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maandag 12 maart 2012

The Vampire Diaries' Julie Plec: Damon Never Really Gives Up

The Vampire Diaries' Julie Plec: Damon Never Really Gives Up

Just because Stefan is returning from the dark side on The Vampire Diaries, that doesn't mean Damon is out of the running for Elena's heart.

After Damon (Ian Somerhalder) finally locked lips — for keeps, this time — with Elena (Nina Dobrev), he begrudgingly stepped aside once his brother Stefan (Paul Wesley) began to show emotion again. Despite Damon's insistence that he's better off as the bad guy, executive producer Julie Plec tells that he has not given up.

On Saturday's red carpet before for the show's PaleyFest event, which was moderated by TV Guide Magazine's Debra Birnbaum, Plec dished on all things Damon-Elena-Stefan, Alaric's future and the Originals' next challenge. Plus: Find out why the upcoming season finale made her cry:

Can we expect reconciliation between Elena and Stefan soon?
Julie Plec: We can expect movement, we can expect breakthroughs, we can expect honest conversations and we can expect some frustration as they continue to try to rediscover if those feelings that were so strong in the beginning still exist. Did they go away and has Stefan ruined it forever? Or does Elena still have a willingness and an ability to love him? In the midst of all that, [we'll] confront the question of what exactly has evolved and transpired in the Damon and Elena friendship that's gotten so far this year. The rest of the season is going to be circling around those questions.

Damon made it very clear that he is much better at being the bad guy than Stefan is. Will he now give up on Elena? Will he turn bad again?
Plec: The beauty of Damon is he never really gives up. He acts out, he takes a stand, he has opinions, but when all is said and done, if brother's in a crisis, if girl's in a crisis, if the world is in a crisis, Damon inevitably can't help himself and he's got to find his way back in. This week's episode really shows that perfect balance of Damon being nasty and sarcastic and angry, and yet really illuminating at his core that he is a very heroic person. It's the constant Damon evolution.

Alaric (Matt Davis) was shot by Meredith (Torrey DeVitto) in the previous episode. What can you tease about his future?
Plec: Alaric, with his tragic and unfortunate luck with the ladies, has just found himself nearly murdered by a human. Had she aimed the gun one inch to the right, he probably would be dead right now. A little spoiler alert, but of the duh variety: We will actually see Alaric again and he'll find himself in this week's episode caught right smack in the center of this murder investigation. We'll start to get a lot of answers about what's going on, and who's behind what and who is going to take the fall for the serial killings that are going down in the town.

Now that it's been revealed there's another white oak tree, how will that change the direction of the rest of the season?
Plec: The discovery that there was another tree planted in absence of the original one that was burnt down, that definitely sets Rebekah (Claire Holt) and Klaus (Joseph Morgan) on edge a little. They just temporarily defeated their mother, who was trying to annihilate them, so they couldn't even enjoy that victory for a short minute before they learned that there's another weapon out there. That being said, right now they're the only ones who know that that weapon is out there. We'll see how long Rebekkah is able to hold onto that secret. The answer is probably not very long. We'll see what Damon does to get a hold of that information and to figure out what she's snooping around about and why.

Abby's transition obviously won't go as smoothly as Caroline's did. How will Caroline (Candice Accola) help Bonnie's mother through this?
Plec: The beauty of Caroline is that a control freak in her human life became a very, very, very well controlled vampire when all those things got magnified. Nobody else is blessed with that kind of obsessive, compulsive, dedication to perfection as Caroline. With Abby (Persia White), what we'll see is that a witch is connected to the Earth, and when you turn a witch into a vampire, she's no longer a witch, so it's losing a part of yourself. It's not just losing your humanity, it's losing what really connected your soul to God, if you want to get religious about it. It's not going to be easy for her or Bonnie (Katerina Graham), because there's no spell she can whip up to help. It's, "How do I help my mother here, who I don't know very well, who left me? We just barely got our relationship going, now how do I help her find her true self in all this tragedy?"

Elena's friends have made it clear that other people end up suffering so that she can be saved. Will that weigh on her heavily when the show returns?
Plec: Yeah, the biggest burden that Elena has to bear, frankly, is that she herself is an incredibly selfless person. She very much wants to take care of and protect the people that she loves, and yet, because ultimately she loves so deeply and so thoroughly, she has created a circle of friends who love that deeply right in return and are, in their own way, selfless and willing to sacrifice themselves for her. It's a little battle of, "Hey, wait a second! I was willing to jump off a cliff." "No, I was!" It all comes down to one of the big central themes in this show, which is loyalty and love and the friendship and bonds of family, and what you're willing to do for the people that are important to you. In a situation like this, with these kids in Mystic Falls where the stakes are high every day, there's a lot of ways that can go. Lately, it seems like it's been going in the disfavor of Elena's friends and she's going to have to deal with that.

Last year's finale had a huge element of danger. Is this one emotionally grounded or will there be more danger?
Plec: It hasn't been put on the page yet, but the finale this year is like a combo platter of the finales from Season 1 and Season 2 in that the mythology and the villain are going to continue to drive us to the end of the season, but emotionally, there's a lot going on in the characters' journeys. Just breaking this story I probably cried four or five times, got a few chills, got very excited, got nervous about how we're going to do it. There's a lot of story to tell and not a lot of time to tell it in. But fingers crossed on what I think is going to be really good.

The Vampire Diaries returns Thursday at 8/7c on The CW.

BBC One completely dominant over ITV on Saturday night

BBC One completely dominant over ITV on Saturday night

BBC One completed a clean sweep over ITV in primetime last night, overnight data has revealed.

Let's Dance for Sport Relief entertained 5.08m (23.5%) from 7.10pm, then Dale Winton's In It To Win It returned with 5.54m (24.5%), and 5.18m (24%) watched Casualty at 9.20pm.

Meanwhile, Take Me Out (4.27m/17.6%) continued its decline at 8pm, but did manage 291k (1.3%) on ITV1 +1. Take Me Out: The Gossip had 662k (3%) on ITV2.

Back on ITV1, The Jonathan Ross Show followed with a modest 2.65m (11.9%) at 9pm (+1: 354k/1.9%), down considerably week-on-week.

Surprisingly, Harry Hill's comedy filler You've Been Framed (4.57m/22.3%) at 7pm (+1: 210k/1%) was more popular than his beloved TV Burp (4.56m/21.4%) which aired at 7.30pm (+1: 270k/1.2%).

Elsewhere, The Bank Job rumbled on with a steady audience of 1.11m (5.2%) for Channel 4 at 9pm, but 8pm's Big Fat Gypsy Weddings repeat was more viewer-appetising, drawing 1.16m (5.2%) at 8pm and 184k (1.4%) an hour later.

US drama spin-off CSI: NY was Channel 5's best-rated show of the night with 1.29m (7%) at 10pm, after NCIS (952k/4.2%) and ordinary CSI (914k/4.2%) both slipped under a million viewers.

Over on BBC Two, documentary duo The Story of Light Entertainment (1.57m/7.5%) and The Story of Musicals (1.67m/7.5%) continued to perform solidly, before 1.59m (7.2%) tuned in for I'm a Popstar! in the 9pm hour.

Overall, BBC One overwhelmed ITV1 in primetime with a share of 23.8% against 15.3% (+1: 1.2%). BBC Two claimed third place with 7.3%, far ahead of Channel 5's 4.9% (+1: 0.2%) and Channel 4's 4.8% (+1: 0.8%).

Popular Martin Clunes drama Doc Martin was the pick of the multichannel shows, with 1.05m (4.7%) for an old episode on ITV3.

John Simm's masterclass in Doctor Who's 'The Sound of Drums', originally screened in 2007, was enjoyed by 683k (3.1%) on BBC Three at 7.50pm.

'Fashion Star': Meet designers Nzimiro Oputa, Orly Shani

'Fashion Star': Meet designers Nzimiro Oputa, Orly Shani

Nzimiro Oputa is from Detroit, MI, and says his love of fashion began when he had to find interesting ways to reinvent the clothing hand-me-downs he would get from his four older siblings. The 28-year-old currently resides in New York and says he wants to reintroduce menswear to the world.

Orly Shani is a bartender by night and designer by day who was born in Los Angeles but currently resides in New York. The 26-year-old started her fashion career at high school when she would visit thrift stores in a bid to recreate the designs she saw in magazines, leading to her first business venture Orly Couture. She now owns Tuc+Wes, a brand of "multi-functional and cozy clothing".

Premiere List Page: the 12th of March

Premiere List Page: the 12th of March

Keeping track of when your favourite shows are back on the air is a difficult - and often quite stressful - chore. But worry no more! Welcome to the Premiere List Page (the PLP, to its friends), your one-stop shop for all the latest premiere dates!

