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<p>&quot;The Great Beauty&quot; is Italy's Oscar hopeful this year.</p>

"The Great Beauty" is Italy's Oscar hopeful this year.

Credit: Janus Films

Profiling the foreign Oscar contenders, from 'The Grandmaster' to 'The Great Beauty'

A closer look at the nine films selected by the Academy

The Academy caught me off guard yesterday when it announced the nine finalists for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar -- I'm used to that news landing in January, and hadn't even thought to serve up any shortlist speculation or predictions. Which is just as well, since after a few years of sussing out most of their choices in advance, I'd probably have been far wide of the mark this time round. Already, three of the films I was predicting in the sidebar as eventual nominees -- Chilean crowdpleaser "Gloria," Canadian charmer "Gabrielle" and Saudi Arabian milestone "Wadjda" -- failed to make the cut.

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'SNL' finally releases Jimmy Fallon-Justin Timberlake promos


"SNL" finally releases Jimmy Fallon-Justin Timberlake promos

"Yeah, this is happening!....It's going to be a f*cking blast." PLUS: Fallon brought a Go Pro to "SNL" meeting, Kristen Wiig's "SNL" cameo two weeks ago wasn't planned, Taran Killam says of the Christmas show, "I can 100-percent guarantee that it will be the greatest episode of all time, ever," and play the "SNL" Fallon/Timberlake Drinking Game.


Tax credits lure an ABC sitcom pilot to shoot in Britain
"Galavent" will be the 2nd network show to film in the UK under new TV production tax credits, after Fox's "24: Live Another Day."


Watch the new "Justified" trailer

Here's a preview of Season 5, premiering Jan. 7.


Could "Duck Dynasty" move to another network?

A&E has the option for at least one more season, so moving networks would be tricky. But here are three other ways this controversy could end. PLUS: A&E warned Phil Robertson about speaking out too much, Walmart sells out of "Duck" merchandise, and A&E didn't want to disrespect gay employees by not suspending Robertson.


HBO orders "Claws," a nail salon dramedy from Rashida Jones

"Claws" will follow the "strange, dangerous women" who work at a Florida nail salon.


100 new TV shows, specials, events are launching in early 2014
Get ready for an onslaught of new TV programming over the next eight to 12 weeks.


David Tennant is taking American accent lessons over Skype to prep for Fox's "Broadchurch" remake
"I will be doing an American accent yes," Tennant says of preparing for "Gracepoint." "I will start working on it this afternoon actually and am getting help from a voice coach over Skype from America. That's how they do it."


"Nurse Jackie's" fake car accident prompts 7 people to call 911
The Wednesday incident in Staten Island is the latest TV shoot to freak out residents in and around New York City.


"24: Live Another Day" casts an alum from "The Wire"

Gbenga Akinnagbe will play a CIA field operative on the Fox event series.


Watch Jeanne Tripplehorn sing a Rolling Stone cover with Eddie Vedder -- as Julie Andrews
Earlier this week, the "Criminal Minds" star explained to Jimmy Kimmel how she came up with that rare talent.


Will Arnett is dating a producer he met on "Up All Night"
Us Weekly reports Arnett is following up his romance with Katie Lee with Erin David, who was an executive producer on the canceled NBC comedy.


Andre Braugher is getting a "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" husband from "Parks and Rec"
Marc Evan Jackson, who played "Parks and Recreation's" no-nonsense lawyer Trevor Nelsson, will play Captain Holt's significant other.


"The Vikings" returns Feb. 27
History says Season 2  "brings crises of faith, of power, of relationships."


"Real Housewives of Orange County" adds 2 more

Former Miss Kentucky USA Lizzie Rovsek and Shannon Beador are joining the cast for Season 9.


It's a "Battlestar Galactica" reunion

Michael Trucco tweeted a pic of him and "Killer Women" co-star Tricia Helfer, along with Katee Sackhoff.


What is a TV show "diversify staff writer"?

It's the diversity hire, as Beejoli Shah explains: "Most every writing room has one—an entry level, non-white staff writer, explicitly hired due to their race."


MTV's "Undressed": Read an oral history

The 1999-2002 series' alums include Max Greenfield, Taran Killam, Adam Brody, Chad Michael Murray, Katee Sackhoff, Marc Blucas, J. August Richards, Jason Ritter, Katie Aselton and Brandon Routh.


Adam Goldberg joins Jim Gaffigan's CBS comedy pilot
He'll play Gaffigan's best friend in the autobiographical project.


The Best TV Title Sequences of 2013

From "The Goldbergs" to "The Americans."


