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<p>There may be human actors on &quot;Animal Practice,&quot;&nbsp;but you'll probably only care about the monkey.</p>

There may be human actors on "Animal Practice," but you'll probably only care about the monkey.

Credit: NBC

Review: NBC's 'Animal Practice' better with monkeys than people

Everyone loves Annie's Boobs, but will they love Justin Kirk and friends?

NBC has four new sitcoms debuting this fall, and has chosen two of them to sneak preview during its Olympic coverage — a glorious two-week stretch where people are actually watching NBC again. One of those sitcoms is "Go On," which aired last night; the other is "Animal Practice," which will air a commercial-free version of its pilot episode tomorrow night in the odd timeslot of 10:38 p.m.

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<p>Mamie Gummer of &quot;Emily Owens, M.D.'</p>

Mamie Gummer of "Emily Owens, M.D.'

Credit: The CW

Take Me To The Pilots '12: The CW's 'Emily Owens, M.D.'

Is Mamie Gummer enough to make up for a weak title and predictable plotting?

[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots. I know some people will be all "These are reviews." If you've read me, you've read my reviews and you know this isn't what they look like.]

Show:"Emily Owens, MD" (The CW)
The Pitch: "We need a medical drama that we can pair with 'Hart of Dixie,' but one that people won't mock because the central doctor wears formal shorts!"
Quick Response: Part of a gut reaction to a show is the reaction to its title and "Emily Owens, MD" has one of the worst titles on TV. It's a name that's evocative of literally nothing other than the main character's name and profession. "House" was briefly "House, MD," but the name/word "House" is immediately evocative. It's a word with ingrained value. "Doogie Howser, MD" has an immediate hook because the name "Doogie" juxtaposed with the profession tells you almost everything you need to know about a show focusing on a diminutive doctor. "Emily Owens, MD" is the combination of a generic name and a profession. The CW might as well just call the show "Pretty Lady Doctor," which is a crappy title, but at least contains narrative information [FOX's "Mob Doctor" has basically taken this naming approach]. And it's not like "Emily Owens, MD" doesn't have a workable hook. Mamie Gummer's eponymous character is a fresh-faced doctor who thinks she'll be able to reinvent herself in her new workplace, only to discover that the medical world is just like high school. Oh and she's at the same hospital as her med school crush Will. So the hook is something like "Undeclared" meets "Felicity" by way of "Grey's Anatomy." You won't find a second of "Emily Owens, MD" that isn't familiar, but shows of this type, shows so completely and utterly centered around a single character, can rise or fall beyond their pedestrian roots if the lead actor is good enough. Mamie Gummer -- still not quite entrenched enough in her own identity not to be best-known as Meryl Streep's eerily similar daughter -- is a good enough lead actor that I'm probably willing to give "Emily Owens" a couple episodes not instantly warranted by the awful title, the corny voice-over, the perfunctory love triangle and the rehashed medical procedure. She's funny and vulnerable when she needs to be and when she's supposed to display that the character is actually a good doctor, she's properly assertive. I sense that Gummer may be playing a slightly funnier version of the main character than the script required, but as Gummer showed on "The Good Wife," she's able to play characters who function semi-comedically within a drama. Such as the show is, Gummer makes it semi-watchable and occasionally she even makes it enjoyable, though it's going to take more than one episode before Justin Hartley, Michael Rady and Jack Coleman make impressions that go beyond "Tall," "Guy from 'Greek'" and "Guy from 'Heroes.'" None of the female supporting players make impressions that are even that concrete. 
Desire To Watch Again: Not huge, but I certainly won't actively avoid it. I watched every episode of "Hart of Dixie" and likely will continue to watch and I don't know if I'd be able to give you an empirical, objective reason why "Hart of Dixie" is markedly better than "Emily Owens, MD." It just happens that "Hart of Dixie" has more people I like in it and it also seems less hung up on its medical trappings. So OK. There's my answer for why "Hart of Dixie" is better. It's a portrait of a fantastical, imaginary Southern town that happens to have a generic medical procedural occasionally dancing around the edges. "Emily Owens, MD" is a generic medical procedural that just happens to have an interesting lead performance. I can still imagine watching "Emily Owens, MD" again at some point.

