People Are Still Watching 'The Voice'

Today in show business news: The return of The Voice is good news for NBC, Katherine Heigl takes a dark new role, and Pretty Little Liars is getting a spinoff.

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NBC's hit singing competition show The Voice returned for its fourth season Monday night, and while the rest of NBC is crumbling, and fellow singing show American Idol is quickly fading as well, The Voice is holding on for now. It returned with 13.4 million viewers for a 4.7 rating in the 18-49 demo. That's better than Idol has done almost all season, though it is worse than Idol's season premiere. So maybe The Voice will steadily drop, too? It's hard to say. NBC's show is a lot newer than Idol, so the interest level might be stronger, but they do have new judges these season, swapping out Xtina and Cee Lo for Shakira and Ursher, so who knows how they'll fare. Plus it's The Voice. And that is a terrible show! I know, I know, Idol's no picnic, but it's sooo much better than The Voice, which has to gussy itself up with lots of gimmicks and nincompoopery in order to hook people. Magic chairs and fight rounds and all that nonsense. So I do not accept this. The Voice cannot do better than Idol while both are airing. Idol is traditional. "Spring singing show" has meant American Idol for two thousand years. Or, OK, like eleven years. But still. Still. Defend Idol. [Entertainment Weekly]

Speaking of marriage, Patrick Wilson and Katherine Heigl have been cast in a comedy called North of Hell. So it takes place in Sausalito? No, no, just joking. Who knows where it's set. We do know that it is about "Don Champage, a successful businessman who seems to have it all — including an obsessive wife (Heigl) who relentlessly controls everything in his life." Aha. Interesting. Very interesting indeed that Katherine Heigl would be cast as an unpleasant person. (I kid, I kid. The whole Katherine Heigl-is-terrible thing is very old, isn't it? And the idea of a hilarious comedy about a man with a horrible controlling wife sounds pretty unpleasant, no matter who's playing the role. Just seems a bit dated. Oh well.) [Deadline]

ABC Family has revealed that there's a Pretty Little Liars spinoff called Ravenswood in the works. They've also renewed PLL for a fifth season. Ravenswood will take place in a town near the teen mystery show's town, and will feature something of a supernatural element. Like, there's a town curse or something. So that could be kind of fun, right? I mean, Pretty Little Liars stopped being fun, for me anyway, seasons ago, but Ravenswood will be new! And supahnatural... True to its spooky nature, the show will premiere in October. [The Hollywood Reporter]

If you're curious, here are the nominees for the Olivier Awards, aka the British Tonys. Among the bold names are James McAvoy (Macbeth), Helen Mirren (The Audience), Rupert Everett (The Judas Kiss), Kristin Scott Thomas (Old Times), and Imelda Staunton (Sweeney Todd). Also receiving nods are Aida vet Heather Headley for the new The Bodyguard musical and Adam Garcia, the love interest from Coyote Ugly, who I guess is still working and is getting award nominations for appearing in Kiss Me Kate. Good for him! [Deadline]

Oh brother. We're getting a third Atlas Shrugged movie. Are we sure about this? I guess the first two were just so good that a third should have felt inevitable. This final part of the trilogy concerns, "a dystopian U.S. where government regulation and high taxes have stifled the economy." Rich people are being blamed for society's problems, so they go on strike. Yay. They deserve it. Can't wait to see this one! [The Hollywood Reporter]

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