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Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift bows at No. 1 with 'Shake It Off'

Take that, T-Swift haters

Taylor Swift’s complete switch to pop is being met with resounding success: Her new single, “Shake It Off,” debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 today.

The song, which was bolstered by immediate radio play, sales, and streaming, following its release on Aug. 18, is Swift’s second Hot 100 chart topper, following 2012’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” The single sold 544,000 downloads this past week, the greatest weekly tally so far in 2014, according to Billboard.

For trivia buffs, “Shake,” the first single from Swift’s fifth studio album, “1989,” out Oct. 27, is only the 22nd of the 1,038 songs that have topped the Billboard Hot 100 to bow at No. 1. The last, coincidentally, was Baauer’s “Harlem Shake” in March 2013. Billboard created a fun list of the most successful chart songs with "Shake" in the title here.

“Shake’s” good news is bad news for Nicki Minaj, whose “Anaconda” soars 39-2, kept out of the top spot by Swift. Both artists performed their latest hits on MTV’s Video Music Awards Sunday night. Nonetheless, the No. 2 spot is Minaj’s highest Hot 100 perch. She previously peaked at No. 3 with “Super Bass” and her feature on Britney Spears’  “Till The World Ends.”
All this activity pushes Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” down 2-3, despite a gain in chart points. Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” similarly drops one place to No. 4.

As Swift’s ”Shake” is coronated in the top spot, Magic!’s “Rude,” tumbles from the throne after six weeks at No. 1 to No. 5.

On the bottom half of the Top 10, Iggy Azalea’s “Black Widow,” featuring Rita Ora rises 8-6, Ariana Grande’s “Break Free,” featuring Zedd, falls 4-7, Sia’s “Chandelier” inches 9-8, as does Jessie J, Grande and Minaj’s “Bang Bang,” which moves 10-9. Nico & Vinz’s “Am I Wrong” slips 6-10.

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<p>Nadiya and Natalie of &quot;Survivor&quot;</p>

Nadiya and Natalie of "Survivor"

Credit: CBS

New 'Survivor' cast features 'Amazing Race' twins and John Rocker

A former Miss Michigan is also among the 18 new castaways

While the second "Blood vs. Water" cast for "Survivor" doesn't feature any returning castaways, that doesn't mean that the group is devoid of familiar faces.

CBS announced the new "Survivor" cast on Wednesday (August 27) morning and, to put it politely, notoriety abounds.

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'COPs' cameraman shot and killed during a police shoot-out with a robbery suspect

“COPs” cameraman shot and killed during a police shoot-out with a robbery suspect
The cameraman was shadowing the Omaha police last night when he was caught in crossfire after police exchanged gunfire with a man who allegedly robbed a Wendy’s restaurant.

Did David Chase really reveal if Tony Soprano died or not?
A long-winded piece on Vox posted this morning claims to have the answer. PLUS: Did Chase ruin “The Sopranos’” ending?

“The Colbert Report’s” intro now features Gwen Stefani’s flub
“Colbore” is now part of the opening credits.

Hulu picks up “Party Down” reruns
All episodes of the canceled but beloved Starz series will be available for streaming on Friday.

“Survivor” will have more men than women this season due to a medical issue
"We lost a pair of women, so the way it works out is there are more men than women,” says Jeff Probst. PLUS: Clay Aiken's ex is among the contestants.

“Jimmy Kimmel Live’s” Guillermo gets Emmy winners to drink tequila, including Stephen Colbert
This could be one of Colbert’s last appearances on a rival 11:35 show now that he’s replacing Letterman.

Check out Amazon’s “Transparent”
The comedy starring Jeffrey Tambor about his transgender revelation debuts Sept. 26, with co-stars Judith Light, Amy Landecker, Gaby Hoffmann and Jay Duplass.

Watch the “Grey’s Anatomy” Season 10 gag reel
It includes a lot of dancing.

Jerry Seinfeld’s web show spoofed in "Poor Comedians In A Car Getting Coffee”
Watch the Upright Citizens Brigade’s Kristen Bartlett and Jason Gore interview up and coming comedians using a 2003 Toyota.

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<p>Tuesday&#39;s &quot;America&#39;s Got Talent&quot;</p>

Tuesday's "America's Got Talent"

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: Small 'America's Got Talent,' 'Food Fighters' bumps lead NBC Tuesday

Maroon 5 draws few viewers to The CW

Fast National ratings for Tuesday, August 26, 2014.

