Latest Blog Posts

Tommy Flanagan and Charlie Hunnam in 'Sons of Anarchy'

Chibs (Tommy Flanagan) is concerned about Jax (Charlie Hunnam) on "Sons of Anarchy"

Credit: FX

'Sons of Anarchy' recap: 'Wolfsangel' ups the body count

Multiple deaths aren't enough to justify another flabby 90-minute episode

Everything that happens in this week's "Sons of Anarchy" could've been condensed into a pretty solid hour of TV. So why did "Wolfsangel" have to be yet another unnecessarily bloated 90 minute episode?

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<p>On &quot;New Girl,&quot;&nbsp;Nick (Jake Johnson)&nbsp;suffers some undeserved abuse from Cece (Hannah Simone) while Jess (Zooey Deschanel)&nbsp;looks on.</p>

On "New Girl," Nick (Jake Johnson) suffers some undeserved abuse from Cece (Hannah Simone) while Jess (Zooey Deschanel) looks on.

Credit: FOX

Evening TV Round-Up: 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine,' New Girl' & 'The Mindy Project'

Jake goes in a slump, the truth about Schmidt comes out and Mindy and Casey hit a snag

It's evening round-up time, with quick reviews of tonight's "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," "New Girl" and "The Mindy Project" coming up just as soon as I pump my fists too hard at a Weird Al concert...

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Best Actor 2014: Oscar contenders include Christian Bale, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Matthew McConaughey

Best Actor 2014: Oscar contenders include Christian Bale, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Matthew McConaughey

Could this be the most competitive lineup in years?

If we've said it once we've said it a hundred times: the Best Actor Oscar race is crowded this year. And that's really putting it lightly. The amount of contenders that would be shoo-ins in any other year is unfortunate, really, because someone is going to come up with the short straw, and it won't be pretty.

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Kevin James making a sitcom comeback


Kevin James making a sitcom comeback
The former "King of Queens" star has signed on a 10/90 Charlie Sheen-type sitcom deal that would have him star in a sitcom for 10 episodes. And if a ratings threshold is met, 90 more episodes will be automatically picked up.


NBC cancels "Camp"
The Rachel Griffiths summer drama won't be back for a 2nd season.

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<p>Simon Cowell&nbsp;</p>

Simon Cowell 

Credit: FOX

'X Factor' judges Simon Cowell and Demi Lovato tease Four-Chair Challenge, One Direction visit and more

How has Simon Cowell responded to this season's ratings?
I'm really intrigued by the Four-Chair Challenge, which starts on "The X Factor" this week.
 
Given the amount of skepticism I've been known to heap upon the FOX singing competition, that could perhaps cause you optimism as well. 
 
Thus far, "X Factor" and FOX promotions haven't done a great job of explaining this structural evolution for the Wednesday/Thursday show, which may explain why Simon Cowell and the network hosted a small group of reporters on Monday (September 30) afternoon to try teasing the Four-Chair Challenge.
 
Let me try to explain it a bit better than the teasers have done: Currently, all four judges/mentors have 10 remaining contestants in their respective categories. Starting on Wednesday, the process begins to winnow down to four per category. On the stage, there will be four seats or "chairs," if you will. One by one, the singers in each category will perform and their respective coach/mentor/judge will have to decide whether or not to give one of the chairs to a singer. For a while, it's pretty low-key. Yes or No. Easy peasy. But once all four chairs are filled, things get fun. As the four contestants sit in their chairs, briefly feeling comfortable with their positions, they have to watch as another contestant performs just feet away and their coach then has to give the "Yes" or "No" votes. If it's a "Yes," they have to execute a Switch, booting one of the singers from their chairs. It's like musical chairs or a Yankee Swap, only with young people sensing their dreams are about to get shattered instead of prettily wrapped presents.
 
Cowell explains that the Four-Chair Challenge was transplanted from "X Factor: Holland" and while he acknowledged that it's "possibly the worst title in the world," the results have the potential to be wonderfully sadistic and also entertaining. There's pressure on the performers in the spotlight. There's pressure on the judges. There's pressure on the squirming contestants in the "Yes" chairs, who are experiencing a really unpleasant roller-coaster. And this is all happening in front of a loud and vocal audience trying to sway the contestants and also (with some success) the judges. And it's an audience that includes the parents and family members of the contestants, loved ones with the potential to take heartbreak with even less grace than the singers themselves. Throw in pauses more pregnant than Catherine Zeta-Jones at the 2003 Oscars and you get a recipe to add suspense where none existed previously.
 
Indeed, the biggest thing working in favor of the Four-Chair Challenge is that it isn't really replacing anything of value. These next few episodes are taking the place of those forgettable installments in which the judges and a hand-picked celebrity friend sat in or around houses that may or may not have actually been theirs and listened to the singers perform in environments with dreadful acoustics and then made arbitrary decisions that featured little drama at all. Even if the entirety of the Four-Chair Challenge fails to live up to the 20 minutes I saw last night, it will still be an improvement over Judges' Houses.
 
