Latest Blog Posts

NBC 'disappointed' in 'Michael J. Fox' ratings, but will stick with it if numbers stay put

NBC "disappointed" in "Michael J. Fox" ratings, but will stick with it if numbers stay put

NBC already ordered a full season more than a year ago. "I'm disappointed," says NBC's head of research and program planning, Jeff Bader. "I just think it deserved more sampling than it got. It's not that the show was rejected. It's not like they came and they didn't come back. I'm hoping we’re still going to get more sampling."

Is Jimmy Kimmel losing credibility?

Following his twerking prank, Kimmel is having trouble convincing some that the Kanye West rant isn't also a put-on.

"Once Upon a Time" goes to Neverland

The ABC drama's bosses preview the dark trip, and meeting Peter Pan.

Will "SNL's" overwhelming whiteness become a problem this season?
Six new white cast members won't help "Saturday Night Live's" diversity problem. PLUS: Which "SNL" characters will be featured prominently this season?, and the 8 biggest transitional seasons in "SNL" history.

"Homeland" Season 3 seems like it blew itself up, just like the CIA building was blown up
"That is," says James Poniewozik, "it's a version of what it might have been like if–as was apparently the original plan–Brody’s explosive vest did go off in that government shelter at the end of season 1. And it works, mostly, at least for the two hours of the season’s beginning. A series like Homeland can’t keep sprinting from crisis to crisis without devaluing the idea of crisis in general. If its big moments are to matter, then they have to be given time to land." PLUS: Season 3 is back on track, Season 3 is messy and hard to figure out, why "Homeland" should dump Brody, Is "Homeland" the most sexist show?, Dana Brody gets an absurd amount of screentime, and Season 3 feels at times like a newborn foal on wobbly legs.

How to deal with Sunday's TV crunch
"Breaking Bad" is ending at the same time as "Homeland" is premiering and "The Good Wife," "Family Guy" and "Revenge" are returning.

Mindy Kaling gets insulted when she's asked, "Where do you get your confidence?"
"I think people are well meaning, but it's pretty insulting," she tells Parade. "Because what it means to me is, 'You, Mindy Kaling, have all the trappings of a very marginalized person. You're not skinny, you're not white, you're a woman.  Why on earth would you feel like you're worth anything?'" PLUS: Kaling wears a shaving cream bathing suit.

Michael K. Williams on "Boardwalk Empire": "It's a huge season for me personally"
"I've never been this involved in a big storyline in anything that I've done," he says.

Joss Whedon: Wonder Woman doesn't work on TV
"I know she’s famous as a television show," he tells EW, "but I don't think she lends herself to television. I think she only works on an epic scale. I saw a bit of the David E. Kelley (NBC pilot). That was not a good marriage."

Phil Keoghan: "The Amazing Race" is more competitive this year
That's because, he says, the casting made a point of selecting very competitive people. PLUS: How the "Race" is planned out, and "Amazing" champ Jen Hoffman weds.

"Eastbound & Down": Behind the scenes of the final season

On the set, Danny McBride is nothing like Kenny Powers. PLUS: "Eastbound" is as bleak as "Breaking Bad."

"The Mentalist" returns

It's the beginning of the end for the Red John storyline.

What to expect as "The Good Wife" kicks off Season 5
The co-creators say of this season: "Once you start that first domino going, there are certain things that had to happen and we knew what they would be." PLUS: "Good Wife" is TV's most tech-savvy show, and inside the costume design.

"Revenge" tries to get back to its roots in Season 3

With a new showrunner, "we're sort of finding our footing," says Emily VanCamp. "I think we’re trying to ground the show again, , and get it back to its original roots," she adds.

Even James Cromwell can't save "Betrayal"
The ABC drama takes its soapy storylines to seriously.

HBO's "Hello Ladies" gets tiresome fast
Stephen Merchant's oblivious a-hole character has been seen too much before, particularly on his and Ricky Gervais' "The Office." PLUS: "Hello Ladies" is awfully obvious, and there's no depth or bite.

What's great about "Masters of Sex": There are no antiheroes
"There are no secret pasts on this show," says Andy Greenwald, "no torturous moral choices, no blood-splashed detours into noble crime and unavoidable murder. There are no antiheroes. There aren't really any heroes at all, and the only bad guys are ignorant, not evil. Yes, there's dirty talk, but the rest of the show feels refreshingly scrubbed and bright. Masters of Sex isn't a radical TV series for the raciness of its content but rather the character of it. It's a clean break: a cheerful, clinical corrective to what has come to be an overwhelmingly dark decade of prestige TV." PLUS: "Masters" is the best new show of the season, there's no sexploitation, how the 1950s clothing was re-created, it's a triumph of concept and casting, and how "contemporary" Lizzy Caplan ended up on "Masters."

