Jill's Feed
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.

Jan 31, 2012

It’s “Ex-Factor” for Abdul, Scherzinger, Jones

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Simon Cowell gave his talent show “The X Factor” a major shake-up, showing the door to host Steve Jones, judge Nicole Scherzinger, and even his old friend Paula Abdul after a lackluster first season on U.S. television.

Cowell and broadcaster Fox confirmed on Tuesday that British host Jones, and former Pussycat Dolls singer Scherzinger would not be returning for the second season of the show in September.

Jan 24, 2012

Oscar’s big snub: Uggie the dog, a true “Artist”

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – He steals the show on the red carpet, his co-stars regard him as a solid actor, and his director believes he is an essential character in “The Artist.”

But Uggie, the playful, loyal Jack Russell terrier who stars in the silent movie, was left out in the cold by Oscar organizers on Tuesday despite having won the hearts and minds of millions of movie-goers.

Jan 17, 2012

Competition heats up as “American Idol” returns

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – “American Idol” returns on Wednesday for an 11th season, facing a new wolf at the door as it tries to retain its place as the No. 1 U.S. TV program — not so much age, but competition.

Rejuvenated by a judging panel makeover and the discovery of its biggest star in years in country singer Scotty McCreery, the Fox talent show last season saw a four percent increase in audience, reversing a trend that had seen viewership slip.

Jan 16, 2012

Ricky Gervais sprinkles Globes barbs with charm

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – “It’s going well, isn’t it?” Ricky Gervais told the Golden Globes Awards gathering on Sunday. “You’re so much better than last year’s audience”.

Gervais had it about right. With jokes ranging from Kim Kardashian’s short-lived marriage to Jodie Foster’s box-office flop “The Beaver,” his third stint as Golden Globes host proved more of a charm than his controversial and acid comments a year ago.

    • 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."
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