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  • 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

  • Monday, Dec. 30, 2013
"12 Years a Slave" (Image from Fox Searchlight).
MILAN (AP) -- 

The Italian distributor of the film "12 Years A Slave" has apologized for promotional posters attacked as racist for featuring Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender, despite their relatively minor roles, and not the film's star, Chiwetel Ejiofor.

BIM Distribuzione said in a statement Monday the "inappropriate materials have now been withdrawn" and expressed "regret any distraction this incident may have caused." BIM said the new posters feature only Ejiofor, who has been nominated for a Golden Globe for his portrayal of a freed black man who is abducted and sold into slavery.

The distributor said the posters featuring Pitt and Fassbender were aimed at "giving wide representation of what is told in the film itself."

The film by director Steve McQueen opens in February in Italy.

  • Friday, Dec. 27, 2013
HERMOSA BEACH, Calif. (AP) -- 

A producer of TV's "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" and writer-director of "Above the Rim" has died.

Police say Jeffrey Ian Pollack was found collapsed early Monday morning in the Greenbelt jogging area of Hermosa Beach, about 20 miles southwest of Los Angeles. Pollack was 54.

Authorities said Thursday they do not suspect foul play. Pollack was wearing jogging clothes and carrying an iPod when a passer-by discovered him and contacted police.

Pollack produced several seasons of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," as well as a Jennifer Lopez concert documentary. Besides "Above the Rim," Pollack directed the films "Booty Call" and "Lost & Found."

  • Friday, Dec. 27, 2013
In this Feb. 25, 2012 file photo, a Oscar statue is seen on the red carpet before the 84th Academy Awards in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Oscar voters, start your ballots.

Voting begins Friday for 2014's Academy Awards nominees. Members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are invited to cast secret ballots for their favorite film work from the past year until Jan. 8, 2014.

The academy is offering electronic voting for the second consecutive year. It announced last week that 289 feature films are eligible for best-picture consideration.

Nominations for the 86th Academy Awards will be announced Jan. 16.

Ellen DeGeneres will host the ceremony when the Oscars are presented on March 2.

  • Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Research firm eMarketer expects spending on mobile advertisements to hit nearly $9.6 billion in the U.S. this year, up from $4.4 billion in 2012 and from less than $1.6 billion in 2011 as Facebook and Google barrel ahead.

Mobile ads now represent nearly 23 percent of the money companies spend on digital advertising, or ads people see on their computers, tablets and mobile phones. That's up from about 12 percent last year and less than 5 percent in 2011.

Facebook, which began showing mobile ads in 2012 and Google, which has by far the biggest share of the digital advertising market, account for much of this growth. EMarketer expects Facebook Inc. to surpass Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc. when it comes to digital ad revenue this year, trailing only Google Inc. That's faster than it had predicted earlier.

Google is expected to take a 40 percent share of the digital ad market this year, compared with 7.4 percent for Facebook, 5.9 More

  • Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Facebook said Tuesday that it's testing video advertisements that show up in its users' news feeds, creating another potential source of advertising revenue for the social network.

Under the current plan, the advertisements automatically start playing without sound when they appear. Users can click on a video to view it with sound, or scroll past it if they're not interested.

Facebook said it's been testing the silent auto-playing videos for video content shared between Facebook users since September, and has since seen a 10 percent increase in the number of videos watched, liked, shared and commented on.

Facebook said the new format will allow its advertisers to reach a large number of people in a short amount of time, while also improving the quality of advertisements its users see in their news feeds.

The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company emphasized that the idea is still in the More

  • Monday, Dec. 16, 2013
LOS ANGELES -- 

The Publicists of the International Cinematographers Guild (IATSE Local 600) have announced nominees in five categories, with the winners to be announced at their 51st Annual Awards Luncheon to be held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on Friday, February 28, 2014.

Nominees for the Les Mason Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest honor they can bestow on one of their members, are Sharon Black, director of written communications, Warner Bros. Pictures; Maureen O'Malley, senior staff publicist, Warner Bros. Pictures International; Michael Singer, VP marketing and publicity, Jerry Bruckheimer Films; Murray Weissman, founder/chairman of Weissman/Markovitz Communications; and Deborah Wuliger, unit publicist.

Nominees for the Press Award honoring members of the American media are Ed Douglas, ComingSoon(.)net; Michael Fleming, Deadline Hollywood; Tim Gray, Senior Vice President, Variety; Jeff Jensen, More

  • Monday, Dec. 16, 2013
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Harvey and Bob Weinstein are reuniting with the film company they founded, with plans already in the works to capitalize on their old movie library.

The Weinstein Co. announced Monday that it will produce and distribute films and TV shows based on Miramax's library of hundreds of titles. The Weinsteins plan to develop TV series based on the films "Good Will Hunting" and "Flirting With Disaster," and are exploring sequels or TV shows based on the cult comedy "Swingers" and the Oscar-winning "Shakespeare in Love."

The Weinsteins founded Miramax in 1979, naming it after their parents, Max and Miriam. They built it into one of the most successful independents in the movie business, churning out many of the hits of 1990s independent cinema ("Pulp Fiction") and a number of award winners ("Chicago").

Miramax was acquired by the Walt Disney Co. in 1993. The Weinsteins left in 2005 to form the Weinstein More

  • Monday, Dec. 16, 2013
This Sept. 22, 2013 file photo shows actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus backstage with the award for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series for her role on "Veep" at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. (Photo by Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

The Television Academy is adding six new members to its Hall of Fame, including former "Seinfeld" star Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Jay Leno.

The academy's Hall of Fame selection committee announced the list of inductees for 2014 on Monday.

Louis-Dreyfus is a four-time Emmy Award winner and Leno is known as the host of the "Tonight Show." They'll be joined by media magnate Rupert Murdoch, writer-producer David E. Kelley and network executive Brandon Stoddard.

Sound pioneer Ray Dolby will be inducted posthumously.

The new Hall of Fame members will be honored at a Beverly Hills ceremony in March.

Past honorees include Lucille Ball, Walt Disney, Bob Hope and Bill Cosby.

  • Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013
NEW YORK -- 

New York Festivals World’s Best Advertising announced the second round of the 2014 Executive Jury appointments. For the fourth year in a row, the Executive Jury, a “dream team” of 30 elite worldwide chief creative officers will assemble together April 25th – 29th on one panel in New York City to select the World’s Best Advertising across all mediums.

The second round of the 2014 Executive Jury includes:

    * Mike Geiger, President & Chief Integration Officer, JWT North America, USA
    * Ronald Ng, Chief Creative Officer, BBDO & Proximity Singapore, Singapore
    * KV Sridhar, Chief Creative Officer India Sub Continent, Leo Burnett, India
    * Luiz Sanches, Chief Creative Officer & Partner, Almap BBDO, Brazil
    * Erik Vervroegen, International Creative Director, Publicis Worldwide, France

Additional Executive Jury appointments are forthcoming.

“New York Festivals two-tiered judging system More

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