Miss South Africa wins Miss Universe 2019 crown

Frank Micelotta / FOX.(ATLANTA) --Sunday saw the Miss Universe crown go to Zozibini Tunzi a.k.a. Miss South Africa.  She bested 90 other women competing in the annual pageant that was filmed from Tyler Perry Studios.

People reports that Tunzi is a 26-year-old public relations professional and a gender-based violence activist.  While ecstatic about her win, she's more excited how dark skinned girls will feel when they see her wearing the iconic tiara.

"Society has been programmed for a very long time that never saw beauty in a way that was black girl magic, but now we are slowing moving to a time where women like myself can finally find a place in society, can finally know they’re beautiful," She told reporters.

She also hopes her new title will help bring "a new, fresh and different perspective of what South Africa is."

Miss Puerto Rico Madison Anderson was runner-up while Miss Mexico Sofía Aragón came in third.

With Tunzi's win comes South Africa's third Miss Universe crown: winning in 1978 and 2017.

 Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Gal Gadot flies high and deflects bullets in first 'Wonder Woman 1984' trailer

© 2018 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC.(LOS ANGELES) -- The 80s were known as a colorful time in history, politically and culturally.  Wonder Woman 1984, which is set 70 years after the first film, sees the return of Gal Gadot as the iconic DC heroine taking on corruption and modern art.

Miraculously joining her is Chris Pine's Steve, who perished in the first movie, which was set in World War I.  The trailer doesn't provide an explanation as to how the pilot survived and hasn't aged since his supposed demise.

The trailer also reveals the two villains Wonder Woman will have to fight, Pedro Pascal's Max Lord  and Kristen Wiig's The Cheetah.  For the latter, however, all of Wiig's scenes show her bonding with Wonder Woman and misleading the audience about her inevitable transformation into the superhero's archenemy.

While dazzling with an array of vivid colors and dramatic fight sequences, the trailer is not without humor.

The first look ends with Wonder Woman showing Steve an outdoor art display.  However, when the pilot stops to admire a trash can, he is hilariously informed that he is looking at just that.  "It's just a trash can.  Yeah, yeah, yeah," the pilot stutters before nervously moving away from the trash.

Wonder Woman 1984 arrives in theaters June 5.

The first film, which came out in 2017, earned a record-breaking $822 million during its  global box office run.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Ryan Reynolds shows what happens when a video game background character fights back in 'Free Guy'

20th Century Fox(LOS ANGELES) -- Players of a very violent Grand Theft Auto meets Fornite video game have met their match with Ryan Reynolds in Free Guy, a movie about a background character of a gaining sentience and fighting to bring order to his ravaged city.

The official trailer of 20th Century Fox's upcoming action flick premiered on Saturday.  It begins with Reynolds, who plays a bank teller named Guy, beginning to wonder why every day -- which consists of bank robberies and being held hostage -- is the same.  

When Guy determines that "today is going to be different," he takes matters into his own hands during a routine bank robbery at his job and fights back -- accidentally killing a game player.  

He soon discovers that the player's glasses lists a series of objectives and hidden items, cluing him in that his world isn't exactly what it seems.

Guy teams up with another background character, Milly a.k.a. Molotov Girl played by Jodie Comer, in order to restore peace to their virtual world.  However, their mission becomes a race against the clock when the video game's developer, played by Taika Waititi, plans to shut the game down.

Free Guy, also starring Stranger Things' Joe Keery and Get Out's Lil Rel Howery, arrives in theaters July 3 2020.

20th Century Fox is owned by Disney, the parent company of ABC.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Caroll Spinney, who played Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on 'Sesame Street', dies at 85

Photo by Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times via Getty Image(NEW YORK) -- The longtime puppeteer behind beloved Sesame Street characters Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, Caroll Spinney, has died at age 85, the Sesame Street Workshop announced in a statement.

Spinney spent five decades with Sesame Street, working with legendary puppeteer Jim Henson at the start of his career.

