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maandag 5 maart 2012

Law & Order: SVU: Mariska Will Be Back, A Tense New Case and More!

Law & Order: SVU: Mariska Will Be Back, A Tense New Case and More!

Don't worry Olivia Benson fans. Law & Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay says she'll keep solving crimes on the NBC drama next season.

"It's looking that way," Hargitay confirmed to TV Guide Magazine on Sunday at a benefit in Los Angeles for her Joyful Heart Foundation, which supports survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. "I think the writing is great. I absolutely love my cast. I think Danny Pino [Det. Amaro] has invigorated that show. [Guest star] Harry [Connick Jr.] has reinvigorated me. And dealing with these issues is more than a TV show to me. It excites me to be on a show that sheds light on darkness. With the combination of SVU and Joyful Heart, my life is really complete and extremely fulfilling, because we watch people's lives change right in front of us."

It's a good thing there's another season to come, especially now that the relationship between Benson and Connick's character, David Haden, is heating up. "It's going to get complicated, though," warns Hargitay. "But when Chris Meloni was around there was no way Olivia could ever be with anybody else. Now that he's gone, I think she has room in her heart."

As long as she also makes room to solve cases. "The case we're about to work on is one that deals with Fleet Week, and sailors that may or may not be responsible for a rape," Pino reveals. "Amaro starts to realize that maybe the original attacker wasn't really guilty. He starts to look at the new evidence and starts to question [the original investigation]." Mark Consuelos will guest star as a potential suspect.

But re-opening a case won't score Amaro any points with his new colleagues. "There are some fireworks involved, since he's one of the new guys and he's coming in questioning what the unit has been doing in the past. You can imagine it doesn't go over well," Pino says. "But I think he does achieve communication, and there's a catharsis within the unit — 'We're really a team. It's not about going after each other, it's about going after justice and doing what's right.' And ultimately we all come out as winners."

Although Pino previously worked on Cold Case, another procedural drama dealing with violent crimes, the actor admits that SVU has been a different experience emotionally. "On Cold Case you were dealing with a box of evidence. Here you're dealing with someone who's very much alive," he says. "It's surprising with what the show is about how much fun we have [off screen]. I think we have to keep it light on set, because the themes that we're dealing with are so tragic."

Fall TV Pilot Trends: Beasts, Maids & Survivalists

Fall TV Pilot Trends: Beasts, Maids & Survivalists

Who's influencing what shows you'll be watching this fall? Funny women, zombies, fairy-tale creatures and maids.

What, you were thinking writers and executives? Well, them, too. But the writers who develop show ideas for the networks – and hope executives will turn them into pilots and eventually series – are taking cues from the shows that are working this season. And in the case of three shows about plotting domestic servants, they're also following the news.

TheWrap's complete list of the 2012 network pilots offers an intriguing look into the minds of the people who make them. We'll find out this spring which pilots will become full-fledged shows. Until then, we get to take part in the same guessing game as countless nail-bitten writers and producers, waiting for word on the future of their creations.

Some trends are to be expected: The continuing popularity of female-led pilots is no surprise given that "2 Broke Girls" and "The New Girl" are the two most successful new comedies of this season.

Less predictable are the pilots about mythical creatures or worlds, including not one but two updates of "Beauty and the Beast." (Technically, one updates the classic fairy tale, while the other updates the only semi-classic CBS show updating the classic fairy tale.) They're a response in part to the surprise success of ABC's "Once Upon a Time" and NBC's "Grimm."

And then there are the "Walking Dead"-influenced shows. Sorry, fans of flesh-eating: None of them feature zombies. But they do feature bands of people who, like the "Walking Dead" humans, barely cling to survival in desperately harsh landscapes. And networks are throwing a bone – sorry -- to people who love the sight of ripping flesh. The cannibal drama "Hannibal," based on the esteemed Dr. Lecter, has already been ordered to a 13-episode series.

Here's a closer look at some 2012 pilot trends.


"2 Broke Girls" and "The New Girl" have kept networks' doors open for other female-centric pilots written by women – especially those about young women. Last season had 41 comedy pilots, 12 of them with female writers and leads. This year there are 45 comedy pilots. So far, 14 of them have women calling the shots and starring.

They include big names: Roseanne Barr seems a shoe-in for a pilot order with her new NBC pilot order, "Downwardly Mobile," which reunites her with "Roseanne" co-star John Goodman. NBC also ordered a pilot from "The Sarah Silverman Program" star Sarah Silverman. And pilots from writers Kari Lizer, Hilary Winston and Dana Klein will all feature female leads.

Lizer has another project with a female lead -- Mary McCormack -- at ABC. It's one of six ABC shows with female writers and leads. The others include sitcoms starring Mandy Moore (written Bob Fisher and Stacy Traub) and Judy Greer (Greer is producing with executive producers Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont writing).

Fox and CBS, which last year had two and one sitcom pilots, respectively, with female leads and writers, have the same numbers this year.

Both Fox comedies are led by women currently on NBC shows. Mindy Kaling, of "The Office" ensemble, is writing and starring in one, which comes from Universal TV. That would keep her an NBCU employee even if she leaves "The Office" to go her own way. Abby Elliott would leave "Saturday Night Live" if Fox orders Dana Fox's "Ben Fox is My Manny" to series.

Rebel Wilson, meanwhile, is writing and starring in CBS's "Super Fun Night" for Conan O'Brien's Conaco.


ABC's "Beauty and the Beast," from ABC Studios and Mojo Films and writer Jon Steinberg, imagines and embattled princess forging a surprising connection with the beast. CW's version, from CBS Television and loosely based on the Linda Hamilton-Ron Perelman series, finds Kristin Kreuk as the beautiful Catherine and Jay Ryan (left) as the beastly Vincent. It's written by Jennifer Levin Sherri Cooper.

So… if both shows are ordered to pilot, which one gets to change its name?

ABC also goes the fantastical route with "Gotham," from writer Michael Green, in which a female cop discovers a magical version of New York City.

CW's "The Carrie Diaries," meanwhile, is about Carrie Bradshaw, pre-"Sex in the City," trying to meet nice, normal guys. Which is also a fairy tale, RIGHT LADIES?


AMC"s hit "The Walking Dead" is wildly admired among the writers and producers who come up with show ideas, and its influence may help explain why they've churned out several shows about people on the edge of survival. In lieu of zombies, they face energy crises, brutal competition, and a desperate struggle to build the world anew.

What else were you expecting in 2012? Apocalypse dramas were some of the Mayans' favorite shows.

ABC's "The Last Resort," from Shawn Ryan, follows a renegade nuclear submarine crew that refuses to deploy its weapons, and instead declare themselves a sovereign nation. With nukes.

NBC's "Revolution," from "Lost" producers J.J. Abrams and Brian Burke, imagines a world where all sources of energy suddenly disappear. Brilliant "Breaking Bad" bad guy Giancarlo Esposito plays a tough but genteel Southern military who may not be as he appears.

Fans of dystopian realities just miiiiiight see similarities, meanwhile, between the CW's "The Selection" and "The Hunger Games." The pilot, based on an upcoming series of books, is described as an epic futuristic romance in which a poor young woman is chosen by lottery to compete to become the queen of a war-torn nation. Could it ride the popularity of the upcoming Jennifer Carpenter film the way CW's "Vampire Diaries" did the success of the "Twilight" movies? That seems to be the idea.

NBC's "Frontier" is also in survivalist mode, though it looks at our rugged past, not our doomed (well, according to television) future. The Western, from Shaun Cassidy, follows 1840s pioneers.

(While they aren't survivalist shows, two others sound like they similarly could have come from the mind of "Fight Club" and "Survivor" writer Chuck Pahlaniuk. An untitled Kevin Williamson project for Fox and the CW's "Cult," from writer Rockne O’Bannon, are both about criminal cults.)


