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<p>Broken Bells</p>

Broken Bells

Credit: James Minchin

Album review: Broken Bells' 'After the Disco' is a melancholy beauty

Danger Mouse and James Mercer come together for their second full set

On the excellent “After the Disco,” Broken Bells —aka Danger Mouse and The Shins’ James Mercer — wonder how we got here. Not physically, but metaphysically. Song after song on the synth pop-driven set asks hard questions for which there are no answers.

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'The Following' hits another low


"The Following" hits another low
Super Bowl ads didn't help the Kevin Bacon series.


BET's "Book of Negroes" miniseries to star Louis Gossett Jr, Cuba Gooding Jr, Aunjanue Ellis
Based on a 2007 book, the miniseries will follow a female slave as she's taken from West Africa to America.


"Little Couple" star Jen Arnold's cancer is in remission

Dr. Jennifer Arnold had been undergoing intensive chemotherapy to battle a rare form of cancer.


Puppy Bowl gets huge ratings, Kitten Bowl does decently, Fish Bowl was barely watched
The 10th Puppy Bowl attracted a record-setting 13.5 million total viewers, About 1 million watched the premiere of the inaugural Kitten Bowl, while 27,000 tuned in for Nat Geo's Fish Bowl.


"SNL" alum Victoria Jackson is running for public office

She's running as an independent for a county seat on a Tennessee commission.


"The Bachelor's" weird sex issues: The show is like a prudish pimp

This season, it's become harder for the show to mask its resemblance to an "unusually public escort service." PLUS: Meet Juan Pablo's stylist.


Netflix viewership went down then up during Super Bowl blowout

Traffic was down 20% in the first half. But as it became clear the game was a blowout, viewership levels went back to normal in the second half. PLUS: Many cable channels saw viewership soar after the game.


"Veronica Mars" cast members are live-tweeting old episodes
Each night, one cast member will live-tweet an episode at 8 pm ET.


John Stamos goes "bald"

The "Full House" star shared a photo on Instagram of him wearing a bald cap.


Lea Michele's memoir cover revealed
The "Glee" star is releasing "Brunette Ambition" on May 13.


"Under the Dome" adds "CSI:NY's" Eddie Cahill

"Misfits" alum Karla Crome will also join the cast in Season 2.


"Little House on the Prairie" star Richard Bull dies
Bull, 89, played shopkeeper Nels Oleson. Melissa Gilbert mourned his loss on Twitter: "Goodbye Richard working with you was such a joy but nearly as joyful as being your friend."

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<p>Kate Upton at NBC's &quot;Sports Illustrated Swimsuit: 50 Years of Beautiful&quot; thing</p>

Kate Upton at NBC's "Sports Illustrated Swimsuit: 50 Years of Beautiful" thing

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: 'Castle,' 'How I Met Your Mother' lead tight Monday, while NBC's 'Swimsuit' fizzles

'Intelligence' adds viewers without competition
Fast National ratings for Monday, February 3, 2014.
 
The key Monday ratings races are probably too tight to call after Fast Nationals, with "Castle" leading ABC to the slimmest of overall wins and "How I Met Your Mother" helping CBS post a tie among young viewers.
 
Well off the pace in third, FOX continued to get solid performances out of "Almost Human," which "The Following" continued its second season slide, albeit with only a tiny dip.
 
Meanwhile, NBC got weak numbers from its "Sports Illustrated Swimsuit: 50 Years of Beautiful" special, which came in far enough below the normal "Blacklist" numbers to help "Intelligence" continue a slow overall rise.
 
On to the numbers...
 
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Jimmy Fallon pens heartfelt 'Thank You Note' to Jay Leno


Jimmy Fallon pens heartfelt "Thank You Note" to Jay Leno
Fallon was a guest on last night "Tonight Show" where, instead of writing a sarcastic "Thank You Note," he opted to be sincere: "And finally, thank you Jay Leno, for carrying on the proud tradition of the Tonight Show host with such humor and class and for being nothing but gracious and generous to me over the past years. I will do my best to make you proud every single night." PLUS: Leno cracked some Fallon jokes during his monologue, and Leno had another night of big ratings last night.


Benedict Cumberbatch drops by "Sesame Street"

"Sherlock" meets his arch-nemesis, "Murray-arty."


Adult Swim is expanding to 8 pm

Starting March 31, the No. 1 block for adults 18-34 will kick off at 8 o'clock, instead of 9.


Flea denies any "trickery" during Super Bowl halftime performance

The Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist, who's accused of not playing live, tweeted cryptically last night: "No trickery. No choice, but no trickery."


Jerry Seinfeld on lack of diversity in comedy: "Who cares?"
Seinfeld's "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" has featured mostly white males, and Seinfeld doesn't see a problem with that: "People think it's the census or something," Seinfeld tells Buzzfeed of the assertion that all pop culture should accurately reflect society. "This has gotta represent the actual pie chart of America? Who cares? Funny is the world that I live in. You’re funny, I'm interested. You’re not funny, I’m not interested. I have no interest in gender or race or anything like that." PLUS: In defense of Seinfeld's Super Bowl "Seinfeld" reunion, and Seinfeld wanted to create a show you could "put in your pocket."


