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<p>I have no idea what the heck is happening in this screen grab from &#39;Dead Rising 3,&#39; but I guess I&#39;ll figure it out when we give the game a try on Friday&#39;s Game Night.</p>

I have no idea what the heck is happening in this screen grab from 'Dead Rising 3,' but I guess I'll figure it out when we give the game a try on Friday's Game Night.

Credit: Capcom/Microsoft Studios

Game Night: One week in, 'Titanfall' still packs plenty of bang for the buck

We're going to try some single-player titles this week, too

One week in, and I think it's safe to say I am still getting my butt roundly kicked in "Titanfall."

Let's start with the adjustment I'm still making to the use of an XBox One. I played the PS3 for so many years that the controller just plain felt right in my hand. The use of it was fairly second-nature. Adjusting to a new console controller is like deciding you want to learn to write with the opposite hand that you use currently. It's the same basic action, but it's not easy to learn.

Even so, I can report with utter confidence that "Titanfall" is amazing. It is frustrating. It can be exhilarating. It is fiendishly well designed. And it is a playground if you can get your friends to play with you. That's been a big part of what I've enjoyed playing it, that ability to join a party full of friends and chatting while we play. It also led to a truly soul-crushing moment, but I'll explain that later.

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'Scandal' needed to have a shocking death

“Scandal” needed to have a shocking death
The ABC drama is going to benefit from the events of Thursday’s episode. As Eric Dodds notes, "it’s encouraging that Scandal showrunner Shonda Rhimes was willing to kill off a significant character — something she previously showed a willingness to do on 'Grey’s Anatomy.' Best case scenario, it’s a gateway killing of sorts — a sign that Scandal is starting to see that if the show wants to be as shocking as it claims in a way that actually matters, it needs to make no character (short of Kerry Washington’s Olivia Pope) untouchable.” PLUS: Nearly everybody is a murderer on “Scandal,” and killed-off “Scandal” star says: "The threat of death on a show like this, if it doesn't pay off occasionally, the audience begins to scream bulls–t."


Alfre Woodard will play President of the United States on NBC's "State of Affairs"
Woodard is joining the CIA drama starring Katherine Heigl.


Is HBO considering Kate Mara & Ellen Page for “True Detective” Season 2?
Mara points out that HBO’s Twitter account favorited one of her tweets proposing a pairing with Ellen Page for Season 2. "Dear @EllenPage,” she tweeted. "What does this mean?! You think they like the idea of two tiny detectives?"


New York state may give tax breaks to TV shows with diverse writers’ rooms
Two bills pending in the state legislature would incentivize adding diversity to the writing staffs of TV shows.


The “Girls” halo effect: Guest-stars are seen as influencers
Those making a cameo on the HBO series have discovered that it could do wonders for their credibility, especially in NYC. PLUS: Allison Williams admits Marnie would drive her crazy in real life, though she’d still be friends with her.


Isaiah Washington shared a photo of his “highly confidential" script for “Grey’s Anatomy”
“The contents of this script are highly confidential and are for your eyes only,” says a note on the script.


Why a “Game of Thrones” movie ending is a terrible idea
“The idea of using a feature to 'tie things up' is a dangerous prospect and would only add fuel to the fire of television’s desire to stretch franchises out further than their shelf life allows,” says Merill Barr. "Hit series such as ’24' and 'The X-Files' both fell into the trap of a promised feature-film future and thus suffered from not having a worthy ending to their stories because everyone thought “we’ll be back in a year.” PLUS: Why we’re obsessed, behind the scents of the hip-hop mixtape recording, and how much influence does George R.R. Martin have on the show’s creators?


Kevin Spacey is spending tonight charming members of Maryland’s legislature at a wine bar
It looks like “House of Cards” is going to get the tax credits it needs to stay in Maryland.


Check out more pics of Zoe Saldana in “Rosemary’s Baby”
“Suits" star Patrick J. Adams plays her husband in the NBC miniseries.


WWE asks fans which of 8 proposed reality show ideas they’d like to see on WWE Network
The proposals include “WWE Dirty Jobs," “WWE Rescue” and “WWE Prankdown."