If three separate shows involving domestic servants appear in the fall, you can thank "The Help" – or perhaps Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

ABC's "Devious Maids," which, as you may have guessed from its title, comes from "Desperate Housewives" creator Marc Cherry, follows four maids who chase their own dreams while working for the rich and famous in Beverly Hills. It's based on a Mexican format.

NBC's "Notorious," written by Liz Heldens, finds the daughter of a wealthy family's maid returning to the family undercover to investigate a murder.

NBC's "Beautiful People," meanwhile, denies the humanity of domestic workers. That's because, on the show, humans are served by robots. As imagined by writer Michael McDonald, things go awry when those robots begin to "awaken."

Are robots the new zombies? We find out soon.

Prodijig win 'Got To Dance' 2012

Prodijig win 'Got To Dance' 2012

Prodijig have been crowned winners of Got To Dance 2012.

The group of hip-hop-loving Irish dancers were announced by host Davina McCall as having topped the public vote in tonight's (March 4) London Olympia show.

Prodijig were awarded a £250,000 prize after facing off against Tayluer and Elliott and Fear Of The Unknown in a final showdown earlier in the programme.

They reprised their semi-final dance in a last attempt to impress viewers, the 6,000 strong crowd and the panel of Ashley Banjo, Kimberly Wyatt and Adam Garcia.

Antics, Boadicea, Kazzum, Sweet Surprise, Methods Of Movement, A Team and Unity UK also competed in the Got To Dance final.

Previous series of Got To Dance were won by young duo Chris and Wes and Akai Osei.

Jewel has described The Voice coach Christina Aguilera as an "undeniable talent".

'The Voice' mentor Jewel: 'Christina Aguilera is an undeniable talent'

Jewel has described The Voice coach Christina Aguilera as an "undeniable talent".

The 'Stronger Woman' singer will serve as a mentor for Aguilera's team on the second season of The Voice, which currently airs Wednesday nights on NBC.

Speaking to social media correspondent Christina Milian, she said: "I love Christina. She is an amazing, undeniable talent. She is the real deal. She can really bring it when she sings and every time she steps on stage everybody is amazed.

"I worked with her years ago when she was a little kitten. We did the White House Christmas for Bill Clinton and it's just been neat to see her develop and mature over the years and watch her voice over the years."

Jewel went on to say that she is "excited" to be part of The Voice, saying that she and husband Ty Murray were big fans of the first season.

"I think what makes the show stand apart is these are really judges who know what they're talking about," she said. "They've been through it. It's fun to see them coach and cultivate and really mentor the talent, and not just critique them and tear them down."

The other guest mentors this season helping coaches Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine are: Lionel Richie, Miranda Lambert, Kelly Clarkson, Babyface, Ne-Yo, Robin Thicke and Alanis Morissette.

The Voice airs Mondays at 8/7c on NBC.

'Coronation Street' Andrew Lancel: 'Frank had it coming'

'Coronation Street' Andrew Lancel: 'Frank had it coming'

Coronation Street star Andrew Lancel has admitted that his character deserves to be murdered.

The actor plays evil Frank Foster in the ITV1 soap, who is found lying dead in a pool of his own blood at Underworld tomorrow (March 5), leading to five of his enemies becoming suspects in his murder.

Carla returns to the factory alone to have it out with Frank. He ridicules her and then threatens to rape her again, leaving her fearing for her safety

Lancel revealed that he often struggled to forget about Frank's evil actions when he left work, meaning he was happy to bow out of the soap when he did.

"I would learn my lines at work or stay over at a friend's house. Frank is not a character you want to bring home. I did that right up until the end but there was one day when I didn't get time to shake him off," he told the Daily Star Sunday.

"After we finished I had to rush off as we had a problem with childcare for my son. I hadn't even had time to take my make-up off. I'd only been in the house a few minutes and my wife Lou was like, 'You need to go and have a glass of wine and just shut up'. She was right. I popped out to my local pub and it didn't take me long."

Speaking of his exit, he added: "I'll certainly miss everyone at Corrie, it really has been the best year of my life but I won't miss Frank. He had it coming and, as everyone will see, he gets what he deserves.

"I think the show is just so cool at the moment. It never really felt like I was leaving as I was always going. When you join a show and get into a relationship with Carla Connor (Alison King) you are going to die.

"She is the black widow of the Street. When they offered me the part it was pretty clear in my head that he was going to die. I wouldn't, shouldn't, couldn't have continued with him anyway just because of how much of a monster he was and it was never an option anyway."

Lancel, who is up for 'Best Villain' at this year's British Soap Awards, added that fans are in for a "real treat" when Frank's killer is revealed.

He has described Frank's departure as "classic Corrie", teasing that the killer could be any of the five suspects.

'Made in Chelsea' Francis Boulle suspended for repeated lateness

'Made in Chelsea' Francis Boulle suspended for repeated lateness

Made In Chelsea star Francis Boulle has reportedly been suspended from the show after repeatedly turning up late.

He will miss two weeks' filming after arriving two hours late on the most recent occasion. Producers of the E4 show have also issued a formal warning to the rest of the cast over their "extremely unprofessional" behaviour.

The diamond-mining heir also failed to turn up for a photoshoot to promote the upcoming third series, which premieres later this month, The Mail On Sunday reports.

Producers have apparently tired of the Made In Chelsea stars arriving on set drunk or hungover and sleeping in between takes.

Quality Street heiress Millie Mackintosh was suspended from the show last summer after going on holiday while filming was still in progress.

Production manager Heidi Birkett emailed the Made In Chelsea cast last week, saying: "It has been brought to my attention that some of you have been turning up late as well as not being in a fit and professional state for filming. This is totally unacceptable and extremely unprofessional.

"As we discussed with all of you before Christmas this level of behaviour will not be tolerated and would result in action being taken. We and the Channel are taking this very seriously and unfortunately I'm sad to say that this has now become reality with one member of the cast.

"As many of you now have outside interests as a result of Made In Chelsea I would urge you to think how this could have a knock-on effect to such things as personal appearances, magazines, other TV projects, branding etc. I would also ask all of you to think whether you would act in such a way in any other job without expecting similar repercussions."

Boulle said that he has agreed to take time off from Made In Chelsea "by mutual consent" after his "business life" had impacted on his involvement in the programme.

Channel 4 confirmed the news, with Made In Chelsea executive producer Sarah Dillistone adding that unprofessional behaviour "will not be tolerated".

'Idol' Castoff I Got NO CLASS ... But That's About to Change

'Idol' Castoff I Got NO CLASS ... But That's About to Change

Former "American Idol" contestant and out-of-work substitute teacher Scott Dangerfield was booted from the show last week with ZERO job prospects -- the school where he used to work wants him back!!!

Scott tells, he's been on the hunt for a new teaching gig ever since he got the chop ... but given the time of year, and the struggling job market, it's an uphill battle.

Scott's been getting several job applications together since leaving the show -- but HE CAN STOP NOW ... because the principal at Riverside University High School in Milwaukee (where Dangerfield worked before "Idol") wants to rehire him.

The principal tells, Riverside would welcome Dangerfield to substitute teach ANY TIME -- and if a permanent position opens up ... he definitely wants Scott to apply.

No surprise Riverside wants him back -- Scott was so dedicated to the school when he worked there last year, he turned down an invitation to Hollywood on "Idol" because he didn't want to desert his students.

Scott's pumped about the new job offer too -- telling us, he wants "to get the ball rolling on this and make it happen!”

