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July 22, 2014

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From 'Freak' to 'Franco': The Evolution of James Franco's Career

by Laura Prudom, posted Feb 25th 2011 11:35AM
James FrancoHe's in your movie theaters, your DVD shelf, your library, your art gallery. He may have even enrolled at your school. Last Wednesday, he was on prime time (did you spot his cameo on 'Minute to Win It'?); this Friday he's on daytime; on Sunday, he's hosting the Oscars.

But as ubiquitous as Oscar nominee James Franco has become in the past 12 months, most of America probably knows him best as Tobey Maguire's BFF-turned-archnemesis in the 'Spider-Man' trilogy or, for TV fans with long memories, the star of the short-lived but well-loved 'Freaks and Geeks,' a dramedy that aired on NBC for one season from 1999–2000.

At 32, Franco has accomplished more in the past decade than most people achieve in a lifetime. Join us after the jump for a look back at where James Franco's been and a look ahead at where he's going, regardless of whether he wins that little gold statue on Sunday.

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Charlie Sheen Calls Chuck Lorre a 'Clown,' 'Lisa Ling' & 'Todd Margaret' Renewed and More

by Jean Bentley, posted Feb 24th 2011 6:20PM
Charlie SheenAnother day, another nutso Charlie Sheen radio rant.

The targets this time? 'Two and a Half Men' creator Chuck Lorre, Alcoholics Anonymous and ... Thomas Jefferson?

Yep. When Sheen called into 'The Alex Jones Show' this morning, he said the founding father is a [insert euphemism for kitty cat here], A.A. is a "cult," and Lorre is a "clown."

On Lorre: "Last I checked, [Lorre], I spent close to the last decade effortlessly and magically converting your tin cans into pure gold. And the gratitude I get is this charlatan chose not to do his job, which is to write. Clearly someone who believes he's above the law."

In other TV news ...

The Oscars are quite comfortable at their ABC home, thankyouverymuch. The award show to end all award shows just re-upped its contract with the network until 2020. [Deadline]

One 'True Blood' vampire is coming back from the undead-dead. Allan Hyde, the actor otherwise known as suicidal vampire Godric, will return in season 4. We're betting it's in flashbacks, otherwise the show would have a lot of 'splaining to do regarding its re-writing of vampire mythology. (Godric killed himself by burning up in sunlight in season 2.) [TV Line]

OWN wants to explore Lisa Ling's America some more. The network renewed 'Our America With Lisa Ling' for six more episodes. [The Hollywood Reporter]

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Nick Swardson Is Inspired by the Oscar Nominees to Make His Own Film Projects (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Feb 10th 2011 6:57AM
Nick Swardson, 'Late Night with Jimmy FallonComedian Nick Swardson shared with Jimmy Fallon on 'Late Night' (Weeknights, 12:37AM on NBC) some of the inspiration he's gotten from this year's batch of Oscar-nominated films. According to the comedian, he's seen all of the films, and now he's got some future projects in the planning stages.

"I've got a movie coming out called 'Black Tron,'" he said. "It's a bunch of girls that make out on motorcycles while they throw frisbees." He had Jimmy and the audience on board for that first one, but lost them a bit with his second idea.

This one was "based on 'Inception,'" according to Swardson. "But I invade wet dreams. It's called 'Insertion.'"

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Oprah Asks Three Oscar-Winning Actresses Where They Keep Their Statues (VIDEO)

by Nick Zaino, posted Jan 31st 2011 6:10PM
Sissy Specek on 'The Oprah Winfrey Show'Oscar season is upon us, and Oprah had Oscar winners Susan Sarandon, Sissy Spacek, and Holly Hunter on 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' (Weekdays, Syndicated) today. She asked each actress where they keep their golden statues.

Sarandon (Best Actress, 1995) usually keeps her awards in a bathroom, but has lent hers to The Museum of Natural History and thinks it may currently be in Chicago. Hunter (Best Actress, 1993) keeps hers at Joel and Ethan Coen's offices in New York.

Specek (Best Actress, 1980) was a little more possessive. "I'm rarely without it," she said. "I take it everywhere with me." Oprah then flashed to a big video screen showing Spacek sleeping, clutching her Oscar.

The moral of the story? Never startle Sissy Specek when she's sleeping, unless you want to risk getting inadvertendly clubbed with an Academy Award.

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Brandon Mychal Smith Might Leave 'Skating With the Stars,' Ethan Hawke in Talks to Join Fox Pilot and More

by Jean Bentley, posted Dec 13th 2010 6:30PM
Brandon Mychal SmithBrandon Mychal Smith made it through last week's 'Skating With the Stars' based on rehearsal footage, but his ice-skating journey might not continue much longer.

Smith was rushed to the hospital after falling ill while practicing for last Monday's episode, and TMZ reports that his mystery illness will force him to drop out of the competition tonight.

