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March Madness for college basketball is almost here, and the science of bracketology is filtering its way into all sorts of corners of the pop culture universe. Grantland is running a 32-person bracket to determine the greatest "Wire" character ever (though both "Wire" fan Mike Schur and The Bunk himself have raised objections to the way it's gone). Vulture is asking experts to help determine the greatest TV drama of the last 25 years (today it was "The X-Files" vs. "The West Wing").
For the third year in a row, Hulu is running its Best in Show competition, in which TV fans get to vote on a bracket of 32 current series. And for the second year in a row, I'm serving as the special guest judge, but in a different capacity from last year.
We are exactly one week away from the return of "Community" to NBC's primetime lineup, as the show starts all over again in its old Thursday at 8 timeslot on March 15. (Earlier that day, Hulu should be posting the archived stream of the "Community" PaleyFest panel I moderated, though I've already seen excerpts floating around on YouTube.) But since the show remains not on the air this week, it's time for one final installment in my weekly series on why I've missed the show during its absence.
There wasn't much doubt which "Idol" contestant would be my Iron-Clad Lock To Not Be Eliminated This Week pick for this recap's image. Jessica Sanchez isn't going anywhere and probably not for a long, long, long time. If "Idol" could get an ethnically intriguing teenage girl to end the show's White Guys With Guitars winning streak, there would be great behind-the-scenes joy.
But we're a long way from worrying about this season's winner. In fact, we're a solid hour from meeting the season's first loser, so click through for the full recap...
(Todd Gilchrist will be covering SXSW this year for In Contention. His dispatches will include reviews and interviews from the ground in Austin. We're happy to have him on board and look forward to his discoveries.)
AUSTIN, Texas - Because of the furor – and quite frankly, the films – at festivals like Cannes and Toronto, it’s easy to overlook South by Southwest as a destination for moviegoers, much less professionals and industry insiders eager to see what’s hot and what isn’t.
But SXSW has in recent years grown to epic proportions, thanks in no small part to its convergence of attendees from not just the film world, but music and technology as well, and that’s why it’s effectively the biggest festival stop in between Sundance in January and Cannes in May. Biggest doesn’t always necessarily mean best, mind you, but as with seemingly everything in Texas, where the festival is held, “more is more,” even when it just comes to where and in what context those movies are shown.
“Blood for Poppies” will be the first single from Garbage’s “Not Your Kind Of People,” our May 15.
We'll have to wait until March 18 to hear the song, but the video has already been shot in Los Angeles by director/photographer Matt Irwin. We wonder if it sounds like “I Hate Love,” another album track that the band circulated last month.
[More after the jump...]
Isaac Mizrahi has had countless ups and downs as a designer, but that roller coaster ride may be just what makes him such an empathetic judge (and in many ways a counter to the merciless but funny Michael Kors) on "Project Runway All Stars." In a conference call with reporters, Mizrahi tackled topics ranging from his love for Teletubbies, why not watching the show has been good for him and his favorite moment on the show.
Which designer do you think has grown the most over the course of the season?
As we’ve seen all too recently with Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse and Whitney Houston, an artist’s death — and the attendant publicity — spurs sales.
The Monkees are the latest act to see such a jump. Following Davy Jones’ Feb. 29 death, the group returned to the Billboard 200 for the first time in nine years, according to Billboard. “The Best of the Monkees’ popped back onto the album chart yesterday at No. 20. The Best of the Monkees” was last on the charts in June 2003. The title’s sales of 17,000 were up 7,808% over the week before. (We can’t do the math, but that means it must have sold something like 400 copies last week).
“Flashback With the Monkees” came on the chart at No. 125.
[More after the jump...]
Apparently being Mrs. Les Moonves has its privileges. Julie Chen (and her chatty co-stars Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne, Sheryl Underwood and Aisha Tyler) will return with 'The Talk' for a third season.
Ready to see Katy Perry’s strawberries in 3D? The singer’s 3D concert movie, “Part of Me,” will hit theaters this summer.
