Wednesday Apr 16, 2014

Disney Channel's 'Jessie' breaks romantic ground

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The title character of "Jessie" heads in an unprecedented direction for a Disney Channel series: toward the altar. In a four-episode arc that will conclude the season this fall, 22-year-old Jessie Prescott dives into a whirlwind romance and accepts her...
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TV

Disney Channel's 'Jessie' breaks romantic ground
Wednesday Apr 16, 2014
Disney Channel's 'Jessie' breaks romantic ground

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The title character of "Jessie" heads in an unprecedented direction for a Disney Channel series: toward the altar. In a four-episode arc that will conclude the season this fall, 22-year-old Jessie Prescott dives into a whirlwind romance and accepts her boyfriend's proposal of marriage. It's the first time a lead character on the children's TV channel has become engaged, said Adam Bonnett, Disney Channel executive vice president of original programming. "Jessie is an adult, and we felt we could tackle this in a way that still feels appropriate for our audience," Bonnett said. The Disney Channel focuses on children ages 6 to 11, with "Jessie" also attracting 9-to-14-year-old "tween" viewers among its average weekly audience of 2.9 million viewers. It ranks among the top five series for children and younger teenagers, according to Nielsen company figures. Debby Ryan stars as the young Texas woman who moves to New York City to pursue acting and becomes the nanny for an affluent family with children adopted from India, Africa and America. The comedy, in its third season, airs a mix of new and repeat episodes at 8 p.m. EDT Friday. The budding relationship between Jessie and her new love, 25-year-old Brooks (Pierson Fode), is handled chastely, as befits a Disney project aimed at youngsters. The couple is shown bonding over picnics in Central Park and on movie dates and in other such innocent moments. "The way we deal with this romance is very pure Disney fairy tale," Bonnett said, and one with a surprise ending. Ryan, who will turn 21 on May 13, said she is far from tying the knot with her boyfriend of a year, Twenty One Pilots musician Josh Dun. Her focus is on her career, including directing her first episode of "Jessie" this season and finishing an album she plans to release in June. But Jessie's decision to marry young is not out of step with her and Dun's social circle. "In the last year, we have seen close friends, five of them, get engaged, five. ... One couple is getting married next month and they are both 20, a year younger than me," Ryan said. She sees marriage and commitment as "delicate" topics for the young viewers who watch her character for clues to growing up: "Your principal character is deciding whether or not she should start her life with a man." Although romance is not something young viewers necessarily can relate to, Bonnett said, there are elements of the story that can have meaning for them. "Our audience isn't dealing with somebody proposing to them, but they are dealing with choices they have to make in their life, and thinking things through, following their heart and wanting to make the right choice," he said. Jessie and Ryan were the right combination to break ground for the channel, he said. Viewers have watched Jessie "blossom" and have seen the actress grow up over the past half-dozen years on Disney Channel programs including "The Suite Life on Deck" and the TV movie "16 Wishes." The actress has her own firm views on what saying "I do" represents. "It's not about the dress, it's not about the wedding. It's about the marriage. That's something we lose sight of when we're so young and all we want to do is dress up and play fairy tale," Ryan said. ___ Online: http://www.disneychannel.disney.com Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Jennifer Carpenter to produce series on 'Death Class'
Wednesday Apr 16, 2014
Jennifer Carpenter to produce series on 'Death Class'

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class: A True Story About Life."Variety reports that Jennifer Carpenter and George Stelzner have optioned the non-fiction book, which was published in January. The two producers are reportedly seeking a screenwriter to adapt the work into a drama series. "The Death Class: A True Story About Life" follows Norma Bowe, a registered nurse and PhD who teaches a class on death and dying at Kean University in New Jersey. The lectures eventually garnered attention at the national level, as Bowe's approach to the end of life resonated with her students and the wider community. The book explores the ways in which the course allowed the nurse and professor to help some of her students face their personal and family problems. Carpenter describes Bowe as "a dynamic force" whose "world is rich and textured," suggesting that "The Death Class" has all the makings of a compelling drama series. Following the end of "Dexter" last year, Carpenter plans to maintain a presence on the small screen as an actress as well as pursuing a producing career. She plays FBI agent Leah Pierce in "Sea of Fire," a pilot filmed for ABC. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

All 'View' co-hosts will salute Barbara Walters
Wednesday Apr 16, 2014
All 'View' co-hosts will salute Barbara Walters

