Welcome to Reality TV Roundup -- a quick look at some of the reality TV-centric stories that have recently popped up across the fine, old Interwebs. Click away, my couch potato friends. But before you do...
SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! One more time: SPOILER ALERT. If you watch any competition shows, the latest elimination for each show is probably revealed in the text below. The hope is that, if you missed this week's program and would rather clear out your DVR than watch the episode, you can get a quick hit here. But don't come crying to me if you find out something you didn't want to know. You've been warned. Also note: lots of non-competition reality info lurks below, too.
In the United States, fans of "Downton Abbey" must comfort themselves with, say, proper afternoon tea and the knowledge that season three of the show will begin airing Jan. 6. The bad news? Lucky Brits are already well into the season, and spoilers are already trickling onto the web to taunt us. But on Friday, "Downton" stars Hugh Bonneville (Lord Grantham), Rob James-Collier (Thomas Barrow), Joanne Froggatt (Anna Smith) and Leslie Nicol (Mrs. Patmore) were joined by the show's executive producer Gareth Neame and "Masterpiece" executive producer Rebecca Eaton for a excerpt screening and Q&A for fans and journalists in Los Angeles. As restrained as the show can sometimes be, the stars were as modern -- and often funny -- as their characters are not.
While the US precursor circuit is getting into the swing of things, tomorrow marks the first major date of the British awards calendar: the British Independent Film Awards. Ostensibly the UK's answer to the Independent Spirit Awards (though they don't define "independence" by quite the same criteria), it's a ceremony that has grown in prominence in recent years, representing a larger sample of the local film industry than the slavishly Oscar-minded BAFTA Awards. That said, the BIFAs have given nascent awards juggernauts like "The King's Speech" and "Slumdog Millionaire" their first big trophy hauls of the season.
Nobody will be looking the BIFAs for any Oscar cues this year. After last year's awards reflected a banner year for British film -- "We Need to Talk About Kevin," "Shame," "Tyrannosaur," "Weekend" and "Senna" -- were among the big winners, this year's lineup of nominees, while studded with high-level work, doesn't boast quite the same lustre.
Last night the winners of the first-ever Boston Online Film Critics Association Awards landed via press release, and I left it for a moment. I'm weighing the pros and cons of posting every single one of these things this year because it begins to be a giant, unvetted clutter of opinion. Who are these folks and why did they decide to form their own group rather than let the Boston Society of Film Critics speak for the area and/or push for membership therein?
I imagine the latter has happened -- I don't know these guys and I'm not passing judgment -- and all politics are local. And I don't say this next thing by way of insult to them (or even as a comparative statement because it's not), but if a bunch of people with Live Journals in Los Angeles up and decide there needs to be an LA Online group, do we just pass their picks along with the rest? Is the job just providing safe passage or should some curation be in order? I don't know, but find the Boston online crowd's winners below, in any case.
Perceived Oscar frontrunner "Searching for Sugar Man" took top honors at the International Documentary Association Awards this evening. The portrait of long-"lost" recording artist Rodriguez also won Best Music. "How to Survive a Plague" director David France won an award for emerging talent while last year's Oscar winner for Best Documentary Short, "Saving Face," won in the shorts category. Check out a full list of winners below.
We've reached a "Survivor" Final 5 full of big personalities, including likable perpetual target Malcolm, analytical Denise, conscience-driven former child star Lisa, accident-prone returning favorite Skupin and hissable villain Abi.
And then there was Carter Williams. To be polite, we'll call Carter "enigmatic." On one hand virtually incapable of stringing together enough sentences for talking head segments and rarely at the center of strategic negotiations, Carter began to emerge as a threat in recent weeks due to his strong challenge play and his apparent friendship with all remaining contestants.
On Wednesday (December 5) night's "Survivor: Philippines," the rest of the Top 5 decided that Carter was such a threat that getting rid of him was worth spending additional days in the wilderness with Abi. This came despite Carter's attempts to convince his competition that they should want to go to the end against the best players, not Abi.
In his exit interview, Carter discusses his regrets in the game, his decision to lay back and not take a leadership role and his hypothetical path to victory had he remained in the game.
Taylor Swift’s “Red” returns to the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 after a several-week hiatus.
The set by the superstar is set to sell between 155,000 and 165,000 copies, giving it a good lead over Wiz Khalifa’s “O.N.I.F.C.,” which will likely debut at No. 2 if the rapper can hold off a charge from Rod Stewart’s “Merry Christmas Baby.” Both are projected to move between 135,000 and 145,000 units, according to Hits Daily Double.
In addition to Khalifa, the only other debut in the Top 10 will come from Ke$ha, whose “Warrior” will likely bow at No. 6 with sales of up to 90,000 copies.
Holiday titles continue to dominate the Top 10: Michael Buble’s “Christmas” is No. 4, Blake Shelton’s “Cheers, It’s Christmas” is No. 7 and Lady Antebellum’s “On This Winter’s Night” is No. 8.
