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<p>ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee</p>
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ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee

Credit: ABC

Press Tour '12 Live-Blog: ABC Executive Session with Paul Lee

Expect 'Work It,' 'Cougar Town' and 'Desperate Housewives' chatter

Will ABC have anything controversial or exciting to talk about at Tuesday (January 10) morning's Television Critics Association press tour panel?

Only one way to find out...

Click through for the full live-blog...

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<p>Anna Paquin in&nbsp;&quot;Margaret&quot;</p>

Anna Paquin in "Margaret"

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Round-up: Lonergan speaks... in the presence of his lawyer

Also: Jennifer Lawrence to announce Oscar noms, and dissecting the DGA picks

Okay, so you've probably got the message by now that we love "Margaret" around these here parts. So any word from the film's embattled writer-director Kenneth Lonergan is something we're going to seize upon, even if it's a fairly brief Q&A with Variety's Christy Grosz, recorded in the presence of his lawyer. Sadly, the film's continuing legal problems mean he can't cut loose on his desired edit (or indeed the one that we've seen), but he offers some nice insights on the writing process and what the eponymous Gerard Manley Hopkins poem means to him. Finally, he describes the #TeamMargaret phenomenon as "astonishing and wonderful." Right back atcha, sir. [Variety]  

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<p>&quot;Cougar Town&quot;&nbsp;co-creator Kevin Biegel, who had a cameo in last season's finale as Seinfeld Guy.</p>

"Cougar Town" co-creator Kevin Biegel, who had a cameo in last season's finale as Seinfeld Guy.

Credit: ABC

Interview: 'Cougar Town' co-creator Kevin Biegel on fans, screenings and that terrible title

Producers have to engage with fans in this day and age, he argues
As I mentioned in this morning's other story, the cast and writers of "Cougar Town" crashed the press tour last night, hosting an unofficial event at the hotel bar where the liquor flowed and everyone talked freely about their expectations for a show that still has no timeslot or premiere date, and about their current plan of hosting episode screenings in cities around the country.
The longest conversation I had was with the show's co-creator, Kevin Biegel, a one-time writer for Ain't It Cool who knows a thing or 12 about how fandom works and had some very clear, unabashed thoughts on how creative types on this day and age should best deal with their fans.
Warning: Biegel was not only very blunt at times, but profane - particularly when we got to the subject of the show's admittedly horrible title, which won't be changing - so read on at the risk of your own sensibilities.
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<p>&quot;Cougar Town&quot;&nbsp;co-creator Bill Lawrence and star Courteney Cox were both on hand for an unofficial press tour gathering last night.</p>

"Cougar Town" co-creator Bill Lawrence and star Courteney Cox were both on hand for an unofficial press tour gathering last night.

Credit: ABC

Press tour: 'Cougar Town' crashes the tour to spread the message

ABC comedy's stars and writers came on their own dime to keep the show in the public eye
PASADENA -- It's 9 p.m., and Bill Lawrence turns to me and asks, "Should we keep the tab running another half hour?" I look around at a hotel bar full of reporters, "Cougar Town" actors and "Cougar Town" writers," all of them having a good time and talking about how the show they love is in limbo, and I say, "Sure." Lawrence nods to his longtime producing partner Randall Winston, the man who has kept the trains running ontime on all his shows going back to "Spin City," and tells him to keep the tab going. Lots more to talk about, and it never hurts to have the booze flowing, does it? 
Welcome to the very unofficial, very liquid, very uplifting "Cougar Town" invasion of press tour, the latest bit of seat-of-the-pants, grass-roots marketing that Lawrence has organized during his show's 10 months and counting off the air.
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<p>Tom McCarthy at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.</p>

Tom McCarthy at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.

Credit: AP Photo/Victoria Will

Interview: Writer/director Tom McCarthy on Wall Street, cinematic economy and ‘Win Win’

The WGA nominee's latest maintains a dim but inarguable presence in awards season

NEW YORK - There’s something oddly perfect about meeting “Win Win” writer/director Tom McCarthy in a small café in Chinatown with Gershwin's “Rhapsody in Blue” playing in the background. (Though that would feel slightly less charming when transcribing the interview weeks later.)

