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Into the Woods
Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

Casting Society to honor 'Into the Woods' director Rob Marshall at Artios Awards

'Goodfellas' casting director Ellen Lewis will also receive special honors.

While the Oscars have yet to make room for casting directors — a pivotal part of the Best Picture equation — the oversight isn't stopping the Casting Society of America from readying its third decade of picking up the Academy's slack.

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<p>Jeffrey Tambor in &quot;Transparent.&quot;</p>

Jeffrey Tambor in "Transparent."

Credit: Amazon

'Transparent' star Jeffrey Tambor on finding his inner woman

As a transgender female, the 'Arrested Development' alum has the toughest role of his career
Jeffrey Tambor has been to the comedy mountaintop twice with "The Larry Sanders Show" and "Arrested Development," and has had a long and productive career that's seen him working pretty much non-stop since 1979. So he knows from professional fulfillment.

But he's never had a role as challenging, or as potentially rewarding, as his current job on "Transparent," the new Amazon dramedy that will premiere on Friday morning. (Amazon will make all 10 episodes of the first season available at once.)

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Charlie Sheen is attempting to be part of 'Two and a Half Men’s' send-off
Credit: CBS

Charlie Sheen is attempting to be part of 'Two and a Half Men’s' send-off

'Madam Secretary' debuts to 14.3 million, 'The Good Wife' has its lowest-ever premiere

Charlie Sheen is attempting to be part of “Two and a Half Men’s” send-off
"I've reached out to them and they've reached back,” Sheen tells TV Guide. "We're trying to figure out what makes the most sense. If they figure it out like I've presented it to them and they want to include me in some final send-off, I'm available and I'm showing up early. If not, it's on them."

“Madam Secretary” debuts to 14.3 million, “The Good Wife” has its lowest-ever premiere
The Tea Leoni drama, however, only attracted only a small number very important young viewers, while “The Good Wife” was down 13% from last season’s premiere.

NY Times public editor calls Shonda Rhimes “angry black woman” article "astonishingly tone-deaf and out of touch”
Public editor Margaret Sullivan is investigating how that piece TV critic Alessandra Stanley ended up in the paper.

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<p>LeGarrette Blount of the Pittsburgh Steelers</p>

LeGarrette Blount of the Pittsburgh Steelers

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: 'Madam Secretary' premiere overshadowed by Super Bowl rematch, Steelers-Panthers

CBS leads Sunday overall, but NBC wins the key demo

Fast National ratings for Sunday, September 21, 2014.

CBS' overrun from a Broncos-Seahawks overtime Super Bowl rematch and NBC's Sunday Night Football telecast dominated primetime in all measures, overshadowing CBS' premieres for "Madam Secretary" and "The Good Wife."

In preliminary numbers, "Madam Secretary" got a good sampling with 14.28 million viewers, but did only a lackluster 1.9 key demo rating, while "The Good Wife" then sunk to 9.95 million and a 1.3 key demo rating, but since football extended roughly 64 minutes into CBS primetime for much of the country each total includes four minutes of the previous program and everybody should know better than to take much stock in the Fast National numbers.

I'll have more analysis either this afternoon with Finals, or bundled into Monday night ratings analysis tomorrow afternoon.

On to the Fast National numbers...

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Credit: Summit Entertainment

Joseph Gordon-Levitt could be Edward Snowden for Oliver Stone

The actor just wrapped Robert Zemeckis' biopic 'The Walk.'

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is on a biopic kick. With Robert Zemeckis' 'The Walk,' a dramatization of French tightrope walker Philippe Petit's stroll across the Twin Towers, in the can, the actor is eying up a hot-button true story that will inevitably thrust him into future awards talk.

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Gone Girl
Credit: 20th Century Fox

Trent Reznor teases industrial 'Gone Girl' score on Nine Inch Nails site

The soundtrack marks Reznor's third collaboration with David Fincher.

As anticipation and positive buzz for David Fincher's 'Gone Girl' builds, Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor and composing partner Atticus Ross have unleashed the first snippet of the film's score — a layered wall of sound that takes the duo into new territory.

