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'The Killing' Season 4 First Look - Joan Allen inspects the troops
Credit: Carole Segal/Netflix

'The Killing' Season 4 First Look - Joan Allen inspects the troops

Fourth and final season premieres on August 1 on Netflix

Netflix has released the first official image for the upcoming fourth (and final) season of "The Killing."

Set to premiere in its six-episode totality on August 1, the network installment of "The Killing" picks up in the immediate aftermath of the Season 3 finale, which was deemed inconclusive enough that fans clamored for additional closure. 

The major new cast member this season is, as you can see from the picture above, Oscar nominee Joan Allen, who plays the headmaster of an all-boys military academy. 

And what is the context for Allen's involvement? Well, Netflix has offered a full basic plot summary.

Per Netflix: "As Detective Linden (Mireille Enos) and Detective Holder (Joel Kinnaman) struggle to manage the fallout from their rash actions at the end of last season, they are assigned a new case -- a picture perfect family is murdered, survived only by the son, Kyle Stansbury (Tyler Ross), who was shot in the head during the massacre.  Joan Allen guest stars this season as Colonel Margaret Rayne, the headmaster of the all-boys military academy where Kyle attends.  The new season also stars Gregg Henry, Sterling Beaumon and Levi Meaden."

Netflix wants you to know that the first three seasons of "The Killing" are currently available to stream in advance of the Season 4 premiere.

Check out the picture above.

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Review: 'Earth To Echo' is a sweet small scale spin on the classic 'E.T.' formula
Credit: Relativity Pictures

Review: 'Earth To Echo' is a sweet small scale spin on the classic 'E.T.' formula

Strong FX and a stronger kid cast brings this one together

One of the hardest things about the way this generation of filmmakers has internalized the movies that inspired them is that watching their movies can sometimes feel like you're reading a laundry list of the things that they saw when they were younger, rather than watching something where all of those influences have crystallized into something new.

"Earth To Echo" could accurately be described as a "found-footage" riff on "Explorers" and "E.T.", and that description would certainly impart something of the film to someone. But the thing that "Earth To Echo" most accurately reflects from the best of the '80s movies that continue to linger with viewers, even 30 years after many of them first hit theaters, is that sense of something genuine about the kids. When I look at "E.T.", the first thing that strikes me as remarkable is just how right Spielberg got all of the kids in the film. Not just Elliott and Gertie and Michael, but all the kids in that film felt like actual kids who I knew at the time, my friends or the brothers and sisters of my friends, both older and younger. That was one of the huge appeals of Spielberg's early work, that rowdy sense of reality spilling out of the edges of the frame. When you watch the scenes in "Close Encounters" where it's just Roy Neary and his kids at home, there is nothing about those scenes that feels conventionally written. Instead, it's like Spielberg set up a camera in a real house and just captured the sort of chaos that defines family life. It's true of "Jaws," it's true of "Sugarland Express," it's true of "Poltergeist," and in its best moments, it is true of "Earth To Echo."

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Jillian Michaels may have left 'The Biggest Loser' over the Rachel Frederickson controversy

Jillian Michaels may have left “The Biggest Loser” over the Rachel Frederickson controversy
According to People, Michaels was "deeply concerned about the direction the show has been taking” in the wake of Rachel’s shocking thin frame.

“Big Brother” returns up from last year
About 6.6 million watched the 16th-season premiere.

David Hasselhoff to star in a “Curb Your Enthusiasm”-style comedy for the UK’s “Dave” channel
"Hoff the Record” will follow The Hoff’s life over six episodes, airing on channel Dave.

Destination America is sending The Wallflowers to small towns for the 4th of July
It’s part of a “Red White & You” promotional campaign.

Triumph the insult Comic Dog insults even more World Cup nationalities
On last night’s “Conan,” Triumph’s targets included England, the Italians and the Japanese.

Here’s Joan Allen on “The Killing”
In the final season, she plays Colonel Margaret Rayne, the headmaster of the all-boys military academy.

Jason Dohring may be part of the “Veronica Mars” spinoff
“I hope I get to be a part of it and I love Ryan and love working with him as well, he’s just such a super guy…they contacted me several weeks ago and we’ll just see what happens,” Dohring says of “Play It Again, Dick.”

