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Gold Derby nuggets: IDA nominees announced | Lesley Manville: Lead or supporting? | 'Driving Miss Daisy' debuts on Broadway

October 28, 2010 |  2:38 pm

• Nominees for the International Documentary Assn. Awards were announced Wednesday. Contending for the top prize of best feature documentary are: "Exit Through the Gift Shop," "The Oath," "Steam of Life," "Sweetgrass" and "Waste Land." In making the announcement, IDA executive director Michael Lumpkin said, "This has been another banner year for documentary films, and that is reflected in our list of nominees. Entries to the awards increased by nearly 20% this year, and the quality of the films vying for recognition is unprecedented." The awards will be handed out in a Dec. 3 ceremony at the Directors Guild Theater in Los Angeles, hosted by documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock. IDA

• And Peter Knegt wonders whether the feature documentary "Waiting for Superman" can make it into this year's best picture race. INDIE WIRE

• As S.T. Van Airsdale notes: "All is mostly calm as the second month of Movieline's Oscar Index commences; mostly, that is, unless you're at the top of three of the four acting categories and/or trying to get your embattled African-American ensemble drama through stolid barriers of critical mass. Otherwise, it's just hunches, gossip and word-of-mouth business as usual." MOVIELINE

• Following Tuesday's release of the satirical "Mr. Men" illustrated book comes news of another tome spun from the gold that is "Mad Men." As David Itzkoff reports: "The Grove Press imprint of Grove/Atlantic Inc. said it would release 'Sterling’s Gold: The Wit & Wisdom of an Ad Man,' a memoir the publisher attributes to the 'advertising pioneer and visionary Roger Sterling Jr.'" ARTSBEAT

Lesley ManvilleBrad Brevet conducts a fascinating online round-table debate about whether "Another Year" player Lesley Manville should go lead or supporting. As per Brad: "I've had her listed as a Supporting Actress contender since seeing the film back in May at Cannes only to learn today that's just not the way it is ... at least not right now. Before going any further with my predictions I felt it was finally time to get a clear answer from Sony Classics and find out exactly how they were going to promote Manville's 'Another Year' performance. For the record, I was the only one that had her listed for Best Supporting Actor among Oscar pundits and as it turns out, I was the only one that was wrong. In a phone call this morning with Sony Classics co-president Michael Barker I was told Sony Classics is currently pushing her as a lead actress. The argument is she has the largest amount of screen time in the film and Barker has said he's asked around and lead is the general consensus based on whom he's spoken with. However, it seems as if the door is far from closed." ROPE OF SILICON

Jeff Wells is "vaguely bummed out" about the news that James Cameron is to direct back-to-back sequels to 2009 best picture nominee "Avatar." As he explains" "It's a downer because it's basically a corporate cash-grab move. (Rothman and Gianopulos: 'They'll pay to see this again ... twice! Revenues! Hah-hah-hah!') Because it's a creatively lazy enterprise for Cameron as it'll be no great feat to come up with a prequel and a sequel. Because 'Avatar' was a great four-course meal, and I'm not feeling a need to go there again. Because the ending of Avatar was perfect (i.e., the opening of the transformed Jake Sully's eyes), and I'm thinking 'leave it there.' And because a guy like Cameron committing to a two-movie, four-year rehash project that is primarily about making money (i.e., certainly on 20th Century Fox's end) is a kind of capitulation to the golden-calf mentality." HOLLYWOOD ELSEWHERE

• Nominees Marc Anthony, Aida Cuevas, Jenni Rivera, Gilberto Santa Rosa Aleks Syntek, and Johnny Ventura will perform at the 11th annual Latin Grammy Awards, which are to air on Univision live from Las Vegas on Nov. 11. LATIN GRAMMYS

• The first rialto production of "Driving Miss Daisy" opened this week to strong reviews for stars Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones, prompting David Ng to ask, "How will Tony organizers treat 'Miss Daisy'?" As he explains: "According to recent Tony rules, a production can qualify as a 'revival' if the committee deems the work a 'classic' or part of 'the popular or historical repertoire,' which is to say that it's a subjective call." CULTURE MONSTER

• College students will get another chance to cover the Oscars as the academy and MTVU announced the return of a contest to pick three roving correspondents. Entrants have until Dec. 6 to submit an audition tape with voting on the top-10 being held online from Jan. 10 to Jan. 28. Three finalists will be flown to town to cover lead-up events, with the winner getting a spot on the red carpet. AMPAS

• The upcoming fifth season of "Big Love" will be the last, as per the announcement Thursday by paycaster HBO. The series about polygamy contended for best drama series at the 2009 Emmys and likewise at the Golden Globes for the last three years.

• To qualify in the animated feature film category for the upcoming Oscars, entry forms and supporting materials are due at the academy by 5 p.m. PDT on Nov. 1. The deadline to submit accompanying film prints is Nov. 12. AMPAS

Photo: Lesley Manville in "Another Year." Credit: Focus Features

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Gold Derby nuggets: 'Avatar' extras and sequels in the works | 'Glee' courts controversy with GQ cover | Cussing in 'The King's Speech'

October 20, 2010 |  2:17 pm

• On Tuesday, James Cameron revealed he will direct two sequels to "Avatar" simultaneously: "Our plan right now is to do two and three as a single large production and release them a year apart. In order to do that, we have to refine our technical processes beyond the end of where we were finishing 'Avatar' one year ago. We need to future-proof ourselves out five or six years to the end of the third film." MOVIEFONE

