Catching up

A&E news you may have missed

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

A scene from Mamma Mia

Chances are you didn’t spend your winter break immersed in the world of arts and entertainment â€" that’s what we’re here for.

For those of you who would like to get up to speed on the latest in A&E news, here are a few major stories that broke over the last three weeks.

Golden Globe nominations
It should come as no surprise that the usual suspects â€" Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep and Tom Cruise â€" are all up for Golden Globe awards following standout roles in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Doubt, Mamma Mia, and Tropic Thunder.

Pitt’s Benjamin Button, along with Frost/Nixon, led in this year’s nominations with five each, including Best Picture.

Snubbed from the Best Picture race was The Dark Knight. Although beating out such blockbusters as Iron Man and Indiana Jones for the top grossing film of 2008, The Dark Knight’s only Golden Globe recognition came in the form of a Best Supporting Actor nomination for the late Heath Ledger.

The list of nominees in the television categories is, again, not so surprising. 30 Rock and Mad Men are both up for three awards, with The Office and Dexter also nominated in numerous categories.

The 66th Golden Globe Awards is set to broadcast Jan. 11 at 8 p.m. Jake Gyllenhaal, Glenn Close and Ricky Gervais will host.

Strike averted ... for now
While this year’s Golden Globe Awards may be set and ready to go, we can all remember how last year’s awards season was screwed over by the writer’s strike. Last year’s Golden Globes was reduced to a pre-recorded press conference, with the same fate threatening the Oscars until the strike ended less than two weeks before the Academy Awards ceremony aired.

This year it’s the actors’ turn to raise hell in Hollywood. A possible Screen Actors Guild strike has been looming ever since its contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers expired in June 2008. The SAG, unhappy with the handling of royalties and lack of compensation for Internet-based productions, had planned a vote to authorize a strike on Jan. 2, potentially jeopardizing this year’s Academy Awards ceremony. A strike would see SAG members boycotting the show.

Due to an ongoing conflict within the guild as to whether or not they should be allowed to strike, a vote to authorize a strike has been delayed until at least Jan. 14, which ultimately means this year’s Oscars ceremony is safe.

Canadian Idol

Canadian Idol cancelled
Despite being the second-highest rated Canadian show on CTV (the top spot being held by So You Think You Can Dance Canada), Canadian Idol has been canned for 2009. CTV cites the dwindling economy for the expensive show’s demise, but announced plans to bring the Idol franchise back next year â€" because apparently Canada needs more Kalan Porters and Jacob Hoggards polluting our airwaves.

The end of a Canadian television era
Another staple of Canadian television to come to an end over the break was The Royal Canadian Air Farce. After 16 years on CBC television, the final show aired as a New Year’s Eve special with such notable guests as Margaret Atwood and Johnny Bower. For the handful of you out there who actually chose to stay in on a Friday to watch Air Farce for your political satire fix, I hear The Daily Show isn’t half bad.

Jett Travolta

John Travolta’s son dies on vacation
The 16-year-old son of John Travolta and Kelly Preston was found dead in his family’s home in the Bahamas last Friday after hitting his head on a bathtub.

“Jett was the most wonderful son two parents could ever ask for and lit up the lives of everyone he encountered. We are heartbroken that our time with him was so brief,” the family said in a statement released on the actor’s website.

Jett suffered from Kawasaki disease, had a history of seizures and many believed he suffered from autism â€" although as Scientologists, the Travoltas don’t acknowledge autism as a condition. An undertaker revealed Monday that Jett suffered a fatal seizure.

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