ABC News Entertainment

'S.W.A.T.' - Jordin Althaus/CBS ©2020 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved(LOS ANGELES) -- Today, CBS Television Studios, which airs hit police-themed shows like S.W.A.T. and Blue Bloods, announced it's partnering with the law enforcement and public safety advisory group 21CP Solutions to consult with the network's show writers. 

The decision comes in the wake of massive protests against police brutality following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. 

The advisors from 21CP include, "former senior law enforcement officials, civil rights scholars, lawyers, academics, and community thought leaders in police reform and public safety," according to the network.

"Providing our writing staffs with the best and most knowledgeable technical advisers offers more inclusivity and perspective," said Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i, Executive Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion, ViacomCBS in a statement. "With deeper and richer narratives, our shows can convey experiences that are more authentic to the communities they depict."

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Jeanna de Waal as Diana - Photo by Evan Zimmerman/MurphyMade(NEW YORK) -- Netflix has seemingly taken a cue from Disney 's hit filmed version of the Tony-winning play Hamilton, today  announcing it's bringing a musical about the late Princess Diana's life to streaming. 

Diana began previews on Monday, March 2 and was scheduled to open on Tuesday, March 31 at the Longacre Theatre on Broadway, but the Great White Way was, and remains, shut down over the COVID-19 crisis. 

The musical is now set to open on Broadway on Tuesday, May 25, 2021, but Netflix will premiere a filmed version early next year before the cast takes the stage for an audience. 

In a statement, Diana's producers announced, "We speak for the entire company when we say that we couldn’t be more excited to finally be able share our show with theater lovers everywhere. Though there is no substitute for the live theater, we are honored to be a part of the quality entertainment that Netflix provides its subscribers worldwide."

The production will be filmed without an audience on the stage of the Longacre Theater with its original Broadway cast including Jeanna de Waal as Diana, Roe Hartrampf as Prince Charles, and Erin Davie as Camilla Parker Bowles. Two-time Tony winner Judy Kaye stars as Queen Elizabeth.

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Courtesy of Netflix(NEW YORK) -- Nia Long says she wanted to be a "part of something bigger" when she agreed to sign on as producer and star of the Netflix thriller A Fatal Affair.

"When you start off in this business, you don't get to sort of bring your ideas to the table when you're new," Long tells ABC Audio. "It's like just stand on your mark, do what you're supposed to do, and show me what you can do between action and cut."

Long explains that although she's wanted to offer her input and years of experience into the projects she's been a part of, there wasn't "a lot of collaborating until you get to a place where you've earned that."

"And I feel like we've both been doing it for so long that now we can actually -- whether we get the credit or not -- we are producers on the projects," she says, referring to her Fatal Affair co-star Omar Epps, who also has over 20 years experience as an actor.

"Because we've been proven to put out successful projects and things that have created the Black culture in the Black filmmaking movement," Long continues.

"So it's nice to feel that you're not just an actor, but that you're a part of something bigger," she says. "And I say that with the most humility and appreciation for the journey that we've both had."

While finally getting a producer credit on a film was a big incentive for Long, the actress admits she also had another, more selfish reason, to get on board.  

"And I wanted to make something for all my '90s girls who are, you know, like, 'Oooo, I love me some Omar Epps!'" she laughs.  

Fatal Affair, also starring Stephen Bishop, is now streaming on Netflix.

By Candice Williams
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


VH1(LOS ANGELES) -- It's been almost a month since ViacomCBS decided to cut ties with Nick Cannon but it hasn't been the last they've heard of him because Cannon is reportedly suing the network for $1.5 billion for his improv comedy series Wild 'n Out. 

In a statement to The Shade Room, the comedian's team said, "It is just that simple, 'Wild’N Out belongs to Nick!"

"The show was created by Nick Cannon with his idea and original thought. Wild’N Out has brought billions of dollars in revenue to Viacom since 2015. And Nick deserves and has earned everything it is worth," the statement continued. "From the platforms he provides for other entertainers, the jobs he creates for black youth, the time he gives to mentoring incarcerated men and women, to the money he gives back and puts into communities, homelessness, and people less fortunate. He is constantly evolving both spiritually and mentally, as well as, taking action in learning, education and bridging the gap within the Jewish and African American communities, so that it will allow us to build relationships, work together and learn from each other in order to move forward in equality."

