Tuesday Sep 16, 2014

Seinfeld says Rivers was to be in series

NEW YORK (AP) — Jerry Seinfeld says that Joan Rivers was to join him for an episode of his digital series "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee," until he got a call saying she had to postpone because she was undergoing a medical procedure. Rivers went into cardiac arrest...
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TV

Seinfeld says Rivers was to be in series
Tuesday Sep 16, 2014
Seinfeld says Rivers was to be in series

NEW YORK (AP) — Jerry Seinfeld says that Joan Rivers was to join him for an episode of his digital series "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee," until he got a call saying she had to postpone because she was undergoing a medical procedure. Rivers went into cardiac arrest following a throat procedure on Aug. 28 and died on Sept. 4. Seinfeld, in a post on his show's Facebook page on Monday, said Rivers had been thrilled to be included. He wrote that he wanted to show another side of Rivers, and to tell her how much he admired her accomplishments, especially later in her career. Seinfeld called her one of the greats and said, "I'll miss her." Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Amazon has Netflix in sights with 'Transparent'
Tuesday Sep 16, 2014
Amazon has Netflix in sights with 'Transparent'

Online retail giant Amazon celebrated Monday the launch of a new original show it hopes will help catch up with streaming pioneer Netflix."Transparent," which had a red-carpet unveiling in Los Angeles, features a transgender character in the central role of a show which has already generated strong critical buzz. "No one can ever doubt that the TV model has changed for good. Amazon, with its ability to draw in name talent, is impressively building on what Netflix and (rival streaming service) Hulu are doing," commented the Hollywood Reporter. "This is huge, it's a game changer. There is nothing like this on television," its main star Jeffrey Tambor told AFP on the red carpet. "I couldn't be more proud." It is not Amazon's first foray into producing its own original content -- political comedy "Alpha House" debuted last year, but has so far failed to win the acclaim of Netflix series like "House of Cards" and "Orange is the New Black." "House of Cards" was the first online only show to win major awards nominations -- and a win last year for big-screen director David Fincher, while "Orange is the New Black" won two Emmys this year. The pilot episode of "Transparent" is already available, while Amazon has taken a leaf out of Netflix's book by releasing the whole season to binge watch on September 26, rather than airing an episode per week. The half-hour dark comedy stars the lugubrious Tambor -- from Netflix's "Arrested Development" -- as father Mort Pfefferman coming out as transgender Maura to his three adult children (who have their own secrets to divulge too). The cast of the show, which is definitely for an adult audience, also includes Gaby Hoffman of the hit series "Girls." Adding to its creative heft it is directed by Jill Soloway, an Emmy-nominated writer on cult series "Six Feet Under" who won a directing award at the Sundance Film Festival last year for "Afternoon Delight." "Artistically, it's been a dream come true. I absolutely got to make the show I wanted to make," Soloway said, when the Amazon series was announced in August. "I am beyond excited to share 'Transparent' with the world through Amazon. Transgender roles in comedies are nothing new -- "Orange is the new Black" features Laverne Cox, who made it to the front page of Time magazine in her role as Sophia Burset. But a transgender main character is rarer, giving the series -- the title of which is a play on words involving a gender-bending parent -- an edge in a crowded new market. Soloway said the casting of Tambor wasn't difficult. "Luckily I didn't really have to think about it, because from the very moment I had the idea in my head, Jeffrey was Mort to become" Maura, she told the Hollywood Reporter. "It wasn't a decision, it was an intuitive feeling thing," she added. Netflix and Amazon have taken starkly different paths: whereas Netflix went straight for heavyweights Spacey and Fincher, and even ordered two seasons straight at once, Amazon was much more cautious. The online retailer's approach has been much more inter-active: in 2010 it launched a process which produced traditional pilot episodes, which it then put online for free to guage audience reaction. Only then did it order a whole season. Critics have lavished praise on what they have seen so far. "It's a nuanced, gorgeous first half-hour, brilliantly performed and laced with melancholy and humor; you could confidently put it up against the best HBO or Showtime half-hour pilots of recent years," wrote Time magazine's reviewer. "And the fact that platforms like Amazon now exist to give shows like this a chance says that not only Maura Pfefferman, but the TV business itself, is going through an exciting transformation," he said. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Microsoft to spotlight new Windows software September 30
Tuesday Sep 16, 2014
Microsoft to spotlight new Windows software September 30

