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'SNL's' Kate McKinnon brings 'The Jinx's' Robert Durst to an improv comedy show

8 hours ago

Ever wonder what would happen if a serial killer was asked to participate in a comedy improv skit? Probably not, but "Saturday Night Live" thought that was the perfect way for the world to experience Kate McKinnon's impersonation of Robert Durst, the infamous subject of HBO's critically acclaimed docu-series "The Jinx." The good news is that McKinnon's impersonation is spot on (she also looks oddly like fellow cast member Pete Davidson).  The bad news is that the entire skit feels like it was chopped in half or severely edited in rehearsals.  Still, if you wonder why McKinnon gets so much hype this is another great example of her impressive talents. Check the skit out in the embedded clip at the bottom of this post. For more on this weekend's "Saturday Night Live" check out Ryan McGee's popular recap. »


- Gregory Ellwood

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'SNL' and The Rock make Wrestlemania's promos a little too personal

9 hours ago

It's still unclear if Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson will appear at Wrestlemania 31 tonight, but he had a little fun with his WWE roots in a skit on "Saturday Night Live." Johnson played fictional wrestler Coco Watch Out and Bobby Moynihan appeared as Trashyard Mutt. The two wrestlers are just professionals there to film a promo, but once the camera begins filming Watch Out takes the jabs to another level. Like, he really takes them to places you nor Mutt could ever imagine. The skit also prompts the question: "Is there really 'Family Guy' porn?" (Actually, don't answer that.  Please, don't answer.) This was one of the better skits on "SNL" last night and you can watch embedded at the bottom of this post. For more on this weekend's "Saturday Night Live" check out Ryan McGee's popular recap. »


- Gregory Ellwood

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Interview: Joaquin Souberbielle talks 'Survivor: Worlds Apart'

12 hours ago

Power couples rarely work out well on "Survivor" and power couplings certainly didn't work out well for Joaquin Souberbielle on "Survivor: Worlds Apart." Joaquin started the season by volunteering for a leadership position on his White Collar tribe. He and second-in-command So told a fib about a secret Immunity clue, didn't find the Idol and So was the first player voted out this season.  From there, Joaquin got to fly a bit under the radar until he formed another power couple in the shuffled Escameca tribe, forming an East Coast bond with Rodney. Unfortunately, Joaquin misjudged how much other people, particular swing-vote Sierra, distrusted Rodney and a majority alliance fell apart and Joaquin was sent packing. Fortunately, Joaquin doesn't sound bitter about what went down. He's got a pitch for a new Joaquin/Rodney reality show, he's full of mockery for Shirin and he's mighty annoyed that his tribe threw that last Immunity. »


- Daniel Fienberg

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Oh deer, 'SNL' and The Rock present Disney's live-action flick 'Bambi'

12 hours ago

There are some things that just should not be spoiled and the spoof trailer "Saturday Night Live" created for "Walt Disney's Bambi" is one of them. Mocking the recent news that the Mouse House is moving forward with a live-action "Dumbo" (don't get me started on that one), Dwayne Johnson plays a, well, "Rock" version of the classic animated character.  This Bambi, however, is out for revenge. Tragically, they took away his mother. And, unlike the original, they are going to pay...deerly. It's all in the style of "Fast 7," might include some of his more famous co-stars (and if this is our mandatory synergistic Comcast tie-in for Friday's blockbuster we'll take it) and is already blowing up on social media. Enjoy a live action "Bambi" we can only dare to dream for in the embedded video below. »


- Gregory Ellwood

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The Rock brings 'The Rock Obama' back to 'Saturday Night Live'

13 hours ago

You don't want to get Barack Obama angry.  At least not when Dwayne Johnson is hosting "SNL."  The "Fast 7" star appeared in the opening of "Saturday Night Live" tonight reprising his role as "The Rock Obama," a character he first played on the show six years ago to demonstrate what happens when our generally kind and patient President loses his cool.  This time, however, just before Sen. Ted Cruz (Bobby Moynihan) is going to face The Rock Obama's wrath, Michelle Obama (Sasheer Zamata) intervenes.  Of course, what happens when the First Lady discovers someone's been squating in her garden? Turns out she might have a temper of her own.  Find out in the embed clip below. For more on this weekend's "Saturday Night Live" check out Ryan McGee's popular recap. »


- Gregory Ellwood

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The Weekend Read: Autism in entertainment from 'Rain Man' to 'Community'

