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'Mental athletes' to star in a Memory Test TV show

“Mental athletes” to star in a Memory Test TV show
Dick Clark Productions is developing what it calls "the greatest test of memory in the world.”

NBC will air an Edward Snowden primetime special next week
Brian Williams is in Moscow conducting the former NSA contractor’s first American TV interview, which will air May 28 at 10 pm.

“The Shield’s” Michael Jace formally charged with murder
Jace is expected to be arraigned this afternoon for the shooting death of his wife — and could face 50 years to life in prison if convicted.

WEtv orders an exorcist horror series with Eli Roth attached
“South of Hell” revolves around a “stunning, 30-year-old demon-hunter-for-higher” in Savannah, Georgia. Roth is on board to direct the pilot and serve as executive producer.

A new Phil Robertson anti-gay sermon surfaces weeks before “Duck Dynasty” returns for Season 6
During a recent Easter sermon, Robertson said, “The news media didn’t even know it was a verse!… They thought I was just mouthing off. ‘Is homosexual behavior a sin?’ the (GQ interview) guy asked me. I said, ‘Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Don’t be deceived.’"

L.A. Times reporter: “The Bachelorette” banned me for being “too negative”
The newspaper has stopped its coverage of the ABC reality show after it banned reporter Amy Kaufman from covering the show’s conference calls and events. PLUS: Watch Amy Schumer take on “The Bachelorette,” and Andi Dorfman thinks there are zero gay guys this season.

Catholic school principal apologizes for allowing Ellen DeGeneres’ photo on school dance invitations
"Perhaps I was distracted by the Oscar,” but Ellen is a “poor role model” who "lives her life outside the teachings of the Catholic Church,” the principal, Nancy Matteo, wrote in a letter to parents. She requested that they return the invitations so she could destroy them.

Meryl Davis addresses her “chemistry” with Maksim on “Dancing"
"I think the friendship we have and the relationship we built through the course of the show definitely helped us establish it on the dance floor as well,” she says.

Jessica Chastain: That false “True Detective” rumor was “an awkward thing”
“It’s an awkward thing because when all that attention happens it takes away from whoever plays the role,” said Chastain, who describes herself as a “big fan” of the series.

“Orange is the New Black” is coming out with a cookbook
Learn how to make Prison Pad Thai.

Disney Channel unveils a new logo
See the cable channel’s “less boxy” new look.

TBS orders more of Howie Mandel’s “Deal With It”
The hidden-camera show will return with 10 more episodes.

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Kanye West

UPDATED: Kanye West, Kings of Leon headline Budweiser Made in America fest in Philly

Los Angeles gets Kendrick Lamar, Rise Against, Weezer and Capital Cities

Kanye West, Kings of Leon, Pharrell Williams, and Tiesto will headline Budweiser Made in America festival at Philadelphia’s Ben Franklin Parkway, Aug. 30-31.

The festival, curated by Jay Z, will also feature The National, Steve Aoki, J. Cole, Girl Talk, Spoon, Chromeo, City and Colour, Grimes, AWOLNATION, R3HAB, Gareth Emery, De La Soul, Baauer, Tommy Trash, Mayer Hawthorne, Kongos, 3LAU, The Neighborhood, Danny Brown, YG, Holy Ghost, Penguin Prison, Destructo, Bleachers, DJ Cassidy, Cherub, Will Sparks, Young & Sick, Vacationer, Cut Snake, Kaneholler.

For the first time, Made In America will be held in Philadelphia and Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles event, also held Aug. 30-31, will feature Kendrick Lamar, Rise Against, Weezer, and Sublime with Rome as headliners. Among the others on the bill are Capital Cities, Chance the Rapper, Cypress Hill, Mute Math, Rita Ora, Nipsey Hussle, Dr. Dog, Hit-Boy and several more.


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<p>&quot;X-Men: Days of Future Past&quot;</p>

"X-Men: Days of Future Past"

Credit: 20th Century Fox

John Ottman on the balancing act of editing and scoring 'X-Men: Days of Future Past'

Also: What did they originally want to call 'X-Men: Apocalypse?'

