Actor Courtney B. Vance has been cast as O.J. Simpson's lawyer Johnnie Cochran in much-anticipated TV drama series American Crime Story: The People V. O.j. Simpson. The Tony Award winner will portray Simpson's flamboyant defence attorney in the show, which will centre around the sports star's 1995 murder trial, during which the former football star was controversially acquitted of killing his wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman.
Simpson's defence "dream team" will be rounded out by John Travolta, who will play Robert Shapiro, and former Friends star David Schwimmer, who will take on the roll of Simpson's late friend and attorney, Robert Kardashian.
Oscar winner Cuba Gooding, Jr. will portray Simpson, while actress Sarah Paulson has been cast as prosecutor Marcia Clark.
The series will be executive produced by Glee and American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy.
Cochran passed away in 2005.
Superstar Pharrell Williams is getting animated for an upcoming episode of The Simpsons. The Happy hitmaker and the famous Vivienne Westwood hat he wore to the Grammy Awards last year (14) are heading to the fictional town of Springfield for an episode titled Walking Big & Tall.
The plot of the cartoon instalment is based on a true story from the 1980s, about bosses at a Milwaukee, Wisconsin TV station who hired a composer to create a new anthem for the city, only to discover the musician offered up the same song to other city officials.
In The Simpsons story, Lisa Simpson will help to find a solution to the problem by bringing in Pharrell to pen a new track for the town, reports Entertainment Weekly.
The episode will air in the U.S. on 8 February (15).
Pharrell isn't the only special guest to make a cameo in the longrunning cartoon's 26th season - rocker Sammy Hagar and actors Nick Offerman and Sarah Silverman have also booked gigs on The Simpsons.
John Travolta is returning to TV to portray real-life defence attorney Robert Shapiro in American Crime Story: The People V. O.j. Simpson. The Pulp Fiction actor, who became a household name in America for his TV hit Welcome Back Kotter, will star alongside Cuba Gooding, Jr., who has been cast as Simpson in the drama.
The new TV project from Glee creator Ryan Murphy will centre on the former U.S. football player's murder trial. Simpson was accused and acquitted of killing his wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman in 1995.
Travolta will also serve as a producer on the mini-series.
Actress Sarah Paulson has also been cast as prosecutor Marcia Clark and former Friends star David Schwimmer will portray Simpson's late friend and attorney, Robert Kardashian.
Former Friends star David Schwimmer will portray Kim Kardashian's late father in a new O.J. Simpson trial series. The actor will play Simpson's lawyer and friend Robert Kardashian in American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson.
Robert Kardashian, who also fathered Kim's siblings Kourtney, Khloe and Rob, lost his battle with cancer in 2003, aged 59.
Cuba Gooding, Jr. has been cast as Simpson while Sarah Paulson will be playing prosecutor Marcia Clark.
Oscar winner Cuba Gooding, Jr. has been cast as O.J. Simpson in an upcoming TV anthology series about infamous U.S. real-life crimes. The Jerry Maguire actor is set to play another football star in American Crime Story, a programme created by American Horror Story's Ryan Murphy.
The new show will serve as a companion series to Murphy's hit thriller, and the 10-episode first season will centre on the murder trial of Simpson, who was accused and acquitted of killing his wife Nicole Brown Simpson in 1995.
Murphy will reteam with American Horror Story star Sarah Paulson, who will portray prosecutor Marcia Clark.
If American Crime Story continues, subsequent seasons will each focus on other classic crime cases.
Actress Katherine Heigl once tried to make singer Josh Kelley jealous by suggesting she was interested in dating rocker John Mayer.
The Knocked Up star reveals she told a little white lie to Kelley early on in their relationship in a bid to push him to commit and officially make her his girlfriend.
In an interview on America's The Meredith Vieira Show, which airs on Monday (24Nov14), she explains, "Around the same time I met Josh, I also met John Mayer. John Mayer and I are from neighbouring towns and knew some of the same people. My Josh had gone off on tour and was playing hard to get. So I didn't know - are we a thing? Are we a couple?"
Heigl, who met Kelley in 2005 when she was cast as his love interest in his Only You video, claims there was never anything romantic about her friendship with Mayer, but she had no problem playing up the prospect with the man who would later become her husband.
She continues, "These musicians, they are competitive and jealous of each other. (So) over the phone, because he was on tour, I was like, 'Josh, I've got to be honest. I just want to know where we stand because if not, I might try to pursue something with John.'"
Her ploy worked and the couple started properly dating, before marrying in 2009.
She adds, "(I confessed) probably a year into our marriage. I was like, 'You got played!'"