LOS ANGELES (AP) — ABC's "The View" will gather all 11 past and present co-hosts to salute Barbara Walters as she retires from daily television. The network said Wednesday the first-ever reunion will air live on the May 15 episode of "The View," the day before Walters says goodbye as series co-host. Among those scheduled to appear are Meredith Vieira, Star Jones and Joy Behar. They will join current co-hosts Walters, Sherri Shepherd, Jenny McCarthy and Whoopi Goldberg. The 84-year-old Walters announced in 2013 that she would be retiring this year from regular TV appearances. She'll remain an executive producer with the New York-based "The View" and will make special ABC News appearances as events warrant, the network has said. ___ Online: http://abc.go.com/shows/the-view/ Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Colbert to visit future home of CBS' 'Late Show'
Tuesday Apr 15, 2014
Colbert to visit future home of CBS' 'Late Show'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Stephen Colbert will be paying a visit to CBS' "Late Show," his future home. The network said Tuesday that Colbert will be a guest on "Late Show with David Letterman" on April 22. Last week, the network announced that the host of Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" will succeed Letterman on "Late Show" next year. Letterman, who has hosted the late-night program for more than two decades, said earlier this month that he will retire sometime in 2015. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Stephen Colbert to replace Letterman on late show
Tuesday Apr 15, 2014
Stephen Colbert to replace Letterman on late show

NEW YORK (AP) — Stephen Colbert is replacing David Letterman as CBS' late-night host. CBS announced Thursday that "The Colbert Report" host will replace Letterman when he retires next year. Colbert is signed for five years. Letterman has hosted "Late Show with David Letterman" since 1993. He turns 67 Saturday. "I never dreamed that I would follow in his footsteps, though everyone in late night follows Dave's lead," Colbert said in a statement: Comedy Central's Emmy-winning "The Colbert Report" has been a hit since its launch in 2005. Last week, Letterman announced his plans to exit his show and end an unmatched wee-hours run that began in 1992 when he launched "Late Night" on NBC. He jumped to CBS when Jay Leno, not he, won NBC's "The Tonight Show" upon Johnny Carson's retirement. Leno stepped down from "Tonight" in February, replaced by Jimmy Fallon. The new late-night faceoff at 11:35 p.m. will consist of Fallon, CBS' Colbert and ABC's Jimmy Kimmel. Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Movies

DiCaprio to go from Wall Street to the wilderness
Wednesday Apr 16, 2014
DiCaprio to go from Wall Street to the wilderness

The actor has accepted the title role in the forthcoming drama from Alejandro González Iñárritu.After winning a Golden Globe in January for "The Wolf of Wall Street," Leonardo DiCaprio has chosen his next project. According to Deadline.com, the actor will headline this revenge movie from Regency Studios, which the Mexican filmmaker was already eyeing in 2011. The feature is set to begin lensing this fall for release in late 2015. "The Revenant" will explore the theme of survival in a hostile environment, which has been somewhat in vogue in Hollywood lately, as seen in "Gravity." The feature will be set in 1820s America. The plot will be based on the true story of Hugh Glass, a fur trapper whose fellow travelers stripped him of his belongings and left him for dead after he was mauled by a bear. The feature will explore the protagonist's survival, his trek of nearly 5,000km, and his revenge on his former companions. Christian Bale and Sean Penn had been attached to the project in the past, although there is no indication of whether this is still the case. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Jaden Smith to play slave in adaptation of James McBride novel
Wednesday Apr 16, 2014
Jaden Smith to play slave in adaptation of James McBride novel

The young actor will co-star with Liev Schreiber in the adaptation of James McBride's satirical novel "The Good Lord Bird."Fifteen-year-old Jaden Smith will play Henry Schackleford, a slave who comes into contact with the famous abolitionist John Brown, Deadline.com reports. Nicknamed Onion and mistaken for a girl because of his dress, Henry witnesses Brown's campaign and later spearheads a revolt among slaves in the late 1850s. Liev Schreiber ("The Butler") will play the abolitionist, whose 1859 attempt to overtake the US arsenal located in Harpers Ferry, Virginia is seen as one of the events that sparked the Civil War. Author James McBride will be among the producers of this adaptation of his work, which won the 2013 National Book Award in the Fiction category. A director has yet to be selected for "The Good Lord Bird." Before shooting this project, Jaden Smith will be busy on the set of a sequel to "The Karate Kid," the remake in which he starred in 2010. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

