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Quick Takes: 'Get the Gringo' skips theater run

April 20, 2012

Mel Gibson's new movie, "Get the Gringo," rolled into a handful of theaters Wednesday night for what is certain to be the shortest theatrical run in the actor's history: one night.

That's because Gibson's latest self-financed film, a $20-million, south-of-the-border crime drama set in a Mexican prison, won't appear in theaters beyond Wednesday's premiere in Austin, Texas, which was simulcast into a few auditoriums around the country.

Instead, "Get the Gringo" will skip a theatrical run and become available on the satellite service DirecTV on May 1 in one of the boldest bets on video-on-demand programming.

"We're just in a different era," Gibson said at an Austin theater following the film's premiere. "Many people just like to see things in their homes. It's just another way to do it and a better way to do it. I think it's the future."

—John Horn

Martha Stewart cooking on PBS

Martha Stewart turned up the heat in a tweet about her former business partner.

Stewart plans to give viewers a "culinary master class" this fall with her new weekly PBS series, "Martha Stewart's Cooking School," which is based on her bestselling book.

But in making the announcement, Stewart also took a swipe at her former network, the Hallmark Channel, which is regrouping after its failed 2-year-old partnership with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. The cable network is phasing out Stewart's programming.

"Easy access to PBS as opposed to Hallmark will be wonderful," Stewart tweeted.

—Greg Braxton

Italian museum sets fire to art

A museum in Italy has resorted to burning artwork to protest cuts that its leader sees as unfair and destructive.

The Casoria Contemporary Art Museum in Naples plans to burn three paintings a week to protest what is perceived as the government's war against art.

As reported by BBC News, Antonio Manfredi, director of the Casoria, set fire to the first painting on Tuesday and has garnered the support of European artists who are sympathetic to the cause.

Manfredi told Italy's Corriere della Sera that the failure of officials from Italy and the European Union "to intervene on arts-related issues is appalling." He said that "until concrete action has been implemented to safeguard [the museum], we shall continue to burn the works in our permanent collection."

—David Ng

Seth Meyers teams with Hulu

Hulu is adding to its growing slate of original programming, including a new animated series from Seth Meyers that will translate his experiences on "Saturday Night Live" to a gang of superheroes.

Meyers, host of the Weekend Update segment, previewed the show, "The Awesomes," at Hulu's upfront in New York on Thursday.

He and co-creator Michael Shoemaker, a producer of "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" and formerly of "SNL," said the series will be a behind-the-scenes look at an "Avengers"-like troupe of crime-fighters.

The show is planned to open next year on Hulu, which is co-owned by Disney, News Corp. and NBCUniversal.

—Associated Press

Dramas draw DVR viewers

In a study of television audience trends, ratings giant Nielsen found that viewers recorded and watched scripted dramas at a much higher rate than sitcoms, sports and reality shows.

Hourlong dramas accounted for 58% of time-shifted viewing, according to Nielsen's Advertising & Audiences Report released Thursday.

Comedies made up 16%, reality shows accounted for 14%, sports represented 8% and news, 4%.

Network executives are closely monitoring audience trends now that more than 40% of all TV households in the U.S. are equipped with digital video recorders. Many viewers fast-forward through the commercials, which have long generated the dollars that support the high cost of television production.

The Nielsen report found that nearly 43% of people who digitally record shows watch the episode the same day.

Nearly 88% of people who recorded a program watched it within three days.

—Meg James

Finally

Lawsuit response: In response to a class-action suit filed this week by two African American men who claim ABC's "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette" discriminate against people of color, Warner Horizon Television said the complaint "is baseless and without merit." The company said its dating shows "have had various participants of color throughout the series' history."

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