"The Good Wife" is bringing back Carrie Preston -- with a bear

The CBS drama plans to top her last entrance, on a treadmill desk.


HBO releases a 2nd "Looking" trailer

Take another look at the upcoming gay-themed comedy.


"Downton Abbey's" Hugh Bonneville is unrecognizable in PBS' "Mr. Stink"
Bonneville plays a vagrant character in a charming holiday fable airing Sunday.


Watch a preview of "Lost Girl" Season 4

The Syfy series returns Jan. 13.

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<p>Beyonce on her Mrs. Carter Tour</p>

Beyonce on her Mrs. Carter Tour

Credit: AP Photo

Beyonce set to spend another week at No. 1

Her self-titled set reigns supreme for a second frame

Beyonce’s self-titled set will spend a second week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 next week with sales of up to 280,000 copes.

Holiday sales continue to kick in as seven of the top 10 titles could surpass the 100,000 mark. Garth Brooks’ Wal-Mart only box set, “Blame It All On My Roots,” will hold at No. 2, moving up to 210,000 units.

One Direction’s former No. 1, “Midnight Memories,” is at No. 3 (175,000), followed by a pair of holiday titles: Kelly Clarkson’s “Wrapped in Red” at No. 4 (140,000) and The Robertsons’ “Duck the Halls” at No. 5 (135,000).

Eminem’s “The Marshall Mathers LP 2” is at No 6 (120,000) and Katy Perry’s “Prism” at No. 7 (100,000).

Lorde’s “Pure Heroine” and Luke Bryan’s “Crash My Party” are tied for No. 8 (75,000), while “Now 48” and Michael Buble’s “Christmas” are too close to call for No. 10 with both pegged to sell around 70,000 copies, according to Hits Daily Double.  

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<p>Tyson of &quot;Survivor: Blood vs. Water&quot;</p>

Tyson of "Survivor: Blood vs. Water"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Tyson Apostol discusses his 'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' win

Tyson explains why he corrected Hayden on 'ruffle'
Two weeks of exit interview insanity -- Nine interviews between "Amazing Race" and "Survivor" -- comes to a conclusion with my chat with "Survivor: Blood vs. Water" winner Tyson Apostol.
 
You can certainly put Tyson in a category with John Cochran, Jonathan Penner and Malcolm Freberg among the "Survivor" contestants who I always like talking to. He's smart, caustic and, after three times playing the game, he gets "Survivor."
 
That wasn't always the case. In "Tocatins," he was an amusing quote machine, but he was also upstaged by the scenery chewing Coach. He came out less aggressively in "Heroes vs. Villains" and seemed to be playing a wiser game, right up until he broke with a Tribal Council vote-splitting scheme and effectively eliminated himself.
 
In "Blood vs. Water," Tyson had to deal with the emotion of watching his girlfriend Rachel get eliminated early, but he soon joined forces with Gervase and then Monica to form a tight alliance that cleared out the competition on the way to the Final 3. In addition to that alliance, Tyson also found and used -- not necessarily with any value -- two Hidden Immunity Idols and, as the season was ending, won the last two Immunity Challenges. He won the final Jury vote by a commanding 7-1 margin.
 
In this funny and wide-ranging exit interview, Tyson talks about his relief at the lack of Jury anger, the shoulder injury that plagued his early game, his attempts to avoid trash-talking and why he couldn't resist lecturing Hayden on proper terminology. 
 
It's a good Q&A. Click through for the whole thing.
 
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<p>Is it just me, or does Johnny Depp just keep getting hotter?</p>

Is it just me, or does Johnny Depp just keep getting hotter?

Credit: Warner Bros

Johnny Depp leaves his body behind in trippy first 'Transcendence' trailer

Did Wally Pfister get more than just a cast from his time with Christopher Nolan?

The entire notion of the Singularity is fascinating, and I am doubly intrigued by the fears that the idea seems to instill in people. I think the idea of being able to leave your body behind and live "forever" in a digital form is an amazing notion, but for some reason, whenever Hollywood deals with a major technological jump forward, they almost always do it in a horror film first.

While I'm not sure I'd call "Transcendence" a horror film, it certainly looks like they're playing the notion of digital life as a terrifying prospect. The film is about a famous scientist of some sort, like a Bill Gates or a Steve Jobs, who is working on a process that will allow people to upload their consciousness when he is attacked and killed by someone looking to derail his research. In an effort to save his life, his wife uses his new process on him, and as his body dies, he makes the jump to a purely digital form.

At which point he appears to go crazy and try to take over the world.

