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Oscar Talk: Final thoughts before the 2014 Academy Award nominations

Oscar Talk: Final thoughts before the 2014 Academy Award nominations

And why isn't 'Inside Llewyn Davis' taking off with the industry?

Welcome to Oscar Talk.

In case you're new to the site and/or the podcast, Oscar Talk is your one-stop awards chat shop between yours truly and Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood. The podcast is broadcast in special installments throughout the season, charting the ups and downs of contenders along the way. Plenty of things change en route to Oscar's stage and we're here to address it all as it unfolds.

On the docket today…

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'The Big Bang Theory' hits a series high, 'Parks and Rec' up with Episode 100


"The Big Bang Theory" hits a series high, "Parks and Rec" up with Episode 100
About 20.08 million watched last night's "Big Bang" episode.


Aaron Sorkin dating Courtney Love!?

According to Page Six, "The Newsroom" star has been seeing the troubled rocker for the past few months. UPDATE: Sorkin's rep denies they're dating.


Next up for David Morrissey: BBC's "The Driver"
"The Walking Dead" alum will play a man who suddenly finds himself driving for a criminal gang.


"The Sopranos" premiered 15 years ago today
As Alan Sepinwall notes, "The series still feels so fresh, and vital, and so much a piece of everything that came afterwards," yet some things like the World Trade Center in the opening credits "mark it as a product of its time."


Jonah Hill & Leonardo DiCaprio are teaming with Q-Tip on a hip-hop drama series
The proposed project would explore the hip-hop star's life in the Native Tongue era.


Rob Lowe to star in an animated Comedy Central cop series
He'll be joined on "Moonbeam City" by Will Forte, Elizabeth Banks and Kate Mara.


"Doctor Who" will air without breaks in 2014 and 2015
Both Seasons 8 and 9 will each be shown without interruption.


Here's your first look at "Salem"

The WGN America series stars from Brannon Braga stars Shane West and Ashley Madekwe.

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<p>Joaquin Phoenix in &quot;Her.&quot;</p>

Joaquin Phoenix in "Her."

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Tell us what you thought of 'Her'

Spike Jonze's very 21st-century love story opens wide today

Spike Jonze's "Her" has been on limited release for the better part of a month now, but it finally goes wide today -- so those of you still left out of the loop can now find out why a film in which Joaquin Phoenix falls for a computer has attracted such critical superlatives across the board, as well as Best Picture prizes from the Los Angeles Film Critics' Association and National Board of Review.

I'm firmly in the fan club, having named it one of my top 15 films of 2013: I was touched by its high-concept romance, which I think touches on a number of hard truths about the way we communicate (or, more often don't) in the online age, was tickled by the gorgeous retro-futurism of its visuals, and think Joaquin Phoenix delivers one of the performances of the year. (Props to Scarlett Johansson's deft voice work, too, though I think Amy Adams is the unsung heroine of the piece.) Kris, however, is less convinced. Where do you land? Share your thoughts in the comments, and vote in the poll below.

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<p>David Oyelowo and Yaya Alafia in &quot;Lee Daniels' The Butler.&quot;</p>

David Oyelowo and Yaya Alafia in "Lee Daniels' The Butler."

Credit: The Weinstein Company

'The Butler' leads film nominees at NAACP Image Awards

Other nominees range from '12 Years a Slave' to 'The Best Man Holiday'

After what has been universally acknowledged as a banner year for black filmmakers and black-themed cinema, the NAACP Image Awards -- usually an awards haven for popular film in the Tyler Perry vein -- have an unusual amount of prestige titles to recognize this year. Oscar frontrunner "12 Years a Slave," of course, figures heavily into the equation with six nominations, but its Lee Daniels' summer sleeper hit "The Butler" that leads the way with eight.

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<p>Tony Soprano looks at his hometown newspaper in &quot;The Sopranos&quot;&nbsp;pilot.</p>

Tony Soprano looks at his hometown newspaper in "The Sopranos" pilot.

Credit: HBO

'I came in at the end,' or the day 'The Sopranos' turns 15

Has it really been so long since Tony Soprano met Dr. Melfi?

15 years ago, a guy walked into a psychiatrist's office. That guy happened to be a captain in the north Jersey mob. I suspect many of you know what happened next.

