George R.R. Martin on “Game of Thrones” shocker: 'I didn’t want it to be unrelentingly bleak'

George R.R. Martin on “Game of Thrones” shocker: "I didn’t want it to be unrelentingly bleak”
"I’ve been pretty outspoken in my desire to write a story where decisions have consequences and no one is safe,” says Martin of the events of last night’s episode. "But I didn’t want it to be unrelentingly bleak—I don’t think everyone would read the books if everything was just darkness and despair and people being horribly tortured and mutilated and dying. Every once in a while you have to give the good guys a victory — where the guys who are perhaps a lighter shade of grey have a victory over the guys who are a darker shade of grey. The Red Wedding and this — fans call this the Purple Wedding — occur in the same book. In the TV show, it’s separate seasons.” PLUS: That wedding was stunning, subtle, horrific — even before the final scene, “GoT” showrunners talk about the Purple Wedding -- and almost casting somebody else as King Joffrey, says last night’s director: "I basically was just ripping off Robert Altman,” Sophie Turner found that final day of shooting devastating, he looked like a cross between Caligula and an evil Bratz doll, what if the media reported last night’s shocking event?, the cast found filming to be traumatic, this was a truly sad event, introducing the “GoT” sex chart, Purple Wedding made Stephen King happy, why you shouldn’t celebrate this twist, and it’s true — he’s retiring!


Jon Hamm said “Woah” when watching Don Draper's “Mad Men” premiere scene with that 90s TV star
“It was remarkably affecting,” he said of that scene. Why? "Because we shot it a million years ago and I’d forgotten about it. But it’s a beautiful moment, and she’s so good in it. It’s nice to see her again on screen. It’s this weirdly tender moment that kind of comes out of left field. I was pleasantly surprised by it.” PLUS: Hamm sought advice from Bryan Cranston and Tina Fey on how to say goodbye to Don, how that 90s TV star got the part, why Matthew Weiner casts famous guest-stars, this episode had one of the best elongated moments "Mad Men” has ever used, "Freddy Rumsen" on playing Don's voice, what's up with Freddy?, what a boring season premiere, this felt redundant, it was like the beginning of "The Godfather," was that an homage to “The Graduate”?, and this was an excellent stating point for a jam-packed season premiere.


How Conan O’Brien filmed 50 celebrity cameos in 3 weeks for his MTV Movie Awards opening
"We had this lean, mean SEAL Team Six machine,” says Troy Miller, who directed and produced the segment. "We'd come in, get it from six different angles and people would be out in six minutes.” PLUS: Mark Wahlberg drops many F-bombs during his acceptance speech.


Turner Classic Movies launched 20 years ago today
TCM will celebrate today’s anniversary with tonight’s retrospective, “TCM: Twenty Classic Moments."


“Wheel of Fortune” contestant doesn’t regret mispronouncing “Achilles” to lose out on $1 million
“It was a dream,” said Indiana University freshman Julian Batts. “It was one of the greatest experiences I’ve accomplished so far.”


Why Yahoo! will likely fail in its effort to spend lots of money on prestigious TV shows
As FX boss John Landgraf explains, “It is the pure arrogance of the newly rich and the newly powerful to think content is easy. Breaking through in a cluttered marketplace requires expertise in all of the elements of storytelling. There are so many ways it can go wrong.”


Watch Jimmy Fallon let loose in a bar
“The Tonight Show” host seems to be spending a lot of time in bars in recent days.

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Bill Clinton congratulates Stephen Colbert, Conan says Colbert is the 'right person' to replace Letterman

Bill Clinton congratulates Stephen Colbert, Conan says Colbert is the “right person” to replace Letterman
The former president, who got on Twitter thanks to Colbert, tweeted congrats to Colbert “for keeping us laughing & thinking.” Meanwhile, Conan O'Brien reacted to the news, saying: "I wasn’t up for it. I’m very happy where I am, but I love Stephen. I think Stephen is great. I’m a huge fan of his as a comic and as a human being. I think it’s fantastic. I’m really glad that he got the job. I look forward to seeing his show.”


Billy Crystal’s new FX show will revisit his famous “SNL” characters
That’s according to co-star Josh Gad, who says: “I grew up watching ‘SNL’ religiously, so seeing (Crystal) re-create some of his characters on this show and doing some of that stuff is a dream come true.”