• Reporting from the Scream Awards, Katey Rich says that in anticipation of the Nov. 16 DVD and Blu-ray release of "Avatar," "Cameron showed up to present one never-before-seen clip, in which we meet Jake Sully back on Earth and see him as a bar brawler -- a paraplegic bar brawler, mind you." CINEMA BLEND

Kyle Buchanan sits down with "The Social Network" supporting player Armie Hammer, who portrays twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. As Buchanan observes, "Since there's only one of Hammer, that meant the actor was often acting opposite a body double whose face he'd be digitally grafted onto in postproduction (and when you consider the notorious amount of takes that an exacting director like David Fincher requires, Hammer's nimble pair of performances is all the more impressive)." VULTURE

Glee GQ cover • As Mary McNamara writes, "A mildly pornographic slideshow of photos accompanying GQ's November cover story about 'Glee' recently went up on the magazine's website, and the onslaught from parents groups has begun, with terms like 'pedophilia' being used and renewed complaints that the show is too sexually explicit for the tween end of the audience it courts." However, in McNamara's opinion, "the problem isn't so much the sex as the sexism. And the disappointing banality of it all." SHOW TRACKER

• The academy has revealed the five recipients of the 25th annual Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, who will be honored at a gala dinner in Beverly Hills on Nov. 4: Destin Daniel Cretton, Marvin Krueger, Andrew Lanham, Micah Ranum and Cinthea Stahl. AMPAS

Naomi Watts talks to Katie Hasty about playing exposed CIA operative Valerie Plame in "Fair Game" and reveals, "It's not about 'this is my chance to take a stance or opinion.' It's about the essence of the character. That was the case with Valerie. The fact that it was rooted in truth made it very compelling." HITFIX

Patrick Healy says, "Mike Nichols confirmed on Wednesday that he would mount a Broadway revival of 'Death of a Salesman' next fall starring Philip Seymour Hoffman as Willy Loman and Linda Emond as Linda Loman. Mr. Hoffman, an Academy Award winner for 'Capote' and a Tony Award nominee for 'True West' and 'Long Day's Journey Into Night,' has been eager to play Willy for some time, Mr. Nichols said in a telephone interview, and the two men have been making plans for a production for months." ARTS BEAT

Guy Lodge delivers the news that only those 15 and over will be able to see "The King's Speech" in British movie theaters. Both the Brits and the MPAA (which gave it an R rating) did so on the basis of a scene in which King George VI (Colin Firth) says the same curse word repeatedly as part of a speech therapy exercise. IN CONTENTION

• As Peter Kafka observes, "Conan O’Brien didn't really embrace the Web until he was just about out of his last job at NBC. But now he's in a well-documented digital bear hug: O’Brien and his team use Twitter, Tumblr and viral videos to promote the man and his new show on Time Warner's TBS. The newest venture -– a 24-hour live 'behind the scenes' Webcast, produced in conjunction with Google’s YouTube." ALL THINGS DIGITAL

• As Caroline Westbrook reports, "Abigail Breslin charmed cinemagoers everywhere with her role as an unlikely beauty queen in the 2006 hit 'Little Miss Sunshine.' But four years on, the cute actress is looking all grown up in a photo shoot for new magazine Bullett. Abigail, now aged 14, sports a goth look in the black and white pictures which could not be further removed from the bespectacled, gap-toothed seven-year-old she played in the Oscar nominated movie." DAILY MAIL

Photo: November cover of GQ. Credit: Terry Richardson / GQ

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Poll: Is 'Avatar,' 'Inception, 'True Blood' or 'Twilight: Eclipse' the Ultimate Scream?

September 3, 2010 |  1:25 pm

Screamlogo Not surprisingly, the tough guy tube channel Spike has dubbed its annual kudos the Scream Awards. The 5th edition of these awards -- honoring the best in sci-fi, fantasy, horror and comic books as determined by the fans in an online vote -- takes place on Oct. 19.

While the blockbuster "Inception" picked up a staggering 15 nominations in 14 categories, it is the scrappy "Kick-Ass" that leads with 17 bids spread across 13 categories. "Iron Man 2" vies for 13 awards. They are all in contention for the top prize of Ultimate Scream as are "Alice in Wonderland," "Avatar," "District 9," "Twilight: Eclipse" and "Zombieland."

Among the TV fare in the running, "True Blood" leads with 10 bids. The HBO vampire drama and "Lost" are the only two small screen nominees for the Ultimate Scream. They also contend for top TV show against "Dexter," "Doctor Who" and "V."

The eligibility period ran for a year from July 16, 2009, and nominees were determined by canvassing an advisory board that includes Tim Burton, John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Damon Lindelof, Ridley Scott, Quentin Tarantino and Joss Whedon.

 

Image: Spike Awards logo. Credit: Spike TV.

