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Nick Lachey on the feel-good 'Sing-Off' and Season 3 winners Pentatonix

6 December 2013 2:44 PM, PST

NBC's a cappella singing competition, "The Sing-Off," is getting back to its roots. The show, which originally began with a December run in 2009 but later expanded to a full fall season, definitely suffered when it strayed from its successful holiday format, host Nick Lachey tells Zap2it.

"When they did move it to the full fall schedule it did lose a little something," Lachey tells Zap2it. "And I think that maybe was the fear for all of us going into it: 'I hope we don't lose what we have because we were kind of on to something special.' So it's cool to see it go back to where I think it belongs and it seems to work really well."

The holidays are the best time to run a show like "The Sing-Off," says Lachey. "It's a feel-good show. It's not one of these shows where the judges are »

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'The Simpsons': Itchy and Scratchy go Jamaican and smoke pot - Watch

6 December 2013 2:15 PM, PST

It turns out the "Krusty the Clown Show" on "The Simpsons" is a very different program in Jamaica. In a sneak peek clip from the next episode of "The Simpsons," someone gets a hold of the show's satellite feed, complete with "The Itchem & Scratchem Show."

Instead of attacking each other with mallets, like Itchy and Scratchy, the Jamaican counterparts are wielding a bong and a gigantic joint. "They smoke, they toke. They smoke and toke and smoke," the theme song goes. From there, Itchy rolls up and smokes Scratchy. Sadly, this would be the perfect place for a Poochie cameo, but no such luck.

"The Simpsons" airs Sundays at 8 p.m. Et on Fox. »

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New 'Terminator' TV series in development alongside restarted movie franchise

6 December 2013 1:50 PM, PST

The "Terminator" film franchise is being restarted, and along with it prospects that the story could return to TV as well.

Skydance Productions and Annapurna Pictures, which are producing the fifth film in the "Terminator" franchise, are also developing a series that will serve as a companion to the movie. The film is slated for a 2015 release, and Arnold Schwarzenegger is expected to be back after not appearing in the last entry in the series, 2009's "Terminator Salvation."

Details about both the movie and the TV project are mostly under lock and key, but both are reportedly linked to the first "Terminator" movie, which was released in 1984. The series will follow a "critical moment" from the first film but play it out in a vastly different way.

Zack Stentz and Ashley Miller ("X-Men: First Class") are writing the TV script and will executive produce alongside Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier, »

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'Glee' Season 5 Christmas episode: Fun guilty pleasure, shameless ploy to sell songs, or both?

6 December 2013 1:30 PM, PST

In the timeline of "Glee" Season 5, it is not December. So framing last night's (Dec. 5) Christmas episode as "lost footage" from last year was one way to get around the continuity issue. But did it work?

Well, sort of. The New York part, like every other episode this season, was more fun and entertaining than anything McKinley-related. Plus, it gave us "Popular" star Bryce Johnson as the sexiest Santa Claus you've ever seen as a grifter who gets everyone in the loft drunk, seduces Kurt, then steals all their valuables. Why he'd target a group of kids who live in a Bushwick loft is beside the point -- did you see his abs?

Clearly, though, this episode was made to sell some more songs. The "Glee" Christmas album is now an annual tradition, so how could they push those iTunes downloads without a TV tie-in? Neither the album nor any »

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'X Factor': Demi Lovato, Rion Paige, Ellona Santiago on the Girls elimination

6 December 2013 12:54 PM, PST

In one fell swoop, Demi Lovato went from having two artists competing on "The X Factor" Season 3 to being completely knocked out of the competition. Although it was hard to see Rion Paige and Ellona Santiago go, Lovato tells Zap2it that not making it to the semifinals can be a great motivator for her artists.

"On the bright side of the things, I think that people [who go home earlier than they should], like Rion, Sweet Suspense and Ellona, I think it's actually going to motivate them to work harder so I'm excited to see where they are going to go after this," Lovato says backstage after the Top 6 elimination show. "It's not the end."

Talking to reporters after getting the boot, Paige says something similar. "I mean, it is rough going home, but now I have so many chances to be me, to deliver a performance I want, to go to Nashville and write songs, »

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'Death Comes to Pemberley' trailer: 'Pride and Prejudice' and murder

6 December 2013 12:41 PM, PST

The BBC has released a teaser trailer for its upcoming miniseries, "Death Comes to Pemberley," a murder mystery set in the world of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice." Starring Matthew Rhys ("The Americans") and Anna Maxwell Martin, the show will air in the UK in late December and in the Us in 2014.

