Latest Blog Posts

Game show contestants will defuse fake bombs on Fox’s 'Boom!'

Game show contestants will defuse fake bombs on Fox’s “Boom!”
On the Israeli-based format, colored wires on the fake bombs will represent multiple-choice answers, which allow viewers at home to play along.

Conan’s MTV Movie Awards sidekick will be Ice Cube — not Andy Richter
“Andy’s not reliable,” Conan tells EW. “I’d love to bring Andy — in fact, I’ve tried to bring Andy to many things. But he’s like the country singer George Jones late in his career: Maybe he’ll show, maybe he won’t.”

Watch the “Silicon Valley” pilot
HBO has posted the censored version on YouTube. PLUS: Why the protagonist needs to become the next Mark Zuckerberg, and, how Thomas Middleditch got cast in the leading role.

Ricky Gervais’ “Derek” returns in May
Season 2 of the Netflix series debuts May 20.

NBC Universal’s Emmy campaign unveiled
Mindy Kaling is a “Certified Romantic,” Any Poehler is a “Certified Public Servant” and Andy Samberg is a “Certified Smartass” in NBC Universal’s Emmy campaign key art.

Carol Leifer: I struggled on “SNL” as a female writer
Before she was wrote for “Seinfeld,” the comedian joined “Saturday Night Live” in 1985, where she quickly found out she wasn’t part of Lorne Michaels’ exclusive “group,” as she reveals in her new memoir.

Recalling Letterman as a college freshman
At 18 years old in 1965, David Letterman had his own midnight rock ’n’ roll show on Ball State’s radio station. “David Letterman’s Make It or Break It” lasted a week.

Neil Patrick Harris: “As far as I know, there is no other ending”
“We only shot one,” Harris responded when asked about the “HIMYM” alternate ending.

Syfy orders drama series “Olympus”
A Syfy exec says of the drama series: “'Olympus' is a fantastic blend of action, intense thrills, creatures and great storytelling. It will feature characters from mythology in a way never before imagined."

Food Network renews “Beat Bobby Flay”
The game show will be back for another 26 episodes.

Does ABC have a women problem?
Advertisers are complaining that ABC is too reliant on female shows, including aging dramas like “Grey’s Anatomy."

Kirstie Alley rejoins Jenny Craig after watching herself on her TV Land sitcom
“I was like, you look OK on the street, but you don't look (OK) on TV, not so much,” she tells Matt Lauer of her decision to resume her role as Jenny Craig pitchwoman, which she did from 2004 to 2007.

“Shameless” season finale even shocked Emmy Rossum
"HOLLLLLLY MOLY NO IDEA,” she tweeted after last night’s season finale. PLUS: This was “Shameless’” best season yet, the finale sucked for using a cheap stunt, and “Shameless” has TV’s best gay couple.

“Jeopardy!’s” Arthur Chu: We need more Asian villains
Chu thought #CancelColbert was “dumb,” but he can’t help appreciating its founder, Suey Park, because of the villainous role she took on. "Perfect people are freaking boring,” he says of the roles many Asians play. "Perfect people don’t get to be the protagonist of the story, because you can’t tell a story about perfect people."

Nick Offerman: Amy Poehler is the funniest person on the “Parks and Rec” set
Chris Pratt is the “#1.1” funniest, followed by Aziz Ansari and Aubrey Plaza.

Rob Lowe: It’s tough to be good-looking
"There’s this unbelievable bias and prejudice against quote-unquote good-looking people, that they can’t be in pain or they can’t have rough lives or be deep or interesting,” he tells NY Times magazine. "They can’t be any of the things that you long to play as an actor. I’m getting to play those parts now and loving it. When I was a teen idol, I was so goddamn pretty I wouldn’t have taken myself seriously.”

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<p>The Band Perry performed at Sunday&#39;s ACM Awards</p>

The Band Perry performed at Sunday's ACM Awards

Credit: Chris Pizzello/AP

TV Ratings: ACM Awards lead CBS Sunday while 'Resurrection' falls below 'Once Upon a Time'

'Cosmos' and 'Crisis' are both steady, relatively speaking

Fast National ratings for Sunday, April 6, 2014.

