<p>&quot;Mad Men&quot; star Jon Hamm</p>

"Mad Men" star Jon Hamm

Credit: AMC

Interview: 'Mad Men' star Jon Hamm says we'll learn more about Don Draper's past in Season 6

Emmy favorite also talks about directing his second episode
When I sat down with Jon Hamm two weeks ago to chat about Sunday's (April 7) Season 6 premiere of "Mad Men," my first question was about the sense that as the show gets deeper into the '60s, Don Draper's polished image has begun to fray around the edges.
 
At that moment, Hamm seemed a little frayed himself. Yes, he still looked dashing enough to do a magazine photo shoot or walk a red carpet, but he was also clearly fighting off an unpleasant cold. After a day of interviews, his voice was raw and he was bundled up as if it were a January day in Manhattan, rather than a March day in Los Angeles, complete with a scarf that could be described as nothing less than jaunty.
 
Like a trooper, Hamm weathered my 10 minutes of questions, which marked the end of his interview schedule for the day. He had a good answer for my question about Don's fraying and also about the increased emergence of Dark Don in recent seasons. He talked about the process of directing his second episode.
 
And although you won't get any concrete spoilers out of anybody associated with Matt Weiner's Emmy-winning drama, Hamm dropped some hints about aspects of Don's past that may return or be explained this season.
 
Click through for the full Q&A.
 
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<p>Corinne Kaplan of &quot;Survivor: Caramoan&quot;</p>

Corinne Kaplan of "Survivor: Caramoan"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Corinne Kaplan talks 'Survivor: Caramoan'

Wednesday's blindside still stings for the 'Gabon' Favorite
Depending on whether or not you count Brandon Hantz's self-immolation as a formal "Survivor" elimination -- he was voted off, but not at a real Tribal Council -- it had been a long time since a Favorite went home in this second "Fans vs. Favorites" installment. 
 
And if everything had gone according to plan, another fan was going to be sent packing on Wednesday's (April 3) episode. It seemed as if everybody had a tacit agreement that Sherri was going to be departing next, which worked out for several of the myriad secret alliances bubbling up post-Merge.
 
But then Corinne Kaplan told her increasingly insecure buddy Dawn about a not-so-hypothetical hypothetical situation in which she was joining with several of the Fans to turn around after Sherri's elimination and vote Phillip out. Remembering her failures in her own season, Dawn told Cochran about Corinne's plan and soon everybody knew and suddenly Corinne went from seemingly pulling all the strings to being blindsided.
 
Just another week on "Survivor."
 
In this week's exit interview, the always quotable "Survivor: Gabon" veteran discusses the pain of being blindsided, her confusion at Dawn's flip, her frustration at Erik's wishy-washy vote and being frazzled by Phillip's craziness. 
 
Click through for the full Q&A...
 
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<p>&quot;Mad Men&quot; star Vincent Kartheiser</p>

"Mad Men" star Vincent Kartheiser

Credit: AMC

Interview: 'Mad Men' star Vincent Kartheiser discusses a maturing Pete Campbell

Or has Don Draper's former adversary matured at all?
By now, you've probably read Denise Martin's Vulture interview with a wonderfully animated Vincent Kartheiser, in which the "Mad Men" star shared his opinions on Twitter and bill-shredding, while also flicking paper footballs at his interrogator. 
 
I had a different kind of interview with Kartheiser. In our conversation, the "Angel" veteran talks about Pete Campbell's development from Don Draper's dangerous wunderkind adversary to his current incarnation, a differently discontented man with a receding hairline, a double-chin and a growing realization that he's no longer the youngest man in the room. 
 
Kartheiser talked about how his own maturation process hasn't always mirrored Pete's and he discussed a physical transformation that includes shaving back that hairline.
 
Throughout the interview, Kartheiser was tearing pieces of paper into one-inch-wide strips and the ripping sounds are frequently audible on my recording. It was only after hearing my colleague's story that I realized those strips were likely nascent paper footballs. 
 
No projectiles were aimed in my direction. But I think it's an interesting interview anyway...
 
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<p>Kree Harrison from Wednesday night's &quot;American Idol&quot;</p>

Kree Harrison from Wednesday night's "American Idol"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' - Top 7: Results - Plus Carrie Underwood and Casey James

Will Lazaro Arbos go home or will the judges use the Save?

It seems like a good night for a Judges' Save, doesn't it? 

I could be wrong, but I've got a feeling.

Otherwise, it's going to be a full hour just to watch Casey James [Remember him?] and bid farewell to Lazaro Arbos, which would almost be anti-climactic, wouldn't it? 

Click through for the full "Idol" Thursday (April 4) adventure...

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<p>John Slattery of &quot;Mad Men&quot;</p>

John Slattery of "Mad Men"

Credit: AMC

Interview: 'Mad Men' star John Slattery discusses Roger Sterling's long, strange trip

Slattery also discusses his latest directing experiences
In yesterday's first interview of "Mad Men" week, Jessica Pare taught us about the challenges of promoting a show that you're not allowed to preview at all. Of course, she also talked about Megan's gifts as an actress and about the allure of Dark Don. I still like the interview, even if she wouldn't admit she was in Hawaii.
 
But not all of the "Mad Men" interviews I did focused on the future or on things the actors couldn't talk about.
 
A four-time Emmy nominee, John Slattery saw Roger Sterling go through some changes last season, fighting back from the brink of obsolescence with the help of enlightenment gleaned in one of the great LSD trips ever captured on film/video. Where does Season 6 find Roger in his journey? Well, without spoiling specific details, Slattery was able to give some insight into the character's progression.
 
