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InsideTV Podcast: Cat Deeley's 'Top Model' dreams and...dating Taylor Hicks? Plus: 'Mad Men' preview

Image Credit: Mathieu Young/Fox

Cat Deeley has always been one of our favorite reality show hosts, so it was no surprise when Fox decided to double their pleasure and double their fun by having the affable Brit act as master of ceremonies for not one but two summer shows: So You Think You Can Dance and the network’s new celebrity dating experiment, The Choice. Somehow, Deeley managed to find the time to stop by the InsideTV Podcast to answer our burning questions. Jessica Shaw and I grill Deeley on what other reality shows she’d like to host (see the headline for a clue), the celebrity Choice contestant she’d most want to date (again, see the headline), and how she feels about So You Think You Can Dance airing just once a week. We get to the bottom of why Cat wants to shoot her own face off (seriously), and she tells us why people should not take The Choice too seriously.

We also call in EW’s own Dan Snierson to chat about the whoring and hanging going down on Mad Men. Dan was on set of the AMC drama for the pivotal scenes where the firm landed Jaguar and Peggy asked to speak privately with Don to quit, and he tells us how much he did — and did not — know. We also discuss the future of Don and Megan as well as when we may see Peggy again as we look ahead to Mad Men’s season finale on Sunday night. READ FULL STORY

AMC enlists 'Mad Men' in Dish fight -- PHOTO

AMC has enlisted Don Draper in its carriage battle against Dish TV. The network will run this full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal tomorrow (below), smacking the satellite service for its threat to remove AMC from its channel lineup.

Dish and AMC Networks (which includes AMC, WE, IFC and Sundance) are in a nasty fight over a distribution contract that expires at the end of June. Dish recently moved the company’s channel locations into the Siberian nether regions of its listings. It seems pretty unlikely Sunday’s Mad Men finale will be impacted by the standoff, but the Breaking Bad fifth season premiere that’s set for July 15 is fair game. Don’t get too worried, though — these types of public distribution clashes tend to result in last-minute resolutions. Here’s the ad: READ FULL STORY

Jared Harris talks about last night's shocking 'Mad Men'

If you’re a Mad Men fan, you’re probably still in shock — or denial — about last night’s devastating penultimate episode of season 5. SPOILER ALERT! EW joined a conference call with Jared Harris this afternoon to find out when Harris discovered his time at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce was done, to discuss his favorite Lane Pryce moments, and of course, to talk about that grisly scene.

After the table read for episode 10, Weiner pulled Harris aside.  “[Matthew Weiner] said, ‘Let’s go up to my office,’ which I knew wasn’t a good sign, and then he offered me incredibly expensive brandy, and then I knew this wasn’t going to go well,” Harris says. “And he said, ‘I have something I want to talk to you about,’ and I said, ‘Uh oh. This doesn’t sound good,’ and he said, ‘No, it’s not. I’m really sorry.’  But he explained why he wanted to do [the suicide], and he’d been building up to it throughout the season, and from an acting point of view it was to my benefit to go out with a bang rather than a whimper.” READ FULL STORY

Ben Feldman talks 'Mad Men': 'You stand in the elevator next to Jon Hamm, and he's 35 feet taller than you'

Last night’s episode of Mad Men brought to the foreground the generational culture clash between iconic mid-century superman Don Draper and Michael Ginsberg, the up-and-coming Jewish copywriter played by Ben Feldman. We caught up with Feldman today to ask a simple question: How does it feel to be trying to out-Draper Draper? “It’s imposing,” the actor laughs, “especially when you stand in the elevator next to Jon Hamm, and he’s 35 feet taller than you.” READ FULL STORY

InsideTV Podcast: Are you Team Betty or Team Megan on 'Mad Men'? Plus: The big 'Community' spat and 'Shark Tank' tips

Whoa! What the heck happened to the former Betty Draper (now Betty Francis)? And who knew Megan Draper could sing? Or clean while half-naked? These were a few of the big questions raised after the first few episodes of Mad Men’s 5th season. And now Dan Snierson and I discuss and debate the other pertinent question everyone must ask him- or herself: Team Betty or Team Megan? Megan is looking pretty good right now, and Betty…well, not so good. But which is the best woman for Don (and for viewers)? We tackle that topic and more on the latest edition of the InsideTV Podcast. Was January Jones’ fat suit a stroke of genius or just plain distracting? Is Roger on the outs at the firm? And when are we gonna get more Cosgrove? We’ll talk all that and more (including Dan’s somewhat futile attempts to get show creator Matt Weiner to spill the beans on plot details).

