Sarah Palin Heads to Sportsman Channel With New Series
UPDATED: The Fox News contributor, who has been seeking additional TV opportunities, will debut "Amazing America" in 2014.
Sarah Palin is making another play for TV stardom. The Fox News contributor and former vice presidential candidate will host a new show on the Sportsman Channel. Dubbing her the "First Lady of the Outdoors" in a Monday release, the cable channel is slotting Amazing America With Sarah Palin for April 2014. It's described as an "anthology of stories that explore some of the most original, interesting -- and sometimes inspiring -- people, places and pastimes connected to America's outdoors lifestyle."
"I'm excited to help shine a light on all the great American sportsmen and women in the country who live the outdoors lifestyle," said Palin. "Sportsman Channel is the leader in their industry and I am thrilled to be partnering with them on this show."
An outdoors enthusiast and perhaps Alaska's most famous daughter, the project is not a stretch for Palin -- but it is her most niche TV outing to date. She previously starred in Sarah Palin's Alaska for TLC back in 2010. The show was canceled after one season.
Palin, who briefly exited her role on Fox News in late 2012 only to return as a contributor in June 2013, has been looking for additional opportunities. Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter she's been exploring an Internet subscription model, much like Glenn Beck's TheBlaze, but TV has been a priority.
'Twenty Feet From Stardom' Singers to Perform Rose Bowl National Anthem
Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Judith Hill and Darlene Love will sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" before the Jan. 1 game.
Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Judith Hill and Darlene Love will sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" before the Pasadena football event on Wednesday, Jan. 1, announced The Weinstein Co.'s Radius label, which acquired the doc.
The documentary, directed by Morgan Neville, spotlights the background singers who supported iconic acts like Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Rolling Stones and Sting, among many others. The title, which was released theatrically in June, also opened the Nantucket Film Festival the same month.
Clayton had recorded vocals for the Stones' "Gimme Shelter," Fischer toured with the Stones and Nine Inch Nails, Hill backed Michael Jackson and Love's vocals have been heard alongside Elvis Presley and Marvin Gaye. The singers' contributions also were included in a soundtrack for the doc released by Columbia Records.
The film was shortlisted for the 2014 best feature documentary Oscar.
TV Ratings: American Music Awards Surges Against Strong Sunday Night Football
Posting its best overnights for a November primetime NFL game in 17 years, NBC's overtime Broncos-Patriots matchup tops the evening -- though ABC's music kudos make strong gains for a four-year high.
Fast National returns will see significant adjustments when time zones are taken into account, but the game is off 3 percent from last week with an early 8.8 rating among adults 18-49. Initial
audience estimates give it 23.98 million viewers before adjustments. NBC's early averages for the night give it a 7.0 adults rating and 19.6 million viewers.
Despite the increased competition, ABC's airing of the American Music Awards surged from its 2012 outing. The three-hour kudos jumped 32 percent for a 4.5 rating among adults 18-49 and 36 percent to 12.9 million viewers. The show had a lead-in from America's Funniest Home Videos (1.5 adults), up a tenth from last week, giving ABC an average 3.7 adults rating and 11.4 million viewers for its primetime block.
Fox's animation block saw a healthy lead-in from NFL overrun (7.3 adults) and The OT (6.2 adults), making subsequent scores subject to adjustment. The Simpsons (2.9 adults) grew by 1.1 points from last week, and Bob's Burgers (1.9 adults) improved by four-tenths. Family Guy (2.2 adults) held last week's score, and American Dad (1.8 adults) moved up by two-tenths of a point. Fox averaged a 3.7 rating with adults 18-49 and 9.8 million viewers.
CBS' lineup, skewed in several market by football overrun, kicked off with 60 Minutes (1.6 adults) -- down a tenth of a point from last week. The Amazing Race (1.5 adults) dropped half a point to a series low, and The Good Wife (1.3 adults) was down by just a tenth. The Mentalist (1.5 adults), inching up a tenth of a point from last week, saw its best audience since January, with 10.6 million viewers. The network averaged a 1.5 rating in the key demo and 9.8 million viewers.
'Scandal' Creator Shonda Rhimes Inks First Book Deal
The veteran showrunner will detail her personal and professional journey as the single mother of three daughters in a book to be published in 2015.
The creator of Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice and Scandal has signed with Simon & Schuster to write a memoir, the publisher announced.
The book will trace Rhimes' decision (prior to coming to Hollywood) to build a family and the challenges of being a single mother while striving for professional success. Publication is scheduled for 2015.
S&S describes the book as "part memoir, part inspiration, part prescription."
In a statement announcing the deal, Rhimes joked, “Simon and Schuster is crazy for giving me a book deal, as I am clearly in no position to be handing out wisdom.”
But on a more serious note, she added, "I have made a lot of mistakes as a single mother, and as a working mother, and as a sleepless mother, and as a dating mother. And I did all of it while running a bunch of TV shows. So I'm going to write about that and hope my kids don't use it against me in therapy later."
S&S vp and editor-in-chief Marysue Rucci also commented on the deal. "Shonda Rhimes is bar none in the storytelling realm. Now fans of her phenomenal shows can read Shonda’s story in her own words – and marvel at how Shonda built a phenomenal career. Readers everywhere will cheer the fearless decisions Shonda has made to achieve happiness."
For her television work, Rhimes has been honored as Television Producer of the Year by the Producers Guild of America, received a Lucy Award for Excellence in Television from Women in Film, and a GLAAD Golden Gate Award. She was also recently appointed a Trustee for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts by President Barack Obama.
The deal comes as Rhimes remains busy running two of ABC's most valuable shows -- third-year hit Scandal and Grey's Anatomy, which is in its 10th season and recently celebrated 200 episodes. In addition to developing new projects via her ABC Studios-based Shondaland banner with Betsy Beers, Rhimes also is prepping War Correspondents, a feature film based on an early teleplay, for Sony.
ICM's Jennifer Joel represented Rhimes in the publishing deal.
Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2013 Stars Taylor Swift Giving The Angels Competition
But the show was, as always, about the models. Candice Swanepoel, the lucky Angel chosen to wear this year's $10 million Fantasy Bra, led the pack as Fall Out Boy took to the runway's stage for the first performance of the night. Fellow Angels Karlie Kloss, Alessandra Ambrosio, Lily Aldridge and Adriana Lima followed soon after, gliding down the glittery catwalk. Cara Delevingne and Jourdan Dunn, two of our favorite Brits, also made appearances at the blowout show.
The six themes of the evening were "British Invasion," "Birds of Paradise," "Parisian Nights," "Shipwrecked," "Snow Angels" and "PINK Network," with the latter motif bringing out some bizarre, balloon-clad costumes as Neon Jungle gave an energetic performance. Luckily, as Swanepoel told us before the show, "That's part of being a model -- we wear stuff we don't like, stuff that's uncomfortable. But it's our job to make it work."
Like we said, though, T. Swift really rocked it, making two appearances on stage. The first, a cameo during Fall Out Boy's set, saw the singer give the models some competition in an Britannia-themed get-up. But it was when she returned to the runway to perform "I Knew You Were Trouble" in a shimmery minidress that the show really kicked into high gear. Even the Angels (aka Swift's newfound besties) couldn't resist taking part in her performance, with Kloss busting a move in her VS catsuit and Aldridge and Lima each grabbing Swift's hand as they stomped down the runway.
Look out, Angels -- Taylor could mean "trouble" if she turns up to next year's Victoria's Secret Fashion Show model casting. See Taylor Swift on the VS runway below and scroll down for all the looks from the show!
Jamie Foxx's Directorial Debut Is 'Frankenstein' by Way of Kanye West
The "Amazing Spider-Man 2" actor says a feature thriller could arrive on the heels of his sci-fi romance short "...And She Was My Eve."
In partnership with Ron Howard and camera manufacturer Canon for their Project Imaginat10n initiative, Jamie Foxx has stepped behind the camera to show off his skills as a director.
Taking inspiration from 10 contest-winning photographs, Foxx worked with writer Allan Loeb (Rock of Ages) to cobble together ...And She Was My Eve, a science fiction romance that's trippier than any of Foxx's screen work.
“I've watched over the shoulder of some of the best directors in the world,” Foxx tells MTV. “Quentin Tarantino, Oliver Stone, Antoine Fuqua, Taylor Hackford. A lot of those shots that I used in my short [were] directly from rubbing up against those guys.”
...And She Was My Eve stars Tyrin Turner as a man who sets out to construct the perfect mate. But this is a sci-fi story, so inevitably, playing God blows up in his face. The film is highly stylized and paced with music composed by Foxx and Ains "Brainz" Prasad, not unlike Kanye West's surrealist music video trademarks.
Foxx next will be seen in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. On the behind-the-scenes side, the multi-talented actor is developing a horror anthology series for SyFy. With ..And She Was My Eve, more directing could be in Foxx's future.
“It gave me the bug. I want to be able to do things with no constraints and really just go at it. I've got a couple of comedies I want to make and a thriller I want to direct.”
Reese Witherspoon in Talks to Star in Nancy Meyers' 'The Intern'
UPDATED: Robert De Niro is also circling the Scott Rudin-produced comedy, which Worldview Entertainment has come aboard to finance.
Reese Witherspoon is in discussions to star in the Nancy Meyers-helmed The Intern. She's serious enough that she is reportedly turning up at the American Film Market today, where Lotus Entertainment is shopping the project to foreign buyers.
Tina Fey was initially attached to star when the project was packaged by WME (Fey is repped by WME, which formerly handled Meyers). CAA, which reps Witherspoon, Meyers and De Niro, is now putting together the deal, which a source says is at a delicate stage.
Meyers wrote the screenplay, which centers on the owner of a successful fashion website (Witherspoon) who bonds with the elderly intern her company has hired (De Niro).
In recent days, the project has popped up on the radar of international sales agents and foreign buyers preparing for the American Film Market, which gets underway Wednesday. Over the weekend, at least one buyer was told that The Intern could be shopped at AFM with Witherspoon and De Niro's names in the mix. Selling off foreign rights would help cover the production budget, which is said to be upwards of $30 million.
Meyers recently exited an untitled romantic comedy at Sony.
