Rosie O'Donnell revives talk show; 'Minions' delayed
From finding ways to help others cope to sheltering in place to canceling events, here's a look at some of the ways the entertainment industry is reacting to the spread of the coronavirus, which most people recover from but can cause severe illness in the elderly and those with preexisting medical conditions.
MINIONS MOVIE DELAYED
Even if movie theaters are open this summer, “Minions: The Rise of Gru” will not be hitting its planned July release date. Universal Pictures says Thursday that the animated film will not be completed by July 3 due to circumstances surrounding the coronavirus.
Chris Meledandri, the founder and CEO of Illumination, says in a statement that Illumination is closing its Paris studio due to the severity of the situation in France. Meledandri says they are abiding by the recommendations of the French government.
ROSIE BRINGS HER FRIENDS FOR HELP
Rosie O’Donnell is reviving her old daytime talk show for one time only — and her guest list is impressive.
A who’s-who of Broadway and Hollywood — including Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker, Neil Patrick Harris, Morgan Freeman, Gloria Estefan and Barry Manilow — plan to join O’Donnell on Sunday for a live streaming “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” as a fundraiser for The Actors Fund.
The show will be available at Broadway.com and livestreamed on Broadway.com’s YouTube channel. It starts at 7 p.m. Eastern.
Others expected to show up include: Sebastian Arcelus, Stephanie J. Block, Tituss Burgess, Norbert Leo Butz, Kristin Chenoweth, Gavin Creel, Darren Criss, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Harvey Fierstein, David Foster, Megan Hilty, Judith Light, Rob McClure, Audra McDonald, Katharine McPhee, Alan Menken, Idina Menzel, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Kelli O’Hara, Ben Platt, Billy Porter, Andrew Rannells, Chita Rivera, Seth Rudetsky, Lea Salonga, Jordin Sparks, Ben Vereen and Adrienne Warren.
The Metropolitan Opera in New York City is canceling the rest of its season and stopping pay of the orchestra, chorus and other unionized employees at the end of March due to the new coronavirus.
The Met last week canceled performances through March 31.
Met general manager Peter Gelb said he is giving up his $1.45 million salary until normal operations resume and higher-paid members of his administrative staff are having their pay reduced, by 10% for everyone earning more than $125,000 and by 25-50% at the top of the pay scale. The Met is launching an emergency fundraising drive of $50 million to $60 million and has obtained pledges from its board for $11 million of that.
“We have we have significant cash-flow issues that we have to deal with the right now because of the loss of the box office,” Gelb said in an interview. "We're also at the same time encouraging ticket buyers to donate their tickets rather than take refunds or at least put their money on account so we can hold onto it and reassigned it to a future performance."
With a $308 million budget this season, the Met is the largest performing-arts institution in the U.S. Its season was to have ended May 9, and its 2020-21 season opens Sept. 21. The crisis forced cancellation of about one-third of the season and three high-definition telecasts to movie theaters around the world.
CONAN O'BRIEN WILL TRY TO RETURN TO LATE NIGHT WITH AN iPHONE
With iPhones and Skype, Conan O'Brien is going back on the air.
The late-night host said he will resume putting out new episodes of TBS' “Conan” on March 30. His staff will remain at home, and the show will be cobbled together with O'Brien on an iPhone and guests via Skype.
“This will not be pretty, but feel free to laugh at our attempt,” said O'Brien on Twitter. The late-night shows have all shut down production due to the coronavirus pandemic to avoid congregating live audiences and large TV crews. Some hosts have pumped out web videos.
O'Brien, though, is the first to try to remotely mount a full broadcast from home.
Associated Press writers Mark Kennedy, Jake Coyle, Ron Blum and Lindsey Bahr contributed to this story.
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