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"Big Brother"

 "Big Brother"

Credit: CBS

'Big Brother' recap: Julie Chen goes for the jugular

It's a showdown for one hamster and the host

I'll be honest -- I usually find Julie Chen's interviews with the hamsters pretty tedious. Lots of puffball questions, lots of useless fluff. Of course, this season of "Big Brother" has lent itself to more serious discussion, but that didn't mean I ever expected Julie to call anyone on the carpet. But, as we know, expect the unexpected on "Big Brother." 

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<p>Kate Winslet, Gattlin Griffith and Josh&nbsp;Brolin in &quot;Labor Day&quot;</p>

Kate Winslet, Gattlin Griffith and Josh Brolin in "Labor Day"

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Review: Jason Reitman's 'Labor Day' is a suspenseful ride if you believe

Another great turn for Kate Winslet

TELLURIDE, Colo. - You may have met many a someone in your life whose passion for being in love is almost addictive. Someone who loves the intimacy so much it blinds them to the reality around them. Someone for whom there is no middle ground in a relationship. Either they are 110% in or they are out. That, in a nutshell, is the character of Adele, played by Kate Winslet, in Jason Reitman's new drama "Labor Day." It's also the crux of a storyline that will reward viewers who are willing to take a big jump.

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<p>&quot;Two Lives&quot;</p>

"Two Lives"

Credit: Beta Cinema

Germany submits 'Two Lives' in the foreign-language Oscar race

Veteran Oscar nominee Liv Ullmann stars in the WWII-themed drama

It seems Germany had to think a little before selecting their candidate for this year's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar race, as two contrasting candidates made compelling cases for submission. Earlier this year, it was widely predicted that they'd end up going with "Oh Boy," a touching but street-smart comedy of twentysomething hipster ennui that played well on the international festival circuit, was a huge hit at home, and wound up dominating the German Academy Awards back in the spring.

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<p>Santigold in &quot;NTSF:SD:SUV&quot;</p>

Santigold in "NTSF:SD:SUV"

Credit: Adult Swim/Cartoon Network

Watch: Exclusive clip from 'NTSF:SD:SUV::', plus interview with Santigold on new music

Adult Swim show gets an ‘accidental prostitute’: fans will get 'ambitious' new album in 2014

Santigold is dipping further into the acting world with a new role on Adult Swim’s comedy “NTSF:SD:SUV::,” in the episode that airs tonight. 

In “Great Train Stoppery,” Santigold, aka Santi White, plays Millie, one of the trio of Time Angels who fly back into history to protect the past: in this case, Dash (Eliza Dushku), Clock (Jayma Mays) and Millie are trying to nab the robber who removed the golden spike that completed the railroad in the Old West.
In the process, Millie becomes an “accidental prostitute.” Y’know, as you do.
In the clip above, you see Millie “after I’ve done my duties, and I’m in need of a whiskey,” she told HitFix in our interview today. “It was awesome, it was a fun part and I got a great dress and stuff.”
The songwriter and performer hopes to turn acting into a more regular gig. She previously appeared as herself on “The Office” and has been taking acting lessons. This opportunity “just snuck up on me. I’ve been really looking into it, it’s really nice to have a new thing to focus on and challenge myself,” she continued. “Having been on [tour] for two years straight, I was like being a kid again, or learning a new sport. I’m full of wonder.”
While Santigold reveals she has another acting gig lined up – “a project in the works” – she’s in no way abandoning music. She released “Master of My Own Make-Believe” in the spring of 2012, and is hard at work on another “ambitious” effort for 2014.
“It is the most ambitious thing that I’ve ever done, musically,” she said of the forthcoming project. “For me it’s taking things one step further than what I thought I was creating on stage this last time.” She said she’s working from a very specific thematic direction, though wouldn’t hint what it is that’s inspiring her.
With her growing interest in the TV/film world, she did mention she adores the works of directors like Wes Anderson, and enjoyed Oscar-nominated flicks like “Django Unchained” and “Beasts of the Southern Wild”  because of their devotion to specific, stage-like aesthetics. Coincidentally, the bar in which she shot her scene for “NTSF:SD:SUV::” was also used in “Django Unchained.”
“That part where [Django] gets to pick whatever he wants, and goes for the blue velvet suit? Oh my,” she gushed, laughing. Riffing on clothes, the stylish singer said, “I’m always inspired by fashion, it’s just another form of art, like painting or listening to music or or home décor or having the most beautiful view of the ocean. It all works in the same way for me.”
On the future of her elaborate stage shows, singles and the way she thinks of presenting her music, Santigold elaborated her feelings on how records are released nowadays. At times, there is less emphasis on albums as a whole and more emphasis on lead singles, or major music videos trumping the final branded work of art.
“I’ve been thinking about the idea of the album a lot. I think its unfortunate -- it’s become such a singles market. I grew up in an era of albums. Even before my time, when I was 15 and just getting into the internet, I still bought albums later. I have a problem with the fact that everyone who puts out an album, usually there’s 1 or 2 songs that you wanna hear more than once on there and that’s it. I grew up during a time when you not only make yourself listen to the whole abum, but the albums were good all the way through. It was a treat, like every song was a whole new collection of great material.
“I do buy albums still, really! I buy them, and maybe I’ll put one song from them on a playlist… I’m not going to start making albums that aren’t working as albums. I love how an album is somehow unified as a body of work. I do know that in order to do that, you have to be a little more creative, and take risks. I’m trying to come up with concepts that work with that.”

