John Hillcoat’s “Triple Nine” is lining up an all-star cast of this year’s award contenders, with Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael B. Jordan in talks to star alongside Christoph Waltz and Cate Blanchett, multiple individuals familiar with the project have told TheWrap.
Affleck is nearing a deal to replace Charlie Hunnam as the lead in the Megan Ellison-financed crime thriller, which is being produced by Anonymous Content.
Story follows a group of thieves who plan to kill a young LAPD cop to divert the police away from a daring heist they’re perpetrating across town. The title “Triple Nine” refers to police code indicating that an officer needs immediate assistance.
Affleck will play the targeted officer, while Ejiofor is engaging on an offer to play a career criminal who masterminds the heist. Jordan is in talks to play a street-wise cop in Ejiofor’s gang who partners with Affleck and plans to set him up.
Anonymous Content’s Keith Redmon, Bard Dorros and Steve Golin are producing the movie, which Ellison is financing through her Panorama Media banner. Hillcoat (“The Road”) is directing from a script by Matt Cook.
The long-gestating project, which Hillcoat’s “Lawless” star Shia LaBeouf was once attached to, is expected to start production next year, and several other major stars are circling juicy supporting roles.
It has been an exciting week for Ejiofor, who received Golden Globe and SAG nominations for his devastating performance in “12 Years a Slave,” as well as a Golden Globe nomination for his work in the miniseries “Dancing on the Edge.” He’s repped by CAA, Markham, Froggatt and Irwin and attorney Robert S. Wallerstein.
Affleck is in the awards conversation thanks to his supporting performance as Christian Bale’s younger brother in “Out of the Furnace.” He also starred in David Lowery’s critically acclaimed drama “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” and recently wrapped Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar.” Affleck, who received an Oscar nomination for “The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford,” is represented by WME.
Jordan was unfairly overlooked by Golden Globes voters, as his harrowing performance in “Fruitvale Station” has received rave reviews from critics and audiences alike. He next stars in the romantic comedy “That Awkward Moment,” and is set to play Apollo Creed’s grandson opposite Sylvester Stallone in Ryan Coogler’s “Creed.” Jordan, who is also the frontrunner to play the Human Torch in Fox’s “Fantastic Four” reboot, is repped by WME, the Schiff Company and attorney Gregory Slewett.
More to come…
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Ronni Chasen’s autopsy report reveals that first responders found her barely breathing and emergency surgeons’ desperate attempt to save her life — but the document otherwise provides scant insight into her killing.
According to the report, EMTs were dispatched within 3 minutes and arrived on the scene inside of 10 minutes. They found no pulse but did indicate that Chasen was breathing — if barely. She was intubated and operated on at Cedars-Sinai, but pronounced dead minutes later.
Ryan Katzenbach, the documentary filmmaker who sued investigators for access to Chasen’s case files has dismissed two defendants – the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office and its deputy chief Ed Winter – after they made her autopsy report public late Thursday.
“I felt that the autopsy was pretty garden-variety, what you would expect on any type of victim,” Katzenbach, who filed the lawsuit last month, told TheWrap. “It was very thorough, it was very complete. I am still at this point rather puzzled why there was such a need for secrecy, and why this was locked down for three years.”
Katzenbach is still seeking the full case file from the Beverly Hills Police Department for a film he’s working on about the veteran publicist and awards season consultant’s murder, ruled a homicide at the hands of transient felon Harold Smith. Though Katzenbach sees nothing unusual in the autopsy, he plans to turn it over to a medical expert who can possibly glean more details.
A synopsis in an attachment to the document, written just hours after Chasen’s death by a coroner’s investigator identified as Courtney Morrow, suggests that an “unknown vehicle pulled up and someone fired approximately 4 gunshots” as Chasen was driving home from a premiere afterparty on Nov. 17, 2010.
But detectives later determined that Smith approached Chasen’s car on foot or on a bicycle; as there were no known eyewitnesses to the crime, the “second vehicle” theory never materialized. A coroner’s spokesman told TheWrap that there is no meaningful contradiction between the initial report and police investigation, despite media reports this week suggesting one.
Minor discrepancies are commonplace in initial coroner’s documents, which are often based on “quick and dirty” assessments by investigators who’ve been on the scene only a short time, spokesman Craig Harvey told TheWrap on Friday. It’s highly likely that a detective’s early speculation about the “unknown vehicle” seeped into the report, but was later dispelled as more evidence about Smith’s botched robbery attempt came to light.
“It’s a preliminary document,” Harvey said. “It’s done on the fly. Everything is in flux – information changes.”
