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Quick Takes

October 18, 2011

Author withdraws 'Shine'

Young-adult fiction writer Lauren Myracle said Monday that she had withdrawn her latest novel, "Shine," from the 2011 National Book Awards after being told it had been short-listed by mistake.

Myracle, author of teen bestsellers "ttyl" and "ttfn" and other novels about disenfranchised young people, said in a statement that she had been "over the moon last week after receiving the call telling me that 'Shine' was a finalist for the award."

Myracle said she was later told that "Shine" had been included in error but would remain on the list "based on its merits." The novel is the tale of the hate crime murder of a young gay teen in a small U.S. town.

But the National Book Foundation subsequently asked her to withdraw "to preserve the integrity of the award and the judges' work, and I have agreed to do so," she said.

—Reuters

'Walking Dead' livens up ratings

The zombies have returned — and they devoured a cable ratings record.

The Season 2 premiere of AMC's "The Walking Dead" gorged on 7.3 million viewers Sunday night, according to Nielsen. That's an enormous audience — indeed, larger than many broadcast shows these days — although not the overall cable record. In 2009, the finale of USA's "Monk" drew 9.4 million.

But in the crucial demographic of people aged 18 to 49 — the most prized audience among many advertisers — "The Walking Dead" attracted 4.8 million viewers, the most ever for a basic-cable drama.

—Scott Collins

A Clemons Christmas gift

Fans of the late Clarence Clemons will get to hear the Big Man in time for Christmas.

Two Christmas songs recorded by the E Street Band saxophonist will be released Nov. 18. Clemons died in June at age 69 after a stroke.

Clemons sings the lead vocal on "There's Still Christmas" and also recorded a sax version of "The Christmas Song."

—Associated Press

George Lopez plans new sitcom

Comedian George Lopez said he is creating a new family-orientated TV comedy where he will play a father and husband, vowing to return to television less than two months after TBS canceled his late-night cable TV show "Lopez Tonight."

Lopez said the new show "will be the opposite" of "George Lopez," the comedy that aired on ABC from 2002 to 2007 and made him a household name.

The project has not been sold to a network.

—Associated Press

Matt Lauer hits the road again

Matt Lauer is adding to his frequent-flier miles.

NBC's "Today" show said Monday that it will revive its popular "Where in the World Is Matt Lauer?" feature for a week starting Nov. 7. Lauer last hit the road in 2008.

Lauer has shown up in Laos, on Mt. Everest, in Peru, on an oil rig, in Australia, in Istanbul and by pyramids in Egypt, among other locations.

Viewers and co-workers aren't clued in until each morning's show.

He's logged 248,166 miles in travel for the feature.

—Associated Press

'Hangover II' lawsuit filed

An amateur screenwriter sued the makers of "The Hangover Part II" for copyright infringement, claiming the filmmakers ripped off a semi-autobiographical script he penned about his over-the-top experiences in Southeast Asia, according to court papers obtained Monday.

In the complaint, filed last week in Los Angeles federal court, Michael Alan Rubin contends the comedy closely followed his own experiences when he traveled overseas to marry his Asian girlfriend.

A Warner Bros. representative declined comment.

—City News Service

Stars cut up in Clinton video

A comical video that was shown at the Hollywood Bowl on Saturday night as part of the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Clinton Foundation will be posted Tuesday on the website of Funny or Die, which produced the piece.

The video features a coterie of stars performing as the foundation's airheaded "Celebrity Division." Ben Stiller leads an unproductive fundraising brainstorming session with Matt Damon, Sean Penn, Kristen Wiig, Jack Black, Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen.

Former President Bill Clinton makes a cameo.

—Associated Press

Finally

Returning: FX has renewed its biker drama "Sons of Anarchy" for a fifth season.

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