Archive for December 25, 2012

From ‘A Christmas Story‘ to ‘The Hangover‘: TheWrap’s 2012 Guide to Essential Holiday Viewing

With the holidays upon us, you’re going to have a lot of time on your hands — that is, when you’re not busy shopping, traveling, entertaining guests, reveling and recovering from said revelry.

What better way to kill off the abundance of downtime than by plopping yourself in front of the television for some fine, holiday-themed programming? Herewith, TheWrap presents your best viewing bets this year. (Where times aren’t noted, please check your local listings.)


ABC Family‘s 25 Days of Christmas: ABC Family is the network equivalent of your overzealous aunt who starts her Christmas shopping in June. For its annual “25 Days of Christmas” extravaganza, the network began running nonstop holiday programming on Dec. 1. You’d be insane to try to have taken it all in. But Christmas Eve, when the network airs such classics as “The Santa Clause” trilogy, “Home Alone” and “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” is as good an entry point as any.

The Hallmark ChannelEvery day is Christmas at the Hallmark Channel, which is pretty much running continuous holiday programming this time of year. It includes “A Bride for Christmas,” “Matchmaker Santa,” “A Christmas Wedding Tail,” and “A Princess for Christmas.”

DEC. 24

“A Christmas Story”: TBS’s 24-hour marathon of the 1983 comedy (beginning at 8/7c Christmas Eve) is a cherished annual tradition for millions. If you’re not one of them, you should probably consider shooting your eye out with a Red Ryder BB gun.

“Christmas With the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Featuring Jane Seymour and Nathan Gunn”: Tired of punks like Michael Buble and Blake Shelton clogging up the airwaves with their holiday musical specials? Allow the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to rock you gently with some boss tunes on PBS.

“Christmas Eve at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome”: Once upon a time, back before retailers began setting up their Christmas displays in August, the holiday used to be about something more than rampant consumerism. Let NBC take you back to that long-gone time at 11:34/10:34c.

“Pawn Stars”: A History Channel is airing 20 consecutive hours of “Pawn Stars,” which started at 8/7c this morning. Because what better way of reminding yourself how far the holidays are putting you in hock?

Tom and Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale“:Want to get an animated start to your Christmas? Cartoon Network will air this yuletide offering, featuring the famous cat and mouse, plus “Abominable Christmas, “Scooby Doo!: Haunted Holidays” and “The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol” over three hours beginning at 3:30/2:30c.

DEC. 25

“Doctor Who: The Snowmen”: Matt Smith helps celebrate the holiday in particularly twisted fashion with the “Doctor Who” Christmas special “The Snowmen,” which features the Doctor doing battle with an army of pointy-toothed snowmen. The special airs at 9 p.m. on BBC America. As a bonus, the network will run a “Doctor Who” marathon starting at 8/7c.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas!He’s a mean one, that Mr. Grinch — but he’s been enthralling audiences ever since the 1966 release of this animated Dr. Seuss adaptation. And with good reason — directed by master animator Chuck Jones and featuring Boris Karloff in one of his final roles, this is one of the more enduring Christmas specials going. And going. It’s on ABC at 8/7c.

“Bad Santa”: Admit it — as much as you love the spirit of the holidays, Billy Bob Thornton’s portrayal of a drinking, thieving, fornicating shopping-mall Kris Kringle never fails to bring a smile to your face. On Comedy Central at 6 p.m.

DEC. 31

Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With With Ryan Seacrest”: If you insist on staying in and avoiding the crowds this New Year’s Eve, your best bet for at least some semblance of revelry is this annual ball-dropping ceremony, which this year features performances from serial dater Taylor Swift and “Call Me Maybe” sensation Carly Rae Jepsen. The festivities officially kick off at 10 p.m. on ABC, but they’ll be preceded by the special “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve Celebrates Dick Clark” at 8. It’s the next-best thing to actually gathering with your fellow human beings.

