Author

Kate Ward
Kate Ward is the current Executive Editor for Hollywood.com, a former editor and writer for Entertainment Weekly and EW.com, and a forever fan of pop culture. A graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, Ward — whose work has also appeared in Glamour magazine — loves talking about nutgrafs and hates exclamation points, despite using them on a regular basis. Specializing in reality TV, ’90s nostalgia, and bad movies, Ward is likely the oldest person to attend "American Idols LIVE!" every year with her mom.
  • 'Mindy Project,' 'Ben and Kate' Receive Full Season Pick-Ups
    By: Kate Ward Oct 08, 2012
    Despite middling ratings, critical love has been enough to drive full season pick-ups of new series The Mindy Project and Ben and Kate. According to Fox, Ben and Kate — starring Oscar-winning writer Nat Faxon (The Descendants) and Melanie Griffith-Don Johnson offspring Dakota Johnson — has received six additional episodes while The Mindy Project — starring beloved The Office alum Mindy Kaling — has been picked up for an additional nine. While Mindy Project's order was somewhat expected — buzz surrounding the comedy, which has boasted guest spots from comedy stars like Seth Meyers and Ed Helms, more than made up for dipping ratings — Ben and Kate's pick-up is a pleasant surprise. Though critics dug the new comedy effort (Hollywood.com, for one, gave its premiere a Ben-approved strong high five), its second episode only attracted 3.3 million viewers, down 24 percent from its premiere. Fox, at least, has faith in both series, which join hit New Girl on Tuesdays. In a statement, Fox Chairman of Entertainment Kevin Reilly said, "Ben and Kate and The Mindy Project have everything we want to stand for in comedy: smart writing, hugely appealing casts and comedy that feels contemporary and real — which is why we’re confident they will continue to build on what is already an appointment comedy night for young, influential audiences on Tuesdays." New episodes for both series air tomorrow, Oct. 9. And, in the meantime, celebratory high fives all around! [Image Credit: FOX] More: The Dos and Don'ts of Dating from The Mindy Project: You're Hired! Ben and Kate: A Strong High-Five For the Heartwarming Series The Ax Factor: Which New Series are Headed for Cancellation?
  • 'Saturday Night Live': Will Politics Overshadow Daniel Craig?
    By: Kate Ward Oct 06, 2012
    Saturday Night Live has timed things perfectly. If we weren't already clamoring for a new episode following a one-week hiatus, then we're craving one as intensely as Mitt Romney craves Big Bird's blood following Wednesday's first presidential debate. Yes, we can surely expect Jason Sudeikis and Jay Pharoah — otherwise known as the SNL cast members with the sneakiest vowels — to make an appearance as Romney and President Obama during a cold open that will likely be the hot topic of pop culture debate come Sunday morning. But there's something for fans not interested in news affairs, who will be able to debate the benefits of shaken vs. stirred thanks to the night's host, Daniel Craig, billed alongside musical guest Muse (who, following "Uprising," will come complete with some political opinions of their own, no doubt). It will be the man also known as Bond (James Bond)'s first time as host — but not the first time we will have seen the actor bring the funny. (Remember A Kid in King Arthur's Court? Craig sure doesn't want you to!) Will he prove to be a successful SNL? We'll have to wait and see, but one thing's for certain: It's likely Craig's stint will be overshadowed by the sketch comedy show's political comedy cause. That is, unless, Craig dips into debate fodder himself. After all, he does have the same baby blues as Paul Ryan... Will you be watching SNL tonight? [Image Credit: NBC] More: Saturday Night Live Promo: Daniel Craig Plays Well With Taran Killam Bruno Mars, Christina Applegate Named as Upcoming SNL Hosts Saturday Night Live Recap: Joseph Gordon-Levitt Lets Loose
  • New 'Liz & Dick' Trailer Offers Little New Footage, Is Still Hilarious — VIDEO
    By: Kate Ward Oct 05, 2012
