Search This Blog

maandag 26 december 2011

'The Good Wife' Season 3: New 2012

'The Good Wife' Season 3: New 2012

When the third season of "The Good Wife" returns with new episodes in 2012, things look like they'll be heating up, according to a new trailer.

We last saw our Lockhart/Gardner heroes dealing with a mix of personal and professional triumphs and shortcomings: Kalinda and Alicia began to thaw out their friendship, Diane started mentoring Alicia, Wendy Scott-Carr revealed she's going after Peter and Will and Alicia ended their fling. As you can see, Alicia was quite busy.

New episodes start Sun., Jan. 8 at 9 p.m. EST on CBS with returning guest star Carrie Preston. Jason Biggs stops by Jan. 15 and "The Good Wife" closes out the month with new episodes on Jan. 22 and Jan. 29.

The Firm': Exclusive First Look At NBC's New Legal Drama With Josh Lucas

The Firm': Exclusive First Look At NBC's New Legal Drama With Josh Lucas

You might've read "The Firm" or seen the movie adaptation with Tom Cruise based on John Grisham's bestselling legal thriller, but NBC's new show has a very interesting twist.

Two-hour series premiere Sun., Jan. 8, 9 p.m. EST on NBC; airs Thursdays, 10 p.m. beginning Jan. 12.

"It's original, even though it's sort of a sequel," Grisham says. "The show picks up about 10 years after the events of what people know of as 'The Firm,'" executive producer Lukas Reiter adds. "We pick up with Mitch and tell the backstory of the fact that he and his family had to go into witness protection."

Lucas, who's playing Mitch McDeere, the role Cruise made famous on the big screen, shares what it's like taking on such an iconic role. "Mitch is a very complex man in that he's a very smart, very independent, very resourceful, I think brilliant lawyer in many ways," Lucas explains. "You have the great responsibility of taking on a character who is as famous and infamous as any character that John Grisham has ever written."

So will fans of the original like this new take? Grisham certainly thinks so. "I think most people who are fans of the story are going to be very, very excited to see it again in a different incarnation, a different version."

TV Tonight 26th of December 2011: Europe, the USA, Canada and Australia.

TV Tonight 26th of December 2011: Europe, the USA, Canada and Australia.

The daily list in alphabetical order, of all the new episodes airing in Europe, the USA, Canada and Australia.

    American Pickers S04E05: "Fast Eddie"
    Cake Boss: Next Great Baker S02E05: "Let the Sparks Fly"
    China, IL S01E07: "Chinese New Year"
    Chris Moyles Quiz Night S05E06: "James Corden, Olly Murs, Louie Spence"
    Coach Trip S08E11: "Series 8, Day 11"
    Come Dine With Me S17E98: "Celebrity Christmas Special - 1"
    Coronation Street S52E262: "Mon 26 Dec, 2011 [Episode 2]"
    Coronation Street S52E261: "Mon 26 Dec, 2011 [Episode 1]"
    Deal Or No Deal (UK) S07E104: "Episode 1784"
    Desperate Scousewives S01E05: "Series 1, Episode 5"
    Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives S13E05: "Scratch Made Classics"
    EastEnders S27E207: "December 26, 2011"
    Emmerdale S40E303: "December 26, 2011"
    Gintama S05E39: "Episode 39"
    Hollyoaks S17E256: "December 26, 2011"
    Jeopardy! S28E71: "Show #6276"
    Lizard Lick Towing S02E04: "Season 2, Episode 4"
    Love & Hip Hop S02E07: "TBA"
    Love Games: Bad Girls Need Love Too S03E04
    Love That Girl! S02E26: "Imtyana"
    Match of The Day S47E24: "Season 47, Show 24"
    Meteorite Men S03E05: "Mojave"
    Modern Marvels S16E58: "Convenience Stores"
    Monday Night Football S42E21: "Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints"
    Mrs Brown's Boys S02E01: "Mammy's Ass"
    Pawn Star$ S04E61: "High Tops"
    Pawn Star$ S04E62: "Apocalypse Wow"
    Poirot S12E01: "The Clocks"
    Red Sonja (BE) S01E04: "De Seance"
    Rizzoli & Isles S02E15: "Burning Down the House"
    Scouted S01E05: "Cheyann & Gina"
    Sorority Girls S01E08: "Episode 8"
    Springwatch S08E14: "Christmas Special 2011"
    Stolen Voices, Buried Secrets S02E04: "(In)Security"
    Storm Chasers S05E5001: "Behind the Storms 2011"
    The Apprentice (IRE) S04E13: "Season 4 Finale"
    The Bold and the Beautiful S25E195: "Ep. #6224"
    The Closer S07E15: "Silent Partner"
    The Layover S01E06: "Montreal"
    The Royal Bodyguard S01E01: "The Limping Assassin"
    The Voice ... (RO) S01E15: "The Final"
    The Young and the Restless S39E192: "Ep. #9807"
    Thuis S17E86: "Season 17, Episode 86"
    TI & Tiny: The Family Hustle S01E04: "TBA"
    University Challenge (1994) S18E32
    Victorious S02E13: "Blooptorious"
    Who's Still Standing S01E05: "An Ivy League of Her Own"
    WWE Raw S19E53: "The Best matches of 2011"
    You Deserve It S01E06: "Season 1, Episode 6"
    Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal S01E37