NBC's "America's Got Talent" and "Food Fighters" were both up a hair from last week and carried the network to Tuesday wins in all measures.

There were few other notables on Tuesday, with ABC's special "Bachelor in Paradise" copying Monday's numbers and The CW's "IHeart Radio Album Release Party with Maroon 5" drawing a negligible audience.

On to the numbers...

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11 best moments in Usher's sexy 'She Came To Give It To You' video

From the sexy to the stunning to the downright strange

Usher performed his current single, “She Came To Give It To You,” featuring Nicki Minaj, on MTV’s Video Music Awards Sunday night and now we have the official video. It’s a high-energy, sexy performance clip that takes place in a steamy, hidden club and it’s filled with superior, sultry dance moves and fantastic lighting. Try to sit still while you watch.

Here are 11 moments to look for:

1:07: Usher charm will melt your computer screen. Yeah, baby
1:36: What the hell? Did this just turn into a horror movie?
1:55: Best abs ever or camera trickery or both
2:58: First Nicki Minaj sighting
3:02: Quick shot of Pharrell Williams, who produced and co-wrote the song
3:05: First shot of Minaj from the front
3:18: What body part is that?
4:14: Usher looks even hotter when he sweats
4:23: What?
4:32: Oddest Swifter rhyme ever in a song
4:47: It’s all in the camera angle…like so many things in life

Usher also unveiled a new song, "Believe Me," earlier this week. It's a sultry, slow jam that features Ush singing in his delicious falsetto. It's more dramatic than "She Came To Give It To You."  The song is embedded below the video.

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Kate Bush

Review Round-Up: Kate Bush's triumphant stage return after 35 years

One show down, 22 to go. Will a US run be next?

It’s been 35 years since British songstress/icon/muse Kate Bush has performed live so her Aug. 26 return was highly anticipated and, according to some reviews, the show surpassed the almost impossibly high expectations fans and critics had placed on it.

Bush, who draws a Stevie Nicks-like devotion among her followers,  sold out 22 shows at London’s Hammersmith Odeon in 15 minutes when the “Before The Dawn” shows were announced several months ago. The notoriously performance shy Bush had last played the venue for three shows in 1979.The show sounds like an artistic spectacle with all her theatrical elements still in the forefront. Bush divided the concert into three parts: the first segment was a range of songs from her catalog, the second portion was The Ninth Wave- the back half of 1985’s “Hounds Of Love” album- while the third act was the second half of 2005’s “Aerial.” In other words, if you were looking for a hits-packed show —or anything from her 1978 U.S. breakthrough, “The Kick Inside,”  you were out of luck.

David Bowie, Madonna, Lily Allen, and Bjork were among the artists reported to be in the audience for opening night.

Here is a sampling of what the critics said. Maybe the glowing reviews and audience reception will lead her to a similar U.S. run.

New York Times: “Before the Dawn” is light and film and movement and theater, but also a rock show, dense, cathartic and physical. The audience, still as stones during the music, stood to cheer whenever tiny between-song intervals allowed. After the full-band final encore, “Cloudbusting,” it would not leave until the tech crew arrived to dismantle the stage. “Thank you so much for such a wonderful, warm and positive response,” Ms. Bush said, with remarkable composure. She’s going to do this 21 more times?

The Independent: Accompanied by music ranging from polyphonic choral harmonies to folksy minstrels,  [the show is] quite stunning, undoubtedly the most ambitious, and genuinely moving, piece of theatrical pop ever seen on a British stage. Which is just what everyone here tonight was hoping for.

Billboard: Thirty-five years after making her last live performance, Kate Bush finally delivered what many of her fans thought they would never get to see: a triumphant, hit-filled and characteristically theatrical return to the stage….Onstage, Bush appeared to be enjoying herself hugely, displaying none of the nerves or apprehension you would expect of someone who hadn’t performed live in over three decades…The show ended with a majestic, muscular run through “Cloudbursting” and, in turn, the final standing ovation of the evening. Nearly ten minutes after Bush and her band had departed the stage, the audience was still on its feet in noisy appreciation.

