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'Days of Our Lives' renewed through 2016


"Days of Our Lives" renewed through 2016

NBC's renewal will mean "Days" will get to celebrate its 50th anniversary in November 2015.

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<p>&quot;The Cosby Show.&quot;</p>

"The Cosby Show."

Credit: NBC

Can Bill Cosby save NBC comedy?

The Peacock reaches out to one of its biggest stars ever to fix the comedy brand

On "30 Rock," fake NBC executive Jack Donaghy once declared that the network's number two priority was to "Make it 1997 again through science or magic." Based on the news that the real NBC has cut a deal with Bill Cosby to star in a new sitcom — on the heels of an expensive and unsuccessful deal this season with Michael J. Fox, along with failures from other past NBC stars like Sean Hayes and Matthew Perry — it appears that the current administration has its eyes set on making it 1987 again, if not earlier.

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NBC is bringing back Bill Cosby to star in a family comedy


NBC is bringing back Bill Cosby to star in a family comedy
Cosby, 76, is reuniting with "Cosby Show" producer Tom Werner to play the patriarch of a multi-generational family.

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'Survivor: Cagayan' cast includes NBA All-Star who went to North Korea with Dennis Rodman


"Survivor: Cagayan" cast includes NBA All-Star who went to North Korea with Dennis Rodman
Cliff Robinson will be part of the brawn tribe. Other cast members include a nuclear engineer, a former Miss Kentucky USA, two former NFL cheerleaders and a pro poker player. PLUS: Meet the brain vs. brawn vs. beauty cast.


"24: Live Another Day" begins filming on the streets of London
See Jack Bauer with an overturned car.


"Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and "The Mindy Project" sees their ratings soar

Fox's comedies benefitted from CBS being in repeats.


Jimmy Fallon and Bill Gates try to create a viral video

Check out their video for GatesLetters.com.


Letterman reunites with "son" Michael B. Jordan

Jordan's first acting gig was, at age 12, to play one of Letterman's children on "The Late Show." PLUS: Andy Samberg skies down Broadway for Letterman.


HBO orders an electronic music comedy from DJ Calvis Harris, Jay-Z, Will Smith

UK DJ Calvin Harris is teaming with Will Smith and Jay-Z on the project, set in the world of electronic music.


Jon Gosselin plans to sue Kate for primary custody of the sextuplets

"They live in fear of Kate," Jon tells In Touch. "Every time I see them, they tell me they want to live with me."


"Melissa & Joey" is hosting another "Sabrina" reunion
Elisa Donovan, who co-starred on "Sabrina" with Melissa Joan Hart, replaces Tara Reid.

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<p>&quot;The Dark&nbsp;Knight,&quot;&nbsp;largely considered the impetus for the Academy's rule change a few years ago.</p>

"The Dark Knight," largely considered the impetus for the Academy's rule change a few years ago.

Credit: Warner Bros.

Roundup: How the Best Picture rule change narrowed Oscar's usual crop

Also: 'Wolf' producing credits settled and Clooney pranks Damon

Would you be surprised to learn that the Academy's goal of opening up the Oscars to a wider array of films with its expansion of the Best Picture field has hit a brick wall and that the complete obvious has, in fact, been the result? Mark Harris hit it out of the park yesterday with "The Christopher Nolan Effect," an analysis of how that simple rule change a few years ago has yielded, increasingly, the smallest assortment of Oscar nominated films in history. Key quote: "...there’s zero evidence that the expanded field has done anything but dilute the prestige of a nomination." The dilution has been my stance from the beginning but now there's data to back it up. Is it time for the Academy to do away with this dubious little experiment? [Grantland]

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Showtime, HBO, Starz deny their subscribers are fleeing


Showtime, HBO, Starz deny their subscribers are fleeing
The three pay cable channels blasted a study claiming there was a 6% decline in their subscriber base. ""Showtime and every other premium network have increased both subscribers and penetrations over the last two years," says a Showtime spokesperson.


Mindy Kaling talks about last night's "Mindy Project" shocker
"You should rewind it a bunch or make a GIF of it," she says. PLUS: "Mindy" has fixed a lot of its issues this season, and ex-"Leverage" star Gina Bellman lobbying for a "Mindy" gig.


Jonah Hill drops F-bombs in "SNL" promos
Is the 3rd time a charm?


