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<p>Gordon Ramsay of &quot;Hell&#39;s Kitchen&quot;</p>

Gordon Ramsay of "Hell's Kitchen"

Credit: FOX

TV Ratings: 'America's Got Talent,' low 'Hell's Kitchen' premiere lead Wednesday

'Extant' is likely to hit a series low on Obama-interrupted night

Fast National ratings for Wednesday, September 10, 2014.

"America's Got Talent" delivered Wednesday's biggest audience and led NBC to an overall win, while also helping the network tie with FOX and the "Hell's Kitchen" premiere in the key demographic.

The "Hell's Kitchen" premiere was down significantly from the competition's most recent installment, though that launched in March, so it's not a particularly strong comparison.

Also down on Wednesday was CBS' "Extant," which is likely to hit a series low in all measures, while the returns were better for CBS' "Big Brother," which posted small gains.

Note that all numbers for Wednesday are approximate due to the 16 minute 9 p.m. ET preemption for President Obama's live address to the nation.

On to the numbers...

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Ellen Pompeo may quit acting after 'Grey’s Anatomy'
Credit: ABC

Ellen Pompeo may quit acting after 'Grey’s Anatomy'

Ellen Pompeo may quit acting after “Grey’s Anatomy”
"I definitely don't have a strong desire to act after Grey's,” the actress said last night at a Shonda Rhimes-themed Buzzfeed panel with Kerry Washington and Viola Davis. "I definitely feel myself transitioning. I don't find acting terribly empowering. For the place I am in my life, I think my age, once I hit 40, I feel differently. I don't necessarily want to work for other people."


Tonight on CBS: Rihanna and Baltimore Ravens
Rihanna, a victim of domestic violence, will sing the theme song for “Thursday Night Football,” which kicks off amid a Baltimore Ravens team dealing with the aftermath of cutting running back Ray Rice on Monday for domestic violence.


Discovery announces a reality show pitting rival U.S. senators on a remote island
Republican Jeff Flake of Arizona and Democrat Martin Heinrich of New Mexico will compete on “Rival Survival."


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U2

Did U2 get it wrong by giving 'Songs of Innocence' away?

Is this the way to keep a veteran band relevant?

Is what U2 did really so awful? Ever since the band showed up at Apple’s iPhone 6 launch on Tuesday and gave away its new album, “Songs of Innocence,” to 500 million iTunes users, I’ve read commentary after commentary about how horrible they are.

My Facebook page has been deluged with discussions about the new album and my friends can’t seem to decide what they’re maddest about but it seems to be down to these five things:

*U2 gave its new album away by inserting itself into people’s iTunes library
*Bono is a blowhard
*They hate U2 and see this as the latest craven move from a band that cares more about getting attention then making good music
*They think the new album is horrible (read my review here)
*They really can’t stand that Bono invokes both Joey Ramone’s and Joe Strummer’s names in a pitiful attempt to align U2 with these far superior artists who would never have done anything as commercial as get in bed with Apple.


The Washington Post called U2’s ploy “disgusting,” because the new album arrived in iTunes’ users inboxes like an uninvited guest, just lurking, mocking them.  Other journalists have brought up that the move devalues music by setting the price at free (In a total misunderstanding of this point, U2’s manager Guy Oseary has pointed out that U2 did not give the music away for free: Apple paid them dearly for it.) I’ve even seen arguments that Apple completely bungled the iPhone 6 launch because all people are talking about is the U2 album and not that there’s a new iPhone 6 and watch. Really? I didn’t even pay attention and I totally am able to grasp the fact that there are two new iPhone 6s coming and the iWatch. Do other journalists really think people are so stupid that they can’t grasp more than one takeaway from a product launch?

So here are a few thoughts of my own two days after the incident.

In one way, U2’s pact with Apple was a complete success: The band wanted people to know they have new music out and they have gotten hundreds of millions of dollars in free publicity touting the new album. Even the bad press is still alerting folks that there’s a new U2 album out there. Plus, there’s now a TV commercial advertising the album that Apple has paid for which some reports value at $100 million.  U2 and Apple have a long history of being in bed together: in 2004, Apple created a U2 iPod (remember them?) that had more than 400 U2 tracks available for purchase.

