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CMA Awards 2018 Hosts Carrie Underwood & Brad Paisley on Taking a 'Non-Political' Approach

Tue, 11/13/2018 - 11:30am

Over the last decade, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood have been a welcome staple of the Country Music Association Awards. And this year is no different, as the multi-platinum duo host country music’s biggest night for the 11th consecutive time.

Before taking the Nashville stage for the 2018 CMA Awards, the two took time out to reflect on their run, what we can expect on show night, and why their undeniable chemistry is lightning in a bottle.

 The Judges Breakdown the 3 Star Qualities They're Looking for 'Real Country' Premiere: The Judges Breakdown the 3 Star Qualities They're Looking for

Shania Twain isn't looking for copycat performers. She wants to find someone original.

You two aren’t your typical award show hosts in that you are very hands-on throughout the process. How soon do you start preparing for this show?

Brad Paisley: I think we usually get together for the first time around August to sort of say, “What could we talk about this year?” That’s kind of the first attempt and not always productive.

Carrie Underwood: Well, there is so much stuff to get in place that I think it’s good to get the wheels turning. We do get together early just to know who is doing what. We talk to a lot of people who are in our format, who has albums that just came out or are coming out. We just kind of get a general outline. So much changes as we get closing to the CMAs where a lot of stuff can become irrelevant. It’s good to get started early though.

After doing the show for all of these years, do you feel your approach has changed with the world being so different since 2008? Social media is as prevalent as ever, and people might being a little more sensitive. What has this evolution been like from your perspective?

Paisley: We didn’t know what we were doing at all in the beginning did we?

Underwood: No! We had to find our way through it and figure out what roles we were playing up there together. Over the years, we have had to adjust things based on perception. We want to create an environment where people are entertained and are happy. We want to showcase our format in the best way possible.

This year, we are taking a non-political or hot button issue approach to the CMAs because we just want to celebrate. We want to give people something to smile about. So, we definitely try to gauge what is going on in the world an where we are. We try to write and act accordingly.

You've have worked so closely together, collaborating on music, as well. Tell us what you each have learned about one another over the years.

Paisley: Carrie is, first of all, fierce when it comes to basically wanting to do things well. Talk about a work ethic and talent — then you combine the two. Here you’re talking about someone who will go to whatever lengths she has to in order to make sure something is great. She is a pro in every way. And also, this is not something everyone can do. Standing up there and being funny and having the timing and having those instincts is lightning in a bottle. The fact that we do this together so well is something that I’m really thrilled that we got to discover.

'Shawdowhunters,' 'Riverdale' & Kardashians Win Big at People's Choice Awards 2018 'Shawdowhunters,' 'Riverdale' & Kardashians Win Big at People's Choice Awards 2018

The people have spoken!

Underwood: There is a lot of love that goes into doing this and hosting — a lot of time. Brad is always working on parodies and music and jokes. There is a lot of time spent outside when we should probably be spending time with our families or friends. [Laughs] It’s always interesting to talk to hosts of various other award shows and they're like, “yeah, I got my script last night,” the night before the awards show. We don’t take that approach at all. We put a lot of time and effort into it.

That is definitely evident at showtime. Everyone has a lot of memories from your time hosting — whether it’s the outfits you wear, the songs you do, the opening monologues. Do you each have a moment or memory you are always going to be proud of or look back on?

Underwood: I feel like some of those parodies we’ve done over the years have replaced the original songs in my head. I can’t listen to the original songs without hearing what we did to them.

Paisley: That’s true, we kind of have ruined some of them for ourselves over time. There are so many that stand out. I think about the first one we ever did, the idea for it came when I went up to the Late Show and did David Letterman. He had Michael Bublé sing headlines to jazz standard tunes and I thought we should do that. The first one we wrote was the year Taylor Swift got interrupted [by Kanye West] during her [MTV VMAs] award acceptance speech. We sang "Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Kanye." As you can imagine, we were off and running after that.

You’ve been known to poke fun at your peers, many of them in the audience. When it gets to this time of year, do you feel they're extra nice to you for fear you might include them in your material? Is everyone usually good sports?

Paisley: Most of the time they’re good sports.

Underwood: Yeah, I feel like the people that know us know we poke fun with love. They get it. We usually do a pretty good job knowing who can laugh at themselves. We also manage to throw our own selves under the bus as we do it, which I feel makes things a little better, too. We’re not even off-limits with each other.

Paisley: Definitely not.

(ABC/Ed Herrera)

How would you guys sum up country music this year?

Paisley: I think it’s transitional, it’s coming into a new phase, and I’m not exactly sure what [that is]. I feel like there is a little bit of an awakening toward some of the '90s [music] and some of that again. People looking back at this golden era that we had when we had people like Garth Brooks debut and Vince Gill. We’re looking back a little bit, in a good way. I never think nostalgia is bad in country music. It’s such a music based on its history.

Underwood: I feel like a lot of people are pushing boundaries and experimenting a little bit. They are wanting to grow country music to the rest of the world, which has been nice to see. Over the past few years, so many artists have been going outside of the U.S. and taking country music abroad. The response has been really amazing. People have been working with people outside our genre, which I think is great. Bringing other artists in, and they’re getting to show their appreciation for country music. I feel like people are taking chances, and I really respect that.

I know you have a lot of surprises planned, but what can we expect from this year’s CMAs? Give us a hint.

Paisley: You’re giving us too much credit for knowing what we are going to do. [Laughs]

How many costume changes can we expect?

Underwood: Oh gosh, I don’t even know that yet! It’s hard to keep up. I don’t know what all has been announced or everyone who is performing. You know everyone is going to bring their A-game. Everyone takes this seriously. We want to celebrate another year in country music. We want to lift each other up. Everyone wants their fans to tune in and watch and have a great time, no matter who it is. It’s going to be a good night.

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You’re approaching the consecutive hosting record, currently held by Vince Gill. What are your thoughts on maybe exceeding that with this being number 11?

Paisley: One year at a time.

So, it’s not a given that you’ll host next year? It’s more of a “we’ll see what happens.”

Paisley: We’ll see.

Underwood: We want to be happy and want everyone to be happy with what we’re doing. As long as they keep asking us, we’ll keep saying yes.

The 52nd Annual CMA Awards air live, Wednesday, November 14, 8/7c, ABC

'Real Country' Judges Break Down the 3 Star Qualities They're Looking For

Tue, 11/13/2018 - 10:00am
Real Country

How do you define country music? This singers’ showcase — more celebration than competition — hopes to find a multitude of answers.

“Our genre has stagnated,” says Shania Twain, one of Real Country’s panelists as well as an executive producer. “We have one George Jones — we don’t need another one. We don’t need another Shania Twain.”

See Shania Twain, Travis Tritt & Jake Owen in the First Promo for USA's 'Real Country' (VIDEO) See Shania Twain, Travis Tritt & Jake Owen in the First Promo for USA's 'Real Country' (VIDEO)

The country superstars are on the hunt for the next chart-topping crooner.

So to find the new voice of country, the five-time Grammy winner and fellow A-listers Travis Tritt and Jake Owen will each mentor a stable of diverse, handpicked artists. Here’s what could merit $100,000 and a gig at the Grand Ole Opry.


“The thing I find myself saying the most to the [acts] is ‘Just do it the way you feel it,’” says Tritt, the panel’s self-declared “elder statesman.” He adds, “The greatest piece of advice I probably ever got in my career came from Waylon Jennings, who told me way back when that everybody deserves the opportunity to do it their own way at least once.”


More than anything, Twain craves country music that speaks to the entire country. “We don’t need every song to be about a dirt road, because not everybody has a dirt road. Certainly not the new country fans,” she offers with a laugh. “The audience has broadened so much that they don’t relate to that. A lot of the artists in the genre don’t even come from that!”


“Great talent” is out there, says the platinum-selling Owen, who culled his roster from acts he’d seen live and on audition tapes. “But it’s a matter of stepping up and delivering a performance where people say, ‘I want to see that again.’”

Real Country, Series Premiere, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 10/9c, USA

Ask Matt: 'The Kids Are Alright,' 'Catastrophe,' 'Walking Dead' Movie Spinoff, Streaming on DVD and More

Tue, 11/13/2018 - 9:00am

Welcome back to the Q&A with TV critic (also known to some TV fans as their "TV therapist") Matt Roush, who'll try to address whatever you love, loathe, are confused or frustrated or thrilled by in today's vast TV landscape. One caution: This is a spoiler-free zone, so we won't be addressing upcoming storylines here unless it's already common knowledge. Please send your questions and comments to (or use the form at the end of the column) and follow me on Twitter. Look for Ask Matt columns on most Tuesdays and Fridays.

Is Kids’ Nostalgia a Bit Fuzzy?

Question: I LOVE ABC’s new family comedy The Kids Are Alright. It does a great job of depicting life in a large family. But I think they need someone to oversee a few of the details. I was a mom back in the 1970s and I never wore a dress except for church on Sunday. I think the dress and pearls are more from the ’50s. There were a few other details that seemed a little "off," so maybe they need to hire someone from that generation to check the details. — Becky

Matt Roush: Kids is easily my favorite new comedy of the fall broadcast season—not that there was a lot of competition this year—and I especially love the scenes when the whole Cleary family scrambles to fill their plates and find a seat at the dinner table, while mom Peggy (Mary McCormack) and dad Mike (Michael Cudlitz) dish out heaping helpings of tough love. That all feels very real to me as well as funny. Keep in mind that this is a very specific memory of 1970s family life, from the POV of series creator Tim Doyle (who narrates and whose alter ego of “creative” child Timmy drives many of the subplots), so Peggy’s look may be accurate to that household, if not yours. I was roughly the same age as Timmy in the early ’70s and remember some moms (mostly aunts) who pretty much kept a “dress” code at home, so Peggy’s outfits don’t throw me—and to my memory, she only dons pearls for special church occasions, which seems appropriate to the Irish-Catholic milieu Kids is portraying.

And let me finish by noting that I truly related to the boys trying to watch a scandalous variety-show moment (apparently an urban legend) without their parents’ knowledge. And when that went wrong, Timmy laments: “If only there was a way to see something on TV again after it’s already been on.” Life before VCRs, DVRs, VHS, DVDs and streaming: I remember it well.

'The Kids Are Alright' Cast & EP Break Down Why the New Series Is Relatable (VIDEO) 'The Kids Are Alright' Cast & EP Break Down Why the New Series Is Relatable (VIDEO)

'It is definitely inspired by my life,' admitted executive producer Tim Doyle.

Catastrophic News

Question: I really enjoyed watching the funny Catastrophe on Amazon Prime and have watched all available seasons. Any idea if additional seasons are being filmed and when they might be available? — Bob

Matt Roush: The good news: There will be a fourth season of the terrific Sharon Horgan-Rob Delaney comedy. The less good news: It will by all accounts be the final season. News yet to come: An airdate. (Can’t even hazard a guess if they’ll slip it in before the new year or wait till 2019.)

