Feb 27, 2017
9:19 am

Nicole Kidman Roasted on Social Media For Clapping Like the Grinch (NY Post, The Telegraph, TVWeek, Twitter)

On a night of serious screwups at the Oscars, actress Nicole Kidman emerged as one of the most talked-about — and widely mocked — memes to emerge from the event.

The New York Post’s Page Six reports that the actress — a four-time Academy Award nominee and an Oscar winner in 2003 for “The Hours” — is taking a beating on social media for what many observers say is her “Grinch-like” clapping during the ceremony.

Wrote Twitter user Chris Higgins: “Has Nicole Kidman never seen anyone clap before?”

The U.K. publication The Telegraph quotes a tweet from Luck o’ the Parrish saying: “Nicole Kidman forgot how to clap in the middle of clapping.”

Others on social media came to Kidman’s defense. The Twitter account @OKCTuxiecat posted this explanation: “People making fun of Nicole Kidman’s clapping have obviously never worn rings on both hands that could break or pinch when clapping.”

Judge for yourself — below is a sample posted by The Telegraph …

Feb 27, 2017
8:44 am

Another Oscar Gaffe: ‘Dead’ Woman Shown in Ceremony’s ‘In Memoriam’ Segment Is Still Alive (Variety, TVWeek)

A woman whose photo was featured in the “In Memoriam” segment during Sunday’s Oscars is still very much alive, in what turned out to be only the second-biggest screwup at this year’s ceremony.

Variety reports that Jan Chapman said she was “devastated” when she saw her photo during the segment paying tribute to industry people who have died during the past year. Her image appeared along with words identifying Janet Patterson, Costume Designer.

Chapman and Patterson, who are both Australian, were friends and frequent collaborators. Chapman is a film producer whose credits include “Lantana” and “The Last Days of Chez Nous.”

Patterson, a highly decorated costume designer and production designer whose honors include four Academy Award nominations, died on Oct. 21.

Variety quotes Chapman saying via email: “I was devastated by the use of my image in place of my great friend and long-time collaborator Janet Patterson. I had urged her agency to check any photograph which might be used and understand that they were told that the Academy had it covered. Janet was a great beauty and four-time Oscar nominee and it is very disappointing that the error was not picked up. I am alive and well and an active producer.”

Misidentified photo of Jan Chapman during Sunday’s
“In Memoriam” segment (YouTube)

Feb 27, 2017
1:10 am

Pandemonium at Oscar Podium as ‘La La Land’ Loses Statue in Grand Boo Boo
(TVWeek, Mediaite)

There was mass confusion at the end of last night’s Oscar telecast as Faye Dunaway announced the wrong movie as the winner of Best Picture.

As explained later by Warren Beatty, who was presenting the final award of the night with Dunaway, they were not given the right envelope before they went on stage. Instead they were given an envelope that said Emma Stone of “La La Land” had won Best Actress. In the confusion Dunaway announced “La La Land” as the winner of Best Picture.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has made YouTube take down almost all videos that had the entire incident, which lasts close to 8 minutes. However, Mediaite has the entire video, which you can watch by clicking here.

To see all the winners of last night’s Academy Awards ceremony — along with the nominees, please click here.

[To see the video of what happened at the end of last night’s Oscarcast, please click here and watch it on the website of Mediaite]

In the screen-grab above, Warren Beatty (right) explains to Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel how the wrong movie got announced as Best Picture.

Feb 27, 2017
12:16 am

Bill Paxton, Star of HBO’s ‘Big Love,’ Dies at 61 (Rolling Stone, TMZ, HBO)

“Bill Paxton, the veteran actor who starred in ‘Big Love’ and appeared in films like ‘Aliens,’ ‘Twister’ and ‘Apollo 13,’ died Saturday, Feb. 25th, following complications from surgery,” reports Rolling Stone.

The story adds, “Though a representative for the actor did not confirm cause of death, TMZ reports that Paxton suffered a fatal stroke post-op following heart surgery.”

Rolling Stone also writes, “Paxton will likely most be remembered for his starring role of Bill Henrickson, a modern-day polygamist living quietly in the suburbs, in the HBO drama ‘Big Love,’ a role which earned Paxton three Best Actor Golden Globe nominations. The series ran for five seasons. In 2012, Paxton was nominated for an Emmy for his leading role in the miniseries ‘Hatfields & McCoys.’

“Paxton was starring in the CBS reboot of ‘Training Day’ at the time of his death.”

To read more about Paxton, please click here, which will take you to the full Rolling Stone story.

Bill Paxton in HBO’s ‘Big Love’


Feb 26, 2017
4:06 pm

Two Printable Oscar Ballots for You. On One, You Pick the Academy Award Winners. The Other Has our Choices Marked for You (TVWeek)

It’s Oscar time! Today, Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, is the live telecast of the 89th Annual Academy Awards on ABC, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.

To find a ballot that you can print out and mark, please click here.

If you would like a ballot that you can print out that is ALREADY marked (with the Oscar picks of TVWeek Open Mic blogger Chuck Ross), please click here.

No guarantees on Chuck’s picks, of course, but he usually does pretty well.

