On Nat Geo's new series, "None of the Above" (premiering Mon. March 24 at 9:00 p.m.), host Tim Shaw challenges viewers to guess the outcome of his over-the-top (and sometimes explosive) experiments. In this exclusive clip, Shaw decides he wants to cook a frozen turkey fast. So, why not drop it in a 30-gallon drum of peanut oil? That has to end well, right?
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By general agreement, it wasn't a banner year for documentaries at January's Sundance Film Festival, but one of the stronger entries I saw was Ryan White and Ben Cotner's "The Case Against 8." The HBO film maps out the history of the landmark legal battle over California's Proposition 8 (that's the ban on same-sex marriage, if you're returning from a decade-long Arctic exile) is exhaustive, intelligent detail; it's not a flashy or formally daring documentary, but it's all the more moving for focusing on fundamentals. (You can read my review here.)
“American Idol” falls to another series low
Without “The Big Bang Theory,” the highest-rated network last night was ABC with “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”
Dan Bucatinsky will play Tim Meadows’ husband and Casey Wilson's dad on NBC’s “Marry Me” pilot
The "Scandal" star has joined the pilot revolving around Wilson's engagement to Ken Marino. Bucatinsky will play “Kevin 2,” while “SNL” alum Meadows will play “Kevin 1.”
Seth Meyers is limiting “Late Night” to 2 musical guests per week
Billboard reports that Meyers is taking a different approach to “Late Night” than Jimmy Fallon by not having a musical guest in the 3rd guest slot more than twice a week (Meyers has had two musical guests per week since Week 2). That 3rd slot has been filled by authors, comedians and, as was the case on Tuesday, the editor of the New Yorker.
Idina Menzel: John Travolta sent me flowers and a “gorgeous e-mail”
"He was really gracious and sent this gorgeous e-mail, and we're buddies and it's all cool,” she says of the Oscar flub, adding: "Please. I mean, I've only benefited from it."
Report: ABC’s “Alice in Arabia” early script confirms worries over Muslim stereotypes
Buzzfeed, which obtained a copy of a pilot script dated from last July, found the script to be filled with Muslim stereotypes. An ABC spokesperson, however, tells Buzzfeed the script could’ve gone through multiple rewrites since it was written.
“Deadwood” premiered 10 years ago today
Watch a 26-minute documentary paying tribute to the HBO series, narrated by Jim Beaver.
Jeremy Piven refers to "Sherlock" star as "Benedict Cumberb*****”
The “Entourage" star, in a recent interview with Jimmy Kimmel, recalls being upstaged by the “Sherlock” star in a joint PBS media session with “Sherlock” and “Mr. Selfridge."
“Bar Rescue” gets a 4th season
Spike TV has ordered 20 more episodes of the TV show starring nightlife expert Jon Taffer.
E*Trade Baby quits in March Madness ad
The brokerage recently switched ad agencies, so its baby campaign is apparently over.
Vogue puts Kim Kardashian on its cover, with Kanye West
The April cover is titled: “Kim & Kanye: Their Fashionable Life and Surreal Times.”
Why Brad Pitt should be the No. 1 choice for “True Detective” Season 2
The mega movie star would be the perfect Matthew McConaughey replacement. PLUS: What is the "Secret Occult History of the U.S. Transportation System”?, and “True Detective’s” cinematographer revisits 9 key shots.
Check out “Community’s” animated “G.I. Jeff”
The “G.I. Joe” tribute is set to air April 3.
Jon Gosselin is not happy with Kate’s return to TLC for a 1-off special
Kate says her eight children "cheered like crazy. It was like I announced that it's Christmas tomorrow” upon hearing the news, but Us Weekly says Jon “thinks it is a really bad idea for the kids.
“Game of Thrones” creators sign on for 2 more seasons
David Benioff and Dan Weiss will continue to helm the HBO series through at least Season 6. PLUS: George R.R. Martin gives away a $30K Iron Throne, and Martin rejected a cameo on this season to work on his book.
“Scandal” shooting victim speaks
"It was very, very hard," says the shooting victim, who adds that Shonda Rhimes had no idea what to do after the table read for last week's episode. PLUS: Watch the 2nd episode of Jimmy Kimmel’s “Escandalo,” and Jeff Perry reacts to last night’s episode.
NBC unveils “Rosemary’s Baby” poster featuring Zoe Saldana
“Fear is born,” reads the tagline.
CMT renews “Party Down South”
The Southern “Jersey Shore” is CMT’s highest-rated original series.
