Latest Blog Posts

Read an excerpt from 'SNL’s' updated oral history: Sarah Palin hated being portrayed as an 'idiot'

Read an excerpt from “SNL’s” updated oral history: Sarah Palin hated being portrayed as an “idiot”
In "Live From New York” by Tom Shales and James Miller, which adds 200 pages to the 2002 book, Palin says: "I know that they portrayed me as an idiot, and I hated that, and I wanted to come on the show and counter some of that...If I ran into Tina Fey again today, I would say: 'You need to at least pay for my kids' braces or something from all the money that you made off of pretending that you're me! My goodness, you capitalized on that! Can't you contribute a little bit? Jeez!’"

Discovery orders "Bear Grylls: Breaking Point”
Grylls’ new show will help everyday people overcome their biggest fears.

“Saved by the Bell” first aired 25 years ago today
Here are 25 things you never knew about the show that originated from "Good Morning, Miss Bliss.” PLUS: Here are some “Saved” guest-stars, from "Punky Brewster "to Tara Reid.

Bryan Cranston autographs a baseball as “Walter White”
“I can use a guy like you,” the former “Breaking Bad” star wrote in his autograph for pitcher Brian Wilson at last night’s Dodger game.

Connie Britton takes the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
The “Nashville” star nominated her former roommate, Lauren Graham. PLUS: TMZ staffers gleefully dump ice water on Harvey Levin.

“Conan” is devoting an entire episode to bloopers
Thursday’s episode is being dubbed the “scrapisode."

“Parks and Rec” bringing back Megan Mullally and Natalie Morales
Tammy 2 and Tom Haverford’s ex will be part of the final season.

Jimmy Fallon beats Pierce Brosnan in "GoldenEye 007”
The former James Bond was easily beaten in the classic Nintendo game.

Another Duggar is on the way
Recently married "19 Kids and Counting” star Jill Duggar is pregnant.

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<p>Tuesday&#39;s &quot;America&#39;s Got Talent&quot;</p>

Tuesday's "America's Got Talent"

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: Dipping 'America's Got Talent' leads NBC Tuesday, CBS repeats rise

CBS is a close second overall, but can't compete in the key demo

Fast National ratings for Tuesday, August 19, 2014.

With "America's Got Talent" carrying NBC to victory in all measures, Tuesday's other very minor notables included an audience bump for CBS' "NCIS" repeat and a drop for ABC's "Extreme Weight Loss."

NBC's "Food Fighters" got a tiny audience bump, while ABC's "20/20: From Hell" special attracted little interest.

On to the numbers...

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'Halt and Catch Fire' renewed for Season 2

"Halt and Catch Fire" renewed for Season 2
AMC's '80s-set computer drama had disappointing ratings, but was redeemed by DVR viewership.

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<p>Halt and Catch Fire</p>

Halt and Catch Fire

Credit: AMC

AMC renews 'Halt and Catch Fire' for season 2

'80s computer drama had low ratings but showed creative promise at the end

Those summer cable drama renewals just keep on coming, folks. A day after Sundance ordered a third season of "Rectify" and FX ordered a second of "The Strain," AMC belatedly announced a second season order for "Halt and Catch Fire."

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Cris Cab and Pharrell

Meet Pharrell Williams' protege, Cris Cab, and watch their video for 'Liar, Liar'

Are you one of the 30 million who has already watched his video for 'Liar, Liar?'

Cris Cab is proof that persistence, hard work, and a little bit of luck pay off.

Six years ago, when he was 15, Cab met Pharrell Williams through mutual family friends. “This friend was nice enough to bring me into the studio.” Cab played Williams music he’d produced in his bedroom. “He gave me some great advice,” Cab recalls. He put what Williams taught him to good use and began recording again.

A few years later, “Pharrell heard I was making music again and he brought me back into the studio and taught me about recording and writing and producing,” Cab says. “It’s all been amazing.”

Indeed, while it may seem in the United States like Cab is an overnight sensation, his video for  “Liar, Liar,” a song co-written and produced,  by Williams,  has already hit 30 million views on YouTube and the song landed on the iTunes top 10 in more than 30 countries. “Liar Liar”  is featured on “Where I Belong,” Cab’s debut full-length album, out Sept. 2 on Island Records.  

The international acclaim happened serendipitously. Williams suggests that they make a music video together for “Liar, Liar,” and then see what happened. “We decided to put it out, and wherever we see smoke, let’s start there. That’s what we did,” Cab says. “After three months, it we started seeing it chart in the Netherlands, then Romania,” and it kept spreading. Now, Cab hopes the U.S. catches on.

