<p>Diana Gabaldon</p>

Diana Gabaldon

'Outlander' author Diana Gabaldon talks book-to-screen changes, spanking

Writer raves that Saturday's shift to Jamie's POV is 'brilliant'

"Outlander" returns to Starz on Saturday (April 4) night and fans of the book are going to notice that there are a few reasonably big deviations, including a one-episode shift in POV from Claire to Jamie.

"I thought it was brilliant," "Outlander" creator Diana Gabaldon told me on last month's PaleyFest 2015 purple carpet, full interview above. 

She added, "For this particular episode, that was particularly effective." 

Gabaldon is referring specifically to the notorious spanking scene that takes place in Saturday's episode and has been interpreted in myriad different ways by fans and dismissers of the book. 

The author, who first published "Outlander" in 1991 and has followed it up with eight novels, says that "it's not hard at all" to watch the Starz series and view it as separate from the books. Of course, it helps that Gabaldon sees scripts and dailies from the series. She adds that she only sometimes pushes for changes.

"I will mention it if there's something that I think is actually wrong, not if it's just a change," she emphasized. "Changes have to be made. It's an adaptation and frequently the changes are brilliant and I love them."

Check out the full video interview above, as well as my video and Q&A with "Outlander" showrunner Ronald D. Moore here.

"Outlander" airs Saturday nights on Starz.

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<p>&quot;Your Family Or Mine&quot; star Richard Dreyfuss</p>

"Your Family Or Mine" star Richard Dreyfuss

Credit: TBS

Interview: 'Your Family or Mine' star Richard Dreyfuss on TV's draw - 'Money'

Oscar winner discusses the challenges of being natural in TBS' multi-cam comedy

Richard Dreyfuss doesn't need to play any reindeer games.

An Oscar winner and one of the world's biggest movie stars for two decades, Dreyfuss has only periodically popped up on the big or small screens in recent years because he's been concentrating his efforts on overhauling the way American children are taught civics and serving as Senior Associate Member of St. Anthony's College in Oxford.

While his recent credits have been sparse, I've talked to Dreyfuss several times in the past few years and the key is always to find what he wants to discuss, even if it isn't necessarily the project he's promoting. 

So with the 2012 A&E adaptation of "Coma," it certainly wasn't "Coma," but it could have been the shift in interactions between actors and directors over the years and whether or not TV is more actor-friendly.

With this winter's Sundance debut of "Zipper," it was the political backdrop to the thriller.

And with TBS' upcoming comedy "Your Family or Mine"? Well, I'm not exactly sure I found the right thing.

I was on the set of the multi-cam family comedy last fall and after talking to most of the show's strong cast, including Kat Foster, Kyle Howard and Angela Kinsey earlier in the day, I waited around for three hours for Dreyfuss to be available to talk about a show that attracted him for what reason, exactly?

"Ummm... Money," Dreyfuss explained.

Fair enough.

It's also not exactly true. Dreyfuss goes way back with many of his "Your Family or Mine" co-stars, including Ed Begley Jr., who told me about working with Dreyfuss on an episode of "Room 222" back in 1971. Dreyfuss has also had a long friendship with JoBeth Williams, who plays his wife in "Your Family or Mine." 

But still, Dreyfuss has no interest in sugar-coating his feelings about the multi-cam format and the sitcom-y artificiality that he thinks has infected the genre.

The result is a fun-if-combative discussion that was ended just as Dreyfuss really got going.

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<p>NBC&#39;s &quot;The Slap&quot; finale</p>

NBC's "The Slap" finale

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: Low 'Big Bang Theory' leads Thursday, 'Slap' sallies forth silently

Lots of ugly numbers as CBS rules Thursday

Fast National ratings for Thursday, April 2, 2015.

CBS' "The Big Bang Theory" plummeted in its latest Thursday airing, but it was still the night's top show in all measures and led CBS to easy primetime wins in all measures.

Thursday was, in fact, full of low numbers as "Grey's Anatomy," "Scandal," "American Crime," "Bones," "Backstrom" and CBS' whole lineup got ugly.

"The Slap" almost deserves some sort of award for not falling in its series finale, though it's difficult for a broadcast network to fall much below a 0.7 for new programming.

Presumably the upcoming holiday -- Easter, Passover, etc -- weekend is responsible for the Thursday doldrums, but who really knows?