New Year’s Eve With Carson Daly“: Of course, Carson Daly’s nice, too. Well-groomed. An easy smile. Probably smells faintly of lilacs. He’s never done anything to offend you. And you like his show “The Voice,” don’t you? You’re not some kind of freak, are you? (On NBC at 10 p.m.)

“The Walking Dead”: Then again, if you’re feeling especially misanthropic, AMC is airing a marathon of the first half of season 3 of “The Walking Dead”, beginning at 9/8c. It’s a good way to ring in the New Year with fantasies of humanity being all but wiped out by an army of marauding zombies. Chances are, if you watch the whole thing, you’ll end up feeling a little zombified yourself.

JAN. 1

“Tournament of Roses Parade”: The pageantry! The tradition! The roses! NBC and ABC will both be airing Pasadena’s crowning moment at 11 a.m., when flowers pretend to be other things as they roll through the street. Plus, this way, you don’t have to camp out on the sidewalk all night to watch it, like some fools do.

“The Hangover”: If you’ve celebrated New Year’s Eve too aggressively, chances are you’ll be feeling pretty sluggish the next day. The ability to perform such tasks as sitting upright will elude you, as will your memory of the previous night’s events. As you nurse a recuperative Bloody Mary and ponder the mystery of who installed shag carpeting on your tongue while you were asleep, use whatever remaining energy you have to click over to TBS, where Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis and the rest of the “Hangover” over-imbibers will make you feel relatively temperate. “The Hangover” will air four times, beginning at 11/10c.


–made by  tim kenneally for

Christmas Celebrated Around the World

Published on Dec 25, 2012 by Associated Press

Christian faithful from around the world packed into churches on Christmas Eve to mark the beginning of the Christmas holiday with midnight mass. (Dec. 25)


Scott Ian‘s Christmas EP!


Scott Ian Rosenfeld (born December 31, 1963), known by the stage name Scott Ian, is an American musician, best known as the rhythm guitarist for the thrash metal band,Anthrax. Ian is the guitarist and a founding member of the crossover thrash bandStormtroopers of Death. He has hosted The Rock Show on VH1 and has appeared on VH1’s I Love the… series, Heavy: The Story of Metal and Supergroup (TV series). Ian is also the rhythm guitarist for the metal band The Damned Things.

Anthrax are no strangers to a duet, having worked with Public Enemy on Bring The Noise in 1991 – but who would guitarist Scott Ian choose to team up with on a special Christmas EP?

K! sat down to hear Scott’s favourite Xmas numbers and the person he’d team up with on his own unique versions!

If this doesn’t get you in the festive spirit, make sure you pick up our special Kerristmas double issue – there’s 80 star-packed pages, on sale now. Click here for more information about what you can find spilling out of the issue!

Now, over to you, Scott…

“Now this is a Christmas song! Of course, it would be a little weird to have me and Dean Martin singing this back and forth to each other, so I’m gonna say I’ll do it with Bonnie Raitt. I don’t think people would expect me to like her but she’s the sickest guitar player and a great singer, and we’d do a proper faithful version of it, because personally I think covers should be played as they are and not screwed around with. You can throw it on and curl up by the fire with Scott and Bonnie on Christmas Eve.”


“I think I have to do at least one classic Christmas song, and Brian Setzer Orchestra did a great record of Christmas song covers and I would definitely like to jam with them on this one. I’d be down for just strapping on a guitar, getting up on stage with them and just bashing it out. I’m a big fan of bebop jazz guitar playing in general, and I think I could just about handle this one.”

