43 million watched the Oscars, the highest since 2004

43 million watched the Oscars, the highest since 2004
Ellen’s Oscars was up over Seth MacFarlane’s gig, which attracted 40.5 million. Meanwhile, Jimmy Kimmel was up 22% from last year.

Twitter engineers weren’t thrilled with Ellen’s Oscar selfie stunt
“Oh f*ck,” one Twitter engineer was quoted as saying. Another tweeted: "<GULP>."

“House of Cards” got one of the most enthusiastic responses during the Oscars
The reaction to Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood just goes to show how popular a TV show could be among a film crowd.

Chelsea Handler criticized for promoting her African safari travelogue while congratulating Lupita Nyong’o
Handler used a single Huffington Post tweet to congratulate the “12 Years a Slave” star on her Oscar and to promote her book “Uganda Be Kidding Me.”

Meet “The Black Bachelor”
Funny or Die’s spoof features Tatyana Ali, plus Terrell Owens in the Chris Harrison role.

Why was the Jim Parsons-hosted “SNL” so bad?
Was it the lack of Seth Meyers? Or did “The Big Bang Theory” star lack versatility?

VH1 orders “Suave Says,” starring the singer of “Rico Suave”
The reality show will follow Latin singer Gerardo Mejía as he passes the music torch to his children.

“Game of Thrones’” Iron Throne makes a cameo on “Parks and Rec”
Watch Ben Wyatt’s dream come true.

Don Draper’s “Mad Men” secretary joins LeBron James’ Starz comedy
Teyonah Parris will be part of “Survivor’s Remorse,” an NBA-themed comedy.

Jimmy Fallon’s brings his “Tonight Show” to a living room for a Time Warner Cable ad
Fallon managed to fit his desk and The Roots in this guy’s living room.

FCC fines ESPN several cable channels for playing a movie trailer that used Emergency Alert Sounds
Viacom, ESPN and NBC Universal were fined for playing the ad for “Olympus Has Fallen.”

“New Girl’s” Max Greenfield is Ellen’s guest DJ today
He’s working her live Oscar show.

Watch Patton Oswalt’s opening monologue at the Film Independent Spirit Awards
The day after Oswalt tweeted: "Yeah, I'm gonna Live-Tweet the #Oscars. As a wiser, humbler Tweeter who knows how hard it is to host an awards show. Seriously."

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Early Oscar numbers show Ellen topping Seth MacFarlane

Early Oscar numbers show Ellen topping Seth MacFarlane
So far, Ellen DeGeneres’ 2nd stint is on par with her first.

ABC’s Oscar livestream was plagued with outages
The feed on the internet constantly cut in and out of the broadcast.

No topic is off limits tonight when Jimmy Kimmel interviews Toronto Mayor Rob Ford
"Jimmy's been intrigued by this story and probably has a thousand questions — more now than ever,” says producer Jason Schrift.

“Game of Thrones” unveils the first 4 episode titles of Season 4
Season 4 kicks off with “Two Swords” followed by “The Lion and the Flower,” “Breaker of Chains” and “Oathkeeper.” PLUS: Check out the George R.R. Martin-blessed “Game of Thrones” art exhibit.

Oscar’s “In Memoriam” snubs include Cory Monteith, James Avery, Dennis Farina
The Oscar website does, however, feature many of the snubbed, including “Vampire Diaries’” Sarah Jones, who was killed by a train making a movie in Georgia.

The Military Channel today transforms into the American Heroes Channel
As the new head of the American Heroes Channel says, "Heroism transcends the battlefield.”

“Bachelor” Juan Pablo’s bachelorette Renee Oteri is already engaged
Oteri made the final four of this current season.

Katie Findlay joins Shonda Rhimes’ “How to Get Away” — is “Carrie Diaries” is doomed?
Findlay is already the co-star of the CW series.

“30 Rock’s” Tituss Burgess to play Ellie Kemper’s BFF on NBC
The former member of Tracy Jordan’s wife’s entourage is joining the cast of “Tooken.”

