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<p>M.I.A. is battling the NFL</p>

M.I.A. is battling the NFL

M.I.A. tackles the NFL over lawsuit

NFL wants $1.5 million, M.I.A. wants NFL to acknowledge what?

M.I.A. and the National Football League are embroiled in an ongoing legal battle 18 months after she flipped the bird during her half-time appearance with Madonna during Super Bowl XLVI on Feb. 5, 2012.

The NFL initially filed its a breach-of-contract suit against M.I.A. in March 2013, demanding she pay $1.5 million, which will go to charity. Last week, according to the Hollywood Reporter, the football league asked for a summary judgment requiring the English-Sri Lankan rapper to pay.

So now,  M.I.A., who has certainly been known to take on her opponents before, has decided she will wage a one-woman campaign against the NFL. "She is going to go public with an explanation of how ridiculous it was for the NFL and its fans to devote such furor to this incident, while ignoring the genocide occurring in her home country and several other countries, topics she frequently speaks to," her attorney Howard King told THR.

That is crazy and is one of the weakest red herrings we’ve ever seen tossed. So she wants the NFL, the NATIONAL Football League to take a stand on the atrocities going on in her home country. Hmmm. Not to make any light at all of the horrible things that are going on there and elsewhere, but I’m sure the NFL will get on that right after Commissioner Roger Goodell finishes his position paper on North Korea.

Furthermore, M.I.A. is calling the league’s bluff when it claims she has damaged its image. "Of course, the NFL's claimed reputation for wholesomeness is hilarious," King continues, "in light of the weekly felonies committed by its stars, the bounties placed by coaches on opposing players, the homophobic and racist comments uttered by its players, the complete disregard for the health of players and the premature deaths that have resulted from same, and the raping of public entities ready to sacrifice public funds to attract teams."
Got to side with her on this one. But if M.I.A. found the NFL so repugnant, why did she agree to play with Madonna?

The fact that the NFL is trying to wring $1.5 million out of M.I.A., even if it is going to charity, for flipping the bird is insane, but M.I.A. taking the NFL on for its non-stand on international civil rights is equally ridiculous.

"Matangi," M.I.A.'s much-delayed new album (following her feud with her label, Interscope), comes out Nov. 5.

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"Secret Sex Lives: Swingers"

 "Secret Sex Lives: Swingers"

Credit: TLC

Exclusive clip: Rules get broken on 'Secret Sex Lives: Swingers'

One swinger wants to go a little further than her partner approves

Hey, guess what? Swingers get jealous! Not about their significant others having sex with other people, of course, but about emotional commitments and flirting. Who knew? This week on the four-part series "Secret Sex Lives: Swingers" (Sat. Sept. 21 at 10:00 p.m. on Discovery Fit & Health), our Atlanta-based couples discover that there are actually some lines that shouldn't be crossed. In this exclusive clip from the "Wives Gone Wild" episode, odd couple Hali and Bryan discuss renegotiating their agreement. It goes over about as well as you might expect it to. 

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Listen: Does  Justin Timberlake's new single 'TKO' knock you out?

Listen: Does Justin Timberlake's new single 'TKO' knock you out?

He returns to the slow groove with boxing metaphor-filled jam

TKO,” Justin Timberlake’s second single from “The 20/20 Experience 2 of 20” uses boxing as a metaphor for love.

He’s in love with someone who hits below the below even after the ref blows the whistle. “This isn’t the girl I used to know... I’m down for the count, yet girl, you knock me out.”

Like many of the songs on “The 20/20 Experience,” it’s a heavyweight of a song, weighing in at 7:06. Plus, it’s more of a rambling, shuffling groove of a tune rather than any kind of conventional chorus/verse/chorus.  Timbaland’s production is full of heavy bass beats and little curlicue background synth noises. There's some nice singing from Timberlake here, however, and he leaves the falsetto on the shelf for this one for the most part.

Similarly to many of those tracks, at around 5 minutes, the song morphs into a slightly different, slower tune with Timbaland repeating “She killed me with that coochie-coo.”

It’s not an instant hit and I’m not sure radio will gravitate toward it. Radio seems content to keep playing “Mirrors” over “The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2’s” first single, the far catchier “Take Back The Night.”
“The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2” comes out Sept. 27.

