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    The Directors Guild of America is changing the eligibility rule for its top award in favor of theatrical releases over streaming. The DGA says Wednesday that the board voted unanimously on Saturday to require that films premiere in theaters first before becoming available on any other platform. This rule change will take effect for the upcoming DGA awards cycle. All of its previous feature film nominees would still qualify under the new rule, including last year's winner 'Roma,' which was a Netflix movie that debuted in theaters before being made available to streaming subscribers. Some Netflix films, however, are released in theaters and on the service simultaneously. It's known in the industry as a 'day and date' release. 'A first-run theatrical release is a distinctive element of our feature film award,' said DGA President Thomas Schlamme in a statement. 'We celebrate the important role that theatrical cinema has played in bringing together audiences as they collectively experience films as the filmmakers intended them to be viewed.' The award has also been renamed: It is now called Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Theatrical Feature Film. Notably, the new rule will not affect the first-time feature film award category. The change comes amid a broader industry-wide debate over the awards eligibility of streaming releases versus theatrical releases. Companies like Netflix and Amazon will often debut their awards hopefuls in theaters anyway in order to qualify for the Academy Awards. The film academy voted this year to maintain its rule that a film must have a 'minimum seven-day theatrical run in a Los Angeles County commercial theater, with at least three screenings per day for paid admission' to be eligible. Technically the film academy does allow for 'day and date' releases to be nominated as long as the aforementioned requirements are fulfilled too. Film academy President John Bailey said previously that although they are still requiring theatrical exhibition, further study and discussion with its members are planned. The DGA also said it will continue to review eligibility requirements and 'may make further adjustments as the industry continues to develop.
  • Prosecutors have turned over to R. Kelly's attorneys a tape they say shows the singer having sex with a minor girl two decades ago. The judge in the case said he hopes that at least one of the four cases against Kelly will go to trial early next year. Cook County Judge Lawrence Flood asked prosecutors during a Wednesday hearing to decide which of four indictments they want to proceed with first. A 2020 trial would stand in contrast to what happened in the same courthouse when Kelly's 2008 child pornography trail didn't begin until six years after he was charged. He was acquitted on all charges. Kelly faces sex-related charges involving four women, three of whom were minors when the alleged abuse occurred. He has pleaded not guilty.
  • Prosecutors say the man suspected of stealing a statue of Marilyn Monroe from atop a Hollywood public art installation is the same person who smashed President Trump's Walk of Fame star with a pickax last year. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office says 25-year-old Austin Mikel Clay pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to felony grand theft and vandalism. He could face 3 years in jail if convicted on all charges. The Monroe statue depicts the actress in an iconic pose from the 1955 film 'The Seven Year Itch' and went missing June 16. Clay pleaded no contest to a felony vandalism charge for smashing Trump's star last summer. He was sentenced to three years' probation and ordered to pay damages to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce in that case.
