Eight of the country’s largest technology companies, including Google and Twitter, attacked the government on Monday for flouting its users’ privacy. They took out full-page ads in several newspapers, part of a broader PR campaign to restore their users’ confidence.
Watch the video above.
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NBC plans to produce another live musical for the 2014 holiday season, the network confirms to TheWrap.
Last week’s “Sound of Music Live” delivered the highest Thursday ratings NBC has seen since the finale of “E.R.,” among other ratings records.
“All weekend, people have been calling us and emailing us,” chairman of NBC’s entertainment Robert Greenblatt said in an interview with the New York Times. “Rights holders of musicals have said, ‘Please do one of our shows.’ We’re excited to try it again.”
“There’s enough to do a handful of these over the next years, if we keep increasing the learning curve,” Greenblatt added. “There may be a little bit of a phenomenon to the first one of these. Who knows what happens year two, three or four. But you’ve got to have events. I think we could do this again — and again and again.”
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“The Real,” the one-hour daily talk show hosted by Tamar Braxton, Loni Love, Adrienne Bailon, Jeannie Mai and Tamera Mowry-Housley, has been cleared in more than 70 percent of the country after a four-week summer test run on seven Fox-owned stations.
The series, which will return wide next fall, has been bought by stations from the Cox, Sinclair, Gannett, Local TV, Meredith, Raycom, Media General, Gray, Sunbeam, Griffin and Schurz groups. It will also launch on all of the Fox-owned Television Stations, as previously announced.
The seven-market summer test took place across Fox-owned stations in New York (WNYW), Los Angeles (KTTV), Washington, D.C. (WTTG), Philadelphia (WTXF), Phoenix (KSAZ), Houston (KRIV) and Tampa (WTVT). Across all seven markets, “The Real” improved at least two share points over its lead-in among all women demos, growing 50 percent over the May 2013 time period share among women 18-49 and 40 percent among women 25-54, Warner Bros. TV said.
“Our traditional station partners have joined the Fox Stations in embracing all of the excitement that is ‘The Real,’” said Ken Werner, president, Warner Bros. TV. “This year, more so than in most, there are limited opportunities for new shows and we are thrilled stations have selected ‘The Real’ as their choice.”
“The Real” will originate from L.A. and is produced by Telepictures Productions, distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution.
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Warner Bros. has released the international trailer for Wachowski Starship’s “Jupiter Ascending.”
The big-budget sci-fi movie stars Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis.
WB will release the movie July 25, 2014.
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Eleanor Parker, a three-time Oscar nominee who portrayed the baroness who lost her man to Maria in the 1965 film “The Sound of Music,” has died at the age of 91.
She died Monday of complications from pneumonia at Palm Springs medical facility, a family friend told the Associated Press.
Also read: Hollywood’s Notable Deaths of 2013
“Eleanor Parker was and is one of the most beautiful ladies I have ever known,” said Christopher Plummer, who starred with her and Julie Andrews in “The Sound of Music,” in a statement. “Both as a person and as a beauty. I hardly believe the sad news, for I was sure she was enchanted and would live forever.”
Parker was nominated for Oscars in 1950 (“Caged”), 1951 (“Detective Story”) and 1955 (“Interrupted Melody”).
Parker was discovered at the Pasadena Playhouse and signed a contract at Warner Bros., where she landed her first major role as Mildred Rogers in the 1946 remake of “Of Human Bondage.”
Her breakthrough performance came as a prison inmate in the 1950 film “Caged,” which brought her first Best Actress Oscar nomination.
She was nominated again the following year, when she played Kirk Douglas’s frustrated wife in “Detective Story.”
Her final nomination came in 1955 in “Interrupted Melody,” in which she played opera star Marjorie Lawrence, who continued her career after contracting polio.
Her career as a leading lady was established, and she played opposite some of the top leading actors of the day. She starred with Stewart Granger in “Scaramouche,” with Robert Taylor in “Above and Beyond,” with William Holden in “Escape from Fort Bravo” and opposite Charlton Heston in “The Naked Jungle.”
She also appeared in “The Man with the Golden Arm” with Frank Sinatra and “The King and Four Queens” with Clark Gable.
Parker’s career slowed after “The Sound of Music.” She appeared on TV shows including “Fantasy Island,” ”Murder, She Wrote” and “The Love Boat” and starred in the short-lived 1960s series “Bracken’s World.”
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A version of this story first ran in OscarWrap: Actors Issue.
A dinner meeting two years ago with Canadian director Denis Villeneuve (“Incendies”) turned into back-to-back movies for Jake Gyllenhaal: the yet-to-be-released “Enemy,” in which he plays two roles, and the slow-burn thriller “Prisoners,” with Gyllenhaal as a detective and Hugh Jackman as the father of an abducted girl.
“Prisoners” won strong reviews and did $60 million at the box office after its September release, a solid number for a film that ratchets up the tension slowly for nearly two-and-a-half hours. It’s not a typical awards film, but Gyllenhaal’s performance as a cop who clearly is hiding a lot of his own secrets has at least put him in the conversation.
Your character in “Prisoners” has tattoos that we can’t see clearly, and he seems to have a troubled background, but nothing is spelled out. Did you add that ambiguity?
Yeah. One of my hesitations about the character was whether Denis and Alcon wanted a character who was going to be essentially a narrator. Because what fascinated me was this idea that a detective — or any good truth-seeker, journalist, whatever they may be — has to be almost infatuated with the mind of the criminal.
A number of the detectives I met while doing “End of Watch” had their own criminal backgrounds, and they were so good at their jobs because they understood that mindset, they understood the movements, they understood the behavior.
And so that just led me into saying, “Well, look, I would love for this guy to be a question mark from the beginning.” I didn’t even want you to see that he was a detective at first. I wanted you to meet the character and go, “Maybe this guy looks like he’s the one who did it.”
