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"Once Upon A Time"

"Once Upon A Time"

Credit: ABC

'Once Upon A Time' recap: Is Emma a 'Lost Girl'?

The enemy is within this week

I'm hoping that after this week, we get out of our main characters' heads and dig into some actual action. While these first two episodes have taken us to Neverland, introduced Peter Pan and opened the door to some dark and unexpected plot twists, not much is happening with all the navel gazing. But, if this is what it takes to lay the groundwork for what I hope will be (and expect can be) an exceptional season, so be it.

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"Witches of East End"

"Witches of East End"

Credit: Lifetime

Review: Is Lifetime's 'Witches of East End' silly girl stuff?

Is this a witchy romcom or worthy of the talent involved?

I get it, Lifetime. Clearly, the network directive is to go less chick-centric. You cancel "Army Wives" (and try to bump off "Drop Dead Diva" until fan protest forced you to reconsider) and  hop on the supernatural train everyone else is riding. That's fine. It's a shame, though, that you decided to rip a page from The CW in adapting "Witches of East End." So far, this show mostly serves to make me marvel at the fact Madchen Amick still looks this amazingly good naked at age 42, and sigh deeply that Julia Ormond and Virginia Madsen can't get better gigs.

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<p>Hoskote and Naina of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

Hoskote and Naina of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Naina & Hoskote talk 'The Amazing Race'

The season's first eliminated pair discusses their lone Leg
As they briefly indicated during their lone Leg, father-daughter Hoskote and Naina Venkatesh went on "The Amazing Race" in large part because Naina wanted to prove herself to her traditional, India-born father. 
When I met with Naina and Hoskote before they departed, she proudly told me that he had agreed that in any point-of-contention on the Race, she would get to be the final arbiter, a prospect that she found unique and exciting for their relationship. 
She was skeptical, of course, that he would be able to set aside his usual role as patriarch to be flexible, but she was also hopeful.
Unfortunately, Naina and Hoskote were eliminated after only one Leg and without getting to make any crucial decisions at all. They got on a later flight to Chile that put their pack of four teams behind the lead group of seven and then a problematic cab ride put them behind the other three teams and that was that.
In their exit interview, Naina and Hoskote lament having an elimination so out of their control and try to emphasize that what looked like a clue-reading gaffe in the episode's second Roadblock wasn't a gaffe at all. Naina also expresses her disappointment at not getting to prove herself to her father. 
The full Q&A is after the break...
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<p>Miley Cyrus</p>

Miley Cyrus

Credit: AP Photo

Miley Cyrus, Drake and Lorde top this week's Music Power Rankings

You already know why Sinead O'Connor makes the list

1. Drake: “Nothing Was The Same” sells 658,000 in its first week, the second-highest opening week tally of the year. Plus, Drake lands a staggering 12 cuts on the Billboard Hot 100. Who’s the biggest star, Kanye?

2. Badfinger: “Breaking Bad” exposes a whole new generation to “Baby Blue” and to the band, as the song’s sales soar 3,000% on iTunes. Will “Baby Blue” becomes the new “Don’t Stop Believing?”

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Miley Cyrus and Taran Killam get ready for 'Saturday Night Live'.

Miley Cyrus and Taran Killam get ready for 'Saturday Night Live'.

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'Saturday Night Live' - Miley Cyrus

The pop sensation/lightning rod returns to host the show.

Miley Cyrus is the host and musical guest for tonight’s episode of “Saturday Night Live”. And I’m here with a bold prediction: This will be terrible…unless it’s incredible…unless it’s pretty much as tepid as most episodes. Of this, we can be sure! 

Look, it’s fun to talk about Cyrus’ new public persona, and her choice of outfits and/or dance moves, but all that is as unimportant as what any other star brings to the table. When she hosted two years ago, she did just fine: She was game for all sorts of sketches, excelled in a few, and was let down by the writing in others. Sound familiar? It should, since that describes 90% of the hosts that the show gets. That Cyrus is arriving at a point in which there’s never been more ink (virtual and real) spilled about her mental state works in the favor of “Saturday Night Live” as a driver of headlines. But it’s not inconceivable that she’ll be a perfectly fine host who may lick a sledgehammer when it’s time to sing but play by the company rules when the comedy light is on.
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<p>Ben Stiller is the star, director, and primary creative voice on the new film version of James Thurber's 'The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty'</p>

Ben Stiller is the star, director, and primary creative voice on the new film version of James Thurber's 'The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty'

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Review: Ben Stiller offers up a mild 'Secret Life of Walter Mitty'

Is this really what a quarter-century of active development leads to?

