Beamly Me Up: Zeebox Relaunches with New Name, Attitude

By  April 24, 2014

140424_Beamly AppAre you one of millions who live tweets the #Olitz saga come Scandal Thursdays? Constantly refreshing Instagram for up-to-the-minute Game of Thrones memes? If you’re a die-hard television fanatic, then you know that the show never stops. So does Beamly.

Formerly Zeebox, Beamly’s new, free app offers a way for “stars, program-makers, superfans and journalists” to engage in the world of social TV, before, during, and after the credits roll. In addition to offering live-chat functionality of Zeebox’s past, Beamly now promises a “24/7 content experience” complete with chat rooms for virtual water cooler discussions, hosted by TV personalities, influencers, and fans.

Glam spoke with executive Jason Forbes to learn about the Zeebox-Beamly transition, the app’s new partnership with YouTube, and how Bravo rules Beamly buzz.

Q: What incited the Zeebox team to rebrand and relaunch as Beamly?

A:  Over the course of the last 12 months, in particular, our audience, the people who use the app on a daily basis, have continued to skew younger, and more female. As of now, more than 60 percent of our audience is under 35 and female. The rebrand is focused on better serving that segment.

Q: Thanks to social networks, especially Twitter, we already see a lot of conversation being generated around popular television shows. How does Beamly add value to that interaction?

A: Twitter does a great job from a scale perspective. But for many people that are passionate about TV, the lack of contextual relevance makes it very challenging. If I tweet to my followers, “I can’t believe Lisa just [did something],” it means nothing to the vast majority of people who follow me on Twitter. Whereas, if I do that in Beamly, because we’ve built communities around specific TV shows, it’s got 100 percent contextual relevance, because every other fan in that room knows exactly what I’m talking about.

Q: What shows or types of shows have you seen stimulate the most engagement on the app?

A: Per genre, there are very different behaviors. For a heavy drama like a Game of Thrones or a Mad Men, for example, all of the conversation tends to be before and after the show; during the show, it’s almost like it’s flatlining because people are so intensely watching the show itself. Whereas, for other things like competitive, reality, or comedy, the social conversations tend to continue when the show is on. Generally, shows that have a lot of social buzz, driven by the audience that watches that show, tend to be younger-skewing, or female-skewing. Think of networks like Bravo, Oxygen, E!, MTV, and others.

Q: You guys are also teaming up with YouTube, a streaming service that was once thought to actually take consumers away from television set and onto the Internet. What is the Beamly-YouTube partnership all about?

A: More than 100 different TV tastemakers have joined our TV Room communities. What we’ve found is that users who follow a TV show in Beamly tend to use Beamly twice as much. So, the number of users per week doubles. But, users who follow another user, or follow a star in Beamly, their usage goes up by 9x, to literally 21 times per week. You see this evolution where people were using Zeebox before, maybe three or four times per week when their favorite TV show is on, to now using Beamly three to four times per day. The reason why they’re doing that is because it’s an unbelievably easy way to connect with other fans, but also now, to connect with stars as well. YouTube stars like Tyler OakleyLaToya ForeverKalel Cullen, Saywer Hartman… have millions of followers. What we’re going to be doing is setting up a profile, in Beamly, and have them join TV rooms of shows that they watch… They’ll be available to chat with fans while actually watching those TV shows.

Convinced of Beamly’s tailor-made, social TV model? Download the app, free, for iOS and Android, and keep the conversation going.

Thank James Franco: Kimye to Wed at Versailles?!

By  April 24, 2014

Kanye West is going to have a dream wedding for his “dream girl” Kim Kardashian. Thanks to James Franco, we know where it will likely be.

140424_Bound 2 Wedding

In an appearance on The View to promote his Broadway role in Of Mice and Men, Franco revealed that West not only loved his hilarious video rendition of “Bound 2,” but that he also wanted Franco and Seth Rogen to perform the song the night before his wedding…at Versailles!

“We thought he was just going to let us have it. But he loved it,” Franco said of a phone call between him and West. “And I’m pretty sure I can say it now because I’m pretty sure it’s not going to happen—he wanted us to perform it live the night before his wedding at Versailles.”

Slip of the tongue… or, just pure comedy?!

The reported venue could explain Kimye’s recent rendezvous in the City of Light, where they were spotted at fittings with Balmain, Lanvin, and Givenchy (where no florals were allowed, natch); but a tweet from the Chateau de Versailles debunked any truth to a ceremony.

“On 19th January @KimKardashian and @kanyewest visited the Palace of Versailles,” it read, “but they are not planning their wedding at the Palace.”

We’re sure they’ll find another palatial, Parisian space to exchange vows and say “I Do.” Especially one that’ll look good on camera.

