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Simon Cowell: Last season's 'X Factor' was like a bad dinner party


Simon Cowell: Last season's "X Factor" was like a bad dinner party

Season 3, in contrast, is a "fun dinner party," Cowell told critics. Simon also responded to "The Voice's" claim that it's not about launching careers. "You're making a promise to contestants, you're going to turn them into a real live artist. You can't guarantee, but that is your commitment. Otherwise it’s a game show."  PLUS: Simon can't imagine returning to "Idol," the "X Factor" prize is being reduced from $5 million to $1 million, and Simon declined to talk about becoming a father.


Brian Williams to undergo knee surgery
The "NBC Nightly News" anchor announced tonight that's he's taking a leave of absence.


How difficult is writing subtitles for "Honey Boo Boo"?
Exec producer Sara Reddy, charged with the subtitling task, says: "They talk incredibly fast and they just skip over consonants and entire syllables," she says, adding: "I don't know why I have this gift, but I understand them perfectly, and I don’t think they need to be subtitled."


"Dads" producer: "We don't want this to be the racial-insult comedy show"
The Seth MacFarlane Fox sitcom has come under fire for its racial jokes, particularly one in which Brenda Song is asked to dress as a "sexy Asian schoolgirl." PLUS: Song defends schoolgirl outfit.


Can "Enlisted" pull off being a comedy about war?
The Fox comedy tried "really, really" hard not to become "mocking or disrespectful."


Why DogTV won't work
As Slate explains, the $4.99/month DirecTV channel that launches today looks to canines "like a slideshow powered by a dim strobe light."


What does the "Breaking Bad" trailer "Ozymandias" mean?
Why Walter White goes together with the 1918 poem.


Pakistani talk show gives away babies as prizes
Last month, "Amaan Ramazan" gave away two babies on live TV.


"Castle" paying homage to "Saved by the Bell"
An episode will revolve around the murder of an actor who plays a "Screech"-like character.


Read of Pauley Shore's rise and fall
Why "The Weasel" didn't make out of the '90s.


"SNL's" ticket lottery is now open

To sit in the "Saturday Night Live" audience any time next season, you must show your interest now.


Watch a "heartbreaking end to "Kids' Jeopardy!"
A boy held back tears after adding an extra "t" to Emancipation Proclamation."


Lena Dunham plans to stalk the "Scandal" cast at the Emmys

Last year, she says, she "ended up following Kerry Washington around for 10 hours without actually talking to her." PLUS: Assistant feeds Dunham on "Girls" set.


See 15 new "Boardwalk Empire" images from Season 4
Including new cast member Jeffrey Wright.


Why "Parks and Rec" will be fine without Chris Traeger and Ann Perkins
Both characters had been running out of steam. PLUS: 8 side characters who should be considered for the main cast.


Jason Segel has slimmed down for the final "HIMYM" season
"This time when I take my shirt off, I've made a promise to myself, it doesn't have to be funny," he says.


Food Network orders a kids' edition of "Rachael vs. Guy"
"Kid Cook-Off" debuts Sept. 8.


"Almost Human" insists it's a procedural "police drama"
The J.J. Abrams robot cop drama doesn't want to scare away viewers who don't like genre shows.


Tracy Morgan used to be a barbershop poster model
Check out the "30 Rock" star before he made it big.


FXX to air the Creative Arts Emmys
The annual ceremony had aired on ReelzChannel the past two years.


Bravo renews "Million Dollar Listing New York"
The 2nd-year reality show hit a series high recently.


Disney Junior going to space with "Miles from Tomorrowland"

The cartoon follows a young adventurer and his family as they travel through outer space.


TLC reenacts in-law horror stories
"Surviving the In-Laws" is cheap even TLC standards.


Check out Jimmy Kimmel as a child
He's wearing matching outfits with him mom.


"One Life To Live" and "All My Children" get season finale dates
Their first season on The Online Network will wrap on Aug. 19 and Sept. 2, respectively.


Watch the 1st episode of "Broadchurch"
The BBC drama that Fox is remaking is now available on BBC America's YouTube channel.