Amazon denies it is launching a live TV streaming service
"We continue to build selection for Prime Instant Video and create original shows at Amazon Studios, but we are not planning to license television channels or offer a pay-TV service," an Amazon spokesperson said in reaction to a Wall Street Journal report.


"Modern Family" gets Stephen Merchant to play the butler

He'll take care of the three families during the Las Vegas episode.


Adrian Grenier on losing "Dawson's Creek" role: James Van Der Beek would've wanted "Entourage"
Van Der Beek revealed he and Grenier were finalists for the Dawson role. "I don't know, you might ask (James)," Grenier tells E! News, "but I imagine that he would've swapped with me to play Vince."


"Celebrity Big Brother" crew member caught flashing a "storyline" cue card

A spinoff show of the UK "Big Brother" inadvertently caught a crew member flashing what appeared to be a cue card.


Kristen Bell isn't happy with her "Veronica Mars" figurine

Conan says she looks like Jared Leto.


The Weather Channel wants DirecTV to let customers cancel without termination fees

The Weather Channel hopes the new strategy catches the attention of Washington.


David Lynch: "Twin Peaks" isn't coming back, but the blu-ray will have new bonus features
"Rumors are just that: rumors are rumors," he said recently. "There's always been rumors about things and there's no real truth to it. I don’t know where these rumors come from, but I think they were based on some misunderstandings of what’s going on." PLUS: A couple has a "Twin Peaks"-themed wedding.


"Simpsons" illustrator tweets early sketches from the Fox comedy

See Bart as the raven.


FX teases "The Strain"

Here's your first glimpse of the series from Guillermo del Toro and Carlton Cuse.

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<p>Jake Johnson and Zooey Deschanel in &quot;New Girl.&quot;</p>

Jake Johnson and Zooey Deschanel in "New Girl."

Credit: FOX

Review: 'New Girl' - 'Birthday'

Nick tries to surprise Jess with a party, Coach and Winston have a bake-off, and Schmidt helps Cece tend bar

A quick review of last night's "New Girl" coming up just as soon as I arrange for somebody to clear my internet history...

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<p>On &quot;Brooklyn Nine-Nine,&quot;&nbsp;Terry Crews gets back in action.</p>

On "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," Terry Crews gets back in action.

Credit: FOX

Review: 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' - 'The Ebony Falcon'

Jake gets too protective of Terry, and Gina's apartment is robbed

A review of last night's "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" coming up just as soon as we play Wife or Dog...

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<p>Hammer Girl, meet the world. World, meet Hammer Girl. Now duck.</p>

Hammer Girl, meet the world. World, meet Hammer Girl. Now duck.

Credit: Sony Pictures Classics

Review: 'The Raid 2' delivers visceral thrills on an epic scale

After this, Gareth Evans is without peer in action cinema today

PARK CITY - What makes a great action filmmaker truly great?

Is it just the ability to orchestrate and shoot mayhem? If so, then David Ellis would have to be considered one of the greats simply for the highway crash sequence in "Final Destination 2," and pretty much every other scene he ever shot would negate that idea. And if pure mayhem is what makes you great overall, then the destruction of Chicago means that none of Michael Bay's weaknesses as a filmmaker matter, right?

There are a number of directors out there right now who deserve more credit than they get as action filmmakers. Isaac Florentine does fantastic work in conjunction with various great fight choreographers like Larnell Stovall and Tim Man and working with action stars like Scott Adkins, for example, and I love the films that Ernesto Diaz Espinoza made with Marko Zaror, who should be a gigantic star just based on his physical presence and both the fun and the elegance of the way he fights.

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<p>Shailene Woodley and Christopher Meloni in &quot;White Bird in a Blizzard.&quot;</p>

Shailene Woodley and Christopher Meloni in "White Bird in a Blizzard."

Credit: Sundance Film Festival

Review: Shailene Woodley and Eva Green spark in disappointing 'White Bird in a Blizzard'

Kitsch coming-of-age tale is an oddly tame effort from director Gregg Araki

PARK CITY - Sex, death, neon lights, more sex, body-image statements undercut by the number of perfect torsos on display, new-wave pop, more sex... it looks an awful lot like we're in a Gregg Araki movie. And so we are, though for all those trash-ulous trademarks, "White Bird in a Blizzard" feels less like one than most.

