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"Top Chef"

 "Top Chef"

Credit: Bravo

Recap: 'Top Chef' - 'Restaurant Wars'

It's boys vs. girls during the most grueling challenge of the season

We're down to an even split of guys versus girls, which isn't so surprising. What is surprising, however, is that Beverly hasn't been beaten up, melted by the hateful, laser-like stares of her teammates or otherwise taken out of commission. While she seems to be a talented chef and a good-natured gal, for some reason there's always someone around who loathes her with a white-hot passion. This week, that duty is shared by Lindsay and Sarah, who only succeed in making themselves look like the mean, ugly stepsisters in "Cinderella," but without the big ball gowns. But let's get to the food. 

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<p>Elizabeth Banks makes a striking Effie in 'The Hunger Games,' and it sounds like she's still not aware of the impending tidal wave of attention the film will bring her.</p>

Elizabeth Banks makes a striking Effie in 'The Hunger Games,' and it sounds like she's still not aware of the impending tidal wave of attention the film will bring her.

Credit: Lionsgate

Watch: Elizabeth Banks braces herself for the 'Hunger Games' onslaught

It's almost charming how much she's in denial about impending stardom

I've interviewed Elizabeth Banks a handful of times now, and she comes across during a press day the same way she comes across in her work:  down to earth, not fussy at all, and always just sort of slightly kidding about things.

I'll have my full interview with her about the new film 'Man On A Ledge' soon, but for now, we wanted to share a short piece of the conversation when I brought up the impending onslaught of publicity and attention for "The Hunger Games."

I just talked to Woody Harrelson about the film as well, and he seemed well aware of what sort of expectation there is for the movie.  Banks, though, seems like she's got her head down, focused on this year's "30 Rock" and doing publicity for "Ledge" and basically anything that keeps her from thinking about the insane spotlight that she's about to step into with this series.

I get it.  It's one thing when you make a movie in a vacuum and you release it and people suddenly fall in love with it and there's a big fan base that grows from the movie.  But this sort of big fat pop culture phenomenon that you're adapting is something very different, and it comes with a totally different type of attention.  Fans of the "Hunger Games" series have very strong opinions about the casting, and while some of the choices may have been controversial, it seems like fans have taken to the idea of Banks playing Effie Trinket in a big way.

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<p>Laura Prepon in &quot;Are You There, Chelsea?&quot;</p>

Laura Prepon in "Are You There, Chelsea?"

Credit: NBC

'Are You There, Chelsea?' - 'Pilot': My sister, myself

What did everybody think of NBC's new Chelsea Handler sitcom?

I posted my review of NBC's "Are You There, Chelsea?" on Monday. Now it's your turn. For those of you who watched, what did you think? How do you feel Laura Prepon did channeling a younger Chelsea Handler? Did you appreciate Handler's presence playing her sister? (And were you predisposed to liking Chandler ahead of time?) Did you enjoy Lauren Lapkus as the wacky new roommate Dee Dee? Appreciate Dot Marie Jones' cameo as Chelsea's cellmate? Did you laugh much? Did you like it more or less than "Whitney"?

Have at it.

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"NCIS"

 "NCIS"

Credit: CBS

Press Tour: 'NCIS' panel ends with a bang - and bad news for Gibbs

Mark Harmon's life will flash before his eyes in 200th episode

It's been nine years, 200 episodes, 512 suspects and 738 head slaps for "NCIS," which was the subject of a celebratory panel at CBS' press day. While Mark Harmon, Pauley Perrette and the rest of the cast talked about feeling the love and their sense of gratitude, what they didn't talk about was seeing an end date to the show (ranked #1 in scripted programs) or what we might expect in future episodes. Luckily, executive producer Gary Glasberg showed a piece of raw footage to wrap up the panel -- and give the audience an inkling of what they can expect from the 200th episode.

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<p>&quot;Thor&quot; stars Tom Hiddleston and Chris Hemsworth have both been nominated by the British public for the BAFTA Rising Star Award.</p>

"Thor" stars Tom Hiddleston and Chris Hemsworth have both been nominated by the British public for the BAFTA Rising Star Award.