After the presentation, I was able to grab a few minutes with Simon Cowell and also with Demi Lovato to discuss the Four-Chair Challenge and also to talk about the show's ratings, the inevitable One Direction appearance and more.
 
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<p>I'm not sure how they expect this to cross over to an older audience, but then again, maybe that's not the point.</p>

I'm not sure how they expect this to cross over to an older audience, but then again, maybe that's not the point.

Credit: Millarworld

Fox signs on to develop Mark Millar's 'Kindergarten Heroes' as a family-friendly franchise

Carter Blanchard has been tapped to write it

"Family friendly" and "Mark Millar" are not normally used in the same sentence.

Even so, it appears that 20th Century Fox is planning to give it a shot with "Kindergarten Heroes," a new movie that Carter Blanchard just signed on to write with Simon Kinberg producing. The book does not appear to actually exist yet, and the only artwork I could find for it online is what looks like the front of a book, but I can't find any listing anywhere that would indicate that you actually buy that book.

Selling unpublished material before it hits the stand is nothing new for Millar. I thought it was very interesting when I was on the set of "Kick-Ass" and some of the issues existed only as rough artwork and some story notes. Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman's script actually fed back into the way Millar was thinking, and that cross-traffic is one of the things that made that so much fun for all involved.

As a producer, Kinberg is a busy man these days. He's one of the guys in the mix for the new wave of "Star Wars" films that will kick off with "Episode VII," presumably arriving in theaters in December of 2015. He just produced "Elysium," and he's right there in the midst of things for "X-Men: Days Of Future Past" as well.

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'Doctor Who's' 50th anniversary episode will be simulcast worldwide on Nov. 23


"Doctor Who's" 50th anniversary episode will be simulcast worldwide on Nov. 23
At least 75 countries will be able to watch the special on the same day, with BBC America airing the American simulcast.


Jay Pharoah: "SNL" needs a black female cast member
"They need to pay attention," Pharoah tells theGrio. "Her name is Darmirra Brunson…Why do I think she should be on the show? Because she's black first of all, and she's really talented. She's amazing. She needs to be on 'SNL.' I said it. And I believe they need to follow up with it like they said they were going to do last year."


Watch Miley Cyrus' twerk-free "SNL" promos
"Miley, that VMAs performance, how could you?"


Adam Scott ending "The Greatest Event in Television History"

The 3rd and 4th installments will be the last ones. "It's a lot of work for such a short, stupid thing, so that's why I think we're gonna wrap it up here after the next two," Scott tells Splitsider. The 3rd installment will air in November, while the last one will be shown in February or March.


Sarah Michelle Gellar joins Twitter
"Why is sending this first tweet scarier than going on the @LateShow?" she tweeted before entering Letterman's theater. PLUS: See Gellar and Letterman together nearly 30 years ago.


ABC orders "Lights, Camera, Christmas!"

The reality competition, airing in December, will pit 16 families in a battle for the most impressive Christmas-themed house.


ABC is developing "A Slave In The White House" limited series
After the success of "Lee Daniels' The Butler," ABC is developing a limited series based on President James Madison's slave servant.


ABC is set to mash up "Nashville" and "Once Upon a Time"
"Galavant" would combine the musical drama of "Nashville" with the fairy-tale "Once."


Usher sings ABC Song on "Sesame Street"

A -- Move your arms!


Check out Rob Lowe's "Killing Kennedy" poster

Featuring Rob Lowe as JFK and Will Rothhaar as Lee Harvey Oswald.


"MythBusters" to tackle zombies for a "Walking Dead"-themed episode

The Oct. 17 special will ask questions like: ”Are axes or guns more effective at dispatching the undead?"


CNBC picks up "Shark Tank" reruns
The ABC reality show is getting syndicated.


New "Carrie Diaries" poster shows off the new Samantha Jones
With the tagline: "Say hello to Samantha. Miss Jones if you're nasty!"


JWoww apologizes for calling Gov. Chris Christie "retarded"
The MTV star wasn't happy with the New Jersey governor's anti-gay marriage stance.


Jay Leno got to drive the "Tumbler" Batmobile
Watch the new episode of "Jay Leno's Garage."


George R.R. Martin says "Game of Thrones'" Purple Wedding will be memorable, too
"It's going to be the wedding of the year, and as memorable in its own way as our wedding last season," he says.


Leslie Bibb joins "The Following"
She'll find herself "in the company" of James Purefoy.

