Sunday, December 21, 2014

POSTED: Tuesday, December 16, 2014, 2:50 PM

Philly's own Matt McAndrew is one of four finalists vying for the top spot on NBC's "The Voice" tonight.

McAndrew, who is on Team Adam Levine, seems like a favorite to win. He has the distinction of being the only "Voice" finalist to crack the iTunes Top 10 three times throughout his tenure on the show. 

Last night. McAndrew sang "Lost Stars" (a song by sung by coach Levine in the film "Begin Again), classic "Somwhere Over the Rainbow" and original ditty "Wasted Love," which you can watch below.


POSTED: Tuesday, December 16, 2014, 1:29 PM
The logo for HBO,Home Box Office, the American premium cable television network, owned by Time Warner. (REUTERS/Fred Prouser)

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Comcast -- finally -- is allowing its customers access to the HBO Go and Showtime Anytime online-video services on Roku's TV-connected streaming devices.

The nation's largest cable operator, however, still does not have a deal to offer the Starz Play authenticated service on Roku, among other TV Everywhere services.

Neither Comcast nor Roku have ever explained why the MSO's customers could not access HBO's and Showtime's authenticated-video services on the Roku devices.Comcast has offered subscribers access to both HBO Go and Showtime Anytime apps on several other platforms, including Apple TV, Microsoft Xbox One and Google's Chromecast.

POSTED: Tuesday, December 16, 2014, 1:23 PM
Actresses Amy Poehler (L) and Tina Fey attend the NBC Universal and Focus Features' Golden Globes after party sponsored by Cartier at Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 17, 2010 in Beverly Hills, California. (Getty Images for NBC Universal)

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - For two years running, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have been the Golden Globes' hosts with the most. Ratings have skyrocketed (hitting a 10-year high in 2014), critics have raved and they've won over the star-studded ballroom audience with ease. But, like Ricky Gervais before them, their reign is set to end after year three.

It wasn't that long ago that the Globes was the one major award show that didn't even bother having a host. That changed when Gervais brought his particularly British brand of wise-ass humor to the table in 2010 and transformed the already rollicking kudocast into a true watercooler (and social media) event.

Globes executive producer Barry Adelman believes Fey and Poehler took the groundwork that Gervais laid and brought it to a whole new level.

POSTED: Tuesday, December 16, 2014, 12:42 PM
(Variety.com)

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - The first half of the winter finale for NBC's "The Voice" was down slightly from last year's numbers but still strong enough to allow NBC to dominate the Monday competition.

According to preliminary Nielsens, "Voice" garnered 2.9 rating/9 share in the adults 18-49 demographic and 12.2 million viewers from 8-10 p.m. That's down a few ticks from the comparable night last year (3.3/9, 12.7 mil) although NBC is projecting that the show will reach its year-ago mark in the live-plus-3 ratings.

At 10 p.m., "State of Affairs" (1.6/5, 6.5 mil) was in line with its performance of the past two weeks, and NBC was quick to note that the show has been adding significant numbers in the L3 and L7 measures.

POSTED: Monday, December 15, 2014, 3:56 PM
Chase Utley meets fan Julie Kramer on "The Ellen Show." (Michael Rozman/Warner Bros)

Need a reason to smile? Look no further than Chase Utley.

Tabernacle, NJ's Julie Kramer is battling stage 4 synovial sarcoma at only 23. When Kramer's best buddies heard that Ellen DeGeneres was looking to interview inspiring women, they started #JulieMeetsEllen campaign that blew up on social media, landing Kramer a spot on today's show.

DeGeneres showed her support for Kramer, who got up and danced only hours after surgery, by giving the massive Phillies fan a check for $10,000 and lots of baseball swag, presented by the one and only Utley. 


POSTED: Monday, December 15, 2014, 10:02 AM
HBO.

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - So Aaron Sorkin? As Claude Rains said at the end of "Casablanca," "As I suspected, you're a rank sentimentalist." Then again, anyone who has stuck with "The Newsroom" through its three interesting, exhausting, at times aggravating seasons -- or for that matter, "The West Wing" in its heyday -- won't find that to be a major surprise, or always a bad thing. 

Yes, the writer rails against the failings of the modern media, but that's because of his faith in the nobler aspects of the calling. Yet in romanticizing the news, his fictionalized work didn't just preach, capitalizing on the benefit of hindsight to illustrate where journalists have fallen short, but too often rang hollow. 

Those excesses, for good and ill, were evident throughout this finishing six-episode arc and Sunday's series finale (and SPOILER ALERT if you haven't watched), which followed the sudden death of news chief Charlie (Sam Waterston) while his principled anchor, Will (Jeff Daniels), sat in prison for refusing to divulge the name of a source in an Edward Snowden-like whistle-blowing case. 

POSTED: Monday, December 15, 2014, 9:58 AM
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 23: MSNBC President Phil Griffin attends the 'Won't Back Down' New York Premiere at Ziegfeld Theater on September 23, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - MSNBC is getting ready to debut a new show about sports. And one focused on books. And another that will examine celebrity and popular culture. In all, the NBCUniversal-owned cable-news network has 14 new programs ready to roll. 

You won't see any of them on MSNBC. At least, not yet.

The cable-news outlet best known for progressive commentary from Rachel Maddow and Chris Hayes is launching a portal of streaming-video programming that its top executive, Phil Griffin, expects to have a great deal of influence on the cable network in months to come. Through the new digital initiative, known as "Shift by MSNBC," the network will serve up new topics and introduce new contributors that could gradually make their way to the cable network, Griffin believes - depending on the traction they gain among audiences. "Shift" is expected to launch Monday morning.

POSTED: Monday, December 15, 2014, 9:52 AM
NANTUCKET, MA - JUNE 28: Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin speaks onstage at The 19th Annual Nantucket Film Festival on on June 28, 2014 in Nantucket, Massachusetts. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Nantucket Film Festival)

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - "The Newsroom" creator Aaron Sorkin has a message for real-life newsrooms, taking aim at publications posting leaked Sony documents in a new op-ed. 

Published on the New York Times' website Sunday evening, Sorkin acknowledged the fact that his name was brought up in many of the emails, given that he wrote the "Jobs" biopic that's at the center of a few of the leaked email squabbles, but clarified that he's not why he's calling out the publications posting the hacked data. 

"Because I and two movies of mine get a little dinged up, I feel I have the credibility to say this: I don't care," he writes. "Because the minor insults that were revealed are such small potatoes compared to the fact that they were revealed. Not by the hackers, but by American journalists helping them."

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