X-Men: Channing Tatum could play Gambit in spin-off
Wednesday Apr 16, 2014
X-Men: Channing Tatum could play Gambit in spin-off

The actor could play the mutant once again in a spin-off of the "X-Men" franchise, he confirmed in an interview with MTV.Channing Tatum announced that he had met with Lauren Shuler Donner, the producer of the previous "X-Men" movies, to discuss the possibility of playing Gambit in a forthcoming film. The 33-year-old actor has often expressed his interest in playing the Cajun mutant, a mysterious and seductive character who is capable of manipulating kinetic energy. Gambit was played by Canadian actor Taylor Kitsch in the 2009 movie "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," starring Hugh Jackman.  Bryan Singer reportedly plans to incorporate the character into "X-Men: Apocalypse." Due in theaters in 2016, the feature will be a direct sequel to "X-Men: Days of Future Past," which is slated for release this summer. Before possibly moving on to a superhero role, Tatum will appear in at least three features set to bow before the end of 2014: the police comedy "22 Jump Street," the fantasy thriller "Jupiter Ascending" and the drama "Foxcatcher." The actor will soon join director Gregory Jacobs on the set of "Magic Mike XXL," due in theaters in July 2015. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Harry Potter fans open online Hogwarts school
Wednesday Apr 16, 2014
Harry Potter fans open online Hogwarts school

Hogwarts is Here, an online educational website modeled after J.K. Rowling's school for young magic-users, is open for currency-free business.Following in the footsteps of the fictional Harry, Hermione and Ron just got a whole lot easier with a selection of nine-week online courses provided by a coven of industrious fans. Launched on April 15, the site is from the volunteers behind previous endeavor myhogwarts.co.uk. Tests, homework, essay questions and electronic textbooks are provided as part of the free package, with "A Standard Book of Spells" and "A Beginner's Guide to Transfiguration" listed among the tomes contained within, with the promise that work will be graded by Hogwarts professors "fully trained on this new muggle technology." Students can choose which of the four Hogwarts houses they want to represent -- Gryffindor's popularity is currently oustripping Hufflepuff by a factor of three, while Ravenclaw's girls and boys have proven themselves at earning House Points. Extracurricular activities are also available for enrolled students, with regular newspaper The Daily Owl, a Fandom Explorer tool, and a Hogwarts Clubs network intended to ease transition into school life and full-on Harry Potter hysteria. Official website: hogwartsishere.com Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Third 'X-Men Days of Future Past' trailer released
Wednesday Apr 16, 2014
Third 'X-Men Days of Future Past' trailer released

Things are heating up for the ensemble cast of "X-Men: Days of Future Past" in this third official trailer, stretching to nearly three minutes long, in advance of a May 23 release.Hugh Jackman's Wolverine is the grizzly thread that ties two X-Men continuities together, as a time-traveling narrative arc seeks to unite young and old versions of the same mutant heroes. Hence the appearance of James McAvoy and Patrick Stewart as X-Men mastermind Professor X, opposite Michael Fassbender and Ian McKellen as supervillain Magneto. Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Ellen Page, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin and Shawn Ashmore return from previous outings, while new characters are brought to life by the likes of Omar Sy, Evan Peters and our "Days of Future Past" villain in "Game of Thrones" actor Peter Dinklage. The Brian Singer movie debuts May 21 in France, Belgium, and Indonesia; May 22 in Australia and New Zealand, Brazil, Hong Kong, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, the UK and much of the rest of Europe; May 23 in the USA, South Africa, Vietnam and Scandianvia. Trailer: youtu.be/gsjtg7m1MMMOfficial website: x-menmovies.com Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Events

Jaden Smith to play slave in adaptation of James McBride novel
Wednesday Apr 16, 2014
Jaden Smith to play slave in adaptation of James McBride novel

The young actor will co-star with Liev Schreiber in the adaptation of James McBride's satirical novel "The Good Lord Bird."Fifteen-year-old Jaden Smith will play Henry Schackleford, a slave who comes into contact with the famous abolitionist John Brown, Deadline.com reports. Nicknamed Onion and mistaken for a girl because of his dress, Henry witnesses Brown's campaign and later spearheads a revolt among slaves in the late 1850s. Liev Schreiber ("The Butler") will play the abolitionist, whose 1859 attempt to overtake the US arsenal located in Harpers Ferry, Virginia is seen as one of the events that sparked the Civil War. Author James McBride will be among the producers of this adaptation of his work, which won the 2013 National Book Award in the Fiction category. A director has yet to be selected for "The Good Lord Bird." Before shooting this project, Jaden Smith will be busy on the set of a sequel to "The Karate Kid," the remake in which he starred in 2010. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Shorter and Schneider each win 3 Jazz Awards
Wednesday Apr 16, 2014
Shorter and Schneider each win 3 Jazz Awards

