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<p>James Franco</p>

James Franco

Credit: AP Photo

James Franco goes the crowdfunding route - but it's not all about him

Franco will foster new talent on a planned trilogy based on his own short stories

Upon reading the news that James Franco is the latest name talent to take the crowdfunding route on a new film project, my first reaction was, "Well, of course." My second reaction was, "Wait, is this only the first time he's doing this?" Franco's extracurricular activities beyond acting -- filmmaking, art, writing, what have you -- are so many and varied, and executed with such can-do scrappiness, that the crowdfunding model seems like something he might have invented just to keep them all going.

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Valerie Harper

 Valerie Harper

Credit: NBC

NBC greenlights a doc about 'Rhoda' star Valerie Harper's dying days

The low-rated network circles the cancer-stricken star

It turns out you don't have to kill anyone to get your own TV special, but it does help if you're dying. NBC News today announced that it has greenlit an exclusive, hour-long documentary chronicling Valerie Harper’s battle with a rare, terminal cancer.

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Dan Harmon writes a formal apology for trashing 'Community' Season 4

Dan Harmon writes a formal apology for trashing "Community" Season 4

After saying "I feel bad" on Twitter, Harmon wrote on his blog: "What I said was disrespectful to your love for this show, love that I sometimes erroneously equate with validation of me as a person."

"Parks and Rec" merchandise coming to stores
Coming soon: A talking Ron Swanson bobblehead or "Parks and Rec" trading cards.

Howard Stern critiques Jimmy Fallon, tells him he can't do Video Game Week at 11:35
The shock jock criticized the "Late Night" host for not stepping it up in advance of "The Tonight Show" move.

Steve Carell: "I lied" about not appearing in "The Office" series finale

"I lied for months to the press, to almost everyone, really," he says. "And I felt terribly for the cast and for (executive producer) Greg Daniels, because they all lied, too."

Check out the new "Big Brother" house

This season's set is more "masculine," "sophisticated" and "grown-up."

Nigella Lawson's husband admits to assault and gets a police caution

Charles Saatchi went to police after talking to his lawyer.

Oscar-winning "Silence of the Lambs" director to direct AMC's "Line of Sight" pilot
Jonathan Demme will also executive produce the drama project, which is AMC's first sci-fi series.

"The Bachelor" host writing a book, coming out with his own wine
That's in addition to Chris Harrison launching his own line of menswear.

Questlove releasing his memoir
The "Late Night" bandleader talks about his new book, "Mo' Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove."

Watch the "Ray Donovan" pilot
Showtime has posted an edited version of the Liev Schreiber series on YouTube.

"The Bachelorette" hits a low

Monday's episode attracted 5.4 million viewers, a season low.

Ron Howard narrates "Arrested Development" fan tweets

Watch him not read the fan tweets verbatim.

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<p>What sort of threats do you think Superman (Henry Cavill) is going to face in the sequel to 'Man Of Steel'?</p>

What sort of threats do you think Superman (Henry Cavill) is going to face in the sequel to 'Man Of Steel'?

Credit: Warner Bros.

3 on 3: Does 'Man Of Steel' effectively set up a shared DC Universe on film?

And what does the mixed critical reaction mean for the series?

We already gathered here at HitFix for one "3 On 3" regarding "Man Of Steel," but we decided to go another round now that the film's in theaters and people are starting to weigh in on the film.

I've actually been surprised by the response to the film. I never considered that people might find it controversial or that there would be a huge debate about certain elements of the plot. It just didn't occur to me, so I'm a little flabbergasted about some of the conversations I had this weekend.

Once again, Greg Ellwood and Kris Tapley joined me to answer three questions that we still have about the movie. Check out the conversation below.

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<p>Billy Crystal's laugh is as unmistakable as his voice in Pixar's new film 'Monsters University'</p>

Billy Crystal's laugh is as unmistakable as his voice in Pixar's new film 'Monsters University'

Credit: HitFix

Billy Crystal discusses his chemistry with 'Monsters University' co-star John Goodman

Plus why is the new film a prequel?

