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<p>Mark Burnett</p>

Mark Burnett

Credit: AP

NBC greenlights Mark Burnett's 'Bible' sequel, makes us rewrite the same story

Mark Burnett's 'A.D.' will premiere in 2015
Fun new TV publicity trend courtesy of NBC: Announcing "greenlights" for TV projects that it previously announced as either being "acquired" or "in development" so as to get a second wave of stories about a nascent project before milking a third wave of stories around casting.
Kudos, NBC!
Last week, NBC announced that it was giving a greenlight to "Rosemary's Baby," a four-hour event series that the network previously announced it was developing back in July. The only new pieces of information in last week's NBC release were the involvement of director Agnieszka Holland and new co-writer James Wong, but we all dutifully wrote the story and, in some cases, attempted to cast the miniseries.
This week's gratuitous NBC press release? The official greenlighting of "A.D.," Mark Burnett and Roma Downey's follow-up to their History Channel smash adaptation of "The Bible."
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<p>What do you think of the makeover?</p>

What do you think of the makeover?

Credit: AMPAS

Academy unveils new logo for the first time ever

Oscar gets a spotlight from above

For the first time in its history, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has created a visual identity for the organization with a logo.

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John Mayer and Katy Perry coo at each other in 'Who You Love' video: Watch
Credit: Columbia Records

John Mayer and Katy Perry coo at each other in 'Who You Love' video: Watch

The two lovebirds are sickeningly sweet in new clip

A few days ago, Beyonce and Jay Z showed us how they were “Drunk In Love,” today fellow real-life couple John Mayer and Katy Perry make googly eyes at each other for our voyeuristic pleasure in the video for languid, mid-tempo ballad “Who You Love.”

There’s something about watching a real couple singing and cooing at each other that feels a little strange to me, especially when you wonder if they’ll be together this time next year or if the video will serve as an embarrassing reminder of their forever love before forever ended  (Yes, we're also talking to you Kanye West and Kim Kardashian).

In the Sophie Mueller-directed clip, various couples hold on for dear life as they ride a bucking bronco in a symbol that love is a rough, exhilarating trip for all of us. It then switches to Mayer and Perry, looking like something out of “Little House on the Prairie,” holding each other closely and singing gently as they gaze meaningfully into each other’s eyes. It feels like we’re intruding on a personal moment, which is exactly the point. Perry looks seductively into the camera every now and then to show us the depth of her affection for Mayer.

Here’s hoping the crazy kids make it. If they don’t, they’ll certainly have a video to remind them of the days their hearts were intwined...before the ride got too rough.

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NBC greenlights 'A.D.,;' a sequel to 'The Bible'

NBC greenlights "A.D.," a sequel to "The Bible"
The 12-hour miniseries from Mark Burnett and Roma Downey will follow "The Bible" series, telling the events after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

"NCIS" is the top scripted show, "Dancing with the Stars" beats "Idol" as the No. 1 reality show of 2013
"The Big Bang Theory" was the top comedy show, while "Dancing" edged out "American Idol" for the first time.

"Today"-"GMA" feud to become a Lifetime movie
CNN host Brian Stetler's book "Top of the Morning," which documented the morning news show wars, including Ann Curry's brief stint as co-host of "Today," is getting the Lifetime movie treatment.

Frank Darabont sues AMC over "Walking Dead" profits
Darabont, who created the AMC TV series, claims he was deprived of millions of dollars thanks to AMC's deal licensing the show to itself.

Walter White, a meth distributor in Montana, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison
Unlike the "Breaking Bad" character, Walter J. White was caught by the DEA with four ounces of methamphetamine. He later admitted to receiving up to two pounds a week of meth from one supplier.

Did "SNL" lift its "Three Wise Men" sketch from "Studio 60"?
Aaron Sorkin's NBC drama series featured a "Three Wise Guys" pitch that was rejected.

Jennifer Lawrence: "I just think it should be illegal to call somebody fat on TV"

Lawrence says on Walters' "Fascinating" special: "If we're regulating cigarettes and sex and cuss words because of the effect it has on our younger generation, why aren't we regulating things like calling somebody fat?"

Snapchat CEO's girlfriend is competing on "The Bachelor"

Lucinda Aragon, 24, has been seeing Evan Spiegel, the co-founder of the $2 billion photo sharing app.

