One of America's greatest film critics received a welcome honor this past weekend. "Life Itself," the documentary chronicling the career of Roger Ebert, opened in limited release grossing $131,411 in 23 theaters. That might not seem substantial, except when you realize the doc debuted simultaneously on VOD, a modern day necessity for small films that the technologically forward thinking Ebert may have been more than OK with (or not).
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When Ariana Grande is the most established act in the top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100, it’s time to wonder what’s going on with the singles chart.
Sean Hayes joins “The Millers"
He’ll play Margo Martindale’s new best friend in Season 2.
Ellen DeGeneres launching a lifestyle brand: “E.D.”
The brand name, despite the periods, will be called “Ed.” “I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t want it to be the biggest brand name that you can imagine,” says Ellen.
“Full House’s” Candace Cameron Bure will star in new Hallmark franchise from “True Blood” author
She’ll play librarian and crime buff Aurora Teagarden in the adaptation of Charlaine Harris' eight-book series.
Syfy interviews Buzz Aldrin for "Aliens On The Moon: The Truth Exposed”
The two-hour special, airing on the moon landing’s 45th anniversary on July 20, will interview moon-landing astronauts Aldrin and Edgar Mitchell about their "belief in the existence of UFOs from first hand experiences.”
Discovery Fit & Health Channel is getting a new name
Starting in January, it will be called “Discovery Life.”
"Real Housewives of Atlanta’s” Apollo Nida sentenced to 8 years in prison
The husband of Phaedra Parks got a quarter of the maximum sentence for his involvement in a massive tax fraud scheme.
The July 2014 Television Critics Association press tour kicked off on Tuesday (July 8) morning with a panel for Nielsen Media that nobody could understand because of sawing and hammering associated with hotel construction.
Summer may be half over, but Usher has just released one of summer’s best jams: a Michael Jackson-inspired track that tops anything on Jackson’s posthumous “Xscape.”
“She Came To Give It To You,” produced by Pharrell and featuring Nicki Minaj is a “Thriller”-era throwback with Usher channeling his greatest influence.
Minaj comes in a little after the 2-minute market for a fun rap—the kind that she can do pretty much do in her sleep—although she does bring this memorable line to the party, “Don’t be like OJ and forget the glove.” Hint: she’s not talking about the kind you wear on your hand.
The uptempo dance track about a girl who rules the club comes complete with a “Billie Jean” beat and Jackson-like whoops and hollers from Usher. When he sings the line, “Just be cool and enjoy the ride,” it takes you right back to doesn’t take you back to the “So take my strong advice, just remember to always think twice (don’t think twice, don’t think twice),” from “Billie Jean.”
The track will be on Usher’s forthcoming fifth studio album, which we know is coming this year, but for which no release date has been announced. Usher earlier released the flirty, auto tuned “Good Kisser.”
Courtney Love joins “Sons of Anarchy”
The Hole rocker will play Jax’s eldest son's "straight-talking" preschool teacher in her dramatic TV acting debut.
The Situation’s reality show gets an extra episode to address his arrest and fight with his brother
TV Guide Network’s “The Sorrentinos” had just wrapped and didn’t capture the fight on camera, but the extra episode will be used for the show’s stars to explain what happened.
“Lost’s” Elizabeth Mitchell will be part of “Once Upon a Time’s” “Frozen”-themed storyline
She might be playing a villainous character.
“Gone Girl” author Gilian Flynn’s “Sharp Objects” is headed to TV
Flynn’s debut novel will be made into a TV series with the help of Marti Noxon and Jason Blum.
DIY and HGTV’s new shows include ”Tiny House Builders”, “Amish RENOgades,” ”Half Price Paradise”
DIY’s Amish reality show will feature the stars of “Vanilla Ice Goes Amish.”
Right about now, the lights should be on in the Beverly Hilton ballroom for the very first panel of the summer 2014 Television Critics Association press tour. I'm not due to arrive at tour until sometime tomorrow, but Fienberg and other members of the TCA should be there, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for the start of the 16-day event (which, for many people, will run straight into the start of Comic-Con).
