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<p>FOX's &quot;Dads&quot;</p>

FOX's "Dads"

Credit: FOX

Why FOX's anti-critic ad for 'Dads' only makes a bad thing worse

Or why 'Reprehensible? This is FOX, baby!' isn't so good for branding
A car company -- Let's call it Faux -- has a problem. Their really expensive new automobile, a flashy red SUV, has a problem. It's not an especially good car. It has limited horsepower, a feeble turning radius and its speaker system makes any music you decide to play sound like Hootie & The Blowfish. Oh and some joker decided to make the bumpers out of molded TNT, so minor fender-benders can lead to explosions, which is less than ideal.
 
Faux knows about these problems, but car was designed by the same guy whose last vehicle, a gas-guzzling pickup truck, has been packing the freeways for months, so they're determined to stand by the car, no matter its flaws.  So some genius decides to get out ahead of the criticism. 
 
A new advertisement is released. "Critics of our new car say... 'It's Wildly Dangerous' - Car & Driver." Cut to a soccer mom. "Dangerous? But it's red!" she smiles, piling her kids into the car. "Critics of our new car say, 'It'd be reprehensible to let a loved one drive this thing' - The Huffington Post." Cut to a guy in a cowboy hat. "Reprehensible? It's just Faux!" he says, packing his beer cooler into the spacious, TNT-sculpted trunk. 
 
"Don't listen to the critics! Buy our new car... PLEASE," the ad closes.
 
It doesn't matter that the commercial refutes accusations of danger with affirmations of redness and charges of reprehensibility with a contention that reprehensibility is a key part of the Faux brand identity. The underlying message is, "Perhaps our car will kill you, but that's still better than listening to critics. Buy!"
 
While this is a really sophisticatedly veiled analogy I'm making here, I bet some of you will be able to see through my ruse to realize that I'm talking about this promo wherein FOX pits fans against critics.
 
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Emmys will feature special In Memorial tributes to James Gandolfini, Cory Monteith and 3 others


Emmys will feature special In Memorial tributes to James Gandolfini, Cory Monteith and 3 others
Edie Falco will honor Gandolfini, Jane Lynch will remember Monteith, Michael J. Fox will pay tribute to Gary David Goldberg, Rob Reiner will remember Jean Stapleton and Robin Williams will say a few words for Jonathan Winters.


"SNL's" 6 new cast members: Too white?
All six new cast additions appear to not be minorities.


Showtime posts the "Masers of Sex" pilot on YouTube

The Lizzy Caplan-Michael Sheen sex research drama may be edited for online.


"Breaking Bad" sets another record
About 6.4 million watched last night's third-from-last episode. PLUS: Did "Breaking Bad" make Walt the good guy?, and "Ozymandias" director posted behind-the-scenes pics, including the final day of shooting, which was last night's teaser.


Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas getting the Lifetime biopic treatment

"The Gabby Douglas Story" will feature a cameo by Douglas herself, with two girls cast to play her. Regina King and S. Epatha Merkerson will also appear in the film.


Discovery Channel will air a special on the raising of the Costa Concordia

The raising, which began this morning, will air as a special on Friday.


NBC's "Sound of Music" adds 3 Tony winners
Audra McDonald, Laura Benanti and Christian Borle will appear in the live production, airing Dec. 5.


Watch Conan O'Brien's "Charlie Rose"-style interview with Martin Short
It's the latest edition of "Serious Jibber-Jabber with Conan O'Brien."


Bella's "Twilight" best friend joins "The Walking Dead"
Christian Serratos will play Rosita Espinosa.


Damien Lewis' wife will also star in a Showtime series
Helen McCrory, who has been married to the "Homeland" star since 2007, has joined the cast of "Penny Dreadful."


Rotten Tomatoes to begin rating TV shows
The Tomatometer, however, will only apply to scripted shows. No reality TV.

