Media Morsels 2.8.13

Award Season Update

  • The nominees gathered at a special luncheon on Monday. An annual event, the nominee luncheon is where nominees receive their nomination certificate, answer some press questions and gather to take the "class photo," which I've added to my Oscars Pinterest board. The official Oscars blog has full coverage of the event. ( also has photo coverage, and The Hollywood Reporter's Scott Feinberg filed a report about the festivities.)

  • Mark Wahlberg and Ted will present at the Oscars. On the occasion of the announcement, Oscars producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron said, "...we won't deny that Ted used his pull with our host to get himself the booking." (The host, of course, is Seth MacFarlane, who co-wrote and directed Ted and performed the role of the foul-mouthed teddy bear.) Read the official press release for more. And speaking of the Oscar host, check out the latest promos: in the first one, Seth tells James Bond how to order a drink and in the second, he considers entering the Matrix. (And check out all the Oscar promos on my roundup page.)

  • The Oscar campaign for Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook) is picking up steam, as Thompson on Hollywood reports.

  • Early this week, the first slate of presenters (Wahlberg and Ted, above, not withstanding) was announced and shouldn't come as a surprise: they're last year's acting winners Meryl Streep, Christopher Plummer, Octavia Spencer and Jean Dujardin. Later in the week it was announced that Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Ruffalo and Robert Downey, Jr., are also among the presenters who'll be on hand. And later on Twitter, the academy announced that Charlize Theron and Joseph Gordon-Levitt will also make appearances. Songstress Shirley Bassey is also set to perform.

  • Notes from this week's Feinberg Forecast, in which The Hollywood Reporter's awards guru, Scott Feinberg, recaps what's happened in the week and what impact it has on the Oscar race:
    • Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook), made some rare TV appearances, obviously part of Harvey Weinstein's campaign to help De Niro win another Oscar.
    • De Niro and his co-star, Bradley Cooper, met with Vice President Joe Biden to talk about mental healthcare in America.
    • Plus lots of guild and craft-specific awards.

  • Notable dandy (and acclaimed director) Paul Feig (Freaks and Geeks) offers his Red Carpet Rules, sartorial advice for this year's male nominees, via Los Angeles magazine. (His paragon of male style? Ryan Gosling, of course!)

  • You'll be seeing a lot of advertisements during the Oscar telecast: The Hollywood Reporter reports that ABC has sold all of its commercial slots, with some 30-second ads selling for as much as $1.8 million.

  • The Hollywood Reporter offers Seven Tough Lessons from this Awards Season.

  • Too funny not to share, from our Oscar host: "My Zero Dark Thirty torture scenario: put me in a tiny room with just a beet salad, Atlas Shrugged, wet socks, and a Wall Street Journal."
DGA Awards
The DGA Awards (honoring excellent direction) were handed out this past weekend. As he should, Ben Affleck won top honors for Argo. Rian Johnson (Looper) took home a prize, winning for Outstanding Directional Achievement in Dramatic Series for his work on the "Fifty-One" episode of Breaking Bad, as did Lena Dunham, who won for Outstanding Directional Achievement in Comedy Series for the "Pilot" episode of Girls. Dunham is the first woman to win that particular award. (Glenn Weiss, who directed the 66th Tony Awards, won for that achievement.) View the full list of winners on the DGA website.
Graceland Sneak Peek

Can't wait for Graceland, the new USA TV series starring Aaron Tveit, to hit the airwaves? Here's another behind the scenes look at the new show to tide you over until the show debuts this summer. Enjoy! 

Theatre News

  • When Pippin arrives on Broadway this spring it will bring with it the full company from the A.R.T. production. That company includes Matthew James Thomas in the title role as well as Patina Miler (Sister Act), Charlotte d'Amboise (Chicago) and Andrea Martin. Pippin will play at the Music Box Theatre; previews begin March 23 with opening night set for April 25. Playbill has more.

  • In regional news: The Book of Mormon will play Toronto while Mormon, Porgy and Bess, Once and Evita will all be part of the 2013-2014 season in Las Vegas. Playbill has details for both the Toronto and Vegas announcements.

  • My Fair Lady may be heading back to Broadway, courtesy of record label impresario Clive Davis. Let the casting speculation begin!
TV Tidbits

  • On March 3, the Paley Center for Media will welcome Aaron Sorkin and the cast of The Newsroom to Paley Fest. The company will take part in a panel to be moderated by CNN's Piers Morgan. Read the press release for details.

  • EW and Rolling Stone have an inside look at what to expect this season on Community, which kicked off last night.

  • The air date for the series finale of The Office will be May 16. E! Online has details about the finale.

Dig This

  • Mark Rylance (Jerusalem, La Bete) is teaming up with poet Louis Jenkins for Nice Fish, set to premiere at the Guthrie (in Minneapolis) this spring. Rylance quoted Jenkins's poems each of the two times he won a Tony. Playbill has details.

  • The former SNL-er Kristen Wiig, it's been confirmed, has joined the cast of Anchorman 2. The Hollywood Reporter has details.

  • Who doesn't love some Jason Bateman mugging? Vulture brings you "Jason Bateman's Four Go-To Comedy Moves"!

  • highlights the six ways in which Jessica Chastain (The Heiress, Zero Dark Thirty) is supremely awesome.

  • The latest from Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine, will be released in New York and LA on July 26. The flick stars, among others, Bobby Cannavale (Boardwalk Empire, Glengary Glen Ross), Alec Baldwin, Michael Stuhlbarg (Boardwalk Empire, Hugo) and Cate Blanchett.

  • This is why you should be as excited as I am about the upcoming Second Stage production of Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years, starring Betsy Wolfe and Adam Kantor: