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<p>Dido as seen at the BBC Children in Need show</p>

Dido as seen at the BBC Children in Need show

Credit: Jon Furniss/Invision for BBC Children in Need/AP Images

Interview: Dido on her greatest hits and becoming a free agent

Done with her record contract, she looks ahead

Following the release of her best-of collection this week on RCA, Dido is officially out of her record contract and a free agent.

“I’m like an overexcited kid,” the British singer/songwriter tells HitFix. “I have so many ideas. ‘I can do this, I can do that.’ I’m like ‘take a breath’.”

More about what’s next for Dido a little later, but first she spent a few minutes looking back with us over her nearly 15-year career covered on “Greatest Hits,” a compilation of all her singles from her 1999 debut, “ No Angel,” on. Among the selections are “Here With Me,” “Thank You,” “White Flag,” “Life for Rent,” and Eminem’s “Stan,” which samples “Thank You,” and helped catapult Dido to stardom.

She listened to the album from start to finish while mastering the project. “It was this crazy, emotional 15-year diary in an hour,” she says. “When you write a song, you’re so clear about where you were and what you were feeling, even more so than when I see a picture. I have such clear memories.”

As often happens, the songs take different meaning and shapes as life progresses. “Everything to Lose,” originally featured on the 2010 “Sex and the City 2” soundtrack, “is probably more relevant now,” Dido says. “When you do finally really fall in love, having a kid, and having the fear” of losing it all.

Indeed, the birth of her son in 2011 has changed the prism through which she views life. “I’m a more emotional person since having Stanley. I was never the big cry person. Now I’ll be in the cinema and I start crying. I was crying at ‘Philomena’ 10 minutes in. My husband was like, ‘Are you alright?’ So any of these songs that are emotional, I feel it all bigger because of Stanley. It opens up a part of you.”

The collection includes a new track, “NYC.” Though written recently, it is about an era, pre-1999, when everything was still possible for her, including failure. “It’s about a time back at the very beginning when I came to New York City with the words of my brother ringing in my head: ‘This is probably not going to happen for you, but good luck’.”

Even after all her success —she’s sold more than 30 million albums worldwide and garnered an Oscar nod for “If I Rise” from “127 Hours”—the uncertainty remains. And she’s fine with that. “I’m still unsure of where the road ahead goes,” she says. “I’ll always be that person. I feel more comfortable not knowing. I crave those feelings. There’s room for magic to happen.”

While being without a record contract would strike fear in some, for Dido, it strikes a sense of possibility where music dictates every decision. “You can just put music out. For me that’s extremely exciting,” she says. “Sometimes [on a label] I feel like you make things and you have to wait for ages and you just play this big waiting game. Now, you can do this project here and that project there. It’s dictated by what you’re doing creatively.”

She’s coy about what’s next as she has material now that is taking her in two “extremely different ways,” and she hasn’t chosen which path to take yet. “It all becomes about the music and that’s the world I live in.”

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"The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"

 "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"

Credit: Bravo

'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' recap: Is a lesbian affair afoot?

Brandi and Carlton seem to be getting closer

It was bound to happen sooner or later on "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." After all, these society matrons couldn't possibly be working so hard at self-maintenance strictly for the amusement of their husbands. It was about time a few of the gals found a romantic spark with someone who could truly appreciate their designer clothes, handbags, and face-freezing Botox. C'mon, guys don't get Hermes! Short of making out with a mirror, the next best thing? Another Housewife, of course! 

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<p>Oprah Winfrey in her &quot;Making a Scene&quot; short.</p>

Oprah Winfrey in her "Making a Scene" short.

Credit: New York Times

Roundup: NYT's short film project, starring Oprah, Cate Blanchett and more

Also: Animal abuse in Hollywood, and a whole lotta Emma Thompson in conversation

By far the coolest thing on the internet was the New York Times' Making a Scene project, in which 11 of the year's most celebrated actors -- ranging from Cate Blanchett to Oprah Winfrey, Adele Exarchopoulos to Robert Redford -- perform in individual short films directed by Oscar-winning cinematographer (and Steven Spielberg's right-hand man) Janusz Kaminski. "Short" is the operative word: advertisement-like in length and style, they're not exactly deep, but they're a lot of fun, whether it's Oprah channelling her inner torch diva or Bradley Cooper doing some rain ballet, all to stray strands of dialogue from the likes of Seth Rogen and Spike Jonze. Have fun. [New York Times]

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<p>&quot;Breaking Bad&quot;</p>

"Breaking Bad"

Credit: AMC

'Breaking Bad' team shares regrets, final season love and a documentary

What does Vince Gilligan wish he could change?
There are many takeaways from Stuart Richardson's more-than-feature-length documentary "No Half Measures: Creating the Final Season of Breaking Bad," which is featured in the "Breaking Bad" complete series DVD set. But perhaps the dominant takeaway is that after roughly 135 minutes of exhaustively chronicled behind-the-scenes footage from the last eight episodes of "Breaking Bad," you know exactly how Vince Gilligan hugs.
 
