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<p>Brad Pitt has an Oscar</p>

Brad Pitt has an Oscar

Credit: Matt Sayles/AP

TV Ratings: Oscars dominates Sunday, ABC eyes slight increases

Real Oscar numbers will be in at midday Monday

Fast National ratings for Sunday, March 2, 2014.

Early numbers are in for Sunday night and, not surprisingly, they favor ABC and its broadcast of the 86th Academy Awards.

In addition to the usual caveats, there are a couple points of information:

1) ABC promises time zone-adjusted fast nationals for 3 p.m. ET, give or take, and those numbers will accurately depict ratings for the Oscars. These numbers only depict time period data and, as with Emmys, Golden Globes and Super Bowl ratings, they're essentially meaningless. I write them up anyway, but only because I assume you won't put any more stock in them than "essentially meaningless."

2) While the Oscars continued far later, the official Nielsen end-time for the Oscars will be 11:41, which was when the last national commercial spot aired. 

3) The 2014 Academy Awards telecast is up over last year in metered market households and may be on track for the biggest overall numbers since 2005. But that doesn't mean anything. Remember how the most recent Super Bowl didn't seem to be tracking toward another audience record? And then it turned out to be the most program ever? Yeah. Numbers change.

On to the numbers, which include inaccurate Oscars numbers, plus slightly more accurate tallies for "The Amazing Race: All-Stars" and two newsmagazines.

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<p>Eva Green commands the screen in the delirious new sequel &#39;300: Rise Of An Empire&#39;</p>

Eva Green commands the screen in the delirious new sequel '300: Rise Of An Empire'

Credit: Warner Bros/Legendary

Review: Eva Green gives a can't-miss performance in the crazy new '300' sequel

Fans of the first film should expect more of the same here

The first question that would seem to apply when regarding any sequel is "Does this feel like it is of a piece with the first film?" It doesn't have to be the same movie to be a successful sequel, but it should do something interesting. It should either be a response to the first film or a deliberately different type of film or it should build on some interesting story thread or it should enhance our understanding of the world or the characters. By that standard, "300: Rise Of An Empire" is a worthy sequel to "300," stylistically consistent and equally loony, featuring what may well be the first truly can't-miss performance in a film this year.

It would not shock me if, twenty years from now, people talk about this film the way they talk about "Poltergeist" now, simply accepting it as common knowledge that Zack Snyder "really" directed the film. It is so precise in the way it builds off the first film's visual style and so carefully built to wrap around the events of the first film narratively that it feels more like deleted scenes from the first film instead of something that stands alone. That may sound like an insult, but it's not. I would assume Snyder, who co-wrote the script with Kurt Johnstad, probably signed off on every single storyboard, and I am sure Noam Murro was given full access to all the resources that Snyder had at his disposal. It's remarkable how much this feels like it is simply more of the same story, told the same way.

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Ellen used a Samsung smartphone for her Twitter-breaking celebrity selfie, while using an iPhone backstage

Ellen used a Samsung smartphone for her Twitter-breaking celebrity selfie, while using an iPhone backstage
Turns out Samsung is an official sponsor for the Oscars.


Jimmy Kimmel spoofs viral videos by turning them into celeb-studded trailers
Check out Ameowdeus, starring Kevin Spacey. PLUS: What was up with Kimmel’s “America-hating” skit on the Oscar pre-show?, and Spacey plays a 1985 Johnny Carson with special guest a teenage Kimmel, and Mayor Rob Ford shows up early to tonight's "Jimmy Kimmel Live."


“12 Years a Slave’s” Oscar-winning screenwriter credits “Fresh Prince”
Will Smith gave John Ridley his first job, in a career that later included serving as co-executive producer of “The Wanda Sykes Show” and a producer on “Third Watch."


“SNL’s” Taran Killam proud to be part of this year’s Oscar Best Picture
“I’m in the best movie of the year!!!” says Killam, whose "12 Years a Slave" character helps kidnap Chiwetel Ejiofor at the beginning of the movie.


Oscars played “Let it Go” from “Frozen” too late for kids to stay up
Even Shonda Rhimes was upset it took so long, tweeting: "My 2 yr old is in bed. Tomorrow, when she finds out Idina sang without her, it's gonna get ugly up in here."


E! presenter asks Mindy Kaling what “color” guy she likes
“Girl, kiss some black men on the show,” Kaling was told on the Oscar red carpet.

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<p>Brendon and Rachel of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot; All-Stars&quot;</p>

Brendon and Rachel of "The Amazing Race" All-Stars"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race: All-Stars' - 'Baby Bear's Soup'

First becomes last, last becomes first and drama ensues in China

This happens every year, so I should stop complaining about it. Every year, it seems that "The Amazing Race" manages to start one week ahead of the Oscars, so it's one ordinary week of recapping responsibilities and then... 
BAM... An evening spent covering the Academy Awards, followed by a late-night "Amazing Race" recap. 

All that means is that I already had most of my soul slurped from my brain by Ellen DeGeneres taking selfies and ordering pizza, John Travolta bumbling Idina Menzel's name, the discovery that Kim Novak is still alive, various "12 Years a Slave" people forgetting to thank each other, Matthew McConaughey's three rules to live by and other bits of Oscar silliness. I'm sleepy.

