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<p>Beyonce at her Oct. 16, 2013 concert</p>

Beyonce at her Oct. 16, 2013 concert

Credit: AP Photo

Pharrell on Beyonce's album: 'She's not going to put it out until it's ready'

Hit producer is also working on 'The Amazing Spiderman 2' score

Beyonce’s long awaited fifth studio album may be coming closer to being released. In an interview with Billboard, Pharrell, who has worked on the set along with a phalanx of other writers and producers, said Beyonce has been telling other people “Yeah, I’m almost done.” But he doesn’t sound like he’s so sure its arrival is imminent.

“B’s album is crazy. Let me tell you what it is,” he says. “She’s very particular. She’s a Virgo. And she’s not going to put it out until it’s ready and feels like it’s right to her. She’s got a very specific taste. I guess that’s the reason she’s Beyonce. Her name is recognizable around the globe and that’s huge. That comes from someone that has very particular taste. When you know what you want, you won’t stop until you get it.”
Plus, he adds that he’s going back into the studio with Queen B, so it sounds like we really might not get this one until 2014.

Beyonce has dropped a number of songs and/or song snippets over the past year and none of them have gained traction, despite being catchy: “Bow Down/I Been On,” “Grown Woman,” and “Standing On The Sun.” There’s no word if any of those tracks will be on the album.

In the meantime, as previously reported, The New York Daily News reported that Beyonce will drop a new single Dec. 3 and an accompanying video shot by Terry Richardson.

In addition to working with Beyonce —and appearing on the two biggest hits of the summer, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,”  Pharrell is working with a number of other artists and collaborating with Hans Zimmer on scoring “The Amazing Spiderman 2.”




 

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<p>Cameron Diaz and Penelope Cruz in &quot;The Counselor.&quot;</p>

Cameron Diaz and Penelope Cruz in "The Counselor."

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Tell us what you thought of 'The Counselor'

Ridley Scott's star-studded thriller has split the critics, but what do you say?

The advance buzz on Ridley Scott's "The Counselor" could hardly have been less encouraging. For a film from a major director -- written by Cormac McCarthy, no less -- with a dream cast including Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz, Penélope Cruz and Brad Pitt, the fact that it was only shown to critics days before its release seemed to spell disaster. As it is, it seems Fox really wanted to prevent word of the thriller's supposedly nihilistic bleakness from spreading too far; the one thing the critics do agree on is that it's not a crowdpleaser.

Other than that, reviews are all over the map: many have excoriated it, but Manohla Dargis is chief among its vocal champions. Drew McWeeny is somewhere in the middle; I haven't had an opportunity to see it yet. So, over to you: it's pretty obvious this is no awards contender, but is the movie itself a misfire or not? Vote in the poll below, and share your thoughts in the comments.  

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CBS is rebooting 'Charmed'


CBS is rebooting "Charmed"
CBS is interested in a ""re-imagining" of the WB witch drama that ran from 1998 to 2006. "Charmed" is said to be one of the most binge-watched shows on Netflix.


Fox announces midseason schedule: "American Idol" Season 13 kicks off Jan. 15

"The Following" returns Jan. 20 after "Sleepy Hollow," while "Rake" will debut over two nights beginning Jan. 19 after the NFL's NFC Championship game. PLUS: Fox cuts "Idol" results show to 30 minutes.


"Dads" is closing in on a full-season pickup
The critically hated sitcom has been doing well for Fox.


Fox putting "Surviving Jack" after "American Idol"

However, the freshman comedy's order has been reduced from 13 to eight episodes.


Watch "Game of Thrones'" Richard Madden in "Klondike"

Here's the trailer for the Discovery Channel miniseries.

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<p>Scott Stapp talks Creed</p>

Scott Stapp talks Creed

Exclusive: Scott Stapp on new Creed album: 'I have no idea' what happened

Lead singer is baffled as to why his bandmates quit working with him

Remember that new Creed album that the reunited rock band planned to put out last year? It turns out that you’re not the only one that’s curious about what happened. So is Creed’s lead singer, Scott Stapp.
Liane Bonin Starr and I interviewed Stapp on Thursday (24) about his new solo album, “Proof Of Life,” out Nov. 5 for our podcast, CulturePop. When I asked how the album was going, he expressed his befuddlement at how his bandmates had stepped away from it.

