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"American Idol": The Judges, Not The Judged

By admin Published: January 28, 2011

We've gone through week two of "American Idol," with auditions from Milwaukee and Nashville, and it's pretty clear that the auditions are less about the singers right now than they are about us getting to know and like the judges. Some thoughts after the jump.

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Redford Talks at Sundance

By admin Published: January 27, 2011

Basically a prolonged promo, but how about that hat?

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Will Ferrell on "The Office"

By admin Published: January 27, 2011

The official word: Comedic actor/producer/writer Will Ferrell will guest-star over an arc of episodes on NBC’s Emmy Award-winning “The Office” (Thursdays, 9-9:30 p.m. ET) as a branch manager who arrives from the home office and proves to be just as inappropriate as Michael (Golden Globe winner Steve Carell).

Ferrell will re-team with Carell, who co-starred with Ferrell in the feature film “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.”

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Perry, Priestley Set Facebook Chat

By admin Published: January 27, 2011

They're promoting a movie starring Perry, with Priestley directing. The official word:

“Goodnight for Justice,” a Hallmark Movie Channel Original Premiere, starring Luke Perry, directed by Jason Priestley, has its World Television Premiere, Saturday January 29 (8 p.m. ET/PT, 7C) exclusively on Hallmark Movie Channel. To celebrate the film, Perry and Priestley will host a national, one-of-a-kind red carpet premiere party in a LIVE CHAT hosted on Hallmark Movie Channel’s Facebook page that same day beginning at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT. The live chat is powered by Livestream and hosted by Stacey Gualandi (former co-host “Inside Edition”).

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Wednesday Notebook

By admin Published: January 26, 2011

Odds and ends from the email: "The Talk" is renewed, HBO sets a McEnroe/Borg documentary, ESPN's new deal with Hannah Storm, and "Superstar Women of Country." Details after the jump.

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Conway Salutes Borgnine

By admin Published: January 26, 2011

The "McHale's Navy" co-stars will be together at the SAG Awards on Sunday. The official word: Tim Conway will introduce the tribute to Screen Actors Guild’s 47th Life Achievement Award recipient Ernest Borgnine at the 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards®, executive producer and director Jeff Margolis announced today.

Conway joins a growing roster of actors who will honor their colleagues at the 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards that already includes Scott Bakula, Alec Baldwin, Jeff Bridges, Rosario Dawson, Josh Duhamel, Angie Harmon, Eva Longoria, Cory Monteith, Amy Poehler, Hilary Swank, Betty White and SAG President Ken Howard.

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HeldenFiles Live!

By jim Published: January 26, 2011

"Like Dandelion Dust" on DVD, Barry Pepper, more.

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CBS Thinks Valentine's Day Is Time for "Mad Love"

By admin Published: January 26, 2011

The official word: CBS's new comedy, MAD LOVE, will now premiere on Valentine's Day, Monday, Feb. 14 (8:30-9:00 PM, ET/PT), one week earlier than previously announced.

"It’s a marketing-driven move that makes scheduling sense. A 'Mad Love' premiere on Valentine’s Day offers some great promotional and thematic tie-ins," said Kelly Kahl, Senior Executive Vice President, CBS Primetime.

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"Wipeout" Casting Call

By admin Published: January 25, 2011

You, too, can slam your sensitive areas into giant props. Doggone right, you should bring a health insurance card.
The official word: The producers of the ABC hit reality series “Wipeout” are on a casting search to find dynamic men and women to participate in the upcoming fourth season. Potential contestants should be fun, strong-willed, outgoing, and have a great sense of humor. We’re also looking to cast engaged couples, father/daughter teams and mother/son teams. You can apply by following either of these two steps:
STEP 1: Go to www.mysticartpictures.com and fill out an online profile and application. Be sure to upload a picture to your profile as well.

STEP 2: You may attend one of our open call events listed below. You will need to print out a copy of your completed application and bring it with you, along with a copy of your driver's license and health insurance card (if you have it).

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"127 Hours" Sets Post-Oscar DVD/Blu-ray Release

By admin Published: January 25, 2011

The film with James Franco, which is also returning to theaters, got six Oscar nominations today, including best picture, adapted screenplay and, for Franco, best actor.

The official word: From the Academy Award®-winning director of Slumdog Millionaire, Danny Boyle, and starring James Franco in a “tour de force performance” (Associated Press), comes one of the most “triumphant and enthralling” (Rolling Stone) movies of the year. Nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Actor (Franco), 127 HOURS is an edge-of-your seat cinematic experience that recounts one man’s harrowing story of survival. This “exceptional film” (Wall Street Journal) will be available on Blu-ray Disc and DVD on March 1 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.
Based on true events, 127 Hours follows Aron Ralston, a dare-devil outdoorsman who gets trapped under a boulder while canyoneering alone in the Utah mountains. As hours turn into days, Ralston embarks on a personal journey in which he relies on the memories of family and friends – as well as his own courage and ingenuity - to turn adversity into triumph!