If you like your period pieces mixed with death, this could be the one for you. The story of "Death Comes to Pemberley" is based on the P.D. James novel of the same name and takes place about six years after the events of "Pride and Prejudice."

Darcy (Rhys) and Elizabeth (Martin) are now married and living comfortably at Darcy's Pemberley estate. On the night before their annual ball, however, Elizabeth's sister, Lydia (Jenna Coleman, "Doctor Who"), and her husband, Wickham (Matthew Goode), arrive with a whole lot of trouble. There has been a murder on the edge of the estate, »

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'Bates Motel' Season 2 promos: Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore have dark times ahead

6 December 2013 12:20 PM, PST

"Bates Motel" Season 2 looks like it's going to seriously amp up the creepy factor from Season 1. Two new promos for the new season, courtesy of TVLine, show that bad things will soon be happening for both Norma and Norman Bates.

For Norma, she finds her son's bed slowly filling with blood in her promo. Considering he maybe-most-likely killed Miss Watson, that could be where the blood is stemming from.

But viewers who know Norman's "Psycho" storyline know he only gets darker from here on out, so the blood on the bed could just reflect the fresh blood that he'll be causing. That's what makes Norman's promo, which features him perfecting his taxidermy, so foreboding. That look on Freddie Highmore's face is a better taste of what's to come than anything else in these videos.

"Bates Motel" reopens for business in March on A&E. »

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'Arrow' midseason finale photos: Do Oliver and Roy die in 'Three Ghosts'?

6 December 2013 12:13 PM, PST

As "Arrow" ends the first half of Season 3, the stakes have never been higher. Oliver (Stephen Amell) is close to death at the beginning of "Three Ghosts," and only Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) can save his life.

And it just gets worse from there. Get a preview of this "Arrow" episode with photos from "Three Ghosts."

Warning: There are some minor "Arrow" spoilers contained in these photos and in their descriptions. Be careful what you read.

First of all, despite his initial condition in the episode, it's likely that Oliver Queen will survive his injection with some sort of mystery drug.

Oliver is not, however, very happy about Barry finding out his secret.

He even takes out that anger on Felicity!

There are, however, other problems going on. Since the police are going nowhere, Thea and Sin take their suspicions about Sebastian Blood's blood drives to Laurel.

Officer Lance is »

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'Outlander' adds Simon Callow; Regina King joins 'The Strain' at FX

6 December 2013 12:09 PM, PST

News from all over TV:

- The Starz adaptation of "Outlander" has added Simon Callow ("Four Weddings and a Funeral," "Doctor Who") to its cast. He'll play the Duke of Sandringham, an "opulent and flamboyant" nobleman who maintains his hold on power through a variety of alliances. "Outlander," an adaptation of Diana Gabaldon's novels, comes to Starz in 2014.

- Former "Southland" star Regina King has signed on to FX's "The Strain." She'll play the manager of a rock star (Jack Kesy) who has fallen under the sway of an ancient vampire. [Deadline]

- "Mob City" drew a smallish mob of viewers to TNT Wednesday night (Dec. 4). The premiere of TNT's miniseries averaged 2.3 million people, below the typical audience for the channel's other original series.

- Former MTV VJ Kennedy has a new show ... on the Fox Business Network. Kennedy (full name: Lisa Kennedy Montgomery) will co-host "The Independents" with Matt Welch and Kmele Foster. »

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'SNL': One Direction makes Paul Rudd faint in new promos - Watch

6 December 2013 12:05 PM, PST

The second wave of "Saturday Night Live" promos for Paul Rudd's hosting appearance have been released, this time with 100 percent more One Direction. This time out, Rudd gets to interact with the boy band, a lot of which involves begging to be a member.

The most memorable of the promos finds him fainting after realizing why girls scream for them. Luckily, the guys are there to catch him, otherwise there could have been some serious trouble. »

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After 'Sound of Music Live!': 6 other musicals to consider for TV

6 December 2013 11:50 AM, PST

NBC's "The Sound of Music, Live!" production was a big hit for NBC on Dec. 5, so it seems almost guaranteed that the network will try to recreate that magic at a future date. The live stage reproduction of one of the most beloved musicals of all time earned some mixed responses, but the general consensus was that the Carrie Underwood and Stephen Moyer-led production was quite fun.

