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'Fresh Prince’s' Alfonso Ribeiro, Lea Thompson are expected to go 'Dancing'

'Fresh Prince’s' Alfonso Ribeiro, Lea Thompson are expected to go 'Dancing'

“Fresh Prince’s” Alfonso Ribeiro, Lea Thompson are expected to go “Dancing”
Ribeiro and the “Back to the Future” star are reportedly joining a cast that includes Olympian Lolo Jones, soap opera hunk Anotonio abato Jr. and Janel Parrish from “Pretty Little Liars."

Look at Allison Williams as NBC’s “Peter Pan”
“I was all ready to cut my hair,” she explains on Instagram, "then was told by the folks who actually know what they’re doing that a wig works better for everybody.”

Kaley Cuoco posts a “nude” photo to Instagram
See “The Big Bang Theory” star’s reaction to the celebrity leaked nudity scandal.

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Credit: Disney

TV Ratings: 'NCIS' repeat tops ABC 'Frozen' special as CBS, NBC split Tuesday

'America's Got Talent' is still Tuesday's best among young viewers

Fast National ratings for Tuesday, September 2, 2014.

ABC's hour-long commercial for Disney's "Frozen" couldn't keep up with an "NCIS" repeat as CBS led Tuesday night overall and "America's Got Talent" carried NBC to victory among young viewers.

The "Frozen" special couldn't top CBS' recycled "NCIS" in anything other than the youngest female demos, nor could it compete with last week's special "Bachelor in Paradise" episode, though it did outdraw some of the summer's 8 p.m. airings of "Extreme Weight Loss."

Meanwhile, NBC's "America's Got Talent" was down week-to-week, but "Food Fighters" was basically flat.

On to the numbers...

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Miranda Lambert

Miranda Lambert ties record for most CMA Award nominations

Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Keith Urban also score big

The 2014 CMA Awards voters must have sent in their ballots before Taylor Swift announced she was going full-on pop: she received a nomination for female vocalist of the year today, marking what will surely be her last country nomination for awhile.

She did not score in the coveted Entertainer of the Year category, an honor she’s already won twice: competing for that award this year will be Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, George Strait, and Keith Urban.

Lambert leads all nominees with nine. She is now tied with herself for the most nominations in one year for a female artist. Dierks Bentley received five nominations, while Eric Church and Urban each landed four.  Bryan, Shelton, Kacey Musgraves, and Carrie Underwood, who will host the show with Brad Paisley, each landed three. Read our interview with Bentley here.

Competing for album of the year are Bryan’s “Crash My Party,” Urban’s “Fuse,” Lambert’s “Platinum,” Bentley’s “Riser,” and Church’s “The Outsiders.”

Up for single of the year are Lambert’s “Automatic,” Bentley’s “Drunk On A Plane,”  Church’s “Give Me Back My Hometown,” Tim McGraw’s “Meanwhile Back At Mama’s,” and Shelton’s “Mine Would Be You.”

In the Female Vocalist category, Swift will compete against Underwood, Musgraves, Martina McBride and Lambert, who has won the award the past four years.

Lambert’s husband, Shelton, who has won Male Vocalist for the past four years, is up again for the honor, competing with Bentley, Church, Urban and Bryan.

The 48th annual CMA Awards will air Nov. 5 on ABC.

For a full list of nominees, go to 


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Shovels & Rope

Interview: Shovels & Rope on 'Swimmin' Time'

Husband-wife duo and their literary heroes

“There’s not a person walking this world that doesn’t have some suffering that they’re burdened by,” says Cary Ann Hearst, who, with her husband Michael Trent, make up the country folk duo Shovels & Rope.

And damned if  every single one of those people hasn’t stumbled into the various songs on “Swimmin’ Time,” Shovel & Rope’s searing new album, out now.

The collection features tunes about down-on-their-luck folks who seek the higher road, but that shot at salvation sometimes seems just out of reach. On twangy  “The Devil Is All Around,” a person drenched in fear travels down a path. He’s a “shell of a man,” but determined to become a better one.  On the stomping, ominous title track, there’s nothing good coming around the bend. On swampy dark “Evil,” a tune HitFix premiered in July,  two misfits, a young tomboy and an older man, find each other.  Of course, there’s a murder ballad or two. The literate tales are made all the more vivid by the way Hearst and Trent’s voices wrap around each other as they spin their stories over largely acoustic instrumentation.