Did Denis embrace that idea?
I think, given our relationship from “Enemy,” that he trusted that I was in service of the story. I think that’s always the hesitation, director to actor: Are you in service of the story, or of your character only? And the reason we work so well together is that he knows I’m in service of the story. I’m going to ask him questions that sometimes might be bad and not really work, but I’m trying to help him tell the story.
So when I would do improve and stuff, he never ever told me that what I was doing was no good, even when it was no good. It was so freeing, you know?
You gave the character some unexplained facial tics and mannerisms.
The tics and those physical manifestations, that happened in my mind as I was reading it. Just before I made this movie, I was on stage in New York City playing a character who talked a lot, and had a lot of sort of nervous energy. There was a transition period where I moved that anxiety and overactive mind of the character I was playing onstage and narrowed it down into a type of behavior where there was more silence and stillness. And I started trying things onstage, things like the tic.
It was a really interesting training ground, and an area to explore. Some of the parts that Aaron wrote in the script were really open to interpretation, and then I saw it as this interesting opportunity — like, oh wow, he’s given me this room.
The film maintains tension for almost two and a half hours, but it moves very slowly, which must have provided its own challenge.
One of the choices I made is that I never wanted to move quickly. A lot of times when you want to fabricate tension, you move fast. But tension is a beast — it’s like a lion being coaxed closer and closer. Will it bite? Will it run away? Where’s it going? What the fuck am I doing here with a lion?
They did the most wonderful shot that was not in the movie, which so bummed me out. I get in a car, the glass is totally fogged, and I’m silhouetted as [cinematographer] Roger [Deakins] lit it. I turn on the defroster, and it starts defrosting as I get the call. That’s Denis and that’s Roger. I could tell as soon as we were focusing on defrosting a front windshield that we were going to take our time. And so I just tried to move in the same way. And then also sort of deflect and create my own question marks on top of that.
You know that when the base is solid, you can just sort of dance.
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Bette Midler has joined the HBO Films biopic of Mae West. She will both play the provocative Hollywood star as well as executive produce the project currently in development, a cable channel representative told TheWrap.
Midler joins “Excorcist” director William Friedkin, who will direct and executive produce; Harvey Fierstein, who’s writing the script; and executive producer Jerry Weintraub (“Behind the Candelabra”).
The movie will be based on West’s autobiography, “Goodness Had Nothing to Do With It.” First written in the 1950s and then updated in the 70s, West’s book discusses her rise to fame as the highest paid actress in 1930s Hollywood, how she saved Paramount from bankruptcy, fought obscenity charges and her take on why the roles dried up.
In similar fashion to West, Midler has pushed the boundaries over her career. Well known for her riotous and high energy stage show, Midler earned the nickname the Divine Miss M.
She is also well known for the critically acclaimed tearjerker opposite Barbara Hershey, “Beaches.” Her other well known movies include “The Rose,” “The First Wives Club” and “Hocus Pocus.”
Midler is currently in the middle of a three-week engagement at the Geffen Playhouse of “I’ll Eat You Last.” She plays Hollywood agent Sue Mengers in the play written by John Logan and directed by Joe Mantello.
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Before HBO’s “The Newsroom,” CBS’s “Murphy Brown” was giving viewers its version of broadcast news.
Twenty-five years later, the cast of the hit CBS comedy are reuniting on TV once again with another famous newswoman Katie Couric.
On Thursday, Dec. 12, Bergen, Faith Ford, Charles Kimbrough, Joe Regalbuto, and Grant Shaud, along with show creator Diane English, will appear on syndicated daytime talker “Katie.”
They’ll share behind-the-scenes stories, their most important episodes and the show’s lasting impact on pop culture.
Couric’s on-air reunion follows a day after the cast reunites on Wednesday, Dec. 11 at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art. The program, called “Murphy Brown: A 25th Anniversary Celebration,” is sponsored by Encore Classic, which currently runs repeats of the series.
“Murphy Brown” originally aired from 1988-1998. It starred Bergen as a famous investigative journalist and news anchor for “FYI,” a fictional CBS television newsmagazine.
Spectacular flameouts and unlikely triumphs flickered across the nation’s living rooms this year, from cancellations to shocking success stories. With 2013 roaring to a close, TheWrap separates the successes from the failures.
