'Spartacus: Vengeance': Lucy Lawless previews upcoming season

January 26, 2012
 The new season of STARZ hit show Spartacus debuts this week as ‘Spartacus: Vengeance’ on Friday, January 27 at 10pm ET/PT.  The one-hour, ten episode series, which has already been picked up for a third season, stars Liam McIntyre, who took over the title role from the late Andy Whitfield, Lucy Lawless,  Peter Mensah, Manu Bennett, Dustin Clare, Nick E. Tarabay and Katrina Law. In the premiere episode entitled ‘Fugitivus,’ Spartacus discovers the grave responsibilities and costs involved in his new role as a leader of freed slaves. Claudius Glaber’s arrival in Capua forces Spartacus to keep his rebellious band intact.

Lawless, who plays Lucretia on the hit show, chatted with reporters about the upcoming season. During the conversation, she talked about continuing the series without on-screen husband John Hanna, her character’s state of mind at the beginning of season two and Lucretia’s rivalry with Ilithyia (played by Viva Bianca).

Here are some highlights of the conversation below:

On when we last saw Lucretia who had lost her husband and her child in the most brutal way:

My character goes from having everything and being on the make on the up and up with her husband to losing everything, her husband, her baby, her lover, her house, her status and also her marbles.. So it's going to be - she's going to have to claw her way back to any kind of safety. And she's in a pit of vipers so she better watch out.

How does Lawless feels about Hannah’s leaving the show:

: I miss John a lot, not just because of who he is but because I miss the aspect of love in Lucretia's life. Somebody does in fact fall in love with her but the course of that love never did run smooth and certainly not in this case. So I don't want to give away too much but, yes, she does have two - I don't want to say romantic partners. But she enters into relationships with two people but Batiatus is never replaceable in her heart.Well certainly for my character, there is - well a couple of things actually. You know, I miss the love relationship in my character’s life. I miss that - John and I had a great sort of couple connection. I found it very easy to put him in the husband role in my life, at least on set. And I think for the show, you do lose - it’s kind of Tony Soprano, he does terrible things. He’s a treacherous man, but he - but you love him all the same. So fortunately, we have plenty of that in the women, and now we - our - we’ve got a few new Roman men who are pretty rotten themselves, so whether they can recreate that kind of love from the audience is going to be up to the audience to decide. But yes, we miss him. Not too much though.

On her rivalry with Ilithyia (played by Viva Bianca) who’s taking care of Lucretia after her tragic loss:

Needless to say, Lucretia and Ilithyia continues to have a very fraught relationship.  Lucretia has to work very hard to make Ilithyia care about her again. And - or at least need her, because Ilithyia just wants her dead. I imagine it would be a difficult situation, it being especially after, you know, she - Lucretia lost her baby. And now Ilithyia is pregnant. Lucretia's lost everything. She's even lost her marbles, so that's the least of her worries.

Does she ever has a desire to pick up a sword and "fight along with the boys":

Not even once. It's a stinky, smelly world down there. I have no intention of going. I'm going to sit up with Ilithyia and eat Turkish Delight.

On the violent scenes in the show, is she ever surprised by them:

Always surprised, but they look - we're not affected because they never look that way in actuality. It's all done in post, you know. Quite brilliant.

On speaking about the show’s nudity scenes and how she and husband producer Robert Gerard Tapert handle them:  

He's not on the set. And it's all inhibiting. So no, we've never…it's very hard for us to be comfortable with nudity and sex scenes. I've tried; I want to be cooler about it. But I'm just not. But if you believe in it, it's important to the scene.

On the intense sex scenes on the show:

Oh let me tell you, this does great things for the viewer's sex life. Not so much for the participants. It's like a version of therapy. Sometimes I do need a hug because it's harrowing. It's really harrowing.

On the challenges of season two versus season one:

You know what, it gets - I've done things again this season that I've never, ever done before and never seen on television before. And it was very heavy duty. There were days when I would just go home and have a - just have a quiet little melt-down and be, you know, just go to sleep. Because it was so demanding emotionally.
On returning to Comic-Con San Diego for her roles on Battlestar Galactica and Xena, etc:

Oh gosh I don't know. I think I've been there pretty much 15 years in a row, so I'm sure - do they really need me? I'm like that brass pig in the corner that you touch for luck, you know ..I do love it though. I love the fans, I'm really grateful to them for everything they've given me. So I don't know, we'll see.

