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"The Spoils of Babylon"

 "The Spoils of Babylon"

Credit: IFC

Press Tour: Maguire and Osment bond over '80s TV for 'Spoils of Babylon'

The stars bond over 'Walker, Texas Ranger'
While Will Ferrell wasn't on hand for "The Spoils of Babylon" panel, his sense of humor definitely made the trip. When Tobey Maguire was asked how he felt about parodying epic melodrama, given he actually had "The Great Gatsby" in theaters last year, Maguire could have answered seriously or just dismissed the question as insulting. Instead, he responded in a languid deadpan, "It was so similar at times I didn't know which production I was in. It was really confusing for me." Then, he looked into the crowd and added, "And for those of you who watch this, I'm sorry and you're welcome."
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<p>Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston in the &quot;Breaking Bad&quot; finale</p>

Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston in the "Breaking Bad" finale

Credit: AMC

Two 'Breaking Bad' episodes earn Directors Guild nominations, but not 'Ozymandias'

Bryan Cranston and Beth McCarthy-Miller are double-nominees
The Directors Guild of America announced its TV Award nominations on Thursday (January 9) and while two "Breaking Bad" episodes made the cut, there may be some head-scratching about the directors who missed out. 
Or, as an alternative perspective, it was a good DGA Awards nomination morning for Bryan Cranston.
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<p>Kristen Bell is back as 'Veronica Mars' and on her way to SXSW 2104</p>

Kristen Bell is back as 'Veronica Mars' and on her way to SXSW 2104

Credit: Warner Bros.

'Veronica Mars' movie premiering at SXSW

Plus find out where you'll be able to see me during the festival

Since the embargo is up, I can finally announce that I'm going to be moderating a one-hour onstage conversation with Alejandro Jodorowsky during SXSW this year in Austin.

I've moderated plenty of panels and interviews over the years, but Jodorowsky is one-of-a-kind. I think his work is beautiful and profane and surreal and silly and about eighty other adjectives. "The Holy Mountain," "El Topo," and "Santa Sangre" constitute a filmography so grand that even if he'd never done anything else, he would have secured his place as one of the greats. Last year, "Jodorowsky's Dune" played the festival circuit, detailing his attempts in the early to mid '70s trying to get a film version of Frank Herbert's novel off the ground. I was just flattered to have been interviewed for that. But to get a chance to actually spend an hour in conversation with this brilliant artist? And to be able to do it in front of an audience? There are days I can hardly believe this is my job.

I love SXSW every year, and it just seems to keep growing and getting more interesting, more varied. Today's announcement of the first batch of titles is a strong one, but this is all still just the warm-up for the big announcements coming soon.

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CBS to begin airing the Hollywood Film Awards

CBS to begin airing the Hollywood Film Awards

Dick Clark Productions, which is behind the Golden Globes and many other awards show, will be behind the new October awards show.

Mom from "Dance Moms" allegedly attacked Abby Lee Miller

TMZ reports today that Kelly Hyland was arrested back in November for assault and harassment of the Lifetime star.

"Parks and Rec" turns 100: Co-creator wants a Hillary Clinton ending, jokes of spinning off Jean-Ralphio
For Michael Schur, a perfect ending -- "five seasons away" -- would have Leslie Knope bumping into Hillary Clinton in Washington, with Hillary saying, "Leslie." He also jokes of doing a Sapperstein family spinoff starring Henry Winkler, Ben Schwartz and Jenny Slate.

Camryn Manheim to play Halle Berry's best friend on "Extant"
This marks Manheim's return to CBS after co-starring on "The Ghost Whisperer."

Watch Patton Oswalt ride in a DeLorean with Jerry Seinfeld

It's the latest episode of "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee." PLUS: Conan presents a "Patton Oswalt Gets The Crap Kicked Out Of Him" supercut, and Oswalt answers 20 Playboy questions.

Oprah comes to the rescue on Lindsay Lohan's OWN reality show

Oprah Winfrey herself appears on "Lindsay," getting Lohan to tell her: "I know this is my last shot at doing what I have to do."