GLAAD names “The Fosters” TV’s best drama
The Jennifer Lopez-produced ABC Family drama topped last year’s winner, “Orphan Black.”


Andrew Garfield will host “SNL”
The “Amazing Spider-Man” star will be joined by Coldplay on May 3. PLUS: Seth Rogen’s monologue crashed by Taylor Swift, Zooey Deschanel and James Franco.


Jimmy Fallon was at a bar when a brawl broke out around him
“Fallon was pretty shaken up,” a source tells the NY Daily News of the Thursday incident. “He was at the wrong place at the wrong time, and chaos erupted around him.”


"Once Upon a Time’s” Ginnifer Goodwin & Josh Dallas are now a married couple
Goodwin, who is expecting a baby with Dallas, got engaged last October.


“Banshee” adds 3 newbies
The Season 3 cast will include at least four new additions.


Benedict Cumberbatch: I will never play “Doctor Who”
“I'm never gonna play the Doctor – and nothing to do with the Whoniverse,” he said at Australia’s Comic-Con this weekend.


“Modern Family’s” Mitch & Cam make a cameo on “Family Guy”
Check them out palling around with Peter Griffin.


Jimmy Kimmel sidekick Guillermo started off on the show making $8 an hour
He started off as Kimmel’s parking security guard. Now he has a contract that pays him much, much more.


“Kitchen Nightmares” returns to Amy’s Baking Company, and cursing ensues
“Gordon Ramsey can go f**k himself” was heard on Friday’s broadcast.


“Wheel of Fortune” contestant loses out on $1 million because he couldn’t pronounce “Achilles”
"Mythological hero...A Chili's?"


Bryan Cranston takes out his Walter White impression to help a teen ask a girl to prom
She said yes!


A 14-foot model of David Hasselhoff pulled from auction
The model of The Hoff in his “Baywatch” trunks was yanked one week after appearing on Jimmy Kimmel.

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'Sharknado 2' wants fans to fork over $50,000 to film an extra scene

“Sharknado 2” wants fans to fork over $50,000 to film an extra scene
An Indiegogo page has been set up to raise the money to film the scene. And if fans don’t pay, the scene won’t be filmed.


Syfy orders space opera “The Expanse”
The thriller set 200 years in the future is based on the James S.A. Corey book series.


Discovery Channel will air a 5-night late-night talk show devoted to “Everest Live Jump”
"Everest: Live From Base Camp” will kick off Monday, May 5.


CBS boss Les Moonves made $66.9M last year
Also last year, CBS’ shareholders’ shares appreciated 67.5%.


Stephen Colbert vs Jimmy Fallon sets up the late-night music wars
Fallon will soon have a rival in the battle of can’t-miss musical moments in late-night TV. PLUS: Colbert has repeatedly shown his true self, recalling Colbert’s 2005 “Colbert Report” launch reviews.

Conan O’Brien: I’m going to spoil “Game of Thrones” to get people to watch the MTV Movie Awards
“I’ve … gotten a hold of the Game of Thrones episode that’s on that night,” Conan jokes. “So on the day before the awards, I’m going to get out as many spoilers as possible to kill the Game of Thrones experience for people. Then, out of either despair or rage, they’ll have to tune in to see the MTV Movie Awards.”


Watch Mila Kunis crack “That ‘70s Show” jokes with Ashton Kutcher on “Two and a Half Men”
Ashton and Mila jokes about their past on last night’s episode.


Daniel Tosh and Comedy Central pay their condolences to the PA who was killed by cops
John Winkler, 30, had only been working on the show and in L.A. for a brief time before his death on Monday.


Helen Slater joins “The Young and the Restless”
The former “Supergirl” will appear in at least five episodes next month.


Did Ben Savage get a nose job for “Girl Meets World”?
Savage’s nose looks totally different in the trailer for the Disney Channel spinoff.


“Full House’s” original Danny Tanner recalls being replaced by Bob Saget
Actor John Posey was in Mississippi when he got the bad Saget news from his agent.


