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Sean Daly, Michelle Stark and Sharon Kennedy Wynne

Jessica Biel is going to be on 'New Girl'

Jessica Biel is coming to 'New Girl'.

Getty Images

Jessica Biel is coming to 'New Girl'.

Gather 'round kids, and let us tell you about a time when Jessica Biel was a weekly fixture on our TV screens. This was back in the heyday of a little network called the WB, home to such '90s tween classics as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dawson's Creek and 7th Heaven. Biel starred on that last one as chaste older daughter Mary Camden, a minister's kid whose worst crime was vandalizing her school's gym. We felt for her. We sympathized with her actions. Mary Camden could have been any of one us.

Then Biel went and married Justin Timberlake, and we were all UGH JUST GET OUT OF HERE RIGHT NOW GIVE ME YOUR LIFE.

Since then, we've tired of all things Biel, especially her terrible career choices. Total Recall? Lame. I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry? Ugh. Valentine's Day? Come on.

So it's with mixed feelings that we report Biel has signed on to star in the season premiere of one of our fave comedies, Fox's New Girl. She'll play a nemesis of Zooey Deschanel's character Jess, a stunning (of course) scientist at a wedding the gang attends. Unfortunately for Jess, she finds out she's competing with Biel's hot nerd for the interests of the same guy. Good luck with that one, Zooey. …

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FX renews 'Fargo', with a new cast and story, and 'Louie'

Billy Bob Thornton in 'Fargo'

FX

Billy Bob Thornton in 'Fargo'

Well, this isn't really a surprise, but it's welcome news nonetheless: FX announced at the 2014 Summer TCA Press Tour today that its first-year drama Fargo is returning for a second season. Fargo, which ended its first season in June, cleaned up in the Emmy nominations announced earlier this month.

Writer-producer Noah Hawley had teased that the anthology series based loosely on the 1996 Coen Brothers movie would likely be back, but since the first season was a contained story with a clear ending, it wasn't a sure thing.

So it makes sense that Fargo's second season, also 10 episodes like the first, will feature a new cast (see ya, Billy Bob!), a different time period setting and a new story. Hawley will again be the showrunner.

Here's the obligatory statement from FX CEO John Landgraf: "We could not be more proud of Fargo. Noah's audacious, bordering on hubristic riff on my favorite Coen brothers film earned 18 Emmy nominations, the most of a single program in our history. Fargo was nothing short of breathtaking and we look forward to the next installment."

Indeed, season 2 has a lot to live up to. …

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What to watch this week: 'The Bachelorette,' 'The Leftovers,' 'Hotel Hell'

Justin Theroux in 'The Leftovers'

HBO

Justin Theroux in 'The Leftovers'

Up this week on our list of top TV picks: Only two more weeks until we find out if a Tampa Bachelorette contender wins the grand prize ... Gordon Ramsay goes to Hotel Hell ... and we can't get enough of The Leftovers, HBO's eerie and poignant new drama. 

Click here for the full list.

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James Garner, who reluctantly found fame on 'Maverick' and 'The Rockford Files', dies at 86

Joseph Cotten, right, guest stars as a business tycoon who hires James Garner to investigate his prospective son-in-law, whom he suspects is a phony, in a special 90-minute presentation of NBC TV's The Rockford File on Oct. 18, 1974.

Joseph Cotten, right, guest stars as a business tycoon who hires James Garner to investigate his prospective son-in-law, whom he suspects is a phony, in a special 90-minute presentation of NBC TV's The Rockford File on Oct. 18, 1974.

James Garner, one of the first stars to find success in both TV and movies, died of natural causes at his Los Angeles home on Saturday. He was 86. You might know Garner from TV's Maverick, or The Rockford Files in the '70s.

The Feed's Sean Daly, a Rockford Files fanatic, writes:

"James Garner had a Hollywood chin but Everyman's eyes. He was a relatable lug whose most iconic work — TV's Maverick in the '50s, The Rockford Files in the '70s — endures because his beat-up, beleaguered guys looked a whole lot like us: trying and failing to avoid trouble, dodging bill collectors and bad news on the answering machine. ... And yet a large swath of Mr. Garner's roles — from the Scrounger in 1963's The Great Escape to those flirty Polaroid commercials with Mariette Hartley in the '70s — were imbued with a comic, eye-rolling exasperation. Mr. Garner's guys often just wanted to be left alone, heroes in spite of themselves."

Click here for the full obituary.

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St. Petersburg teen singing on ABC's 'Rising Star' Sunday

Macy Kate

ABC

Macy Kate

Because it is our life's duty to inform you when someone from the Tampa Bay area is competing on a reality show, we must tell you that local teen Macy Kate will compete Sunday on ABC's singing competition Rising Star.

