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Seth MacFarlane perhaps most famous as the creator of the animated show “Family Guy,” will be hosting the Academy Awards show early next year, the Academy announced on Monday.

And he is pumped. “[I am] ecstatic. I was surprised. I have done a fair amount of hosting in the past but nothing of this magnitude. I was very, very pleasantly surprised,” MacFarlane told Deadline Hollywood.

This comes off the heels of the success of his foray onto the big screen with the comedy “Ted,” about a foul-mouthed, talking teddy bear — also starring Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis. The film, which cost $50 million to make, has brought in $217.8 million in the U.S. and $420 million total (worldwide).

MacFarlane provides the voice of many of his non-human characters including Ted, Peter Griffin (“Family Guy”), Stan Smith (“American Dad”) and many more. He got his start in animation working for Hanna-Barbera and then became an animator and writer at the Cartoon Network, working on “Dexter’s Laboratory,” “Cow and Chicken,” “I Am Weasel,” and “Johnny Bravo.”

If you’re thinking MacFarlane is a left-field choice for one of the most-watched live televisions shows on the planet, here are some facts that build a strong case in his favor:

Seth can sing. He was actually nominated for two Grammys last year: One for his debut album “Music Is Better Than Words” and the other for a Christmas-themed song he co-wrote for “Family Guy.”
He is popular with young people. The Academy has tried and failed in the past to reach a younger demographic (*cough* Anne Hathaway and James Franco). Since MacFarlane has a proven track record on live T.V. (Remember when his mic wasn’t working at the Emmys last week and he came out smelling like a rose? He also did pretty well as a recent “Saturday Night Live” host.) — he could have that magic ingredient to pull it off this time.
America thinks he’s funny. A lot of people were holding their breath as MacFarlane tested his ever-growing small-screen appeal on the big screen with “Ted.” For a first-timer movie director-writer-actor, he pretty much nailed it.

There are also some forces that could work against MacFarlane:

His humor is typically raunchy. If MacFarlane’s irreverent style of humor goes too far or puts a bad comedic taste in people’s mouth, it will literally be heard — and criticized — around the world. I’m sure past awards-show-hosting gaffes made by the likes of David Letterman and Ricky Gervais will be held up as examples of what not to do.
He is a non-tested entity. Unlike Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, the late Bob Hope and Johnny Carson — who have hosted the Oscars multiple times with moderate-to-great success — MacFarlane hasn’t done it before. The pressure will be on.
His face is not famous. All other hosts who have graced the Academy Awards show stage — whether film or T.V. stars — have been instantly recognizable. While a lot of people know MacFarlane’s animated shows and his film, audiences are still becoming familiar with his actual face.

“It’s truly an overwhelming privilege to be asked to host the Oscars,” MacFarlane said [via the Academy’s press release]. “My thoughts upon hearing the news were, one, I will do my utmost to live up to the high standards set forth by my predecessors; and two, I hope they don’t find out I hosted the Charlie Sheen Roast.”

In terms of his hosting game plan, MacFarlane, who noted the late Johnny Carson is his favorite Oscar host, said it’s still too early to tell, but that, “The trick is really going to be to make it as funny as I can and true to what I do but at the same time respectfully adapting the tone for this event which is a very different event than I have been a part of in the past.” [via Deadline]

Methinks you will be seeing a lot more of MacFarlane’s mug leading up to the big event on February 24th.

http://movies.yahoo.com/blogs/movie-talk/seth-macfarlane-hosting-85th-academy-awards-pros-cons-173035897.html

 

 

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Antoine Ashley, better known as Sahara Davenport on RuPaul’s Drag Race, has died.

“Logo is profoundly saddened by the passing of Antoine Ashley who fans around the world knew and loved as Sahara Davenport. He was an amazing artist and entertainer who’ll be deeply missed by his Logo family. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family, especially his boyfriend Karl, in their time of need,” the network said in a statement posted on Facebook Tuesday.

Alongside 11 other contestants, Ashley competed for the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar on the hit show’s second season in 2010 – but his talents spanned far beyond the realm of reality television.

A classically trained dancer, Ashley started performing in drag while attending Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Upon earning his Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance, Ashley left Dallas for New York City where he appeared in drag regularly at various bars and nightclubs.

In addition to his role on Drag Race, Ashley also appeared in 15 Films About Madonna, Magnificent Obsessions and One Life to Live.

Earlier this year, Ashley released a single, “Go Off,” which later reached no. 35 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart.

RuPaul expressed his condolences via Twitter on Tuesday morning.

“Shocked & heartbroken over @SaharaDavenport. Never occurred to me that we’d ever lose one of my girls. I see them as immortal,” he Tweeted.

Ashley’s boyfriend, Karl Westerberg, competed on season three of RuPaul’s Drag Race as Manila Luzon. The couple released a cover version of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” last December.

On Sunday night, he Tweeted simply, “I love him so much.”

The cause of death is unknown at this time.

 

http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20635294,00.html

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Castle Season 5 Poster Revealed!

Castle Season 5 Poster Revealed!

If you’re like us, then you cannot wait for the season five premiere of “Castle”. Who could blame us, really? The show ended its fourth season on a high note with Rick and Kate finally getting together. And, we’ve heard reports that this season will pick up right where the last one left off.

The first episode of the show’s fifth season is titled “After The Storm” and we have a sneak peek photo from the show:

Castle Season 5 Poster Revealed!

