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Review: Michael Fassbender's performance anchors the eccentric 'Frank'
Credit: Magnolia Pictures

Review: Michael Fassbender's performance anchors the eccentric 'Frank'

True life is just the jumping-off point for this one

It's safe to say that I won't see anything else like "Frank" this year, because I don't think there's a chance anyone's going to make anything else like "Frank" this year.

Written by Jon Ronson and Peter Straughan, who previously collaborated on the adaptation of Ronson's book "The Men Who Stared At Goats," this is the story of an ambitious young musician named Jon (Domhnall Gleeson) who is struggling to define his own voice as a songwriter. He crosses paths with Soronprfbs, a very strange band as he watches their keyboardist try to drown himself, and thanks to that meltdown, Jon is given a chance to play with them.

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Report: Robin Williams 'was struggling' on 'The Crazy Ones' set

Report: Robin Williams “was struggling” on “The Crazy Ones” set
A source tells People magazine: "We knew he was struggling. We were doing a scene, and it was just off. I looked over at him, and in that moment, his face changed. He looked so exhausted and profoundly, deeply sad. And then one minute later he pulled himself back together, and he nailed the scene. He had a depth; that's where the darkness came from, but there was just so much there."

Paul Ryan quit watching “House of Cards” over Frank Underwood’s “reprehensible” affair
The former Republican vice presidential candidate tells Parade: “I watched the first couple of episodes until he cheated on his wife with that reporter. It turned my stomach so much that I just couldn’t watch it anymore. His behavior was so reprehensible, and it hit too close to home because he was a House member, that it just bothered me too much. And what I thought is, it makes us all look like we’re like that."

“House of Cards’” Frank Underwood calls Hillary Clinton as Bill Clinton
Watch the Clinton Foundation “House of Cards”-style 68th birthday present to the real former president.

Connie Nielsen joins “The Good Wife”
She’ll recur as an attorney with Cook County connections starting with Episode 4.

Craig Ferguson’s proposed new talk show would film in his current studio
In fact, the show would look a lot like the current “Late Late Show,” especially with Robot Skeleton Geoff Peterson coming aboard.

“Lisa Simpson” getting “Revenge”
“The Simpsons” star Yeardley Smith will join Victoria as a fellow mental patient in the season premiere.

Why is "Gross TV” all the rage?
“The Knick” and “Outlander” are the latest in a spate of new TV shows that are becoming grosser and grosser. As Tim Goodman notes, "Boundaries need to be pushed in such a crowded landscape. But violence and decay can't make or break a series; wince-inducing shock can't be the selling point. With so much competition, the rush to outgross the grossest can't possibly last. Nor should it.”

“Game of Thrones” is still hugely popular among illegal downloaders
Two months after the season finale, the HBO series is illegally downloaded 300,000 a day. PLUS: United States map shows each state’s favorite show to download illegally.

Fox will donate money to charity if you share “Red Band Society” promos on social media
Fox will donate $1 to various charities if you share videos, photos and gifs tied to the children’s hospital drama.

Neil Patrick Harris has only been watching “Big Brother” as he wraps up "Hedwig and the Angry Inch”
“I can't stop watching it, I don’t know what it is . . . It’s like an unhealthy relationship,” he says.

A medical historian takes issue with “The Knick”
The University of Michigan’s Howard Markel, a physician who specializes in medical history from 1870 to 1920, says the events of the Cinemax series takes place over decades. “Conflating medical and surgical history in the 1870s, 1880s, 1890s and  1900s is the medical-historical equivalent to conflating the Middle Ages to colonial America to the Civil War,” he says.

Nicollette Sheridan denied retrial in “Desperate Housewives” termination case
The 2nd District Court of Appeal overturned a decision by a judge to retry the case.

John Oliver’s “magic”: “Last Week Tonight” is beating apathy by making people care about complicated issues
As Terrance Ross points out, "It’s been only 14 episodes so far (the show is slated for 19 this season) but the 'Last Week Tonight' team has found a way to take a seemingly complicated issue, remove the talking points and cultural baggage surrounding it, break it into understandable parts—and then slowly rebuild it. It’s an ingenious formula that’s making a difference in the real world.”