NEW YORK (AP) — Saxophonist Wayne Shorter and composer-arranger Maria Schneider are each triple winners in the 2014 Jazz Awards presented by the Jazz Journalists Association. Pianist Herbie Hancock is being honored for Lifetime Achievement in Jazz. As a UNESCO goodwill ambassador, Hancock is organizing International Jazz Day celebrations April 30 in Osaka, Japan. Shorter has won for musician of the year, best album ("Without A Net") and top midsize ensemble. Schneider tops the balloting in the composer, arranger and large ensemble categories. Other multiple winners announced by the JJA on Tuesday include newcomer Cecile McLorin Salvant (up-and-coming artist and female singer) and veteran Joe Lovano (multi-reeds and tenor saxophone). ____ Online: www.jjajazzawards.org Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

EL Doctorow to receive Library of Congress Prize
Wednesday Apr 16, 2014
EL Doctorow to receive Library of Congress Prize

NEW YORK (AP) — Novelist E.L. Doctorow will be honored with the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction. Librarian of Congress James H. Billington made the announcement Wednesday. Billington said each of Doctorow's books is a "vivid canvas" filled with "color and drama." He likens Doctorow to Charles Dickens. Doctorow says novelists live with self-doubt. He says the honor confers "a blessed moment of peace and resolution." Works from his five-decade career include "Ragtime," ''World's Fair," ''Billy Bathgate," ''The March" and his current book, "Andrew's Brain." The Bronx-born novelist majored in philosophy at Kenyon College in Ohio. The award will be presented Aug. 30 in Washington. ___ Online: http://eldoctorow.com/ Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Paul Weller's children win lawsuit over pictures
Wednesday Apr 16, 2014
Paul Weller's children win lawsuit over pictures

LONDON (AP) — The children of musician Paul Weller won a privacy lawsuit Wednesday over paparazzi pictures published on a newspaper website. Lawyers for the former front man of The Jam and his family sued Associated Newspapers over images of daughter Dylan and twin sons John Paul and Bowie that appeared on its MailOnline site. Dylan was 16 and the twins 10 months old when the pictures, taken during a shopping trip in Santa Monica, were published in 2012.Judge James Dingemans ruled that although publishing the pictures was legal in California, they "were published in circumstances where Dylan, Bowie and John Paul had a reasonable expectation of privacy" — a status protected in British human rights law. He awarded a total of 10,000 pounds ($17,000) to the children. Paul Weller told the High Court in London that the photographer was asked to stop but persisted, "taking photos of a very frightened 16-year-old holding her baby brother." "What kind of person is that anyway?" he said. MailOnline said it was "deeply disturbed" by the judgment and would appeal. It said it was in competition with U.S-based websites protected by the First Amendment, and called the privacy ruling "a worrying development in our law, as it has conferred unfettered image rights on all the children." Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Pulitzer-winning play 'The Flick' to re-open in New York
Tuesday Apr 15, 2014
Pulitzer-winning play 'The Flick' to re-open in New York

Fresh from its 2014 win at the Pulitzer Prize ceremony, Off-Broadway play "The Flick" has announced plans to re-open, this time at the Barrow Street Theatre in Manhattan's West Village.Annie Baker's "The Flick," her play about three filmhouse employees, had debuted at the Playwrights Horizons theatre on West 42nd Street, directed by Sam Gold. It's to re-open at Barrow Street Theatre, according to a spokesman for producer Scott Rudin (he of "The Book of Mormon"), who spoke to the New York Times' ArtsBeat -- although "Buyer & Cellar" is the theater's scheduled draw until September. The 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Drama adds to Baker's growing collection of plaudits for "The Flick," which previously won the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn Prize in March 2013, the Village Voice's Obie Awards for Playwrighting in May, and the Steinberg Playwright Mimi Award in November. Also in contention for the Pulitzer were "The (Curious Case of the) Watson Intelligence" by Madeleine George and musical production "Fun Home" by Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.