13 hours ago

The Weekend Read: Our Saturday essay on the great topics in entertainment and culture today. Last weekend, as Toshi was cruising the Blu-ray shelves for new movies to start asking about, he pulled "Rain Man" on a shelf and considered the cover for a moment before he turned to me, excited. "You didn't tell me Tom Cruise made a superhero movie!" I can only assume his eventual disappointment might be tempered by the fact that "Rain Man" is a pretty good movie. It had been a while since I'd seen it, though, and after they went back to their mom's house, I put it in to watch it. I remember when it came out being right in the midst of my first time watching a lot of classic filmographies, and more than anything, I enjoyed the film as a match-up between Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise. Looking at the film, »


- Drew McWeeny

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Recap: 'Saturday Night Live' – Dwayne Johnson and George Ezra

14 hours ago

The questions isn’t whether Dwayne Johnson will be a good host (since he excelled during his first two times in Studio 8H), but whether or not “Saturday Night Live” can finally start regaining some of the momentum that propelled it through its Fall run. That was possibly the strongest stretch during my five years covering the show here at HitFix, but 2015 has been marked by less-than-stellar episodes and a less-than-ideal production schedule. As such, “SNL” has been spotty both in terms of quality and production. But maybe tonight will be a turning point as the show heads into this season’s home stretch. As always, I’ll be liveblogging each segment in real time. I’ll give that segment a grade. I highly encourage you to not stress too much about the grades. The Rock Obama will get angry if you stress about the grades. See you at 11: »


- Ryan McGee

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John Rhys-Davies compares 'Hieroglyph' potential to 'Game of Thrones'

18 hours ago

By now I hope you've read my full "Killing Jesus" report from the set in Morocco, a report that included a number of quotes from veteran John Rhys-Davies, an actor more than willing to offer retrospectives on the entirety of his entire career. Well, it happens that that career includes an intriguing ordered-straight-to-series-and-the-cancelled-before-airing Fox drama named "Hieroglyph" and it happens that "Hieroglyph" also shot in Morocco. And Rhys-Davies actually brought up "that pilot for Fox" of his own volition. "'13 on the air, we don't even need to see the pilot. It's gonna be that good.' Yeah, right," Rhys-Davies said, mocking the network's thought process. "So they screwed everybody's year up by postponing it and postponing it until absolutely five-minutes-to-five on the very last day they said, 'Uh, not gonna do now. No. Can't get scripts of the right quality.' By which time, everyone had cancelled everything else »


- Daniel Fienberg

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Box Office: Rihanna and J-Lo power 'Home' to no. 1 Friday over 'Get Hard'

22 hours ago

DreamWorks Animation only has one release in 2015, "Home."  Considering how much investors constantly scrutinize the studio that put a lot of pressure on the publicly traded company and its marketing and distribution partner, 20th Century Fox, to turn it into a hit.  After Friday's opening, CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg can take a huge sigh of relief. "Home" took the top spot on its opening day with $15.6 million.  Since pre-release polling indicated strong family interest (it's a CG animated movie) it should perform even better on Saturday and possibly even Sunday.  That means it could end up with $55-58 million over the three-day and become DreamWorks Animation's biggest opening since "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted" earned $60 million in June 2012.  No matter where it falls, "Home's" opening takes some pressure off 20th Century Fox who consistently underperformed with Dwa Films domestically since "The Croods" was a surprise hit two years ago.  It's »


- Gregory Ellwood

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TV Ratings: Sweet 16 leads CBS Friday, 'Grown Ups' tops 'Glee' finale

28 March 2015 8:54 AM, PDT

Fast National ratings for Friday, March 27, 2015. CBS got another decent night of Ncaa Tournament coverage and dominated Friday primetime in all measures. "Dateline"-driven NBC and "Shark Tank" repeat-led ABC finished second. ["Dateline" was apparently also a rebroadcast.] Fox, meanwhile, aired the dreadful Adam Sandler movie "Grown Ups," which comfortably outdrew last week's "Glee" finale. And speaking of finales, the "Hart of Dixie" finale may have given The CW a small uptick, though CW Friday numbers have a tendency to adjust down overall. Let's get to the numbers... Among adults 18-49, CBS averaged a 1.9 rating for Friday night, tops in the key demographic. ABC and NBC both averaged a 1.0 key demo rating, followed closely by the 0.9 key demo rating for Fox. The CW averaged a 0.3 key demo rating for the night. Overall, CBS averaged an estimated 6.4 million viewers and 3.9 rating/7 share to win Friday primetime. NBC was second with 5.47 million viewers and a 3.6/7, topping the 3.2/6 and 4.77 million viewers for ABC. »


