After a decade of blockbuster concert sales, country superstar Kenny Chesney is taking a break from touring. A short one, he swears.
Kenny Chesney is hanging up his road flip-flops — temporarily, at least. The singer told EW in an exclusive interview that his final stadium show of the 2009 season (Sept. 19 in Indianapolis) will be his last before he takes some time off. ”I’m not quitting!” Chesney laughs. ”It’s just a short pause. The last couple of years I’ve been on an empty tank. And that’s gotta change.” Chesney is the biggest North American ticket seller this decade — he’s played for a million fans every summer since 2004. ”I’m really blessed to have a run like we’ve had,” he says. ”I don’t take it for granted. But at some point you’re missing a part of your life.” Part of why he’ll be stepping back is to focus on songwriting. ”It’s hard to be really creative when you’re tired,” says Chesney, whose last six albums reached No. 1 on the country charts. He’s already a handful of songs into a new record he hopes to release in the spring. Chesney also hints that he might try some smaller shows next year ”for the love of it,” at venues like Colorado’s Red Rocks. But to step into what he calls ”the next chapter of my life,” those stadium parking lots have to be empty for a summer. ”I owe it to myself, I owe it to the fans, for our show to be the best it can possibly be,” Chesney says. ”And sometimes that means getting away from it.”
— Whitney Pastorek
Maura Tierney drops out of Parenthood. Will Helen Hunt take her place?
Now that Maura Tierney has dropped out of NBC’s Parenthood because of ongoing breast-cancer treatment, the search for her replacement is on. The drama, based on director Ron Howard‘s 1989 comedy, is scheduled to premiere midseason. As of press time, the network had extended an offer to Emmy and Oscar winner Helen Hunt to take over Tierney’s role, a frazzled single mother of two. If Hunt accepts, it would mark her first time on series TV since costarring on NBC’s Mad About You. NBC declined to comment about the offer. Tierney’s spokeswoman said in a statement that the actress is ”deeply disappointed” she won’t be able to rejoin the cast.
— Lynette Rice
The A-Team cast adds Jessica Biel and District 9‘s Sharlto Copley
Jessica Biel and District 9‘s Sharlto Copley are the latest actors to join director Joe Carnahan’s film adaptation of The A-Team, the ’80s TV series about wrongly convicted mercenaries. Copley will play ”Howling Mad” Murdock alongside Liam Neeson as Col. John ”Hannibal” Smith, Bradley Cooper as ”Faceman” Peck, and UFC fighter Quinton ”Rampage” Jackson as B.A. Baracas. Among the rest of the cast, Biel will play an ex-flame of Faceman’s, while Watchmen‘s Patrick Wilson will play a CIA operative. An insider to the project told EW that filmmakers plan to abandon the series’ campy tone in exchange for high-octane action. Production has begun in Vancouver, with its release set for next June.
— Nicole Sperling