Latest Blog Posts

Hulu sale canceled


Hulu sale canceled

Instead of selling the streaming website, the media companies who own Hulu have opted to invest $750 million in Hulu to boost its growth.


Anne Heche joins "The Michael J. Fox Show"
She'll play the news anchor at the TV station where Fox returns to work as a correspondent.


AMC teases "Breaking Bad's" final episodes
Is this all-new footage? PLUS: The cast talks Season 8.


"Big Brother" racism persists despite warnings from other housemates
Last night on the live feed, Aaryn was captured saying in a mock accent, "Whatchu gon do gurrl? Where’s yo class?"


"SVU" promotes Raul Esparza
Assistant DA Rafael Barba will become a regular next season.

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"Big Brother"

 "Big Brother"

Credit: CBS

Listen: CulturePop No. 21 - Troy DeVolld, 'Duck Dynasty,' Kardashians

If you have any interest in reality TV, you must listen to this

This week Melinda and I had the great pleasure of having reality TV producer Troy DeVolld ("Hollywood Game Night," "Basketball Wives") as our guest on the show. I think it's safe to say that both Melinda and I learned a lot about how our favorite (and least favorite) shows work. We also talked about the Kardashians. A lot. It's tremendously reassuring to learn that an expert in the field thinks that their fifteen minutes might someday tick out, too. 

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<p>Judi Dench and Steve Coogan in &quot;Philomena.&quot;</p>

Judi Dench and Steve Coogan in "Philomena."

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Is Judi Dench in 'Philomena' the Weinsteins' secret weapon?

First glimpse of Judi Dench and Steve Coogan in the adoption-themed dramedy

Looking ahead to the upcoming awards season, pundits are spoiled for choice when it comes to predicting the Weinstein Company's annual prize pony. But while obviously baity titles like "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" (which just unveiled a teaser trailer today) and "August: Osage County" dominate that particular conversation -- along with established festival hit "Fruitvale Station" -- Stephen Frears's "Philomena" is quietly waiting to pounce, most likely at the fall festival season.

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'Sharknado' director: 'If this is 'Star Wars,' then you've got to make 'Empire Strikes Back'


"Sharknado" director: "If this is 'Star Wars,' then you've got to make 'Empire Strikes Back'"
Anthony C. Ferrante last night reacted to the frenzy over his movie, and said he's ready to do a sequel. "I mean, what do you do after 'Sharknado'? You've got to up the ante. I don't want to compare this to 'Star Wars,' but if this is 'Star Wars,' then you’ve got to make 'Empire Strikes Back' — whatever version of that 'Empire Strikes Back' is of a 'Sharknado' sequel. Number twos are usually pretty damn good." PLUS: "Sharknado's" bizarre geography, 6 things about L.A. "Sharknado" got wrong and right, "Sharknado's" brilliance explained in Gifs and Vines, watch Ian Ziering talk "Sharknado," and more than 604,000 tweets were generated last night -- more than "Game of Thrones" Red Wedding.


Keith Olbermann could return to ESPN with a late-night talk show on ESPN2
According to the NY Daily News, Olbermann is in talks to host a New York-based talk show.


"Revenge" casts Justin Hartley as Victoria's long-lost son
The "Smallville" alum will appear in a multi-episode arc this season.


NBC's "Dracula" will be partnered with Van Helsing

"In our tale, Dracula and Van Helsing are actually partners," says exec producer Tony Krantz. "They've partnered up to fight a bigger bad, which is called The Order of the Dragon, a secret organization."


Honey Boo Boo goes to Washington

The TLC stars were photographed yesterday outside the White House.


See the "Clear History" posters, one for Larry David and another for Jon Hamm
Kate Hudson, Michael Keaton, Bill Hader, Danny McBride, J.B. Smoove, Eva Mendes and Amy Ryan also each got their own poster for the HBO movie.


Jimmy Kimmel updates "Schoolhouse Rock's" "How a Bill Becomes Law"
Check out "You're Screwed." PLUS: Kimmel helps trick-shot toddler get revenge on Fox News host.


The original "Voice" judges are back together
Here's the first image from Season 5.


"Real Housewives" star Brandi Glanville now has a broken hand
It's been a tough week for the Bravo star after her wardrobe malfunction.


"Hollywood Game Night" has an okay debut

About 4.1 million watched the premiere of the celebrity-driven game show.