Mayer is known for his high-profile romances after previously dating famous females including Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Taylor Swift and Katy Perry.
Rapper Iggy Azalea is reportedly launching her own shoe collection.
The Fancy hitmaker's collaborative line with fashion mogul Steve Madden will hit stores in February, 2015, according to the New York Post.
Azalea is not the first celebrity to turn shoe designer - fellow music stars Jessica Simpson and Fergie boast their own footwear ranges, while actress Sarah Jessica Parker recently created her own collection, named SJP, through Nordstrom retailers.
On Saturday Night Live, the cast member who anchors Weekend Update has always had a special role to fill on the show. Guaranteed a showcase, they are the one constant in an otherwise ever changing group of sketches.
The originator of the role, Chevy Chase, left after one season to find stardom in movies, setting an example that would be followed going forward: Weekend Update anchors moving on to bigger and better things. You may have heard of Chase's immediate successors — Jane Curtin, Dan Aykroyd, and Bill Murray — all of whom (along with Chase) continue working regularly in film and television 30-plus years later. But how about everyone else who's held the desk?
THE LOST YEARS
When first Jean Doumanian and then Dick Ebersol took over as executive producer after Lorne Michaels exited the show following the 1979 - '80 season, the segment went through a number of changes, including sometimes being called Newsbreak and Saturday Night News. The most prominent host during the early '80s was Brad Hall — known to most, now, as Julia Louis-Dreyfus' husband — who anchored from 1982 - '84. Many of the other anchors during that time — Charles Rocket, Christine Ebersole, Brian Doyle-Murray, and Mary Gross — did the segment for just a year (or less). Most members of this group have faded into the background, although Rocket, who famously dropped an F-bomb during a SNL sketch, made regular appearances on television and movies (Moonlighting, Dances with Wolves) until his death in 2005. Doyle-Murray (Bill's older brother) and Guest were established character actors before joining the show and didn't miss a beat after leaving. Doyle-Murray has been in everything from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation to ABC's The Middle, usually playing some variation of a blowhard. Guest most famously played the six-fingered Count Rugen in The Princess Bride and earned additional praise for directing ensemble comedies like Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show.
THE GOLDEN AGE
Since Michaels took back the reins of SNL in 1985, the format of Weekend Update has remained largely unchanged and the comics that have sat behind the desk have become some of the biggest names in entertainment. But, who's having the best post-SNL career? Starting with the mid '80s, we rank them from worst to best below:
Kevin Nealon (1991 - '94) and Colin Quinn (1998 - 2000)
Most non-hardcore SNL fans would have difficulty remembering anything about either Nealon's or Quinn's stint on Update, so maybe it's not surprising that they've had the least success since leaving the show (although they've still done significantly better than most of the Ebersol folk). Quinn was a stand-up comic before the show and just returned to doing more of the same when he left. He did host a show on Comedy Central for a while, Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn. Nealon's biggest success came playing hapless accountant Doug Wilson on Showtime's Weeds. Each is friends with fellow SNL alum Adam Sandler, so Nealon and Quinn also show up occasionally doing cameos in Sandler's films. Lately, we've seen Quinn show up on episodes of Girls as a boss and friend of Alex Karpovsky's character Ray.
Norm Macdonald (1994 - '97)
Like Quinn, Macdonald came to SNL with an established background in stand-up. He had the good fortune to be behind the desk during the O.J. Simpson arrest and trial, which provided endless fodder for the comedian… and possibly led to his dismissal after running afoul of NBC executive Don Ohlmeyer, a friend of Simpson. Macdonald had his own sitcom on ABC for three years (Norm), and keeps a steady schedule of stand-up dates. Besides doing voice-over and commercial work, he's also a frequent guest of Conan O'Brien and, like Quinn and Nealon, has a habit of showing up in movies that Sandler produces.
Seth Meyers (2006 - '14)
Meyers sat behind the Weekend Update desk longer than anyone, and is the only anchor that worked both solo and with a partner. He has only been gone a few months, so it's hard to grade him, but he's off to a rousing start as the host of NBC's Late Night with Seth Meyers, maintaining his 30 Rock residence and boss Michaels. We're rooting for you, Seth.
Dennis Miller (1985 - '91)
Miller was the one responsible for returning Update back to something closer to Chase's original version. Unlike most of the others, Miller's sole role on the show was hosting the fake news segment, very rarely taking part in any of the show's sketches. Miller also might be the most controversial of the former anchors. After leaving SNL, he hosted Dennis Miller Live on HBO from 1994 - 2002, winning five Emmys. He also did a disastrous two-season stint as a commentator on ABC's Monday Night Football. After 2001, Miller's political views became increasingly conservative, leading to him to a gig at Fox News with a regular spot on Bill O'Reilly's The O'Reilly Factor. Since 2007, Miller has also hosted a syndicated radio show. Oddly, when Miller is on vacation his frequent fill-in both on radio and with O'Reilly is Macdonald.
