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"True Blood"

"True Blood"

Credit: HBO

The teaser trailer for 'True Blood''s final season is here

The message is a grave reminder that the end is near

If you're having a difficult time dealing with the end of "True Blood," you may not appreciate the teaser trailer HBO released today. It's a grave reminder that it's time to stick a stake in the series, the seventh season of which will kick off Sun. June 22 at 9:00 p.m. Get it? Grave reminder? Yeah, like you expected subtlety from "True Blood." 

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'Portlandia' interview: 11 fun facts on Jeff Tweedy, Season 4, 'Seth Meyers' and more

'Portlandia' interview: 11 fun facts on Jeff Tweedy, Season 4, 'Seth Meyers' and more

Sleater-Kinney guitarist is toying with new music

Just as the new fourth season of "Portlandia" was gearing up, Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen were making the rounds at South By Southwest.

Armisen had only recently been named as the house band leader for "Late Night with Seth Meyers," reuniting the two "Saturday Night Live" cohorts for another late-night adventure.

A different reunion may run across the minds of Sleater-Kinney fans, who saw video of the band back together playing "Keep on Rockin' in the Free World" with Neil Young last fall. After our interview at SXSW, Brownstein didn't indicate if the trio was set to come together again. But that doesn't mean she isn't playing music...

As another new ep of "Portlandia" rolls out tonight, here are 10 fun facts that came out of our interview to keep in mind.

1. Apparently, Armisen and Brownstein are incapable of getting sick of each other. Plus, "We don't see each other all the time, we only shoot six months out of the year," the latter smiled.

2. Armisen said that the duo consciously cut recurring arcs to be a little shorter in Season 4, so audiences would be able to watch shows more out of order without getting too lost.

3. "Portlandia" has always been blessed with a big number of surprising (and surprisingly funny) guest stars, but it's not a matter of crossing names off of a list. Brownstein says that often, actors and artists reach out to them because they're fans of the show, and if the fit's good and timing works out, then something "wonderful" always seems to happen

4. The most magic from a guest star so far -- or at least in this season -- is from Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, who stars in tonight's episode. "We didn't know how the sketch was gonna end," they conceded and yet the fire alarm story seemed to anchor his whole bit.

5. Speaking of tonight's show, the characters Peter and Nance have come back, circling around on Peter's old band The Bahama Knights and their hit song, which has become one of Brownstein and Armisten's favorite original jams from the series.

6. "Portlandia" is now even more scripted than before. Brownstein says "the more infrastructure in a scene or sketch, the more we can improvise." It's just good for the actors to know that there's an actual, planned ending to each.

7. When fans come up to them in public to quote their favorite lines, "it's between 'Cacao' and 'Put a bird on it,'" though Armisen also hears quite a few "A-O Rivers."

8. Yes, they have some current events and Portland hipster idiosyncrasies that they simply can't their way into to make funny.

9. Armisen on putting the very talented band for "Late Night..." together: he made sure that every member "wanted to do it" that each was "in a place in their lives that were ready to do it, and ready to give a lot.... any show asks a lot."

10. Brownstein is working on some music of her own. "I'm doing a little music right now but I don't know what's going to come of it," not indicating if it'd be for her own project, for Wild Flag, S-K or beyond. Armisen and she are finding "engaging" with new music disheartening at times, but...

11. ... she likes records by Run the Jewels, King Krule, War on Drugs and Angel Olsen. (Good gets, Secretly Canadian, Fool's Gold, XL and Dead Oceans). Between the two, they're big on guitarists and songwriters St. Vincent and Marnie Stern. And, literally, to the rock group Real Estate, Brownstein beamed "What a band!" 

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Late-night will soon belong to Letterman’s kids
Credit: CBS

Late-night will soon belong to Letterman’s kids

Late-night will soon belong to Letterman’s kids
As Jeff Jenson notes of David Letterman's retirement, his "persona  – the one forged in NBC years before CBS, 11:30 and more life matured him; the self-deprecating smart-ass; the loose-canon insider-outsider, speaking snark to power, usually his own network — and his comedic sensibility — honed in the freer, wilder spaces of late night’s later hours; ironic and irreverent; the master of the calculated joke fail; impish tweaker of talk show genre conventions; all originally forged in the late, late hours of l — can be seen in almost all of his younger rivals. Conan, Kimmel, Stewart, Colbert, Ferguson, more — late night will soon officially belong to Letterman’s kids, nerd-comics with writer-humor bent, not stand-up comedian bent, who’ve inherited the fringe terrain that Letterman terra-formed for them."

Les Moonves will likely go for a bold choice to replace Letterman
CBS also has the advantage of picking its new 11:35 host last.

L.A. mayor to Les Moonves: Bring Letterman’s replacement show to Los Angeles
"I look forward to speaking with you about the possibility of bringing the successor to Mr. Letterman’s show to Los Angeles,” Mayor Eric Garcetti wrote in a letter to the CBS boss.