"NTSF:SD:SUV::" airs late-night on Thursdays at 12:15 a.m.

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"American Mafia," "Jungle Gold" and "How the States Got Their Shapes"

"American Mafia," "Jungle Gold" and "How the States Got Their Shapes" are just three of the basic cable reality shows that might be a little weird to some audiences but have their own, less obvious charms. 

15 awesomely weird reality shows you'll want to watch

If you like "Duck Dynasty," you may want to sample some of these, too

With even the grumpiest critics starting to warm up to "Duck Dynasty" (the 11.8 million people who tuned in for the season premiere can't be wrong), it's enough to make a person want to start flipping around the dial in search of other off-the-beaten path gold. While it's close to impossible to narrow down the list (entire days can be lost just to watching marathons of ghost hunter shows, fish tank building shows, or dangerous commercial fishing shows), here are a few (15, in fact) reality TV shows that you may have missed. Some are weird, some are awesome, but all of them are a little bit of both. 

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Bill Murray celebrates Letterman's 20th 'Late Show' anniversary dressed like Liberace

Bill Murray celebrates Letterman's 20th "Late Show" anniversary dressed like Liberace
Watch his dazzling entrance from tonight's show.

Report: Fox would "Ideally" like to have a black judge fill the 3rd "Idol" spot
But "American Idol" is having trouble attracting judging talent, which is why they're apparently going back to J.Lo and Keith Urban. Still, may get another call from producers.

Ryan Seacrest's "Million-Second Quiz" will be broadcast from a former Mercedes lot
An audience of 400 will sit in the outdoors near the Hudson River in New York for the special 10-night NBC broadcast.

James Franco roast will be livestreamed on the web
The Comedy Central roast can also be seen via the cable channel's mobile app and Xbox 360 app. PLUS: Watch a preview of Aziz Ansari and Nick Kroll roasting Franco.

Chris Hardwick to host a pre- and post-finale show for the "Futurama" series finale

Both shows will be streamed live on the web.

Watch "Scandal's" Season 3 promo
"America's biggest obsession is back."

Anna Camp replaces Ellie Kemper on "HIMYM"
Camp will play a wedding guest from hell.

Seth Meyers: "SNL" will stay top-notch thanks in part to Cecily Strong
Meyers says of last year's rookie: "For her to have the kind of season she had the year after (Kristen) Wiig left is that thing that makes you confident going into this next season of transition that there's always someone who shows up and does things you’ve never seen anyone on the show do." PLUS: Jay Pharoah mocks Kanye with "I Am A Dog," who should host "SNL" next season?

Simon Cowell may return to "The X Factor" UK
The British reality show's ratings have tumbled since Cowell left two years ago.

Josh Groban to guest on "The Crazy Ones"
Unlike Kelly Clarkson, who played herself on the CBS comedy, Groban will play a "nerdy guy."

Clint Eastwood and wife split 1 year after her E! reality show
Us Weekly reports that Eastwood and his wife, Dina, were actually split up when "Mrs. Eastwood & Company" aired last year.

Without ESPN partnership, "Frontline" concussion documentary will air 1 night only
The PBS documentary was originally scheduled for two nights, airing over two weeks. PLUS: Did Disney's general counsel push ESPN to drop out of the documentary?

"Teen Mom" Farrah Abraham asks fans to buy her gifts on Amazon
Check out her Amazon wishlist asking for $11,000 worth of goods.

Krysten Ritter and "CSI" alum Liz Vassey sell a bowling comedy to NBC
It's like "Friends" at a bowling alley.