Witherspoon, who recently switched managers from Management 360's Evelyn O'Neill to LBI Entertainment's Rick Yorn, most recently played a supporting role in Jeff Nichols' Mud and starred in the Atom Egoyan-helmed Devil's Knot, which debuted at the Toronto Film Festival. The Oscar-winning actress is currently shooting Jean-Marc Vallee's Wild.
'Roots' Remake in the Works at History
Wolper will executive produce History's new take, with a search under way for a writer on the project, which is described as a contemporary take.
The original mini -- which aired on ABC in January 1977 -- earned a whopping 37 Emmy nominations, taking home nine including best limited series and wins for Ed Asner (supporting actor) and Quincy Jones (music).
For History, the Roots mini comes as the network continues to ramp up its original scripted programming on the back critical and ratings success with its longform fare, including The Bible and Hatfields & McCoys, the latter of which shattered network records during its three-day run last year. The network has a rapidly growing roster of miniseries in the works, including a four-hour Houdini vehicle starring Adrien Brody.
Lady Gaga Sports Yellow, Decaying Teeth at YouTube Music
The singer wears a black top hat, leather shirtdress
and dark glasses to complement the false teeth.
Following her previous headline-making choices of wearing a meat dress,
arriving in an egg and channeling a male alter ego, the singer donned yellow,
decaying false teeth at Sunday's YouTube Music Awards in New York. She also wore
a black leather shirtdress, black top hat and black sunglasses.
The overall effect was reminiscent of the cover art for her single "Dope,"
the next track off of her forthcoming album, ARTPOP, which will be
released Nov. 11.
Among the winners at Sunday night's inaugural YouTube Music Award were
artist of the year Eminem and breakthrough artists
Hollywood Art: Secrets From A-List Art Advisers
Inside info from the pros who guide and protect Hollywood collectors, from Jeffrey Katzenberg to Steven Spielberg to Michael Ovitz: "Art is the last unregulated business."
HBO's Michael Lombardo had wanted to build an art collection for as long as he could remember. He loved modern painting, but for a very long time, he didn't have the money, the wall space or the time. Once he got the money and the wall space, he had even less time.
Between his duties as president of HBO Programming and his family life, he felt he didn't have the time to properly educate himself on the art market. So about five years ago, his friend, CAA agent Steve Smooke, who had been collecting for a while, recommended he talk to an art adviser and introduced him to Mia Romanik.
And like any handshake deal that precedes preproduction, so began the wait. Romanik met with Lombardo and his partner, architect Sonny Ward, to learn what they were drawn to. She took them to galleries and shows; she sent them catalogs and links. And in return, Romanik learned what they were interested in. Lombardo, it turns out, wasn't that concerned about investment -- though of course he didn't want anything that would depreciate. What he wanted was something that would bring him joy. "I wanted to surround myself with art that I love seeing."
Finally, more than a year after they met, they headed to New York with a certain spending limit in mind. Lombardo's first big purchase was a Per Kirkeby from Michael Werner Gallery -- which exceeded that limit, but no matter. Lombardo doesn't regret a penny of it. "I couldn't get it out of my head," he says.
Another painting Lombardo spoke of lovingly is a Jonas Wood work called "Robin with Juba." It's a portrait of the artist's mother, who has since passed away, holding a parrot in bold color. Romanik introduced Lombardo to Wood. "The minute he talked about this painting, I felt so close to him," says Lombardo. "That was an exciting experience, to develop a relationship with an artist." In fact, because of Romanik's introduction, he was able to see the work immediately when it was completed and before it went on the market.
It is now a prized possession in his home. "It makes me happy every day," says Lombardo.
Romanik is an art adviser, a fine-art professional who helps the very busy, the slightly clueless and those with poor art world connections build collections. As the art market has flooded with more works, and more people interested in collecting, it's become imperative to have a guide to sort through what is worth the time and money and what isn't -- and, even more importantly, help to obtain the work. Because with growth comes demand, and getting your hands on coveted work is harder than ever.
The best way to approach art collecting is slowly. "Like in any discipline, you require time to develop an eye," says Barbara Guggenheim, an art adviser who has worked with DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise.
The ones who are willing to work get the most out of the process, both figuratively and literally. "The important collectors teach themselves and build strong relationships with dealers and artists," says Cecelia Stucker, an independent curator. Art advising, she says, is a role that emerged once the ranks of collectors swelled to the point that gallerists and dealers no longer had the time to educate them all.
"I would say the most important thing about hiring an art advisor is hiring someone you trust," says adviser Andrea Feldman Falcione, who has advised mega-collector and former CAA chairman Michael Ovitz. "Someone who will work with you to find works you love and point you in the direction of smart purchases."
Guggenheim suggests beginning the art adviser relationship with a simple interview. "You should feel comfortable and engaged with this person." And though few adviser insist on a formal contract, "You're picking someone you'll be with for a long, long time," she adds.
The best thing you can do when you're starting out in collecting is to listen. "You have to learn how to look at a work of art," says Guggenheim. "That's what we do. We teach you what you're looking at."
And you should be honest about your commitment. Romanik says what bugs her most are clients who just don't take the time. "I like for someone to be really engaged. I need dedication -- reading Artforum and browsing catalogs. I can't totally educate you." That said, if you want her to just buy paintings for you because you know she has great taste, she's happy to do it. But don't put an art adviser in a position where she can't get your ear or your eye for a decision.
It's only after you take the time to educate yourself that an adviser can really help you navigate the art world and decide what to put in your finite space. Years ago, producers Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy came to Guggenheim to help with their collection. "They view their lives as socially responsible storytellers," she says now. "We hit on this idea after a lot of talking and ended up with a lot of Social Realism, American art between the wars -- Thomas Hart Benton, Grant Wood, both of whom have a storytelling quality to them."
And that's how the right adviser can help you most -- getting you what you want, and getting you access to what you don't even know you want yet. A new collector is a stranger to both gallerist and artist -- no matter how long the IMDb page -- and so an art adviser can be helpful in reassuring them that the collector is serious. When Viet-Nu Nguyen approaches a gallery about a Sterling Ruby or Isa Genzken, the gallerist knows the piece will end up well-loved in the hands of her client Ovitz. When Tiffiny Lendrum was helping build the collections at Paradigm, gallerists knew that the works she wanted by Anton Henning, Uta Barth, Raymond Pettibon, Don Suggs, Robert Longo, Marcel Dzama and Patrick Wilson would be prominently displayed and cared for -- not because of the agency's reputation, but because of Lendrum's.
Another role of an adviser is to negotiate price and terms of payment. "Most new collectors don't realize there is usually room for a discount as well as extended payment, depending on the price," says Romanik.
But the wrong adviser could be deadly. "Art is one of the last unregulated businesses," says Romanik. "There have never been this many collectors in the market, ranging from actual art lovers to people purely in it for investment opportunities. While it's wonderful that there's so much art being traded, particularly in the emerging market, there's a potential risk to the careers of these young artists. In the short-term, it's exciting for the artist and buyers alike, but we need to question the notion of 25-year-old artists being ‘worth' more than 75-year-old artists overnight."
She's referring to what one adviser called "covens" of spec collectors, who buy up a bunch of work from a young artist with the intention of driving up the artist's value for secondary market sales. Not even the artist really wants this. They know they have to take some time building value if they want a long career, because generally the artists who get too expensive too early don't end up receiving the institutional investment -- museums and retrospectives -- like the artists that work their way up the system's ladder more slowly.
So find the right adviser, but definitely don't try to collect without one. "Would you go and dig an oil well without a geologist," asks Guggenheim. "Would you do brain surgery without a brain surgeon?"
The question may be moot as these days it's almost impossible to build a great collection without an adviser. "It's the Wild West out there," says Veronica Fernandez, an art adviser who works with Shelley Reid, senior vp and head of television legal affairs at MGM Studios, and Tina Perry, senior vp and head of business and legal affairs at OWN, among others. "You have all these players entering the contemporary art market. The demand makes for a power of ownership. You want to be able to have someone who can cut in line and say you have it first."
And with advisers having more than just a few clients, it's important to remember that to get to the front of the line, you have to be a good client. That means finding the right adviser, and then treating him or her well.
Karyn Lovegrove, a former gallerist in Australia who is now an adviser, says that "your relationship with galleries are your bread and butter." An adviser works hard at maintaining those relationships, so that "when shows come up, maybe you'll be offered first choice."
"It took me a while to get that just because you want to buy something doesn't mean they want to sell it," says producer Marty Adelstein, another client of Romanik's, who began building his collection with her two years ago. "But that only made me get more involved. It really ignites my competitive nature."
Because, perhaps surprisingly, money isn't an artist's or gallerist's first concern when parting with a work. Rather, it's knowing that a piece will be displayed prominently and lovingly, and not flipped immediately to drive up the value of the artist.
"Your reputation is completely wrapped up in the fact that your collectors are not flippers and that you know who you're dealing with," says Lovegrove. "You can take the other route, but it's a small world. There are advisers out there who don't get offered things because they've done that."
Still, it would be foolish to pretend that liquidity of investment isn't a factor in all this buying. "I work for people who have worked very hard for their money," says Fernandez. "I have to make smart choices on their behalf."
Therein lies the rub. "That's the irritating thing about art," says Lisa Schiff, an art adviser in New York. "You don't talk about money or the investment. You just talk about the art, because that's the most important thing. But if you're asking $200,000 for a painting, then I have every right to ask some questions. Where is this going? When we leave with this painting, will it be worth something in 190 years. It's hypocritical to pretend we don't care."
And even more so to pretend that the same instinct that drives a Hollywood executive to build a collection is not the same one that drew him to Hollywood in the first place. Consider Adelstein's story: When he decided he wanted a collection, he didn't want to wait. "I had a lot of friends who were building art collections, and I had been admiring them at their houses," he says. He was introduced to Romanik two years ago at the Art Basel Miami Beach art fair, and she suggested he just look -- but he ended up buying, and he ended up buying smart. With her blessing, he purchased an Oscar Murillo that was just hanging out at the back of some booth "for practically nothing." He just liked it. He also bought a Lucien Smith, also for very little money. Now, two years later, both are worth many times what he bought them for. The price of Murillo's works particularly has exploded. Just two years ago, his pieces were selling for $3,000; now they are fetching from $200,000-$400,000 at auction.
