Showing posts with label Health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Health. Show all posts

Singer Gloria Estefan, husband, plan Broadway show of their lives






NEW YORK (Reuters) – Cuban-American singer Gloria Estefan and her music entrepreneur husband, Emilio, are developing a new Broadway show based on their lives, the show’s producer said on Tuesday.


The couple is working with the Nederlander Organization on the show that will trace their lives from leaving Cuba to international stardom.






“The Estefans’ journey of success, led by raw talent and passion, is captivating as it drove them from relative obscurity to global sensations,” Jimmy Nederlander, the organization’s president, said in a statement announcing the deal.


Estefan, one of the most successful Latin crossover stars, fled Cuba with her family as a toddler. She met her husband in Miami and became the lead singer of his band, which was renamed the Miami Sound Machine. The couple married in 1978.


She has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide, won seven Grammy Awards and produced a list of hits including “Conga,” “The Rhythm is Going to Get You,” and “1,2,3.”


Emilio, a music, television and film director, was instrument in his wife’s career, and helped to develop stars such as Shakira, Ricky Martin and Jennifer Lopez.


“Sharing our life story through music will give us a new opportunity to honor our roots and, hopefully, to be able to inspire generations to come,” the couple said in a statement.


The Nederlander Organization said no creative team has been announced yet.


(Reporting by Noreen O’Donnell; Editing by Patricia Reaney and Eric Walsh)


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Power outage electrifies CBS Super Bowl broadcast






NEW YORK (AP) — When the lights went out at the Super Bowl, CBS’ telecast got a jolt.


The power outage in the Super Dome in New Orleans sent the network scrambling and silenced its announcers for about half an hour. The remarkable scene — probably the most-watched “we’re having technical difficulties” moment in television history — also made CBS’ broadcast compelling at a time when the game was looking like a blow-out.






Early in the game’s second half, a portion of the Superdome lost power, including CBS’ broadcasting booth where Jim Nantz and Phil Simms were calling the game. It led to an awkward, ambient few moments of darkness and quiet in a broadcast that’s otherwise nonstop noise. A highly orchestrated media event was suddenly forced to improvise.


It took several minutes and numerous commercial breaks for CBS to find its footing and inform viewers of the situation. Social media went wild with a stream of joke conspiracy theories.


Eventually, CBS sideline reporter Steve Tasker — the MVP on the night, regardless of the play on the gridiron — announced the problem of a “click of the lights” to viewers. Later, the halftime crew anchored by host James Brown returned to fill time with football analysis. Brown said a power surge caused the outage.


That left the CBS NFL Today crew of Brown, Dan Marino, Bill Cowher and Shannon Sharpe to improvise by talking football. With little awareness of the power outage, the group bantered about the game to pad for time, even though viewers at that point had little interest in football strategy. Marino claimed halftime performer Beyonce knocked the lights out.


Calm and collected, Nantz and Simms finally returned from their unexpected exile as the lights came back on. Simms said he momentarily thought they were going to have to call the rest of the game from the sidelines.


“Hey, the next time you decide to plug in your phone charger, give us a warning, will you?” said Nantz.


“I was doing some of my best work during that blackout,” replied Simms.


CBS issued a statement later in the game, saying that “we lost numerous cameras and some audio powered by sources in the Super Dome.” The network said it used backup power and that “all commercial commitments during the broadcast are being honored.”


The power outage may have had the ironic effect of keeping viewers glued to their TVs, amazed at seeing the biggest TV event of the year momentarily shut down. At the time of the outage, the game was becoming a rout, with the Baltimore Ravens beating the San Francisco 49ers 28-6.


But afterward, momentum shifted and the 49ers rallied, making it a close game that went down to the wire before the Ravens edged out a 34-31 victory. Close contests are essential for retaining a big Super Bowl audience, so the shift that followed the outage held major ratings implications for CBS. The last three years, the game has successively set viewership records. Last year’s Super Bowl drew 111.3 million average viewers for NBC.


But ratings are a mere point of pride for CBS, with the ads sold-out well in advance, (some at more than $ 4 million a pop). The game was also streamed live on both CBSSports.com and NFL.com.


The chaos of the power failure outshined all other aspects of CBS’ broadcast, which had seemed certain to focus on a handful of storylines: the head coaching brothers John and Jim Harbaugh (CBS scored their parents on the pregame); the threat to player safety by head injuries (a pregame segment took an optimistic view); and Ray Lewis’ final game and fraught legacy.


Nantz reminded viewers during the game of the 2000 double murder case in which Lewis testified against two men and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of obstruction of justice. But Sharpe, Lewis’ former teammate, let him completely evade the subject in a pregame interview.


Nantz also smartly predicted the Ravens possibly taking a safety willingly at the end of the game for the sake of time and field position. Simms initially dismissed the idea, but it was what the Ravens elected to do and it was successful.


CBS didn’t overplay the Harbowl angle (if anything, it felt more like the Beyonce Bowl), and didn’t flash to the parents in the crowd until the second quarter. Director Mike Arnold did land the money shot of the game: The two coaches embracing at midfield after the game. (Its cameras and microphones also caught Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco celebrating with profanity.)


