Latest Blog Posts

'Dancing’s' Derek Hough joins 'Nashville'

“Dancing’s” Derek Hough joins “Nashville”
The “Dancing with the Stars” pro will take on his first major acting role next season, playing a movie star in a multi-episode arc.


TCM to celebrate Lauren Bacall’s movie career with a 24-hour marathon ending on her 90th birthday
The marathon, starting Sept. 15, will include every movie she made with Humphrey Bogart, plus a 2005 episode of “Private Screenings."

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Robin Williams was in the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease, his wife says

Robin Williams was in the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease, his wife says
“Robin’s sobriety was intact and he was brave as he struggled with his own battles of depression, anxiety as well as early stages of Parkinson’s Disease, which he was not yet ready to share publicly,” Susan Schneider said in a statement.


Brittany Murphy’s father says he plans to take legal action over Lifetime’s biopic
“Lifetime has not been authorized to produce the true story of Brittany Murphy,” says the late “Clueless” star’s father, Angelo Bertolotti.


Key & Peele, Andy Samberg, Viola Davis, Sofia Vergara added to Emmy presenters list
Also presenting: Octavia Spencer, Debra Messing, Allison Janney and Lucy Liu.


TNT's “Legends” debuts to half the viewers of "The Last Ship"
About 2.6 million watched the TNT Sean Bean series premiere, compared to 5.3 million for "The Last Ship" on TNT in June.


History channel’s “Texas Rising” event series to debut on Memorial Day
The eight-hour history of the Texas Revolution starring Bill Paxton as Sam Houston will premiere on May 25.


NBC is expected to replace David Gregory as host of “Meet the Press” very soon
Chuck Todd is the reported choice as Gregory’s replacement.


Check out the “Once Upon a Time” gag reel
Here are the mistakes from Season 3.


TV stars warn of the dangers of binge-watching
Check out the PSA made for EW.

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<p>&quot;Fury&quot;</p>

"Fury"

Credit: Sony Pictures

Brad Pitt to close out 2014 London Film Festival with David Ayer's 'Fury'

A prime spot two days after the US release and five days ahead of the UK release

I had a hunch when Sony slid "Fury" to a mid-October release date that they might opt for something like the closing night slot of the London Film Festival two days after the domestic release. And so it is. The Brad Pitt WWII film directed by David Ayer, which was filmed outside of London, has been slated to wrap up the fest on Oct. 19.

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Review: YA-adaptation 'The Giver' is both ridiculous and morally suspect
Credit: The Weinstein Company

Review: YA-adaptation 'The Giver' is both ridiculous and morally suspect

Could this be the dumbest film of the year?

I hardly know where to start.

So far this year, "Winter's Tale" remains the gold standard for pure unmitigated batshit hubris, and it's the scope of the folly that impresses me most. But if we're ranking films by how dopey they are, then "The Giver" may actually be a contender for some special honors this year.

It is a firm belief of mine that you do not need to read a book in order to review a movie. I've never read Lois Lowry's novel, which is evidently fairly well-liked. Originally published in 1993, the book has been controversial, and it's also been enormously popular. In reading about it tonight, one thing becomes clear: the dumbest idea in this very dumb movie appears to be an invention of the film. We'll get into that later, but first, the broad strokes.

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<p>True Detective</p>

True Detective

Credit: HBO

Emmy Predictions 2014: Outstanding comedy/drama directing

Will Jodie Foster get 'Orange' an early win? And can anything beat the 'Breaking Bad' finale?

Because it's NBC's turn to air the Primetime Emmy Awards this year, and because the Peacock would understandably rather air its lucrative Sunday night NFL package in September, the ceremony will take place in late August again. And as an added wrinkle, this year's ceremony will actually happen on a Monday, August 25 at 8 p.m., with Seth Meyers hosting.

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s 'HitRecord On TV' has won an Emmy

Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s “HitRecord On TV” has won an Emmy
Gordon-Levitt posted a YouTube video announcing his win for his Pivot series. “HitRecord" won the Interactive Media Emmy Award for Social TV Experience.


