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<p>Kendrick Lamar in &quot;Swimming Pools&quot;</p>

Kendrick Lamar in "Swimming Pools"

Countdown to MTV's Video Music Awards: Best Hip-Hop Video

Drake and Kendrick Lamar compete against themselves in strong category

As MTV’s 2013 Video Music Awards approach, we’ll countdown to the Aug. 25 ceremony, which airs live at 9 p.m. ET from Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

Justin Timberlake and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis lead the nominations with six each, closely followed by Bruno Mars, Pink, Robin Thicke, Miley Cyrus and Thirty Seconds To Mars.

Among the artists performing on the show are Lady Gaga, who will open the awards; Timberlake (with a rumored ‘N Sync reunion), Mars, and Cyrus.

We’ll look at a different category each day leading up to Aug. 25.

Best Hip Hop Video

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton, "Can't Hold Us"
Drake, "Started From The Bottom"
Kendrick Lamar, "Swimming Pools (Drank)"
A$AP Rocky feat. Drake, 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar, "F--kin' Problems"
J. Cole feat. Miguel, "Power Trip"

With its explorer theme, “Can’t Hold Us” is certainly the most ambitious of the five clips, and also the most uplifting. “Swimming Pools” is the most emotional. The gritty clip for “Power Trip” has a body count. “Started From The Bottom” is the funniest, and A$AP has the most booty, but is the least ambitious.

Who should win: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton, “Can’t Hold Us”
Who will win: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis f. Ray Dalton,”Can’t Hold Us”

Previous Predictions:

Best Pop Video
Best Female Video
Best Male Video


 

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"Oddities: San Francisco"

 "Oddities: San Francisco"

Credit: Science Channel

'Oddities: San Francisco' kicks off season two with a dead skunk

An expert who has pierced "everything imaginable" also appears

A second season of "Oddities: San Francisco" (Sat. at 9:00 p.m. on Science Channel) kicks off with two new episodes back-to-back, plus mechanical hands, dead skunks and all sorts of other awesome stuff. I mean, dead skunks, people. That's must-see TV, if you ask me.

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<p>You couldn't kill a Sharknado with that dinky arrow</p>

You couldn't kill a Sharknado with that dinky arrow

Credit: Syfy

TV Review: Syfy's 'Ghost Shark' is no 'Sharknado'

Richard Moll tries hard, but effort alone does not a 'Sharknado' make
I am writing this review of Syfy's "Ghost Shark" because I want to get the name "Sharknado" in a headline for SEO purposes.
 
It's exactly this sort of blatant opportunism that would make me feel just a tiny bit unclean were it not for the simple fact that the only people with more invested in linking "Ghost Shark" and "Sharknado" in audience minds than online headline hounds are the good people at Syfy. "Sharknado" was a phenomenon that Syfy knows it can't regularly reproduce. The Twitter maelstrom generated by the "Sharknado" premiere was nice, but the word-of-mouth tsunami that followed and that generated the increasingly popular repeat airings and the very real injection of a nonsensical meteorological concept into the vernacular were the true achievements for Syfy. And just because "Ghost Shark" is no "Sharknado" in terms of genuine or guilty pleasure hasn't stopped Syfy from attempting chum up the waters in the hope that viewers will confuse the one with the other. Heck, "Ghost Shark" premieres on Thursday (August 22) night after yet another "Sharknado" encore.
 
As an occasional viewer of Syfy original movies, I can verify that there are tiers. "Sharknado" featured four or five vaguely familiar actors looking for career resuscitation and special effects of a caliber such that you were frequently able to tell what the CG blobs were supposed to be and what they were supposed to be doing. Over the course of the "Sharknado" running time, there were between five and 10 moments in which I laughed out loud, either due to sheer goofy inspiration or marvelous, fully committed awfulness.
 
You think that those expectations represent a low bar for achievement. You think that way until you watch the average Syfy original movie and realize how easy it is to fill 82 minutes with little more than a gleefully mutated title and hints at a plot to justify that title. 
 
