Latest Blog Posts

<p>Bilbo&#39;s worked too hard to get there and back again for New Line to go changing titles on him now.</p>

Bilbo's worked too hard to get there and back again for New Line to go changing titles on him now.

Credit: New Line Cinema

Is New Line planning to change the title of the final 'Hobbit' film?

They wouldn't do that this late in the game... would they?

There are fan sites, and then there are fan sites. The One Ring has been around long enough that they have earned their spot atop the mountain as the end-all be-all source for news on all things involving the cinematic interpretations of the work of J.R.R. Tolkien.

When they call a source reliable, they've been doing this long enough to know what that means, and they wouldn't publish a random rumor unless they were fairly sure there is truth to it. So let's use that as a jumping-off point and just take it as a given that when The One Ring says that New Line is considering a title change for the final chapter of "The Hobbit," there's something to it.

The original plan for bringing "The Hobbit" to the screen was to break it into two parts. The first would be called "An Unexpected Journey," and the second would be "There And Back Again." When they made the decision to break the story into three parts, they named the second film "The Desolation Of Smaug" and left "There And Back Again" as the final title. There was a moment where they registered a possible alternative title, "The Battle Of Five Armies," but that seemed like something they considered without ever committing to it.

Read Full Post
Pharrell Williams
Credit: CBS

Pharrell Williams' 'Happy' is frozen at the top of the charts

What record does Billboard's Hot 100 set this week?

Pharrell’s “Happy” stays at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for its eighth week in an incredibly stagnant top 10. In fact, it’s a record-setting stagnancy….

For the first time in the chart’s 55 year history, the top seven tunes all stay locked in the same spot for three consecutive weeks, according to Billboard.

In case you haven’t memorized them, allow us to recap: At No. 1, Pharrell Williams’ “Happy.” No. 2, John Legend’s “All of Me,” No. 3, Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse,” featuring Juicy J; No 4, Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty,” featuring 2 Chainz; No. 5, Idina Menzel’s “Let It Go”; No. 6, Bastille’s “Pompeii,” and No. 7, Lorde’s “Team.”

DJ Snake and Lil Jon’s “Turn Down for What” rises 10-8, trading places with OneRepublic’s “Counting Stars,” while Aloe Blacc’s “The Man” holds at No. 9.

The highest debut belongs to Ed Sheeran, whose “Sing,” written and produced by Pharrell, bows at No. 15.

Read Full Post
"Life Below Zero"

"Life Below Zero"

Credit: Nat Geo

'Life Below Zero''s Sue tells of bear attack, 'being comfortable' with death

What she's been through defies belief

You can call someone a tough mother, but Sue Aikens, one of the subjects of "Life Below Zero" (season two premiere Thurs. April 17 at 9:00 p.m. on Nat Geo) takes it one step further -- she's one tough grandmother. And she's really tough -- fans of the show know that after being attacked by a bear six years ago, she “had to sew my head together, my arm, and then before my hips popped out, because they had been dislocated, I went across the river." There she found the bear that attacked her, shot him, and called for help -- which didn't come for ten days. ” Yeah, tough. 

Read Full Post
11 Fun Facts about U2, Duran Duran and Tears for Fears from 'Mad World'

11 Fun Facts about U2, Duran Duran and Tears for Fears from 'Mad World'

The oral history of New Wave artists bursts with entertaining stories

It doesn’t seem possible that it was around 30 years ago that A Flock of Seagulls ran so far away or Modern English melted with us, but it was.  The story behind those acts, their biggest hits, and dozens of other New Wave acts are captured in all their ‘80s bad hairdo-ed, brightly colored-glory in “Mad World: An Oral History of New Wave Artists And Songs That Defined The 1980s.”

Written by Lori Majewski and Jonathan Bernstein, with a forward by Duran Duran’s Nick Rhodes and an afterward by Moby, the book examines the New Wave era through the filter of 36 songs associated with the time, such as Gary Numan’s “Cars,” Duran Duran’s “Girls On Film” and The Smiths’ “How Soon Is Now.”

