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'Breaking Bad' tops HitFix's Second Annual Television Critics' Poll

'Breaking Bad' tops HitFix's Second Annual Television Critics' Poll

'Orange Is the New Black' led a field full of exciting newcomers

One year ago today, HitFix published its first-ever Television Critics Poll, in which we asked several dozen of the top North American TV critics to pick their 10 favorite shows of 2012. "Breaking Bad" finished in first place, "Homeland" was in second, and more than 80 different shows got at least one vote. Clicking on the above link will show you all of those results.

For the 2013 Television Critics Poll, which just went live, we added even more critics, who again named "Breaking Bad" the best series of the year. And with so many great new shows debuting this year, we added a second poll for people to pick their 10 favorite debuting shows of the year. As it turns out, half of this year's overall top 10 was made up of new shows — including "Orange Is the New Black," which finished a very distant second to "Breaking Bad" and just ahead of "Game of Thrones") — after the 2012 poll had only a single first-year series ("Girls") in the top 10. (And the overall list has six shows in common with my own top 10 for the year, while three others will be in my top 20, being published later this week.)

Because each critics' taste is different, and because the two polls were done separately, you'll see some quirks here and there. On the overall shows list, for instance, "House of Cards" was the fourth-highest ranked new series, while it finished sixth on the new show list. And as you move further past the overall top 10, you'll see the power (on a weighted ballot with only 10 choices) of being loved by a few over being liked by many. Only four critics, for instance, voted for "Southland" (I was one of them), but two of those votes were for first place, and another was for second, so it finished 23rd overall. "Girls," meanwhile, got more votes, but most of them were at the bottom of critics' ballots, so it finished only 44th. (Shows like that and "Shameless," which I suspect many critics had ranked just outside of their top 10s, finished fairly low as a result, just like "Boardwalk Empire" finishing only 29th last year.) 

So go look at the poll, which allows you to look at individual ballots (click on the name of any critic) as well as to check the vote tallies for individual shows (click on the title of any show). What do you think of this year's results?

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<p>This happened on Monday's &quot;The Voice&quot;</p>

This happened on Monday's "The Voice"

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: No 'Voice' finale bump, but NBC dominates Monday

'How I Met Your Mother' is down, 'Mike & Molly' and 'Hostages' rise
Fast National ratings for Monday, December 16, 2013.
The two-hour Monday finale of "The Voice," plus an hour of "The Sing-Off" helped NBC sweep Monday night in all measures, beating CBS' original comedies and a whole bunch of holiday programming. 
"The Voice" failed to get a finale bump and was off from its lone hour last Monday, CBS' comedies delivered a mixed bag and "Hostages" got a rare week-to-week bump.
Also down on Monday was FOX's "Almost Human," though not by a huge amount.
Finally, while hardly delivering massive figures, The CW's encore of CBS' "Victoria's Secret Fashion Show" delivered better numbers than either "Beauty and the Beast" or any of the recent string of "IHeart Radio" specials.
Note that ABC had the Monday Night Football preemption in Detroit, while NBC had the game in Baltimore, so expect some fluctuation.
On to the numbers...
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Cate Blanchett in "The Turning."
Cate Blanchett in "The Turning."
Credit: Arenamedia

Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Connelly, Pierce Brosnan in first wave of Berlinale titles

Wes Anderson's opening film 'Grand Budapest Hotel' is in Competition

It only just occurred to me that in two months' time, the 2014 Berlin Film Festival will already be over. Before that, of course, comes the bustle and frenzy of Sundance; throughout all that, of course, Oscar season will press on unabated. Just thinking about the next few weeks makes me feel slightly ill, even as I look forward to it all.

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"The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"

 "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"

Credit: Bravo

'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills': Even a crisis doesn't stop the bickering

Brandi's flirty time with Carlton gets short circuited

You'd think the women of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" might come together when a crisis strikes. You know, a crisis like a tabloid running headlines proclaiming a husband is screwing around, or maybe a burglary that results in a beloved dog running away. Guess what? Even as the tears flow and the hugs get passed around, the women are still sniping and snarling and bitching at one another. Isn't that sweet? It's nice to think that when the apocalypse hits, these women will be busily hitting one another with the pointy heels of their Louboutins while we steal all their food and water. See? There is an upside!

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<p>Robert Redford</p>

Robert Redford

Credit: AP Photo

Robert Redford to receive American Riviera Award at Santa Barbara fest

The 'All is Lost' star honored for his influence of American cinema
It's been an up-and-down awards season so far for Robert Redford, angling for his first-ever acting Oscar in "All is Lost." Things started well with that New York Film Critics' Circle win, and he's been a steady presence in nominee fields since then -- but his omission from the SAG nods was an unexpected roadblock, one that suggests awards voters (much like the American public) may simply not be seeing J.C. Chandor's minimalist survival story. (The London critics passed him over this morning too, though the film hasn't been widely screened here.)
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"The Sing-Off"

 "The Sing-Off"

Credit: NBC

'The Sing-Off' recap: Who will fall short on 'My Generation'?

Four groups battle with oldies but goodies

So, this week our intrepid a capella singers will be tackling songs spanning the generations, which I think means they can sing anything they want. Actually, probably anything they want from a short list provided by the show of songs they can get clearances for, so it's not like they can go nuts or anything. This is NBC, after all. 