"Caroll Spinney gave something truly special to the world. With deepest admiration, Sesame Workshop is proud to carry his memory – and his beloved characters – into the future," the workshop announced in a statement. "Our hearts go out to Caroll’s beloved wife, Debra, and all of his children and grandchildren."

While Spinney himself may not have had the widespread recognition of his characters, his portrayal of the eight foot yellow bird and trash can-dwelling Oscar, skyrocketed both characters to global fame. Big Bird has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, his likeness on a U.S. postage stamp and was named a "Living Legend" in 2000 by the Library of Congress.

Spinney, who retired from Sesame Street in 2018, had been living with Dystonia -- a chronic disorder that makes muscles contract abnormally -- for some time and died at his home in Connecticut. He leaves behind his wife Debra, children and grandchildren.

 Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'The Irishman' leads Critics' Choice Awards with 14 nominations

Courtesy of Netflix(NEW YORK) -- The Critics' Choice Awards, widely viewed as an early predictor for the Oscars, has The Irishman topping its list of nominees, which came out Sunday.

While The Irishman racked up 14 nominations, Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood, the film with the second highest amount of mentions at 12, is also shaping up to be a fierce contender.

Martin Scorsese's The Irishman is up for top awards such as best picture, best director, and best adapted screenplay, as well as acting nominations for stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci.  

Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood also earned acting nods for Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and Julia Butters on top of nods for best picture, best director, and best original screenplay.

Streaming giant Netflix racked up 61 nods while HBO trails in a distant second for most TV nominations, at 33.  Amazon follows at 14 and then NBC with 12.

Netflix's series When They See Us is the highest nominated television series for best limited series, best actor, as well as two nominations each for best supporting actor/actress in a limited series or movie made for television -- for a grand total of six.  

NBC's This Is Us is up for five awards as is Pop's Schitt's Creek

Several actors could possibly win in both movie and television categories this year, such as Laura Dern for Big Little Lies and Netflix's movie Marriage Story.  

For a complete list of nominees, check out CriticsChoice.com.  The Critics' Choice Awards airs Sunday, January 12 on the CW.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Hailey Bieber's not-so-little kittens team up and take her computer hostage

erol savci/iStock(LOS ANGELES) -- As most cat owners know, when your kitty wants attention... you have no choice but to give it to them.  Hailey Bieber learned just that when her little Savannah kittens took up residence on her laptop.

"Um, excuse me.  Can I get my computer back... please?" Hailey pleads in a video posted to her Instagram Stories, which she uploaded Sunday.  It shows one of her Savannahs, Tuna, lounging about on the MacBook's screen.

Unfortunately for the model, the kitten remains unmoved.  Instead, it flicks its tail and begins dismissively grooming one of its legs as she tries to gently pull the laptop out from underneath to no avail.  

In a subsequent story, Hailey shows that she remained unsuccessful in retrieving her MacBook as her other kitten, Sushi, is seen idly perching on top of the keyboard.  Bieber remains speechless in the video and, instead, turns to her puppy, Oscar, for some assistance.

Oscar hilariously ignores his owner's struggle as he lazes against a pillow and slowly closes his eyes.  The next Story shows the Yorkie fast asleep in the same spot on the bed.

As for what was so important for Hailey to finish, it appears she was viewing a realtor's website and scrolling through available homes.  

Justin Bieber purchased the two Savannah kittens last October for a whppping $35,000.  Here's hoping the Biebers break their kittens of their computer-sitting habits because the Savannah is the largest domestic cat breed and those two kittens will only get bigger.

Savannah cats have the potential to weigh up to 20 pounds, as they are a cross-breed with the medium-sized wild African cat, the serval.

You can watch Sushi and Tuna grow up on their verified Instagram account.  

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'SNL' spoofs NATO conference hot mic scandal in star-studded cold open

Will Heath/NBC(NEW YORK) -- Saturday Night Live addressed the hot mic scandal at last week’s NATO conference in London, in a cold open sketch featuring Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon, Paul Rudd and James Corden, host of CBS’ The Late Late Show.