Each chapter deals with one act and, while not limited to the group’s biggest hit, explores the story behind that tune and the band’s history in the members’ own words. Majewski and Bernstein open each chapter with their recollection of the song and artist, even if they weren’t fans. For example, Bernstein’s commentary on Howard Jones is “zzzzzzz.”

In addition to the oral histories, there are “That Was Then, But This Is Now” updates on the band’s current statuses, footnotes from affiliated acts, for example Matchbox Twenty’s Rob Thomas talks about what it was like to fill in for Michael Hutchence in INXS or A Flock of Seagulls’ Mike Score weighs in on the jealousy he felt of Tears for Fears’ success, and a Mixtape box that suggests five likeminded acts and or songs, very often done with tongue planted firmly in cheek. It’s the perfect book to carry around and digest one chapter at a time.

Even the bands whose songs you don’t like have fun stories. A small caveat: the authors decided to focus on tunes that provided an entry point for the band in some cases, not necessarily the group’s biggest hit: For example, with Depeche Mode, the attention is on the Vince Clarke-era Depeche Mode and “New Life,” in part because that’s the only member they have an interview with. The Human League members most associated with that group’s biggest hit, “Don’t You Want Me,” also didn’t cooperate, so the chapter on Human League highlights “Being Boiled,” a 1978 tune from when Martyn Ware was still in the group before being ousted.

Majewski and Bernstein keep the tone light, admitting that there’s not even a standard definition for new wave, but they come up with one in their intro that fits the time perfectly: “It was a Tower of Babel populated by American bands who wanted to be British, British bands that wanted to be German, and German bands who wanted to be robots.”  They don’t aim to be completists (hence, the exclusion of such acts at The Cure) or scholarly, their aim to provide an entertaining, informative look back at a time when music was as much about image as sound (New Wave’s success does tie in with the birth of MTV, after all, and the perfect companion to this book is Rob Tannenbaum and Craig Marks' "I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution") and the weirder the hair, the higher the chart position.

Here are 10 fun facts from the book:

It, understandably, went right over people’s heads that Devo’s “Whip It” was a Thomas Pynchon-esque parody: “Some people assumed it was an S&M song, so we wanted to fulfill their expectations with the video,” says the groups Gerald Casale. “Others thought it was about jacking off. Every time we’d do a radio interview, typically the DJs would be these leftover seventies hippies. They’d have the satin baseball jackets form the record company and the big pile of coke, and they’d go, ‘Whip it, dude. Heh, heh, heh!’ and they’d make jerk-off moves. We’d start by telling them what it’s actually about thad that would bum them out, so then we realized we should just go along with it.”

Kajagoogoo almost had a very different name, inspired by, wait for it, Agatha Christie: “I’d go out to nightclubs in London with a spaceman’s outfit on and weird oil paint over my face, which was a bit punk/Toyah/Adam and the Ants,” says lead singer, Limahl. “I’d spend two hours getting ready. Choosing the name was an extension of that. I remember I’d been to see an Agatha Christie movie called ‘The Mirror Crack’d’ and I said we should call ourselves the Mirror Crack’d. But when Nick [Rhodes] walked in one day _ and Nick’s outfit really left of center, very bright, really out there —he said, ‘What do you think of Kajagoogoo?’ I immediately loved it. The other three looked puzzled, but they came round over a few days.

A Flock of Seagull’s Mike Score’s wild, wacky hairdo really did possess magical powers: “I didn’t wash if for a couple weeks at a time because it was just so locked int place — a can of Aquanet every night… Once it was up and we had gigs, it never came down. One show, a girl jumped onstage, ran over to me, touched my fair, and fainted. I came offstage that night, and my manager said, “‘I think you’re got something there!’”  

Vince Clarke has no regrets about leaving Depeche Mode, despite its monstrous success: “When I decided to leave, it wasn’t for another music band or to form Yaz — I just decided to leave. We were just young and things happened quite quickly for us, and there were a lot of egos flying around. I was just fed up. In retrospect, i’m really glad [I left]. No regrets at all, because i’ve worked with some really brilliant artists.”