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Gold Derby nuggets: Uh oh! Kanye West returning to VMAs | Emmy bits and bites | 'Avatar' adds love scene for re-release

August 12, 2010 |  1:42 pm

Kanye West Taylor Swift Beyonce MTV VMAKanye West will be back onstage at this year's MTV VMAs, which air live from Los Angeles on Sept. 12. This time around he will be welcomed as a performer. Last year, he set tongues wagging when he interrupted Taylor Swift as she accepted the best female video award to say that Beyonce should have won. Both West and Swift are nominees this year — he for his collaboration with Drake, Li'l Wayne and Eminem on the "Forever" hip-hop music video and she for best female video for "Fifteen." In making the announcement, MTV said West will "be making his triumphant return to the VMAs" and noted  "Kanye has appeared at every VMA show since 2004, winning Best Male Video in 2005 (for 'Jesus Walks'), and Best Special Effects in 2008 ('Good Life')." West has a new album out in the fall and just debuted a new single with Beyonce called "See It Now." MTV

• Kanye should be happy to hear that Katie Hasty — who handicaps eight of the top races at the upcoming MTV VMAs — thinks that "Telephone" by Lady Gaga and featuring Beyonce will win video of the year: "It's rare to not only feature two of the biggest global pop stars into one video, but for them to interact as they do, in the non-stop wacky format that they do. While I personally find the clip to be one, long hot mess, I doubt any of  its shortcomings will keep folks from voting on it." HIT FIX

Steve Pond details the details of the upcoming Creative Arts portion of the Primetime Emmys, including this tidbit that, "the teams presenting awards will include Jane Lynch and Ryan Murphy (“Glee”), John Lithgow and Clyde Phillips (“Dexter”), Christina Hendricks and Matthew Weiner (“Mad Men'), Elizabeth Mitchell and Damon Lindelhof (“Lost”) and Rico Rodriguez and Steve Levitan (“Modern Family”)." As Steve notes, these kudos, "will hand out awards in more than 70 categories. The show will take place at the Nokia Theater on Saturday, August 21, and an edited version will air as a two-hour special on E! Entertainment Television on Friday, August 27."  THE WRAP

Primetime Emmy Poster • Current Emmy nominee and reigning drama supporting actor champ Michael Emerson talks about his time on "Lost" including the 12-minute epilogue that will feature on the final season DVD boxed set. He told Whitney Matheson, "I really like it. I was delighted when I found out I had one of the primary roles in it. I think I was as excited to shoot that as I was to shoot the finale of the series." As for his Emmy hopes: "You never know. But there are so many good actors in that category that haven't yet been given the award. It just seems like they should spread it around." USA TODAY

Supporting drama actress contender Christina Hendricks ("Mad Men") chats with Ray Richmond about, among other things, landing her first Emmy nomination: "It’s pretty awesome. It was amazing enough just to be on this show the past couple of years when it won. That’s been incredible. But this is even better. Matt [Matthew Weiner] gave my character Joan a lot of really amazing material this past season. That’s why I got the Emmy nomination. You won’t hear me complaining." DEADLINE

• Not surprisingly, Hollywood rewards all things young, including TV series as Randee Dawn discovers when considering the Emmy nominees for top drama. "A show should be young and complicated if it wants a berth in the top six. The eldest in this year's drama series lineup, 'Lost,' is also the only show that won't be back next year, and it's hardly old at six seasons. Not one of the other nominated drama series ('Mad Men,' 'Breaking Bad,' 'Dexter,' 'True Blood' and 'The Good Wife') has more than four seasons under its belt." HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

• Eight nominees from seven countries are competing for the news and current affairs awards to be handed out by the International Emmys in New York on Sept. 27. Contending for the current affairs Emmy are: "Dispatches" (United Kingdom),  "Enquete" (Radio Canada), "Telenoche" (Argentina) and "Tuesday Report" (Hong Kong). Up for the news prize are Al Jazeera English (Qatar), Sky News (United Kingdom), RT Channel (Russia) and TV Globo (Brazil) CBC

Avatar Sam Worthington Zoe Saldana • Had the original version of "Avatar" included the love scene in the nine minutes added for the upcoming re-release, would that have swayed Oscar voters? When asked about what audiences can expect Aug. 27, writer-director James Cameron said, "It's been restored, every last frame of it. Seriously," adding that the scene in question won't break any records — it lasts all of about 20 seconds. "I would say, just so that we correctly manage people's expectations," he explained carefully, "it does not change our rating at all. I would call it more of an alien foreplay scene. It's not like they're ripping their clothes off and going at it." MTV

• Oscar and Tony champ Marcia Gay Harden could well be contending again next year for that Emmy she needs to complete the acting triple crown. As William Keck reports, "Harden who received a 2007 Emmy Award nomination for her guest appearance as Federal Agent Dana Lewis on NBC's 'Law & Order: SVU'  is making a return visit to mean Manhattan streets. Last seen in the eighth season premiere, Dana will return in the eighth episode of the upcoming 12th season." TV GUIDE

Upper photo: Kanye West and Taylor Swift at the 2009 MTV VMAs. Credit: MTV.

Middle photo: Emmy Awards poster. Credit: NBC

Lower photo: "Avatar" promotion still. Credit: Fox.

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OMG: 'Twilight,' 'Glee,' Miley Cyrus and Taylor Lautner lead Teen Choice Awards nominations

July 13, 2010 |  2:56 pm

Teen Choice Awards Katy Perry"Twilight: New Moon" and Twilight: Eclipse" lead with a combined 17 nominations at the 12th edition of the Teen Choice Awards. And Taylor Lautner, one of the breakout stars of that saga, contends for a staggering 11 awards -- which come in the form of surfboards -- including choice male hottie against his film foe Robert Pattinson and another "Twilight" hunk Kellen Lutz.

Last year, "Twilight" set a Teen Choice Awards record, winning 11 of its 12 nominations, including best drama movie, actor (Robert Pattinson), actress (Kristen Stewart), villain (Cam Gigandet), lip-lock (Pattinson and Stewart) and rumble (Pattinson and Gigandet). Nikki Reed lost "fresh face female" to co-star Ashley Greene.

On the TV front, "Glee" -- nominated last week for 19 Emmy Awards -- earned a leading 13 TCA nominations while cross-over star Miley Cyrus matched that with her bids divided among movies, music and fashion. Winners will be decided via on-line voting, which is underway at the official website.

