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Top TV for 2014: 10 more great new series
Credit: Comedy Central/HBO/CW

Top TV for 2014: 10 more great new series

Celebrating 'Enlisted,' 'Broad City' and more fabulous first-year shows

You don't see it very often these days, but once upon a time, some TV critics insisted on only including new series in their top 10 lists. This was, of course, the glory days of print journalism, when space was a precious resource and no one had room for the zillions and zillions of bonus lists (like this one) we have online, and those critics preferred to use their limited column inches to spread the gospel for new material that hadn't been lauded for years on end. I could always respect that argument, even as I would decide there was no way I could have a best of the year list that didn't include, say, "The Simpsons" on it. 

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Obama Boyhood
Credit: AP/IFC

President Obama aligns with the people, names 'Boyhood' the best film of 2014

And Michelle offers critical thoughts on another contender

In politics, a Presidential endorsement can be the magic touch, imbuing a candidate with exposure and voter confidence. Does the same hold true in the Oscar race? The team behind "Boyhood" hopes so.

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Kristen Wiig says she was 'terrified' to shoot Ridley Scott's 'The Martian'

Kristen Wiig says she was 'terrified' to shoot Ridley Scott's 'The Martian'

She's reuniting on a new script with her 'Bridesmaids' co-writer that will be her directorial debut

Kristen Wiig is taking the road less traveled, and after a bumpy start, it's starting to show signs of life. 

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<p>The &quot;Survivor: San Juan Del Sur&quot; Final 5</p>

The "Survivor: San Juan Del Sur" Final 5

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: San Juan Del Sur' Finale - The Winner Is...

Baylor, Missy, Natalie, Keith and Jaclyn gun for the million bucks

Pre-credit sequence. Poor Jaclyn is all alone and there's a scary creature in the trees. "You've gotta do what you've gotta do," Natalie tells Jaclyn, who also praises her fellow castaways for their acting and being fake. "I'm loyal to a fault in my life," Missy replies. Natalie and Jaclyn get into a shouting match about who does or doesn't know Jon. Jaclyn is particularly angry, which I guess makes sense. This, of course, is exactly what Natalie wanted, because she wants people to be wary about aligning with Jaclyn. She knows it'll take effort to maintain her ties to Missy and Baylor in the short term. "You've gotta put in work if you want to win this," Natalie says.

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'The Interview' and North Korea: What do we lose if we let fear win over art?
Credit: Sony Pictures

'The Interview' and North Korea: What do we lose if we let fear win over art?

Sony finds themselves cornered in a no-win situation

We are watching precedent unfold in front of us right now, and I'm afraid we're doing it wrong. Fear is driving a major studio to pull a film from release before it has even opened, and fear had every major theater chain ready to drop the film if the studio hadn't backed down.

This cannot be the way we make decisions.

My first major job was working for AMC Theaters, starting as an usher, then working my way up through pretty much every position I could hold at a local theater. I worked concessions, I sold tickets, I trained as a projectionist, I built up prints, and by the time I graduated high school, I had become an assistant manager.

When I took my first trip up to Florida State University's campus to prepare for my attendance in the fall of '88, it was the early days of the controversy surrounding "The Last Temptation Of Christ." There were only vague rumblings of the eventual furor at that point, so I was startled when I was walking with friends near the student union and ran into a guy handing out fliers trying to get people to sign a petition warning local theaters not to play the film when and if it was finally released.

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Sony hack: Sorkin back at it, slams 'easily distracted members of the American press'

Sony hack: Sorkin back at it, slams 'easily distracted members of the American press'

The 'Newsroom' creator issues statement following revelation of North Korea's involvement

The Sony hack story is going to keep unfolding and there will be no shortage of opinions and takeaways. Writer Aaron Sorkin already took aim at the media for its behavior in the early days of the dust-up, sentiments echoed by "Nightcrawler" writer/director Dan Gilroy, whose film is very much about ethical slippage in journalism. Well, the "Newsroom" creator and "Social Network" screenwriter fired back yet again today after news broke that North Korea was, according to the FBI, "centrally involved" in the hack.

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'Nightcrawler' director Dan Gilroy calls out media behavior in the wake of Sony hack

'Nightcrawler' director Dan Gilroy calls out media behavior in the wake of Sony hack

'I think it shows you how far down the road we are on this.'

At this point we're pretty far along on the Sony hack story. But a number of morally and ethically suspect pieces were published a week ago and, of course, news organizations rationalized their behavior. Since then, things have taken a darker turn with terrorist threats and the decision, first by theater owners and then by a corporate giant, to bow to those whims. But before all that started happening, I got "Nightcrawler" writer and director Dan Gilroy on the phone earlier this week to talk about the media's role and responsibilities when something like that arises. Reporters devouring a hacked carcass, scavenging for ratings under the thin guise of integrity — I was, to say the least, quite reminded of his film.