OMD wrote “If You Leave” at the last minute for John Hughes: Orchestral Manoeuvers In The Dark originally submitted another song for “Pretty In Pink,” but when director Hughes changed the ending, the song no longer fit and he asked them to write a new one. “We worked till four in the morning and we banged onto a cassette the rough demo, then called a motorcycle to take it to Paramount,” recalls Andy McCluskey (clearly in the days before email and MP3s). “We got a phone call at half-past eight the next morning from our manager saying, ‘John’s already in the office—he’s heard the cassette and he loves it. Can you finish it off?’…That’s how ‘If You Leave’ was created—completely off the top of our heads in one day in Hollywood.”

Tears For Fears’ Curt Smith and Roland Orzabal didn’t say a single word to each for a decade: After the band broke up, after living side by side from 13 to 27, “we didn’t talk to each other for 10 years,” says Smith. “I moved to L.A. Eventually, his manager called me out of the blue to ask if i’d be interested in doing another record with Roland. My initial reaction was ‘No way!’…but then I thought, ‘That’s kind of unfair. It’s been 10 years. I don’t even know what he’s like anymore…We met up in Bath. It wasn’t weird at all. I mean, it was weird for the first 10 minutes, but after that, it was fine.”  And yeah, fame can be confusing. “We were 20 when [‘The Hurting’] came out…half the audience wouldn’t make eye contact; the other half were trying to rip our shirts off.”

Don’t put Echo & The Bunnymen’s Ian McCulloch in the same room with U2’s Bono: “[Our music] might not be right for the 100,000 people with cowboy hats singing, ‘Where The Streets Have No Name.’ I suggest they get their f**king sheriff on the case if their streets have no name. Bono — Nobo, that’s his f**king name. What a gibbering, leprechaunish twat. He’s up to no good. He’s more out of his mind than I’ve ever seen anybody and that includes Mel Gibson on the David Letterman show when his head spun around 360 times. He’s the most banal, buffooneried-up, fucking leprechaun. He’s kissed more Blarney Stones than I’ve had hot dinners. I wish they’d been toxic so he’d f**k off.”

Don’t put Paul Young in the same room as Joy Division’s Peter Hook: “Paul Young’s was the most famous [cover of ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’] and at the time, I hated it,” Hook recalls. “But then, we made more money off of that rendition than we ever did as Joy Division. It’s quite painful, isn’t it? It was snooty, and it was everything we don’t want to be— cabaret.”

A-ha’s “Take On Me” success was a blessing and a curse: “I’m totally at peace with ‘Take On Me,” says the band’s Magne “Mags” Furuholmen, “but I know there are other people in our group who would rather not talk about that song…You feel for the other songs that you bled for, and the ones that didn’t get attention. It’s like you have two kids, and someone always talks about how great one kid is.”

Modern English’s “I Melt With You” is apocalyptic: “[When ‘I Melt With You’ was first released as a single in 1982] I don’t think many people realized it was about a couple making love as the bomb dropped. As they made love, they become one and melt together,” says Modern English’s Robbie Grey. And yet, Hershey still decided to use it to sell chocolate…

Duran Duran's Simon LeBon likes dark-haired lovelies and he doesn't like sumo wrestlers: "What do I remember most [about shooting the video for 'Girls on Film?'] The one with the dark hair. Some guys like blondes, some guys like dark haired girls, and I realized absolutely which one I liked and was going for. It was very sexy, and then, watching it back, there was some turn off as well as turn-on. Like the sumo wrestler guy-- I think that is universally the great turn-off in that video."





Read Full Post

Chelsea Handler: I’ve never wanted to take somebody else’s job

Chelsea Handler: I’ve never wanted to take somebody else’s job
Ostensibly referring to Craig Ferguson, Handler tweeted: "I have never had nor will have any desire to take a job someone else has already had. Speculation to the contrary is inaccurate.”  PLUS: Handler reportedly met with CBS about hosting a daytime syndicated talk show, and why CBS should still consider Handler.

Will Arnett files for divorce from Amy Poehler
The couple have been married since 2003 and separated since September 2012.

NBC passes on David Koechner’s variety sketch show
The “Anchorman” star and veteran of “SNL” and “The Office” had planned to return to his sketch comedy roots.

