Entertainment briefs – February 4

Television’s top-rated scripted series, NCIS, will be back this fall for a ninth season.

CBS renews NCIS, biggest draw ever

LOS ANGELES — Television’s top-rated scripted series, NCIS, will be back this fall for a ninth season.

CBS says it’s renewing the drama that stars Mark Harmon and an ensemble cast including Michael Weatherly, Rocky Carroll and Pauley Perrette.

NCIS has climbed steadily in the ratings since its 2003 debut, with this week’s episode drawing the show’s biggest audience ever, nearly 23 million viewers.

NCIS is a spinoff of the action-legal drama JAG. It has proved popular in TV markets worldwide, which CBS and CBS Studio executives called a tribute to the series’ compelling stories that combine intrigue and humour.


Film academy honours Potter series

LONDON — Britain’s film academy is honouring the Harry Potter franchise for working its magic on the country’s movie industry.

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is giving the series an award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema.

The films based on J.K. Rowling’s books about a boy wizard are a global hit, with the first six installments earning more than $5.4 billion around the world.

The eighth and final episode, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2, is due for release this year.

Daniel Radcliffe, who played the young wizard, says the award is a testament to the “incredible work” of the films’ crew and craftspeople.

The academy said Thursday that Rowling and producer David Heyman will accept the award at a ceremony on Feb. 13.


Sheen wants to go back to work

LOS ANGELES — Charlie Sheen wants to get back to work this month on Two and a Half Men, a spokesman said Thursday.

The 45-year-old actor remains in rehab but hopes to return to TV’s top-rated comedy by the end of February, publicist Stan Rosenfield said.

That’s a “target” projection, Rosenfield said.

The series halted production after Sheen sought treatment for undisclosed reasons following a 911 call and brief stay at a Los Angeles-area hospital last week.

According to a tape of the 911 call, Sheen was said to be intoxicated and in pain.

CBS and series producer Warner Bros. Television declined comment on Sheen’s intentions.But decisions about the show aren’t Sheen’s alone.

Producers intend to evaluate the situation before deciding whether to resume filming for the season, a person familiar with their plans said Thursday. The person was not authorized to publicly discuss details and spoke Friday on condition of anonymity.

With uncertainty over Sheen’s return, CBS intends to use a combination of Two and a Half Men reruns and other sitcoms to fill its Monday schedule.


Last Tango in Paris star Schneider dies

PARIS — Maria Schneider, the French actress who was Marlon Brando’s young co-star in the steamy 1972 film Last Tango in Paris, has died, her talent agency said.

She was 58.

A representative of the Act 1 agency said Schneider died in Paris on Thursday “following a long illness,” but declined to provide details.

Schneider was 19 when she starred opposite Marlon Brando in Bernardo Bertolucci’s racy Last Tango in Paris. In it, she played a young Parisian woman who takes up with a middle-aged American businessman, played by Brando.

Throughout her career, Schneider appeared in more than two dozen films, most of them French.

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