"If Viacom believes in growth, equality, education, then Viacom will do what is right and pay Nick what they owe, and giving him his $1.5 brand," the statement concluded. 

ViacomCBS parted ways with Cannon on July 14 after he received backlash for making comments that were deemed anti-Semitic during a June episode of his podcast and YouTube series Cannon's Class. Following the outcry, the 39-year-old issued an apology.

Cannon remains the host of Fox's The Masked Singer. However, he has taken a break from his LA-based morning radio show and his upcoming daytime talk show has been delayed a year. 

By Danielle Long
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in "Watchmen" - Mark Hill/HBO(LOS ANGELES) -- (NOTE LANGUAGE) In a new story in Men's Health, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II recalled a painful experience dealing with racism while he was a freshman at the University of California Berkeley. 

The Aquaman baddie and Watchmen Emmy nominee contributed his story to the magazine's report "Race, Racism, and Black Men’s Health."

"I studied architecture, and … it was common to spend the whole night working in the studio," Abdul-Mateen explained.  "One night, I left the studio around 1:00 a.m. to go to my dorm and get something to eat, and then I headed back … As I approached the building, there was a woman going inside, just a couple steps ahead of me.”

The woman reportedly told him, “'Stop, you don’t belong here'" the actor recalled. "I said, 'What are you talking about? I'm going to the studio. I’m going to the same place as you.'"

He recalled reaching for his student ID when the woman told him, "'I’m gonna call the police and tell them that you’re trying to rape me.'"

As Abdul-Mateen II tried to enter the building, "she began running and screaming at the top of her lungs." He said campus security responded, but "apologized and left," after speaking with him.

Abdul-Mateen writes, "I remember being so angry that I cried. It was frustrating. I deserved to be there. Period. That was my reminder that even if I did everything right … some things in life would be unavoidable. Because I was black. I was 18 years old. I did the only thing I knew to do. I cried, and I swallowed that s***."

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


CW(LOS ANGELES) -- After Ruby Rose dropped the bombshell in May that she was departing Batwoman after one season, the actress candidly revealed what led her to make the difficult decision.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the 34-year-old actress explained how the COVID-19 pandemic inspired her to leave the CW series.

Rose suffered a serious back injury when shooting Batwoman, which she disclosed to fans back in September.

The Australian actress said on Instagram last year, "A couple of months ago I was told I needed an emergency surgery or I was risking becoming paralyzed.  I had herniated two discs doing stunts, and they were close to severing my spinal chord [sic]."

"Being the lead of a superhero show is tough," Rose told EW.  "But as far as being a lead of a show or a film —  regardless if it's action or if it's emotional — in whichever ways it's taxing."

"The challenge is sort of outweighed," she furthered. "The accomplishment and the trust that people put in you to do that role and then there's also the vibrancy of being able to come on set and set the mood and the tone and the trust being put into it is something that's been such an honor."

The actress admits that, injuries aside, having her life put on pause due to COVID-19 allowed her to really think about her career. 

"You know, you have time in quarantine and sort of isolation to just think about a lot of different things and what you want to achieve in life and what you want to do," detailed Rose.

While Rose is "very honored to have been able to play" Batwoman on the pioneering superhero series, she is confident that Javicia Leslie, who is next to don the bat suit, will be "fantastic."

By Megan Stone
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Redstone in 2013 - Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- Sumner M. Redstone, the media mogul who turned his father's drive-in theater into National Amusements, a powerhouse company the assets of which span nearly every aspect of the entertainment industry, has died. 

The WWII veteran and Harvard Law graduate was 97, and reportedly died at his home in Beverly Hills, according to a statement from ViacomCBS. 

Redstone served as chairman of Viacom from 1987 to 2016, and as CEO from 1996 to 2005. "Under his leadership, Viacom acquired brands that make the ViacomCBS portfolio strong today -- including MTV in 1985, Paramount Pictures in 1994, and BET in 2001," the statement reads, noting his passing "with profound sadness." 

Redstone -- whose mantra "content is king," along with his business savvy, built one of the largest portfolios of assets in the world of motion pictures and television -- was a self-made billionaire whose legacy and influence will continue through his daughter, Shari, who is the chair of ViacomCBS, and son Tyler.  The pair will continue to oversee National Amusements' portfolio. 