On her prequel role in “Spartacus: Gods of the Arena”: 

: You got the very rare chance to revisit your character and see what formed them, which was such a pleasure. Oh my god, I was so lucky. And it really helped round out the character - her softness. Her potential for hope and, you know, because she could default to that. If Ilithyia would just be kind to her, Lucretia would be kind back, but Ilithyia doesn't know how. So therefore Lucretia has to stamp on her to kick her - finish her off.
On her guest appearance on “Burn Notice”:

Well, I must say that I was at a time in my life sick to death of acting, just wanted to give it up and Bruce Campbell convinced me to come down and do an episode and so I did. I was a bit pissed off at the world.  And I had some other role I'd just done. I had these big gold fake fingernails stuck on. I'd thought I'd just keep them for the role. Anyway, at some point, Jeff Donovan's character is supposed to still be in love with me. I just didn't really see how. But anyway he had some sort of a rescue scene to rescue me and at some point I lift my hand up there and it's scripted that I touch his face and when I saw the episode like this great big (mudgepole) with big gold claws and it was like a man's hand. And I was trying to touch Jeffrey Donovan on the face…    Yeah, there's a lot of things I remember about that episode and shooting that with those guys which was really fun and he's brilliant but unfortunately my character just had to die. So I suggested that they hire Grace Park and Tricia Helfer from BSG because they were looking for women who could carry off that sort of action.

On how she is able to adjust from being on the ancient set of the show versus the real world of   cars, cell phones, computers, laptops, assistants, etc:

: It's really important to be able to walk away from the modern world, away from your family, away from your relationship and go into this, you know, this make-believe world of ancient Rome. It's helpful to have that universe separate from your own.” It's like having a second life. It's like having a virtual life experience. And I just love it. I've had a really crazy ride as Lucretia this season. The most intense stuff I've ever shot. And I'm really grateful. That's [cell phones, etc] banned from our set.
On the show adding new characters and how they will affect the dynamic of the show this season:

In the Roman world comes these two Seppia and Seppius, a brother and sister duo and they're a funky little pair and something weird is up with them so keep watching those two. They're going to be trouble one way or another. So we're on the run and it really creates great dynamics between our characters but then we get new characters that get introduced as the season goes along which really
mix things up and challenge the existing status quo of the brotherhood as it where. It's great. There will be new blood in the brotherhood and some very interesting characters emerging out of that. A young woman in particular, Ellen [Holman]. And the reemergence of the most excellent Nick Tarbay's character Ashur. Ashur's the sly one, the one that goes between worlds.

On Lucretia’s reaction to Ashur:

He's a touchstone to her past and to her husband. So she can't remember much but he stirs something in her and look for more developments there Because Nick and I talk about this all the time, we find our characters very much the same, really motivated by to survive in way they can. All bets are off with the two of them so look at if they pair up.

On what advice would Lucy give to Lucretia who’s in such a bad place at the beginning of this season, what would she tell her:

Just to keep breathing and pay attention to all the people around her, as she does, and it’ll all work out fine. And in the end, Lucretia gets everything she wants.
Does she see any of yourself in Lucretia:

I don’t like to talk acting technique unless people are really serious about it themselves. But if you boil it down, the trick is to have as wide an experience of yourself in as many situations in life that you can draw on different threads of yourself and your past to - and weave them together to make separate characters that all rooted in truth and yet completely distinct. So you shouldn’t see too - any of Xena in Lucretia for example; however, they’re all part of - taken with impulses that I have felt or can extrapolate out to make this character real.

On the costumes and the set:

It’s not a short process, so you've got a an hour and a half minimum every day to - for that character to sort of happen, and I think we just are so accustomed to it that we don’t even realize that’s such a part of our process you know. Yes. We have a huge workshop of leather craftsmen, jewelry, people dying, and specialists. People who make things with rubber and resins and all -whatnot. And obviously, the costume sewing you know people in design. They’re an incredible team.

On giving advice to actors:

I’ve given up giving advice.Pay attention, because it’s like your career is like a marriage. There are good years and bad years…  And if you can’t be with the ones you love, love the ones you're with. That was a big one. It was so hard. I tell you what, it was really hard, and I completely lost my perspective. I maybe did too much research. Maybe the wrong kind of research, and I really needed my directors to guide me to set parameters. Because yes, you - trust me. Sometimes I went big, and my personal inclination is always just to do shtick and just turn it into slapstick. You know but obviously that’s not going to work on this show, so I had to sit on that urge very hard.And I don’t know. It’s difficult. I haven’t had much experience with madness, but I have met post traumatic stress disorder before, and I believe that’s a justifiable outcome given all she’s been through. And you will find out how she survived by the way. That will be revealed in the fullness of time.
On playing strong woman characters and making each one different:

Lucy: I like if the person appears to be strong, I want to show their vulnerability. I want... if the person appears to be evil, I want to show their love, their capacity for love. I want to bring the flipside of their humanity through so that you will relate, whether they’re a good person or not. Even if they’re a wicked person, I try to make you relate and maybe even love them. So that’s my mission in life. And if they’re a really good - you know,  if they are an upstanding citizen, I want to show their vulnerability and frailty…  Light and shade. Light and shade.

