Latest Blog Posts

"Duck Dynasty"

 "Duck Dynasty"

Credit: A&E

'Duck Dynasty' season premiere breaks all records

The season premiere is the top nonfiction series telecast in cable history
Hello, networks? You may want to take notice of a bunch of guys with ZZ Top beards who make duck calls for a living, because their ratings are blowing your shows and everyone else's out of the water. On Wednesday night, 11.8 million viewers tuned in to see the season premiere of "Duck Dynasty," making the episode the number one nonfiction series in cable history. That's right, in history.
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'Duck Dynasty's' season premiere sets a new cable record

"Duck Dynasty's" season premiere sets a new cable record
The 11.8 million watching last night's Season 4 premiere represents the most-watched nonfiction telecast in cable history. A 2009 "Jon & Kate" episode held the previous record.

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<p>Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman are together for the first time since 'Air Force One' in the new film 'Paranoia'</p>

Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman are together for the first time since 'Air Force One' in the new film 'Paranoia'

Credit: Relativity Media

Review: 'Paranoia' wastes Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman in a limp predictable thriller

Liam Hemsworth fails to impress in his biggest role yet

"Paranoia," based on a novel by Joseph Finder, resembles the template for early John Grisham films or for Oliver Stone's "Wall Street," stories in which the young hungry guy who wants to make a name for himself falls under the scrutiny of an older mentor figure who then tempts them down the path of wrongdoing, ultimately leading to a moral crisis for the lead. As directed by Robert Luketic, "Paranoia" is professional in every way, but there's no pulse to it. It is entirely adequate, livened up only by a few supporting turns.

Part of the problem is Liam Hemsworth, who seems like a charming enough guy, but who doesn't really have any onscreen energy. It doesn't help that he's caught between two CEOs locked in a pissing match that's gone on for years, or that those two CEOs are played by Gary Oldman, who savors every bite of the scenery that he takes, and Harrison Ford, who manages to suggest a real inner life for his character with very limited screen time. There's one great scene in the movie where Oldman and Ford come face to face and they play this subtle, funny, furious game of "Which One Of Us Is The Alpha Male?" that leaves poor Hemsworth stranded, standing there between them and completely out of his weight class.

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"Breaking Bad"

 "Breaking Bad"

Credit: AMC

Listen: CulturePop No. 23 - 'Breaking Bad' writer/director George Mastras

Our special guest has stories that will stun you

Melinda and I were thrilled to get a chance to talk to "Breaking Bad" writer/director George Mastras this week. We love the show (Mastras is Emmy nominated for the season five episode "Dead Freight," which he wrote and directed), but we'd be eager to talk to this guy anyway -- he's a former lawyer, criminal investigator, novelist, world traveler and grade A storyteller. Whether or not you watch "Breaking Bad," you owe it to yourself to hear what Mastras has to say about the creative process, why he's not rooting for Walter White anymore, and one of the scariest travel encounters we've ever heard. Tune in. You won't regret it. [SPOILER ALERT: If you're very behind and haven't gotten as far as season 5, episode 5 of "Breaking Bad," you may want to save this podcast (and read no further) until you watch it.].

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Josh Gad joining Billy Crystal on FX's 'The Comedians'

Josh Gad joining Billy Crystal on FX's "The Comedians"

"The Book of Mormon" and "1600 Penn" star is going back to the small screen, producing a comedy in which he plays Crystal's younger and hipper sketch-partner on a late-night comedy show.

TNT renews "Major Crimes," "Rizzoli & Isles" and "Perception"
They'll return for a respective 3rd, 5th and 3rd seasons.

Andy Richter is headed to "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"

He'll guest as a doorman.

Stephen Colbert to Kevin Spacey: "Why should you get an award for TV when you're not on TV?"
The pair discussed "House of Cards'" success last night on "The Colbert Report."

Nickelodeon cancels "Wendell & Vinnie"

The freshman comedy was yanked after 14 episodes and several timeslots.

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Ryan Murphy: Cory Monteith's 'Glee' character won't die from an accidental drug overdose

Ryan Murphy: Cory Monteith's "Glee" character won't die from an accidental drug overdose
"That was something we had considered" for Finn Hudson, says Murphy. "But we have decided that we're not going to have him pass from that. Basically, what we're doing in the episode is we are not telling you yet, or maybe not at all, how that character died. The idea being, how somebody died is interesting and maybe morbid, but we say very early on in the episode, 'This episode is about a celebration of that character's life.'"

Networks are bidding on the next Tina Fey comedy
Fey and her "30 Rock" partner Robert Carlock have another comedy in the works, one that's set at a women's college that starts accepting men.

Oprah has the urge to give away a car on "Jimmy Kimmel Live"

She got "that feeling" during an interview with Kimmel.

Watch Jimmy Fallon's transformation into "Breaking Bad's" Heisenberg

Fallon previewed his "Joking Bad" parody, which will air in September.

USA announces fall premiere dates

"White Collar" and "Covert Affairs" return Oct. 17.

"Game of Thrones" Season 3 box set is shaped like a dragon
Check out an artist's rendering of the DVD set, due out in February.

"Chicago Fire" launches a contest to find the top firehouse dog in America

Three winning pooches will appear on "Today," with the final winner getting a cameo on the NBC drama.

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<p>Zhang Ziyi in &quot;The Grandmaster.&quot;</p>

Zhang Ziyi in "The Grandmaster."

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Martin Scorsese lends his name to Wong Kar-wai's 'The Grandmaster'

Will it boost the film's fortunes ahead of its August 23 release?

