Latest Blog Posts

The Emmys has its biggest audience since 2005, thanks to the NFL


The Emmys has its biggest audience since 2005, thanks to the NFL
CBS' decision to air NFL games immediately before last night's broadcast boosted the Emmys' ratings 33% from last year, with 17.63 million viewers tuning in.


Emmy Awards producer defends, dissects last night's broadcast
Ken Ehrlich explains why there was no opening musical number and reveals that the guy behind Neil Patrick Harris was a bit planned by the show.


"Breaking Bad" hits another Emmys ratings mark with penultimate episode
Last night's episode was watched by 6.6 million.


Report: Jon Hamm to undergo throat surgery
The "Mad Men" star reportedly has two large polyps on his vocal cord, though Hamm's rep has yet to confirm or deny the diagnosis. PLUS: Hamm sells his NYC home for $2.5 million.


"Glee" recreates iconic Beatles covers
See the "Glee" cast on Abbey Road and "Let it Glee."


"Dexter" exits with its best-ever audience

About 2.8 million tuned in last night, up from the 2.7 million who watched the Season 7 finale.


Bethany Joy Lenz joins E!'s "Songbyrd"
The "One Tree Hill" alum will play a songwriter on the E! scripted drama from the producers of "Smash."


Tina Fey suffers wardrobe malfunction on Emmy stage

As she was accepting an award for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series, her dress "gaped" in the front.

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"The Real Housewives of New Jersey"

 "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" 

Credit: Bravo

'Real Housewives of New Jersey': The battle has begun... again

Victoria Gotti drops in but Penny's the star of the show

I get it, I get it. Given that this is the penultimate episode of the season, there was going to be a lot more talking and a lot less action than we might like. Action, I think, we get next week, when Joe Gorga probably starts throwing punches and Teresa ugly cries and Penny kicks off her high heels and runs for her life as Jacqueline rips the weave off her head and Kathy desperately asks, "WHY CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?" It's pretty clear the wheels are about to come off the wagon, but no way are we going to see anything more than a loosening of the bolts this week.

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<p>Cher</p>

Cher

Cher kicks off 'Dressed To Kill' tour in March

Check out her performance on 'Today' this morning

Several years past her farewell tour and her Las Vegas residency, Cher is returning to the road again for the "Dressed to Kill" outing.

The tour, in support of her new album, "Closer To The Truth," starts March 22, 2014  in Phoenix and will cover 49 North American cities before concluding in San Diego at the Valley View Casino Center on July 11.

Cher announced the tour on the "Today" show this morning. Cher's "Farewell Tour," which then, appropriately enough, changed its name to the "Never Can Say Goodbye Tour," played for 325 dates, so this first leg of the "Dressed To Kill" tour may be just the beginning.

Tickets go on sale to American Express cardholders on Sept. 30 and then will be open to the general public.

See the tour dates below the video of Cher's performance of "Woman's World" this morning on "Today."

 