- Daniel Fienberg

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First 'Spectre' trailer gives us a taste of Bond's biggest adventure yet

28 March 2015

"You're a kite dancing in a hurricane, Mr. Bond." Last week, the boys finally saw their second James Bond movie. They'd previously seen "The Spy Who Loved Me," which was a huge hit, and this time, they selected "You Only Live Twice," which played better for the older movie nerd. It bored Allen silly, which is no surprise. I love the Connery era Bond films precisely because of the more measured pace and the way they take place in a button-down world where Bond is the splash of color. The Moore films are cartoons from start to finish with few exceptions, so they're easier for kids to enjoy. I was glad they saw "You Only Live Twice" because it also introduced the idea of Spectre to them, and it's been clear since the moment Sony won the legal rights back to use that organization in their films that they were »


- Drew McWeeny

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10 Stories You Might Have Missed: Meet your new 'Star Trek 3' villain

27 March 2015 11:00 PM, PDT

In this week's edition of 10 Stories You Might Have Missed: The next "Star Trek" movie finds its villain in Idris Elba. Plus, more TV, film and music stories: Lollapalooza announces its lineup including some classic rock headliners; Run the Jewels releases a racially charged new music video; Bruce Campbell is headed to "Fargo" as a former president; Sam Taylor-Johnson says goodbye to the "Fifty Shades of Grey" franchise; William Peterson heads back to the small screen via Wgn; Florence + The Machine drop a new song; NBC sets some summer premieres for "Mr. Robinson," "The Carmichael Show, and more; HBO and Vice plot a nightly newscast; and more. What moved the needle for you this week? »


- Katie Hasty

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Recap: 'Hart of Dixie' finale 'Bluebell' ends with a song in its heart

27 March 2015 7:35 PM, PDT

For the better part of a half-hour into the "Hart of Dixie" finale, Dr. Zoe Hart kept insisting that her pregnancy contractions were just Braxton Hicks contractions and she wasn't having her baby. Those around Zoe Hart suspected she was having her baby. Those of us at home knew she was having her baby. But she just kept saying that she was a doctor and she knew what real contractions were supposed to be like. She was wrong.  Zoe Hart had her baby. I liken this in-show situation to the situation surrounding "Hart of Dixie" as a series. "Hart of Dixie" was already on the bubble for renewal the past couple years and it was a minor miracle it lasted this long, since it was never a show that fit with anything in The CW's brand. The CW has already renewed basically everything on its air and some things -- »


- Daniel Fienberg

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The Week in Horror: 'Friday the 13th' reboot snags 'Hannibal' writer

27 March 2015 6:08 PM, PDT

A blood-curdling welcome to "The Week in Horror," HitFix's ongoing series that rounds up the 10 most pertinent fright-genre stories to break over the last seven days. In this week's edition: we were all wrong about "Rings," an "American Horror Story" Season 2 cast member is checking in to "Hotel" and...wait, what are they calling the "Walking Dead" spinoff series? See below for the full roundup. 1. Promo for "Walking Dead" spinoff series to premiere during Sunday's finale var bc_params = {"api":"hybrid","playerId":"83327935001","playerKey":"Aq~~,AAAAAAuyCbQ~,-gfAmfm8njJ8S-9E4q2UfzG931rvkxuP"};   brightcove.createExperiences(); The just-announced title? "Fear the Walking Dead." While you wait for this, watch a sneak peek of Sunday's Season 5 closer above. 2. "Rings" is a sequel, not a prequel, to "The Ring" From director F. Javier Gutierrez: Hey peeps, #Rings is Not a prequel, the story takes place 13 years after #TheRing:) — F. Javier Gutierrez »


- Chris Eggertsen

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Dear Indiana: If you're so antigay, why did you give us these gay icons?

27 March 2015 5:25 PM, PDT

Indiana's coolness took a south bend this week when Gov. Mike Pence signed into law a bill that allows businesses to turn away Lgbt customers on the grounds of "religious freedom." Sort of makes you wish that "not sucking" was a religion.  To remind Indiana lawmakers why their nonsense is, well, nonsense, let's take a look at some gay icons and iconography that originated in Indiana. If you're so concerned about protecting the hatred of gay people, why do these folks below rule so much?    Adam Lambert, our Precious Moments figurine version of George Michael The wailing "American Idol" runner-up came out in the most decadent way possible: with a Rolling Stone cover story and salacious serpentine imagery. Lambert was raised in Southern California but was born in Indianapolis, which basically makes him a living version of "Saved by the Bell."  "Let's Hear It for the Boy" queen Deniece Williams »