Ashton Kutcher Child Porn Avenger

Ashton Kutcher Child Porn Avenger

Ashton Kutcher got a firsthand look inside the world of child porn-busting Federal Agents -- riding along with investigators during a smut sweep in Northern California ... and TMZ has obtained pics of one of the raids!

The photos were snapped Thursday -- Ashton suited up with the San Jose police while officers served several arrest warrants in the area.

According to reports, Ashton took part in the sweeps as a representative of the Demi and Ashton Foundation -- a non-profit organization dedicated to the eradication of sexual slavery.

A spokesman for the San Jose police department said Kutcher was NOT a direct participant in the raids -- and was prohibited from entering the homes being raided, in accordance with police policy.

Authorities reportedly arrested at least three men during the sweep -- seizing computers and other evidence that allegedly show the men circulated videos of children having sex with adults.

Finale Spoilers for BBT, Two and a Half Men and Mike & Molly

Finale Spoilers for BBT, Two and a Half Men and Mike & Molly

Chock it up to his induction into the TV Academy Hall of Fame. After a tumultuous year battling his former Two and a Half Men star Charlie Sheen, notoriously tight-lipped executive producer Chuck Lorre was in a decidedly chipper mood March 1 at the Beverly Hills Hotel, cracking Sheen jokes and spilling secrets about his show's upcoming plots. Among the reveals:

Two and a Half Men's Evelyn (Holland Taylor) will have a lesbian relationship — with Mary Tyler Moore and Everybody Loves Raymond vet Georgia Engel! "Georgia's playing Jean, the sweet, widowed mom of Courtney Thorne Smith [Lyndsey]," says Lorre. "She and Evelyn really hit it off." According to Taylor, "Chuck wants to show Evelyn experiencing real affection for the very first time." Meanwhile, Jon Cryer says his character, Alan, "becomes concerned with how to break this news to Jake once the ladies decide to get matching tattoos."

Mike & Molly will say their 'I do's' in a black community church. After Molly blows a wedding interview with Mike's mom's Catholic priest, the couple turns to Grandma's Baptist church. "We're hoping to use the very same church used in The Blues Brothers," says Billy Gardell (Mike). "It has a great gospel vibe to it." Also, the surprise return of Mike's long-MIA father "will weigh heavily on Mike's big day," says Lorre. And Molly's wedding dress will soon be revealed. Says Melissa McCarthy (Molly): "A lot of choices are coming, but I've asked that it be bought somewhere that Molly can afford. Molly can't afford a $17,000 Monique Lhuillier."

The Big Bang Theory wedding will hit a snag when Howard has to possibly choose between marrying Bernadette and fulfilling his dream of traveling to the International Space Station. "The two events are going to fight each other out," says Lorre. Fellow executive producer Bill Prady adds, "One event may have to be rescheduled."

Once Upon a Time Bosses on Breaking Up Snow White, Prince Charming and More Burning Questions

Once Upon a Time Bosses on Breaking Up Snow White, Prince Charming and More Burning Questions

He loves her. He loves her not.

Once Upon a Time has pulled fans of star-crossed lovers Prince Charming (Josh Dallas) and Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) back and forth all season long, as the couple would reunite, only to break up again. Does the show actually have a plan for the iconic couple? A chat with Once bosses Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis to find out. (And they answered a bunch of other burning questions too!)

You keep bringing Mary and David — aka Snow White and Prince Charming — together only to have them break up again. Do you actually have a bigger plan for them?
Kitsis: The whole idea of the show is that Storybrooke is cursed. Their love is so strong it keeps pulling them together no matter how hard we try to keep them apart. Of course, the curse has to keep them apart. I love that the audience is mad that David cheated, but he's married to Snow White [Laughs]. In Storybrooke, he has all this guilt of cheating on Kathryn (Anastasia Griffith), but the truth is, that's the curse.
Horowitz: Is he cheating on Snow White by being with Kathryn? To us, there's a level of complexity we're trying to build with these relationships and making nothing easy for our characters.

The last we saw of Snow White in the fairytale world, she had erased her own memories. When will you pick up that story again?
Kitsis: [This Sunday's episode] takes place right after the Huntsman released her, so before she's attained all her banditry skills. In fact, there's a scene you'll see, where Red (Meghan Ory) teaches her how to track. Episode 16 [picks] up directly after the episode where she drank the poison.

What can you tell us about Kathryn's disappearance?
Horowitz: It's a mystery and it is one that is resolved this season.
Kitsis: That's going to take us into the end run of the season.
Horowitz: David and Mary Margaret are really fighting a curse to be together and this is another element of that.
Kitsis: This will definitely test them... [Also], Kathryn's disappearance is going to take up a lot of Emma's (Jennifer Morrison) time and test her emotionally.

Will other characters start to wake up?
Kitsis: I would say I'd be pissed if something didn't happen like that. It is a difficult thing. The curse is a strong curse. It can't just be easy. I think we're going to explore those questions definitely going forward.

In Sunday's episode, we'll see August (Eion Bailey) spark something within Red/Ruby. Is that his goal in Storybrooke?
Kitsis: It's like what Henry (Jared Gilmore) said in Episode 2, "It's magic, people don't remember." So when you say to Ruby, "How long have you worked at Granny's?" She's like, "Forever," because she has no conception of time. Once [August] puts it in her head, "Well, why do you?" She's like, "Why do I?"
Horowitz: It's a snowball effect, which is to say that [when] Emma arrived in the pilot, the clock started ticking and things started to change. One of the changes is August arriving. There's a lot of things that have changed in Storybrooke, and they've mushroomed out to things like Ruby at the start of [Sunday's episode] and those affects will continue.

Will we finally learn what horrible thing Snow did to the Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla) by the end of the season?
Horowitz: Oh yeah.
Kitsis: That is its own episode, and that will be Episode 18. That is the episode where you'll find out why the Evil Queen hates Snow White so much.

Might Regina ever change her mind about the curse?
Horowitz: I suppose anything is possible.
Kitsis: She enacted it in such an emotional place that she wasn't thinking clearly. She came here and probably got a little bored. Now that Emma is here, it's reawakened her passion of revenge and anger. She's protecting her son. I don't think she fully understands what she did. I don't think she understands the repercussions and she's beginning to lose sight of even why she did it.

Is there a way to undo the curse?
Horowitz: Every curse can be broken.
Kitsis: It's just how.
Horowitz: And yes, that is something that will be explored.

What can you tell us about Regina's mother, played by Barbara Hershey?
Kitsis: Evil is not born, it's made. Her mother has a specific viewpoint about the world.
Horowitz: Hopefully, you'll get a great insight into Regina and why she is the way she is.

Now that we've seen a gentler Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle), is he maybe not as bad as we think?
Kitsis: He's a complicated man. It depends where you line up with his interests. He has an agenda and it's whether you're in the way of that agenda or not. A lot of these characters have gray areas. There is some humanity in him.
Horowitz: There's an exploration [in Episode 19] of more about him and his son and what happened there that may hopefully shed a little more light.

Once Upon a Time: Lost's Emilie de Ravin attempts to tame the Beast

What can you tease about Belle's (Emilie de Ravin) return?
Kitsis: She's got a nice little scene in Episode 14. She's sitting up there with the person who loves her [and] not realizing that. That would be someone I would not want to piss off. She's going to be back more toward the end of the season.

Was having Belle end up in the psych ward a nod to crazy squirrel baby Claire of Lost?
Horowitz: I wouldn't say so much a nod as we felt really confident Emilie could pull it off.
Kitsis: We had the idea early in the season to have Belle in the insane asylum, and then when we were talking about who would be the perfect Belle, because... Belle is a strong character, and so we're like, "Oh, it's Emilie." Then we actually debated changing the ending because of the squirrel baby, and then we thought, "No, let's surge. Squirrel baby again!"

