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  • Bill and Giuliana Rancic to light tree in Lombard Dec 3, 2014 4:45 PM
    Reality TV stars Bill and Giuliana Rancic are coming to Lombard this week to light a 30-foot Christmas tree and meet fans at Yorktown Center. The outdoor tree lighting will begin at 5 p.m. Friday near entrance 5 on the south side of the mall. Guests will have a chance to win a $1,000 shopping spree and a meet-and-greet opportunity with the couple. “It’s probably one of the biggest events that we’ve done in the last 10 years,” said Yorktown Marketing Director Lynette Steinhauser.

     
  • Doc rediscovers Bing Crosby’s triumphs, tragedies Dec 2, 2014 6:00 AM
    An upcoming PBS documentary seeks to remind younger generations there was so much more to Bing Crosby than crooning “White Christmas” — from media master to philanthropist to difficult dad. “It’s an unprecedented career in the history of show business,” says Robert Trachtenberg, director of “American Masters: Bing Crosby Rediscovered,” debuting Tuesday. “He really was the first multimedia star of the 20th century.”

     
  • Luke Bryan cancels CMT appearance Dec 2, 2014 3:52 PM
    Country star Luke Bryan has canceled a scheduled appearance at the “CMT Artists of the Year” television special on Tuesday due to a death in the family. His brother-in-law, Ben Lee Cheshire, died Saturday and Bryan is staying in Georgia with family, according to Bryan’s publicist.

     
  • Allison Williams to soar as Peter Pan on Thursday Dec 2, 2014 10:42 AM
    “Losing your shadow: What is THAT about?” muses Allison Williams. “As a kid you just accept it. But as an adult, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what it means.” Williams, at 26 best-known for the HBO series “Girls,” feels her life since childhood has pointed toward 7 p.m. Thursday when she (and her shadow) will headline NBC’s “Peter Pan Live!”

     
  • Pee-wee (and a few friends) are back, just in time for the holidays Dec 1, 2014 6:15 AM
    Are you worried there will be nothing to look at once the holiday decorations come down? Here, in no particular order, is a list of 10 home-video goodies to fill the gap. They may not fit so well in loved ones' stockings, but they'll look just great on a video screen. (More good news: All can be purchased online and are typically available for less than the suggested list price provided here.)

     
  • Kathy Griffin named new ‘Fashion Police’ host Dec 1, 2014 2:35 PM
    Kathy Griffin will be terrorizing the fashion crowd as the new host of “Fashion Police,” replacing the late Joan Rivers when it returns to E! in January. The comic-commentary series, which had aired weekly, will now present 17 special episodes throughout 2015 that focus on high-profile red carpet and fashion events, E! announced Monday. It returns Jan. 12 for coverage of the Golden Globe Awards.

     
  • ‘Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce’ is a Bravo first Dec 1, 2014 11:36 AM
    The Bravo channel is delivering an early holiday gift to viewers that should be opened immediately. “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce” is a sharply observed series about divorce, yes, but love and friendship and family as well. Its premiere episode is funny and moving, sexy and sad, and very adult. “Girlfriends’ Guide” (debuting at 9 p.m. Tuesday) can claim pioneer status as the first scripted series for Bravo.

     
  • Miller puts own spin on longtime ‘GH’ character Dec 1, 2014 6:00 AM
    So far playing a recast character has worked to Billy Miller’s advantage. He was the fourth actor to play Billy Abbott on CBS’ “The Young and the Restless” and earned three Daytime Emmy Awards. Now, the 35-year-old actor is playing Jason Morgan on ABC’s “General Hospital.” Steve Burton played Jason for 20 years until 2012, when the character was presumed dead. Recently, Jason was hit by a car, wiping away his memory (and giving Miller a clean slate to work with in the role).

     
  • Despite People magazine article, Kirk Douglas is not dead Nov 30, 2014 9:03 PM
    People magazine got caught mistakenly posting a pre-written obituary on legendary actor Kirk Douglas. The article appeared on its website Sunday with the words “DO NOT PUB,” in the headline. Variety has an image of the web post on its website. The article was taken down later Sunday. Douglas, Variety says, turns 98 next week. As Variety notes, it’s not uncommon for publications or news services to write obituaries of celebrities or important figures in advance. And a couple have seen the light of day before it was time. People itself started the legend of TV and movie actor Abe Vigoda, whom it referred to as “the late Abe Vigoda” in 1982, Variety says. Vigoda remains alive to this day, and a website, abevigoda.com, has long been dedicated to telling people whether he is alive or dead. Bloomberg made a similar gaffe, Variety notes, when it said in 2008 Steve Jobs had died, three years before the Apple co-founder’s actual 2011 passing.

     
  • Focus on feats over fashion for today's female action heroes Nov 30, 2014 6:00 AM
    Katniss Everdeen doesn't dress to impress. With the heroine of “The Hunger Games” movies, feats are the focus -- not fashion. That's not often the case with female action heroes, who are somehow supposed to take down bad guys while oozing sex appeal.

