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<p>Is this the year &quot;Louie&quot;&nbsp;breaks through to beat &quot;Modern Family&quot;&nbsp;for the comedy series Emmy?</p>

Is this the year "Louie" breaks through to beat "Modern Family" for the comedy series Emmy?

Credit: FX

Emmys 2013 Predictions: Outstanding Comedy Series

Will 'Modern Family' four-peat, or is this year for a 'Big Bang' or 'Louie' upset?

The 2013 Primetime Emmy Awards will be presented on Sunday, Sept. 22, starting at 8 Eastern on CBS, with Neil Patrick Harris as host. From now until Sunday (sometimes multiple times a day), Dan Fienberg and I will be making our usual picks for the major categories — for both what should win and what will (and keep in mind that Dan is much better historically at predictions than I am).

As we head into the home stretch, we're dealing with the nominees for Outstanding Comedy Series, which includes two past winners in "30 Rock" and "Modern Family," two shows that expanded their nomination footprint this year in "Louie" and "Veep," plus the wildly popular "Big Bang Theory" and critically-adored "Girls."

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<p>&quot;Heli&quot;</p>

"Heli"

Credit: Le Pacte

Mexico's 'Heli,' Poland's 'Walesa' among latest foreign Oscar entries

Switzerland, the Philippines and the UK also join the race

National submissions continue to trickle in for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar race, with the tally currently sitting at 37 entries. That's a competitive number already, though when you consider that last year's longlist contained nearly double that number of films, you realize just how much more crowded things are going to get before the deadline for entries -- only 10 days away. Among the countries we're waiting to hear from are such previous nominees (some of them with heavyweight possibilities this year) as Denmark, Israel, Italy, Canada, Iran and China. So the list of predicted nominees to your right, strong as it is, could change a lot in the coming weeks.

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Oscar Talk: Venice/Telluride/Toronto wrap

Oscar Talk: Venice/Telluride/Toronto wrap

Did the media paint a bull's-eye on the back of a frontrunner?

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>M.I.A. is battling the NFL</p>

M.I.A. is battling the NFL

M.I.A. tackles the NFL over lawsuit

NFL wants $1.5 million, M.I.A. wants NFL to acknowledge what?

M.I.A. and the National Football League are embroiled in an ongoing legal battle 18 months after she flipped the bird during her half-time appearance with Madonna during Super Bowl XLVI on Feb. 5, 2012.

The NFL initially filed its a breach-of-contract suit against M.I.A. in March 2013, demanding she pay $1.5 million, which will go to charity. Last week, according to the Hollywood Reporter, the football league asked for a summary judgment requiring the English-Sri Lankan rapper to pay.

So now,  M.I.A., who has certainly been known to take on her opponents before, has decided she will wage a one-woman campaign against the NFL. "She is going to go public with an explanation of how ridiculous it was for the NFL and its fans to devote such furor to this incident, while ignoring the genocide occurring in her home country and several other countries, topics she frequently speaks to," her attorney Howard King told THR.

That is crazy and is one of the weakest red herrings we’ve ever seen tossed. So she wants the NFL, the NATIONAL Football League to take a stand on the atrocities going on in her home country. Hmmm. Not to make any light at all of the horrible things that are going on there and elsewhere, but I’m sure the NFL will get on that right after Commissioner Roger Goodell finishes his position paper on North Korea.

Furthermore, M.I.A. is calling the league’s bluff when it claims she has damaged its image. "Of course, the NFL's claimed reputation for wholesomeness is hilarious," King continues, "in light of the weekly felonies committed by its stars, the bounties placed by coaches on opposing players, the homophobic and racist comments uttered by its players, the complete disregard for the health of players and the premature deaths that have resulted from same, and the raping of public entities ready to sacrifice public funds to attract teams."
Got to side with her on this one. But if M.I.A. found the NFL so repugnant, why did she agree to play with Madonna?

The fact that the NFL is trying to wring $1.5 million out of M.I.A., even if it is going to charity, for flipping the bird is insane, but M.I.A. taking the NFL on for its non-stand on international civil rights is equally ridiculous.