Fallon, Rudd and Corden played Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, respectively, all three of whom were caught on camera seemingly trashing President Donald Trump.

The trio, depicted as a group of kids gossiping in a school cafeteria, were joined by Alec Baldwin, reprising his Trump impersonation.

“Come on. Let’s get some lunch, maybe even a little wine, because we are bad boys,” Rudd's Macron declares.

When Baldwin's Trump tries to join the other world leaders at the lunch table, they want nothing to do with him -- even one-time ally Boris Johnson.

"I'm with these guys now," says Corden's messy-haired Johnson.

The guys eventually invite German Chancellor Angela Merkel, played by Kate McKinnon, to join them, teasing her that former president Barack Obama might be attending a cool kids party they're planning.

“You like like him, right?” asks Rudd's Macron, to which Merkel responds, "Obama?  Ew, he's like gross!  I definitely didn’t draw his face on my body pillow or anything.”

As Baldwin goes to leave the cafeteria, Corden tapes a piece of paper on his back that reads “Impeach Me.”

Cecily Strong also appeared in the sketch as first lady Melania Trump, who denounces bullying while hawking Peloton, the exercise bikes that recently took heat on social media after the company’s commercials, deemed sexist by many, people went viral.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'Frozen 2' threepeats with $34.7 million in weekend box office win

Walt Disney Studios(NEW YORK) -- Disney's Frozen 2 continued its grip on first place at the box office with an estimated $34.7 million weekend in its third week of release. The film has now grossed $337.6 million domestically -- a feat that took its predecessor more than twice as long to accomplish.  Frozen 2 is currently the seventh highest grossing movie of the year stateside.

Overseas, the film added an estimated $90.2 million, bringing its worldwide totals to nearly $920 million. Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

The weekend's only major release, Playmobil: The Movie, on the other hand, delivered an anemic $660,000 from 2,337 theaters, for a $282 per theater average -- the third worst opening average ever for a film opening in 2,000 or more locations.  The animation/live-action film, based on the German toy line, starred Gabriel Bateman and Anya Taylor-Joy, along with the voices of Jim Gaffigan, Daniel Radcliffe, Meghan Trainor and Adam Lambert.

Finishing second for the weekend was the Rian Johnson whodunnit Knives Out, delivering an estimated $14.15 million in its second week of release.

Third place is a tossup between Ford v Ferrari and Queen & Slim, both films grabbing an estimated $6.5 million.

Rounding out the top five was A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, earning an estimated $5.2 million for a domestic haul of more than $43 million in its third week of release.

In limited release, The Aeronauts, the thriller starring Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, delivered an estimated $185,000.

Here are the top 10 movies Friday through Sunday, with estimated domestic box office earnings:

1. Frozen 2, $34.7 million
2. Knives Out, $14.15 million
3. Ford v Ferrari, $6.6 million
4. Queen & Slim, $6.5 million
5. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, $5.2 million
6. Dark Waters, $4.1 million
7. 21 Bridges, $2.88 million
8. Playing With Fire, $2 million
9. Midway, $1.9 million
10. Joker, $1 million

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'The L Word: Generation Q' builds on the barriers broken by the original, says Jennifer Beals

ABC/Paula Lobo(NEW YORK) -- Fifteen years after the groundbreaking original show began, Showtime's sequel series The L Word: Generation Q, debuts Sunday. To show how much things have changed in this country in the years since the show first aired, gay marriage wasn't even legal at that time, and now, queer representation on TV is no longer out of the mainstream.  

The show's original cast is back, including Jennifer Beals, who plays Bette. She tells ABC Audio that she and co-stars Katherine Moennig and Leisha Hailey are friends who, "see each other all the time," but she adds, "we don't see each other as 'Bette', 'Shane' and 'Alice', right? So that first day on set was truly surreal."

Beals adds, "[I]t really wasn't until I put my cufflinks on that I really kind of could feel Bette come back."

So what's Bette been up to? "Masking disaster," the former Flashdance actress jokes. "She's had a really challenging past two and a half years."

