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<p>&quot;Next Caller&quot;</p>

"Next Caller"

Credit: NBC

Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's 'Next Caller'

Dane Cook sitcom may not be quite as bad as you fear. Maybe.

[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots. I know some people will be all "These are reviews." If you've read me, you've read my reviews and you know this isn't what they look like.]

Show:"Next Caller" (NBC) [Midseason]
The Pitch: "The kids today love Dane Cook and absolutely nobody finds him completely and totally intolerable!"
Quick Response: Imagine being warned that a medical procedure would leave you feeling like you'd been hit in the crotch with a giant steel-driving hammer 75 times and then waking up and only feeling like you'd been hit in the crotch 25 times by a padded Whack-a-Mole mallet. Your first reaction would be, "OH MY GOD, MY GROIN!" Your second reaction would be, "But I guess it wasn't quite as bad as I feared." Ladies and gentlemen, that's my rave review for "Next Caller." NBC is completely welcome to the blurb, "Less excruciatingly painful than you might otherwise have anticipated." Use it in health, NBC! "Next Caller" is misogynistic, homophobic and occasionally terrible, but it's more consistently forgettable than consistently terrible. Once again, that counts as a win for this NPR-flavored rom-com (short on both the "rom" and the "com"). Dane Cook is capable of being less-than-distracting. Remember that Kevin Costner serial killer movie? Dane Cook wasn't bad in that at all. But what he's doing here is playing a character who could have been played by every single obnoxious standup comic of the past 25 years. It's a breeze to imagine this being developed as an Andrew Dice Clay vehicle. I can imagine this being repurposed for Carlos Mencia. So Cook relies heavily on his Dane Cook schtick for at least half of the pilot, before turning on some entirely unearned "I have a heart, too" sincerity. And why is he such a boor? Because some woman broke his heart. Somehow, this is supposed to make us sympathetic towards him. It doesn't work. Because Cook is playing his character so broadly, the mostly lovable Collette Wolfe -- so good in "Young Adult," "Cougar Town" and a slew of supporting roles -- also has to play her character dialed up to 12, getting one or two chuckles in the process. The thing is, that there's a completely reasonable show that could be made about a pair of mismatched radio call-in hosts who are completely recognizable as human beings and not just the embodiments of retro Mars/Venus gender stereotypes. And I'd endeavor to say that that show could still star Dane Cook and Collette Wolfe, though I'd still lobby for a different male lead. And maybe it would actually work. With Jeffrey Tambor and Joy Osmanski, "Next Caller" even has the necessary backbone to become a "WKRP"/"NewsRadio"-style workplace ensemble. The problem is that you can't have one-dimensional main characters and then also have cartoonish supporting characters behind them. Something needs to ground the show. If Cook and Wolfe were playing real people, the randy nun saying stuff like "You hit that yet, or what?" might conceivable be a hoot. In this incarnation, she's not. I believe that "Next Caller" is undergoing an overhaul before it premieres. I think there's potential in Wolfe and Tambor and Osmanski. I think there's an approach to Cook wherein he's not an active detriment. Hopefully the retooling will find the right balance.
Desire To Watch Again: If they're actually doing a top-to-bottom fix on this pilot, my desire to see another episode or two is reasonable. If they're only fixing it piecemeal, I can't imagine an upside that goes beyond, "Not as bad as you're expecting." In that case, maybe I'll only watch the Wolfe scenes and then move on.

 

Take Me To The Pilots '12: FOX's 'The Following'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: ABC's 'Family Tools'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's 'Infamous'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: ABC's 'How To Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's '1600 Penn'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: ABC's 'The Zero Hour'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's 'Do No Harm'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: The CW's 'The Carrie Diaries'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: ABC's 'Malibu Country'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's 'The New Normal'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's 'Guys with Kids'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: FOX's 'The Mindy Project'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: CBS' 'Partners'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: ABC's 'Nashville'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: CBS' 'Made in Jersey'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: The CW's 'Emily Owens, M.D.'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: FOX's 'Mob Doctor'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's 'Animal Practice'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: ABC's 'Last Resort'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: CBS' 'Vegas'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: The CW's 'Beauty & The Beast'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: ABC's '666 Park Avenue'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's 'Chicago Fire'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: FOX's 'Ben and Kate'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: CBS' 'Elementary'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: The CW's 'Arrow'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: ABC's 'The Neighbors'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's 'Revolution'
All of last year's Take Me To The Pilots entries

 

 

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<p>Dave Matthews</p>

Dave Matthews

Credit: Chris Pizzello/AP

Dave Matthews Band heads for its sixth No. 1 on the Billboard 200

Six debuts dominate the Top 10

Dave Matthews Band will score its sixth No. 1 album next week as “Away From The World” is a sure bet to come in at the top of the Billboard 200.

The set, produced by Steve Lillywhite, is on track to sell up to 275,000 copies, according to Hits Daily Double. 

