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<p>Laura Dern on &quot;Enlightened.&quot;</p>

Laura Dern on "Enlightened."

Credit: HBO

If I Had An Emmy Ballot 2013: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

The women of 'Parks and Recreation,' 'Enlightened,' 'Bunheads' and more

Part 7 of our journey through the Emmy ballot brings us to Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. As always, Fienberg will attempt to rank the contenders from most likely to least likely to be nominated, throwing in a bunch of preferential wild cards along the way. And, as always, I will pretend that I am an actual Academy member who has a ballot and therefore has to narrow his choices down to six people.

Same rules apply: we are working off of the actual Emmy ballot, so we can't nominate people who didn't submit themselves (like if I wanted to nominate Tony Hale for "Arrested Development" rather than "Veep"), and we have to consider people in the category they submitted themselves for, even if that means supporting actors submitting as leads (Rob Lowe, every year) or vice versa (Amy Schumer as supporting for a show that's named after her). I also have to feel like I've seen enough of a representative sample to pick someone; I'm too far behind on "Veep," for instance, to seriously consider reigning Emmy winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Dan's exhaustive analysis is here, and embedded below (click Launch Gallery to see it), and my picks are coming right up.

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Outstanding Lead Actress Comedy - Emmy Nomination Preview 2013

Outstanding Lead Actress Comedy - Emmy Nomination Preview 2013

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Lena Dunham should be back
Cheaters! You're all cheaters, Emmy voters! Or at least Emmy voters were cheaters last year, when they conveniently solved the problem of a Lead Actress comedy logjam by nominating a bonus seventh actress. Unless Emmy voters are prepared for another "tie" this year, they're going to be in for a challenge, since all seven nominees return and none of the seven seems conspicuously out of place and headed for elimination. At least there are very few new candidates, not that I'd mind to see Sutton Foster or Laura Dern (not eligible last year) sneak into the field, even if that meant upsetting the apple cart in awkward ways...
Check out my full slate of candidates...
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<p>Dean Norris as Big Jim in &quot;Under the Dome.&quot;</p>

Dean Norris as Big Jim in "Under the Dome."

Credit: CBS

Series premiere: 'Under the Dome' - 'Pilot'

What did everybody think of how CBS adapted the Stephen King novel?

I published my review of CBS' Stephen King adaptation "Under the Dome" on Sunday. Now it's your turn. What did everybody else think of the pilot? Did a svelter Dean Norris work for you in a more prominent role than he usually has as Hank Schrader? Did you like Mike Vogel as the mysterious Barbie? Was Junior creepy or campy? And do you find this town and its inhabitants compelling enough to spend a summer watching? 

I understand Brian K. Vaughan and company have made some significant departures from the book. Nevertheless, let's keep any book discussion as vague as possible, if not ignoring it altogether, rather than let this turn into a "Game of Thrones" situation. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to cover this weekly; I'll have to see what I feel about the next few episodes, but I can try to at least put up brief discussion posts about them.

In the meantime, have at it.

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With 'I'm So Excited!' on the way, Pedro Almodóvar's 10 best films

With 'I'm So Excited!' on the way, Pedro Almodóvar's 10 best films

We count down the Spaniard's top tier work

Pedro Almodóvar's cabin-crew comedy "I'm So Excited!" finally jets into US theaters on Friday, and as I suggested in my review, some of the kooky Spanish auteur's fans may want to brace themselves for a crash landing.

But you may disagree. The critical reception for his latest is cooler than Almodóvar has come to expect, but as many die-hard fans of the director have been tickled as have been dismayed. One thing both camps will agree on, however, is that it couldn't be the work of anyone else: from his recurring themes of fringe sexuality to his Crayola color palette, Almodóvar's films are arguably the most immediately and universally identifiable of anyone's in the current hierarchy of European auteurs -- to the point that even the Academy has embraced him and even Almodóvar himself has taken to parodying his own stylistic tics.