    The second episode of Revenge. The weekend. The leftover piece of cheese I couldn't finish last night. There are many things that I'm more excited about than Lifetime's Liz & Dick biopic, but, still, I can't tear myself away from its hilariously sensational promos. Not that I'm not used to Lifetime's patented flair for drama (how can we forget Rob Lowe's "I'm untouchable, bitch!"), but there's something about Lindsay Lohan's determination playing Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor that's just damn appealing... and so ripe for comedy. (And that's coming from one of the starlet's longtime supporters.) The posture, which was no doubt a result of a long, hard study of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof photo stills. The slapping(!). The all-to-telling and frightening shot of Lohan as an older Taylor. And, please, please tell me this is somehow chronicled. Below, watch the short clip, which offers little new content from the first promo, save the aforementioned slap and Richard Burton's (Grant Bowler) incredulous exclamation, "Why the hell did I marry you?" But be warned: The whole display is very high school drama club. But maybe I'm just being a mean girl. [Image Credit: Lifetime] More: Lindsay Lohan in the 'Liz & Dick' Trailer: 'They Drink, They Fight, They Fornicate' Is Lindsay Lohan's 'Liz & Dick' Really About Lohan? — POSTER Some New York Lessons for Lindsay Lohan
  • 'Pretty Little Liars': The Mystery Will Continue into Season 4
    By: Kate Ward Oct 04, 2012
    Looks like the wardrobe of Rosewood's teens will continue to make us uncomfortable. Pretty Little Liars, ABC Family's teen-centric mystery, has been renewed for a fourth season, the network announced. Season 4 will begin in mid-2013 with 24 new episodes, but fans of Pretty Little Liars will also be given a treat this Halloween season: A special Halloween episode of the series will air Oct. 23, and Season 3 will continue in January. Its renewal comes as little surprise — Pretty Little Liars has been a massive success for the network, ranking as its No. 1 show of all time. The series also won the No. 1 spot across cable networks in viewers 12-34 and females 12-34. Given that, we can expect a long run for Pretty Little Liars — even if the skirts continue to be all too short.  [Image Credit: ABC Family] More: Pretty Little Liars Summer Finale: The Betrayal Pretty Little Liars Recap: Wild Things Pretty Little Liars Recap: Cabin in the Woods
  • 'Project Runway All Stars': Where's Andrae? He's Here!
    By: Kate Ward Sep 27, 2012
    Where's Andrae? Turns out, our favorite emotional basket case of Season 2, Andrae Gonzalo, is likely back at MOOD, preparing for the second season of Project Runway All Stars. Lifetime announced the new crop of contestants given a second chance at the title, and, based on the line-up, the network is ensuring that fans will see more drama than Tim Gunn sightings. Of course, that's to be expected, since our Tim Gunn sightings will equal zero — former Marie Claire Editor-in-Chief Joanna Coles will once again serve as mentor in Gunn's stead, with judges Isaac Mizrahi, Georgina Chapman, and host Carolyn Murphy at the helm. (A tragic development, considering we were looking forward to witnessing Gunn's many Red Lobster dates with Andrae. What happened to Tim?) Still, the cast of All Stars' second season is encouraging — whereas last season was an elaborate way to make up for Mondo Guerra's maddening loss to villain Gretchen Jones in Season 8, it seems there's no undercurrent driving the upcoming season, which premieres Oct. 25. Also: Wendy Pepper. Returns. Yes. So, without a clear front-runner like Mondo, who will pick up All Stars second season win? Let's weigh the odds: Wendy Pepper: It would be easy to assume Season 1's über-villain — and arguably one of the main reasons Season 1 of the reality underdog picked up steam — would be shown the door if she designed anything like this again, but think again. Season 1 became instantly entertaining because of the reviled designer — why would All Stars pass up the intrigue the second time around? Pepper's definitely something to sneeze at. Odds: 25: 1  Andrae Gonzalo: Like a bully in a playground, Project Runway won't feel satisfied unless it makes Andrae ugly cry at least three times. Of course, that may happen by Episode 1's end, but the Season 2 contestant's facial expressions alone should be enough to help him last a few challenges. Odds: 35: 1 Kayne Gillaspie: The Season 3 charmer finished fifth during Season 3, despite his limited design experience. No doubt the pageant king has developed his skills throughout the past six years, but, competing in an All Stars cast of characters more boisterous than his Season 3 cohorts, Kayne's camera-ready star might fade in the early episodes. Still, his association with former Miss USA Tara Conner — who wore a Kayne design during 2007's Miss Universe