“I have to have at least one non-Christmassy curveball that has an outside chance of getting to number one like Rage Against The Machine, so Whole Lotta Rosie it is. There’ll be Bon Scott on vocals, Dimebag Darrell on guitar, Cliff Burton on bass and I should probably go with a drummer who’s actually alive in case I have to fight off the zombies mid-song, but I’m going to go with John Bonham. I think the fact we resurrected four people from the dead is reason enough to get to number one – and the song’s about a big fat hooker, and everybody wants that around Christmas! (laughs)”


–words from kerrang magazine. image from


‘Odd Couple’ Actor Jack Klugman Dies

Jack Klugman, the prolific, craggy-faced character actor and regular guy who was loved by millions as the messy one in TV‘s ‘The Odd Couple‘ and the crime-fighting coroner in ‘Quincy, M.E.,’ died

The Top 10 biggest selling Christmas songs of all time!

By Dan Lane

'It's for the underdog' … Kirsty MacColl and Shane MacGowan promote Fairytale of New York.

To celebrate Christmas 2012, today the Official Charts Company reveal the Top 10 biggest selling Christmas songs of all time.

With more records sold in the run up to Christmas than a typical chart week, the Christmas Number 1 is THE chart topper every artist wants to achieve. And it has been this way since the Official Singles Chart began 60 years ago.

To have a Christmas Number 1 on your musical CV means you really are the best of the best; capturing the heats and minds of the nation… That, or you’ve managed to dazzle the British public with your, um, uniqueness (yes, we’re talking about you Mr Blobby).

However, not all of the biggest selling Christmas singles have been to Number 1 (two in the Top 10 peaked at Number 2, and one peaked at Number 5), and not all of the biggest selling Christmas singles have necessarily been, well, Christmassy.

To celebrate Christmas 2012 and 60 years of the Official Singles Chart, the Official Charts Company reveal the biggest selling Christmas songs of all time. These tracks may or may not have religious overtones, but have nevertheless captured the essence of what this special time of year is about.

At Number 1 on the countdown is Band Aid‘s Do They Know It’s Christmas? – the landmark charity single helmed byBob Geldof and Midge Ure to help raise funds and awareness for the 1984 Ethiopian famine. Featuring an all-star cast including members of The WhoU2 and Genesis to name but a few, Do They Know It’s Christmas? has sold a staggering 3.7 million copies to date and is the second biggest selling single of all time. The 20th anniversary version of the track is at Number 6 in the countdown with sales of 1.17 million copies.

Mary’s Boy Child also appears twice in the Top 10, making its first appearance at Number 2 with Boney M‘s 1978 rendition (which has sales of 1.85 million copies), while Harry Belafonte‘s 1957 original is at Number 5 (with sales of 1.18 million).

Wham!‘s Last Christmas, which we can officially confirm is the biggest selling Christmas song to have never reached Number 1, is at Number 3 in the chart with sales of 1.68 million. The Top 5 is completed by Slade’s Merry Christmas Everybody at Number 4, which has sales of 1.21 million copies to date.

The full Top 10 is as follows:


© 2012 The Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.

Top 10 Most Popular Celebrities on Social Media


Teen pop sensation Justin Bieber edged out Lady Gaga to take the title of reigning social-media king this week.
With nearly 31.5 million Twitter followers, close to 49 million Facebook fans, and 3.2 billion views on his YouTube channel, Bieber tops the list of most popular celebrities on social media, according to data aggregator Starcount.Over the last week, the singer gained 300,000 Twitter followers, 600,000 Facebook fans and 24,000 YouTube views, compared with Gaga’s 193,000 followers, 170,000 fans and 5,000 views. Bieber is also trending “much more” than Gaga, Starcount reported.

“Bieber consistently gets more retweets and engagement than any other major star,” it said.

While Justin dominates YouTube with most overall views, he falls slightly behind Gaga, who is the current queen of Twitter with 32 million followers. On Facebook, however, Rihanna outshines her competitors with 64 million fans on Facebook. The R&B singer clocks in at third place overall, this week.

Rounding out the top 10 are: Katy Perry, Shakira, Eminem, U.S. PresidentBarack ObamaBritney SpearsTaylor Swift and soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo.

