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'Weekend Update' brings Bill Cosby jokes and Charles Manson to 'SNL'

7 hours ago

Viewers expecting a full Bill Cosby-related sketch on Saturday (November 22) night's "SNL" were disappointed, but with NBC just pulling the plug on a Cosby pilot earlier this week, wounds may have been too fresh. However, with the iconic comic facing an ever-growing number of accusations of sexual misconduct, "SNL" couldn't ignore the scandal entirely, so it was left to Michael Che on "Weekend Update" to address the Cosby situation with kid gloves. "Cliff Huxtable practically raised me. I loved that dude," Che said, while mentioning TVLand pulling "Cosby Show" reruns, but ignoring the in-house reaction.  Ultimately, Cosby only warranted 30 seconds on tonight's "SNL," which was significantly less time than the show gave to Taran Killam's Charles Manson and Kate McKinnon's sublime Angela Merkel. It's worth it just to hear McKinnon say "resting bitch face" in a pseudo-German accent. The Cosby bit and McKinnon's Merkel are in Part »


- HitFix Staff

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The Girls of 'SNL' present 'Back Home Ballers' for Thanksgiving

8 hours ago

You liked "(Do It On My Own) Twin Bed." You loved "Dongs Around The World" (or somebody sure seemed to). But how do you feel about "Back Home Baller"? Joined by host Cameron Diaz, The Ladies of "SNL" -- Kate, Cecily, Sasheer, Vanessa, Leslie and Lil' Baby Aidy -- are heading home for Thanksgiving and they're gonna be living large. It's a loving tribute to being treated like a queen when you return to the family abode for the holiday, including universal moments like the family trip to the movies, avoiding pushy questions from the neighbors and trying to remember ridiculously long Wifi passwords. Oh and bowls, bowls, bowls. We've all been there or are about to go there this week. Check out "Back Home Baller": »


- HitFix Staff

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Interview: Jeremy Collins talks 'Survivor: San Juan del Sur'

9 hours ago

Two weeks ago, it looks like "Survivor: San Juan Del Sur" was coming down to a pair of solid alliances, one masterminded by Josh Canfield and the other led by Jeremy Collins. While "Survivor" history has taught us that we should never expect alliance leaders to run the table, we've only occasionally seen two post-Merge alliances so swiftly stripped of their leaders. First, Jeremy seemed like he was heading toward elimination, but he won Individual Immunity and was able to steer power duo Jon & Jaclyn against Josh, seemingly leaving that alliance in a weak minority position. But the following week, after Jeremy pushed Jon a bit too hard to reveal his Hidden Immunity Idol, the former college football player decided that the need to get rid of Jeremy had gone from "eventually" to "immediately." Viewers saw Jon make his pitch to Jeremy's ally Missy and saw her hesitation. We »


- Daniel Fienberg

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'SNL' channels 'Schoolhouse Rock' to introduce Executive Order

10 hours ago

One of the most parodied segments from the GenX-loved classic "Schoolhouse Rock!" has been Dave Frishberg's "I'm Just a Bill," featuring vocals from Jack Sheldon as a bill trying to teach his son the steps necessary to become a law. You may recall the "Simpsons" parody "I'm an Amendment To Be," as well as a "Family Guy" homage, both featuring Sheldon doing the voice.  "Robot Chicken," "Johnny Bravo" and "MadTV" also have referenced the animated segment. While "Saturday Night Live" couldn't get Sheldon -- He's 82, but apparently still alive -- Kenan Thompson is definitely channeling his vocal stylings as an Immigration Bill chronicling the near-impossible task of gaining passage in today's Congress.  Yes, President Obama pops up, introducing Executive Order, who becomes a law through a much simpler process. Check out the music-and-animation-filled Cold Open from Saturday (November 22) night's "Saturday Night Live":  »


- HitFix Staff

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Recap: 'Saturday Night Live' – Cameron Diaz And Mark Ronson/Bruno Mars

11 hours ago

In Cameron Diaz, “Saturday Night Live” has its second consecutive host making an appearance after a lengthy absence. Although Diaz has hosted the show three times before, this is her first time doing so since 2005. Will there be “Annie” sketches? Probably! Will there be a Jamie Foxx and/or Quvenzhané Wallis cameo? Possibly! Will Bruno Mars make an in-sketch appearance in addition to his musical role tonight? Likely! Will this be an exciting episode or one that puts audiences to sleep faster than Thanksgiving dinner? Who knows! As always, I’ll be liveblogging the show in real time, assigning grades to each segment. As always, I’ll remind you that comedy is subjective and the grades don’t have any more power than you allow them to have. As always, a few of you will ignore that last statement and quibble over a “B-“ versus a “B”. It’s cool. »


