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The Newsdesk 02.06.09 – Sex and the City Sequel Definitely On; Pitt’s in for Moneyball

• New Line Cinema confirms that the Sex and the City sequel is definitely happening.

• Brad Pitt and Steven Soderbergh are teaming up for the sports drama Moneyball.

• A Los Angeles judge denied a request by SAG president Alan Rosenberg to block talks between the unions and Hollywood studios.

Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman are teaming up for a romantic comedy titled The Baster. You guessed it — it’s about artificial insemination.

Etta James slammed Beyoncé Knowles’s performance of her song “At Last.” Knowles recently portrayed James in the biopic Cadillac Records.

• The Sundance hit Push: Based on a Novel by Sapphire is caught in a legal tussle between Lionsgate and the Weinstein Company. Lionsgate purchased the film at Sundance, but Weinstein claims it has the right to distribute it. Is this a reprise of the Watchmen battle?

• While Heath Ledger and Slumdog Millionaire look like Oscar shoo-ins, experts say other races are still too close to call.

• The first poster for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince has been released.


ENTERTAINMENT NEWS 2/6/09

BIZ

N.Y. tax-credit program that lured film and TV shoots runs out
of funds

from L.A. Times – TV News

Studios weigh options after the state reveals that $515
million allocated through 2013 is already exhausted.

WMG reports $23 million net profit

from Variety.com

Music News: ‘Twilight’ soundtrack, Nickelback performed —
Warner Music Group reported some encouraging results Thursday despite ongoing
unrest in the music biz.

 

More turning to Web to watch TV, movies

from CNN.com – Entertainment

When Corey Wynsma’s wife got laid off a few months ago from
her graphic design job, the couple did an inventory of their household budget.

Ticketmaster-Live Nation talks raise concerns

from CNN.com – Entertainment

A possible merger between the two of the largest companies
in the concert business has raised protests from singer Bruce Springsteen and
prompted a congressman to call for a federal anti-trust investigation.

Judge again denies SAG injunction request

from Entertainment News – UPI.com

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 5 (UPI) — Los Angeles Superior Court
Judge James Chalfant Thursday denied in full the Screen Actors Guild’s request
for a temporary restraining order.

News Corp. loses $6.4 bil after charge

from Hollywood Reporter by By Georg Szalai

News Corp. missed quarterly earnings expectations with its
first quarterly loss in three years amid what chief Rupert Murdoch said is the
worst economic downturn in company history.

The TV Watch: For Hard Times, Softer Sells

from NYT > Television by By ALESSANDRA STANLEY

Television advertisements are adjusting to the recession
more speedily than the programming they bracket.

It’s All in the Title

from Peter Bart

I worry about the folks who assemble movie marquees these
days. Film titles keep getting longer and longer, even as the plexes shrink
space allocated for titles.


FESTIVALS

‘International’ comes out shooting in Berlin

from Hollywood Reporter by By Scott Roxborough

It was Joke Joke, Bang Bang on Thursday night as the Berlin
International Film Festival kicked off with the world premiere of Tom Tykwer’s
“The International.”



SXSW’s Janet Pierson: “The Choices Were Really, Really Hard”
Indie Wire – 17 hours ago
Daryl Wein had a doc at SXSW last year, so this is great to see him
working in the narrative form. I knew Kris Swanberg’s name would jump out.

IRON MAIDEN: ‘Flight 666’ Documentary To Premiere At SXSW Film

Blabbermouth.net, NY – 15 hours ago
The North American premiere of “Iron Maiden: Flight 666′ will be part of
the prestigious SXSW film festival which runs March 13-22 in Austin,
Texas.


AWARDS

Zellweger parades around as Hasty Pudding honoree

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 …

CAMBRIDGE,
Mass. (AP) — Accompanied by Harvard men in drag, Renee Zellweger has been
honored as the Hasty Pudding Theatricals woman of the year.

Bafta win could give Winslet Oscar boost

from CNN.com – Entertainment

Actress Kate Winslet will be facing off against herself at
the upcoming British Academy Film Awards, an important prelude to the Oscars.

M.I.A., Smokey, Diamond join Grammys

from Entertainment News – UPI.com

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 5 (UPI) — M.I.A., Neil Diamond and Smokey
Robinson have agreed to perform at the upcoming 51st annual Grammy Awards show
in Los Angeles.

Academy tries to reverse ratings slide

from Variety.com – Music News

Music News: Coldplay and Lil Wayne set to add star-power —
It’s a tricky tightrope that the Recording
Academy
straddles every
year: how to negotiate that delicate balance between reaching for the highest
ratings and staying true to the integrity and artistry of the Grammys.

