Latest Blog Posts

<p>Donald Glover and Danny Pudi on &quot;Community,&quot;&nbsp;whose fate remains up in the air at NBC.</p>

Donald Glover and Danny Pudi on "Community," whose fate remains up in the air at NBC.

Credit: NBC

Press tour analysis: NBC chairman talks 'Community,' 'Smash' and the benefits of cable

Greenblatt is blunt about the current state of the Peacock

At press tours past, NBC executives have set new records for the amount of lipstick one can apply to a pig. Season after season, press tour after press tour, NBC's ratings dipped, but Jeff Zucker and then his various lieutenants found one way or another to come out and - usually with the help of bar graphs and eight dozen press releases - suggest that things were much better than we all thought, and that the Peacock was a half-step away from relevance again.

Friday morning at the tour, Robert Greenblatt came out and called the pig a pig.

"We had a really bad fall," he said without hesitation or embarrassment.

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Elisa Jimenez, "Project Runway All Stars"

 Elisa Jimenez, "Project Runway All Stars"

Credit: Lifetime Television

The first designer cut on 'Project Runway All Stars' talks about making a (spit) mark

The second time around is sweeter for Elisa Jimenez

As the first designer to get snipped on "Project Runway All Stars," Elisa Jimenez stood out not so much for her gauzy designs but for a quirkiness that also set her apart in season four. The spit marking (oops, blessing marking) designer talked to reporters the day after her last show aired to reveal why she doesn't mind looking like a nut on national television, what she'd really like to do and who she's rooting for to win.

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<p>Alec Baldwin will be back next season if &quot;30 Rock&quot;&nbsp;is.</p>

Alec Baldwin will be back next season if "30 Rock" is.

Credit: NBC

Alec Baldwin extends '30 Rock' contract, says NBC chairman

Despite earlier threats, Emmy winner will be back next season if comedy is

If "30 Rock" returns to NBC next season, Alec Baldwin will return with it.

Though the Emmy-winning actor has stated publicly in the past that he might want to leave the series after his contract finished, whether to return to movies or move into politics, NBC entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt told reporters at the Television Critics Association winter press tour that Baldwin had already extended his contract through next season, pending renewal. The deal was closed in the fall, Greenblatt said.

"30 Rock" returns to NBC's schedule for its sixth season this Thursday night at 8. The show was held for mid-season because Tina Fey went on maternity leave, and because NBC had a comedy surplus and a timeslot deficit. Given its Emmy wins, critical praise and decent (by NBC standards) ratings, it is very likely to be back next season - and now will have Baldwin along with Fey and the others.

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<p>NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt</p>

NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt

Credit: Showtime

Press Tour '12 Live-Blog: NBC Executive Session with Robert Greenblatt

Expect 'Community,' 'Smash' and 4th Place talk

PASADENA - After two-days of PBS, welcome to the "Let's Live-Blog Everything"  portion of the Television Critics Association January press tour. 

We're kicking things off with NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt, who's sure to get questions about the failure of "Prime Suspect," the benching of "Community" and the network's hopes for "Smash."

Click through for the minute-by-minute fun... 

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Oscar Talk: Ep. 76 -- Guild announcements, previewing the DGA and the success of 'Bridesmaids'

Oscar Talk: Ep. 76 -- Guild announcements, previewing the DGA and the success of 'Bridesmaids'

Also: What nomination would make each of us happiest on January 24?

Welcome to Oscar Talk.

In case you're new to the site and/or the podcast, Oscar Talk is a weekly kudocast, your one-stop awards chat shop between yours truly and Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood. The podcast is weekly, every Friday throughout the season, charting the ups and downs of contenders along the way. Plenty of things change en route to Oscar's stage and we're here to address it all as it unfolds.

Welcome to the first podcast of the new year. The holidays and 2011 as a film year are memories and we forge ahead into the rest of the season and whatever 2012 may have to offer. So let's see what's on the docket today...

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<p>Nicolas Winding Refn (left)&nbsp;directs Ryan&nbsp;Gosling on the set of &quot;Drive.&quot;</p>

Nicolas Winding Refn (left) directs Ryan Gosling on the set of "Drive."

Credit: FilmDistrict

'Drive' wins with Central Ohio critics

Michael Shannon and Elizabeth Olsen win top acting honors

After "The Tree of Life" led the way with nominations from the Central Ohio Film Critics Association, it was "Drive" that took top honors, winning Best Picture and Best Director for Nicolas Winding Refn. Refn also won the Breakthrough Film Artist award. Check out the full list of winners below.

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<p>Will Michael Fassbender's work in &quot;Shame&quot; attract enough passion votes for an Oscar nod?&nbsp;</p>

Will Michael Fassbender's work in "Shame" attract enough passion votes for an Oscar nod? 

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Round-up: Anticipating Oscar voters' passion play

Also: Defending 'The Artist' and delaying 'Wettest County'

The words "passion vote" get repeated with numbing frequency in the Oscar prediction racket, as pundits try to separate the niche contenders who inspire fierce devotion from the broadly agreeable ones who appear to be nobody's favorite. Year after year, we convince ourselves the former are in a more advantageous position; year after year, films like "Frost/Nixon" somehow get nominated. Mark Harris addresses this dichotomy in his column this week, acknowledging the films and actors that seem primed for passion votes (Fassbender, Swinton, "Margaret"), while wondering if they have enough support to overcome the Academy's dutiful tendency to reward dull familiarity and hard work ("an A-for-effort nomination for Leonardo DiCaprio" about sums it up). [Grantland]

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<p>&quot;Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy&quot; received 16 BAFTA longlist mentions, setting it up for a healthy haul of nominations.</p>

"Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" received 16 BAFTA longlist mentions, setting it up for a healthy haul of nominations.

