x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Today's entertainment news: Mad Men returns to US screens on Sunday

Plus: Burj Khalifa gets monument; Toni Braxton to close Dubai World Cup; Disney's John Carter flops; Ashton Kutcher to go to space; Big B braces for cricket league; Oprah lays off staff and Saudi gallery show at Art Dubai.

Mad Men returns for a fifth season on Sunday.
Mad Men returns for a fifth season on Sunday.

The television series Mad Men finally returns to screens in the US on Sunday, following an 18-month gap due to an off-air battle which almost ended the production.

The show, about 1960s New York advertising executives, kicks off its fifth season with a special two-hour episode.

Mad Men is the only series in history to win the best drama Emmy for every season it has been broadcast – four in a row – and has spawned a culture-wide tide of 1960s nostalgia.

Newsweek's latest issue is designed like a magazine from 1965, with layout and advertisements all in the retro style.

Disney's John Carter officially a flop

John Carter is now officially a flop of galactic proportions.

Disney announced on Monday it expects to book a loss of US$200 million (Dh735m), one of Hollywood's biggest money-losers ever.

Directed by Pixar's Andrew Stanton, the 3D movie had a production budget of US$250m with about US$100m more spent on marketing.

The poor reception was a shock, given Stanton's directing success with Finding Nemo and Wall-E, which were Oscar winners for Best Animated Feature.

Oprah lays off 30 members of staff

Oprah Winfrey's struggling cable network OWN said on Monday it is laying off 30 employees.

"As CEO, I have a responsibility to chart long-term success … This was a necessary next step," Winfrey said in a statement.

OWN, which launched in January last year, started as an ambitious platform for Winfrey after she stepped away from her long-running daytime talk show. But viewership for OWN shows has been largely unimpressive, with Rosie O'Donnell's talk show cancelled last week.

"I would absolutely say it is and was not where I want it to be," Winfrey said in December.

Toni Braxton to close Dubai World Cup

The Grammy-winning superstar Toni Braxton is set to perform in concert at the closing event of the Dubai World Cup horse racing on March 31, producers Atelier Live announced yesterday.

Tickets for the Dubai World Cup are priced at Dh350, with all attendees to gain entrance to Braxton's concert. Visit www.meydan.ae or call 04 327 2110.

Saudi gallery at Art Dubai

Athr Gallery, a leading contemporary gallery in Jeddah, will showcase works from 12 of Saudi Arabia's best artists during this week's Art Dubai.

Spanning a cross-section of mediums, Athr's exhibit offers insight into life in the Middle East.

"We are committed to showcasing artists who represent the kaleidoscope of perspectives that reflect the Middle East. We are pleased to be able to offer a unique point of view," said Athr Gallery's Hamza Serafi.

Athr Gallery is in Booth A1 at Madinat Jumeirah's Johara Ballroom.

Bollywood studio on a roll

The Indian production house UTV has delivered four blockbusters in less than three months: the R Madhavan-starrer Vettai, the Imran Khan-Kareena Kapoor film Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu, the romantic comedy Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya, which coincided with the marriage of its stars Riteish Deshmukh and Genelia D'Souza, as well as this month's Paan Singh Tomar, starring Irrfan Khan.

Coming soon from UTV are the films Rowdy Rathore (featuring Akshay Kumar), Barfi (directed by Anurag Basu) and Heroine (led by Kareena Kapoor).

Burj Khalifa gets its own monument

File this under "only in the UAE": a monument has been built for the Burj Khalifa.

The 18-metre high, stainless steel Burj Monument, located near The Dubai Mall on a visual plane aligned with the Burj Khalifa, is "a token of gratitude … saluting the accomplishment of the world's tallest building from 'History Rising' to 'A Living Wonder'," read a statement from Emaar Properties.

The Burj Monument has a triple-lobed footprint and an abstraction of the six-petalled desert flower, Hymenocallis. The structure rests on a marble-clad base with three individually tapered and curved wings.

Ashton Kutcher to go into space

Richard Branson said on Monday his venture to launch paying tourists into space has netted its 500th customer: Ashton Kutcher.

Branson made the announcement on his blog, saying he gave the actor a quick call to congratulate him.

Kutcher is among dozens of celebrities, businessmen and space buffs who have bought tickets, priced at US$200,000 (Dh734,620) each, to be among the first to reach the edge of the Earth on Branson's Virgin Galactic space line.

The company is in the final stages of its test-flight programme.

Big B braces for cricket league

Amitabh Bachchan is all set to make a special appearance at the opening of Chennai's Indian Premier League.

The April 3 event is scheduled to be Bachchan's first public appearance after his abdominal surgery last month.

He posted on Twitter: "Opening extravaganza in Chennai ... and yours truly is a small part of it ... nervous as hell!!"

* Anjali A