Will we meet anymore villains?
Horowitz: In [Sunday's episode], we'll learn who the Big Bad Wolf is. We want to leave the door open for exploring more and more classic villains as we go forward. But that's one example of something coming up.

What can you tell us about Season 2?
Kitsis: We think we have some really unexpected and surprising characters that we would like to explore next year that I don't even think people are thinking about.

Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8/7c on ABC.

Good Christian Bitches Cast: We Don't Compare Ourselves to Desperate Housewives

Good Christian Bitches Cast: We Don't Compare Ourselves to Desperate Housewives

With Desperate Housewives leaving the airwaves in a few short months, ABC may be looking to see which show can fill the sexy, soapy high heels of the women of Wisteria Lane.

Enter GCB, the network's new drama, which follows a desperate (ex-)housewife — spurned former mean girl Amanda Vaughn (Leslie Bibb) — who returns to Dallas after her cheating husband leaves her high and dry. But her hometown isn't exactly welcoming. Rather, Amanda encounters a group of back-stabbing, manipulative women (including Kristin Chenoweth's Carlene Cockburn ) who want to bring Amanda down.

Despite the catty similarities, the GCB cast is quick to point out that Dallas isn't the new Fairview. "It's not as broad a comedy," David James Elliott tells, calling the show a mix of Steel Magnolias and The First Wives Club. Elliott plays Ripp, Carlene's husband.

"Normally I think I would feel a little bit of pressure [about] how are we ever going to compare ourselves," says Marisol Nichols, who portrays Heather, Amanda's only true friend in the mean-girl clique. "We don't compare ourselves. We are a different show that possibly appeals to that same audience."

However, the cast is more than happy to ride Desperate Housewives' coattails in a more literal sense. GCB will air immediately following Housewives on Sunday nights on ABC. "It gives us the best chance that we could possibly hope for," Jennifer Aspen, who plays Carlene's BFF Sharon, says of the timeslot. "If we can't make it there, we can't make it anywhere."

Packers Star Donald Driver I'm Busting My Ass For 'Dancing with the Stars'

Packers Star Donald Driver I'm Busting My Ass For 'Dancing with the Stars'

Four-time Pro Bowler and children's author Donald Driver isn't taking "Dancing with the Stars" lightly -- sources tell TMZ, the Green Bay wide receiver is working himself to the BONE to crush the competition.

According to sources, Donald's been working non-stop -- practicing with his partner for 5 hours at a time ... then going home and studying dance moves on YouTube.

We're told Donald pays especially close attention to the male pros -- intently studying their moves and their footwork ... just like a football player would study tapes of old games.

According to sources, Donald's goal is to dance at the pro level -- not just the "celebrity" level.

We're told Donald is so focused on being at the top of his game -- he's even keeping his pro partner Peta Murgatroyd on a strict diet.

As one "Dancing" source put it ... "Donald's work ethic is INSANE!"

TV Tonight 5th of March 2012

TV Tonight 5th of March 2012

The daily list in alphabetical order, of all the new episodes airing.

    112 - på liv och död S05E22: "Del 22 av 20"
    30 grader i februari S01E05: "Season 1, Episode 5"
    71 Grader Nord: Norges Tøffeste Kjendis S03E02: "Season 3, Episode 2"
    A Question of Sport S43E12: "March 5, 2012"
    Alcatraz S01E09: "The Ames Brothers"
    Alcatraz S01E10: "Sonny Burnett"
    Alexander Armstrong's Big Ask S02E05: "Series 2, Episode 5"
    American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior S03E04: "Rick's News"
    American Pickers S04E13: "The Belly Dance"
    Antiques Road Trip S04E16: "Series 4, Episode 16"
    Basketball Wives S04E03: "Season 4, Episode 3"
    Being Human (US) S02E08: "I've Got You Under Your Skin"
    Belga Sport S06E05: "Tom Simpson, Een monument op de Ventoux"
    Bethenny Ever After S03E03: "The Damaged One"
    Big Brother Sverige S08E14: "Del 14"
    Bizarre Foods S07E07: "Charleston"
    Bondi Rescue S07E05: "Season 7, Episode 5"
    Brille S01E08: "Season 1, Episode 8"
    Caged S01E09: "Season 1, Episode 9"
    Canadian Pickers S02E08: "Sasquatch Country"
    Cleverdicks S01E06: "Episode 6"
    Coach Trip S09E26: "Series 9, Day 26"
    Come Dine With Me S18E43: "Series 18, Series 36"
    Conan S02E60: "TBA"
    Coronation Street S53E47: "Mon Mar 5, 2012 [Episode 2]"
    Coronation Street S53E46: "Mon Mar 5, 2012 [Episode 1]"
    Countdown with Keith Olbermann S10E43: "Season 10, Episode 43"
    Danger 5 S01E02: "Lizard Soldiers Of The Third Reich"
    Danni Lowinski S03E05: "Flucht"
    Deal Or No Deal (UK) S07E176: "Episode 1856"
    Der Letzte Bulle S03E05: "Nymphen und Don Juans"
    Dickinson's Real Deal S08E65: "Series 8, Episode 65"
    Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives S13E13: "TBA"
    Dirk Gently S01E02: "Episode 2"
    Dirty Soap S02E01: "General House Hunting"
    Disappeared S04E19: "Into the Bayou"
    Doctors S13E212: "The Hills"
    Dokter Deen S01E06: "Familie"
    EastEnders S28E38: "March 5, 2012"
    Éden Hotel S02E01: "Season 2, Episode 1"
    Embarrassing Bodies S06E01: "Thailand"
    Emmerdale S41E54: "March 5, 2012"
    Exotische Liefde S02E02: "Season 2, Episode 2"
    Får vi följa med? S01E05: "Del 5"
    Gadget Geeks S01E08: "Series 1, Episode 8"
    General Hospital (US) S49E235: "#12509"
    Gintama S05E48: "Presents Are Meant to Be Given Early"
    Goede Tijden, Slechte Tijden S22E131: "Season 22, Episode 131"
    Hacktion S02E04: "A Hold sötét oldala"
    Halv åtta hos mig S08E25: "Örnsköldsvik - Fredrik"
    Heat Seekers S02E08: "TBA"
    Helt Perfekt S02E02: "Season 2, Episode 2"
    Hollyoaks S18E46: "March 5, 2012"
    Home and Away (AU) S25E31: "Episode 5466"
    Hotel cæsar S28E162: "Season 28, Episode 162"
    House Hunters S48E45: "Selling the Ranch in Wyoming and Moving to Montana"
    House Hunters International S25E48: "Seeking Success in Taiwan"
    House of Anubis S02E79: "House of Phantoms"
    House of Anubis S02E80: "House of Surrender"
    Intervention S12E10: "TBA"
    Jeopardy! S28E121: "Show #6326"
    Kaboul Kitchen S01E11: "Cool à Kaboul"
    Kaboul Kitchen S01E10: "Crise de foi"
    Kaboul Kitchen S01E12: "Pas cool à Kaboul"
    Karatefylla S02E03: "Season 2, Episode 3"
    Late Kick Off S03E08: "Series 3, Episode 8"
    Little Mosque on the Prairie S06E08: "Finders Weepers"
    Live with Regis and Kelly S29E135
    Mary Shelley's Frankenhole S02E07: "TBA"
    Ministry of Curious Stuff S01E09: "Episode 9"
    Mr. D S01E08: "Guest Speaker"
    Neighbours S28E41: "Episode 6351"
    Panorama S60E08: "The Money Farmers"
    Pasila S05E07: "Schaibaajat"
    Pawn Star$ S04E82: "TBA"
    Pawn Star$ S04E81: "TBA"
    Pointless S06E16: "Series 6, Episode 16"
    Police Interceptors S04E16: "Series 4, Episode 16"
    Pretty Little Liars S02E23: "Eye of the Beholder"
    Redemption Inc. S01E09: "Season 1, Episode 9"
    Royal Marines: Mission Afghanistan S01E06: "The Final Reckoning"
    RuPaul's Drag Race: Untucked S03E06: "Float Your Boat"
    Skins S06E07: "Alo"
    Smash S01E05: "Let's Be Bad"
    Sousei no Aquarion S02E10: "Episode 10"
    The Bachelor S16E10: "The Women Tell All"
    The Bad Girls Club S08E07: "Invasion of the Scavengers"
    The Biggest Loser (AU) S07E25: "Season 7, Episode 25"
    The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff S01E03: "Series 1, Episode 3"
    The Bold and the Beautiful S25E244: "Ep. #6274"
    The Chase (2009) S05E25: "Series 5, Episode 25"
    The Colbert Report S08E32: "Audra McDonald"
    The Daily Show S17E68: "Sec. Shaun Donovan"
    The Ellen DeGeneres Show S09E114: "Julianne Moore, Idina Menzel"
    The Jeremy Kyle Show S07E121: "March 5, 2012"
    The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson S08E41: "Courtney Cox, Louie Anderson"
    The Lying Game S01E20: "Unholy Matrimony"
    The Revolution (2012) S01E36: "Season 1, Episode 36"
    The Tube (2012) S01E03: "Episode 3"
    The View S15E119: "50 Cent, Steve Schirripa"
    The Voice (US) S02E06: "The Battles Begin"
    The Young and the Restless S39E242: "Ep. #9857"
    Thuis S17E136: "Season 17, Episode 136"
    TI & Tiny: The Family Hustle S01E13: "TBA"
    University Challenge (1994) S18E43
    Watson & Oliver S01E03: "Episode 3"
    Whitechapel S03E06: "Series 3, Episode 6"
    WWE Raw S20E10: "Episode #980"
    Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal S01E46: "For the Sake of Family... The Gentle Avenger: III!!"