In a statement from ViacomCBS, Shari Redstone said, "My father led an extraordinary life that not only shaped entertainment as we know it today, but created an incredible family legacy. Through it all, we shared a great love for one another and he was a wonderful father, grandfather and great-grandfather. I am so proud to be his daughter and I will miss him always."

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


ABC/Mitch Haaseth(NEW YORK) -- Tonight, after seven seasons, ABC's Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. says goodbye with a two-hour finale starting at 9 p.m. ET. The episode, called "The End Is At Hand," has our heroes making a final stand against the nefarious Chronicoms, who want to erase S.H.I.E.L.D. from history. 

Clark Gregg, who plays Agent Phil Coulson in the Marvel movies and on AOS, told ABC Audio that over the years, the cast was convinced the show was kaput several times -- but now, it's for real.

"We've had a number of goodbyes, which has been kind of odd," he said. "[For] several seasons we...didn't know if we were coming back, so we would say goodbye to everybody...Definitely at the end of season five, the last episode was called 'The End', and it looked like we weren't coming back." 

Gregg credits the fans with saving the show, noting, "[They] stuck with us and really became a kind of vocal crowd backing the show and pulling us off the bubble every year, so that by the end of it, we turned around and we'd done seven seasons and had this amazing journey."

Chloe Bennet, who plays Daisy Johnson/Quake/Skye, agreed, telling ABC Audio, "I really feel like I've grown up with [my character]...on and off screen...Y'know, I was so young when I started and it's just been special to kind of take that journey along with so many other people -- like our fans."

Elizabeth Henstridge, who plays Jemma Simmons, reminisced about her on-screen romance with co-star Iain De Caestecker, who plays fellow scientist Leo Fitz. The pair were dubbed FitzSimmons by fans early on, but De Caestecker had his own ideas. "What's weird to season one me and Elizabeth, I mean, we protested as desperately as hard as we could that these two are brother and sister. There was no romance between them. And if there ever was, it would ruin the whole foundation of it, you know."

Henstridge laughed, adding, "You protested more than I did, FYI...I won." De Caestecker laughed, but allowed of the onscreen coupling, "sure enough, they wrote it in such a way that was like it's you know, it's impossible not to become invested in it."

For her part, Ming-Na Wen, who played steely Agent Melinda May, said of her last day on set, "It was a mixed bag, for sure. It was a sense of accomplishment that, 'Wow, we did this!' and we were able to celebrate that, and you know, [it was] very melancholy in other ways."

Bennet explained how she feels going into the home stretch. "I don't think it's still going to hit. You know, we still have the finale airing. And I think after that, I might feel different."

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


NBC/Will Heath(LOS ANGELES) -- (NOTE LANGUAGE) Former Vice President Joe Biden announced his running mate on Tuesday, California Senator Kamala Harris. While Hollywood celebrated Biden's VP pick, no one was more excited than Maya Rudolph, who played the spitfire senator on Saturday Night Live.

Even funnier, her genuine reaction was caught by Entertainment Weekly, who was in the middle of an interview with the 48-year-old actress and other Emmy nominees when the news broke.

In a twist of irony, Rudolph is up for an Emmy this year due to her depiction of the California Senator-turned-presidential hopeful on SNL.

"Oh s***," the actress exclaimed once she finished processing the veep announcement.

Wanda Sykes, who was also part of the group interview, joked "Somebody's gonna be very busy now" to which Rudolph shot back with a very pleased "Ruh-roh."

She was then asked if she would be interested in heading back to suit up as Harris once more for SNL. 

"I love going to the show. Any excuse I can get, I love," Rudolph gushed.  "I just didn't really anticipate traveling during a pandemic, but if there's anyone that can work it out I'm sure Lorne [Michaels] has some sort of invisible helicopter that can get me there."

"I don't know that I'm ready to go right this minute, but it's so nice to have this nomination be associated with the show because it's my true love," continued Rudolph.

"I'm so thrilled to even be associated with the show and that I got to go back. It's like the gift that keeps on giving," the Emmy nominee furthered.  "Honestly, it's my favorite place to play."