The Guardian: For huge sections of the performance, Bush's movements look heavily choreographed: she moves with a lithe grace, clearly still drawing on the mime training she underwent as a teenager forty years on. Her voice too is in remarkable condition: she's note-perfect throughout. Backed by a band of musicians capable of navigating the endless twists and turns of her songwriting – from funk to folk to pastoral prog rock - the performances of Running Up That Hill and King of the Mountain sound almost identical to their recorded versions - but letting rip during a version of Top of the City, she sounds flatly incredible…For someone who's spent the vast majority of her career shunning the stage, she's a hugely engaging live performer, confident enough to shun the hits that made her famous in the first place: she plays nothing from her first four albums.

The Telegraph: Bush boldly strode out in front of her band and backing singers in bare feet and an extravagantly tassled jacket that made her look like a cross between Loretta Lynn and Sandie Shaw. There was something touchingly gauche and bashful about her as she awkwardly twirled around the stage. Yet while her stage craft might have been creaky, her voice was an undiminished roar, surprisingly rich and powerful after such a long break…Throughout, the pace was resolutely mid-tempo,the narratives sometimes obscure and the skits often hammy - in one artists ' scene from the Aerial segment, literally as exciting as watching paint dry...But nonetheless there was something thrilling about seeing the often bonkers but still delightful imagination of Bush run free after all this time, apparently untouched by the frenetic pace of the digital world.

BBC: Bush may not be the energetic 20-year-old who last performed on the same stage in 1979, but the 56-year-old singer has retained the power to entrance her audience. Among the cheers, some were moved to tears at this most unpredictable of comebacks. After the three-hour show, thousands spilled out into a damp London night knowing they had witnessed something unique. It's likely that many will wake next morning feeling they have been not only to a gig, but squeezed in a trip to the cinema and the theatre as well.

Bush asked that fans not take photos or video, but, of course, someone did (and we're kind of glad).





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<p>The Sopranos final scene</p>

The Sopranos final scene

Credit: HBO

David Chase finally answers the 'Is Tony Soprano dead?' question (or not)

Will Chase's clipped, cryptic response finally put the matter to rest?

"The Sopranos" creator David Chase has finally — out of frustration more than anything else — answered the "Is Tony dead?" question.

Well, sort of. UPDATE: And even much less definitively than it seemed at first. See below.

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It’s official: Iowa farmer Chris Soules is the new 'Bachelor'

It’s official: Iowa farmer Chris Soules is the new “Bachelor”
The 32-year-old “Bachelorette” alum says: "I believe in the process. I believe in what I went through on the previous show and that's why I'm doing it. I wouldn't do it if I didn't feel like that was a potential.”

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Chelsea Handler's star-studded E! finale: Jennifer Aniston, Sandra Bullock, Buzz Aldrin help her say farewell

Chelsea Handler's star-studded E! finale: Jennifer Aniston, Sandra Bullock, Buzz Aldrin help her say farewell
“Chelsea Lately” ended its E! stint with a “We Are the World”-style song, featuring all the following celebrities: Miley Cyrus, Naya Rivera, Fergie, Gwen Stefani, Tim Gunn, Avril Lavigne, Gerard Butler, Alanis Morissette, Vanessa Hudgens, Justin Theroux, Allison Janney, Selena Gomez, Kate Beckinsale, Natasha Lyonne, Kelly Osbourne, LeAnn Rimes, Dave Grohl, Leah Remini, Kathy Griffin, Chloe Moretz, Dane Cook, Marlee Matlin, Kevin Nealon, Sammy Hagar, Johnny Knoxville, Tim Allen, Melissa McCarthy, Josh Groban and even Buzz Aldrin. PLUS: Mary McCormack, Jennifer Aniston and Sandra Bullock staged an intervention, Ellen DeGeneres had a “shower fight” with Chelsea, Gwen Stefani “mispronounced” “Chelsea Hammer’s” name, and watch Handler’s final goodbye.

“Survivor’s” new season boasts former MLB pitcher John Rocker, “Amazing Race” All-Stars and a “Spider-Man” on Broadway actor
Controversial former Major League Baseball relief pitcher John Rocker will be competing with his girlfriend on "Survivor: San Juan del Sur — Blood vs. Water," while “Amazing Race: All-Star” twin sisters Nadiya and Natalie Anderson will be competing on a CBS reality show for the third time.

Jon Stewart takes the "Ferguson Challenge"
"Can I do the ice bucket one now?"

Keith Olbermann’s ESPN2 show is moving to 5 PM ET
The move will allow him to host “key editions” of “SportsCenter.”

