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<p>NBC doesn't want this kind of &quot;Community&quot;&nbsp;weirdness from its new sitcoms.</p>

NBC doesn't want this kind of "Community" weirdness from its new sitcoms.

Credit: NBC

Press Tour 2012: NBC wants broader comedies than 'Community'

Will Matthew Perry and a monkey be less narrow? And whither 'Smash'?

Things have been dire at NBC for so long that network entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt could be forgiven for opening his press tour session by celebrating the network's third-place finish for the season in the adults 18-49 demographic. Even if it was boosted by the Super Bowl, it was still NBC's first finish above fourth place since the 2003-04 TV season.

The one good thing NBC has had going for it during this dark, dark period has been a collection of shows — particularly the comedies on Thursday — that have been praised early and often by the TV critics Greenblatt was addressing. Unfortunately, our love doesn't translate into ratings, and part of Greenblatt's plan to bring the network back from oblivion involves moving away from the strategy that gave us "30 Rock," "Parks and Recreation" and "Community."

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<p>Carly Rae Jepsen and Owl City</p>

Carly Rae Jepsen and Owl City

Credit: VEVO

Watch: Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen combine for a squeaky-clean 'Good Time'

Single will appear on both artists' forthoming albums

Sonically and thematically, Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen's "Good Time" occupies the space between Miley Cyrus' "Party in the U.S.A." and Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)." And it's accompanying music video is as predictably squeaky clean as fans have come to expect from Owl City mastermind Adam Young.

It's all Slurpees, fishin' poles and daisy chains for Young's band of marauding Hollister models and from "Call Me Maybe" star Jepsen's flower children's children. I need a toothbrush and a rare steak after all that sugar.

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<p>Crystal the Monkey and NBC Chief Robert Greenblatt</p>

Crystal the Monkey and NBC Chief Robert Greenblatt

Credit: NBC

Press Tour 2012 Live-Blog: NBC Executive Session with Robert Greenblatt

Expect lots of optimism and a few mea culpas from NBC's chief

BEVERLY HILLS - NBC actually finished third for the 2011-2012 season. Well, NBC finished tied for third among adults 18-49 for the 2011-2012 season. That's the sort of optimism you can expect from NBC Entertainment Chief Robert Greenblatt when he meets with the Television Critics Association on Tuesday (July 24) morning at the Beverly Hilton.

Click through for the full live-blog...

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<p>Anthony Anderson and Tempestt Bledsoe in &quot;Guys with Kids.&quot;</p>

Anthony Anderson and Tempestt Bledsoe in "Guys with Kids."

Credit: NBC

A day in the life of press tour '12: NBC

Matthew Perry, Dick Wolf and Giancarlo Esposito come to meet the critics

Press tour keeps moving quickly, so after FOX wrapped things up last night, NBC moved in for two days: one devoted to the broadcast network, one to NBC Universal cable. Because the broadcast network is in such dire shape, they're launching a whole lot of new series this fall, which means there's no time on the schedule for any returning shows. So no quizzing the new "Community" showrunners, no getting a sense from Greg Daniels on what will become of "The Office," no Offerman-stache, etc. But lots and lots of panels.

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<p>Ryan Gosling reunites with &quot;Blue Valentine&quot;&nbsp;helmer Derek Cianfrance in &quot;Place Beyond the Pines.&quot;</p>

Ryan Gosling reunites with "Blue Valentine" helmer Derek Cianfrance in "Place Beyond the Pines."

Toronto Film Festival selects 'Argo,' 'Anna Karenina,' 'Cloud Atlas' for 2012

Plus: New films from Robert Redford, Noah Baumbach, Neil Jordan, David O. Russell and more

The Toronto International Film Festival announced their initial selections for the 2012 edition of the annual awards season kick off and it includes new films from Ben Affleck, the Wachoski's, Terrence Malick, Neil Jordan, David O. Russell, Joss Whedon, David Ayer, Joss Whedon, Derek Cianfrance and Joe Wright among others. Rian Johnson's "Looper" will be the opening night gala on Thursday, Sept. 6.  The closing night film has not been announced.

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<p>Christopher Nolan (left)&nbsp;and Hans Zimmer</p>

Christopher Nolan (left) and Hans Zimmer

Credit: AP Photo/Reed Saxon

Christopher Nolan on composer Hans Zimmer's contribution to his 'Dark Knight' saga

And a personal tip of the hat to one of the series's most accomplished elements

There is one element of "The Dark Knight Rises" that I think is more accomplished than anything else in the franchise, one thing I thought they got more right here than in either "Batman Begins" or "The Dark Knight." And that was Hans Zimmer's magnificent, epic score.

Zimmer was joined by James Newton Howard on the previous installments, Howard's propensity for percussive propulsion serving them well. While it's a shame he couldn't be on board for the denouement, I think it's also serendipitous, because the world of "The Dark Knight Rises" is a very different world than the other two films, a place less of decay and disaster than internal rot and melancholy.

