Latest Blog Posts

<p>George Clooney in &quot;Gravity.&quot;</p>

George Clooney in "Gravity."

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

'Gravity' and 'Captain Phillips' among likely Venice Film Festival selections

The fall festival season is two months away

Next week brings a return to our film festival coverage: on Monday I'll be traveling to the in-progress Edinburgh Film Festival for four days, followed immediately by a five-day trip to the Karlovy Vary Film Festival. Both are obviously lower-key affairs than the exhausting whirlwind of Cannes or Sundance, and I'm looking forward to them: these are the festivals where I can either dig around for undiscovered gems or catch up with previous festival highlights at a civilized pace. In festival-going terms, I consider it my summer vacation before the heavy work starts up again at Venice in August, kicking off the fall festival season. And while Venice currently seems a safe distance away, those 10 weeks will go faster than you think.

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<p>Tatiana Maslany as Alison in &quot;Orphan Black.&quot;</p>

Tatiana Maslany as Alison in "Orphan Black."

Credit: BBC America

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

An unknown playing multiple roles, the returning favorite, a woman named Emmy, and more

Part 6 of our journey through the Emmy ballot brings us to Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama 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).

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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<p>Take it easy, Steve the Drunk:&nbsp;the &quot;Deadwood&quot;&nbsp;reviews will return next week.</p>

Take it easy, Steve the Drunk: the "Deadwood" reviews will return next week.

Credit: HBO

Programming note: 'Deadwood' review delayed

Sorry, hoopleheads, but Al and company will be back next week

As I mentioned last night about "Hannibal," this week got horribly away from me due to various unforeseen circumstances (James Gandolfini's shocking death chief among them). While this is the time when you would ordinarily be reading my review of "Deadwood" season 3, episode 4, "Full Faith and Credit," I haven't even been able to finish watching the episode yet, much less write about it. So we're taking the week off, and pushing "Full Faith and Credit" to next Friday.

Sorry. Couldn't be helped.

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Outstanding Lead Actress Drama - Emmy Nomination Preview 2013

Outstanding Lead Actress Drama - Emmy Nomination Preview 2013

Can Tatiana Maslany, Keri Russell, Tatiana Maslany or Vera Farmiga score a nod?
I think I'm counting on four Lead Actress in a Drama performances as locks for Emmy nominations. That leaves two slots which, by my reckoning, will go to one of seven or eight actors. What I don't know, though, is whether Emmy voters will give the advantage to returning or former nominees like Michelle Dockery or Mariska Hargitay, established network favorites like Kerry Washington or Connie Britton, or any of several new contenders from variably proven cable and not-even-cable entities. 
I'm just going with my gut on most of these and even though they seem like viable predictions now, I'll probably have changed my mind by next month. This could, if things go pear-shaped, be one of the very oddest fields on Emmy morning.
Check out the full gallery below:
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<p>Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy in a scene from the &quot;Hannibal&quot;&nbsp;season finale.</p>

Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy in a scene from the "Hannibal" season finale.

Credit: NBC

'Hannibal' producer Bryan Fuller on the season finale and what's next

When would 'Red Dragon' be adapted? Is there any chance of a Fuller-ized 'Silence of the Lambs' season?

"Hannibal" just concluded an amazing first season of television. Last week, I spoke with the show's executive producer Bryan Fuller about the thought he and his tea put into finding a new take on Hannibal Lecter. I posted the first part of that interview yesterday, and I have the more spoiler-y portion (including some allusions to things from the various Lecter books and movies, so don't read on if you have no idea what's coming next for Lecter, Will Graham, or Jack Crawford) coming up just as soon as I draw you a clock...

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<p>Elijah Wood and Jason Gann in &quot;Wilfred.&quot;</p>

Elijah Wood and Jason Gann in "Wilfred."

Credit: FX

Season premiere review: 'Wilfred' - 'Uncertainty'

Wilfred meets his own clone, and Ryan searches for answers

A review of tonight's "Wilfred" season premiere coming up just as soon as I vaguely remember the Troglodytes...

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'Parenthood' bringing back Ray Romano

"Parenthood" bringing back Ray Romano
He'll have a "major presence" next season, appearing in 12-15 episodes.

"Girls": Here's your first look at Season 3
The four pals are going on a road trip.

James Gandolfini: Watch HBO's brief tribute
"Our Friend," the 16-second tribute states. "You will never be forgotten." PLUS: "Big Pussy" says Gandolfini had the "biggest heart ever," Bravo re-airing Gandolfini's "Actor's Studio," Did obesity or smoking kill him?, watch Gandolfini on "Sesame Street" from 2002, Bruce Springsteen dedicates "Born to Run" to Gandolfini, Joey Pants says "we joked about getting older, our health," NFL Network rerunning the Gandolfini-narrated "America's Game," he was fat and sexy, "The Sopranos" changed TV forever and Gandolfini ushered in TV's golden age, he was an icon for fat people, Gandolfini was transfixing in the way he played Tony as vulnerable, and his death is a horrible loss for acting.

