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Gold Derby nuggets: 'True Blood' goes graphic | 'Precious' talent updates | Carol Burnett reminisces

April 6, 2010 |  3:23 pm

True Blood title card • "True Blood" is gearing up for a third season on HBO beginning June 13. And in July, fans of the vampire drama starring Oscar champ Anna Paquin ("The Piano") will be able to buy the first installment of a graphic arts version of "True Blood." IDW is crafting a six-part miniseries in conjunction with the show's creator -- Oscar-winning scribe Alan Ball ("American Beauty") -- with artist David Messina handling interiors and covers and J. Scott Campbell doing variants. IGN

Valerie Harper garnered rave reviews for her performance as theatrical diva Talullah Bankhead in the new play "Looped." However, the New York critics were less kind to this new work by Matthew Lombardo ("Tea at Five") and the Broadway run is ending this Sunday. There is already talk of taking the show on the road and the four-time Emmy champ could still find herself in contention for best actress at the Tony Awards when nominations are announced May 4.

• Fans of the Tony Awards who find themselves on the other coast come June 13 can attend a viewing party hosted by Tony champ Brian Stokes Mitchell ("Kiss Me Kate"). The theater and TV vet serves as president of the Actors Fund, which is holding the fundraiser at the Skirball Center in Los Angeles. Capping off the evening will be the presentation of the Julie Harris lifetime achievement award, named for one of the theater greats who won a record five lead actress Tony Awards in her stellar career. ACTORS FUND

• The first kudos of the theater season are bestowed by the Outer Critics Circle. Nominations for these awards will be announced by Tony champ Sutton Foster ("Thoroughly Modern Millie") and her equally talented brother Hunter Foster ("Urinetown") on April 26. Winners will be named on May 17 with the prizes presented during a dinner at Sardi's on May 27.

Precious Poster 3Roger Friedman reports that Oscar-winning scribe Geoffrey Fletcher ("Precious") "will be directing a film from his own original script. 'Violet and Daisy' is the title of a movie that may get a start this summer with two Oscar nominated actresses in the lead roles. They would be Carey Mulligan, of 'An Education,' and Saoirse Ronan of 'The Lovely Bones.' " SHOWBIZ 411

• And we may get a chance to see whether talent runs in the family for Oscar nominee Gabourey Sidibe ("Precious") with the news that her mother Alice Tan Ridley will sing for the judges on "America's Got Talent." In an e-mail Ridley wrote, "It’s a big break for me and I would like to follow in Susan Boyle’s footsteps and become a star in my own right. I love the judges, Sharon and Piers, and I’m really looking forward to trying and impress them although I have not decided what I will sing or wear yet." RADAR ONLINE

Andrew Lloyd Webber's new tuner "Love Never Dies" -- the sequel to 1988 Tony champ "The Phantom of the Opera" -- will delay its New York opening by six months. The show -- which premiered to mixed reviews in London in March -- is now slated for spring 2011. A statement from the producers explained that the original opening was scheduled prior to the composer being diagnosed with prostate cancer last fall. "Although the cancer has been eradicated, there have been post-operative problems. These have been aggravated by recent air travel and Lloyd Webber's doctors have requested that he does not take any further long-haul flights for the time being and until the problem has been investigated. This prevents him attending auditions and being part of the pre-production process in New York on the original schedule." PLAYBILL

Carol BurnettAndrea Reiher recaps Tuesday's TV appearances by six-time Emmy champ Carol Burnett who has penned a memoir titled "This Time Together." The TV legend "tells 'Today' about discovering Vicki Lawrence and tells Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa on 'Live' the amazing story of how she came to New York to act." Back in 1986, Burnett recounted the story of her childhood and early days in show business in the best-selling "One More Time" which she and daughter Carrie Hamilton later adapted into the 2002 play "Hollywood Arms." This new volume -- which takes its title from a lyric in the theme song to her long-running variety series -- continues her fascinating story. ZAP 2 IT

• Writer-director Juan Jose Campanella will follow up his Oscar-winning foreign language film "El secreto de sus ojos" (The Secret in Their Eyes) with the first 3-D animated feature from his native Argentina. The plot of "Foosball" -- scripted by Campanella, Eduardo Sacheri (author of the book on which "Secret" is based), Gaston Gorali and Axel Kuschevatzky -- is derived from the popular table game. VARIETY

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Top photo: "True Blood" logo. Credit: HBO

Middle photo: "Precious" poster. Credit: Lionsgate

Bottom photo: "This Time Together" dust jacket. Credit: Random House

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