Then we turn our attention to the big public Community spat between star Chevy Chase and creator Dan Harmon. Do off-screen shenanigans impact the on-screen enjoyment of the show? What should they do with Pierce if Chevy leaves the program? And who’s the most important character the comedy cannot afford to lose? (The Community portion of the podcast starts at 12:20.)

You think we’re done. But we’re not! Next, Dan and I take a dip in the Shark Tank to talk about all the infuriating things people do while negotiating with the investors. We offer a Public Service Announcement to said knuckleheads and offer up some negotiating rules that should be followed to the letter. (Shark Tank chat begins at 19:15)

To join in on the fun, just click on the audio player icon below. Or, since we’re on iTunes, you can subscribe for free and take the podcast with you on the go. No iTunes? No problem. You can also download the entire podcast right here. And to send a question to the InsideTV Podcast team, follow us on Twitter @InsideTVPodcast. But first let us know what you think: Are you Team Betty or Team Megan? Would you watch Community without Chevy Chase? And what’s your biggest Shark Tank pet peeve? The message boards are open for business!

'Mad Men' star Jessica Paré on angry floor sex, Matt Weiner, and Megan vs. Betty

Whether you love her or loathe her, there’s no denying that Megan Draper — née Calvet — is going to play a huge role in Mad Men‘s fifth season. Luckily, actress Jessica Paré is up to the challenge — even though, initially, she had no idea that Megan would become such a pivotal character.

“I didn’t know what I was auditioning for,” the French-Canadian actress told reporters this afternoon. “[The role] was vaguely described as ‘female brunette.’ “

Now, of course, that brunette has moved from SCDP’s front desk to Don Draper’s bedroom. But don’t think this means that the adman has achieved a happy ending. Paré notes that there will definitely be “friction” between Jon Hamm’s character and his young wife as Season 5 progresses. We got hints of that last night, most strikingly when the pair engaged in what one writer called “angry floor sex.” READ FULL STORY

'Mad Men' premiere ratings shatter records

After a 17-month absence, a heavy marketing campaign and a flood of adoring publicity, TV’s most critically acclaimed drama returned Sunday night to record ratings.

The fifth-season debut of AMC’s Mad Men delivered 3.5 million viewers for its two-hour premiere. That’s up 21 percent from 2010′s fourth-season premiere, which marked the show’s previous all-time high. Of those viewers, about 1.6 million were adults 18-49. The fourth season averaged about 2.4 million viewers, including DVR playback. Mad Men‘s first season averaged about 925,000 viewers.

Mad Men‘s production was postponed after a protracted renewal negotiation between the show’s creator Matthew Weiner, studio Lionsgate and network AMC. Was it worth the wait? EW’s Ken Tucker wrote: “Mad Men got off to a very slow start on Sunday night, as though daring you to become absorbed in it again, but as the two hours proceeded, the show launched at least four rather magnificent set-piece scenes that remind you not just how good the series can be, but also how different it is from anything else TV has seen…” click here to read the rest.

And what’s coming next? READ FULL STORY

'Mad Men': Rich Sommer discusses what's in store for Harry Crane

When it comes to the return of Mad Men, who better to discuss important television matters than the head of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce’s television department, Mr. Harry Crane — Rich Sommer? First matter at hand: Where will season 5 pick up after the loose ends of season 4?

“A little time has passed since the end of season 4,” Sommer teases to EW, but reassured, “A lot of the questions that people have from season 4 are answered pretty quickly.”

That doesn’t mean the air of intrigue that surrounds the characters, in their home lives and in the office, including the ambitious (sometimes overly so) Harry, will suddenly disappear in season 5. In fact, just the opposite. “A lot of why Harry is the way he is has to do with his personal life, so I think that’s always there in some way. I think almost everything that these characters do — Don, Roger, all those guys — is somehow driven by their work. Even their personal lives are clearly affected by it. You’ll definitely see that’s true for Harry as well,” Sommer says.
READ FULL STORY

'Mad Men' changes premiere song after critics complain

Mad Men showrunner Matthew Weiner has always been a stickler for detail, but his latest bid for period accuracy is pretty stringent even by his own high standards.

Weiner is changing a song used in the upcoming fifth season premiere after critics who received early copies of the episode pointed out an apparent oversight: The track, Dusty Springfield’s 1967 tune “The Look of Love,” wasn’t released until six months after the episode takes place.

