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<p>Travis Fimmel of &quot;Vikings&quot;</p>

Travis Fimmel of "Vikings"

Credit: History

Interview: 'Vikings' star Travis Fimmel discusses making Ragnar relatable

Aussie talks about his character actor instincts and Emmy chances
We're on the eve of the 10th anniversary of The WB's "Tarzan," which introduced the world to Australian model-turned-actor Travis Fimmel.
 
Fans of History's "Vikings" whose only point-of-reference for Fimmel was  "Tarzan" may have been surprised by his intense, intriguingly crazed performance as upwardly mobile warrior and family man Ragnar Lothbrok. 
 
Since his short-lived WB debut, though, Fimmel has made a string of interestingly quirky career choices, starting with an dark and internalized performance in "The Beast," going even darker and more tortured in the early episodes of NBC's "Chase" and going unexpectedly Southern and backwoods in FX's "Outlaw Country," a pilot that didn't go to series but aired as a TV movie. 
 
I got on the phone with the self-deprecating Fimmel a couple weeks ago to talk about "Vikings" and about his own acting instincts, which tend more in the "character actor" direction. 
 
Fimmel, who insists he's still just a farm boy at heart, discusses the challenges of making Ragnar and the Vikings relatable, the ego-free Irish set and his appreciation for "Vikings" creator Michael Hirst.
 
He also handicaps his Emmy chances in very amusing fashion.
 
Click through for the full conversation. 
 
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<p>Mariah Carey</p>

Mariah Carey

Credit: FOX

Mariah Carey delays release of album

No new street date for 'The Art Of Letting Go'

It would appear that Mariah Carey has not learned the art of letting go. Carey, whose album, “The Art Of Letting Go,” was slated for a July 23 release, has been pushed back.

In a tweet to fans Monday night, Carey said, “While making this album, I got so immersed in the creative process that I just don’t feel I would be doing it justice to release it on 7/23.” And then later, “I’d rather not exclude meaningful songs. I want to give you this album as it’s meant to be heard. When I’m ready, you’ll be the first 2 know.”

That could be code for “we need more hits” or “I don’t want to do all this promo stuff right now” or it could really mean that she wants to rework the album, though calling it back a month before release for an artist as big as Carey is a bit of a major step given that the marketing campaign was surely already in place for a July 23 drop.

As far as we know, Carey will still perform at the 2013 BET Awards on June 30 and for free in Central Park on July 13 as part of a Major League Baseball’s Sandy Relief efforts.


 

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<p>I&nbsp;can't say his character's name, and I&nbsp;certainly can't say the name of his group of evil villains, so, uh... check out That Guy and Those Other Guys!</p>

I can't say his character's name, and I certainly can't say the name of his group of evil villains, so, uh... check out That Guy and Those Other Guys!

Credit: Universal Pictures

Christopher Mintz-Plasse discusses the pains and pleasures of returning for 'Kick-Ass 2'

We discuss the year's most disturbing costume and his new approach to his career

BUCKINGHAMSHIRE - The last time I saw Christopher Mintz-Plasse before arriving on the Pinewood Studios set for "Kick-Ass 2," it was roughly 3:00 in the morning, and we had just finished recording a podcast where we discussed Rob Zombie's "Lords Of Salem," which we saw at the film's midnight screening at the Toronto Film Festival.

Chris was in Toronto to shoot exteriors for the sequel to Matthew Vaughn's 2008 adaptation of the cult hit comic series by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr., and he'd never been to the festival. Talking to him about the film as they were getting started, he seemed optimistic. I met Chris for the first time on the set of "Superbad," and at that point, he was brand-new to filmmaking, figuring out what he was doing as he did it. There was an intuitive approach to his work that served him well on that film. One of the reasons that McLovin became iconic was because Chris seemed to be that guy. It didn't look like acting. It was just a case of casting doing 2/3 of the job.

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<p>Macklemore and Ryan Lewis</p>

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

Could Macklemore & Ryan Lewis's 'Same Love' be Top 40's first 'historic' same-sex radio hit?

As we await SCOTUS' ruling, it certainly looks that way

Could Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s “Same Love” be the first same-sex anthem to be a Top 40 radio hit?