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Hemsworth, Hiddleston, O'Dowd crack all-male BAFTA Rising Star list

Female contenders Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence sidelined

If you want a job done properly... well, don't get the public to do it for you. That's the lesson, at least, that BAFTA has learned today: in handing the public the task of electing their five Rising Star Award nominees, instead of leaving it to an industry jury as in years past, they've wound up with a slate that rivals last week's awards longlists in the embarrassment stakes.

That's not to rag on the nominees themselves -- a bright, promising bunch of young actors, most of whom fit the 'rising star' profile rather neatly. I've already sung the praises of Chris Hemsworth and Chris O'Dowd, two of 2011's most appealing breakthrough performers, in my First-Half FYC columns -- the latter's performance in "Bridesmaids" still ranks in my personal Best Supporting Actor ballot for 2011. Tom Hiddleston, meanwhile, has amply proven his worth in an exciting range of mainstream and arthouse projects, from "Thor" to "Midnight in Paris" to "The Deep Blue Sea." Kudos all round.

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<p>James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem</p>

James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem

Watch: Trailer for LCD Soundsystem's Sundance film 'Shut Up...'

Warning: hugs

There were far more than thousands of New Yorkers upset by the fact they couldn't nab a ticket to LCD Soundsystem's epic finale at Madison Square Garden last year. Millions of fans would have liked to see Regine from Arcade Fire do that little glove dance or Reggie Watts guest during the "45:33" zone-out run. With a show so very much final, a concert film was almost certainly in order.

A first glimpse of that film, "Shut Up and Play the Hits," will be at the Sundance Film Festival this month, where directors Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace will premiere it.

The documentary chronicles the lead-up, the day-of and the day-after of that April 2, 2011 New York concert; it was produced by Lucas Ochoa and Thomas Bensk (Blur's doc "No Distance Left to Run") and by LCD frontman James Murphy, who may just spend half the film hugging people and heavily sighing.

The trailer has debuted, below, featuring just those kind of moments, to the tune of "All My Friends."

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<p>Rihanna can't stop laughing about her domination of the Hot 100. </p>

Rihanna can't stop laughing about her domination of the Hot 100.

Credit: AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Rihanna finds her way back to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100

Is Katy Perry's teenage dream of six No. 1s still alive?

Rihanna’s “We Found Love” finds its way back to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, as it pushes LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It” out of the top spot.

“Sexy” slips back to No. 2, flanked by Rihanna and Bruno Mars’ “It Will Rain,” which rises to No. 3. Adele’s “Set Fire To The Rain,” zooms 8-4, making it her third top 5 hit from “21,” which remains at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 this week.  Flo Rida’s “Good Feeling” stays at No. 5.

Katy Perry’s “The One That Got Away” falls 3-6, asking the question if the song is prophetically titled: Will it be the song that keeps her from achieving an unprecedented sixth Hot100 No. 1 from “Teenage Dream?” The song increases in radio airplay, but falls in digital sales, according to Billboard. https://www.billboard.com/#/news/rihanna-renews-love-affair-atop-hot-100-1005842352.story

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"Rob"

 "Rob"

Credit: CBS

Press Tour: Rob Schneider says 'Rob' will 'deal with stereotypes'

The former 'Saturday Night Live' star says this is the Mexican 'All in the Family'

After the morning's contentious panel for "2 Broke Girls" at CBS' press day, maybe it shouldn't be surprising that the expected hot potato "Rob," which the Washington Post said would leave viewers "horrified and nauseated" and which the Daily Beast decried as "racist and unfunny," received a surprisingly friendly response from the assembled critics. 

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<p>Sam Worthington wants another shot at making a great 'Titans' film, and he's convinced that 'Wrath' will make up for 'Clash'</p>

Sam Worthington wants another shot at making a great 'Titans' film, and he's convinced that 'Wrath' will make up for 'Clash'

Credit: Warner Bros/Legendary

Watch: Sam Worthington throws himself on his sword over 'Clash Of The Titans'

And are we really going to have to wait until 2016 for more 'Avatar'?