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"Jersey Shore" Europe Announcement

By admin Published: January 25, 2011

I am, of course, wondering what Mark Twain and Henry James would say. The official word:

MTV today announced the Season Four greenlight of its record-breaking series “Jersey Shore.” Set to begin production Spring 2011 in Europe, the hit show will film in Italy and air later this year. Going beyond the East Coast beachfront culture MTV viewers turned into a television phenomenon, America’s most talked about housemates are leaving the boardwalk behind for the piazzas of Italy. Poised to get their G.T.L. on abroad, ready to drop in on Vinny’s family for a famous Guadagnino dinner and excited to trade gorillas for Italian stallions, this wacky and dysfunctional family is about to turn “the beautiful country” upside down.

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More Finding Oscar Nominees

By admin Published: January 25, 2011

Supporting actor: "The Fighter" (Christian Bale) and "The King's Speech" (Geoffrey Rush) are in theaters. "Winter's Bone" (John Hawkes), "The Town" (Jeremy Renner), "The Kids Are All Right" (Mark Ruffalo) are on video.

Supporting actress: "The Fighter" (Amy Adams and Melissa Leo), "King's Speech" (Helena Bonham Carter), "True Grit" (Hailee Steinfeld) are in theaters. "Animal Kingdom" (Jacki Weaver) is on video. See my latest "HeldenFiles Live" video post, below, for more about Weaver and "Animal Kingdom."

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Where Can You Find Nominees? (Updated Again)

By admin Published: January 25, 2011

Of the 10 best picture nominees, "Inception," "The Kids Are All Right," "The Social Network' (which also returns to theaters on Friday), "Toy Story 3" and "Winter's Bone" are on DVD/Blu-ray. "Black Swan," "The Fighter," "The King's Speech" and "True Grit" are in theaters. "127 Hours" (six nominations total) is expected back in theaters Friday; I'm told it will be in Cinemark Valley View and Tinseltown North Canton, among other theaters. It will also get a post-Oscar video release on March 1.

Best actors nominees include four in movies mentioned above: Jeff Bridges in "True Grit," Jesse Eisenberg in "Social Network," Colin Firth in "King's Speech," James Franco in "127 Hours." Javier Bardem in "Biutiful" hits Cedar Lee on Feb. 4.

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Oscar Trivia

By admin Published: January 25, 2011

Box Office Mojo has its lists of the grosses for films in major nominated categories here.

From the Motion Picture Academy:

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Oscar Nominees

By admin Published: January 25, 2011

You can find the list here. After the jump I have posted the nominations by picture.
"King's Speech" tops with 12, "True Grit" 10, "Social Network" and "Inception" 8 each.

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Monday Notebook

By admin Published: January 24, 2011

R.I.P., Jack LaLanne. I remember watching his exercise show at times in the old days -- in my head, Jack LaLanne is in black-and-white -- and his more recent infomercials were, of course, inescapable. But his enthusiasm always seemed to be in good cause. He really did want us to eat better, exercise more, live longer. And he made it to 96, so who's going to argue with him?

Had a busy weekend. Included going to the Akron men's basketball game on Saturday night and saw them manage a win that was by no means a certainty. But most of it involved working on my master's thesis, buried deep in Henry James' "Daisy Miller" and Mark Twain's "The Innocents Abroad." On TV, caught up on some things, including "Community" and "30 Rock" this morning; loved the sweater joke on "Community" even more than the "Boogie Nights" reference.

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Olbermann Out at MSNBC

By admin Published: January 21, 2011

No explanation of why the commentator is leaving now. But new leadership is coming to the NBC family with the Comcast merger. And he has clashed with bosses and has had a history of burning bridges. In any case, here's the MSNBC statement:

MSNBC and Keith Olbermann have ended their contract. The last broadcast of "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" will be this evening. MSNBC thanks Keith for his integral role in MSNBC's success and we wish him well in his future endeavors.

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The HeldenFiles Live!

By jim Published: January 21, 2011

American Idol: Week 1

By jim Published: January 21, 2011

Malcolm X Abram and I discuss the first week of American Idol judging with Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez joining the show.

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Halle Berry Getting Award from Costume Designers

By admin Published: January 20, 2011

Info in second paragraph. The official word:

Nominees for the 13th Annual Costume Designers Guild Awards were announced today by the Costume Designers Guild. The winners will be revealed at the star-studded Awards gala hosted by Kristin Davis, with Lacoste as presenting sponsor, on Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at the Beverly Hilton.

