Ben Affleck is currently under cape and cowl as the Dark Knight in Zack Snyder's "Man of Steel" sequel "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," but he's somehow finding time to keep his Dennis Lehane adaptation "Live By Night" moving along as well. He's just tapped a trio of ladies to play the female leads in the film.
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Joan Rivers is dead at 81
Melissa Rivers has released a statement saying: "It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers. She passed peacefully at 1:17pm surrounded by family and close friends. My son and I would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff of Mount Sinai Hospital for the amazing care they provided for my mother. Cooper and I have found ourselves humbled by the outpouring of love, support, and prayers we have received from around the world. They have been heard and appreciated. My mother’s greatest joy in life was to make people laugh. Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon.” PLUS: Two weeks ago, Joan Rivers took the Ice Bucket Challenge, Three weeks ago, Rivers mourned Robin Williams. Four weeks ago, she was cracking up Seth Meyers. Two months ago, David Letterman walked out on her. Less than six months ago, she returned to “The Tonight Show” after nearly three decades. Read the tributes from celebrities on Twitter, watch Joan with Johnny Carson in 1966, relive her memorable “Louie” appearance, watch the 1986 premiere of “The Late Show with Joan Rivers,” watch the documentary on her life “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work,” and read her NY Times’ obituary.
BBC cut a beheading scene from this week’s “Doctor Who”
“In light of recent news events, we have made an edit to episode three out of respect,” says a BBC spokesperson, referring to recent news that journalist Steven Sotloff was executed by ISIS.
Fox is making an event series based on Carrie Underwood’s hit song “Two Black Cadillacs”
Jerry Bruckheimer will produce the six-hour series along with the former “Idol” winner, based on her 2012 hit song about a wife and mistress who conspire to kill the guy they’re both involved with after discovering the affair.
MTV greenlights a Ja Rule family reality show
“Follow the Rules,” from executive producer Queen Latifah, will be like “The Cosby Show” with a rapper as family patriarch.
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Two of England’s hottest male singers turned to covers this week: Sam Smith tackled Tracy Chapman’s classic, “Fast Car,” for BBC Live Lounge, while Ed Sheehan covered his buddies in Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars.”
While Smith’s clear, gorgeous tenor would seem perfect for Chapman’s heartbreaking song of escape, it ends up being a not great fit. That’s not because his voice doesn’t sound strong, it’s because he doesn’t imbue the song with any of the heartbreaking emotion from the original.
Sheeran succeeds far better covering "Chasing Cars." His tackling the song is nothing new. He's been doing it for at least a few years since he's such good pals with the dudes in Snow Patrol and has written with them and toured with them, but he unveiled a new solo acoustic version for MTV that went online today that's lovely and spare and very romantic.
Which do you like better?
Tonight marks the opening night of the 2014 NFL Season, so in celebration, here are the 10 best songs about sports. I tried to make it all football, but there are surprisingly few football-themed hits. And since it’s still baseball season, I decided to throw in a few baseball ones as well. Basketball? Other than “I Believe I Can Fly,” the round ball got left out in the cold since the only other basketball song I could think of was Cheech & Chong’s “Basketball Jones,” which, quite frankly, is in a league of its own. Given that the World Cup just ended, I also threw in a little soccer love.
Though certainly not written about football, Jay Z and Rihanna's "Run This Town" is the new theme song for Thursday Night Football, according to NFL and CBS. The pair's hit, from Jay Z's "The Blueprint 3," will get reworked each week with narration by Don Cheadle.
1. “The Super Bowl Shuffle,” Chicago Bears (1985)
It wasn’t pretty or even remotely good, but the rap by The Chicago Bears Shufflin’ Crew captured the feeling in Chicago like no other as we watched Da Bears go all the way. I lived in Chicago then and it was an exhilarating, great time to be a sports fan (which, as Chicago fans know, that is not always the case). The song missed hitting Billboard’s Top 40 by one slot, peaking at No. 41.
