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Sean Daly, Michelle Stark and Sharon Kennedy Wynne

'Better Call Saul' Roundtable: Here Comes Mike

Mike is in a dark place -- and here's hoping 'Better Call Saul' follows him there.

AMC

Mike is in a dark place -- and here's hoping 'Better Call Saul' follows him there.

Sex toilets aside, Episode 5 of Better Call Saul went to a very dark place at the end of its hour on Monday -- and that place is called Mike's House. Ooooh, Breaking Bad chills! Herewith, our resident weekly Saulers (Sean Daly, Michelle Stark, Chris Tisch) gush, debate and predict how the AMC hit show will unfurl as it creeps into the (hopefully twisted) second-half of its debut season...

SEAN: You guys are gonna eye-roll at me again (or maybe you never stopped), but I realized my affections for Better Call Saul were approaching Breaking Bad-ish intensity last night when I kept peeking at my clock to see how much time was left. I wanted more, to cram two hours into one. But I also felt that giddy-nervous stir when it blinked to 10:50 p.m. That's Vince Gilligan's magic window, always has been. All inventive, never-saw-it-coming hell would break loose on BB in the closing ticks; it does with Saul & Co. too. And Ep 5 finally, thankfully took us into a dark storm cloud, with fixer Mike (who loves his granddaughter -- and considers killing everyone else) finally seeing his story arc creak open. We might be happy about it -- but he sure isn't. Actor Jonathan Banks is the master of the deadpan deathstare; so much going on in that smooth-pated terrifying dome. The ex-cop is casing someone (hey Michelle, is that his daughter?) and the cops don't like it. Presumably, Mike is gonna call on Saul, and that's how America's Bittersweethearts will start doing business together. …

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'Better Call Saul' roundtable: Thoughts on episode 4, 'Hero'

AMC

Chris: So I've been more down on Better Call Saul than most for the first three episodes, but I feel like the show hit a bit of a stride with its fourth installment - "Hero." What's grabbing me the most is the relationship - both present and past - between Jimmy and his lawyer friend Kim, played by Rhea Seehorn. I loved how she smirked at Saul's efforts to undermine Hamlin; she is the most compelling supporting player in the show so far.
Oh, and what about her invitation to go see - of all things - John Carpenter's 1982 remake The Thing? Some "Kurt Russell action," she said. How about some Wilford Brimley as a bad guy action? What's next week's feature, The Firm? (Really, Tisch? Michelle and Sean invite you to join them on this and you give them Wilford Brimley jokes?) …

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Watch three of last night's best Oscar speeches

If you watched last night's Oscars ceremony, you saw plenty of lengthy speeches from just about any and everybody, including a few who pushed back against the usual play-off music. It all seemed to start with Ida director Pawel Pawlikowski's refusal to back down when the music started playing on his acceptance speech for that film's Best Foreign Film Oscar, instead outlasting the music.

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'Better Call Saul' roundtable: Thoughts on episode 3, 'Nacho'

AMC

The Feed vets Michelle Stark (new Food Editor) and Sean Daly (biz whiz) couldn't stay away from TV forever. For the former Mad Men debaters, the allure of another AMC show proved too strong. And this time, they're bringing Business Editor Chris Tisch, a Breaking Bad fanboy who once paid homage to Walter White's love of tighty-whities at a Halloween party, along for the ride. After drooling over the first two episodes of could-have-been-terrible Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul, the trio take it to the Feed to discuss this week's third installment, "Nacho."

Michelle:  "I knew it, I knew it! Finally someone believes me!" - Jimmy McGill

The highest praise I can give Better Call Saul, especially after Monday’s third episode? It doesn’t make me think of Breaking Bad

A good spinoff has to jibe with the show it’s spun off of, honoring the specific setting or character or idea it’s based on enough to hint at its origin. But it also has to move things along, grow a new world from the ground up, and do all of this in such an entertaining way that, eventually, you’re not watching the new show because you liked the old show. Saul checks all of those boxes. …

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Follow along with us live during tonight's Golden Globes

Tina and Amy, back at it tonight.

Tina and Amy, back at it tonight.