As for what is in the document:
_ Chasen sustained four gunshot wounds, only two of which were fatal. One shattered Chasen’s upper-arm bone and is a “fatal wound due to the extensive trauma to the right humerus bone with associated hemorrhage.” The other entered her shoulder, traveled through the chest and is a “rapidly fatal wound due to internal hemorrhage.” The other two wounds would not have killed her quickly.
_ Emergency responders were dispatched within 3 minutes and arrived on the scene inside of 10 minutes (approximately). They found no pulse but did indicate that Chasen was breathing — if barely.
_ Despite the seriousness of her wounds, there is evidence that emergency surgeons made every effort to keep her alive, including an endotracheal tube “present and in proper position within the trachea.” The report also notes incisions, an IV puncture, a vascular line and thoracotomy, or chest wall incision, “with attempted repair” of the heart and other organs internally.
_ The cause of death is “due to multiple gunshot wounds,” and the manner of death is listed as homicide. On November 16, 2010, Chasen was shot at approximately 12:27 a.m.; she was received at Cedars-Sinai at 12:55 a.m.; she was intubated and operated on at 1 a.m.; and was pronounced dead at 1:12 a.m.
_ Chasen’s death took place early Tuesday morning; her autopsy was performed beginning at 9:10 a.m. Wednesday. That’s a fairly quick turnaround even for a high-profile homicide investigation, though not unusual if the day’s workflow allowed it, Harvey said.
The defendants remaining in Katzenbach’s records-violation case include the BHPD; its chief, David Snowden; Lt. Lincoln Hoshino; and city clerk Melissa Crowder. Katzenbach believes there may be more telling details in ballistics reports, crime-scene photos, witness accounts and other police records that have been sealed since the investigation was closed.
For instance, investigators said a month after Chasen’s death that the gun Smith used to kill himself as detectives were closing in was a ballistics match to the murder weapon – but they’ve never revealed what type of gun it was. (Further evidence that initial coroner’s reports can be dodgy: the autopsy revealed Tuesday said the weapon was likely a 9mm, but it’s now believed that Smith used a stolen police-issue .38 pistol.)
“What’s always bothered me,” Katzenbach said of the BHPD’s final analysis, “is how vague they have been.”
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The trailers for “A Madea Christmas” promise the sight of the tough-talking, no-nonsense protagonist working as a shopping mall Mrs. Santa and shooting down the dreams of bratty kids. That never happens in the movie, alas, but the sight of Madea in a fake North Pole makes me want to share my own Christmas wish:
I want Madea to have her own “Duck Soup.”
Fans of the Marx Brothers fondly remember that 1933 comedy as the group’s finest and funniest, and one of the reasons it’s so great is because it’s the most unfiltered vehicle for Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Zeppo. There’s no ingénue, no love story, no non-comedic musical numbers, just 68 minutes of pure, anarchic brilliance.
Madea is no Groucho Marx, granted, but if writer-director Tyler Perry would just let this ribald, outrageous sassy grandma loose for 90 minutes, he’d have a comedy triumph on his hands. Instead, with “A Madea Christmas,” we get sporadic (but hearty) hilarity from Madea’s interactions with those around her, zippy moments that are weighed down by yet another sappy and melodramatic Perry screenplay.
Madea (Perry) takes a job in an Atlanta department store to earn extra Christmas cash, but her not-having-it attitude with customers quickly gets her fired. Friend and coworker Eileen (Anna Maria Horsford) recruits Madea to join her on a holiday trip to Alabama for a surprise visit to Eileen’s daughter Lacey (Tika Sumpter), since Lacey told pushy, meddling Eileen she’d be too busy to come home for Christmas.
Waiting for them in Alabama is a big bag of plot: Lacey has secretly married agri-scientist Conner (Eric Lively) but is too worried about Eileen’s fragile health to tell her that she married a white man. The small town where Lacey works as a teacher can’t afford to put on the annual Christmas Jubilee, until Lacey’s ex-boyfriend Oliver (JR Lemon) offers a sponsorship possibility that’s got more than one string attached. And Lacey’s got a sensitive, intelligent student (Noah Urrea) who’s being bullied by classmates and pushed around by his mean redneck daddy (Chad Michael Murray).
Also read: Hollywood Is Dreaming of a Black Christmas
Perry doesn’t seem any more interested in the story than his audience is, since all the problems get clumsily tied up in the last five minutes in ways that defy all logic. (Solution to bullying? Punch them in the face. Solution to evil corporations? Promise something on their behalf on a TV microphone, and they’ll be honor-bound to comply.)
