Tom Cruise as Maverick gives a thumbs-up from the cockpit of his fighter jet.

Paramount Pictures

by Sarah Deming

The wait is over. Top Gun Maverick touches down in theaters May 27th. Tom Cruise reprises his iconic role as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, the hotshot Navy pilot who does things his own way.

Maverick’s new mission: to train the next generation of Top Gun graduates for a perilous assignment. Things heat up when one of the youngsters turns out to be Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw (Miles Teller), son of Maverick’s late flying partner “Goose.” Of course, no sequel would be complete without Val Kilmer as Maverick’s arch frenemy “Iceman.” Also starring are Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, and Glen Powell.

To get in the Maverick mood, let’s revisit Paramount’s original Top Gun. The biggest hit of 1986, it grossed over $350 million. Applications to Naval aviation school soared as a whole generation of Americans felt the need for speed. Here's a look back at what made the movie iconic.

You can stream Top Gun on Paramount+.

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An Epic Hero

Tom Cruise as Maverick clad in a flight jumpsuit with red and blue patches on the front sitting and holding his hand to his chin with two other pilots in the background

Tom Cruise as Pete Maverick strikes a pensive pose.

Paramount Pictures

This was the role that vaulted Tom Cruise to superstardom. Maverick is the ultimate hotshot. When his squadron encounters Russian MiG-28 fighters, he flips into an inverted dive to flip a Russki the bird. Yet his heart is in the right place. When shaken wingman Cougar can’t land solo, Maverick goes back to guide him.

Although his disregard for rules infuriates superiors—and leads to lots of spilled coffee—his skills land him in Top Gun, the Navy’s prestigious graduate program in air combat and air superiority.

An Epic Rivalry

Tom Cruise as Maverick raises a fist next to the face of Val Kilmer as Iceman as both stand in the locker room wearing gray flight jumpsuits while Goose and Slider watch.

Iceman (Val Kilmer) and Maverick (Tom Cruise) confront each other in the locker room at Top Gun.

Paramount Pictures

Val Kilmer’s “Iceman” is Maverick’s opposite number. He’s cool, calm, and collected. He always puts his seatback in the upright position and ensures his carry-on is safely stowed. Tempers flare as the two compete for the Top Gun Trophy, but the real winner is the audience, because we get to enjoy their sweaty locker room tiffs.

Top Gun Maverick takes the rivalry to a deeper level. After 30 years of service, Maverick has only made captain, dodging promotions that would land him behind a desk. Ever the schmoozer, Iceman has ascended to admiral. It’s anyone’s guess who will win this next round; we’re just rooting for more shirtless volleyball.

An Epic Wingman

Tom Cruise as Maverick and Anthony Edwards as Goose both in Navy Dress uniforms clink beer bottles in a bar

Best buds Maverick and Goose clink beers


In the fog of war, it’s hard to tell friend from foe. The F-14 was the first aircraft equipped with a phased-array radar that could track multiple targets. The Radar Intercept Officer, or RIO, sat behind the pilot, monitoring threats. Maverick’s RIO was Lt. Nick “Goose” Bradshaw, sensitively portrayed by Anthony Edwards, who went on to TV fame as Dr. Mark Greene on ER.

Goose was the ultimate “wingman”—a loyal, dependable friend and companion as well as an ally to help you chat up attractive strangers without seeming creepy. It was the first time most movie fans had heard the term, and it caught on like wildfire. In today’s parlance, it’s close to “ride or die.” Speaking of that …

The F-14 had one tragic flaw: It was prone to a flat spin. During a training exercise, Maverick and Goose pass through Iceman’s jet wash, causing an engine to blow. Goose manages to eject, but the uncontrolled spin throws off the timing and his head hits the canopy, killing him. Although a tribunal absolves Maverick, he still feels responsible for his friend’s death. He will confront this unresolved guilt in Top Gun Maverick, in the form of Goose’s son, Rooster.

Epic Women

Kelly McGillis wears a battered black leather jacket with patches and stands with her arms folded looking toward her left shoulder

Kelly McGills as Charlie, an instructor at Top Gun

Paramount Pictures

Kelly McGillis and Meg Ryan were Top Gun’s top women—and by ’80s standards, both were tough cookies with survivor spirit to rival the boys’. McGillis played Charlie, an astrophysicist and instructor at Top Gun (and Maverick’s love interest); Ryan played Goose’s cheerful, resilient, tougher-than-she-looks military wife.

(Charlie’s character was based on a real person: Christine Fox served as an instructor at Naval Air Station Miramar before becoming Acting Secretary of Defense in 2013, then the highest-ranking position a woman had ever held in the Department of Defense.)