"Grey's" star Chandra Wilson will guest on "General Hospital"
She'll play a hospital patient.

TV critics pick "Breaking Bad" as 2013's No. 1 show

According to Hitfix's 2nd annual poll of TV critics, "Orange is the New Black" is the 2nd-best show and "Game of Thrones" is No. 3.

Snooki hit with a federal class action lawsuit over weightloss pills

a Long Island woman has filed a class-action suit against the MTV star, accusing her of shilling Zantrex diet pills that are unsafe.

The Hub will show a "My Little Pony" Yule Log on Christmas Day
For four hours on Christmas morning, an animated fireplace from Pinkie Pie's house will be on display.

"L.A. Law" is finally coming to DVD

Season 1 of the acclaimed 1986-1994 NBC legal drama will be available on Feb. 25.

CNBC apologizes for airing a song with the N-word
"We accidentally aired a piece of music this hour during a tease with inappropriate lyrics," said CNBC's Kelly Evans.

"SNL's" Taran Killam releases his first comic book

Check out "The Illegitimates."

Fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg is launching her own reality show
She's searching for the next "Elite Brand Ambassador."

Here is the worst TV of 2013
From "Dads" to "The Following" to the "Dexter" finale.

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<p>Disney's &quot;Frozen&quot;&nbsp;won three awards.</p>

Disney's "Frozen" won three awards.

Credit: Walt Disney Studios

Phoenix critics award '12 Years a Slave,' 'Gravity,' 'Frozen'

Matthew McConaughey and Cate Blanchett win top acting honors

After a some taste-testing elsewhere by some more regional critics, it's back to the grind with another Best Picture win for "12 Years a Slave," this time from the Phoenix Film Critics Society. The film won three awards, as did Disney's "Frozen," but Alfonso Cuarón's "Gravity" was a more dominant figure winning four, including Best Director. Refresh yourself on the nominees here and check out the full list of winners below. Remember to keep score throughout the season via The Circuit.

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<p>Kurt Cobain of Nirvana</p>

Kurt Cobain of Nirvana

Credit: MTV

Why the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame only got it half right this year

Who should have gotten the nod that didn't?

Last night, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced its class of 2014:  Peter Gabriel, Hall & Oates, Kiss, Nirvana, Linda Ronstadt, and Cat Stevens.

There are a number of things right with this picture. And a number of things wrong.

First off, before any discussion of the Rock Hall and its induction process can begin, let’s first agree that such conversations are always subjective. Plus, it helps to remember that the majority of the 600 voters are white, middle-aged men, many of them rock critics, who, especially in the early years of the Hall, tried to compensate for the way white rockers appropriated black music in the ‘50s and ‘60s as the building blocks of rock and roll by making sure that a number of unappreciated black acts got their just due by being inducted. For example, in 1986, six of the 10 inaugural inductees were black. This time, there are none.

Secondly, throw away any notion that Rock & Roll means anything other than pop music. The Hall never limited itself only to true “rockers,” but every time someone like Madonna gets inducted, as she did in 2008, people work themselves up into apoplectic states about how she’s not “Rock.” Well, neither are about 50%, if not more, of the inductees.

So with that out of the way, I’d say that without question, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame voters, of which I used to be one, got it right this year with Peter Gabriel, Kiss and Nirvana.  All three acts are pioneers at what they do/did.

Both as a member of Genesis and as a solo act, Peter Gabriel elevated rock to an experimental art form, blending in other genres and fearlessly pushing boundaries. Kiss,  who has been eligible for more than a decade and whose fans have done everything but storm the Rock Hall’s castle in protest, took metal in a cartoonish yet innovative way to the masses. Nirvana, one of the few acts to get in the first year it was eligible, ushered in the grunge movement and has continued to influence the next generation of rockers.

After that, it gets a little sketchy. The other acts on the 2014 ballot were Yes, LL Cool J, The Replacements, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Chic, Deep Purple, NWA, The Meters, Link Wray and the Zombies.

I would have picked Chic before Ronstadt, H&O, or Cat Stevens. Yes, they were a disco band, which automatically makes them second class to many voters, but they were so much more. They brought in R&B and a certain loose-limbed aesthetic to their music that proved to have great legs long after disco died. It seemed like Nile Rodgers work with Daft Punk would have helped bring him and the band to the fore this year, but they’ll have to come back again... for a ninth time.

