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<p>&quot;Dallas Buyers Club&quot;</p>

"Dallas Buyers Club"

Credit: Focus Features

Off the Carpet: How do this year's Oscar hopefuls reflect the zeitgeist?

Films from 'All is Lost' to 'Dallas Buyers Club' have something to say about the here and now

We've weighed the contenders and early declarations have been made. The whisper campaigns and casual takedowns have begun with no real (comfortable) frontrunner to emerge for a while yet. But as we look out over this year's Oscar contending crop, what does it have to say about where and who we are?

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<p>Dwayne Harris of the Cowboys had a huge night</p>

Dwayne Harris of the Cowboys had a huge night

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: Cowboys-Redskins game leads NBC Sunday, while 'Good Wife,' 'Mentalist' struggle

Football and the ALCS boost FOX into second
Fast National ratings for Sunday, October 13, 2013.
NBC got big Sunday Night Football results from a rivalry game between the Cowboys and Redskins, its best NFL results in a few weeks and enough to easily dominate Sunday primetime in all measures.
And it was NFL overrun that pushed FOX to a strong second place finishing, giving the network a huge 7 p.m. hour, though Red Sox-Tigers baseball coverage also helped
Meanwhile, for the first time all season, CBS got to air its Sunday lineup without preemptions, giving us a chance to see just how low the numbers for "Good Wife" and "The Mentalist" actually are without boosting. The answer? "Fairly Low."
ABC's Sunday offerings also struggled with "Once Upon a Time" and "Revenge" slipping and "Betrayal" continuing to stand in vicinity of cancellation.
And, of course, numbers for "The Walking Dead" premiere on AMC will be available later today.
On to the numbers...
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Netflix in talks to add it service to cable set-top boxes

Netflix in talks to add it service to cable set-top boxes

Does this mean cable companies are warming to the idea of working with Netflix?

"The Big Bang Theory" has the highest non-NFL ad rates on TV these days

CBS charges $326,260 per 30-second spot.

Damian Lewis talks "Homeland"

The actor says of new developments, "I think people are going to love it. I hope they do." PLUS: Lewis says everybody was surprised by the success of Brody, inside the real-life building from last night's episode, last night seemed like a commentary on "Homeland," maybe "Homeland" is better without Brody, and remember when "Homeland" was fun to watch?

David Duchovny & Gillian Anderson are up for another "X Files" movie
"Gillian and I want to do it, so it's really up to Twentieth Century Fox at this point," Duchovny said at New York Comic-Con's "X Files" reunion panel.

Read the letter "Breaking Bad" fan Anthony Hopkins sent to Bryan Cranston
"Your performance as Walter White was the best acting I have seen - ever," wrote Hopkins, after consuming all 62 episodes in two weeks. UPDATE: Read the letter here. PLUS: Russian "Breaking Bad" fan changes his name to Jesse Pinkman.

Caroline Manzo: I'm done with "Real Housewives of New Jersey"
Minutes after last night's reunion ended, Manzo wrote on Twitter, ""I've decided to leave #RHONJ this season was my last. Love and kisses to you all. Xoxoxo."

"The Bachelor's" Sean Lowe & Catherine Giudici announce their wedding date

They announced on "GMA" this morning that they'll wed on Jan. 26. UPDATE: ABC will show the wedding live.

Lynda Carter caught off guard by "Two and a Half Men's" raciness

"I didn't know it was going to be quite as sexy as it's turning out to be," says the former "Wonder Woman" star.

"Game of Thrones" gets a porn parody: "Game of Bones"
Porn star James Deen stars as Jon Snow.

"SNL" ratings tumble with Bruce Willis
A mostly mumbling Willis was no match for Miley Cyrus.

Paula Deen tonight gets the "E! True Hollywood" treatment

The Food Network host's hour will be devoted to her rags to riches to scandal story.

"CSI" holds a "Back to the Future" reunion
Elisabeth Shue and Lea Thompson, who both appeared on "Part II" and "Part III" of the "Back to the Future" films, will share a scene together on "CSI."

"Falling Skies" Season 4: Watch a sneak peek

The trailer for the upcoming season was unveiled at New York's Comic-Con.

Lauren Conrad gets engaged
The former MTV star is set to marry boyfriend William Tell. PLUS: "Mad Men's" Ben Feldman marries, as does "30 Rock's" Keith Powell.

