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Miranda Lambert

2014 Academy of Country Music Awards predictions

Who's going home with the most trophies?

Tim McGraw is the leading nominee for the 49th annual Academy of Country Music Awards, with seven nods, but he may be going home empty handed on Sunday night. Below are my predictions in the main categories for the April 6 ceremony, which airs on CBS live EDT starting at 8 p.m.

Entertainer of the Year
Luke Bryan
Miranda Lambert
Blake Shelton
George Strait
Taylor Swift

SHOULD WIN: George Strait. Even though some will consider it a sentimental win, he’s still selling out arenas and going out at the top of his game.
WILL WIN: Blake Shelton

Male Vocalist of the Year
Jason Aldean
Lee Brice
Luke Bryan
Blake Shelton
Keith Urban

SHOULD WIN: It’s a bit of a strange category: Where’s Brad Paisley? Where’s Eric Church?  Of this group, Blake Shelton and Keith Urban are the stand out vocalists, with Shelton winning by a nose.

WILL WIN: Blake Shelton

Female Vocalist of the Year
Sheryl Crow
Miranda Lambert
Kacey Musgraves
Taylor Swift
Carrie Underwood

SHOULD WIN: If we’re going solely by voices— and it is a vocalist award— Carrie Underwood, but she seems to have fallen out of favor with voters the last few years.

WILL WIN: Miranda Lambert

Vocal Duo of the Year
Big & Rich
Dan + Shay
Florida Georgia Line
Love and Theft
Thompson Square

SHOULD WIN: Florida Georgia Line. No one else has come close to their success this year. Perennially a weak category, Thompson Square is the other duo that could give them a run for their money

WILL WIN: Florida Georgia Line

Vocal Group of the Year
Eli Young Band
Lady Antebellum
Little Big Town
The Band Perry
Zac Brown Band

SHOULD WIN: The year’s strongest category, this is a toss up between The Band Perry and Little Big Town and Lady A (although Lady A was dormant for much of the time)

WILL WIN: The Band Perry

Album of the Year
Blake Shelton, ‘Based on a True Story…’ L
uke Bryan, ‘Crash My Party’
Florida Georgia Line, ‘Here’s to the Good Times’
Kacey Musgraves, ‘Same Trailer Different Park’
Tim McGraw, ‘Two Lanes of Freedom’

SHOULD WIN: Kacey Musgraves. “Trailer” is the strongest, most consistent album of the bunch.

WILL WIN: Blake Shelton, “Based on a True Story…”

Single Record of the Year
Florida Georgia Line, ‘Cruise’
Tim McGraw (Feat. Taylor Swift and Keith Urban), ‘Highway Don’t Care’
Lee Brice, ‘I Drive Your Truck’
Miranda Lambert, ‘Mama’s Broken Heart’
Darius Rucker (Feat. Lady Antebellum), ‘Wagon Wheel’

SHOULD WIN: The best written song of the bunch is “I Drive Your Truck” (although this is not a songwriters’ award), and the funnest song in the bunch is “Mama’s Broken Heart,” it’s really a tie.

WILL WIN: “Cruise,” Florida Georgia Line. It was simply unstoppable last year.

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'The Simpsons' pays a couch gag tribute to David Letterman

“The Simpsons” pays a couch gag tribute to David Letterman
“We’ll miss you, Dave," says the animated comedy. PLUS: Letterman reveals the real reason he's retiring, on Friday's show.

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"Once Upon A Time"

"Once Upon A Time"

Credit: ABC

'Once Upon A Time''s Wicked Witch Rebecca Mader talks up being green

'It's really delicious when we go toe-to-toe' she says of Regina

After the long slog "Once Upon A Time" took through a grim and colorless Neverland (sorry, Peter Pan, but you kind of creeped us out), the show's latest Big Bad has been a delicious and welcome change of direction. Played by Rebecca Mader (Charlotte Lewis on "Lost"), the Wicked Witch/Zelena has emerged as a villain we love to hate -- and more importantly, a villain who just might be a worthy adversary for Regina, the Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla). In real life, Mader couldn't be more charming. We talked about being green, going "toe-to-toe" with Parrilla, and why it's fun to play off of a dot instead of a monkey. 

