Oprah Winfrey may have retired from her self-titled talk show after 25 years, but that doesn't mean she isn't pulling in the star power over at her OWN network. "Oprah's Master Class" (airing Sundays) features stars hand-picked by Oprah to share the lessons they've learned along the way, as well as their successes, failures, triumphs, disappointments and heartbreaks.
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Yesterday's Variety story about "Despicable Me 2" receiving a standing ovation at its world premiere at the Annecy Animation Festival in France on Wednesday evening didn't seem especially noteworthy. At any film festival, a standing ovation is just as often a polite formality as it is an acknowledgement of exceptional achievement, and as reporter John Hopewell noted, the French-crafted film was always likely to be warmly received at a local fest.
HBO teases "True Detective" starring Woody Harrelson & Matthew McConaughey
Michelle Monaghan also stars in the serial killer drama debuting next year.
Discovery sued after a reality show's pyrotechnic disaster kills 1 woman
A rocket malfunctioned last year during filming of the military-themed "Brothers in Arms," killing Terry Flanell. Her family has filed suit against Discovery.
Charlie Sheen calls "Teen Mom" Farrah Abraham a "desperate guzzler of douche agua"
Sheen wasn't happy that Farrah leaked their private text conversations.
Eve Best exiting "Nurse Jackie"
It was her decision not to return for Season 7.
"Burn Notice" bringing back Garret Dillahunt
His character key in the Michael story will return in an episode this season.
"Real Housewives" wedding: Joanna Krupa ties the knot
The former "Dancing" star got married in a $1 million "Princess Wedding."
CBS moves "Brooklyn DA" to Saturdays
The first three episodes aired on Tuesdays.
NEW YORK—Sting sang a feisty “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting” to Elton John and Bernie Taupin, Foreigner’s Mick Jones and Lou Gramm shared a stage together for the first time in a decade, and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry delivered a spiky “Walk This Way” at the 2013 Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction ceremonies here Thursday night (14).
Sure, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is great, but many musicians say the hall they really want to join is the Songwriters Hall of Fame. It’s much less glitzy and has no museum (yet) to show off its wares, but to be considered a songwriter in the same company as greats like Bacharach & David, Leiber & Stoller, Bob Dylan, Holland/Dozier/Holland and Jimmy Webb is what many songwriters consider to be a career pinnacle.
That spirit was evident at the ceremony at New York’s Marriott Marquis. In addition to Tyler and Perry and Jones and Gramm, other inductees included songwriters Holly Knight, JD Souther, and Tony Hatch.
“For all the awards we ever got, this is the one,” Tyler said, accepting with Perry by his side. He talked about the process of songwriting, and how Perry’s “licks and leads...would tell me what to sing. It’s been a crazy ride. Music is the strongest drug there is. This [award] is the one that means everything to us.”
Similarly, John and Taupin, who received the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award, an honor given to songwriters previously inducted in the Hall, acknowledged the giants who had come before them, who now sat right in front of them. “To be in the room with Jimmy Webb, he was our idol,” said John. “Smokey Robinson was our idol. To be in the same room fills me with humility, joy and pride. Songwriting takes you around the world. When you write a song, it’s like giving birth to a child.” He also joked that in their 46-year partnership, he and Taupin had never fought. “We may have had an argument about what I was wearing,” he said, “but not about songs...he’s one of the loves of my life.”
In one of the evening’s most humorous speeches, producer/songwriter Benny Blanco received the Hal David Starlight Award, which honors an up-and-coming talent. Blanco inducted by previous recipient Matchbox Twenty’s Rob Thomas, has co-written a slew of hits, including Rihanna’s “Diamonds,” Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream,” Maroon 5/Christina Aguilera’s “Moves Like Jagger,” Ke$ha’s “Die Young,” and Wiz Khalifa’s “Work Hard, Play Hard,” which Khalifa performed at the ceremony.