However, it was an eventful episode of "The Amazing Race" and even if it wasn't a perfect episode, some pretty big things happen and those things need to be discussed, so I'm going to try to stay awake and I'll do my best to knock out the major points after the break…

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Analysis: '12 Years A Slave' wins Bets Picture as others fall [Video]

Analysis: '12 Years A Slave' wins Bets Picture as others fall [Video]

Long season comes to an end

Daniel Fienberg and Gregory Ellwood took a few minutes, with champagne glasses still in hand, to discuss the results of the 86th Academy Awards.  From "12 Years A Slave" beating the odds to win best picture to a number of contenders such as "The Wolf of Wall Street," "Nebraska," "American Hustle" and "Philomena" coming home empty handed to "Dallas Buyers Club" surviving the naysayers to win two major acting awards.

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Best and Worst of the 2014 Academy Awards

Best and Worst of the 2014 Academy Awards

Ups and downs on the telecast, as always

The 86th annual Academy Awards are over and it was "12 Years a Slave" that won the industry's top honor. The show built around Hollywood's annual back-patting ceremony was, as ever, full of ups and downs. So what did Team HitFix find to be the best and worst of the 2014 Oscarcast? Click through the gallery story below to find out!

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<p>Ellen DeGeneres and her celebrity friends trying to break Twitter in the middle of the Academy Awards.</p>

Ellen DeGeneres and her celebrity friends trying to break Twitter in the middle of the Academy Awards.

Credit: Twitter/Ellen DeGeneres

Review: Pizzas, celebrity selfies and pointless montages at the 2014 Academy Awards

A rough night for host Ellen DeGeneres and the producers that still had some fine speeches

The 2013 Academy Awards telecast was a mess, but it was an understandable mess. Seth MacFarlane was going to do Seth MacFarlane things, regardless of whether they were appropriate to the setting. And the show featured multiple tributes to the 10th anniversary of "Chicago" because the Oscar-cast was being led by "Chicago" producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron — and, as we were reminded of by the end of Matthew McConaughey's speech tonight, people in Hollywood like to pat themselves on the back when an opportunity presents itself.

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2014 Academy Awards winners and nominees - complete list

2014 Academy Awards winners and nominees - complete list

'Gravity' wins 7 awards while '12 Years a Slave' wins 3, including Best Pic

The 86th Academy Awards were handed out Sunday, March 2 at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood. A complete list of all the nominees and winners can be found below.

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<p>Duking it out since Telluride, both &quot;Gravity&quot; and &quot;12 Years a Slave&quot; were duly rewarded by the Academy.</p>

Duking it out since Telluride, both "Gravity" and "12 Years a Slave" were duly rewarded by the Academy.

Credit: AP Photo

'12 Years a Slave' and 'Gravity' split Best Picture and Best Director at the 86th Oscars

Alfonso Cuarón wins for helming but Steve McQueen gets his moment in the sun

The Academy seemed to be leaning toward "Gravity" for much of the evening Sunday, ultimately handing the film seven Oscars, including the expected Best Director victory for Alfonso Cuarón. But while the Academy was busy throwing wins like Best Original Score, Best Film Editing and more the film's way, it was saving up the evening's top prize for "12 Years a Slave," making it the first film to win Best Picture that was directed by a black filmmaker.

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Matthew McConaughey

Idina Menzel

Credit: AP Photo

Rating the Oscars 2014 musical performances: From Pharrell to U2

Watch all of them, including Pink and Bette Midler, below

As expected, “Frozen’s”  “Let It Go”  took home the Oscar for best original song, but who was the winner for best performance during the Academy Awards?

We rate the four Oscar-nominated performances as well as the two extra appearances by Pink and Bette Midler.

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<p>Matthew McConaughey accepts the Oscar for Best Actor at the 86th annual Academy Awards.</p>

Matthew McConaughey accepts the Oscar for Best Actor at the 86th annual Academy Awards.

Credit: AP Photo

Matthew McConaughey wraps up the 'McConaissance' with an Oscar win

The 'Dallas Buyers Club' star won Best Actor Sunday night

The McConaissance is complete. Matthew McConaughey has capped off a great couple of years with top-tier performances in films like "The Lincoln Lawyer," "Magic Mike," "Killer Joe," "Mud" and "The Wolf of Wall Street" by landing a Best Actor Oscar for his performance in "Dallas Buyers Club."

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<p>Cate Blanchett accepts the Oscar for Best Actress at the 86th annual Academy Awards.</p>

Cate Blanchett accepts the Oscar for Best Actress at the 86th annual Academy Awards.

Credit: AP Photo

'Blue Jasmine' star Cate Blanchett wins Best Actress, her second Oscar to date

Win comes in the wake of controversy surrounding director Woody Allen's past

Cate Blanchett has won the 2014 Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine." This is her second Academy Award after winning the Best Supporting Actress prize in 2005 for her performance as Katharine Hepburn in "The Aviator."

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