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<p>Debra Messing in &quot;The Mysteries of Laura.&quot;</p>

Debra Messing in "The Mysteries of Laura."

Credit: NBC

Review: NBC's 'The Mysteries of Laura' could be this fall's worst new show

Don't wonder how Debra Messing can be a cop and a mom. Wonder how this got on the air.

With a show as loaded with lazy cop tropes as "The Mysteries of Laura," it's tempting to bust out a few TV critic clichés in kind. Maybe I could suggest that the series — whose promos all suggest that the chief mystery is how in the world a woman could possibly be both a cop and a mom(*) at the same time — is in the running for the best new fall show of 1984.

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Spike TV to air tribute to 'Cops' crew member killed during filming
Credit: Fox

Spike TV to air tribute to 'Cops' crew member killed during filming

Spike TV to air tribute to “Cops” crew member killed during filming
The special, airing Saturday, will pay tribute to Bryce Dion, a longtime audio technician with the show.


Jimmy Kimmel and Carson Daly sell ABC a comedy loosely based on Daly’s life
Daly, who once was Kimmel's 18-year-old intern at a Palm Springs radio station, is producing with Kimmel writing the project, about a popular VJ who "loses it all and is forced to move back in with his parents and take a job as host of a local radio 'morning zoo.’"


Listen to Mindy Kaling talk to Howard Stern about her dating past
“The Mindy Project” honcho spent this morning talking about juggling her sitcom jobs, her brief stint writing for “SNL,” and her past romances. PLUS: Shonda Rhimes’ “Mindy Project” role revealed, and Kaling says she “misspoke” about abortion being too serious for sitcoms.


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<p>Conan O&#39;Brien at Simpsons Take The Bowl</p>

Conan O'Brien at Simpsons Take The Bowl

Credit: Matthew Imaging

Highlights from The Simpsons Take The Bowl

Conan O'Brien, tributes to Phil Hartman, Courtney Galiano and more

There's no point of reviewing Sunday (September 14) night's The Simpsons Take The Bowl show from The Hollywood Bowl, at least not in a traditional way.

Sunday's presentation was the third and final night for The Simpsons Take The Bowl and, alas, if you didn't catch one of the shows... That's it. Sorry.

Timed to loosely synchronize with the classic comedy's 25th anniversary, the show's recent syndicated move to FXX and Sunday, September 28 premiere for the new season, The Simpsons Take The Bowl was a terrific two hours of live music, singing and dancing, culminating in fireworks. The event featured an assortment of new animation tailored around the venue, but also included classic "Simpsons" bits including Homer's plummet down the Springfield Gorge, Homer's gambol through The Land of Chocolate and the transition from the Ajax Steel Mill into The Anvil.

I'm not sure that all of my favorite "Simpsons" musical moments were acknowledged. I guess Terry Cashman had other things to do and couldn't make a "Talking Softball" appearance. I know Harry Shearer is starring in a play in London and I assume Dan Castellaneta and Julie Kavner had similar reasons for being absent. Kelsey Grammer's a busy guy, but it should would have been nice to hear some Sideshow Bob crooning live. But when you're distilling 552 episodes, a movie, an Oscar nominated short and a hit album into a two-hour concert, choices will always be made. 

So in lieu of an actual review, let me quickly recount a few highlights:

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The Homesman
Credit: Roadside Attractions

Tommy Lee Jones and Hilary Swank are a western odd couple in new 'Homesman' trailer

The actor-turned-filmmaker's western rides in from Cannes

Becoming a man of "true grit" earned John Wayne his only Oscar back in 1970. Could the same broken heroism push Tommy Lee Jones into the Oscar conversation?

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Gone Girl
Credit: 20th Century Fox

Will David Fincher's 'Gone Girl' subvert expectations with a comedy edge?

Here's what the murder mystery has in common with National Lampoon.

David Fincher isn't a comedy director by trade, but his work has a wicked sense of humor. The violent psyches of "Fight Club," the plentiful frustration in "Zodiac" and Jesse Eisenberg's love him/hate him work as Mark Zuckerberg in "The Social Network" were dramatic explorations tinged with comedy. Though the trailer for his latest, "Gone Girl," sets up a haunting thriller crafted with Fincher's meticulous style, recent comments from the director warn audiences to brace themselves: This could be his "funniest" movie yet.

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8 important awards season revelations after Venice, Telluride and Toronto

8 important awards season revelations after Venice, Telluride and Toronto

Someone's gonna get hurt in that Best Actor race

The race for Oscar is akin to a political campaign, and the first three Fall film festivals have made a significant impact on all the major races. Consider that Venice, Telluride and Toronto take place within three weeks of each other and you have a huge indicator of how the season will progress. With that in mind, here are eight major takeaways that are still buzzing in our heads as the Oscar race begins.

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The revamped 'View' kicks off with the kissing of Barbara Walters’ ring
Credit: ABC

The revamped 'View' kicks off with the kissing of Barbara Walters’ ring

The revamped "View” kicks off with the kissing of Barbara Walters’ ring
Walters wore a crown as Whoopi Goldberg and Rosie O’Donnell joined newbies Nicolle Wallace and Rosie Perez in kissing Walters’ ring.


“SNL” newbie: Pete Davidson: “I don’t even know what race I am"
With the racial makeup of the cast a hot topic, Davidson has said in his standup act that “I’m all miscellaneous in the face,” implying that he’s multiracial — though his race wasn’t brought up in a recent Q&A. Meanwhile, “SNL” has had several famous mixed-race alumni who've been able to play multiple races, including Fred Armisen, Maya Rudolph and Rob Schneider.


