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"The Vampire Diaries"

"The Vampire Diaries"

Credit: The CW

18 things we learned from 'The Vampire Diaries' PaleyFest panel

For Ian Somerhalder, it's all in the eyes

I'm fairly sure I would have more to relate from my trip to "The Vampires Diaries" PaleyFest panel if not for the screaming. Oh, yes, screaming. Before the panel began, there was screaming. During a short video tribute to Katherine Pierce (more on that later), there was screaming. When Paul Wesley spoke, there was screaming. When Ian Somerhalder spoke, there was screaming. When anyone spoke, there was screaming. Did I mention the screaming? Needless to say, a lot of dishy details were drowned out by, yes, screaming. 

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<p>Cliff Robinson of &quot;Survivor: Cagayan&quot;</p>

Cliff Robinson of "Survivor: Cagayan"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Cliff Robinson talks 'Survivor: Cagayan'

Former NBA All-Star discusses his 'Survivor' challenges

On the basketball court, Cliff Robinson's statistics were quite robust.

He ranks ninth in NBA history in games played and, with playoff appearances in 17 of his 18 seasons, those were often meaningful games. He was the league's Sixth Man of the Year for the 1992-1993 season, was an All-Defensive Team second teamer twice and an All-Star once. Thanks to his longevity, he ranks in the Top 50 in NBA/ABA history in scoring, ahead of Hall-of-Famers like Chris Mullin, Isiah Thomas and Scottie Pippen.

Sadly, Cliff Robinson won't be remembered for his "Survivor" longevity. This week, Robinson became the fifth player voted out on "Survivor: Cagayan" and the first player booted after the season dissolved its Brains vs. Beauty vs. Brawn twist. 

Cliff could have been voted out even earlier, but a basketball-themed Immunity Challenge thwarted Brawn teammate Sarah's attempts to throw the game. After leading his post-Shuffle tribe to a big Reward win, Cliff was targeted by former tribe mate Trish, who was willing to squander a prohibitive numbers advantage just to get rid of a player she called lazy, shady and claimed hadn't spoken to her in 13 days.

In his exit interview, Cliff strongly disagrees with two of those charges, though he admits he could have talked to Trish more. The former UConn great discusses the surprising toughness of "Survivor" and how he hoped to combat the familiar "He doesn't need the money..." argument.

Click through for the full Q&A...

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'Amazing Race' Exclusive: Brendon and Rachel reverse roles in Sri Lanka

'Amazing Race' Exclusive: Brendon and Rachel reverse roles in Sri Lanka

See a clip from Sunday's challenging dance task

In case you missed it, after last week's "Amazing Race," I'm now Brendon & Rachel's No.1 Fan!

OK. That's an overstatement, probably, but it's not an overstatement to say that I definitely experienced a wave of affection for Brendon & Rachel after the way the "Big Brother" veterans supported Margie & Luke during last week's tumultuous drink-mixing Detour in Kuala Lumpur. That was good of them. I've got no sarcasm or cynicism when it comes to the way Brendon & Rachel calmed and encouraged Luke in a tough moment.

It's possible, in fact, that Brendon & Rachel have actually changed since we saw them last. There's been minimal crying and almost no shouting to start the season and if you want to see something truly weird, check out this HitFix exclusive clip from Sunday (March 23) night's "Amazing Race" episode.

It involves dancing in Sri Lanka and you may be surprised at how they handle some adversity!

Watch the clip above and come back to HitFix tomorrow night for my recap.

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TV Ratings: 'Shark Tank' leads ABC Friday wins, while 'Dixie' and 'Line' boost The CW
Credit: The CW

TV Ratings: 'Shark Tank' leads ABC Friday wins, while 'Dixie' and 'Line' boost The CW

'Whose Line' tops 'Rake' among young viewers

Fast National ratings for Friday, March 21, 2014.

CBS struggled through another night of unimpressive NCAA Tournament second round ratings, allowing ABC to dominate Friday in all measures, led by "Shark Tank."

In its second Friday airing, FOX's "Rake" reproduced last week's dismal numbers and while the legal dramedy was able to edge out The CW overall, new episodes of "Whose Line Is It Anyway" topped FOX among young viewers. Things were also very close between FOX's 9 p.m. comedies -- with an "Enlisted" repeat -- and The CW's encouraging time period premiere for "Hart of Dixie."

On to the numbers...

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"Frozen"
Credit: Disney

'Frozen' soundtrack likely to see huge chart gains following DVD release

It once again remains the top title

With the arrival of the  DVD release of “Frozen,” the soundtrack to the Disney animated feature is set to soar on next week’s Billboard 200.

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<p>Shailene Woodley and Theo James in &quot;Divergent.&quot;</p>

Shailene Woodley and Theo James in "Divergent."

Credit: Summit Entertainment

Tell us what you thought of 'Divergent'

Do we have another 'Hunger Games' on our hands here?

Okay, here's where I profess total ignorance: I hadn't even heard of Veronica Roth's bestselling "Divergent" books until posters for Neil Burger's screen adaptation started showing up in theaters. And having not yet seen the film, I'm still none the wiser as to what the franchise actually is, other than that it boasts some clear "Hunger Games" parallels and that it's taught a generation of teenagers the meaning of Abnegation. But I'm sure a number of you have been eagerly awaiting the film, so now it's your turn to tell us if it delivers or not. Reviews have been sniffy so far -- are the critics simply not getting it, or has something gone wrong? Vote in the poll and share your thoughts below.

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<p>Sam Eagle and Ty Burrell in &quot;Muppets Most Wanted.&quot;</p>

Sam Eagle and Ty Burrell in "Muppets Most Wanted."

Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

Tell us what you thought of 'Muppets Most Wanted'

It's time to play the music, it's time to light the lights...

I may have seen better films so far this year -- though, to be quite honest, few are coming to mind -- but nothing has given me quite as much pound-for-pound pleasure as "Muppets Most Wanted," the eighth big-screen outing for Jim Henson's lovable band of felt vaudevillians, arriving 35 years after their first. I've already expressed my enthusiasm for the goofy European adventure in my review, but I know a number of critics' reactions have been closer to those of Statler and Waldorf. What do you say? Share your thoughts in the comments if/when you've seen the film, and be sure to vote in the poll below.

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The 'Mad Men' cast is ready for Season 7 to take off
Credit: AMC

18 things we learned from the 'Mad Men' PaleyFest panel

The actors' favorite moments and Jon Hamm wins a staring contest

LOS ANGELES—The final season of “Mad Men” launches April 13 on AMC. And while none of the actors would dare give even a hint of what was to come with their characters during the show’s PaleyFest session March 21 at the Dolby Theater here (show creator Matthew Weiner has trained them well),  they revealed a great deal about how they feel as the show winds down. And they’re just as sad about it coming to an end as the rest of us.

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ABC Family drops controversial 'Alice in Arabia' pilot

ABC Family drops controversial "Alice in Arabia" pilot
Following a backlash from Muslim groups, ABC Family is not proceeding with the controversial pilot. "The current conversation surrounding our pilot was not what we had envisioned and is certainly not conducive to the creative process, so we’ve decided not to move forward with this project," said an ABC Family spokesperson.

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<p>On &quot;Hannibal,&quot; Will dreams of Abigail Hobbes.</p>

On "Hannibal," Will dreams of Abigail Hobbes.

Credit: NBC

Review: 'Hannibal' - 'Takiawase'

Jack's wife shares a secret plan with Dr. Lecter, while Beverly Katz goes exploring

A review of tonight's "Hannibal" coming up just as soon as you're harshing my buzz...

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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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