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<p>Richard Madden of &quot;Game of Thrones&quot;</p>
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Richard Madden of "Game of Thrones"

Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO

HitFix Interview: Richard Madden talks 'Game of Thrones'

HBO's King in the North discusses the evolution of the TV Robb Stark
When I chatted with him last week in a Santa Monica conference room, The King in the North was satisfied.
No, Robb Stark hadn't avenged his father's death, nor reunited with his sisters. He hadn't consolidated power in Westeros and taken his place on the Iron Throne.
He'd simply found out that the cookie he thought contained marshmallows, actually contained white chocolate chips. And that was satisfactory. 
In truth, it's very easy to tell Scottish actor Richard Madden apart from his character on HBO's "Game of Thrones." His hair is shorter. His wardrobe goes beyond furs and armor. Oh, and Madden's also prone to laughing and joking, which hasn't been a part of Robb Stark's emotional range lately. Who has time to smile when, as you may have heard, winter is coming.
As "Game of Thrones" moves deeper into its second season, things are getting darker and darker in war-torn Westeros and Robb Stark is moving into uncharted territory. Robb's exploits are largely discussed second-hand in George R.R. Martin's "A Clash of Kings," but to keep Madden in the fold, series showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss chose to depict moments that were only referred to in passing before.
In our conversation -- the cookies only came into play at the end -- Madden discusses Robb's evolution, the honor of having scenes added to keep him around and his season-by-season approach to reading Martin's novels.
[Note: There are some minor spoilers in this interview. They're very minor, but if you want to remain pristine, tread with caution.]
Click through for the full interview...
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<p>Colton Dixon of &quot;American Idol&quot;</p>
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Colton Dixon of "American Idol"

Credit: Michael Becker/FOX

Music Power Rankings: Tupac comes back from the dead to top the list

'American Idol's' Colton Dixon and Taylor Swift make this week's survey

1) Tupac Shakur: His hologram steals the show at Coachella and makes plans to go on the road. Celebrities everywhere amend their wills to dictate post-death image usage and declare which is their best side.

2) Taylor Swift: So she didn’t end up playing Eponine in “Les Miserables,” but now comes word that she may play Joni Mitchell in the adaptation of “Girls Like Us.” I’ve looked at this from Both Sides Now and I just don’t see it.

3) Lionel Richie: He has to wait a few weeks, but justice is his as “Tuskegee” makes it to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 after Madonna’s crafty concert ticket tie in propels “MDNA” over him.

4) Dick Clark: The World’s Oldest Teenager is rating records in the sky.  New Year’s Eve will never be the same

5) Colton Dixon: Fan fave on “American Idol” is voted off.  Record label deal to come in 5...4...3...2...1 (or as soon as the season is over).

6) Ted Nugent: He hasn’t made a decent record since “Cat Scratch Fever”  and now he may have a police record if he keeps up the trash talk about the president. Or as one of my friends joked, the secret service may have cleared him, but we bet he gets audited by the IRS for the next 20 years. 

7) Bob Marley: The largest musical star in the world gets treated right in Kevin MacDonald’s documentary, “Marley.”  Interesting factoid: Marley fathered 11 children with seven different women. That’s not “One Love,” that’s “Whole Lotta Love.”

8) Record Store Day: In five short years, it has become THE day for independent retailers. More than 400 artists are participating in this year’s April 21 extravaganza. Did you go hug your local retail store on Saturday? 

9) Willie Nelson: At 4:20 p.m. on 4/20 (no kidding), an 8-foot tall bronze statue of Nelson was unveiled outside the W Hotel in Austin. That’s nice, but we think he belongs on Mt. Rushmore #sodoesjohnnycash

10) Levon Helm: The Weight is off the best drummer/singer ever. Take a load off, Levon and thank you.

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<p>Leif of &quot;Survivor: One World&quot;</p>
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Leif of "Survivor: One World"

Credit: CBS

HitFix Interview: Leif Manson talks 'Survivor: One World'

The latest bootee discusses being wishy washy and sleeping in a crate
In writing his name down on Wednesday's (April 18) "Survivor: One World," Chelsea faulted Leif Manson for being wishy washy. 
That may confuse some viewers, because in some cases, Leif's "Survivor" sin appeared to be staying too devoted to harmful alliances, like when he kept faith with Colton, even as the season's primary villain was calling him a munchkin or an Ooompa Loompa either to his face or behind his back.
In truth, though, Leif's real "Survivor" crime was just being a man in a season that started with a Men vs Women split, but has become a rout, with five consecutive men sent home for various reasons.
In his "Survivor" exit interview, the 27-year-old phlebotomist discusses being wishy washy, his relationship with Colton and how he came to find himself sleeping in a crate.
Click through... 
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<p>James Cameron in London following the release of "Titanic 3D"

James Cameron in London following the release of "Titanic 3D"

Credit: AP Photo/Joel Ryan

‘Avatar’ director James Cameron backs a space venture to expand Earth’s resources

Is life imitating art?

