Latest Blog Posts

Lots of stereotypes in new fall shows

Lots of stereotypes in new fall shows
About 77% of the new shows have white lead characters, or character and many of the new entries have minorities playing white characters' sidekicks.

Kelly Rowland is close to becoming 1 of 3 female "X Factor" judges

The former "Destiny's Child" star, a veteran of "The X Factor" UK, is close to a deal to join Simon Cowell and Demi Lovato.

Larry David has long hair and a beard in new HBO film with Jon Hamm

Check out the "Curb Your Enthusiasm" star like you've never seen him before.

America Ferrera may return to ABC in a limited "Romeo and Juliet"-inspired series

The former "Ugly Betty" star is eyeing "Pedro & Maria."

"Scandal" has the intensity of "24"
Both shows, says Matt Zoller Seitz, have a lot in common: "a mix of soap opera melodrama, airport thriller-style conspiracy plots, and unrelenting pressure, all woven together via plot-counterplot storytelling that makes sections of each season feel like self-contained pulp novels that happen to feature recurring characters. The damned thing moves on fast-forward. Nobody ever relaxes on 'Scandal.'" PLUS: "Scandal" finally got the D.C. media right.

"The Vampire Diaries" finale, explained

Will Paul Wesley get double the screentime next season?

Will Kanye West do anything outrageous on "SNL"?
Something just might happen after his on-stage anti-"SNL" rant. PLUS: A directory of all of Stefon's clubs, and meet "SNL's" costume designer.

"Psych" to remake a past episode
Viewers will get to decide which episode to remake in Season 8.

Watch more "Office" farewells
From the rest of the cast, as directed by John Krasinski.

Here's your 1st look at "Luther" Season 3

Idris Elba will reprise his role this summer on BBC.

"The Big Bang Theory" season finale: Behind the scenes
Filming took more than four hours. PLUS: Simon Helberg is a "Real Housewives" fan.

Lisa Ling: I named my daughter Jett after Joan Jett
Daughter Jett was also named after Jet Li.

Comedy Central to go dark to promote the launch of Comedy Central radio
After midnight Sunday, you'll hear the audio of the SiriusXM channel on the cable channel.

"Friday Night Lights'" Aimee Teegarden looks uncrecognizable in reunion with Scott Porter
Teegarden, the star of CW's midseason drama "Star-Crossed," is now a brunette.

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EXCLUSIVE: John Mayer and Gary Clark Jr. jam at R&R Hall of Fame
Credit: HBO

EXCLUSIVE: John Mayer and Gary Clark Jr. jam at R&R Hall of Fame

They let their fingers do the talking

The 2013 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremony, which airs May 18 on HBO, includes some blazing performance. One of the hottest is John Mayer and Gary Clark Jr.’s smoking take on Albert King’s “Born Under a Bad Sign.”

Mayer inducted the late King and then came back to join Clark on a soulful, funky rendition on the classic. Mayer keeps his mouth shut in this exclusive clip provided to Hitfix and wisely lets his guitar talk. Not that he and Clark can’t stop smiling at each other as they did deep on the track.

The R&R Hall of Fame ceremony was taped April 18 at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles.
 In addition to King, the other inductees are Heart, Rush, Randy Newman, Public Enemy, Donna Summer, Lou Adler and Quincy Jones.   A 24-hour marathon will start immediately on HBO Signature.

Yesterday, we exclusively debuted part of Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins’ hilarious induction speech for Rush. You can see that here.

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<p>Kristin Scott Thomas' performance in &quot;Only God Forgives&quot; may be an internet meme waiting to happen.</p>

Kristin Scott Thomas' performance in "Only God Forgives" may be an internet meme waiting to happen.

Credit: RADiUS-TWC

Weinstein Company touts 'Grace' and 'Mandela' but Kristin Scott Thomas steals the show

Harvey holds court with Nicole Kidman and Rooney Mara

CANNES - Harvey Weinstein took center stage Friday evening as The Weinstein Company held what has become a semi-annual preview of the rest of their yearly slate for select members of the domestic and international press corps at Cannes. In the past Weinstein has used this event to tease expected players such as "Nine" and "My Week with Marilyn." Last year, however, the event created a tremendous amount of buzz after a surprise 10-minute-plus first look at "Django Unchained" as well as sneaks of Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master" and David O. Russell's "Silver Linings Playbook."

