Latest Blog Posts

<p>If we're going to start the awards talk, can I&nbsp;nominate Jennifer Lawrence for 'best dress' for 'American Hustle'?</p>

If we're going to start the awards talk, can I nominate Jennifer Lawrence for 'best dress' for 'American Hustle'?

Credit: Columbia Pictures

New 'American Hustle' trailer features a very different Christian Bale

Forget about awards... this looks likes fun

Now that David O. Russell has successfully revived his career and transformed himself into a "serious" Oscar-contender filmmaker, can we stop focusing only on the awards potential of his movies and get back to just enjoying what he does?

Admittedly, it is amazing that the guy who couldn't quite manage to finish the film "Nailed" has managed such a huge rebound. After all, there is no greater sin to the people who fund movies than wasting the budget of a film on something that never gets released and which has no way whatsoever to recoup the investment. For Russell, who already had a less-than-perfect reputation thanks to incidents around earlier films, including the infamous George Clooney scrap on the set of "Three Kings," to not just manage to recover from "Nailed," but manage to turn out a run of movies like "The Fighter," "Silver Linings Playbook," and now "American Hustle," seems like perhaps the single greatest recovery we've seen a filmmaker pull off.

Read Full Post
<p>America did not find this to be hilarious</p>

America did not find this to be hilarious

Credit: CBS

CBS pulls 'We Are Men,' sets 'Mike & Molly' for November

It's off to 8:30 p.m. for '2 Broke Girls' as CBS tries to rescue it
If you had "We Are Men" in the pool as the season's second cancelled show (and first cancelled comedy), give yourself a pat on the back.
 
Late Wednesday (October 9) afternoon, CBS announced that effective immediately, "We Are Men" has been pulled from its Monday schedule as part of a wholesale overhaul of a night that used to be a network strength, but has become a major weakness early in the new season.
 
Read Full Post
<p>&quot;Supernatural&quot;</p>

"Supernatural"

Credit: The CW

Ratings Analysis: Solid 'Originals,' sinking 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' and steady 'Trophy Wife'

And 'Supernatural' continues to impress in Season 9
So far this week, there has been a lot of consistency, so I haven't necessarily felt inclined to do any additional ratings analysis, but as I looked over the final figures for two nights of CW premieres, I decided I probably owe it to "Hart of Dixie" and "The Originals." After all, I talked about "Lucky 7" and its 18-49 numbers came in under "The Originals" shortly before it was cancelled.
 
I'm sure I also have some things to say about the ongoing "S.H.I.E.L.D." dropping and more.
 
So click through for the bulletpoints...
 
Read Full Post
<p>Would three extra Jeffrey Katzenberg-funded &quot;Breaking Bad&quot;&nbsp;episodes have told us more about Jesse?</p>

Would three extra Jeffrey Katzenberg-funded "Breaking Bad" episodes have told us more about Jesse?

Credit: AMC

Jeffrey Katzenberg + $75 million = 3 more 'Breaking Bad's?

Was the media mogul smart or foolish to try to continue the adventures of Walter White?

Nobody likes saying goodbye to their favorite shows. Even if they end perfectly, I suspect there's a part of most of us who would love for there to be more episodes, more stories, involving the characters we came to know and love.

Not many of us, though, have Jeffrey Katzenberg's kind of money, nor the audacity to offer $75 million to produce three additional episodes of "Breaking Bad."

Read Full Post

NBC is remaking "Remington Steele" as a comedy


NBC is remaking "Remington Steele" as a comedy
The '80s drama starring Pierce Brosnan and Stephanie Zimbalist will focus on Olivia Holt, the daughter of Remington Steele and Laura Holt, as she reopens the Remington Steele Detective Agency.


Twitter will allow Comcast customers to watch a show by clicking a tweet
Comcast Xfinity customers will be able to click on a "See It" button to activate a show or change the channel from their mobile device.


Paget Brewster surfaces on "Community"
Alison Brie tweeted a photo of her on set with "Breaking Bad's" Jonathan Banks.


Lee Thompson Young suffered from bipolar disorder
The "Rizzoli & Isles" star who committed suicide was found to have lithium and quetiapine fumarate in his system.


USA orders 3 drama pilots, including 1 from "Burn Notice" creator

Matt Nix's gritty medical drama "Complications" joins "Novice" and "Rush."


Lena Dunham caught milking a cow in the middle of Manhattan
The "Girls" star was filming a sketch for Funny or Die.


"The View" holding steady with the addition of Jenny McCarthy

Ratings have only dropped slightly since McCarthy joined the daytime gabfest.

Read Full Post
<p>Childish Gambino</p>

Childish Gambino

Credit: AP Photo

Childish Gambino sets release of new album, 'Because The Internet'

Listen to track, 'Yaphet Kotto'

Donald Glover’s rap alter ego, Childish Gambino, will release his new album, “Because The Internet,” this winter.

