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<p>Both of my kids thought this was MechaGodzilla at first glance. In related news, my kids are awesome.</p>

Both of my kids thought this was MechaGodzilla at first glance. In related news, my kids are awesome.

Credit: Mondo/Phantom City Creative

A striking new 'Godzilla' poster for Comic-Con raises the question of apocalypse fatigue

At what point have we had enough of the end of the world?

One of the things that filmmakers would do well to take away from this year as an important lesson is that we have reached the point of apocalyptic overload as a collective audience.

It makes sense. One of the things that special effects crews have gotten very good at is destroying cities. At this point, it's such a familiar image that it almost doesn't register in terms of how horrifying it would be if it were real. Last night, my oldest son was in my office and a preview for "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" came on before whatever movie I had put in the player. He hasn't seen the film, but he stopped to look at the trailer, and the big "money shot," if you will, is the total and immediate destruction of London. Looking at it out of context like that, as a thrown-away bit of mayhem designed to get you to buy a ticket, it struck me as really distasteful.

One of the biggest sticking points regarding "Man Of Steel" for many of you appears to be the way the chaos and destruction of the final battle with Zod escalates and the sheer scale of the destruction. As violent as that fight is, what I found upsetting in the film was the effect of the World Engine, the terraforming device that consists of two machines, one on either side of the planet. The destruction caused by that device is truly horrible to witness, and I don't think Zack Snyder downplayed that at all. You see cars and buildings and people sucked up into the gravity field and then slammed back to Earth with such brutality that you know nothing could survive it.

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Watch: Justin Timberlake joins Jay-Z for 'Holy Grail' live in the U.K.
Credit: AP Photo/Joel Ryan

Watch: Justin Timberlake joins Jay-Z for 'Holy Grail' live in the U.K.

Here's what you can expect when the North American tour starts Wednesday

Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake’s Legends of the Summer tour kicks off in North American on Wednesday in Toronto. The two superstars gave fans a little taste of what to expect as they played two dates during Yahoo’s Wireless Festival in the U.K. over the weekend. For Timberlake’s July 12 solo set, Jay-Z joined him for “Suit & Tie,” then on Saturday night, Timberlake returned the favor by coming out for “Holy Grail.” 

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"The Real Housewives of New Jersey"

 "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" 

Credit: Bravo

'Real Housewives of New Jersey': All hell breaks loose 'When Joes Collide'

A bonding, healing retreat ends up in a brawl

We knew it all had to come to blows sooner or later, didn't we? In this nightmare episode of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey," the two Joes finally got into it, with Joe Gorga scrabbling across the floor like a feral monkey and Joe Giudice snarling like, well, Joe Giudice. Punches were thrown, Melissa somehow sandwiched herself in the middle of the ruckus -- and Teresa, the one who started it all, tottered away from the fight like a little kid who's been caught stealing cookies. I guess she was toddling off to ask someone to call 911, but really, that might be assuming too much of Teresa.

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Oscar winners Rick Carter and Alex Gibney among newly elected Academy governors
Credit: AMPAS

Oscar winners Rick Carter and Alex Gibney among newly elected Academy governors

10 first-timers in total have been elected

According to an Academy press release, 10 first-time governors have been elected to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Board of Governors. In addition, eight incumbents have been reelected and one previous governor is returning to the board. This year's election increases the Academy's governing body from 43 to 48.

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'True Blood' renewed for Season 7

"True Blood" renewed for Season 7

HBO says of the renewal: "'True Blood’ remains a signature show for HBO, and a true phenomenon with our viewers."

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Cory Monteith's autopsy put on the fast track

Cory Monteith's autopsy put on the fast track
The toxicology report has been expedited due to intense public interest a Vancouver police source tells E! Results should be expected in two to three days. PLUS: Details of Monteith's final night surface, "Glee" convention in England turns into a memorial, and Monteith's death alters "Glee's"  landscape permanently and irrevocably.

"Scandal" will be syndicated on BET this fall
Starting this fall, Seasons 1, 2 and 3 will air on BET, with Season 3 episodes airing after they debut on ABC.

ABC Family cancels "The Lying Game"
Actress Alexandra Chando revealed the cancelation on Instagram.

"Veronica Mars" coming out with a book series

Rob Thomas has signed a two-book deal to release a mystery series about an adult Veronica. It'll come out in 2014.

PBS creates trailers for fake reality shows

Watch trailers for "Tanning Family," "Long Island Landscapers" and "Clam Kings."

Kris Jenner promoting her talk show by holding a baby

Not daughter Kim Kardashian's baby.

"The Wire's" David Simon tackled the George Zimmerman verdict on his blog, arguing with commenters
Simon has responded to most commenters in the Trayvon Martin case.

VH1 renews "Hit the Floor"
The series starring Dean Cain and Kimberly Elise will return for a 2nd season.

"Downton Abbey" adds a live-in governess for Tom Branson
Actress Daisy Lewis has joined next season's cast.

Some of "The Newsroom's" 13 paid media consultants helped promote the new season
Among Aaron Sorkin's consultants are Chris Matthews, S.E. Cupp and Jeff Greenfield.

