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'Dexter' goes out with an awful series finale


"Dexter" goes out with an awful series finale
The final episode was in line with the disappointing final season, says Todd VanDerWerff. "The series seemed all along as if it were building toward a conclusion where Dexter would be forced to turn on friends and co-workers to preserve himself, escaping from Miami by the skin of his teeth, or perhaps living his life in a jail cell...By the time it ended, even though (Deb) knew her brother's secret for two seasons, it was unable to view the protagonist as anything other than a public good, like a library, and, thus, it could not imprison him or even punish him in the slightest." PLUS: Producers defend the final season, this is what happens when you overstay your welcome, the writers seemed to be phoning it in all season, the series finale was unbelievably awful, ranking all 8 "Dexter" seasons, and Jennifer Carpenter reacts to the finale.


Nigel Lythgoe was shocked "The Voice" won after many years of "Idol" snubs

He expressed his frustration on Twitter, calling "Idol" "The first, the best and the program that changed the face of TV." PLUS: Mark Burnett explains why "The Voice" and "Idol" shouldn't be compared.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus: How I came up with my Emmy "Veep" skit with Tony Hale

"It was like a lightning bolt, it just struck me," she says of her funny acceptance. "I called Tony this afternoon and he was game, all I had to do was win." PLUS: "Veep" characters become shorthand for Washington types.


Is "Breaking Bad" trying out several alternate endings?
Each of the past few weeks has given Walter White a different kind of ending. This week, it was "The Shield" alternate ending. PLUS: The cabin was built in New Mexico by "Breaking Bad" crew, "Breaking Bad" has become a post-apocalyptic thriller, the cast and crew yell "Emmy's bitch," watch the Emmy's "Breaking Bad" dance number, the racial politics of "Breaking Bad," "Granite State" was profound without being epic, this was Flynn's finest hour, check out The New Yorker's "Breaking Bad"-themed cover, the Nazis have exposed "Breaking Bad," and why "Breaking Bad's" Emmy win is so stunning.


"Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D." earns more than 1 million Facebook likes
That's a record for a new series, but will it make a difference for this week's premiere.


Piers Morgan continues taunting Jon Stewart
After Stephen Colbert broke Stewart's 10-year Emmy win streak, the CNN star tweeted: "CNN BREAKING NEWS > It's over for Jon Stewart."


Tina Fey: There's a downside to Cecily Strong joining "Weekend Update"

"She's a good choice," says the host of this week's "SNL" season premiere. "The one thing that will be sad is she's really great at Weekend Update features, so we'll miss that." PLUS: When will Fey do "Parks and Rec"?


"Downton Abbey" Season 4 premieres to massive ratings in UK
About 9.5 million watched over the weekend, up from 8.6 million last year.


A "China Beach" novel is in the works
Co-creator John Sacret Young is working on a book that would reunite the characters of the ABC drama starring Dana Delany.


Alexander Skarsgård was supposed to wear a "sack of destiny" on "True Blood"
Stephen Moyer says Eric wasn't supposed to get naked.


"Mad Men" blamed for rise in sales of Lucky Strike cigarettes

The cigarettes, owned by British American Tobacco, sold 33 billion packs last year, compared to 23 billion when the AMC series first premiered in 2007.


Check out "Once Upon a Time's" Little Mermaid
Here's JoAnna Garcia Swisher as Ariel.


Mila Kunis' 1st kiss was on "That '70s Show" with Ashton Kutcher
Laura Prepon revealed that and said she's not surprised they're together in real life.


Andy Samberg weds

The "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" star tied the knot Saturday with singer-songwriter Joanna Newson.


Emmys reunite Amy Poehler & Will Arnett
The former couple were spotted sitting together backstage. PLUS: Arnett was asked about his wife on the red carpet.


Casey Wilson engaged to the creator of "Happy Endings"
She's set to marry boyfriend of two years David Caspe.


"Gossip Girl's" Kaylee DeFer welcomes her first child
She delivered a baby boy on Friday.