But this year’s Super Bowl broadcast will be remembered for the blackout — how CBS handled and benefited from an awkward situation. Nantz put the fitting final word on the Ravens’ win: “The adversity they faced tonight was to somehow rekindle the energy after it had been taken — literally — out of the building.”


___


Follow AP Entertainment Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jake_coyle


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Mark Wahlberg, Ted to Present at Oscars






LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) – Mark Wahlberg and his teddy bear co-star “Ted” will be presenters at the Oscars, the telecast producers announced Friday morning.


The duo, stars in Oscar host Seth MacFarlane‘s comedy about a man trying to turn his immature, hedonistic lifestyle around for a woman he is dating. His indulgent teddy bear, the eponymous Ted, proves to be an obstacle in that transformation.






The film is now the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time.


“We are happy to make it possible for Mark and Ted to make their debut appearance on the Oscar stage,” Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, the show’s producers, said in a statement. “And we won’t deny that Ted used his pull with our host to get himself the booking.”


Wahlberg has twice been nominated for Academy Awards, in 2006 for his supporting role in “The Departed,” and in 2010 as a producer of the Best Picture nominee “The Fighter.”


Wahlberg and the MacFarlane-voiced Ted share the stage with a star-studded list of Oscar performers, including singers Adele, Norah Jones and Barbra Streisand. The Oscars will be broadcast on February 24 from the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center.


“I’m excited to present an Oscar with Mark Wahlberg,” Ted said in the statement. “I’m spending the next month learning to pronounce ‘Quvenzhan√©.’”


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Former New York mayor Ed Koch moved to hospital intensive care






NEW YORK (Reuters) – Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch was moved to a hospital intensive care unit on Thursday, his spokesman said, in a sign that his health could be deteriorating.


Koch spokesman George Arzt said the 88-year-old politician, who earned a reputation for being as outspoken as he is colorful, was being moved so his cardiologist could better monitor his condition. Koch has been treated at New York-Presbyterian Hospital on and off since January 19.






Koch was re-admitted to the hospital on Monday after complaining of shortness of breath. He was unable to attend Tuesday’s premier of “Koch,” a documentary about his turbulent three terms as mayor, at the Museum of Modern Art.


In New York‘s City Hall from 1978 to 1989, Koch – with his trademark phrase “How’m I Doing?” – was seen as the personification of New York City.


“I don’t think there was anybody who had more fun being mayor as Ed Koch,” City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who is in the race to be the city’s next mayor, said while walking the premier’s red carpet.


Koch was credited with helping to restore confidence in the city at a time when it stood at the brink of financial ruin. Under his leadership, New York City regained its fiscal footing and underwent a construction boom.


His time in office was also marked by corruption among his political allies, racial tensions, a rise in cases of AIDS and HIV, and an increase in homelessness and the crime rate.


(Reporting by Edith Honan; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst)


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Appeals judges: Anti-paparazzi law appears legal






LOS ANGELES (AP) — An appeals panel says California’s anti-paparazzi statute appears to be constitutional based on a brief filed by prosecutors.


A preliminary statement by three judges in Los Angeles requires a judge who dismissed charges aimed at a paparazzo who authorities say was driving recklessly to review his order. The judge may stick to his ruling, which would trigger a full appeal, or he could schedule further arguments on the case against freelance photographer Paul Raef.






Raef was the first person charged under the new law after a high-speed chase involving Justin Bieber last year.


Superior Court Judge Thomas Rubinson dismissed two charges in November, ruling the law is too broad and is unconstitutional.


Raef’s attorney David S. Kestenbaum says he is asking Rubinson to stand by his ruling and allow a full appeal.


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‘How I Met Your Mother’ gets final season – and reveals the mother






NEW YORK (TheWrap.com) – “How I Met Your Mother” will be back for a ninth and final season that will reveal – finally – who the mother is.


CBS and 20th Century Fox Television announced Wednesday that the series would be back for one final go-round with series regulars Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris and Alyson Hannigan, as well as series creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas.






For eight years, viewers have wondered about the identity of the titular mother – and she will finally be revealed in the final season.


“Through eight years, ‘How I Met Your Mother’ has mastered the art of leading-edge comedy, emotional water-cooler moments and pop culture catch phrases,” said Nina Tassler, president of CBS Entertainment. “We are excited for Carter, Craig, Pam Fryman and this amazing cast to tell the final chapter and reveal television’s most mysterious mother to some of TV’s most passionate fans.”


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Lindsay Lohan’s driving case returns to LA court






LOS ANGELES (AP) — A judge who has sentenced Lindsay Lohan to jail before will conduct her first hearing Wednesday on new misdemeanor charges of lying to authorities and reckless driving against the trouble-prone actress.


Lohan has been ordered to appear before Judge Stephanie Sautner for the scheduling hearing, which is the first time the actress has been required to appear in court in nearly a year.






Prosecutors in Santa Monica, Calif., have charged Lohan with lying to police about driving a sports car that crashed into a dump truck in June, reckless driving and obstructing officers from performing their duties.


In March, Sautner released her from supervised probation but warned her to stop partying and grow up.


“You need to live your life in a more mature way, stop the nightclubbing and focus on your work,” Sautner told Lohan at the time. The admonition came after the judge conducted several monthly updates with the actress and required her to perform morgue cleanup duty to complete her sentence in a 2007 drunken driving case.


