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<p>Terrence Howard</p>

Terrence Howard

Credit: AP

FOX orders 'Red Band Society,' 'Empire' to series

'Gotham' got a series order on Monday

For the second straight day, FOX has given an official series order to a high profile drama pilot, actually doubling down with drama orders on Tuesday (May 6)

One day after sending "Gotham" to series, FOX has done the same for "Red Band Society" and  "Empire," or "Lee Daniels' Empire," to avoid confusion with the 2002 John Leguizamo classic "Empire."

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"The Little Couple"

"The Little Couple"

Credit: TLC

'The Little Couple': As Jen improves, it's time for some outdoor fun

Plus, Jen tweeted something sure to warm hearts this week

This week's episode may just look like an adorable visit to the playground for "The Little Couple" (airing Tuesdays at 10:00 p.m. ET on TLC) but fans of the show know otherwise. As Will explains, the family has been staying indoors for the past few weeks in order to keep Jen safe from infection as she recovers from cancer treatment. This simple outing represents an important step forward for the family. For Will, the show (and this clip) represents a chance to learn about sharing, but that's another issue. And while this isn't on the show, Jen tweeted something very sweet this week, so look for that after the jump. 

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<p>Oh, look, it&#39;s a rising star.</p>

Oh, look, it's a rising star.

Credit: HitFix

Jerrod Carmichael on the comic freedom he felt while shooting 'Neighbors'

Ladies and gentlemen, meet one of your next comedy superstars

Jerrod Carmichael is about to become unavoidable.

That's the buzz in the LA comedy scene, anyway, and based on his work in the new film "Neighbors," I would agree that it is only a matter of time before everyone knows this young comedian and his work.

This past week, he was on the road going college-to-college to promote the film, along with co-stars Dave Franco (who we spoke to yesterday) and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and it sounds like it was an insane trip. I remember talking to Mintz-Plasse when he was just coming off of a similar promotional tour for "Role Models," his first major experience interacting with the public, and he was sort of blown away by the entire thing. Now Chris is an old hand at this stuff, and it's Carmichael who got the crash course in what it's like to be out there promoting a movie to a truly rabid audience.

When we were at SXSW this year, Universal had a hefty "Neighbors" presence, taking over a bar and transforming it into a frat house. I spoke with several of the people involved with the movie, and I got a great sense of excitement from everyone involved, especially after the reception the film got from the audience the night before. One thing I noticed in talking to Nick Stoller, Seth Rogen, and Evan Goldberg is how excited they all were about the work done by Jerrod Carmichael in the film, and the idea that they had managed to get him for the film at all. It was apparent that they felt like it was a privilege to be able to cast him at this point in his career, before he blows up and starts headlining movies of his own.

One of the funniest moments in the movie is this weird digression between Carmichael and Hannibal Buress, another comedian who I feel like should be much bigger than he already is. That's one of the benefits for Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen as producers. They can find roles for these funny people who they believe should get more exposure, and it's nothing but win for them. They get to make their films even funnier, and these comics end up getting major exposure that can help push them to the next level.

I was struck by just how self-effacing Carmichael was. He's so relaxed and confident on stage, but it doesn't seem to come from a place of ego or swagger. This was one of the interviews I really wanted to make sure we had on the books now, because in five years, when Carmichael's a giant star, it'll be great to be able to look back at who he was in those last few moments before everyone was in on the secret.

"Neighbors" opens everywhere this Friday.

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Lily Allen

Album Review: Lily Allen's 'Sheezus' is sweet and tart

British singer returns after five-year hiatus with claws still out

Lily Allen has such a sweet voice, but as fans of the British singer know, her words are lethally tart. She may sound like she’s all puppies, rainbows and unicorns, but there’s a dark sense of humor running through almost every song.

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<p>Chris Messina and Mindy Kaling of &quot;The Mindy Project&quot;</p>

Chris Messina and Mindy Kaling of "The Mindy Project"

Credit: FOX

Interview: Michael Spiller discusses the 'Mindy Project' finale and the job of directing producer

What was it like actually shooting 'Mindy' in NYC?

We're many years into the Cult of the Showrunner on TV and nobody would argue, I don't think, that in the vast majority of cases, TV is a writer-producer's medium. 

And nobody would argue, I suspect, with the notion that on FOX's "The Mindy Project," the driving creative force is Mindy Kaling, who is the creator and star and leads an extraordinary strong writing stuff of comedy veterans. 

With that focus, I've often felt that one of the industry's least understood figures is the directing-producer. Sometimes, like with a Pamela Fryman on "How I Met Your Mother," that person may end up directing ever episode of a series, so their name is easy to notice and retain. Other times, the directing producer may be a frequent director on a series, but they aren't behind the camera on every episode, which makes their involvement a bit nebulous in the mind of some viewers.

Michael Spiller is the producing director on FOX's "The Mindy Project." He didn't direct the original pilot and he's only the credited directed on maybe a third of the episodes, but he's been with the show since before it premiered and he's had day-to-day contributions ever since.

