Latest Blog Posts

<p>Adam (Peter Krause), Sarah (Lauren Graham)&nbsp;and Amber (Mae Whitman)&nbsp;in &quot;Parenthood.&quot;</p>

Adam (Peter Krause), Sarah (Lauren Graham) and Amber (Mae Whitman) in "Parenthood."

Credit: NBC

'Parenthood' - 'I Don't Want To Do This Without You': Pump it up

What did everybody think of the season 3 premiere?

I offered some early thoughts on the "Parenthoodseason 3 premiere in yesterday's column. Now it's your turn. What did everybody think of the show's return, where the various storylines stand, what Adam should do, the state of Crosby/Jasmine, how quickly the coffee girl can file a restraining order, etc., etc.? And should Max have been able to discuss "Friday Night Lights" while being in a car with Alex?

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<p>Ioan Gruffudd and Sarah Michelle Gellar in the &quot;Ringer&quot;&nbsp;pilot.</p>

Ioan Gruffudd and Sarah Michelle Gellar in the "Ringer" pilot.

Credit: CW

'Ringer' - 'Pilot': Mirror, mirror, on the wall (and floor, and ceiling...)

What did everybody think of Sarah Michelle Gellar's CW comeback?

I offered my review of Sarah Michelle Gellar and "Ringeryesterday. Now it's your turn. Were you just so happy to have Buffy back on the small screen that the rest didn't matter? Did you actually enjoy it? And how did the green screen work (particularly in the scene on the boat) look in the finished version, given that the screener the CW sent out months ago looked even more ridiculous than those scenes on "Justified" where Raylan is driving? 

Though I'm usually a believer in giving shows at least a second episode before passing final judgment, there was almost nothing here that would inspire me to come back next week, other than professional courtesy. What say you? 

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<p>David Cook</p>

David Cook

Gavin Degraw and 'American Idol's' David Cook hit the road together

Is the fall theater tour coming to a town near you?

It’s a marriage made in soft-rock heaven: Gavin DeGraw and “American Idol” season 7 champion David Cook will hit the road together in a co-headlining tour starting Oct. 9 at Penn State University, in State College, Pa.

The theater tour concludes Nov. 10 at Athen, Ga.’s Classic Center.  Carolina Liar will open many of the dates.

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<p>Reeve Carney</p>

Reeve Carney

Exclusive: Watch Reeve Carney talk U2's Bono, The Edge and 'Spider-Man'

Go behind the scenes in the 'Rise Above' music video

In this look behind the scenes of the "Rise Above" music video -- in which Bono, the Edge and Broadway star Reeve Carney come together -- there's a lot of hot topic.

U2 has been in the headlines over the last few days not only for their documentary "From the Sky Down," but for the frontman's announcement that a star-studded take on the band's 1991 album "Achtung Baby" is on the way. That set is getting a full boxed collection makeover this fall.

Then, Reeve Carney was formally announced as the lead in the as-yet-untitled Jeff Buckley biopic, which has the backing of Buckley's family and estate.

And, after overcoming months of mixed press and technical troubles, Broadway musical "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" is in full, erm, swing, and perhaps facing an uptick as the premiere date for the next cinematic take on Spidey's story, "The Amazing Spider-Man." The Andrew Garfield-starring version arrives in July 2012.

Check out the clip: Carney's featured speaking on how he got picked up for the role in "Turn Off the Dark," his standing over Manhattan's skyline in the musical's single "Rise Above" and working with the music born from Bono and guitarist The Edge's collaboration on the project.

While you're at it, check out the music video in whole here, and read up on "rising" star Carney.

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Simon Cowell

 Simon Cowell

Credit: Fox

Interview: 'X Factor' judge Simon Cowell talks 'wacky' Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger craziness

'American Idol''s original crank talks about his 'childish meltdown'

He's baaaack! Having ditched "American Idol" to spearhead the U.S. version of "X Factor" on Fox (series debut Sept. 21 at 8 p.m.), Simon Cowell (as usual) pulled no punches in a conference call with reporters. In comparing his "American Idol" partner in crime Paula Abdul to new judge Nicole Scherzinger, Cowell was merrily blunt, saying, "What was interesting was that Paula can be a bit wacky at times, but Nicole wasn't far behind in a fantastically self-centered way, which she wasn't aware of."

How wacky and self-centered? "Every city we went to, she changed her accent," Cowell continued. "In New York she had a Brooklyn thing, in Dallas she became a Southern belle. With Paula, within five minutes she has no awareness the camera is still on and she'll fight with you." Not that he minds. "That's what I like about her. It was like getting an old dog back from the rescue pound, grateful to see you and you're glad to have them back."

