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C.C.H. Pounder and Charlie Hunnam in 'Sons of Anarchy'

Even Patterson (C.C.H. Pounder) wants to know the real reason Charlie Hunnam ditched 'Fifty Shades of Grey'

Credit: FX

'Sons of Anarchy' recap: The truth comes out in 'John 8:32'

There's bad news and worse news for Jax, Gemma, Nero and Tara this week

I don't want to get ahead of myself here, but all of a sudden I have hope that this crazy, messy, frequently infuriating season of "Sons of Anarchy" could actually pull itself together for a decent finish. Maybe it's cockeyed optimism to keep up my enthusiasm up for the next four episodes. Maybe it's wishful thinking to believe that the amount of time spent setting up various plot threads has to mean some degree of serious thought went into planning the respective payoffs. Whatever it is, I'm taking "John 8:32" as a positive sign for the future.

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<p>Oscar Isaac and Justin Timberlake in &quot;Inside Llewyn Davis&quot;</p>

Oscar Isaac and Justin Timberlake in "Inside Llewyn Davis"

Listen to all of the 'Inside Llewyn Davis' soundtrack: Can it stand up to 'O Brother...?'

Does it have a 'Man of Constant Sorrow?'

Weeks out from theatrical release on Dec. 6, the Coen Brothers' "Inside Llewyn Davis" has launched with the subtle noise of its soundtrack.

NPR is streaming the 14-song set in its entirety; making up half the songs are traditional folk tunes, and all featuring a diverse contributors, from the movie's principals Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake, to the vocals of Marcus Mumford (of Mumford & Sons), producer T Bone Burnett and the Punch Brothers.

The connection to the Coens' "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" is obvious. Music drives both stories, and the songs stem from traditional origins. Acoustic instrumentation dominate both. And this one could possibly strike a chord with listeners like that 2000 set.

"OBWAT" was a sleeper hit on the charts, taking a whole year to reach No. 1 on The Billboard 200 -- an astounding feat for an album, let alone one cut with mostly bluegrass and country music from penned mostly out of the Great Depression. It aided the careers of those like Alison Krauss and mainstays like the Stanley Brothers, in shades of morose, mystical and jubilant; it's gone on to sell about 4.5 millions copies and yielded a re-release with an additional album of songs.

Timberlake, Mumford, the Punch Brothers' Chris Thile, Chris Eldridge and Gabe Witcher made the rounds this weekend with a stunning take on old tune "The Auld Triangle" by English-Irish poet Brendan Behan. In its language and it's close-to-the-mouth recording, it certainly hearkens the feelings of experiencing "O Brother" as a soundscape rather than as a mere movie.

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After CBS snubbed him, Dan Rather will recall his CBS JFK assassination coverage on NBC


After CBS snubbed him, Dan Rather will recall his CBS JFK assassination coverage on NBC
Rather was reporting from Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, as he'll tell the "Today" show. "I held off doing anything for anybody else for a while, thinking I may be asked to do something (for CBS)," says Rather. "I can't say I had any reason for that hope."


"Amish Mafia" star allegedly beaten badly by her boyfriend

Police in Pennsylvania are searching for the boyfriend of Esther Schmucker, who has a fractured face and a broken nose as a result of the alleged beating.


Fox: We're not working on a "Glee" spinoff starring Lea Michele
There is no truth to the RadarOnline report, Fox says.


"Amish Mafia" star accuses boyfriend of beating her up
Police in Pennsylvania are searching for the boyfriend of Esther Schmucker, who has a fractured face and a broken nose as a result of the alleged beating.


Bear Grylls is returning to Discovery in "Escape From Hell"

Grylls will tell the stories of real people stranded in dire situations.


Why "SNL" must hire 2 black women, not 1

If Lorne Michaels doesn't hire a black female castmember, she'll "carry on her shoulders the justification of an entire social movement," says Lindy West. "Every dud of a punchline 'proves' that black women don't deserve to be there. Every success is a fluke, or the work of the writers. The exact same prejudice that has shut black women out of the SNL cast also predisposes dickheads to dislike them." PLUS: Bobby Moynihan says the diversity issue needed to be acknowledged.


Watch the "Love Boat" reunion
Gavin MacLeod and his co-stars came together today on "The Talk."


Here's Bryan Cranston's "HIMYM" return -- "Breaking Ted"
Cranston last appeared in a non-flashback appearance way back in Season 2.


Why isn't "The Goldbergs" set in a specific year of the 1980s?
Creator Adam Goldberg wanted to set his show in 1989, but that was the end of the '80s. So he opted to set the show in "1980-something." PLUS: "The Goldbergs" can't have it both ways when it comes to the '80s, and there will be a "Bridesmaids" reunion.


Lucy Liu joins Twitter
The "Elementary" star is tweeting thanks to Jimmy Fallon. PLUS: Sarah Jessica Parker begins tweeting.