"Breaking Bad" teases Walter White
Watch a 10-second promo for the final episodes.

Lifetime teams Alicia Silverstone with "Sex and the City" creator
She'll play a former human resources director in the Darren Star-directed "HR."

BET to air a special on "Fruitvale Station"

A half-hour special tonight will go behind the scenes of the movie, telling "The Story of Oscar Grant."

Travel Channel renews "Bizarre Foods America" plus 3 more, developing "Celebrity Layover"
The cable network also greenlighted motorcycle reality show "Sturgis: 24/7" while renewing "Bizarre Food America," "The Dead Files," "Toy Hunter" and "Trip Flip."

Jennifer Love Hewitt unveils her baby bump

She says of her baby: ""I'm really excited to see what he or she is going to look like!"

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Jenny McCarthy

 Jenny McCarthy

Credit: ABC

'The View' names Jenny McCarthy as a new co-host

The rumors are true

So, the rumors were true after all. Barbara Walters announced this morning that, after 17 appearances on ABC’s “The View” and eight as a guest co-host, Jenny McCarthy will join the talk show as a co-host this fall. The comedian/actress/host and best-selling author officially starts on Monday, September 9 to help kick-off to Season 17.

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It's official: Jenny McCarthy named a co-host on 'The View'

It's official: Jenny McCarthy named a co-host on "The View"
"Jenny brings us intelligence as well as warmth and humor," Barbara Walters said of Joy Behar's replacement, in a statement. "She can be serious and outrageous. She has connected with our audience and offers a fresh point of view. Jenny will be a great addition to the show as we usher in an exciting new chapter for 'The View.'"

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<p>Cory Monteith</p>

Cory Monteith

Credit: Fox

Cory Monteith's death leaves a big hole on 'Glee'

Cory Monteith's death leaves a big hole on "Glee"

As James Poniewozik notes, Monteith had more than a big role on the Fox series: "As Monteith played him, Finn was also often the heart and emotional anchor of a show that could take dizzying plot twists and roller coaster shifts in tone." He adds: "One thing I always admired in Monteith’s performance was that, even if he looked older than a teenager, he was able to capture Finn’s decent, unformed, half-boy-half-man naiveté."
"Glee" director Adam Shankman spoke with Monteith on Saturday: "He said that he was doing amazing"
"Glee" production was set to resume in 2 weeks, at the end of July
Mark Salling: "ill love you always Brother Cory"
John Stamos pays an emotional tribute -- "Glad i knew you Cory"
Matthew Morrison addresses Monteith's death in NYC  performance
How 22 shows handled an actor's death // More celebrity reactions
Lea Michele's rep asks for privacy during this "devastating time"
—See pics of Monteith on July 6 and a photo from July 11
Cory Monteith's best "Glee" performances
Monteith had been listening to a Friendly Fires' "Paris" on repeat in his last week
How the death investigation will proceed

"Big Brother" adds a disclaimer on housemates' prejudice

"At times, the Houseguests may reveal prejudices and other beliefs that CBS does not condone," states the CBS note.

"Homeland" stars submit to an Annie Leibovitz Vogue photo shoot
Check out Claire Danes lying on top of Damian Lewis. PLUS: Vogue declares Claire Danes "Spy, Mother, Comeback Kid."

Former "Real World" star arrested for sexual battery
Dustin Zito from the 2011 Las Vegas season allegedly reached under a female's skirt at a bar on Saturday night. He's also charged with resisting arrest.

Leighton Meester's "Veronica Mars" movie role recast

Due to Meester's busy schedule, her role of Carrie Bishop will be played by Andrea Estella, the lead singer of the band Twin Sister.

"Next Top Model" alum arrested after standoff with a police SWAT team
Renee Alway from Cycle 8 is being accused of a slew of crimes, including burglary, fraud and possession of narcotics.

Watch Eliot Spitzer "confront" Bill Hader on his "SNL" impersonation
Actually, says the disgraced ex-New York governor, "it's a pretty good impression." PLUS: Hader is now living in L.A.

See pics of Jimmy Kimmel's star-studded wedding
Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Garner, Matt Damon, and even Andy Richter (a friend of the bride's) were in attendance. PLUS: Gabourey Sidibe pranked Kimmel by arriving in a wedding dress.

Kyle Massey: I'm not dying of cancer
The "Dancing with the Stars" alum was the victim of a Twitter hoax.

"HIMYM's" Josh Radnor recovering from a broken metatarsal bone

"No running-to-get-the-girl scenes for Mosby for 4-6 weeks," he tweeted.

Louis CK, animated

His "Live At The Beacon Theater" special has been transformed into a cartoon.

Obama golfs with the "Pardon the Interruption" guys

Tony Kornheiser celebrated his 65th birthday Saturday by golfing with the president and Michael Wilbon.

Watch the Season 4 "Boardwalk Empire" trailer

"Only kings understand each other."

"Big Brother" UK star who died of cancer will become the subject of a new opera
Jade Goody, who rose to fame in 2002 and died in 2009, has inspired an opera titled, "and the Crowd (wept)."