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Watching TV: "Perfect Couples," "Fairly Legal," More

By admin Published: January 20, 2011

Bunch of new TV tonight, including the second night of Season 10 of "American Idol," the NBC sitcom "Perfect Couples," USA's "Fairly Legal" and the return of "Parks and Recreation" and "Royal Pains." Comments follow the jump.

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Anne Hathaway Joins "Dark Knight Rises"

By admin Published: January 19, 2011

The official word: Warner Bros. Pictures announced today that Anne Hathaway has been cast as Selina Kyle in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises.” She will be starring alongside Christian Bale, who returns in the title role of Bruce Wayne/Batman.

Christopher Nolan stated, “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Anne Hathaway, who will be a fantastic addition to our ensemble as we complete our story.”

In addition, Tom Hardy has been set to play Bane. Nolan said, “I am delighted to be working with Tom again and excited to watch him bring to life our new interpretation of one of Batman’s most formidable enemies.”

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Wednesday Notebook

By admin Published: January 19, 2011

Today's print HeldenFiles, with notes about "Hot in Cleveland," "Retired at 35," Jennifer Lopez letting her kids model for Gucci and more, is here.

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HBO2 Sets "Hard Knocks" Jets Replay

By admin Published: January 19, 2011

It will precede the Jets/Steelers AFC championship game. The official word:

HBO Sports®, which presented the acclaimed reality series HARD KNOCKS: TRAINING CAMP WITH THE NEW YORK JETS last summer, will replay all five hour-long episodes back-to-back on the HBO2 service Saturday, Jan. 22 , starting at 3:00 p.m. ET/PT. The five-hour marathon (rated TV-MA) will air the day before the AFC Championship Game in Pittsburgh between the Jets and the Steelers.

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Ravenna Woman Wins $17K on "Millionaire"

By admin Published: January 19, 2011

The official word: Kathi Smith, a substitute teacher from Ravenna, OH, ... made it up to the eighth question but decided to not take a guess and walked home with half of her accumulated Millionaire Bank, which had risen to $34,600. Kathi won $17,300. If she had made it to the second round of the game (questions 11-14), she would have been able to keep her entire Millionaire Bank.

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"Law & Order: LA," "Marriage Ref" Delayed

By admin Published: January 19, 2011

From NBC: NBC announced that it will continue with new episodes of “Parenthood” on Tuesdays (10-11 p.m. ET) for the remainder of the season. “Law & Order: Los Angeles,” which was previously scheduled to resume in that day and time beginning February 8, will return on a day to be determined.

In addition, the new alternative competition series “America’s Next Great Restaurant” will debut on Sunday, March 6 (8-9 p.m. ET) instead of the previously announced Wednesday, March 16 (9-10 p.m. ET). “The Marriage Ref” – which was intended to return for its second season on Sunday, March 6 (8-9 p.m. ET) -- will return at a later date.

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"Amazing Race" Announces "Unfinished Business" Cast

By admin Published: January 19, 2011

This round of the show, which premieres Feb. 20, brings back teams from recent seasons who intrigued viewers but did not win -- many from the 14th season. They include Gary and Mallory (Season 17), LaKisha and Jennifer (Season 14), Jet and Cord (the "Cowboys," Season 16), Jaime and Cara, also Season 14), Herb and Nate (the Globetrotters, Season 15), Ron and Christina (Season 12), Kent and Vyxsin (Season 12), Zev and Justin (Season 15), Margie and Luke (Season 14), Mel and Mike (Season 14) and Amanda and Kris (Season 14).

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"Top Shot" Season 2 on 2/8, With Another NE Ohio Player

By admin Published: January 18, 2011

The official word: The hit competition series from HISTORY is rearmed and reloaded. Sixteen fearless marksmen, carefully selected from thousands of applicants, will aim for the $100,000 prize package and the title of “Top Shot.” The all-new cast of 14 men and two women includes a 10-time NRA pistol champ, two former world shooting champs, a Texas cop, a Jersey shore Air Force sniper, a Bronze Star recipient, and representatives from four branches of the military.

The 13-week series premieres Tuesday, February 8 at 10pm ET on HISTORY.

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Regis Philbin Leaving Morning Show

By admin Published: January 18, 2011

"I'm not going to retire," he said. "I'm just going to be gone. ... I should have said, I'm not retiring, I'm just moving on."

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Monday Notebook: "Harry's Law" and Other Topics

By admin Published: January 17, 2011

Above, an "SNL" video I enjoyed. Not that I watched the entire show. Gwyneth Paltrow was the host, and life's too short, so I just checked for online highlights. One more reason why I love online video. And another: skipping the Golden Globes, then picking up what looks most interesting the morning after. Look, as much as the awards may give some people needed validation (any praise for Chris Colfer, for instance, is deserved), the awards are still a joke, and Ricky Gervais was on the money about the way those few Golden Globes voters can be manipulated. So at this point I have limited myself to his funny, semi-mean opening monologue.

