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<p>&quot;Saturday Night Live&quot; host Charles Barkley</p>
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"Saturday Night Live" host Charles Barkley

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'Saturday Night Live' - Charles Barkley and Kelly Clarkson

Could the Round Mound of Rebound and the first Idol start 2012 off right?
Tonight marks the third time that Charles Barkley has hosted “Saturday Night Live.” I completely forgot that he initially hosted the show in 1993 until doing a little digging in preparation for tonight’s recap. I remember his 2010 appearance well, albeit unkindly. So I’m slightly dreading his presence tonight in this, the first “SNL” of 2012. It doesn’t help my confidence that he spent seemingly half of today inside NBC’s “Football Night in America” studio plugging his appearance rather than working on his sketches. He’s a larger-than-life personality outside of this show, but seems to shrink in this particular spotlight. Oh well. If nothing else, the original “American Idol” herself Kelly Clarkson may brighten tonight’s proceedings.
 
As per usual, only one way to find out. I grade each sketch, you get mad, and then we all move on with our lives. Deal? Deal.
 
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Andy Cohen

 Andy Cohen

Credit: Bravo

Bravo's Andy Cohen talks about 'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' suicide

The producer/talk show host admits there were 'many discussions' about Armstrong

While Andy Cohen was on hand at press tour to discuss his Bravo late night talk show, "Watch What Happens: Live," expanding to five nights a week (Sun. through Thurs.) this week, but it came as no surprise that questions about the recent suicide of Russell Armstrong, husband of "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Taylor Armstrong, came up during a panel.

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<p>&nbsp;Norah Jones and her Little Willies bandmates</p>

 Norah Jones and her Little Willies bandmates

Credit: Parlaphone

Album Review: The Little Willies featuring Norah Jones soar on sophomore set

Torch and twang combine with great musicianship on 'For The Good Times'

It has taken the Little Willies six years to follow up its self-titled debut with “For The Good Times,” but the quintet, fronted by Norah Jones, has only improved with age.

The band name is, of course, a slightly naughty moniker, but the official explanation is that it comes from the members’ unabashed adoration for all things Willie Nelson, and his compadres...And let’s face it, the Little Merles wouldn’t have provided the same giggle value.

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Suze Orman

 Suze Orman

Credit: OWN

Suze Orman talks about her new show and the death of the American dream

With 'America's Money Class,' Orman wants to save your finances

In debt? If so, you're not alone -- according to US News and World Report, 70 percent of Americans feel your pain. While debtors aren't her only target audience, Suze Orman is hoping to slap some common sense into viewers about handling money with her new show, "America's Money Class with Suze Orman" (premieres Mon. Jan. 9 at 9 p.m. ET). During a conference call with reporters, the tough love financial expert talked about the death of the American dream, the shrinking middle class and why she's hopeful that she can make viewers face their fears about money.

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Jeff Lewis, "Interior Therapy"
Jeff Lewis, "Interior Therapy"
Credit: Bravo

'Interior Therapy' star Jeff Lewis no longer flipping out, talks housing crash

The newly minted interior decorator admits 'getting knocked down' paid off

The housing bust had a direct impact on "Flipping Out" star Jeffrey Lewis, who found his business -- and the theme of his Bravo show -- disappearing along with potential buyers."There were times when I thought, why is this happening to me? And sometimes it takes years to figure out the lesson. But getting knocked down was one of the best things to ever happen to me," Lewis admitted during a press tour panel discussion. 

Enter "Interior Therapy," Lewis' new show debuting later this year. Now working as an interior designer, Lewis and assistant Jenni Pulos move in with couples who need home decoration help, usually revolving around personal dilemmas ranging from hoarding to merging belongings following a marriage. "I don't think I could have done this show five years ago," Lewis said. "With [house flipping] it was really about my own taste and my own design. I did what I wanted to do, and if someone didn't like it there were four people lined up to buy the house anyway. Now I can really get into clients' heads and put together a design that would suit their tastes and needs, not just mine." 

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<p><span style="color: rgb(62, 62, 62); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 11px; text-align: left; background-color: rgb(253, 253, 253); ">Kirsten Dunst in &quot;Melancholia,&quot; which won Best Picture and Best Actress from the National Society of Film Critics.&nbsp;</span></p>

Kirsten Dunst in "Melancholia," which won Best Picture and Best Actress from the National Society of Film Critics. 