“Dexter’s” Aimee Garcia joins CBS’ “Red Zone”
She’ll play a CIA agent on the terrorism drama. PLUS: "Justified's" Damon Herriman joins CBS' "Battle Creek."

“HIMYM” wraps filming
One of the final scenes involves a yellow umbrella.

Stephen Colbert delivers speech at a controversial security conference
Privacy activists had requested that Colbert skip the speech due to the conference’s ties to the NSA.

Piers Morgan expects to stay at CNN to do “big name” interviews
"I’ll make a deal to do 20 or 25 shows a year,” says Morgan, "all interviews with big names. That’s what I wanted to do in the first place, not reports on snow storms and that kind of thing.”

Arby’s spends $44,000 on Pharrell’s big Grammys hat
"We're HAPPY to support a great cause & get our hat back,” said the fast food chain.

“House of Cards” meets “The West Wing”
It’s the latest mashup parody!

“Teen Mom 2” star Kailyn Lowry releasing her memoir
The “16 and Pregnant” veteran will release "Pride Over Pity” next month.

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<p>Ellen DeGeneres</p>

Ellen DeGeneres

Credit: ABC

Oscars overindulged this year, as if it had all the time in the world

Oscars overindulged this year, as if it had all the time in the world
"By reverting to basic awards-show conviviality and glamour,” says Hank Stuever, "the show got slightly more classy, but it also overindulged in its reverential Hollywood worship — weighing down the first half with meaningless clip montages, telling us about budding filmmaker awards and taking care of other industry-supporting business that the Academy likes to conduct but nobody likes to watch. At 31 / 2 hours, the show ran about as long as usual; it just seemed much longer. The orchestra appeared to have given up on rushing acceptance speeches with wrap-it-up cues. It was a show that spent the night acting as though it had all the time in the world — tacking on Bette Midler singing 'Wind Beneath My Wings' after the 'In Memoriam' reel instead of during it; the perfect song to accompany the show’s sense of bloat."

Ellen flopped, and the Oscars became an endurance test
"As a television event, this year's Oscars was more like an endurance test,” says Tim Goodman. "It was a turgid affair, badly directed, poorly produced and featuring an endless string of either tired or wince-inducing moments by DeGeneres, who, by the last 30 or so minutes, seemed to have given up entirely.”

It was the best Oscar broadcast since the last time Ellen hosted
"DeGeneres's task was not an easy one,” says Robert Bianco: "An Oscar host has to entertain viewers at home, many of whom want to see stars mocked — along with the actors in the hall — most of whom don't want to be mocked. Go too far pleasing one side, and you lose the other. That's a tough balancing act, but DeGeneres has mastered it. The key is that she both exudes and creates goodwill. The crowd stays with her because they know that while jabs will be thrown, no blood will be drawn.”

The Oscar telecast is "un-screw-upable”
"The Academy Awards telecast was too long,” says Matt Zoller Seitz. "It didn't spend its time wisely. The repartee was weak. There were too many montages and too many moments where the stars, the host included, seemed full of themselves. And it was still awesome. Why? Probably because the Oscars telecast is by its nature un-screw-upable.”

Ellen seemed to be doing an “SNL” Kate McKinnon impression of herself
She really fell in love with her cuteness as the night went on, says David Wiegand. "She gathered a bunch of stars to take a group selfie, whose retweets then crashed Twitter,” he says. "She ordered pizza for the audience and spent time collecting money for it in Pharrell Williams' hat. As the hour grew later and later, she became the living, boring embodiment of overstaying one's welcome."

Ellen made the Oscars cool again with her Twitter-breaking selfie
"Thanks to the record-breaking Oscar picture that temporarily shut down Twitter,” says Marcus James Dixon, "people are talking about the Academy Awards in a way they haven't done in years, even decades. Our nation's youth obviously had a lot to do with it, as they immediately began tweeting and Facebooking the superstar photo to friends, followers, family members and everyone in between, making it the most shared picture in Twitter history by the time the final credits rolled."