"Matangi," M.I.A.'s much-delayed new album (following her feud with her label, Interscope), comes out Nov. 5.

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"Secret Sex Lives: Swingers"

 "Secret Sex Lives: Swingers"

Credit: TLC

Exclusive clip: Rules get broken on 'Secret Sex Lives: Swingers'

One swinger wants to go a little further than her partner approves

Hey, guess what? Swingers get jealous! Not about their significant others having sex with other people, of course, but about emotional commitments and flirting. Who knew? This week on the four-part series "Secret Sex Lives: Swingers" (Sat. Sept. 21 at 10:00 p.m. on Discovery Fit & Health), our Atlanta-based couples discover that there are actually some lines that shouldn't be crossed. In this exclusive clip from the "Wives Gone Wild" episode, odd couple Hali and Bryan discuss renegotiating their agreement. It goes over about as well as you might expect it to. 

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Listen: Does  Justin Timberlake's new single 'TKO' knock you out?

Listen: Does Justin Timberlake's new single 'TKO' knock you out?

He returns to the slow groove with boxing metaphor-filled jam

TKO,” Justin Timberlake’s second single from “The 20/20 Experience 2 of 20” uses boxing as a metaphor for love.

He’s in love with someone who hits below the below even after the ref blows the whistle. “This isn’t the girl I used to know... I’m down for the count, yet girl, you knock me out.”

Like many of the songs on “The 20/20 Experience,” it’s a heavyweight of a song, weighing in at 7:06. Plus, it’s more of a rambling, shuffling groove of a tune rather than any kind of conventional chorus/verse/chorus.  Timbaland’s production is full of heavy bass beats and little curlicue background synth noises. There's some nice singing from Timberlake here, however, and he leaves the falsetto on the shelf for this one for the most part.

Similarly to many of those tracks, at around 5 minutes, the song morphs into a slightly different, slower tune with Timbaland repeating “She killed me with that coochie-coo.”

It’s not an instant hit and I’m not sure radio will gravitate toward it. Radio seems content to keep playing “Mirrors” over “The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2’s” first single, the far catchier “Take Back The Night.”
“The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2” comes out Sept. 27.

Are you knocked out by “TKO?”

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"Project Runway"

 "Project Runway"

Credit: Lifetime

'Project Runway': Still wishing you were a superfan?

Some fans got great makeovers, and some were hot messes

I bet you had the same reaction I did when I saw that tonight was the Superfan challenge on "Project Runway." How lucky these ladies are! They get top-to-toe makeovers and their VERY OWN OUTFITS courtesy of highly skilled (and, yes, highly stressed) designers! They meet Tim Gunn! They meet Heidi Klum! They meet... well, a bunch of judges who aren't Michael Kors! Sure, they have to listen to incessant plugs for L'Oreal hair care, but most gals get a version of that whenever they get their hair cut. What a treat!

It was only while watching the episode that I realized there is no amount of money that would inspire me to walk down a runway rocking a craptastic sofa cover or an unfinished suit that splendidly highlighted my back fat. I would also not care to have a well-meaning designer reveal to all of America that I had gobs of excess skin that needed to be corseted into an arrangement that made me look ]vaguely attractive and not so much like the Elephant Man. And so, with those bitter truths revealed, the dream of being a Superfan withers and dies.

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<p>The original &quot;NYPD&nbsp;Blue&quot;&nbsp;team of David Caruso and Dennis Franz.</p>

The original "NYPD Blue" team of David Caruso and Dennis Franz.

Credit: ABC

'NYPD Blue' 20th anniversary: The cop show that helped change television

Steven Bochco wanted network to outdo cable, but instead inspired Tony Soprano and friends

As most of you know, "NYPD Blue" is the show that changed my life, prompting me to unofficially launch my career as a TV reviewer and eventually leading to my first job at The Star-Ledger. It's also one of the shows that changed TV, albeit not in the way its creators intended.

I've told the former story a bunch lately. On the occasion of this weekend's 20th anniversary of the show's debut, it's important to reflect on the much broader impact of "NYPD Blue."

