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Credit: Cannes Film Festival

Cannes Check: Andrei Zvyagintsev's 'Leviathan'

Closing out our Competition preview with one of the Palme d'Or favorites

Welcome to the final entry in Cannes Check, In Contention's annual preview of the films in Competition at this year's Cannes Film Festival, which kicks off tomorrow. Taking on different selections every day, we've examined what they're about, who's involved and what their chances are of snagging an award from Jane Campion's jury. We close thing out, neatly enough, with what will also be the last Competition film to be unveiled on the Croisette: Andrei Zvyagintsev's "Leviathan." 

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ABC defends putting racy 'Grey’s Anatomy' on during the 8 pm family hour

ABC defends putting racy “Grey’s Anatomy” on during the 8 pm family hour
“I think it’s much less relevant than it was than five years ago,” ABC Entertainment boss Paul Lee said of the network family hour, adding: “We will make sure whatever we air is appropriate.” PLUS: Lee is sorry to see “Trophy Wife” go.

Simon Cowell launching “La Banda” on Univision
Cowell is teaming with the Spanish-language network to find a Latino boy band.

Clay Aiken officially wins his Democratic Congressional primary 1 day after his opponent’s death
The “Idol” alum, who was declared winner today, said his opponent Keith Crisco was “a gentleman, a good and honorable man and an extraordinary public servant. I was honored to know him.”

Seth Meyers and Jimmy Fallon last night told the exact same Donald Sterling joke
“The Tonight Show” and “Late Night” tape 90 minutes apart. Doesn’t NBC have somebody monitoring their monologues?

Anna Gunn hints at a “Better Call Saul” cameo
“I just heard a little rumor about that,” says the “Gracepoint” star and “Breaking Bad” alum.

University of Iowa reveals the “Girls” scenes it rejected — Hannah’s bungles with bikes
The writers sent the university descriptions of the scenes it wanted to shoot on campus, and the university released those e-mails to the local Iowa City Press-Citizen newspaper.

MSNBC sued for mistaking a man named Keith Todd for a criminal named Todd Keith
Keith Todd was featured on the reality show “Caught on Camera.”

CBS still hasn’t picked up “How I Met Your Dad”
If the “How I Met Your Mother” spinoff isn’t picked up by Wednesday, it could end up on another network.

Alec Baldwin goes on Twitter rant after his wrong-way bike arrest
"New York City is a mismanaged carnival of stupidity that is desperate for revenue and anxious to criminalize behavior once thought benign,” he tweeted.

“Game of Thrones’” Shae speaks
"I wouldn't call it shrewd,” Sibel Kekilli says of this week’s episode. "I would rather call it straight and fearless.”

Larry King finds Andy Cohen a date on Tinder
“You mean, it's only for gays?” King asked.

“NCIS” boss: How we’re sending off Ralph Waite tonight
"Every character has their moment to say goodbye” on tonight’s season finale, says Gary Glasberg. "Tremendous thought went into the funeral scene.”

“The Blacklist”: Here are the highs and lows from Season 1
James Spader was of course a high, Megan Boone’s wig was a low. PLUS: The season finale delivered, and the show ended up owning its clichéd lameness.

Introducing John Krasinski’s daughter
The former “Office” star tweeted a photo of his And Emily Blunt’s first child, Hazel.

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Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey returns with attitude on new club track, 'Thirsty': Listen

She glides over a too busy production

Mariah Carey’s new tune, “Thirsty,” premiered today on Power 105, and the Hit-Boy-produced tune attempts to place Carey right in the middle of the club as her vocals glide over a very busy synth track.

The tune opens with the sound of a drink being opened and poured before the relentless track starts. Carey comes in and she has something to say: “You used to  be Mr. All About Me, now you’re just thirsty for celebrity” she sings in her upper register.

Her man’s thirst for fame has left her “drowning” in misery.  He can take his “stunting on Instagram” and move along, thank you very much. And, of course, the question is who is the song about? Hubby Nick Cannon? Someone else?

Rapper Rich Homie Quan comes in at the beginning and in the middle, but the star is Carey’s delivery: she singing is airy as a butterfly, but her words are lethal. The track is one of the catchier things she’s done, but it is way too busy. I’d love to hear a remix without the stuttering background track that runs under  the whole tune like an irritating mosquito buzz. I know that's Hit-Boy's thing, but this synth track is much less appealing than the work he did on such tunes as Jay Z and Kanye West's "Ni**as in Paris."

