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Oscar ratings still in the doldrums despite snafu drama

LOS ANGELES -- Even the biggest snafu in Academy Awards history could not snap the ABC telecast out if its recent ratings slump.

Nielsen showed that the 89th Academy Awards was watched by an average of 32.9 million viewers Sunday. The figure is down 4.5 percent from last year when the telecast averaged 34.47 million viewers. It's the third ...Read more

'Biggest Loser' trainer Bob Harper hit by heart attack while working out

"The Biggest Loser" trainer and fitness guru Bob Harper is recovering from a serious heart attack he suffered about two weeks ago.

Harper was unconscious for two days after he was stricken while working out at a gym in New York City, he told TMZ. A doctor who was working out at the same time did CPR and used a defibrillator on Harper until help...Read more

Oscar star 'Gary from Chicago' has a lot of free stuff coming

CHICAGO -- "Gary from Chicago" and his fiancee won't have a single worry about their wedding if local business owners have anything to say about it.

They'll also have free pizza, free tickets to a Bulls game and gifts from Wal-Mart.

Businesses big and small are searching the Twitterverse for the new Oscar darling, who introduced himself as ...Read more

Iran celebrates an Oscar win — and a chance to needle Trump

Iranians delighted Monday in the Oscar victory by director Asghar Farhadi, who won his second foreign language film award but boycotted the ceremony in protest of President Donald Trump's immigration policies.

Farhadi, who won for his drama "The Salesman," had an Iranian-American engineer -- Anousheh Ansari, the first Iranian-born person to ...Read more

'Moonlight,' first LGBTQ best picture, sends 'strong message' to film industry, GLAAD president says

"Moonlight" is the first LGBTQ film to win the Oscar for best picture, a fact that GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis pointed out on social media Sunday night in congratulating the movie on its achievement.

"This sends a strong message to the film industry that it needs to embrace inclusive stories if it wants to remain competitive and relevant,"...Read more

Steve Harvey wonders whether Warren Beatty will need security, like he did after Miss Universe gaffe

Monday was a great day to be Steve Harvey -- even if Jimmy Kimmel did blame him Sunday night for the Oscars' huge best picture mistake.

Harvey, who infamously named the wrong winner for Miss Universe 2015 -- it was Miss Philippines Pia Wurtzbach, not Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez -- surrendered his televised-gaffe throne on Sunday night, and ...Read more

Oscars TV ratings even with last year

The ratings for ABC's telecast of the Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday were nearly even with those of last year's ceremony, according to early data from Nielsen.

In the 56 overnight markets, the Oscars show averaged a 22.4 rating, just below last year's figure of 22.5. Each rating point represents the percentage of households tuned in.

The ...Read more

New recordings: Chuck Prophet, Dirty Projectors, Future

Chuck Prophet

"Bobby Fuller Died for Your Sins"

(Yep Roc )

The title song of Chuck Prophet's new album is about the singer of "I Fought the Law" fame who was found dead under mysterious circumstances in 1966. A taut, anthemic rocker, it sets the tone musically and thematically for an album that deals a lot with death.

"Killing Machine" is a ...Read more

New on DVD: 'Doctor Strange,' 'Moonlight' top new DVD releases for Feb. 28

This week's new DVDs range from a popular super hero movie and an Oscar-winning film.

"Doctor Strange"; 4 stars: Egotistical surgeon finds new mystical powers. Benedict Cumberbatch stars. Cumberbatch brings a seriousness to the role that helps bridge the skepticism gap created with any feature film based on a comic book.

His reverent approach ...Read more

How 'Moonlight' rose: Academy voters may have felt a stronger connection to the film than to 'La La Land'

LOS ANGELES -- When "La La Land" lost the costumes Oscar, it wasn't a big deal. When it didn't take either of the sound categories, that raised an eyebrow or two. Then, after it took its first Oscar for production design, it lost film editing. But that Oscar has gone to only one best picture winner this decade. So it was still going to win, ...Read more

How could the best picture mix-up happen? Duplicate cards await on both sides of the stage

After the Oscars' big best picture mix-up Sunday, Emma Stone said backstage that she was holding her lead actress card when "La La Land" was incorrectly announced as best picture.