Doctor Who: The Doctor, The Widow And The Wardrobe review

Doctor Who: The Doctor, The Widow And The Wardrobe review

It wouldn't be Christmas without the Doctor Who Christmas special. And this year's was a good 'un.

This review contains spoilers.

The fact that the last series of Doctor Who only finished in October means that we’ve not had the traditional wait of several months for the annual Christmas special. And, perhaps as a consequence of that, it feels as though expectations for it have been a little lower. That it might just be being taken for granted a little bit.

Leave it to Steven Moffat, then, to issue a warm reminder of just what a lovely part of the festive celebrations the annual Doctor Who special can be, with a pretty much standalone story.

As it turned out, The Doctor, The Widow And The Wardrobe was, for all of its wonderful production work, quite a contained tale, that of Madge Arwell.

Madge, played wonderfully well by Claire Skinner, is faced with putting on a brave face for Christmas, for the sake of her children, Cyril and Lily. Her conundrum is that the story is set during the war, and Madge has received a telegram, informing her that her husband is missing, presumed dead. Her plan to withhold this information from her children, to ensure they have the best possible Christmas, is a haunting and loving one.

But naturally, any plan where the Doctor crashes into the midst of it is bound to veer off course.

So it proves, in an opening 20 minutes or so that demonstrates just how wonderfully well Matt Smith plays comedy. For the last few episodes of series six, Smith’s Doctor was carrying the weight of what was to come, and there are still nods to what he’s been through, and what he now faces, through Steven Moffat’s script. However, there’s also a sense that he’s been given something of a day off, and the way that he rips through the guided tour of the house, with particular focus on the best children’s bedroom you could wish for, was gloriously good fun.

The Doctor Who Christmas special, as both Moffat and Russell T Davies have noted over the years, is a slightly different beast. Accepting that a large bulk of people watch it after a bloated day, and not short of either sugar-laden or alcoholic beverages, its tone tends to be just a little lighter. Moffat works that very much in his favour, but doesn’t shy away from the darkness in the background. Madge’s choice is never far away.

It’s the Doctor operating without a companion for the duration of The Doctor, The Widow And The Wardrobe, too, and this also seems to free him up just a little. The closest he gets to sidekicks are Cyril and Lily and, not for the first time, Moffat writes his younger characters wonderfully well. The economy of dialogue for Cyril proves to be a great choice, as young Maurice Cole conveys more in a wide-eyed look than any collection of words could. Credit, too, to director Farren Blackburn for bringing the most out of the younger members of his talented cast.

