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Steve Coogan Will Replace Philip Seymour Hoffman in Happyish

Showtime is still moving forward with the Shalom Auslander–created dark comedy Happyish, the network announced today. Initially, the show starred Philip Seymour Hoffman as a middle-aged guy grappling with misery in the wake of professional frustration. After Hoffman's death in February, the future of the show was unclear, but Showtime has cast Steve Coogan in the main role. Coogan's version of the pilot will shoot in December, though it's not clear yet if the supporting cast from the previous version — including Kathryn Hahn as Hoffman's character's wife and Rhys Ifans as his boss — will be back.

The Best TV Shows on Amazon Prime

If the first season of Transparent, Amazon Prime’s trailblazing-in-all-ways dramedy, was your first foray into the online behemoth’s members-only streaming service, congratulations! One show down, about 1,300 to go! To help you navigate Prime’s overabundance of programming, we’ve whittled down all the possibilities, giving you our picks for the best shows from all genres. And because shows are often displayed on Prime’s browsing interfaces organized (or really, disorganized) by season, we’ve also suggested which individual season of a show is the best for newbies to dive into first (or for old-time fans to cue up, should you fancy a binge down memory lane). Check it out, and feel free to tell us what we missed in the comments.

So much good TV! »

If You Took Away Their Bathrooms, Which Friends Character Would Pee on the Floor First?

When we saw Ian Roach's re-creation of the cast of Friends in The Sims 4our imaginations ran wild. Friends ended in 2004, but it left us with so many questions: Which Friend can survive the longest without food? Or a bathroom? If you locked them along together in their apartment, how long would it take Joey and Chandler to fall in love? We had Roach run a few simulations and now you'll never have to wonder again. 

Okay, who would pee on the floor after Ross? »

What TV Shows Can Help Mend a Broken Heart? Your Pressing TV Questions, Answered

Welcome back to Stay Tuned, Vulture's TV advice column. Each Wednesday, Margaret Lyons answers your questions about your various TV triumphs and woes. Need help? Have a theory? Want a recommendation? Submit a question! You can email staytuned@nymag.com, leave a comment, or tweet @margeincharge with the hashtag #staytuned.

What's a good show to watch to mend a broken heart? —Rae

Aw, peach, I am sorry to hear you are going through a lovelorn time. »

A Photographic Account of Every Time Hayden Panettiere’s Juliette Has Cried on Nashville

Nashville doesn't always know what it's good at. It spends a lot of time on crummy stories — who cares about that lady trying to seduce Deacon? — and breezes right by substantive ones — hey, remember that time Rayna's vocal cords were damaged? The musical numbers remain a highlight, but the true centerpiece of the show is Hayden Panettiere's crying. The woman can weep! Her Juliette is volatile and vulnerable, which means she cries a lot, and every time she does, it's the highlight of the episode. Nashville bounces between crazy, out-of-control nonsense and dull, predictable drudgery, but within the dregs remains a shining beacon of perfection. We present to you every time Juliette has cried on Nashville.

The 3 Funny People Who Passed Before Neil Patrick Harris Was Offered the Oscar-Hosting Gig

When the news first came out that Neil Patrick Harris would be hosting the 2015 Oscars, the reaction was decidedly "of course," with a touch of "finally!" However, it was less of a given than it appeared. The Hollywood Reporter reports that NPH wasn't the producers' top choice. He wasn't even their third choice. First, Ellen DeGeneres was begged to return. Then Chris Rock said no. Then, maybe most exciting, the producers asked Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Hold in your "OMG"; JLD said no. Then, after all the waiters at the Chateau Marmont passed, we got Harris. A TV show is in development about the process, called How I Met Your Host.

Watch Jim Carrey’s Saturday Night Live Promos

Jim Carrey is hosting Saturday Night Live for the third time this week, but first things first: promos! With Halloween looming, many of them are spooky and scary, and in one, Carrey does an impression of Aidy Bryant that is frighteningly good, so maybe don't watch them in the dark. Also, why are you watching SNL promos in the dark, weirdo?

