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Quick Takes

February 08, 2013

Skin's not in at Grammys

CBS is asking stars not to bare too much skin at the Grammy Awards on Sunday.

The network requests that "buttocks and female breasts are adequately covered" for the televised award show. The memo sent out this week also warned against "see-through clothing," exposure of "the genital region" and said that "thong-type costumes are problematic."

Representatives for CBS and the Recording Academy declined to comment Thursday. Deadline Hollywood first reported the memo.

—Associated Press

Art sales defying economic slump

The high-end art market is weathering Europe's economic storm, with London auctions this week netting more than $440 million as international bidders snapped up high-profile works.

Sales of Impressionist, Modern and Surrealist art at rival auctioneers Christie's and Sotheby's saw several pre-sale estimates shattered.

Judd Tully, editor at large of Art and Auction magazine, said Thursday that the two big auction houses had had "exceptionally strong sales."

"The art market seems to confound all other financial indicators," he said. "There is a lot of money sloshing around, and it's very global."

Christie's said "new and established buyers from 19 countries" snapped up works at a Wednesday sale that saw a portrait by Amedeo Modigliani sold to an anonymous telephone bidder for $42.1 million, above its top estimate.

Modigliani's 1919 portrait of his lover Jeanne Hebuterne was the highlight of Christie's Impressionist and Modern auctions, which raised a total of $214 million.

"Apres le dejeuner" by 19th century Impressionist Berthe Morisot sold for $10.9 million, almost three times its high estimate and a record price for a female artist at auction.

—Associated Press

Bryan Singer has big gift for USC

Director Bryan Singer ("X-Men," "The Usual Suspects") has donated $5 million to his alma mater, USC's School of Cinematic Arts and its critical-studies division.

Now titled the Bryan Singer Division of Critical Studies, the unit examines all forms of moving-image media from an analytical and historical perspective.

"In a way, I began my career in the Division of Critical Studies at USC," said the director, who earned his bachelor's degree in 1989. "Watching great films and learning how to think about film from the faculty transformed me as an artist and as a person. I am honored to give back to the division and the school, which gave me so much."

—Nicole Sperling

Jimmy Kimmel is man of the hour

A month later, Jimmy Kimmel is unpacked in his new time-slot digs — and giving his neighbors on the late-night block something to talk about.

"Jimmy Kimmel Live's" move to 11:35 p.m. has paid off big for ABC and added bounce to the battle for late night, long a predictable tug-of-war between Jay Leno and David Letterman.

Ratings released Thursday by Nielsen showed that in its most recent week (Jan. 28-Feb. 1), Kimmel was second to "The Tonight Show" in total viewers (3.7 million versus 2.5 million) and viewers 18-49 (1.08 million viewers versus 911,000) — with "Late Show" trailing behind.

Compared with the same period a year ago, Letterman is down 7% in total viewers and 21% among the 18-to-49 crowd that most advertisers covet. Leno's drop-off was less pronounced: 4% in total viewers and 6% in the 18-to-49 demo.

—Yvonne Villarreal

Tenor is out of L.A. Opera show

Tenor Jay Hunter Morris has withdrawn from Los Angeles Opera's production of Wagner's "The Flying Dutchman," scheduled to begin performances on March 9 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

Morris, a Texan noted for his Wagnerian roles, has come down with "a severe case of gastroenteritis," according to his agent, and is unable to participate in rehearsals.

He was to have played the role of Erik in the opera that was inspired by the legend of a ghost ship.

Taking over for him will be tenor Corey Bix.

—David Ng

Robin Roberts sets 'GMA' date

Robin Roberts will permanently return to "Good Morning America" on Feb. 20, co-host George Stephanopoulos told viewers Thursday morning.

"She's met with her doctors, they've cleared her to come back to the show," he said, noting that Roberts would be returning five months to the day after she took a leave of absence for treatment of a rare blood disorder called myelodysplastic syndrome.

Last month, Roberts announced her intention to be back on the air within a few weeks. Since then, she has been going through dry runs at the studio to see if she can handle the stresses.

—Meredith Blake

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