Latest Blog Posts

Anna Kendrick gets a babysitting lesson in an exclusive clip from 'Happy Christmas'

Anna Kendrick gets a babysitting lesson in an exclusive clip from 'Happy Christmas'

Joe Swanberg's Sundance dramedy begins its rollout on July 25

Joe Swanberg is such a prolific one-man indie factory -- he's directed 16 features in nine years, believe it or not -- that it can be difficult to mentally separate each one of his films from the others. So while I can't name career highs with complete authority, I'm comfortable saying that "Happy Christmas" is easily my favorite of Swanberg's films to date: a big-hearted, precisely observed character piece that has the warmth and texture of actual cinema.

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George Lucas picks a Chicago site for his $700 million pop culture museum
Credit: AP Photo

George Lucas picks a Chicago site for his $700 million pop culture museum

San Francisco seems furious, but they had their chance

Oh, San Francisco, you had one job.

Hold on before you get worked up, though, folks. It's not like George Lucas just threw a dart to pick the spot to open his new museum. It sounds like he made a huge effort at opening a museum in San Francisco, but those efforts ended in frustration, and as a result, there will be a museum designed to hold Lucas's huge private collection of "illustrations, comic art, graphic art, animation, and other popular art forms," as The New York Times put it, and it will be in Chicago.

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Supreme Court rules against Aereo

Supreme Court rules against Aereo
The start-up streaming service violates copyright, the court ruled in a 6-3 decision that was a victory for big media.

Natasha Lyonne to guest on “Girls”
The "Orange Is the New Black” star will play a character named Rickey.

Michelle Fairley: “There are parallels” between my “24” and “Game of Thrones" characters
“I absolutely loved it,” she says of her “Live Another Day” role. "You don’t play a villain thinking she’s a villain. She was a very passionate, intelligent woman, and was 100 percent devoted to her cause."

“America’s Got Talent” tops Tuesday with a rerun of Sunday’s episode
Meanwhile, Heidi and Spencer’s “Wife Swap” episode was down 10% from last week’s edition.

Joel McHale: I’m surprised Hulu didn’t save “Community”
“Our ratings were good compared to the other NBC comedies,” McHale said last night as he was promoting his new movie. “After President Obama asked me if it was coming back or not at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, I really thought, ‘well this seems to be in the zeitgeist.’”

Watch the full “Nathan for You” Season 2 trailer
He’ll sell liquor to minors and advertise for pets at a pet cemetery this season.

It’s a “Facts of Life” reunion with Mrs. Garrett!
Lisa Whelchel posted an Instagram picture of her and Charlotte Rae, who’s now 88.

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<p>&quot;The Night Shift&quot;</p>

"The Night Shift"

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: NBC wins Tuesday but 'Celebrity Wife Swap' tops 'Night Shift' in the demo

CBS procedurals are a close second overall

Fast National ratings for Tuesday, June 24, 2014.

A 200th episode special for "America's Got Talent" delivered diminished numbers to NBC and contributed to another dip for "The Night Shift," though NBC still cruised to victory on Tuesday night.

Only CBS' procedural repeats came close to NBC overall and nothing could approach the network among young viewers, though ABC's "Celebrity Wife Swap" topped "The Night Shift" in the key demo.

On to the numbers...

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Diane Sawyer to step down as 'ABC World News' anchor; David Muir will replace her

Diane Sawyer to step down as “ABC World News” anchor; David Muir will replace her
Muir takes over Sept. 2, as Sawyer will transition to leading “new programming and “tackling big issues and extraordinary interviews,” ABC News said in a statement. In addition, George Stephanopoulos’ title will change to "Chief Anchor of ABC News.” PLUS: Stephanopoulos will become the lead anchor on all breaking news coverage.

MTV reviving “TRL” for 1 day with Ariana Grande
Grande will host “Total Ariana Live” on July 2.

Is “The View” dumping Jenny McCarthy? reports that McCarthy’s contract is unlikely to be renewed when it expires next month?

