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Star Power

ENTERTAINMENT
March 26, 2013 | By Scott Collins, Los Angeles Times
The producers at "American Idol" wanted to shore up a dramatic slide in ratings for the show's newest season, so they added three star judges and even allowed viewers to vote online for favorites up to 50 times simultaneously. The changes for the 12th season didn't help. Ratings have plummeted by double digits for the second year in a row, down this season by 18%, to 15.8 million total viewers, according to Nielsen. In its fifth season in 2006, "Idol's" average audience was more than twice as large.
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SPORTS
February 20, 2013 | By Sam Farmer
INDIANAPOLIS -- The jumping-off point for the 2013 NFL season, the annual scouting combine, features a celebrated leaper and a much-scrutinized leap of faith among the more than 300 players who will be evaluated by the league's scouts, coaches and executives. The leaper is Texas receiver Marquise Goodwin, who finished 10th in the long jump at the London Olympics, and the leap of faith is Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o, whose stellar college career was marred by a poor performance in the Bowl Championship Series title game and a bizarre hoax involving a make-believe dead girlfriend.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 16, 2013 | By Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times
A stylish crowd waited beneath a flashing marquee outside the Fonda Theatre. "Appearing tonight!" the sign read. "Eric Garcetti 4 Mayor. " In a city where political campaigns are typically waged at neighborhood meetings, not Hollywood concert halls, last week's star-studded fundraiser for Garcetti highlighted the entertainment industry's outsized role in this year's mayoral race. Talk show host Jimmy Kimmel started the show with a stand-up routine and musician Moby got the crowd of several hundred dancing.
NEWS
February 15, 2013 | By Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON -- Lakers forward Metta World Peace lent his star power - and his personal story - to a Los Angeles congresswoman's effort to fund mental health services in schools. Just don't ask him to auction off any more championship rings. “I kind of wish I hadn't,” he joked at a news conference near the steps of the U.S. Capitol on Friday. World Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest, spoke about his own issues with mental health and the critical role that treatment had played in his life, in support of legislation from Rep. Grace F. Napolitano (D-Norwalk)
ENTERTAINMENT
February 9, 2013 | By Steven Zeitchik and Nicole Sperling, Los Angeles Times
Hollywood director David O. Russell took a meeting this week to talk about a movie. But the man in the room with him wasn't a studio executive or an actor hoping for a role - he was Vice President Joe Biden. Russell met Biden and spoke on the Senate floor in support of legislation on mental health care. His movie "Silver Linings Playbook" focuses on a man with bipolar disorder and is in contention for eight Oscars, including best picture, come Feb. 24. FOR THE RECORD: Hollywood and politics: An article in the Feb. 9 Section A on the relationship between Hollywood and Washington said "Silver Linings Playbook" director David O. Russell spoke on the Senate floor on behalf of a mental-health bill.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 29, 2013 | By Deborah Vankin
The Broadway revival of “Evita,” costarring Puerto Rican pop singer Ricky Martin, closed Saturday night -- and it was squarely in the red.  It hadn't earned back its $11-million investment, according to Bloomberg News. With music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice , “Evita” -- which was also a 1996 feature film starring Madonna and Antonio Banderas -- is a high-profile musical brand by now; it might have seemed a sure-fire success,  especially with pop star power behind it.  But the production -- which also starred Argentinian performer Elena Roger as Evita -- may have set its sights too high.
NEWS
January 10, 2013 | By Alexandra Le Tellier
The New York Times' Mark Bittman takes Beyoncé to task in a recent piece for acting as a shill for Pepsi during the Super Bowl halftime show on Feb. 3. The singer, he writes, “would presumably refuse to take part in an ad campaign that showed her carrying a semiautomatic rifle. But she's eager, evidently, to have the Pepsi logo painted on her lips and have a limited-edition Pepsi can bearing her likeness.” What's worse, he argues, is that Beyoncé has done a 180 and gone from being an advocate for Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign to becoming “part of an effort that promotes a public health crisis.” Beyoncé is not alone, of course.
OPINION
December 29, 2012
Re “ Jack Klugman, 1922-2012 ,” Obituary, Dec. 25 Jack Klugman was on my flight years ago when I was a flight attendant. I told him: “I've never asked for an autograph, but I couldn't go home without asking for my nephew, who idolizes you.” He signed the autograph and arranged tickets to a taping of his show for my two nephews and me. Afterward, he came over and shook hands with both boys. Needless to say, he had three fans for the rest of his life. B.J. Peterson Big Bear Lake, Calif.
SPORTS
December 19, 2012 | By Lance Pugmire
Ronda Rousey said making her debut as the first Ultimate Fighting Championship women's champion at Anaheim's Honda Center is beyond her wildest imagination. “If someone said you could write down a list of everything you ever wanted, I'd say, 'Win all my fights. Be in the UFC. Have it at home. And have a kick-[rear] undercard.' People's dreams aren't supposed to come true like that.” Yet, the unbeaten Rousey will have that date, defending her new belt against Liz Carmouche on Feb. 23. Tickets go on sale Friday for the card, which will include a light-heavyweight fight between Temecula's Dan Henderson and Brazil's Lyoto Machida.
SPORTS
December 13, 2012 | By Eric Pincus
The Lakers (9-13) visit the New York Knicks (16-5) on Thursday night, hoping to shake a three-game losing streak as they face the first-place team in the Eastern Conference. New York has been a revelation this season, despite playing without Amare Stoudemire (knee).  It has already beaten the Miami Heat twice, won in San Antonio and has yet to lose at home in eight tries. The Lakers have been in a tailspin, struggling without Steve Nash (leg), Pau Gasol (knees) and Steve Blake (abdominal strain)
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