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Monday
Jan102011

History Channel Miniseries 'The Kennedys' Canceled Before It Airs

Photo Courtesy - Brian Killian/WireImage/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- The highly-publicized miniseries The Kennedys, starring Greg Kinnear and Katie Holmes, is now itself history. A&E Television Networks has decided not to air the eight-part miniseries on its History cable channel in the spring, as previously scheduled. A rep told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement, "While the film is produced and acted with the highest quality, after viewing the final product in its totality, we have concluded this dramatic interpretation is not a fit for the History brand."

The Hollywood Reporter says members of the Kennedy family had pressured A&E Television Networks, which is owned in part by Disney and NBC Universal, to cancel the miniseries. Specifically, the publication claims, Maria Shriver, the daughter of John F. Kennedy sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver and a former NBC newswoman, told NBC executives she did not approve of the project, which reportedly portrayed the Kennedy family in an unflattering light. The Hollywood Reporter also notes that the miniseries itself contained some historical inaccuracies, and further suggests that Caroline Kennedy’s book deal with a Disney publishing company might have factored into the decision.

The Hollywood Reporter claims The Kennedys, featuring Kinnear as President John F. Kennedy and Katie Holmes as Jacqueline Kennedy, may be shopped to other cable channels. It is still scheduled to air in other countries, including in Canada this March.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jan102011

Beckhams Expecting Baby Number Four

Photo Courtesy - FilmMagic/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Victoria and David Beckham have confirmed that they are expecting their fourth child.

"David and Victoria Beckham are delighted to confirm they are expecting their fourth child in the summer," Victoria's spokeswoman Jo Milloy confirmed to UsMagazine.com.

"[Sons] Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz are very excited about the arrival of their new brother or sister."

The couple has been married for 11 years.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jan102011

Rihanna Sets UK Chart Record with 'What's My Name?'

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(LONDON) -- Rihanna has set a U.K. music chart record on the strength of her latest hit, "What's My Name?"

According to the BBC, she's become the first female solo artist in U.K. chart history to have number-one singles in five consecutive years.  Her number-one singles have been, in order from oldest to most recent, "Umbrella," "Take a Bow," the Jay-Z-Kanye West-Rihanna collaboration "Run This Town," and "Only Girl (In the World)."

Elvis Presley was the last solo artist to achieve number-one singles in five straight years, from 1957-1963.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jan102011

'True Grit' Rises to the Top of the Box Office with $15 Million

Photo Courtesy - Paramount Pictures(NEW YORK) -- True Grit won a relatively quiet weekend at the box office, earning an estimated $15 million.  The Coen brothers film also became the first Western to reach the $100 million mark in over a decade, having raised $110.4 million to date.

The most recent Western to earn $100 million or more was the 1999 comedy Wild Wild West.

After two weekends on top, Little Fockers dropped to the second spot, earning $13.8 million.  The Nicolas Cage action flick Season of the Witch opened in third place, with $10.7 million.  In its first weekend in wide release, the Gwyneth Paltrow country music film Country Strong finished in sixth place, collecting $7.3 million.

Here are the top 10 movies from Friday through Sunday, with estimated ticket sales:

1. True Grit, $15 million.
2. Little Fockers, $13.8 million.
3. Season of the Witch, $10.7 million.
4. Tron: Legacy, $9.8 million.
5. Black Swan, $8.4 million.
6. Country Strong, $7.3 million.
7. The Fighter, $7 million.
8. The King's Speech, $6.811 million.
9. Yogi Bear, $6.81 million.
10. Tangled, $5.2 million.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jan082011

Elvis Presley's Birthday Celebrated at Graceland

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(MEMPHIS) -- Fans are marking what would be the 76th birthday of the King of Rock and Roll Elvis Presley with a celebration at his Graceland estate -- and one of Elvis' biggest fans is taking part.

Rescued Chilean miner Edison Pena is in Memphis for Saturday's celebration and will be taken on a private tour of Presley's birthplace and his boyhood home in east Tupelo, Mississippi.

During the 69 days that he and 31 other miners were trapped underground in Chile, Pena lifted the crew's spirits by belting out Elvis classics. While touring Graceland on Friday, Pena shot video on his cell phone and occasionally broke out into song, singing Elvis favorites like "Hound Dog." Although he knows little English, he treated the press to a rendition of "Blue Suede Shoes."

Pena's five-day visit to Memphis includes stops at a practice session of the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies and a stay at the Peabody Hotel, which lies in the heart of "blues city."

