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<p>Don Henley and Glenn Frey perform with The Eagles at the Forum</p>

Don Henley and Glenn Frey perform with The Eagles at the Forum

Credit: John Shearer/Invision/AP

The Forum tries to bring back the art of listening

We were at opening night for The Eagles at the Los Angeles venue

Can an arena live by music alone? That’s what The Forum will try to do here in Los Angeles.

The venue, given a $100 million facelift by new owner Madison Square Garden, re-opened last night with a show by The Eagles, their first of six concerts by the veteran group over the next  10 days. (The Eagles are managed by Irving Azoff who helped spearhead the refurbishment).

Prior to MSG’s 2012 purchase, the one-time home to the Kings and the Lakers was a broken-down edifice, a round concrete slab that was a fun place to see rock and roll, but good sound quality was definitely an afterthought.

Now, the new owners are pledging that the venue will be used for music-oriented performances  (that includes some family shows) and no sporting events.  A venue devoted solely to music is certainly not unique. Clubs and theaters feature only music. It’s not even special to have a large-scale venue dedicated only to music —that’s what outdoor amphitheaters do every year, but only for a four-month season. The question mark is can an arena with 17,500 or so seats do music, and only music, year-round and survive?

If any venue can, it will be The Forum. It can scale down to 8,000, which makes it the perfect place to pick up some of the slack from the closed Universal Amphitheater. But more importantly, if it succeeds, could other cities pick up the gauntlet for large venues that are built to hear music, not to hear a hockey puck reverberate?

As I left the pristine, beautiful venue (the ceiling even lights up like a starry night every now and then), I thought how we concert-goers have to put up with crappy sound at mixed-use facilities if we want to see an arena show because the arena was built with its anchor tenant--usually a sports team-- in mind.

While not every large venue can be music only, they can all do what The Forum did last night. The Forum is trying to bring the art of listening back. Before the show, an announcer asked patrons to turn off their cell phones and not to film during the show so as not to disturb those around them. Maybe because the  audience was older, it, by and large, worked. And it was glorious not to have to watch the show through someone’s arms holding up their iPhone or be distracted by people spending the whole evening staring at their phone screen updating on Facebook and Twitter.

The Eagles were the perfect choice for the opening run not only for their Southern California roots —an element played up to great effect last night— but also for their pristine, technical proficiency. With Glenn Frey and Don Henley’s vocals way up in the mix, instead of somewhere in the mud, I could hear every lyric clearly as well as the band's glorious harmonies. Plus, since they played both acoustic and electric numbers in their 3-hour plus set, it was easy to hear how good it will sound for both singer/songwriters and full-on rock bands.

So here’s to the Forum. I’ll be there again on Monday for Justin Timberlake. Other upcoming shows at The Forum include Sting/Paul Simon, Imagine Dragons and Kings Of Leon.

Getting to actually hear the music clearly at an arena show in a venue built to hear music. What a concept. It’s one I could get used to...

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<p>Robert Redford in &quot;All Is Lost&quot;</p>

Robert Redford in "All Is Lost"

Credit: Roadside Attractions

Sundance: Robert Redford reacts to Oscars passing on 'All Is Lost'

'We suffered from little to no distribution... they didn't want to spend the money. They were afraid.'

PARK CITY - J.C. Chandor’s “All Is Lost” earned exactly one Academy Award nomination this morning, and actor and filmmaker Robert Redford powered through his reaction right at the top of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

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2014 Academy Award nominees: Winners and losers

2014 Academy Award nominees: Winners and losers

Who's glad and who's mad?

The Oscar nominations brought with them joy for some, despair for others. Perhaps indifference for a few (like Robert Redford, taking it in stride up in Park City at this very moment). As ever, there are winners and losers to be assessed from the morning's announcement, and Team HitFix has tee'd them up for you in the gallery story below. Click through to see who's glad and who's mad.

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The Professor from 'Gilligan's Island' is dead at 89


The Professor from "Gilligan's Island" is dead at 89
Russell Johnson, who played Professor Roy Hinkley, has died of natural causes. Now there are only two remaining members of the "Gilligan's Island" cast still alive, Dawn Wells and Tina Louise.

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<p>Oscar Isaac in &quot;Inside Llewyn Davis&quot;</p>

Oscar Isaac in "Inside Llewyn Davis"

Credit: CBS Films

The Academy's shame: 'Inside Llewyn Davis'

A masterpiece walked away with two measly nominations today

It's their party. That's what I always say. Though "and I'll cry if I want to" often follows, and today, I have to say, I'm crying over "Inside Llewyn Davis."

