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10.1 million watched Miley Cyrus twerk on VMAs, up from last year

10.1 million watched Miley Cyrus twerk on VMAs, up from last year
That's up from the 6.1 million that tuned in last year, but down from the 12.4 million who watched in 2011. PLUS: Brooke Shields slams Miley's "disturbing" performance.

Claim: Justin Timberlake nixed plans to include more 'N Sync songs
The other bandmates "were pushing for more," a source tells Us Weekly. "While he was thrilled they could come for him, he didn't want the reunion to be the whole thing." PLUS: How the 'N Sync reunion came together.

Did Disney force ESPN to pull out of the "Frontline" NFL concussions project?
ESPN president John Skipper did meet with Disney CEO Bob Iger before cutting ties, but denies Disney had any say.

Adam Levine and his best friend sell an autobiographical comedy to NBC
This is the 2nd time "The Voice" star and Gene Hong have sold a comedy based on their friendship.

Lynda Carter to guest on "Two and a Half Men"
"Wonder Woman" fan Alan will get to meet his childhood crush.

Judd Apatow to make Amy Schumer a movie star

After starring on "Inside Amy Schumer," the comedienne is working with Apatow on her first feature film.

Restaurant's "Breaking Bad" stipulations included no murders or drug use

Garduño's, a New Mexico Mexican food chain, had to close down one of its locations for one day to accommodate filming for last night's episode.

"Horrible Bosses" writers to make a CBS pilot based on their movie
"Punching Out" will revolve around three guys who hate their job so much they quit to go back to their childhood jobs -- at the mall.

Amazon orders Chris Carter's "The After"
The thriller is "The X Files" creator's first pilot in more than a decade.

CW unveils new show posters
Check out key art for "The Originals," "Reign" and "Tomorrow People."

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"The Real Housewives of New Jersey"

 "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" 

Credit: Bravo

'Real Housewives of New Jersey': Is everyone making nice before jail?

It's all huggy, lovey time, but did they know what was ahead?

Watching "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" last night, it was almost an out-of-body experience. The feuding housewives held hands! They burned symbolic pieces of paper! They visited mediums and cried! It was as if the tough Italians had been held down and forcibly sprinkled with fairy dust or forced to eat hallucinogenic mushrooms and listen to the Grateful Dead.

There was some grumbling about the New Age-iness of it all, but mostly our grumpy crew had no problem getting in touch with their collective feelings in an attempt to purge the hatred and feel the love. When Teresa Giudice wants to tell everyone how much she loves them, I'm fairly sure that's a sign of the coming apocalypse.

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Watch Robin Thicke's absurd 'Give It 2 U' music video with 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar

Watch Robin Thicke's absurd 'Give It 2 U' music video with 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar

An imaginary conversation with Thicke on the making-of this silliness

"So, Robin, as the art director behind this next music video for 'Give It 2 U,' what did you have in mind?"

"Mostly I'd like to be surrounded by hundreds of beautiful, hard-working, talented college-aged women in various states of dress, while I do next to nothing at all. If we shoot it on a football field, perhaps that will give the impression that I'm athletic and that I'm desirable, because I am quite literally playing the field and committing to nothing but my avoidance of physical activity."

"Do you want it to have a similar feel to 'Blurred Lines?'"

"Yes, if we could intermittently throw the performing troupes' names and other names and stuff in red sans serif font all up on there, it might look like art, or sarcasm."

"Great, so the university dance teams will wear their usual uniforms?"

"Well, some of them. Others will need to wear protective upper body gear, like a football player, which will guarantee maximum discomfort and the threat of literally sweating ones' boobs off. Bring in the Luxury Girls, a name I only know as phone sex workers but might also be some other thing that involves cosplay. Also, make sure there is one fawningly beautiful model who is dressed head to toe in bags and mounds of cotton candy, a guise that no reasonable, mentally healthy male would ever sustain exception for those guys in the Lonely Island. I think that Andy Samberg is so funny... but Justin Timberlake's not in that group, right?"

"No, he's not."

"Phew, seriously, that guy makes me look completely self unaware."

"What would you like 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar to do in your video?"

"I dunno, let 'em riff with no design of choreography and maybe one rehearsal under their belt. Give them some fourrunners and girls of their own. What do you think of 'Ass Float?' Don't answer that, I already know the answer."

"Robin, what is your child Julian up to on the day of shoot?"

"Great question, maybe I should bring him on set, dress and style him in the same way as his dear old man, with slick hair and tailored suits and no signs of maternalism except for his infantile existence and the buttresses of mammaries. That way, we can intimate an almost parody-like cycle of ladies' men begetting ladies' men whilst shattering age boundaries of sexual maturity.

"Also, a sushi piñata."



"What will you wear?"

"I play the role as the referee and have stolen a suit from off of Beetlejuice's body."

