Coming Attractions: 'Californication' To Explore Mystique Of Happy Endings

Television

Showtime's cynical comedy "Californication" ended its first season on an unusual bright note, as David Duchovny's Hank Moody got his wish, stealing his ex, Karen (Natascha McElhone), from her wedding reception, and riding off Graduate-style with their daughter Becca.

The show's 12-episode second season, due in September, "investigates how much bull there is in happy endings," says creator Tom Kapinos. "How long can this go on before Hank is pulled into his darker impulses?"

Temptations include his new "dream job" as a biographer for an iconic record producer, who functions as "the devil on Hank's shoulder"; his agent's (Evan Handler) new niche representing porn stars; and a literary scandal involving Hank's manuscript, which teen conquest Mia passed off as her own. "His goal is to get the hell out of L.A. and move back to New York," Kapinos says. "Part of the fun is to see what prevents that from happening."

—Gary Levin

Music

Plain White T's dress up for new album.

Plain White T's singer Tom Higgenson earned a "Song of the Year" Grammy nomination for the band's "Hey There Delilah". For Big Bad World, due Sept. 16 on Hollywood Records, he figures he's doubled his chances of doing it again.

Higgenson wrote two songs for the new album with fellow "Song of the Year" nominee Chris Tompkins, co-writer of Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats".

Tompkins and Plain White T's drummer De'Mar Hamilton met the night of the Grammys and bonded over losing the award to Amy Winehouse's Rehab.

"Then they went up to somebody's room and emptied the mini-bar," Higgenson says. "I heard about that and said, 'I want to write with him.' "

Songs on the album include lead track "Big Bad World", possible single "Natural Disaster" and one that originally was called "1,2,3,4."

"Ever since that Feist song, it's a little too soon to come out with a song with the same name, I think," Higgenson says.

—Brian Mansfield

Movies

Ritchie impressed Newton on the set. Don't count Guy Ritchie out just yet.

The British director, who made his mark with the gangster flicks "Lock", "Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" and "Snatch", is back to his old tricks with "RocknRolla", due in theaters on Halloween.

It's the first in a planned trilogy with a cast that includes Thandie Newton, who plays a crooked accountant.

Ritchie isn't known for his powerful female roles, something that wasn't lost on Newton. "The character was written strong in the first half and then just dwindled away when it had gotten more serious," she says. "So I basically said, 'Look, think of me as a guy. …' From the middle of the movie to the end, I would change things and he was totally open to it."

No wonder Newton swoons when talking about the director. "I was really impressed by him. He has a kind of stature and weight and confidence that allows you to be yourself."

—Donna Freydkin

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