Mena Suvari to star in “Hysteria” on Amazon
She’ll play a Texas doctor who investigates an epidemic in her hometown. PLUS: “How to Make it in America’s” Victor Rasuk joins CBS’ Kevin Williamson drama.
Don Cheadle is tired of people confusing “House of Lies” with “House of Cards”
Cheadle jokes that he’d like to have a death match battle with the Netflix series.
Check out “Orphan Black’s” Season 2 posters
She’s “One. Of a Kind."
John Oliver parodies the GOP’s hipster ad campaign
See clips from HBO’s "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver."
Ellen interviews “Wheel of Fortune” guesser
Emil de Leon has been watching the game show since he was 3 or 4 years old.
Jimmy Fallon sings a doo-wop duet with Billy Joel and an iPad
Watch their performance of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight."
“The Bachelor’s” Renee Oteri is already married
Renee went from going on a hometown date on TV a few weeks ago to tying the knot with another man.
Fast National ratings for Thursday, March 20, 2014.
Second Round coverage from the NCAA Tournament got off to a slow start for CBS, allowing "Scandal"-driven ABC to win the night among young viewers, while "American Idol" helped FOX eke out an overall win.
For "Scandal" it was a good week, as a big cliffhanger and the lack of "Elementary" competition led to a small bump. The news was less good for "American Idol," which fell below a 2.0 rating in the key demo.
Without CBS' in the mix, both "Community" and "Parks and Recreation" made rare visits above the 3 million viewer mark, while "Parenthood" rose above 4 million.
On to the numbers...
Kelly Reichardt's cool, composed eco-thriller "Night Moves" is pretty much the definition of a slow burner: I saw the film at its Venice premiere and was aloofly impressed, only for it to have wormed its way under my skin by the time I reviewed it a few days later. Six months on, I find my mind wandering back to its snaky ambiguities -- it's one that probably should have placed on my Best of 2013 list, and certainly seals Reichardt's place in the top ranks of American independent auteurs.
After a long campaign waged by their fans, Kiss will finally be inducted into the Rock & Roll of Fame this spring.
A review of last night's "Parenthood" coming up just as soon as I come in over asking...
First and foremost, "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" is the best action film out of the entire Marvel movie universe so far, bar none. Just in terms of sheer impact and choreography and execution and clarity of geography and did I mention impact because DAMN. If that is all that this film did well, that would be enough for me to recommend it.
Beyond that, though, "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" is a tremendous piece of pop entertainment, smart and engaging and featuring a home run movie star lead performance by Chris Evans and the best overall supporting cast in one of the Marvel movies in terms of everybody having something significant to do and everyone being written for to a degree where they're playing people and not just types. Written by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, this movie hits the ground running, literally, in a great scene where Steve Rogers (Evans) meets Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), a former member of a para-rescue unit who now works at the VA hospital. In one quick moment, they dispense with any need for fish out of water jokes and they introduce the notion that Steve is struggling with the bigger issues that affect him as a man out of time. He is having his doubts about the work he does for S.H.I.E.L.D., and in the film's first big set-piece, we see just how wet that work actually is.
A theme running throughout this episode is Elena's disappointment in her friends -- which is entirely valid, because seriously, how could they not tell Katherine had moved in and started calling the shots? Though Katherine made an attempt at imitating Elena, she didn't try all that hard -- all too often she wanted to do something and simply whipped up a feeble excuse as to why Elena might blunder into it (gosh, Stefan, didn't mean to get all that oil on my shirt -- oopsie, I'm naked in a hotel room with you!). Of course, only in Mystic Falls could you even entertain the idea that a dying vampire had hopped into your friend's body without being institutionalized. Still, it's like getting a haircut that no one notices -- wasn't anyone paying attention?
There have been rumors that 20th Century Fox and director Josh Trank might not be on the same page for the studio's new "Fantastic Four" flick, but it's clear someone will be helming the reboot. "Fantastic Four" is scheduled for release on June 15, 2015. Tonight, Fox dated "Fantastic Four 2" for July 14, 2017. So, yes, it's happening.
A few weeks ago, I sang the praises of Comedy Central's "Review," starring Andy Daly as an amiable but sheltered WASP who has different life experiences at the request of his viewers. In particular, I singled out tonight's episode as an early frontrunner for funniest half-hour of 2014, and thus wanted to do a second post for people who had now seen it. A few thoughts coming up just as soon as this post could be my penicillin...