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<p>Daniel&nbsp;Day-Lewis in &quot;Lincoln&quot;</p>

Daniel Day-Lewis in "Lincoln"

Credit: Touchstone Pictures

Steven Spielberg to close AFI Fest for a second year in a row with the premiere of 'Lincoln'

Gala screening will take place on November 8

Well, I pretty much nailed this likelihood in a tweet on Tuesday. With very little left to choose from in the way of North American premieres, what with NYFF really diving in big this year on that front and Telluride and Toronto taking their fair share as usual, it seemed like Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" would be a good fit for AFI Fest. And so it shall be. The November festival always has one or two premieres every year, and last year, one of them was a Spielberg film -- "The Adventures of Tintin" (which closed the fest while Clint Eastwood's "J. Edgar" opened it). He'll be back for more in 2012.

”Steven Spielberg is an American master, enriching the cultural legacy of our nation with each new film in his extraordinary career,” AFI President and CEO Bob Gazzale said via press release. ”We are honored he has chosen AFI FEST for the World Premiere of 'Lincoln,' an historic cinematic event in itself as it brings the most dramatic American history to life for new generations.”

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Justin Timberlake

 Justin Timberlake

Credit: HitFix

Justin Timberlake talks about turning blue for 'Trouble with the Curve'

Co-star Amy Adams was the one who said 'we need to cut'

For "Saturday Night Live" fans, Justin Timberlake's finest comedic moments may have come in that Emmy-winning video in which he bears a very, um, special gift tied with a bow ("Dick in a Box"). But for those who are more interested in seeing his subtle side, "Trouble with the Curve" features Timberlake as Johnny "The Flame" Flanagan, a former big league pitcher who fantasizes about becoming a sports announcer. He's also paired up with two major league talents -- three-time Oscar nominee Amy Adams as buttoned-up lawyer Mickey, and Clint Eastwood's aging, cranky baseball scout Gus. Still, despite Timberlake's credentials, the job didn't come easy -- and even once he got it, it almost gave him pneumonia. 

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In Contention formally acquired by HitFix

In Contention formally acquired by HitFix

A year into the relationship, we put a ring on it

There is no press release planned for this news but I wanted to pass it along to our readership in any case. After seven years of owning and operating In Contention, first as a blogspot thingamajig, then guiding the .com forward as (I think) one of the preeminent awards season outlets in the space, I'm happy to announce that our little company has been formally acquired by HitFix.

The final signatures were committed to paper just after Telluride, which is serendipitous as at last year's fest, just before the premiere of "Albert Nobbs," Greg Ellwood first bent my ear and told me his ideas. Then, three swift weeks later -- a year ago today, in fact -- we officially hitched our wagon to HitFix.

These last 12 months have been kind of a trial run, if you will. And it's been a wonderful experience, a great partnership and a solid foundation on which to build a more permanent and organic relationship. Handing over something you've built from the ground up is a scary thing, but I can't think of a better, more fiercely competitive and consistently growing outlet to have bought In Contention.

And no, nothing's changing. I'm not going anywhere. Guy's not going anywhere. Gerard's not going anywhere. If anything, the coverage will get more angles. Greg Ellwood's material will be folded in here (as you've seen) and some of the other members of the HitFix team may have things to offer, hands to lend as the season really heats up.

So with that, I'm looking forward to moving ahead as HitFix's Editor-at-Large, overseeing the awards coverage of the site and continuing to be dominant in the face of a game that wasn't much more than a few amateur outlets when I first started doing it 11 years ago.

Wow. 11 years. Time flies.

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<p>The official cover art for Michael Jackson's &quot;Bad 25.&quot;</p>

The official cover art for Michael Jackson's "Bad 25."

Credit: Sony Legacy

Revisiting Michael Jackson's 'Bad' 25 years later

How has the post-'Thriller' album held up?

This week, to celebrate the silver anniversary of Michael Jackson’s now classic “Bad” album,  Epic/Legacy released a deluxe 3 CD/1 DVD version of the set Tuesday.

For those old enough to remember, the set was MJ’s seventh studio album and his follow-up to “Thriller.” Tales run rife of Jackson putting up notes with “100 Million” on them all over the studio to remind him of his sales target...as if he weren’t under enough pressure.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Jim Parsons in &quot;The Big Bang Theory.&quot;</p>

Jim Parsons in "The Big Bang Theory."

Credit: CBS

Emmys 2012 Predictions: Outstanding Lead Actor for Comedy & Drama

Will Jim Parsons and Bryan Cranston maintain their winning streaks?

Dan and I are continuing our Emmy picks for who should and will win each major category on Sunday night, this time looking at the nominees for lead actor in comedy and drama.

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<p>Foo Fighters</p>

Foo Fighters

Foo Fighters, Neil Young, Black Keys unite to end poverty with Sept. 29 concert

Central Park show will beam free over cable and internet outlets

Foo Fighters, The Black Keys, Neil Young with Crazy HorseBand of Horses and K’Naan will play a free show in New York’s Central Park next Saturday for the Global Poverty Project.

All 60,000 tickets have been spoken for, but the Global Citizen Festival will be streamed live on Vevo, YouTube, AOL/Huffington Post, Yahoo, NewYorkTimes.com, and VH1.com. Additionally, Palladia and Fuse will carry it on U.S. television.