But you can’t have “A Madea Christmas” without Madea, and she’s the reason to see the film. Perry seemed to be holding his nose and trudging through the disappointing “Madea’s Witness Protection,” but this time Madea has her groove back, and she’s a riot. Wisely, Perry has brought in Larry the Cable Guy — who’s basically the white male version of Madea — as a comic foil, and the two of them volley entertainingly, as does Kathy Najimy as Conner’s good-ol’-gal mom. The three of them are clearly improvising like mad, and visibly having a great time doing so.
Perry seemingly fears losing the core audience of church ladies who originally put him on the map, but he’s not serving them well by throwing them these warmed-over homilies. (There’s a subplot about the town being forced to take all references to Jesus out of the Christmas play, but the script winds up ignoring this bump in the road rather than resolving it.)
If he had just given us Madea unleashed on shoppers, Madea substitute-teaching and then Madea shticking it up with Najimy and Mr. The Cable Guy, his fans would give a much heartier “Amen” to “A Madea Christmas.”
The post ‘A Madea Christmas’ Review: Holiday Hilarity, but Only When Tyler Perry’s Leading Lady Is On-Screen appeared first on TheWrap.Related stories from TheWrap:
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia is laying off roughly 100 employees in a round of holiday season layoffs, the New York Post reports.
The company declined to comment on the newspaper’s report, which said that new CEO Daniel Dienst, a scrap metal executive and former MSO board member, ordered the layoffs Thursday. The paper said some staffers left in tears, their belongings in Martha Stewart bags.
The cuts reduce the company’s workforce by about 20 percent and are expected to save the company about $10 million next year, according to the paper.
The Post said those cut include Daniel Taitz, the executive vice president and chief administrative officer that served as interim CEO before Dienst was given the title on Oct. 28.
Earlier this year, Stewart agreed to cut her base salary by 10 percent to $1,800,000, according to an SEC filing. Her annual licensing fee was reduced by $300,000, to $1,700,000.
In November 2012, the company announced it was laying of 70 employees and cutting back its magazines. The new cuts come in addition to those.
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“Hardball’s” Chris Matthews was just a warm up for President Barack Obama. The real test comes on Friday when he sits with Steve Harvey at the White House for his syndicated daytime show.
Harvey plans to speak with the POTUS about the hard-hitting topics of “family, fatherhood and his plans for the holidays” for the episode airing on Friday, Dec. 20.
“Sitting down with the President is something I’ve always dreamt of doing, and I am honored to have the opportunity,” said Harvey in a statement. “I’m grateful to President Obama for welcoming me and I’m thrilled to share this experience with all my viewers.”
Harvey may have earned the coveted interview with the promise of his 2.5 million daily viewers and growing. During November, the show earned series highs for four consecutive weeks.
The interview should be a welcome reprieve for Obama from the tougher media appearances he has been doing lately, which include having to speak on topics ranging from NSA surveillance, the affordable health care act AKA Obamacare and a nuclear deal with Iran, among other major issues.
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Jeff Mook will step down as executive vice president and chief human resources officer at the end of Decemeber, 21st Century Fox COO Chase Carey told employees this week. His position will be eliminated.
21st Century Fox brass decided to structure its human resources operations differently after it split from News Corp. last June. Post breakup, 21st Century Fox contains television and film brands such as 20th Century Fox and Fox News, and News Corp. manages print and digital publications such as the Wall Street Journal.
“I want to thank Jeff for leading our global human resources function and his significant efforts during a transformative time for the Company,” Carey wrote in a memo obtained by TheWrap. “Throughout his four years here, he made substantial contributions driving HR best practices and played a key role in shepherding the Company’s seamless and expeditious separation process over the last year plus.”
Mook joined the company in 2010 after 25 years as a consultant. He worked with such companies as ACNielsen, Reader’s Digest, DuPont and The Interpublic Group.
He took over as global head of human resources post from Beryl Cook in 2011.
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Miss the good ol’ days when Hollywood regularly sunk money into beloved family-friendly classics such as “E.T.,” “Flight of the Navigator,” or “The Goonies”? Relativity Media has released the first teaser trailer for “Earth to Echo,” and it appears to be a strong effort to produce another adventure film for all ages to enjoy.
The PG-rated science fiction film looks comparable to “Chronicle” and “Super 8,” in the sense that it follows three young boys discovering something alien, and capturing their investigation on camera.
According to the film’s synopsis, the plot kicks off when the three friends begin receiving encoded messages on their cell phones when a construction project begins digging up their neighborhood. Naturally, responsible adults don’t take the kids’ concerns seriously, so they begin uncovering the truth on their own.
The trailer (above) hints that the messages lead to the boys discovering a tiny alien that needs their help for something that will most likely be better explained when a full trailer lands.
