Nearly all of this year's Grammy nominees have been announced, with album of the year contenders still to be unveiled tonight. Looking at the nominees for visual media — i.e. film and TV stuff — we have a mix of Oscar nominees and winners from last year and potential contenders for this year. Let's take a look…
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Friday afternoon, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that 10 films remain in the running in the Visual Effects category for the 87th Oscars. The Academy’s Visual Effects Branch Executive Committee determined the shortlist. If you were a big summer movie or holiday season blockbuster, chances are you made the cut.
Last year we whipped up a list of would-be Oscar contenders that went nowhere, movies that seemed poised for the season but ended up with a big ole' goose egg when the nominations were announced. It's less about pointing and laughing than it is about reminding of the lessons of the past. Hype is conjured by everyone from the agents and studio chiefs who encourage filmmakers with promises of prestige (this happens a lot) to media placing sometimes unwarranted expectations (hi!). There's no "fault" here, just an overall note about perspective.
CBS has finally set a premiere date and time period for the anticipated new drama "Battle Creek," from Vince Gilligan and David Shore, though it's a time period that was previously set aside for the now-on-the-move "CSI: Cyber."
The network announced on Friday (December 5) morning that "Battle Creek" is going to take the Sunday 10 p.m. slot beginning on March 1. "Battle Creek," which stars Josh Duhamel and Dean Winters was created by Gilligan, but has been entirely run by Shore ("House") with the "Breaking Bad" mastermind off co-showrunning "Better Call Saul."
Politics are all but removed from today’s pop music. If musicians gamble on voicing an opinion in a single, they risk alienating the audience that keeps them afloat. Playing it safe makes them stars. The trepidation is in stark contrast to, say, 1964, when Nina Simone felt assured enough to sing her ferocious protest song "Mississippi Goddam" to a crowd of white Carnegie Hall patrons. Like "Four Women" or "To Be Young, Gifted and Black," "Mississippi Goddam" was jaunty, raw and incriminating. There was nothing quite like it. That is what made Nina Simone a star.
I mention this because John Legend just released "Glory," an original song set to accompany Ava Duvernay's "Selma" as it rolls into theaters this holiday season. And, my word, it has that Nina Simone-patented fire.
What NBC should learn from “Peter Pan Live!”: No more stunt casting!
Next time, NBC should seek out Broadway actors and cut down on the three-hour running time so kids can watch. "Don’t cast a rather inexperienced TV actor and a 70-year-old movie legend to be the two major stars of your big theatrical production,” says Michelle Stark/ "Allison Williams is a fine actor with a fine voice, but she’s all wrong for the part of Peter Pan. First of all, she’s not a boy. Duh. Second, she’s not theater-y enough. You need someone who can sell the camp and whimsy of a story like Peter Pan. Someone who can make the audience clap for a tiny ball of light. Williams gave it her all, and that's commendable, but playing Peter Pan, with the accent and the tights and the flying, is a tall order, and she just wasn’t up to it. She was awkward, unconvincing and far too bland to carry the show.” PLUS: Ratings fell off as the night went on -- were kids falling asleep to blame?, “Peter Pan Live!” was mediocre, bland, depressingly safe, the 5 worst moments, Williams couldn’t find the conviction necessary to carry the show, and “Peter Pan Live!” was never meant to be enjoyed.
Bill Cosby’s Hollywood Walk of Fame star vandalized with the word “Rapist"
The word “Rapist” was found this week scrawled across Cosby’s star several times. PLUS: Former accused rapist CeeLo Green defends Cosby.
Aaron Paul releases a “Yeah, B*tch” app
“It’s an app, b*tch!” the “Breaking Bad” star announced on Twitter.
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A common question from those playing the awards season game the past few weeks has been: "Will this be the year we get fewer than nine Best Picture nominees?" It's not that anyone is rooting for fewer nominees (it's not in their business to), but with so many smaller films vying in the race many are assuming there won't be enough support for nine again. And yet, haven't we heard this before? Well, yes and no.
Fast National ratings for Thursday, December 4, 2014.
NBC's "Peter Pan Live!" was no match for last December's "Sound of Music Live!" with ratings falling so hard and dramatically that the network started the morning with a defensive press release and statement from Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt.
These morning ratings stories never include network quotes/blurbs, but this is the first time in my memory that a network has tried to smooth over ratings before 8 a.m. on the West Coast.
"We're very pleased with the 'Peter Pan' ratings and it was a great night for NBC. We won every hour, which hasn't happened on Thursday with entertainment programming since a year ago. I'm proud to be part of a company that takes chances and creates big events, and that's exactly what we're going to continue to do," Greenblatt states.
He continues, "We didn’t expect to reach the same rating as 'The Sound of Music' since that was the first live movie event of its kind in over 50 years. But the high wire act of Peter Pan was a joy for everyone involved and I take my hat off to Allison Williams, Christopher Walken, the entire company, and our incredible directors and producers for three months of the hardest work I've ever seen. I love these live events and we're already working on putting the next one together."
Quotes and justifications aside, "Sound of Music Live!" averaged 18.5 million viewers and a 4.6 rating among adults 18-49 in Fast Nationals last December. "Peter Pan Live!" averaged 9.13 million viewers and a 2.3 key demo rating in Fast Nationals last night, winning primetime among young viewers, but losing to football-inflated CBS overall.
