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'American Idol' creator to launch 'If I Can Dream'

December 17, 2009

'Idol's' 'Dream'-y offshoot

"American Idol" creator Simon Fuller has a new project: a Web-based series that also will explore the desire of ordinary people to become Hollywood stars.

Fuller's "If I Can Dream," which is being billed as the first of "a new generation of post-reality entertainment," will document the story of five young people who dream of success in Hollywood. The show will allow viewers to interact with the individuals and narrative in real time, and will be seen live 24 hours a day, seven days a week at www.ificandream.com.

The series is scheduled to launch multiple platforms including online, radio, TV and mobile handsets early next year.

-- Greg Braxton Jackson items fetch big bucks

Michael Jackson's "moonwalking" shoes and hat sold Wednesday in London for $37,343.

The items were worn for 2001 shows to celebrate the star's 30th anniversary as a solo performer.

Demand has increased for Jackson memorabilia since his death in June. A sparkly white glove worn by the singer for his most famous moonwalk performance was bought by Hoffman Ma, a Hong Kong hotel executive, for $350,000 at an auction in New York on Nov. 21.

-- bloomberg news Fresno could lose museum

The financially troubled Fresno Metropolitan Museum could close next month, the Fresno Bee reports.

"It's going to be very tough to survive," Stewart Randall, president of the museum's board of trustees, told the newspaper.

The problem, the Bee said, is the same one that has plagued the museum since it reopened in November 2008 after a three-year, $28-million renovation: too many expenses, not enough money.

-- from a times staff writer Broad venue for Michigan State

Michigan State University's trustees have approved the start of construction for a new art museum on the East Lansing campus. The school says it will break ground March 16 for the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum. It's expected to open in early 2012.

In 2007, Los Angeles philanthropist and Michigan State alumnus Eli Broad and his wife, Edythe, donated $18.5 million toward building the museum. The couple also gave $7.5 million to commission a sculpture, buy artworks and fund operations and an endowment.

-- associated press Carell and Fey, together again

"The Office" and "30 Rock" are tying the knot.

Again.

Steve Carell and Tina Fey, the stars of the two NBC shows who also play an onscreen pair in the upcoming movie "Date Night," are planning yet another cinematic hook-up.

The comic actors are attached to play an unlikely couple in a new romantic comedy called "Mail-Order Groom." The movie's plot would feature Fey as a single woman who contracts for a mail-order groom from Eastern Europe -- who, lo, turns out to be Carell.

Warner Bros., which is developing the film, is currently seeking directors (Richard Linklater and Jay Roach are among the names that have surfaced). If things break right, they could begin production as early as the spring. The studio would have a short window in which to shoot; the actors' busy television schedules basically require that they make films during their hiatuses.

In "Date Night," which is scheduled to hit theaters April 9, a married couple go out for a quiet dinner and become embroiled in a mob plot.

-- Steven Zeitchik Holmes trove awaits new film

With Sherlock Holmes returning to movie screens this month, it's elementary that it will mean more items for the world's largest collection of Holmes memorabilia at the University of Minnesota.

The university has been collecting Holmes material since 1974 when it bought one collector's library. Then the widow of a Mayo Clinic doctor donated his collection of rarities, and a Holmes fan donated pop culture items from restaurant menus to board games.

Curator Tim Johnson says the university has more than 15,000 volumes and about 60,000 total pieces in the Sherlock Holmes Collections.

-- associated press Louvre to return Luxor fragments

Egypt's antiquities chief says the wall paintings that caused a feud between Egypt and the Louvre Museum will be returned to their original location in a tomb south of Cairo.

In a statement Wednesday, Zahi Hawass said the ancient pieces will be restored by experts and replaced on the wall of a 3,200-year-old tomb in Luxor.

Hawass cut ties with the Louvre in October, saying the Paris museum had refused to return the fragments, which he said had been illegally chipped from that tomb. French officials quickly relented and handed them over this week.

-- associated press

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