Latest Blog Posts

Kiefer Sutherland's 'Touch' canceled after 2 seasons

Kiefer Sutherland's "Touch" canceled after 2 seasons

Just 2.22 million watched last week's episode of the Fox series. "Touch" airs its last episode Friday.

CW renews "Nikita" and "The Carrie Diaries"

"Nikita" will return for a shortened 4th season.

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Watch Avril Lavigne's, like, totally immature 'Here's to Never Growing Up' music video

Watch Avril Lavigne's, like, totally immature 'Here's to Never Growing Up' music video

Co-written by fiancé Chad Kroeger, co-sponsored by 1998

My favorite part of Avril Lavigne's "Here's to Never Growing Up" is that there isn't a single acoustic guitar or drum machine in it. Think about it.

My least favorite part is there was no pig's blood involved.

While the track itself is a combo of Ke$ha's "We R Who We R" and Miley Cyrus' "Party In the U.S.A.," the video will remind you why you left your prom early to go drink in the car. In 1998.

"Here's to Never Growing Up" is the first song from Avril Lavigne's next album, her fifth, due some time in 2013.

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<p>Pele's bicycle kick is one of the most famous moves by any athlete in any sport</p>

Pele's bicycle kick is one of the most famous moves by any athlete in any sport

Credit: Legends 10

Brian Grazer and the directors of 'The Two Escobars' team to tell the true story of Pele

This could be one of the greatest movies ever about the sport

Our own Alan Sepinwall has spoken very highly of "The Two Escobars" by Michael and Jeff Zimbalist. You can see that film on Netflix Instant right now as part of ESPN's "30 By 30" series, and I highly recommend you do so. Alan was right about how good it was, and it's one of the few documentaries from this series that I've seen more than once. It's that dense and rewarding a piece.

Here's the first thing you need to know about Michael and Jeff Zimbalist as filmmakers. They get soccer. Football. Whatever you know it as, they understand the drama of the game, and they understand the world's relationship to it. More than that, they understand the drama of the life story of a person, and that's a hard thing to do right.

There are any number of biopics that are technically proficient, well-acted, well-cast, and utterly stiff. To tell a story using the highlights of a real person's life is very difficult, much more difficult than it seems. You can't just make it a greatest hits montage. It takes a deft touch to turn that into something really affecting, and the remarkable part of "The Two Escobars" is seeing just how good they are at all of it. They tell a hell of a story, they make it human and emotional, and they dig deep to try to show how soccer affects these countries.

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Credit: Andrew Zaeh

Listen: Jay-Z guests on The-Dream's low-brow 'High Art'

Hit that, then go out

The-Dream and Jay-Z combine yet again for a new song off of the former's "IV Play." "High Art" is pretty low-brow, with The-Dream intro'ing "I'm tired of talking 'bout it, lets do it / Girl I'm missin' you like bitches miss my music / And I swear I can't wait to drop ya, hit your body with that yoppa." Bitches, note, also love being called bitches. Also, dropping E is the universal language for "I miss you, and I'm going to go out with my friends soon."

There's a lot of filler on this party song before you get to Hov's goods, when he gently explains his success and how, y'know, controlling girls are when they think you're going to be hanging out with "nasty bitches." Ugh, right?

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<p>Randy Jackson</p>

Randy Jackson

Credit: Fox

Randy Jackson: I'm done with 'American Idol' after 12 seasons

Randy Jackson: I'm done with "American Idol" after 12 seasons

The last original judge confirms to E! that he won't be back: "Yo! Yo! Yo! To put all of the speculation to the rest, after 12 years of judging on American Idol I have decided it is time to leave after this season."

"Criminal Minds" renewed for Season 9 after all stars sign on
Kirsten Vangsness and A.J. Cook received a "sizable" pay bump, according to Deadline. They, along with Thomas Gibson and Joe Mantegna and Shemar Moore, have signed on for two more seasons.

CW picks up "The Tomorrow People" and "The 100"

All three dramas have been ordered to series. "The Tomorrow People" is about young people with special abilities, while "The 100" starring Henry Ian Cusick is about people living in a spaceship after nuclear war destroys civilization. PLUS: CW orders Mary Queen of Scots drama "Reign" and "Star-Crossed" starring Aimee Teegarden as a girl who falls for an alien.

"Veronica Mars" movie adds Veronica's dad

Enrico Colantoni will reprise the role of Keith Mars.

NBC cancels "Up All Night" and "Guys with Kids"

"Up All Night" was practically dead, and the cancelation of Jimmy Fallon's "Guys with Kids" means no multi-camera sitcoms from this season will be back next year.

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NBC renews 'Parks and Rec,' cancels 'Whitney' and '1600 Penn'

NBC renews "Parks and Rec," cancels "Whitney" and "1600 Penn"

Will next season be the last for the Amy Poehler comedy?

See the new photos of NBC shows

From "About a Boy" to "Crisis."

