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TV Ratings: Low 'Bachelorette' finale leads ABC Monday, while NBC's 'Ninja' rises

1 hour ago

Fast National ratings for Monday, July 28, 2014. ABC's finale for "The Bachelorette" was far below last summer's "Bachelorette" finale and was barely up from last week's installment, but the three-hour telecast lit season highs anyway and led ABC to Monday wins in all key measures. Other Monday notables saw "Under the Dome" stabilize among young viewers (but dip overall), Fox's "MasterChef" drop a hair, NBC's "American Ninja Warrior" continue its summer charge and "Running Wild With Bear Grylls" premiere to decent numbers. On to the numbers... Among adults 18-49, ABC averaged a 2.0 rating for Monday night, tops in the key demographic. NBC and Fox averaged a 1.8 key demo rating for second on the night, far ahead of CBS' 1.1 key demo rating. The CW averaged a 0.3 key demo rating. Overall, ABC averaged an estimated 7.66 million viewers and a 5.1 rating/9 share for Monday primetime. NBC was second with 5.37 million viewers and a 3.0/5, compared to CBS' 3.3/6 and 5.02 million viewers. »


- Daniel Fienberg

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Exclusive Premiere: Minnie Driver performs Elliott Smith's 'Waltz #2': Watch

1 hour ago

After co-writing the material for her first two albums, actress Minnie Driver decided to turn to songs that others had made famous for “Ask Me To Dance,” out Oct. 7. The Rounder/Zoe release, Driver’s first album since 2007, features her interpreting such tunes as The Cure’s “Close To Me,” Neil Young’s “Tell Me Why,” Stevie Wonder’s “Master Blaster,” the Killer’s “Human,” Neil Finn’s “Better Be Home Soon,” and even going back to the Sinatra standard, “Fly Me To The Moon.”   In this exclusive clip, HitFix premieres Driver singing “Waltz #2,” from the late Elliott Smith. As movie fans know, Smith’s “Miss Misery” was featured in one of Driver’s earlier film’s, “Good Will Hunting,” and the two were friends until his death. She prefaces the performance by talking about being in the studio with Smith when he recorded the vocal for the haunting, bittersweet »


- Melinda Newman

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Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett duets album coming in September

2 hours ago

Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett will release their album of jazz standards, “Cheek To Cheek” on Sept. 23. The first track, a remake of Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes,” came out today via iTunes. The odd bedfellows formed a mutual admiration society three years ago and seemed besotted with each other’s talent ever since Gaga recorded “The Lady Is A Tramp” with Bennett for his “Duets II” album. The album features the twosome singing in tandem and solo as they work through the Great American Songbook, performing such classics as “Lush Life,” “Anything Goes,” “It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” and “Sophisticated Lady.” Bennett, of course, helped bring much of the Great American Songbook alive over his seven-decade career. It turns out that Gaga grew up on the American standards. “It was very important to Tony that this was a jazz record,” Lady Gaga said in a statement. »


- Melinda Newman

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How '42' helped Chadwick Boseman play James Brown in 'Get On Up'

3 hours ago

In 2013, Chadwick Boseman appeared on the big screen as Jackie Robinson in the Brian Helgeland written and directed "42."  The movie was by no means Boseman's first feature, but it wouldn't be unfair to suggest that it is the movie which thrust him into the public consciousness.  After appearing in "Draft Day" earlier this year, Boseman is now back in a new biopic, "Get On Up."  The movie is about James Brown and directed by Tate Taylor ("The Help").  It counts among its producers Brian Grazer and Mick Jagger and opens in theaters on August 1st. On a recent Saturday morning, Boseman took some time to sit down with us to talk about the new film, its relation to "42," and where the actor might go from here.  He made it quite clear that there is a whole lot of effort that is needed to get playing someone else right, and that »


- Josh Lasser

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Roberto Orci and Heather Kadin on how social media gave life to 'Sleepy Hollow'