Katy Perry has been tapped to host these kudos, which air on Fox on Aug. 9. Perry will also be a nominee contending for summer female music star against Cyrus, Ke$ha, Lady Gaga and Rihanna as well as summer song for her hit "California Gurls." Perry is a four-time also-ran with these kudos, which determine winners via an online vote. She lost the Myspacer race in 2008 and her three music bids -- single, album, female artist -- last year.

Continue reading »

'Avatar' sweeps Saturn Awards with 10 wins

June 25, 2010 |  9:32 am

Avatar Poster "Avatar" trounced the competition at Thursday's Saturn Awards, winning all 10 of its bids, including best sci-fi film, the four acting prizes for leads Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana and supporting players Stephen Lang and Sigourney Weaver, and two trophies for writer-director James Cameron. Cameron, who already held the record with six previous wins, also was feted with the Visionary Award.

This 36th annual edition of the awards honored films across four genres, with the other top films being "Watchmen" (fantasy), "Drag Me to Hell" (horror) and "Inglourious Basterds" (action/adventure/thriller). Though there are four best film awards, the other categories cull nominees from all the genres.

"Sherlock Holmes" was blanked despite eight nominations. One seven-time nominee, "Watchmen," also won costumes and DVD while another, "Inglourious Basterds," had to settle for just that top film award. Both "District 9" and "Star Trek" were kept to just one win in six races: best international film and makeup, respectively.

This was the fifth victory for Cameron in the best director race. Among those he edged out were Kathryn Bigelow ("The Hurt Locker"), who beat him at the Academy Awards, and fellow Oscar nominee Quentin Tarantino ("Inglourious Basterds").

Continue reading »

Gold Derby nuggets: Bret Michaels to 'American Idol'? | Charlie Sheen to jail? | Green Day to Tony Awards

June 2, 2010 |  8:53 am

Bret Michaels American IdolBret Michaels appeared on the finale of "American Idol" last week and says he is in the running to replace Simon Cowell as a judge next season. The curmudgeonly Cowell even endorsed the idea that Michaels, who has battled back from a series of health crises, made mention of during a recent concert. Fox won't comment, but the Poison vocalist certainly has the music cred needed. That star-studded season closer is to be the Emmy submission for "Idol" this year. The songfest has lost the best reality-competition series race to "The Amazing Race" for the last seven years in a row. Among the other possible nominees in that category this year is "The Celebrity Apprentice," which Michaels won last month. Donald Trump is determined to avenge his Emmy losses for "The Apprentice" (2004, 2005) with a win this year for the third edition of the celebrity version of the show.

James Cameron has offered up his private fleet of submersible craft to help BP stop the flow of oil in the Gulf of Mexico. The Oscar champ was part of a group of deep-water experts who met with government officials in the nation's capital Tuesday. Cameron has been interested in oceanography since helming "The Abyss" in 1989. The creator of "Avatar" is also keen on space exploration. In January, he met with Charles Bolden, the head honcho of NASA, to persuade him to include a 3-D camera on Curiosity, a rover headed to Mars next year. PEOPLE

Patrick Stewart has been dubbed a knight of the British empire by Queen Elizabeth II. The respected British stage veteran, best known stateside for his work on TV ("Star Trek: The Next Generation") and film ("X-Men"), received the honor at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday. Said Stewart, "My heroes were Sir Laurence Olivier, Sir John Gielgud, and Sir Alec Guinness. Being in that company is the grandest thing that has professionally happened to me." AP

Charlie Sheen • "Two and a Half Men" star Charlie Sheen could well be behind bars when he finds out if he is an Emmy nominee on July 8. He has reaped a lead actor bid for each of the last four seasons of the CBS Monday night staple, but has yet to win. The actor is reportedly set to plead no contest next week to a misdemeanor charge stemming from a domestic dispute in Aspen, Colo., last Christmas. Reports are that Sheen is set to serve his 30-day sentence during this summer's hiatus for the show, which just wrapped Season 7. After initially vowing to bow out of the hit laffer, he just inked a deal for two more seasons for a reported seven-figure-per-episode payday. BBC

• To celebrate the silver anniversary of "Les Miserables" in the West End, producer Cameron Mackintosh is staging a massive concert version in the O2 Arena on Oct. 3. As Alistair Smith reports, this one-time event will boast "a company of more than 300 actors and musicians, including Alfie Boe as Jean Valjean, Nick Jonas (from the Jonas Brothers) as Marius, Norm Lewis as Javert, 'Little Britain' star Matt Lucas as Thenardier, Lea Salonga as Fantine, Jenny Galloway as Madame Thenardier, Camilla Kerslake as Cosette and the casts of the original production at the Queen’s Theatre, the new 25th anniversary production at the Barbican and members of the original 1985 London cast." THE STAGE

• Three-time Grammy champ Keith Urban will headline a July 23 benefit concert in Los Angeles for the charitable wing of the music academy. The evening, dubbed Starry Night, will fund the work of the foundation, which includes music programs for students as well as preservation efforts. Held in conjunction with the Farmers Classic tennis tourney, the event will also support tennis programs in Southern California. Said Urban in a statement, "I was so fortunate to have been exposed to music at such a young age. It touched my heart and opened up a world of adventure and possibilities beyond anything I’d ever known. Being a part of this concert, supporting the efforts of the Grammy Foundation and the Southern California Tennis Association Foundation, is something that I feel very strongly about, because I know firsthand what art, music and sport can do for our youth." GRAMMY AWARDS

