Latest Blog Posts

<p>Sophie N&eacute;lisse in &quot;The Book Thief&quot;</p>

Sophie Nélisse in "The Book Thief"

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Off the Carpet: Fox enters the Oscar season with 'The Book Thief' and 'Walter Mitty'

Can they register in what is already a crowded season?

This weekend, 20th Century Fox arrived to the 2013 film awards season with a pair of hopefuls that couldn't be more different from the outside. Nevertheless, Brian Percival's "The Book Thief" and Ben Stiller's "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," both of which will be viewed as cloying in some circles, are made with an honesty that could stave off some of the cynicism and register. At the end of the day, though, neither is the slam dunk contender the studio may have hoped for a year after "Life of Pi."

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<p>Miley Cyrus on the &quot;Today&quot; show</p>

Miley Cyrus on the "Today" show

Credit: Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

Seven things we learned from Miley Cyrus's 'Today' show interview

Was she flirting with Matt Lauer or insulting him?

Hot off her ratings-winning appearance on “Saturday Night Live,” Miley Cyrus continued making the rounds to promote new album, “Bangerz,” by appearing on the “Today” show Monday morning.

During a six-minute interview with co-host Matt Lauer, a hyper, leg-jiggling, self-assured Cyrus answered questions about a number of topics, including her latest Twitter feud with Sinead O’Connor, her VMA appearance, and her parents’ unconditional love. She also performed two songs.

She also revealed that she plans to go on tour next year.

Here are seven things we learned from the interview, embedded below:

She doesn’t mind shocking, but she doesn’t mean to offend:  Of her VMA performance, she says, “I don’t ever really plan to offend people, sometimes that just happens, because I think people aren’t open to what they don’t understand”

If you don’t understand Cyrus, you’re just too old: "My fans are really young, so they all understand what I’m doing," she says.

She’s crazy like a fox:
“We’re still talking about it a month later (she says of her VMA performance), so it went as planned."

What you see is what you get with
:" This is just who I am: I think it’s only hard if you’re trying to be something that you’re not," she says of her sexualized performances.

She’s only got 20 years left to be sexy:  “I heard when you turn 40 things start to go a little less sexual. I heard around 40, around that time, is when people don’t have sex anymore,” she said to a 55-year old Matt Lauer. We still aren't sure if she was flirting with Lauer or insulting him or a bit of both.

She still loves Sinead: "I think she’s an incredible artist, I think she’s an awesome songwriter... I don’t know how someone can start a fight with somebody: I really respect you and I really love what you did. You know what, you suck'."

Her parents love her unconditionally:
  "My parents have always been about being who you are and figuring that out. What’s great about that is I trust them a lot and can go to them with pretty much anything," she says of her parents, pointing our her mother in the crowd.

Below is the full interview, as well a her performance of "Wrecking Ball." 

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<p>Steven Soderbergh at the 2013 Emmy Awards.</p>

Steven Soderbergh at the 2013 Emmy Awards.

Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

How Steven Soderbergh helped edit Spike Jonze's 'Her'

...and how Chris Cooper got the chop

There are, obviously, many reasons to look forward to Spike Jonze's "Her," which premieres at the New York Film Festival later this week -- beginning, of course, with the fact that it's a Spike Jonze movie, and his first since 2009's "Where the Wild Things Are" (much loved round these parts). But news of another major filmmaker's indirect input just makes the whole project that much more intriguing.

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ABC orders a sitcom pilot based on Kevin Hart's standup

ABC orders a sitcom pilot based on Kevin Hart's standup
Hart won't star, but he'll likely recur if the pilot about a divorced couple is picked up to series.

Is "Betrayal" next to be canceled?
The ABC drama tumbled even further in Week 2 after a weak debut.

Oxygen orders "Tattoos After Dark"
Yet another tattoo reality show.

Jenna Elfman to guest on "The Mindy Project"
She'll play a crisis-management publicist who "sexually dominates" Danny.

Sharon Lawrence lands on Amazon

She along with Arielle Kebbel have joined Chris Carter's "The After."

Travel Channel renews 4, including "Bizarre Foods America"
"Mysteries At The Museum," "Hotel Impossible" and "Dangerous Grounds" are also getting new seasons.

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<p>Justin Bieber's &quot;Heartbreaker&quot;</p>

Justin Bieber's "Heartbreaker"

Justin Bieber sings about Selena Gomez break-up on new song 'Heartbreaker': Listen

Track is first offering in his #MusicMondays' series

Justin Bieber wants you to meet him under his umbrella-ella-ella.

On “Heartbreaker,” the first release as part of his #MusicMondays series—he’ll release a new song each Monday for 10 weeks—Bieber wants you back.  “Girl you don’t know how I feel/since you ran away/Any chance you could take my call/if I dialed you today,” he sings in the slow jam.

