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Tom Hardy in "Locke."
Tom Hardy in "Locke."
Credit: A24 Films

Review: Nifty, resourceful 'Locke' places Tom Hardy firmly in the driver's seat

One-man show has some wobbly writing, but is a remarkable star showcase

If nothing else -- which is not to say, mind you, that it is nothing else -- Steven Knight's "Locke" must surely rank among the most doggedly literal road movies of all time. So many titles within that famed subgenre stray far from the defining location: into motel bedrooms, into exterior shootouts, into any number of off-road travel routes. Not "Locke," which plants its eponymous protagonist behind the wheel and keeps him there for 80-odd minutes -- not a challenging stretch of time for any car trip, but an imposing test for filmmaker and actor alike.

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Sean Hannity says he loves 'extremely talented and funny' Jon Stewart

Sean Hannity says he loves "extremely talented and funny" Jon Stewart
"I love, I think Jon Stewart is extremely talented and funny," the Fox News host said Thursday on his radio show. "I must be missing the chip because some said ‘Hannity he took you down last night.' Yeah, it’s pretty funny, I laughed." PLUS: Stephen Colbert sings about Hannity.

Report: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel helped shape CNN’s “Chicagoland”
More than 700 e-mails reviewed by the Chicago Tribune "reveal that the production team worked hand in hand with the mayor's advisers to develop storylines, arrange specific camera shots and review news releases officially announcing the show,” the Tribune reports. Producers also asked the mayor’s office to help them set up key interactions as part of the “nonscripted” series. PLUS: CNN denies Emanuel had editorial control over the documentary series.

Bryan Singer’s “Black Box” fails to live up to "Scandal's" big ratings
About 6.6 million watched the premiere of the ABC drama.

David Simon: "I am not sure 'The Wire' could survive now”
That’s what Simon admitted yesterday, in a discussion with “House of Cards” creator Beau Willimon: “In some ways, HBO is a new window,” says Simon, "and 10 years ago when they were throwing stuff up against the wall, 'The Wire' could survive. I am not sure The Wire could survive now. The stakes are higher for HBO now.”

“House of Cards” creator: Why I refuse to see the Netflix data on our viewers
"That data leads to pandering, which is the antithesis of creativity,” says Beau Willimon.

“Bad Teacher” has a big debut
About 7.9 million viewers watched last night’s premiere, up 51% from its “Crazy Ones” timeslot predecessor.

“Parks and Rec” unshackled itself with its shocking twist
"'Moving Up' is one hell of a series finale,” says Alasdair Wilkins, "which makes it all the more exciting that it isn’t one. This hour of television doesn’t represent 'Parks And Recreation' at its funniest, but it is the show at its most charmingly celebratory.” Wilkins adds: “The potentially drastic shift in circumstances for its characters and the freedom that comes from the knowledge that next year is probably the end means that the show has a real chance to push forward, instead of just retracing the same few story beats.” PLUS: This episode was “Parks’" way of having everything it wanted, this was essentially the “Parks and Rec” series finale, will “Parks” turn into “Lost”?, and watch Michelle Obama’s cameo — how does it compare to other political cameos?

Dr. Phil helps Jimmy “Putin” Fallon resolve his relationship with Obama
Welcome Vlad and Barack!

“Grey’s Anatomy’s” Sarah Drew: "I was really, really surprised”
Drew says there’s somewhat of a “mixed bag” to April’s latest development.

“The Bold and the Beautiful” is bringing Bob Barker back to CBS daytime
The former “Price is Right” host will be part of a three-day arc next week on animal rescue.

“Orphan Black” gets a record-breaking 97% DVR bump
As EW reports, "That’s more than any TV drama premiere — cable or broadcast — this season. The first episode is up to 1.6 million viewers and 746,000 in the demo.”

Roger Ebert’s statue unveiled
A life-size bronze sculpture of the critic giving a thumbs-up while sitting on a bench was revealed yesterday in Champaign, Illinois as part of Ebertfest.

“Mad Men’s” Matthew Weiner reveals his book-reading habits
Gabriel García Márquez is his favorite novelist of all time. He also tells the NY Times: "I recently gave my son my high school copy of 'Wuthering Heights for his English class, forgetting that a friend had drawn a penis on the cover. It was a bonding experience. He loved it — the book, I mean."

Here’s a glimpse of “The Maya Rudolph Show”
There will likely be a song-and-dance number.

“Girls” casts 2 students for Hannah’s writing program
Desiree Akhavan is, like Lena Dunham, a filmmaker herself, while Peter Mark Kendall is an upcoming actor.

