“Castle” Has Climbed The Ratings Ladder By Staying Steady

Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic ABC

To write about Castle’s ratings, I would like to steal from the famous start of Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If”: “If you can keep your head when all about you / Are losing theirs and blaming it on you…”

But let’s make it: If you can basically have the exact same ratings for five seasons / When most other network shows are collapsing…

Because that’s basically Castle’s success story as it heads toward its fifth season finale on May 13. When Castle made its debut on ABC as a midseason show in March 2009, the ratings were just eh. It ended its first season with 10.5 million Live+7 viewers (meaning, viewers who watch the show within seven days) and a 2.8 among 18- to 49-year-olds. It’s essentially held steady since then; I won’t bore you with each season’s averages, because they’re so repetitive. As of Monday’s episode, its average for the season is 12 million total viewers and a 2.6 in 18 to 49 (in Live+7).

Castle is an interesting case, then, of a veteran show that has become a hit by not eroding, and even growing a little, especially when compared with the wreckage around it. In the 2008-09 season when it premiered, ABC’s lineup still featured Desperate Housewives and Lost; its big hopes for the season were Pushing Daisies and Dirty Sexy Money. Fox’s American Idol, of course, was the No. 1 show on television by a mile, and each episode would bring in more than 20 million viewers. It was a different television world.

Castle has just been steady. A bubble show for renewal at first, and then always performing better in its Monday at 10 time slot when lead-in Dancing with the Stars was on, it wasn’t clear at first how many people were watching Castle on purpose, even as it gained confidence, building off of star Nathan Fillion’s exuberant charm to create a show with a sweet (as opposed to frustrating) will-they-or-won’t-they love story between Castle and Beckett (Stana Katic), light but clever mysteries of the week, and a zippy ensemble both at Castle’s work (at the precinct with Jon Huertas and Seamus Dever) and home (with his mother, Susan Sullivan, and daughter, Molly C. Quinn).

But now it’s clear. Monday night, Castle drew 10.6 million viewers and got a 2.0 in 18 to 49 in Nielsen’s overnight ratings. (Both will grow in Live+7.) Last week, it grew out of Dancing with the Stars in 18 to 49; yes, DWTS skews old, but for a 10 p.m. show, growing out of the lead-in is rare these days. It also beat its time-slot competition, NBC’s Revolution, for the first time this season, and it consistently beats Hawaii Five-0 on CBS. In last week’s broadcast television ratings, Castle finished in 10th place among total viewers and 16th place among adults 18 to 49. Yes, the new normal for network shows is quite low. But should Castle fans care? No!

This season has been about Castle and Beckett finally being in love and in a relationship. They’ll have some bumps, of course, as creator Andrew Marlowe has foretold. I can’t predict what will happen — though I’m sure they will be happy again soon enough.

But I do feel sure I can guarantee exactly how many people will be watching them as they go along their way.

Update: Minutes after I posted this story, I was reminded by my Twitter buddy David Loehr that both Pushing Daisies and Dirty Sexy Money technically made it into second seasons because their first seasons were curtailed by the writers’ strike of 2008-09. They were then canceled. It’s complicated, but I cut the words “neither of which made it to Season 2” from that sentence to avoid unnecessary confusion.

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/kateaurthur/castle-ratings-season-5

Powerful Cartoon Asks Americans To Consider The Potential Of The Children At The Border

Invoking well-known undocumented immigrant and Pulitzer Prize winner Jose Antonio Vargas who came to the U.S. as a child, the cartoon wonders about what could be.

View this image ›

Courtesy Hector Curriel

Peruvian immigrant and South Dakota resident Hector Curriel spends his days working to help immigrants at Lutheran Social Services, and when he’s away from work he makes cartoons about issues that matter to him and the Hispanic community. Lately, he has found himself doing more and more cartoons about immigration, and unveiled one recently that takes on the situation of unaccompanied minors from Central America coming to the border.

