Thursday Dec 18, 2014

Dick Van Dyke tells seniors 'Keep Moving' in upcoming book

NEW YORK (AP) — Dick Van Dyke plans to put his upbeat approach to old age between covers in a new inspirational book. Weinstein Books announced Thursday that the veteran star of screen, stage and TV is calling his guide "Keep Moving, and Other Tips and Truths About Old...
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TV

Dick Van Dyke tells seniors 'Keep Moving' in upcoming book
Thursday Dec 18, 2014
Dick Van Dyke tells seniors 'Keep Moving' in upcoming book

NEW YORK (AP) — Dick Van Dyke plans to put his upbeat approach to old age between covers in a new inspirational book. Weinstein Books announced Thursday that the veteran star of screen, stage and TV is calling his guide "Keep Moving, and Other Tips and Truths About Old Age." Publication is planned for the fall of 2015, just in time for his 90th birthday next December. Van Dyke promises he won't sugarcoat anything. He acknowledges that growing older typically means aches, ailments and the loss of loved ones. Nonetheless, he promises readers there's "a beautiful life waiting for you." His secret: "Just keeping moving." Still active in show business, Van Dyke is appearing in "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb," which opens this weekend. He published a memoir in 2011. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Stolen emails reveal lapses in Sony security practices
Thursday Dec 18, 2014
Stolen emails reveal lapses in Sony security practices

WASHINGTON (AP) — In the weeks before hackers broke into Sony Pictures Entertainment, the studio suffered significant technology outages it blamed on software flaws and incompetent technical staffers who weren't paying attention, even as hackers targeted executives to trick them into revealing their online credentials. Its chief executive was regularly reminded in unsecure emails of his own secret passwords for his and his family's mail, banking, travel and shopping accounts, according to a review of more than 32,000 stolen corporate emails circulating on the Internet. Scrutiny of Sony's stolen computer data hasn't yet revealed exactly how hackers managed to slip inside to steal such an enormous cache, when it happened, who was behind the theft or their motives. But late Wednesday, a U.S. official told The Associated Press that federal investigators have now connected the Sony hack to North Korea. The official was not authorized to discuss an ongoing criminal case openly, and spoke on condition of anonymity. Confirmation of the North Korean link came just after Sony cancelled plans for the Dec. 25 release of "The Interview," which had been one of the hackers' public demands due to its depiction of the fictional assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The stolen files expose lax Internet security practices inside Sony such as pasting passwords into emails, using easy-to-guess passwords and failing to encrypt especially sensitive materials such as confidential salary and revenue figures, strategic plans and medical information about some employees. Experts say such haphazard practices are common across corporate America. "Most people who say they're not doing that are lying," said Jon Callas, co-founder and chief technology officer for Silent Circle Inc., a global encrypted-communications service. The emails show CEO Michael Lynton routinely received copies of his passwords in unsecure emails for his and his family's mail, banking, travel and shopping accounts, from his executive assistant, David Diamond. Other emails included photocopies of U.S. passports and driver's licenses and attachments with banking statements. The stolen files made clear that Diamond was deeply trusted to remember passwords for Lynton and his family and provide them whenever needed. "I still need the password to your Amazon account," Diamond wrote to Lynton in August. Sony spokeswoman Jean Guerin did not respond to a phone message left with an assistant in her office and email from The Associated Press on Wednesday. In an October email, the company's chief financial officer, David C. Hendler, complained to Lynton that Sony Pictures had experienced months of "significant and repeated outages due to a lack of hardware capacity, running out of disk space, software patches that impacted the stability of the environment, poor system monitoring and an unskilled support team." Hendler also blamed a company rule that required employees to keep too many old emails. "Sloppy, really sloppy," said Kevin Mitnick, a former hacker who served five years in federal prison and now runs Mitnick Security Consulting LLC. But Mitnick was quick to acknowledge that other top chief executives are "probably doing it, too." Companies can use password-management software, which can store dozens or hundreds of encrypted passwords to various accounts behind one protected password. "It's pretty ordinary for CEOs and executive assistants to share confidential information by email," he said. "They feel that their email is secure and they have nothing to worry about." The fact that Lynton regularly received emails with his passwords was particularly a problem for Sony because hackers who steal corporate data often will immediately search for the word "password" or a variation of the word across thousands of messages. "If I'm trying to get credentials, that's the first search I'm going to run," said Mitnick, who is hired by companies to test their internal security. The October email inside Sony, among tens of thousands of messages stolen in the crime, described specific software and hardware upgrades and plans to hire an outside consulting firm to improve the company's network, plus new rules to limit the amount of old emails that would be stored on servers. Lynton received it roughly three weeks before employees reported signs that hackers were rummaging inside Sony's computer network. ___ Associated Press writer Eric Tucker contributed to this story. . Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

