Wednesday, April 25, 2018

News Briefs

Displaying 41 - 50 of 2969
  • Monday, Apr. 2, 2018
Steven Bochco, creator of groundbreaking "Hill Street Blues," dies at 74
In this Aug. 17, 2016, file photo, television writer/producer Steven Bochco poses for a portrait at his office in Santa Monica, Calif. Bochco, a writer and producer known for creating "Hill Street Blues," has died. He was 74. A family spokesman says Bochco died Sunday, April 1, 2018, in his sleep after a battle with cancer. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Steven Bochco, a writer and producer known for creating the groundbreaking police drama "Hill Street Blues," died Sunday. He was 74. A family spokesman says Bochco died in his sleep after a battle with cancer.

Bochco, who won 10 primetime Emmys, created several hit television shows including "L.A. Law," ''NYPD Blue," and "Doogie Howser, M.D."

Premiering in January 1981, "Hill Street Blues" challenged, even confounded the meager audience that sampled it. Then, on a wave of critical acclaim, the series began to click with viewers, while scoring a history-making 27 Emmy nominations its first year.

During its seven-season run, it won 26 Emmys and launched Bochco on a course that led to dozens of series and earned him four Peabody awards, in addition to the 10 Emmys.

"Hill Street Blues" had a sprawling universe of engaging yet flawed characters, a zippy pace and layers of overlapping, scripted dialogue, shot in a documentary style.

But what really set the show apart were the multiple narratives that interlaced each episode with those that came before and after. With the rare exception of the few prime-time soaps, almost every series up to that time — whether comedy or drama — made each episode freestanding, with a reset button for the one that came next.

Bochco once recalled a fan telling him that "Hill Street Blues" was the first TV series with a memory.

"That's what I always thought of myself doing in the context of TV: craft a show that over time would have a memory," he told The Associated Press in an interview two years ago. "I sensed that very early in my career. It just took me another 10 or 12 years to get to the point where I earned the right to take a shot at it."

Bochco grew up in Manhattan, the son of a painter and a concert violinist. On arriving in Los Angeles after college, he wrote for several series at Universal Studios. Then he got a big break: writing the screenplay for the 1972 sci-fi film "Silent Running." But Bochco said the disrespect he confronted as the writer soured him on writing for the big screen.

"Once you've delivered the screenplay they don't want you around, because you're gonna get in the way of someone else's vision," Bochco said.

In his self-published memoir "Truth Is a Total Defense: My Fifty Years in Television," Bochco tells the story of his prolific career, which he began at 22 as a story editor on a popular NBC drama, "The Name of the Game," all the way to "Murder in the First," which ran on TNT from 2014 to 2016.

In his book, Bochco recalls his great collaborations and his battles with actors, studio heads and network execs, along with the flops ("Bay City Blues"! "Cop Rock"!) that made the triumphs even sweeter.

Details of a memorial service were not immediately released.

Former Associated Press writer Frazier Moore contributed to this story.

  • Sunday, Apr. 1, 2018
Animated movie puts famed war dog Stubby back in the spotlight
This image released by Fun Academy Motion Pictures Media Group shows a scene from the animated movie "Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero." (Fun Academy Motion Pictures Media Group via AP)
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- 

Curt Deane says his grandfather would be thrilled to know that a century after his service in World War I, people have not forgotten the heroics of his dog, Stubby.

A new animated film based on the true story of the decorated war dog, "Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero" opens April 13.

Director Richard Lanni says he tried to be as authentic as possible when telling the story of the small stray who was adopted in 1917 by Deane's grandfather, J. Robert Conroy, of New Britain, while he was training in New Haven.

Conroy was able to smuggle Stubby aboard a ship taking soldiers to Europe and, as the story goes, the Boston Terrier mix became the mascot of the 102nd Regiment by charming officers with his ability to salute, a trick which Conroy taught him.

Stubby was never made a sergeant, Deane said. But he did have many documented exploits, earning a medal that was presented to the dog by famed Gen. John Pershing.

"Before Stubby was a cartoon, he was a real dog, and he really did some amazing things," Deane said.

Stubby was in the trenches during 17 battles, where he was injured in a gas attack and later used his keen nose to give troops early warning of chemical shellings, said Christine Pittsley, who manages the Connecticut State Library's World War I preservation project. He even had his own custom-made gas mask.

He also would stand by injured soldiers on the battlefield and alert medics by barking. He was even credited with capturing a German soldier he discovered behind the Allied lines, biting him on the rear end and holding on until help arrived, said Pittsley, who helped filmmakers research Stubby's story.

He also would visit wounded soldiers, including Cpl. Conroy, in field hospitals.

"What I think meant the most to my grandfather is that Stubby took some of the edge off what was a horrific war," said Deane. "There was just an absolute comfort that soldiers got from seeing him. He was, in fact, the first service dog."

