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'HUSTLE' TO THE TOP

I stood at my mailbox for half an hour staring into those eyes and remembering the gospel hymn that caused them to well up in Hustle & Flow. Terrence Howard's performance throughout that movie was gripping and full of soul. I sat at the edge of my seat every time he spoke, and felt pride as he donned his bling from Shug. He spared no talent and fell completely into his Dirty South role as a pimp with a dream. I've watched Howard over the years play second fiddle and am overjoyed that finally someone has recognized his ability to hold down a leading role, and spit a few tracks while he's at it. Your article, although brief, put him at the right spot: No. 1.
TAMMY AYAT
alohagirls89146@yahoo.com
Las Vegas

Never have I been so happy to be a subscriber as when I opened my mailbox and saw Terrence Howard on the cover. Kudos to EW for helping to let others know what I've known for years: that Howard is one of the best actors of our generation. It's great to see him get the credit he deserves for performances in movies like Crash.
ANNETTE SARGENT
aday66@yahoo.com
Raymond, N.H.

FUNNY BONE TO PICK
In ''No Funny Business,'' you ask why there are so few hit comedies airing on the broadcast nets. You answer your own question in the story on Judd Apatow, who worked on the critically acclaimed Ben Stiller Show, Freaks and Geeks, and Undeclared, whose creative and entertaining shows ran only 12, 15, and 17 episodes, respectively, thanks to the Big Six's devotion to Nielsens. Apatow's contributions to the brilliant Larry Sanders Show found an audience and longevity only because it was on cable, where HBO gave it a chance to develop. The essence of comedy is getting to know the characters — which takes time.
D.J. FONE
djfone@msn.com
San Diego

CASTING CALL OUT
As a person of color and an indie TV producer, I can't say I was shocked by Warren Bell, According to Jim's executive producer, crying about putting more minority actors in his show (News & Notes). He shouldn't have to cast an actor because of his color, but what he might want to do is write real people — ones with ethnic backgrounds and cultures other than his own. If people look at shows like Friends and Sex and the City, you'd think there were virtually no ethnic people in New York. Thanks for pointing out the sad state of affairs in Hollywood.
ALEX P. MICHAELS
dark@prelude2cinema.com
Cleveland

RESPECT THE 'ELDEST'
I'm a die-hard Inheritance fan, and have just completed the latest installment, Eldest. I loved it; however, your reviewer obviously has a different opinion. I was positively offended by your bogus assault on Eldest; in fact, I give your imagination a D+. Christopher Paolini is a master of wordcraft and writes some of the most spellbinding explanations and descriptions in contemporary literature, and you still dragged his name and his book through the mud.
JACK SAUER
Mason, Ohio

POD NOD
I've been flipping through the back pages of EW for weeks, waiting to hear something, anything, on podcasting. Finally! But only a ''60-Second Lesson''? It may not be mainstream yet, but it's quickly becoming a mash of blogging, ham radio, TiVo, MP3 downloading, marketing, and nerdy new underground music discovering all in one! I hope EW's pages soon include podcasts and other news about them in an expanded Download This section.
ERIK FISHER
ejfisher@gmail.com
Marion, Ind.

CORRECTION: The black-and-white photo of actress Barbara Bel Geddes on page 16 should have been credited to mptv.net (News & Notes).

Originally posted Sep 09, 2005 Published in issue #840 Sep 16, 2005 Order article reprints