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October 25, 2014

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TV's Greatest Rivalries: 'Survivor,' 'Dynasty,' 'True Blood' & More

by Maggie Furlong & Jean Bentley, posted Jun 22nd 2011 9:00AM
We used to watch 'The Real World' and 'Road Rules' religiously, and then MTV combined those powerfully awesome forces to create 'The Challenge.'

Well now we're old(er) and we're still inexplicably excited for their latest fight-to-the-death challenge, the series' 11th incarnation, 'The Challenge: Rivals' (premieres Wed., June 22, 10PM ET on MTV).

The Challenge: Rivals

Of course, looking through their slideshow of supposedly epic rivalries, only a few familiar faces from the old days truly stand out: Wes and Kenny, Adam and CT, Johnny and Tyler, Nehemiah and Evan, Paula and Evelyn and even Robin and Aneesa. We're not saying the rest of the eight teams battling it out aren't vicious (we know better than that), they're just not sparking any vivid memories.

So we thought we'd remind TV lovers what a true battle royale looks like -- here, our list of TV's Greatest Rivalries.

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Mark Burnett on Donald Trump, 'The Voice' & Why 'Survivor' Survives

by Joel Keller, posted May 20th 2011 2:30PM
Mark BurnettMark Burnett was in a bit of a feisty mood yesterday. It's understandable, given the combination of controversy and great ratings that have been attached to some of the reality shows he produces lately. He's got three currently on the air.

First, there's 'The Celebrity Apprentice,' which is steaming towards its live finale (Sunday, May 22, 9PM ET on NBC), with John Rich and Marlee Matlin facing off for the right to be "hired" by Donald Trump. The show has been renewed for a fifth celebrity season; Trump also recently decided not to run for President, but not without leaving months of new material for late night talk shows in his wake.

Then there's 'The Voice,' which is gaining momentum after a strong start, with the combination of talented singers and red hot judges (Cee Lo Green, Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton) keeping people tuning in.

But when we spoke, we started with his most venerable show, 'Survivor,' which just ended its 22nd season on Sunday. We talked about the decision to bring back 'Redemption Island' for season 23, then moved on to a question that seemed like it would be innocent. His reaction was anything but ...

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CBS Announces 2011-2012 Schedule

by Jean Bentley, posted May 18th 2011 9:20AM
Person of InterestIt's CBS's turn to shake things up with its fall schedule, which the network just announced this morning.

'CSI' is finally getting the boot from its longtime Thursday night time slot in favor of the J.J. Abrams-produced 'Person of Interest,' while 'The Good Wife' is getting transferred from Tuesdays at 10PM to the highly competitive Sundays at 9PM slot.

The network's two new comedies will both get their shots after established shows, with '2 Broke Girls' airing after 'How I Met Your Mother' on Mondays and 'How to Be a Gentleman' landing post-'Big Bang Theory' on Thursdays. Interestingly, 'Rules of Engagement' is being pushed to Saturday nights.

CBS is saving the Robert De Niro-produced cop drama 'The 2-2' for mid-season (hopefully with a better name).

The full fall schedule is after the jump.

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Rob Mariano Talks About Winning 'Survivor' (VIDEO)

by Nick Zaino, posted May 16th 2011 12:55PM
Rob and Amber on 'Survivor'Rob Mariano finally won something last night when his was the last torch left lit on 'Survivor.' Until then, Rob's wife Amber was the only 'Survivor' winner in the household. (They also lost as a couple on 'Amazing Race 7.') Today on 'The Early Show' (weekdays, 7AM on CBS), Mariano talked about how it wasn't really the $1 million purse that motivated him to win, it was more a matter of being able to stand tall in his own house.

"For the past seven years, I've had to hear it in my own house," said Mariano. "It wasn't so much about the money -- she's getting the check anyway. But now I'm at least on [a] level playing field with my wife when it comes to winners in the 'Survivor' household."

