Latest Blog Posts

<p>Margo Martindale in &quot;The Americans.&quot;</p>

Margo Martindale in "The Americans."

Credit: FX

Review: 'The Americans' - 'A Little Night Music'

Religion comes into the Jennings home, and their old handler has a new assignment

A review of tonight's "The Americans" coming up just as soon as I have half a sock drawer...

Read Full Post

PlayStation orders 'Powers,' its 1st drama series

PlayStation orders “Powers,” its 1st drama series
The video game console is jumping into original programming with an adaption of the graphic novel by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming.


Starbucks to begin selling Oprah-branded tea
Proceeds from Teavana Oprah Chai Tea will go towards the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation.


Sam Shepard headed to Netflix to star in psychological drama from “Damages” creators
He’ll play the patriarch in a family that includes Sissy Spacek as his wife and Kyle Chandler, Ben Mendelsohn and Linda Cardellini as his children.


Sharon Gless will play Michael Imperioli’s mom on ABC comedy pilot
She’s joining “Saint Francis.”


Republican congressman reads “SNL’s” “I can see Russia" sketch on the House floor
Rep. Louie Gohmert from Texas wanted to prove that Palin didn’t say those words, while reading both Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s parts of the famous sketch.


Joan Rivers to return to “The Tonight Show,” this time as a guest
After appearing briefly on Jimmy Fallon’s debut, after not appearing on “Tonight” for nearly three decades, Rivers will sit down with Fallon on Thursday of next week. PLUS: Reese Witherspoon tweets her appreciation of Fallon and Lena Dunham gushing over “The Man in the Moon."


Former “Ink Masters” production assistant sues, claiming judges sexually harassed her
Nicoletta Robinson claims Chris Nunez and Oliver Peck from the tattoo reality competition harassed her with "offensive jokes and creepy verbal and physical come-ons.”


“Parks and Rec” won’t ever show the footage it has of Leslie Knope making out with Ron Swanson
"Nick and I do a scene just for the gag reel where Leslie and Ron make out!” says Amy Poehler. “And,” adds co-creator Michael Schur, "we never put it on the gag reel because it's super-disturbing.”


3 days before his death, Philip Seymour Hoffman praised his pal John Slattery and his “Mad Men" character
In fact, Slattery last heard from Hoffman the day before he was discovered dead on Feb. 2. "What I like about that guy is how much he loves women,” Hoffman told Men’s Journal, referr9ing to Roger Sterling. "His passion is women, his passion is romance – and he's stuck in this job where he has neither. His job is about fantasy, but he lost that view of it years ago. Now he just wants to be in love somewhere."


Nat Geo announces “You Can’t Lick Your Elbow,” “Cabin Fever” and “Meat Heads”
Former NFL star Tony Gonzalez will host “Lick Your Elbow,” which teaches “body hacks.” National Geographic’s new slate also includes “The Primitives,” “Remote Survival” and “Crowd Control.”


Billy Eichner would like to do “Billy on the Street” on streets outside NYC
Read the Fuse star’s comments on his Reddit Ask Me Anything.


Vote in the “Best ‘Seinfeld’ Episode Tournament”
Here’s the field of 32, including No. 1 seeds “The Contest,” “The Boyfriend,” “The Marine Biologist” and “The Soup Nazi.


Rose McGowan joining Chad Michael Murray on Crackle’s “Chosen” Season 3
The web series is No. 2 on Crackle, behind Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.”


Dan Harmon recounts how Joel McHale helped get him back on “Community”
"I never dreamed that an actor could accomplish too much more than inspiring a Tumblr blog about him, you know. I didn’t think he had that much sway,” says Harmon.


Jimmy Fallon’s “Tonight” viewers’ average age is 54, five years younger than Jay Leno’s viewers
Letterman now has late-night’s oldest average viewership, while Jimmy Kimmel’s average audience is 55.


“The Simpsons” unveils a new Springfield public transit map
Now you can carefully inspect Springfield’s subway map.


“Pretty Little Liars” promises a “Season of answers 2”
Exec producer Marlene King says: "This is the first finale where it felt like people were universally satisfied and that is really just fantastic, which is what we set out to do. We pushed our fans to the breaking point and they really deserved these answers. It's a great opportunity for us to spin the show in a new direction."


Meet Twitter’s head of TV
Fred Graver, a former writer for Letterman, Jon Stewart and “Cheers,” says his job is to "get everyone in America to say ‘Oh my God watching TV with Twitter is so much better than watching TV alone.’”


Should “Veronica Mars” movie have gone out of its way to appeal to non-fans?
Why even “Veronica” would be disappointed in the final film.