James Cameron is not a man who believes in boundaries. He’s been pushing the edges of technology as well as his own creative limits (and those of his crew) for years. He recently returned from a journey to the Mariana Trench (a 7-mile-deep canyon and the ocean's deepest known point). He was in fact the first person in history to make it a solo trip.

Equally impressive is the fact that he helped to design the vessel that made the heretofore impossible journey.

I happen to love Cameron. For me, he is the best possible version of bonkers and gives "no limits" a very good name. Many of us spend our lives imagining the extraordinary. Cameron spends his in relentless pursuit of it. Amidst his other achievements, he is, of course, responsible for the top grossing film of all time: “Avatar.”

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<p>Lionel Richie</p>
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Lionel Richie

Credit: CBS

Can Lionel Richie make it two weeks atop the Billboard 200?

Who is primed to steal the Commodore's crown?

Predictions can be wildly uneven, as we saw last week when it looked like Adele’s “21” was a lock to go back to No. 1 on the Billboard 200, as of the Friday before the chart’s Sunday close.

However, Lionel Richie’s CBS special, which aired Friday night after Hits Daily Double had already run its predictions, propelling “Tuskegee” to the top spot.

So this week, it’s even more of a horserace to see who will snag the No. 1 spot when the chart is released on Wednesday. Right now, “Tuskegee” and “Love is a Four-Letter Word” from Jason Mraz are in a dead heat, with both targeted to sell between 100,000 and 110,000.

Mraz will be joined in the top 10 by two other debuts, Train’s “California 37,” which will likely bow at No. 4 and hip hop artist Future’s debut studio set, “Pluto,” looks strong for No. 7.

Adele’s “21” continues to be in the Top 5, and should easily claim the No. 3 spot with up to 90,000 copies sold.  Nicki Minaj’s “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded” rounds out the top 5 at No. 5 (although at this point, “Roman Reloaded” and One Direction’s “Up All Night” are too close to call, so she may be at No. 6 and the boy band at No. 5.

Top 10 veterans round out the rest of the top slots:  Gotye, whose “Somebody That I Used To Know” is No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week, will likely be at No. 8 with “Making Mirrors,” Bonnie Raitt at No. 9 with “Slipstream” and Rascal Flatts at No. 10 with “Changed.”


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<p>John Noble in &quot;Fringe.&quot;</p>

John Noble in "Fringe."

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'Fringe' - 'Letters of Transit'

The team heads to the year 2036
FOX has been pushing tonight’s episode “Letters of Transit” as “yet another mind-blowing nineteenth episode” over the past seven days. I didn’t quite know what the heck they were talking about, until realizing that “Lysergic Acid Diethelamide” and “Brown Betty” also aired in this slot. (Complicating my research: “Brown Betty” was actually the twentieth episode of that season, due to FOX randomly airing an episode intended for Season One in the middle of that year. Ah, the good old days.) While the previous two seasons featured stylistically adventurous episodes in this particular slot, both also fit into the overall story arc of that season. “Letters of Transit” intentionally disorients the viewer from the first second, slowly revealing its context over the course of the house. “Transit” is a pretty sweet episode of “The Twilight Zone.” But was it a good episode of “Fringe”?
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<p>Sorry, Zac Efron, but Oscar is the cutest movie star in any of this weekend's new releases</p>

Sorry, Zac Efron, but Oscar is the cutest movie star in any of this weekend's new releases

Credit: Walt Disney Company

The Weekend Watch: 'Chimpanzee,' 'Marley,' and the French thriller 'Sleepless Night'

It's a weird week of theatrical releases as the summer prepares to kick off

You've got a lot of options for what to watch and how, and we want to help you plan your weekend with a new column where we'll highlight three things you can see in theaters, three things you'll find streaming, and three titles new to home video.  Appropriately enough, we call this The Weekend Watch.

It's the calm before the storm.

Right around the corner now, summer gets started.  There's something happening every weekend from now until September.  This is it.  For me, the summer started about a week ago when I saw "The Avengers," and I'm hoping to be able to write about that soon.  I'm going to be writing up this summer's movies as they start screening, and I'm also planning to write about the Alamo Drafthouse "Summer Of 1982" films all summer long.  Add that to the ongoing "James Bond Declassified" series, and you're going to have quite the reading list here this season.

