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Roundup: Why the Oscars matter, even if they don't
Credit: AP Photo

Roundup: Why the Oscars matter, even if they don't

Also: Breaking down '12 Years a Slave,' and how Jared Leto got cool

The best Oscar-related piece on the internet comes from Salon critic Andrew O'Hehir, who examines our fascination with the awards, as as we concede that they mean little in the grand scheme of things: "The Oscar race has things to teach us, every single year; but on the other hand, the manufactured narrative that gets spun out of it is almost entirely devoid of meaning ... like electoral politics with the ideology shoved under the carpet." The difference this year, he says, is that neither of this year's two apparent race-leaders fit the usual Oscar formula: "12 Years a Slave" is a "valuable historical corrective" and "formally audacious," while "Gravity" "may have too much catharsis ... a remake of Kubrick’s '2001' made by HAL." [Salon]

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<p>Because when you're Ron Burgundy, OF&nbsp;COURSE&nbsp;you bottle-feed milk to a shark.</p>

Because when you're Ron Burgundy, OF COURSE you bottle-feed milk to a shark.

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Racial discomfort and flipping Winnebegos feature in new 'Anchorman 2' trailer

It looks like the Action News team has some trouble with the '80s

Anytime it's taken the better part of a decade to make a sequel to a film, it is at lastly somewhat likely that the sequel is going to suck. It's no one's fault, per se, but it's just one of those things. Maybe it's hard to go back to something after that long. Maybe it's hard to recapture whatever made the thing special in the first place.

That will not be the case with "Anchorman 2."

At this point, I've seen enough of the film to be very confident that they have recaptured the exact voice that made the first "Anchorman" so much fun. I find myself frequently amazed at how much of an institution the first film is at this point considering the response when it was released. People seemed to enjoy it, but there was no immediate sense that it was going to turn into a phenomenon that people quote constantly, or that it was going to eventually become part of the pop culture lexicon. I love that the film finally found its audience, and that there is so much passion for it now.

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Best Supporting Actress 2014: Jennifer Lawrence, Julia Roberts and Scarlett Johansson

Best Supporting Actress 2014: Jennifer Lawrence, Julia Roberts and Scarlett Johansson

A colorful array of performances from legends and newcomers alike

Coming around to the final of the four acting categories this season, Best Supporting Actress isn't as jam-packed as the Best Supporting Actor field, but it's pretty dense in its own right. What's more, while it's not exactly "wide" open, there is room to navigate and we could end up with a surprise or two.

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Walton Goggins and Katey Sagal in 'Sons of Anarchy'

Venus (Walton Goggins) bonds with Gemma (Katey Sagal) in 'Sons of Anarchy'

Credit: FX

'Sons of Anarchy' recap: Venus rises in 'Sweet and Vaded'

Walton Goggins injects some heart and soul into the season before Tara brings the nasty

Certain parts of "Sons of Anarchy" inevitably feel like a little boy's fantasy of what it means to be a grown-up man: a tough, cool guy who wins every fight, scores with any woman he wants and outsmarts every rival. But to the show's credit, "Sons" has always been equally interested in its female characters, routinely giving them the same level of badass cred as the guys. There's plenty of reasons to quibble with the way certain characters are (or aren't) developed, but when it comes to storytelling "Sons" rarely discriminates based on gender. Maybe that's one reason the character of Venus van Dam works so well.

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"The Monuments Men"

Credit: Sony Pictures

You're gonna have to wait until 2014 to see George Clooney's 'Monuments Men'

Another awards season possibility bites the dust

It's interesting watching things shake out so relatively late in the season. First Sony Classics decided that, rather than push "Foxcatcher" out there at the end of the season, it would wait and allow further considerations time to breathe in the editing room. Now that company's parent, Sony Pictures, has shuffled George Clooney's "The Monuments Men," which has been test screening and had a scoring session booked in London yesterday, out of what is already a crazily crowded year.

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<p>At this point, it's safe to say Fitz is not the only one harboring a preposterous crush on Skye.'</p>

At this point, it's safe to say Fitz is not the only one harboring a preposterous crush on Skye.'

Credit: ABC/Marvel Studios

Review: 'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.' face the threat of 'Girl In A Flower Dress'

Skye's big secret is finally revealed in episode five of the new Marvel series

One of the things I always find interesting is when a show that is bound by budget and time to one geographic location is written as a globetrotting adventure, requiring them to convince us that they've gone around the world despite the evidence of our eyes. "Alias" is a great recent example of this, a show that turned Burbank into every corner of the world.