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"The Real Housewives of New Jersey"

 "The Real Housewives of New Jersey"

Credit: Bravo

'Real Housewives of New Jersey' recap: 'Reunion Pt. 2'

Teresa and Joe Giudice talk about their legal troubles... kind of

So, this season of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" comes to an end, and, as usual, there's fighting, tears, and more fighting. Some things never change, do they? Even though Teresa and Joe Giudice are facing prison and everyone (except Teresa and Joe) seems terribly upset about this, that doesn't mean they behave themselves or that anyone else does. No, even the prospect of jail time doesn't inspire anyone to pull a punch. Hey, it's the Italian way! According to this very small subset of Italian-Americans who are by no means representative of an entire national identity!

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<p>Joaquin Phoenix in &quot;Her.&quot;</p>

Joaquin Phoenix in "Her."

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Roundup: 'Her' arrives in the Oscar race

Also: The Weinsteins' 'Fruitvale Station' error, and LAFCA honors Richard Lester

The story of the weekend, as you may have heard by now, is that Spike Jonze's "Her" went down a storm at the NYFF this weekend. Critics (including HitFix's Drew McWeeny) are nuts for the oddball techno-romance. Can all that critical love translate into Academy attention, as it did with Jonze's first two features? Steve Pond belives so, declaring the film a likely bet for Best Picture and Best Original SCreenplay nominations, though he thinks acting nominations will require some adventurousness from the actors' branch -- particularly if Scarlett Johansson is to be the first actor ever nominated for a voice-only performance. [The Wrap]

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"Dancing with the Stars"

"Dancing with the Stars"

Credit: ABC

'Dancing with the Stars' recap: A surprising elimination

Alloe Blacc performs, but that's not the shocker

We kick off the episode with a live performance of "Wake Me Up" by Alloe Blacc, which is great, but the real reason to be excited about this episode of "Dancing with the Stars" is because it's the one that forces each star to pick their most memorable year and build a dance around it. This is not as easy as it might seem, but it does usually lead to tearful confessions and tugging on heart strings, so even if the dancing is marginal there's plenty of drama. Grab your tissues! Oh, and at this point, Tom explains a female star is on the chopping block, though that can change. Sweat, ladies, sweat!

Christina & Mark

The Background: Christina felt dissed by Julianne last week. But moving on! She picks 2010 as her most important year, which is when she had her baby girl. That year, her marriage to her cheating baby daddy also ended, so major highs and lows. She chooses CeeLo's "Forget You," because she survived this ultimate betrayal. Oh, I love this already! Go, Christina, go!
The Dance: She's dancing the cha cha cha. This is just as feisty as I hoped it would be. Christina has been very strong throughout, but this was actually a notch above.
The Judges: Len thought it was fire and ice -- fire in the performance, ice in the attitude. In short, he liked it. Bruno thought she had a sharp finish and it was indecently hot. Carrie Ann thought it was something special, and she really was right on with her technique.
The Scores: Carrie Ann - 9 Len - 10 Bruno - 9 It's their first ten of the season -- and from Len!

Since a female star is going home, Brooke asks the women if they're miserable thinking about this.

Jack & Cheryl
The Background: He picks last year. His daughter was born in April, which was exciting. Two and a half weeks after she was born, he was diagnosed with M.S. He starts crying thinking about his baby not having her dad. He doesn't mention his wife's miscarriage, but that was this year.
The Dance: He's dancing the waltz for his wife and his daughter. Still some weird hands, and he always looks a little grim on the dance floor. I was hoping this particular dance would be more emotional for him, but I'm not seeing it.
The Judges: Bruno has so much admiration for Jack, and his dancing was wonderful. Carrie Ann thinks he's graceful and, I guess, aaaaaaaah. This is, she explains, good. Len appreciated how much he stayed in hold. But he noticed the weird hands, too.
The Scores: Carrie Ann - 9 Len - 9 Bruno - 9

Leah & Tony
The Background: Her most important year was the last year, which is when she left Scientology. She chooses not to be a victim, and she thinks her daughter has gotten to see the strength in her family. She'll be dancing contemporary. She hasn't danced contemporary, and neither has Tony. She comes up with the puppet concept.
The Dance: I can tell this isn't Tony's thing. Lean needed direction to work on her footwork so it didn't look so leaden. There's a lot of ballroom in this, unfortunately, which isn't working. This isn't her fault, by the way. And, really, it's unfair of the show to ask Tony to do contemporary.
The Judges: Carrie Ann loved the concept… but once it got into lifts, it didn't feel fluid. Len agrees. Great idea, crappy lifts. Bruno loved that she took on something difficult.
The Scores:  Carrie Ann - 7 Len - 7 Bruno - 8 Leah looks pissed, but she says she's just happy she got through the routine.

Paris Hilton in the house! She wanted to support Christina. Brooke suggests she do the show. Paris poses and smiles.