Spiller got his start as a cinematographer on Hal Hartley's '80s and '90s films and made the transition to directing on HBO's "Sex and the City." Since then, he has worked as a frequent director on some of the best single-cam comedies of recent years, including "Scrubs," "Better Off Ted" and "Modern Family," for which he won an Emmy.

"The Mindy Project" wraps its second season on Tuesday (May 6) night with a finale that continues the spring's on-and-off budding romance between Kaling's Mindy and Chris Messina's Danny. The finale even takes the show to a very unexpected place: New York City. Yes, "Mindy" has always been set in New York City, but it's a Hollywood Backlot version of New York City and it's almost shocking to see Kaling and Messina out in locations that couldn't have been faked in the Valley. It's a very satisfying conclusion to a season that has seen "Mindy" become an increasingly consistent pleasure within FOX's Tuesday lineup, if you've been able to keep track of when it's on.

Last week I got on the phone with Spiller to discuss the role of the director-producer, his part in the show's comedic evolution and the opportunity to shoot in New York City, if only for a single day. 

It's a different look at the inner-workings of "The Mindy Project"...

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'Louie' returns up

“Louie” returns up
Season 4’s first two episodes were up 19% over the Season 3 average, attracting about 941,000 viewers.

Larry King: "I am glad I am not at CNN now with this missing plane”
The former CNN star says his former network made a mistake going overboard on its missing plane coverage and he says CNN boss Jeff Zucker is wrong to declare interview shows dead.


Watch a “Grey’s Anatomy” tribute to Cristina and Meredith
One of the best depictions of friendship on TV.


NBC orders a 2nd edition of Ryan Seacrest’s iHeartRadio Music Awards
Last week’s telecast brought in only “so-so” ratings.


Starz renews “Da Vinci’s Demons,” developing “Blackbirds”
The Leonardo da Vinci series will be back for a 3rd season under new showrunner John Shiban, who is also developing a the series “Blackbirds” based on the novels by Chuck Wendig about a female runaway who can see how and when you die by touching you.


A new Muppets TV show?
The co-writer of the recent Muppet movies says there’s talk of bringing back the Muppets for a variety show.


Why would "Dancing" let Abby Lee Miller guest-judge?
Ratings fell for last night’s episode, featuring the controversial “Dance Moms” star, who didn’t add much to the show.


“Downton Abbey” losing another cast member
Lily James has committed instead to the new “Cinderella” film.


Kiefer Sutherland is dating actress Sofia Karstens
Karstens, who appears on “The Bold and the Beautiful,” is separated from Jason London.


“Sleepy Hollow” adds Timothy Busfield to play Benjamin Franklin
“The West Wing” alum will recur on the CW series.

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<p>A scene from &quot;Jersey Boys&quot;</p>

A scene from "Jersey Boys"

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Clint Eastwood's 'Jersey Boys' to premiere at 2014 LA film fest

Will it arrive as an awards contender this summer?

Clint Eastwood hasn't hit it big on the Oscar circuit in some time. Films like "Changeling," "Invictus" and "Hereafter" scored the casual nomination here or there, but his last Best Picture nominee came nearly a decade ago with "Letters from Iwo Jima." Will "Jersey Boys" change all of that? We'll know if the adaptation of the Tony Award-winning musical has that kind of muscle sooner rather than later, as the film has been announced as the closing night premiere of this year's Los Angeles Film Festival.

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<p>Christopher Nolan</p>

Christopher Nolan

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Teaser poster for Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar' reaches for the stars

The Matthew McConaughey-starring sci-fi drama is out in November

By anyone's standards, Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar" is shaping up to be one of the year's major event films: with a cast headlined by newly minted Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain and Anne Hathaway, and a November release date that places in the thick of awards season, the sci-fi drama looks to have both its prestige and blockbuster bases covered. Nolan's last originally scripted film, "Inception," got him his first Best Picture Oscar nomination; hopes are similarly high for this still heavily-shrouded tale of space travelers entering a wormhole.

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'Dance Mom's' Maddie Ziegler in Sia's 'Chandelier'

Sia's haunting new video for 'Chandelier' with 'Dance Mom's' Maddie Ziegler

Come for the dancing, stay for the creepiness

Want to know what it feels like to have a manic episode? Watch Sia’s new spellbinding video for “Chandelier.”

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"Spring Breakers"
"Spring Breakers"
Credit: A24 Films

'Spring Breakers' sequel coming your way, courtesy of 'Trainspotting' writer

The film is one of several projects being sold at Cannes by Wild Bunch

Look at my shee-yit... again. Yep, what started as iffy-sounding, blog-based rumor a couple of months ago seems now to have become a real thing: Harmony Korine's girls-gone-wild provocation "Spring Breakers" is getting a sequel. 

