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Why Lupita Nyong'o's 'Americanah' is more exciting than 'Star Wars Episode VII'
Credit: Alexi Lubomirski for Lancôme

Why Lupita Nyong'o's 'Americanah' is more exciting than 'Star Wars Episode VII'

This is what real representation looks like

There was a fair amount of excitement that greeted the recent news that Lupita Nyong'o and Gwendoline Christie had been added to the cast of "Star Wars," and the exaltations that I read were just as fervent as the condemnations of the table read photo that led me to write this piece a few weeks ago. I'm glad people are excited for them to be cast, and I certainly think they are both talented performers, but I'm not sure party hats are appropriate yet.

I think both sets of reactions are sort of ridiculous, and not because I have any problem with the idea of discussing how people feel under-represented in movies. I think the reactions are ridiculous because we still have no idea what roles they're playing or what story is being told. We have no idea if they'll have big roles or small roles or even interesting roles. Terrence Stamp is one of my favorite actors, and he makes 100% no difference in "The Phantom Menace." It is inconsequential to even mention his work in the film because of how little he has to do. Who knows? Maybe Lupita Nyong'o will be sitting next to Han Solo in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon and get every great line in the film.

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'Game of Thrones' tops 'The Sopranos' to become HBO’s most-watched series ever

“Game of Thrones” tops “The Sopranos” to become HBO’s most-watched series ever
An average gross audience of 18.4 million has been watching this season, which beats “The Sopranos’” peak season in 2002, which had an average gross audience of 18.2 million.

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Daytime Emmys won’t air on TV — catch the livestream!

Daytime Emmys won’t air on TV — catch the livestream!
The June 22 ceremony couldn’t find a TV home this year, so it’ll air on the web, a first for a major long-running awards show.


Kellan Lutz and Malin Akerman are coming back to “The Comeback”
They’ll reprise their roles for the six-episode follow-up to Lisa Kudrow’s HBO comedy.


Hillary Clinton preempts “The Bachelorette”
Monday’s "Bachelorette" has been delayed so that ABC News could broadcast an interview with the possible future presidential candidate. As Chris Harrison puts it, "In all seriousness she's on this journey for the right reasons & ABC news promises most dramatic interview ever!"


George R.R. Martin auctioning a chance to have you get killed off on “Game of Thrones"
Benefitting Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary and the Food Depot, the charity auction will allow you to choose your character’s name, your "character’s station in the world (lordling, knight, peasant, whore, lady, maester, septon, anything) and you will certainly meet a grisly death!,” says Martin.


Peter Bogdanovich to direct TV miniseries “The Inventor and the Tycoon”
“The Last Picture Show” director and “Sopranos” actor will direct an adaptation of the 2013 book “The Inventor and the Tycoon: A Gilded Age Murder and the Birth of Moving Pictures,” which tells the story of the early days of cinema, featuring motion-picture pioneer Edward Muybridge and industrialist-politician Leland Stanford.


Sarah Silverman watches her boyfriend have sex on “Masters of Sex” — but she won’t watch it live
“I watch him have sex on TV all the time,” she says of Michael Sheen. But Silverman, who is guesting on “Masters” this season, says seeing Sheen have TV sex live is “so not sexy.”


“The Shield’” Michael Jace reportedly texted his wife’s father after allegedly killing her
Jace's father-in-law called 911 and said that Jace had texted him to say he had shot his wife.


CW to launch a “One Magnificent Morning” Saturday educational programming block for kids
Starting Oct. 5, the block will run from 7 a.m to 12 p.m.


“Modern Family” co-creator staying
Christopher Lloyd has inked a new deal after “difficult negotiations.”

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CNN compares newly released POW Bowe Bergdahl to Brody from 'Homeland'

CNN compares newly released POW Bowe Bergdahl to Brody from “Homeland"
Don Lemon asked “Homeland” exec producer Gideon Raff this morning, ""Do you see similarities between Bowe Bergdahl's release and your character Sgt. Nicholas Brody in Homeland?” PLUS: CNN had another “Brody” vs Bergdahl segment.


“Sharknado 2” trailer shows a shark landing on a Citi Bike rider
Here’s a 20-second sneak peek at “Sharknado 2: The Second One.”


“The Walking Dead” has 28 million viewers across all platforms — “Game of Thrones” has 18 million
Despite the HBO series' surging viewership, it's still far behind AMC's biggest hit.


“Life of Pi” and “Million Dollar Arm” star joins “Homeland”
Suraj Sharma will play a Pakistani medical student who crosses paths with Carrie Mathison.


“Survivor” drops Redemption Island
Says Jeff Probst: "We decided, we have this arena being built: What if instead of (Redemption Island), we use it for something else. Something that will make Blood vs. Water a little more… interesting."


Hallmark Channel reunites “Facts of Life” stars Lisa Whelchel and Kim Fields
They’ll play wedding planner co-workers in the TV movie "For Better or For Worse,” airing July 19.