So Zimmer's haunting melodies were a fantastic contribution to the world of Nolan's finale. There is plenty of thumping bombast when necessary, but for the most part, that has given way to measured elements, whether somber or just plain sinister.

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<p>Joshua Jackson</p>

Joshua Jackson

'Fringe' star Joshua Jackson talks Peter's evolution and the final season

Why wasn't he reduced to tears on the Comic-Con panel?
SAN DIEGO - Ah, Comic-Con interviews, the gift that keeps on giving.
 
You've already seen my Comic-Con interviews with Anna Torv and John Noble, which followed the emotional Hall H panel for FOX's "Fringe." At that panel, Torv and Jasika Nicole were moved to tears discussing the Astrid-heavy "Making Angels" episode from last season, setting off a chain reaction that left Lance Reddick choked up.
 
In the press room after the panel, Joshua Jackson and I discussed his lack of tears on the panel, but we also discussed his hopes for the fifth and final season of the FOX cult favorite, including a discussion of how Peter Bishop has evolved since the pilot.
 
Check out this interview and I think my interviews with Reddick and showrunner J.H. Wyman may be coming tonight.
 
"Fringe," of course, returns to FOX on Friday, September 28.
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<p>The charming Zoe Kazan is not just the star but also the screenwriter of 'Ruby Sparks'</p>

The charming Zoe Kazan is not just the star but also the screenwriter of 'Ruby Sparks'

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan talk about love, collaboration, and 'Ruby Sparks'

The two stars of the film discuss their approach to this charming love story

I've seen Zoe Kazan work in a few films and I've enjoyed work she's done before, but until I saw "Ruby Sparks" last week, I didn't really "get" Zoe Kazan.

Consider me fully onboard at this point, though.  Not only does she give a fetching, smart, complex performance that fully refutes the entire notion of the "manic pixie dream girl," but she's also the screenwriter for the movie that opens in some markets on Wednesday.

Her co-star in the film and, according to the interviews I did with them last week, also her co-star in real life is Paul Dano, known by many for his work in "Little Miss Sunshine" and "There Will Be Blood" and "Cowboys and Aliens."  In the film, he plays Calvin, an author whose first book was published when he was a teenager, making him a media sensation.  Now stuck with a massive case of writer's block, he tries an writing exercise that leads to him turning out page after page describing his perfect woman, only to find her actually in his house one morning.  Kazan plays Ruby, the girl he creates, and as Calvin experiments, he learns that he can indeed make her into anything or make her do anything simply by adding to his manuscript.

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<p>Mariah Carey performs at a concert in Monaco last month.</p>

Mariah Carey performs at a concert in Monaco last month.

Credit: AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau

Why Mariah Carey is a good choice for 'American Idol' and why she isn't

We break it down for you

So “American Idol” has nabbed its Christina Aguilera-equivalent. Hang on there,  lambs... I am fully aware that Mariah Carey was a superstar before little Christina was even a Mouseketeer. What I mean is that for a singing competition, “American Idol” sure took a hell of a long time and traveled a most circuitous route before landing an honest-to-God singer for a judge.

Though word leaked out last week that Carey was a serious contender, Fox didn’t confirm the news until today at TCA, allowing Jennifer Lopez to be as coy as she wanted about whether her “99%” decision meant she was going or if it was a negotiating ploy. Looks like Fox ultimately made the decision for her.

Let's look at the Carey decision a little more closely:

THE PROS


*The star wattage is huge. Carey is the biggest artist to become a judge on a reality talent show yet. She’s sold more than 200 million albums and has scored 18 No. 1s on the Billboard Hot 100, second only to the Beatles and ahead of Michael Jackson and Madonna.

*She can really sing. Yes, Aerosmith's Steven Tyler could too, but Carey has a five-octave range that automatically commands respect from any of the contestants. Despite all her other talents, she is first and foremost a singer.

*She knows how to match a voice to a song. She's written plenty of her hits, but she also has a very clear understanding of what she’s looking for from outside writers or co-writers. Though she won’t be involved in song selection, she will be able to critique the choices well.

*She understands the business. Not only will she be able to advise the contestants on their vocal skills, she is a shrewd businesswoman.

*She’s tough. I remember the first time I interviewed her, I expected someone much more delicate than I got. She is smart and tough and she will tell it like it is. She'll be able to make the hard calls.

*She spans genres: Though she’s primarily a pop artist, she has worked with a wide variety of R&B and rap artists so she has a broader musical palette than some of the past judges. For example, her new single, “Triumphant,” features Meek Mill and Rick Ross

THE CONS

*She’s unproven when it comes to the full rigors of a weekly live show, despite having served as a past "AI" mentor and guest. Carey has been known to, as they say in Hollywood, “suffer from exhaustion” and she’s a night owl, so may be a big adjustment to adhere to such a fixed timetable. However, we’re sure that her husband, “America’s Got Talent” host Nick Cannon, can give her all the advice she needs on dealing with such a heavy schedule.

