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<p>Lucy Hale in the studio</p>

Lucy Hale in the studio

Lucy Hale from 'Pretty Little Liars' recording country album

What would Aria say?

Pretty Little Liars’” Lucy Hale has a secret of her own: she’s been working on a country album.

Hale, who plays Aria Montgomery on the hit ABC Family series,  grew up listening to Faith Hill, Martina McBride, and Shania Twain, according to press release. Between filming the series and her other duties, such as recently co-hosting the Teen Choice Awards, Hale has been making the trek to Music City to write and record her debut album with producer Mark Bright. Bright has produced albums for artists like Carrie Underwood, Scotty McCreery and Rascal Flatts.

The first single will come out early next year with the full album to follow on Disney Music Group Nashville/Bigger Picture Group.

Hale will start the all important step of  kissing babies and shaking hands with country programmers this fall as she hits the road to let them know that country music is, really, truly, her first love.


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<p>We'll call this photo &quot;reaching&quot;</p>

We'll call this photo "reaching"

Credit: AP Photo

An Open Letter to Miley Cyrus after the Video Music Awards and her 'publicity art'

Thanks for the 'Baby's First Twerk' instructional video, but time to move on

Dear Miley,

I’m not really sure why you feel the need to keep stabbing any existing memory of  “Hannah Montana” in the heart. We got it a few years ago when you performed “Party in the USA” and used the pole on an ice cream cart as a stripper pole. We got it again—over and over—with the various photo spreads with you showing off body parts, grabbing your crotch— and the videos that are your own version of “Girls Gone Wild.” Move over, Joe Francis. And we got it again last night in your Video Music Award stripper act performance.

You pretty much buried Hannah Montana for good after the last movie in 2010 (I know, it’s hard to believe it hasn’t been way longer than that), and you can stop dedicating every minute to stomping on her grave now.  We got it. You are never, ever getting back together with that boring little school girl. Not when there’s molly to ingest and beer to drink and miles of twerking to go before you sleep.

Your "We Can't Stop" performance at the VMAs last night, as you grinded up against dancers dressed as plushie teddy bears, looked like something out of a misguided “Baby’s First Twerk” home video.  Really, no one wants to see that and it’s a good thing that Robin Thicke had on sunglasses for your performance together on “Blurred Lines” so we couldn’t see his reaction as you stroked his crotch with a foam finger. Somehow, you made the women in the “Blurred Lines” video look classy. Nice job!

A friend of mine has coined a new term for performances like yours. He calls it "publicity art." It's certainly not music and it's not really performance art —there's not that much thought put into it. It's a calculated attempt at grabbing headlines and it works. But only for so long. And the really irritating thing about it is you have to keep upping the ante. No performer can keep that up forever.

Instead of trying to shock us with how shocking you are and expecting us all to clutch our pearls, why not really stun us with something: show us that you can sing. Some of us know you can from songs like "The Climb" and "Wrecking Ball," the song you released yesterday, but a lot of folks need a reminder.  You don’t have to stop dancing or even twerking and stomping around like some awkward dinosaur, but it would be nice if you quit sticking out your tongue more than Gene Simmons. It’s almost like you have a facial tic.

No one expects you to dress up like you’re headed to a church social though you certainly got some great reactions, including Rihanna’s stony-faced, slightly bemused one. Not like she’s one to talk.

We already know you  Can’t Be Tamed. That’s so 2010. Why not show us that you can’t be stopped because you’re simply too talented.




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Bill Murray, Letterman's 1st guest, will return for "The Late Show's" 20th anniversary

Bill Murray, Letterman's 1st guest, will return for "The Late Show's" 20th anniversary

"The Late Show" premiered on Aug. 30, 1993. But since David Letterman doesn't tape Friday shows during the summer, he's celebrating his 20th anniversary on Thursday, Aug, 29.

Syfy orders "12 Monkeys" pilot
Syfy is remaking the 1995 Terry Gilliam film starring Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis.

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<p>'Animal House' seems to have ushered many working filmmakers into adulthood.</p>

'Animal House' seems to have ushered many working filmmakers into adulthood.

Credit: Universal Pictures

Big Question: What was the first R-rated film you saw?

Judd Apatow, Mark Duplass, Paul Scheer and more reminisce about a movie lover's milestone

As you read this, I am just kicking off a week-long globe-trotting vacation with my family. Toshi and Allen and I should be doing wind-sprints up and down the steps outside the Parthenon right about now.

While we enjoy that, I'd like to share the first of five special vacation articles, where I've reached out to a wide array of people I know to answer a different question every day. I sent out the fire questions as part of one big e-mail last week, and I asked people to send me as many of the five responses as they felt like. Some people did one, some people did a few, and several people answered all five.