This week opens in Hong Kong, where Renshu Tseng, a street magician (played by Louis Ozawa Changchien from "Predators") is doing very basic tricks for a crowd. Only when he sees a particularly striking woman does he create real fire in the palm of his hand, freaking out the crowd. It seems to work, though. She is turned on enough by the trick to go home with him, and he talks to her about the difference between real magic and tricks. He seems nervous to show off the real thing up close, but he ends up giving in.

He tells her about how his gift started to manifest a few years ago, and her response seems like a rational one: she calls in backup to abduct him.

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ABC may bring 'Body of Proof' back from the dead

ABC may bring "Body of Proof" back from the dead

The Dana Delany drama, canceled in May after three seasons, may return for midseason. But first ABC has to make a decision and get the cast together.

"Entourage" movie salary standoff is resembling the "Sex and the City" movie standoff
Is Adrian Grenier the new Kim Cattrall?

Animal Planet calls "Kitten Bowl" a "copy cat" for knocking off "Puppy Bowl"
An Animal Planet spokesperson says: "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler's reps deny report they're making $4M each for Golden Globes

"The dollar figure that Radar has printed is grossly exaggerated," say their representatives.

ABC orders additional scripts for "Super Fun Night" and "Back in the Game"
The script orders appear to be a vote of confidence in the two freshman comedies.

"SVU" and "Scandal" are both doing Anthony Weiner-inspired stories this week
Both dramas will do their own take on the disgraced ex-congressman.

"Doctor Who's" 50th anniversary special will be shown in 3D in UK theaters

The theater release will come at the same time as the BBC broadcast.

China is cracking down on reality shows
Channels will have to get approval from the Chinese government to air reality TV.

"Glee" releases images from its Lady Gaga/Katy Perry episode
The costumes are kind of amazing in "A Katy or a Gaga."

Will "Homeland's" twist addiction turn off viewers?
As James Poniewozik notes, "Surprise twists are like a cheap drug for thriller dramas. They're a rush, they give you a quick fix–but over time, you develop a tolerance. If you occasionally pull the rug out from under your audience, in a way that’s clever and serves the story, that can be effective. But pull the rug out too often, and the audience loses its investment, because you're not telling a story anymore, just playing a game." PLUS: Martin Donovan on his new role, and why twist haters are clueless.

"Looper" kid to play Halle Berry's son on her CBS drama

Pierce Gagnon has joined the cast of "Extent."

Why didn't cable pick up Sarah's Silverman's rejected NBC pilot?

"Susan 313" could've worked in the vein of Louis CK's "Louie" or Marc Maron's "Maron."

"The Walking Dead" cast "sings" "The Monster Mash"
Watch a "Dead" take on the 1962 classic song.

Does "American Horror Story" have too much death?
There's been so much death that it's almost become the norm. To which exec producer Brad Falchuk says: "If they are desensitized, then we're not doing our job well enough that you want to care about the people that are alive." PLUS: How to make an "AHS"-themed haunted house, and the first two "Coven" episodes are in the Top 3 in FX history.

FCC releases 38 anti-"Simpsons" complaints, including one outraged over a naked Homer Simpson obtained the complaints, which includes letters from viewers angry over Bart Simpson groin-kicking and Marge kissing another woman.

Why doesn't TV feature more female friendships?

On shows like "New Girl" and "Scandal," female characters have nobody to gossip with.

"Pretty Little Liars" spinoff "Ravenswood" seems uninspired
Where "PLL" is audacious, its spinoff feels warmed-over.

PBS tells the story of the African-American experience, starting from 1500

The six-part documentary "The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross" kicks off tonight by delving into the history of the slave trade.

Watch the "Boy Meets World" cast, reunited

The TGIF stars came together for a "GMA" appearance.

On Esquire channel, alcohol is the badge of belonging

The metrosexual channel is trying to be hip with its focus on craft beer, champagne, vodka, moonshine and even absinthe.

"Sleepy Hollow" adds a "Girlfriend"

Jill Marie Jones is joining the cast as Orlando Jones' wife.

Here's Taye Diggs romancing "New Girl"

Diggs will guest on the Nov. 5 episode. PLUS: Winston gets an admirer.

In defense of "Hostages"

The CBS drama has delivered gripping, edge-of-your-coach storylines.

Ellen sends 2 of her staffers into a haunted house
Watch their reactions to a "Walking Dead"-themed horror.

"Secret Life of the American Teenager" star joins Lifetime's "Unreal"

Francis Raisa joins Shiri Appleby in the behind-the-scenes dating show drama.

Syfy orders "Opposite Worlds" -- contestants will live in the future and the past
The Syfy competition will put 14 contestants in a house, and split them up into a two different worlds -- one in the future, and one in the past.

