Video Music Awards viewership falls to 9.8 million, despite airing on more networks

LOS ANGELES -- Sorry, Miley and Kanye.

Viewership for MTV's Video Music Awards fell Sunday night to 9.8 million on average, despite airing on 10 networks.

That's compared with last year's 10.3 million viewers, who watched via simulcasts on MTV, MTV2, VH1 and Logo TV. This year's extravaganza added six networks owned by MTV parent company ...Read more

'The SpongeBob Musical,' with tunes by Bowie, Aerosmith, gets Chicago premiere

CHICAGO -- With an original score by such incongruous music luminaries as David Bowie, John Legend, Cyndi Lauper, Lady Antebellum, and Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, the animated series "SpongeBob SquarePants" is to become a Broadway musical during the 2016-17 season in New York.

But the denizens of Bikini Bottom will sing for the ...Read more

Wes Craven: A good man with a gift for bad dreams

The filmmaker Wes Craven battled brain cancer at the end of his 76 years, and his death Sunday brought forth a flurry of tributes to, among others, his most influential demon child.

Craven named Freddy Krueger, the dream-wrecker with the metal fingers and cinema's least romantic-looking fedora, after a boy who bullied Craven as a child. Revenge...Read more

'Get Smart' available digitally for first time

Studio executives decided to cancel the spy comedy "Get Smart" after its inaugural season in 1965. It was because of poor ratings, despite having a stellar comedy pedigree -- it was created by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry.

"But, no one liked the show they put on as the replacement," Brooks says. "So, I got a call saying they were putting us back ...Read more

'Hannibal' brilliant for tackling mental health issues

With "Hannibal" ending, television loses one of its finest examples of how to delve into psychiatric matters and still tell stories that are lush and complicated while upholding the clear-eyed humanity the subject matter deserves.

In the now-canceled series, Hugh Dancy portrayed Will Graham, an FBI special agent suffering from a disorder that ...Read more

Epix movies to jump from Netflix to Hulu in new deal

LOS ANGELES -- Hulu will expand its library in October as part of a new deal with cable network Epix.

The news came just after streaming giant Netflix announced that it has decided against renewing its agreement in the U.S. with Epix.

Hulu, the streaming service that launched in 2007 and is co-owned by Comcast's NBCUniversal, has a library of ...Read more

New Albums: Beach House; Destroyer; Lindi Ortega

Beach House

"Depression Cherry"

(SubPop 1/2)

Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally of Beach House are not prolific, and the Baltimore dream-pop duo don't bother reinventing themselves. Going back to their self-titled 2006 debut, each Beach House album sounds sort of the same, with stately melodies, unhurried rhythms, programmed drums, Scally's ...Read more

President Obama to rough it on Bear Grylls' show

LOS ANGELES -- President Barack Obama is going wild.

NBC announced Monday that Obama will explore the Alaskan wilderness with survival expert Bear Grylls in a special episode of the docuseries "Running Wild with Bear Grylls."

The episode will be taped this week as part of the president's three-day trip to the Last Frontier, intended to bring ...Read more

Commentary: MTV VMAs 2015: Five reasons it was all a mess

The 2015 Video Music Awards will, rightfully, be best remembered as a fiery train wreck where causalities, chest-clutching awkwardness and "oh no they didn't" absurdity were in abundance.

Somewhere between a provoked Nicki Minaj cursing out Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber rising from the stage as if he were Christ and Kanye West delivering a stream ...Read more

Destination: Disappointment, by Banksy

GREAT YARMOUTH, England -- To pass a day at a cloudy British seaside resort in the waning days of summer is to embrace melancholy. The resorts themselves -- conceived as great Victorian towns of pleasure and repose -- have yet to recover from a period of decline that began in the 1970s when cheap European charter flights stole their clientele. ...Read more

New role, similar thrills for Michael Rosenbaum

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Drama class was an easy A for actor Michael Rosenbaum. He wasn't in it for the glory or the attention. In fact, he didn't participate in any of the plays at first. "I was taking drama classes but I was still nervous and shy, and my teacher said -- I was a senior -- she said, 'Listen, you can't take Drama 4 unless you ...Read more

Kanye West steals Miley's spotlight at MTV Video Music Awards

Miley Cyrus tried hard, very hard, to be the story of the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, which she hosted Sunday night in Los Angeles and on multiple cable television channels.

But even several mentions of marijuana and a pretty deliberate backstage Janet Jackson moment by Cyrus couldn't take attention from the true star of the night, Kanye West....Read more

Colin Quinn is embracing the moment — his moment

NEW YORK -- Colin Quinn is indignant.

He's smiling, but he's indignant.

"You just can't have it both ways," he said. "Everyone wants to be artisanal, vinyl, organic, but when it comes to people, they want it to be generic. Somebody's got to make a choice!"

The longtime performer is on a downtown stage here, running through telltale ...Read more

T.C. Stallings stars in new Christian film 'War Room'

If you happen to see the new movie "War Room," leading man T.C. Stallings may look familiar.

When called Tony Stallings, he was a standout football player at Bedford High School near Cleveland and later made some impressive moves on the field for the University of Louisville -- the first person in his family to go to college, he said.

He also ...Read more

Column: Is Donald Trump Charles Foster Kane in disguise?

"It's him! He's here!" In "Gremlins 2: The New Batch" (1990), a breathless corporate minion announces the arrival of Daniel Clamp, a Manhattan entrepreneur suspiciously similar in name, arrogance and love-to-hatefulness to the man currently leading the polls among 2016 Republican presidential hopefuls.

John Glover plays the character based on ...Read more

In the company of Nick Nolte, master storyteller

He appears as if a flicker among the rose bushes and sycamores. He squints, tilts his head in that signature way, and smiles with new teeth. "Just got 'em. $3,000 a set. They hurt." He laughs, waves you on, riffing and drawing you in like a confidant on a bar stool or an usher in a pew between Masses.

Nick Nolte's take on things slides from the...Read more

Why 'Empire' rules network TV and you should pay attention to this show

LOS ANGELES -- "Empire" caught everyone by surprise.

The FOX family drama that plays out against the cutthroat world of the music industry opened strong when it launched as a mid-season replacement in January. What no one expected was for the ratings to climb each week until the season finale attracted almost 17 million viewers.

It's been a ...Read more

Prop insect artist creates a buzz in Hollywood

One of the more popular episodes of the cable television show "Breaking Bad" revolved around a little housefly that tormented the main character, Walter, in his meth-making lab.

But the fly only appeared to be real. It was the creation of an artist who calls Naperville, Ill., home.

Graham Owen, in fact, made 18 life-size flies for that one "...Read more

For these critics, superheroes didn't always save the day at summertime movies

They call summer the season of "popcorn movies" for a reason -- they may not be the most nutritious fare, but they're great to munch on. Certainly summer 2015 gave us a large order of popcorn movies such as "Jurassic World" and "Mission: Impossible -- Rogue Nation," but there was surprising variety in there too -- some of it actually good for ...Read more

VMAs' showstoppers: Nicki Minaj and Kanye West seize the moment

LOS ANGELES -- Turns out it wasn't Miley we needed to worry about.

Virtually all the chatter heading into Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards had to do with what kind of ruckus Miley Cyrus might raise as the show's host. Two years ago, remember, it was Cyrus -- the Disney Channel star turned twerk-happy enfant terrible -- who scandalized a nation ...Read more