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<p>Critical favorite &quot;Senna&quot; was controversially left off this year's documentary Oscar longlist -- might it have made it in under the new rules?</p>

Critical favorite "Senna" was controversially left off this year's documentary Oscar longlist -- might it have made it in under the new rules?

Credit: Producers' Distribution Agency

Round-up: Oscar's doc rule change favors theatrical visibility

Also: 'The Iron Lady''s composer switch and the craftsmen of 'War Horse'

Credit where it's due to the Academy: when the high number of egregious omissions in this year's documnentary Oscar longlist (from "Senna" to "The Interrupters" to "Tabloid") made it clear that something in the system was broken, they didn't waste too much time attempting a fix. Whether their solution works remains to be seen: in future, any doc hoping to compete will need to be reviewed in either the New York Times or Los Angeles Times to qualify, spelling the end of phantom qualifying runs. Some are protesting that this discriminates unfairly against smaller works with sketchier distribution, though I don't think it's unreasonable to limit the competition to films that have, at some point, been made available to the public in a theatrical context: it's no different from how the general Oscar categories work, after all. Perhaps the Best Foreign Language Film award should go the same way? [New York Times]    

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<p>Charlie Sheen, seen here at his Comedy Central roast, stopped by press tour last night.</p>

Charlie Sheen, seen here at his Comedy Central roast, stopped by press tour last night.

Credit: Comedy Central

Press tour: Charlie Sheen 'not crazy anymore' as he talks 'Anger Management'

Sitcom star stays on message in discussing new show and 'Two and a Half Men'
Charlie Sheen spent the first few months after being fired from "Two and a Half Men" trying to win the PR battle through a series of bizarre interviews, tweets and stage shows filled with Sheen-y buzzwords about "winning," "goddesses," and "tiger blood." The Sheen who became the main attraction at last night's combined FOX/FX press tour party was still doing image rehab, but coming from a much calmer, more magnanimous place.
Surrounded by reporters, Sheen was in his element: happy and laid-back and entirely on message. Asked at one point what makes him different from the guy getting into all that trouble a year ago, Sheen laughed and said, "Well, I'm not crazy anymore! That was an episode."
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<p>Laura Prepon and Chelsea Handler in &quot;Are You There, Chelsea?&quot;</p>

Laura Prepon and Chelsea Handler in "Are You There, Chelsea?"

Credit: NBC

Review: Laura Prepon channels Chelsea Handler in 'Are You There, Chelsea?'

Handler plays her own sister as one of several confusing issues in an unfunny sitcom
NBC's new comedy "Are You There, Chelsea?" (Wednesday at 8:30 p.m.) is a riddle wrapped in an enigma drowned in Kahlua. Among the confusing issues:
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<p>If &quot;The Tree of&nbsp;Life&quot;&nbsp;is showing weakness, &quot;Pirates of the Caribbean:&nbsp;On&nbsp;Stranger Tides&quot; and the franchise's history in the category could be a spoiler to watch.</p>

If "The Tree of Life" is showing weakness, "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" and the franchise's history in the category could be a spoiler to watch.

Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

'Tintin,' 'Harry Potter' and 'Transformers' out front with Visual Effects Society nominations

Oscar shortlisters 'Real Steel,' 'The Tree of Life' and 'X-Men: First Class' shut out

The Visual Effects Society has announced its list of nominees for the organization's 10th annual ceremony, and leading the way wasn't one of the live action blockbusters on the whittled-down slate of 10 advancing Oscar contenders. It was Steven Spielberg's animated offering "The Adventures of Tintin," which landed six nominations across the feature film categories.

The animated films are segregated by the Society, though, (and "Tintin" was not shortlisted by the Academy), so leading the way for live action entries was the year's one-two franchise punch (and perhaps not-so-coincidentally the top two domestic grossers of the year) "Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows: Part 2" and "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen." Each picked up five nominations.

"Rise of the Planet of the Apes" wasn't far behind with four. All three are considered frontrunners for the Best Visual Effects Oscar race.

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<p>Shockwave is pleased with &quot;Transformers:&nbsp;Dark of the Moon's&quot;&nbsp;VES&nbsp;Awards nominations.</p>

Shockwave is pleased with "Transformers: Dark of the Moon's" VES Awards nominations.

Credit: Paramount Pictures

'Harry Potter,' 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon,' Game of Thrones' lead 2012 Visual Effects Society Awards Nominations

'Tree of Life" is shut out from the digital guild

The Visual Effects Society (VES) today announced the nominees for its 10th Annual VES Awards and the surprise was the exclusion of Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life."  Short-listed for the Oscar for Visual Effects, "Life" didn't land any film-centric nominations.

On the film side, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. 2"  and "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" each landed five nominations. "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" found four nominations, "Hugo" received three while "Thor" and "Captain America: The First Avenger" landed two nods respectively. "The Adventures of Tintin" had the most film nominations - animated or live-action - with six.

On the television side, "Boardwalk Empire"lead the way with four nominations, "Game of Thrones" found three nominations and "Pan Am" and "Terra Nova" each landed two.

As previously announced, Stan Lee will be honored with the VES 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award and Douglas Trumbull with the Georges Méliès Award.

