News Column

Tulsa World, Okla., Rita Sherrow column

August 14, 2013


Aug. 14--"Hunger Games: Catching Fire" will make its world debut Nov. 11 in London.

The Lionsgate film, the second in the "Hunger Games" franchise, is based on the best-selling book series by Suzanne Collins and stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth. It is scheduled to open in the United States on Nov. 22, reports.

The first "Hunger Games" film grossed nearly $700 million worldwide. The second installment has Lawrence as heroine Katniss Everdeen returning home after winning the Hunger Games battle with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark (Hutcherson).

While on their victory tour across their country of Panem, she becomes aware of signs of rebellion and unrest. President Snow, played by Donald Sutherland, forges ahead with plans to hold a 75th Hunger Games and solidify his control of the country.

See the trailer at

Underwood, Paisley return to host CMA Awards on Nov. 6

Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley will return as hosts of "The 47th Annual CMA Awards," according to ABC.

The popular country music superstars will be back for the sixth consecutive time when the show airs Nov. 6. They made the announcement during their appearance on "CMA Music Festival: Country's Night to Rock."

"Carrie and Brad are the consummate hosts," Ed Hardy, president of the CMA board of directors, said Monday. "They have the respect of our industry, artistic credibility, critical acclaim and a quick-witted, genuine rapport that makes them popular with our audience and the viewers at home. We are delighted to have them back as hosts for the sixth year."

Oklahoma's Underwood has earned five Country Music Association awards, numerous other major awards and has been nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year every year since winning in 2006.

Paisley has won 14 CMA awards, putting him at No. 5 on the list of all-time top winners.

The CMA Awards nominees and winners are determined by more than 7,000 industry professional members of CMA, which was the first trade organization formed to promote an individual genre of music in 1958.

Underwood, a native of Checotah, kicked off the festival special with her cover of Guns N' Roses' "Paradise City."

See the video at

Michelle Obama and friends to release fitness hip-hop album

First lady Michelle Obama and friends have put together a hip-hop album to promote her get-healthy "Let's Move" campaign.

The album, which features a playlist of songs targeted at kids, set to a great beat and with health-related song titles like "Veggie Luv" and "U R What You Eat," reports.

It also features appearances by Dr. Oz, Ashanti and Run DMC, who helped put together 19 tracks and 10 music videos to help fight childhood obesity. The album is a follow-up to Obama's collaboration with Beyonce in 2011 on a "Move Your Body" workout song and routine as part of her campaign.

The album, being released Sept. 30, is titled "Songs for a Healthier America."

Here's the playlist:

1. "U R What You Eat" (Salad Bar, Matisyahu, Ariana Grande, Travis Barker)

2. "Everybody" (Jordin Sparks, Doug E. Fresh, Dr. Oz, Ryan Beatty, Hip Hop MD)

3. "Let's Move" (Doug E. Fresh, Artie Green, Chauncey Hawkins)

4. "Just Believe" (Ashanti, Gerry Gunn, Artie Green, Robbie Nova)

5. "Veggie Luv" (Monifah and J Rome)

6. "Hip Hop FEET" (Monifah and J Rome)

7. "Stronger" (Shayna Steele, Jeremy Jordan, Our Time Theater kids, and E-Street Band guitarist Nils Lofgren)

8. "Give Myself a Try" (Ryan Beatty)

9. "Jump Up" (Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could)

10. "Hip Hop LEAN" (Artie Green)

11. "Pass the Rock" (Iman Schumpert and Artie Green)

12. "Good Living" (Ashton Jones)

13. "Beautiful" (Ashton Jones)

14. "Change the Game" (Paul Burch)

15. "Wanna Jump (Let's Move)" (Amelia Robinson)

16. "Mother May I" (Ashton Jones)

17. "We Like Vegetables" (Los Barkers!)

18. "Get Up Sit Up" (Los Barkers!)

19. "One Step Forward" (Samite)

Watch Jordin Sparks in the music video at

'Downton Abbey': What happens to Lady Mary now?

Gareth Neame, executive producer of the hit British drama "Downton Abbey," is talking about the new season starting in September in England and Jan. 5 on PBS in the United States, reports.

Neame and actors Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael, Phyllis Logan, Joanne Froggatt and Sophie McShera were interviewed at the recent Television Critics Association tour in Los Angeles.

In an update: The series will pick up in February 1922, six months after the death of Matthew Crawley, the heir to Downton Abbey, in a car crash on his way home from visiting his wife and newborn son in the hospital.

The "spine" of the season will be what happens to his widow, Lady Mary Crawley (Dockery), Neame told the website.

It's a "heavy situation to kick off with," he said, but the whole season won't be about grief. What happens during the season will be "dramatic, comedic and romantic."

While the audience mourns the death of golden boy Matthew (Dan Stevens), Neame told that he and "Downton" creator Julian Fellowes have come up with a way to make the death benefit the series.

"We have always said that while it was clear we didn't want to lose Dan, we weren't able to persuade him (to stay), and so we rethought the whole thing. It was positive for the story."

One plus, he explained was not having that "Moonlighting" question of will they or won't they ever get together, stay together or whatever. That's "off the menu," he said.

"The heart of the drama has not changed," he said.

The show will also be adding several new actors playing potential suitors for Mary. They include Gary Carr as jazz singer, and the show's first black character, Jack Ross; Tom Cullen as family friend Lord Gillingham; and Julian Ovenden as aristocrat Charles Blake.

Also new to the cast will be Nigel Harman, Harriet Walter, Joanna David, Kiri Te Kanawa and Paul Giamatti.

From the blogs


World Scene Writer Rita Sherrow


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