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<p>&quot;It&#39;s a Wonderful Life&quot;</p>

"It's a Wonderful Life"

TV Ratings: It's still a 'Wonderful Life' for NBC on Christmas Eve Wednesday

Jimmy Stewart classic is up from last year's NBC airing

Fast National ratings for Wednesday, December 24, 2014.

NBC's traditional Christmas Eve broadcast of "It's a Wonderful Life" paid its usual dividends, with the Frank Capra classic dominating primetime in all measures.

"It's a Wonderful Life" was actually up from last year's broadcast, when Jimmy Stewart and company actually lost to the Jim Carrey "Grinch" among young viewers and also lost to CBS procedural repeats overall. This year, CBS aired less potent drama and "I Love Lucy" repeats, while ABC aired comedy repeats, giving the advantage to a three-hour black-and-white film.

Let's get to the numbers...

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<p>Phil, Amy &amp; Maya</p>

Phil, Amy & Maya

Credit: CBS

Interview: Amy & Maya discuss their 'Amazing Race' win

They seemed like underdogs to us, but why were they so confident?

In the interest of time, I skipped out on the "Amazing Race" exit interview circuit, a decision I often regretted. I'd have loved to ask Lisa & Michelle about shoving and hypocrisy, or talk to Shelley & Nici about how their existing relationship hurt them out there or to discuss whether Kym & Alli felt annoyed at a surfing task being their demise.

I was more than happy, though, to rejoin the circuit to talk to the "Amazing Race" finale, especially when the victors turned out to be Food Scientists Amy & Maya, a pair I grew to really root for during the Race. 

No, Maya & Amy weren't the strongest team. In fact, they made it to the end without winning any of the first 11 Legs and only a "Keep on Racing..." Leg in Manila kept them around. But even if they seemed physically unlikely -- especially with a prior injury forcing Amy to limp her way around the world -- their enthusiasm never waned. They snuck through to the end on spirit and grit and then with a million bucks hinging on a final cumulative Roadblock, Amy capitalized on the most intellectually-driven challenge of the entire season to carry the pair to victory.

That excitable energy carried over into their exit interview, which touched on Amy & Maya's never-give-up moxie, their unlikely survival in the penultimate episode and the malady Amy was fighting for 12 Legs.

Click through for the full Q&A with the Season 25 winners of "The Amazing Race"... 

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Tell us what you thought of 'The Interview'

Tell us what you thought of 'The Interview'

It wasn't released, it escaped...

Here's hoping all our credit cards don't get hacked. But seriously, though… Sony Pictures has, after initially cancelling all release plans, allowed theater chains willing to release "The Interview" to do so, but in advance of tomorrow's release date, the studio has made the film available via video-on-demand services like YouTube Movies, Google Play, Xbox and a dedicated website: SeeTheInterview.com. I just watched it from my couch while eating a breakfast burrito in my TMNT pajama pants. America, fuck yeah, I guess.

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Roger Deakins remembers making it up as he went along on Alex Cox's 'Sid and Nancy'

Roger Deakins remembers making it up as he went along on Alex Cox's 'Sid and Nancy'

Also: Getting drunk in San Francisco with an in-character Gary Oldman

It seemed this year that if any artist was due for the retrospective treatment, it was "Unbroken" cinematographer Roger Deakins. While I of course did not address all of the 50-plus films he has shot throughout his illustrious career during a recent extended interview, I settled on a few in particular that I think represent a nice cross-section of his work. Each of them — "Nineteen Eighty-Four," "Sid and Nancy," "Barton Fink," "The Shawshank Redemption," "Kundun," "The Man Who Wasn't There" and "The Village" — will get their own space in the next few days.

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11 things you should know about 'Into the Woods'

11 things you should know about 'Into the Woods'

Yep, everyone had to audition except for you know who

The long awaited big screen adaptation of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's "Into the Woods" finally hits theaters on Christmas Day, and judging by the reviews so far, the consensus is it ain't half bad.

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<p>The Night Shift</p>

The Night Shift

Credit: NBC

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 262: Worst TV of 2014

A few final words on 'Mixology,' 'HIMYM' and that crazy 'Night Shift' key art

The

Merry Christmas (and/or Happy New Year), boys and girls! It's our final Firewall & Iceberg Podcast of 2014, and since we talked about some of the year's best TV earlier in the month, we thought we would close out the year talking about some — but by no means all(*) — of the worst things we watched. No show-by-show time breakdown, but there also isn't anything that would really qualify as a spoiler in the discussion, save for when we get to the final season of "HIMYM" near the end. See you in 2015, listeners!

(*) It only occurred to me after we finished recording that I should probably put in a rant about "House of Cards," but I already covered that exhaustively back in the spring, and then wrote about it again here.

The rundown:

TV's Worst of 2014 (00:01:25 - 01:14:15)
TV's Worst of 2014 - "Homeland" finale (01:14:20 - 01:26:35)

As always, send questions to firewalliceberg@hitfix.com. You can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. Or you can always follow our RSS Feed, download the MP3 file, subscribe on IHeartRadio or stream it on Dan's blog.

There's also now a complete archive of all the podcasts to date.

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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 262 - Worst TV of 2014
Credit: NBC

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 262 - Worst TV of 2014

Dan and Alan discuss 2014's worst, from 'Mixology' to 'Mysteries of Laura' to the 'Homeland' finale

The

Happy Wednesday, Boys & Girls!

And Happy Holidays!

It's time for what will be our final podcast of 2014 and it's a crowd favorite.

