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"The Real Housewives of New Jersey"

"The Real Housewives of New Jersey"

Credit: Bravo

'Real Housewives of New Jersey' recap: Reunion Pt. 1

Things go from nice to weird in the lengthy special

Initially, the first part of the super sized "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" reunion is so placid, so even-tempered and loving, it's creepy. I'm almost wondering if Teresa and her husband have decided to deal with the 39 counts of fraud, theft, and crimes against the English language (tonight, we get a new word to send my spell check into a tizzy: "meanful") by taking fistfuls of Xanax or showing up to the reunion drunk. Hey, most people watch it that way, right?

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<p>Leo of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

Leo of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'Zip It, Bingo'

Things get salty for the teams in Chile
Whew.
 
My Non-Elimination Radar is probably only 75 percent accurate, though it gets much, much better as the season progresses and an NEL becomes a statistical inevitability. 
 
I had a radar misfire last night, but I was extremely relieved that it was a mechanical error and not an accurate reading, because if Sunday's (October 6) installment of "The Amazing Race" had been a Non-Elimination Leg, you'd have gotten an angry, frustrated recap tonight. 
 
Instead? I'll say that for an episode that began with an Equalizer and included a Detour in which neither task ended up being especially difficult, this was a pretty fun "Amazing Race" installment, albeit mostly if you happen to be a fan of boneheaded gameplay. Because if you like people doing inexplicably stupid things, ballsy-but-stupid things and just confusingly stupid things this could be your favorite group of "Amazing Race" contestants since whichever season featured the lovable Cowboys constantly going the wrong direction.
 
More after the break... 
 
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<p>Michael Sheen and Annaleigh Ashford in &quot;Masters of Sex.&quot;</p>

Michael Sheen and Annaleigh Ashford in "Masters of Sex."

Credit: Showtime

Review: 'Masters of Sex' - 'Race to Space'

The study hits a setback, while Masters' request weighs on Johnson

A quick review of tonight's "Masters of Sex" coming up just as soon as I put on a suit of armor to attack a plate of whipped cream...

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<p>Carrie (Claire Danes)&nbsp;runs afoul of the law on &quot;Homeland.&quot;</p>

Carrie (Claire Danes) runs afoul of the law on "Homeland."

Credit: Showtime

Review: 'Homeland' - 'Uh... Oh... Ah...'

Carrie and Dana both go back to the hospital, but for different reasons

A quick review of tonight's "Homeland" coming up just as soon as I want it to be us and appliances...

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<p>Michael Shannon in &quot;Boardwalk Empire.&quot;</p>

Michael Shannon in "Boardwalk Empire."

Credit: HBO

Review: 'Boardwalk Empire' - 'Erlkonig'

Van Alden stares down a riot, Eddie gets interrogated and Gillian's habit takes a turn for the worse

A quick review of tonight's "Boardwalk Empire" coming up just as soon as I require protection against Apaches...

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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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