Latest Blog Posts

Report: Tony-winning British comedian James Corden is replacing Craig Ferguson

Report: Tony-winning British comedian James Corden is replacing Craig Ferguson
According to The Wrap, Corden, 35, who’s starring in Disney's “Into the Woods" and who won a Tony Award in 2012 for “One Man, Two Guvnors," is getting "The Late Late Show" job. Corden is also co-creator and co-star of “Gavin & Stacey,” which Fox remade and never aired. Corden's previous hosting experience includes the talk show for "Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack" with his "Gavin & Stacey" co-star Matthew Horne.


“Intervention” is being revived on LMN
The A&E sibling channel has ordered a 14th season of the docuseries.


“NCIS” casts a young Ducky
“Mixology’s” Adam Campbell will play a younger version of David McCallum’s character.

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The Civil Wars

The Civil Wars move from 'hiatus' to officially done and dusted

The duo leave us with one last song


Even though they separated more than a year ago, Joy Williams and John Paul White officially announced The Civil Wars’ divorce today. And they gave us all a little parting gift to remember them by to blunt the pain of realizing they are never, ever getting back together.

By the time the duo released its more recent album, “The Civil Wars,” in June 2013, they were already on “hiatus,” so this news comes as a surprise to no one. The Nashville-based duo burned brightly in its short time in the spotlight, winning Grammys for best country duo/group performance and best folk album in 2012 for 2011’s “Barton Hollow.” They also performed with Taylor Swift on "Safe & Sound," a T Bone Burnett-produced track on "The Hunger Games" soundtrack.

In a statement posted on their website, Williams commented, “I am saddened and disappointed by the ending of this duo, to say the very least. JP is a tremendous musician, and I will always be grateful for the music we were able to create together….Looking ahead, I’m excited to share the music that I am writing and recording in the midst of this difficult transition. I’ve loved being back in the studio, and have missed performing live. I look forward to seeing you soon.”

White added,  “I would like to express sincere thanks to all who were a part of the arc of The Civil Wars—from the beginning, to the end, and all points in between. My deep appreciation goes out to all who supported, disseminated, and enjoyed the music. Whatever shape or form the next chapter takes, thanks for being a large part of this one.”

Interesting that Williams threw White a bone there and he felt no need to do the same.

They leave us with their cover of the 1930s classic ditty, “You Are My Sunshine,” which the pair recorded in 2010. It was previously only available as the B-side to the limited edition “Barton Hollow” 7” vinyl release.

 

https://soundcloud.com/thecivilwars/the-one-that-got-away

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<p>Steven Sodebergh of &quot;The Knick&quot;</p>

Steven Sodebergh of "The Knick"

Credit: Cinemax

Interview: Steven Soderbergh and Clive Owen on building the world of 'The Knick'

What brought the period medical drama to Cinemax? And much more...

The opening minutes of "The Knick" throw down a gauntlet. 

We're introduced to Clive Owen's John Thackery and his distinctive mustache at a red filtered opium den in 1900 New York City. Accompanied by an anachronistic score from Cliff Martinez, Thackery heads off in a carriage, removing his white leather shoes to shoot up between his toes. In no time, Thackery has reached the Knickerbocker Hospital, where he's thrust into the middle of a placenta previa surgery, like all surgeries in the period, a harrowing and bloody prospect.

You're in or you're out. There are no in-betweens.

Steven Soderbergh, who directed (and shot and edited) the entirety of the first "Knick" season, wouldn't have it any other way.

"[T]he first seven minutes of the first episode contain the sort of DNA of the whole show. If you're not down with how those first seven minutes go you're going to have trouble, because I'm giving you the code for how we're going to do it," Soderbergh told me when we sat down at the Beverly Hilton during last month's Television Critics Association press tour. 

Soderbergh, bless his heart, doesn't believe in short interviews and so, joined by Clive Owen, we discussed how a script by two veterans of "The Shaggy Dog" (Jack Amiel and Michael Begler) attracted an Oscar-winning director and an A-list film star and then how that project ended up at Cinemax.

