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Catch the beats: Music reigns at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards

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Author: 
Andrew Warren / TV Media
Alicia Keys hosts the 61st Annual Grammy Awards

Alicia Keys hosts the 61st Annual Grammy Awards

Catch the beats: Whatever style of music tickles your fancy, there's one night every year that brings artists from all genres together for a celebration of excellence. That event is, of course, the Grammy Awards, and the 61st annual ceremony broadcasts from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 10, on CBS.

Fifteen-time Grammy winner Alicia Keys has the honor of serving as this year's host, but the legendary R&B singer isn't the only artist putting on a show. As always, a packed lineup of some of the hottest acts in the business is ready to take to the stage and perform for the packed venue and for those of us watching from home, including Canadian pop artist Shawn Mendes, rapper Post Malone and country star Kacey Musgraves. Also taking center stage throughout the night are Camila Cabello, Cardi B, Day Shay and Janelle MonĂ¡e.

Of course, while the performances are definitely one of the awards ceremony's highlights, they aren't its purpose. This is a night to recognize and celebrate the best artists, recordings and compositions from the past year, and the various categories are seeing some stiff competition this year.

The Album of the Year category is a tight race that's generating buzz, with Drake's "Scorpion" fighting seven other albums for the prize, including Cardi B's "Invasion of Privacy," Post Malone's "Beerbongs & Bentleys" and even the soundtrack for 2018's hit film "Black Panther."

Music from another movie is also in the spotlight over in the Song of the Year category, with "A Star Is Born" (2018) stars Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper nominated for their song "Shallow," going up against Childish Gambino's "This Is America" and Shawn Mendes' "In My Blood," among others.

That's really just the tip of the iceberg for the number of categories, nominations and awards that all come together to make the Grammy Awards one of the most prestigious recognitions possible for a recording artist. Root for your favorites on Sunday, Feb. 10, on CBS.

 

Heir to the throne: It doesn't even have a publicly known name yet, but the "Game of Thrones" spinoff has assembled an extensive lineup of stars. The prequel to the smash hit HBO series has been in the works for a while now, and while it's still only in the pilot stage, its pedigree definitely makes this a series to keep an eye on.

Set thousands of years before the events of "Game of Thrones," which concludes this spring, the pilot is headlined by Naomi Watts ("Mulholland Drive," 2001) and comes straight from the minds of series creator George R. R. Martin, as well as writer Jane Goldman, who is penning the pilot's script.

Not much is known about the potential series beyond those tidbits of information, but there's been a flurry of casting hires in recent weeks. A diverse group of up-and-coming actors has boarded the pilot, including Alex Sharp ("How to Talk to Girls at Parties," 2017), Jamie Campbell Bower ("Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald," 2018), Denise Gough ("The Kid Who Would Be King," 2019), Naomi Ackie ("Lady Macbeth," 2016) and Ivanno Jeremiah ("Humans").

"Game of Thrones" got its start as a popular series of novels, but it was the HBO adaptation that turned the tales of Westeros into a cultural phenomenon. Several spinoff projects have been toyed with, with this one just the first to move forward to a pilot -- great news for fans of the series hungry for more once "Game of Thrones" wraps up for good later this year.

 

A 'Criminal' end: There's good news and bad news for fans of "Criminal Minds." The good news is that the crime procedural has been renewed for a 15th season; the bad news is that it's also going to be its last.

The 14th season wrapped up just last week, and while the series remains a steady performer for CBS, it's no longer the ratings juggernaut that it once was, and only 10 episodes have been ordered for the final season -- fewer than half of the episodes that season 13 had.

Luckily, there's a silver lining in this news. Far too many shows are canceled without much notice, leaving running plots unresolved and fans unsatisfied. This announcement will allow the writers to wrap things up in a satisfying way, bringing the stories of David Rossi (Joe Mantegna, "The Godfather: Part III," 1990), JJ Jareau (A.J. Cook, "The Virgin Suicides," 1999), Dr. Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler "500 Days of Summer," 2009) and Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness, "Pretty the Series") to an end.

On the air since 2005, "Criminal Minds" recently celebrated its 300th episode, a feat achieved by only a small number of series. It's been an astounding run for the show, but all good things must come to an end. Watch for the 15th and final season of "Criminal Minds" in the 2019-20 TV season.