When asked how she felt about Biden choosing Harris as his running mate, Rudolph claimed, "I'm as surprised as you are, guys. That's spicy."

By Megan Stone
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Scott Olson/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Kamala Harris will be Joe Biden's running mate for the 2020 presidential election, and Hollywood is celebrating.

The highly anticipated announcement came on Tuesday afternoon. In a tweet Biden wrote, "I have the great honor to announce that I’ve picked @KamalaHarris — a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants — as my running mate."

Harris is a U.S. Senator from California who campaigned for the upcoming 2020 election before dropping out of the race in December 2019 due to lack of funds. 

Since the news broke, celebrities have swarmed social media with their reactions to the vice president nomination.

Taylor Swift: YES

John Legend: Very happy for our friend and Senator and future Vice-President, @KamalaHarris, and very much looking forward to voting for the Biden-Harris ticket to begin the difficult work of recovering from this nightmare presidency and building an even better future. 

P!nk: Real actual tears of joy over here in the Hart household.

Lance Bass: This is great news!! I can tell you from personal experience that @KamalaHarris is one incredible person. Tough and with a huge heart. She would make the perfect VP! And herstory as the first woman. Excited for our upcoming interview on @thedailypopcast!

Mandy Moore: Kamala!!! I can’t wait to vote for Biden/Harris 2020!!!

Chrissy Teigen: f*** yes. excited to vote!! still amazed Election Day isn't a national holiday. it needs to be celebrated, with a post vote bar crawl.

Lebron James: Congrats and well deserved Sen. Kamala Harris!! Love to see and support it! Appreciate you JB

Magic Johnson: Cookie and I are very happy with Presidential candidate Joe Biden’s decision to select Senator @KamalaHarris as his running mate. We have happily supported Kamala throughout her career over the years!

Whoopi Goldberg: Sen.KamalaHarris this is a great moment. Let’s take care of her and make sure we are supportive of her because this is a no nonsense race and she is ready. Go Kamala!!

The Daily Show/Trevor Noah: EXCLUSIVE: White House officials are exploring legal options to ensure Mike Pence can participate in the VP debate with Kamala Harris, a woman

Amy Schumer: The sexist and racist political attacks on @KamalaHarris have already begun. Let’s demand that the media keep these ignorant, bad-faith attacks out of their 2020 election coverage. Let her know: #WeHaveHerBack

Rosie O'Donnell:AMEN!!

Kathy Griffin: IT’S ABOUT F****** TIME #BidenHarris2020

Patton Oswalt: Not cool, Joe. You know Pence can't be alone onstage to debate Harris. Why put that poor, frail flower through all this angst?

Jamie Lee Curtis: So many people writing and feeling galvanized with the choice of @KamalaHarris to join @JoeBiden A BOLD CHOICE. A STRONG CHOICE. THE RIGHT CHOICE!

Debra Messing: BREAKING NEWS: Joe Biden has chosen KAMALA HARRIS as his running mate. And . I. AM. ALL FOR IT!!!!!!!!! I’m so excited!!!!!!!!! @KamalaHarris

Sharon Stone: Congratulations @KamalaHarris. I am thrilled for you and relieved and excited for our country. God Bless America! PS I knew it would be you, because @JoeBiden respects those who confront him with dignity. Bravo! To both of you! #leadership #teamworkisdreamwork #BidenHarris2020

Kerry Washington:Overwhelmed by this historic moment. @KamalaHarris is the first Black woman & first Asian-American/Indian to be a VP nominee of major party. My heart is soaring for all the kids out there who see themselves in her and will dream bigger because of this. #KamalaHarrisForVP Excited for what’s to come. Now go register to vote.

Spike Lee: Love To My Sista Kamala And My Daughter Satchel. People, Folks-IT'S NATION TIME. Register To Vote And Vote. Wear Dat Mask. God Bless.

Jemele Hill: This is historic. @KamalaHarris as a vice presidential nominee is just a continuation of Black women walking into their power.

Mindy Kaling: Was there ever more of an exciting day? For our entire country of course, but especially for my Black and Indian sisters, many of us who have gone our entire lives thinking that someone who looks like us may never hold high office? We work so hard and contribute to the fabric of our lives in America, & now to see @SenKamalaHarris rise to the top like this? It’s thrilling!! I am filled with hope and excitement. Thank you @JoeBiden. Let’s do this!?