3 hours ago

San Diego - At Comic-Con this weekend, "Sleepy Hollow" producers Roberto Orci and Heather Kadin told HitFix how shocked and pleased everyone has been with the overwhelming audience response to the first season. And fans weren't just passive viewers, according to Orci.  "The fans that watched this show went beyond just watching it. They would send us sketches of the actors," he said. "Someone in our office made us a book of all the fan art, which is pretty incredible. I have it on my coffee table at work," Kadin added, mentioning she mused the idea of mass-producing the book for publication. The two promised both the family drama and the supernatural elements will be kicked up a notch in season two. All the characters are going to suffer from emotional and relationship upheaval this year. Kadin teased strife in the Crane marriage. "It's a big family drama. Can you imagine? »


- Donna Dickens

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'Hannibal' producers tease Francis Dolarhyde, disfigurement & more for season 3

3 hours ago

"Hannibal" showrunner Bryan Fuller was much more open with information at the show's Comic-Con panel, revealing that season 3 would jump ahead a year, eschew the Killer of the Week format, and introduce other Thomas Harris characters like Murasaki and Francis Dolarhyde. So when I got a chance the next day to sit down with Fuller, lead director David Slade and longtime Hannibal Lecter movie/TV producer Martha DeLaurentiis, I didn't have to spend a lot of time probing for information, and could instead go a little deeper on some of those revelations, like how Fuller intends to structure the story of Dolarhyde (the chief villain of "Red Dragon," the novel that introduced Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham), how Slade shot the chilling closing sequence of season 2, how the survivors of that bloody evening might look in season 3, and more. »


- Alan Sepinwall

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Josh Hartnett, Reeve Carney and Harry Treadaway are coy about 'Penny Dreadful' season 2

9 hours ago

San Diego - When we last left "Penny Dreadful's" most eligible bachelors things weren't necessarily coming up roses. Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett) had transformed into a werewolf type creature (although it turns out he isn't aware of what happens to him when he "blacks out" and goes wild) and suffered through the death of his lover, Brona Croft (Billie Piper). Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney) had his heart unceremoniously broken by Vanessa Ives (Eva Green) and found himself once more immortal and alone. Dr. Victor Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway) couldn't kill the Creature (Rory Kinnear) he created that was threatening to destroy everyone around him.  Instead, he took Ms. Croft's life earlier than her terminal sickness would have allowed so that he could properly transform her into a "bride" for his monstrous creation. These gentlemen of questionable morals and virtues are three reasons why John Logan's Showtime series is so fascinating. »


- Gregory Ellwood

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Exclusive Clip: Kody feels the heat of public scrutiny on 'Biker Battleground Phoenix'

14 hours ago

From the gravelly-voiced narrator to the surly tattooed crowds to the generous assortment of wraparound sunglasses, there can be no mistaking it: you're in "Biker Battleground Phoenix" land now. In this HitFix exclusive clip from tomorrow night's episode, Kody feels the heat of public scrutiny when he attempts a "72-hour custom bike build" in front of an audience. Can he prove he's not a fraud? Will his hideous petit goatee come to sentient life and destroy us all? Watch the clip above for a sneak peek. "Biker Battleground Phoenix" airs Tuesday at 11pm on History. »

- Chris Eggertsen

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'Bang Bang' from Jessie J, Nicki Minaj and Ariana Grande explodes: Listen

15 hours ago

“Bang Bang,” the new track from British popster Jessie J, featuring Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj, is a bullet train of pop power that will head straight to the top of the charts. The song, which leaked Monday night, hours before its Tuesday release, is a fast-paced track that relies just as much on a ferocious drum beat as the three leading ladies’ performances. Though it is nominally Jessie J’s single, she generals shares the spotlight. The track opens with a rush similar to Pharrell Williams’ “Happy,” and with a fair amount of hand-claps and similarly up-tempo yelps, it could have the same successful trajectory. The tune also has the same lightness as Grande’s current smash, “Problem,” if that song were on speed. And for good reason: Max Martin with Savan Kotecha and Ilya produced both songs. Jessie J opens the song, but quickly hands the mike over to Grande. »


- Melinda Newman

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Best and Worst of 'Lucy': How does Scarlett Johansson fare?