Simon Pegg joins voice cast of Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Simon Pegg joins voice cast of Star Wars: The Clone Wars

The cast of Star Wars: The Clone Wars is to be joined by our very own Simon Pegg, who’s annexing fantasy universes one geek role at a time…

Simon Pegg hasn’t exactly kept his fan fury about the modern additions to the Star Wars franchise quiet; he devoted not a small chunk of his memoir, Nerd Do Well, to the topic, as well as making The Phantom Menace-related rage a plot point in cult sitcom Spaced. One latter-day development that must pass muster though is Star Wars: The Clone Wars, as Pegg has signed up to voice the character of bounty hunter Dengar in the animated series.

Knowing his fanbase well enough to realise the news required qualification (and perhaps shielding himself from potential cries of hypocrisy), Pegg explained on Twitter, “Being Dengar doesn’t change the way I feel about the prequels but then the prequels couldn’t change the way I feel about the original three.” That, for any neologism fans out there, was a twoosh, otherwise known as a tweet of exactly 140 characters.

Pegg appears as Dengar in this Friday’s episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Bounty. Read Cameron’s reviews of season 4, here.

10 reasons to celebrate a decade of BBC4

10 reasons to celebrate a decade of BBC4

Celebrate ten years of BBC4, “a place to think”, and home to some of the best documentary, sci-fi, horror, comedy, and music programming around...

This month sees two significant anniversaries at the BBC. March 11th is the tenth birthday of 6Music, the BBC’s eclectic, muso-friendly radio station pitched somewhere between Radios 1 and 2. Before that is another tenth birthday, this time of the TV channel BBC Four. At 7pm on Saturday March 2nd 2002, BBC Knowledge became BBC Four. An evening about the artist Goya, with a documentary and a drama at the centrepiece, was the first night’s viewing. Branded by controller Roly Keating, subsequently controller of BBC2, as “a place to think”, BBC Four has become home to quality drama, intelligent documentary, foreign films and edgy satirical comedy.

To celebrate its ten years on screen, join our look at the ten things BBC Four does best.

Archive documentary strand Timeshift has produced some great programmes over the last ten years. At the heart of the show is the simple device of examining a topic in historical context as seen on TV over the years or looking at television programmes influenced by the subject.  Timeshift is a wonderful use of the BBC’s vast archive. Recently Timeshift produced an excellent documentary on drinking. Reminiscences of teenage parties with Babysham and a Party Seven are tempered by footage from a selection of drink drive campaigns from the Seventies. The change to licensing laws in 1988 is compared to the more light-hearted lager advertising of the Eighties and Nineties.

From a geek point of view 2006’s Science Fiction Britannia was unmissable. A season of programmes including a documentary comparing science fact represented by Tommorrow’s World and science fiction. The season featured a series of short well-made documentaries The Cult of…  looking at Blake’s 7 and Adam Adamant Lives! amongst others.  And there was the welcome return of Nicholas Craig, Nigel Planer’s eminent character actor, with tips on ”How to Be Sci-Fi”.

Wallender, The Killing and Borgen are three of the most popular dramas the channel has ever broadcast. The idea of a Saturday night without the company of a Danish detective, especially Sarah Lund, now seems unthinkable. BBC Four has also become synonymous with stylish American series such as Mad Men, a sixties-set drama about the world of the ad men in Madison Avenue. BBC Four was the first UK channel to broadcast Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Daily Show.

Crooked House a spooky Mark Gatiss series of plays debuted on the channel. This followed a revival of the brilliant  A Ghost Story for Christmas, the back catalogue of which was added to with two fresh productions. Robert Hardy narrated a particularly memorable Timeshift which explored the ghost story on TV. Clips from the early MR James productions were mixed with The Stone Tape, a rare outing for The Omega Factor and Ghostwatch. Mark Gatiss was frequently involved in some of the best output about the supernatural. He appeared in an updated version of A For Andromeda and The First Men on The Moon. Gatiss also presented a fine series of documentaries The History of Horror.

Every Friday, BBC Four is devoted to music. There are concerts and documentaries featuring a whole host of musical styles. It’s a great antidote to the traditional ”start of the weekend” approach of other channels. Being able to see a concert by a particular artist then see the relevant episode of Rock Family Trees or Classic Albums and then put it into historical context with The Rock n Roll Years has been a real treat. …At the BBC collected performances by a range of top artists from The Old Grey Whistle Test, Top of the Pops and Later… so one can compare the artist/group with their contemporaries.

Arguably, the best political comedy since Yes Minister, Armando Iannucci’s The Thick of It made a star of Chris Addison. But it was Peter Capaldi’s spin doctor and swearbox botherer, Malcolm Tucker, that made most tune in. Initially the minister was played by Chris Langham, when he couldn’t continue in the role, the show concentrated on his opposite number. Rebecca Front became the minister in the third series. Such was the show’s success it spawned a movie In The Loop in 2008.

A real geek treat occurred in 2006 when the only surviving episode of The Web of Fear was shown as part of the Fantasy Sixties season. We’ve also been treated to the Pertwee classics Spearhead from Space and The Daemons. Last year, in tribute to Elisabeth Sladen, BBC Four showed The Hand of Fear across two evenings.

We’ll Take Manhattan, about photographer David Bailey’s infatuation with model Jean Shrimpton was the latest in a long line of dramas based on well-known public figures: Hancock and Joan which starred Ken Stott, detailed the destructive relationship between Tony Hancock and Joan Le Mesurier; Hattie starred Ruth Jones as Carry On star Hattie Jacques; The Curse of Steptoe which suggested the men behind Albert and Harold didn’t get on won the highest audience for the channel to date. Phil Davis and Jason Issacs starred as Wilfrid Brambell and Harry H. Corbett; Fantabulosa starred Michael Sheen as Kenneth Williams in the story of the comedian’s life; The Road to Coronation Street looked at how the programme was developed by writer Tony Warren.

