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<p>'You're going to make a prequel to WHAT? Ahahahaha...&quot;</p>

'You're going to make a prequel to WHAT? Ahahahaha..."

Credit: Warner Bros.

Warner Bros. reportedly exploring the idea of a 'Shining' prequel

So... who wants to step into Kubrick's shoes?

For the last few years, we've been hearing about "Doctor Sleep," a sequel to "The Shining" that Stephen King has been working on, with a January 2013 release date still rumored for it.  The idea that Dan Torrence is now middle-aged sort of makes me want to jump off a building, but it makes perfect story sense that King would want to return to the character and check in on him.  After all, he had to have been marked by the extraordinary events of "The Shining," and he wasn't exactly a normal kid to begin with.

What I'm not as sold on upon first hearing about it is a potential sequel to "The Shining."  I guess the Overlook Hotel has been around for a long time, and terrible things have certainly happened there over the years, but I'm wondering why "prequel" continues to be the go-to default position for studios looking to squeeze a little extra life out of something.  By now, I think even the most accepting audiences have realized that most prequels are creative dead-ends where there's very little chance for dramatic engagement precisely because we already know what comes afterwards.

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<p>Lucy Liu and Jonny Lee Miller are Watson and Holmes in &quot;Elementary.&quot;</p>

Lucy Liu and Jonny Lee Miller are Watson and Holmes in "Elementary."

Credit: CBS

Press Tour 2012: 'Elementary' team talks 'Sherlock' comparisons and (lack of) sexual tension

Don't expect Jonny Lee Miller's Holmes and Lucy Liu's Watson to hook up

Rob Doherty, the creator of the new CBS Sherlock Holmes drama "Elementary," noted of his main character, "Because Sherlock lives in the public domain, he's been through many hands. And I think that if so many people couldn't put their spins on it, I don't know that he exists in the popular culture the way he does."

There have, indeed, been over 200 films based on Arthur Conan Doyle's stories about the great detective and his partner, Dr. Watson. But there's one filmed adaptation in particular that has been dogging "Elementary" a bit leading up to its premiere: the BBC's "Sherlock."

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<p>This was Nina Tassler at the CBS Upfronts presentation in May.</p>

This was Nina Tassler at the CBS Upfronts presentation in May.

Credit: CBS

Press Tour 2012 Live-Blog: CBS Executive Session with Nina Tassler

CBS is still TV's most watched network, so expect resting on laurels

BEVERLY HILLS - The combination of a late night for the Television Critics Association -- we presented our awards -- plus CBS' relative paucity of new programming has led to a late-ish start on Sunday, July 29.

It's also likely to lead to yet another relatively uneventful Executive Session with CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler.

Click through for the celebration of CBS' continued place as TV's most-watched network. And more...

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<p>Lucy Liu and Jonny Lee Miller are Watson and Holmes in CBS' &quot;Elementary.&quot;</p>

Lucy Liu and Jonny Lee Miller are Watson and Holmes in CBS' "Elementary."

Credit: CBS

A day in the life of press tour '12: CBS

Sherlock Holmes, a Jersey girl from England and Jeff Probst

Good morning, all. Now that the TCA Awards are all done with, it's time to get back to the more typical business of press tour. Today we welcome the last of the Big Four broadcast networks, with a full day of CBS panels. Here's a quick run-down to give you a sense of what a day on tour looks like. After this we have a combined CW/Showtime day tomorrow, a day of set visits on Tuesday, and then various cable channels on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. (HBO is paneling "The Newsroom" on Wednesday, which should be... interesting.)

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<p>&quot;Homeland&quot;&nbsp;star Claire Danes interrupted her boss' TCA&nbsp;Awards acceptance speech because she'd forgotten to do something in her own.</p>

"Homeland" star Claire Danes interrupted her boss' TCA Awards acceptance speech because she'd forgotten to do something in her own.

Credit: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Highlights from the TCA Awards

Bryan Cranston, David Letterman and Louis C.K. provided big laughs, and Claire Danes got a do-over

Good morning, all. Last night was my favorite night of press tour: the TCA Awards (the winners are here), which featured among its highlights:

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<p>Mariah Carey's first &quot;American Idol&quot; promo pictures&nbsp;</p>

Mariah Carey's first "American Idol" promo pictures 

Credit: FOX

Music Power Rankings: Mariah Carey comes out on top over Carly Rae Jepsen

We also give a nod to pure Olympic gold

1. Mariah Carey: Mimi is confirmed as Jennifer Lopez’s replacement as a judge on “American Idol” for a reported $18 million payday. Production may have to shift to midnight to meet this night owl’s schedule, but she is a great choice. Britney Spears feels underpaid.

2. Carly Rae Jepsen: As “Call Me Maybe” spends another week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it the longest running No. 1 by a Canadian female (even Celine!), Jepsen gets some sweet, watery love from the U.S. Olympic swim team.