Bieber has made the right move: there are no guest on the album and the spoken part, instead of handing that over to a rapper, is handled by Bieber himself. He’s positioning himself as the sensitive, vulnerable one who is in the throes of heartache: “Girl, you see me standing here/any chance you could stay right here and never go away,” he sings as he longs to get his girl back.

It sounds like the R&B pop song is directed toward his off-and-on-again girlfriend Selena Gomez, as he speaks, “I know it hasn’t been easy for us to talk with everybody being around/but this is personal/this is from me to you/and I want you to know I still love you/I know the seasons may change/that sometimes love goes from sunshine to rain/but I’m under this umbrella and I’m calling your name.”

On Twitter, Bieber pasted a comment he made to iTunes about the song's origin: "It's a song for people going through a heartbreak - like I was when I wrote it. It means so much to me to be able to share what I was, and still am going through, with my fans. I'm very proud of this song and I hope it give[s] my fans some insight into my heart."   He has since added that "each week the songs get better" and that "maybe u might get lucky with two songs in a week." 

There isn’t much of a chorus, but this is more a transition song, one that’s meant to make us see that Bieber is growing up. With the backing vocals, he’s a one-man R&B group, but it works.  "Heartbreaker" is the first single from Bieber's forthcoming album, out later this year.

Do you like "Heartbreaker?" 

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<p>Adrien Brody in &quot;Back to 1942.&quot;</p>

Adrien Brody in "Back to 1942."

Credit: China Lion Film Distribution

Adrien Brody and Tim Robbins prop up China’s Oscar hopes in ‘Back to 1942’

Will the Hollywood connection pay off this time?

When the deadline for Best Foreign Language Film Oscar submissions passed last week, it seemed odd that China – the last major filmmaking nation not yet in the race – hadn’t submitted a film yet. As it turns out, they’d entered one on September 29; national holidays had simply prevented the announcement. And for the second time in three years, China has looked to Hollywood names to give them a boost in the race: this year’s selection, “Back to 1942,” which was released Stateside last year, features Oscar-winning actors Adrien Brody and Tim Robbins in its otherwise Chinese ensemble.

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<p>The Broncos harass Cowboys QB Tony Romo</p>

The Broncos harass Cowboys QB Tony Romo

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: Broncos-Cowboys thriller helps CBS split Sunday, while 'Betrayal' drops

Sunday Night Football lets NBC win among young viewers
Fast National ratings for Sunday, October 6, 2013.
The end of a high-scoring thriller between the Broncos and Cowboys spread 44 minutes into primetime and helped boost CBS to a comfortable overall win on Sunday, while coverage of the Houston-San Francisco Sunday Night Football game put NBC in first among young viewers.
Without any football overrun, FOX still got a solid performance for the annual Treehouse of Horrors episode of "The Simpsons," as well as a new "Family Guy," though it's hard to compare this week's performances to last week's football-boosted premieres. 
Similarly, comparing this week's non-football CBS numbers to last week's premieres probably isn't helpful, especially since CBS also aired the NFL Network's late game in San Diego.
It's easier to compare ABC's Sunday to premiere levels, where we can see that "Once Upon a Time" posted only a small drop among young viewers -- total retention among adults 18-34, ABC boasts -- while the declines for "Revenge" and particularly "Betrayal" were steeper. 
On to the numbers...
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 Miley Cyrus and other child music stars who tried to make it in the grown-up world

Miley Cyrus and other child music stars who tried to make it in the grown-up world

Who was a hit and who was a miss in the transition

Miley Cyrus, 20,  is the latest in a long line of child music stars eager to leave their youth behind and be seen as artists with adult appeal. With “Bangerz,” out Monday (7), Cyrus tries once and forever more to leave Hannah Montana in the rear view mirror. Here’s a look at some other music artists who first hit stardom at a very young age and how they fared in their bid to navigate through some awkward years to become mainstream stars and remain on the Billboard Hot 100.


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<p>Ben Stiller in &quot;The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.&quot;</p>

Ben Stiller in "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty."

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Roundup: A moderate start for 'Mitty'

Also: Mark Harris meets Spike Jonze, and Tarantino's best of 2013

The big reveal of the weekend was Ben Stiller's "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," which was unveiled at the New York Film Festival to a mixed reception. Audiences seemed to respond to the whimsical romantic fantasy; perhaps unsurprisingly, critics were, on balance, a little cooler. David Hudson, as usual, does a good job of rounding up reactions to the film so far, which include warm (if not ecstatic) reviews from the trades, while the likes of IndieWire, Slant and are less convinced. (HitFix's own Drew McWeeny offered muted approval.) Too early and inconclusive, then, to draw any conclusions about its awards-season future; it may well come down to how it plays with the public. [Fandor]

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Coming soon: Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings

Coming soon: Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings

Nielsen plans to measure not just how many people tweet about a TV show, but how many view those tweets. For instance, a recent "Grey's Anatomy" episode had 98,600 people tweeting 225,000 tweets that were seen by millions of people.