A Time Titan: Beyoncé Named to 100 Most Influential People List

By  April 24, 2014

140424_Beyonce TimeBeyoncé doesn’t just sit at the table. She builds a better one.” — Sheryl Sandberg

She also lands the cover of Time’s 100 Most Influential People issue in the process.

We can commend Bey for producing great music, creating #newrules, serving aspirational style, and giving us Blue Ivy. Facebook COO Sandberg also champions her for leaning in, and encouraging other women and girls to do the same.

“Beyoncé has insisted that girls ‘run the world’ and declared, ‘I’m not bossy, I’m the boss,’” Sandberg wrote for the cover’s accompanying editorial. “She raises her voice both on and offstage to urge women to be independent and lead.” One example? Her involvement with Gucci’s Chime for Change.

For Beyoncé, who’s covered countless glossies from Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar to OUT and Dazed & ConfusedTIME’s endorsement means the most.

“Shooting for Time Magazine was one of the goals in my life,” she shares in a behind-the-scenes video of the cover shoot. “It’s something important for me as an artist because it’s not about fashion, or beauty, or music. It’s about the influence I’ve had on culture. And to be amongst the other influential people is a huge honor for me.”

Artists and titans joining Bey in the annual list are Miley Cyrus, profiled by Dolly PartonPharrell by Justin TimberlakeKerry Washington by White House authority Valerie Jarrett; and Matthew McConaughey by Richard Linklater.

The Time 100 issue will hit newsstands this Friday, April 25th.

Star Scoop: Charlize’s Saturday Night, Welcome to the Jungle (Book), Meryl Streep Didn’t Think She’d Be Great

By  April 24, 2014

140424_Star Scoop Charlize SNL

Charlize Theron and Andy Samberg are gearing up to grace the Saturday Night Live stage. Theron will host the May 10th edition of the late-night romp with musical guests The Black Keys, while funny man Samberg will make his SNL debut for the show’s May 30th season finale. [Entertainment Weekly]

Welcome to the jungle… book! Lupita Nyong’o and Scarlett Johansson are in talks to join Idris Elba in Disney’s live action-CGI adaptation of the 1967 animated original. If the ink dries, Oscar-winning Nyong’o will voice mother wolf Rakcha who takes Mowgli in as her own, while Johansson will voice the hypnotizing python Kaa. [Vulture]

She’s the most-nominated actress in Oscars history, but once upon a time, Meryl Streep didn’t think she had the looks to make it in Hollywood. “I thought I was too ugly to be an actress—glasses weren’t fabulous then,” she told students during a lecture at Indiana University while receiving an honorary doctorate. “I think I was probably like every other girl who puts on a princess dress and expects everyone to pay full and total attention… For young men, and women, too, what makes you different or weird, that’s your strength.” [Vogue UK]

After sharing the cover art for his latest single on InstagramPharrell gave fans a new reason to be “Happy” with the video for “Marilyn Monroe.” The clip features choreography by Fatima Robinson and celebrates a beautiful, diverse group of women—perhaps a response to critics who (ignorantly) slammed his G I R L album art. [L.A. Times]

Brooklyn could be losing out on its most-famous couple. Jay Z and Beyoncé have (reportedly) dropped more than $9 million on a Mayfair, London townhouse, which will (reportedly) serve as a residence for the (again, reported) UK edition of their Mr. and Mrs. Carter Tour. They take this “on the run” thing quite literally. [The Independent]

After invading Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, the MTV Video Music Awards are returning to their western roots. This year’s ceremony will be the first awards show to take place at Inglewood, California’s newly-renovated Forum. [Variety]

Apple TV is selling out and raking in the dough. Company CEO Tim Cook confirmed that his “hobby” has sold 20 million units to date, and become a billion-dollar business based on content sold through the box alone. [CNET]

Amazon is reallyreally, trying to make us fall for Prime. HBO inked a licensing deal with the instant video service, making it “the exclusive online-only subscription home for hundreds of hours of HBO programming.” Which means we can all cancel our obscenely-expensive cable services and still enjoy our Girls. [The Hollywood Reporter]

New Girls: Taylor Swift and Cara Delevingne Headed to HBO

By  April 24, 2014

Move over Marnie. Step aside Shoshanna. There are a couple of new Girls in town. Specifically, one followed by a legion of Swifties and her British-born bestie with the most covetable brows in town.

140424_Taylor Cara Girls

Taylor Swift and Cara Delevingne are reportedly headed to Brooklyn to film for season four of HBO’s Girls. The former’s friendship with the show’s award-winning creator Lena Dunham may have already sealed the deal.

“Lena’s been trying to persuade Taylor to appear in Girls for ages,” an anonymous source told British glossy Grazia. “Taylor loves the show and has agreed [on] a cameo. Lena would also love her to take on a more permanent role and to pen some music for the show,” something Dunham had her boyfriend’s (Jack Antonoff) band Fun do for volume one of the Girls soundtrack.