He joined two things that resonate with him: The story of Pulitzer-winning undocumented immigrant Jose Antonio Vargas, and then the children at the border who find themselves at the center of a political battle that will determine their future.

“There’s a lot of misunderstanding about why the kids are coming and that they’re going to destroy the economy, bring diseases, or are maybe gang members,” Curriel told BuzzFeed. “What I wanted to show is there’s a lot of potential, those kids are coming to the country, they bring possibilities. Jose came like one of those kids as a child and now he’s a prominent Pulitzer winner. The kids are coming because they’re persecuted. They’re coming for opportunity, but they bring so much potential.”

Vargas, who loved the message of the cartoon, posted it on his public Facebook page where it racked up more than 1,300 likes and was shared 300 times.

View this embed ›

“It’s not about a Pulitzer or a Purple Heart or an Emmy,” Vargas told Buzzfeed. “It’s about seeing these children and seeing potential and possibility. It’s about seeing these kids as human beings. Too much of the coverage and the conversation treats these children as if they are insects off our backs.”

Vargas himself was recently detained at the airport after going to the border, but was later released.

Curriel said despite the politics, people have to remember that this involves vulnerable children.

“I’m trying to educate people, there is a lot of misunderstanding. A lot of people seriously attack immigrants, so I wanted to show the other side of the story.”


Prominent Undocumented Immigrant Jose Antonio Vargas Is Released After Being Detained In Texas

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/adriancarrasquillo/powerful-cartoon-asks-americans-to-consider-the-potential-of

8 Rules For Finding The Right Personal Trainer – Bodybuilding.com

8 Rules For Finding The Right Personal Trainer – Bodybuilding.com

May 8, 2015 Personal trainers can be a great asset, but a bad one can do more harm than
good. Follow these rules to find the perfect trainer for you!

4 Rules for Hiring a Personal Trainer – Health.com
Repeat this process as needed until you find your perfect match. While having a personal trainer year-round may not be necessary, when you're looking to kick things up a notch, are stuck at a plateau, or just in need of some …

, published , pages

Why Do Israelis Think Sharon Was The Last Prime Minister Who Could Bring Them Peace?

Ziv Koren/Zuma Press / MCT

JERUSALEM — Hila Aloni has no idea whether Ariel Sharon had any level of consciousness over the eight years he spent in a vegetative state. She has no clue what his political platform would have been these days, or whether he would have believed in peace or war with Israel’s neighbors. Still, the 27-year-old says she would vote for him — not knowing anything at all — just because he’s Ariel Sharon.

“He’s the last of our great leaders, of what we in Israel think of as our founding fathers,” said Aloni, who was still serving in the Israeli military when Sharon went into a coma eight years ago after suffering a severe stroke. Yet she, like many Israelis, held on to the vague hope all these years that he would, despite medical consensus, awake and return to Israeli politics. “He’s the last prime minister I believed in.”

Sharon died on Saturday at the age of 85, eight years after falling into a coma.

Sharon was called many things over the course of his decades-long career in the army and in government. Bulldog, to his fellow soldiers who followed him into battle; butcher, to his enemies, to whom he proved ruthless in times of war; and bulldozer, to his political rivals – none of whom could stand in his path once he had decided on a political course. But what Sharon really was was a diehard believer in Israel, who at the end of his life became convinced that only his single-handed and often forceful intervention could save the Jewish people.

“He believed that he had the vision and the commitment to make Israel a state for the Jewish people,” said Raanan Gissin, one of his closest friends and longtime advisor. “He was single-minded about it.”

Across Israel, thousands mourned Sharon’s death as the loss of one of Israel’s historic, founding-father figures. Despite allegations of corruption that clung to him throughout his later years, they remembered Sharon as a faithful leader who would have done anything to see his vision of a Jewish state succeed. And despite his long career as a ruthless general of war, they wondered whether he was the last Israeli leader that could have realized the dream of a lasting peace deal, with a separate Palestinian and Israeli state.