Julia Louis-Dreyfus revisits Elaine's “Seinfeld” kiss with Tim Whatley
"I find this somewhat mind blowing,” she says, posting a comparison of that kiss to her kiss with Bryan Cranston at the Emmys.

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Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Review: Alejandro G. Iñárritu's 'Birdman' opens Venice with a sure-fire Oscar bet

Michael Keaton is superb in meta showbiz drama

VENICE - Truth or dare? This is a game played by two characters in magnificently acidic metatextual comedy "Birdman." It's also the film as a three-word question. Truth or dare? Real stage actor or star? You can have your artistic integrity, or you can have a hit. You can go Method, or you can really fly. You can be Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton), or you can be Birdman (Riggan Thomson). Initially, "Birdman" poses as a trenchant critique of the seemingly endless parade of men in capes that is the summer blockbuster season (Michael Fassbender and Robert Downey Jr. are name-checked as fine actors currently otherwise occupied), but it's actually rather more nuanced than that.

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<p>&quot;The President Wore Pearls&quot;</p>

"The President Wore Pearls"

Credit: FOX

FXX's Every Simpsons Ever Marathon: Day 7 - HitFix Picks

A religious conversation, Artie Ziff's return, a musical episode... AND A HOTPLATE

[As you probably already know, starting on Thursday, August 21, FXX is running the Every Simpsons Ever Marathon, running through all 552 episodes of "The Simpsons," plus "The Simpsons Movie." To aid in your viewing process, Team HitFix is selecting our favorite episodes from each day, plus an episode or two that you can skip and use as a bathroom or nap break.]

Day 7 of FXX's Every Simpsons Ever Marathon goes from "Simpsons Tall Tales" (the end of Season 12) through to "The President Wore Pearls" (the beginning of Season 15).

I must admit: The "Simpsons" fans on Team HitFix are beginning to drop like flies. Josh Lasser's fandom carried through the Tomacco episode, but no further. David Lewis wrote a blurb here for "Simpsons Tall Tales," the episode he says ended his active support of the show. 

Fortunately, Sepinwall and I had a pair of favorites apiece and Katie Hasty also had a preferred episode, so we've got some recommendations for you, plus a couple episodes you can avoid. 

[And while I only wrote up two episodes I love, there are at least 10 more that I'll be happy to rewatch if I'm around and another 10 more that I'd enjoy having on in the background. Possibly more. This may be the worst period for "The Simpsons" thus far, but I'll always maintain that middling-to-poor "Simpsons" is still more rewatchable than nearly anything else on TV.]

Check out our recommendations for Day 7 and chime in with your own favorites...

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How to fix the Emmys: Create an Emmy Hall of Fame

How to fix the Emmys: Create an Emmy Hall of Fame
How about one win and an actor, actress or TV show is elevated to the Hall of Fame and out of the running for future awards? PLUS: Why not divide shows into “new” and “continuing”?, and 2015 could be a shake-up year without “Breaking Bad” and with Amy Poehler and Jon Hamm departing.

TV’s inferiority complex: Quit obsessing over movie stars!
The Emmy obsession Monday night with names like Matthew McConaughey and Julia Roberts just goes to show that — despite this being the Golden Age of Television — TV hasn’t shed its second-class-citizen status. PLUS: TV is anxious these days as it deals with a lot of new issues, the Emmys "seemed bent on taking the piss out of TV” all night.

8 reasons why Emmy voters rejected “True Detective”
Was the HBO series and Matthew McConaughey too much of a sure bet?

Could “Full House” survive in today’s cynical TV landscape?
“Full House” was already a throwback sitcom when it premiered in 1987. So it would be even more out of place if it were to be revived.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus corrects Vice President Biden, who apparently doesn’t watch “Veep”
The vice president tweeted congrats to Louis-Dreyfus, "A fellow Veep with a great sense of humor, and a good friend.”

Why “Chelsea Lately” will be missed
Chelsea Handler officially signs off tonight with a live one-hour E! broadcast.

Homer Simpson tries the Ice Bucket Challenge
Watch “The Simpsons” star get splashed thanks to Bart. PLUS: Kate Middleton gets “Simpson”-ized, and here is the “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” Ice Bucket Challenge.

Watch Phil Hartman’s Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony
The “SNL” and "NewsRadio" star was celebrated today by fellow cast members Jon Lovitz and Kevin Nealon.