This time around, "Grace of Monaco," featuring Nicole Kidman as Grace Kelly, "August: Osage County," starring Meryl Streep and an all-star cast and "Mandela: A Long Road to Freedom," starring Idris Elba as the legendary South African civil rights leader, were the more anticipated sneaks. And yet it was "Only God Forgives" star Kristin Scott Thomas who unexpectedly stole the show. More on that later. First let's get to the awards season players.

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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 182

Dan and Alan talk upfronts, reality and 'The Office' finale


Happy Friday, Boys & Girls!
As promised, it's time for the week's second installment of the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
After covering the first three upfronts on Tuesday's podcast, today it's CBS and The CW's turn. We also do an end-of-season installment of Dan's Reality Roundup and we talk for a goodly amount of time about "The Office" finale and the show as a whole. No, it's not a whole "Office"-dedicated podcast, but it's not a short segment. At all.
And we'll be back on Monday!
Today's breakdown:
CBS and The CW upfronts (00:00:55 - 00:30:10)
Dan's Reality Roundup (00:30:40 - 00:49:00)
"The Office" (00:49:00 - 01:38:00)

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.] 

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

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Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 182: Upfronts, 'The Office' finale, 'American Idol' & more

Dan and Alan also discuss the recent finales of 'Survivor' and 'The Amazing Race'


As promised, Upfront Week led to a bonus installment Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, in which we break down the CBS and CW schedules, ride into Dan's Reality Round-Up to talk about the recent conclusions of "American Idol," "Survivor" and "The Amazing Race," and then talk for a while about "The Office' series finale and some of our favorite (and least favorite) moments from the life of the show.

The lineup:

CBS and The CW upfronts (00:00:55 - 00:30:10)
Dan's Reality Roundup (00:30:40 - 00:49:00)
"The Office" (00:49:00 - 01:38:00)

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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Showtime releases 'Dexter's' official Season 8 trailer

Showtime releases "Dexter's" official Season 8 trailer

"I shot the wrong person in that trailer," says Deb in the 3-minute trailer.

"Game of Thrones" mulls ending after Season 7

The number of seasons is up in the air, but producers may the number of books, at seven.

"HIMYM" makes the "mother" a full-time cast member
Cristin Milioti will become the first series regular added since the CBS comedy began.

Amy Poehler talks comedy with "The Wire" creator
The "Parks and Rec" star was part of a media panel last night with David Simon. PLUS: The annotated wisdom of Amy Poehler.

Watch Seth MacFarlane sing on "The Simpsons"
The "Family Guy" honcho hits on Marge in the season finale.

Mary Lynn Rajskub hopes Chloe is aboard for the "24" reboot
The actress has not heard yet from producers.

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"Life Below Zero"

 "Life Below Zero"

Credit: NatGeo

Exclusive clip: Watch how hellish 'Life Below Zero' can be

The NatGeo show takes a raw, dark look at life off the grid

Imagine life without supermarkets. Or roads. Oh, and don't forget the cold (sometimes colder than 60 below) or the bears and wolves. Sounds like one heck of a reality TV show, doesn't it? Actually, it's how some people live in remote corners of Alaska, and they do it on purpose. Of course, that meant someone had to film it. So now we have "Life Below Zero" premiering Sun. May 19 at 10:00 p.m. on NatGeo.

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<p>&quot;Frances Ha&quot;</p>

"Frances Ha"

Credit: IFC Films

Tell us what you thought of 'Frances Ha'

Noah Baumbach's latest heads out in limited release this weekend

Here's some counter-programming for you. Noah Baumbach's "Frances Ha" is slipping into select theaters this year as "Star Trek Into Darkness" dominates the wide release conversation. I saw and was delighted by the film at the 2012 Telluride Film Festival, and that's coming from someone not particularly in love with Baumbach's aesthetic. It's also one of our under-the-radar films for the 2013 summer movie season. Will we be talking about the screenplay and Greta Gerwig's performance come Oscar time? Can the film push out of the critics and indie awards circuits? Time will tell, but for now, those of you who get around to seeing it (or have caught it on the festival circuit the last few months), tell us what you thought in the comments section and by voting in our poll below.

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<p>Britney Spears</p>

Britney Spears

Listen: Britney Spears' new song 'Ooh La La' from 'The Smurfs 2'

How do you auto-tune a smurf?

“Take my hand, we can go all night” “It feels so good I don’t want to stop.” “Fingers in my hair and I’m letting go tonight.”

[More after the jump...]

