News Nuggets: Michael Fassbender is GQ’s Breakout of the Year

Michael Fassbender is GQ’s Breakout of the Year: “Critics draw Daniel Day-Lewis comparisons, bloggers term themselves ‘Fassinators,’ and women pass out in movie theaters when the actor comes on-screen. The fainting occurred at the Toronto International Film Festival, at the premiere of ‘Shame,’ a movie in which he stars as a mournful sex addict. The film was acquired by Fox Searchlight and will see its release timed for optimal Oscar consideration in December.” GQ

Sasha Stone looks back at how the Best Picture race influences the acting categories at the Oscars: “Now that we’re back to a scenario maybe closer to 5, but perhaps 7 or 8 Best Picture nominees, we have a slightly better chance of seeing some women in the race with Best Picture contenders represented. Of course, the strongest of these so far is Viola Davis in ‘The Help‘ which would slide in easily with ten, and might still even with five … So why is it so important to have a Best Picture contender? It simply means more Academy members liked the movie enough to give it their vote.  There is strength in numbers.” AWARDS DAILY

PBS release details on the returns of Emmy-winner “Downton Abbey” and Emmy-nominee “Sherlock“: “‘Abbey’ will run for seven weeks and premiere Jan. 8 at 9 p.m., while ‘Sherlock’ will premiere May 6 at 9 p.m. John Wilson, senior vice president of TV programming for the network, tells EW that the network believes ‘Abbey‘s’ return specifically will help it capitalize on the critical praise earned during its four-episode first season. ‘Having it on in the early new year when audiences are at their peak in terms of television viewing and starved for new content, I think we’ve got it on at a really great time of the year and hopefully we’re going to do some things that will get the fans of “Downton Abbey” revved up, but hopefully get some of those who haven’t seen it yet,’ he says.” EW.COM

Lady Gaga inspires a policy change for Billboard magazine: “… any album sold for less than $3.49 during its first four weeks of release will not be counted for their chart.  Also, tracks sold for less than 39 cents in its first three months of release will not be counted on their singles charts … Billboard’s policy change is a response to several albums debuting on the charts in the past year with sales inflated partly by deep-discount sales through online retailers such as Amazon. Most notably, Lady Gaga got a significant boost when her record ‘Born This Way‘ was sold as full album download for 99 cents on the day of its release and another day later in its release week.” ROLLING STONE

Emmy-winner Jim Parsons negotiating to star in Broadway’s “Harvey”: “Parsons, who stars on TV’s ‘The Big Bang Theory,’ would play the role of Elwood P. Dowd in Mary Chase‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy for Roundabout Theatre Company. Roundabout declined to comment to The Times. Chase’s durable, amiable comedy follows the story of a man who befriends a 6-foot-3-inch rabbit that only he can see. ‘Harvey’ originally played on Broadway at the 48th Street Theatre, opening Nov. 1, 1944.” PLAYBILL

The American Music Awards are more about performances than prizes: “Even the show itself seems to know the actual statuettes are sort of arbitrary; they will be doled out according to fan voting, which means that the artists with the most mobilized internet presences will be walking away with new mantlepieces. But the American Music Awards do prove useful for the music business — they provide a big, spangly event that showcases (most of) pop’s major artists right around the time that people are thinking of making their holiday music purchases.” EW.COM

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