Ryan Phillippe is poised to star in ABC's "Secrets & Lies"

The "Damages" alum is expected to play a father who becomes the prime suspect in a murder case when he finds a dead young boy.


Clay Aiken was trash-talked by his potential future GOP congressional opponent

North Carolina U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers pointed out that Aiken couldn't win "American Idol" or "Celebrity Apprentice." "As we know he doesn’t always fare all that well. He was runner up," she said, adding: "Apparently his performing career isn’t going so well and he’s bored."


After being dumped by HBO, Neil Gaiman's "American Gods" may find a TV home
The potential sci-fi TV series based on Gaiman's novel is getting help from FreemantleMedia, the company behind "American Idol."


Ken Marino joins Casey Wilson on ABC's "Marry Me"

The "Party Down" alum will play Wilson's fiance.


Adam Brody: I think "The O.C.'s" Seth Cohen would've died by now

"I think he'd be going down to Mexico and probably had a bad car accident," Brody tells Nylon magazine. "It wasn't any fault of his own, but yeah, knowing what I know now about Seth and his poor decision-making, that's my guess."


Stephen Colbert is expected to star in many more pistachio ads

He has signed on to be Wonderful Pistachios' pitchman for a full year.


Bravo to begin offering "Top Chef at Sea" cruise vacation packages

Ten ships will offer "Top Chef"-themed food and events.


Conan introduces Punxsutawney Dr. Phil
It's Groundhog Day, Conan-style. PLUS: Conan has an extended cut of Bob Dylan's Super Bowl ad.


Ellie Kemper's mom wasn't happy to see her guest-hosting "Ellen"
Her mom preferred Ellen instead.

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<p>Outkast will headline Sasquatch this year</p>

Outkast will headline Sasquatch this year

Credit: AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

Outkast and Soundgarden set to headline expanded Sasquatch!

Music festival spans two weekends with two different line-ups

An expanded Sasquatch! Music Festival will see Outkast headline its first weekend,  May 23-25, while Soundgarden does the honors the newly added second weekend, July 4-6.

While the dates are far apart, and certainly a switch from fests like Coachella, which offers the same line up over two adjacent weekends, Sasquatch, which takes place at the Gorge Amphitheater in George, Wash., is going for your holiday money by holding its usual Memorial Day festival and adding the second over the Fourth of July weekend.

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<p>Kristin Scott Thomas in &quot;The Invisible Woman.&quot;</p>

Kristin Scott Thomas in "The Invisible Woman."

Credit: Sony Classics

Roundup: Is Kristin Scott Thomas quitting movies?

Also: Mark Harris remembers Philip Seymour Hoffman

File this under "retirement announcements we hope are short-lived," as Kristin Scott Thomas claims that she's ending her screen career: " I cannot cope with another film. I realised I've done the things I know how to do so many times in different languages, and I just suddenly thought, I can't do it any more. I'm bored by it. So I'm stopping." Partly motivating this, she says, is the limited array of roles available to women her age: "I'm sort of, as the French would say, 'stuck between two chairs', because I'm no longer 40 and sort of a seductress, and I'm not yet a granny ... When I go to the movies, I'd rather watch people who've lived, who have gone through the mill, who've had their heart broken a million times and are still looking for love." [The Guardian]

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<p>Stan Lee</p>

Stan Lee

Credit: John Shearer/AP

Interview: Stan Lee on his 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' cameo and his hopes for the ABC drama

Marvel legend recalls the original creation of S.H.I.E.L.D.
It may have premiered in the fall with more hype than any other new network drama, but ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." truly comes into its own on Tuesday (February 4).
 
No, I haven't seen Tuesday's episode, titled "T.R.A.C.K.S." and I don't know if "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." has turned a creative corner.
 
Sorry. 
 
But Tuesday's episode finds the show going through one of the crucial Marvel rites of passage: Marvel impresario Stan Lee will finally make his first guest appearance.
 
Lee, who created the world of S.H.I.E.L.D. with Jack Kirby, has made regular appearances in the Marvel feature films -- "Guardians of the Galaxy" will apparently end his streak -- and he has done voice work on several Marvel-affiliated animated shows, so it's a sign of impressive restraint that "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." waited for the 13th episode before fitting him in. [If you haven't checked out my colleague Drew McWeeny's story about the cameos, I know I've spoiled the twist, but it's still worth reading.]
 
And it's possible that this might not be a mere cameo for Stan Lee. As he explains it, it's more of a supporting role and "it has a bearing on what the plot of the episode is." Bonus!
 
I chatted with the Marvel legend last week about his latest guest appearance, his memories of the original creation of this universe and what he thinks of "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." so far. 
 
Check out the full, spirited Q&A with the 91-year-old icon after the break...
 
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<p>Josh Radnor and Cobie Smulders in &quot;How I&nbsp;Met Your Mother.&quot;</p>

Josh Radnor and Cobie Smulders in "How I Met Your Mother."