Broadcast networks tell FCC: Lift indecency rules becomes our viewership has declined
The four major networks said in a filing, "Americans today, including children, spend more time engaged with non-broadcast channels delivered by cable and satellite television, the Internet, video games and other media than they do with broadcast media."

FBI asks "Portlandia" for permission to use one of its sketches as a training tool
"This falls under the surreal category," says Carrie Brownstein of the request to use the "Sanitation Twins" sketch. "We granted permission, although he didn't tell us why he was interested."

Kim Kardashian's baby's name: "North West"
The rumors that Kim and Kanye will be giving their baby a directional name are true, according to the birth certificate.

"Hannibal" creator reflects on Season 1

How did Bryan Fuller make his version distinguishable from other Hannibal adaptations? PLUS: Mads Mikkelsen says of Hannibal Lechter: "He's actually one of the more positive characters I've ever played."

"Mad Men" fans keep telling Matthew Weiner to end the series with somebody jumping from the window
"People think it would be just an amazing rhyme to have that in the opening every week -- and then in the last episode have it happen," he says. PLUS: Weiner loves the vague promos.

Watch an animated "Game of Thrones" parody starring Michael Cera and Zooey Deschanel
And Aubrey Plaza as Ygritte.

"Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." and "Once Upon a Time" are going to Comic-Con
Spinoff series "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland" will also be there.

Rachel's sister won't hide her true identity from "Big Brother" housemates

Says Elissa Slater: "I definitely don't want to tell anyone, but if they figure it out or ask me ... I'm not going to lie. I think that will bite me at the end."

"The Simpsons'" Harry Shearer joins Loyola University New Orleans

He'll become the artist in residence at the College of Music and Fine Arts.

Elijah Wood: If "Wilfred" was revealed to have a mental illness, the show would become "much scarier"
"Because," he says, "if the basement, for instance, doesn't exist, if he's simply sitting in a closet smoking weed by himself with the dog, what is that? That is kind of scary." PLUS: Watch "Wilfred" cast and crew get reacquainted.

Check out "Beware the Batman"

The new Cartoon Network show looks pretty badass.

"NTSF: SD: SUV::" books Jack McBrayer, Ed Helms, Alia Shawkat

They're lined up for Season 3.

"Full House's" Candace Cameron posts a '90s pic with fellow ABC teen stars

Check her out with Jaleel White, Jeremy Miller and Andrea Barber.

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"Couples Therapy"

"Couples Therapy"

Credit: VH1

'Couples Therapy' is relationship rehab for nutso D-listers

It turns out Joe Francis is just as much of a jerk as you thought he was

Once long ago, VH1 had cornered the market on pimping out D-list celebrities for embarrassing and potentially revealing docudrama. "Celebrity Rehab," "Celebrity Fit Club," "The Surreal Life" were memorable for inviting people we'd mostly forgotten about to reveal their drinking problems, upper arm flab and general nuttiness to the public at a time when not everyone was doing it. VH1 shows did a remarkable job of tarnishing the golden memories of our youth, or simply confirmed stuff that we always suspected (like Screech really was a jerkwad in real life, too). 

But now it's understood that when an acting job doesn't come your way, it's time to hit the reality TV circuit, exposing yourself for free food and a basic cable paycheck. "Couples Therapy," now in its third season (Wed. at 10:00 p.m.) is remarkably like "Celebrity Rehab" with its group therapy sessions and gimmicky bonding activities, with the exception of the so-called professionals at the helm. Where Dr. Drew radiated a certain amount of calm, collected confidence in his abilities, Dr Jenn Berman communicates mostly by yelling. When she wants cast member (there's no way to call him a patient or client without rolling your eyes) to pay attention to his wife's pain, Dr. Jenn (that's what everyone else calls her) shrieks, "You bleeping laughed at her!" which just makes Flavor Flav laugh a little more. It's pretty clear that, though all of the celebrities on the show clearly need help, they don't expect to get it here. 

In season 1, the sorta-celebrities are Joe Francis and Amber Wilson (smut peddler and model), Tyler Baltierra and Catelynn Lowell (unprotected sex partners on "16 and Pregnant" and "Teen Mom"), Chingy Bailey and Tempest Poteat (rapper and model), Heather Marter and Dustin Zito ("Real World Las Vegas" co-stars) and Flavor Flav and Liz Trujillo. I often forget that Flavor Flav was actually in Public Enemy. He's been peddling ridiculous on VH1 for so long it's hard not to think he was a sideshow freak or a cartoon creation by the network itself.

In this week's episode, the focus is squarely on Joe, Amber, Flav and Liz. It's not unlike a battle between two couples to prove which one is more screwed up, but as they're both train wrecks we can start with the less nightmarish of the two. Joe wants us all to know he's absolutely about empowering his live-in girlfriend. Yes, the guy behind "Girls Gone Wild" is alllll about female empowerment. Those drunk chicks flashing their hooters for creepy guys everywhere? I'm sure that was about helping them own their sexuality! 

