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OSCAR NOMINATIONS ARE MONDAY MORNING: HERE’S WHAT TO EXPECT
Who will be celebrating Oscar morning? Brad Pitt for sure. Jennifer Lopez most likely. And very possibly the Obamas, too. Nominations to the 92nd Academy Awards will begin at 8:18 a.m. EST Monday. They should bring plenty of star power to the February 9 ceremony – a good thing, since the show will for the second straight year go without a host. Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood,” “1917,” “The Irishman” and “Parasite” are expected to lead nominations. Pitt is considered a lock for best supporting actor. Lopez is poised for her first Oscar nomination, as is Beyonce. The first film produced by Barack and Michelle Obama, “American Factory,” is in the hunt for best documentary.
‘HOLY GRAIL’ DIGITAL EFFECTS REWINDING THE CLOCK FOR ACTORS
LONDON (AP) – In the last year, film audiences have watched Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci shed decades in “The Irishman” and Will Smith and Samuel L. Jackson roll back to their 1990s appearances. That’s been possible through new digital de-aging techniques that have allowed De Niro, Smith and other actors to play entire adult life spans on screen and perform without the need to wear cumbersome equipment. Digital effects experts say 2019 was a watershed year for de-aging advances in film, and efforts could be rewarded come Monday when the nominees for the visual effects Academy Award are announced.
EDD BYRNES, WHO PLAYED “KOOKIE” IN “77 SUNSET STRIP,” DIES
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Edd Byrnes, who played Kookie on the hit TV show “77 Sunset Strip,” scored a gold record with a song about his character’s hair-combing obsession and appeared in the 1978 movie “Grease,” has died at 87. His son, Logan Byrnes, says Byrnes died Wednesday in Santa Monica, California. Born to a poor New York City family, Byrnes came to Los Angeles in 1955 and a few years later hit fame as Kookie, a hip parking attendant who helped LA private detectives solve cases. His teen idol fame also led to a hit record called “Kookie, Kookie (Lend Me Your Comb).
NBC: CHANGE WILL COME TO ‘AMERICA’S GOT TALENT’ IF NEEDED
UNDATED (AP) – NBC says it’s taking its investigation into Gabrielle Union’s complaints about “America’s Got Talent” very seriously. NBC Entertainment chairman Paul Telegdy said Saturday an inquiry that began in December could be completed by the end of January. The executive said he’s confident new practices will be put in place if needed. Union, whose movies roles include “Bring It On,” was a judge for one season on “America’s Got Talent.” She and another freshman judge, Julianne Hough (HUF), weren’t asked to return. Union reportedly believes she was fired because she had asked NBC and producers to look into conduct on the set, including racist jokes and remarks.
CHALLENGES, DISTRACTIONS STYMIE WEINSTEIN JURY SELECTION
NEW YORK (AP) – Jury selection at the trial of Harvey Weinstein has been stymied by a host of challenges and distractions. The obstacles on Friday including repeatedly denied requests from the defense and a noisy protest. Dozens of women danced in formation and chanted on the sidewalk outside the Manhattan courthouse where the disgraced movie mogul is on trial. Judge James Burke denied a request to disqualify anyone who may have heard the protest. He also denied a defense motion to disqualify 32 potential jurors who may have overheard a woman saying she couldn’t be impartial because her friend had had an encounter with Weinstein.
‘GREY’S ANATOMY’ VETERAN CAST MEMBER LEAVES THE SERIES
NEW YORK (AP) – “Grey’s Anatomy” is saying goodbye to one of the long-running medical drama’s original cast members – actor Justin Chambers. Chambers, who played Alex Karev on the show, has left after a 15-year run. He leaves only three other actors who have been with the series since the first episode, a list that includes star Ellen Pompeo. In a statement, Chambers says he has long been hoping to diversify his acting roles and career choices and took the opportunity of turning 50 toámake his move. “Grey’s Anatomy” is ABC’s No. 1 scripted drama in its 16th season.
