Latest Blog Posts

Report: Rosie O’Donnell closing in on 'View' deal

Report: Rosie O’Donnell closing in on "View” deal
An announcement of Rosie’s return could be announced as soon as this week, according to TMZ.


Chris Harrison defends how “The Bachelorette” broke the news of Eric Hill’s death
"After watching it all back and seeing how it was edited together, I stand by it even more," he says of Monday’s episode, which saw Harrison breaking the news to Andi Dorfman and her Final 4 bachelors. "There were people within the show that didn't want us to shoot us talking to Andi and the guys and those that didn't want it to be televised at all, but I vehemently disagreed and fought like crazy to shoot it and eventually use it.”


Chris Colfer learned his Twitter was hacked after stepping off a long flight from London to L.A.
 “It sucked,” the “Glee” star tells EW. “Whoever this A-hole was that did this knew that I was going to be on this plane and I couldn’t be reached. So as soon as I landed, my phone just exploded.”


“Orange is the New Black’s” Lorraine Toussaint joins ABC’s “Forever”
She’ll play a police lieutenant on the fall drama.


Columbus Short: ABC “did the right thing” in dumping me from “Scandal”
“I think, at a certain point, when you’re (hearing) a barrage of stories after stories, ABC justifiably would want to distance themselves,” he says.


“America’s Most Wanted’s” John Walsh plans to battle the NRA now that he’s on CNN
Walsh, host of “The Hunt,” says he plans to continue Piers Morgan’s anti-NRA/pro-gun control campaign.


Lifetime orders weekly talk show "Undone With @AmandadeCadenet”
British TV personality Amanda de Cadenet will star in a talk show airing at 10:30 pm weekly this summer.


“True Blood” just lost its most powerful asset
Here’s an appreciation of this week’s casualty.


“Sharknado 2” unveils an extended trailer
“In every generation, there's a cinematic event that changes everything…"


Joe Manganiello and Sofia Vergara are dating
The “True Blood” star recently raved about the “Modern Family” star in People magazine.


"Pee-wee’s Playhouse” complete series Blu-ray box set is due this fall
All 45 episodes plus bonus features will be available on Oct. 21.


Check out Marge Simpson’s new makeup line
MAC Cosmetics’ 10-piece Marge Simpson makeup collection will be unveiled at Comic-Con. PLUS: "Marijuana Simpson” has become a Twitter sensation.


“Masters of Sex” adds Marin Ireland
The “Homeland” alum will Masters' help in conceiving a child.

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Taylor Swift

7 fascinating points from Taylor Swift's Wall Street Journal op-ed

Why I disagree with her on several issues


Taylor Swift is the voice— or to paraphrase her new pal Lena Dunham’s “Girl’s” character— a voice of her musical generation. That explains why The Wall Street Journal asked her to pen an op-ed piece for its “The Future Of Everything” edition, which heralds the paper’s 125 anniversary.

In her well-thought out, very informed editorial, the 24-year old superstar explains why she is an “enthusiastic optimist,” who believes the music industry is “just coming alive,” despite all evidence to the contrary.

Much of what Swift puts forward is factual: Digital downloads now account for 40% of music revenue, physical sales of CDs for 35% (for as much as every one says CDs are dead, they are still a significant factor..for now), and streaming and subscription make up 21% of revenue.  Music industry revenue was $7 billion in 2013, down from $15 billion in 2003.

Here are the seven most interesting things Swift says in her WSJ piece and why I disagree with her on a number of them.

“There are many (many) people who predict the downfall of music sales and the irrelevancy of the album as an economic entity. I am not one of them”: The facts are irrefutable on that one. While the album is not going away anytime soon, the world is increasingly becoming a singles-driven one. There will always be artists who make albums meant to be heard as a whole, but Apple changed consumer patterns for good with the birth of iTunes. Once iTunes made it possible for buyers to cherry pick singles instead of having to purchase a full album, there was no going back. The key part in Swift’s argument is “as an economic entity.”  It will remain an artistic entity for many artists, but as an economic entity, it will continue to decline.

