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Tom O'Neil has the inside track on Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and all the award shows.

Category: James Cameron

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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'Titanic' star Gloria Stuart dies at 100

September 27, 2010 | 12:36 pm

Gloria Stuart Titanic Oscars Gloria Stuart, whose acting career spanned seven decades, died Monday at age 100. The one-time studio contract player capped off a comeback with her 1997 appearance in "Titanic" as the older version of Kate Winslet's character. Her screen time, though short, framed the film and set up the enduring love story at its center.

Gloria Stuart rode the wave of success that came with "Titanic" with style and grace. As Dennis McLellan details, "In 'Gloria Stuart: I Just Kept Hoping,' her 1999 autobiography written with her daughter Sylvia Thompson, Stuart said that after reading the script, 'I knew the role I had wanted and waited for all these many years had arrived! I could taste the role of Old Rose!'"

In the 1930s, Stuart had been one of the founding members of the Screen Actors Guild, serving on its board for several years, and more than six decades later she was delighted to take home the supporting actress award bestowed by this organization for "Titanic." At these kudos, she tied with another screen beauty on the comeback trail -- Kim Basinger in "L.A. Confidential" -- who would edge her out at both the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards.

While "Titanic" tied two Oscar records for most nominations (14) and wins (11), Stuart set her own mark, which still stands as the oldest acting nominee. To commemorate the centennial of her birth on July 4, 1910, the academy celebrated her life with an evening of movie clips and memories last July 22. Stuart attended and regaled an appreciative audience with tales of her times in the golden age of Hollywood.

Photo: Gloria Stuart at the 70th Annual Academy Awards. Credit: AMPAS

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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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'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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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: '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

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

April 13, 2010 |  2:27 pm

James Cameron Sigourney Weaver Avatar • Actress Sigourney Weaver certainly believes in standing by her director, telling the Brazilian news website Folha Online that her good friend James Cameron was snubbed at the recent Oscars due to reverse sexism. "Jim didn't have breasts, and I think that was the reason [he didn't win]," she said in this candid interview. And Weaver thinks that the record box office takings of "Avatar" kept it from collecting more gold. "In the past, 'Avatar' would have won because they [Oscar voters] loved to hand out awards to big productions, like 'Ben-Hur.' Today it's fashionable to give the Oscar to a small movie that nobody saw."

Meryl Streep may also have been snubbed at this year's Oscars -- as she has been with 13 of her 15 other  nominations -- but she made history Monday as the first person extended honorary membership in the 112-year old American Academy of Arts and Letters solely for their acting work. Other screen notables admitted -- including the late Orson Welles and current member Woody Allen -- worked behind the camera as well as in front of it. Streep admitted, "I have to say that I was stunned, and when they sent me the roster of people in the academy I just burst into tears. I couldn't believe that I'd be even allowed in the kitchen." AP

• For the producers of the 2006 Tony-winning "Jersey Boys," imitation is not the sincerest form of flattery. They "have sued a touring stage show called 'The Boys,' labeling it a 'copycat' production that competes unfairly with the original musical." As per the lawsuit filed in Manhattan, the producers are seeking "an injunction against further performances of 'The Boys' that make use of copyrighted or too similar materials, and asked for $150,000 in damages for each copyrighted song 'The Boys' might have used." REUTERS

Pulitzer Prize • The fall-out from yesterday's announcement of "Next to Normal" as the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for drama continues. First the jury chair -- Los Angeles Times theater critic Charles McNulty -- vented about the board overruling the recommendations of his panel, chiding them for "geographical myopia, a vision of the American theater that starts in Times Square and ends just a short taxi ride away." (The last work to win the Pulitzer without a New York run was "Anna in the Tropics" in 2003.) Now Patrick Healy reports that since none of the jury's three finalists failed to earn the requisite approval by the majority of the board last Thursday, the 20 members looked further afield among the 70 or so works submitted for consideration. It seems "a lot of them" went to see "Next to Normal" that night and voted it the winner the next day. NEW YORK TIMES

