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Tribune News Service

Entertainment Budget for Friday, August 9, 2019

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Updated at noon ET (1600 UTC).

^TOP STORIES<

^'Dora and the Lost City of Gold' is a rare opportunity for Latino representation in Hollywood<

^MOVIE-DORA:LA—<If you want to quickly understand the enduring appeal and impact of Dora the Explorer — who gets the live-action treatment in this weekend's "Dora and the Lost City of Gold" — director James Bobin has a story for you.

"My daughter knows Spanish because of Dora," he told The Times during a press day for the film. "When she was little, I remember saying to her once, 'What's your favorite animal?' And she said, 'Ardilla.' And I went, 'A deer?' and got a picture from a book of a deer. And she goes, 'No, no, no, no, ardilla' and pointed out the window [because] 'ardilla' in Spanish is squirrel."

In fact, Dora has taught languages to millions of preschoolers worldwide since her debut in 2000. In the Latin American countries where the show airs, along with many of the other 100-plus countries that broadcast the show, she teaches children English. Her show has been dubbed into 30 languages, she's had two successful spinoff cartoons and now, almost 20 years later, she's finally getting her own big-screen adventure.

1550 by Sonaiya Kelley. MOVED

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^Former Chicago Tribune writer Maurine Watkins died 50 years ago — do you know her name? She wrote 'Chicago.'<

^STAGE-CHICAGO-WATKINS:TB—<Maurine Dallas Watkins died on Aug. 10, 1969 — 50 years ago this weekend — in Jacksonville, Fla.

Don't be surprised if Watkins' name is unfamiliar. A nine-line death notice in the Florida Times-Union on Aug. 12, 1969, was the only recognition of her passing. Like many newspapers around the country, the Chicago Tribune failed to run her obituary.

In 1926, Watkins wrote the play "Chicago," which today is a $2 billion entertainment franchise featuring A-list celebrities, a hit, Tony Award-winning Broadway musical and an Oscar-winning movie. It's likely the most financially successful piece of writing ever produced by a Chicago Tribune reporter in the paper's more than 170 years of operation.

The content was pulled from the headlines — some of Watkins' own.

1250 by Kori Rumore in Chicago. MOVED

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^In the Trump era, a comedy podcast about conspiracy theories finds a home in the mainstream<

^LAST-PODCAST-ON-LEFT:LA—<The hosts of "Last Podcast on the Left" do not feel especially vindicated that they were right about an alleged pedophile conspiracy that has ensnared top government and media figures.

"It's sad that so many conspiracy theories have become true, but it's good that the rocks are being overturned and we're seeing all the bugs," said co-host Ben Kissel.

"No one knows where Jeffrey Epstein's money comes from, and the president has no interest in seeing him going down," co-host Henry Zebrowski added.

For close to a decade, Kissel, Zebrowski and Marcus Parks, all in their mid-30s, have covered conspiracy-theory culture on their show, a pioneer of true-crime and horror-comedy podcasting. Subjects have run the gamut from the very plausible (intelligence failures around 9/11) to gleefully nutty (the moon is secretly hollow) to the sad and sordid (Jeffrey Epstein and the history of pedophiles in government).

950 by August Brown. MOVED

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^Todd Martens: Yes, Trump is wrong to blame video games for mass shootings, but it's complicated<

^MARTENS-COLUMN:LA—<Hours after the dual mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, President Trump and other Republicans trotted out an old political nemesis: video games. Trump blasted the medium as "gruesome and grisly," citing games as leading to a "glorification of violence." House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy took a similar stance on Fox News.

It's unlikely that Trump and other political leaders who are targeting interactive entertainment have spent significant time as gamers, but they certainly understand one common video game tactic: distraction.

1400 by Todd Martens. MOVED

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^MOVIES<

^Review: 'One Child Nation' is a powerful, painful look at impact of China's one-child policy<

^ONECHILDNATION-MOVIE-REVIEW:LA—<One of the first things we see in "One Child Nation" is a close-up of a jar that, after a few moments, reveals itself to be holding a carefully preserved fetus. The image is a stark and disquieting piece of evidence, a remnant of one of the hundreds of thousands of pregnancies that were terminated by order of the Chinese government under its infamous one-child policy. The visuals might give you pause for any number of reasons, especially if you've seen similar (though often bloodier) images in materials commonly distributed by American anti-abortion groups. But Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang, the directors of this disturbing, infuriating but scrupulously non-exploitative movie, have a rather different moral purpose in mind.

1050 by Justin Chang. MOVED

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^Review: More blood than laughs in 'The Kitchen,' a new Melissa McCarthy-Tiffany Haddish comedy<

^KITCHEN-MOVIE-REVIEW:MS—<"The Kitchen" is messy.

Its all-over-the-place tone suggests creative disagreement about what sort of movie it wants to be. It was marketed as a crime comedy, consistent with the fact that it stars expert funnywomen Melissa McCarthy, who made "Spy" and "The Heat" in that vein, and Tiffany Haddish.

But that's not what "Kitchen" is.

600 by Chris Hewitt. MOVED

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^MUSIC<

^Bruce Springsteen plays a surprise set at 'Blinded by the Light' premiere in Asbury Park<

^MUS-SPRINGSTEEN:PH—<A film about how Bruce Springsteen's music influenced the life of a Pakistani-British teenager premiered in Asbury Park on Wednesday night, and it also brought the Boss back to his old stomping grounds to play a surprise set with Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes.

The film, titled "Blinded by the Light," made its New Jersey debut at the Paramount Theatre on Asbury's boardwalk with Springsteen in attendance, according to the Asbury Park Press. Springsteen walked the red carpet with wife Patti Scialfa and the film's star Viveik Kaira prior to the screening.

250 by Nick Vadala. MOVED

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^MUS-BLUEGRASS:OW—<Reviews of bluegrass music releases. Not moving this week.

^TV, DVD, STREAMING <

^Fox exec reveal details of how 'Empire' will handle Jussie Smollett's character's departure for the final season<

^TV-EMPIRE-SMOLLETT:NY—<Although it was officially announced that FX's popular hip-hop series "Empire" was ending its final season, no one really knew how the Lee Daniels-created drama would handle the departure of one of its biggest stars.

In the aftermath of the legal woes surrounding Jussie Smollett following accusations he fabricated a hate crime against himself in January, Daniels announced in June that he will not be returning for the show's sixth season, which is set to premiere Sept. 24.

300 by Karu F. Daniels. MOVED

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^VID-NEWONDVD:MCT—<New on DVD: 'Avengers: Endgame' gets power from many sources

750 by Rick Bentley. MOVED

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^TV-REMOTE-ADV11:CC—<Around the remote: Chuck Barney's TV and streaming picks for Aug. 11-17

600 by Chuck Barney. MOVED

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^TV-QUESTIONS:MCT—<Television Q&A: Is there going to be a new 'NYPD Blue'?

700 by Rich Heldenfels. MOVED

^TCA VIDEO NETWORK <

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