The short answer? Soderbergh wanted it that way.

"Partly it's just probably a little self-serving in the sense that I knew that we'd be the big kid in a small school over there and I wanted that kind of personal attention," Soderbergh explained, simultaneously smiling and completely serious.

We didn't delve into Soderbergh's "retirement" because, let's be honest, the guy is just doing whatever he wants to do, wherever he wants to do it and it seems silly to quibble about whether he said (or somebody said on his behalf) that he was done with one medium or another. He's producing shows for Amazon and Starz. He directed the full season of "The Knick" and, as was announced within hours of this interview, he'll be directing a second full season as well. And "The Knick" looks and feels and moves like a Steven Soderbergh project.

In the interview, we talked about the show's treatment of its period setting and of the gory period surgeries, the value of the Cliff Martinez score and the pressures and panic moments associated with making five consecutive two-hour movies.

"The Knick" premieres on August 8. Check out the lengthy interview transcript below...

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<p>&quot;Bachelor in Paradise&quot;</p>

"Bachelor in Paradise"

Credit: ABC

TV Ratings: 'MasterChef,' 'Ninja' and 'Under the Dome' pace Monday split

ABC's 'Bachelor in Paradise' lags behind 'The Bachelorette'

Fast National ratings for Monday, August 4, 2014.

"MasterChef," "American Ninja Warrior" and "Under the Dome" were able to help FOX, NBC and CBS all claim shares of the ratings pie on Monday night, while even ABC was competitive thanks to a so-so premiere for "Bachelor in Paradise."

"Bachelor in Paradise" was far below what "The Bachelorette" was doing for most of the summer, while "Running Wild with Bear Grylls" and "Hotel Hell" were also down week-to-week. "Under the Dome" was up very slightly.

On to the numbers...

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'Facts of Life' cast to reunite

“Facts of Life” cast to reunite
The Paley Center will host a “Facts of Life” reunion on Sept. 15. As part of its fall programming, Paley will also host panels on new shows from “Mulaney” to “Gotham.”


“True Detective” will have to compete as a limited series under the Golden Globes’ new rules
The miniseries category has been changed to “limited series": "Any show whose characters and storyline are confined to one season will be considered a limited series,” according to Variety.


E! renews “Botched”
The plastic surgery fix show will be back for a 2nd season.


“Orange is the New Black” met with Katie Holmes about playing Piper
"I'm a big fan of hers,” says creator Jenji Kohan. "You know, I met with her.” PLUS: Watch clips of “OITNB” on "Conan."


Stephen Colbert traveled back to 1974 for last night’s “Colbert Report” Watergate special
Watch Colbert with long sideburns tackle the downfall of Nixon.


Ricky Gervais’ “The Office” character David Brent is getting his own movie
"Life on the Road” will catch up with Brent 15 years after the events of “The Office.”


Watch Seth Meyers interview younger brother Josh Meyers
“MADtv” alum Josh Meyers is actually two years younger than Seth.


Sherri Shepherd is leaving “The View” for “Cinderella” on Broadway
She’ll play “Cinderella’s” evil stepmother, Madame.


Watch the first 7 minutes of "Star Wars Rebels”
The upcoming Disney XD animated series was previewed at Comic-Con.


Jimmy Kimmel challenges Kim Kardashian to a diaper-changing contest
Kim admitted she’s “obsessed” with changing diapers.


“Bachelor in Paradise” premieres to 5 million
That’s up slightly from the most recent “Bachelor Pad” premiere.

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<p>Guardians of the Galaxy</p>

Guardians of the Galaxy

Credit: Marvel

Movie review: 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

Marvel's biggest, strangest cinematic gamble pays off hugely

HitFix certainly does not lack for "Guardians of the Galaxy" coverage, including Drew McWeeny's rave review, our look at the best and worst from the film and Gregory Ellwood's look at the film's potential impact on movie-going. But on those increasingly rare occasions where I get to see a movie close to its theatrical release (and, in this case, when I have a slow enough week otherwise), I like to offer some thoughts of my own. As always, it'll be like one of my episodic TV reviews, which means spoilers galore, and the assumption that anyone reading has already seen it, coming up just as soon as I need that guy's leg...