Take Me To The Pilots '12: FOX's 'Mob Doctor'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's 'Animal Practice'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: ABC's 'Last Resort'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: CBS' 'Vegas'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: The CW's 'Beauty & The Beast'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: ABC's '666 Park Avenue'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's 'Chicago Fire'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: FOX's 'Ben and Kate'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: CBS' 'Elementary'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: The CW's 'Arrow'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: ABC's 'The Neighbors'
Take Me To The Pilots '12: NBC's 'Revolution'
All of last year's Take Me To The Pilots entries

 

 

 

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<p>The cover of Rick Ross' &quot;God Forgives... I Don't&quot;</p>

The cover of Rick Ross' "God Forgives... I Don't"

'Now 43' poised to knock Rick Ross out of the Billboard 200 top spot

Why is Frank Sinatra coming back into the top 5?

“Now That’s What I Call Music 43” will be the No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 next week as fans continue to gravitate toward the multi-artist greatest hits sets.

“Now 43,” which contains such smashes as Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” and Katy Perry’s “Part of Me,” will be the 16th title in the franchise to hit the top spot, according to Billboard.

The collection is on track to sell up to 120,00 copies, twice as many as Rick Ross’s “God Forgives, I Don’t,” which will drop from No. 1 to No. 2.

In addition to “Now 43,” two other titles are poised for Top 10 bows: Ellie Varner’s debut, “Perfectly Imperfect,”  at No. 7 and country singer Colt Ford’s “Declaration of Independence” at No. 10, according to Hits Daily Double.

A very unlikely name comes in at No. 3 as Frank Sinatra’s “Nothing But The Best” is set to reenter the chart. Similarly to this week, when the Bee Gees’ best of soared back into the top 10, “Nothing” is part of Amazon’s 99-cent Daily Deals.

Also in next week’s top 10: Zac Brown Band’s “Unchained” drops to No. 4 (although it may lose that spot to Justin Bieber’s “Believe’: both are on target to sell between 30,000-35,000 copies). 

Though Varner looks good for No.7, she, One Direction’s “Up All Night” and Adele’s “21” are all slated to sell between 27,000-30,000, meaning we won’t know who’s landing at No. 6, 7, and 8 until the chart closes on Sunday.

The latest from Kidz Bop Kids will likely be No. 9 with Ford at No. 10.

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<p>Tony Gilroy seems comfortable having taken over as the lead creative talent on the franchise as we discussed at 'The Bourne Legacy' press day.</p>

Tony Gilroy seems comfortable having taken over as the lead creative talent on the franchise as we discussed at 'The Bourne Legacy' press day.

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Tony Gilroy discusses his 'Flowers For Algernon' take on 'Bourne'

The writer of the series takes over as director and tries something bold

Tony Gilroy is pretty much the model of a working Hollywood screenwriter in the year 2012.  He's crossed over and become a director as well, but when you look at his career path in general, this is a guy who had to define himself while doing works for hire, something that can easily grind up a writer, even a smart and dedicated one.

"The Bourne Legacy" is a long way from "The Cutting Edge," Gilroy's first produced piece of work, and when you look at his '90s credits, he worked on a lot of studio pictures like "Armageddon," "Extreme Measures," "The Devil's Advocate," "Bait," "Proof Of Life," and the Stephen King adaptation, "Delores Clairborne."

It was in 2002, though, that he finally got the main credit on an undeniably big hit, "The Bourne Identity" and building off of that as a starting point, he wrote both sequels and then jumped into directing with two films that he also wrote, "Michael Clayton" and "Duplicity."  The identity he's established for himself as a filmmaker now is that he crafts very slick adult entertainment, movies that are definitely big-studio friendly, but that have a little extra something to them.

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<p>Dolph Lundgren was in such a good mood at the press day for 'The Expendables 2' that he didn't even threaten to break me.</p>

Dolph Lundgren was in such a good mood at the press day for 'The Expendables 2' that he didn't even threaten to break me.

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Dolph Lundgren on folding real life into 'The Expendables 2'

He's fighting on the same side as Rocky this time, and enjoying every minute of it.

Dolph Lundgren has always looked more like a Stan Winston creation than an actual flesh-and-blood human being.

For one thing, he's ridiculously tall.  I'm 6'2", and I'm used to being one of the taller people in any given situation.  When I met Lundgren at the recent press day for "The Expendables 2," though, I was startled to realize he stands somewhere around eight-and-a-half feet tall.