On the one hand, it seems incredible that 15 years have already passed since "The Sopranos" pilot aired. The series still feels so fresh, and vital, and so much a piece of everything that came afterwards. On the other, so many shows followed it in the dramatic revolution I wrote about in my book that of course a lot of time has passed, and there are certain pieces of the show (starting with the shot of the Twin Towers in the opening credits for seasons 1-3) that mark it as a product of its time.

Some "Sopranos" reading to look at today if you're in an anniversary frame of mind:

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<p>Amy&nbsp;Adams in &quot;American&nbsp;Hustle&quot;</p>

Amy Adams in "American Hustle"

Credit: Sony Pictures

'Captain Phillips,' 'American Hustle' and 'Breaking Bad' nominated for 2014 ACE Eddie Awards

The final season of AMC's hit series landed four nominations in one category

The American Cinema Editors (ACE) organization has announced nominees for the 64th annual ACE Eddie Awards, and "American Hustle" has predictably kept its strong guild showing going with a notice in the comedy or musical category.

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<p>Are BAFTAs being voted for in bad faith?</p>

Are BAFTAs being voted for in bad faith?

Credit: BAFTA

Roundup: BAFTA voter slams his fellow 'sheep'

Also: Steve McQueen's new TV project, and 'American Hustle's' J.Law problem

For a while now, awards-watchers have noted the transformation of BAFTA from a quirky British outsider to a fairly slavish Oscar follower in the awards race -- and it turns out some voters have too. One, in particular, has anonymously admonished the organization (himself included) for dishonest voting: "The voting process is based less on artistic merit than on a combination of coercion, trend-following and pot luck ... Bafta voting guidelines state explicitly that you must only vote for films you have seen. Which makes perfect sense. But I've done it. And I bet everyone else has, too. You vote for the ones you think are going to win. We're sheep. And we follow the sheep in front of us ... It's why the same old names appear year after year." Not exactly a revelation, this, nor is it is exclusive to BAFTA. [The Guardian]

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'American Idol' finale may move to New York


"American Idol" finale may move to New York
Madison Square Garden could host the first "Idol" finale outside Los Angeles. PLUS: Paula Abdul sues after getting burned by a tanning bed.


DirecTV may dump WWE over its new online network
The satellite broadcaster, which makes money off of the WWE's pay-per-view specials, isn't happy with those pay-per-view events also airing on the new WWE network.


Lena Dunham and Judd Apatow clash with a reporter questioning her "Girls" nudity

Dunham was asked, "I don't get the purpose of all the nudity on the show. By you particularly." To which she responded that nudity is a "a realistic expression of what it's like to be alive. But I totally get it. If you’re not into me, that’s your problem and you’re going to have to work that out with professionals"


French TV bans Miley Cyrus and Britney Spears' new videos before 10 pm
Both of their new music videos were deemed too racy.


Steve McQueen is developing a BBC drama series on the black experience in Britain
The "12 Years A Slave" is planning a series that is "epic" in scope.


Kristen Wiig interrupts her Jimmy Kimmel interview to go on a date
Watch Wiig's awkward first date on Kimmel's couch.


Steven Moffat doesn't see any reason to make a "Sherlock" movie
"It would just be, 'How does it make it better to go to the cinema?' - that would be the question," he says. "Everyone knows that cinema and television - in terms of production quality, in terms of everything really - are getting closer together, so how would we make it better if we put it on the big-screen?


John Oliver isn't sure how different his new HBO show will be from his "Daily Show" work

"It will be similar because it will be me talking about things," he says, adding: "I just have to build a machine that will approach it in a different way. I don't think there's a worry that it will be too similar. We're not going up against anyone, so it will be an interesting process to work out what we do."


Watch Danica McKellar's new math-themed web series

The former "Wonder Years" star has debuted "Math Bites," with a salute to pi.


A "Dancing with the Stars" baby is born
Former "Dancing" pros Alec Mazo and Edyta Sliwinska have welcomed a son.


Michele Bachmann creates her "Downton Abbey" pose

The Republican U.S. Rep. from Minnesota and her family posed as "Bachmann Abbey."

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<p>Margot Robbie's got every reason to smile now that 'Wolf Of Wall Street' has put her on the map</p>

Margot Robbie's got every reason to smile now that 'Wolf Of Wall Street' has put her on the map

Credit: HitFix

Margot Robbie discusses Brooklyn accents and the power of sex in 'Wolf Of Wall Street'

Plus why she changed her mind after turning the film down

Margot Robbie is the very picture of potential right now.