Bryan Singer's "X-Men: Days of Future Past" opens tomorrow. I really liked it. I remain a pretty huge fan of "X2" and think it has a lot of balance lacking in many superhero movies, and this one is very much in the spirit of those early entries. It feels more like a sequel to them than anything, using elements from "X-Men: First Class" to carry the story. And in editor/composer John Ottman, it gets some added continuity with those films as he hasn't been involved with the franchise in over a decade.

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'Idol' edges out 'Survivor'

“Idol” edges out “Survivor”
The first season finale battle of the two enduring reality shows ended with “American Idol” scoring 10.1 million viewers to “Survivor’s” 9.5 million. “Modern Family” topped the night with 10.2 million viewers. PLUS: Watch Ryan Seacrest sing on the “Idol” finale.

Watch a preview of Jerry Seinfeld's “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” Season 4
Seinfeld is back June 19 with Aziz Ansari, Jon Stewart, Sarah Jessica Parker, Robert Klein and George Wallace.

Check out Tina Fey and Amy Poehler roasting Don Rickles
Plus, more clips from Spike TV’s All-Star salute to the legendary comedian.

“Silicon Valley’s” T.J. Miller may have been spotted near a D.C. murder scene
Miller, or somebody who looks just like him, was photographed watching the aftermath of a 7-year-old girl's shooting death on Tuesday night.

Dr. Phil gets boost from V. Stiviano
The Donald Sterling controversy figure helped Dr. Phil’s rating jump 73% on Wednesday.

Syfy acquires “Spartacus” reruns
All 39 episodes of the Starz series will begin airing on Syfy, starting June 26.

“Joe Millionaire” winner weighs in on “I Wanna Marry Harry”
Zora Andrich (now Sabrina) writes: "Just when I thought they've covered every reality show idea ... Fox is at it again! I suppose it has been a decade, so in all fairness, a good deceptive reality show was due." PLUS: 1st eliminated contestant had no idea what Prince Harry looked like.

HBO’s Bessie Smith biopic adds Mo’Nique and Khandi Alexander
They’ll co-star opposite Queen Latifah in the biopic on the iconic blues singer.

Watch the trailer for “Rectify” Season 2
The Sundance series returns on June 19.

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<p>&quot;American Idol&quot; winner Caleb Johnson</p>

"American Idol" winner Caleb Johnson

Credit: FOX

TV Ratings: 'American Idol' goes out strong as FOX wins season-closing Wednesday

'Modern Family' finale wins the key demo and 'Survivor' is also steady

Fast National ratings for Wednesday, May 21, 2014.

A rough season for "American Idol" ended on a high note for FOX as the finale for the singing competition drew the show's biggest audience in months and, for the first time in many weeks, beat "Survivor," as the network closed the 2013-14 season with Wednesday wins in all measures.

Sure, it was the lowest-rating "American Idol" finale ever, but it still must have relieved FOX to see that "Idol" was capable of ticking back over 10 million viewers and above a 2.5 in the key demo. It was also, percentage-wise, a much larger finale bump than any of the spring's other competition shows.

[Note, of course, that "Idol" ran six-ish minutes into the 10 p.m. hour, so these won't be the averages for the full "Idol" block, but since the results were read pretty promptly at 10, there's unlikely to be a big change. Of course, "Idol" and "Survivor" were neck-and-neck in the key demo, so it's entirely possible that "Survivor" might inch back ahead in Finals. Or not!]

There were other notables on Wednesday with "Modern Family" also getting a big bump for its wedding-centric finale, though the "Mixology"finale and "Motive" premiere were less impressive. NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" finale got a small finale, though the "Chicago PD" closer was pretty flat. And, without "Arrow" as a lead-in, The CW's "The 100" was down in all measures.

On to the numbers...

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<p>Guy Pearce, David Michod and Robert Pattinson at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival for &quot;The Rover.&quot;</p>

Guy Pearce, David Michod and Robert Pattinson at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival for "The Rover."

Credit: AP Photo/Thibault Camus

David Michôd didn't know what Robert Pattinson was capable of until 'The Rover'

From the Australian outback to a New York ballet

CANNES - The circus around the Cannes Film Festival is different than any other film festival in the world. It may be less Hollywood than Toronto and less audience-friendly than Sundance, but Cannes truly draws talent of all kinds from every corner of the globe. Only here could you be interviewing rising Australian filmmaking star David Michôd on a hotel rooftop deck while Kylie Minogue belts "Can't Get You Out of My Head" for a live French TV program across the street.