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<p>A scene from &quot;Mandela:&nbsp;Long Walk to&nbsp;Freedom&quot;</p>

A scene from "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom"

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Hear the voice of Idris Elba's freedom fighter in the teaser trailer for 'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom'

Justin Chadwick's biopic is part of a loaded Weinstein Company slate

At the risk of sounding crass, one has to wonder how Nelson Mandela's current state of health will impact the upcoming film "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom," starring Idris Elba as the South African revolutionary. Thankfully things seem to be looking better for him than they were a week ago.

Meanwhile, Elba takes flight today with his first big leading role in "Pacific Rim," and The Weinstein Company has seized the opportunity to offer up a little tease of Justin Chadwick's film to go along with it. It isn't much. One helicopter shot of Mandela walking surrounded by children. It focuses more on Elba's accent as the actor speaks a monologue over the scene.

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<p>Cool movie, bro.</p>

Cool movie, bro.

Credit: Sony Pictures

Tell us what you thought of 'Grown Ups 2'

...or anything else you might have seen this week

I have not seen "Grown Ups." I don't plan to see "Grown Ups 2." But hey, maybe you are. And maybe maybe you love it. And maybe you can change my mind. So hey, here's your challenge: convince me. And no silly "Isn't it your job to see everything?" talk (and no, it actually isn't, thank God). Or if you don't feel like building a case just tell us what you thought of the movie. And I'm assuming some of you will see it; it's going to win the box office this weekend, after all. Rifle off your take in the comments section below and go ahead and vote in our poll while you're at it. Also, if you've seen anything else you'd like to discuss, in theaters or at home or wherever, consider this an open thread to do so.

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<p>On &quot;Deadwood,&quot;&nbsp;Cy Tolliver (Powers Boothe)&nbsp;gets an earful from George Hearst (Gerald McRaney).</p>

On "Deadwood," Cy Tolliver (Powers Boothe) gets an earful from George Hearst (Gerald McRaney).

Credit: HBO

'Deadwood' Rewind: Season 3, episode 6: 'A Rich Find'

Aunt Lou's son rides into town, and George Hearst is not happy with anyone

For the third summer in a row, we're revisiting David Milch's classic revisionist HBO Western "Deadwood," this time discussing the third season.

While I once upon a time posted two separate reviews so people who hadn't watched the whole series would have a safe place to comment, almost no one bothered commenting on the newbie reviews last year, and they've been ditched. If you haven't finished the series, just avoid the comments of this review and you'll be fine.

Thoughts on episode 6, "A Rich Find," coming up just as soon as I finish showing water how to run downhill...

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<p>Cover art for 'ArtPop.'</p>

Cover art for 'ArtPop.'

Credit: Lady Gaga

Check out Lady Gaga's first artwork for new album, 'ArtPop,' out Nov. 11

First single will drop Aug. 19

Paws up, Little Monsters: Lady Gaga will return with a new single Aug. 19.

She posted the news on her Facebook page just after midnight PT.   Fans can pre-order her new app/album, “ArtPop,” on Sept. 1 for delivery on Nov. 11. “ArtPop” is her fourth studio album and her first since 2011’s “Born This Way.”

In a further explanation on her Facebook page, Momma Monster posted:

“Buil by TechHAUS, the technological branch of Haus of Gaga, the app itself is a musical and visual engineering system that combines music, art, fashion, and technology with a new worldwide community – ‘the auras’. Altering the human experience with social media, we bring ARTculture into POP in a reverse Warholian expedition.

“Exploring Gaga‘s existence as a cultural interface, the user will share in the ‘adrenaline of fame’ as they build and share their own projects, chat with one another, and watch in real-time on a virtual globe as ARTPOP explodes onto the physical and virtual existence at once on November 11, our ‘BIG BANG!’ On the day Haus of Gaga venges with forte to bring the music industry into a new age; an age where art drives pop, and the artist once again is in control of the ‘icon.’

“In turn, the album ARTPOP musically mirrors Gaga‘s creative process as she passes through the mediums of each artist she collaborates with, scoring a blueprint of her journey. The result, a ‘rage’ of electronic passion and fury, defining each artistic process from beginning to end, ARTPOP could mean anything. But or her, this is a celebration of obsession. And on November 10, she will host an evening of artRave exhibiting Haus of Gaga’s projects as well as collaboration with Inez & Vinoodh, Robert Wilson, Marina Abramovic, and Jeff Koons.”

While it’s not known what songs made the cut, among the producers Lady Gaga has worked with over the past two years on potential material for “ArtPop” are RedOne, Zedd, Madeon and Dallas Austin. Among the artists she’s r recorded with are Kendrick Lamar and Azealia Banks.