• The Grammy Awards are shifting back to their traditional February time slot next year. The 53rd annual edition of these top musical awards will take place on Sunday, Feb. 13 at the Staple Center in Los Angeles and air on CBS. This year, the Grammys were handed out on Jan. 31 so as to avoid competing with the Winter Olympics for viewers. That strategy paid off as the kudocast earned the best ratings since 2004. However, as that earlier date meant abbreviating the eligibility period by one month, next year's awards will reward discs released from Sept. 1, 2009, to Sept. 30, 2010.

• The 13th annual Teen Choice Awards will air on Monday Aug. 9 on Fox. These kudos -- honoring teen icons in movies, TV, music, sports and fashion -- are voted on by the public. Last year, "Twilight" won a record 11 surfboards -- including two for star Robert Pattinson -- while the Jonas Brothers took home five awards and Miley Cyrus won an even half dozen times.

• Oscar nominee Kristin Scott Thomas ("The English Patient") will be mistress of ceremonies once more at the Cannes film festival this year. This English rose is equally at home in France and will emcee the opening ceremony on May 12 as well as the closing festivities and awards presentation on May 23. She also performed these hosting duties back in 1999.

Polytechnique Genies • "Polytechnique" -- a black-and-white docudrama about a 1984 Montreal school shooting that left 14 women dead -- swept the 30th annual Genie Awards Monday winning nine of its leading 11 nominations. The film made simultaneously in both French and English dominated Canada's version of the Oscars taking home best picture, director (Denis Villeneuve), lead actress (Karine Vanasse), supporting actor Maxim Gaudette, screenplay (Jacques Davidts), cinematography (Pierre Gill), editing (Richard Comeau), overall sound and sound editing. Joshua Jackson won lead actor for "One Week" while Martha Burns won supporting actress for "Love & Savagery." The full list of winners can be found at the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television website. GENIES

Don Mischer will once again be involved in the staging of the academy's Governor awards this year. At the event set for Saturday, Nov. 13, one or more of the kudos approved by the academy board -- the Thalberg and Hersholt awards and the honorary Oscar -- will be presented.

Top photo: James Cameron and Sigourney Weaver on the set of "Avatar." Credit: Fox

Middle photo: Pulitzer prize medals. Credit: Pulitzer Prizes

Bottom photo: "Polytechnique" poster. Credit: Don Carmody Productions

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'Next to Normal' wins Pulitzer Prize for drama

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Tina Fey on 'Saturday Night Live': Give her another Emmy!

Emmy battle over best drama actor: Michael C. Hall vs. Bryan Cranston?

Tony Awards predix: 'American Idiot' and 'Enron' are front-runners to win best musical and play

David Sheward's gutsy, early Tony Award predictions

Photo gallery: Emmy's biggest snubs

'Lost' Emmy mystery solved: Terry O'Quinn returns to the supporting-actor race

Emmy gamble: 'Mad Men' star Elisabeth Moss drops to supporting

Again, Showtime ships first campaign mailer to Emmy voters

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Gold Derby nuggets: 'Avatar' DVD in 2-D | Rock and Roll Hall of Famers | 'Boardwalk Empire' bows promo

March 16, 2010 |  3:33 pm

Avatar DVD • A 2-D DVD and Blu-ray release of "Avatar" has been announced for April 22 by Fox. That just happens to be the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, which coincides nicely with the eco-friendly message of the film. Buzz is that the studio will re-release the movie in 3-D later in the year, with additional footage, and that a 3-D home version of the film will follow.

