Latest Blog Posts

<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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Starz renews 'Outlander' for Season 2

Starz renews "Outlander" for Season 2
The 2nd season order is for at least 13 episodes, down from this year's 16, and will be based on the 2nd novel in Diana Gabaldon's series, "Dragonfly in Amber."

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<p>The Killing</p>

The Killing

Credit: Netflix

Review: 'The Killing' concludes on Netflix, more miserable than ever

Linden and Holder start cracking up while investigating a military academy

Two weeks ago, Netflix released the fourth season — and what is allegedly the final season, though I have a hard time believing that, given history — of "The Killing," having revived the show after AMC canceled it for a second time. I have seen all six episodes, and while I already discussed it on this week's podcast, I had a few thoughts I wanted to write up, as well as provide a space for non-podcast listeners to weigh in on how they felt about the series' latest conclusion, with spoilers aplenty coming up just as soon as I’m somehow the most depressing character in a TV universe that also includes The Leftovers"...

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Recap: 'Big Brother' Thursday - Eighth Eviction and a Zombie Apocalypse for HoH
Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Big Brother' Thursday - Eighth Eviction and a Zombie Apocalypse for HoH

Did Nicole or Donny get to talk to Julie Chen tonight?

I don't want Donny *or* Nicole to go home.

So I'm not at all pleased with Thursday's (August 14) "Big Brother" elimination episode as we begin. 

Donny's just been playing the strangest of "Big Brother" games, winning key POV challenges and getting support from Frankie and Derrick on Team America, but in a House of alliances, he hasn't made any.

And Nicole has been excellent at winning Head of Household challenges, but not so effective at wielding her power. 

Let's see how things pan out on tonight's episode...

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<p>Abigail Spencer and Aiden Young in &quot;Rectify&quot;</p>

Abigail Spencer and Aiden Young in "Rectify"

Credit: Sundance

Review: 'Rectify' - 'Until You're Blue'

Daniel ponders exile while Tawney and Ted Jr. have it out

A quick review of tonight's "Rectify" coming up just as soon as I thought you'd be funnier...

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The Black Keys 'Weight of Love' video: Sexiest cult ever

The Black Keys 'Weight of Love' video: Sexiest cult ever

Hair braiding, jumping jacks and more sleepover camp rules

The Black Keys' new music video for "Weight of Love" features not just a cult, but the most beautiful cult in the land.

It's a all-female cult led by supermodel Lara Stone, featuring subdued activities that keeps the white-clad model cult members active without delving into the realm of actual "fun," like braiding hair, topless laundry, jumping jacks, bowing down and shucking corn. Mother Stone gets all aggro in a girl's face and is, like, thisclose to kissing her, too. It's basically a teen boy's half-formed wet dream set to an extended Nautica commercial, with Black Keys' Dan Auerbach's visage from their "Fever" video on the endcaps.

So maybe it Auerbach's dream? Hm. Theo Wenner, who directed the clip, also helmed "Fever," so maybe they're branding a new religion. Auerbach recently produced Lana Del Rey's new album, so I half expected her to be in this somber, sunlit mix.

"Weight of Love" has a nasty guitar solo and a long instrumental intro, one of the stronger tunes off of The Black Keys' latest album "Turn Blue."

Weight of Love from Theo Wenner on Vimeo.

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Michael J. Fox 'stunned' to learn of Robin Williams’ Parkinson’s Disease

Michael J. Fox “stunned” to learn of Robin Williams’ Parkinson’s Disease
"Pretty sure his support for our Fdn predated his diagnosis,” Fox tweeted. "A true friend; I wish him peace.” PLUS: Disney channels will show “Aladdin” this weekend in honor of Williams.

“Orange is the New Black” adds comedian Mike Birbiglia
He’s joining the cast of the Netflix series, but his role is being kept under wraps. PLUS: The real-life Alex Vause lands a book deal.

“The Walking Dead” creator says Daryl Dixon might be gay
Says Robert Kirkman: “All I can say is that it’s been discussed. We have very specific ideas  about Daryl’s sexuality (or the seeming lack thereof), and if there’s ever a quiet period in the show where he’s not consistently distracted  by crossbowing… we’ll tackle it in the show.”

