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<p>Sofia Vergara and One Direction on &quot;Saturday Night Live&quot;</p>
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Sofia Vergara and One Direction on "Saturday Night Live"

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'Saturday Night Live' - Sofia Vergara and One Direction

Could 'SNL' make use of the 'Modern Family' star's particular gifts?
Welcome back, “Saturday Night Live” fans. When last we met, the show had put forth a subpar effort involving Jonah Hill. If “SNL” couldn’t produce a funny program with Hill as the lead, then it was probably time to take a good, long break. And lo and behold, here we are nearly a month later with the first new show since that debacle. Sofia Vergara makes her debut hosting appearance tonight, and I’m sure not once will her ample…talents be the focus of most of the sketches. Nope. No way. Just like there’s no way “The Manuel Ortiz Show” won’t make an appearance tonight, either. What WILL make an appearance? Musical guest One Direction, Myles McNutt’s favorite band, and the reason I imagine 80% of you will be reading this recap in the first place.
 
Let’s see if the time off did the show any good. As always, I’ll be grading each sketch in real time. Let’s see how many fun ways my word-processing program can auto-correct “Vergara.” This should be fun. Onto the recap!
 
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<p>Madonna</p>
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Madonna

Credit: Chris Pizzello/AP

Music Power Rankings: Madonna tops Justin Bieber

Miranda Lambert, One Direction and Bob Dylan make the list

1) Madonna: She lands her eighth No. 1 album with “MDNA.” FNTSTC.

2) Justin Bieber:
Believers take “Boyfriend” to a No. 2 debut on the Billboard Hot 100 as the song breaks the record for first week airplay on Billboard’s Mainstream Top 40 chart. His fans are finally tall enough to reach the radio dial.

3) Lionel Richie: “Tuskegee” lands the ex-Commodore his highest debut on the Billboard 200 in 26 years. That’s one and a half Justin Bieber lifetimes.

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<p>A scene from &quot;It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown.&quot;</p>

A scene from "It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown."

Credit: United Feature Syndicate

Cinejabber: Happy Easter, everyone

Open thread. The floor is yours.

Apologies for going quiet on you like that -- my March flu has returned with reinforcements, and I've been too groggy to get much of anything done. The Easter weekend couldn't be more sympathetically timed.

Anyway, welcome back to Cinejabber, your weekend space to bandy about any random movie-related thoughts you may have on your mind.

Any of you planning to go to the movies over the holiday, or are you nesting at home with chocolate eggs and DVDs? With "Titanic 3D" casting its shadow over the multiplexes, the week's new wide releases don't look too tempting -- though if you live in New York or LA, I urge you to hurry off to "Damsels in Distress," which beguiled me in Venice, wound up on my 2011 Top 10, and stands comfortably as my favorite comedy of the last couple of years. 

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<p>Lena Dunham on the set of HBO's &quot;Girls.&quot;</p>

Lena Dunham on the set of HBO's "Girls."

Credit: HBO

Interview: 'Girls' producers Lena Dunham & Jenni Konner

The 'Tiny Furniture' director talks about her comedy of sexual misadventure in Brooklyn
When I first sat down to watch HBO's new comedy series "Girls," I didn't know what to expect. I hadn't at that point seen the movie "Tiny Furniture," which, like "Girls," was written by, directed by and starring Lena Dunham. The actors were mostly unknowns, and though Judd Apatow was attached as a producer, I assumed with his feature career he wasn't going to be nearly as hands-on as he was with "Freaks and Geeks" and "Undeclared" a decade ago.
 
But the series — in which Dunham plays Hannah Horvath, a wannabe writer struggling with work, sex, friendship and money in Brooklyn — wowed me from the start. I'll have a review closer to the premiere (next Sunday at 10:30), but by the time I was done with the first three episodes I knew I wanted to talk to Dunham, and with her showrunning partner Jenni Konner, whose career started as a writer on "Undeclared."
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<p>And the winner for 'Best Newly Minted Movie Star Who Is So In-Demand That It Takes Two Studios To Schedule Her These Days' is...</p>

And the winner for 'Best Newly Minted Movie Star Who Is So In-Demand That It Takes Two Studios To Schedule Her These Days' is...

