Latest Blog Posts

Matt Smith is leaving 'Doctor Who'


Matt Smith is leaving "Doctor Who"
After four years, Smith will exit "Doctor Who" at the end of the year, after the Christmas special. Smith released a statement, saying: "It's been an honour to play this part, to follow the legacy of brilliant actors, and helm the TARDIS for a spell with 'the ginger, the nose and the impossible one'. But when ya gotta go, ya gotta go and Trenzalore calls."
 

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'All in the Family's' Jean Stapleton is dead at 90


"All in the Family's" Jean Stapleton is dead at 90
The actress famous for playing the iconic role of Edith Bunker died of natural causes.


It's official: Dan Harmon is back at "Community"
"Yes yes yes! I'm back I'm back I'm back. You can thank @joelmchale," tweeted Harmon, who is finalizing a deal to return along with his top deputy, Chris McKenna.
 

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<p>Tick-tock.</p>

Tick-tock.

Credit: Sony Music

With 'After Earth' bombing at the box office, that old question: Is the clock running out on movie stars?

Big Willie Style stomped by magicians, fast cars as the concept of stardom evolves

A while back, as 2009 drew to a close, I wrote a piece outlining what were, in my view, the movie-related moments of the year. In the end, I idly suggested that the era of the movie star had seen its end. "When the top 10 domestic grossers of the year are finally sussed…there won’t be a Will Smith or a Tom Cruise on the list," I wrote at the time. "There won’t be a Jim Carrey or a Julia Roberts, a Tom Hanks, a Johnny Depp or a Brad Pitt. The list will be dominated by sequels and franchises, yes, but none of them with the added benefit of star power to drive the box office."

Today, with the news that M. Night Shyamalan's "After Earth" starring Will Smith is effectively bombing at the box office, this idea seems worth discussing again. Two years after I wrote that piece, for the first time ever (and somewhat under-reported, though understandable given the overall trend toward this end), every single film in the top 10 domestic box office was either a sequel or based on an intellectual property with a built-in fan base. The answer was clear: People don't go to the movies to see their favorite actors anymore. They go to see their favorite brands.

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"Naked & Afraid"

 "Naked & Afraid"

Credit: Discovery

Reality TV Roundup: 'Sex,' 'Naked & Afraid,' 'Idol,' 'Bachelorette' and more

It's been a busy week, so get all your reality news here, now

Welcome to Reality TV Roundup -- a quick look at some of the reality TV-centric stories that have recently popped up across the fine, old Interwebs. Click away, my couch potato friends. But before you do...

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<p>&quot;Community&quot;&nbsp;creator Dan Harmon at a 2012 Paleyfest panel with Alison Brie, one of his last public appearances as part of the show.</p>

"Community" creator Dan Harmon at a 2012 Paleyfest panel with Alison Brie, one of his last public appearances as part of the show.

Credit: Paley Center

Can Dan Harmon's return save 'Community'?

Now that Sony is on the verge of rehiring the show's creator, what comes next?

Dan Harmon to the rescue?

A year ago, Sony declined to renew Harmon's contract as "Community" showrunner, for reasons the studio never clarified(*) — though even Harmon himself later acknowledged that he wasn't that easy to deal with, and maybe wasn't worth the bother on such a marginally-rated show. But after a season where "Community" newcomers Moses Port and David Guarascio tried — and often struggled — to continue the show in Harmon's image, the man himself is on the verge of returning. Harmon tweeted that he's coming back, and I'm hearing that the deal isn't officially closed (Sony had no comment), but that signatures are a formality at this point.

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<p>Daft Punk</p>

Daft Punk

Credit: Matt Sayles/AP

Daft Punk will top the Billboard 200 for second week

Who are the chart's three newcomers?

Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories” will spend a second week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 next week, as it fends off three newcomers.

The French duo’s set drops considerably from the 335,000 this week to sell between 90,000-100,000 copies, but that’s still enough to give it a handy lead over Alice in Chains’ “The Devil Put Dinosaurs” here, which will sell up to 65,000 copies for No. 2 and John Fogerty’s “Wrote A Song For Everyone” and Little Mix’s “DNA,” both of which are on target to sell between 45,000-50,000 for No. 3 and No. 4, according to Hits Daily Double.

The rest of the Top 10 are veterans as Darius Rucker’s “True Believers” and the soundtrack to “The Great Gatsby” are in a dead heat for No. 5 with sales of 40,000-45,000 each.

