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<p>Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender in &quot;12 Years a Slave&quot;</p>

Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender in "12 Years a Slave"

Credit: Fox Searchlight

Searchlight gives '12 Years a Slave' room to breathe

Steve McQueen's slavery drama will get an October 18 platform release

You can hear the Oscar gurgles percolating as studios have been showing films in hushed theaters looking for feedback and shuffling their schedules to find the right release dates for this and that. Soon the fall festival season will reveal what's what and it'll be a race to the finish among the players.

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HBO filming James Gandolfini's funeral for his family


HBO filming James Gandolfini's funeral for his family

The cable network is reportedly paying for today's funeral, but its footage won't be shown on TV. PLUS: "You were a good boy," David Chase says at Gandolfini's funeral.


Target is the latest company to dump Paula Deen
Says the retailer in a statement: ""We have made a decision to phase out the Paula Deen merchandise in our stores as well as on Target.com. Once the merchandise is sold out, we will not be replenishing inventory." PLUS: Home Depot also drops Deen, Martha Stewart feels sorry for Paula Deen, and a diabetes drug company drops Paula.


"The Daily Show" celebrates gay marriage
Jason Jones and Al Madrigal got "hitched."


"Big Brother" ties its lowest-rated premiere
About 6.3 million tuned in last night, matching the 2008 edition.


Scott Speedman joins Ryan Murphy's "Open" human sexuality drama pilot

The "Felicity" alum will play a sports marketing executive.


Discovery promoting "Shark Week" with the "death" of "Snuffy the Seal"

Is this ad offensive?


CW developing "Jane the Virgin," based on the Venezuelan telenovela
"Jane the Virgin," or "Juana La Virgen," revolves around a religious girl who's accidentally artificially inseminated.


"The Bible" surpasses 1 million in video sales
The History channel 10-parter has become the top selling miniseries ever.


Check out the poster for AMC's "Low Winter Sun"

The Detroit cop drama debuts with "Breaking Bad" on Aug. 11.


Leighton Meester & Adam Brody make their official debut as a couple
"The O.C."-"Gossip Girl" couple last night walked the red carpet at Brody's "Some Girl(s)" premiere.


Ovation picks up "Smash" reruns
The arts-themed channel will begin airing the failed NBC series on July 19.

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For Your Consideration: 15 deserving Oscar nominees from 2013 so far

For Your Consideration: 15 deserving Oscar nominees from 2013 so far

Lest they be forgotten, we'd like to remind the Academy of a few things

As the clock ticks down on June, so it does on the first half of 2013. It's funny how fast those first six months zip by. The Oscar season bleeds into the year, March rolls around and soon enough, the summer movie season arrives. Then Cannes and before you know it, the mid-way point.

How has the year stacked up so far? Personally, I've been consistently pleased, and I'm even somewhat satisfied with the blockbuster offerings of the hot months. Could anything we've seen so far show up on the Oscar radar at the end of the year? Time will tell, but I think there are some strong possibilities.

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<p>&quot;Mad Men&quot;&nbsp;creator Matthew Weiner is one of the &quot;Difficult Men&quot;&nbsp;profiled in Brett Martin's new book.</p>

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner is one of the "Difficult Men" profiled in Brett Martin's new book.

Credit: AMC

'Difficult Men' author Brett Martin on the era that gave us 'The Sopranos,' 'Mad Men' & more

What was it like to watch James Gandolfini act? Which creators were easier to get along with?

Over the years, it's given me no end of amusement to witness how often two different networks will develop what seems at first to be the exact same show in the exact same season, whether it's hospital dramas in Chicago ("ER" and "Chicago Hope" in 1994), adults traveling back in time to teenage years ("That Was Then..." and "Do Over" in 2002) or slackers with super powers ("Chuck" and "Reaper" in 2007). Even though many of these doppelgangers turn out to be fairly different in execution, something always seems fishy about the claims that the one show didn't know at first that the other existed, and that "there was just something in the air" that led to them both existing at the same time.

After recent events in my own life, I may have to start taking these claims at face value. As most of you know, I published a book last fall called "The Revolution Was Televised: The Cops, Crooks, Slingers and Slayers Who Changed TV Drama Forever," about the transformation in television that happened as a result of groundbreaking new dramas like "The Sopranos," "The Wire" and "Deadwood." Very late in the process of writing it, I learned that another book about this same era, and many of these same shows, was in the works: "Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution: From The Sopranos and The Wire to Mad Men and Breaking Bad," by magazine journalist and author Brett Martin.

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'White House Down' star Maggie Gyllenhaal sure sounds interested in TV

'White House Down' star Maggie Gyllenhaal sure sounds interested in TV

Peter Sarsgaard's 'The Killing' gig starts the conversation
WASHINGTON, DC - In "White House Down," Maggie Gyllenhaal has what, for her, is a relatively unusual role.
 
