Tuesday Feb 9, 2016

Kelly Clarkson has deal for picture book

NEW YORK (AP) — Kelly Clarkson has written a new song and a bedtime story for kids — her own included. Clarkson's first picture book, "River Rose and the Magical Lullaby," will be released in October by HarperCollins Children's Books. The publisher...
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TV

Kelly Clarkson has deal for picture book
Tuesday Feb 9, 2016
Kelly Clarkson has deal for picture book

NEW YORK (AP) — Kelly Clarkson has written a new song and a bedtime story for kids — her own included. Clarkson's first picture book, "River Rose and the Magical Lullaby," will be released in October by HarperCollins Children's Books. The publisher announced Tuesday that Clarkson has written an original lullaby for her story of a little girl who visits the zoo and has such a great time she can't fall asleep. Inspiration for the book's title began at home. The 33-year-old singer and former "American Idol" star has a baby daughter, River Rose, and is expecting a second child. Copyright (2016) 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.

Megan Fox is new 'New Girl' filling in for Zooey Deschanel
Tuesday Feb 9, 2016
Megan Fox is new 'New Girl' filling in for Zooey Deschanel

NEW YORK (AP) — Jake Johnson admits to being worried when he found out his Fox comedy "New Girl" would continue filming episodes while the show's star, Zooey Deschanel, was on maternity leave. "I thought it was really weird," he said. "At first I thought it was really jarring that Zooey wasn't going to be in some episodes. ... I wasn't sure if the show worked without her and I was pleasantly surprised that the 'New Girl' voice and tone is more about the writing and the ensemble more than any one person." Not only did production continue, they brought in a new character, played by Megan Fox of franchise films like "Transformers" and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," to fill the void while Deschanel was away. "I thought 'How does Megan Fox, international movie star. ...fit into this world?'" said Johnson. "And the wild part is she just fits in." If you've been watching, Deschanel's character, Jess, has been sequestered on jury duty. In Tuesday's episode, her roommates (played by Johnson, Max Greenfield, Lamorne Morris and Hannah Simone) decide to rent out her room to Fox's character, Reagan, while Jess is away. "To bring in somebody new who didn't know all of the backstories and didn't know everything about the show, those characters were forced to defend themselves in new ways; to sort of bring somebody else up to speed to their own weirdness was really fun," said showrunner Liz Meriwether. "She's phenomenal," Johnson said about Fox. "I didn't know her at all (prior). She is one of the easiest people to work with. She's kind, she's funny. She's also crazy and loves talking about aliens and lizard people, which makes work so fun," he laughed. "She's genuinely fun." Meriwether now believes the puzzle of writing Jess out and Regan in added a new energy to the show, which is now in its fifth season. "Sometimes challenges really result in great creative stuff because you're forced to step outside of your comfort zone and to tell a story you haven't told on the show." Deschanel returns for the show's 100th episode, which also happens to be the final episode in Fox's arc. "I don't view it as Megan replacing Zooey, it's just adding Megan," said Johnson. "So when Zooey came back it was great because (the characters) Jess and Reagan are really funny next to each other." So could Fox ever make a return to "New Girl"? "I hope so," said Johnson. "I know she's got an enormous movie career. When you're in Japan doing a press tour, I think it's a little less sexy to (do the TV grind), but I cannot say enough of what a pleasure it was to work with Megan both on camera and off. Grumpy gaffers are still talking about how great she was," said Johnson. ___ Online: http://www.fox.com/new-girl Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Alicia Rancilio from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Jennifer Garner urges lawmakers to fund children's program
Tuesday Feb 9, 2016
Jennifer Garner urges lawmakers to fund children's program

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Hollywood actress Jennifer Garner is asking Kentucky lawmakers to spend $1 million on an early-childhood education program. The star of the TV show "Alias" and movies including "Juno" and "Dallas Buyers Club" testified before the House budget committee on Tuesday on behalf of Save The Children. Garner said the program works well in Kentucky, offering literacy and other development programs for children. Lawmakers said they support the program but noted the state does not have much money to spend because of shortfalls in public pension programs. Garner is from West Virginia. She testified along with Mark Shriver, Save The Children Action Network president and a nephew of the late President John F. Kennedy. She is also scheduled to meet with Gov. Matt Bevin. ___ This story has been clarified to reflect that Garner is from West Virginia, but is not a native. Copyright (2016) 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.

