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Following is a summary of current entertainment news briefs.
Beyonce says sang along to pre-recorded track at inauguration
NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - Singer Beyonce said she sang along to a pre-recorded track at the inauguration of President Barack Obama, but delivered a stirring a cappella version of the U.S. national anthem at a Super Bowl news conference on Thursday. She also said would be singing live at the half-time show of the National Football League championship game between the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens at the Superdome on Sunday.
"30 Rock" closes its doors with a sentimental farewell
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Emmy-winning TV comedy "30 Rock" bowed out after seven seasons on Thursday with bittersweet farewells but giving all its zany characters a happy ending. The satirical show-within-a-show about the inside workings of a fictional television sketch series saw Tina Fey's hapless writer Liz Lemon try to round up her unruly cast for a last hurrah.
Rushdie says local government did not allow visit to Indian city
KOLKATA (Reuters) - British author Salman Rushdie accused local authorities on Friday of making it impossible for him to visit the Indian city of Kolkata to promote the film adaptation of his novel "Midnight's Children". On Wednesday, Rushdie, whose 1988 novel "The Satanic Verses" is banned in India due to its depiction of Islam, abandoned plans to attend a publicity event in the eastern city after about 100 protesters gathered outside the city's airport.
Whitney Houston anniversary to be marked with TV Grammy special
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Grammy organizers plan to mark the first anniversary of the sudden death of Whitney Houston with a behind-the-scenes TV show on how they scrambled to honor the singer just 24 hours after she died. The Recording Academy said on Thursday that the hour-long special entitled "The Grammys Will Go On: A Death in the Family" will air on February 9, the day before the 2013 Grammy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles.
Amazon unveils exclusive 'Downton Abbey' deal with PBS
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc <AMZN.O> said on Friday that it struck an exclusive deal to distribute seasons of the hit TV show "Downton Abbey" to members of its subscription-based video streaming service. Beginning June 18, Amazon's Prime Instant Video service will be the exclusive subscription service for streaming Season 3 of "Downton Abbey," as part of a new content licensing agreement with PBS Distribution, a unit of The Public Broadcasting Service.
Filmmaker cries censorship as Italy political documentary blocked
ROME (Reuters) - A British filmmaker said on Friday he was a victim of censorship after a leading museum cancelled the Italian premiere of the documentary "Girlfriend in a Coma", which is highly critical of Italy's political and economic situation. The museum where the film was to have been shown on February 13 cancelled the showing and said it could not be held until after the country's elections on Feb 24-25.
Arab-American groups call Coke Super Bowl ad ''racist''
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Arab-American groups have sharply criticized a Coca-Cola <KO.N> Super Bowl ad depicting an Arab walking through the desert with a camel, and one group said it would ask the beverage giant to change it before CBS airs the game on Sunday before an expected audience of more than 100 million U.S. viewers. "Why is it that Arabs are always shown as either oil-rich sheiks, terrorists, or belly dancers?" said Warren David, president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, or ADC.
Duncan Jones to direct "Warcraft" game movie
LONDON (Reuters) - British filmmaker Duncan Jones has signed up to direct a movie based on the popular videogame World of Warcraft, according to a statement posted on its Facebook page. The film, which industry estimates say will cost more than $100 million to make, would be a major step up for the director behind the acclaimed low-budget space drama "Moon" and sci-fi thriller "Source Code" starring Jake Gyllenhaal.
Afghan ''Buzkashi Boys'' bank on Internet campaign for Oscar trip
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The teenage stars of an Oscar-nominated short film from Afghanistan hope to walk the red carpet at the Academy Awards in February thanks to donations that are pouring in to pay for their travel. A representative for the "Buzkashi Boys" film said on Thursday that an online campaign is two-thirds of its way to the $10,000 needed for 14-year-olds Fawad Mohammadi and Jawanmard Paiz to travel from Kabul to Los Angeles in time for Hollywood's biggest night on February 24.