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AC/DC

AC/DC confirms Young's illness, to continue to make music

Band shoots down reports of 'retirement'

For those about to rock, it’s been a tough few days and today AC/DC confirmed fans’ worst fears, while holding out some hope.

Over the last three days, the internet has run rife with speculation that AC/DC's rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young, who co-founded the band with brother Angus in 1973, had suffered a stroke and blood clot bringing the career to one of rock and roll’s most successful, long-lived acts to a halt. Sources reported that the band would “never make music again” and retire. Additionally, a 40-city tour to celebrate the band’s 40th anniversary, hinted at by vocalist Brian Johnson, would also be taken off the schedule.

With little fanfare and even less detail, the band posted the following statement on its website today: “After forty years of life dedicated to AC/DC, guitarist and founding member Malcolm Young is taking a break from the band due to ill health. Malcolm would like to thank the group’s diehard legions of fans worldwide for their never-ending love and support. In light of this news, AC/DC asks that Malcolm and his family’s privacy be respected during this time. The band will continue to make music.”

So in a few sentences, AC/DC managed to confirm that Young had suffered a health setback without giving any details, he was taking a leave from the band, and also let fans know that they were not retiring.

In fact, there are also reports that AC/DC plans to enter a recording studio later this year to work on the follow up to 2008’s “Black Ice,” which sold more than 700,000 copies in its first week of the release in the U.S. alone. In an interview with the U.K.’s Telegraph newspaper, Johnson said that the band was headed to a Vancouver studio next month. “We’re going to pick up some guitars, have a plonk, and see if anybody has got any tunes ideas. If anything happens, we’ll record it.”

While Johnson declined to confirm anything about Young’s condition, in fact, he would not even acknowledge that Young was the ill member —the interview took place before the statement was released this morning—he did admit that “One of the boys has a debilitating illness,” adding that “I wouldn’t like to say anything either way about the future.”

As far as the tour, given that it was never confirmed, it would also seem to not be happening, at least not in the near future.

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Abby Lee Miller

Abby Lee Miller

Credit: Lifetime

'Dance Moms'' Abby Lee Miller gets a new show

The tough-love instructor makes over dance studios

It turns out "Dance Moms" star and reviled bully-teacher Abby Lee Miller will be picking on grown-ups for her next project. Miller is looking to transform dance studios on the brink of disaster in the new series, "Abby’s Studio Rescue," premiering Tues., June 17, at 9:00 p.m. ET.  Each week, the show follows Abby as she dishes out tough talk/screams at people/generally freaks out while giving dance studios a second chance at survival.  

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<p>FX has renewed &quot;The Americans,&quot; starring Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell.</p>

FX has renewed "The Americans," starring Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell.

Credit: FX

FX renews 'The Americans' for season 3

Spy drama is one of TV's best, and DVR usage has helped keep it alive

In a sign of the changing economics of the TV industry, as well as a boon for fans of quality television, FX has renewed "The Americans" for a third season of 13 episodes.

"The Americans," which stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys as KGB sleeper agents posing as an American couple in the early '80s, is one of the very best shows on television. Its live ratings, though, are modest, and have actually gone down a bit from last year's numbers. But the show also doubles its audience when you count those who watch via DVR or other methods within the first seven days of airing.

Every TV executive in the business has been trumpeting Live+7 numbers as a way to show that their audiences haven't slipped nearly as much as it seems from looking at overnight ratings. The question has been whether there's enough money to be made that way, given that advertisers aren't that interested in people who watch much later, especially if they'll be skipping commercials on their DVR'ed recording. But FX apparently has found a way to make the numbers work here.

When the second season premiered to disappointing numbers, FX's PR chief John Solberg said, "We fully expect 'The Americans' will be on our schedule for the next five years or more."

A new episode airs tonight at 10. It's a good one.

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FX renews 'The Americans'

FX renews "The Americans"
A 13-episode Season 3 will air next year.


Valerie Harper: “I’m absolutely cancer-free!”
"My last scans have been positive, and my doctors are very happy,” she tells Closer Weekly.


