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TV Review: ‘The Sound of Music Live!’
It’s a long way back to Mary Martin as Peter Pan, but the notion of a live TV musical — with all the inherent risk that entails — still contains more than a little magic. So give NBC credit for tackling the challenge, in trump-the-dvr-age fashion, with “The Sound of Music Live!,” even if the actual production too often felt as lifeless as those alpine backdrops. Part of that has to do with mounting a stage production on TV — even with the benefit of swooping camera angles — and part the casting, with Carrie Underwood handling the vocal chores more ably than the acting.
Produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron — who have done their all to prove musicals can thrive on screen, from “Chicago” to (less successfully) NBC’s “Smash” — the production was certainly handsome and polished, although in a sense, that worked against the live element. Sure, you might have »
- Brian Lowry
Global Showbiz Briefs: Warner Bros UK Preps Inaugural Creative Talent Initiative; Hugh Bonneville Reprising ‘Twenty Twelve’ Role; More
Warner Bros UK Gears Up For Creative Talent Initiative Warner Bros UK has recruited its first group of scholars, apprentices and trainees for the inaugural season of Warner Bros Creative Talent. The first selection will participate in the program to gain industry insight and work experience across Warner’s UK film, TV, games and theater operations. The initiative is part of Warner Bros’ long-term commitment to the UK’s creative industries. Among the first folks chosen to take part are students Rienkje Attoh, Sam Coleman and Sam Hughes who are receiving the first Prince William Scholarships supported by BAFTA and Warner Bros. Four others will work as camera trainees and sound trainees on Ron Howard’s Heart Of The Sea and Guy Ritchie’s Man From U.N.C.L.E. More information on the program is available here. Hugh Bonneville Back As Ian Fletcher In BBC’s ‘W1A »
- NANCY TARTAGLIONE, International Editor
'Grey's Anatomy': Why I'm okay with Cristina hooking up with an intern
Now before you start grabbing your pitchforks and flaming torches and beating down my proverbial door in the comments section, let me explain. I wasn't okay with "Crane" or whatever their shipping name is until Thursday (Dec. 5) night's all-new episode, "Man on the Moon." It seemed weird, and awkward, and pathetic, and not right at all before that. But after their little happy dance over their successful, groundbreaking surgery, and Cristina and Meredith's fight over Shane's attitude, Crane grew on me.
Since it seems like "Grey's Anatomy" is going to keep Cristina and Meredith apart for Oh's final season (still not okay with that decision), Cristina needs someone in her corner, and Shane is that person. He's pushing her to be the best surgeon she can be, and in turn, he's »
Scandal Recap: I'm Friends With the Monster
This week on ABC’s Scandal, Quinn was pressed to tell the tooth, Cyrus’ honeypot trap stung someone unexpectedly hard and Olivia’s mother of a reunion stirred up an explosive memory.
Quinnterrogation | Wise to Quinn’s alliance with Charlie, Huck binds and gags her in the name of offering a “friends and family” discount on his torture skills. “I’m so sorry,” he sorta-apologizes, “because I’m going to enjoy this,” marring her “fresh, new and soft” skin (and licking her temple for good measure). Quinn is »
- Matt Webb Mitovich
NBC’s ‘The Sound Of Music’ Celebrates Live TV, Glitches And All
NBC’s live The Sound of Music starring Carrie Underwood had a few hitches tonight. The orchestra occasionally drowned out the singers in the early going, the sound sputtered a few times, and they really should have re-thought those Von Trapp family-esque Walmart ads. Stephen Moyer and that Nazi bigwig fumbled their will-you-or-will-you-not-join-the-Navy cross-talk act, some guy momentarily pinned The Baroness when he stepped on the train of her beautiful evening gown (“Whoops!” giggled Laura Benanti, handling it like a pro). And, as an actress, American Idol alum Underwood is an enormously talented singer. Related: Producers Craig Zadan & Neil Meron On ‘The Sound Of Music’ On the other hand, had NBC gone with the real Von Trapp family’s choice to play Maria – Anne Hathaway — that little cute little actress playing Gretl would not have come across as the next Ethel Barrymore. Nor would Moyer be up for a Medal »
- LISA DE MORAES, TV Columnist
Glee Recap: 'That Was the Most Sacrilegious and Profane Horror Show I Have Ever Seen' [Updated]
A ripped, waxed bisexual Santa with an appetite for hot, buttered rum and grand larceny. A Supremes tribute featuring a sequined and pregnant transgendered student birthing out the Messiah — to the beat of “Love Child.” A living nativity kicked off with the announcement, “Virgin in the house, bitches!”
Nope, Glee‘s “Previously Unaired Christmas” wasn’t exactly traditional — and in some corners might be labeled blasphemous — but would you forgive me if I admitted to a couple of genuine belly laughs during the whole crazy, probably misguided hour?
