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Quick Takes: Dr. Horrible heads to TV

July 31, 2012

Joss Whedon's three-part musical comedy "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" started life as an online series when a writers strike prevented the prolific Whedon from working on any shows. But now that online alternative to TV is going to play on TV.

The musical, starring Neil Patrick Harris as a lovelorn, aspiring supervillain, gets its network debut Oct. 9 on the CW.

Written by Whedon and his brothers Zack, a TV writer, and Jed, a composer, and Jed's wife, Maurissa Tancharoen, it was released online during summer 2008 to great success and acclaim.

The entire production was bankrolled by Whedon at an estimated $200,000, and when it became available on iTunes, it was at No. 1 for five weeks straight.

—Patrick Kevin Day

ABC drops Willard's show

Fred Willard's improv series is a wipeout with ABC.

The network said Monday it is pulling the last two original episodes of "Trust Us With Your Life," a move that comes two weeks after Willard's lewd conduct arrest at an adult movie theater in L.A.

Reruns of ABC's "Wipeout"will replace the Tuesday show hosted by Willard. The 72-year-old actor already had lost his job as narrator of a new PBS series, "Market Warriors."

—Associated Press

DreamWorks aids nonprofit

Inner-City Arts, the nonprofit arts education organization in the skid row area of downtown Los Angeles, is receiving a donation of $250,000 from DreamWorks Animation, the organizations said Monday.

The grant covers a five-year period and will go to support the DreamWorks Animation Academy at Inner-City Arts.

In 2008, the movie company made a $500,000 donation to help establish the academy, which offers classes in digital arts, animation, graphic design and filmmaking.

Inner-City Arts provides free arts education to disadvantaged youth from the downtown area and other parts of L.A.

—David Ng

Kirk Douglas makes donations

The Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City will be receiving more money from its namesake benefactor. It's one of five organizations to which Kirk Douglas and his wife, Anne, have pledged a total of $50 million.

The exact amount that will go to the theater was not immediately disclosed.

Douglas, 95, helped to launch the Culver City theater in 2004 and has provided it with an endowment for the development of new works.

The space is run by L.A.'s Center Theatre Group, which also manages the Ahmanson Theatre and the Mark Taper Forum downtown.

Also on the receiving end of the latest donation are St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y., which is Douglas' alma mater; Harry's HavenAlzheimer'sunit at the Motion Picture & Television Fund's retirement home and hospital in Woodland Hills; the Anne Douglas Center for Women in L.A.; and the Sinai Temple in Westwood.

—David Ng

Title drama in Pasadena

The Pasadena Playhouse has found itself in a disagreement with a writer over a new stage comedy titled "Tales of a Fourth Grade Lesbo."

Gina Young, the author of the play, said that the company told her it had problems with the title of the piece, specifically the word "lesbo," a sometimes pejorative slang term for "lesbian."

Performances that would have taken place at the Carrie Hamilton Theatre — the company's approximately 90-seat space — have been called off.

"Tales," the story of four pre-teen girls and their explorations of sexuality, had been intended as a rental production in which the Pasadena Playhouse receives a fee but is not involved artistically.

Sheldon Epps, artistic director of the Pasadena Playhouse, acknowledged in a phone interview that he initially had concerns with the title — "the same concerns I would have if a play had the N-word orthe F-wordin the title" — but said that after learning that the word can be used as a term of empowerment in the lesbian community, he no longer has objections.

Young said the Playhouse offered a compromise in which "Tales" could rent the theater but would have to hire an outside ticket vendor and agree to not be represented on the Playhouse website or in any of its marketing material.

The offer was declined, she said.

—David Ng

Finally

Roseanne roast: Carrie Fisher, Katey Sagal and Sharon Stone are among those who will be on the dais for Comedy Central's roast of comedian Roseanne Barr, airing Aug. 12.

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