• All of the above will add millions more to the coffers of all involved. Bloomberg estimates that Fox will reap at least $350 million from "Avatar." Fox also picks up a distribution fee for the film which could gross $3 billion worldwide. In an interview last month, writer-director James Cameron said the record receipts are, "well beyond our wildest dreams, we were hoping for sort of brea keven plus 10%, which would have been a high number but well south of $1 billion." BLOOMBERG

Steve Pond tracks down why Stephen Colbert's comic rant against the Oscars, which included clips from the kudocast, has gone missing from "The Colbert Report" website. Turns out, "for the first day after the Academy Awards telecast, other media outlets are allowed to show three minutes of footage from the show.  For the second through the seventh day, they're permitted to show one minute. And after seven days, no Oscar footage can be used without special permission from the Academy." THE ODDS

Phil Collins Rock and Roll Hall of FameDavid Bauder recaps Monday's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction of ABBA, Jimmy Cliff, Genesis, the Hollies, and Iggy Pop and the Stooges. Also feted during the ceremony at Gotham's Waldorf Astoria hotel were one-time record exec David Geffen and seven songwriters from the 1950s including Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil ("You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'," "On Broadway"), Ellie Greenwich & Jeff Barry ("Leader of the Pack," "Be My Baby"), Otis Blackwell ("All Shook Up," "Don't Be Cruel"), Mort Shuman ("Save the Last Dance for Me,") and Jesse Stone ("Sh-Boom," "Money Honey").  AP

• As for the ceremony itself, Randy Lewis suggests that the inductees by saluted by those who know their music best -- tribute bands. As Randy writes, "What to do when you’re being admitted into the halls of pop music history and only half your group is there? Tribute bands! It’s one of the few corners of the otherwise flailing music business showing growth. Just check the entertainment guide for Las Vegas: They’re everywhere." POP & HISS

• "The Pacific" drew 3.1 million viewers to a heavily hyped premiere Sunday. As James Hibberd reports, "that's 22% higher than than the debut of HBO's last miniseries, 'John Adams,' and 'The Pacific' tally grew to 4 million with its encore airing. Still, HBO has to be somewhat disappointed with this number. 'The Pacific' is the biggest production in the network's history and this is only 69% higher than the time period norm." THE LIVE FEED

Boardwalk Empire • HBO used the Sunday premiere of its showpiece mini-series of the year -- "The Pacific" -- to promote the paycaster's marquee series for 2010 -- "Boardwalk Empire." Oscar winner Martin Scorsese ("The Departed") is executive producing the series about bootleggers in 1920s Atlantic City and directed the first episode that is featured in the promo running on HBO. HBO

Terence Winter -- who adapted Nelson Johnson's novel "Boardwalk Empire" -- won two Emmys for scripting episodes of "The Sopranos" and another two when that HBO hit won best drama series in 2004 and 2007. One of the stars of that show -- Edie Falco -- won three Emmys for her performance as the matriarch of the mob family. When asked Monday if there will ever be a "Sopranos" reunion, Falco, who now stars on the Showtime comedy "Nurse Jackie," showed her funny side by responding she’s open to it if she could play Tony and James Gandolfini could play Carmela.

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Gold Derby nuggets: Katherine Heigl exiting 'Grey's Anatomy'? | Banned 'Hurt Locker' picks up Oscar | Extended 'Avatar' in the works?

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Gold Derby nuggets: 'The Hurt Locker' expands screens | 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' in primetime |'Mad Men' gets Barbie makeover

Complete list of Oscar winners

Top photo: "Avatar" DVD cover. Credit: Fox

Middle photo: Phil Collins at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony. Credit: Getty Images

Bottom photo: Steve Buscemi in "Boardwalk Empire." Credit: HBO

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Gold Derby nuggets: 'Titanic' to sail in 3-D | 'The Pacific' to sail for free

March 15, 2010 |  4:32 pm

TitanicJames Cameron sat down with Ed Baig to talk about all aspects of making and marketing 3-D movies. Their lively conversation including a tantalizing tidbit about "Titanic," which swept the 1997 Oscars winning 11 Academy Awards, including three for Cameron: "We're targeting spring of 2012 for the release (of a 3-D version of 'Titanic'), which is the 100-year anniversary of the sailing of the ship." And says Cameron,"It's never going to be as good as if you shot it in 3-D, but think of it as sort of 2.8-D." USA TODAY

