Ordinarily, if a film festival announced its lineup and I found I'd already seen over 60 of the selections, I'd probably strike it from the to-do list. But it's a testament to the strength and breadth of this year's London Film Festival programme, which was announced this morning, that I'm still excited to dive into it. The LFF remains one of the world's great cherry-picking festivals: only 22 of the 234 features screening over the 12-day fest are world premieres, but it's a comprehensive catch-up of highlights from Cannes, Venice, Toronto, Berlin and Sundance, to name just its biggest suppliers. For any UK readers getting itchy over our Venice, Telluride and upcoming Toronto coverage, this should be your first port of call.
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A few weeks ago we posted about a new countdown clock on her website that was ticking down the days, minutes, hours and seconds until Britney Spears made some kind of announcement that was sure to shake the earth off its axis.
We speculated that it may be a new single, announcement of a new album, or, finally, confirmation of her long-rumored residency at Las Vegas’ Planet Hollywood.
The Las Vegas stint moved to the head of the line today with this little Spears nugget from BreatheHeavy. The fan site devoted to ALL THINGS BRITNEY notes that an email was sent to employees of Planet Hollywood and its parent, Caesars Entertainment, inviting them to “the biggest announcement in Las Vegas Entertainment History” on Sept. 17. If that bit of hyperbole doesn’t mean Britney’s coming to town, what else could it possibly mean?
The event, believe it or not, runs from 1:30- a.m. -9:30 a.m. Invitees will meet at Planet Hollywood and be shuttled to some secret underground bunker for the announcement. OK, we made up the secret underground bunker part, but apparently, the announcement will take place off site (h/t Idolator).
In the meantime, wouldn’t it be really cool if Sept. 17 were when Spears’ duet with Miley Cyrus surfaced? As a reminder, producer Sean Garrett confirmed the duet with Vibe last week, calling the collaboration for “Bangerz” “fun, exciting [music].” The only question is will they twerk together in the video?
Bill Nye on joining "Dancing with the Stars": "It will be a personal exploration"
"I’ll be fighting decades of bad posture, which may prove my undoing," The Science Guy writes in a blog post. "But of course, I'm a competitive guy; I am in this to win. It will be a personal exploration; whenever we explore we make discoveries (like how to stand up straight at last), and we have an adventure. As unusual as this may seem, I believe we can broaden awareness of the Society and thereby humankind's exploration of the Cosmos one ballroom dance at a time. Here's hoping you'll tune in." PLUS: Jack Osbourne wants to bring attention to MS, there's a "Saved by the Bell" reunion on this season's "Dancing," and Anna Trebunskaya is pregnant and sitting out this season.
Elizabeth Hurley to play The Queen on E!'s "The Royals"
She'll play the devious and conflicted Queen Helena on E!'s drama about a fictional royal family, from the creator of "One Tree Hill."
Jane Lynch honored with a Hollywood Walk of Fame star
The "Glee" star's ceremony was attended by Ryan Murphy.
Fourteen years after its premiere, the underappreciated Matt Groening and David X. Cohen animated series says goodbye tonight on Comedy Central. PLUS: David X. Cohen looks back, and why "Futurama" was better than "The Simpsons."
A&E orders a "Nashville" reality show
"Crazy Hearts: Nashville" will follow aspiring country music artists as they strive for stardom in the country music capital.
Teresa Giudice is bringing her attorney to "Real Housewives" reunion taping
The federally indicted Bravo star is limited in what she can say publicly.
W. Kamau Bell returns tonight with a daily "Totally Biased" on FXX
What was his reaction to getting a 130-episode pickup?
FXX debuts in an odd way
"It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," "The League" are on a new night, up against FX's "The Bridge." That's so both comedies won't face tomorrow's NFL game, yet it'll likely confuse viewers who have no idea where FXX is located on their dial.
"The Good Wife" books Jason O'Mara
The Irish actor will play an Irish lawyer who's defended gangsters in Ireland and is now joining Lockhart/Gardner.
Chicago TV station accidentally hangs up on Oprah
"WGN Morning News" was left red-faced when an automated voice cut off the media queen.
NBC orders "Former Fat Girl"
The comedy based on the book "10 Lessons from a Former Fat Girl" is from J.J. Philbin (Regis' daughter) and "Friday Night Lights" and "Parenthood" honcho Jason Katims.
"The Walking Dead" lifted its no more "The Wire" people policy for Lawrence Gilliard Jr.
Gilliard says producers worried about having too many "Wire" alums, especially with Chad Coleman already on the cast.
Kerry Washington: I'm going to continue not talking about my secret wedding
The "Scandal" star covers next month's Glamour, where she doesn't tell all about her wedding to NFL star Nnamdi Asomugha.
