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ENTERTAINMENT
December 1, 2011 | ROBERT LLOYD, TELEVISION CRITIC
Living in the farther reaches of basic cable are a growing number of television series about what might be called "ordinary people" at work in what most of us would consider extraordinary jobs. It is lazily tempting, though not quite right, to describe these shows as redneck or blue-collar or rural, but they are mostly set away from big cities in places that -- apart from these shows -- you don't often see on TV: Southern places and prairie places and backwoods places. You can link their titles into a kind of poetical associative chain: "Ice Road Truckers," "American Joggers," "Lady Joggers," "Ax Men," "American Loggers," "Swamp Loggers," "Swamp Brothers," "Swamp People," "Swamp Wars" -- do you see a pattern emerging?
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BUSINESS
March 9, 2011 | By Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times
With its lush mountains, tropical rain forest and sugar-white beaches, Puerto Rico has long prided itself as a "paradise of locations" for filmmaking. But the U.S. territory has never been ranked in the top tier of filming destinations, in part because it had only a small pool of money allocated for its tax-credit program. That could change now that the Caribbean archipelago wants to grab a larger share of Hollywood's production pie. Last week, Puerto Rico Gov. Luis G. Fortuño signed into law a new package of film incentives aimed at making his commonwealth competitive with some of the top production hubs in the U.S. The new law broadens the existing 40% production tax credit to include TV programs and documentaries, and for the first time allows producers to claim a 20% tax credit for hiring nonresidents, including actors' salaries.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 15, 2010 | Nicole Sperling
The Oscar contest for best picture had been shaping up as a head-to-head fight between the plucky British drama "The King's Speech" and David Fincher's "The Social Network," but Tuesday's Golden Globes nominations may have brought a third contender into the ring: David O. Russell's "The Fighter. " Members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., who vote on the annual awards, bestowed the most nominations ? seven ? on the indie film about King George VI's stutter, including in the categories of picture, director, lead actor in a drama ( Colin Firth)
ENTERTAINMENT
December 8, 2010 | Greg Braxton
Noted journalist Laura Ling became an international cause célèbre last year when she and colleague Euna Lee were held captive in Kim Jong Il's North Korea for more than five months after being arrested while investigating human trafficking. More than a year after being released, Ling is marking her return to the airwaves ? landing at the home of a wholly different Kim. The former investigative correspondent for Current TV's "Vanguard" has joined E! Entertainment, the TV network of former sex tape queen turned scenester Kim Kardashian and other celebrity-oriented series that are snarky ( "Chelsea Lately," "The Soup")
BUSINESS
November 24, 2010 | By Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times
Call it comic relief. Sitcoms are making a comeback and keeping sorely needed jobs in Los Angeles. A new crop of half-hour comedies is helping drive up television production at a time when L.A. has been struggling to keep major feature films from fleeing the state to cheaper locales. Last week, activity for on-location shoots for television programs doubled over the same time a year ago, a sign that the sector is rebounding after falling in the third quarter. Dramas were up 36%, TV reality programs rose 128% and situation comedies jumped 1,580% ?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 2, 2010 | By Dennis McLellan, Los Angeles Times
Stephen J. Cannell, the prolific television writer and producer who co-created "The Rockford Files" and "The A-Team" and later became a bestselling novelist, has died. He was 69. Cannell died Thursday evening of complications associated with melanoma at his home in Pasadena, his family said. In a career that began in the late 1960s when he sold his first TV script and took off as he soon became the hottest young writer on the Universal lot, Cannell created or co-created more than 40 TV shows, including "Baa Baa Black Sheep," "Baretta," "The Greatest American Hero" and "21 Jump Street.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 25, 2010 | Times staff and wire reports
Jack Horkheimer, an amateur astronomer who created and hosted the long-running weekly public television segment "Star Gazer," died Friday in Miami. He was 72. Horkheimer had battled respiratory problems for many years, according to Tony Lima, a spokesman for the Miami Science Museum and Space Transit Planetarium. Horkheimer directed the planetarium for 35 years until his retirement three years ago. A flamboyant showman, Horkheimer was not taken seriously by professional astronomers, but his exuberant promotion of naked-eye astronomy — stargazing without a telescope — made him a celebrity among amateurs and gave his five-minute weekly television segments a campy appeal.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 6, 2010 | By Dennis McLellan, Los Angeles Times
Lorene Yarnell, a dancer who became half of the Shields and Yarnell comedy mime team that came to fame in the 1970s and briefly starred in their own TV variety series, has died. She was 66. Yarnell died of a brain aneurysm July 29 while watching television with her husband, Bjorn Jansson, at their home in Sandefjord, Norway, said Robert Shields, her former husband and show business partner. "I'm devastated by her death," Shields told The Times on Thursday. "Lorene was an incredibly gifted and magical person."
ENTERTAINMENT
April 21, 2010 | Matea Gold
The action starts early at Diane & Co., an unassuming dress shop lodged in a strip mall on a busy stretch of highway in central New Jersey. The doors had barely opened on a recent spring morning, and a gaggle of customers was already on hand to sample the store's exhaustive inventory of formal gowns. As sales clerks lugged samples to the dressing rooms, proprietor Diane Scali had her ear to the phone, chewing out a supplier. "He's not going to push me up against the wall!"
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