Latest Blog Posts

Michelle Monaghan joins Ryan Murphy HBO sexuality drama 'Open'


Michelle Monaghan joins Ryan Murphy HBO sexuality drama "Open"
Monaghan, who will also be on HBO's "True Detective," will co-star in Murphy's pilot about human sexuality.


CBS will repeat last night's "Under the Dome" after it fell to a season low
Last night's episode will be shown on Saturday.


Roger Ebert statue in the works
Ebert's hometown, Champaign in Illinois, is raising $125,000 to build a life-size statue of the film critic.


CW to air Canadian sperm donor comedy "Seed"
It'll be the first comedy on CW in a long time.

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Showtime making a basketball drama with Phil Jackson and L.A. Lakers execs


Showtime making a basketball drama with Phil Jackson and L.A. Lakers execs

"White Men Can't Jump" and "Bull Durham" director Ron Shelton will lead the project, which goes behind the scenes of a professional team. He'll be joined by former Lakers coach Jackson, executive Jeanie Buss, Kurt Rambis and his wife Linda, a Lakers executive.

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Jimmy Kimmel's twerking prank fooled Jimmy Fallon


Jimmy Kimmel's twerking prank fooled Jimmy Fallon
Fallon, Kimmel's future late-night rival, played the twerking girl on fire clip on Friday's show. PLUS: Kimmel shot the video in 3 takes after he challenged his writers to come up with a viral idea.


"NCIS" boss pens letter to fans expressing shock over Cote de Pablo's exit
"That was quite a summer," writes exec producer Gary Glassberg. "I had planned on picnics, barbecues and weekend staycations. I did not plan on the departure of Ziva David.


"The X Files" premiered 20 years ago today
Despite airing on Friday nights, Agents Scully and Mulder became a hit. It was the longest-running sci-fi series to air on American network TV. PLUS: An appreciation of "The X Files, Where are "X Files" stars now?, "X Files" paved the way for "Breaking Bad" and "Buffy," here are the 20 best guest stars, 65 tidbits about "The X Files" mythology, and the 9 best episodes.


Diehard Arsenio Hall fan Paul Scheer reviews last night's premiere
"The League" star writers: "We went for 60 minutes with nary a 'WUFF! WUFF!' And that’s not cool with me. That's like going to a Robin Thicke concert and not hearing 'Blurred Lines.' But I'll let Arsenio slide because, aside from that, he did everything you wanted. He did the hits. He didn't re-invent himself, he just dusted himself off and went back to work."


Demi Lovato, 21, writing her memoir
"The X Factor" star has signed a multi-book deal.


Watch the 1st "American Horror Story" teaser featuring the new cast
Jessica Lange, Angela Basset and Kathy Bates, together.


TLC renews "Who Do You Think You Are?"
The Lisa Kudrow-produced show that NBC canceled after three seasons will see a 2nd season on TLC. PLUS: "Big Bang's" Jim Parsons is featured in tonight's season finale.


NBC posts "Ironside" pilot online
You can also watch the first episode of "Welcome to the Family" right now.


Kanye West makes a surprise appearance on Jimmy Fallon
West used his first "Late Night" appearance to diss Kim Kardashian's ex Ray J.


Ron Moore's "Outlander" adds a "Game of Thrones" alum

Duncan Lacroix is joining the Syfy drama series.


Watch the trailer for HBO's "Hello Ladies"
Ricky Gervais' tall sidekick Stephen Merchant stars in this HBO comedy.


Sundance Channel to air French zombie series "The Returned" for Halloween
Watch the trailer for "The Returned," which has already aired in Britain.

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"American Horror Story"

 "American Horror Story"

Credit: FX

Watch: The stars come out in this 'American Horror Story: Coven' teaser

In this teaser, see some of the stars in witchy garb

Yet again, "American Horror Story" is rolling out evocative, creepy teasers to get us excited about the latest season ("Coven" premieres Wednesday, October 9 at 10:00 p.m. ET on FX). This time around, we get to see a few of the stars -- including grande dames Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett. I could tell you the rest, but I wouldn't want to spoil it. 

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<p>Matthew McConaughey in &quot;Dallas Buyers Club&quot;</p>

Matthew McConaughey in "Dallas Buyers Club"

Credit: Focus Features

Matthew McConaughey bursts into crowded Best Actor field with career-best 'Dallas Buyers Club' portrayal

How does anyone on the outside even begin to crack this field?

I honestly can't wait to talk to Matthew McConaughey again this year. We sat down at Sundance to discuss Jeff Nichols' "Mud" in some detail, but I'm ready to really dig in on what has driven the actor to such a profound turnaround in his career. It's been covered in fits and starts and superficial flourishes by the media, but I'm ready to get serious. It's fascinating to me.

We've been keyed into the "McConaissance," as it were, for quite some time. Over a year ago we were pondering 2012 as a watershed year for the actor, noting the kinds of talent he was working with: Nichols on "Mud" (which premiered at Cannes in 2012), William Friedkin on "Killer Joe," Steve Soderbergh on "Magic Mike," Lee Daniels on "The Paperboy," Richard Linklater on "Bernie," etc. When you're trying to turn your career around, the first thing you do is sign up to work with a different breed of filmmaker.