As the series begins, Bette decides to run for mayor of Los Angeles.

Beals adds that while the original show opened doors, it continues to break down barriers.

"I really love how inclusive the cast is...And, you know, there is a wider embrace to the trans characters and trans characters are played by trans actors," says Beals. "There are some trans actors who play cis characters. And so that's interesting...to me because it makes us all really rethink gender identity."

She comments about the show's return: "While...I'm very, very excited that [the show] gives visibility...to an entire community, I'm also really excited that those people who aren't part of that community get to experience the beauty of that community."

The L Word: Generation Q debuts Sunday at 10 p.m. on Showtime.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Felicity Jones rises to new heights -- and gains a fear of heights -- in 'The Aeronauts'

Todd Williamson/January Images(NEW YORK) -- Felicity Jones is rising to new heights in the new inspired-by-true-events film, The Aeronauts.

The Oscar-nominated actress plays 19th century balloon pilot Amelia Wren opposite her Theory of Everything co-star Eddie Redmayne, who plays meteorologist James Glaisher. Together, they embark on a dangerous journey to fly higher than anyone in history.

Most of the film takes place within the confines of a gas balloon during its ascent into the clouds. Jones and Redmayne even filmed some scenes thousands of feet in the air in a real balloon, while director Tom Harper watched from a nearby helicopter.

“I was fine before the film and then afterwards... Now I'm not so good with heights,” Jones tells ABC Audio.  “It's quite a gradual ascent as you go up…so it doesn't strike you. It's actually coming down in the landing where it…can be a bit more rocky.”

While Amelia is a fictionalized character, she was heavily based on real-life pioneering aeronaut Sophie Blanchard and serves as a role model for young women.

“She was a massive inspiration for Amelia Wren,” Jones says. “It’s so important to have those characters when you're growing up and watching films and go, ‘These things that I'm told might be impossible to do, I can do them if I put my mind to it.’”

Now, Jones is onto her next adventure. Earlier this week, People confirmed that the actress is expecting her first child with husband Charles Guard.

The Aeronauts hits theaters today and will be available on Amazon Prime Video starting December 20.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'Spies' in real lives: Will Smith says he and his 'Spies in Disguise' co-star Tom Holland dominated an escape room

20th Century Fox/Eric Charbonneau(LOS ANGELES) -- Maybe it's not surprising considering one of them is Spider-Man, and the other's been an action hero since the Spidey star's been in Underoos, but Tom Holland and Will Smith reportedly crushed an escape room.

The pair can be heard as unlikely partners in the upcoming animated movie Spies in Disguise, but they never met until recently, when they decided to bond in one of those interactive environments.

"We were wanting to figure out if we really could do the stuff that we did as spies," Smith explained to Entertainment Weekly at the premiere of the film. "We got out. It was a 1-hour escape room, and we were out in 24 minutes."

"I think Will got the majority of the clues," Holland confessed to EW. "I've never actually escaped an escape room so the secret of escaping an escape room is do it with Will Smith because he’s really good at it."

In Spies in Disguise, Smith plays a 007-like character who accidentally gets turned into a pigeon while looking for a disguise from his gadget man, voiced by Holland.  

For Holland, who in real life is an accomplished acrobat who does most of his Spider-Man flips and falls, voicing an animated character presented him with a challenge.

"[Y]ou can't move from the mark that you're on," he explains. "So Walter will be falling off a building after he’s tried to do some parkour, and I'll be doing all the moves but just not moving. ...[I]t is one of the most tiring things I've ever done. But it's so rewarding and I'm so proud of the movie."

Spies in Disguise, also featuring the voices of Rashida Jones, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel's Rachel Brosnahan, and Avengers and Jumanji veteran Karen Gillan, opens December 25.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Paula Abdul, Green Day to perform on 'Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2020'

ABC/Jeff Niera(NEW YORK) -- Paula Abdul and Green Day are among the artists who'll be ringing in the New Year on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2020.