  • Beth Chapman, who co-starred with her husband on the 'Dog the Bounty Hunter' reality TV show and later spoke out against some bail reform measures as leader of a national bail agents' organization, has died. Chapman died early Wednesday at Queen's Medical Center after an almost 2-year battle with cancer, Mona Wood-Sword, a family spokeswoman, said in a statement. She was 51. Chapman was diagnosed with throat cancer in September 2017 after getting a nagging cough checked out. A tumor was removed, and she was declared cancer-free. But in November 2018, she was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. 'This is the time she would wake up to go hike Koko Head mountain,' her husband, Duane 'Dog' Chapman, posted on Twitter early Wednesday. 'Only today, she hiked the stairway to heaven. We all love you, Beth. See you on the other side.' On Friday, Chapman had difficulty breathing and passed out momentarily, Wood-Sword said. She was taken to a hospital, and doctors put her in a medically induced coma to spare her pain while treating her, the spokeswoman said. Born Alice Elizabeth Smith in Denver, Chapman had lived in Honolulu since 1989. In 2006, she and Duane Chapman, the self-proclaimed world's best bounty hunter, married during a sunset ceremony at a Big Island resort after being together for 16 years. 'I've already been cuffed and shackled by Beth anyway,' he told The Associated Press at the time. The wedding took place a day after the death of Duane Chapman's 23-year-old daughter, Barbara Katy Chapman, who was killed in a car accident near her home in Fairbanks, Alaska, Wood-Sword recalled. The couple decided to go forward with the wedding to celebrate her life. The wedding was featured in an episode of the A&E series 'Dog the Bounty Hunter,' which followed the duo's exploits in apprehending people who have avoided arrest warrants. The couple met when he posted her bond for a shoplifting arrest, she told Rosie O'Donnell on 'The Rosie Show.' 'He came walking out there, I said: 'Oh yes he will be mine,' ' Chapman said. There are 12 children between the couple. They had 15 grand-children and one great-grandchild, Wood-Sword said. In 2007, Hawaii lawmakers honored the couple for their work capturing criminals. 'It's kind of extraordinary to be called a crime fighter,' she said at the time. 'I'll have to go home and get my Wonder Woman outfit.' Duane Chapman gained fame after he nabbed serial rapist and Max Factor heir Andrew Luster in Mexico in 2003. 'Dog the Bounty Hunter' was canceled in 2012. The show was pulled in 2007 following a racial outburst by Duane Chapman and then returned to the air in 2008. He was heard in a taped phone conversation using a racial slur in reference to his son's black girlfriend. He apologized and said he received counseling. Beth Chapman said the comments are not a reflection of the family's feelings. 'We're Chapmans, and we're fighters,' she said. 'And brother, we're not going to settle in our setbacks. We're going to have a comeback.' They later starred in Country Music Television's 'Dog & Beth: On the Hunt.' WGN America is in production on 'Dog's Most Wanted.' A trailer for the show was released earlier this month. 'She was an exceptional woman, fiercely loyal and passionate about her family and she was a true joy to work with,' the network said in a statement. 'We do not have any further information on the series at this time but will certainly keep you posted.' Chapman was elected president of the Professional Bail Agents of the United States and opposed some bail reform measures nationwide. She opposed eliminating the cash bail system, saying it would put the public at risk. 'People are not in jail because they are poor,' she said in 2017. 'They're in jail because they broke the law.' She boasted of being the youngest ever to receive a bail license in Colorado at 29. That record was beat by her stepdaughter Lyssa Chapman daughter who became licensed at age 19, she said. Funeral services are expected to be held in Honolulu and Colorado, Wood-Sword said. __ This version corrects that the couple wed a day after the death of Duane Chapman's daughter.
  • The Dixie Chicks took the long way around, but they're returning with new music soon after a 13-year hiatus. The award-winning group's lead singer, Natalie Maines, took to Instagram recently to tease a new album. Using a baby filter, Maines exclaims 'Dixie Chicks!' Bandmates Emily Robison and Martie Maguire then say 'Album' and 'Coming.' Their producer, Jack Antonoff, says 'Someday.' Their representative has not responded to an email seeking comment on the upcoming album. The Dixie Chicks' last album in 2006, 'Taking the Long Way,' won the Grammy award for Album of the Year. The group received both support and severe backlash in 2003 after Maines told a London audience that they were ashamed President George W. Bush was from Texas.