 Ummm....yes, these are lyrics for a song in a kids’ movie, Britney Spears’ “Ooh La La” for “The Smurfs 2,” to be exact...and we’re sure that your 6-year old won’t even think to ask you what any of those mean. Seriously.

Otherwise, it’s a sweet, slight, little love song about loving someone for their true blue self. For some reason that’s inexplicable, the song is really three songs in one:

The first segment is pure pop with a bit of electonica thrown in, a little Avril Lavigne-ish.

The second segment features Spears speak-singing, Ke$ha style, over an electro-clash beat that kids will either love or be scared by: “”Mommy, why does it sound like Britney is mad at us?”

The third, the acoustic-guitar-driven part is fluffy, retro pop that sounds like Madonna from her early-‘80s period. Nice and innocent and feather-light, in a good way.

Then rinse and repeat and wait for another wacky breakdown toward the end of the five-minute tune.

In other words, quite frankly, anyone could have done this song. There’s nothing particularly “Britney” about it, other than the fact that her vocals are autotuned within an inch of their life and are emotionally flat.

We wish the song, co-written by Katy Perry tunesmith Bonnie McKee, had just focused on the poppy third act, which is far and away the catchiest part. Speaking of Perry, she returns in her role as Smurfette in the film, which opens July 31.

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Was Mariah Carey lipsyncing last night on 'American Idol?' You decide

Was Mariah Carey lipsyncing last night on 'American Idol?' You decide

The Twitterverse says yes, her rep says no

Was she or wasn’t she? Mariah Carey has found herself in a bit of a Beyonce-like scandal following her medley of her hits on Thursday night’s “American Idol” finale.

[More after the jump...]


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'American Idol': It was the definitive end of an era

"American Idol": It was the definitive end of an era

As of this season, "Idol" is no longer the standard-bearer for TV singing competitions, says Jon Caramanica.  "'The X Factor' is more modern, 'The Voice' is more narratively compelling,'" he says. "'Idol' is a legacy show now, a reminder of simpler times. And never has a season of 'Idol' felt more like a pure karaoke competition than this one." PLUS: Mariah Carey denies lip-synching, Randy Jackson explains why he quit, and Keith Urban says there is talk of his possible return.

Shonda Rhimes had the big "Scandal" finale reveal in mind since the start of the season
In fact, Joe Morton says, "I knew all along." PLUS: "Scandal's" season finale, says Ryan McGee, "didn't just put a period on this triumphant second season of the show. It put about a half-dozen exclamation points followed by a few dozen emojis on it."

Bill Hader: "SNL" went by so fast

"The nature of SNL is that it's so in-the-moment," he says of his eight-year stint. "I feel like I'm going to wake up in August and turn to my wife and say 'Was I really on SNL?' It went by so fast."

Will Arnett & Jason Bateman hold hands during a stroll through NYC

The "Arrested Development" co-stars went on a "love stroll" yesterday.

ABC puts the final "Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23" episodes online
The eight unaired episodes will be available through June 23.

Jimmy Kimmel sends "Parks and Rec's" Jim O'Heir to Abercrombie & Fitch
Can the plus-sized actor pull off wearing A&F clothing?

Kevin McKidd talks about the "Grey's Anatomy" season finale

"There's no big drama to it, in a strange way." PLUS: Jessica Capshaw on the season finale


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<p>&quot;The Office&quot;&nbsp;finale.</p>

"The Office" finale.

Credit: NBC

'The Office' had the finale it needed

"The Office" had the finale it needed

The series finale wasn't great TV, says Erik Adams, but it was great for right now.
"In the case of 'Finale,'" he explains, "I think the ultimate success or failure of the episode won’t be determined by how well it holds up years from now (probably not well), or how it stands up as a cohesive piece of TV comedy that brings itself to a halt while suggesting that life carries on for its characters (just barely). To me, the quality of this series finale is found in the way it functions right now, in the afterglow of a TV show to which many devoted more than 100 hours of their lives. Some aspects of the episode fall flat, but when it hits, it hits."
The U.S. "Office" was bound to succumb to the sentimentality of American TV
Steve Carell's cameo was just perfect
The only flaw: The Pam & Jim story didn't seem to fit
Finale proves Americans are huggers and criers, unlike the British
"The Office's" final business lesson: Don't be anything like Dunder Mifflin
Creed Bratton wrote his finale song
Nobody cried on set // Cast members tweet their goodbyes
NBC News produced "The Office" special
"The Office": One of the greatest TV series about the American dream

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