Spartacus: Liam McIntrye previews upcoming season (interview)

January 24, 2012
The much anticipated  new  season of "Spartacus"
Australian actor Liam McIntyre makes his debut in the highly coveted title role of Spartacus in the STARZ Original series Spartacus: Vengeance.” “Vengeance,” the second season, follows the bloody escape from the House of Batiatus that concluded “Spartacus: Blood and Sand.”

He has enjoyed a diverse career in theater, television and film, since beginning his acting career in Ireland as the lead in a production of Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure.” His theater credits also include “12 Angry Men,” “Proof,” “Twelfth Night,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Much Ado About Nothing” and “Macbeth: Rearisen,” which won the Green Room Award for best independent production.

His television credits include his role as Sergeant Matt Connor in the Australian series “Rush,” as well as Bradley Hewson on Australia’s longest running drama “Neighbours.” McIntyre made his U.S. debut as Bell Captain Lew in HBO’s Emmy®– and Golden Globe–nominated hit “The Pacific.”

Oscar Nominations: Hugo leads with 11 nominations (FULL LIST)

The 84th Academy Awards were announced today in Beverly Hills. Hugo received the most nominations for a total of 11 awards. Check out the full list below:

    Best Picture
        The Artist -- Thomas Langmann, Producer
        The Descendants -- Jim Burke, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, Producers
        Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close -- Scott Rudin, Producer
        The Help -- Brunson Green, Chris Columbus and Michael Barnathan, Producers
        Hugo --Graham King and Martin Scorsese, Producers
        Midnight in Paris -- Letty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum, Producers
        Moneyball -- Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz and Brad Pitt, Producers
        The Tree of Life  -- Nominees to be determined
        War Horse --Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers

    Actor In a Leading Role
        Demián Bichir -- A Better Life
        George Clooney -- The Descendants
        Jean Dujardin -- The Artist
        Gary Oldman -- Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
        Brad Pitt --  Moneyball

    Actress In a Leading Role
        Glenn Close --  Albert Nobbs
        Viola Davis -- The Help
        Rooney Mara -- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
        Meryl Streep -- The Iron Lady
        Michelle Williams --  My Week With Marilyn
    Actor In a Supporting Role
        Kenneth Branagh -- My Week With Marilyn
        Jonah Hill -- Moneyball
        Nick Nolte -- Warrior
        Christopher Plummer -- Beginners
         Max von Sydow -- Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

    Actress In a Supporting Role
        Bérénice Bejo -- The Artist
        Jessica Chastain -- The Help
        Melissa McCarthy -- Bridesmaids
        Janet McTeer -- Albert Nobbs
        Octavia Spencer -- The Help

        Animated Feature Film
        A Cat in Paris --  Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli
        Chico & Rita --  Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal
        Kung Fu Panda 2 -- Jennifer Yuh Nelson
        Puss in Boots --  Chris Miller
        Rango --  Gore Verbinski

        The Artist -- Guillaume Schiffman
        The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo -- Jeff Cronenweth
        Hugo -- Robert Richardson
        The Tree of Life --  Emmanuel Lubezki
        War Horse

    Art Direction
        The Artist --  Laurence Bennett (Production Design); Robert Gould (Set Decoration)
        Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 --  Stuart Craig (Production Design); Stephenie McMillan (Set Decoration)
        Hugo --  Dante Ferretti (Production Design); Francesca Lo Schiavo (Set Decoration)
        War Horse --  Rick Carter (Production Design); Lee Sandales (Set Decoration)

    Costume Design
        Anonymous --  Lisy Christl
        The Artist --  Mark Bridges
        Hugo -- Sandy Powell
        Jane Eyre --  Michael O'Connor
        W.E. --  Arianne Phillips

        The Artist --  Michel Hazanavicius
        The Descendants -- Alexander Payne
        Hugo -- Martin Scorsese
        Midnight in Paris -- Woody Allen
        The Tree of Life -- Terrence Malick

    Documentary Feature
        Hell and Back Again -- Danfung Dennis and Mike Lerner
        If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front --  Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman
        Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory --  Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky
        Pina --  Wim Wenders and Gian-Piero Ringel
        Undefeated --   TJ Martin, Dan Lindsay and Richard Middlemas

    Documentary Short
        The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement -- Robin Fryday and Gail Dolgin
        God is the Bigger Elvis --  Rebecca Cammisa and Julie Anderson
        Incident in New Baghdad -- James Spione
        Saving Face -- Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
        The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom -- Lucy Walker and Kira Carstensen

    Film Editing
        The Artist -- Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius
        The Descendants --  Kevin Tent
        The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo --  Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
        Hugo -- Thelma Schoonmaker
        Moneyball -- Christopher Tellefsen

