Latest Blog Posts

<p>Paul Williams, Barbra, and a pair of Oscars?&nbsp; That's the '70s all over, isn't it?</p>

Paul Williams, Barbra, and a pair of Oscars?  That's the '70s all over, isn't it?

Credit: SXSW

Watch: 'Paul Williams Still Alive' trailer makes its debut on the eve of SXSW

A look back at one of the industry's best songwriters is poignant, powerful

Paul Williams is a survivor.

The notion that the greatest challenge he's overcome in his lifetime is himself is just one of the things that makes Steve Kessler's documentary "Paul Williams Still Alive" such a pleasure and a revelation.  I've been familiar with the work of Paul Williams my whole life, and in many cases, I wasn't even aware when I was first introduced to his work that it was his. 

When the Muppets sang "Movin' Right Along" or "The Rainbow Connection" in "The Muppet Movie," or when Jodie Foster sang "My Name Is Tallulah" in "Bugsy Malone," I didn't know who wrote those songs.  I just knew that they were burned into my brain right away.  When I heard Karen Carpenter sing "Rainy Days and Mondays" or "We've Only Just Begun" on the radio, I didn't even think of the songwriter.  I just heard the story she was telling and the heartbreak that she wore like a badge.

Read Full Post
<p>Elizabeth Olsen at the 2012 Independent Spirit Awards.</p>

Elizabeth Olsen at the 2012 Independent Spirit Awards.

Credit: AP Photo/Joel Ryan

'Silent House' and 'Martha Marcy' star Elizabeth Olsen on the next phase of her career

With a new film opening this weekend, one of last year’s breakouts looks ahead

Elizabeth Olsen emerged with one of last season’s most notable performances in the psychological meditation on identity, community and occultism: “Martha Marcy May Marlene.” She had a strong presence in the critics’ circuit and many felt she ought to have been granted an Oscar nod. An aspect of the intrigue surrounding Olsen’s debut is, of course, her familial connection to the industry.

Her older sisters, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who began their careers before they even had the power of speech, have long been famous, essentially, for being famous. The twins have been associated with the dramatic spectrum of celebrity for years. Unthinkable wealth (they are said to have net worth of upwards of $120 million dollars and preside over a billion-dollar fashion empire) is countered with a near constant onslaught by a press corps in search of the details of their private lives.

Read Full Post
<p>Sean Hayes and Amy Poehler in &quot;Parks and Recreation.&quot;</p>

Sean Hayes and Amy Poehler in "Parks and Recreation."

Credit: NBC

'Parks and Recreation' - 'Lucky': Hot tub drive machine

Sean Hayes interviews Leslie in the last episode before spring break

A review of tonight's "Parks and Recreation" — which was written by Nick Offerman — coming up just as soon as I go buy myself a Walkman...

Read Full Post
<p>&quot;Chuck&quot; won last year's Best in Show tournament at Hulu.</p>

"Chuck" won last year's Best in Show tournament at Hulu.

Credit: NBC

Hulu's Best in Show returns for 2012

Which series will inherit the crown from "Chuck" this year?

March Madness for college basketball is almost here, and the science of bracketology is filtering its way into all sorts of corners of the pop culture universe. Grantland is running a 32-person bracket to determine the greatest "Wire" character ever (though both "Wire" fan Mike Schur and The Bunk himself have raised objections to the way it's gone). Vulture is asking experts to help determine the greatest TV drama of the last 25 years (today it was "The X-Files" vs. "The West Wing").

For the third year in a row, Hulu is running its Best in Show competition, in which TV fans get to vote on a bracket of 32 current series. And for the second year in a row, I'm serving as the special guest judge, but in a different capacity from last year.

Read Full Post
<p>Alison Brie as Annie on &quot;Community.&quot;</p>

Alison Brie as Annie on "Community."

Credit: NBC

Why I miss 'Community': Because Annie was Hector the Well-Endowed

The final entry in our series before the show returns to NBC next week

We are exactly one week away from the return of "Community" to NBC's primetime lineup, as the show starts all over again in its old Thursday at 8 timeslot on March 15. (Earlier that day, Hulu should be posting the archived stream of the "Community" PaleyFest panel I moderated, though I've already seen excerpts floating around on YouTube.) But since the show remains not on the air this week, it's time for one final installment in my weekly series on why I've missed the show during its absence.

Read Full Post
<p>Jessica Sanchez of &quot;American Idol&quot;</p>

Jessica Sanchez of "American Idol"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Results - Down to the Top 12

How did the judging twist impact Thursday's results

There wasn't much doubt which "Idol" contestant would be my Iron-Clad Lock To Not Be Eliminated This Week pick for this recap's image. Jessica Sanchez isn't going anywhere and probably not for a long, long, long time. If "Idol" could get an ethnically intriguing teenage girl to end the show's White Guys With Guitars winning streak, there would be great behind-the-scenes joy.

But we're a long way from worrying about this season's winner. In fact, we're a solid hour from meeting the season's first loser, so click through for the full recap...