So how could Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway have been looking at that very same card, as the actor explained to the audience?

Turns out that for each category, there...Read more

Good things come to smaller studios: Nonconventional players ruled the night as Lionsgate reigned with 6 awards; A24 took the best picture prize

The Oscars proved golden for Lionsgate, the Santa Monica-based mini-major whose "La La Land" took home six Academy Awards on Sunday, the most of any movie this year. But it was indie distributor A24 that stole the show with "Moonlight," which scored three awards including a surprise win for best picture.

The victory for "Moonlight" topped off a...Read more

'When We Rise' producer: Trump 'might like' LGBT miniseries

A year ago, "When We Rise" might have looked like a victory lap, an old-fashioned history of the LGBT-rights movement that, after many an uphill battle, ends with the triumph of marriage equality and hopes for the future.

Now, ABC's airing of the eight-hour mini-series this week could be read as an act of resistance to changes like last ...Read more

If the L.A. Times hadn't broken an embargo in 1940, the Oscars envelope mix-up might have never happened

LOS ANGELES -- The 12th Academy Awards made history for a number of reasons.

The ceremony honored the films of 1939, a year considered by many to have produced some of the greatest movies of all time. Among the nominated works:

"Wuthering Heights"

"The Wizard of Oz"

"Goodbye Mr. Chips"

"Gone with the Wind

"Mr. Smith Goes to Washington"

...Read more

Column: Oscar night's nutty plot twist

"Moonlight" won the Academy Award for best picture of 2016, not "La La Land."

It'll be a while before we can drop the second part of that sentence.

What happened Sunday night at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood contained the strangest plot twist among the rich, famous and addled since the recent election. For years, we all heard the same blase ...Read more

Oscars TV review: Entertaining to the end

LOS ANGELES -- Of all the things we expected from the Oscars this year, making us feel better was not one of them.

The last few major awards shows, after all, were not only about handing out trophies but a chance for honorees and presenters to voice their white hot anger toward President Donald Trump's executive travel ban, the Mexican wall and...Read more

Justin Chang: Best picture-lead actress split highlights lag over female-centric films

LOS ANGELES -- No one who has paid any attention to the Academy Awards over the past 89 years has ever seen anything like "Moonlight's" shocking, exhilarating, stomach-churning come-from-behind Oscar win on Sunday night -- a victory that stunned the Dolby Theatre audience and viewers watching around the world.

In a rare year when everything ...Read more

Moonlight wins in unprecedented upset during a night of many firsts

LOS ANGELES -- In one of the most surprising upsets and shocking moments in Oscar history, the poetic coming-of-age drama "Moonlight" took home the top prize for best picture at the 89th Academy Awards, beating out the heavily favored "La La Land," which was actually announced as the winner.

The win for "Moonlight" came in a chaotic and ...Read more

Made-in-Miami masterpiece 'Moonlight' wins Best Picture — after a huge Oscar mix-up

"Moonlight," the made-in-Miami drama about a gay young man growing up in Liberty City, pulled a stunning upset over the heavily favored "La La Land" at the 89th Academy Awards, winning Best Picture -- moments after presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway had already announced "La La Land" had won the prize.

The cast and crew of the song-and-...Read more

Kenneth Turan: Academy offers a whodunit of epic proportions

LOS ANGELES -- Not since a Chicago newspaper headlined "Dewey Defeats Truman" has there been a massive public screw-up on the order of what happened at the Oscars on Sunday night. But it's an ill wind that blows nobody some good, and the huge embarrassment for Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway and the academy may turn out to be a good thing for the ...Read more