It’s the first half of the episode where it’s arguably at its strongest, but that doesn’t mean there’s too much to pick at once the children crawl through the mysterious present (where did it come from, incidentally?) and head into Doctor Who’s nod to the land of Narnia.

Here’s where the screen fills with some enchanting visuals, not least trees that appear to grow Christmas baubles. It’s almost a pity when the slightly more traditional Doctor Who story kicks in, when ‘monsters’ appear and the threat escalates. But this is Moffat-era Who, where apparent monsters have reasons for what they’re doing, and the nature of just who the actual monster is, once more, is called into question.

The creatures this time, made of wood, I found eerily effective, although the least interesting part of the episode. I think, though, that’s because the Arwells are just far more intriguing people to be around, and the moments where the focus shifts away from them are felt.

If you were being picky, which I suppose I am, then you could say that the reasoning behind the desire to flee the forest is a very straightforward one. Yet it services the story well enough. I do think it’s a real pity that the trio of troops weren’t used more. When I first heard that Bill Bailey in particular was appearing in Doctor Who, it was a good day. Sadly, he just doesn’t get enough screen time here, and I’d dearly have loved to see more of him.

The most divisive part of the episode, and bringing back slight memories of The Next Doctor, is when Claire Skinner gets at the controls of something left over from one of Michael Bay’s Transformers movies. It’s deliriously daft, and for me it works, because before anyone can take the whole thing too seriously, the thing does a pratfall onto the ground.

It’s all building up to a warm, emotional ending, of course, and this was handled logically and well. Most of us, I suspect, felt that Madge might find a way to save her husband by the time The Doctor, The Widow And The Wardrobe drew to a close (it is Christmas, after all), and so it proved. It meant that the episode didn’t shirk the moment where the children realised that their father might be gone, but allowed the Arwell’s story to end on a warm, rather than a tragic note.

This all left space at the end for the Doctor to find his own happy ending of sorts, where we learn that two years have passed since he saw Amy and Rory last. The moment on the doorstep, with the Doctor and Amy refusing to hug each other, was a lovely touch, well played. And it seems fitting that the loneliest man in the universe got some well deserved Christmas lunch at the end of quite a tumultuous year for him.

The Doctor, The Widow And The Wardrobe marks the last time we’ll see the Doctor until next Autumn, and he’s in an intriguing place. Most people think he’s dead, his time with the Ponds appears to be growing ever shorter, and there’s still the big question of who he actually is remaining unanswered.

For now, though, it was a treat to have a gentle, well told, standalone story, that proved you don’t have to veer away from an emotive and adventurous story, just because it’s Christmas time.

A lovely piece of television, and a smashing way to spend a Christmas night in front of the telly. Pass the turkey sandwiches...

Barry McGuigan scared about Strictly

Barry McGuigan scared about Strictly

Boxing legend Barry McGuigan says he's more nervous about the 'Strictly Come Dancing' Christmas special than he ever was about one of his fights.

The former World Featherweight Champion is taking part in the festive version of the BBC One dancing show tomorrow (25.12.11) and admits it's one of the scariest things he has ever done.

He told The Sun newspaper: "This is more nerve-racking than when I fought in front of 20million people on TV.

"I trained for that and spent my career preparing for that moment. But here I am out of my comfort zone and putting myself up for ridicule. People say boxers should be good at dancing because they have rhythm but that doesn't mean I am necessarily co-ordinated.

"I've been coached for years to stand side-on, keep my arms close to my body, keep my chin tucked in and make myself as small as possible. But when you're dancing you need to do the opposite and have to open up your chest and chin and keep your arms out.

"I have to remember it's a laugh - and hopefully my performance will be better than laughable."