The Voice UK S1 - Sat, March 24 on BBC One
White Heat - Thu, March 8 on BBC Two

Britain's Got Talent - Sat, March 24 on ITV1
Downton Abbey S3 - Autumn on ITV1
Scott & Bailey S2 - Mon, March 12 at 9pm on ITV1
Titanic - April on ITV1

Channel 4
2 Broke Girls - 2012 on Channel 4
Apartment 23 - 2012 on E4
Napoleon Dynamite - Tue, March 20 on E4

Channel 5
Archer S3 - Wed, March 14 on 5*
CSI S12 - Tue, March 13 on Channel 5
Justifed S3 - Late March on 5USA
Once Upon A Time S1 - Spring on Channel 5
Dallas - Summer 2012 on Channel 5

The Simpsons S23P2 - April on Sky1
Touch S1 - Tue, March 20 at 8pm on Sky1

Sky Atlantic
Game Change - Mon, April 26 on Sky Atlantic
Game of Thrones S2 - Mon, April 2 at 9pm on Sky Atlantic
House of Lies - Summer 2012 on Sky Atlantic
Mad Men S5 - Tue, March 27 at 9pm on Sky Atlantic
Smash - April on Sky Atlantic

Sky Living
Bedlam S2 - Spring on Sky Living
Bones S7P2 - April on Sky Living
Cougar Town S3 - Fri, March 9 at 8.30 on Sky Living
Love Machine S1 - Sun, March 11 on Sky Living
Steps Reunion S2 - April on Sky Living

And the rest...
Alcatraz S1 - Tue, March 13 at 9pm on Watch
Dexter S6 - Friday, March 30 at 10pm on on FX
Eastbound & Down S3 - Thu, March 15 at 10pm on FX
Falling Skies S2 - July on FX
Hart of Dixie S1 - Mon, April 30 at 8pm on Really
I Just Want My Pants Back - Tue, March 27 at 10pm on MTV
Jersey Shore S5 - Tue, April 3 on MTV
The Office S7 - Tue, March 20 at 10pm on Comedy Central
Whitney - Spring 2012 on Comedy Central

Saturday's Broadcast Ratings: "20/20: My Extreme Affliction" Keeps ABC in Front

Saturday's Broadcast Ratings: "20/20: My Extreme Affliction" Keeps ABC in Front

ABC (3.80 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 0.9, #1) was the network to beat for the second week in a row on Saturday with an encore of "Winter Wipeout" (2.93 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T4) and a two-hour "20/20: My Extreme Affliction" (4.24 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.0, #2).

CBS (3.94 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 0.8, #2) then took home the silver with repeats of "NCIS: Los Angeles" (2.77 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T6) and "Criminal Minds" (3.97 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.8, #3) followed by a new "48 Hours Mystery" (5.09 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.1, #1).

Next up was NBC (3.79 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T3) with week two of "Q'Viva! The Chosen" (1.83 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T6).

And finally, repeats of "Harry's Law" (4.40 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T6) and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (3.52 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T4) bookended a new "The Firm" (3.46 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T6) on FOX (1.83 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T3) to close out the night.

"Saturday Night Live" (4.3/11 in metered-market households) with host Jonah Hill and musical guest The Shins, dominated its time period with the highest rating of the night in metered-market households, ahead of all Saturday primetime telecasts on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox.

In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, "Saturday Night Live" averaged a 2.6 rating, 12 share in adults 18-49 to rank #1 among the night's telecasts ahead of all Saturday primetime programs on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox.

[NOTE: Today's numbers are courtesy of due to delays from our usual sources.]

Here are the highlights of the 11 ad-sustained programs that aired in primetime on the broadcast networks one year ago (3/12/11):

Mainstays "Cops" (4.82 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T1) and "America's Most Wanted" (4.94 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.6, #T1) lifted FOX (4.88 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.6, #1) to the top spot among adults 18-49 on Saturday.

CBS (4.89 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T2) was the most-watched network with repeats of "NCIS" (4.06 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 0.8, #8) and "NCIS: Los Angeles" (5.55 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T4) followed by a new "48 Hours Mystery" (5.04 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T4).

Next up was NBC (4.31 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T2) with its all-encore lineup of "Harry's Law" (4.24 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T9), "Law & Order: Los Angeles" (3.81 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T9) and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (4.89 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.1, #3).

And finally, ABC (2.90 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T2) closed out the evening with its mix of "Wipeout" (3.09 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T4), "Rascal Flatts: Nothing Like This Presented by JCPenney" (2.53 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.6, #11) and "Secret Millionaire" (3.07 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T4).

"Saturday Night Live" (4.8/12 in metered-market households), hosted by Zach Galifianakis with musical guest Jessie J, dominated its time period. "SNL" was the #1 telecast of the night in metered-market households ahead of all primetime programs on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox. Versus the same night last year, "SNL" is up 7 percent in metered-market households (4.8 vs. 4.5).

In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, "Saturday Night Live" averaged a 2.9 rating, 13 share in adults 18-49, making it the #1 telecast of the night, outscoring all primetime programs on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox.

Interview: "Shameless" Executive Producer John Wells

Interview: "Shameless" Executive Producer John Wells

When you think of acclaimed television series on par with dramas like "China Beach," "ER," "The West Wing" and, more currently, TNT's "Southland" and Showtime's "Shameless," there's no real surprise that the name John Wells is attached to all of them. Whether he's listed as executive producer, writer or director, Wells's stamp on a project consistently elevates it to an impressive level of prestige and, most importantly, reliable entertainment. And Wells shows no sign of stopping, with two new pilots - "Bad Girls" (by Nancy Pimental) at NBC and "Prodigy/Bully" (by Mike O'Malley) at Fox - in contention for next season.

Despite his jammed schedule, West President (Wells served in the post from 1999-2001 and more recently from 2009-2011) wanted to talk "Shameless," how the show handles serious issues like euthanasia and the lack of big ratings and Emmy love for the stellar "Southland."

'Shameless' is one of those shows that when people ask me why I like it, I have a hard time telling them exactly why. I almost feel guilty because it's often not always nice things going on in the show. Do you know what I mean?

John Wells: [Laughs.] Yeah, I do. I can tell you why I was first attracted to it. Paul Abbott created the pilot for the UK version for Channel 4 and I found myself very attracted to the family and the way in which these kids were raising themselves and cared for each other and looked out for each other so then you add all the humor... I think there's a love for each other that I find very seductive. A lot of people don't feel that in their own home. They don't feel that close bond with all their siblings.

You definitely get the sense of family in the show.

JW: They all look out for each other and one of the things that people stop me on the street and tell me what they like about 'Shameless,' which always makes me glad, is that it seems like a place that actually, for all the craziness, is fun.

In terms of Louise Fletcher playing Grammy Gallagher, did you bring her in for a few episodes mostly to get a little more of a window into Frank (William H. Macy)?

JW: Actually, what happened was that [Louise] came in for just a single scene last year and once we went there and started to think about it we figured it was a great way to reveal partially why Frank is who he is. It's not an excuse for Frank...

Fiona (Emmy Rossum) is kind of the parent in the show yet she's drawn to Steve and other men who are not good for her. I also find it interesting when you see the kinship that exists when you get Fiona and Frank together.

JW: One of my favorite lines from the show is from the episode where [Fiona and Frank are] sitting on the front porch together and she says that she has fucked up parents, too. I think those things are connected. It's why she does not always make the wisest choices about the men she should be with. She's had no real role model growing up so she doesn't know what a good relationship should look like and she doesn't know what to look for so she's attracted to the wrong things and find herself not interested oftentimes in men who could be a little bit healthier for her. I believe in my life experience, that's really what happens. We seem to be attracted back to situations that we're familiar with even if we know that they're not necessarily good for us.

I want to ask about Joan Cusack's character on the show. Was the Sheila character always meant to be a big part of the show or was it that she was in a few episodes and she was so good you had to keep her.

JW: It was a little of both. It was more than a few episodes but we had no idea how long this story was going to last. She's just a fabulous actress, she's wonderful in that part so we're going to keep writing for her as long as she wants to be on the show. She's really, really wonderful. [Joan] lives in Chicago so we don't have a lot of access to her in the sense that she only tries to be in town for a day or two, which limits a little bit what we can do but she has a family and younger children and she wants to be a part of their lives. This has been a great job for her and we're fortunate to have her for whatever period of time.

Where else could Joan Cusack sit on Louise Fletcher's face with a pillow to suffocate her and say 'Go into the light?'

JW: I was laughing hysterically and one of the things I really enjoy about the show is that we're able to deal with very, serious issues that other shows would say 'a very special episode or something' but you end up thinking about it. The truth is, I think someone would prefer some form of euthanasia than a painful, lengthy death and an act of compassion rather than an act of violence. We're laughing about it but at the same time I think it's an easier way to see death is in laughing at our own mortality.

Looking at your whole career, do you feel like 'Shameless' is a departure for you in terms of the tone and the stories your telling or is it more similar than we realize?

JW: I think it's more similar than we realize. All these shows I've done are basically family shows in the sense that they're about people at a work place or the work family that you work with for 16-hour days and they become your family. I've been on these very serious dramas where we were always making a lot of jokes [in the writers' room]. The difference in this one is that all the jokes are going into the script.

I want to ask about "Southland," which I'm a big fan of. Does it bother you that it hasn't gotten the Emmy attention or that it always seems to be a little bit under the radar?

JW: I completely agree with you and we think it's a good show and we wish more people were watching in a large part just so we can keep on making it. I think people have grown to like it and I think the writers and the directors have done an extraordinary job with the production. So from that point of view, Emmys or no Emmys... I've worked on things that have received a lot of attention and everyone receives a lot of attention and I've worked on things where nobody did. You just have to step back for a minute and think 'Am I doing work that I'm proud of?' If you spend too much time thinking about it you can get kind of crazy and that's not really why you do it in the first place.