The lilting sound in Cab’s music comes from the Cuban influence. He grew up in Miami, the son of Cuban immigrants. “The Cuban culture is very warm and sunny, full of love,” he says. “That’s what I try to bring into my music, positivity and love.”

That sunny feeling also comes from summers spent in the Bahamas, starting when he was 9 and he heard reggae music in bars. “They had a ring toss there, it was weird. It was a bar with games,” he laughs. “I didn’t really understand any of the lyrics, but I understood that it made me feel good.”

Add in his father’s love of acts like Bee Gees, Barry White, Lou Rawls and Marvin Gaye, and it’s easy to see how Cab developed his R&B-influenced sound.

Cab released an EP on his own in 2011. That helped lead to his record deal with Island, which he signed during his senior year of high school. Since signing with Island, he’s released a mix tape and another EP, “just to engage the fans,” he says. “You’ve got to keep it going.”

To that end, Cab will open for Williams in Europe this fall and learn more by osmosis. “Just from watching him and watching people like Wyclef and other producers, there’s no substitution for hard work,” Cab says. “You have to be recording, writing all the time. You have to really live for the music.”

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Jerry O’Connell is prepping a daytime talk show, but will he replace 'The Queen Latifah Show'?

Jerry O’Connell is prepping a daytime talk show, but will he replace “The Queen Latifah Show”?
Sony Pictures Television is denying a report that Queen Latifah’s talk show is in danger. But if she doesn’t return next season, CBS is developing a talk show starring O’Connell that would be aimed at the same Queen Latifah daytime female audience.

"Sons of Anarchy: The Official Collector’s Edition” book will be available on Dec. 3, the day after the series finale
The 208-page hardcover book will cover all seven seasons, with a special introduction from Kurt Sutter.

Watch the trailer for “The Chair,” Starz’s “Project Greenlight”-like filmmaking reality show
“The Chair,” from “Project Greenlight” star/executive producer Chris Moore, will pit two first-time directors against each other as they each film the same script.

“30 Rock’s” Scott Adsit will play Sam Adams on AMC's “We Hate Paul Revere”
Adsit is joining the AMC series starring opposite Ron Livingston’s Paul Revere.

HBO developing “Sing With me,” a musical comedy
Bruce Eric Kaplan, the cartoonist and “Girls” producer, is behind the project about three generations of women living in L.A.

“CSI" alum Louise Lombard is headed to “Grimm”
She’ll appear in the season’s first three episodes.

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Eva Longoria is coming to 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine'

Eva Longoria is coming to “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”
The “Desperate Housewives” alum will play a defense attorney who catches the attention of Andy Samberg over the course of a three-episode arc.

“Touched by an Angel’s” Roma Downey is developing a guardian angels drama for NBC
Downey and her husband Mark Burnett are developing “Unveiled,” about a group of guardian angels who help people in a state of crisis.

NFL: “We have only ruled out Janet Jackson” for next year’s Super Bowl Halftime
The NFL was asked to confirm possible acts for next year’s halftime show. PLUS: Did the NFL leak Katy Perry, Coldplay and Rihanna's names to pressure one of them to blink and pay up?

FX’s “Partners” looks unlikely to get a 90-episode order after hitting a new low
The Kelsey Grammer/Martin Lawrence sitcom needs to do impressively in the ratings in its first 10 episodes in order to get an additional 90-episode order.

John Oliver is proving that fake news doesn’t need to use the “reassuring tropes” of “The Daily Show” and “Colbert Report”
"What the success of 'Last Week Tonight' suggests,” says Steve Almond, "is that American television viewers may finally be tired of the frantic bombast generated by the Stimulation Media. What’s more, after years of making do with the therapeutic jibes of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, they are finding in Oliver a figure more interested in making sense of the world than in making them laugh.”

The subject of “The Wolf of Wall Street” is writing a TV show about Wall Street excesses in the ‘80s
Jordan Belfort, whom Leonardo DiCaprio played on the big screen, “The idea was to come up with a show about that period with really interesting characters.”

"SNL" fired Don Pardo before Season 7 — he recently did his “SNL” announcing from a Tucson assisted living facility
James Andrew Miller, author of "The Complete, Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live,” recalls how Pardo didn’t think “Saturday Night Live” would last past its 1st season. He also notes that when a new producer took over “SNL” for one year in the early ‘80s, Pardo was let go in order to “blow up the show.” Miller also spoke to Lorne Michaels, who recalls hiring Pardo from a list of staff announcers. “I said, ‘Don Pardo?!’,” Michaels said, adding: “I was so excited by the possibility because he connected us really to the history of television. It turned out to be a fantastic ride, I think, because he was our connection to the beginnings of NBC.” PLUS: Here is “SNL” Tumblr’s tribute to Pardo, and Jimmy Fallon remembers Pardo.