Credit: Lionsgate

Jennifer Lawrence gets start dates for 'Hunger Games' and 'X-Men' sequels

Two studios go to-to-toe and then... co-operate?

If I were a betting man, I'd bet that Gary Ross does end up making the second film in the "Hunger Games" series.

Whoever ends up directing the film, it's going to have to shoot this fall, and that means the heat is on for Simon Beaufoy, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of "Slumdog Millionaire," to get the script in shape.  If Ross does return, he and Suzanne Collins are going to take a crack at it again as well, and that's going to take a little time.  They've got to be working at a gallop right now.

And now that the schedule is set for "Catching Fire," Fox is able to claim a January start date for a sequel to "X-Men: First Class," once again directed by Mathew Vaughn.  And just like that, Jennifer Lawrence is sort of officially a movie star.

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<p>Mike of &quot;Survivor: One World&quot;</p>
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Mike of "Survivor: One World"

Credit: CBS

HitFix Interview: Michael Jefferson talks 'Survivor: One World'

The latest castoff discusses the strategic choices around his blindside
Michael Jefferson was blindsided because Troy Robertson got played.
 
As "Survivor" exit causality goes, this is a simple one to break down.
 
On Wednesday's (April 4) episode, Kim played Iago to Troy's Othello and whispered in his ear that Mike was out to get him and it would be better to vote Mike out now before his scheming had the chance to yield fruit.
 
It was just that simple. The newly insecure Troy turned on his former alliance-mate and because he never bothered to do any primary source fact-checking on Kim's claim, he joined the plot to vote Mike out. 
 
Mike, it turns out, didn't especially like Troy, but he also wasn't anxious to deplete the number of remaining "Survivor" men. Oh well. 
 
[Note: Because of timing issues this week, I had to conduct this email via email. I'm very glad that even that was able to work out, because I'm a completist. However, there are places here where in an actual interview, I'd have asked follow-up questions, which didn't get to happen here. You probably wouldn't have noticed.]
 
Click through for the full interview...
 
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<p>&nbsp;Nicki Minaj</p>
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 Nicki Minaj

Credit: John Minchillo/AP

Nicki Minaj's 'Roman Reloaded' shoots straight for the top of the Billboard 200

How far does Madonna's 'MDNA' fall on next week's album chart?

The rotation at the top of the Billboard 200 continues as Nicki Minaj prepares to assume the top spot next week with “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded.” That will make six different titles at No. 1 in the past six weeks.

Minaj’s sophomore set looks good for sales of up to 235,000, which will lead it to handily come in above Adele’s “21,” which will bounce back up to No. 2 with sales of up to 165,000, according to Hits Daily Double. Three other titles look good to bow in the top 10: Rascal Flatts’ “Changed” will move up to 120,000 copies for No. 3, while gospel artist Marvin Sapp’s “I Win” will likely come in at No. 7 with up to 50,000 sold.

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<p>Leonardo Di Caprio and Kate Winslet are back in theaters in 'Titanic,' and this time, it's in 3D</p>

Leonardo Di Caprio and Kate Winslet are back in theaters in 'Titanic,' and this time, it's in 3D

Credit: Paramount/20th Century Fox

The Weekend Watch: 'Titanic' sets sail again and 'Zoo' comes home

A new column helps you cut through the clutter and make the most of your weekend

You've got a lot of options for what to watch and how, and we want to help you plan your weekend with a new column where we'll highlight three things you can see in theaters, three things you'll find streaming, and three titles new to home video.  Appropriately enough, we call this The Weekend Watch.

