CANNES - The first press screening of the Cannes Film Festival is traditionally, in not-particularly-French parlance, a bit of a bunfight: always in the Salle Debussy, the smaller of the festival's two showcase screens, it tends to fill up fast with fevered, not-yet-red-eyed journalists scrambling for the last available seats with a workable sightline, while outside, the snaking queue of lowly yellow and blue badgeholders nervously hopes there'll be any seat at all for them. (Lest you think I'm sneering, I'm one of them: for me, at Cannes, blue clearly is the warmest color.)
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"American Idol" is not a show known for restraint so let us, as we do every year, give thanks that FOX is not attempt to wring two hours out of the finale's performance night. Yes, tomorrow night's finale will be two-plus hours of excruciating largess, but on Wednesday (May 15), we should be treated to an hour of performances from two reasonably good singers. That should be pleasant, right?
Bring on Candice Glover and Kree Harrison!
Kelly Rowland is releasing a new solo effort, and "Dirty Laundry" is airing a lot of source material. The former Destiny's Child singer makes two revelations in this new track: one is her feelings on the success of Beyonce as she, comparitively, lived "in her shadow." The other is that she was physically abused by an ex-lover.
To the former, she sings, backed by a melancholy piano: "While my sister was on stage, killin’ it like a motherf*cker / I was enraged, feeling it like a motherfucker / Bird in a cage, you would never know what I was dealing with / Went out separate ways, but I was happy she was killin' it... Bittersweet, she was up, I was down."
Beyonce makes another flashback cameo, as Rowland was surviving post-"Survivor," as a survivor of abuse.
"Started to call them people on him / I was battered / He hittin the window like it was me, until it shattered / He pulled me out, he said, “Don’t nobody love you but me / Not your mama, not your daddy and especially not Bey,” she continues. The ending of this particular verse hurts my heart. "He turned me against my sister / I missed ya."
Hell if I and many other critics haven't lobbed jokes about how Kelly or Michelle would never make it bigger than Beyonce. Rowland -- who's always had a sharp voice and knows how to tell a story -- hasn't had the chance for a superstar trek since Destiny's Child days. Her song here, though, isn't about to turn that negativity into more negativity, but into something positive by cleaning up her own feelings on the matter.
Saying that she was conflicted and angry during a time of DC post-breakup blues is actually very self-award and gutsy. But disclosure that she'd gone through a dark and misguided period through abuse is no easy feat either, even on a simple confession produced by The-Dream. R&B singers' bread and butter is emotional climaxes of relationships, from the chase, the bedding, the wedding or the breakup (and of course all tensions in-between). While many scorned lovers' songs make enemies of their exes or insinuate their own indiscretions, there are extreme few that outline actual terror of physical, emotional or sexual abuse in the legal sense. Rowland's dirty laundry here isn't only that she was abused in secret, but that those abuses led to her hurting others. It's a meta-narrative on an R&B trope and the record-making industry, and a sensationally true story, which makes it totally fascinating as a piece of art.
And entertainment. Rowland's voice her is top-notch, don't you think?
Rowland's album "Talk a Good Game" is due on June 18.
Divorce can be funny! At least, that's the angle "The Millers" takes. Will Arnett plays Nathan Miller, a recently divorced new reporter who finds his parents' marital problems are now his to solve.
You know what's like a dorm for old guys? A short-term apartment complex full of recently divorced men! Isn't that fun. "We Are Men" is about four newly-single guys who live in the same complex and find camaraderie as they look for love. And pick up chicks in bars. It's heartwarming! And not sad or depressing at all. Unless there are some scenes like that.
Have you ever wished you had a super duper microchip in your head that gave you access to, like, all information ever? You'd never lose your keys! Josh Holloway ("Lost") plays a guy who has that microchip, but he has to do spy stuff. Darn it. We know he's a very serious smart guy, because Holloway cut off that long, luxurious blond hair he had on "Lost."
