Media Morsels 12.7.12

Kennedy Center Honors

As I mentioned last week, on Sunday night artists, dignitaries and fans gathered to honor and salute the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors class. This years honorees were Led Zeppelin, ballerina Natalia Makarove, Dustin Hoffman, Buddy Guy and David Letterman. New York City Ballet dancers Sara Mearns, Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild were on hand to honor Makarove (check out Mearns' and Peck's Twitter feeds for stage-side and behind the scenes pictures of the night), and, as Rolling Stone reports. Foo Fighters and Lenny Kravitz were there to salute Led Zeppelin, Robert De Niro honored Hoffman, Gary Clark, Jr., paid tribute to Guy and Tina Fey spoke about Letterman. (Check out photos on the honorees; the men; the women; at the stage door, and more details about the tributes on Playbill.)The annual celebration will be broadcast on CBS on December 26. These tribute performances are always thrilling for fans so set your DVR!

Sound City: A Rockumentary

You may know that Foo Fighters' frontman Dave Grohl has been working on his directorial debut, filming the rock documentary Sound City, which documents the history of the famed Van Nuys, California, recording studio. This week, Rolling Stone reported that Sound City will screen at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival, to be held January 17-27, 2013, in Park City, Utah. About debuting the film at Sundance, Grohl said, "I am humbled to be able to share my passion for songwriting and storytelling with this incredible cast of legendary musicians. ...the Sundance Film Festival is the perfect place to premiere a film about craft, integrity and passion for art." Stay up to date about Sound City (which will be released in theaters in February 2013, but you can pre-order it now for only $10!) by checking out, and watch the trailer for the film below!

Award Season News

  • The Feinberg Forecast (in which The Hollywood Reporter awards guru Scott Feinberg assesses the Oscar race) this week notes that Django Unchained has begun screening for guilds and the press; Argo has surpassed the $100 million mark and Silver Linings Playbook continues to succeed as its release widens to more and more screens; multiple branches of the Academy released their lists of possible nominees; Moonrise Kingdom took home top honors at the Gotham Independent Film Awards; and several Oscar hopefuls were or will soon be feted by various festivals and/or flattering newspaper and magazine profiles. (I think most interesting is Feinberg's handicapping at the bottom; his list of Best Supporting Actor front runners will probably be the toughest category, pitting Leonardo DiCaprio (Django Unchained), Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln), Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master), Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook) and Alan Arkin (Argo) against each other. All are Oscar winners, except for DiCaprio, who, despite consistently fantastic performances, is the Susan Lucci of the Oscars.)

  • Feinberg continues his award season prognosticating by pontificating over the possible nominees in the SAG Award category for ensemble cast. SAG Award nominees will be announced on December 12, and Feinberg thinks Les Miserables, Argo, Lincoln and Silver Linings Playbook are all a shoe-in, leaving one slot open. Feinberg pegs The Dark Knight Rises, Django Unchained, The Master and Moonrise Kingdom, among others, as contenders.

  • The Wrap has the list of films under consideration for nomination in the Best Documentary category. Films include Bully, The House I Live In and Searching for Sugar Man.

  • Thompson on Hollywood's Anne Thompson updated her Oscar predictions, which are more or less in line with Feinberg's.

  • Want to read the screenplays that might be nominated come January 10? IndieWire has a list of those available for download, including the scripts for Judd Apatow's This is 40 and Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola's Moonrise Kingdom.
Grammy Awards
The 55th annual Grammy Award nominations were announced on Thursday. As is typical for me these days, I am unfamiliar with most of the nominated song, albums and artists, especially as the list of nominees in the general and pop categories become more and more commercial. In any case, here are a few nominations of note (visit for the full list):
  • Sir Paul McCartney picked up a nomination in the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album category for  Kisses on the Bottom.

  • Bruce Springsteen's "We Take Care of Our Own" was nominated for Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song [note that categories for songs, as opposed to records, albums or performances, are songwriting awards], and Wrecking Ball was nominated for Best Rock Album. (To editorialize, I think it's absolutely ridiculous that all of Wrecking Ball's nominations are only in genre categories. Are you telling me America's poet laureate doesn't deserve a nomination for Best Song for any of the Wrecking Ball songs but "Call Me Maybe" does?!? WTF, Grammy nominators? The scathing indictment of the "greedy thieves who came around" in "Death to My Hometown" is the most visceral, important set of lyrics to be written in recent years.)

  • Jay-Z was nominated in multiple categories, including Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "No Church in the Wild"; in the same category, John Legend was nominated for his song "Tonight (Best You Ever Had)."

  • Yo-Yo Ma's folk collaboration album, The Goat Rodeo Sessions (which is supposed to be amazing), was nominated for Best Folk Album.

  • President Bill Clinton, Rachel Maddow and Ellen DeGeneres were all among the nominees in the Best Spoken Word Album category, a Grammy Award that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won several years ago for the It Take a Village album.

  • The Best Musical Theater Album nominees are Follies; Porgy and Bess; Newsies; Nice Work if You Can Get It; and Once. (My guess is it'll be between Follies, Porgy and Bess and Once, with Once riding its Tony coattails to a win.)