I'm not angry about it but do I think it deserves more award attention and critical attention, though we've gotten a lot of critical acclaim, but you look at that and you say there are lots of shows that I've really admired that didn't get a lot of attention and the obvious example is 'The Wire' where you go 'well, how did that show go?' and 'Friday Night Lights,' though it did get a couple of things at the end that it richly deserved. I try not to overthink it... I've always advocated to the Television Academy that once a show hits one, it should be ineligible going forward so that people can't just repeat the same things. That recognition is so important and it's not as necessary going forward. I've never gotten very far with that argument.

"Shameless" airs Sundays at 9:00/8:00c on Showtime. "Southland" airs Tuesdays at 10:00/9:00c on TNT.

Bravo's Newest Multiplatform Initiative Comes to Life This Summer in "The Real Housewives: The Game"

Bravo's Newest Multiplatform Initiative Comes to Life This Summer in "The Real Housewives: The Game"

Building on the success of Bravo's "Top Chef: Texas" multiplatform initiative, the network is announcing their next transmedia experience in the highly addictive series "The Real Housewives of New York City." Passionate Bravo fans will be given the chance to live the lifestyle they have come to love through a new Facebook game, The Real Housewives: The Game, set to run concurrently with the fifth season of "The Real Housewives of New York City." This marks a new social gaming genre for Bravo who entered the space last September by launching Turtle Time in the interactive late-night series "Watch What Happens Live."

"This new game is a great opportunity for Bravo to take our passionate viewers into the content," said Lisa Hsia, Executive Vice President, Bravo Digital Media. "By bringing 'The Real Housewives' into a social setting, fans can now experience the franchise through television, social media and in their own virtual reality.

New Seasons of "The Graham Norton Show," "The Thick of It" Due in April on BBC America

New Seasons of "The Graham Norton Show," "The Thick of It" Due in April on BBC America



BBC AMERICA's new original adventure cooking competition series, No Kitchen Required, follows three chefs as they are dropped into the most exotic and remote places on earth. There they must work with the locals to hunt, fish and forage for ingredients to create locally-inspired meals that will be judged by the communities. The three fearless chefs are award-winning New York restaurateur Michael Psilakis, first ever Chopped Grand Champion chef Madison Cowan, who has roots in London, Detroit and Jamaica, and New Zealand Chef Kayne Raymond. The trio leave the comforts of their kitchens as they are dropped into ten locations around the world including Dominica, New Zealand, Belize, Fiji, Chiang Dao - Thailand, Koh Lanta - Thailand, Hawaii, New Mexico, Louisiana and Florida. The series is hosted by British presenter Dr. Shini Somara (BBC's The One Show, BBC World News' The Health Show), who joins the chefs on the adventure. No Kitchen Required premieres Tuesday, April 3, 10:00pm ET/PT. Twitter: #NoKitchenRequired


Richard Hammond, host of the world's biggest car show Top Gear, takes the ultimate driving test in BBC AMERICA's new original series Richard Hammond's Crash Course. As he travels across the US, Hammond learns how to operate America's largest and most dangerous vehicles. Immersed in some of the country's most extreme environments, he has only days to master the skills it takes to maneuver the monstrous machines, a task it takes years for most people to achieve. Throughout his journey Hammond works closely with the local experts who operate these machines daily while getting a true taste of American hospitality. Following a special two-hour Top Gear season 18 premiere, Richard Hammond's Crash Course premieres Monday, April 16 at 10:00pm ET/PT. Twitter: #RichardHammond


Top Gear is back for a mind-blowing season 18 full of amazing stunts, challenges and special features. Find out why this season has been anticipated like no other as the Top Gear trio - Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May - take cars to the limit and beyond, often in some of the most far-flung corners of the world. Plus Richard Hammond is in Texas to immerse himself in the world of NASCAR racing. Stars in the Reasonably Priced car include Ryan Reynolds,, Matt LeBlanc, Doctor Who's Matt Smith and more. The special two-hour premiere of Top Gear airs Monday, April 16 at 8:00pm ET/PT. The series will then move to its regular time slot with new episodes airing on Mondays at 8:30pm ET/PT. Twitter: #TopGear



The original Planet Earth series makes its US broadcast premiere on BBC AMERICA as part of a very special two-day celebration of Earth Day. This will be the first time the landmark series will broadcast in the US in its entirety with its original narrator, world famous naturalist Sir David Attenborough. The Planet Earth marathon begins Saturday, April 21, 6:00am - Sunday, April 22, 9:00PM ET/PT. Following the Planet Earth marathon, go behind-the-scenes for an eye-opening look inside the epic eleven-part series with the world premiere of the two-hour special, The Making of Planet Earth, Sunday, April 22, 9:00pm ET/PT. Twitter: #PlanetEarthBBCA #DavidAttenborough


Starting April 29, BBC AMERICA proudly presents two episodes every Sunday of the original Planet Earth series narrated by Sir David Attenborough. From the world's greatest rivers and impressive gorges to the mightiest mountains, the hidden underground caves and caverns, Planet Earth is the ultimate picture of our world. Planet Earth airs Sunday, April 29 with back-to-back specials at 8:00pm and 9:00pm ET/PT. Twitter: #PlanetEarthBBCA #DavidAttenborough


Take an up close look at Planet Earth's most amazing moments in four specials dedicated to the world's most fascinating wildlife. The Planet Earth series is re-imagined in these specials, breathing surprising new insight into the series' iconic stories from the wild. The Planet Earth specials premiere over four consecutive weeks, beginning Sunday, April 29, 10:00pm ET/PT.

Planet Earth: Extreme Predators - a matchless compilation of the most dramatic hunting sequences from the series. Premieres Sunday, April 29, 10:00pm ET/PT.

Planet Earth: Extreme Survival - extraordinary survival in the wild. Premieres Sunday, May 6, 10:00pm ET/PT.

Planet Earth: Extreme Journeys - all the remarkable stories of global animal migrations gathered for the first time in one place. Premieres Sunday, May 13, 10:00pm ET/PT.

Planet Earth: Incredible Families - showcasing the most breathtaking and touching courtship, birthing and parenting behaviors. Premieres Sunday, May 20, 10:00pm ET/PT.


Graham Norton returns to BBC AMERICA - bringing his renowned comedy monologues, eccentric stories, and of course, today's hottest stars for the eleventh season of the UK's biggest talk show. Kate Winslet, Johnny Depp, Robin Williams, Salma Hayek, Coldplay, Jude Law, Robert Downey Jr., Reese Witherspoon and Gerard Butler were just a few of the fantastic guests to visit Graham's trademark orange couch in season ten. In the all-new season you can count on more great guests, laugh-out-loud stories, outrageous characters, and Graham Norton. The eleventh season of The Graham Norton Show premieres Saturday, April 28, 11:00pm ET/PT as part of the Ministry of Laughs. Twitter: #GrahamNorton


The BAFTA award-winning team is back for another series of acclaimed political comedy. The Thick of It stars Peter Capaldi (In the Loop, Torchwood: Children of Earth) as the Prime Minister's Machiavellian spin-doctor Malcolm Tucker, who seeks to unpick the latest muddles that have been dumped onto his plate. This season follows the newly appointed Secretary of State for Social Affairs and Citizenship, Nicola Murray (played by Rebecca Front, The Catherine Tate Show) and her used-up team of advisors as they struggle to achieve anything at all under Malcolm's watchful eye. The Thick of It premieres Saturday, April 29, 12:00am ET/PT as part of the Ministry of Laughs. Twitter: #ThickofIt


Soccer legend David Beckham, TV royalty Stephen Fry and the inimitable Jeremy Clarkson join a roll call of the biggest names in sports and entertainment as they join forces in Sport Relief, one of the UK's biggest television events of the year, to raise money for good causes around the world. BBC AMERICA will premiere a series of Sport Relief specials on April 1. Twitter: #SportRelief


The full story of how a group of comedians and entertainers, led by Little Britain and Come Fly With Me's David Walliams, completed a grueling non-stop journey across Great Britain in aid of Sport Relief. The Million Pound Bike Ride premieres Sunday, April 1, 7:00am ET.


British stand-up comedian John Bishop embarks on what will truly be a week of hell - and all to raise money for Sport Relief. John will attempt to travel from the Arc de Triomphe in Paris to reach Admiralty Arch in London in just 5 days using only a bicycle, a rowing boat and his own two legs. John Bishop's Week of Hell premieres Sunday, April 1, 8:00am ET.


No-nonsense self-made millionaire Sir Alan Sugar is set to test the business skills of ten top celebrity candidates from the worlds of media, sport and entertainment, in a special edition of the UK Apprentice for Sport Relief. Sport Relief Does the Apprentice premieres Sunday, April 1, 9:00am ET.


Little Britain star David Walliams braves freezing waters and the world's busiest shipping lane during his epic attempt to swim 21 miles across the English Channel to raise cash for Sport Relief. Little Britain's Big Swim premieres Sunday, April 1, 10:30am ET.


Having conquered the English Channel for Sport Relief in 2006 - Little Britain and Come Fly With Me star David Walliams dons his trunks once more to undertake a marathon challenge to raise money for Sport Relief. This time his aim is to swim the length of the River Thames and cover a distance of 140 miles in just eight days. David Walliams' Big Swim premieres Sunday, April 1, 11:30am ET.