For your convenience, here are the 2017 winners Chuck is predicting today in each of the 24 Oscar categories:

Best Picture: “La La Land”

Best Director: Damien Chazelle (“La La Land”)

Best Actress in a Leading Role: Emma Stone

Best Actor in a Leading Role: Casey Affleck

Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis

Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali

Best Adapted Screenplay: “Moonlight”

Best Original Screenplay: “Manchester by the Sea”

Best Sound Mixing: “La La Land”

Best Sound Editing: “Hacksaw Ridge”

Best Makeup & Hairstyling: “Star Trek Beyond”

Best Documentary Feature: “O.J.: Made in America”

Best Documentary Short: “Joe’s Violin”

Best Original Score: “La La Land”

Best Original Song: “City of Stars”

Best Costume Design: “Jackie”

Best Cinematography: “La La Land”

Best Production Design: “La La Land”

Best Animated Feature Film: “Zootopia”

Best Animated Short Film: “Piper”

Best Foreign Film: “The Salesman”

Best Visual Effects: “The Jungle Book”

Best Live Action Short: “Ennemis Interieurs”

Best Film Editing: “La La Land”


Feb 25, 2017
3:13 am

Suggested Reading: The Most Unforgettable Character I Ever Met and Her Very Special 90th Birthday (TVWeek)

How can you ignore the invitation that is our headline for TV Week Open Mic blogger Chuck Ross’ special essay, that you can find if you click here

Feb 24, 2017
4:31 pm

ABC Exec Headed Out After 35 Years (Variety)

ABC is losing a longtime executive, with the network telling staffers today in internal memos that Marla Provencio, executive VP of marketing and chief marketing officer, is exiting after 35 years at the network.

Variety reports that Provencio and ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey sent out memos announcing the news. Provencio has been in her current position since November 2011.

“She first began her career at ABC working in on-air promiotions in 1979,” Variety notes. “She was named executive vice president of marketing for ABC Entertainment in 2007, and had led ABC’s marketing for many years prior.”

Provencio notes in her memo: “I … have been involved in some of the most extraordinary marketing campaigns which has led me to one of the greatest realizations of my life — that the creative, and more importantly, hands-on creative, has always been my greatest passion and I want it to be the focus in the next chapter of my professional life.”

Variety adds: “A search for Provencio’s replacement is set to begin in the near future. Provencio will stay on as a consultant with the network through June.”

Feb 24, 2017
4:19 pm

Nintendo Could Be Back in Gaming Big Time With Its Switch, After the Disappointment of Its Wii U (Time)

Nintendo is readying to launch its edgy, millennial-focused new home/mobile hybrid entertainment platform and game console, Switch, on March 3. With a $299 price tag, the unit could be a game changer.

“The novelty of a mainstream gaming system that goes wherever you do feels gravitationally irresistible,” Matt Peckham writes in Time magazine. “You can get why it exists by observing what it does, a feat that’s true of little else in the games industry.”

Peckham adds: “There’s certainly none of that confusing ‘Which screen do I eyeball now?’ business per Nintendo’s Wii U. Drop Switch in its cradle, count to three, and it’s on your TV. Pull it out and it’s in your hands. Decouple the Joy-Con controllers from its sides, pop the rear kickstand and it’s on a table (or seat-back tray), your hands free to roam anywhere like creatures loosed from their cages.”

Peckham also points out: “It’s important to note how durable and substantial Switch feels, an unostentatious but strangely beautiful carbon-black slate that’s like a blue collar version of an Apple product — all the same ‘magical’ design elegance, none of the pretension.”

Click on the link to Time near the top of this story to read the rest of Peckham’s piece.

Feb 24, 2017
3:47 pm

Bill Cosby Catches a Break in Criminal Case (AP)

“In a major break for Bill Cosby, a judge ruled Friday that just one of the comedian’s multitude of other accusers can testify at his trial to bolster charges he drugged and violated a woman more than a decade ago,” the AP reports.

Cosby, 79, is due to go on trial in June in a sexual assault case. He’s accused of assaulting former Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his home near Philadelphia in 2004.

“Prosecutors wanted to put 13 more women on the stand to show that his alleged conduct was part of a distinct pattern of behavior,” the AP reports. “Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill disallowed all but one of those women, saying in a one-page ruling that he carefully weighed the possible value of their testimony against the potential prejudice to Cosby.”

“The one witness who can testify says the comic drugged and assaulted her in 1996 at a Los Angeles hotel,” the report adds.

Feb 24, 2017
3:01 pm

J.C. Penney to Close Stores, Cut Jobs (USA Today)

J.C. Penney announced plans today to shutter stores and reduce its work force in response to a sag in the department store business. USA Today reports that the company will close between 130 and 140 stores and will offer buyouts to 6,000 employees.

“The company said Friday that it would shutter 13% to 14% of its locations and introduce new goods and services aimed at the shifting preferences of its customer base,” the story reports. “The cuts come amid mounting challenges for once-stalwart department-store chains such as Macy’s and Sears, which are also aggressively closing stores to shed costs as shoppers flock to alternatives.”

A list of the stores to be closed will be sent out in mid-March, with liquidation sales expected to take place by the second quarter, the report notes.

Speaking to investors, Penney CEO Marvin Ellison said today: “It became apparent to us that our footprint was too large.” He noted that the closures will “allow us to raise the overall brand standard of J.C. Penney” and invest in remaining stores.

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