    Foreign Language Film
        Belgium, "Bullhead" -- Michael R. Roskam, director
        Canada, "Monsieur Lazhar" -- Philippe Falardeau, director
        Iran, "A Separation" -- Asghar Farhadi, director
        Israel, "Footnote" -- Joseph Cedar, director
        Poland, "In Darkness" -- Agnieszka Holland, director

        Albert Nobbs -- Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and Matthew W. Mungle
        Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 -- Nick Dudman, Amanda Knight and Lisa Tomblin
        The Iron Lady --  Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland

    Music (Original Score)
        The Adventures of Tintin -- John Williams
        The Artist -- Ludovic Bource
        Hugo -- Howard Shore
        Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy -- Alberto Iglesias
        War Horse -- John Williams

    Music (Original Song)
        "Man or Muppet" from THE MUPPETS --  Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie
        “Real in Rio” from RIO --  Music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown  Lyric by Siedah Garrett

    Short Film (Animated)
        Dimanche/Sunday -- Patrick Doyon
        The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore -- William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg
        La Luna -- Enrico Casarosa
        A Morning Stroll --  Grant Orchard and Sue Goffe
        Wild Life -- Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby

    Short Film (Live Action) 
         Pentecost --  Peter McDonald and Eimear O'Kane
        Raju --  Max Zähle and Stefan Gieren
        The Shore -- Terry George and Oorlagh George
        Time Freak -- Andrew Bowler and Gigi Causey
        Tuba Atlantic -- Hallvar Witzø

    Sound Editing
        Drive -- Lon Bender and Victor Ray Ennis
        The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo --  Ren Klyce
        Hugo -- Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty
        Transformers: Dark of the Moon -- Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl
        War Horse -- Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom

    Sound Mixing
        The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo -- David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Bo Persson
        Hugo -- Tom Fleischman and John Midgley        Moneyball -- Deb Adair, Ron Bochar, Dave Giammarco and Ed Novick
        Transformers: Dark of the Moon -- Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Peter J. Devlin
        War Horse -- Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson and Stuart Wilson

    Visual Effects
        Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 --  Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler and John Richardson
        Hugo --  Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman and Alex Henning
        Real Steel --   Erik Nash, John Rosengrant, Dan Taylor and Swen Gillberg
        Rise of the Planet of the Apes --  Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White and Daniel Barrett
        Transformers: Dark of the Moon --  Dan Glass, Brad Friedman, Douglas Trumbull and Michael Fink

    Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
        The Descendants --  Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
        Hugo -- Screenplay by John Logan
        The Ides of March -- Screenplay by George Clooney & Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon
        Moneyball -- Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin.  Story by Stan Chervin
        Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy -- Screenplay by Bridget O'Connor & Peter Straughan

    Writing (Original Screenplay)
        The Artist -- Written by Michel Hazanavicius
        Bridesmaids -- Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig
        Margin Call -- Written by J.C. Chandor

        Midnight in Paris -- Written by Woody Allen
        A Separation --  Written by Asghar Farhadi

Superbowl: John Stamos to appear in Dannon Greek Yogurt Superbowl Ad

January 19, 2012
Can't get enough of John Stamos lately? The actor has bee ntapped by Dannon to appear in it's first Superbowl commercial. The first-ever Super Bowl yogurt commercial will feature Dannon Oikos® Greek yogurt and Stamos. The Dannon Oikos advertisement will run during the third quarter of Super Bowl XLVI and will also be released on the Dannon Oikos Facebook and YouTube pages as part of a fully-integrated marketing campaign. Stamos appeared in the previous Dannon Oikos’ TV commercial, the first for the brand, which debuted in August 2011.

“Greek yogurt now accounts for more than one quarter of the entire U.S. yogurt market. Americans continue to crave Greek yogurt and demand continues to grow as we see a shift in the way that Americans enjoy yogurt. We make what is possibly the best tasting yogurt in the world with Dannon Oikos and now is the perfect time to highlight this delicious and nutritious snack in our Super Bowl ad,” said Sergio Fuster, Senior Vice President of Marketing, The Dannon Company. “We are preparing some very memorable advertising that emphasizes just how good it is, and we’ve invested in production capacity to meet anticipated increased demand.”

John Stamos’ first commercial for Dannon Oikos was in 2011. “I’m so impressed with the direction Dannon took with this new commercial," Stamos said about the new ad. "I’m really proud to be part of the project.”

Dannon Oikos Greek Yogurt comes in several flavors — strawberry, blueberry, honey, vanilla, and plain, peach and black cherry, and a few more indulgent, blended flavors of strawberry, key lime, and raspberry.
January 17, 2012

Brian Wilson, John Mayer, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Michelle Philips, Gov. Mike Huckabee to Appear as Part of The NAMM SHOW’S MEDIA PREVIEW DAY, Wednesday, January 18, 2012

NAMM preview day is slated for Wednesday, January 18 in Anaheim. Some of music's biggest artists are expected to appear.