Part of the superlative Electronic Revolution technology season which also featured a drama about Sir Clive Sinclair starring Alexander Armstrong and Martin Freeman, Electric Dreams was a fascinating examination of how far the nation has come technology-wise and how much we rely on gadgets to get through the day. The Sullivan-Barnes family had their home time-warped back to 1970, removing everything which wasn’t available to them at the turn of the Seventies. They spent the next month progressing forward a year a day until they reached 1999. Each day brought a new year and a new gift: a stereo with turntable and early tape deck; a chest freezer which could only be stored in the garage; a Walkman which was to be used whilst jogging; a video, although finding relevant tapes proved problematic; a computer from a choice of a ZX Spectrum, Texas TI-99 4A or the humble BBC Micro; a camcorder and a chance to make their own film; an early mobile phone sans texting platform and eventually, the internet. Seeing the reaction of the children as various tech arrived was as interesting as seeing their parents reliving their youth.

The rise of the caustic, misanthropic Guardian TV critic, Charlie Brooker has, arguably, been the best shot in the arm for television comedy since Chris Morris’ Brass Eye series in 1997. Brooker contributed to the controversial Brass Eye special in 2001. Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe series began in 2004, he set about deconstructing television in an entertaining series which informed the viewer how the TV business worked and featured his legendary witty “on the sofa” critiques. As his career soared, BBC Four  gave him plenty of backing. He did a one-off episode of Screenwipe called Gameswipe which showcased his love of Computer gaming. More recently he’s fronted the consistently amusing NewsWipe. Brooker’s outrage at television (mock and genuine) has lifted these programmes to “must see” viewing and made them one of the best things on BBC Four.

BBC Four is the pinnacle of the BBC’s output. It’s always the first  TV listing I’ll check and often produces a real treat on an otherwise average evening. Its future is uncertain. For a ten year old it’s a very precocious child, however, the inevitable cuts the BBC are being forced to make mean it will probably be less great in future as BBC2 is strengthened at its expense. For the moment though, the BBC can be justly proud of an excellent TV channel. Happy Birthday BBC Four!

Toby Whithouse on Doctor Who series 7

Toby Whithouse on Doctor Who series 7

The Being Human creator, Toby Whithouse, is back writing for Doctor Who again for its upcoming seventh series. And he’s been talking a little about what to expect…

One of the already-revealed writers for Doctor Who’s seventh series since its revival is Toby Whithouse. Whithouse, who’s also juggling his duties on Being Human, wrote the terrific The God Complex in the last series, and he’s been chatting to BBC America about what’s in store for us this time around.

Asked what he could say about his story for the new series, he said “certainly on this series, the episodes are much more stand-alone and, in a way, more distinct from each other. You’ll have episodes, but they’ll be much more of a specific genre. And the next week will be a different genre”.

He added that “My episode is in a genre I’ve never written before — frankly, no one has written in that genre for quite a while now. But I absolutely love it. Steven gives me a one-line pitch, and then I’ll go away and put together a story and so on.”

“Doctor Who is always a joy to write”, Whithouse admitted. “It never gets boring, it never gets dull, it never gets routine. It’s an incredibly difficult show to write because it’s remarkably complex, but it also has to have such momentum and pace. And within that there has to be room for character and humor and so on. It’s always a huge challenge but always extraordinary fun. That’s why I keep going back.”

The full interview can be found here. And production on Doctor Who series 7 is underway now...

46 things we learned from the Game Of Thrones Blu-rays

46 things we learned from the Game Of Thrones Blu-rays

Horse hearts, molten gold and George W. Bush’s head? Mike takes us through the 46 things you never knew about HBO’s Game of Thrones…

This article contains major spoilers.

Game of Thrones - and the Song of Ice and Fire books - are known for their rabid fanbases, but the Blu-ray box-set of the first series reveals facts, anecdotes and stories that only the most enthusiastic of fans will know about.

We've trawled through the box-set's multitude of commentaries, which feature both cast and crew members - as well as the litany of special features - to dig up the best morsels of trivia from this amazing series. Want to know what that raw heart was made of, or where to spot George W. Bush? Read on!

Beyond the Wall

1. The first episode's opening scene sees a party heading beneath The Wall, a 700ft structure made entirely of ice, but it's unlikely the actors were cold - the tunnel's made of cement and it's dug into the side of the Northern Irish quarry where the Castle Black set was built.

2. It's particularly chilling when Night's Watch member Will stumbles on a bevy of dead wildlings, but remember that creepy-looking kid who'd recently been turned into one of the "White Walkers" - that's not a doll, like many suspected, or even a child: it's a 19 year old actress.

3. Later on in the series Jon Snow's friends Pyp and Grenn can be seen eating lunch in the dingy Castle Black mess hall. Production designer Gemma Jackson made a particularly nasty gruel for the actors to eat, but didn't tell them: Kit Harrington confirmed that Josef Altin, who played Pyp, wouldn't eat it - and if you watch closely that Mark Stanley, otherwise known as Grenn, can't bring himself to swallow.

4. Jon's family crisis leads him to desert the Night's Watch, but he's brought back into the fold after a nighttime forest chase. It looks impressive on screen, but the dingy shooting conditions meant that one stuntwoman needed eight stitches when the set's generators crashed and she ran into a tree.

5. Magister Illyrio's sumptuous home is actually the summer palace of Malta's president. Filming was permitted, and the set was also used for the Red Keep's gardens in King's Landing, but the team wasn't allowed to film inside.

6. Hardcore fans lamented the loss of the Targaryen family's violet eyes, but Daenerys and Viserys were originally shot with violet contact lenses. Showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss gave them the chop, though, after concluding that "actors act with their eyes, and [the lenses] really hurt the emotion."

7. Shortly after Daenerys and Khal Drogo were married, a massive storm hit Malta and blew most of the props into the sea. Hopefully someone saved the basketful of snakes and the barbecued hearts.

8. There were doubts about filming the wedding in the first place, as the relatively conservative Maltese authorities expressed doubts about public decency due to the wedding's nudity and violence. Magister Illyrio put it best, saying that "a Dothraki wedding without three deaths is considered a dull affair".

9. Plenty of backstory is supplied when Viserys takes a dip with Doreah, but Bryan Cogman - who wrote episode four - didn't pen that scene. It was entirely the work of Benioff and Weiss, and was originally supposed to be in episode 3. Cogman didn't find out until it was broadcast.

10. Fantasy fans will want to pay attention during that scene, too, as Viserys reels off a list of famous dragons, including Vermithrax, the star of 1981 cult classic Dragonslayer. That's not the only Game of Thrones connection, either: the movie included characters called Valerian and Tyrian.

11. The crew told Emilia Clarke the raw horse heart she had to devour in episode six would taste like gummy bears, but that was far from the case - she says it tasted "a little like bleach". The crew would inject it to keep it moist, its arteries being made from dried pasta, and Clarke had to keep chewing for a whole day. That retch at the end of the scene? No acting required.

12. The crew had just one take at giving Viserys the infamous golden crown, but luckily they nailed it: smoke machines were strapped to his back and chest, a bald cap was made to resemble molten gold across his face, and the props department forged a gold-like substance that was poured over his head.

13. HBO commissioned the Dothraki tongue from an organisation that specialises in creating imaginary languages. There are more words in the invented Dothraki for "kill" than for "love", and linguist David Peterson come up with more than 2,000 words before he'd even started translation.

14. Khal Drogo cements his position as the top Dothraki dog when he rips out the tongue of dissenter Mako, but that scene wasn't in the script - actor Jason Momoa suggested it after noticing that his character, supposedly a great warrior, never demonstrated his prowess.

