OPENING STATEMENTS TODAY IN R. KELLY TRIAL
NEW YORK (AP) – R. Kelly will be in court today to face the accusations that have dogged him for years. Opening statements begin today in New York in Kelly’s trial. Kelly will face charges that he ran an enterprise of employees who recruited women and girls — and according to court documents, two male teenagers — as sex partners. Kelly’s lawyers say the alleged victims were groupies who accused him of abuse years later because of the (hash)MeToo movement. Seven men and five women will sit on the jury. Because of the pandemic, reporters and spectators will be restricted to overflow courtrooms with video feeds.
TEDESCHI TRUCKS BAND ACCIDENTALLY MAKE A LIVE ALBUM
RIDGEFIELD, Conn. (AP) – Tedeschi (teh-DES’-kee) Trucks Band record every concert they perform. That led to a happy accident. Guitarist Derek Trucks says they had performed the Derek and the Dominoes album “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs” at a festival. When the pandemic forced the country to lock down, Trucks had time to go through their tapes. He says he had no intention of making a record and was just mixing that one as an experiment, but he was astounded at how good it sounded. The Tedeschi Trucks Band album “Layla Revisited (Live At LOCKN’)” is out now.
MORE THAN 200 COVID-19 CASES LINKED TO FESTIVAL
GEORGE, Wash. (AP) – Public health officials in George, Washington state, say 210 cases of COVID-19 have been linked to a three-day country music festival. The Seattle Times quotes Grant County public health officials as saying they are urging those who attended the Watershed Music Festival from July 30 through Aug. 1 to self-quarantine and get tested. More than 25,000 fans attended the festival, which featured Tim McGraw, Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks (DURKS) Bentley and Thomas Rhett.
LENNY KAYE WRITES ABOUT THE PIVOTAL MOMENTS OF ROCK
NEW YORK (AP) – Lenny Kaye of the Patti Smith Group has written a book about what he considers the flashpoints of music. His book “Lightning Striking: Ten Transformative Moments in Rock and Roll” will explore moments in time, such as Memphis in 1954 as Elvis Presley was starting, or Seattle in 1991 as Nirvana was gaining momentum. Besides his work as a guitarist, Kaye also has written for several music magazines.
SEAN PENN, WITH DAUGHTER DYLAN, DIRECTS AGAIN IN ‘FLAG DAY’
CANNES, France (AP) – Sean Penn is sort of done with movies. He’s still making them, here and there. But Penn is mostly seeing out commitments he made years earlier. After those? He’s not so sure how much more he’s going to be acting or directing. The 61-year-old maverick actor and sometimes filmmaker is in many ways happily out of step with many of the prevailing winds in Hollywood. Streaming films? Franchise movies? So-called “cancel culture”? All of these things draw his ire, to various degrees. Meanwhile, Penn is dedicating more of his time to Haitian relief efforts and getting people vaccinated than he does to movies. All of that makes “Flag Day,” a new film Penn directed and co-stars in, an exception.
ROBERT DURST: ‘JINX’ CLIMAX WAS NOT CONFESSION TO KILLINGS
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Robert Durst says he wasn’t confessing to killing anyone in the climax to a documentary on his life when he was caught on a live microphone talking to himself. Durst told jurors Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court that he either didn’t say everything he was thinking or didn’t speak loudly enough for the mic to catch it when he muttered: “killed them all, of course.” He said he thought filmmakers would think he killed three people because they caught him in a lie about the slaying of his best friend. He has pleaded not guilty to killing Susan Berman. “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst” ran on HBO in 2015.
STUDY: PANDEMIC SPEEDED TRENDS AWAY FROM LIVE TV VIEWING
NEW YORK (AP) – The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated trends in how people are watching television differently. A study from Hub Entertainment Research found that the percentage of people who paid to watch a specific movie or television show at least once a week in June was essentially double what it was prior to the COVID-19 shutdown. Nearly two-thirds of people watched free video on demand content on their televisions. The finding further illustrates why ratings for traditional live television, as measured by the Nielsen company, have declined sharply. Hub says people had more time on their hands during the pandemic and, if they weren’t laid off, more money to spend on at-home entertainment.
NEW YORK (AP) – Here are the top ten most-watched programs for the week of Aug. 9-15, according to the Nielsen company:
1. “America’s Got Talent” (Tuesday), NBC, 7.14 million.
2. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 6.51 million.
3. “Field of Dreams Game: N.Y. Yankees vs. Chicago White Sox,” Fox, 5.85 million.
4. “America’s Got Talent” (Wednesday), NBC, 5.67 million.
5. “The Bachelorette,” ABC, 4.6 million.
6. “Celebrity Family Feud,” ABC, 4.5 million.
7. “Big Brother” (Wednesday), CBS, 3.96 million.
8. “Big Brother” (Thursday), CBS, 3.86 million.
9. “Big Brother” (Sunday), CBS, 3.78 million.
10. “The $100,000 Pyramid,” ABC, 3.68 million.