Coldplay is readying their sixth studio album Ghost Stories due out May 19 and in the meantime they’ve dropped two music videos to accompany the record’s two singles “Magic” and “Midnight.” Click the link to watch the negative imagery clip for “Midnight” if you missed out on that last month, and check out Coldplay’s latest offering the clip embedded here. In “Magic,” frontman Chris Martin stars as drunk illusionist as well as the illusionist’s assistant who is after the heart of a young magicienne played by Ziyi Zhang (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). The black-and-white video features the “silent film” style incorporating Martin’s soothing vocals and the band’s flowing instrumentals. It’s a soft song but it’s definitely an uplifting one, metaphorically and thanks to this music video quite literally, too.
Preorder Ghost Stories today.
For those of you still holding out hope that a 24 movie will be made, here is your fix. FOX has released a “movie trailer” hyping the upcoming return of Jack Bauer. After years of speculation, 24 is being resurrected as a 12 episode event series for TV and not as a feature film; however, fans will likely treat this as one long 12-hour movie because in essence that’s what it really is. Need proof? Mash play on the two-minute and twenty-one second trailer embedded above for an unabashedly thrilling look at the new season of 24: Live Another Day. Featuring an all-star cast in a brand new location, the new 24 is shaping up to be as fun and addicting (if not more so) than ever before.
24: Live Another Day premieres May 5 on FOX. Jump after the break to read the latest logline. (Click here for more…)
This week HBO renewed its hit fantasy series Game of Thrones for fifth and sixth seasons. A two-season pickup is nice, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. First, logistically, the sprawling drama is based on George R.R. Martin’s books which will span across seven thick novels when all is said and done; so there is much story that needs to be adapted for the small screen. Second, of course, is the show’s monster ratings. Last Sunday’s season 4 premiere drew in a record-breaking 6.6 million viewers making it the pay cabler’s most watched program since The Sopranos‘ series finale in 2007.
“Game of Thrones is a phenomenon like no other,” said president of HBO Programming Michael Lombardo. “David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, along with their talented collaborators, continue to surpass themselves, and we look forward to more of their dazzling storytelling.”
Also renewed this week is A&E’s Psycho prequel series Bates Motel. The Freddy Highmore & Vera Farmiga show will return for a 10-episode third season in 2015. Season 2 is really starting to unravel Norman’s psychosis and another season of the thriller is going to bring viewers even closer to the serial killer we know he is destined to be.
“The incredible writing team and talented Bates Motel cast has made this series one of the most compelling original dramas on television,” said A&E EVP and GM David McKillop. “The brilliant twists and turns of the past two seasons keep its loyal fan base coming back for more. We are so proud of the show.”
Game of Thrones airs Sunday nights at 9PM on HBO and Bates Motel airs Mondays at 10PM on A&E.
The late-night talk show scene is ongoing a major makeover. Shortly after Jimmy Fallon took over The Tonight Show from Jay Leno and Seth Meyers occupied Fallon’s vacant Late Night seat, it was announced this week that Stephen Colbert is going to be David Letterman’s successor when the longstanding Late Show host retires in 2015. It has been confirmed that the Comedy Central host of the politically-bent Cobert Report will not be bringing over his conservative pundit character to the Late Show but instead will play himself (can’t wait to see what that will look like). Unfortunately for Report fans, when the transition happens that show will be no more. Here are some choice quotes from those parties involved:
Colbert: “Simply being a guest on David Letterman’s show has been a highlight of my career. I never dreamed that I would follow in his footsteps, though everyone in late night follows Dave’s lead. I’m thrilled and grateful that CBS chose me. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go grind a gap in my front teeth.”
Letterman: “Stephen has always been a real friend to me. I’m very excited for him, and I’m flattered that CBS chose him. I also happen to know they wanted another guy with glasses.”
CBS CEO Les Moonves: “Stephen Colbert is one of the most inventive and respected forces on television. David Letterman’s legacy and accomplishments are an incredible source of pride for all of us here, and today’s announcement speaks to our commitment of upholding what he established for CBS in late night.”
CBS Entertainment chairman Nina Tassler: “Stephen is a multi-talented and respected host, writer, producer, satirist and comedian who blazes a trail of thought-provoking conversation, humor and innovation with everything he touches. He is a presence on every stage, with interests and notable accomplishments across a wide spectrum of entertainment, politics, publishing and music. We welcome Stephen to CBS with great pride and excitement, and look forward to introducing him to our network television viewers in late night.”