“Music is art, and art is important and rare. Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for”:  Bravo. At some point, whether it’s through an act of Congress or other means (and it’s looking more likely to be through Congress), sufficient royalty rates for songwriters and artists will have to be established for streaming services. Right now, they’re all over the place with no consistent formula. Napster somehow created the idea that it’s okay to steal music and even though many people don’t feel that way anymore, they still have no problem using a streaming service that pays the music’s creators a scandalously small royalty. With streaming on the rise—up 42% over last year, according to Nielsen SoundScan— and downloading and physical sales on the continued decline, this is an issue that needs a quick solution. (It should be noted that while Swift does not give her music away, she is on a number of streaming services, like Spotify, which listeners can use for free.)

“[People] are buying only the [albums] that hit them like an arrow through the heart or have made them feel strong or allowed them to feel like they really aren't alone in feeling so alone. It isn't as easy today as it was 20 years ago to have a multiplatinum-selling album, and as artists, that should challenge and motivate us”: Yes and no. What we are increasingly seeing are artists who simply don’t need to be— and shouldn’t be— album artists. They may have a single or two or three or four in them, but their talent isn’t in crafting a full album, it's in crafting hit singles. Swift still has something to say and she says it in album form (even though she has very high digital single sales, as well). Her fans are invested in her, just as Adele’s fans are, and they want to hear what she has to say, every word of it. Not every artist has that much to say.

“Some artists will be like finding "the one." We will cherish every album they put out until they retire…I think the future still holds the possibility for this kind of bond, the one my father has with the Beach Boys and the one my mother has with Carly Simon”: Hmmm. I wonder what’s the last Beach Boys album her father bought? What about her mom and Carly Simon? At some point, most fans, even lifelong ones, stop showing interest in an artist’s new music and just go back to their favorite albums in the artist's catalog. But they do continue to support that artist and show their loyalty when it comes to seeing him/her in concert. And they use the performance of the new material as a chance to go to the bathroom.

“Forming a bond with fans in the future will come in the form of constantly providing them with the element of surprise. No, I did not say "shock"; I said ‘surprise’.”  Is this Tay Tay’s little dig at artists like Miley Cyrus or Lady Gaga, both of whom continually up the shock value?

“In the YouTube generation we live in, I walked out onstage every night of my stadium tour last year knowing almost every fan had already seen the show online. To continue to show them something they had never seen before, I brought out dozens of special guest performers to sing their hits with me.” And this, my friends, is why Taylor Swift is so successful. In a way that few artists have ever harnessed as well, she understands the power of social media. When her first album came out in 2006, she blogged and had long conversations with fans via MySpace while on her tour bus. Once Twitter came along, there was no stopping her. She understands how to make each show a unique event without overdoing it on the hype. The tour before this, she wrote lyrics  from one of her favorite songs on her arm every night. Brilliant-- for both her and the artist she endorsed. This tour, she had guests. She knows she has to keep fans interested and it can be by simple as small as a few lyrics on her arm… and a strong, good, live show.

“There are a few things I have witnessed becoming obsolete in the past few years, the first being autographs… The only memento "kids these days" want is a selfie”: Fascinating info for marketers. I don’t know anyone under 21 who would even consider asking for an autograph. A selfie shows fans' proximity to the artist in a way that an autograph can’t and feeds into the narcissistic needs to chronicle every moment. Proof of the one-on-one moment that can then be shared with the world is the coin of the realm.

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Sylvester Stallone in 'Reach Me' looks like an overstuffed all-star crowdfunded nightmare
Credit: Millennium Films

Sylvester Stallone in 'Reach Me' looks like an overstuffed all-star crowdfunded nightmare

Thomas Jane and Kyra Sedgwick also star in the 'Crash' of self-help books

"You're a finger painting! Be a masterpiece!"

Stranger words have never been mush-mouthed by Sylvester Stallone. I am genuinely baffled by the trailer for "Reach Me," a strange new film with an eclectic cast and a preposterous premise. It looks like "Crash" for the self-help industry, an idea that makes my skin full-on crawl.

UPDATED: The trailer that was originally attached to this story was not, technically speaking, a trailer. While we were not the first to post it, when we were contacted by the film's producers, we took down our copy. It turns out that this was a sales reel cut solely to help raise money during production. In our original version of this story, we mentioned that this is a Millennium Films release, and while that's true, they did not produce it. Our opinion of the sales reel remains, but until there is an actual finished trailer available, it's not fair to the production to leave it posted.

Writer/director John Herzfeld is also behind the films "15 Minutes" and "2 Days In The Valley," and while it flew completely under my radar, this is yet another example of crowdfunding being used on something that stars some very familiar faces. Evidently, Herzfeld's been trying to make this film for over a dozen years, and he was mid-shoot when money dried up. That's a little surprising since I see the Millennium Films logo on the front of the trailer, and I thought they had bags of money they had to launder… er, invest.

