Latest Blog Posts

<p>Dolly Wells and Emily Mortimer in &quot;Doll &amp; Em.&quot;</p>

Dolly Wells and Emily Mortimer in "Doll & Em."

Credit: HBO

Review: HBO's 'Doll & Em' good at satirizing friendship, less at Hollywood

Emily Mortimer and Dolly Wells created and star in new comedy of discomfort

One of the lessons drilled into any young writer is a simple one: "Write what you know." The problem, at least when applying this rule to television, is that what many of the people who work in television know about is television and nothing but, which is why there have been so many shows over the years — most of them failures — about characters who work in the entertainment industry.

Inside showbiz stories aren't inherently bad, as seven seasons of "30 Rock," or even a showbiz-adjacent series like "Curb Your Enthusiasm" have amply demonstrated. But watching HBO's new comedy series "Doll & Em," all I could think about was how much I wished the setting was anywhere but Hollywood.

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'Game of Thrones' releases its final Season 4 trailer

“Game of Thrones” releases its final Season 4 trailer
Called “Devil’s Inside,” the 4th and final trailer shows a closer look at Danaerys’ next destination, Mereen. PLUS: Check out pics from the NYC premiere, and see a mashup with “The Wolf of Wall Street."


Lindsay Lohan’s reality show drops 24% in Week 2
OWN’s “Lindsay” attracted 693,184 viewers in its 2nd week.


Amy Poehler on “Parks and Rec” season finale: "“The stuff that happens in that last episode is bonkers”
“It ends with a lot of change,” she said at Paleyfest. "A lot of change.”


M.I.A. jokingly asks Madonna if she could borrow $16M to pay the NFL’s Super Bowl fine
Responding to the NFL raising seeking $16.6 million in restitution over her halftime middle finger, M.I.A. tweeted: "@madonna ummm ..... can i borrow 16 million ?”

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<p>Back to back again, what threat do you think would get the Black Widow and the Hulk together to do combat?</p>

Back to back again, what threat do you think would get the Black Widow and the Hulk together to do combat?

Credit: Marvel Studios

Marvel released a sneak peek of 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' and it's awesome

Wait a minute... who is The Hulk fighting?

Hmmmm… maybe we're all The Clairvoyant.

Tonight on ABC, instead of "Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.", there was a special that discussed the last few years of what Marvel's been making and what they'll be doing in the future. They showed several pieces of concept art from "Avengers: Age Of Ultron" and Edgar Wright's "Ant-Man" and James Gunn's "Guardians Of The Galaxy, and we decided to run down the list of all the images and try to set them in some kind of context for you.

I think the idea of releasing production art instead of regular movie stills is great, and I wish more movies did it. I don't need to see a steady stream of stills from the set of "Star Wars" once JJ Abrams rolls camera, but I'd love to see artwork that suggests how the final film might look.

Everything I've heard about "Avengers: Age Of Ultron" makes it sound like they've taken Joss Whedon off the leash and they're letting him make an exponentially bigger film than they did the first time. I hope he's going to actually translate this art style to the movie.

With "Ant-Man," I have complete faith that Edgar Wright's going to make something cool. These stills are all from the test footage that we saw at Comic-Con a while ago, and I'm still really, really enjoying the notion of the combat style based on how big or small Hank Pym becomes.

So when you check out all of these images, you're seeing the future of what Marvel's plan is, and it's a tantalizing look for sure.

"Avengers: Age Of Ultron" is in theaters May 1, 2015.

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Brantley Gilbert
Credit: Valory Records

Interview: Brantley Gilbert on new album, 'Just As I Am'

First single, 'Bottoms Up' rises to the top of the country charts

It’s been three years since Brantley Gilbert’s 2011 “Halfway to Heaven” album. Ask the country singer what took so long for him to craft follow-up, “Just As I Am,” out May 19, and he jokes, “I needed a nap.” Then when that doesn’t sound dramatic enough, he goes for “I was cryogenically frozen.”  

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"The Little Couple""The Little Couple"

"The Little Couple"

Credit: TLC

'Little Couple' recap: Were you moved by Jen and Bill's latest challenge?

It's time for the kids' first Christmas, but also Jen's chemotherapy

When Jen faces the camera to calmly explain her cancer diagnosis, it's almost as if the tiny doctor is speaking reassuringly to one of her own patients. Yes, it's stage 3, and it will require chemotherapy, and it's best for her to start treatment right away -- despite the fact she and Bill have a new arrival, Zoey, in the house.

