Comedy Central says Jon Stewart will take a break from The Daily Show starting in June to direct and produce his first feature film.
The network said Tuesday that correspondent-writer John Oliver will host the fake news show for the eight weeks of original episodes scheduled during Stewart’s hiatus. The British-born Oliver has been a Daily Show regular since 2006.
Stewart is expected back in the anchor chair shortly after Labor Day, Sept. 2.
The film, titled Rosewater, was written by Stewart and is based on a book by Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari.
London resident Bahari was falsely accused of being a spy and imprisoned by the Iranian government in 2009 while covering Iran’s presidential election. Before being jailed, he was interviewed in Iran by Daily Show correspondent Jason Jones.
Harper terminally ill
Valerie Harper, who played Rhoda Morgenstern on television’s The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its spinoff, Rhoda, has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.
People magazine reported on its Web site Wednesday that the 73-year-old actress received the news on Jan. 15. The report says she has as little as three months to live.
Harper tells the magazine: “I don’t think of dying. I think of being here now.”
Harper’s character, Rhoda, was one of television’s most beloved sidekicks during the 1970s.
MTV Movie Awards
A bloody Western and the comedic tale of a trash-talking teddy bear lead nominees for the 2013 MTV Movie Awards.
MTV announced Tuesday that Django Unchained and Ted each have seven bids at the annual kudo-fest, set to air live on April 14 from the Sony Pictures lot in Culver City, Calif.
Silver Linings Playbook earned six nominations and The Dark Knight Rises collected five. Other top nominees include The Avengers, Skyfall, Pitch Perfect, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
Fans can vote online for the winners in all categories, including the two newest ones: Best shirtless performance and best musical moment.
Double nominee Rebel Wilson will host the show. She’ll be joined by Will Ferrell, who will receive MTV’s inaugural Comic Genius Award.
Already busy co-hosts Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan also will perform during this year’s Academy of Country Music Awards.
The country cut-ups are among the first round of performers announced Wednesday for the annual awards show in Las Vegas. They’ll be joined by Shelton’s wife, Miranda Lambert, George Strait, Hunter Hayes, and the Band Perry.
Pop star and former American Idol champion Kelly Clarkson, a two-time ACM winner in 2012 and a nominee this year, also will perform as she continues to increase her country profile since moving to Nashville.
The ACM Awards will air live April 7 on CBS from the MGM Grand. Eric Church is this year’s top nominee with seven nominations. Hayes is next with six.
More performers and presenters will be announced later.
Mendes moving on
Never say never again? Sam Mendes says he won’t be directing the next James Bond film — but may work on the series again in future.
Mendes has been praised for his work on Skyfall, the first Bond film to rake in more than $1 billion in revenue.
But Mendes says he has decided to focus on other projects, including upcoming London stage productions of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and King Lear.
Mendes worked in theater before turning to film. He won an Academy Award in 2000 for BeautyAmerican.
Actress Amanda Peet is hoping to make her professional debut as a playwright next season with a drama that may attract Blythe Danner and Sarah Jessica Parker.
The Manhattan Theater Club said Tuesday that it wants to stage the world premiere of Peet’s The Commons of Pensacola as part of its 2013-2014 season. Lynne Meadow, artistic director of the company, will direct.
“We are in conversation with Blythe Danner and Sarah Jessica Parker about appearing in this timely, new play about a family weathering a major financial crisis,” artistic producer Mandy Greenfield said in a statement.
Parker’s husband, Matthew Broderick, is currently starring with Danner in Broadway’s Nice Work If You Can Get It. Peet is known for roles in Saving Silverman and on TV’s The Good Wife.
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