Ellen was a throwback to Johnny Carson and Bob Hope
Ellen, says Brian Lowry, "is in many ways one of the few talents suited to this sort of steadfastly middle-of-the-road take on the Oscars – able to joke around with celebrities from June Squibb to Liza Minnelli to Jennifer Lawrence, without ever coming across as mean-spirited. That’s as it should be, since there’s certainly enough nastiness and snark to go around. Let the Twitter-verse buzz about Kim Novak, John Travolta’s garbled introduction of Menzel or Midler’s clipped comment after her performance. Inside the Dolby, let the good (OK, maybe just inoffensive) times roll.”

Producers “over-corrected” for Seth MacFarlane
"The preternaturally congenial DeGeneres was so intent on establishing herself as the anti-Seth to the live audience — 'let's try to make this all about you,' she said early with more sincerity than sarcasm — that she seemed to forget she was at the helm of a famously unwieldy live television show,” says Mary McNamara.

Claim: Ellen’s pizza joke took up 12 minutes and 54 seconds of the Oscars
That’s according to Rainn Wilson, who apparently timed it. PLUS: Did the pizza guy get the tip, and was the pizza any good?

Was Ellen doing a Stephen Colbert impression?
Like Colbert does to Republicans, Ellen seemed to be casting herself as an Oscar believer and insider who was subtly mocking the whole event.

The whole broadcast was like a party-sized order of cheese pizza
"You weren’t going to go to your grave craving it,” says James Poniewozik. "It was a little bland. But nobody actively hates it, and at least there was a lot of it. A whoooooole lot; while the broadcast ran an unfortunately standard three and a half hours, it felt slack and slowly paced by the producers.”

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Ellen used a Samsung smartphone for her Twitter-breaking celebrity selfie, while using an iPhone backstage

Ellen used a Samsung smartphone for her Twitter-breaking celebrity selfie, while using an iPhone backstage
Turns out Samsung is an official sponsor for the Oscars.

Jimmy Kimmel spoofs viral videos by turning them into celeb-studded trailers
Check out Ameowdeus, starring Kevin Spacey. PLUS: What was up with Kimmel’s “America-hating” skit on the Oscar pre-show?, and Spacey plays a 1985 Johnny Carson with special guest a teenage Kimmel, and Mayor Rob Ford shows up early to tonight's "Jimmy Kimmel Live."

“12 Years a Slave’s” Oscar-winning screenwriter credits “Fresh Prince”
Will Smith gave John Ridley his first job, in a career that later included serving as co-executive producer of “The Wanda Sykes Show” and a producer on “Third Watch."

“SNL’s” Taran Killam proud to be part of this year’s Oscar Best Picture
“I’m in the best movie of the year!!!” says Killam, whose "12 Years a Slave" character helps kidnap Chiwetel Ejiofor at the beginning of the movie.

Oscars played “Let it Go” from “Frozen” too late for kids to stay up
Even Shonda Rhimes was upset it took so long, tweeting: "My 2 yr old is in bed. Tomorrow, when she finds out Idina sang without her, it's gonna get ugly up in here."

E! presenter asks Mindy Kaling what “color” guy she likes
“Girl, kiss some black men on the show,” Kaling was told on the Oscar red carpet.

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Jimmy Fallon takes the polar plunge

Jimmy Fallon takes the polar plunge
Before plunging into 32-degree slushy water, Fallon said, "If you hear a scream like a little girl's, just know that Jimmy Fallon is swimming in Lake Michigan."

Jim Parsons, new Weekend Update did nothing for “SNL’s” ratings
The post-Seth Meyers era kicked off with an average night. PLUS: How Johnny Weir reacted to Parsons’ portraying him.