DMBis far from the only act making a Top 10 debut: As the fall rush begins, the top 5 spots will be occupied by new releases. Country co-ed quartet, Little Big Town, who scored its first No. 1 single with “Pontoon,” will top the country album chart and come in at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 with “Tornado.” Bob Dylan’s “Tempest” looks strong for No. 3, though it is fending off a challenge from The Avett Brothers’ “The Carpenter.” Both are targeted to sell between 95,000 and 105,000 copies. Bowing at No. 5 will like be  The xx with “Coexist.”

Rounding out the rest of the top 10, this week’s No. 2 title, Imagine Dragons’ “Night Visions” will likely be at No. 6. This week’s No. 1, Matchbox Twenty’s “North” and “Now 43” are in a close race for the No. 7 spot, with both selling between 27,000 and 30,000 copies.

ZZ Top’s “La Futura” will be the Top 10’s sixth new entry at the  little old band from Texas’s first album in nine years is, appropriately enough, slated for No. 9 and Christian rapper Lecrae’s “Gravity”  drops from No. 3 to No. 10.







 

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<p>Tom Rothman, seen here at this summer's AFI&nbsp;tribute to Shirley Maclaine, is leaving 20th Century Fox after over a decade in the studio's top job.</p>

Tom Rothman, seen here at this summer's AFI tribute to Shirley Maclaine, is leaving 20th Century Fox after over a decade in the studio's top job.

Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP Photo

An era ends at Fox as Tom Rothman prepares to leave the studio

We look at his legacy, both good and bad, and ponder the future

From the moment we heard the first rumblings of his leaving to the moment the press release confirming it appeared in the inbox was a matter of just over an hour, and now we can confirm that Tom Rothman will be leaving 20th Century Fox at the end of the year.

Jim Gianopulos will serve as Chairman and CEO moving forward, and that ensures a certain degree of continuity, since Gianopulos has been working with Rothman for well over a decade, and he's been part of some of the key decision making in that time.  I first met Jim in 1991, and I'm excited to see what happens as he begins to assert more of his own personality.  He was one of my regular customers at Dave's Video way back at that point, and he had a huge appetite for big Hollywood entertainment, a great knowledge of the classics, and beyond that, always seemed to be genuinely excited by the business.  It should be interesting to see what sort of films he's going to make now that he's at the helm.

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<p>Chris Evans at the Toronto International Film Festival press conference for &quot;The Iceman.&quot;</p>

Chris Evans at the Toronto International Film Festival press conference for "The Iceman."

Credit: AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Aaron Vincent Elkaim

Chris Evans on his indie 'Iceman' break after a year of playing 'Captain America'

Someone's not looking forward to getting back into the gym

TORONTO – This is pretty close to the best of times for Chris Evans. After years of trying to breakthrough to superstar status he finally hit the A-list as Steve Rodgers in Marvel Studios’ blockbuster “Captain America: The First Avenger” last summer.  Well, to be fair, he likely solidified himself his global popularity after “The Avengers” was released in May.  Over $1.5 million in ticket sales later and you can be sure little boys and girls all over the world will always recognize Evans’ face.

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<p>Lady Gaga is an art piece</p>

Lady Gaga is an art piece

Credit: AP Photo

Watch: 'Lady Gaga Film' premieres as Lady Gaga behaves like Lady Gaga

Pop star gets a head tattoo -- live! -- and promos perfume at Guggenheim

A few hundred words have been written recently about Lady Gaga's Fame fragrance and it's television commercial. A few more were penned this week as she shaved a new 'do onto her head in an apparent tribute. Last night, the full-length "Lady Gaga Film" bowed at a museum.

These all have something to do with each other, but it's mostly just a week of Lady Gaga being Lady Gaga.

Television commercials for Mother Monster's perfume were culled from a longer film, cleverly titled "Lady Gaga Film," directed by photographer Steven Klein. The 5:30-long clip made a full debut at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, which hosted the fragrance's launch with Gaga herself.

More on the party later. First the film. There's some humping motor oil and a mind-graft with black plastic garbage bags. Gaga first appears as a giant gold idol, then later completely naked with her subjects crawling on her bits. There's some German, chanting and sex. It's very expensive. I think it's art? She thinks it's art.

Anyway, she made quite an entrance with her new consumer purchase item at the Guggenheim, and that entrance was also art.

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<p>Christina Aguilera</p>

Christina Aguilera

Listen: Official version of Christina Aguilera's 'Your Body' drops

Leaked version effectively dwarfed, made to wear fuzzy handcuffs

Check that snare! The official drop of Christina Aguilera's "Your Body" has occurred, so clear the floor, and the bed.

As I suspected in the original review of "Your Body," "f*ck your body" has been replaced by "love your body" in that Enrique style the kids love. Aguilera's voice is crisp and up-front in this boudoir battle cry, and the shuffling early '00s beat is prime for any number of potential remixes. I'm personally holding out for the Major Lazer carnivale-reggae take, were such a thing to exist (crossing fingers, looking at Diplo).