Credit: Magnolia Pictures

'Melancholia,' Dunst and Pitt among National Society of Film Critics winners

'Tree of Life' close runner-up for Best Picture, takes Best Director

God love the National Society of Film Critics. More often than not, you can count on them to go their own way on the precursor trail -- and they did so in defiant fashion today, becoming the first major critics' group to single out Lars von Trier's "Melancholia" as the year's best, handing star Kirsten Dunst the Best Actress prize into the bargain. (It's Dunst's first win since her Cannes trophy, and not a moment too soon; look out for my interview with her on Monday.) It's the second time the group has stood up for von Trier in this way -- 15 years ago, they gave "Breaking the Waves" the same two awards.

As if to underline their independence from the Oscar conversation, their runner-up picks were also decidedly dark horses: "The Tree of Life" (which lost the Best Picture race by a single point, but won Best Director and Best Cinematography to make up for it) and "A Separation," which won the foreign-language race by a landslide and also took its second major critics' prize in the Best Screenplay category. (The LA Critics reached the same conclusion last month -- could the Academy's writers' branch take notice?)

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<p>&nbsp;'Melancholia'</p>

 'Melancholia'

National Society of Film Critics picks Lars Von Trier's 'Melancholia'

Kirsten Dunst and Brad Pitt nab acting awards

"Melancholia," Lars Von Trier's allegorical film about the end of the world, was named best picture by the influential National Society of Film Critics, beating out "Tree of Life" and Iran's "A Separation." 

The film's star, Kirsten Dunst, also walked away with the title of Best Actress, handily defeating "Poetry's" Yun Jung-Hee and awards magnet Meryl Streep ("The Iron Lady"). Brad Pitt won the Best Actor award, for his work in "Moneyball" and "Tree of Life."

"Drive's" Albert Brooks was named in the Best Supporting Actor section for his sinister, against-type turn, while Jessica Chastain was honored for her roles in "Tree of Life," "Take Shelter" and "The Help." Best Director went to "Tree of Life" helmer Terrence Malick. 

Last year, the NSFC (which includes critics from major publications all over the U.S.) chose "The Social Network" as the top film, with "The Hurt Locker" getting the honor in 2009. 

Here’s the full list of this year's winners:

 

BEST ACTOR
*1. Brad Pitt – 35 (Moneyball, The Tree Of Life)
2. Gary Oldman – 22 (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)
3. Jean Dujardin – 19 (The Artist)

BEST ACTRESS
*1. Kirsten Dunst – 39 (Melancholia)
2. Yun Jung-hee – 25 (Poetry)
3. Meryl Streep – 20 (The Iron Lady)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
*1. Albert Brooks – 38 (Drive)
2. Christopher Plummer – 24 (Beginners)
3. Patton Oswalt – 19 (Young Adult)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
*1. Jessica Chastain – 30 (The Tree Of Life, Take Shelter, The Help)
2. Jeannie Berlin – 19 (Margaret)
3. Shailene Woodley – 17 (The Descendants)

BEST PICTURE
*1. Melancholia – 29 (Lars von Trier)
2. The Tree Of Life – 28 (Terrence Malick)
3. A Separation – 20 (Asghar Farhadi)

BEST DIRECTOR
*1. Terrence Malick – 31 (The Tree Of Life)
2. Martin Scorsese – 29 (Hugo)
3. Lars von Trier – 23 (Melancholia)

BEST NONFICTION
*1. Cave Of Forgotten Dreams – 35 (Werner Herzog)
2. The Interrupters – 26 (Steve James)
3. Into The Abyss – 18 (Werner Herzog)

BEST SCREENPLAY
*1. A Separation – 39 (Asghar Farhadi)
2. Moneyball – 22 (Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin)
3. Midnight In Paris – 16 (Woody Allen)

BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM
*1. A Separation – 67 (Asghar Farhadi)
2. Mysteries Of Lisbon – 28 (Raoul Ruiz)
3. Le Havre – 22 (Aki Kaurismäki)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
*1. The Tree Of Life – 76 (Emanuel Lubezki)
2. Melancholia – 41 (Manuel Alberto Claro)
3. Hugo – 33 (Robert Richardson)

