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<p>J.J. Abrams</p>

J.J. Abrams

Credit: Matt Sayles/AP

J.J. Abrams briefly discusses the end of 'Fringe'

Original co-creator talks about what he knew from the beginning
You probably know this already, but it's worth a reminder: J.J. Abrams is a busy guy.
 
In addition to working in post on his upcoming "Star Trek" sequel, Abrams' Bad Robot TV shingle has a busy roster that has made him a surprisingly regular presence at the Television Critics Association press tour this week, popping up to panel NBC's "Revolution" and dropping by FOX's TCA party to support the end of "Fringe."
 
Abrams was one of the three original creators of "Fringe," along with Bob Orci and Alex Kurtzman, and he has remained a strongly interested creative force through the five-season run which will be wrapping up on January 18.
 
Along with a fellow reporter -- Credit on the non-HitFix questions to Will Harris -- I got a quick two-on-one chat with Abrams on Tuesday (January 8) night, talking for five minutes about the conclusion of "Fringe" and his reflections on the sci-fi drama's 100-episode run.
 
Click through for the full conversation.
 
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<p>&quot;Keep the Lights On&quot; was the one film to score in both the Film of the Year and LGBT Film of the Year categories.</p>

"Keep the Lights On" was the one film to score in both the Film of the Year and LGBT Film of the Year categories.

Credit: Music Box Films

'Les Mis' leads Gay and Lesbian Critics nods

Other nominees range from 'Argo' to 'Pitch Perfect'

The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics' Association has added its list of nominees to the very tall pile, and in a wholly non-stereotypical turn of events, "Les Misérables" leads the film field with four citations, including one particularly likely to aggravate its detractors -- for Visually Striking Film of the Year. "Argo," "Beasts of the Southern Wild" and "Lincoln" join"Les Mis" in the top category, but there's more individuality to be found in the more specialized races, where the pleasingly alliterative trio of "The Perks of Being  a Wallflower," "The Paperboy" and "Pitch Perfect" all feature, while "Keep the Lights On" scored in both the Film of the Year and LGBT Film of the Year fields. Full list of film nominees below; everything else at The Circuit.

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<p>This photo tells you everything you need to know about the relationship between Johnny Knoxville and Arnold Schwarzenegger in the new action film 'The Last Stand'</p>

This photo tells you everything you need to know about the relationship between Johnny Knoxville and Arnold Schwarzenegger in the new action film 'The Last Stand'

Credit: HitFix

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Johnny Knoxville discuss their unlikely partnership in 'The Last Stand'

Everything about this makes me smile

I've been interviewing Johnny Knoxville for what seems like a decade now, and living in LA, I find that I run into him on a fairly regular basis just out and about.  Perhaps because of the hyper-casual nature of "Jackass," he never seemed like a celebrity, but more like a friend who just happens to have a TV show.  That's part of the appeal of that program, and Knoxville is one of the easiest guys to talk to about his work that I've ever met.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, on the other hand, is someone I've watched my whole life but who I never had reason to meet until last week.  Then, in one quick burst of three days, I rode a tank that he was driving, saw his new film "The Last Stand," and then sat down to interview him for the first time.  I could have happily spent a half hour talking to him by himself, but of course, that's not how these press days are set up.

Instead, you walk in, you get your four or five minutes, and then you're done.  And in this case, I had two people in one room.  Thankfully, the pairing of Knoxville and Schwarzenegger is just weird enough to be really entertaining, and the film they both star in surprised me enormously.

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<p>Jack Huston, Bella Heathcote, and John Magaro all co-star in David Chase's 'Not Fade Away'</p>

Jack Huston, Bella Heathcote, and John Magaro all co-star in David Chase's 'Not Fade Away'

Credit: HitFix

The young cast of David Chase's 'Not Fade Away' discuss their rock'n'roll education

Beatles or Stones? It's still one of the most pressing questions in life

If David Chase never worked again, his legacy would be completely assured because of the seismic impact that "The Sopranos" had on culture.  That's got to be an interesting feeling for an artist, knowing that you've created something that will endure, and it's the ultimate goal of creating and sharing work with other people.  You hope you'll be able to reach the largest possible audience, and when you do it and you see that work ripple through the rest of pop culture, it's a best case scenario.

