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"Dancing with the Stars" cast

 "Dancing with the Stars" cast

Credit: ABC

Handicapping the new 'Dancing with the Stars' cast

Wanna bet? Find out who we think will get cut first (and last) and why

 "Dancing with the Stars" has announced a new cast for season 17, and it's the usual array of ringers, has-beens, up-and-comers and miscellaneous entertainers. Still, a few of these names might come as a surprise to fans (and others will be altogether new). Here's our thoroughly unscientific guide to who has a shot, why they may not, and how we expect them to perform. 


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W. Kamau Bell

 W. Kamau Bell

Credit: FXX

Interview: 'Totally Biased' W. Kamau Bell talks God, Twitter and rape jokes

The FXX star talks about what he has planned this season

If you missed "Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell" on FX last season, good news. The show is moving over to FXX for season two (debuts tonight at 11:00 p.m.), and it will no longer be on just once a week -- but nightly. It's a big step for Bell, who has added more writers and tripled his production staff for the supersized gig. But for the guy who made rape jokes a hot button topic when he asked comedian Jim Norton and writer Lindy West to take opposing sides of the issue, coming up with new ideas that make Twitter blow up should be no problem. I talked to Bell during press tour, and here's what he had to say about that pivotal debate, the topic he wants to tackle next, and why he might be just the right guy to do it. 

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<p>Richard Armitage in the original season of &quot;Strike Back.&quot;&nbsp;</p>

Richard Armitage in the original season of "Strike Back." 

Credit: Sky

Cinemax to air original UK 'Strike Back' season as 'Strike Back: Origins'

The Richard Armitage/Andrew Lincoln season is finally coming to America

Every time I write about Cinemax's "Strike Back" returning for another season, I always have to include a footnote explaining that the show aired for a year in the UK with an entirely different cast, headed by Richard Armitage and future "The Walking Dead" star Andrew Lincoln. Armitage's John Porter appears briefly at the start of the Cinemax/Sky co-produced version of the show, but Cinemax has largely treated its episodes as the start of the series, while British audiences know the series predates Philip Winchester, Sullivan Stapleton and company.

That situation is about to change, as I'm hearing that Cinemax will be airing the six-episode Armitage season later this fall, on Fridays at 10 after the current Winchester/Stapleton season wraps.

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<p>I will miss Mel Gibson's take on Max, but George Miller is the essential ingredient as far as I'm concerned.</p>

I will miss Mel Gibson's take on Max, but George Miller is the essential ingredient as far as I'm concerned.

Credit: Warner Bros.

Reshoots mean George Miller's new 'Mad Max' is delayed again

George Miller is one of those filmmakers we should trust by now, right?

So I know I was on vacation, but I wasn't cut off from civilization. I was looking at Twitter occasionally, reading a few e-mails at the end of the night. As a result, I'm still catching up on stuff that evidently was discussing, and I felt like one story in particular deserved a second look, because I'm not sure why it seems to have been almost completely shrugged off.

Isn't anyone else curious what's taking so much time with "Fury Road"?

Maybe it's just me. I've been hearing talk about this film for a decade now, and when it comes to George Miller, there are few film fans who are more passionate about him. I think Miller is all-time-pantheon good at what he does, and I think it's a shame he hasn't been treated with a little more reverence. He should be. He is a straight-up kinetic genius, a whiz when it comes to cranking up the tension in a sequence. There is a chase that takes place in "Babe: Pig In The City" that is every bit as thrilling and sincere as the big chase near the end of "Mad Max 2," aka "The Road Warrior," and only Miller could treat both of those scenes they way he did. Only he would stage them and shoot them the way he does. There's no one else who has the same eye that Miller has. I don't understand the magic trick in "Lorenzo's Oil," where he makes it feel just as urgent to have someone read something in a book as it is to break past Lord Humungous and his horde.

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Jon Stewart's 'Daily Show' return attracts 2 million

Jon Stewart's "Daily Show" return attracts 2 million
That's up from the 1.45 million on average who watched Stewart's final two weeks before taking 12 weeks off.

