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NBC climbs ratings mountain with live 'Sound of Music' special
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - U.S. network NBC's live telecast of the musical "The Sound of Music" played to the tune of 18.5 million viewers, the Comcast Corp-owned broadcaster said on Friday, helping NBC inject some momentum into its entertainment division. The three-hour production on Thursday starring country singer Carrie Underwood as Maria, the would-be nun who falls in love with an anti-Nazi Austrian captain, was NBC's best non-sports draw in the 18 to 49 age group most coveted by advertisers since the finale of hospital drama "ER" in 2009.
'The Square' wins top documentary award for look at Egypt's turmoil
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "The Square," a film that follows activists in Cairo's Tahrir Square following the 2011 overthrow of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, won the award for best feature documentary for 2013 on Friday from the International Documentary Association. The IDA award for Egyptian-American filmmaker Jehane Noujaim's work comes after honors at the Toronto and Sundance film festivals, setting it up as a favorite for an Oscar, for which it is short-listed.
A Minute With: Carrie Underwood climbs 'Sound of Music' mountain
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Despite just a handful of acting roles to date, country singer and "American Idol" winner Carrie Underwood was the first choice to play the coveted lead role of Maria in a new live version of "The Sound of Music" for television. Since winning "Idol" in 2005, Underwood, 30, has taken the country music scene by storm with hits like "Before He Cheats," and "Jesus, Take the Wheel," winning six Grammys and more than 100 other music awards. But the singer will take on more than just singing as she plays the von Trapp's musical governess in the live NBC broadcast on Thursday.
TV host Martin Bashir resigns over offensive remarks
(Reuters) - Television host Martin Bashir resigned from the U.S. cable news network MSNBC on Wednesday after making controversial remarks about former Alaska governor Sarah Palin. "Upon further reflection, and after meeting with the president of MSNBC, I have tendered my resignation," Bashir wrote in a memo obtained by Reuters.
MSNBC cancels Alec Baldwin's late-night talk show
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Emmy-award winning actor Alec Baldwin's late-night talk show on cable TV news network MSNBC has been canceled, the network said on Tuesday. The talk show, "Up Late with Alec Baldwin," was suspended earlier this month after the actor apologized for comments he made to a New York photographer that a gay rights group described as homophobic.
Comcast tests new ad tech to help networks capture binge viewers
(Reuters) - Comcast Corp, the largest U.S. cable operator, is testing new advertising technology that inserts up-to-date commercials into past episodes of TV shows that are available on demand, a development that could help television networks generate additional revenue. As people get used to catching up on or binging on older episodes of shows through online services like Netflix and Hulu, cable companies and TV networks are plying viewers with past episodes from current seasons that can be watched on demand through their cable set-top boxes.
U.S. Christian broadcaster Paul Crouch dies aged 79
(Reuters) - Paul Crouch, the U.S. televangelist who founded one of the world's largest Christian broadcasting networks, died on Saturday at age 79. Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) - the company he set up with his wife Jan - beamed Christian programs over 84 satellite channels and more than 18,000 television and cable affiliates, according to its website.
'Family Guy' fans start petition to resurrect show's beloved talking dog
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Thousands of fans of the Fox animated comedy series "Family Guy" signed a petition on Monday demanding that the network and show's creator bring back a beloved talking-dog character whose death stunned viewers in the latest episode. Brian Griffin, the character voiced by "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane, was killed off in Sunday's episode titled "Life of Brian," after being hit by a car. By Monday night, some 14,000 fans of the show were campaigning on petition site Change.org to resurrect the character.
'Jersey Shore' cast member under federal investigation : publicist
NEWARK, New Jersey (Reuters) - Former "Jersey Shore" cast member Mike ‘The Situation' Sorrentino is facing a federal investigation into his finances, his publicist said on Thursday. The probe centers on his businesses, which include MPS Entertainment, Situation Productions and a clothing line, Situation Nation, according to the website TMZ, which first reported on it.
Amazon tests techie comedy 'Betas' in original programming push
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - When online retail giant Amazon decided to join Netflix and Hulu in the online original programming race, it didn't have to look further than its own tech backyard to find a world ripe for comedy. "Betas," starring newcomers Joe Dinicol, Karan Soni and Charlie Saxton as dating app entrepreneurs, explores the hyper- ambition that vibrates among the inhabitants of Northern California's tech-savvy Bay Area.