<p>&quot;Bates Motel&quot;</p>

"Bates Motel"

Credit: A&E

Interview: Showrunner Kerry Ehrin teases 'Bates Motel' Season 3

Where are Norman and Norma Bates after last season's polygraph finale?

A&E's "Bates Motel" begins what should be a pivotal third season on Monday (March 9) night.

Series creators Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin have always approached the "Psycho" prequel as a finite piece of storytelling and Ehrin tells me that the plan is still for "Bates Motel" to be a five-season arc. 

Presumably -- but not necessarily, since Ehrin and Cuse retain a cone of spoiler silence -- that's a five-season arc from Norma and Norman Bates' arrival in White Pine Bay through  to the events that are implied took place before Marion Crane hit the road with $40,000 of somebody else's money and sought refuge from the rain in Bates Motel.

"Bates Motel" started off in a dark place, ended the first season with a murder and the second season only added torque to the twisty dynamic between Norman and Norma. In Season 2, we had unearthed secrets of incest, an all-out drug war and increased realizations from both Norman and Norma that Norman goes a little mad sometimes and bad things happen.

So where does that leave us in Season 3?

Don't expect too many future-centric details from Ehrin, but when I chatted with the "Moonlighting" and "Friday Night Lights" veteran, she was more than happy to talk about where we left things in Season 2 and how the dynamics have changed as we look forward. We chatted a lot about Norma's split desire to protect her son and maybe also to protect herself given what she now knows about Norman. We discussed Norman's rather eerie success with the ladies. And we talked about Dylan's importance to the storytelling and how actual marijuana laws in the state of Oregon have impacted "Bates Motel" storytelling.

The interview should whet your appetite for Monday's premiere without spoiling anything. 

So check out the full Q&A and also check out my gallery of snapshots from the Vancouver set of "Bates Motel" at the bottom of the story...

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<p>Vince Sly of &quot;Survivor: Worlds Apart&quot;</p>

Vince Sly of "Survivor: Worlds Apart"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Vince Sly talks 'Survivor: Worlds Apart'

When is a 'coconut vendor' not really a coconut vendor? On 'Survivor'

Vince Sly does not have a feather in his hair as we talk in the aftermath of his "Survivor: Worlds Apart" elimination. 

We're on the phone, so I have to take his word for it. 

Vince also notes that he's not a coconut vendor, even if that's how he was introduced on "Survivor." He owns Coconut Caravan and that is, indeed, business that sells coconuts, but that's only a weekend job. He's actually a holistic counselor and owner of four art galleries.

Yes, Vince says things like, "I’ll never badmouth anybody in the show because you really are the center of your own microcosmic universe when you’re out there. Every thought, emotion, feeling, sentiment you have feels like it’s going to alter all of existence no matter what you do."

But he also says far more pragmatic things like noting that the difference between him and The Barbie Block in his No Collar tribe was that the lifestyle he lives is one that he's chosen and not a youthful uncertainty of trying to figure out what's next. I completely buy that this would be the thing that separated him from the Jenn/Joe/Hali alliance that ended up voting him out. 

Vince also takes exception to the way the editing portrayed his crush on Jenn and his rivalry with Joe.

Click through for the full Q&A, because what Vince says sounds pretty plausible, albeit occasionally trippy...

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'Bates Motel' cast teases Season 3, plus photos from the set

'Bates Motel' cast teases Season 3, plus photos from the set

Check out Norman Bates' taxidermy, plus the set's secret Hitchcock cameo

VANCOUVER, BC. It's mid-October on the set of A&E's "Bates Motel," cold and rainy outside, dry and warm inside.

The stars of the "Psycho" prequel can't say very much. 

Things are generally kept under wraps with the "Bates Motel" cast, with co-creator Carlton Cuse and showrunner and co-creator Kerry Ehrin keeping a close eye out for potential spoilers. In this case, though, it's fairly easy for the stars, minus the absent Vera Farmiga, to remain mum, since a small group of reporters is visiting on the eve of the start of production on Season 3, so while the actors may have been told general arcs for the season, they couldn't be overly forthcoming even if they wanted to.

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<p>&quot;Blue Bloods&quot;</p>

"Blue Bloods"

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: 'Blue Bloods' tops ABC's 'In an Instant' debut to lead CBS Friday

'Shark Tank' beats 'The Amazing Race' in the 8 p.m. hour

Fast National ratings for Friday, March 6, 2015.

While ABC's "Shark Tank" was, as usual, Friday's top show among young viewers, both "Hawaii Five-0" and "Blue Bloods" beat ABC's special airing of "In an Instant" to help CBS dominate Friday overall and eke out a slim win among young viewers.

Mostly Friday was pretty flat, so let's just get to the numbers...

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

Friday's "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'Murphy's Law'

Teams work as zip-lining waiters and Thai ladyboys

I guess I can accept that some warm-fuzzies are an acceptable way to compensate for yet another drama-free episode of "The Amazing Race." I wouldn't want to trade emotion and sentiment for tension and excitement very often, but at least Friday's (March 6) "Amazing Race" Leg got something out of what is normally a situation that leaves me frustrated, so...

Let's skip to the recap after the break so I can get to spoiling...

