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Quick Takes: CBS is concerned about Charlie Sheen's antics

January 15, 2011

The entertainment chief of CBS admits that the latest antics from troubled "Two and a Half Men" star Charlie Sheen are causing headaches at the network.

"I have a high level of concern," Nina Tassler told reporters Friday at the TV press tour in Pasadena. "How could I not?"

Recent reports told of Sheen going on a Las Vegas bender with porn stars; he has been in and out of rehab since being charged with assaulting his now-estranged wife in December 2009. Last fall, he reportedly went on a rampage in his hotel room in New York.

But Sheen has been nothing but solid on the set, Tassler added. "He comes to work, he does his job extremely well.... The show is a hit."

—Scott Collins

Former publicist sues the HFPA

The longtime Golden Globes publicist Michael Russell filed a lawsuit Thursday against the award show's parent organization the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. on the eve of the group's 68th annual Golden Globes show.

Russell and his partner Stephen Locascio attest that the HFPA and its president, Philip Berk, broke an employment contract, failed to pay wages and engaged in "payola" in connection with the show.

Russell and Locascio argue that they were dismissed after attempting to persuade Berk to stop the organization's "unethical and potentially unlawful deals" that the members of the journalistic group engage in. Some of the accusations include accepting lavish vacations and gifts in exchange for Golden Globe votes, selling spots on the red carpet to low-profile outlets wanting to cover the Globes, and accepting payment from studios and producers if they agree to lobby for specific films.

The HFPA, which is engaged in last-minute preparations for Sunday's show, responded with this statement: "Michael Russell and Steve Locascio's allegations are completely without merit. This is no more than the case of a disgruntled former consulting firm, whose contract was not renewed, attempting to take advantage once again of the Globes' international stage for their own gain."

—Nicole Sperling

LACMA adds extras to 'Burton'

"Tim Burton," the art retrospective of the film director's career, will bring more than 700 of his paintings, photos, puppets, costumes and film and video works to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's Resnick Exhibition Pavilion from May 29 to Oct. 31 (when the closing will be marked with suitably Burton-esque Halloween festivities).

But wait, there's even more: The museum has announced a sidebar show, "Burton Selects," in which he will pick drawings and prints from LACMA's collection that have inspired him.

It will run April 16 to Nov. 13. Other LACMA-specific attractions not seen when the show debuted in 2009 at New York's Museum of Modern Art, then toured, will be an outdoor installation of Burton's giant deer topiary from "Edward Scissorhands," and another big Burton work, "Balloon Boy," in a spot to be determined.

—David Ng

Who gets to wear the parrot?

Elijah Wood will join Eddie Izzard in a new adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's buccaneer classic, "Treasure Island," to be broadcast at Christmas on Britain's Sky television channel. He will play Ben Gunn, one of the good guys of the Stevenson yarn; Izzard is Long John Silver.


SAG gets online 'Kids,' 'Fighter'

Looks like all the fears of piracy associated with iTunes screeners are proving to be unfounded. Both Focus Features and Paramount Pictures are dipping their toes into the world of downloadable screeners via iTunes: Their award contenders "The Kids Are All Right" and "The Fighter," respectively, will be available for viewing online for the 93,000 members of SAG.

The move comes one week after 20th Century Fox announced that "Black Swan," "127 Hours" and "Conviction" would be available via online download.

"The Fighter" and "The Kids Are All Right" will both be available via iTunes, for a one-time showing, until Screen Actors Guild voting concludes on Jan. 28.

—Nicole Sperling

Now it's March for 'Spider-Man'

The much-delayed, accident- and injury-plagued "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" musical has had its opening postponed again, from Feb. 7 to March 15, for changes including a new ending. Producers promised that it's the last delay for the most expensive production in Broadway history.

—John Horn

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