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'Friends' is still influential on the 10 anniversary of its series finale

“Friends” is still influential on the 10 anniversary of its series finale
The "untraditional, improvisatory families” that “Friends” celebrated are now staples on television, from “Modern Family” to “Trophy Wife.” “Friends” even had a gay wedding during its run. PLUS: “Friends” season finale marked the end of NBC’s dominance, and “Friends” gave 20-somethings unrealistic expectations.


Billy Eichner to star in USA pilot “Difficult People” from producer Amy Poehler
Poehler is teaming with her fellow “Parks and Rec” employee and his “Billy on the Street” writer Julia Klausner for a comedy about two friends in NYC who hate everybody.


“The Maya Rudolph Show”: Watch the 1st promo
“I am also here,” sings Andy Samberg.


John Oliver’s set includes a “Game of Thrones” castle
If you take a close look at the background of “Last Week Tonight," you can see where Stannis Baratheon hangs out. PLUS: Oliver got a letter from juice maker he described as making “dog juice.”


W. Kamau Bell weighs in on “SNL” Leslie Jones controversy: "When I watched the bit I kept thinking about white people”
"I was thinking about the white people who (I’m sure) make up the vast majority of SNL’s studio audience,” he explains, "the white people who (definitely) make up the vast majority of the TV audience, and the white person (Colin Jost) who was sitting next to Leslie during the bit. I took a scientific poll of myself, and I determined that it just felt like too many white people were watching her bit. Especially for a bit as potentially (and actually) incendiary as the one Leslie did. I didn’t trust that those white people understood the historic context behind the bit. I didn’t trust that it wouldn’t lead to frat boys walking up to black women with Afros and saying, 'I’d totally do you over Lupita Nyong’o!… Hey! Where you going?’ IMHO, context is what made Leslie Jones’s bit seem weird to some (like me) and offensive to others.” PLUS: Good on Lorne Michaels and the writing staff for allowing Jones to go there, this kind of comedy about slavery has been done many times before.


“24” producers explain the "Live Another Day" similarities to Edward Snowden
"As we looked at Edward Snowden and the NSA, we realized Chloe herself is as much a fugitive as Jack is,” says exec producer Manny Coto. "She's the one who closed down the satellite at the end of season eight, which allowed Jack to escape.” PLUS: “24” seems to be taking its cues from “Homeland,” and “24: Live Another Day” is the perfect reboot for newbies.


Yvonne Strahovski talks about appearing last night on “24” and “Louie”
She says her “Louie” role was “slightly terrifying,” while she had to binge-watch Seasons 1 and 8 of “24” to get to know who Jack Bauer was since she had never watched the show before. PLUS: Is Strahovski’s character a female Jack Bauer?


IFC announces a new logo and slogan
“Always On, Slightly Off” is IFC’s new motto.


Washington, D.C. councilman: “Scandal” would be willing to shoot in D.C. if given incentives
Councilman Vincent Orange says if the ABC drama is given the funding, it’ll shoot some Season 4 scenes in August. “Scandal” usually uses L.A. to portray D.C.


Louis CK urged critics not to write about the opening scene in the “Louie” premiere
But why that scene? PLUS: The season premiere was based on a true story.


American TV viewers watch just 9% of the TV channels available to them
Nielsen found that the average U.S. TV home receives 189 TV channels, but only 17 to 18 of them are watched.


Tony Goldwyn’s “The Divide” gets a WEtv premiere date
The legal drama starring Marin Ireland, Damon Gupton, Clarke Peters and Nia Long debuts July 23.


Jon Hamm recalls his “24” alum prom date, and working as softcore porn set-dresser while filming that dating show
Hamm gets the Vanity Fair cover treatment. He recalls dating Sarah Clarke, who had a crush on Paul Rudd in high school — resulting in a "Paul Rudd–Jon Hamm showdown."

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<p>&quot;24: Live Another Day&quot;</p>

"24: Live Another Day"

Credit: FOX

TV Ratings: '24' return clocks in strong, while 'The Voice' leads NBC Monday

ABC leads overall, while '2 Broke Girls' finales weak

Fast National ratings for Monday, May 5, 2014.

Although it was below its Season 8 averages, "24" had a strong return for FOX on Monday, pushing the network close to "Voice"-boosted NBC among young viewers, though not especially close to "Dancing with the Stars"-boosted ABC overall.

The funny thing to remember is that "24" averaged over 9 million live viewers and a 2.8 rating among adults 18-49 in its final season, numbers that seemed a little sluggish, but still totally respectable at the time. Now, of course, those would be blockbuster numbers for a drama, especially the key demo figure. So the "24: Live Another Day" average of approaching 8 million viewers and a 2.5 key demo rating? Well, you can either view it as down from established "24" standards, or far better than any drama FOX has aired this season since the early "Sleepy Hollow" episodes. Maybe I'll do analysis when Finals come in.

When you look at other numbers, "Dancing with the Stars" was down steely from last week, while "The Voice" and "The Blacklist" were basically flat.

Presumably it was "24" that took a big bite out of "2 Broke Girls" and "Friends with Better Lives."

And over on The CW, "The Tomorrow People" rose for its first season finale.

On to the numbers...

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