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<p>Zachary Quinto of &quot;The Slap&quot;</p>

Zachary Quinto of "The Slap"

Credit: NBC

Slot swap for slumping 'Slap,' NBC depledges 'Allegiance'

'Dateline: The Real Blacklist' will take the 8 p.m. Thursday hour

For three weeks, I've been wanting to use the headline "Slot swap for slipping 'Slap,'" but tricky NBC decided to wait for a week when "The Slap" didn't slip to swap its slot. Very tricky, NBC.

Fortunately, "The Slap" has not ceased to be slumping, so I'll be satisfied with the alliteration I got to use, even if "slipping slap" has a better ring to it.

Oh. You mean I have to actually explain the news?

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<p>Amy and Sheldon contemplate getting a turtle on &quot;The Big Bang Theory&quot;</p>

Amy and Sheldon contemplate getting a turtle on "The Big Bang Theory"

Credit: CBS

TV Ratings: 'Big Bang Theory' leads CBS Thursday as 'American Crime' dips ABC

CBS, ABC tie in the key demo, while CBS rolls overall

Fast National ratings for Thursday, March 5, 2015.

The series premiere of ABC's heavily hyped "American Crime" couldn't keep up with the network's "How To Get Away With Murder," but it was still solid enough to let ABC tie for the Thursday crown among young viewers. 

Or, put a different way, a strong "Big Bang Theory" performance helped CBS move up to grab a Thursday split among young viewers, while the network won comfortably overall. 

Since ABC's Thursday has been reliably winning in the key demo, it's all a matter of perspective. ABC's perspective is that "American Crime" had the best midseason drama debut outside of "Empire" since "Resurrection" last March.

Mostly, the Thursday offerings were stable, with struggling dramas "The Slap" and "Backstrom" both ticking up 0.1 in the key demo. Also going up was "The Odd Couple," which rose in tandem with its "Big Bang Theory" lead-in.

On to the numbers...

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<p>Joey Cook of &quot;American Idol&quot;</p>

Joey Cook of "American Idol"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 14 - Top 8 Girls Perform Motown

America made some shocking choices on Wednesday. Will Thursday be even more surprising?

I put a picture of Trevor Douglas with my Wednesday night "American Idol" recap, because I figured that even with a bad performance last week, he was still likely to advance.

I was wrong.

American made some interesting choices when it came to the Boys but will voters have better or more predictable judgment when it comes to the Girls?

Click through, follow along, comment below and let's find out!

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<p>Jonathan and Harley of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

Jonathan and Harley of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

'The Amazing Race' Exclusive: The teams get dressed up in Thailand

Check out pictures of the couples in their Thai evening wear

"The Amazing Race" returns to Thailand on Friday (March 6) night's episode and it looks like things are going to be getting a little strange.

The trailers for the episode have mostly concentrated on the zip-lining and subsequent drama, particularly with blind-daters Hayley & Blair, who are seemingly headed for an epic blow-up.

However, it appears that a challenge in Thailand is going to make the pairs take part in a Thai nightclub act of some sort. Normally, I'd think that would be good news for Jonathan & Harley, since what are the New Kids on the Block if not a glorified Thai nightclub act. But this season has already demonstrated Jonathan's insecurity when it comes to choreography.

So instead, this may be a chance for Vegas showgirl Jackie and blind-dating partner Jeff to take control?

Check out the pictures below and check back tomorrow night for my full recap.

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<p>Jason Isaacs of &quot;Dig&quot;</p>

Jason Isaacs of "Dig"

Credit: USA

Review: USA's 'Dig' goes from Holy Land mystery to wholly bland dud

HitFix
D+
Readers
n/a
Jason Isaacs is the only reason to watch and he's not enough

"The Big Bang Theory" did an episode in which Amy ruins "Raiders of the Lost Ark" for Sheldon by pointing out that for all of the action and adventure, "Indiana Jones plays no role in the outcome of the story. If he weren’t in the film, it would turn out exactly the same."

I've watched "Raiders of the Lost Ark" subsequently and, thankfully, Amy didn't actually ruin the movie. I can't dispute her regarding the main character's agency, but it's still an awesome movie, one of the genre's most thrilling achievements.

You cannot, it turns out, ruin "Raiders of the Lost Ark" by pointing out a structure flaw.

You also, fortunately, cannot ruin "Raiders of the Lost Ark" by doing a dreadful story about nefarious forces searching for the Ark of the Covenant, or Ark-adjacent artifacts. But if you could ruin "Raiders of the Lost Ark" merely by desecrating its dramatic objective, USA's "Dig" might come dangerously close.

Let us all be grateful, then, that Gideon Raff and Tim Kring's bungled attempt to somehow dumb down Dan Brown is merely a waste of time and ample talent and not actually much of a black mark on storytelling history.

Neither as involving as "The Da Vinci Code" nor as fun as "The Librarian," "Dig" is a religiously inflected thriller that offers few thrills and paints only an empty and cartoonish gloss on religious extremism. I can't rule out the possibility that its blatant silliness might encourage some viewers, but its lack of narrative momentum will likely dissuade many more.

That should be enough of a review, but I'll go into a few more details...

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