In addition to leading his fellow trapped miners in sing-alongs to Elvis' hits, Pena kept fit and active by jogging to Presley's music. He made headlines last November when he participated in the New York marathon.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jan082011

'Jersey Shore' Delivers MTV Mega Ratings

Photo Courtesy - MTV/Josh Kessler(NEW YORK) -- Has MTV’s Jersey Shore jumped the shark? Not yet, according to the record-breaking number of people who tuned in Thursday to the premiere of the show’s third season.

Snooki, the Situation, and the rest of the Jersey Shore crew pulled in a total 8.45 million viewers, according the network, making the show MTV’s most-watched series telecast of all time.

The group is back in New Jersey this season, after spending the second season in Miami.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jan082011

Petra Nemcova Engaged to British Actor

Photo Courtesy - Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Model Petra Nemcova is set to be married again, according to various reports, this time to British actor Jamie Belman.

The two were introduced by mutual friends and have been dating for eight months. A wedding date has yet to be confirmed.

Nemcova, 31, was previously engaged to photographer Simon Atlee, who was killed in the December 2004 tsunami that resulted from a powerful earthquake beneath the Indian Ocean.

The Czech model in 2005 established the Happy Hearts Foundation to aid children affected by the tsunami disaster.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan072011

Oscar Race Heats Up: Who Will Go for the Gold?

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- As Oscar nominations inch closer -- they're set to be announced Jan. 25 -- newly-announced contenders for other film industry honors offer clues as to who the Academy might deem worthy.

This week, the Producers Guild and the Writers Guild -- two of the three best known Hollywood guilds -- announced the nominees for their respective annual awards. The Producers Guild's picks for best picture: 127 Hours, Black Swan, Inception, The King's Speech, The Social Network, The Kids Are All Right, The Town, True Grit and Toy Story 3.

The Writers Guild, which recognizes screenplay excellence, chose similar nominees: Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, The Kids Are All Right and Please Give for best original screenplay. 127 Hours, I Love You Phillip Morris, The Social Network, The Town and True Grit are up for best adapted screenplay.

Unlike the Golden Globes -- which were widely criticized for nominating films that were poorly received by critics, such as The Tourist and Burlesque, and snubbing those that won rave reviews, like True Grit -- the picks of the Producers Guild, the Writers Guild and the Directors Guild, which announces nominees for its awards next week, could offer a clearer picture of the upcoming Academy Awards nominees.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan072011

Eminem to Star in Crime Thriller

Photo Courtesy - Michael Caulfield/WireImage/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Eminem's acting career is ramping up.  Both The Hollywood Reporter and New York magazine are reporting the rapper will star in a new crime thriller for 20th Century Fox called Random Acts of Violence.

According to the publications, the movie will cast Eminem as an ex-con just out of prison who's trying to keep his nose clean.  But he gets caught between his old crew, who want him to join them in additional criminal pursuits, and the FBI, who wants to recruit him to bring down the bad guys.

Though he's made a few cameos, Random Acts of Violence would mark Eminem's first big-screen starring role since 2002's 8 Mile.

It will be directed by David Von Ancken, who works on the Showtime series Californication.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan072011

Paramedic Testifies on Day Three of Dr. Conrad Murray's Hearing

Photo Courtesy - David McNew-Pool/ Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Dr. Conrad Murray's hearing, which will determine whether he will stand trial for involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson, continued Thursday in Los Angeles with testimony from a paramedic who claimed the cardiologist snatched three bottles of painkillers and placed them in a bag on the day of the singer's death in June of 2009.

KABC-TV reports the paramedic, Martin Blount, also said Murray told the crew who responded to the scene that Jackson had been passed out about a minute before 911 was called.  Blount said he thinks Jackson may have been dead for at least 20 minutes by the time he'd arrived to the King of Pop's home, in part because the singer was cool to the touch.

Earlier in the week, another paramedic testified that he had doubts when Murray told him upon the paramedic's arrival that Jackson's condition had "just happened."

Dr. Richelle Cooper, who tended to Jackson in the emergency room on the day of his death, testified Thursday that Murray told her he'd given Jackson the sedative lorazepam.  She said he did not tell her he'd given Jackson any other drugs.  Murray is accused of giving Michael a lethal dose of the powerful anesthetic propofol as well as other sedatives.

According to the Los Angeles Times, prosecutors on Thursday also presented records that showed Murray had 11 phone conversations and sent or received five text messages in an approximately five-hour span before he discovered Jackson had stopped breathing.  He placed calls to his clinics elsewhere in the country as well as to other parties.  He also called Jackson's personal assistant after Murray discovered what had happened to Jackson, and he contacted his girlfriend while in the ambulance.

Prosecutors are arguing that Murray wasn't sufficiently attentive to Michael in the hours before he died.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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