Mike “Sugar Bear” Thompson is being faced with a major — and emotional — decision. In a new clip from the next episode of Mama June: Road to Redemption, shared exclusively with ET, Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson’s dad is confronted with signing over custody of the teenager.
In the footage, fans see Joshua Efird, Lauryn “Pumpkin” Shannon’s husband, meet with Sugar Bear to have him sign the legal documents.
“If the only thing that you’ve been interested in is the best interest for Alana,” Joshua tells him, “then we have to sign some papers.”
He explains, “This is, like, for us to gain sole custody of Alana from [Mama] June.”
Joshua clarifies he’s not coming at Sugar Bear “with a dagger,” and instead just wants to be able to formally take care of Lauryn’s sister.
“I just want to be able to take care of Alana like I have been taking care of Alana,” he tells Sugar Bear, mentioning that this arrangement would include medical bills and college.
However, Sugar Bear is visibly having a difficult time with the situation and admits it’s going to be hard for him to sign. As he said, it feels like he’s “basically signing her out of my life.”
Joshua can empathize with Sugar Bear considering he and Lauryn also have children. “As a father, I could never, ever, ever imagine having to sign my rights away to my child especially to another person,” he says in a confessional. “But, in this case, he knows that she’s safe where she’s at. He also knows that Alana would much rather live with us.”
As Joshua put it, “Now she’s where she belongs — with us.”
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Fans will have to tune in to see if Sugar Bear ultimately agrees. In the clip, he wipes away tears and tells Joshua, “Right now, she’s the only thing I got.”
However, judging by Alana’s recent comments to ET, it doesn’t seem like he’s getting much sympathy from his daughter.
“My dad has always been the one to just get emotional over things that like — like me and stuff — but it’s not like a real emotion,” she said. “It’s all just an act. He just wants folks to feel bad for him.”
Where does their relationship stand today? “He definitely does try and blow up my phone constantly and constantly and constantly,” Alana said, “but I never text back just due to the fact of, like, now you’ve waited this long to just be in my life? Like, I’m gonna be 17 and you’ve waited this long to even try?”
Mama June: Road to Redemption airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on WEtv.
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The Goldbergs’ own Erica, Hayley Orrantia, explains what she wants her character to experience in the long-running show’s upcoming season 10.
Hayley Orrantia, star of ABC’s The Goldbergs, reveals what she hopes Erica will embark on in the show’s upcoming season 10. Based on the life of show creator Adam F. Goldberg, the series made its debut in 2013, to immensely positive reviews from audiences and critics alike. The Goldbergs follows the titular family in the middle of 1980s suburban America, following their individual pursuits in life while also showcasing their strength as a family. Alongside Orrantia, the show features a star-studded cast including Sean Giambrone, Patton Oswalt, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Troy Gentile, and Sam Lerner.
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Orrantia’s Erica has previously become known as an antagonistic character throughout the series, refusing to get along with other members of the family and essentially becoming a mean girl. However, in recent seasons, her development has shown another side to the character that seems to be continuing. The Goldbergs season 9 finale, which aired in May, included a big surprise for Erica as well, as it’s discovered she’s pregnant.
In an appearance on The Art of Kindness podcast, Orrantia spoke all about the upcoming season of The Goldbergs and the direction in which her character could be heading. Specifically, the actress explained that she wants to see Erica go on to law school paired with her being a new mother. Read Orrantia’s full comments below:
I would like to see, despite her being a new mom, her going to school to become a lawyer. I would love to see them try to balance that because I think in the ’80s especially it became such a big thing for women to not only be great mothers, but that they could have a career of their own and really do both. I would love to see that balance for her not sacrificing the career and what she wants in that realm just because she’s a mom.
Based on Orrantia’s comments, it sounds like Erica could evolve even more in The Goldbergs season 10, at least if the actress’ wishes are honored. Since Erica’s immaturity and hostile attitude toward others is an aspect of her personality that has been on full display in previous seasons, this would be an exciting continuation of her storyline as the show nears its end. As Erica grows and undertakes new responsibilities, such as becoming a mother and pursuing further education, viewers could see the most mature version of the character yet in season 10.
