So, a naked make-up artist and a naked sober coach are on a deserted island... what, this isn't the set up to a joke? No, it's what really happened on "Naked and Afraid" this week, and I was expecting a complete debacle. The make-up artist assures us she's a "girly girl" who works at the mall, while the middle-aged sober coach was a big time addict who totally digs adventures, dude. That's a recipe for disaster and certain death, right?
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A review of tonight's "The Walking Dead" season finale coming up just as soon as my hunger is a 28 on a scale of 1 to 10...
If you ask me for a preference between Country Blondes Jennifer and Caroline, I'll always go with punchy, pint-sized Caroline, she of the reliable zingers and ace comic timing.
But Jennifer had the smartest observation in Sunday (March 30) night's "Amazing Race."
Musing on why this season has been difficult, Jennifer noted, "Nobody makes mistakes."
That's not exactly true. Natalie & Nadiya couldn't find a wedding dress shop in China over several hours and they went home. Mark & Mallory went back to get Mark's bag and they went home. Joey & Meghan didn't tell their driver to stay at a Roadblock and they went home. And last week, Margie & Luke couldn't get tickets for a good flight leaving Kuala Lumpur and they went home. At least in the early-going of this "All-Stars" season, it hasn't been that nobody's been making mistakes, but it's certainly been the case that, generally speaking, it's been nearly impossible to overcome what few mistakes there have been.
One thing to note about the single mistakes that have led to all four of the season's eliminations: None of them have been related to "Amazing Race" Roadblocks or Detours, which are usually the meat of the game. The Twinnies fumbled on a season-opening general task and then we had two self-inflicted eliminations and the airport strangeness that befell Margie & Luke last week. Performances on the Roadblocks and Detours have been almost completely proficient and uniform.
It's possible that Sunday's episode featured the biggest in-task blunder of the season, but once that gaffe proved to be completely and totally meaningless, despite eating up 10 minutes of screentime, it was already very clear where the hour was going.
[More after the break...]
Somebody catch me, because I may just fall over from shock any minute. Was there actually a peaceful resolution of a conflict between two women (and their respective menfolk) on "The Real Housewives of Atlanta"? Did my eyes deceive me? Did I imagine that there was a civilized discussion of feelings without screaming or hair pulling? This may mark the beginning of the end for the entire franchise. How can we carry on from here?
"GMA" loses Josh Elliott to NBC Sports
Eliott becomes the 2nd "Good Morning America" star to lead the ABC morning show to No. 1 who has been poached by NBC Universal, following the departure of Sam Champion to NBC-owned The Weather Channel. Elliott reportedly wanted $8 million a year. PLUS: Amy Robach is the new "GMA" news anchor.
Chelsea Handler plans to leave E!
Handler's manager says the "Chelsea Lately" star and her team "have at least seven suitors and many ideas."
Louis CK delivers "SNL's" 2nd-worst ratings of the season
The FX star's stint was even lower than Lena Dunham, who had the 2nd-worst ratings of the season. PLUS: FX teases "Louie," "SNL" celebrates "Jeopardy!'s" 50th anniversary with "Black Jeopardy!," and watch a sketch cut in dress rehearsal.
"Dynasty's" Kate O'Mara dies at 74
O'Mara played Cassandra "Caress" Morrell, sister of Joan Collins' Alexis Colby, on the '80s soap.
"Love & Hip Hop's" Benzino shot during a funeral procession
The Hip-Hop Weekly CEO was allegedly shot by his nephew.
"Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." casts Blackout
"The Black Donnellys" alum Patrick Brennan will play the famous Marvel villain.
"Idol's" Paul McDonald and Nikki Reed split after 2 years of marriage
They are still planning, however, to release their debut album together.
Happy 50th birthday, Ian Ziering!
Ziering today becomes the 2nd "Beverly Hills, 90210" teenager to enter their 50s (Gabrielle Carteris is 53).
Well, of course it's going to be a trilogy.
The profile that The New York Times just ran on Warner's newest CEO, Kevin Tsujihara, was all about the way he's planning to keep Warner in the franchise business in the near future, and one of the things he mentioned was the new project that was announced last year, "Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them," an original project by JK Rowling that builds off the world she created for her "Harry Potter" books.
One thing I'll say immediately that makes me like Tsujihara is that he's pushing Warner to produce and release more films instead of less at a time where so many other studios are barely making films. And, sure, many of those films are going to be giant tentpole movies, but that's what allows them to take a chance on something like "Gravity." The "Fantastic Beasts" trilogy will focus on Newt Scamander, a "magizoologist," and it sounds like these are going to be big adventure films that aren't saddled with an overall mythology about someone being The Chosen One and having to fulfill some Grand Destiny. Set seventy years before the "Potter" books, this sounds like it's going to give Rowling a chance to flesh out her magical world in ways that should be an opportunity for all sorts of fun.
Like so many "Survivor" decisions, Wednesday (March 26) night's "Survivor: Cagayan" vote came down to trust. With a Merge coming, the remaining trio of Brains had to decide who they could trust not to flip.