Winner: Kenny Powers (Danny McBride), “Eastbound & Down,” HBO
Kenny rose like a phoenix from the third and almost final season of “Eastbound & Down” to regain his fame, fortune and balls in the fourth. And good, because Season 4 was arguably the best yet. The finale — including cameos from Sacha Baron Cohen, Lindsay Lohan and Alexander Skarsgård — was more spectacularly ridiculous than any fan of McBride, Ben Best and Jody Hill’s creation could have ever imagined. — Greg Gilman
Winner: Fox News
Already the most-watched cable news network, Fox News made some successful lineup changes this year. Megyn Kelly moved from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. with “The Kelly File” in October, winning its timeslot in cable news with 2.1 million total viewers with its premiere, and growing the next night. The recruitment of “The View” refugee Elisabeth Hasselbeck for “Fox and Friends” gave the morning show a viewership boost. In November, Fox News took second place in primetime for all of cable, behind only ESPN. — Tim Kenneally
Loser: “The X Factor”
We all had higher hopes for truth-sayer Simon Cowell, but his “post-Idol” talent show has never lived up to his old show. After exhausting us for two seasons with his “Hunger Games” of musical judges, he settled on a panel that was the casting equivalent of “mom jeans” for Season 3. Has he given up? At least half the fans have. The current season has seen a dramatic drop from more than 12 million viewers for Season 1 to less than 5 million this season. Is it time for Fox to cut its losses and focus on the makeover of “American Idol”? – Jethro Nededog
The Syfy TV movie about sharks attacking via hundreds of sling-shotting tornadoes took the world by storm (pun intended) this summer. Bolstered by a can’t-miss trailer and the so-bad-it’s-good plot, the Ian Ziering/Tara Reid movie became a social media sensation. After taking over Twitter, the telecast actually got some viewers. Encores of “Sharknado” kept growing their audiences. The phenomenon even birthed midnight theater showings in New York and Los Angeles, along with a red carpet for the latter. “Sharknado 2″ was immediately greenlit, and fans got to name the sequel. Next year’s “Sharknado 2: The Second One,” will terrorize New York. --Tony Maglio
Loser: First Casualties of the Fall
Remember “Lucky 7″ or “We Are Men”? No? Well that makes sense, because they each only aired two episodes this fall before getting the ax. “Lucky 7″ had the worst fall drama debut in ABC history, earning a 1.3 in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic. Its second — and final — episode received a 0.7. Goodbye. “We Are Men” had the lowest comedy debut in CBS history with a 2.0 rating. Adios. –Tony Maglio
Also read: ‘Lucky 7′ Is Fall’s Unluckiest Show
Winner: “Breaking Bad”
In its final season, the methamphetamine epic went from being quietly brilliant to a full-fledged hit. The finale earned 10.3 million viewers, up nearly 4 million over its previous high. What those viewers saw was perfection: Teacher-turned-meth kingpin Walter White mowed down a Nazi ranch in one of the greatest TV endings of all time. Sweeter still, the show got its due while it was still on the air, winning the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series on the Sunday night before its final cook. –Tim Molloy
Loser: Paula Deen
America’s butter queen, Paula Deen, suffered a career meltdown when a lawsuit filed by a former employee unearthed the fact that she had previously used the N-word. After awkward apologies failed to quell the growing outrage, Deen’s business associates crumbled away like the crust of a shoddily constructed pumpkin pie. The Food Network, Walmart, Target and a host of others cut ties to Deen, who was ultimately cleared of the racial discrimination claim in the lawsuit, which was eventually resolved. –Tim Kenneally
Jay Leno might need to drop the ratings jokes from his monologue: This fall, NBC is the top-rated network in the key 18-49 demographic, and is No. 2 behind CBS in total viewers. It can thank “The Voice,” “The Blacklist” and “Sunday Night Football,” TV’s biggest show. But there’s a caveat to NBC’s success: It was also the top-rated network this time last year. Once the football season ended, it fell hard to third place. –Tim Molloy
After two-and-a-half-years of intense scrutiny, OWN declared itself profitable earlier this year. Founder Oprah Winfrey has admitted that those formative years were far more difficult than she had expected. But, it grew through a series of smart partnerships (including with Tyler Perry), more airtime for Winfrey, and by honing in on black female viewers. –Jethro Nededog
Loser: Alec Baldwin
Alec Baldwin’s temper — particularly when directed at the paparazzi — has been making headlines for some time now, but this month it cost him a job. Baldwin’s recently launched MSNBC talk show, “Up Late With Alec Baldwin” — which already suffered from lackluster ratings — received a two-week suspension after Baldwin was recorded going off on a paparazzo with homophobic flair. The time-out turned into a permanent vacation when the actor and the network agreed to what they said was a mutual parting. On the plus side, Baldwin now has time to play more Words With Friends. --Tim Kenneally
Winner: Miley Cyrus
Say what you will about Miley Cyrus — she knows how to get attention. And after all, isn’t that the goal of any modern pop star? Cyrus, who caused a national case of the vapors during her MTV VMAs twerknado, upped the outrage meter by appearing to smoke a joint while accepting an EMA. The “Wrecking Ball” singer grabbed attention once again at the American Music Awards — by performing with a giant kitten on the video screen behind her. –Tim Kenneally
Winner: “The Walking Dead”
AMC’s zombie drama finished out its third season in the spring as the top-rated show on TV, aside from football. No cable show has ever accomplished that before. The show’s current fourth season is faring even better, ratings-wise, and AMC is planning a spinoff. You can quibble with plot points, but there’s no escaping the fact that the walkers are devouring TV. –Tim Molloy
Also read: ‘Walking Dead’ Is in ‘Lost’ Mode
Winner: “The Talk”
“The Talk” has been steadily climbing as its main competition, “The View,” has dipped a touch. “The Talk” on CBS is averaging just one-tenth lower ratings (1.1/7) than “The View” (1.2/8) season-to-date in their shared target market, women 25-54. Last season the gap was three-tenths. Eyeballs-wise, the ABC league-leader carries 2.9 million viewers, versus 2.8 million for “The Talk.” Last year at this time, “The Talk” trailed “The View” by more than one million viewers. This season, the gap is less than 200,000. –Tim Kenneally
Winner: Shonda Rhimes
After a couple years of setbacks (“Off the Map” was canceled in 2011, as was “Private Practice” earlier this year), writer and producer Shonda Rhimes finds herself back on top again. “Scandal” keeps fans glued to their TVs on Thursdays, and “Grey’s Anatomy” is holding on after 10 seasons. Rhimes recently announced that she has landed a book deal with Simon Schuster. –Jethro Nededog
Winner: Dan Harmon
After much drama following NBC’s ouster of the “Community” co-creator, Harmon finds himself in the driver’s seat again with Season 5. The move was supported by the show’s hardcore fans, cast and the critics. The crazy spark was gone on Season 4, but everyone looks forward to Harmon re-igniting the flame. Meanwhile, he has a new animated show on Adult Swim, “Rick and Morty,” about a genius kook and his grandson’s adventures through time and space. It promises to make up for the year TV had no Harmon. –Jethro Nededog
The post Best & Worst 2013: TV’s Biggest Winners and Losers of the Year appeared first on TheWrap.
