Mariah, Minaj and Vampires Reach Ratings Success: Looks like that catty new judging panel is working! The second night of the American Idol Season 12 premiere dropped only 2 percent: Good news, considering 19 percent of viewers changed their minds after night one last year. Meanwhile, The CW has something to celebrate today, as The Vampire Diaries beat NBC's 30 Rock and 1600 Penn in its demo. [EW]
More Laughs on the Peacock: NBC has officially greenlit three comedy pilots — one from The Office vet Greg Daniels, another from Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, then a sperm donor comedy called Donor Party from relative unknowns Alex Schemmer and Geyer Kosinski. All three shows are single camera and sound relatively quirky, which (hopefully) means that NBC is going with smart over broad this year. (Here's looking at you, Guys With Kids.) [Deadline]
Ben and Kate... and Jesse: In addition to his recurring role on the new season of Army Wives, Jesse McCartney is set to guest star in a February episode of Fox's breakout comedy Ben and Kate. In the episode, Kate returns to college and shares a class with BJ who tries to get her to let loose and have fun, but Kate is determined to focus on her studies this time around. But that might be a little difficult with Jesse (McCartney), a hot fellow student, trying to get Kate's attention and eventually asking her out. His episode is slated to air Tuesday Feb. 26. [E!]
Arrow Beauty Heads to Dracula's Lair: NBC confirmed on Friday that Arrow’s Jessica De Gouw will play the female character Mina in the upcoming series Dracula, which stars Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Dracula has been described by NBC as a "provocative" version of Bram Stoker's classic, set in 1896. The 10-episode series begins when Dracula arrives in London, pretending to be an American entrepreneur, who claims he is trying to bring modern science to Victorian society. His real goal is to enact revenge on people he believes have wronged him. Dracula's one problem with revenge occurs when he falls in love with a woman (De Gouw), who appears to be a reincarnation of his dead wife. [Yahoo News]
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Following reports yesterday that Angelina Jolie's directorial debut had been revoked a shooting permit in Bosnia, GK Films says it is reapplying for the right to film in Sarajevo.
According to an earlier Reuters report, concerns about the film's content had caused the original permit to be revoked by Bosnian authorities. GK, however, called the hiccup "purely a technical matter."
"In the film, a victim is really falling in love with her torturer," Bakira Hasecic, president of the Women Victims of War association, was quoted as saying in Wednesday's Oslobodjenje daily newspaper, Reuters said in its report.
Hasecic had urged authorities to prohibit the film from shooting in Bosnia "because of the script which offends a female war victim and distorts the truth about what that woman has suffered in a detention camp," Reuters reported citing the newspaper account.
The Bosnian culture minister had cited incomplete paperwork, saying a screenplay for review by his office had not been submitted. His move to cancel the permit coincided with the protests from the Women Victims of War association, The Independent reported.
Reached Thursday by The Los Angeles Times, Geyer Kosinski, Jolie's manager and a producer on the film, said the script-approval issue had been misinterpreted. An initial approval by the Bosnian government still stood; it was simply a second request, recently submitted to seek permission to shoot in a particular region, that was under review. "It's absolutely incorrect. She's been shooting there for three weeks and she's continuing to do so."
Also on Thursday, GK Films, which is financing the untitled film, said that "as a purely technical matter" it is obliged to reapply for a permit "now that the final script is available."
Screen reports that the GK statement also said: "The stories about the film which have recently been circulated are incorrect. The dedication and commitment of the cast and crew from all over the former Yugoslavia demonstrates the integrity of this project."
Jolie on Thursday added in a statement: "Obviously any dramatic interpretation will always fail those who have had a real experience. This is not a documentary," she said. "There are many twists in the plot that address the sensitive nature of the relationship between the main characters and that will be revealed once the film is released. My hope is that people will hold judgment until they have seen the film. "
Per The Independent:
“For Ms. Jolie, who earned an Oscar for her supporting role in the film Girl, Interrupted (1999), the hiccup may seem ironic. She is a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, UNHCR, and was in Bosnia in August to help resolve population displacement issues lingering from the war. She has also made sure to employ local Bosnian actors and actresses for the film.”
"Is this how we thank Angelina Jolie...for treating a Bosnian tragedy that has already been forgotten by the world...for hiring five or six Bosnian actors in her movie?" Emir Hadzihafizbegovic, the culture minister for Sarajevo canton and a well-known actor himself, told the daily Oslobodjenje newspaper, according to The Independent.
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