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Even by FX's patient standards, this is a pretty late renewal, with only two of the first season's 13 episodes still to air. I've been reviewing the show all summer, and while I like a lot of the performances and the way the show has dealt with the world on the border, season 1 went off the rails the last few weeks with the denouement of its evil serial killer mastermind story arc.
That said, there is excellent raw material here, and the serial killer stuff was largely adapted from the original "Bron," and simply didn't translate here. I've seen tomorrow night's episode, which gets back to a lot of what the show was dealing with in its early episodes, and it's much stronger than any other recent installment. It fits with what producers Meredith Stiehm and Elwood Reid have said is the direction they want the show to go in, and if that's the case, I'm back on board.
"The Blacklist" crushes "Hostages," thanks to surging "Voice"
"The Voice" returned up 17% from last fall with nearly 15 million viewers, driving 12.6 million to the James Spader drama. "Hostages," meanwhile, only attracted 7.5 million, while "Mom" debuted to 7.9 million.
M.I.A. responds to the NFL's $1.5M demands by filming herself flipping the bird
The singer released a YouTube video accusing the league of "massive corporation d--k shaking."
Vanessa Redgrave joins ABC's "Black Box"
She'll play a psychiatrist in the drama series from the creator of "The L Word," Ilene Chaiken, and Bryan Singer.
Hoda & Kathie Lee to write a newspaper column
The "Today" duo are joining the New York Daily News as columnists.
"Buffy's" Anthony Head lands on Syfy
He's joined the supernatural action pilot "Dominion."
"White Collar" books Steven Pasquale
The "Rescue Me" alum will play a rogue stockbroker.
Much has been made of the return of CeeLo Green and Christina Aguilera to the merrily spinning judges' chairs on "The Voice." As fellow judge Blake Shelton reminded us during last night's premiere, it's like the original band is back together. The catch is, of course, that original doesn't always mean better.
As I noted yesterday, the combination of A)a really weak freshman class of fall shows, and B)my very slow recovery to full health means I'm not going to be doing long reviews of all the new shows (and in certain cases will be skipping them altogether).
Tuesday has four new shows debuting, all of them on ABC. (When you have as many holes as ABC has, you sometimes have to do insane things like schedule a night featuring only first-year shows.) "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." got the full review treatment, and I'll have some brief thoughts on "The Goldbergs," "Trophy Wife" and "Lucky 7" coming right up...
By this point, it's common knowledge that the Academy's voting system for Best Foreign Language Film -- or Best Foreign Language Film Approved And Selected By A National Committee That Is Also Agreeable To The Widest Academy Demographic And Was Domestically Released Within The Eligibility Window -- is, to put it gently, somewhat flawed. Everyone has different ideas about how to fix it (including, to their credit, the Academy itself), but Toronto Film Festival director Cameron Bailey's are more sensible than most. I wholeheartedly echo his statement that the idea of this being a country-based competition in this era of global co-production is archaic. Also interesting: he argues that requiring contenders to have a US release date would encourage increased distribution of foreign fare. Good points all round. [Variety]
The overstuffed nature of the title "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." says a lot about "The Avengers" TV spin-off (it debuts tonight at 8 on ABC) as a whole. It's a show serving multiple masters in ABC, Disney and Marvel — and, in turn, the throng of Marvel superhero films to which the show will be very loosely tied. It has a whole lot of producers, though the most famous and talented of them, Joss Whedon, is too busy making the "Avengers" sequel to be as hands-on as he was in his days with "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Angel" and "Firefly." The pilot episode introduces three different point of entry characters for the audience, on top of mysteriously bringing Clark Gregg's Phil Coulson back from his apparent "Avengers" death. There are many potentially fascinating shows lurking inside the "S.H.I.E.L.D." pilot, but the primary agenda seems to be to make a superpower-flavored "NCIS" — which, conveniently, will be airing right against "SHIELD."
Ex-"Dexter" boss: How I would've ended the series
Clyde Phillips, who left after the Trinity Killer season, says he would've put Dexter Morgan on an execution table with those he killed glaring at him. PLUS: "Dexter" finale copped out in the worst way possible.
Conan goes all-in on "Breaking Bad": Watch his barrel opening
Last night's show featured the cast and creator Vince Gilligan, Bryan Cranston reading his favorite erotic fan letter, plus the performers of "The Ballad of Heisenberg" and the cast giving away "meth."
