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August 15, 2009 | Laura King
Most fledgling poets would be thrilled if their work were to be broadcast on one of Afghanistan's premier cultural television programs. Roya was terrified. Her unemployed brother, who doesn't think women should take part in public activity of any kind, was at home that evening, watching television with her and her mother. "I was afraid if he saw me reading my work at a conference that was televised, he would kill me," she said. Mercifully, he was bathing when the program came on. She was in agony until it ended, torn between the thrill of hearing her own words and the fear of discovery: "My heart was beating so hard!"
July 30, 2009 | Scott Collins and Maria Elena Fernandez
Jason Bourne is getting historical. Matt Damon, star of the "The Bourne Identity" and its sequels, dropped by the semiannual gathering of the Television Critics Assn. on Wednesday to promote a longtime passion project, one without chases or high-tech gizmos. Damon is an executive producer of "The People Speak," an unusual History channel documentary premiering later this year that features Damon, Marisa Tomei and other celebrities performing selections from diaries, speeches and other primary sources related to American history.
June 4, 2009 | Maria Elena Fernandez
The tribe has spoken. Sort of. Well, stay tuned. Whether it's from the privileged enclaves of Southern California or the bug-infested jungles of Costa Rica, reality show superstars Heidi and Spencer Pratt continue to rattle pop culture's cage with their well-publicized on-again, off-again antics. On Wednesday, the Pratts pleaded on live television to be allowed to rejoin NBC's "I'm a Celebrity . . . Get Me Out of Here!," despite having abruptly quit the newly launched show Tuesday night.
May 23, 2009 | Maria Elena Fernandez
The five broadcast TV networks have made their decisions for next season, and the official schedules have been announced. In all, 32 scripted series have been ordered -- 21 dramas and 11 comedies. Of the 32 shows, 12 come from outside production studios, meaning that most of the new shows are owned by the networks that are airing them. That practice was barred by the federal government for antitrust reasons, but the prohibition was lifted in 1993. CBS, which ordered five dramas and one comedy, has one drama from Warner Bros.
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