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The Newsdesk 12.23.08 – Fred Thompson on Talk Radio; SAG Delays Strike Vote

• Hollywood saves money and trees by wishing everyone a merry e-Christmas: see the most buzzed about Web wish on YouTube. Hallmark’s got nothing on this send-up of Slumdog Millionaire‘s dance finale.

• Citing division among its membership, the Screen Actors Guild delayed until January 14 a vote that would authorize the union to call a strike. Any walkout is now unlikely to affect the Academy Awards: if there’s an Oscar-night boycott, it’ll be from disappointed Dark Knight fans.

• Dustin Hoffman storms out of an Entertainment Weekly interview. Or does he?

Russia’s leading independent production company, Central Partnership, isn’t that independent: they’re making the first fully state-funded feature since Soviet times, The Brest Fortress. The patriotic film is based on the heroic defense of the Brest Fortress after the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, in June 1941.

Actor Fred Thompson will be spreading conservative values on his new talk show, which is replacing The Radio Factor With Bill O’Reilly.


ENTERTAINMENT NEWS 12/23/08


BIZ

Concert industry posts record year despite economy

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 … by By JOHN GEROME

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The stock market is in the tank, the plant is closing and the neighbor is losing his home … the perfect time to go to a concert, by one measure….
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Industry opts for e-cards this season

from Variety.com

Business News: Hollywood saving cash, trees with switch — It’s beginning to look a lot like e-Christmas. The studios, production companies and agencies are spreading cheer with their annual deluge of holiday cards. But unlike in years past, the majority of cards this season are arriving in email inboxes rather than via the mailroom.

SAG STRIKE?

Actors guild delays vote on strike authorization

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 … by By SHAYA TAYEFE MOHAJER

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Citing division among its membership, the Screen Actors Guild delayed a vote that would authorize the union to call a strike and bring the entertainment business to a halt…
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AMPTP hopeful 2009 will bring SAG deal

from Entertainment News – UPI.com

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 22 (UPI) — Hollywood‘s Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers says it hopes to reach a new agreement with the Screen Actors Guild in early 2009.

 

AWARDS

Foreign-language Oscar a magnet for controversy

from Reuters: Entertainment News

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – Pity the foreign-language committee of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. No group works as hard watching so many difficult films. And yet no group takes as much grief for its choices.

MOVIES

Review: `Marley & Me’ yanks at heartstrings

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 … by By CHRISTY LEMIRE

Aww, look at that cute, fluffy puppy in those “Marley & Me” ads….
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Review: Cruise distractingly bad in `Valkyrie’

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 … by By CHRISTY LEMIRE

Much ado has been made about “Valkyrie,” starring Tom Cruise as would-be Hitler assassin Col. Claus von Stauffenberg….
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‘The Day the Earth’ Spins Out Among Holdovers

from Box Office Mojo – Top Stories by by Brandon Gray

The Day the Earth Stood Still descended 68 percent in its second weekend, while Slumdog Millionaire led among limited releases…
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OscarWatch TV: Dustin Hoffman storms off the set

from Entertainment Weekly’s Oscar Watch by Dave Karger

Well, this has never happened before. I actually made an interview subject walk off my set in disgust. But considering the subject in question is the supremely silly Dustin Hoffman, it’s not all that scandalous. Click play below to see… <!–[if !vml]–><!–[endif]–>
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Star Trek Will Be Finished Next Week

from /Film by orfilms@gmail.com (slashfilm.com) <!–[if !vml]–><!–[endif]–>

Star Trek director JJ Abrams has posted a production update on the film’s official Facebook page:  “We’re just making final tweaks to the movie $B!=(B we should be totally locked next week. Then we’re going to flash-freeze it so it’s totally fresh for you in May. I can’t wait for you to see the movie. The cast is awesome. The action and effects pushed the stunt team and ILM beyond their limits.

 

Gabriel Macht is willing for ‘Spirit’ stardom

from L.A. Times – Movie News

Gabriel Macht may have to abandon his cloak of anonymity after his ‘Spirit’ superheroics.
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‘Titanic’ duo DiCaprio and Winslet sail again

from MSNBC.com: Movies

‘I want to spend as much time with him as possible,’ Winslet says of sharing the screen with Leonardo DiCaprio in “Revolutionary Road.”

 

David Fincher Talks ‘Fight Club’ Musical, Britney Spears, And ‘Benjamin Button’

from MTV Movies Blog by Josh Horowitz

I’ve pretty much been chasing another interview with David Fincher since the moment my last conversation with him ended nearly a year ago. Sure, his suffer no fools rep strikes fear in anyone in my line of work but the truth is I found Fincher to be a charming and thoughtful subject on the first go round. Now with “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” set for release I got Fincher to sit down for another 30 minutes (not quite enough time to get into “Alien 3$B!m(B alas$B!D(B.).