The answer looks like yes.

The song, the latest single from “The Heist,” was No. 33 on the Billboard Top 40 last week (we’ll have the new numbers on Wednesday). That chart comprises radio play, Youtube and other online streaming, and digital sales, so a wildly popular video, such as Baauer's "Harlem Shuffle" can top the chart without receiving much radio airplay. More importantly in terms of radio airwaves, the song leaps six places this week to No. 24 on the Billboard’s Mainstream Top 40 chart with an additional 905 spins from last week. Of the 159 radio stations reporting to Billboard, 130 are playing the song.

While Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way,” which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, affirmed acceptance for all including the LBGT community,  “Same Love” would be the first song to reach the top 20 to embrace the concept of gay marriage. (To be sure, there have been gay anthems that have hit the Top 40 before,  like  The Village People's "YMCA" or Frankie Goes To Hollywood's "Relax." Plus, we also have to give a shout out to Garth Brooks' "We Shall Be Free," which reached No. 12 on Billboard's Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart in 1992, and included the line "When we're free to love anyone we choose," a shout out to same-sex couples.)

And it not now, when? Here are a few reasons why:

**The timing is perfect as the country awaits the U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Prop 8 tomorrow.

**Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are dominating Top 40 right now, coming off of back-to-back No. 1 smashes with “Thrift Shop” and “Can’t Hold Us,” and programmers are eager to keep the hit parade coming. Unlike Adult Contemporary, which will hold onto a song for months in heavy rotation, Top 40 is eager to keep the churn going.

**Top 40 listeners skew young, including the prized 18-24 demographic. In poll after poll, that age group has shown little resistance to the notion of gay marriage, so even in conservative states, it’s possible that the song could receive less blowback than one would traditionally think.

Over a spritely piano bed of The Impressions’ “People Get Ready,” Macklemore raps about his thoughts on how it’s time for gay marriage to be the law (the song was written in support of Washington state’s referendum on legalizing same-sex marriage in 2012). He hits on a vast array of points, including how if he were gay, he’d be upset about how hip-hop treats gays; those who cling to Bible verses to support their opposition to gay marriage, and suicide rates among gays. “A certificate on paper isn’t going to solve it all/but it’s a damn good start,” he sings.

His words are framed around Mary Lambert’s soulful singing of both the refrain,“I can’t change even if I tried/even if I wanted to,” and the opening words of 1 Corinthians 13, “Love is patient, love is kind.”

Warner Bros. began officially working the song at Top 40 after “Can’t Hold Us” peaked at No. 1.  "It was as pre-sold as a hit song can be. It could have happened while 'Thrift Shop' was a hit. It should have happened while marriage equality was [first argued] in front of the Supreme Court. That it didn't was as much the nature of radio and label priorities as the subject matter,” says Sean Ross, author of the Ross on Radio column and purveyor of more radio knowledge than anyone I’ve ever met. He adds that the song is still "weeks away"  from having its greatest impact at radio, meaning it's still building steam.

The song had a brief run at Top 40 radio when it was originally released in support of the Washington referendum last year and has been on YouTube and floating around for nearly a year, but now it is getting the full-court press from Warner Bros., which means that stations that may have been reluctant to jump on it earlier may now.

Calling it “historic,” if the song becomes a major Top 40 hit, Gary Trust, Billboard’s associate director of charts/radio, says he thinks the time could be right. “It’s edgy lyrically, but with the whole topic of marriage equality being so mainstream, maybe there won’t be any barriers. Maybe now more than any other time it would have a better chance...it would be a historic barometer at Top 40 of where the audiences are.”

As he also notes, though they are few and far between, it wouldn’t be the first time a message song has made a dint on the Top 40, citing such songs as Helen Reddy’s “I Am Woman”  No. 1 hit in 1972, which celebrated the women’s movement.

Ross also likes “Same Love’s” chances: “As a long-ish recitation—of the sort that was more common in the '60s— it could conceivably run its course quickly or hit the research buzz saw in a few weeks, but all signs are strong today.”

