopoulos for laughing along & Good Morning America for letting public shaming of young boys happen!’

Choreographer Arlene Phillips agreed, writing under the post: ‘What a shameful, outdated, harmful attitude being broadcast to the masses 

George and his classmates will have 35-minute ballet classes which are accompanied by a live piano player. 

Ballet lessons are based on the Royal Academy of Dance’s syllabus, and aim to build ‘physical skills, stamina, creativity, expression and musicality, using a range of movements and musical styles’.

A love of dancing clearly runs in the family, with Charlotte and George, both believed to have taken ballet classes at their school last year.

William previously revealed that George had inherited his love for dance from the late Princess Diana. 

Speaking at the BBC Radio 1’s Teen Hero awards last year, Prince William said: ‘George is doing dance as well, he loves it.

‘My mother always used to dance, loved dance.

‘If it’s something you love, you do what you love and it’s very important, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You keep at it.’

This follows the news that George’s new curriculum will include French, poetry and ballet.. George is pictured in a photo taken by mum Kate to celebrate his sixth birthday

William previously revealed that George had inherited his love for dance from the late Princess Diana. Prince William returning to the Lindo Wing with Prince George and Princess Charlotte as they enter to meet their brother for the first time in 2018

Source: Read Full Article

There's 1 Reason Why Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Are Facing More Criticism Than Prince Andrew

There’s lots of drama going on in the royal family right now, but are all scandals truly equal?

Many fans are confused about why Prince Andrew’s questionable relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein is getting less press than Prince Harry and Meghan Markle using private jets. It seems that everyone is a lot more outraged by the latter right now.

The whole Prince Andrew/Jeffrey Epstein connection shouldbe one of the biggest royal scandals of the year, if not the decade.However, royal followers are much more interested in discussing if Prince Harrytruly is theso-called “Prince of Wokeness” and a climate change hypocrite to boot.

It may seem strange, but there is one very telling reasonwhy this unpleasant business with Prince Andrew isn’t drawing as much attentionas it should.

Prince Harry is more famous than Prince Andrew

The most obvious explanation that Prince Andrew’s scandal isn’t dominating headlines is that he’s not as popular as the Duke of Sussex. He may have a place in the line of succession, but at 59 years old, the second son and third child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip isn’t young and handsome anymore. People weren’t that interested in him before and they’re not changing their minds now.

Meanwhile, Prince Harry is one of the most talked-about royal family members in the world, especially after changing his party boy ways and marrying Meghan Markle. Harry and Meghan broke the Guinness World Record for accumulating the largest number of followers in the shortest amount of time on Instagram. These two are superstars.

Prince Andrew used to makeheadlines all the time

Critics are quick to cryfoul that Harry and Meghan should receive so much negative attention when whatthey’re doing isn’t that terrible — at least not in comparison to stayingfriends with a pedophile. But remember, this isn’t Prince Andrew’s firstscandal, and there was a time when he got plenty of bad press. Remember thewhole Fergie toe-suckingincident?

In truth, the nature of Prince Andrew’s alleged sins probably contributes to why the media is a little more cautious with their coverage. No one is exactly sure how involved Prince Andrew was with Epstein or his knowledge of his former friend’s crimes at the time. It’s a lot easier to discuss Prince Harry hopping on a private jet because the act itself isn’t illegal — it’s just poor form for a so-called environmentalist.

The press has been coveringPrince Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein for a while

There’s one more reason why the royal family’s connection with Epstein isn’t making more headlines — it’s kind of old news. The truth of Prince Andrew’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein first started appearing way back in 2007 and that media coverage culminated in 2011.

It’s true that Epstein was in the news again, but everyone already knew of the royal family’s involvement.

For their part, Buckingham Palacemade a public statement declaring that Prince Andrew never had sex withunderage girls. When the allegations against Epstein dominated in 2011, PrinceAndrew resigned from his position as Britain’sspecial representative for Trade and Investment.

And now? Everyone hasmoved on to new scandals. Like Prince Harry making barefoot speeches and takingprivate planes.