CHER ‘DRESSED TO KILL’ TOUR

Sat, March 22                    Phoenix, AZ                        US Airways Center
*Mon, March 24                 Houston, TX                       Toyota Center
*Wed, March 26                 Dallas, TX                             American Airlines Center
Fri, March 28                      Little Rock, AR                   Verizon Arena
Sat, March 29                     Tulsa, OK                             BOK Center
Mon, March 31                 Nashville, TN                      Bridgestone Arena
Wed, April 2                        Pittsburgh, PA                  Consol Energy Center
*Fri, April 4                            Washington DC                 Verizon Center
Sat, April 5                           Uncasville, CT                    Mohegan Sun
Mon, April 7                       Toronto, ON                       Air Canada Centre
Wed, April 9                       Boston, MA                        TD Garden
Fri, April 11                          Indianapolis, IN                 Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Sat, April 12                        Detroit, MI                          Joe Louis Arena
Wed, April 23                     Buffalo, NY                         First Niagara Center
Fri, April 25                          Montreal, QC                     Bell Center
Sat, April 26                        Ottawa, ON                        Canada Tire Centre
*Mon, April 28                     Philadelphia, PA               Wells Fargo Center
Wed, April 30                     Columbus, OH                   Nationwide Arena
Fri, May 2                            Cleveland, OH                   Quicken Loans Arena
Mon, May 5                        Charlotte, NC                     Times Warner Cable Arena
Wed, May 7                        Raleigh, NC                         PNC Arena
*Fri, May 9                            Brooklyn, NY                      Barclays Center
*Sat, May 10                         East Rutherford, NJ         Izod Center
*Mon, May 12                     Atlanta, GA                         Philips Arena
Wed, May 14                     Jacksonville, FL                  Veterans Memorial Arena
Fri, May 16                          Orlando, FL                         Amway Center
Sat, May 17                         Ft. Lauderdale, FL            BB&T Center
Sun, May 25                       Las Vegas, NV                    MGM Grand
Wed, May 28                     Denver, CO                         Pepsi Center
Fri, May 30                          Lincoln, NE                          Pinnacle Bank Arena
Sat, May 31                         Kansas City, MO               Sprint Center
Mon, June 2                       Louisville, KY                      KFC Yum! Center
Wed, June 4                       St. Louis, MO                     Scottrade Center
Fri, June 6                            Milwaukee, WI                 BMO Harris Bradley Center
Sat, June 7                          Chicago, IL                           Allstate Arena
Mon, June 9                       Des Moines, IA                 Wells Fargo Arena
Wed, June 11                     Minneapolis, MN             Target Center
Fri, June 20                         Winnipeg, MB                   MTS Centre
Sat, June 21                        Saskatoon, SK                    Credit Union Centre
Mon, June 23                     Edmonton, AB                   Rexall Place
Wed, June 25                     Calgary, AB                         Scotiabank Saddledome
Fri, June 27                         Vancouver, BC                  Rogers Arena
*Sat, June 28                        Seattle, WA                        Key Arena
Mon, June 30                     Portland, OR                      Moda Center
*Wed, July 2                         San Jose, CA                       SAP Center at San Jose
Sat, July 5                            Ontario, CA                         Citizens Business Bank Arena
*Mon, July 7                         Los Angeles, CA                Staples Center
*Wed, July 9                         Anaheim, CA                      Honda Center
Fri, July 11                           San Diego, CA                    Valley View Casino Center

 

 

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<p>Kings of Leon</p>

Kings of Leon

Interview: Kings of Leon's Jared Followill on the band's pranks and a new chapter

How the hiatus helped the group have fun again on 'Mechanical Bull'

After taking some time off to lead regular lives, Kings of Leon return Sept. 24 with “Mechanical Bull,” the Followill family’s sixth studio album, its follow-up to 2010’s “Come Around Sundown.”

The set, recorded in the band’s own studio in Nashville, is a lively, loose-limbed affair, bolstered by such rollicking tracks as “Don’t Matter” and “Family Tree,” the gentle “On The Chin” and “Beautiful War,” and first single and modern rock hit, “Supersoaker.”

Bassist Jared Followill, who joins his brother Caleb and Nathan in the band, as well as his cousin Matthew, tells HitFix that the hiatus did them good, both musically and personally.  Below is our conversation, edited for space.

You guys have laughed when reporters have asked ask if there was a chance that you were going to break up, especially after Caleb walked off stage in Dallas in 2011 and your canceling the rest of the U.S. tour, but it’s certainly not unheard of for brother acts to split. Was this hiatus always planned or did you think you may actually break up?  

Actually, we started talking about [taking time off] after [2008’s] “Only By the Night.” After that album cycle, we were going to take some time off. Then “Only By the Night” kind of  blew up and [the label]  wanted us to make another album and we were like, “Let’s go ahead and do it and ride the success.” While we were in the studio for “Come Around Sundown,” we were like, “We can’t believe we’re already back. We’re going to be immediately back on the road doing all this stuff over again.”  So we said, “You know what? After this record cycle, we’re going to take a year off.”

