Latest Blog Posts

<p>Claire Danes and Martin Donovan in &quot;Homeland.&quot;</p>

Claire Danes and Martin Donovan in "Homeland."

Credit: Showtime

Review: 'Homeland' - 'Game On'

Carrie gets out of the hospital, and Dana busts Leo out for a road trip

A review of tonight's "Homeland" coming up just as soon as I say I'm going to Trader Joe's...

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<p>Margot Bingham as Daughter in &quot;Boardwalk Empire.&quot;</p>

Margot Bingham as Daughter in "Boardwalk Empire."

Credit: HBO

Review: 'Boardwalk Empire' - 'William Wilson'

Narcisse, Rothstein and Hoover all set plans in motion

A review of tonight's "Boardwalk Empire" coming up just as soon as I earn a D in civics class in 5th grade...

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<p>Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks in &quot;Saving Mr. Banks.&quot;</p>

Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks in "Saving Mr. Banks."

Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

Review: Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson spin a different Disney fairytale in 'Saving Mr. Banks'

John Lee Hancock's entertaining film Disneyfies a story of Disneyfication

LONDON - You needn’t have seen the 1964 Disney family staple "Mary Poppins" -- though I shudder to think, almost 50 years after its release, of a childhood completed without it -- to be familiar with the practically perfect English nanny’s all-purpose maxim that "a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down." It was a line conceived not by P.L. Travers, the famously prickly Australian author of the children’s books behind the film, but by Richard and Robert Sherman, the Disney studio’s in-house songwriters.

Intentionally or otherwise, it was a cannily appropriate bit of invention: in a sense, it neatly sums up the Disney ethos of using whimsy and cheer to make life lessons more palatable to young viewers. (Or older ones, for that matter.) Disney, after all, was the man who changed the definition of “fairytale” in the public imagination from Grimm-dark allegory to one of mandatory happy endings. Travers, for her part, liked the medicine.

"Saving Mr. Banks," John Lee Hancock’s bright, entertaining and -- inevitably -- somewhat selective overview of "Poppins'" conflict-laden journey to the screen, is a film that aims for the inverse of that formula: a small dose of acrid personal history is applied to make its sentimental study of creative collaboration yielding personal catharsis that much easier to swallow. That's not necessarily a knock against it. If the tidy emotional geometry of Kelly Marcel's script occasionally feels Disney-esque, that seems only right for a film explicitly about the pervasiveness of Disney’s optimistic storytelling principles in popular culture -- and more implicitly about the way even those heightened principles can mirror the odd human truth. Sometimes life is sentimental, and some will fight it more than others.

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"Doctor Who"

 "Doctor Who"

Credit: BBC America

Watch: The teaser for 'Doctor Who''s 50th anniversary special

It's sonic screwdrivers and past companions, oh my!

"The Day of the Doctor" isn't until next month, but that doesn't mean it isn't time to get excited about the "Doctor Who" 50th anniversary special right now. The BBC announced today that the special, which premieres Sat. Nov. 23, will be 75 minutes long and will host a bevy of familiar faces. 

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<p>Chester and Ephraim of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

Chester and Ephraim of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Chester & Ephraim talk 'The Amazing Race'

Former NFL teammates discuss keeping their cool on national TV
It's really, really unlikely, but I'm still holding out hope that this Sunday night's "Amazing Race" will begin with Phil Keoghan faking out former NFL teammates Ephraim Salaam and Chester Pitts II and telling them that last week's elimination was actually a joke and it was really a Non-Elimination Leg. 
 
Chester and Ephraim were my favorite team when I met the squads before the season started and they continued to be my favorites during their three "Amazing Race" Legs. They were funny. They were enthusiastic. And when a Chilean travel agent accidentally booked them on a key flight one day after they were supposed to leave, they were just about the only team I can imagine handling that awful situation with grace and determination, rather than with anger and hurled verbal abuse. If you're on the fence about whether or not you're going to miss Ephraim and Chester, check out their exit interview answers about that booking fiasco, which set off a day of travel disasters that left them unable to even begin tasks in Lisbon. Instead, Phil met them at the Lisbon airport and sent them away on-the-spot.
 
Boo. 
 
In their exit interview, Chester and Ephraim discuss that horrible day of travel and also the even worse day-plus bus ride up the coast of Chile. They talk about their general approach to the Race and whether they have plans to return to Lisbon any time soon.
 
Click through for the spirited Q&A...
 
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<p>Miley Cyrus</p>

Miley Cyrus

Music Power Rankings: Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber and Hall & Oates top the list

Marilyn Manson makes the tally for the first time

1. Miley Cyrus: “Bangerz” slams its way to No. 1 on the Billboard 200, crushing the competition. Even Sinead bought a copy.