 

Richard Jenkins: This year’s real underdog

from Entertainment Weekly’s Oscar Watch by Dave Karger

Of all the major-category Oscar nominees I missed in my
predictions this year, the one the most of you called was Richard Jenkins.

Delicately Campaigning for a Star Now Departed

from NYT > Movies by By DAVID CARR

Heath Ledger is generating a respectful sort of Oscar hype.


FILM

Daily Box Office: Wednesday, February 4, 2009

from Box Office Mojo – Current Box Office Results

Taken tops Wednesday’s box office with $2.0 million

Box Office Tracking: America Appears “Into” He’s Just
Not That Into You

from /Film by orfilms@gmail.com
(slashfilm.com)
After a spectacular $1 billion dollar-grossing January for the movie industry,
Hollywood trots out four new titles for the first weekend of February.

 

Review: ‘Not Into You’ not worth it

from CNN.com – Entertainment

The only thing more fun than old John Hughes movies is
talking about them.

Movie
Review | ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’: Young Women Forever Stuck at Square One
in the Dating Game

from NYT > Movies by By MANOHLA DARGIS

Imagine an action flick in which the hero spends the entire
movie chasing the villain without the satisfaction of smashing his enemy to
smithereens.

Movie
Review | ‘The Pink Panther 2’: For Inspector Clouseau, That Diamond Is Forever

from NYT > Movies by By STEPHEN HOLDEN

Hoary slapstick routines, invariably rushed, are all there
is in “The Pink Panther 2.”

Movie
Review | ‘Fanboys’: A Comedy Far, Far Away

from NYT > Movies by By NEIL GENZLINGER

There are enough good jokes in “Fanboys,” a road
comedy about geeks on a “Star Wars”-related quest, to satisfy
hard-core fans of that George Lucas franchise.

Review: ‘Coraline’ is glorious and deep

from CNN.com – Entertainment

There is a lot of excitement around the potential of
“stereoscopic” movies (“3-D” to you and me). Much of it has
been drummed up by director James Cameron’s forthcoming blockbuster
“Avatar” and Dreamworks boss Jeffery Katzenberg, who is releasing
more than a dozen 3-D pictures this year.

Review: ‘Fanboys’

from L.A. Times – Movie News

Time was people looked to the cool kids for guidance, but
nowadays, everyone wants to be like the geeks.

Review: ‘Crips and Bloods: Made in America’

from L.A. Times – Movie News

Unsparing documentary plots the roots and realities of life
in L.A.‘s
deadliest gangs.

Sex and the City Sequel: SJP & Co. Make It Official!

from E! Online – Movie News

UPDATE: SATC
writer-director Michael Patrick King confirms the scoop! In an
exclusive statement, King says, “I’m very excited to work with these
amazing actresses again.

Doors Documentary Snags Johnny Depp

from Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily by Nikki Finke

I already wrote about how the world premiere screening
of Wolf Films’ (i.e. Law & Order Dick Wolf’s) When You’re Strange, that
documentary about The Doors, met with such a great response at the Sundance
Film Festival. Now Wolf has scored another coup: getting Johnny Depp to
narrate.

Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman in ‘Baster’

from Hollywood Reporter by By Gregg Kilday

Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman are teaming for the
romantic comedy “The Baster,” which Mandate Pictures will shoot in
the spring in New York.

Belle set as ‘Mary, Mother of Christ’

from Variety.com

Film News: Al Pacino in talks to play Herod in Aloe film —
Aloe Entertainment has put together its New Testament ensemble for “Mary,
Mother of Christ.”

 

Ewan McGregor Becomes Antiques Dealer, Does ‘The Electric
Slide’

from MTV Movies Blog by Brian Jacks

It’s nice to see Ewan McGregor back on the big screen, in
the trades, and away from his motorcycle. According to The Hollywood Reporter,
he’s tapping into that daredevil side for his next film, “The Electric
Slide” which will see him robbing the rich to Ö well, feed himself.

‘Beezus and Ramona’: Disney star Selena Gomez tapped for
adaptation of Beverly Cleary’s classic

from Entertainment Weekly’s Hollywood Insider by Nicole Sperling

Watch out Miley! Selena Gomez is making a serious play for
your spot as “It” girl. On the heels of releasing her debut album
later this year, Gomez will star opposite relative newcomer Joey King in Beezus
and Ramona.

Brad Pitt and Steven Soderbergh to team up on ‘Moneyball’
movie?

from Entertainment Weekly’s Hollywood Insider by Nicole Sperling

Steven Soderbergh is is very early talks to direct Brad Pitt
in Columbia Pictures’ Moneyball, based on the book by Michael Lewis about Oakland A’s general manager
Billy Beane.