“Dancing” double amputee Amy Purdy is a “natural superhero”
Purdy proudly embraces the word “fembot,” and as dance critic Sarah Kaufman writes of her prosthetic limbs: "Peeking out of her adorable gold-fringed cha-cha pants were gleaming metal rods leading to flesh-toned plastic feet, part Terminator, part department-store mannequin. Purdy’s bionic limbs give her a fascinating fembot-bombshell look.


"Late Night" writer was surprised to learn she’s the 1st black female hired to write for a network late-night show
Says Amber Ruffin, who originally auditioned for “SNL’s” black female casting call: ""It just never occurred to me that I might be the person that's, you know, some girl is like, 'Hooray, now I've got an even better shot at this. Thanks Amber! Don't mess it up.’"


“Veep” creator reveals his favorite insult from the show
Armando Iannucci says "the seven-foot mouth” from the season premiere cracks him up every time.


Why are TV daughters so hated?
From Paige on “The Americans” to “Homeland’s” Dana Brody, TV daughters seem to attract the ire of their audience.


Nick Offerman recreates a 1920 Norman Rockwell cover of Popular Science magazine
As the “Parks and Rec” star describes it on Twitter, "A Jackass on the cover of @PopSci as a guy who might could find his ass with both hands.” PLUS: Offerman on directing last night’s “Parks and Rec" surprise.


Peek inside Seth Meyers’ unusual-looking backstage area
From Meyers’ office to his dressing room and green rooms.


“Nurse Jackie” is back for Season 5, and it’s starting to feel tired
Edie Falco’s Showtime series feels like it’s in a holding pattern. PLUS: Peter Facinelli explains why he’s leaving.


“Californication” kicks off its final season showing its greatness and flaws
Much of this 7th season will feel like a rerun until Hank Moody’s story concludes. PLUS: “Californication’s” soundtrack drops Sunday, watch 6 seasons in 2 minutes, and what David Duchovny will miss about Hank.

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'Mad Men' was designed to self-destruct
Credit: AMC

'Mad Men' was designed to self-destruct

“Mad Men” was designed to self-destruct
“Now that the subtext is the text,” says Sean T. Collins, "now that 'Mad Men’s' storyline has caught up to the countercultural moment that would eventually lead to works like, well, 'Mad Men,' the show's original aesthetic appeal has been tossed out the window like so much suicide foreshadowing. If you were the kind of Don-bro able to turn off your brain and just enjoy early 'Mad Men' for its lush portrayal of a jocularly misogynist time when men were men, women were women, and everyone looked amazing (even if they smelled like ashtrays), brother, you're out of luck now.” PLUS: Play the “Mad Men” drinking game for Season 7, recalling 7 seasons of “Mad Men” promos, 14-year-old Kiernan Shipka poses for Vanity Fair, how “Mad Men’s” style evolved, ranking Don’s women, the final season will look stylistically ugly, and a refresher for where "Mad Men" left off.


Why it’s OK that “Mad Men” characters never change
"We’ve invested in them, and sometimes the dividends seem puny,” Matt Zoller Seitz says of the final season. "But still we watch. At least, we masochists who don’t care about likability or happy endings watch. It’s not a self-help guide. But there is some value in Mad Men’s spectacle of misbehavior. The show has nothing to teach us. It’s just being honest about the truths people discover and then disregard, and the lies they tell themselves, as history moves around them. They’re doing the best they can.”


“Mad Men” is simpler in Season 7, like its earlier seasons
"Everyone’s where we’ve always known them to be,” says Richard Lawson, "and in that vein, the season premiere plays as straightforwardly as this show gets. Which comes as both a disappointment and a relief. The past few seasons of Mad Men have been so laden with symbolism and metaphor and all kinds of allusions that it’s been hard to find the point.”


Jon Hamm is taken aback when “Mad Men” fans tell him they want to be Don Draper
"I’m like, 'You want to be a miserable drunk?,’” he says. "I don’t think you want to be anything like that guy. You want to be like the guy on a poster maybe but not the actual guy. The actual guy’s rotting from the inside out and has to pull it together.” PLUS: Hamm hopes that an 88-year-old Don Draper would still be alive, and at peace, and Vincent Kartheiser on splitting the seasons.