Watching the Golden Globes tonight? We are. Between the fashion, the fun, the drunk celebrity speeches and, oh yeah, seeing who wins, it's one of our favorite pop culture nights of the year.

Follow along live with us at tbtim.es/goldenglobes starting at 8 p.m., where we'll be compiling our favorite tweets, fashion photos and commentary of the night. You can weigh in with your snark, too. (Bonus: Keep an eye out for Deal Diva Stephanie Hayes' fashion tweets during the red carpet festivities.)

The Globes start at 8 p.m. on NBC.

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Big 'Fargo' season 2 casting news: Ted Danson, Patrick Wilson on board

Patrick Wilson

Associated Press

Patrick Wilson

This is the week for FX casting news. Some of it's extremely bizarre, like yesterday's news about John Travolta (JOHN TRAVOLTA) coming to TV. And some of it is just feels so right you wonder how you ever lived in a world where it wasn't a thing, like today's news that Ted Danson, Patrick Wilson and Nick Offerman are coming to Fargo.

That's right, the second season of the FX miniseries is building its ensemble cast, which started with news that Jesse Plemons and Kirsten Dunst would star as two of the season's major players, a nice married couple who encounter a local crime gang. Season 2 is set in 1979 in Sioux Falls, S.D., and Luverne, Minn., and will tell a story alluded to in the present-day first season by Molly Solverson's (Allison Tolman) dad, Lou (Keith Carradine). …

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John Travolta is going to be the star of an FX show, 'American Crime Story'

Travolta.

Daniel Wallace, Tampa Bay Times

Travolta.

In the past year especially, we've gotten a ton of press releases about big-name movie actors making their way to TV. Clive Owen starred in the first season of Steven Soderbergh's The Knick in 2014; Billy Crystal is set to star in an FX comedy due this year.

But for some reason, we were really not expecting this one: "John Travolta takes starring role in FX's American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson," a press release said Wednesday. We assumed Travolta was essentially retired, off flying planes and whiling away the days in Ocala, content to have his final television appearance be that Adele Dazeem gaff at the Oscars in March.

Guess not!

He's joining the 10-part FX miniseries as one of the leads, attorney Robert Shapiro, returning to television, as the press release reminds us, for the first time since Welcome Back, Kotter. That show debuted 40 years ago. (1975, folks!)

The show is from Ryan Murphy, who's producing it and directing the first episode, and it's ostensibly another iteration of his American Horror Story series, which has now told four separate stories over four distinct seasons. Though with crime. …

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What to watch this week: 'Empire,' more 'MasterChef Junior,' the Golden Globes

Fox

The winter TV season is in full swing, with a handful of new shows premiering this week. We highly recommend Fox's bold new hip-hop drama Empire. Also, Parenthood returns for just a few more episodes before it ends for good, and Tina Fey and Amy Poehler host the Golden Globes on Sunday.

Click here for our full list of this week's top TV.

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15 TV shows to put on your radar for 2015

Ellie Kemper in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Ellie Kemper in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Ah, January. Time for the networks to roll out a slate of fresh TV shows, to rejuvenate their brands after a lackluster fall season and to head into the new year with some more high-profile fare.

And since it's officially 2015, here are 15 shows we're looking forward to, both new and returning. There's 12 Years a Slave writer John Ridley's American Crime, Fox's soap opera Empire, AMC's Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul, Fox's M. Night Shyamalan thriller Wayward Pines, plus a few comedies to lighten things up. Click here for the full list.

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To celebrate 'Friends' coming to Netflix this week: Our top 10 episodes

The One with All the Thanksgivings

NBC

The One with All the Thanksgivings

I'm a Friends fanatic. And, without cable, my options for watching it constantly are limited. That's why I'm thrilled that all 10 seasons are coming to Netflix this week, on Thursday. Happy New Year, indeed. To get you started, here are my top 10 Friends episodes, in no particular order, because ranking them seems more difficult than trying to decide whether Ross and Rachel really were on a break.

