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Credit: TNT

Review: Sean Bean goes undercover in TNT's 'Legends'

The 'Game of Thrones' star is no chameleon, but at least he gets to use his real accent sometimes

I will say this for "Legends," the new TNT drama (it debuts tonight at 9) starring Sean Bean: it does not attempt to hide Bean's native accent behind some bland non-regional American dialect, at least not in his main identity as FBI agent Martin Odom. Because Odom is a master of assuming undercover identities (the "legends" of the title), Bean gets to try on various semi-convincing accents the rest of the time, but at least "Legends" doesn't waste time trying to convince us that Ned Stark doesn't sound like Ned Stark when he's not playacting. The explanation for how a man with this accent ended up working for the FBI is utterly ridiculous, but it's also one line of dialogue that never has to be dealt with again, and it's an approach that I wish many more shows would take when hiring actors from the UK, Australia or New Zealand.

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Jimmy Fallon fights back tears, unleashes his Robin Williams impression in his tribute to the late comedian

Jimmy Fallon fights back tears, unleashes his Robin Williams impression in his tribute to the late comedian
“His brain was always thinking 10 steps ahead of what he was saying,” said Fallon. “He was like the Muhammad Ali of comedy." PLUS: Seth Meyers also paid tribute.

Conan O’Brien recalls Robin Williams buying him a bicycle amid his “Tonight Show” struggles
Conan calls Williams the "best talk show guest ever."

Emmys planning a Robin Williams tribute
"With the tragic loss of Robin, we're trying to deal with that and figure out what to do in the right, appropriate and meaningful way,” says producer Don Mischer. "It's about what can we do to properly remember Robin and create perhaps an emotional moment about Robin, knowing all that he did for all of us who love entertainment and love comedy."

Jimmy Fallon’s “House of Cards” parody features a very shocking cameo
Check out Part 1 and Part 2 of “House of Cue Cards,” in which Fallon’s past comes back to haunt him. PLUS: Fallon and The Roots take the ice bucket challenge.

Hub Network will re-air Robin Williams’ 1st “Happy Days” episode on Friday
“My Favorite Orkan” (watch part of it here) first aired on Feb. 28, 1978.

Shark Week fuels interest in shark meat
"In 12 or 13 years, we have had virtually nobody looking for shark, but this year (for Shark Week) people are jumping all over it,” says one seafood supplier.

Recalling Lauren Bacall’s “Sopranos” cameo
Watch Christopher Moltisanti beat her up.

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Warner pits writers of 'Gangster Squad' and '300' against each other on 'Aquaman'
Credit: DC Comics

Warner pits writers of 'Gangster Squad' and '300' against each other on 'Aquaman'

This is part of the problem

Speaking as a member of the WGAw since 1995, I am disgusted whenever I hear that a studio is doing parallel development on a film. It's a terrible process for the writers, and it reduces the idea of authorship, handing all of the power back to the producers.

It's easy to see why a studio would do it. After all, they're in a rush right now at Warner Bros. to get into the game that Marvel has been winning non-stop for the last few years, and Aquaman is already set to appear in "Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice," with Jason Momoa signed to play the character. For Warner Bros., they're trying to get these films up and ready to go as quickly as they can. Having two writers each work on a script to see what ends up working best sounds like a great way to short-cut things.

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Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

How Reese Witherspoon could end up with three Oscar nominations this year

Having moved out into producing, she's involved with two of the year's big players

Eight and a half years ago, Reese Witherspoon won an Oscar. It came for her leading performance as June Carter in James Mangold's Johnny Cash biopic "Walk the Line." But things fell off after that for a little while. Gavin Hood's "Tsotsi" follow-up, "Rendition," went nowhere with audiences or critics. James L. Brooks' "How Do You Know" stalled. Francis Lawrence's "Water for Elephants" didn't really move the needle. Holiday rom-com "Four Christmases" and spy caper "This Means War" completely bottomed out. And then early last year, that unfortunate Atlanta arrest incident.

But all the while, the actress, who has virtually grown up in the film industry, has been priming the pump with a few projects that will make it to screens this year. At the end of the season, she could well end up with as many as three Oscar nominations. The stage has truly been set for a career turnaround.

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<p>Clint Eastwood</p>

Clint Eastwood

Credit: AP Photo

Clint Eastwood's 'American Sniper' with Bradley Cooper joins the Oscar season

Warner Bros. could probably use another card in their deck this year

How classic can you get? It turns out Clint Eastwood's "American Sniper" with Bradley Cooper will get a limited bow on Christmas Day before going wide on January 16. That puts it smack dab in the middle of the upcoming Oscar season, and gives Universal a little bit of competition on being last pony out of the gate with "Unbroken."