Report: Robin Williams had a drink while filming “The Crazy Ones” at a restaurant
Page Six also reports that on set, "Williams frequently engaged in his trademark frenetic shtick, veering off script and forcing co-star Sarah Michelle Gellar to improvise her responses.” PLUS: Listen to Williams talk about suicide on Marc Maron’s podcast (listen to the entire April 2010 interview).


David Letterman a finalist for the Thurber Prize
Dave is up for the prize that is considered “the nation’s highest recognition of the art of humor writing” thanks to the book he wrote, “This Land Was Made for You and Me (But Mostly Me)."


Chelsea Handler is promoting her final “Chelsea Lately” by stripping down: “I’m a Kardashian"
Handler yesterday posted a pair of racy pics to Instagram.


Original “Teen Moms” are coming back to MTV
Maci Bookout, Catelynn Lowell and Amber Portwood will return for a new season on MTV in 2015.


“Big Brother” shows the reaction to Ariana Grande’s brother revealing who he is
The reactions ranged from total glee to confusion over “Amanda Grande.”


Oops! Official “Downton Abbey” photograph shows a plastic water bottle in the background
This is not the first “Downton” historical blooper. PLUS: See more photos from the new season.

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<p>Halle Berry of &quot;Extant&quot;</p>

Halle Berry of "Extant"

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: 'Extant,' 'Talent' and 'Dance' all lose Wednesday viewers

NBC wins overall, while CBS splits the key demo crown

Fast National ratings for Wednesday, August 13, 2014.

"Extant," "America's Got Talent" and "Taxi Brooklyn" were all down week-to-week, but NBC still led Wednesday overall and tied with CBS in the key demographic.

It was, in fact, a series low in the key demo for "America's Got Talent," while "Extant" and "Taxi Brooklyn" only dipped overall, but were flat in the key demo.

FOX's "So You Think You Can Dance" was down in both measures.

On the slightly-more-positive side, CBS' "Big Brother" added a few viewers, as did The CW's "Penn & Teller: Fool Us."

All of the gains and declines are pretty much within the margin of typical variation, though.

On to the numbers...

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Jan Kaczmarek

Oscar-winning composer Jan Kaczmarek on his Transatlantyk Festival and returing to scoring

After dedicating himself to his event, he's ready to get back to the music

POZNAN, POLAND—Jan Kaczmarek is ready to get back to his first love.

The composer, who took home the Oscar in 2004/ for scoring “Finding Neverland,” shifted his focus for the last several years to creating Transatlantyk here in Poznan, in his native Poland. In its fourth year, the week-long  “festival of ideas” continues to draw top composers and filmmakers and other creative talents who join together for screenings, thoughtful discussions, concerts and much more.  

Kaczmarek has managed to squeeze in the occasional film score, such as this year’s German film, “Inbetween Worlds,” but it’s been a while since he has scored a Hollywood film, such as 2002’s “”Unfaithful.” or “2007’s “The Visitor,” or 2009’s “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale.” Most recently, he wrote an opera commissioned by Poland's Jagiellonian University that premiered in front of 14,000.

His first step is to get back to Los Angeles —he splits his time between Krakow and Hollywood — and get a new agent. “I had not reason to have one these four years,” he says, “but I can comeback to composing now. Composing gives me eternal life.”

Ideally, Kaczmarek says, he’d like to continue to score “Intelligent, ambitious movies, where music has an important part.”

While very grateful for his Oscar,  he admits that after “Finding Neverland’s” success, “many people think I only write scores for gentle films, that I keep writing this world of noble illusion. That’s just not true, my roots are in avant grade. I did electronic music. I have all these things in me.”