“I almost peed in my pants,” said Blanco, as he took the stage, joking that the award was far beyond anything he had ever aspired too. “All my life, I thought I was aiming high for McDonald’s employee of the month award.” He described songwriting as “about being yourself, spilling your guts and hoping no one locks you up for what you said. Songwriting’s a drug and I’m probably going to smoke it until the day I die.” He shook his head, looked around, at the songwriting royalty before him and remarked his incredulity about being “in a room [with people] I should probably be serving food to.”
The highlight of the evening was a reunion between Foreigner’s Mick Jones and Lou Gramm, which turned from slightly awkward at the acceptance podium, after being inducted by Billy Joel, to brotherly as the two performed together for the first time since Gramm left the band in 2003.
They warmed up with a well-received “Jukebox Hero,” but really hit their stride with a moving rendition, backed by a full choir, of “I Want To Know What Love Is.” Gramm, who suffered from a benign brain tumor years ago, sounded startlingly strong and clear, bringing the crowd to its feet during the song and for a long standing ovation.
Other standouts included Alison Krauss, who delivered an angelic, poignant version of Souther’s “Faithless Love,” a tune originally made famous by Linda Ronstadt, and Jordin Sparks’ moving rendition of Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come,” which received the Towering Song Award. President Bill Clinton inducted the civil rights tune via video.
For all their songwriting prowess, honoree after honoree tried to explain the unexplainable: the magical, inexplicable alchemy that creates a song. Perhaps Souther said it best when he described songwriting is like “trying to start a car on ice...you have no idea how you did it.”
NEW YORK—Piano men Billy Joel and Elton John, who have been bickering with each other through the press for the last two years after more than 15 years of successfully touring together on their Face to Face outings, goodnaturedly put their differences behind them at Thursday night’s Songwriters Hall of Fame 2013 induction ceremony in New York, even though they never spoke face to face.
“I didn't see you tonight Mr. Joel, but I love you dearly," John said from the stage, after he and songwriting partner Bernie Taupin accepted the Johnny Mercer Award, the highest honor bestowed upon songwriters previously inducted into the Hall of Fame.
John left after receiving the award, presented by Sting, but on the off chance that the “Your Song” singer was still in the crowded Marriott Marquis ballroom, Joel responded to the olive branch when he later took the stage to induct Foreigner’s Mick Jones and Lou Gramm.
“Is Elton still here,” he asked. “I tried to get over to his table [but] some girl came up and said ‘Remember when you threw me in the pool?’ If he’s still here, call me. It’s the same phone number. We’re fine. It’s probably just pianist envy.”
The pair’s history goes back almost 20 years. While still touring individually, the two also began playing together off and on again starting in 1995 in a series of tremendously popular and lucrative outings that featured them playing their own sets, as well as a set together. They last toured together in 2010.
In 2011, John complained to Rolling Stone about “so many canceled tours because of [Billy’s] illnesses and various other things, alcoholism...he’s going to hate me for this, but every time he’s gone to rehab, they’ve been rehab light. When I went to rehab, I had to clean the floors.”
More recently, John said that he thought Joel, who hasn’t put out an album of new rock songs in more than 20 years because he’s afraid or too lazy to write new material. In a profile in The New York Times last month, Joel responded by saying, “That’s his opinion. I don’t do it because I don’t wanna. He tends to shoot off his mouth...Maybe he’s trying to motivate me, to get me mad or something. He’s kind of like a mom.”
Maybe now the two will actually talk face to face soon, if not Face To Face.
Part 3 of our journey through the Emmy ballot brings us to Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. As always, Fienberg will attempt to rank the contenders from most likely to least likely to be nominated, throwing in a bunch of preferential wild cards along the way. And, as always, I will pretend that I am an actual Academy member who has a ballot and therefore has to narrow his choices down to six people.
