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'Friends' co-creator talks titles, pants, and "PIVOT"

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A “Friends” fan PIVOTS at Friends25 popup in NYC/ABC Radio(NEW YORK) — With the upcoming 25th anniversary of Friends, Entertainment Weekly‘s new issue is looking back at the sitcom with co-creator David Crane.

“We always felt that the strength of the show was that it wasn’t just jokes,” Crane says. “It was really about caring about these six people in an emotional way, even when it was funny. If it were just really good jokes, I don’t think we would have been there as long as we were.”

Fans of Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Phoebe, and Joey know every show for 10 seasons had a pretty self-explanatory title, like “The One Where No One’s Ready,” which now comes in pretty handy when trying to find that special episode for streaming. 

Of course, streaming back then was for liquid, not TV shows. Crane had a simpler explanation: “Let’s cut to the chase.”

As with many shows, Friends‘ writers found their lives being adapted for the gang’s goings on. For example, writer Adam Chase made the mistake of buying a pair of leather pants.

“The rest of us took it from there after giving him a really hard time about his leather pants,” Crane recalls; that grief was transferred to David Schwimmer’s Ross. 

One moment the show’s fans loved was Ross’ yelling “PIVOT!” as he, Chandler, and Rachel struggled to lift a couch up a narrow staircase. While the apartments on Friends were impossibly spacious for 20-somethings in Manhattan, the staircase WAS Big Apple accurate.

“They all lived in those apartments, but try to get a couch up a flight of stairs!” Crane says. “That’s where we captured the New York we actually lived in.”

The scene was so memorable that the designers of the Friends25 pop-up experience recreated the staircase and couch, so fans can Instagram their own “PIVOT!” moments.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Felicity Huffman gets 14 days, $30K fine in Varsity Blues college scandal

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Paul Marotta/Getty Images(BOSTON) — Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman has been sentenced to 14 days in prison for federal crimes stemming from the massive “Varsity Blues” college entrance scam.

In addition, Huffman will have to pay a $30,000 fine and complete 200 hours of community service.

Huffman learned her fate Friday during an appearance in U.S. District Court in Boston before Judge Indira Talwani, to whom she had pleaded for leniency.

Earlier this month, Huffman’s lawyers asked Talwani to not send the Oscar-nominated actress to prison, writing that “nothing about her history and characteristics require a prison sentence.”

Instead, they requested a one-year probation term, 250 hours of community service and a $20,000 fine.

“She is remorseful — indeed, deeply ashamed — about what she did,” Huffman’s lawyers stated in court documents.

However, in court documents filed last week, federal prosecutors demanded that Huffman serve prison time, arguing that “neither probation nor home confinement (in a large home in the Hollywood Hills with an infinity pool) would constitute meaningful punishment or deter others from committing similar crimes.”

Prosecutors asked the judge to sentence Huffman to one month of incarceration, followed by 12 months of supervised release and a fine of $20,000.

On March 13, a federal indictment was unsealed, charging Huffman and more than 30 other wealthy parents, in the largest college cheating scam ever prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The indictment alleges the parents paid bribes to William “Rick” Singer, a college-entrance tutor guru whom prosecutors identified as the ringleader of the nationwide scam, to get their children into elite colleges.

Huffman pleaded guilty earlier this year to charges of conspiring to commit mail fraud and honest service mail fraud and admitted that she paid Singer $15,000 to falsify her daughter Sophia’s SAT score.

In a statement, Huffman said, “I accept the court’s decision today without reservation. I have always been prepared to accept whatever punishment Judge Talwani imposed. I broke the law. I have admitted that and I pleaded guilty to this crime. There are no excuses or justifications for my actions. Period.”

She added, “I have learned a lot over the last six months about my flaws as a person. My goal now is to serve the sentence that the court has given me….I can promise you that in the months and years to come that I will try and live a more honest life, serve as a better role model for my daughters and family and continue to contribute my time and energies wherever I am needed.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

'Unbelievable' filmmakers hope Netflix series brings "a conversation to the table"

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Netflix(NEW YORK) — After the Pulitzer Prize-winning article “An Unbelievable Story of Rape” captivated readers in 2015, a new limited Netflix series is bringing the incredible true story to the screen.