Tony Awards logo • More details are emerging about the June 13 Tony Awards telecast on CBS. As is the custom, the four nominees for best musical -- "American Idiot," "Fela!," "Memphis" and "Million Dollar Quartet" -- will be showcased, as will the two nominees for best musical revival -- "La Cage aux Folles" and "A Little Night Music" -- that are still running. The Tonycast will also feature excerpts from all of the best play and play revival nominees. Previous attempts to present scenes from plays have fallen flat but the star wattage this year is high, including Tony nominees Denzel Washington and Viola Davis ("Fences") and Liev Schreiber and Scarlett Johansson ("A View From the Bridge"). The Tonycast is slated to open with a musical medley of popular songs featured in Broadway tuners and will include appearances by "Glee" stars Matthew Morrison and Lea Michele as well as "American Idiot" composers Green DayTONY AWARDS

• Veteran columnist Liz Smith is set to host the seventh annual Theater Hall of Fame luncheon on Thursday that is saluting nine-time Tony Award champ Tommy Tune. Celebrating Tune's golden anniversary in show biz at the Friars Club in Gotham will be fellow hall of famers Angela Lansbury, Frances Sternhagen, Estelle Parsons, Dana Ivey, Roger Berlind, Lois Smith and Charles Strouse. PLAYBILL

Upper photo: Bret Michaels on "American Idol." Credit: Fox

Middle photo: Charlie Sheen on "Two and a Half Men." Credit: CBS

Lower photo: Tony Awards logo. Credit: American Theater Wing

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MTV Movie Awards smackdown: 'Twilight' moonies versus 'Avatar' geeks! Will universe perish?

May 12, 2010 |  4:36 pm
Twilight New Moon Avatar MTV Movie Awards nominations

The cast of "The Hangover" shouldn't bother guzzling too much Champagne to celebrate leading with the most MTV Movie Award nominations (six). "Twilight: New Moon" may have merely earned five, but that's exactly how many MTV trophies the original "Twilight" claimed last year. Clearly, voters love blood guzzlers.

Last year at the MTV Movie Awards, "Twilight" won best film, best fight (Cam Gigandet, Robert Pattinson), kiss (Kristen Stewart, Pattinson), female performance (Stewart) and breakthrough male performance (Pattinson). It suffered only two defeats. Taylor Lautner lost best breakthrough male (to costar Pattinson — only one could win the category) and best song ("Decode" lost to "The Climb" from "Hannah Montana: The Movie").

Just because "Twilight" won best film last year doesn't mean "New Moon" is ill-starred. All three installments of "Lord of the Rings" won the same crown from 2002 to 2004.

But the romp by "Rings" does suggest that a movie other than "The Hangover" might have a shot at besting "Twilight: New Moon." That's "Avatar, which, just like "Rings," was a fantasy blockbuster that broke box-office records. Or, rather, "Avatar" is sci-fi, that is, a genre voters preferred when picking past best films "Transformers" and "The Matrix."

Because winners are decided by Web-based votes, that sets up a fierce cyber war between "Twilight" and "Avatar" fanatics. Everybody, duck!

Check out all nominations here and cast your ballot. See our forum posters' reactions to the nominations here.

Photos: "Twilight: New Moon" (Summit), "Avatar" (20th Century Fox)

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Gold Derby nuggets: Bigelow more influential than Cameron | 'Chicago' creators allege accounting razzle dazzle | 'The Hobbit' arrives in 2012

April 29, 2010 |  2:01 pm

Kathryn Bigelow The Hurt Locker OscarsKathryn Bigelow has bested her ex James Cameron once again. The Oscar-winning director of "The Hurt Locker" secured the third spot on Time's top 25 most influential artists of the year -- only Lady Gaga and Conan O'Brien ranked higher -- while the onetime "king of the world" had to settle for the last slot despite creating the biggest moneymaker in movie history with "Avatar." Also earning places of distinction were director Neill Blokamp -- who contended at this year's Oscars for his script for best picture nominee "District 9" -- at No. 16 and best actress champ Sandra Bullock ("The Blind Side") at No. 22. Neil Patrick Harris -- who hosted both the Emmys and Tonys last year and opened this year's Oscars -- was ranked No. 10. TIME

• James Cameron may not cut it with Time magazine, but the folks at NASA listen to him. Emma Gallegos reports that the Oscar winner met with Charles Bolden, the head honcho of NASA, in January to persuade him to include a 3-D camera on Curiosity, a rover headed to Mars next year. PASADENA STAR NEWS

Cara Shultz considers Sandra Bullock's acceptance speeches at the Oscars and Golden Globes in light of the revelation Wednesday that she and her then-husband Jesse James had adopted a baby in January. Onstage at the Kodak Theater, Bullock said, "I would like to thank what this film is about for me -- the moms that take care of the babies and the children no matter where they come from. Those moms and parents never get thanked." And at the Globes in January, she said, "A family is not just who you were born to, or what color you are. It's who's got your back." PEOPLE

Chicago DVD • Composer John Kander and representatives of the late lyricist Fred Ebb and director-choreographer Bob Fosse -- who together brought "Chicago" to Broadway in 1975 -- are suing the producers of the 2002 Oscar-winning film adaptation. The lawsuit alleges that "the studios' 'financial theatrics' ... resulted in a nearly $200 million increase in the 'Adjusted Gross Receipts' from which plaintiffs' participation is calculated. With interest, the net impact on plaintiffs is the wrongful reduction of their share by upwards of $12 million." PLAYBILL

Kid Rock has confirmed he will host the ninth annual CMT Music Awards. In a three-sentence post on his website, Rock said, "The rumors are true – I’m hosting the CMT Awards live from Nashville on June 9th… All I can promise is I will be awesome." Last year the rocker won Wide Open Country video of the year for "All Summer Long." This year, eight of the nine categories at the CMTs have eight contenders apiece. Online voting that runs till Monday will winnow these to four finalists in each category, which will be announced May 11. Then another round of online voting through June 8 will determine the winners. Voting for video of the year is different. There are 10 semifinalists, which will be cut down to a final five that will be revealed at the start of the awards ceremony, and the winner of the top prize will be determined by votes cast online and via text message during the kudocast.

