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WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — After a rough start to 2013 ("Stoker," say what?), Fox Searchlight has had a lot to celebrate. The studio's Sundance pickup "The Way, Way Back" was one of the art house hits of the summer earning $21 million, September comedy "Baggage Claim" did an OK $20 million with an $8.5 million budget and Nicole Holofcener's "Enough Said" became a surprise indie smash with $16 million and is still going strong (with $20 million well within reach). Oh, and of course, there is that little drama "12 Years a Slave" that critics and audiences have been a tad euphoric for.
Each and every week, each and every day, I have to make constant decisions about what I can cover, and it mostly just comes down to time. I wish I could write about every single thing that interests me. I wish I could review every single thing I see. But I have to pick and choose, and so I try to create a balance of smaller things, bigger movies, blockbusters, indies… I want to cover as wide an array of things as possible because that's the only way this blog can ever truly reflect my own tastes and interests.
There's a lot of genre stuff I cover because those were my formative sates, and I love seeing how far we've come in terms of mainstream acceptance of these things and in terms of how we can tell these stories on film. There are certain characters and series that I'll always be interested in, and certainly I'm curious about how they're going to handle things in "Man Of Steel 2" or "Superman Vs. Batman" or whatever the heck they end up calling the sequel to Zack Snyder's superhero blockbuster from this summer.
Lady Gaga’s “Artpop” will top the Billboard 200 next week, but at a much lower sales figure than earlier predicted.
Only three weeks ago, Hits Daily Double’s prognosticators had “Artpop” bowing with first week sales of up to 450,000. Now it looks like the tally will be a respectable, but not barn-burning, 260,000. http://www.hitsdailydouble.com/news/rumormill.cgi.
Her last studio album, 2011’s “Born This Way,” sold 1.1 million in its first week, but those numbers were greatly inflated after Amazon offered album downloads for 99 cents (Billboard subsequently set a minimum price for an album sale to be counted by Nielsen SoundScan).
The 260,000 tally is still enough to keep Lady Gaga in the top stop, unless Eminem’s “The Marshall Mathers LP 2” surges. The title, which sold more than 750,000 this week to debut at No. 1, will likely sell up to 220,000 next week to slide to No. 2.
In addition to Lady Gaga, other debuts in the Top 10 are “Now That’s What I Call Music 48,” which comes in at No. 3 with sales of up to 105,000, The Beatles’ “On Air Live at the BBC Volume 2” at No. 7 (40,000) and singer/songwriter Jhene Aiko at No. 10 (35,000).
Duck Dynasty clan, The Robertsons, are at No. 4 with their holiday album, “Duck The Halls” (65,000), while Katy Perry’s “Roar” will be at No. 5 (50,000) and Kelly Clarkson’s holiday offering, “Wrapped In Red” at No. 6 (45,000).
Drake’s “Nothing Was the Same,” which has already surpassed the 1 million in sales mark, and Lorde’s “Pure Heroine” are in a dead heat for No. 8, which both projected to sell 30,000-35,000.
"How I Met Your Mother" spinoff gets a pilot order
CBS will now make a pilot for "How I Met Your Dad."
"The Shield's" Vic Mackey is set for a comeback -- on Funny or Die
"Guess who's coming to
@funnyordie next month?" Michael Chiklis tweeted on Friday, along with an image of himself dressed as his famous "Shield" character.
"Survivor: China" winner Todd Herzog undergoes an intervention on "Dr. Phil"
On Monday's show, Dr. Phil declares the alcoholic Herzog to be "closer to death" than any guest he's ever had on his show.
"Doctor Who" will stage a live 50th anniversary special afterparty with One Direction
So UK "X Factor" sensations will be part of "The Day of the Doctor" anniversary special. PLUS: See the history of "Doctor Who" depicted on tapestry, and David Tennant & Billie Piper voted the greatest Doctor and companion of all time.
Stephen Colbert gets his fans to raise more money than China for Philippines relief
Colbert last night challenged his fans to raise more than the $100,000 China donated for Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts, and his fans came through.
Why Jimmy Fallon will beat Jimmy Kimmel: He's much nicer
When the two Jimmys face-off, expect viewers to side with the nicer host.
Dan Rather fears he'll be "airbrushed" out of other historical anniversaries on CBS
Archival footage of Rather in Dallas in 1963 will be used in a "48 Hours" special on the JFK assassination, but Rather is nevertheless worried since he wasn't invited to be part of the 50th anniversary retrospective. PLUS: Rather will serve up JFK memories on AXS-TV and on ESPN.
