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<p>Joaquin Phoenix in &quot;Her.&quot;</p>

Joaquin Phoenix in "Her."

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Georgia Film Critics Association falls for 'Her'

'12 Years a Slave' takes a trio of acting awards

The Georgia Film Critics' Association, who had one of the more interesting nomination lists of the circuit so far, have named Spike Jonze's "Her" the best film of the year., also handing it awards for Jonze's screenplay and Arcade Fire's score. Joaquin Phoenix initially tied with "12 Years a Slave" star Chiwetel Ejiofor for Best Actor, but the latter was handed the win based on nomination votes; Ejiofor's co-stars Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong'o were also rewarded. Alas, the extensive love for "Upstream Color" at the nomination stage didn't result in any awards, though "Short Term 12" for Best Adapted Screenplay is an against-the-grain choice. Full list of winners after the jump; everything else at The Circuit.

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<p>&quot;About a Boy&quot;</p>

"About a Boy"

Credit: NBC

NBC sets spring premieres for 'About a Boy,' 'Believe' and more

'Crisis' will air on Sunday nights post-'Believe'
Because I needed outside news to cover in the middle of an exhaustive cable day at the Television Critics Association press tour, NBC announced a slew of spring premieres on Friday (January 10). The newly announced premieres clear up most of the network's remaining programming mysteries for the 2013-2014 season.
 
The big beneficiaries of the new spring schedule are "Believe" and "About a Boy," which will both get boosts from the Olympics, "The Voice" or both.
 
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<p>Michael Fassbender and Sarah Paulson in &quot;12 Years a Slave.&quot;</p>

Michael Fassbender and Sarah Paulson in "12 Years a Slave."

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

'12 Years a Slave' sweeps Iowa critics' awards

The slavery drama takes Best Picture, Director and three acting awards

I think our 50-state tour of the American critics' awards is slowly drawing to a close, but not before we hear from the Iowa Film Critics' Association. And they like "12 Years a Slave" even more than the numerous other groups who have liked "12 Years a Slave" in the past six weeks. Steve McQueen's film took every award it could from the group, including Best Picture, Director and three acting prizes. (They don't appear to have a screenplay category.) "American Hustle" and "Nebraska" had strong support, to judge from the runner-up citations, but not enough to halt the sweep. Full list of winners and runners-up (second and third place, if you're being hyper-specific) after the jump; everything else at The Circuit

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National Lampoon's 'Vacation' reunion: ABC plans comedy with Chevy Chase & Beverly D'Angelo


National Lampoon's "Vacation" reunion: ABC plans comedy with Chevy Chase & Beverly D'Angelo

ABC has just signed up both actors to star in a comedy for the 2015-16 season, but the proposed project  is still in the very early stages.


NBC announces its midseason schedule, "About a Boy" to air after "The Voice"
"Believe" from J.J. Abrams and Alfonso Cuaron will air on Sundays, as will "Crisis" starring Gillian Anderson and Dermot Mulroney. "Growing Up Fisher" will debut after "About a Boy." Both new comedies will be previewed during the Winter Olympics.


"Veronica Mars" movie poster unveiled
"She thought she was out."

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Red Hot Chili Peppers will perform at Super Bowl halftime with Bruno Mars


Red Hot Chili Peppers will perform at Super Bowl halftime with Bruno Mars
Bruno Mars reportedly invited the Chili Peppers to back him up during the Super Bowl halftime show in New Jersey.


Mindy Kaling talks to Letterman about the "weird reaction" to her Elle cover
"I just feel like they're kind of insulting me," she says of the cover's critics.


Chace Crawford joins "Glee's" 100th episode

The "Gossip Girl" alum will play Biff, Dianna Agron's new love interest.


Amy Poehler on "SNL's" new cast member: "We all know Sasheer and her work"

Upright Citizens Brigade member Sasheer Zamata "was part of our diversity program many years ago," says Poehler, who co-founded UCB. "She's an awesome performer and so congratulations to her."


Why Lena Dunham's "Girls" nudity doesn't have to be "titillating"
Hannah's nakedness serves another purpose, most notably illustrating the intimacy between the show's characters.


Nat Geo renews "Diggers"
The artifact reality show will return for a 2nd season next month.


Paul Giamatti's FX series "Hoke" adds alums from "Game of Thrones" and "The Wire"
Oona Chaplin will play Giamatti's partner on the detective drama. Also joining the cast are Robert Wisdom, Tammy Blanchard and John Carroll Lynch.


"Awkward" will return with a 1-hour season premiere
Season 4 kicks off April 15.


Starz's "Outlander" will have a different opening from the book
Instead, there will be a two-minute prologue featuring Claire Randall. PLUS: Ron Moore tells how "Game of Thrones" influenced his approach to "Outlander."


MTV2's new slate includes "Guy Code" and "Ain't That America with Lil Duval"
Also, Charlamagne tha God will host "Charlamagne and Friends."