One of the pleasures of doing what I do for a living is the opportunity to meet people whose work has meant something to me over the course of my life as a film fan, and at this point, I feel like I've met a lot of biggest names on the list.

Until I was invited to the "Monsters University" press day, I didn't realize how much I wanted to meet Billy Crystal, but once it was on my agenda, I got excited about it. One of the shows that I love the most from the '70s was "Soap," and every five or six years, I revisit the series and fall in love with it all over again. There are a number of reasons to adore the series, but one of the most significant things about it was the character Crystal played. At a time when gay culture was basically just a punchline for the mainstream, Jodie Dallas was allowed to be witty and sharp and decent and way more than just a joke. Crystal's career could have ended there, but he somehow managed to avoid getting labeled or typecast.

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'Client List' standoff: Jennifer Love Hewitt demanding her baby daddy play her baby daddy

"Client List" standoff: Jennifer Love Hewitt demanding her baby daddy play her baby daddy

Lifetime hasn't renewed "The Client List" for a 3rd season, according to Deadline Hollywood, because Hewitt wants her off-screen love Brian Hallisay to play her on-screen baby daddy, even though that idea isn't supported by the network or the showrunner. Deadline says both sides are trying to compromise but are willing to walk away.

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"The Bachelorette"

 "The Bachelorette"

Credit: ABC

'The Bachelorette' fellas strip down for a fake pageant in Atlantic City

One date takes a tour of Hurricane Sandy devastation

"The Bachelorette" heads to beautiful downtown post-Hurricane Sandy Atlantic City! It seems a bit like the bachelors have been promised a black-and-white television if they attend a grueling pitch for time shares, but I'm sure ABC has found a way to make this jaunt seem just as fabulously romantic as the others. Yay!

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<p>Kick-Ass may be a better fighter this time, but will that be enough to save him when an old friend comes back bad and ready for revenge?</p>

Kick-Ass may be a better fighter this time, but will that be enough to save him when an old friend comes back bad and ready for revenge?

Credit: Universal

'Kick-Ass 2' green band trailer features Kick-Ass, Hit Girl, and a scary Jim Carrey

The summer's rudest superhero movie goes as clean as it can for new ad

Later this week, I'll be publishing my set visit reports for "Kick-Ass 2," and I think you'll get a really great in-depth exclusive look behind the scenes at how Jeff Wadlow is following up Matthew Vaughn's first film. I had a few days on set by myself, and I was already familiar to the cast from the first film, so I think you'll get an uncommonly intimate look at the making of the movie.

It seems like Universal's really starting to push things into high gear for "Kick-Ass 2" this week. There's a new green band trailer for the movie, and while it's not overtly profane, they left enough of the edge in that it feels like they got away with something.

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<p>Jack Johnson performs at the 2013 Bonnaroo Music Festival.</p>

Jack Johnson performs at the 2013 Bonnaroo Music Festival.

Credit: Wade Payne/Invision/AP

Jack Johnson sets fall tour dates with all proceeds going to charity

Fresh off Bonnaroo gig, Johnson plans to hit the road again in September

Fresh off his headlining gig at Bonnaroo, where he stepped in for Mumford & Sons, Jack Johnson has announced a fall tour.

If he weren’t already the good guy after filling infor M&S, who dropped out due to Ted Dwane’s emergency surgery, Johnson will earn even more karma points with the tour because he is donating 100% of the profits to charity (as he has since 2008).

The outing, which is in support of his sixth studio album, “From Here To Now To You,” out Sept. 17, starts in Europe Sept. 5 and kicks off the U.S. portion Sept. 22 in Canton, Mass.

Proceeds from the tour will go to 75 community groups that focus on sustainable local food systems and plastic-free initiatives.

Johnson released the album’s first single, “I Got You,” a few weeks ago.

