Live From Tribeca: ‘SNL’ Documentary to Open Festival

The 14th annual Tribeca Film Festival will kick off with a documentary on another New York institution: “Saturday Night Live.”

The festival announced Thursday that “Live From New York!” will be its opening-night film. Directed by Bao Nguyen, the documentary focuses on the show’s early years and was made with Lorne Michaels’ cooperation.

Tribeca co-founder Jane Rosenthal called it “the story of a creative journey from pilot to institution.”

The film adds to an already robust celebration of “SNL,” which is airing a 40th-anniversary special Sunday.

“Live From New York!” isn’t the first documentary on “SNL” to debut at Tribeca. In 2010, James Franco premiered his “Saturday Night,” which depicted a week in the life of the show.

This year’s Tribeca Film Festival runs April 15-26.   (AP)


‘A Gentleman’s Guide’ Leads Tony Nominations


The musical “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” a musical romp in which a poor man comically eliminates the eight heirs ahead of him for a title, has nabbed a leading 10 Tony Award nominations.

The nominations also made waves for snubbing some big names, including Denzel Washington, Daniel Radcliffe, James Franco, Zachary Quinto, Michelle Williams, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom, Ethan Hawke, Zach Braff, Rachel Weisz and Daniel Craig.

The musicals up for the big prize in June are: “After Midnight,” ”A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” ”Aladdin,” and “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.” Shows that failed to make the cut include “Bullets Over Broadway,” ”Rocky,” ”If/Then” and “The Bridges of Madison County.”

The best new play category has James Lapine’s “Act One,” Terrance McNally’s “Mothers and Sons,” Robert Schenkkan’s “All the Way,” John Patrick Shanley’s “Outside Mullingar” and Harvey Fierstein’s “Casa Valentina.”

The best play revival category includes “The Cripple of Inishmaan,” ”The Glass Menagerie,” ”A Raisin in the Sun” and “Twelfth Night.” There are only three options for best musical revival: “Violet,” ”Les Miserables” and “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.”

A decision by a Tony administrative panel last week made Alan Cumming ineligible for a lead acting musical prize in the revival of “Cabaret” because he already won the award for the same role in 1998.

Some 870 Tony voters – members of professional groups such as the Wing, the League, Actors’ Equity Association, the Dramatists Guild and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society – will decide the final awards, which will be handed out June 8 at Radio City Music Hall. Only Broadway shows that opened in the 12 months ending on April 24 are eligible. (AP)

ABC Seeks $1.6-1.7 Million for This Year’s Oscar Ad Spots

The figures for its 2012 broadcast (being hosted by Billy Crystal) are down slightly from the previous show which started at $1.7 million.

ABC, which is airing the 84th annual awards show telecast Feb. 26, is seeking between $1.6 and $1.7 million for each 30-second spot of advertising to air during the Academy Awards, Advertising Age reports.

These figures are slightly below the 2011 broadcast, which netted closer to $1.7 million per ad, but still higher than the most recent low of $1.3 million in 2009 (brought on by the show’s continually decreased ratings and the country’s recession).

Last year’s widely-criticized show, hosted by James Franco and Anne Hathaway, may be partly to blame for the decrease, which also saw a nine percent drop in ratings from 2010’s telecast. 37.9 million viewers watched The King’s Speech take home Best Picture in 2011 while in 2010, 41.7 million were tuned in to see The Hurt Locker win the top honor.

The upcoming show has already seen its share of drama, with producer Brett Ratner and host Eddie Murphy stepping down from their duties last week (amidst controversy surrounding Ratner’s use of a homophobic slur), four months before the show is set to air. Brian Grazer and veteran host Billy Crystal have since been named as their replacements.

(The Hollywood Reporter)

Eddie Murphy Backs Out as Oscars Host


Eddie Murphy has bowed out of his gig as host of the Academy Awards, following pal Brett Ratner’s decision to leave the show as producer because of an uproar over a gay slur.

The news of Murphy’s departure came Wednesday, a day after Ratner quit as producer of the Feb. 26 show.

Ratner left amid criticism of his use of a pejorative term for gay men in a question-and-answer session at a screening of his action comedy “Tower Heist,” which opened last weekend and stars Murphy and Ben Stiller.

