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<p>Ty Burrell takes Sydney</p>

Ty Burrell takes Sydney

TV Ratings: 'Survivor' and 'Modern Family' lead, but FOX still tops Wednesday

'American Idol' is up week-to-week in all measures for FOX

Fast National ratings for Wednesday, April 23, 2014.

"Survivor" was Wednesday night's top show overall, while "Modern Family" was the best among young viewers, but with "American Idol" posting week-to-week gains, FOX won the night in all measures.

With CBS and NBC mostly in repeats, the night was short on notables. "Suburgatory" retained most of its "Middle" lead-in, as "Mixology" squandered more than half of its "Modern Family" lead-in, but that's pretty much business as usual. And over on The CW, both "Arrow" and "The 100" were steady in the key demo, but down a hair overall.

On to the numbers...

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<p>Vanessa Redgrave and Kelly Reilly in &quot;Black Box.&quot;</p>

Vanessa Redgrave and Kelly Reilly in "Black Box."

Credit: ABC

Review: ABC goes to silly extremes with bipolar medical drama 'Black Box'

Kelly Reilly and a talented cast are wasted in a bad mash-up of 'House' and 'Homeland'

If there's been one glaring flaw in this new golden age of TV drama, it's that so much of it has focused on stories of damaged male anti-heroes, without offering us enough equally complicated female protagonists to balance them out. There have been some breakthroughs here and there — the amazing ensemble of Netflix's "Orange Is the New Black" by itself does a lot to balance the numbers out — some shows that stuck around only briefly like "Enlightened," and some shows that seemed headed for the pantheon before falling short like "Homeland," but it's an area where TV could definitely stand to improve.

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Stephen Colbert crashes 'The Daily Show': 'It’s become clear to me that I’ve won television'

Stephen Colbert crashes “The Daily Show”: “It’s become clear to me that I’ve won television"
Colbert formally announced his departure to Jon Stewart, saying: “I’m really going to miss me" and that Letterman's job is going to "some fat guy." PLUS: “Cake Boss” bakes a Colbert Bust cake.


MTV is reviving "Buckwild" -- near Sarah Palin's home in Alaska
TMZ reports that the West Virginia reality show, which was canceled after one of its stars died, is currently filming in Wasilla, Alaska.


CBS’ final “Thursday Night Football” game is set for Oct. 23
Will “The Big Bang Theory” reclaim its timeslot in time for Halloween?


Kerry Washington, Seth Meyers, Key & Peele, Benedict Cumberbatch among Time’s 100 Most Influential People
President Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett penned a tribute to the “Scandal” star, while Amy Poehler honored Meyers, her "SNL" pal. Meanwhile, Judd Apatow wrote about how Key and Peele “make me laugh — hard.” Colin Firth paid tribute to Cumberbatch, Richard Linklater had a few words for Matthew McConaughey, and Michael Bloomberg said Charlie Rose's interviews are "substantive, thoughtful and probing." UPDATE: And Shonda Rhimes on "Weeds" and "Orange is the New Black" creator Jenji Kohan, and Naomi Watts on Robin Wright.

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Tom Petty

Interview: Tom Petty is ready to rock with new album, 'Hypnotic Eye'

Why it's been so long between albums

Tom Petty received the Founders Award Wednesday night from performing rights organization ASCAP for the contributions he’s made to songwriting, but when Petty talked with HitFix, he was much more interested in talking about his songs to come rather than the ones in his past, especially the tunes on his forthcoming album, “Hypnotic Eye,” tentatively scheduled for release this summer.

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<p>Scarlett Johansson plays the title role in Luc Besson&#39;s upcoming film &#39;Lucy&#39;</p>

Scarlett Johansson plays the title role in Luc Besson's upcoming film 'Lucy'

Credit: Universal Pictures

Luc Besson on casting Scarlett Johansson as 'Lucy' and his philosophy of action

Plus guess who's going back to large-scale science-fiction

My favorite moment during the Saturday afternoon panel I moderated for Universal's upcoming movie "Lucy" was when an audience member asked director Luc Besson if he'd be interested in directing a Marvel Studios movie about "Black Widow" starring Scarlett Johansson.

