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HitFix Mix: Pentatonix can't cover Taylor Swift, plus who is the ultimate pop star?

HitFix Mix: Pentatonix can't cover Taylor Swift, plus who is the ultimate pop star?

Mitch Grassi and Avi Kaplan reveal their true feelings about Christmas music

For the life of them, Pentatonix just can't find their way into a Taylor Swift song.

The quintet has racked up millions of YouTube views, covering some of the most popular hit songs, chopping and screwing others, and doing their own spin on Christmas. But in my interview with Mitch Grassi and Avi Kaplan of Pentatonix, for this week's HitFix Mix, it's the "Shake It Off" singer that, for some reason, are hard to find their way into.

There's also "a lot of [covers] that wouldn't make sense to do," said Kaplan. "Earth Angel," "For the Longest Time" and other "old-school a cappella" hits haven't made their way into the troupe's rep either.

But what has are holiday classics, and with the Christmas season right around the corner, Grassi, Kaplan, Scott Hoying, Kirstie Maldonado and Kevin Olusola will be on the road all this fall into December, promoting "That's Christmas to Me," due Oct. 21. As if "The Sing-Off" stars' plates weren't already full: Pentatonix only just released their new EP "PTX: Vol. 3" less than three weeks ago.

On that set, you'll hear Grassi taking a crack at a little something new for him, which is rapping, on Iggy Azalea's part for Ariana Grande's "Problem."

"It's fun for me. I don't really mind it. It's just really fun to talk really fast," he smiled.

Check out our interview above, with cuts from "La La Latch," a take on Frozen's "Let It Go" and more. Plus, Kaplan and Grassi tell us three songs a piece, what they'd put on their HitFix Mixtape:

Avi Kaplan's HitFix Mix: "Lemonade" by Sophie, "How's That" by FKA Twigs, "Blow" by Beyonce.

Mitch Grassi's HitFix Mix: "Love Like a Sunset Part I & II" by Phoenix, "Midnight" by Coldplay and "Dust Clears" by Clean Bandit.

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John Hughes and John Candy families object to ABC's 'Uncle Buck' reboot
Credit: Universal Pictures

John Hughes and John Candy families object to ABC's 'Uncle Buck' reboot

Check out the 'Guardians of the Galaxy' animated TV show, which debuts on Disney XD in 2015

John Hughes, John Candy families object to ABC's 'Uncle Buck' reboot
The families released a joint statement expressing “disappointment” that they weren’t notified in advance. The statement also notes that John Hughes didn’t approve of CBS’ failed 1990 “Uncle Buck” sitcom.


Check out the “Guardians of the Galaxy” animated TV show, which debuts on Disney XD in 2015
Disney XD hopes that between “Star Wars Rebels” and the “Guardians” TV series, it’ll get its first hit. “I don’t think we have yet found our defining show,” says Gary Marsh, president of Disney Channels Worldwide.


Adult Swim’s “Rick & Morty” is getting the comic book treatment
Dan Harmon’s animated series will be released as a monthly comic book starting early next year.

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<p>The Affair</p>

The Affair

Credit: Showtime

'The Affair' co-creator Sarah Treem: 'We wanted to tell a story about two good people'

Why would Dominic West cheat on Maura Tierney? How will the 'Rashomon' structure work?

The premise of Showtime’s “The Affair” — in which Dominic West and Ruth Wilson get together, cheating on, respectively, Maura Tierney and Joshua Jackson — didn’t much interest me when I heard about it, even when those actors were involved. Then I heard that Sarah Treem was one of the creators and the lead writer, and my tune started to change.

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Starz renews LeBron James’ 'Survivor’s Remorse' after 1 episode
Credit: Starz

Starz renews LeBron James’ 'Survivor’s Remorse' after 1 episode

Is this proof Bill Hader will bring back Stefon to 'SNL' this weekend?

Starz renews LeBron James’ “Survivor’s Remorse” after 1 episode
Despite only 203,000 viewers watching last week’s series premiere, the pro basketball comedy will be back for a 2nd season.


Kathy Griffin admits she’s had informal talks to replace Joan Rivers on E!’s “Fashion Police"
“I can tell you that I hope they continue the tradition of my good friend and have someone lead the show with a fearless brand of comedy,” she says.


Is this proof Bill Hader will bring back Stefon to “SNL” this weekend?
“Mulaney” star and Stefon co-creator John Mulaney tweeted this morning an image of him Skyping with Hader. Were they hammering out some Stefon lines?


NBC promoting “Marry Me” with a real-life musical proposal
Watch "Bret's Cafe Lip-Dub Proposal.”

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<p>Clint Mansell</p>

Clint Mansell

Credit: 42 West

Clint Mansell on 'Noah's' connections to 'The Fountain' and working with Aronofsky

Plus: How does it feel to see a piece of music like 'Lux Æterna' to take on its own life?

Clint Mansell is a long ways away from his days as frontman of alt. rock band Pop Will Eat Itself. Since his first stab at it on Darren Aronofsky's "Pi," he has forged a singular career as a film composer, working on productions as varied as "Knockaround Guys," "Sahara," Moon" and "Stoker." But it seems whenever he comes back to the table with Aronofsky, that's when something magical happens.

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'The Daily Show' hires 2 standup comedians
Credit: Comedy Central

'The Daily Show' hires 2 standup comedians

Animal planet developing a scripted live-action zombie animal drama

“The Daily Show” hires 2 standup comedians
Following the departure of Michael Che, “The Daily Show” will introduce two new comedians in the coming months. “Stand Up Planet” host Hasan Minhaj (pictured at left), who’s appeared on Netflix's “Arrested Development,” joins in November as a correspondent. South African comedian Trevor Noah will make his debut in December as a contributor.


Animal planet developing a scripted live-action zombie animal drama
“The Other Dead,” based on the graphic novel, will take place during the “next Hurricane Katrina” where unrelenting storms causes the rise of undead animals.


Nielsen admits to a glitch that has skewed ratings since March
There is speculation that the “small error” may have benefitted ABC. PLUS: What does this all mean?


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Review: Brad Pitt and a strong ensemble elevate the uneven WWII film 'Fury'
Credit: Sony Pictures

Review: Brad Pitt and a strong ensemble elevate the uneven WWII film 'Fury'

The combat's harrowing, but the drama gets muddled

Writer/director David Ayer has spent his career writing about what happens in the space between men at times of enormous stress, and he's got a really brutal, nasty overall sensibility. He broke through with his scripts for "The Fast & The Furious" and "Training Day," and then made the jump to directing as well with "Harsh Times," starring Christian Bale.

Any first-time director who manages to someone as difficult as Bale and survives deserves some respect, and Ayer strikes me as someone who is struggling to make serious but entertaining films that explore these certain themes in certain ways, mixing up where and when they take place, but essentially circling the same ideas repeatedly. His new film, "Fury," feels like a bid for respectability, a hope that he might be headed back into awards season. I'm not someone who writes about awards, so I have no idea how it'll do, but as a simple piece of storytelling, it's pretty well-made, and occasionally, I think it even gets great.

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<p>Anna Martemucci in The Chair</p>

Anna Martemucci in The Chair

Credit: Starz

HitFix First Look: 'The Chair' provides 2 takes on 1 scene

The filmmaking reality series has turned out to be a real pleasure

With an overwhelming number of interesting scripted TV shows to choose from, I make almost no time for reality television anymore. The one exception of late has been Starz's "The Chair," which follows two directors — YouTube comedy star Shane Dawson and New York indie screenwriter Anna Martemucci — as they each attempt to make their first film, using the same script.

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<p>Brad Pitt and the cast of &quot;Fury&quot;</p>

Brad Pitt and the cast of "Fury"

Credit: Sony Pictures

Brad Pitt rides into the season on a Sherman tank in David Ayer's 'Fury'

But will its unflinching battleground depictions be too much for some?

David Ayer bit off a whole hell of a lot on the World War II drama "Fury." I'm not sure he could chew it all, but it's fascinating to watch the bevy of ideas bounce around on the screen nevertheless. It's a loud, bloody, gut-punching depiction, one that may or may not be too unsettling to appeal to Academy types but is still the best work Ayer has done, the most unflinching, and the most intriguing, certainly.

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Tom Hanks and Tim Allen will reprise their roles in 'Toy Story That Time Forgot'
Credit: ABC

Tom Hanks and Tim Allen will reprise their roles in 'Toy Story That Time Forgot'

Jan Hooks was a reminder of why 'SNL' is at its best as a live show

Tom Hanks and Tim Allen will reprise their roles in "Toy Story That Time Forgot”
For the 2nd Pixar TV special, airing Dec. 2, the gang will need the help of Trixie the triceratops as it faces a group of “dangerously delusional” action figures.


Jan Hooks was a reminder of why “SNL” is at its best as a live show
With the increasing focus on taped sketch shows like "Key & Peele,” “Portlandia" and "Inside Amy Schumer,” Hooks is a "reminder of what ‘SNL' could be at its best—a live show capable of becoming and taking on anything, depending on what the week calls for,” says James Poniewozik. "And for that, you need players like Hooks: versatile, game live performers who can disappear into a role. Performers like her are a kind of human special effect, creating the canvas on which the show replicates the world.” PLUS: "She was totally amazing as a sketch player," says Kevin Nealon.


Cable channels are starting to suffer from “cord-shaving”
The biggest cable channels are seeing a “troubling trend”: Cable subscribers are opting for skinnier bundles of channels.


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<p>Andrew Luck tries to escape J.J. Watt</p>

Andrew Luck tries to escape J.J. Watt

Credit: David J. Phillips/AP

TV Ratings: Colts-Texans game leads Thursday as 'Gracepoint' dips, 'Judge' steadies

Shonda Rhimes Thursday holds second even while falling

Fast National ratings for Thursday, October 9, 2014.

The Colts and Texans offered CBS' first competitive Thursday Night Football game in weeks (assuming viewers stuck in past the first quarter) and helped the network dominate primetime in all measures.

While all three ABC dramas were down, Shonda Rhimes Thursday still topped all of the night's scripted programming and was good for second across the board.

The night's best news, relatively speaking, was for NBC's "Bad Judge," which retained all of its premiere audience. While that audience still wasn't big, week-to-week flatness this early is a good sign. Also basically flat week-to-week were The CW's "Reign," NBC's "Parenthood" and FOX's "Bones."

The news wasn't as positive for NBC's "A to Z" or for FOX's "Gracepoint," which dipped below The Mulaney Line in its second airing.

On to the numbers...

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<p>Parenthood</p>

Parenthood

Credit: NBC

Review: 'Parenthood' - 'The Waiting Room'

Everyone waits through Zeek's surgery, while Amber visits Ryan

A quick review of last night's "Parenthood" coming up just as soon as I take you into the bad news room...

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