A version of this story first appeared in OscarWrap: Actors
Julia Louis-Dreyfus is the only actress to win Emmys for three different television series (“Seinfeld,” “The New Adventures of Old Christine” and “Veep”), but her movie career has always been sporadic – and, except for voice-over work in animated films, nonexistent for the last decade and a half.
But Louis-Dreyfus changed that with her sharp, funny turn in Nicole Holofcener’s “Enough Said,” an affecting comedy in which she plays a divorced mom who finds that she has to hide a pretty big secret to keep her new romance alive.
Co-starring with another TV icon, the late James Gandolfini, Louis-Dreyfus is appealing and understandable as a character who makes bad and occasionally inexplicable decisions – as Alonso Duralde wrote on TheWrap, “She’s a master of squirm-inducing comedy, but rarely has she gotten to play a character with such a variety of tones … Louis-Dreyfus never allows the character to become so awful that we don’t root for her happiness.”
Except for voice-over work, you haven’t made a film in 16 years. Why not?
Well, you know, I was doing all these TV shows. And I had two children, both of whom were born during the “Seinfeld” run. So I was busy raising them, and my downtime was limited, and I didn’t want to be going off to location making films. And in addition to that, there aren’t gobs and gobs of interesting roles for women over the age of 35 in the film business.
And the reason I was able to do “Enough Said” is that I had just finished season one of “Veep,” which was only eight episodes, and so my time opened up. And this particular movie was shot in L.A., so I went home every night. A lot of things about it made it very doable, and irresistible because the script was such a cut above anything I had read in quite a long time.
Since you hadn’t been doing films, did you have to talk your way into a meeting with Nicole Holofcener?
I had to talk my way in a tiny bit. It was one of those get-to-know-each-other meetings, and it went really well. We just immediately connected in that moment, and I think it was pretty much a done deal after that.
We started talking about the script right away, and our kids, and our relationship with our children. And my husband and I had taken our oldest son off to college, and that was this massive moment in our family’s life. We talked about the dynamics of that, and I think I probably burst into tears as we were talking about it. Which I think pretty much secured me the gig at that point.
Your character spends much of the movie hanging onto a pretty devastating secret that is bound to come out and destroy two relationships. Did you struggle to understand why she acted that way?
I got it totally. That doesn’t mean I would do this kind of thing, but I got the anguish of it, and I understood the fear of loneliness, and how that sort of hijacked her. What is that movie where they take over your body?
“Invasion of the Body Snatchers.”
Yeah, like “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” I totally got that, and sympathized with it. Listen, really good, nice human beings are capable of doing bad, nasty, insensitive things. She means well, though.
You insisted on putting in a scene where she almost tells James Gandolfini’s character her secret.
Yeah, I did. That was really important to me. You need to see her fighting that thing in herself, and failing. I think it makes her more understandable. So she tried, but then he slays her with a joke he makes, which is why she stops. Where do you go from there? Well, you could tell the truth.
But then you wouldn’t have a movie.
Your paths must have crossed with James Gandolfini before this, maybe at the Emmys or something.
I just met him socially, maybe twice. And we met for earnest on this movie, and became fast friends. I think he really understood the part, although he was very much like, “Why am I playing a guy who gets the girl? I don’t get it.”
He was very dismissive and self-deprecating, and kept saying to me and Nicole, “If you want to recast this, I get it.” That made him much more sort of strangely fall-in-lovable, that he would be so insecure. But that’s who he was. For somebody who was so extraordinary as an actor, he was so questioning, and hard on himself about his abilities.
Did he see any of the finished film?
He only saw bits and pieces in ADR. But he never saw the final version, which is a tremendous shame. It’s absolutely bizarre to be talking about this movie without him sitting here.
The final scene could very easily feel wrong, but somehow it walked a very fine line and ended on a perfect note.
I’m so glad you said that, because we really worked on that. We discussed it in great length — what is the tone of this moment going to be? We tried different things, but when we nailed it, it was somewhat improvised. And Jim and I got up off that stoop, and walked into the house and just fell into each other’s arms. We were very emotional, a little bit weepy, because we both felt as if we’d nailed it. And in fact, that very take is what Nicole used.
Do you plan to be more involved in movies now?
Yeah, I think so – when great material comes along. It’s hard to find really great stuff, and I’m seriously spoiled now. I mean, “Veep” is so crazy good, and so well-written. And then this movie.
And, frankly, I’m in the luxurious position of not having to do anything. That sounded really spoiled the way I said it, and I didn’t mean to sound like that. But I really am in a fortunate position, and so it’s just a question of finding that little treasure.
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Snapchat has filed for a restraining order against Reggie Brown, the start-up’s ousted co-founder who claims Snapchat owes him millions dollars.
The Venice, Calif.-based company accused Brown and his legal team of leaking confidential information to the press, citing videos of deposition that landed on Business Insider.
Brown’s legal counsel admitted it leaked Business Insider the videos, but claimed it had the right to do so.
Snapchat is angry because “these materials include, among other things, Snapchat’s highly confidential financial and investment information, current and future business plans, and personal, private communications of both the parties and third parties, which are entitled to privacy protections under the California Constitution.”
In other words, they leave Snapchat vulnerable.
“The requested relief is necessary to prevent great or irreparable injury to Snapchat,” the request for a temporary restraining order states.
Brown is suing Snapchat, an app for sending temporary videos and photos, claiming that he invented the idea of disappearing messages.
Snapchat, now valued in the billions of dollars, has resisted overtures from several tech giants who wanted to buy it, and is looking to raise even more money.
Snapchat believes Brown and his team violated a protective order in making these disclosures. If the restraining order is granted, Brown and his legal team will face numerous punishments, including fines and sanctions.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.