This year, "Mud" has finally arrived and become one of the most critically acclaimed films of the year. McConaughey has landed the lead role in Christopher Nolan's next big blockbuster, "Interstellar." Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street" is still to come, the trailer for HBO's "True Detective" promises an intriguing transition to television for the actor and, oh, that Oscar buzz we were expecting to accompany his performance in Jean-Marc Vallée's "Dallas Buyers Club?" It's here.

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Watch: Kanye West performs 'Bound 2' on 'Late Night with Jimmy Fallon'

Watch: Kanye West performs 'Bound 2' on 'Late Night with Jimmy Fallon'

Rapper's surprised appearances paired him with Charlie Wilson, The Roots

Kanye West made an unannounced stop at “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” last night where he performed "Yeezus" track “Bound 2” with Charlie Wilson and house band, The Roots.

West had been in New York for fashion week and while the performance was a surprise, word leaked out later in the day before the show aired.

West’s “Yeezus” tour, featuring Kendrick Lamar, starts Oct. 19 in Seattle. It is his first solo tour since 2008’s “Glow In The Dark.” 

 

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USA renews 'Graceland'


USA renews "Graceland"
The crime drama will be back for a 2nd season.


Arsenio Hall returns to good numbers

Early ratings show Hall was No. 1 in the 18-49 and 25-54 demos. Hall's return included cameos by Paula Abdul and Jay Leno. PLUS: It was smart of Hall to do the exact same show.


The Situation blames "Dancing with the Stars" for his pill addiction
The former "Jersey Shore" star say he's still suffering from a neck injury he sustained on the ABC reality show.


Read an oral history of "The Shield"
Michael Chiklis, CCH Pounder, Shawn Ryan, Walton Goggins and everybody else involved in the FX series sat down for this detailed look back.


"American Psycho" coming to TV

FX is developing a TV sequel to Bret Easton Ellis’ 1980s serial killer story.


Fox puts "The Mindy Project" Season 2 premiere online
Watch next week's premiere right now.

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<p>Keith Urban - 'Fuse'</p>

Keith Urban - 'Fuse'

Credit: Capitol Nashville

Album Review: Keith Urban's 'Fuse' marries country with other musical styles

Miranda Lambert and Eric Church guest on new set

With “Fuse,” Keith Urban announced his desire to shake up his sound a bit, but longtime fans need have no fear. While the "American Idol" judge incorporates eight producers, including popmeisters Stargate and Butch Walker, and he plays beyond country’s confines on a few tracks, most tunes hew closely to what  the faithful have come to love: mid-tempo tunes anchored by banjo or guitar and Urban’s instantly recognizable vocals. The album is out today (10).

“Somewhere In My Car”: The first thing you hear on this mid-tempo wistful track is a banjo, a reassuring sign that as much as Urban has decided to stretch his musical legs a little, he’s not straying that far. The girl is long gone, but in his memory he can remember the feel of her lips on his, kissing in the car and the beautiful pain of a time gone by. A fuzzy guitar gives the otherwise soft song a harder edge.  GRADE: B

“Even The Stars Fall 4 U”: Opening with shouts of “Hey!” before going into an instantly catchy, exuberant love song, “Stars” combines country instrumentation with the most pop production Urban has ever gone for. It has the same multi-format smash appeal like Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me.” Country radio may want a slightly different mix, but given how pop country is leaning right now, probably not. If the label can wait this long, this could be a song of summer, 2014.  GRADE: A-

“Cop Car”: Urban takes a trip back in time as he remembers falling in love in police car after getting arresting for some youthful hijinks. The lyrics stretch for a meaning, but he’s going to lose plenty of folks when he talks about the siren lights reflecting in her eyes. Even as talented an artist as Urban can’t sell this line: “Something about the blue lights shining bringing out the freedom in your eyes.” Nice guitar solo, but that can’t save this song. I’d like to make a citizen’s arrest, please: GRADE: C-

“Shame”: Urban admits his foibles in this mid-tempo tale of skipping bill payments, missing birthdays, burning bridges, hurting lovers, and, basically, being human. “Everyone hurts the same,” he sings, and we all carry our scars around, even though we’re too scared to show them. Interesting lyrics, but may been better sequenced further down the record. GRADE: B-

“Good Thing”:  Forget “Sweet Thing,” Urban is more concerned about the moment as he woos a girl in a club in this bouncy track that’s more Dierks Bentley than Keith Urban. It’s a change of pace for Urban, but it’s a very well produced, fun, upbeat ditty. He promises if she gives him one chance, she’ll never be lonely again. Check out the Jerry Reed-like guitar solo. GRADE: B+

“We Were Us” (featuring Miranda Lambert): Lambert and Urban’s voices wind around each other effortlessly in this banjo-based mid-tempo about a couple who has split, but neither has let go. GRADE: B