Read Full Post
<p>Rupert Boneham of &quot;Survivor: Blood vs. Water&quot;</p>

Rupert Boneham of "Survivor: Blood vs. Water"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Rupert Boneham talks 'Survivor: Blood vs. Water'

Fan favorite discusses being this season's first castaway out
In the 27 season history of "Survivor," few players have become as synonymous with the game as barrel-chested, gravel-voiced Rupert Boneham, who had the tremendous good fortune to be the perfect man-for-his-time on the pirate-themed "Pearl Islands."
That popularity was then parlayed into appearances on "All-Stars" and "Heroes vs. Villains," with Rupert winning a million bucks courtesy of a vote by America, but never finishing higher than fourth.
Rupert's fourth "Survivor" appearance was his shortest yet, as he was the first player sent home on the new "Blood vs. Water," an odd achievement given that he was never on a losing tribe, he never went to Tribal Council and he never had a vote cast against him.
Instead, Rupert voluntarily took the place of wife Laura when her tribe of newbies voted to send her to Redemption Island before the game even began. After a few days on Redemption Island, Rupert lost the first Arena duel, a task involving the balancing of 10 spools and offering no outlet for Rupert's vaunted strength.
In the season's first exit interview, Rupert discusses the not-so-difficult decision to put himself in danger for his wife, the Redemption Island successes we didn't see and his desire to play for a fifth time.
Click through for the full conversation...
Read Full Post


Credit: Al Powers/AP

Drake' 'Nothing Was The Same' changes everything on next week's Billboard 200

Rapper is one of six debuts in the top 10

It will be another week of huge debuts on the Billboard 200 album chart next week as six albums bow in the top 10.

No one comes close to Drake, whose “Nothing Was The Same” will sell up to 695,000 copies, according to Hits Daily Double. That gves it the second-highest debut sales week of the year, second only to Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience,” which sold 968,000. This will mark his third consecutive No. 1 album and will surpass his previous weekly high, 631,000 for “Take Care.”

Following Drake in a distant second will be Kings of Leon’s “Mechanical Bull,” which will sell up to 120,000 copies. Cher’s “Closer To The Truth” will bow at No. 3 with 70,000, while Elton John’s “Diving Board” comes in at No. 4 (45,000-50,000).

This week’s No. 1, Jack Johnson’s “From Here To Now To You,” slides to No. 5 (40,000), while former No. 1, Luke Bryan’s “Crash My Party” goes to No. 6 (37,000), while staying atop Billboard’s Country Albums Chart.
The other new entries in top 10 belong to Dream Theater, whose self-titled album launches at No. 7 (35,000), and Sting with “The Last Ship” at No. 10 (23,000).

Rounding out the top 10 are Justin Moore’s “Off The Beaten Path”  at No. 8 (27,000) and 2 Chainz’ “B.O.A.T.S. II #Me at No. 9 (23,000).

Read Full Post
<p>&quot;Gang Related&quot;</p>

"Gang Related"

Credit: FOX

Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Gang Related'

A strong cast elevates this fast moving B-movie for TV

[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots. I know some people will be all "These are reviews." If you've read me, you've read my reviews and you know this isn't what they look like.]

