Actor Levar Burton has set a new crowdfunding record for the most individual contributors for a single project after launching an online campaign to revive his popular U.S. children's show Reading Rainbow. The Star Trek star, who served as the educational series' executive producer and host from 1983 until 2005, is aiming to raise $5 million (£2.94 million) for the cause by the end of Wednesday (02Jul14), but he has already earned a place in the crowdfunding industry's record books after winning the support of more than 98,000 investors.
The previous record of 91,585 backers was set last year (13) by fans of the cult TV drama Veronica Mars, who helped fund a big screen adaptation of the Kristen Bell show, according to Entrepreneur.com.
Burton announced his plans to bring back Reading Rainbow online via the Kickstarter.com campaign in May (14) and he reached his initial goal of $1 million (£588,235) in less than 24 hours.
He then changed his aim to $5 million and received a huge boost from Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane last week (ends27Jun14), when the animator and filmmaker pledged $1 million of his own money to the cause and promised to match all subsequent donations too.
The campaign had raised just over $4.84 million as WENN went to press.
Levar Burton's campaign to revive his popular U.S. children's show Reading Rainbow has been given a huge boost after Seth Macfarlane pledged $1 million (£625,000). Last month (May14), the Star Trek actor launched a crowdfunding drive to revive the educational TV programme online, quickly reaching his initial goal of $1 million (£625,000) in less than 24 hours.
He changed his aim to $5 million (£3 million) so he would not have to charge for access to the content, and he is a step closer to thanks to the generosity of the Family Guy creator.
MacFarlane has promised to hand over $1 million in funds, the amount needed to reach Burton's goal, as the Kickstarter.com donations page reached $4,105,694 (£2.6 million).
A post on the site reads, "Now your pledge is worth 2x: Seth MacFarlane will match the next $1,000,000 in pledges! Bring Reading Rainbow to more classrooms now!"
Burton hosted the educational series from 1983 until 2005.
Mindy Kaling is officially celebrating her 35th birthday in style — the day's not even over yet, and she's already Instagram'd tons of pics of her birthday haul. Let's take a look at her newfound swag:
Here's a pic of her showing off her new bling — a fun ring and earrings courtesy of The Mindy Project staff writer Tracey Wigfield (it would seem that most of TMP's writers are in Las Vegas right now, and they've been getting both work and play in, especially where Mindy's birthday is involved).
Her assistant gifted her this delightful "stay in and watch TV" kit. Yum.
Then, she got this adorable (albeit creepy) clutch from Fox — she jokes, "Thank you Rupert Murdoch, who I'm sure chose this personally."
Another gift from one of her fellow TMP writers, Jeremy Bronson. Customed-designed chartreuse Nikes, a windbreaker that practically glows in the dark, and a rainbow sock monkey? Yes, please!
We're glad you're celebrating in style, Mindy!
Jane'S Addiction will headline the seventh annual Sunset Strip Music Festival in Los Angeles this autumn (14). The band will close down the fabled West Hollywood stretch of Sunset Boulevard on 20 September (14) as they headline the Saturday night of the four-day by performing 1988 album Nothing's Shocking in its entirety to mark the 25th anniversary of the record's release.
The band will also be honoured with the Elmer Valentine Award during a tribute event at The House of Blues Sunset Strip on 19 September (14).
The prize is named after the late co-founder of iconic Sunset Strip venues The Whisky, The Roxy and The Rainbow Bar & Grill, and previous recipients include Lou Adler, Ozzy Osbourne, Slash, Motley Crue, The Doors and Joan Jett.
Jane's Addiction's appearance at the SSMF will be a full circle moment for the band - the group's second ever concert took place at The Roxy in 1985.
Australian electronic music duo Empire of the Sun will headline the second day of the festival on 21 September (14), and artists including Cold War Kids, Kaiser Chiefs, Mayer Hawthorne, Tove Lo, and Minus the Bear are also on the bill for the weekend.
One of rock group Queen's most famous early concerts is to be released as a CD, DVD and Blu-Ray 40 years after it was recorded in London. Queen: Live at the Rainbow '74 chronicles the then-up-and-coming band onstage at the fabled venue and features over a dozen tracks never previously released on any official Queen live album.
