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EW Plays: Can 'Super Smash Bros. for Wii U' earn the franchise new fans?

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Can Super Smash Bros. for Wii U create new fans, or is the game catering exclusively to players who have spent hours in the Nintendo arena?

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Mark Ruffalo, Stephen Merchant play 'Musical Beers' on 'Tonight'

Last night, The Tonight Show launched a new game. Everyone, meet “Musical Beers”—the perfect crossover between beer pong and musical chairs. And yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like.

To kick off the new game, Jimmy Fallon invited guest Mark Ruffalo, along with Stephen Merchant, out for some very messy fun before very quickly knocking Merchant out of the competition. Yeah, things get competitive.

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Entertainment Geekly: Is 'Mockingjay - Part 1' really a movie?

This is not a rant about anything. I need to clarify that up front, because 2014 has been a horrible year for ranting. But it’s also been great year for very good things that straddle the line between how we used to define television and how we used to define movies.

Is True Detective a miniseries or an 8-hour movie? Should The Knick rank in Steven Soderbergh’s filmography? Fargo and Hannibal transformed well-trod source material into a new kind of remake—half greatest hits compilation, half concept album. Not for nothing, 2014 was also the year that Shonda Rhimes claimed Thursday for old-fashioned weekly TV, with three flavors of throwback procedural (doctor show, politics show, lawyer show) infused with soap operatics.

On the big screen, Hollywood’s embrace of aggressive franchising came up with fascinating new mutant forms of sequel-prequel-reboots. It’s become common to compare the cinematic output of Marvel Studios to television production: Kevin Feige is the showrunner; different directors serve the Marvel vision first and their own vision second; cast members sign seven-picture contracts, the new incarnation of the old TV-actor Faustian bargain. (Steady work = no freedom.) You can feel the TV-ification of cinema in small ways and large. Wasn’t Dwayne Johnson’s Hercules just a more expensive version of Kevin Sorbo’s Hercules? (I mean that as a compliment; Hercules is one of the best watch-it-on-a-plane movies released this year.) Isn’t Horrible Bosses 2 just a renegade from the parallel universe where Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, and Charlie Day starred in a middlingly popular bro-com on Fox? READ FULL STORY

Stephen Colbert interviews the 'voice of the left' -- Jon Stewart

With only a few weeks of shows left, Stephen Colbert begrudgingly invited one final “liberal lion” guest onto his show for an interview: Jon Stewart.

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Gwyneth Paltrow, Britney Spears, and more read 'Mean Tweets' on 'Kimmel'

Jimmy Kimmel’s “Mean Tweets” segment returns with more burns on celebrities, smashing the delicate glass houses of compliments that celebrities seem to live in.

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Key and Peele put their spin on 1980s aerobics videos

Leave it to Key & Peele to reveal what aerobics videos were really like in the 1980′s.

In a new sketch from the duo, they star as “Flash” and “Lightning” in a live taping of the 1987 Jazz Fit Championships—apparently a competition in which they try to outlast each other on the dance floor. Regardless, when Lightning gets some bad news about his family, things get real.

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Why 'Shrek' scared 'Walking Dead' star Chad L. Coleman

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The great thing about having The Walking Dead cast members stop by when you’re not pressing them for spoilers is they’re happy to tell you anything else you’d like to know.

Case in point: Chad L. Coleman (Tyreese), who took our Pop Culture Personality Test and named the movie that scared him even though it wasn’t supposed to (Shrek), the movie he wishes he could watch again for the first time (A Soldier’s Story), and the movie he almost walked out of (Tyler Perry’s The Family That Preys).

And, really proving our point, he also serenaded us with some Rihanna. Watch the video below.

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Updated: Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, more remember Mike Nichols

Mike Nichols died on Wednesday at 83, leaving behind a storied body of award-winning work that involved a number of the biggest writers and actors in the industry. Having garnered an EGOT—Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony—Nichols’ work has touched every facet of the entertainment industry, and many of those he collaborated with have honored his memory.

Below is a collection of the statements released so far, with updates to come.

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How could 'The Hunger Games' continue after the movies? Just ask Harry Potter

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The release of MockingjayPart 1 this weekend signals the beginning of the end for The Hunger Games quadrilogy, based on Suzanne Collins’s books—though the franchise won’t stop when the film series does, at least if Lionsgate has anything to say about it. And thankfully for the studio, there’s already a precedent for this type of world-expansion—set mostly by one very important boy wizard.

Harry Potter is the gold standard for maintaining a fervid fan base after a film series (based on an incredibly popular book series) ends. The Hunger Games has already taken more than a few cues from its predecessor; after all, Mockingjay is only being split into two parts thanks to the precedent set by Harry‘s Deathly Hallows strategy. But Potter has also mastered the life-after-movie game. (It’s worth mentioning that Harry Potter owes something to Star Wars when it comes to milking franchise potential for all it’s worth—but unlike Potter or Games, that franchise wasn’t based on previously-established source material.)

How else can Katniss take a leaf out of Harry’s spellbook? This is how you keep a fanbase alive—Harry Potter style. READ FULL STORY

Behind the scenes of 'Serial': An interview with co-creator Julie Snyder

It’s already fairly obvious that today’s best TV shows aren’t actually on television: You’ll find them on Netflix, or Amazon, or some dark corner of the Internet. But is it also possible that fall’s most addictive drama isn’t a TV show at all?

You might find yourself thinking about that question if you, like so many of us at EW, are suddenly obsessed with iTunes’ No. 1 podcast, Serial—a nonfiction series that plays like a prestige cable show, from the makers of This American Life. Rather than reverting to the inverted-triangle structure of most nonfiction reporting, the first season is narrated by Serial‘s main character, executive producer Sarah Koenig, who’s investigating the 1999 murder of high school senior Hae Min Lee—allegedly committed by Hae’s ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed. There are star-crossed lovers from different immigrant backgrounds. There’s a good cop/bad cop duo. There are cliff-hanger endings that hinge on Adnan’s apparent guilt or innocence. At one point, Adnan challenges Koenig to re-create the prosecution’s timeline because, he says, “I’ve seen it before on Dateline or Nightline, where someone tries to reenact the crime, and it’s like, The crime could not have been committed.” Even Adnan views this story as if it’s happening to someone on television.

We caught up with Serial co-creator and executive producer Julie Snyder after finishing episode 8, “The Deal With Jay.” READ FULL STORY

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