It’s hard for a band like U2 to get attention for new music otherwise. They released two songs earlier this year—neither one of which is on the new album— and they gained little traction. As part of rock’s greying old men club, U2 isn’t likely have a huge hit at radio these days unless it collaborates with Nicki Minaj or Iggy Azalea. Their last album, 2009's "No Line On The Horizon," sold 484,000 in its first week. There's likely no way that "Songs of Innocence" would have hit that number given the continuing downward spiral in album sales, so the band won't have to face humiliating first week numbers (The album comes out at a paid price the second week of October).

 I don’t blame them for dropping their new music this way. First off, they are one of the world’s biggest rock acts— and as their sold out tours show—still have a faithful following. There aren’t that many acts that iTunes would have found valuable to get in bed with, so that says something about U2’s enduring popularity. But what seems to bother so many critics is that U2 so badly wants attention in a way that seems unseemly and desperate. That doesn't bother me.  Most artists make music to be heard. U2 has never ever been about the small gesture. Ever. This might bother me if the move seemed out of character for U2, but it doesn't.

The release does raise one serious question: Should iTunes be able to drop anything into my “Purchased” box anytime it wants to, regardless of whether I choose to download it or not? In terms of facility of use, that was the easiest way to have someone download it, but I’m not sure I’d want to see it be a method employed often.

Worst case scenario? U2 fans get the new album for free. Plus, there may be some younger iTunes users who don’t care about U2, but since the album is waiting there for them to download at the push of a button, they will check it out. As far as the heat U2 is getting from critics, they can soothe  themselves by the soft landing their fat wallets afford.

What to watch for now is the adoption rate. Billboard reported that in the first 24 hours, 200,000 people downloaded the album. That is a paltry number if it is indeed available to 500 million. U2’s label, Interscope, says that number is wrong, but didn’t provide any figures. If people don’t care enough to even check it out for free, then that begins to be a much bigger issue for U2 and one that the band is supremely aware of. Bono has said that the band needed to find a way to stay relevant and the iTunes giveaway was a way to stand out. However, the way any act does that it through making great music. No gimmick will make a band seem relevant for one second longer if the music isn’t there…

 

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<p>Gotham, Parenthood and Boardwalk Empire</p>

Gotham, Parenthood and Boardwalk Empire

Fall TV reviewing plans

A Sunday drama glut, some superhero shows, the end of 'Parenthood' & more

The network TV season doesn't officially start until September 22, but fall TV is already here. "Boardwalk Empire" and "Sons of Anarchy" came back earlier this week, FOX is doing a few premieres next week, and all but a handful of notable summer series are either over or (in the case of a few Sunday night dramas) will be over by the end of the month.

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Toronto adds Eddie Redmayne, Bill Murray and Jake Gyllenhaal to Best Actor free-for-all

Toronto adds Eddie Redmayne, Bill Murray and Jake Gyllenhaal to Best Actor free-for-all

Is this the most competitive we've seen the category in years?

If Telluride carried over the Cannes buzz for Steve Carell and Timothy Spall while extending the Venice pop for Michael Keaton and announcing the arrival of Benedict Cumberbatch to the hugely competitive 2014 Best Actor race, Toronto has brought a new wave of serious contenders in the ever-expanding field. Eddie Redmayne, Bill Murray and Jake Gyllenhaal: welcome to the party.

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Review: Kate Winslet can't stop 'A Little Chaos' from living up to its title

Review: Kate Winslet can't stop 'A Little Chaos' from living up to its title

At least Stanley Tucci is doing his thing, right?

TORONTO — “Titanic” was a seminal moment in Kate Winslet’s career, but she made it clear even during the film's Oscar run and in the years following that it was a more grueling experience than she ever expected. In the years since she’s avoided anything that came close to those shooting conditions, when she spent weeks in water tanks and wading through water. That is until her new period drama, “A Little Chaos,” which screened for the press at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival Wednesday before its Saturday night premiere.

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<p>Demi&aacute;n Bichir and Diane Kruger in &quot;The Bridge.&quot;</p>

Demián Bichir and Diane Kruger in "The Bridge."

Credit: FX

Review: 'The Bridge' - 'Eidolon'

The cops and crooks scramble in a massacre's aftermath

Earlier today, I published an interview with "The Bridge" showrunner Elwood Reid about how great season 2 has turned out to be. Now I have a review of tonight's episode coming up just as soon as I throw in a pair of custom boots...

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Review: John Cusack and Paul Dano give voice to Brian Wilson's broken soul in 'Love & Mercy'
Credit: A24

Review: John Cusack and Paul Dano give voice to Brian Wilson's broken soul in 'Love & Mercy'

This is how you get a music biopic right

TORONTO - One of the most original interpretations of the music biopic in recent years was 2007's "I'm Not There," in which no less than six actors played different versions of Bob Dylan. Directed by Todd Haynes, the film used the different actors as a way of getting to the essential truth about an artist renowned for reinventing himself.