Neither actress will return in the sequel, so cue up the original to enjoy Ryan’s wisecracks, McGillis’s aviation insights, and both women’s fabulous coifs.

Starring opposite Cruise this time around is Jennifer Connelly, 2002’s Academy Award winner for Best Supporting Actress in A Beautiful Mind. The year the original Top Gun hit theaters, a teenaged Connelly was getting chased through a maze by David Bowie and the Muppets in the cult classic Labyrinth.

Monica Barbaro (Stumptown, Unreal) will play “Phoenix,” one of Maverick’s elite students. Barbaro told The Hollywood Reporter she drew inspiration from the female aviators she met while filming. “You’re watching a pilot up there. I happen to be a woman, but first and foremost, Phoenix is a pilot, and a really good one.”

Epic Fashion

Tom Cruise as Maverick walks away from a jet wearing a flight jumpsuit and aviator sunglasses while carrying gloves in one hand and a nylon suitcase in the other

Maverick dressed for flight and wearing the famous aviator shades

Paramount Pictures

In 2015, the Library of Congress added Top Gun to their permanent archive of films “of importance to cinema and to America’s cultural and artistic history.” But anyone who survived the ’80s could have told you that.

Cruise and Kilmer looked so cool in aviators that suddenly everyone needed a pair. (Better yet, two pairs: one dark and one mirrored.) The original CWU-45P bomber jacket is still hot today—“CWU” stands for “cold weather uniform”—rad patches sold separately. Even the simple white tee shirt trended after Cruise wore it so well.

An Epic Soundtrack

During the opening credits, “Top Gun Anthem” blares as jets take off from an aircraft carrier at sunset. Harold Faltermeyer won the Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Performance for this synth jam, featuring Billy Idol’s legendary guitarist Steve Stevens.

Segue into Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone” as the jets touch back down, and the hits just keep coming. Another Loggins classic, “Playing With the Boys,” backs the testosterone-soaked volleyball scene.

But the most memorable moment might be Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” throbbing through the love scene between Cruise and McGillis. It won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, and the Top Gun soundtrack went platinum nine times.

Top Gun Maverick brings the big guns, too. Lady Gaga contributed to the score, which features her new single “Hold My Hand.” Speaking on the Late Late Show With James Corden, Cruise said Gaga’s power ballad “opened the doors to the emotional core of the film.”

Epic Jets

Tom Cruise as Maverick sits in the cockpit of an F-14 with the canopy open and gives a thumbs up signal with his right hand

Thumbs up from Maverick

Paramount Pictures

The real hero of Top Gun might be the F-14 Tomcat. At high altitudes, the twin-engine fighter jet could go faster than twice the speed of sound. We talked to Dr. Steve Schallhorn, a former Top Gun instructor whose real-life experiences helped inform Jim Cash and Jack Epps Jr.’s screenplay.

“What the film got right was the intensity of flying,” he says. “Dogfighting is a very, very dynamic environment that requires very fast thinking. It’s also extremely physically demanding. When you turn, there’s tremendous g-force. Imagine a 200-pound weight on top of your head, and you’re already craning your neck, trying to look back. You also have to manage vertigo. The sensor in the inner ear that tells you what’s up and what’s down can really be a source of confusion.”

Whew! Good thing we’ll all be watching Top Gun Maverick from the safety of a theater. If you’re feeling adventurous, you might try IMAX.

Epic Fans

Tom Cruise as Maverick in his flight jumpsuit and sunglasses stares into the distance over his right shoulder as he stands in the cockpit of a fighter jet holding his helmet in his right hand and puts his left hand on his knee

Maverick, ready for a new mission

Paramount Pictures

How much do people love the first film? Top Gun first landed in theaters in May 1986—36 years ago. More than three and a half decades later, fans still honor the movie’s anniversary by celebrating Top Gun Day on May 13th.

Looking for suggestions on how to celebrate? Check out topgunday.com. Change your profile picture to Val Kilmer, play volleyball in jeans, or see how many times you can drop quotes from the movie into conversations. There’s even a call sign generator. Dust off your Ray-Ban Aviator shades, grab your wingman, and kick back with a cool glass of hemlock.

You can stream Top Gun on Paramount+. Then get ready to head back into the danger zone when Top Gun Maverick hits theaters on May 24th.

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Abdo joined CBS Sports in 2020.