Let's get to the numbers...

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<p>Vincent Kartheiser of &quot;Mad Men&quot;</p>

Vincent Kartheiser of "Mad Men"

Credit: AMC

Interview: 'Mad Men' star Vincent Kartheiser on Pete Campbell's ill-fated optimism

How could Kartheiser end up as a janitor?

In the early stages of "Mad Men," it sometimes seemed like Pete Campbell was on the brink of being the show's villain.

But, at the same time, there was also the prevailing theory that Pete Campbell could turn out to be the show's most forward-looking character, the man of the future to Don Draper's man of the past.

As "Mad Men" begins the seven-episode march to its series finale, we don't really view Pete as Don or Peggy's nemesis anymore. In fact, one of last year's best episodes, "The Strategy," climaxed with a surprisingly positive dinner meeting with the three characters. 

But we also don't look at Pete as a potential visionary anymore. Pete's efforts to reinvent himself found the character in Los Angeles last half-season and although he initially took to his new surroundings, it became clear that California was not the place Pete Campbell ought to be.

In anticipation of this final "Mad Men" mini season, I sat down with Vincent Kartheiser two weeks ago to discuss The State of Pete Campbell and which parts of the character have evolved and which aspects of his personality remains the same. 

Months after leaving Pete Campbell behind, Kartheiser looks younger and more relaxed than the high-strung Pete, he of the razor-imposed receding hairline. As of now, he says that he hasn't found the right follow-up project.

What's he looking for?

Kartheiser explains, "I read the script and if I like it I try to find something that I can add to the telling of the story, something that makes my perspective and my performance valuable and important and if I can come up with that then I’ll work and if not then I’ll be a janitor."

Click through for my full Q&A in anticipation of Sunday's (April 5) "Mad Men" return...

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<p>Cote de Pablo of &quot;The Dovekeepers&quot;</p>

Cote de Pablo of "The Dovekeepers"

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: 'Idol,' 'Modern Family' lead Wednesday as 'Arrow,' 'Dovekeepers' dip

FOX leads overall, but ABC takes the key demographic

Fast National ratings for Wednesday, April 1, 2015.

Once again, "American Idol" couldn't beat "Survivor" in their head-to-head match-up, but thanks to a low second night for "The Dovekeepers," FOX was able to win Tuesday overall. Meanwhile, "Modern Family" and "Black-ish" carried ABC to victory among young viewers.

Otherwise, it was a night of mixed returns. ABC's "The Middle" and "Goldbergs" both added viewers, but dropped in the key demo. The CW's "Arrow" was down in all measures. But NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and "Chicago PD" were both up.

On to the numbers...

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<p>Allison Janney of &quot;Mom&quot;</p>

Allison Janney of "Mom"

Credit: CBS

Interview: 'Mom' star Allison Janney talks multi-cam drama, comic grieving

Emmy winner explains how multi-cam is and is not like theater

The only people surprised when Allison Janney won an Emmy last fall for "Mom" were people who haven't been watching "Mom."

In the first season of the Chuck Lorre-produced sitcom, Janney's Bonnie battled a relapse of her alcoholism, had manic sexual misadventures with daughter Christy's chef boss and went through menopause.

Paired with the "West Wing" favorite's very different Emmy-winning turn in Showtime's "Masters of Sex," it was a pretty terrific year for Janney. 

As much emotional heavy-lifting as the "Mom" writers gave Janney last year, Season 2 has been even darker, as Bonnie has had to cope with the death, under very risqué circumstances, of Alvin (Kevin Pollak), the love of her life and Christy's father. 

Rather than writing Alvin's death, dealing with it for an episode and then moving along with hilarious hijinks, the "Mom" team has taken Bonnie on a sad and often lonely spiral, only sometimes peppering the grief with humor. Don't be surprised when Janney is back in the Emmy field again this fall. [And despite a reduced profile on "Masters of Sex," Janney's work in the Season 2 premiere will almost certainly have her up for Guest Actress in a Drama for a second time.]

Last month, I dropped by the "Mom" set on the Warner Brothers lot to talk about the different processes of doing big emotions on a sitcom versus a drama and her initial experience doing multi-cam comedy. We also discussed the periodic appearances by Bad Bonnie, who had just blackmailed her entire condo board in the previous episode.

Click through for the full Q&A and remember that "Mom" airs on Thursdays at 9:30 on CBS and could always use a bigger audience.

