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Quick Takes

January 18, 2013

Idol's' ratings drop 19%

The Mariah Carey-Nicki Minaj feud might not be enough to rescue "American Idol's" ratings.

Fox's singing competition opened its 12th season Wednesday with three new judges and sharply lower viewership. An average of 17.8 million viewers tuned in to the two-hour premiere, slumping 19% compared with last season, according to Nielsen.

The decline among viewers ages 18 to 49 — the group most sought by advertisers — was also 19%, suggesting that "Idol" continues to lose its grip on younger viewers.

In a news release, Fox called the decline "expected" and noted that the network still beat the combined results of ABC, CBS and NBC.

—Scott Collins

Lampooning on a live stage

National Lampoon, one of the most recognizable names in comedy but one that has seen its brand image suffer in recent years, is getting back into the stage business with a brand new production — "Sketches From the National Lampoon" at the Hayworth Theatre in L.A. starting Feb. 15.

Judging from the description provided by the company, "Sketches" will capitalize on public nostalgia for National Lampoon's heyday. The show consists of a series of favorite sketches, monologues and musical numbers from the company vault.

The show is conceived and produced by National Lampoon founder Matty Simmons.

—David Ng

'Can-Can' aims for Broadway

The revival of Cole Porter's "Can-Can" that opened at the Pasadena Playhouse more than five years ago has come back to life and is now aiming for Broadway. Producers said Thursday that they are hoping to bring the high-kicking musical to New York in spring 2014.

Neither a theater nor an opening date was announced. The revival is being produced by Jonathan Burrows.

"Can-Can" had its premiere in Pasadena in summer 2007. The production was directed by David Lee, who is also expected to direct the show when it arrives on Broadway.

Organizers said they will hold a workshop production in New York in October.

Porter debuted "Can-Can" on Broadway in 1953. The last time it was revived on Broadway was in 1981.

A movie adaptation in 1960 starred Shirley MacLaine, Maurice Chevalier and Frank Sinatra.

—David Ng

Karl Rove likes this call by Fox

Karl Rove enlivened Fox News Channel's election coverage last year by questioning the network's declaration that President Obama had been re-elected. It hasn't affected Fox's desire to keep him on the air.

The network announced Thursday that it had signed Rove to a new contract as a contributor. The deal runs through the 2016 election.

Rove was once President George W. Bush's political right-hand man and the force behind a powerful political action committee that sought to oust Obama.

Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes says Rove's detailed knowledge of politics make him an important player in Fox's coverage.

—Associated Press

U2 is working on a new album

A new U2 album is rattling (and humming) to life.

In an interview with England's Sun newspaper, frontman Bono said the Irish band is at work on the follow-up to 2009's "No Line on the Horizon."

"U2 have been back and they're really in fine fettle," he said.

Bono said he and his bandmates — guitarist Edge, bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen Jr. — have been calling the album "10 Reasons to Exist," though he added that "at least six" other working titles are in the mix.

—Mikael Wood

Costume guild announces nods

"Argo" and "Les Misérables" are among the feature film nominees for the 15th annual Costume Designers Guild Award announced Thursday.

Nominated for excellence in contemporary film are Stephani Lewis for "Beasts of the Southern Wild," Louise Stjernsward for "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," Mark Bridges for "Silver Linings Playbook," Jany Temime for "Skyfall" and George L. Little for "Zero Dark Thirty."

Vying for excellence in period film are Jacqueline Durran for "Anna Karenina," Jacqueline West for "Argo," Paco Delgado for "Les Misérables," Joanna Johnston for "Lincoln" and Kasia Walicka-Maimone for "Moonrise Kingdom."

Nominees for excellence in fantasy film are Kym Barrett and Pierre-Yves Gayraud for "Cloud Atlas," Ann Maskrey, Richard Taylor and Bob Buck for "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," Eiko Ishioka for "Mirror Mirror" and Colleen Atwood for "Snow White and the Huntsman."

The awards, which also include three television categories, will be presented Feb. 19 in Beverly Hills.

—Susan King

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