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ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
August 24

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS AUGUST 24th 2007 - TOP 3 stories for Friday

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'ANCHORWOMAN' SHOW DROPPED AFTER ONE EPISODE

Fox has dropped its "Anchorwoman." The unscripted skein bowed Wednesday night with an hourlong seg that averaged just a 1 rating and 3 share in the adult 18-49 demo, leading the net to hit the "off" switch after just one night. Fox, which was set to pair original episodes of "Anchorwoman" with repeats of "'Til Death" beginning Wednesday, will now air a full hour of the Brad Garrett laffer in the 8 p.m. timeslot until mid-September.

The remaining four episodes of "Anchorwoman" will be streamed on Fox's website, the net said.

"Anchorwoman" came from 20th Century Fox TV's alternative unit, Fox21, and producers the G Group. Created and exec produced by Brian Gadinsky, show followed former WWE diva Lauren Jones as she attempted to anchor the news for a small Texas TV station.

Upstart Tyler TV station KYTX is so low-rated that it jumped at the chance to bring aboard Jones - a pageant queen and ex-model who has no TV news experience whatsoever - to read the headlines. "Anchorwoman" focused on the fish-out-of-water story of Jones coming to town and taking a stab at TV news, while some of the station's real-life reporters cry foul.

KYTX owner Phil Hurley is waiting to see whether the attention heaped on the station via the addition of Jones paid off in the ratings.

"We're disappointed," said Hurley, who held a viewing party for staffers Wednesday. "We hadn't seen the show until Wednesday night, and laughed at everything that came up. We'll be just fine."

ANG LEE'S FILM GETS NC-17 RATING

The MPAA thinks Ang Lee's "Lust, Caution" has too much lust, and they're cautioning moviegoers by branding it with an NC-17 rating.

Distributor Focus Features says it won't edit Lee's follow-up to the Oscar-winning "Brokeback Mountain," or try to appeal the no-one-under-17-admitted rating, creating potential distribution problems for its new awards-season contender.

"Lust" follows a young Chinese woman in Japanese-occupied Shanghai during World War II who becomes the center of a plot to seduce and kill a married enemy collaborator. The trailer for the subtitled Chinese language film shows lead actors Tony Leung and Tang Wei in various states of writhing passion.

The Motion Picture Association of America ratings board cited the film's graphic sexuality for its decision. A Focus source said there were too many sex scenes violating the rating's board's unwritten rules (such as the number of allowable pelvic thrusts, for example) to make an appeal possible.

Sources who have seen the film say it contains at least three scenes, one a long montage, featuring multiple acts of aggressive sexual activity in different positions. There's no full-frontal male nudity (the source of some NC-17 rulings when shown in sex scenes), but male-on-female oral sex, non-S&M restraints and several non-traditional sexual positions are seen, conveying the anger and aggression of the main characters. When asked if anyone was shown, say, upside down, one viewer replied "it depends on where you're standing. They're very flexible."

DGA BANS SCREENERS

After a major ruckus last year, the Directors Guild of America has quietly reasserted its ban on studios sending screeners to guild members. A press release Thursday trumpeted the timetable for the guild's 60th annual awards. At the bottom of the release were two short paragraphs saying that screeners will not be allowed. The move comes after the DGA allowed, then rescinded, the mailing of titles in December 2006. The new decision also revokes its Dec. 20, 2006, vow that the guild would allow screeners this season.

"The DGA recognizes that this decision is different from what was stated last year," the press release said. But "closer examination" revealed a need for the ban to maintain a "level playing field" during the upcoming awards season.

During the zenith of awards season campaigning last year, the guild gave Paramount-DreamWorks permission to send out "Dreamgirls" screeners to the 13,400 DGA members - surprising competing studios and indies, who pointed out that the DGA had never allowed such a mailing to take place.

Campaigners asserted they had been firmly told in the past that screeners were forbidden. The DGA insisted at that point that no one had asked for permission previously and asserted its policy allowed for screeners to be sent to members - following notification of competing studios and indies.

But in the wake of protests by rival studios, the DGA rescinded its permission a week later on the "Dreamgirls" DVDs, even though thousands of the screeners were ready to ship. At that point, the guild apologized for the mixed signals and asserted that it would allow screeners during the next awards season.

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