Latest Blog Posts

<p>&quot;Chicago&quot;</p>

"Chicago"

Credit: Miramax Films

Oscar telecast to feature tribute to movie musicals of the last decade

But it's a missed opportunity to showcase the form's evolution

Academy Awards telecast producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have already announced plans, in the 50th year of James Bond, to offer 007 a tribute at this year's show. It dovetails nicely with the release of "Skyfall," and I imagine the two were giddy that Adele was nominated for her theme song. Indeed, they were quick to announce that she'll be on the show to perform the tune.

Today it's been announced that the Oscarcast will feature a tribute to three movie musicals of the last decade. That would be Broadway hits-turned Oscar nominees "Chicago," "Dreamgirls" and "Les Misérables." It's a shame they felt a need to limit it to a decade, though. Why not an expansion of considerations for the musical in the modern era? Then you could include films like "Moulin Rouge!," "Dancer in the Dark," "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," etc.

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<p>&quot;Girls&quot;&nbsp;stars Lena Dunham, Zosia Mamet, Jemima Kirke and Allison Williams will be back for a third season.</p>

"Girls" stars Lena Dunham, Zosia Mamet, Jemima Kirke and Allison Williams will be back for a third season.

Credit: HBO

HBO renews 'Girls' for season 3

Lena Dunham comedy will get 12 episodes next time around

It's official: HBO has ordered a third season of "Girls."

The comedy's producers have been talking for a while like the third season was already a done deal — earlier this week, star/creator/producer Lena Dunham told Alec Baldwin on a podcast that the third season would film in some of the studio space "30 Rock" was vacating — but the actual announcement didn't come until this afternoon.

By conventional ratings measures, "Girls" doesn't look so spectacular, as the season 2 premiere only drew 866,000 for its first telecast, and only 1.6 million viewers over multiple airings that night. But in total, across many platforms (including HBOGo), more than 3.8 million have watched that episode so far. Besides, HBO doesn't really rely on conventional ratings measures — or on ratings at all — but on things that will drive subscriptions, enhance the company's brand, etc. And "Girls" has been a huge critical success, has won several awards (including a pair of Golden Globes earlier this month) and is a show that people are talking about — whether they like it or hate it.

The third season will consist of 12 episodes, as opposed to the 10 for the first two seasons. The third episode of season 2 airs Sunday night at 9 on HBO.

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<p>Pam (Jenna Fischer)&nbsp;gets upset on &quot;The Office.&quot;</p>

Pam (Jenna Fischer) gets upset on "The Office."

Credit: NBC

Review: 'The Office - 'Customer Loyalty'

Jim and Pam's argument leads to a major change for the series

A review of last night's "The Office" coming up just as soon as I crack the Dunder Code...

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<p>Jack McBrayer as Kenneth in &quot;30 Rock.&quot;</p>

Jack McBrayer as Kenneth in "30 Rock."

Credit: NBC

Review: '30 Rock' - 'A Goon's Deed in a Weary World'

Jack, Liz and Kenneth get happy endings in the series' penultimate episode

A review of last night's "30 Rock" coming up just as soon as I've seen the porn version of "Transformers"...

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<p>More of this, please.</p>

More of this, please.

Credit: 20th Century Fox/Lucasfilm

Why JJ Abrams is the right choice for 'Star Wars: Episode VII'

It looks like he's got the job, and that's a good thing

Unsurprisingly, I think it's promising news that JJ Abrams is going to direct "Star Wars: Episode VII."

Since there's no officially confirmation yet and I haven't personally confirmed things with any of the involved parties, I'm taking on faith that Lucas Shaw broke the biggest film news of the very young year.  If his story is accurate, then Abrams has the job.  Done deal.  Signed.  That's the specific language of his story, and the five billion sites that have also "confirmed" the story (ie posted The Wrap's story) are reporting this as done.  Closed.  This is happening.

Okay, so let's take it as 100% accurate right now.  Somewhere in LA, Abrams is wrapping up post-production on "Star Trek Into Darkness," approving FX shots and listening to tweaks on the sound mix and making sure it's as tight as it's going to get, and at the same time, he's got Michael Arndt's treatment (or script pages at this point for all I know) bouncing around in his head, and he's already dreaming about what he's going to do with "Star Wars."

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<p>&quot;Bullet to the Head&quot;</p>

"Bullet to the Head"

Credit: Warner Brothers

Notes from a 'Bullet to the Head' set visit in New Orleans

Sarah Shahi and Jason Momoa discuss star Sylvester Stallone
NEW ORLEANS - Sylvester Stallone can't talk.
 
That's not exactly right. Actually, Sylvester Stallone is an exceptionally good talker and prolific writer. 
 
However, the "Bullet to the Head" star is unable to talk to the group of journalists gathered in the August 2011 heat in the Crescent City to visit the set of his new Walter Hill thriller. 
 
Stallone is busy trying to avoid an explosion, which puts the need or desire to speak with a motley assortment of bloggers in perspective. Dodging this explosion requires quick reactions, strong swimming and powerful lungs.
 
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"The Vampire Diaries"

 "The Vampire Diaries"

Credit: The CW

'The Vampire Diaries' recap: 'Catch Me If You Can'

Rebekah gets Stefan to loosen up - and close his heart

Is anyone wondering if we're really going to see the strange and magical Silas on this show? I realize that his revival is supposed to herald the end times, but I have to say I'm more than a little curious. Of course, not as curious as Professor Shane, and for that reason along I think I can live without seeing Silas ever, simply because I don't want Professor Shane to get his way. On the spectrum of creepy, Shane has turned the dial to eleven, and I'm hoping Bonnie gets wise to him sooner rather than later. After last week's little confession, it was pretty clear he's an Originals groupie in the weirdest possible way. 