Anyway, Joe tells Dr. Jenn in group that he feels really, really bad that he didn't notice that Amber had a severe eating disorder. Hell, I noticed Amber had a severe eating disorder when she put on a tank top and looked like she was auditioning for Skeletor. Anyway, Dr. Jenn screams at Joe that he's a control freak. He's not! He's not! Amber, you should have defended me, he says in a calm, serial killer kind of way. Amber apologizes profusely as if she's about to be hit. Temple points out that Amber seems pretty afraid of Joe, though he certainly can't understand that. He's a slimeball, though a rich slimeball, and he refuses to see that he picked a neurotic, anorexic girl 14 years younger than himself because she's sort of like a whipped dog he can legally have sex. Dr. Jenn is so mean to him! She called him controlling, waaah!

As a bonding exercise, they climb a rock wall together, which mostly consists of her saying, "I don't want to do it anymore," and him screaming at her to put her foot on the green doodad and then the blue doodad. When he finally stops yelling, she scrambles to the top and he's so relieved. She didn't embarrass him after all! Now he can just complain about how Liz is ruining all their group therapy outing fun. If you're unclear, Joe Francis is a narcissistic ass who doesn't realize how much of a narcissistic ass he really is. Go figure.

Admittedly, Liz is a pain in the ass. Flav tries to cajole her and sweet talk her and then laughs at her and tells her he's not giving her access to his bank accounts, but still, Liz just sulks around the set, threatening to pack her things and go when she's not sullenly staring at things. At the end of the episode, she glumly agrees to hold a rope so Flav can climb a small tower and play junior acrobat, but it's not much of a win.

What's more interesting is watching their therapy session with Dr. Jenn, during which we learn he was in a committed relationship with her while he was doing all those awful "Flavor of Love" series. Yes, reality TV eats itself yet again, exposing network fakery on yet another fake reality TV show, though as usual the D-listers always reveal more about themselves than they ever intend.

Do you watch "Couples Therapy"?

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Watch Florence Welch sing all of the fun out of Icona Pop's hit 'I Love It'

Watch Florence Welch sing all of the fun out of Icona Pop's hit 'I Love It'

Sing, as you apply hand lotion

Florence and the Machine's Florence Welch and producer/songwriter Dev Hynes combined last month in New York, to benefit the Human Rights Campaign’ Equality Rocks project at Le Poisson Rouge.

Video from that event just hit last night, of Welch singing Icona Pop's hit "I Love It" and further proof that Welch can make even a line like "I put your sh*t into a bag and pushed it down the stairs" into something very so serious.

And, thus, watch Welch suck all of the fun out of "I Don't Care." But of for a good cause!

What's with all the hand lotion movements?

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<p>Bruce Springsteen</p>

Bruce Springsteen

Credit: AP Photo/Starpix, Dave Allocca

Bruce Springsteen plays 'Born To Run' for James Gandolfini

E Street Band's Steven Van Zandt also remembers his 'Sopranos' co-star

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band paid homage to James Gandolfini Thursday in Coventry, England by playing the “Born To Run” album in full for the the actor, who died Wednesday (19) in Rome.

[More after the jump...]


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Avicii announces first album and drops single 'Wake Me Up': Listen

Avicii announces first album and drops single 'Wake Me Up': Listen

Michael Einsinger, Mac Davis and Nile Rodgers guesting

Avicii is ready to release his first full-length studio album this year and is leading off with its first single "Wake Me Up."

The track doesn't start off exactly how fans of the EDM would expect: the folk and acoustic based track ultimately makes its way to a cheesy dance floor beat, but you can tell the young star has a smile on his face as he produced this one all the while. It guests Aloe Blacc on vocals, and he is exceptional at taking on this little hybrid.

Speaking of guests, you can bet there will be plenty of them on Avicii's album Sept. 17-due "#TRUE." (Yes, that's another damn hashtag title. May they all burn.) Michael Einsinger from Incubus, country music's Mac Davis and recent Daft Punk‘s collabo Nile Rodgers are along for the ride.

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Listen: Janelle Monae guests on Cee Lo and Goodie Mob's 'Special Education'

Listen: Janelle Monae guests on Cee Lo and Goodie Mob's 'Special Education'

Comparing 'different' to 'special'

Last year, Cee Lo Green reunited with his original music project, Atlanta hip-hop crew Goodie Mob, and now it looks like there's more action afoot. Janelle Monae jumped in on the new single "Special Education," a song that -- despite its title and the ominous, mysterious sound -- is quite serious.

The quartet take turns versing about sameness and peer pressure, plus their self-discoveries of growing up or thinking "different" and turning out to be quite "special." Hence the name.

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