- Louis Virtel

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Akiva Goldman signs on to drive future 'Transformers' movies writer's room

27 March 2015 3:15 PM, PDT

Some days you're a step ahead, some days you're a step behind. I've been chasing this Akiva Goldsman/"Transformers" story for a few weeks, but couldn't second-source it. Now Deadline's reporting that the story is in fact happening. One of the reasons I was extra-careful was because it is the sort of story that sounds like someone making a joke about the way the industry works right now. "Akiva Goldsman has been hired to supervise the development of three back-to-back 'Transformers' sequels for Michael Bay" is what I heard first, and my response was, "Shut up and stop making horrible jokes." The thing is, this is the near-future of how they'll be handling these giant franchise films. You want to know the real truth of why the Russos are rapidly becoming Marvel's favorite filmmakers? Because they are trained to work in the TV model already, which is what blockbuster filmmaking is becoming. »


- Drew McWeeny

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Waxing Episodic: 'The Office' celebrates 'Diversity Day'

27 March 2015 3:14 PM, PDT

In HitFix's new feature "Waxing Episodic," we reflect on an episode of television we'll never forget. NBC's "The Office" debuted 10 years ago this week, arriving with the unenviable challenge of having to live up to the standard of one of the best-received comedies of recent times, but went on to outstrip the British original. I don't even know if that's a controversial statement anymore. The British "Office" is great and, in terms of comedic efficiency, NBC's version didn't come close. But Ricky Gervais' series was built for 12 episodes and a Christmas special and never had to worry about longevity, never had to wonder how sustainable its circumstances and its characters were. NBC's version took that world and made it renewable. Whether you think the American "Office" was great (or even good) for all 200-ish of its episodes, it was certainly very good or great for more than 13 episodes. I »


- Daniel Fienberg

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266 days until Star Wars: Officially updated timeline includes new shows and novels

27 March 2015 3:12 PM, PDT

Eagle-eyed fans over at German fansite Jedi-Bibliothek noticed something in the latest copies of “Star Wars: A New Dawn” that are circulating on Amazon. A chronological timeline of all the new books, including one not yet announced entitled simply “Battlefront.”   Image Credit: LucasBooks Of the announced books, “Heir to the Jedi” and “Tarkin” are already on store shelves. The former deals with Luke Skywalker’s attempts to wield the Force after the death of Obi-Wan Kenobi. The latter shows how Tarkin rose to power. “Dark Disciple” delves into the story of Asajj Ventress, former Sith apprentice to Count Dooku as she teams up with a Jedi to take out her former master. “Lords of the Sith” sees Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine stranded on an inhospitable planet. Hilarity ensues, I assume. And finally, “Aftermath” replaces the “The Truce At Bakura” in the Expanded Universe and will rewrite what happened »


- Donna Dickens

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Ellie Kemper reveals how she is Kimmy Schmidt at heart

27 March 2015 2:15 PM, PDT

"Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" has been in our lives for a few weeks now, and I've already re-watched favorite episodes a few times. Carol Kane, y'all. Have we discussed yet whether Jane Krakowski will win an Emmy for "Uks" yet? Because it's about that time. Anyway, Ellie Kemper was on "Conan" last night and she discussed a couple of key ways in which she is exactly like Kimmy Schmidt. Her own move to New York was just as weird and hilariously naive as Kimmy's, including her foray into smoking. Cannot wait for season two.  »


- Louis Virtel

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America is lacking one crucial thing for zombie survival, according to George Rr Martin

27 March 2015 1:22 PM, PDT

Everyone binge watches “The Walking Dead,” even “Game of Thrones” author George Rr Martin. After recently power through a marathon of 14 episodes — during which Netflix no doubt passive-aggressively asked if he was still watching half a dozen times — Martin spoke with Entertainment Weekly about why America is in such shambles post-zombie outbreak. “Castles! Whatever is happening in the United States during “The Walking Dead,” I’m sure they’re a lot better off in England because they’re in castles. […] No way is a zombie [getting through]— medieval siege armies couldn’t break castles with conventional artillery, and zombies don’t use artillery. Zombies don’t build trebuchets. They don’t build siege towers. There is no way they can break into a well-defended castle.” Gif Credit: AMC This jives with the theory laid out by Max Brooks in “World War Z.” In the novel, the British Isles survive the undead outbreak mostly unscathed. »


- Donna Dickens

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