Sharon Horgan on Why 'Catastrophe' Fans Should Watch Her New Series 'Motherland' Sharon Horgan on Why 'Catastrophe' Fans Should Watch Her New Series 'Motherland'

The multihyphenate penned the BBC comedy which is now streaming on Sundance Now.

Dead to All, Or Just Subscribers?

Question: Just a final word about The Walking Dead. Don't you think that these Rick Grimes movies could be a maneuver by AMC to transition for another pay platform a la CBS All Access since they already are offering commercial-free platforms for an added price? If so, I am completely out and upset—just how much money do they think viewers have?? I guess FX would be next since they are doing something similar. One final word, though: I am all in and excited about the Breaking Bad movie. — JV

Matt Roush: A few viewers wrote in to wonder about this possibility, and for now, I'm assuming that any future Walking Dead originals, including the Rick Grimes movies, will remain on the AMC channel. Nothing has been said to suggest otherwise. Yet. If they decide instead to use these special events to promote the AMC Premium service (which is basically an add-on to provide commercial-free versions of current AMC shows among other perks), that would indeed be foul play and fans would have every right to be upset. (Many of my readers are already peeved enough that CBS has put so many tempting originals behind the All Access paywall.) Your basic question—how much money viewers are expected to shell out for a growing number of pay services (ABC/Disney and Apple are next)—is something the industry is already wondering.

The Whisperers Are Definitely (Almost) Here on 'The Walking Dead' (RECAP) The Whisperers Are Definitely (Almost) Here on 'The Walking Dead' (RECAP)

Rick Grimes is gone, six years have passed and a new danger is looming on the horizon.

From Streaming to DVD

Question: I see that the first season of Star Trek: Discovery is being released on DVD, and The Good Fight has had a couple of seasons on DVD. House of Cards and a few select other Netflix originals have also released each of its seasons in that format. As someone who doesn't use streaming services, will these series be the exception, not the rule? Or is there a good chance The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, for instance, will be available on DVD? Are there other popular streaming shows that definitely will soon be available on DVD? — Paul

Matt Roush: This seems to be a case-by-case, show-by-show decision whether and when to release streaming originals on DVD. It isn’t as profitable a market as it used to be, although CBS clearly sees an upside in making their higher-profile titles available on disc. (I tend not to keep up with shows’ afterlife on DVD or in syndication, so can’t say with any certainty what’s in the pipeline.) I don’t see this happening as much—yet—with Amazon original series, which are obviously intended to enhance the value of a Prime membership. If even something as mainstream as Bosch is only available in a non-U.S. format, that tells me you’re probably in for a wait for shows like the wonderful Mrs. Maisel and the popular Jack Ryan to be released in this format. But again, I don’t follow the DVD business, so anything’s possible.

'It's A Wonderful Life' Makes Its Streaming Debut & More on Amazon Prime Video 'It's A Wonderful Life' Makes Its Streaming Debut & More on Amazon Prime Video

Plus, the sexy German thriller 'Beat.'

Is It Curtains for Midnight?

Question: As I feared, the ratings for the second-season premiere episode of NBC’s Midnight, Texas were very low: a 0.4 in the 18-49 demo and barely 2 million viewers, though it remained steady with its second episode. The show wasn’t helped by premiering against the World Series on Fox, and had a weak lead-in from the very low-rated Blindspot. I’m now very worried about this show really getting canceled! NBC will probably move the show to burn off the rest of the second season on Saturday nights like they did with Taken. What was NBC thinking moving the show to the fall schedule on Friday nights instead of having it remain on the summer schedule for its second season? The ratings for Midnight, Texas is nowhere near the ratings of Grimm that also ran on Friday nights, and the network already has a Grimm revival in development. I know I’ll sound like a conspiracy theorist, but I think NBC set up Midnight, Texas for failure so they can replace it with Grimm 2.0! — Chris B

Matt Roush: As I’ve said more times than I can count, networks aren’t in the business of setting up expensive original programming for failure. NBC figured, perhaps naively, that Midnight (with its Charlaine Harris tie-in) could work in the same cult-TV time slot as Grimm did for years. Dipping back into the Grimm well almost certainly would have happened regardless of Midnight’s fortunes, or lack thereof. If there’s any upside, it’s that expectations on Fridays are roughly the same (low) as they are for summer series—why else would Blindspot still be on?—and while Midnight might be struggling, it’s not dead yet.

First Look at the 'Midnight, Texas' Cast in the Season 2 Gallery Art (PHOTOS) First Look at the 'Midnight, Texas' Cast in the Season 2 Gallery Art (PHOTOS)

Anything can happen in this small southern town.

TV Texts Are Hard to Read

Question: I try to read your column religiously, but maybe I missed this issue. More and more shows are embracing the text message and they insist on making us try to read the actual text on the phone. I don't know about you but my wife and I can't read most of them; the text is too small. Last season Instinct took a different direction and had the text appear in balloons like in a comic book and that worked great. I hope other shows figure this out. — Andy

Matt Roush: Another frequent complaint (not as frequent as loud music drowning out dialogue), but bonus points for pointing out a show that does it right. Note to producers: If you’re going to use this device, make it at least as easy to read as subtitles or closed-captions.

 'Jane the Virgin' & 'Black Lightning' Make Moves, 'Roswell' Premieres & More The CW 2019 Midseason: 'Jane the Virgin' & 'Black Lightning' Make Moves, 'Roswell' Premieres & More

Plus, 'Roswell, New Mexico' finds a Tuesday home.

That’s all for now. Thanks as always for reading, and remember that I can’t do this without your participation, so please keep sending questions and comments about TV to or shoot me a line on Twitter (@TVGMMattRoush), and you can also submit questions via the handy form below. Please include a first name with your question.


Wendie Malick Shares What's Next for Toby's Mom on 'This Is Us' & 'Just Shoot Me' Revival Hopes

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 4:00pm

NBC's This Is Us has had quite a few familiar faces stop by as guest stars over its two-plus seasons, including the ever-talented Wendie Malick.

Malick is no stranger to the small-screen, with her iconic roles on series like Hot in Cleveland Just Shoot Me!, and Dream On, and she continues to build her resume with roles in This Is Us and Netflix's The Ranch.

Wendie Malick Talks Returning to Hallmark for 'Marrying Father Christmas' Wendie Malick Talks Returning to Hallmark for 'Marrying Father Christmas'

Find out what's next for her character Margaret — including a exciting new romance!

TV Insider recently chatted with the television vet to get the scoop on her This Is Us future, her hopes for a Just Shoot Me! revival, what it was like working with Dan Lauria, and more.

We love you on This Is Us as Toby’s (Chris Sullivan) mother, who already had a very emotional episode this season. What has that experience been like?

Wendie Malick: It’s such a privilege because I so love the work ethic of the people on that show. They are so incredibly talented, all of them, and the writing is spectacular. The acting, without exception, is just really stellar and that whole cast and crew and writers have such gratitude for what they have – that’s really finding lightning in a bottle.

That show’s just touched a nerve in this country, and that is pretty amazing. I think everyone can relate to it in some way. There’s some character that everyone in this country and probably around the world can identify with, and they’re just tackling issues that are close to home for everyone. It’s a real privilege to be part of it.

It’s interesting too because I’m working on The Ranch on Netflix and they’re also – even though it’s a comedy – they’re dealing with some pretty intense issues. So it’s interesting how even in comedies, people are taking on some of these bigger issues.

 3 Theories for the Truth Behind Jack's Necklace From Vietnam 'This Is Us': 3 Theories for the Truth Behind Jack's Necklace From Vietnam

Plus, find out what fans are saying about the revelation.

Is it safe to say we’ll see you pop up again on This Is Us in the future?

[Laughs] I really don’t know what the plans are, but I do know that they’ve asked if I could come back in January, so I think there is going to be more of [Toby’s] family. How that will unfold? I don’t know.

[Toby's] coping mechanism of using humor to deal with depression and how he got me out of mine, I think that’s such a rich and juicy storyline cause I know so many stand-up comedians and funny people who actually have a real dark side. So many who can be hilariously funny but part of it is a protective sort of shield and covers up some loneliness or some kind of depression.

 Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

Dan Lauria with Sullivan and Malick in This Is Us.

And how was working with fellow TV vet Dan Lauria (The Wonder Years) again after Pitch and Hot in Cleveland?

I love doing that. He’s one of my best friends, we do theater together too. We do two plays that we do for charity. One is about 9/11 called The Guys and another one is Love Letters. But we’ve done them all over the country to raise money for first responders and for other charities that we believe in.

Dan Fogelman helmed Pitch, which you both were both in. Is there a connection there?

Yeah, and that’s where I sort of got to know Dan Fogelman. That was a great show to be a part of, too. I loved it, I’m really sorry that it didn’t continue. I think it was a little ahead of its time.

 The cast of NBC's comedy, "Just Shoot Me." From left to right, Wendie Malick, David Spade, Laura San Giacomo, Enrico Colatoni and George Segal. (Photo by NBC, Inc./Online USA)

Malick, David Spade, Laura San Giacomo, Enrico Colatoni and George Segal from Just Shoot Me!.

Reboots and revivals are all the rage right now. Is there any show from your past that you’d like to revisit?

There was some talk about bringing back Hot in Cleveland for a few more and we realized, you know what, if you can’t improve on it, why would you do that?But I have had many people say, "Do you think they’ll bring back Just Shoot Me!?" I have to say, if that could happen and we got back the most wonderful writers, then actually we all thought that could be fun. We’ve remained friends after all these years and it would be sort of fun to see where those people were 15 years later or whatever.

Which Pearson Are You From 'This Is Us'? (QUIZ) Which Pearson Are You From 'This Is Us'? (QUIZ)

Take a break from the tears and find out who you're most like: Jack, Rebecca, Randall, Beth, Kevin or Kate!

The holidays are around the corner, what are you binging during the "winter break?"

I will probably watch House of Cards and I can’t wait for Veep to come back — love that show. Actually, I’ve missed so much, there’s so many things that I need to see that I have not seen. But I don’t usually binge-watch cause I just don’t have that kind of time.

When I have time off, I’m outside with animals most of the time or with friends, so I’m not a binger. I think an hour and a half or two hours is the most I could do. The only time I binge-watch, actually, is when I’m on long flights. I love to do that. In fact, that’s how I discovered This Is Us! I was not a regular viewer until I flew to Europe and saw like five episodes and thought, 'OK, I’m in.' [Laughs]

This Is Us, Tuesdays, 9/8c, NBC

Ashley Iaconetti and Jared Haibon on Wedding Plans, Colton's Season & What They'd Change About 'Bachelor'

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 3:00pm

Reality TV sweethearts and newly engaged couple Ashley Iaconetti and Jared Haibon are so happy to be done with the dating scene.