“Today” lands the 1st TV interview with Pippa Middleton
Matt Lauer’s interview with Kate Middleton’s sister airs next week.

A “Scandal" clothing line is coming to The Limited
Kerry Washington helped come up with the look of the clothing line with the show’s costume designer.

Conan O’Brien sends Triumph the Insult Comic Dog to roast World Cup fans
Watch Triumph make fun of Colombians and Greeks.

Meredith Vieira: My new daytime talk show will have bathroom “Stall Talk”
“One of the segments that we’re doing is called stall talk,” she tells Conan. “And I’m in one stall of a bathroom, and my guest is in the next stall.”

BBC News apologizes for “Game of Thrones” no-nudity “Breaking News” alert
"This was result of a testing error. The account has not been hacked,” says the BBC.

“Mr. Belding” to play a principal again on TV Land
“Saved by the Bell” alum Dennis Haskins will guest on “Jennifer Falls” as Jaime Pressly’s character’s former principal.

Viacom sued by a Spike TV “World’s Worst Tenants” extra
The extra claims the star of the reality show, Todd Howard, assaulted him during filming.

“Covert Affairs’” season premiere, explained
“We’re gonna be all over the place,” says the show’s exec producer.

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<p>The Leftovers</p>

The Leftovers

Credit: HBO

Review: HBO's 'The Leftovers' a tour de force of devastation and grief

Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta brilliantly adapt Perrotta's novel about a Rapture-like event

What divine madness could have possibly compelled Damon Lindelof to involve himself with "The Leftovers"?

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Credit: Sony Pictures

Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf are dogs of war in tense first trailer for 'Fury'

David Ayer's WWII drama looks as high-octane as you might expect

Well, when the teaser poster for "Fury" debuted online yesterday, we knew a trailer couldn't be far behind -- so here it is. And from this two-minute glimpse, it looks to be very much the vision of war we were expecting from writer-director David Ayer: not exactly innovative, but as stern, purposeful and high-octane as the contemporary cop dramas on which he built his reputation. Brad Pitt appears to be on imposingly brutish form, but this looks like a relatively generous ensemble piece.

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Legendary 'The Good The Bad & The Ugly' star Eli Wallach passes away at 98
Credit: MGM/UA Home Video

Legendary 'The Good The Bad & The Ugly' star Eli Wallach passes away at 98

We look back at his amazing legacy

98 years old.

Remarkable. I can't imagine making it to 98. I can't imagine the breadth of life experience you could have in that amount of time. Eli Wallach leaves behind a truly great filmography and a family life that is enviable, having been married to the same woman, Anne Jackson, since 1948. She had a hell of a filmography herself, and they had three children together. I am in awe of anyone who can build a life that solid for that long, never mind someone who works in the film industry, where relationships are, at best, impermanent, and at worst, inconsequential.

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'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' alum dies in trail derailment

"Survivor: Blood vs. Water" alum dies in trail derailment
Caleb Bankston, who competed on the CBS reality show last year with his fiance Colton Cumbie, died when the train he was on derailed on Tuesday. He was 26.

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Credit: FX

Series premiere talkback: 'Tyrant' - 'Pilot'

What did everybody think of the new FX drama?

Yesterday, I published my review of FX's "Tyrant." (And Fienberg wrote at length about the problematic bit of casting at the center of the show.) Now, it's your turn. For those who watched the pilot tonight, what did you think? Does the setting intrigue you? Did you react strongly to any of the characters? How did you feel about Adam Rayner as Barry/Bassam? About his wife and kids? And will you watch again?

Have at it. This is one I don't expect to be writing about again.

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NBC: We don’t ban ads containing the word 'abortion'

NBC: We don’t ban ads containing the word “abortion”
The Peacock addressed the “Obvious Child” controversy, saying no final ad was for the movie was submitted for TV broadcast. But NBC admits mistakenly asking to remove the “abortion” word from an online ad, which again is not company policy.

Ian Somerhalder testifies before Congress
“The Vampire Diaries” star was testifying on behalf of endangered animal species.

