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<p>Craig T. Nelson as Zeek in &quot;Parenthood.&quot;</p>

Craig T. Nelson as Zeek in "Parenthood."

Credit: NBC

HitFix First Look: On 'Parenthood,' Zeek and Sarah enjoy a snack

Coach and Lorelai Gilmore doing Whip-its? What more do you need?

On last week's episode of "Parenthood," Zeek Braverman was left home alone after wife Camille decided to take a month-long trip to Italy without him. Zeek and Camille's rift has been one of this season's better story arcs, but it's mostly been played for pathos so far. This clip (exclusive to HitFix for the next few hours) from tomorrow night's episode, "The Ring," suggests at least a few laughs are in store for Zeek as he comes to find some advantages to living life Macaulay Culkin-style, with some supplemental food help from kids like Sarah.

Enjoy. "The Ring" airs tomorrow night at 10 on NBC.

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<p>Mark Wahlberg and Charlize Theron at last night's &quot;Lone Survivor&quot; party.</p>

Mark Wahlberg and Charlize Theron at last night's "Lone Survivor" party.

Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

Roundup: Oscar and all tomorrow's parties

Also: 'Lone Survivor' makes a splash, and what happened to Holly Hunter?

The Oscar race may be a little under four months away, but the campaign circuit is already in full swing in Hollywood, where any number of industry screenings, Q&A's, parties, dinners and other glad-handing events are vying for the time and attention of voters. Glenn Whipp considers today's packed diary, with competing events for "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," "12 Years a Slave," "Her," "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" and "Inside Llewyn Davis," and wonders if things have already gone too far. "It's out of control," one academy member said of the barrage of events. Says one Academy member, "It's out of control ...people are already burned out. I'm just going to put on my pajamas and wait for the screeners to start arriving." The heart bleeds, doesn't it? [LA Times

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<p>Briga Heelan and Skylar Astin in &quot;Ground Floor.&quot;</p>

Briga Heelan and Skylar Astin in "Ground Floor."

Credit: TBS

Review: TBS' 'Ground Floor' a retro comedy treat

Opposites attract comedy from Lawrence & Malins a reminder that multi-cam can be fun

Sometimes, when I suggest a show is aspiring to be "the best new sitcom of 1979," it's meant to suggest that the newcomer leans too much on old storytelling ideas that have outlived their usefulness. Some old ideas, though, get left behind through no fault of their own, and can be awfully valuable to the person who remembers to pick them up. When "NCIS" debuted, for instance, it felt like the best new drama of 1983, but for all the right reasons.

The sitcom "Ground Floor," which debuts with back-to-back episodes Thursday night at 10 on TBS, is the latter kind of retro. It's a traditional multi-camera sitcom, shot on a stage in front of an audience, featuring lots of punchlines and big physical comedy. Aside from a few uses of profanity — because it's a cable show that airs after 10 o'clock in the year 2013 — you could send these episodes back in time to NBC in the mid-late '90s and it would instantly be one of the better comedies outside that top tier of "Seinfeld," "Frasier" and "Friends."

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Best Animated Feature 2014: Is this the weakest year for the category to date?

Best Animated Feature 2014: Is this the weakest year for the category to date?

An lackluster slate could bring Walt Disney Animation that elusive first Oscar win

Last week the Academy announced its list of 19 films submitted for consideration in this year's Best Animated Feature Film Oscar race. Not all 19 are immediately eligible as there are other criteria they have to pass first, but even if two or three are knocked from the list (and only one really looks to be nixed), there will be at least 16 contenders, meaning the Academy's animation branch has the option of nominating up to five films.

But even then, that's just a ceiling, not a requirement. And in a year as seemingly weak as this for the category, it's entirely possible not enough movies hit high enough marks in the scoring process to even get it to five. Nevertheless, with the list out, it seemed the perfect opportunity for us to wrap up our weekly contender galleries feature. So have a look below to see what we're thinking and feel free to comment on this year's Best Animated Feature Film race in the comments section. Also, if you haven't already, sign up for HitFix Oscar Picks and make your own predictions.

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<p>Bruce Dern and Will Forte do superlative work as a difficult father/son team in Alexander Payne's new film 'Nebraska'</p>

Bruce Dern and Will Forte do superlative work as a difficult father/son team in Alexander Payne's new film 'Nebraska'

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Review: Will Forte and Bruce Dern do great small-scale work in Alexander Payne's 'Nebraska'

A difficult father-son drama lands a gentle punch

Bob Nelson's got to be floating on air right now. The screenwriter of the new film "Nebraska" has been working in the industry since at least 1996, and this is his first produced feature. Not only did he manage to find a filmmaker who was excited about his work, but that filmmaker turned out to be Alexander Payne, and the film is a smart, subtle, stripped-down gem, a low-fi version of what we're used to seeing Payne do. Even better, Nelson's script may finally earn Bruce Dern a sort of lifetime achievement award, a full season of people seeing the veteran actor's praises thanks to a performance that highlights what it is he's done so well for so long.