After he returned from the war, Stubby became famous and toured the country. He posed for photos with celebrities and veterans and met three presidents, Deane said.

Stubby died in 1926. His hide was placed over a plaster cast and is on display at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History in Washington D.C., part of an exhibit called "The Price of Freedom: Americans at War."

Kathleen Golden, who curates that exhibit, said Stubby is popular, especially with teachers who are able to use his story as a way to begin the discussion of the Great War with young students.

"Children can relate to the story of a dog who stowed away and has all these exploits," she said. "It's much more interesting to them then just hearing about soldiers and battles."

Later this month, Pittsley will travel to France with a plush Stubby doll, documenting on social media as she visits the places where Stubby and the 102nd Regiment's 26th Infantry Division (the Yankee Division), were deployed.

"I want people to get a little more interested in the war," she said. "I'm hoping this film helps people take another look at the war, especially within their own families and get some of those great intergenerational conversations going."

Lanni says that is also the hope of the filmmakers, who also have partnered with Humane Society of the United States and approximately 90 other regional and national animal organizations to help promote the adoption of stray dogs.

"We have educators en masse making block bookings to take their kids to this film," Lanni said. "We really believe Stubby can be a force force for good."

There will be a Connecticut premiere of the movie April 8 in New Haven. The film features the voices of Logan Lerman, Helena Bonham Carter and Gerard Depardieu.

  • Friday, Mar. 30, 2018
Colin Trevorrow will be back to direct "Jurassic World 3"
In this June 14, 2017, file photo, Colin Trevorrow, director of "The Book of Henry," poses at the premiere of the film on the opening night of the 2017 Los Angeles Film Festival in Culver City, Calif. Executive producer Steven Spielberg told Entertainment Weekly and producer Frank Marshall tweeted Friday that Trevorrow, who directed the first “Jurassic World” in 2015, will direct “Jurassic World 3.” (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Colin Trevorrow will be back among the dinosaurs as he returns to the director's chair for the third installment of the "Jurassic World" franchise.

Executive producer Steven Spielberg told Entertainment Weekly and producer Frank Marshall tweeted Friday that Trevorrow, who directed the first "Jurassic World" in 2015, will direct "Jurassic World 3."

Universal Pictures previously announced that Trevorrow and Emily Carmichael will co-write the movie, which is set for a June 2021 release. Carmichael co-wrote the sci-fi adventure "Pacific Rim Uprising" that was released last week.

The franchise's second film, "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," which Trevorrow co-wrote for director J.A. Bayona, opens June 22 and stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard.

The first "Jurassic World" ranks among history's biggest box-office hits with $1.7 billion in worldwide ticket sales.

  • Thursday, Mar. 29, 2018
Some advertisers drop Laura Ingraham after Parkland comments
In this combination photo, Fox News personality Laura Ingraham speaks at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on July 20, 2016, left, and David Hogg, a student survivor from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., speaks at a rally for common sense gun legislation in Livingston, N.J. on Feb. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, left, and Rich Schultz)
MIAMI (AP) -- 

Some big name advertisers are dropping Fox News personality Laura Ingraham after she criticized one of the Florida school shooting survivors on social media.

Ingraham, a right-wing host who landed a rare one-on-one interview with President Donald Trump last year, wrote on Twitter, "David Hogg Rejected By Four Colleges To Which He Applied and whines about it."

Hogg, a student a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who filmed students hiding from the gunman in their classrooms, was quick to respond, tweeting a list of a dozen advertisers and encouraging followers to immediately call them and ask them to drop Ingraham. Hogg has faced intense criticism from right-wing conservatives and gun advocates who have falsely called him a crisis actor following the Valentine's Day shooting in Parkland that killed 17.

"Soooo @IngrahamAngle what are your biggest advertisers ... Asking for a friend," he wrote with the hashtag #BoycottIngramAdverts.

The online home goods store Wayfair, food company Nestle, travel website TripAdvisor and Rachel Ray's dog food Nutrish all said they are removing their support from Ingraham.

Wayfair said in a statement that it supports "open dialogue and debate on issues. However, the decision of an adult to personally criticize a high school student who has lost his classmates in an unspeakable tragedy is not consistent with our values. We do not plan to continue advertising on this particular program."

TripAdvisor says it does not "condone the inappropriate comments made by this broadcaster. In our view, these statements focused on a high school student, cross the line of decency. As such, we have made a decision to stop advertising on that program."

A telephone message left for Nutrish was not immediately returned but the company tweeted it was in the process of removing ads from Ingraham's show.

Ingraham apologized Thursday on Twitter, saying, "On reflection, in the spirit of Holy Week, I apologize for any upset or hurt my tweet caused him or any of the brave victims of Parkland."

