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Pharrell Williams

Pharrell Williams slows it down for 'Here' from 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2'

Will the ballad make you happy?

Last time Pharrell wrote and performed a song for a movie, he came up with “Despicable Me 2’s” “Happy.”  For “Here” from “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” the grin, although subdued, is still on his face.

On love ballad, “Here,” he’s pledging love to his sweetie, declaring “It seems we’re here again/it seemed the right trajection/And I promise on our existence…we have unfinished business/and so my word as I cross the bridges/with zero regard for limits” that he will love her forever.

So, basically, Pharrell threw in lots of imagery that conjures up Spidey swinging from building to building, over bridges, etc, to declare his love for Gwen Stacy. Add in some sweet strings, a swaying melody, acoustic guitar and call it a day.

Except, if it were anyone other than Pharrell, who has made some of the catchiest music of the past year, not once, not twice, but three times between “Happy,” and his participation on Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” and Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” we’d probably give him a pass, but this is a weak effort. Maybe ballads aren’t Pharrell’s strong suit, but there is no excuse for lyrics like, “So next time you see this place/remember we were alone/we’ll bring our children from home/that’s right, oh yeah, I’m going to go there.”  Oh no, he didn’t…

In addition to this song, Pharrell also co-wrote and produced Alicia Keys’ “It’s On Again,” featuring Kendrick Lamar from “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”  and scored the movie with Hans Zimmer and the Smiths’ Johnny Marr. Maybe by the time he got around to writing “Here,” he was just plum tuckered out. Or maybe he needed to go hat shopping and got distracted.

Listen below and, just in case you’ve missed it, watch this really lovely snippet of Pharrell getting all choked up when he and Oprah Winfrey watch a clip of people from all over the world dancing to “Happy.” It makes him happy that he's made so many of us happy.

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Parents TV Council protests Fox’s ADHD 'X rated' Easter Bunny

Parents TV Council protests Fox’s ADHD “X rated” Easter Bunny
The conservative watchdog called “The Easter Bunny’s Coming” video the "the most explicit material we’ve ever seen produced by a broadcast television network."


Spike TV renews Adam Carolla’s “Catch a Contractor”
Carolla will return for a 2nd 10-episode season of his reality show.


Why didn’t “Mad Men” get a bump from Netflix viewers?
“Breaking Bad’s” ratings rose 102% in its final season thanks to Netflix, but “Mad Men’s” numbers declined, even though all six seasons are available on the streaming service. PLUS: Jon Hamm doesn’t give “very much credence” to the Megan/Sharon Tate rumors, and here are all the women Don Draper doesn’t sleep with.


FX boss admits meeting with Chelsea Handler, but says late-night is too competitive
“You have to be willing to stay there as a very long investment,” says John Landgraf, who recently attempted late-night shows with FX’s “Brand X With Russell Brand” and FXX’s "Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell."


Pivot picks up drama series “Fortitude” starring Stanley Tucci and Michael Gambon
The psychological thriller is set in the Arctic town of Fortitude.


Who is “Fargo’s” Allison Tolman?
The actress who plays Det. Molly Solverson has a sparse IMDb page, and now she’s in the middle of a star-studded cast. "The first six weeks were definitely the most bizarre time of my life,” she says. "It was a really steep learning curve in a lot of ways. But it's very cool; it still hasn't gotten old.” PLUS: Billy Bob Thornton explains his “Fargo” bangs, and Martin Freeman talks about last night’s big scene.


CNN calls the 1912 Titanic sinking “Breaking News”
“Titanic Sunk 102 y ears ago tonight,” read a chyron on the 24-hour news network.


Jon Stewart told John Oliver: "Once you do this, once you fly the plane, you cannot go back"
"There was a slightly weird amount of interest,” Oliver says of the aftermath of guest-hosting “The Daily Show” for 12 weeks, including CBS wondering if he could replace Craig Ferguson on “The Late Late Show." "I just, I couldn't even comprehend it," he adds with a stammer. "I went, 'No, what are you talking about? No, no, no, no, no!' It was terrifying. That was my dream job."


"Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” gets a boost, “NCIS” hits a season low
Meanwhile, “Celebrity Wife Swap” completely bombed last night.


There is a linguistic explanation for Barney Stinson’s “HIMYM” catchphrase "Legen—Wait for It—Dary”
"It's an example of tmesis, a phenomenon in which one word or phrase splits another, often for emphasis," explains Rebecca Cohen, who adds: "Tmesis is a variety of what linguists call infixation, a catchall term for when extra syllables are added in the middle of a word.”


40-year-old IT manager’s Twitter account got him a job writing for Seth Meyers
The Twitter account of Bryan Donaldson of Illinois attracted the attention of “Late Night” head writer Alex Baze last year. "Twitter has democratized the process," says Meyers. "We used to look at smaller samples, now you can look back and see what a person thought was funny for the past calendar year."


Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart, Jimmy Fallon are among the “35 Most Powerful People in New york Media”
The Hollywood Reporter’s list also includes Lorne Michaels, Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan, the casts of “GMA” and “CBS This Morning,” Diane Sawyer, Howard Stern, Bob Costas and Anderson Cooper.

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AC/DC

AC/DC confirms Young's illness, to continue to make music

Band shoots down reports of 'retirement'

For those about to rock, it’s been a tough few days and today AC/DC confirmed fans’ worst fears, while holding out some hope.

Over the last three days, the internet has run rife with speculation that AC/DC's rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young, who co-founded the band with brother Angus in 1973, had suffered a stroke and blood clot bringing the career to one of rock and roll’s most successful, long-lived acts to a halt. Sources reported that the band would “never make music again” and retire. Additionally, a 40-city tour to celebrate the band’s 40th anniversary, hinted at by vocalist Brian Johnson, would also be taken off the schedule.

With little fanfare and even less detail, the band posted the following statement on its website today: “After forty years of life dedicated to AC/DC, guitarist and founding member Malcolm Young is taking a break from the band due to ill health. Malcolm would like to thank the group’s diehard legions of fans worldwide for their never-ending love and support. In light of this news, AC/DC asks that Malcolm and his family’s privacy be respected during this time. The band will continue to make music.”

So in a few sentences, AC/DC managed to confirm that Young had suffered a health setback without giving any details, he was taking a leave from the band, and also let fans know that they were not retiring.

In fact, there are also reports that AC/DC plans to enter a recording studio later this year to work on the follow up to 2008’s “Black Ice,” which sold more than 700,000 copies in its first week of the release in the U.S. alone. In an interview with the U.K.’s Telegraph newspaper, Johnson said that the band was headed to a Vancouver studio next month. “We’re going to pick up some guitars, have a plonk, and see if anybody has got any tunes ideas. If anything happens, we’ll record it.”

While Johnson declined to confirm anything about Young’s condition, in fact, he would not even acknowledge that Young was the ill member —the interview took place before the statement was released this morning—he did admit that “One of the boys has a debilitating illness,” adding that “I wouldn’t like to say anything either way about the future.”

As far as the tour, given that it was never confirmed, it would also seem to not be happening, at least not in the near future.

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Abby Lee Miller

Abby Lee Miller

Credit: Lifetime

'Dance Moms'' Abby Lee Miller gets a new show

The tough-love instructor makes over dance studios

It turns out "Dance Moms" star and reviled bully-teacher Abby Lee Miller will be picking on grown-ups for her next project. Miller is looking to transform dance studios on the brink of disaster in the new series, "Abby’s Studio Rescue," premiering Tues., June 17, at 9:00 p.m. ET.  Each week, the show follows Abby as she dishes out tough talk/screams at people/generally freaks out while giving dance studios a second chance at survival.  

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<p>FX has renewed &quot;The Americans,&quot; starring Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell.</p>

FX has renewed "The Americans," starring Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell.

Credit: FX

FX renews 'The Americans' for season 3

Spy drama is one of TV's best, and DVR usage has helped keep it alive

In a sign of the changing economics of the TV industry, as well as a boon for fans of quality television, FX has renewed "The Americans" for a third season of 13 episodes.

"The Americans," which stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys as KGB sleeper agents posing as an American couple in the early '80s, is one of the very best shows on television. Its live ratings, though, are modest, and have actually gone down a bit from last year's numbers. But the show also doubles its audience when you count those who watch via DVR or other methods within the first seven days of airing.

Every TV executive in the business has been trumpeting Live+7 numbers as a way to show that their audiences haven't slipped nearly as much as it seems from looking at overnight ratings. The question has been whether there's enough money to be made that way, given that advertisers aren't that interested in people who watch much later, especially if they'll be skipping commercials on their DVR'ed recording. But FX apparently has found a way to make the numbers work here.

When the second season premiered to disappointing numbers, FX's PR chief John Solberg said, "We fully expect 'The Americans' will be on our schedule for the next five years or more."

A new episode airs tonight at 10. It's a good one.

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FX renews 'The Americans'

FX renews "The Americans"
A 13-episode Season 3 will air next year.


Valerie Harper: “I’m absolutely cancer-free!”
"My last scans have been positive, and my doctors are very happy,” she tells Closer Weekly.


Sigmund Freud is getting a crime drama series
“Freud: The Secret Casebook” will have the founder of psychoanalysis portrayed as the first criminal profiler. “Freud” is from the producer of “Downton Abbey” and former “X Files” writer Frank Spotnitz.


Brooklyn’s minor league team will wear puffy shirts for “Seinfeld Night”
The Brooklyn Cyclones, a Mets affiliate, will also rename its stadium Vandelay Industries Park for “Seinfeld’s” 25th anniversary in July. The first 2,500 fans in attendance will receive a Keith Hernandez “Magic Loogie” bobblehead, mailmen in uniform will throw out the first pitch, players will wear puffy shirts for batting practice and there will bean Elaine-inspired dance contest for the July 5 special event.