Yup. For 87 minutes, we talked about TV's Worst of 2014. Some of this was covered in my Worst of 2014 gallery (below), but the back and forth is fresh!

Plus, Showtime's "Homeland" delivered a finale on Sunday that fit perfectly into this week's theme. Thanks, "Homeland"!

So it's a fun dose of Angry Dan and Angry Alan as we step back from our, "There's a lot of great stuff on TV" stance and remind you there's some awful stuff as well. [Podcast theme this week features music and lyrics by Linda Holmes, arrangement by Jeff Alexander.]

We'll be back in 2015.

Enjoy this week's podcast. It does have spoilers for some stuff. But only wretched stuff.

Today's breakdown:
TV's Worst of 2014 (00:01:25 - 01:14:15)
TV's Worst of 2014 - "Homeland" finale (01:14:20 - 01:26:35)

As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. [Or you can always follow our RSS Feed or subscribe on IHeartRadio.] 

 

And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.

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<p>&quot;One Direction: The TV Special&quot;</p>

"One Direction: The TV Special"

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: NBC's 'One Direction: The TV Special' fizzles as CBS, ABC split Tuesday

'NCIS' repeats dominate overall, while 'The Year: 2014' leads in the demo

Fast National ratings for Tuesday, December 23, 2014.

NBC's "One Direction: The TV Special" dominated Tuesday night among females 12-17, but failed to strike a cord in any other demographic as CBS repeats and ABC holiday specials ruled a sleepy Christmas Eve eve on Tuesday.

Repeats of "NCIS," NCIS: Los Angeles" and "NCIS: New Orleans" were Tuesday's most watched shows overall, while encores of "Shrek the Halls" and "Toy Story That Time Forgot" led in the key demo for ABC.

And NBC's three celebrity-driven specials all did the same weak demo number and drew under 3.7 million viewers.

On to the numbers...

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Inherent Vice - Katherine Waterston
Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

'Inherent Vice' femme fatale Katherine Waterston lands Steve Jobs biopic

She’ll star opposite Michael Fassbender as Jobs’ wife

After the New York Film Festival screening of "Inherent Vice," there were a number of cranky complaints that the movie didn’t make any sense. It’s true, the intricacies of Paul Thomas Anderon’s hazy, stoned crime caper isn’t easy to digest, especially if they’re soaked up only once. But even the most livid NYFF attendee had to agree that relative newcomer Katherine Waterston, wooing and mellowing out  Joaquin Phoenix’s wily Larry "Doc" Sportello, was a discovery. The people wanted more (and, for a certain contingent, more of her in something they could understand). Well, get ready, NYFFers, Waterston’s just made the leap to the mainstream: She’ll star opposite Michael Fassbender in the developing Steve Jobs biopic.

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<p>Natalie Anderson of &quot;Survivor&quot;</p>

Natalie Anderson of "Survivor"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Natalie Anderson discusses her 'Survivor: San Juan del Sur' win

'Amazing Race' veteran on the advantages of being the Evil Twinny

We've reached the end of our "Survivor: San Juan del Sur" exit interviews.

Natalie Anderson began this "Survivor" season in a defensively position. Not only did she enter the game with a certain reputation from her two seasons on "The Amazing Race" -- "I know we have a lot of Twinny haters. There's no middle. It's either you love us or you hate us," she says -- but sister Nadiya was voted out first by her tribe. That left Natalie with notoriety and without a loved one in the Blood versus Water season.

What followed was a "Survivor" run that stood out both for Natalie's sturdy combination game -- She made big strategic moves, performed well in challenges and also found and used an Immunity Idol effectively -- but also for her major image overhaul. Coming into the season facing derision from some CBS reality fans, Natalie ended the season a very popular winner, almost universally well-received, at least from what I've seen online.

"It's really surreal to see happen because people are very, very... like they're very stuck in the way they thought about me and Nadiya from 'Amazing Race' if they didn't like me. And it's cool to see that now all my haters have become lovers. It's awesome," Natalie said when we spoke after last week's finale. 

In our exit conversation, Natalie talks about several of her most important moves in the game, as well as her nervousness about nearly torpedoing herself with an overly persuasive self-appraisal at the penultimate Tribal Council. She explains why she was better-suited for a long solo run than Nadiya would have been and she gives a slightly surprising answer for who she would have voted for if she'd gone home at Final 4.

Click through for the full Q&A.

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'Selma' dominates Black Film Critics Circle awards

'Selma' dominates Black Film Critics Circle awards

David Oyelowo and Gugu-Mbatha Raw take top acting honors

Black Film Critics Circle co-president Mike Sargent accompanied the release of his group's list of 2014 movie superlatives this year with a quote expressing praise for "an incredibly diverse and progressive year for black film." He then went on to broadly touch on the subject matter covered across that spectrum. Nevertheless, his organization's list of winners hardly reflects that diversity, I must say.

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'Entourage' trailer is big and slick and instantly divisive
Credit: Warner Bros.

'Entourage' trailer is big and slick and instantly divisive

How about that Mark Wahlberg cameo?

The "Entourage" movie trailer has been online for about twenty minutes at this point, and I've already seen a remarkable divide emerge between people who are excited for it and think it looks awesome and people who are making jokes about needing to shower in Valtrex after seeing the trailer.

If nothing else, then, it seems like they've upped the production value of "Entourage" just based on this first glimpse at the way the movie looks. Just that opening bit, from what I assume is the movie within the movie, looks like a real movie, something that they never quite pulled off on the show, no matter how hard they tried.

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