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'Seinfeld' seems as different from anything on the air today as it did 25 years ago
Credit: Sony

'Seinfeld' seems as different from anything on the air today as it did 25 years ago

“Seinfeld" seems as different from anything on the air today as it did 25 years ago
A quarter-century after the premiere of “The Seinfeld Chronicles” on July 5, 1989, there’s still been nothing like it on TV — though, there have been many imitators, notes James Poniewozik. “The show exists outside generations and time,” he says, adding: "It has a comedian’s purity of focus on the sanctity of the joke above all–above sentiment, ‘relatability,’ larger social meaning–that still feels bracingly we-don’t-give-a-damn. PLUS: “Seinfeld’s” genius wasn’t apparent until the end of the 13-episode 2nd season, “Seinfeld” blazed the trail for sophisticated sitcoms, celebrating Elaine’s fashion, celebrating Elaine’s awkward dance, meet the writer behind “Double-Dipping” and “Yada Yada Yada,” “Seinfeld’s” 10 best side men, “Seinfeld’s” 25 greatest contributions to the English language, Carol Leifer explains why Larry David won’t use an iPhone, the 20 best sports moments, Jerry Seinfeld’s favorite sitcom is “Mary Tyler Moore,” everything you didn’t know about your favorite “Seinfeld” episodes, and Mariska Hargitay and Jeremy Piven are among the celebrity guest stars who appeared on “Seinfeld” before they were famous.


“Gold Rush” star dies
James Harness, 57, died one week after suffering a stroke.


Maybe Chris Colfer should’ve left “Glee”
The hacker who tweeted his departure maybe was on to something — Colfer would be better off leaving a show that’s a lame duck. PLUS: How would Ryan Murphy have killed off Kurt Hummel?


Jay Leno weighs in on Stephen Colbert taking over “The Late Show”
"I like Stephen Colbert a lot,” says the former “Tonight Show” host. "I like the silliness of his character and I think he will incorporate a lot of that into his show. I think he'll be Stephen Colbert and occasionally go into the character when needed. I think he'll be terrific.”


CeeLo Green: I left “The Voice” because “it became a job”
"It easily and quickly became a job," Green tells Us Weekly. "Very, very obligating… Taxing and tiring… I still tip my hat to Adam and Blake and those guys who continuously do it, but I think I ran my course there just naturally."


Discovery Channel to pay tribute to Louis Zamperini
The WWII veteran, who died this week at age 97, was the subject of a Shark Week documentary "Adrift: 47 Days With Sharks” in 2012. That documentary will re-air on Sunday.


Jimmy Fallon is still going strong, Seth Meyers is beating Letterman in the demo
Meanwhile, Jimmy Kimmel had his best quarter to date.


Is Tori Spelling the real-life version of “The Comeback”?
Her new “Mystery Girls” comedy is something Valerie Cherish would do.


Iranian’s “Modern Family” knockoff, explained
"Haft Sang” debuted this week as part of Ramadan programming and its episodes run twice the time of the original “Modern Family” — watch the entire first episode now.


“Downton Abbey” creator: I expect there to a 6th season
"I would be amazed if there wasn’t another series after (this one),” Julian Fellowes tells Harpers Bazaar.


See Jon Stewart, animated
“The Daily Show” host makes a cartoon cameo on Monday’s “Phineas and Ferb.”


“Family Guy” meets “Game of Thrones”
Check out an artist’s drawings putting the Seth MacFarlane characters in Westeros.


Disney Channel renews “I Didn’t Do It”
The teen comedy is one of the top tween shows on Disney.


“Orange is the New Black’s” Taryn Manning claims her ex-friend is stalking her
Manning pressed charges against the friend, who was arraigned yesterday in Manhattan Criminal Court on a misdemeanor charge of sending hundreds of messages to Manning.


Andy Cohen has a tiny office now that he’s no longer a Bravo executive
Cohen was moved from a spacious office on the 46th floor of 30 Rock to a cramped office on the 14th floor.