'Archiculture' film makes its online debut
Thursday Dec 18, 2014
'Archiculture' film makes its online debut

"Archiculture," a documentary highlighting the various debates on the impact of architecture on our society, has finally made its world premiere online.The film, which examines the current and future state of studio-based design education, follows a group of young design students through their final semester at Pratt Institute in New York City. The students' interactions and reactions help illustrate the challenges of being a young aspiring designer in today's world. It also features interviews with industry experts such as Pritzker Prize winner Shigeru Ban, musician and artist David Byrne and architect Thom Mayne, creating a crucial dialog around the key issues and the strengths and perils of architectural education. Throughout the film, which was released to the public this week via YouTube, we see the friendships, culture and habits that result from peer-to-peer learning. From the dedicated all-nighters to the ubiquitous coffee-runs, these students spend day and night together struggling through the same set of questions and problems in their shared studio environment. Addressing the recent trend for training "star" architects, the film asks how we should go about training the next generation of designers. To watch "Archiculture", see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62r3UPrOS9k Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Bruce and Kris Jenner finalize divorce
Thursday Dec 18, 2014
Bruce and Kris Jenner finalize divorce

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Court records show Kris and Bruce Jenner have finalized their divorce, but they won't be officially single until March. A Los Angeles judge on Tuesday signed off on the couple's divorce judgment that ends the pair's 23-year marriage. The Jenners filed divorce petitions in September, citing irreconcilable differences. California law requires couples to wait six months to become officially divorced. Bruce Jenner won a gold medal in the men's decathlon in the 1976 Olympics, although he is best known to a younger generation as Kim Kardashian's stepfather. He and ex-wife Kris frequently appeared on the reality series "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" along with their children. The divorce judgment calls for Kris Jenner to pay her estranged husband $2.5 million. Kris and Bruce Jenner married in April 1991 and have two daughters together. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP Explains: Stephen Colbert vs. "Stephen Colbert"
Thursday Dec 18, 2014
AP Explains: Stephen Colbert vs. "Stephen Colbert"

Stephen Colbert leaves Comedy Central's satirical political talk show "The Colbert Report" after nine years Thursday night. He will become host of the "Late Show" on CBS, replacing David Letterman in May. So ends the "Stephen Colbert" character he created: the outlandishly tongue-in-cheek conservative host who leapt from late-night TV to become a political and pop culture phenomenon. Many of his "Colbert Nation" fans are left trying to imagine life without his incessant lampooning of the Washington establishment and TV pundits. Here's a brief explanation of Stephen Colbert and the alter ego he is retiring: A SATIRICAL SPIN-OFF: The actor and comedian first created his Colbert character in 1997 as a correspondent for Comedy Central's "The Daily Show." The persona, described by the real Colbert as "self-important, poorly informed, well-intentioned but an idiot," got his own show in 2005. Largely inspired by conservative Bill O'Reilly, the Fox News pundit, the satirical, fact-challenged "Stephen Colbert" preached the opposite of what the real-life Colbert meant to say, a long-running joke that never ran its course. The underlying theme was a forceful poke at bombastic nationalism as discontent over the Iraq War was surging. "The Colbert Report" won four Emmys and two Peabody awards. COLBERT FOR PRESIDENT?! In the first episode, Colbert coined the term "truthiness," defining it as "truth that comes from the gut, not books." The American Dialect Society and Merriam-Webster named "truthiness" the word of the year. As Colbert's character gained popularity, he escaped the confines of cable TV. He famously skewered President George W. Bush at the White House Correspondents' dinner in 2006, mocking his handling of Iraq and Hurricane Katrina. He attempted to run for president in 2008, testified before a congressional committee on immigration reform and raised real money in an award-winning parody of loosened political fundraising laws with his Super Political Action Committee, "Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow." A study published this year by the Annenberg Public Policy Center found Colbert had more success explaining complex fundraising rules than traditional media. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Movies