‘Mozart in the Jungle' renewed for third season
Tuesday Feb 9, 2016
‘Mozart in the Jungle' renewed for third season

Amazon is commissioning another season of its award-winning show about the trials and tribulations of classical musicians and their spirited conductor.Based on the memoir "Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs & Classical Music" by Blair Tindall, the comedy show stars Gael García Bernal and Lola Kirke and for its next season, which starts shooting later this year, the action is set to move from New York to Europe. "We're grateful to Amazon for endowing our orchestra with another season. We can't wait to follow our characters through the vast world of music, whether performing on a subway platform or in the grand concert halls of Europe," said the show's co-executive producer Jason Schwartzman.  Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Second City names new film comedy school for Harold Ramis
Tuesday Feb 9, 2016
Second City names new film comedy school for Harold Ramis

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago improv troupe Second City is opening a school focusing on comedic filmmaking and naming it after late writer-director-actor Harold Ramis. Second City said Tuesday that applications are being accepted for the school's yearlong filmmaker program that starts in September in Chicago. Students enrolled in the intensive program will learn comedy training, film history, storytelling and film production. They'll produce a pilot TV show or short film. Ramis' longtime collaborator and film producer Trevor Albert will be the school's chairman. The advisory board will include Second City alumni Steve Carell, Adam McKay, Catherine O'Hara and others. Ramis died in February 2014 at the age of 69 at his home in the Chicago suburbs after suffering from an autoimmune disease. He is famous for movies including "Caddyshack," ''Ghostbusters" and "Animal House." Copyright (2016) 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.

Movies

Megan Fox is new 'New Girl' filling in for Zooey Deschanel
Tuesday Feb 9, 2016
Megan Fox is new 'New Girl' filling in for Zooey Deschanel

NEW YORK (AP) — Jake Johnson admits to being worried when he found out his Fox comedy "New Girl" would continue filming episodes while the show's star, Zooey Deschanel, was on maternity leave. "I thought it was really weird," he said. "At first I thought it was really jarring that Zooey wasn't going to be in some episodes. ... I wasn't sure if the show worked without her and I was pleasantly surprised that the 'New Girl' voice and tone is more about the writing and the ensemble more than any one person." Not only did production continue, they brought in a new character, played by Megan Fox of franchise films like "Transformers" and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," to fill the void while Deschanel was away. "I thought 'How does Megan Fox, international movie star. ...fit into this world?'" said Johnson. "And the wild part is she just fits in." If you've been watching, Deschanel's character, Jess, has been sequestered on jury duty. In Tuesday's episode, her roommates (played by Johnson, Max Greenfield, Lamorne Morris and Hannah Simone) decide to rent out her room to Fox's character, Reagan, while Jess is away. "To bring in somebody new who didn't know all of the backstories and didn't know everything about the show, those characters were forced to defend themselves in new ways; to sort of bring somebody else up to speed to their own weirdness was really fun," said showrunner Liz Meriwether. "She's phenomenal," Johnson said about Fox. "I didn't know her at all (prior). She is one of the easiest people to work with. She's kind, she's funny. She's also crazy and loves talking about aliens and lizard people, which makes work so fun," he laughed. "She's genuinely fun." Meriwether now believes the puzzle of writing Jess out and Regan in added a new energy to the show, which is now in its fifth season. "Sometimes challenges really result in great creative stuff because you're forced to step outside of your comfort zone and to tell a story you haven't told on the show." Deschanel returns for the show's 100th episode, which also happens to be the final episode in Fox's arc. "I don't view it as Megan replacing Zooey, it's just adding Megan," said Johnson. "So when Zooey came back it was great because (the characters) Jess and Reagan are really funny next to each other." So could Fox ever make a return to "New Girl"? "I hope so," said Johnson. "I know she's got an enormous movie career. When you're in Japan doing a press tour, I think it's a little less sexy to (do the TV grind), but I cannot say enough of what a pleasure it was to work with Megan both on camera and off. Grumpy gaffers are still talking about how great she was," said Johnson. ___ Online: http://www.fox.com/new-girl Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Alicia Rancilio from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Jennifer Garner urges lawmakers to fund children's program
Tuesday Feb 9, 2016
Jennifer Garner urges lawmakers to fund children's program