Lohan has since filmed two movies but has repeatedly gotten into trouble, including a pair of arrests in New York that have not resulted in charges.


She was on probation for theft at the time of the wreck in California, and Sautner had warned the actress she could be sentenced to 245 days in jail if she didn’t behave. She has pleaded not guilty and a Feb. 27 trial date has been set.


The latest hearing may also resolve who will be Lohan’s lawyer for the criminal case. New York attorney Mark Heller has petitioned to join the case, but his involvement must be approved by Sautner.


Heller was traveling on Tuesday and did not return a phone message.


___


Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP


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How Fox Searchlight made the biggest deal at Sundance $9.75 million on an egg sandwich






NEW YORK (TheWrap.com) – The biggest sale at Sundance this year – “The Way, Way Back” – began with a promise and ended with a fried egg sandwich.


Producer Kevin J. Walsh, a former assistant to Scott Rudin, told the agents selling his movie that he’d make everyone food if they closed a big deal. But before he could cook, a bidding war broke out that would pit the favored Fox Searchlight against a half-dozen other studios, including Lionsgate, Paramount, Magnolia, FilmDistrict and Open Road.






Fox Searchlight won out and paid one of the highest prices for a Sundance movie in recent years – $ 9.75 million – for the story of an alienated 14-year-old (“The Killing’s” Liam James) on summer vacation.


The one big thing in their favor: Once “The Way, Way Back” premiered on Monday, everyone knew it would sell. The film not only drew a standing ovation, but almost every distributor stayed through the Q&A session with the filmmakers – a “rare” occasion, as one person close to the deal told TheWrap.


Fox Searchlight was an early starter out of the gate. It had already won an Oscar with Rash and Faxon, who co-wrote Alexander Payne’s “The Descendants.”


And at one point it was going to produce the film, back when Shawn Levy was going to direct and it was called “The Way Back.” Rash and Faxon’s script had charted on the 2007 Black List, which ranks the industry’s favorite unproduced screenplays.


The project stalled. Levy moved on to other films, and the script bounced around until Walsh came aboard as producer and decided Faxon and Rash should direct.


In hopes of sealing the deal, Searchlight sent more than a dozen of its executives to the Sundance debut, many of whom began firing off ardent emails to the filmmakers after they had seen it.


“They came wanting to love that movie, and they were going overboard in an impressive way,” a person with knowledge of the deal told TheWrap. “Multiple people at the company talked about how much they loved the film. It still didn’t mean they’d get it. Sometimes you have a distributor who does all that to justify lowballing.”


But Searchlight didn’t have a clear field. As the filmmakers attended an after party at the Grey Goose Blue Door on Main Street, several other distributors circled. These ranged from the massive, Paramount and Warner Bros., to the very large Lionsgate, to the medium-sized FilmDistrict, Open Road and Magnolia.


Another factor was that rival agencies CAA and WME had to play nice. The movie was written and directed by CAA‘s Faxon and Rash and stars WME clients Steve Carell and Toni Collette.


Around 7 p.m., the dealmakers retired to the WME house, where the discussions began. Alexis Garcia, Deb McIntosh and Graham Taylor from WME would handle the deal with Laura Lewis and Dina Kuperstock from CAA.


“We had some in-person meetings, some phone calls and a lot of the offers were apples and oranges,” Tom Rice of Sycamore Pictures, which produced and co-financed the movie with OddLot Entertainment, told TheWrap.


Fox Searchlight was an early starter out of the gate. It had already won an Oscar with Rash and Faxon, who co-wrote Alexander Payne’s “The Descendants.”


And at one point it was going to produce the film, back when Shawn Levy was going to direct and it was called “The Way Back.” Rash and Faxon’s script had charted on the 2007 Black List, which ranks the industry’s favorite unproduced screenplays.


The project stalled. Levy moved on to other films, and the script bounced around until Walsh came aboard as producer and decided Faxon and Rash should direct.


In hopes of sealing the deal, Searchlight sent more than a dozen of its executives to the Sundance debut, many of whom began firing off ardent emails to the filmmakers after they had seen it.


“They came wanting to love that movie, and they were going overboard in an impressive way,” a person with knowledge of the deal told TheWrap. “Multiple people at the company talked about how much they loved the film. It still didn’t mean they’d get it. Sometimes you have a distributor who does all that to justify lowballing.”


But Searchlight didn’t have a clear field. As the filmmakers attended an after party at the Grey Goose Blue Door on Main Street, several other distributors circled. These ranged from the massive, Paramount and Warner Bros., to the very large Lionsgate, to the medium-sized FilmDistrict, Open Road and Magnolia.


Another factor was that rival agencies CAA and WME had to play nice. The movie was written and directed by CAA‘s Faxon and Rash and stars WME clients Steve Carell and Toni Collette.


Around 7 p.m., the dealmakers retired to the WME house, where the discussions began. Alexis Garcia, Deb McIntosh and Graham Taylor from WME would handle the deal with Laura Lewis and Dina Kuperstock from CAA.


