September 10th, 2009
01:49 PM ET

Your pop culture cheat sheet

Here's what's going in the world of entertainment today:

  • YouTube sensation Susan Boyle will perform on the finale of "America's Got Talent," according to People.
  • Despite the success of "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" and "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra," don't expect a He-Man movie anytime soon. Warner Bros. and Mattel have parted ways on the long-planned project, according to Variety. Mattel still plans to shop the idea to other studios.
  • DC Comics has been re-named DC Entertainment, according to Variety, which means you will see more DC superheroes in theaters, following the smash hit "The Dark Knight." "Green Lantern" is already in the works to hit the big screen.
  • Ratings for the premiere of the CW's revival of "Melrose Place" were disappointing, according to EW.com.
  • Variety reveals that the intended series finale for "King of the Hill" almost wasn't going to air this Sunday. Originally, the Fox network intended to air a run-of-the-mill episode as its swan song. Now fans of the second longest-running primetime animated series will get to see the final episode as it was meant to be seen (four un-aired episodes will run in syndication).
  • The Orlando Sentinel reports that "Big Brother" will be back for a 12th season on CBS after strong ratings this summer.
  • iReporters have been reviewing the new Tim Burton-produced animated movie "9," about bizarre creatures living in a post-apocalyptic world. Allen Mealey said it was "not bad, but not great either." Rajiim Gross gave the "visually stunning" movie a B+, and Kevin R. Farren was disappointed, saying it didn't offer much originality.
September 10th, 2009
11:42 AM ET

'Glee'-ful over this new show

I heart “Glee.”

After waiting four long months for a new episode after the pilot, it was worth the wait.

With all of the build-up in the media, and the anticipation, I was a bit worried that the premiere episode would be a bit of a let down. While I don’t think Wednesday night’s episode quite reached the level of hilarity of the pilot, it was still laugh-out-loud funny for me.

There was just so much comedic gold to mine, from the delicious evil that is Sue the cheerleading coach, to the stoic resignation of soprano Kurt (“You all will be working for me someday”) Hummel at his being tossed daily in the dumpster.

Then there is the music.

A show choir version of “Golddigger?” Salt-N-Peppa’s “Push It” at a school assembly? Priceless!

I think this show has everything, including the will-they-or-won’t-they brewing romance teachers Will Schuester and Emma Pillsbury. She may be a massive germaphobe, but I am so rooting for Emma to be able to get her hands on her true love – in a chaste (and hygienically acceptable) way until he can ditch his materialistic wife, of course.

Did “Glee” live up to your expectations?

September 10th, 2009
10:07 AM ET

And Ellen DeGeneres was chosen because?

I’m going to try real hard not to incur the wrath of Ellen DeGeneres fans here. The announcement that Ellen will replace Paula Abdul as a judge on “American Idol” this coming season left me cold.

ellen degeneres

Sure, I know Ellen loves the show and appreciates music. For that matter, so do I.

But, in my opinion, that hardly qualifies one to be a judge on “Idol.”

It reminds me of last season when Quentin Tarantino served as a coach. He too has a love of music and all things “Idol,” but watching him try to guide contestants through their rehearsals was just plain painful.

For all of her bucket of crazy, Paula at least brought the perspective of a performer. She knew what it was like to face an audience on your best – and worst – days and I believe that contributed to her desire to always try and find the positive.

Perhaps if there weren’t going to be four judges (which felt bloated and unnecessary to me last season), I might be more enthusiastic. With Paula, Randy, and Simon there was balance. With the addition of Kara DioGuardi things just felt out of whack to me and a strong judge is needed to counterbalance it all.

I imagine Ellen will provide more than a few laughs, but I am trying to envision what else she will bring other than the enthusiasm of a super fan.

What do you think? Was Ellen DeGeneres a good choice for a fourth judge?

September 10th, 2009
08:55 AM ET

Toronto a preview for Academy Awards?