Fired "SpongeBob" sparks political debate
Conservatives are hailing SpongeBob's decision to reject unemployment while seeking a new job.


"Sleepy Hollow" will clean Ichabod Crane's clothes
As exec producer Alex Kurtzman put it, "he will soon discover the joys of dry cleaning and the grave injustice of the bill that accompanies it." PLUS: What is "Sleepy Hollow's" secret formula?


"Game of Thrones" King Joffrey to do charity work in Haiti

Jack Gleeson will be working with the Irish aid agency GOAL.


Louis CK's 2005 HBO special gets illustrated
An illustrator decided to illustrate the final two minutes of Louis CK's routine.


Watch: "Family Feud" pits "Cake Boss" vs. "Honey Boo Boo"

Here'a preview of Monday's show.


CW developing a drama set in 1880s Paris
"The Painted Girls" will be set in the world of "La Belle Epoque." PLUS: Fox buys a Romeo & Juliet drag-racing drama.

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<p>Wolverine's got a real problem with lead in next summer's 'X-Men:&nbsp;Days Of Future Past'</p>

Wolverine's got a real problem with lead in next summer's 'X-Men: Days Of Future Past'

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Hugh Jackman and James Mangold sign on for another bloody 'Wolverine' adventure

We examine what this news means to the franchise

At this point, someone might want to check to see if Hugh Jackman still knows for sure that he's not really Wolverine.

Chris Eggertsen and I decided to discuss today's surprising news about James Mangold and Hugh Jackman both working together on a new "Wolverine" sequel, and I think it's a solid look at some of the biggest ramifications of the news. In the meantime, if you loved the movie, there's going to be even more of it when it arrives on home video.

If you're enjoying our new emphasis on video (or if you're not), I'd love to hear some feedback from you about it. We'll be doing more and more as we settle into HitFix Headquarters in the heart of Hollywood.

"The Wolverine" will be on Blu-ray and DVD on December 3, 2013.

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<p>Elizabeth Henstridge gets her chance to shine on this week's dramatic episode of 'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.'</p>

Elizabeth Henstridge gets her chance to shine on this week's dramatic episode of 'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.'

Credit: ABC/Marvel Studios

The 'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.' confront death in the most dramatic episode yet

Can the show get away with happy endings every week?

Death must be a part of this show, even more than any of the other Whedonverse shows. If you are willing to work in this world, and if you are willing to put yourself on the line, then we must see that death can happen, and that's just part of it. For that to work, though, there can't be a cheat code that will always save every cast member. If you're not willing to destroy the status quo, then none of it matters.

Having said that, tonight's episode of "Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D." is the first time I've felt any emotional connection to the show, and it seems like it establishes some key things about these characters in a more direct way than we've seen so far.

For example, I was getting tired of the "Fitz carrying a torch for Skye" thing after just a few weeks of it. It feels like very familiar ground, and I don't just want to see earlier Whedon characters renamed and plugged into this show. Xander's crush on Buffy was fine for a while, but that show learned quickly that he couldn't just pine away for her forever. It's a dead end for a character.

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<p>On &quot;New Girl,&quot;&nbsp;the guys celebrate the return of Damon Wayans Jr. as Coach.</p>

On "New Girl," the guys celebrate the return of Damon Wayans Jr. as Coach.

Credit: FOX

Review: 'New Girl' - 'Coach'

Damon Wayans Jr. returns, but fellow guest star Taye Diggs provides the biggest laughs

A review of tonight's "New Girl" coming up just as soon as I throw pizza at seagulls...

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"The Originals"

 "The Originals"

Credit: The CW

'The Originals' recap: Will Hayley lose her baby?

The clock is ticking after a powerful witch hatches an evil plan

Spin-offs of hit television shows are rarely good things. Too often the lightning in the bottle that made the first show worthy of a second property can't be captured; ideas are diluted and repeated. There are exceptions to the rule, of course. Some shows not only thrive once characters leave the mothership, the new show explores fresh emotional terrain, digging more deeply into ideas that had only been skimmed in the original property. When they really get it right, spin-offs leave their old shows better than they used to be, giving the characters left behind room to stretch. 

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<p>Tom Hardy and Elton John at this morning's &quot;Rocketman&quot; buyers' event.</p>

Tom Hardy and Elton John at this morning's "Rocketman" buyers' event.

Credit: DDA PR

Tom Hardy and Elton John buddy up to present 'Rocketman' biopic

Could the year's least expected casting news turn to 2015 Oscar gold?

Ye gods, what is this: am I seeing double? Were they separated at birth? Is it an optical illusion, with one of them looking in a mirror? How else to explain the uncanny resemblance betw--okay, okay, I'll stop now. Suffice to say this shot of Tom Hardy and Elton John from this morning doesn't exactly highlight the physical likeness between the hulking actor and the legendarily flamboyant pop star, which is why the thought of the former playing the latter in an upcoming film remains so deliciously, intriguingly weird.