Source: Read Full Article

Chrissy Teigen Took Internet Trolls to Task When They Shamed Her for Going Braless

It seems as though wherever Chrissy Teigen goes, internet trolls are sure to follow. The model and all-star clapback queen was recently met with rude comments yet again when she shared a seemingly braless photo of herself on Instagram on Thursday, August 22. 

In the pic, Teigen is wearing a low-cut maroon jumpsuit as she stands in a toy store, looking off to the side with a perplexed expression on her face. “What do you think I’m looking at,” she captioned the ‘gram. 

While some fans weighed in with a guess (the model later revealed it was a Polly Pocket toy that captured her attention), others decided to leave not-so-nice comments about Teigen’s choice to go braless. “A bra, girl, get you one!” one person wrote, while another just commented “a bra.” 

View this post on Instagram

what do you think I’m looking at

A post shared by chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) on

Naturally, Teigen was ready with several responses. “Allow me to save you from my titties,” she replied to one user. In another comment, she simply wrote: “LOL LOL LOL LOL OMG LOL LOL.” Laughing at your bullies is definitely one of the best weapons, and Teigen is a level-10 expert. 

But the model wasn’t done there; in true Teigen fashion, she then posted another ‘gram to let her haters know that she really doesn’t care what they think about her. In the video, Tegien is seen in the same outfit riding a toy down an inflatable slide. Towards the end of the clip, the model hilariously reaches up to cover her chest (low-cut outfits and slides don’t really mix, after all). “Whoopsie daisy” she quipped in the caption. 

View this post on Instagram

whoopsie daisy

A post shared by chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) on

Plenty of Teigen’s friends and fellow celebs seemed to enjoy the video. “I think it gets funnier the more you watch it,” Tess Holliday commented, while Kate Hudson called the clip “amazing.” And Yolanda Hadid pretty much spoke for all of us by simply commenting with the laugh-crying emoji. 

Despite the trolls coming up from under their bridges on Teigen’s first pic, many of her fans came forward to support her, rightfully noting that whatever decisions she makes about her wardrobe are her choice alone. “What the hell guys, it's crazy how people get offended about other people's bodies,” one fan wrote, adding: “Love yours and love others.” Another person commented: “I cannot imagine how y’all must feel about yourself if you feel the need to tell other women to get on a bra. Nope. No bra unless absolutely necessary.”

Of course, Teigen is no stranger to dealing with internet bullies; she’s been body-shamed and mom-shamed by online randoms left and right. Fortunately, it seems as though she’s able to combat the negativity with a sense of humor. “I think you can respond [to trolls] if you’re having fun with them and make it more lighthearted,” she told Page Six in May, adding that she’s grown a thicker skin over the years. “I’m much more able to laugh everything off, so I’ve grown a lot…with Twitter and Instagram.” Her strategy definitely seems to be working, and we could all take a page from the Chrissy Teigen Guide to Shutting Down Bullies. 

Source: Read Full Article

YouTube Pulls Down 210 Channels It Says Coordinated a Propaganda Campaign Aimed at Hong Kong Protests

Google said it disabled a group of 210 channels on YouTube that were acting in a coordinated “influence campaign” directed at the ongoing pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

Google announced the action Thursday, three days after Facebook and Twitter said they had removed accounts identified as linked to China-backed disinformation campaigns on their platforms aiming to discredit Hong Kong protesters.

While Google did not identify the YouTube channels it pulled down, the company said they were operating in a “coordinated manner” to upload videos related to the Hong Kong protests. “This discovery was consistent with recent observations and actions related to China announced by Facebook and Twitter,” Shane Huntley, director of software engineering in Google Security’s Threat Analysis Group, wrote in a blog post.

China has blocked access to YouTube under the country’s content-restriction policies since 2009, and the regime bans other Western internet services. Google discovered the YouTube channels in question used virtual private networks (VPNs) and other methods to mask the origin of the accounts along with other activity “commonly associated with coordinated influence operations,” Huntley wrote.

Despite their best efforts, YouTube and other platforms — playing a game of Whac-a-Mole with bad actors — can’t fully shut off attempts to spread propaganda.