A little back story: Creed, which has sold more than 40 million albums, broke up in 2004, in part due to the difficulties the other band members were having with Stapp.  Stapp went on his way and the rest of the band—Mark Tremonti, Brian Marshall, and Scott Phillips— created Alter Bridge, with new vocalist Myles Kennedy. In 2009, after Stapp got sober, Creed reformed, and released “Full Circle,” its first album in eight years.

Things seemed to be going fine and the group started working on a follow-up and toured together.
“In 2012, actually ‘11 and ‘12, I was under the impression we were making a new Creed record,” Stapp tells HitFix. “I got together with  Mark — I actually stayed at his home— and we wrote a bunch of songs, eight of which we were pretty excited about that were going to make the record.  We even began to play some of the songs in soundcheck in 2012, which was typical of what we would do in the writing process...So it was just as much a shock to me based upon all the writing I was doing and the preparation I was doing for the new Creed record that that wasn’t being done anymore.”

Instead, much to Stapp’s surprise, Tremonti worked on a solo album, which came out earlier this year, and the rest of the band recorded a new Alter Bridge record, which came out earlier this month.

“I had been there, everything was cool, we were on tour, we were doing this, we were getting ready,” Stapp says. “And if you go back and look at the [social media] posts from everybody, that’s what everyone was saying, so I don’t know what happened in there that pushed them in another direction. I know Mark  decided he wanted to do a solo album which was during the time we were supposed to record the new Creed album, and then after that, he went to do another Alter Bridge record, so you guys will have to interview him and ask him because to this day I still have no idea what created the change in plans.”

Alter Bridge is in Europe right now, according to the band’s publicist, who is trying to get a comment from Tremonti. However, in  2012, Tremonti told Billboard, "We got together with Scott and put together a handful of songs and got the arrangements and melodic ideas in place, and now it's kind of in Scott's lap to finish off he lyrics and track some demos so we can move on to the next batch," Tremonti reports. So far, he says, Creed has "a good mix...It's got one more radio-friendly type song, one rocking tune, one of the more drawn-out, finger-picked, long, five-minute kind of songs -- just a little bit of everything people have heard in the past.” He added that the band had not set any “timetables” for release.

This August, Tremonti told Billboard that when he is songwriting, it is usually pretty obvious to him if a tune is a solo turn or for Alter Bridge or for Creed, so it sounds like he still considers Creed an ongoing concern.

Stapp said after communication went silent, he needed to get back to work— “I’ve got three kids  and I’m saving for college for them”—so he began work on what became “Proof of Life.”

When asked if he had directly asked Tremonti what was going on, Stapp said, “Yeah, we’ve done that and I still don’t understand, really, and at this point nor will I ever and nor do I want to. One thing I’ve learned in recovery is my job for me is to keep my side of the street clean and what I can say in this relationship and in this friendship with these guys is my side of the street is clean. And since we got back together in 2009, my side of the street has been clean and my intentions and anything I’ve ever said has come from a place of meaning it and honesty and sincerity, so all I can do is continue to support those guys and love them through whatever and whatever the future holds I can’t say, but I do know I got to make this record now.”

For our full interview with Stapp, turn to CulturePop

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Scott Stapp

 Scott Stapp

Listen: CulturePop No. 30 - Scott Stapp of Creed

Singer talks about 'Proof of Life,' Katy Perry and make-believe tea parties

Whether or not you loved post-grunge supergroup Creed and the ever-present hit "With Arms Wide Open," you need to listen to lead singer Scott Stapp talk about the song reaching the "burn-out phase." Not many artists are so honest about the process, but that speaks to where Stapp is in his life. After battling addiction and writing a wrenching memoir, "Sinner's Creed," the singer is digging into his dark materials for his new album, "Proof of Life" (available Nov. 5). Melinda and I had a great time talking to Stapp, who talked about the catharsis of writing a memoir, thoughts of quitting music, what his current status is with Creed, and the joys of wearing make-up and playing tea party with his daughter. Clearly, Stapp has come through to the other side, and in the process, we get an album that truly rocks. Here's the rundown. 

