Curry out on 'Today'
NEW YORK - For a morning show used to celebrating family and a connection with its audience, the "Today" show's farewell to co-host Ann Curry on Thursday was brief, tearful and sad.
It was tinged with the sense of failure, something NBC's dominant morning show hasn't experienced in a long time.
Curry, who was co-host with Matt Lauer for a year after several years as the news anchor, fought back tears on the air, saying "this is not as I expected to ever leave this couch."
Her departure ended a week's worth of awkward television. She came to work after word got out that NBC was looking to oust her, with neither she nor the network commenting on the stories until Thursday. "I'm sorry I couldn't carry the ball over the finish line but, man, I did try," she said.
While Curry was placed in a role to which she was unsuited, blaming her for the "Today" show's troubles would be simplistic. Expecting her successor - most likely NBC's Savannah Guthrie - to author an immediate turnaround would be unrealistic.
Her ouster, however, was NBC's first visible response to the end of its historic winning streak this spring. Starting in December 1995, NBC had won every week in the morning show ratings - 852 consecutive weeks - until being topped by "Good Morning America." The two shows have since traded victories, with ABC winning a total of four weeks.
"You have the biggest heart in the business," Lauer said on Thursday. "You put it on display every single day in this studio."
Grammys to honor Springsteen
LOS ANGELES - Bruce Springsteen is being recognized for his creative and philanthropic contributions by the group that puts on the Grammy Awards.
The Recording Academy announced Thursday that Springsteen has been named its 2013 MusiCares person of the year. The Boss will be feted at a private fundraising dinner ceremony on Feb. 8 in Los Angeles.
Recording Academy President Neil Portnow called Springsteen a "renaissance artist of our time, a national treasure, and an exemplary humanitarian." Springsteen has won 20 Grammy awards during his nearly 40-year career.
The Recording Academy's MusiCares Foundation provides financial, medical and educational services to members of the music community. Past person of the year honorees include Barbra Streisand, Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin and Paul McCartney.
Romeo on Tyler Perry
NEW YORK - Rapper-turned-actor Romeo felt right at home working with Tyler Perry because he says the director reminds him of his father, rapper Master P.
Romeo says his hip-hop artist dad and the successful writer/director have a similar work ethic and outlook on life.
"When I was working with him, I was like 'did I already know you?'" said the 22-year-old in a recent interview.
Perry directs and stars alongside Romeo in his latest comedy, "Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection," in theaters today.
Though his recent projects have been comedies like "Jumping the Broom" and "Madea," Romeo is trying to make the leap to full-fledged action hero.
He says he's hoping to become "the next Will Smith" and nab roles in the upcoming "The Hunger Games" sequel and fourth "Transformers" installment.
"I've been going back and forth with Lionsgate (about) 'The Hunger Games,'" he said. "I just want to do a little bit of everything, from romantic comedies to dramas and then to the big action movies."
Snoop Dogg busted
OSLO, Norway - Norwegian media are reporting that Snoop Dogg was briefly detained in Norway after entering the country with marijuana and a large amount of cash.
Customs officials decline to confirm the report, saying only that an American artist entered Norway with a small amount of marijuana that was detected by a sniffer-dog. Norwegian law prevents law enforcement officials from naming suspects.
A customs officer who spoke on condition of anonymity said Thursday that the artist was also carrying more cash than is legally allowed and was subsequently fined $8,600 for the violations.
Snoop Dogg was scheduled to perform Thursday at a musical festival in the southern town of Kristiansand.
The rapper, whose name is Calvin Broadus, has in the past been arrested on marijuana possession.
'Edwin Drood' cast
NEW YORK - Chita Rivera will get some help from Stephanie J. Block, Jim Norton and Will Chase when "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" begins flummoxing audiences this fall.
The Roundabout Theatre Company revealed Thursday the full cast for the revival of Rupert Holmes' musical comedy that begins Oct. 19 at its Studio 54 theater under the direction of Scott Ellis.
The Tony-winning play is loosely based on the book of the same name that Charles Dickens was working on when he died in 1870. The audience decides who the murderer is.
Norton won a Tony in "The Seafarer" and Chase is known for his role as Michael Swift in NBC's "Smash. Block has just ended her run in "Anything Goes." Jessie Mueller, from "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever," and Gregg Edelman, of "Into the Woods," also join the cast.
Kenny Rogers sells home
JEFFERSON, Ga.- The northeast Georgia home owned by country singer Kenny Rogers that was scheduled to be put up for auction has been sold.
Grand Estates Auction Co. in Charlotte, N.C., says Rogers sold the house and its 150 acres Wednesday for $2.25 million.
The property is located near Nicholson, Ga., and included a 5,681-square-foot-house, a 2,675-square foot pool, an 8-acre lake, horse riding trails, go-cart track and other amenities.
The auction was called off suddenly Tuesday afternoon after attracting nearly a dozen potential buyers. Soon after the auction was scheduled to take place, organizers announced Rogers had taken the property off the market.