TV Insider recently caught up with the Bachelor Nation couple to get the scoop on how their wedding planning is coming, and their thoughts on The Bachelor's controversial decision to crown Colton Underwood the Season 23 star.

Check out Colton Underwood in His First 'Bachelor' Teaser Trailer Check out Colton Underwood in His First 'Bachelor' Teaser Trailer

Season 23 of the reality dating show premieres in January.

The twosome also talked about their new partnership with NET10 Wireless timed to winter's "cuffing season," in which single millennials are more aware than ever of their relationship statuses. With the company, the fiancés are offering double data for more phone use, which could equal more dating app use

Check out the interview below:

Why work with NET10 Wireless?

Ashley Iaconetti: Fortunately, we don’t have to do online dating anymore but we have so many friends out there who are still looking for their special someone and in this digital age, we are so dependent on our phones. And NET10 Wireless has a special promotion going on until the end of the year — it’s called the Double Data Promotion.

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Find out which couples are still going strong.

Jared Haibon: There’s going to be so much swiping going on until the end of the year, people sliding into DMs because people don’t want to be alone on the holidays. They want to at least have someone they can tell their families they’re talking to, someone that they like.

Did you ever online date?

Iaconetti: Yeah, definitely. I dabbled a little bit. I went on quite a few app dates out here in L.A..

Haibon: Yeah, I was on dating apps too. My sister met her husband on an online dating website so they most certainly can work.

What was your most cringeworthy date?

Iaconetti: There was this one guy who asked, within the first hour of our first date, ‘When was the last time you were laid?’

Haibon: Well, I’m gonna find out that guys name and kick his ass! For me, I was on Raya and living in Rhode Island at the time. So, I drove to NY for a date and it didn’t go that well. She got a little tipsy during dinner and I just drove 2.5 hours and I was like, 'What am I doing with my life?'

Any advice for using dating apps?

Haibon: Meet in a public place; don’t have them pick you up. Be safe, be smart, put also don’t be afraid to put yourself outside and even slide into a DM. That’s kinda the new way to ask someone out now.

Iaconetti: When I was on the apps, the worst thing is when you’re messaging back and forth with someone but they never ask you out on a date. After a few exchanges, meet up with that person because you don’t need a digital boyfriend.

'Bachelor' Mansion Escapes the California Wildfires — But 'Westworld' Set Not as Lucky 'Bachelor' Mansion Escapes the California Wildfires — But 'Westworld' Set Not as Lucky

But the 'Westworld' set and other's weren't spared.

How is wedding planning?

Iaconetti: We booked our venue [in Rhode Island], we have our date [August 2019]. I have my dresses!

Haibon: We hired a wedding coordinator. His name is Troy Williams and we became friends with him earlier this year. He’s been fantastic.

If it were to be televised, what would your requirements be?

Haibon: To allow us in the editing room, which is probably why we’re not doing it with ABC [Laughs].

Iaconetti: A big one would be the guest list. We just want everybody who we want there to be there. That’s what hard when you do a Bachelor wedding. You may have people there who you’ve never even met before.


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Any changes you want to see to the show format, personally?

Iaconetti: Honestly, there are so many great, funny, authentic moments that viewers don't get to see, I just want people to see more friendships, more realness, less "Bachelor-speak." I'd like to eliminate some of the cheesiness.

Haibon: I think I wouldn't mind cutting down the total number on night one. The first couple weeks can be a little bit of a grind to watch because you don't feel a lot chemistry happening. Maybe instead of 25, you start with 20, and after night one it goes down to 14 or so to really see these relationship evolve.

Iaconetti: Lately, I feel like the first half of the season is concentrated on the villain and the drama among the cast members. It's less about the love.

The Bachelor, January 2019, ABC

The CW 2019 Midseason: 'Jane the Virgin' & 'Black Lightning' Make Moves, 'Roswell' Premieres & More

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 2:15pm

As the fall TV season nears its end, it's time to start looking forward to midseason premieres and returns and The CW is giving fans plenty to get excited about.

The highly anticipated Roswell reboot Roswell, New Mexico finally has a premiere date — January 15. Meanwhile, Black Lightning will move to Mondays following Arrow, beginning January 21. The shift will bump DC's Legends of Tomorrow from its former Monday time slot.

 'Gotham,' 'The Orville,' 'The Passage' & More Fox 2019 Midseason Premiere Dates: 'Gotham,' 'The Orville,' 'The Passage' & More

Plus, 'The Masked Singer,' 'The Passage' and more.

New series In the Dark is scheduled to debut Thursdays once Legacies finishes its 16-episode first-season run. Meanwhile Jane the Virgin will return for its final season on a new night — Wednesdays. No premiere date has been announced fore Jane just yet, but it's sure to come soon.

In the meantime, find The CW's midseason schedule below, filled with returning favorites and exciting debuts.

 Ursula Coyote/The CW -- © 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved

Friday, January 11

9/8c Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (Midseason Return)

Tuesday, January 15

8/7c The Flash (Midseason Return)
9/8c Roswell, New Mexico (Series Premiere)

Wednesday, January 16

8/7c Riverdale (Midseason Premiere)
9/8c All American (Midseason Return)

Thursday, January 17

8/7c Supernatural (Midseason Return)
9/8c Roswell, New Mexico (Encore of Premiere)

Friday, January 18

8/7c Dynasty (Midseason Return)
9/8c Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (Original Episode)

Sunday, January 20

8/7c Supergirl (Midseason Return)
9/8c Charmed (Midseason Return)

Monday, January 21

8/7c Arrow (Midseason Return)
9/8c Black Lightning (New Time Period Premiere)

Thursday, January 24

8/7c Supernatural (Original Episode)
9/8c Legacies (Midseason Return)

'Bachelor' Mansion Escapes the California Wildfires — But 'Westworld' Set Not as Lucky

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 12:30pm

So many have lost their homes in the wildfires that tore through California over the weekend, but in addition to the residences lost are various TV landmarks.

The good news is that some homes have escaped the flames, including the mansion famous for appearing on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. For over 10 years, the privately owned estate has served as the setting for the reality series.

Check out Colton Underwood in His First 'Bachelor' Teaser Trailer Check out Colton Underwood in His First 'Bachelor' Teaser Trailer

Season 23 of the reality dating show premieres in January.

An update on Twitter revealed that the home remains safe, even though the wildfires came very close. "The house from ABC’s 'The Bachelor' survived the fire unscathed. House next door burned to the ground."

The house from ABC’s “The Bachelor” survived the fire unscathed. House next door burned to the ground #BachelorInParadise #BachelorNation

— Chris Woodyard (@ChrisWoodyard) November 10, 2018

The show's creator and EP Mike Fleiss tweeted his own message saying, "I still don’t know exactly what condition #TheBachelor Mansion is in. But I do know that the beautiful community of Malibu — and the surrounding areas— are struggling. Good thoughts for all..."

I still don’t know exactly what condition #TheBachelor Mansion is in. But I do know that the beautiful community of Malibu — and the surrounding areas— are struggling. Good thoughts for all...

— Mike Fleiss (@fleissmeister) November 11, 2018

While it's exciting to hear that the location survived, Fleiss' words remind us of what's important — keeping those who weren't as lucky in our thoughts.

A slew of celebrities and other Californians have lost their houses, including Miley Cyrus, Neil Young, and former Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Camille Grammer. The Voice coach Cyrus shared messages of gratitude for the safety of her loved ones and animals, despite her loss, thanking firefighters in the process.

Completely devestated by the fires affecting my community. I am one of the lucky ones. My animals and LOVE OF MY LIFE made it out safely & that’s all that matters right now. My house no longer stands but the memories shared with family & friends stand strong. I am grateful for

— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) November 12, 2018

all I have left. Sending so much love and gratitude to the firefighters and LA country Sheriff’s department! If you are interested in getting involved see next tweet....
Donate $ , Time , Supplies
I love you more than ever , Miley

— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) November 12, 2018

Meanwhile, the Paramount Ranch was among the biggest TV casualties, having served as the site of Westworld's Western town on the hit HBO series. It was also used in the series Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. One photojournalist shared the following message alongside some impactful photos. "Sad for fans of @WestworldHBO and shows like Dr Quinn Medicine Woman, the Paramount Ranch western town movie set has burned to the ground in the Woolsey Fire."

Sad for fans of @WestworldHBO and shows like Dr Quinn Medicine Woman, the Paramount Ranch western town movie set has burned to the ground in the Woolsey Fire @CBSLA #westworld #Woolseyfire

— John Schreiber (@johnschreiber) November 9, 2018

'Dancing With the Stars': Milo Manheim on Juggling High School & the Run for the Mirrorball Trophy

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 11:30am

When Milo Manheim joined Season 27 of Dancing with the Stars, the budding actor hoped to make it to Week 5 or 6. Now, the Disney Channel star is preparing for the semifinals with the Mirrorball trophy in his sights.

“I never thought I would make it this far. The fact I did, I feel like I’ve won already,” Manheim said. “I feel like I’ve grown so much as a person on this show. Being around these amazing people I feel like I learned something from each and every one of them. At the beginning I wasn’t as driven as I am now. The closer I get to the end the closer I want to win it. It sounds cheesy, but it has been the greatest experience of my entire life.”

 Juniors' Dance Floor Face-Off! 'DWTS' vs. 'DWTS: Juniors'

'They're great shows in slightly different ways,' says executive producer Andrew Llinares.

Manheim credits his dancing pro Witney Carson for her strong work ethic. It has motivated him to keep moving forward. Validation came during “Halloween Night” as the couple received a perfect score for their viral contemporary dance.

“We recently decided to go over our first dance just for fun and to just retry the cha-cha, and I picked it up immediately,” he said. “It’s crazy how I really haven’t noticed how I’ve improved as a dancer…I might not notice how much better I’ve gotten the last couple of weeks, but Witney sure notices. She tells me it’s very apparent and shows.”

(ABC/Craig Sjodin)

Manheim found he and Carson clicked from the first day. For him, she is more than a dance partner but a lifelong friend and sister.

“I don’t think there is anyone in the world that makes me laugh as much as her. It’s funny because going to rehearsal can be really hard on your body, but I look forward to it every day because I get to see her,” he said. “We really are family. I’ve met her family. I’m going to go visit her family in Utah. She is such an amazing person.”

Carson inspired a song Manheim wrote and played in celebration of “Country Night.” Social media was abuzz. He did such a good job his friends at school questioned if he really penned it.

“It was all me,” Manheim said, setting the record straight. “I did it in my bed. I had my guitar. I was just sitting there thinking of country lyrics…It literally took me 20 minutes. I sat down and thought of a little cord progression. I wrote down all the country things I could think of and topics I wanted in the song like winning the Mirrorball and how Witney is from Utah and I’m from L.A., Venice. I just wrote it down, made it rhyme and into a song.”

