Australian folk stars The Seekers have landed a major music honour in their native country just weeks after singer Judith Durham suffered a brain haemorrhage while on tour. The band will receive the Australasian Performing Right Association's (APRA) Ted Albert Award for outstanding services to Australian music during the annual APRA Music Awards ceremony in Melbourne on 17 June (13).
APRA CEO Brett Cottle says in a statement, "Surely no other Australian act has had such enormous international appeal while retaining its unadorned sense of 'Australianness'. The Seekers really put Australian music on the map... And 50 years later the music sounds every bit as great as it did then."
The musicians axed their 50th anniversary tour Down Under earlier this month (May13) after Durham, 69, was hospitalised following a concert in Melbourne. Doctors subsequently diagnosed her with a cerebral haemorrhage.
When washed-up folk singer and former bisexual lesbian Michelle Shocked got up in front of a crowd in San Francisco on Sunday and told the crowd (in the gayest city in America, mind you) that "God hates f**s" she probably expected lots of ire, but she probably did not expect to be out of a job. Ten out of the 11 gigs she had booked for the rest of her North American tour (which was being held to no fanfare even before she ran off her mouth) have been canceled. Seems like the promoters of those shows don't want to associate themselves with her hateful point of view.
While on stage in San Francisco she said, "When they stop Prop 8 [law outlawing same sex marriage in California] and force priests at gunpoint to marry gays, it will be the downfall of civilization, and Jesus will come back... You can go on Twitter and say, 'Michelle Shocked says God hates f**s.'" Well, she certainly doesn't mince words. And, just so you know, God hates bad haircuts too, so I guess Michelle will be burning in hell with the rest of us.
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I can safely say that I don't care a lick what does or does not happen to this born again Christian, but I'm glad that speaking out against gay people and spreading hate speech publicly is getting people fired. Brett Ratner got canned from a job producing the Oscars for saying the same awful word a year ago, and now this. Finally the F-word (the three letter one, not the four letter one) is just as bad as all the other hateful words we express only with initials.
Update: Shocked has apologized for what she said.
"I do not, nor have I ever, said or believed that God hates homosexuals (or anyone else). I said that some of His followers believe that," she said. "When [I said to] tweet that "Michelle Shocked says 'God hates f**s,' [I was] predicting the absurd way my description of, my apology for, the intolerant would no doubt be misinterpreted. The show was all music, and the audience tweets said they enjoyed it. The commentary came about ten minutes later, in the encore."
Well, now all is forgiven!
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
[Photo Credit: Tom Zinn/WENN]
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TV pilot bonanza! NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, and The CW have been on a greenlighting binge, ordering 25 pilots for consideration among their fall 2013 lineups. Among them are the TV spinoff of the venerable Beverly Hills Cop franchise, starring Brandon T. Jackson as the son of Eddie Murphy's titular lawman and already given a series order; a new Western from Lost scribe Carlton Cuse for NBC; a Hunger Games-meets-The-Bachelor dystopian sci-fi thriller for The CW; and the first network adaptation of a Swedish crime novel series. 25 is a lot to wrap your head around, so we've ranked what we found to be Top 10 most intriguing of the lost. Don't worry, we'll let you know about the others too on the next page, but these are the ones that really caught our eye.
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1. Sleepy Hollow (FOX)
Alias scribes Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman gave one beloved franchise a 21st century makeover with their stellar script for 2009's Star Trek. Now they're looking to give Washington Irving's classic American folk tale about upstate New York schoolteacher Ichabod Crane running afoul of the legendary Headless Horseman a modern-day twist. In this version, the pilot for which will be directed by Live Free or Die Hard's Len Wiseman, Crane partners with Sleepy Hollow's female sheriff — something tells us her name might be Katrina Van Tassel — to investigate the battle of good versus evil that has engulfed the soporific burg.
2. Beverly Hills Cop (CBS)
The Shield creator Shawn Ryan didn't skip a beat after the failure of his first incursion into network television: ABC's submarine drama Last Resort. The pilot he wrote for the small screen version of '80s action-comedy juggernaut Beverly Hills Cop focuses on the son of Eddie Murphy's Axel Foley, played by Brandon T. Jackson (Tropic Thunder). Murphy, however, will appear in the pilot and executive produce the show along with Ryan. Mostly, though, after years of gritty, forensics-heavy procedurals it's exciting that CBS is embracing the idea of injecting a little humor into its typically stodgy crime drama format.
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3. Sixth Gun (NBC)
Lost's Carlton Cuse is a busy man. He's already exec producing A&E's Bates Motel and FX pilot The Strain, his collaboration with Guillermo del Toro. Now he's serving as EP on Sixth Gun, a Western pilot picked up by NBC with a script by feature writer Ryan Condal, who's penned the upcoming Hercules: The Thracian Wars for Brett Ratner. Sixth Gun is about a legendary six-shooter with possibly supernatural power that falls into the hands of a young girl and makes her the target of every baddie in the West. Paging Hailee Steinfeld.