"And thus the core of the 'Give It 2 U' video will be that it is very beautiful, very fun but ultimately vapid, with a couple of grossly exaggerated product placements and a hinted use of women of color as fashion accessories... so you and Miley are obviously getting along."

"Yes, couldn't you tell?"

"Now, Robin, the title 'Give It 2 U' seems like a very transparent rip, a page straight from the Prince playbook. Your falsetto sounds great."

"Thank you, that was my every intention."

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'Sons of Anarchy' gets an online aftershow

"Sons of Anarchy" gets an online aftershow
FX has picked up three episodes of "Anarchy Afterword," which will air online with host Chris Franjola and guest Kurt Sutter.

Jay Baruchel sells semi-autobiographical comedy to ABC
The "Undeclared" alum won't star in a comedy about a Hollywood actor who trades his fame to move to Vermont and live near his mom and with his best friends.

CBS is remaking "Love, American Style"

The 1970s comedy anthology series is coming back without the anthology component.

Being outraged at the VMAs: "One of our nation's more embarrassing traditions"
If Miley Cyrus did what she did last night on another show, there wouldn't be that much outrage, says Amanda Marcotte. "It's easy to understand why" there's outrage, she says. "It's August, people are bored, and getting all bent out of shape about nothing is a way to pass the time. But it has to stop! If you look back at some previous VMA scandals, you'll see how dumb they always are in retrospect." PLUS: Parents TV Council blasts VMAs as "unacceptable," and Kelly Clarkson describes VMAs as "#pitchystrippers."

"Breaking Bad's" epiphany, explained

How it was all figured out.

Kate Gosselin sues Jon Gosselin

The former TLC star is accusing her ex-husband of spying on her via wiretapping, hacking her computers and identity theft. The suit is for millions of dollars.

New "Doctor Who" Peter Capaldi likely won't change his Scottish accent
Steven Moffat says he expects Capaldi to retain his accent, like previous Scottish "Who" Sylvester McCoy.

OneRepublic's Ryan Teder joins "The Voice"
He'll advise Adam Levine's team.

Watch Kevin Spacey's speech urging TV execs to change
"If you are watching a film on your television, is it no longer a film because you're not watching it in the theater?" he said at the Edinburgh TV Festival. "If you watch a TV show on your iPad is it no longer a TV show? The device and length are irrelevant."

"American Horror Story" releases its 4th teaser
Titled "Stakes."

See a preview of "The Young & the Restless'" tribute to Jeanne Cooper
Featuring her real-life son, Corbin Bernsen.

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<p>&quot;Soongava: Dance of the Orchids&quot;</p>

"Soongava: Dance of the Orchids"

Credit: Rapsodie Production

Nepal and Greece enter the foreign-language Oscar race

At least one lesbian-themed drama will be in the running

Well, it won't be France's "Blue is the Warmest Color" (for eligibility reasons discussed here), but at least one lesbian-focused drama stands a chance at winning this year's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. And it's from rather an unexpected country: Nepal. Subarna Thapa's film "Soongava: Dance of the Orchids," a story of a young dancer who defies her wealthy Hindu family's plans for an arranged marriage to move in with her working-class female lover, was announced as the landlocked South Asian state's official submission yesterday.

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<p>Lucy Hale in the studio</p>

Lucy Hale in the studio

Lucy Hale from 'Pretty Little Liars' recording country album

What would Aria say?

Pretty Little Liars’” Lucy Hale has a secret of her own: she’s been working on a country album.

Hale, who plays Aria Montgomery on the hit ABC Family series,  grew up listening to Faith Hill, Martina McBride, and Shania Twain, according to press release. Between filming the series and her other duties, such as recently co-hosting the Teen Choice Awards, Hale has been making the trek to Music City to write and record her debut album with producer Mark Bright. Bright has produced albums for artists like Carrie Underwood, Scotty McCreery and Rascal Flatts.

The first single will come out early next year with the full album to follow on Disney Music Group Nashville/Bigger Picture Group.

Hale will start the all important step of  kissing babies and shaking hands with country programmers this fall as she hits the road to let them know that country music is, really, truly, her first love.


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<p>We'll call this photo &quot;reaching&quot;</p>

We'll call this photo "reaching"

Credit: AP Photo

An Open Letter to Miley Cyrus after the Video Music Awards and her 'publicity art'

Thanks for the 'Baby's First Twerk' instructional video, but time to move on

Dear Miley,

I’m not really sure why you feel the need to keep stabbing any existing memory of  “Hannah Montana” in the heart. We got it a few years ago when you performed “Party in the USA” and used the pole on an ice cream cart as a stripper pole. We got it again—over and over—with the various photo spreads with you showing off body parts, grabbing your crotch— and the videos that are your own version of “Girls Gone Wild.” Move over, Joe Francis. And we got it again last night in your Video Music Award stripper act performance.