Phot oCredit: CBS Sports

By Eric Adelson

Kate Abdo's first soccer memory came when her dad took her to Liverpool’s Anfield Stadium to cheer on his beloved team, Manchester United. “Much to my mom’s disgust,” says Kate with a laugh. Kate’s mother, you see, was rooting for Liverpool. Abdo wasn’t a diehard soccer fan until that day. “I didn’t feel hooked,” says the British native, “until I experienced a game live.”

These days, she experiences games live with her CBS and Paramount+ audience as the host of three of CBS Sports’ largest soccer properties. We caught up with Abdo by phone to ask her about her extraordinary soccer life.

CBS Sports’ Soccer Coverage -- Every game streams live on Paramount+. Check local listings.

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Deciding on a career

CBS Sports' Soccer presenters sit at a Paramount+ desk.

From left: Kate Abdo, Oguchi Onyewu, Clint Dempsey, and Charlie Davies cover soccer for CBS Sports.

Photo credit: CBS Sports

When was the moment you knew you wanted to do sports broadcasting for a living?

KA: It kind of happened, rather than a route I wanted to go. All I really knew is I wanted to work with languages. This is what I do well at school, I thought, so this is what I’m supposed to do. I learned Spanish in college, then learned German.

I got an internship at a German TV station. It was just translation. They had a daily news bulletin, kind of like CNN. Then one of the sports presenters kind of had a bust-up and stormed out. The boss said to me, “Would you like to try for the spot?” “No thanks, no interest.” He said, “I think you should try.” I said, “I just don’t want to do it.”

They did a bunch of castings. Didn’t find anybody. The boss says, “Do me a favor, try it once. I think you’d be good. If it’s terrible, no one will know about it.” It was terrible! Someone sent me a DVD of it, and I have no idea what he saw in me. He said, “We will give you a day’s training.” So it wasn’t ambition. But there was something I loved about this.

Live TV

CBS Sports Soccer host Kate Abdo on a Paramount+ set with all of the rest of the CBS Sports team.

Abdo with her CBS Sports colleagues.

Photo credit: Instagram/Kate Abdo

You’ve been broadcasting for many years now. What do you love about it?

KA: There’s a special energy to doing live TV. Especially with sports. You’re living the emotion that a sports fan lives. If you’re into sports and you’re genuinely interested in sports, it’s an enormous blessing to have a job you’re excited to go to.

What’s your favorite live moment so far?

KA: I’d say it’s fairly recent—our first Concacaf [which covers North America, Central America, and Caribbean soccer] coverage for CBS Sports. [The Nations League finals were held in Denver last June.]

There was a huge pro-Mexico crowd, as there often is. To have the final between U.S. and Mexico, to be working with former national team players—including one who lives soccer harder than anyone.

Best-case scenario

Kate Abdo in a gold dress on stage with Lionel Messi\u200b in a purple suit.

Kate Abdo with FIFA Ballon d'Or nominee Lionel Messi

Photo credit: Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images

I assume that would be U.S. soccer star Clint Dempsey.

KA: Yes, Clint. I mean, everybody has a vested interest, right? But Clint just has a special character. His emotions are affected by it. That is what makes him so great. He cares so freaking much.

What is your best-case scenario for 2022—either here or abroad?

KA: For Manchester United to play Liverpool and beat them. [Editor’s note: Sorry, Mom!] For the men’s national team, I would want to see them qualify comfortably [for the World Cup], where it doesn’t feel shaky.

I would like to see them with the confidence that they can make good on all that promise. The game against Mexico will be huge. I would like to see them get through and feel good. I think they’ll qualify.

CBS' soccer coverage

Kate Abdo poses for a selfie with Pel\u00e9

Abdo with one of the greatest soccer players of all time, Pelé, in 2018.

Photo credit: TWITTER/Kate Abdo

How often do you get to practice the other languages you speak?

KA: CBS is the first company that’s used that skill of mine. They often take post-game interviews and throw them up and have me live-translate. CBS Sports’ coordinating producer for soccer, Pete Radovich, came up with the idea.

There was that question: “What if she doesn’t understand it?” Pete said, “We will make fun of the fact that she says she is fluent.” [Laughs.] I like that he is taking a risk that it might not be perfect. And there is that moment where I think, What if I don’t understand it? It does kind of create a small panic!

How do you think CBS’s soccer coverage sets itself apart?

KA: As someone who has worked internationally a lot, on a variety of networks, CBS Sports has managed to break the mold and still cater to a discerning soccer audience. That’s the sweet spot. A soccer audience in America is a little bit niche. You find the fans really know their stuff.

This is the first coverage I’ve done where I’ve felt really proud of what we offer. As a soccer fan, I want to be catered to and respected in that sense, but I am a human being and I like to have a laugh.