• The power of a Facebook petition helped land Betty White a hosting gig on "Saturday Night Live." Now, there is a movement afoot online to have "Glee" devote an episode to the music of Barbra Streisand, much as it did last week with Madonna. Writes Allison Walman, "What do you think it meant when co-creator Ryan Murphy accepted the Golden Globe for 'Glee' last January, he said, 'Thank you to the Hollywood Foreign Press and Miss Barbra Streisand.' That was a shout-out linking Streisand to that show. And don't forget that for sectionals, Rachel channeled Streisand when she sang 'Don't Rain on My Parade.' " TV SQUAD

The Hobbit • The status of "The Hobbit," the long-in-the-making two-part prequel to the hit trilogy "The Lord of the Rings," just became much clearer. The first of the films -- produced by Peter Jackson, who picked up three Oscars for the final installment of "LOTR" and directed by Guillermo del Toro ("Pan's Labryinth") -- will arrive in theaters in December 2012 and the second will be out a year later. As Borys Kit reports, "A confusion over release dates surfaced earlier today when Imax announced an overall, 20-film, three-year deal with Warners. In outlining which films would be included, Imax incorrectly gave 2013 as the release date for the first 'Hobbit' movie." HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

Top photo: Kathryn Bigelow backstage at the 82nd annual Academy Awards. Credit: AMPAS.

Middle photo: "Chicago" DVD cover. Credit: Miramax Home Entertainment.

Bottom photo: "The Hobbit" book cover. Credit: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.


Gold Derby nuggets: 'The Donald' disses 'The Amazing Race' | Stephen Lang livid over 'Avatar' Oscar snub | Sing out, Louise

April 27, 2010 |  4:43 pm

The Amazing Race logo • The winning streak of "The Amazing Race" in the reality competition race at the Emmys stands at a staggering seven years and counting. Indeed the show chronicling a race around the world has never lost this category since it was created in 2003. However, Donald Trump is determined to avenge his  losses for "The Apprentice" (2004, 2005) with a win this year for the third season of the celebrity version of the show. He told Randee Dawn that the Emmys have "lost credibility. Instead of shows that deserve to win, they pick 'Amazing Race.' It's a very sad commentary." As Randee reports, "Perhaps Trump is sore over what happened in 2004, the first year that 'Apprentice' and 'Race' faced off. Ever assured, Trump recalls he was halfway out of his seat when the Emmy presenter began announcing 'Race' as the winner. 'I was standing up to go down there and pick up the Emmy,' he says. 'Incredible. It's a joke. If the Emmys want their ratings back, they have to pick shows that deserve it.' " HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

• The organization behind the prime-time Emmys will salute eight programs that exemplify "television with a conscience" at the third annual Television Academy Honors on May 5. Two-time Emmy champ Dana Delaney ("China Beach") will host the event at the Beverly Hills Hotel. The honorees: episodes from the series "CSI," "Glee," and "Private Practice," the telefilm "Taking Chance," and the news and informational specials "Grandpa, Do You Know Who I Am? with Maria Shriver," "Inside Death Row," "The Oxycontin Express," and "Unlocking Autism."

Stephen Lang Avatar • Add Stephen Lang to the list of "Avatar" actors fuming over the academy's snub of the blockbuster in the big Oscar races. Appearing on the British TV show "Live From Studio Five" Lang admitted, "We were kind of prepared for it. I was slightly disgusted, I would say, but I saw every picture that was nominated and they're all marvelous pictures. If I happen to think 'Avatar' is the best of the lot you can forgive me for that." He then added, "I would never want to in any way disrespect another film or director, but having said that, we should have won." Earlier this month, Sigourney Weaver blamed reverse sexism on "Hurt Locker" helmer Kathryn Bigelow winning best director over "Avatar" creator James Cameron. IMDB

Brad Brevet thinks that Pixar's upcoming "Toy Story 3" is not a slam-dunk for the animated feature Academy Award now that Sony Pictures Classics has acquired the domestic rights to Sylvain Chomet's "The Illusionist." The film is based on an unproduced screenplay by Gallic great Jacques Tati ("M.Hulot's Holiday"). As Brad notes, "Sony Classics distributed Chomet's 'The Triplets of Belleville' in 2003 and it then went on to be nominated for two Oscars, including best animated feature and best original song ('Belleville Rendez-Vous'). 'Triplets' ended up losing to 'Finding Nemo' that year setting up an interesting bit of competition." ROPE OF SILICON

• Who knew there were so many "Bosom Buddies" fans? The cast reunion -- led by two-time Oscar champ Tom Hanks -- on the eighth annual TV Land Awards on Sunday helped propel this kudocast to its best numbers since 2004. The cable net reports that 1.7 million people tuned in to watch Tim Allen host this celebration of classic TV, an increase of 53% over last year's show. TV BY THE NUMBERS

