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.
  • Reeva Steenkamp's Reality Show Will Still Air, But No One's Shocked
    By: Kate Ward Feb 15, 2013
    In 2009, Vh1 found itself in the middle of a PR disaster. One of its new programs, Megan Wants a Millionaire, featured a contestant who just so happened to become a murderer.  The second Ryan Jenkins was named a suspect in Jasmine Fiore's murder after production on the show wrapped, the network went on lockdown mode, pulling their new series — which had premiered just weeks before — off the air. Media and fans began criticizing reality television for its seemingly ineffective screening process. For its penchant for craving content so outrageous, it wouldn't shy away from questionable choices in order to gain a bigger TV audience. As consumers, we wanted to see crazy television — just so long as it didn't glorify tragedies.  RELATED: Oscar Pistorius, Olympic Hero, Charged With Murdering Girlfriend Following Fiore and Jenkins' eventual death (the reality contestant committed suicide just days after he became a suspect), Vh1 was forced to alter their trashy — and, mind you, very successful — vision in order to separate themselves from the Millionaire madness. And, for the first time since contemporary reality television hit our screens, viewers felt a sense of pride in our morals. We were the viewers who eschewed a program that would have reveled in the morbid. But now, three years later, things seem to have changed. On Tuesday, mun2 announced to nary a peep that Jenni Rivera's reality series would in fact air, despite her death just two months before. (As for footage of Rivera's family grieving following her death? mun2 has got you covered!) And on Friday, the producer of a South African reality series featuring Reeva Steenkamp — Olympian Oscar Pistorius' girlfriend who was murdered on Thursday — would still air, despite the fact that the model's uncle said watching the episode would be "traumatic" for the family.  "Reeva was an intelligent, beautiful, and amazing woman, and we feel it would be an injustice to keep that unknown from those who did not know her personally," Tropika Island of Treasure 5 producer Samantha Moon said in a statement. "Every episode that she is in, every frame that she so ably dominates — shines with her light and her laughter echoes in every conversation, and we want to share these special memories with the rest of South Africa." Moon is correct that she'll get to opportunity to share her memories with the whole country — after all, it's hard to imagine audiences won't tune in to see Steenkamp when her death, which Pistorius has been charged with, is still leading headlines around the world. And that's exactly what this is — producers can shroud the episode in faux empathy, promising to deliver a loving tribute, but it's clear the ratings impact will be higher than the emotional impact.  But, strangely, no one seems to care. (Even if some are rightly upset over The Sun's sexy cover shot of the late model.) It's true that watching someone who's been killed on television is different than watching someone who's killed, but something has changed since Vh1 stepped into a news story it wanted nothing to do with. No one is crying foul.  RELATED: Do We Need Technology to Break Records? Technology has become an easy scapegoat these days, but it's difficult not to see the ties between our passivity when it comes to the morbid and our endless demand for access. Celebrities these days can't brush their teeth without Instagramming about it. Thus, it's only logical to conclude we deserve access to every aspect of a star's life or death. As Northwestern University assistant professor of radio, television, and film Max Dawson told me last summer while discussing why fans feel so involved with celebrities' love lives, "Everything has some sort of inside gossip attached to it where the audiences are being encouraged to feel as if we're insiders ... as if we're not on the other side of the screen, but we have privileged access." And that includes an inside look at the dead, or, in the case of Rivera's reality series, a look at the grieving. Rather than viewing these series from the outside in — seeing them as programming involving figures too recently deceased to exploit — we're looking at them from what we think is the inside. As far as we're concerned, we're as much a part of Steenkamp and Rivera's family as their brothers and sisters. We need to grieve for them in the only way we've learned how: By watching them on our flatscreens.  Now, it's entirely possible Tropika's tribute will touch fans in mourning. And it's possible Rivera's series will provide closure for those who haven't been able to confront her death since she passed away in December following a plane crash. But the series still set a disturbing trend for television of the future. Just how close will we get before we finally realize we're too close? [Image Credit: Rex Features/AP Images] From Our Partners: Kate Upton Bares All in Nothing But Body Paint: Video (Celebuzz) Bradley Cooper Dancing Is Surprisingly Awkward, Sweaty (Vh1) 