I would have also gone with Link Wray this year. Best known for “Rumble” and “The ‘Batman’ Theme,”  Wray invented a whole new language on the electric guitar that thousands of musicians have adopted from rock to punk and country. 

Thirdly, I would have picked NWA. Yes, they were long shots, and some of the more conservative voters may have objections to their politics or feel like Public Enemy’s inclusion this year gives them a pass on hard core rap for a little while, but their music represents the rebellion and social protest that the absolute best music represents. Albums like “Straight Outta Compton” and “Niggaz4Life” are time capsules of the racial tensions brewing on the West Coast in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s.

I'll go a step further, I absolutely believe that Hall & Oates should be in, though I would have waited a few more year, but I'm not so sure that, as much as I love both Ronstadt and Stevens, that either one of them  should be included. At some point does it just become popular names? 

Of course, there are still a number of acts who weren’t on the ballot this year that deserve inclusion, among them Cheap Trick and Todd Rundgren.

Do you think the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame voters got it right this year?


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Obama wishes Washington was like 'House of Cards,' Netflix CEO offers him a cameo

Obama wishes Washington was like "House of Cards," Netflix CEO offers him a cameo

The president this morning met with tech CEOs, including Netflix head Reed Hastings, who offered him a chance to appear on the show. "I wish things were that ruthlessly efficient," said Obama. "It's true. It’s like Kevin Spacey, man this guy's getting a lot of stuff done."

Josh Gad to star in "Gilligan's Island," the movie
Gad will co-write the script of the film based on the TV show, but it's not clear if he'll actually play Gilligan or The Skipper.

"Veronica Mars" to kick off Paleyfest in L.A.
The cast will get together on stage the night before the movie opens.

GSN orders a church matchmaking show

"It Takes A Church" will allow members of a church congregation to play matchmaker for single parishioners.

John Mayer drops the F-word on "GMA"
Check out his interview with Katy Perry.

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'The Voice' finale hits a low

"The Voice" finale hits a low
Although 12.7 million tuned in, the finale was down 11% from the spring and 21% from last fall.

Discovery orders "The West," a scripted drama series from Robert Redford
Premiering in 2014, "The West" will "provide unprecedented access into the wilderness, frontier lawlessness, and bloodshed of the 40 years between the end of the American Civil War and after the turn of the 20th Century," according to a press release.

HBO will promote "Girls" with "Girls Night Out" screenings in 9 cities

A live-feed of the Season 3 premiere event will be shown in theaters in several cities.

Watch Matthew Perry get in a heated debate live on BBC

The "Friends" alum was debating drug courts last night on "NewsNight."

Canadian politician upset that her nude "L Word" scene was tweeted at her

Actress-turned-politician Lenore Zann claimed cyberbullying after a teen tweeted this naked photo of her from a 2008 episode of the Showtime series.

Jay Leno worries the Sochi Olympics will be like Nazi Germany
Leno, who has "nothing to lose" since he's leaving "The Tonight Show," chatted with Meredith Vieira last night about Russia's anti-gay laws.

Jerry Seinfeld created 8 new intentionally bad ads for Acura
It's all part of his "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" promotion. PLUS: Howard Stern will appear on the season finale of "Comedians in Cars."

Ashley Williams joins Jim Gaffigan's CBS comedy pilot

She'll play Gaffigan's "super wife," Jeannie.

"Buffy" and "Veronica Mars" are coming to new cable channel Pivot
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer," which premiered almost 17 years ago, will be used to help capture millennial viewers ages 18 to 34.

CNN announces a new documentary brand: "CNN Films Presents"
The new documentary brand will allow CNN to step away from news.

Here's "The Simpsons'" blink-and-you'll-miss-it tribute to Marcia Wallace
Mrs. Krabappel appeared briefly in Sunday's couch gag.

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<p>Joaquin Phoenix in &quot;Her.&quot;</p>

Joaquin Phoenix in "Her."