She made two significant film appearances in 2013. First, she showed up in the under-seen Richard Curtis film "About Time," where she represented missed opportunity. She was a fetching object of desire, and she had a few nice moments, but it was a brief appearance. In Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf Of Wall Street," however, she is unforgettable, and by the time the film's three hours come to a close, she has made such an indelible impression as The Duchess that I would imagine filmmakers all over Hollywood are scrambling to figure out what role she can play for them.

In person, two things are immediately striking about her. First, yes, she is just as stunning in person as she is onscreen. Second, her Australian accent is more pronounced than I would have expected. After all, one of the most impressive things about her work in "Wolf" is how she nailed that specific Brooklyn accent, but in a way that is heightened just slightly, like everything else about the film.

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2014 Golden Globe Awards predictions

2014 Golden Globe Awards predictions

HitFix's awards team places bets across the board

Sunday night brings the 71st annual Golden Globe Awards. Members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will have their (and their various whisperers') say on the awards season in the form of wins in a variety of categories, on both the film and television side. Who will turn out the night's big winner? Will "Gravity," "12 Years a Slave" or "American Hustle" take command of the Oscar race? Will "Breaking Bad" get one more big send-off? Find out the answers to those questions and more as Gregory Ellwood, Guy Lodge, Daniel Fienberg and I place our bets on the various races, and tune in Sunday night to see who was right, and who was wrong.

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John Oliver

 John Oliver

Press Tour: John Oliver pokes Sarah Palin, gushes over HBO

The 'Daily Show' replacement talks about his new, unnamed show

When John Oliver sat down for his HBO panel at press tour, he probably wasn't expecting to spend so much time talking about Sarah Palin. But when one journalist asked him if he might want to stop by to say hello to the former Governor of Alaska, the stand-up comedian couldn't resist. 

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How would 'Scandal's' Olivia Pope handle Gov. Chris Christie's bridge scandal?


How would "Scandal's" Olivia Pope handle Gov. Chris Christie's bridge scandal?

Olivia Pope to the New Jersey governor: "I have one rule, Chris. The truth. I need to know how much damage we're talking about here. I need to know exactly what kind of bridge you’ve burned. And if you don’t tell me the truth, I’ll burn you. You think you can do that?" PLUS: 10 "Sopranos" lessons for Chris Christie, and which show will tackle "Bridgegazi" first, "The Good Wife" or "Scandal"?


"The Simpsons" pays an anime tribute to Hayao Miyazaki
Watch Sunday's opening, which brings together the anime masters most famous films. PLUS: See "Simpson"-ized Stan Lee, watch "The Simpsons'" special British TV channel promo, and delve into "The Simpsons" Lego set.


Did Ellen DeGeneres' "Walter Mitty" screener leak online?
A screener for "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" has reportedly surfaced on BitTorrent bearing Ellen's name in watermark.


Mike Judge: HBO gave me more freedom than I got from MTV with "Beavis and Butt-Head"
The "Silicon Valley" creator also told critics today that the death last month of Christopher Evan Welch, who plays a tech billionaire, will have more of an impact on Season 2 than on Season 1.


On Bravo, Dan Rather recalls his experience with heroin
Rather was on "Watch What Happens Live" when he talked about his 1955 sampling of heroin, under police supervision.


Do you "sync-watch" TV shows with loved ones who are far away?
The NY Times examines a new shared-screen experience of people watching shows together, while far apart, via services like Netflix.


VH1 "I Love New York" contestant's murder conviction is overturned
Jamal Trulove was convicted in 2010 for the murder of a San Francisco man and sentenced to 50 years to life. But an appeals court has overturned the conviction this week due to "highly prejudicial prosecutorial misconduct."


Report: Steven Spielberg's daughter wants to create a "Girls"-type series based on her life
Sasha Spielberg, 23, wants to delve into her teenage years with the help of her close pal Zooey Deschanel, according to RadarOnline.


"Lost's" Damon Lindelof: "We can all agree that cable is far superior to network"

Lindelof, promoting his new show "The Leftovers," says he's psyched to be working at HBO, where story matters. "('Leftovers') is a grower not a shower — not to compare it to an erect penis but the metaphor is apt," he told critics. PLUS: Lindelof details his quitting of Twitter.


Tim Gunn: "Under the Gunn" is not a rehashed "Project Runway"

Gunn says of his new reality fashion show: "We took the best parts -- well, I shouldn't say the best parts -- the parts that I love about 'Project Runway.'"