The most disconcerting thing for NBC is that "Peter Pan Live!" drew an OK audience to start with and then plummeted by the last hour. Some viewers were curious, but they left. Heck, you might say the audience petered out. I wouldn't. But you might.
The quick football-related caveat would be that last year's Thursday Night Football game pitted the Jaguars against the Texans, a fairly weak matchup. Last night's game featured the Bears and the Cowboys and, almost certainly, drew a bigger audience. [CBS had the preemptions in both Chicago and Dallas.] That's not why "Peter Pan Live!" did half the "Sound of Music Live!" numbers.
On to Thursday ratings...
“Peter Pan Live!’s” ratings down 51% from “Sound of Music Live!”
About 9.1 million watched Allison Williams as Pan last night (down from 18.6 million for "Sound of Music"). Nevertheless, NBC Entertainment boss Robert Greenblatt says: "We didn’t expect to reach the same rating as 'The Sound of Music' since that was the first live movie event of its kind in over 50 years.” PLUS: Blame the ratings drop on lack of Carrie Underwood and Cowboys vs. Bears on NFL Network.
“Peter Pan Live!” didn’t provide enough fodder for the haters
“The show went off Thursday night without any major hitch or clunky notes — and was far more entertaining and certainly more endurable than its zombie predecessor, last year’s 'The Sound of Music Live!” says Hank Stuever. "The worst thing you could say about “Peter Pan Live!” was that it was a lousy hate-watch and, thus, a tiny bit boring.” PLUS: In defense of hate-watching, it doesn’t matter if it was good or not, Allison Williams ruined hate-watching, it was an oddly ponderous, disconnected, disjointed and jerky mess, even the snark was positive, the production was too slick to be magical, read the funniest tweets, and Christopher Walken was barely trying.
“The Simpsons” does a “Frozen” couch gag
Check out “The Couch Gag Before Christmas."
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I already know the number one question that will arise from our second installment of Ask Alan, and the answer is: yes, I do own other t-shirts, but completely forgot which one I had worn in the first installment when I got dressed for work the other day. Now I'm torn between trying to shake things up, wardrobe-wise, or turning the Flash tee into a uniform going forward, like that Texas teacher who wore the same outfit to picture day for 40 years.
The bulk of the Grammy nominees for the 2015 awards will be revealed over the course of five-and-a-half-hours today, before an hour will be devoted to the Album Of The Year reveal during a Grammys Christmas special tonight.
For all the categories that aren't revealed on "CBS This Morning," The Recording Academy has tapped into the Twitter accounts of popular artists and music personalities to glacially reveal many of the other nominees throughout the morning and early afternoon. At 2 p.m. EST, the curtain will be raised on 82 of the 83 categories on Grammy.com. And at 9 p.m. EST, "A Very Grammy Christmas" will feature that final honor's nods.
Yeah. We don't know why it has to be this way, either.
Regardless, here are the early nominees:
Song of the Year
Sam Smith, "Stay With Me"
Taylor Swift, "Shake It Off"
Meghan Trainor, "All About That Bass"
Hozier, "Take Me To Church"
Best New Artist
Best Rap Performance
Childish Gambino, "3005"
Drake, "0 to 100 / The Catch Up"
Eminem "Rap God"
Kendrick Lamar "i"
Lecrae "All I Need Is You"
Best Country Song
Kenny Chesney, "American Kids"
Miranda Lambert, "Automatic"
Eric Church, "Give Me Back My Hometown"
Glen Campbell, "I'm Not Going To Miss You"
Tim McGraw, "Meanwhile Back At Mama's"
Best Americana Album
Roseanne Cash, "The River & The Thread"
John Hiatt, "Terms of My Surrender"
Keb' Mo', "BluesAmericana"
Nickel Creek, "A Dotted Line"
Sturgill Simpson, "Metamodern Sounds In Country Music"
Best Pop Solo Performance
John Legend, "All Of Me"
Sam Smith, "Stay With Me"
Taylor Swift, "Shake It Off"
Pharrell Williams, "Happy"
Best Traditional Pop Album
Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett, "Cheek to Cheek"
Annie Lennox, "Nostalgia"
Barry Manilow, "Night Songs"
Johnny Mathis, "Sending You a Little Christmas"
Barbra Streisand, "Partners"
Best Rock Song
Paramore, "Ain't It Fun"
Beck, "Blue Moon"
The Black Keys, "Fever"
Ryan Adams, "Gimme Something Good"
Jack White, "Lazaretto"
Best Rock Album
Beck, "Morning Phase"
Ryan Adams, "Ryan Adams"
The Black Keys, "Turn Blue"
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, "Hypnotic Eye"
U2, "Songs of Innocence"
Best Alternative Music Album
alt-J, "This Is All Yours"
Arcade Fire, "Reflektor"
Cage the Elephant, "Melophobia"
St. Vincent, "St. Vincent"
Jack White, "Lazaretto"
Best Reggae Album
Ziggy Marley, ""Fly Rasta"
Lee "Scratch" Perry, "Back on the Controls"
Sean Paul, "Full Frequency"
Shaggy, "Out of Many, One Music"
Sly & Robbie & Spice Chocolate, "The Reggae Power"
Soja, "Amid the Noise and the Haste"
President Obama to visit “The Colbert Report” on Monday
Obama will help send off Colbert as part of “The Colbert Report’s” one-night-only visit to Washington, D.C. on Monday. “I’m so honored to sit down with the man who sat down with Bill O’Reilly,” says Colbert.