Twitter is rolling out a new design layout for web profiles. The most prominent visual changes are larger profile photos and customized headers that mimic Facebook’s profile and cover photos. Dig a bit deeper and you’ll see that the update allows users to pin a tweet to the top of their feed; this locked-at-the-top tweet serves as an extension to a user’s bio and provides followers and potential followers alike another window into seeing what you’re all about. You may also notice magnified tweets that appear larger in your feed; these are called your “Best Tweets” and they appear larger because they’ve received the most engagement such as being Favorited or Retweeted a lot. Also, when you check out other people’s profiles you can filter between all Tweets, Tweets with photos/video, or Tweets and replies–a new way to quickly search a person’s feed by content type.
The new profile layout is slowly rolling out to all users “in the coming weeks.” If you’re new to Twitter and sign up today you’ll automatically see it. For everyone else, you can preview the new layout today by flocking over to certain celeb accounts such as @ChanningTatum and @KerryWashington.
On April 2 Amazon unveiled their latest foray into the hardware space. After making ebooks and tablets the online retailer is directly competing with Apple TV and Roku with their very own media streamer called Amazon Fire TV. The $99 box comes packed with myriad subscription-based and streaming services including Netflix, Hulu Plus, and of course Amazon Instant Video with Prime benefits to Amazon’s catalog of exclusive content.
There really are three things that set the Fire TV apart from the competition. First is its raw power. The box is powered by a quad-core processor, a dedicated GPU, 2GB of RAM, and it supports 1080p video and Dolby Digital Plus surround sound. The company is claiming it has 3x the processing power and 4x the memory of Apple TV and Roku. These specs allow for a fast and fluid experience navigating the UI and media playback. Such generous guts support Amazon’s anti-buffering initiative they’re calling ASAP, or Advanced Streaming and Prediction; instead of waiting 10+ seconds for a video to buffer and stream, the Fire TV will smartly predict the movies and shows you will watch and get them ready for streaming so when you hit play it will immediately begin playback. More specs: ’round back you’ll find a port for power, HDMI, optical audio, Ethernet, and USB. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are also inside.
Amazon’s Fire TV also supports voice search. The included media remote sports a mic that listens to your audible search queries. Simply tap the voice button and speak into the remote to instantly search TV shows, movies, actors, directors, and genres. Of course, an on-screen keyboard is provided in case the software can’t pick up on what you’re saying for whatever reason. Note that the remote is paired to the streamer via Bluetooth so direct line-of-sight for control is not necessary.
Additionally, the box is being billed as a gaming machine. Does it compete with heavy hitters like the Xbox One and PS4–no way, but that doesn’t mean it won’t fight to become an affordable way to access easy-to-pickup titles like world-builder Minecraft and racer Asphalt. In fact, Amazon is so dedicated to making Fire TV a gaming destination that it is also selling a separately sold Amazon Fire Game Controller for $39.99 that is very reminiscent of Xbox’s pad featuring dual analog sticks, a d-pad, and ABXY buttons, as well as media controls. And on top of that, the company has formed Amazon Game Studios to develop games exclusively for the Fire TV such as third-person sci-fi shooter Sev Zero. Press the GameCircle button the Game Controller to view leaderboards and achievements across the Internet. Many games are offered today (a bunch of them are free) with “thousands” more on the way. Check out the Fire TV’s games and apps catalog here. Note that most games do not require the separately sold Game Controller for use, however some do.
What else? In addition to movies and TV, the Android-powered box also streams music (Pandora, Vevo, etc.) and it can wirelessly stream your photos and video saved in Amazon Cloud Drive. You can also mirror your Amazon tablet to your HDTV in the same way iOS devices can be paired with Apple TVs and your Amazon tablet can provide a second screen experience by pulling up content that’s related to what you’re watching on the big screen. Last, Amazon FreeTime allows parents to setup personalized profiles for their kids to access appropriate movies, TV shows, apps, and games.
Amazon Fire TV is available for purchase today. Get a closer look at the media streamer and its gaming controller in the gallery below, then jump after the break to see the UI in action, a sneak peek at Amazon-developed games, and the first commercial for it starring the insane Gary Busey.
Starting to see a trend here! Following in the steps of other musical television series Glee and Smash, ABC’s country drama Nashville is stepping outside the box that’s in your living room to perform songs from the show live on a three-city tour. The tour will make stops in Chicago (4/25), Washington, D.C. (5/4), and New York (5/6). Those actors participating are Charles Esten (Deacon Claybourne), Chris Carmack (Will Lexington), Clare Bowen (Scarlett O’Connor), Jonathan Jackson (Avery Barkley), Sam Palladio (Gunnar Scott), and Will Chase (Luke Wheeler). Chase will only be featured in NY performance. Tickets go on sale April 4 at Chi-town’s Joe’s Bar, D.C.’s Lincoln Theatre, and NYC’s Best Buy Theatre.