The track is a fresh arrival for "The Voice" judge whose show has been rivaling "The X Factor" and "... Got Talent" and the news trickling in from "American Idol." Co-judge Adam Levine may have had a grip on the summer with his band Maroon 5's "Payphone," but this could be Aguilera's autumn with this Max Martin banger.

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<p>Andre Braugher in ABC's &quot;Last Resort.&quot;</p>

Andre Braugher in ABC's "Last Resort."

Credit: ABC

'Last Resort' co-creator Shawn Ryan on submarines, Scott Speedman, Andre Braugher and more

How will 'The Shield' creator tell stories for the high-concept ABC drama?
Over the last decade, Shawn Ryan has created one of the greatest dramas in TV history with "The Shield," done strong work running "The Unit" and "Lie to Me," produced the brilliant-but-canceled "Terriers" and created the uneven but promising "The Chicago Code," which was just starting to get good when FOX canceled it. That's a resume that would make me very interested in seeing his new ABC series "Last Resort" (which he co-created with Karl Gajdusek) even if I didn't know the series also involved both nuclear submarines and Andre Braugher.
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Watch: Psy brings 'Gangnam Style' to the 'Today' plaza

Watch: Psy brings 'Gangnam Style' to the 'Today' plaza

Have you got the horse trot move down yet? Your grandma does

Hey sexy lady, do you know how to rock it Gangnam Style yet? All the housewives are doing it... at least they are now after Psy’s appearance this morning on “Today.”

In case you’re not one of the 150 million people who have viewed this very fun video on YouTube, Psy is a South Korean artist whose song “Gangnam Style” has completely taken the world by storm.  Plus, the horse trot dance is a lot more fun than the “Macarena.” Britney Spears already has her moves down.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Chris Pratt and Amy Poehler went to Washington, D.C. for the &quot;Parks and Recreation&quot;&nbsp;season premiere.</p>

Chris Pratt and Amy Poehler went to Washington, D.C. for the "Parks and Recreation" season premiere.

Credit: NBC

HitFix First Look: 'Parks and Recreation' goes to Washington

Leslie and Andy tour national landmarks in a scene from the fifth season premiere

"Parks and Recreation," like a lot of NBC shows, is getting a head start on the official network TV season. The fifth season of TV's best comedy will premiere this Thursday night, September 20, at 9:30 p.m.

And as a bonus, the season premiere will take Leslie Knope and friends to our nation's capital, where Ben is working in the job he got in last season's finale. To help tide you over until Thursday, here's a clip — exclusive to HitFix for the next few hours — of Leslie and Andy visiting a few national landmarks and responding very differently to them. Enjoy, and we'll be talking about the premiere itself on Thursday night.

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<p>Avett Brothers</p>

Avett Brothers

Watch:The Avett Brothers live their lives in new video for 'Live and Die'

The band makes beautiful music together

The Avett Bros.’ music is often simple fare. They play into the low-key aspect of their sound with the video for “Live and Die,” from their new album, “The Carpenter.”

The video is composed totally of the quintet playing the song live in a rehearsal room, with Seth and Scott Avett’s harmonies shining through. The performance footage is interspersed with scenes of the band members talking outside, the Avett Brothers working out the song, Scott Avett drawing (he’s a very accomplished artist) and even Scott watering plants outside of a stately mansion.

[More after the jump...]


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<p>Joaquin Phoenix in &quot;The Master.&quot;</p>

Joaquin Phoenix in "The Master."

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Tell us what you thought of 'The Master'

Paul Thomas Anderson's latest opens in limited release today

Well, the day has finally come -- for those of you lucky enough to live in New York or Los Angeles, that is. After an enigmatic marketing campaign, and an unorthodox series of pop-up screenings preceding festival appointments at Venice -- where it won Best Director, Best Actor and very nearly the Golden Lion too -- and Toronto, Paul Thomas Anderson's sixth feature film is here to dazzle and perplex the general public. I flipped for it in Venice (the next few months will have to be impossibly astonishing for it not to crack my year-end Top 5), and many top critics are similarly enthused -- for the number-crunchers, its Metacritic score is currently a robust 87. Not everyone's a believer in this gleaming but prickly movie, however: our colleague Drew McWeeny has doubts, and I anticipate some interestingly varied reactions from your good selves. (Awards expectations are similarly scattered, though I think it can go the distance.) Chime in below when you get a chance to see it and feel free to rate it above, as well. 

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<p>FX didn't have any photos from last night's &quot;Louie,&quot;&nbsp;so here's guest star David Lynch in his &quot;Twin Peaks&quot;&nbsp;days.</p>

FX didn't have any photos from last night's "Louie," so here's guest star David Lynch in his "Twin Peaks" days.

Credit: ABC

Review: 'Louie' - 'Late Show (Part 2)'

David Lynch, Jay Leno, Chris Rock and Clay Davis all contribute to Louie's quest

A review of last night's "Louie" coming up just as soon as I'm only ready for a Reagan joke...

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