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Chris Brown

5 things we learned about Chris Brown from his new Billboard interview

Hey, people, he's only human

Chris Brown is one of those artists that seems to be made of teflon. No matter how many transgressions he commits, his largely female fan base not only continues to support him, but vigorously defends his tarnished honor, radio stations continue to play his music, he continues to get nominated for awards (including Grammys), and sell concert tickets.

After reading his cover story in Billboard, out today, I think I know why. Part of it is his ability to put himself forth— if not as the victim— as someone who these bad things just seem to happen to. He keeps saying he wants to be a better man, but his words don’t seem to lead to better actions for long periods of time. Nor do his words seem to indicate that he fully grasps the depth of some of his misdeeds. Maybe that’s because other than going to jail (not to make that sound like a picnic), there’s not a lot of fall out for his bad behavior. He seems to pick up right where he left off career-wise every time. He comes out with his new album, “X,” on Sept. 16. “Loyal,” the latest single from that effort, peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100.  

Here are five things we learned about Brown from Billboard’s cover story:

1. He’s only human. He likes to say that a lot. Three times in the interview, he brings it up. In a Sept. 4 statement to Billboard (as a response to the shootings at the pre-VMA party he hosted and other events since the interview was conducted in mid-August), he didn’t answer the question, he simply said “I can only say that I am only human and I have made mistakes.” When asked what lesson he learned from being in jail (he served 108 days earlier this year for violating his parole), he replied, “Realizing I’m human like everyone else.” Asked to define redemption, he answered, in part, “Know that you’re human.”….

2. If he couldn’t make music or dance, he’d stay in the arts. “I would be somewhere in the industry, but not necessarily around music,” he says. “It would be more like fashion design, or I’d probably be a painter or street artist. I’m eclectic, with different styles of creativity. But painting is one of my biggest passions.”

3. He knows people will never let him forget about beating Rihanna and he’s okay with haters hating because that’s, uh, their problem: “As long as you’re doing something good, people will always bring up old stuff or negative stuff because they don’t want you to surpass a certain level or elevate,” he says. “But as long as you have your head on straight, it shouldn’t matter what people want to say.”

4. Jail was not fun. This was his daily routine: “A guard wakes you up; you eat. You stay in your cell most of the time, basically 24 hours a day,” he says. “Maybe on Mondays you go to the roof inside of a cage and have a phone call. It’s isolation. You have time to focus on what matters, on what to do and what not to do.”

5. And in response to that question we all want to know— how the hell has he kept such a loyal fanbase—he credits God. “My faith in knowing what my purpose is and how I’m trying to find out what my purpose is,” he says. “My fan base speaks volumes [to that]. I never want to say that I know everything or I know what the best song or a hit is. I just put it out there for people to like and love. I make music for myself personally, but I also try to do music that people can relate to, have fun with; evoke as much emotion as possible from my audience and peers. It’s God and just consistency with my talent. Being able to persevere if I get knocked down and always get back up.”

Read more of the interview here.

Will you buy "X" when it comes out?

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<p>Seahawks QB Russell Wilson</p>

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: Packers-Seahawks NFL opener leads NBC Thursday

'The Quest' stays low against big NBC, CBS competition

Fast National ratings for Thursday, September 4, 2014.

The Thursday night premiere of NBC's Sunday Night Football -- program listings are silly -- pitting the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks against the perennially contending Green Bay Packers helped NBC dominate primetime in all measures.

While the Thursday kickoff was down a bit from last year's Ravens-Broncos opener, NBC is still calling this the third highest rated Thursday NFL Kickoff game ever in metered markets. And, of course, it goes without saying that these are preliminary ratings and will likely understate the numbers for the game itself.

Despite the football, the night only other piece of major original programming, CBS' "Big Brother," was actually up week-to-week, while ABC's "The Quest" was flat.

On to the numbers...

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Peter Gallagher joins 'SVU'
Credit: USA

Peter Gallagher joins 'SVU'

Peter Gallagher joins “SVU”
The former “O.C.” dad will oversee the special victims unit as Deputy Chief William Dodds.

NY Times corrects its Joan Rivers obituary: She died in 2014, not 1914
The Times had the perfect correction for its Joan Rivers’ obituary: "An earlier version of a label that appeared with this obituary on the home page of misstated the year of Ms. Rivers’s death. It  was 2014, of course, not 1914.” PLUS: Rivers’ funeral will be private despite her requesting “a huge showbiz” funeral, read TV Guide profiles of Rivers from 1966 and 1968, explaining Joan's “Can We Talk?" catchphrase, and recalling the one time Rivers hosted “SNL,” in 1983.

Sarah Silverman insults Jimmy Kimmel in talking about her “Masters of Sex” boyfriend Michael Sheen
“I don’t think I ever knew what love was” before dating him, Silverman tells Kimmel. “I don’t think I’ve ever been in love before, I realize.” PLUS: Silverman talks bringing pot to the Emmys, and Kimmel gets Erin Andrews and NFL players to read mean tweets.

