Beverly Hills, Jul 19 (AP/UNB) — Jerry Seinfeld would rather cruise in classic cars and sip coffee with comedy's best than reboot his uber-successful "Seinfeld" television series.
"No, and do what? Make it worse?" Seinfeld said in an interview Wednesday night about his eponymous NBC sitcom, which celebrated its 30-year anniversary this month. "I'm very fortunate to be in the position to make that show with those people at that time. I wouldn't be arrogant enough to think I could do it again. That's egomaniacal. I'm happy with what I have now."
These days, Seinfeld is focused on learning more about the "sharpest minds in comedy" through his Netflix series "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee." The 11th season of the series premieres Friday on the streaming service featuring Eddie Murphy, who talked about his career and shared stories with Seinfeld about them coming up in comedy together in New York in the 1970s.
The new season also includes an array of other comedians including Martin Short, Rick Gervais, Seth Rogan, Bridget Everett, Barry Marder, Melissa Villaseño and Mario Joyner. Jamie Foxx appears in an episode to talk about him wanting to return to standup and his impersonation of Dave Chappelle.
"It's kind of a music video to me. It's just kind of visual. The words are interesting and sometimes it's funny, but I like it to have a rhythm and flow and then it's over," Seinfeld said. "It's just very quick. I always like when people go 'I wish that was a little longer.'"
Seinfeld launched "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" on Sony's Crackle in 2012. The series was moved to Netflix two years ago after the comedian signed a massive deal with the streaming service.
This season, Seinfeld continues to pick up each guest in a different vintage car, from a Maserati Mistral to a Rolls-Royce convertible to a beat-up Dodge Monaco. He takes them to a cafe or restaurant for coffee where they have an easy-flowing conversation about their career and life experiences as comedians.
Seinfeld said he learns something new from each guest. He was surprised when Murphy spoke about not being as confident as most thought during his rise in comedy. He also didn't know that Rogen first heard about Bill Cosby's sexual misconduct history from Hannibal Buress in 2014, a month before Buress accused Cosby in a viral stand-up routine.
For Seinfeld, he feels somewhat like a news reporter in an effort to create a comfortable environment for guests to open up.
"People like to tell me stuff, and I don't know why," said Seinfeld, who has featured former President Barack Obama and Kevin Hart in previous seasons. "It's happened to me my whole life, because I think I really listen. But I would never put anything in the show I think the person might not want in there. I want the show to be fun like a little cappuccino foam, just light and pleasant."
Dhaka, July 19 (UNB) - The 7th death anniversary of celebrated playwright, writer and filmmaker Humayun Ahmed is being observed on Friday.
Family of the prominent writer and his fans are observing the day with various programmes including offering special prayers at the writer's graveyard at Nuhash Palli and holding milad and doa mahfil.
Different television channels will air various programmes highlighting the life and works of the wordsmith.
Humayun Ahmed was born in Netrakona’s Mohanganj to Foyzur Rahman Ahmed and Ayesha Foyez on November 13, 1948.
The writer died of cancer at a hospital in New York on July 19, 2012.
His breakthrough was his debut novel Nondito Noroke published in 1972.
He wrote over 200 fiction and non-fiction books, all of which were bestsellers in Bangladesh.
Humayun Ahmed won Ekushey Padak, Bangla Academy Award, Lekhak Shibir Award and Michael Madhusudan Padak for his outstanding contributions to the Bangla literature.
In the early 1990s, Ahmed emerged as a filmmaker. He went on to make a total of eight films - each based on his own novels. He received six Bangladesh National Film Awards in different categories for the films Daruchini Dwip, Aguner Poroshmoni and Ghetuputra Komola.
Ahmed is often credited with revitalising Bengali literature. His unique storytelling style captures the oral tradition and rhythm at the root of Bangla, bringing to life the stories and aspirations of traditional middle class and rural families.
New York, Jul 19 (AP/UNB) — With a nod to "The Handmaid's Tale," Amy Landecker announced on Instagram that she is "of Bradley," elopement style.
Landecker said Thursday she wed her fellow "Handmaid" co-star Bradley Whitford with their children and dogs, Izzy and Otis, as witnesses. They were married by political activist Ady Barkan at the courthouse in Santa Barbara.
The groom wore a blue suit jacket. The bride held a bouquet and tied the knot in a blue print day dress.
Whitford plays Joseph Lawrence and Landecker played Mrs. Mackenzie on "The Handmaid's Tale," the hit Hulu series. Representatives for the couple confirmed the happy news.
New York, Jul 19 (AP/UNB) — How much is too much for streaming video?
A dramatic slowdown in worldwide growth at Netflix — including the first quarterly drop in its U.S. subscribers since 2011 — is raising questions about just how much are people willing to pay for streaming services. Especially with a host of new ones from Disney, Apple and others on their way.
A recent price increase seems to have spooked Netflix subscribers. The company lost 126,000 subscribers in the U.S., less than 1% of its 60.1 million paid U.S. subscriptions, during the April-June period. Its most popular plan rose from $11 to $13 in a U.S. price hike announced in January and rolled out for many subscribers during the second quarter. Worldwide, the service picked up 2.7 million worldwide subscribers, far below Netflix's forecast of 5 million.
"Netflix raising prices prompted people to think about whether they were getting value for money," Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said.
