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Drama

FX’s “The Americans” serves up a Cold War dish of intrigue

There’s a temptation to look back fondly on the Cold War, if for no other reason than that the line between good and evil was clearly drawn: the U.S. hated the Soviet Union and vice versa. But in The Americans — premiering tonight at 10 on FX — that line is muddled, both for the characters and the audience. The time is 1981, and Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth Jennings (Keri Russell) seem like the all-American couple, running a travel agency and raising their two children in suburban Virginia. But what their neighbors — and even their children — don’t know […]

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Comedy

Jim Jefferies goes “Legit” in new FX comedy

When Jim Jefferies answers the phone at the agreed-upon time (between a network publicist and myself), just about the first thing he says is that he forgot he was doing an interview today. Not an unusual occurrence in my line of work. Busy people, packed schedules, these things happen. But I often don’t hear people tell me they just got out of the shower, meaning there was a pretty good chance that he was naked, and asking could I please call back in seven minutes. “Actually, how about eight minutes?” he quickly amended. So, eight minutes later I called him […]

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Interview

Cyndi Lauper talks Broadway, philanthropy and her upcoming WE tv reality show

If you still think of Cyndi Lauper as the rainbow-haired, helium-voiced pop music confection who defined ’80s girl power with tunes like “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” and “She Bop” — well, you’re partially right. Her hair remains a canvas for her mood, and the voice is unmistakably Lauper. But in the decades since she burst into the pop culture lexicon with 1983’s platinum-selling “She’s So Unusual,” Lauper has evolved into an actor, author, Broadway composer and tireless philanthropist — all the while continuing to make music and a home life with her actor husband David Thornton and their […]

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Lifestyle

Pro athletes’ realtor of choice Jason Abrams stars in HGTV’s “Scoring The Deal”

When he was just 21, Jason Abrams launched his real estate company The Abrams Team in his hometown of Detroit. One decade and two branch offices later, his unique brand of soup-to-nuts (and every black-walled living room and gigantic bathtub in between) service has earned him the devotion of a roster of professional athletes, and the nickname “The Jerry Maguire of real estate.” “In that movie, he became everything to his clients — he was a shoulder to cry on, he showed up at their games, he was negotiating their contracts — and in our world, that’s what we’ve really […]

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Drama

Neve Campbell plays a small-town cop with scary secrets in Lifetime’s “An Amish Murder”

With her fresh-scrubbed beauty and natural self-possession, actress Neve Campbell makes a believable ex-Amish heroine in Lifetime’s new original film, An Amish Murder. The twisty mystery, based on Linda Castillo’s best-selling novel Sworn to Silence, features the Party of Five favorite as Kate Burkholder, an Amish exile from tiny Painter’s Mill, Ohio, who comes back home as its chief of police and finds herself embroiled in a gruesome serial murder case that dredges up horrific memories from her youth. Joined by a visiting detective (Rookie Blue’s Noam Jenkins) with demons of his own, Burkholder finds it increasingly difficult to separate […]

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Interview

Josh Shipp brings his teen-taming ways to Lifetime’s “Teen Trouble”

Josh Shipp should have grown up a thug. Abandoned at birth and shuttled from one abusive foster home to the next, he was suicidal and addicted by the time he hit adolescence. Instead, thanks to the intercession of his final set of foster parents who took him at age 14 and allowed him be jailed for forging checks, Shipp defied his demons and became a leading interventionist for families and teens in crisis. In Lifetime’s sobering new reality show, Teen Trouble, the now 31-year-old father of two travels to the homes of kids on the brink to help them and […]

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Drama

“Banshee” on Cinemax: Drama! Romance! Suspense! Sex! Action! … Amish?

“Banshee” on Cinemax is a new action drama series following the world of crime and corruption stewing under the seemingly idyllic surface of rural Pennsylvania Amish town Banshee. “I spent 15 years picturing this day, and I got to tell you, this is not how I saw it playing out,” Lucas Hood (Antony Starr) tells his ex-lover — understating things just a little bit — in the new Cinemax action drama Banshee, premiering Friday, Jan. 11, at 10pm ET/PT. Immediately upon his release from state prison, Lucas has a busy day that would tucker out any ex-con. He hits a […]

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7 Questions With...

7 Questions With … Hines Ward of “Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off”

He’s the legendary Pittsburgh Steeler who broke records (and one opponent’s jaw) on the field, then broke hearts in the Dancing With the Stars ballroom before retiring from the NFL last May to become an NBC football analyst. Now Hines Ward is testing his game in a whole new arena — the kitchen — as a contestant on Season 2 of Food Network’s Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off, battling Johnny Weir, Kathy Najimy, Carnie Wilson, Gilbert Gottfried and others for celeb-chef supremacy. “I thought it would be good that people can see a side of me that they don’t normally get […]