In the meantime, he credits Transatlantyk with refueling his imagination and providing inspiration to return to composing. The festival prides itself on creative presentations, such as Culinary Cinema: a film about a specific cuisine or food issue is presented and then select guests enjoy a meal prepared by top chefs that ties in to the film. For example, after a Taiwanese film, a gourmet Taiwanese meal will be served. Last year, after a documentary on GMO-modified foods, a non-GMO dinner was served. This year, among the top composers taking part were John Ottman (“X-Man, Days of Future Past,” “Superman Returns,” “The Usual Suspects”) and  Michael Price (“Sherlock”) both of whom gave presentations dissecting their works.

With this year’s Transatlantyk winding down, Kaczmarek is already looking ahead to the festival’s milestone fifth anniversary next August. New elements will including commissioning new works from composers (beyond the event’s two existing scoring competitions), expanding to include video games, and concerts featuring global names, such as last year’s Yoko Ono performance.

As he heads back into the composing world, he also takes lessons he’s learned from working with new composers here. Lamenting that few directors have “the power to pursue their own vision,” he encourages composers to not give in to that and to develop their own strong voice. “We tell them, ‘don’t be part of an undistinguished  group. Don’t be a person with no face. Sooner or later, this will destroy you.”

 

 

 

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'Survivor' editors end strike after 1 day

“Survivor” editors end strike after 1 day
Editors are headed back to work after Mark Burnett’s production company agreed to give them union recognition.


Taylor Swift plays “Ew!” with Jimmy Fallon
Wearing glasses, braces and pigtails, Swift appeared as nerdy Natalie on last night’s “Tonight Show.” She also confirmed she’s performing at the VMAs.


Watch NBC’s “A to Z’s” pilot right now on the web
The Cristin Milioti-Ben Feldman comedy is being made available via iHeartRadio seven weeks early.


“Today’s” Savannah Guthrie welcomes a baby girl
Vale Guthrie Feldman was born on Wednesday morning.

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Victoria on Big Brother 16

Recap: 'Big Brother' Wednesday - Who's Most Embarrassing?

Who was the most embarrassing houseguest this week? Match your rankings with ours.

I wish Gilbert Gottfried, who voiced Otev last night in "Big Brother's" traditional POV challenge centered around the fictional boss, had really ripped into the houseguests and said in his trademark screech, "What an annoying bunch of houseguests this year! What horrible voices! For Christ's sake! MORONS."  

Because they are annoying this year. Frankly, with Jocasta out of the house for now, we're really missing a core type of personality in the game: a happy person. Yeah, Cody is sort of affable. Christine seems friendly, and I loved her HOH blog this week. Donny is part possum, and possums always seem satisfied. But Jocasta truly beamed. She was never dogged by being on the block, and she usually responded to the threat of elimination by dialing herself up on a fake phone and throwing down an incoherent one-liner about God. Oh, how I miss it. Rumor is God does too.

This was an unusually embarrassing week for many of the houseguests. I thought we'd honor the memory of Jocasta, our Biblical bow-tied bisexual bae, by ranking the remaining houseguests in order of ascending embarrassment this week. Ahem:

9. Derrick (least embarrassing)

As far as I can tell, Derrick is still playing a flawless game of "Big Brother." To call him an embarrassment would be calling the very institution of "Big Brother" an embarrassment, and we know that's impossible because nothing about a show with contestants who spell out "CALTORU" and hope it's a real word is embarrassing. I was mesmerized listening to Derrick narrate Frankie's attempt to endear his alliance by coming out as Ariana Grande's brother/stalker/oldish superfan. It was like he'd been watching his own season on TV along with us. "He's throwing a line and hoping somebody grabs on," Derrick explained. "Frankie is extremely intelligent, he realizes that his back is against the wall, and he needs something else to spin this house around. He kind of diverts all the attention from the fact that he's told a bunch of lies these past couple weeks." Perfect description, Derrick. It makes me believe Derrick can really mastermind something unbeatable against Frankie when the time comes. For this alone, I forgive Derrick for having a head shape and eyeholes that resemble a bowling ball exactly.