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Following terrorist threat, Sony officially cancels 'The Interview' release

Following terrorist threat, Sony officially cancels 'The Interview' release

Decision follows numerous theater chains opting out of showing the film

I imagine you've been paying attention since yesterday as theater chain after theater chain has opted out (with Sony's blessing) of showing the Seth Rogen/James Franco film "The Interview" in the wake of terrorist threats. With major chains like AMC and Regal joining others like Arclight, Bow Tie and Cinemark, perhaps the studio was left with little choice but to pull the film from release. Some might argue, though, that a day-and-date VOD release would be a good way of getting a film out there that clearly someone (supposedly) wants suppressed, but for now, Sony has simply decided not to move forward with the Christmas Day release. Read the official statement below.

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Angelina Jolie says the Coen brothers brought a lack of sentimentality to 'Unbroken'

Angelina Jolie says the Coen brothers brought a lack of sentimentality to 'Unbroken'

Also: The thinking behind taking risks on unknowns in central roles

HOLLYWOOD — "Unbroken" is Angelina Jolie's second directorial effort to date, but she bit off a whole lot more than she expected to chew. The production became a huge undertaking, particularly at the script stage when a number of various elements could have been included from the epic life of Louis Zamperini. So it was as important as ever to do a lot of heavy lifting on the page.

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'Girls' casts Anthony Edwards and Ana Gasteyer as Shoshanna’s parents
Credit: HBO

'Girls' casts Anthony Edwards and Ana Gasteyer as Shoshanna’s parents

At least 2 sponsors pull out of VH1’s 'Sorority Sisters' following backlash

“Girls” casts Anthony Edwards and Ana Gasteyer as Shoshanna’s parents
The “ER” alum and “SNL” veteran are the latest big-name stars to join Season 4 of the HBO series.


At least 2 sponsors pull out of VH1’s “Sorority Sisters” following backlash
Hallmark and Carmex announced they would pull their ads over a backlash from Twitter users over the black sorority reality show from the creator of “Love & Hip Hop." Meanwhile, a petition denouncing the show has gathered more than 68,000 signatures. PLUS: Former sorority sister/"Community" alum Yvette Nicole Brown is "saddened by what I saw on this show."


Sony scraps all TV advertising for “The Interview”
With the major movie chains opting not to show the film in the wake of terrorist threats, Sony has decided not to spend any more money to promote the film. PLUS: Jimmy Kimmel slams movie theaters pulling the film for “an un-American act of cowardice that validates terrorist actions and sets a terrifying precedent."


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HBO to stop issuing overnight ratings
HBO hopes to send a message by emphasizing the “Live Plus 7” day DVR ratings, starting next year.

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FXX reviving Fox’s ADHD
Credit: ADHD

FXX reviving Fox’s ADHD

Stephen Colbert’s 1st head writer recalls him saying: 'I’m gonna work you like a borrowed mule'

FXX reviving Fox’s ADHD
The late-night cartoon block will debut on FXX with a one-hour block starting Jan. 22 at midnight, featuring "Lucas Bros. Moving Co." and "Stone Quackers."


Stephen Colbert’s 1st head writer recalls him saying: “I’m gonna work you like a borrowed mule"
Allison Silverman, who went from co-head writer to executive producer during her 2005-09 stint on the show, says: "The days at 'The Colbert Report' were long, and sometimes every minute was stressful. It was a tough, tough job. I remember when I first accepted the position, Stephen said, 'I’m gonna work you like a borrowed mule,' but at the time we were eating hot wings and drinking milkshakes, so I didn’t quite take it in. The show is more written than a lot of other shows. When it started, we had a ton of energy and adrenaline, and we built a show that required all of it. As time went on, we had to figure out a way to make it more manageable and sustainable."


Why L.A. is the perfect choice for “The Walking Dead” spinoff
"A 'Walking Dead' companion series is uniquely positioned to take full advantage of the city’s trademark postapocalyptic feel,” says Mark Lisanti, "the forbidding, provincial disconnectedness of its many beautiful neighborhoods, and its perpetually abandoned sidewalks — nobody shuffles anywhere, the old saw holds. And could there be a better temporary bulwark against the collapse of society than the walls of a studio lot? No, there could not.” PLUS: All the details on the prequel so far.


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'Dear White People,' 'Selma' lead 15th annual Black Reel Awards nominations

'Dear White People,' 'Selma' lead 15th annual Black Reel Awards nominations

'Belle,' 'Beyond the Lights' and 'Top Five' round out best film category

The Foundation for the Advancement of African-Americans in Film (FAAAF) announced its nominees for the 15th Annual Black Reel Awards Wednesday morning. Justin Simien's "Dear White People" and Ava DuVernay's "Selma" led the way with 10 nominations each. They were joined by "Belle," "Beyond the Lights" and "Top Five" in the organization's best picture category.

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