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Quick Takes: 'Walking' to the top

April 02, 2013

"The Walking Dead," which has already shattered viewer records for AMC, scored another milestone with its season finale.

The end of the third season of the zombie apocalypse drama scored its biggest audience ever with 12.4 million viewers Sunday night, making the finale the top-rated program for the night. The episode pulled in 8.1 million viewers ages 18 to 49, the prize demographic for most advertisers.

AMC also declared that the show was No. 1 in the 18-49 demographic for the season, outdistancing "The Big Bang Theory," "The Voice," "Modern Family" and other series on the broadcast networks.

"Two words: Grateful. Dead," AMC President Charlie Collier said Monday.

—Greg Braxton

Orlando Bloom, modern Romeo

Orlando Bloom and Tony nominee Condola Rashad will star in a Broadway production of "Romeo and Juliet" that transports Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers to modern times with race as a central theme.

David Leveaux will direct the production, featuring Jayne Houdyshell ("Follies") as the nurse and Joe Morton (the musical "Raisin") as Lord Capulet, with additional casting to be announced. Leveaux recently directed "Backbeat" at the Ahmanson Theatre, a musical about the Beatles' formative period playing in German nightclubs.

The script will retain the Bard's original language, with the feuding Capulets and Montagues recast as differing ethnicities.

The show, opening Sept. 19, will mark Bloom's Broadway debut.

—Jamie Wetherbe

Motown piano fixed, displayed

An 1877 Steinway grand piano used by Motown greats during the label's 1960s heyday, and restored thanks to Paul McCartney, is back home in Detroit.

Steinway technicians delivered the 9-foot Victorian rosewood to the "Hitsville, U.S.A," building midday Monday and workers set it up in a former recording studio in what's now the Motown Historical Museum.

McCartney, a longtime fan of the Motown sound who played and recorded several of the label's songs during the Beatles' early days, told museum officials after a 2011 concert in Detroit that he wanted to help with the piano's refurbishment after learning the historic instrument no longer could be played.

The instrument first made its way to Motown when the label acquired Golden World Records in 1967, a facility redubbed Motown Studio B and used by musicians and songwriters to create songs by Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and other Motown greats.

—Associated Press

Shain Gandee found dead at 21

Shain Gandee lived for the outdoors, often going on muddy, off-road thrill rides in the hills near his West Virginia home. A recent late-night escapade ended in tragedy for the MTV reality show cast member and two others.

The popular "Buckwild" cast member was found dead Monday inside a sport utility vehicle belonging to his family that was found partially submerged in a deep mud pit about a mile from his home near Sissonville, W.Va., authorities said. Also inside were the bodies of his uncle and another man.

Kanawha County Sheriff's Cpl. B.D. Humphreys said the red-and-white 1984 Ford Bronco's muffler was below the surface and that mud covered the passenger side. No foul play is suspected.

Shain, 21, nicknamed "Gandee Candy" by fans, was a breakout star of the show that followed the antics of a group of young friends enjoying their wild country lifestyle. It was filmed last year, mostly around Sissonville and Charleston.

Many of its rowdy exploits were his idea. In one episode, he turned a dump truck into a swimming pool.

Shooting for the second season of "Buckwild" had begun, but MTV spokesman Jake Urbanski said Monday afternoon it has been suspended.

MTV said the half-hour series in the old "Jersey Shore" time slot was pulling in an average of 3 million viewers per episode since its premiere and was the No. 1 original cable series on Thursday nights among 12- to 34-year-olds.

—Associated Press

'Linsanity' to tip off festival

The documentary "Linsanity," about the Houston Rockets' point guard Jeremy Lin, will open the 29th Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.

The festival, which takes places May 2-12 at various locations, including the Directors Guild Theatre, will feature 140 films from 20 countries.

The festival will feature world premieres and sneak previews of narrative and documentary films that shine a spotlight on Asian Pacific Americans as well as the international Asian community.

—Susan King

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