Why CBS should pick Ellen
"There are a lot of reasons Ellen would make a phenomenal replacement for Letterman,” says Phillip Maciak, "and that list could easily begin and end with the fact that she would be the only openly gay person and the only woman in a landscape of straight men. But that’s obvious. What isn’t immediately obvious is that Ellen belongs to this interstitial timeslot. She belongs to—maybe even pioneered—this new generation of hosts who don’t care what time it is.

Why CBS should hire a white guy named Jimmy -- and not a woman
"After all, they are the funniest people in comedy,” says Alexandra Petri, sarcastically. "Consider: Which, in the course of history, has hosted more late-night talk shows on major broadcast networks? Women and people of color, or white men named Jimmy? That’s right: White men named Jimmy. There is something about this name that makes a person objectively better. There are so comparatively many women out there, and so comparatively few people named Jimmy, that this has to be a merit thing.”

17 women who could replace Letterman
1. Chelsea Handler. 2. Tina Fey. 3. Amy Poehler. 4. Mindy Kaling. PLUS Here are 10 more women, and 12 unexpected choices to replace Dave.

Seth Meyers pays tribute to Letterman
“If it wasn’t for David Letterman, this show wouldn’t exist,” Meyers said on Thursday’s “Late Night” monologue. “If it wasn’t for David Letterman, I wouldn’t be here."

Why Neil Patrick Harris could be a perfect replacement for Letterman
Harris has awards show-hosting experience, plus has spent time filling in for Regis Philbin on “Live!” He could also get help from the creators of “How I Met Your Mother,” who used to write for Letterman.

“The Americans” is still trying to figure out how to use its “Felicity” wig
A special wig was created to mimic Keri Russell’s long-haired “Felicity” past, but the FX drama’s hair chief, Peg Schierholz, says producers haven’t found the right time to use it on the show. "I’m trying to find a place for it that’s right,” she says. "There was one spot where I was tempted to use it and it turns out I couldn’t, because Felicity as a killer I’m not sure that people really want to see that."

Not everybody is a "Big Bang Theory” fan
Meet one person who doesn’t get the appeal of the CBS sitcom.

Study links the decline of smoking on network TV to the decline of cigarette sales
The Annenberg Public Policy Center found there were 4.96 instances of smoking per hour of programming in 1961, compared to just 0.29 instances per hour in 2010.

Female football players get their own reality show
A show is in the works that would follow players in the Legends Football League, a women’s tackle football league that grew out of the Lingerie Bowl.

“Scandal” has been stuck in a rut: How to fix Season 3
Everything seems to have come to a grinding halt this year after two thrilling seasons, says Danielle Henderson: "What happened to the philandering senators? The babies being traded by the Russian mob? The gladiators seem bored, and they need something to do that isn’t related to the White House or B613.” PLUS: How does “Scandal” film group scenes?, Olivia needs to handle her Fitz situation, Shonda Rhimes calls the hiding of Kerry Washington’s pregnancy "Ridiculously AWESOME!,” Darby Stanchfield on replacing Olivia at the White House, and Tony Goldwyn defends Fitz.

“Modern Family” stationary helps drag the show’s co-creator into Ariel Winter custody fight
Steve Levitan allegedly used the stationary to support Winter in her emancipation fight for her mom, who now wants to grill him in court.

Young males prefer “Inside Amy Schumer” over young females
What’s to blame for this disparity? Is it the “Tosh.0” lead-in?

Animal Planet Canada decides not to air the controversial “Call of the Wildman”
Will the American Animal Planet follow suit?

Tesla’s founder just hated “Silicon Valley”
Says Elon Musk: "“I really feel like Mike Judge has never been to Burning Man, which is Silicon Valley. If you haven’t been, you just don’t get it. You could take the craziest L.A. party and multiply it by a thousand, and it doesn’t even get f*cking close to what’s in Silicon Valley. The show didn’t have any of that.”

Ex-roommates Lauren Graham and Connie Britton reconnect via Twitter
The “Nashville” star learned today how to tweet Graham back.

Anna Kendrick: “SNL” backstage feels more like the set of “30 Rock”
"I might shout for Dr Spaceman and see what happens,” she tweets.

“Nashville” has a too-many characters problem
Keeping track of everybody has become daunting.

“Survivor’s” Sarah talks about her “complete shock” of an elimination
"Yeah, I should have played more of a double agent. I didn't play a double agent at all,” she says.

“Game of Thrones” gets the sitcom treatment
What would Westeros look like as a classic comedy?

“The Blacklist” follows social media reaction closely
“We pay very close attention to the feedback,” says exec producer exec producer John Fox. Star Megan Boone adds that she monitors social media “every waking hour."

“Who’s the Boss?” star Danny Pintauro weds
The now 38-year-old Pintauro married his boyfriend of two years on a beach today in California.

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<p>Jeff gets his &quot;G.I. Joe&quot; on in tonight&#39;s &quot;Community.&quot;</p>

Jeff gets his "G.I. Joe" on in tonight's "Community."