Are you knocked out by “TKO?”

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"Project Runway"

 "Project Runway"

Credit: Lifetime

'Project Runway': Still wishing you were a superfan?

Some fans got great makeovers, and some were hot messes

I bet you had the same reaction I did when I saw that tonight was the Superfan challenge on "Project Runway." How lucky these ladies are! They get top-to-toe makeovers and their VERY OWN OUTFITS courtesy of highly skilled (and, yes, highly stressed) designers! They meet Tim Gunn! They meet Heidi Klum! They meet... well, a bunch of judges who aren't Michael Kors! Sure, they have to listen to incessant plugs for L'Oreal hair care, but most gals get a version of that whenever they get their hair cut. What a treat!

It was only while watching the episode that I realized there is no amount of money that would inspire me to walk down a runway rocking a craptastic sofa cover or an unfinished suit that splendidly highlighted my back fat. I would also not care to have a well-meaning designer reveal to all of America that I had gobs of excess skin that needed to be corseted into an arrangement that made me look ]vaguely attractive and not so much like the Elephant Man. And so, with those bitter truths revealed, the dream of being a Superfan withers and dies.

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<p>The original &quot;NYPD&nbsp;Blue&quot;&nbsp;team of David Caruso and Dennis Franz.</p>

The original "NYPD Blue" team of David Caruso and Dennis Franz.

Credit: ABC

'NYPD Blue' 20th anniversary: The cop show that helped change television

Steven Bochco wanted network to outdo cable, but instead inspired Tony Soprano and friends

As most of you know, "NYPD Blue" is the show that changed my life, prompting me to unofficially launch my career as a TV reviewer and eventually leading to my first job at The Star-Ledger. It's also one of the shows that changed TV, albeit not in the way its creators intended.

I've told the former story a bunch lately. On the occasion of this weekend's 20th anniversary of the show's debut, it's important to reflect on the much broader impact of "NYPD Blue."

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<p>A scene from John Singleton's 1991 film &quot;Boyz N the Hood.&quot;</p>

A scene from John Singleton's 1991 film "Boyz N the Hood."

Credit: Sony Pictures

Roundup: John Singleton on who should (and shouldn't) direct black-themed cinema

Also: And the winner is... In Contention

"Can a white director make a great black movie?" It's the kind of question that bothers me -- you can extend it to asking whether a male director can make a great film about women, or whether a straight director can make a great film about homosexuality. (This year, Abdellatif Kechiche answered both those questions in the affirmative.) Great storytelling requires more empathy than first-hand experience. Still, John Singleton (the first black filmmaker ever nominated for a Best Director Oscar) looks at such recent films as "Fruitvale Station," "The Butler" and "12 Years a Slave" -- all by black directors, though not all by African-Americans -- argues that  "there is a noticeable difference between pictures that have significant contributions from African-Americans behind the scenes and those that don't." He adds "what Hollywood execs need to realize is that black-themed stories appeal to the mainstream because they are uniquely American" -- which, well, let's just say I can't see everyone agreeing on that point. [Hollywood Reporter]    

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<p>Johnny Depp and Tom Cruise help Jerry Bruckheimer celebrate his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in June.</p>

Johnny Depp and Tom Cruise help Jerry Bruckheimer celebrate his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in June.

Credit: AP Photo/John Schearer

End of an era: Jerry Bruckeimer and Walt Disney Studios end deal

Scott Rudin and Joel Silver would say it was inevitable

Cue the melancholy score because producer Jerry Bruckheimer's long run at the Walt Disney Studios appears to be over. Late Thursday evening the Mouse House announced the studio and Bruckheimer had "mutually agreed" to end his first look deal. Yes, his string of recent, expensive misfires was the private excuse, but even the venerable producer must have seen this coming a long time ago. The age of the studio super-producer is simply over.

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All-time greatest actors turned directors: Woody Allen, Sarah Polley, Clint Eastwood

All-time greatest actors turned directors: Woody Allen, Sarah Polley, Clint Eastwood

Guess who didn't make the list

The longstanding cliche about Hollywood screenwriters is they're really dying to tell anyone who will listen, "but I really want to direct." Turns out some of the actors in front of the camera wouldn't mind ruling the roost either.