Credit: Focus Features

'Marilyn' and 'Tinker, Tailor' top embarrassing BAFTA longlists

'The Artist' leads in terms of chapter selections

Just in case you were wondering, "The Iron Lady" is a better film -- and a better directed film -- than "Shame." Obviously. "Arthur Christmas" and "War Horse" are better British films than "Weekend," "Kill List" and "Wuthering Heights." Of course. Zoe Wanamaker and Judi Dench gave nomination-worthy performances in "My Week With Marilyn." (Sure, but why not throw in Emma Watson too? They're all better than Vanessa Redgrave in "Coriolanus.")

Hey, how about those awesome visual effects in "Midnight in Paris?" Better, I'm sure you'll agree, than those half-assed efforts in "The Tree of Life" -- which, by the way, has no place in a Best Director conversation that includes such visionary auteurs as Simon Curtis.

These golden truths all come to us courtesy of the BAFTA longlists, an annual preview (or, perhaps more appropriately, warning) of the British Academy's eventual nominations, in which 15 contenders are announced in each category, from which the five nominees will be chosen. Marked with an asterisk are the top choices of the relevant voting branch ("chapter" in BAFTA lingo) in each field -- in a reversal of the Oscar system, the general membership votes on the nominees in each category, while the chapter determines the winner in all categories except Best Film, Foreign Language Film, British Film, Documentary and the acting races.

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<p>Suzan Crowley plays the woman whose violent actions kick off the events of the new mockumentary 'The Devil Inside'</p>

Suzan Crowley plays the woman whose violent actions kick off the events of the new mockumentary 'The Devil Inside'

Credit: Paramount/InSurge

Review: 'The Devil Inside' is a disappointing burn and not scary

Mockumentary form just plain doesn't work for muddled horror misfire

"The Devil Inside" is an insidious kind of terrible movie, a movie that is simply low-grade bad for most of its thankfully brief running time before offering up an ending so openly contemptuous of the audience as to feel like a prank.  Short version of this review:  nope.  Don't see it.

If you require more than that, then I'll be happy to share.  I was invited to see the film at a screening tonight that Paramount held in downtown Los Angeles, and I was all set to go before I got invited to something else, something I'll write about tomorrow.  Because that was at the same time, I decided to do that and then just pay for a midnight show of "The Devil inside" somewhere in Los Angeles.  The other screening was on the Fox lot, so I considered staying there at the Century City AMC theater.  They had an 11:45 screening of the film listed.  Instead, because we got out of the other film and in our cars by 10:30, I decided to drive back to the Valley to see the movie near my house at the Woodland Hills Promenade 16.  They had an 11:30 listed.  I made the drive in time, and at 11:10, stepped up to buy my ticket and got told that the film was sold out.

I was so surprised that I think I stood there for a minute staring at the girl behind the window like she'd just called me a name.  I still had time to try to find another screening, so I checked my phone, saw that there was a theater at Coldwater and Victory, right in the heart of the Valley, where there was a 12:01 show.

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"Jersey Shore"

 "Jersey Shore"

Credit: MTV

Why can't The Situation leave Snooki alone on 'Jersey Shore'?

Their secret rendezvous isn't a secret to anyone - except for Jionni

The gang is back in the U.S., but as exciting as that is for them (they can get haircuts! AND TANS!), some problems are harder to shake than bad jet lag. One particularly sticky problem is the alleged hook-up between Mike "The Situation" and Snooki. The more Snooki denies it, the more Mike wants to have every grisly detail tattooed on a bicep or shaved into his hairline. He knows THE TRUTH and even if she can't handle it, he had no compunction about sharing it with the rest of the cast while they were all in Italy -- and now that they're back home, there's one more person he's itching to enlighten: Snooki's boyfriend Jionni.

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"Project Runway All Stars"

 "Project Runway All Stars"

Credit: Lifetime Television

Recap: 'Project Runway' - 'Return to the Runway'

The all stars are back but has a favorite already emerged?

Aren't you excited that "Project Runway" is back? And not only is it back, but a cast of all stars (which means talented designers AND total lunatics!) will be returning for another shot at victory. Although there are some cast members I never really needed to see again (cough, Mila, cough), I'm not only interested to see if some of these people have grown as designers, but also to find out if the more annoying contenders have seen the error of their ways and might try playing nice this time around. I doubt it, but I'm interested just the same. 

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<p>Anna Paquin in&nbsp;Kenneth&nbsp;Lonergan's &quot;Margaret&quot;</p>

Anna Paquin in Kenneth Lonergan's "Margaret"

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Lonergan's 'Margaret' is so authentic it hurts

USC, meanwhile, will be hosting a screening of the film next week

On Tuesday, January 10 at 7pm, USC and Fox Searchlight will host an “Out of the Box [Office]” screening of “Margaret” at the Ray Stark Family Theatre on the USC campus.

As many of you know, In Contention is firmly set in the #TeamMargaret camp. Kris named the film as his number one movie of the year, and Guy his number two. I saw “Margaret” via a streaming link recently. It was presented in six instillations that required me to log in at each breaking point, the player was about a quarter of the size of my 17-inch computer, and the name "Kris Tapley" sat as a vertical watermark across the frame for the entirety of the screening. And yet even given the constraints of that viewing experience, had I created a top 10 list, I would have named “Margaret” as my number two film of the year as well – if not my number one.

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