     
  • Thousands in Mexico pay homage to ‘Chespirito’ Nov 30, 2014 9:33 PM
    Thousands of fans in Mexico City paid homage Sunday to Roberto Gomez Bolanos, the late Mexican comedian who played the boy television character “El Chavo del Ocho” that defined a generation for millions of Latin American children. Gomez Bolanos, who was known as “Chespirito,” died Friday at age 85. Thousands of people, many dressed as his characters, gathered at Azteca stadium in southern Mexico City Sunday to say goodbye to the iconic comedian who took his inspiration from Laurel and Hardy as well as Mexico’s other transcendent comedian, Cantinflas. “Chespirito! Chespirito!” shouted fans of all ages as his coffin entered the stadium. It was received by thousands of children dressed as his character “Chapulin Colorado” or “The Crimson Grasshopper.” Giant television screens showed videos about his life and characters. His morning show was a staple for preschoolers, much like “Captain Kangaroo” in the United States. Maria Laredo, 86, came to the ceremony with her 48-year-old daughter Angelica Herrera. “He touched many generations. My mother liked him, I liked him and even my 3-year-old grandson liked him,” the daughter said. Many of the red T-shirts worn by fans said, “Thank you for making us laugh.”

     
  • DVD previews: ‘Hundred-Foot Journey,’ ‘Apes’ Nov 29, 2014 5:15 AM
    French and Indian restaurants stage a culinary showdown in “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” a slightly bland rom-com-drama that could have used a bit more spice. It comes to DVD Tuesday, along with "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes."

     
  • Former 'Real World' cast member dies in Wisconsin Nov 28, 2014 5:14 PM
    Police say a former cast member of MTV's “The Real World: New Orleans” has died in Wisconsin. Twenty-eight-year-old Ryan Knight was found unconscious and not breathing at a friend's residence in Kenosha around 10 a.m. Thursday. Efforts to revive him were unsuccessful.

     
  • Reality-based networks venturing into scripted TV Nov 26, 2014 5:45 AM
    Can a zebra change its stripes? Not likely. But these days numerous reality-based networks are sporting new stripes in the form of scripted fare as they move to stretch their brand and freshen their look.

     
  • “Happy Days” writer to speak in Schaumburg Nov 25, 2014 5:56 PM
    Mark Rothman, a writer for “The Odd Couple” and “Happy Days” and co-creator of “Laverne and Shirley,” will present “Tales from the Sitcom Trenches” from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 1, in the Rasmussen Room of the Schaumburg Township District Library. Rothman will share his experiences in Hollywood and stories of working with Oscar, Felix, Fonzie, Lenny and Squiggy.

     
  • ‘Booze Traveler’ host explores how world drinks Nov 24, 2014 11:41 AM
    Jack Maxwell drinks for a living. From moss schnapps in Iceland to gut-busting raki in Turkey and home-brew in the Himalayas, he’s learned the hard way that tippler’s truism: “It’s always 5 o’clock somewhere.” Maxwell says shining shoes as a kid in the barrooms of South Boston helped prepare him to host “Booze Traveler,” which debuts at 9 p.m. Monday on the Travel Channel.

     
  • ‘Today’ looks to rebound from tough week Nov 24, 2014 9:04 AM
    It’s rarely a good sign when morning television hosts are painfully bantering about whether they are keeping their jobs. That’s where Willie Geist and Natalie Morales found themselves during the most difficult week for NBC’s “Today” show in two years. At its end, an NBC News executive was fired after two months on the job and the network was tamping down reports of mutinies, firings and transfers at the lucrative morning franchise.

     
  • Katy Perry to perform at Super Bowl halftime show Nov 24, 2014 7:33 AM
    Will Katy Perry be a firework at the Super Bowl? Will she show them what she’s worth? Will she let her colors burst? NFL announced late Sunday — after rumors swirled for weeks — that the pop star will headline the Pepsi Super Bowl halftime show on Feb. 1 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona. It will air on NBC.

     
  • Animal lover Hilary Swank co-hosts ‘Fox’s Cause for Paws’ Nov 24, 2014 5:45 AM
    Hilary Swank is going to the dogs.The two-time Oscar winner actually went there some time ago as a longtime animal advocate, and she brings that personal passion to television on Thanksgiving night as a co-host (with Jane Lynch) and executive producer of the new Fox special "Fox’s Cause for Paws: An All-Star Dog Spectacular" Thursday, Nov. 27. The two-hour show’s aim is to inspire the adoption of rescue animals, but it also selects the "cutest puppy"’ and "best howler," among other categories.

     
  • AMAs are good to Iggy Azalea, Taylor Swift & One Direction Nov 24, 2014 12:04 AM
    One Direction won artist of the year at the American Music Awards, taking home three honors and was the night's big winner next to Katy Perry, who didn't attend the show. One Direction also won favorite band, duo or group — pop/rock and favorite album — pop/rock for “Midnight Memories” at the fan-voted show on Sunday night. “This has been a real perfect day ... America feels like a second home to us,” Liam Payne said onstage with his band mates when they won the night's first award.

     
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