2. “The Boys of Fall,” Kenny Chesney (2010)
Though Chesney didn’t write this somber salute to high school football, he sang it like he’d lived it and took it all the way to No. 1.
3.“Centerfield,” John Fogerty (1985)
Fogerty’s salute to America’s Game is note perfect and its inclusion in “Bull Durham” only sealed it as the best song ever written in the short canon of songs written about baseball. The song also plays at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown Put me in, coach. I’m ready to play.
4. “The Boys of Summer,” Don Henley (1984)
Only the title refers to baseball, but the song perfectly captures the wistful feelings of the fleeting last days of summer— of youth, really— and glory days on and off the field.
5. “I Believe I Can Fly,” R Kelly (1996)
The song first appeared in “Space Jam,” and is in someways forever linked to Michael Jordan, who soared like no other player. However, for most folks, it’s simply R Kelly’s best, most inspirational track.
6. “All Kinds of Time,” Fountains of Wayne (2003)
The New Jersey boys put themselves in the mind of a QB and what goes through his mind after he takes the snap. His mind slows, he thinks of his family watching on TV and feels like he has all the time in the world to find his open man. The NFL used the song in commercials in 2005.
7. “Green and Yellow,” Lil Wayne (2011)
The rapper’s salute to his beloved Green Bay Packers manages to dis the Pittsburgh Steelers and several other teams, while promoting Cheez Whiz and Cheeseheads everywhere.
8. “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight,” Hank Williams Jr. (1984)
Monday Night Football adopted (and adapted) the song as its theme from 1989 to 2011. Are you ready for some football?
9. “Gonna Fly Now,” DeEtta Little and Nelson Pigford (1977)
Bill Conti’s theme from “Rocky” is indelibly linked to Rocky running the steps in Philadelphia forever more and is an ode to the underdog. Nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Song, the tune is short on words, but long on heart.
10.“Eye of The Tiger,” Survivor (1982)
Continuing with everyone's favorite film pugilist, this “Rocky III” smash would have made the list regardless, but now the anthem to working hard and going the distance serves as a tribute to Survivor lead singer, Jimi Jamison, who died last week. Fun fact: Sylvester Stallone asked the band to write an anthem after he was unable to get the rights to Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust.”
11. “We Are The Champions/We Will Rock You,” Queen (1977)
Speaking of Queen, the all-time greatest sports anthems not written about sports and among the greatest single A&B sides ever (ask your parents if you’re too young to know what that means). The band wrote “We Are The Champions” to get their fans going in concert, and then “We Will Rock You” was the B-side. It’s impossible to go to any team sporting event and not hear one or the other.
12. "The Cup of Life," Ricky Martin (1998)
The official theme song for the 1998 World Cup was not only a great soccer anthem, the song broke Ricky Martin into the Anglo market with his performance of the track on the 41st annual Grammy Awards. He scored a major goal with his performance, one of the best in Grammy history.
Anyone who had read my work over the years known if there is any event I have almost complete disdain for, it's the Hollywood Film Awards. You remember that one, right? It's the "awards show" that gives out honors to stars and filmmakers who are usually appearing in films that have not been released and often not even screened for critics or guild members yet. And yet, because it's usually situated at the end of October, movie studios have used it as a one-night publicity vehicle right before awards season really gets into high gear.
David Chase learned a lesson from last week’s “Sopranos” hubbub, says he feels a "little competitive" with “Mad Men”
"This has taught me, for good and all, not to befriend any journalist,” “The Sopranos” creator says in a new interview about Vox's story claiming to reveal whether he thought Tony Soprano lived or died. "I got too friendly with her. And I kept saying to her, “You know, this can’t be good that you and I talk to each other and have lunch and coffee. Something’s wrong here,” and she’d say, “No, no, no.” And she meant that—she wasn’t setting me up. It seems like, poor Dave, there’s no way he can win. I don’t recall that conversation. I’m sure it happened, but I don’t recall it, and if I did say that, I believe I was probably thinking about something else.” PLUS: Chase says he feels a “little competitive” with “Mad Men” because Matthew Weiner worked for him, "but I also think it’s just so spectacular.” Chase also says he has yet to complete “Breaking Bad” — "I got into it too late” — or “True Detective."
