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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

James Earl Jones awarded Lifetime Achievement Academy Award

The first Academy Award of the season has gone to James Earl Jones. The actor received an honorary Oscar last night for his long film career. He accepted his Oscar from London's Wyndham Theater, where he is starring in "Driving Miss Daisy" with Vanessa Redgrave.

Happy Musicians Day

If you ask yourself why musicians charge so much for performances. We don't get paid vacation, we don't get paid sick days, we don't get bonuses for outstanding performances nor for Christmas. We don't have insurance plans nor do we qualify for unemployment. We sacrifice our family on special days so that we can bring happiness to others. Illness or personal affairs are not excuses for a bad performance. Next time you ask, remember that musicians are musicians because of the love of music, but that love doesn't pay debts. Happy Musicians Day!!

Can Twilight suck he blood from Christmas annimation and puppets, Murdock fall, Nolte comback, Internet streamers positioning for 2012


From the LA Times Company Town here for the latest industry news. 

Hold the turkey, pass the popcorn. Will "Breaking Dawn" beat all the competition at the box office this Thanksgiving weekend or will Kermit the Frog show those vampires a thing or two? Besides "The Muppets," the new movies this weekend include "Arthur Christmas" and "Hugo." Disney Muppets fired created Frank Oz from the project..."Hugo" has great pedigree and latest special effects..."Arthur" has Wallace and Gromit. Previews from the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter.

Christmas comeback?  "Arthur Christmas," the animated family holiday film opening Wednesday, is the first effort between Sony Pictures Animation and British animation house Aardman Animations. For Aardman, creator of Academy Award-winning Wallace and Gromit shorts like "The Wrong Trousers," the movie is a chance for it to move beyond its 2006 flop "Flushed Away," which turned into a sea of red ink for its then-partner DreamWorks Animation. The Los Angeles Times looks at what Aardman has riding on "Arthur Christmas."

Hard to please. There is an automatic assumption that movie attendance rises around Christmas. Variety got ahold of a survey which found that it is the art house crowd that most looks forward to seeing a flick around the holidays. That actually makes sense. Art house folks are a sensitive lot who probably can only take so much time around their families

New quarterback. Cable sports giant ESPN is shaking up its starting lineup. George Bodenheimer, the longtime president, is stepping back, and programming head John Skipper will become top dog. As Bodenheimer did, Skipper also will serve as a co-chairman of ESPN parent Walt Disney Co.'s Media Networks unit. Bodenheimer, whose contract was up at the end of the year, will become executive chairman of ESPN. The 53-year-old Bodenheimer had come up on the business side of ESPN and led it to new highs in profitability. Skipper is more of a creative executive who spent years in the magazine industry including early stints at Rolling Stone. More on the move from the Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal.

Hulu adds to menu. Online video site Hulu has cut a deal for library product from Carsey-Werner, the production company whose credits include "The Cosby Show" and "Third Rock from the Sun." However, "That '70s Show" and "Roseanne," two of the company's biggest hits, are not part of the deal. Details from Variety.

Maybe he can get his own sitcom too. The biggest star at NBC is its news anchor Brian Williams. His audience last week averaged 9 million viewers, which is bigger than anything other than football on NBC's prime-time lineup, reports the Associated Press. You don't have to be a TV insider to know that it is a bad sign that none of NBC's entertainment shows draws a bigger audience than the evening news program. The good news: The sharp-witted Williams could be ideal for another workplace sitcom.

Cloudy days ahead. DirecTV, which has close to 20 million subscribers, is anticipating a bleak 2012. The satellite broadcaster is considering joining rivals Time Warner Cable and Comcast in offering low-cost programming packages to subscribers in an effort to hold onto old customers who might be feeling financially pinched and to woo new customers who don't want to spend a ton on a video programming service. But the low-cost lineups usually don't include sports channels, which are the most expensive networks. More from Bloomberg.

Will stream for food. Netflix is looking to raise about $400 million, a move seen as a sign that it will continue to struggle. The entertainment company has seen its stock tumble and subscriber base shrink after it raised prices last summer. It has been spending a lot on old reruns and is also trying to get into the original-programming game to make its service more appealing. Details from The Wall Street Journal.

Murdoch watch. Embattled James Murdoch is back in the news, and out of a job. The News Corp. executive has resigned from the top position at News Group Newspapers Limited (publisher of The Sun) and Times Newspapers Limited (publisher of The Times and The Sunday Times.) More from the Telegraph. As the phone-hacking scandal continues to spread, the young Murdoch is also the center of another media inspection in The Daily Beast. You can thank me later.

Look out Conan! Bravo is moving into the late-night television game. "Watch What Happens Live," the network's twice weekly late show, is now going to run five days a week. The program, which is hosted by Bravo executive Andy Cohen, primarily serves as a platform to promote the network's heavy load of popular reality shows, including the "Real Housewives" franchise, and is most popular with women. It will have to broaden its guest list a little if Bravo wants it to be a serious contender in the late-night race. Coverage from The New York Times.


Nolte's rebound. It's been almost a decade since Nick Nolte was busted for drunk driving and posed for the mug shot seen round the world that made him, to this day, the butt of late-night TV jokes. But now Nolte is considered Oscar material for his performance in "Warrior" and is co-starring in the much-anticipated HBO series "Luck," about the horse racing game. The Daily Beast catches up with Nolte.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Patrick Goldstein on the upcoming Warner Bros. movie "Gangster Squad." Steven Zeitchik reviews "The Doors" by rock critic Greil Marcus. Hugh Grant makes a splash at a Parliament hearing on phone hacking at News Corp.'s tabloid newspapers. Betsy Sharkey on "The Muppets" and Kenneth Turan on "Hugo.

— Joe Flint

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Democratic Propganda (which does not mean lies, look it up)


Just a few accomplishments of the Democratic
House Majority:

HEALTH INSURANCE REFORM to recognize health
care as a right, not a privilege and put a stop to the
worst abuses by insurance companies including
discrimination against people with pre-existing
medical conditions. [OPPOSED BY 100 % OF

ACT to make the largest investment in college aid
in American history. [OPPOSED BY 100 % OF

rights of women and other workers to challenge
unfair pay and help close the wage gap where
women earn 78 cents for every $1 that a man earns

WALL STREET REFORM to rein in reckless practices
on Wall Street, end taxpayer-funded bail-outs and
"too big to fail" institutions, and protect and
empower consumers. [OPPOSED BY A MAJORITY

Just one year of a failed Republican House Majority:


o Failed to introduce a jobs plan and voted for budgets that would
cost nearly 2.5 million American jobs and voted against at least 17
times against Democratic e orts to create them.
o Republicans oppose the American Jobs Act which former John
McCain economic advisor Mark Zandi said would create 1.9 million

o Voted three times to end the Medicare guarantee for seniors and
raise health care costs by $6,000.
o Repeatedly protected tax loopholes for Big Oil and

o Three times, House Republicans pushed our government
to the brink of a shutdown to put their radical agenda ahead
of the American people’s interests.
o Voted to repeal health insurance reform; Voted to defund NPR, PBS
and Sesame Street; Voted to classify pizza as a vegetable for school
children; Voted to defund Planned Parenthood and stop them from
o ering cancer screenings; Voted to protect companies that do
business with the Iranian regime
o Pushing plan to privatize Social Security
o Forced the Supercommittee to fail because they insisted on more
tax breaks for billionaires and Big Oil at the expense of the Medicare
guarantee and creating jobs.

While Republicans pursue their extreme agenda
that fails to create jobs, Democrats have an agenda
to be successful and a clear-eyed plan.