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<p>Claire Danes just got the good news:&nbsp;Showtime has renewed &quot;Homeland&quot;&nbsp;for a third season.</p>

Claire Danes just got the good news: Showtime has renewed "Homeland" for a third season.

Credit: Showtime

Showtime renews 'Homeland' for season 3

Emmy-winning drama coming off its biggest numbers ever

In a no-brainer move on a day of no-brainer renewals, Showtime has ordered a third season of "Homeland."

The suspense drama is coming off a huge night at the Emmys, where it won awards for writing, stars Claire Danes and Damian Lewis, and for Outstanding Drama Series, ending a four-year "Mad Men" streak. Its ratings are up over last season, and Sunday night's episode (my review is here) averaged 1.75 million viewers for its 9 p.m. airing, the most-watched episode to date. Showtime estimates that across its platforms (including On Demand), the season 2 premiere has been seen by 5.7 million viewers.

"The Emmy wins for 'Homeland' have certainly set the stage for a great second season,” Showtime president Nevins said in a statement. "The writers, cast and crew of 'Homeland' continue to create a remarkably entertaining and suspenseful roller coaster ride, growing audiences week after week.  We can't wait for our viewers to experience what unfolds through the rest of season two.  Our partners at Fox 21 have been tremendous, and we are thrilled to begin the planning for 'Homeland's third season."

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<p>&quot;Searching for Sugar Man&quot;</p>

"Searching for Sugar Man"

Credit: Sony Pictures Classics

'Central Park Five,' 'Sugar Man,' 'Queen of Versailles' among IDA Award nominees

The documentary awards will be presented on December 7

The International Documentary Association Awards may be commonly labelled a precursor in the doc Oscar race, though that's not strictly the case -- as an independent-minded group, they frequently follow a very different path to the Academy's documentary branch. Last year, for example, their top prizewinner "Nostalgia for the Light" didn't crack the Academy's longlist, while eventual Oscar winner "Undefeated" wasn't tapped by the IDA. Would that more race saw this kind of divergence of opinion.

All of which is to say that the IDA's nominations, announced this morning, aren't any kind of harbinger of Oscar glory, though some high-profile films made the cut in their top category, including "Searching for Sugar Man" (which caught Kris' fancy in the summer) "Queen of Versailles" and "Central Park Five" (which I reviewed out of the LFF last week).

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<p>Critics' Choice Movie Awards</p>

Critics' Choice Movie Awards

Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

18th annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards to air on The CW on January 10

Kudos will be dished the same day as the Oscar nominations announcement

After a number of years partnered with VH1 for its annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards, the first televised film awards show of the season, the Broadcast Film Critics Association has announced that the 18th annual telecast will be broadcast on The CW network.

Also included in the announcement is the now-official date of January 10, 2013 for the show, which, yes, is the same day as the Oscar nominations. So there ought to be some interesting, awkward heartbreak on the red carpet for the inevitable BFCA nominees who were shafted by the Academy. This is the first time the awards are being held after the Oscar nominations announcement.

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<p>&quot;Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy&quot; received the award for Original Score of the Year at the World Soundtrack Awards.</p>

"Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" received the award for Original Score of the Year at the World Soundtrack Awards.

Credit: Focus Features

'Tinker Tailor' composer Alberto Iglesias takes top honors at World Soundtrack Awards

The Spaniard beats out such rivals as John Williams and Alexandre Desplat

If you forget the current Oscar race for a minute, and cast your mind all the way back to the start of this year, you may recall that Spanish composer Alberto Iglesias nabbed what rather surprisingly turned out to be the only below-the-line nomination for "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy."

He inevitably lost to Ludovic Bource for "The Artist," but I wasn't the only one who thought his moody, jazz-infused score for the British spy thriller deserved the win -- and not only because his tonally contrasting, predictably unnominated work on Pedro Almodovar's "The Skin I Live In" was equally strong.

Months later, Iglesias has received his due, winning Composer of the Year for both films (plus French thriller "The Monk") at the World Soundtrack Awards, presented this weekend at the Ghent International Film Festival in Belgium.

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<p>John Goodman, Alan Arkin and Ben Affleck in &quot;Argo.&quot;</p>

John Goodman, Alan Arkin and Ben Affleck in "Argo."

