And so the streak of sub-4 minute Mondays comes to a close. I was in trouble from the get-go, when I put "awaken" for 2D: "Rise and shine!" (WAKEUP, a much better and straightforward answer). Even once I got going in that corner, I put "weaK" for MEEK, which slowed me down. Plus I didn't know AKIOMORITA, a way-above-typical difficulty theme answer for a Monday.
Overall, I'd say this puzzle skewed hard, more like a Tuesday into Wednesday level, but I liked it. Both the NW and SE corners are solid groups of answers, including AGEGAP, DESADE, and SKEWER. The NE and SW also have pairs of 8-letter down answers that work very well. EDHARRIS next to NEUTRINO is lovely, and OLDMONEY and ROBINSON are fine as well.
Very little to complain about in the fill. I like how PHAT is clued as "dated slang". Excellent to recognize that we're in 2015, not 2001. And I certainly don't see it as a duplication to have FAT in the grid as well. INO is truly obscure, as is CLU Gulager. TIN is clued well with the symbol Sn (for the Latin stannum). I spent about 30 seconds staring at the cross of ROW and WARDS. I was stuck on actual chess pieces for 40D, missing the obvious, and _ARDS wasn't helping for a long time.
The theme was obscure to me even after I finished the entire grid. In fact, it's referring to the fact that each of the named personages have the initials A.M., thus making them MORNINGPERSONS of a sort. I don't know how impressive it is to come up with four people who have those initials, and whose names in their most familiar entirety are made up of 10 letters. All four are reasonably famous; ANDYMURRAY and ALMICHAELS are fairly relevant. ALIMACGRAW is famous for the movie she is clued by. And I already discussed the first.
I'd say a well above average puzzle, but maybe misplaced in the week.