Thumbnail image courtesy of Justin Bieber Music


–taken from


Beyonce lands $61m deal with Pepsi

This article was first published in The Straits Times on Dec 12, 2012.1.jpg

Partnerships of singers with big corporations go beyond music. Beyonce’s husband, rapper and record producer Jay-Z, had a deal with Microsoft to promote his memoir. — PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS

New York – For its campaign with Beyonce next year, Pepsi does not just want to sign up the telegenic pop star for another TV commercial. It also wants to get into the Beyonce business.

In an expansion of the recent marketing experiments that have brought PepsiCo ever closer to the music industry, the company has embarked on a hybrid project with the pop star that will include standard advertising such as commercials as well as a multi-million-dollar fund to support the singer’s chosen creative projects.

“Pepsi embraces creativity and understands that artists evolve,” Beyonce said in a statement. “As a businesswoman, this allows me to work with a lifestyle brand with no compromise and without sacrificing my creativity.”

The campaign will coincide with a blitz of promotion for her next album, which has no title or release date so far but is expected next year.

Sometime after she performs at the Super Bowl half-time show on Feb 3 (also sponsored by Pepsi), she will appear in a new TV ad – her fifth for the soft drink since 2002 – and her face will be on a limited- edition line of soda cans.

The less conventional aspects of the deal are meant as collaborative projects that indulge Beyonce’s creative whims and might well have no explicit connection to Pepsi products.

They are still at the brainstorm stage, but projects could include live events, videos, “a cool photo shoot” or almost anything else, said Ms Lee Anne Callahan-Longo, general manager of Parkwood Entertainment, Beyonce’s company.

For Pepsi, the goal is to enhance its reputation with consumers by acting as something of an artistic patron instead of simply paying for celebrity endorsements.

“Consumers are seeking a much greater authenticity in marketing from the brands they love,” said Mr Brad Jakeman, president of PepsiCo’s global beverage group. “It has caused a shift in the way we think about deals with artists, from a transactional deal to a mutually beneficial collaboration.”

The multi-year campaign is estimated at US$50 million (S$61 million), the bulk of it for media placements and promotions around the world, and the remainder split roughly equally between Beyonce’s fee and what Pepsi calls a creative content development fund.

According to the tracking firm Kantar Media, PepsiCo and its archrival Coca-Cola Co each spent about US$148 million in the United States to advertise their soft drink brands in the first six months of this year, across all measured forms of media, such as television, print, digital and radio.

Over the last decade, many consumer brands have been taking more active roles with artists, particularly in pop music. Converse, Red Bull and Toyota’s Scion line, for example, have become as familiar in the music business as any record label or concert promoter by paying to help create and promulgate music.

Bands always risk fan disapproval when shaking hands with big corporations. But with record company budgets diminished, Madison Avenue money is often seen as essential. PepsiCo has been part of this trend through Green Label Sound, a label financed through its Mountain Dew drink, which over the last four years has paid to release free music by under- the-radar groups such as Matt & Kim and the Cool Kids.

“We recognise that there have been massive disruptions in music industry: lower investment in artist development, fewer points of distribution and financial constraints,” said Mr Frank Cooper, a top marketing executive in PepsiCo’s beverage division who has been a force for such projects. “We look at those disruptions as opportunities for Pepsi.”

These deals are not limited to music.

In 2010, Beyonce’s husband Jay-Z partnered with Microsoft to promote his memoir, Decoded. According to a case study led by Anita Elberse, a professor at the Harvard Business School, the publisher could contribute only US$50,000 for marketing, but Microsoft paid US$2 million for an elaborate scavenger hunt that promoted the book as well as the software giant’s new search engine, Bing.

For Jay-Z, the campaign was a success. But the effect of such deals on corporate partners such as Microsoft is hard to measure, Prof Elberse said. “Even if they see an increase in market share,” she said, “it’s hard to attribute that to this one thing they did with a star at one point in time.”