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Lauren Bacall passes away at the age of 89

Lauren Bacall passes away at the age of 89

Honorary Oscar winner was a true Hollywood legend

Hollywood has lost a second iconic voice in less than 24 hours.  Lauren Bacall, star of screen, stage and television, passed away at the age of 89 Tuesday.

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For Robin Williams, 'Television was his cradle, and in some ways it was his true home'

For Robin Williams, "Television was his cradle, and in some ways it was his true home”
TV, says Alessandra Stanley, allowed for the looseness and spontaneity that have less of a place in movies. Television was also where he shot to fame and, in recent years, it was where he returned to seek a steady mooring.” PLUS: “The Crazy Ones” seemed biographical for Williams, examining Williams’ TV legacy, Williams was light years better than network TV was in the 1970s, BBC played Williams’ “Family Guy” episode as news of his death broke, watch Williams’ 5 funniest late-night appearances and his most memorable “SNL” moments, Henry Winkler remembers meeting Williams for the 1st time, CBS is under fire for interviewing a man claiming to have gone to AA with Williams, Chris Rock remembers his mentor, and watch Williams profanely accept the 2012 Comedy Icon Award before many of today’s celebrated comedians.

As "Survivor" editors demand a union contract, the season premiere could be delayed
If their demands result in a labor action such as a walkout, the season premier could be delayed.

“Scandal” books Mary McCormack and Josh Randall
The “In Plain Sight” and “Ed” alums will play a couple in one episode.

Jimmy Fallon is redefining the host-guest relationship with the games he has celebs play
"When guests come on Fallon, there's not an intimidation factor like there might be on Letterman or even Kimmel or Conan,” explains Ryan Bort. “They know they have nothing to worry about and that Fallon is not going to challenge them in anything more consequential than a grade-school game. They can relax, they can have a good time, they can be themselves (as much as possible in front of a camera, anyway).”

“Girls” star Zosia Mamet reveals her battles with an eating disorder
"Do you have a secret?” she writes in Glamour magazine. “Is your secret something that could kill you, a silent gnawing feeling that's slowly melting you away, little by little, something deadly that nobody else can see? Mine is. And it is this: I've struggled with an eating disorder since I was a child. This struggle has been mostly a private one, a war nobody knew was raging inside me. I tried to fight it alone for a long time. And I nearly died."

Seth Meyers on his possible future 12:30 competitor James Corden: “We met at a dinner years ago”
 ”I've run into him at a few of Hulu's Upfronts, and we're actually friendly every time I've run into him,” says Meyers, who shares something in common with Corden — they both have Hulu shows. PLUS: Meyers says he didn't set out to hire a diverse writing staff.

Brooks Wheelan on his brief “SNL” stint: “As soon as I got hired I was like, ‘Well, I'm gonna get fired’”
"I was totally mentally prepared to get fired,” says Wheelan, who will be on stage Wednesday with Judd Apatow and Jay Mohr. "So when I did get fired, I was like, ‘Yeah, that adds up.’”

"Bachelor in Paradise” used a reenactment to depict a cast member’s affair with the boom mic guy
Unfortunately, producers didn’t have footage of Michelle K’s alleged affair with a crew member. PLUS: Texas Gov. Rick Perry chats with “The Bachelorettes” Chris Soules.

George R.R. Martin explains the lack of gay sex scenes in his “Song of Ice and Fire” books
"I'm not going to do it just for the sake of doing it,” he says. "If the plot lends itself to that — if one of my viewpoint characters is in a situation, then I'm not going to shy away from it — but you can't just insert things because everyone wants to see them."

RuPaul is helping pioneer a new kind of product placement
For Season 6 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” the Logo reality show partnered with the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority so that it “can organically be part of this program.”

TV's character actors film a PSA
Watch Matt Walsh, Anthony Head, Donald Faison, Rob Corddry, Donal Logue and more explain why they matter, too.

Check out Shemar Moore back on “The Young and the Restless”
Here he is reprising his classic role of Malcolm Winters.

Has Guy Fieri destroyed the Food Network?
The Food Network star seems to have been redesigned in the “Food Network Star” winner’s shouty image.