Matt Bomer chops off most of his hair
The "White Collar" star revealed his new buzz cut look while promoting "The Normal Heart."

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<p>Sandra Bullock accepts the favorite movie actress award at the People's Choice Awards Wednesday night. She goes for some more serious hardware Sunday at the Golden Globes.</p>

Sandra Bullock accepts the favorite movie actress award at the People's Choice Awards Wednesday night. She goes for some more serious hardware Sunday at the Golden Globes.

Credit: AP Photo/Chris PIzzello

Sandra Bullock praised for bringing 'the truth' to 'Gravity'

Guild members pack Chinese Theater for Q&A

HOLLYWOOD - Academy members may have already submitted their ballots to determine this year's Oscar nominations, but determining the industry's guild winners is coming down to the wire. That was just one reason why Warner Bros. hosted an IMAX screening of Alfonso Cuarón's "Gravity" with an impressive Q&A afterward at the Chinese Theater Thursday night for all of the major guilds. And if it ends up rubbing off on some Academy members in attendance down the road, that won't hurt either.

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<p>U2 at the premiere of 'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom'</p>

U2 at the premiere of 'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom'

Credit: AP Photo

Predictions: Will Justin Timberlake or U2 win a Golden Globe Sunday?

In a year with no frontrunners, who takes home the statue?

My colleagues on the film and television side posted their Golden Globe predictions in all categories yesterday and I’m happy to see that they had as tough a time as I did when it came to picking who they felt would win in the two music categories. Both races seem wide open as we head into the final days before the 71st annual Golden Globe Awards on Sunday night (10).  Will the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. members go for the biggest pop star over the best song when it comes to Best Original Song as they have in the past? How much of an advantage does John Williams have for Best Original just because he’s John Williams?
Here are my predictions for the music winners:

Best Original Song - Motion Picture

“Atlas” (“Hunger Games: Catching Fire”)
“Let It Go” (“Frozen”)
“Ordinary Love” (“Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom”)
“Please Mr. Kennedy” (“Inside Llewyn Davis”)
“Sweeter Than Fiction” (“One Chance”)


Unlike last year when Adele’s “Skyfall” was the clear frontrunner, there’s no obvious winner this year. In the past, the HFPA. members have been starstruck and picked the biggest name... how else do you explain Madonna’s victory for “Masterpiece” (“W.E.”) in 2011? If the voters go traditional, then “Let It Go” from “Frozen” will win. Otherwise it could come down to which music superstars they want to honor:  Coldplay for “Atlas,” Taylor Swift for “Sweeter Than Fiction,” Justin Timberlake for “Please Mr. Kennedy” or U2 for “Ordinary Love.” Between Bono’s appeal and Mandela’s passing (and the fact that it’s a nice song), the winner will be “Ordinary Love.”

Winner: “Ordinary Love”



Best Original Score

“All is Lost,”  Alex Ebert
“Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” Alex Heffes
Gravity,” Steven Price
“The Book Thief,” John Williams
12 Years a Slave,” Hans Zimmer


Williams has been nominated a staggering 25 times in this category so while it’s tempting to think he’s the automatic leader, he’s only won four times, so he’s not a shoo-in. Both Ebert and Price had the more interesting composing challenges here since their films had so little dialogue for long stretches. Looking over past winners, HFPA has honored both sweeping, orchestral scores and very of-the-moment, pop-oriented scores.  All the nominees here did their jobs very well, but there are parts of Zimmer’s score that were especially haunting and memorable.

Winner: “12 Years a Slave”
 

Who do you think will win? 

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<p>Christopher Nolan</p>

Christopher Nolan

Credit: AP Photo

Christopher Nolan returns to the scene of the crime with Slamdance honor

Spectacle director will receive inaugural Founder's Award

A few years back, I think it was at the 2011 Santa Barbara film festival, I asked Christopher Nolan (then making the rounds for "Inception") if he could ever see himself heading back to the Independent Spirit Awards with a modest piece of work. After all, the director got his start at Slamdance in Park City, with the 1999 entry "Following," and again a couple years later with "Memento," which would later be recognized at the Spirits.

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Hilariously bad singers will be mostly missing from the new 'American Idol'


Hilariously bad singers will be mostly missing from the new "American Idol"
Those terrible singers will be "exponentially less to almost nonexistent" in the new season, says Keith Urban. They'll be part of a slew of sweeping changes coming in Season 13. As Fox Entertainment boss Kevin Reilly put it, "It's not Tide. It's the new, improved Tide." The NY Times explains: "The set is new, the lighting is new, the theme music is changed, and the format will undergo some significant tweaks."


HBO teases its "Game of Thrones" Season 4 trailer using Vine
See several Vines of the trailer, which premieres Sunday at 8:58 PM ET.