4. Delirium (FOX)
Based on Lauren Oliver's bestselling sci-fi book trilogy, Delirium is about a future world in which love has been declared illegal and is even rendered obsolete via a mandatory lobotomy-like procedure. Series protagonist Lena Holloway has 95 days before she herself is forced to submit to the love-killing surgery...only to find herself actually falling in love as time runs out. Think Brave New World meets Dollhouse.
5. The Returned (ABC)
The Killing's Aaron Zelman wrote this pilot about a mystical town called Aurora, where residents' dead loved ones return to visit them. Not so much in a zombie way, more like an existential Solaris way. It will probably go easy on the Tarkovsky long takes.
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6. Backstrom (CBS)
Leif G.W. Persson is the first Swedish crime novelist to get a pilot order with a major U.S. network. (Kenneth Branagh's version of Henning Mankell's Wallander airs on PBS.) His character Ernst Backstrom is being described as criminology's answer to Dr. Gregory House: an overweight, misanthropic forensics expert who's great at his job despite his personality disorder.
NEXT: The rest of our Top 10, plus a round-up of other pilots in development at CBS and ABC.
7. The Selection (The CW)
In development at The CW since 2011, the adaptation of Kiera Cass' novel is kind of like a dystopian version of The Bachelor. Correction: a more dystopian version of The Bachelor. 300 years in the future, a working class woman finds herself the winner of a lottery to compete against 25 other would-be brides for the hand of her nation's "Royal Prince." A fierce competition ensues.
8. Untitled Secret Service Thriller (NBC)
A rookie secret service agent finds himself plunged into a major international conspiracy. And that's just his first day on the job! The official logline promises that he will cross moral and legal lines, which can only mean one thing: torture! It's been too long since we heard Jack Bauer scream, "I'm gonna need a hacksaw!"
9. Holding Patterns (NBC)
Writer Justin Spitzer has proven himself a master of hilarious anti-comedy — a longtime producer on The Office, he wrote the classic Stanley-centric ep "Did I Stutter?" — and this new half-hour sitcom should be no exception. It's about a group of people whose lives are forever changed after they suffer, and survive, a plane crash together. Kind of like Lost with a funny bone.
10. The List (FOX)
Sure, the concept sounds like a rip-off of Skyfall but...wait, Skyfall was unbelievably awesome so who cares? The master list of everyone in the Federal Witness Protection Program is stolen, and one by one each member of the program is killed. It's up to a U.S. Marshal to track down the source of the breach and relocate the surviving witnesses before it's too late.
Friends With Better Lives
Each of the thirtysomethings who anchor this multicam sitcom thinks that they have the best life of their circle of friends. Smugness alert!
Single-camera sitcom from writing team Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitzky (Bad Teacher) about a group of women in their 30s who should have their lives figured out, but don't. In fact, not even close. Girls for Generation Y.
Charlie's Angels' helmer McG produces the first of two obvious cash-ins on the nighttime soap success of Revenge. This one is set on the sandy shores of Venice, CA and is about two rival families making power plays against each other. Bitchery required, clothing optional.
The second cash-in on Revenge. A married female photographer begins an affair with the power attorney who's defending a murder suspect. Guess what? Her husband's the prosecutor in the case.
NEXT: The pilots that have been ordered by Fox and The CW.
Untitled Sean Hayes Comedy Pilot
The multicamera sitcom format and Sean Hayes are kind of in a co-dependent relationship. They both need each other to be truly successful. Hayes, for one, would like everyone to forget about his role as Larry in last year's Three Stooges reboot. So he'll be playing a stressed out dad whose 14-year-old daughter moves in with him right around the same time he gets a difficult new boss at work.
Untitled DJ Nash Comedy Pilot
Jason Bateman's Aggregate Films is producing this single-camera comedy written by DJ Nash, and loosely based on his life, centering on a young kid who worships his blind father and struggles with the fallout from his parents' divorce.
Girlfriend in a Coma
Pretty much exactly what it sounds like. After almost two decades in a coma, a 34-year-old woman wakes up to find she has a 17-year-old daughter from a pregnancy she never even knew about. Kind of like Kill Bill, but presumably with fewer geysers of blood. Also, it's supposed to be a half-hour comedy.
In this hour-long drama, the world's most dangerous criminal turns himself in in exchange for an immunity deal in which he'll rat out all of his associates past and present. But does he have an ulterior motive? Intrigue.
Welcome to the Family
An unplanned pregnancy among two of their younger members brings an Anglo family and a Latino family together. The culture clash of the two broods is funny because they're so different, yet so much the same. NBC's most obvious attempt at a half-hour Modern Family clone yet.