Obstetrician: Lifetime’s "Born in the Wild” is a bad idea
The reality show that shows moms giving birth “in the wild” without doctors can lead to complications, says Ron Jaekle, MD, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Fetal Center. Lifetime, meanwhile, is taking precautions, including making sure no first-time mothers are involved on the show.


Mindy Kaling is “outraged” the Super Bowl dropped the “L”
“Am I the only Latin nerd outraged by the Super Bowl dropping Roman numerals?!” she tweeted, adding: “Lupae Filius!!!”


“Man v. Food” Star Adam Richman poses naked after dropping 70 pounds
Check out his before and after pictures from Cosmo UK.


Mayim Bialik: Amy kissing Sheldon was the toughest “Big Bang” scene I filmed last season
“It was a very interesting emotional week,” she says.


CNN has begun following Andy Richter on Twitter
The Conan sidekick was stunned, saying he didn’t know where the plane was. To which CNN responded: "You do you. We'll keep reporting on the plane."


Nickelodeon orders “The Loud House”
The animated series revolves around a house filled with children.

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'Big Brother' is finally going HD with its 16th season

“Big Brother” is finally going HD with its 16th season
The CBS reality show was the only regularly scheduled primetime program to be shown in standard definition.


Matthew McConaughey: I’d be open to doing more “True Detective”
"I liked 'True Detective,' the whole series and the experience of making it, so much that I’d be open to doing another one now,” he tells Deadline. "At the time, I was looking at six months and not beyond that. I don’t know of a feature film I’d sign for where I’m going to say, 'If this works, you’ve got me whenever you want me for the next three years.’"


David Hasselhoff to star in Nat Geo's "Hasselhoff vs. The Berlin Wall”
The documentary airing this fall will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.


Report: TMZ blackmailed Justin Bieber with his racist video for years
Bieber has always been friendly to TMZ and its TV shows, and Defamer may have the answer as to why: TMZ purchased the video four years ago, according to the website, to “extort appearances and call-ins from Bieber ever since.”


Stephen Colbert gives Amazon the finger
Watch Colbert go after Amazon’s shady book-selling tactics. PLUS: Colbert is sad by the report his fans learn more from him than the news.


Jerry Seinfeld not happy with NBC’s “Undateable”
Seinfeld tweeted last night: "Just saw promo for new NBC show #Undateable. That word is so damn familiar! Anyone? #isthispossible? #myownnetwork?"


Harry Hamlin and Rachel Nichols join USA’s “Rush”
They’ll recur on the USA medical drama with Hamlin playing Tom Ellis’ estranged father and Nichols playing his “trophy wife.”


BBC to air a zombie apocalypse game show
"I Survived A Zombie Apocalypse” will trap eight contestants in a “Walking Dead”-like shopping mall.


Larry David opens his mouth for a NHL Finals selfie
Check him out with Fox Sports’ Charissa Thompson.


Watch a guy get a “Wheel of Fortune” puzzle totally wrong
He said, ""Surf Clay Where We Go” instead of "Surf City Here We Come.”


Watch Michael Che’s “Daily Show” debut
And watch Aasif Mandvi crash the recent “SNL” writer’s first appearance with Jon Stewart.


Jimmy Fallon and Tom Cruise throw footballs at pictures of each other’s faces
Introducing “Face Breakers.”

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<p>Jan Bijvoet in &quot;Borgman.&quot;</p>

Jan Bijvoet in "Borgman."

Credit: Drafthouse Films

Check out the first scene of freaky, fascinating Cannes sensation 'Borgman'

The disturbingly funny Dutch thriller opens in limited release on Friday

A little over a year after the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, a number of films that were major talking points at the time have faded from my memory -- not everything flourishes outsides the festival bubble. One sneaky title to which my thoughts keep circling back, however, is Alex van Warmerdam's "Borgman" -- a film that won no awards from the jury, but provided the Competition with a bracing shot of alluring, cult-beckoning eccentricity.

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<p>Justin Williams celebrates his Stanley Cup game-winner</p>

Justin Williams celebrates his Stanley Cup game-winner

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: Stanley Cup Game 1, CBS repeats lead Wednesday

Kings-Rangers game plays well with young viewers, not overall

Fast National ratings for Wednesday, June 4, 2014.

The Stanley Cup opener, an OT thriller between the Kings and Rangers, gave NBC strong enough demo numbers to lead Wednesday among young viewers, but the hockey showdown had much less juice overall where NBC finished fourth for the night. In total viewers, it was CBS on top, with a repeat of "Criminal Minds" standing as Wednesday's most watched show.

Game 1 of the Stanley Cup was down 29 percent from last year's Game 1 between Boston and Chicago, but that's at least partially a function of time zones given that much of this year's opener aired out of primetime in the Los Angeles market.

Among other notables, FOX saw only a small decline for the second week of "So You Think You Can Dance," The CW's "The 100" was steady in the demo (down overall) and ABC's "Motive" got a pretty big week-to-week bump for some reason.

On to the numbers...