"I once bought a bunch of horses with Larry David and Ari Emanuel and David E. Kelley, and the horses won the first time out and I thought I was a genius," he says with a laugh. "When I buy a painting from a new artist, I feel like I used to feel when I was an agent and I discovered a new writer."
In just two years, Adelstein has bought 20 paintings. "I bought an Albert Oehlen that I love. And Rashid Johnson is somebody I really, really like. I love looking at these in my house." He pauses and laughs. "I'm running out of room, though."
Emile Hirsch to Play John Belushi in Biopic
Emile Hirsch will play John Belushi in a biopic on the comedian.
Production company Film 360 confirmed Monday the casting of Hirsch in the currently untitled independent feature. Directing will be Steve Conrad, who wrote the screenplay of the upcoming Ben Stiller film, "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty." Conrad will also pen the screenplay, adapting the biography "Belushi."
The 28-year-old Hirsch has starred in Sean Penn's "Into the Wild" and the 2008 action film "Speed Racer." He co-starred earlier this year with Paul Rudd in David Gordon Green's "Prince Avalanche," and also co-stars in the upcoming Navy SEAL war film "Lone Survivor."
Production on the film is planned to begin in the spring.
One of the original "Saturday Night Live" cast members, Belushi starred in "The Blues Brothers" and "National Lampoon's Animal House" before dying at the age of 33 in 1982.
Reese Witherspoon Talks Parenting, Producing "Gone Girl"
Reese Witherspoon can't tell if her kids want to get into show business yet.
"You know, it's been a great opportunity for me," Witherspoon said Monday at Elle's Women in Hollywood gala, where she was honored for work in the biz. "I've seen the world. I've met the most amazing people...It's afforded me many wonderful opportunities. So whatever they want to do with their lives, whatever dreams they have, I support them."
Witherspoon has two children, Ava, 14, and Deacon, who turns 10 tomorrow, with ex-husband Ryan Phillippe. She and her agent hubby Jim Toth have a 13-month-old son, Tennessee.
The young ones certainly have a mom to look up to.
"It's incredible," Witherspoon said of being honored by Elle. "I love this magazine. It's wonderful and I love this event because you get all these wonderful women, different ages, different countries and they're all just doing extraordinary things and extraordinary work in this business.
"And we all know as women, it's not easy," she said. "So it's really exciting to be here with these people who have really worked hard and gotten to this place in their lives."
You won't be seeing Witherspoon in one of her next projects. She's producing, but not acting in, director David Fincher's movie adaptation of "Gone Girl." Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike star with Neil Patrick Harris and Tyler Perry rounding out the cast.
Witherspoon said it "feels good" to be the boss woman (our job description, not hers).
"I like it," she said. "It's great to collaborate when people are so talented. I'm just thrilled that the movie is getting made so quickly...and this author Gillian Flynn, who is so talented, is having so much of her work produced now."
Oprah's Yard Sale Revealed
When Oprah Winfrey tweeted she was having the "biggest yard sale ever!" on Oct. 9, the Internet went into overdrive regarding the opportunity to own items that once belonged to the media mogul.
That tantalizing tweet was accompanied by a release from Kaminski - the auction house hosting the event - saying that "antiques, contemporary furnishings, and fine art" from the TV star's homes in Indiana, Hawaii, Chicago, Santa Barbara and her "La Quinta" estate would be going under the hammer on Nov. 2 at the Santa Barbara polo and Racquet Club.
But prospective bidders were left hanging for actual information on what would be available.
That all changed Friday when the full catalogue of what will be up for grabs was posted on the Kaminski website.
And buyers hoping to nab something once owned by Oprah can take heart: there's items to suit budgets both big and small. More than 300 items, including furniture, artwork, rugs, autographed prints, throw pillows, picture frames, chandeliers and assorted tchotchkes, are listed with price estimates ranging from $100 to over $50,000.
At the upper end of the spectrum is a set of six 18th century Louis XVI A La Reine, Jean Baptise Lelarge chairs with hand embroidered yellow upholstery (est: $20,000-$40,000). Those chairs would look great around that 19th century English breakfast table in burlwood veneer with satin wood and ebony inlaid border (est: $4,000-$6,000).
Too fancy for your design scheme? How about a simple white ottoman upholstered in white terry cloth with painted wood legs (est: $100-$200)? Perhaps a steamer trunk by luxury Italian leathergoods label Bottega Veneta in black leather with brass hardware (est: $1,000-2,000) may be more to your taste.
A Jumeau Doll (below) with the marking "Tete Jumeau" on back of her neck can be yours to cherish for an estimated $5,000-$8,000. Or if you prefer your toys to be a little racier, why not bid on one of three neon-hued Jetson Electric Bikes featuring Winfrey's autograph (est: $1,000-$2,000).
Snoop Dogg Rebrands as Snoopzilla For New Album
First came Snoop Doggy Dogg, then Snoop Dogg, Snoop Lion, and now Snoopzilla.
The rapper and singer-songwriter (real name Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr.) has changed up his moniker once again for a new collaborative album titled 7 Days of Funk.
Recorded alongside groove singer and DJ Dam-Funk, the album is set to drop on Dec. 10 with the first single, "Faden Away," released Thursday on iTunes.
"I've had funk influences in my music my whole career," Snoopzilla said in a press release. "Dam-Funk is cold. He's keeping the funk alive and I knew I had to get down with him." 7 Days of Funk will feature cameos from Snoop's Tha Dogg Pound cohorts Daz and Kurupt and drummer-singer Steve Arrington, a recent Dam-Funk collaborator.
Dam-Funk is the one-man project of Los Angeles's Damon Riddick. 7 Days of Funk is the second pairing for the duo who first collaborated in 2011 when Snoop invited Dam-Funk onstage during a performance at the SXSW festival in Austen, TX.
"Snoop knew what I was thinking without me having to articulate it," said Dam-Funk of the new album. "That's how you know when you gel artistically with someone. These beats were made for him and he laid down some of the smoothest harmonies and melodies I've ever heard. It's hip-hop, but you can also hear what we grew up on, from Zapp to Evelyn 'Champagne' King and Patrice Rushen.
Snoop's new title has no connection to the giant fictional lizard that loves to terrorize Japan. Instead, it's an homage to legendary funk bassist Bootsy Collins, who has recorded under the nickname Bootzilla.
Madonna Banned From Movie Theater
Madonna has been banned from Texas-based theater chain Alamo Drafthouse Cinema after she was seen texting during the New York Film Festival premiere of "12 Years a Slave."
According to reports by the New York Post, Madonna, who was seated alongside the likes of Jason Ritter, J. Alexander and Michael K. Williams, spent part of the screening typing away at her phone. Reportedly one audience member asked her to stop, prompting the "vogue" singer to respond by saying, “It’s for business…enslaver.”
Alamo founder and CEO Tim League tweeted that Madonna would no longer be able to return to the theater until she “apologizes to movie fans.”
Following the tweet, League told Entertainment Weekly that the initial tweet was an “offhand joke, a spur of the moment 140 characters,” but followed up by saying he is going to enforce it now that the word is out. “I’m serious, but I don’t think it really affects her life that much.”
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has a long-standing, strict no-talking and no-texing policy in it’s movie theaters and has been known to eject audience members who violate the policy. Alamo even features an anti-texting PSA before some of its R-rated movies that contains an actual voice mail left by an angry patron who was kicked out.
Though her business was apparently pressing, the Material Mom was reported to have been a fan of the movie. Directed by British filmmaker Steve McQueen, the film - which follows Solomon Northup, a free black man who was sold into slavery - is already receiving Oscar buzz.
According to The New York Post Madonna made a hasty exit when the credits rolled but returned to the theater when McQueen began Q&A. “I want to hear Steve speak,” a source overheard her say.
Craig Robinson pleaded guilty to drug possession and paid a fine in the Bahamas.
According to the Associated Press, the comedian was stopped in Nassau at the airport. The Office actor was in town for a comedy show and was coming back to the United States.
Custom agents found a small amount of marijuana and 18 ecstasy pills that were "deemed suspicious," Supt. Stephen Dean of the Royal Bahamas Police Force told the AP.
"It was nothing major," Dean added.
The 41-year-old was fined $1,000 and ordered to leave the country after he pleaded guilty to two counts of drug possession. Robinson said before a judge that he did not know the drugs were illegal in Bahamas and he brought them from the U.S. He could have faced up to four years in prison.
This is not Robinson's first run-in with authorities. The actor was charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance and one count of being under the influence of a controlled substance in June 2008.
Sinead O'Connor Slams Miley Cyrus In Fourth Letter to Pop Star
Oh, you thought the feud between Miley Cyrus and Sinead O'Connor was over? Well, think again.
The "Nothin' Compares 2 U" crooner has penned a fourth letter to the 20-year-old pop star, in which she slammed Cyrus for "stigmatizing mental illness" and implored the "We Can't Stop" singer to apologize for her actions.
And it's safe to say the war of words has taken a turn for the worst.
But first--let's back track for a minute.
Miley initially brought up the 46-year-old singer-songwriter while explaining that she wanted the music video for her single "Wrecking Ball" to be similar to the famous hit "Nothin' Compares 2 U."
After Sinead got wind of the singer's remarks, she took her blog to post a few sage words for the twerking songstress, suggesting Cyrus is allowing herself to be "pimped" by the music industry while expressing her concern that those around Miley have led her to believe "that it is in any way 'cool' to be naked and licking sledgehammers" in her video.
O'Connor's first letter then prompted Cyrus to post a series of Sinead's tweets (which the veteran claims are two years old) and compare her to Amanda Bynes.
Which led Sinead to pen a second letter to Miley, calling the performer "anti-female" and "f--king stupid," to which Miley replied (on Twitter, natch), "Sinead. I don't have time to write you an open letter cause Im hosting &performing on SNL this week. So if youd like to meet up and talk lemme know in your next letter. :)"
Of course, O'Connor then wrote a third letter to the performer, telling Miley she has "no interest in meeting" her while ordering the singer apologize for her remarks.