Why can’t Jon Hamm win an Emmy?
Is the “Mad Men” star too handsome? Or is it Bryan Cranston’s fault?

Who should host next year’s Emmys on Fox? Andy Samberg?
Jane Lynch and Ryan Seacrest were Fox’s two previous Emmy hosts. What about Fox’s Samberg or FX’s Louis CK? Or how about Bryan Cranston and Julia Louis-Dreyfus?

Ex-NFL running back Rashard Mendenhall: I’m now a TV writer for an HBO show
Mendenhall, who retired at age 26 from the NFL in March, says: "I'm on the writing team of a new show that will air on HBO next summer.”

It was Billy Eichner’s “ballsy” idea to pitch an Emmys edition of “Billy on the Street”
"The idea actually started with me,” says Eichner. "It was kind of a ballsy email I sent. When I heard he was doing the Emmys, I actually emailed his showrunner Mike Shoemaker, who was working on the Emmys with Seth. And I almost didn’t send the email because it was a bit forward—it was a bit presumptuous of me to think this might be a good idea.” PLUS: The satirical genius of Eichner’s Emmy shtick.

“Bachelor”/“Bachelor in Paradise” teacher is back to work after her 3rd leave of absence was rejected
The school board didn’t know Elise Mosca was doing reality TV when the 3rd-grade teacher requested two unpaid leaves of absence.

Fred Armisen and Natasha Lyonne are reportedly a couple
The “Portlandia” star was spotted with the “Orange is the New Black” star at a post-Emmy celebration.

Markie Post joins “Chicago P.D.”
The “Night Court” alum will play Erin Lindsay’s mom in a multi-episode arc.

Jodie Foster might direct the "Hannibal” TV series
Last night, "The Silence of the Lambs" star bumped into TV’s “Hannibal” crew.

NFL on Fox creates a Telenovela promo starring Joe Buck and Troy Aikman
Watch Buck attempt to speak Spanish.

“Parenthood” promo apparently confirms a pregnancy
Amber appears to be pregnant in the final season.

Ex-NBA star Rick Fox will play himself on “The McCarthys”
The former L.A. Laker has previously apperaed on “Single Ladies,” “One Tree Hill” and other shows.

Matt Lauer is upset with Howard Stern’s Ice Bucket Challenge
“It’s aggravating to me,” says the "Today" host, who challenged his shock jock friend in July, only to see him actually attempt it when challenged by Jennifer Aniston.

“Once Upon a Time” bringing back Kristin Bauer van Straten
The “True Blood” alum will reprise her role as Maleficent in the 2nd half of the season.

“The Walking Dead” boss' addresses Daryl's sexuality speculation, says a gay male character will be introduced
Showrunner Scott M. Gimple says Daryl’s sexuality isn’t addressed this season, but a gay male character will indeed be joining the cast.

Netflix has already renewed "BoJack Horseman”
The Will Arnett animated comedy debuted last Friday.

“Sons of Guns” star arrested again on child rape charges
Will Hayden is accused of molesting his daughter.

Meet the “True Blood” series finale mystery man
Actor/stunt performer was chosen because he was “the man with the best arms from our stunt crew.”

“Finding Carter’s” Kathryn Prescott joins “The Dovekeepers”
She’ll play a teenaged tomboy in the CBS miniseries set in ancient Israel.

See more “Sons of Anarchy” final season pics
Jax is an inmate with tape on his hands.

Please kill the MTV VMAs
What’s the point of MTV handing out awards for videos when it’s not associated with music acts?

Jess’ lands a “New Girl” beau with a tiny penis
Alan Ritchson will guest as a good-looking guy Jess meets at a bar.

“Mr. Belding” won’t watch Lifetime’s “Saved by the Bell” movie
It’s all BS, says Dennis Haskins.

Showtime shows off a new teaser for “The Affair”
Apparently the affair will involve the authorities.

Lucy Punch to star in an FX comedy project
The former “Ben and Kate” star will play a Brit who marries a death row inmate to stay in America.

Google will let you visit famous TV sets using Google Maps
The website has put together Google Street Views for “Breaking Bad,” “Downton Abbey,” “Game of Thrones” and other Emmy-nominated shows.

Johnny Galecki is single again
“The Big Bang Theory” star split from his “Pan-Am” girlfriend Kelli Garner.

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