Stephen Fry introduces the world to Sport Relief as BBC AMERICA brings the British charity event to the US audience. This is Sport Relief premieres Sunday, April 1, 12:30pm ET.


Presented from the iconic London Mall - scene of last year's Royal Wedding - Great British charity event Sport Relief is launched onto the international stage with a four-hour extravaganza of comedy and entertainment. Highlights will include special films from Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson, a special edition of Outnumbered, James Corden's Smithy character from Gavin & Stacey meets soccer legend David Beckham, and a series of classic sketches from the cream of British comedy. The show will also include inspiring documentary films showing how Sport Relief cash is helping to change people's lives around the world. Sport Relief Goes Global premieres Sunday, April 1, 1:00pm ET.


Get ready for the one year anniversary of the Royal Wedding by tuning in on weekday mornings for specials covering all things royal. And celebrate on the big day once more with the premieres of brand new specials on the wedding and Royals, airing back-to-back starting Sunday, April 29, 1:00pm ET.

· Harry's Arctic Heroes - US Premiere

· Royal Wedding Highlights Anniversary Special - US Premiere

· Britain's Royal Weddings - BBC AMERICA Premiere


Other series that will continue to premiere new episodes during April include:

Tuesdays: Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares

Wednesdays: Whitechapel

Saturdays: Being Human, The Graham Norton Show, Battlestar Galactica, Katy Brand's Big Ass Show

Glimpse At CBS’ Fall Schedule? Network Tries Out ‘Mentalist’ On Friday & 8-10 PM Thursday Comedy Block

Glimpse At CBS’ Fall Schedule? Network Tries Out ‘Mentalist’ On Friday & 8-10 PM Thursday Comedy Block

Every year at this time, CBS‘ scheduling guru Kelly Kahl experiments with moves that, if successful, lead to permanent changes on the network’s fall schedule the following season. When years ago The Big Bang Theory, then a Monday 8:30 PM show, did great when tested behind Two And A Half Men, it was moved there the following year, starting the comedy’s rapid ascent to blockbuster hit status. In January 2010, CBS tried comedy repeats, including Big Bang, in the Thursday 8-9 PM hour — then still occupied by Survivor. While they didn’t pop, the network pushed through with a move of Big Bang to Thursday 8 PM anyway, and it was successful. Most recently last season, CBS tried out Friday’s breakout Blue Bloods in the Wednesday 10 PM slot and the Thursday 10 PM player The Mentalist in the 9 PM Thursday slot. Neither did particularly well in their new berths, and CBS ultimately kept them in their old slots for this season’s schedule.

Now CBS is at it again during the slow time when many shows are in repeats. A new episode of The Mentalist airs tonight at 9 PM. As an older-skewing series (mature women love Simon Baker!), the procedural should be able to fit into CBS’ Friday lineup, paired with Blue Bloods. The experiment doesn’t bode well for the current occupant of the Friday 9 PM slot, CSI: NY, which already had its order cut this season and has been benched for a period of time. Will it be the first of the CSI series to go off the air?

The other CBS scheduling tryout is one that I have been advocating since 2 Broke Girls launched big in the fall and went on to top Two And A Half Men in the demo a couple of times — a two-hour comedy block on Thursday, something the network will pilot April 12. With NBC’s comedy lineup a shadow of its former self from the glory Must See TV days, CBS can expand its comedy invasion on the night, and it has the weapons to do it. To use the analogy with NBC’s last highly-rated Thursday comedy block, CBS has its Friends with Big Bang, about a group of young single friends (see my 2010 story Is ‘Big Bang Theory’ The Next ‘Friends’?), and its Will & Grace with 2 Broke Girls, about a mismatched pair of friends. With those two as tentpoles at 8 PM and 9 PM, CBS can absolutely open a two-hour comedy block on Thursday. That is if Two And A Half Men returns next year as most expect, contingent on star Ashton Kutcher signing a new deal. Another season of Men and How I Met Your Mother, which is stronger than ever in Season 7 (the show has another season on its current two-year pickup), would shore up CBS’ signature Monday comedy lineup and allow the network to move reinforcements to Thursday. On April 12, a repeat of Big Bang at 8 PM will be followed by a new Rules Of Engagement and repeats of Big Bang at 9 PM and 2 Broke Girls. That night, CBS also will try out Person Of Interest at 10 PM. It will be a repeat, so the result won’t be 100% conclusive but would inform CBS’ decision whether to shift the freshman drama. And as an added bonus to the scheduling switches, the repeats in the new time slots, like the POI rerun at 10 PM, are labeled as specials and won’t count, helping the shows’ season averages.

‘Castle’ Looks To Avoid ‘Moonlighting’ Curse

‘Castle’ Looks To Avoid ‘Moonlighting’ Curse

As the ABC dramedy Castle moves toward the conclusion of its fourth season, the question of when lead characters Richard Castle and NYPD Detective Kate Beckett (played by Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic, respectively) finally will do the deed took center stage. It was the burning question addressed at tonight’s spirited PaleyFest salute to Castle at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills, where creator/exec producer Andrew W. Marlowe was asked to spill the beans on how long the chaste dance toward the bedroom would last. “Do I know when it will happen? Yes,” he replied. “When it does happen, it will open up a lot of different areas in the storytelling. It will be the next evolution in the characters’ relationship.” Marlowe acknowledged that a lot of people believe the characters’ getting together physically could prove a creative kiss of death for the show, using the model of another ABC dramedy – Moonlighting – which famously imploded after David Addison (Bruce Willis) and Maddie Hayes (Cybill Shepherd) did the deed. “I’m not someone who believes in The Curse of Moonlighting,” Marlowe stressed. “Moonlighting fell apart because (the producers) couldn’t meet their delivery dates (and not necessarily because of the storyline). But there will come a time when we can’t keep these characters apart.”

What should happen between the characters when the moment finally arrives? “Kissing,” offered Katic. Added Fillion: “We’re definitely both ready for this thing to happen already. And when it does, I think it should be really clumsy, with the two of them knocking stuff over.” Yet Marlowe wouldn’t go so far as to say that we’ll soon see Castle and Beckett playing house together. “We can’t afford that set,” he assured. Fillion, charming as ever during the session, also discussed his excitement at being reunited with his Firefly costar Adam Baldwin on a forthcoming Castle episode. Baldwin will guest star as Ethan Slaughter, a “rough-and-tumble” detective who “it’s safe to say will be rearranging parts of my face,” Fillion quipped. He, Katic and Marlowe were joined in the session by costars Molly Quinn, Seamus Dever, Jon Huertas, Penny Johnson Jerald, Tamala Jones and Susan Sullivan. It was also announced during the event that a new series of original ebooks novellas from mystery writer Richard Castle will be published mid-year by Hyperion, with the first (entitled The Brewing Storm) coming in May.

Maybe Netflix Isn’t About To Become A Major Cable Or Satellite Service After All

Maybe Netflix Isn’t About To Become A Major Cable Or Satellite Service After All

The story took off, and now seems to be crashing, even faster than Herman Cain’s presidential campaign. Pay TV’s three biggest distributors — Comcast, DirecTV, and Dish Network — aren’t interested in carrying Netflix, industry news service SNL Kagan reports. That could dampen some of the excitement about the idea that built up this week after Reuters said that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings “has quietly met with some of the largest U.S. cable companies in recent weeks” to talk about having them offer his video streaming service. It added that by year end at least one cable company could offer Netflix on an experimental basis. The story grabbed everyone’s attention: Hastings recently told an investor group that cable operators would love to become less dependant on HBO — and offering his streaming service “might be very powerful, especially as we have more original content.”

A pay TV alliance with Netflix would have far-reaching ramifications. Analysts speculated that it might lead Time Warner to offer its HBO Go streaming service directly to consumers, instead of requiring them to subscribe first to cable or satellite. If Comcast picked up Netflix, then it would raise questions about the cable giant’s faith in the streaming service it recently launched, Streampix. Similarly, Dish execs would have to explain how Netflix could co-exist with their own Blockbuster rental and streaming service.

But if these heavyweights are out of the picture, then it’s hard to see how Netflix could build a meaningful business on pay TV. Comcast, DirecTV, and Dish account for about 56% of the country’s 100M pay TV households. You get up to 60% if you throw in Verizon’s FiOS, which presumably won’t want to help Netflix while it prepares to introduce a rival video service in a joint venture with Redbox.

Sarah Palin Dismisses ‘Game Change’ As “Hollywood Lies” And Accuses HBO Of Being “Pro-Leftist, Pro-Obama”

Sarah Palin Dismisses ‘Game Change’ As “Hollywood Lies” And Accuses HBO Of Being “Pro-Leftist, Pro-Obama”

HBO premieres its controversial political movie Game Change tonight about the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign based on the book by journalists John Heilemann and Mark Halperin and directed by Jay Roach and starring Julianne Moore and Ed Harris. On Friday, Palin sent this email to ABC News: “I believe my family has the right priorities and knows what really matters. For instance, our son called from Afghanistan yesterday and he sounded good and that’s what matters. Being in the good graces of Hollywood’s ‘Team Obama’ isn’t top of my list.” Palin also Palin also told Fox News: “I’m not going to go see the movie, neither is the good Sen. John McCain. We’ve discussed this and realized that Hollywood lies are Hollywood lies. They’re going to do what they can to drum up their money and their machine, and their machine happens to be a very pro-leftist, pro-Barack Obama machine there at HBO that created this movie. And those campaign staffers who essentially threw John McCain under the bus, I think that they should feel some shame, and they should feel some embarrassment, because the movie is based on a false narrative, as you can see in the trailer.”

