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<p>There may not be many light moments in his new film 'Flight,' but Denzel Washington seems to be all smiles when discussing his work in the film.</p>

There may not be many light moments in his new film 'Flight,' but Denzel Washington seems to be all smiles when discussing his work in the film.

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Denzel Washington discusses hitting rock bottom in 'Flight'

The actor talks about playing a character who is a complete mess

Denzel Washington has been working for so long now that he's sort of an institution, one of those performers who is both movie star and actor.  I think there is a clear distinction between those two things, and there are movie stars who never really push themselves out of their comfort zones, just as there are great actors who don't possess whatever that particular charisma is that makes someone iconic.  Washington is capable of disappearing into a character, but he's also one of those guys who financiers love because he's been such a reliable box-office sensation over the years.

"Flight," the new film by Robert Zemeckis, calls on both sides of Denzel's personality.  It's the story of a guy who is capable of exceptional things who is also a high-functioning alcoholic and drug abuser, and his character is a hard person to like.  Denzel's charisma helps with that, and he manages to show you how this guy is able to coast on charm even as he burns his life down.  If he wasn't such a movie star, I'm not sure you'd have any sympathy for him, but if he wasn't such a good actor, I don't think that slow crumble of addiction would feel as authentic and unapologetic as it does.  It's the sort of work that reminds you just how good someone can be.

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<p>Abbie and Ryan of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

Abbie and Ryan of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'Chill Out, Freak'

It's a hot one in Bangladesh with bamboo drama aplenty
It's true in life as on "The Amazing Race" - No matter how down you are, no matter how bad a day or week or month you're having, you should never quit and never give up, because you never know when your personal struggles and failures will come in a Non-Elimination Leg of Life.
[Most of the days and weeks and months of my life are Non-Elimination Legs, I must admit. But I'm not really competing for a million dollars in life, so eliminating me would just be petty.]
That's just me trying to extrapolate some sort of deep meaning from Sunday's "Amazing Race" episode, because otherwise the lesson is something like, "Just because an option is worded very poorly and complexly doesn't mean that it won't end up being much, much, much easier than the more simply worded option." Brevity of expression does not equate to ease in either life or "The Amazing Race."
More after the break...
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<p>Morena Baccarin in &quot;Homeland.&quot;</p>

Morena Baccarin in "Homeland."

Credit: Showtime

Review: 'Homeland' - 'Q and A'

Carrie and Brody have a long conversation in a series highlight

A review of tonight's "Homeland" coming up just as soon as I specialize in widescreen agony...

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<p>On &quot;Trem&eacute;,&quot;&nbsp;David (Steve Zahn)&nbsp;pays a visit to Fats Domino.</p>

On "Tremé," David (Steve Zahn) pays a visit to Fats Domino.

Credit: HBO

Review: 'Tremé' - 'Careless Love'

Education is on the agenda for Antoine, Janette, Davis and company

A quick review of tonight's "Tremé" — and, in case you missed the news, HBO announced how many episodes there will be in the fourth and final season — coming up just as soon as I misquote Spinal Tap...

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<p>David Morrissey as the Governor on &quot;The Walking Dead.&quot;</p>

David Morrissey as the Governor on "The Walking Dead."

Credit: AMC

Review: 'The Walking Dead' - 'Walk With Me'

Andrea meets David Morrisey as the Governor

A review of tonight's "The Walking Dead" coming up just as soon as we get a show of hands...

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<p>Richard (Jack Huston)&nbsp;and Julia (Wrenn Schmidt)&nbsp;on &quot;Boardwalk Empire.&quot;</p>

Richard (Jack Huston) and Julia (Wrenn Schmidt) on "Boardwalk Empire."

Credit: HBO

Review: 'Boardwalk Empire' - 'Sunday Best'

The show takes a memorable Easter break

A review of tonight's "Boardwalk Empire" coming up just as soon as I play the saw...