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'Survivor: Redemption Island' Season 22, Episode 14 (Season Finale) Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted May 16th 2011 7:40AM
Jeff Probst, 'Survivor: Redemption Island' finale['Survivor: Redemption Island' - 'Seems Like a No Brainer']

Could "Boston Rob" Mariano pull off one of the most impressive victories in the history of 'Survivor'? Going into the finale, he looked poised to do just that. Of course, he still had to whittle down his Final Four, contend with whoever returned from Redemption Island and then convince the jury to not be bitter and reward his game play.

From Redemption, he faced the possibility of going up against Matt, who'd spent 29 days there, surviving every single duel up to this point. Mike was well-liked and had dominated even Matt since going there, while Andrea and Grant were members of his own alliance.

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'Survivor' Sprint Player of the Season and Surprise Proposal on Reunion Special (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted May 16th 2011 2:16AM
Rob Mariano & Matt Elrod, 'Survivor: Redemption Island'At the 'Survivor: Redemption Island' (Sun., 10PM ET on CBS) reunion special, there was more to get to than just the crowning of the season's winner. Once again, Sprint was on-hand to declare the fan-voted Player of the Season, along with the $100,000 prize that goes along with it.

Russell Hantz was quick to announce that he was a two-time winner of the award, which was his consolation prize for still never winning the game. But he was only out there eight days this season, so he didn't even come close.

In fact, according to Jeff Probst, it came down to only two contestants. One who masterminded the season from Day One, and the guy who spent most of the season dominating everyone else on Redemption Island.

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'Survivor: Redemption Island' Season Finale: The Winner Is ... (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted May 16th 2011 1:42AM
Jeff Probst, 'Survivor: Redemption Island' finaleGoing into this three-hour finale extravaganza for 'Survivor: Redemption Island' (Sun., 8PM ET on CBS), one man has been running this game since Day One. "Boston Rob" Mariano single-handedly orchestrated the elimination of the opposing tribe and managed to keep his own alliance of six strong until the end.

At every turn, he had total control of the game, but toward the end it became more and more difficult to keep control. Ashley and Natalie have been considering their chances without the Rob-father, and there's still that element of Redemption Island, which has four people on the cusp of returning to the game.

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'Survivor: Redemption Island' Season 22, Episode 13 Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted May 12th 2011 8:00AM
'Survivor: Redemption Island'['Survivor: Redemption Island' - 'Too Close for Comfort']

Will the addition of "Redemption Island" change the game? One thing that is very notable is that this is the penultimate episode of the season, and there are technically still nine people left in the game. Sure, four of them are on Redemption Island, but they're still technically "live." And the unknowns surrounding the return to the game of one or more from that group has "Boston Rob" Mariano on the edge of his seat.

Last time he played, he was tripped up by the new element of the Hidden Immunity Idol. This time around, he sealed that potential loophole right away by finding and hoarding the Idol. But now, there's yet another wrinkle in what is otherwise a flawless game plan by the 'Survivor' all-star.

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After Surprise Immunity Win, Blindside at Tribal Council on 'Survivor' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted May 12th 2011 1:13AM
Rob Mariano, 'Survivor: Redemption Island''Survivor: Redemption Island' (Wed., 8PM ET on CBS) ends with a two-hour finale this Sunday. Going into tonight's episode, there were still a whopping nine people in contention for the top prize, though four of them were on Redemption Island. From there, it was confirmed that only one stood a chance of returning to the game.

Rob Mariano has been in sole charge of this season of 'Survivor' since virtually Day One. He masterminded the massacre and total elimination of the Zapatera tribe, and has orchestrated the demise by blindside of every person who's gone home on Ometepe.

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'Survivor: Redemption Island' Season 22, Episode 12 Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted May 5th 2011 7:30AM
Ometepe Six, 'Survivor: Redemption Island'['Survivor: Redemption Island' - 'You Mangled My Nets']

And so the "Ometepe Six," as they'd come to be called, came to rule the game of 'Redemption Island,' decimating their Zapatera foe until only they remained. And it was good. For about half a second.

