Latest Blog Posts

<p>Damian Lewis as Nick Brody in &quot;Homeland.&quot;</p>

Damian Lewis as Nick Brody in "Homeland."

Credit: Showtime

'Homeland' producers Alex Gansa & Howard Gordon talk season 2

What now for Carrie, Brody, Saul and company?
"Homeland" was the best new show of 2011, and one of the best shows on TV, period, that year. (And was named the best drama on television by Emmy voters on Sunday night.) Now the show's lead producers Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon have to follow up on that high-wire act. I'll have a review of the start of the season later today or tomorrow (hint: I was pleased), but I spoke with Gansa and Gordon last month about the transition from one season to the next, and how they intend to deal with what happened at the end of last year. Note that I cut a few spoiler-y passages out of the interview and will run them after the season premiere airs on Sunday night.
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<p>Joaquin Phoenix in 'The Master.'</p>

Joaquin Phoenix in 'The Master.'

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Roundup: Are we getting too precious about 'The Master?'

Plus: Parsing the Bat's Oscar hopes, and 'Won't Back Down' pushback

As with most works of high-reaching ambition that critics can't quite agree on -- even those that like it -- "The Master" continues to inspire some of the knottiest film writing of the year. For her part, Stephanie Zacharek admires the film, but suggests a lot of her colleagues feel it's entitled to more thought and attention than it really is. She spins that into an observation of lofty, anti-mainstream festival titles in general: "There’s a danger in erecting false walls around different corners of the culture, of claiming some movies deserve our respect by virtue of who made them and of how they’re made, regardless of whether they arouse any passion in us." [The AV Club]

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<p>Daniel Craig and Javier Bardem in Sam Mendes' &quot;Skyfall.&quot;</p>

Daniel Craig and Javier Bardem in Sam Mendes' "Skyfall."

Credit: Sony Pictures

Contender Countdown: Could 'Skyfall' land James Bond a best picture nomination?

Plus: Who drops out of the top 10?

When is an Oscar Bait picture not an Oscar bait picture?  Or, if it meets the qualifications of an Oscar Bait picture should it always be considered one?

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<p>Malcolm and Angie of &quot;Survivor: Philippines&quot;</p>

Malcolm and Angie of "Survivor: Philippines"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Philippines' - 'Don't Be Blinded by the Headlights'

Nocturnal cuddling leads to tribal tensions
Pre-credit sequence. Team Russell returns to camp after booting Zany Zane. "I know it might sound trite, but thanks guys," Russell's determined not to fall back into the Tribal Chief thing again. He's going to step back and let somebody else go on the chopping block in they fail. On cue, it's chilly in the Philippines and Angie and Malcolm are cuddling up at night, limbs intertwined. She insists there's nothing going on, but Malcolm is already instructing himself not to get "booty blind." "With Angie, literally it's a booby trap and Malcolm is falling for it," says Roxy, who worries that Angie and Malcolm could be dangerous together. Oh heck no. Don't take my Angie away, Team Russell!
 
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<p>Meryl&nbsp;Streep in &quot;Hope Springs&quot;</p>

Meryl Streep in "Hope Springs"

Credit: Columbia Pictures

The Long Shot: The drawbacks of being a wallflower

Why everyman stories get short shrift with the Academy

On Monday, a colleague pointed out to me that the next Academy Awards were, to the day, five months away. Strangely, he said it in the panicked tone of someone on whom Christmas has too swiftly crept up, whereas all I could think of was how dauntingly far away it sounded. Five months is a long time to parse the possibility of a third consecutive Best Picture from the Weinstein stable, to debate Philip Seymour Hoffman’s category placement, and for Jeff Wells to denigrate Daniel Day-Lewis’s Abe Lincoln accent; this weekly column, meanwhile, will have mulled over more than enough unseen variables before the season is out. Welcome.

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<p>Sophie Simmons auditions for &quot;The X Factor.&quot; Oh and her parents are Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed.</p>

Sophie Simmons auditions for "The X Factor." Oh and her parents are Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed.

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The X Factor' Wednesday - Auditions #5

Some day, 'The Voice' and 'X Factor' will move beyond auditions

"X Factor" time!

Sorry I couldn't do my normal Eastern Time live-blog of the auditions, but I was fasting and atoning for me sins.

But now it's time for an evening of recapping, so let's get back to "X Factor" auditions, which seem to be lasting forever, just like the auditions on "The Voice." Between the two shows, we're up to 12 singing audition episodes and the 2012-2013 season is three nights old.

That's crazy.

More after the break...

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<p>&quot;The Neighbors.&quot;</p>

"The Neighbors."