Ever since it landed slightly softly at the Berlin Film Festival back in February, it seems The Weinstein Company has been doing its best to re-engineer “The Grandmaster” less as an art house item than as a crossover piece. It’s probably for the best. Wong Kar-wai devotees, hungry for the film after years of protracted waiting, will catch the film regardless, whether or not its critical reception improves upon its US release. Genre enthusiasts, however, will need more persuading on a film that, given Wong’s trademark flourishes of woozy romanticism, is still far from conventional martial-arts fare. 

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<p>Amber Heard seems happy that her first major movie, 'All The Boys Love Mandy Lane,' is finally about to hit theaters, just as she's promoting her newest movie, 'Paranoia'</p>

Amber Heard seems happy that her first major movie, 'All The Boys Love Mandy Lane,' is finally about to hit theaters, just as she's promoting her newest movie, 'Paranoia'

Credit: HitFix

Liam Hemsworth and Amber Heard talk about their mini-movie in the midst of 'Paranoia'

Plus listen to me make an out-of-left field Walter Hill reference

I'm not sure if it's going to happen for Liam Hemsworth, but one thing's sure: he's being given every opportunity to prove himself a movie star.

There are, of course, plenty of famous siblings who have managed to find places in the entertainment industry, but there are also plenty of cases where one person in the family eclipses everyone else in terms of fame and employment. Sometimes it comes down to the luck of the draw. Someone gets the right role at the right moment and they blow up. Sometimes it comes down to charisma. You aren't always photogenic just because your brother or your sister is. And right now, with both Chris and Liam Hemsworth in the early days of their careers, it's hard to tell if they're both going to end up carrying movies.

So far, Chris has been way more high visibility, and it's his work in films like "Red Dawn" or "Star Trek" or "Cabin In The Woods" that has me convinced he's the real deal. Thor is certainly a very high visibility part, but Chris has shown that even in films that don't completely work, he's able to come in and create a magnetic, interesting performance that stands out. "The Avengers" isn't just a gimme, where anyone could have done equally well in the role. Chris Hemsworth makes smart choices as an actor, and he has this great decency that shines through even in short appearances.

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'Eastbound & Down' books Lindsay Lohan

"Eastbound & Down" books Lindsay Lohan
Lohan is in North Carolina this week filming a wedding scene for the HBO series.

"Modern Family" to tackle the U.S. Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling
The season premiere will address gay marriage, but no further details have been divulged.

"Mad Men's" Kiernan Shipka joins Lifetime's " Flowers In The Attic" movie
She'll join Heather Graham and Ellen Burstyn in the movie based on the controversial V.C. Andrews book.

AMC could be in for a windfall from "Breaking Bad" advertising dollars
One analyst says the series finale could be the biggest cable event since "The Sopranos" ended in June 2007.

Sandra Oh hopes "Grey's Anatomy" doesn't kill off Cristina Yang
"I don’t want them to off me," she says of her character.

"Chicago Fire" casts Mena Suvari
She'll recur as a friend of Isabella's.

Eva La Rue to guest on "Criminal Minds"

The "CSI: Miami" alum tweeted the news this afternoon.

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<p>Matthew Lillard and Emily Rios in &quot;The Bridge.&quot;</p>

Matthew Lillard and Emily Rios in "The Bridge."

Credit: FX

Review: 'The Bridge' - 'ID'

Sonya struggles to bond with their witness in Diane Kruger's best hour yet

A review of tonight's "The Bridge" coming up just as soon as I eat my freedom fries...

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<p>The more benign a mask is, the creepier it ends up being, and the animal faces in 'You're Next' are incredibly effective</p>

The more benign a mask is, the creepier it ends up being, and the animal faces in 'You're Next' are incredibly effective

Credit: Lionsgate

An exclusive image from the animal-masked killers of 'You're Next' has us worried

Looks like Lionsgate is trying everything they can for their horror release

I can't believe "You're Next" is actually arriving in theaters this month.

I saw the film the first time at the Toronto International Film Festival almost exactly two years ago, and I thought at the time that it seemed like a natural to get picked up for distribution. At the time, it seemed like a big jump forward for Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett, and this was before the two "V/H/S" films raised their profile so significantly. The movie stuck me as an easy crossover hit, the kind of film that mainstream audiences love because it feels so rough and raw and fringe, but it's got a recognizable shape, a hook that works well, and a heroine who audiences can really invest in. It is a commercial film not because it is expensive and heavily marketed, but because it is so good at delivering kicks, start to finish.

Lionsgate has said from the very start that they were all aboard, and they've certainly lived up to that in the way they've tried to reach audiences during those two years. They've kept the film active on the festival circuit, so the buzz built gradually, and it sustained, and they've really kicked it up since about March or April of this year. They had a strong presence at Comic-Con, and I would imagine everyone on the entire team flipped out when Michael Fassbender found one of the animal masks in the podium when he came out for the "X-Men: Days Of Future Past" panel. All of a sudden, one of the most covered events of the entire event turned into a beautiful bit of accidental marketing.

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"Big Brother"

 "Big Brother"

Credit: CBS

'Big Brother' recap: Will McCranda take control of the house?

Andy is the HoH, but will he do what he's told?

It's hard for me to believe, but Amanda has somehow morphed from a fun, occasionally charming presence in the house to an entirely annoying, bullying monster -- and it looks like she's calling all the shots. As one half of McCranda (a two-headed creature that occasionally bickers with itself), she has no problem pouting, coercing and letting personal vendettas rule her decision-making. I'd call this bad game play if it wasn't proving itself so effective. 

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