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George Eads, 'CSI’s' last original cast member, to exit after 15 seasons
Credit: CBS

George Eads, 'CSI’s' last original cast member, to exit after 15 seasons

George Eads, “CSI’s” last original cast member, to exit after 15 seasons
Eads’ departure was amicable, according to TV Guide, and his exit from the show at the end of this season will be the Gig Harbor Killer case. Eads’ exit comes after he was forced to take a leave of absence last season after a behind-the-scenes incident.

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Alexandre Desplat
Credit: Brigitte Lacombe

How computers generated Alexandre Desplat's 'Imitation Game' score

Plus: He shares his favorite John Williams score

The gears in composer Alexandre Desplat’s head are always turning. They have to be; even with a packed scheduled — he’ll see five films hit American screens before the end of 2014 — his artistic process is still one of care and contemplation. With each new score, Desplat chisels out a sound that’s recognizably story-driven, interwoven with theme and individual from his other works. In his new film, "The Imitation Game," the composer translates Alan Turing’s life into a fractaling piano score that encompasses both the mathematician’s achievements — cracking the Nazi’s "Enigma Code" with a proto-computer known as the Turing Machine — and an emotional frustration bubbling underneath the surface. 

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Off the Carpet: 'Into the Woods' arrives with 'Unbroken' on deck

Off the Carpet: 'Into the Woods' arrives with 'Unbroken' on deck

Also: The critics prepare to speak with NYFCC set for Dec. 1

"Moulin Rouge!" (2001), "Chicago" (2002), "The Phantom of the Opera" (2004), "Dreamgirls" (2006), "Enchanted" (2007), "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" (2007), "Nine" (2009), "Les Misérables" (2012). Between them, 50 oscar nominations, only three of them recognized for Best Picture and only one of them taking the big prize. That's more or less the modern legacy Rob Marshall's "Into the Woods" is looking to enter into, a stage of relative reinvigoration for the musical film genre.

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Credit: NBC

NBC caps 'Constantine' Season 1 at 13 episodes

Network insists a second season is still possible

"Constantine" has become the first of the fall's new DC Comics adaptations not to get a full-season order from its respective network.

NBC sources confirmed on Monday (November 24) that Season 1 of "Constantine" will be capped at 13 episodes. 

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'True Detective' confirms Rachel McAdams, Taylor Kitsch and Kelly Reilly for Season 2
Credit: Associated Press

'True Detective' confirms Rachel McAdams, Taylor Kitsch and Kelly Reilly for Season 2

Check out Billy Crystal and Josh Gad in FX’s 'The Comedians'

“True Detective” confirms Rachel McAdams, Taylor Kitsch and Kelly Reilly for Season 2
McAdams will play Ani Bezzerides, a  Ventura County Sheriff’s detective. Kitsch will play a CHP motorcycle officer. And Reilly, the recent star of ABC’s “Black Box,” will play Vince Vaughn’s wife. PLUS: See Colin Farrell with a mustache and a bit of a paunch on the “True Detective” set.

Check out Billy Crystal and Josh Gad in FX’s “The Comedians”
FX has released five promo videos for its comedy about comedians making a comedy.

Budweiser ditching Clydesdales for Super Bowl ads
Instead of focusing on horses, Budweiser will try to lure younger beer drinkers with an emphasis on Jay-Z and craft beers.

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Oscar Isaac will end the world as the main bad guy in 'X-Men: Apocalypse'
Credit: Universal Pictures

Oscar Isaac will end the world as the main bad guy in 'X-Men: Apocalypse'

This just keeps sounding better the more we hear about it

If nothing else, the "X-Men" series has one of the most interesting revolving casts in any of the various superhero franchises currently being produced.

It was already interesting enough knowing that they were going to push Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence center-stage for this one to emphasize the love story between Magneto and Mystique. Those two are both such heavy hitters that it sounds genuinely exciting to have them carrying the film. In addition, Channing Tatum is supposed to join the ensemble this time as Gambit, a fan-favorite that was handled poorly in the first "Wolverine" spin-off.

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A step-by-step guide to building Oscar Isaac's character in 'A Most Violent Year'
Credit: A24

A step-by-step guide to building Oscar Isaac's character in 'A Most Violent Year'

Director J.C. Chandor and his star take a deep dive into what went into the performance

BEVERLY HILLS — I love talking to Oscar Isaac about the craft of acting. He's never quick with a facile soundbite and always has something intriguing to chew on regarding his choices, if you're willing to get into it. And with his subtle, smoldering work as Abel — a man trying to build a business and a life in the middle of the cold and ruthless New York City of 1981 in J.C. Chandor's "A Most Violent Year" — there is plenty to chew on indeed.

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How 'Homeland' got good again
Credit: Showtime

How 'Homeland' got good again

HBO 'bombshell' documentary to tackle Scientology

How “Homeland” got good again
"Homeland" is back to being good, not great, this season, says James Poniewozik. "It’s easy to get excited when a show makes a turnaround like this, but I wouldn’t call "Homeland" great," he says. "Instead, it’s simply tried to be good, and that’s been the show’s smartest choice of all." "Homeland" became good again, he says, by focusing on its best relationship (Carrie and Saul), making Carrie competent again, picking interesting enemies and making this season about ideas.

HBO "bombshell" documentary to tackle Scientology
Alex Gibney, the Oscar-winning director behind "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room” and “Taxi to the Dark Side,” will explore the connection between the controversial religion and its relationship to Hollywood. It’s based on the book “Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood & The Prison of Belief” by Lawrence Wright.