Carol Burnett gets some "Fresh Air"
Listen to the comedy legend talk about her career on NPR.
Patton Oswalt urges comedians not to go on "Last Comic Standing"
"To Catch a Predator," he says, "is a better career boost" than the NBC reality show.
FX orders "Jen," starring "Chelsea Lately's" Jen Kirkman
Chelsea Handler will produce Kirkman's comedy about a newly divorced 30-something woman.
Drew Carey explains why "The Drew Carey Show" isn't on Netflix
From his Reddit Ask Me Anything: "It's all the music rights and all that stuff. They don't think they will make their money back by releasing the series on Netflix so they just don't."
Why is no one watching "Dracula"?
In our "American Horror Story" age, it should be noted what "Dracula" is doing with the horror genre.
Listen to a preview of "My Favorite Things" from the live "Sound of Music"
NBC has released a clip of Carrie Underwood and Audra McDonald singing.
Meet "Boardwalk Empire's" breakout star of Season 4
Margot Bingham's Daughter Maitland has become this season's hit character.
Melissa McCarthy quit standup due to hecklers
Hecklers shouting "show us your t*ts!"
Elisabeth Moss gives birth to a Homer on "The Simpsons" -- with the help of Homer
Moss previews her cameo on Sunday's episode.
Watch Showtime's Season 4 trailer for "Shameless"
The Gallaghers have issues.
Ana Gasteyer looks back at her career
From "SNL" to "Suburgatory."
"Parenthood" star Miles Heizer has a song out on YouTube
The two-minute tune is called "????."
"American Chopper" found inspiration from "I Love Lucy"
Producer Craig Piligian copied "Lucy's" formula of simple family storylines for each episode.
Inside "Alpha House"
The Amazon show, which is available today for download, has sets that are eerily similar to their real-life U.S. Capital counterparts.
Watch late-night talk show hosts on other late-night talk shows
From Conan on Letterman to Letterman on Jon Stewart.
William Hurt finds out what really went wrong in "The Challenger Disaster"
The two-hour film, based on a true story, airs Saturday on Science Channel and Discovery Channel.
"Almost Human": You've seen it all before
"You've seen every bit of this elsewhere," Matt Zoller Seitz says of the J.J. Abrams buddy cop robot drama. "It's Dystopia 101 with a minor in Ridley Scott Studies. But if you're going to steal, you might as well steal from the best, and do it with feeling, as 'Almost Human' does. The show is derivative but passionate, verging on corny." PLUS: The cast is bland, except for Michael Ealy and Lily Taylor, the action scenes are terrific, Ealy needs to be the focus if "Almost Human" were to succeed, how The Crystal Method got involved, Fox is promoting the show with fake newscasts, and J.J. Abrams answers burning questions.
MSNBC suspends Alec Baldwin's talk show; Baldwin apologizes for homophobic remarks
"Up Late" will not air tonight and next Friday following Baldwin's latest homophobic remarks. "I want to apologize to my loyal fans and to my colleagues at msnbc – both for my actions and for distracting from their good work," Baldwin said in a statement. "Again, please accept my apology." PLUS: MSNBC was under pressure to do something about Baldwin, and MSNBC shouldn't be surprised by Baldwin's remarks.
"The Killing" uncancled again: Netflix orders 6 final episodes
The Season 4 mini-season will wrap up the AMC series, with showrunner Veena Sud aboard. AMC originally canceled "The Killing" in 2012, then brought it back this year, only to cancel it again.
A nine-day court case that has lingered for almost exactly 50 years has finally come to a permanent, irrevocable end, and that is very good news indeed for fans of James Bond.
"Thunderball" is probably the most important Bond film ever made, although I doubt it's anyone's favorite. I would love to know what Ian Fleming was thinking when he tried to cheat Kevin McClory in the first place after they spent a few years working with him to try and turn the still relatively new James Bond character into a potential movie franchise. They started in 1958, and they worked up several treatments and screenplays together. They finally settled on "Thunderball," which was called "Longitude 78 West" at that point, and they started work on the film. That's when Fleming figured out that he was low man on the totem pole, financially speaking, and he started trying to kill the deal. He and Ivar Bryce, one of the other producers on the film, made some very shady moves to cut McClory out of the movie, and it killed the movie before they got out of pre-production. At that point, Fleming could have probably gone back to writing original Bond books and been fine, but for some reason, he turned the script they were going to shoot into the novel that was published as "Thunderball," and he published it in 1961 with absolutely no mention of either McClory or Jack Whittingham, the other writer who had been part of the development process.