ANAHEIM - First thing's first. The new "Fantastic Four" movie is definitely happening. No delays, no recasting. Josh Trank's vision is going to come to fruition. That's the word from the movie's screenwriter and producer Simon Kinberg who was on the Baton Rouge, LA set two days ago and reveals that production begins in earnest in two weeks.
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ANAHEIM - Simon Kinberg had an unexpected trip to WonderCon on Saturday. The "X-Men: Days of Future Past" screenwriter and producer stepped in for director Bryan Singer who finds himself in the middle of a publicity nightmare surrounding abuse allegations that took place almost 14 years ago. It's a rare moment in the spotlight for Kinberg who, in many ways, has become the key man on 20th Century Fox's superhero movies.
Well, at least things worked out better for Jessica Hoel and John Erck in their second run on "The Amazing Race." A little better, at least.
In their first season, John & Jessica won the season's opening Leg and earned an Express Pass. Then, just a couple episodes later, they were eliminated with the Express Pass still in their back pocket after refusing to play the powerful Pass in a challenge where they remained convinced there were teams behind them long after they'd fallen into last place.
It was one of the more notorious pieces of self-immolation in "Amazing Race" history and that was probably what earned John & Jessica a second chance on "The Amazing Race: All-Stars."
This second run lacked the highs of that season-opening Leg victory, but they also lasted deeper into the Race and, when they went out, they were theoretically able to point the blame away from themselves. After all, they were in first place after completing the Gladiator Detour in Rome, but they got a cabbie who wasn't able to decipher the Route Marker and took them on an unplanned Roman Holiday.
When I talked to John & Jessica after the Express Pass fiasco, they were very invested in trying to explain the logic of their mistake and to deemphasize the blunder. This time around, while they put some of the responsibility on the cabbie, they're both quick to admit the things they should have done differently both on their Italian Voyage, but also subsequently at the Spanish Steps Roadblock, a tough task that led to a footrace to the Pit Stop.
In this exit interview, John & Jessica discuss their regrets at how they handled the cab situation and they explain the logistics behind a close sprint to the mat. They're both chatty and, as with my first exit interview, I got in fewer questions than I often do in these interviews. That's OK. Their perspectives are still plenty interesting.
Click through for the full Q&A...
“Frozen’s” hold on the Billboard 200 has yet to thaw. In fact, it seems to be gathering strength.
Next week will mark the Disney soundtrack’s 11th week atop the Billboard 200, as it sells more than 200,000, its biggest week yet. The reason for the jump? Starbucks is now selling the title, according to Hits Daily Double. Next week will also mark the week that “Frozen” surpasses “The Lion King” for the most weeks at No. 1 for an animated feature.
Targeted to move up to 250,000 copies, “Frozen” will sell almost 200,000 copies more than the No. 2 title, hip-hop artist August Alsina’s “Testimony” (65,000). Alsina has the highest debut but he’s far from the only newcomer coming on strong next week: Needtobreathe’s “Rivers in the Wasteland” and Ingrid Michaelson’s “Light’s Out”are both poised to sell up to 45,000 copies as they duke it out for third place. Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty”bows at No. 6 (35,000).
As for the Top 10 remainders, Pharrell Williams’ “G I R L”drops three spots to No. 5 (40,000); “Now 49” leaps six spaces to No. 7 (22,000). Boy band 5 Seconds of Summer’s “She Looks So Perfect” falls to No. 8 (21,000), Shakira’s self-titled set holds at No. 9 and Luke Bryan’s “Crash My Party” slips 8-10 (20,000).
Fast National ratings for Friday, April 18, 2014.
New episodes of "Shark Tank" and "20/20" helped ABC cruise to an easy Friday win among young viewers, while CBS rode a new "Unforgettable" and a "Blue Bloods" repeat to an overall win.
Beyond that, Friday featured only minor variations. FOX's "Kitchen Nightmares" was down in its second week, while "Hannibal" took advantage of a "Dateline" lead-in to get a small bump. The CW's "Hart of Dixie" and "Whose Line" both shed viewers as well.