Tony Awards logo • The Tony Awards in conjunction with longtime host broadcaster CBS and Macy’s launched an online contest today to find two would-be Broadway belters to walk the red carpet at the 64th annual theater kudos June 13. Winners will be chosen in a two-art process. First, contestants will upload videos of their renditions of selected show tunes. An online vote will determine five finalists who will be flown to Gotham to take part in a sing-off at the flagship Macy's in Herald Square on June 11, where an expert panel will pick the two winners. CBS

• The Royal Shakespeare Company's recent acclaimed production of "Hamlet" with "Doctor Who" star David Tennant in the title role airs on "Great Performances" Wednesday night. Last year, two of the lead actor in a TV movie or mini-series Emmy nominees appeared in taped versions of their theatrical triumphs: Kevin Kline ("Cyrano de Bergerac") and Ian McKellen ("King Lear"). Both lost to Brendan Gleeson, who played Winston Churchill in the WWII biopic "Into the Storm."

Top photo: "The Amazing Race" logo. Credit: CBS.

Middle photo: Stephen Lang in "Avatar." Credit: Fox.

Bottom photo: Tony Awards logo. Credit: American Theater Wing.

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Gold Derby nuggets: Green Day rocks 'American Idiot' | 'Lost' found all over ABC sked | Tony Awards out west

April 23, 2010 |  4:12 pm

American Idiot Tony Awards Green DayGreen Day gave the audience at Thursday night's performance of "American Idiot" on Broadway a special treat as they performed two songs during the curtain call. They played the title track from the 2004 album that is the backbone of this new musical and for an encore did "Basket Case" from their first major label disc "Dookie." As Margaret Pesareports, "For a brief moment, it seemed like a mosh pit was going to break out. Instead, it turned into the ultimate punk-rock singalong, with both the crowd and the cast shouting every word right along with Billie Joe Armstrong." MTV

Jeff Bridgesmay well need to extend his mantlepiece as the awards just keep on coming. AsLee Margulies writes, "Six weeks after winning an Oscar, Jeff Bridges picked up another accolade for 'Crazy Heart' on Thursday night as he and costar Maggie Gyllenhaalwere bestowed Prism Awards, which honor actors, movies and TV shows that 'accurately depict and bring attention to substance abuse and mental health issues.'" Other winners included "The Soloist" for its depiction of mental health issues and both the original "Law & Order" and the spin-off "SVU." THE ENVELOPE

Dylan Stableford recaps the winners of the National Magazine Awards, noting that "New York magazine captured four Ellies -- the most it’s won since 2007, when it took five -- including one for general excellence, and the New Yorker won three, part of Condé Nast’s impressive bounty.Condé Nast won eight awards in all, including Glamour’s upset of New York and the Atlantic for the first-ever Magazine of the Year award." THE WRAP

Lost_Logo • "Lost" will be found everywhere on the ABC prime-time grid as it signs off after six seasons. The penultimate episode airs in the regular Tuesday night time slot on May 18. On Saturday, May 22, the alphabet net will run the two-hour pilot that first screened in Sept. 2004. The following night, the entire four-hour block of prime time will be given over to "Lost." First there will be a two-hour retrospective of the Emmy Award-winning series and then the two-hour finale to (hopefully) wrap up all the mysteries. And after the local news, there will be a special edition of "Jimmy Kimmel Live." TV SQUAD

Hollie McKay reports on the red carpet woes of actor Michael Avmen, who has filed a $50-million lawsuit against the academy for not letting him into this year's Academy Awards. "On the afternoon of March 7th, the actor and his wife dressed up for the Oscars and an usher for the event transported them from where they were staying at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel to a “resolution desk” where an Academy employee they had been communicating with was working. Avmen alleges that despite repeated requests to be able to return to the Roosevelt, he and his wife were 'held against their will' for six hours in the Academy’s 'detention center,' interrogated about how they were able to get onto the red carpet without tickets, and accused of lying and trespassing. FOX NEWS

• Fans of the Tony Awards who find themselves on the other coast come June 13 can attend a viewing party hosted by nine-time Tony champ Tommy Tune. 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 -- to Tony champ Brian Stokes Mitchell ("Kiss Me Kate") by Annette Bening. The theater and TV vet serves as president of the Actors Fund, which is holding the fundraiser at the Skirball Center in Los Angeles. ACTORS FUND

OTHER POSTS:

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Will 'Sondheim on Sondheim' hit right notes at Tony Awards?

What do you think of the Tony Awards' new logo?

Emmy predix: Best supporting comedy actor

Is 'Glee' doomed to lose best comedy series at the Emmys?

Can 'American Idiot' win over Tony Awards voters?

Gold Derby nuggets: 'Mad Men' returns in July | 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' back next year | '24' movie script ready

Drama League nominates 9 news plays, 9 new musicals ... and 57 performers!