As to his other judge-mate, of L.A. Reid he said, "[He's] been a revelation. He's one of the most competitive people I've ever met." And while he "misses" Randy Jackson, he doesn't see a time when he'll lure him away from "American Idol." "He really is a good friend," Cowell said, noting that he hangs out with Jackson "all the time." "Maybe we'll get him a few front row seats and he can do his dog barking thing every week. But he's happy on 'Idol.'" 

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<p>Amy Lee in Evanescence's &quot;What You Want&quot;</p>

Amy Lee in Evanescence's "What You Want"

Watch: Amy Lee, Evanescence prowl the city streets in 'What You Want'

Gorgeously shot video spans the history of the band

“Hello Hello, it’s only me, infecting everything you love.” If that’s not a great ominous line, we don’t know is... (or maybe it should have been the theme song to the movie "Contagion." 

Evanescence’s Amy Lee delivers it with perfection in the new video for  the hard-charging “What You Want,”  the first single from the hard rock group’s first album in five years. The self-titled "Evanescence," the band's third studio set, comes out Oct. 11.

[More after the jump...]

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Emmy Losers - Drama

 Emmy Losers - Drama

Infographic: The chronic Emmy Awards losers - drama

Angela Lansbury got passed over not once but twelve stinkin' times

You win some, you lose some... or sometimes you lose ALL of them, over and over and over again. At least that's the case for a fleet of stars when it came to their most recognizable roles and the Emmy Awards. While fan favorites like Tony winner Angela Lansbury may be best known (well, on TV, at least) for her role on "Murder, She Wrote," the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences always found someone it loved a little more when it came time to hand out those little gold statuettes -- twelve times. Here's a look at the stars who never made the cut (at least not when it came to their most memorable TV roles) in the lead actor and actress drama categories -- plus the people who whupped 'em.

Design: Dustin Woehrmann

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Anderson Cooper
Credit: AP Photo

Quick Look: Anderson Cooper is in daytime, but is it a good fit?

The CNN newsman talks Amy Winehouse for debut episode

I'll admit it -- I've always liked Anderson Cooper. Maybe it's his ability to handle Kathy Griffin's potty-mouthed teasing during his New Year's Eve broadcasts, maybe it was his willingness to help (and yes, cast aside journalistic detachment, but come on, some kid got hit in the head with a brick) while covering the chaos in Haiti. I'm clearly not the only person with a lot of good will toward Cooper, as he's managed to land a daytime talk show gig, "Anderson," which debuted yesterday.

Before we could get to the topic at hand (Amy Winehouse's parents and boyfriends appeared on the show to discuss her death), Anderson has to introduce the show. While riding a bicycle. Without a helmet. In traffic. While talking to a camera. I would like to be optimistic about the show, but I'm concerned that Cooper is going to end up dead before he can film too many episodes. Maybe tomorrow he can text while driving or jog blindfolded down the middle of a busy Manhattan street.

Thankfully, he gets to the set intact, and some set it is. "The View" should be so lucky. The room is light and airy, there's a roomy, white couch and panoramic views of the city. Cooper quickly informs us that he's "not the most polished person," although I'd argue he definitely looks the part in his slim blue suit, but no matter. He loves people and he love stories, and he's going to bring them to us. More importantly, they will always be real. Cooper is big into real. So far, so good.

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<p>Sarah Michelle Gellar of &quot;Ringer&quot;</p>
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Sarah Michelle Gellar of "Ringer"

Credit: The CW

TV Review: The CW's 'Ringer'

New Sarah Michelle Gellar drama has identity issues of its own
Part of me likes to think that in 1955, Alfred Hitchcock could have taken the premise for The CW's "Ringer" -- icy blonde dopplegangers, infidelities, double-crosses and attempted murder -- and made a classic suspense yarn. Grace Kelly clearly would have played the twins. Cary Grant or James Stewart would have played the husband. James Mason or Raymond Burr would have played the cheating lover. Critics would still hail it as a classic.
 
Part of me likes to think that in 1982, Brian DePalma could have taken the premise for "Ringer" and made a piece of perverse operatic schlock (in the best way possible), all Hitchcockian flourishes through a funhouse mirror of erotic obsessions. Nancy Allen would have played the twins. Some really wooden, blonde pretty boy as the husband. John Travolta as the brooding boyfriend. Auteurist critics would have a soft spot for it, but they'd probably admit it was no "Blow Out" or "Carrie."
 
