<p>Viola Davis,&nbsp;Alden Ehrenreich and&nbsp;Richard LaGravenese on the set of &quot;Beautiful Creatures&quot;</p>

Viola Davis, Alden Ehrenreich and Richard LaGravenese on the set of "Beautiful Creatures"

Credit: Warner Brothers

'Beautiful Creatures' Set Vist: Celebrating Christmas with Emma Thompson and the cast

Zoey Deutch and Thomas Mann also discuss their witchy new teen romance
COVINGTON, LOUISIANA - Richard LaGravenese is experiencing seasonal confusion on the set of "Beautiful Creatures."
 
The reality is that it's May in this small city an hour's ride (if your driver is more prone to telling stories about his time in the Marines or complaining about the corrupting influence of movies on kids than paying attention to directions) from New Orleans. 
 
But time is passing very differently in fictional Gatlin, South Carolina.
 
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<p>Emmy Rossum of &quot;Beautiful Creatures&quot;</p>

Emmy Rossum of "Beautiful Creatures"

Credit: Warner Brothers

Emmy Rossum is 'the sexy bad girl' on the set of 'Beautiful Creatures'

'Shameless' star discusses the new look for Dark Caster Ridley
COVINGTON, LOUISIANA - It's early May in Covington, Louisiana with the heat and humidity to prove it, but in Gatlin, South Carolina it's shortly after Halloween. 
 
Pumpkins still perch on the stoops in a neighborhood that required very little set decoration to embody the more-Southern-than-Southern fictional town at the heart of Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl's "Beautiful Creatures," a bestselling Young Adult Fantasy novel getting the big screen treatment courtesy of Warner Brothers and Oscar nominated writer-director Richard LaGravenese.
 
In the book, the first installment of the "Caster Chronicles" series, Gatlin is an imagined stand-in for any Dixie town lorded over by the Daughters of the Confederacy, in which the ghosts of the Civil War hover atop the architecture like spectral Spanish moss. There's more than enough literal Spanish moss to go around in Covington and other than the South Carolina license plates on any car that might accidentally or purposefully make it into a shot, the city -- statistically a piece of the New Orleans–Metairie–Kenner Metropolitan Statistical Area, but a long drive from New Orleans on the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway -- might as well be playing itself, minus the newfound infestation of witches and other supernatural creatures. 
 
The only real signs of state affiliation are on the backs of the individual crew members, whose t-shirts boast work on productions like "Treme" and "Bad Lieutenant" or offer support for the Saints and embattled coach Sean Payton.
 
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<p>Jonathan Penner of &quot;Survivor: Philippines&quot;</p>

Jonathan Penner of "Survivor: Philippines"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Philippines' - 'Dead Man Walking'

A straight-forward episode goes pear-shaped, leading to a wacky Tribal Council
Pre-credit sequence. Hell hath no fury like a Penner scorned. Jonathan is perplexed and frustrated with Jeff Kent and Man-Dana. Penner doesn't like secrets and he doesn't like betrayal. Denise is at least straight-forward and honest with Penner about writing his name, while Jeff Kent talks in widening circles without saying anything. Jeff Kent remains determined to target Penner in the future, though he also knows he's given up some power and authority. Skupin tells Penner not to quit and that there are cracks in the main alliance and urges his fellow returning player to wait for those cracks to grow. "I have no alliances. I have no allegiances. I don't care. Everybody's equal. They are all ready to die," Penner announces. Damn. If Penner were a '90s rapper, he'd be talking about his glock and making lewd statements about the sex he had with all of their significant others. He's gangsta!
 
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<p>It's Lyric 145!</p>

It's Lyric 145!

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The X Factor' Performances - Top 12... Or More?

Would it be another week of raves for Emblem 3 or would somebody else steal the spotlight?

When last we dropped in on "The X Factor," we were saying farewell to Willie Jones, Sister C, David Correy and Diamond White. We'll see if we miss those four.

We were also saying farewell to whatever awful name "The X Factor" gave to The Lylas after their original name didn't clear. There was a promise that an online contest would determine the new moniker. We'll see how that went.

Click through for the full live-blog/recap of Wednesday's (November 7) performances from the "X Factor" Top 12...

