Emmys to Combine Acting Awards for Movies, Minis

The Emmy Awards competition will be getting fiercer among TV movie and miniseries performers.

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences said Thursday that it will merge the leading and supporting acting categories for longform programming.

Starting with the 2013 awards, new categories for outstanding actor in a miniseries or TV movie and outstanding actress in a miniseries or movie will each include six nominees, equal to other performing categories.

Previously, the four movie and miniseries acting categories included five nominees each.

The TV academy already chipped away at the long-form categories last year, combining the outstanding TV movie and miniseries nominees into one field.

At the 2011 Emmys, Kate Winslet of HBO’s “Mildred Pierce” and Barry Pepper of ReelzChannel’s “The Kennedys” took lead miniseries or movie acting honors, while supporting awards went to Maggie Smith for PBS’ “Downton Abbey” and Guy Pearce for “Mildred Pierce.”

The academy’s decision didn’t sit well with at least one channel. Lifetime called it “disappointing,” especially in the wake of the consolidation of the movies and miniseries categories, and said award-worthy projects and performances will be slighted.

“Movies and miniseries represent some of television’s finest programming and it is our firm belief the industry should honor each category separately,” Lifetime Networks programming executive Rob Sharenow said in a statement.

The change announced Thursday coincided with an indication of how robust the competition will be for this year’s miniseries and movie Emmys, which will be the last to recognize lead and supporting actors separately.

History channel’s “Hatfields & McCoys,” which broke basic cable ratings records this week, included critically acclaimed performances by leads Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton, as well as by cast members such as Tom Berenger, who likely would compete for supporting actor honors. (AP)

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2 Recipes Revealed in Colonel Sanders’ Autobiography

Want to cook like the Colonel?

Starting Tuesday, fans of KFC’s Facebook pages can access two of Colonel Harland Sanders’ recipes and other content from his soon-to-be-released autobiography. The manuscript was written by Sanders in 1966 and discovered more than 40 years later.

KFC says the recipes are for potato pancakes and upside-down peach cobbler. They’re among 33 never-before-seen recipes featured in the book.

The entire book can be downloaded for free at www.facebook.com/kfc beginning June 4. KFC says the book — “Colonel Harland Sanders: The Autobiography of the Original Celebrity Chef” — is not available in bookstores or through online book sellers.

The book provides a look into the life of the KFC founder. It includes dozens of rare photos and firsthand stories from Sanders. (AP)

Haneke’s ‘Amour’ Wins Top Prize at Cannes

Michael Haneke has won the Cannes Film Festival’s top prize for a second time with his film about love and death, “Amour.”

The festival jury awarded the second-place Grand Prize to Matteo Garrone’s Italian satire “Reality” and Ken Loach’s whiskey-tasting comedy “The Angels’ Share” won the third-place Jury Prize.

Acting prizes went to Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen for “The Hunt” and jointly to Cristina Flutur and Cosmina Stratan for Romanian movie “Beyond the Hills.”

The festival wrapped up Sunday in the French Riviera resort. (AP)

Conan O’Brien Talks About Start in Comedy

Late-night talk show host Conan O’Brien visited Boston to talk about the art of comedy and how he got started in it.

O’Brien was at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library on Thursday, where he was interviewed by Boston Globe film critic, Wesley Morris.

O’Brien, a Brookline native, recalled that old movies sparked his interest in show business. But his parents talked him out of it, so he focused on academics and got into Harvard. His future course was set when he became involved with the Harvard Lampoon, the school’s comedy publication.

O’Brien hosts “Conan,” a late-night talk show on TBS.

He’s also a member of the JFK library’s foundation and honorary chair of the foundation’s New Frontier Network, which works with young people to foster public service. (AP)

New Beer History Museum Exhibit Opens in NYC

A museum exhibit aims to show that where there’s beer, there’s history.