“He was a staunch and stubborn figure when Israel needed it,” said Gissin. “His legacy is complicated. But everyone will remember him as a man who did whatever he could to make sure the state of Israel survived, and in his later years, he believed they needed to survive by making peace, by separating once and for all from Palestinians and from those in the region that wish us harm.”

Israel’s leadership is currently struggling over how to define the most basic framework for a future peace deal. The idea that Israelis and Palestinians will end up sharing one state is gaining prominence, as many Israelis question whether they want to give up the territory and withdraw from the settlements needed to establish two states, one Israeli and the other Palestinian. Giving land for peace, which Israel argues it has done through much of its history, has become increasingly unpopular. Sharon, having spent much of his life in the ruthless military conquest of territory, at the end promoted one of the largest land-for-peace deals Israel has ever made.

Sharon — who served in the military from 1948 to 1974 — waged countless military campaigns and argued heavily against building walls or barriers. He urged tens of thousands of Israeli settlers to move into Palestinian communities to create new claims to the land there. But as prime minister of Israel in 2001, he threw his support behind the building of a separation barrier between Israel and the West Bank, and took the previously unthinkable step of removing Israeli settlers from the Gaza Strip, and several West Bank settlements. At the time, he said that he had come to believe in a policy of separation, and that only by withdrawing from heavily Palestinian areas could Israel solidify control and live peacefully in the land it wished to control.

“Many in Israel, many in the U.S. and Europe even, knew he was serious about making peace. He was very close, he would have done it,” said Gissin.

In December 2005, Sharon was in the midst of campaigning with his new, centrist Kadima Party when he suffered from his first stroke. Polls showed that within two months, he would win re-election with unprecedented numbers, garnering an easy majority in Israel’s parliament for a platform he said would include a lasting peace deal.

The second stroke, a major one, hit Sharon on Jan. 4, 2006, leaving him in a vegetative state and likely destroying his cognitive abilities, according to doctors. His party went on to win, with his former deputy Ehud Olmert at its helm. But without Sharon’s notoriously strong-armed leadership, the party quickly lost support and faltered.

Eight years later, Kadima is a shadow of its former self. Its platform has melded into that of many centrist parties vying for votes in Israel, with vague support for the peace process but little political will or backing to see it through.

Some thought Sharon would have been disappointed by the events that marked his final days, as he hung between life and death. The ruling party, Likud, was leading a tour of the Jordan Valley, a narrow strip of land on the eastern edge of the West Bank to which both Israel and the palestinians lay claim, and also vowing to strengthen Israel’s settlements in the West Bank; U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was scrambling to get Israeli and Palestinian leaders to sign a bare-bones framework agreement to keep the peace process on life support; and Sharon’s legacy remained that of a war general rather than a statesman.

Sharon, who spent his youth in war, left his career as a statesman unfinished. There were few more dramatic exits from political life in Israel, said Yoni Shavit, a longtime friend to the Sharon family who lived near the Sharon family’s southern Negev ranch.

“Here’s this man, and imagine his life as this entire climb. He fights through wars and then he puts down his gun to make peace. He does the hardest thing for himself politically – he evacuates the very settlers he begged to settle in Gaza in the first place. Then he creates a new political movement out of thin air and just as he is about to realize everything, just about as he is to become prime minister and get a peace treaty signed… well just at that moment he goes into a coma,” said Shavit. “Could you have written a more dramatic cliffhanger?”

Sharon, who was a commander in the Israeli army from its inception in 1948, was widely celebrated in Israel as one of the greatest field commanders in a country full of career military strategists. But the picture painted of him by Uzi Benziman, one of the few Israeli writers to have penned a biography of Sharon, documents a general who believed in dealing only punishing blows.

Sharon, wrote Benziman, would not hesitate to inflict heavy casualties during battles — often ignoring distinctions between soldiers and civilians — if it meant he would win the war.

