Los Angeles, Jul 2 (AP/UNB) — Kaley Cuoco is making a big move after wrapping 12 seasons with "The Big Bang Theory," with a new production deal and a pivot from comedy to drama.
Cuoco has signed an exclusive, multi-year deal with Warner Bros. Television Group, the company said Monday. The agreement keeps Cuoco in business with the studio that produced "The Big Bang Theory," the CBS comedy in which Cuoco played Penny. It ended its hit run last May.
In a statement, Cuoco said she was excited to continue an "incredibly collaborative and gratifying relationship" with Warner, adding, "They're stuck with me now!"
Financial terms of the deal were not announced.
Her first announced project is the hour-long series "The Flight Attendant," a thriller based on the novel of the same name by Chris Bohjalian. It will be made for the WarnerMedia streaming service set to launch for consumers in early 2020.
Under the deal, Cuoco and her production company will develop ideas for original TV projects through various Warner TV group divisions. The projects will be aimed at platforms including broadcast, cable and streaming, the company said.
A holding agreement for Cuoco's acting services is part of the overall deal, with Warner developing new series with her in mind. The company and Cuoco, 33, signed a previous deal in 2017.
Dhaka, Jul 2 (AP/UNB) - When Willie Black was 15 months old, his father, Artie Lee, was killed in an apparent automobile accident. That's all Willie — police reporter for a Richmond, Virgina, newspaper — knows about his dad. He's never been curious about the man.
That changes when Willie's aunt on his father's side summons him to her deathbed. She's been tending Artie's grave in Evergreen, an abandoned cemetery, and now it's up to Willie to inherit the chore.
Readers of Howard Owen's underappreciated Willie Black novels already know that Willie's father was black, that his mother was white, and that they weren't allowed to marry in 1960s Virginia. But in "Evergreen," the eighth book in the series, they'll grow as curious as Willie about what really put Artie in his grave.
Finding out is no easy task.
Willie's mother won't say and urges Willie to drop it.
Artie's old pals reminisce about his saxophone playing but clam up about his death.
The police chief says there were rumors that the car crash was no accident but has no details.
Old newspaper files are no help. The death of a black man didn't merit a news story in 1961 Virginia.
Patiently, Willie squeezes a few minor details from townsfolk old enough to remember Artie. Each time he gets a scrap of information, he circles back, telling the witnesses what he knows and teasing out a bit more. He does this so skillfully that it is a pleasure to watch him work.
Eventually, he learns that Artie's death was connected to a Ku Klux Klan rally, a car bombing and a series of betrayals by friends and relatives who were threatened by racist police officers unless they talked. The result is a conclusion that is both wrenching and satisfying.
Readers seeking the thrills of most popular crime fiction won't find it here. Instead, they will find a textured, emotionally charged tale about coming to terms with growing up biracial in America told in the precise language of a writer who honed his craft during 44 years in the newspaper business.
New York, Jul 2 (AP/UNB) — Twinkies, pizza, hot dogs, even cow brains. If it can be eaten, chances are Takeru Kobayashi holds the world record for eating it.
The 41-year-old competitive eater has no problem consuming 62 slices of pizza in 12 minutes, or 337 chicken wings in a half hour. But seeing himself onscreen in the latest ESPN "30 for 30" documentary series, is a little harder to swallow.
In a recent interview with The Associated Press, Kobayashi says that while he was "honored" to be a part of the documentary "The Good, The Bad, The Hungry," he was also a little perplexed.
"I don't know exactly what's happening," Kobayashi said.
Then, through his translator, Kobayashi was able to go into more detail about why he was so self-conscious.
"I'm so embarrassed when I see myself in the film that I can't even watch it," he said.
Premiering Tuesday, the documentary comes two days before the annual Nathan's Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest that brought Kobayashi to prominence in the competitive eating arena.
The documentary shows the rivalry between the six-time champion and the current 11-time champion Joey Chestnut, who dethroned Kobayashi in 2007.
Holding 15 world records, the 128-pound Kobayashi explains his preparation for eating.
"I have to put something inside the stomach to make it expand, but it doesn't necessarily have to be food. I train with water. So, I'm not training for long periods of time by hauling food. I'm training with water expanding my stomach," Kobayashi said.
After a competition, it takes him about three days to recover.
"I feel so exhausted and so out of breath," Kobayahi said referring to his stomach being over-extended, and the toll it takes on him.
"When my stomach becomes very full with that amount of food inside, the organs in my body begin to shift places. So, for example, my lungs get shifted up, and they can't expand. They have no room to expand. So, when I breathe, I become very short of breath. That's one of the main things that happens right after eating," he said.
Another thing is getting sick. But he says it's not something that happens as much as people think. "If I'm going to be sick, it happens right after."
While he's eaten almost everything in competition from bunless hotdogs and rice balls to lobster rolls, one of the oddest is cow brains. He ate 57 of them, a total of 17.7 pounds. And did it in 15 minutes.
But there's one he loves to eat above all.
"I savor hot dogs," he said.
New York, Jul 2 (AP/UNB) — The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences on Monday invited 842 members from 59 countries to the Oscars organization and, for the first time, reached gender parity in its new class of inductees.
Half of the new invitees to the film academy are women. In 10 of the 17 branches — including the directing, writing and producing branches — more women than men were invited. This year's class of new members also includes 29% people of color.
That's a notable turnaround for an organization that has sought to diversity its ranks following criticism for all-white acting nominees in 2015 and 2016. Since 2015, the group's overall female membership has grown from 25% to 32%, the academy said. Overall membership of people of color has doubled, from 8% to 16%.
To aid in the swift overhaul of the academy, the group last year invited a record 928 members. While smaller, this year's class still ranks as one of the academy's largest in its 92-year history.
New invitees include Lady Gaga, Sterling K. Brown, Claire Foy, Letitia Wright, Tom Holland and Adele. Newly invited directors include "Crazy Rich Asians" filmmaker Jon Chu, "The Babadook" director Jennifer Kent and the filmmaking duo of Phil Lord and Chris Miller.
If most accept their invites, the film academy will number more than 9,000 members.
Next year's Academy Awards will be held on Feb. 9, several weeks earlier than usual.
New York, Jul 1 (AP/UNB) — The HBO show "Euphoria" is personal for Sam Levinson, its creator and writer.
He drew on his own youth and struggles with addiction for the series.
The eight-episode show follows a group of suburban high school students as they try to construct an identity in a world saturated with social media.
There's plenty of ugly sex, full frontal nudity, and several disturbing and violent scenes. Other recent shows — like Netflix's "Sex Education" and "13 Reasons Why" — have explored the underbelly of teen life, but not like this.
It has sparked controversy, but its creator says it takes the lives of young people seriously and with empathy.