“We’re thrilled to have an opportunity to showcase our artists in a live setting where fans can enjoy the music from the show in a more intimate setting,” said Dawn Soler, Senior VP TV of Music at ABC Entertainment Group. “Each song is a crucial part of our storyline and each week our multitalented actors are able to breathe life into the story by performing these wonderful lyrical works.”
“We have an exceptionally talented cast of great actors, many who are also wonderful singers, musicians and songwriters,” said Steve Buchanan, Nashville executive producer and president of the Opry Entertainment Group. “It is exciting to be able to hit the road and be face to face with our show’s fans.”
It’s unfortunate that the show’s two big stars Connie Britton (Rayna James) and Hayden Panettiere (Juliet Barnes) are a no-show and that the tour is so short; and what’s puzzling is that the Nashville tour isn’t setting up shop in the very city that makes up the heart of the show. Regardless, if you’re a fan of series, its stars and the music (and if you live in one of the three lucky cities) then this tour is definitely something to get excited about. Scarlett and Gunnar are going to duet because they have to, am I right?!
Google is making a big play when it comes to wearables. First, of course, there’s Google Glass, those high-tech spectacles still be tested in the field before being unleashed to the mass market. And while we wait for that, Google wants to get consumers hyped with another wearable powered by Android: the watch.
Smartwatches have been a thing for years; Samsung, in fact, has been working on their own “Galaxy Gear” watches recently and does anyone remember Motorola’s MOTOACTV? Anyway, those smartwatches failed to make it big and Google hopes to make a splash in the wearables market with their latest software initiative Android Wear.
Simply put, Google is developing a new version of Android suited for watches that various manufacturers–from big industry players like Motorola and Samsung to fashion brands like Fossil–can use to power their hardware. Like Android on Google Glass, Android Wear aims to make wearables like watches “understand the context of the world around you, and you can interact with them simply and efficiently, with just a glance or a spoken word.” In other words, a smartwatch powered by Android Wear will provide you with contextual updates depending on your location and daily schedule. For example, when you arrive at the airport your smartwatch will automatically recognize where you are and pull up relevant information such as flight details and even your boarding pass. Now of course, you’re smartphone can likely do the same thing (think Google Now or Apple’s PassBook app), but having this kind of quick, glance-and-go information on your wrist instead of inside your pocket makes things more convenient and efficient.
In addition to providing contextual information, Android timepieces can give you straight answers to spoken questions. Speak aloud “Ok Google” and pose a question to receive an answer on the fly. Want the score to the Knicks game? Ask your watch and it’ll bring to the surface the information you’re looking for. You can also use this spoken service to request things like taxis, make restaurant reservations, and even send a text. Android Wear also promises to serve as a helpful way to monitor your health and fitness, as well as stream content such as music and movies to your phone and TV.
Google hopes that developers will jump on the Android Wear bandwagon and start tailoring their apps for the wearable OS; a Developer Preview is available today. To date, Google is working with Asus, HTC, LG, Motorola, and Samsung, chip makers Broadcom, Imagination, Intel, Mediatek, and Qualcomm, and fashion brands like the Fossil Group to create new and intuitive smartwatches. They’re not giving a very specific timeframe as to when consumers can expect to their hands on Android Wear watches, but they tease they’re coming “later this year.” In fact, Motorola and LG are already starting to show off what they’ve got up their sleeves with Moto 360 and G Watch, respectively.
Jump after the break to watch a couple clips showing off these new watches. And brace yourselves–Google says this is just the beginning for Android Wear: “we’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s possible with mobile technology.” Glasses, watches, what’s next? Apple, ahem, your move.
From Virtual Boy to true Virtual Reality–[expletive] is about to get real.
This month at the 2014 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Sony revealed the latest piece of hardware they’re working on. No, it’s not the PS5 but rather”Project Morpheus.” That’s the code name for their attempt at virtual reality hardware. It’s something that’s straight out of the future–a sophisticated-looking head-mounted unit gets strapped to your noggin and you peer into two LCD 1080p displays (that merge into one) with a 90 degree field of view. Simply put, Morpheus is going to fully immerse you in games like never before. Or in Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida words Morpheus promises “to build on our mission to push the boundaries of play.”