Pageant — may give him enough camp cred to help him last. Odds: 50: 1 Uli Herzner: During Season 3, Uli was inoffensive, unremarkable — and incredibly talented. The fact that some felt the Miami designer was robbed of the title by Jeffrey Sebelia bodes well for Uli — will her sunny designs brighten up All Stars enough to help her nab the title the second go-round? Will New York finally welcome Miami? Odds: 5: 1 Suede: This. Even Suede would wonder whether Suede has a chance. Odds: 500: 1 Althea Harper: Like Uli, Althea was a victim of her season. Not only did many think Althea should have won over the unlikeable Irina Shabayeva, but she also had the unfortunate distinction of being the only amiable character on Lifetime's dreaded first season. Still, the contestant has found success since becoming Project Runway's runner-up, and should make a strong case for the win. Odds: 4: 1 Emilio Sosa: The cocky designer is talented, indeed, but his confidence might have been shaken following the slice of humble pie he tasted following Seth Aaron's surprising win. Then again, the designer was nominated for a Tony for his costume work in The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess. So probably not. Look for Emilio to cover his designs with his name once again, whether or not he can tag the Project Runway win with his name. Odds: 5: 1 Peach Carr: Your grandmother loved Peach's designs, but, unfortunately, that likely won't be enough to carry the Season 8 contestant to the end. Still, her stellar sewing skills — and her sweet nature — may make the judges keen on Peach. Odds: 55: 1 Casanova: Season 8's man with one moniker is one of Project Runway's most eccentric characters (who isn't Season 3's Vincent), but he's more likely to catch the attention of Joel McHale than the judges. Exhibit A: This. Odds: 1,000: 1 Ivy Higa: The Season 8 contestant was as talented as she was self-absorbed. If she can get along with her fellow designers, she has a chance at finishing high during All Stars. But she'll have to learn first that there's no Ivy in Team. Odds: 33: 1 Anthony Ryan Auld: The Season 9 designer was a triple threat: Able, likable, and extremely dreamy. It will be easy for judges to root for the cancer survivor, even if his bizarre designs are more difficult to connect with than the designer himself. Odds: 30: 1 Laura Kathleen: The season 9 designer's flirty designs were as well-made as they were infectious. Still, it would be nice to see the girly-girl add a little more spice to her sugary designs. Odds: 20: 1 Joshua McKinley: The runner-up with clothes as loud as his personality, Season 9's Joshua should make for good TV and good fashion. And, hopefully, at least one good Wendy Pepper run-in. Odds: 3: 1 Who's got the best shot? And where's Andrae? Follow Kate on Twitter @HWKateWard [Image Credit: Richard McLaren/Lifetime] More: What the Heck Happened to Project Runway? Heidi Klum Goes Nude for Project Runway
  • 'It's Always Sunny' Season 8 Promo: Haley Joel Osment Fights (As Mac) For a Comeback
    By: Kate Ward Sep 26, 2012
    For some series, the anticipation leading up to the season premiere is tortuous. For It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, it's downright hilarious. One year after releasing Season 7's dysfunctional family portrait-slash-promo poster — complete with the invincible Special Agent Jack Bauer... in Kitten Mittens — the Sunny gang has released a Season 8 teaser in which they have been replaced by actors you haven't talked about since 1999, but are thrilled to see again. Especially when they pull off their Sunny alter-egos so brilliantly. Pimp My Ride host Xzibit sky dances like Kaitlin Olson's Dee (but, clearly, is not bird-like enough to really pull off the character), Full House star Candace Cameron pulls off Charlie Day's Charlie's bemused sanity (in a casting choice that makes us still wonder whatever happened to predictability), mixed martial artist Chael Sonnen clearly can S.E.L.L. D.E.N.N.I.S. (though those abs help us separate him entirely from Glenn Howerton), and it wouldn't surprise us if Andrew Dice Clay has enjoyed a rum ham or two in his life. But the clip's most impressive switcheroo is Haley Joel Osment's version of Rob McElhenney's Mac, which is so spot-on, it's a shame his talents were wasted on Secondhand Lions. It's an encouraging promo for the season ahead — and right up Sunny's demented alley. After all, the show is no stranger to inviting nostalgic names to appear on an episode or two. (See: Tom Sizemore and Sinbad, star of Houseguest, otherwise known as the gift that keeps on giving.) Still, we know who the real star of Sunny is: Special Agent Jack Bauer. Watch the clip below, and get yourself excited for Oct. 11! More: FX Sets It's Always Sunny Premiere Date 2012 Emmy Longshots: Kaitlin Olson, the (Aluminum) Monster We Root For How TV Ruined the Beach
