'SNL' to Broadcast Live Backstage for Season Finale

For its highly-anticipated season finale this weekend, Saturday Night Live (along with sponsor Verizon) is giving fans some bonus content. Throughout the Mick Jagger-hosted episode, viewers will also get to see what happens behind the scenes of the legendary comedy show. The program will use Color, a new iPhone app that connects to Facebook to instantly capture and broadcast videos, to shoot 30-second live clips during this week's rehearsals and the live finale's commercial breaks. The SNL cast, Jagger and special musical guests Arcade Fire and Foo Fighters will all participate.

"There's something magical about live TV," Color co-founder Bill Nguyen wrote on the company blog. "I've dreamed about being backstage at SNL my entire life. Verizon Wireless is granting my wish (and yours too)."

To watch the videos, viewers must download the Color app, which will send out an alert as soon as a cast member or special guest starts to broadcast a new video. Viewers must be a fan of either SNL or Verizon Wireless on Facebook.

This live-video experiment comes as both SNL and Facebook reach significant tech milestones--airing its 100th digital and launching the highest-ever Internet IPO, respectively. Last week's 100th SNL digital short featured Justin Timberlake, Justin Bieber, Natalie Portman and others. On Friday, Mark Zuckerberg will ring Nasdaq's opening bell remotely from Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California, to launch the social network's initial public offering.

Oh, technology.

Joshua Radin Releasing New Album July 31

Joshua Radin announced Wednesday that he will release his fourth studio album, Underwater, on July 31. His first since 2010's The Rock and The Tide, the new album features 12 tracks all written or co-written by Radin. It is produced by Kevin Augunas, whose resume includes albums from Cold War Kids and Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, among others.

Coinciding with the announcement of the upcoming release, Radin is also giving away a free download of the title track.

For a list of Joshua Radin's tour dates and other information regarding his new album, click here.

Adele's '21' Passes 9 Million Sales Mark in U.S.

Adele's winning streak continues this week, as her popular album 21 has now passed the 9 million sales mark in the U.S. It is the first album to hit the plateau since Usher's Confessions in July 2005.

With the Mother's Day holiday falling on the final day of the tracking week (May 13), 21 saw a 31 percent uptick in sales last week to finish with 101,000 sold. Carrie Underwood's Blown Away remains at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 for a second week (her first album to stay in the top spot for more than one week). Meanwhile, 64 weeks since its release, Adele's worldwide hit holds strong at No. 2--remaining in the Top 10 all 64 weeks.

Because 21 continues to sell without steep drops, it will likely pass the 10 million sales mark this year. The last album to do so was Eminem's The Eminem Show, which released in 2002 but only topped 10 million nearly a decade later in October 2011. Something to think about.

This week's Top 10:
1. Carrie Underwood's Blown Away
2. Adele's 21
3. Lionel Richie's Tuskegee
4. Now 42
5. Norah Jones' Little Broken Hearts
6. Silversun Pickups' Neck of the Woods (New)
7. One Direction's Up All Night
8. Jack White's Blunderbuss
9. Tank's This Is How I Feel (New)
10. Luke Bryan's Tailgates & Tanlines

Aaron Sorkin to Adapt Steve Jobs Biography for Film

Academy Award winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin is set to pen a movie about the life of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who died last October. According to an announcement from Sony Corp.’s Sony Pictures late Tuesday, the film will be based on the biography of Jobs written by Walter Isaacson and published late last year.

"Steve Jobs’ story is unique: he was one of the most revolutionary and influential men not just of our time but of all time,” Sony Pictures co-Chairman Amy Pascal said in a statement.

Sorkin’s previous film credits include A Few Good Men, Moneyball and The Social Network, which is about the founding of Facebook. The Emmy winner is also known for his TV accomplishments, including The West Wing, Sports Night and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Sorkin is currently in production of The Newsroom, which premieres next month on HBO.

Adele May Re-Release '21' with New Tracks

The Daily Star Sunday is reporting that Adele will re-release her hit album, 21, possibly with additional tracks. The singer's label, XL Recordings, wants a special edition of the record-breaking LP in stores by Christmas to help it become the biggest-selling album of all time in the U.K.

21 recently became the fifth best-selling album in U.K. history after overtaking Michael Jackson's Thriller by shifting 4,274,300 copies. To date, Queen's Greatest Hits holds the top spot, having sold six million copies, but XL hopes the "Rumour Has It" singer could pass this number with a slight nudge.

"A repackaged album is currently being discussed," a source told the Daily Star Sunday. "It's not yet confirmed that it will feature new material or songs that didn't make the original album but it makes sense to bring it out."