The concert came days after Queen were invited to perform their new single Seven Seas of Rhye on U.K. TV music show Top of the Pops after David Bowie had to pull out of an appearance at the last minute. The TV slot helped Queen sell out The Rainbow, and producer Roy Thomas Baker opted to film the show and record it for a planned live album.
However, the gig served as the group's launch into the big time - and they put Queen: Live at the Rainbow '74 on hold to record breakthrough album Sheer Heart Attack. A spokesperson for Eagle Rock Entertainment, the company behind the new release, tells WENN, "As a result the already completed Rainbow live album was shelved and consigned to the archives. Now, a remarkable 40 years later, Queen: Live at the Rainbow '74 has finally surfaced, providing an invaluable record of emerging superstars demonstrating their talent."
The project will be released in September (14) in a variety of formats, all newly mixed and mastered. These range from a standard two-CD package, a DVD, an SD Blu-ray, a gate-fold double vinyl, a quadruple vinyl boxed set, and a super deluxe collector's edition, which features two CDs, a DVD and Blu-Ray, a 60-page hardback book containing rare photographs, and various items of memorabilia such as reproductions of the tickets, show souvenir programme and poster, as well as material from the band members' personal archives.
The tracklisting includes Flick Of The Wrist, Killer Queen, Seven Seas Of Rhye and Stone Cold Crazy. News of the release comes as Queen stalwarts Brian May and Roger Taylor prepare for a North American tour with Adam Lambert replacing the late Freddie Mercury as frontman.
Actor Levar Burton is rounding up his former STAR TREK co-stars for live readings in support of a Kickstarter.com campaign to bring back his popular U.S. children's show Reading Rainbow. Last month (May14), The Roots actor launched a crowdfunding drive to revive the educational programme on the Internet, quickly reaching his initial goal of $1 million (£625,000) in less than 24 hours.
Burton now aims to raise $5 million (£2.95 million), and in a bid to entice more fans to back the project, he has set a special reward for anyone who donates $1,200 (£708) or more.
A series of four Star Trek reading events will be held in Los Angeles, including one featuring the male castmates Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Michael Dorn, and Robert Picardo, and one with the franchise's female stars, Kate Mulgrew, Marina Sirtis, Gates McFadden, and Jeri Ryan. Former captains Sir Patrick Stewart and William Shatner will also take part.
Burton has raised $3.7 million (£2.12 million) as of Thursday (12Jun14), with 19 days left in the campaign.
TV titan Oprah Winfrey fought back tears as she honoured Maya Angelou as the "greatest woman" she has ever known at the iconic poet's funeral on Saturday (07Jun14). The acclaimed writer's family and friends gathered at the main chapel at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina to remember Angelou during a private service, which featured tributes from Winfrey, former U.S. President Bill Clinton and U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama.
Angelou's grandson Elliott Jones welcomed mourners to the ceremony to celebrate "an amazing life - a life well-lived", and then started the memorial by reading a passage from the author's poem Still I Rise.
Clinton remembered the writer as having "the greatest voice on the planet", one which Obama admitted could lift her "right out of my own little head", but it was Winfrey's emotional speech which really moved the congregation.
She revealed she had counted Angelou as a close friend and mentor long before she rose to superstardom as a talk show and media mogul, and credited the poet with teaching her to always stay positive and look for the rainbow in the clouds.
Struggling to contain her sadness, Winfrey added, "Maya Angelou is the greatest woman I have ever known. She was my anchor. So it's hard to describe to you what it means when your anchor shifts."
The two-hour memorial service, which was also attended by actor/director Tyler Perry and veteran actress Cicely Tyson, featured performances from gospel singer Bobby Jones and country star Lee Ann Womack, who belted out her hit I Hope You Dance - one of Angelou's favourite songs.
The writer and poet, who had taught at Wake Forest University since 1982, died in her sleep on 28 May (14) at the age of 86.