Whatever you would expect as a follow-up to something like "The Sopranos," Chase had something else in mind, and his debut feature film is now playing in limited release.  It's a gentle, heartfelt look back at the '60s and the way rock'n'roll changed the world, told on a personal scale.

John Magaro stars in the film as Douglas, a kid who has his world turned upside down by the British Invasion.  He sees rock'n'roll as his way out of the life that he was born into, and more importantly, he sees it as a way of winning the woman he wants, played by Bella Heathcote.  It is a small personal story, filled with specific observations, and it feels nakedly autobiographical.  Jack Huston co-stars as another member of the band that Douglas starts, and when I sat down with Magaro, Heathcote, and Huston, I was curious about their own backgrounds in music.

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Ricky Gervais

 Ricky Gervais

Credit: AP Photo

Press Tour: Ricky Gervais insists quirky 'Derek' is a 'show about kindness'

'The Office' mastermind says he chose Muppets over the Golden Globes this year

"The Office" mastermind Ricky Gervais came to press tour to talk to journalists about "Derek," his new "bittersweet comedy drama" for NetFlix. The show is a mockumentary following the misfit Derek as he works at an underfunded senior living facility. Fans of the more acid "The Office" and "Extras" may be taken aback by the poignancy of the new show, a shift the star noted. "There's some more dramatic moments than 'The Office' or 'Extras,' maybe, and probably more, it's sweeter… [it] still has the existentialism of 'The Office,' but here it's not about being 30 [years old], it's about being 80 and 90, and the residents are 80 and 90 and are in homes themselves, so it has that reality. It's very funny, it is a sitcom, and a lot of it is plotted and character-led, but it's set in an old people's home, so they die sometimes."

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<p>The &quot;Arrested Development&quot;&nbsp;gang back in their FOX&nbsp;glory days.</p>

The "Arrested Development" gang back in their FOX glory days.

Credit: FOX

'Arrested Development' cast reunites for Netflix: Press tour live-blog

What have the Bluths been up to since 2006? And what will episodes look like?

Welcome to one of the most anticipated events of the 2013 Television Critics Association winter press tour: the reunion of virtually the entire cast of "Arrested Development" to discuss the show's resurrection on Netflix with 14 episodes debuting in May (date TBD).

We're curious to hear from creator Mitch Hurwitz what the Bluths have been up to, what format these episodes (which will all be released on the same day) will take, what took so long to make this happen, and a lot more. And I imagine one or two people will accuse Michael Cera of holding the whole thing up.

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2013 Oscar Nominations Final Predictions

2013 Oscar Nominations Final Predictions

HitFix's pundits make their final choices

We're halfway there.  Well, we're halfway there as of Thursday morning.

Seth MacFarlane and Emma "already hunting for an Oscar" Stone will announce the nominations for the 85th Academy Awards at the crack of dawn. "Lincoln," "Zero Dark Thirty," "Les Miserables," "Life of Pi" and "Argo" should all be rewarded with a slew of nominations.  The rest?  Needless to say, there are some nervous potential nominees and consultants today.  With that in mind, Kris Tapley, Guy Lodge and I have made our final (and we mean final) nominations predictions which you can compare in the gallery story below.  Some intriguing observations:

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<p>Paul N.J. Ottosson at the 2009 Academy Awards, with his two Oscars for &quot;The Hurt Locker.&quot;</p>

Paul N.J. Ottosson at the 2009 Academy Awards, with his two Oscars for "The Hurt Locker."

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

Tech Support: Paul N.J. Ottosson on the subtly explosive soundscapes of 'Zero Dark Thirty'

The Oscar-winning sound designer takes an organic approach to action

There's a standard line in awards-watching circles that voters often confuse Best Sound with Most Sound, but yesterday's nominations for the Cinema Audio Society awards didn't quite bear that out. Nestled between the thundering action of “The Hobbit” and “Skyfall,” and the showy live-vocal capture of “Les Mis,” we had the soft, chamber-y echoes of “Lincoln” and, most interestingly of all, “Zero Dark Thirty” – a film that takes a refreshingly understated sonic approach to territory Hollywood tends to fill with cacophonous fireworks.

This isn't the first time Swedish-born sound designer Paul N.J. Ottosson has been recognized for his muscular-but-delicate artistry on a Kathryn Bigelow thriller – three years ago, with collaborator Ray Beckett, he won the CAS Award, not to mention two Oscars, for his unnerving soundscapes on “The Hurt Locker.” That film, with its narrative expressly based around explosives, was a sound man's playground, compared to which “Zero Dark Thirty” concentrates its pyrotechnics in shorter bursts.

