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Quick Takes: Cinematic game changers

October 05, 2012

Hollywood continues to go crazy for toys and games.

Hasbro, the company behind the hits "Transformers" and "G.I. Joe" and the flop "Battleship," has signed a deal with independent production and finance company Emmett/Furla Films to make movies based on the board games Hungry Hungry Hippos and Monopoly and the toy Action Man.

Hasbro announced the three-picture deal Thursday and confirmed that the first movie would be "Monopoly," on which the companies hope to start production in 2013.

Along with sequels to "Transformers" and "G.I. Joe" at Paramount, Hasbro has other properties set up around Hollywood, including Candyland at Sony Pictures and Stretch Armstrong at Relativity Media.

—Ben Fritz

Crime case for Kinsey Millhone

"B" is indeed for burglar.

Mystery writer Sue Grafton, whose bestsellers are titled with letters of the alphabet, reports that her Louisville, Ky., home is one of several in her neighborhood that has been broken into.

Grafton, a Louisville native, said she went to put away some pieces of silver recently and noticed that her set of forks, knives and miscellaneous serving pieces was missing.

Police said there has been a string of burglaries in the area in the last several weeks.

"B Is for Burglar" is the title of the second novel in Grafton's series of Kinsey Millhone detective novels.

—Associated Press

Get your fix of 'House of Cards'

"House of Cards," the first original series from Netflix, will be available for streaming starting Feb. 1.

Starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright and executive produced by David Fincher, who directed "The Social Network" and "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," "House of Cards is a political drama set in Washington.

The show, based on a 1990 BBC miniseries, is being produced by Media Rights Capital.

For Netflix, "House of Cards" is a big bet. It is paying about $4 million per episode for the show, and it ordered 26 episodes before even seeing a pilot. All 13 debut-season episodes will be available at once, as opposed to offering new shows on a weekly basis the way a traditional television network does.

Netflix is making a big push to offer more original content to distinguish itself from other streaming services and also so it is less reliant on Hollywood for movies and TV series to feed its customer base.

Other shows in the works at Netflix include new episodes of the cult series "Arrested Development."

—Joe Flint

Toto, they're not in D.C. anymore

Dorothy's ruby slippers from "The Wizard of Oz" are leaving Washington on their first international journey to London's Victoria and Albert Museum.

Judy Garland wore the shoes in the 1939 film in which she played a Kansas farm girl on a magical journey.

The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History on Thursday announced the rare loan of its popular slippers.

They will be shown with Dorothy's blue-and-white gingham dress in "Hollywood Costume," an exhibit opening Oct. 20 in London. Curators said it would be the first time Dorothy's dress and shoes have been together since the movie was filmed. The dress is part of a private collection.

The slippers will return to the Smithsonian on Nov. 21.

—Associated Press

A comeback for ABBA member

Agnetha Fältskog, one of the former members of Swedish pop band ABBA, is preparing for a comeback and has returned to the recording studio after more than eight years of musical silence.

The singer's spokesman, Staffan Linde, said Thursday that the 62-year-old Faltskog was working alongside Swedish songwriter Jorgen Elofsson, who has previously penned and produced tunes for Britney Spears, Celine Dion and band Westlife. Linde could not say when the new album would be released.

After ABBA split in the early 1980s, Fältskog pursued a solo career for a few years, but then went into a music hiatus for most of the 1990s. Her last album, "My Colouring Book," contained cover songs and was released in 2004.

—Associated Press

A tale worthy of a bluegrass tune

Campbell "Doc" Mercer is throwing an annual festival celebrating the life and music of Bill Monroe but without the name of the "Father of Bluegrass Music" to promote it.

Mercer, the head of the Jerusalem Ridge Foundation, is locked in a legal fight with Ohio County, Ky., and its industrial foundation about whether he was ever given the legal right to use Monroe's name for commercial purposes. He says the county granted him the rights to use Monroe's name in 2001. The county says there was never any intent to let Mercer use Monroe's name and likeness.

The Kentucky Court of Appeals is set to hear arguments in the case Nov. 19. Mercer's festival started Thursday near Rosine in western Kentucky and runs through the weekend.

—Associated Press

Wake up to Ann Romney

Ann Romney, the wife of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, will co-host "Good Morning America" on Wednesday, subbing for anchor Robin Roberts, a spokesperson for the show confirmed.

She'll be joined by co-anchor George Stephanopoulos and the rest of the "GMA" team.

ABC News is also in talks with First Lady Michelle Obama as the election inches closer. But nothing has been set, a show spokesperson said, because "she doesn't have time on her schedule right now."

—Yvonne Villarreal

Finally

Memorial: A memorial for the late ballet dancer and teacher Yvonne Mounsey will be held at 3 p.m. Oct. 14 at L.A.'s Wadsworth Theatre. Mounsey, a former dancer with New York City Ballet and a founder of the Westside Ballet in Santa Monica, died Saturday at age 93.

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