Woody Grant (Bruce Dern) is, for lack of a better term, an old cuss. He has never been particularly easy on his sons David (Will Forte) and Ross (Bob Odenkirk), and his wife Kate (June Squibb) has long since curdled. As he's gotten older, Woody has maintained a more and more tenuous grasp on reality, and it seems like he may have finally turned a corner. He has become fixated on a piece of sweepstakes mail that came to his house, convinced that he's won a $1 million prize, and all he has to do is get to their office in Nebraska to pick it up. Each day, he starts out to make the trip on foot, and it's become a real problem for his family and for local law enforcement. He seems to have no regard for the conditions or the weather or how he's going to survive while he's en route.

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Jimmy Smits and Katey Sagal in 'Sons of Anarchy'

Jimmy Smits and Katey Sagal in 'Sons of Anarchy'

Credit: FX

'Sons of Anarchy' recap: Tara's last stand in 'Huang Wu'

Jax faces a series of big decisions involving Tara, Galen, Clay and Patterson

By now we know what's working, and what's not working, this season on "Sons of Anarchy," and "Huang Wu" suffers for focusing too much on the wrong half of that equation. After last week's episode so effectively built up urgency and suspense, this week's was the equivalent of letting the air slowly out of a balloon that had been primed to pop.

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"The Originals"

 "The Originals"

Credit: The CW

'The Originals': Who will win the war - Marcel or Klaus?

Klaus can't be killed, but Marcel has that pocket witch...

In tonight's new episode of "The Originals' (Tues. at 8:00 p.m. on the CW), we got a few surprises. Klaus bit Elijah with his killer hybrid spit! Tyler's back! Oh, and Marcel didn't steal Hayley last week -- Tyler did. I'm not sure I bought much of Tyler's cameo appearance, as much as I enjoyed seeing him again (even if he did show up on "The Vampire Diaries" just to take a crap on Caroline's heart).

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<p>Malcolm D. Lee</p>

Malcolm D. Lee

Credit: HitFix

Malcolm D. Lee talks 'the Black Pack' in 'Best Man Holiday'

What has changed in African-American cinema since the director's initial film?

Malcolm D. Lee is fairly comfortable calling his first film "The Best Man" a "classic" African-American-centered film. The 1999 flick was "one of the movies that started it all, so to speak, with African-American movies, African-American as just being American, just being human beings and not always causing mayhem and what-have-you." 

That doesn't mean "The Best Man Holiday," that film's sequel, doesn't have its fair share of what-have-you, which is stoked by its returning cast like Terrence Howard, Melissa De Sousa and Taye Diggs. In the 15 years that it's taken to arrive at the next chapter of the "Best Man" story, Lee said he wanted to arrive at a story that was more "complex, sophisticated and worthy" of the talents from what he calls his Black Pack.

But the holidays will bring out the crazy out of anyone, and Lee said that choosing to work with a Christmas-themed story helped "illustrate" and push along his plot. Family holidays don't hurt a color palate, either, with lush decor and stage-like scenery for brawls, breakups, perils, absurdities, music and celebrations of the couples from the film.

Watch our full interview above on how Lee knew his timing was right for a sequel more than a dozen years on, and how to portray deep topics like faith in a non-cheesy way. Stay tuned for more interviews from the cast.

"The Best Man Holiday" is out on Friday (Nov. 15).


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<p>An impromptu game of baseball breaks out on this week's 'Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.'</p>

An impromptu game of baseball breaks out on this week's 'Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.'

Credit: ABC/Marvel Studios

Another solid episode of 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' puts Fitz and Ward in harm's way

If they keep this up, the show might actually get good soon

"Trust the system."

Right away, this episode felt different to me. The opening sequence, in which Coulson (Clark Gregg) and the rest of his team rescue an Agent Shaw from an underground base in Siberia in order to retrieve whatever information Shaw has managed to steal, felt to me like an episode of "Alias," and that's high praise if we're talking about spy TV. I like starting shows like this in media res. I'm not sure about those dodgy hover-sled effects, but I like the energy and the ambition of the way this episode kicked off.

Saffron Burrows is introduced this week as Agent Victoria Hand in a major classified base called The Hub. We haven't had many looks so far at the larger infrastructure of S.H.I.E.L.D., and for Skye, this is her first look at it as well. I like how Simmons references the Triskelion in passing, and there are a few other passing nods to the larger world that feel like they would have actually happened instead of just being fanservice. That's hard to pull off, but they're getting better at it. Bonus points for even getting the hair coloring right on Hand. Longtime comic fans are going to be pleased to see that sort of detail included.

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'SNL' releases Lady Gaga promos

"SNL" releases Lady Gaga promos
Watch her run sideways.with Kenan Thompson.

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<p>Andy Samberg and Stacy Keach in &quot;Brooklyn Nine-Nine.&quot;</p>

Andy Samberg and Stacy Keach in "Brooklyn Nine-Nine."

Credit: FOX

Review: 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' - 'Old School'

Jake tries too hard to impress a hard-boiled reporter from the '70s

A quick review of tonight's "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" coming up just as soon as I choke a hippie to death with his own ponytail...