 So where do these characters come from? In some cases, they’re drawn from real life. Hearst admits to “an annoyingly happy childhood,” but has a “family history that is weighty and complicated and overburdened with a disproportionate amount of sorrow,” she says. “A lot of people in our family struggle, whether it’s self sabotage or substance abuse.”  

The pair’s writing is also greatly influenced by classic American authors ranging from Cormac McCarthy and John Steinbeck to their fellow Southerners Flannery O’ Connor and William Faulkner, with whom they share a knack for painting full characters in a few words.  “We’ve always been drawn to stories with dark twists,” says Trent. “We were listening to ‘Grapes of Wrath.’  on tour. Driving from the west coast to the east coast, we would make our way through the book.”

Like most acts, Shovels & Rope had their share of romantic songs, but it was when the duo began writing about experiences beyond themselves that they found their first real traces of success. “I’m not trying to brag, but when we started writing together and our content moved away from self-selective  and waxing romantic to looking out from ourselves and looking at other people’s big stories, things changed,” Hearst says. “Michael is especially good at that: he’s able to reduce a really big complicated emotional story into a 3-to-5 minute narrative that is really colorful.”

While keeping their head down and touring relentlessly behind 2012’s breakthrough album, “O’ Be Joyful,” their compelling craft caught the attention from their peers and heroes alike.  Their tune, “Birmingham,” from “Joyful”  won  Song of the Year at the 2013  Americana Music Awards, where the act also won Emerging Artist of the Year.  Jack White asked the duo to open three shows for him and word has even come back to them that Martin Scorsese is a fan. “We’re just a couple of ragamuffins doing our thing, and there was this trajectory going on outside of our periphery,” Trent says.

Indeed, though the couple has now traded up from a van that carried only themselves and their dog, Townes,  (“He’s hairy medicine,” Trent says) to a bus that they share with their small crew,  they admit that they operate, happily so, in their own “bubble.” They create their music totally free of label interference,  their band is just the two of them, and alone together is their natural state. “Last night, Michael was hanging out at the motorcycle garage and his absence was like a black hole,” Hearst says. “You’d think I couldn’t wait for him to get out of here, but his absence was weighty. We don’t know anything different than being together. Ever since we got married, we’ve been on the road and never looked back.”

Natuarlly, Hearst and Trent recorded “Swimmin’ Time,” a darker and more intense album than “‘O, Be Joyful,”  alone at their home studio in Charleston, S.C. “There’s no pressure. The clock isn’t running,” Trent says. “We can make our own schedule.”

If there’s a downside to their increasing fame, it’s that their own schedule doesn’t allow for reading as much as it once did, but they still manage to sneak in some time for the classics. Hearst jokes that they may have a surprise for their fans with their next project given the author whose works have been keeping them company lately. “We got distorted by [“Game of Thrones” author] George R.R. Martin,” she says. “Our next album will be nothing but dragons.”

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Brittany Murphy’s dad uses Twitter to slam Lifetime’s biopic and the actress portraying his daughter
Credit: Lifetime

Brittany Murphy’s dad uses Twitter to slam Lifetime’s biopic and the actress portraying his daughter

Brittany Murphy’s dad uses Twitter to slam the Lifetime’s biopic and the actress portraying his daughter
In a series of tweets over the weekend, Angelo Bertolotti wrote and retweeted a series of hateful comments about Amanda Fuller, the star of “The Brittany Murphy Story.” "My daughter #brittanymurphy would be horrified to know who they chose to play her and how cheap it all is,” he tweeted. In response, the actress had to block Murphy’s dad on Twitter.

Mandy Patinkin tells Stephen Colbert: You inspired me to run for prime minister of Israel
The “Homeland” star asked Colbert to be his security advisor.

After just 6 months, Seth Meyers unveils a revamped “Late Night” set
The “more contemporary, less stuffy” set features a brick background for Seth’s monologue, possibly to give a comedy club atmosphere. PLUS: Stephen Colbert tells Meyers about his Emmy night with his 12-year-old son.

Conan goes after the celebrity iCloud hacker
The Celebrity nudes “hacker” gets hacked.

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10 burning questions for the Toronto Film Festival: Bill Murray, Jennifer Aniston and more

10 burning questions for the Toronto Film Festival: Bill Murray, Jennifer Aniston and more

AKA: Why Toronto is still important (we think)

Yes, another trek to the Great White North is upon us. After a good eight months of battling their fellow fall festivals for the best possible slate, the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival is ready to let the world see what's behind the curtain.