Soccer coverage has always been modeled on this quite dry European model: Let’s do it the European way, the right way. So a lot of the people were imported from Europe. What’s so special about American television is you do entertainment so well. It’s good coverage that speaks to an informed audience.

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CBS Sports’ Soccer Coverage -- Every game streams live on Paramount+. Check local listings.

Promotional poster for the new Paramount+ series The Offer, using a font and logo inspired by original art from The Godfather

Sarah Coulter/Paramount+ (C) 2022 ViacomCBS. All Rights Reserved.

By Kathy Passero

Paramount+ just made you an Offer you can’t refuse …

Fans of The Godfather know all the classic lines and characters, but the behind-the-scenes story about making the movie is as electrifying as the Corleone saga itself—and just as full of colorful characters and danger. It’s the subject of the riveting new Paramount+ series The Offer, streaming starting April 28.

Based on the recollections of Academy Award–winning producer Albert S. Ruddy, the 10-episode series marks the 50th anniversary of the first Godfather movie, the star-making classic that broke box office records, helped save the studio, and became a film legend.

All three original Godfather films will also be available on Paramount+ starting on April 28. Are you due for a Corleone-family refresher? To help put your memory through its paces, here’s a quiz to test your knowledge of the original film.

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Stream The Offer exclusively on Paramount+ starting April 28. The first three episodes will be available on April 28, with new episodes to follow every Thursday.

1) When we meet Michael Corleone at the beginning of the film at his sister Connie’s wedding, he has just returned from serving in what branch of the military? Bonus: What war did he serve in?

A) Army

B) Navy

C) Marines

D) Air Force

You'll find the answer below the next question.

2) Why are so many wedding guests lining up to see Don Vito Corleone privately in his office during Connie’s wedding?

Don Corleone sits in his study wearing a tuxedo and petting a cat as he listens intently to a visitor

Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) on his daughter's wedding day


A) To pay their respects

B) This is the only chance they have for a face-to-face meeting with him

C) Sicilian tradition dictates that he can’t refuse any favor on his daughter’s wedding day

D) All of the above

Answer to question 1: C) Marines. Michael is a decorated veteran. The ribbons on the uniform he wears at the wedding indicate that he served in both the European and Pacific theaters in World War II and won the Silver Star as well as the Purple Heart.

3) Why doesn’t Don Corleone want to go into business with The Turk? Bonus: What is The Turk’s real name?

\u200bAl Lettieri as The Turk in a business suit

Al Lettieri as The Turk


A) There was bad blood between them from their early days in Sicily

B) The Turk’s business is narcotics and Don Corleone doesn’t want to get involved

C) Don Corleone doesn’t want to cross the other families and start a war

D) The Turk shows a lack of respect

Answer to question 2: D) All of the above, but mostly C) Sicilian tradition dictates that he can’t refuse any favor on his daughter’s wedding day. Luca Brasi is the only visitor who doesn’t ask for a favor.

4) What is the name of Don Corleone’s driver who calls in sick, setting him up for a hit? Bonus: Who was his fill-in driver and what was the Don buying when he got shot?

\u200bFredo weeps in the street.

Fredo weeps in the street.


A) Bruno Tattaglia

B) Luca Brasi

C) Carlo Rizzi

D) Paulie Gatto

Answer to question 3: B) The Turk’s business is narcotics and Don Corleone doesn’t want to get involved. The Turk’s real name is Virgil Sollozzo.

5) Who comes to the hospital to visit Don Corleone and gets enlisted by Michael to stand on the steps and pose as an armed protector. Bonus: What is the character’s actual profession?

MIchael leans over his father in his hospital bed to reassure him.

Michael visits his injured father in the hospital.


A) Enzo

B) Fabrizio

C) Neri

D) Stracci

Answer to question 4: D) Paulie Gatto. Gatto called in sick, so Fredo was driving his father. Vito Corleone was buying a bag of oranges from a street vendor when he got shot. Clemenza gets revenge on Paulie for the betrayal later in the movie, after uttering the famous phrase, “Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.” By the way, actor Richard Castellano ad-libbed the cannoli part. It was never in the script!

6) When Vito Corleone says “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse,” who is he referring to? Bonus: What does the offer relate to?

Corleone family lawyer Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall) gets up from the dinner table after a meeting.

Always cool and collected, Corleone family lawyer Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall) gets up from the dinner table after a meeting.


A) Jack Woltz

B) Barzini

C) The Turk

D) Sergeant McClusky

Answer to question 5: A) Enzo. The baker was coming to pay his respects to Don Corleone for having straightened out his visa and preventing him from getting deported.