“A Different World” cast reunite on OWN
Watch a preview of the Oct. 26 episode of "Oprah: Where Are They Now?,” featuring the cast of “The Cosby Show” spinoff.


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<p>Ariana, look out! He&#39;s behind you!</p>

Ariana, look out! He's behind you!

Watch Ariana Grande and Chris Brown's ridiculous 'Don't Be Gone Too Long' music video

Garner thy ancient hoodie

Ariana Grande and Chris Brown went to a Renaissance Faire and came out clean on the other side with a new music video.

"Don't Be Gone Too Long" is off of Brown's long-delayed "X," out tomorrow. And while I like Grande and Brown's voices together, this song is a particular thudder, like two talented people being stuffed into a single catchy phrase.

Good thing there's MAGIC to be had. Check out the steamy landscape, like "Neverending Story." Or the prima nocta moves, like in "Braveheart." Prince Douchebag (the villain, I mean) looks like Alan Rickman, a la "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves." And Grande's a ballerina, like in... "Black Swan." Brown directed it, noting he "wanted to do something different" on Twitter. So there's that, to explain thine ancient white hoodie.

The sung phrase "no one to love me when you're gone" stings a little much when it Brown behind the words, and that damsel-in-distress arm-grab at the end certainly was some interesting choreography. Don't you know that ho's loyal?

Grande only recently released her chart-topping album "My Everything," and will appear on "Saturday Night Live" with Chris Pratt on Sept. 27. Chris Brown, on the other hand, pleaded guilty to a not-Rihanna assault on Sept. 2, stemming from an altercation from last October. His most repeated fact from his recent Billboard cover interview is that he's just human, y'know.

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<p>Brandon Marshall of the Chicago Bears</p>

Brandon Marshall of the Chicago Bears

Credit: AP

TV Ratings: Bears-49ers action leads NBC past Miss America on Sunday

'American Dad' and 'Unforgettable' also make ripples

Fast National ratings for Sunday, September 14, 2014.

NBC's Sunday Night Football telecast of a close game between the Bears and 49ers dominated a Sunday that also saw NFL coverage boost CBS, so-so numbers for Miss America and the penultimate FOX week for "American Dad."

Between NBC's live football and roughly a 50-minute NFL overrun for CBS, Sunday numbers are, as always, preliminary and subject to change.

On to those numbers...

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Notes From Toshi Station: A sneak peek reaction to 'Star Wars Rebels: Spark Of Rebellion'
Credit: Disney XD/Lucasfilm Ltd.

Notes From Toshi Station: A sneak peek reaction to 'Star Wars Rebels: Spark Of Rebellion'

Who is better suited to judge the new show than an actively engaged fan?

To begin with, I'd like to announce that my nine-year-old son Toshi McWeeny has been appointed "Senior Junior 'Star Wars' Correspondent" for HitFix.

After all, he was the one who attended the "Phantom Menace 3D" press day with me and conducted all of the interviews, and one of the things that defined Film Nerd 2.0 was our series of "Star Wars" articles. At this point, Toshi is far more immersed in "Star Wars" than I am on a daily basis. He has books he reads, comics he looks at, and a constant stream of revisits of the different films and TV shows that are already part of the overall franchise. It is something that is an active part of his inner life and his ongoing play with his little brother. It is safe to say that there is not a day that goes by that "Star Wars" is not part of their conversation to some extent, so who better to have be our liaison to that galaxy far far away?

When I was at the Toronto Film Festival, there was a special event thrown by Disney on the Disney lot in Burbank where they screened the premiere for "Star Wars: Rebels," the new animated series that Disney XD is about to start airing. One of the weirdest nights I've had this year was the opening night of this year's Comic-Con, when we had our annual HitFix party and our sponsors for the evening were Lucasfilm for this particular show. It was a bizarre evening simply because it's not often I am one of the people throwing a party where there are Stormtroopers, Imperial Guards, and droids all milling about, and if seven-year-old me had tried to imagine a poolside party full of not only the characters but the people in charge of them, he would have failed utterly to imagine how much fun the reality could be.

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'SNL' adds 20-year-old standup comic Pete Davidson, demotes featured player Mike O’Brien
Credit: ABC

'SNL' adds 20-year-old standup comic Pete Davidson, demotes featured player Mike O’Brien

“SNL” adds 20-year-old standup comic Pete Davidson, demotes featured player Mike O’Brien
Mike O’Brien, a longtime "SNL" writer who is being moved back to the writer’s room after a one-year stint as featured player, becomes the fourth of the six cast members hired last fall who  won't return for the Season 40 cast (The two remaining are Kyle Mooney and Beck Bennett from the Good Neighbor sketch comedy group). Davidson, a "real New Yorker" who turns 21 in November, will become the only featured player hired this season. He is also the first "SNL" cast member born in the '90s. PLUS: Watch Davidson perform standup on “Jimmy Kimmel Live" earlier this year, and everything you need to know about Davidson, including his stint on "Brooklyn Nine-Nine."


VH1 renews “Dating Naked”
A whole new crop of couples will get together for Season 2.

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Donny.
Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Big Brother' Sunday - The Jury Members We Miss Most

Six fallen houseguests reenter the house. And we miss them.

The only thing more hilariously lame than the first 55 minutes of last Thursday's "Big Brother" was the way Julie Chen concluded it in the final seconds. Paraphrased: "Did you like last week's mundane episodes of 'Big Brother'? Well, HERE COMES THAT VERY MUNDANITY AGAIN. Next week we're bringing you the same boring challenges, the same boring final five, and for some reason we're adding more episodes. Cheers! It's like I always say: Expect the unexpected. Unless you expected something insufferable. Then go ahead and expect that." 

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