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Quick Takes: 'Governator' is shelved

May 21, 2011

Arnold Schwarzenegger's animated television series "The Governator" has become the latest victim of the former governor's fathering a child outside his marriage to Maria Shriver. The producers of the cartoon casting Schwarzenegger as himself — a superhero who must balance crime fighting with family duties — said Friday that they have pulled the plug on the planned series.


FOR THE RECORD:
"American Idol": A Quick Takes item in the May 21 Calendar section gave former "American Idol" contestant Haley Reinhart's age as 22. She is 20. —

"In light of recent events, A Squared Entertainment, POW, Stan Lee Comics and Archie Comics have halted production," A Squared said in a statement, referring to the various entities that were developing and producing "The Governator" and publishing a comic book based on the series.

The producers had been selling broadcast rights to the series before the scandal broke, but no episodes had been shown on television.

A Squared said it made its decision after Schwarzenegger said Thursday that he was putting his upcoming movie projects, including "Cry Macho" and a "Terminator" sequel, on hold to focus on his personal life. But a person who works at A Squared, speaking on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to speak for the production company, said the show's makers made the decision Thursday morning, before Schwarzenegger's announcement.

According to a confidential outline for the show obtained by The Times, "The Governator" cast Schwarzenegger as a superhero who "leads a double life" that includes being "a devoted family man" who "has to remember his anniversary, his kids' birthdays" in subplots that are "milked for comedy, tension and conflict."

The Times reported Tuesday that the 63-year-old Schwarzenegger and his wife of 25 years had separated after he disclosed to her that he had fathered a child more than a decade ago with a longtime member of his household staff.

—John Horn

Booksellers like this story turn

For the second straight year, independent booksellers will have good news to share as they gather with the rest of the publishing industry for BookExpo America in New York next week.

The number of stores in the American Booksellers Assn. has again gone up. And they can thank, in part, the real estate bust.

"The soft real estate market absolutely works to our advantage," says Oren Teicher, chief executive of the booksellers association, which represents independent stores. "Landlords are far more willing to negotiate for new owners and existing stores have been able to renegotiate their leases."

In a reversal from a decade ago, Borders is shutting down stores, while independents are adding them. According to the booksellers association, membership increased by 102, from 1,410 to 1,502.

—Associated Press

Vatican: That's not John Paul II

The Vatican on Friday slammed a giant new modernist sculpture that portrays John Paul II, saying the bronze work outside Rome's main train station doesn't even look like the late pontiff. Commuters and tourists say the statue looks more like the late Italian dictator Benito Mussolini than the widely beloved pope.

"How could they have given such a kind pope the head of a Fascist?" said 71-year-old Antonio Lamonica, in the bustling square outside Termini Train Station. As he pondered the statue, his wife muttered, "It's ugly, really ugly, very ugly."

The artist, Oliviero Rainaldi, depicts the pontiff as if he is opening his cloak to embrace the faithful.

But the Vatican says the effect is "of a mantle that almost looks like a sentry box, topped by a head of a pope which comes off too roundish."

Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno said he was monitoring public opinion and didn't rule out the possibility of taking down the statue.

—Associated Press

Bowl opener to feature Mirren

When the Hollywood Bowl kicks off its new summer season next month, there will be true acting royalty on hand to host the gala ceremony.

Helen Mirren is scheduled to preside over the official opening of the Bowl's 90th season, which will take place on June 17. The concert will feature the 12th annual Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame ceremony honoring singers Harry Connick Jr. and Gloria Estefan.

Mirren, who won an Academy Award in 2007 for "The Queen," will be joined by another Oscar winner: Hilary Swank, who will present the Hall of Fame award to Connick.

—David Ng

Finding peace, post 'Idol'

Haley Reinhart said Friday she was at peace with missing out on a spot in next week's "American Idol" finale. The singer was voted off the popular talent show the night before.

"I got to top 3, so that's quite all right.... I don't live in regret," said Reinhart, 22. "I do nitpick — I'm a Virgo. But I don't regret anything because each step along this way has gotten me to where I am."

—Reuters

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