Watch the TV Academy’s panel on “Justified”
Timothy Olyphant, Walton Goggins and Joelle Carter spent Wednesday night chatting about this season and the final season.


How “HIMYM” ended up in Long Island for its final season
Two of the show’s writers happen to be from Long Island, and couldn’t stop talking about it.


“The Walking Dead” has fully embraced the “Bottle Episode”
A Bottle Episode focuses on only a few characters with limited narrative action, as Darren Franich points out: "For 'Walking Dead,' this storytelling strategy hasn’t just worked: By digging into characters who were basically just defined by their trademark weapon and some telltale article of clothing, the show might have actually rebooted itself as a creative venture.” PLUS: See the season finale poster.


An HBO special for Rosie O’Donnell?
The cable channel’s cameras are set to capture Rosie’s upcoming standup performances next month.


Conan rides a mechanical bull
Watch his promo for “Conan” in Dallas.


Bravo casting director searches Instagram for future reality stars
Melissa Stanforth says if you already have a big, engaged following, you’re likely perfect for reality stardom.


Candace Cameron Bure’s Russian-born husband learned English from “Full House”
The former “Full House” star’s former hockey player husband came to the United States at age 17, and was introduced to Candace Cameron by Dave Coulier.


Singing nun is a sensation on Italy’s “The Voice”
Sister Cristina Scuccia was dressed in her religious outfit while performing Alicia Keys’ “No One.”


Web site lets you explore IMDb ratings of TV shows, via graphs
Check out Graph TV.


See a preview of “Californication” Season 7
Hank hits rock bottom.


Fox News anchor takes on Kristen Bell
Neil Cavuto objected to Bell’s tweet that "rich people SHOULD pay higher taxes."

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"Scandal"

"Scandal"

Credit: ABC

Interview: 'Scandal''s Jeff Perry on last night's shocker, Emmy chances

Cyrus may want to act 'with double the fury' now

Last night's episode of "Scandal" answered the horrifying question of who got the last bullet fired by new Command Jake Ballard (Scott Foley) as he faced James Novak (Dan Bucatinsky) and David Rosen (Joshua Malina). If the Internet hasn't already spoiled this twist for you, don't read ahead. Big, bad spoiler alert right here, and it's the last one you get. 

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Another 'Bachelor' spinoff: 'Bachelor in Paradise' is the new 'Bachelor Pad'

Another “Bachelor” spinoff: “Bachelor in Paradise” is the new “Bachelor Pad”
“Bachelor” and “Bachelor” alums will live together this summer in exotic locale. There will be a rose ceremony, but ABC won’t say if somebody will go home each week.


Kerry Washington scolds “Scandal” fans who complain about spoilers
"Folks mad about spoilers are making me laugh. I feel u're pain but thats what EVENT TV is! If u dont wanna know the score, dont follow ESPN,” she tweeted.


Was Adult Swim’s “Boondocks” “hijacked” from Aaron McGruder?
McGruder won’t have any involvement in Season 4, Adult Swim announced days after the cartoonist posted that his “Boondocks” Facebook page had been “hijacked."


Sarah Michelle Gellar: I’m canceling my Vogue subscription over Kim & Kanye cover
"Well......I guess I'm canceling my Vogue subscription. Who is with me???” Gellar tweeted in reaction to the cover revealed today. PLUS: Editor Anna Wintour says, ""As for the cover, my opinion is that it is both charming and touching, and it was, I should add, entirely our idea to do it."


Bryan Cranston was once featured in a Teen Talk magazine photo spread
It was 1985, and Cranston was starring on the ABC soap “Loving.”

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"White Collar"

"White Collar"

Credit: USA

USA renews 'White Collar,' greenlights two new shows

Jonathan Levine ('Warm Bodies') and Matt Nix ('Burn Notice') are on deck

USA is continuing to flesh out its slate of scripted programming with a dash of new content and a return of an old favorite. Today the network announced it has picked up "Rush" and "Complications." "Rush" is written and produced by "Warm Bodies" writer/director Jonathan Levine, while "Complications" is from "Burn Notice" creator Matt Nix. "White Collar" will also be coming back for a sixth season for six new episodes. 