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"Upstairs, Downstairs" Complete-Series Reissue Set

By admin Published: January 13, 2011

The official word: The most popular and successful British drama series in television history, Upstairs, Downstairs Complete Series: 40th Anniversary Edition arrives on DVD from Acorn Media on March 29, 2011, featuring more than 25 hours of never-before-seen extras and collectible packaging with gold foil. Winner of seven Emmy® Awards, two BAFTAs, a Golden Globe, and a Peabody, Upstairs, Downstairs tells the epic saga of life in Edwardian England. The series inspired the recent hit Downton Abbey and the contemporary and highly-anticipated BBC revival of the same name beginning on PBS’ Masterpiece Classic on April 10th. The beloved ITV drama series captivated viewers for five heart-tugging, humorous and satisfying seasons from 1971 to 1975 and has been seen by a billion people in 40 countries worldwide. The 21-disc collection contains all five series, in addition to a 5-part behind-the-scenes documentary, 24 episode commentaries, 25th anniversary retrospective, interviews with the stars and creators, and much more ($199.99; www.AcornOnline.com).

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Cinematheque Sets "Goats" Event

By admin Published: January 13, 2011

The official word: The Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque and the Cleveland Council on World Affairs will present a special screening of the 2009 George Clooney/Jeff Bridges comedy THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS on Monday, January 31, at 7:00 pm in CIA's Aitken Auditorium, 11141 East Boulevard in University Circle. John B. Alexander, a retired U.S. Army colonel and intelligence expert who was one of the real-life military men who inspired Clooney's character in the movie, will appear in person to answer questions after the screening.

The film, a Strangelovian military farce about the development of paranormal techniques to be used during war, co-stars Ewan McGregor and Kevin Spacey and was based on a nonfiction book of the same title by Jon Ronson. John Alexander figures prominently in the book; he is a leading advocate for the development of non-lethal weapons.

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KISS Tribute Band at Akron Art Museum

By admin Published: January 13, 2011

The official word: Help Who Shot Rock close out with a bang as you join the KISS Army along with Mr. Speed, one of America’s finest KISS tribute bands, on Thursday, January 20 at 6:30 pm for a free concert in the museum’s Beatrice Knapp McDowell Grand Lobby.

The band, who performs in full 1976-77 era KISS makeup and costume, will leave you wanting to rock and roll all night – or at least until the museum closes! Bring your camera and wear your best KISS gear.

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Rob, Russell Return To "Survivor" & Other Notes

By admin Published: January 13, 2011

As was mentioned earlier this week, CBS announced 16 new players for "Survivor: Redemption Island" and said two former players would return. And the returners? Veterans and rivals "Boston Rob" Mariano and Russell Hantz. Which, since I have had enough of Russell, makes me cringe. The official word:

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Robin Swoboda Leaving Her Channel 8 Show

By admin Published: January 13, 2011

On Facebook late last night, she said, "Friday is my last show. Wow---that's weird to write. I am very thankful to Fox 8 for bringing me back, but the show is going in a different direction and it's not one I want to go in. Thanks to all who have watched and supported me! We'll keep in touch here, okay? XOXOXO"

The show, originally called "That's Life," began four years ago. After the jump I have posted an interview I did with her before the series premiered in 2007.

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"Big Bang Theory" Gets 3 More Years

By admin Published: January 12, 2011

The official word: CBS Entertainment and Warner Bros. Television have reached a multi-year broadcast agreement for the top-rated, critically acclaimed comedy, THE BIG BANG THEORY, it was announced today by Nina Tassler, President, CBS Entertainment, and Peter Roth, President, Warner Bros. Television.

The agreement renews THE BIG BANG THEORY for an additional three years, extending it through the 2013-2014 season.

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"Unstoppable" DVD/BD Feb. 15

By admin Published: January 12, 2011

Official word on the movie, shot partly in Ohio: With an unmanned, half-mile-long freight train barreling toward a city, all hope rides on the shoulders of two courageous men to prevent a catastrophe. UNSTOPPABLE is a high-intensity, action-packed thriller coming to Blu-ray and DVD from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment on February 15th.

Hang on for the ride of your life as Oscar winner Denzel Washington* and Chris Pine (Star Trek) team up for the year's most electrifying action-thriller. A runaway train, transporting deadly toxic chemicals, is barreling down on Scranton, Pennsylvania and only two men can stop it: a veteran engineer (Washington), and a young conductor (Pine.) Thousands of lives hang in the balance as these ordinary heroes attempt to chase down one million tons of hurtling steel and prevent an epic disaster. Helmed by visionary director Tony Scott (Man On Fire), this story inspired by actual events delivers excitement and suspense that are...UNSTOPPABLE!