In 1953, when Sharon was tasked with revenging the murder of an Israeli woman and two children in Jordan, he directed a raid on the Jordanian town of Qibya, in which 69 civilians were killed. Nearly 30 years later, when Sharon became Israel’s defense minister and orchestrated Israel’s invasion of Lebanon, he was given the nickname “Butcher of Beirut” by the Arab world. An official Israeli inquiry found Sharon indirectly responsible for the September 1982 killings of as many as 2,000 Palestinians at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps outside of Beirut, Lebanon.

“He felt betrayed at that moment,” said Gissin, who remained with Sharon throughout his political career. “He made mistakes like any politician, but he had a vision and a way and he implemented it. That’s why people trusted him.”

It was as the head of the right-wing Likud party that Netanyahu eventually made his political comeback, when he was elected as prime minister in 2001. He surprised many by engaging directly in the peace process, announcing in May 2003 that he endorsed the road map for peace that laid out a path to two separate states — one Palestinian and the other Israeli — side by side. When he announced he would begin to see the creation of the two separate states by unilaterally withdrawing from the Gaza Strip, many were shocked.

“He didn’t have a reputation then as a person who believed in giving land for peace,” said Gissin. “Nobody expected it of him. So when it happened it made even more waves.”

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, once told the Daily Beast that Sharon was “a tough little tank driver” who would have taken whatever steps necessary to make a lasting peace deal.

“Now, it would have required a Palestinian partner who was prepared to take half a loaf, not a full loaf, because nobody was going to get everything they wanted. But I think the terms were available, and maybe he was strong enough to lead a consensus in Israel and get it done,” said Rice. “Sharon was somebody who could deliver…You could trust him to do what he said he was going to do.”

So was a lasting peace with Palestinians always Sharon’s plan? None among his successors appear to agree on what his final vision might have resembled. Among those closest to him in his final months are those who now say that his reasons for withdrawing from the Gaza Strip were far more complicated than fulfilling the dreams of a two-state solution.

“Those who knew him as a general knew that the only reason he would leave Gaza would be to wage a massive military operation there that could — once and for all — deal a death blow to Hamas’ base,” said one former aide to Sharon. “He could never have waged that sort of operation with thousands of Israeli settlers in the midst of enemy turf. He saw that in order to win the war, he had to sacrifice a pawn, he had to sacrifice those settlers.”

But others think that visions of Sharon returning to Gaza on the back of a tank are the war dreams of those who only knew him as a soldier.

“He wanted to find the right way for Israelis and Palestinians and our other Arab neighbors to live peacefully together. He was on the path towards that as prime minister. If you asked him he would have told you that that would be his future legacy,” said Gissin.

For the Israelis who voted for — and against — him throughout his political career, his legacy will continue to be a subject of debate.

Moshe Ramon, a 55-year-old religious father of four sat arguing with his younger son just a week before Sharon passed away. The two had come to the Tel Hashomer hospital to check on a cousin, but were amused by the international press that had set up permanent stations outside the hospital walls.

“All these TV cameras have come here for a man who punished the Jewish people by making us leave Gaza?” said Ramon. “I believe God made him sick and put him in this coma to punish him for giving up Jewish land to the Arabs.”

His son, Daniel, a 31-year-old lawyer, didn’t seem to agree with his father.

“He wasn’t bad, he did good things for the Jews. Remember dad, he was a soldier for us,” said Daniel, who fondly recalls using his first visit to the election ballot to vote for Sharon in 2001. “We will probably remember the good things about him, and try to forget the bad. We will, or at least, we will make ourselves feel like he was our founding father.”

