- - Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A year ago, not many people had heard of Lena Dunham.

This year, in a sign of her stunningly swift path to major fame, the young creator and star of HBO’s “Girls” was one of the top draws of the weekend’s New Yorker Festival, the annual gathering where fans of the magazine flock to hear their favorite authors, actors, directors, artists and politicians interviewed, of course, by their favorite New Yorker writers.

Miss Dunham, 26, whose appearance sold out in the first 20 minutes after tickets went on sale this year, was interviewed by New Yorker TV critic Emily Nussbaum on Sunday, just as word of her seven-figure book deal was emerging, an essay collection to be published by Random House.

The actress also was nominated for multiple Emmys last month. She didn’t win, but she did get a hug from comedian Louis C.K. at the ceremony, and she revealed in an awe-struck voice Sunday that he had said to her, “What you are doing is important.”

“I dressed as you for Halloween,” she replied, according to Miss Dunham’s account. “You’re too much,” he shot back.

Astronaut Aldrin to appear on ‘The Big Bang Theory’

The second man to walk on the moon is stepping foot into CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory.”

Buzz Aldrin has booked a cameo on the comedy, CBS announced. Mr. Aldrin, who in 1969 was aboard the first manned lunar landing flight on Apollo 11, will appear in the Oct. 25 episode, “The Holographic Excitation,” when the gang celebrates Halloween, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Mr. Aldrin becomes the show’s second astronaut to guest-star, joining Mike Massimino, who plays himself and recurs as a member of Howard’s (Simon Helberg) shuttle crew.

The retired astronaut joins a long roster of guest stars to board the Chuck Lorre sitcom. Last season, the series welcomed Leonard Nimoy for a guest turn where he voiced a Spock action figure, as well as Stephen Hawking, who also played himself.

“Star Trek’s” LeVar Burton and Wil Wheaton will return to “Big Bang Theory” for the Nov. 8 episode. The show airs at 8 p.m. Thursdays.

Executive changes in store for NBC’s ‘Rock Center’

NBC News is replacing the top executive at Brian Williams’ “Rock Center” newsmagazine and is making a handful of other changes.

NBC said Tuesday that Rome Hartman, the show’s inaugural executive producer, will be replaced by Alex Wallace, the Associated Press reports.

Mr. Wallace is a senior vice president at NBC News and has been NBC News President Steve Capus’ chief deputy. In the short term, Mr. Hartman will work on elections coverage.

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