  • Netflix is losing its most popular TV show, 'The Office,' in a sign of things to come as more TV and movie makers start their own streaming services and take back their offerings. In a tweet Tuesday, Netflix said it was 'sad' that NBC will no longer license 'The Office' to Netflix, but added that Netflix will still have it for the next year and a half. NBCUniversal's streaming service is due to start in 2020. Starting in January 2021, the yet-unnamed NBC service will be the exclusive home in the U.S. of all nine seasons of the sitcom, which follows the hapless employees of the Dunder Mifflin paper company. Although Netflix has been emphasizing original shows and movies, previously televised shows such as 'The Office' are still popular, especially as people abandon traditional pay TV providers like cable and rely on streaming for such shows. 'The Office' was the most viewed show on Netflix in 2018, streamed for over 52 billion minutes, according to Nielsen. That equates to nearly 15 hours for each of Netflix's 58.5 million U.S. subscribers. 'Friends' was No. 2 and 'Greys Anatomy' was No. 3. Producers of such shows have been happy for the extra revenue they get for licensing shows to Netflix and similar services. But those partners are morphing into competitors as content makers like NBCUniversal , Disney and WarnerMediacreate their own services to vie for Netflix's viewers. Apple is also building its own streaming service with original shows from Oprah and Steven Spielberg. These content companies are hoping to build viable streaming businesses — though it's not clear how much revenue they'll get from them at first. For that reason, these companies have to weigh whether it's worth losing revenue from the likes of Netflix in the short run. Disney, which is launching its own service by the end of the year, has told investors that it expects a $150 million operating loss for the fiscal year ending in September because of the forgone licensing revenue. And WarnerMedia reportedly got $100 million for Netflix to license 'Friends' for 2019 alone, money it will lose if it takes the show back for its service as expected. Owners of TV shows and movies typically license their videos to third-party services for a certain amount of time. Netflix's licensing deal for 'The Office' is set to expire in 2020. NBCUniversal bought the rights back to use on its own service beginning in January 2021. NBCUniversal did not disclose financial terms, though published reports say NBCUniversal bid $100 million per year for five years to keep the show in-house, more than what Netflix and others were offering. It's an internal bid in which the streaming business will acquire the rights from another division, the Universal studio. Experts say the new services, except perhaps Disney's, are not likely to draw the numbers that Netflix has spent years building, as consumers suffer streaming fatigue. Netflix has 139 million paid subscribers worldwide. The shift will be pricey for customers, too. Those who already pay $13 a month for Netflix or $6 for Hulu for their most popular plans might be wary about shelling out for other monthly services. Loup Ventures analyst Gene Munster said he believes there will be an increase of people experimenting, trying out a service for a month or two and then canceling. Eventually 'people may simply have three or four offerings they pay $10 a month for,' he said. 'We may get there over time, but over the next one or two years people are going to be more finicky.' Ultimately, the services that win will be the services that invest the most in original content — or buying back their own, said Brian Wieser, global president of business intelligence at GroupM. 'It is just a function how much investment everyone is willing to make,' he said. 'The buy in for being meaningful is $5 billion, and that's just the buy in.' Netflix, for example, spent $12 billion on content in 2018, although that includes original and non-original programming. Netflix has said it isn't worried about the increased competition. CEO Reed Hastings said he welcomes the new services and doesn't believe they will have a material effect on the company's earnings. 'There's a ton of competition out there, and Disney and Apple add a little bit more,' Hastings said during a recent call to discuss the company's financial reports. 'But frankly, I doubt it will be material, because again, there's already so many competitors for entertainment time, which is great for consumers and it's exciting for us.
  • Comedian and actor Sebastian Maniscalco will host MTV's 2019 Video Music Awards. He'll be joined at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, on Aug. 26 by some of the industry's biggest stars as they celebrate the year's music videos. Executive producer Bruce Gillmer says Maniscalco's 'comedic spin on relatable topics will make this year's show truly unforgettable.' Maniscalco is currently on his North American 'You Bother Me' tour. The 45-year-old was the 2018 Billboard 'Comedian of the Year' and made his feature film debut last year in the Oscar-winning 'Green Book.' He'll next be seen on Netflix in Martin Scorsese's 'The Irishman,' with Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci.