[CBS notes that its scheduled was delayed a local telethon for 9 percent of the country. Take that as you will.]
On to the numbers...
LJ McKanas has been a marked man from the start of this "Survivor: Cagayan" season.
As the Old Man of the Beauty tribe -- He's 34 -- LJ was selected as his tribe's leader within minutes and he wore that target on his chest for his entire time on a tribe he wouldn't have selected for himself (he self-identified as "Brawn" before the season, but showed his Brains in finding a hidden Idol).
After the Tribal shuffle, LJ's "Survivor" time seemed even shorter, as it appeared that the Brawn majority in his new clan would burn through the remaining Beauty outsiders. In a shocker, though, LJ aligned with Trish and took advantage of her anti-Cliff paranoia to remain in the game.
And even after the Merge, LJ's alliance looked like it might be in jeopardy, but Kass' flip made LJ and Tony the two Alpha Males suddenly at the head of a majority destined for Top 6.
After outlasting those deficits, LJ was ready to coast, but antsy Tony feared that if he didn't boot the Boston-area horse-trainer, LJ would turn on him. Tony didn't build consensus on his decision. Instead, he lied and told Woo that LJ was targeting him and that was all it took to send LJ home in yet another "Cagayan" blindside.
[Interesting LJ fact that didn't come up on "Survivor": He's a Northeastern University Hall of Famer as a football player. In his senior year, he rushed for over 1700 yards and 14 TDs. He left the school as Northeastern's all-time leading rusher and he's now second on the school's all-time rushing list.]
In this week's exit interview, LJ discusses Tony's skillful lying, Woo's weak gameplay and why Trish disappointed him. He also talks about being placed on the Beauty tribe and how that impacted his game.
Click through for the full Q&A...
A review of tonight's "Hannibal" coming up just as soon as I prefer sins of omission to outright lies...
There are many striking things about Salem (premieres Sun. April 20 at 10:00 p.m. on WGN). There is a surplus of gross and gory stuff, plenty of Puritans, and some of the most anachronistic dialogue I've ever heard in a period drama. Apparently the writers decided that the best way to capture the olde time speake of the 17th century is in cliches like "you can't keep a good man down," "he's a chip off the old block," "he fights like a girl" and my favorite, "I call bullshit!" Yes, someone really says "I call bullshit," I kid thee not.
Gwen Stefani is set to join “The Voice” as a judge
The No Doubt singer is in talks to take over Christina Aguilera’s chair in the fall, according to TMZ. Aguilera will take the season off in the fall as she prepares to give birth.
“Orphan Black” accused of stealing
A writer has sued the BBC claiming the BBC America series is based on a script he wrote in the ‘90s.
“Mixology” looking good for renewal, “Trophy Wife” and “The Neighbors” are still on the bubble
Meanwhile, fellow ABC sitcom “Suburgatory” could return next year for a shortened season.
Bravo’s “Southern Charm” is a “pop culture smear” on Charleston, South Carolina
That is what one local says of the reality show, according to the NY Times, "channeling the prevailing view of many longtime Charlestonians.”
Amy Poehler: “Parks and Rec” will have a big surprise in the final seconds of the season finale
"The last minute or so of our season finale…the last moments are really important and big things happen that kind of show you where we're going and where a lot of the characters are going or shows you where they may go,” she teased. PLUS: Can Leslie Knope have it all?
Watch profane outtakes from Amy Schumer’s Aaron Sorkin spoof
Josh Charles likes to drop F-bombs.
“Lost’s” Carlton Cuse: "Social media has created this bell curve effect around finales that is really overblown”
"I can’t say that the ending of a story is always the best part of the story,” he says, "and yet there’s sort of this implicit idea that the finale is somehow supposed to be the mind-blowing best episode of a show.”
What makes “Supernatural” so enduring?
Is it the hair? Is it Netflix? Or is the “400 pounds of dude” that the CW series showcases each week?
King Joffrey’s little brother on “Game of Thrones” was killed off last season — as another character
Joffrey’s brother is teen actor Dean-Charles Chapman’s 2nd role on the HBO series. He previously played Martyn Lannister, who was murdered in Season 3. PLUS: Has “GoT” jumped the shark already this season?, Joffrey meets "Mrs. Doubtfire," and Natalie Dormer on the Purple Wedding.