NatGeo’s “Wicked Tuna" earns a 4th season renewal
National Geographic Channel also announced the Aug. 17 premiere of spinoff "Wicked Tuna North Vs. South” — watch the trailer.
“American Horror Story” adds Wes Bentley
The “American Beauty” star will join “Freak Show” for the two-part Halloween episode.
“Under the Dome” sinks in Week 2
Last night’s episode tied a series low in the key 18-49 demo.
Jenny McCarthy said in May she expected to be on “The View” when she was 60
Instead, McCarthy is exiting “The View” at age 41.
“Conan” is an online hit in China
Conan O’Brien’s talk show has racked up more than 3 million hits since debuting on a Chinese video site less than two weeks ago. PLUS: “Conan” to air in the UK for the 1st time.
"The Walking Dead" will return to Comic-Con for the 4th time
"Talking Dead" host Chris Hardwick will moderate this year's panel featuring the cast and producers.
Teri Hatcher, Bryan Cranston, Wayne Knight recall their work on “Seinfeld”
Rolling Stone also caught up with “Kenny Bania,” Brenda Strong AKA “Sue Ellen Mischke,” Sarah Silverman, Philip Baker Hall, Keith Hernandez and “The Soup Nazi."
“Big Cat Week” will return to Nat Geo Wild for a 5th year
This year’s programs include “Dinner with Big Cats,” “Future Cats” and “Tiger’s Revenge.”
CBS sending “Under the Dome” and “Scorpion” to Comic-Con
CW drama “Reign” will also have a panel. PLUS: Starz’s “Outlander” will also be at Comic-Con.
LONDON -- If we're being perfectly honest, I feel guilty interviewing any director on any set.
Directors may not be doing manual labor like breaking rocks or carrying pianos all day, but especially on giant mega-budget studio movies, they are pretty much on call 24 hours a day for three years, and I feel bad about taking any of the limited energy they have to spend during their day. I remember going to the editing room near the end of production on "Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End," and Gore Verbinski looked at me like he had just gotten back from three tours in 'Nam. Disney wasn't even letting him drive anymore. He was that tired.
Maybe that's why James Gunn's intense level of energy on the set of "Guardians Of The Galaxy" felt sort of shocking. I've met Gunn several times over the years, and that's him. He's always got this really big energy about him, and he's wicked sharp, and I guess I expected the process to dull some of that just because that's how it works.
LONDON - Standing in the costume department for Marvel's wild new science-fiction action-comedy adventure space opera whatever you want to call it, "Guardians Of The Galaxy," I was struck by just how singular the designs were for the wardrobe worn by Gamora, a dangerous new character played by Zoe Saldana.
There was a decidedly punk edge to the drawings, but they were also gorgeous, like something you'd see for a runway show. Saldana is stunning in person, ethereal and delicate and yet with this sort of lacerating edge that she seems perfectly capable of laying down verbally. You get the sense she chews on her words and really thinks about what she's saying to you during an interview. I don't think she takes it lightly, and part of what she considers is how her physical appearance is part of the brand she's built as an actress.
LONDON -- At this point, I've come to think of the Shepperton lot in England as Marvel's home away from home.
Not long after the presentation that Marvel made at Comic-Con for "Guardians Of The Galaxy," a group of journalists were invited to visit the sets for the film and to talk to the filmmakers and the cast. As part of that group, I found myself somewhat blown away by what we saw and by the conversations we had. That is not always the case, and while I've had plenty of set visits where I walked away feeling optimistic, I've had very few that knocked me out to this degree.
Why? What is it that convinced me that this is a departure for the studio and a very special version of what we know right now as the big action blockbuster?
Fast National ratings for Monday, July 7, 2014.
CBS' "Under the Dome" plummeted nearly 20 percent to a series low in the season's second week, still leading Monday overall, but falling behind a slew of Monday originals in the key demo as FOX eked out wins in all measures.
"MasterChef," "The Bachelorette" and "American Ninja Warrior" all topped "Under the Dome" with young viewers, while "The Bachelorette" closed the gap on "Under the Dome" overall.
Among other Monday notables, the "Beauty and the Beast" season finale got a small overall bump, as did FOX's "24: Live Another Day." ABC's "Mistresses" was down week-to-week.
On to the numbers...