  • Britain's Prince William says it would be 'absolutely fine' if one of his children came out as gay though he'd worry about how the public would respond. William made the comment on Wednesday while visiting a London nonprofit group that works with young LGBT people who are homeless or living in hostile environments. A participant in a group discussion at the Albert Kennedy Trust asked him, 'If your child one day in the future said, 'Oh I'm gay, oh I'm lesbian' whatever, how would you react?' William replied that would be 'obviously absolutely fine by me.' The father of three said: 'It worries me not because of them being gay. It worries me as to how everyone else will react and perceive it, and then the pressure is then on them.
  • Singer Sheryl Crow says the original tapes of albums such as 'Tuesday Night Music Club' and the track 'All I Wanna Do' perished in a 2008 fire at Universal Music Group. Crow told the BBC Wednesday that her master tapes and back-ups were destroyed in the blaze and that she only discovered the loss after a New York Times report revealed the extent of the damage. Crow says the fire 'feels a little apocalyptic' and that she didn't 'understand the cover-up.' A group of artists, including Soundgarden and estates representing Tupac Shakur and Tom Petty, have sued. The artists allege that Universal failed to protect music ruined in the fire and inform them of the extent of its impact. Universal did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
  • A judge rejected Cuba Gooding Jr.'s bid to throw out his New York City groping case so he can continue working, saying Wednesday that she needed time to review written arguments and didn't want to make a rash decision. Judge Keisha Espinal said she wouldn't rule on the actor's request to dismiss the misdemeanor case until Aug. 14, dashing his and his lawyers' hopes of swiftly scotching 2-week-old charges that he grabbed a woman's breast at a Manhattan bar, which he denies. The Oscar-winning 'Jerry Maguire' star's upcoming film projects could be in jeopardy if the case drags on and he has to shuttle between his Hollywood home and a Manhattan courthouse for hearings and a trial, defense lawyer Mark Heller argued. 'Mr. Gooding's life is put on hold. It's on a pause button,' Heller told Espinal during the 10-minute hearing. 'It's urgent that this matter be dismissed as quickly as possible.' Swarmed by cameras outside the courthouse, Gooding smiled and nodded when asked whether he thought the case would ultimately be dismissed. He did not comment on the proceedings. Espinal ordered him to return for the August hearing. As Gooding waited for his ride, a passerby yelled out a remix of his most famous movie line, shouting: 'Show us the money, Cuba!' Gooding, 51, is accused of placing his hand on a 29-year-old woman's breast and squeezing it without her consent at Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge near Times Square on June 9. The woman told police she believed Gooding was intoxicated. Gooding was arrested four days later after turning himself in to police. He pleaded not guilty to forcible touching and sexual abuse charges at a night arraignment and was released on his own recognizance after about six hours in police custody. He faces up to a year in jail if convicted. Gooding entered the courtroom Wednesday in dark sunglasses and a charcoal suit and stood between his lawyers in front of Espinal's bench for the brief hearing. Assistant District Attorney Jenna Long provided Espinal with a with a two-paragraph deposition in which the accuser affirmed the truth of the details in Gooding's criminal complaint. The judge gave prosecutors until July 17 to file a written response to the defense's dismissal motion. The defense provided Espinal with a copy of security video from the bar the night of the alleged episode — footage he contends will exonerate Gooding. A former New York City police sex crimes detective whom Heller hired to analyze the video concluded it does not show Gooding putting his hand on the accuser's breast. The footage, which was obtained and published by TMZ the day of Gooding's arrest, shows the star putting his hand on or near a woman's leg and breast as they sit on a couch with his girlfriend between them. Gooding is then seen pulling the woman's hand to his lips, as if to kiss it, and leaning toward her before another man steps up and talks with them. In his motion, Heller also took aim at the accuser's credibility, saying blog posts she has written portray a woman with a 'troubled mentality.' Heller contends the woman, who has not been identified by prosecutors, wanted revenge after feeling rejected and rebuffed by Gooding and his girlfriend, who asked her to leave them alone after spotting her following them around. 'There are compelling reasons that are screaming out for the dismissal of this case at the earliest stage possible,' Heller told Espinal. __ Follow Sisak at twitter.com/mikesisak