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Black Keys on Colbert!

By admin Published: January 12, 2011

The movement toward global TV domination continues.

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Cleveland Film Festival Expands To All Tower City Cinemas

By admin Published: January 12, 2011

The official word: The Cleveland International Film Festival is thrilled to announce that in celebration of our 35th anniversary, and for the first time in our history, we will lease all eleven theaters at Tower City Cinemas. The Festival is taking this necessary step to accommodate the growing number of ticket holders during the eleven-day event, and to further increase the significant economic impact on downtown Cleveland.

In 2010 the 34th CIFF saw more than 71,500 admissions and the Festival hopes to provide ticket holders with more opportunities to catch their films of choice this year with the added theaters. Since 2003, the CIFF has experienced a104% increase in attendance (from 39,388 in 2003 to 71,554 in 2010), a 150% increase in membership (from 431 in 2003 to 1,004 in 2010), and a 101% increase in the “Call For Entries” film submissions (from 953 in 2003 to 1,723 in 2010).

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Mary Murphy Back on "SYTYCD"; Audition News

By admin Published: January 11, 2011

This was pretty much assumed when Mia Michaels said she was leaving again, but here's the official word: World-class dancer and choreographer Mary Murphy will return to SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE as one of the series’ resident judges. Murphy will sit alongside Nigel Lythgoe and draw upon her expertise to critique and praise the dancers throughout the competition.

“I am delighted to have Mary back on the show. Her expertise in dance, coupled with her warmth, compassion and humor, make her an excellent judge and fun to work with,” said Lythgoe, SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE co-creator, executive producer and judge.

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"American Idol" Telecast Details

By admin Published: January 11, 2011

AMERICAN IDOL is set to return for its tenth season with new judges, new talent and new surprises along the way. This season’s judges – Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler – are a triple-threat of credibility, chemistry and talent. Jimmy Iovine, chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M Records, whose career as a music producer and record executive is unparalleled, will serve as the in-house mentor. Hosted by Ryan Seacrest, the two-night season premiere kicks off with auditions from New York / New Jersey on Wednesday, Jan. 19 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and New Orleans on Thursday, Jan. 20 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

After the two-night premiere, auditions will continue for three weeks on Wednesdays and Thursdays beginning at 8:00 PM ET/PT.

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"Terra Nova" Preview in May

By admin Published: January 11, 2011

The official word: New family adventure-drama series TERRA NOVA will preview during a special two-night event Monday, May 23 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and Tuesday, May 24 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. The show will then premiere in the fall.

An epic family adventure 85 million years in the making, TERRA NOVA follows an ordinary family embarking on an incredible journey back in time to prehistoric Earth as a small part of a daring experiment to save the human race. In the year 2149 the world is dying. The planet is overdeveloped, overcrowded and overpolluted. With no known way to reverse the damage to the planet, scientists discover a portal to prehistoric Earth. This doorway leads to an amazing world, one that allows for a last-ditch effort to save the human race…a second chance to rebuild civilization and get it right this time.

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Fox Orders Second Season of "Raising Hope"

By admin Published: January 11, 2011

The official word on the funny show: FOX has ordered a second season of the critically acclaimed comedy RAISING HOPE, it was announced today by Kevin Reilly, President, Entertainment for Fox Broadcasting Company.

“RAISING HOPE has emerged as a comedic standout: wickedly smart, hilarious and full of heart,” said Reilly. “Greg Garcia and his great cast have established an appointment show on Tuesday nights this season, and we’re confident it’s just the beginning of great things to come.”

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Watching TV: "Lights Out"

By admin Published: January 11, 2011

I am a fan of boxing-themed entertainment, going back to at least "The Harder They Fall" and up through the "Rocky" movies and beyond. But when I saw "The Fighter" not long ago, I realized that the climactic fight in such productions is a bit of a letdown, not only because it completes the story but because the result has usually been foreshadowed. This raises movies like "The Great White Hype" in my estimation because the fight is a refreshing (and, in that case, hilarious) change; one of the reasons the first "Rocky" is so great is that Rocky's redemption does not require him to win the big fight, just to get through it with some pride and dignity.

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Ernie Kovacs DVD Set Coming

By admin Published: January 11, 2011

The official word: With a gift for inventive comedy that was alternately cerebral, goofy and just plain absurd, Ernie Kovacs (www.erniekovacs.com) transformed television’s early era into his own personal playground---and invited viewers to enjoy every sight gag and loony character.

Produced and distributed by Shout! Factory in association with Ediad Productions, Inc., the long-awaited The Ernie Kovacs Collection 6-DVD box set is set to debut in stores across North America on April 19, 2011. This DVD box set is now available to preorder at Amazon.com, ShoutFactoryStore.com, and other online retailers.

