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"The Square," Egyptian-American director Jehane Noujaim's study of the Egyptian Revolution from its 2011 origins in Tahrir Square, has looked like on to watch the documentary Oscar race ever since it won the Audience Award in its section at the Sundance Film Festival. It followed that up with the People's Choice Award for documentaries at Toronto, and nabbed further headlines when it became Netflix's first film acquisition. Sure enough, it was among the 15 titles shortlisted by the Academy earlier this week.
LOS ANGELES - Declaring that “this isn’t the kind of thing that happens to people from New Zealand,” a slightly overwhelmed Lorde was at a loss for words when it came to describing how receiving four Grammy nominations made the 17-year old feel.
Her song, “Royals,” which spent 9 weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100, garnered both record of the year and song of the year nods, while the singer also got a best pop solo performance and best pop vocal album nomination.
Though new to the game, Lorde has proven herself to be fairly savvy with a certain take-no-prisoners attitude. When asked if people in New Zealand understood the significance of Grammys, she tartly added, in that way that only a teenager can, “we’ve got the internet so everyone’s covered. It’s all good."
The Grammy Awards take place Jan. 26, 2014.
While much of the action took place on stage tonight at the “Grammy Nominations Concert Live,” there was plenty going on backstage beyond the cameras’ reach.
Here are a few moments you didn’t see on TV:
ED SHEERAN, who received a best new artist nomination, said he and Taylor Swift, with whom he co-wrote on her Grammy-nominated “Red” album, “definitely” have plans to work together again, but it may be a bit of a wait. “Yeah, not any time soon. I’m going to go off and do my own thing for awhile,” he said.
MIGUEL, who performed with Keith Urban, and received two nominations, says fans can start getting ready for a new album from the Grammy winner, his first since 2012’s “Kaleidoscope Dreams.” “I’ve been on the road for the past 3 years pretty much, but I feel like I finally got in a rhythm of recording and playing,” he said. “We’re well into a rhythm on the road... so it’s coming, it’s coming.”
MARY LAMBERT, who sings with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis on Song of the year nominee, “Same Love,” says the reaction she’s gotten from the song has made her realize that its success is far beyond anything she or the duo have created and that it has taken on a life of its own. “Same Love” “reflects where we are culturally,” says Lambert. Her favorite response to the song? “There’s a woman that came up to me, I have a solo version of the song and I’d just performed that, and she said, ‘I decided I’m going to come out to my church.’ She was a minister and she knew that they were going to kick her out, but she was like, ‘I’m not going to apologize for that anymore’,” Lambert recalled, choking up. “It’s incredible.” Lambert, who has signed with Capitol Record, will release her debut EP on the label on Dec. 17.
PRESENTER MELISSA ETHERIDGE was positively giddy over the nomination of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s same-sex marriage anthem, “Same Love,” for Song of the year. She considers its success a watershed moment. “I’d really like to sing that one with them on the Grammys,” she admitted. The song struck a chord with her from the start: My daughter came to me and said...‘Oh, you’ll like this song mom.‘ We’re in the car, driving, and she played ‘Same Love’ and I had to pull over. To hear that from that genre, from a straight kid like that from Seattle to my daughter... it just, it’s happened, it’s here. We’ve crossed over. So that song holds a super amazing place in my life.”
RAPPER T.I. was gracious and humble when it came to his role on “Blurred Lines,” the Robin Thicke hit that received a number of nominations. “I’m just glad Pharrell and Rob invited me to the party, I just showed up,” he said. “There wasn’t really any pressure on me. Congratulations, really, for Rob and Pharrell.” However, he admitted it was a little bittersweet that he and Pharrell were also competing against each other for both the record of the year and best pop duo/group performance since Pharrell’s other major collaboration, Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” was also up in both categories. As for the huge success of “Blurred Lines,” T.I. said, “It was just this cool idea. We feel like everybody brought their A-game and found a way to make something different work in a big way. Once they presented it to me, it was just let me not mess this thing up.”
ALEX DA KID, who signed Imagine Dragons to his Interscope-distributed imprint, fully understands the reasons why the rock band, who received a best new artist nod, are striking such a chord with their fans. “I was definitely drawn first to the songwriting, I thought the songwriting was consistent, and certainly to their live show,” he said. “Their live show was theatrical, it’s a real show. And they were doing that when they weren’t playing arenas, they were doing that when they were playing to 50 people in a club.”
RECORDING ACADEMY CHAIRMAN NEIL PORTNOW said there are no hard feelings over Drake’s decision to pull out of performing on tonight’s show at the 11th hour... even if he’s still not exactly sure why the rapper, who received five nominations, had to cancel. “They had some changes in their plans,” he said. “It was just one of those things, it was kind of last minute....[but] everybody’s big boys and girls. It was very amicable and we hope that we might see him in January,” he said, leaving an opening for Drake to perform on the Jan. 26 Grammy Awards.