Seeing him in "Rocky IV" when it was first released, I was amazed at how much he looked like a special effect, production designed rather than cast.  He remains the most visually iconic of all of Rocky's foes in the six films, and he's never really had a role that better utilized his particular talents onscreen.

He's a hard guy to cast in anything besides crazy action films, though, because he doesn't exactly radiate human warmth and kindness, and he's not a guy you give a three page monologue to as a performer.  You have to cast him right, and you have to have a role that utilizes the skills he does have instead of pushing him to do things that are outside his range.

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<p>Feist</p>

Feist

Watch: Feist goes quiet for 'Anti-Pioneer' video

Here's the melancholy start to your weekend that you wanted

It's too hot anyway, right? Cool down with this silky, chilly start to your weekend: Feist's "Anti-Hero" music video.

The Canadian songwriter is cloaked in shadows and gripping the lines on wallpaper for her "sappy songs about what went wrong."

The simple black and white clip was helmed by Martin de Thurah, whose work previously with Leslie Feist exposed an acumen for the melacholy. "The Bad in Each Other" broke my heart in 12 different ways. In "Anti-Hero," they together kind of show off what a broken heart does when its listlessly broken.

Of this new clip, de Thurah told Nowness “I had thought about making something very simple, complex and emotional with Leslie alone. I found the song very intimate, and wanted the video to reflect that.”

"Anti-Hero" is from Feist's newest "Metals."

Feist: Anti-Pioneer on Nowness.com.

 

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<p>Muse's Matt Bellamy</p>

Muse's Matt Bellamy

Listen: Muse integrate dubstep into new song 'Unsustainable'

Entropy

Muse is getting messy. Their Olympic theme song "Survival" was a repurposed Queen imitation, forced into a puffy, bloated lyrical mold about personal glory.

"What can you do?" Muse frontman Matt Bellamy told NPR when they asked him about the widespread criticism of the song. "I can't imagine what we could have done right for the Olympics."

Well, maybe not the Olympics, but Muse could've done right by their fans by finding a solid song to follow it up. Instead, we get "Unsustainable," which was their nod at EDM, a la deadmau5 and Skrillex.

The first third of the track is choral and symphonic cinema, a blip of a revelation they may have developed during the new "Dark Knight" movie. Then there's a melody-less dubstep diversion, before Hans Zimmer and wom-wommm-wommm-brrrrr combine together like children singing in a round.

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<p>Karen O.</p>

Karen O.

Credit: AP Photo

Karen O composes tune for Tim Burton's 'Frankenweenie'

See who else is on the soundtrack

Karen O has penned the end-title tune for Tim Burton’s forthcoming animated feature, “Frankenweenie.”

It seems like a perfect marriage between the quirky Yeah Yeah Yeah’s lead singer and the twisted film maker.
"Tim [Burton] wanted an unconventional unconditional love song. My music inspiration came out of the same era of B movie fright film references sprinkled throughout the film,” O told Rolling Stone. “I went in the direction of exotica and calypso stylistically because it's quirky, good vibes music of that era and when you throw in a theramin solo it's a marriage made in heaven.  I remember ‘Beetlejuice’ introducing me to the genius of Harry Belafonte's calypso record so I wanted to give a nod to that too.  We ended up with a love song for the end of the film to the film!”

The movie’s soundtrack, dubbed "Frankenweenie Unleashed," also features originals from Neon Trees, Passion Pit, Kimbra, Grace Potter featuring the Flaming Lips, Grouplove and more. Both the soundtrack and Danny Elfman’s original score will come out Sept. 25.

She previously composed the score (with Carter Burwell) for Spike Jonze’ “Where The Wild Things Are,” as well as co-wrote (with Nick Zinner)  “All Is Love” for the film. O received both a Grammy and Golden Globe nomination for the track.

“Frankenweenie Unleashed” comes out Oct. 5.