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'Skyfall' stars Naomie Harris and Berenice Marlohe offer alternatives to being called 'Bond Girls'

'Skyfall' stars Naomie Harris and Berenice Marlohe offer alternatives to being called 'Bond Girls'

How are these 'Bond Beasts' different from past Bond Girls?
NEW YORK CITY - In "Skyfall," Naomie Harris and Berenice Marlohe play variations on what have typically been called "Bond Girls," since Ursula Andress rose from the sea in "Dr. No." 
 
Of course, with James Bond turning 50 this year and a whole new generation of filmmakers and audiences discovering and embracing the franchise, perhaps it's time for some new nomenclature. 
 
"I would prefer Bond Woman rather than 'Girl,'" laughed Harris when we spoke in New York City a few weeks ago. 
 
Marlohe offered a playfully different version, saying "I love 'Bond Girl,' but I would prefer 'Bond Beast.'" 
 
In our conversation, Harris and Marlohe explain how Eve and Severine from "Skyfall" aren't typical Bond Girls, no matter what you choose to call them. They also discuss the importance of Daniel Craig in setting the on-set tone as Ambassador of James Bond.
 
"Skyfall" opens domestically on Friday, November 9. You can also check out my interviews with Daniel Craig and Dame Judi Dench and Javier Bardem.
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<p>Rob and Kelley of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

Rob and Kelley of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Rob & Kelley talk 'The Amazing Race'

Team Monster Truck doesn't think highly of money-stealers
On "The Amazing Race" a couple weeks back, Monster Trucker Rob French blamed a local Bangladeshi riverboat captain for costing his pairing the million dollar prize due to a faulty end-of-Leg delivery.
 
Rob spoke too soon. The transportation screw-up only cost Rob & Kelley one place in that particular Leg.
 
It was a different travel gaffe, this one self-inflicted, that officially ended things for Rob & Kelley. On an early morning in Istanbul, they were the only team to take the Metro to a clue marker, eschewing taxi cabs for fear of traffic congestion. Had there been gridlock in Istanbul that day, Rob & Kelley would have been the beneficiaries of that decision. Instead, they spent a full episode lagging in last place, unable to make up enough time to recover.
 
"[W]e were all good with getting eliminated, but when we saw that last night, it pretty much upset us, because we felt that they didn't get what was due them," Rob told me when we spoke on Monday morning.
 
Both Rob and Kelley expressed disappointment that Natalie & Nadiya and Trey & Lexi weren't penalized in any way for pocketing $100 belonging to Mark & Abba, an appropriation of funds that left The Rockers begging for cash in the streets of Bangladesh. They also seemed rather unimpressed that Beekmans Josh & Brent received a penalty that amounted to eating an ice cream cone.
 
Of course, Rob & Kelley were mostly full of praise for Josh & Brent, who they bonded with along the Race. In the exit interview, they discuss their lone wolf strategy, their Istanbul travel strategy and why they felt like underdogs.
 
Click through...
 
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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 156

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 156

Dan and Alan talk 'Witness,' 'Wedding Band,' 'Walking Dead' and more

The

Happy Tuesday, Boys & Girls!
 
Due to Hurricane Sandy, we [Sepinwall in particular] were off the grid last week and then, after we settled in and recorded a half-hour of a podcast yesterday, we [Sepinwall, really] got power back and the migration led to a one-day delay.
 
That means that the podcast begins with a review of HBO's "Witness," which actually premiered on MONDAY night. It's very good, though, and we recommend you watch it in some form or another, so it's OK. 
 
We also talked about TBS' "The Wedding Band," revisited ABC's "Nashville" and "Last Resort" and had spoiler-heavy discussion of both "The Walking Dead" and two weeks of "Homeland."
 
And, somewhere in the middle, we talked about NBC's midseason schedule and plans to revamp "Up All Night." So it was a busy podcast.
 
Here's the breakdown:
"Witness" (00:01:55 - 00:11:05)
"The Wedding Band" (00:11:05 - 00:23:25)
NBC's Midseason Schedule (00:23:25 - 00:37:30)
"Nashville" (00:37:30 - 00:44:15)
"Last Resort" (00:44:20 - 00:52:05)
"The Walking Dead" (00:52:20 - 01:10:30)
"Homeland" (01:10:30 - 01:31:30)

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.