Below the embed are the lyrics to the tremendously moving song (courtesy www.azlyrics.com)


 

"SAME LOVE" lyrics


When I was in the third grade I thought that I was gay,
'Cause I could draw, my uncle was, and I kept my room straight.
I told my mom, tears rushing down my face
She's like "Ben you've loved girls since before pre-k, trippin' "
Yeah, I guess she had a point, didn't she?
Bunch of stereotypes all in my head.
I remember doing the math like, "Yeah, I'm good at little league"
A preconceived idea of what it all meant
For those that liked the same sex
Had the characteristics
The right wing conservatives think it's a decision
And you can be cured with some treatment and religion
Man-made rewiring of a predisposition
Playing God, aw nah here we go
America the brave still fears what we don't know
And God loves all his children, is somehow forgotten
But we paraphrase a book written thirty-five-hundred years ago
I don't know

And I can't change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
And I can't change
Even if I try
Even if I wanted to
My love
My love
My love
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm

If I was gay, I would think hip-hop hates me
Have you read the YouTube comments lately?
"Man, that's gay" gets dropped on the daily
We become so numb to what we're saying
A culture founded from oppression
Yet we don't have acceptance for 'em
Call each other faggots behind the keys of a message board
A word rooted in hate, yet our genre still ignores it
Gay is synonymous with the lesser
It's the same hate that's caused wars from religion
Gender to skin color, the complexion of your pigment
The same fight that led people to walk outs and sit ins
It's human rights for everybody, there is no difference!
Live on and be yourself
When I was at church they taught me something else
If you preach hate at the service those words aren't anointed
That holy water that you soak in has been poisoned
When everyone else is more comfortable remaining voiceless
Rather than fighting for humans that have had their rights stolen
I might not be the same, but that's not important
No freedom till we're equal, damn right I support it

(I don't know)

And I can't change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
My love
My love
My love
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm

We press play, don't press pause
Progress, march on
With the veil over our eyes
We turn our back on the cause
Till the day that my uncles can be united by law
When kids are walking 'round the hallway plagued by pain in their heart
A world so hateful some would rather die than be who they are
And a certificate on paper isn't gonna solve it all
But it's a damn good place to start
No law is gonna change us
We have to change us
Whatever God you believe in
We come from the same one
Strip away the fear
Underneath it's all the same love
About time that we raised up

And I can't change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
And I can't change
Even if I try
Even if I wanted to
My love
My love
My love
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
Love is patient
Love is kind
Love is patient
Love is kind
(I'm not crying on Sundays)
Love is patient
(I'm not crying on Sundays)
Love is kind
(I'm not crying on Sundays)
Love is patient
(I'm not crying on Sundays)
Love is kind
(I'm not crying on Sundays)
Love is patient
(I'm not crying on Sundays)
Love is kind
(I'm not crying on Sundays)
Love is patient
Love is kind
 

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<p>M.I.A.</p>

M.I.A.

Watch: M.I.A. goes goddess in 'Bring the Noize' video

First single from 'Matangi': Is she a lord of music?

M.I.A.'s acclaimed video for single "Bad Girls" charmed viewers by combining visuals of the West with East (more specifically, Middle East); now the dancehall/pop/noise/hip-hop artist has done it again with her fresh "Bring the Noize," crowning herself a goddess in a temple of dance.

"Bring the Noize" is a nod at the Public Enemy song of the same name, a good descriptor of its sound and is also the intro to "Matangi," M.I.A.'s next album. Matangi is a Hindu goddess of music and word. It's also M.I.A.'s real name -- Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam. A fertile combo -- political songwriting, spiritual maxims, pop cultural context.

All interesting stuff, following a week filled with Kanye West proclaiming himself "Yeezus."

M.I.A. has spent her career on sensational, radical, halting, genre-bending and political statements, some coherent, others not nearly. In the video for "Bring the Noize," she uses familiar symbols in Hindu that are, without coincidence, less familiar to Western audiences. It starts with devotional singing, chopped and screwed into the noisy beat, and looped around images of sacred cows; breaking coconuts; the OM symbol in brilliant colors; ritual "washing" from holy fire (with smoke machines, natch). She dances, bejeweled around rows of mostly male worshipers, who have removed their shoes and dressed all in white.

