Health care plan is at center of dispute between writers and major studios

LOS ANGELES -- When Hollywood writers went on strike in 1973, they agitated for something new -- a health plan that would offer comprehensive coverage for its guild members.

Since then, the writers' insurance plan has become one of the most envied in Hollywood. Members don't pay monthly premiums and have deductibles far below the national ...Read more

Dodd to leave movie industry lobbying group

LOS ANGELES -- Christopher Dodd will step down as chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America after six years as the head of the lobbying arm of major Hollywood studios, according to two people familiar with the situation who were not authorized to comment.

The industry group is expected to announce Dodd's departure Monday, the people...Read more

Ex-wife of broadcaster Alex Jones wins joint custody after bitter trial

AUSTIN, Texas -- After nine hours of deliberation in the child custody trial involving internet broadcaster Alex Jones, a Travis County jury late Thursday gave his ex-wife, Kelly Jones, a victory, awarding her joint custody with the right to have their three children make their primary residence with her instead of her husband for the first time...Read more

Column: When 'Ellen' came out: 20 years later, what's changed, what hasn't

On April 30, 1997, the Philadelphia Daily News sent me to Birmingham, Ala., to watch a TV show.

I'd already seen, and reviewed, the two-part installment of the ABC sitcom "Ellen" that producers coyly titled "The Puppy Episode" and wasn't overwhelmed. "The world will not turn upside down tonight when Ellen Morgan (Ellen DeGeneres) finally blurts...Read more

Weinstein negotiates to get transgender drama '3 Generations' a PG-13 rating, firing up parents organization

LOS ANGELES -- The Weinstein Co.'s movie "3 Generations" has been reclassified with a PG-13 rating, instead of the original R assigned by the Motion Picture Association of America, after the distributor made some changes to its transgender-teen drama.

The film stars Naomi Watts, Elle Fanning and Susan Sarandon. Fanning plays a New York teenager...Read more

Summer movie highlights

Ready, set, go! The summer movie season gets underway May 5 with "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" and continues through August with plenty of noise, swagger and CGI--and, quite possibly, some interesting movies along the way. Here are some highlights of the summer slate, broken into three helpful categories; note that release dates are tentative...Read more

Eugenio Derbez hopes American audiences' love will bloom for his film 'Latin Lover'

Eugenio Derbez is an icon in his home country of Mexico, known for countless popular films and television shows. But here in the U.S., Derbez often walks down the street with few people recognizing him. This makes it easier for him to get around Los Angeles, where he moved a couple of years ago, but then, an actor's career thrives on name and ...Read more

'Sleight' director may be the next indie filmmaker to vault into the big leagues

For years, as he was banging it out as an aspiring writer-director, J.D. Dillard would fantasize about someday watching his first feature film with an audience at the same theater outside of Philadelphia that he'd gone to as a kid.

Now that long-dreamed-of day has finally come as Dillard's directorial debut, the sci-fi-superhero-family-drama ...Read more

Movie review: 'Graduation' gives telling glimpse of life in Romania

It's a paradox that parents spend years preparing their children to leave home and live independently, then regret the results.

The challenging, unnerving drama "Graduation" shows how that contradiction torments Romeo, a respected doctor in a meager Romanian hospital. He hopes for his scholarly daughter Eliza to escape the widespread bribery ...Read more

Television Q&A: Lifetime, 'Celebrity Name Game'

You have questions. I have some answers.

Q: I enjoyed the campy show "Devious Maids" and knew another season was filmed and should have been on. What happened to it? It was much better than some of the awful shows currently on Lifetime.

A: The series, inspired by telenovelas, ended with its fourth-season finale in August 2016. While the ...Read more

Movie review: It's bulldozers vs. neighborhoods in 'Citizen Jane,' about activist Jane Jacobs

Anyone seeking a demonstration of how completely orthodoxy and heresy can change places need look no further than the brisk documentary "Citizen Jane: Battle for the City."

That Jane is Jane Jacobs -- journalist, activist, author of the landmark 1961 book "The Death and Life of Great American Cities" -- whose pro-neighborhood, pro-street life ...Read more

'Life's About to Get Good' for Shania Twain with new album, Stagecoach appearance

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- The name Vincent Van Gogh probably isn't one that springs to mind in connection with pop-country superstar Shania Twain.

But the Canadian singer and songwriter feels a special connection with the 19th century post-Impressionist painter, especially in terms of how she's gone about writing the songs for her first new ...Read more

Movie review: 'The Circle' is all buzzwords, no substance

Dystopian tech drama "The Circle" capitalizes on the exploding role of technology in our lives, seeking to capture the zeitgeist while grappling with the heavy duty issues of the day. It's a noble, if failed effort, because ultimately, the film is all buzzwords and no substance.

It's based on Dave Eggers' novel, and Eggers himself adapted the ...Read more

Stagecoach fine-tunes the formula with Shania Twain, Jerry Lee Lewis and more

LOS ANGELES -- "So at Stagecoach I'm going to be mostly surrounded by the guys?" Shania Twain asked a visitor about her upcoming headlining slot at the world's biggest country music festival.

The assumption was understandable.

In the 13 years since the Canadian singer, songwriter and cross-genre pop superstar released her last album, the ...Read more

Showrunners behind 'Better Call Saul,' 'Veep' and more talk possible writers' strike

LOS ANGELES -- In less than a week, writers' rooms across Hollywood will go dark if the Writers Guild of America goes on strike.

For showrunners on some of TV's most talked-about series, the focus is on crafting stories while they can.

"We're just keeping our heads down and working until they tell us we can't," said Gloria Calderon Kellett, co...Read more

NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke says he's optimistic a writers' strike can be averted

NBCUniversal Chief Executive Steve Burke waded into the delicate topic of a looming writers' strike Thursday.

The Writers Guild of America has received a strike authorization vote from members who are just days from a possible walkout that would disrupt TV and film productions nationwide. That prospect has raised concern on Wall Street about ...Read more

Fox News' Jesse Watters announces vacation following controversial Ivanka Trump comment

Fox News' Jesse Watters announced a two-day vacation from the network on Wednesday night, just a day after coming under fire for a controversial remark that "The Five" co-host made about Ivanka Trump.

Watters told viewers of "The Five" that he would be back on the show on Monday, CNNMoney reports. He joined "The Five" for the show's new 9 p.m. ...Read more

Movie review: 'My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea' swims in snark-infested waters

The title "My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea" is its own spoiler, so don't blame me.

In making his animated feature debut, Dash Shaw adapts his own graphic novel about a group of high school sophomores scrambling to survive two catastrophes – their high school literally submerging, and just plain high school.

It's hard to say which ...Read more

Life can mirror art for Rob Delaney, father of 3 and 'Catastrophe' co-creator and costar

There's a strange sort of symmetry at work when, midway through speaking with "Catastrophe" star and co-creator Rob Delaney on a transatlantic phone call, the comic abruptly asks to cut an interview short.

"Listen, I apologize, but I have to get my other children from school," says Delaney, who had said he spent part of the interview from his ...Read more

Sharlto Copley just lets it rip: The actor has built a career by holding nothing back

In the Martin Scorsese-produced shoot 'em up "Free Fire," South African actor Sharlto Copley plays Vern, a narcissistic gunrunner in a polyester suit who's prone to a certain behavioral grandiloquence.

He describes himself as a "rare and mysterious pearl" but can't shoot a gun to save his life; he's revealed to be a "misdiagnosed child genius" ...Read more

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