The actual convention, which takes place from ll appear at The NAMM SHOW’S MEDIA PREVIEW DAY, which highlights the best musical instruments, apps. and technologies of the future available to professional music-makers and the public in 2012. MEDIA PREVIEW DAY offers access to the Music App. & Gaming Pavilion and gives media a pre-Show advantage of previewing the top never-before-seen musical instruments and products chosen from 1,400 that will be presented over the course of the four-day show. Each year NAMM (The National Association of Music Merchants) produces The NAMM Show, which is the largest musical instruments and products trade-only show in North America, with 90,000+ attendees and more than 1,400 exhibitors from over 90 countries.

Singer-songwriter and producer Brian Wilson will receive NAMM’s highest honor, the Music for Life Award, for his musical impact and contributions over the course of more than 50 years. Joe Lamond, president & CEO of NAMM, will conduct a stage Q&A with the Beach Boys icon. Guitarist John Mayer will demo and announce a new music partnership with a long-time NAMM member company; the last surviving member of The Mamas & The Papas, Michelle Phillips, will receive a special tribute and will perform; blues rocker and singer-songwriter Kenny Wayne Shepherd will perform and introduce a new Guitar World music app.; strong NAMM supporter and gifted bass player, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, will appear to discuss his love of music and the importance of playing music.

Exhibiting companies include Andy Graham Productions, C. F. Martin & Co., Inc., D&H Guitars, Dube, Farmer Musical Instruments, IK Multimedia, Magma Music Molecules Drums Company, Nektar, Numark/Alesis, Ovistrings Music Company Peavey Electronics Corp., PocketStrings, Porter & Davies, RockStar Pyro Taylor Guitars, TC Group Americas, Wi Digital Systems, Yamaha, Z-STIK.


(Subject to change)
10:00 a.m. - Media Preview Day opens
11:30 a.m. - Kenny Wayne Shepherd showcases Guitar World Lick of the Day App.
11:45 a.m. - Mike Huckabee, bassist, former Gov. of Arkansas
12:00 p.m. - Brian Wilson Music for Life Award and Q&A
12:30 p.m. - Michelle Phillips/The Mamas & The Papas
1:00 p.m. - John Mayer instrument demo

WHEN: Wednesday, January 18, 2012, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

WHERE: Anaheim Convention Center / Entrance of Hall E 800 West Katella Avenue Anaheim, 92802

ABC creates Oscars.org website in anticipation of Oscars February 26

Oscar.com, the official online home of the 84th Academy Awards(r), is launching its award-winning Oscar Digital Experience today with a first look at Billy Crystal's return to Oscar's stage. One of America's most beloved funny men, Billy starts the official countdown to the show talking about what the Oscars mean to him and setting the stage for weeks of extensive coverage on Oscar.com.

The site kicks off with an interactive timeline and Oscar's official Blog, which will feature daily content including red carpet fashion trends from stylists and tips from master chefs and lifestyle experts on hosting the best Oscar viewing party. Oscar Buzz, the site's social media page, will track real-time comments from fans using #Oscars and #OscarBuzz.

On Oscar Sunday, February 26, Oscar.com will have live cameras strategically placed everywhere from the red carpet to backstage and even the Governors Ball, providing the ultimate insider's view before, during and after the show. The cameras will broadcast online, as well as on iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

"Last year our team set the bar high in terms of interactive second screen experiences," said Karin Gilford, senior vice president, Digital Media, ABC.com. " This year we are taking the best of what we learned and are building on it. Beginning today we'll take visitors on an unparalleled journey all the way through Oscar Sunday."

"Oscar.com is for the movie fan in all of us," said Christina Kounelias, chief marketing officer, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. "The site not only allows us to share the latest Oscar news, but also connects fans everywhere with 84 years of unforgettable Academy moments."

Straight from the Academy's photo and video archives, Oscar.com presents "Oscar History," an interactive timeline that includes:

- Sidney Poitier becomes the first African-American to win the Oscar for Best Actor for :Lilies of the Field"
- Elizabeth Taylor with her Oscar for Best Actress in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"
- Muhammad Ali surprises Sylvester Stallone with an onstage sparring session the night "Rocky" wins Best Picture
- Tom Hanks takes home the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in "Philadelphia."
- Matt Damon and Ben Affleck charm audiences the night they win the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for "Good Will Hunting."
- Hobbits, Hobbits Everywhere... Peter Jackson is accompanied on stage by cast and crew members of "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" when he accepts the Academy Award for Best Picture.