Scott Foley answers Reddit questions about “Scandal,” “Felicity,” “Grey’s" and Jennifer Garner
Foley says he prefers working on “Scandal” over “Grey’s Anatomy” because “Scandal” is a regular job, and not a guest stint. PLUS: Cher sings for "James Novak."
“SVU” boss makes the case for renewal
Showrunner Warren Leight says: "We're just in that moment of purgatory — for a crime we haven't committed.”
Monica Potter: “Parenthood” is set in Berkeley — it’s about time we had a gay character
“I’m like, ‘We live in Berkeley!’” she says of this week’s episode. "Even if we didn’t live in Berkeley, I’m like, ‘C’mon, lets go!’”
Heather Graham signed on for “Californication” having never watched the Showtime series
"I'm only allowed to say that I'm from David’s (Hank Moody’s) past,” who "adds a lot of conflict,” she says.
Tracy Morgan has still got it in his Comedy Central special
"Tracy Morgan: Bona Fide” shows the former “30 Rock” star at the top of his game.
See the trailer for “Petals on the Wind”
Lifetime's “Flowers in the Attic” followup is even crazier.
Religious TV has been resurrected
Programs like “The Bible” and Oprah’s upcoming “Belief” are trying to catch an audience interested in spirituality.
Stop trying to solve “Mad Men”!
All those theories are crap, says Sam Adams, who points out that Matthew Weiner has "never shown much interest in leaving clues for viewers to pore over. One of the more compelling theories about why creator Matthew Weiner is so obsessive about critics spoiling minor details is that it's a way to create an air of mystery around a show that otherwise doesn't generate much. Weiner prefers genuine surprise to an elongated tease.” PLUS: Should the Manson theories be taken seriously?, Vincent Kartheiser has stopped taking buses to the “Mad Men” set, Kartheiser started watching “True Detective” with Episode 7, costume designer Janie Bryant talks about Peggy’s power suit, all the ‘90s and ‘00s TV stars who’ve appeared on “Mad Men,” why “Mad Men” needs Sally Draper, and how “Mad Men” changed the way men dress.
Kristen Bell gets “Naked and Afraid” for Ellen
It’s one of Bell’s favorite shows.
Lindsay Lohan explains why she doesn’t wear a bra on “Lindsay”
Turns out she hates wearing bras, as she told Andy Cohen while wearing a bra.
TV is showing relationships that are more complicated
From “Game of Thrones” to “Elementary,” says Mary McNamara, "television is making room for relationships that side-step easy sentiment to explore the other ways in which we bind ourselves to each other.”
Check out “Cook Smart,” Alton Brown’s “Good Eats”-like web series
The Food Network star had said his former show might return in a different capacity.
Tori Spelling’s husband is reportedly upset his name isn’t in “True Tori” title
Dean McDermott, who’s at the center of the reality show, allegedly “feels betrayed."
Dennis O’Hare reveals details of his new “American Horror Story” character
“We’ll have lots of scenes with each other, but we’ll be battling,” he says of him and Jessica Lange.
Zac Efron drops his pants for “Workaholics”
Efron and Seth Rogen dropped by the set to promote their new movie “Neighbors."
Billy Crystal’s “700 Sundays” gets an HBO showcase this weekend
The one-man show isn’t a “greatest hits” revue.
Watch Key & Peele on “Fargo”
The Comedy Central duo play FBI agents on the FX series.
Inside “SNL’s” makeup lab
First-year “SNL”-er John Milhiser introduces us to the makeup world of “Saturday Night Live."
Jim Rash: I watch all the shows featured on “The Writers’ Room” — but “Pretty Little Liars” proved a challenge
"I do!” the “Community” star says of his Sundance series, which returns tonight with “Scandal. "It’s a lot of weekends…Luckily, some of these shows I was already watching. I was already watching 'Breaking Bad' and Game of Thrones last year, and I was already watching 'Parks and Recreation.' But then I just do some binge watching. Now, clearly, with 'Pretty Little Liars,’ there’s like 100 episodes. There’s no way I was going to be able to fit in 100 episodes of 'Pretty Little Liars,' so I just sort of watched a list of key episodes."