In addition to acting on "Mad Men," Slattery has also become a key part of the show's directing stable, helming the exceptional "Signal 30" last season, as well as "Blowing Smoke" and "The Rejected." Slattery directed two more episodes this season and we talked about his learning curve behind the camera and the unique challenges of achieving the writer-specific "Mad Men" vision. 
 
Click through for the full interview, which manages to be thoughtful and interesting without spoiling anything at all...
 
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<p>The post-Merge &quot;Survivor&quot; flag</p>

The post-Merge "Survivor" flag

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Caramoan' - 'Blindside Time'

After the Merge and an eating challenge, folks try to shake things up
Pre-credit sequence. Anybody remember who we voted out last? Oh right. Julia. Bikal returns to camp and they've probably forgotten who they lost as well. Everybody congratulates Michael as The Last Remaining Bikal Fan. "I made sure I got The Gay," Corinne says, proud of her Tribal Council role. For some reason, Phillip decides to call Dawn and Corinne over to "confess" that he threw the challenge. Corinne is... Let's say... "skeptical." "You could have just told us," Corinne tells Phillip, who insists it was an in-game decision. "That's convenient. That's around the same time you blew the challenge," Corinne tells us. "He's so cuckoo-for-Coco-Puffs. There's no question that Phillip has to go," she adds.
 
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<p>The &quot;American Idol&quot; Top 7</p>

The "American Idol" Top 7

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' - Top 7: Classic Rock Night

Get ready for a padded show with seven solos and three group/duet performances

Wednesday (April 3) night is Classic Rock Night on "American Idol," apparently. Given that our Top 7 has devolved into a talented, but familiar assortment of weekly ballads, we'll see if the Classic Rock theme means a change of pace or a lot of cheating.

One thing that's for sure is that we can expect a lot of padding and we can also expect whoever gets paired with Lazaro Arbos on their group performance to struggle.

Click through for the full adventure....

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<p>Pam and Winnie of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

Pam and Winnie of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Pam & Winnie talk 'The Amazing Race'

Animals, teamwork exercises and toilet talk with the departed duo
Hippos and rhinos and donkeys, oh my.
 
It took a wide assortment of exotic animals to doom Winnie Sung and Pam Chien on Sunday night's "The Amazing Race," but the quotable duo admits without hesitation that they have nobody to blame but themselves.
 
After emerging as one of the season's stronger teams, winning one Leg and picking up a pair of second place finishes, Pam and Winnie struggled with an African Detour on Sunday. First they couldn't find operational donkeys for the "Brawn" side of the Detour. Then, when they switched over to the safari animal-spotting "Brains" Detour, they were unable to spot an ostrich and confused a hippo for a rhino. In a tight Leg, this was enough to do them in.
 
In this week's "Amazing Race" exit interview, the friends discuss their animal difficulties, their teamwork-building exercises and the pressures of racing against other teams.
 
Click through for the full conversation...
 
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<p>Jessica Pare of &quot;Mad Men&quot;</p>

Jessica Pare of "Mad Men"

Credit: AMC

Interview: 'Mad Men' star Jessica Pare tiptoes around Season 6

Is Megan a good actress? Pare weighs in...
Brace yourself: This will be a week of "Mad Men" interviews on HitFix.
 
Two weeks ago, in one jam-packed afternoon, I sat down with Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, John Slattery, Vincent Kartheiser, January Jones and Jessica Pare to talk about "Mad Men" Season 6, which premieres on AMC on Sunday, April 7.
 
Or perhaps I should say that I sat down with the stars to talk *around* Season 6 of "Mad Men," since it's easier to find out the location and business hours of your local neighborhood fight club than it is to get forward-looking plot or thematic details from any member of the cast or creator Matthew Weiner.
 
I'm starting "Mad Men" Week with my conversation with Jessica Pare, since she's the newest to the cast and the least experienced with the art of Weiner Secret Keeping and, for some reason, this was the interview that included the most obfuscation and discussion of obfuscation. 
 
In the interview, Pare discusses Megan's acting ability, her ability to lost past Don's darkness and Pare's own desire not to pre-learn plotpoints. And we talked a lot about what she couldn't talk about. 
 
Stay tuned for the other interviews in the days to come.
 
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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 175

Dan and Alan talk 'Hannibal,' 'The Walking Dead,' 'Mad Men' and more

The

Happy Monday, Boys & Girls! And happy Opening Day, baseball fans!
 
This week, though a busy installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, Sepinwall and I watch the Red Sox/Yankees game while talking about tons and tons of new stuff including some stuff we love ("Mad Men" and NBC's "Hannibal") as well as some stuff we don't love ("Rogue" and ABC's "HTLwYPFtRoYL"), plus the "Walking Dead" finale.
 
Note that the "Rogue" conversation ends up being much more about the state of TV saturation than about "Rogue," so if may interest you even if you don't care about "Rogue."
 
Check it out...
 
Monday's breakdown:
"Mad Men" (00:02:25 - 00:10:05)
"Rogue" and TV Saturation (00:10:05 - 00:22:30)
"How to Live With Your Parents For the Rest of Your Life" (00:22:31 - 00:32:10)
"Hannibal" (00:32:10 - 00:48:35)
Listener Mail: HBO's "Vice" (00:49:00 - 00:53:55)
Listener Mail: Garret Dillahunt (00:54:00 - 00:58:38
Listener Mail: Shows and their networks (00:58:40 - 01:03:45)
The "Walking Dead" finale (01:03:45 - 01:26:45)

As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. [Or you can always follow our RSS Feed.] 

And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.