You pretty much buried Hannah Montana for good after the last movie in 2010 (I know, it’s hard to believe it hasn’t been way longer than that), and you can stop dedicating every minute to stomping on her grave now.  We got it. You are never, ever getting back together with that boring little school girl. Not when there’s molly to ingest and beer to drink and miles of twerking to go before you sleep.

Your "We Can't Stop" performance at the VMAs last night, as you grinded up against dancers dressed as plushie teddy bears, looked like something out of a misguided “Baby’s First Twerk” home video.  Really, no one wants to see that and it’s a good thing that Robin Thicke had on sunglasses for your performance together on “Blurred Lines” so we couldn’t see his reaction as you stroked his crotch with a foam finger. Somehow, you made the women in the “Blurred Lines” video look classy. Nice job!

A friend of mine has coined a new term for performances like yours. He calls it "publicity art." It's certainly not music and it's not really performance art —there's not that much thought put into it. It's a calculated attempt at grabbing headlines and it works. But only for so long. And the really irritating thing about it is you have to keep upping the ante. No performer can keep that up forever.

Instead of trying to shock us with how shocking you are and expecting us all to clutch our pearls, why not really stun us with something: show us that you can sing. Some of us know you can from songs like "The Climb" and "Wrecking Ball," the song you released yesterday, but a lot of folks need a reminder.  You don’t have to stop dancing or even twerking and stomping around like some awkward dinosaur, but it would be nice if you quit sticking out your tongue more than Gene Simmons. It’s almost like you have a facial tic.

No one expects you to dress up like you’re headed to a church social though you certainly got some great reactions, including Rihanna’s stony-faced, slightly bemused one. Not like she’s one to talk.

We already know you  Can’t Be Tamed. That’s so 2010. Why not show us that you can’t be stopped because you’re simply too talented.




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Bill Murray, Letterman's 1st guest, will return for "The Late Show's" 20th anniversary

Bill Murray, Letterman's 1st guest, will return for "The Late Show's" 20th anniversary

"The Late Show" premiered on Aug. 30, 1993. But since David Letterman doesn't tape Friday shows during the summer, he's celebrating his 20th anniversary on Thursday, Aug, 29.

Syfy orders "12 Monkeys" pilot
Syfy is remaking the 1995 Terry Gilliam film starring Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis.

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<p>'Animal House' seems to have ushered many working filmmakers into adulthood.</p>

'Animal House' seems to have ushered many working filmmakers into adulthood.

Credit: Universal Pictures

Big Question: What was the first R-rated film you saw?

Judd Apatow, Mark Duplass, Paul Scheer and more reminisce about a movie lover's milestone

As you read this, I am just kicking off a week-long globe-trotting vacation with my family. Toshi and Allen and I should be doing wind-sprints up and down the steps outside the Parthenon right about now.

While we enjoy that, I'd like to share the first of five special vacation articles, where I've reached out to a wide array of people I know to answer a different question every day. I sent out the fire questions as part of one big e-mail last week, and I asked people to send me as many of the five responses as they felt like. Some people did one, some people did a few, and several people answered all five.

I would love to hear your responses to these questions as well. When I get back to Los Angeles next weekend, I'm excited to dig in and read all the answers you guys leave, and I hope you end up enjoying this week's articles in the meantime.

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Stephen Colbert was wrong: Daft Punk didn't perform at VMAs

Stephen Colbert was wrong: Daft Punk didn't perform at VMAs

Did the French robot duo troll Colbert?

Taylor Swift mouths the F-word during VMAs
"Shut the F*ck up," she said as her ex Harry Styles accepted the Moon Man with his One Direction bandmates.

'N Sync's reunion was short-lived
Blink and you might've missed it.

Miley Cyrus' performance leaves audience gasping
Cyrus, 20, dry-humped the 36-year-old Robin Thicke on stage. PLUS: That was Miley's minstrel show, Best and worst moments, and Jimmy Fallon & Justin Timberlake backstage.

"Breaking Bad" writer: It was "torture" coming up with last night's big revelation
The revelation has been in the works since Season 4. "It was just a matter of placing it," says Gennifer Hutchison, who wrote last night's episode. "When is the worst possible time this could be realized? How about the time when Jesse is actually, maybe going to be okay? Let's do it then and ruin everything!" PLUS: What was up with Saul's license plate?, is Todd more evil than Gus Fring?, was the epiphany believable?, the M60 machine gun continues to color every episode, the dinner scene shows how "Breaking Bad" excels at cognitive dissonance, that Walt tape was so audacious!, see Bob Odenkirk's stunt double, and did the reveal ruin "Breaking Bad" as the greatest show.

