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)

Tribeca Film Festival to Close With ‘Godfather’ Reunion, Screenings

The 16th Tribeca Film Festival will close with a “Godfather” cast reunion and a back-to-back screening of parts one and two of Francis Ford Coppola’s classic saga.

Tribeca announced Wednesday that the 45th anniversary screenings will be followed by a conversation with Coppola, Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, Robert Duvall, James Caan and Talia Shire. Robert De Niro, co-founder of the festival, naturally, will also join.

The New York festival also plans several other anniversary celebrations. A 25th anniversary of “Reservoir Dogs” will be followed by a chat with Quentin Tarantino and the cast. A sing-along will be held for the 25th anniversary of Disney’s “Aladdin.” And Michael Moore will be at the festival for the 15th anniversary of his “Bowling for Columbine.”

Tribeca will take place April 19-30. (AP)

U2 to Play Full ‘Joshua Tree’ Album on Tour

U2 will play the entirety of its classic 1987 album, “The Joshua Tree,” at each stop during a summer stadium tour to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its release.

Powered by singles “With or Without You,” ”Where The Streets Have No Name” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” ”The Joshua Tree” became the band’s first chart-topping album in the U.S. and has sold 25 million copies worldwide.

The North American leg of the tour kicks off May 12 in Vancouver and wraps up on July 1 in Cleveland, before heading to Europe. The tour includes a June stop at the Bonnaroo Festival in Tennessee.

Mumford & Sons, The Lumineers and OneRepublic will alternate opening for U2 on the North American leg.  (AP)

‘Manchester by the Sea’ Dominates Screen Actors Guild Noms

Kenneth Lonergan’s New England-set drama “Manchester by the Sea” has emerged with the most nominations from the Screen Actors Guild, including best ensemble cast, best actor for Casey Affleck and best supporting performances for Michelle Williams and Lucas Hedges.

Barry Jenkins’ coming-of-age tale ‘Moonlight’ and Denzel Washington’s “Fences” followed with three each, while Golden Globes darling “La La Land” earned only two, missing out on the ensemble award.

Sophia Bush and Common announced the nominees on Wednesday morning in West Hollywood, California.

In the past, SAG nominees have served as helpful predictors of who will land nominations in the four Oscar acting categories.

The 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards will be broadcast live on TNT and TBS on Jan. 29 from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. (AP)

 

Bob Odenkirk to Write Book of Essays About His Life

“Better Call Saul” star Bob Odenkirk has nabbed a book deal to write essays about his life and comic journey.

Random House announced Wednesday that the still-untitled book will explore Odenkirk’s career working at Chicago’s Second City to writing and acting on “Saturday Night Live,” ”Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” ”Mr. Show,” ”Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul.”

Random House Executive Editor Ben Greenberg says the book will give Odenkirk’s TV fans who might not know the comedian’s past “a look at the remarkable writer and comedic mind hiding just beneath that character.”

Odenkirk arrived at “Breaking Bad” in its second season as welcome comic relief, then grew Saul into a full-fledged scene stealer and has become the star in the quirky prequel “Better Call Saul.” (AP)