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Antoine Olivier Pilon in "Mommy."
Antoine Olivier Pilon in "Mommy."
Credit: Cannes Film Festival

Review: Flashes of brilliance overcome Xavier Dolan's 'Mommy' issues

The 25-year-old prodigy's fifth feature is a messy, moving mother-son drama

CANNES - Let's hear it for Xavier Dolan: not many auteurs have built up such a body of work by the age of 25 that the first and least arguable adjective that can be applied to his latest is "characteristic." The Québécois multi-hyphenate does not appear on screen in "Mommy," a restless interior epic of unconditional love between mother and son, but his presence in it could hardly be stronger or more idiosyncratic. Dolan's passions, neuroses and eccentricities fill every frame of "Mommy" -- even the frames themselves have his name written all over them, given the director's unorthodox decision to shoot 90% of the film in a distinctive, disorienting 1:1 ratio. "I'm still big, it's the pictures that got small," protested Norma Desmond in "Sunset Boulevard"; think of Dolan's aesthetic here as a uniquely literal interpretation of that boast.

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Hilary Swank in "The Homesman."
Hilary Swank in "The Homesman."
Credit: Saban Films

Tommy Lee Jones' 'The Homesman' settles down with Saban Films

The brand-new distributor has taken US rights to the Cannes contender

When Greg and I recently discussed the Oscar-season potential of the films we've seen thus far at the Cannes Film Festival, we were muted on the prospects for Tommy Lee Jones' western "The Homesman." It's not that the film is beneath consideration. It's heartfelt stuff, beautifully mounted and well acted (particularly by two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank), and has received generally respectable reviews (if few outright raves) from the Croisette critical collective. Any prizes from Jane Campion's jury on Saturday would be a surprise, but that rarely means much either way for the awards season ahead.

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'Survivor' is going to Nicaragua for a 'Blood vs. Water' season of brand-new contestants

“Survivor” is going to Nicaragua for a “Blood vs. Water” season of brand-new contestants
“We really listened to people saying, ‘Oh my gosh, we love new players again,” says Jeff Probst. "This is so fresh and it feels so good,’” says the host. “And we went down the road with a couple of different ways to do Blood vs. Water, and we started casting it, and started finding really good people, and then more good people, and then it became a very easy decision to go with a completely new cast."

Stephen Colbert lands an interview with reclusive author Philip Roth
The 81-year-old Roth will sit down for an “extended interview” with Colbert in July for “cOlbert Book Club."

Jimmy Kimmel gets Julia Roberts, Matthew McConaughey, Emma Stone to read mean tweets
Watch the 7th installment of "Celebrities Read Mean Tweets."

Jerry Seinfeld wanted Chris Rock to replace Letterman -- Aziz Ansari, Jon Stewart, Sarah Jessica Parker booked for “Comedians in Cars”
“I was trying to convince him to take it. He says, ‘Absolutely no possible way,’” Seinfeld tells GQ of trying to get his good friend Chris Rock to audition for “The Late Show.” Seinfeld also revealed that Ansari, Stewart and Parker, he will get coffee next season with Robert Klein and George Wallace.

“The Americans” didn’t want the audience to be ahead of Phillip and Elizabeth
Addressing the season finale twist, creator Joe Weisberg says: "It's a story we really believed in because it made emotional sense to us on every level and that's why we did it. It's funny, the whole season we were waiting and watching to see if anybody is going to get onto it. When you know it, you're worried that maybe it's visible and people are going to figure it out. We were nervous because we didn't want the surprise spoiled.” PLUS: How producers tackled the wig problem, who will be back next season?, it’s special when a great TV season has a great finale, the finale’s big moment felt like an exposition-dump, this was the Season of Paige, what a brilliant stroke, is Elizabeth a bad mother?, Noah Emmerich was shocked by the finale, and this was the best season of TV this year — better than “True Detective."

Conan O’Brien helps Norm Macdonald audition for “The Late Late Show”
Watch Macdonald bomb in his attempt to fill in for Conan.