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Hollywood actress Jennifer Garner is asking Kentucky lawmakers to spend $1 million on an early-childhood education program. The star of the TV show "Alias" and movies including "Juno" and "Dallas Buyers Club" testified before the House budget committee on Tuesday on behalf of Save The Children. Garner said the program works well in Kentucky, offering literacy and other development programs for children. Lawmakers said they support the program but noted the state does not have much money to spend because of shortfalls in public pension programs. Garner is from West Virginia. She testified along with Mark Shriver, Save The Children Action Network president and a nephew of the late President John F. Kennedy. She is also scheduled to meet with Gov. Matt Bevin. ___ This story has been clarified to reflect that Garner is from West Virginia, but is not a native. Copyright (2016) 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.

Nat Wolff turns to the dark side in 'Buried Child'
Tuesday Feb 9, 2016
Nat Wolff turns to the dark side in 'Buried Child'

NEW YORK (AP) — Actor and musician Nat Wolff couldn't resist agreeing to do a darkly weird off-Broadway play about a strange family. After all, he's got a weird family connection to it. Wolff, 21, is starring this month in Sam Shepard's "Buried Child," the same Midwest Gothic comedy his mother, Polly Draper, starred in 37 years ago at Yale Repertory Theatre. It even turns out he's the same age she was back then. "It's going to be probably a trippy experience for her," said Wolff, a rising star whose film credits include the adaptation of John Green's coming-of-age novel "Paper Towns" and playing a blind teen battling cancer "The Fault in Our Stars." "Buried Child," which won the 1979 Pulitzer Prize for drama, features three generations of a family torn apart by the past. There's a boozy, cantankerous patriarch, an unkempt mother, one son who is a one-legged psychopath and another who has lost the will even to communicate. Wolff plays a grandson who arrives with his girlfriend, played by Taissa Farmiga. His real-life mom, who went on to find fame in the TV series "thirtysomething," played the girlfriend role in 1979 with another soon-to-be star in Tony Shalhoub. They would often reminisce about "Buried Child." "While doing the play, I will randomly remember different things that I heard growing up about it," Wolff said. "Of all things that I've gotten to do, for my mom, it's the most exciting." The play, which also stars Ed Harris, Larry Pine and Amy Madigan, represents Wolff's professional off-Broadway debut, though the New York native was in plays at the cozy downtown Flea Theatre when he was 8 and 12. The darkness of the new work didn't scare him off. "I've always liked the darker stuff," he said. "Besides being one the darkest, grossest, most tragic families in the history of American theater, I think it's also darkly funny." He and his younger brother, Alex, became famous in 2005 after starring in and providing song and lyrics for the musical-comedy film "The Naked Brothers Band: The Movie." That led to a spin-off TV series from 2007-09. The brothers still collaborate on music despite their hectic acting schedules and the fact that Alex is still in high school. (Alex is in the new "My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2"). Their bond keeps them grounded: "I think it's been really special to have my brother going through it with me because it keeps me sane and for me to keep him sane," Nat Wolff said. For "Buried Child," Wolff has jumped into his character by keeping the family theme going — he's focusing on his father, Michael Wolff, a jazz pianist and composer. He's raided his dad's record collection of Miles Davis and John Coltrane tunes. He's dusted off his old saxophone, which he hasn't played since the fifth grade. And he's even grown a wispy beard like his father in the 1970s. "I've modeled a lot of my character off my dad," Wolff said. Up next for Wolff is the film "In Dubious Battle" about migrant workers in apple orchards in 1930. It's directed by James Franco, adapted from a John Steinbeck novel, and stars Bryan Cranston, Selena Gomez, Robert Duvall and Zach Braff. Wolff also will be exploring more dark stuff in "Death Note," in which he plays a student who discovers a supernatural notebook that allows him to kill anyone simply by writing the victim's name. And he'll be in "Rosy," where he kidnaps an actress. "My patchy facial hair came in handy for that one, too," he said, laughing. ___ Online: http://www.thenewgroup.org/buried-child.html Copyright (2016) 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.