“We had some in-person meetings, some phone calls and a lot of the offers were apples and oranges,” Tom Rice of Sycamore Pictures, which produced and co-financed the movie with OddLot Entertainment, told TheWrap.


“When we went over there, we didn’t tell them it was exclusive. But quickly getting there, it was clear they were intending to make it work as quickly as possible,” an individual close to the deal said. “And it still dragged out for several hours.”


As they haggled over numbers, the two sides moved in and out of the condo. The agents would move while Fox talked about it. The Fox team had to move when the agents wanted to call people back at the WME house.


Meanwhile, over the night, Searchlight increased its offer significantly. Making a big bet on the first-time directors, $ 9.75 million, at 4:30 a.m. it finally closed one of the richest deals in Sundance history.


Fox Searchlight considers Jim and Nat a real part of their family,” Rice said. “They made their interest known for a long time.”


The deal done, the negotiating team headed back to the WME house to play pool, listen to music, drink champagne and down vodka. Whiskey would have been ideal given the frigid weather, but Utah’s Byzantine liquor laws had dashed the hopes of a late-night liquor run. The local whiskey from High West Distillery would have to wait.


“We didn’t plan ahead for celebrations, and it isn’t too easy to improvise in Park City,” one person there recalled.


With a couple hours until the papers would be signed, pre-planned improvisation would have to do.


And Walsh made good on his promise: Fried egg sandwiches with asparagus.


“We cracked a bottle of champagne at about 6 a.m.,” he said. Good morning.


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Damon ‘hijacks’ Kimmel’s ABC show






NEW YORK (AP) — Matt Damon had his revenge.


The butt of a long-running joke on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” the actor opened Thursday night’s show as a kidnapper who tied Kimmel to a chair with duct tape and gagged him with his own tie.






“There’s a new host in town and his initials are M.D.,” Damon said. “That’s right, the doctor is in.”


For years, Kimmel has joked at the end of his show that he ran out of time and was unable to bring Damon on as a guest. Kimmel was the silent one Thursday, watching from the back of the stage as Damon did his job.


Damon tormented Kimmel by bringing on a succession of big-name guests. Robin Williams stopped by to finish the monologue. Ben Affleck had a walk-on role. Sheryl Crow was the bandleader and performed her new single. Nicole Kidman, Gary Oldman, Amy Adams, Reese Witherspoon and Demi Moore all crowded the talk show’s couch.


“I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long, long time,” Damon said. “This is like when I lost my virginity, except this is going to last way longer than one second.”


Damon’s guest hosting turn came at a key time for Kimmel. ABC earlier this month moved the show to 11:35 p.m. ET and PT after a decade of airing it a half hour later, putting him in direct competition with Jay Leno and David Letterman.


Thursday’s special program aimed for the same water-cooler status as a memorably lewd short film Damon made for the show a few years ago with Kimmel’s then-girlfriend, Sarah Silverman. It went viral and remains probably the best-known skit in the show’s history.


To twist the knife even further, Damon brought Silverman on as his final guest Thursday night, with Kimmel looking on forlornly as she likened their five-year relationship to an unfortunate trip to a hot dog vendor.


“Is there anything you’d like to say to Jimmy?” Damon asked.


“No, I’m good,” Silverman replied.


Then came the sweetest revenge of all, with Damon promising to ungag Kimmel in the show’s final minutes.


“Wait,” he said. “I’m sorry. We’re out of time.”


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Broadway’s “Spider-Man” producers, Taymor, near settlement, again






NEW YORK (Reuters) – The producers of “Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark” and Julie Taymor, the musical’s ousted director, are once again ready to settle their long-running court case, a court filing showed on Wednesday.


“We anticipate notifying the Court within the next week that a final settlement agreement has been executed,” attorney Charles T. Spada, who represents Taymor, wrote in a January 22 letter to U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan.






The letter comes less than two weeks after the parties resumed litigation after failing to reach a final settlement of Taymor‘s copyright infringement lawsuit, court records show.


The latest development comes five months after Taymor had reached a settlement in principle with 8 Legged Productions, the producer, in the copyright infringement case


“Spider-Man,” which became a hit, got off to a disastrous start in 2010 with opening night delays, injured actors and the firing of Taymor, who won a Tony Award for her work on “The Lion King.” She sued 8 Legged Productions in November 2011.


Any settlement is conditioned on 8 Legged Productions coming to terms with Marvel Entertainment, a unit of Walt Disney Co, to extend its license to produce the musical in other venues, Spada wrote in a December 19 letter to the judge.


In Wednesday’s letter, Spada said an agreement between the producer and Marvel to amend the license is likely within days.


Taymor and 8 Legged Productions intend to execute their agreement at the same time, the letter said.


“We are moving closer to finalizing the settlement,” Dale Cendali, a lawyer for 8 Legged Productions, said in an email.


A spokesperson for Marvel didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.


The case is Julie Taymor et al v. 8 Legged Productions et al, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 11-cv-8002.


(Reporting By Karen Freifeld; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)


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Did she or didn’t she? Beyonce causes lip-synching stir






(Reuters) – Never mind President Barack Obama’s inauguration address or what Michelle Obama was wearing at the ball.


Was Beyonce lip-synching the U.S. national anthem on Monday, or wasn’t she?






