News Nuggets: Oprah Winfrey set to receive nation’s highest civilian honor

Oprah Winfrey is set to receive the nation’s highest civilian honor on Wednesday from President Barack Obama. In a White House ceremony, 16 people “who have dedicated their own lives to enriching ours” will be honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Other entertainers selected this year are country singer Loretta Lynn and jazz musician Arturo Sandoval. Former President Bill Clinton, baseball player Ernie Banks, newspaper editor Ben Bradlee, basketball coach Dean Smith, and activist Gloria Steinem will also be honored. CNN.

Frank Darabont, former showrunner for the zombie blockbuster “The Walking Dead,” refers to AMC executives as “sociopaths” for firing him in 2011. In several interviews while promoting his new TNT program “Mob City,” his ouster has been a hot topic for journalists. He added, “I haven’t seen an episode…since 2011. I had to take some time off after that to really reassess everything, to really get over the emotional devastation.” Vulture.

Anne Thompson contends there are a few late season films this year that don’t necessarily need critical support to improve their awards chances. Studio movies with substantial budgets like “The Book Thief,” “Saving Mr. Banks,” and “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” have first obligations “to entertain an audience and make its money back.”  She also says “these films need to win the hearts of Academy voters without that extra boost from critics groups.” Thompson on Hollywood.

Actor and comedian Patton Oswalt will host the 29th annual Independent Spirit Awards. The ceremony will be held under a tent on the Santa Monica beach on March 1. Nominations will be announced on November 26. Other recent hosts have been Seth Rogen, Andy Samberg, and Joel McHale. Variety.

Sasha Alexander (“Rizzoli and Isles”), and Clark Gregg (“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.“) will reveal the nominees for the 20th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on December 11. The duo will announce the contenders for five film categories and eight television categories. The SAG Awards ceremony will be held on January 18. Deadline.

Emma Thompson will receive the Modern Master Award from the Santa Barbara Film Festival. The honor will be presented on February 8 and will celebrate her career as an actress, screenwriter, and producer. She also is an awards contender this year for her role as author P.L. Travers in “Saving Mr. Banks.” Awards Daily.

The Casting Society of Ameica announces their winners for 2012/2013. Films honored include “Argo,” “Moonrise Kingdom,” “Mud,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” and “Wreck-It Ralph.” TV winners include “Behind the Candelabra,” “Girls,” “Homeland,” “House of Cards,” and “The Mindy Project.” Hitfix.

All of the surviving members of the British comedy group Monty Python are reuniting for a new stage show. John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin will make the announcement on Thursday in London. In revealing the news, Jones said, “I’m quite excited about it. I hope it makes us a lot of money. I hope to be able to pay off my mortgage.” BBC.

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