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Megan Fox says she would have done anything to be in 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'
Credit: HitFix

Megan Fox says she would have done anything to be in 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'

She seems well aware of what people want from this movie

One of us burped during this interview. I'm not pointing any fingers but it wasn't me.

Before sitting down to talk to her about "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," I had interviewed Megan Fox two other times, and under very different circumstances.

The first time was at Toronto, where we spoke about the film "Jennifer's Body," and it was a zoo. It was one of the weirdest press days I've ever done. There was something in the air, some crazy energy, and by the time I got into the room, everyone was on edge, and it was really hard to get anything out of anyone. The second time was on the set of "This Is 40," and we just sat in a room off to the side of everything else and chatted for a half-hour. That conversation left me with a very different impression of Fox, and I felt like she is well aware of her image, both good and bad.

In this new incarnation of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," her character is essential to the creation of the Turtles in the first place, and we talked a bit about whether or not that was part of her decision to do the film.

"There was no script when I first attached myself to this movie. I just wanted to be in it because I was a fan as a kid. And I was like, 'I'll do anything to be in this movie. Put me in this movie. I'm a superfan. Please please please."

And then came a moment I've always had nightmares about, because if it was me this happened to, the video would be horrible. But Fox laughs her way through it, and damn it, she keeps going, just as poised as before.

"I'm really relieved to see how integrated she is into their story and how important she is to them now. As Jonathan describes it, April is 'our window into the Turtles,' and that was fun for me."

Look, anyone can memorize things for an interview and learn how to sell the product and put a good face on it… that's part of doing publicity for movies. You've got something to sell, and I'm well aware of what most of these interviews are. But listening to Fox talk about this, she seems to be fully aware of why kids are going to go see the film.

"The Turtles are where it's at, man."

Well-said, Miss Fox.

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" is in theaters everywhere on Friday.

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Report: Elisabeth Moss is also being eyed for 'True Detective' Season 2

Report: Elisabeth Moss is also being eyed for “True Detective” Season 2
The “Mad Men” alum would play the female lead, a no-nonsense sheriff in Monterey, California, according to The Wrap, which says that Vince Vaughn won’t have a lead role on the HBO series. The male lead roles would instead go to Colin Farrell and Taylor Kitsch, should their negotiations be finalized. The Wrap also reports that “The Killing’s” Michelle Forbes is also up for a role.


Janeane Garofalo to exit Bravo’s "Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce”
Garofalo plays one of Lisa Edelstein’s best friends on Bravo’s first scripted series, a role she’ll continue on through October.


Watch Conan’s “Orange is the New Black”-themed opening
Featuring a “special” beauty consultant.

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'24: Live Another Day’s' finale pulled in more viewers than the '24' series finale

“24: Live Another Day’s” finale pulled in more viewers than the “24” series finale
Thanks to DVR viewers, the “24:LAD” ratings has gone up to about 10.7 million.


Report: “True Detective” Season 2 was written with Vince Vaughn in mind
In fact, Vaughn and “True Detective” creator Nic Pizzolatto have previously worked together, but only briefly, according to Deadline. Pizzolatto was the original writer for Vaughn’s film reboot of “The Rockford Files,” which he had to exit due to his “True Detective” commitments.


NBC renews “Welcome to Sweden”
The sitcom from Amy Poehler and her brother Greg has been picked up for a 10-episode 2nd season. Despite low ratings, "Sweden" has been big among affluent viewers.


CBS pulls “Extant’s” finale from premiere week, expands “Survivor’s” premiere to 90 minutes
The Halle Berry drama will wrap one week early due to disappointing ratings. “Big Brother’s” finale has also been changed to 90 minutes.


