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Lynda Hirsh On This Week's TV Gossip

In a you-have-got-to-be-kidding-me year, there are some things to be thankful for in the world of television. Sadly, things are so bad in California that Gov. Gavin Newsom has put the state in lockdown mode. However, he has made an exception for the world of entertainment. It is because everyone in that realm has been paying attention to the ...Read more

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Mads Mikkelsen takes over 'Fantastic Beasts' role after Johnny Depp's departure

The rumors are true: Mads Mikkelsen will replace Johnny Depp as dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald in "Fantastic Beasts 3," Warner Bros. confirmed Wednesday. The casting news comes just weeks after Depp was pushed out of the role and resigned at the studio's request.

Danish actor Mikkelsen, 55, appeared as Dr. Hannibal Lecter for three seasons on ...Read more

Flor Silvestre, beloved Mexican singer, actress and musical matriarch, dies at 90

In the annals of show-business rechristenings, few boast a better origin story than the Mexican singer-actress Flor Silvestre.

Born Guillermina Jimenez Chabolla in 1930, she moved at 13 with her family from their native Guanajuato to Mexico City because her mother wanted to live in the megalopolis. The ingenue quickly established herself as an ...Read more

Cher visits Pakistan to save the 'world's loneliest elephant'

She believes in life in the wild.

Pop goddess Cher met with the prime minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, on Friday, to help save Kaavan — known as "the world's loneliest elephant."

The legendary singer and Oscar-winning actress was celebrating the departure of Kaavan, who'll soon leave a Pakistani zoo for an animal sanctuary in Cambodia.

"...Read more

'Great British Baking Show' 2020: We break down the season finale, snubs and surprises

The season finale — and also the finals — of the latest season of "The Great British Baking Show" made it to America on Friday, with last standing bakers Dave Friday (30, security guard), Laura Adlington (31, digital manager) and Peter Sawkins (20, student and youngest finalist ever) going spatula to spatula for the prized cake stand trophy....Read more

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Holiday TV: Singing with Dolly Parton, decorating with 'Mr. Christmas' and more

Yes, anxious viewers, there will be a network-television airing of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" this year. Also, the 56-year-old "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." And for all you wild and crazy youngsters out there, "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" will be barreling your way, its unfathomable charms still a mystery after 20 years.

While it ...Read more

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Hugh Grant never wanted to be Hollywood's 'romantic Englishman.' So he gave it up

Just how stressed is Hugh Grant, you ask? Let him tell you:

"Well, apart from the fact we're having a second spike of coronavirus and we're about to be smashed by a no-deal Brexit, and food shortages and medicine shortages, and everyone is furious and terrified in the streets, and my children won't sleep and I've got a terrible hangover, ...Read more

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Garth Brooks offers 'Fun' to cap tough year, after Detroit became unplanned last tour stop

DETROIT — Garth Brooks couldn't have known it at the time. Back in late February, none of us did.

But when the country star stepped onstage for more than 70,000 concertgoers at Ford Field on Feb. 22, he and those Detroit fans became part of an unlikely and unfortunate milestone.

Brooks' high-energy, hits-laden affair inside the Detroit Lions...Read more

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Commentary: 49 years ago, D.B. Cooper became an ideal hero for cynical times. He still is

It was Thanksgiving eve, 1971, when a mystery man known only as Dan Cooper hijacked a commercial airliner out of Portland International Airport. He sat in the last row of seats on the plane, where he slipped a note to the flight attendant, informing her he had a bomb in his attache case. He demanded a $200,000 ransom and four parachutes, which ...Read more

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Billy Corgan has a lot to say about Spotify, Courtney Love and our 'spiritual dystopia'

Billy Corgan is no stranger to upsetting people on the internet. But on a November morning, he seems remorseful to have upset a particular demographic: witches.

"It's Witchgate!" he announces.

