Thursday, September 20, 2018

News Briefs

Displaying 71 - 80 of 3186
  • Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018
PBS to air "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" about Fred Rogers
This June 28, 1989, file photo, shows Fred Rogers as he rehearses the opening of his PBS show "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" during a taping in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.(AP) -- 

With Fred Rogers' legacy back in the spotlight, PBS wants viewers to remember that public television was the longtime home of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood."

PBS stations will air the acclaimed documentary "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" as part of the "Independent Lens" showcase.

Rogers' "powerful" approach to children's programming is an ongoing influence at PBS, said Paula Kerger, president and CEO of the Public Broadcasting Service.

One direct link: The animated series "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood," from creator Angela Santomero and the Fred Rogers Co.

Kerger said PBS is constantly refining its children's programming to make sure it's entertaining but also helps prepare kids to enter school prepared to learn.

This year is the 50th anniversary of "Mister Rogers" TV debut. An airdate for "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" wasn't announced.

  • Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018
Hardwick will resume NBC roles after assault claim review
In this Jan. 11, 2018 file photo, Chris Hardwick arrives at the 23rd annual Critics' Choice Awards at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Chris Hardwick's career is getting back on track after a review of sexual assault allegations made by a former girlfriend.

NBC said that Hardwick will serve as a guest host next Tuesday on "America's Got Talent" and will return as host for season three of "The Wall" game show. Production on "The Wall" is set to begin in the fall.

NBC's confirmation Tuesday that Hardwick was keeping the gigs came a week after AMC said he would be back with "Talking Dead" and "Talking with Chris Hardwick" following the review.

In announcing its decision, AMC said it was the "appropriate step" after interviewing a number of people in connection with the allegations against Hardwick.

He is scheduled to resume work on "Talking Dead," companion to drama series "The Walking Dead" and "Fear the Walking Dead" on Aug. 12, the date that the latter show returns for the second half of its fourth season. Yvette Nicole Brown had been named interim host during the review.

Hardwick has acknowledged that an online post by his ex-girlfriend Chloe Dykstra alleging she had been sexually assaulted and emotionally abused referred to him. He has denied the allegations but has said the couple's three-year relationship was imperfect and included arguments.

  • Tuesday, Jul. 31, 2018
PS260 launches creative content studio
We Know The Future's new digs
LOS ANGELES -- 

Creative editorial house PS260 has launched We Know The future, a creative content studio which offers in-house production capabilities and advertising solutions across any channel that uses a screen. These offerings will be available in New York and Los Angles. JJ Lask, PS260’s co-founder, partner and editor, is leading the new content studio from the company’s L.A. office, with support from all PS260 editors and staff across both offices.
 
Currently, PS260’s We Know The Future partners with various creatives, from writers and directors to social media influencers, to support its content production with plans to build out the team in the next year. The first project from We Know The Future is titled American Counselor,  which launched during the first week of July on PS260’s YouTube channel timed to the Fourth of July holiday. Subsequent episodes will post each week throughout the summer. 
 
PS260 and We Know The Future edited and produced American Counselor, respectively, and worked with director of the 14-episode digital series, Brendan Gibbons. The series personifies both the liberal and conservative sides of the U.S. as a husband and wife going through marriage counseling. Actors include Annie Sertich (2 Broke Girls, The Office), Ptolemy Slocum (Westworld, The Sopranos), and Marc Evans Jackson (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Jumanji), who plays the American Counselor
 
In addition to American Counselor, Lask is working on a show directed at fathers, called That Dad Show, that will live on Facebook this fall, and will be produced by the new content studio.
 
PS260 believes that having a stake in the conception and creation of content like American Counselor is a natural merger and progression of PS260’s unique editorial and storytelling talents.
 
“The launch of PS260’s content studio is a response to a new advertising landscape,” Lask said. “PS260’s advantage is our visual storytelling talent. We are now leveraging that talent to develop, create and produce longer format episodic content combined with advertising solutions distributed across all the leading social channels. We’re so excited to kick off We Know The Future’s first project with director and friend Brendan Gibbons, and look forward to seeing how the expansion of our capabilities will better serve our current and potential clients.”

  • Monday, Jul. 30, 2018
Emma Stone, Jonah Hill star in new "fever dream" comedy series from Netflix
In this March 4, 2018, file photo, Emma Stone arrives at the Oscars in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.(AP) -- 

Jonah Hill and Emma Stone are starring in a new TV series that tackles sensitive issues of mental illness and the pharmaceutical industry.

The Netflix series, a black comedy titled "Maniac," follows two participants of a murky late-stage pharmaceutical drug trial.

Hill plays a man diagnosed with schizophrenia, while Stone plays a woman fixated on broken relationships.

Both sign up to test a mysterious pill believed to cure anything about the mind, but things do not go as planned.