  • This Video of the Russian Meteor Will Scare the Bejesus Out of You
    By: Kate Ward Feb 15, 2013
    We all knew the '90s were back — but, apparently, now in the worst way ever. Whereas we spent the mid-'90s watching foreign objects crash into Earth on the big screen in films like Deep Impact and Armageddon, now we're seeing it happen right in front of our eyes. On Friday, a meteor crashed into Russia's Urals region, injuring hundreds after sending shock waves through the city. About 270 buildings sustained damage after the meteor hit. Scientists say the meteor is disconnected from the 45-meter long asteroid set to come within 17,100 miles of Earth Friday.  Not only did Russia's meteor leave a path of destruction, but it also left behind some of the most frightening footage we've seen since Hollywood put asteroids and comets on the big screen. Watch it below, and wonder if we all celebrated the passing of 2012 a bit too soon.   RELATED: 11 Necessary Friends for the End of the World [Image Credit: Chelyabinsk.ru/AP Photo]  From Our Partners: 'SI's 25 Sexiest Swimsuit Covers of All Time (Vh1) Pregnant Kate Middleton Bikini Pics Spark Palace Anger (Celebuzz)
  • Oscar Pistorius, Olympic Hero, Charged With Murdering Girlfriend
    By: Kate Ward Feb 14, 2013
    Oscar Pistorius, the Paralympian who made history by being the first to compete in the Olympics in 2012, has been charged with murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Steenkamp, a South African model, was found shot dead Thursday inside Pistorius' home, where authorities discovered a pistol.  While officials have not officially named Pistorius — South African law prevents police from publicly naming suspects until they appear in court — police spokesperson Denise Beukes told media the athlete was at the scene during the murder. "There is no other suspect involved," Beukes told the Associated Press. RELATED: Do We Need Technology to Break Olympic Records? According to police, Pistorius, who officials say previously had been involved in several domestic disputes, is cooperating with authorities. Early reports surrounding Steenkmap's death said the model might have been confused for a burglar upon entering Pistorius' home, but police are not yet confirming a motive. "It would be very premature and very irresponsible for me to say what actually happened," Beukes said. "There have been allegations. We are not sure." CNN reports Pistorius' spokeswoman declined to comment on the charges while his father, Henke Pistorius, told the South African Broadcasting Corporation, "It will be extremely obnoxious and rude to speculate. I don't know the facts." RELATED: Double-Amputee Oscar Pistorius to Compete in London's Summer Olympics Pistorius, who at one years old lost both his legs below the knee due to a congenital condition, competed on South Africa's 4x400 relay team at the London Olympics. The athlete, nicknamed "Blade Runner" for his use of carbon fiber blades, also qualified for the 400-meter race at the games. [Image Credit: Emilio Morenatti/AP Photo] From Our Partners: Kate Upton Bares All in Nothing But Body Paint: Video (Celebuzz) Bradley Cooper Dancing Is Surprisingly Awkward (Vh1) 
  • State of the Union By the Numbers: How Many Standing Os Were There?
    By: Kate Ward Feb 13, 2013
    President Obama made so many groundbreaking statements about climate change, gun control, and minimum wage during his first State of the Union of his second term as commander-in-chief, it's no surprise that the House of Representatives responded with a rousing standing ovation. And then another rousing standing ovation. And then another. And another. In fact, it was hard to keep track of what we saw more during the annual address: A House on their feet or Joe Biden's new transitions lenses. (The vice president had suffered a scratched cornea prior to Obama's State of the Union.) RELATED: Is It Sexist For Us To Worship Michelle Obama's Look? That's why we're here to help! Hollywood.com slapped on their own transitions lenses during the evening to ensure our sharp eyes would catch every important detail of the night. So how many standing ovations were there? How many times did we spot Al Franken? And how many calories did an average State of the Union attendee burn? See this vital information and more below! RELATED: 11 Politicians When They Were Young... and Hot [Image Credit: Hollywood.com Illustration; AP Photo (6); WENN (3); iStockphoto] From Our Partners: Pregnant Kate Middleton Bikini Pics Spark Palace Anger (Celebuzz) 50 Steamiest Movie Kisses of All Time (Moviefone)
  • 'Good Day to Die Hard' Star Jai Courtney's Celebrity Doppelganger Is...