It seems particularly fitting that there is a "Benjamin Button" joke in Ben Stiller's film version of James Thurber's "The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty," since "Mitty" is the only film I can think of that's been in active development longer than "Button," at least since I moved to Los Angeles in 1990. Both were based on short stories, both offered intriguing challenges to a long line of filmmakers, and both seem to have gone through all sorts of various versions before finally ending up in front of the camera.

The greatest challenge facing any writer trying to turn Thurber's three page story into a feature film is that there's no real plot to it, and Steve Conrad's final on-screen credit is screenplay by and screen story by, which seems fair. What Conrad carried over from the story is Walter Mitty's tendency to get lost in fantasy as he views the world around him, and his deeply-seated desire to live a life of adventure, but he's had to create everything else. In the film, Mitty works in the negative department of "Life" magazine, and he has a particularly close relationship with photojournalist Sean O'Connell (Sean Penn), and in the midst of getting the news that the magazine is closing down, Mitty is informed that a particular photo of O'Connell's is going to be the magazine's final cover. Unfortunately, that single image appears to have never been sent to the magazine, and Walter has to figure out how to track down this globe-trotting figure of mystery to retrieve the negative in an effort to keep himself from being fired by the guy who was brought in to handle the transition, played by Adam Scott.

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<p>They did laundry! Why weren't ratings better for &quot;The Vampire Diaries&quot;? Dunno.</p>

They did laundry! Why weren't ratings better for "The Vampire Diaries"? Dunno.

Credit: The CW

Ratings analysis catch-up: 'Super Fun Night,' 'Vampire Diaries' and more

Plus thoughts on NBC and CBS comedies, 'Glee,' 'Ironside' and more
Ratings analysis catch-up: 'Super Fun Night,' 'Vampire Diaries' and more
I meant to do ratings analysis on Thursday afternoon, but things got busy. Then I meant to do ratings analysis on Friday afternoon, but news kept breaking left and right. 
However, since I got started on analysis for both days, I might as well flesh things out and do a three-day look at the Final numbers. 
In this jumbled installment, I compare "Super Fun Night" to its post-"Modern Family" predecessors, I reflect on Thursday comedy challenges for NBC and CBS, plus I speculate on what "Glee" could draw for next week's Cory Monteith tribute.
Click through for all the bulletpoints...
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<p>Sandra Bullock and George Clooney in Alfonso Cuaron's &quot;Gravity.&quot;</p>

Sandra Bullock and George Clooney in Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity."

Credit: Warner Bros.

3 on 3: Can 'Gravity' win Best Picture?

And what should Sandra Bullock do next?

After three film festivals and weeks of buzz, Alfonso Cuarón's "Gravity" has finally arrived in theaters in the U.S. The film has been an awards season player for some time, but the universal acclaim has likely surprised even Warner Bros., who produced and is distributing the film.

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<p>Friday's &quot;Last Man Standing&quot;</p>

Friday's "Last Man Standing"

Credit: ABC

TV Ratings: Rising 'Last Man Standing,' 'Hawaii Five-0' lead Friday status quo

'Shark Tank' tops the key demo for the night
Fast National ratings for Friday, October 4, 2013.
The Friday ratings race is back to where it was for most of the spring: "Shark Tank" was the night's top show in the key demographic and led ABC to a slim victory among young viewers, while "Blue Bloods" was easily the night's top show in total viewers and led CBS to a dominant victory overall.
Overall, CBS was mostly consistent, with "Hawaii Five-0" posting small gains and the other two dramas dropping a little. Both "Undercover Boss" and, particularly, "Blue Bloods" also dropped among young viewers, though "Hawaii Five-0" was steady. 
For ABC, although "Shark Tank" was down week-to-week, "Last Man Standing" posted small gains both overall and the demo, but didn't help the still-sluggish "Neighbors."
Also joining the "small declines" group was FOX's "MasterChef Junior."
On to the numbers...
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Fall's biggest new shows have 1 thing in common: An even bigger show airing right before it

Fall's biggest new shows have 1 thing in common: An even bigger show airing right before it

Does this mean that timeslots are more important than buzz?

"The Americans" will have more subtitled Russian-speaking scenes next season

Turns out fans of the FX series enjoy reading the subtitles. "Hey, maybe next season we should do a whole episode in Russian," jokes creator Joe Weisberg.

"The Millers" creator: "We're not the farting show that some have made us out to be"

"I'd like to say it's not starting to bother me," says Greg Garcia, "but it's starting to annoy the hell out of me. There's a minute of farting — not even farting — fart jokes in the pilot. It's a minute of a 21-minute pilot... and then it becomes every headline."

Why "Mad Men" won't explode in ratings in its final episodes like "Breaking Bad" did
The stakes just aren't high enough in the "Mad Men" world.

Amber Tamblyn is network TV's 1st lesbian womanizer

Can "Two and a Half Men" change the perception of lesbians?

