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Carrie, Usher and a whole lot of Judd

THE SMART LIST / WHAT WE'LL TALK ABOUT NEXT YEAR

December 30, 2007|Deborah Netburn

Old friends. It's nothing new for Hollywood to resurrect some tried and true franchises to score big at the box office. They aren't always what we wished for ("Alvinnnnn!"), but sometimes they are better than we expected ("Rocky Balboa"). This year, fans eagerly await the return of Spock (Christmas 2008), Indiana Jones (May 2008) and the "Sex and the City" girls in all their frothy wonder (May 2008).

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Usher. If 2007 was Kanye West's year, we're going to call 2008 for Usher. His fifth album is scheduled for a March release, and one of the songs has "leaked." (What does it sound like? Imagine being stoned and trapped in an arcade with Usher and Ludacris circa 1988.) All we can say is insanity. We suspect that competition from Justin Timberlake's smash success "FutureSex/LoveSounds" and the amazing dance displays of Chris Brown have pushed Usher to even greater and more experimental heights. If nothing else, it will be interesting.

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Judd Apatow. You thought you heard a lot about Apatow and his gang in 2007? You were only scratching the surface. Next year this guy has five movies coming out (compared with this year's three). Get ready for (1) "Pineapple Express" costarring Seth Rogen and James Franco, (2) "You Don't Mess With the Zohan" starring Adam Sandler, (3) "Drillbit Taylor" with Owen Wilson, (4) "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" with Bill Hader and Jonah Hill, and (5) "Step Brothers" costarring Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, all written or produced, or both, by the man who brought you "Knocked Up."

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Spore. Get very, very excited, world. Will Wright, the genius person who brought you "The Sims," has a new game out in May called "Spore." If "The Sims" was all about building cities, "Spore" goes farther backward and forward -- allowing the player to create an organism, choose how it evolves, help it build a civilization with vehicles and city halls and eventually move into space exploration. "Sims" lovers, prepare to disappear into your computers for quite some time.

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The fate of scripted television. We're sure it's not gone forever. Good lord, we hope it's not gone forever! Here's hoping the reality filler coming our way over the next few months ("Farmer Wants a Wife," "American Gladiators," "Baby Borrowers") gets booted quickly! We need our "30 Rock!"

-- Deborah Netburn

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