There's a holy purpose in all the topis, turbans, and the wild Western spin on traditional fashion: in the words from her Facebook page, "GODDESS OF WORD BITCHES IMA KEEP IT BANGING." Crudely, she's co-opting those "sacred cows" to establish herself with a whole new swagger, or at least the kind that Interscope or any other major label has yet to push large-scale.

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Kris Jenner

Kris Jenner 

Credit: AP Photo

'Kris' invites fans to compete to be a Kardashian for a day

Winning doesn't mean starring glumly into space or doing a sex tape

To celebrate the July 15th premiere of her new summer talk show, “Kris," Kris Jenner has announced a contest seeking an individual who captures the "spirit, strength, love and entrepreneurial attitude" of the Jenner-Kardashian family. The winner does not, however, need to speak in a dull monotone or have a sex tape. Phew!

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Watch: 5 things to learn about One Direction in new 'This Is Us' trailer

Watch: 5 things to learn about One Direction in new 'This Is Us' trailer

Plus, hear a snippet of new tune, 'Best Song Ever'

It’s as if little elves woke from their slumber, consulted the teen idol manual that hasn’t changed since Elvis or the Beatles, and then worked their little elf magic to craft the perfect movie trailer for One Direction’s  3D movie, “This Is Us”

[More after the jump...]

 Here are five things you will learn about the British-Irish lads from the clip, all of which will absolutely SHOCK you:

*All they ever wanted to do was sing:
“When I was little I knew I wanted to entertainment people,” says Harry. Adds Niall: “I used to get kicked out of class for singing Irish traditional songs.”

*They are totally adorbs:  They skateboard backstage, laugh, resort to funny, goofball Beatles-type antics such as fishing each other out of the sea, and tearing their too tight trousers, all in G-rated fashion. Even though they were a totally pre-fabricated group, they never, ever argue and love each other like brothers.

*They love their fans:  “I know they love me, even though they don’t know me,” says a teenage girl on the beach, quivering with overpowering adolescent love (don’t laugh, we’ve all been there.....)

*They are good boys: See  Zayn’s mom cry as she’s handed the keys TO HER NEW HOUSE because every single teen idol in the history of teen idol-dom has bought his parents a new house. It’s in the handbook. See the other moms resort to kissing cardboard cut-outs of their sons at night since they are always on the road, spreading their love to their fans.

*They crave adventure: “When you come somewhere completely new, it’s really exciting,” says one of them. And it would be almost believable if it weren’t said by one of the band members in a voiceover that sounds so void of life, so exhausted that it verges on comical.  And then poor Niall has to figure out what to do with miso soup.

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Starz formally picks up 'Outlander' from 'Battlestar Galactica's' Ronald D. Moore


Starz formally picks up "Outlander" from "Battlestar Galactica's" Ronald D. Moore

The cable network ordered 16 episodes of the sci-fi series based on the bestselling books.


"Idol" may scrap all-alum judging panel idea
Kelly Clarkson isn't interested, Adam Lambert hasn't been approached and Jennifer Hudson's reported $4-5 million contract is being held up by the producer shakeup.


Broadway to dim the lights for James Gandolfini

"The Sopranos" star appeared in several Broadway productions, including "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "God of Carnage," which earned him a Tony nomination.


OWN increases Tyler Perry's "The Have & The Have Nots" order to 32 episodes
The freshman comedy was originally ordered with 16 episodes.


LeBron James: "24" got me through the NBA playoffs

The NBA Finals MVP binge-watched through several seasons of the Fox series.


Kate Gosselin addresses "racist" photo controversy
She says she was complimenting her family's Asian heritage, not insulting it.


Stephen Colbert introduces a new word: "truthinews"

It describes how the cable networks tell their viewers want to hear.


Here's your first look at the "Big Brother" cast, together

See them in their bathing suits.


Comic-Con will host "The Walking Dead's" 10th anniversary
Robert Kirkman's comic book first appeared in October 2003.


Watch John Hodgman in "Codefellas"

The "Daily Show" star spoofs the NSA in a new web series from Wired.

