Latest Blog Posts

CBS gives full seasons to 'The Crazy Ones,' 'The Millers' and 'Mom'


CBS gives full seasons to "The Crazy Ones," "The Millers" and "Mom"
As CBS points out, they are, respectively, the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 new sitcoms of the fall.

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<p>Lupita Nyong'o in &quot;12 Years a Slave.&quot;</p>

Lupita Nyong'o in "12 Years a Slave."

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Tell us what you thought of '12 Years a Slave'

The much-discussed Oscar favorite opens in limited release today

We're all pretty much on the same page here at HitFix when it comes to Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave." Greg was impressed at its Telluride premiere, and Kris immediately followed suit. Last week, Drew McWeeny added his approval with an "A+"-grade review. With the film still smoldering in my mind from this morning's London Film Festival screening, I wouldn't go quite as far as that, but it's an imposing, impassioned work from a truly vital filmmaker -- like McQueen's first two films, "Hunger" and "Shame," it's a sensually vivid exploration of physical extremities and endurance, here married to more expansive, even universal, story material. Performances are as every bit strong as you've heard they are: not just from the Oscar-buzzed principals, but such striking cameo players as Alfre Woodard and Adepero Oduye.

Anyway, with the film now on limited release -- yes, we realize not all of you have access to it -- it's time to turn the conversation over to you. Muse on the validity of its Oscar-frontrunner status if you wish, but it's also a film that offers up plenty for discussion and debate away from the awards race. Vote in the poll below, and have share your thoughts in the comments.

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Justin Bieber smiles even when his heart is breaking in 'Believe' clip: Watch

Justin Bieber smiles even when his heart is breaking in 'Believe' clip: Watch

New movie arrives Christmas Day

Justin Bieber doesn’t always feel like going on stage, alright people? In this clip from “Believe,” which is Bieber’s gift to the world on Christmas Day (Hey, God gave us Jesus, Bieber delivers his movie), he talks to some very sympathetic friends about how sometimes, it’s hard to gear up to perform in front of thousands of people who have paid their (or their parents’) hard-earned money to see you.

“I can be going through a big argument, ‘I’m about to go on stage right now, we’re young’,” he says, mimicking talking on the phone. “And then I got to go rise up on the toaster and it’s like I’m upset and I don’t want have to smile and put on a happy and be... sometimes you just gotta suck it up and that’s one of the things you have to deal with being in this world, in this industry,” he says. The toaster, by the way, is the springboard that catapults him onto stage. And it would appear that he may be talking about Selena Gomez in the clip.

While it’s tempting to play the world’s smallest violin for Bieber, I have always marveled that artists can be having the worst day and, if they’re professional, they have to suck it up and leave all of that off the stage and come out as if this is the moment they’ve wanted for all day and the only thing that matters.  And Bieber has had to learn that at a younger age than most.

The John Chu-directed “Believe” opens Dec. 25.




 

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Gay MSNBC host: Why I'm co-hosting Miss Universe in Moscow despite Russia's anti-gay laws


Gay MSNBC host: Why I'm co-hosting Miss Universe in Moscow despite Russia's anti-gay laws
"I am not going to boycott," says Thomas Roberts, "Boycotting and vilifying from the outside is too easy." Roberts replaces Andy Cohen, who declined to host this year due to Russia's new anti-gay laws.


Netflix planning DVD-style extras for "House of Cards" and "Orange is the New Black"
"We'll experiment with our originals," says a Netflix exec. PLUS: Here are some suggestions for bonus features.


Nicollette Sheridan can't revive her "Desperate Housewives" lawsuit
A judge today ended Sheridan's long battle against ABC and its nighttime soap.


"SNL's" diversity controversy: Lorne Michaels recruits from improv groups with very few minorities
The Groundlings, Second City and Upright Citizens Brigade have a very tiny percentage of minorities, particularly minority women. PLUS: W. Kamau Bell tackles the "Saturday White Live" controversy.


Has Jason Segel lost too much weight?

The "HIMYM" star looks like he lost a dramatic amount of weight.


Alec Baldwin: I do yoga with Lorne Michaels and Paul McCartney
The MSNBC host talks about his new show, his hopes of landing Obama for an interview and his yoga routine with the "SNL" honcho and the Beatles legend. "We call ourselves middle-aged white men yoga," he says.