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CW is rebooting 'Tales from the Darkside'

CW is rebooting "Tales from the Darkside"

The '80s George A. Romero's classic series is being updated by Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Stephen King's son, the horror writer Joe Hill.

Josh Holloway's "Intelligence" will premiere in January instead of February; "Hostages" ends Jan. 6
The CBS drama will kick off on Jan. 13 instead of its original premiere date of Feb. 24.

Laura Prepon to appear in 4 "Orange is the New Black" episodes next season
She was originally expected to appear in just one episode.

Taiwanese animators stick up for Jimmy Kimmel by bashing the Chinese government
Next Media Animation says: "Commie Chinese puppets demand Jimmy Kimmel's head on a spike?"

George R.R. Martin won't allow anybody else to write books set in "Game of Thrones" world
"Not while I'm alive," he says. "But eventually I will not be alive because Valar Morghulis – all men must men die."

Amanda Peet stopped having her say on "Game of Thrones" scripts
Peet, who is married to "Game of Thrones" co-creator David Benioff, used to read the scripts in advance to offer her suggestions. But not anymore. "I want to be surprise," she tells Vanity Fair. "I just want to be a fan." What's it like living amid a "Game of Thrones" world? "Even last night I was yelling at him because he was freaking looking at dailies in my bed," she says.

Unemployment boosts "SpongeBob's" ratings
About 5.2 million viewers watched "SpongeBob, You're Fired," the Nickelodeon show's best ratings in two years.

Jimmy Fallon won't pretape the first minutes of his "Tonight Show"

In 2009, Conan O'Brien ran across America to kick off his "Tonight Show." But Fallon says, "I don't think it will be a pretaped bit. I probably want to do it live." He adds: "I know the first guest, kind of."

President George W. Bush returns to "The Tonight Show" next week
Bush, who last visited with Jay Leno to promote his book in November 2010, will be Jay's guest on Nov. 19.

Will Jerusalem-shot "Dig" become USA's "Breaking Bad"?
The archaeology thriller, expected to air next fall, is USA's most expensive and ambitious drama. It's from Tim Kring and the man behind "Homeland," Gideon Raff.

Damon Wayans Jr. has breathed new life into "New Girl"

"He really kind of rounds out the energy of the cast," says Zooey Deschanel. "It's amazing. He's hilarious, so it's fun. It's just like having one more really hilarious person on set. We love his personality."

Joan Rivers slams Jennifer Lawrence for slamming "Fashion Police"

Lawrence dissed the E! show for being too mean-spirited.

John McCain co-sponsoring the "FANS Act" to curb sports blackouts

The Furthering Access and Networks for Sports (FANS) Act would eliminate the FCC's sports blackout rule.

Shenae Grimes to reveal her disappointment with the "90210" finale
Grimes has set up a chat with "90210" fans, where, she says, "I want to candidly speak out about my experience with YOU, my loyal fans who are looking for the same closure I didn't find with our finale."

"Sons of Anarchy": TV's most sexist show?
Why does the FX series keep its women boxed into stereotypical roles?

"Vampire Diaries" couple back together in real life?
Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder are reportedly hooking up again.

Jerry Seinfeld & Louis CK discuss The Gettysburg Address

Watch the latest video from Ken Burns.

Michael J. Fox: "Don't piss off Taylor Swift"
Fox talks to Letterman about his Taylor Swift feud, stemming from this year's Golden Globes.

Is speculation the new spoiler?
Sometimes, speculating about a show could ruin plot twists.

Why "The Originals" is better than "The Vampire Diaries"
There are great villains on "The Originals," and it's not bogged down by doppelgängers.

"Homeland" Season 3 has proven to be superior to Season 2
This week's episode shows the writer know where they're going.

Read "The Simpsons'" animation No-No's
How not to draw Lisa Simpson.

Katey Sagal releases her 1st album in 9 years, says she's now more recognized for "Sons of Anarchy"
Sagal says more people look at her these days as Gemma Teller than "Married with Children's" Peg Bundy.

"The Mindy Project" has become so good it's surpassed "New Girl"
Mindy Kaling's comedy is no longer a work in progress. PLUS: Kaling says: "It's not like Danny and Mindy are Jim and Pam."

YouTube star Shane Dawson signs on for NBC's "Losin' It"
Dawson will star in an autobiographical weightloss comedy from the creator of "The Big C."

Yes, "NCIS" is a hit among young viewers
The CBS drama isn't just for old people. PLUS: "NCIS" "newspaper" to cease publication.

Hoda Kotb is staying on "Today"

Kotb has signed a new, multi-year deal with NBC News.

Fox orders "Here's Your Damn Family" from Johnny Galecki
The "Big Bang Theory" star is producing a comedy about a 30-something son whose mom marries a man with three teens.

See "The Addams Family" cast in color
Check out new pics that are totally different from the black and white version.

Andy Dwyer returns to "Parks and Rec"

Watch a preview of Chris Pratt's return from Thursday's episode. PLUS: 6 "Parks" guys pose for a final photo together.

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