Latest Blog Posts

<p>Will the gang from &quot;It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia&quot;&nbsp;be at the center of an FX&nbsp;spin-off channel?</p>

Will the gang from "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" be at the center of an FX spin-off channel?

Credit: FX

FX x FX = Twice as good? Or half?

Reports say cable channel will split its comedy and drama series across two different channels

When it comes to original programming, FX is one of the most consistent, entertaining channels in all of television. But will two FX channels be better than one?

According to several published reports (like this one in Broadcasting & Cable), Fox Networks is on the verge of changing its Fox Soccer channel into an FX spin-off network, tentatively titled FXX, with a focus on both comedy and a slightly younger audience to differentiate itself from FX.

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<p>Metallica's James Hetfield</p>

Metallica's James Hetfield

Credit: AP Photo

Metallica documentary-drama 'Through the Never' due in August

Dane DeHaan starring in concert-led 3D feature, with a 're-opening' of Picturehouse

Metallica's 3D film will not only be a documentary, but part-drama as well. Dane DeHaan ("Lawless," "Chronicle") will be co-starring beside the metal band in "Metallica Through the Never," due August 9,  as "a young band crew member who is sent out on an urgent mission while the band is playing a rousing live set in front of a sold-out crowd and unexpectedly finds his world turned completely upside down."

As previously reported, Nimród Antal ("Kontroll") is at the helm of the film, which is named for one of the legendary crew's songs (below). The concert footage was shot in August at a Metallica show in Vancouver, and it will get released via Picturehouse, the movie distributor that has described the "Never" release as a "re-opening" of its doors.

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<p>Blake Shelton</p>

Blake Shelton

Credit: NBC

Blake Shelton and Kenny Chesney have new albums this spring

They join Tim McGraw for a male country star motherlode

It’s turning into a banner year for releases from male country superstars.

Kenny Chesney and Blake Shelton will join Tim McGraw with new albums out over the next few months.

Chesney’s new set is still untitled, but will be released on April 30.  He’ll begin touring behind it, or actually, in front of it, on March 16 in Tampa on the “No Shoes Nation” tour.

Blake Shelton will take some time off from “The Voice”  this summer for the "Ten Times Crazier" tour, but first, he’ll have a new album as well. The album is still untitled and the release date has only been narrowed down to “this spring,” according to his label. However, the first single, “Sure Be Cool If You Did,” is already climbing the country charts and is his fastest rising single so far.

McGraw's album, "Two Lanes of Freedom," comes out Feb. 19.

Shelton’s tour will start after the next season of “The Voice” concludes. It will kick off July 19 in Virginia Beach, Va. at the Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach amphitheater (that rolls right off the tongue, doesn’t it).

Below are tour dates for Shelton. Easton Corbin and Jana Kramer will open.  For Chesney’s tour dates, go here, and for McGraw’s tour, which was announced earlier this week, go here.

BLAKE SHELTON'S 2013 TEN TIMES CRAZIER TOUR DATES:

7/19     Virginia Beach, VA             Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach

7/20     Bristow, VA                           Jiffy Lube Live

7/21     Wantagh, NY                       Nikon at Jones Beach Theater

7/26     St. Louis, MO                       Verizon Wireless Amphitheater

7/27     Noblesville, IN                     Klipsch Music Center

7/28     Cincinnati, OH                     Riverbend Music Center

8/1       Cuyahoga Falls, OH           Blossom Music Center

8/2       Burgettstown, PA                First Niagara Pavilion

8/3       Tinley Park, IL                      First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre

8/9       Raleigh, NC                         Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion

8/10     Camden, NJ                         Susquehanna Bank Center

8/11     Bethel, NY                            Bethel Woods Center for the Arts

8/29     Atlanta, GA                           Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood

8/30     Tampa, FL                            1-800-ASK GARY Amphitheatre

8/31     West Palm Beach, FL         Cruzan Amphitheatre

9/5       Holmdel, NJ                          PNC Bank Arts Center

9/6       Hartford, CT                          Comcast Theatre

9/7       Mansfield, MA                      Comcast Center

9/12     St. Paul, MN                         Xcel Energy Center

9/13     Milwaukee, WI                     Bradley Center

9/14     Auburn Hills, MI                  The Palace of Auburn Hills

9/19     Charleston, WV                   Charleston Civic Center

9/20     Columbus, OH                     Nationwide Arena

9/21     Lexington, KY                      Rupp Arena

9/26     Charlottesville, VA              John Paul Jones Arena

9/27     Knoxville, TN                       Thompson-Boling Arena

9/28     Nashville, TN                       Bridgestone Arena

10/3     Kansas City, MO                 Sprint Center

10/4     Tulsa, OK                              BOK Arena

10/5     Wichita, KS                          INTRUST Bank Arena          

 

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"Top Chef: Seattle"

 "Top Chef: Seattle"

Credit: AP Photo

'Top Chef: Seattle' recap: 'Restaurant Wars'

Kristen and Sheldon duke it out

It's time for Restaurant Wars! As Stefan says, this challenge is always a bleep show, and almost immediately I get the impression this episode will be no different than previous seasons. Stefan and Josh know nothing about Sheldon's Filipino cuisine, and Kristen has to put up with Josie. This is, I think, the greater disadvantage. 

