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Published: Thursday, 12/4/2008

Lil Wayne gets 8 Grammy nominations

FROM THE BLADE NEWS SERVICES

Lil Wayne - the most prolific, ubiquitous, and successful performer on today's music scene - was the most rewarded by the Recording Academy last night, receiving eight Grammy nominations, including album of the year for Tha Carter III.

Following close behind was Coldplay, whose Viva La Vida is one of the year's best-selling CDs. It was in album of the year contention, along with Radiohead for its groundbreaking CD In Rainbows; singer-songwriter Ne-Yo's Year of the Gentleman; and Robert Plant's collaboration with Alison Krauss, Raising Sand.

The nominations were announced in a new format with a live prime-time CBS concert special.

Coldplay and Plant & Krauss also were nominated in the coveted record of the year category for the respective songs "Viva La Vida" and "Please Read the Letter." Other record of the year nominees were British songstress Leona Lewis for "Bleeding Love"; another British newcomer, Adele, for "Chasing Pavements"; and M.I.A. for her breakthrough hit, "Paper Planes."

Some surprising omissions: Katy Perry, who had one of the year's biggest hits with "I Kissed a Girl," was shut out of the top categories, including record of the year and best new artist.

Maude and Golden Girls star Bea Arthur is happily poised to enter the TV Academy Hall of Fame, but she acknowledges it's her own fault the recognition didn't come sooner.

Arthur says the academy approached her five years ago about her joining the ranks of past honorees, who include Lucille Ball, Johnny Carson, and Bill Cosby.

"I said, 'So sorry, very nice of you, but I can't possibly accept. There are so many talented people in the business,' " Arthur recalled.

"When I hung up, I thought, 'Why the [heck] did I do that?' I had vaguely heard that George C. Scott had turned down the Academy Award, which I thought was kind of cool," Arthur said.

The Hall of Fame ceremony is scheduled for Tuesday in Beverly Hills, Calif., and Arthur said she's "delighted" to be included.

Other inductees are TV and movie writer Larry Gelbart (M*A*S*H, Tootsie), the late talk show host and producer Merv Griffin (Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy!), writer-producer Sherwood Schwartz (Gilligan's Island, The Brady Bunch), and former Capital Cities/ABC executives Thomas Murphy and Daniel Burke.

The 8th annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival will be June 11-14.

Organizers announced the dates this week. The festival again will take place on a 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tenn., about 60 miles southeast of Nashville.

The musical lineup is expected to be announced in late January or early February.

Ticket presales will begin at noon today and run through December.

All tickets are sold through bonnaroo.com.

TOPS IN TV SAVVY

Who says cartoons are for kids?

Family Guy and American Dad creator Seth MacFarlane tops Entertainment Weekly's list of the 25 smartest people in television.

"That frat-boy persona is only a cover," said Entertainment Weekly, adding that Family Guy DVDs and merchandise have earned a reported $1 billion. MacFarlane is the highest-paid writer on TV, with a Family Guy spinoff called The Cleveland Show in the works.

30 Rock creator and Sarah Palin imitator Tina Fey is second on the magazine's list. CBS Paramount Network Entertainment chief Nancy Tellem is third. Oprah Winfrey came in sixth.

Films featuring Chris Rock, Pierce Brosnan, Susan Sarandon, Paul Giamatti, and Emily Watson are among those competing for top honors at January's Sundance Film Festival.

Rock appears in the documentary Good Hair, director Jeff Stilson's examination of African-American hairstyles, which was among 64 films announced yesterday in Sundance's four competitions for U.S. and world cinema.

Brosnan and Sarandon star in director Shana Feste's The Greatest, about a couple coping with the loss of their teenage son, while Giamatti and Watson are among the cast of Sophie Barthes' Cold Souls, about an actor in an existential crisis.

The festival that showcases independent film runs Jan. 15-25 in Park City, Utah.

Other films among the 16 in the U.S. drama category include the romance Brief Interviews With Hideous Men, the writing-directing debut of The Office co-star John Krasinski. He also appears in the film along with Timothy Hutton, Julianne Nicholson, and Office colleague Rashida Jones.

Also in the Sundance dramatic lineup: The Dream of the Romans, with Jeff Daniels and Lauren Graham in a story about the reclusive author of an influential spiritual book; An Education, an adaptation of the Nick Hornby novel starring Peter Sarsgaard, Alfred Molina, and Emma Thompson; Five Minutes of Heaven, an Irish political drama with Liam Neeson; and Taking Chance, a military homefront saga with Kevin Bacon.

A photographer with tbt, a St. Petersburg, Fla., alternative publication, is suing R&B singers Chris Brown and Rihanna, saying their bodyguards beat him and broke his camera.

Luis Santana yesterday filed the $1 million lawsuit, which also names the bodyguards and a St. Petersburg club where the attack allegedly occurred May 6. Santana says the bodyguards tore off his shirt, knocked him down, and repeatedly kicked him. He's seeking compensation for his $3,000 camera, photos that were lost, injuries, and emotional distress.

Brown's attorney, Kenneth Meiselas, denies the singer or his security were involved in the alleged incident.



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