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<p>Chris Hemsworth studied behind-the-scenes footage from period news broadcasts to find insights into who James Hunt was in his private moments.</p>

Chris Hemsworth studied behind-the-scenes footage from period news broadcasts to find insights into who James Hunt was in his private moments.

Credit: HitFix

Chris Hemsworth discusses the pressure to get the details right to play James Hunt in Ron Howard's 'Rush'

We discuss going from comic book notions of good and bad to the ambiguity of life

One of the problems with biopics that purport to cover the entire life of a famous or notable person is the aging issue. People change over time, sure, but how they age, how they look as kids, as young adults, as old people, is something you either have to address using make-up or other visual trickery or by casting different people to play the character at different stages in life. Both approaches have the appeal, and both also have major drawbacks. It's a decision every filmmaker doing a birth-to-death biopic has to address at some point.

That's only one reason that I prefer films like "Rush" that take an interesting moment or a compelling story from someone's life story and tell that as a movie, so there is a finite period of time you're dealing with and the actor you hire can focus on building a real performance, not just juggling wigs and prosthetics. In "Rush," the story being told covers a short, intense period of time in which James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and rival Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl) battled for the F1 world champion title, and that story was what drew Peter Morgan in as a writer. I'm sure they could have made a movie about either man and then just played this out as part of that larger story, but why? By keeping the focus fairly tight, "Rush" really tells you everything you need to know about either of the men. There's no way a film that addressed more of their lives chronologically could pay off in the same ways "Rush" does by putting both characters under the microscope during this particular moment of their careers.

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<p>A moment from the new Avicii video</p>

A moment from the new Avicii video

Credit: Island Records

Watch: Strap on your skates for Avicii's new video for 'You Make Me'

'West Side Story' meets 'Crouching Dragon, Hidden Tiger' at the roller rink

In Avicii’s new video for “You Make Me,” featuring Salem Al Fakir,  folks strap on their roller skates for a roller boogie version of “West Side Story.”

The follow up to the video Ralph Lauren commercial for top 5 hit, “Wake Me Up,” is a fun look at rivalries, over a girl, naturally, and a poke at everything from the classic musical to “Crouching Dragon, Hidden Tiger,” if it took place in a roller rink.

Mercedes, the waitress, is the object of desire for Chang, her ex, and Henry, cleverly dubbed The Highroller for his skating prowess. Chang, who works at the rink and has the glamorous job of de-oderizing skates despite his fairly phenomenal way on skates, wants his girl back so he and Henry have a skate-off that’s intentionally cheesy, but also highly entertaining.

We won’t say who wins, but let’s say they ride off into the sunrise together in a way that you definitely shouldn’t try at home, kids.

“You Make Me” is the second single from “True,” Avicii’s first full-length album, which comes out tomorrow. Read our interview with his collaborator, Incubus’s Mike Einziger here.  Speaking of collaborators, Avicii also worked with Chic’s Nile Rodgers on the album, although not on this track, which is a shame since it feels like the perfect time to reference Chic’s “Good Times” and its “clams on the half shell and roller skates” line

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<p>Carey Mulligan</p>

Carey Mulligan

Credit: AP Photo

Thomas Vinterberg to direct Carey Mulligan and Matthias Schoenaerts in 'Far From the Madding Crowd'

The Fox Searchlight production also stars Juno Temple and Michael Sheen

When I initially skimmed over today’s press release from Fox Searchlight, I somehow absorbed the information that Tomas Alfredson was directing their new adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s “Far From the Madding Crowd,” and was intrigued by the match of the material to his chilly, literate Swedish sensibility. Upon closer inspection, I was certainly right to be intrigued, but I had the wrong Scandinavian auteur: instead, it’s erstwhile Dogme 95 rebel Thomas Vinterberg who will be steering the prestige production, which began principal photography in the UK today.

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<p>Is Maggie Smith from &quot;Downton Abbey&quot;&nbsp;an Emmy lock again?</p>

Is Maggie Smith from "Downton Abbey" an Emmy lock again?

