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<p>Drake</p>

Drake

Credit: Al Powers/AP

Drake' 'Nothing Was The Same' changes everything on next week's Billboard 200

Rapper is one of six debuts in the top 10

It will be another week of huge debuts on the Billboard 200 album chart next week as six albums bow in the top 10.

No one comes close to Drake, whose “Nothing Was The Same” will sell up to 695,000 copies, according to Hits Daily Double. That gves it the second-highest debut sales week of the year, second only to Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience,” which sold 968,000. This will mark his third consecutive No. 1 album and will surpass his previous weekly high, 631,000 for “Take Care.”

Following Drake in a distant second will be Kings of Leon’s “Mechanical Bull,” which will sell up to 120,000 copies. Cher’s “Closer To The Truth” will bow at No. 3 with 70,000, while Elton John’s “Diving Board” comes in at No. 4 (45,000-50,000).

This week’s No. 1, Jack Johnson’s “From Here To Now To You,” slides to No. 5 (40,000), while former No. 1, Luke Bryan’s “Crash My Party” goes to No. 6 (37,000), while staying atop Billboard’s Country Albums Chart.
The other new entries in top 10 belong to Dream Theater, whose self-titled album launches at No. 7 (35,000), and Sting with “The Last Ship” at No. 10 (23,000).

Rounding out the top 10 are Justin Moore’s “Off The Beaten Path”  at No. 8 (27,000) and 2 Chainz’ “B.O.A.T.S. II #Me at No. 9 (23,000).

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<p>&quot;Gang Related&quot;</p>

"Gang Related"

Credit: FOX

Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Gang Related'

A strong cast elevates this fast moving B-movie for TV

[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:"Gang Related" (FOX)
Airs:Midseason TBD
The Pitch: "It's 'Fast & Furious' meets 'The Departed.'" [I'd have gone with "Infernal Affairs," but it's not that literate.]
Quick Response: I feel like I have a very good sense of what "Gang Related" is and how well it's achieving its aspirations. With Chris Morgan, writer of all of the "Fast/Furious" films from "Tokyo Drift" on as creator, there's a welcome bluntness to "Gang Related." It's straight-up testosterone-laden, smashmouth exploitation TV and there's nothing like it on a major network these days. There are badass cops, badass Latino gangsters and, thanks to pilot director Allen Hughes, just a tremendous, digitally shot depiction of the underbelly of Downtown Los Angeles and East LA. Nobody's going for nuance, but I like the unapologetic B-movie sense of stripped-down fun that it has. An amazingly diverse cast is fronted by Ramon Rodriguez, capably escaping the shadow of his brief run as Bosley on ABC's "Charlie's Angels." You've also got strong supporting performances from the likes of RZA, Jay Hernandez, Sung Kang, Terry O'Quinn and at least one end-of-episode cameo from an actor who I hope will become a regular, because he adds nice continuity with another locally set cop show. Cliff Curtis, The Maori George Clooney, doesn't fit with the show's casting verisimilitude, but as the Godfather of Latino Gangsters, he's chowing down on scenery like the Kogi truck just rolled into his neighborhood. There's a lot of thematically high-minded talk about family and loyalty and the American Dream, but it's really more about abrupt reversals and moles and narcs and LA's unique immigrant stratification. I heard a couple colleagues say negative things about "Gang Related," but I think they were watching it thinking that it's aspiring to be an HBO or AMC-style drama with aspirations of being taken seriously. I didn't get that at all. What I got was a show that probably would be perfectly happy just to be a popcorn-y, somewhat glib version of "The Shield." OK. Make that "a lot glib." But this is a great cast and it really doesn't look like any other cast out there and at least 65 percent of the actors are playing characters with shading, not just stereotypes. And really, I can't speak highly enough about the cinematography, which has a "Collateral"-lite look to it. Even when "Gang Related" gets silly -- a "Gangnam Style" punchline desperately needs to be excised, since it'll already be 18+ months out of date by the time this show premieres -- this is a show I'd look at every week if it can maintain these production values. "Gang Related" may not have quality, but it has attitude and swagger.
Desire To Watch Again: Kinda strong. I reserve the right to decide by the second episode that "Gang Related" has shifted from guilty-pleasure urban crime fantasia to straight-up trash. I can imagine it going in that direction. But for now, it's on the right side of things. If you want "Southland," you'll be disappointed, but if you like the blustery machismo of "Fast & Furious" on the small screen? This could work out well.