New York Fashion Week booted out of Lincoln Center
Thursday Dec 18, 2014
New York Fashion Week booted out of Lincoln Center

NEW YORK (AP) — C'est la vie, fashionistas. The city of New York and Lincoln Center are evicting the invitation-only, twice-yearly Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in a court spat over destroyed trees and displaced park benches. A judge Friday approved a pretrial settlement in a complaint brought by community groups. They objected to the onslaught of the fashion industry at Damrosch Park, a 2.4-acre stretch on the Upper West Side that is adjacent to and managed by Lincoln Center. The groups argued the insular nature of the fashion shows that draw top designers and hundreds of buyers, editors and journalists violate laws governing public use of the land. Each February and September, the stiletto-heeled hordes cram the Lincoln Center complex for eight days of runway shows and presentations held in a large temporary tent. "We're going to get flowers and benches and there's going to be a park again," said Olive Freud, president of the Committee for Environmentally Sound Development, one of the groups that filed the complaint in May 2013. "We're all very happy here." The upcoming February Fashion Week will be held at Lincoln Center as scheduled but must find new digs after that. Andrew Serrano, a spokesman for IMG Fashion, which owns and produces Fashion Week, confirmed the settlement Thursday. The settlement does not include any admission of wrongdoing or cover other private events held on the land, including the Big Apple Circus, a ticket event that is open to the public. Fashion Week for years had been held in Bryant Park. In search of more space, it moved to the Lincoln Center area in 2010. Freud said Damrosch had been public park since 1969. "We objected to the whole idea of demolishing a park and of throwing the public out and of making this a place for raising money," she said. "Private people aren't supposed to be making money on it." Many designers had tired of the Lincoln Center location's box-like spaces and hurried turnaround between shows, choosing edgier, more atmospheric spaces in downtown Manhattan and even Brooklyn that allow greater creativity in how shows are presented. Of more than 300 shows, less than 100 were held at Lincoln Center in recent years, with more leaving each time Fashion Week rolled around. Serrano said IMG had already been actively looking for a new Fashion Week home to give "designers and partners the best possible environment to share their creative visions." Susan Scafidi, a founder and academic director of the Fashion Law Institute at Fordham Law School, said the legal doctrine cited in the case is based on a principle about as old as fashion itself. "The lawsuit rested on the public trust doctrine, a legal principle dating back to Roman times that requires the state to protect certain areas of land against privatization and to preserve public access," she said. "Even though Lincoln Center manages Damrosch Park on behalf of the city, it's still public land. New York Fashion Week is all about who's 'in' and who's 'out' — and when it comes to the tents, the general public is definitely 'out.'" ___ Follow Leanne Italie on Twitter at http://twitter.com/litalie Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

'Archiculture' film makes its online debut
Thursday Dec 18, 2014
'Archiculture' film makes its online debut

"Archiculture," a documentary highlighting the various debates on the impact of architecture on our society, has finally made its world premiere online.The film, which examines the current and future state of studio-based design education, follows a group of young design students through their final semester at Pratt Institute in New York City. The students' interactions and reactions help illustrate the challenges of being a young aspiring designer in today's world. It also features interviews with industry experts such as Pritzker Prize winner Shigeru Ban, musician and artist David Byrne and architect Thom Mayne, creating a crucial dialog around the key issues and the strengths and perils of architectural education. Throughout the film, which was released to the public this week via YouTube, we see the friendships, culture and habits that result from peer-to-peer learning. From the dedicated all-nighters to the ubiquitous coffee-runs, these students spend day and night together struggling through the same set of questions and problems in their shared studio environment. Addressing the recent trend for training "star" architects, the film asks how we should go about training the next generation of designers. To watch "Archiculture", see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62r3UPrOS9k Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Musical of 'School of Rock' heading to Broadway
Thursday Dec 18, 2014
Musical of 'School of Rock' heading to Broadway

