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"The Normal Heart"

 "The Normal Heart"

Credit: HBO

Press Tour: 'Normal Heart' is an 'epidemic as seen through a love story'

Jim Parsons talks about how coming out to the public was 'no big deal'

It's taken decades, but Ryan Murphy has finally persevered in bring the Tony award-winning  play "The Normal Heart" to the small screen. The movie will air on HBO this May, and during press tour Murphy assured the audience that he's only changed the source material so much. "I think it's similar to the play, and I actively pursued [the rights to] the play. It was a play I loved, even when I was in college." 

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<p>&quot;Girls&quot;</p>

"Girls"

Credit: HBO

Press Tour Live-Blog: HBO's 'Girls'

Lena Dunham and company discuss their Golden Globe winning comedy

I've already live-blogged Thursday's (January 9) TCA panel for "True Detective," which was a good one.

Now it's time for HBO's "Girls," with Lena Dunham joined by co-stars Allison Williams, Zosia Mamet and Jemima Kirke, plus executive producers Jenni Konner and Judd Apatow.

Click through for the full live-blog.

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<p>Steve Buscemi and friends will return for one last season of &quot;Boardwalk Empire&quot;&nbsp;in the fall.</p>

Steve Buscemi and friends will return for one last season of "Boardwalk Empire" in the fall.

Credit: HBO

HBO announces fifth season of 'Boardwalk Empire' will be its last

Period gangster drama to hopefully go out with a bang, starting in the fall

HBO has announced that the upcoming fifth season of "Boardwalk Empire," set to premiere this fall, will be the period gangster drama's last.

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'Boardwalk Empire' will end later this year with Season 5


"Boardwalk Empire" will end later this year with Season 5
Creator Terence Winter released a statement saying: "After much discussion with my creative team and HBO, we’ve decided to wrap the series after such a great run and look forward to bringing it to a powerful and exciting conclusion."


"Game of Thrones" returns April 4, "Veep" will be paired with "Silicon Valley"
Mike Judge's "Silicon Valley" will air this spring with "Veep" in the hour after "Game of Thrones." Meanwhile, HBO will present the "Game of Thrones" trailer on Sunday.

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<p>Emilia Clarke and her &quot;Game of Thrones&quot;&nbsp;dragons will be back in the spring.</p>

Emilia Clarke and her "Game of Thrones" dragons will be back in the spring.

Credit: HBO

HBO sets 'Game of Thrones' April season 4 premiere date

The fantasy show to be paired with 'Veep' and Mike Judge's 'Silicon Valley'

HBO has announced that the fourth season of "Game of Thrones" will debut on Sunday, April 6 at 9 p.m. 

Season 4 will, like season 3, be largely adapted from the third of George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" books, "A Storm of Swords." 

It'll be paired with the third season of the political satire "Veep" with Emmy winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and the premiere of "Silicon Valley," the latest series from Mike Judge, who has previously given us "Beavis & Butt-Head" and "King of the Hill" (and, perhaps more germane to the new series, "Office Space").

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<p>Matthew McConaughey of &quot;True Detective&quot;</p>

Matthew McConaughey of "True Detective"

Credit: HBO

Press Tour Live-Blog: HBO's 'True Detective'

Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson meet with the TV critics

I think that a Television Critics Association press tour appearance by Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson to to discuss the year's best new show [so far] is reason enough for a live-blog, eh?

Indeed.

Click through for Thursday (January 9) afternoon's full panel as quickly as my little fingers can type.

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<p>Jason Aldean</p>

Jason Aldean

Credit: AP Photo

Jason Aldean ignites Burn It Down tour

Florida Georgia Line and Tyler Farr will join him on 50-date outing

We smell pyro... Country superstar Jason Aldean will hit the road with his 2014 Burn It Down tour starting May 1.

The outing, which includes Florida Georgia Line and Tyler Farr, will alight in 50 cities, including stops at several baseball stadiums across the country, making Aldean one of the few country artists with an audience big enough to play stadiums.

Stops include Washington, D.C.’s Nationals Park, Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park, Pittsburgh’s PNC Park and Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park.

“It’s no secret that I grew up dreaming of playing baseball stadiums, I just thought it would be as a first basemen,” Aldean said in a statement.

Aldean is no stranger to stadiums, having played University of Georgia’s Sandford Stadium, Chicago’s Wrigley Field and Boston’s Fenway Park last year.

Tickets for the tour go on sale Jan. 24. While exact dates haven’t been announced, below are the cities Aldean will visit.

2014 BURN IT DOWN TOUR Stops:

Roanoke, VA                       
State College, PA                      
Atlantic City, NJ                     
Birmingham, AL
Atlanta, GA
Baton Rouge, LA**                            
Jacksonville, FL**                 
Darien, NY                 
Cincinnati, OH                     
Washington, D.C.               
Pittsburgh, PA
Twin Lakes, WI*  **              
Philadelphia, PA
Hartford, CT
Detroit Lakes, MN **
Prairie du Chien, WI*  **
Chicago, IL
St. Louis, MO
Toronto, ONT
Saratoga Springs, NY
Bangor, ME
Charlotte, NC
Raleigh, NC
Virginia Beach, VA
Knoxville, TN
Lexington, KY
Denver, CO
Albuquerque, NM
Phoenix, AZ
San Diego, CA
Irvine, CA
Mountain View, CA
Sacramento, CA
Winnipeg, MB
Bismarck, ND
Sioux Falls, SD
Erie, PA
Detroit, MI
Tampa, FL
West Palm Beach, FL
San Antonio, TX
Houston, TX
Dallas, TX

* Florida Georgia Line will not appear
** Tyler Farr will not appear            

 

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IFC changes its name to IFC


IFC changes its name to IFC

IFC is no longer the "Independent Film Channel."