So what's opening this weekend, when all the studios are just getting ready, revving up, preparing to unleash the things they've got planned for us?  What's streaming?  What should you be finding on Blu-ray or DVD?

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<p>Rich Ross celebrates The Muppets getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame last month.</p>

Rich Ross celebrates The Muppets getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame last month.

Credit: Walt Disney Studios

Rich Ross aftermath: Does John Lasseter go in for the kill at Disney Studios?

Stacey Snider and Mary Parent also rumored for the gig

And as expected, the Rich Ross era is quickly over.

It's always callous in these situations to say "I told you so," but when Bob Iger first announced that Rich Ross would be taking over as Chairman of Walt Disney Studios two and a half years ago there was a collective eyebrow raised across Hollywood.  Ross had turned Disney Channel into a moneymaker for Disney and CEO Bob Iger saw him as "visionary" who could streamline the movie studios offerings while focusing more on cinematic brands that could have life across the entire corporation. It's a synergistic approach that all media companies try to achieve, but rarely succeed at (Fox and the old Viacom being the most successful).  Even with a changing entertainment landscape where more television and movie talent jump between the small and big screen, Ross did not have the background or skills to handle a job of this magnitude. And, the industry experienced this same scenario only a few years ago when Brad Grey put former FOX executive Gail Berman in charge of production at Paramount Pictures. That also lasted just about two years and was pretty much a colossal failure.

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<p>Snoop Dogg being Snoop Dogg</p>

Snoop Dogg being Snoop Dogg

Credit: AP Photo

Listen: Willie Nelson and Snoop Dogg pay homage to 420 Day

Asher Roth also weighs in

Happy 420! Could the international day to hail all things pot have any better spokespeople than Willie Nelson and Snoop Dogg? The answer is resoundingly no. And just in case they haven’t made their love of the herb clear enough, they return today with “Roll Me Up & Smoke Me When I Die,” from Nelson’s forthcoming album, “Heroes.” Listen to it here.

If the song is new to you— it's a standard in Nelson's live show —the surprise is that this version is a rollicking, country tune that stands on its own merits as a truly enjoyable song, as opposed to some novelty. The musicianship is great, the outlaw country attitude is essential, the picking is delicious, guests Jamey Johnson and Kris Kristofferson add just the right amount of gravel, and, believe it or not, Snoop is totally convincing on a a country track.

[More after the jump...]

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Credit: Mute

Watch Liars' murderous new music video

'No.1 Against the Rush' pairs something very creepy with the sentiment 'I want you'

For all you fans of "Criminal Minds," quick: why would a dry cleaner murder the band Liars?

There are a few answers but mostly questions in the music video for Liars' "No.1 Against the Rush," as a killer finds a few ways to capture the three-piece band. It's not cute, though. It's all disturbed blue hues and everyday circumstances to the weird lyrical sibling "I want you." Tonight's an Ambien night.

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<p>Edward Norton (left) in &quot;Moonrise Kingdom.&quot;</p>

Edward Norton (left) in "Moonrise Kingdom."

Credit: Focus Features

Cannes Check: Wes Anderson's 'Moonrise Kingdom'

We kick off our series of Competition previews with the festival opener

I'm not sure I'm ready for it, but yesterday's full lineup announcement brought home the fact that this year's Cannes Film Festival is less than a month away. It scarcely feels like a year ago that the likes of "The Artist," "The Tree of Life" and "Drive" entered our lives, but here we are, ready to welcome next batch of potential crossover hits, treasured obscurities and inevitable disappointments.

With that, welcome to our Cannes Check series, in which I'll individually preview each of the 22 titles in Competition. (Much as I'd love to give similar treatment to Un Certain Regard and other festival strands, I am but one man.) Same as last year, I'll be covering one film a day, in alphabetical order of the director's surname. Tidily enough, that means we're kicking off with the film that itself will be raising the curtain on this year's festival -- Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom."

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<p>Even the publicity photos for this week's &quot;Awake&quot;&nbsp;focus too much on the guest stars at the expense of Jason isaacs.</p>

Even the publicity photos for this week's "Awake" focus too much on the guest stars at the expense of Jason isaacs.

Credit: NBC

'Awake' - 'Nightswimming': He made me a mixtape!

The series' first real dud focuses too much on the guest stars

A quick review of last night's "Awake" coming up just as soon as I have a cassette player...

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