'The Bachelor' takes on Puerto Rico
January 31st, 2012
12:11 PM ET

'The Bachelor' takes on Puerto Rico

The latest "Bachelor" episode took Ben and the 11 remaining contestants from Park City, Utah, to the Puerto Rican island of Vieques.

Chris Harrison, doing his best Brad Womack impression by rocking the plaid, informed them there would be one group date and a pair of one-on-one dates. That said, all of the women would go out with Ben in some form.

The first one-on-one went to Nicki the dental hygienist, and she and Ben went to Old San Juan for a Puerto Rican take on the snow cone. As soon as Nicki wondered if anything could go wrong, the neighborhood was drenched by heavy rains.  (Maybe the show's producers have some sort of "weather distortion machine," like the kind you only see in bad sci-fi movies.)

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The key to 'Alcatraz's' secrets
January 31st, 2012
11:15 AM ET

The key to 'Alcatraz's' secrets

Thanks to Monday night's episode of "Alcatraz," we now have a few more hints as to what's going on in the overall story.

This week's focus was on murderer/thief Cal Sweeney, but thankfully it wasn't an hour-long bank robbery episode. Instead, the bank robbery scene served the plot, with Rebecca in the unusual position of helping former Alcatraz inmate Cal escape the authorities.

While there wasn't too much of Hauser or "Doc" Soto this week, I did enjoy their scenes together. (And it looks like Rebecca takes center stage next week, as well. I am looking forward to Robert Forster's return as her uncle, the Alcatraz guard.)

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Shirley MacLaine joins 'Downton Abbey'
January 31st, 2012
10:18 AM ET

Shirley MacLaine joins 'Downton Abbey'

The second season of "Downton Abbey" hasn't yet wrapped up in the States, but we're already setting our sights on season 3. The fan and critic fave is expanding its cast next season with Oscar winner Shirley MacLaine.

MacLaine will appear in the series as a new character, Martha Levinson, who's the mother of Lady Grantham, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Creator Julian Fellowes has "written another brilliant character in Martha Levinson, who will be a wonderful combatant for Maggie Smith's Dowager Countess," promises executive producer Gareth Neame. "We are excited at the prospect of MacLaine playing her."

The Daily Beast reports that the second season of "Downton Abbey" will wrap up Stateside on PBS February 19, with the third season arriving in the U.S. early next year after bowing first in the U.K. this fall.


Filed under: television
Steve Jones, Nicole Scherzinger exit 'X Factor'
January 31st, 2012
09:48 AM ET

Steve Jones, Nicole Scherzinger exit 'X Factor'

The contestants on "X Factor's" second season won't be the only new faces, as Simon Cowell's reality competition has cleaned house.

Fox has confirmed to CNN that neither "X Factor" host Steve Jones nor mentor/judge Nicole Scherzinger will return for the show's second season. Jones also confirmed the news via his Twitter account, simply saying that it was a "shame" but that he did have a great time.

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Filed under: television • X Factor
While you were working...
January 30th, 2012
06:00 PM ET

While you were working...

Today's news you might've missed:

  • It seems Elton John and Madonna still haven't squashed that Golden Globes beef. As we prepare for the release of a new Madonna song (along with a music video!) and her Super Bowl performance this weekend,  Elton John offered the Material Girl this tidbit of advice for Sunday's show: "Make sure you lip sync good." [USA Today]
  • Most actresses arrive on red carpets rocking borrowed jewels, but "30 Rock's" Katrina Bowden was showing off a piece of personal bling at Sunday's SAG Awards. Bowden, 23, had just gotten engaged to beau Benjamin Jorgensen the night before. [E!]
  • Rooney Mara has her eyes set on her first post-"Dragon Tattoo" project: Steven Soderbergh's thriller "Side Effects." Hopefully, those in India will be able to see this one, since the country's censor board has ruled Mara's "Tattoo" film to be unsuitable for public viewing. [Deadline/THR]
  • Ryan Gosling has finally spoken out about how overlooked he's been this awards season. His official response to the question of whether he feels snubbed is....drumroll please...."No." [THR]
  • CBS seems to be getting in the Louis C.K. business: The network has picked up a pilot for a comedy written by Louis and "Seinfeld" scribe Spike Feresten. [Variety]
  • And now, for a new M.I.A. single, which will officially be released tomorrow: "Bad Girls." [Pitchfork]

Filed under: While you were working
Jack White lines up solo album for April release
January 30th, 2012
04:40 PM ET

Jack White lines up solo album for April release

It's been nearly a year since the White Stripes announced their dissolution, and now Jack White is ready to officially strike out on his own.

His solo debut album, "Blunderbuss," is scheduled for an April 24 release, reports Billboard. The first single, "Love Interruption," is currently streaming online, and will be available to purchase digitally starting tonight at midnight (9 p.m. PT).

If you prefer vinyl, that'll be made available on February 7.

White, who crafted "Blunderbuss" at his Third Man Studio in Nashville, explained in a statement that it's an album he "couldn't have released until now."

"I've put off making records under my own name for a long time, but these songs feel like they could only be represented under my name," he said. "These songs were written from scratch, had nothing to do with anyone or anything else but my own expression, my own colors on my own canvas."


Filed under: Music
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