Jon Stewart: I would ask “Daily Show” guests to read my movie script
J.J. Abrams and Ron Howard were among the guests who offered Stewart advice on  “Rosewater.” "They were both awfully gracious,” he says. "Basically, I would ask anybody who came on the show who is in the business, 'While you’re sitting here, would you mind…' (Laughs) I was that dick in a coffee shop with a script.”

Matthew Weiner: “Mad Men” on HBO would've been less sexy, more naked
Weiner said today in a Reddit AMA that he liked being on AMC when asked if his show would be different on HBO: "HBO has an insatiable appetite for nakedness and violence so there would have been a lot more of that. That may sound like a missed opportunity for some people but I have enjoyed the restrictions of basic cable. I think it has made the show strangely more sexy by implication and it was never going to be violent. The hero takes a nap in the first 15 minutes of the pilot.” PLUS: Weiner “was totally freaking out” when Paul McCartney said he watched “Mad Men” and Weiner took home Roger’s Bar.

Why don’t “Mad Men” star win Emmys?
The Emmy-nominated "Mad Men" stars' losses seem to make sense, especially when Jon Hamm lost to Bryan Cranston.

“The Shield’s” Kenny Johnson joins “Covert Affairs”
He’ll play a former CIA paramilitary operative in the 2nd half of the season.

Meet Olivia Benson’s new “SVU” protégé
Here’s your first look at Peter Scanavino in his guest role.

The real Alex from “Orange is the New Black” will tell the “wretched and stinky” truth in her book
Catherine Cleary Wolters, the inspiration for Laura Prepon’s character, says she’ll stick to real events, like her and Piper not actually having sex. The real events, she says, were "so wretched and stinky, it would quite possibly result in a collapsed universe. So I guess it’s a good thing Piper and Jenji (Kohan) stick with the fun little tidbits.”

“The Simpsons” FXX marathon begins Thursday morning: Here’s the schedule
Which are the best episodes to watch? PLUS: “Simpsons” writers will be live-tweeting during the marathon.

"Girls" star Adam Driver sees a connection between being a Marine and being an actor
"Obviously the stakes are different,” says the GQ cover boy. "You have to risk getting shot or killed in one and just embarrassed in the other.”

Why “SNL’s” Kate McKinnon is comedy’s next big superstar
After a little more than two seasons on “Saturday Night Live,” McKinnon looks poised to make it big. PLUS: Says McKinnon: "My favorite show on television of all time is 'The Bachelorette.’"

“SNL’s” Vanessa Bayer plays a tacky talk show host in Haim’s new music video
Bayer has gone from interviewing bands for “Sound Advice” to appearing in a music video.

“Breaking Bad’s” Bill Burr rants against the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
"At this point I’ve been challenged by three different f*cking people,” says Burr. “I love how it’s about the person. It’s not even about the disease. ‘Hey check out my wacky response to ice cold water over my f*cking head’ … I live in a desert. It’s a $500 fine if you waste water. I’m gonna do the $100 donation instead … Do you understand how precious water is to everyone around the world?” PLUS: “Glee” cast and “Game of Thrones’ Pedro Pascal also dump icy water over their heads.

Ellen Pompeo to produce a police drama for ABC
The “Grey’s Anatomy” star’s project will focus on a female cop who, after getting injured, becomes the police station’s psychologist.

Comedy Central is on a 9-show hot streak
From “Key & Peele” to “Inside Amy Schumer” to “Nathan For You,” Comedy Central has become one of the best networks over the past two years.

“Outlander” up in 2nd episode
The Starz series went from 721,000 to 900,000 viewers.

Erin Andrews: “Dancing with the Stars” dress rehearsals "would never be allowed on broadcast TV”
“Our dress rehearsals need to find their way on to cable television,” says the “Dancing” co-host. “They’re dirty. They’re nasty. They’re funny."

“Doctor Who” alum who helped inspire “Outlander” to guest on the Starz series
Frazer Hines was featured in the episode author Diana Gabaldon was watching when she decided to write the “Outlander” book series.

Kathy Griffin will have a “takeover on CBS” on Wednesday
She’ll be on “Big Brother” and Letterman.

“NCIS” books Stephanie Jacobsen
The “Melrose Place” alum will partner with and possibly romance Agent DiNozzo.