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<p>David Morrissey of &quot;The Walking Dead&quot;</p>

David Morrissey of "The Walking Dead"

Credit: AMC

Interview: 'Walking Dead' star David Morrissey discusses The Governor

'State of Play' star joins the cast on Sunday night
[If you know nothing about the character David Morrissey will be playing on AMC's "The Walking Dead" and *want* to know nothing about the character, this interview can be considered very spoiler-y and you probably wanna read it after watching Sunday (October 28) night's episode. The reality, though, is that while the interview goes into some depth on the motivations and psychology of Morrissey's character, it spoils absolutely nothing about what he actually DOES within "The Walking Dead."]
In his acclaimed career, David Morrissey is no stranger to playing characters of a political persuasion, whether it's Stephen Collins from "State of Play" or Gordon Brown in "The Deal."
Morrissey, who probably would prefer you not think of him as the male lead in "Basic Instinct 2," makes his first appearance on Sunday (October 28) on AMC's "The Walking Dead," playing a character named The Governor, but fans of Robert Kirkman's comic series know that The Governor is not a traditional politician, per se. The Governor is the leader of the Woodbury community and... let's just say that there are some potentially unsavory sides to the character, not that we're necessarily going to see that side immediately on the TV show.
I sat down with the "Viva Blackpool" and "Meadowlands" (or "Cape Wrath," if you prefer its superior British title) star three weeks ago to talk about The Governor, who wasn't in either of the first two episodes sent to critics. 
Like so many actors playing ostensible villains, Morrissey clearly doesn't interpret The Governor as being a bad guy, or at least not a one-dimensional adversary. In the interview, Morrissey gives his read on The Governor, including several unlikely inspirations for the character. He also discusses his developing Southern accent and his off-screen friendship with "Walking Dead" star Andrew Lincoln.
As I already warned you above, there are spoilers in this interview, but they're character spoilers more than plot spoilers. You can also check out my interviews with Danai Gurira, producers Gale Anne Hurd & Greg Nicotero, and with producers Robert Kirkman & Glenn Mazzara.
Click through for the full Q&A...
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<p>Taylor Swift</p>

Taylor Swift

Credit: Matt Sayles/AP

Taylor Swift tops this week's Music Power Rankings

Justin Bieber and Justin Timberlake also make the list

1. Taylor Swift: Selling 1 million copies of your album in one week gets you a lot of things, the least of which is No. 1 on Music Power Rankings.

2. Justin Bieber: Biebs’ total YouTube views top 3 billion. If he weren’t Canadian, he would handily win the presidential election.

3. Jason Aldean: The country singer not only lands the No. 1 album in the country, he  sells out Boston’s Fenway Park so quickly a second date is added. Kind of crazy given that most non-country fans have no idea who he is. Like he cares.

4. Lady Gaga: Mama Monster gets 19 species of ferns named after her.  In  response, Lady Gaga decides her fans will now be known as Little Ferns.

5. Adele’s baby: Has he gotten a record deal yet? Can we sign him?

6. Justin Timberlake: He serenaded new wife Jessica Biel with a new song. As long as it wasn’t called “Wedding Bell Blues,” we bet she’s very happy.

7. The Rolling Stones:
They play a club gig for 600 fans in Paris. Within two months, 150,000 people will claim they were there.

8. Arcade Fire: The 2011 Grammy winners for album of the year are back in the studio working on the follow-up to “The Suburbs.” What’s next? “The ExUrbs?”

9. James Brown
: Brian Grazer and Mick Jagger join forces to produce a feature biopic on Brown. They may have to be the hardest working men in show business to actually get this one to the screen.

10. Bruno Mars:
The singer became the latest double threat to both perform and host on “Saturday Night Live,” bringing the show its best rating in months. Imagine if “SNL” had let Lana Del Rey do both...


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"The X Factor"

 "The X Factor"

Credit: Fox

Reality TV Roundup: Host kissing on 'Survivor,' divas return to 'Project Runway' and more

It's been a busy week, so get all your reality news here, now

Welcome to Reality TV Roundup -- a quick look at some of the reality TV-centric stories that have recently popped up across the fine, old Interwebs. Click away, my couch potato friends. But before you do...

SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! One more time: SPOILER ALERT. If you watch any competition shows, the latest elimination for each show is probably revealed in the text below. The hope is that, if you missed this week's program and would rather clear out your DVR than watch the episode, you can get a quick hit here. But don't come crying to me if you find out something you didn't want to know. You've been warned. Also note: lots of non-competition reality info lurks below, too. 