Adam Scott: I don't want to see a "Party Down" movie

"I don’t know if it's a great idea to make movies from television shows, personally," he says, adding: "Has there ever been a good one?"

Guillermo del Toro explains his "Simpsons" opening
"I really wanted to land the connections between the (show's) set pieces and the titles and some of the most iconic horror movies, and intersperse them with some of my stuff in there for pure joy," he says. PLUS: Here are all the references in the "Treehouse of Horror" opening.

"Breaking Bad" finale had so many different, contradictory reactions

As Matt Zoller Seitz, "It's amazing that any episode of TV could feel so rock-solid yet be so fluid in its possible meanings. It’s happy. It’s sad. It’s neat. It’s messy. Walt won. Walt lost. Walt won and yet he lost." PLUS: Debunking the "Dream" theory with Vince Gilligan's own words, "Felina" was just not emotionally satisfying, and how will we remember Skyler White?

Phil Robertson accuses "Duck Dynasty" editors of faking profanity
There is no cursing under the beeps, he says.

Why was "Beverly Hills Cop" rejected?
Executive producer Shawn Ryan has a theory: "Our show was about a very modern, wisecracking 25-year-old black kid who kind of sticks it to the rich man in Beverly Hills. And ultimately, the people who decided our fate were more like the people getting taken down than they were like the main character ... And so I think sincerely, it wasn’t the show for them."

Louis CK: Some "Louie" Season 4 stories are "gonna piss you off"

The comedian also says "I have a stomach ache about" one particular storyline.

Take a look at HBO's gay-themed "Looking"

The show's director of photography has posted a series of pics on Instagram showing the pilot's progress.

Olivia Pope's hair evolution

What is the significance of her "Scandal" Season 3 hairstyle? PLUS: What it's like being a "Scandal" extra.

How the worst new shows could quickly fix themselves
Is there any saving "Dads"?

Why "NCIS" didn't kill off Ziva

"I thought that Ziva deserved better than that," says exec producer Gary Glassberg.

Roseanne accuses Ashton Kutcher and Chuck Lorre of joke-stealing
"I wish I'd NEVER hired Chuck Lorre," she ranted on Twitter.

Larenz Tate will butt heads with "Mindy"

He'll guest as a politician on "The Mindy Project."

"Gil Thorp" comic strip hopes to benefit from a "Modern Family" spinoff

"Gil Thorp" has been around since 1958, while Gil Thorpe on "Modern Family" is only a few years old. But the show says the two names are a complete coincidence.

How has "Hell on Wheels" thrived on Saturday night?

The AMC series and its 3rd season having found success in TV's graveyard.

Retta from "Parks and Rec" to guest on "Sons of Anarchy's" talk show

"Anarchy Afterward's" 2nd episode will also feature Theo Rossi and Tommy Flanagan.

Lifetime's "House of Versace" avoids being a trainwreck

The Gina Gershon film rises/lowers itself to the occasion.

Tom Hanks toasts at his "Bosom Buddy's" wedding

"Girls" actor Peter Scolari got married this week.

"Witches of East End" is welcome relief from all the other TV witches

The Lifetime drama starring Julia Ormond and Jenna Dewan Tatum has a refreshing comic sensibility.

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<p>Rachel of &quot;Survivor: Blood vs. Water&quot;</p>

Rachel of "Survivor: Blood vs. Water"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Rachel Foulger talks 'Survivor: Blood vs. Water'

Tyson's loved one discusses her quick departure from the game
In this "Survivor: Blood Vs. Water" season in which half of the contestants are returning castaways and half are their newbie loved ones, Rachel Foulger was the first newbie sent home. 
With the return of Redemption Island, that meant that Rachel spent very little time actually with her tribe and got very little camera time, especially on a male-dominated group. 
Still, because we know Rachel's wisecracking boyfriend Tyson from two previous "Survivor" stints, it was easy to like Rachel because of how emotional her departure made Tyson. After Rachel lost a domino-driven Redemption Island Duel on Wednesday's (October 2) episode, the worked up Tyson only had one question as he hugged her good-bye. "Did you have fun while you were here?" She insisted she did.
In our exit interview, the graphic designer/cocktail waitress discusses the decision not to ask Tyson to switch places with her for the Duel, the impact of Colton Cumbie quitting the game seconds before the Duel and Brad's dominance over her Tadhana tribe.
Click through for the full conversation...
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Justin Timberlake sees the top of Billboard 200 with 'The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2'

Justin Timberlake sees the top of Billboard 200 with 'The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2'

How do the numbers compare to 'The 20/20 Experience 1 of 2?'

Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2” handily bows at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 next week, but with much less fanfare than the first edition. In March,  “The 20/20 Experience”  bowed with sales of more than 950,000 units, the highest opening-week tally for 2013. Part two will have a very nice launch of up to 370,000.

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