  • Andy Williams, 'Moon River' Singer, Dies
    By: Kate Ward Sep 26, 2012
    Andy Williams, the singer renowned for his version of "Moon River," has passed away at the age of 84, People reports. A performer since the ripe age of 11, when he and his brothers formed a quartet, Williams stayed a force in the industry up until his death Tuesday in Branson, Mo., following a battle with bladder cancer. After spending years performing in nightclubs with his brothers, Williams first gained recognition as a solo act while appearing on late night talk show Tonight Starring Steve Allen, a regular stint that eventually led to a recording contract and a hit cover single, "Canadian Sunset." Williams had hit his sweet spot with cover tunes — following the success of "Canadian Sunset," the crooner released a bevy of other cover singles that hit with fans, including his Billboard-topping version of Charlie Gracie's "Butterfly." But Williams won most recognition for his rendition of Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer's "Moon River," a song first made famous by its appearance in Breakfast at Tiffany's. The singer performed his version at the 1962 Academy Awards — where the song won the Oscar — and it has been associated with Williams ever since, despite the fact that the song was never released as one of Williams' singles. Soon thereafter, Williams found himself flirting with the music business after gaining ownership of recordings by Lenny Welch, The Chordettes, and other acts, a move that led to his formation of Barnaby Records. From there, the singer became a force in the industry, earning 17 gold albums (and three platinum albums) and launching a career on the small screen, where he hosted NBC's The Andy Williams Show from 1962 to 1971. The singer felt comfortable on television, hosting Christmas specials until 1974 and presiding over seven Grammy Award telecasts. And Williams was rewarded for his television work — the singer won three Emmys for The Andy Williams Show. Following his massive success, it's no wonder Williams was encouraged to open a theater in the entertainment capital of the world, Branson, Mo. Named for his famous song, The Moon River Theater opened in 1992, and continues to thrive today. (Williams himself performed at the theater six nights a week, until health struggles forced him to cut back.) And, hopefully, will continue to be an attraction even following the singer's passing — after all, for musicians to play in Williams' house? Why, that would send them, well, over the moon. [Image Credit: WENN]
  • 'Ben and Kate' Premiere: A Strong High Five for the Heartwarming New Series
    By: Kate Ward Sep 25, 2012
    Last year, the George Clooney-headlined The Descendants captured the attention of both theater-going audiences and a little gold man named Oscar for its heart-warming portrayal of a complicated family man in a complicated family situation. And much of the credit goes to the Academy Award-winning co-writer of the film, Nat Faxon, an actor who, prior to his Oscar win, was best known for silly roles in silly movies like Orange County and Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. So perhaps it’s fitting that Faxon’s next step post-The Descendants is irreverent family comedy Ben and Kate, which stars the actor as a silly family man in a complicated family situation. After all, the new FOX series is just heartfelt as Faxon’s big-screen writing venture. Ben and Kate centers on a pair of siblings that are as close as they are different — the former is a doltish man-boy while the latter is a responsible (but still understandably harried) single mom. When it comes to the Fox family — loosely based on creator Dana Fox’s own clan, and a great unintentional branding effort by the series — opposites attract. Kate is patient with her brother’s drum-playing, hockey mask-wearing antics, while Ben is inspired by his sister’s ownership of her own life. And the two have to get along — how else to teach family values to Kate’s young daughter, Maddie (We Bought a Zoo’s infectiously adorable Maggie Elizabeth Jones)? It’s an approachable, family-friendly subject similar in nature