The video preview for track, “Yaphet Kotto,” features Gambino floating face down in a pool, aka  William Holden in the opening of “Sunset Boulevard,” as we hear him rapping about the criticisms he’s received  (“worst rapper to ever spit on an open mic”), while the "Community" star is busy bring in the dough and the ladies.  It also name drops other artists including Obie Trice, Wiz Khalifa and Erykah Badu.

At the end of the 90-second clip appear the words “Because The Internet” and “Winter Break.” 

Below is the 90-second video, as well as the full audio of “Yaphet Kotto.”  No idea why the song is named after the actor, who is best known for starring on "Homicide: Life On The Street." 

The album is Gambino’s first since 2011’s “Camp.” Glover is also working on his new series for FX, "Atlanta." 

Read Full Post
<p>Jessica Lange of &quot;American Horror Story: Coven&quot;</p>

Jessica Lange of "American Horror Story: Coven"

Credit: FX

TV Review: FX's 'American Horror Story: Coven' offers a familiar brew

At this point, if you enjoy the 'AHS' craziness, you'll enjoy this too
A couple years ago, either in a fit of nutritional pique or as an impulse buy at Target, I purchased a Magic Bullet, or perhaps its generic hand-blending equivalent. 
 
For a solid month, I was obsessed with smoothies, with the idea that by tossing a banana, some ice cubes and a little bit of juice in the blender, I could create a sweet, semi-healthy paste that could also be a delivery mechanism for other fruits and vegetables. A handful of carrots vanished into the paste, barely changing the flavor but making the goo orange and higher in Vitamin A or something. A couple leaves of spinach delivered iron and a lurid green tone. An apple or a pear? The consistency might change and maybe the wellness benefits, but the flavor stayed the same. I marveled at all of the different things I could do with my Magic Bullet, the number of things I could blend up, and have the end result be interchangeable. 
 
Like most impulse buys, the pleasure of the Magic Bullet wore off. I wasn't enjoying my smoothies all that much and dispensing with chewing eventually ceased to be a sufficient advantage over just taking a carrot or an apple out of the fridge and devouring that. The interchangeable smoothies maintained amusement, but more as culinary experiments that nourishing meals. I haven't used that Magic Bullet for a long time.
 
That, fans of clunky, extended and imperfect analogies, brings me to the third season of "American Horror Story," premiering on FX on Wednesday (October 9) night. Sorry. The third "miniseries" of "American Horror Story."
 
Snort. 
 
In the past, I've made the argument that FX was taking advantage of Emmy loopholes in calling "American Horror Story" a miniseries because in addition to maintaining the same basic creative team and the same core cast, I suspect that everybody involved with the show is working with a standard series contract. But that's just semantic quibbling.
 
People protest, "But 'American Horror Story' has a totally different narrative and characters each season" and that also makes me chortle. 
 
Watching the premiere of "American Horror Story: Coven," I was stuck by two key things: First, I strongly dislike "American Horror Story" as a week-by-week narrative, but I find it utterly fascinating as a cumulative work now in its third season. And second, it hardly matters what stories or genres Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk want to work through in any given season, because once everything has gone through their narrative Magic Bullet, it all looks and feels exactly the same, so of course the show isn't three [and counting] separate miniseries projects under the same banner, it's just a slightly varying recipe for American Horror Smoothies.
 
With "American Horror Story," after three seasons the audience has become self-selected. If you dig the freakiness that Murphy and Falchuk are laying down, "Coven" will probably hit you with similar success, while if you find "American Horror Story" unpleasant to watch or merely masturbatory, you shouldn't be fooled into thinking you're going to like "Coven" just because the cast has now reached an almost absurd level of awesomeness. And if you're like me and you manage to find exactly enough that's engrossing to compensate for the monotony of what's just gross, that will probably continue as well. 
 
To paraphrase former Arizona Cardinals head coach Dennis Green, "American Horror Story" is what you thought it was and what hasn't changed is a good deal less important than what has changed.
 
More after the break...
 
Read Full Post
Introducing HitFix Oscar Picks!

Introducing HitFix Oscar Picks!

Go on the record with your own predictions this year

We've been teasing a new feature here at In Contention for a few months now and I'm happy that we can finally lift the veil on HitFix Oscar Picks!

Read Full Post
<p>Lorde performing in Los Angeles</p>

Lorde performing in Los Angeles

Credit: Paul Hebert/Invision/AP

Lorde's 'Royals' remains atop the Billboard Hot 100

Static Top 10 features no new debuts

Lorde’s reign atop the Billboard Hot 100 continues as “Royals”  spends its second week at No. 1.

The New Zealander teenager also receives good news on the album front, as her debut, “Pure Heroine,” bows at No. 3 on the Billboard 200.

“Royals” leads digital single sales at 309,000 downloads, moving the song past the 2 million mark.

