Friday Jul 31, 2015

Dwayne Johnson says of Hulk Hogan: 'We've all talked trash'

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Dwayne Johnson says he was disappointed when he heard about a tape of Hulk Hogan using racial slurs. Johnson, also a former pro wrestler, told a TV critics' meeting Thursday that the remarks didn't match his personal history with Hogan, whose...
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TV

Dwayne Johnson says of Hulk Hogan: 'We've all talked trash'
Friday Jul 31, 2015
Dwayne Johnson says of Hulk Hogan: 'We've all talked trash'

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Dwayne Johnson says he was disappointed when he heard about a tape of Hulk Hogan using racial slurs. Johnson, also a former pro wrestler, told a TV critics' meeting Thursday that the remarks didn't match his personal history with Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea. "I've known Terry for a lot of years, and my dad helped train him in Florida in the '70s when he was breaking into the business. I come from a very long line of lineage of professional wrestlers. I had not known the man to be racist," said Johnson, who was at the meeting to talk about his HBO series, "Ballers." He acknowledged: "We've all talked trash, you know, especially in private. He said what he said, and he's paying the price." The 61-year-old Hogan has suffered backlash despite apologizing in a statement for using "offensive language." World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. severed ties with him this week. Also Thursday, a judge set a March 2016 trial date for a lawsuit brought by Hogan against Gawker Media for releasing a sex tape that contained the comments. ___ Online: http://www.hbo.com/ballers/ Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

HBO Programming Chief optimistic about David Chase series
Friday Jul 31, 2015
HBO Programming Chief optimistic about David Chase series

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — It's been six years since HBO first announced that "Sopranos" creator David Chase has a new project in the works, and according to the network's programming chief, it's still happening. "He's writing. I have seen pages," Michael Lombardo told TV critics at the annual summer press tour. The story was first presented in 2009 as a miniseries called "A Ribbon of Dreams," dramatizing the timeline of the Hollywood film industry. "I think he has something really unbelievable, but he had to figure out is it a limited series, an open-ended series. He showed us two hours' worth of material, and I trust I'll see (more) by the end of the year. And I'm sure we'll go from there. I fully expect we'll be back up here during my tenure with David Chase and a new show." ___ Online: http://www.hbo.com/ Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

HBO chief: 'Game of Thrones' could wrap after 3 more seasons
Friday Jul 31, 2015
HBO chief: 'Game of Thrones' could wrap after 3 more seasons

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — "Game of Thrones" fans, brace yourselves: The fantasy saga's end is perhaps just a few years away. HBO programming chief Michael Lombardo said Thursday that the drama series' producers are leaning toward three more seasons after the just-concluded season five. "I'm always hoping they're going to change their minds, but I think that's what we're looking at right now," Lombardo told a Television Critics Association meeting. Asked about the possibility of a prequel series, Lombardo said he believed there's "enormous story material" to be mined for such a project. But the focus now of showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss is season six of "Game of Thrones," he said, which is in production now for 2016. The series came under fire this year for a rape scene involving a bride's assault by her husband on their wedding night. Lombardo, noting that the drama has included violence as a thread since it started, said the producers are careful about not overstepping boundaries while remaining true to the storytelling. "I support them fully artistically," he said. Voters in the TV academy weren't swayed by the controversy, making "Game of Thrones" the most-nominated series last month. It received 24 nods for the September awards, including best drama series. Lombardo was asked if the popular character of Jon Snow, who appeared to die last season, was actually a goner. "Dead is dead is dead," said Lombardo, adding, "Everything I've seen, heard and read," Snow is dead. Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Lynn Elber from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

HBO chief says 'Game of Throne' could wrap after 8 seasons
Friday Jul 31, 2015
HBO chief says 'Game of Throne' could wrap after 8 seasons