Mr Cooper, however, was confident that its music projects, such as Tonight Is the Night by the little- known rapper and singer Outasight – which sold 1.1 million copies after a push in 2010, when the song was featured in a commercial and Outasight appeared on the Pepsi-sponsored show The X Factor – bring a return on investment. “We believe all that transfers into brand equity for Pepsi, and, ultimately, sales,” he said.

Pepsi’s deal with Beyonce is an outgrowth of ventures such as Green Label Sound, but on a scale befitting her superstar stature.


Beyonce has done five commercials since 2002 and the one above in 2004 was one of them. She was a Pepsi ‘gladiator’ spokesman with Britney Spears (left) and Pink (right). — PHOTO: PBB

In addition to the commercial and the soda can, the deal will also involve sponsorship of her world tour next year.

All the standard sponsorship elements will be present on the tour, such as prominent Pepsi logos. That kind of marketing, Jakeman said, is “still important, but insufficient” to reach savvy young consumers. So Pepsi will also play a role in selecting local talent as opening acts at various points around the world. And who knows, a concert stage would seem a perfect spot for some fund-supported video or social-media experiment.

“It’s wise for a brand like Pepsi to give an artist the ability to truly express herself,” said Ms Callahan-Longo of Beyonce’s company, “instead of just the old-school way of, ‘Do you want to be in an advertisement?’ “This is much bigger. This is, ‘How can we create something together that is truly unique?'”

New York Times


Even with the rise of reality TV, none of the four major networks have totally given up on the sitcom. And with cable channels like Adult Swim and HBO getting into the game, there’s no night during the week you can’t find something that’s at least trying to be funny. The only problem is that trying and succeeding are two different things. Some of the worst new sitcoms were quickly put out of their misery (CBS’ Partners, NBC’sAnimal Practice); others sadly remain on the on the air. But we’re here to celebrate good sitcoms, not lament terrible ones. So here are the 10 Best Sitcoms of 2012:


10. Go On
Stars: Matthew Perry
Network: NBC
Go On is the freshman comedy we’re rooting for most this season. Does it have the staying power Matthew Perry’s breakout show had? Is it as edgy and current as Community, the show it’s most often compared to? No, but it doesn’t need to be. For half a season now, the comedy has brought a sense of humor to people in dark times, and as it slowly builds and builds, it moves away from being driven by the grieving process and has shifted its focus to what any good comedy is about: the people. After 11 episodes, we’ve already become invested in most of these characters’ lives.—Adam Vitcavage


9. Veep
Creator: Armando Iannucci
Stars: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Anna Chlumsky, Tony Hale
Network: HBO
Armando Iannucci first took on British politics in The Thick of It, then UK/USA relations with In the Loop. Now Iannucci has tackled the second most important seat in D.C., the Vice President in Veep. His hilarious and witty scripts, along with an entire cabinet of not entirely reliable aides has, along with Girls, made HBO a strong comedy network once again. But it’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ return to TV as the VP herself, Selina Meyer, that elevates Veep, as she deals with varying problems, such as yogurt flavors, obesity and pregnancy scares, with grace and humor every week.— Ross Bonaime


8. Modern Family
Creator: Steven Levitan, Christopher Lloyd
Stars: Ed O’Neill, Sofía Vergara, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet
Network: ABC
We don’t share the same unbridled devotion to Modern Family that the Emmys apparently do (get a room already, judges) since the show entered into a bit of slump during the third season earlier this year. But it finished strong with Cam and Mitchell looking to adopt a baby boy and settling for a demonic cat. And the fourth season got off to a strong start this fall, bringing Haley back from college and preparing for the newest member of the Dunphy clan. Modern Family manages to simultaneously be broad and smart with easily identifiable characters, tight storytelling and well-executed jokes. When Matthew Broderick guest-starred as a gay friend of Cam’s who thinks Phil is hitting on him at the gym, we know exactly where it’s going, but we’re still happy to follow along and laugh.—Josh Jackson