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<p>Sharni Vinson's only going to further cement her place in the horror firmament with her role in Mark Hartley's remake of 'Patrick'</p>

Sharni Vinson's only going to further cement her place in the horror firmament with her role in Mark Hartley's remake of 'Patrick'

Credit: Bankside Films

Review: Fantastic Fest 2013 opens with Mark Hartley's remake of the Aussie shocker 'Patrick'

Can the genre-loving documentarian make the jump to narrative features?

Mark Hartley has made two exceptional documentaries about the history of exploitation films, one called "Not Quite Hollywood" and the other called "Machete Maidens Unleashed!" The first examined the evolution of Australia's homegrown genre movies, and it was more than just a scholarly look at a list of movies. Hartley understood exactly why those films were so exciting, and he made a documentary that had the same sort of breathless energy that the films did, and he made a hell of a case for the significance of those films and those directors.

While I'm excited to see his next documentary, which will deal with the history of Canon Films, I'm equally excited about the notion that he took one of the films that he covered in "Not Quite Hollywood" and remade it. "Patrick" is one of those films that I knew by reputation more than anything, and after "Not Quite Hollywood" came out, it was one of the movies that got a US release to capitalize on its new notoriety. The original was directed by one of my favorite of the Aussies, Richard Franklin, and it's an effective movie with some smart script choices, solid performances across the board, and Franklin really knows how to screw with an audience. Released in 1978, it feels like a reaction to films like "Carrie" and "The Fury" with a comatose patient who wages a telekinetic battle against a nurse. Like "Road Games," the film seems to lean on Hitchcock at times, and that's just Franklin. There's a reason he was hired for "Psycho II," and he obviously has an enormous respect for the kind of classically built scares from a different age.

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<p>Stone Martin of &quot;The X Factor&quot;</p>

Stone Martin of "The X Factor"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The X Factor' Season 3 - Auditions #4

Still more auditions from Charleston and Los Angeles

Once again, thanks to FOX for coming through with a screener for tonight's "X Factor" auditions.

And also thanks to FOX for any "X Factor" episode that isn't two hours long.

Remembering that the time code for this recap will be based on screener time and not on episode time, click through for my full breakdown on Thursday's (September 19) hour.

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Mark Burnett pitching a reality show that would put the winner in space

Mark Burnett pitching a reality show that would put the winner in space
The winner would join Richard Branson on one of Virgin Galactic's first suborbital space flights.

Ken Jennings: How I'd fix NBC's confusing "Million Second Quiz"
"When I watched," he says, "it felt like they were making up rules on the fly. Mostly because they were."

Discovery gets "Gold Fever"
The makers of "The Men Who Built America" are putting out another documentary looking back at the California Gold Rush.

"The Walking Dead": Behind the scenes of Universal Studios zombie apocalypse attraction
Starting next week, visitors will be able to walk in the footsteps of the human survivors of the AMC show. PLUS: Lauren Cohan poses for Maxim.

MTV releases Miley Cyrus documentary trailer
"Miley: The Movement" airs Oct. 2.

Battle of "Seinfeld" Twitter accounts: "Modern Seinfeld" vs. "Seinfeld Current Day"
Two Twitter accounts have tried to transport "Seinfeld" to the present day. Only one succeeds.

"The Wonder Years": An appreciation of its nostalgia
Kevin Arnold & Co. seem to have a big influence on this year's crop of fall comedies.

"Breaking Bad's" Jesse Pinkman problem: Enough with the torture!
"This show has never passed up an opportunity to kick Jesse Pinkman when he's down," says Jessica Winter. "It's forever endeavoring to find new, more vigorous techniques for kicking him when he's down—through pirouettes of plot and calisthenics of character development—and new, pliant body regions to kick or, when the kicking is done, punch or stomp or split open bleeding. What horrible thing hasn’t happened to Jesse, perhaps repeatedly, over the last five seasons?" PLUS: Jesse Plemons is rooting for Walt, how Dean Norris filmed his final scene, listen to director's commentary on "Ozymandias,"  Betsy Brandt couldn't watch Hank's final moment, it took a while for Brandt to stop rooting for Walt, Badger narrates a Honey Badger video, why Walter White Apologists need to stop, Bryan Cranston says Jesse isn't such a good guy, and Hank Schrader was the "anti-anti-hero."

