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  • Tuesday, Jul. 28, 2020
Ken Burns, director of the PBS documentary series "Country Music," speaks in a panel discussion during the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour on July 29, 2019, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Burns says he has eight new projects in the works, including deep-dive looks at Benjamin Franklin, Muhammad Ali, Leonard da Vinci and Ernest Hemingway. PBS announced a new online home for all the work of Burns and other documentarians, a subscription streaming service that will start next month. Besides Burns' library, the service will also have work from "NOVA" and "Frontline. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

What do Ernest Hemingway, Muhammad Ali, Benjamin Franklin and Leonardo da Vinci have in common?

All are getting the Ken Burns treatment in the next few years. The PBS documentarian said Tuesday that he has eight projects in the works, half of them in-depth looks at the four personalities. The da Vinci project is the first one Burns has done on a non-American subject, he said.

The next great conflict that the maker of "The Civil War" is turning to is the American Revolutionary War, a project he hopes to have ready in 2025.

He's also doing documentaries on the United States' actions during the Holocaust, the comeback of the buffalo and the history of President Lyndon Johnson's Great Society.

PBS announced an online home for Burns' work and many of its documentary projects. On Aug. 4, the service will launch the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel, available by subscription for $3.99 a month. Past programming on from the "NOVA More

  • Tuesday, Jul. 28, 2020
Shakira, left, and Jennifer Lopez perform during halftime of the NFL Super Bowl 54 football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers in Miami Gardens, Fla. on Feb. 2, 2020. Lopez and Shakira’s show-stopping Super Bowl halftime performance is nominated for four Emmy Awards. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Grammy-winners including Pharrell Williams, the Beastie Boys and Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor have a chance of winning their first-ever honors at the Emmy Awards, where Jennifer Lopez and Shakira's show-stopping halftime show performance also earned multiple nominations.

"Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show Starring Jennifer Lopez And Shakira" picked up four nominations, including outstanding variety special (live). It was not clear if Lopez and Shakira were specifically nominated, though past halftime singers, including Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and Bruno Mars, have earned Emmy nominations as performers. The halftime show also picked up nods for its direction, lighting design and musical direction.

Williams, who has 13 Grammys, is a two-time Oscar nominee and has also competed for a Golden Globe and Daytime Emmy, is nominated for outstanding original music and lyrics for "Letter to My Godfather" from "The Black Godfather," the Netflix documentary More

  • Monday, Jul. 27, 2020
In this Feb. 8, 2020, file photo, Octavia Spencer arrives at the 35th Film Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, Calif. The Oscar-winning actress said Hollywood needs to do better casting people with disabilities. She is part of a video campaign timed with the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act in July. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer says Hollywood needs to do better casting people with disabilities.

The star of "The Help" and "Hidden Figures" is part of a new video campaign timed with the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act this month.

"Casting able-bodied actors in roles for characters with disabilities is offensive, unjust, and deprives an entire community of people from opportunities," she says in the nearly three-minute clip.

Spencer argues that the industry needs to recognize that "nothing can replace lived experience and authentic representation." She also notes how the entertainment industry has been notoriously slow at embracing diversity.

"It's only been a few decades since white actors would portray Black, Asian and even Native American characters on screen," Spencer says. "There is no reason that we should continue to repeat the same mistakes of the past. Together, we should and can do More

  • Monday, Jul. 27, 2020
Chris Cray wrote and directed this animated comedy sketch titled “Hampton Court,” based on a strip from his weekly webcomic “Uneasy Going.”

Director Chris Cray, creator of the webcomic “Uneasy Going,” has launched Somesense, a London-based animation studio for commercial and original content.

The new venture will create character-focused fare, grounded in narrative, with craft and technique at the forefront of production. Artists Pencil Bandit, Akvile Magicdust and Matt Partridge join Cray on the roster and among them have a diverse set of clients to date, including; BBC, Disney, Google, Headspace, Nickelodeon, E4, Vice, Vanity Fair, Facebook and Cartoon Network. The four bring their unique, idiosyncratic styles to the Somesense multiverse as animators, directors, illustrators and writers who collectively specialize in webcomics, character design and short form content.

Cray stated, “We believe that there’s nothing that can’t be expressed through animation, and we’re all putting that idea to the test, adding to our animated universe every day. Animation is personal for us and More

  • Monday, Jul. 27, 2020
This image released by Warner Bros. Entertainment shows Elizabeth Debicki, left, and John David Washington in a scene from "Tenet." Warner Bros. will release Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” internationally first on Aug. 26, with a U.S. release in select cities to follow over Labor Day weekend. Warner Bros. (Melinda Sue Gordon/Warner Bros. Entertainment via AP)

In the latest plan for Hollywood's hopeful return to moviegoing during the pandemic, Warner Bros. will release Christopher Nolan's "Tenet" in an unprecedented fashion, opening it internationally first on Aug. 26, with a U.S. release in select cities to follow over Labor Day weekend.

Warner Bros. on Monday said "Tenet" will arrive in more than 70 countries on Wednesday, Aug. 26, including Japan, Russia, much of Europe, Australia and Canada. The $200 million thriller will open in the U.S. about a week later on Thursday, Sept. 3.