Here’s the “Scooby-Doo” van Chris Pratt lived in when he was in Maui
"That is the van I lived in!!! In my hand is the script for the movie that got me out of Maui. Crazy,” says Pratt, who waited tables at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company when he was discovered by Rae Dawn Chong.

“The Shield’s” Michael Jace pleads not guilty to killing his wife
Jace also waived his rights to a preliminary trial.

Miranda Otto added to HBO’s “Westworld”
The "Lord of the Rings” alum is the latest big name to join the HBO pilot.

Comic-Con’s hologram Homer Simpson leads to lawsuit
20th Century Fox is accused of not getting a license on the patented technology used to show a hologram Homer.

Presenting the 16 most important moments in Naked TV
GQ counts them down, from “Sideboob pioneer” Pamela Anderson on “Baywatch” to David Cross on “Arrested Development.” PLUS: Krysten Ritter on how to be naked but secretly not naked on TV.

Amazon developing biblical drama “Promised Land”
The proposed series would tackle the book of Joshua through the eyes of two brothers.

Are there too many red carpets?
The current glut of awards shows has made many celebrities "fashion perps and exotic pets—clickbait snack meats,” says Vanity Fair.

Ellen Pompeo: “Grey’s Anatomy” won’t send Meredith to Washington because it would interfere with the “Scandal” universe
She points out that Meredith’s dead parents, played by Kate Burton and Jeff Perry, are still living on “Scandal.” PLUS: Julia Roberts gives Olivia Pope a shout-out.

“Lost’s” Patrick Fischler is joining “Shameless”
He’ll play a "middle-class man going to extraordinary lengths to keep his deceased son alive in spirit."

Here are 20 future stars who appeared on “Friends”
From Dakota Fanning to Craig Robinson to Ellen Pompeo.

CW’s “The Messengers” books “Homeland’s” Navid Negahban and “True Blood’s” Lauren Bowles
He’ll play a Middle Eastern prime minister, while she’ll play a senator.

Watch a new “Homeland” teaser
Including the addition of Corey Stoll in Season 4.

How GoPro has helped the Shark Week-filming process
GoPros have been put inside a shark’s mouth, and 20 of them were used to film the hunting behavior of great white sharks.

MTV’s VMAs adds a new category: Best Lyric Video
Lyric videos are supposed to emphasize the words in songs, but aren’t four of the five nominees regular music videos?

Ariana Grande found her Nickelodeon experience “frustrating”
"For a long time I was attached to a character that was nothing like myself,” says the former star of “Victorious” and “Sam & Cat." "It was a little frustrating.”

“Saved by the Bell’s” Principal Belding is good friends with Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo
Turns out actor Dennis Haskins, who was spotted Thursday at Cowboys training camp, is also tight with Dez Bryant and former Cowboy Terrell Owens.

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Report: Craig Ferguson is poised to host a 7 pm talk show on Tribune stations

Report: Craig Ferguson is poised to host a 7 pm talk show on Tribune stations
Variety reports that the outgoing "Late Late Show” host is in “final negotiations” to host a syndicated talk show for Tribune Media that would be shown at 7 pm across the Tribune station group. Premiering in fall 2015, Ferguson’s new show would also retain his current executive producer, Michael Naidus.

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Katherine Heigl’s 'State of Affairs' showrunner exits

Katherine Heigl’s “State of Affairs” showrunner exits
Ed Bernero is leaving the NBC drama over creative differences with fellow executive producer Joe Carnahan, but the exit has nothing to do with Heigl, according to Entertainment Weekly.

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Uncanceled Showdown Round 2 pits 'Firefly' vs 'Terminator' and 'Deadwood' vs 'Rome'

Uncanceled Showdown Round 2 pits 'Firefly' vs 'Terminator' and 'Deadwood' vs 'Rome'

'Pushing Daisies' vs 'Jericho' makes for another tight matchup

It's time for Round 2 of HitFix's Uncanceled Showdown.

