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March 4, 2014 | By Gerrick D. Kennedy
Fox has tapped Grammy award-winning producer and rapper Timbaland to produce and write music for the new pilot "Empire," the network announced Tuesday. “Empire” is a family drama anchored in the hip-hop world and will feature both original and current music. Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson will star. Howard will play Lucious Lyon, the charismatic, savvy head of a record label. Henson will portray Cookie, Lucious' ex-wife, who spent 17 years behind bars for dealing drugs and upon her release for good behavior returns to reclaim what she feels is hers after she funneled all that drug money into her husband's fledgling music business.
March 4, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Perhaps it's not a big surprise that "12 Years a Slave," the acclaimed movie based on the true story of a free black man who was sold into slavery in the 1840s, won the Academy Award for best picture. It had already won critical acclaim and praise for its lead actors, director and writer (all of whom were nominated for Oscars as well). Besides, as Ellen DeGeneres, the host of the show, joked at the beginning of the evening, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voters had only two options: Either they could bestow their highest honor on "12 Years a Slave," or they were all racists.
March 4, 2014 | By Bob Pool
There was a 69-year gap between the time that Stanley Rubin enrolled at UCLA in hopes of launching a writing career and 2006, when he actually graduated. And during that seven-decade break in schooling, the prolific film and television writer and producer left his mark at nearly every studio in Hollywood, helped run the Writers Guild and Producers Guild and took home one of the first Emmys ever awarded. Rubin, 96, died Sunday in his sleep at his home above the Sunset Strip, said actress Kathleen Hughes , his wife of 59 years.
February 26, 2014 | By Oliver Gettell
Oprah Winfrey has come aboard as a producer on "Selma," a biopic about the iconic Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to be distributed by Paramount Pictures, according to a report by Deadline Hollywood. The long-gestating film will focus on King's historic 1965 voting rights campaign and will be directed by Ava DuVernay, who became the first black woman to win best director at the Sundance Film Festival with her 2012 microbudget indie drama "Middle of Nowhere. " DuVernay rewrote the "Selma" script after joining the project in July and sent it to Winfrey, who took notice, the report says . British actor David Oyelowo, who starred in "Middle of Nowhere" and "Lee Daniels' the Butler," is set to play King.
February 25, 2014 | By Mike Bresnahan
INDIANAPOLIS  - Count Kendall Marshall among those dragged down by the Lakers' woes. He was a surprisingly successful pick-up from the NBA's Development League, churning out double-digit assists almost immediately when signed in December. Now, though, the guard is like the rest of the Lakers. And he's not enjoying it. "It's not fun at all the way we're playing," said Marshall, scoreless with only four assists in the Lakers' 118-98 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday.
February 23, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - California farmers markets want to get tough with interlopers who don't sell what they grow. They're backing a bill to crack down on vendors who falsely claim to offer pesticide-free or locally grown fruits, nuts and vegetables. "Californians are fortunate to have the highest concentration of farmers markets in the nation," said the bill's author, Assemblyman Roger Dickinson (D-Sacramento). The bill, AB 1871, he said, would "increase consumer protections and accountability at our certified farmers markets, protect local farmers and help this growing sector of the economy continue to thrive.
February 22, 2014 | By Rebecca Keegan
For some it's the Super Bowl, for others Olympic ice hockey - but for many, Oscar producer Neil Meron believes, the season's big game takes place in black-tie. "The Oscars is a sport," Meron said in an interview Thursday from a small office backstage at Hollywood's Dolby Theatre, where a skeleton crew had assembled to start preparing for the Academy Awards on March 2. "There's the excitement of watching something live, as it happens. " Meron and his partner, Craig Zadan, are returning to produce the Oscars for a second year, this time bringing on Ellen DeGeneres as host for a second time and focusing the show on the theme of movie heroes, from Atticus Finch to Batman.
February 22, 2014 | By Nick Reed
For two decades I worked a desk at ICM as an agent, championing talented artists and their film projects, including big ones like the "Austin Powers" and "Bourne Identity" franchises. A huge turning point for me came three years ago; my father and mother got very ill, and the meaning of life changed for me. I decided to leave the desk job and became a producer. During my first year, it felt like a bungee jump, huge elation at freedom and the sudden jolt as the rope hit bottom and then bounced back and forth.
February 20, 2014 | By David Colker
Screenwriter Eric Bercovici knew he was not the first choice to adapt "Shogun," the blockbuster 1975 novel by James Clavell about an English seaman marooned in 17th century Japan. Bercovici, who worked on the Paramount lot, read the novel anyway. "I knew right away how to adapt it," he said in a 1981 Los Angeles Times interview. "But damned if I would tell them. " Other writers fell by the wayside, and he was called to meet with Clavell, who had creative control over a proposed TV miniseries based on the book.
February 20, 2014 | By Mikael Wood
Pharrell Williams looked wiped out. Late on a recent evening, the singer-rapper-producer was shuttling between two studios at a Melrose Avenue recording complex. In one he was working on music for this spring's "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," which he's scoring along with Hans Zimmer; in the other he was supervising final mixes for his upcoming solo album. Now Ryan Seacrest's people had arrived to shoot Williams' cameo in a video, set to his song "Happy," marking the 10th anniversary of the radio host's popular morning show.
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