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<p>Bruno Mars</p>

Bruno Mars

Credit: AP Photo

Bruno Mars locks Taylor Swift out of No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100

Macklemore & Lewis score their first top 5 hit

Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out Of Heaven” remained locked into the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for the fifth week.

The tally makes “Locked” Mars’ longest stint at No 1, surpassing the four weeks that both “Just The Way You Are” and “Grenade” spent at the top, according to Billboard.

Last week, “Locked” looked like it would be fending off a charge at the top spot from Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble.” Instead, Swift’s song drops 2-3, swapping places with Rihanna’s Diamonds, which rises 3-2.  The Lumineers’ “Ho Hey” stays at No. 4.

The star of the week is Macklemore & Lewis’s “Thrift Shop,” which leaps 10-5. While the rap song is gaining at radio, its high chart position has been propelling largely by digital sales and streaming.

American Idol” winner Phillip Phillips’ “Home” continues to have a healthy life, rising 6-9 in its 28th week on the chart. Justin Bieber’s “Beauty and a Beat,” featuring Nicki Minaj, falls 5-7.

After loitering in the top 15 for five weeks, Will.i.am’s “Scream & Shout,” featuring Britney Spears, breaks into the Top 10, yelling its way 12-8. The tune marks Will.i.am’s first Top 10 as a lead solo artist.

Maroon 5’s “One More Night” slides 8-9, while Flo Rida’s “I Cry” rises 11-10.

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<p>Timothy Olyphant and Patton Oswalt in a scene from the &quot;Justified&quot;&nbsp;season 4 premiere.</p>

Timothy Olyphant and Patton Oswalt in a scene from the "Justified" season 4 premiere.

Credit: FX

Press Tour: 'Justified' changes things up for season 4

Showrunner didn't want 'just another big bad'

Before the new season of "Justified" debuted last night (here's my premiere review), I wrote that showrunner Graham Yost tries to reinvent the show each season, this time turning the show into something of a murder mystery. When Yost came with his cast to press tour today, he confirmed that this was a big goal for season 4.

"We really thought that would be a fun thing to try this year as opposed to just another big bad," Yost said.

(Note: some incredibly vague spoilers for season 4 follow; don't read if you don't want to know even the structure of the year.)

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<p>Justin Bieber's &quot;Believe Acoustic&quot;</p>

Justin Bieber's "Believe Acoustic"

Justin Bieber's 'Believe Acoustic' to include three new songs

We're now supposed to call him The Prince of Pop, BTW

Justin Bieber’s “Believe Acoustic,” out Jan. 29, will include three previously unreleased tracks, as well as new versions of eight of the tunes originally released on 2012’s “Believe.”

The new songs are “Yellow Raincoat,” produced by Bieber and Tom Strahle; “I Would,” produced by Da Internz and Aaron Michael Cox, and “Nothing Like Us,” written and produced by Bieber.

The collection also includes acoustic versions of “Boyfriend,” “As Long As You Love Me,” “Beauty And A Beat,” “All Around The World,” “Take You,” “Be Alright” and “She Don’t Like The Lights.” There is also a “live studio version” of “Fall.”

Bieber’s label is now officially branding him “The Prince of Pop,” obviously in hopes that it will stick as did Michael Jackson’s “The King of Pop.”  We’re not begrudging Bieber his success and long may he reign, but we find the bestowing of the title in some kind of official way (we bet it is now in all of his press releases) a little obnoxious and certainly premature.

And just a reminder, as we reported yesterday,  the Prince of Pop will serve as the host and musical guest on “Saturday Night Live” on Feb. 9.

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<p>&quot;Lincoln&quot;</p>

"Lincoln"

Credit: DreamWorks Pictures

'Lincoln' wins with Iowa critics

The film won Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor

"Lincoln" has picked up a third Best Picture critics prize, landing the Iowa Film Critics Association award for the year's best film. Steven Spielberg, Daniel Day-Lewis and Tommy Lee Jones were also singled out for the biopic, while Jessica Chastain ("Zero Dark Thirty") and Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables") rounded out the acting honors. Check out the full list below and keep track of it all via The Circuit.

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