IN THEATERS NOW

There are certainly new movies to see this weekend.  I'm not sure I'd really recommend "American Reunion," but I have a feeling you know already if it's something you'd enjoy or not.  It is, in every way, an "American Pie" film.  I did not make it to an early screening of Whit Stillman's "Damsels In Distress," but I'll be catching up with it ASAP.  I've also got "We Have A Pope" here in the house, and I'll be seeing that this weekend at some point.  Morgan Spurlock's "Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope," a documentary about geek culture and what draws people to San Diego in record numbers every year now, also opens in limited release, and it's worth seeing.  For my money, though, these are the three films in theaters this weekend most worth your attention:

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<p>Seth Gabel of &quot;Fringe&quot;</p>
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Seth Gabel of "Fringe"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'Fringe' - 'Everything In Its Right Place'

Why tonight's episode was the best of the season, and why that is such a tragedy
Olivia Dunham has recently found herself unable to remember the events of her life since David Robert Jones’ cortiphexan injections helped awaken her to her past reality. In semi-related news, I found myself in the curious position tonight of no longer really remembering what happened on “Fringe” before Peter fused the two worlds together. And honestly? I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. On one level it was almost definitely a good thing: “Everything In Its Right Place” had problems but definitely stood out as one of the season’s strongest entries. But it’s also one of the strongest entries precisely because I no longer find myself wondering when things will return to normal. While that might be music to some of your ears, it sounds like Lou Reed’s “Metal Machine Music” to mine.
 
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<p>Rihanna</p>
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Rihanna

Credit: Joel Ryan/AP

Watch: Drake and Rihanna try to thaw their feelings in 'Take Care' video

Frozen hearts can sometimes learn to love again

Talk about an ice age. Drake and Rihanna’s clip for “Take Care” is visit to the frozen tundra of your heart.

The two characters want to take care of each other, but are too scared to let themselves be  vulnerable.  In the strikingly shot, primarily black and white clip, a minimalist aesthetic that matches the starkness of the loneliness both Drake and Rihanna feel perfectly matches the tone.  There is a buffalo, bird and fish thrown in for good measure, as well as beautiful nature footage of a snow-covered landscape.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Brendan Benson</p>

Brendan Benson

Credit: Jo McCaughey

Interview: Brendan Benson on his new 'World,' his own label and the Raconteurs

EXCLUSIVE: Singer-songwriter helping release Raconteurs 7" on Jack White's Third Man Records

“I’m tired of the underdog mentality. I’m older and I am not cool.“

Hey, Brendan Benson has done his time. He’s been making solo albums for more than a dozen years, and already spent his years drinking too late, touring too hard, handing his royalties over to labels that have dropped him, or folded, or in one-offs deals. He’s married now, has a two-year-old kid and – in a new change of scenery – has his own label. Which is sort of like having a kid, he said.
 
His new album, “What Kind of World” (out April 21), is his first set for Readymade, which is now putting out other artists like The Lost Brothers, Young Hines, Leah Mason and Cory Chisel, all artists Benson has also produced. His Readymade label and publishing partners -- Thirty Tigers, Downtown Music Publishing, Terrorbird, Big Hassle, Hard Boiled Inc., Toolshed, and Music Alternatives -- also seem ready to tangle, themselves “underdogs” on a completely independent mission.
 
This new period in his career feels like the time he made “Lapalco,” from 2002.
 
“I started out thinking I wasn’t sure if I had a label anymore, which proved to be the case halfway through. The other part of it was not even know if I wanted to continue in the music business,” he explained, now further into the bowels of the music business. “People thought I was in a rut, and Virgin kept me on two or three years, telling me, ‘We don’t hear a chorus.’ That was a f*cking hard time in my life… I was left liberated and wandering.”
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<p>&nbsp;Willie Nelson</p>

 Willie Nelson

Credit: AP Photo

Listen: Willie Nelson covers Pearl Jam's 'Just Breathe'

How does it compare to his version of Coldplay's 'The Scientist?'

Willie Nelson can seldom do wrong in our book. Today, he released his cover of Pearl Jam’s “Just Breathe,” which is featured on his May 15 album, “Heroes” (listen here, via Rolling Stone).  We already heard his interpretation of Coldplay’s “The Scientist” on a Chipotle commercial during the Super Bowl.

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