Frank Gehry to design N.Y. theater

Gehry to design theater

An independent theater company that had once planned to move to ground zero will get a new home designed by famed architect Frank Gehry in New York City’s theater district.

New York theater: A Quick Takes item in Wednesday’s Calendar section said that Frank Gehry would design a new home in New York for Signature Theatre. The troupe’s name is Signature Theatre Company. —

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Tuesday that the city would contribute $25 million toward the $60-million Signature Theatre.

The theater is known for devoting an entire season to the work of a single playwright. It was one of four groups that were to have anchored a performance space at the World Trade Center site.

The theater will be housed in an apartment and hotel complex on 42nd Street. The complex will include three theaters, rehearsal studios, a cafe and a bookstore. The theater is slated to open in 2012.

-- associated press Mullally lands Broadway role

Her post-"Will & Grace” television career may not have gone as smoothly as planned (a syndicated talk show bearing her name was canceled in 2007 after only a few months on the air), but Megan Mullally seems to be on a roll when it comes to the theater.

The Emmy-winning actress recently finished a critically acclaimed run in Adam Bock’s “The Receptionist” at L.A.'s Odyssey Theatre Ensemble. Now Mullally is set to return to Broadway in the Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of “Lips Together, Teeth Apart” by Terrence McNally.

McNally’s play, which had an off-Broadway run in 1991, tells the story of two siblings spending July 4 at a beach house on Fire Island with their respective spouses.

Mullally’s most recent Broadway appearance was in Mel Brooks’ musical “Young Frankenstein.” She has also starred in revivals of “Grease” and “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”

-- David Ng Sawyer boosts ‘News’ ratings

Diane Sawyer’s debut as anchor of ABC’s “World News” appears to have boosted viewership of the evening newscast, even during a slow holiday week.

According to early Nielsen data, an average of 8.9 million people tuned into ABC from 6:30 to 7 p.m. Monday. That’s only a rough indication of the true viewership of “World News,” because not every station carries the broadcast during that time period. But it’s larger than the newscast’s season-to-date average of 8 million viewers and this season’s Monday average of 8.41 million viewers.

By comparison, 9.3 million viewers tuned into NBC during the time period and 5.9 million people watched CBS. Final Nielsen data will be available next week.

-- Matea Gold CNN tweaks its P.M. lineup

CNN is shaking up its afternoon lineup in the new year.

Beginning Jan. 18, “The Situation Room” will start an hour later to make room for a new show dubbed “Rick’s List,” anchored by Rick Sanchez, that will air from noon to 2 p.m. PST, replacing Sanchez’s one-hour “CNN Newsroom.” It will be followed by a two-hour “The Situation Room,” whose anchor Wolf Blitzer had until now been handling three live hours a day.

A CNN spokeswoman said the change was made to bring more uniformity to the afternoon lineup. The shake-up also lessens the focus earlier in the day on political news, which will continue to be one of the main topics on “The Situation Room” and a 4 p.m. PST show that John King begins anchoring early next year.

“Rick’s List” is expected to incorporate Twitter, a tool Sanchez frequently uses. Tuesday morning, he tweeted that the show “will be full of newsmakers and thinkers we- and u- think are relevant to CNN. My access = your access.”

Blitzer, in turn, tweeted that he was fine about the change: “Our excellent team can focus on 2 solid hrs. Less becomes more.”

In the short term, Blitzer will continue to anchor for three hours a day, as he’ll be substituting in the 4 p.m. PST time slot until King begins his new show. King replaces Lou Dobbs, who abruptly resigned from the network last month.

-- Matea Gold Quaids plead not guilty

Randy and Evi Quaid finally appeared in Santa Barbara court Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to felony charges of defrauding an innkeeper.

The couple skipped previous court hearings without explanation after being accused of using an invalid credit card to defraud San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito of more than $10,000.

Senior Deputy Dist. Atty. Lee Carter said they were released on $20,000 bail apiece. The sum had initially been forfeited when the Quaids failed to appear for a hearing last week. They were taken into custody in Texas over the weekend.

Randy Quaid is best-known for supporting roles in films such as “Independence Day” and “National Lampoon’s Vacation.”

-- associated press