“GMA’s” Amy Robach completes her chemotherapy
The “Good Morning America” news anchor went through eight rounds of chemo.

Happy 50th birthday, Hank Azaria!
“The Simpsons” star enters his 50s today.

Julie Bowen and Jimmy Kimmel play “Tweeter Totter”
Watch Kimmel force Bowen to tweet bad things, like that she doesn’t like the Pope.

"Real Housewives of New Jersey” may be delayed by Teresa Giudice’s prison sentencing
Bravo reportedly is still trying to figure out how to maximize her screentime next season.

NBC “forces” Lester Holt to be friends with Seth Meyers
Is this Meyers’ 1st “Late Night” bit outside the studio?

Michael Pitt makes his “Hannibal” debut tonight
The “Boardwalk Empire” alum will play the brother of one of Hannibal’s patients.

New “Simpsons” couch gag takes you inside Homer’s brain
Sunday’s opening is from award-winning Polish animator Michal Socha.

It’s true: Malin Akerman dating Colin Egglesfield
The “Trophy Wife” star has been spending time lately with the “Rizzoli & Isles” star.

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<p>&quot;Bad Teacher&quot;</p>

"Bad Teacher"

TV Ratings: 'Bad Teacher,' 'Black Box' have so-so premieres as CBS leads Thursday

'Parks and Recreation' is up a little for its finale

Fast National ratings for Thursday, April 24, 2014.

On a weak Thursday across-the-board, "The Big Bang Theory" had its lowest-rated episode of the season, but still led CBS to comfortable primetime domination in all measures.

CBS' new comedy "Bad Teacher" got off to a decent, but unspectacular, start as it outperformed most recent airings of the now-departed "Crazy Ones" and also topped the Monday numbers for fellow freshman comedy "Friends With Better Lives." "Bad Teacher" retained most of its key demo lead-in from "Two and a Half Men."

That's qualified praise for "Bad Teacher" and, similarly, ABC can probably muster a little enthusiasm for "Black Box," which ranks as the network's second best drama premiere of the spring, not that that's saying a whole lot. ABC went so far as to call this the network's most-watched 10 p.m. drama debut since "Nashville" in 2012.

Relative to last week's Fast Nationals, "American Idol" and "Grey's Anatomy" were both down, "Parks and Recreation" and "Reign" were up a little and "Hell's Kitchen" and "Surviving Jack" were flat.

On to the numbers...

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'Parks and Rec' boss on the season finale shocker: 'Shonda Rhimes agrees with me'

“Parks and Rec” boss on the season finale shocker: “Shonda Rhimes agrees with me”
"I’m a broken record about this,” says Michael Schur, "but I think that’s the best weapon we have in our arsenal, and that’s doing things unexpected and throwing people off-balance. It’s the last potent weapon for a network television show. And by the way, Shonda Rhimes agrees with me. That’s why people love ‘Scandal' so much, because they never know what’s going to happen.” PLUS: Schur on that cameo and how "Battlestar Galactica" inspired the finale.

John Oliver is the latest alum to crash “The Daily Show"
“HBO will let me say whatever the f— I want!” Oliver said while promoting “Last Week Tonight.”

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<p>John Oliver will soon host &quot;Last Week Tonight with John Oliver&quot; on HBO.</p>

John Oliver will soon host "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" on HBO.

Credit: HBO

John Oliver talks 'The Daily Show,' Colbert & his new HBO series

How will 'Last Week Tonight' be different from his Carlos Danger mockery?

When Stephen Colbert was named as David Letterman’s successor earlier this month, there were some suggestions that “Daily Show” alum John Oliver must be kicking himself for jumping to HBO a few months earlier, when he would have been a lock to succeed Colbert weeknights at 11:30 on Comedy Central.

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Review: 'Amazing Spider-Man 2' gets so much right but still has first film's flaws
Credit: Sony Pictures

Review: 'Amazing Spider-Man 2' gets so much right but still has first film's flaws

There is no other franchise that confounds me more at this point

Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone have chemistry that seems almost absurd. Marc Webb has gotten better at staging comic-book action and seems to have a real feel for why Spider-Man is a great and enduring character. From scene to scene, "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" is the most Spider-Man movie that Spider-Man has ever been in.

So why doesn't it feel like a movie?

In some ways, "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" is the perfect modern franchise film. I'm sure that any executive in town who sees it is going to walk away raving, and it won't matter if they like it or not. It is an exercise in franchise management, and it hits every single entry on the checklist perfectly. By the end of this film, they've done a very good job of setting up the next three or four films in the series, but at the expense of this film telling any sort of cohesive story.