Cindy Holland, vice president of Netflix original series, announced its debut date, Sept. 21, during a panel at the Television Critics Association's summer meeting.

Holland called "Maniac" a "thought-provoking, fever dream of a show."

The actors starred opposite each other in the 2007 teen comedy "Superbad."

  • Monday, Jul. 30, 2018
"Simpsons" creators bring feminism, young talent to new show
Matt Groening, from left, Abbi Jacobson, Eric Andre and Josh Weinstein, cast members of the Netflix series "Disenchantment," pose for a photo during the Netflix portrait session at Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour at The Beverly Hilton hotel on Sunday, July 29, 2018, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.(AP) -- 

Matt Groening said his new adult cartoon series "Disenchantment" has a feminist component that sets it apart from his previous shows.

Groening spoke to reporters about bringing fresh talent to the Netflix show at a Sunday panel for the Television Critics Association, joined by the voice actors Abbi Jacobson and Eric Andre.

He also highlighted the differences between the new project and his previous work, the long-running Fox series "The Simpsons."

"One of the reasons that 'The Simpsons' is what it is, is because of the time constraints," he said. "In this show, we're able to let it breathe a little more which I find gratifying."

The series notably stands out as an adult cartoon with a female lead. It follows the misadventures of an alcoholic slacker princess named Princess Bean, voiced by "Broad City" star Abbi Jacobson, who has everything but a sense of purpose.

Joined by a personal demon named Luci, played by Andre, and a scruffy elf named Elfo (voiced by Nat Faxon), Bean creates mischief in the kingdom of Dreamland where she's infamous for her careless antics.

"Bean is such an anti-stereotypical princess from what we are used to seeing," said Jacobson.

Both Jacobson and Andre have a built a following with the hard-to-win young adult audience in their shows "Broad City" and "The Eric Andre Show." The stars shared their stories of growing up watching "The Simpsons" and finding their place with Groening and Josh Weinstein, creators and producers of "Disenchantment."

Weinstein said that while "Disenchantment" features established talent from both "Futurama" — which he produced — and "The Simpsons," it transcends boundaries in both age and diversity. He said at least half the writing staff is under 30.

"We like to think we're sensitive guys but we have an awesome writing staff," he said. "Just as a cast, it's a great mix."

Groening also cited "Monty Python and The Holy Grail" as an inspiration for the series, but said that the feminist style of Jacobson's "Broad City" influenced the show as well.

"As pro-women as Josh and I are, Abbi definitely kicked up the lines we wrote for her an extra notch and made them even better," he said.

"Disenchantment" premieres Aug. 17 on Netflix.

  • Sunday, Jul. 29, 2018
Octavia Spencer to star as black haircare mogul Madam Walker
This Feb. 6, 2017 file photo shows Octavia Spencer at the 89th Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.(AP) -- 

Octavia Spencer is bringing the story of black haircare mogul Madam C.J. Walker to television.

Netflix said Sunday that Spencer will produce and star in a limited series about the outsized life of Sarah Breedlove, who was known professionally as Walker.

The eight-episode drama is based on the book "On Her Own Ground" by A'Lelia Bundles and includes basketball star LeBron James as a producer.

Walker became one of America's first self-made female millionaires by creating and marketing hair products for African-Americans at the turn of the 20th century.

Netflix said the series will detail the hostility, rivalries and tumultuous personal life that marked Walker's life.

Spencer is an Oscar-winning actress whose credits include "The Shape of Water," ''Hidden Figures" and "The Help."

A release date for "Madam C.J. Walker" was not announced.

  • Friday, Jul. 27, 2018
Next "Star Wars" film to use unreleased Carrie Fisher footage
In this Monday, Oct. 10, 2016, file photo, actress Carrie Fisher attends a special screening of, "Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds," at Alice Tully Hall in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Carrie Fisher is not done with "Star Wars" after all — Lucasfilm says unreleased footage of the actress will be used in the next installment of the "Star Wars" saga to draw her character's story to an end.

The studio and writer-director J.J. Abrams announced Friday that footage of Fisher shot for 2015's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" will be used in the ninth film in the space opera's core trilogies about the Skywalker family that includes Fisher's character, Leia.

Filming is scheduled to begin Wednesday at London's Pinewood Studios.

Mark Hamill, who plays Luke Skywalker, will also appear in the film, which for the moment is simply called "Episode IX." It is scheduled to be released in December 2019.

Fisher died in December 2016 after she finished work on the middle installment in the trilogy, "The Last Jedi." Director Rian Johnson opted not alter her storyline, leaving Leia's fate to be handled by Abrams.

"We desperately loved Carrie Fisher," Abrams said in a statement. "Finding a truly satisfying conclusion to the Skywalker saga without her eluded us."