Credit: ITV

Emmys 2013 Predictions: Supporting Actress for Comedy/Drama

Will Julie Bowen repeat in a seven-woman field? And can Anna Gunn beat Maggie Smith?

The 2013 Primetime Emmy Awards will be presented on Sunday, Sept. 22, starting at 8 Eastern on CBS, with Neil Patrick Harris as host. From now until Sunday (sometimes multiple times a day), Dan Fienberg and I will be making our usual picks for the major categories — for both what should win and what will (and keep in mind that Dan is much better historically at predictions than I am).

Next up, we're dealing with the comedy and drama supporting actress categories. The former is one of a few categories featuring seven nominees due to ties, while the latter pits the upper-class wit of "Downton Abbey" versus the dirty meth dealings of "Breaking Bad" (among others contenders).

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"The Real Housewives of New Jersey"

 "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" 

Credit: Bravo

'Real Housewives of New Jersey': Is Melissa fixing to fight Teresa?

Despite all the talk about forgiveness, it looks like a fight is brewing

Gosh, I had been worried that everything was going to be all nutty-twiggy-hugs-and-kisses on "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" after all those bonding exercises and Zennis games in Arizona. I mean, if Teresa and Jacqueline can actually become friends again without one of them suffering a serious head injury first, you have to think hellishly hot weather and trust exercises really can work miracles. But good news! Simmering resentments are surfacing this week, so we can expect Melissa and Teresa to go back to screaming and yelling at one another any minute. What a relief! 

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<p>Daft Punk</p>

Daft Punk

Daft Punk kindly requests you 'Lose Yourself to Dance' in new music video

Pharrell offers you his shirt

Come, ye, to the great altar of dance. Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams and Chic's Nile Rodgers hold their liturgy to funk and disco in the new music video for "Lose Yourself to Dance," the new single off of "Random Access Memories." They found a collection of followers who dance as rag-tag and fevered (and, sometimes, as badly) as you do for their worship. The eras of fashion co-mingle. Rumps look the same shaking now as they did in the days of yore.

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<p>Cover art for Britney's latest</p>

Cover art for Britney's latest

Credit: RCA

Britney Spears' 'Work Bitch': What are the critics saying?

We round up the good, bad and oh-so-ugly reviews

Britney Spears’ new single, “Work Bitch,” dropped 24 hours earlier than expected, leaving reviewers scrambling on Sunday night. Now that the dust has settled a little, we’ve collected a sampling of the reviews and they are definitely mixed. We’ve sorted them into Good, So-So and Bad (if not downright ugly). After a few listens, I fall in the so-so camp. Good for Spears for saluting her dance following, but it feels like she’s a guest on her own single to me (although HitFix editor Gregory Ellwood is much fonder of it than I am). Plus, Spears has tweeted about how this album is so personal, so maybe my expectations were for something totally different. However, by now, we all know not to judge an album by its first single since that’s often thrown out just to get the conversation started, and Brit Brit certainly did that.


THE GOOD

IDOLATOR: Spears sets high, rap-informed standards for those who dare to reckon with her glittering, Vegas-informed reality: “You want a Bugatti? You want a Maserati? You better work, bitch.” (She should call Ace Hood sometime.) And as the propulsive club banger gains steam to skittering, lawn-sprinkler synths, the pop diva dares to sing, “Go call the police! Go call the governor!” with traces of a British accent. Early critics were right — that part of “Work Bitch” really is the best, albeit just one of several great quotable lines here.


DIRECTLYRICS.COM: Is "Work Bitch" the new motivational anthem of our generation?. Hell yeah! Whether you're depressed at home, on your way to work, at the gym, or letting yourself go in a club, Britney Spears' new single is the perfect the song for you. It will get you pumped up right away...The track is trance, pop, spacey, fist-pumping, massive, loud, infectious, catchy, and I could keep going with the adjectives. Britney's trademark singing, and the return of her British accent, complete the amazingness of "Work Bitch".


