"Saturday Night Live" is back tonight, so how about a bit of trivia? Sure, everyone from Tom Hanks to Ben Affleck has come to SNL for the big publicity burst that helps feed an Oscar campaign, but which cast members over the show's 40-year history have themselves been recognized by the Academy? It's actually a very exclusive club.
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Fast National ratings for Friday, September 26, 2014.
Amidst a sea of premieres, Friday quickly returned to business as usual: "Blue Bloods," returning on the low side led CBS to victory overall, while "Shark Tank" and ABC were easily Friday's best among young viewers.
The news wasn't all good for CBS, though. "The Amazing Race" cratered hard in its Friday debut and may require immediate assistance if CBS hopes to keep the long-running Emmy winner around.
Let's get straight to the numbers...
When listing influences for "Inherent Vice," an adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's 2009 detective novel, Paul Thomas Anderson drops genre staples that don't come as much of a surprise: "The Long Goodbye," "Kiss Me Deadly," "The Big Sleep" — on-screen mystery fiction done right. But his tonal reference points turn any conjured vision of the movie on its head. “‘Police Squad!’ and ‘Top Secret!’ are what I clued into,” Anderson told the New York Times in a recent profile. “We tried hard to imitate or rip off the Zucker brothers’ style of gags so the film can feel like the book feels: just packed with stuff. And fun.”
David Fincher has been frequently compared to Stanley Kubrick over the course of his career, and most of the time, the comparison is based on the most facile of things. Sure, there's a level of technical mastery to the films Fincher makes that is almost hard to believe, on the same level as that displayed by Kubrick, but I think there's another reason that the comparison is apt, one that goes deeper and that isn't just about how they approach their craft.
At his best, David Fincher makes films that feel like they were made by an alien who is visiting Earth, someone who is determined to understand the way these strange naked apes behave, and it's that same sort of cultural anthropologist voice that marked many of Kubrick's movies. There is a feeling watching Fincher's movies that he feels like we're all insane, and he doesn't trust any of us, and that misanthropic streak is on full display in his new film, "Gone Girl," based on the novel by Gillian Flynn.
Following two losses to open the "Survivor: San Juan del Sur" season, the Coyopa tribe was faced with voting out its first member.
Would they boot former MLB closer John Rocker, who the show charitably has been referring to as "controversial"?
Not a chance. John Rocker proved himself a force in the season-opening Immunity challenge, plus only Wes has figured out who he is and Wes is star-struck.
Would they boot Dale, the season's oldest contestant at 55?
Not a chance. Dale made fire by splitting his glasses in two and that sort of effort apparently had to be rewarded.
But Dale had his own opinions on who should go home first and Dale suggested Nadiya Anderson, who achieved notoriety of her own during two appearances with twin sister Natalie on "The Amazing Race." See, Dale is a big "Amazing Race" fan and he had opinions based on Nadiya's gameplay on that other CBS show and even though nobody else seemed to remember anything about The Twinnies and their two Races around the world -- one a reasonably successful fourth place finish, but more recently a swift opening Leg elimination -- that was enough to turn the votes against her.
Nadiya didn't exactly help her cause. Attempting to mobilize Josh to her All-Girl Alliance, she took him for granted and effectively told him that she was taking his presence in the alliance for granted due to his sexuality. That, however, didn't exactly explain why Josh ended up voting for Baylor at Tribal Council or why Baylor ended up turning on Nadiya.
In the first of this "Survivor" season's exit interviews, Nadiya tries to clarify her position on Josh's place in her alliance, but remains confused at why the votes ended up going against her. She also seems disappointed she didn't know who John Rocker was and wasn't able to make an ally of him. And, as you'd expect from Nadiya, she calls a lot of people idiots and fools, which she clearly means with love, or at least amusement.
Click through for the full interview...
Tonight the New York Film Festival showed off the first of its wares with the opening night world premiere of David Fincher's "Gone Girl." A faithful adaptation of Gillian Flynn's twisted 2012 page-turner, it brings a very different swagger into the season, one of cynicism, the cold chill of deep truths ripe for the kind of dead-faced satire the filmmaker has bathed them in here. But is it an Oscar player for Fox or will the Academy flinch? (I hate myself for even typing that sentence, trust me.)