The staggered release will be tailored to outbreaks of COVID-19. Instead of the usual global launch of a summer blockbuster, "Tenet" will make its way through theaters as they are open. The film, originally set for release July 17, has already had its premiere postponed several times. Each time, spikes in cases through the U.S. has forced the studio to remake its plans. 

Now, Warner Bros. has upended the usual More

  • Monday, Jul. 27, 2020
Frances McDormand in a scene from the film "Nomadland." Chloe Zhao's film will premiere across the major fall film festivals in an alliance forged by the Venice, Toronto, New York and Telluride festivals. It's the first movie announced in the new partnership that has brought together the fall’s biggest movie launch pads, which typically compete against each other for world premiere rights. (Searchlight Pictures via AP)

Chloe Zhao's "Nomadland," starring Frances McDormand, will premiere across the major fall film festivals in an alliance forged by the Venice, Toronto, New York and Telluride festivals.

"Nomadland," Zhao's follow-up to her acclaimed 2018 film "The Rider," is the first movie announced in the new partnership that has brought together the fall's biggest movie launch pads, which typically compete against each other for world premiere rights.

Toronto and New York are prepping primarily virtual editions. Telluride was forced to cancel entirely, but it will carry on in drive-in screenings in Los Angeles. 

"Nomadland" will debut across Venice, Toronto and at "Telluride from Los Angeles" on Sept. 11. New York, which named the film its centerpiece, will premiere Zhao's film on a later date.

Adapted from Jessica Bruder's non-fiction book "Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century," the film is about a woman, Fern, who More

  • Saturday, Jul. 25, 2020
This Sept. 19, 2019 photo shows Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos arriving to a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Four Big Tech CEOs — Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Google's Sundar Pichai and Apple's Tim Cook — will answer for their companies' practices before Congress at a hearing Wednesday by the House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust. 

The panel has conducted a bipartisan investigation over the past year of the tech giants' market dominance and their effect on consumers.

It's the first such congressional review of the tech industry. It has aimed to determine whether existing competition policies and century-old antitrust laws are adequate or if new legislation and more funding for enforcement are needed.

The four CEOs are expected to testify remotely.

The hearing originally was set for Monday. It was rescheduled to allow lawmakers who are committee members to participate in commemorations at the U.S. Capitol on Monday and Tuesday for Rep. John Lewis, the civil rights icon and longtime Georgia congressman who died More

  • Friday, Jul. 24, 2020
Volunteers with the Blue Sky Rescue team perform disinfecting of a cinema before it reopens for business in Beijing Friday, July 24, 2020. Theaters in China, the world's second largest movie market, this week reopened from the coronavirus shut down with theaters limited to 30% capacity. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Beijing partially reopened movie theaters Friday as the threat from the coronavirus continues to recede in China's capital. 

Cinemas in parts of the city deemed at low risk of cross-infection began admitting moviegoers under social distancing rules. Tickets must be booked in advance, attendance is capped at 30% of capacity and no eating or drinking is allowed during the show. 

As with most venues in China, a temperature check and online travel record were required for entry. Cinemas have been closed for around six months but began reopening this week in major cities throughout the country. 

China reported just 21 new virus cases on Friday, six of them imported, with the rest in the Xinjiang region and Jilin province. Beijing has gone more than two weeks without any cases of local transmission, spurring authorities to lift many restrictions on activities. 

Tickets at Poly International Cinema's branch near Tiananmen Square More

  • Thursday, Jul. 23, 2020
This file photo combo shows the AT&T logo on the side of a corporate office in Springfield, Ill., left, and a DirecTV satellite dish atop a home in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/File)

The coronavirus sapped $2.8 billion in revenue from AT&T in its most recent quarter, mostly in its WarnerMedia TV and film division. Its satellite TV business, DirecTV, continued to bleed customers.

"I expect we're going to be dealing with some of these economic challenges in the COVID environment as we move forward here," said AT&T CEO John Stankey said during a call with analysts Thursday. 

WarnerMedia revenue fell 23% to $6.8 billion due to a pullback by TV advertisers, particularly as there were no live sports, and movie theaters closed.

Hollywood shut down production due to the pandemic, delaying movie releases and series for both traditional TV and streaming services. Stankey said the company hopes to resume film and TV production next month. 

The company is hoping to navigate the shift to online video with its HBO Max service, which launched in late May. AT&T said it had 3 million people sign up with the $ More

  • Thursday, Jul. 23, 2020
Leslie Jones

The Television Academy announced that Leslie Jones, star of Supermarket Sweep on ABC, has been tapped to host the announcement of the 72nd Emmy® Awards nominations on Tuesday, July 28, at 8:30 a.m. PT/11:30 a.m. ET. Presenters for the event, which will be streamed live on emmys.com, include Laverne Cox, Josh Gad and Tatiana Maslany.

The ceremony has been reimagined as a virtual event this year due to production restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Television has played an integral role in navigating these unprecedented times and has brought us together as we remain apart,” said Frank Scherma, Television Academy chairman and CEO. “We are honored to have these groundbreaking actors, producers and comedians announce this year’s Emmy nominees—whose extraordinary work has been vital to the evolution of the television landscape this season.”

Jones is a two-time, Emmy-nominated actress, comedian and host of ABC’s More

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