By Jill Serjeant NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. television was alive with "The Sound of Music" on Thursday as country singer Carrie Underwood and "True Blood" actor Stephen Moyer starred in a live version of the classic musical about an aspiring nun who falls in love with an Austrian captain. Filmed on vast movie sets and with lavish costumes but without an audience, the NBC television broadcast harked back to the traditions of the 1950s and 1960s when live musicals were often shown on American television. Thursday's three-hour show was based on the 1959 stage version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein show rather than the Oscar-winning 1965 musical starring Julie Andrews. After heavy promotion for weeks, the live broadcast was the No. 2 topic on Twitter on Thursday, behind the death of South African anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela.
By Eric Kelsey and Lisa Richwine LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Fast & Furious" actor Paul Walker died from multiple injuries in a weekend car crash, the Los Angeles County coroner said on Wednesday, as Universal Pictures suspended production of the seventh installment in its lucrative car racing film franchise. Walker, 40, was a passenger in a fiery one-car crash on Saturday in Santa Clarita, California, about 30 miles northwest of Los Angeles, that also killed 38-year-old driver Roger Rodas. The coroner said Walker's death resulted from "traumatic and thermal injuries." While the coroner did not elaborate, thermal injuries are heat-related and are commonly burns.
Troubled former teenage star Amanda Bynes has left a California facility after court-ordered psychiatric treatment and is recovering at her parents' home in Los Angeles, People magazine said on Thursday. The 27-year-old actress was receiving psychiatric care at a Malibu facility after she was alleged to have started a small fire in the front of a home in Thousand Oaks, a Los Angeles suburb, in July. "Amanda has completed her inpatient rehabilitation and she's feeling better every day," lawyer Tamar Arminak said in a statement released to the magazine. "Despite the fact Amanda is no longer in a facility, her outpatient treatment is continuing," he added.
Sony Pictures has presented the first trailer for the forthcoming sequel, in which the young superhero will measure his strength against some of his most formidable opponents. Andrew Garfield returns in the role of the superhero, who must now face at least three of his enemies: Electro (Jamie Foxx), Rhino (Paul Giamatti) and the Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan) are all visible in the new trailer. Emma Stone, Felicity Jones and Chris Cooper also feature in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," arriving in theaters in the US and Canada on May 2.
By Piya Sinha-Roy LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Genre-bending films dominated the 2014 lineup announced on Wednesday for the U.S. feature film competition at the Sundance Film Festival, the top U.S. festival for independent cinema. A lot of them were unexpected," John Cooper, director of the Sundance film festival, told Reuters. "'Life After Beth' is a really innovative approach of using some of the conventions of a zombie film but putting it in an indie young love story," said Trevor Groth, the director of programming for the film festival started by actor and director Robert Redford in 1978.