While Orrantia doesn’t provide confirmation of what exactly Erica will experience in the new episodes, audiences can rest assured that her character arc and development will continue to soar. Furthermore, this new layer of writing could see her improve other relationships with those around her, including in her family. Erica’s career and journey as a parent will likely have ramifications on several of the show’s other characters, which will be exciting to watch. Viewers can catch The Goldbergs season 10 premiere when it airs on September 21, 2022.
While saltier reality shows including Bravo’s “Real Housewives” franchise and HBO Max’s “FBoy Island” are still very much a thing — and very popular — there has also been a bumper crop of “nice” reality programming infiltrating the arena.
And, it turns out, Television Academy voters are fans. A look at the reality categories in this year’s Emmys race include Netflix’s A-for-effort baking competition series “Nailed It!,” the long-running, pride-focused VH1 series “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and both NBC’s mentorship musician series “The Voice” and its goofysweet crafts program “Making It.” Even the vibe of perennial Emmy nominee, Bravo’s “Top Chef,” comes with a message of respect for the artistry of cooking.
“Our brand is to do aspirational programming,” says Jo Sharon who, with Casey Kriley, is the co-CEO of production company Magical Elves and an exec producer on “Nailed It!” and “Top Chef.” “Across the board, we are always making sure that our shows are not mean-spirited. Pretty much any show, you can kind of take in that direction. But it’s really important to us that we’re telling more 360-degree aspirational stories inside it.”
A lot of this stems from the hosts. In Magical Elves’ programming, “Top Chef” has Emmy-nominated host Padma Lakshmi, who can be as sly with her humor as much as she is pragmatic about the challenges and contestants. “Nailed It!’s” Emmy-nominated host is comedian Nicole Byer, who, Sharon says, delivers laughs that are anything but mean-spirited.
“She is very celebratory. She truly loves to be on the set,” Sharon adds. “She doesn’t make fun of people.”
This is crucial, Sharon and Kriley stress, for a program about people who fail at re-creating Pinterest-worthy treats.
“If people were going to come on and be vulnerable and try to do something they weren’t good at, we knew that making fun of them was not going to be enjoyable to watch, be well-received or be anything we wanted to be part of,” Sharon says.
“Making It’s” Emmy-nominated hosts Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman have a running bit that they hate to send people home — so much so that the premiere of the third, and most-recent, season not only didn’t send any crafters packing but also introduced two more contestants to the workroom.
Executive producer Nicolle Yaron says Poehler, who executive produces the show through her Paper Kite shingle, pitched it to NBC development executives as, “I want you to picture a show with no stakes” and “I literally want to make a show about watching paint dry.” They bought it in the room. It also has a spinoff series, “Baking It,” on Peacock. The similarly whimsical baking series is hosted by the equally charismatic Maya Rudolph and Andy Samberg.
“Paper Kite’s ethos is that we love an earnest character, whether it’s scripted or unscripted,” says “Making It” executive producer Kate Arend, who is also that production company’s co-head of film and television. As she and Yaron are also executive producers of “Baking It,” the two say they hope to find a way for a crossover episode.
The push for positivity and the desire to help others shine can also affect casting. Obviously, “Making It” producers have a pre-show vetting period in which they eliminate artists even before they get to show off their work on screen.
This can weigh on your consciousness, Yaron says, noting that in casting it’s hard to decide who not to include since so many people deserve the spotlight.
“Sometimes the stories about real people are better than anything you can write,” she says, adding that she wants to be able to “show off that stay-at-home mom who is amazing at balloon sculptures.”
Fun and positive shows also have the double reward of highlighting diversity and inclusiveness in a safe and welcoming setting. The most recent season of “Making It” spotlighted taxidermist Becca Barnet, who was open about her history with depression, and several “Top Chef” alums, including Season 15 and 16’s chef Brother Luck, have also spoken out about mental health. Yaron was also one of the first hires for “The Voice,” for which the producers made a “conscious choice” to call the aspiring musicians “artists’’ instead of “contestants.”
Meanwhile, every member of Magical Elves’ executive team is either female, BIPOC or queer and 75% of their shows’ casts are women and/or people of color, while 50% are openly members of the LGBTQ+ community.
“When we start casting, we’re looking for real people who have a lot of layers and have something to share with the world and and share with other people,” Kriley says. “What really drives the narrative in all our shows is to find those amazing people who are kind enough to participate in our shows and be open enough to really share their stories and their journey on the show.”