Relativity is releasing “Earth to Echo,” the feature-length directorial debut from Dave Green, on April 25.
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In the cozy room of 275 that included honoree Goldie Hawn, Lily Tomlin, Kelly Osbourne, and Laura Prepon, host Chelsea Handler struck a balance.
“I’m going to give $100,000,” she said late in the program. “I hate going to these things. You get a little buzz going and then whoopsy! I have a traveler’s che-que in my car.”
Sharon Stone and Aileen Getty.
This came immediately after the night’s honoree Aileen Getty decided to donate $1 million on the spot, and Sharon Stone followed up by working the room asking: “Can anyone else donate $500,000?” – one of the most surreal questions to hear poised matter-of-factly – albeit a successful one that landed her two hands in the air.
“Does anybody want to give two dollars? How about 1.50?,” Handler opened when she got the microphone back from Stone.
No car service for these two. Nigel Lythgoe drove himself and Paula Abdul off from the event in his navy Rolls Royce.
Hugo Boss’ Mark Brashear, Alessandra Ambrosio and Hugo Boss’s Ward Simmons during the cocktails, and Kevin Connolly with Lydia Hearst cozied up during the dinner.
Here’s seven more cracks that had Handler lightening the mood while lightening her own and everyone else’s wallet on behalf of the foundation for AIDS research:
“We’re going to drink because nobody is going to bid on a signed Elton John kidney stone when they’re sober.”
Despite Golden Globes nominations coming out earlier in the day, this “Dallas Buyers Club” joke was the only hint of awards season on the night: “A lot of people think that this is a fight that has already been fought and won, or that AIDS is only a problem in other countries, or that Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto cured AIDS down in Texas. But they didn’t.”
“I have a lot in common with Sharon Stone, because we both accidentally showed our vaginas and became famous. Hers was in a movie, mine wasn’t.”
“You may know (Lily Tomlin) from her acclaimed one woman show, ‘Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe.’ I host a show on the E! network and the Kardashians are also on that network, so I’m here to tell you that the search for intelligence is over.”
“Mr. Cole, Kenneth, was gracious enough to come by my show today (promoting amFAR) and he gave me … one pair of shoes. For somebody who has a shoe empire, I’d say that’s a little Jew-ey. I don’t know if you are a Jew, but you’re acting like a Jew, and tonight’s not the night for that….so baruch atah..”
Kenneth Cole, amfAR’s chair retorted: “Chelsea is a good friend of amfAR… and was a good friend of mine.”
“I hosted this event last year and I was sure that they wouldn’t ask me back…and then they did. So I’m going to try to make this the last time.”
Despite the laugh lines, Handler was heartfelt: “If you ask any of the 60,000 Angelenos or the 1.2 million Americans who are living with HIV/AIDS, they’ll tell you that it’s still a very real problem. That’s why we’re all here tonight to help find a cure and end the AIDS epidemic once and for all.”
Honoree Goldie Hawn laid one on Kurt Russell after picking up her Oscar’s new mantle-mate.
Goldie Hawn spoke of amfAR founder Elizabeth Taylor. “(She) was someone who had a passion, who was inspired to create change fearlessly,” Hawn said. “As you grow up, grow out, and grow older, you’ll realize that the one thing in your life is passion and inspiration,” echoing the night’s name.
Minutes after Beyonce revealed her surprise album online, Grace Jones climbed, kicked, and hula-hooped as she sang to close out the night.
Cole, Stone, and event chair Rich Ross drew strong industry support on the night from CAA, WME, Ross’ Shine, E!, HBO, Disney, and a host committee that included Ambrosio and Stephen Huvane.
All photos except Grace Jones by Jason Kempin and Jason Merritt for Getty Images,
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“Fruitvale Station,” which was passed over in the Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globes nominations, has been named the recipient of the Stanley Kramer Award by the Producers Guild of America.
The award goes to films or individuals that raise awareness of social issues. Ryan Coogler’s low-budget film deals with the 2008 shooting death of Oscar Grant, a young African-American man from Oakland who was shot and killed by transit officers in a subway station on New Year’s Eve.
The film stars Michael B. Jordan and Octavia Spencer, and is produced by Forest Whitaker. After winning the Grand Jury Prize and the audience award at Sundance, it was acquired for distribution by the Weinstein Company, winning rave reviews after its summer release.
“Fruitvale Station” will receive the award at the Producers Guild Awards ceremony on Sunday, Jan. 19, almost exactly a year after its Sundance debut.
The Stanley Kramer Award was established by the PGA in 2002 in honor of the producer whose films included “Inherit the Wind,” “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” and “The Defiant Ones.” Previous recipients include “An Inconvenient Truth,” “Hotel Rwanda,” “In America,” “Precious” and “Bully.”