*She, like Lopez, had the majority of her hits more than a decade ago (although Mimi is, hopefully, far from done adding to her list of Top 10s). At some point, “American Idol” is going to have to bring in a judge who is under 30. The show doesn’t have to go “Disney young” and bring in a Demi Lovato type, but they have yet to have a judge who is a contemporary to the contestants.

*Carey is two decades, several hundred million dollars, and a big old penthouse away from remembering what it was like to launch a career. The audition process is going to be a big old reality check for her to come back down to the ground level and see what nascent talent looks like again.

*As we mentioned, Carey is, first and foremost, a singer. To be effective, she's going to have to look beyond someone's technical proficiency and evaluate the overall package. Will she be able to give someone with a quirkier voice, like a Paul McDonald or a Casey Abrams, a shot? She may need to widen her criteria on whether someone should go forward.

How do you think Carey will do? Was she a good choice?

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<p>Harvey Weinstein, with his brother Bob, will accept the PGA's Milestone Award next year.</p>

Harvey Weinstein, with his brother Bob, will accept the PGA's Milestone Award next year.

Credit: AP Photo/John Carucci

PGA awards the Weinsteins the 2013 Milestone award

Award comes after TWC productions took Guild's top prize two years running

It's late July, that balmy time of year when everyone's thoughts naturally turn to the Producers' Guild of America Awards, due to take place on January 26 next year -- a mere six months away. And as of today, we know who will be receiving at least one of them. Whether or not The Weinstein Company manages a three-peat with the Guild's top prize -- after "The King's Speech" and "The Artist" were both named the year's best by the PGA -- their founding brothers will still take the stage, as Bob and Harvey Weinstein are to receive the Guild's Milestone Award for "historic contributions to the entertainment industry."

I know what you're thinking. It's about time these unassuming industry serfs received a little recognition for their tireless background work. But in all seriousness, an award for the Weinsteins from this guild isn't quite as much of a sop as it initially sounds: while TWC, and Miramax before it, have been rewarded for various productions, the brothers themselves have never claimed a PGA trophy. Harvey has been nominated as a producer for "Shakespeare in Love" and "Gangs of New York," as well as in the TV category for reality show "Project Runway," losing on all three occasions. Bob hasn't one nomination to his name.

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<p>Bill Hicks has become more influential and widely-revered since his death, and now it looks like he's getting the full Hollywood biopic treatment from director Russell Crowe</p>

Bill Hicks has become more influential and widely-revered since his death, and now it looks like he's getting the full Hollywood biopic treatment from director Russell Crowe

Credit: The Bill Hicks Estate

Russell Crowe set to direct biopic of controversial comic Bill Hicks

While that's an odd fit, at least he's not planning to play Hicks anymore

Biopics in general seem to be incredibly difficult to make work.  The biggest problem is that anyone who lived a life interesting enough to be turned into a film probably also lived a life that is too dense to be boiled down to two hours in a way that is both dramatically satisfying and narratively engaging.

When Bill Hicks was still alive and working, I thought he was one of the few of his contemporaries who was willing to use stand-up comedy as more than just a short-cut to a network sitcom.  Since his death, though, Hicks has become a somewhat messianic figure to his fans, and they've managed to package, repackage, and re-re-re-release every single second of his recorded comedy.  They have strip-mined everything he left behind, with "American: The Bill Hicks Story" representing the most complete and insightful look at him and his work so far.

It makes sense that this news would break first in the UK, since Hicks had more commercial success there during his life than he did in America, and the UK has been a big part of keeping his legend alive in the years since.  The Telegraph ran a few quotes today from Mark Staufer, who is credited as the screenwriter for the proposed project, and it sounds like they're close to wrapping up development and moving into actual production near the start of 2013.

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<p>2 Chainz</p>

2 Chainz

Listen: Kanye West and 2 Chainz want a big booty girl for their 'Birthday Song'

Gross, guys.

Fresh off the announcement that Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music label compilation has a due date, and that 2 Chainz is still not an official associate of the label, Ye and the Atlanta rapper have dropped "Birthday Song."

No, it's not the "Birthday Song" you know and love: "All I want for my birthday is a big booty girl."

I'm not even going to pretend I can look past the literal twist on "pay for play" exchange of sex acts for one's birthday, even when Rihanna says it. That, combined with lazy, entitled opening verse from 2 Chainz, the gender classicism and the abhorrent repeated "You in first place," means this won't sit well for some.

But if you don't like it, don't bring your drama to the table, West warns you "actresses."

For the record, ladies, a sweater is a perfectly nice gift (hell, so is a "coupe"). If your man -- famous rapper or not -- tells you to "do better" and insinuates you grab a friend to bring her into the bed for some crew-love, you can certainly inform him nary a birthday will be happy again until that sainted day when he's buried next to "two bitches."

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