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<p>Robert&nbsp;Redford in &quot;All is Lost&quot;</p>

Robert Redford in "All is Lost"

Credit: Roadside Attractions

Tell us what you thought of 'All is Lost'

J.C. Chandor's one man show starring Robert Redford hits theaters this weekend

After bowing at the Cannes Film Festival in May and selectively navigating the early fall festival circuit, J.C. Chandor's "Margin Call" follow-up "All is Lost" is finally floating into theaters this weekend. Here is Drew McQeeny's A- review. It's a brilliant film, which I wrote about in tandem with "Gravity" at Telluride. Reviews are stellar and it looks like it could figure into the Best Picture race in addition to a sure-bet Best Actor nomination for Robert Redford. At Telluride, Chandor told me of Redford, "Everyone has such a history with the guy that it's really hard to get a role where he can kind of play a blank slate." It's true, but it's a hurdle cleared by the actor's work here. As it moves out into limited release, more of you will have a chance to see it. So when and if you get around to the film, please tell us what you thought in the comments section and feel free to vote in the poll below.

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<p>Gavin DeGraw</p>

Gavin DeGraw

Credit: Gavindegraw.com

Gavin DeGraw: 'I needed to be more relevant': Interview

Singer/songwriter talks change of pace on new album, 'Make A Move'

On his last album, 2011’s “Sweeter,” Gavin DeGraw worked with co-writers on four songs instead of penning every song by himself and the result was a number of hits, including Top 10, double-platinum smash “Not Over You.”

So when it came time to record “Make A Move,” which came out Tuesday (15),   DeGraw decided to go all in: he used co-writers on every track. “I thought why not try to keep the momentum going,”  he tells HitFix. “By including all these personalities, it will make it a lot more diverse, a lot more timely.’ Among his collaborators were OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder, Benny Blanco, Busbee, Boys Like Girls’ Martin Johnson and Kevin Rudolf.

Indeed “Make A Move” may be the most wide-ranging set the blue-eyed soul singer has recorded. While there are his trademark mid-tempo tunes that show off his expressive voice, there are also a number of pop, up-tempo tracks like first single, “Best I Ever Had,” which, like Train’s “Drive-By,” is a fast-paced track with sung/spoken choruses and a catchy melody.

DeGraw wrote the song with Johnson, with whom he had already penned “Everything Will Change,” one of the album’s most emotional, moving songs. The two were in a Los Angeles studio and “Martin’s got this crazy drumbeat.” DeGraw recalls. “He says, ‘Sing something, anything,’ so I sang the first line of the song and then he says [the next line] and we just kind of went for it. The erratic lyrical content suited the sound of the melody. That song just makes me happy. It’s a freakishly insane lyrical journey.”

Some of DeGraw’s longtime, hardcore fans took to his Facebook page to declare their love for the song, while others felt it was too radical a change of pace from hits like “Not Over You” and his breakthrough, “I Don’t Want To Be.” “I think that happens a lot of time. When you put out a single, fans [think] that’s an indication of what the whole album is, but singles don’t mean what they used to mean,” he says. “It used to represent an entire album where one producer did an entire album, now the singles themselves live in a vacuum. The next song will be completely different.”

DeGraw will admit that he “did feel like I needed to be more relevant. I always feel like it’s important to try different things.” While he strove to be diverse, he balanced that with his desire “to maintain a sense of self. There are always things you want to include.”

He uses his friends and former tour mates Train as an model. The band has seen a tremendously successful second act, bolstered by such hits as “Hey, Soul Sister, “Marry Me,” and “Drive-By.” “They are one of the great examples for what it means to be adaptable, what it means to be relevant,” he says.

Plus, the last thing he would want any fan to believe is that if they’ve heard one DeGraw album, they’ve heard them all, he says: “That would be artistically devastating.”

DeGraw hits the road Dec. 4 in support of “Make A Move.”

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<p>Steve McQueen (left)&nbsp;and Chiwetel&nbsp;Ejiofor on the set of &quot;12 Years a Slave&quot;</p>

Steve McQueen (left) and Chiwetel Ejiofor on the set of "12 Years a Slave"

Credit: Fox Searchlight

Steve McQueen on the right to pursue happiness and '12 Years a Slave'

'This is a story about America.'

Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave" hits theaters this weekend as part of an overall theme this Oscar season, or a theme the media has made sure is pronounced, in any case. But while films like "Fruitvale Station," "Lee Daniels' The Butler" and, indeed, "12 Years a Slave" do plenty to stoke a conversation about race in America, McQueen feels there's something much bigger at stake, at least with his film.

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Vince Gilligan credits illegal downloading for helping boost 'Breaking Bad's' popularity


Vince Gilligan credits illegal downloading for helping boost "Breaking Bad's" popularity
"In some ways the illegal downloading has helped us, certainly, in terms of brand awareness," he tells the BBC. "The downside is a lot of folks who worked on the show would have made more money, myself included, if all those downloads had been legal." PLUS: See some of the best behind-the-scenes photos from "Breaking Bad."


"Weeds" alum Hunter Parrish joins "The Good Wife"
He'll play a college student accused of killing a female classmate.


