News Nuggets: Has TV surpassed film as an art form?

Has TV surpassed movies in terms of quality? “Movies will never die, not as long as a director like Terrence Malick can make every green blade of grass sway like the first dance of creation, but TV is where the action is, the addictions forged, the dream machine operating on all cylinders. As I write this, the Academy Awards are a few days away, with ‘The Artist’ the odds-on best-picture winner. Does anyone think ‘The Artist’ is better than ‘Mad Men‘?” VANITY FAIR

What do the French really think about “The Artist“? “One of the curious things about ‘The Artist’ – which with its five Oscars and a host of other awards is now the most decorated piece of cinema in French history – is that in France itself the film has not been a massive success … Indeed, so lacklustre was the national reaction, that when ‘The Artist’ started making serious waves around the world in January this year, they re-released it in France (just three months after the first release) in the hope of surfing the sudden popularity. Again, the reaction was hardly euphoric.” BBC

Should “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” be considered for Best Book of a Musical: “The show itself is a likely nominee as best revival of a musical. But the Tony committee took no action with regard to the musical’s book, which the writers Suzan-Lori Parks and Diedre Murray adapted from the original four-hour opera of ‘Porgy and Bess’ by George and Ira Gershwin and DuBose Heyward. As a result, the Parks-Murray book is not eligible for a Tony nomination or award, because the committee did not distinguish between the new work and the original text of the 1935 opera.” NEW YORK TIMES

Can Neil Patrick Harris give a boost to Tony Award ratings? “Harris has proved a popular choice for the Tonys, but will the ‘How I Met Your Mother‘ actor, who hosted last year’s Tonys as well as the 2009 ceremony, be able to reverse the show’s declining TV viewership of the last three years? Usually the least-watched of the major entertainment awards shows, the Tonys have struggled with falling TV ratings in recent years. Last year’s show drew 6.9 million viewers, down from 7 million in 2010. That figure was down from 7.4 million viewers in 2009.” LOS ANGELES TIMES

Jason Alexander will receive an Actors Fund award: “This year, the ‘Seinfeld’ actor is to receive yet another prize — the Julie Harris Award for Lifetime Achievement, presented by the Actors Fund. The Actors Fund is a nonprofit charitable group that seeks to provide assistance such as health and social services to entertainment professionals around the country …. The prize is scheduled to be handed out during a gala dinner at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles on June 10, the night of the Tony Awards ceremony. Previous recipients of the award include Hal Holbrook, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Chita Rivera.” LOS ANGELES TIMES

Why “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen” is becoming a sleeper hit: “It plays to an audience movie studios tend to ignore. That’s the over-50 crowd, whom Hollywood pretends doesn’t exist except when it’s time to release the annual Liam Neeson action thriller. But over-50s don’t just want to see one of their own kicking butt; they also like love stories, sophisticated comedies, foreign films and movies about faith. So ‘Salmon Fishing’ seems tailor-made for older audiences who might prefer romantic sparks to exploding fireballs.” MOVIEFONE

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