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Category: Tullio Kezich

Gold Derby nuggets: 'Mad Men' ratings smash | Lincoln biopic clash | 'Avatar' website crash | Monty Python BAFTA bash

August 18, 2009 | 11:16 am

• The third season of "Mad Men" premiered Sunday night on AMC to boffo numbers. The show set a ratings record, drawing 2.8 million viewers. That was a 33% increase from the Season 2 opener for the Emmy-winning drama series. While other basic cable shows – like "The Closer" and "Burn Notice" – rate twice as high, "Mad Men" has the most upscale audience, with half the ages 25-to-54 viewers earning at least $100K. Forbes

• Oscar-winning helmer Robert Redford ("Ordinary People") has inked a deal to direct "The Conspirator." James Solomon ("The Bronx Is Burning") scripted the biopic about Mary Surratt, hung for her part in the escape of President Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth. James McAvoy is being sought to play the Union lawyer assigned to defend her. While Steven Spielberg has long been attached to a film about the 16th president, that project remains in limbo. The Hollywood Reporter

• The official site for "Avatar" crashed Monday under the weight of requests for tickets to Friday's Imax free-view of the film. However, as Jeff Wells reports, screenings outside the major markets did not fill up as quickly as the studio might have hoped, given the hype. Hollywood Elsewhere

• The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is feting the men behind Monty Python on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the sketch comedy troupe. The Oct. 15 BAFTA event in Gotham will include a screening of the IFC documentary "Monty Python: Almost the Truth (The Lawyer's Cut)" as well as a Q&A with John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin. Variety

• The Venice film fest has renamed its competition for new reviewers after noted critic Tullio Kezich, who died Monday at age 80. Kezich had been a fixture at the festival since 1946 and was renowned in his native Italy for his writings on film as well as his biography of Federico Fellini. Variety



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