McCain said “it’ll be a cold day in Gila Bend, Arizona” when he views the film.

Palin’s former aide Jason Recher called the movie a “false narrative cobbled together by a group of people who simply weren’t there.” Randy Scheunemann, who advised Palin during the campaign, said that “to call this movie fiction gives fiction a bad name.” And the Sarah PAC website posted this reaction:

Despite HBO’s best efforts, we have all seen the movie Game Change. We stand by everything we previously said on the record. The movie is at best ‘historical fiction’ – historical only in that Sarah Palin was nominated and campaigned for the office of Vice President. The movie is a series of scenes where the dialogue, locations and participants are invented or rendered unrecognizable for dramatic effect. HBO and its surrogates continue to argue that they spoke to 25 sources. None of them are on the record nor is their level of involvement in the campaign disclosed. Not one source is on the record in either the book or in the movie and it is clear why. The authors of the book never even traveled on the campaign with Governor Palin. We call on HBO to add the fiction disclaimer.

'Strange Addiction' Keeps Getting Stranger

'Strange Addiction' Keeps Getting Stranger

Calling a show My Strange Addiction sets the bar impossibly high for yourself when it comes to continually topping the previous episode.

Yet despite showcasing people who eat couch cushions, marry dolls, ingest ashes, live with rats, remove hair from other people's drains, live as adult babies, chew rocks and have sex with cars, they have managed to unearth increasingly odder obsessions in their fourth season.

This Sunday's episode introduces the world to Shannon and Lacey. One of whom is addicted to drinking gasoline while the other carries a doll head everywhere she goes -- and yes, that does include while having sex!

My Strange Addiction airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on TLC.

Lorraine Kelly on horse riding accident: 'I lost three pints of blood'

Lorraine Kelly on horse riding accident: 'I lost three pints of blood'

Lorraine Kelly arriving at The Glamour Women of the Year Awards in London

Lorraine Kelly has revealed the full extent of her recent horse-riding accident.

The presenter lost three pints of blood and needed a transfusion after a horse "stamped on" her back in February.

Kelly called into her ITV Breakfast show Lorraine, currently being hosted by stand-in Nadia Sawalha, to inform viewers of her recovery.

"I tried a jump and wasn't experienced enough to get the horse to do it," she said.

"I fell off and, sadly, he trampled on my thigh. Imagine a big horse with an iron-clad hoof, it's almost like a weapon."

Kelly, who has vowed to return to Lorraine as soon as possible, had been training for an event in aid of Sarah Brown's charity PiggyBankKids.

She was recently rumoured to be in top secret talks to front a revamped edition of Daybreak

5 Greatest TV Deaths

5 Greatest TV Deaths

You might have heard that there's going to be a big death on Desperate Housewives soon. Now, we don't want to give away who's going to kick the bucket (though if you want to know - and only if you want to know - you can click here to find out).

Call us morbid, but the news got us thinking about some of the other spectacular television deaths we've seen on our screens... and after some serious arguments, we've narrowed it down to five.

Now, it was an almost impossible task so there are lots that we love that didn't make it (LA Law's amazing elevator shaft demise, for one) - let us know your favourite television tragedies below!

Joyce Summers - Buffy the Vampire Slayer - 'The Body' (Aired February 27, 2001)
The demise of Buffy's mother was classic Joss Whedon. The final moments of the really quite silly 'I Was Made to Love You' led directly into the devastating 'The Body' - 45 minutes of raw emotion, intense performances and painfully long, quiet scenes. Stripped up of all music and with the usual vampire activity at an absolute minimum, this critically-acclaimed episode examined in frank detail the impact of a natural death - a bold step for a show used to treating the subject in a fantastical fashion.

Edgar Stiles - 24 - 'Day 5, 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM' (Aired March 6, 2006)
Of course, 24 was never shy when it came to killing off its central characters - fan favourites that bit the dust included Dennis Haysbert's David Palmer, Reiko Aylesworth's Michelle Dessler, Roger Cross's Curtis Manning and even Carlos Bernard's faithful Tony Almeida (albeit briefly). But there's perhaps no death more poignant than that of Edgar (Louis Lombardi) - when CTU comes under attack from a deadly nerve agent, the sweet, hapless analyst is trapped in the gas cloud and cut off from his safely-isolated friends...

Ianto Jones - Torchwood: Children of Earth - 'Day Four' (Aired July 9, 2009)
What made the demise of Gareth David-Lloyd's Torchwood tea-boy so shocking was not so much his actual on-screen exit, but rather the fan reaction to it. Torchwood viewers across the globe were up in arms, calling for Ianto's resurrection, and Welsh fans even set up a memorial at Mermaid Quay in Cardiff. The character did eventually return to life, in a comic strip penned by David-Lloyd himself, but Torchwood's creator Russell T Davies, Doctor Who exec Steven Moffat and Captain Jack himself John Barrowman have all insisted that an on-screen return is off the cards.

Ned Stark - Game of Thrones - 'Baelor' (Aired June 12, 2011)
Now, we had a bit of a tussle over this one - could it top the amazing death suffered by nasty Viserys, meeting his end thanks to some rather hot molten gold? That was one of the best television slayings we've seen, just for pure inventiveness. But ultimately we had to go with Ned, who really had the shock factor. Everyone (well, everyone who hadn't read the book) thought Ned was surely safe - he was the main character! He was Sean Bean! But the surprise we felt was truly something special, and sparked all sorts of outrage and hilarious YouTube reactions. Now we know that no-one's safe, the upcoming second season will be very tense indeed!

Edie Britt - Desperate Housewives - 'A Spark. To Pierce The Dark.' (Aired March 22, 2009)
Who would have thought this would have turned out to be so controversial? Nicollette Sheridan - who played the ill-fated Edie - is at this very moment locked in a legal battle about whether she was wrongfully sacked after complaining about alleged assault by the Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry. But aside from all the off-screen controversy, Edie Britt's final moments make our list because they are so wonderfully over the top. She realises her evil husband Dave is up to no good and he strangles her. But that's not it! She escapes and gets into her car, then swerves to avoid Orson (also up to no good, incidentally) and crashes into a telegraph pole. But that's not it either! Finally, she gets out of the car and steps into a now-electrically-charged puddle, which does for her. Poor Edie - but what a way to go.

Gemma McCluskie death: Brother charged with her murder

Gemma McCluskie death: Brother charged with her murder

The brother of former EastEnders star Gemma McCluskie has been charged with her murder.

Tony McCluskie, 35, was arrested on Wednesday (February 7) after the actress's headless and limbless torso was found in a Hackney canal.

He will appear before Thames Magistrates' Court on Monday (March 12).

29-year-old Gemma, who appeared as Kerry Skinner in the soap throughout 2001, disappeared from Bethnal Green, east London, last Thursday (March 1).

Divers are continuing to search the canal for her missing body parts and police are currently reviewing CCTV footage from a hospital opening ceremony in Whitechapel on the day of her death, the last place she was seen alive.

Detective Superintendent Fiona Mallon, who is leading the investigation into Gemma's death, said recently: "We urge anyone with any significant information about this case to contact us as soon as possible.

"In particular we would like to hear from anyone who may have seen any suspicious activity around her home address in Pelter Street in Bethnal Green."

Gemma's EastEnders co-stars Joe Swash, Brooke Kinsella and Dean Gaffney have all paid tribute to her on Twitter.

An EastEnders spokesperson told today (March 10): "We are extremely saddened to hear the devastating news about Gemma McCluskie. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this difficult time."

Denise Welch 'refuses to do Loose Women with Janet Street-Porter'

Denise Welch 'refuses to do Loose Women with Janet Street-Porter'

Loose Women star ­Denise Welch has reportedly refused to ­appear on the show alongside fellow panellist Janet Street-Porter.

The Celebrity Big Brother winner apparently told producers that she feels uncomfortable around the ­journalist, with insiders blaming the fall-out on a "major personality clash" between the pair.

The situation is said to have caused chaos for production staff, who have to ensure they don't end up on the Loose Women panel together. Carol McGiffin, Lisa Maxwell and Sally Lindsay are among the other regulars.

"To say relations between Denise and Janet are frosty would be an ­understatement. The reality is they really don't like each other and they probably never will," a source told the Sunday Mirror.

"Janet considers herself to be a feminist intellectual while Denise is a salt-of-the-earth northern lass who really enjoys letting her hair down. They have got absolutely nothing in common and would rather have nothing to do with each other.

"When Denise heard Janet was joining Loose Women last year she was pretty shocked. The production staff realise this show is all about the chemistry of the panel so they respected her ­wishes.

"But both women are professionals, so if a situation arose where they had to go on for the good of the show, they would swallow their pride and get on with it."

Street-­Porter and comedienne Jenny Eclair joined the show last year as part a revamp to boost ratings. Welch has been on Loose Women since 2002.

