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<p>The &quot;MasterChef&quot; judges</p>

The "MasterChef" judges

Credit: FOX

TV Ratings: '24,' 'Bachelorette' lead a slow Memorial Day Monday split

'MasterChef' is down from last summer's premiere

Fast National ratings for Monday, May 26, 2014.

FOX's "24: Live Another Day" and the premiere of "MasterChef" were down from last week and last summer respectively, but still helped FOX lead Monday night among young viewers, while ABC's "The Bachelorette" helped that network win overall despite its own week-to-week drops.

Want to know what was up from last week on Memorial Day? CBS' "Friends with Better Lives" was up, at least overall, though it was down in the key demo, as was NBC's return for "American Ninja Warrior."

There were lots of ugly numbers on Monday. Let's get to them...

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President Obama to make his debut on 'Live with Kelly and Michael'

President Obama to make his debut on “Live with Kelly and Michael"
The president won’t actually visit the ABC morning show. Instead, Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan will visit him in the White House Blue Room.


“Mad Men” creator defends, explains the midseason finale: "I never thought it would happen, actually”
"I don't want to do it all the time," says Matthew Weiner says of using dream sequences and hallucinations, "but it is the language of the show. It's as old as the flashback." PLUS: The series finale is “set in stone."


“True Detective” Season 2 will be set in California with 3 leads
“Right now, we're working with three leads,” says creator Nic Pizzolatto. "It takes place in California. Not Los Angeles, but some of the much lesser-known venues of California and we're going to try to capture a certain psychosphere ambience of the place, much like we did in season one.”


Whitney Houston’s family may sue over Lifetime’s biopic
The Houston family wants to make its own movie, and reportedly feels Whitney is too big for a TV movie.


Seth Rogen and Snoop Dogg recap “Game of Thrones” while stoned
Watch them smoke out while recapping the HBO series.


David Schwimmer helps NYPD officers solve a stabbing case
The “Friends” star’s surveillance video captured the aftermath of a three-person brawl.

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<p>Robert Morse in &quot;Mad Men.&quot;</p>

Robert Morse in "Mad Men."

Credit: AMC

'Mad Men' creator Matthew Weiner on singing, dancing and writing the series finale

How he wanted this half-season to feel like 'all of something'

On "Mad Men," we've seen Don and Peggy and company work on plenty of weekends and holidays. On Memorial Day of 2014, it was "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner's turn to spend the holiday getting things done, as he was supposed to finish the script for the series by the end of the day. He took a quick break to talk to me about the seven episodes of season 7 — including Sunday's eventful, musical mid-season finale — and about what it feels like to be so close to the finish line. That's coming up just as soon as an old man starts talking about Napoleon...

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

"Survivor: Cagayan" winner Tony

Credit: CBS

Interview: Tony Vlachos talks 'Survivor: Cagayan'

The season's winner on Trish, Idol-finding and Russell Hantz

The most memorable player in any give "Survivor" season is more a function of editing than of outwitting, outplaying and outlasting, so it stands to reason that there's absolutely no reason why the Sole Survivor should also be the Most Memorable Survivor.

When it comes to "Survivor: Cagayan," however, there will be no doubt: It was the season of Tony Vlachos.

The Jersey Cop build alliances, tore alliances apart, schemed, conspired, swore on loved ones, swore on his badge, found Idols, used Idols and bluffed with Idols. He also wasn't quiet about his domination of the game. Tony wore a target on his chest for 39 days and other players either chose to work with him, chose to vote other people out first or actively, in the case of Woo, carried Tony with him.

Woo's decision to bring Tony rather than Kass with him to Final Tribal will be debated as long as people debate "Survivor," but for a while it looked like a good move. The Jury was angry at Tony and one castaway after another stood up and criticized him and the spat vitriol at him. The Final Tribal concluded with 4th place finisher Spencer making a long, passionate speech in Tony's favor, but right up until the reading of the votes, it looked like it might be close.

It was not close.

Tony beat Woo 8-1, with only Tasha favoring Woo. 

I had a ton of questions for Tony, but a couple really long answers left me unable to ask a few good ones. Oh well. Tony's answers are thoughtful and, for the most part, do a good job of restating his convincing case as the season's dominant player and character.

Check out the full Q&A...

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"The Real Housewives of Orange County"

"The Real Housewives of Orange County"

Credit: NBC

'Real Housewives of Orange County': Who ruined the hoedown?

It's hard to choose just one woman to blame for the mess

So Heather did put together a pretty fabulous shindig to show off how much money she has. It all went pear shaped pretty quickly and ended in tears and contusions, but on the bright side everyone got onion rings out of it. For an event on "The Real Housewives of Orange County," that's not bad. 

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Review: 'Louie' - 'Elevator Part 4 & 5'

Review: 'Louie' - 'Elevator Part 4 & 5'

Louie and Janet seek professional help, while Louie tries to advance things with Amia

A review of tonight's two "Louie" episodes coming up just as soon as I don't drink lemonade for two years...

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"The Bachelorette"

"The Bachelorette"

Credit: ABC

'The Bachelorette': It's all downhill after the strip show

One bachelor ruins his chances with a boneheaded decision

As we all know, "The Bachelorette" contestant Eric Hill passed away earlier this year, and it definitely casts a pall over the show that no amount of creative editing can take away. I had hoped that perhaps Andi wouldn't find him attractive on that first night so that we (and she) wouldn't get too attached. Too often the only way to get off this show with your dignity somewhat intact is to either win the whole thing or go home that first night. Along the way there's just too much opportunity to get into a fight with an idiot bunkmate, say the wrong thing to the Bachelorette, or get blotto drunk (they really push the booze on these shows). But not only did he make the cut, he clearly made an impression. 