From Here To Now To You tour:

September 5      Cologne, Germany           E-Werk
September 6       Munich, Germany            Circus Krone
September 7       Amsterdam, Holland        Heineken Music Hall
September 8       London, UK                   Hyde Park - BBC Radio 2 in the Park
September 11      Manchester, UK              Lowery Theatre
September 12      Birmingham , UK           Symphony Hall
September 14     Paris, France                   Olympia          
September 16      London, UK                   Roundhouse Theatre - iTunes Festival
September 22      Canton, MA                   Life is good Festival
September 25      Washington, DC             Constitution Hall
September 26      Upper Darby, PA             Tower Theatre
September 28      Toronto, Canada            Massey Hall **
September 29      Akron, OH                     EJ Thomas Performing Arts Hall
October 1           Atlanta, GA                    Fox Theatre
October 2           Nashville, TN                 Ryman Auditorium
October 3           Durham, NC                   Durham Performing Arts Center
October 5           Indianapolis, IN              Murat Theatre
October 6           Chicago, IL                    Chicago Theatre **
October 7           Minneapolis, MN            State Theatre
October 9           Denver, CO                    Paramount Theatre
October 12         Oakland, CA                  Fox Theatre
October 14         Vancouver, BC               Orpheum Theatre
October 15         Seattle, WA                   Paramount Theatre
October 16         Portland, OR                  The Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
October 18         San Diego, CA               Balboa Theatre
October 19         Los Angeles, CA             Orpheum Theatre
October 20         Santa Barbara, CA           Arlington Theatre


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John Hurt joins FX's 'The Strain'

John Hurt joins FX's "The Strain"
The Oscar-nominated actor will play a professor/Holocaust survivor in the thriller from "Lost's" Carlton Cuse and Guillermo del Toro.

"Anger Management" producers are trying to patch things up between Charlie Sheen and Selma Blair
Amid Sheen's threats to fire Blair, producers have roughly 50 episodes of their 100-episode order to film.

"Veep" creator: We'll never allow Joe Biden on the show
"Well, how would that work?" Armando Iannucci asks when proposed the idea. "We already have a vice president. It would be like matter and anti-matter—a comedy explosion! So that could never happen and must be protected against at all costs."

Matthew Perry: I wish "Friends" never ended
"Why in the world did we stop?" he says. "We all decided, 'You know what? Let's stop.' I'd love to get in a time machine right now and go, 'Let's not stop.'"

Jimmy Kimmel snags Miss Utah
The Miss USA competitor, who may have zoned out during last night's flub, will sit on Kimmel's couch on Tuesday. PLUS: Listen to the Miss Utah-Miss South Carolina remix.

"Community's" Dan Harmon feels bad about bashing Season 4

"I feel bad if I made anyone feel bad with my comments in harmontown," he tweeted. "It's a dirty, personal comedy podcast, not charismatic for quoting."

"Storage Wars" star Brandi Passante wins just $750 in fake porn video lawsuit

Passante was originally seeking $2.5 million.

Why "True Blood" ought to get rid of Sookie and Bill
They're the show's central characters, but boy have they been dull, says Richard Lawson. "Imagine the show without Sookie," he says. "Gone is the constant whining, the forever ham-fisted love triangle stuff, the dopey faerie mythology." PLUS: Meet "True Blood's" most naked character ever, Kristin Bauer van Straten and Deborah Ann Woll talk Season 6,

Tenacious D may get a web cartoon
Jack Black says he's working on several online comedy show projects through his production company.

"Mad Men" perfectly set up the season finale for Don Draper

Last night also got rid of the Bob Benson distraction. PLUS: "Mad Men" has a "Degrassi" moment.

Comedian Reggie Watts joins Comedy Central pilot

He'll star on a show based on the blog, "Bad Advice From My Brother."

Watch a supercut of Troy McClure

"The Simpsons" character was perhaps the funniest voiced by Phil Hartman, who died 15 years ago last month.

Carson Daly's "Voice" trailer has a deluxe bed and a fully stocked liquor cabinet
Plus, a 99-cent Blake Shelton calendar.

How Lifetime's "Anna Nicole" went from a B-cup to a DD
Agnes Bruckner used state-of-the-art prosthetics made of gel-filled silicone to appear bustier.

Showtime boss calls "Dexter" a "vital franchise," but will hold off on spinoff talk

David Nevins wants to "let the dust settle" until the series finale.