"I am afraid of spiders," he answered, and then just looked at me, ready to move on to the next question.

If you've seen the first trailer for the movie, you get the general idea. Besson says he started noodling with the idea a decade ago, the first time he heard someone mention that "we only use 10% of our brains" idea. "I know it is wrong," he said, "but I liked the idea and I just wanted to start there. What happens if we take a character from that 10% to 100%?"

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<p>Tony of &quot;Survivor: Cagayan&quot;</p>

Tony of "Survivor: Cagayan"

Recap: 'Survivor: Cagayan' - 'Sitting in my Spy Shack'

After Tony's betrayal last week, will he ever recover?

Pre-credit sequence. Jefra is still trying to piece together what went down at the last Tribal. This could take a while. She asks Tony for his reasons. "You guys wouldn't understand where I'm coming from," Tony says. This works for Trish, who insists she isn't mad about being totally in the dark. "I still trust Tony and he still trusts me," Trish insists. Spencer knows that Tony is unpredictable and that he may not be useful for long. "The sooner we make a move against Tony, the better," Spencer says.

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<p>Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell in disguise on &quot;The Americans.&quot;</p>

Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell in disguise on "The Americans."

Credit: FX

Review: 'The Americans' - 'Martial Eagle'

Philip struggles in the aftermath of a violent mission

A review of tonight's "The Americans" coming up just as soon as I wake up up to clean the fridge...

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<p>The &quot;American Idol&quot; Top 6</p>

The "American Idol" Top 6

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 13 - Top 6 Performances - Country & Rock Night

The remaining Finalists take on songs from a pair of genres

We're down to six on "American Idol" and the singers are doing double-duty on Wednesday (April 23) night.

Alex, Jena, Caleb, CJ, Jessica and Sam will each sing one song dubbed "Country" and another song deemed "Rock." 

Two quick thoughts:

1) Dexter Roberts picked the wrong week to go home. If ever a theme would have helped ease Dexter along in his "Idol" genre, this would have been it.

2) For all of the Judges' Save thing, this week's theme seems to doom Sam Woolf, doesn't it? I continue to suspect that Jena, Caleb and Alex are in their own voting class. And of the remaining three singers, who can pretty much go home in any order as far as I'm concerned, two of them can be comfortably classed in a country-rock niche and the other one is Sam Woolf. Either we're about to see some impressive theme cheating from Sam, or else he's doomed before he begins.

Or is he?

Click through for the whole recap and just chime in!

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Did Tori Spelling fake a cheating scandal to land her 'True Tori' reality show?

Did Tori Spelling fake a cheating scandal to land her “True Tori” reality show?
As Jezebel notes, "the entire first episode rang so incredibly false that many are now questioning whether there was ever a cheating scandal to begin with, or if this was all a machination by the financially-strapped couple to land a new TV show after their long-running Oxygen series was canceled.” PLUS: “True Tori” debuts to 1.2 million.


“The Big Bang Theory’s” current plan is to end after Season 10
"The mindset is it's going to be the 10 and then we'll see what happens after that,” says showrunner Steve Molaro of the three-season pickup. He adds that Season 7 will end with a cliffhanger. PLUS: Kaley Cuoco really does chop off her hair.


HBO’s Amazon plan will hook millennials who were too young for “The Sopranos” and “The Wire”
As Alex Fitzpatrick, who was 11 when “The Sopranos” premiered, points out, ""They’re going right after me and my friends, millennials aged 18-25, because we’re vaguely aware 'The Sopranos' and 'The Wire' were pretty great shows, but we were way too young to catch ‘em on their first go.” PLUS: Where’s “John  From Cincinnati”?


Lifetime orders "The Sisterhood,” a Catholic Convent reality show
From the producers of “Breaking Amish” comes a reality show that follows five young women as they decide whether to become nuns.


“The Bachelorette” reacts to contestant Eric Hill’s tragic paragliding death
"We're all extremely saddened by this news. We enjoyed our time with Eric on the show,” says Chris Harrison "My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends at this difficult time. He will be missed." PLUS: Hill was Andi Dorfman's 1st one-on-one date.