Sunday night's telecast of the Academy of Country Music Awards was down significantly from last year, but it still helped CBS cruise to victory in all measures. 

While "Once Upon a Time" was up week-to-week for ABC, the network witnessed continued declines for "Resurrection," plus another drop for "Revenge."

Among new shows, there were also drops for NBC's "Believe" and "American Dream Builders," though both "Cosmos" and "Crisis" were up a hair in total viewers and flat in the key demo.

[Expect "Game of Thrones" premiere numbers either later in the day or tomorrow.]

On to the numbers...

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<p>Emmy Rossum and Jeffrey Dean Morgan in the &quot;Shameless&quot; finale.</p>

Emmy Rossum and Jeffrey Dean Morgan in the "Shameless" finale.

Credit: Showtime

Season finale review: 'Shameless' - 'Lazarus'

Fiona gets out of prison, Frank enjoys his new liver, and Ian won't get out of bed

"Shameless" concluded its fourth season last night, and I have some thoughts on the finale and the season as a whole coming up just as soon as I feel a bit like "Pretty Woman"...

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Barbara Walters will retire from 'The View' on May 16, followed that night by a 2-hour special honoring her

Barbara Walters will retire from “The View” on May 16, followed that night by a 2-hour special honoring her
In addition to airing "ABC: A Barbara Celebration,” ABC News will name its NYC headquarters after her.

Simon Cowell’s “Got Talent” earns the Guinness World Record for world’s most successful reality TV format
The reality format that first launched as “Britain’s Got Talent” in 2007 has expanded to 58 countries.

HBO teases “The Leftovers”
Watch a preview of the drama from “Lost” co-creator Damon Lindelof.

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Jay Leno reacts to Letterman’s retirement in a joking way

Jay Leno reacts to Letterman’s retirement in a joking way
“Oh well you know, he and I gonna do the Sunshine Boys on Broadway so we’re very excited about that,” he told “Extra” at a comedy show in New Jersey. PLUS: Did Letterman retire over his inability to make viral videos?

Shannen Doherty starring in "Blood Lake: Attack of the Killer Lampreys” -- from “Sharknado” producers
The Animal Planet TV movie, airing Memorial Day Weekend, also stars Christopher Lloyd as he, Doherty and Jason Brooks battle “Killer Lampreys."

Yahoo! planning to create its own prestigious TV comedies
The Wall Street Journal reports that Yahoo! is preparing to spend $700,000 to $1 million per episode on four 10-episode half-hour comedies.

HBO Go crashes during “Game of Thrones” premiere
This is the 2nd time in a month that HBO Go has crashed during a big HBO event, following last month's "True Detective" finale rash.

“Game of Thrones” star recounts the premiere’s biggest moment
"It was about being in the right pace at the right time," she says. PLUS: Season premiere questions, answered, “House of Cards” says “welcome back,” Clorox jumps on the “GoT” bandwagon, the premiere had some of the best banter yet, the Lannisters dominated this hour, and Sansa Stark sings in "Game of Moans" music video.

George Stephanopoulos denies a report he’s upset with “GMA’s” softer direction
Page Six reports that the “GMA” star, who’s in early contract negotiations, isn’t happy with the addition of more entertainment personalities. But Stephanopoulos tells Page Six, "So much of what you’ve been told is false.”

BBC taps Benedict Cumberbatch to play Richard III
Sam Mendes will produce a BBC2 TV movie based on Shakespeare’s historical play.

Jimmy Fallon to have on Nirvana’s surviving members, plus KISS
“The Tonight Show” will celebrate this year’s Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductees all week.

Watch Ashton Kutcher & Mila Kunis mock their relationship on “Two and a Half Men”
"I bet you only date hot actresses,” Kunis says. "God no, I'd never date an actress. They're all crazy,” Ashton responds.

Nick Cannon booed trying to yell “America’s Got Talent” at a Knicks game
The NBC reality show tried to tape an opening at Madison Square Garden.