to fare like Modern Family, but Ben and Kate is much more irreverent than the ABC hit. And we can thank its leading man for that. Faxon, as Ben, begs comparisons to the goofily confident Ryan Reynolds (in need of dental work) and Happy Endings’ droll breakout Adam Pally. Ben is outlandish and ridiculous, prone to schemes and pranks — the type of character that would be relegated to a sitcom sidekick, inviting canned audience applause the second he walks through a door. Yet, Faxon manages to make the role worthy of its leading status, incorporating the same heart into Ben that we saw jump off his Descendants script. Ben might be eccentric enough to plan to crash an ex-girlfriend's wedding without pause — and base someone's character on the solidity of their high fives — but his fondness for his sister, and her young daughter, bring him straight down to Earth, transforming him into a manboy far more mature than those you see in lazy misfires like Man Up!. Instead, Ben is a manboy you want to root for.  It doesn't hurt that Faxon boasts a sweet chemistry with his Kate, played Dakota Johnson, otherwise known as Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson's daughter. And Johnson's presence is refreshing — the actress' most high-profile work prior to Ben and Kate was trotting celebrities back and forth on stage as 2006's Miss Golden Globes. But it only takes one viewing of Ben and Kate to see that Johnson has outgrown the punchline status. It's no easy task to share the spotlight with an actor adept at providing comic relief, but Johnson has more than leveled the playing field. The actress refuses to play the straight woman. Even when taking in dating advice from the aptly titled BJ (the delightfully hyper-sexualized sidekick Lucy Punch, speaking of globes) — in a scene that could, admittedly, have been pulled from any sitcom — Johnson heightens the material, selling Kate's awkward jitters and making the gorgeous blonde instantly relatable to any television watcher. And Kate's bizarre relationship with Ben's friend Tommy (scene-stealing newcomer Echo Kellum) — who once made out with Kate during what she calls "her fat phase" and what he calls "her hot phase" — only sweetens the comedy deal.  The breakout on the series is, of course, young Maddie, who — like the network's title character on Raising Hope — provides an emotional backdrop to some of the less-than-PG material. (See: Kate's bra shot, Ben's frustration not being able to scream expletives in front of his niece.) Jones is just funny enough to sell scenes better than some of her brethren on ABC, and adorable enough to reel in viewers less likely to connect with Ben and Kate's off-beat humor. But here's hoping audiences do connect with the new series — I'll at least be tuning in to find out what happens to the Fox descendants for as long as Fox will let me. Follow Kate on Twitter @HWKateWard More: Ben and Kate: What You Need to Know Before Watching Tonight's Premiere Ben and Kate: Details on Season 1's Romantic Guest Stars Hollywood.com's Fall TV Hub
  • 'Ben and Kate': What You Need to Know Before Watching Tonight's Premiere
    By: Kate Ward Sep 25, 2012
    Over the next few months, we’ll see new series soar, old series sour, and so much Jersey Shore madness, we’ll want to shower. Let’s face it: The Fall TV season is intimidating. With dozens of new and returning shows hitting our small screens, we know we have some big choices to make. So, to help you determine what to watch, we’re digging deep into the most notable series premiering this season. Where did each show leave off? Where is it headed? And who should you watch it with? Today, we're checking out new series Ben and Kate, starring Oscar winner Nat Faxon and former Miss Golden Globe Dakota Johnson. Will Ben and Kate lead Faxon one step closer to EGOT? Let’s dive in! Series: Ben and Kate Premiere Date: Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 8:30ET on FOX. Synopsis: Ben and Kate are two very different peas in the Fox family pod. The siblings must navigate their own flawed — but close — relationship and flawed — but fun — lives while raising Kate’s young daughter. Who's Ben?: A sweet — yet doltish — man who wants to grow up even less than Peter Pan. Who's Kate?: An awkward — yet charming — single mom who grew up far too soon. Cast: Nat Faxon plays Ben; well-adjusted celebrity spawn Johnson (daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson plays Kate; We Bought a Zoo child star Maggie Elizabeth Jones plays Kate’s spunky