"Tomorrow People" recruits "Downton Abbey" alum Dan Stevens
He'll voice biological computer TIM.

"Big Brother" star Aaryn is not a racist, says her black "valentine"
Shawn Onyechi was friends with Aaryn in college -- though they didn't date -- and has the pictures to prove it.

Judge Greg Mathis' life to become a sitcom, from producer Ellen DeGeneres
The proposed Fox camera follows a hoodlum-turned-judge who has no control of his family home.

"Frasier's" Jane Leeves to guest on "We Are Men"
The "Hot in Cleveland" star will recur as Tony Shalhoub's hairstylist.

Check out "The Walking Dead" Season 4 poster
Rick stands alone.

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<p>Do you want literal flames for the Firewall &amp;&nbsp;Iceberg video logo, or the podcast's color bars?</p>

Do you want literal flames for the Firewall & Iceberg video logo, or the podcast's color bars?

Help choose the Firewall & Iceberg video logo!

Classic color bars, or literal fire and ice?

Back in the summer, the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast went video, as Dan and I went on camera to discuss the Emmy nominations, and then the TV critics press tour. Over those two shows, we learned all sorts of exciting things about how to talk with our hands, proper eye contact, use of props and more.

Now the plan is for Firewall & Iceberg videos to be a weekly show on HitFix, premiering sometime this fall. We have many questions to answer about the show between now and debut day, and we wanted to broach one of them to you, the audience. Our graphics team has cooked up two different versions of a logo for the series: one based on the podcast's familiar color bars, one taking the heat and cold of the title more literally.

I've embedded a poll in this post, and you guys can vote on which you prefer. We will happily go with whichever one gets the most votes, and we'll share more details about the video show as we can.

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"Project Runway"

 "Project Runway"

Credit: Lifetime

Michael Kors stops by 'Project Runway' to bag on 'poopy pants'

The snarky judge has lots to say

He’s back! Though he's not returning for good (sigh), Michael Kors is joining the panel of "Project Runway" (Lifetime, Thurs. at 9:00 p.m. ET) as guest judge in this week’s episode and he has got a lot to say about…poopy pants. Yes, poopy pants.

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<p>Solomon Northup</p>

Solomon Northup

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

'12 Years a Slave' featurette details the true story setting of Steve McQueen's film

Fox Searchlight's film is about to sieze the awards conversation again in Toronto

One of the reasons "12 Years a Slave" works so well is that it's rather naturally structured as a thriller. As the film follows Solomon Northup from freedom to shackles, his circumstances -- kidnapped in Washington D.C. and sold into slavery in the south -- are just terrifying, and director Steve McQueen follows that natural structure with convention and invention in equal measure.

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Has Valerie Harper already won 'Dancing with the Stars'?

Has Valerie Harper already won "Dancing with the Stars"?
Her recent terminal illness has made Harper the favorite to win "Dancing" this season. Even the show's producer, Conrad Green, admits she's could win: "If Valerie is a strong dancer, she's got a strong chance of winning the show."

Sofia Vergara is the highest-paid actress on TV, earning $30M in 1 year
Some of the "Modern Family" star's earnings come from outside ventures, such as deals with K-Mart and Covergirl. Kaley Cuoco and Mariska Hargitay tie at No. 2 with $11 million, while Tina Fey and Bethenny Frankel each earned $10 million.

"Glee" will sing 14 Beatles songs
Everything from "Yesterday" to "Let it Be" will be part of The Beatles tribute episode.

Jon Stewart's return proves "The Daily Show" itself is the true star
It was like he never left, which goes to show how much a well-oiled machine "The Daily Show" has become.

"Sons of Anarchy's" Ron Perlman calls "The Newsroom" TV's best show

"Great news! No better show on TV," he tweeted of "The Newsroom's" renewal, to the annoyance of "Sons of Anarchy" fans.

Carol Burnett will be honored by Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph
Burnett's Mark Twain Prize for American Humor ceremony will also feature Tim Conway and Vicki Lawrence, as well as Julie Andrews and Tony Bennett.

