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Sam Smith

Sam Smith totally owns Whitney Houston's 'How Will I Know': Listen

It's a new classic to go with the original classic

Sam Smith, whose “In The Lonely Hour,” came out this Tuesday, has been on the promotion circuit this week. In addition to playing his own songs during a stop at Sirius XM, he covered Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know.” And when we say “covered,” we mean “owned.”

He took her early, peppy hit and turned it into a heartbreaking ballad of uncertainty, longing, and with just the right amount of ache. Accompanied only by a keyboard, his restrained version upends the original. So now we have Houston's incomparable, exuberant original to make us smile and dance and Smith's rendition to make our bottom lip tremble a little. If you want a little more delicious synchronicity, both Houston and Smith were 22 when they recorded their versions of the song.

This is how you do a cover, folks…

 

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Rosario Dawson joins Netflix’s 'Daredevil'

Rosario Dawson joins Netflix’s “Daredevil”
Her exact role hasn’t been revealed, but Netflix says she’ll play a “dedicated young woman whose quest to heal the wounds of Hell’s Kitchen brings Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) unexpectedly crashing into her life, while her own journey forever alters the course of his battle against the injustices of this broken city.”


“Breaking Bad” director is taking over the “Star Wars” franchise
Rian Johnson, who directed three memorable “Breaking Bad” episodes — “Fly,” “Fifty-One” and “Ozymandias” — will replace J.J. Abrams as writer and director of "Star Wars" Episodes VIII and IX.

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<p>Ava DuVernay and David Oyelowo</p>

Ava DuVernay and David Oyelowo

Credit: AP Photo

Oprah Winfrey-produced 'Selma' moves to Christmas just in time for the Oscar game

Paramount has another player for the upcoming circuit

I had been sitting back wondering whether Ava DuVernay's "Selma" would be ready in time for this year's upcoming awards season. Paramount already has a couple of things to play with, from Jason Reitman's "Men, Women & Children" to Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar." Well, add another, as DuVernay's film has just been slated for a Christmas Day limited release.

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NBC’s Beatles miniseries hits a snag

NBC’s Beatles miniseries hits a snag
The Peacock hasn’t secured likeness rights of the Fab Four, or music rights to The Beatles catalogue. NBC will also have to contend with another Beatles project that Sony is developing for cable TV.


“The Simpsons” books Will Forte
He’ll play the owner of King Toot’s Music Store.


“Freaks and Geeks” creator Paul Feig has released his character bible
“The bible for 'Freaks and Geeks' was for the executives, of course, but I mostly wrote it for me,” Feig explains in this excerpt from the book "Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations With Today’s Top Comedy Writers."


Mindy Kaling pitches app ideas in a speech at “Made With Code” event
Kaling’s ideas include “What’s His Deal?” and “Shazam for Perfumes!”


A dictionary has added “New Girl’s” tagline “adorkable”
Collins English Dictionary defines the word, coined by a Fox exec, as "socially inept or unfashionable in a charming or endearing way."


“The Killing” sweaters are up for auction on eBay
You can own the sweater worn by Rosie Larsen. PLUS: Read a preview of “The Killing” prequel novel.

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Tracy Morgan out of the hospital, transferred to a rehab center

Tracy Morgan out of the hospital, transferred to a rehab center
Morgan's publicist released a statement today saying: "While he is continuing to show signs of improvement, he still has a long way to go."


Samantha Harris may need chemo after her cancer spreads
Says the former “Dancing with the Stars” co-host, who underwent a mastectomy: "If I need it, I will take a deep breath and readjust my focus."


Report: NBC declined to air “Obvious Child” ads because they contained the word “abortion”
Page Six reports that NBC turned down the ad, while NBC says it never received the proposed commercial.


Adam Richman apologizes for calling a woman the C-word on Instagram
The “Man Vs. Food” star got in a fight on social media.


Sasha Obama is the latest Obama daughter to visit a TV show set
The 13-year-old Sasha got to meet the cast of “Pretty Little Liars” — but she didn’t have to fetch coffee, unlike her sister Malia on the set of “Extant.”


Allison Janney won 2 Critics’ Choice TV Awards -- and told an orgasm joke in each acceptance speech
Janney won awards for “Mom” and “Masters of Sex.” PLUS: Watch Matthew McConaughey’s befudding Critics' Choice TV Awards lecture.


Amazon orders “Really” comedy pilot starring Jay Chandrasekhar, Sarah Chalke, Selma Blair
Lindsay Sloane and Rob Delaney also star in the comedy about four hard-charging couples in Chicago.


“Royal Pains” books Cheyenne Jackson
He’ll play the owner of a perfumery in the Hamptons.


Could “Enlisted” survive elsewhere?
Why the Fox military sitcom’s final episode, airing Sunday, may not be the last we see of it.


“Rookie Blue” returns down, about 1 million watched the Critics’ Choice TV Awards
Season 5 of “Rookie Blue” was down slightly from its Season 4 premiere.


“Looking” is set to get 2 extra episodes in Season 2
According to TV Line, Season 2 will consist of 10 episodes, up from Season 1’s eight episodes.


