Latest Blog Posts

<p>Nina (Annet Mahendru) and Stan (Noah Emmerich)&nbsp;in &quot;The Americans.&quot;</p>

Nina (Annet Mahendru) and Stan (Noah Emmerich) in "The Americans."

Credit: FX

Review: 'The Americans' - 'Mutually Assured Destruction'

Phillip and Elizabeth have to stop a KGB assassin after the Center changes its mind

A review of tonight's "The Americans" coming up just as soon as my thing is Ecclesiastical...

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Baauer's 'Harlem Shake' keeps a shaky hold atop the Billboard Hot 100
Credit: Mad Decent

Baauer's 'Harlem Shake' keeps a shaky hold atop the Billboard Hot 100

Pink lands her 14th top 10 with 'Just Give Me A Reason'

“Harlem Shake” shakily holds on to the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for a fifth week, despite another week of declining YouTube streaming.

Baauer’s viral sensation also sees digital downloads slide, but sees on-demand audio streaming rise, according to Billboard.


“Shake’s” success keeps former No. 1, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’s  “Thrift Shop,” featuring Wanz at No. 2 again, while Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man” stays at No. 3.

Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie” featuring Jay Z climbs 5-4, flipping places with Rihanna’s “Stay” featuring Mikky Ekko.

Also swapping spots are Drake’s “Started From The Bottom,” which rises 7-6, trading with Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble,” which moves 6-7.

Rounding out the top 10, will.i.am and Britney Spears’ “Scream & Shout” holds at No. 8, Pink lands her 14th top 10 as “Just Give Me A Reason,” featuring Nate Ruess from fun.,  soars 18-9, and Lil Wayne’s “Love Me” featuring Drake slips 9-10.

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<p>The &quot;American Idol&quot; Top 9</p>

The "American Idol" Top 9

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' - Top 9: Lennon & McCartney Night

The singers try their voices on some Beatles favorites

Curtis Finch Jr. is gone. I'm not hugely shocked. Most veteran "American Idol" observers aren't hugely shocked. But I'm guessing we're going to start Wednesday (March 20) night's episode being hugely shocked.

Then we're gonna sing Lennon & McCartney songs. Jimmy Iovine says it's a theme that requires no gimmicks.

Whee!

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<p>Michelle Shocked performs at the Madison, WI&nbsp;state Capitol in 2011.</p>

Michelle Shocked performs at the Madison, WI state Capitol in 2011.

Credit: AP Photo/Andy Manis

Michelle Shocked responds to her alleged anti-gay comments

Hear the tape from Sunday's concert

Michelle Shocked has responded with two open letters regarding reports of her anti-gay comments she made from the stage at San Francisco club Yoshi’s on Sunday night. In the wake of her comments (the audio is below), she apologizes for what fans “think they’ve heard.”

She says she’s speaking for others below, but when she starts to talk about her faith and Jesus, she says. “I was in a prayer meeting yesterday. You’ve got to appreciate how scared, how scared, folks on that side of the equation are. I mean, from their vantage point, and I really shouldn’t say their, because it’s mine too, we nearly are at the end of time. From our vantage point, we’re going to be, I think maybe Chinese Water Torture is going to be the method, once Prop 8 gets instated and once preachers are held at gunpoint and forced to marry the homosexuals, I’m pretty sure that that will be the signal for God to come on back. You said you wanted reality...”    She later says “I am so committed to loving each and every soul in this room tonight that I could not come here and ignore you. I could not come here and pretend that I was above the conversation.” (And just to clarify, Prop 8 has been passed in California and it does not allow gays to marry, so she actually means once Prop 8 is repealed).

[More after the jump...]