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Netflix has acquired exclusive streaming rights to Greg Whiteley’s “Mitt,” a documentary following former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s race for the 2012 presidency, the company announced Monday.
The documentary will premiere at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival on January 17 and be available for streaming on Netflix in all territories January 24.
“Mitt” adds to the streaming company’s growing slate of original and exclusive documentaries. Netflix announced in November that it had obtained rights to “The Square,” a controversial documentary focusing on the events in Cairo’s Tahrir Square during the Egyptian uprising and Arab Spring.
Whiteley, who had previously directed “New York Doll” and “Resolved,” was given intimate access into the Romney campaign and lives of the family members beginning at Christmas 2006 and spanning through the former governor’s unsuccessful run for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination and losing bid in the 2012 general election.
“Greg Whiteley’s Mitt provides viewers a surprising level of access into a fascinating world,” Netflix vice president of original documentary and comedy Lisa Nishimura said in a statement. “This rare inside look at Mitt Romney and his family as he runs for president showcases a unique kind of storytelling, one which takes the viewer well beyond the politics.”
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Kathy Griffin’s upcoming 20th comedy special on Bravo has earned the comedian a Guinness world record for “Most Stand-Up Specials by a Comedian.”
Appropriately titled, “Kathy Griffin: Record Breaker,” the special will air Wednesday, Dec. 18 at 8/7c on Bravo.
In a statement, the every-modest Griffin referred to herself jokingly as the “Yeezus of stand-up comedy” and a “comedic god.”
She later came back down to earth with the following: “Look folks, I hope you laugh a lot at this special. I had a blast making it and I’m truly honored to have been inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records.”
The special was shot before a sold-out audience at San Antonio’s Majestic Theatre. In it, she does her usual tackling of the day’s news, politics and celebrities. This time, she goes after Miley Cyrus and twerking, Texas governor Rick Perry, Justin Bieber and returns with new stories about her 93-year-old mother, Maggie.
It’s produced by RickMill Productions with Griffin, Kimber Rickabaugh and Paul Miller serving as executive producers.
Watch a couple previews from the special above and below.
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The New York Film Academy has released an infographic highlighting persistent differences between women and men’s on-screen portrayals and employment opportunities behind the scenes in Hollywood. NYFA culled data from a number of studies and sources including Forbes, Indiewire, and other film schools.
Though there are a few questions the graphic leaves unanswered. For instance, if 10 percent of films are half female, are the rest mostly male, or a combination of male and female? What constitutes “sexually revealing clothes” for men — going shirtless? Exposed genitalia?
The study nevertheless points to an unresolved gender imbalance in the entertainment industry, even as powerful female directors like Kathryn Bigelow and positive female characters like Olivia Pope (“Scandal”) and Katniss Everdeen of the “Hunger Games” series loom large on the big and small screens.
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Erica Huggins has been promoted to president of Imagine Entertainment, chairmen Brian Grazer and Ron Howard announced with co-chairman Michael Rosenberg on Monday.
Rosenberg was president until being upped to co-chair last month.
Huggins has worked at Imagine since 2004, working on films such as “J. Edgar,” “Rush” and “Restless.” She became co-president of production in 2010, and is currently producing the James Brown biopic “Get on Up” and executive producing Howard’s next directorial effort, “The Heart of the Sea.”
“For nearly 10 years Erica has proven to have true talent as a filmmaker,” Grazer said in a statement. “She has been a valued part of the Imagine team in helping design film strategy for our future. Her unique sensibility and tenacity with writers, directors and studio executives has served Imagine well.”
Grazer, Howard and Rosenberg have spent the past couple of years reshaping Imagine for a new generation, and promoting Huggins is a key part of that.
Howard praised her “impeccable taste,” while Rosenberg described her as a “natural leader.”
Prior to joining Imagine, Huggins worked at Interscope and Radar Pictures. She was a film editor before becoming a producer, working on “Hairspray,” “Crybaby” and “Serial Mom.”
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NBC’s “Sound of Music Live” topped Nielsen’s Twitter TV Ratings for last week.
With all the people on social media clamoring around NBC’s gutsy “Sound of Music Live,” it was expected to rank high on Nielsen’s weekly Twitter ratings.
What’s interesting is that it topped the list with about 449,000 tweets compared to “The Voice’s” 1.2 million. What that means is that more people saw tweets for the “Sound of Music Live” than “The Voice,” making the actual unique audience higher. Either way, it’s a win-win for NBC with its programs ranking first and second for the week.
The top Twitter position further adds to the success of “Sound of Music Live.” Starring country singer Carrie Underwood and “True Blood’s” Stephen Moyer, the musical program gave NBC its biggest Thursday ratings since the “ER” finale in 2009. The holiday special earned a 4.6 rating/13 share in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic, and 18.5 million viewers overall.
CBS’s “Grammy Nominations Concert Live” came in third place on Nielsen’s Twitter rankings for the week. That was followed by the “CMA Country Christmas” special and FX’s “American Horror Story: Coven” in fourth and fifth places, respectively.
See the full Top 10 from Nielsen SocialGuide for last week below.
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Ron Burgundy is a legend in his own right, but according to CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Wolf Blitzer and Chris Cuomo, he’s also kind of a jerk.
“On camera he’s one of the best,” Cuomo says in the Funny or Die video (above). “But off camera, he’s a bit of an asshole.”
“A major prick,” Blitzer adds.
All three actual newsman are, of course, in awe of his signature mustache, among other characteristics of the fake anchor who Will Ferrell first brought to life in 2004′s “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.”
“The truth is when I first graduated from college and I started reporting, I was just doing my best Ron Burgundy impression,” Cooper says. “I mean everyone was back then. The mustache — the whole persona.”
