NEW YORK — Comedian Dave Chappelle is headed back to TV with his first concert specials in a dozen years — two of them. Both premiere March 21, exclusively on Netflix.
The hour-long specials are from his personal vault. “Dave Chappelle: The Age of Spin” was filmed at The Palladium in Los Angeles in March 2016. “Dave Chappelle: Deep in the Heart of Texas” was filmed at the Moody Theater in Austin in April 2015.
He’s currently on the road in preparation for a third Netflix special.
Chappelle’s comedy career includes movie roles in “The Nutty Professor,” ”Con Air” and “Blue Streak.” In 2003, he achieved heightened fame and critical acclaim as the mastermind of his Comedy Central sketch series, “Chappelle’s Show,” only to abruptly exit the series in its third season.
DeGeneres returns to prime time for fun, games
LOS ANGELES — Ellen DeGeneres is coming back to prime time, this time for fun and games.
NBC said Thursday it has ordered six episodes of an hour-long show hosted and produced by DeGeneres. It will feature “supersized” versions of games played on her daytime talk show.
The new show, titled “Ellen’s Game of Games,” will pull contestants from the audience and give one a chance to win what NBC described as a “huge” cash prize.
In a statement, DeGeneres promised “gigantic sets” and hilarious games.
Before her successful move to daytime, DeGeneres starred in the prime-time sitcoms “Ellen” and “The Ellen Show.”
She’s also become a busy producer, with shows including “Little Big Shots” and its upcoming spin-off, “Little Big Shots: Forever Young.”
A debut date for “Ellen’s Game of Games” wasn’t announced.
McMurtry selling typewriters from ‘Lonesome Dove’
DALLAS — Larry McMurtry is selling the two typewriters he used to write his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “Lonesome Dove.”
Heritage Auctions is offering up the typewriters in New York City next week. The Dallas-based auction house expects them to sell Wednesday for about $20,000.
McMurtry told The Associated Press he “just decided that it would be fun” to sell them at auction, “and I actually have too many typewriters.”
The author and screenwriter said he still writes on a typewriter and has about 15 of them.
While writing “Lonesome Dove,” a tale of a cattle drive in the 1870s, he kept one typewriter in his hometown of Archer City, Texas, and the other in Washington, D.C. The 80-year-old now splits his time between Tucson, Arizona, and Archer City.
Court tosses murder case after Heston rant
PHILADELPHIA — A Philadelphia judge’s clash with the late actor Charlton Heston has indirectly led a U.S. appeals court to overturn a murder conviction.
The victim’s family had created a blog during the 1998 trial that quoted Heston, of “Ben-Hur” and “The Ten Commandments” fame, calling Judge Lisa Richette soft on crime. Heston had called her by the nickname “Let ‘em Loose Lisa” during a National Rifle Association speech that year in Philadelphia.
The blog prompted Richette to call the victim’s family to her chambers, with the prosecutor and defense lawyer but not the defendant on hand. She suggested that victim Mark Gibson’s family had slandered her, but then assured them she would try the case fairly.
She ultimately found defendant Paul McKernan guilty of first-degree murder and sent him to prison for life. McKernan had claimed self-defense in the baseball bat death.
In appeals over two decades, he argued that Richette had bent over backward to appease the Gibson family.
The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court last week called the late judge’s back-room conversation inappropriate and found the defense lawyer ineffective.
“Judge Richette’s actions would have caused any competent attorney to seek recusal immediately,” Circuit Judge Jane R. Roth wrote in a unanimous three-judge opinion.
Defense lawyer W. Fred Harrison Jr. did not immediately return a call for comment Thursday.
McKernan, after serving 20 years in prison, will be released unless the Philadelphia District Attorney decides to retry him. The case remains under review, a district attorney’s spokesman said.
“Our client is relieved that that the court after nearly 20 years recognizes that he did not receive a fair trial,” lawyer Maria Pulzetti of the Federal Community Defender Office, who handled the appeal, told The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Richette, who was considered flamboyant, a bit eccentric and something of a bleeding heart, died in 2007. She had attended Yale Law School and was the author of a well-regarded 1969 book on the juvenile justice system called “The Throwaway Children.”