You are currently viewing the printable version of this article, to return to the normal page, please click here.

Tuning in to TV: BET’s 2013 honorees include Berry, Chaka Khan

- - Sunday, December 23, 2012

Actress Halle Berry and musician Chaka Khan will be honored at the 2013 BET Honors.

The network announced Thursday that basketball star Lisa Leslie, music executive Clarence Avant and religious leader T.D. Jakes also will be celebrated at the Jan. 12 event in the District at the Warner Theatre. The special will air Feb. 11.

BET Honors highlights blacks performing at top levels in the areas of music, literature, entertainment, education and more.

Maya Angelou was among the honorees at this year's BET Honors. First lady Michelle Obama made the presentation to her.

Actress Gabrielle Union will host the special. Performers will be announced at a later date.

Nintendo's TVii service integrates game console, TV

Nintendo is switching on a television service that transforms the tablet-like controller for its new Wii U game console into a remote that changes the channel on your TV and puts programs from the Internet just a few finger taps away.

The TVii service was to debut in the U.S. and Canada on Thursday. That's a delay from previous plans to have the service available when the game console went on sale in North America on Nov. 18. The TVii service launched in Japan on Dec. 8.

The aim of TVii is to bring order to the hundreds of channels on regular TV and the thousands of shows and movies available through apps from Netflix Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Hulu Plus and Google Inc.'s YouTube.

It's the first time a video game console maker has integrated live TV controls in a device.

Nintendo Co.'s Wii U console has a unique controller — the GamePad — which is covered with joysticks and buttons and boasts a front-facing camera and 6.2-inch touch screen. The GamePad also houses an infrared emitter that "talks" directly to your TV or set-top box.

TVii scans what's available and offers you the option of watching a show, sports event or movie on live TV or through apps that connect to the Internet. By the end of March, Nintendo said, it will integrate TVii with TiVo so that it will be possible to program a TiVo digital video recorder through the game console as well.

If you search for "The Walking Dead," for example, TVii will show you the next time it's on AMC and give you the option of buying previous episodes from Amazon or watching them on Netflix. If the show is currently on, you can change the channel from the GamePad. Users will be able to watch only channels they already get via antenna or through their TV provider, but search results will include all the options available, which could entice some people to upgrade their channel packages. TVii itself is free.

TVii also has a traditional channel guide and will recommend shows you might like based on favorite shows, networks and movies that you enter. Different users can have different profiles, and parental controls are included.

Zac Posen to replace Kors as 'Project Runway' judge

Zac Posen is in on "Project Runway" — he'll be the new featured judge, filling the chair Michael Kors sat in for the show's first 10 seasons.

"This was an amazing opportunity," Mr. Posen told The Associated Press. "I hope I'm here to give a new perspective to the designers."

Mr. Kors isn't "out" — as host Heidi Klum likes to say to the fashion-design contestants who get the boot on the granddaddy of fashion reality TV shows. His schedule didn't allow a commitment, but he will come back as a guest judge for the season finale, according to a statement for Lifetime TV.

Mr. Posen said he learned from Mr. Kors. "When I was a guest judge, I saw he was always a generous, warm mentor."

Mr. Posen's best skill to offer the contestants is his sharp eye, he said. Craft and construction are among his passions, he explained, so nothing gets past him there.

It's Miss Klum's role in the new lineup to bring the voice of the woman who might be the eventual customer. Nina Garcia, the fashion director at Marie Claire, has her editorial eye, and Mr. Posen analyzes the specifics of the design, he said.

Mr. Posen, however, also sounded a little jealous of Tim Gunn, who has the part of trusted adviser. "I wanted to be behind the scenes with Tim. ... I was seeing the clothes on the runway, but Tim had all the background interaction."

The silver lining? Mr. Posen said he'll appreciate a little more what the stylists, editors and retailers are looking for as they sit in the front row for his own catwalk shows, which last season drew much attention for a model lineup that included Naomi Campbell, Coco Rocha and Karolina Kurkova — a threesome getting their own TV reality show this winter called "The Face" on the Oxygen network.

Another twist to the revamped "Project Runway," in which the winner gets $100,000 to start their own brand, is that the contestants compete as teams instead of individuals.

"You can imagine the designers' reactions when we first told them," Miss Klum, an executive producer on the Lifetime show, said, "but it resulted in some really interesting conflicts and partnerships. And that is how designers work in the real world — they do have to work on teams and manage teams — you get to understand their personalities more."

Mr. Posen said he aims to be a collaborative player and appreciates what everyone else at his company does, although he is the starting and stopping point of each look that bears his label.

He'll be at the studio solo next week over the holidays, sketching and draping fabric with the music "thumping": It's one of the most wonderful times of the year, he said.

The "Project Runway" season starts Jan. 24.

Compiled from Web and wire reports