"You can take five minutes today between g- string f--kin' changes to publicly apologize and remove your abusive tweets," she wrote. "When you publicly apologize to Amanda and myself and all mental health sufferers as well as all who were abused by priests that will end the matter as far as I am concerned...When you end up in the psych ward or rehab I'll be happy to visit you.. and would not lower myself to mock you."
Miley was then asked about Sinead's many missives during her appearance on the
"I think she's [Sinead O'Connor's] an incredible artist, I think she's an awesome songwriter, and I was really inspired by her for my "Wrecking Ball" video, which was what started the whole thing," Miley told Matt Lauer. "I don't know how someone can start a fight with somebody who said, 'Hey, I really respect you. And I really love what you what you did.' 'You know what? You suck! I don't like you!' That was kind of crazy. But as I said, I'm a big fan of hers, so it doesn't really matter."
"It's all good. You can write as many open letters as you want," she added. "That's really what blogging is. I get open letters every day. It's nothing too new for me."
Be careful what you say, Miles.
Kevin Hart Comedy Snapped Up by ABC
The network has made a put pilot commitment for a half-hour comedy project based on the red-hot comedian's stand-up act. The project, from Community's Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan, takes a candid look at the post-divorce life of a couple trying to forge a friendship for the sake of their kids, despite their differences. Hart doesn't plan to star but likely will play a recurring role if the series goes forward.
Goldman and Donovan will pen the script as well as executive produce the multicamera effort set up at 20th Century Fox TV, where the producing partners are under an overall deal. Joining them as EPs are Hart and his 3 Arts manager, Dave Becky (Louie).
The news follows a breakout couple of years for Hart, who has become one of the most successful stand-up acts working today. In addition to his comic timing, executives across both film and TV are drawn to his ability to connect with his fans, which includes 9 million Twitter followers. It is for that reason that Hart's name has found itself onto a shortlist of talent who can get a movie greenlighted today.
Hart is no stranger to the small screen either, getting his big break in a recurring role on Judd Apatow's short-lived cult darling Undeclared, which bowed on Fox in 2001. In the decade or so since, Hart has turned up on everything from ABC's Modern Family to BET's Real Husbands of Hollywood, for which he executive produces and stars. Additionally, his stand-up tours have sold out at arenas around the world, including The Staples Center in L.A., Madison Square Garden in New York and The O2 Arena in London. His recent stand-up doc, Let Me Explain, grossed more than $32 million.
For their part, Garrett and Donovan have had ample experience in the TV comedy space, starting as writers on Fox's long-running Family Guy. More recently, they've written and produced half-hours such as Scrubs, Community and Fox's Ben and Kate.
Hart, whose other credits include Think Like a Man, This Is the End and upcoming films Ride Along and About Last Night, is repped by UTA, 3 Arts and Schreck Rose. Garrett and Donovan are repped by UTA.
Kaley Cuoco Says She's "Too Busy" to Plan Her Wedding to Ryan Sweeting Right Now
Kaley Cuoco and Ryan Sweeting's engagement may have come quickly, but their wedding won't take place for a while. "We are too busy to wedding plan," the "Big Bang Theory" actress, 27, told reporters at L.A.'s Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic event on Saturday, Oct. 5. "In a year we will start talking about it. We are enjoying being engaged."
Together a mere three months, Cuoco added that she's feeling "excited" and "on top of the world" since the 26-year-old tennis pro proposed late last month. "We're so happy!"
The TV star previously explained how she knew Sweeting was The One during an interview with "Entertainment Tonight." "From day one, I just knew immediately, and it's been magic," she gushed. "We have all the same family friends. We grew up with the same people, we just never met. So I kind of feel that I've known him my whole life. I know that it seems a little crazy on paper, but it's what works for us."
Those closest to Cuoco are elated for the star, who's been engaged once before. "She's very happy, which makes me terribly happy," her "Big Bang Theory" costar and ex-boyfriend Johnny Galecki recently told E! News.
Cuoco's close pal Ali Fedotowsky said she thinks it's sweet that Sweeting proposed so early on in their relationship. "I actually think it's super romantic. They met, they fell in love. Friends of both their families have known each other for a really long time, so they feel like they've known each other forever," she said on E! News' Oct. 1 episode. "It's romantic
Jane Fonda to Receive AFI Achievement Award
Jane Fonda will receive the American Film Institute's 42nd Life Achievement Award, one of Hollywood's most prestigious career honors.
"Jane Fonda is American film royalty," AFI chairman Howard Stringer said in a statement released Thursday. "A bright light first introduced to the world as the daughter of Henry Fonda, the world watched as she found her own voice and forged her own path."
At 75, Fonda's career hasn't slowed, including roles in "Lee Daniels' The Butler" and HBO's "The Newsroom."
Fonda drew the ire of many Americans when she visited North Vietnam at the height of the Vietnam War, leaving a stigma that would last for decades.
The AFI award will be presented at a star-studded gala on June 5, 2014, to be televised later that month on TNT.
Miley Swings to "SNL"
Miley Cyrus is set to host "Saturday Night Live" this week in her first extended live TV appearance since her raunchy August performance on the MTV Video Music Awards got tongues wagging.
The former child star, whose twerking antics offended some and made her a laughingstock to others, no doubt hopes to shake some intentional chuckles out of "SNL" viewers. While there’s plenty of potential for humor, the show is shaping up as a test of whether Cyrus in on the joke or whether the joke's on her. Perhaps more important: Does she understand the difference or does she even care?
Cyrus, whether by design or accident, has succeeded in grabbing attention, though in a way more akin to a talent-free reality show star than someone who exhibited some comedy and musical potential in her not-so-distant teenage years. Like other former kiddie show veterans, the ex-Disney fixture is clearly in an image-busting phase.
There’s a blurred line, though, between image busting and long-term career busting. Success won’t be determined alone by Cyrus inspiring buzz over whether she's a train wreck or a wrecking ball (even if “Wrecking Ball” isn’t a bad pop song).
While Cyrus’s long-term strategy is unclear, her “SNL” stint is certainly a good short-term coup for the comedy program, which hasn’t shied away over the years from enlisting hosts touched by controversy.
Andrew Dice Clay's appearance in 1990 spurred cast member Nora Dunn to boycott the show in protest of the comic's misogynist stage persona. Heiress, sex tape star and reality show figure Paris Hilton offered a memorably one-dimensional performance in 2005.
Lindsay Lohan launched one of her comebacks last year with an “SNL” hosting gig, mining her troubles for humor. She's experienced more woe since, though she recently began working the late night comedy circuit again, appearing last week in a skit with Jimmy Fallon mocking Cyrus’ twerking spectacle.
Lohan, at 27, could tell the former “Hannah Montana” star plenty about the pitfalls of transitioning from child actor to adult celebrity. Cyrus, who turns 21 next month, at least showed a good sense of humor when she last hosted “SNL” a couple years ago. She played Justin Bieber in the program’s "Miley Cyrus Show" skit, which is likely to be revived this weekend.
Pamela Anderson Running New York City Marathon to Raise Money for Haiti
Pamela Anderson, best known for hitting the beach on Baywatch, is about to pound the pavement. All for a worthy cause.
"I'm running the New York Marathon this year and raising funds for the J/P Haitian Relief Organization," the 46-year-old blond beauty tweeted on Sunday.
"Together, I hope we can raise at least $500,000 and make a huge impact in this magical country," Anderson wrote on her fundraising page. "Keep checking my page and Facebook and Twitter to find out about all sorts of contests I'll be running from now until November - I will give updates on my training too."
Paparazzo Helps Out Hugh Jackman, Buys His Son a Toy
Lingering paparazzi are proving to be more of a blessing than a curse for Hugh Jackman.
Not only did the Prisoners star reveal that a photog helped him find his lost son recently, but another paparazzo came to Jackman's rescue this week when he tried to buy a toy for his son in Berlin and his credit card wouldn't work.
After noticing the 44-year-old thesp left the store toy-less Thursday, the paparazzo bought the item for the actor and surprised him with the gift.
And Jackman, who was all smiles as he accepted the toy, seemed to really appreciate the gesture.
Jackman recently praised the paparazzi after his son went missing during a family outing at Sydney's Bronte Beach and a photog found 13-year-old Oscar in a tree.
"I've never been so happy to have paparazzi follow me," Jackman said, according to the UK Express.
Following yet another positive experience with the paps, the 44-year-old thesp headed to Spain Friday for the 2013 San Sebastian International Film Festival, where he received the Donostia Award Friday in San Sebastian.
"I have to say how humbly grateful and how surprised I am to receive this award," Jackman said in a press conference after receiving the lifetime achievement honor.
"It means a lot to me for many reasons. It is a rare thing as an actor to take a moment and look back at sometime, you always tend to think ahead to the future."
Robin Williams' Rapid-Fire Return to Sitcoms
The last time I was on TV, ‘wired’ meant a gram and a bottle of Jack Daniels,” says Robin Williams in one of those offhand, rapid-fire one-liners he specializes in, leaving you just a moment to get it before he moves to the next topic.
That signature lightspeed delivery and brilliant comedic cross-references dazzled television audiences nearly 40 years ago when the standup comic, improv artist and Julliard-trained actor became a nearly overnight superstar on the “Happy Days” spinoff “Mork & Mindy" and served him well through a long a varied career in film.
Throughout his colorful, sometimes controversial personal life which included multiple marriages, drug and alcohol abuse, rehab and heart surgery, Williams headlined top-grossing comedies like “Aladdin,” “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “The Birdcage.” There were touching dramas such as “Awakenings," his Oscar-winning turn in “Good Will Hunting,” and specialized projects somewhere in between like “Good Morning Vietnam,” “Dead Poets Society” and “The Fisher King.”
It’s that middle ground of comedy and pathos that Williams hopes to mine as he returns to television with “The Crazy Ones,’ a half-hour comedy that casts him as a brilliantly inventive ad man whose career seems at its zenith unless it can be salvaged by his more practical minded daughter – the project cannily teams him with dramedy-definer David E. Kelley (“Ally McBeal,” “Boston Legal”) and co-star Sarah Michelle Gellar, who trod a similar line on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”
Williams says that while he’s tamed his lifestyle excesses over the years, his creative process going into the new series remains the same: “It’s the idea of getting a stimulus and seeing how far you can go with it, pushing your mind and seeing what you can wrap around it in a new way,” he says. “That’s what’ll be exciting about this. Where do you go and how do you find it? With David, that’s why I signed on, because it was him: he knows characters. If it was just the idea and ‘Be funny,’ well, good luck.”