Microsoft on Monday sent out invitations to a September 30 event at which it is expected to provide a glimpse at the next version of its Windows operating system.The US software titan revealed little with invitations that read: "Join us to hear what's next for Windows and the enterprise." The event slated to take place in San Francisco will be aimed at developers behind programs designed for computers powered by Windows software, and at businesses that depend on Microsoft programs in their networks. Microsoft was said to be working on a separate version of Windows for smartphones and tablets, as it works to adapt to lifestyles centered increasingly on Internet-linked mobile devices. gc/mdl Microsoft Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Idris Elba, from Mandela to murderer to .. director?
Tuesday Sep 16, 2014
Idris Elba, from Mandela to murderer to .. director?

British actor Idris Elba has come a long way from his east London roots.The son of a car factory worker, he is now one of Hollywood's most sought-after stars. The Golden Globe-winning star of "The Wire" and "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" is fresh from promoting his latest film "No Good Deed," which topped this weekend's North America box office. Elba plays an escaped convict who terrorizes a woman along with her two children in the thriller, which made some $25 million despite being panned by critics But the 42-year-old says he is keen to avoid getting himself typecast -- he has played his fair share of gangsters, a world away from the South African statesman. He says he'd like to try his hand at directing some day. "I try to mix up," he said, discussing the new film -- and his career strategy -- at a Beverly Hill hotel. "I definitely want to challenge and ask my audience not to fall in love with one character or type of character." "You just have to be vigilant about your own vision. My vision is to be an actor that went from Mandela to playing a psychotic man... that's something that I think is interesting." Brought up in London's Canning Town -- he is proud to call himself a genuine Cockney, born within the sound of Bow Bells -- he began acting professionally in his early 20s. Elba's big break came when he landed a starring role on the US television show The Wire in 2002, playing drug lord Russell "Stringer" Bell in the Home Box Office series which became a hit worldwide. Having moved to the United States -- he has lived here for 15 years -- he became a jobbing Hollywood actor in the noughties before earning his Golden Globe for 2010's made-for-TV movie "Luther." In the last few years he has hit the real bigtime, landing roles in blockbusters like "Thor" (2011 and the 2013 sequel) and last year's "Pacific Rim." "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" also came out last year, coincidentally premiering in London the very day that the anti-apartheid icon passed away in South Africa. Ironically, he was studying Mandela's autobiography as he was playing escaped convict Colin Evans in "No Good Deed." "The irony is that I was going from that movie to go to South Africa for eight months to go do Mandela. So I was reading 'Long Walk to Freedom' as I was playing," he told a small group of reporters. The new movie may have had poor reviews -- it received a paltry 14 percent on ratings website Rotten Tomatoes, which called it "dull, derivative and generally uninspired" -- but it made nearly twice its $13 million on its opening weekend. And Elba is clearly going from strength to strength. Working with A-list directors like Guillermo del Toro ("Pacific Rim") has taught him a great deal. "Guillermo is a legend," he said. "I learnt a lot .. I'd like to direct at some point. Just watching him direct was just incredible," he gushed. Elba is currently working on a smaller project in London -- giving him a chance to see his family. And while he seems equally at ease with the trappings of Hollywood success, he admits it sometimes baffles his mum. "She's always worried about how much I work ... when you get to a certain level of success it's just an ongoing thing, it's great, but it really is taxing. And she worries about that," he said. He also downplays his reputation as a sex symbol. "It's a compliment no doubt," he said, but added: "You should see me in the mornings." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Octavia Spencer: Content with new ensemble TV role
Tuesday Sep 16, 2014
Octavia Spencer: Content with new ensemble TV role