I bet she's a great doctor, because she's so calm and collected as she delivers this dose of horrible news. It's easy to believe that everything is going to be fine (and, according to Jen, it is now). But I bet being a doctor who knows full well what stage 3 of a fast-growing cancer can be, she was more rattled than we ever knew.

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<p>Shirley MacLaine, Christopher Plummer and Jaie Laplante at the opening night of the 2014 Miami Film Festival.</p>

Shirley MacLaine, Christopher Plummer and Jaie Laplante at the opening night of the 2014 Miami Film Festival.

Credit: AP Photo/Evan Agostini

Miami fest director Jaie Laplante on finding the right festival rhythm

How to keep audiences happy, and who's his dream festival guest?

MIAMI - Being the director of any film festival requires a dauntingly broad skill set: the best in the business are at once discerning cinephiles, persuasive businesspeople, savvy media monitors and charismatic public figures. Their own expert appreciation of the artform can't interfere with their intuitive popular touch; they must interact with industry, journalists and paying audiences with equal care and cordiality, usually at the same time. A film festival lasts less than a fortnight; building and running it is a year-round job.

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<p>Jere Burns as Wynn Duffy on &quot;Justified.&quot;</p>

Jere Burns as Wynn Duffy on "Justified."

Credit: FX

Review: 'Justified' - 'Weight'

The Crowes begin to fall apart, Wynn calls in a consultant, and Raylan visits an old enemy

A review of tonight's "Justified" coming up just as soon as I have a pleather attaché...

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The 20 best Fox Searchlight movies of the past 20 years

The 20 best Fox Searchlight movies of the past 20 years

Counting down the cream of the studio dependent's crop

This July will mark a special occasion for independent cinema. It was 20 years ago that Tom Rothman joined 20th Century Fox to launch Fox Searchlight Pictures, a division of the studio meant to capitalize on a growing movement in the industry like Miramax Films and Sony Pictures Classics before it. It was the rise of the "dependents," studio-sanctioned arms run autonomously that would be havens of sorts for filmmakers with bold voices, led by teams geared toward matching those voices with the audiences that craved them.

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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' recap: Carole is not okay with Aviva

It's like apples and spaceships, you know?

While I think there's an entire book to be written about the weirdly cozy relationship between Aviva's ex-husband Harry, Aviva, Sonja and Aviva's current husband Reid, sadly that wasn't the focus of this week's episode of "The Real Housewives of New York." No, that was devoted to a topic familiar to anyone who watches reality television -- does a book deal make you a "real" writer, and if so, do you actually have to write anything? Or can you, like, call up a guy and tell him some stories and make him, like, do it so you can go to parties and stuff? 

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Chris Martin joins 'The Voice' as mentor for all contestants

Chris Martin joins “The Voice” as mentor for all contestants
As part of a new format, the Coldplay frontman will serve as "key advisor" for all the teams and all four artists.


Nat Geo’s “Kiling Jesus” expanding to a 4-hour miniseries
The follow-up to “Killing Lincoln” and “Killing Kennedy” from Bill O’Reilly is expected to air in 2015.


ABC under fire for “Alice in Arabia”
The pilot that has a female American (non-white) teen kidnapped by her extended Saudi Arabian family and held a “Virtual prisoner in her grandfather’s royal compound” has drawn backlash by those fearing that it would perpetuate Middle Eastern stereotypes.


HBO doesn't need the books to complete "Game of Thrones"
"HBO will finish 'Game of Thrones' when it wants to, with or without his books,” says James Poniewozik, pointing out that the HBO series is not going to be delayed for anything, not even the books. "And that will be fine. Maybe better,” he adds, because the books and the show could co-exist together.


“The Bachelor’s” Juan Pablo & Nikki met with “Marriage Boot Camp” counselors
WEtv stars Jim and Elizabeth Carroll offered to meet with Juan Pablo and his girlfriend after watching last week’s “Bachelor" finale.


MTV went all out with its “Teen Wolf” memorial website
Visitors to TeenWolfMemorial.com are greeted with "Neo Goth grief."


Watch Kate Walsh sing on “Fargo”
Walsh plays a former stripper who sings while smoking about her dead husband.


Every “Lost” character, ranked
From most to least annoying.


Why “Enlisted” deserves to live
The struggling Fox sitcom is not only funny, but it’s also about something important.