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<p>Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg breathe rowdy, enjoyable life into the buddy action comedy in '2 Guns'</p>

Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg breathe rowdy, enjoyable life into the buddy action comedy in '2 Guns'

Credit: Universal Pictures

Review: '2 Guns' succeeds largely on the chemistry between Denzel and Wahlberg

Sometimes low-key and charming is enough

Sometimes, when you order a hamburger, all you want is a hamburger.

No one is going to accuse "2 Guns" of being some bold reinvention of the action genre, but it's a big jump forward for director Baltasar Kormakur. His previous American action film was "Contraband," also starring Mark Wahlberg, and honestly, it did nothing for me. I didn't hate it, but I also didn't care for it. The whole thing felt inert to me, which happens sometimes with studio films. You can tell that people threw all the resources in the world at something, but it just doesn't come to life. Those films are, in some ways, more frustrating than flat-out bad films, because it's hard to pinpoint where things went wrong.

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<p>This is just a random picture of Aaryn, because I don't want to spoil elimination.</p>

This is just a random picture of Aaryn, because I don't want to spoil elimination.

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Big Brother' Thursday Results - Whose eviction ends Aaryn's reign?

Would Candice, Howard or Amanda go home?

Another Head of Household tenure will end for Aaryn on Thursday (August 1) night. 

Will the end of her reign see the departure of Amanda, Candice or Howard? Well, yes. Obviously. But which one? 

Let's find out, after the break...

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<p>Josh Brolin, looking less than Quasimodo-like.</p>

Josh Brolin, looking less than Quasimodo-like.

Credit: AP Photo/Jim Ross

Zhang Yimou circles Hollywood debut with Josh Brolin-starring 'Quasimodo'

The Chinese auteur might inherit a project once slated for Tim Burton

There are an awful lot of ifs, maybes and "in talks" still attached to this story, so don't get too excited (or bewildered) just yet, but it's certainly the least expected pre-production news of the day: veteran Chinese director Zhang Yimou is in the frame to direct his first Hollywood studio feature, "Quasimodo" -- obviously enough, a take on the oft-filmed Victor Hugo chestnut "The Hunchback of Notre Dame."

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"Brooklyn Nine-Nine"

 "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"

Credit: FOX

Press Tour: 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' promises color-blind cast and fun guests

Andy Samberg plays a 'jackass' cop, but a talented one

While many of the questions about the workplace/cop comedy "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" landed with the producers of the show during the FOX press tour panel for the show, more than a few were lobbed at the cast, which was peppered with familiar faces. Andre Braugher ("Homicide: Life on the Street") and Andy Samberg ("Saturday Night Live") were joined by retired NFL pro Terry Crews ("Bridesmaids"), Melissa Fumero ("Gossip Girl"), stand-up and writer Chesea Peretti ("Louie"), Joe Lo Truglio ("Reno 911") and Stephanie Beatriz ("Modern Family"). 

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15 potential awards players still looking for a home

15 potential awards players still looking for a home

As we inch closer to the season these movies are looking for distribution

You can hear the machinery clicking to life. We've moved into August, meaning the Telluride Film Festival is just four short weeks away. Trailers are landing, festival announcements are filling email inboxes and soon enough the awards season will be in full swing.

As we inch closer, however, there are still a number of films that, at least on paper, would appear to have a lot of awards season potential. Many of them are playing the early fall fests, Toronto in particular, given the market for product at that annual showcase. It's possible this studio or that decides some added firepower is needed and they go shopping for more Oscar players, but just as many will be scooped up for 2014 release.

With all that in mind, Guy and I have put our heads together to come up with a list of 15 that, at least to our eye, could figure into the race in some way big or small if acquired in a timely fashion. We've noted festival players, though in the case of Telluride -- as ever -- all we can do is guess. So we've hung a "maybe" out on a few in that regard.