The Grammy-winning singer remained silent on Tuesday amid a media storm over whether she was lip-synching, singing over her own pre-recorded track, or performing live when she delivered a flawless version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” to hundreds of thousands of people in Washington and millions watching on television.


A spokeswoman for the U.S. Marine band first told U.S. news outlets on Tuesday that the “Single Ladies” star “decided to go with the pre-recorded music at the last minute” and that, to the spokeswoman’s knowledge, she was not actually singing the anthem.


But the U.S. Marine band later backtracked, saying in a statement: “Regarding Ms. Knowles-Carter’s vocal performance, no one in the Marine Band is in a position to assess whether it was live or pre-recorded.”


The statement said the band and Beyonce, whose surname is Knowles-Carter, had no chance to rehearse together before Monday’s inauguration “so it was determined that a live performance by the band was ill-advised for such a high-profile event.


“Each piece of music scheduled for performance in the Inauguration is pre-recorded for use in case of freezing temperatures, equipment failure, or extenuating circumstances,” the Marine Band added.


Beyonce, 31, was giving her first major public performance since giving birth to a baby with husband, rapper Jay-Z, in January 2012. On Sunday, she posted on Instagram photo of herself in a recording studio holding the sheet music for “The Star-Spangled Banner.”


Her representatives did not return calls for comment on Tuesday. Kelly Clarkson and James Taylor, who also performed at the inauguration ceremony, both sang live, their publicists said.


Whatever Beyonce’s choices on Monday, she was not the first artist cause a stir on such occasions.


Classical musicians Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman and two others played along to a pre-recorded tape at Obama’s 2009 inauguration because the cold and wind on the Washington Mall raised the potential of broken strings and sharp notes.


Madonna lip-synched her way through her 2012 Super Bowl half-time performance last year, as did the late Whitney Houston in her 1991 Super Bowl rendition of the national anthem. Singing to pre-recorded tracks has become widespread in the pop music industry


The lip-synching question made headlines around the world and “Beyonce” was among the top Facebook conversations on Monday, according to the social networking site.


Fans were divided. “I enjoyed the performance and do not care whether it was lip-synched or not – it was a beautiful rendition, with some originality, of a song we have all heard so many times,” wrote LeeAnne24 on the Washington Post comment board.


Twitter user hiphopdancerJen was disappointed. “There’s honestly no reason for Beyonce to lip-sync… Especially the national anthem. I may despise most of her music, but she has a voice.”


Beyonce is due to take the spotlight again next month – this time at the February 3 Super Bowl half-time show.


(Reporting By Jill Serjeant in Los Angeles and Anna Yukhananov in Washington; Editing by David Brunnstrom)


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Michelle Obama again picks designer Wu for inaugural gown






WASHINGTON (Reuters) – It was one of the biggest questions of Monday’s inaugural celebrations: not what would President Barack Obama say, but what would his wife, Michelle Obama, wear?


The first lady cemented her reputation as an international style trend-setter with her choice of a Jason Wu red sleeveless ball gown in the evening, and a striking business-style blue navy coat and dress for the ceremonial daytime events.






It was a huge win for U.S. designer Wu making one of his ball gowns her choice for a second straight inauguration.


The first lady appeared for her first dance of the night with the president at the Commander-in-Chief’s Ball for U.S. service members in a ruby-colored chiffon and full-length velvet gown custom made by the New York-based designer.


Her shoes were from the London-based Malaysian-Chinese designer Jimmy Choo, and she wore a diamond-embellished ring handmade by jeweler Kimberly McDonald of New York.


Michelle Obama helped make Wu a household name by choosing a white chiffon gown he designed for the balls celebrating her husband’s first inauguration in 2009. Wu, now 30, has since had significant commercial success, but his creations in the two inaugurations has won him a place in U.S. fashion history.


Dressing the first lady, a Harvard-trained lawyer known for her style, can be a huge boost for a fashion designer or retail chain.


Praised for wearing high-end designers as well as pieces from mass-market stores, the first lady has won over fashion critics in her four years in the White House.


“Icon’s a big word and it sometimes gets over used, but I think if we’re going to use it, we can use it now,” said Steven Kolb, chief executive of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, adding, “What makes her a real icon is the work that she does and the woman that she is.”


Dresses, sweaters, shoes and belts she has worn have sold out at retailers from designer showrooms to mass market chains including Gap Inc., J. Crew and Target Corp., for which Wu has designed low-priced fashions.


Earlier on Monday, the first lady wore a navy coat and dress by designer Thom Browne, inspired by the fabric of a man’s silk tie.


Her belt and gloves were from J.Crew, a chain that is a fixture in U.S. shopping malls; the necklace and earrings were designed by Cathy Waterman. The suede boots were by Reed Krakoff, as was the short blue cardigan she wore to a celebratory lunch in the Capitol.


BIG-TICKET INDUSTRY


Best known for men’s clothing, Browne boasts a string of design awards, most recently, a prestigious National Design Award for fashion from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York, which is part of the Smithsonian Institution.


“She likes well-tailored clothes, so the inspiration was doing something that looked tailored and structured and fitted through the body and somewhat A-line for the skirt and the dress,” Browne told the Los Angeles Times.