NEW YORK (AP) — As the offers poured in for Oscar winner Octavia Spencer to join the many other film actors who have recently transitioned to television, she was clear on what she wanted. For one, she didn't want to do a sitcom. She had a recurring role on the first season of CBS' "Mom," playing an addict with a looming prison sentence for embezzlement who befriends Allison Janney and Anna Farris' characters in Alcoholics Anonymous. Spencer got laughs, but believes regularly performing in front of an audience would be too distracting. "I have severe stage fright and ... it's very different to be on a television set or a film set where you're working with crew people," Spencer, 44, said in a recent interview. "You're not there to entertain. You're all there to do a job. When you do stuff in front of an audience, you're putting on a miniplay. It's like, 'Ahh! I can't think about whether you're being entertained. I have to think about my character.'" A role in an ensemble series, however, had potential. "I have the prize in the Cracker Jack box. I don't need to be the prize," she said. "Big distinction. Big difference." Spencer plays the head nurse in "Red Band Society," premiering Wednesday on Fox (8 p.m. EDT). The dramedy follows the ups and downs of teens who are long-term patients in a children's hospital. "I like the fact that it really is about (the kids) and their journey and you have these adult characters who kind of keep them within boundaries," she said. What made her hesitate was whether the tone of the show would be too depressing. "I thought, 'Well, do I really want to be a nurse at a children's hospital? That's probably going to be the saddest thing on the planet. I don't know.' And then I read it and I was pleasantly surprised because I didn't realize I was going to laugh as much as I did and enjoy it as much as I did." Spencer, who won her Oscar for 2011's "The Help," said one of the more challenging aspects of switching to television is adjusting to the quick turnover of scripts. "I'm a dyslexic and it takes me a lot longer to learn material," she said. "But you know what? It was very refreshing to me to have Halle Berry ask me if I was struggling with it. Billy Bob Thornton asked me if I was struggling and Viola Davis (too). "All of us have big film backgrounds ... because we're so used to having that one bit of material and spending so much time with that material before you ever start shooting it that when the scripts are coming really quickly it's like, 'Wait a minute.'" Spencer is shuttling between Los Angeles to the "Red Band" set in Atlanta, with her family living in Alabama, which she says is "tough." However, being on location has allowed the cast to "gel more," she said. "We've built this great sense of community for each other and gotten a better sense of each other's personal space (and) personal habits. It's actually very conducive to the whole ensemble vibe," she said. "But, I miss L.A." ___ Alicia Rancilio covers entertainment for The Associated Press. Follow her online at http://www.twitter.com/aliciar ___ Online: http://www.fox.com/red-band-society/ Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Movies

Snowden documentary to premiere at NY festival
Tuesday Sep 16, 2014
Snowden documentary to premiere at NY festival

NEW YORK (AP) — A documentary about Edward Snowden is a late addition to the New York Film Festival. The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced Tuesday that Laura Poitras' "Citizenfour" will premiere Oct. 10 as part of the annual festival's main slate. Poitras is a journalist and documentarian whom Snowden first contacted about leaking thousands of documents that revealed the National Security Agency's collection of Americans' phone and email records. She shared in the Pulitzer Prize for public service given earlier this year to The Washington Post and The Guardian for the NSA revelations. Poitras was working on a film about national security and privacy in the wake of post-9/11 America when Snowden first contacted her under the name "citizen four" through encrypted emails. When she and reporter Glenn Greenwald met with Snowden, Poitras filmed their interviews. Kent Jones, New York Film Festival director, said in a statement that the film operates on multiple levels at the same time: a character study of Snowden, a real-life suspense story and a chilling exposé. In an interview with The Associated Press this year, Poitras said she was editing the film in Berlin because she didn't feel she could protect her source material from being seized by the government inside the U.S. "Citizenfour" opens in theaters Oct. 24. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Idris Elba, from Mandela to murderer to .. director?
Tuesday Sep 16, 2014
Idris Elba, from Mandela to murderer to .. director?

