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"True Blood"

 "True Blood"

Credit: HBO

'True Blood' season finale recap: Will Sookie and Warlow wed?

The war between vamps and humans takes a new direction

Can you believe it's been a whole season of "True Blood"? I certainly can, as plot points and storylines have zinged past our heads like vases during a lovers' quarrel in a 1940s B movie. Though that's meant some shoddy character development and (especially in this episode) some false turns in the service of wrapping up a storyline, the good news is that this season finale sets us up for what could be a dark future, but one possibly more satisfying than this one.

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<p>Thomas Sadoski, John Gallagher Jr. and Olivia Munn in &quot;The Newsroom.&quot;</p>

Thomas Sadoski, John Gallagher Jr. and Olivia Munn in "The Newsroom."

Credit: HBO

Review: 'The Newsroom' - 'One Step Too Many'

The 'News Night' staff enjoys a night out before Jerry makes a big edit

A quick review of tonight's "The Newsroom" coming up just as soon as I talk to someone who says he's seen eight reindeer...

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<p>Anna Gunn as Skyler White in &quot;Breaking Bad.&quot;</p>

Anna Gunn as Skyler White in "Breaking Bad."

Credit: AMC

Review: 'Breaking Bad' - 'Buried'

Skyler has many questions to answer and Walt and Lydia each visit the desert

A review of tonight's "Breaking Bad" coming up just as soon as I channel Scrooge McDuck...

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<p>Hannah (Yvonne Strahovski)&nbsp;helps out Dexter (Michael C. Hall).</p>

Hannah (Yvonne Strahovski) helps out Dexter (Michael C. Hall).

Credit: Showtime

Review: 'Dexter' - 'Are We There Yet?'

Dexter and Hannah try to help out Zach, while Dr. Vogel has a new plan

A quick review of tonight's "Dexter" coming up just as soon as we sage the place and hang a crystal in the corner...

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"Big Brother"

 "Big Brother"

Credit: CBS

'Big Brother': Is Aaryn or Amanda really in control of the house?

Will this week be the time for a Big Move?

I am already sick of hearing the announcer saying 3 a.m. That's all. 

Anyway, most of this episode is dedicated to Amanda acting smug, Amanda whining to McCrae, and Amanda gloating over how well she's running the house. I'm not sure why everyone is so happy to let one half of a showmance dictate every move on the show, given that the other players might have a shot at making a final two deal with anyone else, but I guess Amanda's bullying persona has somehow clicked with the rest of the players. I'm wondering if she's worn down the hamsters with her throaty smoker's voice yelling or if they're so tired of her they just want to give up. I will say McCrae has the glassy-eyed stare of a man who's seen too much.

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<p>Kelly Rowland, Beyonce Knowles and Michelle Williams reuniting as Destiny's Child during Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans, LA on Feb. 3, 2013.</p>

Kelly Rowland, Beyonce Knowles and Michelle Williams reuniting as Destiny's Child during Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans, LA on Feb. 3, 2013.

Credit: AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

What If Destiny's Child hadn't broken up?

Where would Beyonce, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams be now?

This week HitFix is revisiting some of the key turning points in recent entertainment history and considering what would have happened if history had turned a bit differently. What if...?

In the early and mid- 2000s, the Destiny’s Child line-up of Beyonce Knowles, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams ruled the pop charts with the trio’s bootylicious pop/R&B mix, selling more than 60 million albums worldwide before disbanding in 2005.

What if Destiny’s Child hadn’t broken up?


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<p>&quot;Welcome to the Family&quot;</p>

"Welcome to the Family"

Credit: NBC

Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Welcome to the Family'

It's the Most Progressive TV Comedy of 1970!

[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots. I know some people will be all "These are reviews." If you've read me, you've read my reviews and you know this isn't what they look like.]