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The Emmys: Neil Patrick Harris seemed off his game in a sorrow-filled ceremony


The Emmys: Neil Patrick Harris seemed off his game in a sorrow-filled ceremony

The idea of having five separate tributes to the dead, plus an In Memoriam segment, plus two mournful ballads from Elton John and Carrie Underwood dragged down the entire ceremony, says Mary McNamara. And Harris not being up to his usual hosting self added to the night's problems: "Although still hostier than most mere mortals, Harris seemed off his game Sunday night .... Between a sketch chronicling his struggles with 'Excessive Hosting Disorder' and a self-acknowledged random 'Dance Number in the Middle of the Show,' Harris seemed to be suggesting that he's done as much as he can do with this gig."
Anemic, awkward, boring: An awards show filled with skits about how bad awards shows are
Don't blame Neil Patrick Harris -- he stood no chance, even if he was a producer
Jeff Daniels was shocked to win -- just like Twitter was shocked
Ryan Seacrest endorses "The Ryan Seacrest Center for Excessive Hosting"
Emmys tried to be the Tonys and the Grammys
A lot of awards went to unexpected people
Kevin Spacey takes on Emmy camera
Jack Klugman's son objected to Cory Monteith tribute
Merrit Wever expanded on her "I gotta go. Bye" acceptance speech backstage
Netflix won just 1 award Sunday, for best director for "House of Cards"
Lena Dunham & Claire Danes pretended to almost make out on the red carpet
Who was the "awkward stage-exit man"?
Conan, Fallon, Kimmel and Jane Lynch help Neil Patrick Harris
Inside Jon Hamm and Amy Poehler's Emmy Losers Party

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<p>Leonardo DiCaprio in&nbsp;&quot;The Wolf of Wall&nbsp;Street&quot;</p>

Leonardo DiCaprio in "The Wolf of Wall Street"

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Off the Carpet: Whither 'Wall Street?'

Scorsese's latest could move as 'Mud' is the first screener in voters' hands

I was all set to write something in this space last week, with Toronto having wrapped, etc. But then I just stopped. It seemed like it all needed a moment to sit, and what could I add to the conversation that hadn't been hammered home for two weeks already by the time "12 Years a Slave" predictably won the festival's audience award?

What I'm noticing this year is that the media is, more aggressively than ever, trying to dictate the conversation. From the call-off-all-bets aplomb of Best Picture proclamations at Telluride and Toronto to trying to force a supporting campaign on a very strong lead actor hopeful, the whiff of being authoritative is so much stronger than usual this time of year. But I've covered that. Let's attempt to progress things a bit here; there is this and that to consider.

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<p>Tye Sheridan, Matthew McConaughey and Jacob Lofland in &quot;Mud.&quot;</p>

Tye Sheridan, Matthew McConaughey and Jacob Lofland in "Mud."

Credit: Roadside Attractions

Roundup: 'Mud' wins the Oscar screener race

Also: The greatest short speeches, and the successful anonymity of Ron Howard

Being the first screener to land in Academy voters' mailboxes is a victory that sometimes brings more than just bragging rights -- especially for smaller films that might get lost in the crush later in the season. The early bird strategy has paid off handsomely for such performance-driven indies as "A Better Life" and "Frozen River" in the past, though it doesn't always get results: last year, TWC's "The Intouchables" didn't even wind up with a foreign-language nod. So, which screener was quickest on the draw this year? Jeff Nichols' coming-of-age tale "Mud" -- until recently, the year's highest-grossing art house release. Roadside Attractions are simplifying Matthew McConaughey's Best Actor drive for "Dallas Buyers Club" by running a supporting campaign for the star, who plays the title role. You can argue amongst yourselves about the rights or wrongs of that move, though the film's best shot at a nod is probably for Best Original Screenplay. Will being first pay off this year? [Deadline

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<p>Toni Collette in &quot;Hostages,&quot;&nbsp;Anna Farris in &quot;Mom&quot;&nbsp;and James Spader in &quot;The Blacklist.&quot;</p>

Toni Collette in "Hostages," Anna Farris in "Mom" and James Spader in "The Blacklist."

Credit: CBS/NBC

Fall TV Reviews: 'Mom,' 'Hostages' & 'The Blacklist'

The TV season officially kicks off tonight with a Chuck Lorre sitcom, a Jerry Bruckheimer drama, and James Spader

Hey everybody, as you know I am still in the hospital. Infections are tricky things, and we're just working to get this one under control.

I'll be fine, but for now — and even after I'm home — I'm going to be at half-speed, at best, for a while. With the TV season officially beginning tonight, this is not an ideal time for that, but what can you do? I'll be writing fewer reviews, what I do write will often be shorter than normal, etc.

