Latest Blog Posts

TBS brings Keith Olbermann back to TV -- at least for 1 month

TBS brings Keith Olbermann back to TV -- at least for 1 month
Olbermann, who will anchor TBS' postseason baseball show, says of his new gig: "My season is about a month long. And if you check, if you go through the 37 pages of my resume, you'll see that every one of my jobs has lasted at least one month."

Is Katie Couric's talk show in trouble?

"Katie" already has been renewed for Season 2, but Fox News reports that ABC has been disappointed in Couric's ratings and its sources say they don't expect "Katie" to be around for Season 3.

"America's Got Talent" returns to its lowest premiere
Despite topping the night with new additions Heidi Klum and Mel B, "AGT" was down 16% in the key demo vs. last year's premiere. PLUS: Female comic appears on "AGT" and "Inside Amy Schumer" on same night.

Pregnant Jennifer Love Hewitt gets engaged

She and "Client List" co-star Brian Hallisay are set to marry.

"Parks and Rec's" Nick Offerman coming out with his 1st book
"Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man's Principles for Delicious Living" is due out Oct. 1.

John Oliver gets tips from Letterman on how to interview actors
"The Daily Show" correspondent, who fills in for Jon Stewart beginning next week, has no experience interviewing actors.

"Psych" books Vinnie Jones, Olivia d'Abo, Kali Hawk
All three will guest in the 3rd season.

Meet your new "Top Chef Masters"

Here's the lineup for Season 5.

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<p>Federal agents Aaron Tveit and Daniel Sunjata hit the beach in &quot;Graceland.&quot;</p>

Federal agents Aaron Tveit and Daniel Sunjata hit the beach in "Graceland."

Credit: USA

Review: Daniel Sunjata and Aaron Tveit go undercover for USA's 'Graceland'

'White Collar' creator pushes the USA formula in a more serialized direction

A successful undercover cop show, like a successful undercover police operation, requires patience. You need time to establish your characters, develop a relationship with their target, and plausibly get in deep enough for the real action to take place.

Most undercover cop shows — like most of the TV business in general — don't have that patience. They want instant gratification, and throw their heroes into new identities and operations with such speed that it's hard to believe in or care about anything that's happening. Every now and then you get a gem like "Wiseguy" (the '80s classic featuring lengthy guest arcs built around villains played by the likes of Ray Sharkey, Jerry Lewis and a young Kevin Spacey) or "Sleeper Cell" (the great but short-lived Showtime drama about an FBI agent infiltration an extremist Muslim terrorist group), but more often you get completely forgettable dramas like "Prince Street" or "The Handler" or "Dark Blue," where the cops tended to slip in and out of assignments so quickly as to not be worth the bother.

"Graceland," the new USA drama debuting tomorrow night at 10, is attempting to split the difference — just as it's trying to both embrace and expand upon the familiar USA "blue skies" formula.

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"America's Got Talent"

 "America's Got Talent"

Credit: NBC

What did you think of Heidi Klum and Mel B on 'America's Got Talent'?

The new judges show spunk, humor at the judges' table

Last night Heidi Klum and Mel B took their places at the judges' table of "America's Got Talent," and while the focus was theoretically on the performers, the good news is that the new kids blended in seamlessly. Of course, both have plenty of experience offering criticism. Mel B was a judge on the Australian version of "The X Factor," and we all know Klum as both a host and judge of "Project Runway."

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Bobby Cannavale closing deal to star in HBO's Rock 'n' Roll drama

Bobby Cannavale closing deal to star in HBO's Rock 'n' Roll drama
He would play an A&R exec in a drama from Mick Jagger, Martin Scorsese and "Boardwalk Empire's" Terence Winter.

Bruce Jenner confronts Jimmy Fallon (again) over plastic surgery jokes
At the London Olympics, Fallon and Jenner had a run-in the NBC commissary when the E! star told the "Late Night" host to stop making fun of his face. So Fallon invited Jenner on his show Tuesday, allowing Jenner to tell his side of the story. "You were such a wimp," Jenner told Fallon.

See Dominic West & Helene Bonham Carter as "Burton & Taylor"

The BBC America film focuses on Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton's onstage reunion in 1983.

"Sons of Anarchy" adds C. Thomas Howell
He'll be joined in Season 6 by "Shameless'" Steve Howey.

Justin Chatwin is done with "Shameless" as a series regular

The actor, though, may return for one or two episodes in Season 4.

