Last night, I published the list of TCA Awards winners. It was, as I suspected, a fun night, not just because we got to honor some shows ("Bunheads") and performers (Tatiana Maslany from "Orphan Black") Emmy hasn't noticed, but because there were a lot of terrific speeches and moments. Key and Peele killed as the opening act, doing a TV-centric Obama and Luther sketch (Luther threatened a drone strike if Netflix didn't release its viewing data). Louis C.K. kicked off one running gag by dismissing the TCA Award itself as "a shitty piece of plastic," which several other winners also pointed out, until Mike Schur studied his and said, "It's fine." Kaitlyn Jenkins, aka Boo from "Bunheads," got choked up at the idea of her canceled show winning an award, and Norman Lear and Rob Reiner read hilariously from a transcript of Nixon, Haldeman and Ehrlichman discussing "All in the Family" in the Oval Office.
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1. Florida Georgia Line: The country duo sets the record for the longest No. 1 run on the Hot Country Songs in the chart’s 69-year history at 22 weeks with “Cruise.” That’s going to be a great trivia question for years to come.
2. Katy Perry: She comes “roaring” back with her first album since 2010‘s “Teenage Dream” with “Prism.” She announced the new album via a gold-plated truck driving around the country with the album name and release date. She'll use the truck again to take her earnings straight to the bank.
3. Miley Cyrus: The video for “We Can’t Stop” breaks a VEVO viewing record by hitting 100 million views in 37 days. Clearly, some people are taking the title literally.
4. Keith Urban: The country superstar is the only judge to return to Season 13 of “American Idol.” With Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj gone, maybe next season he’ll actually manage to get a word in edgewise.
5. Michael Jackson: Three duets recorded in 1983 with Freddie Mercury will finally see the light next year, more than 30 years later, according to Queen’s Brian May. The superstars apparently had a falling out, reportedly over Jackson bringing a llama into the studio, before they could complete the tracks. Bubbles knew better than to enter the fray.
6. Taylor Swift and Carly Simon: Simon joins Swift for a duet of her classic “You’re So Vain.” Simon was pulling a Swift by writing about ex-beaus before Swift was even a twinkle in her parents’ eye.
7. Bruce Springsteen: He’s named the No. 1 live act by a Rolling Stone panel of artists and other influencers. Couldn’t they have just asked the fans who actually pay for tickets?
8. Selena Gomez: Disney star earns her first No. 1 album with “Stars Dance.” What did Justin Bieber get her as a present?
9. US Album Sales: In depressing news, album sales hit new lows as this week marks the fifth consecutive week that the industry has scanned less than 5 million total units. Will we be writing stories about scanning less than 4 million a year from now?
10. Rolling Stones: In an entirely appropriate feat, the Rolling Stones celebrate their 50th entry on the Billboard 200 albums chart this week as they wrap their 50th anniversary tour.
TCA Awards go to "The Americans," "Breaking Bad," "Parks and Rec," "Big Bang"
The annual TV critics' awards seemed to honor the overlooked shows this year, including "Orphan Black." "Breaking Bad" was named program of the year, while "Parks and Recreation" and "The Big Bang Theory" tied for outstanding achievement in comedy.
J.Lo and Will.I.Am are still being eyed for "American Idol"
Jennifer Lopez's deal should be done any day now, but the Black Eyed Peas and "The Voice" UK star Will.I.Am isn't close to signing a deal to become a judge.
All American Rejects frontman joins "Parenthood"
Tyson Ritter will recur as the lead singer of a rock band.
"Sharknado" stars walk the red carpet for 1st time
Ian Ziering and Tara Reid celebrated their Syfy movie today at a midnight screening.
"Parks and Rec" taps Billy Eichner
The "Billy on the Street" star will play Donna's Eagleton doppelganger.
Male contestants boost "Next Top Model's" ratings
The 20th cycle premiere was "ANTM's" highest-rated in two years.
Watch the newest "Sons of Anarchy" promo
It was a good night to be a TV critic, as the Television Critics Association bestowed its annual TCA Awards on an eclectic and very worthy collection of shows and individuals in a private ceremony at the Beverly Hilton.
Thank god for Neill Blomkamp.
I sincerely hope I never end up writing a news story about how Neill Blomkamp, struggling to recover after a series of films that didn't earn their money back, is now signing on to direct the reboot of the reboot of "Robocop" or some similar money-driven monstrosity. I hope he is able to follow his own particular vision for as long as he wants to, and that audiences turn up to support him enough that he is able to maintain his independence.