British actor Idris Elba has come a long way from his east London roots.The son of a car factory worker, he is now one of Hollywood's most sought-after stars. The Golden Globe-winning star of "The Wire" and "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" is fresh from promoting his latest film "No Good Deed," which topped this weekend's North America box office. Elba plays an escaped convict who terrorizes a woman along with her two children in the thriller, which made some $25 million despite being panned by critics But the 42-year-old says he is keen to avoid getting himself typecast -- he has played his fair share of gangsters, a world away from the South African statesman. He says he'd like to try his hand at directing some day. "I try to mix up," he said, discussing the new film -- and his career strategy -- at a Beverly Hill hotel. "I definitely want to challenge and ask my audience not to fall in love with one character or type of character." "You just have to be vigilant about your own vision. My vision is to be an actor that went from Mandela to playing a psychotic man... that's something that I think is interesting." Brought up in London's Canning Town -- he is proud to call himself a genuine Cockney, born within the sound of Bow Bells -- he began acting professionally in his early 20s. Elba's big break came when he landed a starring role on the US television show The Wire in 2002, playing drug lord Russell "Stringer" Bell in the Home Box Office series which became a hit worldwide. Having moved to the United States -- he has lived here for 15 years -- he became a jobbing Hollywood actor in the noughties before earning his Golden Globe for 2010's made-for-TV movie "Luther." In the last few years he has hit the real bigtime, landing roles in blockbusters like "Thor" (2011 and the 2013 sequel) and last year's "Pacific Rim." "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" also came out last year, coincidentally premiering in London the very day that the anti-apartheid icon passed away in South Africa. Ironically, he was studying Mandela's autobiography as he was playing escaped convict Colin Evans in "No Good Deed." "The irony is that I was going from that movie to go to South Africa for eight months to go do Mandela. So I was reading 'Long Walk to Freedom' as I was playing," he told a small group of reporters. The new movie may have had poor reviews -- it received a paltry 14 percent on ratings website Rotten Tomatoes, which called it "dull, derivative and generally uninspired" -- but it made nearly twice its $13 million on its opening weekend. And Elba is clearly going from strength to strength. Working with A-list directors like Guillermo del Toro ("Pacific Rim") has taught him a great deal. "Guillermo is a legend," he said. "I learnt a lot .. I'd like to direct at some point. Just watching him direct was just incredible," he gushed. Elba is currently working on a smaller project in London -- giving him a chance to see his family. And while he seems equally at ease with the trappings of Hollywood success, he admits it sometimes baffles his mum. "She's always worried about how much I work ... when you get to a certain level of success it's just an ongoing thing, it's great, but it really is taxing. And she worries about that," he said. He also downplays his reputation as a sex symbol. "It's a compliment no doubt," he said, but added: "You should see me in the mornings." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Zegna and Park Chan-wook reveal first episode of 'A Rose Reborn'
Tuesday Sep 16, 2014
Zegna and Park Chan-wook reveal first episode of 'A Rose Reborn'

South Korean director Park Chan-Wook ("Old Boy") helmed a short film in four episodes for the Italian brand starring actors Jack Huston ("Boardwalk Empire") and Daniel Wu ("The Man with the Iron Fists"). The first episode, titled "You're Not Wearing That," has just been released. In four and a half minutes, the first episode of "A Rose Reborn" introduces Stephen (Jack Huston), a London-based engineer and CEO. The young man is under tremendous pressure from his investors to meet with the mysterious Mr. Lu, the owner of a huge Chinese company that wants to merge with his company and acquire his unique invention. Scored by Clint Mansell ("Black Swan," "Requiem for a Dream"), the short film has the cold, polished esthetic quality the South Korean filmmaker is known for, aided by director of photography Natasha Braier ("The Milk of Sorrow," "The Rover"). The two lead actors are dressed entirely in Ermenegildo Zegna Couture, sporting fashions created by Stefano Pilati, while the rest of the cast is outfitted in the brand's various other collections. The remaining episodes will be uploaded on September 24, October 13 and October 22, the last day of Shanghai fashion week. Watch "A Rose Reborn" episode 1: http://youtu.be/NKi2XQkFplg and at the dedicated website arose-reborn.com Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

'No Good Deed' slays 'Guardians' at box office
Monday Sep 15, 2014
'No Good Deed' slays 'Guardians' at box office