Is David Boreanaz leaving "Bones"?

RadarOnline claims Boreanaz is planning to exit the Fox series after this season.

"Homeland's" Morgan Saylor isn't taking the intense hatred for Dana personally
Says the 18-year-old: "Anna Gunn wrote that op-ed for The New York Times about Skyler White. I kind of wanted to comment on it and be like, 'Yeah, I know how you feel.' But characters are not always supposed to be loved. You could look at most characters and see mixed reactions. I don’t know. I don’t take it personally. I think it's kind of interesting to see people, like, spending so much time focusing on something like that." PLUS: Watch Saylor's audition, the title "Uh .... Oo ... Aw ..." perfectly described this week's episode, and "Homeland" spent too much time on Dana this week.

"Boardwalk Empire" considered James Gandolfini as Nucky, but not seriously
Showrunner Terrence Winter had just worked with Gandolfini on "The Sopranos" when they were considering the Nucky Thompson role. "He also bore such an uncanny resemblance to the actual Nucky," he says. PLUS: Anthony Laciura talks last night's episode.

Albuquerque newspaper saw big traffic, sales from its Walter White obit
The obit was Albuquerque Journal's most-read article in seven years. PLUS: Vince Gilligan gives NFL back its Sundays, Bryan Cranston headed to Broadway as LBJ, watch an epic "Bad" tribute, and "SNL" uses Hillary Clinton to spoof "Breaking Bad."

"Girl Meets World" drops the older brother

Teo Halm, 13, tweeted the news that he had been cut from the show.

Sting will play himself on "The Michael J. Fox Show"

He'll appear in a holiday-themed episode.

"SNL" becomes "The Miley Cyrus Show"

The 30-minute delayed episode mostly revolved around Miley, which wasn't always a good thing.

"Shameless" actress to play Marg Helgenberger's daughter
Laura Wiggins is joining the cast of "Intelligence."

Carson Daly gets engaged
Daly is set to marry Siri Pinter, his former "Last Call" writer's assistant and the mother of his two children.

Ellen Pompeo has no plans to leave "Grey's Anatomy"

"Actors always think the grass is greener somewhere else — I didn’t want to do that," she tells the NY Post, noting that she has "an amazing life" with many houses and a daughter she gets to see every night. PLUS: Jesse Williams is expecting his 1st child.

Newly discovered lost "Doctor Who" episodes are going online

The Patrick Troughton-era episodes should be made available this week.

"Glee's" Dot-Marie Jones is engaged

Jones proposed to her longtime girlfriend, Bridgett Casteen, at Disneyland on Friday.

Will Ferrell playing "Anchorman" in new Dodge Durango ads

Ron Burgundy will be named today the new spokesman for the Durango.

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<p>Tom Hanks finds himself at the mercy of some truly desperate men in the based-on-a-true-story 'Captain Phillips'</p>

Tom Hanks finds himself at the mercy of some truly desperate men in the based-on-a-true-story 'Captain Phillips'

Credit: Sony Pictures

Review: Tom Hanks grounds the emotional and upsetting 'Captain Phillips'

Paul Greengrass tells another terrifically tense true-life story

There may be no filmmaker currently working in mainstream Hollywood who crafts dramatic narrative features that feel more like documentaries than traditional movies than Paul Greengrass. The way his best work plays makes the audience feel like observers of reality, and aside from one small but mystifying misstep, "Captain Phillips" represents a great example of what he does so well.

Based on the true story of a hijacking that took place off the coast of Somalia a few years ago, "Captain Phillips" stars Tom Hanks as Richard Phillips, and it's confident, subtle work from him. His performance captures perfectly the dawning horror of the situation, and there are certain sequences here that I would place among the finest things he's done on film so far. I love that Hanks is settling into this older stage of his career by making really interesting choices, using his still-hefty star clout to help make films that are provocative and adult and in some cases commercially difficult. Without a Hanks, there is no "Cloud Atlas," and it's hard to overstate how important it is for a movie like that to land a star who is both Oscar-vetted and box-office friendly.

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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. 1

Things go from nice to weird in the lengthy special

Initially, the first part of the super sized "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" reunion is so placid, so even-tempered and loving, it's creepy. I'm almost wondering if Teresa and her husband have decided to deal with the 39 counts of fraud, theft, and crimes against the English language (tonight, we get a new word to send my spell check into a tizzy: "meanful") by taking fistfuls of Xanax or showing up to the reunion drunk. Hey, most people watch it that way, right?

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