Lifetime’s “Saved by the Bell” movie casts Mr. Belding
Does actor Ken Tremblett resemble Dennis Haskins?

L.A.’s share of total pilot production falls below 50% for the 1st time ever
Los Angeles retained only 90 pilot projects out of 203 this past season.

Jennie Garth: CW’s “90210” cast lacked chemistry
“That’s an example of a cast that really didn’t have that chemistry,” says the former “Beverly Hills 90210” star. “It’s hard to find actors who have that.”

LeVar Burton has reached nearly $4 million of his (new) $5 million “Reading Rainbow” goal
Burton has just seven days left in his Kickstarter campaign.

Old Navy teams with Jimmy Kimmel on a flip-flop marketing campaign
A “Jimmy Kimmel Live” skit airing Thursday will be used by Old Navy and its social media channels.

“Hell on Wheels” had to cast a new bride after losing her to “Black Box”
Canadian MacKenzie Porter will take over the role as Cullen’s bride in Season 4.

Chris Harrison may write a book, but not a “Bachelor” tell-all
Harrison says he’s received many book proposals, but a new one is “the first time I've actually taken it serious. So we'll see. We'll see."

Electronic dance musician Steve Aoki spoofs “Breaking Bad” in his new music video
Its title: “Free the Madness.” PLUS: “Malcolm in the Middle’s” Frankie Muniz tweets: "Looking for Walter White...I mean my dad, I mean @BryanCranston as I drive through Albuquerque, NM."

Rachelle Lefevre delivers an “Under the Dome”-themed Letterman Top 10
"Top Ten Questions People Ask Me About The Dome."

On the “Girls” set, Lena Dunham and Gillian Jacobs look alike
See what the “Girls” star and the “Community” star were wearing today.

“Sons of Anarchy” actor releases his 1st novel
Walter Wong, who plays V-Lin on the FX series, has written a debut novel based on his struggles with addiction.

BET in lawsuit over “The Game’s” 6 million Facebook Likes
Did the network steal the Facebook page for the sitcom?

Jay Leno didn’t put on enough standup comics — that’s why he doesn’t deserve the Mark Twain Award for Humor
“Beyond peddling rimshots and tossing softballs for 21 years, Leno simply hasn't contributed much” to comedy, argues Liz Shannon Miller.

“Seinfeld’s” John O’Hurley lands a job on The Broadway Channel
He'll host “What’s Hot on Broadway.”

“Covert Affairs” returns with “a bit of a reset”
"Annie and Auggie will always be in one another’s lives, but very early in the first episode, we’ll get some clarity as to where they’re going to be and where they’re headed,” says exec producer Matt Corman.

Diego Klattenhoff hasn’t watched “Homeland” Season 3, doesn’t think he’ll return
"The Blacklist” star, who played Mike Faber on the first two seasons of the Showtime series, says: "Brody's dead and I think they've moved on.”

“Chronicle’s” Alex Russell to star in “Galyntine:” on AMC
He’ll play an orphan named Roman in the postapocalyptic drama.

“Looney Tunes” was more violent than you remember
The cartoon had a blasé approach to suicide by gun and murder. PLUS: What Nicktoons characters would look like if Hollywood rebooted them.

PBS’ "Freedom Summer” tells the  story of the 1964 voting rights fight
Tonight’s “American Experience” is gripping.

Noah Wyle weds
The “Falling Skies” star and “ER” alum married actress Sara Wells earlier this month.

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Ridley Scott's Matt Damon-starring adaptation of 'The Martian' may be his next film
Credit: Sony Pictures

Ridley Scott's Matt Damon-starring adaptation of 'The Martian' may be his next film

Simon Kinberg suggests a timeline for the big-screen version of the Andy Weir book

I'm confused. Is Ridley Scott making the "Prometheus" sequel for a 2016 release, or is he making "The Martian," with Matt Damon starring in the Drew Goddard adaptation of the book by Andy Weir? We've heard several possibilities, but according to Simon Kinberg, a producer on "The Martian," it appears that a choice has been made. The comments were made during a podast appearance with Jeff Goldsmith.

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