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Late-night hosts pay tribute to Joan Rivers

Late-night hosts pay tribute to Joan Rivers
David Letterman called her a “real pioneer,” Jimmy Fallon choked up recalling getting a kiss from Rivers on his first “Tonight Show,” Seth Meyers recalled having Rivers on as a guest a month ago, and Jon Stewart paid tribute to her in his moment of zen. PLUS: Kimmel and Sarah Silverman remember Joan, who e-mailed Silverman last week congratulating her for her Emmy.

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Robert Downey Jr.'s 'The Judge' opens Toronto as the spotlight turns to Robert Duvall

Robert Downey Jr.'s 'The Judge' opens Toronto as the spotlight turns to Robert Duvall

Are there any awards chances for TIFF's opening night premiere?

TORONTO — The 39th annual Toronto International Film Festival kicked off Thursday night and its opening night film, "The Judge," brought some major star power. TIFF is known as being a red carpet festival (they seem to even be openly hyping it up this year) and nothing is better than Robert Downey Jr., one of the biggest stars in the world, posing for the paparazzi outside the massive Roy Thomson Hall.

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<p>Richard Sammel of &quot;The Strain&quot;</p>

Richard Sammel of "The Strain"

Credit: FX

Interview: 'The Strain' co-star Richard Sammel on Nazis, vampires and how he's like Jean-Claude Van Damme

German actor also discusses Eichorst's makeup routine

For the past two months, viewers have been disturbed and unsettled by Richard Sammel's performance as Eichorst, the Nazi concentration camp guard turned vampire apocalypse facilitator, on FX's "The Strain." 

Playing both the human (but inhuman) Nazi version of Eichorst and his steely, arrogant contemporary incarnation, Sammel has given very different monstrous shadings to his role.

That's why it's a bit funny to Skype up with the smiley, voluble Sammel and have him immediately cackle in pleasure at being able to identify my mogwai avatar from "Gremlins,"  before he very politely asks me to switch on my webcam so that we can see each other as we chat.

Sammel is in a good mood because it's the first sunny day in Paris for a while. Or maybe he just genuinely enjoys talking about his part in the FX vampire drama, which was recently renewed for a second season.

"I think basically bad guys in TV or movies, mostly blockbuster movies, they often are very much reduced to their dramatic function, doing bad things so that the hero can shine. But a bad guy becomes interesting when you can follow his motivations," Sammel says.

When it comes to motivations, Sammel suggests that he has done nearly 100 movies and he's only worked in a Nazi context in 22 of them, a fact he accepts as "generational guilt."

Sammel, who speaks more languages than you do better than you do (or more languages than I do better than I do), talks in long, articulate bursts, giving answers that sometimes range over 1000 words. Fortunately, they're thoughtful and often funny words and in our 30 minute conversation, I found that he was anticipating my follow-up questions with some frequency.

Honestly, I could have talked about the "generational guilt" idea and how it relates to a show about vampires for the full interview, but I also wanted to talk with Sammel about Eichorst's complicated makeup routine and getting to do stunt work in recent episodes.

Sunday (September 7) night's episode of "The Strain" is a big one for Sammel. Check out the full Q&A below. And be sure to read it in your head using Sammel/Eichorst's German accent...

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Review: Robert Downey Jr. is guilty of being shameless in 'The Judge'
Credit: Warner Bros.

Review: Robert Downey Jr. is guilty of being shameless in 'The Judge'

Prepare to be manipulated. Poorly.

Someone really, really needs a hug from Robert Downey Sr.

Written by Nick Schenk, Bill Dubuque, and a blender full of better legal thrillers and family dramas, "The Judge" has been directed by David Dobkin almost entirely in ornate second-unit establishing shots and dramatic entrances. It is an insistent film, and "subtle" isn't even a consideration. This is a movie that will tell you the same piece of information nine times to make a point because it has no faith at all that you will understand it. It also features more endings than "Return Of The King," and it feels like a movie the younger, rowdier Robert Downey Jr. would have made fun of mercilessly.

Honestly, as soon as the first scene with Downey played out, I started to worry. There's a trial. He's a big high-powered defense attorney. We meet him standing at a urinal. The opposing counsel, played by David Krumholtz, comes in to confront him.

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<p>Julie Chen</p>

Julie Chen

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Big Brother' Thursday - Double Eviction Drama

Julie Chen prepares for conversations with two hamsters

It's time for the season's second Double Eviction Thursday on "Big Brother."

I missed the last one for some reason and didn't get to recap it and what's the point of recapping Thursday night episodes if you're not going to get to handle the double eviction chaos.

But I'm here tonight, even though I know that even if some miracle saves Nicole in the first vote, her chances of surviving a second vote are virtually nil.

So will it just be Nicole and Victoria/Christine going home or will something shocking happen in the second HoH/Nominations/Veto/Vote maelstrom? 