Why Lisa Kudrow’s “The Comeback” needs to come back
The one-season HBO series still seems fresh, nearly a decade later.


“Burn Notice’s” Bruce Campbell on his “Psych” guest spot: "Heck yeah, I want to be a part of that”
"I had always wanted to work with the guys because I ran into them at all these PR events for ‘Psych' and 'Burn Notice,’” says the “Burn Notice” alum.


Mindy Kaling has some “Wine Time”
Watch her homage to “Sideways.”


Watch a preview of ABC Family’s “Chasing Life” cancer drama
Based on Mexico’s “Terminales,” the series follows a 20-something female journalist who learns she has cancer.


CW’s “The 100” is cribbed from many sci-fi shows
It’s “Terra Nova” meets “Lost” meets “Battlestar Galactica” meets “Lost in Space!” PLUS: It’s “not garbage” unlike most sci-fi shows, it’s binge-viewing worthy, and CW finally got it startlingly right.


HBO’s “Doll & Em” is a sweet take on female friendship
Emily Mortimer and her pal Dolly Well’s new show overcomes its Hollywood satire to become something that is actually touching. PLUS: It’s awkwardly funny yet occasionally heartbreaking, Mortimer talks about her real-life friendship with Wells, and it looks like HBO is killing off this show before it even begins.

Read Full Post
<p>No one has ever shot dance quite the way Busby Berkeley did.</p>

No one has ever shot dance quite the way Busby Berkeley did.

Credit: Warner Bros Home Entertainment

Ryan Gosling to produce and possibly star in or direct Busby Berkeley biopic

But wouldn't this be a perfect reason to reunite with Refn again?

It's about time Hollywood give Busby Berkeley his due.

There is no one working in modern film who uses mainstream movie language in such surreal and beautiful ways, and even when he was at the height of his popularity, there was no one quite like Berkeley. As both director and choreographer, he created these explosive, amazing visuals, most often distinguished by the overhead shots he'd do of an entire soundstage floor full of dancers moving in these elaborate patterns.

As much as I love Berkeley's movie work, I don't know much about him as a person. Ryan Gosling must think there's enough meat there for a movie, though, because he's signed on to co-produce a film based on "Buzz: The Life And Art Of Busby Berkeley." Marc Platt will be co-producing with Gosling, and it appears they're in the very early stages of things, with no writer attached yet.

Read Full Post
"How I Met Your Mother"

"How I Met Your Mother"

Credit: CBS

CulturePop No. 41 - 'How I Met Your Mother''s Andy Gowan, Lady Gaga

We talk about the show's last song and those dead mother rumors

This week Melinda and I got a chance to talk to Andy Gowan, the music supervisor for "How I Met Your Mother" and other shows, and of course we had to ask about the very last song we'll hear on the show -- and some of the rumors floating around about what we'll see in the finale. We're only human.

Read Full Post
<p>Jesse Spencer in &quot;Chicago Fire,&quot; one of several shows NBC renewed tonight.</p>

Jesse Spencer in "Chicago Fire," one of several shows NBC renewed tonight.

Credit: NBC

NBC renews 'Parks and Recreation,' 'Chicago Fire,' 'Chicago PD' & 'Grimm'

A strange renewal release brings good news in the end

Welcome to an exciting installment of Adventures in Network Press Releases, where a simple email about the renewal of "Chicago Fire," "Chicago P.D." and "Grimm" instead turns into a stealth renewal announcement for "Parks and Recreation" and "Celebrity Apprentice."

Earlier this evening, NBC sent out a press release with a simple and clear headline about the first three shows being renewed. Makes sense. The two "Chicago" shows have done relatively well after, respectively, "The Voice" and "Law & Order: SVU," and NBC likes being in the Dick Wolf business, and "Grimm" has been a stable Friday performer for a few years now.

Then came the strange part, as the release mentioned previous renewals for "The Blacklist," "The Voice," "Parks and Recreation," "Celebrity Apprentice" and "The Biggest Loser." The problem was that only the first two had actually been previously announced as renewed for next season. Back at press tour, Fienberg goaded Bob Greenblatt into saying he expected "Parks" would be back next season, but no contracts had been signed, "Celebrity Apprentice" had been in limbo for a long time, though there have been recent reports of casting work being done for a 14th edition, and there was no news at all on "Biggest Loser."

As it turns out, "Biggest Loser" being included was a mistake, but NBC says the others are correct.

So if you have your scoreboard handy, here is what happened tonight:

* "Chicago Fire," "Chicago PD" and "Grimm" were all renewed, loudly and proudly.

