Comedy Central to Stream Bonnaroo Comedy Acts

Comedy Central says it will stream comedy acts from the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival next month.

The network announced Thursday that it will webcast a three-hour show June 12 featuring performances from Bonnaroo’s Comedy Tent.

The 10-year-old festival held inManchester,Tenn., centers on music but has long offered top comedy acts as counter-programming.

This year’s performers include Lewis Black, Donald Glover, Eugene Mirman, Cheech Marin and John Waters. Jon Benjamin will host. His Comedy Central show “Jon Benjamin Has a Van” makes its debut in June.

The show will package the acts from the four-day festival. It will stream on ComedyCentral.com and be available on mobile and tablet devices.

Music acts from the festival will be streamed by Vevo.

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Online: http://www.comedycentral.com/bonnaroo/

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

Amazon’s Gamble Gives Lady Gaga 1M in Album Sales

Lady Gaga sold more than 1.1 million copies of her new album “Born This Way” last week with an assist from Amazon.com.

Billboard announced Tuesday that “Born This Way” has become just the 17th album to sell a million copies in its first week since SoundScan started tracking sales in 1991. It is also the top-selling digital debut with 662,000 downloads.

The album is Lady Gaga’s first No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and captured the highest sales week since 2005. The dance pop provocateur is just the fifth female with a million-selling album in the SoundScan era.

Sixty percent of sales were digital thanks to a push by online retailer Amazon.com. Amazon sold album downloads for 99 cents Tuesday and Thursday and sold more than 440,000 digital copies.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

‘Hangover’ Lingers With Record $105.8M Weekend

Studio estimates released Monday show “The Hangover Part II” set a new high for comedy debuts with $105.8 million over the long Memorial Day weekend.

The blockbuster sequel also ledHollywoodto a new revenue record of around $280 million for the holiday weekend.

The movie raised its domestic haul to $137.4 million since opening Thursday, nearly half the business 2009’s “The Hangover” did over its entire run. The first “Hangover” did not top $100 million until its second weekend. The movie went on to gross $277 million domestically.

Opening at No. 2 behind “The Hangover Part II” was another sequel, the animated adventure “Kung Fu Panda 2,” with $62.2 million. “Kung Fu Panda 2” has pulled in $68 million domestically since its Thursday debut.

Slipping to No. 3 with $50.4 million was “Pirates of theCaribbean: On Stranger Tides.”

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

Oscar Voting to Go Online

The Academyof Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is planning to change its voting system to allow members to make their picks electronically, rather than through mailed, paper ballots the way they have for years.

The approximately 6,000 members of the Academy received a letter recently, asking that they provide updated email addresses. No exact timetable for the shift is in place, but this is the first step, Academy spokeswoman Leslie Unger said Tuesday.

The change, which The New York Times first reported, could result in an earlier Oscar ceremony. The show usually takes place in late February.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

‘Oprah’ Finale Scores Biggest Audience in 17 Years

Preliminary figures show Wednesday’s finale of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” scored its highest audience in 17 years.

The Nielsen Co. said Thursday that the final episode delivered a 13.3 household rating in the nation’s metered markets.

It was the highest number since February 1994. That’s when an “Oprah” episode called “People Shed Their Disguises” got a 13.4 rating.

Metered market ratings measure roughly half the nation and can’t be translated into audience figures. A viewer count for the “Oprah” finale won’t be available from Nielsen for two weeks.

The metered market rating for Monday’s surprise farewell episode of “Oprah” logged a 10.2. Nielsen said Tuesday’s episode got a 10.7.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

Oprah Winfrey Bows Out With Simplicity, Gratitude

Oprah Winfrey  AP

No guests, no makeovers, no giveaways.

Oprah Winfrey kicked off her last-ever original episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” by telling a studio audience that the broadcast would be a simple, celebrity-free affair focused on what her audience has meant to her.

“You and this show have been the great love of my life,” a tearful Winfrey told viewers in “The Oprah Winfrey Finale,” taped before a studio audience of 400 on Tuesday afternoon and broadcast on Wednesday morning.

“This last show is really about me saying thank you,” she said. “It is my love letter to you.”

Wearing a simple pink dress, Winfrey took the stage to a standing ovation and showed clips from some of her earliest broadcasts while sharing her gratitude and life lessons with viewers.

“Thank you,America. There are no words to match this moment.”

Winfrey, 57, was a pioneer in the art of confessional television and in promoting discussion of formerly taboo subjects including incest, rape, sexual abuse and depression.

“The Oprah Winfrey Show” also became the go-to place for celebrities and politicians to promote new ventures and to apologize publicly for their indiscretions.

The Oprah Book Club, started 15 years ago, championed 65 titles and has almost 2 million members. In one memorable 2004 show, Winfrey gave all 276 audience members a new car.

Winfrey announced in November 2009 that she would end her popular talk show after 25 years. She is expected to focus in the next few years on her cable channel OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network), which launched in January 2011.

In contrast to the glitzy “surprise spectacular” featuring Beyonce, Madonna and Tom Hanks, taped in a basketball arena and which aired on Monday and Tuesday, the final broadcast was a humble recap of the values Winfrey believed in.

At one point the host introduced from the audience her fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. Duncan, whom she praised as an early “liberator” who made her feel valued.

Winfrey urged viewers to find their calling, make the world a better place and take control of their lives. One of her most cherished tributes, she said, was a letter from a viewer who said, “Oprah, watching you be yourself makes me want to be more myself.”

Near the end of the hour-long broadcast, Winfrey spoke of her roots in ruralMississippi. “It is no coincidence a lonely little girl who felt not a lot of love, even though my parents and grandparents did the best they could … It is no coincidence that I grew up to feel the genuine kindness, affection, trust, and validation from millions of you, all over the world.

“From you, whose names I will never know, I learned what love is. You and this show have been the great love of my life.”

Winfrey gave no hint of her future plans but urged viewers to keep in touch at her email adderss, oprah@oprah.com

Reuters

Finale of ‘Oprah Winfrey’ Airs After 25-year Run

After 25 years, talk show megastar Oprah cedes ... AFP

Oprah Winfrey walked on stage for her talk show finale to a standing ovation from her studio audience.

Winfrey thanked her viewers for watching for 25 years, and encouraged them to be “more of yourself.”

In the show aired Wednesday, she told them that sometimes she was a teacher, but more often her viewers taught her.

Winfrey taped the last episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” on Tuesday inChicago.

It was a simply produced series finale filled with a sense of gratitude — an entirely different feel to the star-studded double-episode farewell shows that aired Monday and Tuesday.

Winfrey announced in November 2009 that she would end her popular talk show. She has since launched her own cable network, based inLos Angeles.

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Online: http://www.oprah.com

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)