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Credit: Discovery

'Brainwashed' tries to create a real-life 'Manchurian Candidate' assassin

Hypnotist Tom Silver says the show gets into 'scary stuff'

If you've ever seen "The Manchurian Candidate" (either the original or the remake), the premise seems like pure cinema. Under hypnosis, an otherwise upstanding citizen becomes an assassin, killing while in a trance before forgetting the murder ever happened. But is it possible in real life? In "Brainwashed" (Oct. 28, 9:00 p.m. ET on Discovery), researchers decide to find out.

Using Tom Silver, a hypnotist with over 28 years of experience who has put people under on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," "The Doctors," "The Ricki Lake Show," the show put a group of volunteers through a series of increasingly difficult tests to see if any one of them might emerge as a potential killer. And the goal isn't just theory and conjecture -- the show created a scenario in which a hypnotized person would be given a real gun (filled with blanks) and a mark to shoot at close range, fake blood splatter and all.

I spoke to Silver about the show, and while he was unwilling to discuss whether or not the test worked (you'll get no spoilers from me, but you really do need to watch the show), he did talk about implanting memories, using hypnosis for either good or evil and why Taiwan hired him to pull secrets out of imprisoned colonels and generals. 

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<p>Katie Hanson of &quot;Survivor&quot;</p>

Katie Hanson of "Survivor"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Katie Hanson talks 'Survivor: Philippines'

Former Miss Delaware discusses the wisdom of trading rice for sandwiches
It's been a season of momentum swings on "Survivor: Philippines."
For the season's first month, the narrative was all about the decimated Matsing tribe, setting up four consecutive increasingly disheartened exit interviews with Russell Swan and his teammates.
Then, things changed. [It helped that the Matsing tribe was dissolved when it reached two players.]
Suddenly, the Kalabaw tribe has contracted Matsing's bad luck, losing two castaways last week and returning to Tribal Council on Wednesday's episode. After telling Jeff Probst that any vote would probably be a blindside, the Jonathan Penner/Jeff Kent alliance sent Katie Hanson packing.
The 22-year-old former Miss Delaware's departure capped a busy episode. In addition to losing an Immunity Challenge seemingly tailor-made for former baseball star Jeff Kent, Kalabaw also elected to trade its remaining supply of rice to the Tandang tribe in exchange for a picnic reward in a competition neither side seemed destined to win.
In this week's "Survivor" exit interview, Katie discusses the sandwich-for-rice swap, the swift demise of her all-female alliance and whether Jeff Kent's secret-keeping cost her tribe Immunity.
Click through...

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HitFix: On Wednesday night's episode, you seemed relatively blindsided at the Tribal Council. Watching the episode on TV, what did you learn about what was going on at camp than maybe you didn't previously know?
Katie Hanson: It's so funny. I had an inkling it was me by the way I was walking into camp, asked nothing about anything Penner just comes out, "It's Denise!" And it was obviously not Denise. It clearly was not going to be Denise. It was just like, "OK. You just made things really uncomfortable and it's almost obvious that it's me." And when I asked Jeff, "What was that about?" He acted really funny, for Jeff. That was not a normal reaction for Jeff, so it gave me a pretty clear idea that it was me. But it's like, you know, this is my only shot at "Survivor," so I've gotta try to scramble and make some things like... "Hello! It's makes sense. This is our time to get rid of him. What are you guys thinking?" You know?
HitFix: And why do you think that you were unable to make that magic happen?
Katie: I think that they established, which everyone had seen in previous episodes, that they've got this bond, that they've got this Guy Unity going on and I think that the whole idea that Penner has an Idol and that could potentially be useful in saving one of the guys through the Merge. So whether Penner chooses to use it for himself, which I'm sure he'll do, but if not, there's still that possibility that it could save one of the other guys and keep their alliance strong. And here I am. I really don't offer them much, but at the same time, it's like: If you take me through the Merge, I will be loyal to you and I'm not a physical threat, so I'm not going to prevent you from winning Individual Immunity. I am not gonna be your biggest threat here and Penner knows how to play this game and he'll play it well and he will play you. I'm sure that later on they will regret the decision of keeping him.