Paramount is releasing “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” in theaters on Dec. 18.
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Michael Fassbender’s “Frank,” Keira Knightley’s “Laggies,” Ryan Reynolds’ “The Voices” and “The Raid 2″ highlight the 2014 Sundance Film Festival’s lineup of premieres along with documentaries about Whitey Bulger, Roger Ebert, Fela Kuti, Mitt Romney, Jerry Sandusky and George Takei.
“The Premieres and Documentary Premieres sections of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival feature new work from many established independent filmmakers who began their careers at our Festival years ago, which allows us to reflect on the impact, legacy and growth of the independent film movement over the past 30 years,” said John Cooper, director of the Sundance Film Festival.
“In many of the films selected for our 2014 Sundance Film Festival, we see fascinating characters and subjects throughout. Whether portrayed by recognized actors taking on more challenging and diverse roles, or in the stranger-than-fiction reality of our documentaries, we look forward to sharing these incredible stories with audiences at our festival,” added Trevor Groth, director of programming for the festival.
Here’s the full lineup:
Entertainment Weekly presents a showcase of world premieres of some of the most highly anticipated dramatic films of the coming year.
Calvary / Ireland, United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: John Michael McDonagh) — “Calvary” is a blackly comedic drama about a priest tormented by his community. Father James is a good man intent on making the world a better place. When his life is threatened one day during confession, he finds he has to battle the dark forces closing in around him. Cast: Brendan Gleeson, Chris O’Dowd, Kelly Reilly, Aidan Gillen, Dylan Moran, Marie-Josée Croz.
Frank (pictured above) / Ireland, United Kingdom (Director: Lenny Abrahamson, Screenwriters: Jon Ronson, Peter Straughan) — “Frank” is an offbeat comedy about a wannabe musician who finds himself out of his depth when he joins an avant garde rock band led by the enigmatic Frank—a musical genius who hides himself inside a large fake head. Cast: Michael Fassbender, Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Scoot McNairy.
Hits / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: David Cross) — A small town in upstate New York is populated by people who wallow in unrealistic expectations. There, fame, delusion, earnestness, and recklessness meet, shake hands, and disrupt the lives around them. Cast: Meredith Hagner, Matt Walsh, James Adomian, Jake Cherry Derek Waters, Wyatt Cenac.
I Origins / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Mike Cahill) — A molecular biologist and his lab partner uncover startling evidence that could fundamentally change society as we know it and cause them to question their once-certain beliefs in science and spirituality. Cast: Michael Pitt, Brit Marling, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Steven Yeun, Archie Panjabi.
Laggies / U.S.A. (Director: Lynn Shelton, Screenwriter: Andrea Seigel) — “Laggies” is a coming of age story about a 28-year-old woman stuck in permanent adolescence. Unable to find her career calling, still hanging out with the same friends, and living with her high school boyfriend, Megan must finally navigate her own future when an unexpected marriage proposal sends her into a panic. Cast: Keira Knightley, Sam Rockwell, Chloë Grace Moretz, Ellie Kemper, Jeff Garlin, Mark Webber
Little Accidents / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Sara Colangelo) — In a small American coal town living in the shadow of a recent mining accident, the disappearance of a teenage boy draws three people together—a surviving miner, the lonely wife of a mine executive, and a local boy—in a web of secrets. Cast: Elizabeth Banks, Boyd Holbrook, Chloë Sevigny, Jacob Lofland, Josh Lucas.
Love is Strange / U.S.A. (Director: Ira Sachs, Screenwriters: Ira Sachs, Mauricio Zacharias) — After 39 years together, Ben and George finally tie the knot, but George loses his job as a result, and the newlyweds must sell their New York apartment and live apart, relying on friends and family to make ends meet. Cast: John Lithgow, Alfred Molina, Marisa Tomei, Darren Burrows, Charlie Tahan, Cheyenne Jackson.
A Most Wanted Man / Germany, U.S.A. (Director: Anton Corbijn, Screenwriter: Andrew Bovell) — Based on John le Carré’s bestselling book, Anton Corbijn directs this modern-day thriller with Academy Award–winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright, and two-time Academy Award nominee Willem Dafoe headlining an ensemble cast. Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe, Robin Wright.
Nick Offerman: American Ham / U.S.A. (Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts, Screenwriter: Nick Offerman) — WARNING: MINOR NUDITY AND NOT SUITABLE FOR VEGETARIANS. This live taping of Nick Offerman’s hilarious one-man show at New York’s historic Town Hall theater features a collection of anecdotes, songs, and woodworking/oral sex techniques. The routine includes Offerman’s 10 tips for living a more prosperous life, so hearken well. Cast: Nick Offerman.
The One I Love / U.S.A. (Director: Charlie McDowell, Screenwriter: Justin Lader) — Struggling with a marriage on the brink of falling apart, a couple escapes for the weekend in pursuit of their better selves, only to discover an unusual dilemma waiting for them. Cast: Mark Duplass, Elisabeth Moss, Ted Danson.
The Raid 2 / Indonesia (Director and screenwriter: Gareth Evans) — Picking up where the first film left off, “The Raid 2″ follows Rama as he goes undercover and infiltrates the ranks of a ruthless Jakarta crime syndicate in order to protect his family and expose the corruption in his own police force. Cast: Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian, Arifin Putra, Oka Antara, Tio Pakusadewo, Alex Abbad.
