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Does the 2014 SAG Awards date hint at a January Academy Awards?

Does the 2014 SAG Awards date hint at a January Academy Awards?

It seems crazy, but is it?

Every four years the Winter Olympics take a major bite out of the February Primetime television schedule as tens of millions of Americans cuddle up in front of the tube to watch bobsled racing, ski jumping and curling in hopes of U.S.A. taking home the gold.  It's always been something of a pain for awards show schedulers, but beyond a late dater date for Oscar, everything usually worked itself out.  More recently, however, changing dates for the games have found major awards season players trying to find safe haven with a night or weekend all to themselves.  Throw in competition from the Super Bowl, Grammys and Sundance and the first two months of 2014 become something of a logistical nightmare. The first major awards extravaganza to put a stake in the ground?  The 20th Screen Actors Guild Awards on Saturday, Jan. 18.

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<p>Mumford &amp; Sons</p>

Mumford & Sons

Credit: Glassnote

Watch: Mumford & Sons' 'Whispers in the Dark' music video

Pre-show rituals

A lot of bands have pre-show rituals, what it takes for the members to pump themselves up for the stage. For Mumford & Sons in their video for "Whispers in the Dark," theirs may sometimes involve a sea adventure and fashions from the 1800s.

 While Marcus Mumford spiritual, desirous lyrics may point to an actual "ark," but the lead singer's chosen vessel is a motorcycle here, the leather jacket covering his usual tweed vest.

"There’s something a little different this time, with a concept concocted by the band in conjunction with director Jim Canty and featuring all four band members. It was shot in Camden, New Jersey during their recent East Coast US Tour and also features some other familiar faces," the band posted on their website. Canty has helmed vids for other artists like Mark Ronson and Spiritualized.

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<p>Wallace Shawn and Julianna Margulies in a scene from last night's &quot;The Good Wife.&quot;</p>

Wallace Shawn and Julianna Margulies in a scene from last night's "The Good Wife."

Credit: CBS

Be our guest: How 'The Good Wife' has mastered the art of stunt casting

Wallace Shawn's turn last night as a drug kingpin lawyer was just the show's latest bit of guest star inspiration

I was going to write up a post devoted solely to last night's episode of "The Good Wife," if only so I could begin with the line "just as soon as I sing the the 'Growing Pains' theme song." But I was inspired by Wallace Shawn's turn as Lamond Bishop's intimidating lawyer to instead write about how well that show, and some others on TV right now, use guest stars.

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"The Real Housewives of Atlanta"

 "The Real Housewives of Atlanta"

Credit: Bravo

'The Real Housewives of Atlanta' recap: Is Porsha controlled by Kordell?

NeNe suggests that Porsha's under her husband's thumb, but is that fair?

The ladies' trip to Los Angeles is about a minute long, as the real focus is not to promote NeNe's TV show (which, by the way, is pretty awful) but to get the women to Sin City, pronto. Everyone seems eager to get to Vegas, but not everyone seems excited about the sin part. Or, more specifically, Porsha isn't excited about the sin part, because Kordell doesn't approve. Or maybe he would and Porsha's blaming him, or maybe he just doesn't know. Things get a little confusing on this episode, but then, you can't really expect Porsha to put together a coherent argument about anything. 

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<p>Paul Walker pushes himself in some interesting ways in the new film 'Hours,' which premiered last night at the SXSW&nbsp;film festival.</p>

Paul Walker pushes himself in some interesting ways in the new film 'Hours,' which premiered last night at the SXSW film festival.

Credit: The Safran Company

Review: Paul Walker struggles to save his daughter in tense and tiny 'Hours'

A genre writer takes control of his career with this indie thriller

AUSTIN - Eric Heisserer has had a tough career to judge as a screenwriter. His produced credits so far are "Final Destination 5," "A Nightmare On Elm Street," and "The Thing," and I would genuinely have a hard time finding much good to say about any of the three. I would have an equally hard time blaming much about the films on him, because I am keenly aware of just how insignificant a part of the machinery you are as a writer when you're working on franchise films and high-stakes remakes for the studios. The key decisions on all three of those movies were made by people way above Heisserer's pay grade.