HOLLYWOOD LIFE: Brit is back sounding amazing with her new hit song, ‘Work B**ch,’ and we are so obsessed already. Honestly, we haven’t loved a song of hers this much since ‘Circus!’ Nice come back, girl!It is safe to say that this isn’t the Britney we’re used to hearing. Coming in fierce with a dance club beat that almost feels like an alarm, Britney does more commanding than singing, as she repeatedly tells someone that they “better work, bi**h.” It’s sort of like a more adult way of saying, “Come and get it.”


THE SO-SO


ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY:The will.i.am-produced song — which clocks in at a robust (for Britney) four-plus minutes — is tailor-made for the dance floor. Spears lets listeners know that, whatever they want in life, whether it be a Bugatti, a Maserati, or a hot body: “You better work, bitch.”

ROLLING STONE: The pounding dance track, which features mostly spoken lyrics, serves as a testament to the fine things a strong work ethic can bring about. "You want a hot body, you want a Bugatti, you want a Maserati?" Spears asks. "You better work, bitch."

POP JUSTICE: It recalls the attitude of ‘Blackout’, but in a song crafted for a post-EDM pop landscape. This record wouldn’t sound like it does if EDM hadn’t happened, but at the same time it’s a Britney track first and foremost. The most exciting bit is the middle eight which goes all epic and spacey with some proper hands-in-the-lasers lyrics.

THE GUARDIAN: As with last year's collaboration with will.i.am, "Scream & Shout," "Work Bitch" feels slightly like a cluster of phrases and bits of melody hunting for a song to attach themselves to, although the overall result is much more appealing. Over a thundering electronic riff and a relentless jackhammer beat, Britney lists various things you'll need to work quite hard in order to achieve: "You wanna live fancy, live in a big mansion, party in France? You better work bitch". It's a sweary motivational anthem from an over-zealous life coach basically, with Britney challenging the listener to get the law involved ("go call the po-lice, go call the guv-a-nah"), but aware that they probably won't be able to help ("I am the guv-a-nah"). It's a pretty relentless onslaught that reflects pop's current love for chucking in everything up to and including the kitchen sink, but there's enough of Britney's personality – the myriad vocal tics, the ridiculous middle-eight breakdown bit – to make sure she hasn't been fully obliterated by will.i.am's production sledgehammer.


THE UGLY

UNDER THE GUN: The pop icon who kickstarted the a new wave of solo female acts at the end of the 1990s is doing whatever she can to keep her career alive with a trendy, albeit completely forgettable single that leaves a lot to be desired.Hitting the net Sunday (9/15), the long-awaited return of the girl who did it again is nothing more than a derivative, EDM-eccentric track that carries almost no unique qualities whatsoever when stacked against everything at radio right now. It’s slick, dance floor ready music meant for clubs that will sell to diehard fans and people trying to keep their workout playlists current while preparing to battle winter weight gain.


SLANT: Co-written and produced by will.i.am, the song finds the singer vamping in the same faux-continental accent she dubiously employed on the pair's recent Top 5 hit "Scream & Shout"—or is it just a ghastly attempt at British? "Work Bitch" follows the current EDM model of painfully aggressive, treble-heavy beats, harsh synths, and tuneless hooks, but makes even "Scream & Shout" sound like a melodic feast. At its best, that song plays like an homage to dance music's recent past, with nods to Underworld's "Born Slippy" and even Spears's own "Gimme More"; "Work Bitch," on the other hand, seems to aspire to classic bitch-queen anthems, but Spears's repeated instructions to "work, work, work" (to reach, if the cover art is any indication, the desired Nomi Malone levels of success) feel mechanical and forced.

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<p>Vincent Rottiers and Christa Theret in &quot;Renoir.&quot;</p>

Vincent Rottiers and Christa Theret in "Renoir."