A spokeswoman for the programme insisted that the mix of panellists is decided by the production team rather than the talent.

Darth Maul Returns! Sam Witwer Goes to the Dark Side in Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Darth Maul Returns! Sam Witwer Goes to the Dark Side in Star Wars: The Clone Wars

You can't keep a bad man down — not even when he's sliced in half with a lightsaber in front of millions of moviegoers! Star Wars: The Clone Wars resurrects one of the franchise's most popular baddies, the Sith apprentice Darth Maul, in the series' two-part season finale, beginning tonight (8/7c, Cartoon Network). George Lucas himself gave the order to bring back the red-and-black horned demon, who was killed by Obi-Wan Kenobi in the 1999 film Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace. But it was up to supervising producer Dave Filoni to make it fly with the fans.

"We had to be ready for a tidal wave of questions and concerns — Is this too much? Have we gone too far? — and bring back Maul in a way that's both exciting and believable," says Filoni, who handed the choice voice gig to Sam Witwer, a hardcore Star Wars fan who is best known as the vampire Aidan on Syfy's Being Human. "I was very confident I could do Darth Maul justice and take him in a deeper direction — but then I started to freak out and lose sleep," Witwer admits. "I knew that if this didn't work the fans would come find me!"

The nightmarish plot (startlingly mature for a kid-approved show) reveals that — spoiler alert! — Maul's torso somehow ended up on the acid-rain, junkyard planet Lotho Minor where he's hiding out at the bottom of an exhaust shaft. "The twist is that Maul is so psychologically tortured and full of hate that the dark side of the Force has given him these hideous spider legs," Witwer reports. "He's a little bit Gollum, a little bit Colonel Kurtz from Apocalypse Now. And a whole lotta scary."

This isn't Witwer's first time at the Star Wars rodeo. He previously played the "Son" in the Clone Wars "Mortis" arc last year. He also voiced both Galen Marek and Darth Sidious in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed video games. "Sam is part of the family at this point," says Filoni. "We knew he was able to go to that crazy, wackadoodle place with Darth Maul and be really out there with his emotions. Maul starts out in this story as a rambling, incoherent, crying mess — basically, he's a rabid animal — and Sam gives a powerful performance. People will be surprised to learn that Maul is far more cunning and clever and intelligent than he was portrayed in Phantom Menace where he was seen as a 'Yes, master!' kind of assassin. Don't forget he was trained for years by Darth Sidious. There is a lot of the master in this apprentice."

Networks Explore More Cable-Sized Short Order Series

Networks Explore More Cable-Sized Short Order Series

When Kevin Bacon signed on last month to play a serial killer in the new Fox pilot from The Vampire Diaries producer Kevin Williamson, there was a catch: Bacon would only commit to star in 15 episodes a year. Eager to make Bacon sizzle in primetime, the network agreed.

Fox execs view the Bacon drama, should it go to series, as an opportunity to start airing more cable-like short-order TV series. ABC struck a similar deal this past year with Missing star Ashley Judd in order to accommodate her schedule. Only ten episodes of Missing were shot this year, and even in success, that number will never be more than 13.

Short 13-episode (or less) orders are the norm in cable, allowing networks to attract A-list stars like Glenn Close (Damages) and Dustin Hoffman (Luck). Both stars like the flexibility of having time to shoot movies, and neither would have agreed to a full 22-episode TV season.

In the early days of network TV, shows aired as many as 39 episodes a season. That number was eventually reduced to 22 episodes, which allowed enough repeats for networks to make a nice return on their programming investment. Those 22 episodes a year also allowed studios to reach syndication by roughly the fourth year of a show, when they were in spitting distance of 100 episodes.

But these days, the Big Four see an opportunity to finally start experimenting with different ways of how they present series (particularly serialized drama). Where a short-order season once was a money-losing proposition for a studio, money from international and digital rights can sometimes now justify such a move.

Plus, as the business changes, repeats (particularly of serialized shows) have become so low-rated that they come with more negatives than positives. Plus, serialized shows are rarely big syndication draws — so that race to get 100 episodes as fast as possible is no longer critical. Plus, viewers have shown that they're more likely to stick with a serialized show if it's presented in a digestible, shorter string of episodes. Produce fewer episodes, and it's more likely you can air them consecutively without a break for repeats.

The networks have toyed with short orders in the summer, particularly with international co-productions like Rookie Blue. ABC also experimented this season with The River, which was picked up for just eight episodes, while Terra Nova, due to its time-consuming special effects, was given just a 13-episode first season. Had Fox renewed Terra Nova, the second season would have likely been 13 episodes as well.

For some producers, who have long been frustrated with the idea of having to come up with 22 ideas a year (which often include a few clunkers) rather than 13 really good ones, the move is welcome. "Certainly there's more pressure doing 22 episodes," says A Gifted Man executive producer Neal Baer. "The train leaves in July and never stops 'til the end of April or mid-May. Once, I did 25 episodes of Law & Order: SVU on one year by tandeming — doing two shows at once, three times that season! It makes me tired to think about it."

Execs and producers have also argued that it's unfair to pit cable's 13-episode seasons against broadcast's 22-episode seasons at the Emmys. According to the argument, a short-order season will naturally have fewer bad episodes and a sharper episode. But Baer says he thinks it's not the shorter orders that voters are drawn to, but the fact that those cable shows are more serialized and character-driven.

Lost executive producer Damon Lindelof has been a big proponent of decreasing episodic orders, and managed to secure that for Lost's final three years.

"To any broadcast network willing to reduce an episodic order I say simply, 'Bravo!'" Lindelof exults. "I do wish that the [networks] would make these decisions based on the show itself — not just to lure top talent — as some series would benefit significantly by having less episodes. But this is certainly a hell of a start."

Celebrity Apprentice's George Takei: I Can Change Trump's Position on Gay Marriage

Celebrity Apprentice's George Takei: I Can Change Trump's Position on Gay Marriage

George Takei's time on Celebrity Apprentice may be over, but he's not finished with Donald Trump yet. The actor and gay rights activist says he plans to persuade the real estate mogul to understand his position on gay marriage.

"He's a very fair-minded, decent man and I'm hopeful — and I'm an optimist — that being the decent man that he is, he will see [my side]," Takei tells "He certainly has a sphere of influence and [can] help create that climate where we become a better and truer democracy."

11 signs this will be Celebrity Apprentice's funniest, most ridiculous season ever

With his reality stint over, Takei is now focusing his energy on his upcoming musical called Allegiance, which is set in the world of Japanese American internment camps during World War II. "My two passions — to educate Americans about that dark chapter of our history and my personal passion for theatre — are coming together and [we're] taking it to the biggest and most important stage in American theatre," he says.

Heidi Klum on Her Divorce: People Don't Need to Know About It

Heidi Klum on Her Divorce: People Don't Need to Know About It

Heidi Klum says she refuses to talk openly, or negatively, about her split from her husband Seal.

"People don't need to know who did what," she says in the April issue of Elle magazine. "I don't want to talk positively or negatively about the ups and downs that we had. Every couple goes through things. Unfortunately, we're in the public, so the highs are out there. But I don't think it's necessary—especially for our children—to have the lows being printed in magazines and talked about."

Earlier this year, the couple announced that they were ending their marriage after seven years. Since the separation in January, Klum has kept quiet, while Seal has spoken about the split publicly on several occasions, including the day after the split was announced. "He's going to be 50 next year. He's a grown man, I can't tell him what to do and what not to do," Klum says.

While the split came as a shock to their fans, Klum adds that she too was somewhat blind-sided by the difficult decision. "Sometimes I think a curveball just comes at you," she says. "Instead of something straight that you can catch, it hits you in the head from the side that you didn't expect. I feel like I'm in the eye of the tornado... But as hard as it is, so is life."

NBC Sports Gets in the Game With Major League Soccer

NBC Sports Gets in the Game With Major League Soccer

There's a new team in Major League Soccer this year, and we're not just talking about the Montreal Impact, MLS's 19th franchise. NBC now shares English-language TV rights with ESPN and will air 41 regular-season games on the NBC Sports Network (the channel formerly known as Versus) and three on NBC proper.

Season 17 kicks off this weekend, and the first nationally televised game features two strong contenders, FC Dallas hosting the New York Red Bulls (Sunday, 3/2c, NBC Sports Network). "You've got a lot of firepower in this match-up, and these two teams reflect the general ethos of the league this year, which will be [to] attack and produce entertaining soccer," says Arlo White, who will serve as the main play-by-play announcer for NBC/NBC Sports Network. He'll partner with analyst Kyle Martino, who will be sitting at field level during the game.

White, a former BBC Radio announcer in his native England, won kudos in Seattle for his work on local telecasts for the Seattle Sounders and has seen MLS steadily improve in quality on the field. "I can tell you having spent three months in the UK during the off-season, that Major League Soccer is mentioned more times in the English football media than I've ever heard before," he says. "The league has gone from something of a joke overseas to something approaching legitimacy in the eyes of soccer fans around the world. People have seen that it's being done correctly, that it's not beating its chest and shouting from the mountain top that they're the best."

American fans have become just as soccer savvy as their international counterparts and White promises that NBC's coverage won't insult their intelligence. "Soccer fans are very sophisticated in the United States," he says. "They don't need to be spoon fed. So don't expect many explanations of the offside rule. We're going to be covering it as if people know this sport."