When we cancelled the tour, we actually finished the touring cycle after that. We went to South Africa and we went to Australia for a month. We did Canada for a few weeks, but people think we just canceled Dallas and then took a year off.  Any spat or any argument that we’d gotten in was made up the night after Dallas. It wasn’t after a long drawn out thing. Having that year off was not because we thought we were going to break up or we necessarily needed to be away from each other as much as we wanted to have a little bit of time off and have a normal life.

Not that you’re asking for sympathy, but it can be very draining living on the road.


Our job isn’t necessarily that hard, it’s just very time consuming. And there’s tons of travel and stuff like that and a lot of people think, “Man, traveling the world, that’s amazing.” And it absolutely is. But if you do that as a job, it becomes a little less glamorous and it takes a little bit of the romance out of traveling the world when that’s... what you do for a living. I mean we never thought that we were going to take five years between an album or anything like that. We just wanted one year to go home to Nashville, sit on the internet, go to Whole Foods and not do anything, just be normal people for a little bit.

All the band members contribute to the songwriting process. How quickly do you know if you’re got a song or are just riffing on something you should abandon?

That’s hard to say... we’re not super quick. When we go to the rehearsal space and start writing. We will literally jam on a song and play it for an hour straight. Sometimes you have to sift through an hour and 20 minutes and you always skip it towards the end because that’s when you really start to get into it. But we’ve jammed on some pretty songs for about two hours before we knew that we wouldn’t use them.

But you’re having fun...

Exactly. You kind of know once you listen to them You can do something that is really fun to play and then you’ll take it home—our sound guy will burn it to a CD  for us— and listen to ourselves jamming  and it might be really fun to play it, but it sounds kind of cheesy or it just wouldn’t work for us.

You guys were playing pranks on each other all the time in the studio with shock buzzers and whoopee cushions. Having grown up together, it seems like the element of surprise would have long gone away when it comes to pranks.

I know. The weird thing is it’s a phenomenon we just got into. When we were kids, we didn’t really do anything and now that we’re adults, it’s like we’ve regressed in maturity.

The band hosted Pettyfest in Nashville this past weekend. What’s your favorite Tom Petty song or favorite Petty era?

There are so many. He’s one of the worst artists to ask that question because he just has so many great songs. There are so many bands you could say, “What’s your favorite song?” I’d say, “Obviously, it’s that one.. that’s head and shoulders above the rest,” but there are so many songs...As a kid I remember hearing “Last Dance With Mary Jane” and stuff like that on the radio and then as you get older, you go back and hear more and more and “American Girl.” There’s so many that you can just go back and all of his albums are amazing.

One of the more touching songs on the album is “On The Chin,” about being there to support someone. It almost sounds like it could be to about your family or would brothers never write anything that sweet to each other?

So many of our songs can be interpreted in so many different ways. At the time you can actually write something and it can be completely abstract to you at the time and then a year later,  something will happen to you and and you’ll listen back and be like, “Wow, that song sounds like it was written perfectly for the situation.” But that song, particularly, the way Caleb started writing those lyrics, it was for one of his friends, his buddy, JD.  It’s actually about that, then you hear it and it can mean so much. It can fit so many different situations. It can be for all of us together, it can be for our wives. I like songs that are open to interpretation.

There’s not only a lightheartedness to the album, there’s a sense of fun in the promos, including the hilarious one featuring the cast from “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.” It seems like the band decided to stop taking everything so seriously. Why?

Definitely. I think that’s just getting older and having families. You stop taking yourself so seriously. I feel like we used to worry about that stuff too much. When we first came out, we wanted to be different and we wanted to almost have a little bit of a shock factor so we tried to look really weird and tried to have mustaches and long hair and we did a lot of that stuff, looking back, probably subconsciously to stand out because we were probably a little bit self-conscious about out musicianship. We had all just started playing and just started writing songs and none of us were really good at our instruments. So it was almost like we needed something to make people notice us and now we’re in a completely different place and we’re all a lot more confident and we feel like we can kind of be ourselves.