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'Skyfall' star Javier Bardem explains his hesitation to face off against James Bond

'Skyfall' star Javier Bardem explains his hesitation to face off against James Bond

Oscar winner also notes how Silva and Anton Chigurh are different
NEW YORK CITY - It's no surprise that Javier Bardem, an Oscar winner for crafting one of the past decade's most memorable villains, has been able to return to the dark side with such success in "Skyfall."
 
As Silva, James Bond's newest deadly adversary, Bardem creates such an indelible impression that he towers over a movie he doesn't enter until roughly an hour in.
 
I sat down with the "No Country For Old Men" star in New York City last month and he admitted his early misgivings about taking on the "Skyfall" role.
 
"When I feel that I'm really attracted to some material, then I start to feel insecure," admits Bardem, who credits director Sam Mendes with convincing him to sign on.
 
Bardem also discusses the key difference between Anton Chigurh and his new character.
 
"In 'No Country For Old Men' it was an iconic, symbolic idea of fate -- bad fate, horrible fate and violence. There was no humanity behind that. In this case, it's a human being. It's a person," he explains.
 
In the interview, Bardem also touches on Silva's distinctive look and the important of making sure that in addition to being terrified, he's also quite funny.
 
"Skyfall" opens domestically on Friday, November 9. You can also check out my interviews with Daniel Craig and Dame Judi Dench.
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<p>Jeff Probst snuffs RC's torch on &quot;Survivor: Philippines&quot;</p>

Jeff Probst snuffs RC's torch on "Survivor: Philippines"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Roberta 'RC' Saint-Amour talks 'Survivor: Philippines'

RC offers her suggestion on why Abi hated her so much
Apologies for the slow posting of this week's "Survivor: Philippines" exit interview with Roberta Saint-Amour. She's New York-based and as of Monday morning, she still didn't have power after Hurricane Sandy, so I'm grateful she was able to make the time.
 
And you can be forgiven if you don't have a clue who "Roberta Saint-Amour" is. Just as Dawson turned out to be "Sarah Dawson," Roberta Saint-Amour is the not-so-secret identity for the "Survivor" contestant we've come to know as RC in recent weeks.
 
RC became the first member of the undefeated Tandang tribe to be sent home when, on last Wednesday's episode, Jeff Kent decided it was more important to try to vote Jonathan Penner out of the game than to sick with the alliance that took him to the Merge.
 
Yeah. We still don't get it either. 
 
It was fitting that Jeff Kent's voting decision doomed RC, since he was driven by anti-returning player rage, while RC had been left with only a returning player, Mike Skupin, as an ally after Pete conspired to dupe Abi into turning Tandang against her in the early days.
 
Yeah. We still don't get that either.
 
In her exit interview, RC discusses her relationship with Abi, Pete's pro-chaos strategy and why she wasn't worried about aligning with a returning player.
 
Click through for the full interview...
 
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'Skyfall' star Judi Dench enjoyed going to 'the ammunition shed' for the new James Bond adventure

'Skyfall' star Judi Dench enjoyed going to 'the ammunition shed' for the new James Bond adventure

Oscar-winning Dame discusses reuniting with Sam Mendes
NEW YORK CITY - For yours, Dame Judi Dench has been a piece of ornate detailing on the sports car that is the James Bond franchise.
 
In her first six stints as 007's boss M, Dench typically appeared exactly enough to remind you that the series was employing one of the world's great  actors, but rarely enough to entirely justify the participation of the Oscar-winning icon. She's been decoration with Shakespearean training.
 
That's not the case in "Skyfall."
 
In the newest James Bond adventure, Dench's M is front-and-center, particularly in the film's second half, which almost becomes a Bond & M buddy caper. Because M has ties with Javier Bardem's Silva, "Skyfall" offers perhaps our first real examination of the powerful woman's past and lets her be part of the action in the present.
 
A couple weeks ago, I sat down with Dench in New York City to discuss her enhanced "Skyfall" profile, as well as the opportunity to reunite with Sam Mendes. The Dame also offers a tantalizing tease on her favorite part of playing this version of M. 
 
It's been raking in money overseas for weeks, but "Skyfall" finally opens in domestic theaters on Friday, November 9. [And check out my interview with "Skyfall" star Daniel Craig.]
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