Katy Perry’s former No. 1, “Roar,” stays at No. 2, leading the chart in airplay.  Perry, whose new album, “Prism,” arrives Oct. 22, is also on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Walking on Air,” which debuts at No. 34.  Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball,” also a former No. 1, remains at No. 3, according to Billboard.

Avicii’s “Wake Me Up!” jumps one spot to No. 4, trading places with Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home,” featuring Majid Jordan, which drops to No. 5.

And yes, Ylvis’s “The Fox” continues to scoop up the chart, rising 8-6, largely on the strength of streaming and downloads, as airplay has yet to reach a significant level. 

Jay Z’s “Holy Grail,” featuring Justin Timberlake, slips 6-7, pushing Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” down one to No. 8.

Lady Gaga’s “Applause” hangs on in the Top 10 at No. 9, as it continues to gain airplay, while Lana Del Rey and Cedric Gervais’s “Summertime Sadness” remains at No. 10.

For Britney Spears’ chart watchers: “Work B**ch” jumps 41-13, following its debut two weeks ago at No. 12. The rise can be attributed largely to streaming and excitement from the video’s release last week.

Read Full Post

Jeffrey Katzenberg offered $75M for 3 more 'Breaking Bad' episodes


Jeffrey Katzenberg offered $75M for 3 more "Breaking Bad" episodes
One stipulation: They had to be online-only to create "the greatest pay-per-view (event) in scripted television ever." PLUS: Bryan Cranston tweets Britney Spears over her not liking the finale.


"The Daily Show" losing its showrunner
This will be Rory Albanese's last week as he's leaving to pursue a Hollywood career.


Anthony Anderson to star in ABC comedy pilot "Black-ish"
Laurence Fishburne is producing and may appear on the comedy about an upper-middle class black man struggling to raise his children with a sense of cultural identity.


AnnaLynne McCord joins "Dallas"
The "90210" alum will play Christopher's girlfriend.


"F--- Me, Ray Bradbury" YouTube star sells comedy to Showtime
Rachel Bloom, who became a viral sensation in 2010 with her ode to Bradbury, has sold "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" to the pay cable network.


Lauren Ambrose heading to Lifetime for a Nicolas Sparks drama

The "Six Feet Under" alum is joining "Deliverance Creek," playing a mother at the end of the Civil War.


"That '70s Show" cast reunites

Check out the photo Danny Masterson posted on Instagram.


Hayden Panettiere: I'm engaged to Wladimir Klitschko

The "Nashville" star showed off her engagement ring this morning on "Live!"

Read Full Post
Judi Dench and Steve Coogan in "Philomena."
Judi Dench and Steve Coogan in "Philomena."
Credit: The Weinstein Company

The Long Shot: Two shades of Britain

Two of this year's Oscar hopefuls show the UK industry at a crossroads

Two British (or part-British) films came out on top at the Toronto Film Festival this year -- and they haven't much more in common than what's already in this sentence. Unless you've just returned from an extended meditation retreat in the Hindu Kush, you're probably aware that Steve McQueen's biographical slavery drama "12 Years a Slave" emerged most triumphant all from the fall fests, bearing bushels of critical praise, the much-coveted TIFF Audience Award and a position as Oscar frontrunner that only "Gravity" has seen fit to challenge so far. We have yet to see how it fares in the real world, but it's an impressive run for a film that, by consensus, takes a brutal, unyielding approach to an eternally tough historical subject.

Read Full Post
<p>Clark Gregg on Tuesday's &quot;Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.&quot;</p>

Clark Gregg on Tuesday's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."

Credit: ABC

TV Ratings: 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' dips, 'Supernatural' soars and NBC, CBS split Tuesday

'The Voice' recap episode, 'NCIS' are Tuesday's top shows
Fast National ratings for Tuesday, October 8, 2013.
 
NBC's pre-Battles clip show for "The Voice" performed well below the competition's normal numbers, but despite that decline, the network still topped Wednesday among young viewers, as CBS' procedurals dominated overall, even with a big drop for "NCIS."
 
Although "The Voice" and "NCIS" lost over 4 million viewers and a 1.7 key demo between them in the 8 p.m. hour, there was minimal capitalizing from the rival networks. 
 
ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." posted a less steep drop than last week -- down by a 0.3 key demo and 700,000+ viewers -- but was still off in its third frame, which led to "Goldbergs" also posting a second week of declines. Interesting, "Trophy Wife" was steady week-to-week among young viewers and posted a very small audience gain. With huge DVR bumps for each of its first two weeks, "S.H.I.E.L.D." is still doing fine and this probably counts as leveling at this point.
 
FOX's comedies also didn't capitalize much, with "New Girl" rising somewhat" and "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" also adding a whopping 0.1 in the key demo.
 
Certainly some of that extra audience went to The CW's "The Originals" and "Supernatural," which did solid numbers in their premieres. It was, in fact, the best "Supernatural" premiere since 2010, not bad for a drama in its ninth season.
 
On to the numbers...
Read Full Post
BLOGS BY NAME