A "Survivor" name leaks: The president of the Florida Marlins

Major League Baseball honcho David Samson is said to be one of the 18 contestants competing next season.


"Parks and Rec's" 100th: Here are each character's best episodes
Leslie Knope was at her best with "The Debate." PLUS: 10 "Parks" writers who've appeared on the show.


"Enough Said" director recalls being humiliated by George Lucas on the "Gilmore Girls" set

Nicole Holofcener was directing an episode of the WB/CW series when Lucas visited the set with his daughter -- and questioned one of her shots.


"SNL's" history of black performers, examined

Blacks on "SNL" can be categorized into one of three groups: 1) a) "The disgruntleds, the washouts, and the walk-offs," 2) "The ones who stuck around," and 3) Eddie Murphy.


58% of Americans still own a VCR, according to a new Gallup poll

That's down from 88% in 2005.


See the "Girls" as American Girl Dolls

The doll versions of the HBO characters look pretty dead-on.


"Orange is the New Black" stars go glam for Elle

See the cast flaunting "spring’s modern, feminine silhouettes."


Matthew McConaughey doesn't expect to return if "True Detective" gets a 2nd season
The story, he said, was "contained," but exec producer Nic Pizzolatto isn't giving up hope.


"The Real World" was a bit jarring with cameos from producers and cameramen
"The Real World: Ex-Plosion" isn't ignoring the actual real world. PLUS: Why it's time for "Real World" to go.


FX releases pics from Guillermo del Toro's "The Strain"
The vampire drama debuts in July.


Dan Stevens is still apologizing for "Downton Abbey"
"I spend a lot of my time apologizing," says the actor in an interview this morning on "Today."


Anthony Bourdain is opening a large-scale  food market in NYC

The new market will mark Bourdain's return to the food business.


Julia Roberts recalls initially rejecting HBO's "The Normal Heart"

Why did she ultimately decide to join the Ryan Murphy project?


VH1 announces its Super Bowl "Blitz" week lineup
VH1's Super Bowl Blitz will present a concert a night in the six nights leading up to the Super Bowl.


Shia LaBeouf's "Even Stevens" sister weighs in on his plagiarism scandal
Says Christy Carlson Romano: "This is him experimenting with his artistic instincts. This is not just some breakdown, like some other child actors. This isn't some emotional neediness. This is something that he’s actively doing."


Sam Shepard agreed to do Discovery's "Klondike" because "I was out of work"

"The landlord," he says, "was going to kick me out" when he opted to take the role on the Discovery miniseries.


NBC Burbank: An appreciation
Read the history of the Peacock's old "Tonight Show" home.


You don't have to be gay to enjoy HBO's "Looking"
That's the message from the cast and crew of the HBO San Francisco-set series, about a group of gay friends. "All the characters are gay, but that's not the big issue in their lives. It's not coming out stories," says Jonathan Groff. PLUS: "Looking" is unlike "Queer of Folk."


Real community college dean: "Community" does get some stuff right
"Dean Pelton is not a role model, to put it delicately," says Matt Reed, author of "Confessions of a Community College Administrator. "What the show gets right is that the students really are diverse, and mostly older. It's not all 18-year-olds.


Study examines "uptalk" between male and female "Jeopardy!" contestants
A sociologist has concluded, based on watching 100 "Jeopardy!" episodes, that uptalk can reinforce gender norms.


Why "Treme" is better than "The Wire"

Aymar Jean Christian argues: "'Treme' has all the operatic political heft of 'The Wire,' but it embraced the warmth of community and spiritual depth of the arts."


IFC's "The Spoils of Babylon" is bizarre, outrageously campy
The miniseries spoof featuring an all-star cast of Tobey Maguire, Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig, Carey Mulligan and more really picks up with Episode 2.


"Grey's Anatomy's" Jesse Williams becomes a dad

Williams and his wife welcomed their first child, a girl, last month.


"Girl Meets World": See the cast together
Ben Savage has posted a photo of the entire cast on Instagram.


Throwback Thursday: Check out Jimmy Kimmel & Carson Daly in 1992

Daly was Kimmel's intern at a Palms Springs radio station. PLUS: See Kim Kardashian & Nicole Richie at age 13.


"The Fosters" mom Sherri Saum is expecting twins
"There's a freeloader in there hiding," she says of getting the news.

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