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<p>Blur</p>

Blur

Credit: AP Photo

Coachella 2013 lineup announced: Blur, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phoenix

The Stone Roses, the Postal Service, the xx, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and more

One of the biggest and earliest festivals in the country has made its lineup known: Coachella has tapped Blur, the Stone Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phoenix, the xx, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the Postal Service as its headlining acts.

The organizers behind the 2013 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival Tweeted their poster for the double-weekend event. It runs April 12-14 and April 19-21 at the Empire Polo grounds in Indio, Calif. Tickets are on sale now.

Among the other big names are Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Jurassic 5, Modest Mouse, Sigur Ros, New Order, Hot Chip, Vampire Weekend, Social Distortion, the Wu-Tang Clan, Grizzly Bear and Lou Reed.

A few notes on this lineup:

  1. Red Hot Chili Peppers headlined a number of big festivals in 2012 -- including Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits -- so it's a little surprising to see them here for 2013.
  2. Looks like the Wu-Tang Clan has found dates that work for everyone. What's the wager that all members will be in attendance?
  3. Modest Mouse's appearance here is a pleasant surprise: they hit a couple of coastal fests in 2011 and 2012, but with no album in tow. This headlining appearance may indicate activity in the months ahead, as far as new material is concerned.
  4. We already knew that the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Vampire Weekend and Phoenix had new efforts coming, but how about that La Roux? LA ROUX? Get excited, people, there may be your new summer jam coming...
  5. Both Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds AND Grinderman made the marquee, with Cave apparently pulling quadruple duty over the weekends. It was in December 2011 that the band intimated that "Grinderman 2" and its subsequent tour was the end of that band, but now that assertion is effectively proven wrong.
  6. Sigur Ros announced just today on Reddit AMA that they have a new album coming, so not another Jonsi record. Which is just fine: the solo artist and his band have proven live concert imagination, so this large-scale, large stage show should be beautiful.
  7. Jurassic 5 split in 2007, so this reunion is pretty notable. Cut Chemist was the first to cut ties in 2006, so let's see what he and others bring to the table.
  8. How to Destroy Angels is on here -- not Nine Inch Nails. Not shocking, but we know that Trent Reznor is committed to that project at least through the spring.
  9. I'm kind of surprised that solo electronica/EDM/DJ artists aren't the marquee names. We're so used to AVICII, Skrillex, deadmau5, Calvin Harris, David Guetta and others dominating mainstream festivals, but you have to skip to line 3 (past New Order, past the xx) to get to artists like Benny Benassi, Bassnectar, Paul Oakenfold and their ilk.
  10. Blur were obviously listening. While Pulp made a reunion stop at the fest last year, 2013 is Blur's time to shine on the States, after a couple of short appearances in their native England. They're sharing a double-headline with the Stone Roses, which I have to think is contractual, because, man, just look at those catalogs and you tell me if folks are more excited for Damon Albarn.
  11. Lou Reed was at Metric's show this fall so... there's that.
  12. Johnny Marr's on there. You will note: that isn't the Smiths. We need to drop it.
  13. That Tweet of a rock in field? It's a polo ball, not a Rolling Stone.

Are you going to Coachella now?

Coachella 2013 lineup poster

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"Project Runway"

 "Project Runway" 

Credit: Lifetime

'Project Runway' recap: 'There Is No I in Team'

The new season kicks off with a team twist - for the whole season

So, I guess "Project Runway" has been around so long (this is the 11th season) that the show has to start throwing gimmicks against the wall to see what sticks. This season? It's teams! Not just for one challenge, but to the very end! I can't see this creating a lot of good design. Traditionally, we get plenty of squabbling and whining and mish-mashy looks that suggest no one wanted to waste their really good ideas on an outfit when they're only getting half the credit. I'm sure someone thought this would be good reality TV drama. The problem is, I think most people watch this show because they really like design and they're interested in the process. If we just wanted fighting, we'd be watching "The Real Housewives of Atlanta."

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<p>Andre Braugher in the &quot;Last Resort&quot;&nbsp;series finale.</p>

Andre Braugher in the "Last Resort" series finale.

Credit: ABC

'Last Resort' co-creator Shawn Ryan on the series finale, 'Beverly Hills Cop' and more

Where would the ABC submarine drama have gone if this wasn't the last episode?

"Last Resort" just aired its series finale, and I have a few thoughts on how things ended, and then a long interview with co-creator Shawn Ryan about these 13 episodes — and, at the end, about his "Beverly Hills Cop" pilot for CBS — all coming up just as soon as I ask who Jay-Z is...

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<p>On &quot;Parks and Recreation,&quot;&nbsp;Andy (Chris Pratt) shows off his basketball skills.</p>

On "Parks and Recreation," Andy (Chris Pratt) shows off his basketball skills.

Credit: NBC

Review: 'Parks and Recreation' - 'Women in Garbage'

Leslie battles Pawnee sexism, Ron and Ann babysit Diane's girls, and Tom learns about basketball

A review of tonight's "Parks and Recreation" coming up just as soon as I text you about Michael Stipe...

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"American Idol"

 "American Idol"

Credit: Fox

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 12 Live-Blog - Baton Rouge Auditions

The show travels to Louisiana to search for more talent

After the not-very-explosive on-air edit of the Nicki Minaj/Mariah Carey dust-up last night, the search for talent (instead of judges' panel drama) continues tonight in Baton Rouge. However, that doesn't mean there won't be more squabbling, more fake British accents and more big hats. For the record, I am loving the big hats. 

Also, if you're not seeing this, having massive technical difficulties. I am live blogging away, but the Interwebs are refusing to let me share. Stoopid Interwebs. 

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