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/sheerafrenkel/why-do-israelis-think-sharon-was-the-last-prime-minister-who

11 Questions With Demi Lovato

When Demi was at BuzzFeed last week working on a few posts (due out next week!) we asked you to send us some questions for her via Twitter. Boy, did you all oblige! Her answers below:

1. On her label and working with Simon Cowell:

Demi: I’m really happy with my label right now. We made a really great record together. The president of my label … has been so supportive of me and we’ve actually had heart-to-heart talks — I’ve seen him cry. You don’t find that in the music industry anymore. That’s why I really love my label, they care about me. They say, “If you need time off, go take time off. We’re here for you.” But! I also love Simon, and either one would be great.

2. On stage diving:

Demi: I would love to. I’ve crowd surfed a couple of times. It’s a little dangerous… [Miguel] wasn’t really a stage dive. That was… That was a mistake.

3. On video games:

Demi: I would play Nintendo 64. Princess Peach in Mario Kart. The Sea-Doo one. Bubble Blaster? Clay Fighter. I also played Grand Theft Auto.

4. On the time she yelled out the window to Ben Stiller:

Demi: I don’t know! I tweeted that I wonder if he found out I’m a musician or if he thinks I’m just a crazy girl that yelled at him. I still don’t know to this day if he bought it.

5. On romantic gestures:

Demi: There was a time where I was out of town for a couple of months — I was away — and this person would fly out every single weekend. [They’d] take the red eye Friday night, would see me for just a couple of hours on Saturday, just a couple hours on Sunday, and would fly back to be at work on Monday. He would fly out every single weekend for the amount of time I was away. I thought that was the sweetest, most caring thing that anyone has ever done for me. Yeah. You gotta know how to find ‘em. When you do, you can’t go back to dating immature guys.

6. On dog breeds (she’s allergic!):

Demi: Umm, I think I like shih tzus because I have three of them. My other dog is a mutt, and I have to be careful because I’m allergic to her. It’s gotten better now, but I always have to take Benadryl whenever I [see her].

7. On elephants, turtles, and finger monkeys:

Demi: A small elephant! Who would pick the other one? I like finger monkeys, have you ever seen those? They[‘re so small] they can wrap around your finger! But they grow up… and that’s unfortunate.

8. On this season:

Demi: Iced coffee. I’m kind of obsessed with iced coffee.

9. On a potential career on Broadway:

Demi: I have never considered doing Broadway ‘cause I have so many other dreams that I’m so passionate about — BUT I have a feeling one day I’ll end up doing it because I say that it’s not my passion. I’ll be like, “No, I’ll never do it,” and then I’ll go do it.

10. On her ever-changing hair color:

Demi: I think I’m gonna stay blonde for a while but because I said that it’ll probably change! I swear that’s how it always happens.

11. On twerking:

Demi: I do know how to twerk — but I save it for the bedroom. I feel like my twerking doesn’t need to be captured in front of the whole world. Hey, kudos to anyone that twerks in public, though!

Thanks, Demi!

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/whitneyjefferson/11-questions-with-demi-lovato

Kathy Bates Tweets That She Had A Double Mastectomy

Mike Blake / Reuters

Unfortunately, this is not the first time the star of Harry’s Law has had cancer. In 2003 she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer but it wasn’t revealed to the public until 2009.

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/stacylambe/kathy-bates-tweets-that-she-had-a-double-mastectom

12 Yoga Tips for Beginners | Care2 Healthy Living

12 Yoga Tips for Beginners | Care2 Healthy Living

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Community Post: “KissingRyan.com” Gives Us The Most Perfect Valentine’s Day Ever

1. The best Valentine’s Day present ever has arrived,

2. and there is more than enough to go around.

3. There now exists a website allowing you to kiss Ryan Gosling.

4. It is called “KissingRyan.com,” and it was created by Miruna Macri.

She is an art director based out of New York City.

5. All it takes is a, “Hey girl,”

7. and you putting your best cheek forward.

8. Isn’t technology great?

10. This is the best Valentine’s Day to ever happen to us.

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/alliecaren/kissingryancom-gives-us-the-perfect-valentines-ajgy