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"Parks and Recreation"

 "Parks and Recreation"

Credit: NBC

Watch: Kristen Bell plays Leslie Knope's rival on 'Parks and Rec'

Watch Amy Poehler face off against Bell's beauty queen character

As if you needed another reason to watch "Parks and Recreation" (Thurs. at 8:00 p.m.), now Kristen Bell ("Veronica Mars" star, sloth lover and Dax Shepard's baby mama) is doing a guest arc (starting this week) as Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler)'s beauty queen, upper crust nemesis from Eagleton. Will this be awesome? Nod your head, because yes, yes it will. In fact, watch this clip and get all kinds of excited about this.

Will you be watching "Parks and Rec"?

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<p>Kenny Powers just wasn't made for this life.</p>

Kenny Powers just wasn't made for this life.

Credit: HBO

Danny McBride's committed performance anchors an excellent 'Eastbound & Down' season premiere

Now where do they go from here?

I honestly never expected to see Kenny Powers again.

The end of the third season was such a decisive conclusion, giving him the happy ending that he needed instead of the one he wanted, that I figured we were done with him as a character. After all, heading into that season, Jody Hill and Danny McBride and David Gordon Green all seemed relatively sure that they were done with him, and if they felt like they were finished, who were we to argue?

The very end of that final episode, though, threw so many big ideas at us so quickly that it went from feeling like the finish of something to feeling like a giant challenge. Once your lead character fakes his own death to walk away from his dream life in professional sports, can he really just go home and live a happy domestic life?

Yeah, right.

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<p>A pulse-pounding scene from &quot;Gravity&quot;</p>

A pulse-pounding scene from "Gravity"

Credit: Warner Bros.

Experience the third dimension of 'Gravity'

New featurette takes you inside Cuarón's unique approach to 3D

The use of 3D in "Gravity" was part of the equation from the beginning. As director Alfonso Cuarón told me in an interview last week, the original title of the script was "Gravity: A Space Suspense in 3D." Stereoscopic supervisor Chris Parks was involved in the imagery before cameras even began rolling, way back during the pre-visualization phase. It was crucial for the immersive experience Cuarón was looking for.

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<p>Dylan McDermott of &quot;Hostages&quot;</p>

Dylan McDermott of "Hostages"

Credit: CBS

Monday ratings analysis: 'Hostages' struggles, 'Blacklist' impresses

'We Are Men" drags '2 Broke Girls' down
Y'all may have noticed that I didn't do analysis for Sunday's ratings. 
 
The reasons were two-fold: There's nothing to say about Sunday Night Football, while football overrun wreaked havoc on both FOX and CBS' numbers. Then either I didn't get Final numbers, or I got them too late and I was on to other things. Apologies.
 
Some VERY quick Sunday hits: "Betrayal" is, predictably, DOA, coming in way below the launch for "Pan Am" and slightly below the launch for "666 Park Avenue." There were only two premiere week dramas that came in entirely stillborn -- "Lucky 7" and "Betrayal" -- and both were on ABC and both creative by David Zabel. Ugh. 
 
Actually, nothing else was meaningful. "Revenge" and "Once Upon a Time" were both below last fall, but above last spring. So that's OK. And "The Good Wife" and "The Mentalist" came in really low among young viewers. REALLY low. "The Mentalist" was almost certainly in its last season anyway. I'm not sure what CBS is supposed to do about "Good Wife."
 
But anyway, I'm actually here to give a quick look to the numbers from Monday, September 30, which feature a lot of good news actually. Unless you're CBS. In that case? Not-so-good news.
 
Bulletpoints after the break... 
 
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NY Daily News uses "House of Cards" for inspiration in gov't shutdown front page


NY Daily News uses "House of Cards" for inspiration in gov't shutdown front page
Check out "House of Turds" front page. PLUS: Jimmy Kimmel asks people the difference between Obamacare and Affordable Care Act, and Stephen Colbert did a "Breaking Guv" segment on the shutdown.


"The Blacklist" stays strong, "We Are Men" premieres low

CBS' new "Men" comedy actually premiered lower than last year's "Partners."


Vince Gilligan discusses Charlie Rose's "Breaking Bad" cameo with Charlie Rose
"You were just absolutely fantastic ... he was, I think, the best person we could've picked to play Charlie Rose," Gilligan said on "CBS this Morning." PLUS: Badfinger's "Baby Blue" was personally picked by Gilligan, and "Brock" witnessed his mom's shooting.


"The Bachelor" host to perform 3 weddings atop a Rose Parade float
Enter a contest to be part of the "Love Float."


"The Crazy Ones" books Ed Asner
He'll guest as a commercial actor.


"Suits" enlists "Lost's" Patrick Fischler
He'll guest as Gabriel Macht's rival.


Watch a preview of Amy Poehler vs. Kristen Bell
From this week's "Parks and Rec."


"The Walking Dead" releases new webisodes

See all three parts of "The Oath."

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