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<p>Josh Lucas and Molly Parker in &quot;The Firm.&quot;</p>

Josh Lucas and Molly Parker in "The Firm."

Credit: NBC

'The Firm' - 'Pilot': The Firm 2: Die firmer?

What did everybody think of NBC's new legal drama?

I posted my review of NBC's "The Firmsequel earlier this week. Now it's your turn. Did this feel like a worthy successor to either the John Grisham book or Tom Cruise movie? Did Josh Lucas make a good Mitch McDeere? Did the presence of both Callum Keith Rennie and Tricia Helfer make you wonder whether this new firm is some kind of elaborate Cylon plot? Did you care at all about the case involving the kids and the vengeful father? And do you intend to continue watching when the show moves to Thursdays at 10 later this week?

Have at it.

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<p>Kristen Bell, Don Cheadle and Ben Schwartz in &quot;House of Lies.&quot;</p>

Kristen Bell, Don Cheadle and Ben Schwartz in "House of Lies."

Credit: Showtime

'House of Lies' - 'Gods of Dangerous Financial Instruments': Grease is the word

What did everybody think of the new Showtime comedy?

I posted my review of Showtime's "House of Liesearlier this week. Now it's your turn. Those of you who had watched the online version of tonight's premiere episode didn't seem to enjoy it very much, though some were willing to give the show more time given the presence of Don Cheadle, Kristen Bell and Ben Schwartz. How did those of you who just saw it tonight feel? Will you stick around a while? 

Any and all plot/joke discussion is now kosher. Have at it.

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<p>Frank (William H. Macy)&nbsp;uses his youngest son in the &quot;Shameless&quot;&nbsp;season 2 premiere.</p>

Frank (William H. Macy) uses his youngest son in the "Shameless" season 2 premiere.

Credit: Showtime

'Shameless' - 'Summertime': The running woman

Debbie runs a daycare, Frank runs from a debt, and Fiona just runs

I posted my review of the early part of "Shamelessseason 2 earlier this week. Now it's your turn. How did you feel about the shift from winter into summer? Were any of the 5 fans of "Lone Star" happy to see James Wolk? Did you miss Steve? Did Frank reach a new low with what happened with Liam? And would you, like me, not object to an ongoing story arc where Fiona returns to track & field full-time? 

In terms of ongoing coverage plans, my feeling from last year and from what I saw of these first four episodes is that "Shameless" is a show better served by me dipping in and out on and only writing something if an episode is notably different from the ones before or after. That said, I'm going to be watching the whole season, so I may do weekly (or bi-weekly) open threads for the episodes, depending on the level of interest.

What did everybody else think of the premiere? 

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<p>&quot;The&nbsp;Descendants&quot;&nbsp;won two awards, for&nbsp;Best Picture and Best Actor.</p>

"The Descendants" won two awards, for Best Picture and Best Actor.

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

'Descendants,' Malick, Clooney and Dunst win with Kansas City critics

'Beginners' pleasantly surprises in Best Original Screenplay

The Kansas City Film Critics Circle held its vote this evening and "The Descendants" was named the year's best. I was somewhat confused that "Hugo" won an award designated for sci-fi/fantasy/horror films, though. How does that perception even happen? Anyway, check out the full list of winners below.

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Coachella line-up coming this week. Will Radiohead and Black Keys be on the bill?
Credit: Goldenvoice

Coachella line-up coming this week. Will Radiohead and Black Keys be on the bill?

The festival drops major hints about who's playing

Look for Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival to announce its 2012 line up very soon. The festival changed its Twitter feed photo to a screen stating “Next Week” on Friday. Plus, over the last several days, the festival has been teasing potential acts via linking to their videos.

So far, we’ve gotten and ever since then has been posting videos of potential bands who could play the fest. So far, we’ve gotten videos from Jimmy Cliff, Azealia Banks, Araab Muzik, Breakbot and, just a few minutes ago, Housse de Racket.

They’ve been followed by #Coachella2012. That’s a pretty big hint.

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<p>The &quot;American Idol&quot; team</p>
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The "American Idol" team

Credit: FOX

Press Tour '12 Live-Blog: 'American Idol'

Steven, J-Lo, Randy, Ryan and the 'Idol' team check in

Buckle in, boys and girls. It's time to hear from the "American Idol" team about why this year's crop of singers is the best crop ever and why "Idol" will continue to be TV's most popular show. 

Click through for the full live-blog, in which we may learn what the "Performance Challenge" episode is all about...

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<p>Even Hugh Laurie doesn't know if &quot;House&quot;&nbsp;will be back next season.</p>

Even Hugh Laurie doesn't know if "House" will be back next season.

Credit: FOX

Press tour analysis: FOX has 'Fringe,' 'House,' 'Terra Nova' decisions to make

Many shows have their fates up in the air as we head into the season's second half

There are press tour executive sessions full of announcements about renewals and cancellations, hirings and firings - news, in other words. Then there are sessions like the one FOX entertainment president Kevin Reilly just conducted, in which he left the fate of many shows and people - including "House," "Fringe," "Terra Nova," Ryan Seacrest and "X Factor" host Steve Jones - up in the air, while only clarifying the future (or lack therefor) of "Allen Gregory," which is kaput.

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