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'HIMYM' DVD will include an alternative season finale ending

“HIMYM” DVD will include an alternative season finale ending
A source describes the ending as a “happy ending.” Says co-creator Carter Bays: "We chose the ending we chose and we stand by it. But we loved the other version too."

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<p>He&#39;s done enough action films that we feel safe saying Chiwetel Ejiofor would make an awesome Bond villain.</p>

He's done enough action films that we feel safe saying Chiwetel Ejiofor would make an awesome Bond villain.

Credit: Sony Pictures

Chiwetel Ejiofor may be signing on to play the next Bond villain

Could this be our new Blofeld?

So is the new plan to only hire recent Oscar nominees to play Bond villains? Because if so, I'm cool with that.

I'm trying not to think about the next James Bond movie too much because I will get unreasonably excited about it when it's actually coming out. While I think "Skyfall" is one of those films that you shouldn't try to dig into too deeply on a plot level because of how much coincidence is built into it, it is one of those movies that is just plain pleasurable to watch, start to finish. There is a confidence about it that more than makes up for the things that make no sense, and Javier Bardem is having so much fun playing a terrible, terrible person that I wish he could come back for another film.

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<p>In &quot;Turn,&quot; cabbage farmer Jamie Bell has to decide whether to spy on the British during the Revolutionary War.</p>

In "Turn," cabbage farmer Jamie Bell has to decide whether to spy on the British during the Revolutionary War.

Credit: AMC

Review: AMC's 'Turn' a middling Revolutionary War drama

A spy drama without a lot of spycraft, but a cool opening credit sequence

Last month, in trying to identify the greatest TV opening credit sequences of all time, I noted that a great credit sequence can make me more kindly disposed to a mediocre show than I'd be without it. Take away the Aloe Blacc song and those great New York City photographs, and "How To Make It In America" is among the more forgettable comedies HBO's ever given us, and yet those credits kept me watching well into the second season just because I enjoyed them and they hinted at a better version of the show.

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Syfy picks up '12 Monkeys'

Syfy picks up “12 Monkeys”
The remake of the 1995 film has been given a straight-to-series order.

Mayor Rob Ford approached for his own reality show
During the Toronto mayor’s L.A. visit for Jimmy Kimmel last month, the production company behind “Dirty Jobs” and “Wicket Tuna” gave Ford a letter asking if he’d be interested in starring in an unscripted series.

Report: Stephen Colbert is CBS’ top choice to replace Letterman
According to Mashable, "The Colbert Report" star is currently the front-runner to host “The Late Show.” Colbert's Comedy Central contract expires later this year.

Howard Stern on Letterman: "I feel really old watching him retire”
The shock jock, who’s been Letterman’s guest for 30 years, said he’s really sad to hear that Dave is retiring. PLUS: Many “Late Show” staffers didn’t know ahead of time, NYC’s Council Speaker urges Les Moonves to keep “The Late Show” in NYC, and New York’s governor comes up with his own Top 10 list.

“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” was given a heads up about “Captain America” twist
“We know a lot about every movie a long time before it comes out,” says exec producer Jed Whedon.

Check out “HIMYM’s” Complete Series DVD box set
“The Complete Playbook” comes out this fall.

ABC bumps up “Rookie Blue” by a month
The Canadian drama will return on Jun 19, while ABC also slotted “Sing Your Face Off” to air on Saturdays this summer.

Tom Hardy to star in BBC’s “Taboo” from Ridley Scott
The “Inception” star will play a rogue adventurer in 1813.

Watch a preview Fox’s “Gang Related”
The Fox drama debuts May 22.

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<p>Chris Evans in &quot;Captain America: The Winter Soldier&quot;</p>

Chris Evans in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier"

Credit: Marvel Studios

Tell us what you thought of 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier'

The latest Marvel film lands in theaters this weekend

The ninth Marvel Studios film to date hits theaters today, "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." Like a number of these movies, they probably could have spent more time — quite a lot more time, actually — working on what is a pretty clunky script, front to back. But the movie does what all these movies do (and, eventually, therefore, gain passes from the critical masses): it entertains. I liked it well enough, though not as much as our own Drew McWeeny, and thought it was at least unique in the landscape of all these other films. It's a high octane, grounded ride packed with action, and it has an exciting tease for the next step of the Marvel convergence. If you get around to seeing the film this weekend at the multiplex, chime in with your own thoughts here and be sure to vote in our poll below.

