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<p>Joan Allen, Dustin Hoffman, John Ortiz and Dennis Farina in &quot;Luck.&quot;</p>

Joan Allen, Dustin Hoffman, John Ortiz and Dennis Farina in "Luck."

Credit: HBO

Some thoughts on the 'Luck' cancellation

Equine tragedy got in the way of David Milch's dream project about horse racing

I've known David Milch for almost 16 years, and I have never seen him more animated or excited than the day we met, when at the tail end of an interview about "NYPD Blue," he smiled and said, "You should come to the track with me." I was a 22-year-old newspaper intern; he was the Emmy-winning creator of my favorite TV show. I went to the track. And over the course of an afternoon, Milch regaled me and "NYPD" writer David Mills with stories about a lifetime of watching horse racing. He even offered to cut us in on his winnings if a horse he had bet on came in; I was still new at the newspaper thing and trying to figure out the ethical implications when the horse did me a favor and finished out of the money. Mills and I occasionally talked about that day in the years that followed, and Mills was convinced that one day, when Milch had amassed enough credit in the TV business, he was going to spend it by combining his two passions to make a drama about life at the track.

So "Luck" as an idea has been in my consciousness for a very long time, which is why I'm having trouble processing the news that HBO has canceled the series after a third horse died during filming, early in production of the second season.

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<p>Ooops. One of these people isn't on &quot;American Idol&quot; anymore</p>
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Ooops. One of these people isn't on "American Idol" anymore

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Top 11 Performances - Songs From The Year They Were Born

Wait. Didn't we just have a Top 13 last week? Yup! Somebody's missing...

It's been a strange 24 hours in "American Idol"-dom with the apparent elimination of contestant Jermaine Jones for failing to reveal aspects of his criminal record. 

With FOX refusing any sort of official comment on how Jones' absence will be handled, there's suspense aplenty as Wednesday (March 14) night's show is set to begin. 

Click through for a full recap of Wednesday's news and performances...

Wow. Ryan Seacrest begins by using the contestant's elimination as a TEASE for the start of the episode. "When you're doing a live show, anything can happen," Ryan says, before kicking to the opening credits.

And even after the credits, Seacrest says he'll talk more about the eliminated contestant, still unnamed, later in the show. Because clearly it's more important to show baby pictures of the three judges. 

LAME. And a bit distasteful. Anyway... Songs From The Year They Were Born.


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<p>Aneurin Barnard stars in 'Citadel,' a creepy mix of real-life fears and mutant kids that played this year's SXSW&nbsp;midnight line-up.</p>

Aneurin Barnard stars in 'Citadel,' a creepy mix of real-life fears and mutant kids that played this year's SXSW midnight line-up.

Credit: Blinder Films

Review: Irish horror film 'Citadel' mixes agoraphobia and creepy kids

Real-life terror drives director Ciaran Foy to make effective, freaky film

Ciaran Foy's film "Citadel" would be an effective horror film if all he did was successfully impart to the audience the crushing anxiety and cold-sweat fear that is the everyday state of an agoraphobic, but when you add creepy mutant kids to the mix, you get a potent cocktail that should please horror fans enormously.

Foy talked about the origin of the film briefly before the screening and told the audience that following a random act of violence against him, he developed a crippling case of agoraphobia, and that the film is part of his desire to overcome the problem.  I would believe it, because the set-up for the film is very direct, very personal, and effectively etches an incident in which Tommy (Aneurin Barnard) and his pregnant wife Joanne (Amy Shiels) are getting ready to move out of the block housing tower where they live in a particularly blasted part of Ireland.  Tommy is carrying bags out to the waiting taxi, and on his way back up, the elevator (which is just as dented and damaged as everything else in the building) stalls, and he can't get the door to open.  He can see into the hallway where Joanne waits, though, which absolutely tears him up when he sees a group of strange kids in hoodies crowd into the hall and attack her.  By the time he manages to get to his wife, she's had a hypodermic needle stabbed deeply into her stomach, and she's having some sort of reaction to whatever she's been injected with.

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<p>Christopher Plummer after winning Best Supporting Actor at last month's Oscar ceremony.</p>

Christopher Plummer after winning Best Supporting Actor at last month's Oscar ceremony.

Credit: AP Photo/Chris Carlson

Plummer's 'Barrymore' to hit theaters in the fall

Screen showcase for Tony-winning performance was acclaimed at Toronto

Christopher Plummer's Best Supporting Actor Oscar for "Beginners" had been so widely expected for so long -- the buzz started at Toronto in 2010, frontrunner status was assumed when the film was released last summer, while most regarded him as a foregone conclusion all through awards season -- that I almost forgot to be happy when it finally happened. Chalk that up to the wearying nature of the awards marathon, because Plummer's win was one of the most satisfyingly deserved of the night: the rare career-achievement trophy for a well-past-due talent that also happens to be for peak-form, field-beating work in its own right. We don't get too many of those. 

Having finally given the 82-year-old Canadian appropriate recognition, and made him the oldest Oscar-winner of all time in the process, the Academy might have expected not to hear from Plummer again for a while -- but there's a chance he could be troubling them again later this very year. And as with "Beginners," the film in question is a well-buzzed holdover from last year's Toronto fest.