Style mavens credit the 49-year-old first lady with changing the way American women put together their outfits, and, by patronizing U.S. designers, bolstering a multibillion-dollar industry.


A 2010 study from New York University’s Stern School of Business found that a single appearance by the first lady can generate $ 14 million in value for a company.


Famed for her toned arms, Obama set a trend for sleeveless tops. Her cardigans and belted dresses have prompted many working women to switch from blazers and suits in the workplace.


“Michelle looks good however, wherever, whatever she does. Michelle looks good in her sleeping gown,” said Sharon Johnson, a therapist who came from Baltimore to watch the inauguration, and joked that she is still looking for the green leather gloves Obama wore on Inauguration Day four years ago.


“Her beauty is so far inside, and shines so far outside,” Johnson said.


When Michelle Obama held the Bible for her husband during his official swearing-in on Sunday, she wore a dark blue dress by Reed Krakoff, the creative director for the Coach leather goods company, who has become a fashion designer.


On Sunday night, she wore a sleeveless black sequined dress by Michael Kors to an inaugural reception for supporters.


At that reception, President Obama weighed in on what he termed the most “significant” event of the inaugural weekend, his wife’s hotly discussed new hairstyle.


“I love her bangs,” Obama said. “She looks good. She always looks good.”


Interest in Michelle Obama’s clothing has extended to the outfits worn by her two daughters. On Monday, the White House said Malia, 14, was wearing a J.Crew ensemble and Sasha, 11, wore a Kate Spade coat and dress.


Obama is a far bigger influence on U.S. fashion than most of her predecessors. Laura Bush favored suits by Oscar de la Renta and Hillary Clinton, the U.S. Secretary of State, is best known for wearing a range of brightly colored pants suits.


Even stylish Jackie Kennedy wore mostly European designers.


Obama’s fashion choices have not always been applauded. Some Americans were angry when she wore a red gown from a British label – Alexander McQueen – to a 2011 state dinner for China’s president.


Kolb dismissed such concerns, noting that fashion is a global business and that U.S. designers are thrilled when, for example, Kate Middleton, the wife of Britain’s Prince of Wales, wears their clothing.


“At the end of the day, we get up in the morning and we look in our closet and we have to feel good about what we put on,” he said.


At the end of the inaugural festivities, Michelle Obama’s outfits and accompanying accessories will go to the National Archives.


(Additional reporting by Jeff Mason, Steve Holland and Alina Selyukh; Editing by Alistair Bell and Christopher Wilson)


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Michelle Obama wears bangs, Krakoff to swearing-in






WASHINGTON (AP) — Michelle Obama showed off her new bangs and a royal blue dress and cardigan by American designer Reed Krakoff at Sunday’s swearing-in ceremony.


The first lady and daughter Malia matched President Barack Obama‘s blue suit, also complementing the Blue Room of the White House, where the small ceremony took place. Younger daughter Sasha, however, went her own way: She wore a lacy pink dress with a gold, wide-width, high-waisted belt — a style her mother helped popularize — and gold shoes.






It’s not the first time Mrs. Obama chose a design by Krakoff. She previously has worn a gown and jacket by the designer, who also is the president and executive creative director of Coach, Inc. She has carried one of his tote bags, too.


Her hairdo, however, is a change — and it has been the subject of online chatter since its debut on Thursday in a photo taken at the White House.


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Ex-Discovery Exec Peter Liguori Named New Tribune CEO






NEW YORK (TheWrap.com) – Former Fox and Discovery executive Peter Liguori has been named the new CEO of Tribune Company.


In its first board of directors meeting since emerging from a bankruptcy, Tribune Co. also named investor Bruce Karsh as its chairman. The new Tribune board includes Ross Levinsohn, the former interim CEO of Yahoo who this week was named CEO of Prometheus, the parent company of the Hollywood Reporter.






Eddy Hartenstein, who had served as CEO of Tribune for the last 18 months, will stay with the company as publisher/CEO of the Los Angeles Times Media Group. He will remain on the company’s board and serve as a special adviser to Ligouri.


Liguori’s appointment had been long expected. Reuters reported in September that he was being eyed as the company’s new CEO.


Liguori gave interviews to the two largest Tribune papers, the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune. In his Times interview, he was asked if the papers could be sold.


“There are people interested in the newspapers,” he said. “It is my fiduciary responsibility to hear them out and see if in fact their interest is real and their commitment is concomitant with the value of these newspapers. But that runs parallel to my working with you guys on running the business on a day-to-day basis to maximize the value.”


Liguori became an operating executive at Carlyle, a private equity firm, in July. At the company, he provided guidance to the telecommunications and media team. He was also up for the post of entertainment and digital media president at Microsoft.


That job went in September to former CBS executive Nancy Tellem.


Liguori was previously chief operating officer of Discovery Communications, serving as the cable network’s No. 2 executive from 2009 to the end of 2011. He served as interim CEO of OWN beginning in May 2011, after the dismissal Christina Norman.


Within two months, Oprah Winfrey named herself CEO of OWN. In November, Liguori said he was leaving Discovery, and the company said no replacement would be named.


Prior to joining Discovery, he spent 13 years with Fox Entertainment, serving as president and then chairman of Entertainment for Fox Broadcasting Company from 2005 to 2009.