It's a feel good comedy from Chuck Lorre! And after all the "Two and A Half Men" drama, he probably needs a feel good comedy. While Lorre may not be a selling point for everyone, the stars of this show might be: Anna Faris and Allison Janney.
I've always had a soft spot for Mork, but Robin Williams can be a small doses kind of personality. The good news is that in CBS' new sitcom "The Crazy Ones," he has the acerbic sensibility of Sarah Michelle Gellar to keep him in line. The two play a father-daughter team in the world of advertising.
Watch CBS' new show fall previews
Check out "The Crazy Ones" with Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar, "Mom" starring Anna Faris, "Intelligence" with Josh Holloway and Marg Helgenberger, "Hostages" with Dylan McDermott and Toni Collette, "We Are Men" with Tony Shalhoub, Kal Penn and Jerry O'Connell, and Margo Martindale and Beau Bridges in "The Millers."
Shakira: I'm leaving "The Voice"
Her spot will go back to Christina Aguilera.
Jennifer Lopez won't rule out returning to "Idol"
"I don't know," she said when asked. "That's the question of the moment."
Is Nick Cannon resurrecting "Soul Train"?
The "America's Got Talent" host is reportedly close to acquiring the rights to the "Soul Train" franchise.
Robin Williams: TV has changed a lot in the 30 years since "Mork and Mindy"
"It's been a long time since I've been on TV, 30 years, when there were much simpler upfronts — and a mound of coke," Williams said at CBS' Upfronts.
Jimmy Fallon tweets out his pale prom photo
"My date went tanning the night before," Fallon tweeted. "I did not. I looked like Powder."
I would have thought being held hostage would be boring. Insanely stressful, but mostly sitting around and watching some bad guy pace and freak out while you hope that the phone rings. Apparently, I was wrong. "Hostages," which will be airing on CBS Mondays this fall at 10:00 p.m., promises that it is a "high octane suspense drama." So, no boredom. Or at least they don't film the boring part.
David Letterman makes a shocking appearance at CBS Upfronts -- his 1st in 15 years
Dave gave Les Moonves a long hug, as Moonves quipped about the new late-night dynamic. "I'm honored to be here for your pledge drive," said Letterman.
"HIMYM" cast sings "One Year More" at CBS Upfronts
Lyrics include this line: "No one knew our names, no one gave a lick, except for Doogie and that band camp chick."
Report: Nicki Minaj quitting "Idol"
Her departure, as reported by Us Weekly, makes its seem all the more likely that all four judges are going to exit after this season. PLUS: 10 ways to improve "Idol."
Christian pastors are using "Scandal" to teach lessons in church
Olivia Pope & Co. offer valuable lessons, as some preachers have learned. One pastor delivered three consecutive sermons with the following titles: "I've Been Hucked," "Every Scandal Has a Harrison," and "The Olivia Pope Syndrome." PLUS: "Scandal" meets "The View," and what if this week was a "Scandal" episode?
Coming soon: "Big Bang"-meets-"Star Trek" merchandise
A deal has been struck to sell "Big Bang"/"Star Trek" T-shirts as well as "Big Bang"/DC Comics characters merchandise.
Notorious "Kitchen Nightmares" restaurant claims its social media were hacked
Amy's Baking Company, which Gordon Ramsay walked out on last week, claims it is working with the FBI to find the alleged hackers -- "We did not post those horrible things." (Watch the original episode)
"True Blood" unveils its Season 6 poster
"No One Lives Forever."
Louisiana is in the midst of a "reality TV boom"
The success of "Swamp People" and "Duck Dynasty" has prompted some to dub Louisiana "Hollywood South."
The last time CBS tried 4 comedies on a Thursday was during the Eisenhower administration
The No. 1 network is mostly playing it safe next fall, but is taking a big chance with its new Thursday two-hour comedy block.
"Arrow" ending the season with an "insane" finale
There's just so much going on!" says Willa Holland.