HitFix: One minute you guys got Denise and there was the possibility of a four-woman majority alliance and then Dana went out and Dawson was voted out and there you were at the bottom of the totem pole. You went from power to the bottom so fast. How did that roller coaster feel from your side?
Katie: Oh my God, it was devastating! First off, I was so close with Dana throughout this whole experience. We just bonded on so many levels and she was definitely a mommy figure and she just took care of pretty much all of us with the fire and the chickens and the meals. Dana just had it going on, but at the same time, Dana exhausted herself. It's just a shame, because I know she was a strong player and she was my No. 1 ally, so to see her go, it was like, "Oh my God! This is not going to be fun anymore living on this Island," because she made fun for me. And then also, I am now sticking out like sore thumb as person to potentially get voted out and with her, it was like that extra little bit of power that the girls' alliance had, so having her leave was definitely a pivotal point in the show and it ultimately ended in me going home, so it kinda stinks.
HitFix: You mentioned "fun" and often when alliances have all of the power, they can make things miserable for the people who are inevitably getting voted out. Was there any unpleasantness in camp life from that shift of power?
Katie: I think that overall, the guys were really great. Like we said last night, everyone got along so well that no matter who you are, you're getting blindsided. They definitely didn't make it uncomfortable, but it was pretty clear. I mean, everyone knew that Penner had the Idol, so that was a given and then it was so clear towards the end of my time there that the guys spent a lot of time with each other, so they must be bonding and you can't really take what Jeff tells you as 100 percent, because he's hanging out with Penner too much. I enjoyed living with these people, but I couldn't be a fool. You have to read between the lines and see what's really going on and I was definitely at the end of the rope here and it kinda stinks.
HitFix: The Mud Ball Reward Challenge ended up with a unique conclusion. You had a unique vantage point from the outside the whole time. Why did it seem to be so hard for anything to actually happen in that challenge?

Katie: I think that the people who were playing in that challenge were pretty evenly matched and it was a stalemate. The ball was going nowhere and everyone equally wanted to win this and at that point, it was just like, "Alright. We're exhausted. We've been out here for over an hour and literally we're getting nowhere." So it's like, "How long do you want to keep sitting and laying in the mud or do you want to discuss some things and get this over with." Yeah, I don't know. I was happy I didn't have to get all muddy and I still got sandwiches, so it worked out for me.

HitFix: Was it really just Skupin out there sitting on Jonathan Penner's head for an hour? Because that's what it looked like on TV.
Katie: No! They were definitely all rolling around. For a short period of time that was the case, but there would be certain slight movements that people got to readjust. I don't know. It was definitely uncomfortable for everyone who was playing in that challenge and I think that I can speak for them in saying that they were all pretty excited when it came to an end, especially Kalabaw, because we got the reward.
HitFix: You said that you're glad you didn't have to get muddy, but there was no part of you that wished you were able to get out there and actually compete in that particular challenge?
Katie: I think that I actually would have done really well in that challenge. The only problem is that I've never actually walked around in mud before and, of course, walking through these challenges, your foot is being consumed by this mud and you can hurt yourself! You can slip the wrong way and twist your ankle. So that's part's scary, but I think that I'm definitely an abled human being and I think that I would have done well in this challenge. But, like I said, if I don't have to get muddy, then that's even better.
HitFix: Is there a different to how that rice-for-Reward swap sounds when you're out there and you've been starving for 12 days, versus how it feels in your head now several months later?
Katie: Oh my God! I was like, "Give them the rice!" Trust me, we were 100 percent saving our rice, so they got a fair share of the deal. They definitely weren't screwed out of the deal. so that's for sure. But yeah, in the moment those sandwiches were great and, "Oh my God, we haven't have food like this in so long!" But in retrospective it's like, "OK, so that was probably dumb, because you don't know when the Merge is coming and it's pretty evident that now you can't catch fish after what Penner came back with and this can get pretty, pretty bad for you." I think a lot of people don't realize when you haven't been eating and your body has pretty much gone into starvation mode and when you finally feed it and gorge the way we did at that Reward, you get back and it literally goes right through you. It's like, "OK. That really did nothing for me, because now it's all gone and now I'm hungry again and now my rice is gone." So for the time being? Oh, it was a great idea! Was it the smartest? No. We totally acted on impulse.
HitFix: It looked as if you guys had a pretty major sugar crash when you got back. How much do you attribute losing the following Immunity Challenge to that crash? Or was it just one of those things where the other team just beat you?
Katie: Even growing up, I've always been afraid of the damn ball, so for me, I knew I was not gonna be good in this challenge. My parents signed me up for t-ball as a kid and I was in the outfield playing with my mitt and not paying attention. Yeah, I've always been terrible with catching, so I knew I wasn't gonna help them at all in that. But know, now, that Jeff is a pro ballplayer, I'm shocked he didn't get 'em every time. Knowing that, I wish we knew that he was a pro ballplayer, because Denise could have tried to throw to him the entire time, instead of trying to throw 'em to Carter. It literally made no sense! But anyway, back to your question... I think that, yeah, not having food... Tandang could energize themselves off of our rice and we were leaving that morning with whatever else was left from the Reward. And, lemme tell you, like I already told you, not much was left. It goes right through you out there. So we were kinda malnourished.
HitFix: I see how knowing Jeff Kent's real identity would have helped on this particular challenge, but if you had known Jeff's identity from the beginning -- longtime professional athlete, fairly well-to-do, etc. etc. -- would it have made a difference in your interactions with him, do you think?
Katie: I don't know. I think that I would have almost, probably, held him on a pedestal. Like, "Oh my God! He's a celebrity! I'm living with a celebrity!" I think it would have been that kind of effect. Also, with Lisa, I had no idea she was a celebrity and she probably also has money. You know? So it's like, OK, well, regardless of peoples' situations, we're all out here trying to play the same game. So yeah, once he gets in front of a Jury, he's almost a good one to have there, because no one's gonna want to give him the million dollars. You kidding me? You? You're loaded? Why do you need more? So he's almost a good one to have in front of a Jury, knowing that he's pro ballplayer. So I don't think that would have been a reason for me to send him home. In fact, it would be a reason for me to keep him there, because he's a pro athlete. He can make you win these challenges effortlessly.
HitFix: The season's other contestant with a pageant background, Angie, felt like that was held against her and it was hard for her to get away from. Did you feel like you had any similar issues? Or did no one know?
Katie: I never told anyone about being Miss Delaware and that kinda thing. I mean, what good could that possibly get you out there? Their assumption is, "What does a pageant girl know about living outdoors? A pageant girl knows how to put on makeup and look beautiful on the stage. What is that going to do for us out here in 'Survivor'? Absolutely nothing." So, for me, there was no rush to tell anybody. If they found out, fine, but why would I tell anyone that? No. Absolutely not.