Why the controversial “Game of Thrones” rape scene was more upsetting than the Red Wedding
This was a moment the show invented on its own, and it was really, really gratuitous and out of character. PLUS: Maybe David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were carelessly trying to ramp up the sex and violence.


Elmo puppeteer cleared in 3 sexual abuse cases
Kevin Clash is still facing legal action by his first accuser.


“SVU” stars will combat domestic violence and sexual assault via a USA "SVU" marathon
The "No More Excuses” marathon will be fronted by Mariska Hargitay and her fellow castmates Ice-T, Danny Pino and Kelli Giddish.


Howard Stern: I don't think Stephen Colbert is making the right decision in moving to CBS
“CBS is lucky to get him,” says the shock jock and 30-year Letterman guest. But he adds: "Why would he want to leave that to just go interview an actress about her latest movie?”


VH1 sets a “Dating Naked” premiere date for this summer
VH1 is promising "no clothing, no jewelry, no phones and no conventions of society. Just you” for the July 17 premiere.


Watch “The Simpsons’” Lego promo
“Kiss my flat, plastic butt,” says Homer.


“The Vampire Diaries” author is using fan fiction to reclaim her book series
L.J. Smith was fired three years ago and replaced with a ghostwriter. Now she’s writing “Vampire Diaries” fan fiction” and uploading them to Amazon.


Why “Fargo” used sign language in Episode 2
“It just seemed Coen-esque to have these very sort of lethal characters who have these completely private exchanges in front of other people,” says exec producer Noah Hawley. PLUS: “Fargo” easter eggs revealed, Keith Carradine on “Fargo” vs. “Deadwood,” and Allison Tolman says, "I did everything I could to not be cast in a show."


“Parks and Rec” boss talks about having multiple pregnancies this season
Leslie Knope’s pregnancy won’t mirror Ann’s — and April will definitely not get pregnant. PLUS: See a clip of “Parks and Rec” in San Francisco.


Introducing the “Game of Thrones” workout
Do 20 crunches every time Tyrion is called “The Imp.” PLUS: A restaurant has created a “Game of Thrones” menu.


“Nashville” has found a way to invigorate the clip show
Tonight’s episode is an “On the Record Music Special.


Mindy Kaling met Chris Messina via her “Office” pal John Krasinski
Krasinski and Messina were in the film “Away We Go.”


Aussie actress talks about going topless for “Modern Family’s” teenage boys
Marissa Wynne bares all in tonight’s Australia episode. PLUS: Sarah Hyland poses as a doll for a photo shoot.


Watch a music video tribute to "Pee-Wee’s Playhouse"
The band tUnE-yArDs has released its own spin on the classic kids’ show.


Andy Samberg returns to NBC Thursday to host an “SNL” special
The two-hour special will be devoted to Samberg’s specialty, digital shorts.


Bryan Cranston: “Breaking Bad’s” bed death scene was really personal for me
At the Tribeca Film Festival, Cranston says he saw his daughter in Krysten Ritter’s eyes.


Toni Morrison geeks out over Omar from “The Wire”
The first person the legendary author wanted to meet at a party was Michael Kenneth Williams.


An “Alpha House” alum is headed to “Royal Pains”
Willa Fitzgerald will recur on the USA series.


Olivia Wilde & Jason Sudeikis welcome a baby boy
"Ladies and gentlemen, Otis Alexander Sudeikis has LEFT the building! (I'm the building),” tweeted the former “House” star.

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Pharrell Williams

Pharrell Williams' 'Happy' makes it a fine nine at the top

Justin Timberlake and Chris Brown enter the top 10

“Happy” remains atop the Billboard Hot 100 for a ninth week, making Pharrell Williams one of only six solo male artists to spend a cumulative half year at No. 1, according to Billboard.

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<p>I hope they bring back a whole bunch of CGArnold for &#39;Terminator Genesis&#39;</p>

I hope they bring back a whole bunch of CGArnold for 'Terminator Genesis'

Credit: Warner Bros

Second episode of 'Ask Drew' digs into 'Terminator Genesis' rumors and more

Plus tips on writing and a new round of 'Movie God'

This week's "Ask Drew" covered some ground, which is exactly how we want to do it. You guys hit the video team with a ton of questions, and every single one got read by someone.