Show:"Gang Related" (FOX)
Airs:Midseason TBD
The Pitch: "It's 'Fast & Furious' meets 'The Departed.'" [I'd have gone with "Infernal Affairs," but it's not that literate.]
Quick Response: I feel like I have a very good sense of what "Gang Related" is and how well it's achieving its aspirations. With Chris Morgan, writer of all of the "Fast/Furious" films from "Tokyo Drift" on as creator, there's a welcome bluntness to "Gang Related." It's straight-up testosterone-laden, smashmouth exploitation TV and there's nothing like it on a major network these days. There are badass cops, badass Latino gangsters and, thanks to pilot director Allen Hughes, just a tremendous, digitally shot depiction of the underbelly of Downtown Los Angeles and East LA. Nobody's going for nuance, but I like the unapologetic B-movie sense of stripped-down fun that it has. An amazingly diverse cast is fronted by Ramon Rodriguez, capably escaping the shadow of his brief run as Bosley on ABC's "Charlie's Angels." You've also got strong supporting performances from the likes of RZA, Jay Hernandez, Sung Kang, Terry O'Quinn and at least one end-of-episode cameo from an actor who I hope will become a regular, because he adds nice continuity with another locally set cop show. Cliff Curtis, The Maori George Clooney, doesn't fit with the show's casting verisimilitude, but as the Godfather of Latino Gangsters, he's chowing down on scenery like the Kogi truck just rolled into his neighborhood. There's a lot of thematically high-minded talk about family and loyalty and the American Dream, but it's really more about abrupt reversals and moles and narcs and LA's unique immigrant stratification. I heard a couple colleagues say negative things about "Gang Related," but I think they were watching it thinking that it's aspiring to be an HBO or AMC-style drama with aspirations of being taken seriously. I didn't get that at all. What I got was a show that probably would be perfectly happy just to be a popcorn-y, somewhat glib version of "The Shield." OK. Make that "a lot glib." But this is a great cast and it really doesn't look like any other cast out there and at least 65 percent of the actors are playing characters with shading, not just stereotypes. And really, I can't speak highly enough about the cinematography, which has a "Collateral"-lite look to it. Even when "Gang Related" gets silly -- a "Gangnam Style" punchline desperately needs to be excised, since it'll already be 18+ months out of date by the time this show premieres -- this is a show I'd look at every week if it can maintain these production values. "Gang Related" may not have quality, but it has attitude and swagger.
Desire To Watch Again: Kinda strong. I reserve the right to decide by the second episode that "Gang Related" has shifted from guilty-pleasure urban crime fantasia to straight-up trash. I can imagine it going in that direction. But for now, it's on the right side of things. If you want "Southland," you'll be disappointed, but if you like the blustery machismo of "Fast & Furious" on the small screen? This could work out well.


Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'The 100' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Resurrection' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Surviving Jack' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'About a Boy' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Believe' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Us & Them' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'Star-Crossed'  
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'Intelligence' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Crisis' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Rake'  
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'Mom' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Lucky 7'  
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Dads' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Super Fun Night'  
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Welcome to the Family' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'The Millers' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'The Goldbergs' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Ironside'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'We Are Men' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Almost Human' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Back in the Game' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Sean Saves the World' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'Reign' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'The Crazy Ones' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Enlisted' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Betrayal' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'The Blacklist' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'The Tomorrow People' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'Hostages' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Sleepy Hollow' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Trophy Wife' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'The Michael J. Fox Show' 
All of my 2012 Take Me To The Pilots Entries
All of my 2011 Take Me To The Pilots Entries
All of my 2010 Take Me To The Pilots Entries


Read Full Post

'Unforgettable' renewed for Season 3

"Unforgettable" renewed for Season 3
The once-canceled CBS drama will be back next summer.

Read Full Post
<p>The American Society of Cinematographers' clubhouse in Hollywood.</p>

The American Society of Cinematographers' clubhouse in Hollywood.

ICG honors contributors to cinematography including a familiar HitFix face

Sometimes it's nice to be on the other side

The International Cinematographers Guild (ICG) held a celebratory luncheon at the ASC clubhouse today to showcase the winners of the 2013 Emerging Cinematographers Awards. Those honorees will have their work screened during a special ceremony at the DGA Theater on Sunday night. Friday, the guild took a few moments to honor four more experienced gentlemen for their contribution to the cinematic arts at the American Society of Cinematographers Clubhouse in Hollywood.

Read Full Post

'Modern Family' mulling a spinoff, possibly with Rob Riggle

"Modern Family" mulling a spinoff, possibly with Rob Riggle
Riggle, who played Phil Dunphy's real estate rival Gil Thorpe in two episodes last season, is one of the names being floated for a potential spinoff. The spinoff proposal, though, is still in the early stages.

Read Full Post
<p>Robin Wright gives, quite literally, the performance of her lifetime in Ari Folman's new film 'The Congress'</p>

Robin Wright gives, quite literally, the performance of her lifetime in Ari Folman's new film 'The Congress'

Credit: Drafthouse Films

Review: Robin Wright shakes loose reality in 'The Congress'

A stunning adult mediation on identity in the digital age

Ariel Folman's "Waltz With Bashir" was a strong use of animation to express something personal, a worldview that tried to paint an emotional picture of what it's like to have gone through something harrowing, tied to both your religious and national identity, something that skews your perception for the rest of your life. I was quite taken with the film when it came out, and I have seen it a few times since on Blu-ray, and find it quite beautiful and sad.