Amy Poehler (2004 - '08)
One of the founders of the influential improv group Upright Citizens Brigade, Poehler joined with Tina Fey to form the first all-female team on Weekend Update, and the two have been joined together ever since. Poehler was such a powerful presence on the show that she managed to make an appearance on the segment by frequent target Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin come off as charming instead of forced. Since SNL, Poehler has starred in the movie Baby Mama and has done the voices for more animated characters than we can count. She also just completed her sixth season starring in NBC's Parks and Recreation. Time magazine named her one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2011 and, oh yeah, and she has a little awards show hosting gig that she does with Fey.
Jimmy Fallon (2000 - '04)
Fallon teamed with Fey to turn Update back into a buzz-worthy segment, with the two of them trading quips at which Fallon would frequently crack up. He tried his hand at movies after leaving the show, starring in Fever Pitch with Drew Barrymore and Taxi with Queen Latifah. It was when he returned to television, however, that he really hit his stride. Starting with taking over for O'Brien on Late Night, Fallon has steadily grown into one of the most powerful people in the entertainment industry as a late night talk show host. In February, he took over for Jay Leno on The Tonight Show, moving it back to New York from Los Angeles and earning accolades for his mix of goofy humor, music, and social media interaction.
Tina Fey (2000 - '06)
During her time on SNL, in addition to co-anchoring Update with first Fallon and then Poehler, Fey was the show's first female head writer. While still on the show, Fey wrote the hit teen comedy Mean Girls, and since leaving has starred in a group of comedies, including Baby Mama with Poehler and most recently Muppets Most Wanted. She wrote, produced, and starred in NBC's 30 Rock for seven seasons, and her book Bossypants was number one on the New York Times bestseller list for five weeks. She's won eight Emmys, most recently for her work hosting the Golden Globes with Poehler, and she was the youngest ever recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Dazzlingly smart and funny, it's hard to find many people that can match resumes with Fey.
Warner Bros via Everett Collection
Going back to the earliest days of both movies and television, producers have been enamored with putting sports celebrities on screen. They're some of the most recognizable people in the country and bring along a built-in audience of fans from their athletic exploits.
Of course, there is one issue that's a little hard to get around… most of the athletes that have been tapped to appear in movies can't act. We're taking a look at the most awesomely bad performances by athletes in movies… from ones that are just laughably amateurish to the truly unwatchable; the work by this group would make Lee Strasberg cry.
Shaquille O'Neal, Kazaam
In interviews, O'Neal can be utterly charming and he frequently looks like he's having a good time. Absolutely none of that translates to the big screen, however. The 7-foot-1 basketball player is a genie who emerges from a boombox and tries to help a kid (Francis Capra) who's got father issues. You'd think that a movie with a genie would be at least fun, but it has way too many dark moments and O'Neal's mugging doesn't help any. The movie was so bad that director Paul Michael Glaser hasn't got behind the camera since.
Charles Barkley, Space Jam
It's easy to point out that Michael Jordan is bad in the 1996 mix of animation and live action since he was the star of the show (along with Bugs Bunny, of course), but really, what did we expect? Jordan acted about as well as he ever did in his commercials and the rest of the NBA players, from Larry Bird to Patrick Ewing are equally awful. Barkley, however, as we've now learned from his work as a studio host for TNT has enough personality that he could’ve done better than the stiff performance that he gave.
Dan Marino, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
It's always amazing when athletes can't even play themselves convincingly. In Jim Carrey's breakout hit, Marino — along with a dolphin — is the subject of a kidnapping scheme. Marino's a good looking guy, but that's about the best thing that we can say about his abilities as an actor. When you're outdone by a sea mammal, things are pretty bad. Of course, as much as we don't like his acting, we still like him better than the movie's Mrs. Finkle, the character who famously said, "Dan Marino should die of gonorrhea and rot in hell."
O.J. Simpson, Capricorn One
Back before the Juice had his troubles with the law, he had quite the acting career. Most people remember his turn as Leslie Nielsen's partner in the Naked Gun series, but at one point, Simpson was legitimately trying to act. That's what puts his turn in Capricorn on the list. Playing a duped astronaut, along with James Brolin and Sam Waterston, who is unwittingly part of a fake mission to Mars, Simpson is all caged fury at the outrage of it all. At least the movie has some pretty rad late '70s hairdos going for it.
