Entertainment

Punxsutawney Phil ‘predicts’ early spring

PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. - The handlers of Pennsylvania's most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, said the furry rodent failed to see his shadow at dawn Tuesday, meaning he "predicted" an early spring."Is this current warm weather more than a trend? Perchance this winter has come to an end? There is ...

‘Grease’ reaches 12.2 million viewers

NEW YORK - Fox's live production of "Grease" fought rain, wind and personal tragedy to emerge a winner, with its audience of 12.2 million people eclipsing viewership for the last two musicals presented on NBC.The Nielsen company said Fox's audience was more than three times what the network ...

NBC renews deal with prolific producer Wolf

NEW YORK - NBC has signed a new production deal with prolific producer Dick Wolf, ensuring an 18th season of "Law & Order: SVU" and the continuation of his Chicago trilogy of dramas.The deal, announced Monday, binds Wolf with NBC Universal through 2020, by which time he will likely have ...

Music promoter SFX files for bankruptcy protection

NEW YORK - The company behind the Electric Zoo and Tomorrowland music festivals has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.New York-based SFX Entertainment Inc. says, however, that its festivals and events will continue as planned. Filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection allows ...

‘Kung Fu Panda 3’ tops box office; ‘Finest Hours’ flounders

LOS ANGELES - "Kung Fu Panda 3" kicked its way to the top of the North American box office with a respectable $41 million, according to Rentrak estimates Sunday.The DreamWorks Animation film cost a reported $145 million to make and earned a strong "A'' CinemaScore from audiences - 70 percent of ...

Famed character actor Abe Vigoda recalled as a class act

NEW YORK - Nobody who knew "The Godfather" and "Barney Miller" actor Abe Vigoda made mourners smile through their tears Sunday faster than comedian and friend Gilbert Gottfried."This is the 20th time we buried Abe Vigoda," Gottfried announced to a memorial service audience of more than 100.It ...

David Bowie wanted ashes scattered in Bali

NEW YORK - Rock legend David Bowie wanted his ashes scattered in Bali "in accordance with the Buddhist rituals," and he left most of his estate to his two children and his widow, the supermodel Iman, according to his will filed Friday in Manhattan.The 20-page document, filed under his legal ...

‘Gilmore Girls’ to be revived by Netflix

LOS ANGELES - Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel are taking a trip back to Stars Hollow. Netflix says "Gilmore Girls" will be revived with the show's original stars on the streaming service.The comedy-drama set in the fictional town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut, ran for seven seasons from 2000 to ...

In latest fad, Thais treat ‘child angel’ dolls like progeny

BANGKOK - Mix one part superstition, two parts fashion, a dab of celebrity idolatry and a heap of media frenzy, and what do you get? "Child angel" dolls, the latest craze in Thailand.The dolls occupy a niche somewhere between Buddhist amulets, beloved by gamblers, gangsters and policemen for ...

Jefferson Airplane co-founder Paul Kantner dies at age 74

NEW YORK - Paul Kantner, a founding member of the Jefferson Airplane who stayed with the seminal San Francisco band through its transformation from 1960s hippies to 1970s hit makers as the eventual leader of successor group Jefferson Starship, has died at age 74.Kantner, who drew upon his ...

Diversity thrives in indies, while studios lag behind

LOS ANGELES - A year ago, first-time director Nate Parker was still struggling get together the $10 million he needed to make his passion project, a film that tells the story of slave rebellion leader Nat Turner.On Tuesday, a day after the film debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, Parker sold ...

Kerry Washington feted with parade at Harvard

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Actress Kerry Washington has been feted with a parade through Harvard Square and a roast by Harvard University's Hasty Pudding Theatricals.The nation's oldest collegiate theatrical organization says it named Washington as Woman of the Year because she's the first black woman ...

Ex-bassist for The Roots sues bandmates

PHILADELPHIA - The former bassist for The Roots is suing members of the band and a manager, claiming he's owed money from a deal hatched before his cancer diagnosis forced him to quit.Leonard "Hub" Hubbard performed with the band from 1992 to 2007, when he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. ...

Carrie Underwood to honor military families during tour

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Country star Carrie Underwood is working with Carnival Cruise Line and Operation Homefront to honor military families throughout her upcoming "Storyteller" tour.Underwood will meet with selected military families in 10 cities, and she'll perform a free concert for hundreds of ...

Cate Blanchett to make Broadway debut

NEW YORK - Cate Blanchett will make her Broadway debut next winter in Anton Chekhov's first - and long-forgotten - play.The Oscar winner and Academy Award nominee this year for "Carol" will star in "The Present" opposite Richard Roxburgh in the production that originated at the Sydney Theatre ...

Joseph Fiennes to play Michael Jackson

LONDON - Joseph Fiennes will star as Michael Jackson in a one-off TV comedy set to broadcast later this year - a casting decision that has added fuel to a raging debate about opportunities for non-white actors in movies and TV.The white British star of "Shakespeare in Love" plays the black King ...

Ai Weiwei withdraws works in Denmark due to immigration law

COPENHAGEN, Denmark - Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei is withdrawing his works from two museums in Denmark to protest a new law that allows Danish authorities to seize valuables from migrants."Basically it's an insult to human dignity to have that kind of policy," Ai told The Associated ...

Trevor Noah writing book of personal essays

NEW YORK - Trevor Noah is upholding another tradition left from his Comedy Central predecessor Jon Stewart: He's writing a book.Publisher Spiegel & Grau told The Associated Press on Tuesday that it had acquired a collection of personal essays by Noah about growing up in South Africa.The ...

Miley to star in Woody Allen’s Amazon series

NEW YORK - Woody Allen has an unlikely new female star: Miley Cyrus.Cyrus will star in Allen's not-yet-titled Amazon series, a spokeswoman for Cyrus confirmed. The head-spinning casting combines the 80-year-old filmmaker with the 23-year-old former Disney star.Cyrus will star alongside Elaine ...

Flint water crisis is subject of MSNBC special

NEW YORK - MSNBC's Rachel Maddow says she planned a special broadcast on the Flint, Michigan, water crisis out of concern that assigning political blame was getting more attention than the needs of the city's residents.Maddow is hosting a special televised town hall meeting from Flint on ...