Pre-credit sequence. "That was a cool Tribal Council," Spencer announces to his fellow castaways as they return to Solarrion after Sarah's blindside. "I expect everybody to be mad," Kass says, but Spencer claims he's not mad, just not appreciative of the move on a qualitative level. Somewhat stupidly, Spencer blames Kass' decision on being steered by "her estrogen." "The No.1 rule of "Survivor" isn't 'Cater the person on top,' it's 'Wonder about the person on the bottom,'" Kass explains. She takes shelter with her new alliance, as her old alliance keeps peppering her with frustrated insults. "You talking strategy, just stop please," Spencer tells Kass. "So, I pissed off five people, but I gained five friends," Kass says, calling herself a free agent. I'm really not sure Kass understands "Survivor" at all. Or maybe Kass understands "Survivor" flawlessly and it's friendship she doesn't get? Dunno.
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What a difference a year makes!
Last spring, my BubbleWatch gallery was speculating on the tenuous futures of shows like "Community" and "Hannibal" and "The Mentalist" and "Hart of Dixie" and "Nashville" and this year my gallery is speculating on the tenuous futures of shows like "Community" and "Hannibal" and "The Mentalist" and "Hart of Dixie" and "Nashville."
Speaking of... ABC is the only network that hasn't done at least one batch of early renewals, so that means that I'm treating shows like "Scandal" and "Grey's Anatomy" as being "on the bubble" even though they're totally not. They're just not officially renewed.
Anyway... Check out my full BubbleWatch gallery below. As always, I'll update it as various things become formal. And yes, it's a lot of slides to click through. Sorry. I put a lot of effort into this and it's 9500-ish words. So... Enjoy a little, hopefully!
A review of tonight's "The Americans" coming up just as soon as I have a friend in Japan named Hirohito...
On their Instagram account, Foo Fighters—led by Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl—posted a photo of Grohl’s drum set, Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic’s bass, Pat Smear’s guitar and Joan Jett’s guitar, according to Stereogum, in a set up from what looked like a rehearsal.
The Rock Hall has not announced whether Nirvana would play at Thursday night’s induction (Fellow inductees Kiss and Linda Ronstadt will not, in fact Ronstadt will not even attend).
Taking the late Kurt Cobain’s place in Nirvana, even just for one night, takes balls, but we can think of few better than Jett to jump in. First off, she and Grohl are great pals and seem to love playing together. Second, she can handle the job. In fact, it would be a real kick to see her tackle “Smells Like Teen Spirit” or “Come As You Are.”
R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe will induct Nirvana.
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will air on HBO on May 31.
Which network TV shows are on the bubble?
All of ABC’s freshmen dramas, including “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” look safe. But ABC’s new comedies, including “Trophy Wife,” are in danger of cancelation. And so is “Parenthood” and “Revolution.”
Jane Pauley joins CBS News
The former NBC “Today” star will contribute to "CBS Sunday Morning,” CBS News’ Bob Scheiffer announced tonight.
In 2012, more parents named their daughters “Khaleesi” than “Betsy”
“Game of Thrones” fans have also been responsible for the growing number of babies named “Arya."
FX boss complains that Netflix strips off “FX” and “AMC” from FX and AMC shows
In contrast, John Landgraf notes, Netflix likes to identify its shows as “A Netflix Original Series” but doesn’t like other shows to be associated with their networks.
ABC wants “Nashville” to become a multimedia property
The network hopes to make a lot of money from a concert special, the soundtracks and a three-city tour. “We’ve always regarded this as an opportunity for a larger franchise beyond a scripted TV show,” says exec producer Steve Buchanan.
“Saved by the Bell” creator is now an award-winning playwright
Sam Bobrick, 81, retired from Hollywood after “Saved by the Bell” ended in 1993: "I had always hoped that I'd be able to quit TV and concentrate on plays before I turned sixty," he says. "It seems so did the networks. So it worked out well for both of us."
Cinemax producers sue actress for refusing to film a nude sex scenes
Actress Anne Greene signed a nudity rider to appear in the 2011 series “Femme Fatales. But when it came time to film the scene, she refused, according to the lawsuit.