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<p>Sure, I could have found and printed a picture of what Jessica Chastain is looking at in this scene in 'Mama,' but what fun would that be?</p>

Sure, I could have found and printed a picture of what Jessica Chastain is looking at in this scene in 'Mama,' but what fun would that be?

Credit: Universal Pictures

Review: Del Toro-produced 'Mama' features a heartbroken monster and some serious mood

A sad and somber ghost story features strong design and performances

One thing becomes clear if you watch the horror films that Guillermo Del Toro is involved in:  more often than not, he sympathizes with the monsters more than any of the "regular" humans who appear in the films.  No doubt that was one of the things that drew him to "Mama," a project that began as a short film and that is now a full-length feature starring Jessica Chastain, opening in theaters everywhere on Friday.  While the titular specter is creepy and at times very threatening, there is a sadness that ultimately defines who or what "Mama" really is, and that seems more important than the scares.

It's an interesting choice considering how often modern horror films seem to exist merely to service cheap shock gags, but Del Toro is nothing if not a lover of the classic tropes of the genre.  His movie "The Devil's Backbone" is a good example of a ghost story that has more on its mind than just SCARE SCARE SCARE SCARE, and his movie "Pan's Labyrinth" may include monsters and supernatural landscapes, but it's hardly an empty thrill ride.  And while Del Toro is not the primary author of "Mama," his name is certainly being used prominently to help sell this to the public because Universal believes (correctly, I suspect) that Del Toro has managed to define a certain kind of horror that he is associated with.  I didn't love "Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark," but I think it's another solid example of the sensibility that Del Toro responds to in other filmmakers.  In that case, he and Matthew Robbins wrote a script that Troy Nixey ended up directing, and you can definitely feel his influence in the film's DNA.

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"American Idol"

 "American Idol"

Credit: Fox

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 12 Premiere Blog - New York Auditions

Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban join the judges' table

First off, Dan is fine. He was planning to be with all of you today, but alas, it was not to be. He called me shortly after he landed in Park City, Utah (where he's on deck to cover Sundance) and asked me to pinch hit, as the wi-fi there was on the fritz. There are very few things that can keep Dan from his appointed rounds (he's like a postal carrier that way), but an inability to actually file a story will take any reporter down at the knees. To complicate matters, I was in Santa Clarita visiting the set of "Vegas" at the time, so I'm also coming to the party a little late (thus, the lack of live blogging). My apologies in advance if this seems a little harried because, well... it is. So let's get on with the show!

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"American Horror Story"

 "American Horror Story"

Credit: FX

'American Horror Story' recap: 'Continuum'

Life after Briarcliff is dreamy for Kit, Grace and Alma - for a while

We're closing in on the end of the second season of "American Horror Story," and I'm still not sure how all of the different threads of this story can be satisfactorily tied up, though we do get a hint this week of one big, ugly potential resolution ahead for at least two characters. Of course, there's still plenty of time for everyone to be killed off in, say, a raging flu epidemic (topical, if not dramatic) or an alien invasion, so never say never with this show. 

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<p>A selection of Eiko Ishioka's spectacular threads from &quot;Mirror Mirror.&quot;</p>

A selection of Eiko Ishioka's spectacular threads from "Mirror Mirror."

Credit: Relativity Media

My favorite Oscar nomination: Eiko Ishioka for 'Mirror Mirror'

The Japanese costume genius received her second nod a year after her death

Perhaps not everyone feels this way, but I’ve always seen a gratifying kind of dignity in films nominated for a single Academy Award. Granted, for some contenders it can be a disappointing underachievement. For other, more marginalized films, however, it can be a heartening sign of individual voting branches paying careful attention to work that excelled in their own craft, and not just rubber-stamping the buzz-hogging juggernauts.

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<p>The 'American Idol' crew</p>

The 'American Idol' crew

Credit: FOX

What to expect from the three new 'American Idol' judges tonight

Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban each bring different skills and styles

The new season of “American Idol” premieres tonight on Fox and with it, the debut of three new judges, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban.

The trio join Randy Jackson, the only judge who has been with the show since its 2002 launch. Here’s what we expect from each of the judges. Though their roles will morph as the season plays out, we have a pretty good idea how each will position him- or herself.

*Mariah Carey:
Look for Mimi to put aside the diva-tude and step into the role of earth mother. No, she’s not going to go all hippie on us, but look for the mom of Moroccan and Monroe to show how kind and compassionate she can be as she treats all of the contestants with a little gentle tough love.  As the panel’s biggest superstar and biggest voice, expect her to offer the most valid critiques of the contestants’ voices, especially for the singers who exhibit anywhere near her tremendous range. But pity the misguided contestant who thinks he/she can impress Ms. Carey by trying to take on one of her songs and hit her calling-all-dogs high notes.

