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'Backstrom' react: The Fox anti-hero trend continues

Fox loves protagonists who audiences hate to love, and at times, the prickly but brilliant anti-hero motif has been a huge hit for the network. House was a cornerstone of Fox for years, with smaller hits like Lie to Me lasting only a few seasons, and duds like Rake… well, even Fox has forgotten about Rake.

Backstrom follows in that mold with another surly but brilliant mind at the forefront. Detective Everett Backstrom, played by Rainn Wilson, is a Portland detective in the Special Crimes Unit who makes wild leaps based on intuition, has an attitude more prickly than a hedgehog’s back, and shows as much concern for his health as he does for whether he’s offending those around him—almost none.


David Letterman to drop by 'Late Late Show' hosted by Regis Philbin

David Letterman is playing interviewee for a change. The long-time host of The Late Show will appear as a guest during Regis Philbin’s two-night stint leading The Late Late Show, EW has confirmed. READ FULL STORY

Paula Abdul, Jason Derulo join 'So You Think You Can Dance' as judges

Paula Abdul and Jason Derulo will be sitting alongside Nigel Lythgoe at the So You Think You Can Dance judges’ table for the show’s 12th season. READ FULL STORY

Behind the Scenes: Mark Duplass' 'Togetherness' spanking scene involved 3 cameras, 0 flesh-tone thongs

Before shooting the spanking scene in last Sunday’s episode of Togetherness, Mark Duplass, the show’s co-creator and star, had a discussion with Melanie Lynskey, who plays his on screen wife. “I was like, look, due to the blocking of this, which is the right blocking choice, you’re going to be seeing things that I don’t think even my wife has seen necessarily,” he told EW. “I just want to apologize to you off the bat for that. She was like, ‘Oh, please. I live to do scenes like this; this is my favorite stuff.'”

The scene required Duplass to be on all fours in handcuffs, while Lynskey stood behind him, her character, Michelle, trying on the role of dominatrix. For the filming, Duplass was stark naked. READ FULL STORY

Couples get it on -- then learn how to do it better -- in 'Sex Box' trailer

A box might not seem like the most romantic place to have sex, but that’s where WE tv show Sex Box sends couples who need to work on their intimacy issues—and in front of a live studio audience, no less.

The titular sex box is soundproof and camera-free, though, so viewers don’t actually see the action happen. But the couple does exit the box post-sex—silk pajamas and all—to talk with a panel of experts, including a sex therapist and a couples’ counselor, about their relationship experiences both in and outside the box. READ FULL STORY

Benedict Cumberbatch finally goes full Sherlock in new photo


Benedict Cumberbatch has played Sherlock Holmes for years, and occasionally donned that famous deerstalker cap. But has the actor ever looked so… Sherlock-ian? Here’s the actor filming the BBC/PBS fan favorite series at Gloucester Cathedral in Britain on Thursday in extremely Arthur Conan Doyle / Victorian-esque garb (full photo below).

Sherlock is likely to return sometime this year for a special one-off episode (which Cumberbatch and co-star Martin Freeman are currently filming) and then we’ll probably get season four in 2016 (though neither date has been confirmed). Now all he needs is a magnifying glass.


Pharrell to guest on 'The Simpsons' -- exclusive

Simpsons fans, you’re about to “Get Lucky”: Pharrell will pop up in Springfield very soon. READ FULL STORY

'Time' examines the political message of 'Parks and Recreation'

Parks and Recreation has entered its final season, leaving fans and critics wondering what it all means. Over at Time, James Poniewozik writes that the adventures of Pawnee’s civil servants are really about “about the importance of community, the idea that people need each other, that when you help someone, you’re also helping to make yourself better.”

The last remnant of NBC’s era of sitcom greatness is unquestionably a political show, but not in the same way as Aaron Sorkin’s idealistic The West Wing or the Machiavellian drama of House of Cards. Instead, Poniewozik writes, the sitcom provides a model “of how people of opposite politics can still work together and care about each other.”

Read the rest of the story here.

'Supergirl' found: CBS casts 'Glee' actress


After an extensive search, CBS has cast its Supergirl. The network has signed Glee actress Melissa Benoist in the starring role of Kara Zor-El in its series version of the classic comic-book story.

Benoist played Marley Rose in seasons four and five of Fox’s Glee and was also in the 2014 indie film Whiplash. The show’s official description: “Born on the planet Krypton, Kara Zor-El escaped amid its destruction years ago. Since arriving on Earth, she’s been hiding the powers she shares with her famous cousin. But now at age 24, she decides to embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was always meant to be.” READ FULL STORY

'Backstrom,' '12 Monkeys,' and why toxic Gen Xers just need to die already

From Homer Simpson to Gregory House, Profit to Rake, Lie To Me to Gracepoint, the Fox Broadcasting Company has a history of trying to amuse Americans with protagonists who act like total dicks—to varying degrees of prickishness, and with varying degrees of success. They aren’t alone in this, of course. In fact, television has turned the total dick into such a thing that Fox can market Backstrom, the network’s latest offering in the genre, with the line “Brilliant Detective, Total Dick“—at least in Los Angeles. Other cities get “Brilliant Detective, Total Jerk.” Appreciate that Fox thinks only Angelenos can handle dick humor.

That television can now present the anti-hero archetype as something of a knowing cultural joke on a billboard is another literal sign that the whole anti-hero craze of the early 21st century has lost its punch. A potent expression of any number of things—a critique of masculinity, a response to the political climate, a comment on justice after 9/11—has become a hollow gesture. Yet one of the problems with this dreary dramedy is that it can’t decide if it wants to make us laugh at the trope or move us with it. READ FULL STORY

'Hannibal' season 3 first trailer -- exclusive


Ready for an amuse-bouche from Hannibal season three?

Below is a teaser trailer with the first batch of footage from the third season of NBC’s acclaimed, cult-favorite thriller. The trailer shows Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) obsessively hunting Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) in what we assume is Florence, Italy.

Expect the new season to mine elements from Thomas Harris’ Hannibal novels, including Hannibal Rising and Red Dragon. According to showrunner Bryan Fuller, the series will mash up elements from the books in a unique way—including revealing a very different origin story for the good doctor.

Though you’re going to have to wait until summer for the main course, this video should at least give a little taste:  READ FULL STORY

There's hope for Elena's memories: 'Vampire Diaries' producers share 8 tidbits of what's to come

When we last left Mystic Falls, Liz had been diagnosed with cancer, and Elena had found herself trapped with a very powerful Kai behind a cloaking spell. And when we pick back up the next morning, not much has changed: Caroline is still trying to find a supernatural way to save her mother, and Elena is still trying to get to Damon. Add in the introduction of Sarah Salvatore and a farewell to Jeremy, and you’ve got a pretty packed hour—even with the subtraction of a few shirtless Stefan scenes.

We sat down with Vampire Diaries executive producers Julie Plec and Caroline Dries to talk about what’s coming up for our favorite Virginia residents.


Adam Brody flirts with his stepsister in first 'Billy & Billie' teaser

In Billy & Billie, Adam Brody and Lisa Joyce play two people who have fallen in love. The only issue: They’re stepsiblings.

The new show from Neil LaBute, which has already been given a 10-episode order from DirecTV, will follow Billy and Billie as they navigate the ups and downs of a relationship, with the added complication of the whole possible-incest thing.

EW has an exclusive sneak peek of the show’s first teaser, in which Billy and Billie try to hide their relationship.

Billy & Billie premieres Tuesday, March 3 at 8 p.m. on DirecTV’s Audience Network.


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