Drama

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Sunday, September 27, 2020

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In a triumph long deferred, "12 Years a Slave" won the best picture Oscar at the 86th Academy Awards on Sunday night, the first time Hollywood conferred its top honor to the work of a black director.

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"I'd like to thank this amazing story," said Steve McQueen, the British-born filmmaker who grasped a prize that has eluded African-American directors and their movies since the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gave its first Oscars in 1929.

"Everyone deserves not just to survive, but to live," said Mr. McQueen, who dedicated the film to those who had endured slavery, both in the past and in the present.  Only minutes before, Mr. McQueen had been overlooked for the directing award, which went to Alfonso CuarĂ³n for "Gravity," a 3-D blockbuster whose story of survival in space had been locked with Mr. McQueen's film and David O. Russell's "American Hustle" in a ferocious contest for the best picture statuette.

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Created and narrated by Rod Serling, the original series "The Twilight Zone" which aired on CBS from October 2,1959 through June 19, 1964, included 156 episodes. The music theme was composed by Gregor F. Narholz. The series had two revivals which also aired on CBS. The first included 75 episodes and ran on CBS from 1985 to 1989, with a second revival with 44 original episodes which aired on UPN from 2002 to 2003. The series is still running in sindication and can be seen on the SyFy channel.

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Each of the 156 episodes of the original series is a mixture of self-contained drama, psychological thriller, fantasy, science fiction, suspense, or horror, often concluding with a macabre or unexpected twist. A popular and critical success, it introduced many Americans to serious science fiction and abstract ideas through television and also through a wide variety of Twilight Zone literature.

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"American Hustle" was a film favorite at the 71st annual Golden Globe Awards, while "Breaking Bad" and Behind the Candelabra" led the television categories.  "Hustle" nabbed three of its seven nominations, including Best Picture - Musical or Comedy. "12 Years a Slave" took home Best Picture - Drama. On the TV side, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" emerged as a surprising victor in both of its categories: Best Television Series - Comedy and Best Actor in a Comedy Television Series (Andy Samberg).

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The Hollywood Foreign Press Association honors were handed out at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler reprising hosting duties from last year. Diane Keaton accepted the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award on behalf of Woody Allen, who famously skips out on awards shows. During her speech, the audio cut out for a prolonged period, leaving viewers at home wondering if a technical glitch caused the silence or if Keaton was spewing profanities.

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Jamie Dornan has snagged the Christian Grey role in the upcoming film adaptation of the best-selling novel, according to the Hollywood Reporter.  Charlie Hunnam infamously backed out of the project mid October 2013, setting off a feverish pursuit to find his replacement.  The U.K.-based Dornan was first revealed as a contender for the role of kinky billionaire Grey. He is the star of the U.K. series The Fall and might be best-known to U.S. audiences for playing the Huntsman in ABC's Once Upon a Time. Born in Northern Ireland, he's a former Calvin Klein model and dated Keira Knightley for two years.

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Host Neil Patrick Harris

It was good to be "Breaking Bad" at Sunday's Primetime Emmy Awards, where it won the award for outstanding drama series.  The honor was the first time "Breaking Bad" had won the award despite three previous nominations. The win came one week before AMC is due to air the series finale. "I did not see this coming," said series creator Vince Gilligan, tipping his hat to competitor "House of Cards," the first online contender for top Emmy honors."Modern Family" was named best comedy series for the fourth consecutive year.  Jeff Daniels won the Emmy for best drama series actor for "The Newsroom," with Claire Danes capturing top actress honors for her role in "Homeland."