Jerry O'Connell to visit wife Rebecca Romijn's TNT series

He'll guest-star on an episode of "King & Maxwell."

Joan Rivers cancels her 80th birthday party after her sister dies
The "Fashion Police" star, who turns 80 on Saturday, was to have a birthday celebration tonight.

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<p>Ethan Hawke watches for his agent, who he invited to his house with every intent to 'Purge' his agent just for pushing him to be in 'The Purge.' Seems fair to me.</p>

Ethan Hawke watches for his agent, who he invited to his house with every intent to 'Purge' his agent just for pushing him to be in 'The Purge.' Seems fair to me.

Credit: Universal Pictures

Review: 'The Purge' squanders its few good ideas as well as Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey

Witless horror film fumbles completely

One of the reasons I fell in love with horror films early in my development as a film fan was because I realized that you could tell any story and grapple with any topic, and you could do it by dealing in metaphor. The horror films that I think cut the deepest are the ones that have something real to say about who we are and what marks us, and just because they feature corpses or werewolves or creatures from space, it doesn't mean they are any less emotionally or intellectually valid than any other form of film. They just smuggle their meaning a little more.

The flip side of that is when you see a horror film that thinks it's doing something profound while completely and utterly missing the mark, and "The Purge" is a fantastic example of that. Written and directed by James DeMonaco, the film starts with a pretty hefty premise for audiences to swallow. Set in the near future, the US government has decided to pick a single day of the year where they suspend all emergency services for 12 hours, and everything is legal. That includes murder, although there are a few rules. Nothing above a certain category of weapon types (so I'm assuming no nukes) and there are several Federal employees including The President who are off-limits. Otherwise? Feel free.

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<p>&quot;Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.&quot;</p>

"Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."

Credit: ABC

DVR Gridlock 2013-14: Tuesday Nights

How will Joss Whedon's 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' impact the night?
[Over the next six days, I'm going to be glancing, night-by-night, at how the primetime schedules have changed after the network announcements at upfronts. I'll be looking at how the various changes will impact the ratings races on each night, as well as my own DVRing habits. Readers can chime in on how their own DVRs will be impacted. And yes, this brief series assumes that anybody still watches TV on their TVs. I'm old-fashioned. Check out last year's DVR Gridlock installments.]
8:00 p.m. 
ABC: "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."
The CW: "The Originals"
FOX: "Dads," "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"
NBC: "The Biggest Loser"
9:00 p.m.
ABC: "The Goldbergs," "Trophy Wife"
The CW: "Supernatural"
FOX: "New Girl," "The Mindy Project"
NBC: "The Voice"
10:00 p.m. 
ABC: "Lucky 7"
NBC: "Chicago Fire"
What's Changed: Well, if you're ABC, *everything* has changed, as the network is going down the rare path of an entire night of newly introduced original scripted programming, all anchored by perhaps the most anticipated premiere of the fall, assuming you trust the Interwebs. Yup. Kids online are *psyched* for "The Goldbergs." After trying to launch a slew of new dramas out of "NCIS" and "NCIS: Los Angeles," CBS bucked conventional pre-upfronts wisdom and moved established hit "Person of Interest," rather than ordering "NCIS: Red." NBC is doubling up on reality by moving "The Voice" to 9 p.m. and putting in "Biggest Loser" at 8 and then hoping to turn "Chicago Fire" from NBC-sized hit to bona fide hit. FOX is keeping established success "New Girl" and established ratings failure "The Mindy Project" at 9 p.m. but leading into the two female friendly comedies with a pair of male-friendly comedies. And, finally, The CW is putting "Supernatural" on yet another new night, hoping that it'll combine with "Vampire Diaries" spinoff "The Originals" to produce a big bump. But really... It's all about "S.H.I.E.L.D." Duh.
How the Ratings Race Is Impacted: Everybody I know is psyched for "S.H.I.E.L.D." Everybody you know is psyched for "S.H.I.E.L.D." But honestly, are we making a big assumption that just because "The Avengers" was a mind-boggling smash that there's a mammoth mainstream audience out there eager to watch a not-exactly-superhero drama fronted by Clark Gregg and featuring a grand total of "zero" of the established Avengers? It's an astoundingly big question mark and it all comes down to a matter of scale, particularly when it comes to perception. Is "S.H.I.E.L.D." going to be a true phenomenon -- i.e. 15 million viewers and a 4+ rating in the 18-49 demo? Is it going to be a reasonable hit -- 10+ million and a 3+ rating in the 18-49 demo? Or is it going to get clobbered by "NCIS" and then have to pick up a huge DVR bump in order to be considered any kind of success at all? If it's either of the two formers, it could set up a good comedy block for ABC, but what are the odds that that will ripple all the way through to 10 p.m. with a no-name ensemble drama about lottery winners? Very low, I'd guess. CBS will continue to be a total viewer juggernaut thanks to the "NCIS" double-dose and "Person of Interest" has a fanbase of its own after two strong seasons of growth on Thursdays. Even if "PoI" falls from Thursday in a time period with lower TV usage and whatnot, it's certain to improve on both the audience and key demo numbers for "Vegas," "Golden Boy," "Unforgettable" and "Good Wife," among recent time period "favorites." So that makes CBS tough, while NBC will also be tougher, with "Chicago Fire" showing real growth potential with a boost from "The Voice." Heck, even The CW is going to be bigger, since even if "The Originals" doesn't approach "Vampire Diaries" levels, it only needs to approach "Hart of Dixie" level, while "Supernatural" will definitely improve on "Emily Owens" and "Cult" from last season. All of that means that with the other four networks growing, FOX could be in trouble. On the bright side, "New Girl" should be steady and "The Mindy Project" probably will be as well, although that's not so bright. "Dads" is going to struggle to even do steady "Raising Hope"-level ratings. So FOX's entire hope for improvement hinges on "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," which puts a lot of pressure on Andy Samberg, since as awesome as he is, we know Andre Braugher brings more positive reviews to the table than viewers.
My Predicted DVR: I haven't been overtaxed on Tuesdays for a while, but a bit of a logjam could be forming. "S.H.I.E.L.D." is a lock to get a DVR slot and I'll watch "The Originals" as a "Vampire Diaries"/Phoebe Tonkin fan. So that means "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" will have to be a Hulu/OnDemand regular. I'll stick with FOX's comedies at 9 p.m. and maybe add the ABC comedies depending on how they progress. In the 10 p.m. hour, with "Person of Interest" and "Chicago Fire," I have two series recordings, both both for what are effectively laundry shows. I'm not sure I do that much laundry. 
How have the new schedules impacted your Tuesdays?
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"Pretty Wicked Moms"

