Latest Blog Posts

<p>Brad Pitt in &quot;Fury&quot;</p>

Brad Pitt in "Fury"

Credit: Sony Pictures

Brad Pitt broods intensely on teaser poster for 'Fury'

David Ayer's WWII drama hits U.S. screens on November 14

The cinema doesn't exactly want for Second World War dramas, but nonetheless, I'm increasingly looking forward to "Fury." David Ayer's tough brand of crime storytelling has worked better in some projects than others -- "Sabotage" wasn't quite the follow-up to "End of Watch" most of us were hoping for -- but he's a distinctive stylist, and I'm interested to see how his street sensibility adapts to a period piece.

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Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey responds to Frances Bean Cobain's criticism over 'dead' comment

Just think...if either of them had picked up the phone we'd have to find something else to talk about

Lana Del Rey has responded, via Twitter, of course, to Frances Bean Cobain’s Twitter criticism of Del Rey for saying she wishes she were already dead.

To recap, in words that Del Rey now says were provoked, the “Ultraviolence” singer told The Guardian that she wished she were already dead and that she doesn’t particularly enjoy what she’s doing, but will continue doing it anyway.

Cobain, whose father, Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain, killed himself  when his daughter was 1,  took to Twitter to chide Del Rey for “romanticizing” early death. Read her tweets here.

In a continuation of what has been a civilized exchange, Del Rey tweeted back to Cobain yesterday: “It’s all good. He was asking me a lot [about] your dad. I said I liked him because he was a talent, not because he died young.”  She then added, “The other half of what I said wasn’t really related to the people he mentioned/I don’t find that part of music glam either.”

So their non-feud is over and all that’s left now is the obligatory photo of the two of them meeting and hugging it out… which they will immediately post on Instagram.

It’s really hard to imagine how websites and blogs had enough to report on before Twitter launched in 2006 and even harder to imagine that celebrities didn’t feel the need to tweet every thought that passed through their head.  

Cobain was smart: she (and any other celebrity with any media savvy) knew that all she had to do was send a tweet to Lana Del Rey for the inter webs to blow up and she was right. And Del Rey knew once she responded it would make news. I’m sure the thought of picking up their phones and actually having a private conversation about it never occurred to either one of them…because if the rest of the world doesn't know about it, that means it never happening, right?  Instead, everything plays out in a public forum now. Cobain understands the currency her tweets have and that Del Rey is hot right now. The combination is combustible. I realize this is not new at all and has been the modus operandi for quite some time, but, for some reason, this exchange really highlighted to me the extent to which we bloggers jump on anything slightly tantalizing for potential click bait.  Vicious circle…

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CBS announces fall premiere dates, including an hourlong 'Big Bang' season premiere

CBS announces fall premiere dates, including an hourlong “Big Bang” season premiere
“NFL Thursday Night Football” kicks off CBS’ fall season on Sept 11, while “Madam Secretary” and “The Good Wife” have their premieres on Sept. 21. “The Big Bang Theory” returns Monday, Sept. 22 with back-to-back episodes. CBS is also using season premiere week for the finales of “Under the Dome” and “Extant."


“Portlandia’s” Carrie Brownstein headed to Amazon
Brownstein has signed on to the comedy pilot “Transparent,” playing Gaby Hoffman’s best friend in the comedy about a Los Angeles family with serious boundary issues.


Maria Bello and Joan Jett to star in Lifetime’s "Big Driver,” based on the Stephen King book
Olympia Dukakis will also star in the film based on King’s horror novella.


Karen Gillan takes a topless selfie to promote her new show “Selfie”
"Her new show is also called ‘Selfie,' because that’s how marketing works,” as the Radio Times notes.


“Tyrant” is the latest show that can’t stop using rape cliches
The FX drama takes many "sexual assault or woman-in-peril shortcuts” to show a male character’s darkness, says Maureen Ryan, The result is that the women "are mostly placeholders -- even the ones who aren't kidnapped or raped,” says Ryan. "But even if all the other characters on the show, male and female, were fascinating, I don't think it would matter. The presence of well-drawn characters who do not get raped, assaulted or attacked does not give a program a free pass to engage in these cliches. I'm just so tired of violence against women being used as storytelling No-Doz -- something to juice up the proceedings and then discard at will.”


Why can’t “Big Brother” stop casting racists and homophobes?
Despite all the bigotry last season, casting this year "did not change at all,” says a “Big Brother” exec producer — and that’s resulted in yet another bigoted contestant.


Snooki wins lawsuit against perfume maker that used her name
A New Jersey company marketed its perfume “Snazzy” by calling it "our version of Snooki by Nicole Polizzi."