And Vince Gilligan is a patter. 
 
As the emotional season progresses in the documentary, one person after another has their final on-set wrap and one person after another gets patted on the back like they're infants and Vince Gilligan is a parent hoping for a satisfying belch.  
 
That's why the documentary's most glorious moment [for me, anyway] comes half-way through production on "Felina," the series finale, when the hilarious Betsy Brandt -- it's mighty logical that she transitioned from this to a sitcom -- shoots Marie's last scene, gets her hug, pulls back and demands a real hug, sans patting, from Gilligan. 
 
I kid. Actually, "No Half Measures" is full of great moments. With a running time that is, let's be frank, just a wee bit taxing on the ol' tailbone, "No Half Measures" manages to be simultaneously over-long, but basically indispensable for passionate "Breaking Bad" fans. 
 
Sony Pictures TV screened the documentary for a packed and passionate theater of radio contest winners on Monday (November 25) night, ahead of the series DVD release and I was glad to see it as both a fan of the show and as a fan of the show who's still probably planning on doing an All "Breaking Bad" podcast later this week. Knock wood.
 
The screening was followed by a brief Q&A with Gilligan, Bryan Cranston, Dean Norris, R.J. Mitte, Bob Odenkirk and Lavell "Huell" Crawford.
 
Click through for a few more thoughts on the documentary and a couple highlights from the Q&A, including Gilligan's three "Breaking Bad" regrets, Odenkirk's nebulous excitement about "Better Call Saul" and Cranston's salute to fans and Crawford's tribute to Cranston's humility.
 
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"Dancing with the Stars"

 "Dancing with the Stars"

Credit: ABC

'Dancing with the Stars' recap: It's the finals, part 1!

One couple nails the samba relay

Oh no. The show is starting with a Very Inspiring slow motion intro that looks sort of like our final four are headed to war. I know you have to goose the drama, "Dancing with the Stars," but this is a bit much. Still, it's the finals, so let's get excited! 

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Tom Mison, Erin Cahill and Nicole Beharie in 'Sleepy Hollow'

Here's something you don't see every Thanksgiving

Credit: FOX

'Sleepy Hollow' recap: Giving thanks in 'Sanctuary'

Family ties, haunted houses and tree monsters: It's Thanksgiving, 'Sleepy Hollow'-style

It's Thanksgiving on "Sleepy Hollow," and that means an episode rich in family, traditions and ... tree monsters?

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<p>At least know we know why Magneto's not popular with the Dallas police department.</p>

At least know we know why Magneto's not popular with the Dallas police department.

Credit: 20th Century Fox

50 years later, the truth is out: Magneto was the man behind the magic bullet

Or was he? New 'Days Of Future Past' hints arrive online

One of the things that is always interesting when a film changes directors or writers or any key member of a creative team is seeing how much of the original plan for the film stays intact. Back when Matthew Vaughn was set to make the sequel to his own "X-Men: First Class," he seemed more than happy to reveal certain details and ideas about how he'd approach the film.

In particular, he talked about opening the movie with the assassination of JFK, then revealing how Magneto would be revealed to be the killer, driven by a fury that Kennedy took credit for the Cuban Missile Crisis solution, pretending mutants had no part in it at all. Our interview about his plans was pretty widely quoted at the time, and when he left the film, I assumed they pretty much scuttled Vaughn's plans completely.

After all, he wasn't planning to do "X-Men: Days Of Future Past" at the time. That idea came after he departed the film, and we've heard now that the new film is set in 1973, which would seem to leave the JFK thing out completely.

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<p>CBS didn't have any episode-specific art for tonight's &quot;How I&nbsp;Met Your Mother,&quot;&nbsp;which means it's time once again for the gang in suits. </p>

CBS didn't have any episode-specific art for tonight's "How I Met Your Mother," which means it's time once again for the gang in suits.

Credit: CBS

Talkback: 'How I Met Your Mother' - 'Bedtime Stories'

Marshall tells a trio of stories in verse; did the gimmick make the episode better or worse?