A campily erotic coming-of-age murder-mystery tale -- a pretty conventional genre for Araki, the man behind "Mysterious Skin," "Kaboom" and a host of 90s queer curiosities -- this adaptation of Laura Kasischke's allegedly more stable novel promises some exciting variations to the enfant terrible's freaky formula, not least in its young female perspective. What we get is disappointing: a watered-down bad-taste exercise in which neither Araki's lurid affectations nor the source material's youthful angst do much to enhance each other.

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<p>&quot;Frank&quot;</p>

"Frank"

'Frank' director says Sundance fave may yield music concerts and album

Lenny Abrahamson promises exactly zero Bono

PARK CITY, Utah - It's been days since I saw "Frank" at the Sundance Film Festival, and I'm still rolling it around on my tongue. Starring Michael Fassbender, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Domhnall Gleeson, the film is indeed very musical, but also explores where creativity comes from, mediocrity versus merit in the medium, the mythologized connection between mental illness and genius, and the clash between laughable pretension and utter likeability.

All while Fassbender wears a giant papier-mâchée head, as its titular character.

"Frank's" director Lenny Abrahamson struck me as an intense music lover, and some of "Frank" and his misanthropic band's influences tended toward what he called the academic. Frank makes nods to Beatles lover Daniel Johnston, and exploratory groups from Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa, and art collective The Residents.

The mask as a performance apparatus in the film acts as a mirror, to reflect on the audience's willingness to "go there" with its creator. Abrahamson wants those curious to be interested in what Frank is supposedly "hiding."

"It's sort of like 'The Wizard of Oz,'" he told me on the red carpet, the wish for the crowd to guess at what's behind the curtain. Hint: the big reveal isn't a mega-superstar singer for a famous Irish rock band.

"I gotta choose my words really carefully: Bono's wonderful, but he's not under the mask," Abrahamson conceded.

The music in the film can have it's drones and found sounds, it's rising and cresting melodies, jagged uneven rhythms next to a plodding keyboard line. At times, it sounded like Joy Division, then maybe a dash of The Fall or some Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Overall, I wish there were more completed songs presented, though the creation of the "idea of a song" seemed even more important to driving this film forward.

Well, I may get my wish anyway. Abrahamson said that "Frank" could yield a concert evening with the film's stars combining again, a la "Inside Llewyn Davis," so long as they can "make the schedule work." He also is planning to put together a soundtrack album release for "Frank," as apparently more material than could ever be crammed into the film still was conceived specifically for the project.

Watch the full interview above for more details on a potential release.

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<p>&quot;The Voices&quot;</p>

"The Voices"

Credit: Sundance

Review: Surprising 'The Voices' offers Ryan Reynolds and a Scottish talking cat

Marjane Satrapi's Sundance premiere is a disturbingly funny treat
Some movies stumble into cult status by accident, aiming for mainstream approval, but landing wide of that mark. 
 
Other movies just shrug and steer self-consciously into a cult-friendly niche with every fiber of their being.
 
It isn't easy to do the former, but it's probably easier than the latter. Weirdness-for-the-sake-of-weirdness often just ends up trying too hard. It's almost like you need a certain earnestness to make a cult film seem genuine, rather than over-calculated.
 
"The Voices," which is premiering out-of-competition at the Sundance Film Festival, is designed pretty purely as a cult movie. It probably should never play in 3000 theaters and it's certainly not going to make $100 million. From the first frame to the last, it's begging audiences to raise a collective eyebrow and go along for the ride, knowing that if you're in from the beginning, you'll probably be in for the duration, but that if you don't crack an immediate smile within 30 seconds, it probably won't get better. 
 
"The Voices" is trying to be a cult film with a capital "C" and you can feel its effort in that direction... But it mostly works.
 
Carried to no small degree by wildly and successfully against-expectations direction from "Persepolis" veteran Marjane Satrapi, "The Voices" is "Psycho" by way of "Wonderfalls" by way of Francois Ozon. 
 
Perhaps a little more successful when winking at genre expectations than when playing things straight, "The Voices" is funny, disturbing and whimsical, anchored by an "Oh right, he can act" performance by Ryan Reynolds, an "Oh duh, she's effortlessly appealing" performance by Anna Kendrick and an "Oh wow, that's what it takes to make her interesting" performance by Gemma Arterton. 
 
More after the break…
 
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