News Nuggets: Steve Carell will lend his voice to ‘The Simpsons’

Busy Philipps bemoans the Golden Globe chances for “Cougar Town“: “Busy Philipps won’t be waking up Thursday morning with visions of Golden Globe nominations for herself or her fellow ‘Cougar Town’ cast members dancing in her head. ‘That’s not going to happen now. No one’s seen the show this season,’ says Philipps, lamenting the fact that ABC has not only failed to find a spot for the hilarious ensemble comedy on its 2012 schedule, but also reduced its Season 3 episode order from 22 to 15 … ‘The writers have amazing stuff planned out for this season, and now they’re going to have to condense,’ she says. ‘I feel bad for them. I feel bad for everyone. It’s a bummer. It sucks.'” TV LINE

Ten live-action shorts make the Oscar longlist: “The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that 10 live action short films will advance in the voting process for the 84th Academy Awards®. One hundred seven pictures had originally qualified in the category … The Short Films and Feature Animation Branch Reviewing Committee viewed all the eligible entries for the preliminary round of voting in screenings held in Los Angeles.  Short Films and Feature Animation Branch members will now select three to five nominees from among the 10 titles on the shortlist. Branch screenings will be held in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco in January 2012.” OSCARS

Steve Carell returns to TV to guest-voice on “The Simpsons“: “Carell will play Dan Gillick, a tightly wound accountant for Fat Tony (returning guest Joe Mantegna), who may go from crunching numbers to crunching skulls when he’s put in charge of the mob by Fat Tony while the big boss serves jury duty. ‘He’s nervous, and then Fat Tony says that he’s got to kill some people and then he’s really nervous because he actually wants to do it,’ says exec producer Al Jean of Carell’s character. ‘The line between Ivy League MBA and ruthless murderer is a very thin one.'” EW.COM

Downton Abbey” screens its Christmas special for the press: “Several key cast members were there including Dan Stevens … along with Brendan Coyle, Lesley Nicol and Rob James-Collier, among others. The Julian Fellowes-created show has become a phenomenon in Britain where it recently concluded its second season on ITV with a 21% uptick over the first, making it the most popular drama series on Brit TV in over a decade. (In the States, season 2 kicks off on PBS in January.) A 3rd series begins shooting on February 13 and will be set in the early 20s, but producer Liz Trubridge couldn’t give away many details saying they’d had just “a glimpse” of Fellowes’ first drafts.” DEADLINE

J. Edgar” and “Young Adult” are among the year’s worst posters: “When it came time to assemble Vulture’s annual list of the best and worst movie posters of the year, we were faced with a conundrum: How could we find a way to include the hilarious poster for ‘Nurse 3-D,’ which features a blood-soaked and nude Paz de la Huerta? Alas, even though that poster was released in 2011 (before the movie was even shot!), ‘Nurse 3-D’ won’t be out until 2012, and so we decided to disqualify it and a few other striking one-sheets — like the recent teaser poster for ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ — until next year. Over these ten slides, then, you’ll find the best and worst the movies of 2011 had to offer, and a few cases where a movie went from one good poster to a stinker (and vice versa).” VULTURE

Angelina Jolie honored by the PGA: “Angelina Jolie’s debut directorial effort, ‘In the Land of Blood and Honey,’ will be honored with the 2012 Stanley Kramer Award at the Producers Guild of America Awards on Jan. 21. ‘”In the Land of Blood and Honey” is an extraordinary film that portrays a complex love story set against the terrors of the Bosnian War, especially towards women,’ said Producers Guild Presidents Hawk Koch and Mark Gordon, in a statement. ‘This film truly embraces the legacy of Stanley Kramer.’ The Stanley Kramer Award was established in 2002 to honor a motion picture, a producer, or another individual whose achievement or contribution illuminates provocative social issues in an accessible and elevating fashion.” EW.COM



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