'DWTS' Pro Cheryl Burke on Her Bond With Partner Juan Pablo Di Pace & Mentoring the 'Juniors' 'DWTS' Pro Cheryl Burke on Her Bond With Partner Juan Pablo Di Pace & Mentoring the 'Juniors'

The longtime star of the ABC franchise opened up about her 'DWTS' gigs and upcoming wedding.

After DWTS, the question is if Manheim expects to parlay the positive response into a music career?

“I don’t know. I was really just swept into this industry really quick,” he said. “I haven’t really had time to think about it. I’ve only been doing this for like a year-and-a-half. I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do acting wise before I figure out what I want to do for a music career or anything else.”

Manheim, who has the Disney Channel original movie Zombies and a guest role on American Housewife under his belt, is essentially following in the family business. His mother is noted actress Camryn Manheim. The Practice and Ghost Whisperer actress regularly be seen in the Dancing ballroom beaming with pride watching her son.

'Dancing With the Stars' Pro Witney Carson on Partner Milo Manheim, Favorite Theme Weeks & More 'Dancing With the Stars' Pro Witney Carson on Partner Milo Manheim, Favorite Theme Weeks & More

Plus, she opens up about her 'Bachelor' fandom and thoughts on possibly earning her second Mirror Ball.

“I am so lucky to have my mom. Number one because she is the most supportive mom in the world,” Manheim said. “She is in the audience and has my back no matter what. Also, she does know how this business works. I can go to her if I have questions or if something doesn’t feel right.”

In many ways, Manheim finds his mom realized he wanted to become an actor before he even knew. She witnessed the joy on his face while performing in school musicals.

“That was my true passion. I think she observed. Then I told her I wanted to be an actor, and I don’t think it came much of a surprise to her,” he said. “She is an actress too and understands why someone could love it so much. She saw that in me. I know she didn’t think I was doing it for the fame or anything like that. She knew I was doing it because I truly loved it.”

CAMRYN MANHEIM, MILO MANHEIM (Disney Channel/Image Group LA)

And right now, the performer loves DWTS. It’s why he doesn’t want to go home, hoping to win over audiences by letting his personality shine through more. Advice Manheim has kept in mind is not letting what the judges say to heart. Taking it in as constructive criticism and remembering they genuinely want him and others to improve. And up next for Manheim is “Judge’s Choice” and Argentine tango.

“The Argentine tango is a very serious, fiery dance,” he said. “It has definitely been a challenge. Not because of the form but because of the intensity. It’s really hard to think about your steps while you’re trying to take on this character. It’s really an intense dance that requires a lot of focus.”

Outside of going over routines and show days, the high school senior’s days are also jam-packed with classes. The teen’s juggling act would seem overwhelming to most, but somehow, he manages.

“I go to school and work my mind. Then I go to rehearsal to work my body,” Manheim said. “By the end of the day when I get home, I’m fried. I have to rest and have some alone time and try to get some energy back for the next day. I start early and end late.”

Through it all Manheim has his eye on the prize.  The 17-year-old feels the added pressure knowing he is the youngest of the season and could make history as the youngest male to win.

“I get nervous about it,” he said. “When I first started, I was very intimidated being the youngest person. Not being able to jump into a conversation right away. I thought people were looking at me like the little kid, but now that I made it this far. They realize my age is not going to hold me back. I’m just as strong as a competitor as anyone else.”

Dancing with the Stars, Mondays, 8/7c, ABC

Nat Geo's 'Mars' Season 2: 'Are We Doomed to Repeat the Same Mistakes We've Made on Earth?'

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 10:30am

National Geographic’s groundbreaking documentary-drama hybrid MARS returns for a second season and continues to imagine what life will be like for Mars’ first inhabitants.

Fictional drama scenes starring an international ensemble cast — including South Korea-born musician Jihae, Argentine Alberto Ammann, Parisian Clémentine Poidatz, Romanian actress Anamaria Marinca, and Nigerian-born American actor Sammi Rotibi — are intercut with interviews with scientific big thinkers like Elon Musk, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Andy Weir (author of The Martian), former NASA astronaut Leland Melvin, theoretical physicist and futurist Michio Kaku, and Bill Nye, CEO of The Planetary Society. Both parts of the series explain how life in Martian territory is no longer an “if,” but a “when.”

Catch up on MARS Season 1 below:

“It’s not even sci-fi, because it’s grounded in reality, which I really dig,” says Season 2 showrunner Dee Johnson, who draws from her experience as a producer of ER to help explain complex scientific principles to laypeople. “The documentary elements help explicate these issues that we’re exploring so our characters don’t have to.”

Season 2 jumps five years ahead to 2042, when Mars has developed beyond a space outpost into a vibrant, fully-fledged colony called Olympus Town, and the scientific focus has shifted from survival to terraforming Mars into a more habitable planet with an Earth-like atmosphere. “They’re in a good place … and then the others come,” laughs Jihae.

 Science and Industry Uneasily Coexist 'Mars' Season 2 Premiere: Science and Industry Uneasily Coexist

The action jumps ahead to 2042.

Scientists are no longer the red planet’s only inhabitants. A crew of miners, funded by the for-profit corporation Lukrum Industries, is about to set up shop in the hope of monetizing Mars. But this phenomenon isn’t limited to MARS; exploitation following on the heels of exploration is a cycle that has been repeated throughout history, from the colonization of the United States to California’s gold rush to the current oil boom below the surface of the Arctic Ocean.

The focus of Mars’ inhabitants shifts to the interpersonal conflicts that arise once scientific hurdles are overcome and money is at stake. The result is a sophomore season that is as dramatic and dangerous as the surface of the Martian planet itself. Actor Jeff Hephner joins the cast as the leader of the Lukrum miners and shares, “A lot of great drama comes from when two different ideologies are put into this very confined space. They’re going to bump up against each other, and they’re going to have to learn to organize and function in that small space and with limited resources to make it work.”

“They want to stake a claim,” says Johnson. “And there is little that the people on Earth can do to police things happening on Mars. These people are kind of in the wild, Wild West.”

5 Questions With Jeff Hephner of National Geographic’s 'Mars' 5 Questions With Jeff Hephner of National Geographic’s 'Mars'

Hephner is a newcomer to the groundbreaking documentary/drama series for its second season.

Esai Morales, who plays Lukrum’s Earth-based and silver-tongued CEO, explains that while science fuels exploration, commercial sustainability funds it. “It’s a symbiotic relationship,” he says. “Science develops the technology and the know-how that fuels capitalism, and capitalism funds the research and development that scientists need. It can be a real catch-22.” And he warns against viewing all scientific intentions as noble and dismissing those interested in profit as villains, saying, “People will either see the capitalists as robber barons or genius saviors. It’s just a matter of perception and perspective.”

As science and industry try to establish a peaceful, however uneasy, coexistence, interpersonal conflicts grow and issues like illness, death, contamination and the birth of the first Martian baby come into play. “Just because humans move to a different planet doesn’t change human nature,” says Johnson. “The underlying theme of this season is, are we doomed to repeat the same mistakes that we’ve made on Earth?” But despite the man-made drama that humanity is bringing to space, Mars may have the last laugh when it unleashes a life-altering natural disaster.

MARS, Season 2 Premiere, Monday, November 12, 9/8c, National Geographic 

'General Hospital' Celebrates Maurice Benard's 25th Anniversary With Classic Sonny & Carly Episodes

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 9:15am

Maurice Benard is celebrating 25 years playing Sonny Corinthos on General Hospital and the show is airing a special anniversary episode November 12 to commemorate the occasion.

Additionally, fans can access 20 (count ‘em, 20!) shows featuring Sonny’s most memorable moments. The episodes will feature storylines involving Sonny and Carly featuring three of the actresses who’ve brought Carly to life — Sarah Joy Brown, Tamara Braun, and current her current portrayer, Laura Wright.

Genie Francis Speaks Out on Returning to 'General Hospital' & Reflects on Laura's Best Moments Genie Francis Speaks Out on Returning to 'General Hospital' & Reflects on Laura's Best Moments

The actress, who returned to the daytime soap earlier this month, also talks about her current storyline and her fan gratitude.

These episodes can be viewed starting today through February 12 by going to (no pesky login required) and on the ABC app.

Benard joined GH in 1993 as Sonny Corinthos, owner of the Paradise Lounge where Karen Wexler worked as a dancer. He was integrated into Port Charles society via his friendship with Luke Spencer (Anthony Geary) and their mutual enemy Frank Smith (Mitchell Ryan).

After Jason Quartermaine (Steve Burton) suffered a traumatic brain injury, Sonny took him in and they became both friends and business partners in the mob world.


Sonny’s had numerous romances and trysts over the years including ones with Carly, Alexis Davis (Nancy Lee Grahn), Sam McCall (Kelly Monaco), Claudia Zacchara (Sarah Joy Brown), Connie Falconeri (Megan Ward; Kelly Sullivan), and Ava Jerome (Maura West). Benard’s most successful on-air romance came when Sonny was paired with Vanessa Marcil’s Brenda Barrett. Their chemistry goes to another level.

Benard has received numerous Daytime Emmy nominations for his portrayal of Sonny. In 2003, he took home the gold for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for playing the tortured mob boss.

General Hospital, Weekdays, ABC

'The Little Drummer Girl' Cast Says You'll Be Wondering 'What's Imagined & What's Real'

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 9:00am
The Little Drumer Girl - Florence Pugh, Alexander Skarsgård - Florence Pugh as Charlie Ross, Alexander Skarsgård as Becker - The Little Drumer Girl _

When John le Carré’s 10th novel was released in 1983, William F. Buckley reviewed it for The New York Times, wisely pointing out, "The Little Drummer Girl is about spies as Madame Bovary is about adultery or Crime and Punishment is about crime."

That holds true for AMC’s new adaptation, a limited series that moves deftly between genres as it unfolds in six riveting parts. Depending on the episode, you might find yourself immersed in romance, espionage or a heartbreaking coming-of-age tale — occasionally all at the same time. "What’s unique is that it is a thriller, but hinged off a love story," executive producer Stephen Cornwell says. "As those things become interwoven along the journey, it raises life’s big questions: Who am I? What defines me? What’s imagined and what’s real?"

Relationship Lines are Blurred in 'The Little Drummer Girl' Says Alexander Skarsgard Relationship Lines are Blurred in 'The Little Drummer Girl' Says Alexander Skarsgard

The new AMC series surprises and shocks with every new twist.

It’s only fitting, then, to center this saga around a character who’s destined to be divided between multiple realities. Twentysomething Charlie (Florence Pugh) is a working stage actress in London during the late 1970s. She’s talented, idealistic, alluring and a tad overconfident — qualities that have landed her on the radar of a covert Israeli intelligence group.

