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The Tuesday Playlist: Justified, New Normal Finales; Another Look at Phil Spector

Justin Bartha and Andrew Rannells

Too soon. We always feel that way when a season of FX's marvelously entertaining Justified comes to a close. It can't be easy sustaining that high-wire act of violent tension and wry bourbon-smooth humor, while staying true to the voice and tone of Elmore Leonard's creation of the laconic yet steely U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, but they sure make it go down easy. The fourth-season finale (Tuesday, 10/9c) is titled "Ghosts," and it's a haunted hour, all right — haunted by what-ifs, by dreams deferred and hopes crushed by the weight of bad acts and Harlan County's history of bad people — but it's also a truly badass episode when it needs to be, with fateful confrontations and crazy twists, some satisfying and others troubling.

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John Stamos on Making Out with The New Normal's Ellen Barkin: It Was the Fastest Chemistry

John Stamos

Prepare to see Uncle Jesse like you've never seen him before.  On Tuesday's The New Normal, typical ladies' man John Stamos begins his guest arc as Brice, a new co-worker of Jane's (Ellen Barkin) with an indeterminate sexuality. Gay, straight, or something in between — you'll have to wait until the episode airs to find out. But one thing we will reveal is that, no matter Brice's sexuality, Stamos and Barkin do get a little hot 'n heavy! read more

Julia Roberts, Matt Bomer to Star in Ryan Murphy's Normal Heart Adaptation for HBO

Ryan Murphy, Julia Roberts

Ryan Murphy is heading to HBO.

The co-creator behind Glee, American Horror Story and The New Normal — who also just became a first-time father — will direct an adaptation of The Normal Heart for... read more

Tuesday TV: Sons of Anarchy Finale, Special Shark Tank, Parenthood and More

Charlie Hunnam, Dayton Callie

The price of power sits heavy on the shaggy head of Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam), the prince-turned-leader of a troubled biker kingdom on FX's Sons of Anarchy, wrapping its fifth and best-yet season tonight with a super-sized 90-minute finale (10/9c). A few weeks ago, in a moment worthy of this series' Shakespearian ambitions, Jax told his disgraced, dethroned evil stepfather Clay (Ron Perlman): "I'm tired of being crushed under the weight of greedy men who believe in nothing."

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Why We Love The New Normal's Scene Stealer NeNe Leakes

Nene Leakes

She Plays Rocky, the beleaguered and biting assistant to Bryan (Andrew Rannels), the persnickety half of The New Normal's central same-sex couple. "Oh I love him," says NeNe Leakes of working with the Broadway vet. "He's hilarious, he's out of the closet...this [show] is gay heaven!"

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Tuesday TV Review: Halloween High Jinks, a Covert Director

Lucas Neff and Shannon Woodward

Alert to Great Pumpkin fans: You'll need to be almost as patient as Linus for this year's annual showing of It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, which ABC is saving for Halloween night itself, at 8/7c, kicking off Wednesday's great lineup of comedy (though considerably less great without The Middle in the equation). But unlike Linus, you will get your payoff, one considerably more satisfying than the rock Charlie Brown always ends up with after trick or treating.

Are there any timeless classics among Tuesday's Halloween sitcom treats? Perhaps not, but here are a few good reasons to watch (if storm coverage subsides):

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How Scripted TV Is Covering the Election

Andrew Rannells and Justin Bartha

Norman Lear's ears must be burning. Rather than shy away from the most contentious presidential race in recent memory, a handful of TV shows are addressing the November election head-on — all while using Lear's groundbreaking 1970s sitcoms, like All in the Family, as a template for how to incorporate politics.... read more

First Look: The New Normal's Jane Gets Some Action!

The New Normal

There may be ice water running through her veins, but Ellen Barkin's Jane is one hot mama — or maybe that's hot Nana — in tonight's The New Normal (NBC, 9:30/8:30c). It all starts in this exclusive first-look clip when Goldie's granny is approached by a vitamin salesman who goes from stranger to one-night-stand faster than you can say "that woman is a bigoted Republican homophobe." (And if you think their first meeting is prickly, just wait until you see what effect the fella has on Jane once they hit the sheets!)

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The New Normal and a Return to Old-School Comedy

Andrew Rannells and Justin Bartha

The New Normal is American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy's first attempt at a sitcom — but not just any sitcom, a "gay sitcom" (at least according to all the various media outlets that label the series as "gay TV," "NBC's gay comedy," etc.). But while David (Justin Bartha) and Bryan's (Andrew Rannells) sexuality might establish The New Normal as progressive, the series is heavily grounded in TV storytelling tradition. Once you look past the same-sex aspect, it's easy to see how The New Normal  has more in common with classic sitcoms like... read more

The New Normal's Ryan Murphy Teases Honey Boo Boo Homage, Marlo Thomas Guest Spot

Andrew Rannells, Honey Boo Boo

First, she took on Grey Gardens, and now The New Normal star Bebe Wood is coming for Honey Boo Boo.

The NBC comedy (Tuesdays at 9:30/8:30c) is planning an homage to Here Comes Honey Boo Boo for its Halloween episode.

"Shania loves that show so they decide to go en masse as that family," co-creator and executive producer Ryan Murphy told reporters on a conference call Tuesday.

Get the scoop on The New Normal and more must-see new fall shows

The Here Comes Honey Boo Boo homage comes weeks after Wood delivered a spot-on Grey Gardens impression in the series' third episode. "The one thing that I've been absolutely shocked by is how many people have stopped me or written me about the Grey Gardens stuff we did," Murphy said. "Bebe is such an eccentric exotic child and she... read more

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