E!’s “Fashion Police” is going on hiatus as Joan Rivers recovers
“We will not be producing a ‘Fashion Police’ this week or next as we await Joan and Melissa’s return in front and behind the camera,” E! said in a statement.
NBC developing a hotel comedy that will air live
The multi-camera comedy from Sean Hayes would also feature live commercials during the breaks.
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Fast National ratings for Wednesday, September 3, 2014.
FOX's "So You Think You Can Dance" got a solid bump for its latest season finale, but it was "Big Brother" leading CBS to a Wednesday win among young viewers and "America's Got Talent" pacing NBC's overall win.
"Big Brother" was down a hair from last week, while "America's Got Talent" was up a similarly tiny amount.
Meanwhile, Wednesday night saw bumps for NBC's "Taxi Brooklyn" and for The CW's "Penn & Teller: Fool Us."
It was, in fact, a series high for "Penn & Teller: Fool Us," which soared 30 percent week-to-week in total viewers.
On to the numbers...
Reviewing a new TV show usually comes out to about 50 percent analysis of what's there, 50 percent psychic projection of what the show might become past the episode(s) you've seen. With comedy, the balance tilts heavily towards the psychic end of things, because so few comedies start out strongly, and you have to make an informed guess as to what mediocre pilot will turn out to be great like "Parks and Recreation," and what will settle for being crass like "2 Broke Girls."
Even having more episodes beyond the pilot isn't always a help. Back in January, for instance, Comedy Central sent out the first two "Broad City"s to critics. They were clever and seemed to have a distinctive voice, but it was a busy time of year, and I moved on to other things. Then my friends kept raving about it, I watched the rest of the season over the summer, and fell hard for the rest of it. (Really, it's clearly becoming great as early as episode 3.)
Even in this era of Too Much Good TV, summer is still a reasonable time to catch up on things I've missed like that, and to stick with shows that didn't necessarily wow me at first. In two recent instances, that patience has paid off terrifically — and in ways that are eerily similar — as I stuck with FX's "You're the Worst" and Netflix's "BoJack Horseman" until they turned out to be much more impressive than they seemed at first.
“Dancing with the Stars” cast announced: Tommy Chong, Alfonso Ribeiro, Lea Thompson
They’ll be joined by soap star Antonio Sabato Jr. YouTube sensation Bethany Mota, fashion designer Betsey Johnson, Janel Parrish from “Pretty Little Liars,” Olympian Lolo Jones, “Mean Girls” star Jonathan Bennett, NASCAR driver Michael Waltrip, MMA champion Randy Couture, “Duck Dynasty” star Sadie Robertson and PBS host Tavis Smiley.
Report: Barbara Walters will be backstage only for the new “View”
She’ll stay backstage only, according to Roger Friedman, in her role as executive producer.
“Jeopardy!” champion charged with child sexual assault
Jerome Slowik, who won $120,000 on “Jeopardy!,” has pleaded not guilty to second-degree sexual assault of a child, a felony.
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VENICE — "Pasolini is me." So sang erstwhile Smiths frontman Morrissey on single "You Have Killed Me" from "Ringleader of the Tormentors," an album recorded in Italy. The very next track on the album opens with a sample of a very distinctive sound: the siren of an Italian ambulance. At the Venice festival, it's impossible to go for more than a day without hearing this dolorous yet urgent wail on the Lido; it's an unofficial soundtrack. These congruences were very much slushing around my head as I sat down for Abel Ferrara's "Pasolini."
Your opinion about how good the current season of "Big Brother" is hinges on one question: Are you entertained or bored to tears by Derrick's flawless gaming? Because it is flawless, everyone. It is righteous, it is true, and it is proceeding without any conflict.