Morpheus, at its core, aims to “create experiences that deliver a sense of presence – where players feel as though they are physically inside the virtual world of a game.” Furthermore, “presence is like a window into another world that heightens the emotions gamers experience as they play.” I think you get the picture.
Morpheus is PlayStation branded hardware that is still very much in the prototype stage. A handful of details, however, managed to trickle out from GDC as a number of units were in fact playable at the conference. The VR headset works in tandem with PS4; accelerometer and gyroscope sensors inside collaborate with the PlayStation Camera to deliver VR experiences. Also, the PlayStation Move controller as well as the PS4′s standard DualShock controller assist in said experiences. For example, future gamers will strap Morpheus on and be transported to a castle with a fire-breathing dragon. Tilt and move around your head as if you are actually there to view your landscape. Whip out your PS Move controller and suddenly you wield a sword to take down the otherworldly beast.
In addition to visuals, Sony is also making Morpheus an all-encompassing virtual reality experience by incorporating 3D audio technology. Gamers will be able to hear sounds coming from all around them in real-time depending on their head orientation. For example, sounds will barrage you from above you (think helicopters flying overhead) and even below you (the pitter-patter of footsteps rushing up a flight of stairs). A stereo headset jack on the unit allows you to plug in any kind of headphones you like to fully step into a virtual world with realistic visuals and 360-degree audio.
As made clear earlier, Project Morpheus is still in its infancy state in terms of final design and function. However, Sony is eager to share the hardware and SDK with developers so that early kinks can be fixed and exciting software can be developed. At GDC, Sony had a dogfighting shooter EVE Valkyrie and stealth actioner Thief playable inside Morpheus, as well as in-house demos “The Castle” and “The Deep” demonstrating the VR headset’s basic functions. In time, more games will be made for it. I think we know what Sony will be hyping when E3 rolls around this June.
Jump after the break to watch Project Morpheus in action.
This Sunday AMC airs the season 4 finale of The Walking Dead. At the very end of last week’s penultimate episode (spoiler alert), Glenn finally reunited with Maggie and together–along with Bob, Sasha, Tara, Abraham, Eugene, and Rosita–they finally made it to Terminus. Nearly all season long we’ve been teased with the Terminus sign reading, “Those who arrive survive.” Now that a bulk of our group has made it to “sanctuary” what happens next? Will Rick, Carl, Michonne, Carol, Judith, Tyreese, and Daryl’s group of Claimers all converge at Terminus? And who took Beth? Is Terminus actually a safe haven as it promotes itself to be, or will it turn out to be another Woodbury…or worse?! So many questions are left dangling in front of our eyes just like those poor rats the late Lizzie fed to the walkers outside the long-forgotten prison. Sunday night, we find out if those who arrive at Terminus truly survive.
Your wish is my command. A third clip hyping the upcoming ninth season of 24 has surfaced, following the incredible Super Bowl spot and this 34-second teaser. “Risk” is the lengthiest look at the new season thus far and it promotes the same kind of high-stakes action and intensity you are used to seeing from the Kiefer Sutherland led series.
Speaking of the 24 Super Bowl commercial, you’re going to want to jump after the break to watch a behind-the-scenes look at how that secretive spot was made.
AMERICAN HORROR STORY SEASON FOUR: pic.twitter.com/6OHYzGjPMd
— Ryan Murphy (@MrRPMurphy) March 24, 2014
As has been the case each year, American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy has fun with his fans by slowing doling out details about the next incarnation of his adored anthology FX series. For the fourth round, he started with the upcoming season’s title: American Horror Story: Freak Show (see the revealing tweet embedded above). EW managed to scoop up a tantalizing bit of the plot:
Set in Jupiter, Florida, in 1950, Freak Show finds Jessica Lange playing a German ex-pat who is managing one of the last freak shows in the U.S.
On March 28 at PaleyFest celebrating AHS: Coven, Murphy confirmed that the majority of the witchy season’s cast will return for Freak Show: Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Sarah Paulson, Emma Roberts, Gabourey Sidibe, Frances Conroy, Jamie Brewer, Denis O’Hare, and Evan Peters. The newest addition to the AHS cast is Michael Chiklis (The Shield). Season 4 will also try to reel back some actors from the series’ first two seasons, Murder House and Asylum.
At PaleyFest Murphy elaborated, “It’s not a circus, it’s not a carnival, it’s a freak show set in 1950, and it was a concept that Jessica Lange talked about as she wanted to play this type of character.” The season, like Coven before it, will be shot in New Orleans though, as previously stated, it will take place in Jupiter, Florida.