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Credit: ABC

Interview: The men of 'Missing' talk mother love, spy games and dirty words

Adriano Giannini, Nick Eversman and Cliff Curtis back up Ashley Judd's new show

While ABC's new show "Missing" (premieres Thurs. March 15 at 8 p.m.) is largely centered around a mom (and former CIA agent, played by Ashley Judd) searching for her son, that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of guys around to flesh out the cast. New Zealand native Cliff Curtis plays Paris-based CIA agent Dax Miller, torn between sympathizing with Judd's character and being pressured by top brass to bring her in, while Adriano Giannini is Becca's old friend and Interpol operative Giancarlo Rossi, determined to help as much as Becca will allow him. Finally, there's the focus of everyone's attention -- Becca's son Michael, played by Nick Eversman. All three of the actors were brought together for a conference call to discuss their very different characters, why prime time means watching your language and why the cool spying angle wasn't what got them on board - and may not be what draws in viewers, either. 

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fun.'s 'We Are Young' hangs around at No. 1 on retooled Billboard Hot 100

What happens with Adele, Katy Perry, and Kelly Clarkson?

“We Are Young” by fun. featuring Janelle Monae ages a second week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 as the chart makes some major modifications.

Starting with this edition, the Billboard Hot 100 will incorporate a number of streaming services into its calculations, including Slacker, Spotify, MOG and Rdio.  The chart will continue to also rely on radio airplay, single sales and Yahoo! radio streams and Yahoo! on-demand video plays. Sales weigh the most, followed by radio and then streaming.

Similarly to “Young,” the titles in the 2-4 spots remain the same, despite the changes in methodology: Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger” is at No. 2; Adele’s “Set Fire To The Rain” at No. 3 and The Wanted’s “Glad You Came” at No. 4.

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<p>The Rolling Stones</p>

The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones gather moss until 2013: postpone 50th anniverary tour

Is Keith Richards' health an issue?

The Rolling Stones turn 50 this year, but unlike the Beach Boys, who are undergoing a huge tour to commemorate their golden anniversary this year, the Stones have pushed off the celebration until 2013.

However, a piece in Rolling Stone casts some doubts on Keith Richards’ health that will sadden any Stones’ fan.  Through interviews with Mick Jagger and Richards indicate they hope to tour in 2013, as well return to the studio and release a documentary, but sources say that following his head injury while on vacation in Fiji in 2006 (the one where he fell out of the tree, remember that one?) have affected his playing abilities.

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<p>Bruce Springsteen</p>

Bruce Springsteen

Does Springsteen's 'Ball' wreck Adele's '21' on the Billboard 200?

Why do Lady Antebellum, Coldplay and Lil Wayne fly back into the top 10?

Bruce Springsteen’s “Wrecking Ball” blasts Adele’s “21” out of the top spot on the Billboard 200 in an action-filled week.

“Wrecking Ball” sold 196,000 copies last week, according to Nielsen Soundscan, topping “21” by a slim 4,000 units.  For now, that ends “21’s” 23 non-consecutive weeks at No. 1, but the title has been known to bounce back up into the top spot (although there’s a fairly heavy slate of big-name albums coming up and she has nothing on her horizon that would pump the set, so this may really be it).

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<p>The gang from &quot;The Artist&quot; at this year's Academy Awards</p>

The gang from "The Artist" at this year's Academy Awards

Credit: AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Oscars set key 2013 dates, setting up a longer-than-usual phase two

Prospective nominees, prepare to be on the circuit a while

The Academy has just announced via Twitter key dates in next year's Oscar season, and it looks like the next batch of Oscar nominees will be spending a little extra time on the circuit than normal.

The nominations announcement will happen on Tuesday, January 15, according to AMPAS. That immediately caught my eye. Given the usual order of things, you'd have expected the announcement to land on 1/22 or even 1/29 instead. The last four years the nominees have been unveiled on 1/24 (2012), 1/25 (2011), 2/2 (2010) and 1/22 (2009, an unusual Thursday announcement).

Why does this matter? Well, given that the Oscars will be held on February 24 of next year, a typical date, that makes for nearly six weeks of phase two action. Usually it's closer to five.

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<p>Santigold performs at Fader Fort today</p>

Santigold performs at Fader Fort today

Credit: Katie Hasty

SXSW Music Day 1, Wednesday: Tennis, Reggie Watts, Future of the Left

Recommended, even if you're not there: Jimmy Cliff, Mux Mool, Bear Hands, Zola Jesus...

Take your antacid and grab a water bottle: SXSW Music programming officially kicks off today, Wednesday, March 14.

Below I've outlined some more artists to watch, Some shows will overlap, some are a haul, but... you paid extra for the SXSW Teleport, didn't you? Check out shows form Tennis, Fiona Apple, Santigold, Reggie Watts, Machine Gun Kelly, Future of the Left, Bear Hands, Jimmy Cliff and more...

Thank you again to Unofficial SXSW, for having a nearly-perfect accuracy and navigable scheduling interface.

Day shows sometimes require badges or RSVP -- check the links where applicable.

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<p>Joel Kinnaman and Mireille Enos in &quot;The Killing.&quot;</p>

Joel Kinnaman and Mireille Enos in "The Killing."

Credit: AMC

'The Killing,' social media, and the problems mysteries have in a Twitter age

Can Twitter ruin all surprises? And should Veena Sud be reading online feedback?

You may recall that when "The Killing" finale aired, I didn't mince words in my review, saying that "This will be the last review I write of 'The Killing,' because this will be the last time I watch 'The Killing.'"

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<p>Schmidt (Max Greenfield)&nbsp;tries on a new persona on &quot;New Girl.&quot;</p>

Schmidt (Max Greenfield) tries on a new persona on "New Girl."

Credit: FOX

'New Girl' - 'Control': The little-nipped drummer boy

Jess gets Schmidt to relax, with disastrous consequences

A review of last night's "New Girl" coming up just as soon as I reinstate my ban on high-waisted shorts...

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