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Quick Takes: Banksy sponsors free Mondays at MOCA

June 10, 2011

The British street artist known as Banksy will sponsor free Monday admission for all visitors to the Museum of Contemporary Art for the duration of the exhibition "Art in the Streets," which highlights the history of street and graffiti art and features works by Banksy, Shepard Fairey and other genre notables.

The museum said Thursday that admission to its Geffen Contemporary space in Little Tokyo will be free on Mondays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., June 13 through Aug. 8.

Banksy likes to stay under the radar in terms of public exposure, eluding the press and generally shunning the spotlight. But MOCA provided a quote from him: "I don't think you should have to pay to look at graffiti. You should only pay if you want to get rid of it."

— David Ng

Ann Curry era begins at 'Today'

After 14 years as the understudy, Ann Curry is in the big chair now at NBC's "Today" show.

She had her first day Thursday as co-anchor with Matt Lauer on television's top-rated morning show. Her predecessor, Meredith Vieira, had an on-air going-away party Wednesday.

Curry has been on the show since 1997 as the regular newsreader, and has filled in as co-host dozens of times.

She referred to that in her opening, saying, "I'm Ann Curry, in for I guess nobody this morning — me, myself and I. It's nice to be able to say that, isn't it?"

Lauer welcomed her, saying she had already been on the show so long that "it's a little bit like a member of the family moving to a new seat at the table."

— Associated Press

Union seeks pay for Julie Taymor

The union that represents theater directors is seeking any royalties owed Julie Taymor, the original director of "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark."

The Stage Directors and Choreographers Society filed an arbitration claim Thursday against the show's producers, saying they had "failed to pay to Ms. Taymor any royalties for the run of the production."

Taymor, who had been the director and co-book writer, was fired from the $70-million musical in March after years of delays, accidents and critical backlash.

Michael Cohl, one of the show's lead producers, acknowledged this week that his team was still trying to resolve financial disputes as a result of having to rework the musical. The rebooted show opens Tuesday.

— Associated Press

MTV decides to shed its 'Skins'

MTV is shedding its "Skins."

The teen drama based on a hit British series will not return for a second season, the cable network said Thursday.

The January premiere drew a respectable 3.3 million viewers, according to the Nielsen Co. But the finale logged only 1.2 million viewers.

"'Skins' is a global television phenomenon that, unfortunately, didn't connect with a U.S. audience as much as we had hoped," MTV said in a statement.

"Skins" became enveloped in controversy when some critics compared it to child pornography for its frank treatment of teen sexuality, and several major advertisers dropped out.

— Scott Collins

Radio clips show heading to TV

Can lively radio make for good television? The Fox Television Stations group is going to find out this summer with "Dish Nation," a half-hour weeknight show that will package clips from four radio programs around the country.

It's being billed as an "entertainment news program featuring … a fast-paced, unscripted take on pop culture, celebrity scandals and salacious, headline-grabbing conversations."

Among the radio personalities involved is Felli Fel of L.A. hip-hop station KPWR-FM (106.7), along with program hosts in New York, Atlanta and Detroit.

"Dish Nation" will get a six-week tryout on Fox-owned KTTV-TV Channel 11, starting July 25 at 6:30 p.m.

— Lee Margulies

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