    By: Kate Ward Feb 13, 2013
    Anyone who might fall for the grown-up Jack McClane this Valentine's Day is in luck — you can have two of Jai Courtney, star of Feb. 14's A Good Day to Die Hard, thanks to his celebrity doppelgänger, Phillip Phillips.  Yes, there is an... unexpected resemblance between American Idol winner Phillips and burgeoning action star Courtney. But the two celebrities aren't the only stars who look like other celebrities. Check out our gallery of 14 others who boast doppelängers amongst their A-list brethren. This is the one time you'll love seeing double.  GALLERY: 15 Celebrities Who Look Like Other Celebrities RELATED: Stars and Their Stunt Doubles — GALLERY [Image Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images; DJDM/Wenn] From Our Partners: Pregnant Kate Middleton Bikini Pics Spark Palace Anger (Celebuzz) 50 Steamiest Movie Kisses of All Time (Moviefone)
  • Diane Kruger's 'The Bridge' Picked Up, Proving America Loves Serial Killers
    By: Kate Ward Feb 12, 2013
    Anyone who ever attended junior high is all too aware of the thrill of the chase. And, apparently, television is now too. FX is the latest network to give the official greenlight to a series about a serial killer, joining Fox's The Following, NBC's Hannibal, A&E's Bates Motel, BBC's Ripper Street, and, of course, everyone's friendly neighborhood killer, Showtime's Dexter.  RELATED: 'The Following' Recap: Hardy's Sister Is Kidnapped But like Kevin Bacon's The Following, FX's new series, The Bridge, boasts a jolt of star power as well. The show, which stars the Oscar-nominated Demián Bichir and Diane Kruger as a Mexican and U.S. detective, respectively, centers on an investigation surrounding a nefarious killer bouncing between countries. The Bridge, which was just picked up from its pilot status, is adapted from the Danish hit series, Bron. If that sounds like another Showtime series with a big bad and an international tie-in, there's a reason — The Bridge Executive Producer Meredith Stiehm is one of the writers behind Homeland. RELATED: 'The Following' Star James Purefoy Talks Serial Killers The Bridge also stars Ted Levine, Annabeth Gish, and Matthew Lillard.  Seems 2013 could turn out to be a bloody good year for television. [Image Credit: FX] From Our Partners: 40 Hottest Celeb Twitpics of the Month (Vh1) 'Sports Illustrated' Swimsuit Issue: A Visual History (Celebuzz)
  • Apple May Revolutionize Gadget It Made Irrelevant With iWatch
    By: Kate Ward Feb 11, 2013
    Remember those days when you'd be watching Veronica's Closet while drinking your Orbitz and you had to perform the arduous task of picking up your wrist to find out when you should take your Hungry Man dinner out of the oven? Those days when the handy smartphone wasn't our main source of communication, information, and time? Well, if Apple has anything to do with it, those days could soon return with a new product that revolutionizes the gadget the company made irrelevant years ago: the iWatch. RELATED: How Does Ashton Kutcher Do in 'jOBS'? According to a report in The New York Times, Apple is developing a smart watch that operates on Apple's iOS, which would come complete with a curved glass surface. Besides its possible use of flexible glass, little is known about the product at this time — and Apple is declining to comment — but investors tell New York Times that an iWatch could replace smartphones in 10 years time. In fact, the wearable technology could prove to be more functional and, more importantly for our pockets that hold our iPhones, cheaper than a smart phone.  The iWatch would directly face off against Google's wearable technology — the Google Glasses — and are already exciting consumers who imagined a future full of Dick Tracy- and Inspector Gadget-like watches. But it should also excite those who have been dreaming for years for the iFloppyDisc, the iZipDrive, and the iAppleLisa.  RELATED: Google Glasses: Movies to Prepare You For 2017's Eyewear Fashion Follow Kate on Twitter @HWKateWard [Image Credit: Hollywood.com Illustration] From Our Partners: Grammys: 11 Most Memorable Gifs (Celebuzz) 20 Worst Outfits at the Grammys (Vh1)
  • 'Walking Dead' Sets Record, Scores Network-Style Ratings
    By: Kate Ward Feb 11, 2013