Oxygen’s “Sisterhood of Hip Hop” shows that reality TV is the steadiest gig for female rappers
As the NY Times points out, "there are certainly more female rappers on this show than will release albums on major labels this year (and maybe next year, too).”

Watch Lauren Ambrose in Lifetime’s “Deliverance Creek” trailer from Nicholas Sparks
“The Notebook” author is producing the two-hour Civil War-era film.

Play the Shark Week drinking game
Here is how to get “shark-faced” this week. PLUS: How Shark Week comes up with its titles.

“Twin Peaks” gets an 8-bit opening
What would the classic mystery drama look like as an early video game?

After “Desperate Housewives” ended, James Denton escaped to Minnesota
"I wanted to get my kids out of L.A.," he tells People. "So we moved to Minnesota right away. I've also got a house in rural Montana, which is our escape from Minnesota!"

AMC’s KISS football reality show premieres tonight
"4th and Loud” follows Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons’ L.A. Kiss Arena League team.

“Peyton Place star Ed Nelson dies
Nelson, 85, played a NYC doctor who set up a practice in the fictional town.

RIP Lauren Bacall: The legendary actress’ final acting credit was for a “Family Guy” episode from March
Bacall, 89, lent her voice to the episode “Mom’s the World” in which she plays Peter's mom's friend who forms a close bond with him. Bacall also nominated for three Emmys.

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Interview: Composer Brian Tyler on 'TMNT,' 'Expendables 3' and 'Avengers: The Age of Ultron'

Is it harder to write for a mutant turtle or Sylvester Stallone?

Be careful what you say about the music when you come out of a movie theater, composer Brian Tyler may be listening.

Tyler has a ritual: The day one of his movies opens, he and the director theater hop, checking out how several audiences are reacting to the film and to the music. “I just pop my head in to see how the crowd is doing, kind of see how everyone is reacting,” Tyler says. “I really like to stand outside the theater and see if anyone is humming the music.”

Tyler is spending a lot of time at local cineplexes this month: two movies he scored opened last Friday,  Aug. 8: box office champ, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” and “Into the Storm.” A third film, “The Expendables 3,” opens this Friday,  Aug. 15.

For “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” Tyler composed an old-school, often lush,  symphonic score. He and director Jonathan Liebesman both felt very strongly that “the turtles take care of the wackiness, we didn’t need to add to that.”  They also felt the tone should stay relatively light. “I didn’t want it to feel like a “Batman.” On the dark-to-fun-ometer, we wanted it to be a perfect ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’,” he says. “There are some moments of ‘Raiders’ that are hardcore, but the overall feel is that it’s encased in an adventure film.”

“TMNT” won the box-office, despite receiving fairly negative reviews.“It’s not a movie made for critics,” he says. “It’s a movie made for people who want to completely let loose, so by design, the score that fits that the best is the kind of throwback adventure.”

So on the difficulty meter, I asked Tyler who is harder to write for: “TMNT’s” Michelangelo or “The Expendables’” Sylvester Stallone? Hands down, it’s the turtle. “I’ve known Sly for so long, I feel like I speak his language,” Tyler says. The fun in scoring his third “Expendables” film came in writing for the new characters, including Mel Gibson’s villain, “Stonebanks,” Just as Tyler played against the insanity of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles be keeping the score light, but not frivolous, he makes Stonebank’s theme a beautiful solo piano piece that plays in opposition to the character. “I thought more of an etude would work really great so it’s not just arch,” Tyler says. “It shows he has an interesting villainy; there are wheels turning in that brain.”

Tyler deployed a similar device with Loki’s theme in “Thor: The Dark World” by writing the piece on the harp. Tom Hiddleson, who plays Loki, loved the theme so much, he made a point of telling Tyler that he’d downloaded not just that selection, but the whole score.

In addition to “Thor,” Tyler has scored a number of Marvel movies, including “Iron Man 3” and is now working on Josh Whedon’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” He, of course, is sworn to secrecy about “Ultron," but says of the music, "It’s coming into shape. It’s going to be a great and long process.”

The key to scoring any Marvel film, “is that you want to completely buy the idea,” Tyler says. “Especially with the Avengers, you buy the idea that there’s a genius billionaire playboy and a big green monster. Josh directs it in a way that you have fun with it, but you completely buy it.”