Murphy’s exit deprives Oscar organizers of a top star for an often thankless job that’s tough to fill, since some past hosts have found little to gain from the gig and plenty to lose if they do a poor job as emcee of Hollywood’s biggest party.

The two sides departed with cordial words, though.

“I completely understand and support each party’s decision with regard to a change of producers for this year’s Academy Awards ceremony,” Murphy said in a news release from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. “I was truly looking forward to being a part of the show that our production team and writers were just starting to develop, but I’m sure that the new production team and host will do an equally great job.”

Academy President Tom Sherak bid Murphy farewell graciously.

“I appreciate how Eddie feels about losing his creative partner, Brett Ratner, and we all wish him well,” Sherak said.

Still, losing Murphy is a blow to a ceremony that has struggled to pep up its image amid a general decline in its TV ratings over the last couple of decades and a rush of hipper awards shows that appeal to younger crowds, such as the MTV Movie Awards.

Oscar planners have sought to shorten the sometimes interminably long show and have tried new ways to present awards in hopes of livening things up.

They also have experimented with unexpected choices as hosts, which worked nicely with the song-and-dance talents of Hugh Jackman three years ago but backfired at last season’s show, when perky Anne Hathaway was paired with lackluster co-host James Franco.

When the academy picked Murphy in September, it marked a return to the traditional funnyman as host, a formula that delivered some of the best-remembered Oscar pageants when Bob Hope, Johnny Carson and Billy Crystal ran the show.

Academy officials would not discuss the personnel changes or plans to replace Ratner and Murphy. Ratner’s producing partner for the upcoming ceremony — Don Mischer, who co-produced last year’s Oscars — remains on board for the show.

Any decision on who will replace Murphy as host likely will not come until Oscar planners make a decision on whether to bring in another producer to work with Mischer.

Organizers still have plenty of time. The show is more than three months away, and much of the work in staging it has to wait until Oscar nominations are announced Jan. 24, anyway.

There’s also no great rush to name a new host. The academy did not announce Hathaway and Franco as hosts until the end of November last year, while the announcement on Jackman three years ago did not come until mid-December.



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

10 Quickest Ways to Win an Emmy

daytime emmy award

I found the below list on The writer Daniel Montgomery makes some valid points, but I also think he may have left out some. I included some of my thoughts at the bottom.

Do a voiceover

  • Anne Hathaway won for ‘The Simpsons’ in 2010

Host an Awards Show

  • Neil Patrick Harris won for the 2010 Tony Awards. Anne Hathaway and James Franco are nominated for this year’s Academy Awards.

Host a Parade

  • Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest won for the Walt Disney Christmas Day Parade in 2006

Join a Morning Show

  • Jenna Bush won this year for her correspondent work on the Today Show. Kathie Lee Gifford also won for a different show.

Write a Song with Andy Samberg

  • He won in 2007 for ‘Dick in a Box.’ He’s also nominated for three Emmys this year – all for music.

Write for the Daily Show

  • John Oliver and Wyatt Cenac are both winners for writing. Stephen Colbert has five Emmys between ‘The Colbert Report’ and ‘The Daily Show with Jon Stewart’

Let David E. Kelley Write Your Closing Argument

  • James Spader and William Shatner (“Boston Legal” and “The Practice”); Camryn Manheim, Michael Badalucco, and Sharon Stone (“The Practice”); Jimmy Smits (“L.A. Law”); Peter MacNicol (“Ally McBeal”); and Fyvush Finkel (“Picket Fences”) all have won a statue.

Pretend You’re on a Mini-Series

  • TV Academy rules were amended after the failed FX series ‘Thief’ won an Emmy for Andre Braugher for Best Movie/Mini Actor. So this year, Idris Elba is up for her turn in BBC America’s ‘Luther.’

Change Your Name to Cloris Leachman or Alfre Woodard

  • Both are nominated this year, and between them they have 13 wins. Cloris Leachman also has an Oscar from ‘The Last Picture Show.’

Get Out of TV Entirely

  • Joss Whedon never won for a show, but he did win a Special Class Emmy in 2009 for the internet-exclusive “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.”

Give Birth on Air

  • Jennifer Aniston scored her Emmy after giving birth on Friends.

Also Change Your Name to Betty White or Mary Tyler Moore

  • Betty White is nominated this year for ‘Hot inCleveland.’ She won last year for hosting SNL.

