Jill's Feed
Feb 18, 2012

“The Help” wins big at Image Awards; Houston remembered

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – “The Help,” which chronicled the experiences of black maids in the 1960s, and the comedy “Jumping the Broom” were honored at the NAACP Image Awards on Friday, and the life and career of Whitney Houston was celebrated with rousing gospel songs a week after the singer’s untimely death.

The box-office hit about black maids speaking out against their white employers in Mississippi in the early 1960s won best movie and acting awards for Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer. The film, Davis and Spencer have been nominated for Academy Awards.

Feb 15, 2012

Whitney Houston’s medical records sought after mystery death

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Officials investigating the death of singer Whitney Houston have issued subpoenas for her medical records after finding prescription drugs in her Beverly Hills hotel room.

The Los Angeles Coroner’s office said on Wednesday the move was standard procedure in such cases. Houston, 48, who had a history of addiction to cocaine and alcohol, was found unconscious and underwater in a bathtub late last week on the eve of the annual Grammy Awards show.

Feb 14, 2012

Oscar red carpet off limits for “Artist” dog Uggie

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Uggie, the canine star of “The Artist”, won’t be taking part in the Oscars or appearing on the red carpet next week, despite having won the hearts of millions of moviegoers.

“Uggie has not been asked to participate or appear at the Oscars,” a spokesperson for The Weinstein Company, distributors of “The Artist”, told Reuters on Tuesday.

Feb 14, 2012

Drugs or drowning? Science holds key to Houston death

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Drugs? Booze? Suicide? Drowning? Speculation on the cause of Whitney Houston’s sudden death have run the gamut since the singer was found on Saturday. But don’t jump to conclusions.

Medical experts say it will take weeks to firmly establish the cause of Houston’s death and, contrary to probes on TV crime shows like “CSI” or “Bones,” sometimes science is fallible.

Feb 13, 2012

Fond farewells and comebacks mark Grammy Awards show

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Adele’s distinctive voice was born again and Whitney Houston was mourned on Sunday in a Grammy Awards show packed with triumphant comebacks and fond farewells.

Katy Perry, sporting blue hair and metallic body armor, stormed back defiantly in her first big public performance after husband Russell Brand filed for divorce in December, and country singer Glen Campbell, 75, made what could be his last Grammy appearance after being diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer’s disease.

Feb 8, 2012

“Downton Abbey” brings cool TV crowd to America’s PBS

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Move over, “Mad Men” and Kim Kardashian. There’s a new darling in U.S. pop culture, with a much posher accent and even fancier clothes.

British World War One-era drama “Downton Abbey” and its colorful cast of countesses, cooks and kitchen maids has taken America by storm, dominating modern social media and bringing millions of new, young viewers to the often staid world of public broadcasting.

Feb 7, 2012

“American Idol” producer goes on attack against rivals

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – “American Idol” executive producer Nigel Lythgoe came out fighting against rival TV shows on Tuesday, calling singing contest “The Voice” a “gimmicky” show and making clear he was fed up with defending “Idol”s slipping ratings.

Speaking to reporters following headlines of bumper audiences for this week’s return of NBC’s “The Voice,” Lythgoe questioned whether other TV talent shows would still be around in 11 years or produce top-level stars such as those that have emerged from Fox television’s “Idol”.

Feb 2, 2012

Will “Smash” splash or crash for NBC?

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – NBC’s new musical drama “Smash” could hardly have a stronger pedigree: Idea by Steven Spielberg, songs by award-winning Broadway producers, stars including Anjelica Huston and Debra Messing, and screen icon Marilyn Monroe holding the whole show-within-a show together.

Yet success couldn’t be harder to assess in the high stakes prime-time TV gamble for NBC as the struggling network looks for its first scripted series hit since 2006.

Feb 2, 2012

“Smash” – Will it splash or crash for NBC?

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – NBC’s new musical drama “Smash” could hardly have a stronger pedigree: Idea by Steven Spielberg, songs by award-winning Broadway producers, stars including Anjelica Huston and Debra Messing, and screen icon Marilyn Monroe holding the whole show-within-a show together.

Yet success couldn’t be harder to assess in the high stakes prime-time TV gamble for NBC as the struggling network looks for its first scripted series hit since 2006.

Feb 1, 2012

A Minute With: Katharine McPhee star of “Smash”

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Life has been full of ups and downs for Katharine McPhee since she ended “American Idol” as runner-up in 2006.

Dropped by her record label in 2008 after her debut album, McPhee has struggled to establish a mainstream career as a singer, and after co-starring in the comedy “The House Bunny” several other movie projects proved disappointing or failed to get off the ground.

    • About Jill

      "I'm a British import to Los Angeles who still hasn't managed to lose the accent after 10 years. I cover all things celebrity -- Hollywood award shows, stars in trouble, U.S. television and California lifestyle. Before arriving in Los Angeles, I worked for Reuters in London and Italy, covering stories like the death of Princess Diana, the Italian Mafia, and the Good Friday Northern Ireland peace agreement."
    • Follow Jill