ARETHA FRANKLIN NAMED GREATEST SINGER EVER

She’s already the Queen of Soul, but now Aretha Franklin has been named the greatest singer of the rock era in a poll conducted by Rolling Stone magazine.

Franklin, 66, came in ahead of Ray Charles at No. 2, Elvis Presley at No. 3, Sam Cooke at No. 4 and John Lennon at No. 5, according to the magazine’s survey of 179 musicians, producers, Rolling Stone editors, and other music-industry insiders.

The 100-strong list will be published on Friday, when Rolling Stone hits the newsstands with four different covers.

The issue includes testimonials from musicians. R&B singer Mary J. Blige, for example, writes that Franklin is “the reason why women want to sing.” Former Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant, who was No. 15 on the list, describes Presley’s voice as “confident, insinuating and taking no prisoners.”
Besides Franklin, the only other living people in the top 10 were Bob Dylan at No. 7 and Stevie Wonder at No. 9. Marvin Gaye was No. 6, Otis Redding No. 8, and James Brown No. 10.

Other notables included Paul McCartney at No. 11, one place ahead of his idol, Little Richard; and Mick Jagger at No. 16, also one ahead of a key influence, Tina Turner. Among the top 25, 50-year-old Michael Jackson was the youngest, coming in at No. 25.

Voters included Metallica frontman James Hetfield, folk singers David Crosby and Yusuf Islam, Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, punk rock veteran Iggy Pop and English pop star James Blunt. They each submitted their top 20 choices, and an accounting firm tabulated the results.
SOURCE: YAHOO NEW; REUTERS

Knight Rider’s KITT Gets A Tune UP


KITT is getting a tune-up.

NBC’s freshman drama “Knight Rider” is undergoing a major retooling, bringing it closer to the original 1980s series. Among the changes, the options of three regulars on the show — Sydney Tamiia Poitier, Yancey Arias and Bruce Davison — were not picked up beyond the initial 13-episode order.

“It’s a reboot,” “Knight” executive producer/showrunner Gary Scott Thompson said. “We’re moving away from the terrorist-of-the-week formula and closer to the original, making it a show about a man and his car going out and helping more regular people, everymen.”

Such a change would make “Knight” a better fit into NBC’s newly rebranded crime drama Wednesday lineup alongside “Life” and “Law & Order.”

The revamped “Knight” will kick off with the two-part Episodes 10-11. NBC is planning a major push, including possibly airing Episode 10 on Sunday after an NFL football game in January, with the conclusion airing the following Wednesday.

Such a move would bring “Knight” back to Sunday night, where the two-hour movie/backdoor pilot drew big ratings in February.

The series it spawned has been struggling in the Wednesday 8 p.m. slot, dropping last week to a season-low 5.1 million viewers and a 1.6 rating/4 share in adults 18-49.

The retooling had been put in motion long before the full-season order for “Knight” three weeks ago. The UMS/Dutch Oven series is now filming Episode 15.

There are no immediate plans to add new regulars to the show, which will focus on the five remaining characters: Mike (Justin Bruening), Sarah (Deanna Russo), Billy (Paul Campbell), Zoe (Smith Cho) and KITT. The producers also are looking to do stunt guest castings.

Thompson, who called Poitier, Arias and Davison “three of the most professional actors I’ve ever worked with,” stressed that the decision to let the cast members go was a difficult one tied to the show’s change in direction and had nothing to do with the actors.

Lost Returning To ABC in 2009

Red Hot Chili Peppers Front Man Headed To HBO

Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis is developing a series for HBO based on his unconventional, rock ‘n’ roll childhood. Kiedis has partnered with Catapult 360 partners Marc Abrams and Michael Benson to create the series, tentatively titled “Scar Tissue.”

A writer is still being sought for the script, which will center on Kiedis’ relationship with his father, Spider, who sold drugs and mingled with rock stars on the Sunset Strip, all while aspiring to get into showbiz.

The show will begin with young Kiedis moving from Grand Rapids, Mich., to West Hollywood to live with his dad. But Kiedis’ father, having been raised in a tyrannical household, decided to go to the other extreme.

“He introduced me to the arts, to a more culturally magnificent life,” Kiedis told Daily Variety. “But some of it was this heavy, adult matter that I wasn’t quite capable of digesting. … It was a very rich but kind of challenging period of my life. I was thrust into this adult mentality by age 11.

Catapult 360 contacted Kiedis after Benson read the singer’s autobiography, also titled “Scar Tissue.” (Show is not based on the book, however, which focused more on Kiedis’ life as a rock star.) Abrams and Benson sat down with Kiedis, who told them he wrote the memoir specifically to express himself on his early experiences with his father.