    The Walking Dead continues to walk tall. Four months after the AMC series scored a ratings record with its Season 3 premiere — which attracted 10.9 million viewers — Walking Dead crushed the episode with the ratings for Sunday's midseason premiere. The episode, which teased the popular Daryl Dixon's (Norman Reedus) possible death, attracted a whopping 12.3 million viewers.  Those are network-style ratings for the series that premiered in 2010 to 5.3 million viewers. Of course, The Walking Dead started off on the right leg (#NeverForgetHershelsLeg), being the cable network's most-watched series pilot.  RELATED: 'The Walking Dead' Recap: We're All Mad Here According to AMC, the episode marks the strongest finish in basic cable history for adults 18-49, attracting 7.7 million in the demographic. And the series smoked Sunday night's network series like Once Upon a Time (7.02 million) and Revenge (5.07 million). And we can expect the numbers to only continue, if the Season 3 action keeps up. And it should, as Reedus told Hollywood.com. As for what's ahead for Daryl, Reedus tells us: "Daryl has it in him to just want [The Governor] dead ... Daryl is the type of guy that, when he gets his mind set on something, he's just going to make it happen. He's more than capable of having bouts of rage. I don't know that [the rage] would break him, but it would make him hell-bent on getting revenge."  RELATED: Norman Reedus Talks Sex, Babies, and Memes  [Image Credit: Gene Page/AMC] From Our Partners: 40 Hottest Celeb Twitpics of the Month (Vh1) 'Sports Illustrated' Swimsuit Issue: A Visual History (Celebuzz)
  • Why Can't We Admit Frank Ocean's Performance Was Bad?
    By: Kate Ward Feb 11, 2013
    When Taylor Swift channeled the White Rabbit's worst nightmare on the 2013 Grammys stage, the Internet wondered what kind of "Drink Me" potion would have convinced her the performance was a good idea. And when host LL Cool J bizarrly performed at the close the show, doing a throwback we missed about as much as water beds, Twitter blew up with enough negative hashtags to scare CBS away from the social medium for good. But when Frank Ocean took the stage for a performance of "Forrest Gump" complete with enough off-key runs to immediately land him on worst lists everywhere, Twitter fell silent. No one jumped up to herald the performance as the best of the night, but certainly no one dared to label it what it was: the most disappointing performance at the Grammys. RELATED: Best and Worst Grammys 2013 Performances "I enjoyed the visuals," Carly Blitz, a 25-year-old fan from Boulder, Colo., says. "It was clear he was in touch with the song that he was singing. But pitch-wise, it was off. Everyone could hear that. You don't have to be a singer to know he was flat." Indeed, let's first give credit where credit's due: Vocals aside, "Forrest Gump" — the single off his first album, Channel Orange, that first made fans and the industry aware of Ocean's sexual orientation — was a moving Grammys debut for the tide-changing Ocean. The hypnotic video backdrop, Ocean's quiet connection to his game-changing lyrics — perhaps viewers were so captivated by the sharp R&B artist, they didn't care about his flat approach to every note. But whether we can blame nerves, shoddy audio, or acoustics (and we have to blame one of those, since we've seen Ocean perform beautifully live in the past), there's no denying Ocean's much-anticipated Grammys debut sunk. (UPDATE: A possible answer to Ocean's flat performance? Tweets the singer, "i had fun last night. couldn't hear my keyboards during Forrest. kinda bummed about that. by my moms was proud. she's tight. i'm grateful.") So why did the millions of non-singers tuning into the performance fail to give Ocean the same harsh treatment as some of the night's other high-wattage stars who gave dim performances? Quite simply, because we're rooting too much for Ocean to admit he was bad. After all, we're talking about an artist who changed the R&B genre's dated perception of homosexuals the day he publicly came out in a Tumblr post in July after the release of "Forrest Gump." (Not to mention all the hero points that come from fighting the much-reviled Chris Brown.) "Up until this point, it's been hard for people to criticize Frank Ocean," says Alex Suskind, a 27-year-old fan from Brooklyn, N.Y., who admits he went "Twitter silent" during the performance. "He's done everything to make people love him. He's an unsung hero for people, especially with the Tumblr message about his sexuality. I think that's sort of the reason we feel bad [criticizing him]." RELATED: Holy Sideboob! 