On Nominations morning, January 24, Oscar.com welcomes back Internet personality Shira Lazar, who will kick off the first video installment of "Oscar Buzz" by covering reactions from the social media world. "My Oscar Picks" will also go live. This interactive play-along game offers fans a chance to test their Oscar prediction skills. On Oscar Sunday, users will have the opportunity to play along during the telecast and predict category winners ahead of the opening of the envelopes.

On January 29, "Oscar Buzz" kicks off "Oscar Talks," a four-part video series focusing on the Actor, Actress, Directing and Best Pictures categories.

Entertainment Weekly's Dave Karger returns on February 1 to Oscar.com with "Nominated...with Dave Karger." The 10-episode series will provide the ultimate film buff's analysis of the Best Picture race.

It's all glamour and glitz beginning February 11. "Best Dressed" launches with Rachel Smith, host of "On the Red Carpet," doing interviews with stylists, makeup artists and hair stylists, as well as covering live events, and of course, offering post-show analysis of Oscar night fashion.

The 84th Academy Awards will be presented on Sunday, February 26, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood and Highland Center(r), and televised live by the ABC Television Network.

About Oscar.com
Oscar.com, the official site of the Academy Awards, is a joint production of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Disney/ABC TV Group's digital media team. Oscar.com provides movie fans exclusive Oscar coverage, featuring nominee biographies, style and fashion news, plus original video commentary.

About The Academy
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is the world's preeminent movie-related organization, with a membership of more than 6,000 of the most accomplished men and women working in cinema. In addition to the annual Academy Awards-in which the members vote to select the nominees and winners-the Academy presents a diverse year-round slate of public programs, exhibitions and events; provides financial support to a wide range of other movie-related organizations and endeavors; acts as a neutral advocate in the advancement of motion picture technology; and, through its Margaret Herrick Library and Academy Film Archive, collects, preserves, restores and provides access to movies and items related to their history. Through these and other activities the Academy serves students, historians, the entertainment industry and people everywhere who love movies.

Niecy Nash focus of new TLC docu-sitcom 'Leave It To Niecy'

January 16, 2012

TLC announced at TCA that it will produce the new family docu-series, "Leave It To Niecy," featuring actress/comedienne Niecy Nash. "Leave It To Niecy" blends together production and storytelling elements from both the sitcom genre and reality shows, "Leave It To Niecy" offers real-life humor and the comedy format. The eight-episode half-hour series will premiere March 28 at 10/9c.

TLC viewers were first introduced to Niecy and her family in the wedding special, "Niecy Nash's Wedding Bash" in the summer of 2011. "Leave It To Niecy" takes viewers into the couple's home, which includes her three kids, and her opinionated mother. Together, they balance work, life, and love to create a modern blended family.

The family includes:

Niecy - hard-working actress/comedienne, well known for "Reno 911" and "Dancing With The Stars" She's never been busier, but Niecy places family first - and doesn't put up with any foolishness under her roof.

Jay - an electrical engineer, Jay is working on blending these two families together. He's adjusting to living in a household of mostly women, especially parenting teenage daughters for the first time.

Miss Margaret - Niecy's mom, who lives with the family, and helps take care of the kids when Niecy's working. She's quick to challenge her daughter, and isn't shy with an opinion.

Dominic - Niecy's oldest child, Dominic has the world ahead of him and dreams of growing his creative talents. He's always trying to debunk his mom's schemes, enlisting his sisters for help.

Romallis - Jay's son. Niecy's kids have welcomed Romallis into the family, and he is adjusting to going from being a single child to finding his way in a big and boisterous bunch.

Donielle - The middle child, Donielle has dry sense of humor. Always calling it as she sees it, she is quick to see through her mom's hijinks, especially when it comes to attempts at family bonding.

Dia - the youngest child, Dia big personality. She's wants to grow up faster the Niecy will allow and she's always push limit to no longer be seen as the baby of the family.

"TLC is well-known for its real life series about remarkable families, and "Leave It To Niecy" takes that genre to a new level. We knew we had something special with Niecy and her family - their natural comedy helped us re-think how to bring their story to our audience in a way that truly fit our brand" said Amy Winter, GM, TLC.

"Jay and I are thrilled to be part of something so positive and exciting," said Niecy. "TLC was the home to my wedding special and after the marriage it just made sense to invite them back to document the journey of our love while doing it with a full house of family and fun."

"Leave It To Niecy" will be produced by Shed Media US and will air on TLC.

Nash will also star in "Have Faith," with Cedric The Entertainer for TV Land beginining in June.

