A Family Guy superfan has launched a petition online lobbying cartoon creator Seth Macfarlane to bring key character Brian the Dog back from the dead after he was unexpectedly killed off. The show's talking family pet, Brian Griffin, was run over by a car in a Life of Brian episode, which aired on America's Fox network on Sunday (24Nov13). The animated Griffin family subsequently replaced Brian with a new dog, named Vinnie, voiced by The Sopranos star Tony Sirico.
Viewers took to various social networking sites to express their shock after the show, but Aaron Thompson from Alabama went one step further and started a petition on Change.org in an effort to convince Macfarlane, who voiced the cartoon pooch, to revive the character, who has been entertaining fans since the show's pilot in 1999.
Launching the campaign early on Monday (25Nov13), Thompson wrote, "Brian Griffin was an important part of our viewing experience. He added a witty and sophisticated element to the show. Family Guy and Fox Broadcasting will lose viewers if Brian Griffin is not brought back to the show."
More than 2,600 signatures had already been collected as WENN went to press.
Meanwhile, executive producer Steve Callaghan has opened up about the headline-grabbing storyline, telling Eonline.com, "We thought it could be a fun way to shake things up. As soon as this idea came up, we started talking about what the next couple episodes could be and we got very excited about the way this change will affect the family dynamics and the characters."
Reunited British rockers The Babys are serving up a holiday treat for fans with the release of their first new music in over three decades. The group rose to fame in the late 1970s with hits like Isn't It Time and Every Time I Think of You, before parting ways in 1981.
However, original members Tony Brock and Wally Stocker have since reconnected and hired two new members from the U.S. - singer and bassist John Bisaha and guitarist Joey Sykes.
The quartet, which is currently on a comeback tour, will unveil new track Not Ready to Say Goodbye online this week (begs25Nov13), with plans to drop an album full of new material in early 2014 - the stars' first studio release since On the Edge in 1980.
Stocker says, "When releasing our first single we discussed that it had to have the flavour of what we were known for some thirty-odd years ago", while Brock adds, "It was just magical putting the new song together. By the time I finished putting brass and strings on it, I knew we had the goods."
Family Guy fans were left stunned on Sunday (24Nov13) by the death of key character Brian the Dog, who was voiced by the show's creator Seth Macfarlane. At the end of the episode, titled Life Of Brian, the family replace their dead pet with a new dog named Vinnie, who is voiced by The Sopranos actor Tony Sirico.
Australian actress/pop star Holly Valance has given birth to her first child. The former Neighbours star and her husband, Nick Candy, welcomed a baby girl earlier this month (Nov13).
Candy confirmed the news to Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper, revealing they named their daughter Luka Violet Toni, in memory of the businessman's father, Tony Candy, who died just weeks before the birth.
Candy says, "She was born a few days ago. We have decided to call her Luka Violet Toni Candy. Her nickname will be LuLu...
"Holly is at home. We aren't having any help at the moment. Holly doesn't want any; she wants to do it all ourselves at this stage, but that might change - it has only been a few days. She is a perfect mother. It was a natural birth. She is from a big Australian family, with younger siblings, so she knows exactly what she is doing."
He adds of his father, "It is such a shame that dad died six weeks before Luka was born, but I had the best role model possible in him, so, hopefully, if I can be anything like the father he was to me, when it comes to raising Luka, we'll be onto a winner."
The couple wed in California last year (12).
A former mafia associate hired by disgraced Goodfellas star Tony Darrow to break a debtor's jaw has been sentenced to probation. Giovanni Monteleone was one of two thugs recruited by actor Darrow, real name Anthony Borgese, in 2009 to savagely beat a New York man who owed him $5,000 (£3,330).
The 45 year old, who had ties to the Gambino crime family, faced a charge of extortion but agreed to co-operate with officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation in order to avoid prison time.
His evidence helped to land a conviction for the actor in 2011, when Darrow, now 74, was sentenced to six months under house arrest, in addition to two years probation and 250 hours of community service, while Monteleone's partner in crime, Gambino mobster Joey Orlando, was placed behind bars for 51 months.
Monteleone was sentenced to probation on Friday (22Nov13).
During the hearing at Brooklyn Federal Court, Monteleone said, "I basically hit an innocent man. If he was in front of me (now) I would apologise to him. It still bothers me 'til this day."
Black Sabbath star Geezer Butler has revealed he wrote a macabre tribute song to bandmate Tony Iommi after the guitarist was diagnosed with cancer at the beginning of 2012. Iommi has been battling lymphoma throughout the heavy rock group's reunion and when bassist Butler, who writes the bulk of the band's songs, learned of his health crisis he felt inspired to get his thoughts and feelings out in lyrics for a track he tentatively titled Hanging by a Thread.
He tells Revolver magazine, "It (song) was very much about dying, about giving your last breath and passing your spirit on."
But the track didn't make it on the band's comeback album 13.
Butler adds, "We never came up with the finished thing."
The rocker admits he feared the worst for his bandmate - because their pal Ronnie James Dio had lost his cancer battle in 2010.
He tells the magazine, "We didn't know if he (Iommi) was going to recover from it, especially after seeing Ronnie go so fast. Ronnie went right in six months from being diagnosed to dying (sic)."
