Entertainment News Roundup: Jon Stewart to receive Mark Twain Prize for American Humor; NBCUniversal says coverage during Beijing Olympics to include 'geopolitical' issues and more
Microsoft Corp, a laggard in the generational console battle with Sony, took a major step to position itself for the "metaverse" - a proposed immersive experience where people game, shop and socialise online - with a $69 billion deal for "Call of Duty" developer Activision Blizzard. French actor Gaspard Ulliel dies at 37 after ski accident French actor Gaspard Ulliel, known for appearing in Chanel perfume ads and portraying fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent in a 2014 biopic, has died at 37 following a ski accident in the Alps, French media reported on Wednesday.
Following is a summary of current entertainment news briefs.
Comedian Jon Stewart, whose irreverent brand of political and media satire made him a beloved figure on television, will receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center in Washington in April, becoming the 23rd recipient of the prize. The national prize is named after novelist and essayist Samuel Langhorne Clemens, known by his pen name Mark Twain. Richard Pryor was the first recipient of the prize; its last recipient was Dave Chappelle.
NBCUniversal says coverage during Beijing Olympics to include 'geopolitical' issues
Comcast's Corp's NBCUniversal, under pressure from human rights groups, on Wednesday said that its broadcast coverage of the 2022 Beijing Olympics will include the "geopolitical context" of China as the host nation. The coverage plans, detailed in a video presentation to reporters, followed the urgings of human rights groups and a U.S. congressional committee to cover China's rights violations during the Olympics, which begin on Feb. 4.
Analysis-Sony faces deep-pocketed rivals in war over future of gaming
Sony Group, perched atop the gaming sector, is facing a fresh challenge from cash-rich rivals betting on a next-generation online video game boom as the Japanese conglomerate eyes expand on multiple fronts, including electric cars. Microsoft Corp, a laggard in the generational console battle with Sony, took a major step to position itself for the "metaverse" - a proposed immersive experience where people game, shop, and socialize online - with a $69 billion deal for "Call of Duty" developer Activision Blizzard.
French actor Gaspard Ulliel dies at 37 after ski accident
French actor Gaspard Ulliel, known for appearing in Chanel perfume ads and portraying fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent in a 2014 biopic, has died at 37 following a ski accident in the Alps, French media reported on Wednesday. Ulliel, who won a French Cesar award in 2017 for best actor for his role in "It's Only the End of the World," a film by director Xavier Dolan, was the face of the Bleu de Chanel men's fragrance.
Amazon reveals 'Lord of the Rings' subtitle that hints at the storyline
The long-awaited, expensive Middle-earth fantasy series from Amazon.com Inc has a name: "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power." Amazon's Prime Video revealed the full name of the fantasy series on Wednesday ahead of its planned streaming debut of Sept. 2.
Less politics, more love as Berlin film festival returns to live screenings
The theme of love dominates the main competition entries at this year's Berlin Film Festival, in a shift away from hard-hitting, political dramas the annual cinema showcase is best known for. Live screenings will resume in 2022 after last year's online-only version, in an event artistic director Carlo Chatrian hoped would restore the social bonds that two years of lockdowns and isolation have weakened.
Sony slides on 'monumental challenge' from Microsoft gaming deal
Shares in Japan's Sony Group fell 9% on Wednesday after gaming rival Microsoft said it will buy developer Activision Blizzard in a record $68.7 billion deal for the industry. While Sony's PlayStation is widely seen as having a lead in the generational battle with Microsoft's Xbox, the purchase of the "Call of Duty" maker comes as Microsoft is aggressively expanding its Game Pass subscription service.
'The Voice' taken off air as #MeToo scandal hits Dutch television
The original Dutch version of global blockbuster TV talent shows The Voice, which spawned local versions in over 150 countries, has been taken off the air after allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior, including by celebrities. The scandal threatens to affect other figures in the Dutch media and entertainment world in the first big #MeToo moment in the Netherlands since the global movement to stop sexual harassment of women began some four years ago.
Music's Grammy Awards moved to April 3 in Las Vegas
The Grammy Awards ceremony honoring top performances in music has been rescheduled for April 3 in Las Vegas, the Recording Academy and broadcaster CBS said in a statement on Tuesday. The awards had been set to take place on Jan. 31 in downtown Los Angeles, but organizers scrapped that date as the Omicron variant sparked a new wave of COVID-19 infections.
Microsoft to gobble up Activision in $69 billion metaverse bet
Microsoft Corp is buying "Call of Duty" maker Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion in the biggest gaming industry deal in history as global technology giants stake their claims to a virtual future. The deal announced by Microsoft on Tuesday, its biggest-ever and set to be the largest all-cash acquisition on record, will bolster its firepower in the booming video gaming market where it takes on leaders Tencent and Sony.
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