<p>&quot;Homeland&quot;&nbsp;co-stars Damian Lewis and Claire Danes were both nominated for Emmys.</p>

"Homeland" co-stars Damian Lewis and Claire Danes were both nominated for Emmys.

Credit: Showtime

Emmys 2012: 'Homeland,' 'Girls' and 'American Horror Story' lead wave of new nominees

The return of 'Breaking Bad' and relocation of 'Downton Abbey' also led to big changes
By and large, the easiest way to be nominated for an Emmy is to have already been nominated for an Emmy. If you're lucky, you'll see maybe one or two new nominees per category each year.
 
In the 2011-12 TV season, though, there was so much obviously outstanding new work — or, in some cases, work by shows that weren't eligible a year ago — that there was more turnover in the nominations than in quite some time.
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<p>Gillian Flynn's new novel &quot;Gone Girl&quot;&nbsp;is terrific.</p>

Gillian Flynn's new novel "Gone Girl" is terrific.

What's Alan Reading?: Reviewing Gillian Flynn's dark, twisty 'Gone Girl'

HitFix
A
Readers
A
An ex-TV critic authors a gripping novel about a marriage gone very, very sour

Note: I'm taking much of this week off in between Comic-Con and press tour. This is one of a few posts I wrote in advance that should publish this week. If you're wondering why I didn't cover a particular show or story this week, it's because I'm on vacation.

Back at the old blog, I would sometimes write about non-TV entertainment that I was consuming. Usually, it was movies, but occasionally it would be a book I had read that really wowed me.

In this case, the book in question — Gillian Flynn's "Gone Girl" — has a TV connection of a sort, as it's written by a former TV critic. (Flynn used to write for Entertainment Weekly; I knew her well enough to say hello to at press tour, but no more than that.) But Flynn's old job is only interesting in the way that it informs the history of her two main characters, a married pair of ex-magazine writers forced by the bad economy and the decaying state of print journalism to leave New York and relocate to a small Missouri town.

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<p>Seann William Scott doing what a &quot;Goon&quot;&nbsp;does best.</p>

Seann William Scott doing what a "Goon" does best.

Credit: Magnet Releasing

Movie Review: Seann William Scott is a funny, moving hockey 'Goon'

HitFix
B+
Readers
B+
Minor league hockey comedy packs a surprising punch

Note: I'm taking much of this week off in between Comic-Con and press tour. This is one of a few posts I wrote in advance that should publish this week. If you're wondering why I didn't cover a particular show or story this week, it's because I'm on vacation.

As I've often said in the last couple of years, HitFix has a terrific (and ever-expanding) collection of film writers, and for the most part I leave it to them to cover the cinema. Every now and then, though, a movie is so in my wheelhouse that I feel like I have no choice but to write something about it.

"Goon" happens to be one of those movies. It fed my weakness for underdog sports fiction something fierce, while also being executed well enough that I imagine I would have taken enormous pleasure from it even without the genre bias. (In support of this theory, Drew liked it a lot, and he's not a sucker for these kinds of movies the way I am.)

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<p>Sigourney Weaver in &quot;Political Animals.&quot;</p>

Sigourney Weaver in "Political Animals."

Credit: USA

Series premiere review: 'Political Animals' - 'Pilot'

What did everybody think of the new USA miniseries?

I posted my review of "Political Animals" on Wednesday. Now it's your turn. For those who tuned in, what did you think of Greg Berlanti's soap opera spin on the Clinton family story? Did you prefer the political material, the personal subplots, or even the material on the downfall of the newspaper business? Did you buy Ciaran Hinds as an alt-reality Bill Clinton? Enjoy Sigourney Weaver jousting with Carla Gugino? If you're a fan of the usual USA dramas, how did you feel about something this off-brand? And do you intend to watch the whole miniseries?

Have at it. Because it's airing in such a crowded timeslot, and because I'll be dealing with press tour, etc., for the next few weeks, I'm not going to be doing weekly posts on this one, but will endeavor to check back in after the final installment airs.

<p>Jeff Daniels and Olivia Munn in &quot;The Newsroom.&quot;</p>

Jeff Daniels and Olivia Munn in "The Newsroom."

Credit: HBO

Review: 'The Newsroom' - 'I'll Try to Fix You'

Did the strong last 7 minutes redeem the terrible 50 that came before them?

A review of tonight's "The Newsroom" coming up just as soon as I talk to you about Bigfoot...

