News Nuggets: Women in Film name Cate Blanchett, Kerry Washington as best actresses

Women in Film announce their five honorees for the 2014 Crystal + Lucy Awards, to be held on June 11 in Los Angeles. Recent Oscar champ Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine“) is named for excellence in film. Emmy nominee Kerry Washington (“Scandal“) will receive the award for excellence in television. Rose Byrne (face of the future), Jennifer Lee (director, “Frozen“), and Eva Longoria (humanatarian) are the other recipients who will be honored at the annual charity event. Variety.

Tony winning Broadway musical “Spring Awakening” might finally be in production as a film this summer. Writers Duncan Sheik and Steven Slater have it in development and have written a new song for the project. Director McG is already attached, as is Tom Hanks‘ company Playtone. It won eight Tonys in 2007 including Best Musical and helped launch the careers of John Gallagher, Jr. (“The Newsroom“), Jonathan Groff (“Looking“), and Lea Michele (“Glee“). No word on whether any of those original cast members would be in the movie. Playbill.

Rare personal possessions from the legendary Orson Welles will be up for auction soon. His youngest daughter Beatrice Welles recently discovered the items in boxes and trunks and would like them in the hands of actual film buffs rather than a museum. They include two original drafts of “The Magnificent Ambersons,” photos from the set of “Citizen Kane,” and his own Bell and Howell movie camera. The auction will be held on April 26. Hollywood Reporter.

It what might be the final statement about the 2013 film season, London’s Empire Awards are handed out Sunday night. Voted on by readers of the British film magazine, “Gravity” and its director Alfonso Cuaron took the top prizes. Acting winners were Emma Thompson (“Saving Mr. Banks”), James McAvoy (“Filth”), Sally Hawkins (“Blue Jasmine“), and Michael Fassbender (“12 Years a Slave“). HitFix.

Multiple Grammy winner and recent Oscar nominee Pharrell Williams is joining NBC’s “The Voice” as a coach. Original coach Cee Lo Green was scheduled to be on a break for the current sixth season (replaced by Usher), but he will not be returning after all. No word yet on the other coach on a break, Christina Aguilera, regarding the seventh season next fall. Her big red chair has been taken by Shakira this season. Adam Levine and Blake Shelton have not missed in an episode in the short history of the program and are expected to be back. TV Line.

Sunday’s season finale of “The Walking Dead” hits a record 15.7 million viewers. That is up from the 12.4 million that set the previous record on April 1 last year. The zombie apocalypse show on AMC is also a big success with the treasured 18-49 age demo, rising 25% over last time. The episode featured a reunion and a lot of vengeance for lead character Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln). Deadline.

Tegan and Sara are the big winners at Sunday’s Juno Awards, Canada’s equivalent of the grammys. The duo won for pop album (“Heartthrob”), single (“Closer”) and group. Artist of the Year was Serena Ryder. Other winners were Arcade Fire (album), Bruno Mars (international artist), and Drake (rap). Many artists did not attend, including a last minute cancellation by Robin Thicke and Justin Bieber, who received loud boos when he was announced as the fans choice winner. Billboard.

Good Morning America” co-anchor Josh Elliott is suddenly leaving his job this week. After lengthy negotiations with ABC, he is moving on to NBC Sports to work on Sunday Night Football, the 2016 Summer Olympics, and horse racing’s Triple Crown. Amy Robach was immediately named his replacement as news reader on the longtime morning staple. E! Online.

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