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TV On The Radio has that teenaged feeling on new song 'Happy Idiot'

TV On The Radio has that teenaged feeling on new song 'Happy Idiot'

To keep my mind off you

TV On The Radio is feeling a little moody. A little distraught, a little post-grunge sad. "Happy Idiot," the rock band's first single off their new album "Seeds" is super-pop, and yet bumming out in the corner of the party.

Tunde Adebimpe sings about becoming that happy idiot in a blaze of teenaged feelings -- banging his head against the wall to feel nothing at all, et cetera -- as the band bounds underneath him at a health BPM. I'm particularly keen on those drums and the tamborine, and the tight adherence to the melody.

But it's simple. There's a restraint like a Nirvana verse that never quite pays off. Will the rest of "Seeds" be equally resistant to The Big Chorus?

"Seeds" is due Nov. 18 via Harvest. Fans may want to pre-order the album, giving them pre-sale access to the few fall tour dates the Brooklyn crew's announced so far. The "Happy Idiot" lyric video precedes the dates.

Here are TV On The Radio's tour dates:

Oct 17: Santa Barbara, CA @ The Santa Barbara Bowl*
Oct 18: Big Sur, CA @ The Henry Miller Library*
Oct 19: San Francisco, CA @ Treasure Island Music Festival*
Oct 22: Los Angeles, CA @ The Regent
Oct 24: Pioneertown, CA @ Pappy and Harriet's Pioneertown Palace
Oct 25: Las Vegas, NV @ Life Is Beautiful Festival*
Nov 12: Toronto, ON @ Phoenix
Nov 13: Montreal, QC @ Corona
Nov 14: Boston, MA @ Paradise
Nov 16: Washington DC @ 9:30 Club
Nov 17: Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
Nov 18: New York, NY @ Apollo
Nov 21: Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
Nov 22: Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

* indicates no presale tickets available

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A 'CHiPs' movie is in the works starring Dax Shepard as Baker and Michael Pena as Ponch
Credit: NBC

A 'CHiPs' movie is in the works starring Dax Shepard as Baker and Michael Pena as Ponch

“CHiPs” movie is in the works starring Dax Shepard as Baker and Michael Pena as Ponch
“Parenthood” star Shepard has been tapped to write, direct and star in the Warner Bros. film, while “Gracepoint’s” Pena has been attached to play the Erik Estrada role of Frank “Ponch” Poncherello.

Netflix buys the streaming rights to “Gotham” before its Fox premiere
For about $1.75 million an episode, Netflix will stream the Fox series, starting with Season 1 in September 2015.

NFL players union joins 2 other unions in denouncing NFL’s pay-for-play Super Bowl halftime proposal
“No one should ever pay to work. No organization should ever get a kickback from a worker they employ,” said a statement from the The AFL-CIO’s Department of Professional Employees.

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'Sleepy Hollow' marketer apologizes for sending out a 'National Beheading Day' promos

“Sleepy Hollow” marketer apologizes for sending out a “National Beheading Day” promos
A marketer for the Fox show sent out eCards celebrating #headlessday hours after it was reported that journalist Steven Sotloff was beheaded by ISIS.

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Fox cancels 'Gang Related' after 1 season

Fox cancels “Gang Related” after 1 season
The summer undercover cop drama won’t be back for a Season 2.

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Film Nerd 2.0: How to fight parental franchise fatigue when raising kids in an endless summer
Credit: Paramount Pictures

Film Nerd 2.0: How to fight parental franchise fatigue when raising kids in an endless summer

I love 'Star Wars' and 'Harry Potter' as much as anyone, but there has to be more

I didn't even realize there was a problem.

And, believe me, I understand that as problems go, this is not a life-threatening one or a world-altering one… but it's something that finally caught my attention as I realized how we were starting to instill some bad habits in the boys. Rather, they were starting to pick up some bad habits, and I was allowing them to take root. And based on the last column I published in this series, it's definitely something I've encouraged.

I love that my kids have a fairly broad palette in terms of what they will or won't watch with me. One of my proudest moments as a film nerd dad was when Toshi had a friend over and I heard him trying to convince his buddy to watch a Charlie Chaplin film. Black and white has never been a problem for them. Abbot and Costello, the Three Stooges… these are every bit as new to them as "Guardians Of The Galaxy." They were not only willing to watch "To Kill A Mockingbird" with me, they got positively lost in it.

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Netflix renews 'Hemlock Grove' for a 3rd and final season

Netflix renews 'Hemlock Grove' for a 3rd and final season

Netflix renews “Hemlock Grove” for a 3rd and final season
Eli Roth’s horror series will return for one final 10-episode season.

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