“SNL”-themed products are going on sale: From talking Stefon Doll to peanut butter Schweddy Balls
“Saturday Night Live:” has partnered with It’Sugar to sell more than 50 “SNL”-inspired products, from Gilly Sour Gummy Hearts to Debbie Downer hand sanitizer. Products go on sale Sept. 13. PLUS: “SNL” embracing commercial tie-ins for Season 40.


Why “Big Bang” stars deserve even more money — and why they’re each making less than “Friends” cast’s $1 million an episode
Adjusted for inflation, the “Friends” cast’s $1 million an episode is worth $1.3 million in today’s dollars. Which means “The Big Bang Theory” stars are making much less than each of the “Friends” cast members. And with “Big Bang” CBS’ only big comedy hit, as Josef Adalian points out, "'Big Bang' is arguably more important to the Eye than either ‘Friends' or ‘Seinfeld' were to NBC.”


“Arrow” books “Medium’s” David Cubitt as The Manhunter
He’ll guest in the important role of Mark Shaw.


Canada’s prime minister unfollowed Homer Simpson on Twitter
Stephen Harper unfollowed Homer after the CBC revealed that “The Simpsons” patriarch was one of 223 people the prime minister followed on Twitter.


Elisabeth Moss: Even the men cried during “Mad Men’s” final days of filming — except Jon Hamm
"The last three days were kind of like a funeral," Moss says. "It was just everybody crying all day long -- these big, giant men bursting into tears.”


Netflix exec on “Arrested Development” Season 5: "It's just a matter of when"
Chief content officer Ted Sarandos is “positive” that “Arrested Development” will be back, but the cast scheduling has to be sorted.


"The Bachelor Australia” has already gone with a minority Bachelor in Season 2
The current Australian “Bachelor” is half black/half white.


“Justified’s” Joelle Carter to visit “Constantine”
She’ll play a damaged ex-model who’s married to a rock star on the NBC series.


“The Strain” is even more relevant with Ebola in the news
Why it’s the "show for our Ebola jittery moment.”


“SNL’s” booted John Milhiser: I felt “the least funny" this past year
Milhiser and “SNL” newbie Sasheer Zamata talked about their rookie year at an Upright Citizens Brigade event.


What TV can teach the struggling music industry
Like TV, the music industry needs to appeal to adults with more complex content.


“Breaking Bad’s” Vince Gilligan has his own Topps baseball card
Gilligan’s storyboard cards also got the Allen & Ginter card treatment.


Sonia Braga is headed to “Royal Pains”
She’ll play Divya’s former mother-in-law and grandmother to her baby.


“Brady Bunch” mom Florence Henderson pitches herself for “SVU"
“Maybe I could be Mariska Hargitay's mother or grandmother,” says the “Law & Order” fan.


“The Awesomes” is almost the perfect companion piece to “Guardians of the Galaxy”
The Seth Meyers co-created Hulu cartoon is back with Season 2.


Watch Dan Harmon’s "return" in a “Community” DVD extra
The Season 5 DVD set is due out Tuesday. PLUS: Jim Rash wants a “Game of Thrones” parody.


“Boardwalk Empire’s” Brian Geraghty joins “Chicago PD”
He’ll be partnered with Marina Squerciati next season.


Shark Week parodies abound: From Comedy Central’s Shart Week to Logo’s Snark Week
There’s also Bark Week from Hub Network, Big Cat Week on Nat Geo, Weather Channel’s Tornado Week and Sportsman Channel’s Aporkalypse.


“Sirens” cop gets a promotion
Josh Segarra will become a series regular next season.


“Jeopardy!” teen tournament ended in a 2-way tie
Because it was the last day of the tournament, there had to be two winners.


Piers Morgan to Larry King’s wife: “Tell him it's over, he can stop being a bitch now”
Shawn King has now entered the Larry-Piers war of words, prompting Morgan to tweet: "if Larry can't fight his own battles, tell him to stop being such a graceless old toad."