Corbin & Karina
The Background: 2011 his 12-year-old sister was diagnosed with scoliosis. I'm sorry, but a dancer personally fighting MS or friggin' brain cancer beats second-hand scoliosis. Sorry, but this doesn't feel personal at all but an attempt to jump on the physical ailment bandwagon.
The Dance: This is fine. I'm really not impressed with Corbin at all after his "most memorable" moment. Oh, look, he has to hug his sister in the audience. Not manipulative at ALL.
The Judges: Len thinks he's a terrific dancer. Bruno thinks he could be the love child of Fred Astaire and Ben Vereen. Carrie Ann thinks she saw a lift. Karina argues that didn't happen. Hmmm… Tom wants to know if she'll change her score if they can get a slow motion replay. It's like sports, but better outfits!
The Scores: Carrie Ann - 9 Len - 9 Bruno - 10

Bill & Emma

The Background: Yes, Bill cried last week when he realized he wasn't getting cut. He is just a big softy, and that's absolutely his charm, I think. Anyway, he picks his most memorable year as 1982, which is when he got married. The fact that none of this seems contrived speaks to how sincerely charming he's been on this show (and in his career).
The Dance: He's dancing the Viennese waltz to "Always A Woman," and it's so sweet -- but damn, his arms are just so rigid.
The Judges: Bruno tells him not to swing his arms. Carrie Ann thinks he touched our souls, but his timing was off. Len thought he stayed in hold, so kudos!
The Scores: Carrie Ann - 8 Len - 8 Bruno - 8

Tom weighs in on whether or not Carrie Ann can change her vote -- nope. Too bad. I was hoping for instant replays to become a part of the show.

Snooki & Sasha
The Background: She chooses 2012, which is when she had her son. That makes sense, as she has completely changed since then. She likes cleaning and doing laundry now. What?
The Dance: She's dancing a jazz routine to "Work Bitch" by Britney Spears. This is actually fun. Not entirely coordinated; sort of like a dance you'd see at a wedding reception, but it is fun.
The Judges: Carrie Ann was surprised, because she doesn't seem to be a natural but she barrels through. Len thought it had energy and attack. Bruno says she works hard for her money.
The Scores: Carrie Ann - 9 Len - 9 Bruno - 9

Time for pros to talk about whether or not previous dance experience is an advantage. Some say it isn't, some say it is, some say it's actually a disadvantage. Blah blah blah.

Brant & Peta
The Background: In 2009 his dad died of lymphoma. He's going to dance to Elton John's "Your Song," and this is probably going to be really emotional.
The Dance: Wow, this actually looks like a contemporary dance (sorry, Leah, but this is how it's done). Actually, the dance is too emotional for a soft little song like this, but it was REALLY good. Like, shockingly so. And he gets weepy at the end.
The Judges: Len thought it was terrific. Bruno says he threw himself into it and did some Martha Graham contractions, too. Carrie Ann thought every movement was driven from a true place of passion.
The Scores: Carrie Ann - 9 Len - 9 Bruno - 9 That's it? No tens?

Amber & Derek
The Background: She didn't make it onto "American Idol," but she got onto "Glee," so her most memorable year is 2009. That's fine. At least it's honest. Big year!
The Dance: As usual, very solid. Amber is always good, though I think the judges lay it on pretty thick.
The Judges: Bruno says she's a star. Carrie Ann thinks she's incredible. Len thinks it wasn't a foxtrot.
The Scores: Carrie Ann - 9  Len - 7 Bruno - 10. Wow, Len was NOT happy with Derek, I think, and Amber paid for it.

Elizabeth & Val
The Background: She's doing a jive in '90s clothing with Mario Lopez rooting for her in the audience. I don't love Elizabeth, but kudos for her for saying her favorite year was 1) something that happened to HER and 2) wasn't just a second-hand illness. I'm still annoyed with Corbin. But wait! 2012 is actually her most memorable year, but she wants to tie it into "Saved by the Bell."
The Dance: They start out with a skit. Hmmm… I'm not seeing any 2012 in this, but okay. This looks really awkward, if you ask me.
The Judges: Carrie Ann thought it was a mess, but she loved the '90s. Len thought the kicks were clean and exact, so, basically he means, suck it, Carrie Ann! Bruno also loved the '90s. It was fun! So… Len liked it.
The Scores: Carrie Ann - 8 Len - 9 Bruno - 9

Enough with the dancing -- someone needs to pack their dressing room! Elizabeth & Val are in jeopardy. Christina & Mark and Corbin and Karina are at the top. Leah & Tony are at the bottom.

Christina & Mark, Elizabeth & Val and Leah & Tony are the bottom three.

