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Hugh Jackman to host Tony Awards

Hugh Jackman will be the 2014 Tony Awards host, producers announced today.

This will be Jackman’s fourth time hosting the telecast, which will air live Sunday, June 8. He previously hosted from 2003-2005, winning an Emmy for the 2004 telecast. Jackman also won a Tony himself in 2004, for his role in The Boy from Oz. Jackman was last on stage in 2011, with his show Hugh Jackman — Back on Broadway; he’ll return to Broadway in 2015 in the play The River.

“We are thrilled that Hugh will be joining us, once again, at Radio City Music Hall to host ‘The 68th Annual Tony Awards,’” said Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League and Heather Hitchens, Executive Director of the American Theatre Wing, in a statement. “Hugh is an extraordinary talent and loyal supporter of the Broadway community — whether he is on-stage or in the audience — and we are honored to have him back as host.”

Neil Patrick Harris hosted a very well-reviewed Tony Awards last year, but likely was unable to return due to his performance schedule in the upcoming Broadway show Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Perhaps he’ll return as a nominee?

Check out a video of Jackman hamming it up as host below: READ FULL STORY

Best of 2013 (Behind the Scenes): Megan Hilty on a 'Smash'-ing song (and dealing with the show's haters)

Yes, Smash is dead. (Sniff!) But its incredible original tunes will hopefully live on — particularly standouts like “Let Me Be Your Star,” “Let’s Be Bad,” and “They Just Keep Moving the Line,” a scorcher immortalized by Megan Hilty at the beginning of season 2. Like most of Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman’s clever creations, the song’s lyrics work on multiple levels. In the context of Bombshell, Smash‘s show-within-a-show, the song finds Marilyn Monroe using an extended racing metaphor to lament the harshness of a business that keeps asking more and more of her. Hilty’s character, Ivy Lynn, has faced a similar series of struggles (years stuck in the chorus! A cheating director boyfriend! A brief and ridiculous addiction to prednisone!) within the show’s universe. And finally, the song’s world-weary lyrics can be read as Smash‘s way of reacting to its own harsh critics — those prepared to gleefully tear apart the series no matter what it did.

How did Hilty’s instantly classic performance come about? We chatted with the star, who’s moved from Smash to NBC’s Sean Saves the World, to find out. Oh, and just so you know: Hilty says that if she could choose any musical to perform live on NBC, Sound of Music-style, she’d go with Sweeney Todd. Even though, as she points out, “that’s probably not the most family friendly. They probably won’t be doing that at Christmas time.”


Neil Patrick Harris to host Tony Awards for fourth time

It’s sure to be legen — wait for it — dary.

Emmy-winner Neil Patrick Harris is returning to host the Tony Awards for a fourth time, the show announced today. “I’m very excited to be back hosting the Tony Awards at the legendary Radio City Music Hall. It’ll be more impressive than ever — if my math is correct, it will be 267 times bigger than last year,” said Harris in a press release. “Oh, wait.  No, that can’t… hold on… carry the one… I’m awful at math. But rest assured, the show will rock!” READ FULL STORY

Carrie Underwood to play Maria in NBC's 'The Sound of Music'

The hills are alive… with a new version of The Sound of Music.

Grammy winner Carrie Underwood will star as Maria von Trapp in NBC’s broadcast of the original stage version of The Sound of Music, the network announced today. An air date has not been set for the three-hour live event, but it will be broadcast sometime during the holidays in 2013. READ FULL STORY

Marissa Jaret Winokur talks 'Retired at 35' wedding finale, love triangle complication

,” she says, “and there’s definitely a triangle going on for a little while.”

Winokur admits the season-long tug-of-war between the two guys was even tough for her. “I actually didn’t even know as an actress who I wanted Amy to be with,” she says. “Every week when I’d get a script, I’d wonder which way it was going to go — ‘Is this the week that says [she’s] with Brandon, or is the one that says [she’s] with Jared?’ … One week, I’d be super-close with Josh and be like, ‘Oh, I hope we’re going to get together this week!’ [Then again] John and I have such great chemistry, too. So even I was wishy-washy with who [Amy] should be with.” READ FULL STORY

Louis C.K. selling tour tickets directly to fans

Louis C.K. — not websites like Ticketmaster or StubHub — has the last laugh on this one. The comedian announced on his website Monday that he will go on tour starting in October, and he’ll be selling tickets directly to fans.

C.K. will sell tickets for the comedy shows from his site, hoping to cut down on the extra fees from distributors, which jack up prices. He’s also taken steps to prevent ticket reselling —  anyone who tries to resell their ticket for a higher price will find their ticket canceled.

“My goal here is that people coming to see my shows are able to pay a fair price and that they be paying just for a ticket. Not also paying an exorbitant fee for the privilege of buying a ticket,” C.K. wrote on his site.

All tickets will be $45, period. The tour runs from October through February.

C.K., who’s also prepping for Thursday’s season 3 premiere of his FX show Louie, did warn fans that he had trouble finding venues that would work with his ticketing plan, so he’s performing “in very new places.” The full list of tour dates and theaters is also on his site.

This isn’t the first time C.K. has played with sales strategy. In December he sold video downloads of his special Live at Beacon Theater for $5 a pop, and he declared the experiment a success. He did the same with his album WORD: Live at Carnegie Hall last month.

Read more:
Best of 2011 (Behind the Scenes): Louis C.K. on ‘Duckling’
‘Louie,’ ‘Magic Mike,’ and ‘Anger Management': PopWatch Planner
Louis C.K., Will Ferrell, Pinterest, and ‘Sesame Street’ Muppets among Webby Award winners

CBS airs lowest rated Tonys to date

Where was the love for Broadway? On Sunday, CBS’ telecast of the 66th Annual Tony Awards (1.0 rating/3 share) represented the ceremony’s lowest rating ever, down 17% from last year (1.2/3 on 6/12/11). The three-hour kudofest only averaged a little over 6 million viewers.

60 Minutes actually lured more eyeballs, and finished Sunday as the most-watched telecast. It averaged 7.8 million.

The Tonys aired against mostly repeats on the other nets. Fox had the best luck for the night; a repeat of Family Guy was the highest rated program of the night in adults 18-49, adults 18-34 and teens.

Overall, ABC won the night in the key demo, after airing a repeat of America’s Funniest Home Videos and originals of Secret Millionaire (1.5/5) and Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition (1.5/4).

Read more:
Tonys: 10 moments we loved
Tony Awards 2012: Broadway Style!
Tony Awards: Check out the full list of winners here!

Queen Latifah to star in Lifetime's all-African-American 'Steel Magnolias'

Queen Latifah is joining the star-studded cast for Lifetime’s all-African-American Steel Magnolias reboot as M’Lynn, the character played by Sally Field in the 1989 feature film of the same name. Condola Rashad will play her diabetes-stricken daughter, Shelby (played by Julia Roberts), and Rashad’s mother Phylicia will reinterpret the role of Clairee (portrayed by Olympia Dukakis). Alfre Woodard will tackle the irascible Ouiser, who was unforgettably played by Shirley MacLaine, Jill Scott looks to fill Dolly Parton’s shoes as understanding hairdresser Truvy, and Pariah breakout Adepero Oduye will play insecure newcomer Annelle, made famous by Daryl Hannah. READ FULL STORY


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