 

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<p>Marcus Mumford and Ted Dwane of Mumford &amp; Sons (center and right), seen here in Guthrie,&nbsp;Oklahoma<br />
</span></p>

Marcus Mumford and Ted Dwane of Mumford & Sons (center and right), seen here in Guthrie, Oklahoma

Credit: AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

Mumford & Sons go on hiatus 'for the foreseeable future'

Band played its last date Friday in Kansas

After nearly non-stop activity for the past four years, Mumford & Sons are taking a hiatus. “There won’t be any Mumford & Sons activities for the foreseeable future,” the band’s keyboardist, Ben Lovett, told Rolling Stone over the weekend.

The Grammy-winning British group’s last tour date for 2012’s “Babel” was in Kansas Friday night and it will be the band’ last concert for quite some time. Just how much time is anyone’s guess. When asked how long “the foreseeable future” is, Lovett said, “We have no idea. We just know we’re going to take a considerable amount of time and just go back to hanging out and having no commitments or pressure or anything like that...I think everyone’s excited about being free of schedules.”

The last four years since the release of “Sigh No More” have seen the British quartet rise to international music superstars, headlining arenas around the world and curating its own Gentlemen of the Road festivals.

Of course, it's not the first time bands have declared they are taking a break and returned relatively quickly. Last summer Dave Grohl declared that the Foo Fighters were going away for a long time, and now the group is in the midst of finishing a new album. Similarly, Kings of Leon took a year off, but during that time started writing songs for their new album, "Mechanical Bull," which comes out tomorrow.

And while Mumford & Sons may disappear for awhile, it looks like lead singer Marcus Mumford will not: he is among the headliners for a Sept. 29 benefit show centered around the new Coen Brothers' film, "Inside Llewyn Davis." The show, which also features Jack White, the Avett Brothers, the Punch Brothers and several other acts, will benefit the National Recording Preservation Foundation, and was organized by T Bone Burnett, the movie's music producer.

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'Dexter' goes out with an awful series finale


"Dexter" goes out with an awful series finale
The final episode was in line with the disappointing final season, says Todd VanDerWerff. "The series seemed all along as if it were building toward a conclusion where Dexter would be forced to turn on friends and co-workers to preserve himself, escaping from Miami by the skin of his teeth, or perhaps living his life in a jail cell...By the time it ended, even though (Deb) knew her brother's secret for two seasons, it was unable to view the protagonist as anything other than a public good, like a library, and, thus, it could not imprison him or even punish him in the slightest." PLUS: Producers defend the final season, this is what happens when you overstay your welcome, the writers seemed to be phoning it in all season, the series finale was unbelievably awful, ranking all 8 "Dexter" seasons, and Jennifer Carpenter reacts to the finale.


Nigel Lythgoe was shocked "The Voice" won after many years of "Idol" snubs

He expressed his frustration on Twitter, calling "Idol" "The first, the best and the program that changed the face of TV." PLUS: Mark Burnett explains why "The Voice" and "Idol" shouldn't be compared.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus: How I came up with my Emmy "Veep" skit with Tony Hale

"It was like a lightning bolt, it just struck me," she says of her funny acceptance. "I called Tony this afternoon and he was game, all I had to do was win." PLUS: "Veep" characters become shorthand for Washington types.


Is "Breaking Bad" trying out several alternate endings?
Each of the past few weeks has given Walter White a different kind of ending. This week, it was "The Shield" alternate ending. PLUS: The cabin was built in New Mexico by "Breaking Bad" crew, "Breaking Bad" has become a post-apocalyptic thriller, the cast and crew yell "Emmy's bitch," watch the Emmy's "Breaking Bad" dance number, the racial politics of "Breaking Bad," "Granite State" was profound without being epic, this was Flynn's finest hour, check out The New Yorker's "Breaking Bad"-themed cover, the Nazis have exposed "Breaking Bad," and why "Breaking Bad's" Emmy win is so stunning.


"Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D." earns more than 1 million Facebook likes
That's a record for a new series, but will it make a difference for this week's premiere.


Piers Morgan continues taunting Jon Stewart
After Stephen Colbert broke Stewart's 10-year Emmy win streak, the CNN star tweeted: "CNN BREAKING NEWS > It's over for Jon Stewart."