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Interview: Arts & Crafts exec Kieran Roy talks 10 more years of indie rock

Interview: Arts & Crafts exec Kieran Roy talks 10 more years of indie rock

Co-owner of Canadian label sounds off on Feist, Broken Social Scene and Spotify

Earlier this month, the Canadian indie label Arts & Crafts celebrated its 10 years of existence by combining its biggest assets -- its artists -- on stage at the Field Trip Festival in hometown Toronto and on a genre-spanning compilation "X." A reunited Broken Social Scene performing classic "You Forgot It in People" headlined the former, while BSS and its members, Feist, Ra Ra Riot, The Hidden Cameras and other A&C acts collaborated for the latter.

Arts & Crafts has survived these 10 by expanding outward from "You Forgot It in People," starting with BSS and its solo and reformed offshoots, then to new original artists, then into different mediums and revenue sources. It's not just a label, but a management firm, merchandiser, and publisher; A&C has segued through the tumult of digital retail, the resurgence of vinyl and the advent of streaming services like Spotify to find new music audiences. But it doesn't stop at audio: they've partnered with visual artists like photographer Norman Wong and fashion designer Jeremy Laing for unique presentations of their artists' unique brands of indie rock.

"These days there is a much greater acceptance to partner with non-musical media. You are no longer left waiting around to get written up in Rolling Stone or play on the radio. There’s a lot of other ways to get people hearing your art," says Kieran Roy, co-owner of A&C.
Below is an abridged interview with Roy. Listen to Arts & Crafts' compilation "X" here.
Congrats on 10 years. How are you gonna survive another decade?
If we’re going to be around in another 10 years, it’s because we’ve viewed those challenges without fear, but as opportunities. There will always be disruptive technology. Physical sales aren’t what they used to be. But now people are shifting from downloads to digital streaming. Preferences change. We’re a lot more nimble than larger labels, and because of that we’re able to change with a changing market.
There’s revenue streams and new ways to get the word out. We’re getting public performance broadcasts, streaming, concert tickets. As long as we’re fully participating in our artists’ careers in ways that make sense, we’ll be OK.
Arts & Crafts is so closely associated with Broken Social Scene. Does it worry you to have that reputation, even now since the band has split up?
There were about eight to 10 releases that were connected to Broken Social Scene. From Stars and Feist to Apostle Of Hustle to Jason Collett. That era covered the first 2-3 years. But in the last seven to eight, we’ve done a good job of diversifying ourselves. The BSS machine is a smooth machine. They continue to make interesting art projects. Now we’ve got Cold Specks to Trust to Zeus to Timber Timbre, our aesthetic and artist position of our latest release make just as much as BSS did for the first few years.
Your compilation “X” pairs one Arts & Crafts act with another, for 10 songs. Do you have a favorite?
Oh man, that’s like playing favorites with kids… the Stars and Chilly Gonzales one is a real standout. It captures a mood. If anything, we did notice there was a darker mood through-line to the songs, it was not anything we suggested.
Chilly Gonzales is on fire. He’s did that recent stuff with Daft Punk…
Seriously, look at Chilly. He’s the king of collaborations. Feist to Daft Punk to Jamie Lidell to Drake…
And look at Feist. You guys must be so happy with how “Metals” did. What’s going on with Feist right now? Is she working on a new album soon?
We were thrilled with “Metals” because after “The Reminder,” expectations were high. It’s very different for an artist to follow-up with an album that broke them out, and to be well-received by fans and critics. People are looking to hate. But Feist, to have her album recognized by the Polaris Prize, that was really indicative.
Right now she’s working on her down time. I dunno. She did work on the song “Homage” on the compilation is will soon pick up work for next record.
How about Broken Social Scene and all thoe guys. What’s the story there?
Kevin [Drew] is working on solo record and an album with Andy Kim – he’s this legendary Canadian songwriter who wrote “Sugar Sugar.” Him and Kevin became kindred spirits. Brendan [Canning] has one going. Stars and Metric released new records each last year. Everyone’s keeping busy. The reunion was just around festival, though, I don’t think Broken Social Scene has plans to do more.
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"The Bachelorette"

"The Bachelorette"

Credit: ABC

'The Bachelorette' heads to Germany and Ben battles Michael G.

Bryden has a surprise for Des, and it's not a good one

The bachelors and Des are off to Munich, so… lots of beer, yodeling and sledding! Because "The Bachelorette" has never met a cultural cliche it doesn't like! This will be great fun, I'm sure, but the big nail biter in this episode is the dreaded two-on-one. As in seasons past, the most loathed creepazoid will be sharing the date with Des with a likable guy we doubt she'll pick. 