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Here's a roundup of news Thursday from the Television Critics Association summer meeting, at which TV networks and streaming services are presenting details on upcoming programs: ___ GAME OVER? "Game of Thrones" fans, brace yourselves: The fantasy saga's end is perhaps just a few years away. HBO programming chief Michael Lombardo said that the drama series' producers are leaning toward three more seasons after the just-concluded season five. "I'm always hoping they're going to change their minds, but I think that's what we're looking at right now," Lombardo told a Television Critics Association meeting. Asked about the possibility of a prequel series, Lombardo said he believed there's "enormous story material" to be mined for such a project. But the focus now of showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss is season six of "Game of Thrones," he said, which is in production now for 2016. Lombardo was asked if the popular character of Jon Snow, who appeared to die last season, was actually a goner. "Dead is dead is dead," said Lombardo, adding, "Everything I've seen, heard and read," Snow is dead. ___ THE DEVIL MADE THEM DO IT Destination America is upping its scare factor for Halloween by scheduling what it describes as a live exorcism to air Oct. 30. "Exorcism: Live!" was announced Thursday at a news conference in Beverly Hills, California. The event will be held at the St. Louis-area house where teen Roland Doe underwent the ritual in 1949. It became the inspiration for 1973's "The Exorcist" movie. The paranormal investigators featured on Destination America's series "GHOST ASYLUM" will appear on the show with psychic medium Chip Coffey. Cameras will roll as they explore the home to find whatever is believed to have haunted it for years. ___ HER CLAWS ARE OUT Betty White, a passionate animal activist, has harsh words for the Minnesota dentist who killed Cecil the lion while on a hunting trip in Zimbabwe this month. "You don't want to hear some of the things I want to do to that man," the 93-year-old actress said. "It's such a heartbreaker. You can't even talk about it, and to see this king of the jungle and personifying it in very way, this gorgeous creature. How can somebody do that?" Cecil was drawn from a wildlife preserve and shot by American hunter Walter James Palmer on July 1. Palmer released a statement this week through a publicist saying he was with professional guides and believed the hunt was legal. The firm is no longer helping Palmer. White, who said she's "loved animals since the womb," was promoting a new block of programming in August on Discovery Family Channel called "Pawgust," with shows, specials and movies about animals. White will serve as the host of "Pawgust," and be featured in promos. ___ LOUGANIS MAKES A SPLASH Greg Louganis said he was unaware of fellow Olympian Bruce Jenner's gender identity struggle when their paths crossed at the Summer 1976 Games and in later years. The diving great, among the first prominent athletes to come out as gay, said Thursday he has yet to speak with the now-Caitlyn Jenner but can appreciate what she's going through. "We all have our journeys. Whether you're gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, we all have our own journeys," Louganis, 55, told reporters during a Q&A session on the HBO documentary "Greg Louganis: Back on Board," debuting Tuesday. The response to Jenner's candor, including her own reality series and an ESPY award for courage, contrasts sharply with Louganis' experience before and after disclosing his orientation in 1992 and, in 1995, that he was HIV-positive. He became the only man in diving history to win back-to-back Olympic gold medals in both springboard and platform diving, in 1984 and '88, but found that opportunities available to other Olympic stars eluded him. He's said previously he came to believe it was because his sexuality had not remained a secret within his sport. ___ DEMI GOES 'DUSK TILL DAWN' Robert Rodriguez had been waiting for a chance to work with Demi Lovato since she auditioned for his 2003 movie "Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over." The El Rey Network creator and executive producer of its TV series "From Dusk Till Dawn" said the show was a nice fit, so a character was written specifically for the 22-year-old. Aside from her personal connection to the series, which is her relationship with cast member Wilmer Valderrama, Rodriguez said, "I've always been a big fan of hers and she's on tour a lot, so when she'd come to set to visit I threw out that we'd love to put her in somewhere." Rodriguez was cagey about the part, which will be included in the show's second season, premiering Aug. 25 at 9 p.m. EDT. "From Dusk Till Dawn" is based on the 1996 film of the same name that went on to be a cult favorite. ___ WAITING PATIENTLY FOR 'SOPRANOS' CREATOR It's been six years since HBO first announced that "Sopranos" creator David Chase has a new project in the works, and according to the network's programming chief, it's still happening. "He's writing. I have seen pages," Michael Lombardo said. The story was first presented in 2009 as a miniseries called "A Ribbon of Dreams," dramatizing the timeline of the Hollywood film industry. "I think he has something really unbelievable, but he had to figure out is it a limited series, an open-ended series? He showed us two hours' worth of material, and I trust I'll see (more) by the end of the year. And I'm sure we'll go from there. I fully expect we'll be back up here during my tenure with David Chase and a new show." ___ ROCK TAKES ON HULK Dwayne Johnson says he was disappointed when he heard about a tape of Hulk Hogan using racial slurs. Johnson, also a former pro wrestler said that the remarks didn't match his personal history with Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea. "I've known Terry for a lot of years, and my dad helped train him in Florida in the '70s when he was breaking into the business. I come from a very long line of lineage of professional wrestlers. I had not known the man to be racist," said Johnson, who was at the TV critics' meeting to talk about his HBO series, "Ballers." "We've all talked trash, you know, especially in private. He said what he said, and he's paying the price," Johnson said. The 61-year-old Hogan has suffered backlash despite apologizing in a statement for using "offensive language." World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. severed ties with him this week. Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by The Associated Press from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