If NBC -- or another network -- does decide to give another go at a live musical special event, then they've got a whole lot of good choices to choose from. But to strike the right note of family-friendly tone and holiday vibe, here are some suggestions that Zap2it thinks would do particularly well.

"Wicked"

This musical retelling of "The Wizard of Oz" has become a modern Broadway classic, but even those who aren't fans of "Wicked" will find plenty to love in this story. »

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'Haven': Why William is the best thing to happen to a messed-up town in Maine

6 December 2013 11:38 AM, PST

It's time to share an unpopular opinion: I love the character of William on "Haven," and I think his presence is one of the best things to happen to this show in years.

You may commence with the stoning. Alternatively, keep reading to find out why I think "Haven" would benefit from as much Colin Ferguson as it can get.

Let's meet William

Until the beginning of "Haven" Season 4, viewers didn't have even an inkling of a man named William. No matter what strangeness occurred in the real world or in the mysterious barn, William wasn't a part of it. We didn't need him.

But now William has emerged. That seemingly friendly and helpful Barn fellow who likes microbrews and who can chase off bad guys (but who isn't a cop) has -- in a few short episodes -- become absolutely indispensible to the mythology of "Haven."

He alone knows the details of Audrey's past. »

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'The Grammy Nominations Concert Live!' 2013: 'NCIS: Los Angeles' LL Cool J is still close to music

6 December 2013 11:30 AM, PST

LL Cool J and CBS have made good partners, musically as well as dramatically.

The rapper and "NCIS: Los Angeles" co-star has been a big part of the network's Grammy Awards coverage, having hosted the past two ceremonies, plus the special "The Grammy Nominations Concert Live! - Countdown to Music's Biggest Night" since it began in 2008. A two-time Grammy winner himself -- now a candidate for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame -- he'll preside again over the nominations show, airing Friday, Dec. 6, on CBS from Los Angeles' Nokia Theater L.A. Live.

"I'm still very, very close to music," maintains LL Cool J, whose given name is James Todd Smith. "This just gives me a chance to be more deeply immersed in music culture by hosting the show."

Robin Thicke, Keith Urban, Drake, and musical partners Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are scheduled to perform in the Grammy Nominations Concert. »

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'Doctor Who' Christmas special video: Daleks, Cybermen and the Doctor in new trailer

6 December 2013 11:22 AM, PST

An extended Christmas programming trailer has been released by BBC One, showing even more little looks into the "Doctor Who" Christmas special, "The Time of the Doctor." While you won't see the Doctor (Matt Smith) spanking Clara (Jenna Coleman), there are some looks at his foes in the episode.

From The Silence to Cyberman, there's some pretty nasty obstacles for the Doctor and Clara to face in Smith's final outing in the title role. The trailer even includes a nice little moment of the Doctor introducing himself.

"The Time of the Doctor" airs December 25 at 9 p.m. Et on BBC America. »

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'Scandal' Season 3 order reduced to 18 episodes

6 December 2013 11:03 AM, PST

Get ready for some bad news, Gladiators: There's going to be less of Season 3 of "Scandal" than originally planned.

ABC had reduced the order for their red-hot Shonda Rhimes drama from 22 to 18 episodes, Zap2it can confirm. The network hadn't given a reason for the cutback, but it's safe to assume it's not because the show is in any danger of cancellation.

Though she hasn't confirmed it, "Scandal" star Kerry Washington is reportedly pregnant. Considering that the show revolves around Olivia Pope, it wouldn't be entirely easy to trim Washington's workload without shedding some episodes altogether.

The news comes the morning after a jaw-dropping episode on Thursday (Dec. 5) that saw the series move ahead of NBC's "The Blacklist" to become the season's No. 1 broadcast drama in the key 18-49 demo.

"Scandal" airs its fall finale Thursday, Dec. 12 at 10 p.m. Et on ABC. »

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MTV orders 'Shannara' series from Terry Brooks, Jon Favreau, 'Smallville' creators

6 December 2013 10:59 AM, PST

MTV has ordered "Shannara," a fantasy series based on the novels of Terry Brooks. "Iron Man" director Jon Favreau will collaborate with "Smallville" creators Al Gough and Miles Millar to executive-produce the series.

