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DeGeneres receives top humour prize

Plus: Spielberg rules out another action movie, an ailing Esposito calls CBS 'shameful', Serkis to direct Animal Farm adaptation and Tony Scott on drugs when jumped to death.

Entertainer Ellen DeGeneres, second from front left, reacts as she is introduced, with wife Portia de Rossi, left, before DeGeneres receives the 15th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) *** Local Caption *** Humor Prize Ellen DeGeneres.JPEG-07604.jpg
Entertainer Ellen DeGeneres, second from front left, reacts as she is introduced, with wife Portia de Rossi, left, before DeGeneres receives the 15th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) *** Local Caption *** Humor Prize Ellen DeGeneres.JPEG-07604.jpg

Some of the nation's top comedians hailed Ellen DeGeneres as a trailblazer on Monday as she received the highest US comedy prize, the Mark Twain Prize for American Humour. The show will be broadcast next week on PBS stations. "Thanks to everyone at PBS. I am so happy to be part of your farewell season," DeGeneres joked, taking a jab at Mitt Romney's plans to stop funding public broadcasting. DeGeneres, 54, said she doesn't see herself as political with her comedy. "I just want to make people happy and make people laugh," she said. Among those who paid tribute in the event were Jimmy Kimmel, Sean Hayes, Jane Lynch and Kristin Chenoweth. * AP

Spielberg rules out another action movie

Steven Spielberg has dashed any hopes of another Indiana Jones flick by saying he will never make another action movie. He made the revelation in an interview on the TV show 60 Minutes. "I knew I could do the action in my sleep at this point in my career," he said. "It doesn't attract me anymore." Spielberg says he's more interested in making films such as his forthcoming Abraham Lincoln feature, Lincoln. * IANS

An ailing Esposito calls CBS 'shameful'

The Blue Bloods actress Jennifer Esposito is blasting CBS for sidelining her from the show. In Twitter postings, the actress has accused the network of "absolutely shameful behaviour" in putting her on unpaid leave from the police drama, which stars Tom Selleck. Esposito said she's been diagnosed with coeliac disease and requires a reduced work schedule, but CBS believes she is angling to win a pay raise. CBS has responded that because Esposito can't fulfil the full-time demands of her role, it has "regretfully" put her character on a leave of absence. * AP

Serkis to direct Animal Farm adaptation

After working as a second-unit director on The Hobbit films, the Gollum actor Andy Serkis has lined up a feature of his own, a motion-capture version of George Orwell's Animal Farm. "I think we found a rather fresh way of looking at it," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "It is definitely using performance capture, but we are using an amalgamation of filming styles to create the environments." Though he intends to remove some of the book's political weight, his adaptation will still be "fable-istic and [aimed at] at a family audience". * The National staff

Tony Scott on drugs when jumped to death

The Top Gun director Tony Scott had traces of antidepressant and sleep-inducing drugs in his body when he killed himself by jumping off a California bridge, coroners announced on Monday. The 68-year-old did not have any life-threatening conditions, including cancer, the Los Angeles County Coroner said. The cause of death was suicide caused by multiple blunt-force injuries and drowning. A prolific filmmaker, Scott had more that 30 new projects in the pipeline, including Top Gun 2. * AFP