Did “Portlandia” steal its “Disappointing Gay” sketch?
Before last night’s episode, there was already a “Disappointing Gay Best Friend” on YouTube.

“Fargo’s” dialect coach: I had to pull the actors back from their “Fargo” accent stereotypes
"Every actor knew the ‘Fargo' accent in its most stereotypical sound,” says Tony Alcantar, "but then I'd have to pull the actor back to make sure we weren't accent-acting. Nearly twenty years of Fargo send-ups have rendered the accent comical, and we didn't want to approach that. There's an expectation that it's going to be all, 'YAHH!’” PLUS: “Fargo” is the perfect show for TV’s anti-hero age.

Jon Stewart should be celebrated for finding and developing stars
“The Daily Show” alumni are everywhere these days, from the movies (Steve Carell) to dramas (Olivia Munn on “The Newsroom”) to, coming next year, a network talk show (Stephen Colbert).

A Greta Garbo-Marlene Dietrich TV project is in the works
The proposed project would tell how the two classic movie stars’ lives intersected.

How “The View” should set up its seating chart for the 11-co-host reunion
Meredith Vieira deserves the chair next to Barbara Walters, while Rosie O’Donnell and Star Jones should be seated as far away from her as possible.

“Game of Thrones’” “Joffrey” smiles with Joffrey
Jack Gleeson took a picture of his reaction to this week’s episode. PLUS: watch a behind-the-scenes featurette on the Purple Wedding, a “GoT” set visit is up for auction, more reactions to Sunday’s episode, Pedro Pascal’s Instagram is a “gold mine of snuggly Westerosi selfies,” and the show's fashion and hair designers tell all about the Purple Wedding.

Why “The Late Show” is a step down for Stephen Colbert
Just like “CBS Evening News” was a step down for Katie Couric, moving to CBS will similarly be a step down for Colbert, who will leave his best work behind him.

“The Office Time Machine” gets a follow-up: "The Office Stare Machine”
A new project changes you to endure all 706 of “The Office’s” stares.

“Grey’s Anatomy’s” interns are among TV’s most loathed characters
They join King Joffrey and Marnie from “Girls.”

Kerry Washington: It's an "awesome challenge" filming “Scandal” while pregnant
"I work very physically as an actor,” she tells The Hollywood Reporter. "The biggest thing for me has been the challenge of how to be this person (Olivia Pope) with the personal transformation that's going on for me physically and how to stay true to this character. That hasn't been easy. It's been an awesome challenge for me as an actor because so much of how I access character is through my body. It's definitely been complicated to say the least. I've learned a lot about other ways to access Olivia and be her.” PLUS: Cyrus Beene reads Dr. Seuss, Scott Foley and Joshua Malina will appear on Jimmy Kimmel’s "Scandal" special, a “Scandal” playlist for Season 3, and “Scandal” enters “The Writers’ Room” on Friday.

A&E and History channel launch a live-streaming app
The livestreams are available to certain cable and satellite customers.

Check out “Girls” filming
Spoiler: See how Adam and Hannah look in Season 4.

Is Tom Cruise dating an “Orange is the New Black” star?
Cruise’s alleged romance with Laura Prepon has reportedly been “the buzz on the set of her show,” reports Page Six.

Kris Jenner hospitalized
The “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” matriarch is suffering from internal pains.

10 years later, “Friends” creators look back at the series finale
Marta Kauffman and David Crane insist there won’t be a reunion, though they’ll be asked as “Friends” marks two milestones in the coming months — the 10th anniversary of the finale next month and the 20th anniversary of the series premiere in September.

How the weirdly subversive “All That” changed children’s TV
The Nickelodeon sketch comedy show, which debuted 20 years ago today, "upended the norms of children's TV with its diverse cast, un-condescending tone, and kid characters played by actual kids,” says Jake Flanagin. PLUS: Nick’s “Hey Dude” ranch is still around.

Warrant issued for “Real Housewives” star Porsha Williams’ arrest over alleged on-set assault
Williams is expected to surrender Thursday over her fight with Kenya Moore, who filed a police report.

