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The Approval Matrix

Our deliberately oversimplified guide to who falls where on our taste hierarchies.


HBO has announced that it will bump up its new dramedy Big Love—which focuses on a polygamist and his three wives—to March, when it will air after the long-delayed return of The Sopranos. . . . Paul Rudd will join Julia Roberts for her Broadway debut in Three Days of Rain, which will premiere on March 28. . . . Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Sufjan Stephens has confirmed two shows at Lincoln Center in January, to be performed as part of the Center’s “American Songbook” series; also participating this season are theater talent Brian Stokes Mitchell, renowned soprano Deborah Voigt, indie rockers Fountains of Wayne, and vocalist Duncan Sheik. . . . Fox 2000 has optioned Beverly Cleary’s much-loved Ramona Quimby books, to be adapted into a feature film based on the inquisitive titular character. . . . MTV is developing a new reality show called The Shop, which will chronicle the daily happenings at the legendary Queens business Mr. Rooney’s Barbershop, famously frequented by both hip-hop celebrities and oddball locals.