Garth Brooks will have his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 in 12 years next week as his box set, “Blame It All On My Roots,” is slated to climb 3-1 (155,000).
The Walmart exclusive notched third place this week after only 3 1/2 days of availability this week, selling 164,000. In addition to being available only at the big box retailer, fans can only purchase the physical set, no download is available.
Christmas titles continue to deck the charts as The Robertsons’ “Duck The Halls” takes the Duck Dynasty clan’s first holiday album to No. 2. (120,000). It is projected to narrowly top Britney Spears’ new album, “Britney Jean,” which will bow at No. 3 with slightly lower numbers. If "Britney Jean' comes in at No. 3, it will be her lowest debuting album, as all her previous sets have entered at No. 1 or No. 2.
Kelly Clarkson’s Christmas set, “Wrapped In Red” continues to sell well, at No. 4 (115,000.)
This week’s No. 1, One Direction’s “Midnight Memories,” sees a massive drop from 546,000 to around 20% of that, but will still likely top the 100,000 mark for the No. 5 spot, according to Hits Daily Double.
The bottom five looks like it will be Eminem’s “The Marshall Mathers LP2” at No. 6 (80,000), a capella quintet Pentatonix’s “PTX, Vol 11) at a new high of No. 7 (65,000), Michael Buble’s “Christmas” at No. 8 (60000), the “Frozen” Soundtrack at No. 9 (50,000) and Katy Perry’s “Prism” at No. 10 (45,000).
In a further sign that Lady Gaga’s “Artpop” is in serious trouble, the title falls out of the top 20 only four weeks after release.
Adele won a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for her iconic ballad "Skyfall" from last year's 007 blockbuster, but will Lana Del Rey's "Young and Beautiful" end her winning streak at the 56th Grammy Awards?
Yes, it's unlikely, isn't it? Adele is royalty. She rarely loses.
It's safe to say that there are very few positive reviews that have ever earned me the degree of truly furious e-mail that last year's review of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" did. Fans were furious at me for daring to give a Peter Jackson Middle Earth movie a B, and unwilling to entertain even the possibility that any of my issues with the movie were genuine. Once the film was released, though, general public opinion seemed to swing the other way and suddenly I started getting e-mail from people saying I'd been too kind, that I was in the tank for it, that I was somehow bending over backwards to give the film a good but not great review.
The truth is there are certain projects, certain series, there is no criticism that the fanbase wants to read, and there's no winning over an audience that is disinterested to begin with. These films are juggernauts, and they're going to be seen no matter what. Some might see that as an invitation to just phone it in and coast on former glories, but it doesn't feel to me like that's what happened here. I think Peter Jackson is putting himself and his amazing crew through just as rigorous and demanding an experience as he did on "Lord Of The Rings," if not more so. He is not resting on his laurels in any way. He couldn't, though. This is a much harder project to adapt, and looking at the differences between "Unexpected Journey" and this second film, "The Desolation Of Smaug," it's a pretty great practical lesson in how these kinds of films work.
ABC's "20/20" and CBS' "48 Hours" will be devoted to Nelson Mandela
Also paying tribute is History channel, which is re-airing "Miracle Rising: South Africa."
"Bunheads" alum Sutton Foster joins a TV Land pilot from Darren Star
On "Young," based on the novel, Foster will play a 40-something housewife who is able to pass herself off as a 20-something.
"Sound of Music Live" director defends Carrie Underwood: She was in a "lose-lose situation"
Former "SNL" director Beth McCarthy-Miller is glad there were very few problems, though she has read a few reviews. "I think it was a lose-lose situation for her because I think everyone had such memories of Julie Andrews," she says. "I think it’s so hard to try to recreate such an iconic role, but I was blown away by her, and I've never seen anyone work harder in my life." PLUS: Twitter made the whole event worthwhile, celebs became critics on Twitter, Cameron Diaz had a field day live-tweeting, more celebrity reaction, its unprofessionalism is what made it so great to watch, "Liesl" and "Gretl" slam the remake, and its success will lead to more big TV events.
Syfy's re-imagined "Battlestar Galactica" turns 10
Sunday marks the 10th anniversary of the miniseries that launched Ronald D. Moore's "Battlestar," which took on the War on Terror in "intellectually challenging or uncomfortable ways" during a time when sci-fi on television wasn't taken that serious, as Maureen Ryan notes. She adds: "I wouldn't make the argument that every episode is perfect -- nor would anyone associated with the show -- but I would argue that very few shows from the post-aughts Golden Age aimed higher and hit their chosen targets more consistently and more thrillingly."