* "Parks and Rec" and "Celebrity Apprentice" got stealth renewals, and we still don't know when the latter will air or exactly what the deal is for the former (my guess is "Parks" gets the "30 Rock" treatment with a shortened order for a season that we know going in will be the final one).

* "Biggest Loser" fans got their hopes up for a couple of minutes until NBC sent a correction.

* Many other NBC shows (including "Biggest Loser," but also "Law & Order: SVU," "Parenthood," "Hannibal," "Revolution," "Dracula," the new Tuesday comedies, "Community," and even "The Michael J. Fox Show," among others) will have their fates decided later in the season, or at upfront time in early May. The improbable "Community" dream of six seasons and a movie: not dead yet!

Read Full Post

NBC renews 'Chicago Fire,' 'Chicago PD' and “Grimm'

NBC renews “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago PD” and “Grimm”
They’ll return next season for a 3rd, 2nd and 4th season, respectively. PLUS: NBC formally picks up "Parks and Rec."

Read Full Post
<p>Elbow</p>

Elbow

Credit: Tom Sheehan

Rock band Elbow talks 'Taking Off' into their golden years

Craig Potter is thinking about Bloody Marys on the cusp of their No. 1 (UK) album

Elbow just scored their first No. 1 in the U.K. this month, with their sixth studio album "The Take Off And Landing Of Everything," which has also become one of their best-selling sets in the U.S. The music itself contains as much up and down as the title suggests, even with the rock troupe's many successes; it's more about personal failures and regrets, sarcasm and lunacy, and -- sure -- a some triumph and optimism.

Produced by the band keyboardist Craig Potter, "The Take Off" now leaps up from No. 109 to No. 83 on the Billboard 200 this week. The group will be touring the U.S. May 12 through May 28, with several dates already sold out. Having previously interviewed frontman Guy Garvey, it's apparent Elbow are thankful for any success they've seen. With this release, I spoke to Potter, who also feels that shaking things up in the studio still has kept them on an "up" trajectory.

!-- break -->

Below is our abridged Q&A, on their single, their tour, beer and bloody marys, recording at Peter Gabriel's studio and embarking on The Golden Years of Elbow.

I’ve been listening to “Fly Boy Blue/Lunette” a lot since the song came out. Let’s start by talking about that song, can you talk about the making of that song in the studio?

What we did with this album, we sort of split up into different groups, didn’t necessarily all get together. We had one day off a week when we were writing so it meant that different varying groups of the whole band working together at different times trying to get different vibes out of different songs. So “Fly Boy Blue,” the bare bones of it, was written by three of us, musically.

It's so much more of a performance song, sort of band feel. Probably a little bit more like some of our older stuff. We always wanted it to feel quite foggy in a lot of ways, as some of the other tracks on the album do. They came up with this big heavy riff in the middle, this really long riff and it was just guitars and keyboards at first and then we decided to put the sax on to give it a bit of a twist.

It's basically a story of snapshots of Guy’s life in a lot of ways, the first half, and then “Lunette” is more of an honest sort of hit. It’s a sort of admission, just a very honest sort of tale, I think.

I like in particular the treatment of Guy’s voice. Can you talk about the evolution of his voice as you've known him as a producer and bandmate throughout Elbow’s career?

Interesting. Listening back to our old albums and listening back to early stuff that we did, it has changed quite a lot. Obviously his range as he gets older -- he can't quite do the falsetto bits anymore so he used to sing a lot of falsetto and higher sounds when he was younger.

He's always layers his voice in a lot of ways, especially when we first started experimenting with recordings. One of his strengths is harmonies. So I'd give it a little bit of a twist. And more and more it got a bit more gravel. You can push Guy's voice up in the mix a lot and it's just really “wow” having it really loud and in your face. Other than that ,it's just the usual things really, a bit more grit has come in there.

Lyrically this album and the last touch a lot on major big life gestures and a moving through life. Do you feel like this new album says something new or touches on a lot of issues about aging?

Yeah, I think the feel of a lot of the things are definitely about approaching 40. I mean I'm actually a couple years younger than the rest of them, but yeah we’re all at that or around it. When you get to that I think a lot of it's when you get to that stage of life you do a bit of looking back, and you do looking forward, so you're sort of in the middle almost. And I think that comes through. Considering death and then considering your childhood and what was, all at the same time.

Did you imagine that you'd be still with this band and working with this band in this capacity when you started?

If you'd asked 20 years ago if we'd still be together, I would've said no way. I think we're just lucky to get on so well.