According to Deadline.com, MTV is expected to order "Shannara" straight to series if the pilot script meets expectations. Could this be the next "Game of Thrones"-style hit?

Set in the future, thousands of years after our current civilization is destroyed, the "Shannara" book series follows the Shannara, mixed elf and human people with magical abilities and adventures that reshape the world. Season 1 of the MTV television series would be based on the second book in the series, "The Elfstones of Shannara."

The books first appeared in 1977 with two new installments published in 2013 and more planned for 2014. They are estimated as the highest-selling fantasy series with no television or film adaptation.

"I am thrilled to be »

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TV ratings: 'The Sound of Music Live' scores big for NBC Thursday

6 December 2013 9:02 AM, PST

Fast National ratings for Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013

NBC's live production of "The Sound of Music" paid off in a big way Thursday, as the network scored its biggest audience on the night since 2004.

"The Sound of Music Live" scored commanding wins for the night in both viewers and adults 18-49, even beating "The Big Bang Theory" in viewers in their common half-hour ("Big Bang" did lead the half-hour in adults 18-49). The last time NBC had as big an audience on Thursday, excluding sports, was the night of the "Frasier" series finale in 2004.

Elsewhere, "Scandal" was up over its last original (pending updates for its Houston affiliate airing an NFL game), and "The X Factor" and "Glee" ticked up from their Thanksgiving lows last week. "The Vampire Diaries," however, was down from its last original episode two weeks ago.

NBC drew 18.5 million viewers and a 10.6 rating/16 share in households for the night, »

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'Sound of Music Live!': Appreciate it for what it was - a lot of fun

6 December 2013 8:00 AM, PST

The online reaction to "The Sound of Music Live!", which aired on NBC Thursday night (Dec. 5), has run the gamut. Some really enjoyed it, others found it unbearable. But it's the ignorant viewers out there that have my hackles raised.

The production was not without its flaws, certainly. There were a few odd lighting choices that felt kind of soap opera-y. And Carrie Underwood is definitely not an actress. She was pretty stiff in many of her deliveries (though she did have a few good moments).

However, Underwood has also never claimed to be an actress. In interviews about this production, she has said that she's not trying to be Julie Andrews, who starred in the movie nearly 50 years ago.

But Underwood was given this opportunity and she has to be praised for even attempting it. Live theater is hard. Live theater in front of millions of people on a major television network? »

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'The X Factor': Simon Cowell says 'Say Something' was Alex and Sierra's star-making moment

5 December 2013 10:25 PM, PST

No matter how "The X Factor" turns out, Alex and Sierra are bonafide stars -- at least that's what their mentor Simon Cowell thinks. The duo's rendition of "Say Something" hit No. 1 on iTunes (and is still there more than a day after the Top 6 performance show), and according to Cowell, this is their star-making moment.

"We were watching all last night. People were texting me saying this record was flying up the charts and then as soon as I woke up this morning I got the news they were No. 1," Cowell tells Zap2it after the Top 6 results show. "Mind you, the original is like No. 3 or something. It's incredible. I've always said this about these shows: It's not about winning a silly trophy; it's about launching an artist. It's about a career outside of it and that's what I'm most proud of. It does launch proper artists."

And yes, »

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'The Sound of Music Live!': Watch Carrie Underwood, Stephen Moyer, and more sing the classics

5 December 2013 9:58 PM, PST

A very unique event took place on Thursday (Dec. 5) night: NBC aired a live special of Rodgers & Hammerstein's "The Sound of Music" starring Carrie Underwood and Stephen Moyer. So how did they do?

You can check out our live blog of the night here, or you can form your own opinions by watching all the performances below:

"The Lonely Goatherd"

"Do-Re-Mi"

"Maria"

"Sixteen Going On Seventeen"

"My Favorite Things"

"The Sound of Music"

"Something Good"

"Climb Ev'ry Mountain"

"How Can Love Survive"

"No Way to Stop It"

"So Long, Farewell"

"Edelweiss"

What was your favorite song? How did Underwood and Moyer do? Let us know in the comments below. »

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