Ingraham tweeted that she thought she was the first to feature Hogg on her show after the shooting and added, "he's welcome to come on my show anytime for a productive discussion."

Hogg tweeted later Thursday that an apology to save advertisers wasn't enough and that he'd only accept Ingraham's apology if she denounced the way Fox News has treated his friends.

"It's time to love thy neighbor, not mudsling at children," Hogg wrote.

  • Thursday, Mar. 29, 2018
Unrestored "2001: A Space Odyssey" returning to theaters after Cannes Film Fest screening
This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Keir Dullea in a scene from the 1968 film, "2001: A Space Odyssey." (Warner Bros. via AP)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

An unrestored 70mm print of Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece "2001: A Space Odyssey" is coming to select U.S. theaters in May in celebration of the film's 50th anniversary.

Warner Bros. Pictures says Wednesday that the cut will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on May 12 before launching in select U.S. theaters on May 18. Filmmaker Christopher Nolan will introduce the film at the Cannes premiere, where members of Kubrick's family will also be in attendance. Kubrick died in 1999.

The studio says that the unrestored film, created from the original camera negative, will allow audiences to experience it as they did upon the film's release in 1968.

Warner Bros. will also later in the year release the film for home viewing in 4K resolution.

  • Wednesday, Mar. 28, 2018
"Roseanne" reboot opens big with about 18 million viewers
In this image released by ABC, Roseanne Barr, left, and John Goodman appear in a scene from the reboot of "Roseanne," premiering on Tuesday at 8 p.m. EST. (Adam Rose/ABC via AP, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Viewers were eager to see ABC's reboot of "Roseanne," with an estimated 18.4 million tuning in to its debut.

The updated sitcom starring Roseanne Barr returned Tuesday, more than two decades after the original ended its hit run. The hour-long debut episode was watched by 10 percent more viewers than saw the May 1997 finale of ABC's original "Roseanne."

That's impressive, given the explosion of alternate platforms and series since then and compared to other successful sitcom reboots.

NBC's "Will & Grace," for example, returned this season with its original 1998-2006 cast to a debut audience of 10.1 million viewers and was quickly renewed for a second and then a third season.

For its freshman year, NBC's show is averaging 5.7 million people watching episodes on the day they air. But with the time-shifting viewership that networks are focusing on, its audience averages 9 million per episode over a seven-day period.

Another promising sign for "Roseanne" was the estimated audience growth from the first half-hour (18 million) to the second (18.9 million), a sign that viewers liked what they saw. Future episodes are a half-hour, airing at 8 p.m. EDT Tuesday.

The revival had a coat-tail effect for the ABC shows that followed, significantly boosting viewership for "black-ish" and helping to launch new the Jenna Fischer-Oliver Hudson comedy "Splitting Up Together."

Barr is back as the matriarch of the Conner family, with other returning cast mates including John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Michael Fishman and Lecy Goranson.

The family is grappling with new sets of personal issues and political realities: Roseanne embraces President Donald Trump, her sister Jackie (Metcalf) is a staunch opponent, and the two are at odds.

Barr says she thought it was important to show how the Conners deal with the same issues that many American families currently face.

"It shows people's different opinions and how they resolve them," Barr, who counts herself as a Trump supporter, said at the show's New York premiere Monday."I saw it happening in all the families I know, so I thought, 'Well this is, you know, it's good, hopefully it will get people talking to each other.'"

  • Wednesday, Mar. 28, 2018
No deal yet for man charged with theft of McDormand Oscar
Terry Bryant appears during a hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court, Wednesday, March 28, 2018, in Los Angeles. Bryant, who is charged with stealing Frances McDormand's Oscar statuette at an Academy Awards after-party, appeared in court but the quick resolution to the case that was expected did not emerge. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

The man charged with stealing Frances McDormand's Oscar statuette at an Academy Awards after-party appeared in court Wednesday but the quick resolution to the case that was expected did not emerge.

Terry Bryant wore a gray pinstriped suit instead of the blue jail jumpsuit of his previous court appearance and smiled politely throughout the very brief hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Bryant had been found eligible for so-called early disposition — a relaxing of legal formalities intended to bring a quick resolution to some cases.

But he remains charged with felony grand theft and faces up to three years in prison.

Bryant's attorney Daniel Brookman says Bryant's not-guilty plea stands. He insists this is "not a prison case" and expects a deal by the next hearing on May 1.

  • Tuesday, Mar. 27, 2018
Heineken pulls light beer commercial after racism complaints
In this Dec. 9, 2008, file photo, visitors watch Heineken commercials on large screens at the Heineken Experience, Amsterdam. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)
WHITE PLAINS, NY (AP) -- 

Heineken has removed a commercial for its light beer after some complaints that it was racist.

The ad featured a bartender sliding a bottle of Heineken light. The bottle passes several black people before it arrives to a lighter-skinned woman. The tag line: Sometimes lighter is better.