Veteran spymaster Kurtz (Michael Shannon) and his colleague Becker (Alexander Skarsgård), a former operative who’s recently, and reluctantly, come back into the fold, want to recruit her as a double agent. Her ultimate goal: infiltrate a Palestinian terrorist cell run by an elusive extremist named Khalil (Charif Ghattas). "What they’re asking her to do is very dangerous," Skarsgård says. "Kurtz is more focused on the mission and less worried about collateral damage than Becker is, which creates friction."

 Jonathan Olley/AMC/Ink Factory

Of course, the first step is getting Charlie on board, and so begin the mind games. She and her acting troupe head off for a holiday in Greece, where she can’t help but notice a tall, mysterious gentleman — Becker, using the alias Peter Richthoven — staying at their seaside hotel. Charlie takes the bait, and the two strike up a playful, if slightly needling, flirtation.

"We had this amazing connection straightaway," says Pugh of Skarsgård. "The whole point of these characters is that she’s supposed to find him deeply annoying as well as attractive. Becker is perfect at everything, and that is [Alex]."

 Portraits of Your Favorite Stars From Amazon, Netflix & More (PHOTOS) TCA 2018: Portraits of Your Favorite Stars From Amazon, Netflix & More (PHOTOS)

Rachel Brosnahan, Jason Bateman, and more.

You can hardly fault Charlie for being smitten, especially after Becker whisks her away for an after-hours date at the Acropolis. No surprise, that grand gesture (the scene was filmed on location at the ancient landmark) has a mesmerizing effect. "We’re the first production that has ever been allowed to shoot at the Acropolis at night," Cornwell says. "It was completely empty, we were under a full moon, and the wonder of that experience shows in Charlie and captures how it felt to be there."

Unfortunately, she won’t get to bask in that glow for long. Becker’s reveal that he’s not a suitor but a would-be handler prompts some understandable trust issues. Still, Charlie can’t help being tempted by Becker and Kurtz’s bid to cast her as the star player in their crusade. Says Pugh, "Charlie’s one of those people who is desperate for intrigue."

 Jonathan Olley/AMC/Ink Factory

Sure enough, she’s in, and from here on, the stakes keep going up. In order to get her ready for the role of a lifetime, Charlie and Becker assume elaborate alter egos, posing as a pair of lovers giddily making their way across Europe. (Cue more glamorous international locales, such as Prague, with accompanying ’70s-era ensembles.)

Turns out, pretending to be a couple with crackling chemistry isn’t much of a stretch. "Charlie obviously knows this is fiction and that Becker is just taking her through the steps," Skarsgård says. "But within that fake connection, there are moments where she can tell it’s actually real…or is it?"

Oh, what we wouldn’t give for an easy answer! But viewers will be hard-pressed to separate right from wrong and good guys from bad, let alone determine where Becker’s allegiance lies. Or Charlie’s, for that matter — particularly when she’s finally out in the field, face-to-face with the targets she’s attempting to bring down.

"In order to penetrate this world, she has to engage with it, and that’s enormously challenging," Cornwell says. "We get to share in the complexity of what it means to be a double agent — to be both loyal and to betray. There will be a huge toll."

The Little Drummer Girl, Monday–Wednesday, November 19–21, 9/8c, AMC

The Whisperers Are Definitely (Almost) Here on 'The Walking Dead' (RECAP)

Sun, 11/11/2018 - 10:20pm

[Spoiler alert: This post contains spoilers about the Nov. 11 episode of The Walking Dead, "Who Are You Now?"]

It's a new day for The Walking Dead.

Like it or not, Rick Grimes is really gone. Gone, but not forgotten; in this first episode of what might be considered a show transformed, his absence looms heavy over both the narrative and the characters inside it.

'The Walking Dead' Honors Rick Grimes and Seals His Fate (RECAP) 'The Walking Dead' Honors Rick Grimes and Seals His Fate (RECAP)

It’s clear that Rick’s time has reached its end; but first, 'The Walking Dead' wants to celebrate his life.

Six years have passed between "What Comes After" and "Who Are You Now?", but it's very clear Rick's ideologies and influence are still being felt — especially when Judith tries to bring a new group into Alexandria, something their current security protocols prohibit.

Some things have changed, some things have remained the same, one thing is certain: The Whisperers are coming, and sooner rather than later.

Flashes of Light

The episode opens with Michonne “talking” to Rick, or at least his ghost, about how she’s trying to look ahead to the future, but the path has only grown darker. As she talks, a montage plays of her finding Rick’s doppelgänger action figure, Daryl going fishing with a spear, Carol waking up with Ezekiel and looking out at The Kingdom.

She says that there are still flashes of light, even though they’re surrounded by darkness, and it’s enough to keep going; Daryl sees a bluebird land on a walker’s shoulder, Carol finds a flower. “So that’s what I do,” Michonne says, “every day. For you.” Then she turns around and walks away from the bridge where he made his last stand.

 A Fond Farewell to Rick Grimes 'The Walking Dead': A Fond Farewell to Rick Grimes

With the mystery surrounding Rick's departure lifted, we look back at what made him such a great protagonist.

New People

The primary storyline during this episode revolves around the survivors Judith wanted to bring into the group; Magna, Yumiko, Luke, Kelly and Connie. Judith is insistent that they be brought into the Alexandria community, but Michonne has reservations, and apparently grew quite a bit stricter since Rick’s death (she’s Alexandria’s head of security).

Since Yumiko’s injured, they violate security protocol to bring the group back to Alexandria and treat her. Eventually, though Michonne isn’t too pleased, the Alexandria crew opts to hold a council meeting to vote on whether or not they can stay. The council asks what the four healthy group members did before the apocalypse, what they’ve done to survive and who they are now.

Michonne is on the council, but she let Father Gabriel and Aaron do all the talking until they’re almost ready to vote; then, she decides to speak up and ask Magna to take off the glove she wears on her left hand. Michonne announces that the woman has a prison tattoo on her hand.

“I can explain,” Magna says, but Michonne orders her to put the knife on the table. As it turns out, Magna’s belt buckle conceals a knife, which when combined with her criminal history, doesn’t look too great. Angered, Michonne walks out and tells the council to take their vote. Whatever they decide, she’ll second.

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With the announcement that 'TWD' world is about to get larger, we considered candidates for an expanded story.

Going Further Out

Later, Father Gabriel is tinkering with what looks to be an elaborate radio. Rosita comes to see him, and they talk about how the radio could help find people who need help. Gabe wants to go “further out” on the map and set up a remote amplifier to boost the radio signal, improving their chances of finding people. She’s skeptical, but he’s idealistic, and eventually she caves in and says she and Eugene will take care of it. This conversation ends with a kiss(!). Geez, Father Gabriel’s gotten a ton of action this season!

Judith goes to talk to Negan, who seems quite a bit better-adjusted since the last time we saw him. She says she needs his help with a math problem about airplanes, but Negan leads her to conclude she’ll never see one, and he’ll only help her with problems that are real. Magna and her group are a real problem that Negan hadn’t heard about, and surprisingly, he sides with Michonne once Judith explains it.

Magna and her group go see Yumiko in the infirmary and later argue about whether or not they should try to stay in Alexandria. Magna wants to “fight” for them to stay — quite literally, as she’s stolen Yumiko’s necklace that turns into a knife — but the rest of her group wants her to leave Michonne alone. They think staying is a lost cause, and once Magna hands over the necklace, Luke tells her to sleep on it.

Heading to Hilltop

She doesn’t. Instead, Magna goes to Michonne’s house and seems poised to strike with Yumiko’s necklace, which she somehow retrieved from Luke. She sees Michonne playing with a toddler — a Richonne baby?!? — and seems to think better of her actions. She then goes to the front door and hands over her weapon, and she and Michonne talk about having to do terrible things to survive.

Norman Reedus & 'The Walking Dead' Cast Talk On-Set Life Without Andrew Lincoln Norman Reedus & 'The Walking Dead' Cast Talk On-Set Life Without Andrew Lincoln

The fans aren't the only ones sad to see Lincoln go.

Magna leaves, and Michonne goes back inside. She and Judith talk about how rescuing those people was what Rick would have wanted, and Judith tells Michonne she knows her “mom” talks to Carl and Rick sometimes. Sorrowful, Judith says she’s not always able to hear their voices anymore, but she hopes Michonne can. The toddler comes running back and calls Michonne “mama,” and the scene ends with a shot of the “Rick Grimes” action figure. Looks like there was a Richonne baby, after all.

Alexandria nearly sends Magna’s group packing the next day, but Michonne swoops in at the last minute and says that while they can’t stay in Alexandria, The Hilltop could offer them sanctuary. She, Siddiq and all of Magna’s group head out to see their leader, who is a “she,” according to Michonne, but can’t be Maggie because Lauren Cohan’s last scene was last week. Who’s running things over there?

The Queen of The Kingdom

The B-story this episode deals with Carol and her new life at The Kingdom. She and Ezekiel have fully adopted Henry, who is now a teenager and refers to them as “mom” and “dad.” Apparently things have gotten a little run-down in Ezekiel’s domain, and Henry’s none too pleased; he and Carol manage to fix a leaking pipe, but Henry says they need better tools. He wants to train to be a blacksmith at The Hilltop, but Ezekiel tells Carol he needs Henry at home.

'Walking Dead' Stars Cut New Deals Following Andrew Lincoln's Series Departure 'Walking Dead' Stars Cut New Deals Following Andrew Lincoln's Series Departure

Fans can rest assured that their favorites will stick around.

Carol and Henry leave The Kingdom and bring supplies and food with them. The mission goes well until Henry hears someone shouting for help and jumps out of the wagon. He doesn’t listen to Carol and ends up trapped by a bunch of former Saviors, who eventually force him and Carol to give up their supplies and Carol’s wedding ring. Jedd — yes, that Jedd from earlier in the season — lets them leave, even after Henry tries to kill him.

That night, Henry lashes out at Carol and asks why she just let them take everything. She tells him someday he’ll understand, but his words get to her, and she goes back to the Saviors’ camp that night and burns them all alive (and gets her ring back).

Later, she and Henry go off-map and find a familiar face: Daryl. “Need a ride, stranger?” Carol asks, and they both smile.

Welcome, Whisperers!

Rosita and Eugene head out to install the relay box on a water tower, and Eugene hints that he’s a little (a lot) jealous of Father Gabriel. They find a herd of walker tracks in mud, but they’re going the opposite direction, so they don’t pay them too much attention. As it turns out, they should’ve; after they get the job done, they realize the herd has somehow made a U-Turn (hint: it’s the Whisperers).

Their horses run away, and Eugene ends up falling a considerable distance and injuring his knee. He and Rosita make it a ways on foot, but end up having to cover themselves in mud and hoping that masks their scent. Here, we get the scene from the Comic-Con trailer, with the “walkers” saying, “Where are they?” “They must be close” and “Don’t let them get away.”

