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Quick Takes: ABC raises millions

November 07, 2012

ABC says its national "Day of Giving" raised nearly $17 million for Superstorm Sandy relief.

Throughout its programming Monday, the network urged viewers to contribute to the American Red Cross to help victims of the storm, which affected several Northeastern states, but hit New Jersey and the New York metropolitan area particularly hard.

Major contributors included ABC personalities Barbara Walters, George Stephanopoulos and Mark Cuban, the Dallas Mavericks owner and star of ABC's "Shark Tank."

In addition, the Walt Disney Co., which owns ABC, made a $1-million contribution to local charities.

NBC held a telethon Friday for storm victims that raised nearly $23 million.

—Associated Press

A 'Candidate' for Minnesota opera

Richard Condon's 1959 novel "The Manchurian Candidate" has been adapted as a movie twice, in 1962 and 2004. Now it's being turned into an opera.

Minnesota Opera has commissioned composer Kevin Puts and writer-librettist Mark Campbell to adapt the Cold War thriller for the 2014-15 season as part of its New Works Initiative.

The project will be the second collaboration by Puts and Campbell. They created the 2011 opera "Silent Night," also for Minnesota Opera. It won Puts the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in music.

—Deborah Vankin

Singleton settles suit with studio

Director John Singleton and Paramount Pictures Corp. have settled a lawsuit over his claim that the studio broke an agreement to let him produce two films in exchange for the rights to distribute the Oscar-nominated movie "Hustle & Flow."

Court records show the deal was reached late Thursday in Los Angeles, just days before a trial was scheduled to begin.

Attorneys for Singleton and Paramount said the settlement terms are confidential, but the matter was amicably resolved.

Singleton produced "Hustle & Flow" and claimed in his 2011 suit that he agreed to work with Paramount on distribution rights because of the opportunity to make two films for the studio.

A judge had previously ruled Singleton was not entitled to re-acquire rights to 2005's "Hustle & Flow," which earned a lead actor nomination for Terrence Howard and won the song award.

—Associated Press

Sandy boosts news audience

Superstorm Sandy was a boon for the television network evening newscasts — most prominently for Brian Williams and NBC's "Nightly News."

The ABC, CBS and NBC newscasts have collectively drawn an average of 21.2 million viewers a night this fall. But last week, with an epic storm crashing into the New Jersey coastline and affecting the eastern third of the U.S., the newscasts had nearly 5 million more viewers a night.

The Nielsen company said Tuesday that Williams' broadcast increased its viewership an average of 29%, to just over 10 million. The ABC "World News" average was up 18% for the season, to 8.6 million, and "CBS Evening News" was up 21%, to 7.4 million.

The increase is more impressive considering many viewers in the New York area, the nation's largest media market, lost power from the storm.

—Associated Press

Cusack at work on Limbaugh pic

Actor and outspoken liberal John Cusack is developing a movie about conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, Cusack's production company said.

The working title is "Rush," Cusack's New Crime Productions confirmed, offering no other details.

Director Betty Thomas ("Private Parts," "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel"), who's set to work on the film, said the production company is putting finishing touches on a script that will star the actor. Production is set for next year, Thomas said.

—Associated Press

TLC plans new album, tour

TLC is plotting a comeback.

Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas and Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins, the surviving members of one of the bestselling girl groups of all time, are planning their first new album in 10 years, according to the BBC.

Their last release, 2002's "3D," came out six months after the group's third member, spitfire Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, died in a car crash in Honduras.

Earlier this year it was announced that the group was considering a North American tour that would incorporate video projections of Lopes.

TLC has sold more than 65 million records worldwide.

There was no indication of when the new work would be released.

—Gerrick D. Kennedy

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