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Cast Set for Drew Carey's New Improv Show

By admin Published: January 11, 2011

Includes Kathy Kinney, Colin Mochrie, Greg Proops, Brad Sherwood, Ryan Stiles, all familiar from previous Carey improvs; Heather Anne Campbell, Chip Esten, Jonathan Mangum, Sean Masterson.

The official word: GSN (Game Show Network) and Drew Carey introduced today the line-up of talented actors and comedians who will join Carey in DREW CAREY’S IMPROV-A-GANZA, his new original, primetime daily strip show for GSN. Carey and his fellow cast members will create a lively, unpredictable and hilarious half-hour of improvised sketch comedy, complete with audience participation. DREW CAREY’S IMPROV-A-GANZA will premiere March 28, 2011 on GSN.

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ABC Family Renews "Liars," "Teenager"

By admin Published: January 10, 2011

All things considered, I would have preferred a renewal of "Huge." The official word: ABC Family has given new season orders to two of the network’s hit series, “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” which has been renewed for a fourth season, and “Pretty Little Liars,” which was picked-up for a second season. The new season orders were announced today by ABC Family President Michael Riley at the network’s TCA panel at The Langham Hotel in Pasadena.

“We’re incredibly excited to bring viewers new seasons of two of ABC Family’s most successful original series,” said Riley. “Supported by incredibly talented casts and crews, ‘The Secret Life of the American Teenager’s’ Brenda Hampton has an unparalleled voice in speaking to today’s Millennials, and our partnership with Alloy Entertainment and Warner Horizon continues to deliver an engaging and heart-stopping show keeping ‘Pretty Little Liars’ audiences on the edge of their seats.”

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ABC Renews 6 Series for 2011-12

By admin Published: January 10, 2011

ABC announced early pick-ups for the 2011-12 season of “Castle,” “Cougar Town,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Middle,” “Modern Family” and “Private Practice.”

A solid mix of promising new series and proven returning hits helped the network achieve a strong start to the 2010-11 TV season. Season to date among Adults 18-49, ABC delivers 4 of the Top 10 highest-rated TV shows, the most for any network, including the Top 2 scripted programs. In fact among young adults, the network claims TV’s No. 1 comedy (“Modern Family”), the No. 1 drama (“Grey’s Anatomy”) and the No. 1 unscripted series (“Dancing with the Stars”). In Total Viewers, the network airs 2 of the Top 4 programs, including America’s No. 1 most-watched TV show overall with “Dancing with the Stars.” Led by Emmy-winning “Modern Family,” ABC’s 2-hour Wednesday night comedy block continues to resonate with viewers in its second year, surging by 15% in Total Viewers and by 14% in the key Adult 18-49 sales demographic from the same point last season.

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Monday Notebook

By admin Published: January 10, 2011

There's a new "Survivor" cast, pictured mostly above. The show has announced 16 cast members but two others -- returners from previous "Survivors" -- are being held back. You can find cast bios and video clip here and here.

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Weekend Notebook

By admin Published: January 9, 2011

Busy days and nights. Working a metro shift today. Went with the bride to the Akron-Kent State basketball game last night. (Akron won, but it was a struggle.) Christmas decorations are down and packed up. Thesis research has resumed.

I have some thoughts about Showtime's lineup in my latest video, posted below. I have a column about "The Cape," premiering tonight on NBC, in the print Beacon Journal today; will post a link when I find one. Saturday's Beacon Journal also includes a print HeldenFiles with an update about the Time Traveler music store (still open a year after it announced its was closing) and other items; still looking for a link on that, too.

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Watching Movies: "Country Strong"

By admin Published: January 7, 2011

There have been a number of distinguished movies about country music or musicians: "Nashville," "Tender Mercies," "Payday," "Coal Miner's Daughter" come to mind, as well as some of the performances in "Sweet Dreams" and "Crazy Heart." I see no reason to add "Country Strong" to the list, even though Garrett Hedlund gives a performance that is impressive enough to make me keep an eye on his work in the future, and there are a couple of songs I might download from iTunes. But too often the movie rings false, including in its conclusions about fame and love, and it feels more like an excuse to sell soundtracks than a reason to go the cineplex. . . .

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"Mad Men" DVD/BD Announcement -- Arrives March 29

By admin Published: January 7, 2011

The official word: Welcome to a "mad" new world. The three-time Emmy® winner for Outstanding Drama Series and winner of three consecutive Golden Globes®, returns as Lionsgate releases MAD MEN: SEASON FOUR on DVD and Blu-ray Disc. From AMC and creator Matthew Weiner, executive producer and writer of "The Sopranos," "Mad Men" is the ground-breaking series about the glamorous and ego-driven "Golden Age" of advertising. On the heels of a game-changing season three finale when Don Draper's professional and personal lives unexpectedly imploded; season four continues to focus on Jon Hamm and the rest of the breakout ensemble as they grapple with an uncertain new reality and new possibilities. The New York Post hails the show as an"Outstanding example of what television storytelling can accomplish...MAD MEN is a drama for the ages."