Check out “Sons of Anarchy” Season 7 pics
SAMCRO is reunited.

A father discovers his missing son is in the basement, thanks to Nancy Grace
Local police and the FBI supposedly searched the basement, which surprised Charles Bothuell IV when Grace revealed his son’s whereabouts.

TV Guide magazine is being cut down to about the size of an iPad
The magazine will go from 7 3/8 by 10 1/4 inches to 7 by 10 inches.

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<p>Julie Chen of &quot;Big Brother&quot;</p>

Julie Chen of "Big Brother"

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: Strong 'Big Brother' Season 16 premiere leads CBS Thursday

'Taxi Brooklyn' gets a decent sampling in its NBC premiere

Fast National ratings for Wednesday, June 25, 2014.

The 16th installment of "Big Brother," the show's first in HD, delivered strong numbers in its Wednesday premiere, leading CBS to narrow primetime wins both overall and among young viewers.

The "Big Brother" return certainly contributed to a big dip for FOX's "So You Think You Can Dance."

Speaking of premieres taking bites out of originals, ABC's "Motive" ceded a big chunk of viewers to NBC's decent premiere for "Taxi Brooklyn," which got a reasonable sampling despite an "America's Got Talent" encore as a lead-in.

On to the numbers...

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<p>The Leftovers</p>

The Leftovers

Credit: HBO

'The Leftovers' creators Damon Lindelof & Tom Perrotta on their dark, mysterious HBO series

And how does the co-creator of 'Lost' feel his new show will be received?

I wrote my rave review of HBO's "The Leftovers" — which began with me wondering why on earth "Lost" co-creator Damon Lindelof would get involved in a show designed to not offer answers to a cosmic mystery — before I had a chance to sit down with Lindelof (pictured above with director Peter Berg and Justin Theroux) and Tom Perrotta (who wrote "The Leftovers" novel and co-created the series with Lindelof) and ask him that very question directly. His answer fit in with my assumption that he found the show's premise — 2 percent of the world's population disappears in a Rapture-like event called the Departure that equally baffles science and religion — freeing rather than constraining.

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<p>Oh my good look at them</p>

Oh my good look at them

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Sarah Polley set to write and direct John Green's 'Looking For Alaska'

Earlier book by the blockbuster author could finally be on its way to theaters

John Green has become something of a big deal since the opening of "The Fault In Our Stars," and more power to him. I am all for anything that gives power to the writer as opposed to basically anyone else in the food chain. Green sold the rights to this novel to Paramount years ago, and my guess is that as soon as "Fault" opened, they got real excited about what must have been a wildly reasonable investment.

Sarah Polley, writer/director of 'Take This Waltz' and 'Stories We Tell,' and Academy Award-nominated for her screenplay 'Away From Her,' is set to write and direct 'Looking For Alaska.' The book, by 'Fault In Our Stars' author John Green, has been in development for years, but is picking up steam as 'Fault' crosses the $100 million domestic box-office mark.

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Gary Oldman apologizes on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' for his anti-Semitic remarks

Gary Oldman apologizes on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" for his anti-Semitic remarks
A visibly shaken Oldman didn’t cancel his previously scheduled appearance on Kimmel to promote “Dawn of Planet of the Apes” when this week’s controversy erupted. Instead, Oldman, who has appeared several times in Kimmel sketches, thanked the host for allowing him to apologize on TV. “I’m a public figure. I should be an example and an inspiration, and I’m an A-hole. I’m 56. I should know better,” Oldman said. PLUS: Oldman does "Stranger Wrestling" for Kimmel.

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Report: NBC wants to hire Pippa Middleton as a 'Today' correspondent

Report: NBC wants to hire Pippa Middleton as a “Today” correspondent
The Peacock is set to make a job offer following Matt Lauer’s exclusive interview with the sister of Kate Middleton, according to Page Six. A source says: “NBC, along with all the major networks, have been trying to sign Pippa for some time. NBC is set to make a fresh approach to her following the interview."