Truly, they will go down in history as one of the strongest and most enduring alliances in the history of the game. But now there's no one left to eat but themselves. Smart players would immediately target the Rob-father, but he's so into their heads, are they even capable of seeing the situation clearly?

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Forced to Choose Between Family and Tactics on 'Survivor: Redemption Island' (VIDEO)

by Catherine Lawson, posted May 5th 2011 6:35AM
'Survivor: Redemption Island' S22/E12There are highly emotional scenes on this week's episode of 'Survivor: Redemption Island' (Weds., 8PM ET on CBS) as Mike is forced to make an agonizing choice between his desire to see his family and his desire to win.

!!SPOILER ALERT!!

As part of his reward for winning the day's duel on Redemption Island, Mike's given the unenviable choice of spending time alone with his mom, or else giving the same gift to the remaining two guys at Redemption Island, or to the six remaining former Ometepe tribe members.

While the others wait for Mike to choose who "gets the love," Jeff Probst introduces the family members who've arrived at the island in the hope of spending time with their loved ones.

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'Survivor: Redemption Island' Season 22, Episode 10 Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 28th 2011 8:30AM
Grant and Ralph log roll, 'Survivor: Redemption Island'['Survivor: Redemption Island' - 'A Mystery Package']

Well, things just got interesting, didn't they? At this week's Challenge, Jeff Probst presented the tribe with a package that he promised would present a new twist into the game. It wasn't exactly a new twist, per se, but it definitely pushed the season into an interesting phase.

After Julie's elimination last week, Ralph and Steve are in dire straits indeed. If they can't find a chink in Rob's "Ometepe Six," their days on the island are numbered.

I won't say they have no shot, though, because we still don't know how Redemption Island is going to factor into the endgame. The fun thing about that, though, is neither does Rob.

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'Survivor: Redemption Island' Season 22, Episode 9 Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 21st 2011 6:20AM
Steve & Phillip, 'Survivor: Redemption Island'['Survivor: Redemption Island' - 'Rice Wars']

"One man should not have this much power on an island, but I'm grateful that I do." --Rob

Well that was ... uncomfortable. Thanks for that, by the way, Phillip. Clearly, all that time in the sun is starting to bake Phillip's brain a little. Maybe if he got a few hundred more feathers for that headband, he could get some shade on his scalp and cooler heads would prevail around camp.

If I was worried that the seeming inevitable one-by-one elimination of the former Zapatera tribe was going to make these next few episodes boring -- and I was -- those fears can be put to rest. As long as Phillip is bringing the crazy, things are going to be very interesting indeed.

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'Survivor: Redemption Island' Season 22, Episode 8 Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 14th 2011 7:15AM
Phillip Sheppard, 'Survivor: Redemption Island'['Survivor: Redemption Island' - 'The Buddy System']

I don't think we've ever seen anything quite like what we're seeing happen this season on 'Survivor.' I'm not talking about the clear tribal divisions that still exist post-merge, as that's been done. I'm not even talking about the insane-or-not Phillip, because he's an archetype we've seen before as well.

For some reason, CBS decided to show us just how much padding they put into these episodes of 'Survivor' by basically giving us two complete installments in one hour. Each ran about 30 minutes and included all the tribal banter you usually see, a full challenge and a complete Tribal Council.

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'Survivor: Redemption Island' Season 22, Episode 7 Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 7th 2011 11:40AM
'Survivor: Redemption Island' - 'This Game Respects Big Moves'['Survivor: Redemption Island' - 'This Game Respects Big Moves']

This week's episode title is a very true statement. And in this merge episode, the right big move could turn everything around. Zapatera is poised to be a likely underdog almost regardless of the Redemption Arena turnout. We've seen so many merges with lopsided numbers where the outnumbered tribe is decimated one by one.

What it comes down to is your ranking within your own tribe. If you are six out of six going into a merge, then how can you possibly think that's okay? And someone is at the bottom of every tribal alliance. The key is to find that person and exploit their position to make a game-changing shift in power.

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