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Tribune News Service

Entertainment Budget for Thursday, May 21, 2020

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Updated at 4 p.m. EDT (2000 UTC).

Adds VID-HOMECOMING-REVIEW:TB, MUS-DELREY:LA, STAGE-SMASH:TB

^TOP STORIES<

^Ronan Farrow's critics are circling. Here's what you should know about his media war<

^FARROW:LA—<Investigative journalist Ronan Farrow, author of the hit 2019 book "Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators," has come under scrutiny this week after The New York Times published a scathing critique of his Pulitzer Prize-winning methods.

On Sunday, New York Times media columnist Ben Smith pondered, "Is Ronan Farrow Too Good to Be True?," characterizing Farrow's renowned reporting as flawed and self-serving "resistance journalism."

The column focuses in part on "Catch and Kill," which explores Farrow's investigation into convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein, as well as plots allegedly waged by Weinstein and NBC to bury Farrow's findings.

1300 by Christi Carras. MOVED

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^Lori Loughlin to plead guilty in college admissions scandal, documents show<

CMP-ADMISSIONS-FRAUD-1ST-LEDE:LA — Actress Lori Loughlin, who maintained her innocence for 16 months, will plead guilty to fraud in the college admissions scandal, according to a plea agreement filed in federal court.

Loughlin was arrested in March 2019 and charged with conspiring with William "Rick" Singer, a Newport Beach consultant at the heart of the admissions scandal, to pass off her two daughters, Olivia Jade Giannulli and Isabella Rose Giannulli, as promising rowing recruits, all but guaranteeing their admission to USC.

550 by Matthew Ormseth in Los Angeles. (Moved as a national story.) MOVED

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^How Kumail Nanjiani went from coronavirus warnings to Netflix and chill<

^MOVIE-LOVEBIRDS-NANJIANI:LA—<Kumail Nanjiani is tired of romantic comedies ending with the boy and girl riding off into the sunset together. That's why his latest rom-com, "The Lovebirds," centers around a couple on the brink of a breakup.

"There are all these movies that end when the couple gets together but there aren't as many movies about the couple living together and continuing to stay together," he said by phone while quarantined in Los Angeles. "It's just not something I've seen explored in comedy. You know how couples fight about the same things they've been fighting about since they first met? I feel like couples have like five fights and just have them over and over. I thought that was interesting to explore in the context of a wacky comedy setup."

2350 by Sonaiya Kelley. MOVED

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^'Smash, A New Musical' is headed to Broadway, based on the NBC series<

^STAGE-SMASH:TB—<"Smash" lasted only two seasons on NBC. But it was announced Thursday morning that the variously reviled and adored television show about the cutthroat world of Broadway musicals is to become a Broadway musical itself.

Like the TV show, which ran from 2012-13, the planned musical will involve the producers Steven Spielberg, Robert Greenblatt and Neil Meron.

350 by Chris Jones. MOVED

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^MOVIES<

^Review: Netflix comedy 'The Lovebirds' lets Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani shine, but only so much<

^LOVEBIRDS-MOVIE-REVIEW:LA—<Watching another couple's terrifying night out can make for a passably decent night in with "The Lovebirds." The film was initially going to premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival before a scheduled April theatrical release from Paramount, but then a global pandemic happened and it is now opening worldwide on Netflix.

Which is perhaps oddly fitting, as "The Lovebirds" is a movie about circumstances and complications.

550 by Mark Olsen. MOVED

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^MUSIC<

^Dennis DeYoung, formerly of Styx, has a new album and YouTube stardom: 'I must have hit a chord with people'<

^MUS-DEYOUNG:TB—<The first time I saw Dennis DeYoung on stage was in Long Beach, Calif. He was with other members of the band he had formed in a basement on Chicago's South Side when he was a teenager. The band was Styx, the year was 1979 and Styx was riding high, filling stadiums across the country on its way to becoming the first band to release four consecutive multiplatinum albums.

"Our music is what finally sold us," DeYoung told me backstage. "Even after our first four records went nowhere, we never gave up. We didn't ever do a lot of self-promotion. We tried to let our music talk for us."

That was then.

1450 by Rick Kogan. MOVED

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^The rumors are true: Carly Rae Jepsen surprises fans with new album<

^MUS-JEPSEN:LA—<Carly Rae Jepsen just brightened our days.

The Canadian pop singer-songwriter released a surprise album, "Dedicated: Side B," on Thursday, a companion piece to last year's "Dedicated."

150 by Dorany Pineda. MOVED

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^Lana Del Rey slammed for dissing Beyonce and other female artists of color<

^MUS-DELREY:LA—<Lana Del Rey is once again critiquing her critics, and this time she's dragging other female artists into the fray.

In a lengthy Instagram post name-checking Beyonce, Ariana Grande and Camila Cabello, among others, the "Norman F---ing Rockwell" singer hit back at people who say she's "glamorizing abuse" in her music. (She also announced the release date of her new album: Sept. 5.)