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Comcast to offer HBO with an Internet plan


Comcast to offer HBO with an Internet plan
Now cord-cutters can purchase HBO without having to pay for a basic cable plan. UPDATE: Comcast may not be unbundling HBO after all.


How the Garfunkel and Oates duo came up with Howard's "Big Bang" Bernadette song

Kate Micucci and Riki Lindhome were approached 1 1/2 months ago. PLUS: Bernadette Song is now on iTunes.


GOP official fired because of "The Daily Show" says he was scapegoated
Don Yelton used the N-word repeatedly in sticking by his comments.


FX and Turner are taking on Netflix in a "battle of the binge" viewing
FX and Turner want to be able to stream every episode of a season until that season ends. But Netflix says if that happens, it will pay less for the rights to stream shows, which would result in producers making a lot less money.


Ex-baseball player films fake ad in tribute to last week's "Parks and Rec"
David Eckstein responded to this shout-out by filming a fake law firm commercial.


Jane Seymour will woo James Caan on "Back in the Game"

She'll play a teacher whose advances Caan rejects.


Celebrity Twitter user Kelly Oxford sells retirement home comedy to Fox
Oxford, whose Twitter fame helped get her get a book deal an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel, will try to translate her Internet fame to television.


Pulling "Parks and Rec" and "Welcome to the Family" doesn't help NBC's Thursday' ratings
A rerun of "The Voice" got about the same number of viewers as last week. PLUS: "Scandal" falls to a season low despite Lisa Kudrow.


Bravo renews "Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles" for Season 7
The real-estate show hit record ratings with this week's finale.


"CSI" books Kristoffer Polaha
The former CW star will guest as a mechanic.

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Pearl Jam performs an intense 'Sirens' on 'Late Night with Jimmy Fallon'
Credit: NBC

Pearl Jam performs an intense 'Sirens' on 'Late Night with Jimmy Fallon'

Check out Chris Cornell, Avett Bros., and Dierks Bentley as they salute PJ too

Pearl Jam spent the week having its music feted on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” by other artists, including Dierks Bentley, Chris Cornell, the Avett Brothers, and Fleet Foxes Robin Pecknold,, but on Thursday night, it was the Seattle band’s time to take the stage.

Pearl Jam performed a somewhat laid-back, yet intense, version of  “Sirens,” the current single from “Lightning Bolt,” the No. 1 album on the Billboard 200. They will perform again tonight.

Below Pearl Jam's performance, also check out Bentley's take on "Alive" (with help from the Roots and PJ's Mike McCready), as well as Cornell/Avett Bros.'s take on "Footsteps" and Pecknold's "Corduroy." 

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Oscar Talk: NYFF, Gotham nominations, awards contenders head for 2014

Oscar Talk: NYFF, Gotham nominations, awards contenders head for 2014

Also: A spirited debate on 'August: Osage County'

Welcome to Oscar Talk.

In case you're new to the site and/or the podcast, Oscar Talk is your one-stop awards chat shop between yours truly and Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood. The podcast is broadcast in special installments throughout the season, charting the ups and downs of contenders along the way. Plenty of things change en route to Oscar's stage and we're here to address it all as it unfolds.

On the docket today…

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<p>Michael Wacha</p>

Michael Wacha

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: World Series Game 2 weakens 'Big Bang Theory,' 'Scandal' on Thursday

'Vampire Diaries' and 'Reign' both drop for The CW
Fast National ratings for Thursday, October 24, 2013.
 
"Big Bang Theory" was still Thursday's most watched show in most measures, but Game 2 of the World Series took a big bite out of the hit comedy overall and helped FOX cruise to nightly wins.
 