Read Full Post
<p>SXSW&nbsp;Film&nbsp;Award plaques waiting to go to lucky filmmakers and their work</p>

SXSW Film Award plaques waiting to go to lucky filmmakers and their work

Credit: SXSW

SXSW: Opening salvo from the 26th annual

Fans and pros in the worlds of film, music and interactive descend on Texas

(Todd Gilchrist will be covering SXSW this year for In Contention. His dispatches will include reviews and interviews from the ground in Austin. We're happy to have him on board and look forward to his discoveries.)

AUSTIN, Texas - Because of the furor – and quite frankly, the films – at festivals like Cannes and Toronto, it’s easy to overlook South by Southwest as a destination for moviegoers, much less professionals and industry insiders eager to see what’s hot and what isn’t.

But SXSW has in recent years grown to epic proportions, thanks in no small part to its convergence of attendees from not just the film world, but music and technology as well, and that’s why it’s effectively the biggest festival stop in between Sundance in January and Cannes in May. Biggest doesn’t always necessarily mean best, mind you, but as with seemingly everything in Texas, where the festival is held, “more is more,” even when it just comes to where and in what context those movies are shown.

Read Full Post
Garbage selects first single from 'Not Your Kind of People'

Garbage selects first single from 'Not Your Kind of People'

What do Garbage and Garth Brooks have in common?

Photobucket

“Blood for Poppies” will be the first single from Garbage’s “Not Your Kind Of People,” our May 15.

We'll have to wait until March 18 to hear the song, but the video has already been shot in Los Angeles by director/photographer Matt Irwin. We wonder if it sounds like “I Hate Love,” another album track that the band circulated last month.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
Isaac Mizrahi

Isaac Mizrahi

Credit: Lifetime

Isaac Mizrahi talks about the final 4 designers of 'Project Runway All Stars'

The judge reveals who's grown the most - and who is most like himself

Isaac Mizrahi has had countless ups and downs as a designer, but that roller coaster ride may be just what makes him such an empathetic judge (and in many ways a counter to the merciless but funny Michael Kors) on "Project Runway All Stars." In a conference call with reporters, Mizrahi tackled topics ranging from his love for Teletubbies, why not watching the show has been good for him and his favorite moment on the show.

Which designer do you think has grown the most over the course of the season? 

Read Full Post
The Monkees
The Monkees

The Monkees' sales soar following Davy Jones' death

Plus, Michael Nesmith remembers Jones and the Monkees' ride

As we’ve seen all too recently with Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse and Whitney Houston, an artist’s death — and the attendant publicity — spurs sales.

The Monkees are the latest act to see such a jump. Following Davy Jones’ Feb. 29 death, the group returned to the Billboard 200 for the first time in nine years, according to Billboard. “The Best of the Monkees’  popped back onto the album chart yesterday at No. 20.  The Best of the Monkees” was last on the charts in June 2003.  The title’s sales of 17,000 were up 7,808% over the week before. (We can’t do the math, but that means it must have sold something like 400 copies last week).

“Flashback With the Monkees” came on the chart at No. 125.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
"The Talk"

"The Talk"

Credit: CBS

'The Talk' gets renewed by CBS for 2012-13 season

Julie Chen, Sara Gilbert and the rest of the girls will get a third year to yabber

Apparently being Mrs. Les Moonves has its privileges. Julie Chen (and her chatty co-stars Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne, Sheryl Underwood and Aisha Tyler) will return with 'The Talk' for a third season.

Read Full Post
<p>Katy Perry</p>

Katy Perry

Credit: AP Photo

Katy Perry brings all of her to 3D movie project, 'Part of Me'

Singer confirms concert pic's summer release

Ready to see Katy Perry’s strawberries in 3D? The singer’s 3D concert movie, “Part of Me,” will hit theaters this summer.

As we first reported in February, Perry was in discussions with Paramount and Imagine Entertainment to create the flick.  Those conversations clearly worked out, as Perry confirmed the release yesterday via, what else, Twitter: “FINALLY, my MOVIE is coming out with Paramount this summer! It's called "KATY PERRY: PART OF ME."

She’s the latest artist to appear on the big screen following “Michael Jackson’s This Is It,”  “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never,” “Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds,”  and “Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience.”

It’s a smart play to keep Perry, who appeared on Fox’s “Raising Hope” earlier this week,  foremost in fans’ minds as she takes some time off the road.  Up next for Perry is March 26’s release of “Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection.” The set features all of “Teenage Dream,” including some new material. Among the new songs are “Part Of Me,” the 3D movie’s title track, which Perry took straight to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 following the song’s premiere on the Feb. 12 Grammy Awards.

She tells MTV that she sees “Confection” as a gift to her longtime fans and also a way to bring in new fans.

One, I'm doing it mostly for the hard-core fans because they always love all the extras," Perry told MTV News in Los Angeles. "The second reason I wanted to do it is because it's my one last push, to push that person that is on the precipice of becoming a fan. They're thinking to themselves, 'I bought four or five singles, maybe I should actually complete my album and now I should really complete my album because I'm gonna get 19 songs for a really great price.' I think it's like a bargain and I'm doing it for my fans."

Follow Melinda Newman on Twitter @HitfixMelinda
 

Read Full Post
BLOGS BY NAME