“America’s Next Top Model” alum’s husband commits suicide weeks after reports she hooked up with male celebs
Katie Cleary, who competed in "Top Model's" 1st season and later worked as a "Deal Or No Deal" suitcase model, was photographed in Cannes last month with Leonardo DiCaprio and Adrian Grenier. Weeks later, her husband, Andrew Stern, shot himself in the face.


Here’s your first look at “Downton Abbey” Season 5
ITV has teased 20 seconds from the 5th season.


Animal Planet renews “The Pool Master” after 1 episode
The backyard improvement series will be back for a 2nd season next year.


A.J. Hammer exits HLN
His departure comes four months after his “Showbiz Tonight” show was canceled.


“The Bachelor” Ben Flajnik declines to talk about Courtney Robertson’s new tell-all
Robertson’s book "I Didn’t Come Here to Make Friends: Confessions of a Reality Show Villain” is out today, but Flajnik doesn’t want to “relive the nightmare.”


Why it matters that “Tyrant” cast a white actor in a half-Arab leading role
White British actor Adam Rayner, producers say, was the best actor they could find, even considering all the other actors with Middle Eastern backgrounds. The problem, says Daniel Fienberg, is that Rayner is merely average in the role. "Although Rayner's performance doesn't hurt ‘Tyrant,'" says Feinberg, "the white-washing of the main character only serves to underline the condescending and vaguely paternalistic tone of the entire show."


American TV needs a complex Middle East drama — “Tyrant” is not it
"There’s not a fleshed-out character in the show,” says James Poniewozik, "beginning with Barry’s stock-villainous brother Jamal (Ashraf Barhom), who we immediately meet raping a subject with her own husband and children still in her house. To a person, the characters are types: the shallow American kids, the dissolute playboys, the noble protesters and journalists, the cynical advisers, sneering elites and sad-eyed children. The problem isn’t that Tyrant portrays a troubled region as troubled; it’s that it doesn’t use its time to begin to make this world as real as ours.” PLUS: “Tyrant” tries to skirt controversy by being lazy and contrived, it settles on Middle Eastern stereotypes, it comes close to even embracing those stereotypes, it feels small for such a big drama, Adam Rayner is an uncharismatic cipher, FX has Russian- and Spanish-speaking characters but can’t have Arabic speakers?, “Tyrant” has all the urgency of a position paper, the pilot has a lot of potential but it’s unclear where it’s going, this is a step in the right direction for its portrayal of Muslims on TV, and read the dramatic backstory of “Tyrant."

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<p>Channing Tatum</p>

Channing Tatum

Credit: AP Photo

Channing Tatum in a Coen brothers movie? This is gonna be good...

This upcoming Hollywood Golden Age comedy is filling out brilliantly

Are the Coen brothers directing a Wes Anderson film? Only kidding, but you'd be forgiven for thinking so with the announcement of today's new cast additions to the filmmaker siblings' upcoming "Hail, Caesar!"

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David Guetta has the 'perfect' song for Miley Cyrus

David Guetta has the 'perfect' song for Miley Cyrus

Watch as he and the interviewer speak in their own language that no one else can understand

DJ extraordinaire David Guetta has written a track that he thinks would be just perfect for Miley Cyrus.

While we imagine almost any DJ would like to have Cyrus on his album, Guetta’s track record suggests that he stands a better chance that most.

Backstage at Capital FM’s Summertime Ball in London, he told an interviewer, “Oh my God, we made a song, she would be so perfect for the song. We did it like two days ago. It’s such an obvious song for her. I’m like, “Wow, who could pull it off?” And she would be totally the one.”

The interviewer then uses a broadened hand gesture, as she asks, “Is it like really like a  (opens her arms) type of track  because Miley’s a bad girl, she just does what she wants.”

And then Guetta, as if he actually understood what that meant, nods and says, “It’s really like this.” You can watch their exchange here.

So…unless you understood the mind meld between Guetta and the interviewer, you’re  probably like the rest of us with absolutely no idea of what just transpired other than Guetta has now put out into the universe that he has a song he’d like to collaborate with Cyrus on.

No word if Guetta managed to connect with Cyrus, who was also playing the festival. But given the success of 2011’s “Nothing But The Beat,” which included mega hits, “Without You,” featuring Usher, and “Titanium,” featuring Sia, Cyrus’s people may want to contact Guetta’s people.

Last week, Guetta released video for hardcore dance track “Blast Off,” featuring  Australian DJ/songer Kaz James, which also includes some pretty heavy guitar riffs.

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<p>Adam Rayner of &quot;Tyrant&quot;</p>

Adam Rayner of "Tyrant"

Credit: FX

Why it matters that FX’s ‘Tyrant’ didn't cast a Middle Eastern actor in its lead role

Adam Rayner isn't awful, but FX needed to do better

In reviews, podcasts and tweets, it has become common in recent years for me to lament the influx of British and Australian actors masquerading as Americans, all perpetrating the same flat, generic accents as if Americans all come from the same state, which is no state at all, but rather some nether-region dialect coaches call Mid-Atlantic or something.