Show:"Welcome to the Family" (NBC)
Airs: Thursdays at 8:30 p.m.
The Pitch: "She's a blonde ditz! He's a Latino intellectual! How will their families POSSIBLY get along? Welcome to the most progressive network sitcom of 1970!"
Quick Response: Somewhere between the release of "Guess Whose Coming To Dinner?" in 1967 and the premiere of "All in the Family" in 1971, you could have programmed a show identical to "Welcome to the Family" and been celebrated for your paradigm-shifting view of race relations and blended families in America. Your humor would have been so darned edgy that half of the critics in America probably would have hated you and you'd definitely have been discussed by President Nixon as a subversive countercultural force. Of course, it's not 1970 and you're going to have to be pretty sheltered to look at "Welcome to the Family" as especially progressive or edgy. Probably that's OK, though, because I don't sense that creator Mike Sikowitz has "All in the Family" aspirations and where there actually might have been room for interesting cultural exploration, he's satisfied with warm and fuzzy blandness. And in that warm and fuzzy blandness, you can't be offended by "Welcome to the Family," either for the social statements it makes -- "When did this become about me having issues with Latinos? I have an issue with THAT Latino," a character says, making the show's clear proclamation of ideological indifference -- or for the social statements it chooses not to make. The characters are all blurry and non-specific, tip-toing right to the edge of caricature and then scurrying away without becoming especially defined. That shifts the responsibility for characterization away from the writers and onto stars Mike O'Malley, Mary McCormack, Ricardo Chavira and Justina Machado, who by sheer force of ingrained personality manage to make "Welcome to the Family" more amiable than it has any right to be. That's an elevation from "not at all" to "very slightly," but it's a start. O'Malley and McCormack have an entirely relaxed and natural chemistry that steers a few soft punchlines into laughs. Chavira and Machado have the side of the narrative that strays in the direction of stereotype, so you can see them working hard to make a little bit more of what they've been given, which sometimes veers into loudness. The Romeo & Juliet-style -- minute the tragedy, we assume -- leads are Joseph Haro and Ella Rae Peck and... let's just say they're not the focus of the pilot, so there's little opportunity for any real rapport to develop. "Welcome to the Family" is definitely slightly better than "Sean Saves the World" in the generic-and-voiceless filling of the network's Thursday Comedy Sandwich between the terrific "Parks and Rec" and the intriguing "Michael J. Fox Show."
Desire To Watch Again: Whatever desire I have to watch this one again comes mostly from my sense that Mike O'Malley is a smart, talented and funny guy who deserves a certain amount of support and my generalized respect for some of the remainder of the cast. I just don't see much upside here, because I don't see much aspiration. Even "Sean Saves the World" has more upside, albeit an upside that will only be realized if it becomes "Thomas Lennon & Echo Kellum Save the World." Because "Welcome to the Family" was painless and because it has a great lead-in, I'll give it one or two more episodes.

 

Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'The Millers'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'The Goldbergs' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Ironside'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'We Are Men' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Almost Human' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Back in the Game' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Sean Saves the World' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'Reign' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'The Crazy Ones' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Enlisted' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Betrayal' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'The Blacklist' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'The Tomorrow People' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'Hostages' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Sleepy Hollow' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Trophy Wife' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'The Michael J. Fox Show' 
All of my 2012 Take Me To The Pilots Entries
All of my 2011 Take Me To The Pilots Entries
All of my 2010 Take Me To The Pilots Entries

 


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<p>Katy Perry</p>

Katy Perry

Credit: Jordan Strauss/AP

Music Power Rankings: Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Luke Bryan rule this week

Morrissey and Charlie Brown also make the list

1. Katy Perry: She comes “roaring” back with hot first new single from “Prism,” as the single wins the battle between Perry and Lady Gaga’s “Applause” and is on track to sell close to 500,000 copies in its first week.

2. Luke Bryan:
Country superstar’s new album, “Crash My Party,” released Tuesday, will crash onto the Billboard 200 with sales of more than 500,000 copies in its first week. And he’s done it by staying country as country can be.

3. George Strait: Billboard names him the recipient of its Legends of Live award as the cowboy rides away on his last tour, taking the record for the most No. 1 tunes by any artist in any genre with him. It’s good to be king.