 

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Netflix helps you lie to your kids on New Year's Eve

I find it hilarious that a Netflix poll found 34 percent of parents trick their kids into going to bed early on New Year's Eve by pretending it's midnight already. That's genius. And kind of evil too, but parenthood ain't for sissies. So starting today, Netflix has added a service that lets you stream a three-minute countdown any time you want with King Julian from Madagasgar, the hyperactive dancing lemur, playing the part of Ryan Seacrest.

This is available now for Netflix subscribers, but you can see a preview here: 

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Our 10 favorite TV shows of 2014: 'The Good Wife,' 'Broad City,' 'Transparent,' 'The Americans'

The Good Wife

CBS

The Good Wife

This was a memorable year for television. Jay Leno and Stephen Colbert stepped down from their late-night franchises. HBO's buzzy True Detective struck right in the middle of the Matthew McConaissance and set ratings records for the channel. Amazon took a giant leap forward in its original programming department with the transgender drama Transparent. Each year, as more of these outlets churn out original shows, it gets harder to watch everything, or even to be familiar with everything.

I certainly can't and don't watch everything. I know there are terrific shows out there that I haven't made time to catch up on. Game of Thrones. Justified. Rectify. Heck, Parks and Recreation. So my top 10 shows are ones that made me laugh, cry and feel but, more than anything, made me want to keep watching. These days, that's worth everything.

Click here for the full list.

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Party game! Name all the famous faces singing along at Colbert's finale

Well my family just got a party game to play over the Christmas holidays: Name all the celebrities, authors, world leaders (yes, an ex-president), Hollywood actors, media pundits and bold-faced names who joined Stepen Colbert in a touching singalong of We'll Meet Again for his series finale Thursday night.  Check out the video here and add names of the faces you recognize in the  comments section. (bonus points for titles, like the US Ambassador to the UN)

And Colbert continues to astound me with how smart and full of layers his show is. It's been the gold standard of satire and if you don't believe me note that the lovely parting ditty from World War II that was sung to soldiers heading off was also the closing song of the ultimate satire, 1964's Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. We'll Meet Again closes out the final scenes while showing a montage of atomic explosions.

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Hulu will start to stream FX original shows

You're the Worst

You're the Worst

Exciting streaming news, everyone! Hulu and FX have bestowed upon us Hulu subscribers a most joyous gift for the holiday season: The streaming site has just announced a multi-year deal for FX Networks' original series, meaning they'll exclusively be streaming shows like Tyrant, The Strain, Married and You’re The Worst, plus upcoming shows like Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll, Taboo, and Fox's buzzed-about May show Wayward Pines.

Hulu says the first seasons of FX and FXX shows including Tyrant, The Strain, Married and You’re the Worst will be available before their second seasons premiere. (We strongly urge you to check out You're the Worst. It's, well, the best.) Plus, prior seasons of FX's Sons of Anarchy, American Horror Story, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Louie and Archer will all be available too.

But the upcoming shows Hulu's getting in this deal might even be more exciting. Future series that will be available for streaming include Jay Baruchel's Man Seeking Woman (premieres Jan. 14 on FXX); The Comedians, which stars Billy Crystal and Josh Gad (premieres spring 2015); Denis Leary's Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll; and Ridley Scott's period drama Taboo, starring Tom Hardy.  …

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Bollywood actor Priyanka Chopra further plots world domination with ABC deal

Chopra

Chopra

If you didn't get enough of Bollywood in America when the so-called Bollywood Oscars rolled into Tampa in April, more will be coming to a TV near you next fall.

Bollywood A-list actor, singer and model Priyanka Chopra, who flashed her dazzling smile all around Tampa before and during the awards, has signed a deal with ABC to star in a production, according to the Hollywood Reporter. According to the terms of the one-year deal, ABC will either develop a new project around her or make her the lead of an existing project.

It's just the latest foray Miss World 2000 Chopra is making into world domination after her debut single In My City was featured on the NFL's Thursday Night Football in 2012, her sophomore single Exotic was a trilingual collaboration with Pitbull, she lent her voice to Disney's Planes, and she became the first Indian Guess Girl last year.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the deal with ABC is thanks to exec Keli Lee, who heads up the network's diversity casting program that has also been responsible for casting Scandal's Kerry Washington, Modern Family's Sofia Vergara and Grey's Anatomy's Sandra Oh. …

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