While people are willing to shell out for several services to meet their streaming needs, he said, they're also willing to cancel if they're not using it enough, just as they would with a gym membership or a subscription to the New Yorker magazine.
Streaming services preparing to compete with Netflix appear to be taking note.
Disney Plus, set to debut in November, will already be cheaper than Netflix at $8 a month, though Disney Plus will also have a smaller video library. Hulu has cut prices to $6 from $8 for its main, ad-supported service. Services from Apple, due out this year, and WarnerMedia and NBCUniversal, out in 2020, don't have announced prices yet, although the NBCUniversal service will be free and ad supported for traditional cable TV subscribers.
Of course, even if these individual services are cheaper than Netflix, it's not clear how many consumers will be willing to pay for.
One way to make a service appealing is not through better prices but through exclusive shows and deep libraries, including shows that Netflix will be losing. Netflix's two most popular shows, "Friends" and "The Office," will be departing in the coming months for rival services.
Group M analyst Brian Weiser said that for now, other services shouldn't be overly concerned by a weak quarter or two at Netflix. He said streaming content consumption is still growing rapidly, so the overall market has plenty of room for competitors. And the streaming arena is a growth area in the much bigger and more mature entertainment industry.
"I don't think it follows that if Netflix has an underperforming quarter that tells you about others," he said.
Some analysts also believe Netflix's trouble is temporary.
Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Graham said the subscriber numbers will likely hit the stock in the short term — the stock was down 11% in midday trading Thursday — but overall the company's growth remains on track, particularly overseas.
"We still see a strong content strategy and room to add large numbers of international subscriptions as key strengths going forward," he wrote in a note to investors.
Similarly, Pivotal Research Group analyst Jeffrey Wlodarczak said investors shouldn't make a "mountain out of a molehill," with the most recent quarterly figures.
The spring quarter is typically sluggish for the streaming service, and Netflix acknowledged a weak content slate could have been partly responsible for the drop. It expects to regain some momentum this summer, projecting that it will add 7 million subscribers from July through September. The optimism stems in part from the immense popularity of "Stranger Things," whose third season attracted record viewership after its July 4 release.
Netflix has said it welcomes competition. It ended June with 151.6 million worldwide subscribers, far more than a current crop of video streaming rivals that includes Amazon and Hulu.
Washington, Jul 18 (AP/UNB) — Actress Sally Field and the long-running children's TV show "Sesame Street" are in the latest class of Kennedy Center Honors recipients.
Others chosen to receive the award for lifetime achievement in the arts include singer Linda Ronstadt, conductor Michael Tilson Thomas and the musical group Earth, Wind and Fire.
The recipients announced Thursday will be honored during a gala ceremony in early December. For the third straight year, the attendance of President Donald Trump seems likely to be a subject of speculation in advance of the event. Trump has skipped the past two celebrations. The first time , multiple recipients threatened to boycott the event if he attended.
The Kennedy Center's president, Deborah Rutter, said it was too early to tell whether Trump or first lady Melania Trump would attend.
"They are always invited," she said. "He is the president of the United States of America, and it would be good to have these extraordinary individuals acknowledged by the president."
Field was a television star at age 19 and went on to forge a distinguished career that included two Academy Awards and three Emmys. At 72, she remains active and starred last year in a Netflix miniseries called "Maniac."
"Sesame Street" debuted in 1969 and remains a force in children's educational television. The show now airs new episodes on HBO, and they are rebroadcast months later on the show's original home, PBS. In recent years, the creators have worked to embrace more modern issues, introducing a puppet named Julia with autism. The co-founders of "Sesame Street," Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett, will accept the award on behalf of the show.
Ronstadt was one of the faces of American music in the 1970s and 80s, landing on the cover of Time magazine in 1977. Her four-decade career moved smoothly between country, pop and rock with occasional deviations into Mexican folk songs. In 2011, she announced her retirement from singing, citing the advancing effects of Parkinson's disease.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Ronstadt professed to a fairly ambivalent relationship to the mountain of prices, awards and honors she has accrued. "I don't think a lot about prizes," she said. "You do the work for the work."
Tilson Thomas, who has served as music director of the San Francisco Symphony for the past 14 years, has become particularly renowned for his interpretations of the entire works of Gustav Mahler. Asked why he felt he was chosen for the award, Tilson Thomas laughed and said, "I guess I've just been around a long time! I started out always being the youngest person on stage, and now I'm the oldest person on stage."
Earth, Wind and Fire was originally formed in Chicago by lead singer Maurice White. The group drew elements from rhythm and blues, funk, and disco in a flashy crowd-pleasing mix that spawned eight No. 1 hits. Songs such as "September" and "Shining Star" remain in heavy rotation for both radio station programmers and wedding DJs.
Maurice White died in 2016, but his brother Verdine, the group's longtime bassist, said he was proud of how their songs have become part of the soundtrack of American music.
"We're part of the culture. We're part of people's lives," he said. "The music makes people happy. When you come to a show you leave happier than when you came."
The 42nd annual Kennedy Center Honors Gala will be held on Dec. 7. The presenters and performers are usually kept secret from the honorees until the show.
Ronstadt played a role in the tribute to The Eagles, 2016 Kennedy Center Honorees, and she said she enjoys the surprise format of the evening. "I'll be curious to see who they come up with," she said.
The event will be broadcast on PBS on Dec. 15.