The co-writer of that film was Oren Moverman, and now he's the co-writer of "Love & Mercy," a beautiful new movie that once again refuses to fall into the formula that hobbles so many biopics of any kind. The cliches of the genre are so pervasive that Jake Kasdan's "Walk Hard" essentially destroyed the entire form for me. Ultimately, I think the best way to approach any biopic is to pick a moment that you feel illuminates the subject in a way that allows you to narrow in, focus, and tell a story that isn't just a greatest hits condensed into two hours.

In the case of "Love & Mercy," they picked two.

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<p>Dino-Cody will be back</p>

Dino-Cody will be back

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Big Brother' Wednesday - BB Rewind means we all wasted a week

Who's gonna tell Jeff & Jordan they're not engaged anymore?

It's time to see what the "Big Brother" Rewind actually means, because no matter how many times Julie Chen half-explains it, I don't have a clue.

All I know is that there was a button, it was pushed and it's going to undo an impressive run of challenge excellence from the otherwise irksome Frankie. 

And that's going to be fun.

Or is it?

Honestly, your guess is as good as mine. 

Let's find out...

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Fox will be patient with its $50M year-long 'Utopia,' despite a steep viewership drop
Credit: Fox

Fox will be patient with its $50M year-long 'Utopia,' despite a steep viewership drop

Fox will be patient with its $50M year-long “Utopia,” despite a steep viewership drop
“We launched it really early, maybe before viewers were ready for a new fall show,” says Fox boss Dana Walden. “No one thought we were going to launch a huge ratings juggernaut, but with patience it will grow and we're going to have patience.”


Claim: A comedienne angled for Joan Rivers’ “Fashion Police” job while she was still comatose — was it Kathy Griffin?
According to Page Six, that comedienne was Griffin. But her spokesperson says, “this is absolutely not true."


HBO and Showtime are inching closer to becoming unbundled from cable TV
Execs who oversee HBO and Showtime both said they’re more open to a direct-to-consumer internet service.


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Jack O'Connell on Angelina Jolie's 'selflessness' and the pain of washboard abs
Credit: AP Photo

Jack O'Connell on Angelina Jolie's 'selflessness' and the pain of washboard abs

He's in 'next big thing' territory and you'll be hearing plenty about him in the near future

Many may be hearing about actor Jack O'Connell for the first time this year, but he's been plugging away for a decade nevertheless. And it's all been building to this moment. A star is being born.

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HitFix's David Boreanaz interviews 'Bones' star Emily Deschanel about kissing David Boreanaz

HitFix's David Boreanaz interviews 'Bones' star Emily Deschanel about kissing David Boreanaz

David Boreanaz gets to the bottom of whether David Boreanaz will be shirtless

I imagine that many stars feel the same way about junkets. Sit through a full day of interviews and by the late afternoon, you could pretty much take the mic and conduct the full conversation with yourself. 

So when I sat down with "Bones" stars David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel on Monday (September 9) afternoon and they learned they would be sharing a microphone for the interview, Boreanaz decided to do just that. 

You might hear me at the very beginning announcing that I was out of a job, but I didn't ask a single question in the three-minute interview, in which Boreanaz did an admirably thorough job of touching on many of the points which, I must confess, I was probably going to inquire about. 

The enthusiastic Boreanaz asks his co-star -- Deschanel deserves some sort of award for being a good sport -- most of the important questions about the upcoming 200th episode of "Bones," how the FOX drama will follow up last season's eventful finale and, most importantly, what it's like kissing David Boreanaz. He also breaks news about David Boreanaz shirtlessness in the premiere and David Boreanaz's admiration for Zooey Deschanel.

Boreanaz is disturbingly proficient at this, which I suspect is a product of both two decades doing publicity as a TV regular, but also genetics. Boreanaz's father Dave worked as on-air talent for ABC affiliates in Buffalo and Philadelphia, serving as main weatherman for WPVI-TV in Philadelphia for 26 years. 

Check out the interview above, which includes wackiness, manic energy and, if you listen closely, actual information about the 10th season of "Bones," which premieres on Thursday, September 25 at 8 p.m. on FOX.

Now I need to find out if we owe David Boreanaz a freelancing fee.

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