NEW YORK (AP) — Rockers, rejoice: The Broadway musical "Rock of Ages" may be going, but get ready for "The School of Rock." Producers said Thursday that a musical version of the 2003 film starring Jack Black will start in early November, with an opening set for Dec. 6. Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyricist Glenn Slater will write new music to be added to some songs featured in the movie. The story — about a rocker who poses as a substitute teacher at a tony prep school — will be adapted by Julian Fellowes, who created "Downton Abbey," as well as writing the stage musical of "Mary Poppins" and the film "Gosford Park," and be directed by Laurence Connor, who co-directed the latest "Les Miserables" on Broadway and "Miss Saigon" in London. JoAnn M. Hunter will handle choreography. Casting will begin in January in cities across the country, including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. The show will take over the massive Winter Garden, which recently housed "Rocky," another musical based on a film that underperformed. The stage version of "The School of Rock" will stay close to the plot of the film, in which a wannabe rocker enlists his fifth-graders to form a rock group and conquer the Battle of the Bands. The film featured songs by The Doors, Cream, The Black Keys and Led Zeppelin. Slater co-created Disney's 2010 hit film "Tangled" and supplied lyrics for "Sister Act" on Broadway. Lloyd Webber is the producer-composer behind such massive hits as "Cats," ''Jesus Christ Superstar" and "The Phantom of the Opera." ___ Online: http://www.SchoolOfRockTheMusical.com Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Italian actress Virna Lisi dead at 78
Thursday Dec 18, 2014
Italian actress Virna Lisi dead at 78

Italian actress Virna Lisi, who played opposite Hollywood stars including Frank Sinatra in the 1960s and later established herself an acclaimed character actress, has died at the age of 78.Italian media quoted her son as saying that Lisi had passed away peacefully in her sleep on Wednesday, a month after being diagnosed with an incurable illness. Born in Ancona in 1936, she was an established cinema and theatre actress before Hollywood producers looking for a new Marilyn Monroe came calling in the mid-1960s. With Jack Lemmon she made "How to Murder Your Wife" in 1965 and followed up by starring alongside Tony Curtis in "Not with my Wife, You Don't" and with Sinatra in "Assault on a Queen" the following year. Reluctant to be restricted to love-interest roles based on her looks, she turned down the sexy part taken by Jane Fonda in Roger Vadim's "Barbarella" (1968) and moved back to Europe after only three years of a seven-year contract with Paramount studios. While in Hollywood, she maintained a parallel career in European cinema, notably playing a lead role in "The Birds, the Bees and the Italians," which shared the top prize, the Palme d'Or, at the Cannes film festival in 1966. After taking a break from acting in the early 1970s, Lisi successfully reinvented herself as a character actress with a broad range. Her portrayal of Catherine de' Medici in "La Reine Margot" (1994) saw her pick up both a French Cesar and the best actress award at Cannes. She also worked extensively in television and made the last of her nearly 80 films, "Il Piu Bel Giorno Della Mia Vita," in 2002. She is survived by her son Corrado Pesci and three grandchildren. Her husband of 53 years, the architect Franco Pesci, died in 2013. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Sony has 'no further release plans' for NKorea parody
Thursday Dec 18, 2014
Sony has 'no further release plans' for NKorea parody

Sony Pictures has "no further release plans" for "The Interview," the parody film which angered North Korea and triggered a hack attack linked to Pyongyang, a spokesman said Wednesday.The Hollywood studio earlier canceled the December 25 theater release date for the movie, about a fictional plot to assassinate North Korean ruler Kim Jong-Un. "In light of the decision by the majority of our (theater) exhibitors not to show the film 'The Interview,' we have decided not to move forward with the... theatrical release," it said in a statement. "Sony Pictures has no further release plans for the film," a spokesman added to AFP an hour or two after the statement. The comment appeared to rule out prospects for the film to be released in DVD or Video on Demand (VoD) formats. It was unclear if it was applicable only to the United States or worldwide. Hackers earlier this week warned cinema-goers not to see the movie co-starring US comic actors James Franco and Seth Rogen. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Events