3. Emeli Sande: She’s already a star in the U.K., but her performance during the Olympics’ opening ceremony kicked her from “bubbling under” to “next big thing” status in the U.S. Welcome the new "It" girl (If you didn't see it since NBC cut it out, check it out on the web).

4. “The Voice”: Whoever is booking the mentors for the talent contest deserves a thumbs up and for everyone to turn their chair around in approval. Should “The Voice” ever decide to spin off another edition, it’s got your new set of coaches right here: Mary J. Blige, Michael Buble, Rob Thomas and Billie Joe Armstrong.

5. Universal Music Group: It moves another step closer to finalizing its acquisition of EMI after EMI’s chief Roger Faxon details what the company will sell off in order to meet European Commission approval...and it’s a lot.

6. Jason Aldean:
Is it selling out if you change the name of the beer you’re already giving a free plug to in your song to one that will pay you money to name it instead? In 1992, yes. In 2012, it’s called good business.

7. Elton John:  Reg Dwight tops the U.K. charts for first time in more than 20 years with “Good Morning To the Night,” his collaboration with Pnau, an Australian electronica duo he allowed to play with his catalog.

8. Nas: Life is truly good for the rapper as his newest set, “Life Is Good” becomes his sixth to top the Billboard 200 and his ninth to top Billboard’s R&B album chart.

9. Madonna: The Material Girl is having a tough time of it. Even after the live streams for free an intimate show from Paris, fans complain that the concert wasn’t enough. For someone who has always loved to court controversy, between getting called out for the swastikas, the guns and the flashing, maybe she’s finally realized that not all press is good press, even when they spell MDNA right.

10. The Jackson Family:
Really? Haven’t Michael Jackson’s kids been through enough. Take it off Twitter, take it out of the public arena. I know it’s never really been required of you, but act like adults.

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<p>Is Theon Greyjoy celebrating the &quot;Game of Thrones&quot;&nbsp;win at the TCA&nbsp;Awards?</p>

Is Theon Greyjoy celebrating the "Game of Thrones" win at the TCA Awards?

Credit: HBO

'Game of Thrones,' 'Homeland,' 'Louie' and 'Breaking Bad' win TCA Awards

Television Critics Association also honors '60 Minutes,' 'Downton Abbey' and 'Cheers'

"Game of Thrones" doesn't seem like one of the favorites for the drama series Emmy, but it won the biggest prize tonight at the Television Critics Association Awards.

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<p>Kurt Sutter in his &quot;Sons of Anarchy&quot;&nbsp;role as Big Otto.</p>

Kurt Sutter in his "Sons of Anarchy" role as Big Otto.

Credit: FX

Press Tour 2012: 'Sons of Anarchy' panel live-blog

What will Kurt Sutter and friends have to say about season 5?

FX has had a very busy day today here at press tour, with panels for "Louie," talk shows involving Russell Brand and W. Kumau Bell, and the new comedy "Legit." I'm going to live-blog the day's final panel, featuring Kurt Sutter and the actors of "Sons of Anarchy." The motorcycle club drama's fifth season debuts on Tuesday, September 11 at 10 p.m.

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<p>Louis C.K. on &quot;Louie.&quot;</p>

Louis C.K. on "Louie."

Credit: FX

FX renews 'Louie' for season 4

FX also orders another batch of 'BrandX with Russell Brand'

Among the announcements made during FX president John Landgraf's press tour executive session was the decision by the network to order a fourth season of "Louie." 

The network also ordered an additional seven episodes of Russell Brand's talk show "BrandX," to debut in the fall. Landgraf said there would be creative changes to the series, which will be paneled later today at press tour.

Though ratings for "Louie" have never been enormous, it's done very well in critical acclaim and Emmy nominations, and the deal FX has with Louis C.K. — he gets a drastically smaller budget than a normal cable comedy in exchange for complete creative control — makes financial sense for the network.

During the panel, I asked Landgraf if he would like to cut a "Louie"-style deal with another creator. He said he would love to, and has even had inquiries about it from the Hollywood community, but the problem so far is in finding someone who can do all the jobs C.K. does, since he stars, writes, directs, works on the music and, until this season, did all the editing. He cited "Legit," an upcoming FX sitcom starring Australian comedian Jim Jefferies, where Jefferies does some writing, but needed help from a pair of other veteran comedy producers.

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<p>This is how John Landgraf looked in January at press tour. No clue what his facial hair will be like today...</p>

This is how John Landgraf looked in January at press tour. No clue what his facial hair will be like today...

Credit: FX

Press Tour 2012 Live-Blog: FX Executive Session with John Landgraf

Charlie Sheen talk, plus any give announcements from Saturday's TCA fun

BEVERLY HILLS - Because FX is always good at filling our Television Critics Association press tour days with news and content, I'm always happy to treat John Landgraf's executive sessions the same way I would treat a network executive session. I can't say the same for most cable execs.