CSI Books Jesse McCartney for February Sweeps

CSI Books Jesse McCartney for February Sweeps

Almost a year to the day that Justin Bieber bit the proverbial (OK, literal) bullet(s) on CSI, actor/musician Jesse McCartney will himself guest-star on the CBS crime drama.

In a sweeps episode tentatively scheduled to air Feb. 15, McCartney will play Wes, a recent college grad who passes out while driving and crashes his car, CSI Files reports. In the wake of the mysterious incident, Wes bonds with investigator Nick as they try to piece together what happened.

McCartney’s CSI visit reportedly will coincide with Elisabeth Shue’s debut as a series regular, filling the Marg Helgenberger void.

McCartney’s past TV credits include Greek, Summerland, All My Children and, more recently, Fox’s unfortunately passed-on Locke & Key pilot.

TVA Group Sells Cable Channel Stakes to Shaw Media

TVA Group Sells Cable Channel Stakes to Shaw Media

The deals are the latest as Canadian broadcasters continue jockeying for position in the digital age.

In the latest sign of industry consolidation, Quebec broadcaster TVA Group has sold a 50% interest in the Mystery TV cable channel and a 51 percent stake in The Cave cable channel to rival Shaw Media.

Terms of the sales were not disclosed, but the deals hand Shaw Media half-interests in the two cable channels that it does not already own.

The Shaw Media acquisitions await regulatory approval.

TVA Group already has its hands full launching Sun News, a 24-hour conservative news cable channel that faces stiff competition from existing all-news services run by rivals CTV and CBC.

Earlier in the week, Blue Ant Media, the private investment vehicle for former Alliance Atlantis Communications topper Michael MacMillan, unveiled a deal to acquire High Fidelity HDTV, which operates four premium HD cable channels.

And Torstar Corp, the Canadian newspaper publisher, acquired a 25% stake in Blue Ant Media for $22.7 million.

Walliams eats breast milk ice cream

Walliams eats breast milk ice cream

David Walliams proved he has the stomach for a challenge when he tucked into ice cream made from breast milk.

The comic helped himself to a couple of cones during filming for Channel 4's Big Fat Quiz of the Year and told the audience it was "absolutely delicious" and "very nutritious".

The actor, who in the Little Britain 'Bitty' sketch plays a fully-grown man who is still breast-feeding, said: "I've never had breast milk. I wasn't given breast milk as a child and I've always wanted to have it."

But naked chef Jamie Oliver turned his nose up at the free food, telling host Jimmy Carr: "Honestly, I will gag. I can't handle this. It's £14 a scoop. It's disgusting. I don't like the idea of it. I've had four kids. I'm a bit sensitive, I had a medical the other day. I will throw up."

Other panellists on the show, which is broadcast at 9pm on December 27, include Jonathan Ross, Eddie Izzard, David Mitchell and Miranda Hart.

Donald Trump Breaks With Republican Party; Switches Voter Registration to Independent

Donald Trump Breaks With Republican Party; Switches Voter Registration to Independent

The "Celebrity Apprentice" star has been threatening for months to run for president as a third-party candidate if he wasn't satisfied with the GOP nominee.

Donald Trump has made good on recent threats to break away from the Republican party.

After years as a registered GOP voter, the Celebrity Apprentice star and real estate mogul filed paperwork Thursday to become an independent in his home state of New York, Politico reported.

The move follows months of Trump suggesting that he would do so if he weren't satisfied with the Republican presidential candidate.

Michael Cohen, special counsel to Trump, told Politico that the move was indeed made "to preserve his right to run as an independent if he is (unhappy) with the GOP nominee."

It's not the first time Trump has switched his political affiliation; he was once registered as a Democrat.

The most recent switch comes less than two weeks after Trump's decision to back out of moderating a Republican debate in Iowa on Dec. 27. When announcing his decision, he again mentioned that he still might run for the GOP nomination.