CeeLo Green's legal troubles hurt "The Voice"?
The charge that he dropped ecstasy in a woman's drink ruins the show's summer camp spirit. PLUS:

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Timothy Spall in Mike Leigh's untitled new film.
Timothy Spall in Mike Leigh's untitled new film.
Credit: Sony Classics

Timothy Spall looks to the horizon in first image from Mike Leigh's latest

He plays legendary artist J.M.W. Turner in Leigh's long-awaited passion project

A couple of weeks ago -- I don't recall the context -- a reader asked me who I thought deserved consideration for an Honorary Oscar in the near future. Among the names I threw into the hat was Mike Leigh. The 70-year-old British writer-director may still be very much an active talent, but over the course of seven nominations (two for Best Director, five for Best Original Screenplay) in 16 years, Leigh hasn't really come close to cracking the winner's circle: his films may just be too intimately English, and his workshop-heavy creative process too unconventional, for the larger Academy ever to "get" him. And that's a shame.

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Listen to a new 'Hunger Games: Catching Fire' song by Of Monsters and Men

Listen to a new 'Hunger Games: Catching Fire' song by Of Monsters and Men

Song captures Katniss' isolation

Of Monsters and Men may be from Iceland, but they sound like they could be residents of The Capitol on this song snippet from “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” soundtrack.

“Silhouettes” captures the Nanna Bryndis Hilmarsdottir’s unique vocals, use of percussion and non-traditional rock instruments like the melodica that helped make them one of last year’s breakout artists with such songs as “Little Talks” and “Mountain Sound.”

The band used the sense of isolation that comes from being on the road to relate to Katniss’s struggles, the group’s Ragna Porhallsson told MTV News. “We had been traveling for a long time and away from our family and doing something we had never done before, so that was kind of how we related to the story,” he said.

Of Monsters and Men based the song on the overall feel of the book the sequel is based upon. “I think that’s stronger than...writing a song about one scene,” Porhallsson said.

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<p>Monday's &quot;Mom&quot;</p>

Monday's "Mom"

Credit: CBS

Monday ratings analysis: 'Mom' rises, 'CrazySexyCool' shines for VH1

'Blacklist' is flat week-to-week, which is probably good news
Because of Monday Night Football, the Fast National ratings for Monday (October 21) were extra provisional and subject to change in the Finals. 
That prompted me to want to glance at some of the final figures, including early successes for CBS' revamped Monday, the predictable final pecking order for The CW's Monday dramas and a few cable shows.
This won't be my most in-depth analysis, but it'll supplement the regular morning ratings story, which is really all I aspire to.
Click through for the details...
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'The Simpsons' to promote soccer with World Cup-themed episode and special merchandise

"The Simpsons" to promote soccer with World Cup-themed episode and special merchandise

Homer will be recruited as a FIFA World Cup referee in the March 2014 episode. "The Simpsons" will also team with several soccer clubs, including  FC Barcelona.

Adam Scott: "Parks and Rec" is not going on hiatus
An article reporting that "Parks and Recreation" is going on hiatus is misleading, says Scott on Twitter. Despite NBC delaying three episodes, he tweets, we'll "still air the same amount of episodes before Xmas as last year, & weren't scheduled to air new eps in Dec anyway ... and Parks will be back with Community in a regular time slot at the beginning of Jan." Last fall, "Parks and Rec" aired nine episodes and is scheduled to air nine this fall.

Here's your 1st look at Damon Wayans Jr. back on "New Girl"
All the guys will fight for Coach's friendship.

CBS to air 2 colorized "I Love Lucy" episodes
The grape-stomping episode and a rarely seen Christmas episode will be shown during the holidays.

Diddy's all-music cable channel Revolt launches
But only Time Warner and Comcast customers will be able to watch.

Jessica Lange: I'll wind down my acting career with 1 more season of "American Horror Story"

"I am coming to the end of acting," says the 64-year-old actress.

Kevin Connolly turns director for ESPN's "Big Shot" documentary
Tonight's "30 for 30" doc tells the story of the guy who came out of nowhere to own the New York Islanders.

VH1's "CrazySexyCool" scores big numbers

About 4.5 million watched the TLC biopic.

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<p>Showtime has renewed &quot;Homeland&quot;&nbsp;for a fourth season.</p>

Showtime has renewed "Homeland" for a fourth season.

Credit: Showtime

Showtime renews 'Homeland' & 'Masters of Sex'

Both Sunday dramas will return next year, but do both deserve to?

Showtime has renewed both of its current Sunday dramas, "Homeland" and "Masters of Sex."

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