Also, before we get started, if this movie had been made in 1974, Charlton Heston would be playing the Matt Damon role. AND IT WOULD BE AWESOME.
Right now, my oldest son has declared himself "a science-fiction fan." He is in the shallow end of the baby pool right now in terms of what he's seen or read, but he spends days after each new science fiction book or movie just asking me questions, and most of them aren't about things he saw in the film, but things that were suggested by the movies and the books.
Robin Thicke will score his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 (to go along with his first No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100) next week, as “Blurred Lines” is a shoo-in for the top spot as five new entries debut in the Top 10.
In addition to “Blurred Lines,” which is targeted to sell up to 140,000, according to Hits Daily Double, Five Finger Death Punch’s “The Wrong Side Of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell, Vol. 1,” which comes in at No. 2, will be the only other title to top the 100,000 mark. It is on track to sell between 100,000-105,000.
Jay Z’s “Magna Carta Holy Grail” will fight for the No. 3 spot with Tech N9ne’s new album, “Something Else,” with both slated to sell between 55,000-60,000.
Backstreet Boys’ “In A World Like This” bows at No. 5 (50,000-55,000) and pop group Emblem3’s “Nothing To Lose” at No. 7 (40,000-45,000).
Filling in the gaps are the soundtrack to Disney Channel’s “Teen Beach” at No. 6 (45,000-50,000), this week’s No. 1, Selena Gomez’s “Stars Dance,” which drops to No. 8 (30,000-35,000); the latest from Kidz Bop Kids, “Kids Bop 24,” at No. 9 (27,000-30,000) and Florida Georgia Line’s “Here’s To The Good Times” at No. 10 (24,000-27,000).
Ellen DeGeneres got Oscar-hosting gig in a whirlwind 48 hours
Ellen was pitched as Oscar host on Wednesday morning to the new Academy president. Ellen was called on Wednesday night and accepted Thursday morning.
Maura Tierney joins Showtime's "The Affair"
She'll play Dominic West's wife.
Blacked-out Time Warner customers can't access CBS.com
CBS Time Warner customers affected by the blackout will see anti-Time Warner ads if they go to CBS.com.
Could Simon Cowell's baby boost "The X Factor" ratings?
The tabloid headlines could re-spark interest into the former "Idol" judge.
Jason Sudeikis returns to NBC on Sunday
He'll star in a series of NBC Sports soccer ads that will air during the NFL Hall of Fame game.
"American Horror Story: Coven" will have a feminist theme
Sarah Paulson will play Jessica Lange's daughter.
W. Kamau Bell can't compare himself to other talk show hosts
But he wishes he thought up "Slow Jam the News."
Fox buys "Fatrick," a comedy from "Don't Touch the B" creator, Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
The comedy project revolves around a handsome 30-something named Patrick who's haunted by his child of being called "Fatrick."
Janina Gavankar is moving to another vampire show
The "True Blood" star is headed to "The Vampire Diaries."
"HIMYM" fan posts 10-hour video of him watching the "500 Miles" video
Over and over again.
Charlie Sheen is reportedly living with the porn star whom he scuffled with 3 years ago
Is Sheen having a "porn again romance" with Capri Anderson?
"The Bridge" will wrap up its murder mystery before the season is over
As for Season 2, exec producer Elwood Reid said, "There won’t be one big crime. We are not going to have the killer of the season every year."
Anna Faris: Chris Pratt talked me into doing "Mom"
Faris recalls: "I had left the ('Mom') script on the kitchen counter, and my husband picked it up. And he read the first page, and he said, 'Whatever you're doing, put it down right now.' He's like, 'This is you.' And it felt like that."
Joan Rivers says WGA "Fashion Police" hearing is "a bunch of bullsh*t"
"E! should hire Anthony Weiner to work with these people," she said in a statement. "He'd fit right in."
"Dads" should learn to do offensive comedy from "It's Always Sunny"
The Fox comedy should take lessons from its sibling cable network's sitcom.
Check out a "Golden Girls" scale model house
Filled with plenty of easter eggs.
CBS redeveloping Jim Gaffigan's comedy pilot
He'll once again play a happily married father of five.
Take a look at the 1940s-era set of TNT's "Lost Angels"
The Frank Darabont drama is based on the book "L.A. Noir."