"Frankenweenie Unleashed" tracklisting:

“Strange Love” – Karen O
“Electric Heart (Stay Forever)” – Neon Trees
“Polartropic (You Don’t Understand Me)” – Mark Foster
“Almost There” – Passion Pit
“Pet Sematary” – Plain White T’s
“With My Hands – Kimbra?
“Everybody’s Got a Secret” – AWOLNATION
“Immortal” – Kerli?“My Mechanical Friend” – Grace Potter featuring The Flaming Lips
“Lost Cause” – Imagine Dragons
“Underground” – Grouplove
“Building a Monster” – Skylar Grey
“Witchcraft” – Robert Smith
“Praise Be New Holland” – Winona Ryder



 

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See 'No Doubt's' album cover for 'Push And Shove'

See 'No Doubt's' album cover for 'Push And Shove'

Watch how El Mac creates the cover in behind-the-scenes footage

When it came time to figuring out the cover art for “Push And Shove,” its first album in more than 10 years, No Doubt clearly wanted to make a statement. So the SoCal quartet turned to street artist El Mac.

As the cover reveals, El Mac decided to capture each member separately, and, in Andy Warhol style (though his final product is very different), he photographed Gwen Stefani, Tony Kanal, Tom Dumont, and Adrian Young individually and then painted head shots of each based on the photographs.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Russell Crowe in the title role of Darren Aronofsky's new epic &quot;Noah.&quot;</p>

Russell Crowe in the title role of Darren Aronofsky's new epic "Noah."

Credit: Paramount Pictures

First Look: Russell Crowe in Darren Aronofsky's 'Noah'

New epic flooding theaters in March 2014

Paramount Pictures released the first official image from Darren Aronofsky's new adaptation of the biblical epic "Noah" today and, well, Russell Crowe looks weathered and concerned.  And yet, wouldn't you if God was sending a massive flood to cleanse the world of all its sinners?

Aronofsky's first film since the best picture nominated "Black Swan," "Noah" also stars Sir Anthony Hopkins as Methuselah and Jennifer Connelly Naameh.

"Noah" is set for release in March, 2014.

First official photo or image of Russell Crowe as Noah in Darren Aaronofsky's NOAH

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<p>Whitney Houston</p>

Whitney Houston

Credit: AP Photo

New Whitney Houston greatest hits in the works

Collection will cover through the end of the late superstar's recording career

Look for a new Whitney Houston retrospective this fall.

The best-of package will be the first since 2000’s “Whitney: The Greatest Hits.” That set has soared in sales since the Grammy-winning singer’s death on Feb. 11, selling nearly 850,000 copies following her passing, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Total sales are 2.6 million units.

The new set will focus primarily on the radio version of singles, according to the Los Angeles Times, as opposed to dance remixes featured on the two-CD “The Greatest Hits.” The compilation is also expected to include songs from her last studio album, 2009’s “I Look To You.”

No word on whether the new collection will also include material from “Sparkle.” The movie musical, Houston’s last film, features the singer performing both “Celebrate,” a duet with Jordin Sparks, and her stirring rendition of “His Eye is On the Sparrow.” The soundtrack came out on RCA, Houston’s label. As we previously reported, Sparks is working on her third album.

What songs would you like to see on Houston's new greatest hits set? 

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<p>Al Pacino in &quot;Dog Day Afternoon,&quot; one of Spike Lee's 15 favorite films.</p>

Al Pacino in "Dog Day Afternoon," one of Spike Lee's 15 favorite films.

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Spike Lee joins the listing game

As his latest joint hits theaters, he reveals his Top 15 films on iTunes.

After lying low in TV-land for a few years following the damp squib that was "Miracle at St. Anna," Spike Lee seems to be all over the place this month. His latest feature "Red Hook Summer" -- a loose follow-up to "Do the Right Thing," which Kris partially saw in Sundance, and rather liked -- opens Stateside today to mixed, if not unsympathetic, reviews.

In a few weeks, he'll be unveiling his new documentary about Michael Jackson, "Bad 25," at the Venice Film Festival -- where he'll also be receiving a career achievement award. Finally, his long-mooted remake of Park Chan-wook's "Oldboy" is moving forward, with shooting set to begin in New Orleans this autumn, and Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen and Sharlto Copley attached to star.

On another note, he's also jumped on the list-making bandwagon we've all been on since Sight & Sound's poll results last week, revealing his own Top 15 Films Of All Time -- not via Sight & Sound (he didn't participate in the 2002 poll, and doesn't appear to be involved with this year's either), but through an iTunes playlist of sorts. What a time it is to be alive, folks.

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