“Dawson’s Creek” creator: "Everyone’s gotten just snarky, snarky, snarky” these days
Kevin Williamson, who now works on “The Vampire Diaries” and “The Following” looks back at the 2003 finale, and says: "Back in 2003, we barely had Dawson’s Desktop, it was just new and cutting-edge on our AOL dial-up. … Twitter sort of elevates everyone’s angst to some degree. Everyone’s got a blog. Everyone’s hate-watching everything. Everyone’s gotten just snarky, snarky, snarky.” PLUS: Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is apparently a “Dawson’s Creek” expert.

Flash back to “Buffy” in the ‘90s
Sarah Michelle Gellar tweeted a pic of her and Alyson Hannigan from a 1998 InStyle magazine profile.

Esquire Network tonight unleashes “Lucky Bastards"
The reality show about six rich single guys in New York includes former “Bachelor” Prince Lorenzo.

Jeremy Renner will narrate History channel’s “World Wars”
The six-hour event will look back at three decades of world wars, featuring interviews with Colin Powell, John McCain and others.

FX teases “Tyrant”
The Middle East drama is from the makers of “Homeland."

Alan Thicke's “Unusually Thicke” wants to be a reality version of “Modern Family"
The TV Guide Network sitcom stars the 67-year-old Thicke and his wife, who’s 28 years younger. Thicke wants to hit "that sweet spot between 'Honey Boo Boo' and Larry David."

Read Full Post
<p>The &quot;American Idol&quot; Season 13 Top 7</p>

The "American Idol" Season 13 Top 7

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 13 - Top 7 Performances - Competitor's Pick

The 'Idol' finalists sing songs selected by their rivals

I'm intrigued by Wednesday (April 16) night's "American Idol" theme, but I'm also expecting to be disappointed. 

As FOX put it last week, the theme is Competitor's Pick (we'll see if the word choice or punctuation change any) and the gimmick seems to be that each singer received a list of six potential songs selected by their rivals and they got to do one of those songs.

Unfortunately, the "Idol" Finalists keep pretending they're all lovey-dovey besties, which decreases the chances of straight-up sabotage or subversion.

But we can still dream, eh?

Read Full Post
Jake Bugg wants you to win

Enter to win a free Jake Bugg limited edition EP

Receive the 'Lightning Bolt' singer's new Record Store Day EP for free!

British singer/songwriter Jake Bugg’s  “Lightning Bolt” made our list of Top 10 Singles of 2013 last year, so we were excited to hear that he has new music coming out for April 19’s Record Store Day.

And if you’re a fan, so should you, because now you can win it here and avoid the lines during Record Store Day altogether. We’re kidding about the last part, you should definitely still hit up your local record store, if you’re lucky enough to still have one, and pick up some other favorites, but you won’t have to fight folks for Jake Bugg’s latest.

Bugg is releasing “Live at Silver Platters,” an exclusive EP that features four acoustic tracks recorded Jan. 20 at Seattle’s Silver Platters  and will be available only vinyl and CD. The track list for “Live at Silver Platters” is “There’s a Beast and We All Feed It,” “Trouble Town,” “Lightning Bolt” and “Storm Passes Away.”

All you have to do to enter to win is follow @HitfixMelinda on Twitter and retweet the below tweet (you have to do both to be eligible).


Then, for a second chance, follow @Hitfix on Twitter and retweet this second tweet.



The contest ends at 12:30 p.m. PDT on Monday, April 21. See the official rules here. Entrants must be U.S. citizens and 18 or older. 

Read Full Post
"Chrisley Knows Best"

"Chrisley Knows Best"

Credit: USA

'Chrisley Knows Best': Is Todd being too hard on Faye?

Should he just relax and let his mom ChristianMingle?

That Todd Chrisley! Really, whether you're old or young, it's not easy to be a member of this guy's family. When the kids ganged together in this week's episode of "Chrisley Knows Best" (Tues. at 10:00 p.m. ET on USA) to treat Mom and Dad to a very special day, all he could do was bitch about it. He had work to do! They stuck him with the massage bill! Kyle has crappy taste in clothes! Chase is a rotten chauffeur! It was no surprise that he didn't tip the kids. They should probably just be happy he didn't ground them for their efforts. 