As with a lot of people, the Magical Elves team did some soul-searching during the pandemic and as the Black Lives Matter movement became more visible. Sharon and Kriley say, for “Top Chef” in particular, this meant looking at how they tell stories as much as who they hire, cast and the challenges they offer each episode. The results mean that “all of a sudden, we had more different types of cuisine and more interesting POVs from our guest judges based on their culture and history,” Kriley says.
“We don’t really consider it to be ‘nice’ television,” she says. “But everyone in their lives goes through challenges and, in particular, in a competition like this. And the greatest moments in our lives of feeling joy and success is when you go through a challenge, yourself, and come out the other end — I still feel like there’s moments of tension and conflict in the show. But it’s much more similar to an Olympic athlete who goes through the highs and lows at this level and comes out on top of it.”
It can be hard to find a uniform challenge on shows such as “Making It,” in which every artisan comes from a different discipline. Yaron says the mantra on both “Making It” and “Baking It” is “that the project is the story and the story is the project.” She says this means they “try to tell the story of who these people are by the decisions that they make to what the prompt is of a challenge,” such as a first love or greatest memory.
The warmth of these shows has also brought in a new demographic: children. The producers had stories of a younger audience finding their shows and parents feeling that these are programs they can watch with their kids.
Fittingly, the producers also stress that there’s plenty of room in the reality TV sandbox in which everyone can play.
“I do think people want to see the nice stuff more,” Arend says, referencing Netflix’s “Love on the Spectrum” docuseries about people with autism. “There are some really cool shows out right now that make you feel good and make you cry; maybe in a good way.”
But, she quips, “They better never stop making ‘Real Housewives.’”
New set photos for Marvel Studios’ upcoming Disney+ series Ironheart preview Anthony Ramos’ mystery villain, revealing his rather telling costume.
New photos from the set of Marvel Studio’s Ironheart offer the first proper look at the series’ villain, played by Hamilton star Anthony Ramos. The Disney+ series will be led by Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams. In the comics, Riri becomes the hero Ironheart, the spiritual successor to Tony Stark/Iron Man. Her series will premiere in the fall of 2023 as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 5 slate. However, audiences will first get a glimpse of Thorne in the Black Panther sequel, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, in November 2022.
The Ironheart series was announced by Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige in December 2020, and it was revealed to be a part of the MCU’s Phase 5 during the studio’s recent panel at San Diego Comic-Con, where Feige announced a slew of projects that will form the Multiverse Saga. Filming for the six-episode Ironheart began in Chicago in May and is expected to conclude in October. It will focus on Thorne’s Riri, who constructs her own version of the Iron Man armor and will look to carry on Tony Stark’s legacy after his death in Avengers: Endgame. Additional character details are being kept under wraps, but it just may be that Ramos’ mysterious villain has been revealed.
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Ramos’ role in the series has yet to be officially confirmed, but new Ironheart set photos offer a good look at him in costume. Shared online by Just Jared (and posted to social media by Ironheart News), the images show Ramos wearing a striking red hood and cape. This seems to support the idea that the actor will be playing Parker Robbins, aka The Hood. In the comics, Robbins was originally a petty criminal in New York City, but gained superpowers after encountering a Nisanti demon and stealing its hood and boots.
The Hood doesn’t have much of a history with Ironheart in the comics, so his potential inclusion in the Disney+ show is intriguing. Of course, these set photos aren’t direct confirmation that Ramos is playing Robbins, but there is no denying that his costume looks rather similar to the comics imagery of the character. How he comes to be involved with Riri’s story has yet to be explained, but the eventual release of Ironheart plot details could perhaps shed more light on this.
With Riri appearing in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and seemingly beginning to construct her own armor with the help of Letitia Wright’s Shuri, it is likely that Riri will begin the series with an already-formed hero persona, as teased by additional Ironheart set photos. Still, she will likely be early on in her tenure, and The Hood could become the first major bad guy she’s ever fought. With Ironheart releasing before the Avengers’ double-header – Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars – in 2025, Thorne’s role in the MCU will likely grow as she meets more of its heroes and becomes an integral member of the Avengers. She could end up fighting Kang the Conqueror someday, so a street-level villain like The Hood will be a good warmup for Riri.