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<p>Thelma Schoonmaker accepts her third Oscar to date for &quot;The Departed&quot;&nbsp;in 2007.</p>

Thelma Schoonmaker accepts her third Oscar to date for "The Departed" in 2007.

Credit: AP Photo

Thelma Schoonmaker talks cutting 'Wall Street' improv and learning from Martin Scorsese

We almost got 'Kill Bill'-style paired volumes out of the opus

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Film editor Thelma Schoonmaker has been with Martin Scorsese since the beginning. Their collaboration, which extends over 19 feature films, a handful of shorts and even a Michael Jackson music video, has made for some of the richest, purest, most alive American cinema in history, and "The Wolf of Wall Street," opening next week, is just another notch on that belt.

I recently sat down with Schoonmaker to discuss all of that and more, and I don't mind saying, I couldn't help but gush. Anyone with a passion for cinema, I imagine, will fight the urge to bow at the feet of a woman like this, who has been such a consistent force behind some of the most indelible film imagery of our time.

Schoonmaker has been nominated for six Oscars for her collaborations with Scorsese, having won for "Raging Bull," "The Aviator" and "The Departed." Meeting him changed her life, as meeting her surely changed his. And that certainly came across in our hour-long conversation, which you can read through below. It's another long one, so settle in, or bookmark it and enjoy it over the holiday.

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Seth Meyers, who joined 'SNL' in 2001, is not leaving -- yet


Seth Meyers, who joined "SNL" in 2001, is not leaving -- yet

The future "Late Night" host tweeted this afternoon: "For those asking, tomorrow is not my last SNL. I have a few more in me."


A&E had a publicist monitor Phil Robertson's GQ interview, but he slipped out on an ATV ride with reporter
According to TMZ, it was during that time away from the publicist that the GQ reporter got the "Duck Dynasty" star's controversial thoughts on race and gays. UPDATE: GQ editor says: "PR rep was there the entire time."


"Katie" is going live to save money -- Katie Couric's talk show tapings often ran long
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Couric's talk show would sometimes tape twice as long as the allotted time, which resulted in a lot of work editing down the shows to one hour.


"Chicago PD" cuts 2 actors, including Clint Eastwood's son

Scott Eastwood and Tania Raymonde are exiting the "Chicago Fire" spinoff.


"House of Lies" books Fred Armisen and Balthazar Getty
Armisen will play a neurotic company owner, while Getty has been cast as a wealthy hedge fund manager who has a history with Eliza Coupe.


Anna Gunn gets a new TV hubby: Josh Hamilton
The "Breaking Bad" alum will be joined by Hamilton on Fox's "Gracepoint."


"Better Call Saul" adds 2 "Breaking Bad" writers
Thomas Schnauz and Gennifer Hutchison, who respectively wrote the "Buried" and "Confessions" episodes of this past season, have come aboard as producers on the AMC spinoff.

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<p>Baron Von Strucker will once again head H.Y.D.R.A. for at least one major sequence in 'Avengers:&nbsp;Age Of Ultron'</p>

Baron Von Strucker will once again head H.Y.D.R.A. for at least one major sequence in 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron'

Credit: Buena Vista Home Entertainment

Baron Von Strucker will battle The Avengers in Joss Whedon's 'Age Of Ultron'

Want to know how he fits into the plans for the mega-sequel?

We're about to start getting a flood of information on "The Avengers: Age Of Ultron" as they cast the remaining roles, and I'm curious to see how Marvel handles things. There are plenty of surprises left to be revealed, and major characters that haven't been mentioned at all yet in public, and I have no idea how they're going to reveal things. Will they say who they're casting these people to play, or are they going to be coy about it for as long as possible? And if they do try to play it low-key, how successful are they going to be?

For example, Latino Review just broke the news that Baron Von Strucker is going to be part of the film. In the Marvel comics, he's a leader of H.Y.D.R.A., which is sort of the evil version of S.H.I.E.L.D., and he's a particularly nasty ex-Nazi who has augmented himself to theoretically live forever. When David Goyer did that TV movie version of "Nick Fury: Agent Of S.H.I.E.L.D." with David Hasselhoff as the star, Baron Von Strucker was the bad guy. He also made frequent appearances in the animated series "The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes." He has a long history of facing off against the Avengers in the comics, and it makes perfect sense that he'd make his way into the Marvel Movie Universe eventually.

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<p>Sandra Bullock in &quot;Gravity.&quot;</p>

Sandra Bullock in "Gravity."