As it happens, this is a pretty weak season in terms of new shows, so I have no problem cutting bait on long reviews (or reviews of any kind) of most of the newbies. When I have time or energy, I'll put together posts like this one with very quick hits on what's debuting that night, just so you have some sense of my initial thoughts. If I stick with a rookie, maybe down the road I'll do something longer. (And some shows, like "SHIELD," will get the fuller treatment up-front.) There may be shows that are just skipped altogether, maybe a lot, depending on how I feel as the week moves on.

Three premieres tonight, with a sitcom and two dramas. In order:

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<p>Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman in &quot;Breaking Bad.&quot;</p>

Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman in "Breaking Bad."

Credit: AMC

Review: 'Breaking Bad' - 'Granite State'

Walt skips town in the series' devastating penultimate installment

A review of tonight's "Breaking Bad" coming up just as soon as I'm managing a Cinnabon in Omaha while owning three pairs of Dockers...

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<p>Michael Douglas at the 2013 Primetime Emmy Awards</p>

Michael Douglas at the 2013 Primetime Emmy Awards

Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Emmys: David Fincher and Michael Douglas headline movie vet winners

Steven Soderbergh, Jeff Daniels and James Cromwell also picked up prizes

It was a big night for prestige film personalities in front of and behind the camera at the Emmys tonight. Most notable was "House of Cards" and "Behind the Candelabra" directors David Fincher and Steven Soderbergh walking away with wins for TV Drama and TV Movie or Miniseries respectively.

In the case of Soderbergh, he joins rare air with names like Martin Scorsese, Bob Fosse and Michael Moore as one of only a handful of helmers to scoop up an Emmy, an Oscar (for 2000's "Traffic") and the Cannes Palme d'Or (for 1989's "sex, lies and videotape"). In the case of Mr. Fincher, well, I'm sure he'll get his fill of "He doesn't have an Oscar but he has an Emmy!" headlines tomorrow morning.

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Lena Dunham, Aubrey Plaza, Heidi Klum

Lena Dunham, Aubrey Plaza, and Heidi Klum busted out their best for the 2013 Emmy Awards -- but was it good enough for the red carpet? 

Credit: AP Photo

Red Carpet Winners and Losers at the 2013 Emmys

The stars get all dressed up for television's big night out

As Emmy Awards go, this wasn't the best of the times nor was it the worst of times. Most of the stars wore respectable (even boring) dresses, while a few brought the weird to liven things up (thanks, Aubrey Plaza!). Purple and nude (with a smattering of forest green) were the colors of the moment, and silhouettes ranged from slim and minimal to ridiculous (Lena Dunham, we're talking to you). Here's the roundup of the winners and losers of the Emmys 2013 red carpet. 

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<p>Michael C. Hall in the &quot;Dexter&quot;&nbsp;series finale.</p>

Michael C. Hall in the "Dexter" series finale.

Credit: Showtime

Series finale review: 'Dexter' - 'Remember the Monsters?'

Dexter tries for a happy ending, but has the series earned one?

A review of the "Dexter" series finale coming up just as soon as I tell you what the pen is for...

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<p>Patricia Arquette and Steve Buscemi in &quot;Boardwalk Empire.&quot;</p>

Patricia Arquette and Steve Buscemi in "Boardwalk Empire."

Credit: HBO

Review: 'Boardwalk Empire' - 'Acres of Diamonds'

Nucky explores a Florida business opportunity, Richard's homecoming doesn't go as planned, and Dr. Narcisse sows dissent between Chalky and Dunn

A quick review of tonight's "Boardwalk Empire" coming up just as soon as I meet the world's tallest midget...

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Gail Simmons and Morena Baccarin

 Gail Simmons and Morena Baccarin

Credit: AP Photo

Emmys fashion fail or fab: Pregnant celebs

Did Gail Simmons and Morena Baccarin work their baby bumps?

Look, pregnancy isn't easy for anyone. I'm guessing Gail Simmons and Morena Baccarin both would have preferred to stay at home, put up their swollen feet, and eat Cheetos in their sweatpants rather than go to the Emmys. But they toughed it out, somehow lifted themselves gracefully out of a limo while photographers were there, and made it onto the red carpet. So, kudos to them both!

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Julianne Hough

Julianne Hough 

Credit: AP Photo

Emmys fashion fail or fab: Julianne Hough

Is this sexy or does she appear thisclose to a wardrobe malfunction?

Julianne Hough is a beautiful woman. Seafoam green is definitely her color. But this odd leotard/evening gown mash-up is both too revealing and sorta saggy. I'm worried that if she doesn't keep her hand planted on her hip the whole top will flop down. Sucks to sit next to her, huh?

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