I would love to hear your responses to these questions as well. When I get back to Los Angeles next weekend, I'm excited to dig in and read all the answers you guys leave, and I hope you end up enjoying this week's articles in the meantime.

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Stephen Colbert was wrong: Daft Punk didn't perform at VMAs

Stephen Colbert was wrong: Daft Punk didn't perform at VMAs

Did the French robot duo troll Colbert?

Taylor Swift mouths the F-word during VMAs
"Shut the F*ck up," she said as her ex Harry Styles accepted the Moon Man with his One Direction bandmates.

'N Sync's reunion was short-lived
Blink and you might've missed it.

Miley Cyrus' performance leaves audience gasping
Cyrus, 20, dry-humped the 36-year-old Robin Thicke on stage. PLUS: That was Miley's minstrel show, Best and worst moments, and Jimmy Fallon & Justin Timberlake backstage.

"Breaking Bad" writer: It was "torture" coming up with last night's big revelation
The revelation has been in the works since Season 4. "It was just a matter of placing it," says Gennifer Hutchison, who wrote last night's episode. "When is the worst possible time this could be realized? How about the time when Jesse is actually, maybe going to be okay? Let's do it then and ruin everything!" PLUS: What was up with Saul's license plate?, is Todd more evil than Gus Fring?, was the epiphany believable?, the M60 machine gun continues to color every episode, the dinner scene shows how "Breaking Bad" excels at cognitive dissonance, that Walt tape was so audacious!, see Bob Odenkirk's stunt double, and did the reveal ruin "Breaking Bad" as the greatest show.

"Breaking Bad's" Skyler White: Why did it take so long to make her interesting?
Anna Gunn's NY Times Op-Ed doesn't go far enough in explaining why her character is so hated, says Maureen Ryan. "'Breaking Bad' is an undoubtedly a great show, but, as is the case with too many television dramas, for while there it didn't really know what to do with its female characters," she writes. "The AMC drama clearly struggled to make Skyler and Marie Schrader ... anything but subsidiary figures who rarely moved into -- or deserved -- the spotlight. Their behaviors and reactions were easy to predict, and if the writers didn't show consistent interest in their emotional lives and the women's inner depths, why would viewers care about them, let alone have positive responses to them?" PLUS: Is there really mass hatred for Skyler White?, and people, even women hate Skyler because she's bitter and boring.

Report: Danny McBride wants Lindsay Lohan to star on his new HBO show

According to TMZ, McBride was really impressed by Lohan's guest-starring gig on "Eastbound & Down." PLUS: Watch the new "Eastbound" trailer.

"The Shield's" Strike Team reunites

Check out Michael Chiklis with Kenny Johnson and Walton Goggins (but not David Rees Snell).

James Franco roast spoilers

Read the best jokes from last night's taping.

Baltimore Ravens cancels practice, bring in Tracy Morgan
The defending Super Bowl champs decided to let the former "30 Rock" star entertain the players this weekend.

ESPN boss found the "Frontline" NFL concussions doc trailer to be "sensational"
ESPN president explains to his ombudsman that he particularly objected to the tagline, "Get ready to change the way you see the game."

Adam West offers Ben Affleck advice on being the new Batman
"Bring deodorant"

Wentworth Miller's "Prison Break" brother reacts to his coming out
"As a friend and someone I care for deeply, I am very proud of Wentworth," says Dominic Purcell.

"The Walking Dead" offers a new sneak peek

Watch a new clip featuring Michonne.

Kim and Kanye's baby photo helps boost Kris Jenner's ratings
She had a season high with her season finale on Friday. PLUS: "Khloe & Lamar" separate.

Bart Simpson is not impressed

See what "The Simpsons" storyboard artist Brad Ableson drew for McKayla Maroney.

Peter Jackson won't be directing "Doctor Who" in the near future
Despite an open invitation, Jackson will be working on the "Hobbit" for the next two years.

"Homeland" cast recaps the first two seasons
"From the beginning."

Ex-"Gilmore Girls" star Scott Patterson spends $500,000 on a photograph

See the picture taken by celebrity photographer Tyler Shields.

"Knots Landing" star Julie Harris dies at 87
The Broadway icon won two Emmys, but not for her role as Lilimae Clements on "Knots Landing."

"NCIS: LA" star Eric Christian Olsen welcomes his first child, a son
Actress Sarah Wright, who plays Jerry's daughter on "Parks and Rec," gave birth to Wyatt Oliver on Aug. 16.

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Register at HitFix and you could win a Hodor t-shirt!

Register at HitFix and you could win a Hodor t-shirt!

Four out of five Hodors say registering for HitFix is hodor

A few weeks ago, the prize for registering at HitFix (or updating your current registered account) was a copy of my book. (Signed paperbacks to the winners should be going out this week.) This week's prize is another one with What's Alan Watching? appeal: our very special Hodor-themed t-shirt (with a WAW logo on the back), which expresses a philosophy of life as only Hodor can.

