- - Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Directors Nolan, Favreau against premium VOD service

Christopher Nolan and Jon Favreau are among the latest posse of directors opposing a new premium video-on-demand (VOD) service backed by Warner Bros., Universal, 20th Century Fox and Sony, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The “Inception” and “Iron Man” directors are joined by Quentin Tarantino, M. Night Shyamalan and David Dobkin, along with “The Hurt Locker” scribe Mark Boal and producer Jim Cardwell, formerly president of Warner Home Video.

Together, they’ve added their signatures to an open letter prepared in April by the National Association of Theatre Owners that slams DirecTV’s Home Premiere premium VOD offering, which allows customers to order a movie at home for $29.95 two months after its theatrical release.

As the Hollywood Reporter previously reported, James Cameron topped the list of original signatories to the letter, which argues that shortening films’ theatrical window is a detriment to the moviegoing experience.

So far, neither DirecTV nor the four studios will say how the service is doing, but there is persistent buzz that it has fallen flat among consumers. The latest movies offered include Warners’ “Sucker Punch,” Fox’s “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules” and Sony’s “Battle: Los Angeles.”

Witherspoon to receive MTV Generation Award

Reese Witherspoon better make some room on her trophy shelf.

MTV says Ms. Witherspoon will receive its Generation Award at Sunday’s MTV Movie Awards, according to the Associated Press.

The 35-year-old Oscar winner is being recognized for her range as an actress and for delighting the MTV audience throughout her career. MTV President Stephen K. Friedman called Ms. Witherspoon “one of the most versatile and accomplished performers of her time.”

“Saturday Night Live” star Jason Sudeikis will host Sunday’s ceremony at the Gibson Amphitheater, where Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Steve Carell, Shia LaBeouf, Patrick Dempsey, Cameron Diaz, Selena Gomez and Nicki Minaj are among those set to present the prizes.

Fans voted online for the winners in categories such as best kiss, best villain and best line from a movie. MTV chose Ms. Witherspoon, who joins previous Generation Award winners Sandra Bullock, Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler, Mike Myers, Tom Cruise and Jim Carrey.

Snooki loses license after Italy fender-bender

Italian police say they have revoked the international driver’s license of Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi after the “Jersey Shore” star was in a fender-bender with a police car.

Florence road safety coordinator Mario Rondinelli told the Associated Press on Wednesday that two policemen were slightly injured but not hospitalized after the minor traffic accident Monday.

The police car was escorting the “Jersey Shore” vehicle. Mr. Rondinelli says no alcohol was involved. He said Snooki’s international license was revoked because there were injured parties involved. By law, she must wait at least 15 days to get it back.

The popular MTV reality show is filming its fourth season in Florence.

Armstrong attorneys want ‘60 Minutes’ apology

Attorneys for Lance Armstrong have demanded an on-air apology from “60 Minutes” after the head of Switzerland’s anti-doping laboratory denied allegations the seven-time Tour de France winner tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs at the 2001 Tour de Suisse, according to the Associated Press.

In a letter sent Wednesday to CBS News Chairman and “60 Minutes” executive producer Jeff Fager, lawyer Elliot Peters said the May 22 segment about Mr. Armstrong was built on a series of falsehoods, and he accused the CBS show of sloppy journalism.

“In the cold light of morning your story was either extraordinarily shoddy, to the point of being reckless and unprofessional, or a vicious hit-and-run job,” Mr. Peters wrote. “In either case, a categorical on-air apology is required.”

CBS News spokesman Kevin Tedesco said Wednesday he couldn’t immediately comment on the letter, but said: “We consider this the most thorough investigation into doping in the sport of cycling ever done.”

Former teammate Tyler Hamilton alleged in the piece that Mr. Armstrong talked about using the banned blood-booster EPO to prepare for his third Tour de France in 2001 and cycling’s governing body, the International Cycling Union, helped him hide a positive test at the Swiss event.

Last week, the head of Switzerland’s anti-doping laboratory, Martial Saugy, denied allegations that Mr. Armstrong tested positive for performing-enhancing drugs during the 2001 Tour de Suisse.

Mr. Armstrong has repeatedly denied doping and has never tested positive.

‘Grey’s‘ McDreamy may hang up his scrubs

Is Dr. McDreamy checking out of Seattle Grace?

According to the Hollywood Reporter, “Grey’s Anatomy” star Patrick Dempsey told Italian Vogue that the show’s upcoming eighth season is “gonna be my last.”

“I do not know what’s going to happen to the other characters, but for me it’s done,” the actor added.

The decision is “bittersweet because it’s been a great part of my life. But I can’t see me doing it anymore,” Mr. Dempsey said of the ABC hit.

His rep downplayed his statements, telling UsMagazine.com, “He was referring to the fact that his contract is up at the end of next season and we have no idea what the future holds.”

Co-star (and TV wife) Ellen Pompeo is also rumored to be eyeing an exit to the show. Her contract is up at the same time. Creator Shonda Rhimes has said the show will continue to adapt if big stars leave.

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