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<p>Phil and a Giant Puffin on &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

Phil and a Giant Puffin on "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'Get Your Sheep Together'

The teams head to Scotland and deal with sheep and ponies

"Bad directions are worse than no directions." 

Those words of wisdom came from the Boston firefighter I believe was Mike during Friday (October 10) night's episode of "The Amazing Race."

There's the usual litany of things we/I always tell "Amazing Race" contestants to do: Learn to drive stick. Make sure you can swim. Read the freaking clue. Etc. 

Mike's piece of advice is a good one and one that should be added to the permanent list. But maybe it should be amended somewhat. Yes, bad directions are worse than no directions, but a better phrasing might be: If you ask stupid people for directions you'll get bad directions. Because Friday's "Amazing Race" Leg didn't really come down to "bad directions" at all. The eliminated team got perfectly acceptable directions that just happened to lead them to a ridiculous place that had no connection to the desired destination. 

Oh well. 

More from Friday's Leg, which featured my new all-time favorite greeter, after the break...

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'The Walking Dead' boss: 'We're trying not to be the 'character death show’'
Credit: AMC

'The Walking Dead' boss: 'We're trying not to be the 'character death show’'

ABC: Yes, Nielsen's ratings error benefitted us

“The Walking Dead” boss: "We're trying not to be the 'character death show’"
As Season 5 begins, showrunner Scott M. Gimple and creator Robert Kirkman want to emphasize that they don’t set out to kill characters. "We don't want to play it as like a tool in our tool chest or something that's some part of story rhythm,” says Gimple. Adds Kirkman: "No one in the writers' room is ever sitting around saying, 'We haven't killed someone in a while. We really need to kill someone.' It all comes  from story and if we ever decided that the story merited absolutely no characters deaths whatsoever in a season, we would definitely do that.”  PLUS: Expect a grisly season premiere, everything you need to know as Season 5 kicks off, the season premiere is “a dazzling adrenaline rush filled with suspense, righteous violence and, before it’s all over, genuine emotion,” and this is “The Walking Dead” at its best.


ABC: Yes, Nielsen's ratings error benefitted us
While Nielsen downplayed the error, an ABC exec confirmed to the NY Times that it had resulted in added viewers to the network.


“Guardians of the Galaxy”: Watch a preview of Disney XD’s animated series
New York Comic-Con showed a nearly one-minute clip of test footage from the upcoming series.


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A Charlotte Warehouse is holding a “Homeland” sale
Saturday’s sale will feature a ton of stuff, from chairs to desks to toilets. The props are no longer being used since the Showtime series relocated to South Africa.

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CBS cancels 'Unforgettable' for 2nd time
Credit: CBS

CBS cancels 'Unforgettable' for 2nd time

Series was initially canceled following the 2011-12 season

CBS cancels “Unforgettable” for 2nd time
The Poppy Montgomery procedural drama won’t be brought back after a three-season run, two of which came after it was initially canceled following the 2011-12 season. “Unforgettable” was revived last year as a summer series.

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Jennifer Garner on that other movie she's also in: 'Men, Women & Children'

Jennifer Garner on that other movie she's also in: 'Men, Women & Children'

One flight from LA to Cleveland sealed the deal

Chances are Jennifer Garner realized early on that the two films she was starring in this fall would appeal to two very different audiences. What she probably didn't expect was that the Disney family film "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" would be the one that would have the bigger impact on her career, especially considering her other movie, "Men, Women & Children," features an ensemble cast with talent such as Adam Sandler, Rosemarie DeWitt, Judy Greer and up-and-comer Ansel Elgort. Oh, and did we mention that movie is directed by four-time Oscar nominee Jason Reitman, who she previously collaborated with on Best Picture nominee "Juno?" Yes, sometimes life has a way of throwing expectations completely out the window.

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HitFix Mix: Pentatonix can't cover Taylor Swift, plus who is the ultimate pop star?

HitFix Mix: Pentatonix can't cover Taylor Swift, plus who is the ultimate pop star?

Mitch Grassi and Avi Kaplan reveal their true feelings about Christmas music

For the life of them, Pentatonix just can't find their way into a Taylor Swift song.

The quintet has racked up millions of YouTube views, covering some of the most popular hit songs, chopping and screwing others, and doing their own spin on Christmas. But in my interview with Mitch Grassi and Avi Kaplan of Pentatonix, for this week's HitFix Mix, it's the "Shake It Off" singer that, for some reason, are hard to find their way into.

There's also "a lot of [covers] that wouldn't make sense to do," said Kaplan. "Earth Angel," "For the Longest Time" and other "old-school a cappella" hits haven't made their way into the troupe's rep either.

But what has are holiday classics, and with the Christmas season right around the corner, Grassi, Kaplan, Scott Hoying, Kirstie Maldonado and Kevin Olusola will be on the road all this fall into December, promoting "That's Christmas to Me," due Oct. 21. As if "The Sing-Off" stars' plates weren't already full: Pentatonix only just released their new EP "PTX: Vol. 3" less than three weeks ago.

On that set, you'll hear Grassi taking a crack at a little something new for him, which is rapping, on Iggy Azalea's part for Ariana Grande's "Problem."

"It's fun for me. I don't really mind it. It's just really fun to talk really fast," he smiled.

Check out our interview above, with cuts from "La La Latch," a take on Frozen's "Let It Go" and more. Plus, Kaplan and Grassi tell us three songs a piece, what they'd put on their HitFix Mixtape:

Avi Kaplan's HitFix Mix: "Lemonade" by Sophie, "How's That" by FKA Twigs, "Blow" by Beyonce.

Mitch Grassi's HitFix Mix: "Love Like a Sunset Part I & II" by Phoenix, "Midnight" by Coldplay and "Dust Clears" by Clean Bandit.