Check out the trailer for Showtime’s “L Word Mississippi”
"L Word Mississippi: Hate The Sin” tells the story of lesbians living in the deep South.


HBO tonight presents "Nixon By Nixon: In His Own Words”
With the anniversary of Nixon’s resignation looming, HBO presents a documentary on the former president’s tapes that will leave you “alternately gasping aloud, chuckling and groaning.”


Kelsey Grammer and Martin Lawrence's “Partners”: How did this get on FX?
That’s what Brian Moylan is asking: "You know how in the 90s (or in 2014 on CBS) they used to make sitcoms with big stars, laugh tracks, hokey premises and jokes that even borscht-belt comedians thought were old? Well, FX, one of the hippest channels on the dial (oh my god, remember dials?!) just made one of those.” PLUS: It’s vexing like an out-of-tune guitar, and it’s a cynical, feckless money-grab by veteran talents who should know better.

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Forget the summer, did 'Guardians of the Galaxy' just save the rest of 2014?
Credit: Marvel Studios

Forget the summer, did 'Guardians of the Galaxy' just save the rest of 2014?

If crowd-pleaser continues to perform it could jumpstart the fall

It's taken a few months, but moviegoers finally found another summer movie they adore. "Boyhood" has a very passionate fan base, but that awards-worthy player still isn't in enough theaters to come close to qualifying for nationwide release. No, America and some parts of the world have gone nuts for James Gunn's "Guardians of the Galaxy," and with not a moment to spare.

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Black Cat spin-off film? Sony expanding 'Spider-Man' universe with female lead
Credit: Marvel Comics

Black Cat spin-off film? Sony expanding 'Spider-Man' universe with female lead

We wouldn't discount the possibility of a 'Spider-Girl' movie, though

Sony's got a tough road ahead of them.

One of the most depressing but predictable things to happen this weekend was the backlash that has already begun regarding Sony's idea to possibly make a woman-driven "Ghostbusters." While I'm used to seeing knee-jerk reactionary responses from people who show up in comments sections, I was taken aback by Mike Fleming's response on Deadline. If he meant it as a joke, it's tone deaf, and if he's serious, then he's more of a caveman than I expected.

At this point, I feel like I've turned a corner in terms of my own feelings about casting, especially when it comes to these big fanboy properties. I am fully onboard at this point for disruption of the status quo. Female Thor? Great. Black Spider-Man? Bring it on. An all-female Ghostbusters team? Suit up, ladies, and let's see what you've got. If it makes white dudes angry because they feel like they're having to share their toys, then I'm all in.

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Off the Carpet: Will it be Brad vs. Angelina this Oscar season?
Credit: Universal/Sony

Off the Carpet: Will it be Brad vs. Angelina this Oscar season?

'Fury' vs. 'Unbroken' could make for an enticing narrative later this year

Last week "Boyhood" producer John Sloss asked me why I thought his film could win the Best Picture Oscar this year. Of course, it's only just August, so all you have is the same thing everyone else has: instincts, observation of the lay of the land, etc. And I'm nowhere near calling it for the little engine that could. Rather, I see in it the kind of special quality that tends to light the fuse of many an Oscar winner. But there's plenty that could stand in its way between now and Feb. 22, 2015.

Then again, looking ahead at this year's potential Oscar slate, I'm not really sensing a banner year. Many of these films could end up absolute masterworks; we just don't know yet. But in the awards fray, lately I've just been thinking, "I see 'Unbroken' and then I see everything else." Angelina Jolie's upcoming POW saga about the life of the late Louis Zamperini seems to have all the bells and whistles that you'd expect of a power Oscar player (and of countless potential players that have hit a brick wall, it should be said), so like most of you, probably, I'm expecting it to clean up. But everyone is getting their narratives in order and Sony sure got a nice smooch from The New York Times over the weekend, setting David Ayer's "Fury" up as an unflinching look at the dark underbelly of heroism in World War II.

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