LOS ANGELES (AP) — An evil Idris Elba and terrified Taraji P. Henson overcame a group of first-rate intergalactic misfits at theaters over the weekend. The Sony thriller "No Good Deed" opened with $24.25 million in ticket sales, knocking Disney's "Guardians of the Galaxy" from the top spot at the box office, where it has spent four weeks. The Warner Bros.' family film "Dolphin Tale 2" debuted in second place with $15.8 million, leaving "Guardians" in third with $8.1 million. The Marvel action-adventure is still a winner, though. It's the year's top-grossing domestic film, with more than $300 million in North American ticket sales and more than $600 million in international returns. The top 20 movies at U.S. and Canadian theaters Friday through Sunday, followed by distribution studio, gross, number of theater locations, average receipts per location, total gross and number of weeks in release, as compiled Monday by Rentrak, are: 1. "No Good Deed," Sony, $24,250,283, 2,175 locations, $11,150 average, $24,250,283, 1 week. 2. "Dolphin Tale 2," Warner Bros., $15,873,397, 3,656 locations, $4,342 average, $15,873,397, 1 week. 3. "Guardians Of The Galaxy," Disney, $8,102,358, 3,104 locations, $2,610 average, $305,987,190, 7 weeks. 4. "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," Paramount, $4,855,136, 2,957 locations, $1,642 average, $181,096,627, 6 weeks. 5. "Let's Be Cops," 20th Century Fox, $4,378,297, 2,755 locations, $1,589 average, $73,050,745, 5 weeks. 6. "The Drop," Fox Searchlight, $4,104,552, 809 locations, $5,074 average, $4,104,552, 1 week. 7. "If I Stay," Warner Bros., $3,937,176, 3,040 locations, $1,295 average, $44,824,466, 4 weeks. 8. "The November Man," Relativity Media, $2,800,262, 2,702 locations, $1,036 average, $22,545,639, 3 weeks. 9. "The Giver," The Weinstein Company, $2,572,763, 2,253 locations, $1,142 average, $41,276,163, 5 weeks. 10. "The Hundred-Foot Journey," Disney, $2,423,269, 1,943 locations, $1,247 average, $49,371,137, 6 weeks. 11. "When The Game Stands Tall," Sony, $2,381,830, 2,435 locations, $978 average, $26,557,436, 4 weeks. 12. "As Above, So Below," Universal, $2,136,755, 2,283 locations, $936 average, $19,142,430, 3 weeks. 13. "Lucy," Universal, $1,542,820, 1,068 locations, $1,445 average, $123,493,195, 8 weeks. 14. "The Expendables 3," Lionsgate, $968,734, 1,302 locations, $744 average, $38,298,670, 5 weeks. 15. "Into The Storm," Warner Bros., $903,371, 1,040 locations, $869 average, $45,852,117, 6 weeks. 16. "Boyhood," IFC Films, $865,047, 659 locations, $1,313 average, $21,808,498, 10 weeks. 17. "Cantinflas," Lionsgate, $575,738, 424 locations, $1,358 average, $5,648,104, 3 weeks. 18. "Finding Fanny," Fox International Productions, $515,393, 121 locations, $4,259 average, $515,393, 1 week. 19. "Atlas Shrugged: Who Is John Galt?," Atlas Distribution Company, $461,179, 242 locations, $1,906 average, $461,179, 1 week. 20. "A Most Wanted Man," Roadside Attractions, $443,857, 397 locations, $1,118 average, $16,610,709, 8 weeks. ___ Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Villains and goblins steal the show from Mickey and Harry Potter
Monday Sep 15, 2014
Villains and goblins steal the show from Mickey and Harry Potter

Death Eaters, evil stepmothers, twisted fairies, ghosts and goblins are getting ready to steal the spotlight from their more heroic nemeses at theme parks around the world as Halloween draws near.It’s perhaps the one occasion when everyone’s favorite animated and fictitious villains can emerge from the shadow and bask in their evilness. At the Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London, for instance, the lights at Diagon Alley will dim and the cobblestoned streets will be overrun with ominous, caped Death Eaters to help kick off the launch of a new Dark Arts section. Visitors will also be able to visit Malfoy Manor, which was used as a base by He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and his Death Eater followers. For two weeks starting next month, the studio will also replicate the Halloween feast from “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” in Hogwarts’ Great Hall. At Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Cinderella Castle will be taken over temporarily by some of Disney’s deliciously dastardly characters for the Villains’ Sinister Soiree, where guests will get the chance to meet their favorite villains like Cinderella’s wicked stepmother, Lady Tremaine and Maleficent, the evil fairy from Sleeping Beauty. Over at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, Mickey is throwing a special after-hours Halloween party where families can dress up and go trick-or-treating throughout the park, which will also put on an array of special entertainment for the occasion. A section of Spooky Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy will also be temporarily haunted, with ghosts appearing out of the darkness of space, reaching out to grab voyagers as they hurtle through space to a soundtrack of bloodcurdling screams and creepy sound effects. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Events