As far as the rest of the Top 10, One Direction’s “Take Me Home” will be at No. 5, this week’s No. 1, Alicia Keys’ “Girl On Fire,” will slide to No. 9 and “American Idol’s” Phillip Phillips’ “Word From The Side Of The Moon” is No. 10.
Cinemax just aired what is technically the “Hunted” series finale, as the BBC declined to renew the series, which they were producing in partnership with the American cable channel.
But though the series, and some of its characters, may be done with, Cinemax and “Hunted” creator Frank Spotnitz intend to move forward with the character of Sam Hunter, the private spy played by Melissa George, and certain aspects of her origin story that were introduced over these eight episodes. I emailed Spotnitz a few questions about the finale, and about what the new show (whatever it’s called) might include.
There are times in which shows inadvertently demonstrate their own shortcomings onscreen. And there are other times in which those shortcomings are in fact part of the show’s design, meant to highlight intentional faults in order to reveal truths. For most of tonight’s “Fringe”, I worried the former was the case on display in “The Human Kind”. But by the final scene, those worries were dissipated. That doesn’t mean the episode as a whole worked. But tonight served to close off the second act of this final season and reset things for the final overall act of the series. Meet the new Peter. Same as the old Peter. And with all his hair intact, to boot.
With "Boardwalk Empire," "Tremé" and "The Walking Dead" all done for 2012, the Sunday night cable drama field is all Showtime's for the next few weeks. The pay cable channel will try to take advantage of that by using Sunday's episodes of "Dexter" and "Homeland" to run a first-look trailer (which is already available online; see below) for its two new 2013 drama offerings: "Masters of Sex" and "Ray Donovan."
On Wednesday, the nominees for Grammy's 81 categories were announced, but fan favorites Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj weren't among the hundreds of names. Those two artists have been mum on the social networks since then (so far), but their managers are having none of it (so far).
Biebs' manager Scooter Braun, as previously reported, had some choice words for the Recording Academy the day following the announcements. "U blew it." But rather than being angry about the no-nods, Braun told Billboard he was just "voicing my opinion," man.
"I wasn't mad, just voicing my opinion," Braun said. "I saw a lot of chatter online and made a comment. I don't think there was anything wrong with any other nomination. I just felt Justin deserved to be acknowledged."
He further articulated why he was totally not mad.
"If he was 35, he'd be nominated in numerous categories... When you are so much younger than your industry peers, you tend to be overlooked," he said. "If you want to see me mad, read my Jets tweets -- read what I have to say about my favorite football team."
Meanwhile, Nicki Minaj's co-manager and Lil Wayne's manager Cortez Bryant called Nicki's snub some straight-up "bullsh*t."
Minaj has been mum on Twitter since Dec. 5, last promoting her new lip color for a popular cosmetics maker, and Bieber has spent the rest of this week not being mad and workin in the studio on a follow-up to his popular set "Believe." Both artists have garnered nominations in the past, so better luck next year.
But maybe Dave Grohl -- of all people -- has the last word. He guest-hosted "Chelsea Lately" last night and provided a little commentary.
"I like him, too. I think that if I were 18 or 19 years old and had $100 million, I would look exactly like that," Grohl, who is gorgeous, said. He did, however, submit that Bieber's concert presentations would suffer were he to sing live all the time, otherwise it'd sound like the heavy breathing of a dying man. Perhaps a 35-year-old?
All this being said, I hope this doesn't become a trend. Snubs are the regular, and while Bieber and MInaj have put time into helping the Grammys as an institution, it's voters have spoken. And they'd rather have a hack in the Best Dance Recording category than they would put Bieber in a pop category.
Fifteen years after his death, the Notorious B.I.G.’s autopsy report reveals that he was struck by four bullets, with the final shot delivering the fatal blow. TMZ published the never-before-released report today.
The rapper was murdered March 9, 1997 as he sat in an SUV, as he left a party at Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles held after the Soul Train Awards. The murder has not been solved, with a number of different theories circulating, including that Death Row Records’ Suge Knight ordered the hit to avenge the death of Tupac Shakur, who was murdered in 1996.
The autopsy report revealed that Biggie Smalls, whose real name was Christopher Wallace, was first hit in the forearm, then in the back with the shot exiting his left shoulder, on his outer thigh with the bullet leaving through his inner thigh, and then with a fourth bullet that entered through his right hip and hit several vital organs before stopping in his left shoulder.
Wallace was rushed to the nearby Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and was pronounced dead less than an hour after the shooting occurred.
A number of posthumous releases by Wallace solidified his reputation as one of the top rappers, and in 2006, MTV ranked him at No. 3 in “The Greatest MCs of All Time.”
In 2009, Fox Searchlight released “Notorious,” a biopic about Wallace’s life.