Recently nominated for 2011 Golden Globes® for Best Television Series - Drama, Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama (Elisabeth Moss) and Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama (John Hamm), "Mad Men" remains one of the most critically acclaimed series on television today. The Boston Globe praised, "the writing remains remarkable, as it toggles between the rhythms and clichés of 1950s movies and the timeless resonance of mid-20th-century theater. You rarely find such economical and evocative scripting on TV."

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"Carlos" At Cinematheque Jan. 14-16; Miniseries Replayed on Sundance 1/15 and 1/20

By admin Published: January 6, 2011

The official word from Cinematheque: Olivier Assayas' CARLOS, one of the most acclaimed movies of 2010, receives its exclusive local premiere next weekend (January 14, 15, 16) at the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque. The film, which traces the criminal career of notorious international terrorist Carlos the Jackal during the 1970s and 1980s, will show three times: Fri., Jan. 14 at 9:10 pm; Sat., Jan. 15 at 7:45 pm; and Sun., Jan. 16 at 3:15 pm. Originally a three-part, 5½-hour TV miniseries, CARLOS will be shown at the Cinematheque in its theatrical two-hour-and-45-minute cut, the only version available on 35mm film, the format in which the film was shot. . . . Admission to CARLOS is $9; Cinematheque members and CIA students & staff $6. The film will show in the Aitken Auditorium of the Cleveland Institute of Art, 11141 East Boulevard in University Circle, telephone (216) 421-7450, www.cia.edu/cinematheque. There is free parking for filmgoers in the adjacent Institute lot, located off of East Blvd.

From Sundance: Sundance Channel will re-air its gripping Golden Globe-nominated mini-series, CARLOS, about notorious international terrorist Carlos the Jackal on January 15th and January 20th beginning at 8:00PM et/pt. The critically acclaimed mini-series, by award-winning filmmaker Olivier Assayas (Summer Hours), which has made the "Best of 2010" list of nearly a dozen top critics, is the definitive portrait of the renowned international terrorist known as Carlos the Jackal, who masterminded a wave of terror attacks in Europe and the Middle East in the ’70s and ’80s. Produced by Studio Canal, Film En Stock and Egoli Tossell Film in association with Sundance Channel, the film is Sundance Channel’s first original scripted project. ...

8:00pm Carlos Episode 1
9:45pm Carlos Episode 2
11:35pm Carlos Episode 3

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HeldenFiles Live!: This Week's Video

By admin Published: January 6, 2011

Topics include Jakob Dylan, new Showtime programming, some upcoming DVDs -- and that T-shirt.

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"Hot in Cleveland" Notes, Part 2

By admin Published: January 6, 2011

The People announcement of its Feb. 7 cover story:

The gown! The guests! The toasts! All the intimate moments and exclusive photos of Valerie Bertinelli’s surprise New Year’s Day wedding to her boyfriend of six years, mutual fund manager Tom Vitale, at their Malibu home are featured in this week’s issue of PEOPLE. “We wanted it to be a surprise!” says the TV star, 50, who married Vitale, 49, at sunset on 1/1/11. “We didn’t want anyone bringing presents!”

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"Hot in Cleveland" Notes, Part 1

By admin Published: January 6, 2011

TV Land is inviting people to post Betty White birthday greetings on Facebook, and Valerie Bertinelli's wedding is the big story in the latest issue of People. I'm putting the TV Land announcement here, and the People recap in a separate post.

This official word: TV Land celebrates Betty White’s 89th birthday by giving stars and fans the opportunity to honor everyone’s golden girl with birthday wishes and personal video messages via a birthday card that is on the “Hot in Cleveland” Facebook page. Join superstars Tina Fey, Joel McHale, Taylor Swift, Kathie Lee Gifford, Hoda Kotb, Kristin Chenoweth, Jessica Walter and more along with fans around the world in wishing the incomparable Betty White a happy birthday. Visitors are invited to “Like” the page and post their messages and video birthday well wishes alongside their favorite celebrities including Betty’s “Hot” co-stars Valerie Bertinelli, Wendie Malick and Jane Leeves. The birthday card will be presented to Ms. White at her TV Land birthday bash happening in New York City on January 18th, and a compilation of messages will be available for all to see on TVLand.com.

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"For Colored Girls" DVD/BD Set Feb. 8

By admin Published: January 6, 2011

I spoke recently with Phylicia Rashad, and some of the conversation involved "For Colored Girls." Look for that story either tomorrow or Saturday.