“Fruitvale Station’ is an important film that raises awareness about an injustice that we encounter in the news with grim regularity,” said PGA co-chairs Lori McCreary and Michael DeLuca in a statement announcing the award.
In the same release, Forest Whitaker said, “Our producing team is thrilled to have been able to tell a story that puts a human face on the issue of social injustice. We hope the film continues to have a positive impact on the ongoing dialogue that surrounds these issues.”
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I remember watching an interview that Barbara Walters did with Warren Beatty. At the time, Beatty was promoting “Heaven Can Wait,” and he was hot. Here was a superstar, a leading man A-lister that would not only garner interest but gain ratings for Walter’s broadcast. What a prize.
You wouldn’t know it by the interview. Responding to Walter’s “if you were a tree, what type would you be” questions, Beatty grunted mono-syllabic responses that were characteristic of Koko the Gorilla communicating with Jane Goodall. Beatty was infamous for being reclusive and seclusive. An actor who was so confined in his own ego that he would withdraw with every softball that Walters lobbed over to him.
Not so with the equally cloistered Gabriel Byrne, at the hands of a master interviewer known as Michael Des Barres. Yes, that Michael Des Barres.
On December 6, the fiercely private Byrne opened up, and in a stream-of-consciousness yet genial tirade against the bastions of everything that Hollywood holds holy, Byrne let loose with both barrels. His iconoclastic pontifications were heard, loud and clear.
The Internet buzz that followed the interview landed on the pages of The Hollywood Reporter, ABC News and in online news sources from Los Angeles to Limerick, Ireland. Byrne’s explosive remarks and pontifications were not limited to the entertainment industry.
In a typically Irish and affable way, Byrne focused his gaze on his questioner, and calmly laid waste to the fortress that every Irishman that I know (and I know quite a few) defend: The Catholic Church.
However, this article is not solely about Gabriel Byrne. His remarks have been covered in publications around the planet. The real story lies in the man who danced with Byrne in that small studio.
I couldn’t see Byrne pouring his soul out to the aforementioned Walters, or even to the master interviewer Howard Stern. Byrne settled into a chair close to Des Barres, looked at the enormous British Flag that adorned the studio, and turning away from it, inched closer to the host. Acknowledging the flag of Ireland’s oppressor, Des Barres apologized for its placement and humorously chastised his producer for not substituting it for the banner of Ireland. That flag whose presence was the backdrop for the interview, only served to bond the host and his guest.
“Feckin’ brilliant so” as they say on The Ennis Road.
It was obvious that Des Barres and Byrne had a history together. So did Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield. In the case of Des Barres and Byrne, an ear was not bitten off, however singed the feeling was. Instead, the ears of the viewers were “lended” as they were in Mark Antony’s oratory from Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar.” Byrne had not come to bury Hollywood, he came to praise the virtues of humanity that were being rendered from us at the hands of institutional corporatocracy.
As Des Barres gesticulated and waved his hands to emphasize points drawn from his own long experience in the industry, Byrne seemed to draw even closer. Des Barres was weaving a cocoon that surrounded him and his subject, and provided a safe place that not only invited, but encouraged openness and complete candor.
It was a pas de deux, a conversation not unlike My Dinner With Andrè where the viewer can take a seat within earshot, and actually listen to the musings of a great mind. Spurred by Des Barres’ reflections, and prodded by Des Barres’ reactions to what Byrne was saying, the conversation became as intimate as it was provoking.
As Byrne explained, he is a fiercely private man who despises self-aggrandizement.
He reflected on his youth when his parents would march him downstairs to perform like a trained simian on the buttonhole accordion to the delight of uncles and aunties. Des Barres prodded further, as Byrne then turned his attention to how similar that feeling is on the red carpet, where celebrities are “poked, prodded and objectified. That’s what makes me cringe more than anything. They have the talent to look at you with one eye while the other eye scans down the line for whoever is coming next.”
Des Barres steered Byrne into a more seething observation on how the industry today has become a video game where “violent action and no development of personality” becomes the trademark of what is considered epic cinema.
It was no wonder that Byrne’s imprimatur is that of an artist who on the surface is hesitant to express himself, yet underneath agitates with a passion to take on oppressors of humanity and culture far and wide.
Des Barres did not provoke or rankle Byrne into his uncharacteristic expressiveness.
Instead he seduced the truth out of Gabriel Byrne, like he has done with other subjects. However brilliant past Des Barres interviews have been, Gabriel Byrne catapulted the art of the interview to a new, lofty level.