Waiting it Out

  • For years, John Larroquette, Oprah and Ellen Degeneres won for their work on their shows, that is, until they dropped their names from the race and gave other people a chance. See also Craig T. Nelson for Coach and Ted Danson for Cheers.

I don’t know if Oscar rules apply in this matter, but playing a prostitute, someone who is mentally or physically handicap (that’s PC right?) or someone who is a monster, such as a serial killer or cannibal also helps your chances in winning an award. I also think playing a real-life person helps, but it doesn’t guarantee you an award.

And probably the easiest way of all to getting an Emmy is buying one. Through a house auction or on Ebay. Most auctions are held for charity, although a few helped family members pay for medical bills or other things.

Not judging one bit – you have to do what you have to do in this newAmerica. And if it means selling your award, so be it – although I believe there are a few rules against selling it. Not, that I have ever been in that predicament before anyway….

Top 10 Tweets on Academy Awards Night

Numbered Oscar statuettes are seen backstage ... AP

As much competition as there is at the Academy Awards, Oscar night on Twitter is far more cacophonous.

Social network traffic soars during the Oscars, as viewers compare notes on the broadcast. The Academy Awards might be “movie’s biggest night,” but it’s also social media’s.

Multitasking co-host James Franco tweeted from backstage. Mark Ruffalo, nominated for best supporting actor in “The Kids Are All Right,” even tweeted his acceptance speeches hours before the ceremony, listing his thank-you’s since he didn’t expect to win.

But Twitter is ultimately for the onlookers, outsiders and comedians. Here are 10 of the best Oscar tweets from Sunday night:

– “Is it me or does it look like James Franco would cut his arm off to get out of hosting the Oscars?” – comedian Kevin Nealon

– “Watching the Oscars. Not crazy about the womb Natalie Portman’s baby chose to wear.” – late-night host Conan O’Brien

– “I might switch over to the Puppy Bowl.” – comedian Rob Huebel

– “And now, Gwyneth Paltrow, in a tribute to the saying ‘Don’t Quit Your Day Job.'” – comedian Andy Borowitz

– “What I’ve learned so far watching the Oscars: I need to buy nicer envelopes.” – “Late Night” writer Steve Young.

– “Please have the baby right now, Natalie.” – comedian Michael Ian Black.

– “No African American nominees? If you’re black and want to make it on Hollywood this year, you better be a swan.” – TV host Bill Maher.

– “Daniel Day Lewis has the depth of commitment to the craft of acting to die just to liven up next year’s death montage.” – comedian Patton Oswalt

– “This night will be a waste if Anne Hathaway and James Franco don’t do their hilarious ‘Who’s On Firth” bit.’ – “Late Night” writer Paul Masella

– “Stay tuned for the official Republican rebuttal to the Oscars shortly after the show.” – Satirical newspaper the Onion.

(Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

SAG Nominations Announced

“The King’s Speech” and “The Fighter” have improved their Oscar chances by being nominated for four SAG Awards each.

“The King’s Speech” and “The Fighter” are up for best ensemble, the Screen Actors Guild version of best picture, along with “Black Swan,” “The Social Network” and “The Kids Are All Right.”

The stars of The King’s Speech and The Fighter, Colin Firth and Christian Bale, are nominated. They’re considered to be the front-runners for best actor and supporting actor at the Oscars.

Other acting nominees include Amy Adams for “The Fighter,” James Franco for “127 Hours,” Jesse Eisenberg for “The Social Network,” Nicole Kidman for “Rabbit Hole,” Hilary Swank for “Conviction,” Robert Duvall for “Get Low,” and Jeff Bridges for “True Grit.”

Ed O’Neill has been nominated for a SAG Award for “Modern Family.” He was the only main cast member not to be nominated for an Emmy. His co-stars Ty Burrell and Sofia Vergara were also nominated for SAG Awards and their show is up for best comedy series cast. They’ll compete against “Glee,” “Hot in Cleveland,” “30 Rock,” and “The Office.”

The best drama series cast nominees are “Mad Men,” “The Closer,” “The Good Wife,” “Dexter” and “Boardwalk Empire.”

The year of Betty White continues. She’s nominated for best actress for Hot in Cleveland.

Winners will be announced January 30th.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)