2. Justin Bieber: His new movie, “Believe,” will open on Christmas Day. God gave us his only begotten son that day, Bieber gives us his latest film.

3. Morrissey: His autobiography finally comes out and it turns out you’re nobody if he hasn’t had a spat with you. And, for the last time, there will be no Smiths reunion.

4. Hall & Oates: The beloved duo finally lands a nomination for Rock & Roll Hall of Fame after years of lobbying from its fans. But will they lose out because a Kiss is on the list?

5. Lady Gaga: She’ll be spending her Thanksgiving with the Muppets in new TV special. That’s so much better than dried-out turkey with feuding relatives.

6. Taylor Swift: The 23-year old is honored for the sixth time by the Nashville Songwriters Assn. International as Songwriter/Artist of the year. They are never, ever breaking up.

7. Marilyn Manson: In what is actually a perfect fit, Manson is joining the cast of “Once Upon A Time.” The show creator said they wanted someone “with the vocal ability to make our skin crawl.” Oh, so he’ll be singing his lines, then...

8. Robert Plant: He went up to Misty Mountain and came down with some previously unreleased Led Zeppelin recordings. Is the new Beyonce album in the same hiding place?

9. A Tribe Called Quest: Following its Nov. 24 Madison Square Garden show with Kanye West, the seminal hip-hop collective will disband for good... at least until they reunite again.

10: Maxine Powell: Powell, who died this week at 98, held the unofficial title of Chief of Charm for Motown, training artists like the Jackson Five and Smokey Robinson how to dress and treat people. Can you imagine what she’d say to the likes of Rihanna and Miley Cyrus?

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'SNL': 10 observations about the new season after three shows
Credit: NBC

'SNL': 10 observations about the new season after three shows

Do hosts even matter any more?

We’re only three episodes into the thirty-ninth season of “Saturday Night Live." But that’s not stopping us from making ten observations about the current season as a whole. Who has shined? Who has faded into the background? What trends can we already detect?

Read on to find out about the current state of the show.

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<p>&quot;Reign&quot; star Adelaide Kane</p>

"Reign" star Adelaide Kane

Credit: The CW

Ratings Analysis: 'Vampire Diaries' fans leave 'Reign,' 'Elementary' struggles and more

And what moves might ABC make with its comedies?
So, was Friday a busy enough TV news day for you?
 
 
 
 
 
That delayed my ability to do any analysis on ratings and I really wanted to.
 
I really wanted to look at a handful of numbers from this week, but specifically a couple impressive figures regarding The CW's "Reign" premiere. 
 
So click through and let's get down to business.
 
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<p>Orlando Boom returns as a younger Legolas in &quot;The Hobbit:&nbsp;The Desolation of Smaug.&quot;</p>

Orlando Boom returns as a younger Legolas in "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug."

Credit: Warner Bros.

Orlando Bloom avoids deja vu returning as Legolas in 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug'

Oh, and a pretty good career move

WELLINGTON, NZ - Can you really go home again? Orlando Bloom is finding out as he returns to the world of Middle Earth in Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." Bloom reprises his role as the Elf with a bow, arrow and long luxurious blond hair, Legolas, that he originated in the Oscar-winning "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. And, frankly, it's not bad timing.

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<p>This employee was fooled by this fake mustache and fake ponytail</p>

This employee was fooled by this fake mustache and fake ponytail

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: Rising 'Undercover Boss' carries CBS to Friday wins

'Shark Tank' and 'Last Man Standing' rise for ABC
Fast National ratings for Friday, October 18, 2013.
 
CBS' "Undercover Boss" had a big week -- perhaps America loves Buffet Inc -- and helped the network dominated Friday overall and score a slim win among young viewers.
 
In other words, "Same as last week," only with "Undercover Boss" doing the heavy lifting, which was necessary since "Blue Bloods" was down a little in the demo and "Hawaii Five-0" was down a little in viewers.
 
Risers for Friday included "Last Man Standing" and "Shark Tank," while "MasterChef Junior" came in below last week.
 
On to the numbers, which aren't hugely interesting. Maybe with "Grimm" and "Dracula" premiering next Friday, things will get fun...
 
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'Doctor Who' puts together all 11 Doctors in 1 image


"Doctor Who" puts together all 11 Doctors in 1 image

The image was released as the BBC's is preparing to reveal a new trailer tonight featuring 50 years of "Who." UPDATE: Watch the "Day of the Doctor" trailer.


Fox will preview J.J. Abrams' "Almost Human" during "Bones"
The futuristic robot cop drama will get a special preview during Monday's "Bones" episode, at 8:25 pm.