In the balance, "Sharknado" was somewhere in the vicinity of 50 percent great title and 50 percent execution, which is close to the Golden Ratio by Syfy standards. Anything more heavily weighted towards the title fails to deliver sustained buzz. Anything more heavily weighted towards execution costs more money than Syfy is willing to spend.
 
"Ghost Shark," in contrast, is probably closer to 75 or 80 percent "great title," with the execution lagging behind. That may not be better than some on the Syfy slate, but it's better than many and there are moments of fun here, even if they come way too early in the movie and set "Ghost Shark" up for a final act that fizzles.
 
[More after the break…]
 
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Showtime releases 'Homeland's' official Season 3 poster


Showtime releases "Homeland's" official Season 3 poster

This season's message: "Pledge Allegiance." PLUS: Watch "Homeland's" new "Haunted" trailer.


"The Neighbors" gets visit from Jerry Springer
The daytime talk show host will play a virtual moderator in the season premiere. PLUS: "The Office" UK's Lucy Davis will also guest-star.


Elisabeth Hasselbeck makes her "Fox & Friends" debut on Sept. 16
Fox News will use the occasion to introduce a brand-new set.


"Game of Thrones" meets "The Writers' Room"

David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are guests on Monday's episode. PLUS: UK Actor Joseph Gatt cast in mysterious role.


Gia Allemand mourned at her funeral

The procession included a sign made of flowers spelling out "GIA."

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<p>&quot;Wait... <em>how many</em> sequels did you say we're doing?!&quot;</p>

"Wait... how many sequels did you say we're doing?!"

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Steven Charles Gould has been chosen to write four 'Avatar' novels for James Cameron

The ambitious plan would complement the upcoming trilogy of sequels

One of the very best movie adaptation novels that I've ever read was written by Orson Scott Card, based on James Cameron's "The Abyss." He wrote three chapters of backstory for the main characters of Bud, Lindsey, and Coffey, and Cameron liked them so much he gave them to the actors to use as their backstory for the film.

Since it was written before Cameron hit the wall on budget and time, the novel was adapted using the original ending, so when I sat down in the theater, I had a pretty good idea of where the story was going, and I was shocked when the ending appeared to be lopped off for no apparent reason. It was infuriating, and for a while, I had real problems with the movie simply for that reason. I still think it's the one time Cameron has ever really hurt himself with an edit, and once the original ending was finished and restored for a home video release, it definitely changed the way the entire final third of the film played.

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<p>Ralph Fiennes and Cate Blanchett in &quot;Oscar and Lucinda.&quot;</p>

Ralph Fiennes and Cate Blanchett in "Oscar and Lucinda."

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Cate Blanchett and Ralph Fiennes to receive Gala Tributes at NYFF

Fiennes' directorial effort 'The Invisible Woman' will also bow at the fest

Calling all "Oscar and Lucinda" fans! The New York Film Festival has a reunion of sorts for you. Back in 1997 -- one year before her star-making role in "Elizabeth," that little-seen Australian romantic drama announced 28-year-old newcomer Cate Blanchett to the moviegoing public; the striking actress was then an unknown quantity beside the headlining name of her more seasoned co-star Ralph Fiennes, by then a two-time Oscar nominee and high-end heart-throb.

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Rachel Zoe: 'The Rachel Zoe Project' is over


Rachel Zoe: "The Rachel Zoe Project" is over
"We've done five years. I think it's time to probably move on," she tells Capitol File magazine of her five-season Bravo reality show.


Aziz Ansari is writing his 1st book
The "Parks and Rec" star will not be writing a memoir. Instead, he'll talk to academics and investigate the modern-day single life.


Discovery remaking Civil War miniseries "North and South"
The miniseries about two families -- a Southern plantation family, a Northern factory-owning family -- is the next Discovery miniseries project. "North and South" originally aired on ABC in the 80s and 90s with Patrick Swayze.


Joan Rivers to star in "Romancing the Joan," a web reality TV parody
Eight bachelors will vie for Joan's affections in this "Bachelorette" parody.


Keith Carradine joins "The Following"

He'll play a trusted friend of Kevin Bacon's character.


Steven Moffat confirms "Doctor Who" can only regenerate 12 times

What does this mean for the "Who" franchise since Peter Capaldi is the 12th Doctor.