Ex-drug kingpin can relate to "Breaking Bad's" Walter White
Cavario H., who had a crack distribution network in the '80s, says he writers really got Walter's evolution right. PLUS: "Hank" jealous of "Marie" and Michael J. Fox, and watch the "Breaking Bad" rock opera.
Were the James Franco roast's gay jokes actually offensive?
One writer argues that they didn't demean gayness or gay sex.
Watch "Parks and Rec's" Season 5 gag reel
More than 20 minutes of hilarity.
"It's Always Sunny" returns: Promoting Season 9 in Swedish was "really, really hard"
Glenn Howerton says doing a full Swedish episode would be very hard to pull off.
Cinemax will air the UK "Strike Back: Origins" starring Andrew Lincoln
The original "Strike Back" also starred Richard Armitage before changing over its cast.
Why "The League" is the closest thing we have to a new "Seinfeld"
The FXX series returning tonight has a co-creator, Jeff Schaffer, who was a key part of "Seinfeld." PLUS: Seth Rogen helped write a Rafi and Dirty Randy episode.
Report: "Dr. Phil" to address "Bachelor" star Gia Allemand's suicide
Allemand's mom and Jake Pavelka are reportedly appearing on next Tuesday's show.
Why are "Under the Dome" characters so uninteresting?
The CBS series needs to cut back on the dome and invest more in its characters.
Cookie Monster gets tamed by a British actor
Watch the "Sesame Street" star learn an important lesson in waiting.
"The Voice's" Adam Levine launching a Kmart menswear line
Levine's collection will include button-down shirts, cargo jackets and baseball caps.
Simon Cowell films an "X Factor" Israel promo with Bar Rafaeli
Rafaeli is the host of the Israeli version.
What if the "Felicity" theme had subtitles?
"Oooh de oh oh...."
Jeff Probst defends "Survivor" bringing back Redemption Island
"I just like that format," he says.
Anthony Anderson will host NBC's family game show "Wall of Fame"
The trivia show will feature a celebrity wall of fame.
See pics of Mindy Kaling's shorter hairstyle on "The Mindy Project"
Here are some season premiere photos.
"CSI:NY's" AJ Buckley is becoming a dad
He's expecting his first child with his fiancée, an oncology nurse.
It’s finally ended: “Blurred Lines’” 12-week reign atop the Billboard Hot 100 comes to a stop this week as Katy Perry’s “Roar” ascends to No. 1 following 2 weeks at No. 2. “Roar,” the first single from Oct. 22’s “Prism,” is Perry’s eighth No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Robin Thicke’s “Lines,” featuring Pharrell and T.I. drops to No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, while still remaining at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart for the 13th week and in the pole position on Billboard’s R&B Songs chart for at 16th week.
Eminem is definitely back as “Berzerk,” the official first single from “MMLP2,” screams onto the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 3, making Eminem’s 15th top 10. The song bows at No. 1 on Billboard’s Rap Songs chart.
Even though Miley Cyrus’s show-stopping VMA performance of “We Can’t Stop,” her hit slips one to No. 3 (the song actually gains in streaming and sales and airplay, but can’t compete with Eminem’s arrival). Cyrus’s new song, ballad “Wrecking Ball,” could reach the Top 10 next week, as it soars 50-14 this week.
Jay Z’s “Holy Grail,” featuring Justin Timberlake, rises one to No. 5.
Rounding out the Top 10, Lady Gaga’s “Applause” retreats 4-6, not a great sign, given that she opened the VMA’s with the tune. Streaming on the single falls 29%, although it is still gaining in sales and in airplay. Avicii’s “ Wake Me Up,” the DJ’s first Top 10 hit, stays at No. 7.
In addition to Eminem, the other newcomer to the top 10 this week is Lorde’s “Royals,” which rises 12-8. The multi-format hit remains atop the Alternative Songs airplay chart for the fourth week and climbs to No. 1 on the Hot Rock Songs chart.
Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” falls 5-9 in its 53rd week on the Hot 100, and Lana Del Rey’s “Summertime Sadness” falls 9-10.
By now I imagine the well-worn quotes of glee from James Cameron regarding Alfonso Cuarón's "Gravity" have made it across your browser, but we might as well point to them, too.
Four years ago Cameron's "Avatar" became the highest grossing film of all time and made a huge impact as an experience, a roller coaster ride of a film. Cynicism has had its way with it since but I still think it's a major accomplishment in filmmaking, just as I do "Gravity."