Tyler is scoring —every pun intended— on the little screen as well.  He scores “Hawaii 5-0” and  received an Emmy nomination this year for his theme music for “Sleepy Hollow.”   Co-creator Alex Kurtzman and Tyler are friends and he approached Tyler about the supernatural thriller. “It was a blast,” Tyler says. “We wanted to make something that sounds quirky baroque, with violin, cello, a dulcimer and some percussion. It’s kind of a weird thing for a modern day TV show.”

Scoring a number of sequels allows him to sometimes get to know the actors, as he has Stone and Hiddleson. Through his work on the “Fast & Furious” franchise (he’s now scoring “Fast & Furious 7”), he became close to Paul Walker and the actor’s death still stings. In addition to the “Fast” series, Tyler also scored Walker’s 2008 film, “The Lazarus Project.” That was a labor of love for him,” Tyler says. “I wrote his theme for that and that’s what his family asked to have played as his memorial service. It’s called ‘Jaybird.’ He was really a great guy, just a sweet guy and outside the Hollywood system. He wasn’t interested in being a superstar, he’s rather be on a surfboard.”


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'Inhumans' screenwriter revealed amid new rumors on Marvel project
Credit: Marvel Comics

'Inhumans' screenwriter revealed amid new rumors on Marvel project

Will Vin Diesel really sign on to play Black Bolt?

We first mentioned Marvel's development of "Inhumans" as a property for possible big-screen release back in September of 2013, while rumors about the film have been swirling since March of 2011.

First, let's address the Vin Diesel rumors. Over the weekend, Vin dropped some cryptic hints about possibly joining the cast of an "Inhumans" movie, and if he does end up in the movie, there's a strong chance he'd be playing Black Bolt, one of the main characters in the comics. Here's what makes that sort of a genius-level move on Marvel's part. When they announced Paul Bettany as The Vision for "Avengers: Age Of Ultron," it was not only a great chance to see him onscreen finally after just hearing his voice in the "Iron Man" movies so far, but it also makes sense from a story standpoint. Jarvis is part of the DNA of the creatures that are both Ultron and The Vision.

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Listen to Ariana Grande's new R&B jam with Big Sean

Listen to Ariana Grande's new R&B jam with Big Sean

Things you know you like, together

Ariana Grande's summer jam "Problem" was successful because it was an amalgam of a things we already knew we liked. She reminds us of classic Mariah Carey in her range; there's that four-part harmony that's like the Andrews sister; there's hints of New Jack Swing and the funk of the horns section from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "Thrift Shop"; even if you don't know the verse, everyone can sing "you-hoo-HOO!"; Iggy Azalea is/was on fire at time of impact.

Grande has released a new song, "Best Mistake," ahead of her second album "My Everything," out on Aug. 25. This song may similarly ring a couple bells. There's a particular treatment to the keyboards that are reminiscent of Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball." The vocal bend and auto-tune filter is a reminder of Rihanna. Those chimes make us think our princess is in another castle.

But unlike her first big number, this is a song I have listened to many times now and keep forgetting I've heard it. Big Sean turns in a verse that gets a C+ -- hey, slightly above average without sticking out in the crowd! -- and Grande's voice is appropriately if not robotically melancholy.

So to answer the question what happens when the water dries up? You wait until Aug. 25 to get a real gulp of what Grande can really offer. This is a pretty, easy song. The next hit's in another castle.

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Vote for your favorite former series in HitFix's Uncanceled Showdown!

Vote for your favorite former series in HitFix's Uncanceled Showdown!

Would you like to bring back 'Freaks and Geeks'? Finally get those 'Deadwood' movies? More 'Firefly'?

TV cancellation isn't as permanent as it used to be. "Community" is moving to Yahoo, we're allegedly going to get another "Arrested Development" season on Netflix soon, and the "Entourage" cast will soon be infecting a movie theater near you.

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Ronda Rousey explains the concept of the 'ho-box' to the rest of the new 'Expendables'
Credit: HitFix

Ronda Rousey explains the concept of the 'ho-box' to the rest of the new 'Expendables'

Listen for Kellan Lutz's hilarious interjection

One thing I've learned about doing these on-camera junket interviews is that anything more than three people in the room can lead to chaos. In the case of this interview with the young cast from "The Expendables 3," I had four people to interview together, and it was just on the verge of devolving into total chaos.

To complicate matters, there was no way I was going to jump in and try to assert any sort of control over that group of people. I was talking to Glen Powell, Ronda Rousey, Victor Ortiz, and Kellan Lutz, who all play new characters who are recruited by Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) to replace the older Expendables, since Barney's worried that they'll get killed on an upcoming mission.

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