Credit: Warner Bros.Pictures

Dublin critics are over the moon for 'Gravity'

Interesting runners-up include 'The Act of Killing' and 'What Maisie Knew'

Greetings from Ireland -- where, coincidentally enough, I touched down shortly before the Dublin Film Critics' Circle announced their 2013 award winners. And an interesting list it is, too. Don't look for "12 Years a Slave" here -- only films released locally this year are eligible -- but "Gravity" took Best Picture, Director and Cinematography. It's the runner-up lists, however, where their individuality emerges: there are 10 or more in each category (the Irish have a funny way of counting ties, it seems), and choices range from "What Maisie Knew" for Best Picture to Brady Corbet in "Simon Killer" for Best Actor to "Ain't Them Bodies Saints" for Best Cinematography. A refreshing change from the usual-usual. Full list after the jump; check out every group's winners so far at The Circuit.

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A&E suspended Phil Robertson because his comparison of homosexuality to bestiality was over-the-line


A&E suspended Phil Robertson because his comparison of homosexuality to bestiality was over-the-line
According to The Wrap, A&E Networks CEO Nancy Dubuc ultimately made the decision to suspend the "Duck Dynasty" star because his remarks to GQ were in conflict with "the fundamental values of the company." PLUS: The White House had a pool going on which reporter would ask President Obama a "Duck Dynasty" question at today's press conference (nobody asked), Bristol Palin lends her support for Robertson, crisis experts weigh in, 9 questions you were too embarrassed to ask about "Duck Dynasty," and A&E has many "Duck" marathons planned over the next week.


Patton Oswalt unveils a standup special promo shot in reverse
Watch the "forward" and "reverse" versions of Oswalt's Epix special promo for "Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time."


Here are your holiday TV marathons, events and specials

From TBS' "A Christmas Story" marathon to "It's a Wonderful Life."


George R.R. Martin will host a screening of every "Game of Thrones" episode at his New Mexico theater
For 12 weeks, starting Jan. 6, Martin will screen three shows per week, one night a week.


"Heroes" alum Jack Coleman surfaces on "CSI"
He'll guest as a pastor whose teen daughter suddenly dies.


Nickelodeon renews "The Thundermans"

The live-action superhero kids' comedy will be back for Season 2.


Shortly before joining "SNL," Will Ferrell performed for the O.J. Simpson jury
As Ferrell recalls to Jimmy Kimmel, he was a member of the Groundlings when he and his fellow comedy troupe members were asked to entertain the O.J. jury.


"Melissa & Joey" books Yvette Nicole Brown
The "Community" star has landed another guest role. PLUS: Mo Gaffney will also guest on "Melissa & Joey."


"Real" from "Real Chance of Love" undergoes cancer-removal surgery
Ahmad "Real" Givens had a cancerous growth removed from his colon on Wednesday.


Judd Apatow talks to Jay Leno about interviewing him in 1983
A teenage Apatow had a knack for interviewing comedians, including Jerry Seinfeld.


"The Sing-Off" to have a "We Belong" finale
Pat Benatar will be joined by Pentatonix and Neil Geraldo to perform her 1984 hit.


Sofia Vergara butchers a Christmas carol  her "Modern Family" co-stars

Watch the video of her attempt to sing "Jingle Bells," shared by Jesse Tyler Ferguson.


Writer on NBC's "Believe" commits suicide
Ned Vizzini, who is best known for his book "It’s Kind of a Funny Story," which was adapted as a Zach Galifianakis film, was found dead at age 32. Vizzini was a writer on the J.J. Abrams NBC drama.

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<p>&quot;August:&nbsp;Osage&nbsp;County&quot;&nbsp;won Best Actress and Best Ensemble</p>

"August: Osage County" won Best Actress and Best Ensemble

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Nevada critics award '12 Years,' McConaughey, Streep

'Gravity' leads the field with three prizes, 'August: Osage County' wins two

The Nevada Film Critics Society has hopped on the "12 Years a Slave" bandwagon, awarding the film Best Film honors (though nothing else). Meanwhile, Alfonso Cuarón's "Gravity" picked up three prizes, including Best Director, while Meryl Streep landed her first prize of the year for her performance in "August: Osage County." Check out the full list of winners below and remember to keep track at The Circuit.

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<p>&quot;The&nbsp;Grandmaster&quot;</p>

"The Grandmaster"

Credit: The Weinstein Company

'Wadjda' and 'The Past' miss the foreign Oscar cut

'Broken Circle Breakdown' and 'The Grandmaster' among the survivors

The Academy has narrowed its list of foreign language film contenders to nine in advance of the nominations announcement for the 86th annual Academy Awards.

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