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Quick Takes: TCM adds classic Carson

November 21, 2012

Turner Classic Movies is adding some classic Johnny Carson to its lineup.

The cable network has struck a deal for dozens of vintage Carson interviews with movie and TV stars including Jimmy Stewart, Gregory Peck, Drew Barrymore, Steve Martin and Elizabeth Taylor. Many of the interviews haven't been seen on TV since they originally aired on NBC.

Turner Classic Movies will use the footage to create 10 one-hour specials called "Carson on TCM" that it will start telecasting in the summer of 2013.

TCM will also use Carson interviews in between its regular movie programming when appropriate. For example, if the channel runs a film featuring Jack Lemmon, it will also show an interview the actor did with Carson.

—Joe Flint

NEA chief set to retire this year

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Rocco Landesman announced his retirement Tuesday effective at the end of the year — but not without a sense of humor.

"The time has come for me to become a cliché: I turned 65, am going to retire, and cannot wait to spend more time in Miami Beach," Landesman said in a statement released by the NEA.

He said it had always been his intention to serve only one term.

Before taking the job in 2009, Landesman was a Tony Award-winning producer of, among other hits, Mel Brooks' "The Producers" and revivals of "Guys and Dolls," "Sweeney Todd" and "Death of a Salesman."

The NEA, a federal agency that supports and funds the arts, has appointed Joan Shigekawa, senior deputy chairman, to fill Landesman's role until a permanent successor is found.

—Deborah Vankin

Starz gives 'Boss' the pink slip

Starz will not be moving forward with its political drama "Boss" after two seasons.

The series started out full-throttle, with the network renewing it for a second season even before its Season 1 debut, and Kelsey Grammer winning a Golden Globe for his role as a corrupt Chicago mayor who wields power while trying to mask a deteriorating mental condition.

But the numbers weren't on "Boss'" side. Its October 2011 premiere brought in 659,000 viewers. The second season, which wrapped earlier this year, drew a stunted 317,000 viewers with its premiere and averaged under 580,000 over the season.

—Yvonne Villarreal

Broadway in R. Kelly's sights

Is Broadway ready for Twan, Sylvester, Pimp Lucius and "the package"? R. Kelly thinks so — and says he's working to bring the wacky characters and plotlines in his even wackier "Trapped in the Closet" series to the Great White Way.

The singer said he's had an offer to bring the cult classic to the stage, and he may even be in some performances.

"To transform it into a Broadway version, that's what I'm working on," he told a packed house at the Sunshine Theater in New York on Monday night, where he unveiled the latest chapters in "Trapped in the Closet," which will debut on the IFC channel Friday.

R. Kelly gave no other details about a possible Broadway adaptation of the video opera.

—Associated Press

International nod to TV giants

Producer Ryan Murphy paid tribute at the International Emmy Awards to television legends Norman Lear and Alan Alda, whose cutting-edge, socially conscious shows in the 1970s paved the way for his own shows, including "Glee" and "The New Normal."

Unlike previous years when Britain dominated the International Emmys, which honor excellence in television production outside the U.S., the winners in the nine categories this year spanned six countries. Argentina, Brazil and Britain each won two awards; Australia, France and Germany had one apiece.

Murphy closed Monday night's awards ceremony in New York by presenting the 40th Anniversary Special Founders Award to "All in the Family" creator Lear and "MASH" star Alda.

The International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences decided to mark the anniversary by honoring shows that were on TV in 1972, when the International Emmys were first presented.

—Associated Press

Airport tapestry honors Havel

Rock stars Bono, the Edge, Peter Gabriel, Sting and Yoko Ono Lennon have covered the cost of a tapestry that will be unveiled next month to honor Vaclav Havel at Prague's international airport, which has been renamed in tribute to the late Czech president.

The airport says the tapestry, which has been designed by the Czech-born New York-based artist Petr Sis, will be unveiled at a ceremony on Dec. 9.

The musicians donated a total of $76,000 to cover the project.

—Associated Press

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