His particular brand of hyperdriven hilarity seemingly happening in the moment is the stuff of comedy legend and talk show gold, but while he’s been encouraged to make “The Crazy Ones” material his own, he wants to manage the manic-ness. “It has to be appropriate,” he says. “You try something, you go for it, and even in failing you might find interesting stuff. In an ad agency, you find some weird ideas and try them in the creative process. That’s what will be fun, if it works. You’re really improvising – good and bad, both of them.”
Kelley says that when real-life ad agency icon John Montgomery suggested the notion of a series set in the contemporary world of advertising, he felt the timing was off but “I couldn't get it out of my mind. I kept going back to it. Finally, I took a stab at writing it. Once the script was written and it was about this iconic, crazy advertising genius and his relationship with his daughter, we said, "Okay – who best to play all of these parts?" because there were certainly many different muscles to flex within this role.”
Michael Jackson Will Be Star of Closing Arguments
Michael Jackson, immortalized by music videos, will be the star of closing arguments by his mother's lawyers in the civil negligence case against concert giant AEG Live LLC.
The videos have been shown frequently during testimony in the 21-week trial to remind jurors of Jackson's musical triumphs as well as the rehearsals for his ill-fated "This Is It" concert tour when some witnesses claim he was ailing.
They are expected to ask for more than $1 billion, citing testimony of experts who said Jackson had a long lucrative career ahead of him when he died at the age of 50.
Final arguments are likely to draw a crowd, leading the judge to move proceedings from her tiny courtroom to a larger courtroom that can accommodate media, spectators, lawyers and Jackson fans who line up daily for a lottery to win seats in the courtroom.
The fans huddle and discuss the case in the hallway and wait to see Katherine Jackson enter the courtroom. Some wear T-shirts emblazoned with her picture and messages of support.
AEG Live is accused of negligently hiring Dr. Conrad Murray, who was convicted in 2011 of giving Jackson an overdose of the anesthetic propofol as he tried to sleep during preparations for comeback shows in London.
The company claims it was Jackson who insisted that Murray treat him because the former cardiologist was giving him propofol as a sleep aid.
AEG Live drafted a contract for Murray's services, according to testimony, but it was never signed by anyone except Murray before Jackson died.
Stars React to Corey Monteith Emmy Tribute
The inclusion of young "Glee" actor Cory Monteith among individual salutes at the Emmy Awards was a tough topic on the red carpet.
Monteith, who was 31 when he died in July of a drug overdose, was chosen by show producers over such veteran actors and Emmy nominees as Larry Hagman of "Dallas," Charles Durning of "Evening Shade" and Jack Klugman of "The Odd Couple."
"Cory had a very special place in our cultural history this year," said Mayim Bialik of "The Big Bang Theory." ''It's such a hard thing to handle either way. Different people are honored for different reasons."
Veteran actress Margo Martindale of the new show "The Millers" called Hagman, Durning and Klugman "icons for me."
"Everyone should be included," she said. "Is it that there could only be so many people and so little time?"
The individual segments were in addition to the traditional "in memoriam" piece that groups together industry members who died in the past year.
Monteith was by far the youngest of the individuals singled out and had never been nominated for an Emmy.
Others honored individually were "The Sopranos" star James Gandolfini, Jean Stapleton of "All in the Family," comedian and actor Jonathan Winters and "Family Ties" producer Gary David Goldberg.
Britney Spears Announces Las Vegas Residency
Britney Spears is heading to Las Vegas.
The pop star announced a residency at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Tuesday. "Britney: Piece of Me" will debut Dec. 27. The singer announced 16 dates, but she will perform 50 shows each in 2014 and 2015.
Spears was in the Nevada desert for the announcement with more than 1,000 fans. Some dressed like the singer's signature schoolgirl look from her "... Baby One More Time" music video.
The Grammy-winning singer's confirmation about the residency comes months after rumors swirled online. She said in an interview on "GMA" that the show will feature her greatest hits as well as new material.
"I'm definitely ready," she said, adding that she's training five hours each day.
Tickets for "Britney: Piece of Me" go on sale Sept. 20. Prices range from $59 to $179.
The 31-year-old Spears released a new song, "Work B----," this week. The song is from her untitled eighth album, due out Dec. 3. It will include songs about her ex-fiance Jason Trawick.
"They suck," she said. "Breakups suck."
New Miss America's Visit to Boardwalk Fire Site Cancelled
A visit to the scene of New Jersey's devastating boardwalk by the newly-crowned Miss America was cancelled on Monday.
The Miss America Organization told The Associated Press that Nina Davuluri, who won the title Sunday night in Atlantic City, was to head to Seaside Park and Seaside Heights Monday afternoon to support the reconstruction efforts.
The visit was cancelled after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was having cabinet officials meet with affected business owners at the same time as Davuluri's scheduled visit, according to Newsday.
More than four blocks of the iconic boardwalk were destroyed by a raging wind-whipped fire on Thursday.
"Pirates of the Caribbean 5" Delayed Beyond 2015
So much for summer 2015.
The start of production on the fifth installment of Disney's multibillion-dollar "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise has been delayed until at least this fall, prompting the studio to change its projected release date from July 10, 2015, to "Unset."
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer told The Hollywood Reporter that there are issues with the script (something that's probably pretty common when you're on to Popcorn Movie No. 5) and they're hoping to get the show on the high seas by summer 2016.
But they better hurry up before the end comes nigh for franchise cornerstone Johnny Depp.
The 50-year-old actor, who at this time is the only returning star officially attached to "Pirates 5" (which is currently listed on IMDb as "POTC: Dead Men Tell No Tales"), told the BBC in July that his retirement from moviemaking is "probably not too far away."
Of course, that may just have been "Lone Ranger" burnout talking--a feeling Disney is more than familiar with.
The $250 million flop may result in a reported $190 million write-down for the studio, so there must be concerns that even having Captain Jack Sparrow aboard won't be enough to carry a "Pirates" film into the black if the script isn't ship-shape.
Jeff Nathanson is working on the screenplay for "Pirates 5" and Joachim Rnning and Espen Sandberg are signed up to direct.
"We have an outline everyone loves but the script is not done...We want a script that everyone's signed off on and a budget that everyone's signed off on," Bruckheimer told THR.
The first four "Pirates" films grossed more than $3.7 billion at the box office worldwide.
Robin Thicke's 'Blurred Lines' vs. Marvin Gaye: The War Over Summer's Song
Although musical influences can be heard in nearly every song on the radio, such artists as John Lennon, Led Zeppelin and Black Eyed Peas have been brought to court for song theft, which under copyright law means their music is "substantially similar" to another song. In 1976, for example, George Harrison was found to have lifted 1970's "My Sweet Lord" -- "subconsciously," said the judge -- from The Chiffons' "He's So Fine."
a similar song -- Madonna had to pull "Frozen" from Belgian radio after a Belgian artist won a plagiarism case -- there are countless disputes that go nowhere. That's due in part to the murky and subjective nature of copyright law -- blurred legal lines, you might say. As Questlove tweeted about Thicke's suit: "Just because a song is derivative that doesn't mean it's plagiarized."
Copyright authority includes the ability to control "derivative works." "You can't make 'Hotel California 2' or 'Welcome Back to the Jungle' any more than you could make Star Wars: Episode VII without a license," notes copyright lawyer Eric German.
But courts often are left to make subjective evaluations of how much similarity is too much. Just ask the songwriter who sued Kanye West over 2007's "Stronger" and was ridiculed by judges for attempting to "own" a particular rhyme pattern. The plaintiff "cannot claim copyright over a tercet," scoffed an appeals court this year.
In fact, in a song theft case, one of the first things argued is what is protectable and what isn't. Musicologists are hired, time signatures are scrutinized, and the measures in a verse become a battleground. An ongoing $10 million lawsuit against Justin Bieber and Usher, for instance, makes the case that "Somebody to Love" took a valuable hook from a Virginia songwriter.
"Of course, the lyrics had to change," an attorney for the plaintiff argued in court papers. "But to keep the value of the underlying song, they had to keep the 'hook,' that part ... listeners will sing to themselves in the car or shower ('I … need somebody to loooooove!')." And what do Bieber's attorneys say? "The law is clear that this phrase is too short and cliche to be protected."
If the songwriter suing Bieber were more popular, he'd likely have an easier time. Under the "inverse ratio rule," a lower standard of proof of similarity is necessary when a high degree of "access" is shown. Parties also battle over "extrinsic" similarity -- objective measures like chord progression -- and "intrinsic" similarity, or what an ordinary listener might think. Other considerations include whether the artist accused of lifting has made "transformative" use of the original.
Digital advances only have confused the legal issues. Websites give artists instant access to millions of previous songs. At the same time, forensic software allows the lesser-known artist to sniff out unlicensed samples, explaining why Madonna is facing a lawsuit over 1990's "Vogue" and The Beastie Boys are fighting over its 1989 album, Paul's Boutique.
The preemptive move by Thicke against Gaye's family and Bridgeport Music Inc. (rightsholder for Funkadelic, whose "Sexy Ways" also was named) is a somewhat ingenious gambit: By suing over two allegedly similar songs, Thicke's lawyer Howard King implicitly argues that music can't be plagiarized from a duo of distinct tunes. On the other hand, the Gayes' lawyer, Richard Busch, likely will make the case that the war over the song of summer 2013 isn't much different than the one over the song of summer 1963. Brian Wilson gave Chuck Berry props. Should Thicke do the same for Marvin Gaye?
MTV VMAs: Justin Timberlake Wins Top Prize, Macklemore Earns Three Moonmen
Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke joined forces for a controversial performance, while 'N Sync reunited -- if briefly.
The 2013 MTV Video Music Awards aired Sunday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on MTV from Brooklyn's Barclays Center, with Justin Timberlake taking home the night's top prize of Video of the Year for "Mirrors."
"This is amazing," Timberlake said, "'cause it's so personal for me."