I Suck at Girls
Based on Justin Halpern's follow-up book to $#*! My Dad Says, the concept is a coming-of-age sitcom about an incredibly awkward teenage boy. Fox has already given it a series commitment.
To My Assistants
Kind of like a tube version of Horrible Bosses, this half-hour comedy focuses on the harried, overworked, underpaid assistants at a big New York law firm who band together to cope with the wretched antics of their superiors.
Friends & Family
The U.S. version of Britain's Gavin & Stacey, about what happens when a long-distance romance becomes a short-distance romance.
Writers Justin Spitzer and Andrew Gurland scripted the pilot for this comedy about a wacky family trying to fit in to a very normal Midwest community.
Okay, it's kind of a cheat to include this Vampire Diaries spin-off here, since its pilot is already slated to air as a VD episode this April. Joseph Morgan will star as power-drunk werewolf/vampire hybrid Klaus and Daniel Gillies as Elijah when the action moves from Mystic Falls, VA to New Orleans.
Director Taylor Hackford (Ray, Parker) is producing an hour-long drama about a scandal that engulfs a Virginia naval base and the surrounding town. Leave it to The CW to build a show around hot guys in uniform.
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt
[Photo Credits: Paramount Pictures, Harper Collins, Harper Teen, WENN]
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The Simpsons' creator, Matt Groening, is denying a report that appeared Monday in British newspaper The Financial Times that implied he was winding up the series because it was getting harder and harder to surprise the audience. "I was misquoted and misunderstood," Groening said in a telephone interview with Reuters. "I don't want anyone to think I am predicting the demise of the Simpsons. They will live on with new adventures for years to come." The cartoonist added that his comments were ones he often made before but were taken out of context and misunderstood. "After 300 episodes, it is more difficult to remain true to the characters. We are trying to top ourselves after all those great shows, and the shows are as good now as they have ever been," he said.
Eccentric Icelandic singer Bjork and her American filmmaker boyfriend, Matthew Barney, are expecting a child in September, Reuters reports. Bjork, 36, joined the band Sugarcubes in 1987 but later quit the band to go solo. She has a teenage son from her marriage to fellow Sugarcubes band member, Thor Eldon.
Aussie darling Nicole Kidman won a spot on the cover of People magazine's "The 50 Most Beautiful People" special issue, which hits newsstands Friday. Also included in this year's list are celebs Julia Roberts, Halle Berry, Cindy Crawford, Denzel Washington, Britney Spears, Mandy Moore and Sharon Osbourne.
In the Biz
Seinfeld writer/producer Larry Charles is making his directorial debut in Masked & Anonymous, which is scheduled to go into production in Los Angeles this July, according to Variety. The film's cast so far includes Penelope Cruz, Jessica Lange, Luke Wilson and Bob Dylan, with Jeff Bridges in negotiations to join.
Brett Ratner, who helmed the hugely successful Rush Hour 2 starring Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan, is in early negotiations to direct Paycheck for Paramount Pictures, Variety reports. The film, a futuristic tale about a man who has part of his memory erased, is based on a short story by Philip K. Dick.
Meanwhile, Jerry Bruckheimer and the Walt Disney Co. are in final negotiations with director Gore Verbinski to helm Pirates of the Caribbean. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film focuses on a daring attempt to rescue someone from dangerous pirates trying to reverse an ancient curse.
Steven Spielberg will be wrapping up the shoot on his thriller Catch Me if You Can in Canadian cities Montreal and Quebec City over the next few days, Reuters reports. The big-budget film stars Tom Hanks as an FBI agent who tracks down the young con artist Frank Abagnale, played by Leonardo DiCaprio. The movie is slated for a late fall release.
Fans of MTV's phenomenal reality series The Osbournes will finally be able to find out what exactly Ozzy Osbourne is mumbling between bleeps. The show is being closed-captioned for the hearing "non-impaired," Knight Ridder Newspapers reports.
Following the success of its drama Queer As Folk, the Showtime network is teaming up with MTV to launch a new gay-oriented premium service, the AP reports. The two Viacom outlets will be racing against Canada's existing Pridevision TV to reach the gay market first in the United States.
In a bid to save the recently canceled ABC series Once and Again, fans have purchased a billboard ad in West Hollywood, Calif., that reads: "Dear ABC, Bring back the magic 'Once and Again.'" The ad, which cost fans more than $12,500, will stay up for a month, according to the AP. The series, which stars Sela Ward and Billy Campbell, was canceled because of low ratings.
MTV has scheduled a free concert for 7-10 p.m. May 10 in New York's Battery Park in lower Manhattan as part of the Tribeca Film Festival, the AP reports. Performances at MTV's Rock and Comedy Concert include those by Sheryl Crow, the Counting Crows, Robin Williams and Jimmy Fallon. The festival, which is organized by Robert De Niro, runs from May 8-12.