Film Academy Museum Names Building for Donor of $50 Million Gift

The film academy is naming its main museum building in honor of Cheryl and Haim Saban, who have donated $50 million to the project.

Officials from the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures said Wednesday that the historic May Company building on Wilshire Boulevard’s Miracle Mile will now be known as the Saban Building.

The Sabans’ gift brings the museum’s fundraising campaign within $100 million of its $388 million goal.

The museum honoring the history and art of film is set to open in 2019.

Museum officials welcomed the Sabans and other dignitaries for a tour of the construction site Wednesday. The 300,000-square-foot facility will house two movie theaters and four floors of exhibition space, along with a massive outdoor piazza and rooftop terrace that offers views of the Hollywood sign. (AP)

Advertisements

David Letterman Headed Back to Talk TV With Netflix Series

David Letterman, who said goodbye to his long-running CBS talk show two years ago, will say hello to TV again with a new show for Netflix.

Netflix announced Tuesday that the six-episode series has Letterman combining two primary interests: in-depth conversations, and in-the-field segments sparked by his curiosity and humor. In each hour-long episode, Letterman will conduct a long-form conversation with a single guest, and explore topics of his own outside the studio.

The as-yet-untitled series is set to premiere in 2018.

In 33 years on late-night television, Letterman hosted 6,028 episodes of NBC’s “Late Night” and CBS’ “Late Show,” and is the longest-running late-night broadcaster in American history. He stepped down from “Late Show” in May 2015. (AP)

LA Film Festival Features Diverse Slate of Films, Directors

While the rest of Hollywood lags behind, the LA Film Festival continues to break the mold with its robustly diverse programming.

The festival begins Wednesday and includes a slate in which 42% of the films playing are directed by women and 40% by filmmakers of color.

The festival includes the directorial debut of actress Lea Thompson, who directs herself and her daughters Zoey and Madelyn Deutch in “The Year of Spectacular Men” and Whitney Cummings’ ensemble relationship pic “The Female Brain,” with Sofia Vergara and James Marsden.

Festival Director Jennifer Cochis says the numbers are due to exhaustive outreach, a diverse programming staff and a shared goal of amplifying underrepresented voices.

The festival begins Wednesday in Culver City with the premiere of Colin Trevorrow’s “The Book of Henry.” (AP)

Kevin Spacey to Host 71st Annual Tony Awards

Kevin Spacey has been picked to host this year’s Tony Awards, putting the award-winning star of “House of Cards” in the unenviable position of steering a telecast surely facing a post-“Hamilton” hangover.

The telecast on June 11 will originate from the 6,000-seat Radio City Music Hall and producers are sure to be keeping their fingers crossed that they avoid any technical or human snafus that have marred previous awards shows this year, including the wrong winner announced at the Oscars and sound issues at the Grammys.

Producers also hope Spacey will limit the audience erosion likely from the numbers last year when “Hamilton” drew 8.73 million viewers, up 35% from 2015. Last year’s host was James Corden and 2015 saw Kristin Chenoweth teaming up with Alan Cumming.

The nominations for the 2017 TONY Awards will be announced on Tuesday, May 2.

“I was their second choice for ‘Usual Suspects,’ fourth choice for ‘American Beauty’ and 15th choice to host this year’s Tony Awards. I think my career is definitely going in the right direction,” said Spacey. “Maybe I can get shortlisted to host the Oscars if everyone else turns it down.”

Spacey won the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance in “American Beauty,” and Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance in “The Usual Suspects.” Recently, he starred in “Elvis & Nixon.” Next, he will be seen in the feature films “Billionaire Boys Club,” “Baby Driver” and “Rebel in the Rye.” Through his former production company Trigger Street, he produced “Captain Phillips,” starring Tom Hanks, “The Social Network” and “21,” as well having produced the Emmy nominated television series “Recount” and “Bernard & Doris.”

For over a decade, Spacey served as the Artistic Director of The Old Vic Theatre Company in London. He recently stepped down from this role, but during his time appeared on stage in productions of “National Anthems,” “The Philadelphia Story,” “Speed the Plow,” “Inherit the Wind,” “A Moon for the Misbegotten,” and the acclaimed production of the one-man show “Darrow.” Spacey won the Evening Standard and Olivier Awards for Best Actor for his role in “The Iceman Cometh,” as well as the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Featured Role in a Play in Neil Simon’s “Lost in Yonkers.” Also, he starred in the Broadway and West End productions of “Long Day’s Journey into Night,” opposite his mentor Jack Lemmon, as well as the title role in the Sam Mendes production of “Richard III,” which toured 12 cities around the world as part of the three-year Old Vic/BAM/Bridge Project.

This year marks the 71st anniversary of the TONY Awards, which were first held on April 6, 1947 at the Waldorf Astoria’s Grand Ballroom. The ceremony is presented by Tony Award Productions, which is a joint venture of the Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, which founded the Tonys.

(AP, CBS)

David Letterman Replaces Neil Young at Rock Hall Show

David Letterman will replace an ailing Neil Young as the person inducting Pearl Jam into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Friday.

According to a statement from the hall, Young “is regrettably no longer able to induct Pearl Jam” due to illness and is “thrilled” that former TV talk-show host Letterman will substitute. Pearl Jam made its “Late Show with David Letterman” debut in 1996 with a version of “Hail, Hail.”

In addition to Pearl Jam, the new rock class incudes the late rapper Tupac Shakur, ELO, Journey, Nile Rodgers, Joan Baez and Yes. The ceremony will be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

The Hall of Fame is located in Cleveland. (AP)

Peabody Awards Ceremony to Air June 2 on PBS and Fusion

The Peabody Awards says it has partnered with PBS and the Fusion network for a special TV broadcast of the 76th Annual Peabody Awards Ceremony.

The red-carpet event will take place May 20 in New York. A joint broadcast of that program is scheduled to air June 2. The collaboration marks the first time the awards ceremony will be telecast on both national broadcast and cable television. Rashida Jones, who appeared in the Peabody-winning “Parks and Recreation,” will serve as the evening’s host.

The 30 winners, representing the best in electronic media, will be revealed in a series of announcements beginning April 12.

Founded in 1940, the Peabody Awards are based at the University of Georgia. (AP)

MTV Movie Awards Get Reboot With Addition of TV Nominations

The MTV Movie Awards are getting a reboot.

Network officials have announced that after 25 years of celebrating everything from the irreverent to the excellent in movies, they will be adding television to the lineup.

The new “MTV Movie & TV Awards” will air live on Sunday, May 7, from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

The network is also turning the run-up to the live show into a full-fledged “Movie & Television Festival” with live musical acts and a red carpet.

Chris McCarthy, president of MTV, said great storytelling and characters resonate regardless of whether they are seen in a theater or on TV.

With awards ranging from Best Kiss to Best Fight, the celebrity friendly show has also served as an annual promotional vehicle for upcoming summer blockbusters. (AP)