- Ryan McGee

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Francis Lawrence: Directing 'Mockingjay' was like 'wrangling puppies'

14 hours ago

When director Francis Lawrence signed on to join "The Hunger Games" franchise, he probably didn't realize what he was getting himself into, what with the pressure, the jokes and the...puppies?  HitFix's Katie Hasty sat down with the director to discuss the newest installment "Mockingjay - Part I," its Oscar-winning star, and its musical influences. Lawrence (no relation to Jennifer Lawrence, of course) joined the series on "Catching Fire," after "Hunger Games" director Gary Ross exited, and helped develop the franchise into a serious  pop culture juggernaut. Despite working on "Fire," Lawrence still felt some pressure when it came to calling the shots on "Mockingjay," which expands the franchise's world significantly and is noticeably darker than its predecessors.  "I felt a different kind of pressure," he explains. "[On 'Catching Fire'], I had to prove myself a little bit as the new guy in the game. It was a relief that it was received well by the fans. »


- Dave Lewis

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First Look: Eva Green and Josh Hartnett get close in 'Penny Dreadful' season 2 image

20 hours ago

Eva Green and Josh Hartnett are returning as Vanessa and Ethan in the season 2 of Showtime's horror-drama series "Penny Dreadful," and a new image reveals that they're closer than ever. After the grim events of season 1, they could both use some comforting. "This season Vanessa and Ethan face new challenges, and old enemies, and turn to each other for solace," said creator and executive producer John Logan in a press release. "Their intimacy grows as they are forced to confront their demons together." Get your first look at season 2 here: The Victorian-era drama will continue to draw from such literary legends as Oscar Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray," Bram Stoker's "Dracula," and Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein." "Penny" also stars Reeve CarneyTimothy DaltonRory KinnearBillie PiperDanny Sapani and Harry Treadaway. Season 2 guest stars will include Douglas Hodge, Johnny Beauchamp, Sarah Greene as Poole’s powerful daughter Hecate, »


- Dave Lewis

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Best and Worst of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part I'

20 hours ago

Katniss is back in "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay," and die hard fans have probably already seen the movie twice.   Directed by "Catching Fire" vet Francis Lawrence, the new film significantly expands the world of the series, adding new settings (like the fabled District 13) and new characters, while taking star Jennifer Lawrence out of the arena and into a rebellion against the Capitol.  How does it stack up against the other films? Is it Jennifer Lawrence's best "Hunger Games" yet? Did "Mockingjay" really need to be two separate movies? And how do franchise newcomers Julianne Moore and Natalie Dormer fit in with returning players Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Donald SutherlandJeffrey Wright and Philip Seymour Hoffman? Check out the Best and Worst of "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part I" below. Do you agree with our opinions? What did we get wrong? »


- Gregory Ellwood, Katie Hasty, Josh Lasser, Dave Lewis, Drew McWeeny

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Box Office: 'Mockingjay' trails previous 'Hunger Games' films with $55 million Friday

21 hours ago

"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay" isn't quite keeping the first two films in the series at the box office, but is nonetheless on its way to a massive opening weekend.  Powered by Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, "Mockingjay" soared to $55 million on Friday, making it the biggest Friday opening of the year. "Transformers: Age of Extinction" earned $41.9 million on its first Friday. "Mockingjay" will likely earn around $130 million for the weekend, again topping "Age of Extinction's" $100 million weekend debut. However, "Mockingjay" is doing much slower business that last year's "Catching Fire," which opened to a staggering $158.1 million last year, as well as the first "Hunger Games," which bowed to $152 million in 2012. The first film went on to gross a huge $408 million domestically, while "Catching Fire" topped it with $424 million. The threequel -- the first part of the two-part finale -- will have to make up some ground next week »


- Dave Lewis

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TV Ratings: 'Hawaii Five-0,' 'Shark Tank' season highs lead Friday split

22 hours ago

Fast National ratings for Friday, November 21, 2014. Both "Shark Tank" and "Blue Bloods" drew big numbers on Friday as CBS won its regular overall victory and ABC controlled things in the key demographic. CBS also got a boost from the biggest "Hawaii Five-0" audience since March. We'll pretend it's The Carol Burnett Effect. It was also a season high in viewers for "Shark Tank," which tied its season high in the key demo, despite the absence of a Carol Burnett guest appearance. Among other Friday notables, it was an up week for "Grimm" and "Constantine," while ABC's "Last Man Standing" and "Cristela" were down a hair. On to the numbers... Among adults 18-49, ABC averaged a 1.6 rating for Friday night, tops in the key demographic. CBS and NBC tied for second with a 1.3 key demo rating. There was a big drop to Fox's 0.6 key demo rating and to The CW's 0.5 key demo rating for Friday primetime. »


