February 11, 2011 in Features

Fantastic Four changes names

Associated Press

With the Fantastic Four whittled to three after last month’s death of the Human Torch, Marvel’s longtime super group is changing names and adding a familiar face.

Spider-Man is joining the group newly renamed The Future Foundation. Starting in FF No. 1, due out March 23, he’ll join with Mr. Fantastic, The Thing and the Invisible Woman in a bid to protect the Marvel universe from new threats.

The Fantastic Four ended with issue No. 588 this month, after the Torch, aka Johnny Storm, died in issue 587.

Super-popular puppies

The Super Bowl wasn’t the only thing on TV last weekend to set a ratings record – so did the Puppy Bowl.

Animal Planet says 9.2 million viewers watched “Puppy Bowl VII” on Sunday. That’s the most for the annual program, which has increased in popularity as a cuddly alternative to the football game.

Norm tackles sports

Norm Macdonald is returning to the news, specifically sports news.

The former “Saturday Night Live” comedian and “Weekend Update” anchor will star in “Sports Show with Norm Macdonald,” premiering in April.

Comedy Centralis ordering eight episodes of the show, which will feature Macdonald’s “comedic take on the most topical and controversial stories from the sports world.”

‘Beaver’ debut delayed

“The Beaver,” the new Mel Gibson film co-starring director Jodie Foster, will have its limited opening May 6.

The film originally was scheduled to open in limited release on March 23, then expand to more theaters on April 8. It now will expand on May 20.

Gibson stars as a troubled man who works through his depression by communicating with people through a beaver hand puppet.

Oscar’s family values

Oscar producers are taking “thanks, Mom” to another level.

Producers Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer say they’ll incorporate nominees’ mothers, who they call “mom-inees,” into this year’s Academy Awards broadcast Feb. 27.

Proucers are looking for nominees’ mothers to post updates on Twitter and to appear during the 90-minute pre-show program.

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