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Quick Takes: Bible stories in CGI

May 25, 2011

Behold, the man who brought you "Survivor," "The Voice" and "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?" has found religion.

Executive producer Mark Burnett is bringing the docudrama "The Bible" to the History channel, the network announced Tuesday. The five-part, 10-hour series is planned for 2013 and will cover the Good Book from Genesis to Revelation, using CGI to re-create famous stories, including Noah's ark and the Resurrection of Jesus.

The cable channel also said that Kevin Costner will star in "The Hatfields and McCoys," a miniseries for next year about the feuding families from the late 19th century American South.

—Melissa Maerz

The Whitney breaks ground

The Whitney Museum of American Art on Tuesday broke ground on its future home at the foot of one of New York City's newest attractions, the High Line elevated park — a step toward returning the museum to its downtown roots.

The nine-story, metal-clad building, which boasts a series of asymmetrical rooftops for outdoor exhibitions facing the High Line and the nearby Hudson River, is designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano and will nearly double the museum's current gallery space.

The new site is slated to open in 2015.

—Associated Press

Show goes on for 'Idol' singer

The "American Idol" performance finale went off without a hitch Tuesday night, despite some backstage drama beforehand.

Ryan Seacrest, the Fox talent contest's host, said at the outset of the broadcast that Lauren Alaina lost her voice during rehearsals, but the 16-year-old songstress of Rossville, Ga., insisted that she would still perform.

"I'm here," Alaina told Seacrest. "I'm ready to sing. I'm fine."

Seacrest brought a doctor onto the stage at the Nokia Theatre in downtown L.A. who explained that Alaina blew out one of her vocal cords during rehearsals but had been given "a lot of medicine" to be able to sing on the finale with Scotty McCreery, the 17-year-old country crooner of Garner, N.C.

She completed the show with no apparent problems.

—Staff and wire reports

Couric's final viewer tally low

Katie Couric exited the "CBS Evening News" last week with less than half the audience she drew for her debut in September 2006. An estimated 5.94 million people watched Couric's final telecast Thursday, which featured her interview with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Couric had more than 6 million viewers on Monday and Tuesday, sinking to 5.71 million on Wednesday before bouncing back slightly on Thursday, the Nielsen Co. said. For her first night five years ago, Couric's telecast had nearly 13.6 million viewers.

NBC's "Nightly News" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 8.6 million viewers for the full week. ABC's "World News" was second with 7.8 million and the "CBS Evening News" had 5.9 million viewers (3.9, 8).

—Associated Press

Hollywood Bowl grabs 'Hairspray'

Harvey Fierstein and Marissa Jaret Winokur will re-create their Tony-winning roles when the Hollywood Bowl stages the Broadway hit "Hairspray" this summer.

Joining them in the cast will be Drew Carey, John Stamos, Nick Jonas, Darlene Love and Corbin Bleu.

The musical, which will run Aug. 5-7, will be directed and choreographed by Tony winner Jerry Mitchell, who choreographed the original show.

—Karen Wada

Finally

Departing: Christopher Meloni, who stars in NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," will not be returning to the drama this fall. No details were available on his reasons.

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