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<p>A scene from John Singleton's 1991 film &quot;Boyz N the Hood.&quot;</p>

A scene from John Singleton's 1991 film "Boyz N the Hood."

Credit: Sony Pictures

Roundup: John Singleton on who should (and shouldn't) direct black-themed cinema

Also: And the winner is... In Contention

"Can a white director make a great black movie?" It's the kind of question that bothers me -- you can extend it to asking whether a male director can make a great film about women, or whether a straight director can make a great film about homosexuality. (This year, Abdellatif Kechiche answered both those questions in the affirmative.) Great storytelling requires more empathy than first-hand experience. Still, John Singleton (the first black filmmaker ever nominated for a Best Director Oscar) looks at such recent films as "Fruitvale Station," "The Butler" and "12 Years a Slave" -- all by black directors, though not all by African-Americans -- argues that  "there is a noticeable difference between pictures that have significant contributions from African-Americans behind the scenes and those that don't." He adds "what Hollywood execs need to realize is that black-themed stories appeal to the mainstream because they are uniquely American" -- which, well, let's just say I can't see everyone agreeing on that point. [Hollywood Reporter]    

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<p>Johnny Depp and Tom Cruise help Jerry Bruckheimer celebrate his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in June.</p>

Johnny Depp and Tom Cruise help Jerry Bruckheimer celebrate his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in June.

Credit: AP Photo/John Schearer

End of an era: Jerry Bruckeimer and Walt Disney Studios end deal

Scott Rudin and Joel Silver would say it was inevitable

Cue the melancholy score because producer Jerry Bruckheimer's long run at the Walt Disney Studios appears to be over. Late Thursday evening the Mouse House announced the studio and Bruckheimer had "mutually agreed" to end his first look deal. Yes, his string of recent, expensive misfires was the private excuse, but even the venerable producer must have seen this coming a long time ago. The age of the studio super-producer is simply over.

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All-time greatest actors turned directors: Woody Allen, Sarah Polley, Clint Eastwood

All-time greatest actors turned directors: Woody Allen, Sarah Polley, Clint Eastwood

Guess who didn't make the list

The longstanding cliche about Hollywood screenwriters is they're really dying to tell anyone who will listen, "but I really want to direct." Turns out some of the actors in front of the camera wouldn't mind ruling the roost either.

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<p>Sharni Vinson's only going to further cement her place in the horror firmament with her role in Mark Hartley's remake of 'Patrick'</p>

Sharni Vinson's only going to further cement her place in the horror firmament with her role in Mark Hartley's remake of 'Patrick'

Credit: Bankside Films

Review: Fantastic Fest 2013 opens with Mark Hartley's remake of the Aussie shocker 'Patrick'

Can the genre-loving documentarian make the jump to narrative features?

Mark Hartley has made two exceptional documentaries about the history of exploitation films, one called "Not Quite Hollywood" and the other called "Machete Maidens Unleashed!" The first examined the evolution of Australia's homegrown genre movies, and it was more than just a scholarly look at a list of movies. Hartley understood exactly why those films were so exciting, and he made a documentary that had the same sort of breathless energy that the films did, and he made a hell of a case for the significance of those films and those directors.

While I'm excited to see his next documentary, which will deal with the history of Canon Films, I'm equally excited about the notion that he took one of the films that he covered in "Not Quite Hollywood" and remade it. "Patrick" is one of those films that I knew by reputation more than anything, and after "Not Quite Hollywood" came out, it was one of the movies that got a US release to capitalize on its new notoriety. The original was directed by one of my favorite of the Aussies, Richard Franklin, and it's an effective movie with some smart script choices, solid performances across the board, and Franklin really knows how to screw with an audience. Released in 1978, it feels like a reaction to films like "Carrie" and "The Fury" with a comatose patient who wages a telekinetic battle against a nurse. Like "Road Games," the film seems to lean on Hitchcock at times, and that's just Franklin. There's a reason he was hired for "Psycho II," and he obviously has an enormous respect for the kind of classically built scares from a different age.

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