‘90210’ star in talks for ‘New Moon’ role

from MSNBC.com: Movies

AnnaLynne McCord may play Heidi, a ‘fisher’ who lures humans
to vampires.

 

Movie Trailer: Fred Durst’s The Education of Charlie Banks

from /Film by orfilms@gmail.com
(slashfilm.com)

Fred Durst’s directorial debut The Education of Charlie
Banks
premiered at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival to mostly positive
reviews.  But now Anchor
Bay
is finally going to
put Banks in theaters on March 27th, and they have released a theatrical
one-sheet poster and a trailer to promote the film.

 

Land of the Lost Movie Trailer

from /Film by orfilms@gmail.com
(slashfilm.com)

Universal has released a full length trailer for Land of
the Lost
on Subwayfreshbuzz.com.
It’s basically an extended version of the teaser that played during the Super Bowl.

‘Arlen Faber’ swings to Magnolia

from Hollywood Reporter by By Steven Zeitchik

Magnolia has picked up “Arlen Faber,” a romantic
dramedy starring Jeff Daniels that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

New ‘Astro Boy’ Images Hit The ‘Net; Film Back On Track?

from Splash Page by Casey Seijas

After Imagi Entertainment gave “Astro Boy” fans a
brief scare a few weeks back when reports surfaced that the animation studio
was facing severe financial difficulties ó leading to online speculation that
their in-the-works animated adaptation may be doomed ó it looks like things are
back on track.

‘Batman’ Movie Franchise Has ‘Harry Potter’ Sequel Potential,
Says Warner Bros. CEO

from Splash Page by Casey Seijas

While comic fans wait to hear the official word from
“The Dark Knight” director Christopher Nolan on whether he intends to
return to the “Batman” franchise, it appears as though Warner Bros. CEO Jeff Bewkes already has plans in the works for
DC Comics’ Caped Crusader that go well beyond a follow-up to “The Dark
Knight.”


TV

Ratings: Fox wins Wednesday, ‘Life’ is lookin’ up

from Entertainment Weekly’s Hollywood Insider by Annie Barrett

Fox handily swept Wednesday night in total viewers, with an
especially cringe-y episode 2 of American Idol’s Hollywood Week and the third
installment of Lie to Me.

Morning Show Ratings: Week of Jan. 26

from mediabistro.com: TVNewser

NBC’s Today show was the top-rated network morning
show last week in both Total Viewers and the A25-54 demo, but for the fourth
week in a row, ABC grew in in both
categories.

 

Nightline Edges Letterman Again

from mediabistro.com: TVNewser

ABC‘s
Nightline, which experienced another near-death write-up last week, edged CBS’ Late Show
with David Letterman in Total Viewers for the week ending Jan. 30. The shows
tied among younger viewers. NBC’s Tonight Show with Jay Leno was first in both
categories.

 

Meet the Competition: Sunday Morning Ratings Tighten

from mediabistro.com: TVNewser

NBC had its lowest rated Meet the Press since David
Gregory
took over as moderator last Sunday, as ABC‘s
This Week was the only broadcast to grow week-to-week in Total Viewers.

 

Curry lands octuplet mom interview

from Entertainment News – UPI.com

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 5 (UPI) — Nadya Suleman, the California woman
who gave birth to octuplets last week, has selected NBC News anchor Ann Curry
to tell her story.

Zucker on Olbermann’s O’Reilly Feud: “He Knows That I Wish
It Weren’t So Personal”

from mediabistro.com: TVNewser

Newsweek’s Johnnie L. Roberts talks to NBCU CEO Jeff Zucker in a web exclusive Q&A about
MSNBC, Keith Olbermann and more.

 

Springer leaving as `America’s Got Talent’ host

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 …

LOS ANGELES (AP) — “America‘s Got Talent” isn’t
getting more of Jerry Springer.

CBS to devote entire morning show to hero pilot

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 … by By DAVID BAUDER

NEW YORK (AP) — The ever
competitive world of morning network television will see an intriguing battle
for viewers on Monday: the hero pilot vs. the tired mom.

Lake named ‘Charm School’ headmistress

from Entertainment News – UPI.com

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Feb. 5 (UPI) — U.S. actress and
television personality Ricki Lake has signed on as the new headmistress for the
third season of “Charm School,” VH1 said Thursday.

‘Burn Notice’ star getting big raise

from Hollywood Reporter by By Nellie Andreeva

Jeffrey Donovan, the star of USA Network’s breakout hit
“Burn Notice” has renegotiated his pact with the series’ producer,
Fox TV Studios.