The 16-year-old from St. Petersburg was pulled from the audience to sing during the premiere of the ABC show earlier this summer, and now she'll be back again to perform with Gabrielle Nicole as part of the Duels portion of the competition.

You'd be forgiven for not knowing the show, hosted by Josh Groban and featuring Brad Paisley, Kesha and Ludacris as musical experts. Rising Star utilizes an app voting system that ABC hoped would turn it into the Next Big Thing; instead, it's just sort of fizzled. Oh, Groban, your talents are being seriously wasted.

Here's a video of Macy Kate competing earlier in the season:

 

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Bryan Cranston returning to TV in HBO adaptation of 'All the Way'

Bryan Cranston portraying President Lyndon B. Johnson during a performance of 'All the Way.'

Associated Press

Bryan Cranston portraying President Lyndon B. Johnson during a performance of 'All the Way.'

This is how a multiple-Emmy-winning actor like Bryan Cranston follows up an all-time great TV show like Breaking Bad: He's returning to TV in a Steven Spielberg project based on a character Cranston just won a Tony Award for playing.

Yep, the erstwhile Walter White is headed back to television to star in an HBO adaptation of the Broadway play All the Way, which was just named best play at the Tonys last month. Cranston's tour de force performance as Lyndon B. Johnson also won a Tony (halfway to an EGOT!). 

HBO picked up the rights to the play, which closed June 29 after 131 performances on Broadway, and will adapt it for the small screen. Cranston will play LBJ in the series, too. Oh, and Steven Spielberg is the executive producer.

So if Cranston doesn't win that Breaking Bad Emmy he's up for next month, don't worry. There's a good chance he'll be back up at the podium again. We knew TV's reigning meth king couldn't stay away for very long.

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Newbies Noël Wells, John Milhiser, Brooks Wheelan leaving 'Saturday Night Live'

From left, 'SNL' cast members John Milhiser, Bobby Moynihan, Noel Wells and Brooks Wheelan attend the American Museum of Natural History's 2013 Museum Gala.

Getty Images

From left, 'SNL' cast members John Milhiser, Bobby Moynihan, Noel Wells and Brooks Wheelan attend the American Museum of Natural History's 2013 Museum Gala.

If you thought there were too many people in the Saturday Night Live cast last year, well, you'll like this news. If you were a fan of featured players Noël Wells, John Milhiser or Brooks Wheelan, well, sorry: They won't be returning for SNL's 40th season.

All three joined the sketch show in 2013 as part of a cast rejiggering that included the hiring of EIGHT (predominantly white and male) new cast members. No word yet on whether the other newbies - Beck Bennett, Kyle Mooney, Mike O'Brien, Colin Jost and Sasheer Zamata - are coming back. Jost is the show's head writer and currently a Weekend Update co-anchor, so he's probably fine, but Deadline thinks that O'Brien's place as a performer is less solid. (Longtime castmember Nasim Pedrad - known for her Kim Kardashian and Ariana Huffington impressions - is also leaving the cast; she's starring on Fox's Mulaney sitcom this fall.)

Wheelan announced his departure from the show in a tweet on Monday, quipping "FIRED FROM NEW YORK IT’S SATURDAY NIGHT!". Way to laugh through the pain, Brooks. …

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ABC announces fall TV premiere dates: 'How to Get Away with Murder', 'Dancing With the Stars', 'Selfie', more

Do NOT mess with Viola Davis on Shonda Rhimes' new show.

ABC

Do NOT mess with Viola Davis on Shonda Rhimes' new show.

The summer Television Critics Association press tour is underway, and Tuesday it was ABC's turn to step up and talk about its upcoming programming. Topics included Paul Lee touting the network's (albeitly pretty impressive) commitment to diversity in its fall slate of shows; Lee defending his poor treatment of the now-canceled and critically beloved sitcom Trophy Wife; and a lively discussion of new Shonda Rhimes drama How to Get Away With Murder, with a panel that included Rhimes and a dozen other people, like the show's star, Oscar nominee Viola Davis. …

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Tampa player Josh Murray makes it to the final two on 'The Bachelorette'

Murray and Dorfman

ABC

Murray and Dorfman

Here at the Feed, The Bachelorette doesn't usually make our list of must-watch shows. (Something about all those group dates freaks us out.) But when a local guy has a 50-50 shot at winning the whole thing, we have to take note.

On Monday's episode of the ABC dating show, Tampa native Josh Murray got another rose from Bachelorette Andi Dorfman, making him one of two finalists going into next week's finale. The former pro baseball player, 29, will face off against Nick Viall, 33, a software executive from Chicago. Last week, Dorfman visited the guys' hometowns, and Murray took her to Tampa to play some baseball and stroll along Bayshore Boulevard. (Watch a clip of their date below.)