• Sad news Monday for "Titanic" star Kate Winslet with the announcement that she and her husband of seven years, director Sam Mendes ("American Beauty"), have separated. The pair of Oscar winners said in a statement that, "they are saddened to announce they separated earlier this year. The split is entirely amicable and is by mutual agreement. Both parties are fully committed to the future joint parenting of their children."

• The SAG Awards are set for Sunday, Jan. 30, 2011. Nominations for the 17th annual edition of these kuods from the actors' union will be announced on Dec. 16.

• Three-time Emmy champ Valerie Harper ("Rhoda") -- who sits on the SAG board of directors -- could contend for her first Tony Award for her performance as theater grand dame Tallulah Bankhead in the new Matthew Lombardo play "Looped." Karen Wada waded through the reviews following Sunday's opening and discovered many of the critics "seemed to be high on Harper, while expressing a variety of opinions about the play." CULTURE MONSTER

The Pacific HBO • HBO is streaming the first episode of the mega-expensive mini-series "The Pacific" online for free. The 10-part WWII drama, from executive producers Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, is a companion piece to their Emmy-winning "Band of Brothers." That 2001 mini-series focused on the war in Europe. "The Pacific" received a rating of 86 at Meta Critc based on 31 reviews. While there were a handful of pans, most reviews for the ambitious project were respectful if not raves. HBO

• Last year, Emmy Awards producer Don Mischer proposed time-shifting eight of the 28 awards, including best mini-series, so only the acceptance speeches would air on the kudocast. That plan was soon scuttled and Mischer is returning to produce the Emmy Awards for a 10th time. The TV academy in conjunction with NBC made the announcement Monday. Said academy president John Shaffner, "Don produced a Primetime Emmy telecast last year that hit it out of the park. We know he can creatively build on that accomplishment. We are very fortunate to be able to work with him again this year." ATAS

• "True Blood" is to begin its third season on HBO on Sunday, June 13. The vampire drama, starring Oscar winner Anna Paquin, has gone from critics darling -- winning both the new program award from the TCA and a Golden Globe for Paquin in the first season -- to a major hit for the paycaster drawing upwards of 12 million per week during the second season last year.

• HBO might be getting one more season out of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" according to creator and star Larry David. At Saturday's PaleyFest, he told Kate Stanhope "I'm leaning toward it, so I would say there's a good chance. It is not definite yet, but we're working on it." The five-time Emmy contender for comedy series drew its best ratings for season seven which used a reunion of "Seinfeld" as a plot device for David to repair his TV marriage. TV GUIDE

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So what did we learn from this year's Oscars?

Gold Derby nuggets: Katherine Heigl exiting 'Grey's Anatomy'? | Banned 'Hurt Locker' picks up Oscar | Extended 'Avatar' in the works?

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Complete list of Oscar winners

Top photo: "Titanic" poster. Credit: Fox

Bottom photo: "The Pacific" poster. Credit: HBO

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Gold Derby nuggets: Banned 'Hurt Locker' producer's Oscars speech | Stone & Hammond on 'Avatar' loss | Alec Baldwin on Oscars gig

March 9, 2010 |  2:29 pm

The Hurt Locker posterEugene Hernandez does a crackerjack job reporting on how banned "Hurt Locker" producer Nicolas Chartier spent Oscar Sunday. He was feted by 300 people gathered at the Malibu home of reality TV/film producer Mike Fleiss,  who co-hosted with WME Global chief Graham Taylor and his producer wife Lynnette Howell ("Half Nelson"). As Eugene writes, "The crowd was clearly biased in favor of 'The Hurt Locker' and when the movie won the final award of the night, an uproar was unleashed. Chartier silenced the crowd to listen to the televised speeches and then stepped onto a footstool for his own acceptance. Someone handed him a small plastic statue that looked a bit like an Oscar." Eugene's thorough report also includes video of the "acceptance" speech, including this soundbite: "It’s about the movies. This is what we live for, to tell stories, to make people laugh and cry. To entertain and sometimes to make art." INDIE WIRE

