News Nuggets: Mariah Carey officially joins ‘American Idol’

Angela Lansbury leaves “Gore Vidal’s The Best Man“: “Broadway favorite and Tony Award winner Angela Lansbury sheds her role of an influential women’s advocate in the Broadway production of Gore Vidal‘s ‘The Best Man’ on July 22. Waiting in the wings is Elizabeth Ashley, who takes on the role of Mrs. Sue-Ellen Gamadge starting July 24. For her work in the Michael Wilson-directed revival of the political drama, octagenarian Lansbury was nominated for featured actress awards by the Outer Critics Circle and the Drama Desk.” PLAYBILL

Question about taxpayer funding rankles PBS boss: “Why do taxpayers continue to have to support public broadcasting in the U.S. through their taxes, the questioner asked, when PBS is merely duplicating what cable channels like Discovery, BBC America, Animal Planet and children-oriented Nickelodeon and Nick at Nite are already doing. [Paula Kerger], who has been PBS’s chief executive since 2006 and started her career as a program development officer for the U.S. committee of UNICEF, didn’t even try to conceal her annoyance … ‘It keeps coming back. And that’s disappointing to me because, when you look at the value people place on public broadcasting … to question whether federal investment in public broadcasting is appropriate is disheartening.'” VANCOUVER SUN

Former Motion Picture Academy president Frank Pierson dies: “Academy award-winning screenwriter Frank Pierson, who recently served as the 31st president of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences, died Sunday evening at Cedars Sinai hospital, according to his manager Susan Landau. He was 87. Pierson, who won his Oscar in 1976 for his ‘Dog Day Afternoon’ screenplay, spent many years of his career in service to the Hollywood organizations that made him a success. He served as the president of the Writers Guild of America for two distinct terms, taught at the Sundance Institute, was an adjunct professor at USC’s film school and was the artistic director of the American Film Institute.” LOS ANGELES TIMES

Bob Weinstein and Harvey Weinstein will be honored by the Producers Guild. From the press release: “The Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced today that legendary filmmakers Bob and Harvey Weinstein, co-founders and Co-Chairmen of The Weinstein Company, will be honored with the 2013 Milestone Award. The award will be presented to the Weinsteins at the 24th Annual Producers Guild Awards ceremony on Saturday, January 26, 2013 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The Milestone Award is the Guild’s highest honor recognizing an individual or team who has made historic contributions to the entertainment industry. In the past, the Producers Guild has paid tribute to such industry leaders as Clint Eastwood, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg, Walt Disney, James Cameron, Ron Meyer and last year’s 2012 recipient Leslie Moonves, among others.”

Mariah Carey officially joins “American Idol“: “Following weeks of speculation, Fox’s entertainment president Kevin Reilly made the announcement at the Fox executive session panel at the Television Critic’s Association Summer Press Tour. ‘I’m so excited to be joining “Idol.” I wanted to be there today and I wish I could’ve been there myself to tell you,’ Carey told the audience via phone after Reilly called her and put her on speaker. ‘It happened really quickly. I can’t wait to get started in a couple months. Everybody have a great TCA and I will see you in January.’ Reilly would not confirm any other rumors, including whether or not Randy Jackson will be back in judging capacity.” HUFFINGTON POST

Tony-winning musical “Once” will perform on “America’s Got Talent“: “America is about to fall in love with ‘Once.’ Stars Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti and the cast of the Tony-winning musical will be appearing on ‘America’s Got Talent’ on Wednesday, July 25, airing at 9PM EST. The winner of eight Tony Awards, ‘Once’ tells the story an Irish musician and a Czech immigrant drawn together by their shared love of music … Now in its seventh season, NBC’s ‘America’s Got Talent’ features performers competing in a talent contest before judges Howard Stern, Howie Mandel, Sharon Osbourne with Nick Cannon as the host.” BROADWAY.COM

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