Science proves that “The Bachelor” is better than “The Bachelorette”
A psychologist explains why males competing for one woman is boring: There is less infighting among males, which leads to duller show.


Do you remember Nickelodeon’s "My Brother And Me”?
The mid-90s family sitcom is nearly forgotten today.


“The ‘90s: The Last Great Decade?” is a fun trip down memory lane
The three-night Nat Geo event, premiering Sunday, is especially timely with Hillary Clinton in the headlines.


General Wesley Clark kicks off TCM’s WWI salute on the Fourth of July
He’ll help introduce 43 films on The Great War.


“How I Met Your Mother’s” Kevin & Jeanette reunite
Kal Penn and Jeanette snapped a pic in “their new home.”


Check out Dana Carvey’s Church Lady cartoon
The classic “SNL” character gets a digital makeover.

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Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande dips her toe in EDM waters on 'Break Free' feat. Zedd': Listen

Hear her acoustic version of 'Problem'

Ariana Grande debuted a new song at her MTV #TotalAriana Live concert last night and it’s a peppy, EDM-influenced track, courtesy of Zedd’s involvement. The electronic outro b is going to sound dated very soon, but in the meantime, enjoy.

Now it looks like Grande could have two songs of the summer: “Problem,” featuring Iggy Azalea, will represent the first half of the season, while the instantly catchy “Break Free” will be your song for the second half. Thanks, Ariana!

Lots of other Grande news: She and Nicki Minaj will appear on Jessie J’s  next single, "Bang, Bang." That song, which will be on both Jessie J and Grande's albums, comes out July 29.  Plus, she performed an acoustic version of “Problem” last night, which we’ve embedded as well.

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Cartoon Network fires the creator of 'Clarence' in wake of sexual assault allegations

Cartoon Network fires the creator of “Clarence” in wake of sexual assault allegations
Skyler Page’s firing comes after an artist on Cartoon Network’s “Adventure Time,” Emily Partridge, tweeted allegations over the past two days that Page had assaulted her. “Skyler Page is no longer an employee at Cartoon Network Studios,” a Cartoon Network spokesperson said in a statement.

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Linda Perry

Exclusive: Linda Perry on her new VH1 show, Pink, and her issue with 'American Idol'

Why her show will not be a karoake competition


Linda Perry is nothing if not passionate. She is best known as the front woman for 4 Non Blondes, as well as writer and/or producer of some of the most popular songs of the last 20 years, including Pink’s “Get the Party Started,” Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful” and Faith Hill’s “Cry.”

Now fans will get to see her in action on her new VH1 series, “Make or Break: The Linda Perry Project,” which debuts July 16. In the 10-week summer series, she coaches several acts she has handpicked on how to write songs, how to record, how to perform, and how to navigate this tricky industry. She is doggedly honest and forthright. She will select one of the artists to sign to her own label.

We recently talked to Perry at her studio in Los Angeles, where the show takes place. She had very strong opinions about how her show will different from other singing competitions, such as “American Idol” and “The Voice.”

Her objection to such shows isn’t that most of these winners aren’t writing their own material, but that the talent level isn’t high enough. “The majority, 89% of the ‘artists’ that show up on these shows would never, ever be sought out by a label or management or agency and said, ‘you are spectacular, we’re going to sign you’ at their local karaoke club in Bumf**k, Michigan. And that’s the truth.”

She’s a little harsh on “American Idol”—- most of us can definitely name several artists who launched their careers from “Idol” aside from Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson, but her greater point is that her show will pull back the curtain on how the process works… from songwriting to recording…and reveal the blood and guts it takes to be a true artist.

She’s doing the show not only for the contestants, but to help those watching at home. “If I inspired some 14 year old to not go down the route of selling perfume and using music as a promotional tool and she decided, ‘You know what, I’m not going to take that casting call job, I’m going to sit here in my room that truly inspire me because I’m going to trust that my emotions speak for me’,” then she says she has succeeded.