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<p>Scorpion, Forever and NCIS: New Orleans</p>

Scorpion, Forever and NCIS: New Orleans

Credit: CBS/ABC

Fall TV reviews: 'Scorpion,' 'Forever' & 'NCIS: New Orleans'

A dumb drama about smart people, a rehash about immortality and a third-generation spin-off

Last year, the network TV season began while I was still in a hospital bed recovering from a burst appendix and the complications that followed. Working at half-speed, I decided the only way to weather the deluge of new shows was to give all but a handful the capsule review treatment, offering up a paragraph or so on each, often with several shows in the same post, figuring I would revisit the ones that got more interesting down the road.

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<p>Katharine McPhee</p>

Katharine McPhee

Credit: AP

Interview: 'Scorpion' star Katharine McPhee on stunts, fictional motherhood and her 'Smash' Tony loss

'American Idol' veteran hopes her CBS drama doesn't let her sing

Going back to my failure to get on-board with the Soul Patrol, I'm accustomed to supporting Katharine McPhee in ill-fated circumstances.

It's no wonder, then, that we're simpatico when it comes to Karen Cartwright losing the Tony to Ivy Lynn.

"That's a great question," McPhee says when I inquire about her disappointment regarding this fictional theater award. "I wanted Karen to win!"

"[M]y heart kind of like broke for her," McPhee admits. "I'm like, 'Really? She ends up with this loser guy who goes to jail and she can't even win the Tony?' And she has to have this nasty catfight with a girl who she could have potentially had a great relationship with? And she can't win the Tony. At least she got to play Marilyn for a little bit."

McPhee's two-year run on "Smash" taught her many lessons, which we discussed in July when we sat down to talk about her new CBS drama "Scorpion," premiering on Monday (September 22) night. The buzzy NBC musical shaped her approach to subsequent acting roles and also impacted what she was looking for in pilots when she looked at scripts last spring.

In "Scorpion," McPhee plays Paige, who begins as a diner waitress trying her best to raise a wildly introverted young genius. Through an odd set of circumstances, she comes to meet Elyes Gabel's Walter O'Brien and his rag-tag team of socially maladjusted whiz-kids and this somehow leads to car chases and a massive stunt involving an airplane.

In our conversation, McPhee talks about what attracted her to Paige and the challenges of playing both a young mother and also playing the "normal" character in a show about prodigies. 

She explains how much, or how little, she got to do in those huge stunt scenes and admits that she has no clue what "Hit List" was actually about.

Oh and how long before her "Scorpion" character takes the gang out karaoke singing? Or at admits her life-long dream has been music? McPhee hopes it's a while.

Check out the full interview...

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Off the Carpet: Oscar's foreign film race takes flight with just a little controversy

Off the Carpet: Oscar's foreign film race takes flight with just a little controversy

Submissions are flying in from all corners of the globe, but what will Russia do?

Next Tuesday, Sept. 30 is the cut-off date for contenders in the Best Foreign Language Film category to be released in their home countries. Slowly but surely all corners of the globe have been declaring their participants, and as these things go, it's been a relatively drama-free build so far. OK, there have been a couple of eyebrow raisers.

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<p>Julianna Margulies in &quot;The Good Wife.&quot;</p>

Julianna Margulies in "The Good Wife."

Credit: CBS

Season premiere review: 'The Good Wife' - 'The Line'

Cary gets busted, while Eli wants Alicia to run for office

A quick review of "The Good Wife" season premiere coming up just as soon as we have a general conversation about my business holdings...

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<p>Caitlin FitzGerald as Libby Masters in Masters of Sex</p>

Caitlin FitzGerald as Libby Masters in Masters of Sex

Credit: Showtime

Review: 'Masters of Sex' - 'One for the Money, Two for the Show'

Bill and Virginia get ready for their closeups, while Libby gets a lift from Robert

A review of tonight's "Masters of Sex" coming up just as soon as she's a man and I'm a woman...

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<p>Madam Secretary</p>

Madam Secretary

Credit: CBS

Series premiere talkback: 'Madam Secretary' - 'Pilot'

What did everybody think of the new CBS drama?

I published my review of "Madam Secretary" on Friday. Now it's your turn. For those who tuned into the new CBS drama, what did you think? Did the material live up to the fine cast that's been assembled? Did you like Téa Leoni in a mostly serious context? Do you also dream of a Secretary of State who doesn't know there's a box? Were you distracted and/or amused that the actors playing the imprisoned boys' parents (a real-life acting couple) were part of the classic "Frasier" episode "Roz & the Schnoz"? And will you watch again?

Have at it. This seems like one I'm going to set aside and try watching again post-football, assuming it lasts that long, to see if it turns into something better down the road.

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