Erin Andrews worried about reports she’s caused “Dancing” tension
"I've got to be honest. ... It kind of got me worried and scared,” she says, adding that she called producers to find out what was wrong. "I just went back and forth with the producers like, 'Are we good here? Please tell me what I need to work on. Please tell me what I need to do. 'And they're like, 'We couldn't be happier.'"

Read an excerpt from Rob Lowe’s new memoir
Lowe writes about kissing Evan Handler on “Californication” and working on “The West Wing” in this excerpt from “Love Life,” Lowe’s 2nd memoir. PLUS: Lowe & Aziz Ansari reunite in a pool, Rashida Jones & Retta dished on Lowe on “Watch What Happens Live,” and Jones talked about kissing Lowe.

AMC teams with Ford for “Mad Men’s” final season
Ads will not only promote the 2015 Ford Lincoln in the first commercial break, but Lincoln will roll out a series of 30-second vignettes featuring some of the past six seasons’ most unexpected moments, according to Ad Week. PLUS: Kevin Rahm is becoming a dad.

Amy Poehler’s brother’s Swedish sitcom renewed
Greg Poehler’s “Welcome to Sweden” is set to air this summer on NBC.

Comedian John Pinette, who got mugged in the “Seinfeld” finale, dies at 50
According to TMZ, the hefty comic died in a hotel room in Pittsburgh.

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Miranda Lambert
Credit: CBS

Miranda Lambert on owing Taylor Swift an apology and winning ACM female vocalist

How hubby Blake Shelton has brought out her sense of humor

By winning female vocalist of the year at the ACM Awards Sunday night, Miranda set a record for grabbing the award five years in a row. As thrilled as she was when she came backstage (she also won single record of the year for "Mama's Broken Heart" and vocal event of the year for "We Were Us" with Keith Urban), when she got to the press room, she had an apology to make.

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Kacey Musgraves
Credit: CBS

Kacey Musgraves on Katy Perry, George Strait, and winning ACM album of the year

What covers are she and Perry thinking about singing together for 'Crossroads'

Kacey Musgraves snagged album of the year at tonight's 49th annual Academy of Country Music Awards for the critically acclaimed  "Same Trailer, Different Park." Backstage, she exalted in being able to follow her arrow, wherever it points: " I've been so lucky from day one to just do what I do, follow my gut, my instincts," she said.

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"The Real Housewives of Atlanta"

"The Real Housewives of Atlanta"

Credit: Bravo

'Real Housewives of Atlanta' recap: Should Cynthia trust Peter?

Do you think Porsha needs an understudy?

It's one week until the season finale of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta," and all of the major continuing story lines seem to be reaching a boil. Interestingly, though, only one of them seems to involve a conflict between two of the ladies. No, the rest of the gang has bigger problems, like foreclosures, clothing lines, and a dead dog. Even that one interpersonal conflict isn't just a silly argument about who said what and whose feelings were hurt. If I didn't know better, I might think our Housewives were all grown up! 

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"Silicon Valley"

"Silicon Valley" 

Credit: HBO

'Silicon Valley' recap: Is it better to dream big or sell out?

Mike Judge's new show takes on big tech

Let no one say Mike Judge doesn't have it in for The Man. As in "Office Space," the new HBO series "Silicon Valley" follows the trials of a group of under-appreciated ham-and-eggers hoping to break free of the bottom rung. Unlike "Office Space," the plan here is to do it honestly. 

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<p>On &quot;Game of Thrones,&quot; Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) lounges with one of her dragons.</p>

On "Game of Thrones," Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) lounges with one of her dragons.

Credit: HBO

Season premiere review: 'Game of Thrones' - 'Two Swords'

It's a very good time to be a Lannister, but cracks in the foundation begin to appear

"Game of Thrones" is back for a fourth season. I posted interviews all week, with Benioff & Weiss, Alfie Allen, Gwendoline Christie, Sophie Turner, and Maisie Williams and Isaac Hempstead Wright. Now I have a review of the season premiere coming up just as soon as I get a shaved goat...

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Lady Antebellum and Stevie Nicks walks the ACM Awards red carpet
Credit: AP photo

Live blogging the 49th annual ACM Awards

Will Taylor Swift win entertainer of the year? Blake Shelton? Luke Bryan?

