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Quick Takes: KCBS' Serene Branson returns to red carpet coverage

March 01, 2011

Serene Branson is thankful she did not have another YouTube moment on Oscar night.

The KCBS-TV Channel 2 reporter, who became an unwitting media sensation two weeks ago when she began to speak incoherently during a live report following the Grammy Awards, returned to the Hollywood red carpet scene Sunday, filing live reports before and after the Academy Awards.

"It was great, and it felt so good to be back on the red carpet," Branson said Monday. "It was a long day, but everything went well."

She added that she nabbed a bit of celebrity status from publicists, other journalists and even an actor from "The Fighter" who recognized her. Her problems on Grammy night were later attributed by a UCLA physician to a complex migraine.

—Greg Braxton

'Hall Pass' bests 'Gnomeo'

The Farrelly brothers won the box-office race after all.

On Sunday, it looked like the filmmakers' latest comedy, "Hall Pass," would come in second behind the animated 3-D film "Gnomeo & Juliet," according to estimates from their respective distributors, Warner Bros. and Walt Disney Studios.

But when the final box-office totals were tabulated Monday, "Hall Pass" eked out a win, grabbing $13.5 million in ticket sales over the weekend. Disney's "Gnomeo," in its third week of release, ended up with $13.4 million.

Disney had estimated on Sunday that its film would finish the weekend with $14.2 million, based on the past performance of family movies on Oscar Sunday.

—Amy Kaufman

Broadway/LA sets 2011-12 slate

Broadway/LA said its 2011-12 season at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood would feature nine productions, including touring versions of Tony winners "Billy Elliot," "Memphis," "La Cage aux Folles" and "Million Dollar Quartet," plus the return of "Wicked."

"Come Fly Away," Twyla Tharp's musical-dance production set to the vocals of Frank Sinatra, will open the new season in October. The musical has seen productions on Broadway, Atlanta and Las Vegas.

"Wicked," which first ran at the Pantages in 2005 and later in 2007, is returning for two months starting in November.

Also making its L.A. premiere in June 2012 will be the critically panned "The Addams Family," a musical based on the characters created by Charles Addams.

—David Ng

Furtado doesn't want Kadafi taint

Singer Nelly Furtado said Monday that she will give away $1 million she received to perform in Italy for the family of Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi.

Kadafi has been condemned for using violence to quell a popular uprising, with the death toll from nearly two weeks of fighting estimated by diplomats at about 2,000.

Furtado, a Canadian singer whose hits include "I'm Like a Bird" and "Promiscuous," wrote on Twitter that she received $1 million from "the Kadafi clan" to perform at an Italian hotel in 2007. She said she now plans to donate that money, although she did not say to whom it would go.


11 celeb dancers due on 'Stars'

A boxing great, a model who survived an Indian Ocean tsunami and a grown-up "Karate Kid" will be hoofing it on the 12th season of "Dancing With the Stars."

Welterweight champ Sugar Ray Leonard, model Petra Nemcova and Ralph Macchio of the hit 1984 karate movie will be among 11 celebrity contestants when the ABC show returns March 21.

Other competitors announced Monday were actress Kirstie Alley; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward; professional wrestler Chris Jericho; "Loveline" radio show co-host Mike Catherwood; onetime rap prodigy Romeo (former Lil' Romeo); Chelsea Kane of Disney Channel's "Jonas"; talk show host Wendy Williams; and reality star Kendra Wilkinson.

—Associated Press


Renewals: TV Land has ordered a third season of the sitcom "Hot in Cleveland," starring Jane Leeves, Valerie Bertinelli, Wendie Malick and Betty White, while Showtime has issued second-season orders for "Episodes," starring Matt LeBlanc, and "Shameless," starring William H. Macy.

Casting: Academy Award winner Marlee Matlin will appear in several episodes of "Switched at Birth," a drama series that is set to premiere on ABC Family this summer. It's about two teenage girls who reunite after learning they were given to the wrong parents as babies in the hospital.

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