Jon Hamm and Daniel Radcliffe return for a 2nd season of "A Young Doctor's Notebook”
Airing tonight on Ovation, Maureen Ryan says of the brief series: "This British import is weird, slight and lovingly made, and perhaps most importantly, it's smart enough not to overstay its welcome."

Magicians battle it out on Syfy’s “Wizard Wars”
"The format doesn’t work, but the illusions do” says Neil Genzlinger of the new reality show premiering tonight. "It’s 58 minutes of pretty amusing magic, building to a two-minute letdown.” PLUS: Behind the scenes.

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Viral Canadian astronaut’s book 'An Astronaut’s Guide To Life On Earth' to become an ABC sitcom pilot

Viral Canadian astronaut’s book "An Astronaut’s Guide To Life On Earth” to become an ABC sitcom pilot
Col. Chris Hadfield, who performed David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” aboard the International Space Station, is being turned into a comedy by “Sh*t My Dad Says” creator Justin Halpern.

Simon Cowell submits to the Ice Bucket Challenge
Watch the former “Idol” star get drenched aboard a yacht. PLUS: Watch
John Krasinski, Jared Padalecki, Katie Couric, Charlie Rose and Dave Grohl as “Carrie” do the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Kids re-enact “Game of Thrones,” “True Detective,” “Breaking Bad” and other adult dramas
Check out the kiddie version of Rust Cohle.

Richard Branson to visit “The Simpsons”
“Richard Branson is the Flanders to Mr. Burns,” says “The Simpsons” boss Al Jean. “He’s Mr. Burns’ nosy neighbor.”

Introducing "A Game of Thrones: The Board Game”
Check out a table-sized, hand made 3D recreation of the map of Westeros that took 150 hours to make. PLUS: Sophie Turner takes the Ice Bucket Challenge.

“Sons of Anarchy” theme song band is trying to crowdfund its debut album
The Forest Rangers have launched a PledgeMusic campaign.

“The Knick” goes up 18% in Week 2
The 2nd episode was watched by 600,000 viewers.

Shark Week scores big ratings among men and women
The most-watched Shark Week attracted 42 million total viewers.

“Pushing Daisies” kiss becomes a reality 5 years after cancelation
Lee Pace and Anna Friel recently reunited.

Watch the trailer for VH1’s “Drumline: A New Beat”
The sequel to 2002’s “Drumline” stars Alexandra Shipp.

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Bill Murray has been found: 'St. Vincent' is coming to the Toronto Film Festival

Bill Murray has been found: 'St. Vincent' is coming to the Toronto Film Festival

Should we take this as a good sign?

There was buzz late last month that both the Toronto International Film Festival and The Weinstein Company wanted to bring "St. Vincent," which stars Bill Murray, to the 2014 edition of the annual awards season kickoff. The problem was, reportedly, that no one could find him. Murray supposedly doesn't have a cell phone (or perhaps even E-mail?), but even though he continues to crash one party after another it looks like somebody tracked him down as TIFF announced today that "St. Vincent" is now a late addition to the festival.

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<p>Freaks and Geeks vs. Undeclared</p>

Freaks and Geeks vs. Undeclared

Uncanceled Showdown Rd 3 pits 'Firefly' vs 'Jericho' & 'Freaks and Geeks' vs 'Undeclared'

Apatow vs. Apatow! Dinosaurs vs. androids! Sheriff Bullock vs. Agent Cooper!

As HitFix's Uncanceled Showdown begins its third round, we wind up with a bunch of Elite Eight pairings that are thematically linked — even if they aren't always the pairings we expected, based on the seedings.

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Bow Wow is the newest star of 'CSI: Cyber'

Bow Wow is the newest star of “CSI: Cyber”
Hip-hop artist and actor Shad Moss, aka Bow Wow, will co-star with Patricia Arquette and James Van Der Beek, playing Brody “Baby Face” Nelson, a hacker who’s been ordered by a judge to work with Arquette’s character “on loan.”

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Paul Rudd gets moody in San Francisco for first 'Ant-Man' photo
Credit: Marvel Studios

Paul Rudd gets moody in San Francisco for first 'Ant-Man' photo

So does this mean everything's fine now?

Oh, look, it's Ant-Man.

Actually, more accurately, it's Scott Lang, and it's a lovely foggy San Francisco day, and it's the first picture to prove that, yes, they are indeed in production now on Marvel's "Ant-Man," with Peyton Reed now directing.

I didn't realize San Francisco was the setting of the film, or any part of the film. I knew they were gearing up to shoot in Atlanta, so I guess I assumed that's where the film was set, or that they were using Atlanta to double for somewhere else. Right now, though, the production is here in California, making effective moody use of the Bay Area, and I like that first still.

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