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Quick Takes: 'Imperfect Justice' optioned

November 16, 2011

A TV movie is in the works about the sensational trial of Casey Anthony, the Florida woman who was eventually acquitted of killing her 2-year-old daughter, a spokeswoman for Fox Television Studios said Tuesday.

Spokeswoman Leslie Oren said that her company has optioned the film and television rights to "Imperfect Justice: Prosecuting Casey Anthony," written by Jeff Ashton, a now-retired prosecutor from the trial.

Jurors in July acquitted Anthony in the killing of her daughter, Caylee, and she was released from prison. Ashton's book hit stores Tuesday.

Oren says the project is being developed for the Lifetime cable network, but it's still in the early stages. It's not yet known when it will air.

—Associated Press

'Haywire' retains its R rating

"Haywire," the Steven Soderbergh spy thriller that marks the acting debut of mixed martial arts star Gina Carano, won't be available to a large majority of the teen market.

The ratings board at the Motion Picture Assn. of America has upheld its R rating for the film, said a person close to the group who was not authorized to discuss the decision publicly.

"Haywire," which will be released Jan. 20 by Relativity Media, hopes to target a youthful audience. The prospect that filmgoers under 17 won't be able to buy tickets to it without an adult present is a blow to the movie and to Relativity, which had spearheaded the appeal.

—Steven Zeitchik

Felder will tackle Lincoln next

Hershey Felder, the actor-pianist-composer who has carved a niche for himself creating and performing one-man shows about Chopin, Beethoven, Leonard Bernstein and George Gershwin, is taking on a musical dramatization of April 14, 1865, the night Abraham Lincoln was shot during a performance at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C.

"Lincoln — An American Story for Actor and Symphony Orchestra" will have its premiere run March 28 to April 7 at the Pasadena Playhouse.

The story is told from the viewpoint of Charles Leale, the Army surgeon who attended the fateful performance of "Our American Cousin" partly to gawk at the president he revered and wound up pronouncing him dead the following morning.

Felder said that he has composed enough music, including variations on melodies from Stephen Foster, to run the entire 90 minutes with an onstage 45-piece orchestra. He'll also incorporate performances of songs by Foster and original songs he's written in the style of 19th century burlesque.

Until now, the music-and-drama hybrids that Felder has collaborated on with director Joel Zwick have not used other musicians.

—Mike Boehm

Christmas begins early at KOST

Christmas catalogs are arriving in the mail, decorations are blooming at malls, the trees are up at Disneyland — and now KOST-FM (103.5) has given its official blessing to the season: The station launched its holiday music format Tuesday, a 10-year-old tradition that in recent years has sent the station soaring to the top of the ratings.

In place of its usual variety of pop hits, KOST is playing "Jingle Bells," "White Christmas," "Silent Night" and other holiday standards through Christmas Day. Among the tunes added to the playlist this year are Justin Bieber's "Mistletoe," Michael Buble's "All I Want for Christmas" and David Archuleta's "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas."

KOST isn't the first holiday station out of the gate: Sirius XM Radio began offering its satellite subscribers two commercial-free holiday channels Monday and will be adding five more in December, including one for Hanukkah music.

—Lee Margulies

'Newsies' bound for Broadway

Start spreading the news: The musical based on the film "Newsies" is striking a path to Broadway.

Disney Theatrical Productions said Tuesday that the show will play its first New York preview in March.

The new musical is based on the 1899 true story of child newspaper sellers in turn-of-the-century New York who go on strike. The 1992 film, starring Christian Bale and Bill Pullman, did poorly at the box office but has become something of a cult hit.

Alan Menken and lyricist Jack Feldman, who wrote the film score, teamed up again to transform "Newsies" into a stage show, reworking the songs and collaborating with the new story writer, Harvey Fierstein.

—Associated Press

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