October 4, 2011
Ken Burns opened the tap and poured some big ratings for the first night of his PBS documentary "Prohibition. " The first episode Sunday night averaged 3.9-million viewers, according to Nielsen. PBS estimated that at least 7.6-million viewers saw at least six minutes of the first installment of the three-part, 5½-hour program. Those are giant figures by PBS' usual standards, reflecting the power of Burns to draw a large audience. But they are small by commercial broadcast yardsticks and also lower than for some of the filmmaker's past multi-part projects.
September 25, 2011 |
Oscar-winning documentary maker Michael Moore, 57, explores his early years as a provocateur-in-training in his new autobiography, "Here Comes Trouble: Stories From My Life. " The book is mostly about your early life and it ends at the beginning of your filmmaking career, which is how most people know you. Why is that? That will come in a future volume, the things I've experienced in Hollywood, the films and all of that. But I wanted to write a book of short stories that were just good reading, and I thought I've never seen a book of nonfiction short stories.
August 23, 2011 |
Perhaps it was only a matter of time before conservative American commentator Glenn Beck, viewed by many supporters as a modern-day prophet, brought his messianic message to Jerusalem. But even in an ancient city that has seen its share of religious enthusiasts, Beck's high-profile Holy Land tour this week, culminating Wednesday in a rally just a stone's throw from the Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock mosque, is raising eyebrows. Before Beck's arrival, most Israelis were unfamiliar with the former Fox News host, whose cable TV show went off the air in June amid sagging ratings.
June 30, 2011 |
Glenn Beck's Fox News finale was a jaunt down memory lane of Beck's big issues -- from ACORN to what he referred to as "the caliphate" -- and filled with self-congratulation. But, to paraphrase a Washington Post reference to a Time profile on the radio-host-turned-TV showman, was Glenn Beck bad for America? Studies show that when it comes to politics, that brand of angry TV talk show host popularized by the likes of Rush Limbaugh doesn't do democracy or political discourse any favors.
June 9, 2011 |
Lupe Fiasco has never bitten his tongue about his disdain for modern politics, and his latest single "Words I Never Said," offers a few of his thoughts on the subject. "Limbaugh is a racist, Glenn Beck is a racist, Gaza Strip was getting burned, Obama didn't say ?/ That's why I ain't vote for him, next one either," he raps on the controversial track from his latest album, "Lasers. " The rapper has opened himself up to even more scrutiny after appearing on CBS News' "What's Trending.
June 1, 2011
A roundup of entertainment headlines for Wednesday. Kim Kardashian is changing her last name to Humphries. Care to wager on how long that will last? ( TMZ ) Got shut out of this year's sold-out Coachella? Next year, you'll have two chances to see the same bands. But buy your tickets now. Want to know who's playing? Tough. Buy your tickets. ( Los Angeles Times ) USC is opening an animation center named after DreamWorks Animation honcho Jeffrey Katzenberg and wife Marilyn.
April 21, 2011 |
Mike Huckabee is siding with Michelle Obama over Glenn Beck after the conservative talk show host jabbed him for his "bigger government tendencies. " On his HuckPAC web site Thursday , the former Arkansas governor defends his support for the first lady's "Let's Move!" anti-obesity initiative, which he says is about personal responsibility and "not the government literally taking candy from a baby's mouth. " "I'm no fan of her husband's policies for sure, but I have appreciated her efforts that Beck misrepresented -- either out of ignorance or out of a deliberate attempt to distort them to create yet another 'boogey man' hiding in the closet that he and only he can see," Huckabee writes.
April 15, 2011 |
The tinhorn film version of "Atlas Shrugged" fails to rise even to the level of "eh" suggested by Ayn Rand's title. But with so little going on in cinematic or storytelling terms, we can cut straight to the fascinating tea-stained politics of the thing. Conceived as the first of a proposed three-part series, director Paul Johansson's movie is the work of true believers in Rand's pet theory known as Objectivism, which can be described as "Us? There is no 'us'!" In Rand's worldview, it is me-time, all the time.
April 7, 2011
A roundup of entertainment headlines for Thursday: A report says Javier Bardem is almost locked in to be Stephen King's Gunslinger in the adaptation of "The Dark Tower. " ( Deadline ) Bob Dylan plays a set in China, minus a couple of '60s-era classics. Some Chinese people say, "Bob who?" ( Los Angeles Times ) Not enough of us watched him, so now Glenn Beck is ending his daily show. Who will warn us of the apocalypse now? ( Los Angeles Times ) The Grammys slashed 31 categories, including best zydeco album.
April 7, 2011 |
Completing a swift rise and fall from TV stardom, controversial host Glenn Beck will lose his once-popular Fox News show later this year, the network announced Wednesday. Beck's 5 p.m. program, which earned scorn from liberals for its attacks on President Obama as well as its devotion to sometimes-obscure right-wing thinkers, was a top cable draw in 2009 and a signpost for the populist "tea party" movement in last year's midterm elections, which dealt a ballot-box rebuke to the White House.