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AMC plans first mystery series

New York -- AMC says it began production Thursday in Vancouver on its next series, "The Killing," an adaptation of Danish television drama "Forbrydelsen."

From writer, executive producer and series showrunner Veena Sud, "The Killing" tells the story of the murder of a young girl in Seattle and the subsequent police investigation.
Produced by Fox Television Studios, it is executive produced by Mikkel Bondesen for Fuse Entertainment. Fuse's Kristen Campo is co-producing.

Season 1 consists of 13, one-hour episodes. It is slated to premiere in March.

'Burn Notice' prequel movie on its way

Los Angeles -- Jeffrey Donovan is set to direct the upcoming movie prequel to the TV drama "Burn Notice," USA Network said Tuesday.

Donovan plays the lead role of Michael Westen on the show. He has previously directed episodes of the series.

Starring Bruce Campbell, the two-hour "Burn Notice" movie will begin shooting in January on location in Bogota. It will air on USA Network in the spring.

Smartphone patents are on the line

Cupertino, Calif. -- U.S. technology giant Apple is squaring off against Nokia in the first round of a series of International Trade Commission patent disputes.

PC Magazine reported Monday the legal tussling could redefine the smartphone market with Nokia standing to lose its right to sell its smartphone in the U.S. market or forced to pay Apple licensing rights to do so.

If Apple is found guilty of patent infringement, the reverse is true.

The disputes began when Nokia sued Apple over 10 of its patents and Apple countersued, claiming Nokia had violated 13 of its patents.
But the dispute is only the first of several.

Motorola and HTC also jumped into the fray, filing suits against Apple, the industry leader.

Fox moving 'American Idol' off Tuesdays

New York -- Fox announced it is moving "American Idol" to Wednesday night and then will shift it again to Thursday starting in January.

"Idol" currently airs Tuesday, but the plan calls for the talent contest to air on both Wednesdays and Thursdays beginning in January.

The Hollywood Reporter said Fox's goal is to use "Idol" as a lead-in to its "Human Target" series on Wednesday and at the same time compete with the new CBS series "Live to Dance," which stars Paula Abdul.

Thursday is generally the highest advertising revenue night in U.S. prime time. "Idol" will also give a boost to the new Fox reality series "Million Dollar Drop." The struggling "Fringe" will be moved to Friday, The Hollywood Reporter said.

Harry Potter Understands QE2

 

Economists, politicians, and taxidermists have been all a-twitter over the past couple weeks with talk about Ben Bernanke's latest gambit to kick-start the U.S. economy, QE2. The general consensus is that Ben Bernanke is out of his mind, blindly driving the U.S. economy off a cliff.




Robert Downey Jr. playing Mr. Peanut

East Hanover, N.J. -- Hollywood actor Robert Downey Jr. is lending his voice to the iconic character Mr. Peanut in a series of new Planters ads, E! News reported.

The first stop-motion animation commercial, featuring Mr. Peanut wearing his traditional monocle and top hat, as well as a shirt, tie and jacket, debuted online Tuesday.

The ad marks the first time in his 94-year history that Mr. Peanut is heard speaking.

"People love Mr. Peanut," Jason Levine, senior director of marketing for Planters, said in a statement Monday. "He has always had a rich personality, and giving him a voice now allows people to connect with him in an authentic and entertaining way."

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

Singer raises millions for flood relief

Nashville -- Singer Garth Brooks sold more than 140,000 tickets and raised more than $3.5 million for flood relief for a series of concerts in Nashville, officials said.

It only took about three hours for the country star's concerts at the Bridgestone Arena to sell out Saturday, The (Nashville) Tennessean reported.

Brooks said last month he would play a flood relief concert, and priced the tickets at $25, about one quarter the price for tickets for an artist of his stature, the report said.

More than 13,000 tickets were available for each show.

ABC cancels 'The Whole Truth'

Los Angeles -- A producer on "The Whole Truth" says ABC has canceled the U.S. legal drama, which debuted last month, due to low ratings.

"ABC gave us the word," co-executive producer KristieAnne Reed said via Twitter. "We will only make 13 episodes of 'The Whole Truth.'"

EW.com said it is unclear how many of the remaining episodes of the show, which presents legal cases from the points of view of both the prosecution and the defense, will actually air.

The series starred Maura Tierney and Rob Morrow.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

Chimp star of tea advertisements dies

London -- A chimpanzee who appeared in a series of televised British tea advertisements has died of heart failure, zoo officials in England said.

Jilloch, who was in commercials for PG Tips, was 34, The Sunday Telegraph reported.
She appeared as one of the children in a family of chimps who were dressed in wigs, hats and clothes, and helped make PG one of the top tea products in England, the report said.

The commercials ran from 1956 to 2002, when lobbying by animal welfare activists forced them off the air. One of the favorite commercials featured a bumbling television repair technician trying to tune in a microwave oven.

'Halo Reach' video game coming out

Los Angeles -- The video game "Halo Reach" will be the last one produced by the company that developed the "Halo" series, a company official says.

That doesn't mean no more versions of "Halo" will be released, but developer Bungie studios won't be involved, Marcus Lehto, the company's creative director, told the Los Angeles Times.

"Halo" has already generated $2 billion in revenues, and while Bungie won't be involved in further releases Microsoft will keep the product moving through a new business unit called 343 Industries, the newspaper said.

"Halo Reach," goes on sale Sept. 14. Lehto said Bungie's challenge was to create a fitting conclusion to the Halo series without bringing it to an end.