15 hours ago

"Lucy" dominated the box office this past weekend, but is it a good watch? HitFix staffers weighed the bests and worsts to the many elements of this genre-mashing movie, with that car chase, Scarlett Johansson, Scarlett Johansson's jeans, Scarlett Johansson's genes, Luc Besson's knack for cheap footage, bad guys, Amr Waked and more. Click through the gallery below, and see where we agree: what did you think about the third act? And the gunplay? And the romance, if we can call it that? "Lucy" hit theaters on Friday (July 25). »


- Katie Hasty

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Chris Hemsworth: James Spader is 'so damn good' as Ultron that we applauded him on set

16 hours ago

San Diego - While we unfortunately didn't get a chance to catch up with "Avengers: Age of Ultron" baddie James Spader at San Diego Comic-Con over the weekend, we did manage to get a line on his performance from a reputable (if not exactly impartial) source: Chris Hemsworth. "He's so damn good, and he's so intelligent and witty and on it, you know?" Hemsworth effused. "He's incredible. I remember the first day on set watching him. He did this big scene and all of us were there basically listening and just started clapping at the end of it. He's brought a whole 'nother level to it, it's amazing." As for Paul Bettany's turn as the Vision...well, Hemsworth couldn't say much. (Read: anything.) "I mean he basically is artificial intelligence, and uhm...he's able to kinda..." Hemsworth stumbled. "Well actually, I can't talk about Vision too much. I was »


- Chris Eggertsen

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John Oliver Reminds Us: We Suck at Taking Care of Nukes

16 hours ago

John Oliver spent 15 minutes yesterday on a somewhat pressing issue: nuclear weapons. Turns out some of the methods we use to take care of them are dubious as hell! I'll be. If you think it's unnerving when Oliver invokes the term "floppy disks" in earnest, wait until he gets to the part about Beatles cover bands. Serious! This is serious! »


- Louis Virtel

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Zoe Saldana is a happy underdog with a secret in 'Guardians Of The Galaxy'

16 hours ago

When I visited the set of "Guardians Of The Galaxy," one of the things that struck me about my conversation with Zoe Saldana was how concerned she was with Gamora's aesthetic impact. More specifically, she really wanted her to be pretty. Seems, then, a natural place to start when discussing the finished film with the busiest woman in science-fiction. Saldana's been working for a while, but with "Avatar," "Star Trek," and now "Guardians," she's cornered the market on a certain kind of character. She can be violent and deadly and powerful, but she is also always deeply empathetic, able to open that up and really project a feeling of nurturing and understanding. She is also, I'm sure she'd be happy to hear, powerfully charismatic and attractive in person. There's something delicate about her, but it's something she seems to choose. It's obvious she can be powerful, and there are sequences »


- Drew McWeeny

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Josh Brolin on 'Sin City 2' and 'Guardians': 'I'm spoiled now'

17 hours ago

San Diego - Josh Brolin donned Thanos' fists during the Marvel panel at Comic-Con this past weekend, but earlier in the day, he appeared in black-and-white. As previously reported, co-directors Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller presented new clips and a new trailer for "Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For," and Brolin appeared as Dwight McCarthy. Or, rather, as the "different" Dwight: Clive Owen played the comic book character in the first 2005 film. "It's not a new face, it's a different face. I don't put the two together... We're all actors trying to get a job," Brolin explained on the red carpet ahead of the presentation. His "job" ethos extended into this fruitful new period of acting in his life. Brolin has the new Coen Brothers film "Hail, Caesar" lined up, just finished up on "Guardians of the Galaxy," will be seen in "Inherent Vice" this fall... and he's thankful for the work. »


- Katie Hasty

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Cate Blanchett on unleashing Galadriel's dark side in 'Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies'

17 hours ago

San Diego - As Cate Blanchett warned during the "Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies" panel at San Diego Comic-Con over the weekend, fans should prepare for Galadriel to "lose her shit" in Peter Jackson's forthcoming finale. As a matter of fact, they should probably prepare for pretty much anything. "As Pete [Jackson] says, there's a lot of invention in this film and augmentation," said Blanchett. "So no one necessarily comes out unscathed or alive or dead or anything can happen." Indeed, Galadriel wasn't even a character in J.R.R. Tolkien's 1937 novel - though given the "invention" and "augmentation" Blanchett mentions, it sounds like the Elf leader will get quite a showcase in the fantasy threequel. "You get a sense in the very, very first 'Lord of the Rings' film that Galadriel has this dark side of her," said Blanchett of her character's journey. "I mean, things are only good if they've been tested. »


- Chris Eggertsen

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Legendary sets up a possible 'Avengers' style crossover for King Kong and Godzilla