Vampire Weekend’s “Modest Vampires of the City” and Imagine Dragons’ “Night Vision” find themselves in a similar situation with the titles tied going into the weekend for No. 7 with between 30,000-35,000 units each.

Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience” logs another week in the Top 10, most likely at No. 9, while Blake Shelton’s “Based On A True Story...” leaps back from No. 16 to No. 10.

A number of this week’s debuts tumble out of the Top 10, including The National’s “Trouble Will Find Me,” French Montana’s “Excuse My French,” and Thirty Seconds to Mars’ “Love Lust Faith + Dreams.”


 

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4 retro cable channels in the works -- one each for the '60s, '70s, '80s and '90s


4 retro cable channels in the works -- one each for the '60s, '70s, '80s and '90s
Shows like "Three's Company" and "Lost in Space" aren't on syndication anymore, so these new retro channels would chance that.


Dylan Sprouse: Disney Channel tried to steal our "Suite Life" spinoff idea

Dylan says he and his brother pitched an idea that was rejected -- a pitch that Disney would pitch back to them a year later, he claims.


Fox trying out "The Real," a "View"-like summer talk show hosted by Tamera Mowry

Mowry will be joined in the summer test run of the show by Tamar Braxton, Adrienne Bailon, Jeannie Mai and comedian Loni Love.


Kristen Bell talks to Ellen about being a mom
"It's better than expected," she says of motherhood.


"Girls" porn parody stars respond to Lena Dunham
Alex Chance, who plays the Hannah role in "This Ain't Girls XXX," points out that she, too, is promoting that you don't have to be skinny to be filmed having sex. PLUS: You can now get e-mails from Lena Dunham.


Jessica Walter binge-watched "Arrested Development" Season 4
She started Sunday afternoon and finished on Memorial Day. Walter also says she was impressed by Kristen Wiig's impression of Lucille. PLUS: Meet the "Arrested" composer, the most obscure easter eggs from this season, meet the artist behind the final song of Season 4, and producers dropped in a Facebook chat sound.


California approves Snoopy license plates
The state assembly passed a bill today allowing the sale of Snoopy license plates to help fund museums.


Here are 10 comedians who could end up on "SNL" next season
They include John Mulaney, who might be considered for "Weekend Update."


Before "SNL," The Lonely Island worked with Fox, MTV and Comedy Central
The trio of Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taconne wrote for the MTV Movie Awards when Lindsay Lohan and Jimmy Fallon hosted, plus they pitched Fox on a pilot proposal.


A&E's "Occult" adds Agnes Bruckner

Bruckner is fresh off playing Anna Nicole Smith in a Lifetime movie.


Check out clips from the new "Breaking Bad" DVD set

Including behind the scenes footage of Skyler walking into the pool.


"Pregnant & Dating" debuts tonight
The WEtv reality show promise to show "all the drama, conflict and inherent comedy" of pregnant women dating.


New Philadelphia mural pays tribute to The Roots

See Jimmy Fallon's band's "Legendary" multistory mural.


"Honey Boo Boo" dog dies
China, the family dog, was hit by a car this week.


Will Arnett talks about quitting smoking, getting in shape and not dating
The "Arrested Development" star says: "That's my one true love affair—cigarettes."


"Futurama" books "Batman's" Adam West and Burt Ward
They'll lend their voices to the June 19 episode.


Watch Aimee Teegarden on "Star-Crossed"
CW has released an extended preview of its alien "Roswell"-esque high school drama.


Showtime's "Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic" tries to show the comic, warts and all
Everyone interviewed seems both awed and disappointed by Pryor. PLUS: There will be lots of omissions.


"The Killing" is back -- back to taking its sweet, sweet time
"As was the case with the first two seasons of 'The Killing,'" says Matt Zoller Seitz, "this new one takes its sweet, sweet time getting going, and as it slowly gains momentum, it carries itself as if it's the greatest series in the history of American television, single-handedly reinventing the police procedural for the 21st century. This wouldn't be a deal breaker if the characterizations, dialogue, and plotting (however glacial) were rich enough that we were happy to luxuriate in moments and marvel at the show's distinctive color scheme: ocher, teal, brown, and bone-white. But they're not that rich. They just aren't. Sorry, 'Killing.'" PLUS: "The Killing" is as addictive as ever, it's a network drama trying to be a top-tier cable drama, Peter Sarsgaard on joining "The Killing," and why "The Killing" was un-canceled.