“Beer Here” opens Friday at the New-York Historical Society in New York City. The exhibit traces the history of beer in New York all the way back to drunken Colonial times. The museum makes the case that the state was once the forefront of the American beer scene.

The exhibit has everything from a Revolutionary War-era list of beer orders for George Washington’s troops to the diary of a 14-year-old hop picker. It’s capitalizing on the growing popularity of microbreweries and beer gardens across the country.

There’s even a bar at the end. The exhibit’s final stop is an actual tasting room, where visitors can sample the latest lagers and ales from local breweries.

For more information go to http://bit.ly/Ax1TGu

5 Life Lessons From House’s Series Finale

More than 11 million people watched House and Wilson ride off into the sunset Monday night on FOX.

The hour-long show was complicated to say the least to watch. Most episodes are hard for me to follow with competing timelines and stories. And this one was no exception. But I also wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

I was glued from the beginning. ‘What will happen next?’

Afterwards I got a text from a co-worker who wanted to know every little detail – she was working that night – so I was forced to condense my report into 160 characters or less on 5 texts.

During my retelling it hit me that the eight-year long series taught me more than mysterious medical conditions, it taught me about life.

First off, be yourself.

House could care less what others thought about him. He wanted to do what he desired, be it taking drugs or playing mental games with his medical staff. He didn’t let convention or societal ideals stop him.

Second, companionship is important to well-being.

Yes, he bugged Wilson – and used him for personal gain many times, but in the end, he saved his own life (from a burning building) to share his life with a dying Wilson.

‘When the cancer gets too bad-‘

House responds with a ‘cancer’s boring.’ He wants to enjoy every moment he can.

Their characters are not gay – yes, they have a bromance, but it’s House’s heart that shines through during the last scene.

Third, life happens.

My mother recently died after getting a brain tumor last year. Of course, I didn’t want her to get it, but it happened. A co-worker of mine died after getting hit by a car. As callous as it sounds, things happen in life we’re not prepared for. Wilson got cancer. Other medical staff left – it’s how we react to situations that I think define us. Like House deciding to spend time with Wilson. Since House did not come back, Chase took over his position. At some point, life must go on. Business does not stop. Life does not stop evolving.

Fourth, believe in yourself.

House hallucinated several former people who urged him to save himself. He didn’t think he could do it – get out – and then when he finally decided yes he fell through the floor to the ground where he laid on his bum leg, finally getting up again – once he knew what he wanted, life, he went for it –

Fifth, letting go.

Flashbacks included colleagues saying he was more interested in the puzzle, instead of the patient. But it was also that puzzle obsession that ‘cured’ patients of their ills. His brain never turned off – even during his hallucinations he carried on full conversations with imaginary beings. In the end, the puzzle lost. Wilson meant more than solving riddles.

Simple things people can do with their lives. I’m learning every day. It’s just funny seeing it projected through a television screen.

If you missed the finale and what a review, go to http://cbsn.ws/Lyk4oG

What did you learn from the show?

Kristen Wiig Leaves Saturday Night Live

It was an emotional last “Saturday Night Live” for Kristen Wiig.

In the show’s final sketch, guest host Mick Jagger played the principal at a high school graduation. He saluted Wiig, in cap and gown, as “one particular student” leaving this summer. She then danced with Jagger, fellow cast members and executive producer Lorne Michaels, to the tune of the Rolling Stones classic “She’s a Rainbow.”

The ensemble sang another Stones hit, “Ruby Tuesday,” with its line, “still I’m gonna miss you.”

NBC made no prior announcement, but Wiig’s exit comes as no surprise. The 38-year-old starred in and co-wrote “Bridesmaids,” and has six more films in some form of development.

Wiig joined Saturday Night Live in 2005, and became known for her spot-on impressions of celebrities like Kathie Lee Gifford, Kris Jenner and Bjork. She also created several popular characters, like Gilly, Target Lady and Mindy Grayson. During her seven seasons, Wiig earned three Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series. (AP)