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<p>Yvonne Strahovski in &quot;24: Live Another Day.&quot;</p>

Yvonne Strahovski in "24: Live Another Day."

Credit: FOX

Review: '24: Live Another Day' - '3:00 PM - 4:00 PM'

The good guys finally get on the same page, but is it too late to matter?

A review of tonight's "24: Live Another Day" coming up just as soon as I tell you how to open a socket...

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Funeral Plans for 2013-2014's Network TV New Series Casualties

Funeral Plans for 2013-2014's Network TV New Series Casualties

Saying farewell to 'Dads,' 'Mixology,' 'Trophy Wife' & more

The TV business is built on the idea that most shows will fail, but when you get to the end of a given broadcast network TV season (the latest one ended last Wednesday), it can still be startling to realize just how wasteful it can be. A year ago, the five broadcast networks ordered around 50 new shows. Of those, a dozen were renewed for next season, nearly three times as many were canceled, two will never air and the rest were pushed into this summer, some as part of genuine pushes for year-round programming (FOX's "Gang Related"), some just being dumped where they can cause the least damage (CBS' "Reckless"). There were two different failed shows about prolonged hostage crises in and around Washington D.C. starring one half of Derbel McDillett; both failed.. There were returns to television for the likes of Robin Williams and Michael J. Fox; ditto. There were lazy and obnoxious FOX comedies that failed ("Dads") as well as funny and heart-warming FOX comedies that failed ("Enlisted" and "Surviving Jack"). It's a brutal business.

How many of the shows ordered at this year's upfronts will still be standing when next May swings around? It's going to be ugly, I imagine. But before we push into the summer season, and then start dealing with the fall newbies, it's time for what's become our annual HitFix tradition: making funeral plans for all the new network shows that were born and died at some point in the 2013-14 TV season. Bow your heads, and let's begin.

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<p>FOX&#39;s &quot;Gotham&quot;</p>

FOX's "Gotham"

DVR Gridlock 2014-15: Monday Nights

'Gotham' and the maybe-or-maybe-not triumphant return of Katherine Heigl mix things up

[As is my recent tradition, over the next six days, I'm going to be glancing, night-by-night, at how the primetime schedules have changed after the network announcements at upfronts. I'll be looking at how the various changes will impact the ratings races on each night, as well as my own DVRing habits. Readers can chime in on how their own DVRs will be impacted. And yes, this brief series assumes that anybody still watches TV on their TVs. I'm old-fashioned. It also assumes that you/I only have a dual tuner DVR (plus occasional access to a Slingbox on ET. Check out last year's DVR Gridlock installments and the DVR Gridlock segments for 2012.]


MONDAY NIGHTS

8:00 p.m.
ABC: "Dancing with the Stars"
CBS: "The Big Bang Theory" and "2 Broke Girls," "Mom"
The CW: "The Originals"
FOX: "Gotham"
NBC: "The Voice"

9:00 p.m.
ABC: "Dancing with the Stars"
CBS: "Scorpion"
The CW: "Jane the Virgin"
FOX: "Sleepy Hollow"
NBC: "The Voice"

10:00 p.m.
ABC: "Castle"
CBS: "NCIS: Los Angeles"
NBC: "The Blacklist"/"State of Affairs"

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'Maleficent' star Elle Fanning shares the secrets of sleep-acting

'Maleficent' star Elle Fanning shares the secrets of sleep-acting

Why was Aurora from 'Sleeping Beauty' her Disney favorite

Elle Fanning's appreciation for Aurora, the heroine of Disney's "Sleeping Beauty," began in childhood and, at least initially, was based on the superficial similarity.

"Sleeping Beauty was always my favorite princess," Fanning told me last week, explaining that the shared long, blonde hair created immediate kingship.

Now, the 16-year-old Fanning is getting closer-than-ever with Aurora, playing the impressionable young princess opposite Angelina Jolie's title character in Disney's "Maleficent."

"Maleficent" gets to the root of the wicked (or just misunderstood?) sorceress' animus toward Aurora, while delivering many of the moments that "Sleeping Beauty" fans will expect.

"There would be some days where literally I'd get into my costume and I'd sleep all day," Fanning laughs.

In our conversation, Fanning shares the secrets of sleep-acting, but also the key to expressing wonderment at magical worlds that are represented only by tennis balls or strings of light on-set. 

Check out the full interview above.

"Maleficent" opens on Friday, May 30. 

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<p>James McAvoy in &quot;Filth&quot;</p>

James McAvoy in "Filth"

Credit: Magnolia Pictures

James McAvoy talks about going to dark places in 'Filth'

The 'X-Men' star has another movie hitting theaters this summer and it features his best performance

I imagine that, like many moviegoers this summer, you might be excited to see Bryan Singer's "X-Men: Days of Future Past." And you should be. It's a pretty great installment of a franchise that has seen its ups and downs, and at its center, actors Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy make for a brilliant combination. But, uh — pssst! — McAvoy has another movie coming out this summer, and it features his most electrifying, committed and passionate work as an actor to date.

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