Bethany Joy Lenz joins "CSI's" 300th episode
The "Supernatural" alum is fresh off a stint on "Dexter."

Emmy giving Lifetime achievement Award to "Rocky and Bullwinkle's" June Foray
Foray, considered the Queen of Cartoon Voices, is the voice behind Rocket J. Squirrel and Natasha.

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<p>Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin and Gattlin Griffith in &quot;Labor Day&quot;</p>

Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin and Gattlin Griffith in "Labor Day"

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Telluride: 'Labor Day' with Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin marks a fresh and mature departure for Jason Reitman

None of the director's trademarks are present in this old-fashioned narrative

TELLURIDE, Colo. - My immediate takeaway from Jason Reitman's "Labor Day," which kicks off the Telluride Film Festival this afternoon at the annual patrons screening, was that it was an unexpected mature step for the filmmaker who has offered up such self-aware films as "Thank You For Smoking," "Juno," "Up in the Air" and "Young Adult." There isn't a whiff of that tone here whatsoever. The edge that has defined Reitman's work has been set aside while a more refined, lived-in aesthetic has taken hold.

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 Jay Z's fiery new video for 'Holy Grail' with Justin Timberlake: Watch

Jay Z's fiery new video for 'Holy Grail' with Justin Timberlake: Watch

Brooding clip explores the fame game

Jay Z’s intense video for “Holy Grail,” Justin Timberlake, bowed today on Facebook.

The top 10 track, which extrapolates Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” is a study on fame and how corrosive and addictive it can be.

The best  scene of the video is Justin TImberlake’s interlude, which features him walking among sheet-covered furniture composed of  moving dancers.

While it’s a little hard for us common folks to sympathize with Jay Z’s complaints about fame (and even he tells himself to get off his “high horse”), the Anthony Mandler-directed clip is a visual feast that ends in upsetting crash, symbolic of the fickleness of fame.

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Go behind the scenes as Nine Inch Nails preps for 2013 tour: Watch

Go behind the scenes as Nine Inch Nails preps for 2013 tour: Watch

Do you think Trent Reznor is easy to please? Guess again...

Trent Reznor may be the face and name to Nine Inch Nails, but it’s a whole team behind him that puts together a tour, as a new Vevo behind-the-scenes feature shows.

The 13-minute movie starts 18 days before Nine Inch Nails will play its first 2013 show at the Fuji Rock Festival on July 26. The band has already been rehearsing for a few months, but there’s still lots to be done in creating the multi-media show that Reznor is known for.

Tensions escalate as the Fuji date approaches. “Trend demands, demands, demands excellence in everything,” says his Rob Sheridan, his longtime art director. “We want the best always. That  high level of expectation leads to a lot of stressful moments.”

Cut to a few minutes later, two days before the Fuji fest and an exasperated Reznor is saying to his team, “It’s all fucked up right?”  In a Come To Jesus meeting with the crew, he says, “We had it the first day. It looked fantastic. Since then, it’s looked shittier.”

Come the Fuji Rock Fest, Reznor’s wondering how the show, which features new music, a new band, and new production, will come off, especially in the pouring rain.

The U.S. leg of the Nine Inch Nails: Tension tour starts Sept. 28 in St. Paul, Minn.

Nine Inch Nails’ new album, “Hesitation Marks,” comes out Sept. 3 and is streaming on iTunes now.

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<p>Simon Pegg and Nick Frost join us this week, along with Edgar Wright, to discuss 'The World's End'</p>

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost join us this week, along with Edgar Wright, to discuss 'The World's End'

Credit: Focus Features

Edgar Wright joins the podcast to talk 'World's End' with Nick Frost and Simon Pegg

Also Colin Geddes looks back at 25 years of Midnight Madness

So maybe we can plan on doing these quarterly?

Actually, there is good news on the podcasting front. One of the benefits of HitFix having moved into office space is that it feels like we can turn things around much faster. We can react when stories are breaking. And, for the first time, I'm not the one cutting the podcast together, because our awesome editorial team is there to take the raw material and hand me back a finished podcast to publish.

It also gives us a place to record, and we can start inviting guests to join us in the studio. Just that one fact alone makes it feel like we're starting a brand-new era. I'm going to gather some interviews at Toronto while I'm up there for the festival, and when I get back, we'll be doing the first of what I hope will be a far more regular podcast. We'll have a number for you guys to call in, we'll have a schedule for when we record and when we post, and a pipeline to guarantee that me getting distracted doesn't derail the entire thing.