Firstly, it is the last sort of place one would imagine either McCarthy’s writing partner, Joe Tiboni, or their central protagonist, Mike Flaherty (Paul Giamatti), to turn up. In fact, McCarthy recalls that Tiboni’s daily, cyclical routine consists of his self-described “triangle of death” from home to Dunkin’ Donuts to work and back again.

Secondly, it's difficult to not enjoy the novelty of speaking to the filmmaker about his restrained, deceptively simple suburban life offering with Gershwin’s exultant, experimental ode to urban chaos as a backdrop.

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"The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"

 "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"

Credit: Bravo

Recap: 'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' - 'A Day Late, An Apology Short'

Mauricio's birthday bash is derailed by sisterly squabbling

The big birthday bash for Mauricio in Lanai, Hawaii continues, and even though it should be a pretty fabulous trip, Kyle and Kim seem damned and determined to turn it into an unhappy family reunion that only needs an uncooked turkey and a Jell-O wrestling match to qualify as the most miserable outing Mauricio could have hoped for. Good going, guys! 

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<p>Natalie Portman arrives on the red carpet at last year's Golden Globes, prior to winning the award for Best Actress for her performance in &quot;Black Swan&quot;.</p>

Natalie Portman arrives on the red carpet at last year's Golden Globes, prior to winning the award for Best Actress for her performance in "Black Swan".

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

Natalie Portman and Jake Gyllenhaal among first announced Golden Globes presenters

Clive Owen, Nicole Kidman and Melissa McCarthy will also be hitting the stage

Natalie Portman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Helen Mirren, Clive Owen, Nicole Kidman, Salma Hayek, Antonio Banderas, Melissa McCarthy and Freida Pinto have all been announced as presenters at the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards, which is scheduled to air this coming Sunday on NBC.

The group was announced via the official Twitter account of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), the organization that chooses the winners and nominees at each year's ceremony.

Portman, of course, won the award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama at last year's show for her performance in Darren Aronofsky's "Black Swan", which also netted her an Oscar. Gyllenhaal and Kidman were also nominated last year, for their performances in "Love and Other Drugs" and "Rabbit Hole", respectively.

Mirren has been nominated for a total of ten Golden Globes over the course of her career, with her biggest coup coming in 2007, when she took home the statues for both "The Queen" (Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama) and "Elizabeth I" (Best Performance by an Actress in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television). Owen won for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture in 2005, for his performance in "Closer".

Among the other presenters, Hayek was nominated in 2003 for her title performace in "Frida", while Banderas has been nominated three different times, most recently for his performance in the 2003 made-for-TV movie "And Starring Pancho Villa As Himself".

Neither McCarthy nor Pinto have ever been nominated for a Golden Globe, though the HFPA's snub of the former this year was considered especially galling considering the Oscar buzz she's been receiving for her winning turn in last year's "Bridesmaids" - not to mention the fact that she won the Best Actress Emmy for "Mike & Molly" back in September. Perhaps giving her a presenter slot is the HFPA's version of a consolation prize?

Stay tuned for further presenter updates as they're announced...

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<p>Miranda Lambert poses backstage after winning Female Vocalist of the Year at November's CMA&nbsp;Awards in Nashville, TN.</p>

Miranda Lambert poses backstage after winning Female Vocalist of the Year at November's CMA Awards in Nashville, TN.

Credit: AP Photo/Evan Agostini

Miranda Lambert headed to 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit'

Country star will play an assaulted actress

Miranda Lambert grew up the daughter of private eyes, so it’s no wonder that the girl likes a good who-done-it.

The country superstar will appear on an upcoming episode of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” as an actress who is assaulted by a reality show producer (a you’ll recall, Lambert got her start on talent reality show, “Nashville Star”). The producer will be played by Michael McKean from “This is Spinal Tap.”

NBC has not announced the air date for the episode. broke the news of  Lambert's appearance. Harry Connick Jr., who has signed on for a four-episode arc as the love interest for Mariska Hargitay’s character, Detective Olivia Benson, will also be in the episode, which sounds very special indeed.