He was previously president and CEO of News Corp.’s FX Networks.


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WGA’s new media nominees include “Dexter,” “Walking Dead” projects






LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) – The writers of projects based on cable TV hits “Dexter” and “The Walking Dead” were among the nominees for outstanding achievement in writing for new media and videogames announced Wednesday by the Writers Guild of America.


John Esposito was nominated for “The Walking Dead: Cold Storage” and Scott Reynolds was nominated for “Dexter Early Cuts” in the derivative new media category.






To be eligible for awards, a stand-alone new media program or episodes written for a new media series must have first been exhibited on a new media platform – from the Internet to cell phones – between December 1, 2011 and November 30, 2012.


In original new media, nominations went to Jay Rodan for “Lauren,” Michael Cyril Creighton for “Jack in a Box,” Cory Cavin, Bill G. Grandberg and Josh Lay for “Model Wife,” and Morgan Evans for “The Untitled Webseries That Morgan Evans Is Doing.”


In videogame writing, the nominees were Marv Wolfman for “Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two,” Bruce Feirstein for Activision’s “007 Legends,” Christopher Schlerf for Microsoft’s “Halo 4,” John Garvin for Sony’s “Uncharted: Golden Abyss,” Richard Farrese and Jill Murray for Ubisoft’s “Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation,” and the team behind “Assassin’s Creed III.”


Winners will be honored at the 2013 Writers Guild Awards on Sunday, February 17, at simultaneous ceremonies in Los Angeles and New York.


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Bolshoi’s artistic director attacked in Moscow






MOSCOW (AP) — The artistic director of the Bolshoi Theater‘s ballet troupe was attacked with acid in Moscow and his eyesight is threatened, the theater said Friday.


Sergei Filin, a 42-year-old former ballet star, was approached Thursday night by an unknown man who splashed acid on his face as he got out of his car outside his home in central Moscow, Russian television reported.






Bolshoi spokeswoman Katerina Novikova, who visited Filin at the hospital Thursday night, told The Associated Press that his condition is stable but his eyesight is threatened.


Filin was appointed artistic director of the Bolshoi‘s ballet company in March 2011. He danced for the Bolshoi on and off from 1988 to 2004 when his sustained a severe injury onstage.


The theater’s director general Anatoly Iksanov told Russia’s Channel One that he believes the attacked is linked to Filin’s work.


“He was a man of principle and never compromised,” Iksanov said. “If he believed that this or that dancer was not ready or was unable perform this or that part, he would turn them down.”


Several stars at the Bolshoi including Nikolai Tsiskaridze, one of its most celebrated dancers, have complained about what they call Filin’s unfair treatment of dancers at the Bolshoi.


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Bigelow directs “Zero Dark Thirty” torture critics to Washington






LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The director of Oscar-nominated thriller “Zero Dark Thirty” on Wednesday defended the film’s depiction of torture in the hunt for Osama bin Laden, saying criticism would better be directed at the U.S. officials who ordered such policies.


Writing in the Los Angeles Times, Kathryn Bigelow said she personally opposed any use of torture, but said it was a part of the decade-long hunt for the al Qaeda leader that the film could not ignore.






“Those of us who work in the arts know that depiction is not endorsement,” Bigelow wrote of criticism of the movie’s torture scenes from Washington politicians, the media and human rights groups.


“I do wonder if some of the sentiments alternately expressed about the film might be more appropriately directed at those who instituted and ordered these U.S. policies, as opposed to a motion picture that brings the story to the screen,” said Bigelow, who won two Oscars in 2010 for her Iraq war movie “The Hurt Locker.”


“Zero Dark Thirty” was nominated last week for five Academy Awards in February, including best picture, screenplay and actress for Jessica Chastain.


But Bigelow was overlooked in the directing category in a snub that many Hollywood awards watchers attributed to weeks of negative publicity over the film.


A group of senators in December chided distributor Sony Pictures in a letter, calling the film “grossly inaccurate and misleading” for suggesting torture helped the United States capture bin Laden in May 2011.


Actor David Clennon, a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that selects Oscar winners, has urged fellow members not vote for the movie, accusing it of promoting torture.


However, in its first week of nationwide release, the movie topped the North American box office on Sunday, taking in $ 24 million.


Bigelow said her personal belief was that “Osama bin Laden was found due to ingenious detective work. Torture was, however, as we all know, employed in the early years of the hunt. That doesn’t mean it was the key to finding bin Laden. It means it is a part of the story we couldn’t ignore. War, obviously, isn’t pretty, and we were not interested in portraying this military action as free of moral consequences.”


“Bin Laden wasn’t defeated by superheroes zooming down from the sky; he was defeated by ordinary Americans who fought bravely even as they sometimes crossed moral lines, who labored greatly and intently, who gave all of themselves in both victory and defeat, in life and in death, for the defense of this nation,” she concluded.


(Reporting By Jill Serjeant; Editing by Doina Chiacu)


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Stuart Scott’s cancer back – but he tweets he’s fighting hard






NEW YORK (TheWrap.com) – ESPN anchor Stuart Scott tweeted that his cancer has returned, but that he’s fighting hard.