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Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd confirms new album, 'The Endless River,' coming in October

Check out who is in on the set of previously unreleased material

After David Gilmour’s wife, Polly Samson, spilled the beans via Twitter over the weekend, Pink Floyd confirmed today that the British group will, indeed, release new music this October.

The album, “The Endless River,” will be mainly ambient and instrumental music based on recording sessions that took place during the making of Pink Floyd’s last studio album, 1994’s “The Division Bell,” according to a statement released by the band’s label, Columbia Records.

The sessions feature guitarist Gilmour, drummer Nick Mason, and keyboardist Rick Wright, who died in 2008. Gilmour is producing the album along with Phil Manzanera, Youth, and recording engineer Andy Jackson.  “The Division Bell,”  which featured  lyrics penned by Samson,  was Wright's last work with the band and the last studio album released by Pink Floyd. Co-founder Syd Barrett quit the band in 1968 (and died in 2006); Roger Waters left the band in 1985 and despite a great deal of acrimony with his band mates, has appeared with them on a handful of occasions for charity.

They are still working on the final album, with more details expected by summer’s end.

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'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' Gary Oldman prefers to drop the exposition, thank you
Credit: HitFix

'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' Gary Oldman prefers to drop the exposition, thank you

And co-stars Keri Russell and Jason Clarke seem to agree

When I sat down to talk with Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, and Jason Clarke, it was a few days after Oldman's appearance on Jimmy Kimmel's show to try to put to rest the controversy over comments he made during his recent Playboy interview.

I'm glad it had already fizzled out. I've met Oldman before, in a very odd circumstance involving a film directed by a mutual friend, and I really enjoyed chatting with him then. He's a smart guy with a very specific background during an era of British independent film that I find wildly interesting. I could spend hours talking to him about his early work and the filmmakers he's worked with if he'd indulge me, and it would never occur to me to delve into politically correct language.

When discussing "Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes," the exceptional new film by Matt Reeves, one of the things I found interesting is just how spare the film is in terms of typical exposition. The film works with an efficiency that's very similar to the storytelling in the last film Reeves made, "Let Me In," and it's one of the many things that makes "Dawn" feel special among typical summer movie blockbusters.

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<p>Cat Power and Coldplay&#39;s Chris Martin</p>

Cat Power and Coldplay's Chris Martin

Slow dance with yourself on Coldplay and Cat Power's collab 'Wish I Was Here'

For Zach Braff's 'indie' film of the same name

Just like Jon Favreau could loop in Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johanssen into his indie ("indie") movie "Chef," Zach Braff was able to secure some heavy-hitters of his own for his indie flick "Wish I Was Here." The guy can bat at a level that you send a draft of your film to multi-Grammy winner Chris Martin and come out on the other side with a brand new song from Coldplay and Cat Power titled after your movie.

And the tune could leave you swooning.

Led by piano and Chan Marshall's twilit voice, "Wish I Was Here" started out as an idea Martin bumped off his band, with a gap open for a female lead singer, according to NPR. Marshall has been somewhat quiet since 2012's "Sun" and a proceeding tour that was marred by cancellations, frustration and illness. She sounds as strong as ever, very comfortable with Martin's harmonic mumble.

No news if this marks a period of activity for Marshall, but keep in mind that "Wish I Were Here" has been around since Sundance in January.

The soundtrack to "Wish I Were Here" is out on July 15 with the theatrical run starting two days later. Also from the tracklist, check out the new song from the Shins, "So Now What," here.

Hold me close now, Cat Power.

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Naya Rivera will be a 'recurring guest star' for 'Glee's' final season

Naya Rivera will be a “recurring guest star" for "Glee's" final season
According to TV Line, Rivera requested to not be called a "series regular" for the final season.


Sam Waterston is headed to Netflix
“The Newsroom” star will play Lily Tomlin’s gay husband who romances Martin Sheen on “Grace and Frankie,” where he’ll also co-star with Jane Fonda.


Nat Geo’s “The '90s” gets slightly bigger ratings than “The ‘80s”
About 1.10 million tuned in for the debut of “The '90s: The Last Great Decade?.”