4.Lady Gaga: Katy Perry may win the first week single sales battle (“Roar’s” 450,000 to “Applause’s” 225,000), but Momma Monster managed to snare her share of this week’s headlines, including condemning the leak of her uplifting, sweet duet with Cher, “The Greatest.” C’mon LG, let Cher include it on her album!

5. This Charming Charlie: Smiths fans are dying over the great new Tumblr that combines Peanuts cartoons with Morrissey lyrics. Charlie Brown and the whole gang get into the act in one of the greatest combos since peanut butter and chocolate.

6.Pete Townshend:
The Who frontman diffuses an assault from One Direction fans by saying he likes the band and he doesn’t mind at all if “Best Song Ever” rips off “Baba O’Riley. (a comparison we noted ourselves)   Can a duet be far behind?

7. Eminem: Slim Shady drops his first new music in two years with “Survival,” a biting, propulsive track from “Call Of Duty: Ghosts.” Shady’s back and he’s taking names.

8. Robin Thicke:
In a rather strange lawsuit, the “Blurred Lines” singer/co-writer has filed a suit asking a judge to rule that the song does not steal from Marvin Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up” and Parliament’s “Sexy Ways,” before either party (or estate) has filed a suit claiming the song is rip-off.  Talk about a preemptive strike...

9. Michelle Obama:
Is a gold record next for the First Lady? She makes a cameo appearance in “Everybody,” a hip-hop song about eating healthily and taking care of our bodies. We just want to know if she does the Dougie in the video.

10. Kelly Clarkson: T
he singer is banned from taking a ring once worn by Jane Austen out of England, but she sweetly agrees to sell it back to the Jane Austen museum if it can raise enough money to pay her what she paid for the ring. As the engaged star prepares to walk down the aisle, we think she already has a ring on it so she can spare Austen's bling.

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Report: Jennifer Lopez's 'American Idol' return a done deal


Report: Jennifer Lopez's "American Idol" return a done deal

One day after her boyfriend Casper Smart spilled the beans, Us Weekly is reporting that a deal is done for J.Lo to return to her judging role after one season off.


Thomas Gibson: Catfished?

The "Criminal Minds" star allegedly had a two-year online relationship with a woman using somebody else's pornographic photos.


Montel Williams eyeing a talk show comeback

According to TMZ, Williams is expected to make an announcement next month. Williams' "Montel Williams Show" was canceled in 2008 after 17 years.


Watch the launch of Fox Sports 1
And see the final moments of the Speed Channel very early this morning.


Gia Allemand passed "The Bachelor's" extensive vetting

Allemand also had access to an on-set therapist during taping four years ago.


"Orange is the New Black's" Laura Prepon predicted her prison future on "That '70s Show"
"I could get arrested," said Donna Pinciotti in one episode. "I could go to a girl prison."

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<p>&quot;It really is a knock-out, you know?</p>

"It really is a knock-out, you know?

Credit: United Artists

Saying goodbye to the good city and the good people

A New York year felt like it was over in a New York minute

On a bit of a personal note this weekend, it's been more or less 12 months since my wife and I said, "Hey, let's try New York for a year." The sheer luck of being able to make such a decision isn't lost on us and the experience, one I've dreamed of for some time, was a fruitful and rewarding one. And in just a few days, it'll all come to a close.

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<p>&quot;The Millers&quot;</p>

"The Millers"

Credit: CBS

Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'The Millers'

Will Greg Garcia's lure-them-with-farting strategy pay off?

[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots. I know some people will be all "These are reviews." If you've read me, you've read my reviews and you know this isn't what they look like.]