daughter; Bad Teacher’s Lucy Punch plays the aptly named BJ; and newcomer Echo Kellum plays the quirky Tommy who loves Kate more than he loves mispronouncing salmon. What's a Nat Faxon?: Don't worry — even Mindy Kaling has wondered. But comedy lovers would recognize the actor for his bit, but memorable roles in Orange County and Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. Champagne-swillers, however, would know him best from his Oscar-winning co-penmanship of 2011's The Descendants. Pilot Plotline: Kate plans to sleep with a man for the first time in five years, while Ben plans to break up his ex-girlfriend’s wedding. Oh, Tuesdays. Choice Soundbite: Ben, after Kate asks him what he will do after learning his ex-girlfriend, Darcy, is getting married: “I’m thinking about starting on the roof and then repelling down to the side of the building and then maybe, like, knocking through an AC duct, and then crawling, like, elbows like this, and then maybe, like, dropping down into, like, an electrical closet, maybe, like, throw in a couple of smoke bombs in, and then just kidnapping Darcy, taking her out the back and maybe, like, renting a Jeep Wrangler or something and popping down to Mexico. But, I don’t know, it’s a little bit up in the air.” You’ll Like It If…: You watched Friends for Ross and Monica. You’ll Hate It If…: You watched Friends for the laugh track. Ben and Kate’s Formula: (Happy Endings + Parenthood - Kleenex) + (Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place - Guy) Breakout Character: Jones’ Maddie. There hasn’t been a child as precious and precocious since Drew Barrymore’s Gertie in E.T. Style Moment: Taking a page from her father’s handbook of outdated fashion, Johnson wears a fanny pack throughout the pilot, leading one character to call her “a Korean lady golfer.” “Aww” Moment: A flashback shows young Ben and Kate crawling under the dinner table to drown out the sound of their fighting parents. ”Awful!” Moment: A good 60 seconds of the 23-minute pilot is dedicated to U-Turn humor. Austin Powers called — it wants its gag back. What We Learn From the Pilot: Putting objects constantly in your mouth makes you instantly sexier. What We Learned from Happy Endings: This is most definitely not true. Watch It With: A sibling you’ve been meaning to get closer to. Don’t Watch It With: Anyone with a limp high five. Wine and Cheese Pairing: A Muscat with a slice of Manchego dipped in honey. Because it’s so sweet! What You’re Most Likely To Yell At the Screen: “Why are you charming me into adding you to my already chock-full DVR, Ben and Kate?!” What It’s Missing: Nothing. Except Clooney, of course. Make it happen, Nat. [Image Credit: FOX] More: Ben and Kate: Details on Season 1’s Romantic Guest Stars Zooey Deschanel Shares Bad News for Jess-Nick Shippers Hollywood.com’s Fall TV Hub
  • 'Saturday Night Live': Holy Hipster, Robin! Joseph Gordon-Levitt is Hosting Tonight!
    By: Kate Ward Sep 22, 2012
    Yes, we're all still upset that girl crush poster woman Kristen Wiig is no longer on Saturday Night Live. But this week, I'm finding myself mourning the absence of another former leading lady from the sketch comedy show: Abby Elliott, spawn of Chris and impressionist extraordinaire. Why? Well, because that's the only way we could ever expect a 500 Days of Summer sequel. So, yes, without Elliott's eerily accurate take on Zooey Deschanel, Looper star Joseph Gordon-Levitt's role as host got a little less funny. Still, with musical guest Mumford & Sons, we can expect an affair deliciously hipster enough to make Björk squeal. (But wait — she's gone too! Guess we'll have no choice but to befriend clouds.) And if Gordon-Levitt brings as much enthusiasm as he did during his first hosting stint in 2009, we'll likely squeal too. (But we'll be much louder if he finally decides to take off his shirt.) Though his promos released earlier this week were a good indication of charming silliness to come, how will he top his "Make 'Em Laugh" monologue? Holy, conundrum, Robin! We'll be tuning in to see how the star will ninja his way into our comedy-loving hearts. Will you? Come back here tomorrow for Anna Brand's recap of the episode, and, in the meantime, finish refurbishing your cable spool table. [Image Credit: NBC] More: Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday: Let's Get Political! Saturday Night Live Promos: Joseph Gordon-Levitt Will Cut Himself in Half — VIDEO Saturday Night Live Recap: Seth MacFarlane Gets Laughs and the Boys Take Over