Heisserer published a short story called "Hours" on a site called Popcorn Fiction, and if you're a regular reader of this blog, then you may recognize that site's name. I published two stories on the site as well, and I assume the same thing I liked about it is what drew Heisserer to it. The site is owned by Derek Haas, a working screenwriter, and while Popcorn Fiction is happy to publish a writer's story, they don't demand any ownership of the material, nor do they retain any rights over it if you choose to do something with it in another media. It's a great place to showcase personal work that you might otherwise never get in front of an audience, and for Heisserer, it was a chance to publish something very different than the work he's known for already. Not long after he put it up, he took it back down because the story was optioned and was set to be developed into a feature.

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<p>Olivia Wilde and Jake Johnson shine in Joe Swanberg's new film 'Drinking Buddies'</p>

Olivia Wilde and Jake Johnson shine in Joe Swanberg's new film 'Drinking Buddies'

Credit: Burn Later Productions

Review: Olivia Wilde and 'New Girl' star Jake Johnson shine in 'Drinking Buddies'

Joe Swanberg hits a career high with his latest film

AUSTIN - The easy temptation would be to say that Joe Swanberg has made some sort of major jump from the films that he has made in the past to his new film, "Drinking Buddies," which made its debut tonight at the Paramount Theater, part of this year's SXSW film festival. I don't think that's true, though. It's an evolution, definitely, but I don't think it's a radical shift so much as it's another small step forward, resulting in what may well be his most accessible and enjoyable film to date.

Olivia Wilde and Jake Johnson star as Kate and Luke, friends who both work at a micro-brewery.  He's one of the brewers, and she's involved in actually getting the beer picked up by distributors around the country. They are good friends at work and after work as well, and the whole opening 20 minutes of the film, Swanberg does a tremendous job of capturing the rhythm of a long, boozy night out at the bar with a bunch of friends, and it's only once the night wraps up that we see both of them go home to their respective partners. Luke's in a longtime relationship with Jill, Anna Kendrick's character, and Kate's been dating Chris (Ron Livingston) for almost a year. Even so, there are strong obvious signs of attraction between Kate and Luke, and for a while, it looks like the film is going to be about some boozy transgression that ruins everything.

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<p>Marnie (Allison Williams)&nbsp;sings on &quot;Girls.&quot;</p>

Marnie (Allison Williams) sings on "Girls."

Credit: HBO

Review: 'Girls' - 'On All Fours'

Marnie finds her voice, Hannah battles her OCD and Adam tries being a good boyfriend

A review of tonight's "Girls" coming up just as soon as I have the face of an old-timey criminal...

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<p>Team Alabama performs an &quot;Amazing Race&quot; Detour</p>

Team Alabama performs an "Amazing Race" Detour

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'I Love Monkeys!'

Monkeys and mental blunders domination a fun episode
I was already in the tank for Sunday (March 10) night's episode of "The Amazing Race" before it began. Based on the monkey-heavy teaser and the title "I Love  Monkeys!" there was precious little chance that I would have negative things to say about at least one portion of this Leg, which counts as a major plus in a season that has been initially lackluster.
 
Fortunately, not only did the Leg get off to a very strong start thanks to the promised-and-delivered monkeys, but it also closed well, with a concluding 20 minutes positively glutted with mind-boggling decisions and interpretations that left me yelling at the screen with frustration, confusion and amusement.
 
In the middle? Yes, there was yet another weak Detour that contributed heavily to the end-of-Leg drama, but didn't amount to much as challenges themselves. That wasn't so good. But even if I'd just been ambivalent on the rest of the episode, the end-of-hour Phil-ism would have pushed it into positive territory. In this case, it made a "good" episode "very good."
 
Recap after the break...
 
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<p>David Morrissey as the Governor on &quot;The Walking Dead.&quot;</p>

David Morrissey as the Governor on "The Walking Dead."