The awareness event, produced by AEG Network Live, is labeled as a “mass movement to end extreme poverty.” The Global Citizen Festival ties in with the UN General Assembly, which will be held next week in New York, as well as with a number of non-profit programs.

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<p>One Direction's Live While We're Young</p>

One Direction's Live While We're Young

Credit: Columbia

Watch: One Direction wants to 'get some' in new clip for 'Live While We're Young'

Will the little girls understand the subtext?

Our boys are growing up. Not only are the members of One Direction ripping off The Clash’s “Should I Stay Or Should I Go” in the intro to “Live While We’re Young,” they’re ready to “pretend it’s love” and “get some” since “it’s now or never.”

Even though they never are so blatant about it that booty call subtext can’t go right over their tween audience’s head, there’s no mistaking lines like “if we get together, don’t let the pictures ever leave your phone” for anyone who’s 13 or up.

[More after the jump...]

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Watch: 'Glee' stars Dean Geyer and Becca Tobin discuss their new characters

Watch: 'Glee' stars Dean Geyer and Becca Tobin discuss their new characters

The new 'Glee' actors aren't afraid of having their characters disliked
Dean Geyer's Brody and Becca Tobin's Kitty were first introduced in last Thursday's "Glee" premiere and it probably isn't shocking that some fans are a bit wary of the new characters.
 
Brody has already been positioned as a potential romantic impediment between Lea Michele's Rachel and Cory Monteith's Finn, making him a threat for fans invested in that core relationship.
 
Kitty, meanwhile, was introduced as the meanest of mean girls, a character seemingly designed to make viewers yearn for even the relative early kindnesses of Dianna Agron's Quinn.
 
Shortly before the "Glee" premiere, I sat down with Geyer and Tobin to discuss the potential of being disliked by Gleeks, at least initially.
 
Geyer, in particular, eagerly owns up to the idea that Brody might not instantly be loved, but explains that the character is part of an attempt to bring something "a little bit more adult" to "Glee."
 
And for her part, Tobin relates Kitty to her own days as a bit of a high school mean girl and promises that she'd begun to like her character a little more.
 
Check out the interview. As a bit of context, seconds before the camera started rolling, Geyer and Tobin were chatting and comparing ages. I believe they're both 26, so my initial question was to ask about stepping back in time to play high school and college students.
 
"Glee" airs on Thursdays at 9 p.m. on FOX.
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<p>Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway in Tom Hooper's big screen version of &quot;Les Miserables.&quot;</p>

Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway in Tom Hooper's big screen version of "Les Miserables."

Credit: Universal Pictures

Watch: 'Les Miserables' sets itself apart by singing live on set

Awards contender makes its pitch

Over the last decade or so, filmmakers have stretched and played with the movie musical structure in pictures such as "Chicago," "Across the Universe," "Moulin Rouge," "Dancer in the Dark" and "Dreamgirls."  When it was announced director Tom Hooper would follow up his Oscar-winning work in "The King's Speech" with a big screen version of the classic musical "Les Miserables," the question was how would Hooper differentiate this adaptation?  The answer is revealed in a new behind-the-scenes featurette Universal Studios released today.

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<p>Sir Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock in &quot;Hitchcock.&quot;</p>

Sir Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock in "Hitchcock."

Credit: Fox Searchlight

'Hitchcock' crashes the awards season party with a last minute November release

HBO's 'The Girl' arrives a month earlier

Get ready for a lot of Alfred Hitchcock over the next few months. 

Fox Searchlight made a surprise announcement this morning that Sacha Gervasi's "Hitchcock" will open in theaters on Nov. 23.  This was unexpected as "Hitchcock" was in production just this past Spring and while Searchlight felt they had something special on its hands, they didn't believe they could get manufacture all the necessary trappings of a proper awards season prestige campaign in time.  The studio is so enamored with the film they've decided to take the chance.

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<p>Tegan and Sara's &quot;Closer&quot; single artwork</p>

Tegan and Sara's "Closer" single artwork

Credit: Warner Bros.

Listen: Tegan and Sara drop radio-friendly new single 'Closer'

Flirtatiously catchy

When I spoke to Tegan Quin earlier this year about her and her sister Sara's new album, she promised it'd be more radio-friendly. Judging from "Closer," the first single from the as-yet-untitled set, she wasn't joking.

The synth-happy, sex-ready track has a blues structure at times, and without all the tears. Tegan and Sara repeat their sweet refrains twice each, concluding they'd want their lover-to-be "underneath me." "Let's make things physical / I won't treat you like you're typical," they bop over lasers, harmonies and a BPM that winds you up for... whatever.

Aguilera, Usher, Enrique and the rest may outline specifically what they want their bedroom playtime to be in the most explicit terms possible; here, the Quins keep their requests and desires simple, melodically innocent and flirtatious. And no acoustic guitars here.

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<p>Claire Danes in &quot;Homeland.&quot;</p>

Claire Danes in "Homeland."

Credit: Showtime

Emmys 2012 Predictions: Outstanding Lead Actress for Comedy & Drama

Is this finally Amy Poehler's year? And is Claire Danes the biggest lock?

Dan Fienberg and I are continuing our look at the major Emmy categories, picking who should win and who will at the ceremony on Sunday night. Next up: lead actress in both comedy and drama.

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