The 9 Best and Worst 'Walking Dead' Romances (PHOTOS) The 9 Best and Worst 'Walking Dead' Romances (PHOTOS)

For a show about zombies, fans of 'TWD' tend to care deeply about the show's romantic relationships.

Other Observations:
  • DAMN, CAROL. It’s been a minute since we’ve seen her so vengeful, so full of rage, so cold. Shades of “Stepford Carol” came back this episode — I could almost see her holding that knife to Pete’s throat again.
  • I’m not sure I love how the narrative was making Michonne out to be a “villain” this episode. Sure, she’s tougher than she was, but that makes sense after everything she’s been through and that’s why she’s made it this far. Her caution regarding Magna’s group was well-warranted.
  • Father Gabriel hooked up with Anne, and is — presumably — now with Rosita. Should he write a book titled, “How to Get the Girl at The End of the World”? Clearly, Eugene could use his advice.
  • As much as I loved seeing Scary Carol this week… I am not in love with that wig. I’m not opposed to her changing her hair, but that thing is frizzy and distracting. Michonne’s new look is subtle, but natural; this is jarring.
  • Who’s running Hilltop? It’s not Jesus, because Jesus isn’t a “she.” Either Michonne has no clue Maggie’s gone, or Enid’s running Hilltop. Neither of those things make much sense.

The Walking Dead, Sundays, 9/8c, AMC

'The Last Ship' EP Steven Kane Explains Chandler's Fate, Reveals Series Finale Secrets

Sun, 11/11/2018 - 10:02pm

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the series finale of The Last Ship, "Commitment."]

The Last Ship ended its five-year tour of duty with one helluva battle, bringing victory over Gran Colombia and the death of the enemy’s unhinged leader Gustavo “Tavo” Barros (Maurice Compte).

It looked like death was in the cards for Commander Tom Chandler (Eric Dane) as well, as he appeared to go down with his beloved ship, the Nathan James, after he rammed it into Tavo’s battleship. But like the hero of the story should, he lived to see another day.

The show’s creator and executive producer Steven Kane talks about his choices for The Last Ship’s final voyage.

 A 'Brutal Fight to End the War' (VIDEO) 'The Last Ship' Series Finale: A 'Brutal Fight to End the War' (VIDEO)

'Episode 10 is all about the invasion; it’s  D-Day,' says series creator Steven Kane.

The scenes of the Marines and Naval Special Forces storming the beach in Colombia under heavy fire were impressive. Were you inspired by the opening scenes of Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan?

Steven Kane: We were definitely inspired by Saving Private Ryan, recognizing that they had Steven Spielberg and that they had as much time and money as they desired to shoot their invasion. Meanwhile, we had Steven Kane and two-and-a-half days to shoot it.

Wow. How challenging was that?

It was challenging, but it was the best way to finish the show. In fact, our very last day of production was on the beach. It was a nice farewell to the cast and crew to go out with that kind of accomplishment.

How did you do it? You had all these amphibious vehicles and lots and lots of military in those scenes.

What happened was, when Season 5 began, we heard from the Marines that they wanted to get involved in the show. Up until then, it was always a Navy show. We started thinking, “What kind of assets do the Marines have that we could use.” I told them, “I want to do D-Day, so if you guys are ever doing any kind of amphibious assault exercises in Camp Pendleton where you have tanks, we’d love to come and film it. We won’t get in your way or ask you to do anything that you’re not already doing.”

They said yes and we brought nine cameras and a drone to film their exercise, which had these amphibious assault vehicles exiting from the back of a big amphibious ship. It was just great B-roll. Then in September, we went back and filmed a sequence based on what I had seen that day. The Marines let us use tanks that were sitting there and a lot of off-duty Marines acted as extras on the beach. We had about 500 people on the beach, we had two crews, we were blowing thing up constantly and moved a mile a minute. Luckily, everything worked out.

The entire season was mostly non-stop action! Why the change?

We’ve had plenty of action over the years, but this is the first season that was really just about war. The other ones were about missions — about finding a cure, distributing a cure, etcetera — and the battles were incidental to the bigger mission. The show began as an action adventure show; the first season was very popcorn in a good way. In general you felt like they were going to a gunfight and they’d come out unscathed.

As the show matured, as Chandler’s character matured, he went from being an average captain of an average ship, to being the man who saved the world, to watching so many of his people die under his command and seeing the pain and the suffering of what war does. These people s are heroes but they’re very much human, and war is bad for humans. So, I wanted to tell a war story that showed how these warriors remained heroes, but how much they have to sacrifice to do so. Chandler is haunted by the specter of his own death, and the guilt of all those people who died under his command.

You did kill off a lot of the cast this season.

When people complain, "I can’t believe you killed of so-and-so" or "I can’t believe he lost his leg," the point is not to be gratuitous, but that these people have been through war for too long, and they’re going to suffer as a result.

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Tom Chandler suffered but in the end he didn’t die. Did you consider a heroic death for Chandler?

I didn’t think it was appropriate for Chandler to die. This show has always been about hope. We’re going to show you a lot of terrible things, we’re going to show you a virus that destroyed most of the planet, and killed in the most painful way; we’re going to show you people behaving really badly in the aftermath of an apocalypse, and we’re going to show you the fight to change the status quo of the planet as a result of this apocalypse. We’re going to show you tyrants; we’re also going to show you people acting honorably.

Chandler said at the end of Season 4, when he was confronting the villain, Dr. Vellek (Peter Weller), that being human doesn’t mean cutting out the dark, it means fighting to find a light. So although he watches his ship go down, and he sees [a vision of his dead] friends in Davy Jones’ locker, he finds the light. He hears his daughter’s voice and she’s the hope for the future. It was a very natural ending for him to swim back up to the surface and live to hopefully find some peace.

So where do you see Tom’s future? With Sasha (Bridget Regan) on the sailboat she envisions? Or saving the world again as POTUS?

The writer’s room had actually created an epilogue for the show, but in the end, the episode would have been too long and too expensive. I’m glad we never shot it; I actually like leaving that open for the audience. I do think that viewers know that he’s gone toward the light so they can see a hopeful future for him.

After his final kickass fight with Tavo’s guards, Wolf (Bren Foster) was shot multiple times. Since you seem to be ending with some hope, can we assume he’ll make it too?

I didn’t know when I hired him that he was a martial arts champion. When I found out we gave him some good fights, and at the end I wanted to give Wolf the mother of all fights. And yeah, he was shot, stabbed, punched in the groin and left bleeding out. But we see him being taken care of and my thinking is, he’s going to make it.

You denied Tavo what he so much desired — and maybe the audience — a final showdown with Tom Chandler, the hero he wanted to beat so he could prove he was his equal.

I didn’t want to give Tavo that satisfaction. He was so obsessed with Tom Chandler, that he took a reasonable philosophy [making things better for Latin America] and became delusional, becoming a tyrant because he wanted to be like Tom Chandler. One version of our script had him run away and then found and shot in a pigsty. But we decided that the final insult would be that Tom wouldn’t even bother to come and have a face-off with him.

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Did five seasons give you the time to complete the story you wanted to tell?

Absolutely. Without leaving California, we were able to viewers from the North Pole, to Asia, the Mediterranean, and South America.. Would I have loved to have more seasons working with our partners in the Navy? Yes. But I feel like we told the show we needed to tell with Chandler at the end done with war and wanting to live in peace.

'Doctor Who' Writer Vinay Patel on Bringing the Doctor Into the Partition of India & Graham's Future

Sun, 11/11/2018 - 9:15pm

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the Season 11 episode of Doctor Who, "Demons of the Punjab."]

The time-traveling saga of Doctor Who continued tonight with a beautifully-shot and well-written sixth episode — titled "Demons of the Punjab" — that explored the Partition of India (the historic event that created the division of British India, resulting in the independence of both India and Pakistan separately).

The Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) and her new pals Yasmin (Mandip Gill), Graham (Bradley Walsh) and Ryan (Tosin Cole) journeyed back to 1947 in the emotional episode which saw Yas's grandmother's wedding which, to everyone's surprise — but especially's Yas' — was not to her grandfather.


TV Insider spoke with episode writer Vinay Patel about bringing this period of history to life for the small screen.

I have to admit, I knew almost nothing about this facet of history going into this episode. Was educating people a bit more on it a big part of why you wanted to do this story?

Vinay Patel: Yeah, definitely. It’s still one of those things that people just don’t know anything about, which to me, I always knew a little bit about it, but it felt a little strange that that was the case. So, when I got the chance to pitch an idea for Doctor Who, I was like, ‘That is a historical event I would love to put in front of as many million people as you can on a Sunday evening.’

Were you a fan of Who before?

I didn’t watch the old version, but the new incarnation was something that came through from an old ex-girlfriend [laughs]. Doctor Who had always been that thing that had slightly evaded me. I think because I had it in my head that it was having this reputation of being a bit wacky. One of my favorite shows to watch as a kid was Quantum Leap. The idea that you could look at different periods of history as a way of both educating and informing and also being entertaining is exactly what my favorite episodes of Doctor Who do. Getting a chance to do that was amazing.

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Production designer Arwel Jones explains the TARDIS' interior.

Was this the first story idea that you pitched?

It was. In my head, I was like, ‘Okay, if I get one shot to pitch to Doctor Who, what do I really want to do with it?’ And it was always this. It was also around the 70th anniversary of the Partition at the time, so it felt really good time to raise awareness for that particular period of history. I had been reading into it for a couple of years anyway, and it was just so much more complicated and in-depth and so much more tragic than I had ever imagined.

Were you worried about making this traumatic event in history too much for a show that people watch with their families?

Yeah, that was one of those things that sits with you and every line that you write and every decision you make creatively. Basically, how do you not soft-sell what this period of history was, while also making it palatable and available for a family audience? The episode [went out] on Armistice Day here. I remember in school growing up and having an understanding about the horrors of warfare, so I think actually [children] have an idea of what it means to have this horrendous conflict in the world – and the grand idea of it isn’t something that seems so out of bounds for a family show because it’s something that people sit with their entire lives.

Trying to zero in on what is the emotional core of that though was a challenge. You don’t have to show the violence – even though the Partition was absolutely off the scale. Obviously, that can’t be the way that we engage with that story, but the real deep thing in the Partition is how deeply that is still a wound in what India and Pakistan in particular have between them. So it’s about factoring a family and factoring a community and that is something I feel like [people and their] kids can understand–and maybe they'll wonder, you know, what would happen if their family was on the other side of that line? That felt like a very simple and a very true way of exploring it. And that is the lens that we decided to go with.

Photo: BBC America

What was your biggest hurdle, writing-wise?