New York Yankees fan sues for $10 million after ESPN cameras caught him sleeping
Andrew Robert Rector alleges that the baseball anchors unleashed an “avalanche of disparaging words” against him.


Watch the promo for “Bachelor in Paradise”
The latest “Bachelor” spinoff promises lots of tears.


“Penny Dreadful” to appear at Comic-Con
Aisha Tyler will moderate the July 24 panel.

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Garth Brooks

Will Garth Brooks announce a world tour on Thursday?

How you can watch the press conference

 

Late last week, Garth Brooks’ website trumpeted “The Wait is Over” with the dates 7/7 emblazoned against a backdrop of a sky filled with lightning and thunder (“The Thunder Rolls,” get it?)

But today, instead of getting news about whatever he’s ready to announce, we got news that the wait is not over, it will be over on Thursday when Brooks will hold a press conference to announce whatever he was going to announce today. Fans can watch the press conference live at 12 p.m. EDT/11 a.m. CDT and 9 a.m. PDT at garthbrooks.com

So what is that something? Chances are very good it’s the details of the world tour he talked about on “Good Morning America” last December. Though he divulged few details, he told Robin Roberts that his one-man show at the Wynn in Las Vegas was over after three years and he was ready to go back on the road with his full band. His last world tour ended in 2001 and he has spent the intervening years raising his three daughters with his ex-wife and current wife, Trisha Yearwood. His youngest daughter graduated from high school this spring, paving the way for Brooks to return to touring.

So why delay the announcement until Thursday? Though Brooks did not give a reason, it’s likely because he is embroiled in figuring out how to save his Dublin concerts. In January, a few weeks after Brooks told Roberts that he was indeed going back on tour, he announced he would play at Croke Park, an 80,000-seat stadium in Dublin, this summer. The Irish audiences love Brooks and totally claim him as one of their own, given his mother’s Irish heritage. Two shows ballooned into five sold-out shows, July 25-29, with the 400,000 tickets moving at a very quick rate.

However, tickets for the concerts were sold before the promoter acquired approval and the license for the shows from the Dublin City Council— a common practice. Due to complaints from Croke Park neighbors and an ordinance that says there will be no more than three concerts at Croke Park each year, the Dublin City Council only approved three Brooks shows. (One Direction had already played three shows at the venue this Spring). Brooks came back and said it was all five shows or nothing because he couldn’t disappoint the 160,000 fans for the two canceled shows. Right now, Brooks and the promoter are in a stand-off with the DCC. A decision is expected to be made no later than tomorrow on whether any of the concerts will proceed. The stage and equipment, designed especially for Croke Park and for an attendant concert special, are already at the port ready to ship to Ireland.  Also at stake? The  $85 million the five shows were estimated to pump into the Irish economy: 70,000 of the 400,000 tickets were sold to people from countries other than Ireland.

UPDATED: Tuesday (8) morning, the promoter of the Croke Park shows announced that all five shows have been cancelled after all parties could not come to terms.

Brooks has been a trending topic all day and even though he hasn’t toured in 13 years and had only one No. 1 song in his time away— 2007’s “More Than A Memory”— there is no doubt that his U.S. tour will be one of the biggest of the next three years. The only questions to be answered are how low will he keep tickets— for his last tour they averaged $25—, if he will scale the house offering different price levels depending upon where the seats are (this is something he has notoriously opposed), and how many dates will he do in each city.

We’ll have more after the press conference on Thursday. But for anyone who doubts that this tour will sell through the roof, we suggest you come back five minutes after tickets have gone on sale. There is tremendous pent-up demand for Brooks’ high-energy live show that current chart toppers like Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean somewhat meet but haven’t replaced.

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<p>Kiefer Sutherland of &quot;24: Live Another Day&quot;</p>

Kiefer Sutherland of "24: Live Another Day"

Credit: FOX

Comic-Con 2014 panels set for '24,' 'Sleepy Hollow' 'Penny Dreadful' and more

Find out when 'Simpsons,' 'Salem,' 'Bones' and more will be paneling

Due to glorious press release timing, 20th Century Fox TV has landed a separate story for its Comic-Con 2014 schedule, even though several of the shows were previously announced in my FX/History Comic-Con 2014 story.

Showtime, however, was less lucky and its lone Comic-Con 2014 panel has been bundled into this story along with the 20th Century Fox panels. 

So continue along for Comic-Con panel details for "Penny Dreadful," as well as "24: Live Another Day," "The Simpsons," "Sleepy Hollow," "Family Guy," "Bob's Burgers," "Salem" and more.