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Mary Lambert

Interview: Mary Lambert on making Keith Urban cry

Why she co-directed her new video for 'Body Love'

Mary Lambert’s new video for  her poignant, powerful “Body Love”  truly celebrates all shapes and sizes.

“Gay rights and body acceptance are two things I feel very passionately about,” the “Same Love” singer told us on the red carpet at the ASCAP Awards, April 23. She felt so strongly about making sure the message was correct that she co-directed the “Body Love” clip herself with Jon Jon Augustavo (who helmed the “Same Love” music video).  “There was an element that I absolutely needed to have and that was the mother/daughter aspect. That a lot of what we encounter and how we view our bodies is generational.  A lot of times you watch your mother self-deprecate in front of you and you internalize that.”

Lambert is now bitten with the director bug, but “songwriting and music is my core right now and what I want to focus on, but I have a lot of aspirations.”

She still gets a smile out of the fact that the camera caught Keith Urban shedding a tear during the emotional same sex and opposite sex mass wedding that took place at this year's Grammys, as she and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis performed “Same Love.”  The song continues to touch people and Lambert continues to hear stories about how the song has affected them. Here she recounts a touching story about someone’s coming out journey.

Lambert also talks about her new album, coming out this summer. She wants to increase her commercial appeal.  “I want to hear these songs on the radio. I want people to sing them, but still put a positive energy out in the world.”

Lambert released an EP, “Welcome to the Age of My Body” in December.

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<p>Seth Meyes</p>

Seth Meyes

Credit: NBC

Seth Meyers will host the 2014 Primetime Emmy Awards on NBC

Telecast is set for August because of NBC's football schedule

NBC is sticking with network tradition and looking to the 12:30 late-night hour to find a host for the 2014 Primetime Emmy Awards.

The network announced on Thursday (April 24) evening that "Late Night with Seth Meyers" star Seth Meyers will host the 66th Emmy Awards on Monday, August 25, 2014. The ceremony will take place at the Nokia Theatre and will air live coast-to-coast at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

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Seth Meyers to host the Emmy Awards

Seth Meyers to host the Emmy Awards
The "Late Night" host not only was named one of Time's 100 most influential people, NBC has tapped him to host this year's Emmys. Meyers becomes the 4th-straight "Late Night" host to helm the primetime Emmys on NBC (Jimmy Fallon did it in 2010, Conan O'Brien hosted in 2002 and 2006.) “Seth’s expertise and ease in front of a live audience during his time at ‘SNL,’ as well as his comedic brilliance both as a writer and in front of the camera on ‘SNL’ and ‘Late Night,’ makes him the perfect choice to host the Emmys,” said Paul Telegdy, Meyers' late-night boss who's also in charge of alternative programming for NBC.

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"The Vampire Diaries"

"The Vampire Diaries"

Credit: The CW

'The Vampire Diaries' recap: Enzo gets mad - but will he get even?

Can Bonnie survive if the Other Side crumbles?

This week's episode of "The Vampire Diaries" was a rough one to watch, even with the fabulous 1960 flashbacks. I love it when we get not only greaser-chic Damon but early "Mad Men" hair, cars and wardrobe. It almost made up for the part I didn't really want to see (no spoilers in the opening paragraph, don't worry).

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<p>On &quot;Parks and Recreation,&quot; Andy, Ben and Leslie survey the streets of San Francisco.</p>

On "Parks and Recreation," Andy, Ben and Leslie survey the streets of San Francisco.

Credit: NBC

Season finale review: 'Parks and Recreation' - 'Moving Up'

Leslie heads to San Francisco, oversees the Unity concert, and weighs the National Parks job

"Parks and Recreation" just wrapped up its sixth season. I did my annual interview with Mike Schur about what happened, and I have a review of the finale coming up just as soon as I click through a slideshow of "American Music Awards" sideboob fails...

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<p>The gang from &quot;Parks and Recreation.&quot;</p>

The gang from "Parks and Recreation."

Credit: NBC

'Parks and Recreation' Mike Schur on the eventful season finale

Why the writers wanted to do 'something at the end that would shake everything up'

"Parks and Recreation" just concluded its sixth season in memorable fashion (here's my review), with the Pawnee/Eagleton unity concert, a trip to San Francisco, big cameos and then a very crazy idea at the very end of the finale which could give us a very different show in season 7.

As usual when "Parks" wraps up a season, I emailed co-creator Mike Schur some questions about what went down, and why. It goes without saying that big big spoilers are coming, immediately.

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