“Modern Family’s” shouldn’t aired “The Wedding” as 1 complete episode
The two-part season finale would’ve worked better as a one-hour episode. But felt disjointed as a two-parter. PLUS: Jesse Tyler Ferguson & Eric Stonestreet film an “Important Message” for Jimmy Kimmel.

“Pretty Little Liars” star: “OF COURSE WE WERE” photoshopped for GQ
The ABC Family stars posed in bikinis, and looked a little too perfect. Troian Bellesario took to Instagram to address the controversy: "that’s a very specific type of photo shoot. And looking very blown out and perfected was obviously what they were looking for. Great. Cool. As long as we acknowledge how it was achieved so we know it's not real," she declared.”

“Chicago P.D.” has a satisfying season finale
Last night’s episode revealed Lindsay’s past.

Caleb Johnson wins “American Idol”
The Season 13 winner divided some fans.

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<p>Jennifer Lawrence on &quot;Late Night with Seth Meyers&quot;</p>

Jennifer Lawrence on "Late Night with Seth Meyers"

Credit: NBC

Jennifer Lawrence talks about puking in front of Miley Cyrus on Oscar night

The 'Days of Future Past' star recounted the story on 'Late Night with Seth Meyers'

Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence has been making the press rounds promoting "X-Men: Days of Future Past," and that included an appearance "Late Night with Seth Meyers" Wednesday night. The occasion brought with it a delightful anecdote of that time the "American Hustle" star blew chunks at a fancy Oscar party.

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<p>&quot;Gang Related&quot;</p>

"Gang Related"

Credit: FOX

Interview: 'Gang Related' showrunner Scott Rosenbaum on antiheroes, 'Shield' comparisons and more

How is the drama more 'Godfather II' than 'The Departed'?

I didn't have time to write a review, but if you've watched this week's Firewall & Iceberg video show, you know I like FOX's "Gang Related."

"Gang Related" comes on strong with a confidence that you don't expect to see from a show premiering a week after the network upfront season. The pilot, written by Chris Morgan and directed by Allen Hughes, is brash, explosive and features a strong cast ably chewing scenery. It is, in short, like a summer movie only on TV.

As often happens with the transition from pilots to series, subsequent episodes maybe don't have quite the same scale, but they still offer tight pacing, terrific use of LA locations and an interestingly twisty narrative focusing on Ryan Lopez (Ramon Rodriguez), a cop torn between his gang task force and the gang family (fronted by Cliff Curtis' Javier Acosta) that raised him. 

With most of Morgan's credits coming from the big screen, FOX brought in Scott Rosenbaum as showrunner for "Gang Related." While Rosenbaum's more recent credits include "Chuck" and ABC's "V" reboot, when he comes on-board an LA-set cop drama, it's immediately going to raise questions about one thing and one thing only: A little FX drama called "The Shield." The Shawn Ryan-created Emmy winner is one of the genre's pinnacles and Rosenbaum was there from the beginning, rising to the rank of EP and standing with Ryan, Glenn Mazzara, Kurt Sutter and Scott Brazil in the show's creative core.

I got on the phone last week for a lengthy conversation with Rosenbaum about his work on "Gang Related" and, naturally, "The Shield" was where I started and it comes up a lot. But "Gang Related" isn't "The Shield" and it doesn't do much good to compare the two shows, so Rosenbaum discusses many of the other things he tried to explore in his new gig. We discussed the challenges of making a good anti-hero in a post-Vic Mackey/Walter White world, the difficulties of making a network show without any chance for feedback and the advice he got from Kurt Sutter about reading reviews. He also explains FOX's expectations for "Gang Related" given that a 2014-2015 schedule was already announced without "Gang Related" being mentioned.

Click through for the full Q&A. And check out "Gang Related" on Thursday night...

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<p>The &quot;Survivor: Cagayan&quot; Top 4</p>

The "Survivor: Cagayan" Top 4

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Cagayan' Finale - 'It's Do Or Die'

Spencer, Tony, Woo and Kass go head to head and somebody won

Pre-credit warning. I'm going to ignore these live segments, if you don't mind. This recap is already going to be horribly long if I cover the two-hour episode. At least I get to fast-forward through the lengthy season-long recap.

Also, this recap is so darned long that I had to paginate it. I won't be insulted if you just skip to Page 3 for the results and my Bottom Lines...

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