8. Christine

Did you know that "BB" fans consistently rank Christine as their least favorite houseguest? Here's a complicated question I have about that: Why? She's goofy, not petty, strategic enough, and clearly a fan of the game. I swear to God the average "Big Brother" superfan watches the show just to idolize the contestants who ask to be idolized. Note: Of all the cocky contestants in "Big Brother" history, only Dr. Will is worthy of that reciprocation. The others are just horrifying raptors in swimsuits. This week HOH Christine was forced to replace Zach on the chopping block with basically the only other conceivable pick, Nicole. You hate to watch Christine officially side with the Detonators over Christine, but that upshot wasn't embarrassing so much as awkwardly inevitable. I think a Derrick/Christine final two would make for an exhilarating, competitive final debate for the $500,000. Imagine BB15 winner Andy Herren in the final two arguing with someone like Helen for the final prize. Not saying she'd win, but she'd certainly be able to complete a sentence without screaming, "I'm an open book!" or "Miss you, Nick!" in GinaMarie's emphysemic smoker rasp. 

7. Cody

Cody is a floater. Definitive floater. But he's not annoying in any way, so no one really cares to call him a floater. "Floater" is a term most often hurled at diplomatic contestants that people have already decided to hate. It's like when Madonna gets called "old." The snarker is pretending to have a point when they're just pointing out that the houseguest/pop superstar is doing her job: surviving and thriving. But Cody has lucked his way into the pillowy embrace of Derrick and the good graces of Zach and Frankie; I'm waiting to see when he makes a move to eliminate Derrick, the true manipulator of this season, and become his own player. He's had it so easy in this game that an attack on Derrick is really the only move he needs to make. 

6. Donny

Ohhhh, Donny. I want you to be the wizard of this game, magically winning POVs in a clutch and casting a spell of infallibility over the CBS lot. But you lost that damn Otev-branded POV almost immediately, and now it looks like you're about to be sent home in a near-unanimous vote. If you didn't sound so much like the twangy brother to "South Park's" Mr. Garrison (like the Spike to Mr. Garrison's Snoopy), I'd be less bothered by your elimination. But as such, you just don't have enough game to compete on "Big Brother," even if you seem aware of the qualities that make a good player. So long, moonshine Merlin.

 

5. Caleb

Caleb's been less embarrassing since Amber left the house, but he still is not self-aware enough to realize he says horrible things. Did I hear it right when he told Frankie, "If we were out of this house, I'd have kicked you straight in the teeth"? And he said that because... Frankie admitted his sister sometimes collaborates with Iggy Azalea? That's worth a quick slap, not a kick in the teeth. (Iggy Azalea is basically just the freshman girl waiting for Gwen Stefani under the bleachers in "Hollaback Girl." Harmless, sassy, and a little scared.) I also cringed during the Otev-starred POV challenge when Caleb declared that he wasn't a tool. The gray henley tanktop says otherwise, kid.

4. Victoria

It seems unfair to call Victoria embarrassing because it's only right to call her nothing. But come on. How can you be a functioning adult with a pituitary gland when you literally believe "escapegoat" goat is a word? "Escapegoat." She said it. She said it loud. There was no escape(goat) from it. And then she had the nerve to break down when she Zach blabbed to her about Derrick's shifty allegiance. Basically, Victoria was horrified to learn that people on "Big Brother" are playing "Big Brother." She thinks "Big Brother" is a conversion camp for people who want to be Sims. Except Victoria could never be a Sim because her gibberish isn't funny enough. 

3. Nicole 

It's unfair to put Nicole this high. Her Cindy Lou Who whine has its charms, and her rapport with Hayden was always adorable. But man, when she got backdoored into potential elimination this week, her Diary Room complaints were awfully pathetic. With the most sluggish, pained wail I've heard this season, she cried, "I don't want to be around these people, honestlyyyyy." Well, that's convenient. They're nominating her for eviction! It all works out.