Click through to see what Landgraf had to say about the network's Charlie Sheen experiment and any other topics of relevant conversation...

8:32 a.m. As previously announced, "Sons of Anarchy" will return on September 11. "American Horror Story," "The League" and "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" will be back in October.

8:32 a.m. Landgraf is happy with the network's recent performance. Everything is up. 

8:33 a.m. FX isn't going to make a decision on the back-90 for "Anger Management." But if the Back-90 is picked up, Martin Sheen will join the cast as a regular.

8:34 a.m. "Louie" has been renewed for a fourth season. WOOT! No announcement on "Wilfred" but Landgraf is "very optimistic." There's also no pickup for "The Americans," starring Keri Russell, but he's positive on the pilot.

8:35 a.m. FX is ordering a pilot  for "The Bridge" based on the Danish format.

8:36 a.m. FX has also ordered seven more episodes of "BrandX with Russell Brand" to premiere in the fall along with "Sunny" and "The League." Landgraf is happy with the show's creative growth, but he promises there will be creative changes.

8:37 a.m. Lastly: Landgraf wants the producers of streaming shows to come up with a meaningful apples-to-apples way of announcing the show's ratings. He wants "fair benchmarking." Heh. Landgraf wants to go to war with Netflix.

8:39 a.m. Landgraf stands by calling "American Horror Story" a miniseries. "No, I wasn't surprised," he says of the categorization. He tells us what we already knew: The second season of "AHS" takes place in the '60s in New England at a sanitarium run by the Catholic Church. He calls it "unbelievably scary."

8:40 a.m. Landgraf thinks "Wilfred" has "a many-year future on the network." They still have some "deal issues to work out." Regarding "Justified," he predicts a run of "at minimum six seasons."

8:41 a.m. He would love to find another Louis C.K. to do a "Louie"-esque shows. The network has gotten calls from a number of people thinking they could do something similar. He references that Jim Jeffries of "Legit" is a writer and actor, but he's not a filmmaker, so they have a team of three people doing the job that Louis CK does by himself. "'Louie' is great because Louis is great, but it's also great because it's a completely unvarnished show," he says.

8:43 a.m. What's the story with "Powers"? Chick Eglee is still doing the rewrite and he's written future episodes as well with a staff. If they elect to move forward, they'll start from scratch. "I think there's a possibility that some original cast members may return," Landgraf says, referencing that Jason Patric wants to look at those future scripts.

8:44 a.m. FX is hoping to launch two more dramas in the next year and he hopes the network can get to six or seven dramas on the air. The network's goal has been to concentrate on comedy for a couple years. "Now we're turning back to drama. I'm excited about that," he says. Currently FX only has three dramas. So... That's a lot of work. The late-night business is also a priority, though it will take "patience and stead-fastness."

8:46 a.m. FX has a big war-chest for theatrical releases and off-network pick-ups, but the network wants to be "masters of our own fate," rather than bidding up the cost on networks. It's easier to be masters with movies than with off-network shows. 

8:50 a.m. Is Landgraf happy with "Anger Managment" creatively? And why isn't FX picking up the back-90 now? Landgraf says that he is, indeed, happy with the creative direction of the show. He's excited that Martin Sheen's addition will make it "a multi-generational family show." He promises "Anger Management" will still deal with Charlie's relationships and his patients. "As with any comedy, I think it has more growth in it creatively," he says. He knows that we didn't love it, but he thinks our mistake was in comparing it to other FX comedies. "But with due respect, I think it's fair comparison is really to 'Two and a Half Men' and 'Two Broke Girls' and 'Mike & Molly' and other multi-camera shows," he says. The lack of pickup is based on FX's conservative nature. He calls the odds "overwhelming" that it will be renewed.

8:53 a.m. FX is really unhappy with the numbers Netflix is giving people. "Look, Netflix could tell you how many people watch each episode of 'Lillyhammer' if they wanted to," Landgraf argues. "They have more data than we do," Landgraf says. He wants us to demand "apples to apples" comparison to find out how many people watched shows in their totality on average. "There's a little bit fuzziness in the math of some of what's going on," Landgraf gripes, saying that if Netflix and Hulu are going to be at TCA, they should be giving us real numbers.

8:55 a.m. "I don't know if there is a better way... I wish there were a better way," Landgraf says of ways to prevent the recent DirecTV fracas. He observes that 95 percent of the time, the system doesn't break down, but sometimes it does.