“Thirsty” is on “Me. I Am Mariah…The Elusive Chanteuse,” which comes out May 27.

What do you think?

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11 big questions we want answered at this year's Cannes Film Festival

11 big questions we want answered at this year's Cannes Film Festival

Is awards season about to kick-off?

The 67th Festival du Cannes is only a day away and as the last rain shower sweeps through the small French seaside town, the sun is ready to shine on the global film community's annual pow wow.

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Imagine Dragons
Credit: Anthony Mair

Imagine Dragons pen 'Battle Cry' for 'Transformers: Age Of Extinction': Listen

Hear a snippet of the song

From “Radioactive” to “Demons” to “Battle Cry”: Imagine Dragons, known for its dramatic titles and music, has written a new song, “Battle Cry,” for “Transformers: Age of Extinction.”

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TV Ratings: 'Blacklist' finale dips, 'Castle' finale rises, '24' slides on Monday
Credit: ABC

TV Ratings: 'Blacklist' finale dips, 'Castle' finale rises, '24' slides on Monday

NBC wins in the demo, ABC wins overall as usual

Fast National ratings for Monday, May 12, 2014.

ABC's "Castle" rose in its latest season finale, nearly catching NBC's dipping "Blacklist" finale overall, but that variation made very little difference, as the two networks had their normal Monday split. ABC won Monday in total viewers, while NBC triumphed in the key demo.

Among other Monday notables, FOX's "24: Live Another Day" was down from last week's premiere, but still solid. And The CW's "Star-Crossed" got a big finale bump, but it's almost certainly boosted by sports preemptions of some sort. 

On to the numbers...

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Review: 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' gives the franchise a new lease on life
Credit: 20th Century Fox

Review: 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' gives the franchise a new lease on life

Singer's in fine form as he returns to the series he helped create

Over the last month, I've re-watched every entry in the series that Fox has produced since "X-Men" in 2000 as my kids worked their way through the films for the first time. What I found most interesting about the revisit is how my reactions to the films as they were being released and my reactions to them now aren't really the same. Each film was on a specific point in the larger continuity of comic book related movies, and the only way to judge them was how they stacked up to everything else that was being done in the genre at that time. Now, though, looking back at them all is illuminating, especially since it feels like "X-Men: Days Of Future Past" is the end of everything up to this point and the beginning of whatever comes next.

One thing has been very clear since this series began: while they are drawing on comic continuity for suggestions, they have not been bound by any particular rules of adaptation. In fact, they have almost exclusively altered things. I don't think you can point at any particular run of the series and see a direct correlation between what's onscreen and what was on the page. Sure, "X2" and "X-Men: The Last Stand" nodded to the "Dark Phoenix" storyline, but barely. I would find it a little ridiculous to actually call those films an adaptation because of how loosely they line up to the motivations or the characterizations of the books.

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Watch ABC’s new show trailers

Watch ABC’s new show trailers
Check out Anthony Anderson in “Black-ish,” Karen Gillan in “Selfie” and Viola Davis in “How to Get Away with Murder.”

“24” tumbles
The 2nd week of “Live Another Day” was down 24% in the demo. Meanwhile, the season finales of “Castle” and “The Blacklist” did well, while the final episode of “Star-Crossed” was up 33%.

“Castle” creator: "It's not like we're playing a love triangle or anything”
Andrew W. Marlowe explains last night’s season finale.

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ABC unveils its fall schedule: 'Scandal' moves to 9 pm as part of a 3-hour Shonda Rhimes Thursday block

ABC unveils its fall schedule: “Scandal” moves to 9 pm as part of a 3-hour Shonda Rhimes Thursday block
Shonda Rhimes’ "How to Get Away with Murder” will follow “Scandal” while her “Grey’s Anatomy” will precede it on the Thursday lineup. Meanwhile,” “Black-ish” will air after “Modern Family” while “Selfie” will kick off the Tuesday lineup. PLUS: Shonda Rhimes inks new 4-year deal with ABC Studios

Happy 50th birthday, Stephen Colbert!
“The Colbert Report” and future “Late Show” star turns 50 today, so listen to his royalty-free birthday song.