Credit: AMC

Review: 'The Walking Dead' - 'Arrow on the Doorpost'

Rick and the Governor try to talk through their differences

A review of tonight's "The Walking Dead" coming up just as soon as I bring my butler...

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<p>Prince at the 2013 Grammys</p>

Prince at the 2013 Grammys

Credit: AP Photo

Exclusive: Prince will perform at SXSW

The Purple One is set to hit the stage in Austin next Saturday

The rumors are true: Prince is set to take the stage at the South By Southwest music conference for the first time. The Purple One is getting a specially remodeled stage at La Zona Rosa in downtown Austin, a source confirmed to HitFix.

The festival this year is already boasting music's biggest names like Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the Flaming Lips and Dave Grohl's Sound City Players, but Prince's concert will be bursting from its own seams with a 22-piece band. Prince hits the stage late Saturday night.

Furthermore, fest-goers should keep their eyes peeled for a certain awards show held during music festivities in Austin this week: His Royal Badness is slated as a "special guest" at the podium.

No word yet on how badge -holders or fans get access to the concert, stay tuned.

Are you attending SXSW this week? Peruse our list of 10 music-themed movies to watch out for here, and check out what resident HitFix movie critic Drew McWeeny had to say about two of the film festival's biggest movie premieres: horror remake "Evil Dead" and Jim Carrey-Steve Carell magician comedy "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone," both of which debuted in Austin over the weekend.

The SXSW Music Festival runs from March 12-17. You can browse a schedule of confirmed performers over at the fest's official website.

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'Once Upon a Time' star Robert Carlyle breaks down the many sides of Rumpelstiltskin

'Once Upon a Time' star Robert Carlyle breaks down the many sides of Rumpelstiltskin

Which version of the multi-faceted character is the biggest challenge?
When you're on a red carpet, sometimes you only have a minute or two with an actor and you need to get to the root of what you're actually curious about. 
 
For lots of reporters, that's spoilers and hints about upcoming episodes, which is totally fine and I know folks love to hear about that.
 
But if you give me two minutes with Robert Carlyle (and Begbie is presumably not on-topic), I'm gonna ask about process and in the case of his work on "Once Upon a Time," I want details on the construction of a character who is simultaneously four or five different characters, who each have different accents, intonations and mannerisms. 
 
So if you're interested in what I'm interested in, this two-minute chat from PaleyFest in Los Angeles is mighty interesting. 
 
Check out the interview above, as well as my interviews with Ginnifer Goodwin and series creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis.
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<p>Laura gets her &quot;Survivor&quot; torch snuffed</p>

Laura gets her "Survivor" torch snuffed

Credit: CBS

Interview: Laura Alexander talks 'Survivor: Caramoan'

Bootee discusses working around her physical weakness, or trying to
So many people sign on for "Survivor" without any tangible strategy and inexplicably get carried through the majority of a season by either a fortuitous alliance or sheer physicality. 
 
That's why it always makes me a tiny bit sad when I do a "Survivor" exit interview early in the season and I get the sense that the person I'm talking to had a smart and multi-layered approach to the game and just got pushed into an unfortunate corner, perhaps not even making it to a Merge.
 
Laura Alexander quickly admits that she was the weakest person on her "Survivor: Caramoan" tribe and for that, she was voted out. Might the game have progressed differently, though, if Shamar Thomas hadn't been medically evacuated from the game shortly before an Immunity Challenge? Without Shamar, the Fans lost a potentially strong player, but mostly Laura lost a number in her alliance as well as a potentially deflective shield for scrutiny. 
 
In her exit interview, Laura takes much of the credit for the majority alliance that has steered the Fans' voting and explains her attempts to keep her deficiencies from being too glaring and what eventually did her in. 
 
You can decide if you also come away feeling like under slightly different circumstances, Laura could have had a much longer "Survivor" run.
 
[As I mentioned in Shamar's exit interview, this week's cats were a little shorter than normal because there were two of them.]

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