HBO open to more 'True Detective' despite Season 2 criticism
Friday Jul 31, 2015
HBO open to more 'True Detective' despite Season 2 criticism

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — HBO would like a third season of "True Detective," despite criticism over Season 2 starring Vince Vaughn, Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams and Taylor Kitsch. Its programming head, Michael Lombardo, told TV critics gathered Thursday that he's a huge fan of the series. "I think Nic (Pizzolatto) is one of the best writers working in television and motion pictures today. He takes a big swing and all I can tell you is, I think the show end is as satisfying as any show I've seen," Lombardo said. "We're getting 12 million viewers an episode. I'm enormously proud of it. We want to do another season," he said. That despite detractors who say Season 2 is hard to follow and the characters lack the chemistry of the first season's stars Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. The Season 2 finale airs Aug. 9. _____ Online: http://www.hbo.com Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Associated Press from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Movies

Demi Lovato's 'Dusk Till Dawn' character was written for her
Thursday Jul 30, 2015
Demi Lovato's 'Dusk Till Dawn' character was written for her

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Robert Rodriguez had been waiting for a chance to work with Demi Lovato since she auditioned for his 2003 movie "Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over." The El Rey Network creator and executive producer of its TV series "From Dusk Till Dawn" told reporters Thursday the show was a nice fit, so a character was written specifically for the 22-year-old. Aside from her personal connection to the series, which is her relationship with cast member Wilmer Valderrama, Rodriguez said, "I've always been a big fan of hers and she's on tour a lot, so when she'd come to set to visit I threw out that we'd love to put her in somewhere." And he wanted to make sure it was an episode he directed because "she has a great personality" and "great acting chops." Lovato posted photos of herself on set to her Instagram account earlier this month. Rodriguez was cagey about the part, which will be included in the show's second season, premiering Aug. 25 at 9 p.m. ET. "She was fantastic. She's really got a great screen presence. If there's time for her to come back in the series she can," Rodriguez said at a TV critics gathering. "From Dusk Till Dawn" is based on the 1996 film of the same name that went on to be a cult favorite. It stars D.J. Cotrona and Zane Holtz as brothers in roles made famous by George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino. ___ Online: http://www.elreynetwork.com/ Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Associated Press from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Lupita Nyong'o to make NYC stage debut in September
Thursday Jul 30, 2015
Lupita Nyong'o to make NYC stage debut in September

NEW YORK (AP) — Lupita Nyong'o, the Oscar-winner for her role in Steve McQueen's "12 Years A Slave" will make her New York stage debut in September. The Public Theater said Thursday that Nyong'o (loo-PEE'-tuh nee-YAHNG'-goh) will star in "Eclipsed," a story of survival and resilience set in post-colonial Africa. It was written by Danai Gurira — who also is stars in "The Walking Dead" — and will be directed by Liesl Tommy. A graduate of the Yale School of Drama, Nyongo's stage credits include playing Perdita in "The Winter's Tale" and Sonya in "Uncle Vanya" both at Yale Repertory Theater. The Mexican-born Kenyan will next appear in the anticipated "Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens" and will voice a character in Jon Favreau's take on Disney's "The Jungle Book." Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Mark Kennedy from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Official trailer for ‘Room’ movie released
Thursday Jul 30, 2015
Official trailer for ‘Room’ movie released

