ESPN is hoping that one of the architects of rock n’ roll can bring some new energy to their “Monday Night Football” show with fewer fans in the stands this year.
The new season starting Monday will feature a new version of Little Richard’s hit “Rip It Up” featuring new instrumentals and backup vocals from the Virginia-based band Butcher Brown.
The song replaces Hank Williams Jr.’s “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight,” which was repurposed with new lyrics like, “All my rowdy friends are here for Monday night.” Williams’ song was used on the show for two periods, 1989-2011 and then 2017-2019.
ESPN said in a press release on Friday that Little Richard’s song will be combined with NFL and team highlights. The 1956 song was a No. 1 R&B hit for the flamboyant Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, who died in May at the age of 87 in Tennessee.
“We’re truly excited to have teamed up with ESPN for this project, and are honored to have had the opportunity to work with the music of the King of Rock N’ Roll, Little Richard,” said Butcher Brown in a statement provided by ESPN.
“Monday Night Football” will kick off with a doubleheader featuring the Pittsburgh Steelers playing New York Giants and the Tennessee Titans at the Denver Broncos.
Taylor Swift returns to ACM Awards for “Folklore” premiere
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Country-turned-pop star Taylor Swift is coming back to her roots with a performance at this year’s Academy of Country Music Awards.
The nine-time ACM award winner will perform from the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee, where the awards show will be broadcast Wednesday on CBS.
Swift will perform “betty” from her new album “Folklore,” which has held the top spot on for six weeks on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. The song, which is being played on country radio stations, has reached No. 6 on Billboard’s Hot Country song chart.
This marks the first time in seven years that the two-time ACM entertainer of the year has performed at this awards show and will be her world premiere performance for any song from her “Folklore” album.
Other performers scheduled for the show include Miranda Lambert, Eric Church, Luke Bryan, Maren Morris, Blake Shelton with Gwen Stefani, Carrie Underwood and Dan + Shay.
Pandemic chases ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ to Dec. 25
NEW YORK (AP) — Following the less-than-stellar theatrical debut of Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet,” Warner Bros. is delaying its next big release, “Wonder Woman 1984,” to Christmas.
The postponement Friday of the “Wonder Woman” sequel, which had been scheduled to hit theaters Oct. 2, comes on the heels of Hollywood’s boldest attempt to lure moviegoers back to theaters during the pandemic.
Warner Bros.’ $200 million “Tenet” fared well in its international-first launch, but found ticket sales harder to come by in the United States. About 25% of U.S. theaters remain closed, including those in the top markets of Los Angeles and New York. All theaters are operating at reduced capacity.
“Tenet” grossed about $20 million in its North American rollout, which included two weeks of showings in Canada. Some believed that was as good as possible, given the circumstances, and hinted that audiences would follow new releases into theaters.
But the “Wonder Woman 1984” postponement was its own kind of verdict, suggesting the studio doesn’t believe current box-office returns can sustain its big-budget releases. Universal Studios on Friday also pushed the Jordan Peele-produced thriller “Candyman” from October 16 to sometime next year. Hollywood’s fall is starting to look like its mostly scuttled summer.
“Wonder Woman 1984,” one of many blockbusters originally set for the summer, had been the next big-budget release on the calendar. Now, that gap extends to the Walt Disney Co.’s “Black Widow,” a Marvel release slated for Nov. 6. Other, smaller productions are going ahead. Sony Pictures this weekend is releasing the rom-com “Broken Hearts Gallery.”
Announcing the move of “Wonder Woman 1984” to Dec. 25, Toby Emmerich, Warmer Bros. Motion Picture Group chairman, said in a statement: “We’re very proud of the film and look forward to bringing it to audiences for the holidays.”