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<p>Walt, Jesse and Mike head to the scrap yard for inspiration in the &quot;Breaking Bad&quot;&nbsp;season premiere.</p>

Walt, Jesse and Mike head to the scrap yard for inspiration in the "Breaking Bad" season premiere.

Credit: AMC

Season premiere review: 'Breaking Bad' - 'Live Free or Die'

Walt, Jesse and Mike have to pull off another caper to clean up a Gus mess

"Breaking Bad" is back to start the first half of its fifth and final season. I reviewed the early episodes back on Tuesday (and then posted an interview with Aaron Paul and a two-part interview with Bryan Cranston) and I have specific, spoiler-filled thoughts on the season premiere coming up just as soon as I foresee an outcome that involves Miller Time...

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<p>Philip Winchester and Sullivan Stapleton in &quot;Strike Back.&quot;</p>
<br />

Philip Winchester and Sullivan Stapleton in "Strike Back."


Credit: Cinemax

Comic-Con 2012: 'Strike Back' stars on sex, violence and... Eric Cartman?

Cinemax action series returns August 17

I initially wasn't going to write up the "Strike Back" panel I moderated at Comic-Con on Friday night, not because it didn't go well, but because it's always difficult to recap a panel where I was on stage and couldn't take notes. I did it with the "Wilfred" panel from the day before, but mainly because there was one quote of David Zuckerman's I wanted to use, and as it happened, the entire panel wound up on YouTube and it became easy to transcribe that section. Though we wound up with a good-sized crowd for "Strike Back," there was nobody recording the whole thing — though everyone whipped out their cameras to record Philip Winchester's Cartman impression (you can hear a better version by clicking the behind-the-scenes video link below) — so I was only working off my memories.

But it was a good panel, and I'm looking forward to the return of the series on August 17 — as I said last year, here was a show that could have just been mindless violence and gratuitous sex scenes and fit the Cinemax brand, and wound up being much better, smarter and cooler than it needed to be — so I wanted to write up a few paraphrased highlights before I headed home.

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<p>With Lea Michele's Rachel in New York and much of the rest of the cast in Lima, will &quot;Glee&quot;&nbsp;become even more unfocused next season?</p>

With Lea Michele's Rachel in New York and much of the rest of the cast in Lima, will "Glee" become even more unfocused next season?

Credit: FOX

Comic-Con 2012: 'Glee' prepares for a divided year

Will splitting time between McKinley and the graduates help or hurt?

"Glee" has been a show that even in its better creative periods (which most fans would agree the third season was not) has struggled with storytelling ADD. It's also about to enter its fourth season, with many of its original characters having graduated high school — a precarious moment in the life of any teen drama.

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<p>Hugh Dancy will play FBI&nbsp;profiler Will Graham in NBC's &quot;Hannibal.&quot;</p>

Hugh Dancy will play FBI profiler Will Graham in NBC's "Hannibal."

Credit: NBC

Comic-Con 2012: Bryan Fuller on 'Mockingbird Lane' and 'Hannibal'

'Pushing Daisies' creator gets to reimagine Herman Munster and Hannibal Lecter

Through his work on "Wonderfalls," "Dead Like Me," "Pushing Daisies" and even "Heroes" (where he wrote the one episode, "Company Man," that people still look back fondly on), Bryan Fuller has established a reputation as one of the more distinctive, creative voices in the TV business. Yet this season, his two NBC projects aren't original visions, but one reboot and one reinvention of a pair of very familiar concepts.

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<p>The cast of &quot;Firefly.&quot;&nbsp;</p>

The cast of "Firefly." 

Credit: FOX

'Firefly' cast and Joss Whedon reunite 10 years later at Comic-Con: Live-blog

Will Adam Baldwin now be asked John Casey questions?

If "Firefly" isn't the most beloved Comic-Con TV show of the 21st century, it's easily in the top 2 or 3. Joss Whedon's space cowboy drama (which I revisited a couple of summers ago) had a short run, but has lived on in the hearts and minds of the fans, to the point where some shows featuring "Firefly" alums might as well not have brought any other actors to their panels. Even another Comic-Con institution like "Chuck" annually received one or two "Who'd win in a fight: John Casey or Jayne Cobb?" questions for Adam Baldwin.

So I'm guessing the Ballroom 20 crowd will be going nuts as Baldwin, Nathan Fillion, most of the show's cast and Whedon himself reunite for a 10th anniversary panel, and I'll be live-blogging the whole thing. Remember that the Convention Center wifi is iffy at best, and just because you haven't seen an update in a while doesn't mean I'm not still typing. I will update this thing as often as I can during the hour.

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