Latest Blog Posts

Ed Sheeran

Album Review: Ed Sheeran's 'X' adds up to strong, confessional set

British singer/songwriter gets assist from Pharrell Williams and Rick Rubin

Ed Sheeran is a ginger Byron for the Millennial generation: he documents his alcohol-soaked misadventures in love with a dark vulnerability that seems to grasp that they are often doomed before they start. And yet, Sheeran goes back to dead-end road again and again looking for a different result, filled with optimism.

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Barbara Walters to return to 'The View' — 6 weeks after her retirement

Barbara Walters to return to “The View” — 6 weeks after her retirement
Walters will appear on Friday’s episode, taping Wednesday, as a guest to promote her “20/20" interview with the father of Santa Barbara killer Elliot Rodger.


TBS will celebrate “Seinfeld’s” 25th anniversary all next week
“Seinfeld” debuted on July 5, 1989. And to celebrate, TBS is airing 25 of “Seinfeld’s” most famous episodes all next week.


“Grey’s Anatomy” promotes Caterina Scorsone
The “Private Practice” alum will become a series regular next season.


USA vs. Portugal was the most-watched U.S. soccer match ever
The 18.22 million who watched yesterday’s tie game surpassed the 1999 Women’s World Cup final, which had 17.97 million viewers.


“The Last Ship” has cable’s most-watched premiere of 2014
About 5.3 million watched TNT’s Michael Bay drama.

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AMC renews 'Turn'

AMC renews “Turn”
The Revolutionary War drama, which averaged 2 million viewers in its first season, will be back for a 10-episode 2nd season.


Lifetime’s Aaliyah biopic will delve into her controversial relationship with R. Kelly
The late R&B singer allegedly married R. Kelly, her mentor, when she was 15 and he was 27.


The Johnny Carson musical is beginning rehearsals
Henry Bushkin, the former lawyer for “The Tonight Show” host who wrote a Carson tell-all last year, will be hosting rehearsals at his summer home.


Martin Freeman: I didn’t audition for “Fargo” — "They didn’t even ask to hear the accent”
"It could have all gone very, very bad,” says the British actor. "Yeah, I was surprised that they didn’t want to hear that. ’Cause I could have had a cloth ear.”


Christina Hendricks speaks on ending the “'Mad Men' Era" at a White House summit
The actress was a speaker at today’s White House Summit on Working Families.


“Game of Thrones’” Maisie Williams: I hope we see The Hound again
Williams recalls long shooting days with Rory McCann, where they’d speak an “egg language” to each other. PLUS: One fan has become a master of “GoT” impressions.


NFL may add a HelmetCam
A small camera tucked in the padding of a helmet could be the future of the NFL on TV.


TCM to pay tribute to Ruby Dee
Saturday’s tribute will feature two of her films — "The Edge of the City” and “A Raisin in the Sun.”


Is the “Orphan Black” twist a smart move?
Can the new characters be as strong as the old ones?

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<p>Tyrant</p>

Tyrant

Credit: FX

Review: FX's 'Tyrant'

A messy creative origin leads to a messy show

The story behind the making of FX's new drama "Tyrant" is ultimately much more interesting than "Tyrant" itself. A lot of people came and went from this project, a lot of people fought for its future, and a lot of obvious stumbling blocks were ignored because there was a real passion to get it made. But the finished product doesn't suggest something nearly worth all the fussing and fighting.

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<p>Stephen Sondheim</p>

Stephen Sondheim

Credit: AP Photo

Stephen Sondheim calls his 'Into the Woods' comments 'misreporting'

Accuses The New Yorker of 'false impressions' in his initial commentary

One can only figure that Disney was none-too-pleased with Stephen Sondheim's comments regarding the upcoming film adaptation of "Into the Woods." Last week, he seemed to offer a disparaging tone in noting that significant changes to the story's content had been made (though he did note that if he had been in Disney's shoes, he would have made the same conservative calls). Today, through his lawyer, Sondheim has issued a statement to Playbill to clarify.

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Steven Soderbergh’s 'The Girlfriend Experience' to become a Starz series

Steven Soderbergh’s “The Girlfriend Experience” to become a Starz series
The 2009 film starring real-life porn star Sasha Grey will become a 13-episode half-hour anthology series.

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<p>&quot;The Girlfriend Experience&quot;</p>

"The Girlfriend Experience"

Credit: Magnolia

Starz orders 'The Girlfriend Experience' television series

Lodge Kerrigan and Amy Seimetz will write and direct

Is "The Girlfriend Experience" about to become the new "Fargo"?

Starz announced on Monday (June 23) that it has ordered a somewhat fascinating -- in concept, if TBD in terms of execution -- 13-part anthology series based on Steven Soderbergh's 2009 indie.

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Lana Del Rey

Frances Bean Cobain to Lana Del Rey: Stop 'romanticizing' early death

Kurt Cobain's daughter passionately takes on the 'Ultraviolence' singer

Lana Del Rey ignited a firestorm a few weeks ago when she told a reporter for U.K. newspaper The Guardian that she wished she were dead already.

In the article, the singer, whose new album, “Ultraviolence,” will debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 this week, brings up Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse and admits that she thinks their early deaths help make them more glamorous.

Now, Cobain’s daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, has jumped into the fray to remind Del Rey that when people like her dad die young there’s really nothing glamorous about it.

In a series of tweets posted Sunday night, Cobain, 21, said (we’re stringing them all together here and using her spelling and shorthand): “@Lana Del Rey the death of young musicians isn’t something to romanticize…I’ll never know my father because he died young and it becomes a desirable feat because ppl like u think it’s “cool”…Well, it’s fu**king not. Embrace life because u only get one life. The ppl u mentioned wasted their life. Don’t be 1 of those ppl.”

