“Scandal” needed to have a shocking death
The ABC drama is going to benefit from the events of Thursday’s episode. As Eric Dodds notes, "it’s encouraging that Scandal showrunner Shonda Rhimes was willing to kill off a significant character — something she previously showed a willingness to do on 'Grey’s Anatomy.' Best case scenario, it’s a gateway killing of sorts — a sign that Scandal is starting to see that if the show wants to be as shocking as it claims in a way that actually matters, it needs to make no character (short of Kerry Washington’s Olivia Pope) untouchable.” PLUS: Nearly everybody is a murderer on “Scandal,” and killed-off “Scandal” star says: "The threat of death on a show like this, if it doesn't pay off occasionally, the audience begins to scream bulls–t."


Alfre Woodard will play President of the United States on NBC's "State of Affairs"
Woodard is joining the CIA drama starring Katherine Heigl.


Is HBO considering Kate Mara & Ellen Page for “True Detective” Season 2?
Mara points out that HBO’s Twitter account favorited one of her tweets proposing a pairing with Ellen Page for Season 2. "Dear @EllenPage,” she tweeted. "What does this mean?! You think they like the idea of two tiny detectives?"


New York state may give tax breaks to TV shows with diverse writers’ rooms
Two bills pending in the state legislature would incentivize adding diversity to the writing staffs of TV shows.


The “Girls” halo effect: Guest-stars are seen as influencers
Those making a cameo on the HBO series have discovered that it could do wonders for their credibility, especially in NYC. PLUS: Allison Williams admits Marnie would drive her crazy in real life, though she’d still be friends with her.


Isaiah Washington shared a photo of his “highly confidential" script for “Grey’s Anatomy”
“The contents of this script are highly confidential and are for your eyes only,” says a note on the script.


Why a “Game of Thrones” movie ending is a terrible idea
“The idea of using a feature to 'tie things up' is a dangerous prospect and would only add fuel to the fire of television’s desire to stretch franchises out further than their shelf life allows,” says Merill Barr. "Hit series such as ’24' and 'The X-Files' both fell into the trap of a promised feature-film future and thus suffered from not having a worthy ending to their stories because everyone thought “we’ll be back in a year.” PLUS: Why we’re obsessed, behind the scents of the hip-hop mixtape recording, and how much influence does George R.R. Martin have on the show’s creators?


Kevin Spacey is spending tonight charming members of Maryland’s legislature at a wine bar
It looks like “House of Cards” is going to get the tax credits it needs to stay in Maryland.


Check out more pics of Zoe Saldana in “Rosemary’s Baby”
“Suits" star Patrick J. Adams plays her husband in the NBC miniseries.


WWE asks fans which of 8 proposed reality show ideas they’d like to see on WWE Network
The proposals include “WWE Dirty Jobs," “WWE Rescue” and “WWE Prankdown."


Watch the TV Academy’s panel on “Justified”
Timothy Olyphant, Walton Goggins and Joelle Carter spent Wednesday night chatting about this season and the final season.


How “HIMYM” ended up in Long Island for its final season
Two of the show’s writers happen to be from Long Island, and couldn’t stop talking about it.


“The Walking Dead” has fully embraced the “Bottle Episode”
A Bottle Episode focuses on only a few characters with limited narrative action, as Darren Franich points out: "For 'Walking Dead,' this storytelling strategy hasn’t just worked: By digging into characters who were basically just defined by their trademark weapon and some telltale article of clothing, the show might have actually rebooted itself as a creative venture.” PLUS: See the season finale poster.


An HBO special for Rosie O’Donnell?
The cable channel’s cameras are set to capture Rosie’s upcoming standup performances next month.


Conan rides a mechanical bull
Watch his promo for “Conan” in Dallas.


Bravo casting director searches Instagram for future reality stars
Melissa Stanforth says if you already have a big, engaged following, you’re likely perfect for reality stardom.


Candace Cameron Bure’s Russian-born husband learned English from “Full House”
The former “Full House” star’s former hockey player husband came to the United States at age 17, and was introduced to Candace Cameron by Dave Coulier.


Singing nun is a sensation on Italy’s “The Voice”
Sister Cristina Scuccia was dressed in her religious outfit while performing Alicia Keys’ “No One.”


Web site lets you explore IMDb ratings of TV shows, via graphs
Check out Graph TV.


See a preview of “Californication” Season 7
Hank hits rock bottom.


Fox News anchor takes on Kristen Bell
Neil Cavuto objected to Bell’s tweet that "rich people SHOULD pay higher taxes."