Meet Sarah Baker, the star of last night’s “Louie” “Fat Lady” episode
“The only description that I had (of the role) was that she was a waitress at the Comedy Cellar,” says Baker. "I think it said she was 'friendly, funny and comfortable in her own skin.' But that’s all I knew until I got there.” PLUS: This was one of the most thought-provoking episodes of TV this season, Louis CK gives parenting advice to Jimmy Fallon, and "Louie's" daughter talks about her subway role last night.

Alec Baldwin arrested for a bike-riding crime
The former “30 Rock” star was caught riding the wrong way down a one-way street.

Read an oral history of “The West Wing": Sidney Poitier was originally eyed for president
The cast is looking back exactly 15 years after the NBC drama was picked up to series.

Maya Rudolph joins Twitter
The former “SNL” star is now tweeting days before her “Maya Rudolph Show” debut.

“The Odd Couple” loses 2, including Sarah Baker from last night’s “Louie”
Baker, who had reunited with Matthew Perry after co-starring with him on “Go On,” is exiting the CBS series along with Georgia King.

Watch Will Forte in Fox’s “The Last Man On Earth” trailer
The “SNL” alum stars in the Fox comedy this midseason.

Writer sues claiming he was owed “The Arsenio Hall Show” head writer job
Paul Raff claims he had an agreement with Hall to head up his writing staff. He’s seeking $2 million.

“Dancing” called “contrived" by Olympic champion Charlie Davis
Davis didn’t like being in the Bottom 2 with his Olympic partner Meryl Davis.

See a sneak peek at “The Simpsons”-“Family Guy” crossover episode
A photo was leaked from yesterday’s Fox upfront presentation.

Sherri Shepherd files for divorce after her husband files for separation
“The View” star responded Monday to her husband’s separation filing.

Watch Jimmy Fallon, Neil Young and Jack White make late-night history by pressing a record on stage
Young performed in a Jack White recording booth on “The Tonight Show” stage.

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<p>Karen Gillan and friends in &quot;Selfie.&quot;</p>

Karen Gillan and friends in "Selfie."

Credit: ABC

Upfronts 2014: ABC makes big moves on Tuesdays and Thursdays

A Shonda Rhimes triple-feature on Thursday, and 'Agents of SHIELD' to 9 on Tuesday

For the most part, the fall schedules announced by NBC and FOX at the start of upfront week were logical and conservative, leaving major changes for midseason (and in some cases not even announcing midseason plans beyond series pick-ups). As the fourth-place broadcast network — despite having some of the bigger hits on television in "Scandal," "Modern Family" and "Grey's Anatomy" — ABC can't afford to play things so safely. So with 12 new series debuting between fall and mid-season, there are a lot of changes on the schedule.

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<p>Anthony Anderson and Laurence Fishburne of &quot;Black-ish&quot;</p>

Anthony Anderson and Laurence Fishburne of "Black-ish"

Credit: ABC

ABC's 2014-15 Schedule: 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' slides back, 'Scandal' moves up, 'Black-ish' gets Wednesday 9:30 slot

Network sets up a Shonda Rhimes Thursday

ABC announced its 2014-2015 schedule on Tuesday (May 13) morning and a lot of things make a surprising amount of sense. 

For example: After noticing that "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." routinely got an audience bump when it wasn't airing opposite "NCIS," ABC has moved the drama to the 9 p.m. hour on Tuesdays for next season.

For a second example: After not putting either of its family-oriented comedies after "Modern Family" this season, the coveted Wednesday 9:30 slot will go to the Anthony Anderson family comedy "Black-ish."

And, finally, after over a decade of difficulties on Thursdays at 8 p.m., ABC has just moved "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal" up an hour, put the Viola Davis drama "How to Get Away With Murder" at 10 p.m. and made a Shonda Rhimes Thursday.

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"Wild Tales"
"Wild Tales"
Credit: Cannes Film Festival

Cannes Check 2014: Damian Szifron's 'Wild Tales'

Continuing our preview of the festival lineup with a wild card from Argentina

Welcome back to Cannes Check, In Contention's annual preview of the films in Competition at this year's Cannes Film Festival, which kicks off on May 14. Taking on different selections every day, we'll be examining what they're about, who's involved and what their chances are of snagging an award from Jane Campion's jury. Next up, perhaps the most unexpected selection of the lot: Damián Szifrón's "Wild Tales."

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