Credit: ABC

Series premiere review: 'The Neighbors' - 'Pilot'

What did everybody think of the new ABC comedy?

"The Neighbors" is one of this fall's new shows I didn't have the time (or heart) to review, though Fienberg and I discussed it at length on Monday's podcast. But I'm curious what those of you who tuned in tonight thought. Did the "aliens name themselves after famous athletes" running gag get old, or is "Dick Butkus" just inherently, eternally hilarious? Did you love the way the communication device's name has "poop" in it? Did you prefer the alien characters, the humans, or neither? And will you watch again, especially once it moves to 8:30? 

Have at it.

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Watch: Ellie Goulding's 'I Know You Care' video with a dying Dakota Fanning

Watch: Ellie Goulding's 'I Know You Care' video with a dying Dakota Fanning

Stirring footage from film 'Now Is Good' propels story line

Bring the hankies. Ellie Goulding’s new video for “I Know You Care” pulls on your heartstrings as Dakota Fanning stars as a terminally ill young woman.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Could &quot;Frankenweenie&quot; take the Oscar for Disney?</p>

Could "Frankenweenie" take the Oscar for Disney?

Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

Roundup: The Mouse House looks to reclaim the animation crown

Also: Designing 'Anna Karenina,' and early Oscar blogger meltdowns

Apologies for the very late roundup today: I've been having substantial technical problems. We kick off with a look at an Oscar category that few pundits claim to have a bead on: the Best Animated Feature category. In the second consecutive year that Pixar doesn't have it all wrapped up, Glenn Whipp surveys a highly flexible field, and wonders if venerable parent company Disney couldn't reclaim its dominance of the medium and score a trio of nods: with Tim Burton's well-received "Frankenweenie" (the one to beat, from where I'm standing) and "Wreck-It Ralph" bracketing Pixar's generally liked-but-not-loved "Brave." Wouldn't it be fun to have a race in this category for a change? [LA Times]

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<p>Kelly Clarkson</p>

Kelly Clarkson

Credit: AP Photo

Kelly Clarkson, Jason Aldean and Dierks Bentley set to perform on CMA Awards

Little Big Town also confirmed for Nov. 1 country awards show

Kelly Clarkson, Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley and Little Big Town are the first performers confirmed to appear on the 46th Annual CMA Awards, which will air Nov. 1 on ABC.

Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood will host for the fifth time, as the show airs live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena at 8 p.m. ET.

All of the announced performers will be vying for trophies come Nov. 1, including Aldean and Bentley, both of whom are up for three awards.


 

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<p>Lucy Liu and Johnny Lee Miller in &quot;Elementary.&quot;</p>

Lucy Liu and Johnny Lee Miller in "Elementary."

Credit: CBS

Review: 'Elementary' makes Sherlock Holmes a part of the CBS brand

Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu play well together as 21st century Holmes and Watson
From the moment CBS ordered "Elementary," a new Sherlock Holmes series set in the present, fans of the character have indignantly pointed out that there's already an ongoing Sherlock Holmes series set in the present: the BBC's award-winning "Sherlock," which airs in America on PBS. And "Sherlock" producer hasn't helped the new show by explaining that before CBS ordered "Elementary," the network first approached him about remaking "Sherlock."
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<p>Maroon 5</p>

Maroon 5

Credit: AP Photo

Maroon 5's 'One More Night' holds one more week on the Billboard Hot 100

The songs fends off a hard-charging 'Gangnam Style'

Maroon 5’s “One More Night” gets one more week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week, but will have to hold off a charge from Psy’s “Gangnam Style” if it wants to make it three.

“One More Night” gains in radio play, streaming strength and single sales—the three components that factor into the Hot 100 stats— but  “Gangnam Style” is nipping at its heels. In fact, “Gangnam Style” sold more digital downloads this week than “One More Night” and  radio stations are galloping to add the novelty song by the South Korean rapper.

Fun.’s” Some Nights” stays at No. 3, while Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” falls 2-4. Pink, who celebrates her first No. 1 album today with “The Truth About Love” stays at No. 5 on The Hot 100 with “Blow Me (One Last Kiss).”

Flo Rida’s “Whistle” blows 4-6, while Justin Bieber’s “As Long As You Love Me” featuring Big Sean also drops 6-7. Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Good Time” climbs one spot to No. 8, swapping places with Alex Clare’s “Too Close.” Ellie Goulding’s “Lights” falls 7-10.

This week’s highest debut belongs to "The Voice" judge Christina Aguilera, whose “Your Body” bows at No. 34.

Next week, look for high debuts from Swift’s new single, “Begin Again,”  as well as Rihanna’s “Diamonds.”

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