Cuarón's latest is a full-on ride, as immersive an experience as you could hope for in a movie. It puts you right there with Sandra Bullock, having its way with your equilibrium. So it's high praise when a guy like Cameron calls it "the best space film ever done."
"Dancing with the Stars" has announced a new cast for season 17, and it's the usual array of ringers, has-beens, up-and-comers and miscellaneous entertainers. Still, a few of these names might come as a surprise to fans (and others will be altogether new). Here's our thoroughly unscientific guide to who has a shot, why they may not, and how we expect them to perform.
If you missed "Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell" on FX last season, good news. The show is moving over to FXX for season two (debuts tonight at 11:00 p.m.), and it will no longer be on just once a week -- but nightly. It's a big step for Bell, who has added more writers and tripled his production staff for the supersized gig. But for the guy who made rape jokes a hot button topic when he asked comedian Jim Norton and Jezebel.com writer Lindy West to take opposing sides of the issue, coming up with new ideas that make Twitter blow up should be no problem. I talked to Bell during press tour, and here's what he had to say about that pivotal debate, the topic he wants to tackle next, and why he might be just the right guy to do it.
Every time I write about Cinemax's "Strike Back" returning for another season, I always have to include a footnote explaining that the show aired for a year in the UK with an entirely different cast, headed by Richard Armitage and future "The Walking Dead" star Andrew Lincoln. Armitage's John Porter appears briefly at the start of the Cinemax/Sky co-produced version of the show, but Cinemax has largely treated its episodes as the start of the series, while British audiences know the series predates Philip Winchester, Sullivan Stapleton and company.
That situation is about to change, as I'm hearing that Cinemax will be airing the six-episode Armitage season later this fall, on Fridays at 10 after the current Winchester/Stapleton season wraps.
So I know I was on vacation, but I wasn't cut off from civilization. I was looking at Twitter occasionally, reading a few e-mails at the end of the night. As a result, I'm still catching up on stuff that evidently was discussing, and I felt like one story in particular deserved a second look, because I'm not sure why it seems to have been almost completely shrugged off.
Isn't anyone else curious what's taking so much time with "Fury Road"?
Maybe it's just me. I've been hearing talk about this film for a decade now, and when it comes to George Miller, there are few film fans who are more passionate about him. I think Miller is all-time-pantheon good at what he does, and I think it's a shame he hasn't been treated with a little more reverence. He should be. He is a straight-up kinetic genius, a whiz when it comes to cranking up the tension in a sequence. There is a chase that takes place in "Babe: Pig In The City" that is every bit as thrilling and sincere as the big chase near the end of "Mad Max 2," aka "The Road Warrior," and only Miller could treat both of those scenes they way he did. Only he would stage them and shoot them the way he does. There's no one else who has the same eye that Miller has. I don't understand the magic trick in "Lorenzo's Oil," where he makes it feel just as urgent to have someone read something in a book as it is to break past Lord Humungous and his horde.
Jon Stewart's "Daily Show" return attracts 2 million
That's up from the 1.45 million on average who watched Stewart's final two weeks before taking 12 weeks off.
"Tomorrow People" recruits "Downton Abbey" alum Dan Stevens
He'll voice biological computer TIM.
"Big Brother" star Aaryn is not a racist, says her black "valentine"
Shawn Onyechi was friends with Aaryn in college -- though they didn't date -- and has the pictures to prove it.
Judge Greg Mathis' life to become a sitcom, from producer Ellen DeGeneres
The proposed Fox camera follows a hoodlum-turned-judge who has no control of his family home.
"Frasier's" Jane Leeves to guest on "We Are Men"
The "Hot in Cleveland" star will recur as Tony Shalhoub's hairstylist.
Check out "The Walking Dead" Season 4 poster
Rick stands alone.
Back in the summer, the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast went video, as Dan and I went on camera to discuss the Emmy nominations, and then the TV critics press tour. Over those two shows, we learned all sorts of exciting things about how to talk with our hands, proper eye contact, use of props and more.
Now the plan is for Firewall & Iceberg videos to be a weekly show on HitFix, premiering sometime this fall. We have many questions to answer about the show between now and debut day, and we wanted to broach one of them to you, the audience. Our graphics team has cooked up two different versions of a logo for the series: one based on the podcast's familiar color bars, one taking the heat and cold of the title more literally.
I've embedded a poll in this post, and you guys can vote on which you prefer. We will happily go with whichever one gets the most votes, and we'll share more details about the video show as we can.
He’s back! Though he's not returning for good (sigh), Michael Kors is joining the panel of "Project Runway" (Lifetime, Thurs. at 9:00 p.m. ET) as guest judge in this week’s episode and he has got a lot to say about…poopy pants. Yes, poopy pants.