ABC’s “World News” will look more like “GMA” after Diane Sawyer leaves
“There’s going to be more of an editorial mix,” a source says of David Muir taking over. PLUS: Watch Diane Sawyer address the transition.

Binge TV-watching is more likely to kill you, researchers find
Sitting down and watching TV all day is deadlier than sitting down at your desk or in a car all day.

“Wilfred” boss: Our show convinced a fan not to commit suicide
Showrunner David Zuckerman writes: "It’s been a very emotional journey for me. Tremendously satisfying, but also challenging and bittersweet. Shortly after the pilot received a production order, my beloved dog George died suddenly.”

Jennie Garth & Tori Spelling made sure “Mystery Girls” was like their real-life friendship
"Our banter in real life is our guideline,” says Garth. "We talk sometimes and it makes no sense to anyone else.” PLUS: ABC Family tonight is showing “Mystery Girls’” 3rd episode first.

Vanessa Bayer is pulling for Hillary Clinton "not just because I impersonate her” on “SNL”
"I definitely hope that she runs for president,” she says.

Why Dr. Oz still has a medical license
As notes: "The fact that Oz hasn't lost any credentials speaks to a larger challenge in modern medicine: Once you get a medical license, its actually really difficult to lose it.”

Jenny Slate learned “SNL” fired her from the web
“Lorne and I never talked when I was fired at the end of the season; I got the news online,” says Slate, who was on “Saturday Night Live” for the 2009-10 season and was most famous for saying the F-word live on air. “I’ve still never watched the clip of my f—k-up. That’d be like watching yourself fall down the aisle at your wedding! I feel like it happened to somebody else, and I want to tell her, ‘Oh, girl. I’m so sorry, but you need to move on.’"

New White House press secretary’s favorite “West Wing” character is Josh Lyman
Josh Earnest, who started his new job this week, also says he prefers “The West Wing” over “House of Cards” because “I am an optimist."

“Wheel of Fortune” vs. “Jeopardy!”
Which game show makes you feel dumber?

Since “Frasier” ended, Kelsey Grammer has had to embrace playing villain roles
. I have been extremely blessed and honored to play Frasier. It was a highlight of my life,” he says. “But is it a problem in terms of casting? Yeah, probably. I’m working through it."

“Gotham” releases individual character posters
“The Good. The Evil. The Beginning.” PLUS: “Gotham” director watched “Serpico” and “The French Connection” for inspiration.

“Game of Thrones” fan’s $30K 7-foot-2 Iron Throne replica can’t fit in his apartment
Mike Ross is trying to sell the Iron Throne that he won.

Ex-“Scandal” star Columbus Short ordered to pay $21.5K per month in child and spousal support
Short didn’t actually show up in the family court proceeding that ordered him to pay his estranged wife.

Check out a “Modern Family” Tree
With Jay and Gloria on top.

“Hey Arnold!” voice star dies
Steve Viksten, who helped develop the Nicktoons series, was 54.

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Recap: 'Big Brother' Season 16 Premiere - Wednesday Night
Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Big Brother' Season 16 Premiere - Wednesday Night

The first eight hamsters enter the house for a twist-filled summer

Wilkommen, bienvenue, welcome.

It's time for another season of CBS' "Big Brother." It's Season 16 and the hamsters have changed, but the Julie Chen remains the same. Exactly the same. Disturbingly the same.

As always, HitFix will be recapping here at the Monkeys As Critics blog. With some variation, I'll be recapping one night (probably the elimination show so I can be lazy and live-blog), Louis Virtel will take another night (which may not be live-blogs, but they'll be funnier than my recaps) and we're still ironing out that extra night. But don't worry. We'll be there to cover all of the racism, homophobia and showman's that CBS sees fit to put on TV. Probably none of us will be watching the live-feeds, but just because it happens doesn't mean it's canon.

Anyway... Click through for my live-blogged recap of Wednesday (June 25) night's premiere and check out Louis' interview with last year's winner Andy.

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Credit: RCA

Sia releases lush new pop song 'Big Girls Cry'

Admit it: You're a cryer

If Sia's "Chandelier" made you feel adventurous, "Big Girls Cry" may bring you down from the ceiling.