Credit: Samuel Goldwyn Films

France surprises by selecting 'Renoir' for foreign Oscar race

Meanwhile, Portugal and Pakistan enter the fray

Every year, during the busy submissions stage for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, France's selection is among the most curiously anticipated -- if only because they annually have such a surfeit of plausible contenders. This year, there was particular intrigue surrounding their choice -- since the film that would otherwise have been the likeliest pick, Abdellatif Kechiche's Palme d'Or winner "Blue is the Warmest Color," was ineligible.

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AMC announces a 'Walking Dead' spinoff for 2015


AMC announces a "Walking Dead" spinoff for 2015

The cable network announced today it is the "initial stages" developing a "companion series" for its zombie hit.

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'SNL' makes it official: 6 new cast members


"SNL" makes it official: 6 new cast members
Beck Bennett, John Milhiser, Kyle Mooney, Mike O'Brien, Noel Wells and Brooks Wheelan will be featured players this fall.


"Breaking Bad" delivered its greatest episode with "Ozymandias"
In last night's episode, says Tim Goodman, "it was like every moment contained a line or an action that you couldn’t believe was playing out-- partly because we’ve all been waiting for them to unfold, pretty much since the show began but most definitely, and with authority, in this final season. This, with two episodes to go, felt like the biggest reveal in all five seasons -- the writers flipping almost all the cards over, playing their hands, ending the suspense (and yet, most people were still probably barely breathing or stuck to the ceiling)." PLUS: "Conan" welcomes "Breaking Bad" creator and cast the day after Emmys, "Ozymandias" director Rian Johnson tried to avoid learning the ending, Were those Walt's pants?, this episode yanked our hearts into our throats, one of the most emotionally destructive yet dramatically satisfying hours of TV, "Breaking Bad" props sell out for a New Mexico charity, how Jesse's scene was shot, it was a parade of your worst nightmares, Was that Heisenberg or Walter White?, and this one of the best yet most sickening episodes of this great show.


Tristan Wilds changes his name to "Mack Wilds"
The "90210" and "The Wire" alum is rebranding himself ahead of the release of his new album. "Mack has a whole stronger meaning," he says. "It's a name that my grandmother gave me."


Elisabeth Hasselbeck makes her "Fox & Friends" debut
Elisabeth was quickly greeted by "View" friend Sherri Shepherd, who made a surprise appearance this morning.


Billie Piper joins Showtime's "Penny Dreadful"
The former "Doctor Who" star joins a Victorian drama with a star-studded cast that includes Josh Hartnett, Eva Green and Timothy Dalton.


Ron Swanson takes on London
Watch another preview of "Parks and Rec" in England.


Anti-NBC stickers surface in Hollywood
Who's responsible for denigrating the Peacock?


Paula Deen cries "tears of joy" at her first post-scandal public appearance

The former Food Network star received a standing ovation at the Metro Cooking & Entertaining show in Houston on Saturday.


"Rizzoli & Isles" boss exits
Showrunner Janet Tamaro, who developed the series, is leaving after four seasons.


"The Office" supplies are for sale on eBay

Iconic props from the NBC comedy are being auctioned off.


Emmy winner Bob Newhart plans "Big Bang" return
"There's a script I'll be doing in October, and I'm pretty sure I play Professor Proton in that," Newhart said last night after winning his first-ever Emmy.


"House of Cards" wins its first two Emmys

The Netflix drama beat out its TV counterparts in two Creative Arts Emmy categories.


Netflix uses piracy to pick which programs to buy
For instance, Netflix found that Dutch viewers liked to illegally download "Prison Break." So the Fox series was added to the Dutch Netflix lineup.


"The Newsroom" ends Season 2 with a "bummer" of a finale
Aaron Sorkin almost redeemed himself this season, until that disaster of a finale. PLUS: Comparing election night reality vs. "The Newsroom," well, that was godawful, and it sort of felt like a series finale.

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