“Mad Men’s” season premiere feels as exhausted as the ‘60s
“Many of the characters are repeating themselves or pedaling in place, and the historic underlay that was once so piquant is now dreary: This season it’s the inauguration of President Richard M. Nixon,” says Alessandra Stanley. "That sagging of energy happens to any long-lasting series, but it’s oddly apt in the case of 'Mad Men,' because the show’s trajectory so closely follows the era it portrays.”


Matthew Weiner answers the question: Is “Mad Men” Peggy’s story?
"It's very interesting to me,” he tells Rolling Stone. "She's a very important character. She's introduced in the pilot as "the new girl," and is sort of there to bring the audience into this world. She's so important, and so much of Don's story and her story are told in parallel to each other. But the story derives from Don, for me, still. I mean, her growth has been incredible, and I love that she's become a symbol, in a way. Because I don't see her like that – she's a person and a character."

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ABC to celebrate 'Scandal' with a 'Jimmy Kimmel Live: Behind the Scandalabra' special

ABC to celebrate “Scandal” with a "Jimmy Kimmel Live: Behind the Scandalabra” special
Kimmel will interview Shonda Rhimes on set for a special edition of “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on Thursday after the "Scandal" season finale (Kimmel will be in repeats the rest of next week). PLUS: Long-haired Kimmel stars in the season finale of “Escandalo."

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Les Moonves says '12:30 is up in the air' and 'a woman would be great in late night'

Les Moonves says “12:30 is up in the air” and “a woman would be great in late night"
“Obviously, we’re considering all sorts of candidates and women are among them,” says the CBS boss of the "Late Late" timeslot.


Prediction: Stephen Colbert will never be able to beat Jimmy Fallon
There’ s no way a mass audience will watch Colbert, says Ken Tucker, who says CBS "put in place the most interesting host imaginable for the job that’ll likely come in second in the ratings for a good long time, if not for the entire length of his term.” He adds: "To anyone with a sense of talk-show history, the new dynamic is simple: Colbert will be the Dick Cavett to Fallon’s Johnny Carson — more intellectually curious, more poised and recondite in his humor, more prone to pull from a wider pool of guests than the latest star plugging his/her movie/TV show.” PLUS: Taiwanese animators weigh in on Colbert’s promotion.


Why not replace Stephen Colbert with Key and Peele?
The Comedy Central stars could provide serious competition to Jimmy Fallon with their ability to do sketches.


A painting of Ellen’s Oscar selfie now hangs at Twitter HQ
Was Samsung responsible for the painting?


How Peter Dinklage was pitched “Game of Thrones” 7 years ago — and why he hesitated
Dinklage says in a Reddit Ask Me Anything that co-creator David Benioff was an acquaintance who got him interested in Westeros. "I had one hesitation,” he writes, "because of the fantasy genre, I told him I didn’t want a really long beard and pointy shoes, and they assured me this character and this world wasn’t that. They told me about his complexity, the fact that he wasn’t a hero or a villain, that he was a womanizer and a drinker, and they painted a flawed and beautiful portrait of him, so i signed on.” PLUS: White House removed a petition to send an ambassador to Westeros, How much would “GoT” real estate cost in real life?, and watch the first three seasons summarized with maps.


Spike TV renews “Auction Hunters”
The long-running series will be back for a 5th season.


A new “Walking Dead” book series is in the works
“Walking Dead: Descent” will be released in October.


“Scandal” finally returns to form
Last night’s twist set up a promising season finale next week. PLUS: “Scandal” keeps disappointing, “Scandal” is at its best when it channels “Alias,” and Zyrtec takes advantage of “#Olitz."


“Suits” creator comments on that season finale twist
"Emotionally, I would imagine you’re feeling bittersweet about it,” says Aaron Korsh. PLUS: Meet Mike’s new secretary.


Bob Saget “loved” the “HIMYM” series finale
Saget, who was at the final table read, said on “Watch What Happens Live”:  "I loved the show. I thought they did a really beautiful job, so that's my opinion."

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Les Moonves: Letterman and I agreed Stephen Colbert was the No. 1 choice

Les Moonves: Letterman and I agreed Stephen Colbert was the No. 1 choice
Moonves talked about CBS’ pick on “CBS This Morning”: "It appeared to us that he was the only logical successor to David. And when I called Dave to ask for his blessing he said exactly the same thing. He said I can't think of anybody even a close second.” PLUS: Will Colbert be allowed to continue his stellar science interviews on CBS?, CBS should’ve picked Louis CK instead, Colbert agrees with Bill O’Reilly’s anti-Colbert rant, Jennifer Garner worked for Colbert as his babysitter after they met working on a 1996 "Spin City" episode, and why CBS screwed up by alienating conservatives.