The chart-busting songwriter has released another new track from her solo album "1000 Forms of Fear," and it's a little more tame, a little more mid-tempo and a little more heartbroken. I'm gonna let this one sit for a little longer, but it does empower me feel OK about crying during particularly poignant Christmas commercials.

"1000 Forms of Fear" is out on July 8 and was produced by Greg Kurstin, who was behind one of the few songs with any life to it on Lana Del Rey's No. 1 album "Ultraviolence." Listen to another Sia song, "Eye of the Needle" here.

And, no, Sia's still not showing her face in any of her promos. Lena Dunham does some of that for her.

What do you think of the track?

Here is the tracklist for "1000 Forms of Fear":

Big Girls Cry
Burn the Pages
Eye of the Needle
Straight for the Knife
Fair Game
Elastic Heart (*produced by Diplo, co-produced by Greg Kurstin)
Free the Animal
Fire Meet Gasoline
Dressed In Black

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Tech N9ne's 'Fear' music video hits hard

Tech N9ne's 'Fear' music video hits hard

One of the most personal -- and career best -- moments in the rapper's life

Tech N9ne has been at the rap game for 15 years, with more than a dozen proper studio sets to his name.

Time hasn't slowed him down, either: the rhymer introduced a couple of the best songs of his career with latest collection "Strangeulation," one of which is "Fear," a track about dying and the loss of his mother.

"Is there sound when the ground absorbs me?" Tech asks over the emotional loops, and with the video elements added to "Fear," consider yourself hooked. The 5-minute clip starts with a message to his fans:

"On November 27th 2013 I recorded 'Fear,' one of the most emotional songs of my entire career. The Strange Music video team shot the video on April 7th, 2014, days before I left for my tour in the course of waiting for the release, my greatest fear happened on June 6th, 2014, and I lost my ange l- my mother. Maudie Sue Yates-Khalifah.

"It's important for my fans to know that this is the most personal music video of my career and I never could have imagined what it would mean to me today. This is the final version of 'Fear,' for my fans worldwide.

"Thank you everyone for your love and support."

For many who have experienced the "toughest thing to swallow," "when someone who raised you, they gonna forget you" due to disease (Yates-Khalifah suffered from Lupus), it's powerful stuff.

"Strangeulation" is out and features collaborations from the Strange Music roster and made it to No. 4 on the Billboard 200 when it dropped; "Fear" has guest Mackenzie O'Guin.

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Iggy Azalea

Iggy Azalea's 'Fancy' sits pretty atop the singles chart

Could Magic's 'Rude' topple her from her throne?

The rapper from down under remains on top again, as Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy,” featuring Charli XCX, holds at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the fifth week.

Similarly, Ariana Grande’s “Problem,” which features Azalea, stays at No. 2.  Ashanti is the only other female artist to have logged 5 weeks simultaneously at No. 1 and No. 2 12 years ago with “Foolish” and as the featured artist on Joe’s “What’s Luv.” Last year, Pharrell Williams held down the top two spots at the same time for five weeks with Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” which also featured T.I. and Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” according to Billboard.

Both “Fancy” and “Problem” are losing overall Hot 100 points (the tally measures sales, airplay, and streaming) leaving Magic!’s “Rude” the chance to leapfrog from No. 3 to No. 1 next week.

Two other newcomers move into the top 5:  Nico & Vinz climb 7-4 with “Am I Wrong,” while Sam Smith, whose “In The Lonely Hour” enters the Billboard 200 at No. 2,  moves 10-5 with current single, “Stay With Me” (he also rises 14-12 via his feature on Disclosure’s “Latch.”

In the bottom half of the Top 10: Jason Derulo’s “Wiggle,” featuring Snoop Dogg slips 5-6, John Legend’s “All of Me” falls 4-7, Calvin Harris’ “Summer” inches 9-8, DJ Snake and Lil Jon’s “Turn Down For What” drops 6-9 and Pharrell’s “Happy” spends what could be its last week in the Top 10, sliding 8-10.

Just missing the Top 10, Maroon 5 bows at No 14 with new single, “Maps.” That’s the best debut for any group so far in 2014.

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