Ozzy & Sharon Osbourne are living together again

Ozzy has moved back in with Sharon after sobering up.

Is that Louis CK riding a Citi Bike?
The FX star was spotted from behind biking today in NYC.

"Veronica Mars" creator is struggling with MPAA guidelines
Rob Thomas notes: "The term 'eye-f*cking' gets you an R-rating." PLUS: See Kristen Bell on the set of "Veronica."

Joan Rivers: Jimmy Fallon reminds me of Johnny Carson
"I think Jimmy Fallon—and I said it was from the first time I went on his show—he has got everything that Carson has," she says. "He is bright, he is smart, and he is...he is a fan."

Bill Nye: From "Science Guy" to science activist

Why did Nye decide to take on cable pundits on controversial issues like climate change and evolution?

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau: "Game of Thrones" uses 3 different prosthetic arms for me

One for each different kind of shot. PLUS: New "Thrones" beer coming out in fall, and the best "GoT" fan fiction.

Check out "Real Housewives of New York" staging a scene

Just like they do on scripted shows!

Mitch Hurwitz sought Howard Stern and Jerry Bruckheimer for "Arrested" cameos

Read excerpts from Hurwitz's Reddit AMA.

Lauren Conrad: "The World's Most Successful Reality-TV Defector"

The former "Hills" star has managed to become influential in books and in fashion, despite not appearing on reality TV in four years.

Watch TLC's "Letters to Jackie" trailer

The Steven Spielberg-produced documentary, featuring an all-star cast, showcases the letters sent to Jacqueline Kennedy after her husband's assassination.

Is Betty White's "dirty old lady act" a bad thing?
Having the 91-year-old White tell dirty jokes is a condescending way to treat such a versatile actress, says Laura Bennett.

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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 187

Dan and Alan talk 'Mad Men,' 'Veronica Mars,' 'Crossing Lines,' 'Devious Maids' and more


Happy Monday, Boys and Girls!
Time for another installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
We kept this one under two hours. You're welcome. Or "Sorry." Whichever one applies.
This week, we have reviews of "Crossing Lines" and "Devious Maids." We also answered a couple pieces of Listener Mail and chatted about "Mad Men" and this week's Summer Rewatch, "Veronica Mars."
Next week's podcast, with "Under the Dome," "Dexter," "Ray Donovan," the "Mad Men" pilot and more, could be another two-plus hour podcast, unless we opt for a little splitting and it becomes a two podcast week next week.
Next week's Pilot Rewatch will be Old School with pilots for "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show."
Here's today's breakdown:
"Crossing Lines" (00:00:45 - 00:14:40)
"Devious Maids" (00:14:45 - 00:25:45)
Listener Mail - "Game of Thrones" splitting (00:26:00 - 00:32:45)
Listener Mail - NBC Stanley Cup (00:32:50 - 00:38:10)
"Mad Men" (00:38:35 - 01:13:00)
Summer Rewatch: "Veronica Mars" (01:13:00 - 01:37:05)

And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.

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Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 187: 'Mad Men,' 'Veronica Mars,' 'Devious Maids' & 'Crossing Lines'

Dan and Alan also talk hockey on TV and a possible 'Game of Thrones' solution


After the last few record-breaking weeks, today's installment of the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast clocked in at a relatively tidy 97-minute length, thanks to only two new premieres we both had time to watch, plus the usual "Mad Men" discussion, our latest pilot rewatch ("Veronica Mars"), and a couple of letters. (The "Game of Thrones" suggestion is cool, even though we agreed HBO would never do it.) Next week, two pilots: "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." 

The lineup:

"Crossing Lines" (00:00:45 - 00:14:40)
"Devious Maids" (00:14:45 - 00:25:45)
Listener Mail - "Game of Thrones" splitting (00:26:00 - 00:32:45)
Listener Mail - NBC Stanley Cup (00:32:50 - 00:38:10)
"Mad Men" (00:38:35 - 01:13:00)
Summer Rewatch: "Veronica Mars" (01:13:00 - 01:37:05)
As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. Or you can always follow our RSS Feed, download the MP3 file or stream it on Dan's blog.
And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.
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