'Community': Joel McHale thanks fans, hopes for show's return (video interview)

Friends and fans turned up in Downtown Los Angeles to wish "Hot In Cleveland" and "Betty White's Off Their Rockers" star Betty White a happy 90th birthday as NBC taped an all-star celebration honoring White. On hand to say happy birthday to White were industry friends Joel McHale, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Amy Poehler, Kate Flannery, John O'Hurley, William Shatner, Zachary Levi and Chevy Chase.

Some of Betty's co-workers from her iconic shows were on hand as well, including her "Mama's Family" co-stars Carol Burnett and Vicki Lawrence, her “Mary Tyler Moore Show” co-workers/friends Mary Tyler Moore, Gavin Mac Leod, Ed Asner and Valerie Harper, the cast of her new show "Betty White's Off Their Rockers" and her "Hot In Cleveland” co-stars Wendie Malick, Jane Leeves and Valerie Bertinelli.

Comedian and "Community" actor Joel McHale was just one of the many guests who talked to Examiner. The actor shared his thougts on Betty's career and took the time to thank the amazing fans of "Community" for their support of the show during its hiatus.

"Community" airs on NBC.

'Smash': on location with the cast in New York (video)

Playbill was on the set of the upcoming musical "Smash." The cast and crew, including newcomers Megan Hilty and Katharine McPhee were on hand last month to shoot a fantasy musical scene.

"Smash" is a musical drama that follows a group of people who are set to create a Broadway musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe. The cast includes Christian Borle, Debra Messing, Brian d’Arcy James, McPhee, Hilty, Anjelica Huston, Jack Davenport, Jaime Cepero and Raza Jaffrey. Special guest appearances include Uma Thurman, Nick Jonas and Bernadette Peters.

Check out the video below to watch behind the scenes footage of the show:

The series premieres Feb. 6 on NBC.

'The Good Wife': Rita Wilson, Parker Posey,Jonathan, Renee Elise Goldsberry, more set to guest star in February

January 11, 2012

"The Good Wife," starring Julianna Margulies, will have an all-star roster on the upcoming Sunday, Feb. 19 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT), episode on CBS.

In this episode, Lockhart & Gardner leads a class action suit against a software company that allowed the Syrian government to “disappear” American citizens.

Returning guest cast for the episode include Rita Wilson as Viola Walsh, Golden Globe Award nominee Parker Posey as Vanessa Gold, SAG Award nominee Denis O’Hare as Judge Charles Abernathy, Emmy Award winner Edward Herrmann as Lionel Deerfield, Tony Award winner John Benjamin Hickey as Neil Gross, Amy Sedaris as Stacie Hall, Daytime Emmy Award nominee Renee Elise Goldsberry as Geneva Pine, SAG Award nominee Anna Camp as Caitlin D’Arcy, Monica Raymund as Dana Lodge and Jack Carpenter as Patrick Edelstein. Jonathan Groff makes his first appearance on the drama as Jimmy, a member of the class action.

"The Good Wife" airs Sundays on CBS

'All My Children': Alicia Minshew shows Shoes TV her shoes closet (video)

January 3, 2012

'American Idol': James Durbin marries in a New Year's Eve ceremony

January 2, 2012

"American Idol" finalist James Durbin wed longtime love fiancee Heidi Lowe on New Year's Eve in a intimate ceremony. The couple said "I Do" in front of 85 frineds and family members People reports. The couple's 2-year-old son, Hunter, served as ring bearer in the ceremony in near their home town in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

"We are so in love and happy that we got to share our special day with our closest family and friends,” the couple told People.

"This wedding was the perfect way to kick off the New Year. We are looking forward to living happily ever after."

Guests included Durbin's fellow Idol Season 10 contestants Haley Reinhart, Casey Abrams, and Stefano Langone who was Durbin's best man.

One of the highlights of the night was when Geoff Tate, lead singer of the band Queensrÿche, surprised the couple with a performance of his band's 1984 "Take Hold of the Flame" from their album "The Warning"– one of Durbin and Lowe's favorite songs.

Durbin recently released his first album "Memories of a Beautiful Disaster" and plans to tour in the upcoming year.

Continue reading at Examiner.com: http://www.examiner.com/weddings-in-los-angeles/american-idol-james-durbin-marries-a-new-year-s-eve-ceremony

Ashton Kutcher's 'Punk'd' returns to MTV with celebrity hosts Miley Cyrus, Dax Shepard, more

January 1, 2012

MTV'S reality prank series "PUNK'D," returns to television network on Monday March 19th. The series was one that helped launch Asthon Kutcher's popularity as he played pranks on his celebrity friends.

This Season, Ashton Kutcher will not host but will hand over the reins to a new celebrity host this week, including Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Kellan Lutz, and Dax Shepard, among others.