After Twitter claimed it deleted over 200,000 accounts that were “deliberately and specifically attempting to sow political discord in Hong Kong,” Variety found dozens of active Twitter accounts posting under the hashtag #SupportMulan that employed rhetoric echoing Chinese state propaganda. Some pro-China accounts have co-opted Disney‘s new “Mulan“ after the film’s star, Crystal Yifei Liu, stated her support for Hong Kong police, who are trying to quell demonstrations.

While U.S.-based platforms are inaccessible in the country, China’s state news agencies have spent “hundreds of thousands of dollars” on creating content for and distributing content across YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services, according to the New York Times, which cited government procurement records.

On a monthly basis, Google’s threat analysis group sends over 4,000 warnings to users about attempts by “government-backed attackers or other illicit actors” to infiltrate their accounts, according to Huntley.

“Our teams will continue to identify bad actors, terminate their accounts, and share relevant information with law enforcement and others in the industry,” Huntley wrote.

Popular on Variety

Source: Read Full Article

NIGEL FARAGE makes admission that there WILL be bumps in the road

He’s the architect of Brexit — and still battling Project Fear. But NIGEL FARAGE makes a candid admission about the threat of No Deal… that there WILL be bumps in the road

Recently, to my delight, I received my new British passport. Unlike its predecessor, it requests that I should be allowed to travel freely in my capacity as a citizen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

All reference to the European Union or European Community, first stamped on British passports in 1988, has been removed.

This adjustment, which the Home Office began rolling out a few months ago, may be Theresa May’s only memorable achievement from her three years in Downing Street, but I applaud it nonetheless.

Some people – especially those who oppose Brexit – will accuse me of being a ‘Little Englander’ for celebrating this change.

But I happen to believe it’s important that an identity document reflects the facts, in this case by acknowledging in print that all British passport bearers are just that: British.

On the new British passport (pictured with Nigel Farage), all reference to the European Union or European Community, first stamped on British passports in 1988, has been removed

The significance of what is written on the cover of our passports feeds into a wider argument about Brexit itself.

I have spent more than 25 years campaigning for the UK to leave the EU. In doing so, I have been motivated by many things, the most crucial of which is my desire for Britain to be independent again.

In other words, as far as I am concerned, the EU question has always been about something far more meaningful than its impact on our economy.

We have our own flag, anthem, currency, and political and legal systems. Millions of patriots made the ultimate sacrifice in two World Wars, defending precious freedoms championed by Britain for centuries.

To find ourselves in the 21st century beholden to the whims of the EU’s unelected bureaucrats and foreign courts, stuck in a straitjacket whose strings have been pulled ever tighter over the years, makes a mockery of everything they fought for.

Unlike its predecessor (left), it requests that I should be allowed to travel freely in my capacity as a citizen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

As I write, it appears possible (but only possible) that Britain may finally escape the EU’s clutches on October 31. If we do exit the bloc by that date, it is likely that we may do so without a deal.

Some doom-mongers seem to believe that in this No Deal situation, Britain would be finished.

Earlier this week, a leaked Whitehall dossier, called Operation Yellowhammer, purported to highlight how Britain will be left vulnerable without a deal.

It pontificated about a return of a hard border in Ireland. It warned of shortages of fuel, medicine and food, protests, road blockades and ‘direct action’ – whatever that meant.

While I have never disputed that such a major disruption will inevitably lead to short-term difficulties, the contents of Operation Yellowhammer are baffling.

Its suggestion that the flow of our goods could be halved in the event of a No Deal Brexit is frankly laughable. Even the German U-boats were not as useful at lowering our levels of trade!

If you listen to certain anti-Brexit politicians in Westminster, they will tell you that Calais will come to a standstill when Brexit is enacted. Yet the man in charge of that French port, Jean-Marc Puissesseau (pictured), has denounced this as nonsense

Of course, I have always been clear that there would be bumps along the road.

But, as I have also always argued, leaving the EU is about something far more important and profound than money.

On a fundamental level, it is about having the self-confidence as a nation to improve our quality of life – and to live that life on our own terms.

Moving house is often disruptive, but people do it to get to a better place. We have taken the first step. Now we must carry on.