And what have you considered to be one of the biggest goals that you guys have achieved or what had you thinking, “Man, we really made it?”

The big moment that is sort of changed everything was winning the Mercury Music Prize over here. That changed a lot of things. But I mean - because of that we got to play with BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and on TV over here…

And you have your own beer, which I feel like is an achievement of its own.

Yeah. The beer thing is crazy. We did it with the last album and it went down so well so we've got to do it again. It is just to promote the album at the end of the day. But if people like it and it sells well it's like why not, it's a bit of fun.

It certainly makes you think a little differently about merchandising. Are you thinking about branching into spirits, perhaps some whiskey?

You never know. Maybe next time. We would think we'd quite like to do a bloody mary mix. I mean it's one of things because we travel around a lot and depending on how hungover you are, sometimes it's nice to have a morning bloody mary in an airport. Maybe next time that's what we'll do.

Read Full Post
<p>The &quot;American Idol&quot; Top 10</p>

The "American Idol" Top 10

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 13 - Top 10 Performances - Top 10 Songs Night

The remaining contenders sing Billboard hits

Welcome to another somewhat strange, very open-ended "American Idol" theme night.

Last week, we discovered that "Bennie and the Jets" was a Song From the Movies because it was heard in "27 Dresses."

Thursday night's theme? Top 10 Songs. Past? Present? Future? Any chart?

Let's find out!

Read Full Post
First Kiss
Credit: Wren

5 things about that 'First Kiss' song, Soko's 'We Might Be Dead By Tomorrow'

Including how it debuted at No. 1

Seemingly out of nowhere, Soko’s two-year old song, “We Might Be Dead By Tomorrow,” zoomed onto the Billboard Hot 100 this week, bowing at No. 9. Even more impressively, the song launched at No. 1 on Billboard’s Streaming Songs chart.

Read Full Post

'The Walking Dead' is headed to broadcast syndication, edited for family-friendly viewing

“The Walking Dead” is headed to broadcast syndication, edited for family-friendly viewing
This fall, MyNetworkTV will air two cleaned-up episodes of the AMC hit.


"Rizzoli & Isles” will address Lee Thompson Young’s death in the season premiere
Angie Harmon tweeted: "Season 5 eps 1&2 address our beloved Lee w/ love, honor & respect. Thank you @JanNash100."


“Dexter’s” Desmond Harrington joins “Astronaut Wives Club”
He’ll play Alan Shepard, the first American in space, on the ABC pilot.


Mia Farrow deletes an anti-CNN tweet when it’s pointed out her son is an MSNBC host
"Has TV 'news' gone completely crazy,” she tweeted with an image from CNN’s Malaysian Airlines missing plane coverage.


Treat Williams to play a “CSI” crime scene investigation pioneer
The “Everwood” alum will guest on the season finale.

Read Full Post
<p>Aubrey Plaza relishes the opportunity to break Jim O&#39;Heir&#39;s spirit on-camera</p>

Aubrey Plaza relishes the opportunity to break Jim O'Heir's spirit on-camera

Credit: HItFix

Watch Aubrey Plaza shock Jim O'Heir with terrible news on 'Parks and Rec' red carpet

And she's so happy about it, too

There is no worse moment for an actor than being fired from a role.

Eric Stoltz is probably still raw about what happened on "Back To The Future," and no matter what the reason that happened, he will most likely always be raw about it. When you act, you're laying yourself pretty bare in terms of criticism. When someone rejects a performance, they're rejecting all the choices the actor made. When you're fired from something because it's just not what the director wanted, it has to feel very personal. It must hurt.

When we attended the red carpet for the PaleyFest "Parks and Recreation" panel, we were expecting lots of jokes and energy from the show's remarkable cast. Our first few interviews went very well. But when Jim O'Heir stopped to talk to us, we ended up witness to a horrifying personal moment sprung on him at the worst possible time.

To be honest, the part that really gets me here is just how pleased Aubrey Plaza seems to be to tell him the terrible news. She may be a monster.

In all honesty, this is all part of the character O'Heir plays on the show, and we'll have more of my interview with him in the very near future, as well as much more from the red carpet including a Nick Offerman answer that we're not sure we can even share with you, it's so filthy.

"Parks and Recreation" airs Thursdays on NBC.

Read Full Post
Pharrell Williams
Credit: Columbia Records

Pharrell Williams' 'Happy' makes it four weeks at the top

Who is Soko and how did she debut in the Top 10?

“Happy,” Pharrell Williams’ Oscar-nominated ditty remains No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for its fourth week, while the Top 10 welcomes some newcomers.

Read Full Post
BLOGS BY NAME