I take semi-feigned umbrage at this infiltration and I am, indeed, a bit irked that a good 75 percent of the Brits and Aussies are trapped by exhaustively studied, but ultimately affectless accent work that leads them to give robotic performances they'd never tolerate from themselves in their native tongues.

Yes, I get my hackles up, but I know it isn't actually important.

The rise in work for Aussie and British actors is largely linked to the expanding TV universe, and even if this most recent upfronts season saw an encouraging uptick in TV shows with African-American leading characters, I think we can all look at the TV landscape and agree that in the multi-billion year history of our Earth, this is probably the greatest time in history to be a Caucasian man looking for TV work.

That's why when I see people earnestly complain -- Not many people... Trolls, mostly -- that they can't watch "Orange Is The New Black" because it's anti-male and the men are all one-dimensional, I get caught in a giggle loop that can last for minutes at a time.

The thing about white male representation on TV is that if you accidentally find one show in which the white guys are douches, you probably don't want to complain about it, because there are the other 100 shows out there. Whiteness on TV is represented in all of its myriad shadings. Sometimes white guys are heroes. Sometimes white guys are villains. There are gay white guys and straight white guys and white guys in every imaginable profession. 

Other than fact-based based projects about actual, verifiable white people, it is never incumbent upon a film or TV show to "cast white," because if you don't cast a white guy in one project, you can safely guarantee that the next project with a potentially Caucasian lead will be right around the corner and Hollywood is far more committed to the quest for square-jawed white guys than geologists are to finding petroleum or astronomers are to finding intelligent life elsewhere in the universe.

Now, though, I want you to look across the TV landscape for depictions of Middle Eastern men. You'll find them. They're not totally invisible. They're largely terrorists or characters who get confused with terrorists and try to be heroic in order to disprove stereotypes. Not all, but mostly. There are a handful of Middle Eastern cast regulars on procedurals and whatnot. They're out there. A few. It's not a particularly diverse set of representations, but they exist.

Now, though, look across the TV landscape for shows in which the unquestioned lead, the top-of-the-call-sheet role, is written specifically for a male (or female, for that matter) of Middle Eastern heritage. 

Keep looking.

Keep looking.

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Ryan Seacrest is now working for CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox — all 4 major networks

Ryan Seacrest is now working for CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox — all 4 major networks
Seacrest has signed a deal to host the CBS special “Fashion Rocks” while also extending his NBC Universal deal to continue on the E! red carpet and host various NBC specials. Add to that his “American Idol” on Fox commitment and his "New Year's Rockin’ Eve” job with ABC, and Seacrest now has deals with all four major networks. Seacrest, though, will stop contributing to “Today” and NBC Sports, though he may end up working on future Olympics.


“GMA” alum Joan Lunden reveals she's battling breast cancer
Lunden, who spoke about her diagnosis this morning on “Good Morning America," will be treated with  a lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiation.


“True Blood's" final season premiere up from last year
Sunday's episode attracted 4 million in its first airing.


“24: Live Another Day” essentially spoiled this week’s episode last week
Regular “24” fans knew what was going to happen, based on how last week’s episode ended.


“Web Therapy” books Lauren Graham, Dax Shepard, Calista Flockhart
Billy Crystal will also reprise his Season 3 role in Season 4.


ABC creates a 24-hour digital news channel for Apple TV
The app will feature a 24-hour video feed, eight hours of which will be filled with live video.


Pug dogs recreate “Game of Throne”
Introducing the Pugs of Westeros. PLUS: Watch "Grey Worm’s" music video.


Ice-T does the “D*ck Dance” for Conan
The "Call of Duty” “D*ck Dance."


“The Wolf of Wall Street’s PJ Byrne reuniting with Martin Scorsese on HBO
He’ll co-star in Scorsese’s Rock ’N’ Roll pilot.


Did Susan Lucci have Sarah Michelle Gellar fired from “All My Children”?
Kathy Griffin joked about the alleged firing at the Daytime Emmy Awards.


Poppy Montgomery’s former agents sue claiming she owes them for “Unforgettable”
Montgomery allegedly owes 10% of her Season 2 earnings.


Check out the “Sharknado” action figure
The Stylized Funko Pop figure will be available on July 7.


Happy 35th birthday, Mindy Kaling!
Here are 12 things we’ve learned from the Fox star this year.


“Survivor’s” Boston Rob & Amber welcome their 4th daughter
Adelina Rose joins Lucia, 4, Carina, 4 and 2-year-old Isabetta.

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<p>Monday&#39;s &quot;American Ninja Warrior&quot;</p>

Monday's "American Ninja Warrior"

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: 'American Ninja Warrior,' '24: Live Another Day' lead Monday

NBC's 'Ninja' is becoming a real Monday powerhouse

Fast National ratings for Monday, June 23, 2014.