2. Zach

On paper, Zach was the most embarrassing player this week even though he won the POV. He caterwauled that he'd "marry" his veto medallion, he screamed that Frankie "built a house of lies," and he sincerely wept on camera when Frankie admitted he's on "Big Brother" for charity. "I have no chance! I have no chance!" Zach screeched about his game. "This kid's playing for f*cking children in Africa. Why wouldn't he win? This guy already won Fan Favorite! He's donating the money to kids in Africa. Why the f*ck isn't he not going to win? Give him the f*cking money, I'm wasting my f*cking time right now!" He was about a nanosecond from ending that speech with, "And I live in a van down by the river." So histrionic and egomaniacal and extreme and hilarious. But as Mariah Carey once proved with her woozy, pre-hospitalization appearance on "TRL," there is such a thing as being so embarrassing that you become heroic somehow. But then again, Mariah Carey never told Frankie Grande that he was "the smartest, funniest guy I've ever met." Now I need to be hospitalized for exhaustion just remembering that. Ugh. Zach! Come on!

1. Frankie (most embarrassing) 

I wouldn't hate if Frankie won "Big Brother." He's sly enough to win. And his hair has morphed into a strange Neapolitan ornament on an ice cream cake from hell, so what can you do but fear and honor him, you know? I hope we can all admit that he's got a good head for this game. But right after we admit that, we must also admit that Frankie's soliloquy about his sister's true identity this episode was pathetic. Why did he have to bring up having "1.5 million subscribers"? Why did he have to call Ariana a "mega, mega pop star" when she has three singles and two mod dresses to wear? And most importantly, who did he think he was going to endear with that tale? Derrick diagnosed Frankie's intentions explicitly and no one else seemed too in the dark either. It was one of the weirdest moments of the season, and I hope Frankie reverts back to effective manipulation very, very soon. Or else this ice cream cake is going to melt into irrelevance fast. 

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Celine Dion and Rene Angelil

Celine Dion goes on hiatus to care for husband/manager Rene Angelil

He is still recovering from December cancer surgery

Celine Dion is taking a career hiatus to devote her time to helping her husband/manager, Rene Angelil, as he deals with cancer.

In a statement, the singer announced she will take an indefinite break from her  Caesars Palace residency in Las Vegas and has also canceled this fall’s Asian tour.

"I want to devote every ounce of my strength and energy to my husband's healing, and to do so, it's important for me to dedicate this time to him and to our children. I also want to apologize to all my fans everywhere, for inconveniencing them, and I thank them so much for their love and support,” she said.

Angelil had a tumor in his throat removed last December, but his healing has been very slow. Additionally, Dion has had her own health issues, including a throat inflammation that had made it impossible for her to perform since her last Las Vegas performance on  July 29. Dion suffered from a similar inflammation in 2012, which caused the singer to cancel two months of shows in Las Vegas.

Angelil previously had treatment for throat cancer in 1998, four years after he married Dion. The pair have three children— a 13-year old son and a pair of 3-year old twins. Dion's last studio album, 2013's "Love Me Back To Life," debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 last fall.

 

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Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora battle James Marsden in 'Black Widow' music video

Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora battle James Marsden in 'Black Widow' music video

'Telephone' and... eep, 'Your Love?'

Iggy Azalea played up your "Clueless" nostalgia with her "Fancy" video earlier this year, and now she's stabbing you in the gut with "Black Widow" feat. Rita Ora, channeling "Kill Bill."

Yup, she and Ora grab katanas, with James Marsden topping both of their Kill lists, as they ride cycles, wield badassery and play poker in zip-up catsuits. Close... but not enough to warrant a Tarantino lawsuit. It was co-directed by Azalea and Director X -- the latter of whom may help explain that T.I. cameo.

The dual nature of wreaking havoc after a diner encounter may ring the Beyonce and Lady Gaga "Telephone" line, but another rival may also be paying attention to that samurai swagger. Nicki Minaj wagged her own weapons in her "Your Love" (remember that one?) video in 2010. I think Nicki did it better. Though none can compare to Big Wanda.

"Black Widow" is off of Azalea's "The New Classic." She and Ora will perform the song during the MTV VMAs on Aug. 24.

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