Angela Lansbury reprising 'Blithe Spirit' on tour
Tuesday Sep 16, 2014
Angela Lansbury reprising 'Blithe Spirit' on tour

NEW YORK (AP) — Angela Lansbury is returning to a winning stage role and taking it on the road. Producers said Tuesday that the 88-year-old TV legend and five-time Tony Award winner will reprise her role as Madame Arcati and lead a cast of "Blithe Spirit" on a tour that will take it from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. In Noel Coward's comedy, Lansbury plays an irrepressible spiritualist who inadvertently summons from beyond the grave the first wife of an English novelist. The "Murder, She Wrote" star won a Tony in the role in 2009. The tour plays Los Angeles Dec. 9-Jan. 18, 2015, plays San Francisco from Jan. 20-Feb. 1, Toronto from Feb. 10-March 15 and Washington, D.C., from March 17-29 at the National Theatre. The play is directed by Michael Blakemore. ___ Online: http://www.BlitheSpiritThePlay.com Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Amazon has Netflix in sights with 'Transparent'
Tuesday Sep 16, 2014
Amazon has Netflix in sights with 'Transparent'

Online retail giant Amazon celebrated Monday the launch of a new original show it hopes will help catch up with streaming pioneer Netflix."Transparent," which had a red-carpet unveiling in Los Angeles, features a transgender character in the central role of a show which has already generated strong critical buzz. "No one can ever doubt that the TV model has changed for good. Amazon, with its ability to draw in name talent, is impressively building on what Netflix and (rival streaming service) Hulu are doing," commented the Hollywood Reporter. "This is huge, it's a game changer. There is nothing like this on television," its main star Jeffrey Tambor told AFP on the red carpet. "I couldn't be more proud." It is not Amazon's first foray into producing its own original content -- political comedy "Alpha House" debuted last year, but has so far failed to win the acclaim of Netflix series like "House of Cards" and "Orange is the New Black." "House of Cards" was the first online only show to win major awards nominations -- and a win last year for big-screen director David Fincher, while "Orange is the New Black" won two Emmys this year. The pilot episode of "Transparent" is already available, while Amazon has taken a leaf out of Netflix's book by releasing the whole season to binge watch on September 26, rather than airing an episode per week. The half-hour dark comedy stars the lugubrious Tambor -- from Netflix's "Arrested Development" -- as father Mort Pfefferman coming out as transgender Maura to his three adult children (who have their own secrets to divulge too). The cast of the show, which is definitely for an adult audience, also includes Gaby Hoffman of the hit series "Girls." Adding to its creative heft it is directed by Jill Soloway, an Emmy-nominated writer on cult series "Six Feet Under" who won a directing award at the Sundance Film Festival last year for "Afternoon Delight." "Artistically, it's been a dream come true. I absolutely got to make the show I wanted to make," Soloway said, when the Amazon series was announced in August. "I am beyond excited to share 'Transparent' with the world through Amazon. Transgender roles in comedies are nothing new -- "Orange is the new Black" features Laverne Cox, who made it to the front page of Time magazine in her role as Sophia Burset. But a transgender main character is rarer, giving the series -- the title of which is a play on words involving a gender-bending parent -- an edge in a crowded new market. Soloway said the casting of Tambor wasn't difficult. "Luckily I didn't really have to think about it, because from the very moment I had the idea in my head, Jeffrey was Mort to become" Maura, she told the Hollywood Reporter. "It wasn't a decision, it was an intuitive feeling thing," she added. Netflix and Amazon have taken starkly different paths: whereas Netflix went straight for heavyweights Spacey and Fincher, and even ordered two seasons straight at once, Amazon was much more cautious. The online retailer's approach has been much more inter-active: in 2010 it launched a process which produced traditional pilot episodes, which it then put online for free to guage audience reaction. Only then did it order a whole season. Critics have lavished praise on what they have seen so far. "It's a nuanced, gorgeous first half-hour, brilliantly performed and laced with melancholy and humor; you could confidently put it up against the best HBO or Showtime half-hour pilots of recent years," wrote Time magazine's reviewer. "And the fact that platforms like Amazon now exist to give shows like this a chance says that not only Maura Pfefferman, but the TV business itself, is going through an exciting transformation," he said. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Clooney to receive HFPA's Cecil B. DeMille Award
Monday Sep 15, 2014
Clooney to receive HFPA's Cecil B. DeMille Award