As spotlit on Wednesday's episode, Derrick's game is going so according to plan that it's almost unnerving. Surely he'll be forced to get tyrannical in the coming weeks (or even tomorrow, considering it's a Double Eviction he'll have to steer), but his slyness and sureness is only becoming bolder. He's so great at this game that he can even convince lesser houseguests, time and again, that he's somehow a worse player than they are. Did you watch Derrick seamlessly goad Caleb, through flattery and wholly untrue prattle about Caleb's strengths in the game, into a Final Two deal? Because I did, and it was both shocking (You go, emperor Derrick!) and un-shocking (Of course Caleb thinks he's a great player; after all, he has... a nickname).
Despite a veto game with some titillating explosives, Wednesday's episode did little to convince us that anyone but Nicole can go home on Thursday. So without further ado, let's rank the seven remaining players and see just who has a chance of pulling off an upset.
God bless this squeaky Babs Bunny clone for sobbing through her past week in the house. Though Derrick had designs to boot Christine, even he is following through on the general consensus and electing to kick out Nicole for the second time this week. And because he's such a good player, Nicole begged him for friendly hugs as her doom was sealed.
I was pretty weirded out to see Christine monologuing to herself in ostracism-based anger like Wendy Pepper on the first season of "Project Runway." She got so heated that I swear I heard some "REDRUM"s thrown in there, along with the occasional "Kara Saun thinks she's SO PERFECT." I still think Christine has a Hail Mary left in her, a last-ditch swing at her shifty-eyed Detonator posse that could rock the game. But just because she's more naturally intelligent than other players here doesn't mean she won't fall in line with Amber, Donny, and other people who died in, like, the 1930s.
Still aligned with his bros like a dead-eyed member of the Hatfield clan, Caleb's stony stupidity is basically calcifying into unimportance. I think he has a keen eye for the kinds of players who will eventually turn on him, but he's so -- wait for it! -- delusional about his effectiveness and power in the game that I can't help rooting for his swift ejection. He's not fit to debate Derrick for $500,000 even though he promised to arrange that finale for us. Better to lose him now so we don't have to suffer through a final soliloquy filled with beast metaphors.
I'm not saying Frankie's the most likable chap in the house (In fact, there are reasons to argue the opposite), but I think it's important to note that his game is definitely the most interesting in the BB house. I mean, is he good? He is certainly an ingratiating mastermind and occasionally a powerful player. If you're a member of the anti-floater gestapo, you won't be shaking your gestapo stick at Frankie any time soon. But his impetuousness and neurotic tizzies are getting worse, and it feels like Frankie is losing his grip on the game at the exact moment when key players are planting their footing.
The cynical "Big Brother" viewer laughs that Victoria will definitely make the final two. Since she entered Julie Chen's dollhouse back in June, Victoria has not uttered a single serious word about gameplay. In fact, I don't think she's uttered a single serious word, period. She's just an eyebrow pencil wrapped in a perma-scowl tucked into a Hello Kitty backpack. And while every other player is arguing and b*tching and gaming (for better or for worse), Victoria is smiling at nothing -- and sometimes on a couch! I think the Detonators are too tight to give Victoria a spot in the final two, but no one's actively stopping her lazy-eyed trek to $50,000 at the moment. So good for her?
The stealth candidate to win the whole thing, no? Face it: Getting through "Big Brother" as a physically strong guy is pretty tough. And somehow Cody has figured out a way never to be a target or a pawn, and that is in essence the key to playing "Big Brother."
The master, the trickster, the calm orchestrator, and -- more importantly -- the ego-free player. Though Nicole compared him to Dan Gheesling, he is so not Dan in key ways. He is not theatrical in his self-regard. He's not angry. He's not cocky. He's just a guy who sees the game as a job, and he's pulling off a good day's work every day. It may not be the most telegenic way to win "Big Brother," but Derrick's method is reason enough to call him -- even without having won the season -- a "Big Brother" pro.