The writer-producer will use a different song instead. He sent this explanatory note to critics, which also doesn’t exactly hurt your relationship with the press: READ FULL STORY

'Mad Men': Christina Hendricks, January Jones, and Elisabeth Moss tease season 5

A lot has happened to you, dear readers, over the last year and a half. Perhaps a new haircut. A new drink of choice? A new significant other? But one thing is definitely missing from that list: new Mad Men. That all changes on March 25 when, after a 17-month wait, the fifth season of the Emmy-approved, ’60s-era, martinis-and-Madison-Avenue drama begins on AMC . This week’s issue of EW previews the coming action, and to help get you into the spirit(s), we shared some bonus quotes from the men of Mad Men here. Now it’s time to hear from the women: namely, Elisabeth Moss (Peggy), Christina Hendricks (Joan), and January Jones (Betty).

On the aftermath of Don’s proposal to Megan in the season 4 finale
HENDRICKS : “This is a proposal that was announced in the workplace. Of two people who work in the same office. It’s obviously going to affect everyone around them.”
MOSS: “I felt the same as Peggy and Joan did [in the finale], where you’re just like, ‘What?’ And feeling nervous about it, nervous about it for Don. Just knowing who he is, that he finally started to live something that was at least true to himself, as much as he was going down hard in this downward spiral all of season 4. Getting engaged again just felt like a quick solution, a Band-Aid. But that said, things are complicated and he fell in love. And when people fall in love quickly, it’s always surprising and you’re always a bit nervous about it.”

On the office dynamics at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce
MOSS: “The older generation is finding it more and more difficult to stay present and to stay relevant. And the new kids are coming up and they’ve got great ideas and they’ve got their finger on the pulse a little bit more. So obviously in any company there’s just going to come a time when the power shifts, and I definitely think that’s starting to happen in the company.”

On Peggy 
MOSS: “I’m just really proud of the person that she’s becoming. She’s developing a sharp sense of humor about life and about her business and about what she does. And this season for her is really, really, really about work…. There’s definitely a moment this season that I will be really, really interested to see what people’s reactions are. And that episode involved my favorite scene that I have ever done in the show.”

On fan reaction to frosty Betty
JONES: “For seasons 3 and 4, people were a little bit confused and felt a little bit more negatively toward her than they did in seasons 1 and 2. I think people liked Betty when she was submissive, unhappy and bottled up. It’s a character you can pity. Yes, she’s lacking parental skills, but people are really hard on her when she’s trying to seek out some things that make her happy. She is an imperfect character. She’s trying so hard and failing most of the time. And I don’t think you see that a lot…. I’m not going to defend the way she treats certain people. She’s got an emotional immaturity that makes a lot of her actions just stupefying to me as well, but at least she’s trying… I feel like I understand her more now than I did. I understand her moves, when she’s at least giving it a go, when she’s exploding with failure rather than imploding and doing nothing. I’ll defend her because I feel like some people aren’t seeing exactly what she’s trying to do.”

READ FULL STORY

'Mad Men': Jon Hamm, John Slattery, and Matthew Weiner dish on season 5

Martinis? Poured. Cigarettes? Lit. Anticipation? Killing us. In less than two weeks (March 25 to be exact), Mad Men returns to our living rooms. This week’s cover of EW takes you behind-the-scenes of AMC’s ‘60s-era drama — which centers on masterful ad exec Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and has claimed the Outstanding Drama Emmy four years running — to give you a preview of the fifth season and review of that prolonged 17-month hiatus. Below, we offer up a bunch of bonus quotes that you won’t find in the piece from many of Mad‘s main menincluding Hamm, John Slattery, Vincent Kartheiser, Jared Harris, and Rich Sommer, as well as series creator/exec producer Matthew Weiner. (We’ll hear from the women in part II.) READ FULL STORY

New 'Mad Men' trailer: Did you miss them?

Since the last Mad Men episode aired on television in 2010, all sorts of crazy things have happened: The Republican primaries, the rise of Adele, the year 2011. A new advertisement for the show’s return cheekily notes the passage of time by playing Wanda Jackson’s “Did You Miss Me” over scenes from Mad Men past. It doesn’t reveal anything about the plot of the new season, which means we still can’t confirm the rumors that this season of Mad Men will take place in an alternate-universe 1969 where Don Draper has to sell moon rocks to Martians. Watch the teaser below: READ FULL STORY

'Mad Men' ad angers families of 9/11 victims

It took 18 months for Mad Men to return for its long-awaited fifth season but only a few days for the critically acclaimed show to get into hot water. Family members of 9/11 victims are decrying a new phase of the show’s minimalist marketing imagery, reports the New York Times. The ads, which echo the show’s opening credits, show a man (protagonist Don Draper) falling into a white void. They have appeared in subways and on buses since mid-January, but a new series just recently began appearing on highly position billboards and building facades around New York City, prompting cries of insensitivity. Several family members of people lost in the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, told the Times the ads are offensive because they bring to mind the imagery of victims jumping from the Twin Towers on the day of the national tragedy. READ FULL STORY

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