 "Pretty Wicked Moms"

Credit: Lifetime

'Pretty Wicked Moms' proves that mean girls grow up but don't change

These women spend more time on their hair than their kids

Okay, Lifetime, you win. Somehow you've found women more vile, more petulant, and possibly dumber than most of the women in "The Real Housewives" franchise. Congratulations. I think "Pretty Wicked Moms" may be a sign of the coming Rapture, or maybe just confirmation that at least some of the mean girls we all remember from high school didn't change or mature in any way unless you count their breast implants. In the past, these horrible women with perfect hair would have faded into obscurity, cursed to recycle the same tired, childish arguments at their local country club or Mommy & Me yoga classes. These days, they get their own TV shows. Lucky us.

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"So You Think You Can Dance"

 "So You Think You Can Dance"

Credit: Fox

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: It's off to Memphis

Wayne Brady joins the judges' panel for auditions in Tennessee

Man, these auditions just keep going and going, don't they? This week, "So You Think You Can Dance" heads to Memphis, where there are many good dancers, a few great ones, and a lot of crazy people. The good news is that we don't spend much time with the nuts, but see them in a montage of suckitude. Thus, we get to indulge briefly in their delusions, but don't get so fully doused in them we feel the lingering side effects of depression and possible mental illness. Yay?

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Aubrey Plaza's new 'To-Do List' looks both filthy and funny
Credit: CBS Films

Aubrey Plaza's new 'To-Do List' looks both filthy and funny

Is '90s nostalgia really a thing now?

I hope audiences take to Aubrey Plaza as a lead in films, because I think she is fascinating.

Her particular brand of emotional reserve is a very specific comic voice, and not one that we see all the time. She's strikingly pretty, but that's not what makes her so compulsively watchable. I think it's the fact that you can see this constant barrage of thoughts just behind her eyes, this constant sizing up of the people around her, that makes her such a quiet gem on "Parks and Recreation." One of the reasons "Safety Not Guaranteed" worked was because of the value of her oh-so-rarely-seen smile and the effective deployment of it at key moments.