7:50 p.m.: Hello from the 49th annual ACM Awards in Las Vegas.  We'll be blogging live from the press room, which means we'll be commenting on the action you're seeing on TV, but also on what's going on backstage as the artists come back to talk to the press. The Band Perry are opening the show with an explosive version of "Chainsaw," and the performers' list is a virtual who's who of country: Jason Aldean, Eric Church, Lady Antebellum, Florida Georgia Line, George Strait, Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, Brad Paisley and more. There are 25 performances in all. Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan are co-hosting for the second year, so there should be plenty of laughs.

8:04 p.m.: The Band Perry opens the show with a midtempo tune called "Chainsaw." It's all sizzle and very little steak, with Kimberly Perry stomping around, confetti flying, and Reid Perry tossing his hair and his body around as if he's a member of AC/DC. At least they're playing live. Very tepid audience response.  I run hot and cold on TBP, and I'm definitely feeling cold about that one... am I wrong? Maybe it played better on TV than on the press room feed.

8:05: Blake Shelton lays down the gauntlet. Luke Bryan stresses that everyone is playing live and Shelton adds, "If you don't want to hear love music, go down the Strip and go see Britney Spears"... Bryan then calls out Carrie Underwood in the audience and commends her on "The Sound of Music" ratings. Give it a rest... yes, she got panned by some critics, but the ratings soared, so she's a winner in the poll that really matters and she's probably ready to move on... OK, we just lost the house feed. It's back now as Bryan makes a joke about Shelton not being Entertainer of the Year, but maybe Entertainer of the Minute... "and I'm spotting you 30 seconds." Their bromance is alive and well...

8:12 p.m. Florida Georgia Line perform "Stay," or as I like to call it, "What if I wrote you a love song... " However, as you may not know, artists are now trying to make song titles one word because it's better for social media when it comes to tweeting, etc... Can you imagine if "Stairway to Heaven" come out now? It would be called "Stairway," or, to keep it country, "Friends in Low Places" would be called "Friends." But I digress, which I guess is my commentary on how non-compelling I'm finding FGL's performance...though it's nice to just see them standing and singing. Too harsh?

8:15: Brad Paisley debuts new song, "Riverbank," poolside surrounded by lovely looking men and women in bathing suits. It's one of those fun-timing, easy going kinds of songs that Paisley excels at and the timing is perfect for it to break as we head into warmer weather. It's a fun, laid back performance.

8:23: Blake Shelton performs "My Eyes," the 4,325th single from "Based on a True Story," with Gwen Sebastian, while his wife Miranda Lambert sings along in the audience. It's a fine, sexy, mid-tempo song, but the show is in need of some uptempo, rocking performance about right now... and we're almost 30 minutes in without an award being presented. They're still going to hand some out, right?

8:27: Brett Eldredge, one of the three male nominees up for new artist of the year, performs a snippet of "Beat of the Music" from the Mandalay Bay. The ACMs have apparently taken over every MGM-owned property in Las Vegas (and note that Spears is not at an MGM property or I'm pretty sure that joke would have gotten cut).

8:35 p.m.: George Strait, that's King George to you, does what he always does, stands there and sings and make it look totally effortless. He's on a victory lap as he completes his last tour. "I Got A Car" is a bit of a strange song about a couple meeting and having their first baby... he's north of 60, so it's a big of a strange fit, but if there's one thing I've learned in my years of covering country music, Strait is unassailable. See...he just got the first standing ovation of the night just for being himself. Not that I can think of a better reason for someone to get one.

8:38: Confession time... I am the last possible person that would ever drive a truck, and yet Lee Brice's "I Drive Your Truck" gets to me every time. It's killing me that he's not getting to sing the whole song. It's a killer song and is understandably up for single record of the year and song of the year. Guy Fieri is now introducing a segment on Party for a Cause, but he's really here to plug his new restaurant at one of MGM's properties, let's not kid ourselves.  8:40 and still no awards have been handed out...