Elizabeth & Val are safe. So, who goes home? I have to think Leah & Tony. The couple leaving right now is… Christina & Mark. Seriously? That's crazy! Such a shame -- I think tonight's dance would have scored with voters, certainly more than Leah's did. I like Leah's story, I'm rooting for her, but not to the extent that I'm okay with a more talented dancer going home.

I'm genuinely surprised. It's a shame no one will get to vote for Christina routine tonight. She admits she's shocked, but she's happy to be going out with the first ten of the competition. I'd say good for her, but it's a pretty hollow victory.

Were you surprised she got the boot? Do you think she should have gone home? Who are you rooting for?

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<p>Damian Lewis as Brody in &quot;Homeland.&quot;</p>

Damian Lewis as Brody in "Homeland."

Credit: Showtime

'Homeland' star Damian Lewis on Brody's return

Where will the show take Brody now? What was it like to go bald for season 3?

Damian Lewis made his first appearance of "Homeland" season 3 in tonight's episode, "Tower of David," which I reviewed here. On Friday, I spoke briefly with the show's Emmy-winning leading man about where exactly he and Brody find themselves at this stage, and how much life he thinks the character has left in him.

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<p>Beau Bridges and Michael Sheen in &quot;Masters of Sex.&quot;</p>

Beau Bridges and Michael Sheen in "Masters of Sex."

Credit: Showtime

Review: 'Masters of Sex' - 'Standard Deviation'

Masters gets frustrated with the brothel, and we see his past with Scully

A quick review of tonight's "Masters of Sex" coming up just as soon as I take a Midol and watch "General Electric Theater"...

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<p>Sunday's &quot;Amazing Race&quot;</p>

Sunday's "Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'King Arthur Style'

If you like travel fun, this was an exciting 'Race' episode
It's the season of travel on "The Amazing Race." 
The premiere was determined largely by seven teams taking one prohibitively early flight to Chile, while the other four teams were basically left battling to stick around. And Naina & Hoskote, one of those four lagging teams, were eliminated after one faulty cab right. In their exit interview, Naina & Hoskote lamented the inability to their their travel in their own hands. 
The second Leg saw Rowan & Shane struggle with one bum cab ride and then they did what Naina & Hoskote could not and they tried to break from the pack on a long bus ride across Chile. They didn't succeed but, heck, they made the effort.
Sunday (October 13) night's "Amazing Race" was the most travel-centric episode in recent "Amazing Race" memory, as it turned out that getting from Santiago, Chile to Lisbon is surprisingly easy, or at least that there are a surprising number of possible ways of making the journey. We had smart travel moves. Stupid travel moves. And, sadly, we had a team get utterly and totally hosed by a booking agent and attempt a bold move to recover from that blunder. And for the second week in a row, we learned that sometimes it's healthier to stick with the pack, rather than attempting to game the system. 
I don't remember the last "Amazing Race" episode to end with Phil Keoghan greeting a team before they had the chance to do even a single task because they were so far behind, but in this case, Phil greeted the eliminated team at the airport, told them they were eliminated and suggested that since they were in the airport still, it should be easy for them to find their way home. Ouch.
Meanwhile, at least three times per season I complain about the actual Non-Elimination Legs and at least once or twice, I lament an episode in which I'd totally have approved of seeing an NEL. This is one of those.
More after the break...
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"Once Upon A Time"

"Once Upon A Time"

Credit: ABC

'Once Upon A Time' recap: Is Tinkerbell 'Quite a Common Fairy'?

In other news, Mulan almost makes a big confession

While this week's episode is ostensibly about Tinkerbell joining the Neverland fun, it's hardly the big excitement, if you ask me. No, Ed Kitsis and Adam Horowitz did something pretty remarkable in that [spoiler ahead; consider yourself warned]…

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<p>Patricia Arquette and Steve Buscemi in &quot;Boardwalk Empire.&quot;</p>

Patricia Arquette and Steve Buscemi in "Boardwalk Empire."

Credit: HBO

Review: 'Boardwalk Empire' - 'The North Star'

Nucky sees Margaret on the way to Tampa, while Chalky can't resist Daughter Maitland

A review of tonight's "Boardwalk Empire" coming up just as soon as I'm attacked by a rogue possum...

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<p>Damian Lewis as Brody on &quot;Homeland.&quot;</p>

Damian Lewis as Brody on "Homeland."

Credit: Showtime

Review: 'Homeland' - 'Tower of David'

Brody resurfaces in Venezuela, while Carrie gets back on her meds

A review of tonight's "Homeland" coming up just as soon as I build a house out of popsicle sticks...

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