Michael Des Barres’ own philosophy on the art of the interview will serve him, and the art of the interview well: “We are all longing to hear and tell the truth. It soothes the soul and gives life purpose. I am as inspired as you are by the revelations that come from my guests.
Honesty connects to an audience. Party line responses to the latest piece of hawked product are tolerated or berated by an ever sophisticated viewer. Do not underestimate the power and intelligence of the public. Authenticity is as rare as diamonds and shines as bright. Turn on, tune in and lean forward.”
The post The Art of the Interview: Gabriel Byrne Puts the Ire Back in Ireland (Guest Blog) appeared first on TheWrap.
The hills are alive with the sounds of business as usual: A week after NBC won with a special “Sound of Music Live” telecast, CBS topped Thursday with “The Big Bang Theory” and “The Millers” leading the way past ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal” fall finales.
CBS was first in ratings with a 2.7 rating/8 share in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic and first in total viewers with an average of 11.3 million, according to preliminary numbers. Due to local market NFL preemptions, those numbers are approximate.
“Big Bang Theory” at 8 p.m. was the night’s top-rated and most-watched show with a 5.3/17 and 18.6 million viewers. “The Millers” at 8:30 earned a 2.9/9 — up 21 percent from last week — and 12 million viewers. “The Crazy Ones” at 9 received a 2.1/6 and 8.9 million viewers. “Two And a Half Men” at 9:30 had a 2.1/6 and 9.4 million viewers. “Elementary” at 10 earned a 1.8/5 and 9.5 million viewers.
ABC was second in ratings with a 2.2/7 and in total viewers with 7.1 million, airing fall finales of its Thursday shows. “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland” at 8 got a 0.9/3 and 3.5 million viewers. “Grey’s Anatomy” at 9 earned a 2.7/8 — a 17 percent uptick — and 8.5 million viewers. “Scandal” at 10 received a 3.2/9 and 9.3 million viewers.
NBC’s Thursday comedy lineup returned following last week’s hiatus for “The Sound of Music.” NBC was third in ratings with a 1.2/3 and in total viewers with 3.9 million viewers. “The Sing-Off” at 8 earned a 1.4/4 and 4.5 million viewers. “Sean Saves the World” at 9 received a 1.0/3 and 3.4 million viewers. “The Michael J. Fox Show” at 9:30 got a 0.9/3 and 3.1 million viewers. “Parenthood” at 10 had a 1.2/4 and 3.9 million viewers.
Univision was in fourth in ratings with a 1.1/3 and fifth in total viewers with 2.9 million.
Fox was fifth in ratings with a 1.0/3 and fourth in viewers with 3.7 million. At 8, “X Factor” earned a 1.2/4 and 4.9 million viewers. A repeat followed.
The CW was sixth in ratings with a 0.8/2 and in total viewers with 2.9 million. “Vampire Dairies” at 8 earned a 1.0/3 and 2.4 million viewers. “Reign” at 9 received a 0.6/2 and 1.9 million viewers.
Telemundo was seventh in ratings with a 0.7/2 and in total viewers with 1.6 million viewers.
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Shailene Woodley plays a teenager embarking on a rough road when her mom abruptly disappears in the first trailer for “White Bird in a Blizzard.”
Eva Green plays Woodley’s withdrawn mother, while Thomas Jane, Angela Bassett, Christopher Meloni, Gabourey Sidibe and Shiloh Fernandez co-star in writer-director Gregg Araki’s adaptation of Laura Kasischke’s novel of the same name.
See photos: Independent Spirit Awards 2014: The Nominees
While Woodley’s character is at first unaffected by her mother’s absence, strange dreams of her mother crying out for help eventually make her realize something violent and evil has occurred.
“White Bird in a Blizzard” will be Woodley’s next chance to stun the Sundance Film Festival — where she won the U. S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Acting with Miles Teller for their performance in ”The Spectacular Now” — when its premieres there on Jan. 20.
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“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” opened to $8.8 million during midnight showings Friday, according to studio estimates.
That’s a strong showing and the second biggest December midnight debut in history, though it falls short of the $13 million that the previous film in the series racked up in midnight runs last year.
The fantasy adventure was unfurled in the wee hours of the night in roughly 3,000 theaters. Roughly $1.25 million of its initial haul came from IMAX locations.
The hotly anticipated sequel rolls out Friday in 3,903 U.S. theaters, where Peter Jackson’s return to Middle Earth is expected to generate $75 million to $80 million at the domestic box office. If those projections hold, that will be just shy of the $85 million that the first installment in the trilogy brought in last year.