She promises we will see her unfiltered on the show: “What you’re going to see on the show is exactly how I am with who ever, if it were was Christina, Pink, Alicia Keys, whoever. That’s exactly how I am.”

Speaking of Pink, Perry, who produced much of Pink’s “Missundaztood” album and wrote “Get The Party Started,” had a falling out with Pink after she went on to work with other artists, including Aguilera. The two have since made up and Perry says she would love to work with her again:
“I would love it, I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I would absolutely welcome it and love it because I really really love that girl, so who knows.”

We also asked her what advice she would give Aguilera, who has had great success as a guest on songs by Maroon 5 and A Great Big World, but has struggled a little bit lately. In addition to producing Aguilera, Perry wrote one of her biggest hits, “Beautiful.”

An episode of "Behind The Music" on Perry will also air July 16.

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<p>Isabelle Huppert in &quot;White Material.&quot;</p>

Isabelle Huppert in "White Material."

Credit: IFC Films

Looking back on six great years at In Contention

As I leave for pastures new, a reflection on the site that made it all happen

I've had several weeks to draft this piece, and several drafts it has taken, but the introduction is always the hardest part – the part where the bittersweet reason for breaking from our daily programming has to be announced. So let's lead with the good news: I'm excited to announce that my three-year relationship with Variety is growing into something more permanent and prominent – starting this month, I will be contributing regularly to the trade paper, both as a film critic and a features writer. The bad news you may have guessed: this means my time at In Contention has come to an affectionate close.

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Frozen

Surprise! 'Frozen' leads list of 2014's best-selling albums

Album and digital sales sink even further

Unless you’ve been living in the great white tundra, it will come as no surprise that the soundtrack to “Frozen” is the biggest selling album for the first half of 2014.

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Chris Colfer: 'Due to personal issues, I have been let go from the cast of GLEE' (UPDATE: Colfer was hacked)

Chris Colfer: "Due to personal issues, I have been let go from the cast of GLEE"
Colfer just tweeted that he won't be back for the final season: "Due to personal issues, I have been let go from the cast of GLEE. Explanations will come shortly..." UPDATE: Colfer's Twitter was hacked, says his manager. UPDATE 2: 20th Century Fox TV also says Colfer was hacked: “We’ve been alerted that Chris Colfer’s Twitter account has been hacked. Rumors of his dismissal from Glee could not be further from the truth. We love Chris and look forward to working with him again this season."

 

This year’s “So You Think you Can Dance” winner will be offered a role on Broadway
The producers of the new Broadway revival of “On the Town,” which debuts in the fall, will offer this season’s winner a spot in the cast in the spring. That is, if the revival lasts that long.


“The Wire’s” David Simon is ticked off over a professor’s claim he was fired from The Baltimore Sun
UC Berkeley professor Linda Williams insists in her new book “On The Wire” that Simon was fired from his newspaper job in the mid-90s, even though he said he corrected her months ago, before the book was published, that he took a buyout.


“Game of Thrones” star Maisie Williams: "I don’t really watch a lot of TV—I don’t have one at the moment”
Williams, who has an American accent for her new movie, says: "In the U.K., we’re surrounded by American accents. Anything we watch in television.” Yet she doesn’t watch much TV, except YouTube.


Watch a clip from Miley Cyrus’ NBC special
"Miley Cyrus: Bangerz Tour” airs on Sunday at 9 pm.

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'Gotham' adds Kyle Massey

“Gotham” adds Kyle Massey
The Disney Channel star and “Dancing with the Stars” alum will play a homeless kid who lives on the streets of Gotham.


Comic-Con 2014: Here’s the complete TV schedule
This year’s Comic-Con kicks off on July 23 with pilot screenings of “The Flash,” “Constantine” and “iZombie.”


“California” author has received a huge "Colbert Report" boost
Edan Lepucki’s debut novel was expected to sell 12,000 copies. But thanks to two mentions by Colbert in his anti-Amazon rants, "California" has become the most preordered debut titles in Hachette history.