Unbelievable stars Kaitlyn Dever as Marie, an 18-year-old sexual assault survivor whose story is doubted by police and those closest to her. Emmy winners Toni Collette and Merritt Wever play two detectives hundreds of miles from Marie and her case, who team up to track down a serial rapist. Eventually, their stories converge.

All three actresses bring their A-games to the weighty material, according to the filmmakers: showrunner Susannah Grant, director Lisa Cholodenko and producer Sarah Timberman. Grant explains what it was like to watch Collette and Wever work.

“I have like a guilty director secret which is that we’d shoot a scene and I would just be so loving watching them and I would know that we had it, we did not need to do it again,” she tells ABC Radio. “But I would just say, ‘‘Let’s go again!’ Just because it was so much fun to watch them work.”

As for Dever, Timberman says she imbued Marie was a sense of hope. “[S]he’s completely authentic in how arduous it is and how torturous it is,” she says. “And yet…you’re watching her stay afloat as opposed to watching her drown.”

The result is a captivating series, with a message that runs deep in a post-#MeToo world.

Cholodenko, who directed the series’ first three episodes, says, “It’s compelling but really the point of it is that it’s bringing a point home in a way that’s deeply emotional and brings a conversation to the table.”

All eight episodes of Unbelievable are streaming now on Netflix.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Demi Moore talks suicide, sobriety, and scandal in her new memoir 'Inside Out'

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Mariano Vivanco/Harper’s Bazaar(LOS ANGELES) — Ahead of her new memoir, Inside Out, Demi Moore bares it all for Harper’s Bazaar — both physically and emotionally.

Gracing the cover in the nude, Moore shares deeply personal stories about the highs and lows of her personal life, her Hollywood career, and how it has all molded her into the person she is today.

In her new book, the actress who defined Hollywood in the 1990s with roles from Ghost to G.I. Jane, takes a candid look at past relationships, childhood struggles, overcoming addiction and her rise to fame.

One vivid memory that Moore said her memoir includes is the time she had to help her father stop one of her mother’s suicide attempts at age 12 — an experience that signaled to her that her “childhood was over.”

The actress also opened up about her struggle with sobriety. She got sober for the first time in her 20s, relapsed in her 40s after a miscarriage, and regained that sobriety in her 50s.

“Part of being sober is, I don’t want to miss a moment of life…even if that means being in some pain,” she wrote.

Her memoir also looks back at her marriages and becoming a mother.

Moore first married musician Freddie Moore as a teen, but the pair split after just a few years. She then married fellow A-list actor Bruce Willis in 1987 and took on the biggest role of her life, being a mother.

Moore and Willis had three children together: Rumer, Scout and Talluhlah Willis.
Moore alleges that her third husband, Ashton Kutcher, was unfaithful, and their marriage resulted in a miscarriage at 42 that left her devastated, and sent her back into addiction.

Moore’s new memoir hits bookshelves Sept. 24.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

In chat with Whoopi Goldberg, James Spader talks 'Ultron' & 'Blacklist'

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Virginia Sherwood/NBC(NEW YORK) — (NOTE LANGUAGE) The end result may have divided some fans, but actor James Spader said playing Ultron, the baddie in 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, shook him up, he tells Whoopi Goldberg.

The pair chatted about his career during an interview with The View host at the Tribeca TV Festival, Deadline reports.

“I had not been intimidated for years on a set,” said the actor.  But apparently, acting with the motion capture technology which transformed him into the eight foot tall robot made him feel uncomfortable.

“The process of acting on that film was something I had never encountered,” Spader admitted, according to Deadline. “But it was exciting because I was doing something incredibly challenging at a time in my life when I had just thought I knew what the f*** I was doing.”

Goldberg was sympathetic, responding, “That gets all of us.”

Meanwhile, Spader’s hit show The Blacklist is headed into its seventh season — which makes it surprising that the actor told Goldberg, “To sustain me over a period of time, I can’t be doing this one thing. I will just lose interest quickly.”

So what keeps him on the series? The show always keeps him guessing.

“After reading the pilot of The Blacklist, I knew less than I did when I started reading,” he said. “It was so enigmatic, I realized, ‘Wow, the landscape is just anywhere. It could be anything.'”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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