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'Orange is the New Black' star in a coma after car accident


"Orange is the New Black" star in a coma after car accident
Michelle Hurst, who plays Miss Claudette on the Netflix series, was put in a medically induced come after she was involved in a terrible car accident before the holidays.

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<p>Philip Seymour Hoffman of &quot;Happyish&quot;</p>

Philip Seymour Hoffman of "Happyish"

Credit: Showtime

Showtime sets 'Penny Dreadful' premiere, orders 'Happyish,' 'The Affair'

Premieres set for 'Nurse Jackie' and 'Californication' as well
All of this information was already conveyed in my live-blog of David Nevins' Showtime executive session this morning, but I know that some people like getting their news in a more "newsy" form.
 
So...
 
On Thursday (January 16), Showtime announced spring premiere dates for "Nurse Jackie," "Californication," "Years of Living Dangerously" and "Penny Dreadful." The network also announced a pair of pickups for later in the year (or next year).
 
The big premiere night is Sunday, April 13. 
 
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"Trailer Park: Welcome to Myrtle Manor"

 "Trailer Park: Welcome to Myrtle Manor"

Credit: TLC

Exclusive clip: Granny gets hammered at the 'Trailer Park'

The shots might be too tasty for one nosy neighbor

Guess what? With age doesn't always come wisdom. In this exclusive clip from the season premiere of "Trailer Park: Welcome to Myrtle Manor" (airing Thurs. Jan. 16 at 10:00 p.m. on TLC -- right after "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo"), party prep for a 4th of July shindig is temporarily derailed by a neighbor who thinks the gelatin shots taste great -- and, despite warnings to go easy on them, gets hammered. 

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<p>Is there any chasing Meryl Streep's Oscar record?</p>

Is there any chasing Meryl Streep's Oscar record?

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Notable facts and figures from the 2014 Oscar nominations

From Meryl Streep's record 18th nod to Megan Ellison's rare double

Every year, statistics geeks and record-book keepers have a field day with the Oscar nominations announcement, as the list is scoured for unique anomalies, imposing numbers and ways in which history -- however obscurely -- may have been made. And this year brought its share of records that have been extended, runs that have been broken and any number of trivia bits and bobs. Let's check out a few of them after the jump.

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"Homeland"

 "Homeland" 

Credit: Showtime

Press Tour: 'Homeland' creators to send Carrie 'out in the field'

Showtime's Nevins declares last season 'pretty brilliant'

Though fans of "Homeland" took to the Internet to complain about the most recent season, Showtime President of Entertainment David Nevins put an upbeat spin on season three. "This is an instantaneous review culture," he said, hinting at fan response, before adding that the series hit the 7 million viewer mark for the network. "Our newest shows are also our highest rated shows."

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'Duck Dynasty' returns to lower ratings


"Duck Dynasty" returns to lower ratings

Last season's premiere attracted 11.8 million. Last night's season premiere was watched by 8.5 million, a 28% decline.


Showtime boss on "Homeland's" future: Mandy Patinkin will likely be "central" to Season 4
Next season, says Showtime entertainment president David Nevins, we "will likely see (Carrie) on the ground in a foreign capital doing her job. As for Mandy Patinkin, "I expect that he will be central, he will be important." PLUS: Nevins thought Season 3 was "pretty brilliant."


"Nurse Jackie," "Californication" and "Penny Dreadful" get premiere dates
"Jackie" and the final season of the David Duchovny series return April 13, while "Penny" kicks off May 11.


Showtime won't do a "Dexter" spinoff without Michael C. Hall
"It would have to involve Michael," says Showtime's David Nevins. "...If we were to do it, I’d only do it with Michael."


Joan Allen joining "The Killing"
She'll play Detective Linden's nemesis on the 4th and final season.

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Showtime picks up 'Happyish' starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman and 'The Affair' with Joshua Jackson


Showtime picks up "Happyish" starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman and "The Affair" with Joshua Jackson
"Happyish," also starring Rhys Ifans and Kathryn Hahn, follows Hoffman in his pursuit of happiness. "The Affair," meanwhile, tells the story of an affair with Jackson, Dominic West, Ruth Wilson and Maura Tierney.

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