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<p>Raymond De Felitta and Andy Garcia</p>

Raymond De Felitta and Andy Garcia

Credit: AP Photo

Andy Garcia and Raymond De Felitta on twisting the crime genre in 'Rob the Mob'

The true-crime dramedy opens in limited release today

MIAMI - We've so often seen Andy Garcia performing in an Italian-American gangster guise – from “The Untouchables” to “Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead” to, of course, his Oscar-nominated breakout role in “The Godfather Part III” – that it's easy to forget the Havana-born actor's Cuban heritage.

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'Last Comic Standing' taps JB Smoove as host, Roseanne and Keenen Ivory Wayans as judges

“Last Comic Standing” taps JB Smoove as host, Roseanne and Keenen Ivory Wayans as judges
Roseanne Barr and Wayans will be joined by fellow judge Russell Peters when “Last Comic” returns on May 22.


“The Mentalist” will say goodbye to 2 characters on Sunday
Will Wayne Rigsby and Grace Van Pelt get a happy ending?


USA confirms 6-episode final “White Collar” season, orders doctor dramas “Rush” and “Complications”
Jason O’Mara will play an ER doctor on “Complications,” from “Burn Notice” creator Matt Nix. “Rush” stars Tom Ellis as an on-call doctor.


Check out “Gotham’s” future Catwoman and a young Bruce Wayne
Here are pics of Camren Bicondova, age 14, as Selina Kyle, joined by 13-year-old David Mazouz.

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<p>John Ridley at the 2014 Oscars</p>

John Ridley at the 2014 Oscars

Credit: AP Photo

Interview: John Ridley on Oscars and Jimi Hendrix pic 'All Is By My Side'

'12 Years a Slave' writer talks penning race and art in rockers' life

In the same week -- really, the same 24 hours -- he won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for "12 Years a Slave," John Ridley flew to Austin to launch into work on the pilot for ABC's "American Crime." That meant, too, he could promote "Jimi: All Is Lost," to which he referred as his "child," his baby, a film fit for the South By Southwest film conference and is creeping toward theatrical release on May.

"All Is By My Side" and "12 Years a Slave" both made their debut at the Toronto International Film Festival last year; but it's the former that he wrote, directed and executive produced. Touching on one year of rocker Jimi Hendrix's early career, Ridley also had to work-around the notoriously difficult Hendrix estate, which denied the film any usage of Hendrix's recorded work, and long timeline conversations with people producing the film.

I thought that "All Is By My Side" toyed with what really makes up "the cast of characters" in Hendrix's life, namely the women that surrounded him. He abused some, like he ultimately did his drugs, which Ridley's script also alludes to. His passions for guitar and art and music felt so light-hearted compared to his inner-struggles for acceptance, and the film knowingly complicates the story of Jimi Hendrix before he became famous to thousands -- and, ultimately, millions -- of fans at the Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967.

I caught up with Ridley at SXSW at the time of "All Is By My Side's" U.S. debut at the fest, to ask about women's roles in the film, Hendrix and race, films with messaging, Andre Benjamin (Outkast rapper Andre 3000) as Jimi, and how that whole winning-Academy-Awards-thing is going.

HitFix: You haven’t been able to really enjoy your Oscar win, have you?

John Ridley: I have not had time to literally sit at home with the wonderful statue, I had to jump on a plane to Austin and work on this pilot. I didn’t get to just revel in it.

I have to say there’s something nice about leaving that behind, leaving truly with my family and knowing what’s next, and knowing there were people truly supportive of me before it happened. That’s a good feeling. In some ways it was like a dream, like it didn’t happen. The reality is it all happened so fast. It takes years to get there, it takes months to get to that moment, once they start with which film is going to be [selected], who’s in, who’s in play, who’s not… it’s always gonna be over too quickly.

Do you feel like this has a long goodbye? Do you need to have some kind of closure with your films?