Adele has previously stated that she plans to rest for a while and take a fairly organic approach to writing for a future full-length, although she has not ruled out releasing individual songs. In a recent interview, she promised a new single, "probably by the end of the year" -- a track the BBC predicts could be the theme song for the next James Bond film, Skyfall, which releases in November.

21 is on track to pass the 9 million sales mark in the U.S.

Changes for 'The Voice' & 'Glee'; No NBC Comedies Ending?

As the networks announce their plans for the 2012-13 year, there are some changes coming--some that may or may not sit well with fans.

Here's what is known so far:

The Voice is returning in the fall for a third season, with a fourth season set to premiere in its usual spring slot. NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt hinted Sunday that new tweaks to the show could include different judges for the second cycle in the spring; extending the audition rounds, when the show tends to pull in some of its highest ratings; keeping the popular revolving chairs around for the battle rounds; and getting to the live episodes more quickly. While judges Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine, Cee Lo Green and Blake Shelton are committed to multiple cycles of the hit show, Greenblatt said he understands that they are all active musicians and their schedules may infringe with the show's demands beyond the fall.

Greenblatt also cautioned that he is by no means shunting Community -- which has a small but devoted following -- to the graveyard. "Community tends to survive where ever it goes," he says. "There's an opportunity for comedy on Friday, provided we can put shows there that already have audiences...There was no intention to extend those shows to the graveyard on Friday."

Greenblatt also confirmed that the network has no plans to end 30 Rock, The Office or Community after the upcoming season, despite many reports to the contrary. "As they age, it's obviously something you look at. We haven't definitely said that with any of them yet."

Regarding The Office, Greenblatt expressed confidence in the show's future: "I expect to see all of that cast back except Mindy [Kaling], who is going on to her own show, which we're thrilled about. We're thrilled for her."

Unlike NBC, Fox will not make as drastic of changes. Word is the network will stick to its all-comedy Tuesday night with Raising Hope, Ben & Kate, New Girl and Mindy Kaling’s comedy (which has been called It's Messy in previous reports but appears as The Mindy Project on Fox's schedule) . Meanwhile, Glee, which has been cemented in the Tuesday line-up for the last two years, is relocating to Thursdays.

Kate Hudson and Sarah Jessica Parker are both joining Glee in recurring roles this fall. Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly has confirmed that both actresses will do multi-episode story arcs. He also previewed next season, saying that it will feature a "show within a show," following some of this year's graduates as they attend the New York performing arts school while still focusing on characters in Ohio.

UPDATE: Despite Bob Greenblatt's assurance on Sunday that no comedies would end next season, 30 Rock is definitely ending--as confirmed during NBC's upfront presentation on Monday. The series, which was renewed with a 13-episode order, will conclude with an hour-long series finale.

'The Office' Renewed; 'Community' to Fridays

NBC is shaking things up next season. Following renewals and cancellations and contract dealings through the last minute, it appears the network will four different blocks of comedy for the 2012-13 season.

The Voice, as expected, will debut its third season in the fall instead of midseason. The Biggest Loser is being held off until next spring. The network also surprised and renewed Brian Williams' Rock Center, which failed to make a splash this past year.

Appearing alongside a ton of new shows will be a few returning series. 30 Rock, Up All Night, The Office and Parks and Recreation will make up the Thursday night lineup, followed by Rock Center. According to Deadline, Community is being shifted to the dreaded Friday night slot following Whitney. Contract negotiations are still ongoing for The Office, but key players will be returning for the 22-episode season. Word is that Paul Lieberstein (Toby), B.J. Novak (Ryan), Mindy Kaling (Kelly) and Rainn Wilson (Dwight) will not return--although Wilson may appear in a few episodes to transition out.

Update: NBC's Bob Greenblatt expressed optimism later Sunday that all Office cast members except Kaling would return. As of early Sunday, Novak was not involved in discussions, but now that the show is set to return, remaining contracts may be sealed soon.

Zooey Deschanel to Play Loretta Lynn in Musical

One of the greatest names in country music, Loretta Lynn, is taking her life story to Broadway. During a Grand Ole Opry show Thursday night, the Country Music Hall of Fame member unveiled plans to adapt Coal Miner's Daughter for stage.

Similar to the way Lynn, 80, revealed in 1979 on the Opry stage that Sissy Spacek would play her in the film version, she invited film and TV actress/singer Zooey Deschanel on stage Thursday to reveal that Deschanel, 32, will portray a young Lynn for the Broadway adaption.

"I have a friend here tonight," Lynn told the audience, before referencing her 1979 announcement with Spacek. "There's a little girl back stage that's going to do the play of Coal Miner's Daughter on Broadway. Zooey, where you at, honey?"

Deschanel, the star and a producer of the Fox comedy New Girl, then joined the famed country singer onstage and the two performed the title song together.