Show:"The Millers" (CBS)
Airs:Thursdays at 8:30 p.m.
The Pitch: "Farting! So much farting! And family, too!"
Quick Response: I contemplated doing this blurb w/out mentioning farting, specifically the farts emanating from Emmy-winning thespian Margo Martindale. But the farts are a call-back joke within the pilot and they've played a noxious role in CBS' promotion of the show. So just because Greg Garcia may not think of "The Millers" as a farting show, it's not a non-farting pilot and since pilots are when you throw down the gauntlet for what you believe is the funny essence of your sitcom, it'd be hard to think that the essence of "The Millers" isn't at least somewhat malodorous. And it's a small pity, because in addition to being a dramatic powerhouse, Margo Martindale is also comedic commando, an actress fearless enough to dive into anything you give her and, in the case of "The Millers," that's jokes about farting, watching Beau Bridges masturbate and, somewhat more admirably, some physical business inspired by "Dirty Dancing." It happens that I like Greg Garcia. "My Name Is Earl" started strong. "Raising Hope" has evolved into a source of regular amusement and occasionally brilliant inspiration. But old people freak Greg Garcia out. The frequency with which Emmy winner Cloris Leachman is used for lazy "Wacky Old People Are Wacky" punchlines on "Raising Hope" is somewhere close to 85% (and that's the figure for the most recent season, which was EASILY Leachman's best). So it's worrisome that so much of what Martindale and Bridges do in the "Millers" pilot is only ostensibly "funny" because it's being done by characters so old that not even CBS is targeting them. The "Millers" pilot is a lengthy run of "It's gross when old people do things that young people do" jokes that just happen to be executed by an amazing cast. Martindale is gung-ho for anything and Bridges matches her, though "matching" in this case too often means watching two expert actors yell at each other. [This has become a hallmark of James Burrows' pilot work in recent years. It didn't used to be. Sigh.] Will Arnett, in contrast, continues his "Up All Night" trend of underplaying, which is probably the best possible thing he could do, though he's getting dangerously close to "straight man" territory here, which would be a waste of Will Arnett. Because original pilot co-stars Mary Elizabeth Ellis and Michael Rapaport have been replaced by Jayma Mays and Nelson Franklin, it's hard to evaluate the rest of "The Millers." Since even Garcia has admitted that the problem with Ellis and Rapaport in the pilot was a lack of writing... Well, we'll see!
Desire To Watch Again: Moderate. I had problems with the "Raising Hope" pilot, but I liked enough of it to stick with it. I'm glad I did. I chuckled a couple times at the pilot for "The Millers" and cringed in embarrassment a few times. But the couple chuckles, the cast and good faith for Greg Garcia will bring me back. Maybe Garcia just wanted to use the agesploitation as a way of introducing the series premise and, having established it, he'll be able to play to other strengths in future episodes? After all, he's already promised a string of fart-free episodes. In any case, since "The Big Bang Theory" has a set spot on my DVR -- CBS and WBTV make it difficult to catch up in other ways -- "The Millers" will get a few episodes at least.

 

Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'The Goldbergs' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Ironside'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'We Are Men' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Almost Human' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Back in the Game' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Sean Saves the World' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'Reign' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'The Crazy Ones' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Enlisted' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Betrayal' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'The Blacklist' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'The Tomorrow People' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'Hostages' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Sleepy Hollow' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Trophy Wife' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'The Michael J. Fox Show' 
All of my 2012 Take Me To The Pilots Entries
All of my 2011 Take Me To The Pilots Entries
All of my 2010 Take Me To The Pilots Entries

 

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Jon Stewart's return will be bittersweet, thanks to John Oliver


Jon Stewart's return will be bittersweet, thanks to John Oliver
As Madeleine Davies explains it, "Jon Stewart is your best friend during the school year and John Oliver is the best friend you meet at sleep-away camp over the summer. He's different, he broadens your horizons, you prick your fingers with pins and become blood sisters, then promise to stay in touch and meet up once the summer's over. But then you go home, see your BFF Jon Stewart again, remember why you missed him and settle back into your own life." PLUS: See all 32 John Oliver excuses for Jon Stewart's absence.


Bebe Neuwirth is headed to "Blue Bloods"

The "Cheers" alum will clash with Tom Selleck.