Check out a photo of John Lennon with the "Happy Days" cast
Taken in January 1974 when the former Beatle toured Paramount Studios.

Kelly Osbourne gets engaged

The "Fashion Police" star is set to marry her boyfriend, Matthew Mosshart.

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<p>&quot;Back in the Game&quot;</p>

"Back in the Game"

Credit: ABC

Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Back in the Game'

Maggie Lawson and James Caan make this one to check out

[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots. I know some people will be all "These are reviews." If you've read me, you've read my reviews and you know this isn't what they look like.]

Show:"Back in the Game" (ABC)
Airs:Wednesdays at 8:30
The Pitch: It's "Bad News Bears," only with a father-daughter story at the core.
Quick Response: There are five or six new network comedies that I like because I have immediate warmth for the characters and the overall worlds. There are zero new network comedies that I find genuinely and consistently funny. But "Back in the Game" is certainly in that high-ish tier of amiable-but-maybe-not-yet-hilarious pilots. It all starts with Maggie Lawson, who is tremendously appealing as a former softball star forced by circumstance to move back in with the hyper-competitive father who maybe pushed her too hard. Lawson anchors the show entirely and more than anything, she deserves credit for holding her own against James Caan, who is playing his gruff-and-boorish character at a very high volume. Rarely an actor to hold back, Caan has gone big here, but Mark and Robb Cullen's script gives him just enough humanity that he avoids entirely seeming like a sitcom character. The same can't necessarily be said for Ben Koldyke, who sometimes favors punchlines over looking like an actual person. Since Koldyke's last ABC comedy was "Work It," though, I'm definitely willing to give the guy credit for improvement. Koldyke isn't the only one just a bit confused on how broadly to be treating the script. Directors John Requa and Glenn Ficarra give "Back in the Game" ample zip, but somebody down the road will have to help this show settle on a more consistent tone. It's not oppressive or anything. You just have naturalistic kids acting with mugging sitcom kids and underplaying adults acting with overplaying adults and it's a mish-mash. Griffin Gluck, playing Lawson's son, is among the better young actors on ABC's kid-heavy slate and I think that he, Lawson and Caan work well together. That's the core of a decent show and, by the time Lawson gives an obligatory inspirational speech to the rag-tag Little League team she ends up coaching, I was willing to sign on for a while. How is "Back in the Game" going to handle the many months of the year in which nobody plays Little League? Dunno, but they can easily decide that Caan's character used to push his daughter in youth basketball as well, but nobody felt the need to immediately mention it. "Back in the Game" is a solid match with "The Middle" and also could have paired reasonably well with "Modern Family." It's one of at least three ABC comedies that would have been better after "Modern Family" than the one ABC programmed there.
Desire To Watch Again: This is a bad time slot for me and it's going to take an effort to figure out which shows get DVR space and which have to be Hulued later. I'll definitely give "Back in the Game" a few more episodes, but I'm not sure when/where/how. With a little mellowing, Caan and Lawson could settle into one of TV's better father-daughter dynamics, which would be worth seeing.


Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Sean Saves the World' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'Reign' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'The Crazy Ones' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Enlisted' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Betrayal' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'The Blacklist' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'The Tomorrow People' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'Hostages' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Sleepy Hollow' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Trophy Wife' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'The Michael J. Fox Show' 
All of my 2012 Take Me To The Pilots Entries
All of my 2011 Take Me To The Pilots Entries
All of my 2010 Take Me To The Pilots Entries


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<p>John Gallagher Jr. and Emily Mortimer in &quot;The Newsroom.&quot;</p>

John Gallagher Jr. and Emily Mortimer in "The Newsroom."

Credit: HBO

Season premiere review: 'The Newsroom'

A new credits sequence, a muted framing device, and 'News Night' in trouble as season 2 begins

"The Newsroom" is back for a new season. I published an advance review earlier in the week, and I have some specific thoughts on the season premiere coming up just as soon as I have the confidence of a tall man...

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"Big Brother"

 "Big Brother"

Credit: CBS

'Big Brother' recap: Racist hatred reaches a new level in the house

The losers can't contain their malice as mattresses and hamsters flip

Holy crap -- did they actually put up a disclaimer before the show started? "Just FYI, we at CBS aren't racist, homophobic pigs, even though we cast people who are for our TV show! Sorry!" Maybe Aaryn goes on yet another tear, or maybe the nasty comments of the other racist/homophobic hamsters are included in this episode. Really, they could create a voting block. It's what, five hamsters who've said utterly disgusting things? While I'm glad CBS is  no longer ignoring the issue in the primetime show (it would be hard to do at this point), it does make this show a lot less fun than it's been in previous seasons. 

But let's move on. Although "Big Brother" is housing scumbags on the CBS lot, I still regret having lost faith in the show. It really seemed that the Moving Company was on a path of total domination, so can you blame me? Even though the girls in the house had started to catch on, offing Nick required breaking that secret alliance. It was certainly too strong (until it wasn't), right?  But I repent, "Big Brother." I will forevermore trust Julie Chen when she says I must expect the unexpected. Well, until "the unexpected" is a new way to splatter paint and goo on the hamsters. 

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