Sigmund Freud is getting a crime drama series
“Freud: The Secret Casebook” will have the founder of psychoanalysis portrayed as the first criminal profiler. “Freud” is from the producer of “Downton Abbey” and former “X Files” writer Frank Spotnitz.


Brooklyn’s minor league team will wear puffy shirts for “Seinfeld Night”
The Brooklyn Cyclones, a Mets affiliate, will also rename its stadium Vandelay Industries Park for “Seinfeld’s” 25th anniversary in July. The first 2,500 fans in attendance will receive a Keith Hernandez “Magic Loogie” bobblehead, mailmen in uniform will throw out the first pitch, players will wear puffy shirts for batting practice and there will bean Elaine-inspired dance contest for the July 5 special event.


Jenny McCarthy and Donnie Wahlberg get engaged
McCarthy announced her engagement to the “Blue Bloods” star on “The View."

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<p>Bill Paxton on Tuesday&#39;s &quot;Marvel&#39;s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.&quot;</p>

Bill Paxton on Tuesday's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."

Credit: ABC

TV Ratings: 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' and 'Voice' rise on Tuesday as CBS procedurals hit lows

'Originals' and 'Supernatural' draw small audiences for The CW

Fast National ratings for Tuesday, April 15, 2014.

Rising episodes of "The Voice" and "About a Boy" helped NBC win Tuesday night among young viewers, while CBS' "NCIS"-led procedurals dominated overall despite hovering around series lows in the key demo.

In a special 9 p.m. airing, ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." got a solid demo bump and a tiny overall uptick, but couldn't do much to help the launch of "Celebrity Wife Swap."

Among other sluggish Tuesday offerings, FOX's "Glee" lost a few viewers from last week, while "New Girl" and "The Mindy Project" were on the low side. Both "The Originals" and "Supernatural" came in week for The CW as well.

On to the numbers...

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'The View' will reunite all 11 current and former co-hosts for Barbara Walters' farewell

"The View" will reunite all 11 current and former co-hosts for Barbara Walters' farewell
That includes Star Jones, Rosie O'Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck, reuniting on May 15, the day before Walters says goodbye.

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Spike TV’s canceled 'Blue Mountain State' launches a movie Kickstarter

Spike TV’s canceled “Blue Mountain State” launches a movie Kickstarter
The creators of the college football comedy, which ran three seasons from 2010 to 2011, says interest has grown in “Blue Mountain state” since it was added to Netflix.


Louis CK jumps off the Brooklyn Bridge in latest “Louie” promo
See the new “perhaps, perhaps, perhaps” teaser.


PBS’ “American Masters” is revamping and expanding beyond artists
The 28-year-old biography series will begin including famous people in science and industry.

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<p>Wolverine&#39;s winning personality is once more front and center in &#39;X-Men: Days Of Future Past&#39;</p>

Wolverine's winning personality is once more front and center in 'X-Men: Days Of Future Past'

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Final 'X-Men Days Of Future Past' trailer pulls out all the stops and looks mammoth

Could this be Singer's return to form?

I'm not sure why they're calling this the final trailer for "X-Men: Days Of Future Past." With a month to go before the film's release, I would imagine we're going to get pounded with marketing materials that are going to show us more and more of the film in an effort to get audiences to show up.

My own kids have been working to catch up with the "X-Men" series for the last month, and just tonight we watched "X-Men: First Class." I was struck again by just how much I like that film's take on the relationship between Charles (James McAvoy) and Erik (Michael Fassbender), and there is no way to quantify how lucky they were to sign Jennifer Lawrence before she became a giant star. This film may feature an army of cameo appearances from the cast of the first three movies, but it is still very much a sequel to "First Class," and a bridge to "X-Men: Apocalypse," where we'll once again follow the younger cast.

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<p>Johnny Depp and Rebecca Hall struggle mightily to make &#39;Transcendence&#39; work, but there&#39;s no saving a film this deeply dopey.</p>

Johnny Depp and Rebecca Hall struggle mightily to make 'Transcendence' work, but there's no saving a film this deeply dopey.

