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UPI NewsTrack Entertainment News

Dec. 14, 2007 at 1:59 PM   |   Comments

WGA strike shuts down most scripted shows

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- By next week all but one scripted Hollywood television show -- ABC's "October Road" -- is expected to be shut down due to the Writers Guild of America strike.

Of the 52 scripted TV shows in active production when the WGA struck Nov. 5, all but five are dark. Of those five, four are set to shut down next week, the permitting agency Film LA told Variety.com.

ABC's mid-season drama "October Road" is to continue work until mid-January, making it the last scripted show in production.

Meanwhile, the production of Hollywood films is up by 45 percent from the same period last year, thanks to projects movie studios planned in anticipation of the WGA walkout.


Amazon now owns rare Rowling volume

LONDON, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- Online book dealer Amazon confirmed London art agents Hazlitt, Gooden and Fox bought a rare J.K. Rowling volume for $4 million on Amazon's behalf.

Only seven copies of "The Tales of Beetle the Bard," handwritten and illustrated by Rowling herself, reportedly exist. Six were given to family and friends, while the last was sold to raise money for The Children's Voice charity.

The "Tales" were mentioned in Rowling's series of Harry Potter books.

Sotheby's had predicted "The Tales" would fetch about $100,000 at auction. Instead, it sold for $4 million, the highest price ever paid at auction for a contemporary literary work.

Hazlitt, Gooden and Fox represented Amazon at the auction.

Amazon, which does not intend to sell the beautifully bound and decorated volume, is looking into how to share the collection of five fairy tales with fans without violating copyright rules, the Times of London said.

"The company bought the book as a thank you for everything J.K. Rowling has done for literature, and for encouraging children to read and for parents to read with their children," said Damien Peachy, a spokesman for Amazon.co.uk.

"We want to enable people to see it and to hear the fantastic stories and one of the things we're looking at is doing readings in schools."


'Enchanted,' 'Juno' win WFCC awards

NEW YORK, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- The New York-based Women Film Critics Circle has announced a tie between "Away from Her" and "Talk to Me" for its 2007 best picture by a woman prize.

Sarah Polley and Kasi Lemmons directed the films respectively.

"Juno" won the award for best picture about women, while the film's screenwriter Diablo Cody was named best woman storyteller.

Laura Linney won the prize for best actress for her work in "The Savages," Daniel Day-Lewis earned the award for best actor for his performance in "There Will Be Blood" and Amy Adams was honored for best comedic performance for her starring role in "Enchanted."

"Enchanted" also garnered the awards for best animated female and best family film.

"Atonement" star Saoirse Ronan was named best young actress.

"Hairspray" and "Life Support," both of which star Queen Latifah, tied for the best female images in a movie honor.

Topping the WFCC Hall of Shame list are "Black Snake Moan," "Exterminating Angels" and "Goya's Ghost."

The WFCC describes itself as a culturally and racially diverse association of 40 female film critics and scholars from around the United States who are involved in print, radio, online and TV broadcast media.


McCartney calls former label 'boring'

LONDON, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- British rock 'n' roll icon Paul McCartney said he left EMI after more than 40 years because the record company was treating clients like furniture.

The Times Online quoted McCartney as saying: "Everybody at EMI had become part of the furniture. I'd be a couch; Coldplay are an armchair. And Robbie Williams, I dread to think what he was. But the most important thing was, I'd felt (the people at EMI) had become really very boring, you know?"

After leaving EMI last summer, McCartney signed on with the new Starbucks-owned record label Hear Music, which released his latest CD "Memory Almost Full."

The former Beatle also criticized EMI of lacking creativity in marketing strategies.

"You go somewhere, speak to a million journalists for one day and you get all the same questions. It's mind-numbing. So I started saying, 'God, we've got to do something else.'"

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