In 2007 the Academy Award for Best Picture went to the film “No Country for Old Men.” Last year, the same prize went to “Slumdog Millionaire.” Both movies celebrated their world premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Will the year’s most acclaimed film appear at Canada’s biggest movie showcase once again? With a whopping 242 feature length films –- including 95 world premieres –- chances are pretty good. Dramas, comedies, documentaries... everything is in the mix at the 34th Annual Toronto International Film Festival.

CNN entertainment producer JD Cargill will be at the festival this weekend. Check back here on the Marquee Blog to get frequent updates and follow Cargill on Twitter @jdcargillcnn.

September 10th, 2009
08:25 AM ET

'Dance' taps into a new season


My, how time flies. It seems like it's only been a month since the last season of "So You Think You Can Dance." Oh wait, it has only been a month! Last night, Fox launched an ambitious challenge to ABC's dance show dominance of the fall (not to mention a lead-in to the highly-anticipated "Glee") by premiering a brand-spanking new season of "SYTYCD" (as the kids call it) in the fall. And boy, did it start off with a bang.

I'm not sure if it's the fact that it was a one-hour episode, but they seemed to focus a lot more on good dancers than usual for this premiere, showcasing two days of auditions in Los Angeles. Things didn't start off promisingly, with Cole Clemens' rather inexplicable music-less, spoken-word audition. If anyone wants to explain what he was doing, please feel free in the comments.

Things quickly got a lot better with contemporary dancer Mollee Gray, whose family picked up and moved to L.A. She can best be described as "Randi-esque" or "so this show," as judge Adam Shankman put it.

If you're going to go with a non-music, spoken-word audition, it certainly helps to have the talent of one of the best non-top-20 (so far) dancers of all time, Ryan Kasprzak. He really stepped out of his younger brother, Evan's shadow, last season and cemented it with a tap-dancing solo that blew away the judges and got him a ticket straight through to Las Vegas (though we knew that).

Fellow tapper and season five hopeful Bianca Revels was asked to take part in a tap battle, or "trade," and it was probably one of the coolest things I've ever seen on this show. You can bet your tap-dancing shoes that the producers will follow them closely during Vegas week.

The less said about "film producer" Christopher Aguilar, the better. Let's move on to Amber Williams, who told the heartbreaking story of having to take care of her paralyzed mother at an early age. Her effortless pirouette to the floor was certainly top-notch stuff, but it remains to be seen if she has what it takes to make the top 20.

Amber was the first of many contemporary female dancers who wowed the judges, like Alexie Agdeppa, another blast from the season past. We didn't see much of her but what we did reminded me a lot of season four's Katee.

It wasn't all about contemporary on the second day of L.A. auditions: Christina Santana performed a sizzling hip-hop-infused ballroom routine, for which a lot of the credit goes to her choreographer. But hey, dancing well to someone else's choreography is what this show is all about.

Last but certainly not least, we had a bonus tap-dancer, Ryan's friend Phillip Attmore, whose routine paid tribute to Gene Kelly, Gregory Hines and other legendary hoofers. He may technically be the best dancer of the three so far. It could certainly shape up to be "the year of the tappers" as executive producer/judge Nigel Lythgoe put it, and host Cat Deeley reminded us on multiple occasions that no tappers have ever made the top 20. So here's hoping that at least one of them will make it.

What do you think? Which of last night's dancers do you want to see in this season's top 20?

September 10th, 2009
01:55 AM ET

Katherine Heigl and Josh Kelley adopt a baby

Katherine Heigl's publicist has confirmed to CNN that the actress and her husband, singer-songwriter Josh Kelley, are adopting a baby. It'll be their first child together - adopted or otherwise.

heigl

No details were provided by the publicist, but the website RadarOnline reports that the couple's been trying to adopt for about six months, and that the baby is a 10-month-old girl from Korea.  Her name is reportedly Nayleigh, and her nickname will be Leigh.

The star of "Knocked Up" and TV's "Grey's Anatomy" is following in her own parents' footsteps: her sister Meg was adopted from Korea. Earlier this month, various blogs and entertainment newsites reported that Heigl was taking a leave of absence from her role of "Dr. Izzie Stevens" on "Grey's" to film the romantic comedy "Life as We Know It."  Hmmm... maybe she got the time off instead to prepare for her new arrival?  What do you think?

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