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Austin critics are in love with 'Her,' Brie Larson notches up another win

'12 Years a Slave' takes three awards

You'd expect the perennially hip cinephile crowd of Austin to veer slightly left of center when choosing their year-end winners, and the Austin Film Critics Association duly resisted the recent "12 Years a Slave" avalanche -- just. Steve McQueen's film is their #2 of the year, and picked up wins for Actor, Supporting Actress and Adapted Screenplay, but was pipped to Best Picture by Spike Jonze's "Her," which also took Original Screenplay and a special award for Scarlett Johansson's voice work. Meanwhile, Brie Larson landed another two wins for Best Actress and Breakthrough -- at this rate, she could well be the spoiler in the Oscar race. Full list of winners after the jump; everything else at The Circuit

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'Breaking Bad' tops HitFix's Second Annual Television Critics' Poll

'Breaking Bad' tops HitFix's Second Annual Television Critics' Poll

'Orange Is the New Black' led a field full of exciting newcomers

One year ago today, HitFix published its first-ever Television Critics Poll, in which we asked several dozen of the top North American TV critics to pick their 10 favorite shows of 2012. "Breaking Bad" finished in first place, "Homeland" was in second, and more than 80 different shows got at least one vote. Clicking on the above link will show you all of those results.

For the 2013 Television Critics Poll, which just went live, we added even more critics, who again named "Breaking Bad" the best series of the year. And with so many great new shows debuting this year, we added a second poll for people to pick their 10 favorite debuting shows of the year. As it turns out, half of this year's overall top 10 was made up of new shows — including "Orange Is the New Black," which finished a very distant second to "Breaking Bad" and just ahead of "Game of Thrones") — after the 2012 poll had only a single first-year series ("Girls") in the top 10. (And the overall list has six shows in common with my own top 10 for the year, while three others will be in my top 20, being published later this week.)

Because each critics' taste is different, and because the two polls were done separately, you'll see some quirks here and there. On the overall shows list, for instance, "House of Cards" was the fourth-highest ranked new series, while it finished sixth on the new show list. And as you move further past the overall top 10, you'll see the power (on a weighted ballot with only 10 choices) of being loved by a few over being liked by many. Only four critics, for instance, voted for "Southland" (I was one of them), but two of those votes were for first place, and another was for second, so it finished 23rd overall. "Girls," meanwhile, got more votes, but most of them were at the bottom of critics' ballots, so it finished only 44th. (Shows like that and "Shameless," which I suspect many critics had ranked just outside of their top 10s, finished fairly low as a result, just like "Boardwalk Empire" finishing only 29th last year.) 

So go look at the poll, which allows you to look at individual ballots (click on the name of any critic) as well as to check the vote tallies for individual shows (click on the title of any show). What do you think of this year's results?

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<p>This happened on Monday's &quot;The Voice&quot;</p>

This happened on Monday's "The Voice"

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: No 'Voice' finale bump, but NBC dominates Monday

'How I Met Your Mother' is down, 'Mike & Molly' and 'Hostages' rise
Fast National ratings for Monday, December 16, 2013.
The two-hour Monday finale of "The Voice," plus an hour of "The Sing-Off" helped NBC sweep Monday night in all measures, beating CBS' original comedies and a whole bunch of holiday programming. 
"The Voice" failed to get a finale bump and was off from its lone hour last Monday, CBS' comedies delivered a mixed bag and "Hostages" got a rare week-to-week bump.
Also down on Monday was FOX's "Almost Human," though not by a huge amount.
Finally, while hardly delivering massive figures, The CW's encore of CBS' "Victoria's Secret Fashion Show" delivered better numbers than either "Beauty and the Beast" or any of the recent string of "IHeart Radio" specials.
Note that ABC had the Monday Night Football preemption in Detroit, while NBC had the game in Baltimore, so expect some fluctuation.
On to the numbers...
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Cate Blanchett in "The Turning."
Cate Blanchett in "The Turning."
Credit: Arenamedia

Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Connelly, Pierce Brosnan in first wave of Berlinale titles

Wes Anderson's opening film 'Grand Budapest Hotel' is in Competition

It only just occurred to me that in two months' time, the 2014 Berlin Film Festival will already be over. Before that, of course, comes the bustle and frenzy of Sundance; throughout all that, of course, Oscar season will press on unabated. Just thinking about the next few weeks makes me feel slightly ill, even as I look forward to it all.

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