Lady Gaga opened the ceremony with the world-premiere performance of "Applause" (and a whopping five costume changes during her performance alone). Other artists to hit the stage included Kanye West, Bruno Mars, Drake and a collabo from Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke, which set Twitter into a frenzy from the over-the-top, teddy-bear-and-grinding-filled performance. Cyrus, introduced by Saturday Night Live cast member Vanessa Bayer doing her best Cyrus impression, set tongues wagging when she stripped down to a nude-colored two-piece and danced suggestively with Thicke.
Timberlake brought his former boy band 'N Sync to the stage while accepting the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award from presenter Jimmy Fallon. After a medley of his biggest solo hits, including "Take Back the Night," "SexyBack," "Cry Me a River" and "Rock Your Body," JC Chasez, Lance Bass, Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick emerged from below the stage for a brief rendition of 'N Sync's "Girlfriend" and "Bye Bye Bye." As quickly as they arrived, they descended again and Timberlake tied up the performance on his own with his 20/20 Experience hits "Suit & Tie" and "Mirrors."
Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jared Leto, Emeli Sande and A$AP Rocky were among the show's presenters, with DJ Cassidy as the official DJ.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis performed their gay rights anthem "Same Love" with vocalist Mary Lambert after winning the Moonman for Best Video With a Message. Surprising the audience, Jennifer Hudson joined in the performance and engaged Lambert in a vocal back-and-forth onstage.
"I really wanted to win the Best Rap Video, but this Moonman right here stands for so much more," said Macklemore during his acceptance speech. The duo won the award for Best Rap Video earlier in the evening and, off-camera, their "Can't Hold Us" won Best Cinematography.
"Gay rights are human rights, there is no separation," he added of the recent legal victory in California over Prop 8. "To watch this song in the last year spread across the world is a testament to what is happening right now in American on the forefront of equality."
Introducing the Seattle-based rapper was Jason Collins, the NBA player who came out earlier this year. Standing next to A$AP Rocky, Collins said: “The only way things change is when you stand up for what you believe in."
Comic Kevin Hart appeared multiple times during the broadcast to crack jokes, but was quick to clarify that he wasn't the night's official host.
"They just keep asking me to do stuff," he explained. "I'm just up here to talk about some stuff right now."
Hart hosted last year's ceremony at Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.
In standard fashion, Swift also made a pointed dig at one of her exes. While accepting the honor of Best Female Video for "I Knew You Were Trouble," Swift thanked the man who inspired the song, saying that he "knows exactly who he is."
"Now I got one of these," she said with a big grin, holding her Moonman high in the air.
Katy Perry closed out the show with a live rendition of "Roar" from the Brooklyn Bridge.
Marvin Gaye's Family Rejected Robin Thicke's Six-Figure Offer (Exclusive)
Billboard has learned that Robin Thicke’s team offered a six-figure sum to members of Marvin Gaye family in order to preempt a copyright infringement showdown, but the family turned it down.
According to sources knowledgeable with the lawsuit, the settlement offer came after Frankie Christian Gaye, Marvin Gaye III and Nona Marvisa Gaye accused Thicke's "Blurred Lines" hit single of plagiarizing "Got To Give it Up," written and composed by Marvin Gaye, who died in 1984.
Subsequently, Thicke, along with "Blurred Lines" co-writers Pharrell Williams and Clifford Harris, Jr., filed a lawsuit on Aug. 15 in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles requesting a ruling that "Blurred Lines" does not infringe on "Got To Give It Up." It also requested a similar judgement with regard to another accusation, by Bridgeport Music Inc., that "Blurred Lines" infringed on George Clinton's "Sexy Ways."
Bridgeport and the Gaye family's attorney, Richard Busch, did not return calls requesting comment. Thicke's law firm, King, Holmes, Paterno & Berliner, declined to comment.
In an interview with TMZ, Gaye's son, Marvin Gaye III said, "We’re not happy with the way that he went about doing business let alone suing us for something where he clearly got his inspiration from at the least."
During an interview with GQ magazine in May about his career and the making of "Blurred Lines," Thicke said, "one of my favorite songs of all time was Marvin Gaye's 'Got to Give It Up.' I was like, 'Damn, we should make something like that, something with that groove.' Then he started playing a little something and we literally wrote the song in about a half hour and recorded it. The whole thing was done in a couple hours."
Thicke's lawsuit said the "intent in producing 'Blurred Lines' was to evoke an era. In reality, the Gaye defendants are claiming ownership of an entire genre.... The reality is that the songs themselves are starkly different."
The question remains, how different are they? Which may be up to a judge to decide.
Lindsay Lohan Admits to Lying About Cocaine Use, Thriving on 'Chaos' in Oprah Interview
The actress also confirms she's an "addict," defends her parents and talks about her jail time during the sit-down, which aired Sunday night on OWN.
Lindsay Lohan admitted to lying about how many times she used cocaine during an interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired Sunday night on OWN.
While the actress has previously stated that she used the drug three or four times, she told Winfrey that the actual number is more like 10-15 times.
"I was terrified of being judged," she said, adding that she snorted -- and never injected -- the drug.
Lohan also admitted, "I'm an addict," but insisted that her addiction is to alcohol.
"That, in the past, was a gateway to other things for me," she said. "I tried cocaine with alcohol."
Lohan added that she didn't enjoy using cocaine: "I never felt good the next day." But she took it because it "allowed me to drink more. It was a party thing. People would have it, and I'd do it."
Lohan also said when she found out she was going to jail -- she first was ordered to jail time in 2010 for violating probation -- that moment was "terrifying." But, subconsciously, she knew that she needed help.
"Having all the chaos around me that I was so comfortable with, I somewhere inside knew I wanted to go to jail," she said. "And I think that that was subconsciously being put out there just by my actions, or lack thereof."
She also praised her attorney, Shawn Holley, who has appeared on The Hollywood Reporter's list of most powerful entertainment attorneys: "She's my family, she's been through a lot with me, she's stood by me. I love her. She's got a great spirit and cares for me and wants what's best for me."
Lohan, who has been in rehab six times, says she's clean now and takes only vitamins along with Nexium for her acid reflux. She said that she once took Adderall for her ADD, but has since stopped because she doesn't believe she needs it anymore -- and functions better without it. She added that it wasn't a sudden a-ha moment that spurred her to change her ways but more of a realization over a period of time.
Asked if she is "addicted to chaos," Lohan replied: "I think so. Yeah, it was a comfortable choice to me. What was chaotic to other people in the outside looking in was normal. There is something to be said about me learning to be comfortable with things just being OK."
Meanwhile, Lohan's parents -- Dina and Michael Lohan -- have been accused in the past of exploiting their daughter, but the actress denied that she felt they had ever done such a thing. However, she did admit that she wishes certain family problems -- such as her leaked phone call with her father in which she accused her mother of doing coke (an accusation she told Winfrey was false) -- hadn't been aired in public.
Lohan, who is currently starring in The Canyons, which hit theaters Aug. 2, also made her case that she's not the same wild child of the past several years. She said she's ready to prove that she is a responsible adult who can be trusted by directors, producers and the like.
"[I'm ready] to get the thing that has made me happiest my whole life back, which is to work really hard, stay focused and prove myself," she said. "I have to regain trust in people, in my career, that had doubts, and I fully respect that on their behalf. As long as I stay honest in myself and do the work I'm willing to do and have been willing to do and am doing, then nothing can stand in my way. I am my own worst enemy, and I know that."
Next up, Lohan is traveling with her brother to Europe to take part in a yoga and meditation retreat.
"I'm different," the actress said when pressed by Winfrey whether that was the best decision for her, only four days out of rehab. "I feel different I'm in a different headspace. I don't want those things I wanted before."
Still, Winfrey encouraged her to stay in New York for some time before embarking on such a trip, an idea Lohan said she would consider.
Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley Returning to Host 2013 CMA Awards
Why get rid of a good thing?
At least, that seemed to be the thinking process of the Country Music Association when it came to choosing the cohosts for the 2013 CMA Awards.
Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley will return to take on the duty of hosting "Country's Biggest Night" for the sixth year in a row.
The news of the popular and entertaining duo taking on the role of cohosts yet again was announced during CMA Music Festival: Country's Night to Rock last night on ABC.
"Carrie and Brad are the consummate hosts," said Ed Hardy, President of the CMA Board of Directors. "They have the respect of our industry, artistic credibility, critical acclaim, and a quick-witted, genuine rapport that makes them popular with our audience and the viewers at home. We are delighted to have them back as hosts for the sixth year."
The 47th Annual CMA Awards will air live from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Nov. 6 on ABC.
Jimmy Fallon Opens Up About "Awful" 5-Year Fertility Struggle
Jimmy Fallon revealed that with he and his wife struggled for five years to start a family before they decided to choose surrogate pregnancy.
"We've tried a bunch of things," he told Savannah Guthrie on the "Today" show. "Anyone who's tried will know it's just awful."
Fallon and wife Nancy Juvonen had their first baby on July 23, a day after the royal baby was born.
Winnie's birth was a surprise to many, he said. Fallon told the show last Friday that his past disappointments with family and friends led him and his wife to decide not to tell anyone they were expecting a child.
Fallon encouraged couples facing difficulties with pregnancy to not lose hope and to try every possible avenue to start a family. He continued his burst of his excitement and expressed his happiness to Guthrie.
He also reveals how his daughter got the name "Winnie." Fallon told the "Today" show that Winnie was short for Lake Winnipesaukee, the location of a New Hampshire lake house where Fallon and his wife got engaged and adds that "Winnie" from the "The Wonder Years" was an extra inspiration.
"And also, she's a 'win' for us," he said. "I'm just so happy right, I'm freaking out."
This year has been a productive year for Fallon who not only is now a proud father, but his show has been nominated for an Emmy, and NBC officially announced Jimmy Fallon will take over "The Tonight Show" in the spring of 2014.
The "Today" show will air part two of Guthrie's interview with Fallon this Wedesday.
George Lucas and Wife Mellody Hobson Welcome a Baby Girl
It's a girl!
George Lucas and wife Mellody Hobson welcomed a daughter named Everest Hobson Lucas Friday, Aug. 9, according to the Huffington Post.
The little one, who was delivered via surrogate, is the first biological child for the couple and joins Lucas' adopted children 32-year-old Amanda, 25-year-old Katie and 20-year-old Jett.