BBC America tells "The Real History of Science Fiction”
The BBC-made series, airing after “Orphan Black” on Saturday, kicks off with an exploration of robots.
Food Network’s “Unwrapped” spawns “Rewrapped”
Marc Summers is back with a show that has chef contestants “rewrap” famous foods.
“Bob’s Burgers” Tina Belcher is an icon for anxious millennials
She’s dysfunctionally ambivalent, yet a decidedly moral person.
“Friday Night Lights” boss looks back at the series finale
Jason Katims didn’t shoot that final game any other way.
“Vikings” creator addresses last week’s death
Michael Hirst said he "decided quite a long time ago” to kill off that character.
Whoopi Goldberg stars in “A Day Late and a Dollar Short” on Lifetime
She plays a dying matriarch Saturday in the film based on Terry McMillan’s book.
Ken Burns’ “The Roosevelts”: Watch a preview
The PBS documentary series, airing this fall, will tell the story of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor.
Give credit to WGN America to trying something new with “Salem”
“Salem” does a good job reimaging witches. PLUS: It makes witch trials boring, this feels like a "me-too” exercise, and “Salem” uses 1 dress made of human hair.
Tatiana Maslany was warned “this is going to be insane” before joining “Orphan Black”
The 28-year-old actress, it turns out, can handle playing many characters, thanks to a strategy of using certain triggers that help her slip seamlessly into each role. "Last season, nobody knew about ('Orphan Black’) when we were shooting, so we kind of had this little private moment,” she says. "Now it's public and you have to sort of quiet up the noise — of peoples' opinions, peoples' criticisms, peoples' love. The pressure is people knowing about you and saying, 'OK, let's see what you can do.’” PLUS: “Orphan Black” is even clone-crazier in Season 2, showrunner planned Season 2 to “take off like a bullet” to avoid losing momentum, “Orphan Black” makes its feminist argument with flat male characters, this is a smart and challenging show, Jordan Gavaris talks Felix, and being famous feels foreign to Maslany.
There was an aptly timed e-mail from a reader in my inbox today. One simple question. "When is the next episode of 'Ask Drew'?"
We'll be taping the episode on April 22nd. After that, we'll be going to a bi-weekly format. We'll be playing with the length of the episodes as well until we find the sweet spot, and we appreciate all of the feedback you guys gave us on the first one.
Obviously, now is the time to send your questions, and while I relish the feeling of re-living high school-era humiliations for you from time to time, I would encourage you to think big. For example, see that "Airwolf" picture at the top of this story? You could ask me about the "Airwolf" story. Everyone loves a good "Airwolf" story, don't they?
Ever since the Cannes International Film Festival knocked down a few walls between itself and the West in 2001 with festival director Thierry Frémaux coming on board to liven up the Croisette with more of a Hollywood acceptance, the connection between the annual May event and the awards season has become more pronounced.
“Mad Men” gets a huge ratings boost from DVR users
With DVR users accounted for, “Mad Men’s” Season 7 premiere ratings jumped 62% and narrowed the gap with last year’s premiere.
Laura Prepon will be back full-time on “Orange is the New Black” in Season 3
That is, if Netflix renews the prison drama for a 3rd season.
“Hot in Cleveland” books Luke Perry
The former “Beverly Hills 90210” star will go on a date with Wendie Malick’s character.
“Cougar Town’s” Ian Gomez joins CBS’ “Cuz-Bros” pilot
Technically, Gomez will be a guest-star in the pilot because he’s still tied to “Cougar Town” — unless the TBS comedy doesn’t return.
ABC Family orders paranormal drama pilot “Stitchers”
The pilot will have a woman “stitched” into the minds of the recently deceased so that she could use their memory to investigate murders for the government.
“Hawaii Five-0’s” Alex O’Loughlin weds
O’Loughlin and his girlfriend quietly got married in Hawaii recently.