People: Pope Francis, Lorde, Carrie Underwood and Julie Andrews

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MTV's college channel has gone in two wildly different directions in naming Pope Francis and pop singer Lorde as its man and woman of the year, The Associated Press reports.

MTVU said Tuesday that both figures challenged their followers with unexpected stands.

Since becoming pope, Francis has urged the Catholic Church not to become obsessed with "small-minded rules" and to emphasize compassion over condemnation in dealing with touchy topics such as abortion, gays and contraception.

The New Zealand teenager Lorde released a debut single, "Royals," that puts down a culture of conspicuous consumption, and distributed it first for free.

Last year, MTVU honored Frank Ocean and Malala Yousafzai.

 

The enormous ratings for last week's live version of "The Sound of Music," which reached 18.6 million viewers, have NBC's top entertainment executive pushing the button on a follow-up, The New York Times reports.

Robert Greenblatt, chairman of NBC's entertainment division, said Monday that the network would mount another live production next year for the holidays that would be led by the "Sound of Music" executive producers, Neil Meron and Craig Zadan. In a telephone interview, the three men said they had begun work on selecting another musical. Greenblatt said they were "circling a couple of titles" that fit their prerequisites: family-friendly Broadway classics with a lot of familiar songs.

"All weekend, people have been calling us and emailing us," Greenblatt said. "Rights holders of musicals have said, 'Please do one of our shows.' We're excited to try it again."

One crucial element to the success of "The Sound of Music," Meron said, was securing Carrie Underwood, the country music star who played Maria, the role made famous by Julie Andrews in the 1965 movie. "She really delivered her audience, her fan base," Meron said. The executives said the ratings were three times what they had predicted. (See the Nielsen ratings chart, Page C-7.)

And while more than 18 million television viewers watched Carrie Underwood perform the role of Maria last week in NBC's "The Sound of Music Live!," Julie Andrews wasn't among them, the AP reports.

Andrews, who starred in the 1965 Oscar-winning film, explained, "Alas, I did not (see it). I had a speaking engagement and I couldn't. But my kids did record it. I'll get around to it."

She attended the U.S. premiere Monday night of "Saving Mr. Banks," which depicts the battle between P.L. Travers, author of the "Mary Poppins" novels, and Walt Disney, who worked for decades to persuade the writer that the "Poppins" tales would make a fine film.

"Saving Mr. Banks" picks up the story in 1961, when the London-based Travers finally agreed to a two-week visit to Los Angeles to meet with Disney and his creative team. Before signing over the film rights, Travers wanted to see Disney's treatment of her source material, and quickly proved a brutal critic and difficult collaborator -- shredding key decisions about the film adaptation, including casting.

In "Banks," Travers (played by Emma Thompson) goes on a tirade about the hiring of Dick Van Dyke.

On the arrivals line, Van Dyke revealed an additional Travers tidbit that isn't in the movie.

"Well, she wasn't thrilled with Julie, either," he said. "She wanted a dumpy little Mary Poppins. She didn't want a pretty girl. So, she didn't like either one of us."

Sir Ian McKellen is speaking out after Damian Lewis appeared to throw some serious shade on the actor, E! News reports.

The "Homeland" star recently gave an interview in The Guardian saying that in the beginning of his career he worried that he would end up being "one of these slightly over-the-top, fruity actors who would have an illustrious career on stage, but wouldn't start getting any kind of film work until [he] was 50 and then start playing wizards."

While Lewis didn't name names, it didn't take a wizard to guess who he was talking about.

McKellen, aka Gandalf, responded, telling the Radio Times, "I wouldn't like to have been one of those actors who hit stardom quite early on and expected it to continue and was stuck doing scripts that I didn't particularly like just to keep the income up."

The "Hobbit" star threw this little dig at the "Band of Brothers" Brit, saying, "No one needs to feel sorry for me ... or anyone else who has fallen victim to success." But it was Lewis' "fruity" dig that really ruffled a few of McKellen's feathers.

The 74-year-old, who came out as gay in 1988, explained that he had sympathy for those in Hollywood who remain in the closet.

"They're warned by the people who surround them -- agents and managers, who have a living to make and are worried that the actor will get pigeonholed.

"I don't think the audience gives a damn ... You don't have to be straight to play Gandalf. Anyway, who says that Gandalf isn't gay? I loved it when J.K. Rowling said that Dumbledore was gay."

Director and "So You Think You Can Dance" judge Adam Shankman has entered rehab, his rep confirmed to People Tuesday.

"Adam Shankman is currently seeking treatment in a rehabilitation center. His friends and family support him and wish him well on his journey to recovery," the statement reads.

The reason for the treatment wasn't revealed.

Shankman, 49, has long been a sort of Renaissance man in Hollywood, juggling dance, directorial and other duties. In recent years he both directed and choreographed "Hairspray" and "Rock of Ages."

He's also the man who could be credited for the ultimately doomed relationship between Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth. He was a producer on "The Last Song," the romantic film that put the stars together.

"I sort of want a finder's fee for Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth," he joked to People last year. "I'm scared at how beautiful those children are going to be."


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