How hard? He went from tweeting Monday night about his health to hosting SportsCenter, as if nothing were wrong. As he hosted, he was inundated with supportive tweets.






“Blessed by prayers… I’m back in the Fight,” Scott wrote. “C reared its head again. Chemo evry 2 wks but I’ll still work, still work out..still #LIVESTRONG”


In another tweet, he said that after chemotherapy treatments he goes straight to work out, doing either P90X or mixed martial arts.


Scott was treated for cancer in 2007 after doctors found malignant tissue following an emergency appendectomy. He returned to work at ESPN a month later.


In January 2011, Scott began undergoing chemotherapy after more cancerous tissue was removed. He again returned after a month.


Scott has become a symbol of hope for many who have loved ones fighting the disease or who are fighting it themselves. He traded tweets with some of them after his latest announcement.


He also tweeted Tuesday: “Don’t like using profanity on Twitter but some of my fav well wishes R the good folks who say #F@$ KCancer… I can’t spell it out but I AGREE.”


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Will.i.am on top as Bowie returns to UK charts






LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. producer will.i.am’s collaboration with Britney Spears topped the British pop charts on Sunday as David Bowie notched up his first top 10 single in two decades with his surprise new release.


Launched without warning on Bowie’s 66th birthday, the single “Where Are We Now?” caused widespread media interest, and charted in sixth place despite only having been available for five days.






It was his first new song in almost a decade and produced his best chart performance since 1986, when he reached number two with “Absolute Beginners”, the Official Charts Company said.


Topping the chart was “Scream and Shout” by will.i.am, featuring Britney Spears, giving her a first British number one since 2004.


U.S. country-pop star Taylor Swift‘s “I Knew You Were Trouble” moved up to second, with James Arthur, winner of the British version of the “X Factor” TV talent show last year, dropping from first to third with “Impossible”.


In the album chart, singer Emeli Sand√© returned to number one with “Our Version of Events”, which has now spent 48 consecutive weeks in the Top 10.


Last week’s chart-topper “18 Months” by Scottish producer and singer Calvin Harris dropped to second place, and English singer Jake Bugg rose a place to third with his eponymous album.


R&B star Rihanna climbed three to fourth with “Unapologetic”. The only new entry in the top 10 was the soundtrack from the Oscar-nominated film musical “Les Miserables”, which debuted in fifth.


(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Kevin Liffey)


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“Outraged” Amy Pascal: “Zero Dark Thirty” does not advocate torture






LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) – Sony Chairman Amy Pascal refuted criticism of “Zero Dark Thirty” by a member of the Oscar voting academy on Friday, saying her studio’s movie “does not advocate torture.”


“‘Zero Dark Thirty’ does not advocate torture,” she said. “To not include that part of history would have been irresponsible and inaccurate. We fully support Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal and stand behind this extraordinary movie.”






David Clennon, an Emmy Award-winning actor, wrote an op-ed column for Truthout this week, explaining that he would not be voting for “Zero Dark Thirty” in any categories because it portrays torture as being an effective tool in the hunt for Osama Bin Laden.


“Torture is an appalling crime under any circumstances,” Clennon wrote.” “‘Zero’ never acknowledges that torture is immoral and criminal. It does portray torture as getting results.”


At a media event on Friday in downtown Los Angeles at the federal building, protesting the Guantanamo Bay detention center, Clennon repeated the criticism, noting:


“I’m a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The Motion Picture Academy clearly warns its members not to disclose their votes for Academy Awards. Nevertheless, I firmly believe that the film ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ promotes the acceptance of the crime of torture, as a legitimate weapon in America’s so-called War on Terror. In that belief, following my conscience, I will not vote for ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ in any category… I cannot vote for a film that makes heroes of Americans who commit the crime of torture.”


“Zero Dark Thirty” has come under fire by some for its depiction of torture in the quest to kill Bin Laden. Last month, three senators – John McCain, Dianne Feinstein and Carl Levin — wrote a letter to Sony Pictures Chairman and CEO Michael Lynton, a prominent supporter of President Barack Obama, claiming that the film suggests that torture led investigators the terrorist leader.


The movie, which has already picked up several awards, on Thursday received five Oscar nominations, including a nod for Best Picture, but Bigelow was snubbed in the Best Director category.


Pascal issued a statement Friday that read in full:


“Zero Dark Thirty does not advocate torture. To not include that part of history would have been irresponsible and inaccurate. We fully support Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal and stand behind this extraordinary movie.


“We are outraged that any responsible member of the Academy would use their voting status in AMPAS as a platform to advance their own political agenda. This film should be judged free of partisanship. To punish an Artist’s right of expression is abhorrent. This community, more than any other, should know how reprehensible that is. While we fully respect everyone’s right to express their opinion, this activity is really an affront to the Academy and artistic creative freedom.


While we fully respect everyone’s right to express their opinion, this activity is really an affront to the Academy and artistic creative freedom. This attempt to censure one of the great films of our time should be opposed. As Kathryn Bigelow so appropriately said earlier this week, ‘depiction is not endorsement, and if it was, no artist could ever portray inhumane practices; no author could ever write about them; and no filmmaker could ever delve into the knotty subjects of our time.’”


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