Entertainment News Archive - January 18, 2009

America's Leader in Outdoor TV Honors the Best Outdoor Programming of 2008 at Ceremony Hosted by Michael Waddell with Musical Performance by Craig Morgan Visit Outdoor Channel at SHOT Show - Booth #1661 ORLANDO, Fla., Jan.

Noted poet Elizabeth Alexander said the poem she created for U.S.

British artist Tony Hart, known for his illustrations on TV programs such as Saturday Special, died Sunday at the age of 83, his family says. Hart's family confirmed the host of numerous TV children's shows died of unspecified causes following a long illness that included two strokes during the last few years, The Guardian reported. Among the TV shows Hart hosted during his career were Take Hart, Hart Beat and Vision On. One of Hart's most notable creations was the animated Plasticine character Morph, which appeared by his side in numerous 1970s productions. Hart admitted in a 2008 interview that losing the ability to uses his hands from a recent stroke had a devastating impact on his life.

NBC's medical drama ER, which is due to end after its 15th season, was originally set in Boston not Chicago, a producer says. ER Executive Producer John Wells said when the late author Michael Crichton created the series about life in a hospital emergency room, it was supposed to take place in Massachusetts where Crichton went to Harvard Medical School, the Chicago Sun-Times said Sunday. Wells said the series' setting was only relocated to Chicago after creators had concerns ER may be forced to compete with St.

Channel 4 founder Jeremy Isaacs says the British TV network deserves the financial hardships it's facing because its offering some lousy shows. Isaacs, who served as Channel 4 chief executive between 1980 and 1987, said the British network still offers some quality programs, but continues to embrace more low quality series such as Big Brother, The Sunday Times of London reported. The former TV executive said the British government may soon bail out Channel 4 with $147 million annually in funding and by merging it with a private broadcaster such as Channel Five. The paradox of Channel 4 is that it still does some remarkable, excellent programming but there is so much dross that people start to think: why doesn't it merge with Channel Five, Isaacs said. Isaacs told The Times the initial shock value from Channel 4 series such as Big Brother has quickly become the predicted offering from the struggling station. The shocking has become a remit in itself.

Actor John Astin says he's been a loyal fan of the 19th century author Edgar Allen Poe, who he is portraying in tribute events in Baltimore. Astin, 78, said taking the stage Sunday as part of Baltimore's yearlong commemorations of the 200th anniversary of Poe's 1809 birth, it would be the culmination of at least 66 years of being a Poe fan, The Baltimore Sun reported. Before I was 12, said Astin, best known for playing Gomez in the TV situation comedy The Addams Family, my mother gave me 'The Purloined Letter' to read -- I still remember the room I was in.

Actresses Jill Hennessy and Emma Roberts say this year's Sundance Film Festival in Utah has been satisfyingly sedate for the first time in years. Roberts, who is attending the 2009 festival for her movie Lymelife, said she thoroughly enjoyed the laid-back feeling this year, Entertainment Weekly reported Saturday. I just love how relaxed it is here, she said of the event, which began Thursday and runs until next Sunday.

COVER: "Obama's America-Who We Are Now" (p. 32). Editor Jon Meacham opens Newsweek's Special Inauguration Issue with an essay about the make-up of the America that President-Elect Barack Obama is inheriting when he takes office on Tuesday.

Special Inauguration Issue COVER: Obama's America -- A National Portrait 2009 (All Overseas Editions).

Word of the Day
  • A person or thing gazed at with wonder or curiosity, especially of a scornful kind.
The 'stock' of 'gazingstock' comes from an Old English word meaning 'tree trunk' or 'wood'.