Fanboys turned out in force, though not enough to match some of the year’s larger late-night debuts, such as “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’s” $25 million bow and “Iron Man 3″s $15.6 million unveiling. It should be noted, however, that those films were released earlier in the evening, while “The Desolation of Smaug” didn’t get its late night screenings rolling until midnight — moreover, with a running time of nearly 3 hours, it may have been less user friendly for working Joes and Janes.
Reviews for the new edition have been stronger, with critics lavishing praise on the addition of a dragon foil, silkily voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch. “The Desolation of Smaug” currently enjoys a 74 percent “fresh” rating on critics aggregator Rotten Tomatoes compared to the 65 percent “fresh” rating its predecessor, “An Unexpected Journey,” received.
The sequel faces an uphill climb if it wants to eclipse the first “Hobbit” film’s $138 million foreign opening, because it is premiering in fewer overseas markets during its first week of release.
“The Desolation of Smaug” will debut in 50 foreign markets this weekend, but it won’t hit major markets like Japan and China until 2014. Analysts still expect that enthusiasm for J.R.R. Tolkien’s tale of dwarves, dragons and wizards will help the film match the $1 billion generated by “An Unexpected Journey.”
Domestically, it faces stiff competition from “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,” “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” and “The Wolf of Wall Street,” all of which open between this Friday and Christmas.
The Warner Bros./NewLine release brings back “Lord of the Rings” cast members such as Ian McKellen and Orlando Bloom, as well as “The Hobbit”s troop of actors such as Martin Freeman and Richard Armitage.
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Who needs promotion? Not Beyonce, apparently.
The pop songstress’ new self-titled surprise album is No. 1 on iTunes just hours after its unannounced, exclusive release on the music-buying platform. That’s pretty impressive considering that many people went to bed last night not even knowing that Beyonce had a new album.
At the time of this writing, the non-explicit version of her new offering is sitting at No. 3 on iTunes. Only Childish Gambino’s (Donald Glover of “Community”) “Because the Internet” separates the two Beyonce options.
Individual songs and videos off “Beyonce” will be for sale next Thursday, when those will surely hit their respective charts as well. But for now, Mrs. Carter’s “visual album” offering can only be purchased in its entirety — 14 songs and 17 videos — for $15.99 via Apple’s music-sharing app.
Physical CDs and DVDs began their manufacturing process on Thursday night as well and will be available in time for Christmas, according to a press release.
Beyonce’s new album features collaborations with husband Jay Z, Justin Timberlake and others. Even daughter Blue Ivy is featured in both a song and the video for “Blue.”
The album was first unveiled around 9 p.m. PT Thursday night. It was quietly uploaded to iTunes, a Facebook post, press release and Beyonce.com homepage makeover followed.
You would think that with Robert De Niro’s rich New York City residency history he’d be better equipped to operate a revolving door, but he’s not.
After De Niro and Jimmy Fallon hugged out a goodbye at the beginning of a “Late Night” skit, the “Grudge Match” star did his best to enter the lobby of what appears to be either an office building or really nice apartments. He did not succeed.
For just under a minute, the legendary actor revolves ’round-and-’round in the aptly titled sketch, “De Niro vs. Revolving Door” from Fallon’s current late night talk show. At one point in the clip, a guy who looks an awful lot like Taran Killam from “SNL” easily negotiates the same twirling barrier-to-entry that has De Niro so stumped.
Finally, De Niro gives up, exiting the dizzying pattern the same way he entered and declaring, “Fucking door’s broken.”
Fallon hosts “Saturday Night Live” on Dec. 21 with musical guest and BFF, Justin Timberlake. “Grudge Match” comes out on Christmas Day.
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Internet rumors have been swirling around Julia Roberts womb after pictures of the 46-year-old actress wearing baggy clothing around her midsection surfaced, but she used her appearance on “The Late Show with David Letterman” Thursday to put an end to pregnancy talk.
“Have you thought about adding more to the group,” Letterman asked after he inquired about her three young children.
Sure, Roberts has thought about it, she explained, but added a firm “no” when Letterman asked if there was “any chance” for a fourth.
See photos: Golden Globes 2013: The Nominees
Roberts return to Letterman’s show came the same day after she was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance in “August: Osage County,” in which she plays one of Meryl Streep’s daughters.
The nomination arrived nearly two months after the 25th anniversary of her first film, “Mystic Pizza,” which launched Roberts long and celebrated career when it hit theaters on Oct. 22, 1988.
Watch the Oscar winner, and multiple Golden Globe recipient, talk about the “Mystic Pizza” audition process in the video below:
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James Bond needs to put down the martini stat, because a new study this week reports that the super spy’s liver desperately needs a breather.