“It is very important to me that the right Republican candidate be chosen to defeat the failed and very destructive Obama Administration, but if that Republican, in my opinion, is not the right candidate, I am not willing to give up my right to run as an independent candidate,” Trump said in his statement. “Therefore, so that there is no conflict of interest within the Republican Party, I have decided not to be the moderator of the Newsmax debate.”

Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum were the only Republican candidates who had agreed to appear at the debate.

After the announcement came that Trump would be moderating the Dec. 27, some of the candidates, including Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman, expressed their belief that the debate was just for spectacle and refused to attend.

Just ahead of Trump's announcement, The Hollywood Reporter spoke with the reality star, who admitted that he was wavering on his decision to moderate the debate.

"The problem is the Republicans are afraid that if I run as an independent candidate, they don't want to have a debate and then have me announce that I'm running as an independent candidate," Trump told THR.

Trump also told THR then that he was still considering a run for president as an independent candidate. But he said he wouldn't make any announcements until after the finale of The Celebrity Apprentice. The new season of NBC's reality show premeires  Sunday, Feb. 12, and the finale airs May 20.

Trump made headlines earlier this year when he was hinting at a running for the GOP nomination himself. During his publicity blitz, he angered many supporters of President Obama with his suggestion that Obama is foreign-born, among other attacks on the president

In May, he announced he would not be running, saying: "Business is my greatest passion, and I am not ready to leave the private sector."

Tinchy: I turned down Big Brother

Tinchy: I turned down Big Brother

Tinchy Stryder has dropped out of the next series of Celebrity Big Brother.

The 25-year-old rapper behind hit single Number 1 worried that an appearance on the reality show could damage his credibility, according to a report in The Sun.

"I asked myself whether people I respect would go on a show and I decided that they wouldn't," he explained.

The grime star, who rose to the top of the charts with hit single Number 1, revealed that he was offered a huge amount of cash to join the Big Brother house.

Tinchy declined to reveal how much Channel 5 offered him, but says he has no regrets over turning down the offer.

"Music is my first thing," he declared. "I love the people that support me and just know in my heart it wasn't the right thing to do."

The twelfth series of Celebrity Big Brother is set to air on Channel 5 in January.

Daily TV round-up – 'The Voice' to cut the criticism

Daily TV round-up – 'The Voice' to cut the criticism

New BBC talent show 'The Voice' is to cut the harsh criticism of new singers in favour of positive encouragement.

Shows such as 'The X Factor', 'Strictly Come Dancing' and 'Dancing On Ice' have always featured a 'Mr Nasty' on the judging panel, but the tide is turning, according to reports.

“There's definitely a view that uplifting content works at the moment. We don't believe viewers will embrace contestants being verbally bullied by a mean judge in the same way they might have a few years ago,” a BBC executive source told the Daily Mail.

“The Voice is all about positivity and bringing the best out of the contestants on the show.”

The show is set to start in the spring, hosted by Holly Willoughby and Reggie Yates.

On the judging panel is Tom Jones, Jessie J, Will.I.Am from the Black Eyed Peas and Danny O'Donoghue from The Script. [Daily Mail]

Also in today's press

Matt Smith has quashed rumours that he will quit ‘Doctor Who’ after his sidekick Karen Gillan leaves the show. “I am very happy to stay. I love it. I’ll miss Karen because she’s my best mate. She’s mad as a box of cats but a firecracker,” he said. “But there comes a time when a story concludes – and the essence of the show is that it constantly reinvents itself.” [The Mirror]

Peter Andre, Aston from JLS and Chris Moyles could be set to feature on 'Celebrity Take Me Out', according to host Paddy McGuinness. The show's host is searching for celeb contestants and has named the stars as potential candidates. [Metro]

Jennifer Saunders has said it's harder for women to succeed in television now than it was 20 years ago. “I don’t think things have moved on for women much in TV,” said the 'Ab Fab' star. “It’s a bit of a boys’ club, and if you’re a boy you can do less and get further. I still feel that.” [Daily Telegraph]

'X Factor's' Steve Jones on the Viewer Criticism: 'It Shocked Me'

'X Factor's' Steve Jones on the Viewer Criticism: 'It Shocked Me'

The host of the Fox singing competition explains he was a bit naïve coming into the show.