Wilt Chamberlain, Conan the Destroyer
At least there was logic to Chamberlain's casting in the rushed sequel to Conan the Barbarian… if you're looking for someone even more physically imposing than Arnold Schwarzenegger, Wilt certainly fits the bill. The towering Chamberlain plays a guard named Bombaata who is supposed to help Conan on a quest before killing him. Let's just say that doesn't work out too well for The Stilt. Considering his claims of prodigious sexual conquests, we're sure that Chamberlain had fun shooting the movie… and, really, he doesn’t look any more ridiculous than Grace Jones.
Dennis Rodman, Double Team
How many people can say that they were in a movie with Jean-Claude Van Damme and they were the worst actor on set? Rodman, at the height of his fame for his outrageous behavior, made the Muscles from Brussels look like Robert De Niro in comparison. The plot of the movie runs along the lines of most other JCVD flicks, with Rodman playing an arms dealer. The Worm is tasked with saying such classic lines as, "You look like trouble. I like trouble." There are a lot of explosions and Van Damme does his requisite butt-kicking, even taking on a tiger, but Rodman spends the movie seemingly smirking at the thought that someone's paying him to do… well, whatever it was he was doing.
Mike Tyson, The Hangover
Yes, The Hangover is a very funny movie and, yes, the scenes with Tyson are hysterical. Those two facts do not make Iron Mike a good actor. The former heavyweight champion just plays a slightly less scary version of himself and you get the impression that the mixture of awe and fear on Bradley Cooper's face wasn't a stretch with the real Tyson standing in front of him. As comical as it was to watch — due largely to Tyson's public persona — his reaction at the video of Zack Galifianakis peeing in his pool is on the level of a third grade school play. Just, um, maybe don't tell him we said so.
Howie Long, Firestorm
The longtime Los Angeles Raiders defensive lineman did a credible job as one of John Travolta's henchmen in the John Woo actioner Broken Arrow. That's where Long's acting career should've ended. Instead, he signed on to play the lead in a movie about the leader of a team of wild firefighters who has to rescue people trapped in a fire started by an escaped killer played by William Forsythe. The fact that someone actually bought that pitch is irrelevant and it's hard to fault Long for taking the payday, but the preposterousness of the plot is matched only by the football star's terrible line delivery. The best part of the movie is that it's mercifully short, clocking in at just 89 minutes.
Terry Bradshaw, Failure to Launch
Let's forget for a second the stretch of casting Bradshaw and Kathy Bates as Matthew McConaughey's parents. Let's even put aside the fact that the movie's awfulness has more to do with the nonexistent chemistry between McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker than anything the four-time Super Bowl winner did. The question that truly needs to be addressed is who the heck thought the idea of having Bradshaw naked in the movie was a good idea? God love him for being down for it, but the image of the former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback's naked rear-end is one of those things that you can't unsee. Bradshaw got his start in acting doing cameos in his buddy Burt Reynolds' films and luckily, he doesn't go too far out of his way to get parts. Why people feel the need to occasionally give him one is a whole other question.
As we ruminate over the Mad Men premiere, we think not only of the bleak sorrows that have befallen Don and Peggy, but of the joys this show has inspired. Getting into the spirit of things, Seth Meyers recently shared a parody video called Bad Men. Whether or not his was especially funny is debatable, but here are some Mad Men parodies and spoofs that totally hit the mark.
When Homer Simpson went Don Draper, even if it was only for the opening credits, all felt right in the world.
Saturday Night Live: "A-Holes: Pitch Meeting"
Finally, someone said what we'd all been thinking: "All of the clients on Mad Men are total a-holes." Kristen Wiig and Jason Sudeikis played their recurring characters (Two A-Holes), and along with the real Don Draper, Peggy Olson, and Roger Sterling we got some hilarious SNL-ified versions of the rest of the folks at Sterling Cooper.
It's all of your favorite things in one place: Mad Men, Joey McIntyre from New Kids on the Block, and Boston accents laced with NSFW language (AKA Boston accents). Enjoy.
Sesame Street FTW
If you have children (hell, even if you don't), this video is a joy! Finally, you can share the magic of Mad Men with your kids without questioning your parenting skills.
Saturday Night Live: "Black Mad Men"
Who in the world would think to connect hummus to sexuality and desegregation? Why, the black Mad Men of SNL. And just as Saturday Night Live made moves to diversify their cast and their sketches this year, we're hoping Mad Men makes similar moves in this final season.
Follow @Hollywood_com Follow @shannonmhouston