“The Walking Dead’s” Beth comes out with an EP
Her song “Expired Love” has been re-released.


Is “NCIS” glamorizing electronic surveillance?
Why “NCIS” and sibling shows “NCIS: L.A.” seem to have a pro-NSA agenda.


Adam Shankman to direct “Madame Rose” biopic for HBO
“Madame Rose” will tell the story of stage mother Rose Hovick, mom of burlesque performer Gypsy Rose Lee and actress June Havoc.


“Glee” celebrates 100 episodes
To commemorate tonight’s milestone, Variety delved into how “Glee” changed music on TV and how it turned "kitsch into classics.” PLUS: Watch 100 seconds of “Glee” from five seasons, “Glee” stars share their bucket list, and 100 reasons to love “Glee."


In defense of Billy Dee Williams’ terrible “Dancing”
Why last night’s performance wasn’t that embarrassing.


Erin Andrews’ sports reporter background is put to good use on “Dancing”
As co-host, she gave the "Planet Mirrorballus the sports-arena treatment it apparently deserves,” says Annie Barrett. "Unlike the somewhat robotic (yet beautiful) eveningwear paper doll she replaced (Brooke Burke Charvet), Erin wasn’t afraid to muscle her way through post-dance chit chat with the couples and ask questions beyond 'How do you feel?’” PLUS: Andrews’ voice is like nails on a chalkboard, and how was the new “Dancing” band?


Remembering obscure reality TV shows
From “Rich Girls” to “Legally Blonde — The Musical.”


Man covers his arms in “Breaking Bad” tattoos
Electrician James Allan spent 40 hours under the needle to get his lifelike tattoos.


Andrew Rannells wants “Girls” to let his character have gay sex
"I volunteered myself for nakedness," Rannells says. "I feel like with Looking on the air, I gotta represent some gay sex on the show. I'm willing.” PLUS: Felicity Jones refuses to watch her episode.


W. Kamau Bell admits there was a “mourning process” after his FXX talk show was canceled
"The show was supposed to be on the air for the rest of my life, but that didn't happen,” the comedian jokes. "There was a mourning process, and then it quickly became clear that I needed to get back on the road."


Watch the trailer for MTV’s “Faking It”
The unscripted series follows two female friends who pretend to be lesbians.


Mary Steenburgen on joining “Justified”: “It’s like walkin’ on the wild side”
Steenburgen is referring to her first day on set, where an entire scene was reworked on the fly.


“Trophy Wife’s” Albert Tsai describes what it's like to be a 9-year-old on set
Aside from going to class on set, Marcia Gay Harden reads “Harry Potter” to him and he gets to watch Disney Channel on YouTube.


Ranking the best cult TV shows ever
From “Buffy” to “The Wire” to “Veronica Mars."


Josh Holloway welcomes a 2nd child
The “Intelligence” star now has a son to go with his daughter.

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Jennifer Lopez
Credit: Capitol Records

Jennifer Lopez's new album slated for June 17 release

Guests include Robin Thicke, Maxwell, and Tyga

Jennifer Lopez will release her first studio album since 2011’s “Love?” in June.

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<p>Jim Breuer at SXSW</p>

Jim Breuer at SXSW

Credit: HitFix

Jim Breuer working on hard-rockin' metal album for families

'Saturday Night Live' alum does not want to hear your terrible Goat Boy impression

AUSTIN - Comedian Jim Breuer is heading into the recording studio in May to record what will be "hard-rockin' metal" album for families.

Mind you, not "for kids." But family-friendly. "Everyone can relate to the lyrics," he told me, and along for the ride is what he said will be "some pretty heavy names involved."

This month, Breuer was at the SXSW comedy fest heading up a Laugh Button bill that included Sinbad. But this summer, he's heading out on Motorhead's Motorboat Cruise along with Megadeth, Anthrax, Zakk Wylde. His rapport includes some applauded impressions of Metallica and Black Sabbath.

So, it's safe to say he's made some heavy metal fans along the way to recruit for the as-yet-untitled set.

"Family-friendly" and hard rock have been some of the cornerstones of the "Saturday Night Live" vet's routines. But so has Goat Boy, from SNL. And Breuer doesn't need to hear your drunken take on it: he's heard "everything from a baby lamb to a donkey," so enough already.

Watch the full video, for Breuer's "Lars Ulrich Storytelling" impression, his advice to young comedians, how he's a fine wine, and what makes you a banana and a yo-yo.

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