Read Full Post

Valerie Harper: I’m not cancer-free

Valerie Harper: I’m not cancer-free
“In response to a recent erroneous quote concerning my health, I am not ‘absolutely cancer-free,’” Harper said in a statement responding to a Closer Weekly article that quoted her as saying she’s cancer-free. “I wish I were. Right now what I am is cautiously optimistic about my present condition and I have hope for the future.”

“Scandal” star Columbus Short’s wife put a restraining order out on him
Tuere Short claims Short, who was recently accused of beating a guy up in a bar, threatened her with a wine bottle and a knife, and tried choking her.

B.D. Wong is returning to “SVU”
Dr. George Huang will appear in the season’s penultimate episode.

Introducing Lego Homer Simpson
“The Simpsons” producers say they came up with the idea of a Lego “Simpsons” episode before they heard of “The Lego Movie.” "For the record, we still don’t know about the movie,” producer Matt Selman says with a laugh.

Read Full Post
<p>Fatih Akin</p>

Fatih Akin

Credit: AP Photo

German auteur Fatih Akin pulls out of Cannes, as shorts lineup is revealed

The big announcement lands tomorrow

When a film widely seen as a dead cert to make the Cannes lineup doesn't ultimately appear, there can be any number of routine explanations, from shooting and editing overruns to inter-festival politics to the aesthetic whims of the selection panel – but it's unusual for a filmmaker to withdraw his own work for “personal reasons.” That's what's happened, however, with German-Turkish auteur Fatih Akin, whose first narrative feature in five years, “The Cut,” was on most Competition prediction lists.

Read Full Post

'Fargo' premieres to a lukewarm 4.2 million viewers

“Fargo” premieres to a lukewarm 4.2 million viewers
That’s fewer viewers than the launch of “The Americans” last year and about the same as “The Bridge."

Oliver North got a story credit for helping out “The Americans”
The controversial Iran-contra scandal figure was enlisted for help via the producers’ FX connection with sibling network Fox News, where North now works. North’s episode airs April 23, and it involves a contra training camp. Asked if he’s worried about any backlash, he responded, “Look, I’m a right-wing goon — everybody knows it, right?” he says with a smile.

TLC orders "OMG EMT!”
The new reality show promises to showcase the “most memorable and unusual emergency calls…from the ridiculous to the downright crazy.”

Lindsay Lohan’s reality show is unlikely to return for a 2nd season
The eight-episode OWN reality series concludes on Sunday after disappointing ratings.

“The Good Wife’s” Emmy campaign attacks rival cable dramas for airing so few episodes
The mailer points out “Mad Men” is airing only seven episodes this TV season (though that’s for next year’s Emmy race), while “True Detective” and “Breaking Bad” aired only eight episodes each.

Bob Saget & Katie Couric recall kissing on their 1st date — and him never calling her back
Couric went on just one date with the former “Full House” star.

“Jessie” is the first leading Disney Channel character to get engaged
Says a Disney exec: "Jessie is an adult, and we felt we could tackle this in a way that still feels appropriate for our audience.”

“Banshee” promotes 2
Geno Segers and Afton Williamson will become series regulars next season.

Is “Mad Men’s” Don Draper actually D.B. Cooper?
The famed hijacker’s name, Dan Cooper, sort of sounds like Don Draper.

Fox News’ new show “Outnumbered” will feature 4 women and 1 rotating man
The four women will be regulars while there will be a different man each day.

Check out Tori Spelling and Jennie Garth reunited on ABC Family
Here’s the poster for the “Beverly Hills 90210” alums’ new ABC Family series “Mystery Girls.”

Read Full Post
"Women of Homicide"

"Women of Homicide"

Credit: TLC

Exclusive clip: It's a kill shot on 'Women of Homicide'

Talking to the family of the victim is never easy, it turns out

On TLC's "Women of Homicide," (Wed. at 9:00 p.m.), we discover that the hard part of the job isn't just the blood and guts. In this exclusive clip, watch as Atlanta-based Detective Summer Benton is stuck with the unhappy task of telling a victim's family that yes, their loved one was executed. Ouch. 

Read Full Post