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  • Monday, Jan. 6, 2014
Dish president and CEO Joe Clayton talks to the media during the Dish news conference at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- 

Dish Network Corp. has unveiled a new digital recorder system that can record eight TV shows at once and can be controlled by voice.

In a stunt worthy of the annual gadget show, International CES, Dish executive Vivek Khemka also showed off how its Hopper digital video recorder can be set to record shows using Google's high-tech eyewear, Google Glass.

The eight-show system involves Dish's Hopper DVR and a new Super Joey add-on box for separate rooms. The catch is that four of those shows have to be from the broadcast networks ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox.

Dish also unveiled partnerships with LG Corp. and Sony Corp. so that Hopper users can watch recorded shows in a second room without needing a Joey. Instead, the system uses an app on a smart TV or PlayStation game console.

The announcements Monday at the International CES gadget show come a year after Dish's Hopper with Sling was picked by More

  • Monday, Jan. 6, 2014
PARK CITY, Utah (AP) -- 

Waiting for hours in the cold will no longer be necessary to grab a last-minute ticket at the Sundance Film Festival at Park City.

Organizers have created an electronic wait list to resolve the inconvenience.

It allows festivalgoers to check on ticket availability "from the comfort of your home or wherever you are," David Sabour, Sundance's manager of ticketing systems, told the Deseret News of Salt Lake City (http://bit.ly/1dheLSw). "This is just one of the ways we're looking to improve the guest experience at the festival."

For years, people hoping to squeeze into a theater had to arrive two hours early to grab a number and return again to wait for a chance for a seat.

All that will be a thing of the past when the Sundance Festival opens Jan. 16 for a 10-day run.

Festivalgoers can get on the electronic wait list by opening an account at More

  • Monday, Jan. 6, 2014
This image provided by Roku Inc., shows a screen frame grab of Roku's service. Internet streaming platform company Roku Inc. is launching a line of TVs that plays back video from services like Netflix without requiring an extra set-top box. (AP Photo/Roku Inc.)
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- 

Roku Inc. is launching a line of TVs that play video from services like Netflix without requiring a set-top box. While similar to smart TVs on the market already, the company's Internet streaming platform offers some 1,200 apps and more comprehensive niche content choices.

The Saratoga, Calif.-based streaming set-top box pioneer is partnering with two of the biggest Chinese TV makers in the world, TCL Corp. and Hisense International Co. Ltd. on six models. It plans to showcase them on the sidelines of the annual International CES gadget show in Las Vegas, starting Monday.

The Roku TV will also provide users a way to access feeds from regular live TV providers and to connect to other devices such as Blu-ray disc players.

Roku launched its first streaming video player in May 2008, when the box only played content from Netflix. Since then, the company has sold nearly 8 million units and claims More

  • Monday, Jan. 6, 2014
NEW YORK -- 

NBC's comic institution "Saturday Night Live," criticized recently for a lack of diversity, said on Monday that it was adding a black woman to its repertory cast when new episodes start again later this month.

Sasheer Zamata, who graduated from the University of Virginia in 2008 and has worked with the New York Upright Citizens Brigade comedy troupe, will join for the Jan. 18 episode, for which Drake is the host and the musical guest. Zamata, 27, is from Indianapolis.

The 137 regular cast members who have been part of "Saturday Night Live" since its 1975 debut have been mostly white and have included only four black women. The most recent was biracial Maya Rudolph, who left in 2007. Black men, including Eddie Murphy, Tracy Morgan and Chris Rock, have played more prominent roles.

The lack of a black woman among the 16 regular or featured players became an issue this season when the two black More

  • Monday, Jan. 6, 2014
Lupita Nyong'o arrives at the Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala at the Palm Springs Convention Center on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
LONDON (AP) -- 

Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong'o and "Blue is the Warmest Color" actress Lea Seydoux are among nominees for the British film academy's Rising Star award.

Nyong'o made an acclaimed feature film debut in slavery epic "12 Years a Slave," while Seydoux plays half of a young French lesbian couple in the Cannes festival prize-winner.

Other finalists announced Monday include American actor Dane DeHaan, who plays a troubled poetic muse in Beat Generation saga "Kill Your Darlings."

Two British actors round out the list — George MacKay, who stars in Proclaimers musical "Sunshine on Leith," and Will Poulter of comedy "We're the Millers."

The winner will be decided by public vote and announced during the British Academy Film Awards — Britain's equivalent to the Oscars — on Feb. 16.

  • Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014
This March 31, 1960 file photo shows Juanita Moore, a groundbreaking actress and an Academy Award nominee for her role as Lana Turner's black friend in the classic weeper "Imitation of Life." (AP Photo, file)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Juanita Moore, a groundbreaking actress and an Academy Award nominee for her role as Lana Turner's black friend in the classic weeper "Imitation of Life," has died.

Actor Kirk Kelleykahn, her grandson, said that Moore collapsed and died Wednesday at her home in Los Angeles. She was 99, according to Kelleykahn. Accounts of her age have differed over the years.

Moore was only the fifth black performer to be nominated for an Oscar, receiving the nod for the glossy Douglas Sirk film that became a big hit and later gained a cult following. The 1959 tearjerker, based on a Fannie Hurst novel and a remake of a 1934 film, tells the story of a struggling white actress' rise to stardom, her friendship with a black woman and how they team up to raise their daughters as single mothers.

It brought supporting actress nominations for both Moore and Susan Kohner, who played Moore's daughter as a young adult More

  • Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014
This photo provided by NBC shows James Avery as Philip Banks from season 2 of the TV series, "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." (AP Photo/NBC, Paul Drinkwater)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

James Avery, the bulky character actor who laid down the law at home and on the job as the Honorable Philip Banks in "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," has died.

Avery's publicist, Cynthia Snyder, told The Associated Press that Avery died Tuesday in Glendale, Calif., following complications from open heart surgery. He was 68, Snyder said.

Avery, who stood more than 6 feet tall, played the family patriarch and a wealthy attorney and judge on the popular TV comedy that launched the acting career of Will Smith as Banks' troublemaking nephew.

The sitcom, which aired on NBC from 1990 to 1996, was set in the Banks' mansion, to which Smith's character was sent from Philadelphia when things got tough in his own neighborhood. Fans came to know the imposing Banks as "Uncle Phil."

Avery liked to say that the way to be an actor was to act, and he had a busy and diverse career before, during and after " More

  • Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013
NEW YORK -- 

Be Creative Management (BCM) has signed brand strategist Alicia Johnson. Johnson has been leading entertainment and consumer brand turnarounds for over 20 years.

The CW recently tapped Johnson for brand strategy and naming of their new digital content platform, CW Seed. Launched earlier this year, the new digital “channel” is an incubator for new program content geared to mobile millennials.

Johnson’s strategic leadership of the re-brand of Comedy Central repositioned them from being a TV “channel” into a media company. 

“Alicia is like a brand therapist,” BCM partner, Aaron King said. “Sometimes it’s hard for clients to see the big picture when they're in the trenches.  That’s where Alicia is brilliant.  She devours consumer research, is a dedicated student of the market, and asks questions that lead clients to think of their brand in new ways."

Johnson’s deep agency experience gives her a unique perspective on the More

  • Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013
Joe Ruskin
LOS ANGELES -- 

Stage and screen actor Joseph Ruskin died of natural causes at UCLA Santa Monica on December 28.  He was 89. 

Ruskin was a long serving actors’ union member and officer.  In 1979 he became the first Western Regional Vice President of Actors Equity Association, was on the board of the Screen Actors Guild from 1976-1999 with eight of those years serving as 1st National Vice President and served a decade on AFTRA’s National Board. He was honored for distinguished service by AEA with the Lucy Jordan Award in 2003 and the Patrick Quinn Award in 2013, and by SAG with the Ralph Morgan Award in 2011.

Born in Haverhill, Massachusetts, Ruskin attended high school in Cleveland and enlisted in the Navy in 1942.  He returned to study drama at Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie-Mellon University) and began his professional career at the Pittsburgh Playhouse and the Rochester Arena Stage.  His list of 124 television More

  • Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013
This image released by Crackle shows comedians Louis C.K., left, and Jerry Seinfeld in a scene from Seinfeld's web series talk show "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee." (AP Photo/Crackle)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Jerry Seinfeld loves cars. He's fond of coffee. And, of course, he's a comedian who loves to talk comedy.

But the inspiration for his online talk show, "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" (wherein he and a fellow comedian crack wise while powered by a car and caffeine), was inspired by an episode of his eponymous 1990s sitcom.

In that memorable episode, Jerry's sad-sack pal, George, decided success might await him if he lived his failed life in the opposite manner.

"That," recalls Seinfeld in a recent interview, "gave me the idea to create a talk show that was the opposite of the typical show.

"With a typical talk show," he explains, "you have to go to a studio. You have to tell them in advance what you're going to talk about. You have to dress up. You have to put on makeup. It's very, very organized.

"I thought, maybe there's a different way than being stuck on a couch: Outside More

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