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<p>Gary Oldman</p>

Gary Oldman

Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

'12 Years a Slave' leads London critics' nods, Gary Oldman receives career honor

'Blue is the Warmest Color' and 'Frances Ha' nominated for Film of the Year

We're currently swimming in critics' group awards and nominations, but if these mean a little more to me than the rest -- well, that'd be because I voted in them. The London Film Critics' Circle nominations have been announced, and Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave" comfortably leads the field with nine nominations. Gary Oldman, meanwhile, has been named the recipient of the Circle's annual Dilys Powell Award for Contribution to Cinema.

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<p>&quot;Don't worry, baby, we don't need the Academy Awards.&quot;</p>

"Don't worry, baby, we don't need the Academy Awards."

Credit: ERPB

Roundup: Indies miss out as Academy reveals 289 Oscar-eligible titles

Also: Malcolm McDowell remembers Peter O'Toole

The annual list of films eligible for general-category Oscar consideration is always a bit of a dispiriting one. Every viable contender is on the list, as well as plenty of non-viable ones, but many of the year's best films from the foreign and independent spheres aren't. That's not the Academy's fault -- a film has to be submitted to be considered -- but it does reveal how the expense and effort of an Oscar campaign is all too often beyond the means of the little guys. So it is that this year's list of 289 eligible titles includes "Grown Ups 2," but "Upstream Color," "Mother of George" and "A Hijacking," for example, are all officially out of contention. [AMPAS

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<p>Oscar Isaac in &quot;Inside Llewyn&nbsp;Davis&quot;</p>

Oscar Isaac in "Inside Llewyn Davis"

Credit: CBS Films

Toronto critics go their own way, name 'Inside Llewyn Davis' the year's Best Picture

Oscar Isaac wins Best Actor

This is me doing a little happy dance and giving the Toronto Film Critics Association an epic high five for splitting off course and not only awarding something different with its Best Picture prize, but handing the Coen brothers' "Inside Llewyn Davis" its first such honor of the critics circuit and its first major win since the Gotham Awards. Not only that, but Oscar Isaac for Best Actor? Makes the usual usual of the rest go down nicely. "12 Years a Slave," in fact, was completely passed over. Check out the full list of winners below and remember to keep track of it all via The Circuit.

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<p>Laura and Hayden at Redemption Island Arena</p>

Laura and Hayden at Redemption Island Arena

Credit: CBS

Interview: Hayden Moss and Laura Morett talk 'Survivor: Blood vs. Water'

'Big Brother' and family-voting talk with the last castaways eliminated on Redemption
"Survivor: Blood vs. Water" concluded on Sunday (December 15) night with three hours of episode and live reunion show. Thanks to the presence of Redemption Island, Sunday may have been the "Survivor" finale, but it began with a whopping seven castaways still in play.
That means that on Monday morning, between 8:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., I did seven exit interviews, or rather five exit interviews with seven contestants. 
As I did last week with "Amazing Race," I'll be posting one exit interview per day through to my very funny chat with Tyson on Friday.
The Week of "Survivor" Exit Interviews begins with Laura Morett and Hayden Moss, who finished sixth and seventh for the season and were eliminated after a Redemption Island Duel in which Tina Wesson outlasted them balancing a vase on a teeter-totter. 
Both Hayden and Laura had their moments.
Hayden, a former "Big Brother" champion and boyfriend to returning Kat, may not have been successful, but he definitely stirred up some passions at his last few Tribal Councils, working with Ciera and trying to break Monica away from her alliance with Gervase & Tyson. He was also part of the now-notorious rock-drawing Tribal Council.
Laura was the only contestant voted out in part by her loved one, as daughter Ciera helped send her to Redemption Island for the second time in the game. 
In their paired exit interview, Hayden and Laura discuss their Final Jury votes for Tyson, Hayden compares "Survivor" and "Big Brother," while Laura talks about the frustration of spending so much of her game on Redemption Island.
Click through for the full Q&A...
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<p>The legendary Nirvana will soon be members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.</p>

The legendary Nirvana will soon be members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Nirvana, Kiss voted into Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Who else will be in the Class of 2014?

Kiss fans, rejoice! The hard rock band has finally gotten its due and will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Class of 2014.

The make-up wearing band will be joined by Nirvana, Peter Gabriel, Hall & Oates, Cat Stevens and Linda Ronstadt, according to Rolling Stone.

Acts are eligible 25 years after the release of their first recording, which means Nirvana, to no one’s surprise, will be inducted in its first year of eligibility. For both Kiss and Hall & Oates, their entry comes after years of fans lobbying for their inclusion.

Peter Gabriel is already in the Hall as a member of Genesis.

On the ballot, but denied this year were Yes, LL Cool J, The Replacements, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Chic, Deep Purple, NWA, The Meters, Link Wray, and the Zombies.

The E Street Band, Bruce Springsteen's backing band, will be presented the award for musical excellence, while Beatles manager Brian Epstein and Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham will be inducted as non-performers.

The induction ceremony will be held at Brooklyn’s Barclay Center on April 10, 2014, after being held at LA Live this year.  Tickets will be made available to the general public and will go on sale in January. HBO will air the ceremony.


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"Doomsday Preppers"

 "Doomsday Preppers"

Credit: Nat Geo

Exclusive: A 'Doomsday Prepper' grows pot for the apocalypse

Plus stats on who's prepared for the end - and who's not

Are you prepared for the end times? You know, bottled water, solar panels, leeches and medicinal marijuana? You don't have a grow house ready, chock full of choice bud? No? You are so not ready! At least, that's what we learn from the latest episode of "Doomsday Preppers" (Tues. at 9:00 p.m. ET on Nat Geo) and this exclusive clip. One doctor decides that, in addition to keeping leeches on hand, he's also growing pot to use as a drug. Right. No, really, he's just using it if society collapses. That's all. 

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