Stephen Colbert pokes fun at politicos at black-tie fundraiser
Watch excerpts from his keynote speech at last night's Al Smith Dinner.


"Roseanne" debuted 25 years ago today

Roseanne Barr and her TV family changed television when it premiered on Oct. 18, 1988.


"Breaking Bad's" Laura Fraser headed to ABC

The actress famous for playing Lydia Rodarte-Quayle will become a series regular on "The Black Box."


BBC America greenlights "Intruders"
The eight-episode sci-fi series is based on the 2007 Michael Marshall Smith book.


"Scandal" has its 2nd-biggest audience, "Reign" has decent premiere
Meanwhile, "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland" dropped even further from its disappointing premiere.


2 "Boy Meets World" stars are having dueling weddings this weekend

Rider Strong and Danielle Fishel are each getting married, to different people.


"The Hills" alum Jason Wahler reveals he tried to kill himself

"I was so uncomfortable in my own skin that I contemplated suicide a number of times, and even attempted it once," he writes on The Huffington Post.


Matthew Perry & Lizzy Caplan break up

The "Friends" alum and the "Masters of Sex" star have been on and off since 2006.

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<p>Crystal the Monkey guest starred on Thursday's &quot;Big Bang Theory&quot;</p>

Crystal the Monkey guest starred on Thursday's "Big Bang Theory"

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: 'Wonderland' and 'Elementary' struggle as 'Big Bang' leads CBS Thursday

'Vampire Diaries,' 'Scandal' and 'The Millers' all rise
Fast National ratings for Thursday, October 17, 2013.
 
"Big Bang Theory" led CBS to its usual Thursday wins and helped both "The Millers" and "Crazy Ones" post tiny gains among young viewers. However, both "Two and a Half Men" and "Elementary" posted ugly numbers to close CBS' night.
 
Speaking of ugly numbers, "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland" took a big drop for ABC and looks like yet another fast Thursday 8 p.m. disappointment for the network, even while "Scandal" ticked back up after last week's small declines.
 
NBC continued its Thursday struggles as well, with none of its shows going above 4 million viewers for the second straight week, though "Parks and Recreation" and "Parenthood" both were up a hair with 1.3 key demo ratings.
 
Finally, The CW's "The Vampire Diaries" was up from its early season airings, leading into a very mixed launch for the new drama "Reign," which will make me do some deeper analysis either today or tomorrow.
 
On to the numbers...
 
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<p>Casey&nbsp;Affleck and Brad Pitt in&nbsp;&quot;The&nbsp;Assassination of Jesse&nbsp;James by the Coward Robert Ford&quot;</p>

Casey Affleck and Brad Pitt in "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford"

Credit: Warner Bros.

Exclusive: Revival screening of Andrew Dominik's 'Jesse James' planned for December

New York's Museum of the Moving Image will host

Any longtime reader of this blog ought to know full well my affinity for Andrew Dominik's "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford." The film instantly won me over the moment I saw it on the heels of its Venice Film Festival world premiere and Toronto Film Festival North American premiere in 2007, and it definitively held the top spot on my list of the decade's best films. (It also, by the way, took the top spot on another list: the inaugural Top 10 Shots of the Year column). It is a masterpiece, and any chance to soak it up on the big screen should be welcomed.

Well, one such chance has arisen, and full disclosure up front, I had a small hand in putting this program together. The Museum of the Moving Image in New York is presenting, along with upstart programmer, museum member (and In Contention reader) Jamieson McGonigle, a screening of the film in December. "No Eulogies: A Revival of 'The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford'" will take place at the Sumner M. Redstone Theater on Saturday, Dec. 7. Dominik will be on hand to participate in a Q&A after the screening, and who knows what the candid artist will have to say with six years removed from what was a troubling post-production process and a release that, quite frankly, could have been more delicately handled by the studio?

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<p>Monica Potter as Kristina in &quot;Parenthood.&quot;</p>

Monica Potter as Kristina in "Parenthood."

Credit: NBC

Review: 'Parenthood' - 'In Dreams Begin Responsibilities'

Kristina's ridiculous mayoral campaign continues, and Sarah has more concerns about Ryan

A review of last night's "Parenthood" coming up just as soon as I can hear the egotistical douchebagginess in your voice...

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"Project Runway"

"Project Runway"

Credit: Lifetime

Interview: Meet the latest winner of 'Project Runway'

This season's winner made history - and didn't realize it

That was a nail biter of a "Project Runway" finale, wasn't it? Alas, it wasn't one I was able to recap as I'm here in Dallas for a press event, but I cleared my scheduled to talk with the newly minted winner. Given that this season had lots of meltdowns, a returning contestant, and some pretty surprising eliminations (Helen and Kate, anyone?), there was much to discuss.

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