"Men at Work" will host a "Las Vegas" reunion with Molly Sims
Sims will reunite with James Lesure, playing his love interest.

ID to mark Valentine's Day with Wendy Williams' "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover"
The Investigation Discovery special is meant as an anti-Valentine's Day celebration. PLUS: ID orders "Secret Lives of Stepford Wives."

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Credit: OWN

Lindsay Lohan's reality show coming this spring to OWN

More Tyler Perry on deck along with Deion Sanders

In the ongoing quest to find an identity beyond "Oprah" re-hashes, OWN has announced four new series premieres for 2014. While the network still seems a little bipolar, split between wholesome self-improvement and, well, Lindsay Lohan. However, OWN's kinder, gentler approach to reality TV might be the perfect place for Lohan to stage a comeback. Tyler Perry, whose brand of subpar soap has already scored solid hits for OWN, will also bow yet another series for the network. Move over, Oprah!

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<p>Sarah Polley in &quot;Stories We Tell.&quot;</p>

Sarah Polley in "Stories We Tell."

Credit: Roadside Attractions

'The Act of Killing,' 'Stories We Tell' take top awards at Cinema Eye Honors

Something for everyone, including Dave Grohl

The other day somebody asked me what my money was on for the Best Documentary Feature Oscar, and I realized I had no answer. Unlike last year, when "Searching for Sugar Man" swept all before it on its way to the Oscar podium, documentary honors have been generously dispersed this season -- and that trend of spreading the wealth continued at last night's Cinema Eye Honors in New York.

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<p>Onate Aprile in &quot;What Maisie Knew.&quot;</p>

Onate Aprile in "What Maisie Knew."

Credit: Millennium Entertainment

'The Spectacular Now,' 'What Maisie Knew' join Oscar heavyweights in USC Scripter nods

Awards recognize screenplays adapted from published work

The USC Scripter Awards are one of the more interesting precursor awards on the circuit, recognizing as they do two different forms of authorship. Sometimes mistaken for a direct equivalent of the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar, they are in fact limited to films based on published source material, rewarding both the screenwriter responsible for the adaptation and the author of the original text. (That means Oscar contenders like "Before Midnight" and "August: Osage County" are out of the picture.)

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Military Channel is changing its name to American Heroes Channel

Military Channel is changing its name to American Heroes Channel
Starting on March 3, the Military Channel will expand its focus to police officers, fire fighters and others who do heroic deeds in their everyday lives.

Nat Geo to air a 2-hour "Live From Space" special
The International Space Station event will air to coincide with Seth MacFarlane's "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey."

"Chicago PD" attracts 8.6M, People's Choice Awards declines
The Dick Wolf spinoff was up over two million from "Chicago Fire's" debut.

"Tywin Lannister" will narrate the BBC's Winter Olympics coverage

"Game of Thrones" star Charles Dance will take over voiceover duties this year.

Lindsay Lohan's OWN reality show debuts March 9, OWN orders another Tyler Perry series
"Single Moms Club," based on the upcoming movie, will be Perry's latest series for Oprah.

"Girls" to debut new songs from Beck, Lily Allen, Miguel
 "We had Miguel write us a new song," says "Girls" music supervisor Manish Raval. PLUS: Rihanna doesn't want her music on "Girls."

Watch Stevie Nicks' "American Horror Story" cameo
She played a slightly altered version of herself.

Cecily Strong: "SNL's" new black female hires are "crylaugh funny"
"No ass kissing, I'm so excited about our new snl hires," she tweets.

Sofia Vergara fake slaps Jimmy Kimmel
Watch them read mean internet comments about each other.

"Veronica Mars" going on Amazon Prime

All three seasons will be available for steaming.

Hulu adds "The Bridge's" original Danish/Swedish version

"Broen"/"Bron" will be available starting Jan. 14.

"Vampire Diaries" stars Nina Dobrev & Ian Somerhalder make fun of their real-life breakup
Watch them win a People's Choice Award for "Best Chemistry." PLUS: Happy 25th birthday, Nina Dobrev!