Jason Alexander tweets "Serenity Now!" in honor of “Seinfeld’s” 25th anniversary
Though the official anniversary is Saturday, Alexander tweeted this morning: "Happy 25th and thanks for years of laughs, love and support from frank and Estelle's baby boy. Serenity Now!”


Shakira to perform at the World Cup Closing ceremonies
She’ll be joined by Wyclef Jean, Alexandre Pires, Santana and Ivete Sangalo at the July 13 event, performing her World Cup tune, “La la la (Brazil 2014)."


“Big Brother” falls, yet tops the night
Thursday’s episode was down 22% from last week.


Can a new reality TV trade association promote safer working conditions?
Nonfiction Producers Association aims to promote the to promote “best practices” within the nonfiction television industry.


Joan Rivers: “The View” should never have dumped Elisabeth Hasselbeck
"I liked it when they had Elisabeth on, because Elisabeth represented a whole other group,” she says. "I thought it was great the way it was, leave it alone."


“Sons of Anarchy’s” Charlie Hunnam stars in a new Calvin Klein ad
Check out a clean-shaven Hunnam romancing supermodel Doutzen Kroes.


“Arrow” taps Peter Stormare to play Count Vertigo
He’ll play the first villain the team encounters in Season 3.


Jerry Seinfeld had a car shipped by truck from Pennsylvania for “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee”
When the car was returned, owner Scott Drab found a handwritten thank you note. The car, a 1967 Jaguar Mark II, was used for today’s episode featuring comedian Robert Klein.


Homer Simpson’s 1991 “The Homer” car was ahead of its time
Turns out some of Homer’s ideas have sort of come to fruition.


The plasma TV takes another step towards extinction
Samsung has joined Panasonic in dropping the manufacturing of plasma displays.


Neighbor sues Pat Sajak
The “Wheel of Fortune” host’s sprinkler system has allegedly caused more than $100,000 in damages.

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<p>&quot;Taxi Brooklyn&quot;</p>

"Taxi Brooklyn"

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: Dipping 'Dance,' steady 'Taxi Brooklyn' lead Wednesday split

'Big Brother' is down in its second week, but still solid

Fast National ratings for Wednesday, July 2, 2014.

Although "So You Think You Can Dance" dipped week-to-week and didn't win either of its hours, FOX still tied for first on Wednesday among young viewers. Meanwhile, NBC's "Taxi Brooklyn" was steady in its second week and combined with an "America's Got Talent" encore to help the network dominate overall.

There weren't many other notables, though CBS' "Big Brother" dropped in its second Wednesday airing, but still delivered the night's best key demo number.

On to the numbers...

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'Once Upon a Time' casts 'Frozen's' Queen Elsa

“Once Upon a Time” casts "Frozen's" Queen Elsa
“Fringe” veteran Georgina Haig will take on the role of the Disney snow queen.

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<p>Seinfeld</p>

Seinfeld

'Seinfeld' at 25: How the show about nothing became a huge hit

Revisiting the NBC comedy's improbable journey from busted pilot to juggernaut

Earlier this week, a former NBC sitcom made headlines by improbably returning from the dead, thanks to a website most people didn't even know was in the streaming video business. But the story of how "Community" will live again on Yahoo isn't nearly as far-fetched as the tale of another NBC Thursday sitcom, which few of the executives at the network understood, which was considered too weird and self-referential to ever succeed, and which — unlike "Community," the little cult engine that could — actually turned into the most popular show on television.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

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CW cancels TMZ reality show 'Famous in 12'

CW cancels TMZ reality show “Famous in 12”
The TV series designed to help a family become famous in 12 weeks with the help of TMZ and its “TMZ” TV show has been canceled after just one month.


Jimmy Kimmel recreates the “Thelma & Louise” selfie with Susan Sarandon
Kimmel played the Thelma role, as they used an iPhone to take their selfie.

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