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ENTERTAINMENT
December 12, 2013 | By Hugh Hart
Elvis. Aretha. The Beatles. These are the titans. Jerome Felder, Spooner Oldham and Freda Kelly? They're the supporting players. Following on last year's Oscar-winning Sixto Rodriguez documentary, "Searching for Sugarman," a fresh set of nonfiction films this year focused on low-profile talents whose stories are every bit as fascinating as their more famous compatriots. Leading the charge this year: Oscar shortlisted documentary "20 Feet From Stardom. " Financed by the late record executive Gil Friesen, "Stardom" offers a bittersweet group portrait of half a dozen background singers who helped define landmark recordings by Ray Charles, Ike and Tina Turner, Rolling Stones, Sting and Stevie Wonder but failed to carve out comparable solo careers for themselves.  FULL COVERAGE: Oscars 2014 At the outset, director Morgan Neville faced a daunting challenge.
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ENTERTAINMENT
December 10, 2013 | By Cristy Lytal
Supervising sound editors Steve Boeddeker and Richard Hymns put their sea legs to the test on the open-water thriller "All Is Lost. " Directed by J.C. Chandor and starring Robert Redford, the nearly dialogue-free film tells the story of a man whose 39-foot yacht collides with a shipping container on the high seas. As sound editors, Boeddeker, Hymns and their colleague Brandon Proctor collected and created sounds heard in the film - a symphony of flapping sails, creaking decks and pounding waves.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 10, 2013 | By Patrick Kevin Day
Good news for Julie Andrews! The star of the 1965 film version of "The Sound of Music" told the Associated Press on Monday that she had not seen the live broadcast of "The Sound of Music" starring Carrie Underwood on NBC last week. Now the network has plans to re-air the three-hour production on Saturday at 8 p.m. "The Sound of Music Live" originally aired on Thursday and was a huge success for the network, which took a risk with a live broadcast of a musical that's been around since 1959.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 10, 2013 | By Patrick Kevin Day
"Rosemary's Baby," the classic novel and film about a woman carrying the Devil's baby, is getting a modern updating and a change of scenery. On Tuesday, NBC announced it was green-lighting a four-hour miniseries based on Ira Levin's novel, which also served as the basis for Roman Polanski's 1968 film starring Mia Farrow. The new miniseries will take place in Paris, with a young married couple moving into an apartment with a creepy history. Pretty soon, the wife is pregnant, her husband and the neighbors are acting funny and there's a growing suspicion that when the baby arrives, it'll have cloven hooves and a pair of horns.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 7, 2013 | By Scott Collins and Meredith Blake
You can now count live events and glossy musicals as a few of TV executives' favorite things. Thursday's three-hour spectacular "Sound of Music Live!" with country star Carrie Underwood as Maria sang for 18.6 million total viewers, according to Nielsen. That was a number that exceeded all expectations and gave NBC its most-watched night of entertainment programming in nearly seven years. But Underwood and the singing Von Trapp kids also carried heavy symbolic freight for the TV industry.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 7, 2013 | By Nardine Saad
The haters are alive with "The Sound of Music Live!" -- and NBC's live-musical star Carrie Underwood is quickly learning that there's no way to stop them. The former "American Idol" winner, who played governess and would-be nun Maria Von Trapp, was the first to be dropped from several people's favorite things list because of her novice acting chops. "Plain and simple: Mean people need Jesus," Underwood  tweeted Friday, a day after the live special. "They will be in my prayers tonight ... 1 Peter 2:1-25.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 6, 2013 | By Meredith Blake
Right now Bob Greenblatt is adding "live TV musicals" to his list of favorite things (right after brown paper packages tied up with string). "Sound of Music Live!", the first live musical on network television in more than 50 years and a pet project of the NBC Entertainment chairman, proved to be a worthwhile gamble on Thursday night. The three-hour event, based on the 1959 Rodgers & Hammerstein musical and starring Carrie Underwood and Stephen Moyer, reeled in a whopping 18.5 million viewers overall and delivered a 4.6 rating with viewers younger than 50. Translated from Nielsen-speak, that means more than 5.5 million people in the advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-old demographic tuned in. That was enough to tie CBS' top-rated "The Big Bang Theory" in the demo at 8 p.m. The broadcast delivered the Peacock Network its best Thursday-night performance with younger viewers since the finale of "ER" in 2009.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 6, 2013 | By Patrick Kevin Day
A lot of viewers and critics were not fond of Carrie Underwood's performance in NBC's live production of "The Sound of Music" on Thursday night. Now, it turns out members of the real-life Von Trapp family weren't thrilled about her even before cameras rolled. Speaking to ABC News, Myles von Trapp Derbyshire, the great-grandson of the real-life Maria (played by Underwood in the musical), stated that his family was not thrilled with Underwood's casting. "Although her voice is amazing, she doesn't have acting experience," Derbyshire said.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 6, 2013 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
From the start, I opposed digital downloads and everything about them. The early MP3s a decade ago were so sonically constricted they seemed like the worst so-called advance in the history of recorded sound. The tyrannical iTunes infrastructure requires the vast variety of musical forms to be treated as songs if they hoped for a place at the digital table, and the lack of information about the music was (and remains) appalling. The Apple and Amazon war on record stores threatened to disastrously diminish the crucial social interaction of music lovers.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 6, 2013 | By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
This post has been updated. See below for details. Thursday night NBC staged a three-hour live performance of Rodgers and Hammserstein's "The Sound of Music," the world's most beloved musical, with Carrie Underwood as Maria von Trapp, a role originated onstage by Mary Martin and belonging forever to Julie Andrews, who starred in the 1965 film. It was, in its many opportunities for failure and public mockery, a crazy thing to do. But they did it. Underwood is, of course, the pop superstar who first got famous as the fourth season winner of "American Idol.
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