For those of »
- Michael Slezak
Was Sound of Music Live! Music to Your Ears?
From the moment that NBC announced its plans for The Sound of Music Live! fans of the Julie Andrews classic have been kicking its Alps (even though this production is based on the 1959 stage musical, not the 1965 movie). “How do you solve a problem like Carrie Underwood as Maria?” would-be critics asked as if there were no acceptable answer.
Now that the three-hour extravaganza has aired, however, you can say with the certitude of someone who’s actually watched the show whether all »
- Andy Patrick
Grey's Anatomy Recap: Sister Attacked
In this week’s Grey’s Anatomy, not only do Jackson and Matthew get competitive over a roadside tracheotomy, but the Kepner sisters descend on Grey+Sloan for April’s bridal shower. And, though the wife-to-be manages to make it through the hour without prescribing herself a sedative, she doesn’t do so without making a big change to her wedding party. Who’s in, and who’s out? Read on…
Video | Grey’s Anatomy‘s Sara Ramirez Talks HerOwn Expiring Contract, Life After Arizona (With…Owen?!)
Twisted Sister | From the get-go, the Kepner girls are so annoying (fawning over »
- Andy Patrick
'The Vampire Diaries' recap: Damon's dark, secret revenge is revealed while one couple reignites their passion
We knew that Damon wasn't the perfect guy on "The Vampire Diaries," but we've always excused his behavior before since it was in the name of saving himself, Elena, his brother Stefan, or anyone else. But what we learned from Thursday (Dec. 5) night's episode, "The Cell," changed everything.
After he was re-caught by Wes and the Augustine society, we learned about Damon's first imprisonment in the basement on campus at Whitmore College. Flashback to ... after Damon abandoned Stefan on a train track during WWII (remember Lexi made Damon realize he wasn't good for Stefan's recovery back then). One of his ancestors lured Damon back to Mystic Falls and sold him out to the Augustine society for money. Don't worry: the cowardly Salvatore was murdered by Damon before Stefan showed up to get vervained as well, but Damon wasn't so lucky to escape. A random doctor, Dr. Whitmore to be precise, »
The X Factor Top 6 Results Recap: Did the Right Two Acts Go Home This Week?
“Wow! I gotta say — at this stage of the competition, all the results are a shock. And we still have one more act to lose tonight,” exclaimed a breathless Mario Lopez a mere 15 minutes into tonight’s The X Factor Top 6 results telecast.
Related | The X Factor Top 6 Performance Recap: I Stand Here Waiting for You to Bang the Gong
Typically, the hostbot’s dramatic proclamations carry about as much weight as the sneeze of a freshly hatched baby robin. But in this case, yeah, the episode’s initial elimination was a doozy — enough to send Kelly “The Gif Factor” Rowland into an extended jaw-dropped, »
- Michael Slezak
Olympic champ McKayla Maroney previews 'Bones' guest spot -- Exclusive Video
McKayla Maroney might be in big trouble on this week’s episode of Bones.
In the episode, airing Friday, the gold medalist finds herself on the wrong end of one of Booth and Brennan’s investigations after a fellow gymnast meets her end. In the exclusive preview below, Maroney, who was part of the 2012 gold medal-winning U.S. women’s olympic gymnastics team and brief Internet sensation, admits to her Bones obsession and talks about her day on the set. »
- Sandra Gonzalez
‘Sound of Music Live’: Sing Along with Twitter
NBC’s staging of “The Sound of Music Live” is generating a steady stream of Twitter commentary, ranging from snark to swooning over the classic tunes featured in the beloved musical about a nun-turned-governess who helps an Austrian family learn to sing and escape the Nazis.
A few studios banked on a big turnout for the tuner starring Carrie Underwood and Stephen Moyer to serve as a platform for pic ads. Disney gave a big plug for its “Mary Poppins” tale for “Saving Mr. Banks” (make that three), while CBS Films’ plugged its Oscar hopeful “Inside Llewyn Davis.” There were also blurbs for “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” and “Frozen.”
For the live East Coast airing, there was plenty of criticism about Underwood not being up to snuff for the lead role and the production not measuring up to the 1965 Julie Andrews pic. And there was chatter about the »
- Cynthia Littleton
Regina King Joins FX Series ‘The Strain’
Southland alumna Regina King is set to recur on FX‘s new drama series The Strain, from Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan and Carlton Cuse. The Strain is a high-concept thriller that tells the story of Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll), the head of the Centers for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City. He and his team are called on to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. King will play Ruby Wain, the smart and accomplished manager of philandering rock star Gabriel Bolivar (Jack Kesy). Also cast as a recurring on the series is Melanie Merkosky as Jim Kent’s (Sean Astin) wife Sylvia, who is suffering from cancer. She is repped by The Characters Talent Agency in Toronto. King, repped by ICM Partners, John Carrabino and Del Shaw, also is starring in Lifetime’s The Gabby Douglas Story. »
- NELLIE ANDREEVA
'The X Factor' Top 6 results: Did Ellona Santiago, Rion Paige, Carlito Olivero go home?