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<p>Orange Is the New Black</p>

Orange Is the New Black

Credit: Netflix

Review: 'Orange Is the New Black' gets even deeper, better in season 2

Netflix women's prison drama takes even better advantage of its great ensemble with these new episodes

"Orange Is the New Black" was my second-favorite television show of 2013 — if you can call a series distributed solely by Netflix" television" — and if the comedy-drama about the inmates at a women's federal prison doesn't wind up quite that high in my 2014 rankings, it'll be through no fault of its own. This has been an absurdly great year for the medium — even deeper than the last one, with incredible new entries like "Fargo" and "True Detective" to go along with long-absent veterans like "Louie," plus the continued excellence of "Mad Men," "Game of Thrones," etc. — and there's going to be a lot of crowding at the top when December arrives and I am legally required to rank things in numerical order based on how they score on Dr. J. Evans Pritchard's scale of poetic greatness.

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14 great science-fiction indie films from 'Under the Skin' to 'The Terminator'

14 great science-fiction indie films from 'Under the Skin' to 'The Terminator'

It's important that films like these are made outside the system

It's an interesting summer for science-fiction, and we're going to see a lot of younger filmmakers wearing their inspirations on their sleeves this year, even as we see guys who are jumping to the next level, taking on massive scale projects for the first time. One of the guys who is working somewhere between the two extremes is Will Eubank, director of "The Signal."

Eubank's previous film was "LOVE," a hand-made science-fiction that he shot on his own property. It's a beautiful, odd, unique movie that would never have happened at a studio. Likewise, "The Signal" is a film that unfolds in its own particular way. It's not like any other science-fiction movie you're going to see this year, and that's to its credit.

While science-fiction is normally the domain of the giant budget, especially since "Star Wars" landed on the mainstream in 1977, some of the most provocative and interesting science-fiction films of all time are independent films that had to happen outside the system. We picked ten that we particularly admire because of the way they work first as great stories, but also because of what they say about using the genre the right way.

Science fiction can tackle any idea, any concern, any type of character study. It is an incredibly rich genre, but it's often used to just tell simple good-bad power fantasies. We wanted to spotlight some films that have dared to do something truly different and that made permanent impact on the genre.

The thing is, we started with a list of at least 40 titles that could have easily been part of this list. It's actually pretty encouraging to look at that many films that have dared to redefine what science-fiction is. I believe we will always have people who dare to dream big on a very small budget, and that we are better for it.

Check out 14 must-see independent Sci-Fi films in the embedded gallery below.  Did we miss a favorite? Let us know in the comments section.

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<p>Lana Del Rey</p>

Lana Del Rey

Credit: Neil Krug

Lana Del Rey's new song 'Ultraviolence': Lipstick and corpses

Of the three new songs, which do you like best?

Lana Del Rey has consecrated us with the dirge-like title track from her next album "Ultra Violence" opening with lines like -- among others --  "I was filled with poison / but blessed with beauty and rage," just like we like her.

I'm now going to chew bubble-gum in slow motion, filing my nails over a dead body.

Del Rey's sophomore set "Ultraviolence" is out in less than two weeks, on June 13. It was produced by Dan Auerbach, who recently saw the drop of his band The Black Keys' album "Turn Blue."

Other tracks to be released from "Ultraviolence" so far include "Shades of Cool" and "West Coast," also below. Which song do you like the best so far?

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Review: Shailene Woodley lights up the lovely and unsentimental 'Fault In Our Stars'
Credit: 20th Century Fox/Fox 2000

Review: Shailene Woodley lights up the lovely and unsentimental 'Fault In Our Stars'

As YA adaptations go, this one's got a more mature idea about love than most

Love is not convenient.

For all the words that poets have spilled trying to describe love over the years, it seems to me that it is easier to describe by explaining what love is not. Love is rarely on your schedule. It would be amazing if we could simply snap our fingers and have love whenever we want it, but if that were the case, it wouldn't be love. The pain that is a huge part of the experience is one of the reasons it matters. Love is not easy. Love is not casual. Love is not interested in what we want.

"The Fault In Our Stars" is a very simple story about two kids, each struggling with cancer, who find each other at the least convenient time and fall in love. I don't think any part of that sentence is a spoiler. It's just a description. The details are what matters, and the script by Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber, adapted from the well-loved novel by John Green, is very smart and fairly unsentimental, which works to the material's advantage. When you're talking about a movie that deals with two young people with cancer falling in love, the potential for that to be hugely sappy is overwhelming. I haven't read the book, but the film nimbly avoids most of the things I expected from it, and does so in a lovely, thoughtful way.

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'Ask Drew' tackles 'Star Wars' rumors and guilty pleasures
Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.

'Ask Drew' tackles 'Star Wars' rumors and guilty pleasures

Plus a fiendishly clever 'Movie God' scenario

This week's "Ask Drew" includes a moment I suspected would happen at some point, and now that it has, I'll address it here.

I don't like the answer I gave to one of the questions. I don't think it's a bad answer, but it's not the right answer. On the way home, I thought of a far more appropriate response, and so I feel like I owe it to the person who sent the question in the first place. Basically, he asked me if there are any truly bad films that I love. I sort of dismissed the idea of "guilty pleasures" and then talked a little bit about "Buckaroo Banzai," but I think that's sort of me dodging the question.

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