As Special Agent Finnerty, Gyllenhaal is a tough-as-nails secret service agent whose task of protecting the president (Jamie Foxx) is complicated by a large-scale attack on the White House when she happens to be temporarily off-duty. It's a big summer blockbuster and, like most reporters, I made sure to talk with the indie favorite about that change of pace, but I also wanted to briefly talk with her about another possible change of pace, specifically the potential offered by TV.
 
I'll post the "White House Down" portion of the interview in the next couple days, but towards the end of the conversation, I used Gyllenhaal's husband Peter Sarsgaard, currently working a juicy gig on AMC's "The Killing" as a transition point. 
 
As you can tell, it sounds like Gyllenhaal is a fan of the medium and, after doing HBO's "The Corrections" pilot, it sure sounds like she's interested in (and possibly close to) exploring small screen options.
 
You'll hear at the end that the interview handlers tried to stop the interview due to time, but she made sure she at least finished her answer.
 
Check out the interview chunk above and you can join me in keeping an ear out for that hypothetical TV project Gyllenhaal can't discuss.
 
And remember that "White House Down" opens on Friday, June 28.
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<p>Richmond Arquette in &quot;This Is Martin Bonner.&quot;</p>

Richmond Arquette in "This Is Martin Bonner."

Credit: Monterey Media

Edinburgh Film Festival: 'This Is Martin Bonner' and 'Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction'

Two melancholy takes on ageing and loneliness among festival highlights

EDINBURGH - This year's trip to the Edinburgh Film Festival has been a brief, last-minute one. After three days of attempting to distil the highlights of artistic director Chris Fujiwara's defiantly independent-minded programming -- ranging from "The Conjuring" to "Leviathan" --, I'm heading home this evening, my festival experience over before it's even begun. (Tomorrow: off to Karlovy Vary.) Still, I'll be sharing the standouts with you in a couple of paired review pieces. First up: "This Is Martin Bonner," which begins its staggered release tomorrow, and "Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction" -- which, it was announced yesterday, will be released in Los Angeles on September 13.

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James Gandolfini's widow, ex-wife gather at his wake


James Gandolfini's widow, ex-wife gather at his wake

The invitation-only wake is being held this evening.


Diddy could end up making a real "Downton Abbey" cameo

Julian Fellowes says he's considering a cameo role for Diddy after seeing "Downton Diddy." PLUS: Sip some "Downton" wine.


Here's the first official "Veronica Mars" movie photo
From behind the scenes.


Watch outtakes from "(I Wanna) Channing All Over Your Tatum"
Channing Tatum tells Jimmy Kimmel he can't get his song out of his head.


Ken Marino joins "Eastbound & Down"
He'll play a middle-aged athlete in eight episodes next season.


A "Knight Rider" movie is close to happening
The Weinstein Co. has ordered a script based on the '80s TV series. PLUS: David Hasselhoff getting his own comic book.


Accused murderer may have used "Breaking Bad" for inspiration
After police found the body of a dead woman in the suspect's acid-filled bathtub, they found a "Breaking Bad" episode in the DVD player with a similar scene. PLUS: Aaron Paul talks "Breaking Bad."


Amazon's 1st drama pilot is from "Treme's" co-creator
Eric Overmyer, who co-created "Treme" with David Simon, is working on "Bosch" based on Michael Connelly's LAPD homicide detective.


Horatio Sanz is helping put together the Mexican version of "SNL"
Sanz is serving as a consultant on "SNL Mexico," which is under development.


Whitney Cummings recalls figuring out "Whitney" was finished
She knew her sitcom's fate when she saw "The Voice" promos take over her show.


Eric Winter joins "Witches of East End"
He'll co-star with Jenna Dewan-Tatum on the Lifetime series.


NBC extends the option of John Stamos and 4 of his "I Am Victor" co-stars
The Peacock will likely reshoot the pilot in August.


Fox aiming to redo the pilot for Brittany Snow's "The Assistants"

The network has extended the options for Snow, Stephen Root and Catherine O'Hara.


Brazilian artist creates a "Gilmore Girls" town out of paper
Check out Bruna Salvador Conforto's take on Stars Hollow.


Watch Chris Rock on the Disney Channel

Rock makes a cameo on Friday's episode of "A.N.T. Farm."


Re-examining "Mad Men" Season 6
With the season over, how does the 6th season stack up as a whole? PLUS: "Mad Men" meets "The O.C.," and the style of Bob Benson.


A "Simpsons" bus is for sale for $1200
From "Springfield Elementary School."


"Pretty Little Liars'" Lucy Hale dating a "Revolution" star
"He is such a sweetheart," she says of Graham Rogers.


Lena Dunham reveals her fave Criterion movies
They include "The War Room" and "Broadcast News."


"Rizzoli & Isles" returns as cable's top summer series
The Season 4 premiere was up 20% over last year.

