In perhaps one of the most cynical maneuvers I've seen since I started writing about pop culture, there's going to be a second version of Justin Bieber: Never Say Never released in theaters on March 4, just in time to separate a bunch of 10-year-olds from more of their money to see an "expanded" version of the same movie. It's rare that I look at a headline and think nothing more than "You jerks," but I have to admit, that's what I thought.
Speaking of tween stars (and why not?), Billy Ray Cyrus has given GQ a bracingly angry interview about how much he wishes he'd never let his daughter Miley appear on Disney's Hannah Montana. "It destroyed my family," he says. Ouch. (via THR)
You may have heard that last night's Jeopardy! featured the first leg of the man-versus-machine competition between two human champions and a computer named Watson. See some highlights of what went down.
In one of those feuds where it seems like everyone is fundamentally on the same side and feelings have now been hurt and everyone will now never get back on the same side, Whoopi Goldberg has taken offense at not being named in a New York Times article lamenting the low number of African-American actors nominated for Oscars. And then the Times took offense that she took offense, and even though they pointed out that she wasn't actually omitted, she's still mad.
Artist Jasper Johns is about to become the first painter or sculptor to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 34 years.
Would you like to guess how much money has been spent on ads during the Oscar telecasts in the last ten years? Go on, guess. The answer is $720 million, with companies including Coca-Cola and American Express leading the way.
In the world of books, McSweeney's has a new children's book imprint that will put out ten books in its first year, and a food imprint that will put out between two and four.
And finally: If you don't love Newsies!, the 1992 film musical starring a very young Christian Bale as the leader of a newsboy strike, you probably know someone who does. And that person is undoubtedly very excited about the new theatrical version of which word emerged yesterday.