Watch a Trailer for the Most Adorable Show on TV: MasterChef Junior

We're so close to getting a new season of MasterChef Junior, we can taste the tiny gourmet meals. Will season two live up to the incredibly high standards set by season one's incomparably adorable chefs? We can only hope.

Lena Dunham: Stop Asking Whether My Characters Are Likable

Why are bad guys on TV okay while "bad" girls are not? Last night at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, as part of Unbound: A Literary Series With BAM and Greenlight Bookstore, Lena Dunham briefly talked about how annoying it is to keep having to address the double standard. “We get so many questions about the likability of our characters," Dunham said. "But it’s such a weird question to be getting in a world where our favorite television characters are Tony Soprano, Dexter, and Walter White. People are like, ‘He did the drugs for his family!’ and then they’re like, ‘and that girl was mean to her friend, and she should get the death penalty.’ It sometimes feels a little bit like we’re stuck in The Twilight Zone when every time Jemima and I or whatever go out and do a panel, they’re like, ‘How do you feel about playing such bad girls?’”

Also, she likes to show her father the video for "Anaconda." »

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Recap: Desperate Times

Picking up after last week's enjoyable but frothy Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode, "A Hen in the Wolf House" wastes no time getting back to business. By the end of the episode, S.H.I.E.L.D. has brought two undercover agents back into the fold, and Hydra has formed an alliance with Skye's father — the one man who has the power to bring Agent Coulson down.

"A Hen in the Wolf House" opens with another chillingly successful Hydra mission. »

Bill Murray Discusses Tinder, Finally

Bill Murray is not married, so Jimmy Kimmel — as another married person obsessed with Tinder — asked him if he'd ever heard of the app. He has! The question then is if he'd use it. Murray demurs just like a lot of people do when first asked about online dating. Just saying: If you find yourself playing pickup kickball in a Brooklyn field, maybe beforehand increase your age range up to 64. 

Sons of Anarchy Recap: What’s in the Box?

“This is more than just another street beef.” Jax tells the club he always knew they would be going head to head with August Marks. “We need to handle him with leverage, not blood,” he says. While that sounds tidy and civilized, it’s safe to assume that in Sons of Anarchy, it always ends in blood.

The Sons are setting the next phase of their plan in motion: align with the Mayans to navigate the heroin trade with the Aryans; work with the Aryans to take down Lin; bring together the Grim Bastards and the One-Niners to continue running guns with the Irish; everyone comes together to take down Marks. Nice and neat, with everyone getting all the smack, semiautomatics, and satisfaction they require, and plenty of Jax’s smirking revenge.

There are too many sunglasses moments in this episode. »

On This Season of American Horror Story, Sarah Paulson Faces Her Fears Twice

In three seasons on FX’s American Horror Story, Sarah Paulson has had to telepathically commune with the dead, breast-feed an adult sociopathic killer, and have sex while surrounded by dozens of snakes, to pick just a few discomfiting scenes from a series that has become a hit thanks its gothic blend of the camp and the demonic. Yet it was filming a seemingly mundane sequence for the first episode of American Horror Story: Freak Show, as the new season is titled, that caused Paulson to melt down, worried she might not be up to the task of playing Bette and Dot, conjoined twins who are recruited to help revive an embattled freak show in 1950s Florida. 