Studio head, producer apologize for Jolie, Obama remarks
Thursday Dec 18, 2014
Studio head, producer apologize for Jolie, Obama remarks

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Oscar-winning producer Scott Rudin apologized Thursday for calling Angelina Jolie a "spoiled brat" and making racially offensive jokes about President Obama's presumed taste in movies. The comments were made in a series of leaked email exchanges between Rudin and Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chairman Amy Pascal, who also apologized Thursday. It was yet another embarrassment in the ongoing Sony hacking scandal, in which highly sensitive material is being leaked almost daily. "Private emails between friends and colleagues written in haste and without much thought or sensitivity, even when the content of them is meant to be in jest, can result in offense where none was intended," Rudin said in a statement to industry site Deadline after the Obama remarks surfaced. "I made a series of remarks that were meant only to be funny, but in the cold light of day, they are in fact thoughtless and insensitive — and not funny at all. To anybody I've offended, I'm profoundly and deeply sorry, and I regret and apologize for any injury they might have caused." In a statement released soon after by Sony, Pascal called her comments "insensitive and inappropriate" and "not an accurate reflection of who I am." She said that although the emails were "stolen," she accepts "full responsibility for what I wrote and apologize to everyone who was offended." In a tweet later Thursday, "Scandal" and "Grey's Anatomy" creator Shonda Rhimes said the comments were "racist," not merely "racially insensitive." This latest shocker in the Sony scandal erupted Tuesday, when the website Gawker posted email exchanges stolen from the studio's computer systems. The leaks gave the public a rare, unfiltered glimpse into the blunt, often crude way Hollywood does business. The emails drawing most of the attention this week were primarily between Rudin, producer of the Academy Award-winning "No Country for Old Men," and Pascal, who has held the position since 2006. The two have a decades-old friendship, thanks, in part, to a longstanding deal with the studio, where they've worked jointly on projects like "The Social Network." When juxtaposed with the saccharine graciousness of Hollywood's awards season, the emails reveal a much darker and, to some, surprising side of the industry. "She's a camp event and a celebrity and that's all," wrote Rudin of Jolie in one exchange about a potential "Cleopatra" project. In another, as reported by Buzzfeed, Rudin and Pascal also riffed about what she should talk to President Obama about at an upcoming fundraiser. "Should I ask him if he liked DJANGO?" Pascal asked, referring to Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained." They continued the email chain joking about which films the President might enjoy, referencing "Lee Daniels' The Butler," ''Think Like a Man" and "Ride Along" — all films with primarily African American casts. "I bet he likes Kevin Hart," wrote Rudin. In a separate email exchange obtained by Gawker, Sony CEO Michael Lyton also called Hart a "whore" for asking to get compensated for promotional tweets. "I look at myself as a brand and because of that, I will never allow myself to be (taken) advantage of," Hart responded on Instagram. Rev. Al Sharpton said in a statement that the apologies were not enough, comparing Pascal to disgraced NBA owner Donald Sterling and demanding that she meet with black leaders immediately. Beyond the scintillating behind-the-scenes peek at the film business, Hollywood is somewhat divided on how to feel to about the unflattering exposure and what it means for Sony. Many are concerned about the ethics of diving into the leaked assets, which have included films, executive salaries, and the Social Security numbers of nearly everyone who has received a paycheck from Sony. "You can't hold people responsible on how they conduct (emailing) in private or between colleagues, unless they're doing something illegal," comedian Ricky Gervais told the AP. "It almost seems like it's a story line from a film," said "Foxcatcher" star Steve Carell. "But the truth is stranger than fiction, I guess." Representatives for Jolie did not immediately respond to the AP's request for comment, nor did the White House communications office. ___ AP Entertainment Writers Sandy Cohen and Derrik Lang contributed to this report. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP Explains: Stephen Colbert vs. "Stephen Colbert"
Thursday Dec 18, 2014
AP Explains: Stephen Colbert vs. "Stephen Colbert"