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"Enlisted"

 "Enlisted"

Credit: FOX

Press Tour: FOX's 'Enlisted' will be 'intensely personal,' but silly, too

The show takes a shot at Bradley Cooper, but not the Army
The press tour panel for FOX's "Enlisted" seemed to, consciously or unconsciously, reflect the intended tone of the show: silly, then serious. Stars Geoff Stults (Pete Hill), Chris Lowell (Derrick Hill) and Parker Young (Randy Hill) traded barbs at such rapid speed it was hard to make out what was being said, much less who said what. Given that they're playing brothers, it seemed that connection carried over to real life. 
 
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Confirmed: New "Doctor Who" will be revealed live on Sunday


Confirmed: New "Doctor Who" will be revealed live on Sunday
BBC will air a "Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor" special at 7 pm UK time (2 pm ET and 11 am PT). Yes, it'll be broadcast on BBC America.

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"Almost Human"

 "Almost Human"

Credit: FOX

Press Tour: 'Almost Human' to have robot ethics, but maybe not robot sex

Michael Ealy describes his android character's 'innocence'

"Almost Human," a new FOX series presented at press tour, promises lots of action and, more importantly, an uneasy working relationship between grumpy cop Det. John Kennex (Karl Urban, "Star Trek") and android Dorian (Michael Ealy, "Sleeper Cell"). For some in the audience, it all brought back memories of the 1989 TV series "Alien Nation," but creator/executive producer J.H. Wyman shrugged off any similarities to any specific scifi influence, mentioning inspiration was drawn from "so many sources." "We wanted to do something that was a bit different…" he said, adding that the decision to create put a fresh spin on the typical android pining to be human storyline was very intentional. "It was better to have a robot that was more human than he could handle [instead]." 

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<p>Our first glimpse of a Sentinel came at this year's San Diego Comic-Con.</p>

Our first glimpse of a Sentinel came at this year's San Diego Comic-Con.

Credit: Drew McWeeny/HitFix

Bryan Singer reveals a first look at a full-size free-standing Sentinel from 'Days Of Future Past'

Was it worth the wait to finally see the mutant-hunting giant robots?

When we're at an event like Comic-Con, there isn't always time to post a complete news story on every single thing you see or encounter. That's one reason it's good to also follow my Twitter feed during an event like that. For example, at one point, I was on my way to the main convention center and passed the spot where 20th Century Fox had a Sentinel head on display, and I snapped a quick picture of it and sent it out.

Almost immediately, I started getting asked questions about scale, which is fair. I didn't have anything else in the shot to give you an idea of how big the head was. I got a real sense of excitement from many of you about the idea of finally seeing Sentinels in the "X-Men" films. I agree. I know that when I first fell in love with the X-Men titles in print, part of what fascinated me was the image of these giant mutant-killing robots that were deployed by the government.

One of the guys who appeared on the "X-Men: Days Of Future Past" panel was Hutch Parker, one of the producers on the film. During Tom Rothman's time at the studio, Parker was one of the executives who worked closely with him, which makes me wonder how a conversation between the two of them would go today. Rothman, keep in mind, was the studio head who said "No 'X-Men' movie is ever going to feature stupid giant robots as long as I'm running Fox," and now we've reached a moment where not only are there giant robots, but Bryan Singer, who Rothman felt betrayed the studio and the franchise, is the one who is responsible for finally introducing them.

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Comedy Central promotes James Franco's roast with a punch to the face


Comedy Central promotes James Franco's roast with a punch to the face
"It ain't gonna be pretty."


Americans spend more time on digital devices than watching TV, study finds
Digital devices include surfing the web on your computer or spending time with your smartphone.


Preview Oprah's 1st Letterman appearance in 8 years
The two TV titans discussed meditation.


Rob Lowe and Rashida Jones react to leaving "Parks and Rec"
"Such a bittersweet time for me," tweeted Jones. "It has literally been a world class pleasure," added Lowe.


CNN's "Our Nixon" uses footage from 500 reels of Super-8 home movie footage
Tonight's documentary on Richard Nixon offers a unique look at Richard Nixon and the Watergate scandal.

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Fox expects 'Glee' to end after 2 more seasons


Fox expects "Glee" to end after 2 more seasons
The Season 6 finale in May 2015 will likely be the series finale -- unless the show finds new breakout stars, says Fox's Kevin Reilly.

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