Latest Blog Posts

<p>Rihanna and friend in &quot;We Found Love&quot; video</p>

Rihanna and friend in "We Found Love" video

Rihanna finds her 11th No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with 'We Found Love'

The chart doesn't suck for Kelly Clarkson as 'Mr. Know It All' surges

Rihanna found not only love, but her way to the top, once again, as “We Found Love” becomes the artist’s 11th No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The song, featuring Calvin Harris, displaces Adele’s “Someone Like You” at the top. In reaching the summit again, she becomes the seventh artist in the 53-year history of the Billboard Hot 100 to chart 11 No. 1s. She’s in good company: the other artists are the Beatles, who lead all acts with 20; Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson, Madonna, the Supremes, and Whitney Houston, according to Billboard.

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<p>Neil Patrick Harris discuses reprising his role as &quot;NPH&quot;&nbsp;in &quot;A&nbsp;Very Harold &amp;&nbsp;Kumar 3D&nbsp;Christmas&quot;&nbsp;and the prospects of hosting the Academy Awards.</p>

Neil Patrick Harris discuses reprising his role as "NPH" in "A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas" and the prospects of hosting the Academy Awards.

Neil Patrick Harris is actively anti-campaigning to host the Oscars

The 'HIMYM' and 'Harold & Kumar' star talks awards show hosting and more

How do you campaign for the Oscars without actually campaigning?  As Billy Crystal found out this summer, throwing yourself out there as a candidate for Hollywood's biggest night isn't seen necessarily as a positive. Even if you're the legendary Billy Crystal.  The Academy and the show producers don't want to be pressured into picking a host and believe an element of surprise in picking the emcee actually means something to the general public (I know, they may be over thinking it a tad).  After Anne Hathaway and James Franco's disastrous run last February, lots of familiar names were thrown about as potential hosts for the 85th installment of the big show next year.  One of those names seriously suggested, for arguably the first time, was none other than Neil Patrick Harris.

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<p>Lisa of 'America's Next Top Model'</p>
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Lisa of 'America's Next Top Model'

Credit: The CW

Recap: 'America's Next Top Model' - 'Game'

The girls write songs and then perform in the videos for those songs

You may have heard that we're in for a very special musical episode of "America's Next Top Model." This promises to be classy as hell.

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<p>Cochran of &quot;Survivor: South Pacific&quot;</p>
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Cochran of "Survivor: South Pacific"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: South Pacific' - 'Double Agent'

Would Ozzy's big gamble pay off?
Pre-credit sequence. "You just witnessed 'Survivor' history," Cochran celebrates as Team Formerly Ozzy returns to camp. Nobody else is nearly as excited by Ozzy's gamble and they're all sitting around the fire rationalizing their decision. Keith is especially grumbling, grunting something about how he doesn't live his life with other people fighting his battles, as if what Ozzy had done was all about Cochran, rather than Ozzy's own bloated sense of self-worth. "Prepared to be the villain?" Keith asks. Cochran, intrigued by the chance to play a double-agent, insists he is and he's so ready to be the bad guy that he paraphrases "Scarface." "First you get the egomaniac returning player voted out. Then you get his Idol. Then you get the million dollars," Cochrane says, not even bothering with a subpar Pacino.
Full recap of Wednesday's (November 2) "Survivor" after the break...
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"Top Chef"

 "Top Chef"

Credit: Bravo

Recap: 'Top Chef' - 'Everything's Bigger in Texas'

Padma, Tom and Gail take a bite out of the first 29 contestants

As you probably already know, this edition of "Top Chef" is going to be supersized -- and not just because the chefs will be galavanting around the great state of Texas. Twenty-nine chefs will compete for the 16 "real" slots on the show -- in the first challenge. In other words, don't get attached to anyone. In a recent interview, judge Tom Colicchio said he felt this mega-challenge actually improved the show, and I'm inclined to agree. A chef knowing that he or she has almost a fifty-fifty chance of being knocked out immediately clearly amps up the tension, plus this gives candidates who might look good (or not so good) on paper a chance to show what they can do under fire, so to speak. I hope this is a tweak they stick with. Now, putting Emeril "Bam" Lagasse on the judges' table, that I'm not as sure about, but I'll try to keep an open mind. 

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<p>Evan Peters as Tate on &quot;American Horror Story.&quot;</p>

Evan Peters as Tate on "American Horror Story."

Credit: FX

'American Horror Story' - 'Halloween, Part 2': Smells like teen spirits

Tate gets a backstory, and the Harmon marriage reaches a turning point

Okay, we've come to the fifth episode of "American Horror Story," and the first one written by producer Tim Minear. Minear is good with story logic and character continuity, and I had hoped his script might provide a temporary counter-balance to how erratic Murphy and Falchuk tend to be in those areas. But "Halloween, Part 2" was largely of a piece with the four episodes that preceded it, with the Tate backstory seeming slightly more human than what was happening around it.

This is clearly not a show I'm going to enjoy, so I'm done. That said, a lot of you are either enjoying it, or at least enjoying discussing the ways in which the show frustrates you, so the plan for now is to keep doing weekly talkback posts each week, possibly with some suggested questions from Fienberg (who will continue to watch). We'll see how that works.