"He'd come down to the studio, and I'd say, 'You all right, man? You don't have to come in'. But I suppose if I put myself in his shoes, if I was diagnosed with cancer, being on my own in my head would be a bad f**king area to be in." Ozzy Osbourne can understand why Black Sabbath bandmate Tony Iommi insisted on working after his lymphoma diagnosis last year (12).
Shoe company Zappos' CEO Tony Hsieh has fired back at Kanye West after the rapper criticised the firm's products. During a recent podcast with author Bret Easton Ellis, the outspoken rap star recalled a meeting with Hsieh, which did not go particularly well.
West said, "I got into this giant argument with the head of Zappos that he's trying to tell me what I need to focus on. Meanwhile, he sells all this s**t product to everybody, his whole thing is based off of selling s**t product."
Hseih has fired back with humour by launching a new item, called s**t product, for sale on Zappos website.
In the ad, which features a toilet bowl complete with a plunger and toilet paper, the CEO jokes, "Interested in buying s**t product? You've come to the right place! Here at Zappos.com, we happily sell s**t products to everybody!"
And further poking fun at West, he refers to the rapper's Watch the Throne album and N**gas in Paris single titles, adding, "This is the throne, everyone has been watching. Whether you're number 1 or number 2, your clique will show no mercy, even in Paris."
The faux item features photographs of the toilet from different angles and an instructional video on how to use the product.
The page even comes complete with "customer reviews," including one that takes a swipe at West's infamous onstage incident at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards when he interrupted Taylor Swift's acceptance speech to protest her win.
It says, "Yo Zappos! Imma let you finish... but this is the best S**t product of all time!"
Former DWTS professional Maksim "Maks" Chmerkovskiy joined us on the other side of the judging table, where he was handily wedged in between Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli. Bruno's playfully lecherous flirtation was, needless to say, pretty entertaining. Plus, in such close quarters, Bruno's wild gestures almost decapitated him at one point – luckily, Maks used his dancers' swift instincts to dodge.
The challenge this week was quite interesting as well; the dancers were given the task of performing two distinct dances to different versions (original and acoustic) of the same song – the theme was plugged/unplugged. High points included Amber Riley and Derek Hough's eye-poppingly energetic jazz dance to "Bad Romance," and Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke's fiery tango to the Moulin Rouge acoustic version of "Roxanne" (in the face of M.S. flare-ups, no less). Lowpoints: Bill Engvall and Emma Slater's half-baked "Sexy and I Know It" routine (he was pushing through a groin injury, but still), and Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff's overly flame-inspired tango to "Light 'Em Up" (seriously, that was just too much fire. And what was with the hooded cloaks?)
We also got to hear a bit of each contestant's backstory, which was quite sentimental (schmaltzy even for DWTS, but that's why we love it) – we got to see how The Osbournes messed with Jack's childhood, and how Multiple Sclerosis now plagues his adulthood. Also notable were the struggles Amber faced with casting directors, largely based off of her race and weight. I almost wish we could have had these testimonials earlier in the season, but I guess going through it with all 12 of the original couples would have been overwhelming to say the least.
As for eliminations: the reign of Bill Engvall continues...it's getting tricky, isn't it? He truly is delightful (as the judges continually remind us before docking major points), and he has a compelling relationship with his partner – but how far should that take you on a dancing competition? The fan vote has saved him week after week after week, with technically more proficient dancers going home. With Brant Daugherty and Elizabeth Berkley, it was surprising, but with Leah, it was almost melancholy. The two of them came from the same place – both inexperienced dancers with enough personality to make up for it. But even though she has technically improved much more than he has, she was the one who was booted off the show.
We were sad to see her go. With her copious wisecracking, she brought a sense of levity to the show; watching her and Tony imitate each other's sexy faces at each other was kind of awesome. And while they didn't have the chemistry of say, Brant and Peta, you really got the sense that they were looking out for each other. Tony has oft voiced the opinion that Leah is what DWTS is all about – and in a lot of ways, she was. She came in insecure, with little-to-no dance experience (ahem, Corbin), and has slowly worked her way up to the semi-finals, all the way as an underdog through and through; someone you could root for. She in turn, has said how much his belief in her has meant to her as a competitor – their mutual respect for each other led to some lovely moments throughout the season, and as Corbin, Bill, Jack, and Amber continue on as finalists, she'll definitely be missed.
* Worst costume of the week: Emma Slater's mesh bodysuit/furry-looking bikini.
* Some of the song covers were just plain awful. "Locked Out of Heaven" in the style of Evanescence? No. Just, no.
* Leah's daughter crying after her elimination was awfully precious.
Black Sabbath rocker Tony Iommi has received an honorary degree from a U.K. university. The guitarist was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Arts by officials at Coventry University during a graduation ceremony at Coventry Cathedral in England on Tuesday (19Nov13).
Iommi was handed the degree "in recognition of his contribution to the world of popular music".
The musician says, "It's a great honour to receive the doctorate, which comes towards the end of a challenging but amazingly successful year for me."
Iommi bounced back from a battle with blood cancer to hit the road with Black Sabbath for a reunion tour. The rockers also released a new album, 13 - their first record in 18 years.
After the ceremony, Iommi jetted straight to Finland for the group's show in Helsinki on Wednesday (20Nov13).