Stephen Colbert leaves Comedy Central's satirical political talk show "The Colbert Report" after nine years Thursday night. He will become host of the "Late Show" on CBS, replacing David Letterman in May. So ends the "Stephen Colbert" character he created: the outlandishly tongue-in-cheek conservative host who leapt from late-night TV to become a political and pop culture phenomenon. Many of his "Colbert Nation" fans are left trying to imagine life without his incessant lampooning of the Washington establishment and TV pundits. Here's a brief explanation of Stephen Colbert and the alter ego he is retiring: A SATIRICAL SPIN-OFF: The actor and comedian first created his Colbert character in 1997 as a correspondent for Comedy Central's "The Daily Show." The persona, described by the real Colbert as "self-important, poorly informed, well-intentioned but an idiot," got his own show in 2005. Largely inspired by conservative Bill O'Reilly, the Fox News pundit, the satirical, fact-challenged "Stephen Colbert" preached the opposite of what the real-life Colbert meant to say, a long-running joke that never ran its course. The underlying theme was a forceful poke at bombastic nationalism as discontent over the Iraq War was surging. "The Colbert Report" won four Emmys and two Peabody awards. COLBERT FOR PRESIDENT?! In the first episode, Colbert coined the term "truthiness," defining it as "truth that comes from the gut, not books." The American Dialect Society and Merriam-Webster named "truthiness" the word of the year. As Colbert's character gained popularity, he escaped the confines of cable TV. He famously skewered President George W. Bush at the White House Correspondents' dinner in 2006, mocking his handling of Iraq and Hurricane Katrina. He attempted to run for president in 2008, testified before a congressional committee on immigration reform and raised real money in an award-winning parody of loosened political fundraising laws with his Super Political Action Committee, "Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow." A study published this year by the Annenberg Public Policy Center found Colbert had more success explaining complex fundraising rules than traditional media. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Craig Ferguson to end 10 years as host of 'Late Late Show'
Thursday Dec 18, 2014
Craig Ferguson to end 10 years as host of 'Late Late Show'

NEW YORK (AP) — It's not such a great day, America — not for fans of Craig Ferguson. Ferguson, television's kinetic Scottish cutup, on Friday brings to a close his decade-long run as host of CBS' "The Late Late Show." Airing Friday at 12:35 a.m. EST, he concludes a grand stretch of silliness and smarts that, while never posing much of a ratings threat to talk-show rivals, struck a chord with a loyal following (and earned him a coveted Peabody Award for his 2009 interview with — of all people — Archbishop Desmond Tutu). Smarts with silliness. Last April, Ferguson told viewers he was stepping down. "CBS and I are not getting divorced, we are consciously uncoupling," he said, puckishly echoing the words of estranged Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin. This was no surprise since, weeks earlier, David Letterman had announced he was retiring from "Late Show," whereupon CBS tapped Stephen Colbert to replace him. Once upon a time, Ferguson had been thought a strong contender for that job. But "The Late Late Show" began fading in the ratings, particularly with the arrival of Seth Meyers last February as his NBC competition. Ferguson's imminent departure is being upstaged by the much-anticipated, much-lamented exit Thursday by Colbert as host of Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report." He will step into his "Late Show" role sometime after Letterman's signoff May 20. Taking Ferguson's place as host of "The Late Late Show" is British actor-writer-comedian James Corden, who debuts March 9. During the two-month interim, a slate of guest hosts — including Drew Carey, Will Arnett, Wayne Brady, Jim Gaffigan, Billy Gardell and Sean Hayes — will fill in. But Ferguson won't be absent from the airwaves. This fall, he launched "Celebrity Name Game," a weekday syndicated game show. Now 51, Ferguson came to "The Late Late Show" in January 2005 with a varied resume including punk-rock drummer, author, standup comic and actor. He had appeared in several films, and written and starred in three, including the 2003 comedy "I'll Be There," which he also directed. He was best known as Nigel Wick, the imperious British boss on Drew Carey's long-running ABC sitcom, a role he landed after his arrival in Los Angeles in 1995. As "Late Late Show" host, Ferguson steadily redefined late-night talk in his own image. While most late-night hosts don't say much about who they really are, Ferguson was heroically self-disclosive, mining humor from tough times including two divorces, career setbacks, and his past drug and alcohol abuse. He spent one entire show paying tribute to his dad, who had died the day before. The Glasgow-born Ferguson also talked up his new homeland, adopting as a frequent catchphrase, "It's a great day for America," followed by a wisecrack. But he wasn't kidding. In 2008 he was officially sworn in as a U.S. citizen, proudly sharing video from the ceremony with his audience. In its first years, the show was emphatically no-frills, originating from a tiny Los Angeles studio with no house band or announcer. It has remained bare-bones, although it relocated to slightly better digs and added a sassy robotic skeleton named Geoff Peterson as Ferguson's sidekick. It was with Geoff that Ferguson in recent days was celebrating the end of his "Late Late Show" run. Or, as he put it, his "last week in this dump." _____ 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.cbs.com Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Italian actress Virna Lisi dead at 78
Thursday Dec 18, 2014
Italian actress Virna Lisi dead at 78