However, an ABC representative wouldn't confirm anything when Zap2it called for a statement, only saying "Brandon Mychal Smith will he appearing on tonight's 'Skating with the Stars' on ABC. He will update viewers on his health and whether he will be able to finish the competition."

In other TV news ...

'The Good Wife' is planning an episode inspired by 'The Social Network.' A young tech billionaire will hire Will to represent him when a movie version of his life depicts him in an unflattering light. [Movieline]

Ethan Hawke is in talks to star in the potential Fox pilot 'Exit Strategy.' The actor would star as the team leader of a group of operatives deployed to extract CIA agents when missions go bad. Hawke would also produce. [Deadline]

Don Cheadle has signed on to play the lead in a new dark comedy for Showtime. 'House of Lies' is based on the book 'House of Lies: How Management Consultants Steal Your Watch and Tell You the Time.' [The Hollywood Reporter]

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James Franco Hopes Hosting The Oscars Will Reduce His Chances of Winning for '127 Hours' (VIDEO)

by Nick Zaino, posted Dec 7th 2010 1:55PM
James Franco talks Oscars on 'Live with Regis and Kelly'James Franco will be co-hosting the Academy Awards with Anne Hathaway in February. He also could very well be nominated for an Oscar for his work in '127 Hours,' the story of a mountain climber who gets trapped between boulders, and has to take gruesome measures to survive. Could he actually end up taking home a golden statue on the same night he hosts the show? Franco discussed his chances and rationale for hosting on 'Live with Regis and Kelly' (Weekdays, Syndicated).

Franco finds the talk of a possible Oscar nomination to be flattering, but somewhat bewildering. With his work on the film over and done with, there's nothing left for him to do now except worry about it. "It'll drive you crazy!" the actor explained. In fact, part of the reason he accepted the hosting gig was so that he could stop thinking about the possibility of his own nomination.

Franco noted that no host has won an Oscar since David Niven in the 50s (Niven hosted the 31st Academy Awards in 1958 and won Best Actor that year for 'Separate Tables'). "I thought, all right, if I am the host, I'll really cut down my chances," said Franco, "and I won't have to worry about it anyway."

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James Franco Races (and Screams) for Oscar Glory on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' (VIDEO)

by Oliver Miller, posted Dec 3rd 2010 4:50AM
James Franco Races (and Screams) for Oscar Glory on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live'It's been announced that James Franco will be hosting this year's Oscars, along with Anne Hathaway. This is a little unexpected, but the two of them aren't the most unusual hosting picks. Plus, Mr. Franco has been doing a lot of unexpected stuff lately, from appearing on a soap opera, to writing a book of short stories, to starring in a movie where he's trapped under a rock for a very, very long time.

In addition, James seems really excited about this whole thing! So excited, in fact, that he can't contain his enthusiasm on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' (weeknights, 12AM ET on ABC). While talking with Jimmy Kimmel, James requests a favor. Jimmy's studio is right across the street from the Kodak Theatre, where the Oscars will be held. So Franco asks if he can just step away from the interview desk for a second.

Then, James suddenly breaks into a jog. But wait -- what's this? He's headed the wrong way! The theatre is in the other direction! Still, he is showing a lot of ... enthusiasm. We can't find fault with him there.

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Why James Franco and Anne Hathaway Could Be Great Oscar Hosts

by Joel Keller, posted Nov 29th 2010 4:15PM
Anne Hathaway and James Franco were named hosts of the 83rd Academy Awards in Feburary 2011
Being the host the Academy Awards is a job that's scrutinized almost as much as being President of the United States.

It's a strange notion when you think about it, mainly because the host's job is to do an "opening act," usually involving a musical number or comedic monologue, then basically step out of the way while the presenters and performers traipse across the Kodak Theatre stage and give out Oscars. If the host lets loose an occasional quip while introducing a presenter or a Best Song nominee, all the better. But, after the first half hour of the show, the host really doesn't matter all that much.

So, when the news broke that James Franco and Anne Hathaway have been selected to host the 83rd Academy Awards on February 27, my reaction was pretty much "why the hell not?" Oscar hosting is such a crapshoot that pretty much anyone the Academy and producers Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer would have picked had an equal chance to shine or stink.

But Hathaway and Franco could be an inspired choice if things break right, for a number of reasons:

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Oscars Ceremony Moving on Up?

by Elena Cox, posted Jun 23rd 2010 4:30PM
It seems that Oscar may be given a little bit of a revamping in the future.

According to Moviefone, Deadline.com is reporting that a meeting at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences involved a discussion that could lead to the 83rd Academy Awards ceremony being aired in January, as opposed to its usual date in late February/early March. (This isn't the first date change, the first ceremony was actually held in May.)