Vince Gilligan: "Breaking Bad's" ending was NOT a dream
Gilligan also says the writers considered killing Baby Holly. PLUS: Here are the "Granite State" film canisters that were crushed by an airplane.


"The Mentalist" makes Rockmond Dunbar a series regular
The former "Prison Break" star had initially signed up for three episodes.


"Monday Night Football" will have its worst-ever matchup in its 44-year history
ESPN is paying $104 million for Monday's game between the 1-4 Vikings and 0-6 Giants.


Did "SNL's" "gender equality movement" leave out black women?
The women on the cast took over the show during Tina Fey's time, yet "Saturday Night Live" was still left with black men in drag playing black women. PLUS: Why are there so few black women in improv groups?


James Van Der Beek is returning to "HIMYM"

He'll reprise his role as Robin’s first boyfriend Simon.


"The Americans" casts a Cartoon Network star to play a Sandinista freedom fighter
Aimee Carrero recently appeared on "Level Up."


See the "Boy Meets World" cast, reunited

Cory, Topanga and Co. came together for Entertainment Weekly's Reunions issue.


"Smallville's" Tom Welling hit with divorce papers

Welling and his wife Jamie have been married for a decade.


MTV orders comedies about a high school and a theme park
Coming soon: "Faking It" and "Happyland."


Andie McDowell is done with "Girls" after watching Season 1
"I watched the whole first season of Girls with my daughters," says the "Cedar Cove" star. "I probably won’t watch the second season—it was too immature for me—but it was interesting. I’m going to sound like an ancient person, but I was rather shocked at what they can show on TV now!" PLUS: Go behind the scenes of "Girls" Season 3.


Amanda Plummer to guest on "Hannibal"
The "Pulp Fiction" star will play an acupuncturist who causes trouble.


Donald Trump: I've invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to Miss Universe Pageant in Moscow

"I know for a fact that he wants very much to come," says The Donald, "but we'll have to see. We haven't heard yet, but we have invited him."


Watch "The Crazy Ones" cast learn of their pickup
The Robin Williams-Sarah Michelle Gellar comedy has averaged 13.7 million viewers.


Mayim Bialik sues over car accident that nearly left her without a hand
The "Big Bang Theory" star was hit by a car filled with Chilean tourists last August.


Dolly Parton will play herself in a Lifetime Christmas movie
The country legend has joined the cast of "A Country Christmas Story," airing Nov. 9.


"Queer Eye" guys reunite on Sunday

Carson Kressley and Ted Allen will talk about how the Bravo show prompted them to come out.


Gordon Ramsay's original British "Kitchen Nightmares" is now on Netflix
And unlike the American version, it's actually tolerable to watch.


Why can't "Boardwalk Empire" capture any buzz?
The HBO series is quite good, but few are talking about it. PLUS: There are no more good guys left.


Bob Odenkirk's "The Birthday Boys": Have we reached a sketch comedy saturation point?

The IFC show is yet another sketch comedy with a white male sensibility. PLUS: Meet "The Birthday Boys."


Starz goes back to the 1930s for "Dancing on the Edge"

The British series follows a group of black jazz performers in London.


"Revenge" teases a "love rhombus"
What is a love rhombus? It's a love triangle with one extra person.


The Olsen Twins wore Chanel and Marc Jacobs on "Full House"
That's how Mary-Kate and Ashley got their fashion inspiration.

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<p>Pearl Jam</p>

Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam's 'Lightning Bolt' will blaze onto Billboard 200 next week

Seattle band's latest is one of seven debuts in the Top 10

Pearl Jam will claim the top spot next week with “Lightning Bolt.” The group’s 10th studio set will move close  to 180,000 copies. That’s 100,000 more than  Miley Cyrus’s “Bangerz,” which drops to No. 2 with sales of around 80,000.

The Seattle rockers are seven acts debuting in the top 10 next week:  Paul McCartney’s “New” will launch at No. 3 (75,000), Avett Brothers’ “Magpie and the Dandelion” at No. 4 (65,000), Scotty McCreery’s “See You Tonight” at No. 6 (50,000), The Head and the Heart’s “Let’s Be Still” at No. 8 (40,000), Willie Nelson’s “To All The Girls...” at No. 9, and Gavin DeGraw’s “Make A Move” at No. 10, according to Hits Daily Double.

There’s barely room for holdovers from this week, but in addition to Cyrus, Drake’s “Nothing Was The Same” is at No 5 and Lorde’s “Pure Heroine” is at No. 7.

Look for Pearl Jam’s stint at No. 1 to be brief as Katy Perry’s Prism, which comes out Oct. 22, is a lock to grab the top spot week after next.

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