Rudderless / U.S.A. (Director: William H. Macy, Screenwriters: Casey Twenter, Jeff Robison, William H. Macy) — When a grieving father in a downward spiral stumbles upon a box of his deceased son’s original music, he forms a rock ‘n’ roll band, which changes his life. Cast: Billy Crudup, Anton Yelchin, Felicity Huffman, Selena Gomez, Laurence Fishburne, William H. Macy. CLOSING NIGHT FILM
They Came Together / U.S.A. (Director: David Wain, Screenwriters: Michael Showalter, David Wain) — This subversion/spoof/deconstruction of the romantic comedy genre has a vaguely, but not overtly, Jewish leading man, a klutzy, but adorable, leading lady, and New York City itself as another character in the story. Cast: Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Ed Helms, Cobie Smulders, Max Greenfield, Christopher Meloni.
The Trip to Italy / United Kingdom (Director: Michael Winterbottom, Screenwriters: Rob Brydon, Steve Coogan, Michael Winterbottom) — Michael Winterbottom reunites Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon for more delectable food, some sharp-elbowed rivalry, and plenty of laughs. Cast: Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon.
The Voices / U.S.A., Germany (Director: Marjane Satrapi, Screenwriter: Michael Perry) — This genre-bending tale centers around Jerry Hickfang, a lovable but disturbed factory worker who yearns for attention from a woman in accounting. When their relationship takes a sudden, murderous turn, Jerry’s evil talking cat and benevolent talking dog lead him down a fantastical path where he ultimately finds salvation. Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Gemma Arterton, Anna Kendrick, Jacki Weaver.
White Bird in a Blizzard / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Gregg Araki) — Based on the acclaimed novel by Laura Kasischke, “White Bird in a Blizzard” tells the story of Kat Connors, a young woman whose life is turned upside down by the sudden disappearance of her beautiful, enigmatic mother. Cast: Shailene Woodley, Eva Green, Christopher Meloni, Shiloh Fernandez, Gabourey Sidibe, Thomas Jane.
Young Ones / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Jake Paltrow) — When a series of events is set into motion, altering his young life forever, Jerome is forced to make choices that no child should ever have to make. Cast: Michael Shannon, Nicholas Hoult, Elle Fanning, Kodi Smit-McPhee.
Renowned filmmakers and films about far-reaching subjects comprise this section highlighting our ongoing commitment to documentaries. Each film is a world premiere.
The Battered Bastards of Baseball / U.S.A. (Directors: Chapman Way, Maclain Way) — Hollywood veteran Bing Russell creates the only independent baseball team in the country—alarming the baseball establishment and sparking the meteoric rise of the 1970s Portland Mavericks.
Finding Fela / U.S.A. (Director: Alex Gibney) — Fela Anikulapo Kuti created the musical movement Afrobeat and used it as a political forum to oppose the Nigerian dictatorship and advocate for the rights of oppressed people. This is the story of his life, music, and political importance.
Freedom Summer / U.S.A. (Director: Stanley Nelson) — In the summer of 1964, more than 700 students descended on violent, segregated Mississippi. Defying authorities, they registered voters, created freedom schools, and established the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. Fifty years later, eyewitness accounts and never-before-seen archival material tell their story. Not all of them would make it through.
Happy Valley / U.S.A. (Director: Amir Bar-Lev) — The children of “Happy Valley” were victimized for years, by a key member of the legendary Penn State college football program. But were Jerry Sandusky’s crimes an open secret? With rare access, director Amir Bar-Lev delves beneath the headlines to tell a modern American parable of guilt, redemption, and identity.
Last Days in Vietnam / U.S.A. (Director: Rory Kennedy) — During the chaotic final weeks of the Vietnam War, the North Vietnamese Army closes in on Saigon as the panicked South Vietnamese people desperately attempt to escape. On the ground, American soldiers and diplomats confront a moral quandary: whether to obey White House orders to evacuate only U.S. citizens.
Life Itself / U.S.A. (Director: Steve James) — “Life Itself” recounts the surprising and entertaining life of renowned film critic and social commentator Roger Ebert. The film details his early days as a freewheeling bachelor and Pulitzer Prize winner, his famously contentious partnership with Gene Siskel, his life-altering marriage, and his brave and transcendent battle with cancer.
Mitt / U.S.A. (Director: Greg Whiteley) — A filmmaker is granted unprecedented access to a political candidate and his family as he runs for President.
This May Be the Last Time / U.S.A. (Director: Sterlin Harjo) — Filmmaker Sterlin Harjo’s Grandfather disappeared mysteriously in 1962. The community searching for him sang songs of encouragement that were passed down for generations. Harjo explores the origins of these songs as well as the violent history of his people.
To Be Takei / U.S.A. (Director: Jennifer Kroot) — Over seven decades, actor and activist George Takei journeyed from a World War II internment camp to the helm of the Starship Enterprise, and then to the daily news feeds of five million Facebook fans. Join George and his husband, Brad, on a wacky and profound trek for life, liberty, and love.
We Are The Giant / U.S.A., United Kingdom (Director: Greg Barker) — “We Are The Giant” tells the stories of ordinary individuals who are transformed by the moral and personal challenges they encounter when standing up for what they believe is right. Powerful and tragic, yet inspirational, their struggles for freedom echo across history and offer hope against seemingly impossible odds.
WHITEY: United States of America v. James J. Bulger / U.S.A. (Director: Joe Berlinger) — Infamous gangster James “Whitey” Bulger’s relationship with the FBI and Department of Justice allowed him to reign over a criminal empire in Boston for decades. Joe Berlinger’s documentary chronicles Bulger’s recent sensational trial, using it as a springboard to explore allegations of corruption within the highest levels of law enforcement.
The premieres and documentary premieres will screen out-of-competition at Sundance, which runs from Jan. 16-26 in Utah.
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Christian Bale took a box-office belly flop with the $5.3 million opening of Relativity’s “Out of the Furnace” this weekend, but that’s no reason for him to be too down.
“American Hustle,” in which Bale plays a middle-aged New Jersey con artist, should do fine when it opens on Christmas Day. And distributor Relativity Media had pre-sold most of the foreign rights on the $22 million “Out of the Furnace” before the opening.
