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Quick Takes: Fewer gay TV characters

The number of gay and bisexual characters on scripted broadcast network TV has dipped slightly this season to 19 out of nearly 650 roles, according to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

The 16th annual “Where We Are on TV” report released Wednesday by GLAAD found that 2.9% of actors appearing regularly on prime-time network drama and comedy series in the 2011-12 season will portray gay, lesbian or bisexual characters.

That’s down from 3% in the 2009-10 season and 3.9% last season, when there were 23 out of a total of nearly 600 roles.

The number of gay and bisexual characters on cable networks has also fallen slightly, from 35 last season to 29 this season.

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The report also said that only five characters on the broadcast networks — less than 1% — would be portrayed as having a disability.

—Associated Press

Spain nominates a film in Catalan

Spain nominated a film in Catalan for the first time as its candidate for best foreign language film at the upcoming Academy Awards, ahead of a picture by two-time Oscar winner Pedro Almodóvar that stars Antonio Banderas.

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The Spanish Cinema Academy chose “Pa Negre” (Black Bread), which is set in northeastern Catalonia shortly after the 1936-39 Civil War, and all of whose dialogue is in the regional Catalan language.

Other films that had been short-listed for Spain’s official entry were “The Skin I Live in,” Almodóvar’s first film with Banderas in more than 20 years, and “La Voz Dormida” (The Sleeping Voice), another film dealing with the Spanish Civil War’s brutal aftermath.

—Reuters

Honoring a country pioneer

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As members of the International Bluegrass Music Assn. gathered for their annual awards and conference in Nashville this week, foremost on their minds was Bill Monroe, the architect of bluegrass and a patron saint of country music. He would have turned 100 on Sept. 13.

Monroe, who died in 1996 at the age of 84, is being honored with concerts in his memory and historical discussions this week.

Monroe also will be a featured presence at the Ryman Auditorium on Thursday night for the annual IBMA Bluegrass Awards. He’s always been revered in Nashville, but the centennial gives those who knew him a welcome chance to talk about their memories and tell stories about a man who was larger than life.

“I think he’d be pretty proud of the entire scene that’s going on here,” said Sam Bush, who is hosting the awards show.

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—Associated Press

Fey, Longoria top payrolls

It pays to be a desperate housewife, at least on TV, or a crime investigator or just Tina Fey.

Fey, the star and creator of the NBC comedy “30 Rock,” shares the distinction of being the highest paid woman on television with “Desperate Housewives” star Eva Longoria. Each earned $13 million in the 12 months ending in May 2011, according to a new list from financial news website Forbes.com

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Close behind at No. 3 was another “Desperate Housewives” actress, Marcia Cross, who earned $10 million and landed in a three-way tie with Emmy-winning actress Mariska Hargitay of cop drama “Law & Order: SVU” and Marg Helgenberger on crime procedure show “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.”

—Reuters

Two Mimi winners chosen

Lisa D’Amour, the playwright of the Broadway-bound “Detroit,” and Melissa James Gibson, the writer of “This,” are winners of the prestigious Steinberg Playwright Award, which honors achievements by playwrights every two years.

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The awards, nicknamed “the Mimi,” will be handed out at a ceremony Nov. 14 at Lincoln Center Theater in New York. Both playwrights will receive a cash award of $50,000 along with a statuette.

Previous winners of the Mimi include Tony Kushner, Bruce Norris, Tarell Alvin McCraney and David Adjmi. The award was established in 2008 and is organized through the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.

—David Ng

Finally

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Vote of confidence: After two airings, the Zooey Deschanel comedy “New Girl” was given a full-season pickup Wednesday by Fox, which ordered 11 more episodes.

Branching out: Sutton Foster, currently starring in the New York revival of the musical “Anything Goes” that earned her a Tony Award, is making a pilot for ABC Family called “Bunheads,” in which she’ll play a Las Vegas showgirl whose impulsive marriage propels her into a very different lifestyle.


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