A couple of things, really. On a very technical level, it’s about how do you keep the gang coming into that situation active in a story you know where they can’t be the ones to save the day. On that level, it’s a tricky writing thing. On a larger, more global, level this is going to be a lot of people’s first encounter with this period of history. How do you tell as much of it as you can without feeling that you’re too much being hit in the head with history? There’s a whole complex, political backdrop to it the hope is that people will go out and search it after on their own time.

When you were doing your own research for this episode, was there anything new you learned that shocked you?

One of the most fascinating things about the Partition is Pakistan celebrated their independence on the 14th of August and India celebrates independence on the 15th of August. And that is the beginnings of those two countries as we know them today. But for two days, they didn’t have borders. So, the borders went out on the 17th, which is the day that the episode is set. You have this thing where people felt very strongly connected to these two countries, but really no one, apart from a few higher-ups, knew where those two countries were. There’s something quite profound in that.

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The actor also talked Jodie Whittaker taking the new Doctor role and finally teaming up with Michael Sheen on-screen.

This whole episode is also a huge part of Yas’ character development too. Was there any pressure there?

I didn’t feel like there was a huge amount of pressure. As long as you stay truthful to the inquisitive nature of that character. There were things I wanted to get in from my own background, but also there’s the question of, 'What do I think I can bring into this story that feels truthful?' I was raised by my grandparents basically, and my grandmother was a huge part of my life. That connection to Britain, because you had this generation of people who came across three continents before they were 30 years old.

Whereas you have someone like Yas, who has grown up in one place her entire life, and I think that disconnect in the story is absolutely fascinating, also in this case, absolutely traumatic. For me, there was the thing about that, and I also wanted to follow through on the fact that she’s a police officer and she has this sense of justice and the world being right. To be drawn into this time where it’s hard to know what’s the right thing in the moment, I think that felt like a nice place to challenge her with.

Photo: BBC America

Having the Doctor officiating the wedding — that was such an interesting, fun choice. How did that come about?

Essentially, the person who would have normally done it, wasn’t there. In my head, it was this idea of this wedding, which is a hodgepodge of a lot of traditions and a lot of ideas — there were these two countries being formed and also this new identity for this couple. They can make that whatever they want it to be. It wasn’t like the Doctor going, "Yeah, I’ll do it." It was about this character saying this is how they wanted their wedding to be and not being dictated by, you know, what people in offices far away say it should look like, but just trying to drive your own future.

Should we be worried for Graham’s future?

I wouldn’t possibly want to tell you that. [Laughs] I think Graham’s probably my favorite character. I think I just really like Bradley Walsh. He’s absolutely delightful. And I love the idea of that character traveling through time — a guy who has lived a bit of a life already.

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Plus, she details what adventures are in store for Season 11.

What was the biggest, most important thing you wanted to get across when creating this episode?

The biggest thing to me was to make people think about what other parts of history they don’t know about. Looking at the stories of the past change the way you look at different situations in the future and so my hope is that this will be the start of people looking at things not just like partitions, but the history of their countries and their families.

Doctor Who, Sundays, 8/7c, BBC America

'Doctor Who' Shines a Spotlight on Yaz's Family History & the Partition of India (RECAP)

Sun, 11/11/2018 - 9:10pm

Team TARDIS attends a wedding during the Partition of India and Yaz learns about her tragic family history in November 11's powerful Doctor Who.

"Demons of the Punjab" marks a significant moment in the season, not only due to its heavy subject matter but as the first episode not to be written or co-written by new showrunner Chris Chibnall. I've been fairly critical of Chibnall's perfunctory storytelling and klutzy dialogue so far, and so I was more than ready to see what a fresh writer could do with these characters.

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Production designer Arwel Jones explains the TARDIS' interior.

Vinay Patel, a playwright best known for his BBC drama Murdered by My Father, pens a much tighter script than any we've seen up until this point. Chibnall, while he has some strong initial ideas, often feels like he gives up on a story 3/4 of the way through, which is why so many of his episodes have these slapdash conclusions. Patel structures his story in a way that provides a definitive ending, one that feels well-earned and true to the characters, even if some of his dialogue still suffers from Chibnall-like clunkiness.

The episode also succeeds by putting Yaz (Mandip Gill) at the forefront. The gutsy police officer has been tragically sidelined for the first half of the season; even in the episode that introduced her family, she was little more than an exposition spewing sidekick. Her primary role has been to robotically ask questions like a computer-generated chatbot that has no idea how to interact with humans. Here she gets to shine as a character with her own motivations, desires, and emotions.

Photo: BBC America

After being gifted her dead grandfather's broken watch by her Nani Umbreen (Leena Dhingra), Yaz is intrigued to learn more about her nan's past and convinces the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) to take Team TARDIS on a trip back to 1950s India. “What’s the point in having a mate with a time machine if you can’t go back and see your nan when she was young?” Yaz asks. She has a fair point.

As is often the case, the TARDIS doesn't quite land at the intended destination. Instead, the gang ends up in the Punjab on 17 August 1947, the day Partition was declared and British India was divided into two independent nations of India and Pakistan. The separation of the borders resulted in the forced migration of millions of people who were uprooted from their homes; the violence which followed caused the death of over a million people.

It's a heavy topic, but Patel handles it skillfully by focusing on the effects it has on two families. Team TARDIS arrives on the day that Young Umbreen (Amita Suman) is set to marry her neighbor, Prem (Shane Zaz), a likable farm boy who fought for the British in the war. Yaz soon learns that her nan had a secret Hindu husband and that their marriage was frowned up in the midst of the Partition and the growing tensions between the Muslims and Hindus.

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The duo also talked Whittaker's stunts, Lady Gaga's 'A Star is Born,' and the new theme song.

There are aliens in this episode, but similar to "Rosa," the villain of the piece is prejudice, represented in the form of Prem's younger brother, Manish (Hamza Jeetooa), who cannot come to grips with his Muslim brother marrying a Hindu woman. Manish has become radicalized from “reading pamphlets and listening to angry men on the radio,” causing him to go so far as to kill the Holy Man set to officiate the wedding and bring in armed soldiers to seize the family's land.

As for the ominous cloak-wearing aliens, the Thirjarians, they turn out not to be a threat at all, though creepily lurking behind trees and saying things like “you will leave or we will stand over your corpses” is going to cause people to get the wrong end of the stick. Once deadly assassins, the Thirjarians are now intergalactic funeral crashers. “We mourn the unacknowledged dead across all of time and space. We bear witness to those dying alone and commemorate them as they pass on.” It's a lovely message and fitting for an episode that fell on Remembrance Sunday (Veteran's Day).

Photo: BBC America

While the Doctor is off dealing with aliens and cosmic space dust, it allows Yaz some quieter moments of reflection. In perhaps the sweetest scene of the episode, Graham (Bradley Walsh) shares some wisdom with Yaz, who is conflicted about her nan lying to her all these years. “I don’t think any of us know the real truth of our lives because we’re too busy living them from the inside," he tells her, suggesting that she live in the moment. Graham has been so focused on Ryan (Tosin Cole) that it was nice to finally see him sharing his fatherly advice with the young PC.

Yaz watches proudly as Umbreen and Prem marry at the border, in a ceremony officiated by the Doctor nonetheless. But as the violence draws nearer and Manish's intentions are revealed, Yaz is unable to do anything to change the past. If she saves Prem then she knows Umbreen will never marry her grandfather and therefore she will never be born. "You could interfere yourself out of existence," the Doctor warns.

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Plus, Whittaker reveals for favorite past Doctor.

It's a heartbreaking yet authentic ending, with the gunshot ringing out in the background as Team TARDIS help Umbreen and her mother make their escape. Anything else would have been a cop-out and I think Patel knows that. It's impossible to cover all the nuance of Partition in a 50-minute episode of family-friendly sci-fi, and yes, at times the material is heavy-handed, but just like the Rosa Parks episode, the brutal honesty of this ending will hopefully have a lasting impact on younger viewers.

I find it interesting that the strongest episodes of this season so far are the two historical installments. While I think that's a good thing for the reasons outlined above, I do still worry that Doctor Who under Chibnall's watch has lost its sense of fun. There's not enough time-bending hijinx and we're definitely lacking a proper scary monster episode. Even the episodes set in the future, like last week's "The Tsuangra Conundrum," are offputtingly sterile.

Early in the episode, the Doctor makes an offhanded comment about fighting the "Death-Eyed Turtle Army," it's nothing more than a quick gag which tells us that the gang has been having all sorts of adventures off-screen. But all I could think was: 'You know what? That is the kind of story this season is missing.' With just four episodes remaining, I'm still waiting for the killer turtle army type stories.

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Additional Notes:

-Ryan (Tosin Cole) is the one sidelined this week, used merely to point out the obvious to the Doctor. I do really the dynamic of Team TARDIS but the show hasn't quite worked out how to utilize all three companies to the best of their abilities at the same time.

-The episode was filmed in the south of Spain, in the Andalusia region, and while obviously not a perfect stand-in for the Punjab, the scenery does look beautiful on screen. The cinematic feel of this season is one thing that cannot be faulted, even if I do wish they spent some of that money on more script editors.

-Composer Segun Akinola also continues to deliver. His bhangra-influenced soundtrack across this episode is fantastic.

-The Doctor is still doing her Tahani-style namedropping. She apparently officiated Albert Einstein's wedding and met Lord Mountbatten, the British Navy Officer whose radio announcement declaring the Partition is heard in this episode.

Doctor Who, Sundays, 8/7c, BBC America

'Outlander': Aunt Jocasta Welcomes Jamie & Claire to River Run (RECAP)

Sun, 11/11/2018 - 9:00pm

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 4, Episode 2 of Outlander, "Do No Harm"]

It's never a dull moment for Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe), and this week's Outlander was no exception as the fan favorite couple arrived at River Run.

Between meeting Jamie's Aunt Jocasta (Maria Doyle Kennedy) and learning about the laws of the land, fans were given plenty to mull over until next week's installment. We're breaking down some of the episode's most pivotal points, but beware of major spoilers.

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Picking up where the Season 4 premiere left off, Jamie and Claire are dealing with the aftermath of Stephen Bonnet's (Edward Speleers) attack as their river boat docks at the sprawling plantation known as River Run. Despite Jamie's consternation, he greets his Aunt with unfiltered joy. Happy to see someone from his MacKenzie side of the family — Jocasta is sister to Jamie's mother and uncles Colum (Gary Lewis) and Dougal (Graham McTavish) — Jamie quickly introduces Claire who is initially pleased to make Jocasta's acquaintance.

When Ian (John Bell) steps in with Rollo, we soon discover that Aunt Jocasta is partially blind and she can't see a bundle of flowers her great nephew is handing her. It's then that Jocasta also reveals her ability to detect truth, something that would later cause a rift between her and Claire. As they enter the main house, Jocasta assures her visiting family that they are welcome to stay as long as they need, considering their recent ordeal with Bonnet.