8:45: Eric Church performs "Give Me Back My Hometown." I'm a latecomer to join the Church of Eric and I like this song, but I'm going to fall asleep if there's one more mid-tempo tune... The performances have all been perfectly fine (although I thought TBP was weak) but nothing special. Can someone please do something uptempo? I've now placed a bet with myself on whether any awards will be presented within the first hour. I don't know what I get if I win... this hour of my life back?

8:57: Blake Shelton and Skaira perform "Medicine"  Their voices have a bit of a leather and lace appeal. A little surprised that NBC let two of "The Voice" coaches debut a song on a rival network.

9: Taylor Swift, who looks classy and beautiful, presents Vocal Duo of the Year to Florida Georgia Line-- the first award of the night. There was no way they weren't winning that. It was one of the weaker categories with no real competition for them. They, of course, thank God, for their award.

9:09: After Shelton and Bryan do a funny skit about trying to replicate Ellen DeGeneres' Oscar selfie that broke the internet (their chemistry is the highlight of the show so far), Lady Antebellum and Stevie Nicks to a mash-up of "Golden" and "Rihannon." Their harmonies are spot on and I have to give Hilary Scott points that she can sing with Stevie NIcks, looks right in her face, and not stop and scream, "Can you believe I'm signing with Stevie Frigging Nicks" right now!"

9:13: God bless Keith Urban. I adore him anyway, but he just saved the show with "Even The Stars Fall 4 U," tonight's first full-on uptempo track and he kills it. Between the three drummers, his guitar playing and the overall performance, the show is back on track. Should definitely be a single for Urban.

9:14: Kip Moore is singing "Somethin' About a Truck," but I'm not listening. I'm too busy enjoying the gun show. Good God almighty...

9:24: Luke Bryan's new single, "This Is My Song" is one of those tunes that makes an emotional connection with people because we've all said that line about a million times throughout our lives when a favorite came on the radio, but it just feels like sloppy writing to me, though as usual, he's able to completely sell it.

9:26: Justin Moore wins new artist of the year. The weird thing is he's not really a new artist, but of the three, he's the most deserving. He's also a fun spark plug of a guy and it's sweet that he gets a little choked up as he's accepting.

9:34:Now Bryan and Shelton are spoofing on Daft Punk's helmets.  I'm digging the two of the them together.

9:37: Miranda Lambert wins single record of the year for "Mama's Broken Heart."  She thanks the producers and songwriters, but seems more focused on her upcoming performance.  I would say that's a mild upset over "Cruise," which was No. 1 for 22 weeks or something insane like that.

9:46: Lambert is performing "Automatic," another mid-tempo track, in a sparkly statement necklace and a wifebeater... it's a look that I don't think is going to catch on (Plus, after Louis C.K.'s great "SNL" monologue last week, I think we need to come up with another name for a sleeveless white tank top...) As you may have noticed, i've reported no backstage action yet because there hasn't been winners or presenters have made it back here yet.

9:49: Olivia Munn, her breasts, and Aaron Rogers are presenting song of the year, an award that goes to the songwriters. I'm rooting for Bob Dylan to win for "Wagon Wheel." Wouldn't it be hilarious if he were there? The award goes to "I Drive Your Truck," which, as you know from what I wrote earlier, makes me very happy. The song is based on a true story. Yikes, co-writer Connie Harrington gets played off before either of her two co-writers can say anything.

9:57: Tim McGraw debuts a new song, 'Meanwhile Back At Mama's," a look at the traditional life that country music so dearly loves to embrace. Supper's cooking on the stove, dad's smoking a cigarette, everyone's watching the game. McGraw is in a tuxedo for a song that's about hanging out on the porch....and his wife, Faith Hill, who's joined him (as we tweeted she would last night), is in formal wear as well... They look fantastic, but it's strange attire for a song about walking around in muddy boots, etc... or maybe the point is about how their lives have gotten so far away from what's going on at Mama's.

10:01: Florida Georgia Line and Luke Bryan are performing "This Is How we Roll" complete with the motocross team that appears in the video. And here's part of the problem with country music right now... between FLG and Luke Bryan, they are on their third or fourth appearance tonight. Better to make the show shorter than keep going back to the same performers.

10:06: Jason Aldean repeats as male vocalist of the year.