Tina Fey: There's a downside to Cecily Strong joining "Weekend Update"

"She's a good choice," says the host of this week's "SNL" season premiere. "The one thing that will be sad is she's really great at Weekend Update features, so we'll miss that." PLUS: When will Fey do "Parks and Rec"?


"Downton Abbey" Season 4 premieres to massive ratings in UK
About 9.5 million watched over the weekend, up from 8.6 million last year.


A "China Beach" novel is in the works
Co-creator John Sacret Young is working on a book that would reunite the characters of the ABC drama starring Dana Delany.


Alexander Skarsgård was supposed to wear a "sack of destiny" on "True Blood"
Stephen Moyer says Eric wasn't supposed to get naked.


"Mad Men" blamed for rise in sales of Lucky Strike cigarettes

The cigarettes, owned by British American Tobacco, sold 33 billion packs last year, compared to 23 billion when the AMC series first premiered in 2007.


Check out "Once Upon a Time's" Little Mermaid
Here's JoAnna Garcia Swisher as Ariel.


Mila Kunis' 1st kiss was on "That '70s Show" with Ashton Kutcher
Laura Prepon revealed that and said she's not surprised they're together in real life.


Andy Samberg weds

The "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" star tied the knot Saturday with singer-songwriter Joanna Newson.


Emmys reunite Amy Poehler & Will Arnett
The former couple were spotted sitting together backstage. PLUS: Arnett was asked about his wife on the red carpet.


Casey Wilson engaged to the creator of "Happy Endings"
She's set to marry boyfriend of two years David Caspe.


"Gossip Girl's" Kaylee DeFer welcomes her first child
She delivered a baby boy on Friday.

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The Emmys: Neil Patrick Harris seemed off his game in a sorrow-filled ceremony


The Emmys: Neil Patrick Harris seemed off his game in a sorrow-filled ceremony

The idea of having five separate tributes to the dead, plus an In Memoriam segment, plus two mournful ballads from Elton John and Carrie Underwood dragged down the entire ceremony, says Mary McNamara. And Harris not being up to his usual hosting self added to the night's problems: "Although still hostier than most mere mortals, Harris seemed off his game Sunday night .... Between a sketch chronicling his struggles with 'Excessive Hosting Disorder' and a self-acknowledged random 'Dance Number in the Middle of the Show,' Harris seemed to be suggesting that he's done as much as he can do with this gig."
Anemic, awkward, boring: An awards show filled with skits about how bad awards shows are
Don't blame Neil Patrick Harris -- he stood no chance, even if he was a producer
Jeff Daniels was shocked to win -- just like Twitter was shocked
Ryan Seacrest endorses "The Ryan Seacrest Center for Excessive Hosting"
Emmys tried to be the Tonys and the Grammys
A lot of awards went to unexpected people
Kevin Spacey takes on Emmy camera
Jack Klugman's son objected to Cory Monteith tribute
Merrit Wever expanded on her "I gotta go. Bye" acceptance speech backstage
Netflix won just 1 award Sunday, for best director for "House of Cards"
Lena Dunham & Claire Danes pretended to almost make out on the red carpet
Who was the "awkward stage-exit man"?
Conan, Fallon, Kimmel and Jane Lynch help Neil Patrick Harris
Inside Jon Hamm and Amy Poehler's Emmy Losers Party

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<p>Leonardo DiCaprio in&nbsp;&quot;The Wolf of Wall&nbsp;Street&quot;</p>

Leonardo DiCaprio in "The Wolf of Wall Street"

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Off the Carpet: Whither 'Wall Street?'

Scorsese's latest could move as 'Mud' is the first screener in voters' hands

I was all set to write something in this space last week, with Toronto having wrapped, etc. But then I just stopped. It seemed like it all needed a moment to sit, and what could I add to the conversation that hadn't been hammered home for two weeks already by the time "12 Years a Slave" predictably won the festival's audience award?

What I'm noticing this year is that the media is, more aggressively than ever, trying to dictate the conversation. From the call-off-all-bets aplomb of Best Picture proclamations at Telluride and Toronto to trying to force a supporting campaign on a very strong lead actor hopeful, the whiff of being authoritative is so much stronger than usual this time of year. But I've covered that. Let's attempt to progress things a bit here; there is this and that to consider.