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<p>Jeff Wadlow works with Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Aaron Johnson on the set of 'Kick-Ass 2'</p>

Jeff Wadlow works with Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Aaron Johnson on the set of 'Kick-Ass 2'

Credit: Universal Pictures

Aaron Johnson talks about pumping up and digging deep for 'Kick-Ass 2'

He opens up about working with Jim Carrey in the film as well

BUCKINGHAMSHIRE - My kids love that the movie "Kick-Ass" exists.

They're not allowed to see the film, and that won't change for many, many years, but they know it exists, and they positively adore saying the title of the film because it's one of the few times they won't get in trouble for using the word "ass." They find ways to work it into every conversation they can, and they can barely restrain themselves from smiling every single time.

They were thrilled when I got the word I'd be going to visit the set. They got to ask me endless questions about it before I left and even more once I got back, and one of the main ones they loved to ask was, 'When you went to watch them make 'Kick-Ass,' did you get to talk to 'Kick-Ass'?" Twice in one sentence? Heaven.

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<p>Ron Perlman and Charlie Day share a very strange moment in Guillermo Del Toro's 'Pacific Rim'</p>

Ron Perlman and Charlie Day share a very strange moment in Guillermo Del Toro's 'Pacific Rim'

Credit: Warner Bros.

Charlie Day talks about his struggle to save the world in Del Toro's 'Pacific Rim'

Plus find out who Ron Perlman's biggest fan really is

TORONTO - There is something very, very wrong with Charlie Day's eye.

His left eye appears to be filled with blood after every capillary in it burst, and it makes it hard to sit across from him on the set of "Pacific Rim," amidst the smashed and ruined remains of a street in downtown Hong Kong. From where we sit, we can see a hole in the street that was created by a rampaging kaiju that was searching for Dr. Newt Geiszler. Why? Well, it might have something to do with that eye.

"Every time we do something, I go back and look it in the monitors. It's very cinematic in nature and you add that to his imagination… I mean, technically he's a really, really good director.  So then you take his love for his creations and the amazing art departments and all that, and it usually makes for something that's visually just stunning."

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<p>Sigur Ros, &quot;Kveikur&quot;</p>

Sigur Ros, "Kveikur"

Credit: XL

Review: Sigur Ros' new album 'Kveikur'

Tighter melodies, three-piece power

 

Sigur Ros’ new album “Kveikur,” track-wise, is the Icelandic band’s second-shortest set. It’s also among their most focused, a turn from the surreal restraint of last “Valtari” and their first in 15 years without arranger/keyboardist Kjartan Sveinsson.
 
That personnel reduction has the post-rock trio shifting into what you could call and offensive rather than defensive sound. Guitars are more pointed and the tempos are ballsier, like on moody and melodic first track “Brenninstein,” which shares its clanking call-to-arms with aggressive rhythmic objects with follow-up “Hrafntinna.” The vocals on “Stormur” sound like a wild animal call, breaking up its chugging pop structures. The title track is ground up in infernal, dark grinding sounds like an earthquake, its finale like stringed instruments being obliterated into fluttering feedback experiments. “Rafstraumur” has a glassy coolness in its echoes and clean drum sound, as the whole set finishes off with the atmostpheric dust of instrumental “Var.”
 
These aren’t alien sounds from Sigur Ros. “Kveikur” still carries an earthy, gorgeously organic weight to it, as (translated) song titles like "Iceberg," "Storm" and "Kindle" insinuate. As a result, “Kveikur” is much more focused on energizing central melodies, Jonsi Birgisson continuing to use his high voice as a lead instrument. If it’s not a largely important album for the longstanding band, “Kveikur” is at least an indication that, should they remain a mere three-piece in the future, they’ll be just fine.

 

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<p>&quot;The Avengers&quot; walked away with four prizes, including Best Science Fiction Film.</p>

"The Avengers" walked away with four prizes, including Best Science Fiction Film.

Credit: Marvel Studios

'The Avengers,' 'Cabin in the Woods,' 'Life of Pi' and 'Skyfall' win at the 2013 Saturn Awards

Joss Whedon walked away with Best Director

The 39th annual Saturn Awards were presented by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films tonight in Burbank, Calif. Top prizes for film went to "The Avengers," "Life of Pi," "The Cabin in the Woods" and "Skyfall," while "Revolution," "Breaking Bad" and "The Walking Dead" triumphed in the television categories.

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"Big Brother"

 "Big Brother"

Credit: CBS

'Big Brother' recap: The hamsters meet, bond, backstab

Twists are revealed and one contestant is the sister of a former winner

Julie Chen and her shoulders welcome us to a drama-packed season of "Big Brother," which she says will be the biggest ever. Biggest people? Biggest house? Biggest jerks? Who knows! Oh, wait, we get to have a major impact on the game, so that might be the big part. So… this is like "Glass House"? Kidding! Don't sue me, CBS! 

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