The trend of so-called "hate-watching" is hardly a new TV phenomenon. We've been doing it with the Oscar show for years: picking apart the fashions, groaning at the witless banter, griping as we drift through the seemingly endless midsection where no awards of major consequence are presented, and nearly always regarding the unlucky host as a piñata ripe for the bashing.
This year's tuneful but torturously overextended production (ending just past the three-and-a-half-hour mark) was much the same. With one major exception: The musical numbers were no joke, especially when mighty divas as legendary as Barbra Streisand and Shirley Bassey and as electrifyingly current as Adele and Jennifer Hudson took the stage. No Rob Lowe-Snow White fiascos this time.
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The Oscars will honor movie musicals of the last decade with a celebration that includes Oscar winners Jennifer Hudson, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Russell Crowe and Oscar nominees Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway and others.
"We are pleased to have been able to amass so much talent to create the celebration of musicals of the last decade that we envisioned," Academy Awards producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron said on Wednesday. "We are thrilled that so many talented actors have agreed to bring our vision to life."
Our best moments of the week:
11. Worst (Best) Moment of Truth: After suspecting it for weeks on The Mindy Project, Mindy finally confronts the guy she's been dating — Jaime (B.J. Novak) — about his best friend, who seems to be the Sally to his Harry. After an intense line of questioning from Mindy in the line to go to the top of the Empire State Building, Jaime realizes he actually is in love with his best friend. The moment would be slightly more romantic if a) he was in love with Mindy, b) it wasn't Valentine's Day and c) he didn't completely trip over himself on...
Megan Hilty, Katharine McPhee
All eyes are on Smash as the NBC musical drama prepares to unveil its second season on Tuesday (9/8c on NBC). But it's not because fans are dying to know whether Ivy (Megan Hilty) survived her possible pill overdose or if Karen (Katharine McPhee) ditched her cheating boyfriend — it's because fans are waiting to see just how much the Smash they loved, and more famously loved to hate, has changed its tune.
Premiering on NBC a year ago with impressive critical acclaim and almost inescapable advertising, Smash follows the creation of Bombshell, a new Broadway musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe, and the characters involved behind the scenes. Over the first season, ingénues Karen and Ivy tried to out-diva each other for the main role while juggling messy love lives, lyricist Julia (Debra Messing) cheated on...
Alicia Keys' rendition of the National Anthem at Sunday's Super Bowl was the longest ever performed at the game.
To watch or not to watch? That is the question TVGuide.com examines as Idol enters the twilight of its tween years:
Smash executive producers Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman's high-energy music and lyrics for the show's fictional play Bombshell helped earn the NBC drama a Golden Globe nod for Best Comedy/Musical. For Season 2, premiering February 5, the duo have composed tunes for other faux Broadway shows that will compete with Bombshell for ticket sales as the Marilyn Monroe-themed production nears its premiere.
Question: After the embarrassing debacle of Viva Laughlin, I figured network TV wouldn't ever touch musical dramas ever again. Then Ryan Murphy surprised the naysayers with the out-of-the-box success of Glee. Then came along my personal favorite Smash last winter, and the also-great Nashville this fall. Now I read a couple months ago that Fox was trying to revise Fame. My question is this: Have you ever known of a time when so many music-based shows have been on TV? Is it because of the success of American Idol, The Voice and The X Factor? And do you think there is room on TV for possibly four musicals, or will they cannibalize each other for viewers? I've noticed Glee has been down in the ratings, and for a year-four show targeted at the fickle teen market, is this expected? Have you heard any buzz on Smash? I thought Season 1 was great, but I did notice the weak links too, which seem to have been corrected. I hope Season 2 really gets grittier and goes more behind-the-scenes a la West Wing instead of the soapy melodrama of S1. Thoughts? — Sean
Melissa Fleis, Christopher Palu, Dmitry Sholokhov, Fabio Costa
After last week's fake-out challenge in which none of the designers were eliminated, the final four paraded their collections at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in the Project Runway Season 10 finale on Thursday.
Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty
The curtains closed on Smash's first season with mediocre reviews, but the show must go on. With a major cast overhaul, including Jennifer Hudson headlining some big-name guest stars, things are looking up for Season 2, which returns to NBC in January.
Executive producer Neil Meron, who also produced the remake of Lifetime's Steel Magnolias, spilled some details at Magnolia's premiere. Hudson will...