Robin Thede: here’s what we’re NOT going to do: argue about Kamala’s worthiness or Blackness here’s what are ARE going to do: GET TRUMP OUT

Jessica Biel: What a historic moment for women of color, little girls with big dreams, and mothers everywhere. We are cheering for you.

Patricia Arquette@KamalaHarris congratulations! I couldn’t be happier!! I am certain you will respect the constitution and hold those who have committed high crimes accountable.

Jessica Chastain: Queen Veep <3 @JoeBiden choose @KamalaHarris as his running mate and me & my kid are HERE FOR IT

Priyanka ChopraThis is a historical, transformational, and proud moment for all women. All women of colour, all Black women, and all South Asian women. Congratulations @kamalaharris on becoming the first Black woman and FIRST PERSON of Indian descent to compete on a major U.S. party’s presidential ticket.  #representationmatters  PS: To my younger self - look how far we have come!

George Takei: Kamala Harris is not only Black, she is of South Asian heritage. This is the first time an Asian American has been nominated to a major party ticket. #BidenHarris

Barack Obama: I’ve known Senator @KamalaHarris for a long time. She is more than prepared for the job. She’s spent her career defending our Constitution and fighting for folks who need a fair shake. This is a good day for our country. Now let’s go win this thing.

Bernie Sanders: Congratulations to @KamalaHarris, who will make history as our next Vice President. She understands what it takes to stand up for working people, fight for health care for all, and take down the most corrupt administration in history. Let’s get to work and win.

Bill Clinton: This is a terrific choice! @KamalaHarris will be a great partner and she and @JoeBiden make a strong team.

Hilary Clinton: I'm thrilled to welcome @KamalaHarris to a historic Democratic ticket. She's already proven herself to be an incredible public servant and leader. And I know she’ll be a strong partner to @JoeBiden. Please join me in having her back and getting her elected.

Mary Trump: We are going to take our country back!!! Thank you @JoeBiden@KamalaHarris is going to be our next VP! It's time. 

By Danielle Long
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Kevin Winter/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- On Tuesday, Forbes published its 2020 list of the highest paid actors and, for the second year in a row, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has landed the No. 1 spot. 

Not only did Johnson snag the coveted top slot, he did so by a landslide -- earning an estimated $16 million more than the second spot. The Forbes estimated figures are based on money earned between June 1, 2019, and June 1, 2020, which cuts into the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdowns, but still the actors on this list have racked in plenty. 

One thing a lot of the men have in common, Johnson included, is Netflix. Many of them have signed very lucrative deals with the popular streaming platform -- we're talking some that carry an eight-figure paycheck.

With that begin said, here are the Top 10 highest paid actors of 2020:

1. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson: $87.5 million

2. Ryan Reynolds: $71.5 million

3. Mark Wahlberg: $58 million

4. Ben Affleck: $55 million 

5. Vin Diesel: $54 million

6. Akshay Kumar: $48.5 million

7. Lin-Manuel Miranda: $45.5 million

8. Will Smith: $44.5 million

9. Adam Sandler: $41 million

10. Jackie Chan: $40 million

By Danielle Long
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Ajona in "6 Underground" - Christian Black/Netflix(LOS ANGELES) -- Actress Adria Arjona, recently seen in Netflix's hit Ryan Reynolds action film 6 Underground, will soon be going to that galaxy far, far away, according to a report from Deadline

The publication says Arjona has been cast opposite returning player Gabriel Luna in the Disney prequel series Star Wars: Rogue One.  The series centers on Luna's Rebel spy character Cassian Andor, introduced in the 2016 film.

Tony Gilroy, who co-wrote Rogue One, is returning to write the pilot for the show, and direct some episodes as well.  Alan Tudyk, who motion-performed Cassian's towering droid sidekick K-2SO will also return, as will Genevieve O’Reilly, who played Rebel Alliance leader Mon Mothma in the film.

Marvel movie vet Stellan Skarsgard and Poldark's Kyle Soller also are on board, but Disney is officially mum on their characters -- or, for that matter, the report of Arjona's casting.