Even though I'm fairly sure this will play out the way all of these dates play out (the creepazoid gets the rose and we scream at the television), I'm hoping against hope that Des fights back against producer manipulating her to follow the formula and actually kicks the jerk to the curb. And you know which jerk I mean -- Ben. It's not even anything I have against Ben (though I don't care for him a bit). I'd just like to think this show isn't as thoroughly predictable as it seems to be. Still, this episode starts throwing big curveballs before the first hour is over -- so I'll withhold judgment, briefly.

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<p>Richard Matheson</p>

Richard Matheson

39th annual Saturn Awards to be dedicated to the memory of author Richard Matheson

The genre legend was to receive the organization's visionary award

By now you may have heard the news of the unfortunate passing of author Richard Matheson, a titan in his field who leaves behind him a rich, vast, deep legacy of material that will continue to be enjoyed and mined for years to come. And his impact on cinema as we know it is nowhere near negligible. Indeed, consider the beginnings of Steven Spielberg's career, whose calling card adaptation of Matheson's short story "Duel" catapulted him to Hollywood's attention.

"Richard Matheson's ironic and iconic imagination created seminal science-fiction stories and gave me my first break when he wrote the short story and screenplay for 'Duel,'" the director said in a statement. "His 'Twilight Zones' were among my favorites, and he recently worked with us on 'Real Steel.' For me, he is in the same category as Bradbury and Asimov."

Matheson was set to receive the Visionary Award at the 39th annual Saturn Awards Wednesday night, presented by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films. Pity the award will now be presented posthumously, but the ceremony will now be dedicated to his memory.

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Paula Deen's multi-million dollar empire is now riding on her 'Today' interview

Paula Deen's multi-million dollar empire is now riding on her "Today" interview
The former Food Network star hasn't lost all her endorsements -- Paula Deen Inc. in 2010 generated about $10 million from licensing agreements, speaking engagements and other deals. PLUS: Why Paula deserves her Food Net job back, many in the South are willing to forgive Paula, Smithfield under fire for dropping Paula, and why Paula's demise feels so sweet.

Netflix putting up "House of Cards" and "Arrested Development" lawn signs

Homeowners in upscale neighborhoods who display the signs can receive a six-month Netflix subscription, a $50 Red Cross donation in their name or a $50 AmEx gift card.

"Breaking Bad" releases a new promo
Where's the new footage?

Check out "Dexter's" bloody end-of-series cake

Celebrating eight "great seasons." PLUS: Showtime selling "Dexter" cupcakes.

James Gandolfini was the Marlon Brando of TV
Just as Brando changed movie acting in the '50s, Gandolfini transformed TV acting in the '00s. PLUS: A private wake is scheduled for Wednesday.

Eva Longoria juggles being a prominent Latina voice while defending "Devious Maids"

Longoria has had to battle criticism from Latinas that her Lifetime show promotes stereotypes. PLUS: Meet the "Devious" amputee.

Are you hate-watching "Mistresses"?

The ABC summer drama could be the new "Smash."

Kurt Sutter: "At this point, I'll kick down the Emmy door any way I f*cking can"

Says the "Sons of Anarchy" creator: "T-Girls, Best Fake Tits, Most Profound Tongue Biting. I'm considering dressing Jax in a fur cap and replacing the Harleys with Golden Unicorns."

"Full House's" Jodie Sweetin is ending her 3rd marriage
The 31-year-old Sweetin has filed for legal separation from her husband and father of her 2-year-old daughter.

Report: There are 146 babies named Khaleesi in the United States

Babies named Khaleesi has jumped 450% since "Game of Thrones" debuted in 2011.

Jurnee Smollett-Bell did her "True Blood" audition from her in-laws' basement in Detroit
She also talks about playing vampire-rights activist Nicole.

Jon Lovitz launching a video podcast

"Lovitz or Leavitz's" 1st guest: Dana Carvey, his "SNL" pal.

Watch Chris O'Dowd take a fly out of his mouth on British TV
O'Dowd was trying to kill the fly while on Graham Norton with Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig.