But the fact is, Bale is in some pretty good company this fall.
Ben Affleck, Ridley Scott, Javier Bardem, Michael Fassbender, Cameron Diaz, Vince Vaughn, Scarlett Johansson and Justin Timberlake have all been marquee names on recent misfires. And so have Jason Statham, Forest Whitaker, Spike Lee, Sly Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Not every movie connects, of course – what fun would that be?
This summer set a record as the highest-grossing ever, but pricey bombs like “The Lone Ranger,” “White House Down” and “R.I.P.D.” proved nearly as memorable as the blockbuster hits. Nothing this fall has landed with the megabudget thuds that those films did, but there have been plenty of mid- to low-budget movies that tanked.
Since the last weekend in September, nine movies that went out in more than 2,000 theaters have failed to hit $10 million on their opening weekends. That’s not much bang for some considerable distribution buck.
If there’s a common thread, it might be the R-rating that seven of the nine had, and five of them were action films.
It’s worth noting that fall isn’t the time of year that studios typically launch films with major box office potential. And not every movie’s budget plan calls for a major killing at the box office, since DVD and streaming revenue can be a key factor. But with names like those and significant distribution platforms, these movies should have done better.
Fox Searchlight’s PG-13-rated romantic comedy “Baggage Claim” received an “A-” CinemaScore, but that was the exception. None of the other movies were real crowd-pleasers, or connected particularly well with critics.
“The star system doesn’t work the way it once did,’ said Box Office.com editor-in-chief Phil Contrino. “When it comes to picking a movie to see in theaters, people are more concerned about the content than who is in it. Clearly those films didn’t connect on that level.”
DreamWorks and Disney’s PG-rated sperm donor comedy “Delivery Man” received a B+ CinemaScore, but that didn’t keep it from opening with under $8 million on more than 3,000 screens. It has rallied and held well the last couple of weeks, and has nearly matched its $26 million budget in box office now.
Director Scott’s “The Counselor” received a rare “D” from normally easy-grading audiences, in line with its lousy (35 percent fresh) Rotten Tomatoes score. With Fassbender, Bardem and Diaz – not to mention Brad Pitt, Penelope Cruz and a Cormac McCarthy script – you’d think it would have no problem matching its $25 million production budget. But it’s at $16.8 million domestically after opening to $7.8 million.
“Runner Runner” had a 2013 Oscar winner (Affleck) and one of the planet’s biggest pop stars (Timberlake), but managed just $7.7 million in its opening for Fox. It’s at $19 million domestically – just over half of its production budget – but has taken in $43 million overseas.
Relativity’s Joseph Gordon-Levitt porn comedy “Don Jon” was always going to be tricky to market, given its subject matter. The critics liked it, but the audiences didn’t get what they were looking for and gave it just a “C+” CinemaScore. It’s up to $24 million domestically since opening at $8.6 million, and should have a healthy home entertainment after-life.
Some other fall wide openers that didn’t connect were Lionsgate’s Stallone-Schwarzenegger prison thriller “Escape Plan” (up to $28 million domestically after opening to $9.8 million), Open Road’s Danny Trejo mayhem mash-up “Machete Kills” (at $8 million after a $3.8 million debut) and the thriller “Homefront” (at $15.2 million after a $6.9 million opening).
Some other big names have shown you didn’t need a wide release to be a disappointment this fall.
Benedict Cumberbatch came and went quickly in Disney’s torn-from-the-headlines Wikileaks tale “The Fifth Estate,” which failed to crack $2 million on 1,769 theaters.
Jennifer Hudson, Forest Whitaker and Mary J. Blige couldn’t save “Black Nativity,” which opened to less than $4 million in 1,525 theaters.
And FilmDistrict’s final release before it’s absorbed by Focus Features was Spike Lee’s remake of a South Korean cult film, “Oldboy.” On 583 theaters, it couldn’t break $1 million.
Does that make you feel a little better, Christian Bale?
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“12 Years a Slave,” “Gravity,” “American Hustle” and “The Wolf of Wall Street” have made the American Film Institute’s list of 2013’s best films, the AFI announced on Monday.
Also on the list: “Her,” “Saving Mr. Banks,” “Captain Phillips,” “Inside Llewyn Davis,” “Nebraska” and “Fruitvale Station.”
The AFI film list, which is chosen by juries of professionals chaired by Tom Pollock, included most of the films considered the strongest contenders in this year’s awards race. While both David O. Russell’s “American Hustle” and Martin Scorsese’s “Wolf of Wall Street” were latecomers to the race that missed out on some critics awards, both landed on the AFI list.
Among the awards hopefuls missing from the list were “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” “August: Osage County,” “Rush,” “All Is Lost,” “Blue Jasmine” and “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.”
Last year, eight of the nine Oscar Best Picture nominees, including winner “Argo,” also made the AFI list. Only “Amour” was nominated by the Oscars but not recognized by the AFI – but it was ineligible for the latter group’s list because it was foreign-made.
The AFI’s list of the 10 best television shows, which were chosen by a jury chaired by Rich Frank, included Emmy winner “Breaking Bad,” as well as “Game of Thrones,” “House of Cards” and “Veep.”
Also: “The Americans,” “The Good Wife,” “Mad Men,” “Masters of Sex,” “Orange Is the New Black” and “Scandal.”
Awards for the top films and television shows will be presented at a luncheon on Jan. 10, 2014 in Los Angeles.
AFI MOVIES OF THE YEAR
12 YEARS A SLAVE
INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
SAVING MR. BANKS
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET
AFI TV PROGRAMS OF THE YEAR
GAME OF THRONES
THE GOOD WIFE
HOUSE OF CARDS
MASTERS OF SEX
ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK
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