Should "The Mindy Project" make Mindy Kaling's character likable?
Kalng says her character's selfishness might've been a mistake.
See the "Duck Dynasty" boys without their beards
Check out pics of them throughout the years.
Preview "Parks and Rec" on "The Writers' Room"
Monday's episode goes behind the scenes with Amy Poehler.
"Star Trek's" Michael Ansara dies
He played Kang in three different "Trek" series.
Well, AMPAS brass decided to end the speculation mercifully early this year, announcing Ellen DeGeneres as the host of next year's Academy Awards ceremony -- her second stab at one of showbiz's trickiest gigs, having first done the job to amiable effect back in 2007. And predictably enough, the news has met with a mixed response: for everyone who's happy to see DeGeneres return with her warm, non-confrontational approach, there's another (like our own Greg Ellwood) who thinks it's too conservative a choice.
I very rarely run a transcript/Q&A-style interview because, well, on one hand I think it's kind of lazy (not always). On the other, I'm a writer and I like to write, I like to paint a portrait of someone and use their words as tools toward those ends.
But sometimes you talk to someone whose every word you want to print, and filmmaker Derek Cianfrance is definitely one of those guys. The director of "The Place Beyond the Pines" has been making the rounds lately to discuss the film again as it heads for DVD/Blu-ray next week and so it was a great opportunity to finally see the film (I had missed it in theatrical) and talk to him about his vision for it.
Yesterday, Kris and I looked over a number of upcoming potential prestige films that, despite high-profile festival appointments, are still seeking a foothold in the distribution market. Today, coincidentally enough, a trailer has arrived that handily proves just how long the journey from a festival premiere to an actual release can be -- even for a relatively big-name project. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Billy Bob Thornton's "Jayne Mansfield's Car."
Will this be the low point? U.S. album sales have hit a new low in the 22-year SoundScan era. For each of the past five weeks, total scans have been lower than 5 million, the longest stretch in SoundScan history.
Even worse, for the past two weeks, album sales hit consecutive record lows, according to Billboard. For the week ending July 21, total album sales were 4.71 million units. For the week ending July 28, they were 4.68 million.
As you know, album sales have been plummeting since 2000. While many in the industry tried to convince themselves that digital sales would make up for the falling physical sales, these numbers are sad proof that this is not the case. As CD sales continue to decline (sales are down 14.1 % so far in 2013 over 2012), digital sales are also slowing. In the Q1 2013, digital sales were up 10.4%, but that figure slowed to 1.9% for the second quarter.
As a comparison, Billboard notes that sales dropped below 5 million for the week for the first time in 2010. That year, there were four weeks under the 5 million watermark, in 2011, two weeks; in 2012, three weeks. So far in 2013, there have been nine weeks, the last five of them in a row.
Of course, some of this can be attributed to a relatively weak summer release schedule that will heat back up in the fall with new albums from Katy Perry, Kings of Leon, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake and more. Industry observers also cite the continuing decline in catalog album sales, which are down 8.8% from last year.
As CD sales continue to decline (sales are down 14.1 % so far in 2013 over 2012), digital sales are also slowing. In Q1 2013, digital sales were up 10.4%, but that figure slowed to 1.9% for the second quarter.
The larger question is how are streaming services siphoning off sales? Streaming revenue and subscribers continues to grow, although both Spotify and Pandora are losing money. Will a subscription or freemium service ever make up for the decline in sales? I can’t imagine it happening. And while Spotify likes to say it doesn’t hurt album sales, I know that I don’t buy as many albums as I used to, especially when I can stream them at the click of a mouse.
How low will they continue to go? Will we be writing stories about SoundScan numbers not reaching above 4 million for several weeks in a row this time next year? While older consumers continue to purchase music, a recent MTV survey showed that 68% of kids thought music should be free. As new distribution models evolve, such as Jay Z’s deal with Samsung, SoundScan may have to figure out more accurate ways to count sales (Remember, it didn’t count the 1 million copies of “Magna Carta Holy Grail” downloaded via Samsung), but even then, the numbers are still likely to plummet.
It was a spellbinding panel of talent when FX presented the latest "AHS" installment, "American Horror Story: Coven." Angela Bassett, Kathy Bates, Sarah Paulson, Jessica Lange, and executive producer Tim Minear took the stage, being careful not to give away too much -- though that doesn't mean we didn't get a tantalizing glimpse of what to expect in season three.