700 by Christi Carras. MOVED

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^Commentary: What if Louis Armstrong had succumbed to the last pandemic?<

^MUS-ARMSTRONG-PANDEMIC-COMMENTARY:TB—<As we continue to confront the coronavirus pandemic, it's worth remembering that roughly a century ago an influenza pandemic similarly wreaked havoc around the world and swept through the city that invented jazz: New Orleans.

From a cultural standpoint, it's a little terrifying to realize that one New Orleanian who would go on to do more than anyone to personify and popularize the fledgling art form — Louis Armstrong — was in the crosshairs of this disease.

950 by Howard Reich. MOVED

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^TV, DVD, STREAMING<

^How accurate is 'Mrs. America's portrayal of the National Women's Conference? We checked<

^TV-MRSAMERICA-WOMENSCONFERENCE:LA—<Like most works of historical fiction, "Mrs. America" takes liberties, particularly when it comes to conversations that took place behind closed doors, offering a speculative take on highly polarizing figures such as Phyllis Schlafly, whose family and supporters have been critical of the series.

Episode eight follows anti-ERA housewives Pamela (Kayli Carter) and Alice (Sarah Paulson) as they travel to Houston to take part in the historic National Women's Conference in 1977 and find themselves changed by the experience. Meanwhile, Schlafly organizes a successful conservative counter-rally across town.

Here is a look at fact versus fiction in "Houston."

1950 by Meredith Blake. MOVED

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^'Smothered' brings back Chicago-area mother, daughter for more hijinks<

TV-SMOTHERED-CRISPINO-BERTOLLI:TB — Of course Kathy Crispino and Cristina Bertolli have been quarantining together during the coronavirus pandemic. The pair, who live five houses apart in the Chicago suburb Norridge, star on the TLC network series "Smothered," about mothers and daughters who are very, very close.

"We were lucky enough that we were together every day before the quarantine started, so we never had to separate," Crispino told the Tribune.

Season two is scheduled to premiere at 10 p.m. EDT Sunday with Crispino, Bertolli and two other duos returning from the first season. Crispino, 61, and Bertolli, 35, said it was an easy decision to come back because there has been an "unbelievable" response from viewers since the show premiered last June.

550 by Tracy Swartz in Chicago. MOVED

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^Classism and vape lung: Kevin Bigley says the Amazon series 'Upload' is seeing the future<

^VID-UPLOAD-BIGLEY:TB—<Actor Kevin Bigley has left his mark in the entertainment world by way of shows like USA Network's "Sirens," Fox's "The Moodys" and voice work in Netflix's "BoJack Horseman," among other projects. Now he brings us what he calls a good quarantine watch with "Upload."

"It's not philosophically confrontational," he said. "The themes, you can think about them or not. And you can sit back and enjoy the rest of the show because of Greg Daniels, it's quirky and light-hearted at times. And also, not. It's good."

1350 by Darcel Rockett. MOVED

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^Mary McNamara: Trump fatigue? 17 political TV shows to watch if you're totally over politics<

^TV-MCNAMARA-COLUMN:LA—<Before we had a reality star in the Oval Office, political series fell, for the most part, into four categories: aspirational ("The West Wing"), instructional ("The Wire"), satirical ("Veep") and sensational ("Scandal"). Because television is character-driven, all examine the effects of power on the individual and the inevitable tension between people — good, bad and complicated — and the democratic system, also good, bad and complicated.

At times like these, viewers need some of all of these things. So here is a list of some of the best.

2200 by Mary McNamara. MOVED

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^'Homecoming' review: Janelle Monae follows Julia Roberts down memory lane<

^VID-HOMECOMING-REVIEW:TB—<If all podcast-to-streaming adaptations came off as beautifully as the first season of Amazon's "Homecoming," "Homecoming" season two (premiering Friday) would be a spellbinder instead of what it is: a sleek follow-up roughly halfway between "gripping" and "a pretty good try."

The seven half-hour episodes feature a wealth of wily, charismatic actors, a few back for an encore from season one. How those episodes work for those who haven't seen the set-up — the Julia Roberts-headlined 2018 season — is tough to assess. I'd have to unsee it to find out.

700 by Michael Phillips. MOVED

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^TV-QUESTIONS:MCT—<Television Q&A: Alfred's origins will be further explored on 'Pennyworth'

650 by Rich Heldenfels. MOVED

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^VID-NEWONDVD:MCT—<New on DVD: 'Invisible Man' puts new twist on old story

300 by Tribune News Service. MOVED

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^TV-REMOTE-ADV24:CC—< Around the remote: Chuck Barney's TV and streaming picks for May 24-30

550 by Chuck Barney. MOVED

^POKER COLUMN<

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^POKER-ADV:TB—<Sunday release—Poker column.

(EDITORS: Column sold separately; not included in your News Service subscription.)

900. (Moving later.)

^TCA VIDEO NETWORK <

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