News Nuggets: Meryl Streep, Tom Brokaw, Stevie Wonder set for Presidential Medal of Freedom honors

President Barack Obama will honor 19 trailblazers with the Presidential Medal of Freedom at a White House ceremony on November 24. Entertainers among that group are actresses Meryl Streep and Marlo Thomas, singer/songwriter Stevie Wonder, and composer Stephen Sondheim. Others include author Isabel Allende, newsman Tom Brokaw, physicist Mildred Dresselhaus, Rep. John Dingell, activist Ethel Kennedy, writer Suzan Harjo, golfer Charles Sifford, economist Robert Solow, Rep. Abner Mikva, and Rep. Patsy Takemoto Mink. Posthumous awards will be given out for choreographer Alvin Ailey, activist Edward Roybal, and civil rights activists James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner. This award is the highest civilian honor that can be presented to an individual. The Wrap

Director and screenwriter Quentin Tarantino proclaims he will retire after making his 10th film. His eighth will be “The Hateful Eight,” in which eight “hate-filled firebrands from the Old West hole up in an establishment to seek shelter from a blizzard.” He is currently seeking a distributor, and offers are said to be on the high end. it will star Demian Bichir, Bruce Dern, Walton Goggins, Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Madsen, Tim Roth, Kurt Russell, and Channing Tatum. Deadline

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Bradley Cooper is already roaring onto Broadway with his new play “The Elephant Man.” Opening weekend box office numbers show a “stunning” $520,087 in just four performances. The 1977 play has been a passion project for Cooper since his graduate school days and also stars Patricia Clarkson and Alessandro Nivola. Others stirring up the fall box office currently are Hugh Jackman (“The River”), Nathan Lane (“It’s Only a Play”), and Glenn Close (“A Delicate Balance”). Hollywood Reporter

NBC has had great success with the live musical “The Sound of Music” last December and expects big numbers next month for “Peter Pan Live.” Next up, the network is expected to go with a live version of the Aaron Sorkin play “A Few Good Men.” The original play was on Broadway in 1989 and then became a feature film in 1992 starring Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, and Demi Moore. As with the other live shows, the producers would continue to be Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. Variety

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Having a hit show this fall was a high priority for Fox, and the new series “Gotham” has become the hero. With a program about the time before Batman arrives, it has no official “hero” but has had ratings that have “proven undeniable.” Fox Entertainment President David Madden discusses the ratings success, how it has happened, and the recent order increasing the number of first season episodes to 22. The Wrap

One of the biggest cult movies ever will be turned into a television series. Starz announces they will produce an “Evil Dead” spinoff series with original director Sam Raimi involved. Original character Ash (Bruce Campbell) will reprise his role as a “stock boy, aging lothario and chainsaw-handed monster hunter who has spent the last 30 years avoiding responsibility, maturity and the terrors of the Evil Dead.” The 10-episode program will air in 2015. Huffington Post

Did rock and roll legend Robert Plant really turn down $800 million for a Led Zeppelin worldwide reunion tour? That is the report about the lead singer denying a chance to reunite with John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page, plus the son of original drummer John Bonham. Virgin CEO Richard Branson is reportedly behind the offer, which would have included shows in Berlin, London, and the U.S. E! Online

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