Another week, another brutal double elimination on "The X Factor." With six very talented acts left, it was inevitable that someone surprising would wind up on the bottom. Who made it to the semifinals? Find out which acts from the Top 6 moved on to the next round below.
First up, the hardest cut: the bottom vote-getter. Proving the oft-heard statement that no one is safe, surprisingly it's a shocked Ellona Santiago who gets the swift boot. She had a solid night performing, but since she didn't stand out like Alex and Sierra and she didn't screw up (well, no one really screwed up -- but she didn't really get any bad feedback), the audience just assumed she'd be safe. She wasn't.
Top Moments: Blacklist Has Serious Daddy Issues
Our top moments of the week:
14. Worst Name-Dropping: Country diva Juliette exerts her power over reality star Layla by switching sets and stealing her duet with boyfriend Will on Nashville. In return, Layla anonymously calls TMZ and reveals that it was Juliette who broke up the marriage of one of the country's most well-known couples. At least this will make good material for a song?
13. Worst Missed Connection: Yes, everyone knows that Simon Cowell loves to be mean. But the acerbic judge accidentally takes it too...
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- Joyce Eng and Kate Stanhope
Remembering Madiba: Paul Simon, Bill Clinton, P. Diddy, more share thoughts on Nelson Mandela
The passing of former South African President Nelson Mandela at the age of 95, touched people all over the world and celebrities took to Twitter and other social media networks to honor the late activist. Read on for statements from Bill Clinton, Anderson Cooper, Paul Simon, John Legend, and more. Morgan Freeman, who played Mandela in Invictus, also shared his thoughts in a statement released to the press earlier on Thursday.
I met him once, in February 1995. He’d not long been President of the new Republic of South Africa and a debate was on to write the new constitution. A »
- Jake Perlman
'Community' Season 5 guest stars: Who is the most-anticipated?
"Community" has cast Chris Elliott ("Eagleheart") for Season 5 of the comedy. But Elliott is not alone -- of the many guest stars announced for the upcoming season, who is the most anticipated of all?
For the record, Elliott will be playing Russell Borchert, the legendary founder of Greendale Community College. He went missing many years earlier, following a strange sex scandal. According to EW.com, the episode telling the tale of Borchert will most likely air in May of 2014.
But where does Chris Elliott rank when it comes to anticipated guest stars on "Community." Check out our list of 10 of the other big stars and then vote for your most-anticipated actor below!
Probably the first guest star we'll see, Banks is taking up the mantle of "crazy, »
McKayla Maroney Flips Out Over Bones Guest Spot: "It Was an Amazing Experience"
"I had strep throat when I went in. I didn't know my lines or anything!" Maroney tells TVGuide.com. "I kind of just winged it. I honestly had no idea how I did. ... So when I got the part, I was so excited."
The Olympic gold medalist and meme queen guest-stars on Friday's episode (8/7c, Fox) as Ellie, a gymnast who becomes Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and Booth's (David Boreanaz) prime suspect after her rival Amanda is murdered. And not just murdered — her remains ...
Read More > »
- Joyce Eng
Morgan Freeman on Nelson Mandela, plus a tribute to Madiba with the actors who've played him -- Video
Today the world lost one of the true giants of the past century. Nelson Mandela was a man of incomparable honor, unconquerable strength, and unyielding resolve—a saint to many, a hero to all who treasure liberty, freedom and the dignity of humankind. As we remember his triumphs, let us, in his memory, not just reflect on how far we’ve come, but on how far we have to go. Madiba »
- Jake Perlman
'The Sound of Music Live!' live blog: Carrie Underwood, Stephen Moyer take the stage
"The Sound of Music Live!" is a one-time, one-shot event starting at 8pm Et, and we're going to be here throughout the entire thing, because we are unabashed fans of the movie and the stage production.
Be aware (as we are): this show is not a remake of the classic movie starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. This is a live television event starring Carrie Underwood and Stephen Moyer, and we're excited about what they have in store.
But let's be realistic. We're going to compare this to the movie, aren't we? We can't help it. The movie is burned in our collective consciousness. But we promise to be open-minded. We already like the pictures with Carrie's braids.
So, get your apple strudel and schnitzel with noodles (or popcorn,) set your DVR so you can watch it again later, and settle in for the three-hour production!
8:00 p.m. »
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