She previewed a new song while on tour in 2012:  “Princess Die,” about Princess Diana. She later revealed in a fan chat that the version of the song she performed on tour would not make the album, but that she had written a more uptempo version that was under consideration. She also talked about a hip-hop/j-pop/pop song, and has mentioned other new recordings, including one called “Tea.”

Lady Gaga seems to have abandoned a plan she floated last year to release to volumes of music: one would be more “commercial,” she said, while the other, released a few months later,  would be more experimental.

The announcement comes a day after reports surfaced that Lady Gaga will perform at the iTunes Festival in London this fall, her first full concert since hip surgery earlier this year.  The festival runs Sept. 1-30. While Gaga’s participation isn’t confirmed, among the artists who are laying the fest are Arctic monkeys, Vampire Weekend, Queens of the Stone Age and the Pixies.

ArtPop
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<p>Hiccup is back and he's figured out a new way to travel in 'How To Train Your Dragon 2'</p>

Hiccup is back and he's figured out a new way to travel in 'How To Train Your Dragon 2'

Credit: 20th Century Fox/Dreamworks Animation

Gorgeous teaser trailer for 'How To Train Your Dragon 2' takes flight

I love the simplicity of this one

As teaser trailers go, this one's kind of terrific.

So often these days, marketing feels like a blunt instrument designed to beat you into submission. "YOU. WILL. SEE. THIS. MOVIE. OR. YOU. ARE. A. LOSER." It's so aggressive that it can become numbing by the time a film finally rolls into theaters.

Here, though, there seems to be a trust that this moment is enough to remind us of the tactile pleasures of "How To Train Your Dragon" while promising that things have changed enough to warrant a new trip to the theater. The flying sequences in the first film, especially if you saw the film in a great 3D theater, were incredibly immersive and beautiful, and the way they both remind you of that while introducing this one new element is enormously effective.

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'Sharknado' lives up to its title and becomes a web sensation


"Sharknado" lives up to its title and becomes a web sensation

The schlocky Syfy film proved to be a communal experience as celebrities on Twitter -- including Mia Farrow -- relished in its cheesiness. PLUS: Damon Lindelof offers to write the sequel and Syfy offers to pay him "shockingly little, everything went horribly right, and the "Sharknado" company is behind many "mockbusters."


"Parks and Rec" is filming in London because Chris Pratt is shooting a movie in England

"That's how we got the idea," says co-creator Mike Schur. "'The Guardians of the Galaxy' movie is being shot there. We were talking about how Pratt is going to be away and going to miss a couple episodes and then we were like, 'What if we use that almost as an excuse for the premiere and shoot in London?' That was the genesis of it."


Natalie Zea to return to "The Following" after her character was nearly killed off
Fox execs, however, objected to killing off her character, fearing it would turn off viewers.


Kaley Cuoco's romance with "Superman" is short-lived

"The Big Bang Theory" star has split from Henry Cavill, one week after their relationship was revealed.


"Mad Men" costume designer is developing her own reality competition
"Janie Bryant's Hollywood" would have contestants create garments in the style of classic Hollywood films.


Lena Dunham makes a point of not endorsing the sex scandal candidates in NYC races

The "Girls" star isn't a fan of Eliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner.


"Lost's" Sonya Walger is headed to "Parenthood"
She'll recur next season as a "sexy" architect who works with Joel.


Giancarlo Esposito is returning to "Once Upon a Time"

Which of his alter egos will he return as?


"Glee" co-stars get engaged

Blake Jenner and Melissa Benoist are set to tie the knot.


Candice Glover has dropped 30 pounds through her "Idol" experience

She says she lost 10 pounds since winning in May.

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<p>&quot;The Crazy Ones&quot;</p>

"The Crazy Ones"

Credit: CBS

Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'The Crazy Ones'

Time-Traveler Bob Benson upstages Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar

[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots. I know some people will be all "These are reviews." If you've read me, you've read my reviews and you know this isn't what they look like.]