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Roundup: Audiences still eager for 'Argo'

Also: 'Mea Maxima Culpa' to play in Italy, and Sasha Stone's Oscar dirty dozen

"Paranormal Activity 4" may have topped the box office this weekend, but the story of the chart remains "Argo" -- which, by dipping just 15% to take $16.6 million, posted the strongest ever hold for a live-action film on a non-holiday weekend. Warner Bros. are said to be confident the film will reach at least $90 million domestically, which is a pretty extraordinary projection these days for a film about grown-ups in which nobody wears a cape. All of which underlines the immediate reaction I had upon finally seeing the film for myself last week: combining that strong populist appeal with old-fashioned craftsmanship, rousing political history and Hollywood insider lore, it's unequivocally the one to beat for Best Picture. [Variety]

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<p>James and Mark of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

James and Mark of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'Funky Monkey'

Despite the misleading title, this episode includes no monkeys
I need a ruling on this, "Amazing Race" viewers:
 
Is the streak of "Amazing Race" Legs determined by cab failures over or is it alive at three?
 
Mostly, Sunday (October 21) night's "Amazing Race" episode was finally able to jettison a team that had been dead weight since the premiere, but I can't say with absolute confidence that a faulty piece of cab steering didn't play a major role.
 
My vote is "The streak is over and Sunday's Leg came down to ineptitude on the part of the Racers and not the driver," but if you want to take the opposing side, I can't necessarily argue.
 
We can discuss after the break...
 
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<p>Lucia Micarelli in &quot;Trem&eacute;.&quot;</p>

Lucia Micarelli in "Tremé."

Credit: HBO

Review: 'Tremé' - 'I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say'

It's Christmas in New Orleans, but not everyone gets what they want

A quick review of tonight's "Tremé" coming up just as soon as I explain the difference between a fiddle and a violin...

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

Claire Danes and Damian Lewis in "Homeland."

Credit: SHO

Review: 'Homeland' - 'New Car Smell'

Carrie and Brody cross paths again in a pivotal hour

My review of tonight's "Homeland" coming up just as soon as my plan is the same as your plan...

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<p>Kelly Macdonald in &quot;Boardwalk Empire.&quot;</p>

Kelly Macdonald in "Boardwalk Empire."

Credit: HBO

Review: 'Boardwalk Empire' - 'Ging Gang Goolie'

While Nucky's away, Margaret and Owen get into trouble

A review of tonight's "Boardwalk Empire" coming up just as soon as you can break a hundred...

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<p>IronE Singleton as T-Dog on &quot;The Walking Dead.&quot;</p>

IronE Singleton as T-Dog on "The Walking Dead."

Credit: AMC

Review: 'The Walking Dead' - 'Sick'

Rick makes a shaky alliance with the prisoners, while Hershel's daughters have to wait

A review of tonight's "The Walking Dead" coming up just as soon as I'm pardoned by the state of Georgia...

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Album Review: Taylor Swift's 'Red' shows her musical colors
Credit: Big Machine

Album Review: Taylor Swift's 'Red' shows her musical colors

Does her ambitious reach exceed her grasp on this year's biggest release?

Taylor Swift’s second collection was named “Fearless,” but that title seems more apt for her latest album, “Red. Out tomorrow (Oct. 22), the set is the biggest release of 2012 and is expected to sell more than 1 million copies in its first week.

After moving millions of albums, selling out arenas around the world, introducing oodles of younger fans to country music, and creating her own cottage industry based on songs about her good-for-nothing ex-boyfriends, Swift has crafted an album that portrays an artist in transition musically, if not thematically. The 22-year old is not just sliding further toward the pop end of the country-pop spectrum she has navigated since her 2006 self-titled debut, but also strongly gravitating toward rock.  She seamlessly and fearlessly veers between these various musical styles.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Steven&nbsp;Spielberg on &quot;60 Minutes&quot;</p>

Steven Spielberg on "60 Minutes"

Credit: CBS

Spielberg talks 'Lincoln' on '60 Minutes': 'He was a father of a nation in need of repair.'

The director discusses his latest as a personal endeavor

"Lincoln" director Steven Spielberg was featured tonight on CBS' "60 Minutes" tonight, and the segment pretty much put the guy on the couch, digging into his family life and history in order to find a defining thread connecting all of his legendary films.

The thing they settle on is a portfolio about the outsider, with Spielberg noting everything from his long-time denial of his Judaism to a 15-year time of estrangement from a father he finally reconciled with nearly 20 years ago. They also get his parents to sit down and discuss the impact Spielberg's early life has had on him and the impressions left, etc., but keep coming back to a sense of shattered ties ultimately informing a lot of his work over the years, right up to and including his latest.

"I saw a paternal father figure, someone who was stubbornly committed to his ideals," he said of Abraham Lincoln, played by Daniel Day-Lewis in the film. "He was living with two agendas, both of which had to do with healing: to abolish slavery/end the war, but he also had his personal life, and I think there's darkness there."

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