Russian town in Siberia makes DiCaprio an ersatz Oscar
Tuesday Feb 9, 2016
Russian town in Siberia makes DiCaprio an ersatz Oscar

MOSCOW (AP) — Residents of a town in Russia's Far East have been donating their gold and silver for something near and dear to their hearts: Leonardo DiCaprio. More than 100 DiCaprio fans in the Siberian town of Yakutia have donated jewelry and precious metals to make a statue — based on an Academy Award — for the film star who is nominated as best actor for his role in The Revenant. Sardana Savvina, a member of the Oscar to Leo! initiative, said the group is hopeful that DiCaprio will walk away with two awards this year: a statue from Yakutia and a bona fide Oscar. DiCaprio, whose grandmother was Russian, is extremely popular in the country and famously met with Vladimir Putin in 2010 to discuss tiger conservation in Russia's eastern regions. Copyright (2016) 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.

Oscar-nominated ‘Mustang’ wins at France’s Lumiere Awards
Tuesday Feb 9, 2016
Oscar-nominated ‘Mustang’ wins at France’s Lumiere Awards

The Oscar-nominated French film "Mustang" topped Monday's Lumiere Awards in France, reports Variety.Directed by Turkish-born but Paris-based Deniz Gamze Erguven, the film tells the story of five Turkish sisters who are to be married off by their more conservative father. It was awarded best picture at Monday's Lumiere Awards, considered to be France's equivalent of the Golden Globes. The film also won the Lumiere awards for best first film and best cinematography, and has also been nominated for best foreign language film at the upcoming Academy Awards, due to take place February 28th.  Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Events

Tony-nominated actor Ken Watanabe battling stomach cancer
Tuesday Feb 9, 2016
Tony-nominated actor Ken Watanabe battling stomach cancer

NEW YORK (AP) — A publicist for Ken Watanabe says the Tony- and Oscar-nominated actor has been forced to delay his return to Broadway's "The King and I" while he battles stomach cancer. The 56-year-old Japanese actor, who made his American stage debut last year opposite Kelli O'Hara in the revival of "The King and I," was due to return to the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical from March 1-April 17. Craig Bankey, Watanabe's press agent, said Tuesday the actor has undergone endoscopic surgery and is recuperating at a hospital in Japan. In a statement, the actor said: "I would like to ask for your understanding that the start of my performance in New York will be a little delayed." Watanabe, who has been in Christopher Nolan's "Batman Begins" and "Inception," also starred in the reboot of "Godzilla" and "Letters From Iwo Jima" and lent his voice to the fourth installment of the Transformers franchise, "Transformers: Age of Extinction." He earned an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor in the Tom Cruise-led film "The Last Samurai." The "King and I" is also nominated for a Grammy Award for best musical theater album. Word of the diagnosis was first reported by Kyodo News service Copyright (2016) 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.

‘Mozart in the Jungle' renewed for third season
Tuesday Feb 9, 2016
‘Mozart in the Jungle' renewed for third season

Amazon is commissioning another season of its award-winning show about the trials and tribulations of classical musicians and their spirited conductor.Based on the memoir "Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs & Classical Music" by Blair Tindall, the comedy show stars Gael García Bernal and Lola Kirke and for its next season, which starts shooting later this year, the action is set to move from New York to Europe. "We're grateful to Amazon for endowing our orchestra with another season. We can't wait to follow our characters through the vast world of music, whether performing on a subway platform or in the grand concert halls of Europe," said the show's co-executive producer Jason Schwartzman.  Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Sam Hunt: Hard to wrap head around 2 Grammy nominations
Tuesday Feb 9, 2016
Sam Hunt: Hard to wrap head around 2 Grammy nominations