Credit: Warner Bros.

Review: Johnny Depp looks bored by the silly science-fiction ideas of 'Transcendence'

Consider this the anti-'Her'

Jack Paglen is the sole credited writer of "Transcendence," the new science-fiction film starring Johnny Depp, and if he really is the man responsible for the script, then it scares me to learn that he's been hired to write the big-screen "Battlestar Galactica" reboot.

One of the truths of science-fiction is that anytime we as a culture try to get our heads around a jump forward in technology, one of the ways we do that is by imagining the very worst case scenario, so it should come as no surprise that as we discuss ideas about The Singularity and trans-humanism, "Transcendence" arrives to serve as this decade's "Lawnmower Man," a deeply stupid movie that uses smart ideas as a springboard but without any real sense of what they're talking about. Wally Pfister, best known until now as the cinematographer on Christopher Nolan's big films, makes his directorial debut here, and as dumb as Paglen's script is, Pfister seems to have no feeling whatsoever for the staging of sequences or for any sort of dramatic narrative momentum. Make no mistake… "Transcendence" is a stiff, but one that is produced with enough polish that it almost successfully disguises its true nature.

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<p>Billy Bob Thornton goes driving at night on &quot;Fargo.&quot;</p>

Billy Bob Thornton goes driving at night on "Fargo."

Credit: FX

Series premiere review: 'Fargo' - 'The Crocodile's Dilemma'

Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman take a trip to Coen brothers country

I reviewed FX's "Fargo" in advance this morning, and I have a few specific thoughts on the premiere coming up just as soon as I get more familiar with the ham...

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"The Real Housewives of New York City"

"The Real Housewives of New York City"

Credit: Bravo

'Real Housewives of New York City': Did the Singer Stinger ruin the party?

Heather can't forgive Aviva, but will she warm to Ramona and Sonja?

Hey, who knew that a trip to South Africa can transform you into a lovable peacemaker? Okay, maybe not lovable, but Ramona swears that her vacation (the one she can't stop mentioning, just so everyone and their dog knows she went to SOUTH AFRICA) has turned her into a gentler, kinder, better person. Apparently being a better person, by her definition, means bullying other people into playing nice with someone they hate, then flaking out on them as punishment for not being as Zen and forgiving as she is. Excuse me, I think I have to lie down. The layers upon layers of hypocrisy are just making my head hurt. 

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<p>Actually seeing Patton Oswalt in the Marvel universe feels like there&#39;s been a tear in reality... a totally awesome tear.</p>

Actually seeing Patton Oswalt in the Marvel universe feels like there's been a tear in reality... a totally awesome tear.

Credit: ABC/Marvel Studios

'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.' are on the run after last week's meltdown

And it looks like Patton Oswalt's ready to help

I tuned in just in time this week to catch Ward's act of betrayal again, followed by the HYDRA symbol instead of the SHIELD one. I'm less convinced now than last week that Ward is faking anything. Those three bullets he put in Hand at close range would seem to be fairly inarguable, and as more back-story was revealed over the course of the episode, it seems like Ward has been garbage since frame one.

That's cool. That's the version of the story I hope they're telling. If he turns out to just be faking everything, it's going to really irritate me. Right now, Ward suddenly got a personality, and he's suddenly an interesting character with some actual dimension to him. If they try to wrap everything up this year by just making him a good guy again, it's going to feel like it's just not playing fair anymore. There are only so many times you can have characters switch sides and only so far you can push them when they're working undercover before it becomes ridiculous. They're in a very interesting place for the story and the characters right now, and I'm hoping they push forward without trying to eventually roll everything back to the status quo.

More than anything, what last week's episode reminded me of was the Super Bowl episode of "Alias" where they blew up SD6, the covert agency that Sydney Bristow worked for. It was a great move, but it also started the show down a creative path that it never quite recovered from, and I think it may have been a mistake in hindsight. If you're going to blow up the premise of your show, you'd better have a great plan in place for how to build from there.

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