The appearance would mark Swift’s second television appearance as someone other than herself, most recently evidenced by her role as Elaine on Fox’s New Girl. It would also pad her growing film and television resume, which includes a starring role in this year’s film adaptation of The Giver alongside Meryl StreepKatie Holmes, and Jeff Bridges.

Delevingne, like her Victoria’s Secret bum-smacking cohort Swift, is also making a transition to the soundstage. Along with her rumored spot on Girls, she’s appeared in 2012’s Anna Karenina and will star in the Amanda Knox trial thriller The Face of an Angel.

Within the Dunham-Swift-Delevingne trifecta, there’s a lot of “girl-crushing” going on.

“Taylor told Lena that Cara is a huge fan of Girls,” Grazia’s source added. “Lena immediately agreed because Cara is her girl crush. She has been in touch with Cara’s people already to discuss the idea.”

As for her take on Swift, Dunham deems her a “super-creative” role model, and modern-day champion of feminism in a special sort of way.

“Anyone who thinks Taylor Swift isn’t good for the girl cause has to be crazy,” she told Vulture last January. “Any woman who’s dominating the charts, the creative director of her own empire, and made whatever millions of dollars last year is only lifting us up. Killing it.”

Season four of Girls will air winter 2015. 

First Lady Michelle Obama Talks ‘Scandal’ Finale and Social Media

By  April 23, 2014

We knew she was a FLOTUS after our own hearts.

140423_Obama’s Easter Egg Roll

First Lady Michelle Obama was among the 10.6 million Gladiators who tuned in to the season three finale of Shonda Rhimes’ Scandal last Thursday. An avid follower of the show, who admitted to binge watching the series en route to Hawaii, Obama had an uncharacteristically hard time conveying her stance on the series’ darkest season yet.

“I don’t know what to say,” she told Entertainment Tonight correspondent Rocsi Diaz during the 136th White House Easter Egg Roll on Monday. “How do you react to that? It’s just nuts!”

With the murder of Fitz’s son, Olivia’s departure from OPA with Jake in tow, Huck’s long-awaited reunion with his wife, the capture of Mama Pope, and reveal of Papa Pope’s duplicitous aims, season three’s climax colored us stunned! (Why do we allow Shonda and company to continually jeopardize our sense of sanity?).

“It was pretty intense,” Obama added.

Something the always-chic FLOTUS did have a clear stance on? The First Family’s use of social media.

“It’s the way we communicate, particularly with young people” she said of her and President Barack Obama’s respective Twitter and Instagram accounts, totaling more than 51.68 million followers. As for finding Malia and Sasha Obama on their timelines, think again.

“No,” the First Lady shared about keeping her two daughters away from social networks. “They don’t need to be exposed to all that is out there. We’re trying to keep them as normal as possible in a sort of disconnected, disaffected [way].”

And, as far away from a real-life scandal as possible, obvi.

One More Time? No Reunion for ‘Will & Grace’ or 'Friends'

By  April 23, 2014

Ever wonder what’s become of Will & Grace’s friendship, nine years after show creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick closed the curtain? Dreamt of all your favorite Friends meeting up for just one more cup of joe? Sorry to burst your nostalgic sitcom bubble, but neither is going to happen.


NBC curbed any and all enthusiasm about a Will & Grace special today, just 24 hours after initial reports of an Eric McCormackDebra MessingMegan Mullally, and Sean Hayes reunion ran across the web. A network source told Buzzfeed that there is “no truth” behind the buzz, and though there may be room for a reunion in the future, “there are no talks right now.”

If that weren’t enough of a dagger, Hayes, who played Will’s gay best friend Jack, tweeted “I can officially say, no one has contacted any of us about a ‘reunion’ show or special,” sealing the sad news with a downcast Emoji.

Short-lived murmurs of Will & Grace’s reunion incited Friends star Courteney Cox to offer words about her own classic comedy’s potential to reemerge. “It’s not going to happen,” she told David Letterman Monday night on his namesake show, adding that it’s hard enough to get the gang together for a dinner date.

Her sentiment is shared by Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman, and frankly, isn’t at all new. Last year, Kauffman debunked reunion rumors telling Us Weekly “Friends was about that time in your life when your friends are your family and once you have a family, there’s no need anymore.” Cox’s castmate Jennifer Aniston even shut down giving the show a Sex and the City-style movie treatment in 2012. “Friends is not in a movie theater,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “It doesn’t make sense to me. I think it would be going against its authentic self.”

Consider our hearts stilled—and minds made up that it’s probably best to leave both shows where they ended. After all, we can always revisit the tales on Netflix.