“SVU” on the bubble: Is this the end of the “Law & Order” franchise?
Now in its 15th season, the Dick Wolf drama is having trouble convincing NBC to pay the hefty cost of renewal.


MTV Movie Awards will pay a special tribute to Paul Walker
"Well, I think we are just really happy and honored that they were willing to allow us to celebrate him in some way on the show,” says exec producer Garrett English. "And his family and friends were willing to have that happen.”


“Community” and “Parks and Rec” each hit a series low
Last night was the 2nd week in a row “Community” hit a series low.


“Parks and Rec” co-creator explains last night’s surprise
"I really think that the only weapon that TV has in this day in age is surprise,” says Mike Schur. "People have seen so many stories and so many incarnations in so many different shows. That's why we like to have our big moments be surprises.” PLUS: Can “Parks and Rec” make this trope work?


“24” unveils its full-length “Live Another Day” trailer
Check out the new “movie-quality preview."


Jimmy Kimmel puts Drake in disguise to meet his haters
Watch Drake dressed as a bearded news reporter.

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Stephen Colbert: 'I do not envy whoever' replace Letterman — 'those are some huge shoes to fill'

Stephen Colbert: “I do not envy whoever” replaces Letterman — “those are some huge shoes to fill"
Watch Colbert address the big news on “The Colbert Report” — without mentioning the big news.


Jon Stewart: We spent all day looking up old Stephen Colbert clips
"The exciting news today is that I no longer need a cable subscription for the privilege of watching Stephen Colbert," Stewart said on tonight's "Daily Show," adding: "I think Stephen Colbert is up for the challenge."


Jimmy Fallon to Colbert: Get ready for a late-night dance-off
Fallon said at the top of tonight’s “Tonight Show”: "Now, a lot of people in the media are already talking about there being a new late night war – and I just want to say there’s not going to be any war. It’ll be a dance off. A late night dance off! Get ready, Stephen.” UPDATE: Seth Meyers can't wait to haze Colbert.


HBO's "The Leftovers" is going on a brief hiatus
“We put ourselves on a tight schedule, and we decided to give our production a short hiatus to prep our final episodes,” HBO said of the Damon Lindelof series.

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Craig Ferguson congratulates 'the lovely Stephen Colbert' in his 'Late Late Show' monologue

Craig Ferguson congratulates "the lovely Stephen Colbert” in his “Late Late Show” monologue
"Isn’t that lovely?” Ferguson said at the top of tonight’s show, according to a  transcript. "Congratulations Stephen! A fine addition to the CBS cavalcade of stars.” PLUS: Colbert breaks his silence on Twitter.


Report: CBS focused in on Colbert in February — its post-Letterman search began last October
That’s according to Josef Adalian, who adds of the tricky Craig Ferguson situation: "Of course, CBS might actually be fine with keeping Ferguson and focusing on launching Colbert; it could be Ferguson who feels slighted and ready to leave. If so, it’s hard to see how he could get a better talk show gig than the one he has now. As talented and respected as Ferguson is, there simply are no broadcast networks with available time slots for him.”


Colbert’s CBS hiring seems stranger and stranger the more you look at it
"The most glaring issue with the hire,” says Richard Lawson, "is that Stephen Colbert has, for the most part, been playing a character for the last 10 or so years. Sure, the line between 'Stephen Colbert' and Stephen Colbert is often blurry, but much of what’s made the guy famous and successful has been full-blown parody. An argument could be made that during The Colbert Report’s interview segments, which probably pertain the most to this new gig, Colbert is more himself, and has proven a nimble and likable interviewer. But it’s still in the context of the ‘Colbert' character, and, in a broader sense, of the late-night Comedy Central political-humor lineup.” PLUS: Why “The Late Show” will ruin Colbert, What if Colbert can’t interview well out of character?, the real Colbert is far more gentle than the “Colbert” character, we’re losing a great TV character with Colbert’s "Colbert" departure, Colbert is hugely popular in Google searches, watch 21 times Colbert was himself, Colbert won’t be a Letterman clone — and that makes him a great pick, can he compete with the Jimmys in social media?, and Colbert will become “America’s Catholic."


