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Quick Takes: Globes' ratings jump

January 15, 2013

Ricky who?

The 2013 Golden Globes erased memories of former host Ricky Gervais as the NBC show Sunday produced its best ratings in six years.

Hosted for the first time by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, the Globes drew an impressive 19.7 million viewers, according to Nielsen.

That was up 17% compared with last year's telecast. And even better for NBC, viewing by 18- to 49-year-olds — the group most advertisers care about — soared 28%.

—Scott Collins

MOCA curator leaving position

The Museum of Contemporary Art brain drain continues: Rebecca Morse is leaving her job as associate curator for a post with the same title within the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's photography department.

She will start her new position Feb. 1, replacing Edward Robinson and reporting to photography head Britt Salvesen.

Morse's departure leaves only two curators at MOCA, Alma Ruiz and Bennett Simpson, down from a high of seven in early 2009. That year the museum implemented various cost-cutting measures and layoffs, following a financial crisis and bailout by trustee Eli Broad.

Reached Monday, MOCA spokeswoman Lyn Winter said there are "no plans right now" to replace Morse.

—Jori Finkel

ABC attacked over 'Scandal'

The debate over violence on TV is heating up, with a parents' group attacking ABC for a "graphic and disturbing" torture scene on the political drama "Scandal."

"On the very same night that Vice President Joe Biden met with entertainment industry leaders to discuss the issue of media violence and its impact on children, ABC — the television network owned by a company named for Walt Disney — aired an intense, explicit and bloodied torture scene during its show 'Scandal,'" the Parents Television Council wrote in a statement Monday.

The PTC has repeatedly clashed with TV networks over content it deems overly violent or sexual. It said the scene on "Scandal" depicted a man being beaten and waterboarded and lasted nearly three minutes.

ABC declined to comment.

—Scott Collins

Roberts plans to return to 'GMA'

"Good Morning America" anchor Robin Roberts announced Monday that she will be returning to the ABC show.

Roberts left "GMA" on Aug. 30 to undergo a bone marrow transplant for treatment of a rare disorder called myelodysplastic syndrome, or MDS. Her sister, Sally Ann, provided the donor cells.

In a live interview, Roberts provided fans and colleagues with an update on her health, explaining that, because her most recent tests showed no signs of abnormalities, she would begin the gradual transition back to work next week.

The first order of business will be reacclimating her body to the demanding morning-show routine, particularly the 4 a.m. wake-up calls. Another concern is how her sensitive skin will fare under the harsh studio lights.

Though no exact return date was announced, Roberts predicted she would be back on the air full time in February.

—Meredith Blake

Finalists named for book honors

The late journalist Anthony Shadid, Los Angeles writer Reyna Grande and the novelist Zadie Smith were among the finalists announced Monday for the prestigious National Book Critics Circle Awards.

Shadid, who died last year while on assignment in Syria for the New York Times, was nominated in the autobiography category for his book "House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East." Grande was nominated in the same category for "The Distance Between Us," the story of her childhood in Mexico and arrival as a girl in Los Angeles.

Joining them in the same category are UC Irvine professor Ngugi wa Thiong'o for "In the House of the Interpreter," Maureen N. McLane for "My Poets" and Leanne Shapton for "Swimming Studies."

"NW," Smith's fourth novel, is joined in the fiction category by two first-time novelists: Ben Fountain ("Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk") and Laurent Binet ("HHhH").

The other fiction finalists are Adam Johnson for "The Orphan Master's Son" and Lydia Millet for "Magnificence."

The winners of those two categories and four others will be announced Feb. 28 in New York City.

—Hector Tobar

Finally

Honors: Oscar-winning screenwriter and Tony Award-winning playwright Tom Stoppard will receive a lifetime achievement award from the Writers Guild of America, West at its annual awards ceremony Feb. 17.

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