“They have two heads and two brains in one body, but, of course, I only have one of each." »

Goodfellas Actor Slaps The Simpsons With a $250 Million Lawsuit

Actor Frank Sivero has filed a $250 million lawsuit against Fox Television, arguing that Simpsons character Mafia Louie (a member of Fat Tony’s crew) was based on his likeness and personality and was specifically inspired by the character Frankie Carbone, whom he played in 1990’s Goodfellas

Sivero says he lived next to the Simpsons writers who stole his character. »

Breaking Bad Figures Pulled from Toys ‘R’ Us

Toys 'R' Us has stopped selling a series of Breaking Bad action figures in the wake of a Change.org petition by a Florida mom, who was incensed that a store that markets to kids was selling models of a murderous meth kingpin (complete with a baggie of faux crystal meth). "Parents and grandparents around the world shop at Toys 'R' Us, online and in stories, with their children and should not be forced to explain why a certain toy comes with a bag of highly dangerous and illegal drugs or why someone who sells those drugs deserves to be made into an action figure,” Susan Schrivjer wrote on the petition, which has garnered 9,034 signatures to date.

Well, Toys 'R' Us has heard her complaint, and it looks like your chance to reenact "Ozymandias" in your sand pit with a garden spade and a few matchbox cars has now passed. "Let’s just say, the action figures have taken an 'indefinite sabbatical,'" a Toys 'R' Us rep said in a statement.

Bryan Cranston weighed in. »

Sons of Anarchy’s Jimmy Smits on Nero’s Decision and Hooking Up With the Boss’s Wife

Spoilers for this week's episode of Sons of Anarchy.

Every time he thinks he’s out, they pull him back in! Nero Padilla, the pimp Jimmy Smits plays on Sons of Anarchy, has long been discussing an exit strategy from the flesh-peddling business. But can anyone ever really escape Charming, California? In this week’s episode, “Greensleeves,” Nero tried to talk his ladylove Gemma (Katey Sagal) into splitting town, but instead she recruited him for a SAMCRO mission to help a dead gay preacher’s widow kick heroin. (If you don’t watch SoA, don’t ask.) Smits spoke with Vulture about Nero’s gut, why he’s not reprising his role in the new Star Wars, and — oh yeah — that time Pee-wee Herman introduced him to Madonna.

"In this particular world, there are other things that trump romance." »

  • Posted 10/21/14 at 4:15 PM
  • Wishes

Possible Mad Men Spinoffs, and How They’d Work

As Mad Men's final season (well, half-season) draws nearer, the idea that the show will be over-over — totally over, done forever — is becoming more distressing. AMC spun off Breaking Bad into the upcoming Better Call Saul, and The Walking Dead has a spinoff in the works, too. Could Mad Men get the same treatment? So far, AMC and Matthew Weiner have said no. But that's just because they haven't heard our pitches yet.

Sorry, Pete. »

FX Cancels The Bridge

The Bridge will not be back for a third season, FX announced today. After a good but not-quite-great first season, the show's second installment really took off creatively. But we live in an unjust universe, and thus the ratings petered out, and FX decided to pull the plug. Of course no one likes to see a good show die, but on the bright side, at least Demian Bichir, Diane Kruger, and Emily Rios, et al. can now be on other good shows ...

Aziz Ansari and Grover Get Very, Very Silly in This Sesame Street Clip

Aziz Ansari visited Sesame Street to explain the word ridiculous, which involved silly hats and standing on your head. Next up? Feminism. Good luck, Aziz! 

Winnie and Kevin Probably Slept Together and 11 Other Things We Learned at Last Night’s Wonder Years Reunion

Last night at 92Y, our favorite Robert F. Kennedy Junior-High-Schoolers — Kevin Arnold, Winnie Cooper, and Paul Pfeiffer — waxed nostalgic before 200 fans during their “first public appearance together in front of a live audience,” promoting season one of The Wonder Years on DVD. Only hours had passed since Fred Savage, Danica McKellar, and Josh Saviano appeared on Good Morning America together, so there weren’t many hugs or how’ve-you-beens exchanged backstage. Still, it was fun to watch them watch generation-old clips of their precocious selves selected by the effusive moderator, "Fresh Air" TV critic David Bianculli. Vulture picked up a few factoids at the event.

It took six takes to film Kevin and Winnie’s first kiss. »