British researchers analyzed 007′s alcohol consumption in the Ian Fleming novels that inspired the hit film series and found that he drinks more than four times the limit recommended for men. Who cares about Ernst Stavro Blofeld, because Bond’s proclivity for all things fermented may mark him down for an early visit from the Grim Reaper.
The study’s authors predict that Bond is at risk to die from alcohol-related diseases by age 56. The report was published in the Christmas edition of the British Medical Journal, and its authors indicated that Bond’s sexual and espionage related exploits were all the more extraordinary because with that kind of alcohol intake he should have difficulty raising a gun, let alone a much loved portion of his anatomy.
“The level of functioning as displayed in the books is inconsistent with the physical, mental, and indeed sexual functioning expected from someone drinking this much alcohol,” the study’s authors write. “We advise an immediate referral for further assessment and treatment, a reduction in alcohol consumption to safe levels, and suspect that the famous catchphrase ‘shaken, not stirred’ could be because of alcohol induced tremor affecting his hands.”
The study’s authors read 14 Bond novels, kept copious notes documenting each time he raised a glass and found that he had only 12.5 alcohol free days out of 87.5 days on which he was able to drink. They found that the MI-6 agent is at considerable risk of developing liver disease, cirrhosis and, worst of all, impotence.
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The Orange County Register is expanding to cover the entirety of Los Angeles County with a daily newspaper larger in total pages than any of the existing papers in the county, co-owner and publisher Aaron Kushner told staff on Thursday during a town hall meeting.
“We will have effectively three editions of the Register serving 15 million people in Orange County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County and Los Angeles County,” Kushner said.
The OC Register reports that details of the expansion are still being worked out, but the Los Angeles Register will launch “soon” and utilize staff from the Orange County paper — 200 of which were hired in the last year.
The Los Angeles Register will join the Los Angeles Times and the MediaNews Group’s nine papers, including the Los Angeles Daily News, the Long Beach Press-Telegram and Pasadena Star-News.
Kushner, whose 2100 Trust LLC bought the Reigster’s owner Freedom Communications Inc. in 2012, is continuing an expansion up the Southern California coast that began in August with the launch of 6-day-a-week publication the Long Beach Register.
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Jimmy Kimmel is doing one of TV’s most overt product placements with a new campaign for Tostitos. But before you object to advertising in the middle of his show, he wants you to know he knows how silly it is.
The have-it-both-ways approach allows Kimmel to maintain his dignity and ironic detachment even as he hawks tortilla chips during his show. His “Worst Contest However” — announced on Thursday’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” — invites viewers to mail him Tostitos that he may or may not eat during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
Also read: Jimmy Fallon to Feature Live Ads
No one wins anything, except Tostitos, which hopes to cash in on Kimmel’s gift for making videos go viral, and Kimmel, who gets paid. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
TV advertising used to be direct and unironic: Six decades ago, there would have been nothing unusual about Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez lighting up Phillip Morris cigarettes and making a pitch for the brand at that end of “I Love Lucy.”
Overt shilling fell out of fashion, but has made a comeback as shows contend with viewers fast-forwarding through ads. So we got Tina Fey shilling for Snapple on “30 Rock,” even as she joked about doing it.
Kimmel’s work for Tostitos follows that model.
“I’m delighted to be spearheading ‘The Worst Contest Ever.’ It’s a terrible contest and I can’t wait to find out who bothers to enter,” Kimmel said in a statement. “The 2014 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl is coming soon, so send me your chip now or you’ll miss out on nothing!”
See? Now we’re all in on the joke, and can make fun of dumb contests by mailing in our chips to take part in the dumb contest. Oh, but we’ll have to buy them first.
Watch the on-air ad:
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Kevin Spacey has no patience for useless things or people in the trailer for “House of Cards” Season 2.
The Netflix political thriller offers up a two-minute teaser featuring highlights from Season 1 and first-look footage from Season 2 — where it doesn’t appear that Francis Underwood (Spacey) is going to be any less devious this time around.
“For those of us climbing to the top of the food chain, there can be no mercy,” Underwood opines in the clip, after describing the different types of pain in this world.
Also read: Golden Globe Nominations: The Complete List
The series led the recently announced Golden Globe nominations with four nods: Best TV Series, Drama; Best Actress in a TV Series, Drama (Robin Wright); Best Actor in a TV Series, Drama (Kevin Spacey); and Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Mini-Series or TV Movie (Corey Stoll).
Kate Mara also stars in the Netflix Original Series.
Season 2 will be released in its entirety through Netflix on Feb. 14, when Underwood promises, “the butchery begins.” Happy Valentine’s Day!
Watch the trailer:
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