Let's find out!

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Joan Rivers was proudly unapologetic to the end
Credit: Associated Press

Joan Rivers was proudly unapologetic to the end

Joan Rivers was proudly unapologetic to the end
Joan always went there, whether cracking a Holocaust joke or calling Lena Dunham fat. As Hank Stuever notes, "She mouthed off long enough to arrive at one final and strange place in our common culture, in which people are constantly apologizing for what others deem to be inappropriate quips, jokes, tweets, updates, memes, Instagram captions, leaked e-mails — all the many ways we find to fail at our attempts at her kind of humor ... Her sense of humor and her belief only in being funny made her part of a dying tribe, the last remaining people who honestly believe that if you can’t take a joke, you are welcome to go (bleep) yourself. Her descendants include not only the Kathy Griffins and Sarah Silvermans of the comedy world, but also the only person you really want to talk to at a party, the one with the unhinged mouth."
Read Kathy Griffin’s heartfelt appreciation: "I do know I would not be doing what I do if it weren't for Joan”
WEtv has yet to air "Joan & Melissa: Joan Know Best?” Season 4, which already wrapped filming
PBS’ "Women in Comedy” airing Sept. 30 will feature a new interview with Rivers
--Rivers was one of the earliest female comedians to talk in an unfiltered way about being a woman, joking about abortion in the ‘60s
--Read Joan’s funeral plan: "I want my funeral to be a huge showbiz affair with lights, cameras, action”
Barbara Walters pens a tribute: “I can't remember a time when I didn't know Joan Rivers”
Watch Joan Rivers teary 1990 Emmy acceptance speech
Fellow comedians remember Joan // More rememberances
Garry Shandling: "Joan never lost the most precious, child-like part of herself…"
Read the 1965 NY Times Magazine profile of “fast-rising” Rivers
Why “the gays” loved Joan (Hint: “She loved us back”)
—From 5 weeks ago: Listen to Howard Stern’s final interview with Joan
How Joan Rivers changed the red carpet: E! remembers her best moments
"Her delivery was like an automatic sprinkler: fast, relentless and sometimes prone to stick, soaking a comic riff into a muddy swamp”
The story behind Joan’s 3-decade “Tonight Show” ban, which Jimmy Fallon lifted earlier this year
Rivers talked in July about dying: "In your 80s, you’d be foolish not to think about that. I am definitely going to be cremated”
After Johnny Carson mess, Rivers’ work "became meaner, leaner, and, strangely, more soulful than ever before”
Rivers wrote about her Carson breakup in 2012
Rivers did the Proust Questionnaire // The 50 best Joan Rivers jokes
A former Joan writer reveals: "When I worked for Joan, work felt like something I could do forever without a break”
Rivers was a graoundbreaking feminist icon, even though she hated being called a pioneer
Joan’s most memorable insults // 10 moments when Joan was really Joan
Rivers helped redefine a woman’s role in our culture
5 things you never knew about “Joan Molinsky” — she got her big break thanks to Bill Cosby
Britain helped rejuventate her career because she reinforced British stereotypes of typical American behavior
--Rivers was bigger, smarter and culturally far more important than her latter E! work
“I hate people who die of natural causes; they just don’t understand the moment,” Rivers once said. “It’s the grand finale, act three, the eleven o’clock number—make it count!”

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'Grey’s Anatomy' offers its 1st glimpse of Season 11
Credit: ABC

'Grey’s Anatomy' offers its 1st glimpse of Season 11

“Grey’s Anatomy” offers its 1st glimpse of Season 11
Watch the new promo, “Hold On To Your Hearts.”

Study: Only 18% of people with Internet watch TV while using Twitter
The study by Strategy Analytics also found that traditional viewers, or “couch potatoes,” are still the biggest TV watchers, at 33%.

Here’s the 1st image from “The Simpsons”-“Futurama” crossover episode
“That was a really tough one to negotiate, because I had to talk to myself,” says Matt Groening.

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Julia Roberts joins Billy Ray's remake of Oscar winner 'The Secret in Their Eyes'
Credit: AP Photo

Julia Roberts joins Billy Ray's remake of Oscar winner 'The Secret in Their Eyes'

Filming begins in October

You might recall an Argentinian film from a few years back called "The Secret in Their Eyes." It was a significant player in the awards season in that it bested both "The White Ribbon" and "A Prophet" in the Best Foreign Film Category, and ever since, Hollywood has been keen on an English remake. Now, the project has landed a high profile female lead with an eye toward sales in Toronto: Julia Roberts.

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A 'Supergirl' TV series is in the works from 'Arrow' and 'The Flash' co-creator

A “Supergirl” TV series is in the works from “Arrow” and “The Flash” co-creator
Greg Berlanti, who was also behind ABC's superhero series “No Ordinary Family,” is developing another DC superhero for a TV series, Supergirl.

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