A glimpse of the upcoming drama "Room," based on the novel by Emma Donoghue, has been released to YouTube.Starring Brie Larson, Joan Allen, William H. Macy, Sean Bridgers and Jacob Tremblay, the flick has been selected for the Special Presentations division of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. The film is expected to release in the US on November 6, 2015. To watch the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6C6fZ-fwDws   Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2015. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Patrick Osborne tapped to direct ‘Battling Boy’
Thursday Jul 30, 2015
Patrick Osborne tapped to direct ‘Battling Boy’

Paramount has called upon Oscar-winning Patrick Osborne to direct the upcoming film based on author Paul Pope's novel "Battling Boy."Producers Jeremy Kleiner and Sarah Esberg hail from Brad Pitt's company Plan B Entertainment, Variety reports. Osborne, whose credits include "Big Hero 6," took the prize for best animated short film for his work on the six-minute Disney clip "Feast." "Battling Boy" tells the story of a 12-year-old supernatural hero who is called upon to banish demons from the land. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2015. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Jake Gyllenhaal eyes Boston Marathon movie ‘Stronger’
Thursday Jul 30, 2015
Jake Gyllenhaal eyes Boston Marathon movie ‘Stronger’

US actor Jake Gyllenhaal is reportedly in early talks to star in a movie about the tragedy of the Boston Marathon bombing.The Lionsgate film portrays the struggle of survivor Jeff Bauman who lost both legs in the attack, Variety reports. David Gordon Green has signed on as director of the movie. John Pollono has adapted the script from the book "Stronger" by Bauman and Brett Witter. Bauman was cheering for his girlfriend at the finish line when the tragedy struck.   Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2015. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Events

Louganis contemplates his, fellow Olympian Jenner's journeys
Friday Jul 31, 2015
Louganis contemplates his, fellow Olympian Jenner's journeys

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Greg Louganis said he was unaware of fellow Olympian Bruce Jenner's gender identity struggle when their paths crossed at the Summer 1976 Games and in later years. The diving great, among the first prominent athletes to come out as gay, said Thursday he has yet to speak with the now-Caitlyn Jenner but can appreciate what she's going through. "We all have our journeys. Whether you're gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, we all have our own journeys," Louganis, 55, told reporters during a Q&A session on the HBO documentary "Greg Louganis: Back on Board," debuting Tuesday. The response to Jenner's candor, including her own reality series and an ESPY award for courage, contrasts sharply with Louganis' experience before and after disclosing his orientation in 1992 and, in 1995, that he was HIV-positive. He became the only man in diving history to win back-to-back Olympic gold medals in both springboard and platform diving, in 1984 and '88, but found that opportunities available to other Olympic stars eluded him. He's said previously he came to believe it was because his sexuality had not remained a secret within his sport when he had yet to come out. Louganis said Thursday he hasn't been asked by longtime Olympic network NBC to serve as a commentator for his sport at the Games. Louganis was asked if thought being gay was a reason NBC didn't hire him. "I think in '92 it was more fear of my health status... in '92, people were still dying," he said, suggesting that NBC somehow gained knowledge of his condition before it was made public. He declined to offer further details. NBC Sports had no comment on Louganis' remarks, a spokesman said. Magic Johnson, who retired from basketball in 1991 after announcing he was HIV positive, was hired by NBC to call games for its 1992 and 1993 NBA Finals coverage. Over the years, Louganis has been a motivational speaker, acted, and written a best-selling memoir titled "Breaking the Surface." He's back in his sport as a mentor to USA Diving's coaches and top competitors and said he will be a TV commentator at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro for another network. He won a silver medal as a teenager in the '76 Games, where Jenner was the decathlon champion. Louganis said he's working on a musical about his friendship with Ryan White, the Indiana teenager who had contracted the HIV virus through a blood transfusion and encouraged tolerance of those with AIDS. White died at age 18 in 1990. The HBO documentary, directed by Cheryl Furjanic, promises to examine Louganis' public triumphs and private struggles of a trailblazer. Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Lynn Elber from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

HBO chief: 'Game of Thrones' could wrap after 3 more seasons
Friday Jul 31, 2015
HBO chief: 'Game of Thrones' could wrap after 3 more seasons