Let's peek inside HBO's Emmy campaign packages

Oops! Sandra Bullock, please return your Razzie (you can keep the Oscar)

Top photo: "American Idiot" playbill. Credit: St. James Theater

Middle photo: "Lost" logo. Credit: ABC

Bottom photo: Tony Awards logo. Credit: American Theater Wing

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Gold Derby nuggets: 'Avatar' only 2-D on DVD for now | Peter Jackson on 'The Hobbit' | Drew Barrymore's fashion faux pas

April 16, 2010 |  3:04 pm

Avatar Blu Ray DVD • Our good pal Lou Lumenick chatted with "Avatar" producer Jon Landau at the recent DVD launch of the blockbuster. "'It's like going to a live concert when you have the CD at home,' he told me at a small press event in Hell's Kitchen where clips from the gorgeous Blu-ray version -- the scenes look a lot brighter and more detailed when you're not wearing 3-D glasses -- were shown." Landau revealed, "that between 5 to 10 minutes would be added for the theatrical reissue, which hasn't been officially announced by Fox but is expected in late summer, when there seems to be a gap in the IMAX release schedule." And Lou reports, "A full-featured edition will be released in the fall, with a 3-D Blu-ray likely follow sometime in 2011. 'People don't realize that the only reason Panasonic developed a 3-D TV is because we asked them to come in as a partner with us,' Landau said." NEW YORK POST

• Perennial Emmys also-ran Bill Maher has reupped with HBO for a ninth season of his talker "Real Time." The comedian has had little to laugh about when it comes to TV's top honors setting a record with no hardware to show for his 22 nominations. Next season the show will expand from 24 to 35 episodes with Maher appearing on the paycaster from February through November and taking a break in July.

Ellen Gamerman reports that this year's Tony Awards may be short one race as not enough of the new musicals boast original scores to warrant that category. Last's year winner was "Next to Normal," which was just honored with the Pulitzer prize for drama. "To compete for the award, more than 50% of a show's score must be original music. That was often not the case this season, which was dominated by musicals featuring popular rock songs and other tunes that already existed." As per Gamerman, "So far, 'Memphis' qualifies for best original score, and 'The Addams Family' is likely to make the cut, but other new musicals do not, including the critically acclaimed 'Fela!' and, probably, 'American Idiot,' opening next week." WALL STREET JOURNAL

The HobbitPatricia Chui chats with Peter Jackson about the status of "The Hobbit," the long-in-the-making two-part prequel to his hit trilogy "The Lord of the Rings." The three-time Oscar champ told her that "we've just delivered the script. Literally last week, we delivered the second of the two screenplays -- the first draft. So the studio's got both scripts now, which is a milestone; and if anything was holding it up, it was us doing the screenplays because we'd just been writing as fast as we can, but it took us this long to get them finished." And Sir Peter says that, "any character that's returning from 'The Lord of the Rings,' we obviously would love the same actors to play. But even those actors haven't been approached yet, or there [haven't] been any deals done. And the studio wouldn't organically do any of that until they've greenlit the film." MOVIEFONE

Roger Friedman reports that the producers of the rialto revival of "A Little Night Music" are considering replacing five-time Tony winner Angela Lansbury and Oscar champ Catherine Zeta-Jones -- who may be exiting the hit show as soon as June after the Tony Awards -- with mother-daughter act Blythe Danner and Gwyneth Paltrow. However, as Roger points out, "each is too young for the roles. Jones is three years older than Paltrow. Each of them is substantially younger than Glynis Johns was when she originated the role. Danner is strikingly younger than 85-year-old Lansbury, that’s for sure. Could it work? Well, they do call it acting. All those years, Estelle Getty played 20 years older as Sophia on 'Golden Girls.'" SHOWBIZ 411

Kenneth Jones breaks the news that the novel that was adapted into 1990 best picture Oscar champ "Dances with Wolves" is now being turned into a tuner. Theater producer Matt Murphy ("Memphis") has acquired the stage rights to Michael Blake's 1986 book" and "is putting together a writing team to adapt the novel into a musical for the Broadway stage. He expects the score to have music inspired by folk, Appalachian, Civil War and Native American music." PLAYBILL

Drew Barrymore 2006 Golden Globes • For many people, awards shows are all about the red carpet and rare is the star who will admit to having committed a fashion faux pas. However, Drew Barrymore candidly cops to having made her share of mistakes, revealing "my worst red-carpet moment is the Gucci green dress where my boobs look like watermelons, it's the worst. Never wear a high neck dress with a high belt. It makes your [breasts] look like they are at your waist. It was the Golden Globes. I felt so bad. I was like, 'I'm so sorry, Gucci. I have tarnished your name.'" While Barrymore may have been a fashion don't at those awards four years ago, this year she was the belle of the ball as she won a Golden Globe for best TV movie actress for her performance in "Grey Gardens." CONTACT MUSIC

Victoria Rowell may not have won a daytime Emmy during her many years on "The Young and the Restless" but that doesn't mean she is bitter about her three losses. Or is she? Check out this sassy spoof of her former co-stars. YOUTUBE

Top photo: "Avatar" DVD / Blu-Ray cover. Credit: Fox. Middle photo: "The Hobbit" cover. Credit: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Bottom photo: Drew Barrymore at the 2006 Golden Globes. Credit: NBC

OTHER POSTS:

Emmy predix: Best lead comedy actor

Emmy predix: Best supporting actor in a drama series

Cannes film festival competition short on Oscar contenders

Webby Awards pit Jim Carrey against U2

Gold Derby nuggets: 'Glee' in vogue with viewers | 'South Park' celebrates 200 episodes | Rachel Weisz as 'Jackie'

Emmy predix: Best TV drama actress

Seth Myers to host live airing of ESPY Awards

Can Oprah Winfrey squash Conan O'Brien AND Jon Stewart?

Gold Derby nuggets: Sigourney Weaver blasts Oscars over 'Avatar' snub | Behind the scenes drama at Pulitzers | 'Polytechnique' sweeps Genies

What's behind 'Modern Family's' surprising Emmy ploy?

'Next to Normal' wins Pulitzer Prize for drama

Can Conan O'Brien get back in the race for the Emmys?

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