Jon Stewart has now hosted "The Daily Show" for 15 years
Saturday marks Stewart's 15th anniversary at the helm of the Comedy Central news parody. Watch the Jan. 11, 1999 episode, which includes correspondent Stephen Colbert covering Bill Clinton's impeachment trial. PLUS: Watch Craig Kilborn introduce his replacement, Jon Stewart.


MTV hopes to fill a foodie void with "House of Food"
The new culinary competition has been described as "Top Chef" meets "The Real World."


Bill Clinton and Kobe Bryant are teaming up for "ESPN Town Hall: Kids and Sports"
The event will tape Monday and air on ESPN2 on Feb. 9.


Gwyneth Paltrow joins "Glee's" 100th episode
She'll appear in two episodes, reprising her role as Holly Holliday. PLUS: Watch Lea Michele's music video "Cannonball."


Sarah Palin insists her new Sportsman Channel show won't be political
She says, however, that "Amazing America with Sarah Palin" will touch on "protecting our Constitution."


FX is promoting "Chozen" by taking over barbershops
Several barbershops nationwide will give out haircuts inspired by the animated series starring "SNL's" Bobby Moynihan.


Comedy Central orders "Big Time in Hollywood" from producer Ben Stiller
The comedy follows to filmmaker brothers who are kicked out of their parents' house.


Michael Rapaport is headed to "Raising Hope"
Rapaport, currently on "Justified," will move in with the Fox comedy's family in a guest appearance.


Kristen Bell interviews "House of Lies" co-star Don Cheadle for Vanity Fair

And Cheadle responds by interviewing her back.


MTV2 greenlights "Jobs That Don't Suck"
The unscripted series will tell the stories of young people who are working their dream jobs.


Nat Geo spinning off "Wicked Tuna"
"Wicked Tuna: North vs. South" will film in North Carolina.


Conan forces his hoarder producer to clean up his filthy office

Watch the latest installment of Conan and Jordan Schlansky.


"30 Rock" alum Maulik Pancholy gets engaged at the Taj Mahal
The engagement comes two months after Pancholy came out.


"Community" finally says goodbye to Chevy Chase

Watch a tribute to Pierce Hawthorne.

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<p>Demetri Martin and Lake Bell star in the pointed 'In A World...'</p>

Demetri Martin and Lake Bell star in the pointed 'In A World...'

Credit: Roadside Attractions

Exclusive: First 10 minutes of Lake Bell's sharp and funny 'In A World...'

Is this enough of a glimpse to convince you?

Lake Bell has always demonstrated a knack for comedy, and since 2003, when I first saw her in "Miss Match," a short-lived TV vehicle for Alicia Silverstone, she has appeared in at least 30 different films or TV shows. Like any actress, she is at the mercy of Hollywood in terms of what roles she plays. Or at least… she was.

"In A World…" played at last year's Sundance Film Festival, and I missed it there. Then I proceeded to miss it at least a half-dozen other times, including the actual release date. Finally, when it showed up on the stack of screeners I watched at the end of the year, I made sure to give it a shot.

Written and directed by Lake Bell, "In A World…" follows Carol (Bell), her father Sam (Fred Melamed), and the very specific little community of people who do voice-over work, and in particular, voice-over work for movie trailers. Sam is one of the kings of the voice-over world, and he seems to be grooming a younger guy, Gustav (Ken Marino), to be his successor, which quite rightfully infuriates Carol.

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"Sex Sent Me to the ER"

 "Sex Sent Me to the ER"

Credit: Discovery Fit & Health

Exclusive clip: Sex in a tree gets rough on 'Sex Sent Me to the ER'

Doing it in nature takes a nasty turn

You know, nature may be beautiful, but it's probably best not experienced naked (sorry, "Naked and Afraid"). In this clip from an all-new episode of "Sex Sent Me to the ER" (airing Sat. Jan. 11 at 10:00 p.m. on TLC), we meet Erik and Salina, a young couple who decide to climb a tree and get it on on a branch. Given that the title of this show is "Sex Sent Me to the ER," you can guess this does not end well. 

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<p>&quot;The Big Bang Theory&quot;</p>

"The Big Bang Theory"

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: Big 'Bang' leads Thursday, 'Parks' rises and 'Assets' falls

CBS' full lineup rises, while 'Community' is among other risers
Fast National ratings for Thursday, January 9, 2014.
 
"The Big Bang Theory" drew its largest-ever audience for a regularly scheduled episode and helped CBS cruise to its normal easy Thursday wins, as "The Crazy Ones," "Elementary" and "The Millers" and "Two and a Half Men" were all up.
 
Also having a big night was NBC, which saw "Parks and Recreation" return a whopping 40 percent above its last airing, while "Community," "Sean Saves the World" and "The Michael J. Fox Show" rose as well.
 
The news was less good for ABC's "The Assets," which had a dismal premiere last week and managed to drop this week.
 
On to the numbers...
 
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