Why Season 6 was "Mad Men's" best season yet
This was the season that "Mad Men" stopped being a period piece, says Troy Patterson. "Among the signs of artistic growth that mark the show's sixth season as its best to date," he says, "is that it is has stopped using the past as a crutch to prop up its scenarios." PLUS: Hershey's was "thrilled and incredibly flattered" by its cameo, "Mad Men" regressed and became simpler this season, and did the finale reveal America's aversion to telling the truth?

Did Kate Gosselin mock Asians?
The mother of eight half-Korean kids appears to be mocking Asians in a new photo that has surfaced.

Watch Comedy Central's "Drunk History"
The cable network has posted a full episode featuring Dave Grohl, Jack Black, Adam Scott and Bob Odenkirk.

Has "Duck Dynasty" jumped the shark?

The reality sitcom seems to be running out of ideas.

"Suits" casts Harvey's dad

"Rescue Me's" James McCaffrey will guest-star on the USA series.

Bethanny Frankel's estranged husband doesn't want their daughter on her talk show

It's the latest sticking point in their divorce battle.

What if John Lennon auditioned for "The Voice"?
He'd probably fail.

How Mt. Airy, North Carolina transformed itself into "Mayberry"

When textile plants shut down, the town of less than 10,000 transformed itself in 1990 into an "Andy Griffith Show" tourist destination.

HBO's "Luck" lives on in the art world

An artist teamed with a "Luck" writer for a web series based on the artist's "Luck"-inspired sketches.

Nudity wasn't part of the original "Naked and Afraid" plan
"Well, we didn't develop the show to be exploitative, ever," says the Discovery show's producer. "We always developed it with our filter being “how do we protect and it make it a pure survival experience?"

"The Descendants" casts Julianne Nicholson
The "Boardwalk Empire" and "Law & Order: CI" alum will play the female lead on the Sundance series.

"Under the Dome" hooks you in -- CBS is on to something
The Stephen King-Steven Spielberg limited series lives up to the hype with its "intriguing as hell" first hour, especially since CBS went big to make it an event, unlike many other summer series. PLUS: The first episode is so addictive it'll be hard to not watch the 2nd episode, and we've seen this story before.

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Watch: Wale previews Nicki Minaj and Jerry Seinfeld collaborations on video
Credit: Atlantic Records

Watch: Wale previews Nicki Minaj and Jerry Seinfeld collaborations on video

Check out the clip for 'LoveHate Thing' feat. Sam Drew

Wale's new album "The Gifted" -- out tomorrow -- is looking to be fairly eclectic. As evidenced by three recent videos, he's gone the ratchet route, the comedy route and the soulful route.

We'll start with the first, the loveable and articulately cross-bred "LoveHate Thing," featuring crooner Sam Drew. The singer is the anchor for this Wale's cool-headed sonics and personal reflections.

And check out the Bruno Marsian influence on that instrumental ensemble:

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Michelle Trachtenberg as Marina Oswald in "Killing Kennedy"

 Michelle Trachtenberg as Marina Oswald in "Killing Kennedy"

Credit: NatGeo

Photos: Michelle Trachtenberg, Rothhaar as Marina and Lee Harvey Oswald

How do they compare to Rob Lowe and Ginnifer Goodwin's Kennedys?

We've already seen early images of Rob Lowe as JFK and Ginnifer Goodwin as Jacqueline Kennedy in NatGeo's "Killing Kennedy" (currently filming), and now we have the other couple at the center of the story -- Michelle Trachtenberg as Marina Oswald and Will Rothhaar as Lee Harvey Oswald. Do you think they measure up? 

See the images below: 

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<p>'I Am Legend' may have been his most frequently-filmed story, but his legacy is so much richer and deeper than that.</p>

'I Am Legend' may have been his most frequently-filmed story, but his legacy is so much richer and deeper than that.

Credit: Warner Bros

Remembering the legacy of Richard Matheson, creator of 'I Am Legend'

It is sad to see him go, but he leaves behind an amazing body of work

Richard Matheson was a giant.