BYE, RICKY GERVAIS: POEHLER, FEY TO HOST 2021 GOLDEN GLOBES
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) – Tina Fey and Amy Poehler (POH’-ler) will share host duties for the Golden Globes ceremony in 2021. Poehler shared the announcement at a TV critics meeting Saturday, just a week after the ceremony aired with Ricky Gervais (jur-VAYS’) as host. A smiling Poehler said the network was glad the pair found time in their busy schedules to take on the Globes. Fey and Poehler hosted three times before. At last Sunday’s ceremony, Gervais’ snarky jokes in his fifth turn as host received mixed reviews and reactions from the celebrity audience. Poehler and Fey have earned a warmer reception for their comedic approach. The date for next year’s Golden Globes will be announced,áNBC said.
JIMMY FALLON HEADS TO PRIME-TIME WITH CELEB MUSICAL SERIES
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) – Jimmy Fallon is heading to prime-time with a new NBC comedy-variety series called “That’s My Jam.” Fallon will host the show inspired by his popular, celebrity-studded musical segments on “The Tonight Show.” It will premiere after the Tokyo Olympics in August. Celebrities who love to sing and dance will compete against each other in classic and new musical games. Fallon has launched popular celebrity sketches on “The Tonight Show” that have become viral hits on YouTube and Facebook. He’ll also serve as an executive producer on his first prime-time series.
THE ROCK TO REVISIT YOUNGER YEARS IN NEW NBC COMEDY SERIES
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) – Dwayne Johnson will revisit his younger years in a new NBC comedy series called “The Rock,” which is the retired pro wrestler’s nickname. NBC said Saturday that it’s ordered 11 episodes of the show inspired by Johnson, who will appear and also serve as an executive producer. He was born in Northern California and spent his childhood growing up everywhere from Hawaii to Tennessee to Connecticut with stops in between. It’ll be Johnson’s second series on NBC. The network said he’ll return for a second season as host and co-executive producer of “The Titan Games.
PBS TO MARK ITS 50TH ANNIVERSARY WITH ‘AMERICAN PORTRAIT’
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) – PBS will mark its 50th anniversary this year with an exploration of what it means to be an American in a divisive period. The project, “PBS American Portrait,” is a multi-platform effort that PBS said aims to foster a discussion about the country and its people. A digital miniseries will launch in spring 2020, with a documentary series airing in January 2021. Video, photos and other content submitted by the public will be part of “American Portrait.” PBS’ chief executive said Friday the project was deemed important at a time Americans may feel the country’s fabric is becoming “a bit frayed.”
PBS HIGHLIGHTING WOMEN WITH SUMMER OF PROGRAMMING
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) – PBS is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the amendment that guaranteed women’s right to vote in the United States with a variety of programming this summer. Gloria Steinem, former Texas Gov. Ann Richards, Toni Morrison and Mae West are among women featured in specials. Women of color who are political candidates and organizers are highlighted in “And She Could Be Next.” “Unladylike2020” features little-known and diverse female trailblazers from the turn of the 20th century in a one-hour broadcast special and 26 digital short films. An episode of “Antiques Roadshow” focuses on women’s contributions by athletes, artists and activists.
‘THE INCREDIBLE HULK’ ACTOR TO BECOME DEPUTY IN NEW MEXICO
SOCORRO, N.M. (AP) – Lou Ferrigno (fur-IHG’-noh), the actor in the CBS television series “The Incredible Hulk,” is slated to become a sheriff’s deputy in New Mexico. áThe Socorro County Sheriff is scheduled to deputize Ferrigno next week at a special ceremony. Officials say Ferrigno will bring decades of law enforcement experience to the department and be instrumental in recruiting for the department and the county. The 68-year-old Ferrigno has served as a reserve sheriff’s deputy in Los Angeles County and a member of the volunteer sheriff posse in Maricopa (mehr-uh-KOH’-puh) County, Arizona. Ferrigno played the Hulk in the 1970s television series.