For too long, far too much emphasis has been placed on the alleged disruption Britain faces if and when we leave the EU without a deal.

If, for example, you listen to certain anti-Brexit politicians in Westminster, they will tell you that Calais will come to a standstill when Brexit is enacted, hampering trade and wreaking havoc with people’s livelihoods.

Yet the man in charge of that French port, Jean-Marc Puissesseau, has denounced this as nonsense.

Indeed he has repeatedly stated that Calais is ready for a No Deal Brexit. He thinks it will be business as usual. I know who I believe.

Or consider another, more positive, effect of Britain leaving the EU, this time relating to the sensitive question of freedom of movement. Home Office sources say that, after Brexit, EU migrants with a criminal record could be banned from the UK. Who among us would not welcome fewer violent individuals turning up in our towns and cities to cause misery?

For too long, Brexit has been the thing which divides us as a society. In many ways this is remarkable, not least because a democratic vote was held and a clear result was achieved. (For the record, the majority was in excess of 1.25 million.)

It is up to everybody to make the best of this opportunity.

Past generations would have done so without question. And future generations will not thank us if we continue to waste it.                              

Source: Read Full Article

Save 20% on This Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Trio in the Dermstore Sale

The one universal truth that always rings true? When we look good, we feel good. Maybe we’ve purchased a new outfit or are now sporting a new hairdo. Any of those little things make a big difference. But when it comes to our skin, we’re smiling ear-to-ear when we have that goddess glow. Good skin is the instant day maker that never goes out of style.

However, nothing ruins those good days faster than bad skin. Sure, there’s plenty of concealer and foundation to cover those blemishes, pimples and imperfections, but they can only do so much after the fact. We’d much rather stay ahead so we’re doing it with this skincare trio set. Not only is it skin-saving, but it’s also on sale in the Dermstore Anniversary Sale happening now!

See it: Grab the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Clinic-At-Home Kit (originally $88) now only $70 when using promo code CELEBRATE at checkout at Dermstore!

The Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Clinic-At-Home Kit is the all-inclusive set that will have Us handling every skin-related issue like the pros with three powerful formulas. The trio of products was carefully selected to help exfoliate the skin and improve its overall appearance. Within all three products, we can expect to find active ingredients that are extremely beneficial such as glycolic acid, lactic acid, retinol and green tea!

Reviewers couldn’t stop raving over improvements in their skin after using this kit. One reviewer couldn’t believe how “well it worked” while others called it a “great value for the price,” especially since it comes with three fan-favorites from the Dr. Dennis Gross brand. Here’s the breakdown of exactly what is included in this kit and the purpose it serves.

1. Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel

Everyone will be loving the Extra Strength Daily Peel! One reviewer loved how it “brightened [their] skin” and “balanced out [their] skin tone and minimized the appearance of pores.” Other reviewers loved how it helped to get rid of irritation and redness. This 30-pack can help to refine and rejuvenate the skin, leaving it healthy and radiant! It can work to diminish fine lines, large pores, dark spots and even breakouts. It can also remove dead skin cells and improve our overall tone and texture, too!

See it: Grab the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Clinic-At-Home Kit (originally $88) now only $70 when using promo code CELEBRATE at checkout at Dermstore!

2. Alpha Beta Pore Perfecting Cleansing Gel

This non-stripping cleansing gel is perfect! It can help to keep skin clear and smooth while working to remove makeup, bacteria and any impurities. One reviewer loved how this formula didn’t “dry out [their] face” while another loved “it left [their] skin with a nice glow.” So many others loved the consistency and called it the “perfect nighttime cleanser!”

3. Alpha Beta Exfoliating Moisturizer

We saved the best for last! This oil-free, exfoliating moisturizer is the ultimate 2-in-1. It works overtime to help lock in moisture and hydrate our skin for 72 straight hours, all while exfoliating dead skin cells and improving the appearance of pores and fine lines! One reviewer said it’s “perfect for baby soft skin” while others deemed it the “holy grail” in their skincare routines.

See it: Grab the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Clinic-At-Home Kit (originally $88) now only $70 when using promo code CELEBRATE at checkout at Dermstore!