We launched the first round last week, featuring 32 shows that we felt ended prematurely, either One Season Wonders or Unfinished Multi-Season Runs. [And yes, we left out a lot of your favorite truncated shows. Guess what? We can do this again!]

That first round generated over 400,000 votes. 

Some of the results were predictable. Sorry, "Borgias," but "Firefly" got 97 percent of the vote in that round. Yes. 97 percent. 

Some of the results were a little less predictable. I'd figured that "Moonlight" might have enough fan juice to withstand the recency bias of "Almost Human," but I was wrong. And "Terra Nova" was a show that wasn't necessarily a popular inclusion, but it knocked off cult favorite "Wonderfalls."

If tournaments are well-seeded, first round match-ups are sometimes less competitive and then things start getting tough and there are some fantastic match-ups in the second round.

"Pushing Daisies" and "Jericho" got nearly identical vote totals in the first round, so we'll see whether pies or nuts reign in Round 2.

"Firefly" has the power of the Whedon Empire, but there's no way it's going to get 97 percent of the vote against "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles," which ended with one of the most infuriating and intriguing twists of any show in recent memory. 

You'll also have a tough choice between a girl who talks to God and a woman who talks to Log and between a pair of profane HBO period dramas.

So go vote for your favorites. Voting for this round ends on August 18.

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Exclusive: Find 'Game of Thrones' Rose Leslie in the stars of new 'Honeymoon' poster

Exclusive: Find 'Game of Thrones' Rose Leslie in the stars of new 'Honeymoon' poster

Something happened in the woods and its not good

Something happened to Rose Leslie in the woods and it's not good.

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Macklemore and Fences get shot in in 'Arrows' video

Macklemore and Fences get shot in in 'Arrows' video

What kind of zoo animal are you?

Fences and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have released the very colorful video for the collaborative song "Arrows," featuring the popular Grammy Award-winning MC getting shot.

As I mentioned in the writeup for the new single, Seattle-based Macklemore is obviously wrestling with the aftermath of his rapid rise in fame, following the runaway hits off of his and Lewis' album "The Heist."

In the clip, he's seen making a plunge off of a high dive into a swimming pool, its surface brandishing the covers of Rolling Stone magazine which pimp his very visage. He's also presented as an animal in a roving zoo, with reporters clicking his photo and then leaving after he gets shot.

It's true, we kill the ones we love. Fame is fleeting. Be careful out there. Also, it's really rude to spy on undressed ladies in their apartment with binoculars, don't do it.

"Arrows" is off of Fences new album "Lesser Oceans," out Oct. 14.

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James Belushi to star in David Simon’s HBO miniseries

James Belushi to star in David Simon’s HBO miniseries
He’ll play the six-term former mayor of Yonkers in “Show Me a Hero," joining “Oz” alum Terry Kinney and Michael Stahl-David.

Al Gore sues Al Jazeera for fraud
The former VP claims Al Jazeera owes him tens of millions for the sale of Current TV.

MTV’s “Scream” adds 4 more actors, including one recasting
Bex Taylor-Klaus replaces the previously announced Amy Forsyth.

Amy Poehler wears a wig for Old Navy ads
Check her out as an art critic.

“Futurama” gets a 3D makeover
Russian artist Alexy Sakharov decided to create a 3D model of the former cartoon series.

“The Dovekeepers” casts Diego Boneta
The “90210” vet will join “NCIS” star Cote de Pablo on the CBS miniseries.

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<p>Breaking Bad</p>

Breaking Bad

Credit: AMC

Emmy Predictions 2014: Outstanding comedy/drama writing

'Ozymandias' the best drama script, but will vote-splitting give 'True Detective' a win?

Because it's NBC's turn to air the Primetime Emmy Awards this year, and because the Peacock would understandably rather air its lucrative Sunday night NFL package in September, the ceremony will take place in late August again. And as an added wrinkle, this year's ceremony will actually happen on a Monday, August 25 at 8 p.m., with Seth Meyers hosting.