8:58 a.m. A reporter points out that Netflix isn't in an apples-to-apples business with FX. Landgraf reframes it by saying that we should want accurate ratings as a service to our readers. He thinks it helps us. He keeps insisting he has enormous respect for Netflix, but he has no idea how many people watch pieces of Netflix programming. "They have a different business model, but there's something in common to everybody's business model, which is that we all want to develop hit programming." Landgraf says.

9:01 a.m. Has FX had situations where they felt that creative freedom went too far? Landgraf says he's had big fights with Ryan Murphy on "Nip/Tuck." He says he's not going to substitute his taste or aesthetic judgment for that of the showrunner. He also says he had massive fights with the "Rescue Me" on the controversial rape and admits that seven years on, today, he might specifically prevent the "Rescue Me" guys from doing that scene. He references at least one "Louie" episode that had to be trimmed. "We just have this inherent inclination towards letting people make their shows," he says. He wants FX shows to feel hand-crafted, rather than like something from a factory or IKEA.

9:06 a.m. Landgraf thinks that FX could get to 20 original shows plausibly, but the network has no aspiration to fill primetime with all-owned-and-original programming. 

9:07 a.m. Why don't Emmy voters like "Sons of Anarchy"? "The show is grungy and blue collar and violent and profane sometimes, although you might say that 'Breaking Bad' has those qualities too. I just think Emmy voters don't like it that much," Landgraf says. "I don't see the Emmys, at this point, giving it any recognition."

9:08 a.m. Landgraf wants to have programming to have balance between comedy. Comedy is cheaper. We know this. He references the "arms race" to make expensive dramas on cable, with HBO shows like "Game of Thrones" and "Boardwalk Empire" leading the way. FX dramas are losing money on an advertising basis. "I want us to always be active in both genres," he says.


That's all, folks...

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<p>Yep. &nbsp;That about sums it up.</p>

Yep.  That about sums it up.

Credit: Drafthouse Films

Review: Outrageous 'Klown' delivers shocking laughs and surprising heart

The latest release from Drafthouse Films pushes all sorts of boundaries

At some point, someone will write the history of this modern "comedy of the uncomfortable," and when they do, I hope they devote an entire chapter to "Klown."

It's been strange watching Drafthouse Films come into focus as a distributor simply because of how long I've known Tim League, and how clearly we're seeing his tastes reflected in the film that they're picking up for release.  The reason I'm enjoying their work as distributors is the same reason I enjoy their work as exhibitors.  They have a fearlessness that I admire, and any company that would put films like "Four Lions," "Bullhead," and "Klown" is a company that I'm willing to trust implicitly.

"Klown" is a feature film version of a Danish comedy series by Mikkel Norgaard, Casper Christensen, and Frank Hvam, and while I've never seen the series, that didn't affect my ability to enjoy the film completely.  It's self-contained and works as a stand-alone story.  I'm curious to see the show now, especially since it looks like Drafthouse Films is going to be distributing the series on DVD in the US.  The film tells the story of Casper and Frank, friends who have a canoe trip planned, and Casper views the trip as an excuse to get laid, with a stop along the way planned for a one-in-a-lifetime brothel that is run by a friend of theirs. 

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<p>The cover of Nas' &quot;Life is Good&quot;</p>

The cover of Nas' "Life is Good"

Nas and Zac Brown Band battle for No. 1 on low-selling Billboard 200

Difference in sales between No. 1 and No. 10 could be staggeringly close

Whether it’s summer doldrums or the focus on the Olympics, album sales fall off a cliff on next week’s Billboard 200.

With a few day left to go before Nielsen SoundScan’s tally closes Sunday night, this week’s No. 1, Nas’s “Life Is Good” and last week’s chart topper, Zac Brown Band’s “Unchanged” are too close to call for the pole position. Either way, neither one is selling more than 50,000, according to Hits Daily Double, which will mean that whoever is No. 1 next week holds the dubious distinction of the lowest total so far in 2012 for a No. 1.

There are only two bows in the Top 10. Gaslight Anthem’s major label debut, “Handwritten,” could come in as high at No. 3 or as low as No. 5: right now, “Handwritten,” Kidz Bop Kids’ “Kidz Bop 22,” and Justin Bieber’s “Believe” are all looking like they will move between 35,000-40,000 units each.

The other debut belongs to Passion Pit’s “Gossamer,” which will likely launch at No. 9 on sales of up to 32,000.

Just as the top 5 are too close to call, the same goes for No. 6-8. One Direction’s “Up All Night,” Adele’s “21,” and Frank Ocean’s “Channel Orange” are all trending toward sales of between 30,000-35,000.

Likely to land at No. 10 is Maroon 5’s “Overexposed” with sales of 24,000-27,000.

So if anyone’s paying close attention: If the No. 1 title sells on the low end of the projection at 45,000 and Maroon 5 sells at the high end for No. 10 at 27,000, that means only 18,000 units separate No. 1 from No. 10. I cannot imagine another scenario where that has ever been the case.

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