"American Ninja Warrior" continues to develop as a summer hit for NBC, leading the network to a Monday win among young viewers, while "24: Live Another Day" dipped in the demo but rose overall, helping FOX win in total viewers.

Among other notables, FOX's "MasterChef" was down an insignificant amount, ABC's "Mistresses" was up an insignificant amount and The CW's "Beauty and the Beast" was generally insignificant (and down a hair in viewers).

On to the numbers...

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Review: '24: Live Another Day' - '7:00 PM - 8:00 PM'

Review: '24: Live Another Day' - '7:00 PM - 8:00 PM'

Jack assaults Margot's hideout, while Navarro makes travel plans

A quick review of last night's "24: Live Another Day" coming up just as soon as my name is just one word, like Madonna...

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Hulu won't rescue 'Community'

Hulu won't rescue “Community”
Hulu, seen as the only viable option for resurrecting the canceled NBC comedy, has abandoned talks for a 6th season, according to TV Line. But Sony Pictures Television hasn’t given up looking for a new home for “Community."

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Queen Elizabeth II visits 'Game of Thrones’' Iron Throne

Queen Elizabeth II visits “Game of Thrones’” Iron Throne
The Queen was greeted by several cast members during her visit to the Belfast, Northern Ireland set of the HBO series, including Lena Headey, Kit Harrington and Sophie Turner. The Queen did not, however, sit on the throne.

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Why 'Rising Star’s' live voting gimmick is flawed

Why “Rising Star’s” live voting gimmick is flawed
The interactive element doesn’t really give viewers a sense of connection to the show. PLUS: “Rising Star,” explained.


Lorraine Toussaint: I had a non-nudity rider in my “OITNB” contract, but I changed my mind
Toussaint talks about ultimately deciding to disrobe and show off her 50-something figure: "Well, this is what age does to you, and my darn sense of truthfulness and commitment to a character. I looked at that thing every which way to see, how can I camouflage it? How can I not show my tits? How can I not do this naked?” PLUS: 27 things revealed at “OITNB” press day.


Michelle Obama: My daughters watch E!
In promoting the National Summer Learning Day Fair in an E! interview, the First Lady said: "It's important. You guys have a viewership that needs to hear about this stuff. I know my kids like to watch you guys. "They're listening to you!"


Lisa Vanderpump returning to “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”
There had been speculation she wouldn’t be back for Season 5.


“24: Live Another Day” has been sensational with its focus on the “drone menace”
"The drone menace that drives this season's destruction machine turns out to be a far more provocative, morally complex delivery system than one might have expected of a show with this rightward rah-rah reputation,” says James Wolcott.


Ross Matthews will likely stay at E!, but “Hello Ross!” is likely done
Matthews’ Chelsea Handler-produced talk show looks like it’s going to end after two seasons, according to The Wrap. But because Russ just signed a two-year talent deal with E!, he’ll likely continue his other duties on the red carpet and on E! News.


Sitcoms promote a cynical view of love, university researchers find
University of Michigan researchers found that shows like “How I Met Your Mother” and “The Big Bang Theory” are more likely to have fans who don’t believe in the mushier aspects of love and romance.


“Game of Thrones” has boosted Northern Ireland’s economy
About 75% of the HBO series is filmed in Northern Ireland, which is why Queen Elizabeth II is visiting the set this week.


Meet the voices of the “Peanuts” specials
Here are interviews with the voice actors and actresses who’ve played the various Sally’s and Lucy’s in “Peanuts” specials.


TNT creates a pop-up “The Last Ship” art gallery
“Survival is an Art: The ‘Last Ship’ Experience” was a one-day event in NYC.


“Sherlock” competing as a TV movie is one of the many Emmy ballot oddities
Another oddity: Damian Lewis competing as a “Homeland” lead after appearing in a few episodes in Season 3.


CeeLo Green now starring on “The Good Life” on TBS
Cameras follow as CeeLo reunites with the Goodie Mob.


Borscht Belt veteran comic Freddie Roman joins Amazon’s Jewish country club comedy pilot
He’ll co-star with Paul Reiser, Jennifer Grey and Richard Kind in “Red Oaks."


Watch Howard Stern’s 60th birthday bash, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and featuring a slew of celebrities
David Letterman, Lena Dunham, Jimmy Fallon, David Spade, Seth Meyers, and Lorne Michaels were among those who paid tribute to the shock jock in January.


HBO’s “The Case Against 8” tells the story of how California’s gay marriage ban was overturned
Tonight’s documentary was a hit at Sundance.


Steve Rossi of “Ed Sullivan Show” staple Allen & Rossi dies
Rossi, 82, was also a regular on Johnny Carson’s “The Tonight Show” and “The Merv Griffin Show.”

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