7. Delocated
Creator: Jon Glaser
Stars: Jon Glaser, Jacob Kogan, Nadia Dajani, Eugene Mirman, Kevin Dorff, Zoe Lister-Jones
Network: Adult Swim
Absurdity is Adult Swim’s brand, and yes, Delocated is extremely absurd. It’s also one of the most powerful dramas on TV, when it wants to be. The third season of Jon Glaser’s cult hit once again combined cringe-inducing anti-comedy built around Glaser’s delusions of stereotypical masculinity (similar to the also excellent Eastbound & Down) with a shockingly violent mob revenge drama. It couldn’t work without pitch-perfect acting from Glaser and the bone-dry Steve Cirbus and Yung-I Chang, who play Russian and Chinese criminals as seriously as if they were on an HBO drama. The contrast of serious characters and life-threatening situations with the patently ridiculous results in savagely effective comedy.—Garrett Martin


6. 30 Rock
Creator: Tina Fey
Stars: Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan, Jane Krakowski, Jack McBrayer, Scott Adsit, Judah Friedlander, Alec Baldwin
Network: NBC
Of all the strong Thursday night sitcoms that NBC may or may not be laying to rest at the end of this season, 30 Rock is the only one whose exit seems just right. The Office hung on too long, while if the suits decide to axe Community after its fourth season, it’ll be an unjust cancellation of Arrested Development proportions. 30 Rock, however, is leaving us at the perfect moment: Liz Lemon and friends have been around the block long enough to show us all they’re capable of, but they’re bowing out while still on top of their game. The show has always been at its finest when it’s self-aware and biting the hand that feeds it, and there’s been plenty of that this year with the usual in-jokes and NBC spoofs (like Jack producing and starring in God Cop). However, 2012 has seen the show head into unfamiliar territory as Liz Lemon finally gets her happy ending, marrying Chriss so they can adopt a child. Last week’s episode expertly handled the wedding—with Liz doing it her way, at a courthouse in a Princess Leia outfit, and emphasizing that while it’s a special day for her, it’s not the be-all end-all. It’ll be sad to see this show go, but it’s refreshing to see a sitcom end on a high note for a change.—Bonnie Stiernberg


5. Children’s Hospital
Creator: Rob Corddry
Stars: Rob Corddry, Malin Åkerman, Lake Bell, Erinn Hayes, Rob Huebel, Ken Marino, Megan Mullally, Henry Winkler
Network: Adult Swim
Funnier than NTSF: SD SUV, less grotesque than Eagleheart and more consistent than The Eric Andre ShowChildren’s Hospital remains the most absurd and (probably) the best of Adult Swim’s 12-minute live-action genre parodies. Of course it broadened its scope past the medical soap long ago, and this season the show riffed on Goodfellas, British dramas and a coked-up Law & OrderChildren’s Hospitalcontinues to weave surreal magic with one of the best casts on TV and talent that’s just as impressive behind the camera.—Garrett Martin


4. Louie
Creator: Louis C.K.
Stars: Louis C.K., Hadley Delany, Pamela Adlon
Network: FX
Louie’s third season places the now-beloved standup in situations that are just as unbearably human as ever, whether it’s discovering a quickly fading love in new character Liz or trying his hand (and disappointingly striking out) as a late-night host. Louie’s laughs are always cringe-worthy, but more often than not, it’s because C.K. makes it easy for the audience to step into his shoes. Mix the tough moments in with incredible guest stars—Jerry Seinfeld, David Lynch, Sarah Silverman, to name a few—and you’ve got a season that mixes laughs with true life lessons. The comedian also gets bonus points for putting the show on hold until 2014 to make sure he’s fresh for a stellar fourth run.—Tyler Kane


