DeGeneres will host Academy Awards
Comic and daytime television host Ellen DeGeneres was picked to host the Academy Awards for the second time.
Show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced DeGeneres’ selection Friday. The movie awards show will air on ABC on March 2.
“There are few stars today who have Ellen’s gift for comedy, with her great warmth and humanity,” the producers said in a statement. “She is beloved everywhere.”
DeGeneres quipped, “I am so excited to be hosting the Oscars for the second time. You know what they say – the third time’s the charm.”
DeGeneres was nominated for an Emmy Award for her last gig. Her daytime talk show has won 45 Daytime Emmys during a decade on the air.
The Oscars, with 40.3 million viewers this year, is very often the year’s most-watched television event after the Super Bowl.
Thornton to headline TV’s ‘Fargo’
Oscar winner Billy Bob Thornton will star in the TV version of the film “Fargo.”
FX network boss John Landgraf said Friday that Thornton has signed on to a limited series based on the 1996 crime comedy-drama. It’s scheduled for a 10-episode run on FX next spring.
Thornton will play a rootless con artist in the series. No characters will be carried over from the film, which brought a best-actress Oscar to Frances McDormand.
Even so, Landgraf says the series will be “remarkably true to the film.” Its creators, Joel and Ethan Coen, are associated with the series.
No other cast members have been announced.
Nagging knee pain sidelines Williams
NBC News anchor Brian Williams will be off the air for a few weeks soon for surgery to replace a knee that was damaged in a high school football game decades ago.
Lester Holt will anchor the nightly news while Williams is away.
Williams, 54, said he’s had three previous surgeries on his right knee but the pain was becoming more of an issue. When it began costing him sleep, Williams said he realized it was time to take care of it.
“If this doesn’t go perfectly, it can’t hurt any more than it does now,” he said.
The birthday bunch
Singer Tony Bennett is 87. Actor Martin Sheen is 73. Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart is 72. Movie director John Landis is 63. Actor Jay North (“Dennis the Menace”) is 62. Guitarist Randy Scruggs is 60. Singer-guitarist James Hetfield (Metallica) is 50. Violinist Jimmy De Martini (Zac Brown Band) is 37. Actress Evangeline Lilly is 34. Bassist Brent Kutzle (OneRepublic) is 28.