Cobain then responded to a Twitter poster who wanted her to lay off Del Rey, who, herself, took to Twitter last Thursday (in tweets since deleted) to say the reporter’s questions “about death and persona were calculated…I regret trusting The Guardian.” The reporter has posted the audio of the interview on SoundCloud so people can hear it for themselves.

Cobain didn’t back down, however, and in a measured, mature way, answered “I told her to not waste her life. How is that attacking. I literally said embrace this life because u only get 1.” Cobain then tweeted to Del Rey, “ur too talented to waste it away.”

Those tweets have all been taken down. The only one that remains is one from Cobain saying, "I'm not attacking anyone. I have no animosity towards Lana. I was just trying to put things in perspective from personal experience."

Del Rey, who has not publicly responded to Cobain’s tweets, has the right to say whatever she wants, but should realize that she has many young fans who take her dead-eyed persona and her words very seriously.

Should Del Rey decide that dying young really is glamorous, imagine her dismay at knowing she’s too old to join the 27 Club… that’s how old Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse all were when they died.

Del Rey turned 28 on Saturday (21).

Was Cobain right to take on Del Rey?

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<p>Michael Keaton and Kim Basinger in &quot;Batman&quot;</p>

Michael Keaton and Kim Basinger in "Batman"

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

25 years of Tim Burton's 'Batman' and why I owe it a lot

Some things aren't just nostalgia

There is a reason I'm a Batman fan. It's not because I'm a life-long comic book reader. That came later. And it's not because I grew up watching reruns of the old ABC television series. Though I certainly did. It's because Tim Burton's "Batman," released in theaters 25 years ago today, was the first movie that really owned my anticipatory faculties as a child. It was the first film that lit my movie-going fire, a designation saved for "Star Wars," "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "E.T." a generation prior and perhaps "Jurassic Park" and Harrison Ford's actioners a generation later.

In the simplest of terms, I wouldn't be a film obsessive if it weren't for "Batman." I owe it that much.

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ABC’s 'Rising Star' debuts to disappointing ratings, topped by 'America’s Got Talent'

ABC’s “Rising Star” debuts to disappointing ratings, topped by “America’s Got Talent”
A special Sunday airing of NBC’s “AGT” did what it was intended to do in hurting “Rising Star’s” launch. PLUS: Was Kesha’s dress too short for TV?


Gordon Ramsay: I’m pulling the plug on “Kitchen Nightmares”
"As filming comes to a close on the latest series of 'Kitchen Nightmares' I've decided to stop making the show,” Ramsay wrote on his website of the reality show that lasted 12 seasons in the UK and seven seasons in the U.S.


Conan O’Brien pays $8,000 in back taxes to avoid the auctioning off of his Rhode Island house
A Conan spokesperson says the talk show host had no idea he was delinquent in his tax bill.


“True Blood” star on the season premiere death: "I think somebody had to go”
"To have a main character right off the bat go, that’s gonna bring everybody into the show.”


Nathan Fielder has been hiding the same pornographic image in all his Instagram pictures
See how the “Nathan For You” star has skirted Instagram’s anti-nudity rules.


“Alias” alum Carl Lumbly joins “The Returned”
He’ll play Pastor Leon Wright in the A&E remake of the French zombie drama.


Showtime orders “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” a musical comedy pilot
Rachel Bloom stars as a New Yorker who suddenly moves to L.A. suburb West Covina.


“Project Runway” unveils Season 13 contestants, guest judges
Elisabeth Moss, Shay Mitchell, Dita Von Teese and Christian Siriano will among this year’s guest judges.

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TV Ratings: 'America's Got Talent' blunts 'Rising Star' premiere on Sunday
Credit: ABC

TV Ratings: 'America's Got Talent' blunts 'Rising Star' premiere on Sunday

'Enlisted' goes out with series lows for FOX

Fast National ratings for Sunday, June 22, 2014.

A special Sunday night airing of "America's Got Talent" did its job for NBC, carrying the network to Sunday wins in most measures and helping curb enthusiasm for ABC's heavily promoted "Rising Star" premiere.

The live nature, at least for much of the country, of the "Rising Star" premiere makes it very difficult to gauge the singing competition's actual audience on Sunday and ABC has already said that time zone adjusted figures will be available this morning. As soon as those numbers are available, this story will be updated. It seems likely both that actual numbers will be a bit higher, but also that the "Rising Star" premiere ratings will fall short of "huge."

[UPDATE: After ABC announced reporters to hold off on grand pronouncements on the success or failure of "Rising Star" until the network got adjusted Fast Nationals, the ratings are in and... "Rising Star" had the exact same numbers post-adjustment, basically. The two-hour block averaged 5.1 million viewers and a 1.5 rating among adults 18-49.]

Other than the "America's Got Talent"/"Rising Star" showdown (and an underwhelming Sunday premiere for "Wipeout"), Sunday's only notable was the [network] series finale for "Enlisted," which sunk below a million viewers and did a series low in the key demo.

On to the numbers...

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Alexandre Desplat
Alexandre Desplat
Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

Oscar-nominated composer Alexandre Desplat to head Venice Film Festival jury

Below-the-line talent finally gets some respect

Well, this is a refreshing choice. At major festivals, the position of jury president is usually the preserve of directors and actors. At Cannes, for example, you have to go all the way back to 1983 to find a president -- novelist William Styron -- who doesn't tick either of those boxes. And while exceptions have been made for writers, it's very rare for below-the-line artists to take the top position. Production designer Dante Ferretti did the honors at the 2005 Venice Film Festival, and it's the Italians who are once more taking that route: composer Alexandre Desplat will preside over the Competition jury at Venice this year.

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