Here are some upcoming nationally televised games:

Monday, March 12: Philadelphia Union at Portland Timbers (9:30/8:30c, ESPN2)

Sunday, March 18: Colorado Rapids at Philadelphia Union (4/3c, NBC Sports Network)

Friday, March 23: Houston Dynamo at Seattle Sounders (10/9c, NBC Sports Network)

Sunday, March 25: Colorado Rapids at New York Red Bulls (4/3c, ESPN)

Once Upon a Time's Mama Drama: Will Emma Finally Learn the Truth?

Once Upon a Time's Mama Drama: Will Emma Finally Learn the Truth?

Dealing with family can often be challenging, but in the world of Once Upon a Time, the element of magic has made the family dynamic even more complicated.

Jennifer Morrison's down-to-earth Emma had previously lived a rootless existence, but now she's decided to stay in Storybrooke long-term, and her presence has begun to chip away at the curse the Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla) had unleashed on the town. While this has caused the residents to see changes in their lives that have put them on the path to learning their true fairy tale identities, Emma is also undergoing her own transformation. Although she's currently unaware that the alter ego of her roommate Mary Margaret (Ginnifer Goodwin) is actually both her mother and Snow White, living with her has made an impact.

"In the beginning of the year, Emma was a person with walls up, who didn't let anyone in," executive producer Edward Kitsis tells "We always said she's a character looking for home, but she doesn't know where that is because she's never experienced it. Now, through the year, we've seen Henry [Jared Gilmore] and Mary Margaret poking at that wall. Underneath that wall is the role of being a savior, and who wants the job of saving everybody when you can't save yourself?"

Though Emma has been mainly working to uncover the true motives of the mayor Regina -- who is in fact the Evil Queen and therefore Mary Margaret's stepmother --  as the series heads towards its first season finale, Emma's emotional journey will come back into focus. "She's going to have to make a decision what she wants out of her life, if she wants to stay in this town and what her role in this town is going to be," executive producer Steve Pearlman says.

In particular, the upcoming Wonderland-themed episode on March 25 will mark a turning point for Emma in whether she truly believes in the curse or not. "She obviously doesn't believe in any of this, but now there's been enough people who have said enough things that there's enough cracks for her to start to figure out that something is going on," Morrison says. "She's slowly, but surely broken down to possibly believe."

Believing that the curse is real, and that the Storybrooke residents are actually fairy tale characters, means that Emma will have to accept that her new best friend, Mary Margaret, is actually her mother, whose actual identity is also Snow White — both of which the roommates often joke about in passing. "Ultimately, there's going to be a point where that has to happen," Morrison says. "I think we're headed toward those worlds having to be exposed in some way. Emma can't be skeptical for six years."

As Emma continues to butt heads with Regina, the producers plan to juxtapose their often hostile relationship with that of Snow White and the Evil Queen. "The parallels between all those characters, and the fact that they're all one big dysfunctional, twisted family is something we're playing into in a big way," executive producer Adam Horowitz says.

Those parallels will play heavy into an early April episode, where the audience will finally learn the catalyst of the Evil Queen's hatred for Snow White, which ultimately lead to the curse. To tease the upcoming reveal, Kitsis asked fans to ponder this: "Why was the Evil Queen so unhappy at their wedding? Why did her very wedding make her so upset?" Adds Horowitz: "True love seems to piss off the Evil Queen, why is that?"

"It's a real gift to the audience that we're going to tell that story this season," Goodwin notes. "It's a very important piece of the puzzle, and folks will sympathize with the Evil Queen in ways they're not expecting."

As previously reported, that episode will flash back to a young Evil Queen — and a young Snow White not played by Goodwin — and the Queen's own mother, Cora (Barbara Hershey). "Cora helps me understand Regina more because the way Regina is with Henry — we see that she loves her son, maybe not in the healthiest way, but she does and that's very similar to how Cora loves Regina," says Parrilla, who also teases that we may see more heart-crushing before the season is up. "Cora loves her daughter, but she wants the best for her and she controls and manipulates the situation in the same ways that Regina does with Henry."

While Parrilla was shy to say whether Regina might ultimately change her mind about the curse, she noted, "There are some concerns and questions around the curse that you'll see, like, who really made that curse and what was in that curse?"

Still, the curse may be affected in other ways as the producers plan to call back to the premiere's pivotal clock-ticking moment in the finale. "It's huge," Pearlman says of the season-ender. "It's quite large in typical Lost fashion. With Emma coming to town in the pilot, she got the clock to start ticking, which started to affect everybody in the town in different ways. In the season finale, there will be something that will happen that will affect everybody in the town."

TV Tonight 12th of March 2012

TV Tonight 12th of March 2012

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

    1000 Ways to Die S03E42: "Enter the Ferret"
    112 - på liv och död S05E25: "Del 25 av 36"
    71 Grader Nord: Norges Tøffeste Kjendis S03E03: "Season 3, Episode 3"
    A Question of Sport S43E13: "March 12, 2012"
    Alcatraz S01E10: "Clarence Montgomery"
    Alexander Armstrong's Big Ask S02E06: "Series 2, Episode 6"
    American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior S03E05: "The Call"
    American Pickers S04E14: "TBA"
    Antiques Road Trip S04E21: "Series 4, Episode 21"
    Bang Goes The Theory S06E01: "Fuel for Free"
    Basketball Wives S04E04: "Season 4, Episode 4"
    Being Human (US) S02E09: "When I Think About You I Shred Myself"
    Belga Sport S06E06: "Ingrid Berghmans, Het verdriet van Mevrouw Judo"
    Bethenny Ever After S03E04: "Shrink Resistant"
    Big Brother Sverige S08E20: "Del 20"
    Bizarre Foods S07E08: "Savannah"
    Blade Anime S01E09: "The Bond"
    Bondi Rescue S07E06: "Season 7, Episode 6"
    Brille S01E09: "Season 1, Episode 9"
    Caged S01E10: "Season 1, Episode 10"
    Canada's Got Talent S01E04: "Toronto Auditions (2)"
    Canadian Pickers S02E09: "Strange Animals"
    Chelsea Lately S06E49
    Chelsea Lately S06E41
    Cleverdicks S01E11: "Episode 11"
    Come Dine With Me S18E49: "Series 18, Series 41"
    Coronation Street S53E52: "Mon Mar 12, 2012 [Episode 2]"
    Coronation Street S53E51: "Mon Mar 12, 2012 [Episode 1]"
    Dance Academy S02E01: "In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated"
    Danger 5 S01E03: "Kill-Men Of The Rising Sun"
    Danni Lowinski S03E06: "Karoshi"
    Days of our Lives S47E86: "Ep. #11796"
    Deal Or No Deal (UK) S07E182: "Episode 1862"
    Der Letzte Bulle S03E06: "Es lebe der Sport"
    Dickinson's Real Deal S08E70: "Series 8, Episode 70"
    Dirk Gently S01E02: "Episode 2"
    Disappeared S04E20: "Little Girl Lost"
    Doctors S13E217: "Daddy Cool"
    Dokter Deen S01E07: "Elle de Vlee"
    EastEnders S28E42: "March 12, 2012"
    Éden Hotel S02E05: "Season 2, Episode 5"
    Embarrassing Bodies S06E02: "Thailand (2)"
    Emmerdale S41E60: "March 12, 2012"
    Empire S01E03: "Playing The Game"
    Exotische Liefde S02E03: "Season 2, Episode 3"
    Får vi följa med? S01E06: "Del 6"
    Four In A Bed S04E01: "Series 4, Episode 1"
    Gadget Geeks S01E09: "Series 1, F1 Special"
    General Hospital (US) S49E240: "#12514"
    Gintama S05E49: "New Year`s Envelopes Are Perfect for Dirty Jokes"
    Goede Tijden, Slechte Tijden S22E136: "Season 22, Episode 136"
    Hacktion S02E05: "A hazugság müvészete"
    Halv åtta hos mig S08E29: "Stockholm - Konstantin"
    Helt Perfekt S02E03: "Season 2, Episode 3"
    Hoarders S05E11: "Constance/Jeri Jo"
    Hollyoaks S18E51: "March 12, 2012"
    Home and Away (AU) S25E36: "Episode 5471"
    Hotel cæsar S28E166: "Season 28, Episode 166"
    House Hunters S48E50
    House Hunters International S25E53
    Intervention S12E11: "Sean"
    Jeopardy! S28E126: "Show #6331"
    Jimmy Kimmel Live S09E217
    Karatefylla S02E04: "Season 2, Episode 4"
    Kickin' It S01E20: "The Wrath of Swan"
    Lab Rats (2012) S01E03: "Leo's Jam"
    Late Kick Off S03E09: "Series 3, Episode 9"
    Late Show with David Letterman S19E39: "Will Ferrell, Jon Bernthal"
    Little Mosque on the Prairie S06E09: "Haunted Mosque on the Prairie"
    Live with Regis and Kelly S29E140
    Mary Shelley's Frankenhole S02E08: "Franz Kafka's Jealousy!"
    Ministry of Curious Stuff S01E10: "Episode 10"
    Mr. D S01E09: "Quiz Cup"
    Mr. Young S02E02: "Mr. Spring Break"
    Neighbours S28E46: "Episode 6356"
    Panorama S60E09: "Murdoch's TV Pirates"
    Pasila S05E08: "Elämän rouva"
    Pointless S06E21: "Series 6, Episode 21"
    Pretty Little Liars S02E24: "If These Dolls Could Talk"
    Riots And Revolutions - Nel's Arab Journey S01E02: "Episode 2"
    RuPaul's Drag Race S04E07: "Dragazines"
    RuPaul's Drag Race: Untucked S03E07: "Dragazines"
    Scott and Bailey S02E01: "Series 2, Episode 1"
    Skins S06E08: "Liv"
    Smash S01E06: "Chemistry"
    Sousei no Aquarion S02E11: "Episode 11"
    The Bachelor S16E12: "After the Final Rose"
    The Bachelor S16E11: "Season 16 Finale"
    The Bad Girls Club S08E08: "Sister Act"
    The Biggest Loser (AU) S07E29: "Season 7, Episode 29"
    The Bold and the Beautiful S25E248: "Ep. #6278"
    The Chase (2009) S05E30: "Series 5, Episode 30"
    The Colbert Report S08E36: "Katherine Boo"
    The Daily Show S17E72: "Grover Norquist"
    The Dales S02E03: "Series 2, Episode 3"
    The Ellen DeGeneres Show S09E119
    The Jeremy Kyle Show S07E126: "March 12, 2012"
    The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson S08E46: "Leslie Bibb, David Milch"
    The Revolution (2012) S01E41: "Season 1, Episode 41"
    The Tonight Show with Jay Leno S19E255: "Jessica Simpson, Adam Carolla, Soja"
    The Tube (2012) S01E04: "Episode 4"
    The View S15E124: "TBA"
    The Voice (US) S02E07: "The Battles, Week 2"
    The Young and the Restless S39E247: "Ep. #9862"
    Thuis S17E141: "Season 17, Episode 141"
    Top Chef Canada S02E01: "TBA - Season 2, Episode 1"
    Ultimate Police Interceptors S02E01: "Series 2, Episode 1"
    University Challenge (1994) S18E44
    Watch What Happens: Live S06E45: "Nicole Richie and Sean Avery"
    Watson & Oliver S01E04: "Episode 4"
    Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal S01E47: "Yuma's Denied!? The Stolen "Kattobing"!"
    Zeke and Luther S03E22: "Inside Luther's Brain"