Each time I sit down with Sam Worthington, I am struck by just how resolutely unpolished he is, and how refreshing that can be.

No matter how many press junkets and interviews he does, I get the feeling no one is sanding any rough edges off of Sam Worthington any time soon.  He doesn't have that filter that is so carefully trained into most movie stars, and he doesn't seem terribly political in terms of what he will or won't say.

As a result, I've always enjoyed talking to him.  If you do get a reaction out of him, it's genuine.  If you want to talk '80s metal bands with him, you'll get him to talk all afternoon, and you'll see what passion looks like.  But he'll be equally frank and critical if you want to talk about his own movies.

For example, as we sat down last week to discuss his new film "Man On A Ledge," I wanted to ask him about returning to play a character in a sequel, something he just did for the first time, and something that he's going to do soon (relatively speaking, considering the "Avatar" sequels aren't going to arrive until at least 2016) when he returns to Pandora for James Cameron.

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<p>Natalie Portman</p>

Natalie Portman

Credit: AP Photo

Natalie Portman and Ed Helms among SAG Award presenters

Julianna Margulies, Armie Hammer and Regina King will also present

The upcoming SAG Awards have lined up a formidable array of stars to act as presenters at the televised 18th Annual event. Natalie Portman, Ed Helms, Julianna Margulies, Armie Hammer and Regina King will hand out trophies to the winners.

SAG President Ken Howard will also act as a presenter.

Portman received The Actor last year for her mesmerizing turn in Darren Aronofsky's “Black Swan, and has recently appeared in "No Strings Attached” and “Thor." Portman may be re-teaming with her "V For Vendetta" producers The Wachowskis for the upcoming "Jupiter Ascending." She'll also be among the presenters at this coming Sunday's Golden Globe Awards show,.

Hammer is nominated this year for his supporting performance in “J. Edgar” opposite Leonardo DiCaprio and was nominated last year as a member of “The Social Network” ensemble. He'll soon be seen in the Snow White riff “Mirror Mirror,” opposite Julia Roberts and Lily Collins.

SAG award winner Helms is nominated again this year as part of the ensemble of NBC's "The Office.” He was also recently seen in "The Hangover Part II," and will appear opposite Jason Segel in the upcoming comedy "Jeff Who Lives at Home."

As an eight-time winner (and sixteen-time nominee), Margulies holds the SAG Awards’ record for the most awards received. She's taken home awards both for her current show "The Good Wife,” and for her work on NBC's long-running “ER.”

Regina King currently stars in TNT’s “Southland” and serves as the SAG Awards social network ambassador. She was nominated as a cast member of “Ray,” alongside Jamie Foxx.

The 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards will air on TNT and TBS Sunday, January 29 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT from the Shrine Exposition Center in Los Angeles.

See the complete list of nominees
here.

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Taking questions for 1/13 Oscar Talk

Offer up your burning queries

Alright, you know the drill. Rifle off your need-to-knows and we'll try to address a few in the podcast. We'll surely be previewing the Golden Globes and talking about DGA, ASC, the Critics' Choice Movie Awards and other news items from the week as it is, so steer away from that and give us something fresh to chew on.

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<p>Mary J. Blige in &quot;Mr. Wrong&quot;</p>

Mary J. Blige in "Mr. Wrong"

Credit: Vevo

Watch: Drake shows up for Mary J. Blige's revamped 'Mr. Wrong' video

Do you like the new version better?

Drake has returned to where he rightfully belongs: the video for Mary J. Blige’s “Mr. Wrong.” 

The first video released for the tune featured Blige, some background dancers and a largely unused stripper’s pole, lamenting the joys and sorrows of loving a man who makes it hurt so good in all the wrong ways. However, Drake was nowhere to be found.

[More after the jump...]

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