The official word: The largest cast of African-American actresses ever assembled comes together under the direction of Tyler Perry as Lionsgate releases For Colored Girls to Blu-ray Disc Combo Pack (three discs - including Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Copy). The film will also be available on DVD, Digital Download and On Demand. The landmark film features a who's who of acting talent including Janet Jackson (Why Did I Get Married Too?), Loretta Devine (TV's "Grey's Anatomy"), Kimberly Elise (TV's "Grey's Anatomy"), Macy Gray (Idlewild), Thandie Newton (2012), Anika Noni Rose (TV's "The Good Wife"), Phylicia Rashad (TV's "The Cosby Show"), Tessa Thompson (When A Stranger Calls), Kerry Washington (The Last King of Scotland) and Whoopi Goldberg (The Color Purple). Based on the collection of choreopoems by Ntozake Shange and the award-winning play, this powerhouse film weaves together the lives of nine women with a range of emotions, each speaking her truth. The DVD and Blu-ray Disc each delve further into rainbow with enlightening special features that include an original interactive documentary that looks at the origin and evolution of the stage play, a "making of the film" featurette, songs from the soundtrack and more. For Colored Girls availability is timed to coincide with the celebration of Black History Month and the DVD release of Tyler Perry's House of Payne: Volume Six.

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"Walking Dead" DVD/BD Details

By admin Published: January 6, 2011

The official word: Take a walk on the undead side, as the groundbreaking, genre-bending AMC® original series “THE WALKING DEAD” rises again when Anchor Bay Entertainment releases the Blu-ray™ and DVD of the hit show that wowed both critics and audiences. The SRP for the March 8 release is $49.99 for the Blu-ray™, and $39.98 for the DVD. Pre-book is February 9th. Both the “THE WALKING DEAD: The Complete First Season” Blu-ray™ and DVD contain all 6 episodes of the first season on a 2-disc set and are packed with special behind-the-scenes featurettes and insightful extra footage.

Continues after the jump.

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"Hereafter" DVD/BD Details

By admin Published: January 6, 2011

The official word: Follow three people in search of truth in the afterlife, when “Hereafter” arrives on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD, On Demand and Digital Download March 15th from Warner Home Video and Warner Bros. Digital Distribution. From acclaimed director Clint Eastwood, “Hereafter” is an emotionally stirring tale that examines what we believe might--or must--exist in the hereafter.

George is a blue-collar American with a connection to the afterlife. Marie is a French journalist who gets shaken to her core after a near-death experience. Marcus is a London schoolboy who loses the person closest to him. All are on a path in search of the truth and are desperately seeking answers when their lives intersect and are forever changed by what they believe.

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Watching TV: "HIMYM," " "The Bachelor," Other Notes

By admin Published: January 4, 2011

On Sunday I ran down some of the new offerings on TV in the weeks ahead. and said my piece about "V," which is better than it was but in a pulpy, '80s-soap kind of way. I should say something about "Southland," which also resumes tonight, but I've never been so entranced by the show that I summoned the energy to look at new episodes. Or most of the old ones.

I did watch some other things, noted above, and will discuss after the jump.

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Watching Movies

By admin Published: January 3, 2011

The past week's vacation found me and the bride spending a fair amount of time catching up on (and trying to relax with) films. Among the viewing: "Winter's Bone," "The Fighter," "The Kids Are All Right" (yes, I am also doing some pre-Oscar prep), "How To Train Your Dragon," "How Do You Know," "TRON: Legacy" in 3D, and a couple of oldies, "All Through the Night" and "The Maltese Falcon," courtesy of the Warner Bros. essential Bogart box.

Notes on all these, and "Blue Valentine," following the jump.

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Pete Postlethwaite, R.I.P.

By admin Published: January 3, 2011

Movies with Pete Postlethwaite, who died recently, took in more than $1.5 BILLION at the world box office in 2010. And he wasn't the lead in a one of them.

But his presence in "Clash of the Titans," "Inception" and "The Town" -- especially "The Town," where he was most memorable -- demonstrates, well, that he worked a lot (in TV and movies). But it also shows that he was someone who brought added weight to any production he was part of.

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Anne Francis, R.I.P.

By admin Published: January 3, 2011

After a nice, long vacation (punctuated by some moviegoing) the blog is back in business. And one of the first orders is to note the passing of Anne Francis, the screen and TV actress.

The L.A. Times obit linked above devotes most of its space to "Honey West," the ABC series where Francis played a private eye. This somewhat undervalues the rest of her career, which isn't entirely fair, since she did lots of good work elsewhere, including with top performers. (Look at her hold her own with Spencer Tracy and others in "Bad Day at Black Rock.")

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