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'The Good Wife' lands Taye Diggs

“The Good Wife” lands Taye Diggs
As part of a multi-episode arc, he’ll play an equity partner at Lockhart/Gardner who suddenly joins Florrick/Agos.


“American Horror Story” to make its debut at Comic-Con, which will also feature a “24” retrospective
Fox/FX is also sending “Bones,” “Sleepy Hollow” and “Sons of Anarchy."

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Sia

Album review: Sia shines brightly on '1000 Forms of Fear'

After guesting on so many hits, she's ready for some of her own

 

Sia has had more success as a guest on other artists' records-- such as David Guetta’s “Titanium” and Flo Rida’s “Wild Ones” or during her stint with Zero 7 on tunes like “Destiny” --than as a solo artist, but with “Chandelier,” the first single from “1000 Forms of Fear,” out tomorrow (8), the Australian singer/songwriter is finally breaking out as a pop star on her own.

“Chandelier” reached the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100, in large part driven by its compelling video featuring 11-year old dancer Maddie Ziegler. Though Sia has had several strong songs on her previous albums, “Chandelier” is her first bona-fide hit as a solo artist.

The good news is there’s plenty more on “Fear,” produced by Greg Kurstin, to continue that path, even if there is nothing that’s quite as striking as “Chandelier,” a tune that sounds similar to Rihanna’s “Diamonds”—a song co-written by Sia— but bolstered by Sia’s brilliant take on a party girl whose lows are as devastating as her highs are exhilarating.

Sia often slurs her words as they roll over the electronic-enhanced melodies like water in a creek flowing over uneven rocks. It can be jarring at times as she breaks words in strange places and swings up and down the scale in unexpected ways, unconfined by any traditional pop singing structure. For example, on “Cellophane,”  Sia sings as if she’s up on the Broadway stage, full of drama, as she delivers lines like “I’m  such a basket case while I fall apart, you hide all my pills again.” Interesting echo-y production with a subtle use of a tremolo guitar make the song a stand out.

“Fear’s” first few tunes, “Chandelier,” “Big Girls Cry” and “Burn The Pages” follow enough of the same script—electronic tracks with pop production— that the album is just starting to feel predictable when it takes a sharp turn with the ultra-poppy, Gwen Stefani-like “Hostage.” The  toe-tapping, peppy, high velocity pop track betrays the downer lyrics on this sure-to-be single. Sia then veers into Lana Del Rey territory on the stately, grand ballad “Straight For The Knife,” about a lover who knows exactly where all her weak spots are and exactly how to inflict  maximum damage. While Sia is just as capable of sounding as mannered as LDR, she always remains inviting as opposed to some impenetrable presence. In fact, if anything, she lays herself bare over and over.

Throughout “Fear,” Sia traffics mainly in matters of love and just how toxic our relationships can be. Whether she’s admitting she doesn’t play fair either on the delicious “Fair Game,” which wraps her voice in a tinker-toy piano, or on the over-the-top, very busy closing track, “Dressed in Black,” where a new love brings her back  to life, Sia is about breaking down the barriers that make us feel alone.  

While she’s always been bracingly honest in her lyrics, on “Fear,” the combo of the music and lyrics seem to have all come together— as if she’s taking a few lessons from the other folks who have had big hits utilizing her words and her vocals. 

Now it’s her turn to shine bright like a diamond.

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<p>Patricia Arquette in &quot;Boyhood&quot;</p>

Patricia Arquette in "Boyhood"

Credit: IFC Films

Patricia Arquette calls her 12-year 'Boyhood' experience an 'anti-movie'

For you it's a film, for her it's a significant part of her life

HOLLYWOOD — This Friday is a significant date for the cast and crew of Richard Linklater's "Boyhood." After 12 long years of production on one of the most unique film projects of all time, the film will finally be unleashed on the movie-going public.

For Patricia Arquette, the anxiety mostly came at the end of shooting, when she realized this clearly life-altering experience was coming to a close. In the film, she stars as the mother of Mason (Ellar Coltrane), a headstrong woman already dealing with the effects of a broken home at the beginning of the story who is challenged with finding her way through the ups and downs of life as much as her son. The film could just as easily have been called "Motherhood," and indeed, you come away sensing that Arquette delivers the film's stand-out performance.

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BLOGS BY NAME