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — It's hard for rising singer Sam Hunt to wrap his head around earning two Grammy nominations — mainly because music started as a hobby for the 31-year-old. "Then it turned into, 'Well maybe I can make a little money, make a living at it,'" said Hunt, a former college quarterback. "And then all of a sudden I was ... playing shows and they got bigger and bigger." Hunt's 2014 debut, "Montevallo," is a platinum success and features four hit songs, including "Leave the Night On" and "Take Your Time." The album is nominated for best country album at Monday's Grammy Awards, pitting him against efforts by Little Big Town, Kacey Musgraves, Ashley Monroe and Chris Stapleton, who is also up for album of the year with "Traveller." "Just to be a part of the Grammys, it's really humbling, but also going to be one of the highlights of my life," said Hunt, who's also nominated for best new artist. His sound is a mix of country, pop, R&B and electronica, and he's also a respected songwriter, penning songs for Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Reba McEntire and more. He'll get a chance to hit the stage at the Staples Center on Monday with one of country music's brightest songstresses, Carrie Underwood. "Hopefully I don't get in her way because she's a superstar and she's going to do fantastic I'm sure," Hunt said. "I'm excited to be performing with her and representing country music together." The Grammys will air live on CBS at 8 p.m. Eastern. ____ Online: http://www.grammy.com/ http://www.samhunt.com/ Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Mesfin Fekadu from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Russian town in Siberia makes DiCaprio an ersatz Oscar
Tuesday Feb 9, 2016
Russian town in Siberia makes DiCaprio an ersatz Oscar

MOSCOW (AP) — Residents of a town in Russia's Far East have been donating their gold and silver for something near and dear to their hearts: Leonardo DiCaprio. More than 100 DiCaprio fans in the Siberian town of Yakutia have donated jewelry and precious metals to make a statue — based on an Academy Award — for the film star who is nominated as best actor for his role in The Revenant. Sardana Savvina, a member of the Oscar to Leo! initiative, said the group is hopeful that DiCaprio will walk away with two awards this year: a statue from Yakutia and a bona fide Oscar. DiCaprio, whose grandmother was Russian, is extremely popular in the country and famously met with Vladimir Putin in 2010 to discuss tiger conservation in Russia's eastern regions. Copyright (2016) 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.

Taylor Swift leads iHeartRadio Award nominations
Tuesday Feb 9, 2016
Taylor Swift leads iHeartRadio Award nominations

NEW YORK (AP) — Taylor Swift leads the 2016 iHeartRadio Music Awards with eight nominations, followed by The Weeknd with seven. The nominations were announced Tuesday by iHeartMedia and Turner. The event will be televised live from Los Angeles on April 3 on TBS, TNT and truTV and aired on iHeartMedia stations and the iHeartRadio digital music platform. Swift's album, "1989," The Weeknd's "Beauty Behind the Madness," Adele's "25," Sam Smith's "In the Lonely Hour," and Ed Sheeran's "X'' are nominated for album of the year, a new category this year. Fetty Wap, Hozier, Sam Hunt, Shawn Mendes and Tove Lo are vying for best new artist. Country singer Thomas Rhett is nominated for country artist of the year and the fan-voted best lyrics category for his song, "Die A Happy Man." "To be recognized by iHeartRadio with these award nominations is huge — especially the multi-genre lyric nomination for 'Die A Happy Man' — which is such a personal song to me and my wife," Rhett said in a statement. "iHeartRadio continues to bring fans and artists one step closer together and I'm honored to be a part of it!" This year, the artist of the year category has been split into separate male and female categories, and new genre-specific artist of the year awards have been added as well as Latin and regional Mexican music categories. Performers on the show will include Justin Bieber and Meghan Trainor. Ticket presales for the awards show begin Wednesday at www.iheartradio.com/capitalone for Capitol One cardholders. Fans can go to iheartradio.com/awards to vote. Copyright (2016) 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.