<p>Sam Heughan</p>

Sam Heughan

Sam Heughan is pleased 'Outlander' April premiere gets inside Jamie's head

'Outlander' star talks about Jamie's youth and his bearded disguise

When "Outlander" returns from its lengthy midseason hiatus on April 4, viewers will immediately hear something very different, specifically Sam Heughan's voice.

Through eight episodes, Caitriona Balfe's Claire has had the narration, just as Diana Gabaldon's entire book is from Claire's perspective. But with the episode titled "The Reckoning," Jamie Fraser has the voice-over, which meant a big change for Heughan.

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<p>Rochelle on Friday&#39;s &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

Rochelle on Friday's "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'The Great Amazing Nasty Race'

The teams head to Bangkok for egg-eating, pool-shooting and more

I liked a lot of Friday (March 13) night's episode of "The Amazing Race," but maybe I didn't like it as an episode of "The Amazing Race," if you know what I mean.


I really did find myself getting a kick out of all of the bickering couples, but I may just have been amused by how silly they made this season's twist/theme look.

I enjoyed some of the things the pairs were getting to do, even though they didn't feel like "Amazing Race" kinds of things to do.

And I found myself really rooting for the team that went home, even though I never felt for a second like they had any chance of cheating their fate again...

More after the break...

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<p>Caitriona Balfe</p>

Caitriona Balfe

'Outlander' star Caitriona Balfe on 'The Wedding,' TV sex and female directors

Key 'Outlander' episode was supposed to be real and behind-the-scenes talent helped

On Thursday (March 12) night, I took a position on a PaleyFest 2015 purple carpet for "Outlander," a carpet on which questions had to occasionally be restated after being drowned out by squeals emanating from all corners of the Dolby Theater.

I'm not even sure the squeals were for, since stars Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan and Tobias Menzies, executive producer Ronald D. Moore and author Diana Gabaldon were all walking the carpet.

We were able to chat with all five of the available principals on the Starz time-traveling romance. 

I talked about spanking with Gabaldon, the joys of playing evil with Menzies and with Heughan about the midseason return, which features a Jamie Fraser voiceover.

As carpet time gets brief, sometimes you only have a minute or two with talent and with Caitriona Balfe, we were told to take two questions. 

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<p>Sunday&#39;s &quot;The Last Man on Earth&quot;</p>

Sunday's "The Last Man on Earth"

Credit: FOX

HitFix First Look: Is a 'Last Man on Earth' Love Triangle forming?

How will Phil and Carol respond to January Jones' new arrival?

I'm really looking forward to this Sunday's "Last Man on Earth," which will be the first episode to air that wasn't send to critics before the premiere.

So I gave "Last Man on Earth" an enthusiastic A- grade based on the first three half-hours, but I've also been waiting for around a month to get the resolution to last week's cliffhanger introducing January Jones as another reminder of why the show wasn't called "Last Person on Earth."

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<p>Thursday&#39;s &quot;The Big Bang Theory&quot;</p>

Thursday's "The Big Bang Theory"

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: 'American Crime,' 'American Idol' stumble as CBS leads Thursday

'The Slap' shift fails to boost NBC

Fast National ratings for Thursday, March 12, 2015.

It was a bad day for America, as "American Crime" and "American Idol" both slipped and allowed CBS to cruise to primetime victories in most measures on Thursday.

The double-dose of "American Idol" at least lifted FOX to second place overall for the night, while the "American Crime" dip completed ABC's slip from regular key demo victories to second on the night. ["Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal" were both down as well, so "American Crime" shouldn't get all of the blame here.]

Meanwhile, NBC's newly juggled schedule got no benefits as a "Dateline" special couldn't boost "Blacklist" and "The Slap" proved even less effective in the 10 p.m. hour than the now-departed "Allegiance."

On to the numbers...

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<p>The &quot;American Idol&quot; Season 14 Top 12</p>

The "American Idol" Season 14 Top 12

Credit: Michael Becker/FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 14 - Top 12 Performances and an Elimination

Plus, FOX tries to bring some 'Empire' juice to 'Idol'

Sorry about the delay, kids.

