Following is a summary of current entertainment news briefs.
No joke: Obama to screen TV comedy "1600 Penn" at White House
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A "trophy wife" as first lady, a hapless college-aged son who burns down a fraternity house, and a daughter frantically taking pregnancy tests in a White House bathroom - this TV comedy had better be funny. On Wednesday, President Barack Obama is slated to hold a private screening at the White House with the cast and crew of "1600 Penn," an NBC series about a dysfunctional first family.
"Idol" judges Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj play nice after feud
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - New "American Idol" judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj shrugged off their widely publicized feud on Tuesday as a "trumped-up thing" that was merely a passionate difference of opinion over the TV talent show's contestants. In their first big media appearance ahead of the hit show's return to Fox television on January 16, the two pop stars showered each other with praise while barely looking at each other.
Hong Kong art house director Wong Kar Wai back with kung fu epic
HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong art house director Wong Kar Wai, whose slow-paced, pensive films earned him laurels at international festivals such as Cannes, where he won best director, has just come out with "The Grandmaster," his latest kung fu epic. The fruit of eight years of labor and selected as the opening movie for February's Berlin International Film Festival, The Grandmaster tells the legendary tale of Bruce Lee's master Yip Man, played by Wong's long-time collaborator and Cannes best actor award winner Tony Leung.
Affleck, Spielberg, Bigelow among Directors Guild film nominees
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Filmmakers Steven Spielberg, Kathryn Bigelow, Ben Affleck, Tom Hooper and Ang Lee received nominations from the Directors Guild of America (DGA) on Tuesday, ahead of the Oscar nominations this week. Affleck, 40, landed his first Directors Guild film award nomination for Iran hostage thriller "Argo," alongside fellow U.S. directors Bigelow and Spielberg, Taiwanese director Lee and British filmmaker Hooper.
David Bowie breaks long silence with new music release
LONDON (Reuters) - British singer David Bowie released his first new song in nearly a decade on Tuesday in a surprise launch coinciding with his 66th birthday. "Where Are We Now?", produced by long-term collaborator Tony Visconti, is a melancholic look back to the time Bowie spent in Berlin in the 1970s with an accompanying video featuring black-and-white footage of the city when it was still divided.
Kate Winslet's husband wins UK photo court battle
LONDON (Reuters) - British actress Kate Winslet's husband won a court battle on Tuesday stopping The Sun newspaper printing photographs of him "semi-naked" at a private fancy dress party several years ago. Lawyers for Ned RocknRoll, 34, who married the "Titanic" star last month, argued that there was no public interest in the Sun publishing the pictures, that it would be a breach of his privacy and it could lead to Winslet's children being bullied.
Struggling Fox hopes for better new year in TV ratings
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Fox entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly on Tuesday acknowledged that his TV network had struggled to find an audience last season but said he hoped for a better performance going forward. "We limped our way in after 2011. Nobody is happier than us to get into a new year where hopefully there are better things to come," Reilly told television reporters.
Gun task force to meet this week with entertainment industry
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Vice President Joe Biden is slated to meet with representatives from the entertainment industry this week to discuss the role that movies and video games play in gun violence in America, the White House said on Tuesday. The task force is meeting with a wide range of groups, including victims of gun violence and gun owners, as Biden works on recommendations on how to respond to a mass shooting last month in Newtown, Connecticut, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters.
"Snakes on a Plane" director David R. Ellis dies in South Africa
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - David R. Ellis, the child actor and former stuntman who went on to direct gory films including "Snakes on a Plane", has been found dead in a Johannesburg hotel. Ellis, 60, was last seen alive in a restaurant on Saturday. His body was discovered in a bathroom by a hotel manager at the weekend. There was no indication of foul play or robbery, police said in a statement on Tuesday.
Rushdie, Amis targeted in critical maulings of 2012
LONDON (Reuters) - Their status as literary heavyweights could not save them from the savage sarcasm of the critics. Novelists Martin Amis and Salman Rushdie and former poet laureate Andrew Motion were all up for critical mauling of the year in a shortlist published on Tuesday.