"The Mindy Project" ends the season with all the kinds worked out
Would the inconsistency of this season have worked better on "The Office"?
Why "Star Trek" needs to return as a basic cable series
Even the failed "Enterprise" got more viewers than "Mad Men." PLUS: One writer goes on a marathon viewing of every "Trek" episode and movie.
"SNL's" Bill Hader: An appreciation
Hader, says Tess Lynch, "has a Don Draper quality: He makes the unnerving into something aspirational. There’s a certain amount of intelligence required to take on satire, but some element of his performances always made him seem like the brainiest cast member."
"New Girl" creator: I don't know what "adorkable" means
"I think over the course of the season we definitely know what the show is, and I don’t think the show is adorkable," says Liz Meriwether. "I don't really know what that word means and I never have, but I don’t think that’s what we’re doing, but I don't have any ill will about it." PLUS: Meriwether is the anti-Lena Dunham.
Conan creates a fake morning show: "Wake Up and Back Up"
Filmed entirely on the backup camera of a Toyota Sienna.
Is Andy Samberg trying to be the NYPD's "Hipster Cop"?
His "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" character bares some resemblance to the "hipster cop" who patrolled the Occupy protests.
Ricky Gervais: I vowed not to do "The Office" again, but David Brent is allowed to make a comeback
What he's doing with David Brent these days, says Gervais, is not "The Office."
Ellie Kemper asks: "Can Men Be Funny?"
"The Office" star does a scientific investigation for GQ's comedy issue.
"24" trying to reunite all the original writers, plus some past CTU members
Will Chloe return? PLUS: Why Jack Bauer should stay retired.
"Supernatural" has found a way to stay fresh in Season 8
But this season, which ends tonight, hasn't always been perfect.
"Hannibal" boss: We never battled NBC over the amount of gore to show
The Peacock knew what it was getting into, says Bryan Fuller, who describes his series as "elegant horror."
Jennifer Love Hewitt: "I had to have smaller boobs" on "Client List" billboards
She tells Conan that at one billboard location, complaints resulted in her billboard breasts being reduced and covered up.
New website allows you to track recurring "Arrested Development" jokes
Recurring Developments is "an interactive visualization of running jokes in Arrested Development." PLUS: Mitch Hurwitz: Watch Season 4 in order.
Watch "The Simpsons" couch gag created by the "Robot Chicken" team
Fox posted videos of the "Robot Chicken" crew putting together their couch gag.
Seth Meyers: "I don't think I'll start from Jimmy’s template"
Meyers says he'll take a "clean slate" approach to "Late Night."
Why are "Nashville" scenes so short?
Rather than let storylines play out, the ABC drama fills the screen with tiny moments.
"Dawson's Creek" ended 10 years ago this week
Does the WB finale still hold up?
Mike Rowe narrates a boring family home movie for a fan
Watch the "Dirty Jobs" star use his booming voice on his new series "Mike Rowe My Life."
Daenerys Targaryen is the most popular "Game of Thrones" character on Twitter
The least popular: Joffrey Baratheon.
"Pitch Black" was considered a problem by USA Films.
At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of people have forgotten that USA Films even existed, but for a brief period of time, they were a major up-and-comer, an indie with eyes on the mainstream, and they probably reached the pinnacle of their visibility and acclaim when they made "Traffic." They couldn't sustain their momentum, though, and eventually, they had to close their doors.
My most noteworthy interaction with them came when I was still at Ain't It Cool News. Harry Knowles was in LA one week, and USA Films told us that they had a small film they didn't know what to do with, and they asked if we would want to take a look at it. We drove over to their screening room (which is now the Clarity Screening Room, probably the best place in LA to see a 3D print) and they showed us "Pitch Black," which we both loved. We ended up inviting the film to play at the first Butt-Numb-A-Thon in the middle of the night. They ended up sending us both the film and, despite the start time of 2:30 AM, Vin Diesel himself, and it turned into one of the first big highlights of that festival.