 

Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'The 100' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Resurrection' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Surviving Jack' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'About a Boy' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Believe' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Us & Them' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'Star-Crossed'  
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'Intelligence' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Crisis' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Rake'  
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'Mom' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Lucky 7'  
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Dads' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Super Fun Night'  
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Welcome to the Family' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'The Millers' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'The Goldbergs' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Ironside'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'We Are Men' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Almost Human' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Back in the Game' 
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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'Unforgettable' renewed for Season 3


"Unforgettable" renewed for Season 3
The once-canceled CBS drama will be back next summer.

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<p>The American Society of Cinematographers' clubhouse in Hollywood.</p>

The American Society of Cinematographers' clubhouse in Hollywood.

ICG honors contributors to cinematography including a familiar HitFix face

Sometimes it's nice to be on the other side

The International Cinematographers Guild (ICG) held a celebratory luncheon at the ASC clubhouse today to showcase the winners of the 2013 Emerging Cinematographers Awards. Those honorees will have their work screened during a special ceremony at the DGA Theater on Sunday night. Friday, the guild took a few moments to honor four more experienced gentlemen for their contribution to the cinematic arts at the American Society of Cinematographers Clubhouse in Hollywood.

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'Modern Family' mulling a spinoff, possibly with Rob Riggle


"Modern Family" mulling a spinoff, possibly with Rob Riggle
Riggle, who played Phil Dunphy's real estate rival Gil Thorpe in two episodes last season, is one of the names being floated for a potential spinoff. The spinoff proposal, though, is still in the early stages.

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<p>Robin Wright gives, quite literally, the performance of her lifetime in Ari Folman's new film 'The Congress'</p>

Robin Wright gives, quite literally, the performance of her lifetime in Ari Folman's new film 'The Congress'

Credit: Drafthouse Films

Review: Robin Wright shakes loose reality in 'The Congress'

A stunning adult mediation on identity in the digital age

Ariel Folman's "Waltz With Bashir" was a strong use of animation to express something personal, a worldview that tried to paint an emotional picture of what it's like to have gone through something harrowing, tied to both your religious and national identity, something that skews your perception for the rest of your life. I was quite taken with the film when it came out, and I have seen it a few times since on Blu-ray, and find it quite beautiful and sad.

One of several films to premiere at Cannes this summer before playing Fantastic Fest in Austin this month, "The Congress" is something else entirely. Loosely working from a novel by Stanislaw Lem, whose work was also the basis of "Solaris," Folman has made the movie that Andrew Niccol was desperately straining to make with "SimOne." The result is a beautiful, eccentric science-fiction story about the liquid nature of identity in the digital age and what it is that defines performance in the first place. Robin Wright stars as a savagely fictionalized version of herself, facing the end of her career in the form of industry-wide indifference thanks to years of meltdowns, rejected offers, and questionable creative decisions. Her agent, played by Harvey Keitel, comes to her with what is described as "the last offer you'll ever get," delivered by the unflinchingly blunt Danny Huston as a studio head who remembers the promise of the young Buttercup and who is angry at the reality of who Wright has become.

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"Secret Sex Lives: Swingers"

 "Secret Sex Lives: Swingers"

Credit: TLC

Exclusive: It's a wedding on the finale of 'Secret Sex Lives: Swingers'

Not every couple is feeling so committed, though

Sadly, "Secret Sex Lives: Swingers" is wrapping up, and in the season finale our intrepid couples are questioning their commitments to one another and, in one case, walking down the aisle and sobbing about it. Yeah, I'm not sure why they're bothering to get married either, but maybe Rebecca just wanted the dress. This exclusive clip from the show (which airs Sat. Sept. 28 at 10:00 p.m. on Discovery Fit & Health) reveals exactly what happens when swingers get together. 

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Fox orders 'Man/Child' pilot starring Damon Wayans Jr.


Fox orders "Man/Child" pilot starring Damon Wayans Jr.
The "Happy Endings" and "New Girl" alum will star in a comedy about single dads.


A&E remaking French zombie drama "The Returned"

Ex-"Lost" boss Carlton Cuse is in talks to adapt the French series, which Sundance Channel will air for Halloween.


"The Love Boat" is getting a musical

A Vegas stage show called "The Love Boats" is set to launch next year, featuring music from 1977 to 1986, the years the series ran.


"Game of Thrones" casts Hizdahr zo Loraq

British actor Joel Fry will play the "young scion of an ancient Meereenese family who crosses paths with Daenerys Targaryen."


