News Nuggets: Webby Awards add new categories for 2012

NBC’s inaugural American Giving Awards attract major talent: “Golden Globe® Award-winning actor Colin Farrell will be honored with the inaugural AGA Leadership Award for his philanthropic endeavors at the first-ever American Giving Awards (AGAs) presented by Chase. Hosted by 22-time Emmy Award-winner Bob Costas, the AGAs will be broadcast on NBC on Saturday, December 10, 8:00 – 10:00p.m. ET from the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, CA … Presenters will include singer/actress Miley Cyrus, award-winning actor Terrence Howard, ‘Dancing with the Stars’ winner J.R. Martinez, ‘Modern Family’ star Jesse Tyler Ferguson, actress Gabrielle Union and Miss USA Alyssa Campanella.” TV BY THE NUMBERS

Strong box office for “The Descendants” gives it an important awards boost: “… ‘The Descendants’ enjoyed a similar phenomenon, earning multiple NBR prizes while rushing off to the best opening of any of Fox Searchlight’s recent Oscar darlings — and there are some serious earners in there, including ‘Black Swan,’ ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ and ‘Juno.’ Secretive institutional accolades aside, that kind of concrete commercial success is without a doubt the most crucial to ‘The Descendants’’ continued award hopes — the old ‘you can’t ignore us, we’re loved and we’re rich’ strategy that Searchlight has down to a science and which Harvey Weinstein rediscovered in recent years with the likes of ‘Inglourious Basterds’ and ‘The King’s Speech.'” MOVIELINE

The 16th Annual Webby Awards final entry deadline is Friday, December 16. From the press release: “Hailed as the “Internet’s highest honor” by the New York Times, The Webby Awards celebrates the year’s best websites, interactive advertising, online film and video, and mobile and apps. Nominees will be announced in April 2012, and the hallmark Webby ceremony will be held in Spring 2012.” New awards added this year include Social Media Website, Mobile Advertising, and Corporate Social Responsibility Website.

Composer-lyricist Stephen Schwartz honored by ASCAP: “Academy Award-winning ‘Wicked’ and ‘Pippin’ composer-lyricist Stephen Schwartz was celebrated by the ASCAP Foundation Dec. 7 for his lifetime contribution to musical theatre. The songwriting team of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul and songwriter Joe Iconis were also among the evening’s honorees. Tony Award-winning ‘Light in the Piazza’ composer-lyricist Adam Guettel was on hand to present Schwartz with the ASCAP Foundation Richard Rodgers Award in a special evening of song at the Allen Room.” PLAYBILL

For Meryl Streep, accents are the easy part: “In her long and celebrated career, it seems like Meryl Streep never met an accent she didn’t like — and master … What’s her secret? According to Streep, accents are the simple stuff. ‘You know, that’s like the easiest thing I do,’ Streep said Tuesday night at a panel with ‘Iron Lady’ director Phyllida Lloyd. ‘The kid part of it is copying a voice I’ve heard.’ That’s not to say the task is easy, but Streep said that when she dives into the mind and motivation of a character, the voice follows. ‘To capture how someone speaks is to capture them,’ she said.” EW.COM

David Fincher opposes advance screenings: “‘If it were up to me, I wouldn’t show movies to anybody before they were released,’ director David Fincher told the Miami Herald. ‘… If I had my way, the New York Film Critics Circle would not have seen this movie and then we would not be in this situation … But as silly as this may all look from the outside — privileged people bickering — I think it’s important. Film critics are part of the business of getting movies made. You swim in the same water we swim in. And there is a business to letting people know your movie is coming out. It is not a charity business. It is a business-business.'” MOVIELINE

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