Credit: NBC

Review: 'Community' - 'G.I. Jeff'

Jeff wakes up in a fantasy inspired by the '80s 'G.I. Joe' cartoon

A quick review of tonight's "Community" coming up just as soon as I suppressive fire at you...

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<p>On &quot;Parks and Recreation,&quot; Leslie (Amy Poehler) and Ron (Nick Offerman) get competitive over a high schooler&#39;s future.</p>

On "Parks and Recreation," Leslie (Amy Poehler) and Ron (Nick Offerman) get competitive over a high schooler's future.

Credit: NBC

Review: 'Parks and Recreation' - 'Prom'

Ron and Leslie compete over a teenager's future, while the parks department goes to prom

A review of tonight's "Parks and Recreation" coming up just as soon as we as a culture agree to forget the year we were into swing...

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<p>Alex Preston really isn&#39;t going home on Thursday night&#39;s &quot;American Idol&quot;</p>

Alex Preston really isn't going home on Thursday night's "American Idol"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 13 - Top 8 Results plus Daughtry performs

How did America vote after a really good night of performances?

By the standards of this so-so installment of "American Idol," Wednesday night's performance episode was rather superior. Nobody embarrassed themselves, several singers shined and two contestants even did originals and earned some credibility.

That's why I figure that we're heading towards the Save on Thursday's show. I expect the sentimentalists on the judging panel to feel like it's somehow wrong to send somebody home after Wednesday. It wouldn't be wrong. CJ Harris could go home and it wouldn't be wrong, so maybe that's somebody who wouldn't get saved. Maybe Dexter Roberts could go home without getting the Save? But I feel pretty sure that Caleb Johnson, Alex Preston, Malaya Watson, Jena Irene, Sam Woolf and Jessica Meuse would all be spared if America ignored them for some reason.

So let's get down to the business of maybe not sending anybody packing...

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Report: CBS approached John Oliver about potentially replacing Craig Ferguson

Report: CBS approached John Oliver about potentially replacing Craig Ferguson
CBS had talks late last year to have the former "Daily Show" correspondent replace Ferguson on “The Late Late Show” in case Ferguson didn’t renew his contract at the end of the year, reports The Hollywood Reporter. There were also discussions for Oliver to launch a show syndicated by CBS.

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Anna Paquin in "Margaret."
Anna Paquin in "Margaret."
Credit: Fox Searchlight

Closure for 'Margaret' at last as legal tussle finally ends

Producer Gary Gilbert drops $8 million-plus lawsuit against Kenneth Lonergan

Any readers who have been with us since 2011 (when it topped Kris' Top 10 list and nearly did mine) will know that we at In Contention are paid-up members of Team "Margaret" -- the brilliant, troubled Kenneth Lonergan drama that trickled into theaters three years ago, six years after it began production.

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HBO explains why 'True Detective' is competing for Emmy’s Best Drama series award

HBO explains why “True Detective” is competing for Emmy’s Best Drama series award
“This project was pitched to us, it was produced by us and marketed by us as a series, says HBO programming president Michael Lombardo, adding that creator Nic Pizzolatto "never thought of this as a miniseries, and we always treated him as a creator of a series. In our minds this is a series, and the only reason to enter it as a miniseries was a cynical reason that didn’t feel like the right thing to do.”

Letterman did a 2nd "Late Show" taping after his retirement announcement, with Jay Leno’s final guest
Billy Crystal will appear on Friday’s show, which usually tapes on Thursdays. PLUS: Steve Martin calls Letterman "a significant force in my ‘later’ career."

“The Late Show” interviews R.E.M.’s bassist about breaking Letterman’s retirement news on Twitter
“Right place, right time, what can I say,” Mike Mills says of his tweet in an interview posted on Letterman's YouTube page.

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Def Leppard

Def Leppard


CulturePop No. 43 - 'Def Leppard''s Joe Elliott on One Direction, KISS, more

How the band separated good girls from bad girls

Here's the second part of our awesome interview with Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott -- and it's just as fascinating (and longer, natch) than the first. I recommend listening to part one, then part two. But either way, we had fun and hope you will, too! Here's the rundown:

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Coming to reality TV: 'Married at First Sight'

Coming to reality TV: “Married at First Sight”
A&E Networks is remaking a Danish reality format that has six people agree to legally marry the moment they first meet, resulting in three married couples. Four specialists will be enlisted to help create the three perfect pairings. It’s unclear, though, which of the A&E Networks will carry “Marred at First Sight."

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"Doctor Who," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Sabrina the Teenage Witch"

"Doctor Who," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Sabrina the Teenage Witch"

Credit: HitFix

10 of the greatest supernatural comedies ever

Are these at the top of your list?

While "supernatural comedy" sounds like a mash-up of things that don't naturally go together, like fish and peanut butter (please don't inform me of any exceptions to the rule because ick), some of our favorite shows ever have a little bit of one and a lot of the other and we wouldn't have it any other way. After all, a humorless "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" would just make us sad. This girl has to kill vampires constantly and has post-traumatic stress and no sense of humor or a penchant for witty banter? How can the world be so cruel? See? 

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