Not your style? Check out additional Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare products and more items in the Dermstore Anniversary Sale!


Check out more of our picks and deals here!

This post is brought to you by Us Weekly’s Shop With Us team. The Shop With Us team aims to highlight products and services our readers might find interesting and useful. Product and service selection, however, is in no way intended to constitute an endorsement by either Us Weekly or of any celebrity mentioned in the post.

The Shop With Us team may receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. In addition, Us Weekly receives compensation from the manufacturer of the products we write about when you click on a link and then purchase the product featured in an article. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product or service is featured or recommended. Shop With Us operates independently from advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback at [email protected] Happy shopping!

For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on Youtube!

Source: Read Full Article

Patricia Rooney Recounts 'Immaculate Reception' in Clip from Doc About Leading Ladies of the NFL

Things really turned around for the Pittsburgh Steelers after December 23, 1972, when fullback Franco Harris executed one of the sport’s most famous plays: the so-called “Immaculate Reception.”

In PEOPLE’s exclusive clip from the upcoming documentary A Lifetime of Sundays — which tells the story of the NFL through the eyes of four female team owners — Patricia Rooney, whose late husband Dan was the son of Steelers founder Art Rooney, opens up about one of the most important moments in the franchise’s history.

“When I was little, the Steelers were really bad,” her daughter Patricia Gerrero says in the clip, adding that growing up, the family drove a station wagon with the team’s name on it and “people would boo at us” and “yell at us to get out of town.”

“And then of course the ’70s came and things turned around. Chuck Noll came in and brought some kind of magic with him,” Rooney says. “We had a play here called ‘Immaculate Reception.’ It was a big game and it looked like we were really gonna lose it.”

Patricia Rooney

At the time, the Steelers had yet to win a single playoff game — and with just 22 seconds left in the 1972 game, fans had little hope for a different outcome after the team’s quarterback made a pass down the field that resulted in a collision. But everything changed after fullback Franco Harris picked up the ball.

“And then all of a sudden it was like fireworks,” Rooney remembers of the game, which the Steelers went on to win 13-7 after Franco’s game-winning touchdown.

“It was just unbelievable,” she adds.

Although the Steelers did not go on to win that year’s big game, losing in the AFC Championship to the Miami Dolphins, they went on to win four of their six Super Bowl titles within the next decade.

Patricia Rooney

The film, which is being released as part of the celebration of the NFL’s 100th season, is the first time all four women, known as the “Fab Four of Football,” came together to share their unique perspective on the game.

Opening up about what drew her to telling their story, co-executive producer Julie Haddon tells PEOPLE that the film’s subjects were an inspiration to her.

“As a woman working in an all-male sport, I was inspired by these four women – and so many other women around the league. These four owners, in particular, were leading at a time when it was even more difficult for women in leadership,” Haddon says, adding that everyone at the NFL was “extraordinarily supportive” of the project.

“The commissioner, the owners, the players, coaches, the clubs and colleagues at NFL — everyone was excited about the idea of creating this documentary. They wanted to see it as much as we wanted to make it,” she adds.

As for her favorite moment from the film, Haddon says that she loved “when the women talk about the Lombardi Trophy and that they always have room for one more.”

“Their love of the game, their joy in what they do, their friendship and their competitive spirit are all at play simultaneously. It’s fun. It’s human. And it’s why we love the sport!” she tells PEOPLE.

“And frankly one of my favorite experiences of my career — was sitting next to these four famously private women as we watched the film together at the owners meeting. The toughest audience to please is your subject,” she adds. “To have earned their trust, shared their story for the first time, and see how moved they were by our film but ultimately by their own lives, brought me chills. It was exhilarating and inspiring.”

In terms of what she hopes people will take away from the film, Haddon wants viewers to see that “inspiration can come from anywhere, even right in front of us” and that “women should find careers doing what they love, even if it’s the most unexpected profession.”

A Lifetime of Sundays premieres Aug. 25 on ESPN at 1 p.m. EST. A week later, it will be aired on ABC on Sept. 1 at 3:30 p.m. EST. The film will also be available on ESPN’s Video On Demand service until Sept. 15 when it moves to ESPN+.