Would they trust Sarah, who might reunite with the majority of her Brawn tribe?
Would they trust Jeremiah, who may or may not have gotten a clue to an Immunity Idol and may or may not have lied about it?
Or would they trust Alexis, who professed loyalty, but had two chums -- LJ and Jefra -- remaining on the other tribe?
In the end, the Brains didn't really consider targeting Sarah and they opted to trust Jeremiah, even while not quite believing him, leaving Alexis blindsided and crying.
Although she was placed on the Beauty tribe for the purposes of this "Survivor" season, Alexis Maxwell is a student at Northwestern, which isn't too shabby, and despite her disappointment at being eliminated, she makes no excuses for what she describes as "rookie mistakes."
In her exit interview, she explains why she wouldn't have flipped, at least not post-Merge. She discusses her gaffe in not believing Jeremiah's version of the Idol story. And she talks about why Sarah was never targeted for Wednesday's vote.
Click through for the full Q&A...
On Sunday (March 23) night, Margie & Luke had one of those rough "Amazing Race" Legs that happen every couple seasons. They started near the back of the pack and after an unfortunate flight situation they were in dead last as they reached Sri Lanka, many hours behind the other teams.
Even though Brendon & Rachel faced a SpeedBump in the Leg, Team "Big Brother" made a successful travel gamble and pulled even with the other teams. Margie & Luke never got close enough to even see another team at a challenge, much less stick around.
That actually made for a relaxed Leg for the mother/son team, who were in their third tour of "Amazing Race" duty. They needed it after a rough last Leg in Kuala Lumpur, where a bartending Detour frustrating Luke, who couldn't attempt the alternative DJing Detour because he's deaf.
In this week's exit interview, Luke & Margie talk about the travel announces leaving Kuala Lumpur, problems that basically caused their elimination. They also discuss the bartending Detour and its frustrations. Finally, they talk about how they've changed as a partnership in their three Races.
[Logistical Note: I conducted my normal phone exit interview with just Margie at the beginning of the week. After that conversation, I emailed a series of questions to Luke and he responded via email. I've stitched the two conversations together, Oral History-style. I think it makes sense!]
Click through for the full Q&A...
There have only been five new installments of “Saturday Night Live” this calendar year, so you’ll be forgiven if the pace of the season as a whole has seemed somewhat off. Throw in the fact that Seth Meyers left between one of the two lengthy breaks in the past three months, and you have a downright disjointed season. But starting tonight, “SNL” airs three new episodes in a row. Anna Kendrick and Seth Rogan will have their respective chances to shine in upcoming weeks, but tonight, it’s time for Louis C.K. to host for a second time. His first hosting gig back in the Fall of 2012 was a mixed bag, but did offer up some classic stuff (including the digital short “Lincoln” and the first installment of “Last Call,” a now-recurring sketch that tends to close out episodes) as well as fascinating disasters (“Mountain Call” is still cringe-worthy even now).
Sir Anthony Hopkins is one of those people I look forward to speaking with at any press day where he appears because I know that whatever he gives you, it's not a rote answer he's given a thousand times, and that's something I value at this point.
I understand why actors fall into that, and there are certainly people who are very good at it, who can make it feel fresh each time, but it doesn't change the basic mechanism, which is that junkets turn you into a hamster on a treadmill, and it's very hard for someone to keep their focus for a full day of that, no matter who they are.
Hopkins, though, simply doesn't play the game. I get the sense that if you walk into the room with something you actually want to discuss, he's game. Talking to him about how he approached the role of Methuselah for Darren Aronofsky's "Noah" was interesting because of how clearly the character is drawn from a shamanic tradition.
Last week, I covered the PaleyFest red carpet for Showtime's "Masters of Sex" and talked to all of the assembled parties about the period drama's second season, which premieres on July 13 and has just resumed production.
By now, hopefully you've watched my interview with Lizzy Caplan and if you haven't, it's worth checking out just for her impression of her Israeli uncle watching her sex scenes.
But now it's time to start working through the other interviews.
Above, Michael Sheen discusses William Masters' confession of "need" from the first season finale and what it means for that character in terms of evolution or progress.
Below, creator Michelle Ashford teases a number of details about the second season, including its mid-year time jump and the show's growing ensemble cast.
Stay tuned in the next couple days for my interviews with Teddy Sears, Caitlin Fitzgerald and the awesome Annaleigh Ashford.
Blame it on the witches. "American Horror Story: Coven" cast a spell on viewers, and nowhere was this more evident than at PaleyFest. While the show has always been a reliable hit at the event, this year the fan reaction seemed, well, more ardent than usual. Young fans asked the cast for hugs. One asked for a job. Evan Peters got a hand-knotted panda bear cap, while Sarah Paulson got letters, a T-shirt, and was asked on a date by one young female admirer. There was screaming. A lot of screaming. As one woman sitting behind me grumbled, "This isn't a One Direction concert." Despite the similarities, the audience still managed to learn a lot -- even (gasp) details about the top-secret coming season, "Freak Show." Here are twelve factoids worth mentioning.