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<p>Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs host the People's Choice Awards</p>

Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs host the People's Choice Awards

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: People's Choice Awards leads CBS Wednesday, while 'Chicago PD' premieres well

'Modern Family' is Wednesday's top show in the key demo
Fast National ratings for Wednesday, January 8, 2014.
The People's Choice Awards drew their largest audience since 2010, helping CBS to slim primetime wins on Wednesday night.
Meanwhile, NBC's "Chicago PD" premiere held onto almost all of its "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" numbers, which should satisfy all and sundry.
And for all of that, Wednesday's top show among young viewers was ABC's "Modern Family."
On to the numbers...
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<p>Joaquin Phoenix and Olivia Wilde in &quot;Her.&quot;</p>

Joaquin Phoenix and Olivia Wilde in "Her."

Credit: Warner Bros.

'Her,' 'American Hustle' and 'Gravity' among Art Directors Guild nominees

Winners to be announced on February 8

There are no big surprises in this morning's list of Art Directors Guild nominees -- though I guess leaving "Oz the Great and Powerful" out of the Fantasy category is an unexpected display of good taste. All the expected Oscar contenders for Best Production Design showed up in one of the Guild's three categories, notably the Period field, where Judy Becker's lurid 70s decor for "American Hustle," Catherine Martin's Jazz Age excess for "The Great Gatsby" and Adam Stockhausen's tangibly weathered plantation sets for "12 Years a Slave" will presumably duke it out for the win. (Nice, too, to see Jess Gonchor's gorgeously faded recreation of early-60s New York in "Inside Llewyn Davis" make the cut.)

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Roundup: Academy names Sci-Tech honorees
Credit: AMPAS

Roundup: Academy names Sci-Tech honorees

Also: BAFTA's British problem, and listening to all 75 Oscar-contending songs

They may not be as sexy as the main Academy Awards ceremony -- something the Academy effectively acknowledges by annually selecting the hottest ingenue available to host the evening -- but the Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation honors any number of worthy artists who contribute invaluably to our movie-watching pleasure. This year 52 individuals, covering 19 technical achievements, have been named as honorees, including cinematographer and VFX supervisor Peter W. Anderson, the recipient of this year's honorary Gordon E. Sawyer Award. (His credits range from "The China Syndrome" to "U2 3D.") The awards will be presented on February 15. [Deadline]

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<p>At the last winter press tour, the stars of &quot;The Following&quot;&nbsp;locked lips, because that's how they roll.</p>

At the last winter press tour, the stars of "The Following" locked lips, because that's how they roll.

Credit: FOX

It's press tour time (but not for everyone)

The Television Critics Association is gathering in Pasadena, but your humble critic won't be able to make it

Today marks the beginning of the winter edition of the Television Critics Association press tour, which I explained at length (adapting an old Star-Ledger column on the subject) at the start of the last one in the summer. Ordinarily, I would be buckling in for two weeks of press conferences, interviews, awkward working parties and the rest of the fun, excitement and strangeness that is the TCA's semi-annual gathering.

This looks to be another interesting one, filled with stars both familiar (HBO has Julia Roberts coming today to discuss Ryan Murphy's adaptation of "The Normal Heart," plus the guys from "True Detective") and new (Tatiana Maslany makes a triumphant return in front of the group who gave her an award in the summer), some network presidents with lots of stumbles to explain (maybe ABC's Paul Lee will resort back to cross-dressing sitcoms?), the possibility of lots more Netflix discussion, etc.

Unfortunately, I went and broke my ankle yesterday morning, so I remain here in beautifully frigid New Jersey while the rest of the TCA has their start of summer camp-style reunion this morning. Dan will be covering the tour on his blog, and so will Liane, but I have to sit this one out, preferably with my foot elevated. If any particularly interesting news comes out of the tour, maybe I'll attempt some analysis from my perch 3000 miles away, but mostly I'll be focusing on reviews, including some shows I probably wouldn't have had time to cover if I was in Pasadena. Silver linings!

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