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<p>While the Best Picture race remains up for grabs, Jared Leto is slowly  dominating the Best Supporting Actor circuit for his performance in  &quot;Dallas Buyers Club.&quot;</p>

While the Best Picture race remains up for grabs, Jared Leto is slowly dominating the Best Supporting Actor circuit for his performance in "Dallas Buyers Club."

Credit: Focus Features

Off the Carpet: The critics leave it wide open

With the first wave of precursor announcements behind us, where do we stand?

The New York Film Critics Circle went with "American Hustle" after being gridlocked over whether to choose that film as 2013's Best Picture or "12 Years a Slave." "12 Years" came back around with the first wave of regional critics notices, taking Best Picture from the Boston Society of Film Critics and winning huge with the online Beantown crowd, among others. The Los Angeles Film Critics Association answered their east coast brethren by completely ignoring "Hustle" and finding its own unsettled gridlock between "Gravity" and "Her" for the year's top honor, ending in a tie.

The chatter that has arisen in the wake of this initial precursor wave could have been predicted: it's anyone's game.

At this point last year, "Zero Dark Thirty" was dominating the critics groups' superlative lists. Mid-month, that tide eventually shifted to "Argo," but those were the two and nothing else ever seemed to be dominant. Here we are at the start and four different films have been crowned the year's best by the most respected organizations. Two of them we knew would be in the thick of it, the other two needed the boost of early kudos to insinuate themselves into the race. We're truly off to the races.

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'Californication' to end with Season 7

"Californication" to end with Season 7

David Duchovny will wrap up his Hank Moody character starting in April.

"Bonnie & Clyde" miniseries watched by 9.8M across History, A&E and Lifetime
History channel had the largest audience, followed by Lifetime and A&E.

Ryan Seacrest would like to co-host "Today" someday
Seacrest told CNN: "There's been a paradigm shift in the style of those shows... the style of show that I watched when I was a kid and you watched when you were a kid is a little bit different than it is now."

Coming soon: "SpongeBob"-themed yellow USPS mailboxes
The United States Postal Service has unveiled special "SpongeBob MailPants" boxes.

Here are all the "sucks" uttered on ESPN this past month
Watch what prompted ESPN to clamp down on "sucks."

"Bob's Burgers" honors "Battlestar Galactica" on its 10th anniversary
Last night's episode had a "Edward James Olive-Most" burger.

Irish American female from Boston places 3rd on "Arab's Got Talent"
Jennifer Grout, 23, was the unexpected star of this season.

Sarah Palin hangs out with "Duck Dynasty" stars
Palin was in Louisiana on her book tour when she visited with the Robertson family.

Anderson Cooper and other CNN stars make a Ron Burgundy video
Cooper joins Wolf Blitzer and Chris Cuomo in a video for Will Ferrell's Funny or Die website.

Adult Swim renews "The Eric Andre Show"
Eric Andre and Hannibal Buress will be back for a 3rd season.

Johnny Carson's YouTube page posts a full "Tonight Show" episode from 1979, with guest David Letterman
Watch a holiday-themed episode from Dec. 20, 1979, with guests David Letterman and Bruce Dern.

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The 2013-2014 Film Awards Circuit

The 2013-2014 Film Awards Circuit

Charting the winners and losers of this year's Oscar season

Welcome to the 2013-2014 Film Awards Circuit.

In Contention has tracked all the ups and downs of the season right here, from critics awards to industry kudos and more. Things shifted and slid en route to the Oscars, as they always do, leading to "12 Years a Slave" taking down the big win for Best Picture at the 86th annual Academy Awards (which was really just a drop in the bucket of all the kudos it picked up throughout the season as it certainly dominated the regional critics awards).

The circuit's various announcements are divided into a few different categories below to make it easier to navigate this year. We tried to be as on the ball with it as possible, but feel free to reach out via email if there's something we're missing.

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Credit: Paramount Pictures

'12 Years a Slave,' 'Nebraska' and 'Her' lead the way with St. Louis critics nominations

'American Hustle' and 'Gravity' favorites, too

Steve McQueen's slavery drama "12 Years a Slave" led another batch of nominees today with the St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association, but Alexander Payne's "Nebraska" and Spike Jonze's "Her" scored large tallies, too. All three were nominated for Best Film along with "American Hustle" and "Gravity." Check out the full list below.

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<p>Hayao Miyazaki's swan song &quot;The Wind Rises&quot;&nbsp;picked up nominations for Best Picture and Best Director.</p>

Hayao Miyazaki's swan song "The Wind Rises" picked up nominations for Best Picture and Best Director.

Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

'12 Years a Slave' leads 2013 Online Film Critics Society nominees

Passion for 'Drug War' and 'The Wind Rises' as well

The Online Film Critics Society has announced 2013 nominees and once again, "12 Years a Slave" is a dominating force on the regional circuit. The film picked up a field-leading eight nominations. The Coen brothers' "Inside Llewyn Davis" and Spike Jonze's "Her" were a few steps behind with six apiece. The line-up includes passion for Hayao Miyazaki's "The Wind Rises" and Johnnie To's "Drug War." Check out the full list below.