I had to be doing PaleyFest 2015 red carpet coverage for Starz's "Outlander," so I was talking about wedding nights and spankings and I missed doing my normal Eastern Time "American Idol" live-blog. 

And, in fact, I got home nearly 20 minutes into the Pacific Time airing of "Idol."

So let's play a game and see how quickly I'm able to catch up with the live broadcast...

Follow through for my full recap of Thursday's (March 12) Top 12 performances and the first solo elimination of the season.

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<p>Andy Samberg</p>

Andy Samberg

Credit: Andy Kropa/AP

Andy Samberg will host the 2015 Emmy Awards

'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' star joins Jane Lynch and Ryan Seacrest among recent FOX hosts

FOX, the only network without a late-night presence to pimp in the telecast, has tapped one of its primetime regulars to host the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, September 20, 2015.

The network announced on Thursday (March 12) that "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" star Andy Samberg will host the 2015 Emmy Awards.

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<p>&quot;12 Monkeys&quot;</p>

"12 Monkeys"

Credit: Syfy

Syfy renews '12 Monkeys'

Get ready for "12 Monkeys" X 2. Does that mean 24 monkeys? We can only hope.

Syfy announced on Thursday (March 12) that "12 Monkeys" will be back for a second season in 2016. 

While the renewal announcement doesn't include an episode count, it does include an interesting tidbit: With current showrunner Natalie Chaidez developing Syfy's "Hunters," Terry Matalas and Travis Fickett, who wrote the pilot, will be stepping up as showrunners. This is especially fun for those of us who remember Fickett from his days as a TV reporter for IGN.

"We are absolutely committed to '12 Monkeys,' and have been incredibly impressed by the outstanding critical and audience praise the series has earned," blurbs Dave Howe, Syfy President. "The talent both on and off-screen have delivered a series that has us all on the edge of our seats, providing exactly the smart, exciting storytelling Syfy is known for."

In its most recent airing, "12 Monkeys" drew 1.5 million viewers, with Syfy claiming a 104 percent average weekly Live+3 lift for the dram.

Personally, I still need to catch up on Season 1... But it's good to know there'll be more to come if I actually do catch up.

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Credit: CBS

CBS renews 'Mom,' 'Mike & Molly,' '2 Broke Girls'

'The Big Bang Theory' was previously renewed through 2016-2017

Confirming the news that began breaking on Wednesday afternoon, CBS has formally announced renewals for Emmy-winning comedies "Mom" and "Mike & Molly," as well as "2 Broke Girls."

[In the interest of full transparency and correctness: "2 Broke Girls" is also an Emmy-winning comedy. It won in 2012 for Art Direction for a Multi-Camera Series.]

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<p>Wednesday&#39;s &quot;Empire&quot;</p>

Wednesday's "Empire"

Credit: FOX

TV Ratings: Tiny 'Empire' demo dip has no impact on FOX's Wednesday domination

UPDATE: 'Empire' ticked up 0.2 in Finals and ended up flat, week-to-week

Fast National ratings for Wednesday, March 11, 2015.

It finally happened.

Early morning ratings for Wednesday arrived and "Empire" posted week-to-week declines. Actually, make that "week-to-week decline." FOX's juggernaut slipped a whopping 0.1 in the key 18-49, but also rose overall and helped FOX maintain its more-than-comfortable Wednesday victory margins in all measures.

In fact, if you compare this week's Fast Nationals to last week's Fast Nationals, "Empire" was flat among both men and women 18-49, making the 0.1 decline overall most likely an example of too many angels dancing to one side of this particular pin. 

An easy explanation for the basically irrelevant decline would be Daylight Saving Time, but both "Criminal Minds" and "American Idol" found a way to still rise among young viewers. In fact, a more likely explanation would be that Wednesday's chaotic "American Idol" might have run an extra minute into the 9 p.m. hour and skewed the sample? Or else I'm stressing out about a 0.1 variation in a representational ratings system. "Empire" always rises in Final Live+SD numbers and with a 0.2 rise instead of a 0.1, it'll be flat week-to-week. We'll see.

Wednesday was heavy on repeats, but "Black-ish" declined predictably without a new "Modern Family" lead-in, while the season finale for "The 100" was also down.

Let's get to the numbers...

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