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HGTV to air 'Fixer Upper' and 'Flip or Flop' spin-off shows

HGTV fans, get ready for more “Fixer Upper” and “Flip or Flop.”

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Joanna Gaines, star of hit show “Fixer Upper,” is getting her own spin-off show on HGTV.

In her new show, Gaines will bring viewers a behind-the-scenes look at her creative process when designing a home. The show will be called, “Fixer Upper: Behind the Design” and is set to premiere on March 28 after the season finale of “Fixer Upper.”

HGTV has also announced it will produce several spin-offs of “Flip or Flop” set in various cities outside of Tarek and Christina El Moussa’s native in Orange Country, California. “Flip or Flop” remains one of the most popular series on the network despite the stars’ very public divorce.

“The tremendous, consistent ratings success of the original ‘Flip or Flop’ with Tarek and Christina El Moussa inspired us to take a new look at house flipping programming,” said Scripps’ U.S. programming and development GM Allison Page, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “We saw an opportunity to highlight what works in other regions by featuring successful couples that had mastered the art of flipping in their town.”

The series spin-offs will be set in Las Vegas, Nevada; Fort Worth, Texas; Nashville, Tennessee; and Chicago, Illinois.

This Federal Agency Will Soon Allow Dogs At Work

The head of the agency made the announcement on none other than National Puppy Day.

Review: 'Life' is a mediocre science-fiction thriller

In Daniel Espinosa's "Life," an international space station orbiting the Earth intercepts an automated capsule returning from Mars with samples: rocks, dust and, as it turns out, a tiny monocellular organism that proves the existence of life on another planet. The thing, though, about those monocellular organisms from Mars is that they grow up.

When Dr. Hugh Derry (Arioyon Bakare) injects the cell with glucose, it begins rapidly growing bigger, beyond its petri dish. (Yes, "Life" is, above all, a lesson in the dangers of too much sugar.) The crew — including Jake Gyllenhaal's troubled veteran, Ryan Reynolds' cocky engineer, Rebecca Ferguson's microbiologist and Hiroyuki Sanada's new father — celebrate their remarkable discovery and observe its development. "You're going to be a daddy," Reynolds' astronaut tells the proud Derry.

Derry, the biological expert of the bunch, hopes the organism — dubbed "Calvin" — will teach the scientists about the origin, the nature "and maybe even the meaning of life." Such glories, however, aren't in store. The harsh revelation that Calvin brings is that life — violently striving for survival — finds a way.

Unfortunately, "Life," the movie, doesn't. Once the alien lifeform strengthens and gets loose, "Life" surrenders to a tiresome chase away from not just its ravenous creature but from the movies "Life" so obviously takes it cues from. "Life" certainly can't come anywhere near the well-earned horrors of "Alien," nor does it boast anything like the silky splendor of "Gravity."

Espinosa ("Safe House," ''Child 44") claustrophobically encloses the drama in a fairly realistic space station that, lacking sufficiently cinematic production design, doesn't allow for much movement. Unlike Hollywood's recent, more ambitious sojourns into space, "Life" is a grittier, clunkier B-movie monster movie in zero gravity. An extraterrestrial Frankenstein is hunted with implausible dimwittedness by a bickering human crew.

Calvin (sadly there is no Hobbes in sight) grows in size and shape, but he mostly looks like a super-powerful, fearfully smart starfish. As he slithers this way and that, he almost resembles the alien cousin of Hank, the equally resourceful octopus of last year's "Finding Dory."

Penned by Rheet Reese and Paul Wernick ("Deadpool," ''Zombieland"), "Life" doesn't have much of the sarcastic wit the screenwriters have shown before. Instead, it's merely a terse, prickly cheap thrill. Not until the film's final moments — finally free of the space station — does the movie finally find its own bite.

"Life," a Columbia Pictures release, is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America for "language throughout, some sci-fi violence and terror." Running time: 102 minutes. Two stars out of four.

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MPAA Definition of R: Restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian

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Follow AP Film Writer on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP

Review: Betty Who is back with her fizzy pop and all is OK

These might be anxious times but don't worry, Betty Who is back. Betty Who? Exactly. Even her stage name is fun.

A new album of her infectious, fizzy pop music might be just what we need right now.

The Australian singer is all about finding love, overcoming heartache and promoting self-empowerment on "The Valley," her 13-track sophomore effort. Nothing gets Who down. It's like she swallowed the sun. "Hole in my heart but I'm still alive/I'm so low I'm high," she sings.

Who, born Jessica Newham, comes to your rescue when you've been dumped — "So dance with me tonight/Baby you can cry tomorrow" — and is self-affirming, telling herself that "on your worst days you're still beautiful." She's so good-natured that when her lover misses another, her advice is "Pretend You're Missing Me."

The album is bookended by the slightly off-kilter "The Valley" and ends with a moody cover of Donna Lewis' "I Love You Always Forever," the only song Who didn't help write. She even has a funny ode to Britney Spears, "Mama Say," that includes the line "I'm your slave tonight."

Who's earnest songs — despite their electronic roots — have a knack to transcend the dance floor. This is an artist, after all, whose "Somebody Loves You" became a hit after it was used a flash mob marriage proposal at a Home Depot.

Several of the new songs could go viral in the same way, including "Some Kinda Wonderful," ''Beautiful" and "Free to Fly." Then you'll be able to say that's Betty Who. Who? Exactly.