  • The The Muppets, Midnight in Paris and The Descendants soundtracks are among the nominees in the Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media category while music from The Artist, Hugo and The Dark Knight Rises are among the nominees in the Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media category. The Muppets song "Man or Muppet," which took home the Best Original Song Oscar this year, is nominated for Best Song Written for Visual Media, along with Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman's "Let Me Be Your Star" from Smash.
Other Awards:
  • The New York Film Critics Circle announced its picks for achievement in film this year, and Zero Dark Thirty took home the top prize. The Wrap has more, including Daniel Day-Lewis's win for Lincoln.

  • On December 16, the Satellite Awards will be handed out. (The awards are administered by the International Press Academy.) Nominees include Silver Linings Playbook (and actors and scribe), Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Paul Thomas Anderson (The Master), Argo (and scribe), Lincoln (and actors and scribe), Moonrise Kingdom (and its scribes) and others. Nominated television shows include Breaking Bad, The Newsroom, The Good Wife, Homeland, Downton Abbey, Community, Girls, Modern Family, Parks and Recreation and more. The Hollywood Reporter has the full list of nominees.

  • The National Board of Review has named the Kathryn Bigelow-helmed film Zero Dark Thirty the best film of the year. Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) and star Jessica Chastain (The Heiress) also took home honors. The Hollywood Reporter has more.

  • The Writers Guild of America (WGA) announced its nominees in the television categories. (Nominees for feature and documentary films will be announced on January 3, 2013.) Many of the usual suspects were nominated, and in the New Series category, the writing staffs of Girls, The Mindy Project, The Newsroom (!!!) and Veep were among the nominees. (Also, Key and Peele was nominated for Comedy/Variety Series.) Visit the WGA site for a full list of nominated shows and writers.

Theatre Updates

  • Murder Ballad, the passionate and intense new rock opera by Julia Jordan and Juliana Nash, will receive a cast album!!! Playbill reports that Yellow Label Sound will record the album, though no release date has been announced. Murder Ballad continues its extended run through December 16.

  • Cicely Tyson will return to Broadway in Horton Foote's The Trip to Bountiful, which will play at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre beginning March 31, 2013. Opening night is set for April 23, and it will be a limited 14-week run. Playbill has details.

  • Kinky Boots, the new musical from Cyndi Lauper and Good Stuff Leo Harvey Fierstein, is coming to Broadway's Al Hirschfeld Theatre this March after an acclaimed run in Chicago. Just released this week is a preview clip (from the Chicago production) of what looks like a fun and fierce new musical. Previews being March 5, 2013, and tickets are now on sale. Visit to learn more.

  • Roundabout's revival of the bawdy Mystery of Edwin Drood will stick around for an extra week. The limited-but-extended engagement will now conclude on March 10, 2013. Visit Roundabout's website for details and to purchase tickets.

  • The new Christopher Durang play Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, a take on Chekhov's most notable characters, will run for an extra week. The production will now conclude its run on January 20, 2013. Playbill has details. 
Closings and Delays:
  • Scandalous, the Kathie Lee Gifford-penned musical about televangelist Aimee Semple McPherson, will close this Sunday, December 9. Playbill has details.

  • David Mamet's latest, The Anarchist, will close next Sunday, December 16. The play just opened on December 2 and stars Patti LuPone and Debra Winger. Playbill has details.

  • Chaplin will end its Broadway run on January 6, 2013. Playbill has details, including information about the original Broadway cast recording and a national tour.

  • The upcoming Broadway revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella is being slightly delayed. After Hurricane Sandy, the show rescheduled its preview and opening dates but is rescheduling those dates because the new opening date is the same night as the Oscars. The new new dates were announced this week; previews will begin January 25, 2013, and opening night will be March 3. Playbill has details.
End of Year/Best Of... Lists

It's that time of year: year-end lists galore. (Look for my Year in Review post on Friday, December 28, in place of a new Media Morsels.)
Jay-Z Rides the Subway and Explains to a Sweet Older Lady Who He Is:

TV News

  • Boardwalk Empire creator Terrence Winter talks to Vulture about this past Sunday's season finale and what's in store for season four.

  • The Newsroom is welcoming another new cast member: Joel Johnstone will play a Romney staffer. The Hollywood Reporter has details.

  • PBS has announced its programming for the winter/spring season, and it includes not only Downton Abbey but also specials featuring Mel Brooks, Carol Burnett, Ben Vereen, Mary Tyler Moore, Lucille Ball, The West Wing alumnus John Amos and more. Playbill has details.

  • Jason Alexander will make a guest appearance on Community! Rolling Stone has details. 
Dig This

  • Dane DeHaan (The Aliens) will star as Harry Osborn in the next Spider-Man flick. (James Franco played the role in the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man series.) EW has details.

  • Seth MacFarlane may star in a comedy Western flick that he penned with fellow Ted scribes Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild. The Hollywood Reporter has details.

  • John Legend wrote a new song for the Django Unchained soundtrack, and you can listen to it online before the soundtrack is released on December 18.

  • There is now a student rush policy for the upcoming revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, which begins previews on December 18 and stars Benjamin Walker and Scarlett Johansson. Playbill has details.

  • Stream Green Day's Tre!, the third in the band's triple-album set, before it's released.

  • This week, we mourn the loss of music legend Dave Brubeck. Brubeck was a Kennedy Center Honoree in 2009, received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996 and received the National Medal of Arts in 1994. Visit Rolling Stone to learn more, and below watch a performance of "Take Five."