It’s no secret that Steve Jones’ hosting style on The X Factor’s first season has generated a lot of criticism from fans.

Yet, by no means is Steve a newbie to the medium. He has been hosting TV shows on British TV now for more than seven years. He admits, though, that he is new to the size of a show like The X Factor.

“[I was] naïve in the sense that I’ve never done what I do on this scale,” he explains to reporters after Thursday’s finale. “And maybe, I didn’t realize the level of the criticism that people go through when they’re working at this level. It shocked me a little bit. It didn’t particularly upset me, I suppose. It shocked me, I was naïve coming into it.”

And while one would think that the American audience would present some difference to the one he caters to back in the U.K., he says they were actually quite similar. He does admit that there’s a difference in attitude when it comes to America’s television industry, though.

“It’s different in the sense that it’s bigger, you feel like anything’s possible,” he says. “You walk into a meeting in America and it’s like, ‘How big can we make the show?’ And in Britain it’s more like, ‘OK, let’s think about what can go wrong, think about what can go right. Let’s think this through before we commit.’ We’re a bit more cautious with our TV in Britain, I think. Here it’s like, ‘Let’s make it massive.’ I like that. I like both those schools of thought I really do.”

Steve says that the experience of hosting the Fox singing competition was “a hell of a ride.” And while reports have surfaced that he won’t be returning next year, the handsome 34-year-old has said that he’s still waiting to hear if he’ll be asked back to the show.

“If they’ll have me, I’ll be back in a second,” he says. “Who wouldn’t want to do this again? It’s been awesome, loved it.”

Ricky Gervais sitcom 'Life's Too Short' gets second series, despite bad reviews

Ricky Gervais sitcom 'Life's Too Short' gets second series, despite bad reviews

Ricky Gervais’ sitcom ‘Life’s Too Short’ has been commissioned for a second series, despite a raft of bad reviews and poor ratings including this review from Yahoo! TV.

The controversial comedian and writer confirmed that the show will return on Twitter, and also nailed down the mooted ‘An Idiot Abroad’special featuring ‘Life’s Too Short’s star, Warwick Davies.

“FAQ Second Series of Life's Too Short Planned for spring 2013 An Idiot Abroad Special: The Short Way Round planned for end of 2012 (sic),” he wrote.

The show, which starred Davies as the dislikeable owner of a dwarf talent agency, got roundly poor reviews from TV critics.

The Independent’s Robert Epstein called it ‘shoddily derivative’, adding that it was also degrading, while Gwilym Mumford in the Guardian said it was ‘strikingly lazy stuff, comprised of little more than a predictable checklist of taboos and social faux pas’.

The ratings for the show started well, but soon dropped below one million, a 35% decrease on the average for its timeslot.

Antarctic Christmas for TV Helen

Antarctic Christmas for TV Helen

Daredevil Blue Peter presenter Helen Skelton spent Christmas Day in Antarctica as she prepares for an attempt to become the first person to use a bike to reach the South Pole.

The 28-year-old will begin her gruelling 500-mile ski, kite and ice bike journey across Antarctica for Sport Relief on January 1.

Skelton, whose previous exploits include high-wire walking between the chimneys of Battersea power station in London and becoming the first person to solo-kayak the length of the Amazon, is aiming to set a new world record for the longest bicycle journey on snow.

On Sunday she also had to overcome the challenge of spending Christmas Day in Antarctica, with hours of training in sub-zero temperatures and dehydrated rations for dinner.

Skelton woke to overnight temperatures of minus 20C, with her stocking containing just a piece of Christmas cake and a letter from her family wishing her luck.

