Entertainment Briefs

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Weinstein due in court as judge mulls motion to dismiss case

NEW YORK (AP) — Harvey Weinstein is due in court as a New York judge weighs his bid to have some or all of his sexual assault case thrown out. A court spokesman says Judge James Burke will deliver a partial ruling on defense motions at Thursday’s hearing. The disgraced movie mogul’s next court date had been scheduled for Nov. 8. Weinstein faces a six-count indictment covering allegations from three women. He has pleaded not guilty to rape and sexual assault. His lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, has said prosecutors failed to inform the grand jury of evidence showing a friendly relationship between Weinstein and one accuser. He also asked the judge to dismiss an assault count because prosecutors didn’t pinpoint the date it happened. Prosecutors say they’re investigating the circumstances of that charge and that the other counts should stand.

Florida county jokingly ‘warns’ forecaster to stay away

MILTON, Fla. (AP) — A Florida county threatened by Hurricane Michael is jokingly warning a television meteorologist to stay away. The Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office posted a tonguein-cheek trespass warning on Facebook for The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore. Cantore is usually on the scene of major storms. The office wrote: “Everyone knows what’s in store when Jim Cantore shows up. So we issued a little notice. lol.” The “warning” provides special conditions for “non-business related visits only,” preferably during the winter.

NBC’s ‘Songland’ contest to search for hit tunesmiths

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Songwriters get the spotlight in a new NBC talent contest. The network said Tuesday that its 11-episode series, “Songland,” will give undiscovered songwriters the chance to create a hit. In each episode, five contestants will work with music producers and a recording artist to perfect their tunes. One winner per episode will have his or her song released as the artist’s next single, NBC said. The first episode includes Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic, songwriter Ester Dean, country singer-songwriter Shane McAnally. Charlie Puth is the recording artist. Eurythmics co-founder Dave Stewart and Maroon 5’s Adam Levine are among the executive producers of “Songland.” Would-be contestants will be able to apply at an upcoming website, NBC said. A series debut date wasn’t announced.

$100M renovation begins at SLS Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A $100 million upgrade to one of the Las Vegas Strip’s luxury hotels is underway. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports management for the SLS Las Vegas announced Monday that the casino floor, hotel rooms, pool and entertainment venues would be renovated or upgraded. A release from the hotel says work has already started on the rooms and were set to begin Monday on the casino floor. A spokesman for SLS Las Vegas owner Alex Meruelo’s namesake company, The Meruelo Group, had said in March that the resort would undergo an up-to-$100 million makeover. The 1,600-room SLS was formerly known as the Sahara.

TV academy’s first black chair to step down after 2 years

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The TV academy’s first African-American chairman is stepping down after two years. Hayma Washington told Variety he decided against seeking a second two-year term so he could focus on his work as a producer and promote diversity. Washington also has served as chief executive officer of the academy, which administers the Emmy Awards. An academy spokesman said Tuesday that Washington’s replacement will be chosen at upcoming elections for new officers and governors. Washington was elected in November 2016. He succeeded Bruce Rosenblum, who held the post for five years. Under Washington, the academy reached a new eightyear contract with the four major networks that air the Emmys in rotation. Viewership hit a record low with last month’s ceremony. Washington won seven Emmys as an executive producer of “The Amazing Race.”

Lyric Opera musicians go on strike, threatening opera season

CHICAGO (AP) — Musicians with the Lyric Opera of Chicago have walked off the job. The musicians set up a picket line outside the Civic Opera House on Tuesday. They cite the company’s proposal to cut the number of orchestra musicians by five. The opera company also wants to cut the pay of remaining musicians by 8 percent and the number of working weeks by two weeks to 22 weeks. Opera officials say the company cannot agree to the terms the musicians demand given current financial circumstances. They say changes are necessary to ensure the opera company’s survival as a “world-class” opera company. Opera officials say the strike may require the cancellation performances. The musicians strike comes a day after the Lyric Opera reached an agreement with stagehands, hair and makeup workers, and ticket sellers.

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