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'Limo driver' Jimmy Kimmel picks up Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, who’ll guest on his show

“Limo driver” Jimmy Kimmel picks up Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, who’ll guest on his show
The cocaine-using mayor, in town to attend the Oscars, was greeted by the Kimmel dressed as a limo driver at the airport today. The butt of many late-night jokes will make his American late-night talk show debut on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” which has been skewering him the most.

“Zack Morris” turns 40 on the same day Justin Bieber turns 20
“Saved by the Bell's" Mark-Paul Gosselaar enters his 40s today.

Super Bowl-winning QB Russell Wilson: I turned down "Dancing with the Stars" -- twice
The Seattle Seahawks quarterback says he was asked this year and last year, after his rookie season.

“Hannibal” returns lower
About 3.4 million watched the Season 2 premiere.

“Mad Men’s” Rich Sommer lands a CBS pilot
He’ll co-star in therapy comedy “Good Session.”

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Report: Teresa & Joe Giudice will plead guilty to federal fraud charges and go to prison

Report: Teresa & Joe Giudice will plead guilty to federal fraud charges and go to prison
The Bravo “Real Housewives” stars have reached a plea deal that would put Teresa behind bars for less than two years and her husband in prison for a minimum three years, according to the Bergen Record.

Warner Bros. posts the first 2 minutes of the “Veronica Mars” movie online
The opening of the film is mostly a rehash for new viewers.

Joan Rivers gets cake in the face
The E! star was at a pre-Oscar bash when she was smothered with cake, but was it a publicity stunt?

Watch Jimmy Kimmel’s fake post-Oscar film trailer with Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks
Chris Hemsworth also appears in the 30-second promo.

Dean Winters joins Vince Gilligan’s “Battle Creek”
He’ll play an FBI agent on the detective drama pilot that also stars Kal Penn and Janet McTeer.

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VH1 cancels 'Single Ladies'

VH1 cancels “Single Ladies"
The hourlong dramedy from Queen Latifah is ending after three seasons.

Bill Clinton’s national security advisor complained to Aaron Sorkin he wasn't represented on "The West Wing”
In a draft of a May 2000 speech released today as part of the Clinton White House archives, Sandy Berger, Clinton’s national security advisor said he had to “chew … out” Sorkin, which resulted five months later in Anna Deavere Smith assuming the role of national security advisor on the show. PLUS: Rob Lowe: "I blamed Aaron Sorkin" for this oversight.

George Lopez says he “tied one on last night”
"Not feeling great this morning. I was trying to sleep it off, unfortunately, it was on the casino floor,” the comedian said in a statement of his arrest for public drunkenness.

Is “Scandal” violating the U.S. Constitution?
Last night’s episode could affect President Fitz’s Electoral College votes. PLUS: Harrison with a storyline was the shocker of the night.

Arthur Chu has become one of “Jeopardy!’s” best-ever contestants, no thanks to game-theory
Game-theory has little to do with Chu’s recent dominance. He’s just a brilliant player.

What it’s like to be an Oscar seat-filler
You must look like you belong there, but you’re forbidden from talking to anybody except other seat-fillers.

Jimmy Fallon is keeping “The Tonight Show” top-notch thanks in part to the monologues
Fallon’s monologues were considered one of his weakest attributes, but they’ve become one of his biggest strengths, says Verne Gay. “Effortless, funny, roll-with-the-punches and smart,” he says. "Fans knew all along he could nail this show, but the new monologues-on-steroids  strategy was certainly something to be concerned about. (Fallon is a fine performer, but he's not a joke machine.) But he's nailed that too.”

Richard Simmons has been creating his own TV parodies: Watch him as “Duck Dynasty"
The fitness guru has also parodied “The Carrie Diaries” and “Homeland” on his YouTube page.

Ranking the Oscar hosts of the past 25 years
Billy Crystal is the best — and one of the worsts.

10 Oscar traditions that need to die
From the pre-pre-shows to the mispronunciation of names.

Introducing “Mad Black Men”
Watch the trailer for a diverse take on the AMC series. PLUS: Peggy Olson gets a 2-minute “Mad Men” tribute.

