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'The Flash' reuniting “Prison Break” brothers
Credit: Fox

'The Flash' reuniting “Prison Break” brothers

“The Flash” reuniting “Prison Break” brothers
Dominic Purcell will guest as a pyromaniac on Episode 10, reuniting with Wentworth Miller, who’s joining “The Flash” starting with Episode 4. Purcell and Miller played brothers brothers Lincoln Burrows and Michael Scofield for five seasons on Fox’s “Prison Break,” from 2005 to 2009.

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'The Good Wife’s' new teaser introduces Florrick, Agos & Lockhart
Credit: CBS

'The Good Wife’s' new teaser introduces Florrick, Agos & Lockhart

“The Good Wife’s” new teaser introduces Florrick, Agos & Lockhart
Check out the promo for the season premiere, titled “The Line.” PLUS: “Good Wife” creators ink new deal, sell CBS on D.C. horror show “Brain Dead."

Fox gets “Idol” alum Chris Daughtry to sing “Utopia’s” theme song
The Season 5 “Idol” finalist was approached by producers to come up with a theme song for the year-long Fox reality show. “I’ve never seen a show like this,” says Daughtry, who sings “This is Utopia / Let’s make a brand new start."

CBS’ “Thursday Night Football” will open each week with Jay-Z’s “Run This Town” featuring Rihanna
Don Cheadle will provide narration for the opening of the NFL’s new weeknight franchise.

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Garth Brooks

Garth Brooks' comeback single, 'People Loving People': Listen

Here's why you won't see it on the Billboard Hot 100

One day before he kicks off his first US tour in 13 years, Garth Brooks returns with “People Loving People,” the first single from his forthcoming fall album.

The mid-tempo track, written by Busbee, Lee Thomas Miller, and Chris Wallin, couldn’t be further from bro-country. It is a timely reminder that the only thing we need to cure our ills is to simply love each other. At a time when the headlines are dominated by bad news coming out of Ferguson, Mo.; the Middle East and seemingly everywhere we turn, it’s a positive song about inclusiveness that also serves as a gentle commentary on what’s going on around us.  His voice sounds strong as ever and nicely gritty. He’ll show off his range on future songs, we’re sure, as well as come back with some party anthems. He's not coming to come out of the gate with his strongest stuff. This is a bold, courageous move.

“People Loving People” isn’t Brooks’ first socially conscious song: 1992’s “We Shall Be Free,” a tune that he sang at President Obama’s first inaugural concert on the Mall in D.C. in 2009,  is now one of his signature songs, even though it initially stalled at No. 13. It preaches tolerance for gay rights, racial harmony and an end to other issues that divide us.  In 1996, he released “The Change,” an emotional, stately ballad about being the change you want to see in the world. It peaked at No. 19.

Brooks’ last single worked to country radio was “More Than A Memory,” which came out in August 2007 and was featured on a box set. It debuted on the Country Singles chart at No. 1.  A duet with Trisha Yearwood, “The Call,” was released from his November 2013 box set, “Blame It All On My Roots,” but it wasn’t actively pushed to radio. Many Clear Channel stations are playing “People Loving People” on the hour today.

As of now, “People Loving People” isn’t available to stream on YouTube or to purchase, which means it won’t be eligible for Billboard’s Country Songs chart or the Billboard Hot 100-- although that may all change within the next few days. It will qualify for Billboard’s Country Airplay chart.  Hear it here for now.

What do you think?

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Joan Rivers moved out of intensive care and into her own private room

Joan Rivers moved out of intensive care and into her own private room
"My mother has been moved out of intensive care and into a private room where she is being kept comfortable,” Melissa Rivers said in a statement.

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'Dexter’s' Jennifer Carpenter is returning to cable in USA’s 'Stanistan'
Credit: Showtime

'Dexter’s' Jennifer Carpenter is returning to cable in USA’s 'Stanistan'

“Dexter’s” Jennifer Carpenter is returning to cable in USA’s “Stanistan”
She’ll play a public affairs officer in an American compound in the fictional Middle Eastern country of Stanistan.

“Frozen” special doesn’t do much for ABC
"The Story Of Frozen: Making A Disney Animated Classic” was down from last week’s airing of “Bachelor in Paradise."

Syfy orders Arthur C. Clarke’s “Childhood’s End”
The six-hour miniseries is based on Clarke’s 1953 story about a peaceful alien invasion that leads to "decades of apparent utopia under indirect alien rule, at the cost of human identity and culture.”