The 1991 version of "Ringer" would have been written by Joe Eszterhas and directed by Paul Verhoven and it would have been straight-up exploitation. Sharon Stone would have played the twin sisters, Michael Douglas would have been the duped husband and, for absolutely no good reason, there would be an incestuous make-out scene. Chances are good that it would have sucked, but the VHS would have been a cherished possession passed around by teenage boys and eventually transfered to the Internet in loving HD by the gang at Mr. Skin.
 
Those are all imaginary versions of "Ringer," of course.
 
The real "Ringer" is an exposition-heavy soap opera developed with half-in/half-out conviction through the CBS pipeline, but then shuffled off to The CW. Officially, CBS executives have said that the network just didn't have room for "Ringer" and the opportunity to give this shiny bauble to sister network The CW was too great to pass up. The reality is that "Ringer" would have been a disaster on CBS. Its heavily serialized structure would have stood out like a sore thumb, its demos would have skewed uncomfortably young and even if CBS were to make an exception for a totally off-brand show, the Tiffany Network wouldn't make that exception for a subpar pilot. 
 
And "Ringer" is, alas, disappointingly subpar. I mentioned those fake versions of "Ringer" because, at least to me, they illustrate a point. If you're a student of cinema, you knew from my description *exactly* what each of those "Ringer" iterations would feel like. If you're going to do something as loopy as "Ringer," you have to have a voice. You have to have a certainly of purpose. This is ludicrous stuff and there are many different correct ways to handle it. So I'm not saying I disliked the pilot for "Ringer" because it wasn't what Hitchcock or DePalma or Verhoven would have done. That'd be stupid. I disliked the pilot for "Ringer" because no two aspects of its production seem to be on the same page. Writers Jon Liebman and JoAnne Colonna aren't doing the same thing as director Richard Shepard. The composer isn't doing the same thing as the effects supervisor or the costume designer. And nearly every member of the sturdy cast is on a different page, including star Sarah Michelle Gellar, who may be on a different page from herself.
 
So I can tell you exactly what a trio of fake versions of "Ringer" might be, but after multiple viewings of the real "Ringer" pilot, I don't know what it's trying to be, only that it isn't succeeding.
 
More details after the break...
 
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<p>Lady Antebellum</p>

Lady Antebellum

Credit: AP Photo

Watch: Lady Antebellum's new video for 'We Owned The Night'

They own the night and some fireworks

“We Owned The Night,” Lady Antebellum’s second single from third album, “Own The Night,” which is out today,” recalls a simpler time, when a trip to the penny candy store or a night of fireworks could make all right in the world.

Even though the video is set in current day, there’s a simplicity, care-free tone that de-stresses you just by watching it. It’s not the best video Lady A has made, by a longshot, but it gets the job done and captures a feeling that life seems to beat out of you as you get older--or maybe we’re just having a tough day.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>George Clooney at the press conference for &quot;The Descendants&quot; at the 2011 Toronto Film&nbsp;Festival.</p>

George Clooney at the press conference for "The Descendants" at the 2011 Toronto Film Festival.

Credit: AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young

Exclusive: George Clooney talks 'The Descendants' and a sneak peek

Check out two great scenes from Alexander Payne's latest

The buzz first started in Telluride, but now it's traveled across the border to Toronto: there is a leading candidate for best actor this year and his name is George Clooney.

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<p>Christina Applegate and Will Arnett are new parents in &quot;Up All Night.&quot;</p>

Christina Applegate and Will Arnett are new parents in "Up All Night."

Credit: NBC

Review: NBC's 'Up All Night' & 'Free Agents' have talent, but are they funny?

'Up All Night' pilot does a better job using its stars than 'Free Agents' does

As I said yesterday, judging a TV show based on its pilot episode is often a fool's errand, and that's even more true of a sitcom pilot than one for a drama. When you think back on the strong comedies of the last decade, how many of them were great starting with their very first episode? Very few. "Arrested Development" comes immediately to mind ("Modern Family," too), but "The Office" pilot is terrible, the "Parks and Recreation" pilot is very problematic (and most of its first season should be written off), "30 Rock" took about a half-season to find itself, etc. You may see seeds of what the show would become, but most sitcom pilots are works in progress at best, as writers figure out how to best exploit their premise (or whether to quickly ignore it) and the strengths and weaknesses of their actors. If you watch the "How I Met Your Mother" pilot, for instance, you can see that show's romantic side was already clicking, but Barney is dialed up several notches past the level the writers and Neil Patrick Harris would quickly find worked best.

So my dislike for most of this fall's comedy pilots doesn't automatically mean it's going to be a bad season for new comedies. But it does mean that I have to dig a little deeper for clues about what shows might start to work down the road, and how, starting with this season's first two new comedies: NBC's "Up All Night" and "Free Agents."

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