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The top 5 reasons Eminem still matters
Credit: Interscope

The top 5 reasons Eminem still matters

Here's why "The Marshall Mathers LP 2" will open huge

Eminem’s new album, “The Marshall Mathers LP 2,” comes out today. In addition to receiving primarily strong reviews, the album is expected to be one of the year’s top sellers, with opening week sales projections to be as high as 750,000, according to Billboard.

That will give “MMLP2” the second-highest sales week of the year, behind Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience,” which sold 968,000 copies. Eminem’s first week numbers should easily eclipse the current second-place  holder, Drake’s “Nothing Was the Same,” which sold 658,000 in its opening frame.

It’s been 14 years since Eminem’s major label debut, “The Slim Shady LP,” arrived (that will be his only studio album not to reach No. 1, by the way) and he’s captivated and repulsed listeners ever since, but he’s never bored us. Many  superstar rappers such as Kayne West, Kendrick Lamar and Drake have come after him, but he's still at the top of his game.

Here are the top 5 reasons why Eminem still matters:

1. His delivery: Just listen to any number of Eminem’s songs, including the tongue-in-cheek “Rap God” on the new album. It’s dizzying to hear how quickly, cleanly and smoothly he raps. He has a dexterity and flow that many other rappers don’t (though Kendrick Lamar gives him a good run for his money on “Love Game.”). Even if you don’t like what he’s saying, it’s often astonishing to hear how well he says it.

2. He’s not afraid to show his vulnerability: Many rappers are more concerned with showing their swagger and their invincibility, whereas Eminem really puts it out there just how severely screwed up he is...and people respond to that. Yes, his homophobic and misogynistic comments can get tiresome (even if you buy, as he insists, that he’s merely playing a persona), but the one thing that is very clear: he saves his greatest amount of vitriol and loathing for himself.

3. He is a great rap lyricist:
While some folks would say Nas or Jay Z are rap’s best lyricists (and Tupac was its No. 1 poet), Eminem definitely comes out at the very top. Yes, plenty of what he says is puerile, but his mind works in a fascinating pattern. As he says in “Legacy,” it’s as if he’s linking crossword puzzles.

4. He can write both beats and melodies:
This, of course, is not a trait that a number of other rappers don’t share, but Eminem just seems to have a better sense of melody than others. And while he’s not the strongest singer, he also is among the elite group of rappers who can sing as well as rap.

5. He lets his music do the talking: Part of Eminem’s appeal is that he doesn’t care about being a celebrity. If anything, he wants to be left alone. Some of that may have been because of his substance issues, but if we hear something about his personal life (yes, we're talking to you, Kanye), it’s certainly not because he’s let it out. In this age of oversharing, it’s a relief.

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'Scandal' casts Khandi Alexander as Olivia Pope's mom


"Scandal" casts Khandi Alexander as Olivia Pope's mom

The "Treme" star will play Maya Lewis, the mother of Pope, who will make her debut in Thursday's episode.


NBC is still No. 1 in the demo that matters
Six weeks into the fall season, the Peacocks is topping all networks in the 18-49 demographic.


"Trophy Wife" books Rob Corddry
It'll be a "Children's Hospital" reunion when Corddry joins Malin Akerman as "Sensei Rick," a martial arts instructor.


See Kristen Bell & Dax Shepard's "Game of Thrones"-inspired Halloween costume
They went as Khal Drogo and the Khaleesi.

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'X Factor' Season 3 Interviews: The Girls - Rion Paige, Ellona Santiago and Khaya Cohen

'X Factor' Season 3 Interviews: The Girls - Rion Paige, Ellona Santiago and Khaya Cohen

Why do Rion, Ellona and Khaya think you should vote for them?
The Top 12 acts from the current season of "The X Factor" hit the red carpet at Beverly Hills' The Bazaar on Monday (November 4) night.
 
I already posted my interview with series creator/mentor/judge Simon Cowell, who discusses his category, the Groups. 
 
HitFix also caught up with all 12 acts, to discuss their journey so far and to ask them what the American people don't know about them that will make viewers want to vote for them. [In case you're curious, the answer to that standard question was, "Because I'm just an ordinary guy/girl" in the vast majority of cases.]
 
I'll be posting my interviews with the Finalists by category, starting with  the Girls, who are mentored by Demi Lovato.
 
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<p>Ben Affleck returns to awards season, whether he likes it or not, with &quot;Live By Night&quot; on Christmas Day 2015.</p>

Ben Affleck returns to awards season, whether he likes it or not, with "Live By Night" on Christmas Day 2015.

Credit: AP Photo

Oscar Bait: Clint Eastwood's 'Jersey Boys' and Ben Affleck's 'Live By Night' get dates

Could either impact future awards seasons?

It's never too early to look at future awards season players. Today, Warner Bros. slotted two potential players with new release dates.

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