What did everybody else think?

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<p>Melanie Amaro of &quot;The X Factor&quot;</p>
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Melanie Amaro of "The X Factor"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The X Factor' - Top 12 Performances Live-Blog

America votes tonight, but who shined for the judges

It's nearly voting time on FOX's "The X Factor," which means it's also time to fill out your bracket for HitFix's "X Factor" Prediction Game. It's too late to get the bonus points for this week, but it's not too late to enter to possibly win an iPad2.

But enough plugging, y'all... Let's get down to the live-blog/recap/review of Wednesday's (November 2) "X Factor"...

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<p>Mumford &amp; Sons</p>

Mumford & Sons

Credit: Katie Hasty

Listen: Mumford & Sons debut new track, 'Ghosts That We Knew,' live

Is this the first track from the new album?

Mumford & Sons debuted a new tune live on Philadelphia alternative rock station Radio 104.5 Tuesday night.  The largely acoustic (of course) “Ghosts That We Knew” features guitar, banjo and accordion and is definitely in the pocket of the folk rock we’ve come to know from the British quartet.

Even though the song picked up tempo toward the end, it lacked a little of the heft of such tunes at “Little Lion Man” or “The Cave,” but we’ll reserve judgment until we hear the studio version of “Ghost.”

[More after the jump...]

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<p>A scene from &quot;The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn.&quot;</p>

A scene from "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn."

Credit: Paramount Pictures

UK box office for 'Tintin' tells an uncertain tale

What do good-but-not-great numbers foretell for US release?

Box-office analysis is a funny old business, one I find simultaneously fascinating and alienating: the line between success and failure can be as subjective as it is fine. Which is why it's with some interest that I've been following the reports on the opening numbers for "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn" in its first week of UK release: what initially appears to be good news turns out to have rather more mixed signals.

On the one hand, as The Guardian's Charles Gant (the go-to guy for British box-office reporting, for those interested) tells it, the film's a hit. Topping the charts with a first-week total of approximately $10.8 million (hey, we're a small country), it's enjoyed the biggest opening of any animated film this year. However, as Gant explains, when you factor in the money it made in previews, the film is actually tracking behind January opener "Tangled," with the end of the UK half-term school vacation promising something of a drop-off. In other words: sure, it's a hit. But it looks unlikely to be a phenomenon on the scale of Spielberg's Spielbiggest.

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<p>Nicki Minaj</p>

Nicki Minaj

Has Nicki Minaj gone too far in Big Sean's 'Dance (A$$)' remix video?

The focus is on her most formidable 'asset'

Let’s face it, expecting any modicum of class in a video where the most repeated word is “Ass”  makes about as much sense as expecting a vegan selection on the menu at a steakhouse.

Still, I can’t help but be disappointed in Nicki Minaj’s participation in the video for Big Sean’s “Dance (A$$)" remix released this week.

If Minaj wants me to look at her completely as a candy-colored cartoon character, which I do most of the time anyway, she’s pretty much accomplished her goal. The wide-eyed X-rated Barbie doll act is wearing thin though. And with each project, it becomes easier to dismiss her talent as a rapper and focus on her as some brightly colored object that distracts momentarily from anything else in view, but is forgotten the second she is out of the picture.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Michael Fassbender angles for Best Actor Oscar consideration in &quot;Shame.&quot;</p>

Michael Fassbender angles for Best Actor Oscar consideration in "Shame."

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

The Long Shot: Let England shake

Britain offers a variety of quality contenders in 2011... but are there too many?

A strangely jubilant atmosphere prevailed at Monday’s boozy standing lunch in central London, where this year’s British Independent Film Award nominees were read out to an invited crowd of journalists, industry pros and some of the nominees themselves. Well, perhaps not “strangely”: free Moët champagne and gourmet sliders tend to brighten the black moods of film folk, and that’s before you start throwing awards at them.

But the general air of apology and scepticism that clouds most British industry events was absent: for once, no one was complaining about what a crap year it was for UK cinema, a surprisingly routine line even in the best circumstances. Indeed, once the nominees for Best British Independent Film had been read out, conversation turned in quite the opposite direction: when the frequently filler-reliant BIFAs could assemble a slate as diverse and exciting as “Shame,” “We Need to Talk About Kevin,” “Senna” “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” and “Tyrannosaur,” you’d be hard-pressed to call it anything but a banner year for the industry.

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<p>Lady Gaga</p>

Lady Gaga

Credit: AP Photo

Lady Gaga forms Born This Way Foundation, will headline KIIS FM Jingle Ball

Who else will join her at Jingle Ball?

Never let it be said that Lady Gaga doesn’t put her money where her mouth is. She and her mom have formed the Born This Way Foundation. The non-profit will tackle self-esteem and bullying issues.

“Together, we hope to establish a standard of bravery and kindness, as well as a community worldwide that protects and nurtures others in the face of bullying and abandonment,” Gaga said in a statement, as reported by Idolator.

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