- Daniel Fienberg

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Jennifer Aniston serves 'Cake' in La as Best Actress nomination chances increase

22 November 2014 1:53 AM, PST

West Hollywood — On Wednesday it was Reese. On Thursday it was Shailene. On Friday it was Jennifer… …Aniston. Yes, this year's Best Actress contenders continued to celebrate their films with awards season events and Thursday night featured a special screening of Daniel Barnz's "Cake," where a post-show party at the Sunset Tower Hotel found Aniston, obviously, the center of attention. "Cake" stars Aniston as Claire, a woman whose life has come to something of a stand still because of chronic pain she's suffered from a major car accident. It's an impressive performance by the popular actress that I praised in my review of the film from the Toronto Film Festival a few months ago, and hinted she could be an awards season player. Speaking to Aniston Friday night, she admitted that after some roles, directors and producers "box" you into a certain mold for a certain kind of a movie. »


- Gregory Ellwood

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10 Stories You Might Have Missed: 'Lego Batman' to 'acknowledge' multiple Batmans

22 November 2014 12:00 AM, PST

Between all the new trailers, casting news, TV renewals and cancellations, a few noteworthy entertainment news stories have flown under the radar. Now's your chance to catch up. In this installment of 10 Stories You Might Have Missed: The 2017 spin-off "Lego Batman" will "acknowledge" previous screen versions of the Dark Knight. Also: Will Tom Cruise be the new Sean Connery in the "Highlander" reboot? Plus: Penelope Cruz is joining Ben Stiller in "Zoolander 2," BBC America orders up more Idris Elba and "Luther," The CW renews "America's Next Top Model," "Game of Thrones" vet Sean Bean signs on for a new TV show, and more. See what you might have missed here: »


- HitFix Staff

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Could 'Paddington' turn into a surprise family flick hit?

21 November 2014 8:08 PM, PST

Perception is not always reality. Especially in the movie business. Ever since the first trailer for "Paddington" arrived last March, eyebrows were raised. Would this CG-animated-live action hybrid do Michael Bond's beloved literary bear justice? Many thought the teaser looked more "Smurfs" or (perish the thought) "Garfield" than in the vein of a well-regarded "Fantastic Mr. Fox." It didn't matter that "Harry Potter" and "Gravity" producer David Heyman was shepherding the production; this was a movie that ended up having one bad publicity crisis after another.   When word came down that Ben Wishaw was replacing none other than Colin Firth as the Peruvian bear's voice, that raised a red flag. When the film's U.S. distributor, The Weinstein Company, decided to move "Paddington" out of its longstanding Christmas Day opening to a January 15 bow, most media smelled trouble. Moreover, many Brits were appalled when the movie earned a PG »


- Gregory Ellwood

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Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'Hot Sexy Knights'

21 November 2014 7:28 PM, PST

Say this for "The Amazing Race": I went into Friday's episode tweeting that I didn't remember a thing that was happening this season after a week away for CBS to air a failed awards show and by the end of the episode, 55 minutes later, I was yelling at my screen and getting really anxious about the pending result. No, I didn't get what I wanted when it came to the episode's elimination. And no, it wasn't even all that great an episode, though it had great moments. But when they want to, the "Amazing Race" editors can orchestrate a thrilling climax pitting ostensible heroes against clear villains and they can still make me care. Let's talk about Friday's (November 21) night's "Amazing Race" episode and its exciting ending after the break... Oh, I wanted The Wrestlers gone so bad. So. So. So bad. And that's what the editors wanted. Brooke, »


- Daniel Fienberg

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Beyonce's song '7/11' is terrible. Beyonce's '7/11' music video is amazing.