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — "Game of Thrones" fans, brace yourselves: The fantasy saga's end is perhaps just a few years away. HBO programming chief Michael Lombardo said Thursday that the drama series' producers are leaning toward three more seasons after the just-concluded season five. "I'm always hoping they're going to change their minds, but I think that's what we're looking at right now," Lombardo told a Television Critics Association meeting. Asked about the possibility of a prequel series, Lombardo said he believed there's "enormous story material" to be mined for such a project. But the focus now of showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss is season six of "Game of Thrones," he said, which is in production now for 2016. The series came under fire this year for a rape scene involving a bride's assault by her husband on their wedding night. Lombardo, noting that the drama has included violence as a thread since it started, said the producers are careful about not overstepping boundaries while remaining true to the storytelling. "I support them fully artistically," he said. Voters in the TV academy weren't swayed by the controversy, making "Game of Thrones" the most-nominated series last month. It received 24 nods for the September awards, including best drama series. Lombardo was asked if the popular character of Jon Snow, who appeared to die last season, was actually a goner. "Dead is dead is dead," said Lombardo, adding, "Everything I've seen, heard and read," Snow is dead. Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Lynn Elber from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

HBO chief says 'Game of Throne' could wrap after 8 seasons
Friday Jul 31, 2015
HBO chief says 'Game of Throne' could wrap after 8 seasons

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Here's a roundup of news Thursday from the Television Critics Association summer meeting, at which TV networks and streaming services are presenting details on upcoming programs: ___ GAME OVER? "Game of Thrones" fans, brace yourselves: The fantasy saga's end is perhaps just a few years away. HBO programming chief Michael Lombardo said that the drama series' producers are leaning toward three more seasons after the just-concluded season five. "I'm always hoping they're going to change their minds, but I think that's what we're looking at right now," Lombardo told a Television Critics Association meeting. Asked about the possibility of a prequel series, Lombardo said he believed there's "enormous story material" to be mined for such a project. But the focus now of showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss is season six of "Game of Thrones," he said, which is in production now for 2016. Lombardo was asked if the popular character of Jon Snow, who appeared to die last season, was actually a goner. "Dead is dead is dead," said Lombardo, adding, "Everything I've seen, heard and read," Snow is dead. ___ THE DEVIL MADE THEM DO IT Destination America is upping its scare factor for Halloween by scheduling what it describes as a live exorcism to air Oct. 30. "Exorcism: Live!" was announced Thursday at a news conference in Beverly Hills, California. The event will be held at the St. Louis-area house where teen Roland Doe underwent the ritual in 1949. It became the inspiration for 1973's "The Exorcist" movie. The paranormal investigators featured on Destination America's series "GHOST ASYLUM" will appear on the show with psychic medium Chip Coffey. Cameras will roll as they explore the home to find whatever is believed to have haunted it for years. ___ HER CLAWS ARE OUT Betty White, a passionate animal activist, has harsh words for the Minnesota dentist who killed Cecil the lion while on a hunting trip in Zimbabwe this month. "You don't want to hear some of the things I want to do to that man," the 93-year-old actress said. "It's such a heartbreaker. You can't even talk about it, and to see this king of the jungle and personifying it in very way, this gorgeous creature. How can somebody do that?" Cecil was drawn from a wildlife preserve and shot by American hunter Walter James Palmer on July 1. Palmer released a statement this week through a publicist saying he was with professional guides and believed the hunt