“To be able to look at a very famous figure and get an origin story, to see the pieces of the puzzle that put him on the path to fame — it became very clear that this was a special project,” Abrams said.

The show will also center on West Hollywood and Los Angeles in the early 1970s, including the rock stars encountered by Kiedis and his father (who, according to lore, was a drug dealer for the Who and Led Zeppelin, among others).

Kiedis plans to be heavily involved in the project and is regularly corresponding with his father, who now lives in Portland, to record memories of their life 30 years ago on Palm Avenue in West Hollywood.

“I love mulling over all this raw material,” he said. “(My father’s) into it too. He sees it as our last great hurrah. For us to be reconnecting to construct these memories — the women and the rock bands and the doormen of these clubs — is exciting.”

Kiedis also is mulling the possibility of narrating the show (which is being developed as an hourlong drama with comedic elements) and even making cameos from time to time.

Days Of Our Lives Renewed Through September 2010

The network currently shells out $1.7 million-$1.8 million a week in licensing fees for its longtime soap ‘Days of Our Lives.

NBC has inked a deal with Sony Pictures TV to extend its run of daytime sudser “Days of Our Lives.”
But in a sign of uncertain times for the daytime soap biz, the Peacock’s pickup runs just 18 months. The previous renewal pact between Sony and Corday Prods. had a five-year term.

NBC’s current deal for “Days of Our Lives” was set to expire in March, which means the new arrangement will keep the soap on the network only through September 2010. However, it’s understood that another year will be triggered if certain perameters on the show are met. That would keep “Days” on the air through September 2011.

Shortened renewal comes as the economics of daytime TV — particularly soap operas –continue to sour. NBC has gradually eliminated most of its daytime sudsers, most recently moving “Passions” to DirecTV (before eventually pulling the plug on that show altogether).

The reup also comes despite rumblings from NBC Universal topper Jeff Zucker a few years ago that “Days of Our Lives” might not be renewed at all. More recently, Zucker hasn’t been as vocal about a “Days” cancellation, although the short renewal could signal that NBC’s long-term daytime plans may not include sudsers.

It’s unclear whether NBC also negotiated a reduced license fee for the show. The Peacock was most recently shelling out $1.7 million-$1.8 million a week for the show.

As part of the renewal it’s understood that the show, led by exec producer Ken Corday, will be making some onscreen changes as well, including some cast shuffles.

Season-to-date “Days of Our Lives” is tied for third place in the daypart among women 18-49 and is tied as the No. 1 show in women 18-34.

SoapNet holds same-day repurposing rights for “Days,” which is also available for download via Apple’s iTunes.

The soap is celebrating its 43rd anniversary.

source: variety.com

Twilight Trailer

source: Trailer Addict

Zack and Miri Banned In Utah

Director Kevin Smith’s new R-rated comedy “Zack and Miri Make a Porno” has been banned in Utah. Utah Jazz and Megaplex Theaters owner Larry Miller has refused to book the film. The chain’s spokesman Cal Gunderson expressed concerns about the film with The New York Post, citing the film’s “graphic nudity and graphic sex” and that it was “too close to an NC-17.”
The company’s standards seem a little odd considering that the chain had no problems screening ultra-violent fare like “Saw V,” which features beheadings and explicit self-mutilation. When asked why Megaplex Theaters did not object to the gory horror sequel, Gunderson had no comment.
Kevin Smith’s surprisingly tame and sentimental movie has a few flashes of nudity, a handful of love scenes played mostly for laughs, and a whole lot of foul language. In fact, the film’s raunchiness level is comparable to that of “The 40-Year-Old Virgin”, “Knocked Up” and “Sex Drive,” all of which screened at Megaplex theaters.
It has been a difficult road for Kevin Smith’s film, but it is not the first time he has encountered resistance to his frank and bawdy sense of humor. His first film “Clerks” was originally rated NC-17 for language, and his religious comedy “Dogma” sparked protests from Catholic groups. For “Zack and Miri,” he again was forced to appeal an NC-17 rating with the MPAA, a teaser trailer had to be removed from his website, and the battle over the poster resulted in a design where the stars only appear as stick figures.
So what’s the problem with this movie? The word “Porno” in the title.

Aside from Larry Miller’s theater chain, fifteen newspapers along with several TV stations and billboard owners have been refusing to promote the flick across the country because of that word. As Philadelphia deputy mayor Rina Cutler said in a phone interview with The Wall Street Journal, “If they want to call the movie ‘Zack and Miri,’ that’s fine, but Zack and Miri cannot make a porno on my bus shelters.”

source: Yahoo News