Besides her work on New Girl, Deschanel has starred in such films as Elf, (500) Days of Summer and Your Highness. She has also established herself as a great vocal talent, appearing on some of her own movie soundtracks and releasing three albums with M. Ward as one-half of the duo She & Him. Her song, "So Long," was nominated for a Grammy for Best Song Written For Visual Media.

The musical is not likely to conflict with season two of New Girl.

NBC Renews 'Parks and Recreation' for 2012-13

NBC is wheeling and dealing ahead of its upfront announcement Monday morning.

The network has officially picked up Amy Poehler's Parks and Recreation for a full fifth season, with 22 episodes (unlike previous speculation that it would get a short 13-episode order). NBC knows it will have to dazzle advertisers Monday after a lackluster year--despite strong performances by The Voice--and holding on to some veteran shows is important.

The Peacock also renewed Up All Night and the barely-popular Whitney.

Studios Fight to Turn Self-Published Book 'Wool' into Film

When Hugh Howey first released his sci-fi novelette, Wool, less than a year ago, he had no idea the kind of reaction he would receive from his self-published e-book. 10 months later, 20th Century Fox is set to close a deal to adapt the story to film after a long bidding war that has included multiple major studios. Ridley and Tony Scott’s Scott Free Productions is partnering on the deal with Film Rites’ Steve Zaillian and Garrett Basch.

It's a major accomplishment for a tiny e-book that quickly spread beyond the general sci-fi readership to become an Internet sensation. Originally planned to be a stand-alone book at 56 pages, Wool created overwhelming demand for more to the story--and Howey obliged, writing five additional novellas to follow (the last of which released in April).

The story proposes a dystopian future where the last inhabitants on earth band together in safe bunkers called Silos. No one is allowed outside until a secret is discovered that could change the course of humanity, as well as reveal its devastating past.

Howey, whose failed experiences pitching manuscripts to publishing houses inspired him to go the indie route, said in a recent interview that he had "no real dream beyond selling anything more than a few hundred copies and possibly entertaining some friends."

Many names and numbers are still likely to be tossed around as this deal is finalized, but Howey's creation looks to be a lock for Free Scott. Director-producer Ridley Scott's films include Thelma & Louise, Gladiator, Hannibal and Black Hawk Down. His younger brother's films include Top Gun, Enemy of the State and Man on Fire.

Facebook Has Minimal Impact on Music Discovery, Sales

For the last few years, so-called "social media" has been inescapable. The music industry has been arguably one of social media's biggest proponents, with musicians like Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson and Rihanna frequenting the top spots on most social channels. Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and the like are indisputable forces for engagement and visibility, but what about beyond that?

The market research firm NPD Group recently released additional data showing that social media's role in music discovery is actually minor compared to other formats. Elder platforms like AM/FM radio, TV, and of course person-to-person recommendations still rank superior to Facebook campaigns.

According to NPD's findings at the end of 2011, 60 percent of active consumers still discover their music selections via traditional radio; 49 percent cite television (awards shows, singing competitions, serial shows, etc.) as highly influential. Online radio (such as Spotify, Pandora) hovered near 10 percent, while around two percent of consumers said a post on social media influenced them to listen to--much less buy--a specific song or album.

Data released just last month now shows why Facebook's recent partnership with music streaming service Spotify was a wise choice. According to NPD, online radio and streaming is at staggering heights among consumers aged 18-25, but showing the most growth among the 36- to 50-year-old age group. Overall, online radio is the fastest growing music listening option.

While streaming is driving down file sharing, it's not exactly driving up music purchases. Only 12 percent of Facebook users actually opt to listen to music directly through the social platform or indirectly via hyperlink, and they are most likely to listen to music they already know.

While the numbers may be new, the facts are steady. Social media remains a powerful way for entertainers and brands to interact with fans directly--something most musicians can't afford to ignore, but most research shows the social network's effect in driving sales is still minimal at best.

“There’s no doubt that Facebook has helped drive music listening and discovery,” says Russ Crupnick of NPD. “But what is not yet clear is the platform’s importance, in terms of ongoing music usage and purchasing."

NBC Renews 'Community' for 13-Episode Season

It's not what fans had hoped for, but it's better than nothing. The little show that could, NBC's Community, has been renewed for next season with a 13-episode order. The short order comes as no surprise, given recent speculation about the networks plans to inject its fall lineup with gobs of new programming.

The renewal makes Community the second of NBC's comedy block to be confirmed for the 2012-13 season. 30 Rock was renewed earlier Thursday, with The Office looking good for next season after three of its stars locked in new contracts. No official news has been made regarding Parks and Recreation (also likely to receive a small order).

Chevy Chase's future with the show remains to be seen, given his recent feud with showrunner Dan Harmon. Co-star Joel McHale recently stated he believes Chase will return.

Get the Latest in Your Inbox