Both acts are performing on the West Coast portion of the annual December 31 special, which will be hosted from Hollywood by pop and R&B star Ciara.

The West Coast celebration also will feature performances from pop singer Dua Lipa, country artists Dan Shay and Kelsea Ballerini, indie-pop group SHAED and rappers Salt-N-Pepa and Megan Thee Stallion, among others. The fun gets underway at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Ryan Seacrest will host additional performances from New York City's Times Square with co-host Lucy Hale, and lead the traditional countdown to the New Year, while Billy Porter will host from New Orleans, and lead the countdown in the Central Time Zone.

Performers for New York and New Orleans will be announced soon.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

"Anything is possible!" A very pregnant Ashley Graham talks about her "almost" solo Vogue cover

Annie Leibovitz/ Vogue(NEW YORK) -- Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue model and body positivity advocate Ashley Graham is celebrating the new year by appearing on the latest cover of Vogue, cradling her very prominent baby bump in a shimmering copper Oscar de la Renta caftan.

Her January issue cover, shot by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz, is the second powerful female to be featured as part of the magazine's "Vogue Values" issue: Fashion designer Stella McCartney was the first cover revealed, and Little Women director Greta Gerwig will also be featured.

Graham first appeared on American Vogue in 2017, sharing the splash with Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid and other top fashion models.

For her part, Graham tells ABC Audio she's stoked she's got the cover to herself...sort of. "It's almost my first solo Vogue cover," she said, laughing heartily -- considering her unborn son with Justin Ervin is also sharing the spotlight.

The honor reminds her, "...anything is possible for those who work hard and ask to get to where they are."

Graham explains that even as someone who knocked down doors for body acceptance, being pregnant meant an attitude shift. "Oh, my gosh, it's so ridiculous. I know, my kid isn't even here yet and I'm already thinking about like, 'What's my body supposed to look like?'" 

She adds, "I've been so thankful for the [mommy] community online because...this has not been an easy process for me, watching my body change. And the...mommy community has embraced me so much and I'm so thankful for them, because the tears that I have cried watching new stretch marks form, back fat form....But every mommy has said, 'It's OK, everything's gonna be fine.'" 

As for the photos, Ashley admits she's lucky: "I know, my first baby pictures, Annie Liebowitz shot me!"

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' takes her comedy dreams on the road for season three

Amazon Prime(NEW YORK) -- The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is taking the show on the road for its third season, as Miriam “Midge” Maisel embarks on her very first comedy tour.

The former housewife, played by Emmy winner Rachel Brosnahan, is continuing to make her stand-up comedy splash -- and is inspiring those around her in the process.

This season, set in the ‘60s, we’ll see Midge's conservative Jewish mother, Rose, played by Marin Hinkle, assert her independence and begin to stand up for herself.

“I feel like we all as audience can go, ‘Look at Rose, following her daughter!’” Hinkle tells ABC Audio. “And then of course, Rose herself would never be able to admit it…I think it's very hard for her at times to admit that she even has vulnerability or that she even learns from others.”

Seeing Midge follow her dreams is even pushing her ex-husband Joel -- played by Michael Zegen -- to be better. This season, he decides to open his own comedy club.

“He has to find a purpose, he has to find a path and clearly comedy wasn't it,” Zegen says. “And then he was working at a plastics company. That wasn't it. He worked for his father. That's not it either. But now with this club, I think he has a purpose and he has this path that will hopefully make him happy.”

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel -- also starring Alex Borstein and Tony Shalhoub -- is streaming now on Amazon Prime Video.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Felicity Jones expecting her first child

Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Felicity Jones is taking on a new role: Mom.

The Aeronauts star is expecting a child with her husband, British film director Charles Guard, a rep for the actress tells People magazine.

The news comes a day after the Rogue One veteran showed an ever-so-slight baby bump on the red carpet for The Aeronauts in New York City on Wednesday night.

It'll be the first child Jones, 36, and Guard, 43, who tied the knot in 2018 after three years of dating.

The Aeronauts opens in limited release on Friday.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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