was legal. The firm is no longer helping Palmer. White, who said she's "loved animals since the womb," was promoting a new block of programming in August on Discovery Family Channel called "Pawgust," with shows, specials and movies about animals. White will serve as the host of "Pawgust," and be featured in promos. ___ LOUGANIS MAKES A SPLASH Greg Louganis said he was unaware of fellow Olympian Bruce Jenner's gender identity struggle when their paths crossed at the Summer 1976 Games and in later years. The diving great, among the first prominent athletes to come out as gay, said Thursday he has yet to speak with the now-Caitlyn Jenner but can appreciate what she's going through. "We all have our journeys. Whether you're gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, we all have our own journeys," Louganis, 55, told reporters during a Q&A session on the HBO documentary "Greg Louganis: Back on Board," debuting Tuesday. The response to Jenner's candor, including her own reality series and an ESPY award for courage, contrasts sharply with Louganis' experience before and after disclosing his orientation in 1992 and, in 1995, that he was HIV-positive. He became the only man in diving history to win back-to-back Olympic gold medals in both springboard and platform diving, in 1984 and '88, but found that opportunities available to other Olympic stars eluded him. He's said previously he came to believe it was because his sexuality had not remained a secret within his sport. ___ DEMI GOES 'DUSK TILL DAWN' Robert Rodriguez had been waiting for a chance to work with Demi Lovato since she auditioned for his 2003 movie "Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over." The El Rey Network creator and executive producer of its TV series "From Dusk Till Dawn" said the show was a nice fit, so a character was written specifically for the 22-year-old. Aside from her personal connection to the series, which is her relationship with cast member Wilmer Valderrama, Rodriguez said, "I've always been a big fan of hers and she's on tour a lot, so when she'd come to set to visit I threw out that we'd love to put her in somewhere." Rodriguez was cagey about the part, which will be included in the show's second season, premiering Aug. 25 at 9 p.m. EDT. "From Dusk Till Dawn" is based on the 1996 film of the same name that went on to be a cult favorite. ___ WAITING PATIENTLY FOR 'SOPRANOS' CREATOR It's been six years since HBO first announced that "Sopranos" creator David Chase has a new project in the works, and according to the network's programming chief, it's still happening. "He's writing. I have seen pages," Michael Lombardo said. The story was first presented in 2009 as a miniseries called "A Ribbon of Dreams," dramatizing the timeline of the Hollywood film industry. "I think he has something really unbelievable, but he had to figure out is it a limited series, an open-ended series? He showed us two hours' worth of material, and I trust I'll see (more) by the end of the year. And I'm sure we'll go from there. I fully expect we'll be back up here during my tenure with David Chase and a new show." ___ ROCK TAKES ON HULK Dwayne Johnson says he was disappointed when he heard about a tape of Hulk Hogan using racial slurs. Johnson, also a former pro wrestler said that the remarks didn't match his personal history with Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea. "I've known Terry for a lot of years, and my dad helped train him in Florida in the '70s when he was breaking into the business. I come from a very long line of lineage of professional wrestlers. I had not known the man to be racist," said Johnson, who was at the TV critics' meeting to talk about his HBO series, "Ballers." "We've all talked trash, you know, especially in private. He said what he said, and he's paying the price," Johnson said. The 61-year-old Hogan has suffered backlash despite apologizing in a statement for using "offensive language." World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. severed ties with him this week. Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by The Associated Press from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Nyong'o to make NY stage debut in Liberia play
Thursday Jul 30, 2015
Nyong'o to make NY stage debut in Liberia play