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Naomi Grossman of "American Horror Story"

 Naomi Grossman of "American Horror Story" 

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Pepper from 'American Horror Story' reveals the demands of being a pinhead

Naomi Grossman really had to go the distance for this character

I'll admit it -- when I first saw Naomi Grossman as Pepper on "American Horror Story," I thought she really was microencephalitic. Yes, a pinhead. It didn't hurt that she'd shaved her head, slapped on a prosthetic nose and teeth, and wore a tiny ponytail at the top of her head, not unlike one of the real "pinheads" we've seen in Tod Browning's "Freaks." She looked like the real deal -- so, it had to be special effects, right? Nope.

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<p>Christina Applegate will follow up her currently-shooting role in 'Anchorman 2' by co-starring in the upcoming 'Vacation' reboot</p>

Christina Applegate will follow up her currently-shooting role in 'Anchorman 2' by co-starring in the upcoming 'Vacation' reboot

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

Christina Applegate will take a 'Vacation' with Ed Helms

One of the most reliable female comedy leads working joins the reboot's cast

Christina Applegate is an example of how a young performer can make a graceful and successful transition to an adult career, and every time I hear someone make excuses for a Lindsay Lohan or an Amanda Bynes during a spectacular public flame-out, I feel like Applegate is the perfect way to refute the claims that it's the system that ruins these people.

After all, when Applegate was cast on "Married With Children," she was a kid, and she'd already been acting for the better part of a decade. She did guest bits on TV shows like "Charles In Charge" and played small roles like the young Grace Kelly in a TV movie.  "Married" was the moment she finally made a real impression, though, and the character she played was a heavy metal bimbo. If anyone was set for inappropriate attention and plenty of it, it was her, and yet from the very start, it was obvious she had a phenomenal sense of timing. There were a few attempts to build movies around her while "Married" was still on the air, but nothing really clicked. It seemed like TV was going to be the place where she worked best, and networks seemed determined to build shows around her. "Jesse" ran for 2 seasons, but I'll bet most people would be hard-pressed to even remember what that is at this point.

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'Game of Thrones' mastermind George R.R. Martin talks Blackwater, TV changes and playing favorites

'Game of Thrones' mastermind George R.R. Martin talks Blackwater, TV changes and playing favorites

'Song of Ice and Fire' scribe discusses his annual HBO episode
On Monday's (March 18) "Game of Thrones" premiere red carpet in Hollywood, I had short conversations with many of the show's stars.
 
You've already seen my interviews with Rose Leslie and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, which only ran around two minutes apiece.
 
Somehow, I ended up getting a meatier seven minutes with franchise author George R.R. Martin, which was good because the "Song of Ice and Fire" scribe was in a thoughtful mood, starting right off the top with a simple-silly question asking him to play favorites with the books in his series. 
 
In this conversation, Martin discusses the changing nature of TV from the more procedural-driven format he had to work in back in the '80s to its more serialized permutations now. He also talks about the pleasure of writing last season's "Blackwater" episode and seeing that epic battle brought to the screen. He also talks about what drew him to the episode he wrote in Season 3. 
 
It's a good chat.
 
"Game of Thrones" returns to HBO on Sunday, March 31.
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<p>Mumford and Sons</p>

Mumford and Sons

Credit: AP Photo

Reports: Mumford & Sons, NIN, Vampire Weekend to headline Lollapalooza 2013

Killers, Phoenix, and The National also on the bill

Lollapalooza’s 2013 headliners wll be Mumford & Sons, Phoenix, Vampire Weekend and the Killers, according to the Chicago Tribunes Greg Kot.

Kot, who has covered the Chicago festival for years, says he confirmed the headliners, but does not cite his sources. He also writes that the National and the Postal Service will also be on the Grant Park bill for the Aug. 2-4 festival.

Meanwhile, Billboard has reported  that Nine Inch Nails is confirmed for the fest.

As far as when the line-up will be officially announced, promoter C3 Presents says it will happen next month.

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<p>Dave and Connor of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

Dave and Connor of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Dave & Connor talk 'The Amazing Race'

How soon will the cancer survivors be ready to race again?
Dave and Connor O'Leary's "Amazing Race" journey reached a painful end when Dave tore his Achilles heading for the mat at the end of the season's second Leg. But then a funny thing happened.
 