 

Future Shock: Horror Film Is Adding Another Dimension to Fear

from NYT > Movies

With “My Bloody Valentine 3D,” audiences will be putting the glasses back on for a scary movie, redux-style.
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‘Day’ conquers Japanese box office

from Variety.com – Film News

Film News: Pixar’s ‘Wall-E’ hangs onto second place — “The Day the Earth Stood Still” topped the Japanese box office with a $5.03 million take in its opening four day weekend. Alien invasion pic saw 359,000 admissions from Friday Dec. 19 to Sunday Dec. 21. <!–[if !vml]–><!–[endif]–>

TELEVISION

TV flips the switch

from Hollywood Reporter by By Nellie Andreeva

Several series switched homes this year, including “Project Runway,” “Scrubs,” “Beauty and the Geek,” “Inside the NFL,” “Nashville Star” and Tyra Banks’ talk show.
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Trick play with Super Bowl spot

from Hollywood Reporter by By Paul Bond

NBC has given permission for an advertising agency to purchase a 30-second commercial spot on the Super Bowl to be carved up by a variety of marketers.
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Werewolf dramedy unleashed at Fox

from Hollywood Reporter by By Nellie Andreeva

The Fox network is developing “Bitches,” a dramedy about a quartet of female friends in New York who are werewolves.
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MSNBC Idol?

from mediabistro.com: TVNewser

New York Times TV critic Alessandra Stanley gives her list of “top contenders” for “most compelling television moments of the year.” The list of mostly television shows includes The Wire and Mad Men, but also MSNBC’s Morning Joe:
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In Move to Digital TV, Confusion Is in the Air

from NYT > Television

When the switch is thrown to convert all TV transmissions in America to digital by the Feb. 17 deadline, millions of people may be left with no signal at all.
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EXCLUSIVE: Sneak Peek of The City

from People.com Latest News

Watch a clip as boy trouble brews for Whitney in the Big Apple <!–[if !vml]–><!–[endif]–>


MUSIC

High Five: U2 Unveils Album Configurations

from Billboard News – All by Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

U2’s upcoming album, “No Line on the Horizon,” will be available in five different incarnations, the glitziest of which carries a $96 list price on Amazon.com. The set is due March 2 internationally and the following day in North America.
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Bands, Dates Confirmed For ’09 Warped Tour

from Billboard News – All by Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

Underoath, Thrice, Bad Religion, Less Than Jake, NOFX and Anti-Flag are among the dozens of bands confirmed for the 2009 Vans Warped Tour, which begins June 26 in Pomona, Calif., and will wrap Aug. 23 in Los Angeles.
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Autry, Blind Boys Get Lifetime Achievement Grammys

from Billboard News – All by Ann Donahue, L.A.

Gene Autry, the Blind Boys of Alabama, the Four Tops, Hank Jones, Brenda Lee, Dean Martin and Tom Paxton all will receive the Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award at a ceremony on Feb. 7, and be acknowledged during the Grammy telecast the next evening.
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Miley Cyrus to headline Dec. 31 special

from Entertainment News – UPI.com

NEW YORK, Dec. 22 (UPI) — U.S. pop star Miley Cyrus has signed on to star in a prime time New Year’s Eve special, MTV has announced.
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Elton to be seen on New Year’s Eve special

from Entertainment News – UPI.com

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif., Dec. 22 (UPI) — British pop star Elton John has joined the roster for U.S. TV’s “New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly” program, NBC announced Monday.
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Album reviews: ‘Slumdog,’ ‘Yes Man’ and other recent soundtrack releases

from L.A. Times – Music News

Exposure in movie soundtracks is a boon for artists.
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Bruce Springsteen strikes deal duo

from Variety.com – Music News

Music News: Musician pacts with Wal-Mart, f.y.e. — In the lead-up to the release of the next Bruce Springsteen album on Jan. 27, two exclusive deals involving the Boss have been struck. <!–[if !vml]–><!–[endif]–>

 

ETC

Tina Fey voted AP Entertainer of the Year

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 … by By JAKE COYLE

NEW YORK (AP) — Tina Fey is the entertainer of the year? You betcha….

 

Grosses tumble at a Piven-less ‘Speed-the-Plow’

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 …

NEW YORK (AP) — Business tumbled last week for the Broadway revival of “Speed-the-Plow,” now without the services of Jeremy Piven who abruptly quit the show after saying he was suffering from mercury poisoning….
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Celebrities share adoption stories for TV special

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 … by By MICHAEL CIDONI

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jamie Foxx, Faith Hill and Keyshia Cole hope to help children find homes for the holidays….

 

Stiller breaks hand snowboarding

from Entertainment News – UPI.com

NEW YORK, Dec. 23 (UPI) — Ben Stiller’s publicist confirmed the Hollywood actor has broken his hand in a snowboarding mishap.
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Beijing to build a Chinese “Broadway”: report

from Reuters: Entertainment News

BEIJING (Reuters) – The Chinese capital Beijing will build a complex of 32 theatres dedicated to putting on musicals, state media said on Tuesday, calling it the country’s answer to Broadway.

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Will Ferrell site, Funny Or Die, raises $3 million

from Reuters: Entertainment News

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Internet comedy site Funny Or Die, supported by actor Will Ferrell and seeded by Sequoia Capital, has raised $3 million in cash from a single, undisclosed investor.

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