LOS ANGELES (AP) — George Clooney is sure to take home a trophy at next year's Golden Globe Awards. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced Monday that the 53-year-old entertainer and activist will receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the ceremony on Jan. 11, 2015. The award is presented annually to an individual who's made "an incredible impact on the world of entertainment." Association president Theo Kingma cited Clooney's achievements on both sides of the camera and his humanitarian efforts around the world. Clooney has won two Oscars and four Golden Globes. He's also been recognized for his efforts to bring attention to atrocities in Darfur and for producing the "Help Haiti Now" telethon to raise money after the devastating earthquake there in 2010. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Hiaasen a National Book Award finalist
Monday Sep 15, 2014
Hiaasen a National Book Award finalist

NEW YORK (AP) — Carl Hiaasen, Laurie Halse Anderson and Jacqueline Woodson are among the 10 authors on the National Book Awards' longlist for young people's literature. The National Book Foundation, which presents the awards, announced Monday that Hiaasen was nominated for "Skink-No Surrender" and Anderson for "The Impossible Knife of Memory." Woodson was cited for "Brown Girl Dreaming." Other nominees include Kate Milford's "Greenglass House," Deborah Wiles' "Revolution: The Sixties Trilogy, Book Two" and Gail Giles' "Girls Like Us." Also on the list were John Corey Whaley's "Noggin," Andrew Smith's "100 Sideways Miles," Steve Sheinkin's "The Port Chicago 50" and "Eliot Schrefer's "Threatened." Most of the nominees are well known among young readers. Anderson and Woodson are both winners of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement, an honor administered by the American Library Association, and Sheinkin, Schrefer and Wiles are among those who have been National Book Award finalists The foundation initiated longlists for the awards last year in an attempt to generate the kind of attention given to Britain's Man Booker Prize. The longlists for poetry, nonfiction and fiction will be announced over the following three days. The final five in each category will be revealed Oct. 15, with the winners to be announced at a Nov. 19 ceremony in Manhattan. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

1965 'Cinderella' star to attend Broadway version
Monday Sep 15, 2014
1965 'Cinderella' star to attend Broadway version

NEW YORK (AP) — The Cinderella onstage on Broadway next Wednesday will have another Cinderella in the audience — Lesley Ann Warren. Warren, who starred in the 1965 television version of "Cinderella," is slated to attend the Sept. 23 production of "Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella" and join the cast during the curtain call to sing "Ten Minutes Ago." "I'm really looking forward to it," Warren said by phone Monday from Los Angeles. The actress hasn't seen the show live but caught one song during the Tony Award telecast and called it "scrumptious." Warren's turn as Cinderella, which came eight years after Julie Andrews played the part in a TV movie, also starred Walter Pidgeon, Stuart Damon, Ginger Rogers and Celeste Holm. Next year is the 50th anniversary of that production and a special DVD of it was released last year. Warren joked that the idea of 50 years having past "makes me sick. It is crazy because it truly doesn't feel that way to me. I can't even wrap my head around it." Warren, 68, was nominated for an Academy Award in Blake Edwards' gender-bending "Victor Victoria" and had recurring roles on TV's "Desperate Housewives" and "In Plain Sight." When she recently started working on "Ten Minutes Ago" again, she felt very emotional. "It brought me back to that 18-year-old girl that I was creating that role," she said. "It was such a momentous experience for me." Warren had been on Broadway as a 17-year-old in "110 in the Shade" in 1963 when she auditioned for "Cinderella" during the run. She eventually left the show to film the TV movie in California. "It changed my life," she said. "It became a classic so quickly. It affected not only me but it affected so many people who were kind enough to let me know how it impacted their life." The new Broadway production stars Keke Palmer as Cinderella and Sherri Shepherd as the stepmother. It will close after the Jan. 3 performance at the Broadway Theatre. ___ Online: http://cinderellaonbroadway.com ___ Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.