Watch the newest "Walking Dead" promo

Featuring a glimpse of "The Wire's" Larry Gilliard Jr.


"Young and the Restless" picks up a "Lost" alum

Cynthia Watros will begin on the soap in November.


"Parks and Rec" is returning to the Indianapolis Colts stadium
Amy Poehler is expected to be on hand to shoot scenes at Lucas Oil Stadium. Last December, the guys on the cast filmed scenes on the Colts' football field.


Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Kate Upton are officially a coupl
e
The Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover model is dating the former "Dancing" hunk.

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Watch: The Killers' new video for 'Shot At The Night'

Watch: The Killers' new video for 'Shot At The Night'

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas

Bella Heathcote plays a maid who gets her prince in The Killers’ new video for “Shot At The Night,” the first single from the band’s best-of collection,  “Direct Hits," out Nov. 11.

Faster than you can say “Blackjack,” she ditches her cleaning cart for an evening out with her dark and mysterious Romeo, played by Max Minghella, and his friends, who are all perfectly fine with the Cinderella-in-the-making crashing their evening. She returns to the hotel before she turns into a pumpkin, but keeps her magic slipper.

Ever see the Jennifer Lopez/Ralph Fiennes movie, “Maid In Manhattan?” It’s kind of like that but shorter and cuter and there’s no “happily ever after”...as far as we know.

Filmed at The Cosmopolitan, the clip serves as a love letter to the Killers’ hometown, Las Vegas, with the city lovingly shot.

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"The Blacklist"

 "The Blacklist"

Credit: NBC

Listen: CulturePop No. 27 - Guest Jim Colucci, 'Real Housewives,' 'Hostages'

Listen: CulturePop No. 27 - Guest Jim Colucci, 'Real Housewives,' 'Hostages'

Melinda and I have to admit that we've had amazingly good luck with getting fun, fascinating guests for our CulturePop podcast, and this week was no exception. Jim Colucci, author of "The Q Guide to the 'Golden Girls'" and "'Will & Grace': Fabulously Uncensored" and the Must-Hear TV correspondent for 'The Frank DeCaro Show on Sirius XM, joined us to talk about both old and new TV shows, including "The Real Housewives of New Jersey," "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and, of course, that beloved '80s sitcom. And yes, we're definitely having him back soon. Here's the rundown: 

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Exclusive: Bernie Taupin and T Bone Burnett on Elton John's song, 'Oceans Away'

Exclusive: Bernie Taupin and T Bone Burnett on Elton John's song, 'Oceans Away'

Taupin on writing the opening track to 'The Diving Board'

Elton John’s “The Diving Board,” his 30th studio album, came out this week and it’s a beautiful, often complex, piano-led album.

In this HitFix exclusive, John’s longtime lyricist, Bernie Taupin, explains the meaning behind “Oceans Away,” the album’s poignant opening track, which features only John’s vocals and piano playing. Producer T Bone Burnett looks on, adding a few comments at the end.

“Oceans Away” is about Taupin’s father and his service as a soldier during WWll.

“My dad’s pretty much been soaked into so many of my songs. I got to the point where I thought I wanted to do one thing that was just a penultimate song about my father and the Great Generation,” he says. As “the last of those people who fought in the second World War are disappearing and dying that they not be forgotten.”

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<p>Yep. That's a Beast.</p>

Yep. That's a Beast.

Credit: Pathe Films

A one-sheet reveals Vincent Cassel and Lea Seydoux in new 'Beauty and the Beast'

Things are getting hairy for the French stars in February

Whoa. I didn't even realize Christophe Gans was working on this one.

"Beauty and the Beast" is one of those irresistible targets for filmmakers, and I would think for French filmmakers, there is a whole different level of expectation attached to anyone who tackles the material. After all, "La Belle et la Bete," the 1946 film by Jean Cocteau, is one of the classic texts of French cinema, and one of the great fantasy films of all time. Jean Marais gave one of the great film performances as the Beast, and the design of the Beast is both memorable and striking.

Over the years, we've seen many takes on the story, and in America, the one that is most defining was made by Disney in 1991. That was more than just a hit for them. If you didn't see the film during that initial theatrical run, you might not understand just what a phenomenon it was. People reacted like they were at a live performance, and it made perfect sense that the film ended up nominated for Best Picture that year. It's still one of the biggest cultural hits they've ever had, and it continues to be an enormously popular catalog title for them.

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