Now she's working with writer/director Maggie Carey, who also has her own specific comic voice, and when I visited the set of the movie, they were still trying to pin down a new title instead of what it was when it was set up originally, "The Hand Job." Looking at the new red-band trailer that showed up online today, "The To-Do List" makes perfect sense as a replacement, and it's not like people are in any danger of missing the point.

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Listen: Beck releases single 'Defriended' ahead of two new album releases

Is that pining we hear?

Beck apparently has two new albums in the works, and has preceded them with a mostly-electronic, non-album single "Defriended."

After it leaked a couple of days ago, the songwriter posted the song to his website, linking to a new Rolling Stone report: in it, a "source" says that Beck is working on not just one new, acoustic album as previously reported, but a second set as well, a "proper" follow-up to his last album "Modern Guilt" (2008).

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'It's Always Sunny' films Swedish-speaking black & white promos

"It's Always Sunny" films Swedish-speaking black & white promos
Watch the cast mock art house stereotypes for Season 9. PLUS: Listen to the "It's Always Sunny" end credits hidden messages.

"The Voice" has become a country music show, thanks to Blake Shelton

Shelton strategically tilted the competition towards country music, which could hurt "The Voice" in future seasons if it's seen as favoring a certain music genre.

"The Wendy Williams Show" renewed through 2017

The pickup comes after a strong May sweeps for "Wendy."

"Big Brother" returns early, on June 26
This is the earliest summer start for the CBS franchise, which usually kicks off after the 4th of July. PLUS: Live feed prices cut 30%.

Women are definitely watching "Game of Thrones"
According to Wired, about 2 million female viewers watch the HBO series each week. PLUS: Blame Robb Stark for this week's developments, and 10 shocking deaths in genre shows, take a 9-hour "Thrones" tour, or read the Red Wedding chapter from the book, and go inside the Red Wedding.

Ken Burns to make a doc based on "Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer"
The project will be adapted from Siddhartha Mukherjee's Pulitzer Prize-winning book.

Binge-watching has had an impact on TV composers
For instance, the "Game of Thrones" composer, Ramin Djawadi, takes binge viewers in consideration when scoring the season, taking a long-view approach so viewers won't get tired of the same music repeated over and over.

Are the boys on "Girls" the equivalent of Bond Girls?

Except for Adam, the guys on "Girls" seem to be disposable, just like Bond Girls.

"Mad Men's" problem this season: It's more concerned with 1968 than its characters

"It's sort of sad to see the show just drifting listlessly from shocking event to shocking event," says Ta-Nehisi Coates. "It points to a lack of actual things to say about actual human beings." He adds: "Increasingly the magical '60s and a crumbling New York have become a crutch for 'Mad Men.'" PLUS: How the Hollywood Hills party fashion came together, Harry Hamlin on his "Mad Men" footrace,

Broadway to dim the lights in honor of Jean Stapleton

The "All in the Family" star also had a distinguished career on the NY stage.

Check out Jimmy Kimmel on his treadmill desk
The treadmill desk is why Kimmel is looking so skinny these days. The British GQ visited Kimmel recently to compare and contrast his talk show to what passes as talk shows on the other side of the pond. PLUS: More details of Kimmel's bachelor party.

See new pics of "Homeland" shooting
The Showtime series yesterday filmed on location at the North Carolina Supreme Court building.

Could "Scandal's" Dan Bucatinsky get nominated in 3 Emmy categories?
As Lisa Kudrow's producing partner, Bucatinsky last year was nominated for "Who Do You Think You Are" and "Web Therapy." This year, he might be nominated for best guest actor.

"Teen Wolf" returns for Season 2, entirely too self-aware

Has success spoiled the MTV drama? PLUS: "Teen Wolf" returns to with highest-rated episode.

Vince Gilligan: "Breaking Bad" was saved by binge viewing

“I don't really have a complete understanding of it," he says, "or a complete metric for it but I got to believe – my gut tells me–that it’s very possible we wouldn’t have made it to 62 episodes without this creation of these technologies and this cultural creation of binge-watching." PLUS: Buy Walter White hazmat suit toy.

Listen to "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's" hidden messages

As played during the closing credits.

Would a female "Doctor Who" have to be asexual?

Or would producers have to sex up the Doctor? PLUS: Kickstarter project aims to put a TARDIS in space.

The Electric Barbarellas returns, as MTV's "The Alectrix"

This time, the Joe Simpson is the manager.

Jimmy Fallon: I injured my finger making salsa
Fallon was out of his cast for last night's "Late Night."