Italian actress Virna Lisi, who played opposite Hollywood stars including Frank Sinatra in the 1960s and later established herself an acclaimed character actress, has died at the age of 78.Italian media quoted her son as saying that Lisi had passed away peacefully in her sleep on Wednesday, a month after being diagnosed with an incurable illness. Born in Ancona in 1936, she was an established cinema and theatre actress before Hollywood producers looking for a new Marilyn Monroe came calling in the mid-1960s. With Jack Lemmon she made "How to Murder Your Wife" in 1965 and followed up by starring alongside Tony Curtis in "Not with my Wife, You Don't" and with Sinatra in "Assault on a Queen" the following year. Reluctant to be restricted to love-interest roles based on her looks, she turned down the sexy part taken by Jane Fonda in Roger Vadim's "Barbarella" (1968) and moved back to Europe after only three years of a seven-year contract with Paramount studios. While in Hollywood, she maintained a parallel career in European cinema, notably playing a lead role in "The Birds, the Bees and the Italians," which shared the top prize, the Palme d'Or, at the Cannes film festival in 1966. After taking a break from acting in the early 1970s, Lisi successfully reinvented herself as a character actress with a broad range. Her portrayal of Catherine de' Medici in "La Reine Margot" (1994) saw her pick up both a French Cesar and the best actress award at Cannes. She also worked extensively in television and made the last of her nearly 80 films, "Il Piu Bel Giorno Della Mia Vita," in 2002. She is survived by her son Corrado Pesci and three grandchildren. Her husband of 53 years, the architect Franco Pesci, died in 2013. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Wikipedia reveals what the world edited in 2014
Thursday Dec 18, 2014
Wikipedia reveals what the world edited in 2014

Wikipedia has published its first-ever annual video, revealing what the world read and edited on the encyclopedic site during 2014.Over 100 million changes were edited into articles throughout the year, with hot topics including everything from the political unrest in Ukraine to the 2014 Winter Olympics. The FIFA 2014 World Cup was a big talking point, while England's poor performance in the tournament led to the editing of the page "England national football team". The Scottish referendum on independence, the Brazilian presidential elections and the US Senate elections were all big political events which attracted interest. Meanwhile the conflict in Gaza also attracted a lot of activity on the site. The global popularity of the "Ice bucket challenge" led to changes being made to the pages "Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis", while the health crisis created by Ebola was also a hot topic in several languages. In terms of entertainment, "Game of Thrones," "Breaking Bad" and "Doctor Who" were all on the editing list, while Academy Award Best Picture winner "12 Years a Slave" also garnered a lot of attention. Novelists Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Maya Angelou, actors Philip Seymour Hoffman and Robin Williams and cricketer Phillip Hughes, all of whom passed away this year, all found their pages read and edited. For the full video, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ci0Pihl2zXY Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.