10:08: Toby Keith, who is up for nothing, is performing a song called "Shut Up and Hold On..." Why?  I'm really beginning to believe this show needs to go back to two hours. But I feel that way about all award shows. There's no reason for any of them to be three hours... even the Grammys and the Oscars.

10:17: Justin Moore is backstage and he admits he would have been "pissed off" if he'd lost  best new artist. I asked him if it felt a little weird that he'd been doing this for six years and he's just winning best new artist now, and he said, "I would have taken it if were for female vocalist of the year." He added that he didn't want to jinx his chances. "I wanted this one, guys, I wanted this one so bad. This wasn't make or break in our career, we've put out two albums...we've had a lot of hit records, we're out headlining arenas, but this was very, very important to me and my team." I felt like a coach who could win games in the regular season, but could never win in the post season."

10:21: Band Perry wins vocalist of the year. Hunter Hayes performs "Invisible." It's not going to be his biggest hit, but for anyone who's been bullied, it will be his most significant one. Hayes is selling the performance, but he's a little pitchy.

10:32: Jason Aldean came backstage and talked about lots of things (we'll put up the video later) but took time to praise Miranda Lambert, who will tour with him when he plays stadiums this summer. "She's a chick that can tear it up with any guy in country music."  And cue Lambert winning female vocalist of the year.

10:36: Darius Rucker performs "Wagon Wheel." It must feel strange to sing a song after it's lost two awards.

10:38: Kacey Musgraves' "Same Trailer Different Park" wins album of the year. "I'm really proud to be a woman representing country music," she says. Ain't it the truth. There aren't many of them making it onto the charts right now, including Musgraves. Hopefully, this will help get her some more mainstream airplay.

10:40: The Band Perry comes backstage and Kimberly reveals that band's third album will be "all about's going to feel good live." As far as the band's show opening performance, they added their motto was "We came, we saw, we confetti'd."  They were in the press room during the presentation of the Crystal Award to Merle Haggard, but I caught his acceptance speech, which had to be the shortest one in history. It took him longer to walk to the stage than to accept the award. In all fairness, the 77-year old (today is his birthday) has pneumonia, so it's a miracle that he managed to show up at all. Legend...simply one of the greatest of all time. 

10:50: Rascal Flatts and Dierks Bentley with Sheryl Crow are the last two performers of the evening before the big award: Entertainer of the year. It goes to George Strait, who deserves to win, but is also the sentimental favorite. Given that it's a fan-voted award, his win is all the more impressive, given that he was up against acts like Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift, and Blake Shelton, who have younger, more social media savvy fans. "I've always said I had the best fans in the world. I heard this was a fan-voted thing, so I rest my case," Strait says.

11:00 p.m. Shelton and Bryan come back out as Shelton, very gracious in defeat, greets Strait and says, "Our hero won tonight." Damn straight (or should that be 'Strait') he did.  And it's a wrap. It felt like a very long show. There were no horrible performances, but there weren't any stand outs either. It was a show that took no risks and played primarily to the mainstream country fans who listen to country radio and don't care much about veering outside the lines.

What did you think?

 P.S.: Looking ahead, ACM head Bob Romeo and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones came backstage to promote next year's 50th annual ACM Awards, which will take place at AT&T Stadium in Dallas. Since the show will honor the current music makers as well as look back, Romeo said he took tonight as a chance to chat with artists about which of their influences they'd love to perform with, such as Strait with Haggard. He added that Shelton talked about loving Earl Thomas Conley and Bellamy Brothers. He also talked to Garth Brooks, who idolizes Strait and Haggard.



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Annaleigh Ashford and Teddy Sears tease 'Masters of Sex' Season 2

Annaleigh Ashford and Teddy Sears tease 'Masters of Sex' Season 2

Also, Caitlin Fitzgerald weighs in on her favorite on-screen baby

Ooops. I got busy in the last week and didn't have time to post the rest of my "Masters of Sex" interviews, so you're getting all of the supporting actors in a single post. 

You may have already watched my terrific interview with Lizzy Caplan and my conversations with Michael Sheen and creator Michelle Ashford.

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