Jim Spellman/WireImage/Getty Images
From the neon brights and fingerless gloves of an '80s era Carrie Bradshaw on The Carrie Diaries to the high-class couture sported by your favorite Gossip Girl, costume designer Eric Daman has certainly left his mark on the small screen. He's also made the fledgling CW network a much more stylish destination, turning the little network into a big name when it comes to fashion. With The Carrie Diaries ending its run and Gossip Girl having signed her last "xoxo," Daman is likely to be in high demand for productions looking for his magic touch. Until he finds his next gig, the viewing public will remain in desperate need of styling tips from our television fashion idols. Thankfully, we managed to track down Eric Daman to ask our most pressing fashion questions, from how to adopt '80s trends without looking like a throwback, to what our favorite Gossip Girl characters would be sporting in 2014.
The weather is finally warm and spring has sprung, so what are your top tips for killing it sartorially this spring? What trends should we all keep an eye out for?
ED: "For spring this year, what's trending are pretty pastels in hi-tech silhouettes. Vintage bomber jackets are getting a modern makeover. Skirts are getting longer (the retro tea length is gaining popularity). And boxy tops in shift shape are giving the body con trend a run for its money. Carrie's 'Carrie Bag' would certainly be on trend with the giant designer DIY movement underfoot. The low heeled pump is seeing a moment in the sun, while the kaleidoscopic print is still on trend and being mixed with other print patterns for emphasis. Tribal stripes and fringe are enjoying worldwide appeal. Lace and open-weave are on board this spring, and metallic hasn't lost is foot-hold either. My top tip is to be mindful of what I call the allure of the hybrid: structural, material, visual, and cultural hybrids are the name of the game overall this coming year in style."
If you were still dressing the characters of Gossip Girl today, in 2014, what would today's Serena outfit look like? What would Blair be wearing? How about Chuck?
ED: "Serena would definitely be hanging out at Coachella, in maybe a soft-hard beautiful broiderie anglaise Isabel Marant top in soft pinks and whites with layer-cakey ruffley details, a lite-puff shoulder and see-through seams. She'd pair it with something by Emilio Pucci, either black-and-white graphic shorts or a rainbow metallic mini with Nicholas Kirkwood sleek pointed zig-zag leather and suede pumps in orange, turquoise, and pink. She'd throw on a shaggy Proenza Schouler coat if the evening got a little chilly, with a pair of retro-deco earrings that sparkle by the light of the bonfire."
"Blair would be having lunch at the Pierre Hotel, very much in a calf-length Burberry pencil skirt in structured lace with Byzantine inspired crystal cluster embellishments. She'd wear an Elie Saab watercolor shouldered top, under a floral embossed Christian Dior vivid orange half jacket, with an Alexander McQueen studded black nappa leather knucklebox clutch and Christian Louboutin Bollywood Boulevard PVC pumps."
"Chuck would be at the cricket club with the urban daddy crowd for a quick round in a Bastiaan Van Gaalen polo shirt, summer weight Moncler blue quilted blazer with white trim, a Salvatore Ferragamo vest, Louis Vuitton plaid trousers, and a Jimmy Choo tassled summer loafer."
What's one current trend you think the Gossip Girl characters would love? You're always taking trends and making them your own. How would you have made the trend Upper East Side worthy?
ED: "I can see a 2014 version of Uptown meets Downtown in looks where Renaissance-inspired maximalism meets tribalistic geometry."
What are the challenges of working with time period costuming for The Carrie Diaries? How do you keep things fresh while still staying true to the '80s?
ED: "We knew we had to be honest and address the '80s, but we had to be honest in a selective way from an editorial perspective. The term 'aspirational authenticity' was a guiding mantra that served reliably. I wanted to do justice to styles of the '80s that were inspiring designers from Calvin Klein to Dolce and Gabbana to Balmain to Marc by Marc Jacobs to Charlotte Ronson to DKNY, all the way down the fashion food chain to include fast fashion purveyors like TopShop, UrbanOutfitters, Zara, and H&M. There was so much '80s inspired fashion available by contemporary designers and retailers, the opportunity to select the most flattering of the range of choices was clearly the best direction."
For people who love The Carrie Diaries fashion but don't want to look like they just walked out of a vintage MTV video, how can you translate that killer '80s fashion into a more modern look?
ED: "I know what you mean. I made a point to keep it a camouflaged combination of vintage and contemporary designs, which is kind of a very '80s approach to begin with. I indulged a bit in my irresistable desire to mix and blend actual vintage pieces from the '80s, which we acquired from Bill Blass, Norma Kamali, Thierry Mugler, Arnold Scaasi, and Sonya Rykiel, with modern fashions like Missoni, American Apparel, Modcloth, Nasty Gal, and Mara Hoffman. We used accessories by Alexis Bittar, Alex Woo, Swarovski, Alex Woo, and Magdalena Stokalska among many others."