Cary Elwes returning to "Psych"

Also returning: Kristy Swanson.

Alyson Hannigan: Sarah Michelle Gellar was annoyed to be on "Buffy" at the end

Did she throw her former co-star under the bus?

John McCain inroduces a cable a la carte bill

The TV Consumer Freedom Act of 2013 would allow cable subscribers to pick what channels they want.

"Sesame Street" among YouTube's new pay channels

YouTube said 30 channels will take up the pay model.

TNT renews "Boston Finest" for a shorter season

Next season, consisting of six instead of eight episodes, will also air on CNN.

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Credit: AP Photo

What's wrong with RIAA's gold and platinum certifications adding streaming songs

The shift is akin to switching deck chairs on the Titanic

Today, the RIAA (the Recording Industry Assn. of America) made big news with its decision to include on-demand audio and video song streaming in its certification methodology.  Here’s how it works: previously, songs had to sell 500,000 units (through physical and digital sales) to be certified gold and 1 million units to be certified platinum. Two million and above counts as multi-platinum.

Now, streaming will figure in the tabulations: every 100 streams will count as the equivalent of 1 download. Take something like Psy’s “Gentleman” or Baauer’s “Harlem Shake,” both of which were much bigger streaming sensations than digital sales successes.  They will go gold much faster based on a few days’ worth of streams (although only US streams will count in the designations) than a song that people are plunking down money to buy.  User-generated videos will not count.

To be sure, the music industry has been horrifically slow to embrace change and new technologies. Its arrogance and belief that consumers would continue to buy full albums when they wanted singles lead to the creation of Napster and widespread piracy.  Plus, internecine fighting over whether steaming counts as a sale or as airplay further muddied the issue, especially when it came to figuring out royalty payments for songwriters and artists, so congrats to the RIAA for not moving at a glacial pace and for getting the industry to agree to the changes (although finding new ways to congratulate themselves have never been the music industry’s problem). 

Also, once Billboard added YouTube streaming into the calculations for the Billboard Hot 100 (it already included select other streaming services), it was really only a matter of time before the RIAA made this call. Billboard’s move helped legitimize streaming. Among the streaming services now included in the RIAA’s tabulations are MOG, Muve Music, Rdio, Rhapsody, Slacker, Spotify, Xbox Music,, Vevo, Yahoo and YouTube.

Here are my issues with the decision:

*Streaming is not a sale. RIAA certifications, whether or albums or singles, have always been based on sales. Even in this transitioning world between physical vs. digital and buying vs. streaming, a sale still counts as a level of commitment that streaming does not. Now, if I have an incredible yen to listen to The Beach Boys’ “Sail On Sailor” and I’m too lazy to go into the other room and grab the CD, I simply call up Spotify and play it 12 times in a row (yes, this is a true example). My laziness will now help songs become certified gold and platinum.

*This move comes at a time when the music industry continues to be evolving as sales continue to fall. Digital sales have not increased to offset the decline of physical sales, much to the disappointment of the music industry.  In some ways, this feels like a panacea for the music industry to falsely convince itself that the sky isn’t falling because it can now crow about increased certifications and make artists feel good about themselves. The music industry has never been shy about finding ways to pat itself on the back, but this is basically rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

*People consume music differently now than they did even two years ago, and the RIAA’s move is recognition of that, however the 100:1 ratio seems too low to me as the opening rate. As we move toward sustainable subscription models, that ratio could be correct, but for now, the ratio  should be higher: maybe 1000 streams to one download. As sales continue to erode and streams climb even higher, then bring the numbers closer together, but by starting at 100:1, the RIAA hasn’t left much wiggle room as the climate continues to shift.

What do you think about the shift?

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<p>Carrie Preston and Michael Emerson of &quot;Person of Interest&quot;</p>

Carrie Preston and Michael Emerson of "Person of Interest"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Carrie Preston talks 'Person of Interest,' 'True Blood,' Emmy hopes and more

Ubiquitous actor returns for the 'Person of Interest' finale tonight
There are plenty of candidates for Busiest Person in TV, but Carrie Preston would have to be in that discussion.
This summer, Preston will begin her sixth season as Arlene on HBO's vampire soap "True Blood," but being a regular on that premium cable hit hasn't prevented her from pivotal recurring roles on a pair of CBS favorites.
On "Good Wife," Preston has made nine appearances as quirky-yet-effective attorney Elsbeth Tascioni. While Elsbeth is just a part of the deep "Good Wife" bench, her every appearance prompts cries of "Spinoff!" on Twitter and message boards. 
Although Preston has made fewer appearances on "Person of Interest," there remains a sense that her Grace is a pivotal character, both in life of Michael Emerson's Harold Finch and possibly in the overall shape of the show.
Oh and as if that's not enough on Preston's plate, she also has a developing behind-the-camera resume. Her feature directing debut, "That's What She Said," had a Sundance Film Festival premiere, with other producing projects ready to go for both the big screen and the web. 
I chatted with Preston in advance of Thursday (May 9) night's "Person of Interest" finale, in which Grace appears, even if the actress playing her doesn't know the context. Preston discusses working with real-life husband Emerson, her Emmy hopes and how "True Blood" feels different without Alan Ball. 
It's a good chat. Check out the full Q&A...
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<p>Amy Poehler and the rest of the &quot;Parks and Recreation&quot;&nbsp;gang will be back next season.</p>

Amy Poehler and the rest of the "Parks and Recreation" gang will be back next season.