In defense of splitting up “Mad Men’s” final season
The concept of the season is evolving…
Patrick Duffy talks “Step by Step” and “Dallas”
Duffy still communicates with his former “Step by Step” co-stars Suzanne Somers, Staci Keanan and Christine Lakin, he reveals in a Reddit AMA. He even wrote a letter of recommendation for Keanan when she applied for law school.
“Justified” is proof that making quality TV is hard
But the FX series earned a pass on this disappointing season, says Tim Goodman, something that other shows can’t count on. PLUS: “Justified” isn’t broken.
Good riddance to Barbara Walters
Walters, says Alex Pareene, is "is a national icon and a pioneer, and probably as responsible as any other living person for the ridiculous and sorry state of American television journalism."
Letterman owns “The Late Show,” something that will never happen again
Even in 1993, when CBS gave David Letterman ownership rights via his Worldwide Pants production company, ownership was unheard of outside of Oprah.
National Constitution Center and Julia Louis-Dreyfus mock Rolling Stone’s “Veep” flub
The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia tweeted a photo of the founding fathers looking down at the Rolling Stone cover, while Louis-Dreyfus blamed “Veep’s” Mike.
See Sandra Oh’s “Grey’s Anatomy” farewell gift
A fan sent her a celebration of Cristina Yang.
This season’s “Wife Swap”-ers include Jermaine Jackson, Laila Ali, Robin Leach
Also, Eric Roberts, Tichina Arnold and “California Dreams” star Kelly Packard.
Heidi Klum under fire for having her “Germany’s Next Top Model” contestants wear redface
The German contestants were brought to Utah, where they were dressed as Native Americans.
More and more TV characters are watching other shows
“Parks and Rec,” “Trophy Wife” and “Happy Endings” have all name-dropped “Scandal.”
Recalling Sen. Al Franken’s “SNL” career
Franken’s work on “Saturday Night Live” spanned three decades.
Bob Saget banned his daughters from watching “Full House”
“I kind of forbid them to watch it… it was forbidden,” he says, adding that he couldn’t stand to watch a kids’ show after coming home from work. PLUS: 5 "Full House" revelations from Saget’s new memoir.
One of my favorite people to interview is Terry Crews.
I could probably shorten that to simply say that Terry Crews is one of my favorite people, because it's true. He is one of those character actors who makes anything better simply by being in it, a guy who is both visually distinct and also gifted with a really wicked sense of timing. He's great at comedy and he seems equally adept at drama when people give him that chance.
The last time I spoke with him was during the release of "Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2," and I had just seen the first few episodes of "Brooklyn Nine-Nine." I talked to him about the potential of that show, so it was nice to be able to sit down with him again on the other end of the season to talk about just how great the show got in that first year. He is part of a wonderful ensemble on the series, and he seems really excited to see how things came together over the first 22 episodes.
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss: For the seventh week in a row, Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” tops the Billboard Hot 100. Furthermore, all the songs in the top 7 remain the same as last week.
Look, we all know that The Judges' Save is a crapshoot.
Yes, it got us more quirky musicality from Casey Abrams and it allowed Jessica Sanchez to make it to the Finals, but how much gratitude should we show an innovation that also prolonged the "Idol" lives of Matt Giraud and Michael Lynche?
I guess we should feel lucky that Sam Woolf has survived to participate in a theme that I'm sure is near-and-dear to his heart: '80s Night.
Sam isn't the only "Idol" Finalist with a sketchy connection to the '80s. Actually, the total number of remaining contestants who drew breath in the '80s is a resounding "zero."
So... This is gonna be fun!
Just before we started this interview, I mentioned the craziest thing that happened on the set of "The Invention Of Lying," curious to see if Garner had ever made the connection. When I visited that set, it was in Lowell, Massachusetts, and it was just me visiting for the two days I was there. They sent a driver to my hotel on both days to get me to and from the set, and if there's anything I've learned over the years, it is that you should always talk to the drivers on a film, because they know everything.
Sure enough, the guy who drove me back and forth during my time in Lowell was especially chatty, a really nice guy who had grown up in the area. One of the things we discussed was that another movie company had optioned the rights to the driver's life and they were planning to make a film about him. He told me some of the details of his life and his story, and he told me a few stories about his brother, and I'll say this much… he was great at telling those stories. Even so, I figured I'd never hear anything else about the guy or his story.