What’s up with Barney’s “HIMYM” series finale outfit?
Neil Patrick Harris was photographed wrapping his character in unusual attire.

“Broad City” tour delayed by Season 2 pickup
The 18-city tour will kick off Nov. 4 instead of March 4.

Ryan Seacrest pens a Vanity Fair tribute to Ellen DeGeneres
"I think a large part of Ellen’s success comes from not pretending to be somebody else,” he writes.

Chris Harrison on having a gay “Bachelor”: “Is it a good business decision?"
In an interview with the NY Times, “The Bachelor” host says he doesn’t know if it’s the show’s job to break barriers. “I just spoke at U.S.C. the other night,” he says, "and I explained it like this: Look, if you’ve been making pizzas for 12 years and you’ve made millions of dollars and everybody loves your pizzas and someone comes and says, 'Hey, you should make hamburgers.' Why? I have a great business model, and I don’t know if hamburgers are going to sell.” PLUS: Harrison delves further into “The Bachelor” in this podcast interview.

It’s amazing what a desk does for Seth Meyers
In his first week on “Late Night," Meyers has proved to be at his best when sitting behind a desk.

Bill Nye takes a selfie with President Obama and Neil Degrasse Tyson
The Science Guy visited the president today at the White House.

CCH Pounder and Kim Dickens will return to “Sons of Anarchy” in a limited capacity
Kurt Sutter says both actresses have other acting commitments, so they’ll each appear in two to four episodes next season.

The “True Detective” glossary almost explains everything
What does “R&I,” “KA,” “DB” and “The Farm” mean? PLUS: 6 theories on The Yellow King, and the power of cramped spaces on “True Detective."

“ER” is being remade in India and Colombia
Warner Bros. has also sold the rights to “Pretty Little Liars” to the Philippines and “Gossip Girl” to Thailand.

“Bones” adds Shohreh Aghdashloo
The “24” alum will play Arastoo's mother.

Sarah Jessica Parker’s new shoe line includes “The Carrie”
Of course Parker was going to name a shoe after her “Sex and the City” character.

Matthew Perry taps one of his “Go On” co-stars for “The Odd Couple”
Sarah Baker’s role as Oscar’s assistant was specifically written for her due to their chemistry.

Jimmy Kimmel’s Spanish-language “Scandal” spoof will return with 3 more installments
“Escandalo” will also feature Latino cast member Guillermo Diaz, who wasn’t on last night’s episode. PLUS: Kimmel had his 2nd-best night ever last night, and see more pics from Kimmel’s post-Oscar video.

New “SNL” Weekend Update anchor Colin Jost: "I’m definitely a little nervous”
Jost just wants to get started. "“There’s something innately credible about someone who writes and is up to date about politics and pop culture moving into Update,” Jost says. “I’m just carrying on a tradition.”

“Kirstie” creator exits
Marco Pennette, who is also show runner of Kirstie Alley’s comedy, is moving to “Mom” to do the exhausting demands of the TV Land comedy. No word if “Kirstie” will be back for a 2nd season.

“NYPD Blue’s” Henry Simmons joins Michael Imperioli on “Saint Francis” on ABC
Simmons will co-own a bar with Imperioli’s character.

Check out "Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge”
Here’s a preview of the Syfy reality show, which will be judged by Jim Henson’s son Brian.

“Hannibal”: The show you can’t get out of your head
With the debut of Season 2, Matt Zoller Seitz says of the NBC drama, "You could say it’s as close as a broadcast network has gotten to the personal artistry of the best premium-cable shows, if it weren’t bolder and more elegant than anything on pay cable right now, including HBO’s own serial-killer drama, 'True Detective.’ The show’s greatest asset is its mastery of tone, a quality most shows don’t have the time or inclination to get right. Hannibal’s formal daring is never empty showmanship; it’s always in service of making the whole series feel like an endless lucid nightmare.” PLUS: Bryan Fuller watches “American Horror Story,” is planning to binge on “True Detective."