Even before The Mandalorian earned 15 Emmy nominations, Disney was forging ahead with other small-screen projects in the Star Wars universe, including a much-anticipated Obi-Wan Kenobi series starring returning Jedi Ewan McGregor.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Chris Cuffaio/NBCU Photo Bank(LOS ANGELES) -- The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is getting flipped-turned-upside down. 

The Hollywood Reporter reports that the highly-celebrated family sitcom that made Will Smith a star is being adapted into a drama series, based on a viral YouTube trailer created by writer Morgan Cooper.

As a Fresh Prince super-fan and co-executive producer, Cooper reimagined the hit series as a serious drama that tells the story of a Philadelphia teenager adjusting to his new life with his rich family in Los Angeles. 

Cooper created and directed the four-minute trailer in March 2019.  It's since racked up over five million views, and ultimately caught Will's attention. 

The new series, titled Bel-Air, has reportedly been in the works for over a year with the show's original executive producers, who include Smith, Quincy Jones, and Benny Medina, as well as the show's creators, Andy and Susan Borowitz.

Multiple streaming outlets, including Peacock, Netflix, and HBO Max, are currently bidding on the potential series, which is a co-production between Smith's Westbrook Studios and the show's original producers Universal TV.

Produced by Jones and Warner Bros, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air ran from 1990-1996 on NBC. Smith became a  box office superstar after spending six seasons on the comedy series as the funny Philly street kid.

Smith virtually joined Alfonso Riberio, Tatyana Ali, Daphne Maxwell Reid, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and the rest of The Fresh Prince cast to pay respect to their late cast member James Avery, a.k.a. Uncle Phil, during a reunion special earlier this year. 

By Rachel George
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Airbnb(OREGON) -- Let's face it, nothing would be better than leaving 2020 and going back to -- well, any time.  But thanks to Airbnb, you can re-visit your presumably more carefree 1990s, with a sleepover at the last Blockbuster video store.

Your chance to relive that '90s-era mainstay of renting movies for an end-of-summer sleepover comes thanks to the listing in Bend, Oregon -- home of the last still-in-business Blockbuster store in the nation.

The Airbnb listing lets up to four people stay in a specially redesigned section of the store, which features a comfy living room complete with a pull-out couch, beanbags and, of course, a ready-to-run VCR with a whole store full of movies. 

Registration starts on Monday for the three one-night stays that are up for grabs, which will take place on 9/18, 9/19 and 9/20.

Oh, and just to make sure 2020 doesn't ruin the party, the listing makes it known that strict cleaning protocols are in place between visits, "in accordance to Airbnb's Enhanced Cleaning Protocol which is informed by recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention." 

The listing adds, "Plus we'll provide you with a pack of face coverings, disinfectant wipes, and endless hand sanitizer!"

Way to harsh our '90s buzz.

Full details can be found on the listing's website.  And remember: Be kind -- rewind.

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for ReedPOP(NEW YORK) -- Like San Diego Comic-Con before it, New York Comic Con -- which last year attracted 250,000 fans to the Big Apple's massive Jacob Javits Center -- has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier in the day, a rep for the convention told ABC Audio that a Newsday article stating that the event was going to take place was "poorly researched" -- and now we know why. 

In a brand-new statement from ReedPop, which runs the annual expo, as well as other pop culture conventions, fans were informed that doors won't be opening this October. 

"While we'd much rather be giving you an update today on joining us at the Javits Center in October, it likely comes as no surprise that NYCC 2020's physical event at the Javits will not be able to run as intended," the statement read.

"We very sincerely appreciate your patience as we worked with the Javits and local officials to figure out what, if anything, could go on as planned this October."

The convention will now be held virtually, via the new online portal New York Comic Con’s Metaverse, over the weekend of October 8-11.

"We are partnering with YouTube to bring to life four days of incredible content from the biggest studios, publishers and creators in the business," ReedPop's statement continued.

"This is your chance to interact with your favorite creators and celebrity guests, and most importantly, the opportunity to engage with other members of this vibrant community of ours."

Incidentally, the Javits Center was pressed into service as a makeshift hospital while New York City was in its darkest days during the pandemic. However, after a pricey retrofit by the Army Corps of Engineers, it was shuttered after tending to just 1,000 patients.

By Stephen Iervolino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


image of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Now Playing