For example, today's podcast was recorded last Tuesday night. That's why we discuss Elmore Leonard's passing as a fresh thing. I tried to block out time to put it together all week even as I was finishing up last week's work and preparing all the work that will be published during my vacation this coming week.

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<p>Oscar Isaac and <span class="st">Chris Thile of the Punch Brothers perform at the opening night concert for the 40th Annual Telluride Film Festival on Wednesday, August 28, 20013.<br />

Oscar Isaac and Chris Thile of the Punch Brothers perform at the opening night concert for the 40th Annual Telluride Film Festival on Wednesday, August 28, 20013.

Watch: Oscar Isaac and the Punch Brothers perform 'Inside Llewyn Davis' music at Telluride

Snuck it in before a massive thunderstorm

TELLURIDE, Colo. - CBS Films helped the 40th annual Telluride Film Festival get off to a musical start by bringing in the Punch Brothers to perform at an opening night concert Wednesday night. Chris Thile and his band appear on the soundtrack to the Coen brothers' upcoming "Inside Llewyn Davis," and they played some bluegrass favorites to a nice crowd in the town park.

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Credit: AP Photo

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis on a new album and the 'nervewracking' VMAs

'I didn't think we had one single on 'The Heist,' says Macklemore

LOS ANGELES—Don’t look for a new Macklemore & Ryan Lewis album anytime soon.

The pair, whose breakthrough album, “The Heist,” has spawned three radio hits and is still in the top 20 on the Billboard 200, plans to take some time to “live life” and refuel their creative tanks after they finish their current tour at the end of the year.

Speaking at the Grammy Museum here Wednesday night, Lewis admitted that the pressure to top themselves following the platinum success of “The Heist” was there, but that the duo knew it would be wrong to try to rush out a follow-up quickly —although he added the next album might not take the three years it took to make “The Heist.”

“By Christmas, we would have played 250 shows since ‘The Heist’ came out,” Lewis said. “To go straight into the studio [without a break] and think you have something to share would be wrong...If you don’t have shit to say, you don’t have shit to say.” 

Macklemore (aka Ben Haggerty) said he’s tried to write on the road, but with little success since he writes what he knows. “We’ve been traveling every day,” he says, adding that his lyrics on tour usually amount to “‘I’m on an airplane.’ No one wants to hear that song ever,” he said with a laugh.

And about those radio hits, “Thrift Shop,” “Can’t Hold Us,” and “Same Love”? Macklemore says he never expected the success the pair has received at Top 40 radio. “I didn’t think we had one single on ‘The Heist’,” he said. “I didn’t think it would get radio play.”

Then when the Seattle act scored big with “Thrift Shop,” featuring Wanz, and the song stayed atop the Billboard Hot 100 for six non-consecutive weeks, Macklemore worried that the pair would be seen as a novelty act. “I was the ‘Thrift Shop’ guy and it was scary as hell,” he says. “Then, ‘Can’t Hold Us’ relieved some of that, and with ‘Some Love,’ the fear was completely eased.”

A number of the songs on “The Heist” take on issues, whether it be “Same Love’s” warm embrace of same sex marriage or “Wings,” which stresses anti-consumerism. Macklemore said he knows it’s a fine line between making a point and preaching, and he’s careful not to cross it. “I write from experience. I try to do it from my perspective from my own life,” he said. “‘Wings’ is about anti-consumerism. I acknowledge I’m caught up in it. All of these are my issues; my means of communication is to be vulnerable.”

And he admits he felt very vulnerable as he wrote the lyrics to “Same Love.”  The line, “in third grade, I thought that I was gay” was the “scariest bars I ever put on a song, but that’s my truth. People on the internet are going to say ‘you’re a homo.’ I don’t care.” He reiterated the comment he made during his acceptance speech for Video with the Best Social Message at Sunday’s Video Music Awards that “Same Love” remains the duo’s song he is the proudest to have written.

Macklemore referred to the VMAs as a “nervewracking” experience, not because it was the pair’s first performance at a major awards show, but because he didn’t know how to win and award and give an acceptance speech. “You don’t want to mess that up,” he said, before he and Lewis gave a shout out to their publicist in the audience whom they did forget to thank from the Barclays Center stage on Sunday.

With their rising popularity, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are having the most success of any Seattle rap act since Sir Mix-A-Lot hit it big with 1992’s “Baby Got Back.” And while they hope other local hip-hop artists follow their lead, Macklemore is in no way ready to hand over the mic.

“As much as you want to pass the torch, as an MC, by nature I’m a competitive person,” he said. “It’s ego. I want to be the biggest rapper that ever came out of Seattle.”

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