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March 22, 2013

'Romeo Killer' gets OK

Lifetime won a major victory in a New York appeals court Thursday, allowing the network to televise its ripped-from-the-headlines movie, "Romeo Killer: The Chris Porco Story," on Saturday night as originally planned.

Earlier this week, a New York state judge had issued an injunction that would have blocked the network from broadcasting its production about a grisly killing in November 2004 in upstate New York.

The convicted killer, Christopher Porco, filed suit to protest the project, claiming the story was a "fictionalized" account and that use of his name and likeness for such a commercial venture had not been authorized.

Thursday afternoon, an appeals court in New York lifted the injunction.

Porco was convicted for the ax-murder of his father, Peter Porco. The TV movie stars Eric McCormack as the lead police detective. Matt Barr plays Chris Porco.

—Meg James

Griffith home plans protested

The widow of actor Andy Griffith has gotten a permit to tear down the house where he lived for many years on the North Carolina waterfront, upsetting friends who had hoped it would be preserved as a museum or Graceland-type estate.

Cindi Griffith obtained the demolition permit this week, according to Dare County records. County officials and friends confirmed the permit is to demolish a smaller house along the Roanoke Sound that Griffith bought in the 1950s, not the larger house that he and Cindi built nearby several years ago.

William Ivey Long, the Tony Award-winning costume designer whose parents were friends with Griffith and his first wife, Barbara, said Griffith told him in 2007 that he wanted to preserve the older home as a museum.

Griffith, who died last July, was best known for his roles on "The Andy Griffith Show" and "Matlock."

Cindi Griffith did not respond to messages seeking comment.

—Associated Press

Mexico seeks halt to auction

The Mexican government is demanding that Sotheby's auction house halt the planned sale of 51 pre-Columbian Mexican artifacts, arguing they are protected national historical pieces.

The National Institute of Anthropology and History said that Mexico has sent a diplomatic note to the French government seeking assistance in heading off the auction scheduled in Paris for Friday and Saturday.

It also implied that some of the artifacts offered in what is known as the 300-piece Barbier-Mueller Collection of Pre-Columbian Art are fakes or imitations.

Sophie Dufresne, Sotheby's spokeswoman in Paris, said, "The sale is going forward as planned."

—Associated Press

Recycling grows for publishers

Thanks to conservation efforts and the rise of e-books, the publishing industry is creating a leaner and cleaner paper trail.

According to a new report by two environmental groups — the Book Industry Environmental Council and Green Press Initiative — paper suppliers use around 25% recycled fiber for book materials, compared with an estimated 5% in 2004.

—Associated Press

New Zealand upbraids 'Argo'

New Zealand has joined Iran and Canada in protesting how it was portrayed in the Oscar best picture winner "Argo" — even though, in its case, the portrayal amounted to one sentence.

A character in the film says that the "Kiwis turned them away," referring to a group of Americans looking for refuge after the U.S. Embassy was stormed in Tehran in 1979.

New Zealand diplomats did in fact provide some aid, and even five months after it was released there some people in the country are upset. Parliament has expressed its dismay, passing a motion stating that Ben Affleck, who directed and starred in the movie, "saw fit to mislead the world about what actually happened."

The "Argo" filmmakers have always acknowledged that while the film was based on a true story, they took liberties in adapting it for the screen.

—Associated Press

Beyoncé is focus of H&M ads

Beyoncé, who seems to be everywhere as she prepares for her world tour, is going to be seen in even more places.

The 31-year-old singer is featured in H&M's new ad campaign, announced by the retailer Thursday.

Mrs. Carter, as she's called in the ads, is seen lounging on a beach wearing a sundress, short shorts, a bikini and other key items from the summer collection.

—Associated Press


Renewed: TV Land has renewed "Hot in Cleveland" for a fifth season, ordering 24 additional episodes of the sitcom that stars Jane Leeves, Valerie Bertinelli, Wendie Malick and Betty White. The cable show goes into syndicated reruns on broadcast outlets in September 2014.

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