7) Where does the fateful meeting between Michael, McClusky, and The Turk take place? What dish does The Turk recommend?

A silent Michael listens to the Turk as they prepare to dine with Sergeant McClusky.

Michael faces down The Turk and McClusky over dinner.


A) Jack Dempsey’s Restaurant

B) Louis’ Restaurant

C) Nardone’s Restaurant

D) Luca’s Restaurant

Answer to question 6: A) Jack Woltz. Singer Johnny Fontane desperately wants a part in Woltz’s new movie and asks Don Corleone for help getting it. The producer has a grudge against Fontane and doesn’t want to cast him.

8) What are the names of Michael’s bodyguards in Sicily?

Michael with one of his bodyguards in the Sicilian countryside

Michael in Sicily with one of his bodyguards, after being struck by "the thunderbolt" of seeing his future wife Apollonia


A) Ciccio and Andolini

B) Fabrizio and Calo

C) Enzo and Angelo

D) Francesco and Mario

Answer to question 7: B) Louis’ Restaurant. When the trio arrives at this family-owned eatery in the Bronx, The Turk tells McClusky to “Try the veal. It’s the best in the city.”

9) What is the legitimate “front” business of the Corleone family?

An older Vito Corleone in his garden talking to Michael with a glass of red wine nearby

Don Corleone talks with Michael


A) Trucking

B) Wine Making

C) Olive Oil

D) Waste Disposal

Answer to question 8: B) Fabrizio and Calo. Both were hired by local Don Tommasino to protect Michael. Fabrizio betrays him with an assassination attempt that kills Michael’s wife, Apollonia.

10) Name the five enemies Michael has killed when he settles all family business on the day Connie’s baby is christened?

A young Michael in his father's office

MIchael utters one of his most famous phrases.


Time to put away childish things. No multiple choice here. Scroll down to see if you remember which scores were settled.

Answer to question 9: C) Olive Oil. Genco Pura Olive Oil Company is the legitimate front for the Corleone family’s shadier business dealings. Near the end of the first film, Michael tells Moe Greene that the family is thinking of giving up its interests in the olive oil business and moving to Las Vegas.

Watch The Offer and All Three Godfather Films on Paramount+ This Month

Key members of the cast of The Offer in the poster for the new Paramount+ series

Giovanni Ribisi as Joe Colombo, Miles Teller as Albert S. Ruddy, Juno Temple as Bettye McCartt, Matthew Goode as Robert Evans, Dan Fogler as Francis Ford Coppola, and Patrick Gallo as Mario Puzo in the official key art of the Paramount+ original series The Offer

Sarah Coulter/Paramount+ © 2022 ViacomCBS. All Rights Reserved.

Answer to question 10: Barzini, Tattaglia, Cuneo, Stracci, and Moe Greene. Clemenza kills Carlo Rizzi shortly after the christening.

If you remembered the whole hit list—and got the rest of the answers right—all we can say is: Congratulations, capo dei capi! You're a real boss when it comes to The Godfather. We know you won't want to miss a minute of The Offer. Keep your eyes and ears open for the many Godfather Easter Eggs hidden throughout the new series.

You can stream The Offer as well as all three Godfather films—parts 1, 2, and 3—on Paramount+ starting April 28. The first three episodes will be available on April 28, with new episodes to follow every Thursday.

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The DNA-helix-inspired spiral staircase that is a feature of the CSI: Vegas set.

Phot credit: CBS Broadcasting Inc.

By Maria Neuman

With the latest incarnation of the CSI series, the forever-favorite forensics drama seems to have come full circle, with classic cadaver-sleuthing characters (Gil Grissom, Sara Sidle, and David Hodges) joining a new crew (Maxine Roby, Allie Rajan, and Josh Folsom) and returning to the place where it all started—Sin City. The updated CSI: Vegas opens a new chapter for the Crime Lab, and it needed a new look to match because even morgues deserve a makeover every now and again.

“The design brief was to develop the next generation, cutting-edge forensics laboratory in Las Vegas,” says Alex Hajdu, who has also done production design on Magnum P.I. “The look is a building that had a history before becoming a crime lab.” This is evident in the sleek entry foyer with cast concrete walls, terrazzo floors, and a striking DNA helix-inspired spiral staircase.

“I looked at images and architectural drawings of similar buildings, like the 1950s Chase Bank in Palm Springs.” Naturally, Hajdu also perused the previous CSIs; the midcentury design pattern is the connecting thread through them.

Watch CSI: Vegas on CBS and streaming on Paramount+.

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