She was due to spend six hours on the snow training for her forthcoming challenge, and rather than feasting on a turkey dinner, she dined on dehydrated goulash.

"I had no idea I would miss my family this much on Christmas Day, I've been going through our Christmas traditions in my head and it's pretty weird not to be part of it," she said.

"This year is certainly going to be different, I'll be having dehydrated goulash and some dried mango in a tent and will spend all day training. Still, I can't complain - this is without doubt the most beautiful place I've ever been. Happy Christmas!"

The Blue Peter action woman will travel for up to 14 hours a day when she starts her journey 83 degrees south, battling against 80mph winds and temperatures that plummet to as low as minus 50C.

Helen's Polar Challenge For Sport Relief will be shown in a special nine-week series on Blue Peter from the end of January to March and the presenter can be sponsored at

Tough 2011 For Japan Draws to a Close as Disasters Overshadow Everything

Tough 2011 For Japan Draws to a Close as Disasters Overshadow Everything

Box office to be down around $325 million as tsunami and lack of blockbusters take their toll.

The events of March 11 overshadowed everything in Japan in 2011, as 20,000 people lost their lives to the tsunami and more than 100,000 were evacuated from around the stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Plant.

The final box office figures for the year for the world's second-largest cinema market are expected to be down around 20 percent, or 25 billion yen ($325 million), on recent years due to both the effects of the disaster and a lack of a real domestic or imported blockbuster.

The year started well for Japanese film as Confessions (Kokuhaku) made the shortlist of the Academy Award’s foreign language category, though it missed out on becoming one of the five final nominees. 

Then came March and nearly every aspect of the entertainment business was hit by the disasters and their aftermath. All television advertising was pulled, to be replaced by public information messages, as the networks showed nothing for weeks but disaster and rescue footage, as well as rolling coverage of the unfolding nuclear crisis.

Movie theaters were almost empty, as were bars and restaurants, as few felt either in the mood to be enjoying themselves, or to be seen doing so. Although cinemagoers trickled back in the following weeks and months, some films - including Clint Eastwood’s Hereafter, with its scenes from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami – were removed from release schedules. The King’s Speech on the other hand, took in a bigger than expected $25 million as its themes of overcoming challenges resonated with a shaken population.

July saw the country cheered by the first piece of good news in months, as Nadeshiko Japan, the women’s national soccer team, lifted the world cup in Germany, defeating the U.S. in a thrilling final. A fortuitous national holiday the day after the final helped the match score big viewer ratings despite the 3.45 a.m. kick off. The previously unloved women’s domestic league subsequently scored a broadcast deal with satellite network Sky Perfect TV, and the victorious national team members were soon omnipresent in a host of television commercials.

By the end of the summer, outside the disaster zone at least, normal service had pretty much resumed and there was room in the media for the year’s biggest celebrity scandal, with the enticing ingredients of showbiz and organized crime.  Shinsuke Shimada, host of half a dozen weekly TV shows on the major nets, suddenly resigned on Aug. 14 as a weekly magazine prepared to publish details of his friendship with an underboss in the yakuza mafia. As the nets scrambled to rearrange schedules and find replacements, the scandal shined unwanted light on the close ties between gangsters and some elements of the entertainment business.

Tokyo International Film Festival unspooled in Oct. with a double opening bill of The Three Musketeers and Jackie Chan’s 1911, followed by Moneyball as its closer. Organizer’s had agonized earlier in the year over whether to hold the fest in the post-disaster climate, and then whether people would come to Tokyo following some semi-hysterical reporting on the dangers of radiation by sections of the global media. The organizer’s concerns were proved largely unfounded as the festival received record entries, while guests and exhibitors flew in from around the world.    