Stephen Colbert won’t revert to the correct pronunciation of his name
He’ll still be "kohl-BAYR” on “The Late Show,” while the rest of his family uses "KOHL-bert."


Comedy Central has become a late-night launching pad, with 2 11:35 pm network late-night hosts
First “The Man Show’s” Jimmy Kimmel and now Colbert. In fact, Comedy Central is the only network to boast three hit late-night shows, thanks to the addition of “@midnight."


Watch Stephen Colbert’s comedy evolution, starting with his 1995 “Exit 57” show on Comedy Central
Colbert co-starred with Amy Sedaris on the one-season series, before going on to “The Dana Carvey Show” the next year.


NBC will air “Rosemary’s Baby” during May sweeps — it’ll battle “Grey’s Anatomy” season finale
The two-part miniseries will air on Mother’s Day, May 11, and Thursday, May 15.


“Cuz-Bros” reunites “Enlisted” stars
The CBS comedy pilot has added Parker Young to a cast that already includes Geoff Stults.


“Tosh.0” production assistant was accidentally killed by an L.A. Sheriff deputy
John Winkler, 30, was mistaken for a knife-wielding assailing at a West Hollywood apartment when he was only trying to help. Winkler was killed in the same complex that ex-“Bachelorette” Ali Fedotowsky lives in. On Tuesday, she noted that two people had been stabbed in her building in the past week.


TCM’s Mickey Rooney marathon expanded to 24 hours
Turner Classic Movies will kick off the marathon Sunday at 6 am ET with "Broadway to Hollywood."


Watch Seth Rogen’s “SNL” promos with Ed Sheeran
He’s sandwiched between two gingers.


In defense of “Justified” Season 5
Season 5 was one of the best seasons, says David Chute, because it "was able to overcome the Not-as-Good-as-Mags-Bennett curse by not placing the entire adversarial burden on a single pair of shoulders, but by parceling out among several excellent actors another close-knit backwoods criminal clan.”


Rob Lowe: “Californication’s” Eddie Nero was one of my all-time favorite roles
Lowe answered questions on Reddit today, and wrote: "I could play Eddie Nero for 100 years. And NEVER get bored. I will miss him SO MUCH when Californication ends. But he is based on all of the demented, pretentious, intellectual, sexually confused, A-list Academy Award winning movie stars that I know.”


"Mork & Mindy” reunite on “The Cray Ones”
"It's been what? 32 years,” Robin Williams joked of his reunion with Pam Dawber. "I remember there were three cameras and they shot on film."


USA unveils its “Rush” medical drama promo
Tom Elias plays an on-call doctor who’s highly discreet.


Watch the “Covert Affairs" Season 5 promo
The USA series returns in June.

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Bill O’Reilly: 'I hope Colbert will consider me for the Ed McMahon spot'

Bill O’Reilly: “I hope Colbert will consider me for the Ed McMahon spot”
That was Colbert’s “Papa Bear’s” reaction to “The Late Show” news, at least before “The O’Reilly Factor” comes on later today.


Stephen Colbert’s agent called CBS’ Les Moonves to express interest
Moonves says the effort to find Colbert’s replacement went at a breakneck pace immediately after Letterman’s announcement. Colbert, Moonves said, had one request: “He said, ‘I want to be sure Dave is on board.’” PLUS: CBS will own “The Late Show” — not Letterman’s Worldwide Pants, and Neil Patrick Harris is “thrilled” with the Colbert pick.


Report: CBS execs are frustrated with Craig Ferguson’s “Late Late Show”
Les Moonves would only say "“we’re having conversations” and “there is nothing to report now,” but Deadline reports that CBS hasn’t been happy with Ferguson’s ratings.


CNN boss: Interview shows like “Larry King Live” are no longer viable
"We believe that genre is no longer viable,” says Jeff Zucker. "There are just too many outlets with not enough big gets for a pure talk show to thrive any longer."


Here’s video proof that all Shonda Rhimes characters sound the same
Introducing the “Shonda Staccato.”

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