Hip-hop star Chance the Rapper on Sunday tweeted the commercial was "terribly racist." He said he thought some companies were purposely "putting out noticeably racist ads so they can get more views."

In a statement, Heineken says while the ad was referencing Heineken Light, "we missed the mark."

Heineken drew praise last year for its "Open Your World" commercials, which featured people of different backgrounds discussing their viewpoints.

  • Tuesday, Mar. 27, 2018
Reports: Facebook's Zuckerberg to testify before Congress
In this May 25, 2017, file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers the commencement address at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Published reports say Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is planning to testify before Congress about how his company collects and uses people's data.

Citing unnamed sources, CNN said in a report Tuesday that Zuckerberg has "come to terms" with the fact that he'll have to testify in a matter of weeks. A Facebook representative said the company has received invitations to appear before congress and is talking to legislators but would not confirm Zuckerberg's attendance.

Zuckerberg said last week in a CNN interview that he'd be "happy to" testify if he is the right person to do it. The company is facing unprecedented scrutiny following reports that a data mining firm used ill-gotten data from tens of millions of its users to try to influence elections.

A spokeswoman for the House Energy and Commerce Committee said Tuesday that reports of Zuckerberg's confirmed attendance are "incorrect." But she added that the committee is "continuing to work with Facebook to determine a day and time for Mr. Zuckerberg to testify."

  • Tuesday, Mar. 27, 2018
Greg MacGillivray to receive New York Festivals Lifetime Achievement Award
Greg MacGillivray
NEW YORK -- 

New York Festivals Television & Film Awards will honor Greg MacGillivray, chairman/director of MacGillivray Freeman Films, with the 8th annual New York Festivals® Lifetime Achievement Award.

MacGillivray’s award-winning creative career will be honored at the New York Festivals Television & Film Awards gala on Tuesday, April 10, at the annual NAB Show in Las Vegas. New York Festivals is now in its 61st year of honoring the World’s Best TV & Films. The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes prominent industry leaders whose accomplishments have advanced their field and made a lasting impression on the industry.

“My filmmaking for the giant-screen IMAX Theatre format is different from conventional filmmaking,” said MacGillivray.  “We put audience members in the film. They are immersed in the scene on the giant IMAX Theatre screen.  From the time I worked with Stanley Kubrick on The Shining through the time spent making 40 films for IMAX theatres, my creative team in Laguna Beach and I keep trying to push the film experience to new and unexpected levels.”

MacGillivray has been producing and directing award-winning films for more than 50 years. In that time, he has gone from surf films to Hollywood to the Smithsonian and IMAX and across the world. MacGillivray partnered with Jim Freeman to form MacGillivray Freeman Films in 1966 and today has more than 50 films to his credit. Since then, MacGillivray’s company has made 40 giant-screen films in some of the planet’s most exotic and challenging locations, such as the top of the world’s tallest mountain for the blockbuster documentary “Everest.” Throughout his illustrious career MacGillivray has personally shot more 70mm film than anyone in cinema history. He has created 5 of the top 10 highest-grossing IMAX films of all time and with 360 theaters worldwide showing his films, in 2003 he became the first documentary filmmaker to reach the $1 billion benchmark in worldwide ticket sales.

MacGillivray has received two Academy Award nominations for Best Documentary Short Subject: “The Living Sea” in 1995 and “Dolphins” in 2000. He and his team remain committed to using the best tools to capture the highest quality images and continue to make film experiences that go beyond the technology of our time.

A passionate ocean conservationist, MacGillivray and his wife Barbara founded the One World One Ocean Campaign and the non-profit MacGillivray Freeman Films Educational Foundation, multimedia initiatives dedicated to educating and inspiring the public through giant-screen films and companion programming about the need to protect the world’s ocean. To complement their documentary films, MacGillivray Freeman helps fund exhibits, teacher guides, companion photography books and educational resources to encourage interest in science, the environment, and world cultures. Their student-screening program has enabled more than 20,000 underserved students to experience their world through their films, and a scientist speaker program brings scientists face to face with kids in classrooms.

Through partnerships with corporations and individuals like Meryl Streep, Morgan Freeman, Sting and Sir Paul McCartney, MacGillivray’s company has brought great brands to the giant screen and pioneered a new way to “force multiply” their educational reach.

The New York Festivals Television & Film Awards gala will also celebrate the 2018 World’s Best TV & Films, as well as, Broadcaster of the Year, Production Company of the Year, Program Promotion Team of the Year, and United Nations Department of Public Information Awards. 

This is the eighth year that NYF and their official partner, NAB Show, will present the competition to more than 103,000 attendees from 166 countries and over 1,700+ exhibiting companies. Award-winning entries will be showcased on the NYF Television & Film Awards website. To view all the 2018 Finalists, please click here.