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ShowBiz Bits: A replacement for Larry King announced, “The Hunger Games” connects with book buyers and Hollywood & George Clooney is at the top of the Box Office

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TV reality show judge wins Larry King’s job

The British Talk Show host-turned- “America’s Got Talent” Judge, Piers Morgan, is Larry King’s replacement. Rumors about the deal have been in the wind for weeks. Today CNN made the official announcement. 

Earlier this summer, King announced he would be retiring from his high-profile interview program, “Larry King Live,” this fall, after 25 years. has a report on the behind the scenes wheeling and dealing that got Morgan the job.

Hollywood and book readers hot for “The Hunger Games” series 

Book cover for "Mockingjay"

The final installment of the “Hunger Games” book series is a monster hit. Galleycat reports the publisher, Scholastic, announced “Mockingjay” sold an incredible 450,000 copies in hardcover and ebooks since its release on August 24. That’s around 45,000 books a day! The publisher reportedly is printing a second run of 400,000 hardcover copies.

Suzanne Collins’ YA (Young Adult) fantasy series has made a variety of bestseller lists, including Barnes & Noble, The New York Times, and USA Today. Lionsgate has bought the film rights to the first book in the series, “The Hunger Games.”  The script is written and reportedly several directors are circling the project.

George Clooney hangs onto the Box Office lead

Apparently “The American” is getting some good recommendations from moviegoers. The George Clooney thriller won the Labor Day Holiday weekend domestic Box Office and continues to out run the competition this week.

 The thriller is about an American assassin who finds himself marked for death. Three of my friends saw “The American” over the weekend. They say Clooney was great eye-candy, but didn’t think the film was worth the price of admission — especially at $11.50 each.

“The American” raked up a weak $16.6 million over the three-day-holiday, followed by the new action flick “Machete” in second with $14 million. The “Machete” plot revolves around a Mexican immigrant/renegade who gets caught up in a political conspiracy. It stars Danny Trejo, Steven Seagal, and Jessica Alba.

The crime drama “Takers” took third with $13.5 million. “The Last Exorcism” scared up $8.7 million for fourth and rounding out the top five the new romantic comedy, “Going the Distance” with $8.5 million. In “Going the Distance” a couple tries to make it work even though he lives in New York and she in San Francisco. Drew Barrymore leads a cast that includes Justin Long and Christina Applegate.

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