NEW YORK — David Fincher's "Gone Girl" had a triumphant debut at the 2014 New York Film Festival Friday night and the acclaimed filmmaker and his cast spent a good 30 minutes after the official press screening taking questions from the media the movie so deliciously skewers. Entertainment reporters may not be at the level of a Nancy Grace, but they will still spin what they can from a pull quote, including anything that relates to the fact that none other than the new Batman, Ben Affleck, was on stage. And, yes, even his co-stars wouldn't let him forget it.
We're heading into the home stretch for "The Knick" season 1, and tonight's episode was both the last one I saw before I wrote my initial review, and the most satisfying of those. Some thoughts on both "Get the Rope" and season 1 to date coming up just as soon as I write a love poem to the suction machine...
It's going to take a while before this feels normal, isn't it?
Friday (September 28) marked a new time period premiere for "The Amazing Race," which kicked off its 25th installment far from the Sunday 8 p.m. home in which viewers have become accustomed to football/golf/basketball delays throughout the year.
That means that instead of having Sunday come to an abrupt end in the late afternoon as I wait for "The Amazing Race" to start, a normal Friday workday just never ends. So... Yay!
Friday's "Amazing Race" premiere had the disadvantage of following a very good "Survivor" launch on Wednesday. I say it every year, but there's just not enough time in a single hour to properly introduce a full assortment of reality show contestants and also deliver satisfactory and fun challenges. So Wednesday's "Survivor" got to be 90 minutes and, perhaps as a result, I finished the premiere with a good sense of most of the castaways and a rooting interest in many of them. "The Amazing Race" stuck to an hour and I have only a cursory interest in most of the teams and a solid half of the episode seemed to be devoted to almost nothing -- a series of Route Markers and flights -- before the episode's lone task went a fair way toward separating favorites from fodder.
And yet, despite not being a wholly satisfying episode for its entirety, Friday's "Amazing Race" did have a rather awesome ending that left me giggling with glee, even as I was being disappointed on aesthetic levels.
Click through for what will be a quick recap, but then a listing of the remaining teams, with my first impressions...
'The Simpsons' boss worries Sunday’s major death may be overhyped: We never said we’re killing off an 'iconic' character
“The Simpsons” boss worries Sunday’s major death may be overhyped: We never said we’re killing off an “iconic” character
“I’ve done everything I can to temper any disappointment by saying that, although the press is claiming this is an ‘iconic’ character, we never said that,” says executive producer Al Jean, in an interview with TVLine. “We just said it’s a ‘beloved’ character. I think it may have become overhyped, though I’ve never heard the term ‘underhyped’ before. Either way, it’s an emotional story, and it’s one we’re really proud of.” PLUS: What TV critics said of “The Simpsons” when it debuted, and how “The Simpsons” looks at night -- illustrated.
“Family Guy’s” crossover with “The Simpsons” is alternately fascinating, frustrating, amusing and annoying
In other words, it’s your typical “Family Guy” episode.
“Family Guy” Season 13: Stewie will get pregnant with Brian’s baby
This season will also feature the return of Jesus, Peter fighting Liam Neeson and a "Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure"-style journey.
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“Devious Maids” renewed for Season 3
The Lifetime series took so long to receive a well-earned 3rd-season pickup in part to find new showrunners. “The time is coming to a close on my day-to-day showrunning,” creator/showrunner Marc Cherry tells Deadline. He’ll step back as two new showrunners come aboard.
Like Dorothy Gale coming to the conclusion that in order to find her hearts desire she need look no further than her own backyard, ABC has apparently discovered that the secret to Thursday 8 p.m. success was in the network's Thursday lineup all along.
ABC premiered "Shonda Rhimes Presents: Thursday Primetime" on Thursday (September 25) night and the results presumably exceeded all expectations, as "Scandal" hit series highs, "How To Get Away With Murder" delivered powerhouse 10 p.m. numbers and, even in its 11th season, "Grey's Anatomy" proved it still has plenty of ratings juice.
And as well as the three ABC dramas performed in preliminary Fast National numbers, all three dramas rose in Final Live+Same Day ratings.
So for one week, at least, ABC has found a Thursday 8 p.m. hit and seemingly successfully launched a Wednesday 9:30 success in "Black-ish." And although "Forever" doesn't look like it's a blockbuster, the network's standards for Tuesday at 10 p.m. are so absurdly low that the new drama looks like a lock for improvement if not success.
ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee, who looked like he might be on the ropes last spring before a positive launch for "Resurrection," is having a pretty good Premiere Week. How about you?
Let's look at some numbers...