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Adam Levine and Jimmy Fallon

Watch: Adam Levine's great Frank Sinatra and Michael Jackson impressions on Jimmy Fallon

Jimmy Fallon's Iggy Azalea impression? Not so great

Move over Justin Timberlake, Jimmy Fallon has a new music buddy: Last night on “The Tonight Show,” he and Maroon 5’s Adam Levine debuted a new feature, Wheel of Musical Impressions

Using the “musical impressions generator,” different artists, such as Michael Jackson or Frank Sinatra, came up paired with tunes such as MAGIC!’s “Rude” or the theme to “Sesame Street,” and each had to do an impression. Levine was the clear winner as he hit it out of the ball park with his Sinatra impression. We think his Jackson impression sounded a little more like Stevie Wonder than the King of Pop, but his take on Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder was spot on. As for Fallon’s Iggy Azalea impression,  let’s just say, better luck next time.


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'Fresh Prince’s' Alfonso Ribeiro, Lea Thompson are expected to go 'Dancing'

'Fresh Prince’s' Alfonso Ribeiro, Lea Thompson are expected to go 'Dancing'

“Fresh Prince’s” Alfonso Ribeiro, Lea Thompson are expected to go “Dancing”
Ribeiro and the “Back to the Future” star are reportedly joining a cast that includes Olympian Lolo Jones, soap opera hunk Anotonio abato Jr. and Janel Parrish from “Pretty Little Liars."

Look at Allison Williams as NBC’s “Peter Pan”
“I was all ready to cut my hair,” she explains on Instagram, "then was told by the folks who actually know what they’re doing that a wig works better for everybody.”

Kaley Cuoco posts a “nude” photo to Instagram
See “The Big Bang Theory” star’s reaction to the celebrity leaked nudity scandal.

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Credit: Disney

TV Ratings: 'NCIS' repeat tops ABC 'Frozen' special as CBS, NBC split Tuesday

'America's Got Talent' is still Tuesday's best among young viewers

Fast National ratings for Tuesday, September 2, 2014.

ABC's hour-long commercial for Disney's "Frozen" couldn't keep up with an "NCIS" repeat as CBS led Tuesday night overall and "America's Got Talent" carried NBC to victory among young viewers.

The "Frozen" special couldn't top CBS' recycled "NCIS" in anything other than the youngest female demos, nor could it compete with last week's special "Bachelor in Paradise" episode, though it did outdraw some of the summer's 8 p.m. airings of "Extreme Weight Loss."

Meanwhile, NBC's "America's Got Talent" was down week-to-week, but "Food Fighters" was basically flat.

On to the numbers...

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Miranda Lambert

Miranda Lambert ties record for most CMA Award nominations

Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Keith Urban also score big

The 2014 CMA Awards voters must have sent in their ballots before Taylor Swift announced she was going full-on pop: she received a nomination for female vocalist of the year today, marking what will surely be her last country nomination for awhile.

She did not score in the coveted Entertainer of the Year category, an honor she’s already won twice: competing for that award this year will be Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, George Strait, and Keith Urban.

Lambert leads all nominees with nine. She is now tied with herself for the most nominations in one year for a female artist. Dierks Bentley received five nominations, while Eric Church and Urban each landed four.  Bryan, Shelton, Kacey Musgraves, and Carrie Underwood, who will host the show with Brad Paisley, each landed three. Read our interview with Bentley here.

Competing for album of the year are Bryan’s “Crash My Party,” Urban’s “Fuse,” Lambert’s “Platinum,” Bentley’s “Riser,” and Church’s “The Outsiders.”

Up for single of the year are Lambert’s “Automatic,” Bentley’s “Drunk On A Plane,”  Church’s “Give Me Back My Hometown,” Tim McGraw’s “Meanwhile Back At Mama’s,” and Shelton’s “Mine Would Be You.”

In the Female Vocalist category, Swift will compete against Underwood, Musgraves, Martina McBride and Lambert, who has won the award the past four years.

Lambert’s husband, Shelton, who has won Male Vocalist for the past four years, is up again for the honor, competing with Bentley, Church, Urban and Bryan.

The 48th annual CMA Awards will air Nov. 5 on ABC.

For a full list of nominees, go to 


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Shovels & Rope

Interview: Shovels & Rope on 'Swimmin' Time'

Husband-wife duo and their literary heroes

“There’s not a person walking this world that doesn’t have some suffering that they’re burdened by,” says Cary Ann Hearst, who, with her husband Michael Trent, make up the country folk duo Shovels & Rope.

And damned if  every single one of those people hasn’t stumbled into the various songs on “Swimmin’ Time,” Shovel & Rope’s searing new album, out now.

The collection features tunes about down-on-their-luck folks who seek the higher road, but that shot at salvation sometimes seems just out of reach. On twangy  “The Devil Is All Around,” a person drenched in fear travels down a path. He’s a “shell of a man,” but determined to become a better one.  On the stomping, ominous title track, there’s nothing good coming around the bend. On swampy dark “Evil,” a tune HitFix premiered in July,  two misfits, a young tomboy and an older man, find each other.  Of course, there’s a murder ballad or two. The literate tales are made all the more vivid by the way Hearst and Trent’s voices wrap around each other as they spin their stories over largely acoustic instrumentation.