“The Mistress” is coming to Discovery Life Channel
Gordon Ramsay’s self-proclaimed former mistress, Sarah J. Symonds, will host this half-hour mistress intervention series, with each half-hour episode focusing on one mistress.

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American Music Awards down from last year
About 11.6 million watched last night’s awards show.

“SNL’s” Schoolhouse Rock parody was totally wrong about how gov’t works
The opening sketch sacrificed accuracy for comedy.

CNN taps Bill Weir to host “The Wonder List”
The environmental docuseries will examine “people, places and creatures that could be lost to future generations.”

NBC developing a comedy titled “#Winning”
The #Winning hashtag comedy has nothing to do with Charlie Sheen — it’s a comedy about friends.

Does TV have too many "Schmidts”?
Ashton Kutcher is a Schmidt on “Two and a Half Men,” Max Greenfield is a  Schmidt on “New Girl” and coming soon to Netflix is “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.”

Comedy Central developing “TripTank” spinoff "Jeff & Some Aliens"
The animated short about three extraterrestrials examining the world’s most average guy is poised to get its own series.

DirecTV unveils “Scrawny Arms Rob Lowe”
Rob Lowe is starring in yet another DirecTV ad.

What is it about “Gotham’s” Ben McKenzie that has made him so successful on TV?
The NY Times profiles McKenzie, now the star of his 3rd successful TV series, and notes: "There is a throwback quality to Mr. McKenzie, in both his polite manner and square-jaw looks, and it meshes with his roles so far. Antiheroes like Walter White and Don Draper may be all the rage on TV these days, but Mr. McKenzie’s characters, despite their imperfections, have been classic Hollywood-style idealists.” PLUS: Introducing “Gotham’s” Copperhead.

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<p>Ian McKellen in the third &quot;Hobbit&quot; film</p>

Ian McKellen in the third "Hobbit" film

Credit: Warner Bros.

Ian McKellen spends his last day as Gandalf on the 'Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies' set

Oscar nominee reflects on his journey to Tolkien/'X Men' franchise star

WELLINGTON, NZ. Perhaps it's the blustery winterish weather outside and the relative warmth and stillness inside the vast, canvas-covered tent/structure that give Sir Ian McKellen comfort.

Maybe it's the lure of craft services dessert that give him cause to stay.

Or maybe the venerable thespian is just in an introspective mood.

Whatever the cause, as wind howls outside and various members of the "Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" crew scurry in and out of the door, accompanied by chilly gusts and intruding drizzle, McKellen holds court with a small group of reporters for nearly 45 minutes. Some of that time is spent on The State of Gandalf and the events that may or may not be on-tap for the third installment of Peter Jackson's second Tolkien-based trilogy, but far more of the interview is dedicated to deep reflection, delivered in the same authoritative and sonorous tone McKellen might use to repel orcs or deliver Shakespeare. 

It's early June 2013 on the New Zealand sound stages housing the "Hobbit" movies, but it's not just another day for the actor. He's come to set just to talk with us, but he's one day away from something more momentous: Tomorrow will be Sir Ian McKellen's last day shooting on "The Battle of the Five Armies" and, thus, it will be his last day of production as Gandalf the Grey.

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<p>Peter Jackson</p>

Peter Jackson

Credit: Evan Agostini/AP

'Hobbit' Set Visit: Peter Jackson stares down The Battle of the Five Armies

Oscar-winning director discusses CGI battles and the importance of pick-ups

WELLINGTON, NZ. On many films, directors build in a certain amount of time to do pick-ups after production is completed, a few weeks to return come back and lock down a few shots or even a few scenes that either didn't go perfectly originally or that they realized were integral to telling the story.

Peter Jackson doesn't do things the way normal directors do. Since he has generated billions of dollars for his studio partners and basically constructed a production empire of his own down in New Zealand, he gets to create his own definition for "pick-ups," which most filmmakers would probably call "basically making the darned movie."

It's early June 2013 on the set of what will come to be known as "The Battle of the Five Armies," the third film in Jackson's adaptation of "The Hobbit." A group of reporters is on-set for what everybody is calling "pick-ups," but that's a term Jackson needs to clarify.

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<p>Cowboys QB Tony Romo</p>

Cowboys QB Tony Romo

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: NBC's Cowboys-Giants game outpaces ABC's AMAs on Sunday

NFL overrun boosts CBS to high numbers as well

Fast National ratings for Sunday, November 23, 2014.

NBC's Sunday Night Football coverage of the game between the Cowboys and Giants easily controlled primetime in all measures, while NFL overrun pushed CBS to second overall and the American Music Awards telecast put ABC in second in the key demographic.

CBS' numbers include 30 minutes of NFL overrun, but the overrun was actually closer to 40 minutes for much of the country, so expect plenty of shifting when Finals come in.

Meanwhile, without any sort of NFL boost FOX had a sluggish Sunday including a predictably weak time period premiere for the first 7:30 installment of "Mulaney."

On to the numbers...

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Carey Mulligan in Far From The Madding Crowd
Credit: Fox Searchlight

Carey Mulligan sings a sweet ditty in first 'Far From The Madding Crowd' trailer

Will she wind up with Matthias Schoenaerts, Tom Sturridge or Michael Sheen?

Thomas Vinterberg’s "The Hunt" earned a Best Foreign Language Academy Award nomination at this year’s ceremony. Starring Mads Mikkelsen, the psychologically aggressive film focuses in on a town imploding after pedophilia accusations spread like wildfire. Like he did with his Dogme 95 film "The Celebration," Vinterberg’s film burrows straight to the gut, a moral play with physicality. Based on the trailer for his follow-up, an adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s "Far From The Madding Crowd," the director will adapt that audacious approach for sweeping romance. 

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