Credit: NBC

NBC renews 'Parks and Recreation' for season 6

No timeslot or episode number yet, but Leslie Knope and company will be back next season

"Parks and Recreation" is getting a sixth season.

It's not a surprise, given the state of NBC's other comedies — "Parks" is the network's highest-rated sitcom after "The Office," which is ending in a week — but nothing was certain until the network said it. According to a source close to the production, Now according to NBC, the renewal is now official, though other details — timeslot and number of episodes to be produced — will be figured out later. (NBC's fall schedule will be announced on Sunday afternoon.) 

When I inteviewed "Parks" co-creator Mike Schur about the finale, he said he was "fairly confident" in renewal, and had written the finale more to set things up for a sixth season than to act as a de facto series finale, in the way he has so many times in the past. It appears he was right to feel that way.

UPDATE: Not only has NBC confirmed the news, but Schur tells me, "We finished season five, thought about skipping right to season seven, but NBC suggested we just go sequentially, which is smart, so we're going to go ahead and do Season Six."

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<p>Ed Harris</p>

Ed Harris

Credit: AP Photo

Ed Harris heads back to mission control for Alfonso Cuarón's 'Gravity'

The 'Apollo 13' actor will have a familiar (voice) role in the upcoming film

Like many of you, I'm eagerly anticipating Alfonso Cuarón's upcoming space drama "Gravity." Starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, it promises to be an eye-popping piece of 3D grandeur from an auteur who has already given us some of the most indelible cinematic imagery of his generation.

Everyone's waiting for the first trailer for the film, which should hit sometime soon. But while we wait, let me pass this bit of info along. A source who's seen "Gravity" (and is over the moon about it) tells me that Ed Harris is featured in the role of a mission control voice. It might seem like just a cool bit of casting with a recognizable voice, but it's also a nice ode to one of the actor's Oscar-nominated performances.

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Cat Deeley of "So You Think You Can Dance"

 Cat Deeley of "So You Think You Can Dance"

Credit: Fox

'So You Think You Can Dance' host Cat Deeley talks new season, punk rock

The hostess admits to finding the separate results show 'laborious'

As the hostess of "So You Think You Can Dance," Cat Deeley never expected the show (which she joined in season two) to last a whopping ten seasons. But now it's back, returning with a two-night premiere on Tues. May 14 (8:00 - 9:00 p.m.) and Wed. May 15 (9:00 - 10:00 p.m.). Deeley spoke to reporters about what's ahead in a conference call. Here's what she had to say about the show's previously "laborious" format, why she's not looking for the next Kathryn or tWitch, and why she might be experimenting with a punk rock look next time we see her. 

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<p>Chris O'Dowd and Michael McKean in &quot;Family Tree.&quot;</p>

Chris O'Dowd and Michael McKean in "Family Tree."

Credit: HBO

Review: Christopher Guest turns slightly sincere with HBO's 'Family Tree'

Chris O'Dowd plays the rare Guest straight man hero in a comedy about genealogy
Christopher Guest has spent much of his brilliant career exploring the fine line between stupid and clever, as one his bandmates in “This Is Spinal Tap” put it. The characters in the Guest school of improvised mockumentary comedy are inevitably delusional about something, whether their talent, their level of celebrity, or their romantic life. Yet even though his movies — notably “Spinal Tap” (directed by Rob Reiner but co-written by Reiner, Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer) and his late ‘90s/early ‘00s trio of “Waiting for Guffman,” “Best in Show” and “A Mighty Wind” — feature ridiculous, oblivious people, there’s almost always something real at the heart of their delusions. The band in “Spinal Tap” is a middle-aged joke, but they have enough musical skill that Guest, McKean and Shearer have been able to mount multiple tours as their British alter egos. The community theater musical in “Waiting for Guffman” is terrible, and yet in certain numbers you can see the germ of an idea that could be great if it were given to someone with greater skill than these enthusiastic klutzes.
“Family Tree,” the new HBO comedy Guest co-created with frequent collaborator Jim Piddock (it debuts Sunday night at 10:30), is something different. It features the usual assortment of Guest-ian foolish dreamers — many of them played by Guest repertory players like McKean, Piddock, Fred Willard and Ed Begley Jr. — and a familiar degree of absurdity. But at its center is a character the likes of which Guest hasn’t had much use for since his very first film, 1989’s “The Big Picture”: a sane, sensible hero.
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