Star Scoop: CAA Catches Up with Lupita, ‘Pretty Hurts’ Was Meant for Bey, VH1 is Being Made Over

By  April 22, 2014


Lupita Nyong’o has had quite the A-list debut. From stealing the fashion industry’s heart, to winning an Oscar, and becoming the new face of Lancôme, she wears her It-girl title well. Now, as the newest talent on the CAA roster—home to Jessica Chastain and Marion Cotillard—we’d bet that her next role will be even bigger. [The Hollywood Reporter]

A heart-pumping dance class isn’t the only way to channel the Queen Bey. Checking and responding to emails in a timely fashion will put you closer to Parkwood Entertainment than you know. Singer-songwriter Sia revealed in an exclusive with The New York Times that “Pretty Hurts” ended up in Beyoncé’s hands—and on her unparalleled fifth album—after Katy Perry missed an email about it and Rihanna’s management sat on the song for too long. As Katy put it to Sia via text, “It was meant to be with Beyoncé, of course.” [Vulture]

VH1’s new programming chief is laying down the law… and laying off employees. Susan Levison, who’s been at the network for little more than a year, led a restructuring of its New York development team, resulting in 10 departures. “It’s imperative we accurately structure our teams to deliver the content that our growing number of viewers want from VH1 today,” a spokesperson said, adding that the shift was due to a ratings upswing and cross platform development. [The Hollywood Reporter]

From Saving Private Ryan to The Terminal, and now, this. Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg are joining forces again, this time for a thriller about real-life attorney James Donovan who negotiated the release of an American pilot during the Cold War. [Variety]

It’s officialJay Z and Beyoncé are making all of our summer dreams come true and hitting the road for a 20-city stadium tour. Hopefully, with Blue Ivy and her bun in tow. [Billboard]

Netflix is raising its streaming service prices for new members an astounding… dollar or two. The company recently upped Ireland’s monthly rates from €6.99 to €7.99 and will be introducing the bump to existing customers in two years. Which, as it remains, is a drop in the $200-plus bucket I spend every month on a cable service that shall remain nameless. [Vulture]

Box Office Beat: Captain America The Winter Solder Holds Strong to the Top Spot

By  April 21, 2014


It seems even the Easter festivities couldn’t keep movie goers from the theaters this weekend as Captain America and the rest of S.H.I.E.L.D. battled back the competition to remain at number one. See what other movies had fans rushing to their seats during the holiday:
1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier $26.6M
2. Rio 2 $22.5M
3. Heaven Is for Real $21.5M
4. Transcendence $11.2M
5. A Haunted House 2 $9.1M
6. Draft Day $5.9M
7. Divergent $5.8M
8. Oculus $5.2M
9. Noah $5M
10. God’s Not Dead $4.8M

Star Scoop: Pharrell is ‘Here,’ Kobe Bryant Gets the Doc Treatment, Mrs. Doubtfire Returns

By  April 17, 2014


The Academy Awards may have another chance to get it right. Pharrell dropped “Here,” a ballad he wrote for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which we hope earns him another Oscar nom (and eventual win) for his song-penning prowess. Mr. G I R L also worked on the score for the summer blockbuster, further showcasing him as a man of many (literal) hats. [Rolling Stones]

Speaking of the Oscars, its 87th annual ceremony will air, stream, or be celebrated at a swanky Glam Fam affair, on February 22nd, 2015. [Huffington Post]

Never fear, Angelenos. Kobe Bryant will be back on the hardwood this fall. Before his big return, Showtime will debut a documentary on the record-setting baller that will highlight the “successes and challenges during his professional life” and probe Bryant on his post-basketball plans. [The Hollywood Reporter]

Mrs. Doubtfire, take two. Robin Williams will reunite with the 1993 film’s director Chris Columbus for a long-awaited sequel. No word yet on the plot line yet, but based on the original’s $222 million run at the international box office, it’ll likely be a hit. [Vulture]

Sound the alarm! You’ve been sentenced to another binge-watching session at Litchfield. That’s right—the season two trailer for Orange is the New Black has landed. [YouTube]

April showers bring May flowers… and mark the return of the Tribeca Film Festival. With 10 more days to go, The Huffington Post has compiled a list of must-see film’s from this year’s competition. Among them, an untitled James Brown documentary, a film celebrating Nas’s classic Illmatic, a Katie Holmes starrer about a school teacher-turned-vigilante, and James Franco’s drama about a group of teens, Palo Alto. [Huffington Post]

We’re just on day two of the TFF, but Cannes is gunning to steal its proverbial thunder. Cannes Film Festival authorities unveiled the lineup for this year’s competition, with 18 films—three from the U.S., including a western from actor/director Tommy Lee Jones—vying for the coveted Palme d’Or. [Variety]

Here’s your chance to meet Brad PittBruno Mars, and Kings of Leon for only $10. This is not a test. We repeat: this is Not. A. Test. [Groupon]