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Quick Takes: Martin Scorsese in a Bill Clinton mode

December 18, 2012

Martin Scorsese has found his next film subject: Bill Clinton.

The Oscar winner will produce and direct a documentary on the former president for HBO, the network announced Monday.

The documentary will explore the 42nd president's perspective on history, politics and the like during his time in office and the years since — with Clinton offering his full cooperation.

Scorsese's previous collaborations with HBO include "Public Speaking" and most recently, "George Harrison: Living in the Material World," which won an Emmy. He also serves as executive producer of "Boardwalk Empire."

—Yvonne Villarreal

Deal averts a Broadway strike

The big news on Broadway: strike averted.

Hundreds of theater workers, including bathroom attendants, porters and elevator operators — all represented by the 32BJ union, an affiliate of SEIU — last week threatened to strike as their current contract speeds toward its expiration date on Dec. 30.

On Monday, however, 32BJ reached a tentative agreement with theater producers of the Broadway League. The details weren't immediately announced because the agreement must be approved by the 250 affected workers, who currently make $17.25 per hour.

But it's safe to say the new, three-year contract will have better pay and healthcare benefits as well as an increase in employer-paid pension contributions.

A strike would have affected 32 of 40 Broadway theaters.

—Deborah Vankin

Big finale for 'Homeland'

The critics may have been harsh on "Homeland's" second season, but viewers can't seem to get enough of Carrie Mathison's antics.

Sunday's season finale of Showtime's terrorism thriller — with Claire Danes as troubled CIA agent Carrie Mathison — recorded its best ratings so far, with the 10 p.m. premiere averaging 2.3 million viewers, according to Nielsen.

That was a 35% increase over the Season 1 finale last December.

With numbers from a later encore thrown in, "Homeland" delivered a total of 2.7 million viewers for the night.

Meanwhile, the seventh season finale of "Dexter" at 9 p.m. drew 2.8 million viewers, with 3.4 million viewers for the night overall — Showtime's best-ever numbers for an original series.

—Scott Collins

No red carpet for 'Django'

In the wake of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., the Weinstein Co. has decided to cancel the Hollywood premiere of its movie "Django Unchained."

The studio was set to roll out the red carpet for the ultra-violent Quentin Tarantino flick at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Tuesday evening, followed by a glitzy after-party at SkyBar.

Instead, the studio said it would hold a private screening for the crew and cast — including Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz and Kerry Washington — and their friends.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., and in this time of national mourning we have decided to forgo our scheduled event," a representative for the Weinstein Co. said.

"Django Unchained" is the fourth Hollywood-related event to be postponed or canceled since Friday, when a gunman shot and killed 20 children and six adults at the school.

Paramount Pictures pushed the Pittsburgh premiere for its Tom Cruise sniper flick "Jack Reacher" from Saturday to Wednesday, and a Monday evening Lincoln Center screening in New York that Cruise was set to attend was canceled.

Over the weekend, 20th Century Fox went ahead with screening its new Bette Midler-Billy Crystal family comedy "Parental Guidance" in L.A. but called off the press line beforehand and the party afterward.

—Amy Kaufman

New Winehouse inquest planned

The inquest into the death of soul singer Amy Winehouse was overseen by a coroner who lacked the proper qualifications and must be heard again next month, London officials said Monday.

Assistant deputy coroner Suzanne Greenaway, who handled the inquest, resigned in November 2011 after her qualifications were questioned. Authorities learned that although she had practicedlawfor a decade in her native Australia, she had not been a registered United Kingdom lawyer for five years as required.

Camden Council said a new hearing has been scheduled on Jan. 8.

Winehouse was found dead in her London home in July 2011 at age 27. In an inquest in October 2011, Greenaway ruled that the "Back to Black" singer had died of accidental alcohol poisoning.

Winehouse family spokesman Chris Goodman said Monday that the singer's family had not requested a new hearing.

—Associated Press

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