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Posts Tagged ‘Universal Studios’

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Barbara Walters’ Final Scheduled Television Appearance Announced (ABC News)
Almost a year after she announced her plan to depart daily television, Barbara Walters is preparing to say farewell. Her last day co-hosting The View, a program that she created, will be May 16, and ABC will air a two-hour special highlighting her life and career that night, from 9-11 p.m. ET. TVNewser Walters will continue to executive produce The View and will contribute to ABC News as the news warrants. THR / The Live Feed The ABC News headquarters in New York City will also be named in her honor, as the Barbara Walters Building, during a dedication ceremony this spring. Walters acknowledged that she’s sad to leave but that “it feels right for me,” repeating what she’s previously said about wanting to leave before people complained about her being on television too long. Reuters Walters, 84, has suffered from health problems recently, including a concussion after she fainted and hit her head last year and a bout of chickenpox. In 2010, she had open heart surgery. Since announcing her retirement, she hosted 20 Years of The 10 Most Fascinating People, the final show of her yearly special program about intriguing personalities. During her long career, Walters was known for her interviews on U.S. television with world leaders including Cuba’s Fidel Castro, Britain’s Margaret Thatcher, Saddam Hussein of Iraq and every U.S. president since Richard Nixon. She also interviewed celebrities such as Elizabeth Taylor, Angelina Jolie and Tom Cruise. Mediaite Walters joined ABC in 1976, when she famously became the first female anchor ever on an evening news program. She later became a co-host of 20/20 and launched The View in 1997.

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No Injuries in Universal Studios Backlot Fire

A small fire broke out Thursday at the Universal Studios backlot inside a three-story building on the corner of Lankershim and Cahuenga boulevards in Universal City.

According to the Los Angeles Times, no injuries were reported and the fire was extinguished in 30 minutes.

For employees on the backlot, the smoke had to spark flashbacks of the 2008 three-alarm fire that destroyed the “King Kong” attraction and took 12 hours to put out.

Harry Potter Attraction Coming to Universal Studios

Start lining up now, Harry Potter fans.

Universal Studios is building a replica of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction that’s currently at their Orlando theme park.

The Wall Street Journal notes the deal isn’t official yet but a contract between Universal and Warner Bros. is being finalized.

The attraction is scheduled to open no earlier than 2015 and include Hogwarts Castle, roller coasters and multiple Harry Potter-themed restaurants.

For fans outside the country, the Harry Potter attraction could eventually expand to Japan, Singapore and Spain if the Los Angeles attraction is a success.

Et Tu Universal?

universalpic.jpgUniversal Studios is also in the muck. As many as 500 gone, say the trades.

Should ‘Blade Runner’ Be On Boardwalk or Park Place?

ridley2.jpgWhat has Hollywood come to when it’s looking for subject material in board games? Okay, maybe for a game show (look at “Tic Tac Dough”), but a movie?

monopoly.jpgWell, considering that videogames and comic books have become not only the norm, but an extremely lucrative multi-billion-dollar norm, then we can only assume that these studio execs know what they’re doing when they hire a writer and a potential A-list director to do a film on Monopoly.

Yes, that’s the uber-Capitalistic game that every kid plays because it supposedly teaches them about money — how to use it, spend it and lose it. Now, the studio suits at Universal Studios want to make “Monopoly — The Movie.”

Universal has lined up A-list director Ridley Scott to potentially produce and even possibly direct as well as screenwriter Pamela Pettler (“Corpse’s Bride,” “Monster House”) to write a first draft of the plotless screenplay. It’s assumed that the story will be about money.

It’s a far cry from “Blade Runner” or even “Alien,” but being British, Scott may bring a distinctly non-American point of view to the Capitalistic foray.

Disney-ABC Adds Three Execs to Digital Media

DeVillier, Laurenss.jpg The good people at Disney sent over this press release, touting their poaching of Karin Timpone and Lauren DeVillier (pictured here) from Yahoo! and Beth Johnson from BRAVO to come work here in L.A.

Congratulations, ladies!

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Universal Studios Wants You To Know It Is Still Open

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In the aftermath of the backlot burn, Universal Studios sent out this press release to alert the media (hey, that’s us!) to the fact that, in their words, “the show must go on!” (For everyone, we’re guessing, except that guy with the blowtorch.)

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LAT In 90 Seconds

39436848-30162456.jpgSticking To His Story: Good on Duke Helfand for following up on the story he wrote in 2004 about a group of L.A. kids who were sent to college in Iowa on a special scholarship. Today’s story was damn well poignant, and if we weren’t hardened cynics, we’d admit that we teared up a bit reading it.

universsnap.jpgReady For Its Close Up: Universal Studios is still giving tours. And Hollywood being Hollywood, the still-smoking ruins of movie sets and still-working firefighters have now become just another part of the attraction.

39548714-02185627.jpgA True ‘Hit’: We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: Katy Newton‘s ICU feature is a stroke of genius. Part reality show, part journeyman journalist piece, ICU is breaking ground (and entertaining us to boot!).

LAT In 90 Seconds

30136806.jpgBo Diddley dies: The obit for Bo Diddley notes that he’s been given credit for everything from rock to heavy metal to rap, and the piece by Chris Lee lovingly refers to Diddley (and his guitar) as “instantly recognizable.” Good thing he’s so famous: The clip that runs along with the piece wouldn’t give the uninitiated anything to go on.

39108180-21132016.jpgCarrie Does Big… at the Box Office: Despite dismal reviews (Carina Chocano notwithstanding), it looks as though Sarah Jessica Parker just stuck a Christian Louboutin boot up Harrison Ford‘s ass. That’s Fendi: 1, Fedora: 0.

39497952.jpgBacklot Fire Deemed Accident: The fire that tore through Universal Studios backlot has been determined to be a terribly unfortunate mistake. If we were cruel, we’d follow with “Not unlike many other things that come out of Universal.” But we’re not cruel. See?

LAT In 90 Seconds

34186596.jpgSouth Central Days: Reporter John Mitchell makes much of the art-kinda-sorta-imitating-life aspect of this tale about a gang member who made a film about his violent demise. But we’re much more fascinated by the fact that the former thug, Marquis Calhoun, got an audience Frank Biondi, former head of Universal Studios and Viacom. His freshman effort isn’t breathtaking, but you might want to remember his name.

lpsheriff.jpegDeath By Internet? Reporter Maria La Ganga offers a look at what might be the first murder of someone based on his Megan’s Law listing. Michael A. Dodele, a sex offender whose profile intimated (erroneously) that he was a child molester was stabbed to death. A neighbor, a father of a young boy who had been molested in the past, is being held in connection with the killing. This might be the worst outcome of one person Googling another that we’ve ever heard.

34080634-05135554.jpg“Golden” and Gloating: Reporter Josh Friedman got to boast today about being right on Friday.

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