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Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits

Germany Takes A Step Closer To Pardoning Convictions Of Gay Men

Thousands of men were convicted of homosexuality after World War II under legislation known as Paragraph 175.

Phone Companies Could Soon Have More Power To Block Spam Calls

The FCC passed a proposal to expand telecom company rights.

Senate Votes To Let Internet Providers Sell Your Info To Advertisers

The Senate voted against an Obama-era FCC privacy regulation that gave consumers more power over who can access their information.

Russia, Ukraine at odds over singer's Eurovision performance

Eurovision song contest organizers say they have taken the unprecedented step of offering to let Russia's contestant perform via satellite after authorities in host Ukraine banned her from entering the country — a proposal that was immediately rejected by a Russian state broadcaster.

The European Broadcasting Union says it's proposing to Russia's Channel One that Yulia Samoylova can perform live from Russia in the intensely popular TV song contest known for its wide variety of pop music and tacky outfits.

Eurovision executive supervisor Jon Ola Sand said Thursday that show organizers are holding discussions with Ukrainian authorities, saying "it's imperative that the Eurovision Song Contest remains free from politics."

Samoylova, who is representing Russia in the May 11-13 contest in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, was banned by Ukraine's security service because she had toured in Crimea after Russia's 2014 annexation of that peninsula from Ukraine.

Russian state-owned Channel One, which is responsible for broadcasting the Eurovision Song Contest in Russia, said in a statement Thursday that it would not agree to broadcast Samoylova's performance if it did not take place in Kiev.

The suggestion "contradicts the very point of the event," Channel One said, Russia's Interfax news agency reported. "The host country should provide all participants with the opportunity to receive a visa for the duration of the event."

Ukraine's deputy prime minister, Vyacheslav Kyrylenko, balked at the idea as well, writing on Twitter that "the broadcast of Samoylova's performance by Ukrainian television channels would be just as much a breach of Ukrainian law as her entry into Ukraine."

Tensions between Moscow and Kiev have been high since the 2014 annexation of Crimea and the beginning that year of a Russia-backed separatist insurgency in eastern Ukraine. Fighting between the rebels and the Ukrainian government has killed nearly 10,000 people.

Ukrainian law allows banning anyone who enters Crimea by routes other than over its de-facto border with the Ukrainian mainland. Most Russians go to Crimea by ferry or air.

Ukraine won the right to host this year's show after Ukrainian singer Jamala won the 2016 event. Her winning song shed light on the horrific deportations of Crimean Tatars to Central Asia under Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, but also hinted at their recent treatment under Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russia, Ukraine at odds over singer's Eurovision performance

Eurovision song contest organizers say they have taken the unprecedented step of offering to let Russia's contestant perform via satellite after authorities in host Ukraine banned her from entering the country — a proposal that was immediately rejected by a Russian state broadcaster.

The European Broadcasting Union says it's proposing to Russia's Channel One that Yulia Samoylova can perform live from Russia in the intensely popular TV song contest known for its wide variety of pop music and tacky outfits.

Eurovision executive supervisor Jon Ola Sand said Thursday that show organizers are holding discussions with Ukrainian authorities, saying "it's imperative that the Eurovision Song Contest remains free from politics."

Samoylova, who is representing Russia in the May 11-13 contest in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, was banned by Ukraine's security service because she had toured in Crimea after Russia's 2014 annexation of that peninsula from Ukraine.

Russian state-owned Channel One, which is responsible for broadcasting the Eurovision Song Contest in Russia, said in a statement Thursday that it would not agree to broadcast Samoylova's performance if it did not take place in Kiev.

The suggestion "contradicts the very point of the event," Channel One said, Russia's Interfax news agency reported. "The host country should provide all participants with the opportunity to receive a visa for the duration of the event."

Ukraine's deputy prime minister, Vyacheslav Kyrylenko, balked at the idea as well, writing on Twitter that "the broadcast of Samoylova's performance by Ukrainian television channels would be just as much a breach of Ukrainian law as her entry into Ukraine."

Tensions between Moscow and Kiev have been high since the 2014 annexation of Crimea and the beginning that year of a Russia-backed separatist insurgency in eastern Ukraine. Fighting between the rebels and the Ukrainian government has killed nearly 10,000 people.

Ukrainian law allows banning anyone who enters Crimea by routes other than over its de-facto border with the Ukrainian mainland. Most Russians go to Crimea by ferry or air.

Ukraine won the right to host this year's show after Ukrainian singer Jamala won the 2016 event. Her winning song shed light on the horrific deportations of Crimean Tatars to Central Asia under Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, but also hinted at their recent treatment under Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Singer Don McLean's ex-wife says tweet constituted contempt

The ex-wife of Don McLean wants the American Pie singer found in contempt of court for tweeting about her shortly after she was granted a protection order.

A Maine court granted the order for Patrisha McLean this month. Don McLean pleaded guilty last year to domestic violence assault.

Patrisha McLean filed papers seeking a contempt order Tuesday in court in Ellsworth, Maine.

She says she was disparaged by Don McLean less than 48 hours after the protection order was issued. His verified Twitter account posted a message saying he was "delighted" to give his ex-wife a protection order "since it protects me from her for two wonderful years."

Don McLean's attorney says the allegation is "unfortunate" and that McLean will keep their ongoing disagreements in court.

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