So we’ve got the what, the when, and for the most part the who for the upcoming Freak Show. That’s quite a start! Stick it here for more details regarding the next installment of AHS as they creep in.
Here’s a quickie: On March 19, NBC renewed Chicago Fire, its spinoff Chicago PD, and supernatural genre series Grimm. Joining these three series next season are the previously renewed The Blacklist, Parks and Recreation, The Voice, and Celebrity Apprentice.
Movie trailer round-up: ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’, ‘Peanuts,’ ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ & more
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are coming back to the big screen in a live action/CGI film produced by Michael Bay (Transformers) and directed by Jonathan Liebesman (Wrath of the Titans). Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Donatello are back and bigger than ever before–these CG turtles are massive in terms of sheer size. The big bad Shredder is played here by William Fichner and the TMNT will be battling his Foot Clan in New York City. Megan Fox also stars as April O’Neil, the famed fearless reporter who jarringly isn’t sporting red hair and a yellow raincoat for the reboot. The TMNT canon is being altered for this movie; the teaser reveals that Shredder and April’s father conspired to scientifically create heroes and thus were born the Turtles. Our heroes look strange but the action sequences look fun–it may not be the TMNT rebirth we were all expecting but that doesn’t mean you won’t go and see it.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cowabunga into theatres August 8.
Jump after the break to view more trailers. (Click here for more…)
In just over a month Orphan Black returns to the airwaves and with it comes all the crazy clones played masterfully and delicately by actress Tatiana Maslany. Pick ‘em out in the cast photo embedded above. The brand new one-minute trailer packed with new footage and dialogue that you’re itching to watch is located right after the break, so get to it! Is that a new clone I see teased at the very end? Entertainment Weekly says yes.
Orphan Black returns for its second season April 19 on BBC America. (Click here for more…)
On Thursday CBS renewed 20 series consisting of 9 dramas, 6 comedies, 3 reality shows, and 2 newsmagazines and they are:
NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, Person of Interest, Criminal Minds, CSI, Elementary, Hawaii Five-0, Blue Bloods, The Good Wife, The Big Bang Theory, 2 Broke Girls, Mike & Molly, Mom, The Millers, Two and a Half Men, Survivor, The Amazing Race, Undercover Boss, 60 Minutes, and 48 Hours.
Those CBS shows still “on the bubble” and that haven’t been greenlit for another season at this time include veteran The Mentalist and freshman dramas Intelligence and Hostages (the latter of which has a .01% chance of returning), and freshman comedy The Crazy Ones.
“The best way to launch new shows in the fall and throughout the season is to surround them with a strong and stable lineup of successful series,” said CBS Entertainment Chairman Nina Tassler. “The shows we’re picking up today cut across every night of the week and feature genre leaders, time period winners and the most-watched shows on broadcast television.”
Note: The network renewed Survivor for two additional cycles and The Big Bang Theory‘s renewal includes three more seasons of the hit Chuck Lorre sitcom.
“Comedy is a big part of our schedule, and The Big Bang Theory is the biggest comedy force on television,” said Tassler. “This multi-year deal further strengthens our network’s position for future seasons and marks another chapter in the great partnership CBS enjoys with Warner Bros. Television for delivering audiences the best in comedy. We’re proud to work with and showcase the incredible talents of Chuck Lorre, Steve Molaro and this amazing cast every week.”
Every now and again Jimmy Fallon and The Roots get together with musicians and cover popular songs with them. Jimmy and his Tonight Show house band broke out the classroom instruments most recently with the wickedly talented Idina Menzel to perform a fun version of her big, Oscar-winning Frozen tune “Let It Go.” Enjoy!
Bonus clip! Jump after the break to watch my favorite “Let It Go” cover by Nigerian singer Alex Boye featuring a very talented 11-year-old Lexi Walker and The One Voice Children’s Choir. (Click here for more…)
In a recent episode of Parks And Recreation titled “Anniversaries,” Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) gifted her geeky husband Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott) with a full-scale replica of the Iron Throne as made famous by George R.R. Martin in his A Song of Ice and Fire books and HBO’s adaptation Game of Thrones. Ben’s reaction to receiving said gift, to say the least, was extraordinarily hilarious.
Well, Parks & Rec fans, I present this gift to you: NBC has posted the extended take of the aforementioned scene and you can watch it in full above. If you didn’t think that tag could be any more perfect, guess again.