First, the father-son pairing capitalized on an early alliance to receive an Express Pass from John & Jessica and used that advantage to win the third Leg. 
 
Then the cancer survivors used an advantageous flight and a couple strong task performances to reach another Pit Stop in first. 
 
On Sunday's (March 17) episode, though, Dave & Connor's run came to an end. With doctors telling Dave he needed surgery within the week, they elected to fly from Bali to Hanoi before bowing out gracefully.
 
In this week's "Amazing Race" exit interview, Dave & Connor discuss the medical odyssey, their brief triumphs over adversity and how soon they'll be ready for another shot at the million.
 
Click through...
 
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"The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"

 "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"

Credit: Bravo

'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills': Adrienne's gone, but do we care?

Given that she generates drama even in her absence, does it matter?

So, it's official -- Adrienne Maloof not only isn't returning to "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" next season, she didn't even show up for the reunion special (which begins Monday following the season finale) this season. It's likely that, given her then-plans to divorce, she just wasn't in the mood to deal with Brandi Glanville and the other carping housewives. I can't really blame her. But does it matter?

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<p>Gavin O'Connor and Tom Hardy on the set of &quot;Warrior.&quot;</p>

Gavin O'Connor and Tom Hardy on the set of "Warrior."

Credit: Lionsgate

'Warrior' director Gavin O'Connor takes over on 'Jane Got a Gun'

But Jude Law is also out

UPDATE: As you may have heard by now, Jude Law -- himself a recent addition to the cast -- has now followed Ramsay to the exit, having signed on to work with her and not another director. After Michael Fassbender, he's the second major star to abandon the project in the last week. "Jane" may have a gun, but she can't catch a break.

PREVIOUSLY: Okay, so "Jane" is no longer a calamity. One day after gifted Scottish director Lynne Ramsay shockingly pulled out of Natalie Portman-starring Western "Jane Got a Gun" on the very first day of shooting, her replacement has already been drafted: Gavin O'Connor, the sturdy multi-hyphenate whose films include "Tumbleweeds," "Pride and Glory" and, most recently, "Warrior." With O'Connor on board, shooting will get under way tomorrow. No time to waste.

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<p>The new animated film from the director of 'How To Train Your Dragon' and 'Lilo &amp;&nbsp;Stitch' may play the jokes broad, but there's real heart to the way it portrays family.</p>

The new animated film from the director of 'How To Train Your Dragon' and 'Lilo & Stitch' may play the jokes broad, but there's real heart to the way it portrays family.

Credit: Dreamworks Animation

Review: 'The Croods' may be obvious, but its heart is in the right place

Strong vocal performances anchor a silly but sentimental film

Chris Sanders seems to me to be one of the shining stars in the animation world right now, and while I don't think his new film 'The Croods' is as great as either "How To Train Your Dragon" or "Lilo & Stitch," it's still a solid execution of a fairly simple idea. There are some visually breathtaking moments, and the family material in the film is executed with real heart, directly and honestly. For families who have been waiting for a movie to see together for most of the spring, "The Croods" is going to be a welcome sight, indeed.

Eep (voiced by Emma Stone) is a typical teenage girl, bristling at the restrictive rules her parents live by, eager to see the wider world around her, and able to hunt and kill prey with her bare hands. She is, after all, a caveman. Or cavegirl. Or whatever you'd call her. She lives with her father Grug (Nicolas Cage), her mother Ugga (Catherine Keener), her brother Thunk (Clark Duke), her grandmother (Cloris Leachman), and her baby sister Sandy, and they spend most of their time blocked safely in their cave, afraid of the outside world. They venture out to eat, and that's about it. Grug believes the entire world is a threat, and there's value in fear. To his credit, pretty much everyone they've ever known has been eaten or stepped on or otherwise killed, and they are the last of their kind that they know of, so there's some justification for the way Grug feels.

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