Jeff Probst and the Tribal Council set for Survivor: China
When it comes to Survivor (Thursdays, 8 pm/ET, CBS), a memorable Tribal Council requires more than just a good torch-snuffing. The set can pack a visual wallop, too. Production designer Jesse Jensen has outdone himself for Survivor: China with a 60-foot-high, three-story temple inspired by the country's traditional, vibrantly hued places of worship. The ambitious project took 57 workers seven weeks of 12-hour days in sweltering humidity to build. Not to mention 20 tons of steel framing, 8 tons of concrete and 400 sheets of timber shipped in from Russia and milled in Shanghai before being driven seven hours to the remote building site. Here, Jensen gives us an exclusive tour of the Tribal set.
The ivory pen used by the Survivors to cast their votes was molded from an unconventional source: an opium pipe. The urn where they place their parchments was originally an antique b
Dominic Monaghan, Lost
Lost's mind-blowing third-season finale raised a million questions. Among them: Jack and Kate get off the island?! Who's in the casket?! Are flash-forwards the new flashbacks?! Fans will have to wait until next winter — when the fourth season commences — to stop scratching their heads. Until then, let's pause to remember Dominic Monaghan's Charlie Pace, the ex-junkie rock star turned self-sacrificing hero who died at the hands of Eyepatch Dude so that his fellow plane-crash survivors might be rescued. (Though now we're wondering whether that's such a good thing.) Says executive producer Damon Lindelof, "Charlie's death is indicative of a whole new kind of feel surrounding the show. Charlie's death is the beginning of the end, as it were." Here, Monaghan fills us in on
Jordin Sparks, American Idol
Ah, the glamorous life of a newly minted American Idol: Mere hours after a Badgley Mischka-clad Jordin Sparks beat out Blake Lewis for the coveted title on May 23, the effusive 17-year-old Arizona native had changed into jeans and was wolfing down a roast-beef sandwich. "Sorry," she said, politely covering her mouth. "I haven't eaten since breakfast." While Sparks seemed like a clear victor after nailing her final performances, she swears she didn't see it that way: "I had no idea what was going to happen. When Blake and I were standing up there [waiting to hear who'd won], he was just like, 'I love you, sweetheart,' and he squeezed my hand, and I realized that no matter what happened, everything was going to be OK."
OK, indeed. Here is TV Guide's post-fina
Terry O'Quinn, Lost
This TV Guide reporter lucked into getting an advance copy of "The Brig," tonight's Locke-centric episode of Lost (10 pm/ET on ABC), and, having watched it, what can I say? It's one of the series' best. And I'm not just talking this season. Written by series masterminds Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, it is, by turns, twisted, spine-chilling and emotionally stirring. Make that gut-wrenching. It grabs hold and doesn't let go, even after the last frame has smashed to black.
If you've watched the sneak-peek clip on this website, you already know that Locke — MIA from the canvas since early April, when he discovered his loser pop was in the island's magi
Elizabeth Mitchell, Lost
Elizabeth Mitchell previews Juliet's new, revealing Lost (Wednesdays at 10 pm/ET) flashback, reflects on her life as a mom, and tells tales from riding shotgun with Angelina Jolie.
TV Guide: Your character, Juliet, the fertility doc recruited by the Others, gets flashback action in this week's episode. What can you tell us about the episode?
Elizabeth Mitchell: It's a nice, revelatory flashback. My first flashback episode wasn't particularly twisty or turny. This one is definitely twisty and turny.
TV Guide: You're not just teasing us? We'll actually get some big answers?
Mitchell: Oh, yeah. So many things we've already seen about Juliet and wondered, "Why did she do this? Why is she so cold?" You'll know exactly why.
Kiele Sanchez and Rodrigo Santoro, Lost
Even in death, Lost's most reviled castaways can't get any peace. In the ABC series' March 28th episode, Nikki (Kiele Sanchez) and Paolo (Rodrigo Santoro) — who were clumsily introduced at the beginning of season three and never forgiven for it — were revealed to be diamond-grubbing murderers who, in one of the series' darkest twists to date, were paralyzed by spider bites and unwittingly buried alive by show heroes Sawyer and Hurley. Response to the episode proved bitterly divided, with viewers and online bloggers — see TVGuide.com's Roush Dispatch,
Josh Holloway and Evangeline Lilly, Lost
Remember? Kate and Sawyer got down to business in the fish-biscuit cage. Big Bad Ben promised to let Dr. Jack leave the island in exchange for some lifesaving surgery. But Jack rediscovered his spine and threatened to let the smug Other die unless Kate was allowed to do what she does best: run. It's been nearly three months since we've gotten Lost. But starting this Wednesday, ABC's eternally trippy hit returns with fresh episodes every! single! week! through May (at the new hour of 10 pm/ET). Here's a sneak peek at what you'll be buzzing about on Thursday mornings. (Stop reading now if spoilers aren't your thing. Seriously.)
1. The Sawyer/Kate/Jack love triangle isn't over yet. Kate seemingly chose the charismatic con man over the honorable doc when she hooked up with Sawyer in the Nov. 8 fall finale, a move that pleased both fans and Sawyer himself (
Are the words "This is American Idol" music to your ears? Then brace yourself: Fox's unstoppable ratings juggernaut returns this week — the first auditions unspool Tuesday and Wednesday at 8 pm/ET — for a sixth season of off-key wannabes and future chart-toppers. We tracked down the show's three judges, two producers and one excitable host and got them to reveal exclusive scoop on what just might be Idol's most unpredictable year yet.
Missing the early episodes would be a huge mistake.
There are generally two reasons to sit through Idol's initial auditions: to catch the drama created by those who are A) tone-deaf or B) have Lifetime-movie sob stories (such as Kellie Pickler, who revealed at her audition last year that Mom had
America Ferrera, Ugly Betty
This was the year that America fell in love with America. Thanks to 22-year-old Ferrera's winning performance as a homely girl with a heart of gold, ABC's Ugly Betty (Thursdays at 8 pm/ET) became one of the fall's few breakout hits. On a recent day off, the lovely and low-key Ferrera took a break from house-hunting to fill us in on her Bettylicious year.
TV Guide: You look so different in person. Do you get that a lot?
Ferrera: It takes me an hour to become Betty. But I love that she's so different from me. I can [keep] a bit of myself private.
TV Guide: What's the most difficult part of the Betty transformation?
Ferrera: Betty wears a lot of clothes — tights, parkas, all these shirts buttoned up to her neck. That drives me insane. I don't like to feel restricted.
J.J. Abrams (inset) has "incredible" plans for Star Trek.
J.J. Abrams, the man behind Lost, Alias and Mission: Impossible III, is about to add another sci-fi classic to his résumé. Paramount recently handed the 40-year-old writer-producer-director the reins to one of its most revered projects: the next Star Trek film. Abrams will produce the movie with Lost cocreator (and fellow Trekker) Damon Lindelof. Abrams recently called from his Pacific Palisades, California, home, where he was hanging with kids (and budding sci-fi fans) Henry, Gracie and baby August, to chat about sci-fi, the th