It’s odd because for me, the reality of “12 Years a Slave” started in 2008 so in some ways I feel like I’m being rewarded for something I did in high school. It feels great, but people ask you questions about it, want to recollect about it, and I'm like, “I think I did this?”. It was a beautiful end for everybody involved, but there is a level of “It’s done now.” I’m ready for what’s next in my life.

“All Is By My Side” also took a long time, and it just keeps going.

Like with “12 Years a Slave,” sometimes you’re just a writer --  and that’s just the way it is, you’re kinda removed, you hand it off to this amazing team.

In all actuality, we were filming “All Is By My Side” at the same time they were filming “12 Years a Slave.” You’re handing over your child to other people and they’re raising amazingly well, but there’s a cool remove. With “All Is By My Side,” that’s the kid you’re with every single day, from the moment you sit down to write it, to the moment early on when you pitch it to other people, then you meet these producers who believe in it, you meet actors like Andre and Imogen and Hayley, then you shoot it, you’re working with an editor, every step of the way.

Toronto [Film Festival] was amazing in that both of my kids were there – “12 Years” on that Friday, “All Is By My Side” was Saturday. People are talking about the film, it’s being reviewed in the right ways, but you’re not done with it yet. It hasn’t gotten its release, it does go on and on and on. It’s this dance.

I don’t want to beat the metaphor to death, but I feel like now I’m the dad and I’m having this last dance with my daughter. It grabs me different, this one. Every step of the way, every moment, every cut, I had a hand in and worked with the people who helped execute it. This is a special feeling. The ways people are responding to this film are phenomenal. The way people respond to Andre and his performance… That makes me proud.

After TIFF, what was reflected back at you? What did you take from the TIFF experience, and what are you hoping more people would “get?”

I was very happy with people how they responded in Toronto. You can’t come into things and manage how people feel. Any time you put something out into the public, you always take that risk of people loving or hating it. You can’t live or die by reviews. I want people to appreciate what we were trying to do with it, that it’s not a conventional narrative, that it is just one year out of someone’s life, that we’re not trying to be dependent on certain artifacts but get a certain emotional velocity throughout this film.

I always talk about a film that inspires me, “Sid & Nancy,” [even though] I don’t really dig punk rock music. There were bits and pieces of the Sex Pistols within it, but that’s not what the film was about. It was about these two individuals who were no good for anyone else but each other. That’s what we wanted to do; it’s about relationships and about connectivity.

When people appreciated this was not a traditional biopic, that’s what I want people to get out of it, that we were hopefully celebrating this gentleman’s life. We’re not about the tragic end of the story. It was important to me that we kind of end on a hopeful note. The last words are about being inspired and inspiring others.

I look back on my career and the early pictures I was a part of – they were kind of exuberiant and nutty – like “U Turn” and “Three Kings” and “Undercover Brother” -- and they were all great to work on. But you do get a little bit older and you have kids and you want them to have a takeaway. Whether it’s “Red Tails,” “12 Years a Slave”  and even with “Jimi”… I don’t want my kids walking away from this thinking sex drugs and rock ‘n’ roll is all there is to be.

But Jimi inspired people. I want that to be the message of it. People responded to the style, the performances. It’s not a typical cradle-to-grave downer biopic. In a place like SXSW, where it’s about celebrating music, celebrating diversity, celebrating energy and creativity, we were trying to do that in all aspects.

Three major themes this film struck on were fame – pre-fame, really – women, and people of color. To that last one, there’s the nugget in the film where there’s an “us and them” exchange, with the black activist scene. Were you torn wanting to tell more of that side of that story, on race?

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Brandy Clark
Credit: Slate Creek Records

Interview: Brandy Clark on her biggest 'pinch me' moments

After writing hits for Miranda Lambert and The Band Perry, she steps out in front

“I feel like my life is a little bit like a dream,” says Brandy Clark.

If so, she must never want to wake up.

The Nashville singer/songwriter, who co-penned such hits as Miranda Lambert’s “Mama’s Broken Heart,” The Band Perry’s “Better Dig Two,” and Kacey Musgraves’ “Follow Your Arrow,” released her debut album, “12 Stories,” last fall, and she has been floating ever since.