The competitive game between the Red Sox and Cardinals also took audience from ABC's "Scandal" and from CBS' "The Millers" and "Crazy Ones," but it wasn't all bad news. Both "Two and a Half Men" and "Elementary" were up after last week's dismal performances, while NBC's "Sean Saves the World," "The Michael J. Fox Show" and "Parenthood" all at least stayed flat. And, for the first time, "Sean Saves the World" outdrew "Michael J. Fox," becoming the first NBC comedy in several weeks to top 4 million viewers.
 
And, predictably, The CW's "Reign" took a drop in its second week, but with "Vampire Diaries" also slipping, it's doubtful The CW will be hugely concerned.
 
On to the numbers...
 
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MTV releasing all 12 episodes of new show "Wait Till Next Year" today on its mobile app


MTV releasing all 12 episodes of new show "Wait Till Next Year" today on its mobile app

"It will be fun to see if we can get them to come back and watch on television," an MTV exec says of the experiment to make the full season of the high school football drama available before its TV premiere.


"Arrested Development" coming out with a 42-track soundtrack

Included are the main title theme and an "Oh My" medley.


"12 Years of Slave" writer to take on race on ABC with an "American Crime" drama project
John Ridley's proposed drama series is set amid a racially charged murder case in Central California.


Watch Edward Norton's new "SNL" promos
With musical guest Janelle Monae.


Walton Goggins stunned by "Justified" Season 5 premiere scene
Says Goggins: "Ill say this: I filmed a scene until almost 1 a.m. that has permanently altered the way that I see Boyd Crowder."


Has "Scandal" and "Sleepy Hollow" upended the "Strong Black Women" TV trope?
Olivia Pope and Abbie Mills are allowed to be human, says Nichole Perkins, adding that they "push against the idea of the Strong Black Woman through emotional breakdowns and explicitly expressing their wants and needs. As frustrating as it is to see Olivia cry frequently, it's also important that she be allowed to."


James Taylor flubs the National Anthem at World Series Game 2
Watch him start out with "America The Beautiful."


ABC is remaking an Aussie crime drama that has yet to premiere in Australia
"Secrets & Lies," starring Martin Henderson, will premiere on Australian TV next year.


Here's the 1st look at Ronald D. Moore's Syfy series "Outlander"
See James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser in a kilt.


Lisa Kudrow, in a bathrobe, interrupts Jimmy Kimmel's monologue
Check her out in bathrobe and curlers. PLUS: Kudrow recalls Kathy Griffin's flashing herself in the '80s.


"Breaking Bad" spawns "Breaking Ice"
Watch a figure skating tribute to the AMC series.


Comedy Central gives David Spade a standup special
"David Spade: My Fake Problems" is Spade's first TV special since a 1999 HBO special.


Read the lyrics to Howard's "Big Bang" love song for Bernadette
Howard performed the song in honor of their first date. PLUS: "Bernadette’s Song" was written by Garfunkel and Oates duo Kate Micucci and Riki Lindhome.


Fox teases the return of "The Following"

Watch two cryptic promos for Season 2.

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<p>Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki in &quot;The Big Bang Theory.&quot;</p>

Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki in "The Big Bang Theory."

Credit: CBS

Review: 'The Big Bang Theory' - 'The Romance Resonance'

Howard pens a tune for Bernadette, Sheldon's big win is a big mistake and Penny tries to show love for Leonard

A quick review of last night's "The Big Bang Theory" coming up just as soon as I understand why America has struggled to adopt the metric system...

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<p>Erika Christensen and Craig T. Nelson in &quot;Parenthood.&quot;</p>

Erika Christensen and Craig T. Nelson in "Parenthood."

Credit: NBC

Review: 'Parenthood' - 'Let's Be Mad Together'

Max takes a controversial picture, Ryan helps Sarah and Joel gets drunk and eats cake

A quick review of last night's "Parenthood" coming up just as soon as I want the lute to almost drown out the Marvin Gaye sample...

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