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<p>Brad Pitt in &quot;The&nbsp;Counselor&quot;</p>

Brad Pitt in "The Counselor"

Credit: 20th Century Fox

First 'Counselor' trailer features Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem, Michael Fassbender, Cameron Diaz and Penelope Cruz

Cormac McCarthy's first original screenplay finds its way to screens in October

Ridley Scott's "The Counselor" has a lot of people curious what with it being the first original screenplay from "No Country for Old Men" and "The Road" author Cormac McCarthy. It's a marriage of two visionaries and it has a stellar cast -- Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem etc. Diaz in particular has a pretty showy (and raunchy) role and could end up in the Best Supporting Actress Oscar conversation at the end of the day.

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<p>Tina Fey and Jane Krakowski in the series finale of &quot;30 Rock&quot;</p>

Tina Fey and Jane Krakowski in the series finale of "30 Rock"

Credit: NBC

Emmys Q&A: Beth McCarthy-Miller on directing the two-part '30 Rock' series finale

The five-time nominee has yet to pick up a statue

Beth McCarthy-Miller has been a part of the "30 Rock" family almost since inception. She’s directed some of the show’s finest episodes, including both live ones and “TGS Hates Women,” so it was natural for co-showrunners Tina Fey and Robert Carlock to place her at the helm for their show’s two-part finale. “Hogcock!” and “Last Lunch” aired January 31 one right after the other, requiring McCarthy-Miller to meld two episodes into a cohesive whole and put a button on the series' seven-year run. HitFix spoke with her about this process as Emmy voters are casting ballots -- McCarthy-Miller has been nominated five times for her work on “30 Rock,” but never won.

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'Under the Dome' attracts 13.1 million


"Under the Dome" attracts 13.1 million

The CBS series had the best broadcast TV summer debut since "The Singing Bee" in 2007.


NYC won't let Nik Wallenda walk across the skyline

The stuntman wanted to try walking from the Chrysler Building to the Empire State Building, but NYC police commissioner Ray Kelly isn't keen on the idea.


Paula Deen's sons deny their mom is a racist: This is "character assassination"

"That word," said Bobby Deen, "that horrifying, terrible word that exists and I abhor it coming from any person ... we weren't raised in a home where that word was used." PLUS: Late-night hosts take on Deen.


"Breaking Bad" unveils a new poster

"Remember My Name." PLUS: Bryan Cranston shows off a "Malcolm" tattoo.


Introducing "So You Think You Can Prance"
America's new favorite competitive dance show, courtesy of Funny or Die.


"Mad Men's" Kevin Rahm reacts to the season finale
Will there be a Pete Campbell-Ted Chaough spinoff? PLUS: Don Draper's childhood home found in L.A.


Claim: "Sopranos" stars are upset with Joe Gannascoli for doing interviews about James Gandolfini
Gannascoli, who played gay mobster Vito Spatafore, was reportedly not close to Gandolfini, which upset many of his co-stars.


Jimmy Kimmel is sporting a black eye, thanks to a car door
Kimmel declined to wear makeup, but did show a "reenactment" of him getting bruised on last night's show.


"Homeland's" Damian Lewis is currently bald

Lewis shaved off all his hair not for the Showtime series, but for a new movie he's filming.

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<p>Laura Dern on &quot;Enlightened.&quot;</p>

Laura Dern on "Enlightened."

Credit: HBO

If I Had An Emmy Ballot 2013: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

The women of 'Parks and Recreation,' 'Enlightened,' 'Bunheads' and more

Part 7 of our journey through the Emmy ballot brings us to Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. As always, Fienberg will attempt to rank the contenders from most likely to least likely to be nominated, throwing in a bunch of preferential wild cards along the way. And, as always, I will pretend that I am an actual Academy member who has a ballot and therefore has to narrow his choices down to six people.

Same rules apply: we are working off of the actual Emmy ballot, so we can't nominate people who didn't submit themselves (like if I wanted to nominate Tony Hale for "Arrested Development" rather than "Veep"), and we have to consider people in the category they submitted themselves for, even if that means supporting actors submitting as leads (Rob Lowe, every year) or vice versa (Amy Schumer as supporting for a show that's named after her). I also have to feel like I've seen enough of a representative sample to pick someone; I'm too far behind on "Veep," for instance, to seriously consider reigning Emmy winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Dan's exhaustive analysis is here, and embedded below (click Launch Gallery to see it), and my picks are coming right up.

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