The Star Wars creator and the Ariel Investments president wed in late June at Lucas' Skywalker Ranch in Marin County, Calif.
Prior to the pair's engagement, the 69-year-old filmmaker sold Lucasfilm to Disney for a whopping $4.05 billion in Oct. 2012.
"It was 40 years of work," Lucas told E! News at the Ebony Power 100 Gala in November. "It has been my life, but I am ready to move on to bigger and better things."
Including a newborn baby girl. Congrats to the happy couple!
Usher's Child Custody Battle Back in Court
A judge in Atlanta is set to hear arguments in a child custody battle between R&B singer Usher and his ex-wife.
Tameka Foster Raymond requested the hearing earlier this week after the former couple's son got caught in a pool drain while in the care of the Grammy winner's aunt. Fulton County Superior Court Judge John Goger set the hearing for Friday afternoon.
Raymond's court filing says the 5-year-old boy "suffered a near-death accident" while left unsupervised at Usher's home Monday. She's seeking temporary primary custody of the former couple's two children.
Usher and Tameka Raymond married in 2007 and divorced two years later. They went through a lengthy child custody battle, and Usher was awarded primary custody of the boys last year.
Matt Damon Heads Back to "Jimmy Kimmel Live"--Watch Guillermo Ambush His "Elysium" Interview
Jimmy Kimmel is reigniting his "feud" with Matt Damon.
Six months after the Oscar winner took over "Jimmy Kimmel Live" in retaliation for all the times the funnyman bumped him over the years, Kimmel sent sidekick Guillermo Diaz on a mission to crash a junket interview Damon was doing to promote his new sci-fi blockbuster, "Elysium."
And Matt was none too thrilled about it.
"Look, man. I'm trying to do my job here. I have an interview I have to do, OK?" said Damon after the show's parking-lot security guard suddenly interrupted his sit-down.
"Me too! I have to do a junky for my movie!" responded Guillermo.
After Damon wondered just what the heck he was talking about ("You're gonna do a junky for your movie? You have a movie?"), Guillermo held up a poster for his own flick, "Estupido" with a giant arrow pointing at the "Bourne Identity" star.
"It's about a man. Who's stupid from Boston. It's basically a true story!" quipped Guillermo.
After asking his uninvited interlocutor to step out of the shot, Guillermo proceeds to plug "Estupido," announcing in Spanish that he's "very proud of this movie," which also features a friend named Ben--as in Ben Affleck, of course--"who's also stupid."
After Damon informs him he speaks Spanish, Guillermo turns the poster around to reveal another one-sheet for a film called "Ass Face" with yet another arrow pointing at him.
"Jimmy paid thousands and thousands of dollars to fly you from L.A. to Miami to carry a sign that says 'Ass Face' with an arrow pointed at me, double-booking a hotel room so you can do this?" asked the thesp.
"Jimmy's very rich. He can do whatever he wants," laughed Guillermo.
At that point, just as Damon turns toward the camera to give Kimmel a stern message, his speech is cut off by a voice-over from Guillermo, who plugs the actor "in the role of a lifetime" in "Ass Face."
Somehow we doubt an apology from Jimmy is forthcoming. It looks like it's on again
Nick Cannon Writes Open Letter to "Sister" Amanda Bynes: "I Care and I Appreciate You"
"As of lately I have been hit with an onslaught of questions about someone I consider family, someone I watched grow up, and someone I genuinely feel is one of the most pleasant human beings I have had the pleasure of meeting, Amanda Bynes," Cannon said.
The TV host and actor stated that he used to "brush it off," but after Bynes' was admitted for psychiatric care, he said, "I see this as no laughing matter."
Mariah Carey's hubby continued to say that although "fame and entertainment is one of the best and easiest occupations to ever have," it can also swallow a person up if they don't know how to navigate through, what he calls, the "matrix."
"I've seen it happen to many of my friends and colleagues young and old. It goes back to that old saying; 'Too much of anything is bad for anyone.' Whether it's fame, money, sex, drugs, attention. It's all a dangerous addiction," Cannon wrote.
"We all end up alone in that dark hole at some point in our lives and if you don't have a foundation of friends and family to help bring you up and out it makes that journey long and detrimental."
Nick wanted to make sure that Bynes knew he was only a phone call away, if she ever needed it.
"So I say to my sister Amanda Bynes you're not alone. I'm here for you. I understand. I care and I appreciate you, because that's what family does and that's what family is for."
Last week, E! News confirmed that Bynes was detained by police and taken into custody for a mental health evaluation after being "involved in a disturbance in a residential neighborhood," and ultimately placed on a 5150 hold.
Jimmy Fallon Welcomes a Baby Girl with Wife Nancy Juvonen
Jimmy Fallon had a later night than usual--in the maternity ward!
The "Late Night" host and wife Nancy Juvonen welcomed a baby girl early Tuesday morning, their first child together, People reports. (And in secondary news: Jimmy Fallon and his wife were expecting a baby.)
Somewhat hot on the heels of the royal birth (not to mention Fallon's jokes about it), their child arrived at 6:21 a.m. in New York and the new parents "are overjoyed about the arrival of their beautiful daughter."
The couple have not announced a name yet.
Meanwhile, Fallon was on the air last night — which is reasonable, considering his 12:35 a.m. show actually tapes at around 5 p.m. — but NBC will be airing a repeat tonight.
The 38-year-old funnyman, who will take over as host of "The Tonight Show" next year, married Juvonen, 46, in December 2007 after meeting through mutual friend Drew Barrymore. She runs Flower Films with Juvonen and starred in "Fever Pitch" with Fallon.
And to think, Fallon was just making all those royal baby jokes without giving any indication that he was about to become a dad!
"That's right, Kate Middleton went into labor this morning in London. When the rest of the royal family heard, they were like, 'Oh my God — what's "labor"?'" he quipped during Monday's monologue.
Preceding the happy personal news, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon recently scored its third Emmy nomination for Best Variety Series.
Congrats to Jimmy and Nancy!
Stevie Wonder Boycotting Florida Following Zimmerman Verdict
The singer refuses to perform in the state until its Stand Your Ground law is "abolished."
Stevie Wonder won't be performing in Florida anytime soon.
In the wake of the George Zimmerman acquittal, the singer said he would not be performing in the Sunshine State until its Stand Your Ground law is "abolished." He also said he would not be performing in any other state that recognizes the law, which some say contributed to Zimmerman's acquittal in the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26, 2012.
"I decided today that until the Stand Your Ground law is abolished in Florida, I will never perform there again," Wonder said Sunday while performing in Quebec City. "As a matter of fact, wherever I find that law exists, I will not perform in that state or in that part of the world."
Some have argued that the law played no role in the acquittal. However, The Atlantic's Ta-Nehisi Coates pointed out that it was cited in the jury instructions.
Meanwhile, Wonder also called for his fans' support of his boycott.
"The truth is that -- for those of you who’ve lost in the battle for justice, wherever that fits in any part of the world -- we can’t bring them back," he said. "What we can do is we can let our voices be heard. And we can vote in our various countries throughout the world for change and equality for everybody. That’s what I know we can do." (Watch Wonder's full announcement below.)
Protests have broken out in major U.S. cities including New York and Los Angeles since the jury rendered its not-guilty verdict last week.
Recording artists including Beyonce, Young Jeezy, Wyclef Jean and Lil Scrappy have already paid tribute to Martin.
BET Awards 2013 - Great Show!
Rihanna Dethrones Justin Bieber as Most-Viewed YouTube Artist
Rihanna has nabbed Justin Bieber’s claim as YouTube’s most-viewed artist.
Rihanna has 8.7 million subscribers on her channel, which is almost twice as much as Biber's 4.9 million.
The other musicians that round out the top most-viewed list are PSY at 3.1 billion views, Eminem at 2.4 billion views, Lady Gaga at 2.25 billion views and Shakira with 2 billion views, according to Billboard.
Johnny Depp Exits Whitey Bulger Biopic Over Salary Dispute
Johnny Depp has fallen out of Black Mass, Cross Creek and Exclusive Media's biopic of Boston gangster Whitey Bulger for director Barry Levinson.
Depp was to have been paid his usual quote of $20 million, according to sources, but with sales of the project at Cannes on the soft side, producers were looking to trim the budget, in the high $60 million range. Depp was asked to take half, according to sources, and the actor and his reps at UTA refused. The situation came to a crux Wednesday.
The movie was to have been Depp's follow-up to Transcendence, the sci-fi Alcon project he is currently shooting.
Though Cross Creek and Exclusive hope to salvage Black Mass by hiring another actor, it is unclear how Depp's exit will affect the involvement of Joel Edgerton, who recently became attached to play a disgraced FBI agent.
UTA had no comment.
Depp will next be seen in The Lone Ranger, opening July 3 in North America.
Berry Gordy to Be Honored by Songwriters Hall of Fame
The founder of Motown Records will be awarded the Pioneer Award at this year's gala.
Record producer and Motown Records founder Berry Gordy will be honored with the Pioneer Award at this year’s Songwriters Hall of Fame Awards gala. The award was established last year to "honor the career of a historic creator of an extensive body of musical work that has been a major influence on generations of songwriters," according to the organization. The 2012 award was given posthumously toWoody Guthrie.
"Berry Gordy is an innovator and a visionary," said Jimmy Webb, Songwriters Hall of Fame chairman. "Yes, he created a label, but more than that, he created a genre. Think about it, he pioneered a marketplace for African-American artistry, and then he invited the world in to enjoy it."
Gordy and Motown Records are responsible for the careers of artists such as Diana Ross and The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5, to name a few.
A musical based on Gordy’s life, Motown: The Musical, debuted on Broadway this week.
Gordy will join previously announced Hall of Fame inductees Tony Hatch, Mick Jones, Lou Gramm, Holly Knight, JD Souther, Steven Tyler, and Joe Perry at this year's event. The Songwriters Hall of Fame’s 44th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner is slated for Thursday, June 13.