Last year's Academy Awards was the highest watched telecast since 2005 with over 40 million viewers, so ratings shouldn't be the problem.

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Lynda Carter Wants Sandra Bullock to Don Wonder Woman's Tights

by Danny Gallagher, posted Mar 26th 2010 6:04PM
Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman...and so do I, except I'm pretty sure Mrs. Carter is referring to a new incarnation of her famous TV show.

TV's original red, white and blue-clad beauty told a morning talk show in Los Angeles that she wants Mrs. Bullock to play the title role in a big screen remake of 'Wonder Woman,' the TV show that made her famous.

Carter said she believes Bullock is perfect for the role because she has "exactly the kind of personality" and that she's also "strong and feminine. And Wonder Woman has to be accessible". She also dismissed rumors that claimed she said Bullock was too old for the role.

Me? If she gets the role, I just want to see her kick the ever-living snot out of some Jesse James bad-guy look-a-like. Jesse James is such a dead man now.

[via Fark]

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Movie Stars Invade TV: A Look at Pilot Season 2010

by Chris Harnick, posted Mar 24th 2010 2:00PM
Sissy SpacekTelevision fans, look out: Oscar-winning actors are taking over! And not just for a special cameo or a three-episode guest star stint, either. Movie stars are coming to TV in a big way ... as series regulars.

Why? Well, for a few reasons. Portraying a character on a weekly basis can present a new challenge to these veteran silver screen stars, but let's not forget that young Hollywood actors in tween-targeted films are dominating the box office. These Oscar-winning actors aren't giving up films, but their star power and names alone are big enough to attract an audience to a TV show.

Many Oscar-winners and nominees have left their mark on both screens -- just look at Sally Field. She's won an Oscar for 'Norma Rae' and Emmys for 'Sybil,' 'ER' and 'Brothers & Sisters.'

Maybe the Oscars of these latest stars got lonely on the mantle and the next logical thought would be: Why not add an Emmy sister?

Check out the list of actors who are coming to TV -- including Sissy Spacek and Dustin Hoffman -- after the jump.

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Jennifer Aniston Watches Gabourey Sidibe Hit on Gerard Butler (VIDEO)

by Jane Boursaw, posted Mar 17th 2010 12:13AM
Access Hollywood, Jennifer Aniston, Gerard ButlerJennifer Aniston missed the footage of Gabourey Sidibe hitting on Gerard Butler at the Oscars. But all is well, because she had a chance to watch it on 'Access Hollywood' (weekdays, 12:30PM ET on NBC), while the two were promoting 'The Bounty Hunter' (in theaters Friday).

It's pretty funny, too. On the red carpet, Sidibe said, "I kinda said I'd hit that," referring to Butler, who seemed at a loss for words, but managed to choke out, "I'm here. I'm available."

It was awkward, and continued to be awkward when Aniston and Butler watched it back again like deer caught in the headlights. You've gotta hand it to Sidibe, though, who doesn't shirk from anything. "I like where this is goin'," she said. "Maybe we should get a bottle of champagne and see where the night takes us."

Watch the video after the jump.

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Even Movie Makers Love TV

by Stephanie Earp, posted Mar 9th 2010 11:23PM


I took a little break from this column last week because in my other life – the one not spent glued to the tube – I help run a 5-day film festival in the smallish Canadian city where I live. Running a film festival is not unlike running film – there are actors, directors and producers on hand, a general sense of panic, long hours, and really good after-parties, and with luck a critically-praised result.

This was my first year working on the film fest and I expected to be way out of my depth when it came to conversation. After all, I'm a small screen kind of girl. I even slipped up while introducing a panel of filmmakers, talking about how their films had "aired" the night before. Apparently, films screen, only TV shows air.

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ABC Family Gets 'The Blind Side' Rights

by Danny Gallagher, posted Mar 9th 2010 8:45PM
The poster for A happy story that took home Oscar gold just got a little happier.

Fresh on the heels of Sandra Bullock's Best Actress win, ABC Family has announced that they have purchased the TV rights to 'The Blind Side.' They will air the film starring Bullock, Tim McGraw and Quinton Aaron sometime in 2012.

ABC Cable Network's executive veep Tom Zappala called it "a perfect fit for ABC Family," and I'm inclined to agree. Just don't try and turn it into a TV series remake that lasts longer than the actual time line of the story.

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ABC Family Picks Up TV Rights to 'Blind Side,' 'Alice in Wonderland'

by Chris Harnick, posted Mar 9th 2010 1:45PM
The Blind SideStill haven't seen 'The Blind Side'? Well, if you can hold out a little bit longer -- two years, in fact -- you can catch it on ABC Family.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the network has acquired the television rights to the box-office and Best Picture-nominated sensation, which just won Sandra Bullock her first Oscar on Sunday. The film -- which made over $250 million, domestically -- will premiere sometime in 2012.

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