"The Disappearer" from "Breaking Bad" says: "It came out of left field"
The surprise big-name actor from this week's episode says he got a call from Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, the writer/director of "Granite State." "They said in their own private conversations they had used my name and asked if I was available," he says. "They could not have been nicer to me. What good guys." PLUS: Why the "Breaking Bad" finale will disappoint, how to escape from handcuffs using a paperclip, it's a Dean Norris vs. Derek Hough dance-off, writer/director Peter Gould talks about filming this week's episode, the vacuum repair number is real, Anna Gunn has dreamed about "Breaking Bad," Walter White watches Jeff Daniels win an Emmy8, "Lost's" Damon Lindelof compares Heisenberg to Batman, and "Breaking Bad" podcast reveals that part of the bar scene had to be reshot after a plane ran over the film after it was flown to L.A.
Apple refunds "Breaking Bad" fans who were charged separately for both halves of Season 5.
iTunes sold the first half under the name "Season 5" and the second half under "The Final Season."
Shonda Rhimes: I welcomed a new baby to my family, but didn't adopt
"This time," the "Scandal" and "Grey's Anatomy" honcho explains, "I had my baby via gestational surrogacy."
Julia Louis-Dreyfus flips out for Jimmy Kimmel
Watch her coffee shop temper tantrum. PLUS: Emmy's accidental cameo guy makes a cameo on Kimmel, and Paul McCartney performed 15 songs for Kimmel on Hollywood Blvd.
In defense of Jeff Daniels' Emmy upset victory
Don't confuse Aaron Sorkin with Daniels' "Newsroom" performance.
Kaley Cuoco's sister earned a blind audition for "The Voice"
Briana Cuoco was with her "Big Bang" sister when she got a surprise from Carson Daly. PLUS: Cee Lo Green has a henna tattoo on his head.
"Homeland's" "Abu Nazir" explains how to play a Hollywood terrorist
Watch Navid Negahban's video for Funny or Die.
Amber Tamblyn on joining "Two and a Half Men": "You binge eat a lot"
The sitcom-filming process, Tamblyn learned, is totally different from making a TV drama.
Julianne Hough will be back on Dancing" as a guest-judge
She'll fill in while Len Goodman works on "Strictly Come Dancing" in the UK.
Emmy In Memoriam controversy: Jonathan Winters over Larry Hagman?
The Emmy controversy could've been avoided if certain stars weren't elevated over others -- and giving short shrift to Hagman was simply inexcusable.
James Spader loves everything about his "Blacklist" character, "which was very little"
"I think that was the point," he says. "I loved how little you learned, and yet my reaction to reading him in the script was acute, you know? It was based on no knowledge." PLUS: "The Blacklist" makes the best use of Spader's creepy-crawly qualities.
John Slattery to appear in the "Arrested Development" movie
Mitch Hurwitz says he plans to have the "Mad Men" star reprise his Dr. Norman role.
"Sons of Anarchy" creator takes on conservative columnist over school shooting controversy
Brent Bozell accused FX of milking a fictional Catholic school shooting for commercial gain. To which Kurt Sutter responded: "Anyone with half-a-cup of brain cells can filter out the noise of your conservative bellowing and hear the truth – it’s all about your own political agenda."
CNN visits ESPN's "Pardon the Interruption"
"Reliable Sources" looked at the importance of an on-air fact-checker like Tony Reali.
So far, Cristin Milioti appears to be the right pick for "HIMYM"
In last night's two-episode premiere, she seemed like somebody who could easily be part of the gang. PLUS: Milioti considers herself "very lucky," and why this final season should've been "How I Met Your Father."
Watch the "Bonnie & Clyde" trailer
The four-hour miniseries airing on Lifetime, History and A&E in December stars Emile Hirsch and Holliday Grainger.
See Craig Ferguson's new opening sequence
"The Late Late Show" opening with Craig, Geoff and Secretariat.
CBS teams with Twitter
CBS will use Twitter to advertise a large number of shows and products.
Does "Mom" waste Anna Faris?
Faris seems to be part of a trend this season of actresses being above the material. This also applies to Sarah Michelle Geller, Rebel Wilson and Megan Hilty. PLUS: Allison Janney elevates "Mom," and it turns out "Mom" has brains.
Dylan McDermott was skeptical of "Hostages," too
"I think everybody has the same reservations about the show, which I don't mind, because it keeps the intrigue of the show," he says. "My theory was, 'Let's get through the first season and see how it goes.'" PLUS: "Hostages" is a treasure trove of dumb, and McDermott isn't right for the role.
We got a good sense of exactly what kind of wackadoodle show "Sleepy Hollow" aspires to be from last week's surprisingly highly rated pilot, but now comes the real test. Did enough viewers like what they saw to tune in for week two, and will the events of the second episode keep them hooked?