Lambert is quite happy about the development. Over the weekend, she tweeted, “Y’all, I’m so freaking excited to be on my favorite show ever!!!”


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"The Bachelor"

 "The Bachelor"

Credit: ABC

Recap: 'The Bachelor' takes the gals to Sonoma

After some roses are handed out, the rest of the girls have their claws out

Ben's down to just 18 women, which is a lot more ladies to juggle than he'd likely scoop up on or at a church social, so our determined bachelor has his work cut out for him. To test these women, he's dragging them to Sonoma to see if they like his old hometown. I suspect they'd say they liked inner city Detroit or Skid Row if they had to, but best of luck with that litmus test, Ben. 

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<p>Kim Novak in &quot;Vertigo.&quot;</p>

Kim Novak in "Vertigo."

Credit: Paramount Pictures

'The Artist' and the 'Vertigo' score: separating theft from tribute

Kim Novak reports a 'rape,' I report an overreaction

Ah, the trumped-up non-controversy. It's a kind of hazing ritual that many a certified Oscar frontrunner has to go through: remember the accusations of child actor neglect levelled at the makers of "Slumdog Millionaire," the supposed military inaccuracies (not to mention poor producer etiquette) of "The Hurt Locker," or even the revelation that a key set in "The King's Speech" had previously housed a gay porn shoot? These mildly tangy stories tend to be forgotten as quickly as they flare up, and rarely do much lasting damage, so it's just as well "The Artist" is getting it over with now.

I'm speaking, of course, of the ludicrous full-page Variety ad taken out against the film by, of all unexpected people, veteran Hitchcock blonde Kim Novak, who may not have made a film in 20 years, but is still gifted with an Oscar ballot -- one she presumably will not be using to vote for the French silent film she has more than a little melodramatically accused of "raping" her "body of work."

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<p>Katee Sackhoff, seen here with her castmates at the eighth season premiere of '24,' is going to bring her passionate SF&nbsp;fanbase with her to the new 'Riddick' movie</p>

Katee Sackhoff, seen here with her castmates at the eighth season premiere of '24,' is going to bring her passionate SF fanbase with her to the new 'Riddick' movie

Credit: AP Photo/Charles Sykes

'Galactica' star Katee Sackhoff joins 'Riddick' cast as new villain rumored

Sounds like David Twohy's about to get this one off the ground and back into space

I don't care if you judge me for it or not:  I am dying to see another Riddick movie.

The original "Pitch Black" was one of those great little B-movie genre surprises, and when Harry and I first saw it, there was still some uncertainty on the part of USA Films about what to do with it.  We programmed the film at the very first Butt-Numb-A-Thon as our "middle of the night wake everyone up" movie, and it was a great screening.  Vin Diesel even ended up flying to Texas just to do a meet-and-greet at 3:30 in the morning.

When Universal made the much-bigger-budget sequel, it seemed to be the kickoff to a larger franchise, building out a SF world in which Riddick was more than just a scary dude, but a lynchpin for an epic adventure.  I have a huge affection for the work of writer/director David Twohy anyway.  I think he's a guy who speaks B-movie fluently, and while some might see that as an insult, I don't.  I think there's something about the high-concept genre movie that can be especially exciting when done right, and Twohy strikes me as a guy who genuinely wants to entertain, and who doesn't have a single film snob bone in his body.  While "The Chronicles Of Riddick" did not succeed wildly at the box-office, I thought it was wild, wicked fun, and had a great "what's next?" ending.

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Continue the discussion at HitFix's brand new message boards

A feature many of you requested is now a reality

A brief bit of business here. HitFix has been in the process of getting a slate of message boards off the ground, and as of today, they're live.

I imagine most of the discussion from those around these parts will be confined to the movies section, and specifically the Oscars and Golden Globes arenas. But HitFix being a unique collective of music, television and movie content, there are naturally other areas, too.

So if you haven't already, sign up for a HitFix account and then feel free to dive in and kick-start the discussion yourselves!

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