• As Steve Krakauer reports, documentary short Oscar winner Roger Ross Williams ("Music for Prudence" got interrupted again on "Larry King Live" Monday night. After a brief interview in which he spoke about the film's producer -- Elinor Burkett -- who cut short his acceptance onstage at the Oscars Sunday, Williams was to give his complete speech but time ran out and he was pre-empted, this time by "Anderson Cooper 360."  MEDIAITE

David Letterman made merry with this "Kanye" moment on Monday's "Late Show." As Steve Itzkoff writes, "Mr. Letterman was performing a set of jokes about the unending Oscars telecast when he, too, was halted by a protester who demanded, 'Let the woman talk!' "  Video of these hijinks is included in the write-up. NEW YORK TIMES

Steven Zeitchik fills us in on what we can expect next from this year's crop of Oscar champs. Jeff Bridges ("Crazy Heart") is shooting "True Grit" while Christoph Waltz ("Inglourious Basterds") has "Green Hornet," in the can with both films due out in December. Sandra Bullock ("The Blind Side") has nothing lined up and Mo'Nique is busy with her BET talker. Two-time winner Kathryn Bigelow ("The Hurt Locker") turned down the Spider-Man reboot and "her next project will likely be her reteaming with Mark Boal on 'Triple Frontier.' The Paramount film is an adventure story set on the border of several South American counties." 24 FRAMES

Avatar PosterSasha Stone weighs in on why "Avatar" lost the best picture race at the Oscars. As Sasha says, "why not be happy with what 'Avatar' is, not what it isn’t. It isn’t an Oscar movie, not with that screenplay. It only had to be a little better, a little less cliched.  A little less 'Pocahontas' and 'Dances with Wolves' and a little more innovative in terms of STORY, not just in terms of effects. Most of the members of the Academy are actors, writers and directors. Is it that much of a surprise that they would pick A) the film that moved them the most, and B) the film they wanted to make the most?  How many of them really want their future to be wrapped up in 3-D technology, motion-capture actors?" AWARDS DAILY

• For Pete Hammond, "If ever there was a question in my mind as to why 'Avatar' probably had no realistic chance of taking the best picture Academy Award, it was answered at the Oscars viewing party, "Night Of 100 Stars," I covered Sunday night at the Beverly Hills Hotel. It was the actors branch, dummy. With 1,205 members, three times as many as any other peer group in the academy, they are collectively a powerful voice and if you don't have them behind you, your best- picture chances are slim." NOTES ON A SEASON

• "Up in the Air" was shut out of Sunday's Oscars, despite six nominations including a best picture bid. One of the deleted scenes from the film has been released by Paramount to promote Tuesday's DVD release. In the scene, the inveterate traveler played by best actor nominee George Clooney dreams of wandering home in an astronaut suit as Ricky Nelson singing "Lonesome Town" plays in the background. ZAP2IT

Emma Rosenblum talks to the Emmy-winning Sherri Shepherd ("The View") about her gig Sunday as one of three hosts of the frenetic 30-minute Oscars pre-show. Reveals Sherri, "I love Taylor Lautner, but I couldn't ask him too many questions. We had a lot of red tape and protocol from ABC, and they told me I couldn't ask Taylor about the 'Twilight' sequel or his body. And I said, 'Then what am I going to talk to him about?!' He's a big boy, he could handle it." NEW YORK