"Mob Wives" star's husband sentenced to 7 years in prison
Alicia DiMichele, who just made her debut on the VH1 reality show, is married to Edward (Tall Guy) Garofalo, Jr., a mob enforcer who is being sent away in an extortion case.
Ex-"America's Next Top Model" director shot and killed in his home
James Marcus Howe was shot dead last week in a home invasion robbery.
Read the casting sheet for "NCIS: New Orleans"
There will be an Agent Pride on the 2nd "NCIS" spinoff.
Katy Perry to guest on "Kroll Show"
Also appearing with Nick Kroll on Season 2 are Craig Robinson, Jordan Peele, Jon Heder and Will Forte.
Don't believe reports that teens are rejecting TV
Today's average teenager watches about 3 hours of television per day.
Amber Tamblyn watches "Real Housewives" with hubby David Cross
"If I have any kind of guilty pleasure, it's 'The Real Housewives,'" says the "Two and a Half Men" star. "It's funny because my husband hates those programs—hates them—yet he'll come in and tell me, 'Why don’t you just turn this crap off,' and then stand there and watch it for like 20 minutes, and before you know it, he’s like, 'Oh, that’s not what she said! Kim is so crazy!'"
"Smash" musical to be performed this weekend
You have three chances to watch "Hit List."
"Arrow's" Greg Berlanti has perfected the formula for adapting comic books to TV
The longtime TV honcho behind "Everwood" and "Brothers & Sisters" is "someone who honors, appreciates and really understands the form and the concept of these iconic characters," says Peter Roth, the head Warner Bros. TV.
Why does "The Twilight Zone" endure?
Artists from Rob Zombie to Kirk Hammett talk about the classic series as it's released in a new box set.
Posters for "Seinfeld" movie "Rochelle Rochelle" go up in NYC
Check out the credit section of the movie poster, containing many "Seinfeld" shout-outs. PLUS: See Michael Richards' son.
"Survivor" winner Tina Wesson's son dies
Taylor Lee Collins, 25, whose sister, Katie, is also competing on this season of "Survivor" died in a car accident earlier this week.
Meet the person responsible for the sound on "Treme" and "The Wire"
On "Treme," sound editor Jennifer Ralston tries to capture the sound of New Orleans. On "The Wire," she had to work without a score.
Watch Chloe Sevigny in "Those Who Kill"
She plays a police detective on the A&E series debuting in March.
Lena Dunham interviews Judy Blume for a book
Turns out the author of books for children and young adults is a "Girls" fan.
See the new "Bates Motel" trailers
Watch Norman and his latest trophy.
New trend: TV stars pitching products tied to their shows
TV stars in the 50s did it, now TV stars of today are starting to hawk products connected to their shows.
BBC presents "Gangsta Granny"
Check out the trailer for the British TV special.
"Gilmore Girls" alums: Where are they now?
Whatever happened to Scott Patterson?
Spencer Pratt has finished his USC degree 10 years after starting college
"I was busy being famous!" says the poli sci major.
McKayla Maroney was "obsessed" with "Bones"
The Olympic gymnast talks about winging her part on tonight's episode.
Phil Keoghan previews "The Amazing Race" finale
"I do think we have four very strong and determined teams left," he says. "This will be a very exciting final leg!" PLUS: What it's like to compete on "Amazing Race."
"Bonnie and Clyde": It's misogynistic and awful
The History/A&E/Lifetime miniseries is "an uninspired melding of Lifetime movie and biopic, with none of the virtues of a Lifetime movie (not campy enough) and none of the virtues of a biopic (it is egregiously fictionalized)," says Willa Paskin. PLUS: It's full of unrelenting mediocrity, and it could've been a lot worse.
In a move that should be a surprise to absolutely no one, Walt Disney Studios have acquired the rights to any future Indiana Jones movies, while Paramount Pictures will still own the first four movies. This has been pending since Lucasfilm was first purchased by Disney, but the rights to Indiana Jones have been separate and a complicated negotiation. Much like the Marvel deal, Paramount will continue to have a financial stake in any future Indiana Jones films, but as a silent partner.
Right now, Disney's full attention is obviously focused on "Star Wars Episode VII." After the amount of money they spent getting hold of the rights in the first place, it could be argued that there is no more important film for the studio to get right in the immediate future. The pressure on JJ Abrams must be enormous, and for Kathleen Kennedy, her future as the president of Lucasfilm Ltd. depends on her ability to manage the assets of the studio in a way that makes Disney feel like they're squeezing everything out of it that they can.