Quick Takes: Budget deal largely spares public broadcasting

Despite efforts to strip government funding for public broadcasting, PBS chief Paula Kerger said the federal budget deal retains most of the money that President Obama had set aside for public television and radio stations.

The deal allocates nearly $430 million for the Corp. for Public Broadcasting, a 0.2% cut from what the president had proposed. PBS is also due to receive $6 million to help public TV stations make the transition to digital services, less than it had hoped for, and another amount for an education initiative with the funding to be determined by the Department of Education, she said.

If passed by Congress and signed into law, this would make for another year where there was much talk about defunding public broadcasting, but no action.

—Associated Press

Sheen: An 85% chance of return

Charlie Sheen says he may be reunited with "Two and a Half Men."

In an interview with a Boston radio station Tuesday, Sheen said there have been discussions about bringing him back to the hit CBS sitcom he was fired from last month.

Sheen put the chances of him returning at "85%." He didn't offer details in the WBZ-FM interview, saying he'd been asked not to divulge anything.

CBS declined to comment, and series producer Warner Bros. Television didn't immediately return a call for comment.

—Associated Press

Adele's '21' tops 1 million in sales

British pop singer Adele has become the first recording artist this year to sell more than 1 million units, in this case her album "21," Billboard reported Wednesday.

"21" sold 88,000 copies during the week ended April 10, the trade magazine said, quoting figures from Nielsen SoundScan, returning it to the No. 1 spot on the U.S. album chart that it occupied several weeks earlier. Total sales are now 1.03 million.

Last week's top-selling album, Britney Spears' "Femme Fatale," slipped to No. 2 with 75,000 units, which Billboard described as "a massive 73% drop."

The chart's highest new entry was "American Tragedy" from Hollywood Undead, which sold 66,000 copies to finish No. 4. Radiohead's "The King of Limbs" was third.

—from a Times staff writer

People names J.Lo top beauty

Jennifer Lopez was named People magazine's most beautiful woman in the world on Wednesday, capping a career comeback fueled by her new job on top-rated TV show "American Idol."

The 41-year-old New York City-born singer and actress joined former winners Halle Berry, Jennifer Garner and Beyoncé Knowles to top People's annual list of the world's most beautiful people.

"It's so crazy. Rarely am I left speechless, but I feel honored," Lopez told People of the accolade. "I feel not worthy, you know? I feel happy and proud. Proud that I'm not 25!"

Since signing up last year for "American Idol," Lopez has been named the celebrity face of products including beauty firm L'Oreal, Venus razors and the Gucci children's clothes collection.


Rock hall offers iPhone app

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame hopes to bring music lovers a bit closer to the Cleveland-based museum with the debut of its first iPhone app.

Based on the "Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll" permanent exhibit at the museum, the app — which debuted Wednesday — offers a virtual exploration of the more than 600 tracks selected by rock hall curatorial staff, rock critics and historians that have been pegged as "some of rock and roll's most popular and influential recordings."

The app features a slideshow that users can swipe through to select the music of a specific decade between 1920 and 2006.

Once a decade is chosen, album covers are displayed with mini-essays on the song, album and artist. Users can then sample the featured track, purchase it via iTunes and add it to a customized playlist housed within the app.

The rock hall app is available in the iTunes app store for $1.99.

—Gerrick D. Kennedy

Shankar concert postponed again

Ravi Shankar has postponed his concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall for a second time.

The famed Indian sitar player was to have performed at the downtown L.A. venue last Oct. 20 but called it off for health reasons. The event was rescheduled for April 19 but on Wednesday Shankar released a statement saying one of the members of his group was having visa problems.

So now the concert, part of the L.A. Philharmonic's World Music series, is planned for Sept. 29. Tickets for either of the two previously scheduled shows will be valid, the Phil said.

—Lee Margulies

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