Same rules apply: we are working off of the actual Emmy ballot, so we can't nominate people who didn't submit themselves (like Maisie Williams from "Game of Thrones"), and we have to consider people in the category they submitted themselves for, even if that means supporting actors submitting as leads (Rob Lowe, every year) or vice versa (Amy Schumer submitting herself as supporting for a show that has her name in it). I'm also obviously limiting myself to shows where I watched enough this season to feel comfortable picking names. (I've only seen a couple of "The Middle" episodes this year, for instance, so while I assume Eden Sher was marvelous all year, I can't say it with enough conviction to put her on the list.)
Dan's exhaustive analysis is embedded below (click Launch Gallery to see it), and my picks are coming right up.
For the third summer in a row, we're revisiting David Milch's classic revisionist HBO Western "Deadwood," this time discussing the third season.
While I once upon a time posted two separate reviews so people who hadn't watched the whole series would have a safe place to comment, almost no one bothered commenting on the newbie reviews last year, and they've been ditched. If you haven't finished the series, just avoid the comments of this review and you'll be fine.
Thoughts on episode 3 "True Colors," coming up just as soon as the bacon has a human aftertaste...
With midnight screenings underway, I think it's time to poll that masses. Zack Snyder's "Man of Steel," produced and written by the one-two punch that brought Batman back to the screen -- Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer -- has finally flown into theaters. I liked it quite a bit. Drew McWeeny was over the moon. "No one has ever staged superhero action like this," he said. "What a great film about fathers and sons," I said. The critical reception has been...typical, I guess. I don't disagree with some of the criticisms, just the intensity of them. But I guess I'm just a geek. Speaking of which, we've offered up elements from the Superman mythos that we'd like to see in subsequent installments and we've outlined key Superman arcs that would make a great primer. But now we're interested in hearing what you think, so let us know in the comments section and feel free to vote in the poll below.
A review of tonight's "Hannibal" coming up just as soon as all the oxygen makes me look pretty...
Filming of the NatGeo Channel movie "Killing Kennedy" began this week in Richmond, Virginia, and the network has released images of both Rob Lowe (as JFK) and Ginnifer Goodwin (as wife Jacqueline). The movie, based on Bill O'Reilly's book, follows the lives of JFK and assassin Harvey Lee Oswald (newcomer Will Rothhaar) until the point at which their worlds tragically collide.
Plenty of actors have played the two iconic figures, so the question is: do Lowe and Goodwin look the part? Or are the Kennedys so deeply ingrained in our collective conscience that it's impossible to "buy" anyone else walking in their footsteps? While we haven't heard Lowe's take on JFK's Boston accent, he's definitely rocking the hair. Plus, Goodwin's somehow makes the helmet-head hair of the 1960s work.
What do you think?
Documentaries make up a healthy percentage of my film diet every year, and the best of them feed my jones in a way that fiction simply can't.
Like with any type of filmmaking, there are great documentaries, good documentaries, and plenty of terrible ones. They are not, by definition, automatically better than some other type of storytelling, but there are things that a great documentary can do that you can't get anywhere else, and obviously I think the subject matter you pick for your doc is a major part of that. When someone like Alex Gibney makes a doc like "The Magic Bus," part of what is frustrating about that film is just how heavily covered every single element of that story already is, and when I see a trailer for "Salinger," what makes it most immediately compelling is how little of that story has been told.
Like many people, I went through a period of being totally smitten with "Catcher In The Rye," and that led me to his other work, and for a time, I was head-over-heels for his voice, his ability to evoke a time and place, and for the way he looks deeply into his flawed but oh-so-human characters. As with any artist who has produced just a small body of work, there also came a point where I felt like I'd gotten as much out of his work as I was going to, and I moved on to other writers and other work.
Alicia Keys' "Tears Always Win" is one of the more catchier, timeless tunes off of her latest "Girl on Fire." The singer, for the most part, goes with a Las Vegas get-up that's equally timeless by the time the new music video for "Tears" is over.
Check out the singer as she makes her way down the famed Nevada strip, pining and mourning the loss of love between sparkles and big piano chords.