We absolutely cannot wait for this show to finally return to ABC. The fifth season begins on September 24th at 10PM EST. As always, we will be providing Castle lovers with the most up-to-the-minute coverage of the show as it airs. Stay tuned to Earsucker to read all about what happens with Rick and Kate now that they have affirmed their love for each other!

http://earsucker.com/2012/castle-season-5-poster-revealed/#

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Oct. 14 premiere:

http://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20622701_20623391,00.html#

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FX’s American Horror Story: Asylum, the second installment in Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s scary anthology series, has been ramping up its promotion in the past few weeks with various creepy teasers making the rounds. Now, EW can bring you four EXCLUSIVE new pieces of key art from the wild new season, set within an insane asylum. Click through to see all four images and get ready to shudder. And stay tuned to EW.com all this week for MAJOR AHS: Asylum exclusives.

http://insidetv.ew.com/2012/08/27/american-horror-story-asylum-photos/

 

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NEW YORK (AP) — Richard Dawson, the wisecracking British entertainer who was among the schemers in the 1960s sitcom “Hogan’s Heroes” and a decade later began kissing thousands of female contestants as host of the game show “Family Feud” has died. He was 79.

Dawson, also known to TV fans as the Cockney POW Cpl. Peter Newkirk on “Hogan’s Heroes,” died Saturday night from complications related to esophageal cancer at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, his son Gary said.

The game show, which initially ran from 1976 to 1985, pitted families who tried to guess the most popular answers to poll questions such as “What do people give up when they go on a diet?

He made his hearty, soaring delivery of the phrase “Survey says…” a national catchphrase among viewers.

Dawson won a daytime Emmy Award in 1978 as best game show host. Tom Shales of The Washington Post called him “the fastest, brightest and most beguilingly caustic interlocutor since the late great Groucho bantered and parried on ‘You Bet Your Life.'” The show was so popular it was released as both daytime and syndicated evening versions.

His swaggering, randy style (and British accent) set him apart from other TV quizmasters. He was known for kissing each woman contestant, and at the time the show bowed out in 1985, executive producer Howard Felsher estimated that Dawson had kissed “somewhere in the vicinity of 20,000.”

“I kissed them for luck and love, that’s all,” Dawson said at the time.

One of them he kissed was Gretchen Johnson, a young contestant who appeared with members of her family in 1981. After a decade together, she and Dawson wed in 1991. They had a daughter, Shannon.

Dawson reprised his game show character in a much darker mood in the 1987 Arnold Schwarzenegger film “The Running Man,” playing the host of a deadly TV show set in a totalitarian future, where convicts try to escape as their executioners stalk them. “Saturday Night Live” mocked him in the 1970s, with Bill Murray portraying him as leering and nasty, even slapping one contestant (John Belushi) for getting too fresh.

The British-born actor already had gained fame as the fast-talking Newkirk in “Hogan’s Heroes,” the CBS comedy that starred Bob Crane and mined laughs from a Nazi POW camp whose prisoners hoodwink their captors and run the place themselves.

Despite its unlikely premise, the show made the ratings top 10 in its first season, 1965-66, and ran until 1971.

“We ran six years,” Dawson once quipped, “a year longer than Hitler.”

Both “Hogan’s Heroes” and “Family Feud” have had a second life in recent years, the former on DVD reissues and the latter on GSN, formerly known as the Game Show Network.

On Dawson’s last “Family Feud” in 1985, the studio audience honored him with a standing ovation, and he responded: “Please sit down. I have to do at least 30 minutes of fun and laughter and you make me want to cry.”

“I’ve had the most incredible luck in my career,” he told viewers, adding, “I never dreamed I would have a job in which so many people could touch me and I could touch them.” That triggered an unexpected laugh.

Producers brought out “The New Family Feud,” starring comedian Ray Combs, in 1988. Six years later, Dawson replaced Combs at the helm, but that lasted only one season. Steve Harvey is the current host.

Dawson was born Colin Lionel Emm in 1932 in Gosport, England. When he was 14 he joined the Merchant Marines, serving three years.

He first got into show business as a stand-up comedian, playing clubs in London’s West End including the legendary Stork Room. It was there, in the late 1950s, he met blond bombshell Diana Dors, the film star who became known as Britain’s answer to Marilyn Monroe. They married in 1959 and divorced in the late 1960s.

Dawson landed roles in U.S. comedy and variety shows in the early 1960s, including “The Steve Allen Show” and “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” Then his performance as a military prisoner in the 1965 film “King Rat” led to his being cast in “Hogan’s Heroes,” which truly made him a star to American audiences.

After that, he was a regular on “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” and “The New Dick Van Dyke Show.”

Meanwhile, he became a frequent celebrity contestant on game shows, including both daytime and prime-time versions of “The Match Game.”

While still a panelist on “The Match Game,” he began hosting “Family Feud,” where his popularity grew to such levels that he was mentioned as a frontrunner to win the “Tonight Show” host chair to succeed Johnny Carson, who at the time was considering retirement. Though Carson stayed put, Dawson made appearances as a guest host.

Dawson is survived by his widow, Gretchen, their daughter Shannon, two sons, Mark and Gary, from his first marriage, and four grandchildren.

 

http://news.yahoo.com/family-feud-tv-host-richard-dawson-dies-79-143746235.html

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Leverage

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