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"Enough Said"

Credit: Fox Searchlight

Women Film Critics Circle falls for 'Augustine,' 'Enough Said' and 'Winnie Mandela'

'Philomena' and 'Mother of George' were favorites, too

The Women Film Critics Circle has spoken up and, as ever, offered some interesting color in a precursor circuit that seems to be all about a few particular names. This is certainly an opinionated and thorough list of contenders. "Augustine," "Enough Said" and "Winnie Mandela" led the way with mentions, though "Mother of George," "Philomena" and "Hannah Arendt" were favorites as well. Check out the full list of nominations below. Winners will be announced on Dec. 16. And remember, keep track at The Circuit.

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Sarah Palin gets a TV show: 'Amazing America With Sarah Palin'

Sarah Palin gets a TV show: "Amazing America With Sarah Palin"
The Sportsman Channel has given the former Republican vice presidential candidate a weekly show in which she explores America's outdoors lifestyle. It premieres in April.

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Tye Sheridan in "Mud"
Tye Sheridan in "Mud"
Credit: Roadside Attractions

Washington critics spring for '12 Years a Slave,' Cuarón, Blanchett

And some good news for Tye Sheridan fans
The Washington D.C. critics had some fun with their awards at the nominations stage, throwing in such offbeat mentions as Baz Luhrmann for Best Director, with Joaquin Phoenix, James Franco and Scarlett Johansson among the acting nominees. Their list of winners, however, is rather more conventional. "12 Years a Slave" leads the pack with six awards, including Best Film, Actor, Supporting Actress and Ensemble, while they also plumped for fellow Oscar frontrunner "Gravity," handing it Best Director and a pair of technical awards.
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<p>Saints QB Drew Brees</p>

Saints QB Drew Brees

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: Panthers-Saints action boosts NBC Sunday, while 'Once' rises for ABC

NFL overrun gives 'The Simpsons' a bump
Fast National ratings for Sunday, December 8, 2013.
After last week's Sunday Night Football dud, NBC got a matchup of playoff-bound teams and rode the Panthers-Saints matchup to easy Sunday wins in all key measures. 
FOX got a boost from its own NFL overrun and took second for the night among young viewers, while "60 Minutes" and the "Amazing Race" finale helped CBS claim second overall. [Note that CBS had a slew of football delays and started 27 minutes late in a number of markets, though the network's placement is unlikely to change.]
ABC saw "Once Upon a Time" rise over last week's airing, while "Revenge" was steady in its return after several weeks away. "Betrayal," however, sunk.
On to the numbers...
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USA announces premiere dates for 'Psych,' 'Suits,' 'White Collar' and 'Sirens'

USA announces premiere dates for "Psych," "Suits," "White Collar" and "Sirens"

The debut of Denis Leary's "Sirens" will be after the return of "Suits" on March 6.

"Sesame Street" recreates "The Lord of the Rings" with Cookie Monster

It's "The Lord of the Crumbs."

Tim Meadows is ticked off "SNL" did "Bill Brasky" without him

"Sorry 'The Ladies Man' bombed…if it would have done better they wouldn't treat me like a red headed step child," Meadows wrote on Facebook, adding, "I will never watch SNL again" and "F*ck them." Later, he posted, "I feel better and after a Mimosa I take back everything I said before!"

Check out Seth Meyers' 1st "Late Night" poster

The poster announces a 12:35 start time on Feb. 24, though Fallon's "Late Night" currently airs at 12:36 AM.

"Homeland's" Brody storyline would've been better if it wasn't so rushed

Last night's developments would've been better off if it was spread over several episodes. PLUS: This episode proved "Homeland" didn't jump the shark, what's up with all the CIA incompetence?, and there was too much absurdity in this episode.

"Doctor Who's" next season won't be split in half
Steven Moffat says Series 8 will air as one complete run.

ESPN asks its on-air personalities to stop saying "sucks"

"This word is simply not appropriate for ESPN," says a memo to the staff.

New Yorker editor joins NBC's Winter Olympics coverage

David Remnick, an expert on Russia who served as The Washington Post's Moscow bureau chief, will lend his expertise on Russian politics.

"Murphy Brown" cast will reunite on "Katie"

Candice Bergen, Faith Ford and more will mark the 25th anniversary on Friday's show.

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<p>James McAvoy in &quot;Filth.&quot;</p>

James McAvoy in "Filth."

Credit: A24

'Philomena' shut out as UK Oscar entry 'Metro Manila' surprises at BIFA Awards

James McAvoy takes a deserved win for Best Actor

The British Independent Film Awards -- effectively the UK industry's answer to the Spirits -- are an unpredictable institution. Some years they reward very much the films they're expected to reward ("The King's Speech" and "Slumdog Millionaire" both took a clutch of awards here), and some years they live up to the "independent" part of their name and go wildly off-script. (A memorable example: nominated for "The Queen," Helen Mirren lost to Kate Dickie in "Red Road.") It all depends on the whims of the jury, and this year's group was clearly feeling rebellious.

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"The Real Housewives of Atlanta"

 "The Real Housewives of Atlanta"

Credit: Bravo

'Real Housewives of Atlanta' recap: Does Kandi need to pick a side?

Did Phaedra forgive Apollo too easily?

Boy, life is never boring in Atlanta, is it? Porsha's suffering from the pretty faints, Cynthia and her ex Leon are debating whether or not to lie to their daughter Noelle about sex or just stick her in a cage until she turns 30, and Kandi's mother is throwing punches in a wedding parlor. That's not even getting to Kenya sobbing in a restaurant. 

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