"Mob Wives" star's fiance gets 15 years in prison for drug trafficking

Joe Sclafani, who's engaged to Ramona Rizzo, apologized to the court after his sentencing.


Can "SportsCenter" be saved?
The ESPN institution is trying to reinvent itself amid declining ratings.


Shonda Rhimes didn't think of "Scandal" Season 3 when Season 2 ended

Says Rhimes: "We left the end of season two, and then we all came back and sat down and went, 'What the hell is going to happen next.' And then we figured it out. That's the fun of it. I feel you have to leave it all on the page and the screen, and then go from there."


White House press secretary asks his "West Wing" counterpart how to do "The Jackal"
That's how Jay Carney welcomed Allison Janney to Twitter.


Here's your 1st look at Ross Mathews' E! talk show

"Hello Ross" premieres Sept. 6.


Rob Lowe's new book will be called "Love Life"

The "Parks and Rec" star will reveal intimate stories in the follow-up to his memoir.


Donald Faison welcomes a son

"The Exes" star welcomed his 5th child this week.


Should "The Real World" end?

After 29 seasons, is the MTV reality show's age that turned viewers off? Or is it MTV's meddling? PLUS: "Real World: San Francisco" cast: Where are they now? (Judd Winick is working on "The Awesomes.")


"Breaking Bad's" Dean Norris delves into the "tread lightly" moment
There were two versions of that scene that were filmed, but the 2nd one, the one that aired, was more memorable. PLUS: What "Breaking Bad" gets right and wrong about meth, more reasons why Netflix wasn't the only cause of "Bad's" ratings boost, and 21 easter eggs that will blow your mind.


Is this Stephen Colbert's "best segment ever"?

The "People Who Are Destroying America" segment on a gay small-town Kentucky mayor has gotten lots of rave reviews.


What is behind Laura Prepon's exit from "Orange is the New Black"?

Is her departure some kind of ruse? PLUS: See the "Orange" cast in real life.


Jesse Plemons joins HBO miniseries "Olive Kitteridge"

The "Breaking Bad" star will be joined by "The Newsroom's" John Gallagher Jr., Frances McDormand, Zoe Kazan and Richard Jenkins.


Russian political candidate uses "Game of Thrones" star Emilia Clarke's image in "anti-rape" message
Clarke was identified as a local 24-year-old named Anya. PLUS: Sophie Turner becomes BFFs with Alec Baldwin's daughter over Twitter.


Adam Driver promotes the "Girls" Season 2 DVD with "Masterpiece Theatre" theme

"Get in bed with Adam." PLUS: Why did The Gap pick Driver to be a model?, and Driver poses with sheep for Vogue.


Johnny Galecki: It doesn't feel like "The Big Bang Theory" is halfway over

"I personally don't feel like we've told half the stories that these characters have to tell," he said at an Emmy panel. "It doesn't feel to me like we're halfway through. I'm certainly not done working with all of these people."


"Duck Dynasty": Breaking down the cast's fortune

Just by selling Duck Commander callers, the Robertsons are set to make nearly $45 million this year.


Is "The Newsroom" the best bad show ever?

"You have to be a genius like Aaron Sorkin to get away with a show as vigorously awful as 'The Newsroom,'" says Rob Sheffield. "That's the thing that makes it so agonizing in its watchability."


See Spencer Pratt's huge 30th birthday cake

Shaped like a giant 3-0.


Watch a mid-90s Jon Stewart and Louis CK

Stewart was a syndicated talk show host and Louis CK was a writer for Conan's "Late Night" when they sat down for these interviews.


Jimmy Kimmel now refers to himself as "HusBoss" on his talk show
That's because he's husband and boss to the show's co-headwriter, Molly McNearny.


Selma Blair is now a blonde

After her "Anger Management" stint, Blair has dyed her hair.

 
Presenting 7 "wonderfully terrible" reality shows that lasted 1 season

From Monica Lewinsky's "Mr. Personality" to "Kid Nation."

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