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Credit: AP Photo

Metallica puts its Orion Music + More Festival on hiatus for 2014

Future of the two-day multi-artist event is in doubt

After two years of running the Orion Music + More Festival, Metallica will take 2014 off from the two-day fest to tour Europe instead.  It is unclear if the festival will return in 2015, according to Billboard.

The metal group started launched the multi-artist/multi-genre festival in 2012 in Atlantic City, N.J. and then held the 2013 edition in Detroit. The fests featured acts from all different formats of music hand picked by the band members, as well as attractions that focused on each of their personalities, including car shows, horror film tents, etc.

Back in September, Metallica lead singer James Hetfield told Billboard that he was pleased with how the second iteration went: “We loved it. I think it went smoother than the previous one.”

Even so, he added that the band and promoter, C3 Presents, weren’t sure if they were ready to commit to further festivals.  "It's the money part, man, at the end of the day... We know that festivals don't make money right away, for sure. It's not that we're out to make money; we're at least out to break even, and it certainly has not broken even yet. It's an expensive barbecue at this point."

With more dates to be added, Metallica has already announced six shows for its Spring/Summer European tour.


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HGTV 'Curb Appeal' star dies after a car crashes into his motorcycle

HGTV "Curb Appeal" star dies after a car crashes into his motorcycle
Bill Beckwith, who co-hosts the HGTV series, was riding his motorcycle last night in San Francisco when a car struck and killed. Beckwith was 38.

All original "Glee" stars were invited for Episode 100

Ryan Murphy tweeted: "ALL The Glee Originals received invites today to be in our 100th episode! More to follow."

Steve Buscemi pays a teary tribute to James Gandolfini
Watch the "Boardwalk Empire" star's salute to his former "Sopranos" co-star from last night's Gotham Film Awards. PLUS: Gandolfini's widow is still "expecting him to come through the door, come home."

Another death to hit "Nashville"
That'll be three deaths in less than a year.

"South Park's" 3-episode "Game of Thrones" trilogy ends this week

Wednesday's episode is titled "T*tties and Dragons." PLUS: "Game of Thrones" stars pose with their action figures.

Jay Leno lost control of the same model Porsche that Paul Walker died in
Leno spun out in 2005 while driving a Porsche Carrera GT at 182 miles per hour.

Watch the "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" Season 9 trailer

It includes Kanye's baseball park proposal to Kim.

"The Good Wife" adds British actor Matthew Goode
He'll recur as a prosecutor who befriends Alicia.

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<p>Alex Gibney's &quot;The Armstrong Lie&quot;</p>

Alex Gibney's "The Armstrong Lie"

Credit: Sony Classics

At least Alex Gibney got ONE of his docs to the next phase of Academy voting

Critical faves 'The Act of Killing' and 'Stories We Tell' survive the slaughter

The Academy has narrowed the field of 147 documentary feature contenders to 15, and the key omissions appear to be Alex Gibney's "We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks," Martha Shane and Lana Wilson's "After Tiller" and and Errol Morris' "The Unknown Known," among others.

However, Gibney can take heart that his other 2013 project, "The Armstrong Lie," was on the list. And most of the year's critical hits of the form — "The Act of Killing," "Blackfish," "Stories We Tell" — survived the slaughter.

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Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi

 Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi

Exclusive clip: Snooki has no regrets about her old, trashy life

The 'Jersey Shore' star says she's fit for a good reason

Remember the old Snooki? The drunken, sloppy, dancing-on-tables Snooki? Well, Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi is thin, fit and sober these days. She's doing things like appearing on "Dancing with the Stars" and taking care of her baby boy. But she's still funny, as we can see in this exclusive clip form "Oprah: Where Are They Now?" (Sun. Dec. 8 at 10:00 p.m. ET on OWN). And she has awesome biceps. So there!

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<p>Chiwetel Ejiofor in &quot;12 Years a Slave&quot;</p>

Chiwetel Ejiofor in "12 Years a Slave"

Credit: Fox Searchlight

Exclusive: '12 Years,' 'Rush' and 'Mandela' among 2013 films not eligible for WGA Awards

The annual guild pruning leaves room to maneuver for other hopefuls

John Ridley's adaptation of the trials and tribulations of former slave Solomon Northup, Peter Morgan's account of James Hunt and Niki Lauda's Formula One racing rivalry and Ryan Coogler's testament to the tragically short life of Bay Area father Oscar Grant are just a handful of screenplays that won't be eligible for nominations from the Writers Guild of America (WGA) this year, HitFix has learned.

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Louis CK signs exclusive deal to develop new shows for FX

Louis CK signs exclusive deal to develop new shows for FX
Under the deal, Louis CK will create new shows via his Pig Newton production company.

Showtime's "Inside Comedy" will feature Jimmy Fallon, Bette Midler, Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Season 3 will also include interviews with Jonah Hill, Zach Galifianakas, Dick Van Dyke, Alan Arkin and Richard Belzer.

"The Blacklist" ends the fall with its highest ratings since the finale
This week's episode was up 12% over last week.

"Inside Amy Schumer" returns in April, "Kroll Show" is back in January
Paul Giamatti and Questlove will be among the guests on Season 2 of Amy Schumer's comedy show, which returns April 1. Nick Kroll, meanwhile, will be back on Jan. 14.

Showtime teases "House of Lies"
Here's a glimpse of Season 3.

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Will CNN remake itself to look like Discovery, History, A&E and Nat Geo?

Will CNN remake itself to look like Discovery, History, A&E and Nat Geo?
CNN boss Jeff Zucker wants to shake up the news network to have "attitude" and to appeal to viewers of those cable networks. "The goal for the next six months, is that we need more shows and less newscasts," he says, noting that the No. 1 show on CNN is Anthony Bourdain's "Parts Unknown."