Lifetime already planning a "Flowers in the Attic" sequel
The TV movie has yet to air, but the 2nd book in the V.C. Andrews series, "Petals in the Wind," is getting adapted.


Bryan Cranston scores Directors Guild nominations for "Breaking Bad" and "Modern Family"

In fact, Cranston is up against "Breaking Bad" creator Vince Gilligan in the best dramatic series category.


"Devious Maids" returns April 20, with Eva Longoria's directorial debut
Season 2 will kick off with Longoria's first time behind the camera.


"Portlandia" coming out with a cookbook
"The Portlandia Cookbook" won't hit shelves until 2015, with at least 50 "related recipes."


"Veronica Mars" movie to premiere a SXSW

South by Southwest will host the film ahead of its March 14 release.


Andy Richter books "Sean Saves the World" appearance
He'll guest as a senatorial candidate.

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<p>&quot;Flowers in the Attic&quot;</p>

"Flowers in the Attic"

Credit: Lifetime

Press Tour: 'Flowers in the Attic' sequel already in the works at Lifetime

'Petals in the Wind' will follow this faithful V.C. Andrews adaptation
"Flowers in the Attic" won't premiere on Lifetime until January 18, but Lifetime is already excited enough about the property to begin moving forward on a sequel.
 
At Thursday (January 9) afternoon's Television Critics Association press tour panel for "Flowers," scribe Kayla Alpert said that she's already working on a script for "Petals in the Wind," based on V.C. Andrews' "Flowers" sequel. As with the book, "Petals" will jump the story forward 10 years. For people who never hid "Flowers in the Attic" under their mattresses, haven't seen the movie and are really excited about experiencing the Lifetime movie fresh, Alpert avoids spoilers noting, "I will just say that it is a very juicy, compelling revenge drama."
 
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"Untold Stories of the ER"

 "Untold Stories of the ER"

Credit: Discovery Fit & Health

Exclusive clip: It's pus and puke on 'Untold Stories of the ER'

Warning: This clip from the season finale may make you feel sick

With the season finale of "Untold Stories of the ER" (Fri. Jan. 10 at 9:00 p.m. on Discovery Fit & Health) upon us, we had to wrap things up with a memorable clip. In this exclusive, a woman and her husband head to the ER about the nasty, infected wound in the woman's arm. But we won't spoil it for you. It's just too delightful.  

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Tim Gunn

 Tim Gunn

Credit: Lifetime Television

Press Tour: 'Runway' star Gunn will be 'Big Daddy' of 'Under the Gunn'

Gunn was 'blown away' by Macklemore's fashion sense

If you can't get enough of mentor Tim Gunn on "Project Runway" (and really, who can?), Lifetime is launching "Under the Gunn," a design competition show in which Gunn mentors three "Project Runway" winners as they mentor a bunch of competing designers. Sound complicated? Gunn says "multi-layered," so there. 

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<p>Eminem and Rihanna</p>

Eminem and Rihanna

Who says no black artists scored No. 1s in 2013?

Dive a little deeper into the methodology

For the first time in the Billboard Hot 100’s 55-year history, no black act as the lead artist took a song to No. 1 in 2013.

Yesterday, New York public radio station WNYC published a piece on its website about the interesting development. I want to dive a little bit deeper.

Part of the issue is semantics. WNYC chose to not include featured artists in the list, which, if they had, the stats would have instantly made it a non-story. For example, Eminem’s “The Monster,” featuring Rihanna reached the top of the chart in mid-December.  Similarly, Wanz hit No. 1 with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis as the featured artist on “Thrift Shop,” as did Ray Dalton with “The Heist” duo on “Can’t Hold Us,” and, of course, “Blurred Lines” from Robin Thicke featuring Pharell and T.I. spent a whole season at No. 1.

Even if WYNC chose not to include featured artists (and I can somewhat see its rationale), it’s a strange distinction to make, especially since Billboard counts a feature on a record  in that artist’s tally of chart toppers.  For example, “The Monster” is Rihanna’s 13th No. 1.

Speaking of Rihanna, she made WYNC’s whole story possible when she failed to reach No. 1 with “Stay,” which peaked at No. 3. It marked the first time in three years she missed having not only one Hot 100 chart topper, but several:  She took two songs to No. 1 in 2012 and 2011 and three in 2009.

Playing by WYNC’s rules, three black acts hit the top in 2012 and 2011, and five in 2010. For 2009, when Top 40 radio was much more rhythmic leaning than it is now, it was 10. But again, some of this is wording: because “Empire State of Mind” is listed as Jay-Z and Alicia Keys, as opposed to Jay Z featuring Alicia Keys,  that counts as two black artists.

The bigger question is if the methodology by which the Hot 100 is calculated now had an effect. Last year, The Hot 100 added YouTube streaming into the mix. Chartwatchers saw the immediate impact of the move when Baauer’s “Harlem Shake” vaulted to No. 1, despite relatively little radio airplay. Same with Ylvis’s “What Does The Fox Say.”   The three components that go into determining chart position are radio airplay, digital sales and streaming (Billboard--or, to be more precise, Nielsen-- already counted a number of streaming outlets, but adding megamonster YouTube did have an effect).

To give a little bit of a more well-rounded picture, five black artists registered Top 10 hits in 2013 as lead artists, compared with seven in 2012, and 14 in 2011.

The milestone is worth noting, but I don’t think it’s alarming or a signal of same great shift other than that we are in a cycle where mid-tempo pop songs are dominating radio. Some other pop sub-genre will swing into vogue in a year or two. That’s how it always happens.

What do you think?

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