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<p>Tye Sheridan, Matthew McConaughey and Jacob Lofland in &quot;Mud.&quot;</p>

Tye Sheridan, Matthew McConaughey and Jacob Lofland in "Mud."

Credit: Roadside Attractions

Roundup: 'Mud' wins the Oscar screener race

Also: The greatest short speeches, and the successful anonymity of Ron Howard

Being the first screener to land in Academy voters' mailboxes is a victory that sometimes brings more than just bragging rights -- especially for smaller films that might get lost in the crush later in the season. The early bird strategy has paid off handsomely for such performance-driven indies as "A Better Life" and "Frozen River" in the past, though it doesn't always get results: last year, TWC's "The Intouchables" didn't even wind up with a foreign-language nod. So, which screener was quickest on the draw this year? Jeff Nichols' coming-of-age tale "Mud" -- until recently, the year's highest-grossing art house release. Roadside Attractions are simplifying Matthew McConaughey's Best Actor drive for "Dallas Buyers Club" by running a supporting campaign for the star, who plays the title role. You can argue amongst yourselves about the rights or wrongs of that move, though the film's best shot at a nod is probably for Best Original Screenplay. Will being first pay off this year? [Deadline

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<p>Toni Collette in &quot;Hostages,&quot;&nbsp;Anna Farris in &quot;Mom&quot;&nbsp;and James Spader in &quot;The Blacklist.&quot;</p>

Toni Collette in "Hostages," Anna Farris in "Mom" and James Spader in "The Blacklist."

Credit: CBS/NBC

Fall TV Reviews: 'Mom,' 'Hostages' & 'The Blacklist'

The TV season officially kicks off tonight with a Chuck Lorre sitcom, a Jerry Bruckheimer drama, and James Spader

Hey everybody, as you know I am still in the hospital. Infections are tricky things, and we're just working to get this one under control.

I'll be fine, but for now — and even after I'm home — I'm going to be at half-speed, at best, for a while. With the TV season officially beginning tonight, this is not an ideal time for that, but what can you do? I'll be writing fewer reviews, what I do write will often be shorter than normal, etc.

As it happens, this is a pretty weak season in terms of new shows, so I have no problem cutting bait on long reviews (or reviews of any kind) of most of the newbies. When I have time or energy, I'll put together posts like this one with very quick hits on what's debuting that night, just so you have some sense of my initial thoughts. If I stick with a rookie, maybe down the road I'll do something longer. (And some shows, like "SHIELD," will get the fuller treatment up-front.) There may be shows that are just skipped altogether, maybe a lot, depending on how I feel as the week moves on.

Three premieres tonight, with a sitcom and two dramas. In order:

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<p>Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman in &quot;Breaking Bad.&quot;</p>

Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman in "Breaking Bad."

Credit: AMC

Review: 'Breaking Bad' - 'Granite State'

Walt skips town in the series' devastating penultimate installment

A review of tonight's "Breaking Bad" coming up just as soon as I'm managing a Cinnabon in Omaha while owning three pairs of Dockers...

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<p>Michael Douglas at the 2013 Primetime Emmy Awards</p>

Michael Douglas at the 2013 Primetime Emmy Awards

Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Emmys: David Fincher and Michael Douglas headline movie vet winners

Steven Soderbergh, Jeff Daniels and James Cromwell also picked up prizes

It was a big night for prestige film personalities in front of and behind the camera at the Emmys tonight. Most notable was "House of Cards" and "Behind the Candelabra" directors David Fincher and Steven Soderbergh walking away with wins for TV Drama and TV Movie or Miniseries respectively.

In the case of Soderbergh, he joins rare air with names like Martin Scorsese, Bob Fosse and Michael Moore as one of only a handful of helmers to scoop up an Emmy, an Oscar (for 2000's "Traffic") and the Cannes Palme d'Or (for 1989's "sex, lies and videotape"). In the case of Mr. Fincher, well, I'm sure he'll get his fill of "He doesn't have an Oscar but he has an Emmy!" headlines tomorrow morning.

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