Netflix is breaking away from the binge-watching model with "Turbo Fast"
The first five episodes of the Dreamworks Animation kids show will be released on Christmas Eve, while the rest of the episodes will be spread out in 2014.

"The Real World: Ex-Plosion": Watch the 1st trailer

Here's a glimpse of the game-changing season. PLUS: Inside the house.

"Sesame Street" visits "Watch What Happens Live"
Andy Cohen today is filming "Watch Yuck Happen Live" with Oscar the Grouch.

Listen to "The Sound of Music Live" soundtrack

The songs from the Dec. 5 musical starring Carrie Underwood are now streaming.

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<p>Megan Boone on Monday's &quot;The Blacklist&quot;</p>

Megan Boone on Monday's "The Blacklist"

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: 'Blacklist' fall finale ends strong as NBC wins Monday

Lack of 'Dancing' frees up some Monday viewers
Fast National ratings for Monday, December 2, 2013.
With "Dancing with the Stars" done for this installment, NBC's "The Voice" got a big week-to-week bump, as did "The Blacklist," which ended its 2013 run with its best numbers in months. The result was easy Monday wins in all measures. 
[Note that NBC had the NFL preemption in New Orleans, so there will be some drops in Finals.]
Without ABC's viewer-hogging reality hit, CBS' "Mike & Molly," "2 Broke Girls" and "Mom" all rose slightly overall, though the absence of "Dancing" couldn't keep "Almost Human" from another small drop in its third week. 
Meanwhile, holiday programming kept ABC in second overall and lifted "The CW" very slightly above its normal Monday averages.
On to the numbers...
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<p>Alexandre Desplat</p>

Alexandre Desplat

Credit: Chasen & Co

Alexandre Desplat talks 'Philomena' and a busy decade full of Stateside success

The role call of directors he's worked with in a short amount of time is staggering

It was 10 Decembers ago that a French composer named Alexandre Desplat burst on to the Hollywood movie scene with his gorgeous score for "Girl With a Pearl Earring." He earned his first Golden Globe nomination for that work, and after continual quality achievements on films like "Birth," "Syriana" and "The Painted Veil," he earned his first Oscar nomination seven years ago for "The Queen." It has been nothing but up since then, as he has now earned five Oscar nominations and worked with directors ranging from Roman Polanski to Stephen Frears, Wes Anderson to Stephen Daldry, Terrence Malick to Tom Hooper, Kathryn Bigelow to George Clooney and David Fincher – and that’s just in the English language.

His latest score is for the newly released and highly regarded "Philomena." The chance to catch up recently was particularly meaningful for me, given that we first spoke the year Desplat earned his nomination for "The Queen," which was both his first Oscar nomination and the first year of In Contention's Tech Support column.

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<p>Roger Deakins&nbsp;(left)&nbsp;and director Andrew Dominik on the set of &quot;The&nbsp;Assassination of Jesse&nbsp;James by the Coward&nbsp;Robert Ford&quot;</p>

Roger Deakins (left) and director Andrew Dominik on the set of "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford"

Credit: Warner Bros.

Roger Deakins reflects on 'The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford'

With the revival around the corner, an appreciation of the cinematography

This weekend the revival of "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" finally becomes a reality. The hard work Jamieson McGonigle has put into this thing behind the scenes is something to behold and notice has been taken across the net, his mission statement even making it into a New York Times Business section piece a few weeks back. I've been honored to have a hand in it all and look forward to hopping a plane later this week to share in the spirit out in Queens Saturday night.

In the run-up to that event, a number of outlets — Ain't It Cool News,, Film School Rejects, The Film Stage and HitFix — will be offering up appreciations of various elements from the film. As you might have expected, it's on me to look back on Roger Deakins' next-level photography, and the pleasure is all mine.

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<p>Emily Bett Rickards, Stephen Amell and David Ramsey are the power trio in &quot;Arrow.&quot;</p>

Emily Bett Rickards, Stephen Amell and David Ramsey are the power trio in "Arrow."

Credit: CW

You have not failed this city: Catching up on 'Arrow'

The second-year DC Comics adaptation has it all over 'SHIELD'

A few weeks ago, I wrote a column about the disappointing early returns from "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD," which has thus far come across as a show designed by focus group to appeal to the broadest group possible, and which as a result appeals deeply to no one. In response, several readers suggested I give another shot to the CW's "Arrow," primetime's other current superhero series, which I had all but forgotten about after a few competent but unremarkable episodes last fall, but which they insisted was succeeding at so much of what "SHIELD" was struggling with.

Having watched a handful of season 1 episodes(*) and all of season 2 to date, I can say that they were right. "Arrow" isn't perfect, but it has a much better understanding than "SHIELD" of what it wants to be and what its strengths and weaknesses are. The folks at ABC/Disney/Marvel might want to take note.

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<p>Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire in &quot;The Great Gatsby.&quot;</p>

Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire in "The Great Gatsby."

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Roundup: 'Gatsby' goes down well in Down Under Oscars

Also: Variety picks 10 Directors to Watch, and J.Law's image expertise

At present, Baz Luhrmann's spring hit "The Great Gatsby" has at least two Oscar nominations in the bag: bids for Production and Costume Design are assured, and it could well win both. Other tech nods are feasible, but while Warner Bros. are putting the campaign dollars in, above-the-line nominations seem unlikely. At the Australian Academy Awards, however, it's a different story: the blockbuster scored a leading 14 nods, including Best Picture and a quintet of acting citations for Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Elizabeth Debicki and Isla Fisher. (Sorry, Tobey.) I suspect it'll lose out to Australia's heartwarming Oscar submission "The Rocket" in the top races, but "Gatsby" devotees can briefly savor heavyweight status.[AACTA]

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