Oscar-winning Hollywood actress Lupita Nyong'o will make her New York stage debut later this year, starring in a play set amid the horrors of the Liberian civil war.The Public Theater in Manhattan said the production of "Eclipsed" would run from September 29 to November 8. Nyong'o, 32, will play "The Girl" in what the theater called "a powerful story of survival and resilience" about women finding and testing their own strength in a hostile world. The award-winning play sees captive wives of a rebel officer band together to form a fragile community, until their lives are upset by the arrival of a new girl. It is written by Zimbabwean-American actress Danai Gurira, best known for her role on hit television series "The Walking Dead." Public Theater's artistic director, Oskar Eustis, said it was a "brilliant play, ripped from the headlines, that looks at the terrible conflicts in post-colonial Africa." Nyong'o was born in Mexico, brought up in Kenya and educated at the Yale School of Drama. She shot to international fame by winning an Oscar in 2014 for her role in "Twelve Years a Slave." Liberia, Africa's oldest republic and formed by freed American slaves, was devastated by two civil wars which killed around 25,000 people between 1989 and 2003. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2015. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Jon Stewart signing off 'Daily Show' fake newscast for real
Thursday Jul 30, 2015
Jon Stewart signing off 'Daily Show' fake newscast for real

NEW YORK (AP) — After more than 16 years and nearly 2,600 telecasts, Jon Stewart can feel proud of his scads of Emmys and his pair of Peabody Awards, his cultural gravitas (he hung with the Prez, both on and off the air!), even his reprobate status at Fox News. Who could blame him for wanting to depart "The Daily Show" on this high note? Besides, maybe it had gotten too easy. By June, when Donald Trump jumped into the presidential race, a giddy Stewart framed this jest-alluring candidacy as Trump's going-away gift to him, "putting me in some sort of comedy hospice where all I'm getting is straight morphine." Or maybe it had gotten too hard. When he took over "The Daily Show" in January 1999, Stewart's simple mission was to host a program that would lampoon "real" newscasts and newsmakers they enabled. "I like keeping up with the news," he told The Associated Press at the time, "even though I think it's gotten so out of control. But that's what I like about 'The Daily Show': It's like checks and balances." But in an interview a few months ago, Stewart put a bit more dismally the task of finding the funny in the news. "I think of us as turd miners," he said. "I put on my helmet, I go and mine turds. Hopefully I don't get turd lung disease." ___ A famous definition of news: "What those in power don't want you to know." Meanwhile, the illuminative mockery of Stewart's "fake news" might be defined as "What those in power don't want you to think." Always questioning authority — whether politicians, corporate titans, media barons or, of course, puffed-up journalists — Stewart did what satirists have done for centuries: He seized on the absurdity embedded in accepted truth. But as "The Daily Show" aped the bombast and blizzard of graphics employed, without irony, by "legitimate" newscasts, Stewart never copped to grandiose claims for what he was up to. "Our meeting every morning is an explicit discussion of what's going on in the world," he declared in a 2004 interview with The Associated Press. "But then the rest of the day is spent trying to hide that under layers of fart jokes." While Stewart is undeniably left-leaning, his show, he said, "doesn't honor the distinction between left wing and right wing, or liberal and conservative, or in some respects between Democrat and Republican. "We only honor the distinction between real and absurdly fake," he said, then grinned. "And WE are absurdly fake." "The Daily Show" under Stewart thus made a credible argument that, for both journalism and public affairs, bogus is the new real, leaving fact and fantasy interchangeable. "The Daily Show" prevailed as a bit of daylight in between, a privileged space that granted Stewart almost limitless freedom to make fun of things, even as he exercised due diligence in making sense of them in the process. ___ Some (even Stewart) would say "The Daily Show" is a half-hour of silliness meant to call out politicians and other power brokers with no higher purpose than amusing its audience. Still, he was sharply attuned to America's many wrong turns, how its leadership and media routinely let the country down. In 2010, he and fellow Comedy Central fake-news host Stephen Colbert even organized a rollicking "Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear" that drew tens of thousands to Washington's National Mall. Americans, said Stewart in one of the telecast's more serious moments, do "impossible things every day that are only made possible through the little, reasonable compromises we all make." But reasonable compromises are what elected officials are loath to make in the present day; what news media dismiss in favor of spotlighting the more watchable bad behavior and conflict. Americans do work together to get things done, insisted Stewart. "The only place we don't is here," he said, pointing behind him at the Capitol, "or on cable TV." ___ There has been little sign of sanity restored. "Wouldn't it be nice if people who jumped to conclusions and peddled a false, divisive, anger-stoking narrative had to apologize for misleading America?" mused Stewart last March in reference to a certain cable-news network. On Aug. 6, Stewart, now 52, will step aside, making way for Trevor Noah, a 31-year-old stand-up comic from South Africa, to manage this nightly reality check as the nation dives headlong into the 2016 presidential election cycle. Maybe Stewart has concluded things are crazier than ever. And, after all, how much crazy can one man comb through night after night, searching for laughs, and retain his own sanity? In June, as he reflected on the mass shootings in a black church in Charleston, South Carolina, there were no laughs to be had. "I honestly have nothing, other than sadness," he said before sadly predicting that, even now, after yet another American atrocity, "we still won't do jack----" to join together for a solution. Are things crazier than ever? Or maybe do we recognize the crazy more? Are we more painfully aware? If that's the case, his fans can thank Stewart for his abiding and soon-to-be-missed role in bringing us the crazy with insight, clarity and, of course, loads of laughs. Whatever he's been mining for his more than 16 years, he made the most of it. _____ EDITOR'S NOTE — Frazier Moore is a national television columnist for The Associated Press. He can be reached at fmoore@ap.org and at http://www.twitter.com/tvfrazier. Past stories are available at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/frazier-moore _____ Online: http://www.cc.com Copyright (2015) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Frazier Moore from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.