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<p>&quot;Survivor: Worlds Apart&quot; - The Merge</p>

"Survivor: Worlds Apart" - The Merge

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Worlds Apart' - 'The Line Will Be Drawn Tonight'

After the Merge, castaways are forced to take sides

Pre-credit sequence. When we left things, Rodney had just been blindsided by Joaquin's eviction. This won't go well. Escameca returns and Rodney is simmering. "It's the game," Joe says, philosophically and still in the game. Tyler is the first to express his disappointment and to praise the Blue Collar tribe for its Rodney-excluding unity. It falls to Mike to attempt to coddle Rodney. "Hopefully he doesn't take it too personal," Mike tells us, suggesting he's never actually met Rodney. Mike takes a walk with Rodney and explains that their perception was that Joaquin was reeling him in. "I was working on a fugazi fake alliance," Rodney protests, adding that he thought he was Michael Jordan and now he's feeling like Luc Longley. "I'm acting, bro. I'm putting on my De Niro," Rodney insists. [He may have referred to his "dinero," but we all know who or what he meant.] "Now, all of a suddenly, I've gotta be Mike's bitch till we get to the Merge," Rodney says, vowing revenge. Fortunately...

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<p>&quot;American Idol&quot; Top 9</p>

"American Idol" Top 9

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 14 - Top 8 Kelly Clarkson Night Plus Elimination

Get ready for filler as we fill two hours with eight solos... and more

The Kelly Clarkson Songbook.

That's what we're getting on Wednesday (April 1) night's "American Idol." 

This is not to question Kelly Clarkson's awesomeness or even the very-goodness of Kelly Clarkson's discography, but there are some people in this "Idol" season who seem like they're going to be well-suited to tonight's theme and other people for home this may be excruciating, especially since the "Idol" voters are back in female-shunning mode this season.

Let's see how things go...

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<p>&quot;Weird Loners&quot;</p>

"Weird Loners"

Credit: FOX

TV Ratings: 'Weird Loners' tanks, 'Dovekeepers' skews old and 'NCIS' leads Tuesday

'New Girl' dips to The Mulaney Line for a new episode

Fast National ratings for Tuesday, March 31, 2015.

"NCIS" delivered Tuesday's best numbers to lead CBS to an overall win, though an old-skewing debut for "The Doverkeepers" dropped CBS into a tie in the key demo.

In addition to "Dovekeepers," Tuesday's big premiere was "Weird Loners," which tanked aggressively, doing only a 0.7 in the key demo, serving mostly to make FOX look back with nostalgia on the numbers for "The Mindy Project." FOX also saw an ugly number for "New Girl," which celebrated its renewal by drawing only 2.3 million viewers and hitting The Mulaney Line.

Let's get to the numbers...

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<p>Sam Heughan of &quot;Outlander&quot;</p>

Sam Heughan of "Outlander"

Credit: Starz

Interview: 'Outlander' showrunner Ronald D. Moore on the end of The Droughtlander

'Battlestar' veteran talks sex scenes, flashbacks and shifting POVs

The Droughtlander is nearly over.

After more than six months away, "Outlander" is finally returning to Starz on Saturday, April 4. Fans have been champing at the bit since September 27 to get the resolution of the cliffhanger involving Claire, Black Jack and the just-in-time arrival of Jamie.

Almost immediately upon the return, fans will notice something different. The premiere features Jamie's voiceover, a big deviation from Diana Gabaldon's book. The change in POV makes a large difference when it comes to The Important Thing That Happens in the premiere, an event that fans of the book have been waiting for all season.

Back in January at the TCA press tour, I sat down with "Outlander" showrunner Ronald D. Moore to discuss the impact of the POV swap, as well as the expanded role of Frank and how changes from the book have shaped the first season. [In the PaleyFest video above, Moore tells me a bit about Gabaldon's involvement in the series.]

We also talked about the well-regarded "The Wedding" episode and why it was important to have that episode written and directed by women (Anna Foerster and Anne Kenney, respectively) and whether or not it has been difficult to keep Claire from becoming too steadily a damsel-in-distress.

Check out the full Q&A below, as well as my PaleyFest interviews with stars Sam Heughan, Caitriona Balfe and Tobias Menzies.

Note that there are some spoilers here if you haven't read the book. Not huge, but some.

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