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Friday roundup: More stars for Golden Globes; the future of the Emmys; Sundance Selects; Jason Reitman; Mariah Carey

January 9, 2010 |  9:24 am


Apparently, the folks at the Golden Globes read our item about the A-list presenters at the Screen Actors Guild awards, because they've just ramped up the glitz factor for their event. A slew of major players have been tapped to present at the 67th annual festivities on Jan. 17, including Golden Globe winners Kate Winslet, Jennifer Garner, Kiefer Sutherland and Cher, who''ll appear with her "Burlesque" co-star Christina Aguilera. These latest additions come on the heels of previous announced mega-stars such as Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Cameron Diaz, Halle Berry, Jennifer Aniston, Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, Matthew Fox, Nicole Kidman, Mickey Rourke and Sophia Loren. Robert DeNiro and Leonardo DiCaprio will present Martin Scorsese with this year's Cecil B. DeMille Award for outstanding contribution to the entertainment field. When -- and where -- will this game of celebrity one-upmanship end? Keep reading this blog for updates.

Meanwhile, the Emmys face an entirely different predicament: disappearing from broadcast TV. ABC News reports that the Primetime Emmys are in their final year of contracts with the major networks with this year's event, which with air on NBC on Aug. 29. After that, its fate is undecided. Low ratings for the last few Emmy broadcasts -- due in part to consistent wins by series with small but loyal audiences like "30 Rock" and "Mad Men" -- have made the event's high licensing fees somewhat less attractive to the Big Four networks. And that's unfortunate, as said fees are a key source of income for the Television Academy. For now, there are no plans to move the Emmys to basic cable (like the Screen Actors Guild). Instead academy chief John Shaffner promises more year-in-review segments as a means of keeping the show fresh and relevant. More hosts like Neil Patrick Harris, whose stint in 2009 was the highest-rated broadcast in years, might be a more effective move.

And the Sundance Film Festival finds yet another way to get its message of independent film to audiences unable to attend the yearly event in Park City, Utah. Hot on the heels of its Sundance Film Festival USA program, which brings festival films and directors to art houses around the country, Sundance will use its video-on-demand channel, Sundance Selects, to offer three features debuting at the festival: Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitehouse's political documentary "The Shock Doctrine," based on the book by journalist Naomi Klein, on Jan. 28; the Safdie brothers' comedy "Daddy Longlegs" on Jan. 22; and the thriller "7 Days," about a surgeon who seeks revenge after the murder of his daughter, also on Jan. 22. Each of the films will on Sundance Selects concurrently with their Sundance screenings, and will be available on the VOD channel for 30 days. Future Sundance Selects screenings include Dominic Murphy's "White Lightnin'," (Jan. 27) which played at the 2009 festival, and Don Argott's documentary "The Art of the Steal."

Promotion, in the form of interviews, is one of the main tools of an awards campaign, and "Up in the Air" director Jason Reitman has released this short to illustrate the flurry of activity and faces (and microphones and questions) that are a part of every contender's day to day. No doubt, you'll recognize a few faces in there (like Roger Ebert), and you might experience a pang for either a drink from Starbucks or your old vinyl copy of "The Clash" after viewing. 

Oh, and because I know you're wondering: The reasons behind Mariah Carey's, um, exuberant acceptance speech at the Palm Springs International Film Festival's awards gala? Too much giggle juice, not enough to eat, and hey, she's got a sense of humor too, people. As my wife would say: REALLY? Really.

-- Paul Gaita

Photo: Jennifer Garner. Credit: Getty Images

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