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'Doctor Who' opts to use a fan-made opening sequence

“Doctor Who” opts to use a fan-made opening sequence
"Our beautiful new title sequence, it’s absolutely stunning, is online ‘Doctor Who’ fandom," says Steven Moffat, who was impressed by professional motion graphics creator Billy Hanshaw’s Peter Capaldi opening. PLUS: Cyberman joins Peter Capaldi in NYC.

E!’s “The Royals” casts Joan Collins as Elizabeth Hurley’s mother
The 81-year-old Collins will guest as the Grand Duchess of Oxford, who is the mother of Hurley’s Queen Helena.

“Grey’s Anatomy” stars take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
Seven cast members were drenched themselves with ice water while wearing scrubs. PLUS: Conan O’Brien tries to scam the ice bucket challenge.

Conan O’Brien tries to scam the ice bucket challenge
Watch Conan use plastic ice before getting soaked for real.

“Breaking Bad” and “Game of Thrones” are having an impact on UK baby names
Last year, 72 baby girls were born with the name Skyler, while there were 11 Theons and six Tyrions.

Check out the failed pilot "Not Another High School Show” — starring Jennifer Lawrence and Alison Brie
Comedy Central made the pilot in the late 2000s with writer Mike Bender based on the success of “Not Another Teen Movie.” “Community” star Brie plays Muffy the Vampire Slayer.

Aubrey Plaza writes about life without a smartphone... for 3 hours
Read the “Parks and Rec” star’s piece she wrote for The Daily Beast.

“Last Comic Standing” ends the season on a high note
About 4.9 million tuned in, the NBC reality show’s best ratings since its season premiere.

Eddie Izzard to star in Sony Playstation’s “Powers”
He’ll be joined by Noah Taylor and Olesya Rulin, playing Wolfe, the bogeyman of the Powers universe.

“The Simpsons” releases a biblical, sci-fi promo for its FXX 552-episode marathon
“The Simpsons” are going interstellar.

“Castle" teases Season 7
“He’s not in the car!”

Patricia Arquette will be back on “CSI” before “CSI: Cyber” premieres
She’ll reprise her role as Special Agent Avery Ryan in a Nov. 2 episode.

NFL Network’s Rich Eisen gets his own DirecTV show
Like fellow former ESPN-er Dan Patrick, Eisen will essentially have a radio show on TV.

Yahoo teases new “Community” with old footage
Here is the first teaser for Season 6.

Jessa Duggar is engaged
The "19 Kids & Counting” star held hands with her future husband for the first time last night after getting engaged.

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<p>&quot;Last Comic Standing&quot;</p>

"Last Comic Standing"

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: 'Last Comic Standing' finale rises as 'Big Brother' leads CBS Thursday

FOX's 'Gang Related' finale is up from last week's low-rated episode

Fast National ratings for Thursday, August 14, 2014.

NBC got a big bump for the season finale of "Last Comic Standing," but still couldn't top CBS, which rode a strong "Big Brother" performance to Thursday wins in all measures.

FOX's "Gang Related" finale was also up from last week, though last week's numbers were depressed by NFL preemptions and "Gang Related" was closer to flat with recent regular airings.

And over on ABC, "The Quest" dropped a little in the key demo, "NY Med" was flat and "Rookie Blue" was up a hair. Since ABC had the NFL preseason preemption in Chicago, adjust expectations accordingly. [NBC had the NFL preemption in Jacksonville, but... come on. That's not causing a big impact. Sorry, Jaguars fans.]

On to the numbers...

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Starz gives 'Outlander' a swift Season 2 renewal
Credit: Starz

Starz gives 'Outlander' a swift Season 2 renewal

Adaptation of 'Dragonfly in Amber' will be at least 13 episodes

After a successful premiere week drawing 5 million viewers across all platforms, as well as some of the strongest reviews in network history, "Outlander" has received a predictably speedy renewal from Starz.

Starz announced on Friday (August 15) morning that "Outlander" has been picked up for a second season, based on the second book in Diana Gabaldon's series of best-selling novels "Dragonfly in Amber."

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