21 November 2014 5:26 PM, PST

Fresh off of me slagging Beyonce's "7/11" as a song, here is the "7/11" music video. It is amazing. Here, watch it. Beyonce is just like you. You are just like Beyonce. When you have a nice hotel room, you trash it, you dance in your underwear, you spill your drink, you wear the first piece of crumpled clothing you can find at the foot of the bed and rock it. When your girlfriends come in, you know your phone is out faster than you can say "Flawless." I have 100 favorite moments from this "homemade" masterpiece. Beyonce as a roomba. Beyonce as a Christmas present. Beyonce doing that jump-through-your-own-leg move and falling on her ass with a smile. That guy who's trying to escape the frame at 3:24. Phone foot. Undies pyramid. She just had an intern to make her Precious Moments fresher. Fresher than you. "7/11" is off of the platinum edition of the "Beyonce" album re-release, »

- Katie Hasty

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Arcade Fire's Will Butler prepping solo album 'Policy'

21 November 2014 4:40 PM, PST

Will Arcade Fire member Will Butler have as much success without his giant band? The singer, brother of Af frontman Win Butler, recently performed a 10-song set of new material in New York City, and now he's reportedly planning to release the songs on his first solo album. In anticipation of the concert, the venue's website stated that Butler is "currently finishing up his debut album." An Arcade Fire spokesperson later confirmed the news, saying, “[Will]’s working on tracks for release at some point in the future, maybe on Merge Records, and he keeps updating on their socials." Later, Merge Records announced that it will indeed release the record, titled "Policy," sometime next spring. Butler previously teamed with Owen Pallett for the music to Spike Jonze's "Her," which was nominated for Best Original Score at 2013 Oscars. Arcade Fire has released four acclaimed albums on Merge over the last ten years, »


- Dave Lewis

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Warner Bros may gamble big on a four-movie 'Stand' from 'Fault In Our Stars' director

21 November 2014 4:30 PM, PST

When you cover filmmaking and write about the business and the art of it, there are many times you find yourself criticizing a studio for choices that are being made, and sometimes, it starts to look like you're beating up on a particular studio or playing favorites. The truth is much less interesting, though. The truth is that I react to each project, each film, each announcement, as its own thing. I can't count the number of times I've disliked a film's marketing only to end up loving the movie itself, or vice versa, and it's taught me that each movie exists separate from the conversation around it. So with that in mind, I am not trying to beat up on Warner Bros. I think ambition is a great thing. Without ambition, there is no greatness. Mainstream filmmaking is a difficult balancing act between fiscal responsibility and artistic intent, and »


- Drew McWeeny

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New Beyonce songs leak: 'Ring Off' is a triumph, hit skip on '7/11'

21 November 2014 4:10 PM, PST

"Now it all makes sense," Beyonce sings in her new song "Ring Off." "Always know that you’ve got a daughter / That’s so, so proud you took the high road." "Ring Off" is one of two totally new songs that are included on Bey's self-titled album reissue, out on Nov. 24. It's easy to see why this song -- were it cut last year -- maybe wouldn't have made the initial cut of "Beyonce," released last December. "Ring Off" was off-brand for the landmark year adjacent to that ground-rattling release. http://a.tumblr.com/tumblr_nfd72h4T1V1qkomroo1.mp3 From spring of 2013 to the spring of this year, the singer and entertainer hoofed through her Mrs. Carter World Tour; the very title of the tour itself, as cheeky as it was, brought about the association that Beyonce is not Ms. Knowles, but instead used her year to celebrate being a wife, »


- Katie Hasty

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Queen Latifah Wrote a Letter Thanking Herself for her Talk Show

21 November 2014 4:03 PM, PST

Queen Latfiah's pleasant talk show was canceled today, and the Oscar-nominated songstress responded to the news the same way you would: by writing a letter to herself, posting it on Facebook, and making sure to thank herself for her major accomplishments. Read the strange, well-meaning, but totally weird missive below.   Dear Dana, Just a little note to say Thank You… Thank you for your strong work ethic and great effort in getting The Queen Latifah Show off the ground and running. Your dedication and sacrifice was crucial to the entire team, and in the face of intense challenges, you displayed “True Grit”! Your Family, Partners, Staff and Crew showed up with you every step of the way. Be very proud of that! Not everyone can say the same. You can also say you have been a blessing to and been blessed by amazing guests and incredible audiences for this show. »


- Louis Virtel

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Netflix saves 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' from pre-cancellation

21 November 2014 3:29 PM, PST

When NBC aired trailers for all its new shows at last spring's upfront, no new series had me more intrigued than "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," a comedy from the "30 Rock" team of Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, starring Ellie Kemper from "The Office" as a sheltered woman who escapes from a doomsday cult and tries to start life over in New York City. It wasn't on the fall schedule, nor was it talked about in any early midseason plans, and I had heard from several comedy veterans that NBC had no idea what to do with a show that was so weird and incompatible with whatever it is their comedy brand is now. Well, NBC finally figured out what to do: they sold "Kimmy Schmidt" off to Netflix, which has made a two-year commitment to the series, with the first season debuting in March of 2015. Yup, now Netflix is saving »


- Alan Sepinwall

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