Spartacus Episode 7: Things That Made Us Go "Ew!"

Spartacus Episode 7: Things That Made Us Go "Ew!"

On Friday's Spartacus: Vengeance, we find more reasons to really hate Glaber, which means that his eventual comeuppance will be sweet... and bloody!

The praetor has begun a reign of terror that mandates that any person who's thought to be a Spartacus sympathizer will be crucified, literally. He later invites Gannicus to help lead his men to victory against the rebels. Miserable with their lives under Glaber's rule, Lucretia thinks up a scheme to get Ilithiya out of town and then makes her own offer to Gannicus: She'll arrange it so certain guards are called away, making it easy for him to kill Glaber, which will end the crucifixions. Being Gannicus, he instead slaughters the caravan bringing Ilithiya to Rome and leaves behind his rudis, a rejection of the so-called freedom they had granted him.

Meanwhile, the rebels have successfully freed a ship full of slaves who then join their ranks. Crixus isn't thrilled since they're all Germanic like Agron. He's even less thrilled when the biggest one, Sedullus, tries to force himself on Naevia. As a result, Spartacus' men and the new recruits engage in an all-out battle royal that ends only when Spartacus kills Sedullus. This apparently earns the respect of the new guys, who then pledge themselves to his cause.

The Bodies - Although we don't actually see any bumping and grinding, Ashur's continued rape of Lucretia reaches skeevy new heights now that he's playing mind games: He makes her call him "dominus" and wear the red wig that her late husband always liked on her. Sick and wrong! Later, Glaber and Seppia getting it on isn't anything gross physically, but psychologically, we're disturbed since he's the one who gleefully murdered her dear brother Seppius. Just wait until she finds out! We have a feeling her wrath will be especially fun to watch.

The Blood  - Let's count down to the worst (or is it the best?) "Ew!" death:

5. The fight belowdecks in the slave ship has plenty of bloody moments, but the standout is the guard's slow-mo fall, which allows us plenty of time to see inside his slashed and spurting neck.

4. Wow, was it a year ago that we watched the Gods of the Arena finale? Thanks for the flashback of Gannicus' insanely horrifying, jaw-breaking victory.

3. Husband of the Year Glaber begins the crucifixions by making an example of Ilithiya's body slave. Seeing the spikes getting hammered into her flesh and hearing her cries is both heartbreaking and painful.

2. Gannicus' caravan butchery is just that: butchery. Titus Andronicus and Sweeney Todd's Ms. Lovett would have their pick of limbs, torsos and plenty of entrails for pies.

1. Spartacus' face-off (ha!) with Sedullus is a blur until the end when he slices off the German's face, making him into kind of a revolting reverse TeleTubby. And just when we think we're done, the camera snaps back to that red-meat mask ringed by hair and skin... and the brain slides out of the cavity and plops to the ground.

Castle Scoop: Seriously, When Are Castle and Beckett Getting Together?

Castle Scoop: Seriously, When Are Castle and Beckett Getting Together?

It's the question Castle fans have been asking since the series premiered: When will Rick Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) finally get together?

"True Caskett fans are going to be well-pleased by the end of this season," Katic told just prior to Friday's PaleyFest event, which was moderated by TV Guide Magazine's William Keck. "We're well on our way in that direction."

The intrepid novelist and tough detective have been continually dancing around their feelings, with Beckett feigning amnesia after Rick told her he loved her when she was shot, and Beckett being gut-wrenched to learn that she wasn't Castle's first muse. That honor belonged to Sophia (Jennifer Beals), whom he had slept with and who also turned out to be a Russian spy.

Beckett has been wanting to tell Castle that she heard him say those three little words from the beginning. "Beckett was just wanting to find the right time to do it," Katic said. "She doubts herself a little bit in wondering whether he feels the same way. When the two-parter happened, Beckett wondered if it's all just in her [head], and she's not as special to him as she thought she was."

Meanwhile, Castle has been secretly investigating Beckett's mother's murder case, while keeping Beckett in the dark for her own protection. "There's going to be some secret-divulging before the end of the season," Katic said. "I can't imagine that it would be very comfortable to know that the guy you're in love with has been holding you back from solving the biggest case of your life."

Those secrets will come pouring out soon, with creator Andrew W. Marlowe noting that the March 19 episode, "A Dance With Death" is "the last calm episode before some interesting stormy waters for the characters. This was the season of secrets. Those secrets are going to start to come out and they're going to have repercussions for both of our characters and will lead to a very exciting, very emotional conclusion to the season."

Last season's finale was a heart-pounding game changer that climaxed with Beckett being shot at Captain Montgomery's funeral, whereas "This finale is going to be emotionally big and no fan of the series should miss it," said Marlowe. "There may be some element of [danger], but it really is about the emotional storytelling in that one."

Big Bang Theory Nabs Stephen Hawking for Cameo

Big Bang Theory Nabs Stephen Hawking for Cameo

Has Dr. Sheldon Cooper met his match?

The Big Bang Theory has finally nabbed famed theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking to film a cameo.

As first reported by TV Guide Canada, Hawking filmed a scene with Jim Parsons, a.k.a. Sheldon, Friday for the show's April 5 episode. In the scene, Hawking has a "run-in" with Sheldon.

The CBS comedy had invited Hawking to appear on the show before, but at the time they were told he was too ill to participate. Hawking's appearance will air the week after another big guest star stops by. Star Trek's Leonard Nimoy will lend his voice to the March 29 episode when he speaks to Sheldon in a dream sequence.

Hawking, coincidentally, played a hologram of himself on an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and also played himself on The Simpsons and Futurama.

Are you excited to see Hawking and Sheldon together?

The Big Bang Theory airs Thursdays at 8/7c on CBS.

Kill Bill’s Michael Madsen Arrested for Child Endangerment

Kill Bill’s Michael Madsen Arrested for Child Endangerment

Michael Madsen, best known for appearing in Quentin Tarantino films Reservoir Dogs and Kill Bill: Vol. I and II, was arrested Friday for child endangerment, People reports.

Madsen, 54, was booked at a Los Angeles County Sheriff's station following a fight with his teenage son. He was charged with a felony count of child endangerment with cruelty to a child and released on $100,000 bail.

He was arrested at his Malibu home by deputies responding to a family disturbance call. Detectives from the Special Victims Bureau were following up on claims that Madsen was fighting with his son while intoxicated, the Sheriff's Department told People. Madsen's son did not require medical attention.

Madsen's attorney, Perry Wander, told TMZ that the actor "found his son smoking pot and they got in an argument when he tried to take it away. It's a family matter and Michael asks that his family's privacy be respected."

Madsen has five sons, two with his second wife Jeannine Bisignano and three with his third wife, Deanna Morgan.

In addition other famous roles in films such as Thelma and Louise and Sin City, Madsen most recently guest-starred on the final season of 24 and appeared on the UK version of Celebrity Big Brother earlier this year.