Oscars Steve Martin Alec Baldwin • Oscars co-host Alec Baldwin penned a post with his thoughts on the gig. "Hosting the show is an odd experience because you're out there, but it isn't about you. Steve Martin and I worked rather hard, along with the writers and producers, to make sure our contribution did not detract from the primary purpose of the evening, honoring the highest achievements in film. We tell some jokes and show some clips, but the night belongs to the great talent in that room." HUFFINGTON POST

Brian Moylan solves 10 mysteries of the Oscars, including this one: "Why the hell was there street dancing at the Oscars?" As Brian writes, "a troupe of television dancers were given the stage to do strange hip-hop contortions to the classically-influenced music of the Best Score nominees. We solved how it happened -- director Adam Shankman who is a choreographer and TV dance show host -- but we will forever be asking why. Why, why, why?" GAWKER

• And if you are still in need of an Oscars fix, surf over to the telecast's official website for clips from the red carpet, backstage and VIP room, as well as speeches from the winners into the "thank you" cam. Best actor champ Jeff Bridges ("Crazy Heart") had so many people to thank that his speech is split up into five parts. OSCARS

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Top photo: "The Hurt Locker" poster. Credit: Summit

Middle photo: "Avatar" poster. Credit: Fox

Bottom photo: 82nd Academy Awards poster. Credit: ABC

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'The Hurt Locker' wins six Oscars, including history maker for director Kathryn Bigelow

March 7, 2010 |  9:38 pm

Kathryn Bigelow The Hurt Locker Oscars 82nd Annual Academy Awards The 82nd Academy Awards followed the script set down by pundits, as the front-runners for all of the major Oscars won Sunday night. "The Hurt Locker" led with six Oscars, including best picture and best director for Kathryn Bigelow, who became the first woman to win this award. The Iraq war drama also picked up prizes for original screenplay (Mark Boal), editing, sound mixing and sound editing.

"Avatar" went into the night tied with "The Hurt Locker" with a leading nine nominations but had to settle for three Oscars for art direction, cinematography and visual effects (and a $2.4-billion and counting box-office take). See a complete list of all Oscar winners here.

Lead actor went to Jeff Bridges, a four-time also-ran at the Oscars, who finally won for his performance as a down-and-out country singer in "Crazy Heart." The theme song for that film, "The Weary Kind," won best original song for Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett.

First-time nominee Sandra Bullock won lead actress for best picture nominee "The Blind Side," edging out, among others, Meryl Streep, who was contending for a record 13th time in this category. The lead acting nominees were introduced by performers with whom they have a connection before last year's winners, Sean Penn ("Milk") and Kate Winslet ("The Reader"), bestowed the Oscars. Last year, each of the four acting categories was handled by five past winners who each spoke about one of the nominees.

It was no surprise that the Academy Awards for supporting actor and actress went to Christoph Waltz ("Inglourious Basterds") and Mo'Nique ("Precious"). The pair had picked up all of the precursor awards going into the Oscars. Waltz's win represented the only Oscar for that best picture nominee, which had eight nominations in total while "Precious" -- which had six nominations, including a best picture bid -- also won adapted screenplay for Geoffrey Fletcher

The animated feature race was won by best picture nominee "Up," which edged out Gotham and L.A. critics choice "Fantastic Mr. Fox" among others. "Up" became the fifth Pixar picture -- after "Finding Nemo," "The Incredibles," "Ratatouille" and "Wall-E" -- to win this category since it was introduced in 2001. "Up" also won best score.

Of the 10 best picture nominees, four were completely shut out -- "District 9" (with four noms), "An Education" (three noms), "A Serious Man" (two nominations) and "Up in the Air" (six). 

"El Secreto de Sus Ojos" became the second feature from Argentina to win best foreign-language film, and "The Cove" won the documentary feature Oscar. For her costume design for "The Young Victoria," Sandy Powell took home her third Oscar, following wins for "Shakespeare in Love" and "The Aviator." "Star Trek" won for makeup.

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