This week, the guys went on dates with Andi in the Dominican Republic, where Josh got in touch with his silly side and made Andi dance in the streets. Awwww. Watch a clip here.

For more on Murray and the secret world of the Bachelorette fantasy league, check out this story from Times staffer Caitlin Johnston.

 

 

 

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Tampa native scores big in 'The Bachelorette' fantasy league

Murray with the bachelorette.

ABC

Murray with the bachelorette.

You thought fantasy leagues were just for men quarreling over their mythical squads of football players? Think again. Allow us introduce you to The Bachelorette fantasy league, where men gain points for doing things like kissing to dancing.

Even better, one of the guys competing for bachelorette Andi Dorfman on the ABC dating show this season is Tampa native Josh Murray. He's one of just three contestants left.

How's Murray doing in the fantasy league? The Times' Caitlin Johnston happened to pick him for her fantasy league when Bachelorette started, so we'll let her tell you all about it. Click here for Johnston's story.

The Bachelorette airs at 8 p.m. tonight on ABC.

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What to watch this week: '24: Live Another Day' ends; new shows 'Married', 'The Divide'

Jack Bauer

Fox

Jack Bauer

Say farewell to Jack Bauer (again) as Fox's 24 miniseries comes to an end this week. Tonight there's also Under the Dome and a BBC show hosted by Idris Elba (!). Later in the week, it's the premieres of The Divide, a new show created by the guy who plays President Fitz on Scandal; and Married, a new comedy from FX.

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

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Review: New FX show 'The Strain' needs more bite

Corey Stoll investigates passengers who may or may not be dead on a plane in "The Strain'.

FX

Corey Stoll investigates passengers who may or may not be dead on a plane in "The Strain'.

FX's newest show The Strain debuts tonight. From filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and author Chuck Hogan, and executive produced by former Lost showrunner Carlton Cuse, the horror series is definitely one to watch with the lights on. We've seen the first four episodes of the 13-episode first season; here's what we thought:

"FX's new horror series The Strain wears its heart on its sleeve. Sure, that heart may be a decades-old blood-slurping organ floating in a grimy jar, but it still beats. And it makes The Strain surprisingly sappy."

Click here to read our full review. It premieres 10 p.m. tonight.

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Emmy nominations: 'Game of Thrones' and 'Fargo' lead; newcomers 'True Detective', 'Orange is the New Black' get lots of love

Breaking Bad

AMC

Breaking Bad

Another year of Emmy nominations, another year of glaring snubs. And, come on, are we really still nominating Downton Abbey and Jeff Daniels for television excellence?

There's just far too much great TV out there right now, and Emmy voters apparently don't even see all of it, which must be how FX's outstanding second season of The Americans, or CBS' The Good Wife (whose fifth season- that would be the one in which this happened - was probably the show's best) don't make the Outstanding Drama cut. (Thankfully, The Good Wife did get recognized in the acting categories, with very deserved nominations for lead Julianna Margulies, supporting actor Josh Charles and supporting actress Christine Baranski.) …

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ABC confirms Rosie coming back to 'The View'

With the departures of Sherri Shepherd, Jenny McCarthy and Barbara Walters from ABC’s The View, the daytime talk show is filling one of the empty slots with one of its old hosts, Rosie O'Donnell. The show confirmed on Twitter Thursday that O’Donnell will return as a co-host with moderator Whoopi Goldberg for the talk show’s 18th season. O'Donnell was on the show frm 2006 to 2007 and famously clashed with Donald Trump and even co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

It may seem a surprise since O'Donnell left the show after only one season following an angry split-screen confrontation with  Hasselbeck over the Iraq War. She may have rubbed people the wrong way, but she also brought in ratings.

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'Anarchy' Indeed: Courtney Love to join FX's 'Sons'

The Obvious: Courtney Love, who turned 50 earlier this week, is one of pop culture's great train wrecks. The Not-So-Obvious: Love, for all her nutty lore, is also rather talented, so much more than Kurt Cobain's burned-out, legally challenged widow. In Hole and as a solo act, she made some visceral grungy rock. She's even better -- when she bothers -- as an actress, most notably as ill-fated wife Althea in 1996's The People vs. Larry Flynt. So it's odd, but potentially good, news that Love will be joining the cast of FX's badass-bikers drama Sons of Anarchy during its seventh and final season. She'll play preschool teacher (haha) Mrs. Harrison, who takes interest in young Abel -- and who butts heads with Abel's mama (Drea de Matteo). Love will make her first appearance in the fourth episode, and you know what? I bet she's pretty darned GOOD.

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