Check out Lego cars inspired by '80s TV series

From "The A-Team" to "Dukes of Hazzard" to "Knight Rider."

Lifetime teases "Drop Dead Diva's" return
The once-canceled drama returns June 23.

FearNet begins showing "Reaper": Watch Missy Peregrym before "Rookie Blue"
Peregrym previously played the love interest on the 2007-09 CW horror-comedy series.

Lifetime rolls out "Pretty Wicked Moms"

The reality show about Atlanta moms is described as an "unscripted comedy."

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Nine Inch Nails will premiere a new single on Thursday

Nine Inch Nails will premiere a new single on Thursday

'Came Back Haunted' is a comeback from the Trent Reznor-fronted band

Nine Inch Nails will premiere "Came Back Haunted," the band's first song from forthcoming album, on Thursday (June 6) this week.

In a post from Las Vegas radio station X1075 and then confirmed by Los Angeles' KROQ, the track will make its way onto the airwaves at 2:30 p.m. EST. KROQ's program director said the song “harkens back to early Nine Inch Nails.”

Yes, we noticed those are radio stations reporting this. And there, folks, you may have at least one answer as to why Trent Reznor wanted his band back in a major label fold.

As previously reported, Reznor's other, more recent band How To Destroy Angels also ultimately went with Columbia, for their EP and then album. They didn't have much luck with radio, but then again, very few new bands (no matter what famous people are in them) have a hard time breaking into rock radio, and certainly mass distribuation helped with their sales.. As a former radio star, Nine Inch Nails has better luck getting back on the radio with a major label, and perhaps that's a priority to Reznor, who will spend much of the summer on tour with his new lineup.

And, furthermore, for the scale of what Reznor envisions this next single and album to be, he needs a bigger (prettier, hate-ier) machine for it to work.

Anyway, see you back here on Thursday.

Here are Nine Inch Nails' tour dates:

07/26 - Niigata, Japan @ Fuji Rocks Festival
07/28 - Ansan, South Korea @ Ansan Valley Festival
08/2-4 - Chicago, IL @ Lollapalooza
08/9-11 - San Francisco, CA @ Outside Lands
08/15 - Hasselt, Belgium @ Pukkelpop
08/16 - Biddinghuizen, Holland @ Lowlands Festival
08/18 - Hockenheim, Germany @ Rock 'n' Heim
08/21 - Belfast, Northern Ireland @ Belsonic Festival
08/23 - Leeds, England @ Leeds Festival
08/24 - Paris, France @ Rock en Seine
08/25 - Reading, England @ Reading Festival
08/28 - Milan, Italy @ Mediolanum Forum
08/31 - 09/1 - Philadelphia, PA @ Made in America Festival
09/28 - St. Paul, MN @ Xcel Energy Center
09/30 - Kansas City, MO @ Sprint Center
10/01 - St. Louis, MO @ Chaifetz Arena
10/03 - Montreal, QC @ Centre Bell
10/04 - Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Centre
10/05 - Cleveland, OH @ Wolstein Center
10/07 - Auburn Hill, MI @ The Palace of Auburn Hills
10/08 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Petersen Events Center
10/11 - Boston, MA @ TD Garden
10/14 - Brooklyn, NY @ Barclays Center
10/15 - Newark, NJ @ Prudential Center
10/18 - Washington, D.C. @ Verizon Center
10/19 - University Park, PA @ Bryce Jordan Center
10/21 - Raleigh, NC @ PNC Arena
10/22 - Nashville, TN @ Bridgestone Arena
10/24 - Atlanta, GA @ Philips Arena
10/25-27 - Asheville, NC @ Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit
10/30 - Sunrise, FL @ BB&T Center
10/31 - Orlando, FL @ Amway Center
11/1-3 - New Orleans, LA @ Voodoo Music Experience
11/05 - San Antonio, TX @ AT&T Center
11/08 - Los Angeles, CA @ Staples Center
11/09 - Phoenix, AZ @ US Airways Center
11/11 - El Paso, TX @ Don Haskins Center
11/13 - Broomfield, CO @ 1st Bank Center
11/15 - Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint
11/16 - Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint
11/18 - Portland, OR @ Rose Garden Arena
11/19 - Spokane, WA @ Spokane Arena
11/21 - Vancouver, British Columbia @ Rogers Arena
11/22 - Seattle, WA @ KeyArena
11/24 - Edmonton, AB @ Rexall Place
11/25 - Calgary, AB @ Scotiabank Saddledome

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