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John Hughes and John Candy families object to ABC's 'Uncle Buck' reboot
Credit: Universal Pictures

John Hughes and John Candy families object to ABC's 'Uncle Buck' reboot

Check out the 'Guardians of the Galaxy' animated TV show, which debuts on Disney XD in 2015

John Hughes, John Candy families object to ABC's 'Uncle Buck' reboot
The families released a joint statement expressing “disappointment” that they weren’t notified in advance. The statement also notes that John Hughes didn’t approve of CBS’ failed 1990 “Uncle Buck” sitcom.


Check out the “Guardians of the Galaxy” animated TV show, which debuts on Disney XD in 2015
Disney XD hopes that between “Star Wars Rebels” and the “Guardians” TV series, it’ll get its first hit. “I don’t think we have yet found our defining show,” says Gary Marsh, president of Disney Channels Worldwide.


Adult Swim’s “Rick & Morty” is getting the comic book treatment
Dan Harmon’s animated series will be released as a monthly comic book starting early next year.

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<p>The Affair</p>

The Affair

Credit: Showtime

'The Affair' co-creator Sarah Treem: 'We wanted to tell a story about two good people'

Why would Dominic West cheat on Maura Tierney? How will the 'Rashomon' structure work?

The premise of Showtime’s “The Affair” — in which Dominic West and Ruth Wilson get together, cheating on, respectively, Maura Tierney and Joshua Jackson — didn’t much interest me when I heard about it, even when those actors were involved. Then I heard that Sarah Treem was one of the creators and the lead writer, and my tune started to change.

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Starz renews LeBron James’ 'Survivor’s Remorse' after 1 episode
Credit: Starz

Starz renews LeBron James’ 'Survivor’s Remorse' after 1 episode

Is this proof Bill Hader will bring back Stefon to 'SNL' this weekend?

Starz renews LeBron James’ “Survivor’s Remorse” after 1 episode
Despite only 203,000 viewers watching last week’s series premiere, the pro basketball comedy will be back for a 2nd season.


Kathy Griffin admits she’s had informal talks to replace Joan Rivers on E!’s “Fashion Police"
“I can tell you that I hope they continue the tradition of my good friend and have someone lead the show with a fearless brand of comedy,” she says.


Is this proof Bill Hader will bring back Stefon to “SNL” this weekend?
“Mulaney” star and Stefon co-creator John Mulaney tweeted this morning an image of him Skyping with Hader. Were they hammering out some Stefon lines?


NBC promoting “Marry Me” with a real-life musical proposal
Watch "Bret's Cafe Lip-Dub Proposal.”

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<p>Clint Mansell</p>

Clint Mansell

Credit: 42 West

Clint Mansell on 'Noah's' connections to 'The Fountain' and working with Aronofsky

Plus: How does it feel to see a piece of music like 'Lux Æterna' to take on its own life?

Clint Mansell is a long ways away from his days as frontman of alt. rock band Pop Will Eat Itself. Since his first stab at it on Darren Aronofsky's "Pi," he has forged a singular career as a film composer, working on productions as varied as "Knockaround Guys," "Sahara," Moon" and "Stoker." But it seems whenever he comes back to the table with Aronofsky, that's when something magical happens.

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'The Daily Show' hires 2 standup comedians
Credit: Comedy Central

'The Daily Show' hires 2 standup comedians

Animal planet developing a scripted live-action zombie animal drama

“The Daily Show” hires 2 standup comedians
Following the departure of Michael Che, “The Daily Show” will introduce two new comedians in the coming months. “Stand Up Planet” host Hasan Minhaj (pictured at left), who’s appeared on Netflix's “Arrested Development,” joins in November as a correspondent. South African comedian Trevor Noah will make his debut in December as a contributor.


Animal planet developing a scripted live-action zombie animal drama
“The Other Dead,” based on the graphic novel, will take place during the “next Hurricane Katrina” where unrelenting storms causes the rise of undead animals.


Nielsen admits to a glitch that has skewed ratings since March
There is speculation that the “small error” may have benefitted ABC. PLUS: What does this all mean?


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Review: Brad Pitt and a strong ensemble elevate the uneven WWII film 'Fury'
Credit: Sony Pictures

Review: Brad Pitt and a strong ensemble elevate the uneven WWII film 'Fury'

The combat's harrowing, but the drama gets muddled

Writer/director David Ayer has spent his career writing about what happens in the space between men at times of enormous stress, and he's got a really brutal, nasty overall sensibility. He broke through with his scripts for "The Fast & The Furious" and "Training Day," and then made the jump to directing as well with "Harsh Times," starring Christian Bale.

Any first-time director who manages to someone as difficult as Bale and survives deserves some respect, and Ayer strikes me as someone who is struggling to make serious but entertaining films that explore these certain themes in certain ways, mixing up where and when they take place, but essentially circling the same ideas repeatedly. His new film, "Fury," feels like a bid for respectability, a hope that he might be headed back into awards season. I'm not someone who writes about awards, so I have no idea how it'll do, but as a simple piece of storytelling, it's pretty well-made, and occasionally, I think it even gets great.

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<p>Anna Martemucci in The Chair</p>

Anna Martemucci in The Chair

Credit: Starz

HitFix First Look: 'The Chair' provides 2 takes on 1 scene

The filmmaking reality series has turned out to be a real pleasure

With an overwhelming number of interesting scripted TV shows to choose from, I make almost no time for reality television anymore. The one exception of late has been Starz's "The Chair," which follows two directors — YouTube comedy star Shane Dawson and New York indie screenwriter Anna Martemucci — as they each attempt to make their first film, using the same script.

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