17 hours ago

While I wouldn't exactly call it a shock, it is a thrill to see Legendary come out strong and stake their claim on "Godzilla 2." The real treat of them going back for a second film is going to be seeing how Toho lets them play with the other toys in the toy box. One of the things that became clear as they showed their "secret" Monarch footage today is that they have big plans for the Godzilla series. Gareth Edwards has a very dry British wit, and that was on full display when he did his taped message for the audience from San Francisco where he's supposedly supervising the rebuilding of the city. He talked about how he needed to take a break from the pressure of working on high-profile properties that fanboys will have opinions about, a lovely nod to his impending "Star Wars" adventure, and then was interrupted by Godzilla, »


- Drew McWeeny

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Daniel Radcliffe took photos at Comic Con as Spider-Man and nobody knew it was him

18 hours ago

San Diego — After years of false starts, Daniel Radcliffe finally made it to Comic-Con. The "Harry Potter" star was never able to physically make it to the massive pop culture festival while shooting the iconic film series because their production always conflicted with the convention's July dates. The 25-year-old actor doesn't necessarily have more free time on his hand these days, but he made his inaugural visit to talk about his upcoming fantasy thriller "Horns." Radcliffe took some time to speak to HitFix about his new movie, his first Comic-Con and a "never say never" in the video interview at the top of this post. What was most surprising was Radcliffe's initial revelation that he'd already explored the convention but in costume. "I went around as Spider-Man and took some photos with people," Radcliffe admits. "It was quite fun. It was like that and Halloween are the only time I »


- Gregory Ellwood

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'Batman '66: The Complete TV Series' release: Adam West knows what you want

18 hours ago

(Cbr) Batman, Robin and Catwoman took over Hall H, and fans couldn't have been happier. Adam West, Burt Ward and Julie Newmar headlined Thursday's San Diego Comic-Con International panel celebrating the Nov. 11 launch of "Batman '66: The Complete Television Series" on Blu-ray.   "Fans always ask me, 'When can we own the series? When is it coming to [Blu-ray]?'" West told the Hall H crowd, adding that he is now very happy to have an answer for those patient fans.   Moderator and Los Angeles radio personality Ralph Garman introduced the panelists -- Newmar was escorted on stage by two "Henchman" wearing masks -- then West surprised fans by giving a shout out to another Catwoman in the crowd -- Lee Meriwether -- and then treated the excited crowd to both behind-the-scenes stories and clips from the remastered episodes.   As much as fans were excited to see the celebrities on stage, »


- Philip Pirrello, Comic Book Resources

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Ben Kingsley Reveals His Trick to Playing Dastardly Roles

19 hours ago

Sir Ben Kingsley, the legendary actor who won an Academy Award for his second role on film in "Gandhi," seems to approach every role with a fearless pursuit of depth and vulnerability. Even in the upcoming animated film "The Boxtrolls," his dastardliness as pest exterminator Archibald Snatcher comes alive thanks to his booming, authoritative voice. We talked to Kingsley at Comic-Con to discuss the upcoming film from Laika (the same folks who brought you "Coraline" and "ParaNorman"), his favorite actor, and what we can expect from his vocal work as Bagheera in the new "Jungle Book."  »


- Louis Virtel

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New 'Constantine' trailer raises hell on NBC: Watch

19 hours ago

(Cbr) During Saturday's three-hour "Night of DC Entertainment" panel at Comic-Con, Warner Bros. Television premiered a new trailer for "Constantine" that may win over a few skeptics. Although it contains some footage we've seen before, this preview is faster-paced, emphasizing the horror elements and John Constantine's struggles while playing down the role of actress Lucy Griffiths, whose character Liv has been written out of the NBC supernatural drama. Developed by Daniel Cerone and David S. Goyer, "Constantine" stars Matt Ryan, Harold Perrineau and Charles Halford. It premieres Oct. 24 on NBC. Based on the wildly popular comic book series "Hellblazer" from DC Comics, seasoned demon hunter and master of the occult John Constantine (Matt Ryan, "Criminal Minds") is armed with a ferocious knowledge of the dark arts and a wickedly naughty wit. He fights the good fight - or at least he did. With his soul already damned to hell, »


- Kevin Melrose, Comic Book Resources

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