15. The scene where Ned and Cersei clash in Ned's quarters takes place half-way through the season but, not counting the pilot, it was the first thing filmed.

16. After being stabbed in an attack by Jaime Lannister, Ned Stark wakes up in a fever dream. Back in the real world, Sean Bean showed real dedication to his role by catching the flu - so he really did look that bad.

17. Maisie Williams, the actress behind Arya Stark, is right-handed - but Arya's left-handed. Without prompting from any of the crew members, she learned all of her fight scenes with Syrio Forel left-handed.

18. The dungeon where Ned Stark is imprisoned and visited by Varys is actually the same crypt that's seen beneath Winterfell back in the first episode of the series.

19. After Ned's beheading Joffrey takes Sansa to admire Ser Ilyn Payne's handiwork - but someone you don't expect is sat on a spike at the Red Keep. The head to the left of Septa Mordane is actually George W. Bush wearing a wig. "It's not a political statement", says David Benioff, "we just had to use what heads we had lying around!"

20. It takes a lot to shock Game of Thrones viewers, but the death of Ser Hugh of the Vale, with a lance through the neck, managed it. The entire stunt, from the horse falling over to the spurting blood, was kept hidden from the likes of Arya and Sansa, so those reactions are very genuine indeed.

21. Winterfell's courtyard looks incredibly realistic, but it's actually built on a car park - and the gift shop was kept well hidden.

22. The scene with Sansa talking to Queen Cersei and Catelyn at the feast was actually comprised of two scenes shot a year apart: Sansa's parts were from the original pilot, and the portions with Cersei and Catelyn were spliced in later after Michelle Fairley was chosen to play Catelyn Tully instead of Jennifer Ehle.

23. Robb, Theon and Jon Snow show off some impressive abs when they're getting their hair cut, but David Benioff shed some light on that scene. "If you'd seen the number of crunches they were doing before this scene, they were practically throwing up; they're not acting - just holding their breath and flexing their abs!"

24. The spooky crypt beneath Winterfell is normally a wine cellar.

25. The Queen's carriage is pretty imposing as far as caravans go, and it caused several problems on set: when filming its arrival it actually knocked one of Winterfell's gates off its hinges.

26. The stag that's been killed by the direwolf in the season's first episode is no prop. It's a real animal that was shot - by someone else! - two days before filming, and was gutted by the production's animal handler and erstwhile butcher, Kenny. If you spot any of the cast looking a bit grim during this scene, they're trying not to vomit: Weiss confirmed the animal "wasn't in great shape" by the time it came to filming.

27. The pool in Winterfell's godswood is actually filled with black paint to make it as reflective as possible.

28. The dingy, deserted tower that Jaime pushed Bran out of was redressed and used as Bran's bedchamber for the rest of the series.

29. Old friends Ned and Robert share a joke when the King arrives at Winterfell, but Mark Addy's laugh was so loud it spooked the horse he'd rode in on.

30. Harry Potter actress Natalia Tena plays wilding Osha, and A Song of Ice and Fire author George R. R. Martin was so impressed with her performance that he's making changes in his next book, The Winds of Winter. "She's become such an interesting character," he explains, "that when she reappears in the books I'd like to give her a more interesting role to play".

31. Rob Ostlere, who plays Waymar Royce in the opening episode, came very close to playing Viserys.

32. When Benioff and Weiss started planning the series, Martin told them to work with HBO - and before that even happened the trio started casting their ideal stars. Even back then, they were adamant that Game of Thrones would only work with Sean Bean and Peter Dinklage as Ned Start and Tyrion Lannister.

33. Prostitute Ros was originally supposed to be included in one scene, but Benioff and Weiss are obviously fans: "she's so much fun to watch that she's become a relatively major character in season two", the explained. Sexploitation obviously pays off!

34. The armourer who's crafting Needle while Jon Snow and Jaime Lannister clash in the Winterfell courtyard is Tommy Dunn, who created all of the weapons seen in Game of Thrones.

35. Many cast members are virtual first-timers: none of the child actors have done professional work of any substance, and Emilia Clarke and John Bradley West - who play Daenerys and Samwell Tarly - were fresh out of drama school.

36. Keep watching Will when he's riding through the woods in the first episode. A short clip from the pilot episode is used, and it's a different actor.

37. Keen-eyed fans will be able to spot some changeable weather when the Starks discover the direwolf puppies: it's raining lightly in half the shots and not in others, as it was filmed over two separate days. Different puppies are used throughout, too.

38. When Catelyn Stark and Maester Luwin are preparing for the King's arrival, one of the extras is later seen in the Lannister court.

39. Similarly, one of the prostitutes that Jaime provides for Tyrion later becomes one of Queen Cersei's hand-maidens. A continuity error? "No, a promotion!" confirms Benioff.

40. A crew member pointed out that Magister Illyrio had paintings in his palace depicting cannons and guns - weapons which weren't used in Westeros or Essos. Weiss covered his tracks by claiming that it's wildfire - a volatile substance that will be familiar to anyone who's read A Clash of Kings, the second book in the series.

41. Ned and Robert's scene in the crypt is one of the few to survive from the pilot and one of the few that's shot on 35mm film, as evidenced by the slight grain that can be seen on the HD version of the episode.

42. Composer Ramin Djawadi was brought on board "when [Benioff and Weiss] were entering panic mode". He was hired, three days later he pulled out due to scheduling conflicts, and it was only some hasty pleading that kept him involved in the project.

43. A lot of the snow that's being blown around Castle Black? Cotton wool.

44. Every bit of lore that's seen on the show's gnarled, knackered books was written by the show's writer and unofficial historian Bryan Cogman, although it was copied out by a calligrapher - with messages written and produced even when they're not opened on camera. Cogman's also written the entries included on the box-set's Westerosi encyclopedia.

45. One of the artists who designed Pandora in blockbuster Avatar worked on Game of Thrones in the early stages, with his influence felt especially in the lofty surroundings of The Vale and The Eyrie.

46. Tyrion's Sky Cell looks precarious, but it was filmed in the parking lot opposite the cast's trailers, looking over the same spot where James Cameron built a giant replica of the Titanic.

TLC Breaks New Ground With the Docu-Sitcom "Leave It to Niecy"

TLC Breaks New Ground With the Docu-Sitcom "Leave It to Niecy"

TLC - the destination for the most engaging family docu-series on television - moves into new territory with the premiere of the docu-sitcom LEAVE IT TO NIECY, featuring actress/comedienne Niecy Nash. Blending together production and storytelling elements from both the traditional sitcom genre and the world of non-scripted reality shows, LEAVE IT TO NIECY offers a new balance of real-life humor through the lens of the beloved comedy format. The eight-episode half-hour series will premiere March 25 at 10/9c.

TLC viewers were first introduced to Niecy when she walked down the aisle and married her husband Jay Tucker in front of nearly 5 million viewers in TLC's 2-hour event "Niecy Nash's Wedding Bash" last June. Now, LEAVE IT TO NIECY takes viewers into the couple's home, which includes her three kids and her opinionated mother. Together, they balance work, life, and love to create a modern blended family.

The family includes:

· Niecy - hard-working actress/comedienne, well known for Reno 911 and her season on Dancing with the Stars. She's never been busier, but Niecy places family first - and doesn't put up with any foolishness under her roof.

· Jay - an electrical engineer, Jay is working on blending these two families together. He's adjusting to living in a household of mostly women, especially parenting teenage daughters for the first time.

· Miss Margaret - Niecy's mom, who lives with the family, and helps take care of the kids when Niecy's working. She's quick to challenge her daughter, and isn't shy with an opinion.