Jimi Hendrix New Release - People, Hell and Angels
In her autobiography about being a young artist in New York City, Just Kids, Patti Smith described attending the opening night party for a new recording studio in August of 1970. Being shy and easily overwhelmed by crowds, she spent a great deal of time outside on the fire escape with the equally shy musician responsible for the studio's existence. Jimi Hendrix didn't have too much longer to live when he sat on the fire escape outside his newly opened Electric Ladyland Studios with the young poet. The studio was to be the place where he would experiment and play music away from the demands of the world-he was only able to do so for four weeks before going on the road and ultimately passing away in September. Today, more then 40 years after Hendrix's death, the studio is one part of his legacy to the world of music. (Smith is only one of many artists who recorded there too, taking advantage of what Hendrix created.)
Bruce Lee Origin Story Heading to Big Screen
Christopher Wilkinson and Stephen Rivele, whose credits include "Nixon" and "Ali," have been hired to write the script.
QED International and banner Groundswell Productions are aiming to tell a Bruce Lee origin story with Birth of the Dragon, tapping scribes Christopher Wilkinson and Stephen Rivele to pen the tale.
Dragon, according to QED and Groundswell, is inspired by the true-life duel between Lee and Wong Jack Man, who was China’s most famous kung fu Master. The no-rules fight took place in San Francisco in 1965, when the city’s Chinatown was controlled by Hong Kong triads.
The writers are using this true event as a jumping-off point for a wider-canvas action movie in which Wong and Lee team up to battle a band of Chinatown gangsters.
QED CEO Bill Block and Groundswell’s Michael London will produce the project along with Wilkinson and Rivele. Groundswell’s Kelly Mullen will exec produce.
"Stephen Rivele and Chris Wilkinson have taken a little-known chapter in the life of Bruce Lee and used it as a jumping-off point for a bold, exciting story about the making of an international legend,” said London in a statement.
Wilkinson and Rivele are best known for their biopic work. The duo’s credits include Nixon, the 1995 drama directed by Oliver Stone that netted them an Oscar nomination for best original screenplay, and 2001's Ali, directed by Michael Mann. They also wrote Mercury, the story of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, which is set up at GK Films with Sacha Baron Cohen to star.
Sofia Vergara's 'Killer Women' Adaptation, Score Pilot Orders at ABC
ABC is expanding its relationship with Emmy nominee Sofia Vergara -- ordering to pilot an adaptation of Argentine series Killer Women -- and is adding a drama from Awake creator Kyle Killen
Killer Women is a soapy procedural revolving around a female Texas Ranger, with the Modern Family star attached to executive produce the hour-long project. The project landed at the network with a script commitment in October.
The drama is based on the POL-KA Productiones' Argentine series Mujeres Asesinas, which itself is based on the book trilogy of the same name by Marisa Grinstein.
Hannah Shakespeare (The Raven) will pen the pilot script and executive produce alongside feature director Martin Campbell (Casino Royale), Vergara and her Latin World Entertainment partner Luis Balaguer.
The drama hails from ABC Studios and Electus, with Ben Silverman also on board to executive produce. It marks Electus's first pilot order this season; the company has a pilot presentation for a semi-autobiographical Jessica Simpson comedy set up at NBC.
Worth noting: ABC also has a semi-autobiographical comedy from Vergara's Modern Family co-star Ty Burrell awaiting word on its future. Burrell co-wrote the script with his brother, Duncan Burrell.
For its part, Killen's Influence is being billed as a provocative workplace ensemble centered on the complicated relationship between two brothers who head a unique agency designed to attack their clients’ problems using the real science of human motivation and manipulation.
The pair of dramas becomes the network's sixth and seventh pickups this pilot season, joining a legal drama from House creator David Shore, among others.
Killen, who wrote theMel Gibson/Jodie FosterfilmThe Beaver, is repped by WME, Anonymous Content and Lichter Grossman; Vergara is repped by CAA and Hansen Jacobson; Shakespeare is repped by CAA, Silent R Management and Felker Toczek.
'Crouching Tiger' Actress Prostitution Story
The lawyers fighting Zhang Ziyi's defamation lawsuit as an impingement of free speech, are objecting to the unmasking of "politically vulnerable" Chinese sources.
On Friday, a California federal court will play host to an important hearing in actress Zhang Ziyi's defamation lawsuit against U.S.-based China Free Press and a journalist over published claims that she is a prostitute who has earned more than $100 million for having sexual relations with high-ranking Chinese officials.
Zhang, who has starred in such films as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hero and Rush Hour 2, is looking to force Weican Null Meng, who writes for the Chinese dissident news website Boxun, to give up the sources that led to his prostitution reports. Zhang says the scandal has cost her quite a bit of income in the entertainment industry and ruined potential endorsement deals with luxury designer brand Michael Kors, French automaker Citroen and others.
But this is hardly the typical defamation case.
The defendants are gearing up for the Friday hearing that will determine whether and how the lawsuit proceeds. Lives will be on the line.
The stories originally gained attention not only due to the inclusion of a famous actress but also Bo Xilai, a former member of China's Communist government who was ousted from his post and entangled in a political scandal that forced his house arrest on charges of playing a role in the murder of a British businessman. The scandal drew international news attention, and Meng reported an untold aspect of the story -- that Bo and other high-level Communist Party officials in China had hired Zhang as a prostitute.
The stories were picked up by a plethora of news outlets including CNN, The Huffington Post and Yahoo.
Zhang's libel lawsuit that followed said the prostitution story was based on anonymous stories and not true at all and that when Boxun News was contacted about the falsity of the allegations, the publication refused to run a retraction.
Meng's attorney Marc Randazza then stood up to challenge the lawsuit as a "SLAPP," meaning an alleged use of the legal process to interfere with his client's First Amendment rights. In this instance, Randazza said the actress' legal move "seemed like a clever Chinese government plan to flush out the source, or, as a consolation prize, to shut down a journalistic gadfly."
In bringing an anti-SLAPP motion to strike the claims, Randazza also says the suit was filed "solely to create a Hobson's choice for its defendants: Either divulge their anonymous sources inside the People's Republic of China so that they may be subject to cruel, unusual and inhumane persecution, or surrender their own rights to free expression under the United States Constitution."
During the course of the litigation, Meng testified that there were three sources that formed the basis of his reports. "Source A" was someone Meng had relied upon extensively in the past who had learned the information from a Chinese businessman who was arrested as part of the corruption case against Bo. This primary source is described by the journalist as having a track record of reliability. "Source B" was an entertainment industry insider or a researcher in the social science area who had familiarity with the entertainment business. "Source C" was a freelance reporter Zhao Yan, who formerly worked for The New York Times and was arrested in China for leaking info about the Chinese leadership to foreign media.
Meng's attorneys has submitted a declaration from David Ardia, a media law professor at the University of North Carolina, who met with Meng about her sources, reviewed materials and documents in the case and conducted a post-publication libel assessment. His conclusion? "There is no basis to correct or retract the stories at issue in this case," he says in court documents.
Meanwhile, Zhang's attorneys at the Glaser Weil Fink law firm call the information provided by these sources to be "nothing more than rumors, innuendo and hearsay -- several if not many times removed."
Additionally, they have submitted their own declarations attacking the journalism practices of the defendants. For example, Hollywood attorney Larry Stein has submitted his own opinion in which he states it to be remarkable and against industry practice that Meng never attempted to verify his story with Zhang's representatives. He says that at a minimum, this demonstrates a reckless disregard for the truth.
He also says that "if reporters are permitted to write false statements and then hide behind anonymous sources known only to them allegedly out of concern about what might happen to such sources if they are disclosed, they can say whatever they want with impunity."
Friday's hearing will get into all sorts of legally tricky issues.
One is jurisdiction. Should a North Carolina-based journalist who has written about a Chinese actress receiving $100 million from Chinese officials in exchange for sexual services be forced to defend litigation in California?
Another has to do with whether Zhang needs to post a $200,000 bond for the case to continue. If Zhang loses on the anti-SLAPP motion, California law provides the defendant with the possibility of recovering legal fees. Meng's attorneys say they don't want a situation where Zhang, a Chinese citizen, can skip out on paying; Zhang's attorneys say the bond motion is moot because the concurrently heard motion to strike the lawsuit will settle this money issue.
And finally, the hearing will resolve how the case proceeds.
In reaction to Meng's anti-SLAPP motion, the actress' attorneys say that their lawsuit isn't meritless -- that she has a right to her reputation and business interests. The plaintiff says Meng has failed to meet the burden of showing the alleged defamatory statements concern an issue of public interest, arguing that supposed "sex deals" don't have much to do with a "major political scandal." The plaintiff say they have alleged sufficient evidence to prevail on their claims that the defendants acted with actual malice by avoiding the truth in regards to libelous statements. And Zhang's attorneys say that at a minimum, their client is entitled to know more about these confidential sources.
"The identities of Defendants' sources are necessary to test their veracity and reliability and to determine whether such sources even exist," Zhang's legal papers say.
Oprah Winfrey No Longer World’s Richest Black Woman
*Oprah Winfrey has reportedly been unseated as the world’s richest black woman.
According to a report published by Ventures Africa, an African business magazine and news service, the new title holder is Nigerian fashion designer and oil tycoon Folorunsho Alakija, who is worth an estimated $3.3 billion. That’s $500 million richer than Winfrey, whose wealth Forbes magazine estimated at $2.7 billion in September.
Alakija, 61, is the founder and owner of Famfa oil, a Nigerian oil company which owns a 60% working interest in OML 127, an offshore oil field which produces 200,000 barrels of oil per day.
“Total E&P recently sold off its 20% stake in a similar oil field to China’s Sinopec for $2.5 billion,” explains Ventures Africa editor Douglas Imaralu. “The oil field in question has a daily production capacity of 180,000 barrels a day.
“Similarly, other hand, OML 127 in which Famfa has a 60% interest produces about 200,000 barrels a day. When we did the math using the Total-Sinopec deal as a comparator, we came to the realization that Alakija’s stake is easily worth billions of dollars. We showed our calculations on ventures-africa.com. At this point, we have no doubt that she is indeed, richer than Oprah.
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Kim Kardashiam Skirt Cause outrage
Kim Kardashian looks to have left her underwear at home as she heads out for an early dinner with boyfriend Kanye West in Miami. As Kim checked out her outfit in the reflection of her car, it became apparent that the reality star was not wearing any underwear as she showed off her see-through grey skirt.
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