Blame college students for killing cable

Many of today's college students are "cord nevers" -- people who've never paid for cable and have no plans to ever do so.

Watch HBO film gay-themed "Looking" in San Francisco
The comedy about three gay friends has been likened to a gay version of "Girls."

How "The Simpsons" fixed Apple's iPhone keyboard
A 1994 episode was key in helping Apple come up with its innovative iPhone keyboard design.

In defense of this season's "Survivor" twists
Even the return of Redemption Island is a great idea.

Gilbert Gottfried to guest-program TCM

Check out his pics for next month, including "The Conversation."

Is "Once Upon a Time" taking its fans for granted?
This year's promotion leaves a lot to be desired. PLUS: Watch the Season 3 extended promo.

"The Art of War" to become an English-language TV series, thanks to China and Japan
The two countries are teaming up for a TV version of Sun Tzu's classic book.

"Ghost Projekt" graphic novel getting an NBC remake
The graphic novel follows a UN inspector and a Russian agent who've teamed up.

Julie Chen denies having a nose job

Why does her nose look different in a photo taken nearly two decades ago? Chen says it's all makeup.

Read an oral history of The Groundlings, the comedy troupe that has fed "SNL"

The L.A.-based Groundlings was the training ground for Lisa Kudrow, Conan O'Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Pee-wee Herman, Phil Hartman, J.J. Abrams, Kathy Griffin, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Cheri Oteri, Jon Lovitz, Chris Kattan and many others.

TV costume designers are having a big impact on fashion

Many shows regard the fashion as an extra character.

HBO rejects '60s-set "The Missionary" from Malcolm Gladwell and Mark Wahlberg
The Cold War spy drama was to be set in '60s Berlin.

Lucy and Desi: The Advertising years
"I Love Lucy's" Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz also live on in advertising for cigarettes and banking.

Is Bill Nye's "Dancing" participation bad for science?
His scientist stereotypes may turn off future scientists. PLUS: Get a gift from The Science Guy.

USA going all out for "Modern Family's" syndication debut

The nearly $10 million rollout includes a special documentary, live events with the cast and elaborate TV spots. PLUS: See Jesse Tyler Ferguson's childhood photo.

"Key & Peele" takes on "Les Mis"

The musical epic gets parodied in the season premiere.

Watch what happens when Conan updates to iOS7

Chaos ensues.

Play the "New Girl" drinking game
Take a sip every time Nick makes a face.

"Full House's" Mr. Woodchuck is now faceless
What happened to Dave Coulier's puppet?

What is Joan Rivers doing on a scooter?
Is it a PR stunt or is she having trouble getting around?

"Idol" alum Allison Iraheta to spend 1 week on "The Tonight Show"
She'll sit in with Jay Leno's band.

Watch the gag reel for "Leverage" Season 5

The TNT series' final gag reel.

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<p>Scarlett Johansson trolls for prey in Jonathan Glazer's hypnotic 'Under The Skin'</p>

Scarlett Johansson trolls for prey in Jonathan Glazer's hypnotic 'Under The Skin'

Credit: A24 Distribution

Review: Scarlett Johansson is riveting in Jonathan Glazer's hypnotic 'Under The Skin'

It may not be to everyone's taste, but there's no other film this year like it

The first real film festival I ever attended was Sundance in 2001. I remember one of the mornings we were there, we had to get up earlier than normal to drive the hour to Park City so we could then stand in line for over an hour just on the off chance that maybe we could make it in to see a screening at 8:30 in the morning. It turned out to be well worth it, though, when we got to see the first screening of Jonathan Glazer's "Sexy Beast," which seemed to make good on the promise Glazer had shown as a filmmaker when making amazing music videos.

That was twelve years ago, and we're just now seeing Glazer's third film as a director. He seems to be one of those guys who would rather focus on something he loves than just make as many films as possible, and as a result, when he does release a new film, you can count on it being something that he sincerely means as an artist. He doesn't seem remotely interested in courting commercial favor, which must drive the money guys crazy, but as long as he can find people who are willing to pay for his dark and haunting visions, I'll happily line up to see them.

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