Jenny McCarthy and Donnie Wahlberg get engaged
McCarthy announced her engagement to the “Blue Bloods” star on “The View."

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<p>Bill Paxton on Tuesday&#39;s &quot;Marvel&#39;s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.&quot;</p>

Bill Paxton on Tuesday's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."

Credit: ABC

TV Ratings: 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' and 'Voice' rise on Tuesday as CBS procedurals hit lows

'Originals' and 'Supernatural' draw small audiences for The CW

Fast National ratings for Tuesday, April 15, 2014.

Rising episodes of "The Voice" and "About a Boy" helped NBC win Tuesday night among young viewers, while CBS' "NCIS"-led procedurals dominated overall despite hovering around series lows in the key demo.

In a special 9 p.m. airing, ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." got a solid demo bump and a tiny overall uptick, but couldn't do much to help the launch of "Celebrity Wife Swap."

Among other sluggish Tuesday offerings, FOX's "Glee" lost a few viewers from last week, while "New Girl" and "The Mindy Project" were on the low side. Both "The Originals" and "Supernatural" came in week for The CW as well.

On to the numbers...

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'The View' will reunite all 11 current and former co-hosts for Barbara Walters' farewell

"The View" will reunite all 11 current and former co-hosts for Barbara Walters' farewell
That includes Star Jones, Rosie O'Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck, reuniting on May 15, the day before Walters says goodbye.

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Spike TV’s canceled 'Blue Mountain State' launches a movie Kickstarter

Spike TV’s canceled “Blue Mountain State” launches a movie Kickstarter
The creators of the college football comedy, which ran three seasons from 2010 to 2011, says interest has grown in “Blue Mountain state” since it was added to Netflix.


Louis CK jumps off the Brooklyn Bridge in latest “Louie” promo
See the new “perhaps, perhaps, perhaps” teaser.


PBS’ “American Masters” is revamping and expanding beyond artists
The 28-year-old biography series will begin including famous people in science and industry.

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<p>Wolverine&#39;s winning personality is once more front and center in &#39;X-Men: Days Of Future Past&#39;</p>

Wolverine's winning personality is once more front and center in 'X-Men: Days Of Future Past'

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Final 'X-Men Days Of Future Past' trailer pulls out all the stops and looks mammoth

Could this be Singer's return to form?

I'm not sure why they're calling this the final trailer for "X-Men: Days Of Future Past." With a month to go before the film's release, I would imagine we're going to get pounded with marketing materials that are going to show us more and more of the film in an effort to get audiences to show up.

My own kids have been working to catch up with the "X-Men" series for the last month, and just tonight we watched "X-Men: First Class." I was struck again by just how much I like that film's take on the relationship between Charles (James McAvoy) and Erik (Michael Fassbender), and there is no way to quantify how lucky they were to sign Jennifer Lawrence before she became a giant star. This film may feature an army of cameo appearances from the cast of the first three movies, but it is still very much a sequel to "First Class," and a bridge to "X-Men: Apocalypse," where we'll once again follow the younger cast.

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<p>Johnny Depp and Rebecca Hall struggle mightily to make &#39;Transcendence&#39; work, but there&#39;s no saving a film this deeply dopey.</p>

Johnny Depp and Rebecca Hall struggle mightily to make 'Transcendence' work, but there's no saving a film this deeply dopey.

Credit: Warner Bros.

Review: Johnny Depp looks bored by the silly science-fiction ideas of 'Transcendence'

Consider this the anti-'Her'

Jack Paglen is the sole credited writer of "Transcendence," the new science-fiction film starring Johnny Depp, and if he really is the man responsible for the script, then it scares me to learn that he's been hired to write the big-screen "Battlestar Galactica" reboot.

One of the truths of science-fiction is that anytime we as a culture try to get our heads around a jump forward in technology, one of the ways we do that is by imagining the very worst case scenario, so it should come as no surprise that as we discuss ideas about The Singularity and trans-humanism, "Transcendence" arrives to serve as this decade's "Lawnmower Man," a deeply stupid movie that uses smart ideas as a springboard but without any real sense of what they're talking about. Wally Pfister, best known until now as the cinematographer on Christopher Nolan's big films, makes his directorial debut here, and as dumb as Paglen's script is, Pfister seems to have no feeling whatsoever for the staging of sequences or for any sort of dramatic narrative momentum. Make no mistake… "Transcendence" is a stiff, but one that is produced with enough polish that it almost successfully disguises its true nature.

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<p>Billy Bob Thornton goes driving at night on &quot;Fargo.&quot;</p>

Billy Bob Thornton goes driving at night on "Fargo."

Credit: FX

Series premiere review: 'Fargo' - 'The Crocodile's Dilemma'

Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman take a trip to Coen brothers country

I reviewed FX's "Fargo" in advance this morning, and I have a few specific thoughts on the premiere coming up just as soon as I get more familiar with the ham...

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