· Dominic - Niecy's oldest child, Dominic has the world ahead of him and dreams of growing his creative talents. He's always trying to debunk his mom's schemes, enlisting his sisters for help.

· Romallis - Jay's son. Niecy's kids have welcomed Romallis into the family, and he is adjusting to going from being an only child to finding his way in a big and boisterous bunch.

· Donielle - the middle child, Donielle has dry sense of humor. Always calling it as she sees it, she is quick to see through her mom's hijinks, especially when it comes to attempts at family bonding.

· Dia - the youngest child, Dia has a big personality. She wants to grow up faster than Niecy will allow and she's always pushing the limit to no longer be seen as the baby of the family.

"TLC is well-known for its real life series about remarkable families, and LEAVE IT TO NIECY takes that genre to a new level. We knew we had something special with Niecy and her family - their natural comedy helped us re-think how to bring their story to our audience in a way that truly fit our brand," said Amy Winter, GM, TLC.

"Jay and I are thrilled to be part of something so positive and exciting," said Niecy. "TLC was the home to my wedding special and after the marriage it just made sense to invite them back to document the journey of our love while doing it with a full house of family and fun."

New 'Game of Thrones' trailer revealed

New 'Game of Thrones' trailer revealed

A new trailer for the second season of Game of Thrones has been released.

HBO has been slowly revealing sneak peeks at the new season of the hit fantasy show, including key artwork and teaser trailers.

Now Entertainment Weekly has unveiled a new trailer that features the song 'Seven Devils' by Florence + the Machine, and shows never-before-seen footage of the highly-anticipated second season.

The cast of Game of Thrones recently celebrated the worldwide DVD launch of the series.

Show star Peter Dinklage also recently won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Tyrion Lannister.

Game of Thrones returns to HBO on April 1, and to Sky Atlantic in the UK on April 2.

'The Voice' Tom Jones: 'X Factor judges know nothing'

'The Voice' Tom Jones: 'X Factor judges know nothing'

The Voice UK coach Sir Tom Jones has suggested that X Factor judges "don't have the experience" to recognise talent.

The 'Delilah' singer - who is joined by Jessie J, and Danny O'Donoghue on the BBC contest - said that Simon Cowell's rival show had failed to find "stars with world-class voices".

"Some of their judges aren't even singers and wouldn't be able to sing a note, so what do they know?" he told The People. "Every time I see one of these shows I think half the decisions are wrong and it really frustrates me.

"Some of the judges don't have the experience to be on talent shows - if you've only been in the industry two minutes, how can you offer advice?

"I have the experience and I listen to all sorts of music, so the advice I give will be valuable."

Jones said that it was his disappointment in the poor judging decisions and "sob stories" of The X Factor that inspired him to join The Voice.

"I got fed up with shows like X Factor and thought I better do one ­myself because the judging has been questionable. A singing contest should be about someone's voice - not PR spin."

He added: "I'm genuinely excited about The Voice - it's exciting, competitive and compelling television because it's all about talent."

Jones's comments to the paper have apparently angered Cowell, who has admitted in the past that he is worried about the competition posed by The Voice.

"You are basically talking about worldwide success for nearly all of the stars who've come through the ranks on Simon's shows," a source said. "It's a bit rich for someone appearing as a judge on a BBC show that hasn't even started yet to criticise him.

"Simon's always held Tom Jones in high regard but he's being drawn into a PR stunt by the BBC when he should know better."

The Voice is believed to be launching on Saturday, March 24.

Lindsay Lohan mocks troubles on 'Saturday Night Live' - watch

Lindsay Lohan mocks troubles on 'Saturday Night Live' - watch

Lindsay Lohan hosted Saturday Night Live for the fourth time last night (March 3).

The actress, whose appearance on the show was widely tipped as the beginning of her comeback, mocked her recent legal troubles and rehab stints in a series of sketches.

"I know, I feel lucky and grateful to be here tonight, I really want to thank all my friends at SNL who trusted me to come back," Lohan said, as an alarm sounded when she tried to wander off stage.

"Wait, I thought you trusted me?" she joked. "You're telling me an alarm goes off when I leave the stage?"

Lohan was later joined by Bridesmaids star Kristen Wiig, who told the guest host: "Everyone believes in you, believe me," while giving her a pat-down.

Meanwhile, in the well-received 'Real Housewives of Disney' skit, Lohan played a wild Rapunzel version of herself, acknowledging her past as a Disney star.

She also wore a jail jumpsuit and warned kids to stay out of trouble in another sketch, but was criticised online for visibly relying on cue cards.

"First you're hanging out with mean girls and then you're stealing a necklace," she said to the kids on the show.

Lionel Richie on mentoring The Voice: 'It was eye-opening experience'

Lionel Richie on mentoring The Voice: 'It was eye-opening experience'

Lionel Richie has said that The Voice was an "eye-opening experience" for him because he realised he wouldn't be able to do what the contestants have done.

The legendary singer will serve as a mentor for Christina Aguilera's team on the second season, which currently airs Monday nights on NBC.

Speaking to social media correspondent Christina Milian, he said: "It was probably one of the most eye-opening experiences ever because I now know what I would not be able to take!

"It's incredible. I'm having trouble every day trying to get my confidence together to say, 'I think I'll try that, I think I'll go with this song today, I'm not sure'… then let's make it one step more difficult and surprise you with a celebrity!"

Let's Dance for Sport Relief still most-watched in Saturday primetime

Let's Dance for Sport Relief still most-watched in Saturday primetime

Let's Dance for Sport Relief was the most-watched show last night, according to the latest overnight data.

At 7pm, 5.58m (25.3%) watched Tyger Drew-Honey, Omid Djalili and Dani Harmer make it through to the Let's Dance final.

BBC One had a clean sweep, with 6.05pm's Pointless Celebrities (4.2m/21.3%), 8.20pm's Who Dares Wins (5.27m/22.9%) and 9.10pm's Casualty (5.17m/23.4%) also winning their respective slots.

Meanwhile on ITV1, Take Me Out dipped to 4.62m (20%) at 8.05pm (+1: 182k), after which The Jonathan Ross Show remained steady with 2.91m (13.6%) at 9.20pm.

All Star Family Fortunes kicked off the evening with 3.41m (17.5%) at 6.05pm (+1: 274k), then You've Been Framed entertained 4.36m (21.5%) at 7.05pm (+1: 350k), and 4.64m (20.8%) were amused by Harry Hill's TV Burp at 7.35pm (+1: 336k).

BBC Two's Story of... duo performed solidly, with 1.64m (7.3%) for Light Entertainment (7.20pm) and 1.67m (7.2%) for Musicals (8.20pm). Pop Life: I'm in a Girl Group! (1.08m/5%) followed.

Once again, CSI: NY (1.62m/8.5%) pulled in impressive numbers at 10pm, prior to which NCIS gripped 1.18m (4.9%) in the 8pm hour, and ordinary CSI mustered just 991k (4.2%) at 9pm.

Elsewhere, a Big Fat Gypsy Weddings catchup logged 1.22m (5.3%) for Channel 4 at 8.10pm (+1: 354k/1.6%), and George Lamb's The Bank Job climbed to 1.23m (5.6%) an hour later, adding 151k on timeshift.

Overall, BBC One convincingly led primetime with 23.9%, ahead of ITV1's 16.9% (+1: 1.2%), BBC Two's 6.7%, Channel 5's 5.5% (+1: 0.2%), and Channel 4's 4.8% (+1: 0.9%).

Over on the multichannels, ITV3 averaged 3.9% after strong audiences for Doc Martin (1.09m/4.8%) and Poirot (883k/4.3%).

Take Me Out: The Gossip fell to 591k (2.7%) for ITV2 at 9.20pm (+1: 133k).