In Nov., Sony announced another quarter of red ink, projecting a loss of $1.15 billion for the fiscal year to March 2012. The company suffered another tough year as its supply chain was hit by the disasters in Japan and the later floods in Thailand, while its online security was breached by hackers who accessed tens of millions of accounts on its PlayStation Network. Meanwhile, the launch of Sony’s new portable console, the PS Vita, in Japan on Dec. 17, was beset by technical issues. Kaz Hirai, who was anointed heir-apparent to CEO Sir Howard Stringer the day before the triple disasters struck, seems to have his work cut out for him. 

'Teen Wolf's' Tyler Posey Vows to Go Shirtless on MTV New Year's Eve Special

'Teen Wolf's' Tyler Posey Vows to Go Shirtless on MTV New Year's Eve Special

The actor is set to co-host the Times Square celebration with Demi Lovato.

In a new promo for MTV's New Year's Eve special, via E! Online, Posey teases viewers with a night of shirtless entertainment -- while doing pushups, of course.

"This year's party is gonna be crazy," he boasts. "I hear if there's a full moon, a certain shirtless werewolf may run through Times Square naked."

When cameraman informs Posey that there won't be a full moon during the festivities, the actor quickly retorts: "Oh, he'll probably take off his shirt anyway. I hear he's been doing lot of pushups lately."

Posey is slated to co-host the special on Saturday, Dec. 31 live from Times Square with Demi Lovato. Scheduled to perform are Lovato, Selena Gomez, J Cole, Jason Derulo and Mac Miller. Switched at Birth actresses Vanessa Marano and Katie LeClerc will also make a special appearance.

Teen Wolf, currently filming its second season, is set to return in Summer of 2012.

Katie Price to be godmother to Michelle Heaton's baby

Katie Price to be godmother to Michelle Heaton's baby

Katie Price is to be godmother to Michelle Heaton's unborn child.

The former Liberty X singer and husband Hugh Hanley asked the model to take up the role earlier this week.

"I'm sooooo happy and over the moon that @wonderwomanshel and @hughhanley have asked me to be a god mother to there baby woo forever friends (sic)," Price wrote on Twitter.

Speaking of her pregnancy, Heaton recently said: "I went through a period four months into the pregnancy when I felt really uncomfortable in my own skin and would cry about petty things. Hugh's been an amazing support, but he'd bring home my favourite cakes every day, which didn't help my body insecurities.

"One night, he brought home a slice of carrot cake and I screamed: 'Why are you trying to make me f**king fat?!' while stuffing it into my mouth. I was a crazy, hormonal bitch!"

Heaton, who is due to give birth to her daughter in five weeks, was a bridesmaid at Price's wedding to Peter Andre and introduced her to second husband Alex Reid.

Heaton and Hanley announced in July that they were expecting their first child together. They married in the Bahamas in 2010.

Miley Cyrus denies personal problems: 'I am happy and so loved'

Miley Cyrus denies personal problems: 'I am happy and so loved'

Miley Cyrus has dismissed Twitter speculation about problems in her personal life.

The Hannah Montana actress caused concern amongst followers after updating the biography on her profile with lyrics to 'How Soon Is Now' by The Smiths, which read: "I am human and I need to be loved. Just like everybody else does."

When fans mistakenly identified the words as hinting at her own troubles, Cyrus clarified that she in fact felt "happy and loved" and urged them all to focus on their loved ones instead of worrying about her.

"I hope everyone has a merry xmas," she wrote. "2 make it more special try 2 spend every second w the ones u love & dont take their QT away by tweeting! (sic)

"BTW my bio is a song by The Smiths. One of my favourites You should check it out. Theres no trouble in paradise. I am so happy and SO LOVED."

She added: "But it is true. I am HUMAN and I need to be loved. Just like all 4,108,281 of you. Its x-mas make sure everyone you love knows how much xx"

Cyrus earlier used Twitter to defend her outburst against an abusive fan in Costa Rica.

She wrote: "When someone yells something so rude making me look like an 'asshole' in front of fans who I am more than happy 2 take a picture w/ [with] I can't tolerate that kind of rudeness."