Smashing Pumpkins' latest album, "Cyr," released Friday, is a roving 20-song double album that courses with currents of '80s synth-pop and darkwave ...Read more

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Minnesotan behind 'Toy Story' and 'Up' on his latest Pixar movie 'Soul'

MINNEAPOLIS — Pete Docter's life has a way of making its way on screen. The Minnesota native and chief creative officer of Pixar Animation Studios regularly draws from his own experiences, even if the results aren't always as personal as his latest work, "Soul," which he co-wrote and -directed. (It debuts on Disney+ in December after a couple ...Read more

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My worst moment: 'Transparent' star Amy Landecker on being fully exposed and the embarrassment of sex scenes

In the Showtime drama "Your Honor," which premieres next month, Bryan Cranston plays a New Orleans judge whose wife was murdered a year before the events of the show begin. Amy Landecker plays the detective who investigated that unsolved murder, and she is pulled back into the family's orbit when the judge's son is involved in a fatal hit-and-...Read more

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'Happiest Season' is a holiday rom-com about coming out. Here's why that's important

That true love prevails is a well-known tradition in romantic comedies, so it's neither a spoiler nor a secret that "Happiest Season" ends with a happily ever after.

The lovers in this Christmas rom-com are Abby, a student pursuing a doctorate in history portrayed by Kristen Stewart, and Mackenzie Davis' Harper, a journalist. Harper might be ...Read more

'Bugsnax,' 'Sackboy' and more next-gen family games you should own

Today's games provide many wonders, including complex stories with multiple quests and missions that provide the illusion of letting us stitch together a linear story. But they are also big, and sometimes overwhelming to start. I enjoyed my first hour with "Assassin's Creed Valhalla," a massive Viking-themed addition to the long-running open-...Read more

Alex Trebek recorded powerful Thanksgiving message for 'Jeopardy!' ahead of his death

Beloved "Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek offered an uplifting vision for the future of the world in a video he taped shortly before his death to be aired as part of the game show's Thanksgiving episode.

"You know, in spite of what America and the rest of the world is experiencing right now, there are many reasons to be thankful," said Trebek in the...Read more

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Review: Melissa McCarthy's 'Superintelligence' is little more than average

The ongoing collaboration between the husband-and-wife team of Ben Falcone and Melissa McCarthy continues to yield mixed results with "Superintelligence." The fourth film directed by Falcone and starring McCarthy, the movie is first and foremost a spotlight for McCarthy's genuine gift for blending broad comedy with emotional sincerity, but to ...Read more

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'SNL' gives Morgan Wallen a second chance after singer's COVID-related cancellation

"Saturday Night Live" is giving country singer Morgan Wallen a do-over after booting him from its Oct. 10 lineup over COVID-19 safety concerns.

The "More Than My Hometown" singer will return to the sketch-comedy series for its Dec. 5 show, hosted by Jason Bateman. Wallen was replaced in October by Jack White after video clips surfaced on social...Read more

Around the Remote: "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", "Seal Team", more

DON'T MISS: "CMA Country Christmas" — Set to ring in the holidays, married co-hosts Thomas Rhett and Lauren Akins headline this annual music-filled hour in an intimate, at-home setting. The show, shot in Nashville, Tennessee, features performances by Kelsea Ballerini ("Santa Baby"), Gabby Barrett ("The First Noel"), Lady A ("Wonderful ...Read more

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Sound Advice: Helm Audio True Wireless 5.0 Headphones some of the best-sounding earbuds for the price

Q. You were right — the Helm Audio True Wireless 5.0 Headphones are the best earbuds ever! As an RN, I am still ordering them at 50% off with Helm's special first responder discount. I have purchased five sets so far. My husband uses them in his job as a big rig driver. You get all-night ears by just wearing one earbud at a time, which is safe...Read more

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Review: Kurt Russell delivers more Claus and effects in Netflix's 'The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two'

The Times is committed to reviewing theatrical film releases during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because moviegoing carries risks during this time, we remind readers to follow health and safety guidelines as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health officials.

In the final scene of "The Christmas Chronicles," a ...Read more