"Homeland's" "Abu Nazir" joins "Arrow"
Navid Negahban will play the villain Al-Owal in Season 2.


At age 19, Lena Dunham asked a sex advice columnist about being a virgin
Read her letter published in Time Out NY.

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<p>Audrey Tautou in &quot;Th&eacute;r&egrave;se.&quot;</p>

Audrey Tautou in "Thérèse."

Credit: MPI Media Group

Exclusive clip of Audrey Tautou in elegant French melodrama 'Thérèse'

Last year's Cannes closer opens in limited release tomorrow

While we're waiting for the breakout films of this year's Cannes Film Festival to make their way over to theaters -- in many cases, via the fall festival circuit -- we still have some unfinished business from Cannes 2012. Opening in limited release tomorrow is French period melodrama "Thérèse" (at different points dubbed "Thérèse Dequeyroux" or "Thérèse D"), which was the Closing Night film of last year's fest.

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<p>&quot;American Idol&quot;</p>

"American Idol"

Credit: FOX

What if FOX didn't take a chance on 'American Idol'?

Rupert Murdoch's daughter changed the course of TV history
This week HitFix is revisiting some of the key turning points in recent entertainment history and considering what would have happened if history had turned a bit differently. What if...?
 
In 2001, Simon Cowell and Simon Fuller came to the United States and attempted to pitch a format based on the British hit "Pop Idol," a singing competition show that was making Cowell into a sensation Across the Pond. American networks, however, were not interested. Yes, "Survivor" had opened the door for primetime competition reality programming on network TV, but "Pop Idol" was seen as being less like "Survivor" and more like "Popstars," which aired with minimal success on The WB. But then, the story goes, Rupert Murdoch's daughter Elisabeth, a fan of "Pop Idol," made a passionate pitch for FOX to take an interest in a little show that became...  "American Idol." The rest, as we say, is history. "American Idol" became a summer hit in 2002 and, starting in 2003, it became the irreplaceable centerpiece of FOX's spring lineup, anchoring an unprecedented streak of 18-49 demo crowns for the network and launching countless singing, acting and hosting careers. But... 
 
What if Rupert Murdoch's daughter hadn't been a fan of "Pop Idol"?
 
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Belize offering free vacations to 'Breaking Bad' creator and his stars


Belize offering free vacations to "Breaking Bad" creator and his stars

"Some people may have perceived that to be somewhat of a crisis," a Belize tourism rep said of a Saul Goodman comment from this week's episode, "but we really thought of it as an opportunity."


Tina Fey shows Letterman footage of a burglar stealing her laptop with all her work
Fey showed the surveillance footage against all legal counsel.


Dave Attell returning to Comedy Central, uncensored
The former "Insomniac" host will star in a late-night standup series featuring an uncensored Atell, plus a standup special.


22 "SNL" alums (and Marc Maron) recount auditioning for Lorne Michaels
Everybody from Dana Carvey to Jimmy Fallon to Bill Hader share their "SNL" audition stories in an oral history format.


"Seinfeld's" Jackie Chiles returns for a Jim Beam ad campaign
Watch Phil Morris reprise his Johnnie Cochran-like character.


Oscar winner Danny Boyle to return to TV to direct a police drama
Boyle, who was responsible for last year's Olympic Opening Ceremony, will direct an inside police drama from the creators of "Peep Show."

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Randy Jackson is set to return to 'Idol' as mentor, replacing Jimmy Iovine


Randy Jackson is set to return to "Idol" as mentor, replacing Jimmy Iovine
After three seasons, Iovine is reportedly done with "Idol." After a brief exit, Jackson is poised to become the new in-house mentor.

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<p>Diane Kruger and Demi&aacute;n Bichir in &quot;The Bridge.&quot;</p>

Diane Kruger and Demián Bichir in "The Bridge."

Credit: FX

Review: 'The Bridge' - 'Destino'

Sonya and Marco get into trouble pursuing a new suspect, and Ray makes a deal with Graciela

A quick review of tonight's "The Bridge" coming up just as soon as I invoke the Three-Second Rule...

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