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By United Press International   |   Dec. 12, 2011 at 3:53 AM

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BOB BURNETT: Bob Burnett, a founder of the influential U.S. folk group the Highwaymen, died at his home in Rhode Island last week at the age of 71, his family announced.

Burnett, who went on to become an attorney after the band's heyday in the early 1960s, was suffering from a brain tumor when he died.

The Highwaymen hit No. 1 on the U.S. charts with their 1961 single "Michael, Row the Boat Ashore" and also scored hits with "All My Trials" and "Big Rock Candy Mountain."

"The original Highwaymen, along with the Kingston Trio and later, Peter Paul and Mary, were among those responsible for popularizing American music -- call it folk, blues, country, whatever," singer-songwriter Kris Kristofferson told the Los Angeles Times last year after lead singer Dave Fisher died.

The Times said the Highwaymen were formed by six freshmen at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, which put them a short commute from the thriving folk scene in New York's Greenwich Village. They went on to cut eight albums before breaking up in 1964 when Burnett and two other members decided to attend graduate school.


AFI's TOP FILMS OF 2011: "Bridesmaids," "The Descendants," "Hugo" and "War Horse" have made the American Film Institute's list of the Top 10 movies of 2011.

AFI also is celebrating "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," "The Help," "J. Edgar," "Midnight in Paris," "Moneyball" and "The Tree of Life."

"The Artist" and the Harry Potter film series are to be honored, as well, at a ceremony Jan.13 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles.

The organization's Top 10 roster of the year's best TV programs includes "Breaking Bad," "Boardwalk Empire," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Game of Thrones," "The Good Wife," "Homeland," "Justified," "Louie," "Modern Family" and "Parks and Recreation."


LIEV SCHREIBER: Actor Liev Schreiber is to play the title role in a pilot for a Hollywood-set drama series called "Ray Donovan," Showtime announced.

Schreiber will play the guy people call in to solve "the complicated, confidential and controversial problems of the city's elite."

"He can make anyone's problem disappear, except the ones created by his own family," the cable network said in a news release.

Schreiber's film credits include "Salt," "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," "Defiance," "The Manchurian Candidate (2004)," "The Sum of All Fears," "Taking Woodstock," "Kate & Leopold," "Hamlet (2000)," "The Hurricane," "A Walk on the Moon" and the first three "Scream" movies.


'CSI: MIAMI:' Cable network AMC says it has signed an agreement to license "CSI: Miami" from CBS Television Distribution.

The deal includes the first 10 seasons of the show, which premiered on CBS beginning in 2002. The pact also covers two additional seasons of the series if produced.

The spinoff of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" stars David Caruso as the head of a South Florida team of forensic investigators who use cutting-edge scientific methods and old-fashioned police work to solve crimes.

"CSI: Miami" is to premiere on AMC Jan. 2. It will air Monday through Friday.

"'CSI: Miami' is one of television's most powerful franchises, and AMC is proud to add it into our programming line-up," Tom Halleen, AMC's senior vice president of programming and scheduling, said in a statement. "Dramatic storytelling is expressed at AMC through our library of celebrated films, award-winning original series, and now is further complemented through our first off-net series, 'CSI: Miami.'"

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