<p>&quot;Newroom&quot; at PaleyFest</p>

"Newroom" at PaleyFest

Credit: Kevin Parry for Paley Center for Media

20 things we learned from the 'Newsroom' PaleyFest Panel

Or was it actually A Night With Piers Morgan?
The cast of HBO's " The Newsroom" gathered at Beverly Hills' Saban Theater on Sunday (March 3) night to moderate An Evening With Piers Morgan.
 
Over the course of 80 minutes, the stars and producers of HBO's Golden Globe nominated drama coaxed Morgan out of his shy shell and got him to tell stories about his recent interactions with new CNN boss Jeff Zucker, an unfortunate power outage in Atlanta during the Oscars red carpet and, most importantly, his opinions on the sequester. 
 
Morgan was so self-effacing an uncomfortable in the spotlight that periodically he attempted to turn the questions around on his interrogators to get the cast of "Newsroom" to discuss their own opinions on their fictional version of cable news, but those moments were the exceptions, rather than the rule. So embarrassed was Morgan to be in the spotlight and to have all of this attention directed at him, that he periodically recited interview quotes back at the actors on the panel or confused actors with the characters they play on TV or inquired about where Dev Patel gets his cardigans or initiated gambits like, "Olivia [Munn]. Let's talk about sex for a moment."
 
After an hour, when the cast of "Newroom" opened the floor to questions from the audience, a confused audience attempted to revolt and ask questions of the "Newroom" team, but that's just the danger of a democratized event like this.
 
I contemplated doing a 20 things we learned about Piers Morgan from the "Newroom" PaleyFest Panel blog post, but that would actually be far easier than doing 20 things we learned about "Newroom." And I prefer to take on the big challenges. Because I'm a journalist. Like Piers Morgan. 
 
Click through for the 20... And yes. There will be minor spoilers.
 
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<p>Shemozzle Race!</p>

Shemozzle Race!

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'Like James Bond Again'

Shemozzle Race! Shemozzle Race! Shemozzle Race!
This is going to be a Predictable Dan Recap, because if you've read my "Amazing Race" coverage for the past five or six years, you know how I feel about nearly everything in Sunday's (March 3) episode. 
 
Click through, because I'm gonna dispatch with this recap fairly quickly...
 
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<p>Melissa Rosenberg</p>

Melissa Rosenberg

Credit: Rick Rowell/ABC

Interview: Melissa Rosenberg talks 'Red Widow,' 'Big Thunder' and more

'Twilight' scribe explains how her ABC drama is different from 'Breaking Bad'
Melissa Rosenberg's new ABC drama is titled "Red Widow" and it uses "No Time To Mourn" as its tag line.
 
So when we meet Radha Mitchell's Marta Walraven and she's mostly happily married to a scruffy pot-smuggler played by Anson Mount, we kinda have suspicions regarding where things are heading.
 
Based on the Dutch series "Penoza," "Red Widow" is really about a San Francisco wife and mother who finds herself forced into the criminal world occupied by her husband, but also her Russian mobster father. It's a network drama, but it feels a lot like it belongs on cable, which I discussed with Rosenberg last year when she was promoting "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2," the last film in a wildly popular franchise that ABC is name-dropping aggressively in promotions.
 
Concentrating on "Red Widow" in this interview, Rosenberg and I discussed the challenges of doing a show like this with a female protagonist like this on network TV, including some comparisons between this drama and AMC's "Breaking Bad." We also discussed the ethos of Rosenberg's Tall Girl Productions banner and how "Red Widow" and the theme park-based pilot "Big Thunder" fit into that brand.
 
Click through for the full conversation.
 
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<p>&quot;Revolution&quot;</p>

"Revolution"

Credit: NBC

20 things we learned from the 'Revolution' PaleyFest Panel

How soon will we learn why the power went out? Very!
After Friday night's spoiler-free PaleyFest panel for "The Walking Dead," Saturday night's (March 2) panel for "Revolution" was practically the opposite.
 
Eric Kripke, J.J. Abrams and the cast were fairly forthcoming about what fans can expect both when "Revolution" returns to NBC on March 25 and beyond.
 
That, of course, means that if you want to go in with a completely clean slate, you really don't want to read the information after the break. 
 
So click through for 20 things we learned from the 'Revolution' PaleyFest Panel.
 
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<p>Katheryn Winnick of &quot;Vikings&quot;</p>

Katheryn Winnick of "Vikings"

Credit: History

Interview: Katheryn Winnick discusses her 'Vikings' shield maiden

'Bones' veteran plays a female warrior in History's new drama
Regular TV viewers have definitely seen Katheryn Winnick around.
 
She caused a spiritual quandary for the generally skeptical doctor on "House."
 
She provided a temporary romantic roadblock for the show's central duo on "Bones."
 
She's guested on several versions of "Law & Order" and a couple shows in the "CSI" family. 
 
The 35-year-old Canadian actress could be on the verge of a breakout role in History's "Vikings," in which she plays Lagertha, wife to Travis Fimmel's adventurous Ragnar. But this isn't a pairing in which the man goes off to explore untouched corners of the globe, while the woman stays behind and minds the kids. No, Lagertha is a Viking shield maiden and when the Norsemen ready for battle, she's another ferocious warrior on the frontline. 
 
It's a chance for Winnick to showcase a physicality that the trained bodyguard and karate blackbelt takes quite seriously. In our conversation, she discusses which parts of the role came naturally for her, how much research she put into Viking history and the lure of working with series creator Michael Hirst.
 
Click through for the full conversation...
 