10 Grammys Looks That Broke CBS' Rules But is it fair to place Ocean on a different scale than other artists? If the critically acclaimed Channel Orange proved non-heterosexual R&B artists can and should be placed on the same talent and success scale as their hetero brethren, shouldn't we be willing to place a bad Ocean performance on the same scale as other bad performances? Shouldn't we be more inclined to admit that Ocean can have an off-night, just like the rest of the music industry? "You have to say he's bad when he's bad, but it's good to say he is talented enough that this one bad performance isn't going to torpedo his career by any means," Suskind says. "He has plenty of room to grow." And the reason Twitter and Facebook went mum during Ocean's performance could have little to do with his revelation last summer. Instead, it could be simply difficult to knock Ocean while he's singing a song with which he has such an emotional connection (much to the chagrin of some fans who preferred he would have sung his less controversial hit "Pyramids"). "He was putting his heart on the line, so you feel bad thinking it was bad and judging him on the singing when he was putting it all out there," Blitz says. "[But] there were parts of it that worked for him because you could tell it was so emotional for him, so that rawness didn't bother me as much." But the song choice might have been Ocean's problem. One fan, Willie Mack, a New York native in his 30s, says Ocean's unwillingness to directly broach the subject of his sexuality outside of his Tumblr post was far too at odds with his "insular" "Forrest Gump" performance, which he considers a wasted opportunity to gain new fans. "It's a great platform — why not show the range of his talent?" Mack says. "There are other songs that would have been more fun, and we could move past this point. We get it: You're a musician and we like your music, and this is something that everybody's happy that you did and we're proud of you. But let's change the conversation — what's next?" RELATED: Taylor Swift Sings Along to Every Grammys Song And there are plenty who are waiting to see what's next for the singer. While Ocean might have been without pitch, he's not without fans who appreciate his work. In fact, many have attempted to boost the star's already meteoric rise after his performance, which, sadly, failed to drum up any iTunes support. (While Ocean's "Thinkin Bout You" was charting today at No. 52, "Forrest Gump" is no where to be found. The night's other performers, The Lumineers, Justin Timberlake, and Mumford & Sons, to name a few, are all rounding out the Top 10.) Says Blitz about her friendly Grammys gathering, with one Ocean neophyte in tow, "[I told her] just listen to the album." And based on Orange's No. 12 finish on iTunes' top albums, people are more than willing to listen, misstep be damned.  Follow Kate on Twitter @HWKateWard [Image Credit: Christopher Polk/Getty Images] From Our Partners: 40 Hottest Celeb Twitpics of the Month (Vh1) 'Sports Illustrated' Swimsuit Issue: A Visual History (Celebuzz)
  • Holy Nostalgia! Kelly Clarkson Repeats "Natural Woman" 'Idol' Performance 10 Years Later
    By: Kate Ward Feb 11, 2013
    Back in 2002, under-the-radar American Idol contestant Kelly Clarkson suddenly found herself in front-runner status after belting a note only heard by dogs and Mariah Carey during her Top 8 performance of Aretha Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman." RELATED: Best and Worst Performances of Grammys 2013 And just over 10 years later, the pop star returned to the hit during the 2013 Grammys, giving Idol fans a nostalgic trip back to the days when chunky highlights and love for Justin Guarini reigned supreme. (And we should enjoy the nostalgia while it lasts — what are the chances the singer will ever give a rousing repeat performance of "A Moment Like This" again?)  But the question becomes: In the battle between Grammy-winning Clarkson and bowler hat-topped Clarkson, which came out on top?   Trick question: We do.  Follow Kate on Twitter @HWKateWard [Image Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images] From Our Partners: 40 Hottest Celeb Twitpics of the Month (Vh1) 'Sports Illustrated' Swimsuit Issue: A Visual History (Celebuzz)