Loretta Devine goes ‘Legally Mad’ at NBC

from Hollywood Reporter by By Nellie Andreeva

Loretta Devine has reunited with David E. Kelley on
“Legally Mad,” his new dramedy at NBC.

Back to basics for the Big Four

from Hollywood Reporter by By James Hibberd

The next crop of fall TV pilots are sticking to the
traditional mold of procedurals like CBS’ “The Mentalist,” meaning
more crime and legal dramas.

‘Big D’ lands on CBS’ comedy pilot slate

from Hollywood Reporter by By Nellie Andreeva

Thursday was a “Big D” for CBS, which picked up a
multicamera comedy pilot from Jackie Filgo and Jeff Filgo.

CW orders ‘Vampire,’ ‘Politics’ pilots

from Hollywood Reporter by By Nellie Andreeva

The CW on Thursday gave the green light to pilots
“Vampire Diaries” and “Body Politic.”

TBS wants more ‘Browns’

from Hollywood Reporter by By James Hibberd

TBS has ordered an 70 additional episodes of Tyler Perry’s
sitcom “Meet the Browns.”

Krysten Ritter joins ‘Gossip Girl’ spinoff

from Hollywood Reporter by By Nellie Andreeva

Meet Lily’s older sister. In the first major casting on the
CW’s “Gossip Girl” spinoff, Krysten Ritter has been tapped to play
Carol Rhodes.

‘Jockeys’ latest athletes to hit reality scene

from MSNBC.com: Reality TV

“Jockeys,” a 12-episode series taking viewers
behind the scenes of the backstabbing, big-money, dangerous world of horse
racing, debuts Friday on Animal Planet.


MUSIC

‘My Life’ tops the U.S. record chart

from Entertainment News – UPI.com

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 5 (UPI) — Kelly Clarkson’s “My Life
Would Suck Without You” is No. 1 on the U.S. record chart for a second
week, Billboard.com reported Thursday.

The B-52’s line up spring dates

from Top Stories from LiveDaily.com

(LiveDaily.com) The B-52’s have mapped a slate of spring
tour dates as they continue to support “Funplex,” which ended a
16-year gap with no new material from the group.

 

Jonas Brothers Promise Surprises on Grammy Night

from Entertainment Awards: News & Videos about Entertainment
Awards – CNN.com

Plus, the best new artist nominees reveal their pick for
record of the year

Franz Ferdinand offers fans spring look at ‘Tonight’

from Top Stories from LiveDaily.com

(LiveDaily.com) Scottish rockers Franz Ferdinand return to
the US
this spring for a headlining run in support of the band’s first new studio
album in four years.

REO Speedwagon gears up for spring outing

from Top Stories from LiveDaily.com

(LiveDaily.com) Classic rockers REO Speedwagon will return
to the road this spring for a handful of US
dates stretching from the Midwest to the East
Coast

ETC

Beneath Cash4Gold’s shiny veneer, a dull reality

from L.A. Times – TV News

Its offers to buy jewelry, touted in a Super Bowl
commercial, don’t always translate into big bucks for customers. They have
lodged hundreds of complaints that the company shortchanged them.

Val Kilmer ponders run for NM governor in 2010 (AP)

from Yahoo! News: Entertainment News

AP – Holy hornet’s nest, Batman! The New Mexico governor’s mansion?

 

Aronofsky defends Bale after outburst

from Entertainment News – UPI.com

LONDON, Feb. 6 (UPI) — U.S.
director-producer Darren Aronofsky said this week he understands why Welsh-born
actor Christian Bale lost his temper on a film set last summer.

‘Idol’s’ Bikini Girl weighing Playboy offer

from MSNBC.com: Reality TV

Katrina Darrell didn’t make a lot of friends when she
auditioned for “American Idol” in a bikini, but Playboy sure took
notice.

 

Will Ferrell relives 8 years of George W. Bush

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

NEW YORK (AP) — Already
feeling masochistically nostalgic for the misadventures of the previous
presidential administration?

King, Malkovich among Madoff investor list names

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

NEW YORK (AP) — Larry King
and John Malkovich were among the thousands of names listed as clients who
invested with Bernard Madoff.

Benjamin Button’s house for sale in New Orleans

from AP Top Entertainment News At 11:05 …

NEW ORLEANS
(AP) — Benjamin Button called it home in the movie – now sellers are looking
for someone to call it home in real life.

Barrymore doesn’t like high-tech dating

from Entertainment News – UPI.com

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 5 (UPI) — Hollywood
actress Drew Barrymore says that like her character in “He’s Just Not That
Into You” she isn’t a fan of technology when it comes to dating.

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