Then a few years later, David O. Russell released "The Fighter," and I pretty much got my mind blown. The driver on "The Invention Of Lying" was Micky Ward, and they really did end up making the movie about his life story. When I asked Garner if she remembered him, she had that same "oh my god" moment that I'd had in the theater. She said she never made the connection, but she remembered him from when he was a driver.
I've run into Garner many times over the years, and she always strikes me as someone who is essentially unchanged by their time working in the film industry. She never seems like she considers herself a star, and she seems to genuinely consider whatever question you ask her instead of just offering up the same sound bite over and over. I'm not sure Hollywood really knows what to do with her. She's given plenty of good performances, but she's never really had that one role where she cuts loose and shows us everything she's capable of. Maybe that's not important to her. She seems perfectly happy giving strong performances in supporting roles, and she doesn't seem driven to work non-stop just to keep working.
She also seems like she's still very connected to her roots, as you'll see when we talk about her upbringing in our interview about the new film "Draft Day," where she co-stars with Kevin Costner. We talked a bit about working with Ellen Burstyn, who plays Costner's mother in the film, and her joy at getting to work with Burstyn was very clear from the conversation.
Overall, it's always nice to check in with Garner, and especially when you're able to discuss something where she's done nice work.
"Draft Day" opens in theaters everywhere on Friday.
"Rio 2" is a perfect example of franchise maintenance in place of storytelling, and the nicest thing I can say about it is that my kids found it to be an agreeable way to spend part of an afternoon.
I know I saw the first "Rio." My review of it was published in the days before we started putting letter grades on films in our reviews, but I would have given it a B or a B-. I liked the way they used Rio as a setting, I thought the performances were spirited and fun, and I really liked the soundtrack that was put together by Sergio Mendes. The sequel, which is practically the definition of "more of the same," is less successful in the way it uses the rain forest as a setting, and it features performances that feel far more phoned in while still featuring a non-stop dynamic soundtrack put together by Sergio Mendes. There is nothing about the film that feels particularly compelling, and the story is really just an excuse to put a new obstacle between Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and Jewel (Anne Hathaway) while bad guy Nigel (Jemaine Clement) once again skulks about, all on the way to a happy ending you'll see coming a mile away.
A movie like this is made and scheduled because it is a property that Fox wants to keep active, not out of any particular need in storytelling. Carlos Saldanha is a reliable co-ordinator for this kind of bright, colorful, kid-friendly property. The palette of the movie is once again eye-popping and vivid, and it's apparent that the Blue Sky team has gotten to a place where they are capable of enormous technical sophistication. Looking at the actual craft of the animation, they're very impressive. There's some very strong character performance work that is made more memorable because of the mannerisms of real birds that they use. But all of it is in service to a disappointingly familiar overall piece of work.
“Justified’s” penultimate finale up vs. last year
About 2.37 million tuned in for the Season 5 ender, up 5% from last season.
Rolling Stone’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus cover mistake was deliberate
A Rolling Stone source tells AdWeek that John Hancock was wrongly signed on the U.S. Constitution “in the spirit” of the HBO comedy’s farcical tone.
TV series based on “Truman Show,” “Terminator” and Charles Lindbergh are in the works
Paramount TV is developing drama series based on the two hit movies, plus a limited series based on the A. Scott Berg biography of Lindbergh.
Is Cosmo’s “SNL” female cast member slumber party offensive?
Is the new issue's photo shoot a step back for women in comedy?
Zach Braff's new film "Wish I Was Here" had its premiere at this year's Sundance Film Festival, and I reviewed it out of that first screening. At the time, I didn't even think about the film as being potentially controversial. It's such a sincere, sweet, sharply-performed film that it seemed like an easy one to recommend.
I guess I was absent from the Film Critics Union meeting where we all decided that we're not allowed to like Braff's work anymore, past or present. That same meeting must have been where we all decided that because he used Kickstarter to help make the film, we must automatically hate the movie and review the way it was made rather than the film itself.
Already, I'm seeing plenty of snark today in response to the trailer for the film. Allow me to offer a counterpoint to that by saying that the trailer does a nice job of suggesting the tone of the film without giving away the entire thing. A good deal of the trailer is built around a few specific scenes in the film, presented here in a way that isn't about giving you story so much as a mood.