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<p>&nbsp;Taylor Swift</p>

 Taylor Swift

Credit: Matt Sayles/AP

Taylor Swift slated to beat nearest competitor on Billboard 200 by 1 million copies

Who comes in a distant second on next week's chart?

So there was no doubt that Taylor Swift’s “Red” was going to come in at No. 1 next week, the only lingering question is how much over 1 million copies will it go?

With a few days left until Nielsen SoundScan closes on Sunday, it looks like “Red” could sell up to 1.25 million copies. That’s 1 million copies over its nearest competitor, Kendrick Lamar’s “Good Kid: M.A.A.D. City.”

That title will sell a very healthy 235,000-245,000 copies, which on almost any other week would land him at No. 1.  No so next week. Swift’s feat will make her the first female artist in the 21-year SoundScan era to sell more than 1 million copies of two albums in their opening weeks, according to Billboard.

Three other albums debut in the Top 10: Tony Bennett’s “Viva Duets,” an album of the legend singing his greatest hits with Latin artists, will likely sell  up to 35,000 copies to come in at No. 5.  Rockers Stone Sour’s “House of Gold & Bones -Part 1” will bow at No. 8, while Lady Antebellum’s holiday album, “On This Winter’s Night,” lands at No. 9, selling between 19,000-22,000. While that’s very commendable, fellow country artist Scotty McCreery came in at No.4 this week with his holiday offering, “Christmas With Scotty,” which sold more than 40,000 this week.

Of the returning albums, this week’s No. 1, Jason Aldean’s “Night Train,” likely drops to No. 3, still selling a strong 145,000. Former No. 1, “Babel,” from Mumford & Sons, lands at No. 4 with sales of up to 60,000. Pink’s “The Truth About Love” hangs in there at No. 6, moving up to 30,000 copies. Brandy’s comeback album, “Two Eleven,” drops to No. 7, while Little Big Town’s “Tornado”  will likely be at No. 10. A slight caveat:  Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Scotty McCreery and Adele’s albums are all too close to call right now for positions 9-12.

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