We don't have writers like him today because we don't have any idea what to do with them. Matheson was born in 1926, and as much as any author in any genre, his work defined and reflected the tumult of the 20th Century. He had a remarkable voice as a storyteller, and it should come as no shock to anyone to see the laundry list of authors who claim that he was their primary influence.

First published in 1950, Matheson was on fire from the moment he was introduced to a readership. I can't imagine how amazing it must have been to be part of the The Southern California Writing Group in those days, with members like Matheson, Charles Beaumont, William Nolan, Ray Bradbury, and George Clayton Johnson, all masters in their own right.

As much as Rod Serling, Matheson was responsible for what we think of today as the "Twilight Zone" style of storytelling. Short, effective pieces that immediately create a sense of time and place and voice, and which end with a punch of some kind. Matheson had a real gift for creating a fantastic scenario and then somehow finding the very identifiable reality within that.

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<p>Skillet's &quot;Rise&quot;</p>

Skillet's "Rise"

Credit: Atlantic Records

Album Review: Skillet's 'Rise' burns with intensity

From sin to salvation in 12 hard-churning songs

With “Rise,” platinum Christian hard rock bank Skillet has its eyes set on creating its own rock opera a la Green Day’s “American Idiot.”

Lead singer John Cooper, who comes off like a raspy Chester Bennington from Linkin Park, told Billboard  that the album, out Tuesday (25) is filtered through the eyes of a teenage “coming into adulthood and he’s faced by the horrors that we see every day — floods, bombings, earthquakes school shootings... It’s about his path to salvation and wanting to be significant in some way.”  Along the way, he is bombarded ceaselessly with images and feelings  of horror, cynicism, and despair.

The album opens with the title track, which serves as a call to arms: “The time to change it all... united and fight to make a better life,” Cooper screams.  “Tonight we rise,” he says in a clever take off on the more traditional “tonight we ride.” As he and drummer/vocalist Jen Ledger trade off vocals (as they do on several tunes), the song takes on a Paramore-like feel.

At the end of the song, we hear a 911 call from a teacher telling the operator “there’s a guy here with a gun,” as she tells the children to take cover, as well as news reports about economic failure. It’s meant to reflect the stress of the times (our protagonist’s father is also telling him he’ll never amount to anything), but the 911 call  just sounds exploitive.

The aggressive album vacillates between the full-throttled angst and anger that comes with being a teen, such as on the hardest-rocking song on the album, single “Sick of It,” and songs that double as traditional love songs or about one’s relationship with God or Jesus, such as on “Fire and Fury”:  “Destiny’s gotta hold on me/I guess I never knew love like love knows me/I need to feel you here with me/I will burn/I will die for you.” It’s to Skillet’s credit that the songs never sound watered down,when it comes to faith, but are universal enough in their appeal to speak to whomever is listening.

Skillet goes into overdrive on the  tremendously-busy “Not Gonna Die.” Strings are furiously played, drums stomp, all in service of trying to replicate the urgency of the “stand and fight forever” lyrics. Fans of Evanescence will appreciate the “Wake Me Up” feel of the tune.

The one-two punch continues with “Circus For a Psycho,” an unrelenting slab of angst that opens with an Yngwie Malmsteen-like guitar lightning round that threads its way through the song.

From there, the tension breaks into ballad, “American Noise,” one of the album’s strongest cuts, and a welcome relief from the bombast. If we were still in a vinyl era, “American Noise” would start side two.  After reaching a breakdown, the rocking isn’t over, but the desire to find some relief and take back some power starts to prevail.

On the swaggering “My Religion,” Cooper declares, “Who’s going to make me whole/nobody but you... you’re the only sanctuary that I know,” before declaring that he needs no steeple or priest or pew, in a song that some will see as heretic, while others will see as a direct profession of faith. The inclusion of “Amazing Grace” is a nice touch.

By the  time Cooper and Ledger are singing “Down on my knees, you are what I believe” on closing tune, “What I Believe,” there’s no doubt that one journey has ended, while another is just beginning.

Skillet, which hasn’t released an album since 2009’s platinum “Awake,” takes an all-in approach to “Rise,” and their level of commitment is admirable. Every note of the Howard Benson-production  feels like it is there to convey an emotion and there is a laudable sense of in-the-moment intensity that makes up for any of the overwrought moments.


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