"Breaking Bad's" Skyler White: Why did it take so long to make her interesting?
Anna Gunn's NY Times Op-Ed doesn't go far enough in explaining why her character is so hated, says Maureen Ryan. "'Breaking Bad' is an undoubtedly a great show, but, as is the case with too many television dramas, for while there it didn't really know what to do with its female characters," she writes. "The AMC drama clearly struggled to make Skyler and Marie Schrader ... anything but subsidiary figures who rarely moved into -- or deserved -- the spotlight. Their behaviors and reactions were easy to predict, and if the writers didn't show consistent interest in their emotional lives and the women's inner depths, why would viewers care about them, let alone have positive responses to them?" PLUS: Is there really mass hatred for Skyler White?, and people, even women hate Skyler because she's bitter and boring.

Report: Danny McBride wants Lindsay Lohan to star on his new HBO show

According to TMZ, McBride was really impressed by Lohan's guest-starring gig on "Eastbound & Down." PLUS: Watch the new "Eastbound" trailer.

"The Shield's" Strike Team reunites

Check out Michael Chiklis with Kenny Johnson and Walton Goggins (but not David Rees Snell).

James Franco roast spoilers

Read the best jokes from last night's taping.

Baltimore Ravens cancels practice, bring in Tracy Morgan
The defending Super Bowl champs decided to let the former "30 Rock" star entertain the players this weekend.

ESPN boss found the "Frontline" NFL concussions doc trailer to be "sensational"
ESPN president explains to his ombudsman that he particularly objected to the tagline, "Get ready to change the way you see the game."

Adam West offers Ben Affleck advice on being the new Batman
"Bring deodorant"

Wentworth Miller's "Prison Break" brother reacts to his coming out
"As a friend and someone I care for deeply, I am very proud of Wentworth," says Dominic Purcell.

"The Walking Dead" offers a new sneak peek

Watch a new clip featuring Michonne.

Kim and Kanye's baby photo helps boost Kris Jenner's ratings
She had a season high with her season finale on Friday. PLUS: "Khloe & Lamar" separate.

Bart Simpson is not impressed

See what "The Simpsons" storyboard artist Brad Ableson drew for McKayla Maroney.

Peter Jackson won't be directing "Doctor Who" in the near future
Despite an open invitation, Jackson will be working on the "Hobbit" for the next two years.

"Homeland" cast recaps the first two seasons
"From the beginning."

Ex-"Gilmore Girls" star Scott Patterson spends $500,000 on a photograph

See the picture taken by celebrity photographer Tyler Shields.

"Knots Landing" star Julie Harris dies at 87
The Broadway icon won two Emmys, but not for her role as Lilimae Clements on "Knots Landing."

"NCIS: LA" star Eric Christian Olsen welcomes his first child, a son
Actress Sarah Wright, who plays Jerry's daughter on "Parks and Rec," gave birth to Wyatt Oliver on Aug. 16.

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Register at HitFix and you could win a Hodor t-shirt!

Register at HitFix and you could win a Hodor t-shirt!

Four out of five Hodors say registering for HitFix is hodor

A few weeks ago, the prize for registering at HitFix (or updating your current registered account) was a copy of my book. (Signed paperbacks to the winners should be going out this week.) This week's prize is another one with What's Alan Watching? appeal: our very special Hodor-themed t-shirt (with a WAW logo on the back), which expresses a philosophy of life as only Hodor can.

Again, all you have to do is follow this link to either register for a new account or update your old one and you'll be entered for a drawing to win said t-shirt. It's fast, it's easy, it's Hodor.

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<p>Mia Wasikowska in &quot;Tracks.&quot;</p>

Mia Wasikowska in "Tracks."

Credit: See-Saw Films

Venice preview, part four: 'The Zero Theorem,' 'Joe,' 'Tracks,' 'Via Castellana Bandiera,' 'Sacro GRA'

Casting an eye another five Golden Lion contenders

Concluding our preview of the 20 titles in the running for the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, which kicks off on Wednesday. Today's selection includes new films from Terry Gilliam, David Gordon Green, John Curran, Emma Dante and Gianfranco Rosi.

"The Zero Theorem," directed by Terry Gilliam: It's been nearly 20 years since the last Terry Gilliam film that was widely embraced by either critics or audiences, but when it comes to festival programmers and industry peers, goodwill from the honorary Brit's "Monty Python"-to-"12 Monkeys" glory days is a seemingly limitless resource. The Venice Film Festival has backed Gilliam in times both thick and thin. "The Fisher King" premiered there in 1991, winning him the Silver Lion; 14 years later, he received a frostier welcome on the Lido with the roundly (and rightly) panned "The Brothers Grimm." Which way will "The Zero Theorem" go? We can hope that the presence of "Grimm" star Matt Damon in the cast isn't a sign pointing to the latter route.

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