"True Blood" ending won't matter: It died a long time ago
HBO's cancelation won't matter because the vampire drama wore itself out many seasons ago, says Molly Lambert. It became unwatchable, she says, "by running every character into the ground; by exhausting all possible pairings and love triangles; and, most of all, by introducing too many new elements that required tons of exposition."

"The Voice" stars sing "Reunited"
Watch their cheesy lake-set promo.

ABC puts "Trophy Wife" pilot online
Watch the first episode by clicking here. Also, watch "The Goldbergs" pilot and the pilot for "Back in the Game."

Is "Breaking Bad's" short timespan a flaw?
Way too much has happened in just over one year on the show. PLUS: See "Breaking Bad" on cover of this week's Entertainment Weekly.

Alyssa Milano's "sex tape" leaks
Courtesy of Funny or Die.

Matt Smith on "Doctor Who": It's the beginning of the end

Work has begun on the "Who" Christmas special.

VH1 creates a morning block out "Big Morning Buzz" and "The Gossip Table"
The 90-minute block kicks off on Sept. 30.

"The Wire" cast members reunite at "Boardwalk Empire" premiere
Check out Felicia "Snoop" Pearson with Tristan Wilds, Michael K. Williams and Domenick Lombardozzi.

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<p>Steve Carell and Channing Tatum in &quot;Foxcatcher&quot;</p>

Steve Carell and Channing Tatum in "Foxcatcher"

Credit: Sony Classics

'Saving Mr. Banks,' 'Foxcatcher' and 'Inside Llewyn Davis' set for 2013 AFI Fest

Bennett Miller's film will see its world premiere as a gala selection

AFI Fest has come out swinging with a pair of big premieres for the 2013 edition of the Los Angeles-based festival and a closing night selection reflective of an American indie skipping across the festival circuit like a stone this year.

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Cover art for Janelle Monae's 'The Electric Lady'

Cover art for Janelle Monae's 'The Electric Lady'

Credit: Warner Music

Listen: Janelle Monae's 'The Electric Lady' in full

Stream the complete album one week before its release

Bits and pieces of Janelle Monae’s conceptual, dramatic new album  “The Electric Lady” have been popping up over the last several months, including “Q.U.E.E.N” featuring Erykah Badu and the funky “Dance Apocalyptic.” Now, you can feast on the whole 19-track set before it comes out Sept. 10, courtesy of VH1.

In addition to Badu, guests on the extravaganza include Prince, Miguel, Solance, Esperanza Spalding and Cee Lo-Green and Big Boi.

The cover album notes that “The Electric Lady” is composed of Suites IV and V, and has two empty circles remaining for what are surely Suite VI and VII.

Monae told Jet that the titular Electric Lady is from a painting of a woman by Monae, and she developed a character from there:

" When I was on tour last year and the year before, I was painting and singing in front of thousands of people. So I would paint this female silhouette night after night and I didn’t quite understand why I was so drawn to this image, this silhouette.

I ended up going off tour and going to Atlanta, Georgia and speaking to my therapist and she encouraged me. She said you should name the painting, name this series. You have all these hundreds of these paintings, name it. Do a showing of it. And so I started to try to come up with these names and I was having a hard time.

I knew that whoever she was, she didn’t want to be marginalized. You could not put her in a fence or categorize her. She was so much bigger than that, you know. I just felt an energy, a very visceral feeling of energy from her, so the words came to my spirit: The Electric Lady…because that’s what it felt like when I looked at her and thought of the colors and the vibrant colors and how it made me feel. There was electricity. It was electric and she was electric."


Get More: Janelle Monae,

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"Dancing with the Stars" hosts Brooke Burke Charvet and Tom Bergeron

 "Dancing with the Stars" hosts Brooke Burke Charvet and Tom Bergeron

Credit: ABC

'Dancing with the Stars' reveals Season 17 cast

One contestant just came back from the brink of death

This morning "Dancing with the Stars" announced its line-up of celebrity hoofers, and while there was the usual assortment of sitcom stars, reality TV nuts and at least one ringer, there were a few surprises, too. While we won't get to see who shines and who stumbles until the show returns (Mon. Sept. 16 at 8:00 p.m.), we can definitely start placing bets. 

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