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Quick Takes: A much-watched feud

June 01, 2012

"Hatfields & McCoys" fired off its last rounds with another ratings record.

History's three-part miniseries about the 19th century clan feud starring Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton drew 14.3 million viewers for its final episode Wednesday night, making it the most-watched scripted entertainment program in the history of basic cable TV, according to Nielsen.

In fact, all three parts of the miniseries now occupy the Top 3 spots in the cable record books. Monday's premiere drew 13.9 million, while Tuesday's middle chapter gathered a clan of 13.1 million.

Cable networks such as HBO now dominate miniseries, which broadcasters have all but abandoned.

Records aside, the "Hatfields & McCoys" numbers are much lower than in the format's glory days. The 1977 finale of ABC's historical epic "Roots," for example, was seen by more than 36 million viewers.

—Scott Collins

Symphony resolves loans

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra announced Thursday that it has resolved $54 million in loans owed to five banks on a real estate deal for the Max M. Fisher Music Center, allowing the 125-year-old orchestra to more confidently move ahead in its financial recovery.

Details of the deal were not disclosed.

Resolving the loans enables the orchestra to move forward with its strategic recovery plan and follows several years of financial troubles, including a contentious six-month strike by musicians who in April 2011 agreed to major contract concessions.

—Associated Press

Emmys merge some categories

The Emmy Awards competition will be getting fiercer among TV movie and miniseries performers.

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences said Thursday that it will merge the leading and supporting acting categories for long-form programming.

Starting with the 2013 awards, instead of four performing categories with five nominees each (actor, actress, supporting actor, supporting actress), there will be two categories (actor, actress) with six nominees each.

—Associated Press

Madonna tour opens in Israel

Madonna treated tens of thousands of ecstatic fans in Israel to the inaugural show of her MDNA world tour Thursday, performing in a country where she has long claimed a special bond.

The "Material Girl," a devotee of a form of Jewish mysticism known as kabbalah, danced, bumped, grinded and vogued in flashy costumes to a raucous crowd at Ramat Gan Stadium near Tel Aviv.

Madonna emerged on stage in a confessional, breaking through its glass window using a rifle, which she then aimed at the audience. She wore a skin-tight black outfit to sing her first song, "Girl Gone Wild," accompanied by dancers dressed as monks.

While some artists have opted to boycott Israel because of its policies toward Palestinians, the 53-year-old Madonna's ties to the Jewish state have only strengthened in the last few years.

She has made personal pilgrimages in 2004 and 2007 along with other kabbalah devotees. She wrapped up her 2008-2009 Sticky and Sweet tour with two shows there, her first in 16 years.

—Associated Press

'Devil' author will write sequel

Lauren Weisberger has made another deal with the devil.

Simon & Schuster announced Thursday that the author of "The Devil Wears Prada" has a sequel planned for next April.

"Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns" continues the adventures of former magazine assistant Andrea "Andy" Sachs, now a bridal magazine editor, and the boss she thought she had escaped, Miranda Priestly.

Published in 2003, "The Devil Wears Prada" was adapted into a hit film of the same name starring Meryl Streep as Miranda and Anne Hathaway as Andy.

—Associated Press

Amy Winehouse home up for sale

The family of Amy Winehouse has put the late singer's London home up for sale for $4.2 million.

The three-bedroom property in the Camden neighborhood of northwest London had become a shrine of sorts for mourning fans, who left flowers and tributes following Winehouse's death last July from alcohol poisoning.

Chris Goodman, a spokesman for the Winehouse family, said Thursday that her family put it on the market because they felt it would be inappropriate for any of them to live there.

—Associated Press

Finally

Grammy night: The Recording Academy said that its 55th annual Grammy Awards will be held Feb. 10, 2013, at the Staples Center in downtown L.A.

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