As we first reported in February, Perry was in discussions with Paramount and Imagine Entertainment to create the flick. Those conversations clearly worked out, as Perry confirmed the release yesterday via, what else, Twitter: “FINALLY, my MOVIE is coming out with Paramount this summer! It's called "KATY PERRY: PART OF ME."
She’s the latest artist to appear on the big screen following “Michael Jackson’s This Is It,” “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never,” “Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds,” and “Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience.”
It’s a smart play to keep Perry, who appeared on Fox’s “Raising Hope” earlier this week, foremost in fans’ minds as she takes some time off the road. Up next for Perry is March 26’s release of “Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection.” The set features all of “Teenage Dream,” including some new material. Among the new songs are “Part Of Me,” the 3D movie’s title track, which Perry took straight to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 following the song’s premiere on the Feb. 12 Grammy Awards.
She tells MTV that she sees “Confection” as a gift to her longtime fans and also a way to bring in new fans.
One, I'm doing it mostly for the hard-core fans because they always love all the extras," Perry told MTV News in Los Angeles. "The second reason I wanted to do it is because it's my one last push, to push that person that is on the precipice of becoming a fan. They're thinking to themselves, 'I bought four or five singles, maybe I should actually complete my album and now I should really complete my album because I'm gonna get 19 songs for a really great price.' I think it's like a bargain and I'm doing it for my fans."
Follow Melinda Newman on Twitter @HitfixMelinda
As fun.’s “We Are Young” featuring Janelle Monae ascends to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week, we also got news that Toby Keith’s former country smash, novelty song “Red Solo Cup,” is going for ads at Top 40 radio as well.
Those are just two examples of the changing landscape at Top 40 radio, which is, slowly but surely, expanding its parameters once again.
For the last several years, Top 40 has been dominated almost exclusively with hip-hop and rhythmic leaning tunes. To be sure there have been a few exceptions, such as Train’s “Hey Soul Sister,” Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me” and, of course, Adele’s three chart toppers, but by and large, even a Katy Perry or Britney Spears track would get bolstered by a remix with a rapper or with some heavy rhythmic component. For awhile there, it seems like Lil Wayne was on every song because his presence definitely gave the song a better shot at rising up the chart.
At this point in Metallica's decades-long career, the band seems to be both breaking out of their usual album cycles and forming a longer-lasting impression of their storied history. While it was, largely, a sonic nightmare, last year's collaboration with Lou Reed on "Lulu" showed a willingness on the band's part to try something new and combine with other artists; they also recently announced their own curated music festival, the Orion Music + More event in June, which exposes their tastes to fans and expands on their legacy as a metal staple. So while the reception of their last album "Death Magnetic" in 2008 was frequently mixed, Metallica now seems to be focused on telling and remixing their own story.
And now the band has a film director attached to one of their next projects in expanding their enduring brand. In January, Metallica had announced that they intended to make a 3D film with producer Charlotte Huggins, and this week they named Nimrod Antal as the as-yet-untitled project's helmer.
Antal was behind 2010's "Predators," the fifth film in the franchise starring Adrien Brody. He had also previously released Hungarian language film "Kontroll," which collected the Award of the Youth honor at Cannes in 2004, plus 2007's "Vacancy" (with Kate Beckinsale and Luke Wilson) and 2009's "Armored" (Matt Dillon).
What pushed Antal over the edge to become director? Was Darren Aronofsky busy?
"I've been a fan of Nimróds since his first Hungarian film, Kontroll, showed up at Cannes in 2004 and blew everybody away, said Metallica's Lars Ulrich in a press release. "I've watched with excitement his career in Hollywood blossom over the last few years. Within five minutes of meeting him I was addicted to his enthusiasm, his take on the creative process and his 'thinking outside of the box' personality. Let's get on with it!!!"
The release describes the effort to be "a marriage of narrative and concert," to begin shooting in August and for release in the summer of 2013. That means there probably won't be crew on site at Orion, which takes place in June.
We'll see what this feature director can bring to the table with documentary footage.
This, of course, is not the first time Metallica has been the main subject on-film: gripping band-drama doc "Some Kind of Monster" was released in 2004.