Quit complaining and embrace Shark Week as if it was pro wrestling!
"Shark Week is lying to you, and that’s okay,” says G. Clay Whittaker. "Embrace the false information and have a little fun.”

Another “Doctor Who” episode has been leaked online
Does the BBC have a leaking problem?

Shonda Rhimes: "Owning Thursday night on ABC this fall is incredibly exciting!”
Rhimes talks to Marie Claire about her first job, her three offices and what beverages get her through the day.

Lee Tergesen goes from “The Americans” to “The Blacklist”
The former "Wayne's World" star will play Mary-Louise Parker’s husband on the NBC series.

“The Wire’s” David Simon weighs in on the events of Ferguson, Missouri
"The notion that police officers are entitled to anonymity after such an action is not merely anti-democratic; it is, in fact, totalitarian,” he says in a series of essays on his blog. PLUS: Did “Battlestar Galactica” warn about Ferguson?

Netflix announces standup specials for Chelsea Handler and Bill Cosby
Handler’s special will come two months after she leaves E!. Netflix will also show standup specials from Jim Jeffries and Chelsea Peretti.

Claim: Britain’s “Dancing with the Stars” may ban older dancers
A source tells The Sun, “Signing so-called ‘old duffers’ is a waste of time because they never have a chance of winning. They are never very good."

“SNL” alum Chris Kattan gets 3 years probation
Kattan was sentenced to driving under the influence of drugs and rear-ending a vehicle on the freeway.

Will Arnett launches his own production company, called Electric Avenue
Arnett has a first-look deal with CBS TV Studios.

Police raced to “Idol” alum Josh Gracin’s home after he posted an apparent suicide note to Facebook
The Season 2 finalist an ex-Marine was able to get in touch with the authorities, who conducted a welfare check at his home.

NFL Films to stop using film
Starting this season, NFL Films will shoot games using digital video cameras. Instead of shipping film across the country, footage can be sent electronically. PLUS: Ed Reed and Brandon Marshall join Showtime’s “Inside the NFL," which moves to Tuesdays.

Playing gay on “Graceland” was “the most challenging thing I’ve ever done in my life,” says Manny Montana
"When the idea was brought up to me, I was, like, yeah, that's a great story line, let's do it,” he says. “And then the week the episode was filmed, I got really scared. I called my acting teacher, my mom, my dad.”

Here is the average “SNL’s” casts age from each season
The 2008-09 had the highest average age at 36.3, while the 1982-83 cast was the youngest at an average age of 26.37.

“Grey’s Anatomy” Season 11 is being dubbed “The Year of Meredith”
Meredith won’t take a backseat in her marriage, which could end up causing strife in their relationship, says Shonda Rhimes. PLUS: Meredith is going to throw a monkey wrench into Alex and Jo’s relationship.

Watch Minkus on “Girl Meets World”
Cory Matthews’ “Boy Meets World” nemesis appears on Friday’s episode.

You can buy one of Jimmy Kimmel’s houses
The late-night star is selling one of his homes for $2.3 million.

A&E filming a marching band reality show at a historically black university
Alabama State University's Mighty Marching Hornets Marching Band will start filming on Monday.

Gilles Marini to guest on “The Mysteries of Laura”
It’s the first post-“Switched at Birth” gig for Marini.

“Once Upon a Time” reveals Season 4 details
The ABC drama also showed off more “Frozen” pics.

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Interview: Emmy-nominated composer Michael Price on scoring 'Sherlock'

What he learned from greats like Michael Kamen and Craig Armstrong

POZNAN, POLAND— Michael Price gets around. The British composer leaves Poznan today after being one of the featured speakers at the Transatlantyk Festival, a week-long event dedicated to film, music, and cuisine,  to head straight to Los Angeles for the Creative Arts Emmy Awards on Saturday (16).

Price is nominated for the first time for Outstanding music composition for a miniseries, movie or a special (original dramatic score) for “Sherlock,” the BBC  series he composes music for with David Arnold.  Price apprenticed with a number of composers, but he also worked as a music editor for years, on such films as “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “Love Actually,” and “Nanny McPhee.”

I hopped in a car with Price to interview him on our way to Transatlantyk’s closing gala.