"What better way to ring in the New Year than to let our audience know that Ashton and MTV are bringing back Punk'd in a big way", said Van Toffler President MTVN Music Group, LOGO and Film. "There's a new generation of unsuspecting suckers just waiting to be Punk'd by their famous friends, and fans will once again have a front row seat to see the shock on the faces of their favorite celebs."

Viewers of the "Punk'd" series this season will get behind the scenes look at the stunts as they are being planned which will give them a new insight into all that goes on to produce the show.

Kutcher will remain as one of the show's executive producers.

Continue reading at Examiner.com: http://www.examiner.com/sitcom-in-los-angeles/ashton-kutcher-s-punk-d-returns-to-mtv-with-celebrity-hosts

‘One Life To Live’: SOAPnet to host full day marathon of iconic soap January 1

SOAPnet will celebrate New Year's Day with a full day marathon of classic "One Life To Live" episodes. The 14 hour marathon will include some of the series best show from their 43-year history, airing , Sunday, January 1, from 10 a.m. to 12 a.m. ET/PT.

The marathon will feature memorable episodes including Tina going over the waterfall; the Buchanans in the Old West; an episode from history-making 2002 live week; and Judith Light’s mesmerizing performance as Karen Wolek admitting she was a prostitute on the witness stand. Former “One Life To Live” stars Marcia Cross ("Desperate Housewives") and Nathan Fillion ("Castle") will also be featured.

Here's a breakdown of the episodes:

Sunday, January 1:

10AM – Episode #1979-2719 (original air date 3/6/79) – On the witness stand, Karen stuns everyone by admitting that she was a prostitute.

11AM – Episode #1987-4786 (original air date 3/9/87) – In Argentina, the boat Tina was on, goes over the waterfall. Distraught Cord takes out his anger on Max. Kate feels it’s her fault; Gabrielle tells Max that she can get along just fine without him.

12PM – Episode #1988-5077 (original air date 5/13/88) – The Buchanan clan goes back in time to the old west for Clint and Ginny’s wedding; Asa and Cord can’t figure out why pictures of Bo are missing.

1PM – Episode #1992-6035 (original air date 2/7/92) - Jake is devastated as Megan dies in his arms.

2PM – Episode #1993-6404 (original air date 7/15/93) – OLTL’s 25th Anniversary show – Viki and Dorian are locked together in a secret room; In the hospital, Tina sits by Cord’s bedside and reminisces about their history; Luna is adamant that Max is alive.

3PM – Episode #1994-6750 (original air date 11/28/94) – Viki leaves her wedding and walks in on Dorian’s affair with Joey; Powell holds Todd at gunpoint; David asks Tina to accept his proposal and secretly marry him.

4PM – Episode #1995-6996R (original air date 11/14/95) - Todd and Blair are married and celebrate with a private wedding reception; Marty and Patrick sleep together; Kelly asks Joey to help her lose her virginity.

5PM – Episode #1995-7012 (original air date 12/8/95) - Viki realizes she killed Victor Lord, or rather, her multiple personality, Tori did. Meanwhile, Dorian is arrested for his murder.

6PM – Episode #2001-8530B (original air date 11/16/01) - All of Asa’s wives turn out for his “funeral.” Adjusting to the news that she’s a Buchanan, Natalie makes an angry appearance at the service.

7PM - Episode #2002-8654 (original air date 5/14/02) – One of the show’s live episodes - Niki is desperate to get out of Viki’s marriage to Ben; Blair confronts Todd for lying to her that her baby died; Natalie warns Jen about Al. Angry Al tells Max he wants nothing to do with him; Antonio defends Keri to his mother re: her financial issues.

8PM - Episode #2005-09492 (original air date 8/22/05) – In the hospital after being rescued from the pit, Natalie shares her feelings with John; Jess tries to tell Nash that she’s not Tess, but Tess takes over; Rex thanks Evangeline for saving Natalie.

9PM – Episode #2006-9686 (original air date 5/29/06) - As he awaits his execution, an emotional Todd gives final goodbyes to his loves ones. Meanwhile, John has the evidence to prove Todd innocent, but can he get to the prison in time?; Antonio pleads with Tess, as he tries to get through to Jessica.

10PM – Episode #2008-10309 (original air date 11/10/08) - After Starr gives birth to Hope, she bonds with Blair and Marcie; Todd decides not to steal the baby, but Bess does instead; Viki saves Natalie and Jared from the bomb in the secret room; John reveals to Marty that it was Todd who raped her.

11PM – Episode #2010-10701 (original air date June 7, 2010) - In front of friends and family, Bo and Nora are married by David.

"One Life To Live" airs its last episode on ABC Daytime on January 13, 2012.

Continue reading at Examiner.com: http://www.examiner.com/daytime-tv-in-national/one-life-to-live-soapnet-to-host-full-day-marathon-of-iconic-soap-january-1