EXPERIMENTAL
Ken Jacobs, Seeking The Monkey King

FILM HERITAGE

1. BAMcinématek for its complete Vincente Minnelli retrospective with all titles shown on 16 mm. or 35 mm. film.
2. Lobster Films, Groupama Gan Foundation for Cinema and the Technicolor Foundation for Cinema for the restoration of the color version of George Méliès’s “A Trip to the Moon.”
3. New York’s Museum of Modern Art for its extensive retrospective of Weimar Cinema.
4. Flicker Alley for their box set Landmarks Of Early Soviet Film.
5. Criterion Collecton for its 2-disc DVD package The Complete Jean Vigo.

 

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"Bethenny Ever After"

 "Bethenny Ever After"

Credit: Bravo

Press Tour: Bethenny Frankel talks marriage trouble, Jill Zarin squabble

The former 'Real Housewives' star wants to show "honest" reality

Bethenny Frankel may have sold her Skinny Girl cocktails brand for $120 million last year, but the former "Real Housewives of New York" star isn't relaxing with her newfound wealth. Her Bravo series "Bethenny Ever After" will be returning for a third season, and the self-made woman discussed her decision to come back to the airwaves during a press tour panel. "I have a relationship with Bravo and we've been working together for years, and there were some things I still wanted to say to my fans," she said. "It's certainly not about the paycheck. It's about the message." Frankel maintained that, while "in reality TV, [reality] isn't always the case," honesty is her only policy. "It's about showing people what's really going on, warts and all."

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<p>Nick Offerman wrote an upcoming &quot;Parks and Recreation&quot;&nbsp;episode.</p>

Nick Offerman wrote an upcoming "Parks and Recreation" episode.

Credit: NBC

Interview: Nick Offerman on writing a 'Parks and Recreation' script

Which of Ron Swanson's co-workers did he most enjoy writing for?
At NBC's press tour party last night, I ran into Nick Offerman from "Parks and Recreation," who mentioned that he had written an upcoming episode for the show (the 18th out of 22 for the season). Given that Offerman, like Ron Effing Swanson, seems to be superhumanly competent at everything else, the idea of him writing a script for the show intrigued me. So we talked for a few minutes about how this happened, his writing experience, his secret dreams for writing Ron Swanson, and which other character he most enjoyed writing for.
 
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<p>That's our Billy.</p>

That's our Billy.

Watch: Funny or Die uses Megan Fox to bring Billy Crystal back to Oscar

Has everyone forgotten about Eddie Murphy already?

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences teamed up with Funny or Die to create the first promo for this year's 84th Academy Awards which debuted today online.  Not surprisingly, it centers on the search for this year's host, the legendary Billy Crystal. 

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<p>Adele's &quot;21&quot;</p>
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Adele's "21"

Will Adele make it 15 weeks atop the Billboard 200?

Rihanna, Nickelback and Drake stay in the top 10

Adele’s success continues as “21” is poised to spend its 15th week at No. 1 on next week’s Billboard 200.

With projected sales of up to 130,000 copies, “21” is far ahead of Drake’s “Take Care,” which will likely stay at No. 2 with 50,000 units.  Most of the titles from this week’s Billboard 200 Top 10 stay firmly entrenched in the upper tier although there’s some shifting of positions. Young Jeezy’s “TM 103: Hustler Ambition” likely falls one spot to No. 4, as Black Keys’ “El Camino” rises four spots to No. 3 with sales of 45,000.

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<p>Lauren Alaina</p>
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Lauren Alaina

Credit: FOX

Watch: 'American Idol's' Lauren Alaina shows off her 'Georgia Peaches'

She struts her stuff in new video

“American Idol” Season 10 runner-up Lauren Alaina struts her way through the new video for her second single, “Georgia Peaches.” The bona-fide peach —she’s from Rossville, Ga.—is also eager to show off her taut tummy in a midriff-bearing shirt.

Flanked by her BFFs, she heads into a diner to celebrate her southern sassiness. Not much happens other than a bus boy, dressed in a white outfit and hat out of the ‘50s, takes over the aisle between the booths to burst into a semi-break dance.

[More after the jump...]

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