Tonight, "How I Met Your Mother" told a trio of stories all in rhyme, with Marshall trying to get Marvin to sleep on the bus to Farhampton. On the one hand, I thought the rhymes themselves were fairly clever, particularly anytime we were back on the bus with Marshall and the other passengers — particularly Tony-winning guest star Lin-Manuel Miranda, who of course was asked to do a rap about the difficulty of rhyming "Canada." On the other hand, I thought the stories the rhymes were built around were dumb to varying degrees, and represented various latter-day "HIMYM" flaws regarding broad characterization, portrayals of women being stupid, Barney being a superhero, etc.

But these posts are designed to hear what you all have to say, so let's hear it about "Bedtime Stories." Did the rhymes make you smile or grit your teeth? Did you enjoy watching NPH play so many roles? Ted's LeBron grudge? The thought that, as hinted at by the Future Ted narration, it may still be many episodes before Marshall gets to the Inn? 

What did everybody else think?

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'Doctor Who's' 50th anniversary special sets a BBC America ratings record

 

About 2.4 million watched the afternoon/morning airing, and another 3.6 million tuned in for the primetime repeat.

Ron Burgundy will guest-anchor "SportsCenter"
Will Ferrell's "Anchorman" character will take over the ESPN news show on Dec. 5.
 

Ohio State researchers found that even background television does damage, giving young kids a poorer understanding of people's mental states.

She'll play mom to Marie de Guise.

Jessica Grout, 23, speaks no Arabic, yet she's become a finalist by singing in Arabic.

What a ridiculous storyline! PLUS: Is having no one to root for a problem this season?

The former "Today" co-hosts will appear together on Tuesday's "Katie."

Both will be back on Jan. 15.

"Patton Oswalt: Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time" will air on Epix in January and on Comedy Central in April.

Jay Leggett, who appeared in Season 5 of the Fox sketch comedy show, died Saturday after a day of hunting. He was 50.
 
***Note: My internet is still down, so updates will be sporadic this week.***
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<p>Margo Martindale during a dramatic moment in the first season of FX's &quot;The Americans.&quot;</p>

Margo Martindale during a dramatic moment in the first season of FX's "The Americans."

Credit: FX

Margo Martindale is the latest victim of my obsession with 'The Americans'

Could she be back for more than one episode?

Poor Margo Martindale.  On a brisk Sunday morning in New York, the Emmy Award winner was paired with Oscar winner Chris Cooper to discuss  their impressive performances in John Wells' big screen adaptation of Tracy Letts' acclaimed stage play "August: Osage County."  Both actors have outside chances at best supporting Oscar nominations and, of course, what do I want to talk about?  All I want to do is ask Martindale questions about a television show she isn't "officially" a regular guest star on anymore, "The Americans."  

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"Doctor Who"

 "Doctor Who"

Credit: BBC America

'Doctor Who' breaks ratings records with 'Day of the Doctor'

'Atlantis' didn't do too badly, either

Did you watch the "Doctor Who" special "Day of the Doctor"? So did lots of other people! "Doctor Who" and new series "Atlantis" broke records on Saturday. "Doctor Who"’s 50th Anniversary special, "Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor," delivered 3.6 million viewers for the daytime simulcast and primetime encore. 

These are solid numbers for "Doctor Who," but not landmarks for basic cable in the United States ("Duck Dynasty," for example, raked in 8.4 million viewers for its season finale). But the show did do gonzo business on social media. On Saturday, BBC America was the #1 cable network on Twitter, "Doctor Who" was #1 on Twitter in all of television and the series set a record on Tumblr with the highest level of activity of any televised event ever, surpassing the Super Bowl and MTV’s Video Music Awards.

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<p>This is pretty much exactly how I feel every time I remember there's an 'Anchorman 2' coming out in less than a month.</p>

This is pretty much exactly how I feel every time I remember there's an 'Anchorman 2' coming out in less than a month.

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Adam McKay and over a million feet of film in the editing room for 'Anchorman 2'

The director talks about building the highly-anticipated sequel

Much has been written about the way Adam McKay and Will Ferrell work together, and I recently put up a piece about spending time on the Sea World set where they shot an early sequence for the film. In that article, I described the way that they build scenes, the way their ad-libs flow on a set, the way McKay and Ferrell seem to share two halves of one brain.

The one down side, if you can call it that, to the way their process works is that they end up with miles of film to choose from when building each and every scene in the movie. That's no exaggeration, either. While the process is digital now, they shot the equivalent of 1.25 million feet of film, and when they did the first assembly cut of the movie, where they put in every scene just to see it all together, the film came in at four and a half hours.

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