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"None of the Above"

"None of the Above"

Credit: Nat Geo

Exclusive clip: It's a frozen turkey fiasco on 'None of the Above'

You will not believe what happens in this experiment

On Nat Geo's new series, "None of the Above" (premiering Mon. March 24 at 9:00 p.m.), host Tim Shaw challenges viewers to guess the outcome of his over-the-top (and sometimes explosive) experiments. In this exclusive clip, Shaw decides he wants to cook a frozen turkey fast. So, why not drop it in a 30-gallon drum of peanut oil? That has to end well, right? 

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<p>&quot;The Case Against 8&quot;</p>

"The Case Against 8"

Credit: HBO

HBO's gay rights doc 'The Case Against 8' to hit big and small screens in June

Ben Cotner and Ryan White's stirring film debuted at Sundance

By general agreement, it wasn't a banner year for documentaries at January's Sundance Film Festival, but one of the stronger entries I saw was Ryan White and Ben Cotner's "The Case Against 8." The HBO film maps out the history of the landmark legal battle over California's Proposition 8 (that's the ban on same-sex marriage, if you're returning from a decade-long Arctic exile) is exhaustive, intelligent detail; it's not a flashy or formally daring documentary, but it's all the more moving for focusing on fundamentals. (You can read my review here.)

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'American Idol' falls to another series low

“American Idol” falls to another series low
Without “The Big Bang Theory,” the highest-rated network last night was ABC with “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”


Dan Bucatinsky will play Tim Meadows’ husband and Casey Wilson's dad on NBC’s “Marry Me” pilot
The "Scandal" star has joined the pilot revolving around Wilson's engagement to Ken Marino. Bucatinsky will play “Kevin 2,” while “SNL” alum Meadows will play “Kevin 1.”


Seth Meyers is limiting “Late Night” to 2 musical guests per week
Billboard reports that Meyers is taking a different approach to “Late Night” than Jimmy Fallon by not having a musical guest in the 3rd guest slot more than twice a week (Meyers has had two musical guests per week since Week 2). That 3rd slot has been filled by authors, comedians and, as was the case on Tuesday, the editor of the New Yorker.


Idina Menzel: John Travolta sent me flowers and a “gorgeous e-mail”
"He was really gracious and sent this gorgeous e-mail, and we're buddies and it's all cool,” she says of the Oscar flub, adding: "Please. I mean, I've only benefited from it."


Report: ABC’s “Alice in Arabia” early script confirms worries over Muslim stereotypes
Buzzfeed, which obtained a copy of a pilot script dated from last July, found the script to be filled with Muslim stereotypes. An ABC spokesperson, however, tells Buzzfeed the script could’ve gone through multiple rewrites since it was written.


“Deadwood” premiered 10 years ago today
Watch a 26-minute documentary paying tribute to the HBO series, narrated by Jim Beaver.


Jeremy Piven refers to "Sherlock" star as "Benedict Cumberb*****”
The “Entourage" star, in a recent interview with Jimmy Kimmel, recalls being upstaged by the “Sherlock” star in a joint PBS media session with “Sherlock” and “Mr. Selfridge."


“Bar Rescue” gets a 4th season
Spike TV has ordered 20 more episodes of the TV show starring nightlife expert Jon Taffer.


E*Trade Baby quits in March Madness ad
The brokerage recently switched ad agencies, so its baby campaign is apparently over.


Vogue puts Kim Kardashian on its cover, with Kanye West
The April cover is titled: “Kim & Kanye: Their Fashionable Life and Surreal Times.”


Why Brad Pitt should be the No. 1 choice for “True Detective” Season 2
The mega movie star would be the perfect Matthew McConaughey replacement. PLUS: What is the "Secret Occult History of the U.S. Transportation System”?, and “True Detective’s” cinematographer revisits 9 key shots.


Check out “Community’s” animated “G.I. Jeff”
The “G.I. Joe” tribute is set to air April 3.


Jon Gosselin is not happy with Kate’s return to TLC for a 1-off special
Kate says her eight children "cheered like crazy. It was like I announced that it's Christmas tomorrow” upon hearing the news, but Us Weekly says Jon “thinks it is a really bad idea for the kids.

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