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Kurt Cobain

Remembering Kurt Cobain's death 20 years later

How could the Nirvana frontman have already been gone so long?

There are some moments you don’t forget. I remember exactly where I was when I heard Kurt Cobain had died.

I was sitting in my cubicle at Billboard’s New York office at 1515 Astor Plaza. I was the magazine’s talent editor. It was Friday, April 8, 1994.

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Did Letterman retire because Jimmy Fallon was trouncing him?

Did Letterman retire because Jimmy Fallon was trouncing him?
With Fallon’s takeover of “The Tonight Show,” Dave has never been so badly beaten before. PLUS: Watch Keith Olbermann’s touching tribute to Letterman.

Advice for potential Letterman replacements: Don’t take the job!
“If anyone truly wants to become the next David Letterman, they won’t do it by becoming the last David Letterman,” says James Poniewozik. "An 11:35 p.m. show on CBS is not the place for someone who dreams of reinventing the wheel. It’s for someone who likes the wheel, and doesn’t mind watching it spin in place, over and over, for years.”

“House of Cards” is expected to get the millions tax credits it needs to stay in Maryland
The Maryland House of Delegates is also expected to drop its threat to use eminent domain to seize the Netflix show’s property.

One of the dating show contestants who rejected Jon Hamm in 1996 has no regrets
In fact, she has never watched "Mad Men."

“Downton Abbey” creator had to lecture his cast on the dangers of Twitter
Richard E. Grant recently annoyed Julian Fellowes by posting a picture of himself in “Downton” garb on Twitter. “He’s very naughty. The trouble we’ve had with things like Twitter,” says Fellowes.

“Suits” adds D.B. Woodside and Brendan Hines
The “24” alum and “Lie to Me” vet will recur in Season 4.

Watch every “Game of Thrones” death in 3 minutes
See every on-screen death. PLUS: Sigur Ros covers “The Rain of Castamere."

Tatiana Maslany talks about her newest “Orphan Black” clone
“It’s strange because we shot her in pre-production,” says Maslany of playing Jennifer Fitzsimmons. “So we shot her in like a day in pre-production, the first day of shooting basically before the crew was even there. So it was an intense day because we went through her whole illness, from health to sickness, in a succinct amount of time. PLUS: Watch the new “Orphan Black” trailer.

Check out a new trailer for HBO’s "The Normal Heart”
Julia Roberts and Mark Ruffalo look worried in the latest trailer for the film about the ‘80s AIDs crisis.

Poppy Montgomery secretly weds at Disneyland
Mickey and Minnie Mouse presided over the “Unforgettable” star’s vows.

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<p>Scarlett Johansson in &quot;Under the Skin.&quot;</p>

Scarlett Johansson in "Under the Skin."

Credit: A24

Tell us what you thought of 'Under the Skin'

Jonathan Glazer's polarizing sci-fi beauty opens in limited release today

"Masterpiece" is a term too many critics use with too little discernment, but I feel comfortable applying it to Jonathan Glazer's extraordinary sci-fi vision "Under the Skin," which has drawn strong opinions in every direction since premiering at Telluride and Venice last year. Reviews were initially shaky, but as was the case with Glazer's last film, "Birth," nine years ago, it didn't take long for an ardent army of critical defenders to form. The less you know about going in, the better -- but I will say that it proves Glazer to be among the greatest sensualists working in cinema today, and Scarlett Johansson as a movie star of uncommon magnetism and daring. Go see what you think, and report back below; either way, it's not a film any serious film lover can afford to skip.

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'It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia' renewed for Seasons 11 and 12

“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” renewed for Seasons 11 and 12
The two-season renewal will make the FXX series the longest-running live-action comedy in cable history. Meanwhile, Tracy Morgan’s FXX sitcom will air alongside “It’s Always Sunny’s” 10th season in 2015.

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