Source: Read Full Article

For Awards, the Divide Between U.S., Global TV Shows Is Blurred Thanks to Streaming

Back in May, “Killing Eve” killed it at the BAFTA TV awards, winning the drama series prize as well as best actress for Jodie Comer and supporting actress for Fiona Shaw.

“Killing Eve” is a phenomenal show, and deserves the accolades it has received, including a Golden Globe earlier this year for star Sandra Oh. But those three BAFTA wins came with a bit of controversy. In allowing the series to score 14 total nominations between its TV awards and TV craft awards, BAFTA (aka the British Academy of Film and Television Arts) bent its own rules. 

In order for a program to be eligible, the org usually requires it to premiere in the U.K., and for creative control to reside inside the U.K. “Killing Eve,” however, first aired in the United States, on BBC America (and in Season 2, was simulcast with AMC). The show was also first developed for BBC America. As a U.S. commission, it shouldn’t have been eligible for a BAFTA. 

But the program was nonetheless considered “British” enough — given that it was created by English writer-producer Phoebe Waller-Bridge, produced by the U.K.’s Sid Gentle Films, and predominantly set in the U.K. — that BAFTA gave it special dispensation.

“Killing Eve” is now also a major Emmy contender on this side of the pond, with nine nominations, including drama series, lead actress for Oh and Comer, and supporting actress for Shaw. The series’ success at the top TV awards shows in both the U.S. and the U.K. is a reminder that television has become much more global over the past decade.

The streaming services have hastened a teardown of those walls, but they’ve also added a level of confusion over what can even be considered an “international show.” Once upon a time, there was a clear divide between international and domestic productions, with just a few slightly blurred lines — PBS and WGBH with its “Masterpiece” projects, and HBO with its occasional U.K. co-productions. 

But even with those shows, it was usually clear that the U.S. partners were in on the ground floor and that these weren’t just acquisitions; U.S. programmers rarely acquired foreign productions — they remade them for domestic audiences. 

Now, with so much content flowing both ways, it’s often hard to tell what originated overseas before arriving here and what was jointly developed as an international co-production from the beginning.

In the case of the Emmys, semantics are important. According to TV Academy rules, “foreign television production is ineligible unless it is the result of a co-production (both financially and creatively) between U.S. and foreign partners, which precedes the start of production, and with a purpose to be shown on U.S. television.”

But “precedes the start of production” is a tricky stipulation that may be hard to pinpoint. Netflix’s “Bodyguard” and Amazon’s “A Very English Scandal” were initially announced in the U.K. as BBC productions, and it was only later that Netflix and Amazon were announced as partners. But in both cases, the streamers said they signed on early enough to have a say in production — and therefore the programs were eligible.

It’s a bit of an honor system, as the TV Academy requires that a U.S. partner be involved with creative input early enough in a season’s creative process but doesn’t do a deep dive into specifics. If Netflix and Amazon say they were involved from the beginning, unless someone objects, there’s no reason to doubt them.

In the case of Pop TV’s “Schitt’s Creek,” the comedy’s first season wasn’t submitted for Primetime Emmys because it was solely a CBC production in Canada. But Pop became involved as a co-producer in Season 2, subsequently making the show Emmy eligible — and leading to its four nominations this year, including comedy series, lead comedy actor (Eugene Levy) and lead comedy actress (Catherine O’Hara). Another series, Amazon’s “Absentia,” was originally produced overseas for AXN, and also wasn’t up for an Emmy in its first year due to the international restriction.

Of course, the International Emmy Awards are another option for any program that doesn’t meet Primetime Emmy eligibility. And they also serve a greater purpose, often honoring foreign language productions both U.S.-based and internationally produced. The Primetime Emmys honor English-language programming only.

But now that programs from around the world are available domestically — almost immediately via streaming services — and even linear broadcasters are more willing to take a shot on shows that originate outside U.S. borders, does it still make sense to try to parse where they came from? If TV is breaking down those barriers, perhaps it’s time for the Emmys to do the same.  

Popular on Variety

Source: Read Full Article