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Tuning in to TV

- - Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Oscar hosting pressure already building for Murphy

With four months to go until the Academy Awards, Eddie Murphy already is feeling the pressure about hosting the ceremony.

At the premiere of his new comedy film, "Tower Heist," he said he's "excited" about the job but "hoping not to drop the ball," the Associated Press reports.

The film's director, Brett Ratner, is also producing the Academy Awards and approached Mr. Murphy with the idea of hosting.

On the comic's to-do list between now and then is to watch some movies.

"What's the front-runner? Who knows?" he asked on the red carpet.

Mr. Murphy was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 2007 for his performance in "Dreamgirls," but lost to Alan Arkin.

The 84th Annual Academy Awards are Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012.

Grammy nominations special to feature Gaga, Jason Aldean

Lady Gaga and Jason Aldean - possible contenders for next year's Grammy Awards - are set to perform during the annual nominations special next month.

According to the Associated Press, LL Cool J will again host the show, to air live on CBS on Nov. 30. A handful of the 78 categories will be announced at the event, to be held at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. The Recording Academy earlier this year reduced the number of categories, which had totaled 109.

The Grammys will be held Feb. 12 in Los Angeles and will air live on CBS.

'Seinfeld's' Jason Alexander: Humor key to Mideast peace

Former "Seinfeld" actor Jason Alexander said he isn't kidding around when it comes to promoting Mideast peace.

According to the Associated Press, Mr. Alexander, who played George Costanza in the legendary sitcom for a decade, was asked by Israeli President Shimon Peres in a meeting on Tuesday for advice on how to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Mr. Alexander said, that through comedy and humor, he hopes to help advance the idea of two states for two people.

Mr. Peres playfully asked the actor if he could call him "George." Mr. Alexander laughed, and pointing to a crowd of reporters, said: "You can. Not them."

He met with Mr. Peres during a visit to the Holy Land with a delegation from OneVoice, an international grass-roots group working with mainstream Israelis and Palestinians to encourage peace.

Tensions run high in 'Dancing' ballroom

The latest episode of "Dancing With the Stars" included insults, an animal comparison and two nearly perfect performances.

A heated exchange between professional dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy and head judge Len Goodman stole the spotlight from first-place finishers Ricki Lake and J.R. Martinez.

Mr. Chmerkovskiy and his partner, soccer star Hope Solo, landed near the bottom of the judges' leaderboard Monday. With 20 points out of 30, they finished just ahead of Chaz Bono, in last place with 19 points.

One of the seven remaining celebrities was to be dismissed during Tuesday's episode.

When Mr. Goodman called Miss Solo's rumba "your worst dance of the whole season," Mr. Chmerkovskiy suggested the judge get out of the dance business.

Mr. Chmerkovskiy told one of the show's hosts that the judges seem to pick on certain contestants, and he kept up the conversation after Monday's live episode.

"The judges have their favorites," he said. "They always have."

Mr. Bono's professional partner, Lacey Schwimmer, agreed.

"They always have their favorites, and this season it's completely clear who they are. I won't name names, but we are not one of them," she said. "I'm actually proud of what Maks said. A lot of us don't get the chance to stand up for us and our partners."

Miss Schwimmer cried backstage during Monday's episode and was still upset after the show, when she complained about the judges' "rude" remarks about Mr. Bono.

"Every week he gets referred to as an animal," she said. "They always comment on his personality, and last I checked, this was a dancing show."

After the couple danced their tango, judge Bruno Tonioli said Mr. Bono was like "a cute little penguin trying to be a big menacing bird of prey."

PBS' Charlie Rose in talks for CBS' 'Early Show'

PBS late-night interviewer Charlie Rose may soon be a morning person, the Associated Press reports.

Mr. Rose acknowledged in an interview with Newsweek on Monday that he's talked with CBS News about being a host on "The Early Show," the two-hour competitor to NBC's "Today" show and "Good Morning America" on ABC.

Mr. Rose said he's intrigued that CBS wants to do its show differently, that it realizes success lies in not imitating competitors. "The Early Show" has taken a serious turn lately, emphasizing more political and international news.

CBS News declined to comment on speculation about changes to its morning show.

Netflix stock tumbles as subscribers flee service

Netflix shares tanked Tuesday, losing more than a third of their value, after the video service revealed it continued to lose subscribers amid a backlash against a new pricing scheme.

Netflix shares were down 35 percent to $77.29 at noon on the Nasdaq stock exchange in New York.

The sell-off came after Netflix, which has seen a spate of management bungles in recent months, said late Monday it had lost 810,000 US subscribers in the third quarter, leaving it with 23.8 million subscribers.

Netflix said net profit rose 65 percent to $62 million in the third quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago while revenue was up 49 percent to $822 million.

While revenue and earnings per share came in better than expected by Wall Street analysts it was the loss of subscribers that sent Netflix shares tumbling. Netflix shares hit a high of $304.79 on July 13.

• Compiled from web and wire reports.