He said recasting Fisher or recreating her using computer graphics, as was done in a spinoff film "Rogue One," was not an option.

"With the support and blessing from her daughter, Billie, we have found a way to honor Carrie's legacy and role as Leia in Episode IX by using unseen footage we shot together in Episode VII."

Friday's announcement also confirmed that Billy Dee Williams will be returning to the franchise as Lando Calrissian, a hero of the rebellion who hasn't been seen in the latest trilogy.

Also returning to the film are Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega and Kelly Marie Tran, who all play heroes.

Adam Driver and Domhnall Gleeson, who play villains in the latest films, are also returning.

  • Friday, Jul. 27, 2018
Disney's acquisition of Fox entertainment gains shareholder approval
In this Aug. 8, 2017, file photo, The Walt Disney Co. logo appears on a screen above the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Disney's $71.3 billion acquisition of Twenty-First Century Fox's entertainment division is one step closer after shareholders approved the deal Friday.

The tie-up brings together Marvel's X-Men and Avengers franchises and creates an entertainment behemoth in the digital streaming era. The shareholder vote caps a saga that began in December 2017, when Disney made its first offer for part of Rupert Murdoch's media conglomerate. It kicked off a bidding war with Comcast, which dropped out last week focus on attempted buyout of the European pay-TV operator Sky.

The Fox deal will help Disney compete with technology players like Amazon and Netflix. The agreement is not expected to close for several months and still requires regulatory approvals.

  • Thursday, Jul. 26, 2018
Kennedy Center honors for Cher, Reba McEntire, Phillip Glass, Wayne Shorter, "Hamilton"
In this Aug. 21, 2016, file photo, singer and actress Cher stops to talk to media as she leaves a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton at the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum in Provincetown, Mass. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- 

Cher, composer Phillip Glass, country music star Reba McEntire and jazz legend Wayne Shorter will be honored for lifetime achievements in the arts at this year's Kennedy Center Honors.

The national arts center also announced Wednesday a special award for the genre-bending musical "Hamilton," as part of the gala set for Dec. 2.

Before last year's program, several honorees threatened a boycott if President Donald Trump attended. He and first lady Melania Trump decided to skip the event "to allow the honorees to celebrate without any political distraction," as the White House put it.

The White House said it's too early to know whether Trump will participate in this year's ceremony. Trump may attend the Group of 20 summit in Argentina, which ends Dec. 1.

Glass said he hopes Trump does show up as a conciliatory gesture to the arts community.

"If he were to come, it would represent a real broadening of his perspective," Glass said. "American arts really is our biggest contribution to the world, far more than our politics."

Last year, the Kennedy Center's president, Deborah F. Rutter, publicly thanked Trump for allowing the night to focus solely on the arts and the honorees. But she also said she hoped to see the president attend in the future.

"I always hope that the person in that office makes a point of showing as much support for American arts and culture as his predecessors did and as his successors will," Rutter said in an interview.

The "Hamilton" honor marks a first-time honor for a specific piece of art, and a first for a contemporary work. The award will go to the four main creators of the musical: writer and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda, director Thomas Kail, choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler and music director Alex Lacamoire.

The musical is playing at the Kennedy Center through mid-September.

"This work has had such a huge impact in such a short time. It not only changed the way that people think about art, it changed the way they think about history and the storytelling of history," said Rutter, who didn't think awards like this would become regular events. "We felt it was important to honor it in real time and not 30 years in the future."

The four men said in a statement that the honor was "humbling beyond our wildest expectations for our show."

One of the special aspects of the Kennedy Center program is that each recipient is given a personalized introduction and performance by participants kept secret from the honoree.

McEntire has served as one of those surprises for four past honorees: Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Lily Tomlin and Carol Burnett.

"When the curtain went up, I could see the surprise in their eyes," she said. "I can't wait to see who they come up with for me."

  • Thursday, Jul. 26, 2018
AMC reinstates "Talking Dead" host Chris Hardwick
In this July 21, 2017 file photo, Chris Hardwick moderates the "Fear The Walking Dead" panel at Comic-Con International in San Diego. (Photo by Al Powers/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

AMC host Chris Hardwick is returning to work after a review of sexual assault allegations against him by a former girlfriend.

The network says returning Hardwick to work at "Talking Dead" and "Talking with Chris Hardwick" is the "appropriate step" after a review that included interviews with numerous people.

It says Hardwick will return to "Talking Dead" Aug. 12. Substitute host Yvette Nicole Brown will be interim guest host of "The Walking Dead Season 9 Preview Special" on Aug. 5, and a guest on "Talking Dead" on Aug. 12.

Hardwick has acknowledged that an online post by his ex-girlfriend Chloe Dykstra alleging she had been sexually assaulted and emotionally abused referred to him. He has denied the allegations but has said the couple's three-year relationship was imperfect and included arguments.

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