As Jamie and Claire are ushered to their quarters they also meet Ulysses (Colin McFarlane), Phaedre (Natalie Simpson), and Mary (Mercy Ojelade) — slaves of River Run. Of course, Claire asks that she be called by her name without the proper address, despite knowing that it's unusual for the time. She's then horrified when she peers out her window to discover many slaves working in the fields of River Run.

Later on, Jamie attempts to address the topic with his aunt asking how many slaves Jocasta owns — she reveals that she keeps over 150 of them. Claire, irked by this realization, asks Jocasta if the slaves are happy to be there considering they have no choice in the matter. She responds that only a few have tried to run away over the years.

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Richard Rankin and Sophie Skelton also talk Roger and Bree's long-distance relationship.

Meanwhile, a party is in the works to celebrate Jamie and Claire's arrival but they aren't making a great impression on the locals. Jamie's advice for Jocasta's crops and Claire's stance against slavery prove to be detrimental. Jamie's aunt names him the heir to River Run at the gathering, while Claire wants nothing to do with owning slaves. In order to clean his hands of such atrocities, Jamie reveals plans to free them but is advised against it — doing so would apparently be costly and hinder the "lifestyle" of plantation owners. This causes Jamie to reconsider the land-sharing offer he received in the premiere, in which he and Claire would recruit people to move overseas for colonization.

In the midst of this uncertainty, one of Jocasta's plantation workers arrives with news of a violent act by a slave against one of the crop overseers. Jamie and Claire rush to the scene on her behalf to find a slave named Rufus suspended by a rope and hook from a tree by the man he injured. They learn he sliced the man's ear off, and the punishment for a slave's act of violence against a white individual is death. However, the cruel, unlawful treatment of Rufus pushes the couple into action.

Leaving the earless man behind, Claire's first instinct is to treat the impaled slave and bring him to the main house for surgery. And while Claire might mean well, she ultimately causes more harm than good. After removing the hook from Rufus' abdomen, he awakens from surgery successfully, but Ulysses tells her she would have been better served to have left him on the hook.

An angry mob arrives at River Run demanding the proper justice, and Claire knows that she can't stop the locals from carrying out their barbaric justice, so Jamie suggests that she do what she did with Colum — essentially an assisted suicide. Rufus will meet the hangman's noose, but Claire's tea laced with a life-ending sedative saves him from dying in a brutal manner.

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The cast is expanding as the Frasers settle in America.

Meeting their promise to deliver Rufus at midnight, the angry mob drags his body to a nearby tree for hanging, setting the tone for River Run's way of life. Below, find some of the noteworthy and key moments to keep in mind as the season progresses.

  • Considering Claire's Hippocratic Oath as a doctor, the episode's title of "Do No Harm" is telling — did she do more harm by saving Rufus only for him to end up being killed? Could this impact Claire's decision-making as a doctor and healer in the future? It's definitely not going to help her strained relationship with Jocasta.
  • Ian and local John Quincy Myers (Kyle Rees) discuss "Indians," a population that Ian recognizes to be similar to the Highlanders. Mr. Myers commends Ian for his observation, as many others regard them as savages. Will the newfound information Ian's collected help him in the future? According to next week's episode preview, a run-in with the natives is on the horizon.

  • What will happen between Jocasta and the Frasers? It's clear that they are strong-willed, but not about the same things as Jamie's aunt. How will their exit from River Run go? We can't wait to see.
  • The preview for next week's episode hints at appearances by Brianna (Sophie Skelton) and Roger (Richard Rankin). It's been a while since fans last saw them, so it will be interesting to see where their story picks up.

Outlander, Sundays, 8/7c, Starz

'This Is Us' Sneak Peek: Jack & Rebecca Take a Romantic Road Trip (PHOTOS)

Sun, 11/11/2018 - 3:00pm

We had to go a whole two weeks without This Is Us but luckily, the new episode "Sometimes" is almost here, and some sneak peek photos hint that it may have been worth the wait.

In the images, we're offered a glimpse into Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca's (Mandy Moore) early relationship via the road trip their road trip to Los Angeles. Now, come along for the ride as we see them get to know one another better, while Kevin (Justin Hartley) and Zoe (Melanie Liburd) take a trip of their own — overseas to Vietnam. We'll also get another look at Jack's brother Nicky (Michael Angarano).

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Plus, find out what fans are saying about the revelation.

"Kevin and Zoe land in Vietnam. In the past, Jack and Rebecca take a road trip to Los Angeles. Jack's war story continues to be revealed," the logline reads.

Check out the exciting new images above!

This Is Us, Tuesdays, 9/8c, NBC

'Mars' Season 2 Premiere: Science and Industry Uneasily Coexist

Sun, 11/11/2018 - 1:00pm

What on earth is happening on Mars, you might well wonder, in the second season of this fascinating hybrid that is part gripping sci-fi drama, part “what if” documentary reflecting our very current hopes and fears about colonization of the Red Planet.

Science and industry uneasily coexist as the action jumps ahead five years to 2042, when the astronaut settlers of the International Mars Science Foundation (IMSF) receive unwelcome new corporate neighbors: a mining colony funded by the for-profit Lukrum Industries. Will exploration — already a dangerous venture — be further imperiled by exploitation of the planet’s unknown resources? Count on it.

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Hephner is a newcomer to the groundbreaking documentary/drama series for its second season.

Because, as present-day segments illustrate, that’s exactly how things have played out on Earth in the area most comparable to Mars, the remote Arctic. There, oil drilling and climate change have resulted in rising sea levels around the globe, and cameras follow Greenpeace activists in what seems to be a futile David vs. Goliath resistance movement.

Back on Mars, the tug-of-war between IMSF (above front, Gunnar Cauthery and Nicholas Wittman as crew members) and Lukrum eventually takes a back seat to the primal struggle for survival. Both sides must work together to restore power after a solar flare, locate the source of a deadly contagion and recover from a devastating “Mars-quake.”

Amid all the turmoil and loss, the birth of the first interplanetary baby provides some good news. Now we’re really talking life on Mars.

Mars, Season 2 Premiere, Monday, Nov. 12, 9/8c, National Geographic

'It's A Wonderful Life' Makes Its Streaming Debut & More on Amazon Prime Video

Sun, 11/11/2018 - 11:00am
It’s a Wonderful Life Available now

Hear a bell ringing? That’s because some angel at Prime Video is getting wings for bringing one of the most magical movies ever to an on-demand streaming service! Yep, that means no more waiting for it to repeat on TV (all those commercials!) or dusting off the DVD. Talk about wonderful.

Based on Philip Van Doren Stern’s short story "The Greatest Gift," the 1946 Frank Capra film tells the tale of a despondent man (James Stewart) and his Christmas Eve run-in with a fledgling angel. The holiday classic was nominated for five Academy Awards, has inspired countless spoofs and cemented Stewart’s place in viewers’ hearts as the man who taught us all that no person who has friends could possibly be a failure. Available in the original black-and-white and a colorized version.

Your Definitive British Mystery Streaming List on Amazon Prime Video Your Definitive British Mystery Streaming List on Amazon Prime Video

From 'Endeavor' to 'Crooked House' and beyond.

Beat The Beat New series Available now

In this sexy German thriller, party boy Beat (Jannis Niewöhner) is a promoter working for Berlin’s hottest techno club. But the good times come to a screeching halt when he’s recruited by the European Secret Services to help take down an organ-smuggling operation. Not surprisingly, the guy heading up the criminal enterprise (Alexander Fehling, Homeland) is one sick dude, which means Beat will have to dance his way out of some very tense situations.

The Gymkhana Files The Gymkhana Files Docuseries Premieres Friday, November 16

Rally motorsport driver Ken Block and his crew of "Hoonigans" have so far created nine viral videos — racking up over 500 million views online — showcasing his legendary off-the-rails skills. The last one showed Block blazing his way through a Buffalo, New York, industrial park, at one point even jumping his car in front of a speeding freight train. So how do you top all that? Find out in this eight-part behind-the-scenes series following Block and the Hoonigans as they create the 10th Gymkhana video.

E! People's Choice Awards by the Numbers: A Look Back at Over 40 Years of Winners

Sun, 11/11/2018 - 9:00am
American actors Drew Barrymore and Mr. T - American actors Drew Barrymore and Mr. T attend the 1984 People's Choice Awards Show in Los Angeles. Mr. T won the award for Favorite Male Performer in a new TV program. (Photo by Bill Nation/Sygma via Getty Images)

The average American doesn’t get a say in which stars, TV shows and movies take home Emmys and Oscars. But since 1975, the People’s Choice Awards — now named the E! People’s Choice Awards after switching networks from CBS this year — have allowed everyday folks to cast votes for their favorites.

Past victors include Seinfeld, starring Jerry Seinfeld, Little House on the Prairie, with Michael Landon, and The A-Team’s Mr. T (above, in 1984, with Drew Barrymore…a 2018 comedy TV-star nominee for Netflix’s Santa Clarita Diet). Ahead of this year’s ceremony, check out some of the other Choice stats TV Guide Magazine discovered.

Jerry Seinfeld - 24TH PEOPLES CHOICE AWARDS CEREMONY IN LOS ANGELES (Photo by Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images)


The weight, in pounds, of the brand-new brass trophy created by designer Anna Karlin that winners will take home this year. The previous Waterford crystal version weighed more than twice as much!

 'Shadowhunters,' 'This Is Us' & More on the Full List of Nominees People's Choice Awards 2018: 'Shadowhunters,' 'This Is Us' & More on the Full List of Nominees

'Grey's Anatomy,' 'Shadowhunters,' and 'This Is Us' top the TV categories for the E! awards show.


The number of categories at the original show. It has since ballooned to 43, with 13 new ones bowing this year. They include Bingeworthy Show of 2018 (Netflix’s Queer Eye and BBC America’s Killing Eve are among the nominees), Revival Show of 2018 (The CW’s Dynasty and ABC’s American Idol vie for top honors here) and the Style Star of 2018 (Beyoncé battles Blake Lively and others).

Michael Landon


The total number of viewers, in millions, who tuned in to see the 1977 ceremony, which remains the highest-rated installment to date.


The number of times celebrities competed for favorite hair. Faith Hill topped that 2006 category, which hasn’t been back since.

People's Choice Awards Ceremony to Air on E! for the First Time in 2018 People's Choice Awards Ceremony to Air on E! for the First Time in 2018

The awards will air in November, outside of the traditional awards season.


The consecutive years Queen Latifah hosted the festivities (from 2007 to 2011), making her the longest-reigning master of ceremonies. (At press time, E! had yet to announce the name of the 2018 host.)


The amount of crystal trophies collected by Ellen DeGeneres, the winningest star of all time. Up for three more awards this year, she could break her own record. Wow!

E! People’s Choice Awards, Sunday, November 11, 9/8c, E!


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