I was worried that after the first episode, this was going to turn into some sort of oddball game of "Truth Or Dare" each time. I should have trusted the awesome video team here, though. They selected the questions, and I saw them for the first time as we began recording the episode.

You gave us some great valuable feedback last time, and we've made some small adjustments to the format and the staging this time. No more sealed envelopes. We let things run a little longer.

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Avril Lavigne
Credit: Epic Records

5 Steps Avril Lavigne needs to take to get her career back on track

Can she rebound from the 'Hello Kitty' fiasco?

Avril Lavigne has been all over the press the past two days for all the wrong reasons. Her tone-deaf video for new single, “Hello Kitty,” is already a leading contender for worst video of the year… so bad that YouTube yanked it (although it is still up on Lavigne’s website; you can watch it here while you chuck cupcakes and roll around in your underwear.

The nearly unlistenable EDM track is meant for Hello Kitty aficionados only (Lavigne, herself, being one), and the video features Lavigne awkwardly lip-syncing through the song backed by robot-like, expressionless Asian women. Didn’t she learn from Gwen Stefani’s Harajuku Girls experience that even if you mean their inclusion as an homage (perhaps in this case, to Lavigne’s massive Asian following), it’s going to backfire?

The truth is that Lavigne has been on a bit of a downward slope even before “Hello Kitty.” She’s a global superstar, having sold more than 35 million albums and having won  eight Juno Awards, but she’s struggled at radio lately. Her last top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 was “Girlfriend” in 2007, which went all the way to No. 1. So far, the highest a single from current album has risen is No. 20 for first single, “Here’s To Never Growing Up.”

Here are five steps she needs to take to get her career back on track:

1. Decide if she wants to make music anymore. On her latest self-titled album, it feels like Lavigne is calling it in from some very remote location. First single, “Here’s To Never Growing Up,” which recalled her brat punk past, wasn’t a good fit for anyone over 21. “Rock n Roll” was better, but it felt empty instead of fun, and it peaked at No. 91. The best track, “Let Me Go,” a lovely ballad with her husband, Chad Kroeger, didn’t get the attention it deserved, and current single, “Hello Kitty,” is a misfire in every way. The album felt like it was made by someone with one foot out the door.

2. Stop being in her own videos: It’s not just the “Hello Kitty” video that is horrific. (And if you want to read a piece that really doesn’t pull any punches about the clip, check this one out). Lavigne has never seemed comfortable in her videos. That’s OK, some artists just aren’t. In fact, most of the time, she looks distinctly unhappy to be there and like she can’t wait for it to be over. The exception seem to be the ballads, such as the video for “Wish You Were Here,” from 2011’s “Goodbye Lullaby” album or the aforementioned “Let Me Go” clip. But some of her other clips are cringeworthy in that her reluctance is palpable.

3. Figure out who she is as an artist and what she wants to say:  When she first burst on the scene in 2002, through songs like “Complicated,” “Sk8ter Boi” and “I’m With You,” we instantly understood who she was: a snot-nosed teenage kid with both attitude and heart. She was a toasty marshmallow: crusty on the outside, but soft on the inside. Over the years, she’s thrown us, veering in different directions and taking long breaks. She needs to find a producer who can take her vision and where she is now — as a married, 29-year old— and capture that instead of leaving her and us dangling and a little confused, like the last few albums have done.

4. Sell herself on the road: Lavigne hits the concert trail this summer with the Backstreet Boys. It seems like an odd pairing to me: the only thing they have in common is that they were having hits at approximately the same time. Regardless, it’s Lavigne’s opportunity to show her fans and BSB’s fans that she still wants to be in the game, that getting before an audience and performing these songs that many of them grew up on is enjoyable to her and that she lives to be on that stage and wants to keep doing it.

5. Find a way to communicate more effectively: Lavigne now has a perception problem. I interviewed her a few months ago and she was lovely and friendly.  I was struck by the difference in my perception of her as a somewhat remote artist versus the warmth she displayed in the interview, especially when she talked about her fans and what they mean to her and how much she loves being on stage. Somehow, the fact that she may actually enjoy what she does has gotten lost. She needs to find a way, either through more interviews, TV appearances, some other method, to get that across.

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