March 27, 2013

People & Entertainment: A Hopper could fetch $20 million

NEW YORK - An Edward Hopper painting of New York City's Roosevelt Island is coming to auction, where it's estimated to sell for up to $20 million.

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This image provided by Christie’s auction house shows the painting “Blackwell’s Island” by Edward Hopper. The 1928 work is expected to sell for up to $20 million.

AP/Christie’s

Psych - Season 7
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Dule Hill, left, and James Roday appear in a scene from the 100th episode of “Psych,” airing Wednesday on USA. The network plans to let viewers choose the ending of the episode.

AP/USA Network

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"Blackwell's Island" will be offered May 23 at Christie's. The large-scale oil has never come to auction before.

The 1928 painting has been exhibited in major museums including New York's Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. It was recently included in the first major retrospective of Hopper's work at the Grand Palais in Paris.

It depicts the island from across the river against a dark silhouette of buildings. The island was renamed for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1971.

Christie's identified the seller as a private American collector.

The current Hopper record is $26.9 million for "Hotel Window."

Viewers to pick ending of 100th episode of 'Psych'

NEW YORK - In the NBC Universal control room, technician Antonella Caruso counted down as if she were anticipating a rocket liftoff: "Nine, eight, seven, six ..."

It was a dress rehearsal for USA's plan to let viewers of "Psych" choose the ending of Wednesday's episode, celebrating the drama's 100th episode and culminating the network's two-year experiment at an exclusively fan-centered approach at marketing.

In the episode, Shawn (actor James Roday) and Gus (Dule Hill) try to solve a murder at a party hosted by an old rock star in a California mansion. There are five suspects: the groupie, the manager, the author, the host and, of course, the butler. During the show, the suspects are narrowed down to three and viewers are asked to vote on social media who they thought committed the crime. Three endings were filmed, each lasting three minutes, and the top vote-getter will be used.

The episode salutes the 1985 film "Clue" and features that film's actors Christopher Lloyd, Lesley Ann Warren and Martin Mull, along with guest shots from Garrett Morris and Curt Smith of Tears For Fears.

Depending on where you live, you could see a different ending. USA is conducting separate votes for the East and West coast airings of the show.

 

 

 

They estimate tabulating 190,000 to 250,000 votes.

Viewer-selected endings aren't necessarily unique (CBS' "Hawaii Five-0" did one this year), but here fans will be updated a handful of times during the show on how the vote is going. That's where Caruso's practice came in; she was counting down to an insert of a vote tally.

"Psych" is in its seventh season, a point at which most shows are considered "mature" and are losing viewers, but it does have a relatively young, devoted audience and is USA's third most-popular original show behind "Burn Notice" and "Suits." Instead of running general advertisements encouraging viewership when its sixth season started last year, USA sought to engage fans through social media and activities, said Alexandra Shapiro, USA's executive vice president of marketing and digital.

"It's great to be loved," Shapiro said. "But you have to love back."

USA set up online games for "Psych" fans to play, with real and virtual prizes. Particularly high-scoring fans even become part of the game. There was a fan appreciation day, with some invited to meet the cast. USA encouraged social media interaction with stars and others involved with the show. A "slumber party" of viewer-chosen shows that aired from midnight to 6 a.m. on a Saturday in February resulted in some 157,000 mentions on Twitter.

One goal is to make live viewing of new episodes an event, Shapiro said. DVR viewing is fine, but networks still reliably make more money when there is a strong audience for original airings.

So far, so good. The February debut of the seventh season saw stronger ratings than the sixth season opener in 2012, with a 22 percent increase in the desirable young audience of viewers aged 18-to-34, the Nielsen company said.

Dionne Warwick files for bankruptcy

NEWARK, N.J. - Singer Dionne Warwick owes nearly $10 million in back taxes and has filed for bankruptcy.

In a Chapter 7 petition filed this month in New Jersey, Warwick lists liabilities that include nearly $7 million owed to the Internal Revenue Service for the years 1991 to 1999 and more than $3 million in business taxes owed to the state of California. Warwick lists her current address in South Orange.

The singer of classics such as "Walk On By," "I Say a Little Prayer" and "Do You Know the Way to San Jose" also lists about $21,000 in monthly income and about the same amount in monthly expenses.

Warwick's publicist says the singer has paid back the actual amount of the taxes but that penalties and interest have accumulated over the years.

 

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Dionne Warwick
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Dionne Warwick

AP

  


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