Show:"The Crazy Ones" (CBS)
Airs:Thursdays at 9 p.m.
The Pitch: "Bob Benson: Time-Traveling Ad Man [Small Print: Also Guest-Starring Buffy and Mork]."
Quick Response: Jimmy Wolk is pretty much the best and worst thing about "The Crazy Ones." When David E. Kelley and company cast him, they couldn't possibly have known that the "Lone Star" and "Political Animals" veteran was on the verge of becoming the breakout mystery man of this past "Mad Men" season. At that point, they were just happy to have an attractive, gung-ho young leading man with the surprising energy to go toe-to-toe with Robin Williams. They may not have even known that Wolk and advertising were about to become permanently intermingled with clingy '60s bathing trunks, a nurse named Manolo and, particularly, "NOT GREAT, BOB." Because of the presence of Time-Traveling Bob Benson, "The Crazy Ones" has a brand new distraction which goes above and beyond Robin Williams' predictably aggressive attempts to thrust himself back into primetime. No. He does not do his John Wayne voice. I assume that's being held for Ep.2. Otherwise, you would not accuse Williams of restraint. At one point the character jokes that he has 25 voices in his head -- the "crazy" in the title may be worse than we initially think -- and that gives Williams the opportunity to run through such favorites as Wise Old Native American Man and Scottish Clansman. Oh, Robin Williams. So schticky. I'd say that I'm looking forward to Williams relaxing in subsequent episodes, but Robin Williams doesn't relax. Williams is at his best here when he's with Wolk, because you can sense that they're really enjoying what they're doing and, in an outtake at the end, you can see that others enjoy working with them as well. And by "others," I mean "Kelly Clarkson," who is probably right up there with Wolk when it comes to the best parts of this uneven pilot. She's game for anything and she's actually totally amusing in her own right. Expect enough raves for her performance here that Clarkson will almost have to be brought back and probably frequently. I'm less enamored with Sarah Michelle Gellar who is too often forced to play the shrill wet blanket, which brings out the brittleness that has always been her weakness. When the dialogue asks her to be funny, Gellar's go-to move is the "little girl voice" and in a show with strong comics around her, that just can't measure up. Gellar has one good moment at the end that gives me some hope, but she still worries me. The "Crazy Ones" pilot sent to critics is really short and because it's so heavy on long Robin Williams riffs, the combination of literal brevity and improvisational filler leads to a fairly empty episode. Only Williams and Gellar get character moments and the "plot" may only be three or four scenes. I don't know if this bodes well going forward, especially with David E. Kelley not necessarily being a veteran of the half-hour comedy.
Desire To Watch Again: I don't really need to watch "The Robin Williams Funny Voices Variety Half-Hour," so I'll probably give this an episode or two to settle before deciding. I didn't hate Williams' hamminess, but it was so very much par-for-the-Williams-course that I couldn't find it funny either. This time slot is too tough for me to stick with anything I don't actively enjoy, so there had better be some quick tightening or else I'm out until Clarkson's inevitable sweeps return.

 

Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Enlisted' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Betrayal' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'The Blacklist' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'The Tomorrow People' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'Hostages' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Sleepy Hollow' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Trophy Wife' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'The Michael J. Fox Show' 
All of my 2012 Take Me To The Pilots Entries
All of my 2011 Take Me To The Pilots Entries
All of my 2010 Take Me To The Pilots Entries

 

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Watch: The band Death talks 'A Band Called Death' and re-birth

Watch: The band Death talks 'A Band Called Death' and re-birth

What did the proto-punk band think of the punk era?

AUSTIN - God bless the internet, for once, really, because four years ago, the popularity of the band Death bubbled up in online music communities. For a band that sounded punk before the punk era, in the early and mid-'70s, it's kind of amazing that, today, they can hit the road with those same songs plus release new music and give Death a re-birth.

The music model today isn't always forgiving to its old rolls, particularly to bands that never released under a major label, never toured, never caught on radio and frankly didn't have an audience until stacks divers of this century had their hands on the "Politicians in My Eyes" b/w "Keep on Knocking" 7" single and converted it to digital. This rare story of three African-American brothers making "hard-driving Detroit rock 'n' roll" music in a time that young black men in Detroit were better known for Motown is captured in the new film "A Band Called Death," released this month via Drafthouse.

Founders Dannis and Bobby Hackney, along with adoptive Death member Bobbie Duncan, sat down with HitFix earlier this month. After four years of recounting their incredible story of resurgence, they had their talking points down, and exuded a positive, generally good-news vibe, whether it was about their late brother and spirit-guide-of-sorts David Hackney ("David is right here with us.") the role of race ("In some situations we were too black, in some situations we weren't black enough... rejection was all over the place.").

I was most curious about what they thought of the punk era: Death broke up in 1977, with no following or opportunity to play big markets like New York or London. Yet then along came "the Clash, the Sex Pistols, Patti Smith... me and Dennis nudged each other," Bobby said in our interview, "and [said] this used to remind us of some of the stuff we did in Detroit."

Watch the full interview above for what else they had to say on "claim to fame," their plans for a Drafthouse release of new songs and what helpful thing Smokie Robinson had to say.

Read HitFix's review of "A Band Called Death" here.

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