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<p>Brit Marling and Alexander Skarsgard in &quot;The East&quot;</p>

Brit Marling and Alexander Skarsgard in "The East"

Credit: Fox Searchlight

Tell us what you thought of 'The East'

Zal Batmanglij's 'Sound of My Voice' follow-up hits theaters today

I'm very, very curious to see what Zal Batmanglij does with his career. He clearly has the chops to build interesting thrillers and that talent is very much on display in "The East," which, as I've noted recently, I've been interested in seeing again since catching it at the Sundance Film Festival a few months back.

The film hit theaters today via Fox Searchlight Pictures and could do some nice business amid the usual blockbuster summer fare. It stars multi-hyphenate Brit Marling as well as Ellen Page and Alexander Skarsgård. It's possible we'll be talking about it later in the year when the Independent Spirit Awards announce nominations. "Sound of My Voice" found some love there. For now, though, we're curious to hear your thoughts on the film, so when/if you see it this weekend, let us know in the comments section and feel free to vote in our poll, too.

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<p>Kanye West</p>

Kanye West

Credit: AP Photo

Is this the final Kanye West 'Yeezus' cover art?

And what's with the rumors that he's re-recording the album?

Is Kanye West reshuffling the songs on his “Yeezus” two week before the album is slated to come out?

The rumor du jour, according to several different reports, is that West is still in the studio doing everything from putting “finishing touches” on the songs to adding new tunes.

The scuttlebutt seems to have started with the New York Post, which reports that the mixed reaction to “New Slaves” and “Black Skinhead,” which West debuted on “Saturday Night Live” a few weeks ago, sent him scurrying back into the studio to record "some consumer-friendly singles."  Combine that with the fact that “Yeezus” is not available for pre-order anymore, and the interwebs are going crazy.   The studio set, West’s sixth, was available for pre-order on iTunes, but the link was taken down a few days ago.

Then, of course, there’s been the whole juicy scandal over the “Yeezus” artwork. West’s baby mama, Kim Kardashian tweeted about the release day and posted a photo of an alleged album cover two weeks ago. Then this week came another potential cover, this one a painting of West hanging on a cross. He certainly has a martyr complex and the label’s refusal to confirm or deny the news only fueled the fire.

But this afternoon, MTV News reported that the album cover will be as generic and stripped down —and old school —as can be: It’s a photograph of a CD ( yes, that’s how people playing album before downloads, kids), in a jewel case with a piece of red duct tape that has “Yeezus” written in Sharpie.

Yeezus promo

 

We’ve asked the label about the re-recording rumors, but having heard back.

Quite honestly, if he is still messing with the album, he’s going to have trouble getting CDs pressed in time to meet the June 18 deadline, so unless he’s going for a digital release first, despite the album cover, we doubt he’s doing anything too serious.

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<p>Hey&nbsp;Guillermo,&nbsp;Travis and WB:&nbsp;This one's free.</p>

Hey Guillermo, Travis and WB: This one's free.

Credit: Warner Bros.

Design your own 'Pacific Rim' Jaeger

I just wasted 15 minutes. Now it's your turn.

Little marketing hooks like this are always fun for the geek in us all. Sometimes they're a stretch, sometimes you can get lost toying with this and that. Confession: I totally "Frankenweenie"-fied my cat last year.

Guillermo Del Toro's "Pacific Rim" is still six weeks away and it feels like an eternity. At least we'll have "Man of Steel" to tide us over in the interim but, especially after the most recent trailer hit, I've been dying for some awesome Jaeger/Kaiju brawling. In the meantime, though, at least we can settle in and design our own monster sluggers. Yes, Warner Bros. has an application that allows you to build and name your own Jaeger.

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"Healing in the Heartland"

 "Healing in the Heartland"

Credit: NBC

Listen: CulturePop No. 15 'Now You See Me,' Rob Lowe, Miranda Lambert

We talk about "Behind the Candelabra" and more

Welcome to CulturePop! This week was full o' weird ass crap, so Melinda and I had a field day. "Behind the Candelabra," people! So much to discuss, and that's just Rob Lowe's eyes. In any case, here's the rundown. 

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Budget cuts force 'Suburgatory' to axe Rex Lee and Alan Tudyk


Budget cuts force "Suburgatory" to axe Rex Lee and Alan Tudyk

As part of its last-minute renewal, "Suburgatory's" license fee was cut, which means the cast has to be reduced.

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