“Storage Wars” auctioneer Dan Dotson suffered a double brain aneurysm
Dotson underwent a successful surgery on Tuesday after behaving bizarrely on Monday.


J. August Richards joins “The Lottery” on Lifetime
The former “Angel” star will play the deputy secretary of state on the post-apocalyptic drama.


Jimmy Kimmel gets a 6-year-old girl to give him parenting advice
“I suggest you start changing the diaper” was her biggest piece of advice.


Matt Lauer wore a shorts suit on “Today”
Lauer was just demonstrating the latest in guy’s style this morning.

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<p>Missy Peregrym of &quot;Rookie Blue&quot;</p>

Missy Peregrym of "Rookie Blue"

Credit: ABC

TV Ratings: 'Big Bang' repeat, rising 'Hell's Kitchen' lead Thursday split

'Rookie Blue' premiere puts ABC in a close second overall

Fast National ratings for Thursday, June 19, 2014.

A solid week-to-week bump for "Hell's Kitchen" helped FOX win Thursday night among young viewers, while the night's overall leader continued to be CBS, powered by a "Big Bang Theory" repeat.

Among other notables, "Hell's Kitchen" helped "Gang Related" post a tiny gain as the drama tied with NBC's dipping "Undateable."

Meanwhile, ABC's "Rookie Blue" returned with soft demo numbers, but a solid overall audience and The CW also got OK returns for the Critics' Choice TV Awards.

On to the numbers...

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<p>Enlisted</p>

Enlisted

Credit: FOX

Why I'm not ready to say goodbye to 'Enlisted' yet

FOX airs the military comedy's final episode on Sunday night, but it deserves more

It's funny, the things you get caught up in on this job sometime. This morning, I sat down to write my review of Sunday's episode of "Enlisted." Part of that process involved writing a headline in our publishing system, and that in turn required me to decide if I wanted to refer to the next episode as the season finale or the series finale.

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

Orange Is the New Black

Credit: Netflix

Review: 'Orange Is the New Black' - 'Low Self-Esteem City/You Also Have a Pizza'

Gloria and Poussey get flashbacks, Piper starts a newspaper, and Caputo's band has a gig

Continuing our periodic look at "Orange Is the New Black" season 2, I have a review of episodes 5 and 6 coming up just as soon as the song is a metaphor about my vasectomy reversal...

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<p>&quot;Inside Out&quot;</p>

"Inside Out"

Credit: Pixar Animation Studios

Pixar's 'Inside Out' has strong personal and emotional origins for director Pete Docter

Footage and story details of the 2015 film were unveiled a year out from release

LOS ANGELES — For the first time in nearly a decade, Pixar Animation Studios is taking the year off. The Emeryville-Calif.-based company will not be releasing a film in 2014, and it also finds itself in an interesting position, striving to maintain its identity as a haven for bold original visions while at the same time seeing some of its biggest successes inevitably move into franchise and sequel terrain. Wednesday night representatives of the studio took over a theater in West Hollywood's Directors Guild of America (DGA) headquarters to present materials from one such original vision from "Monsters, Inc." and "Up" director Pete Docter: "Inside Out."

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2014 Emmy Nomination Contenders - Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

2014 Emmy Nomination Contenders - Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Jim Parsons looks strong, but will Andy Samberg challenge him?

Reminder: For our annual Emmy contenders coverage, Sepinwall does his personal preferences, while I handicap mostly in terms of likelihood of landing nominations. As usual, the first six slides in each gallery are my nomination predictions. The next eight or nine slides are the actors and shows most likely to sneak in, based on precedent, quality or something nebulous. And then at the end of each gallery, I tend to throw in a couple oddballs who have no chance at all of being nominated, but who I think deserve to be a part of the conversation, or might accidentally become part of the conversation, just because.

Our next category:

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY

This is a weak field. Louis C.K. is Louis C.K. and I'll always express admiration for what Jim Parsons does on "Big Bang Theory," but otherwise you're looking at two Showtime stars who are favorites at least 75 percent by default and then your choice of decently regarded parts on shows very few people watched, well-regarded performances on shows that nobody watched or contenders who are only here because they won Emmys for better shows years ago. This is what happens when the stars of "Modern Family" are all "supporting" and the stars of the year's best new comedy, "Orange Is The New Black," are all women. This is a category that either needs an infusion of good new product next year or else needs voters to actually watch Andy Daly in "Review."

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<p>Chris Meloni in &quot;Surviving Jack.&quot;</p>

Chris Meloni in "Surviving Jack."

Credit: FOX

If I Had An Emmy Ballot 2014: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Which new shows make the cut?

The Television Academy of Arts & Sciences released this year's Emmy ballots last week. Now that the ballots are out, it's time for our annual two-pronged experiment, in which Dan tries to predict the likeliest nominees in each major category, while I pretend that I'm an actually TV Academy member and pick the six nominees that would make me the happiest.

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'Breaking Bad,' 'Orange is the New Black,' 'Fargo' win Critics’ Choice Television Awards

“Breaking Bad,” “Orange is the New Black,” “Fargo" win Critics’ Choice Television Awards
They were named the best drama, comedy and miniseries, respectively. PLUS: Sarah Silverman ticks off Mark Burnett while sarcastically presenting the reality TV award.

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