Credit: CBS

Talkback: 'How I Met Your Mother' - 'Sunrise'

Ted and Robin revisit their past, Marshall fights with ghosts, and Barney mentors two young men

Last week's "How I Met Your Mother" was at once a treat and a reminder of missed opportunities with the Mother, this year and in seasons past. "Sunrise," meanwhile, was entirely Mother-less, and another episode largely devoted to Ted struggling to let go of his feelings for Robin, with his speech to Jeanette — if he could actually take everyone's advice and let her go, "That wouldn't be love. That would be some other disposable thing that is not worth fighting for." — feeling very much like Bays and Thomas(*) rebutting the complaints about the show revisiting this territory over and over.

(*) Who, in their younger years, bore at least a passing resemblance to the actors playing Barney's two proteges. Coincidence, or design?

The question is, did you buy it? Did Ted's speech convince you, or did you roll your eyes yet again at this material, or at Ted again bickering with old flames (if not eternal ones like The Bangles song that played over the end)? Did you enjoy Marshall's ghost arguments, and did you believe the resolution of the real thing? And were you pleased or annoyed at the gift Barney gave the two young guys before he left their side?

Have at it.

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'New Girl' lending Max Greenfield to 'The Mindy Project'


"New Girl" lending Max Greenfield to "The Mindy Project"
He'll guest as a guy at a bar named Lee who is up to "no good."


TV Land renews "The Exes"

The comedy starring Donald Faison, Wayne Knight and David Alan Basche will return for a 4th season.


"Big Bang" is bringing back Bob Newhart

He'll reprise his role as Professor Proton.


"NCIS: New Orleans" adds CCH Pounder and "JAG" alum

Pounder will play the show's medical examiner, while Zoe McLellan will play a special agent.


"Dancing with the Stars" dumps its longtime band leader
The 28-member Harold Wheeler Orchestra and Singers is out after being with the show since Season 1. The American Federation of Musicians claims the show will begin using pre-recorded music, but a source tells The Hollywood Reporter that a new live band will be chosen.


"Bored to Death" cast reunites
Ted Danson, Jason Schwartzman and Zach Galifianakis appeared together over the weekend at SF Sketchfest.


Disney Channel renews "Dog with a Blog"
The comedy will be back for a 3rd season.

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<p>Christopher Plummer and Shirley MacLaine in &quot;Elsa and Frank.&quot;</p>

Christopher Plummer and Shirley MacLaine in "Elsa and Frank."

Credit: Miami International Film Festival

Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer to open Miami Film Festival

John Turturro to receive career tribute

I'm not sure I've ever had a more purely enjoyable festival experience than I did at last year's Miami International Film Festival. The location alone obviously takes some beating, but the convivial, celebratory atmosphere of proceedings, coupled with some imaginative programming (particularly of Latin American fare unlikely to be seen elsewhere), made it rather special. Cannes may have its attractions, but a relaxed press brunch with Darlene Love, for example, is not among them.

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<p>The true MVP of Super Bowl XLVIII: Manning Face</p>

The true MVP of Super Bowl XLVIII: Manning Face

Credit: AP

Super Bowl XLVIII grabs the Most-Watched TV Show crown with 111.5 million viewers

How did 'New Girl' and 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' perform?
[UPDATE: The final audience total for Super Bowl XLVIII ended up at 112.2 million viewers, "New Girl" ended up with 26.3 million and "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" with 15.1 million.]
 
Apologies for this morning's incorrect guess that no records would be broken by Super Bowl XLVIII.
 
The lopsided result was presaged by a safety on the game's first play from scrimmage, but the Seahawks rout over the Broncos was still watched by 111.5 million viewers on average, making it latest Super Bowl to grab the crown of The Must-Watched Television Show in U.S. History. 
 
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<p>Philip Seymour Hoffman in &quot;Almost Famous&quot;</p>

Philip Seymour Hoffman in "Almost Famous"

Credit: DreamWorks

Cameron Crowe on Philip Seymour Hoffman and the 'soul' of 'Almost Famous'

'I will always be grateful for that front row seat to his genius.'

A day later and I'm realizing I still haven't fully absorbed the unfortunate, untimely passing of Philip Seymour Hoffman. A house full of people yesterday for a boring football game and the usual work-related stuff this morning has kept it a bit at bay ever since the news struck yesterday.

I will say I'm annoyed at the predictability of high-horse riding judgment from those who clearly have no idea what addiction entails. But that kind of finger-wagging, which we can always spot as little more than frustration on behalf of others — children, loved one, etc. — left in the wake of such a tragedy, is to be expected. It can be timed like the tides. And it's always another level of sadness over these things.

Anyway, the point is, I'm still processing. We lost a genius, and one in his prime. These were the years of amazing Phil Hoffman performances. We were in the middle of it, you see? We just left the movie an hour in, so to speak, right in the meat of the second act build. But I'm grateful for the perspective of filmmakers like Cameron Crowe, who wrote a brief, poignant remembrance of Hoffman's work on a key scene from his 2000 film "Almost Famous."

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