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Radar 1/11: The Pop Culture Periscope

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Now that we've all had a solid week to get settled into the New Year - whew! - it's about that time to shift into full-swing.   

Award Season 2010 is officially upon us and as the days march on, our inbox seems to be overflowing with invites to everything from celebrity, gifting suites to red carpet arrivals and pre- and post-award show celebrations.  None of it would be any fun if we didn't share the experience with you, so be sure to stay tuned - and check in, often.

Monday, January 11

Radio: Sirius XM Radio kicks off "Mary J. Blige Week," which features the Queen of Hip Hop Soul's music and interviews spanning her decade-plus career.

TV:  Sandra "Pepa" Denton begins her search for love on her new reality series, "Let's Talk About Pep."  All we'll say is that the Grammy-winning rapper is single and ready to mingle...so are her three girlfriends.  Brothers, beware!  Tune in to VH1 at 10:30pm ET/PT.

TV:  Emmy-nominated television director, Millicent Shelton, helms tonight's episode of "Men of a Certain Age," starring Andre Braugher and LisaGay Hamilton, airing at 10/9c on TNT.

Event: In Los Angeles? If so, be sure to stop by the Congo Room, at 9pm, as soul singer, N'dambi - and her ber-fabulous 'fro - takes the stage to perform songs from her latest album, "Pink Elephant."

Birthday Wishes: Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, Mary J. Blige, celebrates her 39th birthday.

Tuesday, January 12

TV: After an unceremonious cancellation by NBC, "Southland" returns to television--this time on TNT--with Regina King back on her game as Detective Lydia Adams.  Tonight's premiere episode is scheduled to air, commercial-free, at 10/9c. 

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DVD Releases:  In case you missed it on HBO last fall, you can catch "By the People"--out on DVD today--to experience this behind-the-scenes take on President Obama's spirited journey to the White House.  Tyler Perry's "I Can Do Bad All By Myself" and "The Hurt Locker" are also out on DVD today.

Music:  Omarion is back on the scene with his latest release, "Ollusion," available today.

Wednesday, January 13

TV:   "NCIS" star Rocky Carroll sits on the couch with the ladies of "The View" for their first, full week of new episodes (check your local listings).

TV:   Actor Aldis Hodge stars as Alex "the Hacker" on the TNT crime drama, "Leverage."  Tune in at 10/9c.

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Birthday Wishes: Creator and executive-producer of both "Grey's Anatomy" and "Private Practice," Shonda Rhimes, celebrates her 40th birthday.

Thursday, January 14

TV:   Nicole Richie sits in as a guest judge on the season premiere of "Project Runway," on Lifetime (check your local listings).  Our favorite, Hollywood socialite is definitely keeping busy.  Along with her fashion line, Winter Kate, and jewelry line, House of Harlow, the mom of two is in talks to star in, and executive-produce, her own sitcom for ABC.  

Birthday Wishes: Rapper-turned-actor (and resident "NCIS: Los Angeles" hottie), LL Cool J is 42 today.
 

Friday, January 15:

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Movies:  We're always game for a dose of Denzel, who's back on the big screen today in the title role for the post-apocalyptic tale, "Book of Eli," directed by the Hughes Brothers.  

Birthday Wishes: "Southland's" Regina King will blow out 39 candles and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would have celebrated his 81st birthday on this day.

Saturday, January 16:

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Event:  Gabrielle Union is back as hostess of the third annual BET Honors, which will celebrate the accomplishments of Whitney Houston, Queen Latifah, Sean "Diddy" Combs as well as educator, Ruth Simmons, and renowned neurosurgeon, Keith Black.  The show, which tapes at Washington, DC's Warner Theater, will air on BET on February 1.  

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Birthday Wishes: Multi-talented producer/director/choreographer, Debbie Allen, turns 60 today.  And on a somber, sobering note, late R&B princess, Aaliyah, would have celebrated her 31st birthday.

Sunday, January 17

Event:  The Golden Globes, Hollywood's first, big "industry" bash of the season, will be presented live from the Beverly Hilton Hotel on NBC at 8pm ET/5pm PT.  We're all pulling for Mo'Nique, Gabourey Sidibe, Morgan Freeman and Chiwetel Ejiofor - fingers crossed, tight!

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Live this week as though it's on purpose...and remember, January 18 is about more than simply having a break from the office.  It's a national holiday, one which we fought for, to honor the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  



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