“Love’s Poster Child”:  A slow, southern, swampy song that casts Urban as a man in need of a love infusion and he’s found just the woman to do it. Fans of Jason Aldean’s “She’s Country”  will love the feel of this one. Definitely a single. GRADE: A

“She’s My 11”: This uptempo declaration of love will have fans clapping along. The swaying song with a “whoa-oh-oh” sing-a-long features one of Urban’s best vocals.  GRADE: B

“Come Back To Me”: Probably the biggest stretch sonically on the album, “Come Back To Me” is built around a hypnotic electronic loop and a woozy guitar solo. Urban wants his love to come back, but she has already found someone new, so all he can hope for is that he treats her right. GRADE: A

“Red Camaro”: Another entry in the flirty, fun cars-and-girls song pantheon.  GRADE: B-

“Little Bit Of Everything”: The first single, and first No. 1, from “Fuse,” is as easy going as the song’s lyrics, which are about not “needing too much of nothing,” and being happy with life’s simple pleasures. Perfect song to usher out the summer with a very tasty guitar outro. GRADE: B

“Raise ‘Em Up” (featuring Eric Church): Melodically redolent of a slower “Someone Like You,” “Raise “Em Up” plays off the title, whether it be raising a glass or raising a kid. Church is way down in the mix. GRADE:  B-

“Heart Like Mine”: Album closer is a piano-based mid-tempo track with a strong melody, dramatic build and layered, pop backing vocals. The tale of     humility and love ends the project on a strong note and with a strong heartbeat. GRADE: B+

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<p>Scarlett Johansson in &quot;Under the Skin&quot;</p>

Scarlett Johansson in "Under the Skin"

Credit: A24

Toronto: A24 picks up 'Under the Skin' with Scarlett Johansson and 'Locke' with Tom Hardy

Indie distributor is wheelin' and dealin' early in the fall fest circuit

The funny thing about Jonathan Glazer's "Under the Skin" is that we pretty much called it. Okay, not in print, but Greg Ellwood and I were talking to A24 publicity at the Telluride Film Festival last week and he put it bluntly: "So, you'll be picking up 'Under the Skin,'" he said. "It's an A24 film if there ever was one." And so it is.

I'm glad A24 is out there grabbing titles like this, films that challenge even in the indie vein and might not be attractive buys in the current market for the companies that might have grabbed them in the past. And mostly, I'm just excited I'll definitely be able to see Glazer's latest, which I kept missing at Telluride and again missed at an LA screening after the fest (it's been playing Toronto this week).

Greg called the film a "near-masterpiece" at Telluride, noting that "Glazer has created a conversation piece that will be talked about long after the blockbusters of this year and next have come and gone." He gave high marks to Scarlett Johansson for her performance as well. Guy, meanwhile, called it "the riskiest, most extravagantly sensual and image-fuelled film in Competition at Venice."

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"Snake Salvation"

 "Snake Salvation"

Credit: Nat Geo

Exclusive: Watch the scary ritual of snake handling of 'Snake Salvation'

Two pastors risk everything to follow their faith

Some people consider themselves true believers. And then, there are the snake handlers. Whether or not you think they're deeply devoted, nuts, or both, you can't say they don't have guts. In this exclusive clip from the new Nat Geo series, "Snake Salvation" (debuts tonight at 9:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. ET), we get a first glimpse of what pastors Jamie Coots and Andrew Hamblin consider a mission from God -- snake handling. 

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<p>Paulina Garcia (far right) in Chilean Oscar entry &quot;Gloria.&quot;</p>

Paulina Garcia (far right) in Chilean Oscar entry "Gloria."

Credit: Roadside Attractions

Chile's 'Gloria,' Australia's 'The Rocket' among recent entries in foreign Oscar race

Where do we currently stand in this wide-open category?

While in Venice, I lost track somewhat of the submissions process for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar -- and at this stage, with the deadline for entries only a few weeks away, turning your back on the process for even a few days means you feel significantly behind. Last time I checked in, five films had been submitted; today, by my count, the number has gone up to 22. I've gathered them all on the category's Contenders page for your reference, and even done some preliminary ranking based on the entries so far; expect considerable movement there as new films join the race. As always, inside tips and insights from our international readers are most welcome, so don't be shy.

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<p>David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson in &quot;The X-Files,&quot;&nbsp;which debuted 20 years ago tonight.</p>

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson in "The X-Files," which debuted 20 years ago tonight.

Credit: FOX

'The X-Files' 20th anniversary: The truth was out there

Looking back at the legacy and influence of the classic FOX sci-fi drama

Twenty years ago tonight, FOX debuted a strange little show called "The X-Files." Its stars were virtually unknown — Gillian Anderson was only 24 when the pilot was filmed, and if you recognized David Duchovny at all, it was either as the cross-dressing FBI agent from "Twin Peaks" season 2 or as the man who read letters at the start of every episode of "Red Shoe Diaries" — and the format was an odd mash-up of science-fiction and police procedural, as FBI partners Mulder (the believer) and Scully (the skeptic) traveled the country investigating reports of paranormal activity.

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