3. New Girl
Creator: Elizabeth Meriwether
Stars: Zooey Deschanel, Jake Johnson, Max Greenfield, Lamorne Morris, Hannah Simone
Network: FOX
In 2012, New Girl went from adorkable show led by quirky Zooey Deschanel to one of the current great ensemble comedies on television. This year, it found its voice, making the guys of New Girl—Max Greenfield, Jake Johnson and Lamorne Morris—as much a focal point as Deschanel’s Jess, with great success. Finding humor in late-20s uncertainty, New Girl breathes new life into the sitcom in a way that hasn’t been seen since How I Met Your Mother, but without the romantic entanglement between friends that so many sitcoms before it have forced onto its stars. It’s also helped usher in a new brand of modern sitcoms, like The Mindy Project and Ben and Kate that have followed, taking the typical ensemble sitcom back by telling relatable stories, all with its own uniquely bizarre, yet hilarious voice.—Ross Bonaime


2. Community
Creator: Dan Harmon
Stars: Joel McHale, Donald Glover, Danny Pudi, Alison Brie, Gillian Jacobs, Yvette Nicole Brown, Ken Jeong, Chevy Chase
Network: NBC
When Community began, it revolved around the story of a shallow, cynical lawyer who made it through life on looks and the ability to talk his way out of anything. But the show quickly grew a big ol’ heart as Jeff Winger opened his life to the random cross-section of humanity in his study group. A big part of that shift was an increased focus on Abed, one of the most original characters on television. His particular slice of the autism spectrum and sincere love of great pop culture isn’t just a cure for Winger’s cynicism, it’s a cure for us all. Sadly, this past season was the last with creator Dan Harmon at the helm. Here’s hoping the wonderful characters he left us with can continue to flourish when Season Four finally arrives in the spring.—Josh Jackson


1. Parks and Recreation
Creator: Greg Daniels, Michael Schur
Stars: Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Aziz Ansari, Adam Scott, Rob Lowe, Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, Rashida Jones
Network: NBC
Every season of Parks and Recreation seems to be more ambitious than the last, which makes it a rarity amongst sitcoms. Like its protagonist Leslie Knope, the show constantly yearns for progress and thrives on momentum and change rather than familiarity. But the strongest aspect of the show remains its deep characterization of Pawnee, Indiana, which goes beyond its core cast and into a Simpsons-esque repertory company of recurring characters. While their small town ideas are frequently the butt of Parks’ jokes, they’re also the heart of the show, and everyone who makes an appearance is there for more than just a cheap laugh. The show’s mixture of intelligence and affection remains unique in the normally cynical television landscape, a voice of cautious optimism that makes Parks not just the funniest show on television, it’s also the most heartfelt.—Sean Gandert

by josh jackson for paste magazine and treton. paste’s best of 2012 series continues through dec. 31 and is made possible by Tretorn.

The rock musician dropped out of the film due to ‘scheduling conflicts,’ according to a statement from Disney.

The Lone Ranger Depp Hammer Walking Still - H 2012
Peter Mountain/Disney

When it was announced earlier this year, blues-rocker Jack White seemed like a great fit to score the new Gore Verbinski-directed, Johnny Depp-starring Disney film The Lone Ranger.

But, alas, no more. As IndieWire reports, Disney’s frequently used film composer Hans Zimmer has picked up the reins on the cowboy project and replaced White due to scheduling conflicts.

STORY: Jack White to Compose Score for Johnny Depp’s ‘The Lone Ranger’

According to an official statement from Disney, “Oscar winner Hans Zimmer, the musical mastermind behind Disney’s and Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ Pirates of the Caribbean, has signed on to compose the score for The Lone Ranger. Jack White, who had originally been contemplated to score and has contributed several pieces of music to the production, was logistically unavailable due to scheduling conflicts that arose when the film’s release moved to July of 2013.”

The film was originally due for a May 2013 release date. Although Indiewire noted that some of White’s songs may remain in the final film, the difference between Zimmer and White does feel fairly drastic. This would have been White’s debut film as a composer.

Zimmer has experience working with Verbinski on the director’s The Weather ManRangoand Pirates of the Caribbean films.

–taken from

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