One of several films to premiere at Cannes this summer before playing Fantastic Fest in Austin this month, "The Congress" is something else entirely. Loosely working from a novel by Stanislaw Lem, whose work was also the basis of "Solaris," Folman has made the movie that Andrew Niccol was desperately straining to make with "SimOne." The result is a beautiful, eccentric science-fiction story about the liquid nature of identity in the digital age and what it is that defines performance in the first place. Robin Wright stars as a savagely fictionalized version of herself, facing the end of her career in the form of industry-wide indifference thanks to years of meltdowns, rejected offers, and questionable creative decisions. Her agent, played by Harvey Keitel, comes to her with what is described as "the last offer you'll ever get," delivered by the unflinchingly blunt Danny Huston as a studio head who remembers the promise of the young Buttercup and who is angry at the reality of who Wright has become.

Read Full Post
"Secret Sex Lives: Swingers"

 "Secret Sex Lives: Swingers"

Credit: TLC

Exclusive: It's a wedding on the finale of 'Secret Sex Lives: Swingers'

Not every couple is feeling so committed, though

Sadly, "Secret Sex Lives: Swingers" is wrapping up, and in the season finale our intrepid couples are questioning their commitments to one another and, in one case, walking down the aisle and sobbing about it. Yeah, I'm not sure why they're bothering to get married either, but maybe Rebecca just wanted the dress. This exclusive clip from the show (which airs Sat. Sept. 28 at 10:00 p.m. on Discovery Fit & Health) reveals exactly what happens when swingers get together. 

Read Full Post

Fox orders 'Man/Child' pilot starring Damon Wayans Jr.

Fox orders "Man/Child" pilot starring Damon Wayans Jr.
The "Happy Endings" and "New Girl" alum will star in a comedy about single dads.

A&E remaking French zombie drama "The Returned"

Ex-"Lost" boss Carlton Cuse is in talks to adapt the French series, which Sundance Channel will air for Halloween.

"The Love Boat" is getting a musical

A Vegas stage show called "The Love Boats" is set to launch next year, featuring music from 1977 to 1986, the years the series ran.

"Game of Thrones" casts Hizdahr zo Loraq

British actor Joel Fry will play the "young scion of an ancient Meereenese family who crosses paths with Daenerys Targaryen."

Watch the newest "Walking Dead" promo

Featuring a glimpse of "The Wire's" Larry Gilliard Jr.

"Young and the Restless" picks up a "Lost" alum

Cynthia Watros will begin on the soap in November.

"Parks and Rec" is returning to the Indianapolis Colts stadium
Amy Poehler is expected to be on hand to shoot scenes at Lucas Oil Stadium. Last December, the guys on the cast filmed scenes on the Colts' football field.

Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Kate Upton are officially a coupl
The Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover model is dating the former "Dancing" hunk.

Read Full Post
Watch: The Killers' new video for 'Shot At The Night'

Watch: The Killers' new video for 'Shot At The Night'

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas

Bella Heathcote plays a maid who gets her prince in The Killers’ new video for “Shot At The Night,” the first single from the band’s best-of collection,  “Direct Hits," out Nov. 11.

Faster than you can say “Blackjack,” she ditches her cleaning cart for an evening out with her dark and mysterious Romeo, played by Max Minghella, and his friends, who are all perfectly fine with the Cinderella-in-the-making crashing their evening. She returns to the hotel before she turns into a pumpkin, but keeps her magic slipper.

Ever see the Jennifer Lopez/Ralph Fiennes movie, “Maid In Manhattan?” It’s kind of like that but shorter and cuter and there’s no “happily ever after” far as we know.

Filmed at The Cosmopolitan, the clip serves as a love letter to the Killers’ hometown, Las Vegas, with the city lovingly shot.

Read Full Post
"The Blacklist"

 "The Blacklist"

Credit: NBC

Listen: CulturePop No. 27 - Guest Jim Colucci, 'Real Housewives,' 'Hostages'

Listen: CulturePop No. 27 - Guest Jim Colucci, 'Real Housewives,' 'Hostages'

Melinda and I have to admit that we've had amazingly good luck with getting fun, fascinating guests for our CulturePop podcast, and this week was no exception. Jim Colucci, author of "The Q Guide to the 'Golden Girls'" and "'Will & Grace': Fabulously Uncensored" and the Must-Hear TV correspondent for 'The Frank DeCaro Show on Sirius XM, joined us to talk about both old and new TV shows, including "The Real Housewives of New Jersey," "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and, of course, that beloved '80s sitcom. And yes, we're definitely having him back soon. Here's the rundown: 

Read Full Post