Taylor Swift Is Still Selling Like Crazy

Today in showbiz news: America's blushing princess is on top of the music world once again, Meryl Streep's son-in-law lands a big TV role, and a glimpse at an exciting new show. 

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Expert melancholy peddler Taylor Swift's new album Red has held the top spot on the sales charts for its second week, and in doing so has become the second-best-selling album of the year, behind 21, the wildly successful second album from expert whatever that feeling of rain on the window is peddler Adele. Red, which marks Swift's further advancement into the world of straight-up pop, sold 344,000 copies this week, bringing its total to 1.55 million. Yeah. That's it. And it's the second most popular album of the year. And it's already November. What a new strange world we live in. Used to be there were Strawberries, and Coconuts, and all other kinds of Goodys. And now there's just an Apple and its tunes. Those online sales are included in this figure, actually they're about half of it, but it's still awfully low, isn't it. Used to be an album would sell sixty-eight million copies and it would only be a moderate success. I think Fleetwood Mac's Rumors, one of the most successful albums of all time (and for good reason), sold like fourteen billion copies. And now we just have a measly million and a half. That's all. Blame computers. Oh well. Congrats to Taylor. Hope you like the new world, kid. [The New York Times]

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Fresh off the rotted corpose of his disastrous big screen leading man debut in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, sexy pex Broadway star Benjamin Walker is heading to the small screen. He'll be playing the lead in an HBO pilot called The Missionary, which is about the sex lives of the staff at the National Review. No, no, it's about Cold War-era Berlin and a young, uh, missionary who gets caught up with a pretty lady who's trying to escape East Berlin. Walker will play the lady. NO. He'll play the missionary, duh. This is a project that is produced by, among others, big-haired pop intellectual Malcolm Gladwell and frown-faced pop thug Mark Wahlberg. So that's an odd combination. Hope you boys all have fun. And, actually, we hope this show gets picked up. It sounds exciting! [Deadline]

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Three Stooges actress Jennifer Hudson is joining Geek Charming actress Sarah Hyland in an upcoming sequel to Five, the star-studded, breast cancer-themed anthology that aired a while back on Lifetime: Television For Exacerbating Wine Headaches. Five 2 (Ten?) will be concerned with mental illness rather than breast cancer, but the basic structure is still the same. Famous people acting and directing (Jennifer Aniston directed one last time) and lots of inspirational music in the promos. Hudson and Hyland (sounds like a pretentious West Village restaurant) are joining cast members Melissa Leo and Octavia Spencer, while Bonnie Hunt and Laura Dern are directing installments. So it's all shaping up nicely. Hopefully this means we can look forward to Five 3, which of course is just reruns of this. [The Hollywood Reporter]

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Here are Anne Hathaway's promos for this weekend's Saturday Night Live, which she is hosting. Ugh, right? Well, maybe not right. Last week or something a few commenters asked why I'm a little hard on Anne Hathaway sometimes, so maybe we're not all on the same page. The short answer is: She's a vain, preening theater dork who somehow made it big and now tries to make herself America's darling by doing a whole faux-humble routine while also making sure to remind us that she's friends with Meryl Streep and everyone classy and fabulous in Hollywood. It's no knock on her talent, it's just everything else. That's all. I'm sure she's actually lovely in real life, but that's how she comes off from far away. So that's why. Love or it leave it.

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And here's a short promo for FX's The Americans, another Cold War show, this one about deep-cover Soviet operatives posing as average suburbanites in New Jersey. This is Keri Russell's big return to TV, so we all have to be supportive. Sure it looks like it's aping Homeland, but this was probably in development long before that show hit it big. Let's give it the benefit of the doubt. This brief thing doesn't show anything objectionable, after all. I mean, it's not like Anne Hathaway's in the damn thing!

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