See baby Aziz Ansari
The “Parks and Rec” star tweeted a very young pic of himself.

“Girls” isn’t bad, but it needs to be fixed
“The show is missing something now,” says Darren Franich. "It lacks the confessional edge that made season 1 so compelling and season 2 fitfully brilliant. It still  has funny things to say about New York, but all those funny things have  an unmistakable cocktail-party stench: book-industry in-jokes, magazine-industry in-jokes, Broadway in-jokes. The three non-Dunham female leads are all caught in weird ruts: Their characters barely seem to be on the show, and they barely seem to want to be on the show.”

Frank Underwood’s chief of staff was the most interesting character in “House of Cards” Season 2
Michael Kelly’s Doug Stamper proved to be the most compelling this season. PLUS: That hacker subplot was hacky, and Tumblr spoofs “House of Carbs."

Discovery tonight unleashes “Game of Stones”
Meet the stars of the new gem-hunting reality show.

“Smallville’s” Laura Vandervoort gets engaged
The “Bitten” star is marrying British actor Oliver Trevena.

Watch The WB stars dance together in a promo from 2000
Starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Keri Russell, David Boreanaz, Katie Holmes, Katherine Heigl, Kate Bosworth, Ian Somerhalder, Alyssa Milano, Jamie Foxx, Michele Williams, James Van Der Beek, Scott Foley, Shannen Doherty, Joshua Jackson and Melissa Joan Hart.

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Dylan McDermott goes from 'Hostages' to another CBS thriller

Dylan McDermott goes from “Hostages” to another CBS thriller
McDermott will play an LAPD detective who hunts down stalkers in a psychological thriller from Kevin Williamson.

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'Home Improvement' tried to get a cameo from Hillary Clinton when she was first lady

“Home Improvement” tried to get a cameo from Hillary Clinton when she was first lady
Thousands of documents from the Clinton White House were released today, including one in which the first lady’s staff considers the merits of going on “the most popular show on television on the air,” which was “Home Improvement” at the time. Documents also reveal how Hillary’s staff considered going on “Oprah" and “Regis and Kathie Lee."

George Lopez arrested for being drunk at a casino — see him passed out on the floor
The former TBS talk show host was arrested in Canada for public intoxication.

Screech to make a cameo on the “Saved by the Bell” musical
"Bayside! The Musical!” will feature Dustin Diamond for two nights only next month. The campy musical has also featured Principal Belding.

Without “The Bible lead-in, “Vikings” attracts 3.6 million
That’s down from the whopping 6.2 million that watched the Season 1 premiere.

Watch Jim Parsons’ “SNL” promo with Beck and Cecily Strong
They are each fans of each other.

Why ABC should be called “The House That Shonda Built”
“Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal” honcho Shonda Rhimes “is the straw that stirs the drink at ABC” after both of her shows returned last night to big numbers, says Ad Week. PLUS: “Shonda” was trending worldwide last night on Twitter after "Scandal."

“True Blood” hires a new vampire
“90210” vet Riley Smith will recur as a “sexy rock ’n’ roll vampire who becomes smitten with Arlene.

Jillian Michaels: “The Biggest Loser’s” Rachel lost “too much weight”
"I was stunned,” Michaels said, breaking her silence on Rachel Frederickson.

Miami Marlins president regrets wearing a blazer on “Survivor”
"I did not expect to stick out like that,” says David Samson. "I had no idea it was Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty, obviously, and I didn't know that I'd be the oldest male on a tribe called Brains, with a blazer on. You just don't know these things.”

“The Walking Dead” gets a “House of Cards" opening
Watch a mashup of the Netflix and AMC series.

Mary-Kate Olsen gets engaged to the half-brother of France's former president
The “Full House” alum’s fiancé, Oliver Sarkozy, is 17 years her senior.

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