Again, all you have to do is follow this link to either register for a new account or update your old one and you'll be entered for a drawing to win said t-shirt. It's fast, it's easy, it's Hodor.

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<p>Mia Wasikowska in &quot;Tracks.&quot;</p>

Mia Wasikowska in "Tracks."

Credit: See-Saw Films

Venice preview, part four: 'The Zero Theorem,' 'Joe,' 'Tracks,' 'Via Castellana Bandiera,' 'Sacro GRA'

Casting an eye another five Golden Lion contenders

Concluding our preview of the 20 titles in the running for the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, which kicks off on Wednesday. Today's selection includes new films from Terry Gilliam, David Gordon Green, John Curran, Emma Dante and Gianfranco Rosi.

"The Zero Theorem," directed by Terry Gilliam: It's been nearly 20 years since the last Terry Gilliam film that was widely embraced by either critics or audiences, but when it comes to festival programmers and industry peers, goodwill from the honorary Brit's "Monty Python"-to-"12 Monkeys" glory days is a seemingly limitless resource. The Venice Film Festival has backed Gilliam in times both thick and thin. "The Fisher King" premiered there in 1991, winning him the Silver Lion; 14 years later, he received a frostier welcome on the Lido with the roundly (and rightly) panned "The Brothers Grimm." Which way will "The Zero Theorem" go? We can hope that the presence of "Grimm" star Matt Damon in the cast isn't a sign pointing to the latter route.

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"Big Brother"

"Big Brother"

Credit: CBS

'Big Brother' recap: Which jury member returns to the house?

Thanks to a tough double competition, the game dynamic shifts

This week I decided to check the Interwebs find out what was happening in the Big Brother house, and though that spoiled any element of surprise for tonight's show, it was worth it. Given this week's double competition -- half of it dedicated to bringing a jury member back to the show, the other half set to determine who would be HoH -- I felt it was better to be prepared.

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Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry

 Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry

Credit: AP Photo

Red Carpet Winners and Losers at the 2013 MTV VMAs

Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry and more celebs rock the carpet

Ah, the MTV VMAs are here again, and with them comes the hope for crazy-ass fashion statements. If there was ever a place to rock what appears to be a wardrobe malfunction (Lil Kim), it's during this event. While some rules of fashion still apply (try not to look fatter, older or outdated), other than those vague guidelines it's anything goes -- and yes, there are plenty of nutso outfits that would be major fashion don'ts almost anywhere else that are strangely perfect here.

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<p>Jane Fonda, Sam Waterston and Jeff Daniels in &quot;The Newsroom.&quot;</p>

Jane Fonda, Sam Waterston and Jeff Daniels in "The Newsroom."

Credit: HBO

Review: 'The Newsroom' - 'Red Team III'

The Genoa story is a big hit, and then a bigger fiasco

A review of tonight's "The Newsroom" coming up just as soon as I spend $1000 to meet Daniel Craig...

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<p>Lady Gaga opens the 2013 MTV&nbsp;Video Music Awards.</p>

Lady Gaga opens the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards.

Credit: AP Photo/CharlesSykes

Watch: Lady Gaga opens MTV VMAs with 'Applause'

How many wigs does she wear?

Lady Gaga took a stroll down memory lane with her performance of “Applause” to open the MTV Video Music Awards. Starting as a nun (with her face through a block of white poster board), she segued from wig to wig, recreating various videos of yore, to “ARTPOP’s” face paint until she ended the frantic performance in the clam shell bikini she features in the "Applause" video.

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<p>Scarlett Johansson in &quot;Under the Skin.&quot;</p>

Scarlett Johansson in "Under the Skin."

Credit: Film4

Venice preview, part three: 'Under the Skin,' 'Night Moves,' 'Tom at the Farm,' 'Ana Arabia,' 'The Police Officer's Wife'

Casting an eye over another five Golden Lion contenders

Continuing our preview of the 20 titles in the running for the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, which kicks off next week. Today's selection includes new films from Jonathan Glazer, Kelly Reichardt, Xavier Dolan, Amos Gitai and Philip Gröning. 

"Under the Skin," directed by Jonathan Glazer: Regular readers may well have worked out that this is my most anticipated title of the Venice Film Festival -- if not the entire remainder of 2013. Impatiently, I held out a sliver of hope that Glazer's long-awaited third feature would show up in Cannes, but it was always likeliest to premiere on the Lido -- where the British director's last feature, "Birth," was unveiled a full nine years ago. The eerie reincarnation drama was an immediately polarizing title. Some denounced it as overreaching twaddle; I'm in the camp that deems it one of the films of the new century. Nothing about "Under the Skin" suggests that Glazer, in his long absence, has grown any more inclined to play it safe.

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