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<p>The &quot;Walking Dead&quot; cast at PaleyFest 2013</p>

The "Walking Dead" cast at PaleyFest 2013

Credit: Kevin Parry for Paley Center for Media

20 things we learned from the 'Walking Dead' PaleyFest Panel

Find out about Carl's evolution, Rick's tipping point, Death Dinners and more
BEVERLY HILLS - Friday (March 1) night's panel for "The Walking Dead" was one of this year's only PaleyFest panels that wasn't live-streamed to the world. The reason? Fathom Events and the Paley Center are bringing the panel to movie theaters next Thursday night.
 
In order to make sure that theater-goers get value for their ticket bucks, the "Walking Dead" panel was short on footage and long on talk. The audience at the Saban Theatre got to see the first 10 minutes of Sunday's episode and some behind-the-scenes DVD extras, but a solid 80+ minutes was spent on Q&A, with moderator Chris Hardwick orchestrating the bulk of that discussion.
 
That's far more Q&A time than you get at typical PaleyFest panels, which sometimes can yield well under an hour of conversation from the stage. From an audience standpoint, that's terrific. From a blogger's standpoint, that's a challenge, because I have to synthesize all of that information down to some bite-sized highlights. 
 
That's why if you click through, you'll get 20 Things We Learned from the "Walking Dead" PaleyFest, featuring facts, quotes and other tidbits. If you aren't caught up on "Walking Dead" or you're thinking of paying to see the panel theatrically, turn back!
 
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<p>Hope Driskill of &quot;Survivor: Caramoan&quot;</p>

Hope Driskill of "Survivor: Caramoan"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Hope Driskill talks 'Survivor: Caramoan'

So why didn't Hope just write Eddie's name down?
Another week, another "Survivor: Caramoan" exit interview with a member of the Fans tribe shocked that they were sent packing while aggressively belligerent Shamar remains.
 
This week's victim was Hope Driskill, who follows in the footsteps of alliance-mate Allie, who went home last week. 
 
Of course, with Hope there was a catch. The majority alliance, worried that Reynold might attempt to give Hope his Immunity Idol, decided to split votes between Hope and Eddie. Shamar, not a fan of Eddie, sat in the water and hinted strongly that Hope might want to split with her alliance and write Eddie's name down. Had Hope done that, Eddie would have been eliminated after one Tribal Council vote, instead of a tie that went against Hope in the revote. 
 
Hope's decision was one of several things that I found confusing in Wednesday's episode, so we covered a lot of that in this week's exit interview.
 
Click through for the full conversation...
 
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Ewan McGregor compares his 'Jack the Giant Slayer' character to Hong Kong Phooey

Ewan McGregor compares his 'Jack the Giant Slayer' character to Hong Kong Phooey

And Stanley Tucci talks about villainy
RICHMOND, ENGLAND - File under "When perfectly fine questions go bad," but not really.
 
In "Jack the Giant Slayer," the characters played by Ewan McGregor and Stanley Tucci bump heads several times. 
 
At one point in their climactic showdown, Tucci's weaselly Roderick looks at McGregor's noble Elmont and sneers, "You thought you were the hero of this story? Don't you know that we ALL think that?"
 
I liked that line, so when I sat down with McGregor and Tucci at Hampton Court Palace outside of London, I decided to start the interview by asking how each of their characters would explain that they're the real heroes of "Jack the Giant Slayer."
 
Ultimately, both men gave very good answers, but both answers began with, "I don't think my character *would* say that."
 
An interview that begins with a long and semi-awkward pause actually became a lot of fun, especially when McGregor describes the unlikely inspirations for his character, including "a Cockney Errol Flynn."
 
You can also check out my interviews with director Bryan Singer and "Jack the Giant Slayer" stars Nicholas Hoult & Eleanor Tomlinson, as well as this video of me singing in front of Hampton Court Palace
 
"Jack the Giant Slayer" opens on Friday, March 1.
 
<p>The Turbanator!&nbsp;</p>

The Turbanator! 

Credit: Michael Becker/FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' - Sudden Death, Part 4 - 10 More Guys Perform

The Turbanator leads the final group of 'Idol' semifinalists

I hated the way "American Idol" handled Hollywood Week this year, with the pointless gender splitting and subsequent elongation of an already dull slog.

But I've liked the Sudden Death approach to the Top 40. Let America actually see some full performances before they get to vote. Yes, it allows the judges to put an additional early imprint on contestants who are favorites due to talent -- Angela Miller, Curtis Finch Jr. etc -- and also contestants who are favorites due to narrative or personality -- Charlie Askew, Zoanette Johnson, etc. But I think it may make the electorate a bit more  informed when voting begins next week. Maybe.

The first week of Sudden Death, we saw the highs of the first group of girls and the lows of the first group of boys. And last night, we got a pretty representative group, with a few standouts, a few weak performances and whatever you want to say about Zoanette. 

How would the last group of men do? Click through...

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<p>Cochran of &quot;Survivor&quot;</p>

Cochran of "Survivor"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Caramoan' - 'There’s Gonna be Hell to Pay'

Miscommunications and a tricky strategy make for an interesting vote
Pre-credit sequence. The Fans return to camp after booting Allie. Eddie is confused. Matt is very proud at himself for choosing his side. "We are not friends. But we need each other to win," Reynold tells Matt and Sherri. Shamar is feeling gloat-y with Eddie and Reynold and also introducing certain viewers at home to the phrase "ace boon coon," which you probably don't want to start using with your friends if you weren't using it already. "The camp is totally in chaos," laments Laura, who wishes Shamar would chill. But Shamar isn't just ranting at the people who tried voting him out. He's also going off on Matt, whose vote helped save him and yelling at Julia, who was 100 percent invisible last week. "The part of Shamar that was fun has completely gone," Laura says. 
 
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