You started as an assistant for the late composer Michael Kamen ("Brazil,""Band Of Brothers," "Lethal Weapon," "Mr. Holland's Opus"), who was a very passionate and emotional composer. What was the biggest thing you learned from him?

Michael was the ultimate tunes guy. He was about melody and it was quite in a way that sometimes the films weren’t big enough to contain what he wanted to say with them and the music that he wanted to write. Sometimes I would take sort of small detailed view of a scene and he would step back from it and try to write a theme that would play out right over the top of it and I don’t think I got that when I was his assistant. I was just like ‘C’mon, that’s where it stops.”  And he said, “No, it will be great.” And the older I get and the  further away I get from[my days with him], the more I’m in awe really of that melodic sense, and that sense of the glorious theme. And now I think in my own work, I do less, I just try to simply play the best tune I could make.

So what he taught you was to play up to your strengths?

Absolutely. And just to believe in the power of the melody. He worked with that sense of not a mechanical way to writing for films, but a glorious, open hearted way of doing it.

After Michael, you went to work with Craig Armstrong (“Love Actually,” "Romeo + Juliet," "The Incredible Hulk"), another very melodic composer. What did you learn from him?

I think Craig has the amazing ability to make the same instruments that everyone else is using sound like Craig Armstrong. I was trying to to work out why him doing orchestra or strings and piano sounded totally, immediately like Craig and why somebody else didn’t have that same character to them. I was fascinated to the extent where I did some transcriptions of his work to try to work out and came to the conclusion that every composer just has a DNA themselves and the way that they move from one note to another and all the tiny little choices that the make add up to them and you can’t reverse engineer it…

What’s your DNA?

I think I thought I was quite serious and then I did “The InBetweeners” and comedy after comedy after comedy, so I’m not really sure. In a way I try not to become self conscious about something like that. With “Sherlock,” it’s become so popular that the tunes that David and I originally wrote for it have sort of gone out from us and just become public  property now. They’re there for people to play on YouTube themselves and for people to do their own thing. When you carry on and do another [season] of it, if in any way become self conscious and are trying to work out what is the DNA of the music of “Sherlock” to try and replicate it, it makes for hard going.

“Sherlock” has so many quick cuts and is edited so interestingly visually. How does that affect how you and David score it?

There was an original pilot episode [that got scrapped]. A lot of the tunes that we wrote for the pilot stayed and it was clear that the speed of thought of Sherlock was driving the whole momentum of the show, really. It was trying to get inside his brain and kind of give the audience an experience of what it’s like to be with Sherlock when he’s doing it. But then when [new director] Paul McGuigan came on to direct the first series proper, rather than the pilot, he brought with him this incredible visual panache and flair and it’s stunning. So I think we developed the material from the pilot episode it was about trying to keep up and not artificially force the pace, but I guess it’s like surfing, you’ve got to catch the wave and just go with it, and on a good day, I think we did that.

You and Oscar winner Steven Price [for “Gravity”] were both music editors. How does that help you as a composer?

It’s sort of like an apprenticeship in the deepest. oldest sense. Being a music editor often means that you’re there right at the start and you’re there right at the end. You’re the last person to turn the lights off and close the door on the way out. I’m very happy that I’ve done both. I’m happy I was a music editor because it gives you an incredible technical background and a lot of  sense of structure and I’m really happy I’ve had people like Michael Kamen in my life,  which gave me a sense of melody. I think if you glue the two together, on a good day, it works well.


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Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' will have a trailer attached to 'Sin City 2' in theaters only
Credit: Quentin Tarantino

Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' will have a trailer attached to 'Sin City 2' in theaters only

But what's it going to show?

What is Quentin Tarantino up to?

Man, I would love it if he's been sneaking around and shooting a movie without telling anyone. I don't think that's what happened… but who knows? I think it's far more likely that what we've heard is correct. The shoot will happen in the spring, and we can count on seeing the film in time for the holiday season in 2015.

But let's pretend for a moment. After all, word is breaking that The Weinstein Company will have a nearly two-minute-long trailer for "The Hateful 8" attached to the front of "Sin City 2" when it hits theaters next week. It appears the plan is not to officially put it online.

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