 So where do these characters come from? In some cases, they’re drawn from real life. Hearst admits to “an annoyingly happy childhood,” but has a “family history that is weighty and complicated and overburdened with a disproportionate amount of sorrow,” she says. “A lot of people in our family struggle, whether it’s self sabotage or substance abuse.”  

The pair’s writing is also greatly influenced by classic American authors ranging from Cormac McCarthy and John Steinbeck to their fellow Southerners Flannery O’ Connor and William Faulkner, with whom they share a knack for painting full characters in a few words.  “We’ve always been drawn to stories with dark twists,” says Trent. “We were listening to ‘Grapes of Wrath.’  on tour. Driving from the west coast to the east coast, we would make our way through the book.”

Like most acts, Shovels & Rope had their share of romantic songs, but it was when the duo began writing about experiences beyond themselves that they found their first real traces of success. “I’m not trying to brag, but when we started writing together and our content moved away from self-selective  and waxing romantic to looking out from ourselves and looking at other people’s big stories, things changed,” Hearst says. “Michael is especially good at that: he’s able to reduce a really big complicated emotional story into a 3-to-5 minute narrative that is really colorful.”

While keeping their head down and touring relentlessly behind 2012’s breakthrough album, “O’ Be Joyful,” their compelling craft caught the attention from their peers and heroes alike.  Their tune, “Birmingham,” from “Joyful”  won  Song of the Year at the 2013  Americana Music Awards, where the act also won Emerging Artist of the Year.  Jack White asked the duo to open three shows for him and word has even come back to them that Martin Scorsese is a fan. “We’re just a couple of ragamuffins doing our thing, and there was this trajectory going on outside of our periphery,” Trent says.

Indeed, though the couple has now traded up from a van that carried only themselves and their dog, Townes,  (“He’s hairy medicine,” Trent says) to a bus that they share with their small crew,  they admit that they operate, happily so, in their own “bubble.” They create their music totally free of label interference,  their band is just the two of them, and alone together is their natural state. “Last night, Michael was hanging out at the motorcycle garage and his absence was like a black hole,” Hearst says. “You’d think I couldn’t wait for him to get out of here, but his absence was weighty. We don’t know anything different than being together. Ever since we got married, we’ve been on the road and never looked back.”

Natuarlly, Hearst and Trent recorded “Swimmin’ Time,” a darker and more intense album than “‘O, Be Joyful,”  alone at their home studio in Charleston, S.C. “There’s no pressure. The clock isn’t running,” Trent says. “We can make our own schedule.”

If there’s a downside to their increasing fame, it’s that their own schedule doesn’t allow for reading as much as it once did, but they still manage to sneak in some time for the classics. Hearst jokes that they may have a surprise for their fans with their next project given the author whose works have been keeping them company lately. “We got distorted by [“Game of Thrones” author] George R.R. Martin,” she says. “Our next album will be nothing but dragons.”

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Brittany Murphy’s dad uses Twitter to slam Lifetime’s biopic and the actress portraying his daughter
Credit: Lifetime

Brittany Murphy’s dad uses Twitter to slam Lifetime’s biopic and the actress portraying his daughter

Brittany Murphy’s dad uses Twitter to slam the Lifetime’s biopic and the actress portraying his daughter
In a series of tweets over the weekend, Angelo Bertolotti wrote and retweeted a series of hateful comments about Amanda Fuller, the star of “The Brittany Murphy Story.” "My daughter #brittanymurphy would be horrified to know who they chose to play her and how cheap it all is,” he tweeted. In response, the actress had to block Murphy’s dad on Twitter.

Mandy Patinkin tells Stephen Colbert: You inspired me to run for prime minister of Israel
The “Homeland” star asked Colbert to be his security advisor.

After just 6 months, Seth Meyers unveils a revamped “Late Night” set
The “more contemporary, less stuffy” set features a brick background for Seth’s monologue, possibly to give a comedy club atmosphere. PLUS: Stephen Colbert tells Meyers about his Emmy night with his 12-year-old son.

Conan goes after the celebrity iCloud hacker
The Celebrity nudes “hacker” gets hacked.

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10 burning questions for the Toronto Film Festival: Bill Murray, Jennifer Aniston and more

10 burning questions for the Toronto Film Festival: Bill Murray, Jennifer Aniston and more

AKA: Why Toronto is still important (we think)

Yes, another trek to the Great White North is upon us. After a good eight months of battling their fellow fall festivals for the best possible slate, the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival is ready to let the world see what's behind the curtain.

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