*Nicki Minaj: Minaj has the finest line to walk: she’s doing this for the money and the exposure, but she can’t abandon whatever perceived edge she still has (not that some profane mixtape won’t cure that). Expect her to celebrate the oddballs, the misfits that the other judges may not initially embrace. She’s also the judge most likely to take in the whole package, as opposed to just the vocal performance, since she is such a visual artist.

*Keith Urban:
  Urban has the most to gain here. A superstar in the country world, he’s best known to the rest of the world as Nicole Kidman’s husband. If he plays this right, he could have the same kind of mainstream breakthrough as Blake Shelton from “The Voice.”  Urban will be unfailingly kind, but he will be firm and direct in his critiques. He’ll look for overall musicality, given his excellent guitar chops and songwriting ability, and a feel for someone’s authenticity. He’s talked about wanting to show the contestants how to strip down to their core, so look for him to stress to contestants to pack up any bells and whistles and concentrate on the basics. Urban was a judge last year on the Australian version of ‘The Voice,” so also look for him to try to mentor the contestants just as much as he judges them.

Who do you think will be the best judge?

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<p>Dan Bakkedahl, DJ&nbsp;Qualls and Jim Jefferies in &quot;Legit.&quot;</p>

Dan Bakkedahl, DJ Qualls and Jim Jefferies in "Legit."

Credit: FX

Review: Jim Jefferies tries to go 'Legit' in warm new FX comedy

Australian comic helps out a disabled friend

"Change is good, you know?" comedian Jim Jefferies announces early in his new FX series "Legit," which debuts tomorrow night at 10:30. "Can't keep going on like this. I think I'd like to have kids."

Jim sounds sincere as he explains this to his friend Steve (Dan Bakkedahl), but quickly adds that he doesn't want to get married — that, in an ideal world, he would meet a woman, get her pregnant, and she would stick around long enough to get the baby through the sleepless nights/dirty diaper phase before conveniently dying.

"That would really be best for everyone," he explains to a horrified Steve, who tries to work around his friend's narcissism by suggesting, "My therapist says if you want to get out of your head, you do something nice for someone else."

"Legit" is the story of a selfish pig who decides to do something nice for someone else, but it's not a fairy tale. Jim does the right things, but inevitably for the wrong reasons, and always with a twisted logic that makes it hard to see any of his actions as entirely generous.

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<p>Bruno Mars</p>

Bruno Mars

Credit: AP Photo

Bruno Mars tops Billboard Hot 100 again and Justin Timberlake debuts

Where does 'Suit & Tie' enter the chart?

Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out Of Heaven” locks the competition out of the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for the sixth consecutive week. But next week it will face serious threats for No. 1 from not only Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, but Justin Timberlake, as well.

The track, from “Unorthodox Jukebox,” holds off a charge from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s “Thrift Shop,” which jumps 5- 2 on the Hot 100. Sales and airplay propel the title to No. 1 on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, where it knocks Rihanna’s “Diamonds” out of No. 1 after 14 weeks.  “Thrift Shop” is also No. 1 on Digital Songs, making it the first independently-distributed tune to top that chart since Artists for Haiti’s “We Are The World 25: For Haiti” in March 2010, according to Billboard.

The Lumineers’ “Ho Hey” rises 4-3, trading places with Taylor Swift’s “I Knew Your Were Trouble.” Rihanna’s “Diamonds” falls 2-5.
Will.i.am and Britney Spears’ “Scream & Shout” rises 8-6. Swedish House Mafia earns its first Top 10 with “Don’t You Worry Child” featuring John Martin surging 11-7. Justin Bieber’s “Beauty and a Beat” featuring Nicki Minaj slides 7-8, Phillip Phillips’ “Home” slips 6-9 and Flo Rida’s “I Cry” holds at No. 10.

So how does Justin Timberlake’s new single, “Suit & Tie” fare? The track debuts at No. 84 based solely on two days of airplay. The tally does not include the 350,000 downloads the track is expected to sell in its first week of release. That’s because Nielsen Soundscan tracks sales from Monday-Sunday, so this week’s sales tracking was completed by the time the track went on sale at midnight Sunday. Conversely, radio information runs Wednesday-Tuesday, so this week’s chart includes the first two days’ worth of radio play.  Billboard is predicting that “Suit & Tie” could leap into the Top 5 next week.

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Listen: Samuel L. Jackson sings Taylor Swift's 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together'
Credit: AP Photo

Listen: Samuel L. Jackson sings Taylor Swift's 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together'

Instantly qualifies for best cover ever

This may be the best cover ever: Samuel L. Jackson took a go at Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” when he appeared on U.K.  radio station Capital FM recently.

[More after the jump...]

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