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Alright, you know the drill. Rifle off your need-to-knows and Anne and I will address as many as we can in Friday's podcast. Make 'em good!
Scotty McCreery is sitting on top of the world — or at least on top of a number of records. “American Idol’s” Season 10 winner charged onto the Billboard 200 this week at No. 1 selling 197,000 copies of “Clear as Day.” (We interviewed McCreery this morning and will post that interview later today).
As if that were not enough of a triumph, he entered the record books as well: McCreery is the first country act to bow at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with his debut album, and McCreery is the youngest male artist of any genre to start at the top spot with his debut release, according to Billboard.
These days, movie news can break anywhere. Case in point, Tom Rothman using Jim Rome's show to reveal the first major details for "Die Hard 5."
I think Rome does very good work, and there's a reason he's one of the biggest names in sports broadcasting. His radio talk show is gigantic, and he's an incredibly well-known media figure. Even so, it's still odd that Rothman, the co-chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment, would pick Rome's show as the place to unveil the plans for the future of John McClane, the New York City beat cop with the worst luck in the world.
In keeping with the tradition of the series so far, don't expect a number in the title. Instead, Fox has announced this new one as "A Good Day To Die Hard," and they've staked their claim on February 14, 2013 for release. The film will be set in Russia, where McClane goes to try and convince local Moscow cops to go easy on his son, who did something stupid while on vacation. When McClane arrives, though, he quickly realizes that things aren't right, and suddenly two generations of McClanes find themselves confronting terrorists whose actions threaten the entire world.
Last fall, HBO ordered a second season of "Boardwalk Empire" only days after the first-ever episode had aired. This fall, HBO execs made Steve Buscemi, Terence Winter and company sweat it out just a bit more, announcing the third season renewal three weeks into season 2.
“Following a triumphant first season, I was eager to see what Terry Winter, Martin Scorsese and the rest of their stellar team had in store, and they continue to surpass our highest expectations,” HBO president Michael Lombardo said in a statement. “The response from the media and our viewers has been extremely gratifying.”
Ratings for the new season have been down from the season 1 averages - especially when you factor in the 4+ million people who watched the Martin Scorsese-directed series premiere - but ratings (whether for the Sunday at 9 airing alone, or combined numbers across all platforms, including On Demand and HBO Go) have never been the driver for these kinds of decisions at HBO. They're not dependent on advertising, so raw viewership numbers matter less than harder-to-quantify issues like how a particular show represents the channel's brand.
"Boardwalk" isn't cheap, and it wasn't the dominant Emmy force some were expecting before it premiered. (It won 8 Emmys last month, but 7 of those were in technical categories, and Scorsese's win for directing was practically pre-ordained from the moment the show was announced.) But it's a strong show with a lot of praise from the critics (including this one), and coming in at a shade below 3 million viewers for the most recent Sunday airing (before all the other timeslots and platforms are factored in) isn't bad at all, particularly after HBO saw the miniscule numbers for its two Monday comedy premieres this week, with "Bored to Death" drawing 240,000 viewers and "Enlightened" only 210,000.
Yesterday's news that Michael Fassbender will be hooking up with Steve McQueen for a third shot on goal (after "Hunger" and "Shame") has me excited at the beginnings of a beautiful partnership. Fassbender as Pitt or De Niro to McQueen's Fincher or Scorsese? I think we all respond to successful collaborations and these two are already off to a brilliant start. There's no doubt in my mind they have a lot of magic left in them and perhaps haven't even begun to show us anything. The new film is called "Twelve Years a Slave" and little is known about it as of now, but I'm already pumped. [Variety]
Let's see what else is going on in the Oscarweb today...
If you've been following me for even a short amount of time, you probably know that "Midnight Run" is my favorite movie - not the best movie I've ever seen, but the one that gives me the most enjoyment, time after time, year after year. I quote one of Charles Grodin's lines as the sign-off to each week's podcast, use the soundtrack's cover image as my avatar on most social media, will frequently reference it in my writing, and even wrote a long post on it a few years ago on the old blog.
But after seeing it in a movie theater not long after it was released back in the summer of '88(*), I'd only ever watched it on home video, sometimes alone, sometimes with friends, occasionally with my indulgent wife. A couple of weeks ago, though, my friend Steve told me that the 92nd Street Y Tribeca was not only screening the movie, but following it up with a Grodin Q&A, and even though this was in the heart of my busiest time of the year, work-wise, I couldn't resist going, for both the movie and The Duke.
A funny thing happened on the way to awards season for Paramount Pictures' Sundance pick-up "Like Crazy," it found a surprising new audience.
A review of tonight's "Sons of Anarchy" coming up just as soon as I recommend getting knocked up and kidnapped...
A review of tonight's "Parenthood" coming up just as soon as I go untucked...
Even though Chynna blew it last night by forgetting most of her routine and Carson was at the bottom of the board, I'm inclined to think neither one will go home. I'm putting my money on Nancy Grace or Rob Kardashian getting the boot. I don't really understand why these two are inspiring any loyalty, given that Nancy clearly looks uncomfortable on the dance floor (no matter how often she tells us she's having fun) and Rob has as much personality as a bag of hair.
We kick things off with a cover of "Soul Man" by Raphael Saadiq. I did not know he was a member of Tony! Toni! Toné!, but I do kind of love that he was. Great rendition of a classic, too.