News Nuggets: Did Kerry Washington have a ‘fierce’ Emmy-winning episode of ‘Scandal’ this week?

A new spotlight proclaims Kerry Washington as the Performer of the Week. In a possible Emmy submission titled “Run,” her “Scandal” show Thursday night features Washington on-screen for almost every minute. Her character of Olivia Pope is grabbed from home and she “walked the fine line between fierce fixer and Marvel-caliber hero” as she “took stock of her environs and abductors, never acting too hastily and, for better or worse, never superhumanly seeing too many steps ahead.” TV Line

American Sniper” nears the $250 million mark by hauling in another $31.8 million during Super Bowl weekend. If it continues on this pace, the Clint Eastwood film starring Bradley Cooper could become the highest-grossing film released in 2014. Family flick “Paddington” finishes in second place with $8.7 million. Newcomer “Project Almanac” is in the third spot with $8.5 million. Variety

Scandal’ third season – Click here to discuss in our forums

NBC teases their upcoming live 40th anniversary special for “Saturday Night Live.” Two new Super bowl promos reveal several of the returning cast members and guest hosts who will appear on the February 15 broadcast. The first spot includes Chevy Chase, Robert De Niro, Jimmy Fallon, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Derek Jeter, Steve Martin, Melissa McCarthy, Paul McCartney, Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Adam Sandler, Paul Simon, Jerry Seinfeld, Molly Shannon, Emma Stone, Justin Timberlake, and Kanye West. The second promo announces Dan Aykroyd, Alec Baldwin, Jim Carrey, Dana Carvey, Tom Hanks, Peyton Manning, Garrett Morris, Bill Murray, Jack Nicholson, Amy Poehler, Chris Rock, Maya Rudolph, Andy Samberg, Martin Short, Taylor Swift, Christopher Walken, Betty White, and Kristen Wiig. Coming Soon

What are the real stories behind this year’s Grammy contenders for Song of the Year? Other than all of them being hit songs, they are a diverse group of tunes with inspirations from 17th-century British poetry to 1950s doo-wop. A new story takes a look at “Shake it Off” (Taylor Swift), “Take Me to Church” (Hozier), “All About That Bass” (Meghan Trainor), “Chandelier” (Sia), and “Stay with Me” (Sam Smith). USA Today

Grammys race for Song of the Year – Click here to discuss in our forums

Watch all of Sunday’s Super Bowl commercials, including several with well-known celebrities. One includes Bryan Cranston in a return as Walter White while another features Mindy Kaling trying to kiss Matt Damon. Other top names are Pierce Brosnan, Chelsea Handler and Sarah Silverman, “The Brady Bunch,” Liam Neeson, and Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel. Hollywood Reporter

Who are the eight breakout stars emerging from the 2015 Sundance Film Festival? Past names that first became known there include Amy Adams, Terrence Howard, Jennifer Lawrence, Mark Ruffalo, and Shailene Woodley. This year, be on the watch for Bel Powley, Shameik Moore, Kiersey Clemons, Christopher Abbott, Thomas Mann, Jason Mantzoukas, Lola Kirke, and Anya Taylor-Joy. Yahoo Movies

The new IMAX conversion of “Game of Thrones” is impressing showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. In a new interview, Weiss says, “I’m still kind of in shock. It’s a completely different viewing experience, one that’s so immersive and so superior.” The screening includes the two fourth season episodes “The Watchers on the Wall” and “The Children.” Entertainment Weekly

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