As a huge fan of Gossip Girl and an even bigger fan of the fashion, I have to ask what some of your all-time favorite looks were from the series.
ED: "That's a tough one. I'll make a deal with you. I'll tell you some of my favorite episodes and you can extrapolate the outfits from there...Season 1: 'Hi Society.' Season 2: 'Summer Kind of Wonderful.' Season 3: 'Last Tango, then Paris.' Season 4: 'The Undergraduate.' Season 5: 'GG.' Season 6: 'New York I love You XOXO.'"
What were your favorite looks from Gossip Girl and The Carrie Diaries? Share in the comments!
Actor Levar Burton is celebrating after fans surpassed the goal of raising $1 million (£625,000) in less than 24 hours of launching the Kickstarter.com campaign on Wednesday (28May14), in a bid to bring back his popular U.S. children's show Reading Rainbow. The Star Trek: The Next Generation star hosted the educational series from 1983 until 2005 and now he is set to revive the programme on the internet after going above and beyond the lofty goal in just 10 hours.
With 34 days still to go, Burton's crowdfunding campaign has raised over $1.3 million (£777,419) when WENN went to press.
He shared his astonishment about the outpouring of support to Deadline.com, saying, "Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that we would reach our goal on the very first day. People are getting involved - it’s been pretty overwhelming."
In a post on the crowdfunding site urging fans to donate he writes, "I am hoping you will join me on my mission to bring Reading Rainbow back for every child, everywhere. Together, we can change the lives of millions of children. But you don't have to take my word for it: just keep reading!
"I believe that every child has a right, and a need, to be literate. We have a responsibility to prepare our children... and right now, the numbers show that we, as a society, are failing in that responsibility."
With the funds, Burton will also create a classroom-friendly version of his popular show for teachers.
The actor joins the club of last year's (13) highly-successful Veronica Mars campaign, which raised the $2 million (£1.25 million) goal of turning the cult TV series into a big screen film in just five hours, going on to set Kickstarter.com history with more than 88,000 backers donating over $5 million (£3.4 million).
Oprah Winfrey and U.S. President Barack Obama have joined stars including Bette Midler, Tony Bennett, Rihanna and Pharrell Williams to pay tribute to celebrated writer/poet Maya Angelou following her death on Wednesday (28May14). The influential author passed away at her home in North Carolina, just days after ill health prompted her to cancel an appearance at a prizegiving this Friday (30May14), and celebrities took to their Twitter.com blogs to celebrate her life within minutes of the tragic announcement.
Veteran entertainer Midler became one of the first stars to comment on the 86 year old's passing, writing, "The beautiful Maya Angelou died this morning. A big and radiant soul, at rest at last", while crooner Bennett posted, "Maya Angelou was an exceptional writer and human being and her inspiration will continue to enrich us all."
Rihanna praised Angelou as an "angel" and revealed, "The first book I read as a teenager, 'I know why the caged bird sings'. Felt like we knew her", and singer and superproducer Williams mused, "Her light will be sorely missed".
TV titan Winfrey paid a touching tribute to her longtime "mentor, mother/sister, and friend", adding, "She was there for me always, guiding me through some of the most important years of my life. The world knows her as a poet but at the heart of her, she was a teacher. 'When you learn, teach. When you get, give,' is one of my best lessons from her... "She moved through the world with unshakeable calm, confidence and a fierce grace. I loved her and I know she loved me. I will profoundly miss her. She will always be the rainbow in my clouds."
President Obama, who awarded Angelou the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011, also issued a statement about Angelou's passing, writing in part, "(Wife) Michelle and I join millions around the world in remembering one of the brightest lights of our time: a brilliant writer, a fierce friend and a truly phenomenal woman."
A slew of other tributes have also been posted online from the likes of Olivia Wilde, Kerry Washington, Beyonce, William Shatner, Kelly Rowland, Lena Dunham, Olivia Munn, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, rapper Nas, and revered U.S. broadcaster Larry King.