‘BULLITT’ MUSTANG SELLS FOR $3.74 MILLION AT FLORIDA AUCTION
KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) – The Highland Green 1968 Ford Mustang GT featured in the film “Bullitt” has sold at a Florida auction house for $3.74 million. The Orlando Sentinel reports that Friday’s sale at Mecum Kissimmee marks the most expensive Mustang ever sold. Seller Sean Kiernan drove the car across the auction block at Silver Spurs Arena and then addressed a crowd of about 25,000. Bidding surpassed $3 million in the first minute. The top bid went back and forth between someone present and a bidder on the phone for several minutes before the mystery buyer on the phone won, agreeing to pay $3.4 million plus a 10 percent buyer’s premium.
THE AMERICAS TO STAR IN NBC NATURE SERIES ‘THE NEW WORLD’
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) – The Americas are getting the star treatment. NBC said Saturday it’s ordered a 10-part series, “The New World,” that will explore the wilderness and wildlife of North, Central and South America. It’s set to air in 2024. launching after the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games. NBC said the series will take viewers on a journey across the land mass that is home to the greatest variety of life on the planet. Veteran producer Mike Gunton, whose credits include “Planet Earth II,” is making “The New World” for BBC Studios Natural History Unit, in association with Universal Television Alternative Studio.
RIDING GLOBES, ‘1917’ ENDS ‘STAR WARS’ BOX-OFFICE REIGN
LOS ANGELES (AP) – It took the Great War to finally take down “Star Wars.” The World War I story “1917” brought in $36.5 million in its first weekend of wide release, easily topping the box office and ending the three-week reign of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” which brought in $15 million. Universal expanded “1917” from 11 screens in its first two weeks to more than 3,400 on the weekend after it won Golden Globes for best director and best film drama. The strategy worked beautifully, and the film could get another boost from likely Oscar nominations coming Monday morning.
SCORSESE AND ‘THE IRISHMAN’ HONORED BY AARP
NEW YORK (AP) – Director Martin Scorsese (skor-SEH’-see) and his mob epic “The Irishman” have been honored by the AARP. In a Saturday night ceremony, the group named it the top movie for grownups in the past year, defining that group as people aged 50 and over. Scorsese earned best director. Actor Adam Sandler, whose target audience is usually much younger than AARP members, won best actor for his serious turn as a jeweler in “Uncut Gems.” Laura Dern and Tom Hanks won supporting actor awards, while Annette Bening was honored for career achievement. Tony Danza hosted the awards in Beverly Hills, which will be shown on tape next weekend on PBS.
AUTHORITIES: LINDSAY LOHAN’S MOM DRUNKENLY HIT CAR, FLED
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) – Actress Lindsay Lohan’s mother is facing a charge of felony driving while intoxicated after authorities say she rear-ended another car. The elder Lohan, who has a history of intoxicated driving, was arraigned Sunday. Authorities say she was arrested Saturday evening after another woman accused Lohan of hitting her car and then leaving the scene. The woman followed her and called police, who arrested Lohan at her Long Island home. Her attorney, Mark Heller, says she was released on her own recognizance and hopes to resolve the situation “favorably.” Lohan had pleaded guilty to aggravated drunken driving in April 2014.
IVAN PASSER, A LEADING CZECH NEW WAVE FILMMAKER, DIES AT 86
NEW YORK (AP) – A leading filmmaker of the Czech New Wave movement who fled Soviet-controlled Prague and forged a celebrated career in Hollywood has died. Ivan Passer was 86. Passer died Thursday in Nevada. Passer and fellow Czech filmmaker MilosáForman’s collaboration and friendship became central to the Czech New Wave in the 1960s, a period when avant-garde auteurs took international cinema by storm with wry, mordant depictions of life behind the Iron Curtain. Passeráalso directed the beloved 1981 neo-noir thriller “Cutter’s Way,” considered a classic portrait of post-Vietnam War malaise. His 1992 HBO film “Stalin,” starring Robert Duvall won three Golden Globes.